30 November 2014

"Jewish state" bill part II: Mahmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen springs into action

The ink on the previous post has barely dried out, and the other side of the coin (coin? what coin?) became visible. I am moderately proud to state that my prediction in that post about the purpose of that wretched law ("Isn't the whole brouhaha with that new basic law (that is being objected to by the Attorney General) just a too obvious attempt to stick a finger in Abbas' eye?") paid off. Here is the expected response:
"We will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel," Abbas was quoted as saying by Israel's Channel 10, an apparent reference to Israel's proposed Nationality Law.
Now, while the "Jewish state" bill is hardly worth the paper it is written on, the response above is interesting by itself. The whys of that steadfast refusal by Abbas were never explained by him, at least not in English (what he says about the Jews in Arabic is known rather well, and state of Israel - Jewish or not - figures in it only as a target for inevitable destruction).

Yeah, Mr. Abbas - please do say a bit more on the subject. Please?

29 November 2014

Assisting Lisa Goldman in her balancing act

In her +972 resume Lisa Goldman proudly states: "I am the director of the Israel-Palestine Initiative at the New America Foundation NYC." That New America Foundation thing is a bit of a dark horse. Unless, of course, you know how to decipher "dedicated to big ideas and lively conversation", coupled with such an impressive list of sponsors.

Whatever (NAF) New America Foundation stands for, aside of big ideas and lively conversation, you must agree that "Israel-Palestine Initiative" sounds good. Israel and Palestine or Palestine and Israel, whatever, it sounds as a declaration of New America's vision: truth serving, objective and - beyond all - balanced approach to Israel and Palestine (or Palestine and Israel). Unfortunately, the NAF site doesn't contain any articles by Lisa, aside of a few references to some outside publications and hints of some events she is either participating in or organizing. So that fair and balanced approach could be still glimpsed only in her +972 articles, like this one:

Investigation of Abu Khdeir murder tainted by racism, police incompetence

Let's first dispose of that "racism" sticker. Lisa, like many a progressive debater in a hurry, seems to misuse this term quite freely - even speaking about people of same race, like Jews and Arabs. Funnily, the picture she used to illustrate her article is telling:

I bet that 90% of world population that don't know (or care) about our local peculiarities and local languages will have a hard time distinguishing between the Arab and Jew in this picture, even when one of the two is equipped with yarmulke and the picture of the second is adorned with an Arabic caption. So here I helped Lisa a bit with finding some balance already, but wait, it's only a beginning.

Now to police incompetence. Not that it is secret that our cops are as much of a Keystone ones as anywhere else. But again - that's all about balance, isn't it. So let's take a look at an affair mentioned by Lisa: "the murders of three Jewish boys abducted by Hebron-area men who were linked to Hamas". Mentioned, I have to add, without any links, when the rest of the article is literally peppered with links to all and sundry. But no matter, it is easy to find some links. And you know what, in this case we have a glaring issue of police incompetence as well:
The handling of the call represented a severe failure “that ran along the entire chain of command at the center, crossing a series of police, officers and commanders,” police said on Monday.
Should we cry "racism"? After all there are some Arab, Druze and other police officers in Israel, so possibly... nah, let's leave it at that and proceed with the balancing act. Meanwhile, we already can amend the headline:

Investigation of Abu Khdeir, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah murders tainted by police incompetence

Now to the next sentence that requires some balance:
The abduction and immolation of Mohammed Abu Khdeir shocked Israelis and was the catalyst for violent demonstrations in East Jerusalem.
Hm... difficult: there practically wasn't any violent response by Jews after the murder of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah, at any rate not even remotely resembling the rioting following the grisly murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Still, for the sake of symmetry:
Hamas released a statement saying that "Our people will not let this crime pass.... You will pay the price for these crimes."
Rachel Fraenkel, mother of 16 year-old Naftali, when she heard that a Palestinian teenager had been murdered in apparent revenge for her son, condemned it immediately. She broke into her own period of mourning to issue a statement: "There is no difference between blood and blood. Murder is murder. There is no justification and no atonement for murder."
As for the next surprising statement on Lisa's agenda:
Riot police responded by invading East Jerusalem and using crowd control methods ranging from tear gas and rubber bullets to severe beatings and mass arrests.
Here, I am at a loss. On one hand we have what Lisa calls "violent demonstrations". On the other, cruel and totally unexpected "crowd control methods" by police. I bet in the universe Lisa and her friends from +972 inhabit, police meets "violent demonstrations" by flowers and welcoming speeches. So I can't find any symmetry in this instance, I confess.

And now, instead of being critical, I shall search for a perfectly balanced sentence by Lisa herself. And here it comes:
Lone Palestinians have carried out stabbings and deliberate hit-and-runs against Jewish civilians, while paramilitary police have responded with increasing violence.
Now we have it and can relax.

And finish the whole with a typical example of Palestinian Authority propaganda "symmetry" Lisa should use as a beacon:

That's the ticket, Lisa, but I'm sure you will get there eventually by yourself.

28 November 2014

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

Our Weasel Of The Week!!

Once again, It's time to present this week's statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week's nominees were all slime-worthy,but in the end the winner by a nose was..the envelope please...


27 November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, all of you out there in the cold!

What, no more chocolate? No worries, here comes the savior!

An ode to chocolate in three parts.

Part 1: Doom.

