Hope and Emotions Accompany the Video Statement of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit

The bare facts.

The  “proof-of-life” video statement by Gilad Shalit.  The price for the video information: twenty terrorist women swapped for Gilad. The hope: his return home to his family in Israel as soon as possible .

Here is the full text of the video statement of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured and held hostage by the Hamas since June 2006.

…”Hi, I am Gilad Shalit, son of Aviva and Noam Shalit, brother of Hadas and Yoel, from Mitzpe Hilla, ID number 300097029. Today is Monday 14 September 2009.

As you can see, I’m holding in my hand today’s Palestine newspaper, 14th September 2009, which is published in Gaza.

I’m reading the newspaper in order to find information about myself, and I hope to find information about my release and return home soon.

I have been waiting and yearning a long time for the day I will be released.

I hope the current government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu will not waste this opportunity to finalise the deal and that as a result I will finally be able to realise my dream and be released.

I want to send my regards to my family, to tell them that I love them and miss them a lot, and yearn for the day that I will see them.

Father, Yoel and Hadas, do you remember the day when you arrived at my base in Ramat Ha-Golan, on the 31st December 2005, which, if I’m not mistaken, is called Revia Bet? We did a tour around the base. You took a picture of me on top of the Merkava tank, and on top of one of the old tanks at the entrance to the base.

Afterwards, we drove to a restaurant in one of the Druze villages, and on the way we took a picture on the side of the road with the snow-covered Mount Hermon.

I want to tell you that I am well in terms of my health. The mujahideen of the Izzeddine al-Qassam Brigades are treating me fine.

Thank you very much and see you again.”… source


The Goldstone Encounter with the Hamas Terrorism and Israel’s Defence War

Switzerland UN Gaza War Crimes

Justice Richard Goldstone.

A few days ago Sky News reported a couple of news mentioning the name Goldstone. The first was about an outbreak of the e-coli disease in the Goldstone pet farm ( Surrey, UK),  and the second was the Goldstone commission report about the Cast Lead war between Israel and the Hamas. . I was almost temped to say:  perhaps another sort of disease, breed in the Universal Human Rights laboratories specifically targeting Israel.

Well, no, the report is not a disease. Ex judge Richard Goldstone is an honorable men. His credentials as a Zionist and Israel lover are beyond doubts. He is a first rate jurist with overwhelming experience in war crimes jurisdiction.

So this Zionist Israel lover is the men accusing Israel of war crimes, putting her in the same league as the Nazi criminals in the Nirenberg Trials. He is not drawing a demarcation lines between the premeditated Wannsee plan of exterminating the Jews and in fact exterminating 6 million of them, and between Israel’s self defence war, causing 1300 war casualties mostly Hamas men.

Let me  remind to myself: the Cast Lead war was  only the final result of a 7 year shelling  of more than 8000 qassam rockets  targeting  half a million of civilians living in south Israel by the Hamas ,

So where is the catch? what is going wrong?

Well to say it frankly. Nothing is going wrong, there is no catch at all. Ex judge Goldstone report is viewing and judging the today terrorist warfare  trough the codex of WW2 war crimes .

He has taken a snapshot named the “Cast Lead” war, a war whose causes are fossilized deep into the report as not fitting directly in the overall  schema of what he sees as war crimes . Israel’s attempt to stop the rocket launching on his southern civilian population is, in his view, well fitting in his scheme of war crimes:

…”Israel is currently fighting under, and being judged by, the laws of World War II, which are suitable for conventional wars between two or more armies in open fields, where it is easier to define proportionality.

But what do you do when terrorists hide under homes, or when they don’t wear uniforms? What do you do when the enemy high command runs its operations from under a hospital located in a crowded neighborhood, as Hamas did during Cast Lead, using the basement of Shifa Hospital as a command and control center? It is clear that the existing laws of war are incompatible with the current and evolving nature of war”…, see here.

This is a situation of incompatibilities where hypothetical soldiers will be forced to ask in the middle of battle who is a civilian and who is a terrorist and meanwhile be killed and perhaps loosing a self defense war..

Ex judge Goldstone’s report does not provide much help to solve such incompatibilities or ‘minor’ problems. But on the other hand his report is a panacea for the terrorist who can now rely on his WW2 codex jurisdiction to continue without fear, from within any civilian population, be it in Afghanistan, Iraq or any other country or European capital, and perpetuate any crimes, and if civilians may be killed in the attempt of the local forces to stop them, the blame of war crimes will fall on the defenders.

