Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekly News Roundup, November 14-20, 2009

I've been a bad blogger lately. Posting on days other than Fridays and whatnot, but I swear I have a good excuse this time. You see, this past weekend was my 25th birthday and, unfortunately, I was too busy having my quarter-life crisis to blog. But now I'm back and ready to tackle Israel news with a renewed passion and unbridled enthusiasm. Let's get to it.

A Rare Look into the Mind of a Former Terrorist: Most terrorists become former because either they self-detonate in a crowded marketplace or get on the express train to paradise courtesy of the IDF. This former terrorist in the video below falls into neither of these categories, which is why he's such an interesting interview. He covers such topics as women's rights in the Islamic world, how Israel should deal with terrorists, and some of his past associations with terror bigwigs. Give it a view, it's only seven minutes long:

Israel's Top 10 Gadgets: It is well known that Israel is a hotbed of technological advancement and a pioneer in the high-tech arena. Israel21C has been generous enough to put together a top 10 list of Israel-developed gadgets. Coming in at #2, but the winner in my eyes, is the Powermat. Ever get all the cords for your various cell phones, iPods, laptops and other personal electronics in a knot that you trip over in the middle of the night? I have, I'm sad to admit, and it sounds like a Powermat would solve this very problem of mine:
"The Israeli company's technology lets you embed a power grid in just about anything - from a desk to a kitchen counter. Then, with a wireless receiver hidden inside a device, there's no need for plugs anymore. Just position the device or appliance near a power "hotspot" and away it goes."

Here's a link to the corporate site in case you want to check it out for yourself or purchase a Powermat for your favorite Israel blogger that recently celebrated his 25th birthday.

More Schalit News/Rumors: It seems, as usual, that most of this is speculation and wishful thinking. Bibi refuses to comment, Hamas is only too happy to announce progress on a prisoner swap deal, and Gilad Schalit continues to rot in captivity. It's been three and a half years since he was captured, and it looks like Gilad's situation won't change in the near future. I try not to get my hopes up when Hamas announces an imminment prisoner exchange, and this time is no different. I'll believe it when I hear it from the Israelis and not a moment sooner.

That's it for now, I hope you can forgive me for being late. Have a good week everyone, enjoy your Thanksgiving, don't OD on tryptophan, and don't get trampled on Black Friday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Reverse Mifgash/Weekly News Roundup, November 7 - 13, 2009

The Reverse Mifgash: Apologies for not writing a Weekly News Roundup last week. I was very busy participating in the Reverse Mifgash, and was unable to bone up on my Israel news-reading in time. What's a Reverse Mifgash, you ask? Well, in Hebrew, Mifgash means 'encounter,' as in an encounter between Israelis and Americans, only, unlike a traditional Birthright trip, this Mifgash takes place on American turf. It's a reverse Birthright, if you will. A lot of planning, money-raising and coordination went into this 10 day, free trip for the eight Israelis, and it really turned out quite well. While they were here, the Israelis took in our fair city quite a bit, including: volunteering at the DC JCC, a tour of the Washington Post, the US Holocaust Museum, a comedy show by Benji Lovitt (of What War Zone), Shabbat services and dinner at the DC JCC, and plenty of nights out for alcohol consumption. I participated in much of it, including a Phone-a-Thon to raise money for future Birthright trips, and had a great time, as did the Israelis. On to the news...

The Abbas Bluff: Let me get this straight, Mahmoud Abbas is threatening to quit as president of the PA, and willing to give up the figurehead power and millions of dollars in western aid money that comes with the job? Please. He's about as likely to quit as I am to be offered the job after he leaves. But Abbas threatened to quit anyway, due to the lack of progress in the 'peace process.' Then again, we have heard this before, and the old man still collects a check. I'm not biting.

Israel gets a Brazilian...Trade Deal: Shimon Peres went to Brazil earlier this week to sign a free trade deal with the largest South American country. The Brazilian government also signed a deal to buy $350 million worth of Israeli unmanned drone aircraft. On the other end of Israeli/Brazilian relations, around 40 pro-Palestinian Brazilian protestors waved banners that read 'Shimon Hitler' in honor of President Peres's visit. Nice.