Most of you, I believe (if you are as addicted to this brown substance as I am) were shocked recently to learn that your time of happiness is coming to a premature end.
The humble candy bar could soon change beyond recognition as palm oil, chemical flavorings and fillers replace increasingly scarce cocoa beans and expensive ingredients.
And that means real chocolates will become a luxury item -- for the wealthy only.
Etc... The sheer horror of seeing headlines like this:

Not that I am overly concerned about events removed 20 years from right now, but still, what about my grandchildren? No matter, a solution to this catastrophic future was found - 20 years before the time, I have to stress!

Watcher’s Council Nominations -What Stays In Vegas Edition

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

26 November 2014

Evil spirit taking over Middle Eastern studies?

I am not exactly a believer in all kinds of spirits, save one (that which could be attained from a bottle). The problems of cheapening the higher learning by fashionable political endeavors, like in the case of MESA, where characters like professors Juan Cole, Hisham Sharabi and their supporters pave their way to fame and/or notoriety by bleating (and frequently cheating) about the all-powerful Zionists, are not the problems of ghosts/spooks/spirits. Rather of malicious little men poisoning the wells of academy in general and higher education in particular.

And not only in US of A, I haste to add. Woe to our children and grandchildren.

Pushing out Hagel not shake-up Obama needs

Remember that "Change" slogan? Here are some thoughts on that, between other things:

Removing him will be unsettling to those in the Pentagon who realize he is being let go for advocating their views as well as to those throughout the administration who will worry whether getting rid of him will be seen as enough. The real changes needed are at a high level in the White House, in the team immediately around the President advising him on national security.

Unless those changes happen, view the Hagel move as a distraction, as an effort to create the illusion of change where a shake-up is needed.

Weasel Of The Week Nominees


Hello and welcome to the Watcher's Council's 'Weasel Of The Week' nominations, where we award the famed golden plastic Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations and check back Thursday to see which Weasel gets the votes and walks off with the statuette of shame!

25 November 2014

חוק הלאום - "אני אראה לכם מה זה"!!!

חוק הלאום החדש, אשר עדיין לא אושר, מעורר מחשבות נוגות בפנים ותרעומות רבות בחוץ.
הרשת גועשת מדיונים בעד ונגד, כלאמר כל מי שכותב משהו נגד ישר זוכה לקיטונות של "הסברים" גזעניים בצירוף נאצות וגידופים.

הצורך הזה של הימין להגדיר בחוק את היותנו מדינה יהודית מזכיר לי את הביריון הזה, שכולו שרירים נפוחים, שעומד מול איש צנום ורועד מפחד, וצועק עליו ש"הוא יראה לו מה זה". כאילו שהוא לא מספיק מפחיד עם השרירים שלו, כאילו שלא מספיק ברור שהוא החזק והשני הוא החלש.

מהן המחשבות הנוגות שלי?
ובכן, הסבים והסבתות שלי היגרו לישראל בשנות העשרים של המאה העשרים ממניעים ציונים. ארבעתם התמודדו עם הנוכחות הערבית בארץ - כל אחד ממקום מושבו ובדרכו שלו. ארבעתם תרמו להקמת מדינת ישראל - מי בקיבוץ, מי בעיר בהקמת עסק ומי בייסוד ועריכת עיתון. הם היו מגוונים בדעותיהם הפוליטיות אך אחידים באהבת הארץ ובאמונה בצורך להקים את המדינה.
שני הורי, ילידי הארץ, השתתפו באופן פעיל במלחמת השחרור ובהקמת המדינה הצעירה שלאחר מכן.
לאף אחד מהם לא היה ספק בהיותנו מדינה יהודית, בית לעם היהודי. הם הסכימו לכל מילה במגילת העצמאות וחינכו אותי לאורה.
ילדותי עברה עלי בין מלחמת סיני למלחמת ששת הימים (אז עדיין היו מרווחים גדולים בין המלחמות....), כאשר ברור היה לכולם שמדינת ישראל היא מדינה יהודית, ושהעליות השונות חשובות לנו.
אחרי מלחמת ששת הימים הייתי בין המפגינים הראשונים להחזרת השטחים וקידום תהליך השלום עם המדינות השכנות. הפגנות שהלכתי אליהן ביתר דבקות אחרי מלחמת יום כיפור.
אני מאמינה בכל לבי שאנחנו מדינה יהודית, ושיש הכרח שנהיה מדינה יהודית.
אני לא מסכימה עם הפרדוקס שמצד אחד אנו שולטים על מיליוני ערבים ומצד שני צריכים להגדיר בחוק את היותנו מדינה יהודית:
בואו וניפרד מהפלסטינים ואז באופן אוטומטי אנחנו כבר מדינה עם רוב יהודי שמכתיב את אופי המדינה.

Forum: What was your reaction to the President’s New Executive Order On Immigration?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: What was your reaction to the President's New Executive Order On Immigration?

24 November 2014

Bibi and the ‘Jewish state’ bill or what to do when she doesn't love you back

"There will be no peace with the Palestinians until they recognize the Jewish right to a homeland in Israel..."
For quite a long time Bibi made this statement a cornerstone of his policy on the solution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
A necessary condition to getting a true solution [to the Israeli-Palestinian] conflict was and remains clear as the sun: ending the refusal to recognize the right of the Jews to a homeland of their own in the land of their fathers,” he said. “That is the most important key to solving the conflict.
For the same long time Mahmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen steadfastly refused to grant such recognition to the state of Israel.

The reasons for the former demanding this recognition as part of the future peace deal and for the latter refusing the recognition are many, some of them serious and some less, but let's not go into it for the moment. Suffice to say that I do understand Bibi's logic in this case and don't necessarily disagree with it.