What conclusions, if any, can be drawn from the encounter of ex judge Goldstone, Hamas terrorism and Israel defending her citizens. In the short run all are shouting in one great cacophony. Right wing speakers blame the world for his hypocrisy. See Obama in Afghanistan, Putin in Tchetchenia… etc. Leftists and fringe speakers accuse Israel for all the vicissitudes of the world, see the  boycotters from the UK, Toronto …etc.

But in the long run, and in our days the long run is relatively short, each of the belligerent parties will readjust himself to the new Goldstone conditions or fight them , fine tuning his intelligence capacities and improving his high-tech weaponry. The smarter will do the hack better. But if the Jihadist mentality  against Israel will prevail, then de facto, nothing will radically change for both sides. Israel and the Hamas will continue their clashes.

This is the world today, a ‘Rashomon‘ movie, telling a 21 century story staged in the high-tech third millennium under the auspice of the Goldstone report as a metaphor.

RashomonPosterBild (2)

Arab Terrorism and Israeli Cartoons

There are many ways to laughing at ourselves. One of them is dark humor: if your life is in hell or if you feel miserable have a good laugh and perhaps you feel better.
The dark humor of  “Ahmed and Salim“, a South Park-style cartoon that makes fun of Palestinian terrorists, is supposed to mock terrorists without ridiculing Muslims, and may  provoke your uproarious burst of laughter, boosting  your blood stream to such a degree that your health will only benefit from it.
The Israeli team Tom Trager and Or Paz create this provocative humoristic animated web series, describing the life of an Arab arch-terrorist and his two sons ‘Ahmed and Salim’.  Their web sitcom is becoming increasingly popular with surfers, while at same time stirring much controversy,  see here.
 Well the United Arab Emirates officials have blocked the Israeli-based cartoon Ahmed and Salim from showing on YouTube in that country. Nothing new about that, see here. They blocks anything from Israel, a true Pavlov reflex.
 Tania Tabar’s article “Israeli ‘South-Park’ style cartoon mocks Arabs” was published by Menassat, a Lebanese site. The verb ” to mock” is a trap of pejorative meanings. And indeed, the author in his indirect way, quickly take advantage of that , to show us that dark humor, despite being directed only against Arab terrorism, is synonym of global racism against all the Arabs in the world…Nothing new about that either, see here. I hope that  the learned author didn’t mean that all the Arabs are terrorists..?
 But if we want to delve into carton dark humor, then the omnipresent Google search provides us with his statistical insight about the verb “to mock”.  The phrase “Cartoons mocks anyone” in Google’s search,  outputs,  that mocking Arab terrorism is not only their  privilege but that anyone mocks  anyone and anything… not a great surprise.
 The first 20 entries, from1,050,000 entries in 0.29 seconds, upgraded our knowledge with titles like” Iranian TV Mocks U.S., Britain“, “Washington Post Cartoon Mocks Pentecostal Speaking in Tongues“, “ Crude Palestinian Cartoons Mock America“, “Christians AGAINST Cartoons“… to cite only a few, until the last unknown entry.
So the Israeli team’s contribution is only a drop in the sea of mocking cartoons. A Palestine blogger, Sameh Akram Habeeb, suffering from a mysterious blindness about what dark humor is declare  “These videos are dangerous and full of lies”…”I’ve never met someone like the cartoon character of Ahmed and Salim’s father. And of course, the authors never once mention the existence of thousands of Palestinian prisoners. “…see here.
To this can only be said that I too didn’t met such a real character. They live only in the realm of dark humor, made in Israel by Tom Trager and Or Paz. Only there you met them, ridiculous… or as they said.. ”  if you can take a good look at them without being afraid. Ahmed and Salim are just two nice naive kids who are just trying to make their terrorist father happy. ” see here.
Their real counterpart, a relative small group of Palestinian terrorist live in our real live, hiding in their own natural darkness. To  perpetuate their terroristic goals they dond’ need any sense of humor. …, and as to the Palestinian prisoners: don’t do terrorism and there will be no need to imprison them, mister Habeeb.

Hamas Gaza the Blind Terrorism

In those days where the media war is sometimes just as important than the real war on the ground, Israel opened a channel on You Tube where IDF footage shows how the Hamas hide his rockets in and around civilian’s houses and mosques . 
To face this Hamas purposely brutal kidnapping of his own people, to be used as shields against Israeli defence attacks when they launch  rocket on civilians in Israel, the IDF adopted several preventive ways to minimize  the Gazan casualties.
Sderot, Hamas rockets attack on civilians.

