My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Is Hezbollah planning war???
The UN is powerless to stop the smuggling of weapons by Hezbollah...worse, the UN says nothing about it...
The U.S. is concerned that the continued flow of arms to the Hezbollah militant organization could prompt a war between Israel and Lebanon, State Department official Jeff Feltman said in remarks published Sunday by the London-based Al-Hayat daily..
Feltman, who serves as Assistant Secretary of U.S. State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, told the daily that the U.S. had no evidence of any Israeli plan to attack its northern neighbor.
Nevertheless, Feltman said he was growing increasingly worried by reports describing the quantity and types of weapons being smuggled to the terrorist organization in clear violation of United Nations Resolution 1701, which put an end to the 2006 war.
The UN resolution clearly demanded a weapons-free south Lebanon, said Feltman, but the world had yet to see that put into play
More Islamic child abuse....
Nice to see the BBC reporting this...
Counter-terrorism police say their discovery of a film of children being encouraged to hold guns is evidence of attempts to radicalise youngsters.
The Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) in North West England revealed they found the film during a raid in Manchester.
Officers say it shows two children, aged about three and six, playing with a pistol and a Kalashnikov rifle.
Material seized separately included the advice: "No child is ever too young to be started off on Jihad training."
The footage, which police believe was filmed in Pakistan, was uncovered on the hard drive of a computer during a raid carried out under the Terrorism Act 2000. Police have not revealed when the material was seized.
'I want to kill'
Police believe the firearms are real.
The video shows a girl and young boy playing with guns and a man's voice says: "What do you do with the weapon?"
He answers his own question: "I want to kill the infidels [non-believers]."
A senior officer in the CTU, who cannot be identified for security reasons, said: "We believe this was filmed abroad.
"We have no idea who the children are. We were shocked to find it at the house. We have no reason to believe this is faked. The guns are real."
Police say they have also found flash cards, used to teach young children the alphabet, in another house raid.
The officer said: "We found a series of flash cards and documents on how to raise Mujahid children [who will fight for Islam]. The cards were written in English - and instead of having M for Muhammad they had M for Mujahideen..."
"They have the potential to indoctrinate. It just shows the mindset of some people and what we are up against."
Police say they also found documents downloaded from an extremist website which instructs parents to raise Mujahid children.
The documents say: "The key is to start instilling these values in them while they are babies. Don't wait until they are seven. No child is ever too young to be started off on Jihad training."
Climategate, Glaciergate, and now Amazongate....
Can't the IPCC conduct real research???
It is now six weeks since I launched an investigation, with my colleague Richard North, into the affairs of Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the hugely influential body which for 20 years has been the central driver of worldwide alarm about global warming. Since then the story has grown almost daily, leading to worldwide calls for Dr Pachauri's resignation. But increasingly this has also widened out to question the authority of the IPCC itself. Contrary to the tendentious claim that its reports represent a "consensus of the world's top 2,500 climate scientists" (most of its contributors are not climate experts at all), it has now emerged, for instance, that one of the more widely quoted scare stories from its 2007 report was drawn from the work of a British "green activist" who occasionally writes as a freelance for The Guardian and The Independent.
Last week I reported on "Glaciergate", the scandal which has forced the IPCC's top officials, led by Dr Pachauri, to disown a claim originating from an Indian glaciologist, Dr Syed Husnain, that the Himalayan glaciers could vanish by 2035. What has made this reckless claim in the IPCC's 2007 report even more embarrassing was the fact that Dr Husnain, as we revealed, was then employed by Dr Pachauri's own Delhi-based Energy and Resources Institute (Teri). His baseless scaremongering about the Himalayas helped to win Teri a share in two lucrative research contracts, one funded by the EU.
The source the IPCC cited as its "scientific" authority for this claim, however (as Dr North first reported on his EU Referendum blog), was a propagandist pamphlet published in 2005 by the WWF, the environmentalist pressure group, citing a magazine interview with Dr Husnain six years earlier.
Dr North next uncovered "Amazongate". The IPCC made a prominent claim in its 2007 report, again citing the WWF as its authority, that climate change could endanger "up to 40 per cent" of the Amazon rainforest – as iconic to warmists as those Himalayan glaciers and polar bears. This WWF report, it turned out, was co-authored by Andy Rowell, an anti-smoking and food safety campaigner who has worked for WWF and Greenpeace, and contributed pieces to Britain's two most committed environmentalist newspapers. Rowell and his co-author claimed their findings were based on an article in Nature. But the focus of that piece, it emerges, was not global warming at all but the effects of logging.
A Canadian analyst has identified more than 20 passages in the IPCC's report which cite similarly non-peer-reviewed WWF or Greenpeace reports as their authority, and other researchers have been uncovering a host of similarly dubious claims and attributions all through the report. These range from groundless allegations about the increased frequency of "extreme weather events" such as hurricanes, droughts and heatwaves, to a headline claim that global warming would put billions of people at the mercy of water shortages – when the study cited as its authority indicated exactly the opposite, that rising temperatures could increase the supply of water.
Attack on Jewish tourists foiled...
Egypt stopped this attempt.....
Egyptian sources revealed on Sunday that its intelligence forces two months ago arrested approximately two dozen terrorists who planned to attack Jews visiting the tomb of the revered 19th century Rabbi Yaakov Abhatzeira. They also plotted to strike American ships in the Suez Canal and banks in Cairo and Alexandria.
The terrorists also were in possession of a large quantity of explosives used for Hamas rocket attacks. The cell was attempting to join the “Jihad in Darfur” and had been training at a desert camp near the Mediterranean Coast.
The arrests were first revealed by the Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm, which said the cell was the first “armed jihadist” organization arrested in the country since the 1990s. Last year, Egyptian authorities arrested three other terrorist cells, including a Hizbullah-affiliated group on trial for planning attacks on tourists and ships.
The terrorists confessed to a plot to attack a large group of Jews who visited the rabbi’s tomb last November under heavy guard. The pilgrimage had been canceled the year before because of the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist war in Gaza. Rabbi Abhatzeira was a sage in Morocco whose written works include Kabbalistic writings and interpretations on the Book of Psalms and the Torah, the first five books in the Bible.
Now the Stern report is coming under fire....
The whole global warming edifice is falling....
LORD STERN’S report on climate change, which underpins government policy, has come under fire from a disaster analyst who says the research he contributed was misused.
Robert Muir-Wood, head of research at Risk Management Solutions, a US-based consultancy, said the Stern report misquoted his work to suggest a firm link between global warming and the frequency and severity of disasters such as floods and hurricanes.
The Stern report, citing Muir-Wood, said: “New analysis based on insurance industry data has shown that weather-related catastrophe losses have increased by 2% each year since the 1970s over and above changes in wealth, inflation and population growth/movement.
“If this trend continued or intensified with rising global temperatures, losses from extreme weather could reach 0.5%-1% of world GDP by the middle of the century.”
Muir-Wood said his research showed no such thing and accused Stern of “going far beyond what was an acceptable extrapolation of the evidence”.
The last white farmers of Zimbabwe....
What a tragedy....
FOR Ray Finaughty, the dream of farming Africa’s rich soil has ended as the campaign to drive Zimbabwe’s white farmers from their land enters its final stage.
One by one the last white farmers are being beaten into submission. Four more had their farms seized by marauding gangs last week.
“They do not want us whites,” one farmer said.
Finaughty, 43, will never forget how his world came crashing down. One moment at his Manda farm there was stillness. Then came a burst of noise and confusion. A screaming, drunken mob hammered at the gates.
It was the climax of a two-year eviction campaign against him. He had fought step by step in the courts. Their judgments in his favour were all ignored. With no respect for the rule of law in Zimbabwe, he finally lost the battle.
Armed with spears and sticks, a mob threatened him and his wife, Loraine, by driving a tractor against the gate of their home. “We’re going to kill you,” they said. The family were given 10 minutes to pack their life’s belongings.
It was not the first attack that Finaughty had weathered. In one savage beating his attackers suggested breaking his legs as he lay injured in a field. “Leave him. He’s dead,” he heard one of them say.
Finaughty crawled away and saved himself. He had four broken ribs and concussion.
Another time, acting in self-defence, he had to shoot dead an armed robber who broke into his farmhouse. The police were sympathetic and took no action. But they treated the seizure of his farm differently.
“This is political. It’s a hot potato. We can’t get involved,” said Vengisai, the chief inspector, when Finaughty contacted his office.
So the Finaughty family drove away from the farm they loved. Soon, they believe, much of the land they had cultivated will be derelict.
Behind them they have left 90 loyal workers and their families, some 400 people in all. They have been forced to abandon 6,000 chickens, 190 head of cattle and a valuable tobacco crop, all of which could be lost.
Under Islamic Law, Gays Must be Executed.....
You can't get more clear than this.....
Thanks to Vlad Tepes for posting this...