The latest bout of lawmaking activity by a few usual suspects of our illustrious bunch of solons (Ze’ev Elkin, Yariv Levin, Ayelet Shaked) seems to be an attempt at a crushing answer to Abbas' negative stance on the recognition issue.
The cabinet is expected to approve on Sunday two controversial bills that seek to enshrine Israel’s definition as a Jewish state among the country’s Basic Laws.
Bibi, unable to sit still while somebody tries to out-patriot him from the right, just had to counter-strike with his own proposal:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed his own version of such legislation in May. He said then that the state lacked “adequate expression” of Israel’s “existence as the nation-state of the Jewish people” in the country’s set of Basic Laws, which constitute its de facto constitution.
Sounds fishy to me, since the Declaration of Independence states quite clearly:
It also states, by the way:
...it [the state] 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...
Of course I am not a lawyer and indeed there is no basic law that defines Israel as a Jewish state - but isn't the Declaration quite enough? Isn't the whole brouhaha with that new basic law (that is being objected to by the Attorney General) just a too obvious attempt to stick a finger in Abbas' eye?

And how should one take the Bibi's proposal of the law that says, between other things:
The State of Israel is a democratic state, founded on the principles of freedom, justice and peace, in accordance with the vision of Israel’s prophets, and upholds the individual rights of all of its citizens according to the law.
Does the reference to the "vision of Israel's prophets"  mean a whole new era in the local law schools and courts? Strange, innit?

Anyway, back to the reasons for all this: what would a boy do when she doesn't love him back after all his efforts at courting? What if she continues to refuse him the... ah... pleasures of her company, so to say? And what if the boy doesn't want to switch his attention to someone else, possibly more responsive? Or if there simply isn't anyone else?

A man must do what a man must do, surely. Which mean glumly pleasure himself. For instance, issuing new laws like this misbegotten one.

Wanking, in short.

Update: Hear,  hear! Moshe Arens speaks out.

23 November 2014

Let's counter boycott the boycotters!

It occurred to me that there might just be a solution to the problem of the Boycott. Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement: counter boycott. Why not? There are lots of us wrinklies remembering how we boycotted South Africa (if you want a real apartheid, there's one you youngsters out there should study). We might not have had the effect that we desired, but, by heck, we sure felt better!

Further, these days, Jewish communities in the West, especially, actually do have some real economic clout. This autumn, for those of you who missed it, the UK (for United Kingdom) Jewish Film Festival was due to show some of its films in a cinema/theatre complex called the Tricycle. situated in North London, in an area noted more for its Irish and Afro-Caribbean "immigrants" than those of any other ethnicity. The Tricycle had shown films for the Festival in previous years, but this year, for some unknown reason, they demanded to view the films due to be screened in advance, with a clear implication of potential censorship. Fortunately, the UKJFF Executive flatly refused.

So, the Tricycle Chief Executive and Board scrutinised the Festival's sources of finance and alighted on a grant of £1400 ($2100, or NIS8400, both approximate) from the Israeli Embassy (clearly an Arts Grant from the Israeli - for the Brits reading this - the equivalent of one from the UK Arts Council: government money but administered independently). They demanded that the Festival return this and they would replace it, pound for pound. Naturally, the Festival rejected this out of hand and withdrew their films.

The reaction among the London Jewish literati was immediate: lots of us (my wife and I and all our friends on their mailing list, etc) immediately wrote to them, telling them to delete our addresses from their lists and that we would not be returning until they changed their policy. It is notable that a significant number of Jewish sponsors/donors also withdrew their support. The Tricycle reaction was almost immediate: they promised to reinstate the Festival next year (2015). However, none of us going back until the Tricycle makes good on its promise.

They must have had a nasty shock when they lost the support of a significant number of their sponsors and mailing list members.

They forgot that Jews, these days, are, in the Diaspora, collectively pretty Middle Class +, with a significant spend available for the arts and entertainment sector.

The point of this preamble is to note that the Zim Line has decided to stop attempting to unload cargoes in Long Beach, California, following problems with BDS demonstrators at the port (see this Times of Israel article for details). Despite the efforts of the port authorities to play down the problems, one of them, Lee Peterson stating that "“At the time,...it did not affect the longshore workers and operations continued”, and despite a spokesperson for Zim Lines (apparently, the 10th largest sea-borne freight carrier in the world) suggested that this situation wasn't necessarily permanent, it would appear that Zim Lines will unload elsewhere on the West coast of the US for as long as it takes.

So, all of us supporters of Israel have purchasing power: we can buy or not buy where we like. Perhaps we should be making sure we buy in stores, etc, that are prepared to stock Israeli goods (even if that's not what we're buying today), and avoid stores that support BDS.Capitalist principles of the bottom line and profit margin will soon take over!

By Brian Goldfarb.

Update: Commenter Larry Sheldon is absolutely right, saying:

You make an error if you fail to include the Christian communities that feel and act more strongly FOR Israel [than] some Jewish communities do.
Indeed, the same call applies to our Christian friends as well.

A NYT/Jodi Rudoren Equivalency - this revolting Olympian indifference of NYT

Another NYTimes (im)moral equivalency:

"More than 100 people on each side died in a week of rioting in 1929 over access to the Western Wall below."
Now read the whole post by Yisrael Medad.

22 November 2014

On the benefits of higher education. Oh, and the fungi, the fungi

And no comments from me. Just enjoy.

