31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

To all out Christian friends. And some newly discovered truths to go with that greeting:

Germany attacks Poland - again. This time it's on moral grounds.

The Algemeiner has an article on a new German series on World War II. This one's different, though. It's about Poland during that period. It's titled "Our Mothers, Our Fathers" and it "follows the lives of five wartime Germans, shows members of Poland’s resistance army shunning Jewish members and failing to help others heading for Auschwitz, the UK’s Daily Mail reports. In one scene, a partisan boasts “we drown Jews like rats.”"

"Producer Nico Hofmann said the depictions of ‘the Polish situation…. are based on historically vetted material’ and there was no intention to defame the Poles. Hofmann said one of his goals was to encourage a national debate among the generations “to speak for the first time about the experience” of the war."

This is in response to very loud Polish protests. However, descendants of Ashkenazi Jews (and lots of other people, too) will know just how close to home this comes. They shouldsn just thank their lucky stars they're not equated with those nice people in the Baltic States who vied with each other the be the first to proclaim themselves "Juden frei".

What can I say? The truth hurts.

By: Brian Goldfarb

Pregnant Kim Kardashian is still being slightly annoying

A few (two or three) years ago I was living in a bliss of not knowing who exactly Kim Kardashian is - believe it or not. This state of nirvana couldn't continue for long, as I realize today. If you are surfing even for half an hour a day, and I usually (ehehe...) keep my fingers busy for more than that, an encounter with that name is inevitable.

So about two years ago or so I've been bothered enough to take a look at the relevant Wiki entry - yes, she has one, which couldn't be sad about many much more deserving people. Still even knowing who she is - one of that special kind of people defined as "socialite", which is to be read as ... oh well, let's leave it at that - even knowing that doesn't make stumbling on that name more annoying, so I usually skip to the next subject, my usual general annoyance level practically unchanged.

Today, however, while reading something in The Daily Beast (an occupation that sometimes bring some interesting morsels of information or opinion), I was confronted by a very annoying pop-up (bad, bad Beast!):

So annoying it was to me at the moment, that I have decided to jump to the article, titled, unsurprisingly Pregnant Kim Kardashian Is Being Fat-Shamed, and It Needs to Stop

The lede of the article, thankfully, gives you most of its contents:
The reality star has been ridiculed in the press for her pregnancy weight gain. Isabel Wilkinson on why it’s time to end the bullying—of Kardashian and other pregnant women.
The article shares with its readers some true points, such as:
  • This particular situation of fat-shaming because somebody is pregnant is really a form of bullying, and it is really, really hostile
  • Gaining weight is a natural consequence of pregnancy
  • Somehow, it’s become fair game to mock the challenges of pregnancy (I am less sure about that one, but if an expert says so...)
  • Her fashion is one thing, but the personal attacks are uncalled for
  • ...it’s something that many people deal with. It’s not to be made fun of.
Etc.  And that side-by-side comparison could be considered somewhat cruel indeed (but still funny and shows a good eye).

There is one slight problem with all the moralizing, as was amply demonstrated by that annoying pop-up. 99.999... % of the women in this world didn't choose the "profession" of "socialite". They don't enjoy and don't live off being the focus of attention of idle eyes, ears and brains of Joe the Public. They don't flaunt their dirty underwear and sordid scandals and don't enjoy the questionable kind of notoriety - which seems to be all that the "socialites" are about.

I don't have anything personal against Ms Kardashian, aside of her being a typical representative of a socialite. And I am not a prude and may it never be said that I will turn a blind eye to an interesting view. But: if you like them apples, you have to take them worms too, you know.

And do talk with The Daily Beast about removing them pop-ups, please.

30 March 2013

Confirmation of PA control of foreign journalists.

There appears to be confirmation of the Palestinian Authority's censorship"guidance" of foreign journalists I reported previously. It comes via the elderofziyon site and links to a different source, the Gatestone Institute. Find it here.

By: Brian Goldfarb

West Bank reporting by foreign journalists to require PA permission.

Did anyone just say "freedom of speech" and/or "freedom of the press" and/or "freedom of thought"? And if not why not?

It's just possible that journalists do need accrediting, but this appears to go further than that. Read the gory details here.

By: Brian Goldfarb

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

29 March 2013

Slighted by Palestinian Authority

That's me. Personally. And here is why:

Palestinian journalist Mamdouh Hamamreh from Bethlehem was sentenced on Thursday to one year in prison for “insulting” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook....Hamamreh, who works for the Palestinian Al-Quds TV station, was found guilty of sharing a photo on Facebook that compared Abbas with a villain who played the role of a French spy in a popular Syrian TV series.
Here is the offending comparison:

Yeah, so how do I come into the story, you may ask? Here is how: in a post six years ago I have revealed a real "separated at birth" twin of His Excellency the President:

Any unprejudiced observer would agree that this pair displays a much better likeness than the previous one. For obvious reasons I can't argue re the offensiveness of my discovery, but still - you must agree that Mr Hamamreh isn't a pioneer in this domain.

So there.

Update: According to the radio, the journalist got pardoned by His Excellency the President personally. Did this post work so fast? And will PA go after me now? Oh well...

When a worm

happens upon a dead lion's body, the worm could consider itself a victor. In a way.

But even a worm wouldn't dance on the dead body, getting instead straight away to its natural business. Not so with humans. When Christopher Hitchens was alive and kicking, worms kept their distance. Now it seems like an open season for dancing on the dead body, and who but a Stalinist throwback like Richard Seymour, he of the Lenin's Tomb, to lead the attack?

Thankfully, as lions go, the tribe is still going strong, and here comes Nick Cohen, doing a bit of worm-squashing.

Was Christopher Hitchens a liar and a thief?


28 March 2013

Faulkner’s Nobel medal for sale, and I know why

Because of that annoying Elder's habit to connect the dots, here is the news:

For collectors Faulkner’s 1949 medal, his Nobel diploma and an early handwritten draft of the speech he made when accepting the award are likely to be the most sought-after items at the sale. Sotheby’s estimates they alone will fetch his family between $500,000 and $1 million.
And here is the sentence that caused the ghost of the late genius to despair:
The Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army solemnly declared that it would demonstrate the firm will for counteraction of the army and people with substantial military actions to defend the sovereignty and the supreme dignity of the country under the prevailing situation where the U.S., the south Korean puppet forces and all other followers have entered an adventurous phase in their hostile acts against the DPRK after going beyond the phase of threatening and blackmailing.
From the best and finest of North Korean media...