Sderot, Hamas rockets attack on civilians.

To illustrate one of those ways I quote a few excerpts from the article by  Noah Shachtman on Wired. The  article  called  “Robot Planes, Life-and-Death Choices Over Gaza”:
…”The man, Gil’s superior officers told him, was a known Hamas terrorist. The neighborhood, a militant haven. So when the black blotch of a man stepped out into the alley, and began to fiddle with dark strings that looked suspiciously like wires, Gil’s Colonel gave the order to a second aircraft, flying nearby: Take this man out. He’s setting up a booby trap for our soldiers.

 Weapons in Gaza Mosque Struck by Israel Air Force 1 Jan. 2009

The double-tailed, 40 foot-long Heron spy drone banked over the Gaza rooftops, and zoomed in on the man, to get a better look at the now-designated target. The man was tying the wire at about eye-level, from one home to another. It was an odd location for a booby trap. But a perfect place to hang clothes. Gil, his voice rising, told everyone to stop. ‘Don’t attack! Don’t attack’ he yelled. ‘The man, he’s doing laundry.’

Robot planes

Robot planes

Looking back, Gil is pretty sure he made the right decision. But he can’t be certain. ‘I prefer this kind of mistake,’ he says in a voice, soft as tissue,’than to have the innocent on my conscience.’ “,

Hamas, rockets on civilian in Ashkelon

Hamas, rockets on civilian in Ashkelon

….”That’s different from the American system, where decisions are often made by the commander on the ground, or by a network of legal and intelligence analysts. It means means ‘a lot of moral dilemmas’ for the pale father of two. ‘You see a Qassam [rocket] launcher with children around it. Now, what do you prefer: Let them fire the rocket, and have it fall on a kid in [the Israeli town of] Sderot? Or drop the bomb, and risk Palestinian children?’ he asks.”…see here for the whole article.

And what did the Hamas doe to defend his people, knowing that shelling Sderot for 8 years and finally not renewing the truce with Israel may have some harsh consequences?…The Hamas did nothing. Miscalculating the Israeli response to their terrorist aggression, they didn’t bother to prepare their own people for the war they instigate.

Weapons Horde in Gazan Mosque 13 Jan. 2009

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida columnist ‘Omar Hilmi Al-Ghul, arrive at the same conclusion I quote…”In response to Mash’al’s call to Gaza residents to stand firm, he wrote: “[Mash’al] does not take into account the interests of the [Gaza] residents, who are being sacrificed, while the commanders, who have abandoned the fighting, hide in the tunnels they prepared in advance – although they should be courageously leading the fighters in battle.”

 Precision Airstrikes on Hamas Terror Targets 7 Jan. 2009
Referring to Mash’al’s statement that the resistance is still alive and that it has not been defeated, Al-Ghul wrote: “Where is the victory that Mash’al is speaking about, allegedly from the battlefield. Can [Israel’s] renewed occupation of Gaza, its division, and the destruction of its infrastructure and its residents’ homes [be considered victory]? Can the [fact that] thousands of Palestinians have been killed or wounded, as opposed to [only a few] dozen occupying Israeli soldiers [be considered victory]?…”

And more here,  …””Hamas does not care if a destructive war is waged against Gaza – such as the one that is going on today. For Hamas, realizing an historic vision for which it has been yearning over many years justifies a heavy toll – as long as what is gained is a land crossing that will enable Hamas members to [transport] the goods and money that they have been hiding. It sees a crossing as the only opening to the outside world, as an umbilical cord [connecting it with the world]… see more here.

Israeli Air Force Strikes Rockets in Transit 28 Dec. 2008

Hamas rockets on Sderot
Hamas rockets on Sderot

Louis Michel, the European Commissioner and humanitarian aid commissioner , who was not always a great supporter of Israel, visiting Israel he said, I quote:

…”, [he] has ruled out Monday during a visit to Gaza any dialogue between the EU and Hamas, describing it as “terrorist movement” that killed “innocent civilians”.

“Hamas is a terrorist movement. He missed an opportunity to be an interlocutor of the international community and was thus clearly an element of the division of the Palestinian people,” said Michel in the press in Gaza.

‘You can not talk to a terrorist movement that uses terrorism as a means. We can not accept how Hamas behaves be confused with resistance. When you kill innocent civilians, it is not the resistance is terrorism, ‘he added.”, see more here (in French) and here.

What more can be said on the Hamas? .. Well, there is more to be said and with their own voices. Look at the following clip:

 To see the IDF channel see here.