Tel Aviv Bans Horse-Drawn Carriages: This week, the bustling metropolis that is Tel Aviv finally banned the use of horse-drawn carriages within the city limits. As of now, Tel Aviv is the first city in Israel to institute this ban. Perhaps the rest of the country will follow suit, but Israel's sizable Amish population is unlikely to stand by idly while its only mode of transport is outlawed. Ahh, Amish jokes.

Have a good weekend, folks.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Phoning it in for Birthright

Last night, November 4, I participated in a "Phone-a-Thon" to raise money for Taglit Birthright Israel and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. I actually got to give a speech introducing the event and was a 'chair' of sorts, but enough horn-tootage. About 12 Americans and 8 Israelis also joined in on the fun to raise money which, thanks to the general state of the economy, the Bernie Madoff scandal, and a variety of other factors, is a little short right now for Birthright trips.

I participated in a Birthright trip in the Winter of 2008-09 and felt that, since I was given such an amazing (not to mention FREE) gift, why not try to pay that gift forward to DC area Jews?

Lacking a good reason not to participate in the Phone-a-Thon, I decided to head down to the Schusterman International Center in Chinatown to try to charm unsuspecting parents out of their money. Our 'targets' were DC area parents whose children had recently gone to Israel on a Taglit Birthright trip: striking while the iron is hot, as they say. After a short training session, during which the callers learned how to answer frequently asked questions the parents might have, how to most effectively convey our goals, etc., we took to the phones and got busy. And busy is what I got, as in busy signals. Also voicemails, hang ups, and disconnected numbers.

A good portion of the parents answered though, and the vast majority of them were willing to accept more information about donating. Some even donated over the phone. A big selling point for the donors was the fact that the Adelson Family Foundation will be double matching any of the donations we receive by December 31, 2009. For example, last night we raised $4,000 ($200 of which was raked in by yours truly) over the phones, which in actuality results in $12,000 for Taglit Birthright Israel trips due to the Adelsons' generosity.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington needs to raise $130,000 to send a full bus of DC area participants to Israel, and hopefully they'll get closer to their goal as some of the parents who requested more information mail in their donations. There's also you, dear reader, who can help out. Visit to make a donation which, if you don't remember, will be doubled by the Adelsons. It's really for a great cause and you'll feel good that you were able to help Americans get to Israel free of charge for an amazing 10 day experience. Now more than ever, it's vital we continue building strong ties between the Diaspora and Israel, and Taglit Birthright Israel trips are one of the best ways to ensure our respective communities remain closely knit.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Weekly News Roundup, October 24 - 30, 2009

Welcome to another exciting week in Israel news. This week, we find Iran stalling for (even more) time to build a bomb, J-Street claiming to be pro-Israel while acting completely opposite, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) antagonizing Israel, and Israeli baller, Omri Casspi, making his NBA debut with the Sacramento Kings. As usual, let's do it to it.

When Will We Learn?: As predicted by moi last week, Iran has summarily rejected the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) uranium enrichment offer, under which Iran would ship 70% of its low enriched uranium to France and Russia for enrichment to the 20% level, well below the level needed for weapons purposes. Iran instead countered with an offer to enrich its uranium in Iran under IAEA supervision which, judging by the IAEA's past efficacy with this issue, would lead to an Iranian bomb in no time. Meanwhile, both the US House and Senate passed sanctions legislation which would impede Iran's ability to import gasoline, but will the Prince of Peace, I mean President, sign the bills? For now, Iran continues to march toward the bomb while the International Community dithers and waffles, but what else is new?

My J Street Rage Boils Over: I haven't written about the abomination that is J Street yet, but this week I've simply had enough and could stay silent no longer. J Street was founded in April, 2008 and claims to be 'pro-Israel, pro-Peace,' yet manages to be neither. With regards to the pro-Israel aspect, just this week J Street dropped this requirement from their college campus arm, J Street U, saying:
"The student groups don't need to say they are explicitly pro-Israel so long as their programming and outreach operate from the premise that the Jewish state has a right to exist as a Jewish state"
"'We don't want to isolate people because they don't feel quite so comfortable with 'pro-Israel,' so we say 'pro-peace,'" said American University junior Lauren Barr of the "J Street U" slogan, "but behind that is 'pro-Israel.'"
In other words, J Street doesn't want to offend anyone who would be insulted by the notion of being pro-Israel, yet desires these same people to join their ranks? Right. So J Street is just implicitly pro-Israel now, while remaining pro-Peace. But can they even make this claim? No, says I.