The Americans notice Vancouver....
Isn't time for us to clean up Vancouver???
Five blocks away from the venue for Vancouver's Winter Olympics opening ceremonies, four grizzled addicts huddle in the rain, injecting themselves with heroin behind a trash bin.
This is the Downtown Eastside, where life is volatile and the slightest misstep can invite brutal retaliation.
"It's a jungle," said Glen, a 49-year-old heroin addict who goes by the street name Trouble. "You want to get out of here."
As Vancouver prepares for the Olympics and the descent of the world's media, the Downtown Eastside remains a huge problem -- 15 square blocks of despair, squalid rooming houses and alleys populated by thousands of addicts, the homeless, the mentally ill and the drug dealers who prey on them.
This neighborhood is the most concentrated drug and poverty ghetto in North America, with high use of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, according to criminologist Benedikt Fischer of Simon Fraser University. It also is the only place in North America where drug addicts can shoot heroin into their veins at an officially sanctioned injection site.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
More IPCC scandals....
Gee, the hits keep on coming....
The revelation will cause fresh embarrassment for the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which had to issue a humiliating apology earlier this month over inaccurate statements about global warming.
The IPCC's remit is to provide an authoritative assessment of scientific evidence on climate change.
In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.
However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.
The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master's degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.
The revelations, uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph, have raised fresh questions about the quality of the information contained in the report, which was published in 2007.
It comes after officials for the panel were forced earlier this month to retract inaccurate claims in the IPCC's report about the melting of Himalayan glaciers.
Sceptics have seized upon the mistakes to cast doubt over the validity of the IPCC and have called for the panel to be disbanded.
This week scientists from around the world leapt to the defence of the IPCC, insisting that despite the errors, which they describe as minor, the majority of the science presented in the IPCC report is sound and its conclusions are unaffected.
But some researchers have expressed exasperation at the IPCC's use of unsubstantiated claims and sources outside of the scientific literature.
Professor Richard Tol, one of the report's authors who is based at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland, said: "These are essentially a collection of anecdotes.
"Why did they do this? It is quite astounding. Although there have probably been no policy decisions made on the basis of this, it is illustrative of how sloppy Working Group Two (the panel of experts within the IPCC responsible for drawing up this section of the report) has been.
"There is no way current climbers and mountain guides can give anecdotal evidence back to the 1900s, so what they claim is complete nonsense."
Bush was right about the axis of evil...
Ok, here's some proof....
A shipment of weapons from North Korea seized by Thai authorities last month were headed for Iran, according to a confidential report the Thai government sent to a U.N. Security Council committee.
Thai authorities seized more than 35 tons of arms from a cargo plane they said had come from North Korea, and arrested its five crew members after the aircraft made an emergency landing at a Bangkok airport in December.
The report to the Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee, seen by Reuters on Saturday, said the shipment included rockets, fuses, rocket launchers and rocket-propelled grenades.
The cargo plane departed from Pyongyang and was en route to Mehrabad airport in Tehran, the report said. The shipping firm was listed as Korea Mechanical Industry Co.
Whatever happened to Hopenhagen???
Rex Murphy on the nothingness from Copenhagen...
But however doomed the effort, it is worth the strain to re-summon the spectre of the Copenhagen festival. The prelude to the event was a blizzard, a windstorm, a tsunami of worldwide press attention. The myriad and extremely well-orchestrated voices of climate alarmism had warned the world of its importance. Copenhagen was make or break for the planet. It was do or die. Either Copenhagen would prove to be a greater Kyoto, a summit that crafted binding resolutions on the carbon-belching nations of the world, or it would be but a little while that we passed the “tipping point,” and poor Mother Gaia and her shielding atmosphere would be sent inexorably on the path to ecological doom. Island states would be deluged, a new tropics would settle over our northern climes, millions would be displaced or worse and rogue mankind would have missed its last best chance to halt the sultry drift into global ruin.
The buildup to the Copenhagen conference had better writers than the Book of Revelations (and certainly better press management). All that was missing from the drum-roll of anticipation for the summit was a walk-on part for The Great Whore of Babylon to add a little lurid colour to its vision of meteorological apocalypse.
And then the summit met. Forty-five thousand of the most professionally worried people on the planet, jetted and limousined their way, with a blissful unconsciousness of the titantic carbon propulsion it took to get them there, into Copenhagen for two weeks. They yammered. They press-released. They fossil-awarded like mad. And they went home. Finis.
That was it.
Three days after the great gloom-bazaar, it was hard to find a sentient human being on this threatened planet who had a word to say, or a thought to waste, on Copenhagen. If I knew the Latin for “What happened?” (and I am for once unwilling to Google-cheat for the knowledge) this is where I’d drop it. After all this splendid fanfare, after so glorious an overture — what happened to the symphony?
Will Hamas take over the West Bank???
The Palestinians seem incapable of good governance...
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has surrounded himself with many of the corrupt officials who used to work for his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, and that’s why Hamas will one day take control of the West Bank, Fahmi Shabaneh, who was appointed by Abbas four years ago to root out corruption in the Palestinian Authority, said on Thursday.
In an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post, Shabaneh, who until recently was in charge of the Anti-Corruption Department in the PA’s General Intelligence Service (GIS), warned that what happened in the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007, when Hamas managed to overthrow the Fatah-controlled regime, is likely to recur in the West Bank.
“Had it not been for the presence of the Israeli authorities in the West Bank, Hamas would have done what they did in the Gaza Strip,” Shabaneh told the Post. “It’s hard to find people in the West Bank who support the Palestinian Authority. People are fed up with the financial corruption and mismanagement of the Palestinian Authority.”
Shabaneh said that many Palestinians in the West Bank have lost hope that the PA would one day be reformed. “The Palestinian Authority is very corrupt and needs to be overhauled,” he said.
Shabaneh cited several specific cases of alleged corruption within Fatah and the PA in the course of the interview, including asserting that Fatah personnel stole much of a $3.2 million donation given by the US to Fatah ahead of the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary election, won by Hamas, which had been intended to improve Fatah’s image and boost its chances of winning.
Shabaneh, a resident of east Jerusalem who worked as a lawyer before joining the GIS as its legal adviser after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, said he was forced to quit his anti-corruption job several months ago after exposing a sex scandal involving one of Abbas’s top aides in Ramallah in 2009.
Video footage and other documents presented to the Post by Shabaneh show the aide lying naked in bed after being lured to an apartment in Ramallah by an east Jerusalem woman.
The footage shows Shabaneh and other armed security agents storming the bedroom, much to the surprise of the Abbas aide who is heard uttering: “Thank God it’s you and not the Israelis.”
Shabaneh said in the interview, the first of its kind with a high-ranking PA security official, that he and his men had been operating on instructions from their boss, Gen. Tawfik Tirawi, the former head of the GIS. Tirwai, for his part, denied that he had authorized Shabaneh to spy on the Abbas aide.
The top aide, who is one of the closest advisers to Abbas, was caught on tape making derogatory remarks against Abbas and Arafat. “President Abbas has no charisma” and is “not in control,” he was quoted as saying. The aide was also caught on tape denouncing Arafat as one of the biggest dajjals (swindlers).
After the revelations, which were brought to Abbas’s attention and were embarrassing for the PA president, Shabaneh was removed from his anti-corruption post and reassigned as head of the GIS’s internal security force. More recently, he was promoted to overall commander of the GIS in the area.
Shortly afterwards, however, Shabaneh was arrested by Israeli police on suspicion of recruiting east Jerusalem residents to the GIS, spying on Israel, chasing suspected “collaborators” and Arabs involved in real estate deals with Jews, and threatening and blackmailing the senior Abbas aide.
Shabaneh has since been released from prison and most of the charges against him dropped. Today he remains under house arrest and is banned from entering the West Bank. The only charge he faces today is membership in a Palestinian military organization – a charge he claims is absurd given the fact that about 1,200 residents of east Jerusalem serve in the various security branches of the PA.
Shabaneh said that he had no doubt that his arrest by Israel was carried out at the request of “someone high in Abbas’s office to punish me for fighting corruption and exposing sex scandals involving not only the senior aide, but many other officials as well.”
Friday, January 29, 2010
Abbas might be surprised by Netanyahu....
Of course, Abbas just won't talk to Netanyahu...
Labor Party minister Isaac Herzog said Wednesday that he had chosen to join Benjamin Netanyahu's predominantly right-wing government after he became convinced during a private conversation with the prime minister that Netanyahu had a sincere desire to achieve peace with the Palestinians.
Herzog called on Palestinian leadership to put the prime minister to the test, saying that, "if President [Mahmoud] Abbas would sit with Prime Minister Netanyahu in a closed room, he may be surprised."
Hamas answers Goldstone...
Ok, their answer is in.....in case you missed it...