‘Al Khan’ the Egyptian And ‘Dry Bones’ the Israeli

 A month ago I came across the Egyptian newspaper “Daily News” and discovered the daily strip ‘Al Khan’ created by Tarek Shahin a young Egyptian cartoonist.I was stricken by  the fact that in a country were the Hesba lawsuits and other calamities my intimidate cartoonists to punch with their satiric fist in the face of the Egyptian society, ‘Al Khan’ his satirical cartoons, appeared in the newspaper without harming the cartoonist.

To day I found on Menassat an article about Tarek Shahin’s work.  Being asked by the interviewer if he is being censored Tarek Shahin says, I quote,

…”  ‘No’, he says decisively. ‘I have never been subjected to intimidation.
‘Could it be that his choice of English makes him a lesser target than his colleagues writing in Arabic?
‘No, I don’t think it will protect me more than other journalists.’ “…

Many times seeing the difficulties of Egyptian and Arab creators in their respective countries I find their perseverance and dedication to bridge between the possible and the dangerous a remarkable achievement:

…” ‘But the goal of Al Khan is not only to give its readers a good laugh over their morning coffee,’ Shahin says. Al Khan will come to serve as a ‘bridge between cultures,’ connecting readers from across the world with Egypt.”…

….”Through his fictional newspaper, Al Khan, and his personal blog, Cairo Freeze , Egyptian cartoonist Tarek Shahin offers a clever take on life, politics and social taboos in modern-day Egypt. MENASSAT spoke with the young cartoonist about challenging the clichés about Egypt, and telling Egypt’s story to the world at large.”, see here on MENASSAT…..

Putting nasty events into a context where we forget their nastiness and stupidity and remember only their nonsense made me laugh. My laughing ouburst are triggered by Tarek Shahin who sees and feel the hiding world of laughter and translated it in my every day language with his cartoons.

Now in Israel the situation is much easier. There are no Hesba lawsuits and satirical cartoonists shoot their empoisoned laughing arrows in every direction and everyone feel good with that, even the targeted politicians, celebrities and events.

One of the best Israeli cartoonist is Dry Bones Cartoonist Yaakov  Kirschen. Looking at his cartoons I  undestand Tarek (Al Khan) Shahin’s common traits with  Yaakov (Bones) Kirschen: the Egyptian and the Israeli cartoonists cooperate in the invisible space of laughter, far away from the earthly vissitudes of censorship… but only for the people who wants to laugh.

Fake Peace Activist and Fake Peace

I open those few lines with a ‘from the press’ quotation:

….”Iranian-born Abi Nathan passes away at Tel Aviv after long illness. He served in Israel’s first air force squadron, founded the ‘Voice of Peace’ radio station and fought relentlessly for peace – flying solo to Egypt and serving jail time for meeting with Arafat”…see here.

Abie Natan

Abie Natan

 I remember his flying  peace adventure to Egypt (1967).The upstir in right wing parties and his enjailling in Israel for collaboration with Egypt, then the dreadful enemy. Today this is all forgotten matter and if not for his dead, whoever would have pay  attention to his heroic personal battle for peace.
The term peace, which for him was unambiguous and clear as spring water, is today full of ambiguity and fuzzy meaning. When in Georgia the Russians are considering themselves as peace makers by invading a neighbour country and Iran’s strive for nuclear power for “peacefully goals” is considered by most Arabian countries as a threat to their very existence, then ‘peace’ is a not secure place.
Now with this perspective in mind, Abi Natan, the Iranian born Israeli ‘peace activist’, interfered, in what he saw as the Israeli incompetence and inability to talk to Egypt. Flying with his Cessna plane to meet Abdel Nasser was a revolt and a start , if not talks then at last a gesture of hand shaking.This was the deed of a lonely man in midst’s of a sea of disbelievers. In essence it was naive peace activism at his best.

From this narrow point of view of a lonely crusader, the today term ‘peace activist’ is almost an insult to Abi Natan, because a great part of today activism is part of the media warfare, done by well funded individuals and groups with a strategy and a tactic complementing real physical warfare of the state, terrorist’s groups, economic and cultural boycott, pointed to overcome the other side, not to make a bona fide peace.