The map Obama didn't see

PMW turns up some amazing stories quite regularly. This one is no exception.
After the UN vote in November 2012, the PA built a monument in a central square in Bethlehem called "The State Monument," which shows the "State of Palestine." However, the model of "Palestine" also includes all of Israel, thereby erasing it completely.
It turned out that the monument was on President Obama's route in Bethlehem, so in order to prevent him from seeing it, the PA had the monument removed before he arrived, the official PA daily reported.
No comments... 

Apartheid Palestine?

Anne Bayefsky speaks at Human Rights Council, Geneva, March 18, 2013:

Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Till Death Or Lawyers Do Us Part Edition

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

27 March 2013

Russia's new Middle eastern energy game

is the headline on this article from The Commentator. Written by Peter C. Glove & Michael J. Economides, it argues that many observers of Russia have got it badly wrong. While there is no doubt that Russian (read Putin's) rhetoric is pro-Assad and pro-Iran, the practice is about to get very different.

The key comes from a sentence in the middle of the article: "Russia’s economy depends on its energy revenues." And there's just been a major change in the focus of where those revenues will come from: the Russians, via the government-backed Gazprom, have just signed a 20 year deal with various Israeli and Greek Cypriot energy exploiting corporations. Further, "[T]he 20-year contract between Gazprom Marketing, Trading Switzerland and Levant LNG Marketing Corporation represents only the first step in Russia’s new Middle East energy game."

The argument is that, as noted above, "Despite the Kremlin’s apparent public support for its traditional Middle East...partners, its actions represent nothing less than a paradigm shift in the tectonic plates of regional power. More specifically, they represent an effective selling out of Russia’s backing for both Iran and Syria" The reason is very simple: there are vast natural gas reserves beneath the Eastern Med.: the original Tamar and Dalit fields hold some 9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, Israel's Leviathan field holds 25 tcf and the Levant Base as a whole something in the region of 123 tcf and 1.7 billion barrels of oil, according to the US Geological Survey.

Them's pretty big apples.

Why should that concern us here, or anywhere else, unless we have holdings in energy companies? Well, [g]iven that the Leviathan-Tamar holdings are dominated by a raft of Israeli companies...together with a 39 percent stake held by the US oil major Noble Energy...one can only surmise that critical security commitments have been made by the Kremlin to their new Israeli and US partners." Or, in slightly plainer English, Putin, et al, have promised, even if not in quite so many words and without their fingers crossed behind their backs, that their new best friends in the region can rest assured that their more interested in the cash-flow from the liquified natural gas than propping up the Ayatollahs, let alone Mahmoud the Mad.

Also, "...it sends a clear message to Turkey should the Ankara Government consider military intervention in an attempt to stop Greek Cypriot gas and oil exploration and infrastructure development. Second, for all its apparent support for Syria’s Assad regime, Russia’s energy partnership with Israel is clearly meant for the long haul..."

Maybe that's why, however reluctantly, Erdogan accepted, sort of, Netanyahu's sort of apology for the Mavi Marmara incident.

By: Brian Goldfarb

Woman with tadpoles in her mouth

Believe it or not:

The airport said the woman, a foreigner, was found to have a bottle of liquid in her luggage at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport's security checkpoint and she was told she would have to immediately drink or discard the liquid, the Guangdong Southern Media Network reported Wednesday.

The woman poured the liquid into her mouth and security workers became suspicious when she refused to swallow.

The workers instructed the woman to spit out the liquid and they discovered she had been concealing tadpoles in the water.
I wanted to say something profound about the case. Than I thought about it again. Than I thought about it a bit more.

Nah... this is a case that silence will fit better...

Passover - another interpretation

Hat tip: Y.Z.

26 March 2013

RIP, dear Jams

I still hope against all hope that this is a bad joke. It is difficult to imagine a world where one can't stop by Jams' (Shaun Downey) The Poor Mouth to see a new picture or to read a new amazing story: Shaun was a gifted photographer and has a talent for unearthing the damnedest stories from the past.

He was a great pen-friend and somehow I have no doubt that he would have been a good friend had we had an opportunity to meet. The world is poorer now that he is not with us.

My deepest condolences to his parents, his sister Joanna and his partner Shirley.

Rest in peace, Shaun. We shall meet later, I am sure, my friend.

And a tribute from Francis, who, unlike me, met Shaun.

On questioning professor Joseph Levine

I wasn't raised in a particularly religious Jewish environment, but these days when I see an article titled like On Questioning the Jewish State that starts with a sentence "I was raised in a religious Jewish environment, and though we were not strongly Zionist, I always took it to be self-evident that “Israel has a right to exist.”", I say to myself: OMG, not another AssaJew* that has seen the light of anti-Zionism, please! But usually my plea falls short of destination (MG), and in most cases, including this one, it is another AssaJew. In this case: Joseph Levine, a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he teaches and writes on philosophy of mind, metaphysics and political philosophy.

Professor Avi Bell has done a serious debunking job on that opus. Reading it, I couldn't shake off the impression that prof Bell was (like me) somewhat irked by Levine, which clearly shows in his conclusion:

Levine’s argument is disingenuous and biased, covered up by pretend erudition and a lot of verbiage. It is as intellectually dishonest, illogical and bigoted as the assertion that “Arabs can’t be anti-Semites because they speak a Semitic language.” Levine should be mocked for dressing up his bigotry in pseudo-intellectual demagoguery. The New York Times should be ashamed of itself for publishing the result.
As for the rest of prof Bell's article: if I were prof Levine, I would rather put my hand in a buzz-saw than have to read this review, so devastating it is. For all the good reasons too.

In his "novel" approach, professor Levine distinguishes three elements in what he calls "the principle that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state":
To begin, since the principle has three parts, it follows that it can be challenged in (at least) three different ways: either deny that Jews constitute “a people” in the relevant sense, deny that the right to self-determination really involves what advocates of the principle claim it does, or deny that Jews have the requisite claim on the geographical area in question.
To start with, the "principle" is discussed mainly by rabid Jew-biters - but prof Levine already inoculated himself from a suspicion that he belongs to this group. After all, he used the necessary AssaJew all-protective proclamation. So (he thinks) it clears him on the Jew-hating issue. Not so, as many cases of Jewish Jew-haters in history proved.

