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 (

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Arabs don't honour their Gaza promises...

And, how many times has this happened...
A senior Arab League official on Saturday said Arab countries have not delivered any of the more than $1 billion they pledged to rebuild Gaza after Operation Cast Lead.

The money pledged in mid-January has been held up because of disagreements between Fatah and Hamas about who should receive donations, he said.

Arab countries are waiting to see whether a solution to the disagreement is reached at an international meeting on Gaza reconstruction in Egypt on Monday.
Just blame it on Israel....

Hitchens on the UN Anti-Blasphemy Resolution...

Sharia law in the UK???

A demonstration in the UK today FOR sharia law...
HATE preacher Anjem Choudary will march in London today calling for Britain to adopt Islamic Sharia law.

The startling move comes just days after processions celebrating St George were banned for being racist.

Choudary was given the green light yesterday despite a previous demonstration in which some of his supporters chanted: “Bomb the UK”.

Publicity for the march, in the East End, carries 41-year-old Choudary’s personal mobile number and says the aim of the campaign is to “emulate the Prophet and his companions, by calling for Islam and speaking out against the oppression of man-made law”.

It says that Britain is full of “disbelievers” who are involved in prostitution, gambling, alcoholism and worshipping other gods.

The publicity says women are welcome to join the march but they must walk at the back of the procession as “strict segregation will be enforced”.

Oh, and my best friends are Jewish, too....

The idiots who organize Israel Apartheid Week can't see anti-semitism anywhere..."
To make the link between anti-Semitism and being against Israeli government policies is ludicrous," said Jessica Carpinone, a spokesperson for Students Against Israeli Apartheid, adding there are Jewish students in the group.
Yes, you have some useful idiots in your group. But, your week is anti-semitic. First, you want to destroy Israel in favor of a one-state solution. That is genocide - the destruction of a culture and a people. Second, you single out Israel for existential criticism, and you do that for no other state. That is anti-semitic.

Anti-Semitism in the Arab World...

It's nice that NewsWeek has finally noticed it....
This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Israel and the West Bank, stepping into the longest-running show in American diplomacy, one that goes all the way back to the Rogers Plan of 1969. The play is called "Mediating in the Middle East," and it might be another 40 years before the cast sings the finale.

The reasons for this slow pace are familiar: the status of Jerusalem, problems with security, Jewish settlements, civil war among the Palestinians, etc. But one other key problem is stubbornly ignored:

the fact that no Arab regime has shown itself willing to truly prepare its people for peace with Israel, which would mean accepting the lasting presence of Jews in their midst. Indeed, anti-Semitism—the real stuff, not just bad-mouthing particular Israeli policies—is as much part of Arab life today as the hijab or the hookah. Whereas this darkest of creeds is no longer tolerated in polite society in the West, in the Arab world, Jew hatred remains culturally endemic.

For a European, it all feels uncomfortably familiar. Take the cartoons one sees in the government-controlled Arab press. They feature The Jew as a murderous conspirator, a capitalist bloodsucker or Satan himself—the classics. He even looks like his predecessors in Der Stürmer, with his hooked nose, thick lip and sinister beard.

Open Egypt's Al-Gomhuria newspaper, and there is The Jew as a serpent strangling Uncle Sam over a caption that reads "The Jews taking over the world." On Al-Nas TV, Egyptian cleric Ahmad Abd al-Salam tells his viewers, "I want you to imagine the Jews sitting around a table, conspiring how to corrupt the Muslims … The Jews conspire to infect the food of Muslims with cancer [and] to ship it to Muslim countries." Al-Salam's colleague, Zaghloul al-Naggar, has called Jews "devils in human form." And this is a country at peace with Israel. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazis' chief propagandist, would be proud.

Meanwhile, Saleh Riqab, Hamas's deputy minister of religious endowment, has picked up smoothly where European anti-Semitism leaves off, declaring on TV that "the protocols of the elders of Zion discuss how the Jews should seize control of the world. In Europe, and especially in the U.S., there was a quick Jewish takeover of the major mass media." One Egyptian cleric has even voiced the widely shared opinion that "Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews." So much for a two-state solution.

An Interview with Paul Berman...

Paul Berman is a formidable intellectual - his book "Terror and Liberalism" is a must's an excerpt from a recent interview...
During the Gaza conflict, there were several anti-Israel protests where Israel was routinely demonized as a Nazi or Apartheid state. Why do you think so many activists, especially on the left, demonize Israel? Is it a sign of antisemitism?

Oh, as Irving Howe said, "There is no heart so warm that it doesn't have a cold spot for the Jews." We like to think of hatred of the Jews as a low, base sentiment that is entertained by nasty, ignorant people, wallowing in their own hatefulness. But normally it's not like that. Hatred for the Jews has generally taken the form of a lofty sentiment, instead of a lowly one - a noble feeling embraced by people who believe they stand for the highest and most admirable of moral views.

In the Middle Ages, Christians felt they were upholding the principles of universal redemption, and they looked on the Jews as terrible people because the Jews had refused the word of God - had insisted on remaining Jews. And so, the loftiest of religious sentiments led to hatred of the Jews.

In the 18th century, the Enlightenment philosophers looked on the Enlightenment itself as the loftiest form of thought - the truest of all possible guides to universal justice and happiness. The Enlightenment philosophers detested Christianity because it was a font of superstition and oppression. But this only led them to despise the Jews even more - no longer because the Jews had refused the message of Christianity, but because the Jews had engendered the message of Christianity. And the damnable Jews insisted on remaining Jews, instead of repudiating religion altogether.

The religious wars wreaked all kinds of damage on Europe. But the Treaty of Westphalia came along in 1648 and put an end to religious wars by establishing a system of states with recognized borders, each state with its own religion. The new Westphalian system embodied yet another Enlightenment idea of lofty ideals - the grandest guarantee of universal peace and justice. But the Jews were scattered throughout Europe, instead of being gathered together in a single state. The new state system was supposed to be a comfortable shoe, and the Jews were a pebble. And they insisted on remaining Jews, instead of helpfully disappearing. So one hated the Jews for failing to conform to the new system of states.

Today we have arrived at yet another idea about how to bring about universal peace and justice - the loftiest, most advanced idea of our own time. Instead of looking on well-established states with solid borders to keep the peace, Westphalia-style, we look on states as a formula for oppression and war. Lofty opinion nowadays calls for post-state political systems, like the European Union. Unfortunately, nowadays the Jews possess a state. Thus one hates the Jews in the name of lofty opinion, no longer because the Jews lack a state but because, on the contrary, they have a state. They seem keen on keeping their state. And once again the Jews are seen to be affirming a principle that high-minded people used to uphold but have now rejected as antiquated.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, people with advanced ideas began to look on Christian hatred of the Jews as a retrograde prejudice - and the advanced thinkers embraced, instead, the pseudo-science of racism. They no longer hated the Jews on religious grounds - they hated the Jews on racial grounds. The word "racism" originally applied to hatred of the Jews. Racial hatred seemed up to date. Today, however, racism itself has come to seem like a retrograde prejudice. And so, people with advanced opinions hate the Jews on anti-racist grounds, and they regard the Jews as the world's leading racists.

And so forth. The unstated assumption is always the same. To wit: the universal system for man's happiness has already arrived (namely, Christianity, or else Enlightenment anti-Christianity; the Westphalian state system, or else the post-modern system of international institutions; racial theory, or else the anti-racist doctrine in a certain interpretation). And the universal system for man's happiness would right now have achieved perfection - were it not for the Jews. The Jews are always standing in the way. The higher one's opinion of oneself, the more one detests the Jews.

The political left has always been of two minds on these matters. An opposition to anti-Semitism (and to all kinds of bigotry) did use to be one of the pillars of the modern left. But the left has always rested on more than one pillar, and some of those pillars are a little wobbly. And there is the left-wing conceit that, today at last, the system for universal justice and happiness has been discovered, and should be embraced by all advanced thinkers. The cosmopolitan abolition of states, let us say. And here are the Jews resisting it. In short, nothing leads more quickly to a disdain for the Jews than a feeling of smug loftiness.

To be sure, lofty disdain comes in different versions. In its respectable version, lofty disdain right now adopts a position of long-faced sadness over Israel for being such a reprehensible place, for existing at a moment when states ought to fade away, for being racist, for perpetuating religion, for being an example of European imperialism, and so forth. One shakes one's head in sorrowful regret that the Israelis are the way they are.

But the disdain takes another shape, too, which is cruder, though it follows more or less from the first version. In the cruder version, the Jews are not just regrettable for being retrograde. Much worse: the Jews have done something really terrible. By forming their state and standing by it, they have set out actively to oppose the principle of universal justice and happiness - the principle that decrees that a people like the Jews should not have a state.

So, yes, the comparisons to apartheid - or, more radically and these days more typically, to the Nazis. The comparison to the Nazis began to emerge in the 1970s in Western Europe and also in the Arab world, and by now it is pretty much everywhere you look.

It's a remarkable comparison in all kinds of ways, but I'll point out just one aspect. The Nazis are generally regarded as the worst, most evil political movement in all of history - a political movement that not only committed crimes but stood for the principle of crime. By comparing Israel to the Nazis, people mean to suggest that Israel is likewise one of the worst, most evil political institutions that could possibly exist. The accusation is cosmically huge. And the cosmically huge accusation makes perfect sense - if you keep in mind the venerable idea that the Jews stand in the way of mankind's achievement of a perfected system of universal justice and happiness.