Abie Natam Peace 1

Abie Natam Peace 1

The coincidence that Abie Natan was born in Iran and that Iran’s attitude towards Israel is not one of great friendship, does not exclude the hope to find an Iranian ‘Abi Natan’ flying a Cessna plane to visit Israel in a gesture of peace…
This is surely a crazy idea. But in Iran there is a man like Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, Ahmadinejad VP I quote …”Speaking at a tourism convention in Tehran, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei said: ‘No nation in the world is our enemy, Iran is a friend of the nation in the United States and in Israel, and this is an honor. We view the American nation as one with the greatest nations of the world’ “, see here
This is perhaps not a Cessna flying act of peace a la Abi Natan and on a first scrutiny it is nice to see and hear such a statement. But on a second scrutiny this is a fake peace: how to use pseudo peace rhetoric on July 19 and on August 20, 2008 to hear a top Iranian general sayng:

….” ‘ Any attack against us will lead to world war. The unbridled greediness of the American and Zionist leadership is pushing the world to the edge of the cliff,’ Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri said in relation to the crises in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Georgia, ‘should such a (conflict) erupt, the phony and artificial regimes will be annihilated.’
 Brigadier General Jazayeri, the deputy head of Iran’s Armed Forces Headquarters, did not specifically mention Israel, but the Jewish state is often referred to by Iranian officials as a “phony regime”, see here.

What we have here is the good cop and the bad cop. But is anyone willing to attack Iran? The simple naive answer is: don’t simultaneously threat to wipe out Israel, and perhaps other neighbouring countries, and shouting every fresh morning that you enrich plutonium to made nuclear weapons,.. then nobody will attack you.

Anwar Sadat

Anwar Sadat

In the same way there are the pseudo activist, their inverse image being Mother Theresa and Albert Schweitzer who dedicated their life for a great cause and succeeded. Abie Natan is not to be compared with those great figures. But on the Israeli-Arab conflict scene he is unique, his great follower is Egyptian President Anwar Sadat flying to Jerusalem on November 7, 1977, 30 years after Abie Natan’s flying to Port Said. Abie Natan was the peace forerunner and Anwar Sadat signed the Peace traity with Israel.
And what is the great achievement of the hot pseudo peace activist: the Gaza blockade breakers. They bring 5000 balloons, cooperating with the Hamas propaganda machine, not adding a tidbit of real help to the Gaza population, but promising to come back..perhaps  with another 5000 balloons, see here.

A talkbacker on the site resume very well the feelings of many he Palestinians in Gaza ..””Sounds like the Gazans will have to feed the activists while they’re on tour.”.. see here.


Two boats of seafaring activists reach Gaza shore

Two boats of seafaring activists reach Gaza shore

Israel, Lebanon, Palestine phone calling

In the Gaza strip Hamas is banning anything interfering with his grip on the local media. But Lebanon is now lifting a ban on phone calls from Lebanon to Palestine.
 …”There is a famous Lebanese song by the singer Sabah that goes: “Hello, hello, hello, Beirut? Please, dear, get me Beirut, and hurry up please!”
[today]…many Palestinians in Lebanon have been putting new words to the old tune in the past few days: “Hello, hello, hello, Palestine? Please dear, get me Palestine, and hurry up please!”…
Qlick here to hear the song
The reason is that the Lebanese government has officially lifted the ban on calls to the 970 country code this week, making it possible for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon to call their relatives in historic Palestine for the first time in decades.
‘I am thrilled with the news, but I cannot help feeling bad about all the years I spent in Beirut without being able to contact my family and relatives who are still in Palestine,’ Imad said.’Still, better late than never.’
The 970 country code was established in 1993 and was issued to the Palestinian Authority which at the time was in control of both the West Bank and Gaza.
Since then, the Islamic Hamas party has taken control of the Gaza Strip, while President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party controls the West Bank. But the Hamas-Fatah split has apparently not affected the phone network.
Now that Lebanon has lifted the ban, Syria is the only remaining country that doesn’t allow phone calls to the 970 country-code.”…see here.
And where is the Israeli connection?
 …”Debsy, [Hisham Debsy, media adviser for the PLO embassy in Lebanon], bristled when asked about the possibility of security breaches in the telecommunications network now that the lines are reopened. “You have to refer to the Lebanese government for this answer. Israel did not wait for the lines to reopen in order to hack into Lebanese land lines and mobile phones,” he said. Indeed, even if it was impossible to call Israel/Palestine from Lebanon, it has always been possible to call Lebanon from Israel/Palestine.”  see here.
Now, perhaps in the near future, we will hear a new song by the singer Sabah, from Syria to Israel… “Hello, hello, hello, Israel? Please dear, get me Israel, and hurry up please!”…

The Talkback Syndrome and the Jerusalem Bulldozer Attack

 After the bulldozer terrorists attack in Jerusalem on Thursday July 22, I published  on NowPublic.com an article named  “The Jerusalem syndrome :bulldozer runs wild in Jerusalem”.