Then, the author is quite choosy - he says immediately:
In fact, I think there is a basis to challenge all three, but for present purposes I will focus on the question of whether a people’s right to self-determination entails their right to a state of their own, and set aside whether Jews count as a people and whether Jews have a claim on that particular land.
Being of a generous disposition, prof Levine leaves the part 1 (Jews as a people) and part 3 (Jews and geography) to other anti-Zionists. His side notion "I do so partly for reasons of space, but mainly because these questions have largely (though not completely) lost their importance" leaves some room for additional activity on his side (probably in the future). But one can see that he realized that these two have been already staked out by the likes of prof Shlomo Sand (#1) and several Palestinian deniers of any historical links between them Jews and the locale in question (#3).

And on item #2, somewhat confusingly defined by prof Levine as "the right to self-determination really involves what advocates of the principle claim it does" (go figure what it means), he has a point to make:
My point is that even if we grant Jews their peoplehood and their right to live in that land, there is still no consequent right to a Jewish state.
So, we, the Jooz, already got a magnanimous permission (alas, temporary, but still an permission) from prof Levine to be a people and to inhabit the geographic area in question. But not to have a state of our own. And why is that? To answer this question, prof Levine introduces two new revolutionary categories of "people":
In particular, there is a distinction to be made between a people in the ethnic sense and a people in the civic sense.
And now we come to the crunch:
So whereas there is both an ethnic and a civic sense to be made of the term “French people,” the term “Jewish people” has only an ethnic sense. This can easily be seen by noting that the Jewish people is not the same group as the Israeli people. About 20 percent of Israeli citizens are non-Jewish Palestinians, while the vast majority of the Jewish people are not citizens of Israel and do not live within any particular geographic area.
I don't know why our professor decided to pull in "French people" into his confused and disjointed rumbling, but if he was less lazy (both physically and intellectually) he would have bothered himself to look up something like CIA factbook on France and see a few facts on this specific example, like:
Ethnic groups:
Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
overseas departments: black, white, mulatto, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian
Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%
overseas departments: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, pagan
He could also do himself some good by looking up some info on French population of the world. He would definitely benefit from learning a bit more about the "vast majority" of Jews in Diaspora as well. And, while at it, compare the numbers with the ones for (to take on example) that of Irish folks outside of Ireland (The diaspora, maximally interpreted, contains more than 100 million people, which is more than fifteen times the population of the island of Ireland, which had approximately 6.4 million in 2011).

But, after completing this nonsensical, ignorant and misinformed passage, professor gained (in his own opinion, that is), enough steam to wade in:
But if the people who “own” the state in question are an ethnic sub-group of the citizenry, even if the vast majority, it constitutes a serious problem indeed, and this is precisely the situation of Israel as the Jewish state. Far from being a natural expression of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, it is in fact a violation of the right to self-determination of its non-Jewish (mainly Palestinian) citizens. It is a violation of a people’s right to self-determination to exclude them — whether by virtue of their ethnic membership, or for any other reason — from full political participation in the state under whose sovereignty they fall.
The whole subject could be dismissed by a quote from our Declaration of Independence:
...it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
Yes, the implementation of the above is still far from ideal in Israel, one might notice. But we are going there, and now show me a place where the above formulated good intentions are implemented in full, ideally, so to say - and I shall offer you a used bridge in excellent condition for sale.

All in all, I must say that prof Joseph Levine should stay with philosophy of mind and metaphysics. And carefully circumvent any subject that requires even a perfunctory acquaintance with some boring pedestrian facts. In other words - he should let himself stay lazy.

For the common good of all people,  notwithstanding their religious, ethnic, civic or any other persuasion.

(*) A short and easy designation for the characters what start their texts with obligatory "As a Jew, I have to say...".

25 March 2013

Happy Passover - Hag Pesach sameach!

And more on the subject, since we are at it:

24 March 2013

Bashar al-Assad assassinated?

More details by Joshuapundit.

Update: Looks like this was just a bit of wishful thinking. Apparently the famous Iranian quail sent to him by Mahmoud the Mad was a bit off and caused some stomach trouble.

Update 2: And, thanks to Courtney, here is the real skinny:
Zionist bedouins created an Al-Assad articulated robot, will show him dead along with Damascus streets in chaos, to bring about panic and demoralize the Syrian people and the army, to enable terrorists to take advantage of the situation. Just like they did with the fake GREEN SQUARE footage in LIBYA.
So there...

George (The Spiv) Galloway Banned from University of Chester

To make it clear: I am not an ardent supporter of curbing the right to free speech, even in cases like this one. However, the story is worth reading as a reminder of who (or what) The Spiv is representing so faithfully.

The comments to the article are worth a browse too, if I may suggest.

"Shattered Arab dreams": for them, my heart bleeds (British irony)

"Four years on, Egyptians who attended the Cairo University speech feel let down, a view that hardened when Obama, who has had a volatile relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, showed solidarity with Israel’s leader during his visit there, and stressed the depth of U.S.-Israeli ties."

Who are these people with shattered dreams? They are the Arab students who attended his Cairo University speech 4 years ago. Including, I note, a 34 year old. What 34 year old is still a student? For the record, while I was aged 25 to 39 while doing my post-grad work, it was while I was holding down a full-time job at the same time. That wouldn't have qualified me to be a student meeting or even attending a talk by such a notable. Commentary from that Obama speech in Jerusalem can be found here.

I feel so sorry for them, just because Obama re-affirmed the USA's constant support for Israel. If you read that article above, you'll notice how strongly he stated the US's backing for Israel. Can't get much stronger than that. UK readers will understand the background to me asking "Am I bothered?" about their heart-broken-heartedness. You can read all about their sadness in the online version of The Forward.

By: Brian Goldfarb

22 March 2013

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

21 March 2013

Should the German NDP be banned?

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely conflicted over this issue. The far right and the far left are equally abhorrent to me. I have far more in common with my (small or large "c") Conservative opponents - after all, we generally play to the same rules, would usually prefer a victory by the other to one by our own extremists - than I do with my extremist "allies".

That said, is this a step too far? Is the right way to combat the extremists to ban them? I felt at the time, for example, that the Austrians did no-one except the far-right a favour when they imprisoned David Irvine after the had lost his libel case against Deborah Lipstadt and penguin Books. They gave him back credibility among his far-right acolytes. Far better, I thought, to have heaved him back over the border and told him to go away. 