From the standpoint of the venerable idea, Israel's problems with its borders and its neighbors do not resemble the difficulties that other states have with their own borders and neighbors. There is no point in making statistical comparisons - the comparisons that might show how many people have been killed in Israel's wars, or how many people have been displaced from their homes by Israel, compared to the number of people killed and displaced by other wars and other states around the world. The statistics, if you looked at them, would reflect the fact that Israel is a small place, and its borders none too large, and its wars and disasters are not among the hugest that have taken place in the last sixty years, or even the last six years.

But the statistics, as I say, are irrelevant, given the peculiar philosophical light that people shine on Israel. Israel's struggle puts it at odds with the entire principle of universal justice and happiness, as people imagine it - no matter how they choose to define the principle. Other countries commit relative crimes, which can be measured and compared. But Israel commits an absolute crime. In the end, it is the grand accusation against the Jews, in ever newer versions: the Jews as cosmic enemy of the universal good.

Daniel Pearl's Father on anti-semitism on campus....

Judea Pearl is the father of the murdered journalist, Daniel Pearl.
Jewish students and faculty at California universities fear for their safety on campus because of threats aimed at them over the Middle East conflict, the father of a slain Wall Street Journal reporter said Friday.

Judea Pearl, whose son, Daniel Pearl, was kidnapped and killed by al Qaeda extremists while on assignment in Pakistan in 2002, told reporters at a news conference that anti-Semitic e-mail and verbal threats have escalated since Israel's three-week invasion of Gaza in January.

"I received hate messages (after a recent panel on "Human Rights and Gaza") from someone at UCLA who did not identify himself and said, 'I saw you in Ackerman Union and I know where your office is and I'm going to beat the (expletive) out of you,'" said Pearl, who teaches computer science on UCLA's Westwood campus. "I handed it to the campus police, and they did not do anything."

UCLA spokeswoman Elizabeth Boatright-Simon told CNN there is no record of Pearl's complaint to campus police but said the university plans to meet with him. On its Web site, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block issued a statement about the university's policy.

"The conflict in the Middle East and current events in Gaza are some of the most highly controversial issues of our time, stirring deep emotions on all sides," the statement read.

"We have a responsibility to protect the freedom of expression. We also all have a responsibility to listen and engage -- respectfully -- even as we must understand that not every campus forum on a controversial topic will satisfy passionate and concerned members of the campus and broader communities," said Block.

Pearl and officials at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, where the news conference was held, are concerned that administrators on college campuses across the country are not doing enough to foster freedom of expression while protecting Jewish students and faculty members from acts of intimidation on campuses.

"The verbal abuse is there, the intimidation is there, the feeling of helplessness is there, not only among students but among faculty," said Pearl.

Wiesenthal Center officials cited another incident three weeks ago at San Jose State University where the consul general of Israel was verbally abused and forcibly driven from the stage during a guest-speaking engagement aimed at fostering understanding of Jewish culture.

The diplomat, Akiva Tor, had to be escorted out of the room by security officers and campus police before the event ended, according to Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Wiesenthal Center and Michelle Salinsky, president of Spartans for Israel, the group which co-sponsored the speaking event.

"We were extremely concerned about our safety and Mr. Tor's safety," said Salinsky, a senior majoring in political science. "Mr. Tor said he's never felt more disrespected. This was clearly an infringement of our expression of free speech. I think a lot of Jewish students do not feel safe on campuses because of the escalation of hate perpetrated against Jews."

I like Obama's policy towards Syria...

No normalization until they end support for Hamas and Hezbollah....
The United States reiterated on Friday that despite a meeting held by a State Department official with the Syrian envoy to Washington, there will be no normalization of ties with the Damascus regime until it meets key American demands, including an end to "interference in Lebanese issue issue," a State Department spokesman Robert Wood said on Friday.

U.S. and Syrian diplomats met Thursday in an effort to improve strained ties, though Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said it was too soon to say whether relations would improve.

Syria's ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, met for nearly two hours Thursday with Jeffrey Feltman, the State Department's top diplomat for the Middle East. The first such high-level session since September came at the request of the Obama administration, which sought to discuss how to mend the relationship and possibly work together.

Though hesitant to enunciate how the administration's policies towards Syria will differ from that of the Bush administration, Wood stressed that there are certain principles which Washington will not abandon.

"We felt it was important to communicate our concerns directly and we shall see how the Syrians will respond to it, including the interference on Lebanese internal affairs and their support for terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah," said Wood.

Palestinians hit school in Israel...

Fortunately, the school was closed.....
Palestinian in the Gaza Strip fired at least five projectiles at southern Israel on Saturday morning, with a Grad-type rocket hitting an Asheklon school. No one was wounded in the attack, as the school was closed, though a number of residents were treated for shock. Another Grad rocket landed in an open area just outside the city.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Geert Wilders speech in Washington...

Here's the text:
Thank you.

Thank you very much for inviting me. And - to the immigration authorities - thank you for letting me into this great country. It is always a pleasure to cross a border without being sent back on the first plane.

I feel very honoured to have the privilege to speak and to show my short documentary Fitna here in this heart of your democracy, here in the US Senate.

Today, the dearest of our many freedoms is under attack all throughout Europe. Free speech is no longer a given. What we once considered a natural element of our existence, our birth right, is now something we once again have to battle for.

As you might know, I will be prosecuted in my own country, because of my film Fitna, my remarks regarding Islam, and my view concerning what some call a ‘religion of peace’. A few years from now, I might be a criminal. And on top op that The Kingdom of Jordan also threatens to prosecute me for insulting islam and ask for my extradition.

Whether or not I end up in jail is not the most pressing issue; I gave up my freedom four and a half years ago. I am under full-time police protection ever since because of death threats from muslims and terrorist groups linked to Al Qaida. In the last few years I lived in different safehouses, army-baracks and yes: even prison cells in order to be safe. But it’s not about me. The real question is: will free speech be put behind bars? And the larger question for the West is: will we leave Europe’s children the values of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem, or the values of Mecca, Teheran and Gaza?

This is what video blogger Pat Condell said in one of his latest you tube appearances. He says: “If I talked about Muslims the way their holy book talks about me, I’d be arrested for hate speech.” Now, Mr. Condell is a stand-up comedian, but in the video he is dead serious and the joke is on us. Hate speech will always be used against the people defending the West - in order to please and appease Muslims. They can say whatever they want: throw gays from apartment buildings, kill the Jews, slaughter the infidel, destroy Israel, jihad against the West. Whatever their book tells them.

Ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake, my prosecution is a full-fledged attack by the left on freedom of speech in order to please Muslims. In fact it was started by a member of the Dutch Labour party. If you read what the court of Amsterdam has written about me, you read the same texts that cultural relativists produce. In fact, cultural relativism is the worst disease in Europe today. Most of our politicians believe that all cultures are equal. Well let me tell you they are not. Our Western culture based on Christianity, Judaism and humanism is in every aspect better than the islamic culture. Like the brave apostate Wafa Sultan said: it’s a comparison between a culture of reason and a culture of barbarism,

Back to my country. How low can we go in the Netherlands? About my prosecution, The Wall Street Journal noted: “this is no small victory for Islamic regimes seeking to export their censorship laws to wherever Muslims reside”. The Journal concluded that by The Netherlands accepting the free speech standards of, “Saudi-Arabia”, I stand correct in my observation that - I quote - “Muslim immigration is eroding traditional Dutch liberties”.

Now, if the Wall Street Journal has the moral clarity to see that my prosecution is the logical outcome of our disastrous, self-hating, cultural relativists immigration policies, then why can’t the European liberal establishment see the same thing? Why aren’t they getting at least a little bit scared by the latest news out of, for example, the UK. News that tells that the Muslim population in Britain is growing ten times as fast as the rest of society. Why don’t they care?
The answer is: they don’t care because they are blinded by their cultural relativism. Their disdain of the West is so much greater than the appreciation of our many liberties. And therefore, they are willing to sacrifice everything. The left once stood for women rights, gay rights, equality, democracy. Now, they favour immigration policies that will end all this. Many even lost their decency. Elite politicians in Europe have no problem to participate in or finance demonstrations where Muslims shout “Death to the Jews”. Seventy years after Auschwitz they know of no shame.

Two weeks ago, I tried to get into Britain, a fellow EU country. I was invited to give a speech in Parliament. However, upon arrival at London airport, I was refused entry into the UK, detained fot three hours and sent back on the first plane to The Netherlands. The reason: I would threaten community harmony and therefore public security. And all this because of my film Fitna. An absolute disgrace. The British Home Secretary even publicly admitted on BBC TV that she never watched my film Fitna but deciced to ban from the UK anyway.

If i would have been admitted to the UK would have loved to have reminded the audience of a great man who once spoke in the House of Commons. In 1982 President Reagan gave a speech there very few people liked. Reagan called upon the West to reject communism and defend freedom. He introduced a phrase: ‘evil empire’. Reagan’s speech stands out as a clarion call to preserve our liberties. I quote: If history teaches anything, it teaches self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly. What Reagan meant is that you cannot run away from history, you cannot escape the dangers of ideologies that are out to destroy you. Denial is no option.