Contrary to 78% of the American public, the House and Senate, J Street believes that "the immediate imposition of harsher sanctions on Iran would be counterproductive." Furthermore, J Street is "strongly opposed to any consideration at this time of the use of military force by Israel or the United States to attack Iran's nuclear infrastructure." According to J Street, being pro-Peace means wanting Iran to get the bomb. Really?!

During Operation Cast Lead, during which Israel finally responded to 8,000 rockets launched by terrorists and aimed at Israeli civilians, J Street had this to say after the first Israeli airstrikes on Hamas targets:
"While this morning’s air strikes by Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza can be understood and even justified in the wake of recent rocket attacks, we believe that real friends of Israel recognize that escalating the conflict will prove counterproductive, igniting further anger in the region and damaging long-term prospects for peace and stability."
So Israel defending its civilians from rocket attacks is hurting the prospects for peace, yet there's no mention or condemnation of the terrorists who are launching the rockets in the first place? It's as if J Street can't blame Hamas for attacking Israel, while at the same time expects Israel to stand by while its citizens are murdered.

From what I can gather, J Street could best be described as pro-Iran, pro-Hamas, and pro-Dead Israelis. J Street held a conference in DC this week, but I don't think my blood pressure could handle me writing about this despicable group any longer. On to another despicable group then!

OIC Behind Goldstone Report: Color me unsurprised by this revelation. I had no idea any organization was behind the Goldstone Report, but if I had to guess last week, my top choices would have been Hamas, J Street, or the OIC. Now it turns out that it was the OIC, a group of 57 Muslim nations, that was responsible for commissioning this anti-Israel report on Operation Cast Lead. While digging for information on the OIC, I came across this juicy quote from Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, during the OIC's 2003 meeting in Malaysia:
"They [the Jews] invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy, so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power. The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them”
Like I said, I'm not surprised at all that the OIC was behind the Goldstone Report. To wit:

Al Jazeera: The UN's Goldstone report has been in the headlines in the past few weeks - not without controversy - and has brought to light the conduct of the Israelis and Hamas during the war on Gaza earlier in the year. Does the OIC see this as a step forward in recognising what
transpired during that war and in bringing the plight of the Palestinians to the fore on an international scale?

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu [Secretary General of the OIC]: Let me first start by completing the story of the history of the Goldstone report. What I would like to put on record is that the OIC was the initiator of this process.

On January 3, during the attacks on Gaza, we convened the executive committee of the OIC on a ministerial level. It was decided that the OIC group in Geneva should ask the Human Rights Council to convene and consider the possibility of sending a fact-finding mission to Gaza.

I've written at length about the Goldstone Report before (here) and won't get into it again, but this admission by the OIC, a virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic organization, sheds light on why the Goldstone Report was so incredibly biased against Israel and easy going on Hamas.

The NBA Welcomes its First Israeli: After Maccabi lost to the Knicks and Clippers during the pre-season, it was up to Omri Casspi to improve Israel's basketball stature in the NBA. Luckily, the Israeli rookie had a very solid start to his NBA career, netting 15 points, on 7-9 shooting, and three rebounds in only 19 minutes. Casspi should get a lot of minutes this year as he plays on an atrocious team, the Sacramento Kings, and seems to have legitimate talent. Then again, he's on a lousy team, which kind of stinks for him. I'll update Mr. Casspi's situation as the season goes on and, as much as it pains me, try to watch some Kings games so I can see him live.

Have a great Halloween/Dia de los Muertos and remember to wear reflective clothing and not to eat too much candy; you'll get a stomach ache!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekly News Roundup, October 17 - 23, 2009

On tap this week: Maccabi Tel Aviv's American tour/debacle, Ehud Olmert's quest to get booed in every major American city, Iran gets a taste of its own medicine and rejects nuclear deal. Let's do it to it.

Maccabi Tel Aviv Loses More than Two Games: Falling to the New York Knicks last Sunday and to the LA Clippers on Tuesday, the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team is probably eager to return to Israel after their American odyssey. Head coach Pini Gershon was ejected during the game against the Knicks for arguing calls with the referees. Gershon then refused to leave the court for 10 minutes until security guards and a Rabbi from the stands finally convinced the fiery coach to return to the locker room. On Tuesday, Maccabi Tel Aviv lost to the Clippers in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, during the game a thief snuck into Maccabi's locker room and stole $22,000 cash and other valuables. I don't know who had a worse American experience, Maccabi Tel Aviv's basketball team or the guy in the next story...