Hamas has also rejected claims that it committed war crimes, saying Thursday that it had not deliberately targeted Israeli civilians with the rocket fire from Gaza.Well, gee just what were they targeting??? You can bet no one at the UN is going to say one peep about Hamas.
Tony Blair is not a war criminal....
I am a huge fan of Nick Cohen - a true voice of moral clarity on the left...and here's his take on Tony Blair...
We are now enduring our fifth Iraq inquiry. Tribunals have called Alastair Campbell so many times he could imitate Sherman McCoy in The Bonfire of the Vanities and declare: "I am a career defendant. I now dress for jail, even though I haven't been convicted of any crime." They do not seem to know it but if they hold inquiries until the crack of doom, the war's opponents will never convict him or the Labour leadership. Their central allegation that the second Iraq war was "illegal" is unsustainable and not only because no competent court has validated it.But, read the whole thing....and while you are at it, go buy Nick Cohen's book, "What's Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way."
I am growing old and grey waiting for John Humphrys or Jon Snow to show a spark of journalistic life and ask Nick Clegg, Philippe Sands and all the rest of them the simple question: "What do you mean by an 'illegal war'?"
However vigorously they seek to parse UN resolution 1,441, the use of "illegal" demonstrates that Tony Blair's lawyerly critics believe that the Ba'athist regime, which was guilty of genocide and under UN sanctions, remained Iraq's legitimate government, entitled by law to treat the country as its private prison.
After the war, not even Saddam's business partner Jacques Chirac went so far as to say that the Ba'athists should have their "illegally" stolen country restored to them. The UN, instead, recognised the occupation and the democratic government that followed and lost some of its bravest workers in the struggle for a freer country.
The inability to accept that a policy they honestly opposed still had moral virtues is producing levels of dementia unusually high even by the standards of British public life.
The truth about the green line....
The so-called green line is just a truce line between Israel and its Arab neighbours...
Frankly, the problem lies with the green line. Lines drawn with crayons have always had a bad life after the fact. Palestine has had many lines drawn for it and through it. The Sykes-Picot lines were finally drawn, after about a year of imperial bargaining, in 1916. They were kept secret, however, for at least a year. Britain appropriated to itself what it called Palestine and fought the Turks so that the land “from Dan to Beersheba,” based on a map of the Holy Land “under David and Solomon,” would be its alone. The “lines” and the references would cause troubles everywhere, including Mosul. In fact, the Sykes-Picot lines still make occasional reference--that is, troubles--in Iraq today. And when, or rather if, Israel and Syria ever come to discuss the hydrologics of a settlement, Sykes-Picot will be studied again.
One could concentrate on the United Nations partition lines of 1947. But, since no Arab country (save now Egypt and Jordan) has ever recognized the legitimacy of the Partition Plan itself, they and the Palestinians, who’d not negotiated with Israel until the early 1990s, and then only in secret, (or, for that matter, with the Zionists before Jewish independence) were stuck with what was called “the green line.” Like the Sykes-Picot lines, the green line was drawn with implements that were, to say the least, imprecise. The fact is that the relevant cartography was charted with the relationship of 1:50,000. It’s just possible that with that ratio, Gilo, which drove Hillary Clinton bananas, would have met the test of the most restrictive maps. But many other settlements would not.
What is the standing of the green line, so called? Actually, it has none, having been violated by the Jordanians, the Egyptians, and the Syrians, most dramatically in the run-up to the Six-Day War. But the appellation “green line,” that very rough marker, is an invention of commentators. In the absence of political realism, it has taken on historical weight. But each of the four armistice agreements signed at Rhodes in early to mid-1949 have specific provisions, inserted at the insistence of the separate Arab delegations with not a single Palestinian in attendance and with not a single allusion to the Arab state envisioned in the Partition Plan, asserting that the documents are without prejudice to future arrangements of boundaries. There is no mystery as to what that means. That is, already, in 1949, the usurping Egyptian state, the Syrian dictatorship, and the Kingdom of Jordan were contemplating what they attempted in 1967 and (with two of the above) again in 1973.
It is true that the manifest desire of the Israeli populace for peace was what pushed the political class into all of the risks they took. First of all, in trusting the table at which Yasir Arafat sat, and in more than trusting the impresario of the celebration on the White House lawn. This was Shimon Peres’s finest hour, his scurvy triumph of pushing Yitzhak Rabin and other Israeli realists into a negotiation they did not seek and which they feared. (For the record, as my writings in The New Republic reflected, I felt like a mourner at the wedding feast.) At the tail end of what a deceitful Ha’aretz columnist, Akiva Eldar, called “Clinton time,” Ehud Barak, a brave man in war and during peace negotiations, was also led down the marital path between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The prime minister had already agreed to a cockamamie division of the Armenian Quarter of the Old City, with decorous signs, when Arafat ran out of the negotiations with poor, panting Madeleine Albright, last year’s recipient of the “Teddy,” actually, running after him. End of parley.
Even the students at Tel Aviv University, the U.C. Berkeley of Israel, are no longer pushing the prime minister to make concessions to what are, really, the president’s fantasies. Now, Netanyahu doesn’t do politics out of caprice. He knows that there will be no “Greater Israel” or anything resembling it. Recall that his mentor, Ariel Sharon, emptied Gaza of all its Jewish settlers and settlements. And then emptied four settlements in Samaria on the West Bank. Nobody sane thinks that these four would suffice, that they were other than the beginnings of a vast and, yes, painful withdrawal from Jewish history. Some of the folk in these communities--and that’s what they really are--happen to be more like homesteaders and pioneers. Everywhere, they are characterized as fanatics. I’d trust the characterizers much more if they could so easily also associate Palestinian true believers with lunacy.
Here are the realities of Israel today. Everybody understands that 1967 really means 1949. They are silly borders--really, tokens of a fictitious past. The Arabs are lucky that perhaps as many as 100,000 Israelis may be dislodged from their homes. That gives them the hugest proportion of the West Bank--more, candidly, than I believe is safe.
Anti-semitism in Germany....
Jews leaving Sweden....
Why stay in Sweden...the country is increasingly beyond the pale....
Threats and harassment are becoming increasingly commonplace for Jewish residents in Malmö in southern Sweden, leading many Jews to leave the city out of fear for their safety.
“Threats against Jews have increased steadily in Malmö in recent years and many young Jewish families are choosing to leave the city,” Fredrik Sieradzki of the Jewish Community of Malmö (Judiska Församlingen i Malmö) told The Local.
“Many feel that the community and local politicians have shown a lack of understanding for how the city’s Jewish residents have been marginalized.”
Last year there were 79 crimes against Jewish residents reported to the police in Malmö, roughly double the number reported in 2008, according to the Skånska Dagbladet newspaper.
“That probably doesn’t tell the whole story because not everyone chose to make a report. Perhaps they fear they will add to an already infected situation,” Susanne Gosenius, a hate crimes coordinator with the Skåne police, told the newspaper, which has published series of articles about the growing anti-Semitism in Malmö.
In addition, Jewish cemeteries and synagogues have repeatedly been defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, and a chapel at another Jewish burial site in Malmö was firebombed in January of last year.
There are currently an estimated 3,000 Jews living in the south of Sweden, with most residing in Malmö, Helsingborg, and Lund.
About 700 currently belong to the Jewish Community of Malmö, but the group's membership rolls have been dropping steadily in recent years.
“It’s sort of a downward spiral,” Sieradzki told The Local.
“People want to maintain their Jewish traditions, but when they see others leave after being threatened, they begin to question whether or not they want to stay here.”
Skånska Dagbladet highlighted the case of Marcus Eilenberg, a 32-year-old father of two who has decided to move to Israel.
“My children aren’t safe here. It’s going to get worse,” he told the newspaper
Eilenberg’s family on his mother’s side has roots in Malmö that date back to the 1800s, while his father’s parents came to Sweden in 1945 after surviving Auschwitz.
He describes for the newspaper how people call him “damn Jew” (‘jävla jude’) when he walks to synagogue and that his friends are frequently harassed and threatened.
“Imagine that my family can’t feel safe in fantastic Sweden. It’s really terrible,” Eilenberg told Skånskan.
Jews have planted 240 million trees in Israel....
This is something to be proud of....when I was a kid, I used to save my money and then buy trees for Israel at Hebrew school.
A survey commissioned by the Jewish National Fund reveals that 80% of Israelis wish to plant a tree while 71% have already done so.
Out of a statistical sample of 500 people, 27% said that they associate the planting of trees with greenery. Some 25% cited clean air as the advantage, whereas 21% said that plating reminds them of Tu B'Shvat.
The majority of participants noted that they perceive the Jewish National Fund as an official body promoting the planting of trees and maintaining Israel's forests.
JNF aims to plant seven million trees in the next 10 years for the purpose of absorbing carbon dioxide and supporting the fight against global warming. For this purpose, it has created a project in three centers in Israel, in addition to another initiative as part of which it provides tree seedlings for local authorities.