But keep in mind that: Berkeley gas pumps to soon feature global warming warning stickers

Since I promised no comments on all of that, please don't count the following as a comment - just as an additional piece of the puzzle that helps to clear up the whole picture:

New mushroom species found on Berkeley's campus
Suffice to say, the place is no stranger to mushrooms.
Yeah... that will be all.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

21 November 2014

That sweet, sweet taste of propaganda

This collage of three pictures or, rather, of one picture repeated three times, requires some translation work.

The leftmost one, coming from a Ukrainian source and written in Ukrainian, says that a Russian missile damaged the truck but didn't explode, adding that Russian forces continue to bombard the peaceful citizens of Donetsk.

The picture in the middle, by Russian TV this time, says that Ukrainian "chasteners" shoot at their own citizens.

And the rightmost one, coming (live, no less!) from Al Jazz... well, see for yourself.

How do you like them propaganda chickens?

Simon Jenkins, you win. Again.

 I was going to put here a few words about the new inanity by Mr Jenkins, published as usual in the Guardian and titled If Charles Manson has found love, surely that’s a good thing?. But somebody - Claire Berlinski in this case - has already written all I had to say, including the headline: Simon Jenkins, You Win. Here is what she (me too, me too!) says:
The only explanation for this column I can fathom is this one: Simon Jenkins placed a bet, probably a large one, that there is simply nothing — literally nothing — he can write so insane that The Guardian won’t publish it.
Upon second thought, I have added one word to Ms Berlinski's headline. Cause Simon Jenkins has done it quite a lot of times already and, undoubtedly, will do it in the future.

So there.

Our Weasel Of The Week!

Once again, It's time to present this week's statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

20 November 2014

Western media on Jerusalem terror or Palestinian media on same: who is better?

Sometimes I think that we here in Israel pay too much attention to the skewed coverage the local events receive from the main Western media outlets. Sometimes it seems to me that we are harboring unreasonable expectations from a reasonable world that just doesn't care what our expectations are - and why should it?

Of course, the yesterday's (November 18, 2014 for the record) headlines and contents of some senior members of the media world were somewhat bewildering. Starting with the now famous CNN's first headline:

Clearly it was an unintentional gaffe, created by a poorly informed editor, who wouldn't know a mosque (or a synagogue) from Red Lobster.  But then came the second version:

Doesn't smell like an innocent gaffe anymore, does it? More like a deliberate... and then, again, came a change (or a new twist, if you will).

Looks almost like reporting on results of an especially frisky football game, quite multicultural, isn't it? And the usual CNN (and BBC) penchant of setting the words "terror attack" in quotation marks. OK, later CNN has corrected that one after a while, doing "justice" to the two Palestinian "martyrs".

Of course, CBC tried to outdo CNN on that day, with its fabulous entry:

Mm... still not quite up to its big bro, but showing promise.

BBC came with its own contribution, from a bit more sophisticated angle. Unfortunately I haven't saved the original, so the cached version from Yahoo UK will have to do:

As you can see, to serve their unshakable political beliefs, BBC folks moved the synagogue in question to East Jerusalem. Of course, for a reason: that way they could explain ("no, we do not justify or condone such acts, we only explain them") the murder as a spontaneous act of freedom fight.

Then comes the Guardian... yes, I know that placing the Guardian in the same league as the above mentioned senior members of the media world is a bit reaching. But the Guardian "methodology" deserves a separate mention:
The website of British newspaper The Guardian ran a story about the attack from Reuters. The wire dispatch the agency sent included the headline 'Palestinians kill four in Jerusalem synagogue attack' and led with the sentence: ''Two Palestinians armed with a meat cleaver and a gun killed four people in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday before being shot dead by police…."
However The Guardian changed their headline to "Four worshippers killed in attack on Jerusalem synagogue" and in their lead, they also excised any reference to Palestinians, publishing: "Two men armed with axes, knives and a pistol have killed four Israelis and wounded several others in a Jerusalem synagogue …"
The normally happily multicultural Guardian for some intangible reasons shuns the mention of the murdered and of the murderers' national identity. Ain't it strange?

The last but not the least in the litany of complaints about the intentional on unintentional slips of tongue and slips of finger is to be CBS (thanks to Peter that pointed to the following):
Introducing a report from Jerusalem, anchorwoman Nora O’Donnell says the following:
The two Palestinian attackers died in a shootout with police. It happened at a contested religious site in Jerusalem.
There is, of course, nothing “contested” about the Har Nof synagogue where the terror attack took place. Nor is there anything “contested” about Har Nof itself, a Jewish neighborhood in the western side of Jerusalem.
Well, looking at all of the above, the best way to summarize it was found by Francine Robin - "My tribute to CNN, that exemplar of accurate, unbiased, thoroughly investigative news journalism":

Quite. So let me offer a refreshing and straightforward alternative to all that double speak and the special, biased brand of political correctness of the Western media. Let's go to our cousins the Palestinians for a dose of fresh air. Here my Facebook friend, Dave McAvoy, explains the Palestinian TV clip (below):
This is the opening 40 seconds of a news report on Palestinian TV - this is the channel run and controlled by the Palestinian Authority - Mahmoud Abbas & Fatah.

This isn't Hamas' channel (Al Aqsa) or Jazeera, or Hizbullah's channel (Al Manar). This is the channel representing a side in these peace talks which Kerry & Obama are in a hurry to start. Again the thugs who went into a synagogue with meat cleavers and were killed by police are described as martyrs - martyrs of the 72 virgins go straight to paradise variety.

The language used here does not sound like that of a party which seriously wants peace or wants to reach any sort of agreement - and notice how it contrasts with what it says in English.