Ladies and gentlemen, I suggest to defend freedom in general and freedom of speech in particular. I propose the withdrawal of all hate speech legislation in Europe. I propose a European First Amendment. In Europe we should defend freedom of speech like you Americans do. In Europe freedom of speech should be extended, instead of restricted. Of course, calling for violence or unjustly yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre have to be punished, but the right to criticize ideologies or religions are necessary conditions for a vital democracy. As George Orwell once said: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”.

Let us defend freedom of speech and let us gain strength and work hard to become even stronger. Millions think just like you and me. Millions think liberty is precious. That democracy is better than sharia. And after all, why should we be afraid? Our many freedoms and our prosperity are the result of centuries of endeavour. Centuries of hard work and sacrifice. We do not stand alone.

Ladies and gentlemen, our enemies should know: we will never apologize for being free men, we will never give in. We will never surrender. There is no stronger power than the force of free men fighting for the great cause of liberty. Because freedom is the birthright of all man.

Freedom must prevail, and freedom will prevail.

Thank you very much.

Geert Wilders
Voorzitter Tweede Kamerfractie Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV)

Geert Wilders MP
Chairman Party for Freedom (PVV)

Segregated seating at a show in Rotterdam....

Of course, I'm always happy to sit with the men....
On Friday night, a Muslim stand-up comedian was scheduled to give a show in a Rotterdam theatre with segregated seating for the men and women in his audience.

Moroccan-born writer and TV producer Salaheddine Benchikhi was to make his debut as a stand-up comedian at Theater Zuidplein in Rotterdam. At his request, the theatre said it would offer female audience members the option of sitting apart from the men, as Algemeen Dagblad reported several hours before the show on Friday.

According to the newspaper, 50 of the 590 seats had been reserved for women who object to sitting beside a man due to their Islamic faith. As an extra 'service', the orthodox ladies may sit in the first rows of the balcony.

"Whether the option will actually be utilised remains to be seen", Joyce van Dongen of Theater Zuidplein stated. "Fifty is an estimate made by Salaheddine's management. Since the show is an opening night, we have no previous shows to serve as an example". If called for, a larger number of separate seats would be arranged, according to Van Dongen.

Geert Wilders at Ahavath Torah Synagogue

The environmentalists latest target: Toilet Paper...

There's a lot of evils in this world...
The vast majority of the paper used by American consumers is produced from virgin forests, while Europeans are more open to using recycled lavatory paper.

Greenpeace this week launched a guide about the ecological impact of the use of toilet paper. Lindsey Allen, a forestry expert with the envirnmental campaign group, said: "We have this myth in the US that recycled is just so low quality, it's like cardboard."

More than 98 per cent of the toilet paper sold in the US is from virgin forests, with the figure just under 60 per cent in Europe.

US consumers consume significantly more of the paper than Europeans - reportedly three times as much. They are said to use 100 times paper per head of population than the Chinese.

Allen Hershkowitz, a scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council, said: "Future generations are going to look at the way we make toilet paper as one of the greatest excesses of our age. Making toilet paper from virgin wood is a lot worse than driving [petrol-thirsty cars] in terms of global warming pollution."
Don't they have better things to look into?

The carrier pigeon phone for Israel boycotters....

Prospective boycotters just don't know all the stuff that Israel invents for the world....
IAW supporters want to boycott Israel, so the Simon Wiesenthal Centre has come up with an ad campaign that brilliantly shows up the protesters for their painful stupidity. The ad features two tin cans connected by a piece of string and says: "Committed to boycotting Israel? Be Zion-free--do not use: Cellphones (you can keep the case); voice mail and cellphone camera chip; AIM, ICQ, instant messaging; Google (runs on Israeli search algorithms); Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, Microsoft Office; Intel microchip, Pentium chip and microprocessor; fire-walls and virus protection software. All developed in Israel. To acquire the Zion-Free iCAN Phone, contact:" Truly amazing, when you think of it. Here's Israel perpetually under siege, and yet its scientists, doctors and engineers just go right on with their work, making the world a better place for everyone.

Finally, Obama pulling out of Durban II conference....

It's about time.....good for Obama for doing the right thing...
The Obama administration has decided to boycott the so-called Durban II conference out of concerns for anti-Semitism.

Multiple sources on a conference call with the White House on Friday told JTA that the Obama administration had opted not to attend any further preparatory meetings ahead of the planned U.N. conference against racism in Geneva in April.

Anti-semitism on the bus in the UK....

This is on a public bus...
Jewish pupils have been subjected to a physical and verbal antisemitic assault on a bus home.

One pupil from Yavneh College in Borehamwood was elbowed in the face in the incident, which took place on Tuesday on a 107 bus between Borehamwood and Barnet.

One parent e-mailed the JC about the incident and said: “My daughter travels to and from school on the 107. She called me on her way home and was very distressed. Boys from another school verbally and physically attacked boys from year seven and nine. They slapped them — completely unprovoked — in the presence of adults on the bus. After the incident, a woman sitting next to one of the victims burst into tears.”

Police in Hertfordshire have begun an investigation into what happened on the bus and have confirmed that the matter was being dealt with as a racist incident.

Yavneh head Dr Dena Coleman said: “There was an incident on a bus where a Yavneh College pupil was elbowed in the cheek by a youth and antisemitic abuse was voiced.

Ok, I'm starting to charge my houseguests to use the toilet....

No more Mr. Nice Guy for me....
Irish carrier Ryanair, Europe's largest budget airline, might start charging passengers for using the toilet while flying, chief executive Michael O'Leary said on Friday.

"One thing we have looked at in the past and are looking at again is the possibility of maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in future," he told BBC television.

He said this would not inconvenience passengers travelling without cash. "I don't think there is anybody in history that has got on board a Ryanair aircraft with less than a pound."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ahhh, the Global Intifada strikes Sweden....

Well, here's a sane group, no?
Three supermarkets have been destroyed and a fourth damaged in central Sweden in what police say might have been a series of anti-American arson attacks.

Police spokeswoman Kia Samrell said more than 100 firefighters were called in to put out the fires overnight at the Swedish supermarkets in Sodertalje.

Ms Samrell said the police were investigating whether the left-wing group, Global Intifada, was connected.

Global Intifada claimed responsibility for two fires in Sodertalje last year.

It has also said it was behind arson attacks on vehicles belonging to the Danish and Russian embassies in 2005, and an attack on a Polish consulate in 2004, according to the Swedish Security Service.

"The targets have primarily been countries that are participating in the war in Iraq and the Swedish defence industry," it said.

The supermarkets targeted on Thursday were branches of Willys, and Ica and Tempo. The chains are all Swedish, but sell American goods.

Swedish Radio reports that Global Intifada had recently distributed leaflets in Sodertalje encouraging the public to firebomb shops selling American products.

Ban Ki-Moon attacks Israel Apartheid Week....

Oops, only kidding....

European court rules that Turks can enter the Netherlands without a visa....

This is a very dangerous all of Europe can be flooded by Turks entering through the Netherlands...
The global financial crisis has hit Turkey hard. Just as in the United States and Europe, job losses are the order of the day. But in spite of it all, the Turks still have something to celebrate. For the European Court of Justice has ruled in favour of two Turkish plaintiffs who were sick of having to move heaven and earth in order to obtain a visa to travel to an EU country.

The press is jubilant and the business community has immediately called for assurances that this verdict not be allowed to disappear into the back of a drawer. As they see it, the Turkish government should immediately enter into negotiations with the EU's member states to ensure that the verdict has tangible consequences.

1,000 police officers just for Israeli tennis match...

No spectators, but 1,000 police officers....
Swedish police are to mobilize up to 1,000 officers in Malmö next weekend in a bid to guarantee the safety of players and functionaries during a Davis Cup match between Sweden and Israel.

Local politicians cited security concerns when ruling last week that the match at the 4,000 capacity Baltiska Hallen arena should be played behind closed doors. The match will be played from March 6th to 8th.

The Malmö-based 'Stop the match' network is expecting 8,000 to 12,000 people to gather for a major demonstration on March 7th as part of a protest against Israel's recent war in Gaza.

But police are primarily concerned about the participation of groups from the extreme left wing autonomist movement.

"They have stated that they want to stop the Davis Cup match at any cost," said Malmö police chief Håkan Jarborg Eriksson.

Israel goes after El-Baradei...'s a letter to the editor of Newsweek...
The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei ("On Nukes, Tread Softly," Feb. 9), has failed to persuade Syria to allow a visit by the IAEA's inspectors to three sites suspected to be part of Syria's covert nuclear program. He has also failed in his feeble demand for a proper investigation of Syria's bulldozing the wreckage and the cleanup operation at the Dair Alzour site, where Syria is suspected of constructing a North Korean nuclear reactor in clear violation of its Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement with the agency. Instead, ElBaradei lashes out at the state of Israel. Unfortunately, this has become a common practice by the director of the IAEA in his efforts to divert attention from his failure to conduct a vigorous and conclusive investigation amid mounting evidence of gross violations of international obligations under the NPT by some of its Middle Eastern members.
Nili Lifshitz, Spokeswoman
Israeli Atomic Energy Commission
Tel Aviv, Israel
Fire El-Baradei immediately...

The five illusions of Israel Apartheid Week...