Ehud Olmert Gets Booed for the Wrong Reasons: Personally, I'd boo Olmert at a speech for being a scandal-ridden, weak and spineless Israeli Prime Minister who capitulated to Hamas and Hezbollah. However, useful idiots in Chicago and San Francisco heckled the former PM for being a war criminal and murderer of poor, innocent Palestinian terrorists. Like I said, I don't think Olmert went far enough in killing terrorists in either 2006 or 2009, but according to these protesters, any act of Israeli self defense constitutes the gravest of human rights violations. Check out the videos below:

Loonies in Chicago

Nuts in San Francisco

The Delicious Irony of a Suicide Bombing in Iran: After 30 years at or near the top of the list of leading terror exporters, Iran got a taste of its own medicine on Sunday as a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing five senior commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and 37 others. The Sunni terror group, Jundallah, claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Iranians blamed the United States and United Kingdom anyway. Of course, terrorism is a despicable act no matter who the target is, but it's satisfying, in a Schadenfreude-esque kind of way, that the masterminds of countless terror attacks against Americans, Jews and Israelis got what was coming to them.

Iran Rejects Offer for Overseas Nuclear Enrichment: Well, not 'rejected' per se, more like 'failed to accept while remaining antagonistic to the West and its generous offer.' The offer was that Iran would export its uranium stockpiles to Russia and France, where it would be enriched for medical purposes. Clearly, this would then mean that Iran could not enrich its uranium stockpiles for weapons purposes, so the offer was obviously a non-starter from the get go. As per usual, Iran continues to buy time to build a bomb by taking advantage of the West's appeasement and 'good faith gestures.' Will we never learn?

Have a grand weekend folks, and make sure to stay tuned for next week when I'll find some convoluted way to tie the beginning of the NBA season to the Israeli bio-tech industry, or something like that.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

British Colonel Takes on the Goldstone Report

"The IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare," says a former Colonel in the British army, Richard Kemp, much to the chagrin of Israel's enemies, bashers and trashers in the United Nations.

Rightly attacking the content and subsequent condemnation of Israel brought on by the Goldstone Report, Colonel Kemp realizes what most of the sane world does: The IDF is the most moral army in the world and would rather put its own soldiers in danger than needlessly kill Palestinian civilians. It's painfully obvious to many that Hamas cynically uses human shields for public relations purposes, to elicit sympathy from the international community, and to more easily heap criticism on Israel. But the folks in the UN seem to ignore this aspect of the terror wars in which Israel is involved, and on the defensive, I might add.

Watch the video below and send it to everyone you can, it's important for the world to hear some truth coming out of the UN every once and a while.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekly News Roundup, October 10 - 16, 2009

A hectic week for Israel, what with the UN Human Rights Council adopting the biased Goldstone Report, Turkey airing an anti-Israel TV drama/blood libel and snubbing the IAF for Syria in war game activities, the New York Knicks taking on Maccabi Tel Aviv at Madison Square Garden this weekend (on Sunday, natch), and LeBron James contracting H1N1 which, admittedly, only impacts my Cavalier fan readers. Let's do it to it.

UN Human Rights Council Sinks Lower, Digs: The UNHRC adopted the anti-Israel, terrorism-excusing Goldstone Report today by a 25 to 6 margin in Geneva, Switzerland. Some of the countries voting to adopt the Goldstone Report were paragons of human rights like China, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Pakistan, Russia and Saudi Arabia. As PM Netanyahu wisely observed: "Israel's only real crime is that it does not have an automatic majority in the U.N." The Goldstone Report will now be sent to New York for further, anti-Israel action.

Turkish TV Airs Anti-Israel Blood Libel Saga About Gaza: Turkey, ever since it elected Recep Erdogan and took a turn for the Islamist, has seen its ties with Israel increasingly weaken in the last several years. Just take a look at this 'debate' between Erdogan and Shimon Peres from earlier this year. Anyway, this week Turkish TV aired a show depicting the IDF as a bunch of blood-thirsty monsters. The show's producer, Selcuk Cobanoglu, claimed the savage murderers in the show "are not Israeli soldiers" and that "the show is not about IDF soldiers. We also wrote this in a warning that appeared on the screen at the beginning of the program." Funny, then, that the two screen captures below clearly depict the Israeli flag, Hebrew, and the map of Israel. Hmmm...