The news editors in this channel have to either run everything through the PA's Ministry of Information - or rather are told what to say by this ministry. No different to Syrian state TV news being dictated to by the Ministry of Information in Damascus. There is no editorial independence. None. This is as party line as it gets.

That, of course, a day after Mahmoud Abbas, the two-faced Palestinian "President" condemned the massacre. Now you know where to go if you want to get some undiluted, prime quality hate, unencumbered by the stale and smelly burqa of political correctness.

Now you know.

Watcher’s Council Nominations – The Man Who Would Be King Edition

Full edition here.

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

19 November 2014

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and the koala's heartbreak

What do you mean "he left"?!?
That was the Russian response to the rumors that Putin left the Brisbane’s G20 earlier than planned in a huff, because of the strong criticism leveled at him by other members of the forum.

As for why the koala figures in the story - a reminder:

Update: Some people have seen the reason for the early departure and recorded what they have seen:

Simply Che - a questionable one

No, not because we would really question that image (#22 in the collection, by the way):

Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees!


Hello and welcome to the Watcher's Council's 'Weasel Of The Week' nominations, where we award the famed golden plastic Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations and check back Thursday to see which Weasel gets the votes and walks off with the statuette of shame!

 Here are this weeks' nominees...


House Minority Leader Nancy 'What VISA IPO?' Pelosi!!

 The Independent Sentinel :    Nancy Pelosi was so very weasley this past week.

“I do not believe what happened the other night is a wave,” Pelosi said about the election, she described it as “an ebb tide.”

18 November 2014

David Horovitz on the multiple murder in Jerusalem synagogue: some people should listen to this

David Horovitz at his considerable best:

Because the final thing that has to be put in writing, even on a horrible, evil day like this, when the fingers loathe the necessity to tap the keyboard, is that it’s not going to work. Palestinian terrorists, and those who incite them and support them, should know: We are not going to be shot and stabbed and bludgeoned out of here by your brutality and the false justifications you invoke to legitimate it.

We stood firm during year upon year of Second Intifada terrorism, when you were blowing up our buses, malls, restaurants and supermarkets, and pragmatism could have dictated that we do what the terrorism was designed to make us do: flee. We do not insist on maintaining our majority Jewish state to the exclusion of your rights. Anything but. We seek co-existence. But your rights cannot be achieved by denying us ours.

For this is the homeland of the Jewish nation, the only place we have ever been sovereign or sought sovereignty. And what needs writing and saying, most especially on a terrible day like today, is that we will not be driven from it.
No, it is not going to work.

Statement by the President on the Death of Peter Kassig: "least of all the Muslim faith"?

In this statement, where President Obama insists on calling Peter Kassig by his "adopted" name Abdul-Rahman, taken (or given, who knows now?) after the latter's conversion to Islam in ISIL captivity, there is a sentence that needs some digesting:

ISIL's actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own.
And no, I don't mean the "adopted as his own" part, false as it may be.

I would rather focus on that "ISIL's actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith" part. Least of all?

"Least of all" still means "especially not" in the dictionary - I was forced to re-check to make sure.

Which means, in this case... WTF it means, really?

Assistance will be welcome.

Forum: What Direction Do You See The Democrats Going In 2016?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: What Direction Do You See The Democrats Going In 2016?

The Independent Sentinel : The entire party has been brought to the far-left. There are only far-left and those who obey the far-left.

17 November 2014

A peaceful solution for the location of the new Caliphate's capital

The folks of ISIL (ISIS, IS, you name them) are busy waging war and don't have enough time to plan ahead, so the question of the most fitting location of the capital is falling between the chairs, with different Islamic thinkers (Peace Be Upon Them) offering different ideas on the most desired location.

Such as, for instance, the most prominent spiritual leader for the Muslim Brotherhood, one Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who declared that Turkey is where the Caliphate will be established.

Turkey is the Caliphate State, and Istanbul is its capital … Turkey unites religion and the world, Arab (Wahhabist Sunnis) and Persian (Shiites), Asia and Africa, and it (the Caliphate) should be based upon this nation (Turkey).
I can't say that the idea is totally alien to the Turkey's top honcho, Mr Erdogan. Judging by his latest behavior, he is already quite deep into acquisition of the necessary habits of the future Caliph. The moment he announces recruitment of candidates for his harem, we should be ready for the declaration of Caliphate as the new reality.

However, the question of the capital is not yet fully resolved, as could be seen from this:
Only days after being released from prison, the leader of the Islamic Movement's northern Israel branch returned to the public eye, giving a fiery sermon about conquering Jerusalem and making it the Muslim-only capital of a Sunni Islamic empire.

In a video of his November 7 sermon in Nazareth, translated by MEMRI, Sheikh Raed Salah said "Inshallah, Jerusalem will soon become the capital of the global caliphate."
Sheikh against Sheikh: it doesn't look promising, you can tell that a new internecine war is brewing - this time on the matter of the capital. A shaky situation, you could say.

But not to worry. There might be a solution yet, and the source of the solution is, quite possibly, no one else but the above mentioned future Caliph, Mr Erdogan. Mad bugger he might be, a racist antisemitic mad bugger to boot, but his craziness is like that of a fox, and he certainly is able to make a foxy move now and then.

And he already made a first step in his new approach to the issue of the capital:
In a televised speech in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that Muslims had discovered the Americas three centuries before the voyages of Christopher Columbus. He was addressing a summit of Muslim leaders from Latin America.
So the ideological base is being built as we speak. And the idea of moving the future Caliphate's capital to the New World seems to have fallen on a fertile ground, to the degree that the search for a suitable mosque was already initiated:

U.S. Army soldier prays as the Washington National Cathedral and five Muslim groups hold the first celebration of Muslim Friday Prayers, Jumaa, in the Cathedral's North Transept in Washington, November 14, 2014.
Well, as long as the accommodations in the Cathedral look fine (as a temporary location, of course, it must be clear), there is no reason whatsoever why Washington wouldn't do as the capital. Besides, it is not as if using a church as a mosque is totally new in the Muslim history.