Every University that hosts an Israel Apartheid Weeks needs some immediate historical lessons...
First, Israel is no apartheid state. It has over one million Israeli Arab citizens of various faiths that comprise about 19 per cent of Israel’s population, including political science professors, political parties and parliamentarians, and members of the national football team seeking to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. Israel is both a Jewish and democratic state, and like any democratic state, it can evolve by allowing more upward mobility for Israeli Arabs in the state and civil society. In contrast, Jews are not welcome in Gaza or Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, Jews are less-than-tolerated minorities in once prominent Jewish communities in the Arab world from Morocco to Iraq.

Second, Israelis and Palestinians, the Arab and Muslim worlds, and world powers are all players in perpetuating the conflict. Palestinians are victims of a historical tragedy and statelessness, but also destructive ideologies and leadership. Along with Arab states, they rejected the UN call for two states in 1947 through war, declared no to recognition, negotiation, and peace with Israel at the Arab summit in Khartoum in 1967, and began a campaign of suicide bombings under Yasser Arafat and assorted Islamists after progress was made towards a two-state solution with the Oslo Accords in 1993. Israel played its part in the cycle of conflict as a regional, military power that in the past did not adequately recognize legitimate Palestinian aspirations to statehood.

Third, the one-state solution proposed by “Israel Apartheid Week” is a stunt masquerading as liberal and universalist, yet hiding an exclusionary project that would lead to the demise of Israel as both a Jewish and democratic state. In no “intractable” ethnic conflict do we have proposals for putting ethnic ultra-nationalists together so that they might further butcher each other. Serbs, Bosnians, and Croatians gained sovereign states, so why should Israelis and Palestinians govern one state together? In Lebanon, the state exists in name only; a state that is hostage to ethnic or religious militias more powerful than the state. A one-state solution is a disastrous recipe for the “Lebanonization” of Israel. A one-state solution is based on the false premise that Jewish national self-determination (Zionism) is illegal, while its Palestinian nationalist counterpart is a legitimate national liberation movement. In reality, both nationalist movements are legitimate and worthy of their statehood claims for objective and subjective reasons.

Fourth, a Palestinian-Israeli “divorce” or two-state solution is more realistic for now. If two states get along, they might then talk of “marriage,” an economic and political union, and even a supranational arrangement with other Middle Eastern states. The two-state solution is ignored as an option by the hosts of “Israel Apartheid Week.”

Fifth, “Israel Apartheid Week” anti-Zionist narratives are gaining appeal. Israel is losing legitimacy among the opinion-creating intelligentsia worldwide. Sadly, even a moderate Zionism with its desire for a two-state solution and equality for Israeli Arabs is denigrated as a brutal, expansionist ideology devoid of moral content. The loss of Palestinian civilian life, as in the recent war in Gaza, adds to the narrative of Palestinian victimization and Israel as oppressor. “Israel Apartheid Week” engages in demonisation of democratic Israel, while silence reigns in respect of the Palestinian and Arab masses languishing under authoritarian regimes. It ignores the cynicism of Hamas leaders who continued to fire rockets into southern Israeli towns after Gaza’s occupation ended in 2005. “Israel Apartheid Week” peddles the illusion of continuing Israeli “occupation” in Gaza and ignores Palestinian autonomy gains in the West Bank. The Palestinian “civil war” between Hamas and Fatah is a taboo subject.

Jewish Centre attacked in Caracas...

Fortunately, no one was hurt...
Assailants threw an explosive at a Jewish community center on Thursday, but nobody was hurt in the blast — the second assault against Venezuela's Jewish community this year.

Abraham Garzon, president of the Jewish Community Center, told the local Globovision television news channel that a small explosive resembling a pipe-bomb was lobbed at the building in Caracas before dawn on Thursday. The explosion damaged the doors to the center.

"It seems there are people in the country dedicated to sowing terrorism," Garzon said.

Nothing like a gift to Obama....

Hey, generosity always makes friends...
TALIBAN militants beheaded an Afghan in Pakistan's lawless tribal region after accusing him of spying for the United States, local police said today
The 35-year-old man was kidnapped one week ago and his body found today in Razmak some 65km south of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, an official said.

"He was slaughtered overnight. His headless body was put on the roadside," police official Munir Khan said.

A note found on the body of the man, identified as Shafiq Gul, said he was "spying for the US".

"Whoever spies for the US will face the same fate. This is a gift to (US President Barack) Obama," the note said.

The truth about Jews in Iran....

They are horribly persecuted....
Are 25,000 Jews living happily and securely under the most repressive and anti-Semitic regime in the world?

Apparently the answer is yes, if one is to believe New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, who in a February 23 op-ed reports that what he saw recently in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iran demonstrated "Iranian civility toward Jews."

Cohen was especially impressed by the fact that "there are more than a dozen synagogues in Teheran," as well as several more in Esfahan. He attended a prayer service and described it in rather picturesque terms.

Cohen is hardly the first American to be misled by the existence of synagogues in totalitarian countries. Assessing the status of Jews in Nazi Germany in October 1936, president Franklin D. Roosevelt likewise put too much stock in the scenes at the synagogues. "I have just seen two people who have toured through Germany," FDR told American Jewish Congress leader Stephen Wise. "They tell me that they saw that the synagogues were crowded and apparently there is nothing very wrong in the situation [of Germany's Jews] at present."

Interestingly, the Jews whom Cohen met in Iran had only positive things to say about their anti-Semitic government. Soleiman Sedighpoor, who led the prayer service in Esfahan, said he has "never had a problem" as a Jew in Iran. Morris Motamed, former occupant of the lone "Jewish seat" in parliament, said the Ahmadinejad regime exhibits "deep tolerance here toward Jews."

RABBI HASKEL LOOKSTEIN of New York City's Kehilath Jeshurun, who visited the Soviet Union in the 1970s to teach Judaism and assist would-be emigrants, points to an incident at the Moscow synagogue which demonstrated the perilous reality of Jewish life in the USSR. It was Simhat Torah, and the service was crowded, no doubt as crowded as those synagogues in Germany in 1936 or in Iran in our own time.

"As we danced with the Torahs," he recalls, "the Jews exchanged the traditional greeting, 'Let's meet again, God willing, next year.' One man leaned over and whispered in my ear, 'Let's meet again, God willing, next year - but not here in the Soviet Union.' He was so terrified of what might happen if he was overheard, that he could only whisper those words."

Cohen's encounter with the Jewish former member of Iran's parliament reminds Lookstein of his own encounter with Rabbi Yakov Fishman, chief rabbi of the Moscow Synagogue, in 1972. "Rabbi Fishman sat down next to me, to show me a publication from a British group critical of the Soviet government's treatment of the Jews," Lookstein recalls. "He was afraid that such criticism would 'make things worse' for the Jews in Russia. That's why you can never take at face value what a Jew in a totalitarian state says to a foreigner. They are captives of the regime, and whatever they say is carefully calibrated not to get themselves into trouble."

THE STATE DEPARTMENT's most recent annual report on international religious freedom paints a picture of Jewish life in Iran that is at odds with Cohen's description. The report says Iran's Jews live in "a threatening atmosphere" and suffer "officially sanctioned discrimination, particularly in the areas of employment, education and housing." The government "limits the distribution of Hebrew texts, in practice making it difficult to teach the language." Government pressure resulted in the shutdown of the Jewish community's newspaper, Ofogh-e-Bina. And "officially sanctioned anti-Semitic propaganda" permeates "official statements, media outlets, publications and books."

Three-quarters of Iran's Jews have emigrated in the 30 years since the Khomeini revolution, and the State Department notes that some Iranian Jews are continuing to emigrate, "in part due to continued anti-Semitism on the part of the government and within society."

Obviously others choose not to emigrate. Sometimes factors such as family ties, poverty or hope for a change in government are sufficient to persuade people to stay in a country where they are mistreated. In fact, in 1937 - fully four years after Hitler's rise to power - Germany was still home to more Jews than any other Western European country. That was not because they enjoyed Hitler's rule.

Finally...the truth about cancer...

Egyptian Cleric Ahmad Abd Al-Salam: Jews Infect Food with Cancer and Ship it to Muslim Countries Al-Nas TV (Egypt).

Brazilian Foreign Minister calls Israel an Apartheid State...

What, is he really believing the propaganda...doesn't he have training in history???
Commenting on the student exchange agreement between the Brazilian university and Tel Aviv University, Valter Pomar, foreign relations secretary for Brazil's ruling party, the PT, told Haaretz that "now is not the time for such accords."

The accord was the first signing of a cooperation initiative between a Brazilian and an Israeli university since Israel's operation in Gaza.

Pomar added: "It would be proper to apply to the Israeli government the same treatment that the apartheid government of South Africa had received," said Pomer, who stressed he was speaking in his private capacity and not for the party.

Last month, Pomar cosigned an official announcement by the party accusing Israel of "state terrorism" and comparing its actions in Gaza to Nazi blitzes.

Brazilian priest José Oscar Beozzo, a prominent theologian from Sao Paulo, also indicated his reservations about the exchange deal, citing "Israel's condemnable massacre in Gaza."

Terrorist Trainees get home safely!

Thank god they are returning safely....
Up to 140 people from Germany have attended terrorist training camps and 60 have returned to the country, government officials told Berliner Morgenpost this week.