Turkey Snubs Israel in War Game Activities for...Syria?: The same Syria that has been embarrassed numerous times by the IDF and IAF and refuses to fight Israel directly now, preferring instead to use its Iranian sponsored terrorist proxies in Hezbollah and Hamas? That Syria? Turkey dropped out of the 'Anatolian Eagle' war game activities with the US, Israel, NATO and Italy because of the IAF's activities during Operation Cast Lead last winter. Turkey claims they backed out because of Israeli delays in delivering drone aircraft to the Turkish military, but no one who matters actually believes this. Adding insult to injury, during the same time period during which 'Anatolian Eagle' was supposed to take place, Turkey instead practiced military maneuvers with Israel's arch-nemesis, Syria. Turkey needs to get rid of this Islamist regime sooner rather than later, and hopefully before any permanent damage is done to Turkish-Israeli relations.

I Don't Roll (or Hoop) on Shabbos!: The Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball team will take on the hapless New York Knicks on Sunday, October 18, in Madison Square Garden, as part of the NBA's preseason. Maccabi is arguably the most successful international team in competition with its NBA counterparts, having beaten the then NBA champion Washington Bullets in Israel in 1978 and the Toronto Raptors in Toronto in 2005, becoming the first non-NBA team to beat an NBA team on North American soil. Maccabi now looks to become the first non-NBA team to vanquish an NBA team on Real American soil, in the World's Most Famous Arena, no less. I'll be pulling for Maccabi here, partially because I love Israel, but also because I hate the Knicks for trying to steal LeBron James away from Cleveland. Maybe if he sees how lousy the Knicks are if they lose to Maccabi (no offense to Maccabi, of course), he'll stay where he belongs. Sorry to get off on that tangent. Maccabi will also play the equally terrible Los Angeles Clippers later this month, and I'll report on that as well.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekly News Roundup, October 3 - October 9, 2009

This just in, I am the recipient of a very prestigious award and $1.4 million in cash for actions I have yet to take! Oh wait, that's not me, that's someone else. On to the news!

As Alluded to in the Headline...: President Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize for...something? Let's see; the US is still in two wars, Iran and North Korea continue to jerk the world around over their respective nuke programs, there's no peace in the Middle East, and the Iranian election protesters were summarily quashed after the Nobel laureate offered them little to no moral support. Now that's Change We Can Believe In!

Speaking of Peace...: Iran threatened to 'blow up the heart of Israel' if the US or Jewish state attacks Iranian nuclear sites which, as you may know, are being used to produce nuclear bombs that will...blow up the heart of Israel. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. Then again, Iran can't even photoshop missiles properly, much less launch them. Zing!

Sweden Back to its Old Ways: After awarding the Nobel Prize for Chemistry to Israeli scientist Ada Yonath, the Swedes returned to their old, anti-Semitic ways when they voiced support for the United Nations blood libel on Operation Cast Lead, better known as the Goldstone Report. As you may recall, the Goldstone Report accuses Israel of war crimes for acting in self defense after 8 years of Hamas rockets directed at Israeli civilians. As you may also remember, the Swedes published that ludicrous article about the IDF harvesting Palestinian organs.

More Arab Riots in East Jerusalem: Israel restricts access to al-Aksa mosque on the Temple Mount to prevent rioting and gets...rioting. Again, talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Muslims rioted and injured 11 Israeli policemen after Friday prayers in East Jerusalem. Thousands more Muslims protested in the Gaza Strip and Syria as well, injuring no one but themselves, I'm sure. No need to fear, though. I'm certain President Obama and his new designation of "Peacemaker-at-Large" will be able to sort all this out.