All in all, taking into account how the current resident of the White House looks at the general idea quite benevolently and, besides, how he sees Mr Erdogan as his best buddy, we may all be surprised one of the coming days. Or not surprised - that depending on whether we expected the event or not.

Oh, and the last thing, fellow Americans: better you than me, you know how it goes...

Guess which one is an iPhone user?

No offense to no iPhone users intended, of course:

16 November 2014

The tiger of Paris' size was somewhat exaggerated

Authorities have called off the search for a tiger on the loose near Paris, after experts dramatically scaled down the threat to humans.

The Parisians who escaped being eaten by the monster are called to return to their business as usual.

Some cars don't need locks


15 November 2014

Today's UN: Syria compares Israelis to Nazis, Nov. 13, 2014. And more.

If you think interpretation is necessary, here it comes.

Fourth Committee, Concluding Work, Sends Raft of Resolutions to General Assembly on Information, Israeli Practices Committee, Middle East Refugee Relief Agency

All in all, nine resolutions condemning Israel in one single day...

So there.

איזו עברית...אש וגופרית!

חשבתי שהמאמר (פוסט) הראשון בעברית, צריך לעסוק בשפה.
יותר נכון - בשימוש שעושים בשפה כדי לבטא רגשות.
או - בשימוש שעושים במילים מסויימות כדי לבטא רגשות מסויימים.
או - שימוש שעושים אנשים מסויימים כדי לבטא רגשות מאד מסויימים.

עברתי על ההערות שפורסמו בדף של הנשיא ראובן ריבלין בפייסבוק לאחר נאומו בכפר קאסם.
הנאום עסק בין היתר בזכויות אדם בסיסיות, בערכים הומניים בסיסיים.
להלן מספר פנינים:

  1. עדי ווייס: טפו כוסאמק . רק היה חסר שתורי את המכנסיים והיית נותן להם לזיין אותך בתחת . נשיא שמאלני זבל
  2. מוני יקים הפרענק פארך: ראובן רובי ריבלין יודנראט ארור קאפואיסט נאלח ! בוגד העם היהודי ! שתך לאלף עזאזל ! יהודון שמאלנאצי מבחיל ! מאחל לך סרטן ושבץ ! חתיכת בוגד משומד ! צריך לשלוח יהודונים כמוך בחזרה לתנורים של אושוויץ ! שתישרף אתה והמוסלמים החברים שלך ביחד !
  3. אברהם קדמי: יבן זונה תתנצל על מה שעשו חנו קודם ינשיא זין
יש לי כמה שאלות ותהיות:
  1. אני מבינה שהנאום ממש עיצבן את המגיבים הללו. כל כך עיצבן שהם ירו את הגועל שלהם על המקלדת ולא טרחו לקרוא שוב ולתקן את שגיאות ההקלדה והשגיאות בעברית (אם הם בכלל יודעים שהם שגו).
  2. איפה התחנכו האנשים הללו??? בני כמה הם??? עד כמה שאני זוכרת את שנותי בביה"ס היסודי ואח"כ גם בתיכון (כן, אני שייכת לדור זקני ציון של בלוג זה) - מעולם לא השתמשו בביטויים כאלה. יש כאן מילים שאני לא מעיזה לאמר אפילו בשקט, אפילו אודות מישהו זר, אפילו בפני אנשים ממש קרובים לי - לא כל שכן לאמר למישהו בפניו, בפומבי.
  3. האם האנשים הללו יודעים מה זה לכבד אנשים אחרים??? או שהם מכבדים רק את ההורים שלהם, או את הרבנים שלהם, או את הבוס שלהם או רק את מי שחושב בדיוק כמוהם. ומה עם נשיא המדינה? הי, ראבק, זה הנשיא של המדינה שלך. וגם אם אתה חושב שהוא עשה טעות - דבר אליו יפה!!!
  4. בסדרת הטלביזיה  זגורי אימפריה הוצגה משפחה יוצאת צפון אפריקה, שהשפה בה הם השתמשו בתקשורת ביניהם דומה לשפה שכתובה בפנינים למעלה. אז אולי אפשר לקבל דיבורים כאלה מיוצאי צפון אפריקה? אבל המחשבה הזו היא גזענית. וכפי שהסדרה "ערסים ופריחות" מציגה - יוצאי צפון אפריקה מאד נעלבים מהסטיגמות הללו. וגם שמות הכותבים למעלה הם שמות אשכנזים לתפארת. כלאמר- השפה הרדודה הזו היא היום נחלת הכלל.
  5. ואם מדברים על רדידות השפה: הדור הצעיר במשפחה שלי משתמש לאחרונה במילת תואר אחת בלבד כדי לתאר כל דבר: "מטורף!".
    במבצע צוק איתן כשנקראנו למרחב המוגן זה היה "מטורף" - מפחיד ומלחיץ
    נמל תל אביב במוצאי שבת דחוס בהמוני אנשים - זה "מטורף"
    הופעת רוק סוחפת - היה "מטורף"
    וכך כשהם מתכוננים למבחן הפסיכומטרי ושואלים אותנו לפירושי מילים שהם מתקשים לזכור, הם מתפלאים שאנחנו מכירים כמעט את כל המילים.
  6. והתהייה האחרונה למאמר זה, שאינה קשורה לשפה העברית:
    נראה לי לאחרונה שעולם הערכים בישראל הופך להיות די כוטומי (דו קוטבי) בלי שום גוונים של אפור. לא ארבעה ובטח לא חמישים.
    בצד האחד - בדרך כלל המיעוט המוקצה - כל הסמולנים שהם גם בעד ערבים וגם נגד המדינה, גם בעד זכויות אדם וגם בעד זכויות הלהט"בים, גם בעד פתיחת חנויות בשבת בתל אביב, גם תל אביבים צפונים וגם נגד ההתנחלויות, גם אוהדי הפועל ונגד בית"ר, גם מתחתנים מאוחר וגם מביאים ילדים לעולם כהורים יחידנים. הכל בסל אחד.
    כלאמר - הומו דתי מתנחל - לא קיים. תל אביבי שרוצה שהחנויות לא תיפתחנה בשבת - לא קיים. דתי שחושב שצריך לסיים את הכיבוש - לא קיים. תל אביבי חילוני אוהד בית"ר - לא קיים.
    ובצד השני - כל היתר. ימנים, בעד ארץ ישראל השלמה, נגד ערביי ארץ ישראל (שיגידו תודה שנותנים להם לחיות בשקט בארץ! תחרימו את החנויות שלהם! אתם יכולים לעבור לפלסטין! רגע, יש מדינה כזו????) ועוד יותר נגד פלסטינים (להרוג את כולם!), דתיים ומסורתיים ומזרחיים (מה את מתעצבנת קצת ממוזיקה מזרחית בקולי קולות? בסך הכל אנחנו עושים שמח!), וכל הומו הוא סתם "מזדיין בתחת" ולא מבין מהחיים שלו, וילדים זה שמחה - תביאו 8, תביאו 10....
    ואם יש בן אדם, מה בן אדם - נשיא המדינה, שגדל על משנתו של ז'בוטינסקי, ימני המאמין בארץ ישראל השלמה מינקות, ועם זאת מחזיק גם בערכים הומניים, ומאמין שכדי שנוכל להיות מדינת ישראל בארץ ישראל השלמה עלינו להעניק לכל תושביה היהודים והערבים את אותן הזכויות - הקיצונים לא יודעים להסתדר עם זה. זה מין הבריד שלא מסתדר עם דו קוטביות.
ואסיים עם שיר המריבה מתוך "שלמה המלך ושלמי הסנדלר". את השיר כתב נתן אלתרמן.
נראה אתכם מבינים את כל מילות השיר....
"אכן ניכרת אשת הזימות, 
רק נופת לשונה עיניים לה תמות 
דבש בארמון טעמה ותשמח בתומר 
שלמה זה אשובה אל בתי החומר 
יפה הישארי עוד אשביעך כף נחת 
עוד אפריחך גם אפריחך מכאן, ספחת!" 