One can also order the plating of a tree online, at the KKL-JNF website, as part of a project which has thus far facilitated the plating of 50,000 trees, ordered by 10,000 donors from 43 countries in the world.
JNF World chairman Effi Stenzler said, "The survey's results affirmed what we have long suspected. The public wishes to plant, and therefore this year we are embarking on a campaign which calls on the public to come and plant trees with us." He noted that on the coming holiday of Tu B'Shvat the public will be invited to arrive at JNF centers and plant trees or order plating via their website.
Stenzler added that Israel is the only country in the world which has more trees now than it did 100 years ago. In 1901, the year in which JNF was founded, Israel contained only 14,000 dunam (roughly 3,500 acres) of forest land altogether.
By 1980 the figure reached 556,000 dunam and currently Israel contains 855,663 dunam of forestry. JNF has planted over 240 million trees in its years of existence.
"Each year JNF plants an average of 15-20,000 dunam. The plating period is between October and the end pf March," Stenzler said.
Is this the future of recycling????
Here's a case study from Australia....
WESTERN Sydney residents are being ordered to freeze their garbage for two weeks and store meat and vegetable scraps in "slop buckets" in homes.
But the council which imposed the squalid conditions on residents is having its rubbish collected twice a week from the council chambers.
Residents outraged at Penrith Council's change from weekly to fortnightly collections have been told they can fix the stench, rat and maggot infestations by filling their fridges and freezers with garbage until collection day.
The council is now also threatening that if wrong items are placed in organic and recycling bins three times then people's bins will be left in the gutter uncollected.
Angela Jackson's cat Kulsi has been killing up to three rats a week since the garbage policy was introduced.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Swedish mayor blasts Zionism at holocaust memorial....
Sweden is now beyond the pale...
Jewish residents in Malmo are furious after the Swedish town's mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, equated Zionism to anti-Semitism in an interview published on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
During the interview with Skanska Dagbladet newspaper, Reepalu was asked whether he considered a public condemnation of anti-Semitism in Malmo. The mayor responded that "Malmo does not accept anti-Semitism and does not accept Zionism," charging that both adopt extreme positions towards certain groups.
Reepalu added that local Jews bear some responsibility for the attitude towards them, noting that "they have the possibility to affect the way they are seen by society." The mayor then urged Malmo's Jewish community to "distance itself" from Israeli attacks on Gaza's civilian population.
"Instead, the community chose to hold a pro-Israel demonstration," he said, adding that such move "may convey the wrong message to others."
Charlotte Wiberg of the Swedish Committee against Anti-Semitism expressed deep concern in the wake of the mayor's words.
"Reepalu does not address other communities in a similar manner and his words constitute discrimination against local Jews," she said. "Reepalu chose not to show solidarity with Jews facing danger in Malmo, but rather, with the people who wish to marginalize a religious group because of Israel's policy. Moreover, Reepalu demonstrated historical ignorance by comparing Zionism to anti-Semitism."
Swastikas next to Stars of David
"Each year the situation gets worse. Living conditions in the city have become intolerable for Jews. Sometimes children need to be accompanied by guards when they go to kindergarten, and there are always guards around the Jewish Center, which Muslims have tried to break into a few times," Marcus Eilenberg, a Jewish resident of Malmo, told Ynet.
"Stones being thrown at the center and other Jewish institutions has become a routine occurrence," he said, "Graffiti is scrawled on the walls including swastikas next to Stars of David and 'Hitler'. My children can't go to any Jewish activities without security. It's very sad."
Eilenberg and his children
According to Eilenberg, it is this situation that led him to move to Israel together with his wife and their two children.
Regarding the words of the mayor, Eilenberg said the attitude to Jews had become worse since Operation Cast Lead.
"The mayor didn't denounce the aggression against Jews during the operation. On the contrary, he took advantage of the situation to attack Israel and in effect legitimized the aggression. After there were demonstrations against Jews here, we held a quiet vigil in support of Israel and the children of Sderot in the Jewish Center, and then dozens of Muslims attacked us, threw stones and glass at us, and tried to cut through the fence of the center. Some people were hurt, but luckily the police arrived," he said.
Eilenberg said that in his opinion this was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Terry Glavin on Afghanistan....
Terry Glavin has just published an article for Norway's Human Rights Service....essential reading...
The one Afghan woman whose name is likely to be known in the fashionable parlours of the west is Malalai Joya. The BBC calls her “the bravest woman in Afghanistan.” Spain's primetime 20 Minutos calls her "the world's most beautiful female politician.” The claims she makes for herself: “I represent all the suffering people in every corner of my country," and her own voice is “the voice of all Afghan women.” But what Joya says is exactly what the west’s isolationist intelligentsia wants you to hear: The Afghan people want all those imperialist soldiers to leave, the entire enterprise has been a fraud, a failure and a lie, troops out.Please read the whole thing...
Joya became instantly famous in 2003. In a fiery speech to the Afghan parliament, she called her fellow MPs a pack of war criminals. Ever since, she’s been a fixture at anti-globalization protests and “anti-war” rallies, far from Afghanistan. Her recent memoir, ghostwritten by a Canadian “anti-war” activist, is earning hagiographic notices in the posh newspapers of Europe and North America, as well as in all the usual counterculture webzines. Her message: Troops out. Damn the consequences.
This is what you should expect to hear from the celebrity figurehead of an irrelevant neo-Maoist sect – (Joyas) the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan enjoys far more support among the rich white liberals of San Francisco and Toronto than it ever did in Afghanistan - but to Afghan feminists, Joya is no longer just a marginal character, and she’s not just a nuisance anymore, either.
Joya has been conscripted to a project that requires a silencing of the voices of Afghanistan’s feminist mainstream and civil society majority. In the United States, Joya’s most active support base is Code Pink, which claims 250 chapters and 100,000 members. Like every other “anti-war” outfit, Code Pink has consistently and falsely claimed to champion the cause of Afghan women.
Code Pink was caught red-handed last October, when a reporter with the Christian Science Monitor witnessed an encounter between some outspoken Afghan women and a Code Pink propaganda-gathering delegation in Kabul. Shinkai Karokhail, a women’s rights activist and an Afghan MP, told Code Pink: "International troop presence here is a guarantee for my safety." Said Masooda Jalhal, a former Afghan cabinet minister: "It is good for Afghanistan to have more troops – more troops committed with the aim of building peace and against war, terrorism, and [committed to provide] security – along with other resources."
The controversy was short lived, even though the way that Code Pink manipulated the testimony it took from Afghan women was exposed in a six-part blog series written by Sara Davidson, one of the eight Code Pink delegates who travelled to Kabul. Code Pink published its report and submitted its petition in person to U.S. President Barack Obama: Troops out.
What will happen if Karzai’s “peace at any cost” formula gains traction in the world’s rich countries, if the “anti-war” movement prevails and NATO countries grow weary of it all and decide to concentrate only on Al Qaida, and leaving Afghanistan to the men in black turbans? Says Wazhma Frogh, a young Afghan human rights activist: “The answer to that question will be a life-or-death matter, for many thousands of women in my country, and men as well.”
Dershowitz on the Goldstone Report...
Dershowitz destroys the Goldstone Report....
The Goldstone Report is much more scurrilous than most of its detractors (and supporters) believe. According to the report, Israel used the more than 8,000 rocket attacks on its civilians merely as a pretext, an excuse, a cover for the real purpose of Operation Cast Lead, which was to target innocent Palestinian civilians - children, women, the elderly - for death. This criminal objective was explicitly decided upon by the highest levels of the Israeli government and military and constitutes a deliberate and willful war crime. The report found these serious charges "to be firmly based in fact" and had "no doubt" of their truth.
In contrast, the Mission decided that Hamas was not guilty of deliberately and willfully using the civilian population as human shields. It found "no evidence" that Hamas fighters "engaged in combat in civilian dress," "no evidence" that "Palestinian combatants mingled with the civilian population with the intention of shielding themselves from attack," and no support for the claim that mosques were used to store weapons.
The report is demonstrably wrong about both of these critical conclusions. The hard evidence conclusively proves that the exact opposite is true, namely that: 1. Israel did not have a policy of targeting innocent civilians for death. Indeed the IDF went to unprecedented lengths to minimize civilian casualties; and 2. That Hamas did have a deliberate policy of having its combatants dress in civilian clothing, fire their rockets from densely populated areas, use civilians as human shields, and store weapons in mosques.
What is even more telling than its erroneous conclusions, however, is its deliberately skewed methodology, particularly the manner in which it used and evaluated similar evidence very differently, depending on whether it favored the Hamas or Israeli side.