Head of the Interior Ministry’s anti-terrorism unit Hans-Georg Maaßen told the paper on Wednesday that those 60, who include German citizens as well as immigrants with residency permits, are currently living in the country.

Israel Apartheid Week in Ottawa...

Finally, an Israeli Apartheid week in Ottawa!

You can see the list of sponsoring organizations...but one caught my eye.

Agitate! Queer Women of Colour Collective.

Again, as I have pointed out...if Israel was destroyed, as they wish, just where would gay people go? As it is right now, Israel is the beacon for gay people - including gay palestinians....

How stupid can these people be??? Can they point to one muslim country that supports gay rights?

Pakistan on the brink....

Vlad Tepes has a great video about Pakistan being on the brink....

Israel Apartheid Week...

Get ready for an obscene next week, as many Canadian Universities host their Israeli Apartheid Weeks....thus showing they know little about apartheid.

Here is a list of organizations sponsoring the obscenity in Toronto:
Israeli Apartheid Week Toronto is endorsed by the following organizations:

* Canadian Arab Federation
* Palestine House
* Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
* Caribbean Studies Student Union (UofT)
* Equity Studies Student Union (UofT)
* Health Studies Student Union (UofT)
* CUPE Ontario International Solidarity Committee
* CUPE Local 3907
* CUPE Local 3903
* CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy
* Not In Our Name: Jewish Voices Opposing Zionism
* Critical Area Studies Collective (UofT)
* Centre for Middle Eastern Studies
* No One Is Illegal
* Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
* Always Question (UofT)
* Canadian Forum for Justice and Peace in Sri Lanka
* Barrio Nuevo
* NOCOPS (Newly Organized Coalition Opposing Police in Schools)
* Women in Solidarity with Palestine
* Common Cause
* Faculty for Palestine
* Palestine House Youth Program
* Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance-Ontario
* Toronto Women's Bookstore
* SPHR National
* Latin America Solidarity Network
I'd like to know how many faculty members are in the 'faculty for Palestine' group and how many of them teach history. Why on earth is the Women's bookstore supporting such a travesty? Does the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty realize that Israel has always provided the best route out of poverty?

Is climate science like astrology???

Some Japanese seem to think so...
Japanese scientists have made a dramatic break with the UN and Western-backed hypothesis of climate change in a new report from its Energy Commission.

Three of the five researchers disagree with the UN's IPCC view that recent warming is primarily the consequence of man-made industrial emissions of greenhouse gases. Remarkably, the subtle and nuanced language typical in such reports has been set aside.

One of the five contributors compares computer climate modelling to ancient astrology. Others castigate the paucity of the US ground temperature data set used to support the hypothesis, and declare that the unambiguous warming trend from the mid-part of the 20th Century has ceased.

The report by Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) is astonishing rebuke to international pressure, and a vote of confidence in Japan's native marine and astronomical research. Publicly-funded science in the West uniformly backs the hypothesis that industrial influence is primarily responsible for climate change, although fissures have appeared recently. Only one of the five top Japanese scientists commissioned here concurs with the man-made global warming hypothesis.

JSER is the academic society representing scientists from the energy and resource fields, and acts as a government advisory panel. The report appeared last month but has received curiously little attention. So The Register commissioned a translation of the document - the first to appear in the West in any form. Below you'll find some of the key findings - but first, a summary.

Three of the five leading scientists contend that recent climate change is driven by natural cycles, not human industrial activity, as political activists argue.

Kanya Kusano is Program Director and Group Leader for the Earth Simulator at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science & Technology (JAMSTEC). He focuses on the immaturity of simulation work cited in support of the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Using undiplomatic language, Kusano compares them to ancient astrology. After listing many faults, and the IPCC's own conclusion that natural causes of climate are poorly understood, Kusano concludes:

"[The IPCC's] conclusion that from now on atmospheric temperatures are likely to show a continuous, monotonic increase, should be perceived as an unprovable hypothesis," he writes.

Shunichi Akasofu, head of the International Arctic Research Center in Alaska, has expressed criticism of the theory before. Akasofu uses historical data to challenge the claim that very recent temperatures represent an anomaly:

"We should be cautious, IPCC's theory that atmospheric temperature has risen since 2000 in correspondence with CO2 is nothing but a hypothesis. "

Economic crisis may force California to backtrack...

It's climate goals may be unrealistic...
Only a few years ago, CalPortland planned on keeping its plant here operating as long as Mount Slover’s limestone held out. For more than a century, Colton’s kilns and crushing machines have been churning out cement for the streets and buildings of Los Angeles.

CalPortland, which employs 140 people in Colton, Calif., says the economy has put the plant’s future in doubt.

The CalPortland plant is one of 11 California cement plants that is being required to upgrade to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

But the company says the plant’s future is now uncertain. The recession has sent cement prices plunging, lowered profits and forced CalPortland’s drivers to cut back on hours. And the company says it faces new expenses: the cost of meeting California’s new requirements that manufacturers take steps to curb emissions of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas linked to global warming.

State regulators have projected that retrofitting the state’s 11 cement plants would cost $220 million and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 12 percent per ton of cement. But CalPortland’s executives say it would cost more than that to retrofit the Colton plant alone.

“We don’t have enough limestone left to invest $200 million,” said James A. Repman, the company’s president.
The whole thing is silly....$200 million to reduce CO2, which in my opinion, is NOT pollution.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How close is Pakistan to collapse???

The economic crisis is hurting them....are they going to get the help they need? And, even if they get it, can they stem their political problems???
Democrat Senator John Kerry and Republican former senator Chuck Hagel, now chair of the Atlantic Council think tank, were due to release a formal report on Wednesday appealing for international help to stabilise Pakistan.

"If we fail, we face a truly frightening prospect: Terrorist sanctuary, economic meltdown, and spiralling radicalism, all in a nation with 170 million inhabitants and a full arsenal of nuclear weapons," Mr Kerry said in a statement released by the council.

Mr Kerry, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he and Republican Senator Richard Lugar would soon introduce legislation aiming to provide Pakistan with $7.5bn in non-military aid over five years.

The legislation, known as the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act, would advocate the same amount – which would be triple current US levels of non-military aid – over the next five years, aides said.

The bill would make the aid available on the condition that the US secretary of state certifies that Pakistan's security forces are making concerted efforts to prevent al-Qaeda, associated terrorist groups, and the Taliban, from operating inside Pakistani territory.

The report entitled Needed: A Comprehensive US Policy Towards Pakistan, "calls for an additional 4-5 billion dollars of immediate financial aid for Pakistan to avert an economic meltdown," according to a statement from the council.

"Given the tools and the financing, Pakistan can turn back from the brink. But for that to happen, it needs help now," according to the council.

Natan Sharansky on the anti-semitism summit....

Terrific conference...but once he stepped outside, things changed...
I just returned from this week’s inaugural conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Commission for Anti-Semitism, a two-day event in London where over 100 legislators from around the democratic world convened to discuss the problem of anti-Semitism. The second day of the conference was held in the famous Lancaster House—the very place where, 70 years ago, the Peel Commission made its infamous decision to drastically limit the number of Jews that would be allowed into Palestine. This decision resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews who had nowhere else to flee from the Nazis.

It was not without a sense of historical justice that the same building that had been use to condemn Jews to their fate at the hands of anti-Semitism was now hosting a major international parley to fight it. At the conference, one delegate after another spoke against the rise in anti-Semitism and efforts to demonize Israel. Only a few years ago, in earlier conferences on anti-Semitism, I was often struck by how difficult it was for me to convince people that the more extreme attacks on Israel were a form of anti-Semitism and should be included in any discussion of it. Today, things are much better in this regard: What I have called the 3D definition of anti-Semitism – demonization of Israel, double standards, and delegitimization – was widely accepted by pretty much everyone at the conference.

But the moment I stepped outside the confines of the conference, things suddenly looked very different. At the end of the second day, while I was still in Lancaster House, I was interviewed by the BBC. At their studio they had a moderate Arab expert commenting on anti-Semitism, and everything he said was received with warm approval from the interviewer. His argument: It is true that Jews around the world today feel threatened by increasing anti-Semitism. But who is to blame? The Israeli government of course, for it launched a brutal campaign of death and destruction against the Palestinians in Gaza, without taking into account how much its actions would endanger the well-being of Jews around the world. Strangely enough, this logic is widely accepted by much of the free world today.

I have heard this kind of argument before. In my years as a member of the Israeli government, I faced countless situations where the world forced us to choose between protecting our citizens and facing international condemnation, on the one hand, and letting our citizens face suicide bombers and rocket attacks while winning world sympathy, praise, and understanding for our “restraint,” on the other.

Putting us in this situation is, itself, a form of anti-Semitism. Seventy years ago, the Peel Commission refused to allow Jewish immigration for fear of upsetting the Arabs and destabilizing the Middle East. Then as now, Jewish survival was seen as an inconvenience to the Western world. Then as now, Jews were forced to choose: Either live and be hated, or die and be loved.

Obama's Bad Intelligence choice...

Yet another Israel-basher gets a high-level position....
During the presidential campaign, a constant refrain of Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates was that the Bush administration had severely politicized intelligence, resulting in such disasters as the war in Iraq.