- ספחת מי? ספחת מי? 
נסי, מפלצת ממולחת, 
לומר זאת עוד פעם, 
- ספחת! 
- מה, איך? 
- ספחת, תמתי! 

- זו לא עברית? 
- אש וגופרית! 
איך זה הספקת גברתי נופרית 
כל כך מהר עברית ללמוד? 
- איך? באולפן פשוט מאוד... 

- אולפן שלמה? 
- כן כל האלף 
לומדות פה בשיעורי ערב 
- אומרים זאת, להעיר כדאי לך, 
שיש פה רק שיעורי לילה... 

- ואת אני רואה, מהרת 
להרשם, אבל אחרת... 
- שאי רגליים חיש הצידה 
- הא,צרור שומים 
- הא, פירמידה 

- איזה הילוך, 
- איזו קומה, 
- וכמה פוך, 
ממש אימה! 
- הא, שמן זך בסולת, 
- הא,דבש בנופת צוף 
- ואיזה ראש כרבולת, 
- ואיזה גוף שפוף, 
- פרצוף מלוח, 
- אף כפוף, 
תנו לשאוף רוח, 

- שמעי נא גברת כל פסוק, 
שלך מעיד אם זה נאה לך, 
שגם בתוך ארמון המלך 
לשון חורצים כמו בשוק! 

- כך בדיוק ולכבודך 
בציפורניי האדומות 
את זאת ארשום על פרצופך 
כתוב בכתב החרטומות. 

- גם לי חי כל שרים וסגל, 
עוד יש ציפורן יד ורגל. 
- אהה... לאט לך בלי רגליים! 
- לא, דווקא עם, עם כל השתיים! 

- אני אפרוץ כנהר שיחור, 
- אך לא ירדן יסוב אחור. 
- בצל קצוץ! 
- קליפה מובהקת! 
- חושחש חמוץ! 
- דבלה נדבקת! 

- איזה הילוך... 

- נפל שמשון בידי דלילה, 
אבל לא לך יהיה המלך 
כי אין מפלצת שתדמה לך 
ואת כולך כדחלילה 

- אם מדברים על דחלילים 
שיש להם צורת מקל 
כדאי לך אם תקשיבי לי 
פשוט בראי להסתכל... 

- עוד יש הבדל גדול בינתיים 
ביני ובין תנין מצריים 
ראיתי תנינים בנילוס 
והם יפים ממך אפילוס... 

- איני רוצה לקרוא שמות, 
אך יש חיה כזאת - בהמות! 
- ישפוט המלך כאן בין שתינו, 
- לילית! 
- פרת משה רבנו! 