The article was pure news not yet colored by personal opinion, and was immediately followed by updates from witnesses who almost get wounded or killed or where under heavy stress due to the murderous event they eye witnessed.

 The point for republishing here hot news from 4 days ago is what I call te biased talkback syndrome of some commentators.  No matter what you are writing about, those armchair commentators live in a world without causes, they sniff only effects and  instill their so ‘called impartial  views’ for the Palestinian side.
I would almost say that they don’t need the news any  blank page of news will do the job,for the full article and his 36 comments see here: NowPublic
Here is an excerpt from the original article . After the article come the relevant comments, with poor or no relevance to the news.They are in bold  letters. My own replies are in italic.

 Source: ynetnews.com

 The police on Tuesday morning reported of shots heard on Jerusalem’s King David Street after a bulldozer began running wild in the area.The police reported that the terrorist was shot dead and two people were injured.At around 2 pm, eyewitnesses reported seeing a bulldozer driver running wild in the city and overturning cars. Large rescue forces were dispatched to the area.

Dina, who works near the scene of the incident, told Ynet, “There are a lot of ambulances and police cars here. We heard three or four shots fired at the bulldozer driver.

At the beginning of the month, three people were murdered when an east Jerusalem terrorist travelling on a bulldozer, crashed into cars and buses in central Jerusalem.

Arik Blum, the manager of a nearby restaurant, added, “He overturned two vehicles. This bulldozer was smaller than the one used to carry out the attack at the beginning of the month. The bulldozer’s window is full of bullets.”


 Here are the relevant comments and replies:

  Heritage Heritage at 09:37 on July 22nd, 2008

“Every industrial tool has become possible instrument of terrorism.” This statement rings very true.

 The D9 is the IDF’s main tool to destroy civilian homes. Israeli soldiers often give Palestinians no warning before they crash the massive vehicle through the walls of their homes. The rear blade, known as “the ripper,” tears up roads, pulling up water and sewage pipes. At least three Palestinians have been killed in recent years by the bulldozer and falling debris because they could not flee their homes in time.

Human rights organizations have documented the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) systematic use of the D9 bulldozer in illegal demolitions throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The IDF has demolished over 2,500 Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip alone, most of them without military justification. Nearly two-thirds of those homes were in Rafah, a town and refugee camp on the southern border with Egypt. The Israeli military has used the Caterpillar bulldozer to raze over 10 percent of the town, and plans to demolish up to 20 percent more in connection with the government’s Gaza “disengagement” plan.

 korzac korzac at 15:00 on July 22nd, 2008

 Your source is hrw.org headed by Kenneth Roth.

Look at “Ken Roth’s blood libel” published in the ‘Jerusalem Post’. Here are the opening lines …”A Malaysian newspaper recently published an article headlined “Israel deliberately targeting civilians, says Human Rights Watch.”     Turkish newspapers ran similar items, repeating HRW’s statements that “Israel intentionally bombs civilians.” During the Lebanon War HRW’s press releases, opeds and interviews with officials were cited in hundreds of newspapers around the world, providing seeming legitimacy from a “neutral source” to the violent anti-Israel protests and calls for revenge.      For HRW and executive director Kenneth Roth, Israel is a highly emotional focus, and their reports are often biased and unreliable.”…see more.

This was writen in 2006 at the time of the second Lebanon war. I suppose that hrw.org headed by Kenneth Roth, since then, has not changed his mind…So why should I believe that your today ’emotional and biased’ source is better than the Israeli source, Professor Gerald Steinberg  the Political Studies Department Chair at Bar Ilan University, who write the ” “Ken Roth’s blood libel” article. His credentials are excellent..see here.

BTW, why don’t you observe what president Abbas said “and we condemn any attack against civilians from both sides [of the Israeli-Arab conflict],” . Or what Barak Obama said “The Democratic senator also said that his “thoughts and prayers go out to all who were injured, and to their families”, .

This is a war Heritage, with victims on both sides…

And a final word, if you want to know better the Arab side of human rights violation not only the ‘Israeli side’, visit ‘Emnisty International”….see here.

 Heritage Heritage at 07:24 on July 24th, 2008

Why is a bulldozer a legitimate weapon for Israel and not the Palestinians?