The irony of course is that, if anything, President Bush badly failed at depoliticizing a CIA that was often hostile to his agenda. Witness the repeated leaks of classified information that undercut his policies. It now appears Mr. Obama has appointed a highly controversial figure to head the National Intelligence Council, which is responsible for producing National Intelligence Estimates. The news Web site yesterday reported that it could confirm rumors that a former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Charles "Chas" Freeman Jr., has been appointed chairman. (My calls to the White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence produced neither confirmation nor denial.)

Without question, Mr. Freeman has a distinguished résumé, having served in a long list of State and Defense Department slots. But also without question, he has distinctive political views and affiliations, some of which are more than eyebrow-raising.

In 1997, Mr. Freeman succeeded George McGovern to become the president of the Middle East Policy Council. The MEPC purports to be a nonpartisan, public-affairs group that "strives to ensure that a full range of U.S. interests and views are considered by policy makers" dealing with the Middle East. In fact, its original name until 1991 was the American-Arab Affairs Council, and it is an influential Washington mouthpiece for Saudi Arabia.

As Mr. Freeman acknowledged in a 2006 interview with an outfit called the Saudi-US Relations Information Service, MEPC owes its endowment to the "generosity" of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. Asked in the same interview about his organization's current mission, Mr. Freeman responded, in a revealing non sequitur, that he was "delighted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has, after a long delay, begun to make serious public relations efforts."

Among MEPC's recent activities in the public relations realm, it has published what it calls an "unabridged" version of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" by professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt. This controversial 2006 essay argued that American Jews have a "stranglehold" on the U.S. Congress, which they employ to tilt the U.S. toward Israel at the expense of broader American interests. Mr. Freeman has both endorsed the paper's thesis and boasted of MEPC's intrepid stance: "No one else in the United States has dared to publish this article, given the political penalties that the Lobby imposes on those who criticize it."

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Freeman has views about Middle East policy that differ rather sharply from those held by supporters of the state of Israel. More surprisingly, they also differ rather sharply from the views -- or at least the views stated during the campaign -- of the president who has invited him to serve.

While President Obama speaks of helping the people of Israel "search for credible partners with whom they can make peace," Mr. Freeman believes, as he said in a 2007 address to the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, that "Israel no longer even pretends to seek peace with the Palestinians; it strives instead to pacify them." The primary reason America confronts a terrorism problem today, he continued, is "the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by an Israeli occupation that is about to mark its fortieth anniversary and shows no sign of ending."
The other bad appointment was Samantha Powers to be on the NSC...

Obama's Scientists...

Sound more political than Bush's...
Why, since President Obama promised to “restore science to its rightful place” in Washington, do some things feel not quite right?

First there was Steven Chu, the physicist and new energy secretary, warning The Los Angeles Times that climate change could make water so scarce by century’s end that “there’s no more agriculture in California” and no way to keep the state’s cities going, either.

Then there was the hearing in the Senate to confirm another physicist, John Holdren, to be the president’s science adviser. Dr. Holdren was asked about some of his gloomy neo-Malthusian warnings in the past, like his calculation in the 1980s that famines due to climate change could leave a billion people dead by 2020. Did he still believe that?

“I think it is unlikely to happen,” Dr. Holdren told the senators, but he insisted that it was still “a possibility” that “we should work energetically to avoid.”

Well, I suppose it never hurts to go on the record in opposition to a billion imaginary deaths. But I have a more immediate concern: Will Mr. Obama’s scientific counselors give him realistic plans for dealing with global warming and other threats? To borrow a term from Roger Pielke Jr.: Can these scientists be honest brokers?

Dr. Pielke, a professor in the environmental studies program at the University of Colorado, is the author of “The Honest Broker,” a book arguing that most scientists are fundamentally mistaken about their role in political debates. As a result, he says, they’re jeopardizing their credibility while impeding solutions to problems like global warming.

Most researchers, Dr. Pielke writes, like to think of themselves in one of two roles: as a pure researcher who remains aloof from messy politics, or an impartial arbiter offering expert answers to politicians’ questions. Either way, they believe their research can point the way to correct public policies, and sometimes it does — when the science is clear and people’s values aren’t in conflict.

But climate change, like most political issues, isn’t so simple. While most scientists agree that anthropogenic global warming is a threat, they’re not certain about its scale or its timing or its precise consequences (like the condition of California’s water supply in 2090). And while most members of the public want to avoid future harm from climate change, they have conflicting values about which sacrifices are worthwhile today.

A scientist can enter the fray by becoming an advocate for certain policies, like limits on carbon emissions or subsidies for wind power. That’s a perfectly legitimate role for scientists, as long as they acknowledge that they’re promoting their own agendas.

But too often, Dr. Pielke says, they pose as impartial experts pointing politicians to the only option that makes scientific sense. To bolster their case, they’re prone to exaggerate their expertise (like enumerating the catastrophes that would occur if their policies aren’t adopted), while denigrating their political opponents as “unqualified” or “unscientific.”

“Some scientists want to influence policy in a certain direction and still be able to claim to be above politics,” Dr. Pielke says. “So they engage in what I call ‘stealth issue advocacy’ by smuggling political arguments into putative scientific ones.”

More environmentalists coming out in favour of nuclear....

I predicted when I started this blog that more and more environmentalists would embrace nuclear....
It is the first time the green lobby has decided to embrace the technology after years of opposition.

Campaigners have traditionally been against nuclear power because of the fear of proliferation of weapons and the problem of disposing of waste.

However with Britain facing a major energy crisis in the next few years – as coal-fired power stations and old nuclear power stations close down – and with the UK Government committed to cutting greenhouse gases by 80 per cent by 2050, many in the environmental movement are changing their minds.

They argue that while nuclear power still has problems, climate change is a greater threat and that nuclear is a better option for keeping the lights on than building new coal-fired power stations.

The four leading environmentalists who have come out in favour of nuclear power are Stephen Tindale, former director of Greenpeace; Lord Chris Smith of Finsbury, the chairman of the Environment Agency; Mark Lynas, author of the Royal Society's science book of the year, and Chris Goodall, a Green Party activist and prospective parliamentary candidate.

Mr Tindale, who described his turn-around as a "religious conversion", said many more in the environment movement think "nuclear power is not ideal but it's better than climate change".

Around 10 power stations could be built in the UK in the next 30 years. The Government is currently consulting on sites that might be suitable for new nuclear stations and companies have expressed interest in starting to build in 2013, with the first plants coming on stream in 2018.

Amnesty Researchers

More on Bosnia - religion in Kindergartens...

This is not a good idea...
In a country still smarting from a 1990s war that coined the term ‘ethnic cleansing,’ some are worried religious teaching in classrooms will only widen the divide between Bosnians.

Sarajevo -- The tiny students, some in their first year at a Sarajevo kindergarten, are led away from their classmates by a woman peering out from a headscarf who will give them a lesson on the basics of Islam.

"Kids have been asking me why they are being separated and what a religious class is," said a teacher, who asked not to be named. "It was so difficult at the beginning."

The "bula" -- an intermediary between an imam and the family -- grabs their attention with animal pictures on a laptop. She then goes on to explain how the Prophet Mohammed travelled from Mecca to Medina.

The lesson seems innocent enough for three to six-year-olds. But the decision by the Muslim-led county council to allow religious instruction in Sarajevo kindergartens has met a chorus of outrage from critics who fear it is part of an attempt to "Islamicise" Bosnia's capital.

In a country still smarting from a 1990s war that coined the term "ethnic cleansing," one vocal opponent warns there could be payback.

"Every wrong move could ... come back and hit us like a boomerang," said psychologist Jasna Bajraktarevic, who feels such teaching should be confined to the family home. "The introduction of religion classes in kindergartens is a kind of a Trojan Horse hiding a desire to provoke conflict among different confessions."

Islamists are gaining in Bosnia...

I was in Sarajevo for the Winter Olympics in 1984 and I loved, the Islamists are taking control....
Radical Muslim imams and nationalist politicians from all camps are threatening Sarajevo's multicultural legacy. With the help of Arab benefactors, the deeply devout are acquiring new recruits. In the "Jerusalem of the Balkans," Islamists are on the rise.

The obliteration of Israel is heralded in a torrent of words. "Zionist terrorists," the imam thunders from the glass-enclosed pulpit at the end of the mosque. "Animals in human form" have transformed the Gaza Strip into a "concentration camp," and this marks "the beginning of the end" for the Jewish pseudo-state.

Over 4,000 faithful are listening to the religious service in the King Fahd Mosque, named after the late Saudi Arabian monarch King Fahd Bin Abd al-Asis Al Saud. The women sit separately, screened off in the left wing of the building. It is the day of the Khutbah, the great Friday sermon, and the city where the imam has predicted Israel's demise lies some 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) northwest of Gaza.

It is a city in the heart of Europe: Sarajevo.

Could a radical, potentially violent parallel society be emerging in the Muslim dominated region of the war-torn republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, eight months after the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union?

There are indications of this. Resid Hafizovic, a professor at the Islamic University, was the first to speak of a "potentially deadly virus" in Bosnian society. The head of the Bosnian federal police has recently admitted that there is a growing threat of "terrorism with an Islamistic character" and has cited indications that suicide bombers have begun to equip themselves with explosive belts.

"They have everything to blow themselves up. Whether they do it depends on the orders from their leaders," says Esad Hecimovic, author of a standard work on the mujahedeen in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Last March, officials of the special anti-terror unit arrested five men, including four Salafites in Sarajevo.