- איזה הילוך....

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

14 November 2014

Dmitry Kiselyov yesterday and today or a story of Putinesque metamorphosis

Dmitry Konstantinovich Kiselyov is a Russian journalist. In December 2013 he was appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin head of the new official Russian government owned international news agency Rossiya Segodnya [Russia Today], a 2,300 person organization made up largely of the former RIA Novosti news agency and the shortwave radio station Voice of Russia. He also serves as deputy director of Russian state TV holding company VGTRK [The All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company].
This is a quote from Wiki that should make it abundantly clear that Mr Kiselyov is as big a cheese in the Russian domain of mass media as a cheese could possibly get.

And no matter how cheesy you are, you don't get to this kind of executive heights without being able to carry faithfully the word from the above to the great unwashed. With assurance, with steely belief in what you do (and, especially, in what you say).

Some enterprising soul has glued together two short video recordings: one from sometime before 1999 and a recent one, creating a short clip of 2 minutes or so (the second part is about 30 seconds) starring Dmitry Kiselyov - then and now. The title of the result: "How does a man change near Putin"

Follows a rough translation of both parts.
Part 1

My name is Dmitry Kiselyov. You can't separate a journalist from ethics. But [many of the] people you see on your screens couldn't be called journalists, since frequently they are just propagandists. Propagandist, author of a pamphlet or a writer - they have a right to what they do, exactly as a painter has the right to paint over his whole picture in red color and to say that this is his vision of the world, according to his creative vision. But a journalist doesn't have that right, because the journalist's mission, in my opinion, is to show the correct proportions of the world, to show the full picture of the world. So the problem is rather the problem of the viewing public - to look at the screen and to understand who is it they see - a journalist or a propagandist. After all, we are discussing professional journalism here.

And if we talk about what the public consumes - the public will swallow the continuous lowering of standards - to more vulgar, more undressed, accepting any shocker, any lowering of the moral level - people will gobble up everything. But then one day we'll find ourselves simply wallowing in mud, like pigs, and this will be our society, where we'll gobble up one another, together with the mud. And it will be already impossible to get lower.

Part 2

I consider that fining gay people for promotion of homosexuality among teenagers is not enough. They must be forbidden to donate blood and sperm. Their hearts, in case of a traffic accident, should be buried in the ground - or burned, as unsuitable for prolonging someone's life.
Yeah, speaking about wallowing in mud like pigs...

As for being faithful to the hand that feeds him (and promotes him), Dmitry Kiselyov is so diligent and frantic to please his master that he even exceeds the brief, like in this instance:
Just in case you weren’t taking the situation in the Ukraine seriously enough, an influential Russian news anchor reminded viewers that his country could reduce the United States “into radioactive dust.”
Good doggy, good doggy...

More about Dmitry Kiselyov - a loyal werewolf wereparrot of his boss.

Weasel Of The Week!

It's time to present this week's statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

 Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week's nominees were all slime-worthy,but in the end the winner was..the envelope please...

 Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber!!

  The Right Planet: Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, who bragged about deceiving the American people in order to get Obamacare passed. According to Mr. Gruber, Americans are just too stupid to know what's good for them. Fortunately, for us, we have "experts" like Mr. Gruber to help save us from ourselves. That's why the ends justifies the means, according to Mr. Gruber, et al. I guess the "most transparent administration in history" ain't so transparent after all. Huh. Imagine that. Go figure. ALL HAIL THE EXPERT!

 The Independent Sentinel :My choice for Weasel of the Week for lying about Obamacare and counting on a lack of transparency and the stupidity of the American people to pass it.

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass… Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

You have to absolutely love this weeks' Weasel.

Here he and his prog fascist chums put together a bill that was deliberately designed to be deceptive, murky and hard to understand..not that congress was actually given time to read this monstrosity anyway. Then he did a little chest thumping about it with some of his lefty pals in academia, and was outed when a video surfaced and went viral.

On Rowan Farrow's MSNBC show, in true weasel fashion,  Gruber 'apologized'

Not for causing millions of people to lose their healthcare, see the premiums and co-pays skyrocket to where they effectively had no coverage or are paying a lot more for a lot less coverage.

Not for causing the loss of thousands of jobs or the conversion of full time jobs into part time jobs with part time income.

Not for the huge loss of capital and manhours by businesses and individuals.

No, he apologized for bragging about it and getting caught.

Ah well,as Barack Obama would say, you won. So come up to the stage, Dr. Gruber.

Whatever do you mean sir? No, of course we don't actually have a specific  Golden Weasel for you.You should have read the 1,500 page memorandum we sent you along with your invitation, where in the footnotes to section 3a, paragraph 2 subsection c, while it says a Golden Weasel will be awarded, it certainly doesn't specify that it would be awarded here, on this specific date or to you, now does  it?


Oh, now no need to get so upset. You know, we had to phrase it in an opaque, non-transparent fashion to get you to come tonight. Things like this always work better that way politically, and if you spent money for transpo, meals and a hotel thinking you were going to get a Golden Weasel here tonight, well I guess you're simply mistaken.Anyway it's all for the Greater Good, and of course you can't blame us if it didn't go the way you assumed it would based on what we wrote.  Although I have to admit,  to paraphrase someone whose name I can't quite recall just now, without the stupidity of some of our nominees, no Golden  Weasels would ever be passed out. Or something like that.

Is that the kind of language they taught you to use at MIT, Dr. Gruber?

Well, there it is! 

Check back next Tuesday to see who next week's nominees for Weasel of the Week are!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum, and  remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher's Council content.

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