So, are the German-Jewish community and their friends and allies right to want to ban the National Democratic Party or not? If they can be directly linked to acts of violence and to be promoting law-breaking by violent means, there might be a case for that.

After all, albeit from a different background and history, the tendency in the UK is to use the available democratic means to combat the far right and left. But then, we haven't had 13 years of Nazism in our relatively recent past. See what you think, here

By: Brian Goldfarb

And about time too!

"The Obama administration refused to participate in a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting on Israeli settlements and slammed the body for its "disproportionate" focus on Israel." 
And about time too! is all I can say.

The real question is why did it take them so long? Other US administrations haven't been any quicker in condemning the HRC (there's an oxymoron if ever I heard one: this lot as a "Human Rights Council"?). There's not a lot more to say, except that the article from the JTA, via The Tablet, is here:

By: Brian Golfarb

Israel is undemocratic...or not, as the case may be.

Whether he means to or not, Prof. Levine (philosophy at the U of Massachusetts) manages to employ antisemitic tropes in his argument that the Jewish state is, somehow, undemocratic by virtue of privileging the rights of Jews above others. This is all reported in an article by Stephen Bayme in The Times of Israel, here

This argument is flawed before it begins if only by virtue of not making the same case against the 30 or more Muslim states which do not merely privilege Islam above other religions, but often make it difficult, at the very least, for non-Muslims to practice their religions. Nor is there any mention of those Christian states, some of which are less than tolerant of either other religions or of other denominations of Christianity, even if they are a declining number in the 21st century. The Greek constitution, for example, I am assured by a Greek citizen, demands that citizens must profess Greek Orthodoxy, even if it is, in practice, tolerant of, for example, Jews.

Almost inevitably, Levine fails to note that in Israel, one is free to practice any religion or none (providing that it doesn't involve harm to others, including animals), let alone be different in other, say sexual, ways. Arguably, self-confessed Jews may have a harder time in Israel (from, e.g., a Haredi perspective) if one is "non-orthodox". 

Bayme goes on to make many of the points that have been made over and over again in these and similar columns: yes, Israeli Arabs should have de facto as well as de jure equality; ofcourse, the Israeli political system isn't perfect (but then, which one is? just remember Winston Churchill's riposte to the complaint that democracy was a dreadful system: "Yes, madam, it is...until you look at all the others."), and so-on.

The article is well worth a read, if only to confirm what we already know: that those who claim to talk in our name "as-a-Jew" are talking only for themselves, not the 90+ of world Jewry who are Zionists; and that they, nearly always unwittingly, often employ antisemitic tropes.

By: Brian Goldfarb

17 March 2013

On procrastination

The problem is obviously ancient, dating from the decision of that caveman to postpone taking out the garbage for tomorrow or, at least, for the first sunny day. But they say that the first serious work on the subject was published in 1992, when Noach Milgram wrote a piece titled Procrastination: A malady of modern times.

According to this link, the manuscript is still unpublished (This list was last updated August 1st, 2005).

They simply didn't get to it yet in Tel-Aviv University...

15 March 2013

Michael White: The Livingstone Formulation? Nope, the Seumas Milne's formula.

This is a (rare) case when I have to disagree with a co-blogger, and a distinguished one at that - professor Brian Goldfarb. And, by proxy, with David Hirsh as well.

The case of a purely antisemitic eruption of Lord Ahmed PBUH, met with a rightful revulsion from many and a takedown described by Brian in this post. To remind you, the case doesn't have anything to do with Israel - but everything to do with British Jews, said by his lordship to conspire against his well being and his unalienable right to text while driving and to kill people while at it.

The Israeli angle doesn't appear so far, as everyone will agree. Just an antisemitic British peer, to be dealt with in an accepted way. And so far it seems that he is being dealt with.

But then on the scene comes Michael White, Assistant Editor at the Guardian and a totally different story unfolds.

Both Brian Goldfarb and David Hirsh seem to classify the Michael White's case as another manifestation of the Livingstone Formulation. To remind to the impatient and unwilling to click on links, here is the gist:

This formulation is a defensive response which deploys a counter-accusation that the person raising the issue of antisemitism is doing so in bad faith and dishonestly. I have called it The Livingstone Formulation. It is defined by the presence of two elements. Firstly the conflation of legitimate criticism of Israel with what are alleged to be demonizing, exclusionary or antisemitic discourses or actions; secondly, the presence of the counteraccusation that the raisers of the issue of antisemitism do so with dishonest intent, in order to de-legitimize criticism of Israel.
I am sorry, Brian and David: the case of Michael White doesn't have anything to do with the Livingstone Formulation.

It has everything to do with the idea formulated by Seumas Milne, where he links the well-being of Jews in Europe to the deeds (or misdeeds) of the Israelis. And what Michael White says in effect: yes, you may have been slighted by the anti-Semite - but it is too bad, as a Jew you are in cahoots with these other Jews what build these settlements, so take it, it's coming to you and you deserve it.

And the main corollary that many Jews outside of Israel seem to push aside or to disregard: no matter whether you are pro- or anti-Zionist or just, like many, indifferent to the fate of the Zionist Entity, you must accept as a fact that you will be blamed, directly or indirectly, in everything that the Entity does. Because you are a Jew. Live with it.

Because Michael White, Assistant Editor at the Guardian, says so. And he knows.

He is the vox populi, you see...

Guardian deputy-editor deepens hole over Lord Ahmed

Then there is this to add to the posting on Lord Ahmed. It's also from the engage website, but shows Guardian Deputy-Editor Michael White using the Livingstone Formulation, as noted in the heading to the article.

Read and try not to throw up.

By: Brian Goldfarb

By the editor: for those short of patience here is the main part of the story:

Daniel Finkelstein is the Executive Editor and a leader writer of the Times. He tweeted: “Surprised to find our Lord Ahmed Jews story not in BBC radio news summaries…”

Michael White, Assistant Editor at the Guardian replied: “@Dannythefink I agree it’s a stinker and typical of double standards. Pity about the illegal settlements though. Best wishes”

Labour Muslim peer reveals his antisemitism

Engageonline has this item on the first Muslim peer in the UK, Lord Ahmed, and his antisemitic outburst. Note that the Labour Party has suspended him, declaring against all forms of racism and antisemitism. So this situation isn't all bad.