I have written a detailed analysis of the Goldstone Methodology, which is now available online. (http://www.alandershowitz.com/goldstone.htm) It is being sent to the Secretary General of the United Nations for inclusion in critiques of the Goldstone Report received by the United Nations. This analysis documents the distortions, misuses of evidence and bias of the report and those who wrote it. It demonstrates that the evidence relied on by the report, as well as the publicly available evidence it deliberately chose to ignore, disproves its own conclusions.
THE CENTRAL issue that distinguishes the conclusions the Goldstone Report reached regarding Israel, on the one hand, and Hamas, on the other, is intentionality. The report finds that the most serious accusation against Israel, namely the killing of civilians, was intentional (and deliberately planned at the highest levels). The report also finds that the most serious accusations made against Hamas, namely that their combatants wore civilian clothing to shield themselves from attack, mingled among the civilian populations and used civilians as human shields, was unintentional. These issues are, of course, closely related.
If it were to turn out that there was no evidence that Hamas ever operated from civilians areas, and that the IDF knew this, then the allegation that the IDF, by firing into civilian areas, deliberately intended to kill Palestinian civilians, would be strengthened. But if it were to turn out that the IDF reasonably believed that Hamas fighters were deliberately using civilians as shields, then this fact would weaken the claim that the IDF had no military purpose in firing into civilian areas. Moreover, if Hamas did use human shields then the deaths of Palestinian civilians would be more justly attributable to Hamas then to Israel.
Since intentionality, or lack thereof, was so important to the report's conclusions, it would seem essential that the report would apply the same evidentiary standards, rules and criteria in determining the intent of Israel and in determining the intent of Hamas.
Yet a careful review of the report makes it crystal clear that its writers applied totally different standards, rules and criteria in evaluating the intent of the parties to the conflict. The report resolved doubts against Israel in concluding that its leaders intended to kill civilians, while resolving doubts in favor of Hamas in concluding that it did not intend to use Palestinian civilians as human shields.
Moreover, when it had precisely the same sort of evidence in relation to both sides - for example, statements by leaders prior to the commencement of the operation - it attributed significant weight to the Israeli statements, while entirely discounting comparable Hamas statements. This sort of evidentiary bias, though subtle, permeates the entire report.
IN ADDITION to the statements of leaders, which are treated so differently, the report takes a completely different view regarding the inferring of intent from action. When it comes to Israel, the report repeatedly looks to results and infers from the results that they must have been intended. But when it comes to Hamas, it refuses to draw inferences regarding intent from results.
For example, it acknowledges that some combatants wore civilian clothes, and it offers no reasonable explanation for why this would be so other than to mingle indistinguishably from civilians. Yet it refuses to infer intent from these actions. Highly relevant to the report's conclusion that militants did not intend for their actions to shield themselves from counterattack is that the Mission was "unable to make any determination on the general allegation that Palestinian armed groups used mosques for military purpose," "did not find any evidence to support the allegations that hospital facilities were used by the Gaza authorities or by Palestinian armed groups to shield military activities," did not find evidence "that ambulances were used to transport combatants or for other military purposes," and did not find "that Palestinian armed groups engaged in combat actives from United Nations facilities that were used as shelters during the military operations."
There is, however, hard evidence that Hamas did operate in mosques and, at the very least, near hospitals. Circumstantial evidence (precise weaponry) was used to prove Israeli intent. Regarding Hamas, the circumstantial evidence even stronger in inferring intent. It is beyond obvious that militants do not fire rockets in the vicinity of mosques or hospitals because it is easier to launch rockets near community institutions. Rather, they do so only because of the special protections afforded to hospitals and religious centers in war.
The hypocritical Europeans...
We'll never get sanctions against Iran - the Europeans love trading with Ahmadinejad...
Europe boasts of its efforts to foil the Iranian nuclear program, but in reality has been trading with the Islamic Republic in the amount of some €65 billion (roughly $91 billion) in the past three years.
The leading countries in trade with Iran include Spain, France, Italy, Holland and Belgium, a document obtained by Ynet that has been circulating in the Foreign Ministry and based on European Union numbers showed.
Calls for harsher sanctions against Iran in hopes of stopping its nuclear armament continue to increase. Among other things, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the matter with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his visit to Germany last week.
France has also adamantly demanded that Iran put an end to its nuclear program, and has threatened harsher sanctions if it fails to do so.
However, the document circulating in the Foreign Ministry shows that these very same countries continue to maintain extensive trade ties with Tehran estimated at billions of euros per year.
This means that even if European governments do seek sanctions against Iran, they are likely to be faced with opposition from the hundreds of thousands of employees of companies that trade with Iran whose livelihood may suffer.
According to the data presented in the document, between January and July of 2009, trade between the 27 European Union countries and Iran amounted to some €10 billion (about $14 billion).
While this is a decline compared to the same period in 2008, when trade amounted to €14.5 billion (around $20 billion), it is still a significant amount, which could make it difficult for these countries to impose economic sanctions on Tehran.
Some Palestinians don't like the settlement freeze...
The sad fact is that many Palestinians used to find work in Israel...but Palestinian terrorism changed all that....
Theoretically, the 10-month freeze on building Israeli settlements in the West Bank was supposed to benefit the Palestinian cause.
But at the run-down cafes that make up a town square of sorts here in the Jalazon Refugee Camp, there’s a different story.
It’s just before noon, and the area is full of young men with nowhere to go.
Normally, about half of Jalazon’s able-bodied men are employed in construction in nearby Jewish settlements. But since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under pressure from President Barack Obama, announced the settlement building freeze in October, much of the work has disappeared.
In the long-term, the freeze is meant to help the stagnant Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said he wouldn’t agree to a resumption in peace talks without a building moratorium. But in the short-term, thousands of Palestinians who work in construction across the West Bank are feeling the pinch. They’re annoyed that no one seems to be paying attention to the impact on their lives of what they see as a pointless exercise.
“Work in the settlements has decreased dramatically in the last few months – it’s nothing like it was before. But our lives haven’t changed for the better and the leaders aren’t any closer to peace, so what’s the point?” says Walid Mustafa, a sort of self-appointed spokesman of the unemployed and father of seven who says he’s lucky to find work one day a month. “The settlement freeze is temporary anyway. The Israeli government is made up of settlers, and they will build again soon enough.”
Mr. Mustafa estimates that about 80 percent of camp residents who work in construction are now unemployed, while those still working are taking jobs for 50 shekels a day ($13) rather than the 150 shekels ($40) they used to make.
“The settlement freeze has only brought more poverty,” complains Abdel Aziz Othman.
“There’s no work anywhere,” agrees Issa Muhammed Mahmoud, a young man who spends most days sitting here, chatting and drinking tea for lack of something else to do. “I used to be able to go into Israel to work on sites there, but now they don’t give permits for that, and they’re bringing laborers from China to do it.”
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
How ridiculous can PETA become???
They seem to have silly ideas every week..but this one takes the cake...
An animal rights group wants organizers of Pennsylvania's Groundhog Day festival to replace Punxsutawney Phil with a robotic stand-in.
According to the longtime tradition, if Phil the groundhog sees his shadow on the Feb. 2 unofficial holiday, then there will be six more weeks of winter. If he does not appear to see his shadow, there will be an early spring.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it's unfair to keep the animal in captivity and subject him to the huge crowds and bright lights that accompany tens of thousands of revelers each year in Punxsutawney, a tiny borough about 65 miles (105 kilometres) northeast of Pittsburgh. PETA is suggesting the use of an animatronic model.
Wanted posters in Krakow....
You can't even remember the holocaust without the Israel-haters being in your face...
Israeli leaders continue are still wanted in Europe, but not in a positive way: Knesset members visiting Poland for ceremonies marking International Holocaust Day were surprised to see ads against Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni in the city of Krakow on Tuesday evening.
Posters hung not far from the Israeli lawmakers' hotel read in English, "Wanted for war crimes," offering the public an award of 10,000 euro in exchange for information on Barak or Livni's expected arrival in Europe. The ads included a website address for people int
The Next IPCC scandal....
Finally, the press is really looking into the IPCC....
The hits to IPCC and R K Pachauri just don't seem to stop. In the latest embarrassment to the Nobel-winning body, British daily 'Telegraph' has published details on IPCC's dire prediction regarding the huge depletion of Amazon forests, which was based on unverified reports.
The daily said the IPCC forecast about the loss of Amazon forests because of "even a slight reduction in precipitation" came from a journal that was not peer-reviewed. Coming after the disclosure, and acknowledgement, that its warning of 'meltdown' of Himalayan glaciers by 2035 was based on speculation, the latest expose will further undercut IPCC's credibility.
According to the article, Pachauri is under fire for setting a death-date for the Amazon forests. With this, Pachauri's "robust and solid" monitoring system for preparing the IPCC assessment report has been completely shorn of respectability.
In its report, the Telegraph suggests that IPCC did not independently research the claims. It says the claims were lifted off a report done by the WWF, an advocacy group.