Hi Korzac,

HRW is about as credible as they come. I understand that inside Israel they are dismissed as ’emotional and biased’. But your post and these comments are not about HRW, they are about bulldozers used as weapons against civilians.

Why is a bulldozer a legitimate weapon for Israel and not the Palestinians?

If the men in the Jerusalem bulldozer attacks are terrorists, what are the IDF forces and contractors who use them on a daily basis against civilians?

Thanks for the Amnesty International links, I’ve read many of their reports. HRW also has many reports about Palestinian human rights violations. You should check them out, perhaps you may find out why they are so respected in the rest of the world.

 From Amnesty Inernational’s website:

 korzac korzac at 11:39 on July 24th, 2008

 Hi heritage ,

Always good to see your comments about good causes but for the wrong points.

Here is a short story about bulldozers. Many years ago, when the Golan Heigth was Syrian, I worked with a bulldozer near the border, in plain Israeli territory, and was almost killed by Syrian snipers.. So we welded a few iron plate on the bulldozer, and see how nice, it becomes a defence bulldozer to save my life….

Well what you call a weapon is indeed a weapon in the hands of Muslim terrorist in Jerusalem. In the Israeli hands, among other tasks, if a bulldozer is needed it is for defence not for killing people…as in my case.

And see what Barack Obama has to say about defence:

“Israel should not negotiate with Hamas so long as the Islamist group poses a threat to Israeli citizens, US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Wednesday during his visit to the town of Sderot.

Obama said that if someone were firing on his home, where his two daughters were sleeping, he would do everything to stop the attacks – and that this is how he expects Israel to act as well.

 During his brief visit to Sderot Obama also noted the terror attack in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Hezbollah attacks and the Iranian nuclear program, saying that all of these were genuine threats Israel faces alongside the Qassam rockets from Gaza. “

And for your …”Perhaps you may find out why thy are so respected in the rest of the world”.. So if Obama understand the Israeli situation is he not respected by the rest of the world, he the new messiah. And the Arab countries do they respect the Palestinians” for example Egypt with the blockade on her side of the Gaza Strip or Saudi with her petro-dollars is she respecting the Palestinians, and so on.

“The rest of the world’ is a slippery phrase. Are you entitled to speak for the rest of the world..I think that  your “rest of the world”, in the western world, is a minority and nothing more, it is a modern arena where some armchair gladiators fights  their ‘Israeli visions’, well as said in Arabic ‘Mabrouk’.

BTW. I am glad that you did discover Amnesty.org . Bring us some news from the Hamas, Palestinian human rigths violations. 

A few concluding words. In general no matter what your arguments are, they are dismissed as irrelevant, mutilated and thrown away.  

Sarkozy’s 2008 New Mediterranean Future

 The Mediterranean 43 nations gathering under the auspices of President Sarkozy, is a well staged show.

 Speaking from my own Israeli view, I dond’t feel a great enthusiasm when seeing the  receptions at the Champ Elysee. The pictures are well know pictures of politicians accolades and handshaking with in the background, limousines, french soldiers in fancy uniforms and security men. Something like the G8.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Bastille Day 2008

Sarkozy is trying to make his ‘grand coup’ especially with the Maghreb countries to minimise their emigration to France. As for Syria and Lebanon, old french protectorates and today in some way francophone countries, his involvement is perhaps useful but the main Israeli talks channel with Syria are via the Turkish mediators. Bashar Assad is one of the winner of this gathering, appearing together with all the other Arab countries, after a long period of isolation. But the Egyptian president Mubarak didn’t even give a look at Assad and some time later they are seen together, in a TV shot with president Sarkozy… And Syria’s Bashar Assad, two meter away from Israeli PM Olmert refuse to see PM Olmert. Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi didn’t like the whole idea and stayed home. This is a shortcut to the ‘sociology’ of this gathering.

Syrian President Bashar Assad refuse to ‘see’ Israeli PM Ehud Olmert.

In Israel we know what is the real ‘cash value’ of talks, ceasefire and signed treaties in the Middle East. With the Hamas there is a ceasefire broken every day. With Syria there are talks, but via Syria there is the gigantic rearmament of the Hezbollah. With the Hezbollah there is the prisoners swap this week, but the Israeli press predict that after the swap Hezbollah is ready to attack: according to their accounting they owe Israel a revenge for Mugniyah’s dead. 

The call of President Sarkozy for a free nuclear middle east (Mediterranean is not possible: France has nuclear weapons,,) is at most not serious. The principal addressee is Iran and is not a part of the Mediterranean but her missiles and their firing range grant her a threatening participating ticket on the presidency stage.