I've added a comment I posted just below, in case, when this item appears here, my comment hasn't been posted yet. You will note, at the end of my comment, that I refer to The Guardian being its usual mealy-mouthed self when it can't, quite, twist the story into yet another anti-Israel diatribe, despite Ahmed's invocation of "The Lobby".

"Brian R., having read The Times coverage (unfortunately behind a pay wall, so I can only reproduce parts of it), I have to support your contention that your friend was being kind. The Times says in its article that it "...has obtained video and audio of the Urdu-language broadcast, in which the...Pakistani born businessman also claims [beyond that is his comments about the Lobby] that his conviction was subsequently overturned 'in a way that kept my honour intact'." As The Times notes acerbically, Lord Ahmed is wrong. The full article covers the equivalent of a whole page.

One might be excused for thinking that The Times, as a normally Conservative Party supporting paper, might be out to get in a blow against the Labour Party. However, it has a proud record of being against antisemitism. It was, after all all, their then-Constantinople/Istanbul correspondent who secured a copy of the book, published in 1864, that carried the equivalent of the Protocols, but aimed at the Freemasons, which reappear in the Tsarist fabrication aimed at the Jews. (You can follow this whole farrago, fictionalised, but essentially a drama-documentary in Umberto Eco's "The Prague Cemetery". I have to tell you that I have held a copy of the loan agreement between The Times correspondent and the White Russian emigre that caused the book to be passed to The Times, and the papers expose of the whole thing.

The Times, in a powerful editorial, also today (14 March), reminds us that this is what they did back then in 1922, as well as attacking contemporary antisemitism. Today, The Times definitely earns its soubriquet of "The Thunderer". BTW, The Times also finds space to note Lord Ahmed's House of Lords hosting of that nice man Israel Shamir; they don't fail to note that Shamir is an antisemite.

Unfortunately, The Guardian manages to struggle to a couple of column inches, no editorial (and, no, I haven't logged on to "Comment is Free") and the report is fairly anodyne.

By: Brian Goldfarb

An impostor in Vatican...

He he he...

Filched from Louise.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

14 March 2013

Alexander Prokhanov and Gaza

Some time ago I have tried to get our readers acquainted with the phenomenon of a Stalinist throwback, one Alexander Prokhanov. While reading Norm's post on the latest ruminations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, I noticed his reference to the Hamas' Western supporters and remembered an article penned by the said Prokhanov at the time of the events scrutinized by the Commissioner. While classifying Prokhanov as a Western person could be considered reaching somewhat, let's not nitpick: follows a (poor) translation of the article. Thankfully, no comments are required.

Another book I wouldn't read

But I have to applaud the author's generosity, easily proven by the list of the protagonists:

  • A serial killer who is raping and stabbing women bartenders in the heart with a sterling silver knife shaped like a cross and leaving their disemboweled bodies to be discovered on the altars of churches.
  • A detective: a retired Navy SEAL who suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder and drug and alcohol abuse.
  • A monk who claims he sees the murders as they happen in his dreams.
  • A criminal psychologist: an Ivy League educated beauty with a wild streak.
  • A Harvard Divinity School professor who knows all about an ancient text know as the Satanic Codex that has been covered up by the church since the 1st century AD because of the controversial story it tells about Jesus and the Antichrist.
I think half of that will suffice for several Dan Brown - style opuses (opusi?). On the other hand, I would rather allow a beauty with a wild streak to cut my throat using a blunt David Star - shaped obsidian knife than read that one...

13 March 2013

New Pope: Francis. Mazel tov!

But even this will not help the Argentina's national team in the Mondial next year. No, sir.

Plots or plotz? Who took Chavez from Venezuela?

Let the narrative unfurl slowly and don't ask questions about the headline meanwhile, please. Although, to tell the truth, I am not totally sure about the second part of the headline. It could as easy have been "Who took Venezuela from Chavez". Whatever.

Anyway, this post is about a few articles in the Iranian MEHR (“Mehr” in Persian means: kindheartedness, they say on the site). The subject of the articles is the suspicious demise of Mr Chavez. And, I have to say, MEHR have made a grand job of building up the conspiracy.

To start with, an opinion from the horse mouth, so to say:

Chavez: Another CIA assassination victim

A little over a year ago, Chavez went on Venezuelan national radio and said: “I don’t know but… it is very odd that we have seen Lugo affected by cancer, Dilma when she was a candidate, me, going into an election year, not long ago Lula and now Cristina… It is very hard to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some leaders in Latin America. It’s at the very least strange, very strange.”
Now that you've got the basic outline of the plot, some other people started to build on it.

A Russian chief communist echoes the suspicion, somewhat thoughtlessly:

6 world leaders got cancer simultaneously!
According to MNA, Gennady Zyuganov in an interview with Russia 24 TV Channel said: “how did the leaders of six Latin American countries, who were against the US policies, simultaneously diagnosed with one disease, cancer?”
Why "thoughtlessly"? Cause Caudillo said more or less the same thing a bit more than an year ago, and look where he is now. I shall put Zyuganov on my personal watch list immediately.

One of the Chavez's bosom buddies, Evo Morales, calls for investigation:

Morales calls for Chavez’s death investigation
Following the statement by the president of the Russian Communist Party, regarding the abnormality of the six Latin American leader cancer infection and further investigation request into his death, and also request by Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman to investigate the matter further, Evo Morales called the Chavez death suspicious.
A voice from the far North is even more certain than all the previous ones:

Obama issues directive to assassinate Chavez

There is nothing I found of interest to quote from that one, but the author of that screed, one Michel Chossudovsky, is certainly a character you may want to spend a few minutes to get acquainted with. The linked Wiki entry reads as a "How To..." book for a professional conspiracy theorist. And I especially enjoyed this quote from that entry:
In a 2006 op-ed by Terry O'Neill in the conservative Canadian news magazine, Western Standard, Chossudovsky was included on the list of "Canada's nuttiest professors, those whose absurdity stands head and shoulders above their colleagues."

And now we came to the first part of the headline ("Plots or plotz?") and a related article that caused me some uncertainty, thankfully resolved with the help of the Urban Dictionary. Here is the article, by Ehsan Movahedifar:

US plots finally takes Chavez from Venezuela

There is nothing especially new in the article itself after all the above ones, aside of a somewhat strange turn of speech at the end:
Now, his has left us, but the revolutionary spirit he promoted is a symbol of his, and hopefully, the path to independence and progress taken by Chavez is continued by support from Venezuelan people.
(emphasis mine)

His what has left us? And a symbol of his what did he promote? Was it something secret, blanked out by the Iranian censor?