According to the British paper, the two 'expert' authors of the WWF cited in the IPCC report are, in fact, not Amazon specialists. One, Dr P F Moore, is a policy analyst while the other, Andy Rowell, is a freelance journalist and a green activist.
Are the Palestinians scares of Netanyahu....
He means business, and that scares the Palestinians...
The Palestinian leadership has thus far refused to engage in talks with the Netanyahu-led Israeli government. This is not an insignificant matter: The Palestinians engaged in talks with all Israeli governments since the Oslo Accords.
Arafat – yes, Arafat – conducted intensive negotiations with Netanyahu during the latter’s first term in office. Mahmoud Abbas was happy to talk to Ariel Sharon. However, a while after Netanyahu had been sworn-in as Israel’s prime minister for the second time, in April of last year, the Palestinian leadership is coming up with constant excuses in order to avoid significant dialogue with Israel.
The difficulty to explain the current Palestinian position has reached all the way to the White House. Those who carefully read the full Obama interview with Time Magazine realize that he has lost patience with the Palestinians’ elusive conduct. Officials around Obama have spoken harshly: They charged that the Palestinians humiliated the president and screwed up his policy.
What prompts the Palestinian leadership to adopt such stubborn refusal and shun the initiative of a US Administration that may be the most convenient for them? The Palestinians do not wish to negotiate with Netanyahu because they perceive him as a practical politician seeking practical solutions; this is the kind of mess the current Palestinian leadership wishes to stay away from. It doesn’t even want to get close to it.
Palestinian leaders did not mind talks with former PM Olmert, because they knew he had no mandate to finalize any deal, and certainly not a “final-status agreement” which the talks focused on. They in fact liked the futile talks and arguments. Yet when the possibility of a practical agreement first came up and they had to respond to it, they left the talks and did not return.
In the backdrop to the talks with Olmert and Livni was the Bush Administration, which the entire Arab world loved to hate, and whose involvement could be used to explain the failure. Yet with Obama and Bibi negotiations can take a different path. Both of them are politicians who seek results and who are unwilling to waste time on verbal and ideological quarrels.
Netanyahu, with Washington’s support, therefore offers the Palestinians two parallel tracks. One track will see endless negotiations on a “final-status agreement” where each side will be presenting its version of absolute justice. The second track of dialogue will be practical, closely linked to reality, and brief; it will conclude with the Palestinian Authority being upgraded to the status of state, or at least “state in progress.”
Yet this is precisely what the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank wishes to avoid like the plague.
“We won’t be signing yet another interim agreement with Israel,” a very senior Palestinian figure says in closed-door sessions. “Ever since the Camp David talks, no agreements have been signed with Israel, and the Abbas government will not breach the Palestinian consensus of refusal. We also don’t wish to get our ‘state in progress’ from Israel. We already have it. We got it on our own.”
“The current situation serves us well. Palestine is growing, the security situation is decent, Hamas is under siege in Gaza, and global public opinion endorses us and opposes the occupation. There is no rush for us. The demographic clock is ticking and the option of a bi-national state is being realized. We have no incentive for entering talks with an Israeli prime minister who wants to get down to business, that is, who wants to show results.”
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
New Iranian missiles???
Something to look forward to...
Just one day after a Der Spiegel report claimed that new intelligence acquired by Germany's BND offered conclusive proof that Iran's nuclear program had a military angle, a Revolutionary Guards commander on Tuesday declared that the country planned to inaugurate "several new missiles and arms projects" in February, Reuters reported.
"Iran's Defense Ministry will inaugurate several missiles and arms projects during the Fajr (Dawn) 10-day period, marking the victory of the 1979 Islamic revolution," Massoud Jazayeri said during a news conference, which was quoted by Reuters. Jazayeri was also quoted as saying that new satelliteprojects would be unveiled at the same time.
Can Israel every do right???
For some people, Israel can only do wrong...here is a comment by Alan Dershowitz.
Nor do the perennial enemies of Israel emphasize the comparison between tiny and resource-poor Israel, on the one hand, and the enormous and resource-rich Arab and Muslim nations, on the other hand. While Israel digs deeply into its treasury and manpower to send medical assistance a quarter of the way around the world, Arab and Muslim nations are generally missing in action when it comes to relief efforts. This is true not only in Haiti, which is a Catholic nation, but it was equally true when tsunamis and other natural disasters have devastated Muslim nations.
For those who argue that Israel is sending this aid to Haiti for its own selfish reasons, there are two answers. First the realpolitik answer: All nations have interests; and all act, at least in part, out of self interest. When the United States government is asked by Americans to justify its multibillion dollar foreign aid grants, it generally responds by arguing that these grants are serving the interests of the United States. When it comes to Israel, however, a double standard is always applied. Israel must act only out of altruistic motives, while all other countries are entitled to leaven altruism with self interest. The second answer is that Israel is doing far more in Haiti than would be required to satisfy its self interests. It is sending more aid per capita than any country in the world. It is doing it with extraordinary efficiency and real impact. Isn't it at least possible that the millennia-long Jewish tradition of tzadakah -- that is, charity based on justice -- is at least part of the explanation for Israel's generosity?
The fact that so many Israelis are advocating medical and other assistance to Gaza certainly supports this latter theory. Has any other country in the history of the world ever provided medical and other assistance to a people with whom it is at war -- to people who continue to support rocket attacks and other forms of terrorism against its own civilians? Again, a double standard. The reality is that Israel will be extremely generous to the people of Gaza if and when they stop supporting attacks on Israeli civilians, stop making martyrs of their suicide murderers, and stop encouraging their children to don suicide vests. Contrast Gaza with the West Bank, which today has an improving economy, better travel conditions and among the best health care available in any Arab or Muslim country in the area. The peace dividend the Palestinian people will reap from making peace with Israel is incalculable.
So continue to criticize Israel when it fails to live up to generally applicable international standards, but praise it when it exceeds those standards in rendering aid that has saved and will continue to save many lives. Israel will continue to send disaster relief regardless of how the world reacts to it because Israelis understand how it feels to be subject to disasters. But fairness requires that Israel not be condemned for its humanitarian efforts, and that its rendering of aid to Haiti not be used as yet another occasion for applying a double standard to its actions.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Latest on Iran's nuclear bomb...
This is from Der Spiegel....
Iran's scientists could produce a basic truck-sized nuclear bomb this year, German Magazine Der Spiegel reported Monday.
Tehran now needs to work on compressing such bomb so it can be fitted on a ballistic missile, the magazine says. According to estimates, Iran could reach that stage by sometime between 2012 and 2014.
Der Spiegel's report is based on secret intelligence information handed over to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
According to the report, Iran's nuclear program, which answers to the country's Defense Ministry, includes a secret military branch that engages in the program's military aspects and is responsible for Tehran's nuclear sites.
The secret arm, known as the Department for Expanded High-Technology Applications, constitutes "the secret heart of Iran's nuclear weapons program," Der Spiegel says.
According to the report, the secret branch is headed by Minister of Science, Research and Technology Kamran Daneshjoo and senior scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who also serves as a senior Revolutionary Guard officer.
According to the information presented in the report, a computer seized in Iran years ago contained highly volatile information, which convinced officials that the Iranian regime is eager to develop a nuclear bomb and is at advanced stages of the project.
Bruce Bawer on the Wilders trial.....
Bawer says it's a dark day for the enlightenment....I agree...
In short, Wilders is charged with stating facts about Islam and its adherents; drawing logical conclusions from, and forming opinions based reasonably on, those facts; correctly quoting the Koran; and making a film that shows actual imams doing actual preaching and that shows other Muslims expressing violently hateful opinions about Western liberties, gays, Jews, and so forth. And for having done these things, Wilders is deemed by the public prosecutor to have offended Muslims and incited hatred and discrimination against Muslims and other non-Western immigrants, and thereby to have committed serious crimes punishable under the laws of the Netherlands.But, read the whole article...
In fact, all that Wilders has done is expose vital truths about a dangerous ideology. The bottom line is clear: in the Netherlands today, it’s not an offense to incite violence in the name of Islam against gays, Jews, and infidel women, but it is an offense to draw public attention to these incitements of violence. We are supposed to pretend not to know what the most devout members of a certain religion believe, what they say among themselves, and what they want to attain. What we are witnessing here is an upside-down world—an Orwellian nightmare come to life.
Wilder’s trial—the event today is a pretrial hearing—has been in the offing a long time. It was first announced a year ago. And yet one still finds oneself staring in disbelief at this list of charges, this document that embodies the Netherlands’ surrender of its freedoms in the name of an illusory domestic social harmony. In recent years, in the Netherlands’ major cities, young Muslim gangsters have acted with increasing frequency and aggression, incited by Islamist leaders to brutality against gays, Jews, and infidel women. And in response to this atrocious situation, increasing numbers of Dutch families have begun emigrating to places like Canada and Australia (American immigration laws make it more difficult for them to move to the U.S.); gays have begun fleeing cities like Amsterdam for smaller towns; Jews are checking out and moving to Israel. The land of Erasmus is headed into a future that looks more and more like something out of a dystopian novel. Yet instead of focusing on these alarming developments, the Dutch justice system has chosen to go after Wilders, whose only offense is shining a light on them.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Another IPCC scandal....