The Bosnian leader of the group, a former fighter in the Al-Mujahedeen Brigade, reportedly has sponsors in Germany and Austria who helped him acquire explosives. In connection with the arrests, police conducted raids in remote mountain areas and seized caches of arms and military equipment that were used for combat training exercises.

After discovering that some of the masterminds behind 9/11, such as Khalid Scheikh Mohammed, had been active in Bosnia, international pressure increased on the government in Sarajevo in 2002. Foundations were closed and police searched the Sarajevo office of the Saudi High Commissioner for Aid to Bosnia, which had until then enjoyed the protection of the United States.

Al-Qaida veteran Ali Hamad from Bahrain and Syrian-born Abu Hamza are currently in custody on the outskirts of Sarajevo and awaiting deportation. Intelligence sources say that Hamza secretly channeled money between Arab sponsors and Bosnian Salafites. The amount of €500 -- an average monthly salary -- is reportedly rewarded for every woman who decides to wear a full-body veil.

The Islamists are slowly but surely permeating the firm ground upon which Sarajevo's society stands. They are influencing men like the quiet, bearded cab driver who waits for customers day after day at the bridge where the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in June, 1914. On the evening of Sept. 24, 2008, the cabbie suddenly appeared at the front of a protest, right in the midst of those who shouted "Allahu akbar!" at the police line in front the Art Academy of Fine Arts and attacked visitors to Bosnia's first gay and lesbian festival.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Will the UK let in this bigot????

I'm all for free speech, but the UK has to be consistent...
Jacqui Smith was tonight warned against exercising 'double standards' as an Islamic extremist prepared to travel to the UK.

Ibrahim Moussawi, a known hardliner with links to Hezbollah, has been invited to speak at a London university.

But the Home Secretary is under pressure to refuse an entry visa to Moussawi, who has allegedly described Jews as 'a lesion on the forehead of history'.

Earlier this month, she banned the far-Right Dutch MP Geert Wilders from coming to Britain to show his film about Islam as it would threaten 'community harmony'.

But the Conservatives warned that to ban those who threaten community harmony, while letting in those who glorify terrorism or are part of terrorist groups, would send out the 'wrong message'.
I'd like to know why the University invited him...

And, what is Syria up to???

I'm never really surprised at the hostility coming from Syria - afterall, it is ruled by the Baath party...
Syria has indicated that it has built a missile facility on the site of an alleged nuclear reactor that IAF warplanes reportedly bombed, diplomats said Tuesday.

The diplomats cited Syrian nuclear chief Ibrahim Othman as telling a closed meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency about the facility.

Yet another anti-semitic TV series...

This time, made in Turkey....
A new Turkish television miniseries being broadcast throughout the Arab world depicts Israel supporting the Turkish mafia to spread prostitution and drugs throughout the country.

The series comes a month after relations between Israel and Turkey hit a nadir after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been a leading and vitriolic critic of Israel's recent military offensive against Hamas in Gaza, stormed out of a panel discussion with President Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

A clip of the miniseries was aired on Israel's Channel 2 TV news on Tuesday night.

The Turkish Jewish community recently said there were several Turkish TV programs that contained "harshly anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Wilders on Fox News....

Here's a partial transcript of Wilders on the Glenn Beck show...
BECK: I just have to give you this quote and get your thoughts — oh, there are my glasses. "The fact that in Mohammedan Law, every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property either as a child, a wife, or concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men."

Pretty outrageous stuff.


BECK: You didn't say that, though.

WILDERS: I didn't say that, no.

BECK: No. Winston Churchill said that.

WILDERS: Yes. And Winston Churchill, as a matter of fact, in a book in the '50s also made a comparison, like Oriana Fallaci in Italy but also Winston Churchill, the comparison between Mein Kampf and the Koran. One of the reasons that I'm being prosecuted, I don't remember Winston Churchill who got a Nobel Prize for this book and really would have been prosecuted.

And I have nothing against people. I have nothing against Muslims. But my point is, that the Islam is a totalitarian ideology that should be compared not so much with other religions but with other totalitarian ideologies — like communism or fascism.

And if I would have been allowed to enter the United Kingdom and I would have gone to the House of Lords, I would have reminded them to one of the giants of America who spoke there in 1982, this was President Reagan, and President Reagan in the House of Lords while warning for communism said that if history teaches us anything, it teaches us that self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly.

And, of course, he was talking about communism, but what he meant is that we cannot escape — we cannot escape from totalitarian ideologies that want to destroy us.

Well, the totalitarian ideology that wants our freedom today, unfortunately, is the Islam. And we should stand up and fight it.

BECK: OK. Your country has been radically changed. And it's really through political correctness. I mean, I disagree with you on Islam. I know Muslims that are good people.

WILDERS: Yes. I have nothing against Muslims. It's the ideology.

BECK: Yes, right — as it's used for control purposes.

WILDERS: Exactly.

BECK: But I just want to show America this and I don't even know if this shows — on television here in the United States, we had somebody — can I have a little more than 30 seconds? We had somebody on television or that was running a television station, just a couple of weeks ago, behead somebody in an honor killing.


BECK: And then in England, where you're not allowed to say anything, they have an anti-Christmas message. The queen gives a Christmas message. And I just want to play a little bit of the other side, I guess, for fairness against Christmas.

The other side, this is — do we have the video? This is the video of the other side. We don't have it? We reload it. There it is.

They have Ahmadinejad give the anti-Christmas message in the United Kingdom! That's insanity!

WILDERS: Yes. They had Ahmadinejad in the United Kingdom. They had people shouting "Hamas, Hamas" and all the Jews have to be guests in the center of London. They have Al Qaeda affiliates as guests from Lord Ahmed in the House of Lords a few years ago. They had pop music bands in December last year who are shouting music that gays should be killed. They have the most terrible things.

And one guy, like myself, is standing up and saying, this is wrong. We have to defend freedom of speech and warn against the totalitarian ideology of the Islam and I am being banned. I'm here today, Glenn, this week in the United States and to really learn from you.

What I want to propose is a European kind of "First Amendment." I want all the hate speech laws that are only used against us to be to be abolished in Europe. And let us come with a first — European first kind of amendments and learn from the freedom of speech that you Americans have.

Time to stand up for the Jews...

Ken Coates, Professor of History at the University of Waterloo, has a fantastic comment at the National Post...
Jewish activism, however, masks another reality of our times – the relative silence of non-Jewish people on matters related to Israel and the Jewish community. Far too often Jews and Jewish Canadians stand alone. Most of the rest of us remain silent, perhaps nodding in quiet assent when a Jewish leader or organization speaks out, maybe disagreeing with Israel’s specific actions but worrying about the general situation facing Jews in the Middle East and elsewhere. The Canadian government has been consistent and forthright in defending Jewish and Israeli interests, and for that they are to be applauded. But this is more than an issue for states, national governments and special interest groups.

Even the most cursory review of the history of the Jewish people reveals periods of acceptance and integration followed by bursts of hostility. We are starting to see some of this now, with conspiratorial anti-Jewish nonsense rearing its ugly head, with Israel being held to a different standard than other countries, and with a growing number of attacks on synagogues, anti-Semitic commentary and the like. It is easy to stand beside one’s Jewish friends, colleagues and fellow citizens when times are good and conflicts are few. It is harder, but more important, to do so when the tide appears to be turning.

Jewish religion and culture are historically rich, both rooted in a deep understanding for and concern about the past. Jewish communities around the world have long lived warily, not knowing when circumstances will change, not sure when and if anti-Semitic outbursts will again become commonplace, not sure who, if anyone, will stand up with them. They live, it seems, scanning the world in three directions: to history for lessons, to the present for immediate threats, and to the future for signs of opportunity and peace.

Standing with the Jewish people of Canada does not assume unquestioning support for Israel or the actions of the current government. Standing with the Jewish people in this country means something much more basic. It means that we respect and embrace them as Canadians, that we reject the gathering rumble of anti-Semitism, that we recognize and celebrate their presence among us and that we appreciate their contributions to Canada and the world. Jews alone cannot and should not be expected to answer for the rise of anti-Jewish feeling and anti-Israeli sentiment.

The world needs to know that, in Canada and elsewhere, there are many thousands of others who stand with the Jewish people. We must make it clear, before hostile words turn into aggressive actions, that the Jews will never again stand alone.

Chesler on Wilders....

Nothing new..but a good piece on Geert Wilders...
Wilders-our-hero did not for one minute suggest that things were gloomy. For example, he and his political party are gaining in popularity in Holland. He joked that someday he may stand before us as Holland’s Prime Minister. He also said that Italy has embraced him and that he has been invited to show Fitna in the Italian Parliament. Wilders has even persuaded the Dutch Parliament to demand a review of the British deportation decision; unfortunately, the Dutch Prime Minister ignored this decision. “My own government is not in favor” of holding the British government accountable.

I will give Wilders the last words. “You cannot escape the dangers of ideologies that are out to destroy you. America might be the last man standing. And you might lose Europe as an ally…European leaders are giving in, giving up, selling out our values. We need your support.”

All donations to Wilders’ cause can be made to the Hudson Institute. They will be tax deductible and will go 100% to Wilders.

According to Wilders: “We do not stand and fight alone. We are standing on the shoulders of giants. We will never apologize or bow to the Left or to Mecca. We will never surrender.”