No matter, the headline is the real tough nut here. Have you noticed that inconsistency between the plural "plots" and the rest of it? To start with, I have thought (just as you do now) that this unneeded "s" is a simple typo.

Well, I can't say that the real answer is simple. Only my paranoid Elder's mind and a slight sprinkling of Yiddish lead me to it. The "plots" is a typo indeed, but not in the way I (and you) were thinking. It should be "plotz", and the earlier mentioned Urban Dictionary proves why:
  1. to collapse or faint, as from surprise, excitement, or exhaustion.
  2. From Yiddish, to fall down from extreme excitement or abhorrence. When i heard she had slept with my roommate, i was about to plotz!
  3. burst, with surprise. When I heard that, I almost plotzed!
  4. to faint, fall over, shit pants with excitement. Word is famously used in the film "Donnie Brasco" when they arrive at the King's Court in Miami. "Wait until you get a load of the banquet room. You're gonna plotz!"
  5. to burst, as from laughter. Moishe told a joke that was so funny, I almost plotzed.
  6. To shock, surprise, take aback, astound to the extent of fainting or "shitting oneself". Krusty: I opened for The Who at Woodstock. I came out in a Beatle wig with a ukulele. Hendrix said he almost plotzed -- his exact words.
  7. The act of farting or accidentally pooping while urinating or cumming. Often used to express extreme responses to humor, pleasure or fear. That Youtube video was so funny I plotzed myself. I nearly plotzed when I saw that Stormtrooper bikini!
Wondrous, ain't it? Seven meanings and each one fits the situation. So we can consider the great conspiracy of the dear departed leader resolved, I suggest.

But if you are still not satisfied, the priceless Urban Dictionary offers more suggestions:
see also
  • shit
  • crap
  • duty
  • ferklempt
  • turd
"Duty"? Oh well, enough is enough.

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Mr. Rand Goes To Washington Edition

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

12 March 2013

Mahmoud (The Mad) Ahmadinejad, the deviant from Tehran

When you consider Mahmoud The Mad to be one of the most pious Muslims in history, think again. Apparently under the familiar (and dear by now) image of a most fervent disciple of the Hidden Imam hides a closet radical and a dangerous atheist.

The advent of Hugo Chavez's demise unsettled the poor bloke so much* that he lost control of his carefully hidden rebellious inner Mahmoud (or, possibly, the spirit of Voltaire or somebody like him). And here are the results. First, hugging the widow:

That act got a very low mark from an Ayatollah:
...shaking hands with a non-mahram (unrelated by family) woman, under any circumstances, whether young or old, is not allowed. Hugging or expressing emotions is improper for the dignity of the president of a country like the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Then he let his real thoughts out in an embarrassing prediction:
I have no doubt that he will come back, and along with Christ the Savior, the heir to all saintly and perfect men, and will bring peace, justice and perfection for all.
I don't know what the Hidden Imam will have to say about it when he comes back from whatever place he is inhabiting. But the chief honcho Ayatollah didn't mince words:
"I say directly that he went too far," said Khatami, adding that the president should have offered his condolences in a more diplomatic manner, without "religious connotations."
And (oh the horror!) as if all the above weren't enough, he concluded the show by kissing the coffin - with the unclean infidel's body inside too!

This will end in tears, I say... or, at least, in a good dose of Drano to cleanse the rebel's insides.

(*) The reason must be clear:  people are not exactly queuing to befriend Mahmoud. Hugo Chavez (PBUH) was one of the very few who, like Mugabe and the late Kim Jong Il, provided Mahmoud the Mad with a pinch of solace.

Super chutzpa redefined and other unrelated stories

Another case of a promising prison lawyer career is unfolding:

A repeat drunken driver convicted in a crash that killed two teenagers has sued his drinking buddy and two Santa Fe restaurants that served him alcohol.

James Ruiz, 37, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in New Mexico District Court and is seeking monetary damages from the friend he was out drinking with as well as Applebee's and the Blue Corn Cafe, the Albuquerque Journal reported Friday.
He is going to do time, and I hope they teach him some manners inside. Talk about WTF situations...

And another one of the same ilk:
A search of two Oklahoma women who were sitting in a vehicle outside a closed restaurant turned bizarre when police discovered that one of them was concealing a loaded gun – inside her private parts.
Luckily the gun didn't go off...

And a miracle:
Polish doctors say a 25-year-old man has undergone a three-hour operation to remove a screwdriver lodged about five centimeters (two inches) into his head.

Dr. Jan Kochanowicz, one of the doctors who treated the man in the Polish city of Bialystok, said the man apparently fell and lost consciousness, but does not remember that.

When he regained consciousness he was at first aware only of pain in a hand before realizing something else was wrong. He walked to his car, looked in a mirror and noticed the screwdriver, penetrating his forehead just above his right eye.
Why didn't they leave the screwdriver in place? It could have been handy in some situations.

11 March 2013

Some people just don't learn, do they?

We all know (because we're on this site, we are, by definition, highly informed) that proportionately more Austrians joined the Nazi party than did citizens of Germany, even though they claimed that they were just as much "invaded" and therefore victims as any other European country (Kurt Waldheim, anybody: that well-known peacenik, victim of the Nazis - in Wehrmacht uniform as well - and UN Secretary-General). Well, it appears that their children and grandchildren are just as peace-loving and desirous of world equality as they were.

Thus, according to this article, from The Algemeiner, "Three out of five Austrians want a “strong man” to lead the country and two out of five think things were not all bad under Adolf Hitler". That's 40% think Hitler wasn't all bad! It's actually worse than back then: according to one source, some 30% of Austrian (adult) males joined the Party between 1938 and 1945.

From further into the story, we get yet more gory details of the indset of Austrians today: "In the latest poll, 53 per cent thought the Anschluss was voluntary and 46 per cent saw Austria as a victim. Forty-two per cent said “not everything was bad under Hitler” while 57 per cent saw no good aspects to the Hitler era." I know that over half saw no good aspects to the Hitler era, but that means that close to half did see good things!