The mainstream press is catching on that the IPCC has its problems....
THE United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.
It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report's own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.
The claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is already affecting the severity and frequency of global disasters, has since become embedded in political and public debate. It was central to discussions at last month's Copenhagen climate summit, including a demand by developing countries for compensation of $100 billion (£62 billion) from the rich nations blamed for creating the most emissions.
Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change minister, has suggested British and overseas floods — such as those in Bangladesh in 2007 — could be linked to global warming. Barack Obama, the US president, said last autumn: "More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent."
Last month Gordon Brown, the prime minister, told the Commons that the financial agreement at Copenhagen "must address the great injustice that . . . those hit first and hardest by climate change are those that have done least harm".
The latest criticism of the IPCC comes a week after reports in The Sunday Times forced it to retract claims in its benchmark 2007 report that the Himalayan glaciers would be largely melted by 2035. It turned out that the bogus claim had been lifted from a news report published in 1999 by New Scientist magazine.
The new controversy also goes back to the IPCC's 2007 report in which a separate section warned that the world had "suffered rapidly rising costs due to extreme weather-related events since the 1970s".
It suggested a part of this increase was due to global warming and cited the unpublished report, saying: "One study has found that while the dominant signal remains that of the significant increases in the values of exposure at risk, once losses are normalised for exposure, there still remains an underlying rising trend."
The Sunday Times has since found that the scientific paper on which the IPCC based its claim had not been peer reviewed, nor published, at the time the climate body issued its report.
When the paper was eventually published, in 2008, it had a new caveat. It said: "We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses."
Despite this change the IPCC did not issue a clarification ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit last month. It has also emerged that at least two scientific reviewers who checked drafts of the IPCC report urged greater caution in proposing a link between climate change and disaster impacts — but were ignored.
Glacier scientists admits politics before science....
The whole global warming edifice seems to be falling, no??
The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.
Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.
‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’
First looks at Israel's response to Goldstone...
Of course, there won't be a Hamas response...
Israel was set to submit its rebuttal on Thursday to a United Nations reports accusing it of having committed war crimes in Gaza last winter. Though the Israeli response has been kept under wraps, it is expected to list the essential flaws in the report and explain why the report is biased against Israel and tainted with many problems.
By the fifth of February, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was to file a compilation of all the responses to the Gaza report, authored by renowned South African jurist Richard Goldstone.
In its rebuttal, Israel was to explain the reasons behind the offensive in the Gaza Strip and what it terms the hardships of fighting against a terror organization that operates inside civilian homes, schools, hospitals and UN facilities.
The Goldstone report has demanded of both Israel and Hamas to carry out independent investigations into the war crimes allegations raised in the UN report. It has not yet been decided whether, in its rebuttal, Israel will inform Ban that it will not carry out any investigations beyond the military probe already completed. It is also not yet clear whether Israel will eventually establish an investigation committee to neutralize the effect of the Goldstone report and to ward off possible UN resolutions that could stem from it.
Officers involved in writing the rebuttal gave the New York Times some details.
One concerned the destruction of Gaza's sole flour mill, the New York Times reported on Saturday. In its rebuttal, Israel will apparently offer photographic proof contradicting the Goldstone report allegation that the Bader flour mill "was hit by an airstrike, possibly by an F-16." Israeli investigators say they can prove the mill was accidentally hit by artillery during the course of a firefight with Hamas militiamen, the paper reported.
The distinction is significant, the paper continued, since the UN report asserts that "the destruction of the mill was carried out for the purpose of denying sustenance to the civilian population," an explicit war crime.
Another detail disclosed to the New York Times concerns the destruction of a wastewater plant, which led to a massive flooding of raw sewage. The Goldstone report argues that Israel deliberately hit the plant, while Israel denies any connection to the incident and suggests the plant may have been destroyed by Hamas explosives.
Norway University plans to boycott Israel....
Here's some idiots in Norway...
University of Bergen, among Norway's largest academic institutions, intends to impose an official academic boycott against Israel over what it claims is its apartheid-like conduct, Ynet has learned.
The university's management has not yet officially responded to the move or presented its stance on the issue. However, the institution's Rector, Signumd Gronmo, enthusiastically supports the boycott calls.
In a debate held last week regarding the question of academic boycotts, the rector boasted that his university does not maintain any ties with Israeli academia and told attendants he wishes to enlist the support of lecturers at the university to realize the boycott call.
The rector said that the move has encountered difficulties because of a "handful of objectors" who aim to torpedo the move. However, lecturers at the university who oppose the boycott handed over a complaint regarding the rector's words to Israel's embassy over the weekend.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Hamas still denies Israel's right to exist...
There were press reports yesterday that Hamas might be willing to recognize Israel...
Hamas on Thursday denied a report in an Israeli newspaper that the Resistance Movement is ready to accept Israel's right to exist. The JPost added that Dr. Aziz Dwaik, Hamas' senior representative in the West Bank and speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, stated also that Hamas is ready to nullify its charter calling for the destruction of Israel.
According to the report, Dwaik made the comments during a meeting Wednesday with British tycoon David Abrahams in Hebron.
Dwaik told Hamas website on Thursday that the report was "inaccurate". According to him, Hamas will never recognize the occupation on Palestinian lands. Dr. Dwaik stated he told Abrahams that the PLO abolished its charter following the agreements with Israel but the Palestinian people didn't benefit from this move.
On his part, Salah Al-Bardawil, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza Strip, also dismissed the Israeli report on Dwaik's comments. "The quotes are not true. Hamas' stand regarding the Zionist entity's recognition is clear", stressed Al-Bardawil.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
A note on Israel and Haiti....
Nothing Israel does is good...
I'd like to say a word of honor and thanks and, yes, pride for the Israelis, paramedics, physicians, nurses, midwives, and medical imaging technicians, who went to Haiti to save lives.
I believe that they are people, individuals, who went there to save limbs from gangrene and amputation, stanch internal bleeding, relieve crushing pain. To deliver babies. To risk their lives, using jackhammers and hydraulics and their hands to make crawl spaces under tons of concrete and silt, going in themselves to pull children and adults to safety.
For all the time that they've been working, however, people far away, snug in the comfort of their laptops, have been furiously busy as well, people who are enraged to the boiling point by news reports of the Israeli rescue mission. People who see it as their mission to tell the world exactly what's wrong with all of this.
Over the past week, the work of the Israeli medical team has become a kind of Rorschach for how people view Israel and Israelis. Most of the comment, it must be said, is supportive. Even on the part of those who cast the humanitarian misery in Gaza in contrast.
But for a shocking number of others, the bottom line is simple: Israel, and Israelis, can do no right.
In its most extreme form, there are those who have accused Israel of using the Haiti catastrophe as a new reservoir for harvesting organs.
But even many of those who shun blood libels, have seized on the Haiti mission to bash Israel, revealing in many cases a hatred - and a bigotry - that borders on the visceral.
"I guess giving Israel credit for good deeds in Haiti," wrote reader John Smithson on the widely read Mondoweiss site, "is like watching a serial killer or other sociopathic type mow an old woman's lawn (or some other charitable thing)."
The contention is that Israel sent aid to Haiti on purely cynical motives, harnessing public relations to divert attention from the Goldstone Report, to divert attention from Gaza, to divert attention from its never-ending, always expanding internal crises.
The implication is that Israel, and Israelis, are constitutionally incapable of doing good for its own sake. Or that whenever they appear to do good, people of conscience should recognize that the evil designs behind it render any good that may be done, complicit in wrongdoing.
True, it is willful blindness to contend that Israel can do no wrong. But it is nothing short of racism to maintain, in Haiti and in general, that Israelis can do no right.
Israel, like all countries where war is endemic, like much of the unfortunate world, and like Palestine, is a nation whose people have been ruined, distorted, permanently traumatized, emotionally stunted. Yet Israelis, like people in all countries where war is endemic, and like Palestinians, have demonstrated enormous reservoirs of humanity under inhuman stresses.
As Palestinian-American journalist Ray Hanania wrote of the Israeli aid effort this week: "200,000 Haitians died in an earthquake. They sent doctors and supplies to help. That is a good thing. Just because we are fighting with Israel doesn't mean we should sneer at that assistance to people in need. YES, I wish Israel could show the same compassion for Palestinians. But Israel and Haiti are not at war and Israelis and Palestinians (mainly Hamas and the settlers) are."