 So, the President Sarkozy’s show is a french romance a la Enrico Macias , the warm-up band, until the real world star and his band,  McCain or Obama will begin their world tour show.

And after all this, I hope that deeds, not words and gala banquets, will be the output of this gathering.

PA Mahaboud Abbas, French President Sarkozy and Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, Bastille day 2008.

UK ‘University and College Union’ the new UK branch of the Palestinian Boycott of Israel

Here is a short story of how the british ‘University and College Union’ (UCU), an organization of about 120.000 members, has become  the UK Palestinian branch of the ‘Palestinian  Campaign for the Academic and Cultural boycott campaign.’, see here

  Ron Prosor,the Israeli ambassador the UK, complains in an article on the ‘Telegraph’, I quote:
 ..”Israel faces an intensified campaign of delegitimisation, demonisation and double standards. Britain has become a hotbed for radical anti-Israeli views and a haven for disingenuous calls for a ‘One state solution’, a euphemistic name for a movement advocating Israel’s destruction.
In 2007 members of the University and College Union (UCU) voted to sever links with Israeli universities in a move which provoked outrage from politicians and academics around the world, and prompted Jewish leaders to condemn it as a “frightening assault” on academic freedom.’..
Union leaders later dropped the proposal but last month delegates at the UCU’s annual conference passed a similar motion condemning the “humanitarian catastrophe imposed on Gaza by Israel”, which could pave the way for a boycott of Israeli educational institutions. They claim academics in Israel are “apparently complicit” with what they call the “illegal settlement” of Palestinian land and “killing of civilians, see more.
 Ron Prosor speaks an open ‘diplomatic language’ . But the boycott’s concrete language are the real daily aims I found on the Palestinian boycott site:
…”Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;
Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;
Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions;
Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;
Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.”…see more.
Now as a humble vassal of the Palestinian boycott, the UCU Congress Agenda to boycott Israel is a rephrasing of the Palestinian aims:
…..”Congress notes the
1.     continuation of illegal settlement, killing of civilians and the impossibility of civil life, including education;
2.     humanitarian catastrophe imposed on Gaza by Israel and the EU;
3.     apparent complicity of most of the Israeli academy;
4.     legal attempts to prevent UCU debating boycott of Israeli academic institutions; and legal advice that such debates are lawful
Congress affirms that
5.     criticism of Israel or Israeli policy are not, as such, anti-semitic;
6.     pursuit and dissemination of knowledge are not uniquely immune from their moral and political consequences;
Congress resolves that
7.     colleagues be asked to consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions, and to discuss the occupation with individuals and institutions concerned, including Israeli colleagues with whom they are collaborating;
8.     UCU widely disseminate the personal testimonies of UCU and PFUUPE delegations to Palestine and the UK, respectively;
9.     the testimonies will be used to promote a wide discussion by colleagues of the appropriateness of continued educational links with Israeli academic institutions;
10. UCU facilitate and encourage twinning arrangements and other direct solidarity with Palestinian institutions; see more
A commentator on the UCU boycott agenda wrote:
” [Bill posted on April 17, 2008]   How can this NOT affect collective bargaining and general advocacy of academic interests in college and universities.  If the UCU is increasingly known for boycotting Jews and only Jews, its officers playing the two-faced shuffle, and being a university union in name only (rather than a front for politically correct bigots), then how do people entrenched in the university as faculty and administrators and students take them seriously when its time to deal with assessment, accreditation, workload, paying the university bills without cutting the faculty raises and of course, creating an effective and free working/teaching environment?  
As Brian says, these idiots are bankrupting the union financially and morally, but they are also trashing it operationally.  Universities have a mandate to educate.  In the battle between a psuedo academic union, misbehaving as element of the UCU  wants, and administration, who do you think will come out on top in both the eyes of the law and the public?
Good Luck to Jon!” see here.
From the ‘TIMESONLINE’ (May 29, 2008)  here is an additional quote…”The result will further sour relations between British academia and international scholars after a similar vote last year provoked outrage around the world. Steven Weinberg, the Nobel prize-winning physicist, cancelled his visit to Britain in protest against calls for boycotts of Israel by journalists and doctors and the UCU motion in 2007.” see here.
 I can not argue with the  Palesitian boycott campaign’s wisdom and the UCU their new branch in the UK , ruled by a Union Leadership from old days British Empire,. But where is the wisdom of the UCU’s 120.000 members…..”.