I have no idea if the Australian/German film "Lore" is coming your way, but do try and see it if you can. Lore (15? and a girl) has to try and get her sister, 2 brothers and baby Peter across the American Zone of Occupation and into the British Zone, to Hamburg and grandma. This after her plainly Nazi parents have turned themselves in to the American forces. In the context of this article, what's fascinating is that so many of the surviving German civilians don't see anything wrong in what's happened in Germany up until then, only in what's happening now.

The film resonates even more, having read this article. People just don't learn from history. Are they (and therefore us) condemned to repeat it? As Santayana foretold.

By: Brian Goldfarb 

Syrian rebels threaten Israel on Golan?

Coming to you from Ynet, via the Algemeiner, is this story about the IDF reinforcing its presence on the Golan Heights and, in particular, along the de facto border with Syria. Why? Because "Syrian rebels have threatened to retake [the] Golan Heights from Israel..." As well as that, "the IDF are focusing on providing security for contract workers building Israel's new border fences with Syria - a fence intent on providing Israeli security in a post-Assad era."

There are all sorts of ironies here. Firstly, that Assad represents (represented?) stability along the border. That is, he knew beyond doubt that any time it chose, the IDF could come hammering down the road to Damascus. Especially once the rebellion got under way.

The last thing baby Assad needed was that, as well as the rebels.

Secondly, that the rebels (or at least the Islamists among them) represent more of a threat to stability on the Golan than Assad does (did?).

And, thirdly, that the rebels have failed to realise that the Ba'athists of the current regime in Damascus, compared with the IDF in angry mode, are a somewhat easier proposition.

Go figure!

By: Brian Goldfarb 

Watch and, I hope, enjoy!

This posting is just inviting you to have some fun. I'm not sure where the second one came from, now: as you'll see, it's from youtube. How long did it take you to recognise the music of that one? The first one's easier: the link (via The Times of Israel) tells us in the story that it's music students from the Jerusalem School of Music coming together to play Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers". Note the brass section on a balcony/walkway above the hall in Haddassah hospital where they performed this. The article tells us that the students enjoyed it so much, they plan to do it once a week, same place, same time! The second one I may have posted before. If so, apologies. But, if you didn't keep it last time, you might want to this time. I play it every few weeks: makes me feel much better!

By: Brian Goldfarb

Senator Dianne Feinstein and Occam's razor

The Occam's razor is never wrong. When getting incensed by the malice, apparent in the words of Ms Feinstein (via Old Retired Petty Officer), I should have thought about the Razor's powerful corollary: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Because the actual words are a great confirmation of the corollary:

...the problem with expanding this is that you know with the advent of PTSD, uhh, which I think is a new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq war, umm, it's not clear how the seller or transferer of a firearm covered by this bill would verify that an individual was a member, or a veteran, and um that there was no impairment of that individual with respect to having a weapon like this...
No more comments.

Zionists as the real cause of the global warming

We really didn't plan to go public with it, but some blabbermouth journo from ToI unwittingly revealed the root cause of the global warming:

Pogroms on Jews linked to cold snaps

These days, everyone is worried about the effects of global warming. However, a new study indicates that the Jews have been dealing with the negative repercussions of climate change for centuries already. But rather than rising temperatures being the problem, Jews’ woes occurred when the mercury started to drop.

So one doesn't have to be a genius to deduct the rest. But first we have to deal with many flavors of (erroneous) theories about the link between the Elders and the GW. I have to say that, while feeling the link in their anti-Zionist guts, the thinkers involved didn't see the real reason which was revealed above. Still one has to admire their inventiveness. Here are some examples, without links for the usual reasons:
Chemtrails to solve global warming is the cover story. It’s a depopulation device like fluoridation of water, low energy lightbulbs, vaccinations, the full panoply of the UN’s codex alimentarius etc. These all are building up the toxins in our environment and our bodies to the point where we die quicker, become sterile and ultimately disappear.
Yes, there is that side benefit, but this is not the cause, rather the effect.
Ahmadinejad Blames Global Warming On “Zionist Wars,” Calls For “New World Order” During Speech To U.N. Climate Change Summit…
Yeah, but we all know that cool breath of the Hidden Imam will be able to chill it all down. When he comes, that is. If he comes on time, of course.

Then there is David Icke (but of course). The man is so suspicious of everything that from the quote below you wouldn't be able to understand whether he believes or disbelieves in GW:
Sunstein (Rothschild Zionist) says the opinion that 'global warming' is a manipulated hoax could be an example of what should be banned or taxed (see banned), and so how appropriate that Obama appointed Carol Browner (Rothschild Zionist) and Todd Stern (Rothschild Zionist) to take charge of his 'global warming'/'climate change' policies.
But you surely know now that the Elders are behind it, whether it exists or not...

Now there are many who firmly reject the mere idea of GW. And, of course, they know very well who stands behind the idea.
It all begins with Darwins master plan to trick mankind into believing we happened by chance. Charles made a pact with the muslims of the day to destroy New York when she got to big for her britches. The muslims made a deal with the zionists to claim that men were heating up the world through western civilization. But it all comes back to piggy bate.
Darwin... he was clearly a closet Joo, now we can tell that too. And this, of course:
The evidence suggests that Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, and virtually every other government official who is given publicity and funding are puppets of the Zionist crime network that is often referred to as the New World Order or the Illuminati.

We would be fools if we did not consider the possibility that this same criminal network helped create Al Gore's documentary, and that they are now promoting it because it proposes solutions that benefit their crime network.
No, no, the GW is very real, I can assure you. And now you know why too. And now a strong Jewish voice of somebody what calls himself "Torah Scholar":
Global warming that the New World Order (Satan) advocates is the deterioration of the ozone etc as a result of mankinds living on earth. For example carbon emissions. The global elite as they call themselves mostly showed up to the climate conference in private jets and so forth. The Global elite and other names they call themselves...Zionists, new World Order. Otherwise the rebellion against G-d and Torah. The create wars and evil, usually just for that purpose would give them enjoyment. Additionally they make pots of money and seek to be worshiped as G-d.
One takes pots of money and worship where one finds them, dear Scholar...

OK, enough is enough. By now you know that there is a good reason why we are warming the world up. No more cold snaps - no more pogroms. And if we succeed to reap some side benefits, such as the above mentioned depopulation and the various other pots - why, who can blame us?

Really, people...