People who truly know this place as more than a moral cartoon, also know that there is no such thing as a clear conscience in the Holy Land. Either your conscience is conflicted, or it is no conscience at all.
No one knows better than Israelis - not even their worst critics abroad - how flawed and wrongheaded their country's behavior, and that of their countrymen, so often is.
No one knows better than Palestinians and their supporters, what it is to be tainted by bigotry, take missteps in conflict, and be dismissed by hatred.
I'd like to say a word of honor and thanks for the Israelis, paramedics, physicians, nurses, midwives, and medical imaging technicians, who went to Haiti to save lives.
Israelis, and Jews in the wider world, should not be forced to recite a catechism over how terrible, how flawed, how often mistaken they already know Israel to be, just in order to earn the right to feel and express their admiration, their gratitude, and yes, their pride.
Human Rights Watch continues anti-Israel bias...
The 2009 HRW annual report continues it's bias against Israel....
Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor charged today that Human Rights Watch’s 2009 World Report reflects a continuing and pervasive anti-Israel bias, repeating many of the unjustified allegations that the organization made in 2009.
As NGO Monitor’s annual review of HRW demonstrates, nearly 30% of HRW’s 2009 output on the Middle East condemned Israel for measures taken to defend its civilian population. HRW issued more publications critical of Israel than of Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Libya combined.
Continuing this obsessive pattern, HRW’s 2009 World Report allots more pages to Israel than to any country other than China. The report includes:
• HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth’s comparison of “abusive” Israel “war crimes” to “atrocities in Guinea, Kenya, or Darfur.”
• A repetition of baseless HRW allegations regarding white phosphorus, drone attacks, and “white flag deaths” in the Gaza war.
• Continuing promotion of Richard Goldstone’s tendentious report condemning Israel’s actions in the Gaza war, and failing to mention that Goldstone is a former HRW board member. In 2009, HRW released 34 statements in support of the UN Human Rights Council/Arab League Goldstone “fact-finding” mission.
HRW’s report also failed to address the organizational scandals that led to unprecedented criticism in 2009, and demands for an independent investigation. These incidents, which further undermine HRW’s credibility, included:
o a fundraising trip to Saudi Arabia led by MENA division head Sarah Leah Whitson, stressing HRW’s anti-Israel focus;
o the revelation that its “senior military analyst,” Marc Garlasco, is an obsessive collector of Nazi memorabilia, whose reports are unreliable;
o founder Robert Bernstein’s New York Times op-ed, decrying the organization’s role in “turn[ing] Israel into a pariah state” and its loss of “critical perspective” on Iran’s support for Hamas and Hezbollah.
The Islamists vs. the Palestinians...
Here's an interesting case study....
Forget about the moderate mythology fed the Western public by its media. Forget the comforting nonsense about reasonable masses held back from being humanitarian democrats only by manipulative dictatorships. Here's a glimpse of what the region is really like.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi is one of the world's most prestigious Muslim clerics and certainly the most internationally popular Islamist cleric. Some in the West like to think of him as some kind of pragmatic, modernizing moderate. As such he was welcomed in visiting Britain. But Qaradawi is a very hardline fellow indeed.
Siding with Hamas, Qaradawi, an Egyptian who lives in Qatar, gave a sermon urging Muslims to stone-in other words kill as a heretic-Palestinian Authority (PA) leader (often referred to as "president") Mahmoud Abbas. Angered by this statement, PA officials ordered West Bank imams to denounce Qaradawi for this action. One of those who did so was Raed al-Mahdawi of Ramallah who took a traditional conservative Muslim position, asking Qaradawi to apologize to Abbas and adding, "Muslim scholars should not use the podiums at their disposal to incite against any ruler or offend the feelings of any people."
But those who followed PA instructions were interrupted and forced to stop by angry worshippers; congregations walked out or chased the clerics out of the mosques altogether. In response, PA police beat up and arrested those protesting.
Thus, the PA was helpless, faced with this Islamist challenge, to keep its own people in line. And so what was their second line of defense? The Fatah Central Committee claimed that Qaradawi was acting as an Israeli stooge, objectively an ally with the Zionists.
A gay honour killing....
Hard to be open and gay in a muslim country....
For 26-year-old Ahmet Yildiz, the choice to live openly as a gay man in Turkey proved deadly. Prosecutors say his father, charged with allegedly killing his son in what is being dubbed as the first gay honor killing, traveled more than 900 kilometers from his hometown to shoot his son in an old neighborhood of Istanbul. The case has drawn international attention and is putting the spotlight on Turkey's attitude towards homosexuality.
The young physics student, Ahmet Yildiz, was one of the few openly gay men in Turkey, a country in which the military, the guardian of Turkey's secular state, regards homosexuality as a disorder.
Yildiz represented his country at a gay meeting in San Francisco and wrote for gay publications in Turkey. Observers believe his activism is probably what got him killed.
His boyfriend, Ibrahim Can, was in their shared apartment when Yildiz was murdered.
He wanted to go out and buy some ice cream, he went down and just got into his car and I heard gunshots, he says. I looked down from the window I saw him being ambushed. He says he ran outside and screamed "Please do not die." Can said his eyes were closed, when I shouted he opened for a second, he looked at me and then closed his eyes.
Can says before the shooting, Yildiz had repeatedly filed complaints at the local prosecutor's office that he was receiving death threats from his family. Gay rights groups claim the prosecutor's office did not investigate or provide Yildiz with protection.
The story was largely ignored until it starting getting attention by the foreign media. What resulted was a bout of national soul-searching underlining the tensions between the secular modern Turkey and a more traditionalist Turkey, in which conservative Islam increasingly holds power.
An intelligence scandal....
Dennis Blair, head of US intelligence, was not even informed that the Christmas-day terrorist would be treated as a civilian...
In a tacit admission that the U.S. squandered a chance to gain valuable information after the failed Christmas Day airliner bombing, the nation's intelligence director testified Wednesday that authorities had been too quick to read the suspect his Miranda rights and grant him access to an attorney.
Dennis C. Blair said that a newly created team of elite interrogators should have been called in to question Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and that top officials in Washington should have been consulted. The director of national intelligence also acknowledged that there had been a number of blunders in the handling of intelligence data that prevented authorities from stopping the incident.
Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, is accused of attempting to bomb a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
In testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Blair said that the interrogation group "was created exactly for this purpose. . . . We did not invoke [its use] in this case. We should have."
Blair attributed the breakdown in part to a failure last year among those who set up the unit to envision scenarios in which the team might be used to question someone captured in the United States.
"Frankly, we were thinking more of overseas people," Blair said. "And, duh. . . . The decision was made on the scene." Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said it was a costly mistake.
"We know that those interrogations can provide critical intelligence," she said. "But the protections afforded by our civil justice system . . . encourage terrorists to lawyer up. I'm told that with Abdulmutallab, once he was 'Mirandized' and received civilian lawyers . . . he stopped answering questions."
Collins and other lawmakers also questioned the decision to try Abdulmutallab in a civilian court rather than move him into military custody to face a tribunal. Abdulmutallab has pleaded not guilty to various charges in federal court in Detroit.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Wilders' opening statement in court
Ex-PM of Malaysia: 9/11 was staged...
Mahathir is a total lunatic....
MALAYSIA'S former premier Mahathir Mohamad claimed the Sept 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people, were staged as an excuse to 'mount attacks on the Muslim world'.
Speaking at the General Conference for the Support of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) here, Tun Dr Mahathir said killing as an excuse for war is not new to the US. He also argued that Israel was created to solve the 'Jewish problem' in Europe, saying the Holocaust had failed as a final solution against the community.
'In September 2001, the World Trade Center was attacked allegedly by terrorists. I am not sure now that Muslim terrorists carried out these attacks. There is strong evidence that the attacks were staged. If they can make Avatar, they can make anything,' The Malaysian Insider reported Dr Mahathir as saying. The former premier said Israel was created after the Europeans failed to massacre the Jewish community.
'The Jews had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole governments to ransom... Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world,' said Dr Mahathir, who was noted for his anti-Western and anti-Zionist stand while in power for 22 years, until October 2003.
Israel stealing organs in Haiti???
Gee, the blood libel keeps on popping up....
Even when Israel puts itself on the front lines of medical and humanitarian aid sent to the ends of the earth and wins great praise for its professionalism in doing so, there are those who prefer to transform the act into an opportunity to spread hatred and lies at the expense of those suffering in Haiti.Here's the video...
An American resident of Seattle, Washington uploaded a video to YouTube on Tuesday accusing soldiers in the IDF delegation to the earthquake site in Haiti of being involved in stealing organs from their patients.
The man, who calls himself T. West, fronts a group called AfriSynergy Productions, whose declared goal is to empower the black man. The video purports to present something to think about while exploiting the horrible tragedy that has befallen Haiti to recycle false claims that IDF soldiers engage in organ trafficking.