Geert Wilders sounds a lot like a twenty-first century Winston Churchill, or like World War II era, American General, Anthony McAuliffe who, although surrounded and outnumbered, refused to surrender to the Germans at the battle of Bastogne, in Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge. We won that war against Hitler, against fascism, against National Socialism. We must win the war against totalitarian Islam now.

The UN will make life impossible for Obama....

He better get used to tough time in the UN....
President Obama's U.N. envoy, Susan E. Rice, has pledged to "refresh and renew American leadership" at the United Nations. But U.S. rivals with a long history of opposing American aims now hold some of the most influential posts at the world body, a testament to the diminished power of American diplomacy to shape the organization.

The General Assembly is headed by a leftist Nicaraguan priest, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, who routinely rails against the evils of American imperialism. Cuba chairs the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), an influential Third World political bloc. Libya serves on the Security Council and next year will preside over the 192-member General Assembly.

Even Iran and Sudan, which are subject to U.S.-backed U.N. sanctions, have made their way back to international respectability, securing leadership positions on the board of the United Nations' top development agency and at the head of the Group of 77 and China, a group that coordinates social policies for Third World countries.

The alignment of these leaders has the potential to restrain U.S. ambitions to pursue initiatives, including stepping up international pressure on Sudan to stem the bloodshed in Darfur, strengthening U.N. oversight of its multibillion-dollar field operations and normalizing the United Nations' relationship with Israel.

Last week, Libya blocked a U.S. plan for a Security Council resolution condemning violence against civilians in south Darfur. And d'Escoto has used his position to excoriate Israel's policies in Gaza.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Can I go to the bris????

I'll be happy to help out with the circumcision....
Leonardo DiCaprio must convert to Judaism if he wants to marry Bar Rafaeli.

The Israeli-born supermodel's father, Rafael Rafaeli, has reportedly forbidden Bar from marrying outside her faith.

A source said to the New York Daily News newspaper: "He told me that if Leonardo doesn't convert to Judaism, there will be no marriage."

A common front and path towards divine and humanitarian goals?

Can I just throw up???
Iran and Venezuela should cooperate with each other in a bid to help African, Asian and the countries moving on the path of divinity and humanity, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday.

In a meeting with Venezuela's outgoing Ambassador to Tehran Arthur Gallegos, Ahmadinejad lauded the envoy's efforts and activities in Iran and reiterated, "… Tehran and Caracas are struggling in a common front and path towards divine and humanitarian goals."

In the past, Cuba and Venezuela were the only Latin states which pursued revolutionary goals and fought against arrogant powers but today different nations of that region have joined a revolutionary movement, he said.

Referring to the two countries' joint projects and formation of a joint monetary fund, the Iranian president expressed hope that the projects would come into operation as a result of the efforts made by the two sides' officials.

The Venezuelan ambassador to Tehran, for his part, urged Iran's active role in his country, and added that the establishment of a joint monetary fund and bank by the two countries can serve as a strong base for confronting the international economic crises.

Why I like the Harper Government....

Jason Kenney takes a moral stance....
The Harper government is accusing one of Ontario's biggest unions of taking an "intolerant" stance against Israel.

Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney says a CUPE Ontario resolution urging a boycott of Israeli universities is intolerant and contributes to a bad atmosphere on Canadian campuses.

He acknowledges there's nothing illegal about the resolution, but claims it's part of a growing wave "singling out and targeting the Jewish democratic state of Israel for opprobrium."

A meeting of the public-sector union in Windsor on the weekend approved the resolution as a response to the recent Israeli assault on Gaza.

Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario, at one point likened Israeli attacks on a Gaza university to Nazi attacks on educational institutions.

He later apologized for what he called a poor choice of analogy.

Kenney criticized such remarks.

"The premise of these things seems to be that the Jewish people shouldn't have their own country," he said Monday.

"Underneath that, there's a certain kind of dangerous intolerance which is not consistent with Canada's best values."

He says the CUPE resolution has an unfortunate effect on campuses and suggests the attitude may have helped spark a recent incident at Toronto's York University, in which anti-Israel slogans were shouted at Jewish students.

"This reinforces the whole, extreme, unbalanced rhetoric about Israel as an apartheid state, Israel as a racist state -- to quote the Canadian Arab Federation -- this creates an opinion environment which makes it acceptable to start shouting at Jewish kids who probably also happen to support Israel.

"It's creating the opinion environment which has become very, very uncomfortable for Jewish students on many of our campuses."

Latest weapon against Israelis: Shoes....

Yes, they can't even bear to let an Israeli talk...
Ron Edelheit was about to begin a speech on the Gaza war to a gathering of Dutch Jews in Amsterdam on Sunday when he counted four shoes hurtling toward him.

"Two of them hit me," he said, both on the legs. He spoke to The Jerusalem Post by phone on Monday from The Hague, where he had just finished pressing charges against the three "youngsters" who assaulted him.

Edelheit, who holds both Israeli and Dutch citizenship, travels to Holland about once a year to visit his mother, a resident of The Hague.

As a reservist in the IDF Spokesman's Unit, he was asked by the Women's International Zionist Organization to speak at a gathering of its members and affiliates in Amsterdam. It was at that event that he was attacked.

From the beginning, Edelheit's speaking engagement - which was intended to be a simple affair and in which he had participated in the past - was troubled by pro-Palestinian activists in Holland. Their threatening letters and phone calls succeeded in having the event canceled at its first location.

When it was rescheduled for the Apollo hotel in Amsterdam, not even a significant police presence outside the venue could protect Edelheit. The three youths who assaulted him, all of them ethnically Dutch in appearance, simply paid the entry fee and walked into the engagement.

"The police were at the 50-man demonstration outside," said Edelheit, referring to a rally allegedly organized by the Dutch Palestine Committee. "But these three young people, who you could tell did not belong [at the event], came right in."

Edelheit had not even begun his presentation when the protesters stood up.

"Each of them shouted something different, which is why nobody knows what they said. And then four shoes came flying at me," he said.

Edelheit is not the only Israeli to have been "shoed" this month. On February 4, Israeli ambassador to Sweden Benny Dagan was hit by a shoe while defending the IDF's Operation Cast Lead at Stockholm University.

A report from Belgium...

Thanks to Vlad Tepes Blog for this one...

Here's a political party I would join...

Hey, climate skeptics have a new political party in Australia...

The Ridiculous UN Human Rights Council...

This organization should just be shut down...
What do these have in common: genocide in Darfur; child soldiers in Chad and Congo; compulsory sterilization of women in China; suppression of dissent in Cuba, Iran, Syria and Russia; rape as a political weapon in Zimbabwe; sex trafficking in Asia; denial of human rights to minorities and women in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries?

Answer: None of those gross abuses has drawn the notice of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

No, the council has had other matters to attend to, the vast majority of which focused on Israel. Pretty much whenever an Israeli soldier has responded to terrorism, the group has cranked out a formal condemnation. Twenty in less than three years.

But now the council has broadened its portfolio. It has turned to brainstorming over the ills likely to flow from the global economic meltdown - meaning, let's figure out how to heap blame on the U.S. It also has decried the human rights threat posed by global warming, declaring:

"The inundation and disappearance of small island States would have implications for the right to self-determination."

Take that, global warming.

As for female genital mutilation in Africa - who cares?

Israel's response to Amnesty....

As I said earlier, Amnesty continues to lose credibility...
Initial study of the report indicates that it presents a biased version of the events, and does not adhere to professional criteria and objectivity. A detailed response will be given at a later stage, but at this time, it is possible to state that:

1. The report ignores the basic fact that Hamas is a terror organization, recognized as such by the European Union, the United States and other countries. This organization has constantly refused to recognize Israel, rejects any opportunity for peace with it, and openly aspires to bring about its destruction.

2. There is no mention in the Amnesty report of Hamas' deliberate use of civilians as human shields: Hamas' bases, ammunition depots and battlegrounds were all purposely located in the midst of Palestinian population centers, with willful intent to cause injury to this population during the fighting. Hamas openly used women and children as shields for military targets, and booby-trapped homes and public buildings.

3. While the report does mention Hamas' intentional targeting of Israeli civilians, it ignores the scale: Approximately ten thousand rockets and mortars were launched against Israelis in the past eight years.

4. Armaments employed by the IDF comply both with international law and with its usage by Western armies.

5. The IDF never intentionally targeted civilians. The witnesses providing the descriptions appearing in the report are interested parties and under Hamas pressure, as has been documented by many independent investigations in the international media.
Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and employs terror against its own citizens, thus rendering their testimony unreliable.

6. The international community has accepted the fact that Hamas was solely responsible for the military confrontation, but the Amnesty report is dedicated almost exclusively to the censure of Israel.

7. The comparison of the supply of weapons to Israel and the Hamas is inappropriate. Israel is a sovereign nation that is obligated to use force to protect its citizens, while Hamas is a terror organization. Can a comparison be made between the weapons used by Al-Qaeda to those used by NATO forces?

8. Amnesty presumes to determine which individuals participated in combat. The organization has neither the means nor the capability to determine this.

9. Amnesty chose not to mention that Hamas is supported by foreign extremists in its struggle against the legal and recognized government of the Palestinian Authority.

10. The term "proportionality" has meanings that are defined in international law, and Amnesty makes erroneous and misleading use of this term.