10 March 2013

Pakistan's smoking problem

 A.F.P., quoted by Naharnet, reports that Pakistan cracks down on South Korean cigarettes smugglers:

The official had no precise figure, but estimated cigarette smuggling cost the Pakistani economy billions of rupees.
One can only wonder why, taxes being so important for the economy and all, don't Pakistani authorities crack down on bomb manufacturers and suicide terrorists handlers as well. It's not only their tax money that goes up in smoke, but their taxpayers too.

North Korea: the mistake of lieutenant Novichenko

Usually I get my fill of NK - related news from Judeopundit and rarely feel a need to visit the NK own news site, but today I went there to see what's up and stumbled on a peculiar news item that almost, but not quite, escaped my attention.

Kim Jong Un Sends Message of Condolences to Bereaved Family of Ya. T. Nobichenko
Pyongyang, March 7 (KCNA) -- The dear respected Kim Jong Un sent a message of condolences to the bereaved family of Ya. T. Nobichenko on Thursday.

The message said:

Upon hearing the sad news that Maria Ebmenovna Nobichenko, wife of Ya. T. Nobichenko, close friend of the Korean people and internationalist soldier, passed away to our sorrow, I express deep condolences to the bereaved family of the deceased.
Not versed in NK history, I still felt that the article is somewhat peculiar and went to google for the Ya. T. Nobichenko.

Who appeared to be a late Soviet junior lieutenant Yakov Novichenko, who in 1946 no more and no less than saved the life of Kim Il Sung, the tyrant and the founder of the succession of tyrants that turned a whole country into a concentration camp.

Here is a story of the act that may have played a major role in the NK history. It is told by Won Tai Sohn, M.D., a retired physician and professor living in Omaha, Nebraska.

More details on the miraculous save* in a Russian article with a slavish headline Life for the Leader:
On March 1, 1946 a rally in honor of the 27th anniversary of the March First Movement took place near the central [train] station. On that day, a Soviet officer, Yakov Novichenko, was in command of a guard unit. Suddenly a grenade flew in the direction of the podium, where Kim Il Sung was speaking. Novichenko caught it on the fly, but couldn't get rid of it in the midst of a crowd - the rally was attended by about 300 thousand people. He managed to cover the grenade with his overcoat and pulled his arm back, behind a pillar. The grenade exploded. The officer was severely wounded, the explosion tore off his hand, he got a stone shard in the eye. Novichenko has survived miraculously. In the hospital he received a cigarette case with the inscription: " To hero Novichenko from the chairman of the People's Committee of North Korea, Kim Il Sung."

In the late 80's the name of Yakov enjoyed unprecedented popularity in the DPRK. Some Koreans even changed the name to become Novichenko. In the Soviet Union there was a movie "A second for the heroic deed", based on this dramatic episode.
Kim Il Sung remained grateful to his savior, keeping in touch with him and his family. The son of the tyrant was grateful too, but to a lesser degree, according to the reports:
The North Korean leader, though, was apparently too preoccupied with affairs of state to meet the 80-year-old widow of a Russian soldier who saved Kim's father's life 55 years ago. TASS reported that Maria Novichenko was left standing on the platform at Novosibirsk after Kim failed to alight from the train during its 20-minute stopover. Instead, his representative passed on gifts from the leader and assured her that he would meet her on his way back from Moscow.
As you can see from the beginning of this post, the grandson remembers the deed too.

So, what can one say about the story? On one hand, we have an authentic Soviet hero**, the stuff of legends, with an exceptionally quick brain and totally selfless. On the other hand - a heroic deed that saved the life of one of the bloodiest and inhuman dictators of the XX century. Couldn't the quick thinking Soviet officer stick the grenade into the tyrant's craw or some other orifice, possibly saving himself the agony of his wounds?

I am not a fan of the "what if" genre, but who knows how many millions of innocent lives could have been saved, had our hero decided not to save the vermin...

Well, that's the story more or less. And since we were on the subject of junior lieutenant Yakov Novichenko, here is something that relates both to Mr Novichenko and the continuing inhumanity of the NK regime (not a very reliable source, but with a reference to another one that could be checked):
North Korean regime even compelled an actor to undergo plastic surgery when producing a film about the Soviet Army officer who saved Kim Il-sung, founder of the Stalinist regime, it has been reported.

The Russian TV channel, TV-Center, reported on Jan. 25 revealed this, whilebroadcasting a documentary film named ‘Comrade Kim, the Prince of Chosun(Korea),’ which covers power succession from grandfather Kim Il-sung to third generation Kim Jong-un of North Korea. In 1985, Chosun Art Film Studio of North Korea and Mosfilm Studios of the USSR co-produced a movie, ‘Eternal Comrade,’ about the Soviet Army’s first lieutenant Yakov Novichenko, who had saved the leader of North Korea from grenade attack to assassinate him just less than one year after Korea’s independence from the Japanese colonial rule.

TV-Center disclosed that the NK authorities forced Li Yong-il, the actor who performed as Kim Il-sung in the film, to get plastic surgery, quoting Russian surgeon Igor Volf.
And, since plastic surgery and North Korea were mentioned, here is an even less reliable source with a funny tidbit:
Most people look to plastic surgery as a way of turning back time.

But Kim Jong-un, the 27-year-old heir to the North Korean regime, has reportedly taken the opposite tack by going under the knife to look more like his grandfather.

Speculation is rife in North and South Korea over the striking similarity between Kim Jong-un and Kim Il-sung, the founder of the family dynasty.
Whether it's true or not, in his level of madness the young fatso surely took after his ancestors.


(*)There are different accounts of the details of the heroic deed, such as this one:
Novichenko could not get rid of the grenade at once as many people were standing around him. The officer fell to the ground covering the grenade with his body.
Below is a North Korean sculpture that immortalizes the deed based on this interpretation.

(**) Without diminishing in any way the bravery of Yakov Novichenko, there is something that preordained the behavior of Soviet bodyguards, as can be derived from that old Soviet joke (from the sixties or seventies of the last century):
A POTUS' bodyguard and a Soviet General Secretary's bodyguard meet over a glass of beer, discussing their respective lives, the families, the jobs etc. Eventually they get to the quintessential body-guarding question:
Russian: Will you take a bullet for your president, John?
American: What, do you think I am bonkers? Surely not. I have a wife and children to think about. And how about you, Ivan?
Russian: I will surely take that bullet for my General Secretary. After all, I have a wife and children to think about...
So there...