That's it for this week. I'll be taking part in 'MTV Cribs: Thomas Jefferson' this weekend at Monticello. Wish me luck dealing with the early 19th century re-enactors!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Israeli Scientist Wins Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath

And to think, just two months ago the Swedes were rabid anti-Semites. What a turnaround!
Israeli scientist Ada Yonath took home the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for her research on ribosomes which, if you took 11th grade biology, you might recall as a cell's protein producer. Yonath, along with two American scientists, studied how antibiotics bond to ribosomes using three-dimensional models. This research is now being used to develop new antibiotics, which will eventually save countless lives. Maybe now the IDF won't have to harvest Palestinian organs to keep the Israeli population healthy. Yes, that was sarcastic.
Yonath is only the fourth woman to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, and the first since 1964. She is, however, the ninth Israeli to win a Nobel Prize and one of over 160 Jews to take home the honor.
I, in addition to President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Lieberman and opposition leader Livni, say; "good on ya, Ada, for representing Israel and the Jewish people in such a terrific and prestigious way!"
Ah, nothing brings Jews together like one of our own winning a Nobel.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Weekly News Roundup, September 26 - October 2, 2009

Gilad Shalit from a September 14, 2009 video tape

Another week in the books, which means it's time for another Israel Weekly News Roundup. A major development on the Gilad Shalit front, Bibi's a grandfather, Iran rope-a-dopes world powers, and a third intifada is narrowly averted...for now.
"I yearn for the day in which I would see my family again" - Gilad Shalit, September 14, 2009: As I reported earlier in the week, Israel has traded 20 female Palestinian prisoners for video proof of Gilad Shalit's condition. Today, Israel received the video tape which depicted a calm and seemingly healthy Shalit addressing Prime Minister Netanyahu and his family while holding a Hamas newspaper dated September 14, 2009. His voice is a bit shaky, and he looks rather skinny, but all in all it's good to see a sign of life after 1,195 days in Hamas captivity. Check out the video here: Gilad Shalit Video.
Netanyahu a Grandfather: Prime Minister Netanyahu became a grandfather for the first time on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 when his daughter, Noa, gave birth to a baby boy. Mother is said to be doing well, while son is already preparing for the 2045 Likud primary elections.
Iran Hoodwinks the West: After news of a secret uranium enrichment site in the Shiite holy city of Qom, Iran hit the airwaves last week, world leaders acted in the only way they know how when it comes to Iran's nuclear program; meaningless talks and misplaced trust! Iran met with with world leaders in Geneva, Switzerland, earlier this week and agreed in principle to have Russia enrich its uranium to a level of 19.75%, which is enough for power generating purposes and well below the 90% enrichment level needed for a nuclear bomb.
The phrase "in principle" was italicized for a reason: Iran has lied and backed out of numerous agreements before regarding its nuclear program, and I don't expect this agreement will stand up either. Iran is trying to build a bomb, folks, so enriched uranium at the 19.75% level is worthless to the Mullahs. Either the Iranians will let the Russians enrich some uranium while covertly continuing to enrich to bomb-making levels in Iran, or they will drop out of the agreement altogether, inviting strong condemnation and worthless sanctions from the West. In either case, it's time to fire up the F-16s, Bibi.
Palestinian Leaders Threaten Intifada: The latest offering from those lovers of humanity, peace, justice and equality known as the Palestinians involves a group of tourists at the Temple Mount on September 27, 2009. Some 150 Muslim rioters surrounded a group of Jewish tourists and their police escorts and began attacking them for the horrendous crime of Jews visiting a Jewish holy site the night before the holiest day of theJewish year, Yom Kippur. The horror! The Palestinian Authority, an organization chock full of peace-loving and compassionate blokes, quickly responded by praising the Muslim rioters and threatening a third intifada:
"The [Palestinian] cabinet ... hailed our people who rushed yesterday to defend blessed al-Aqsa mosque and thwarted the attempt by extremist settlers to break into the compound"
"A Third Intifada may reaction to the Israeli disrespect of the feelings of Muslims and the storming by extreme Jewish groups of the al-Aqsa mosque."
Palestinians: never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity, except when it comes to violence.
That's it for this week. Have a good weekend and a blessed Sukkot!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Breaking News: New Video of Gilad Shalit to be Released October 2nd

In what may prove to be the precursor for a full blown prisoner exchange for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit's freedom, the Israeli security cabinet today approved swapping 20 female Palestinian prisoners for a recently filmed video tape of Gilad Shalit.

Israel is scheduled to release the 20 prisoners, 19 of whom are from Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank), on October 2, 2009. The Israeli government will release the list of 20 prisoners on the internet, after which the Israeli public will have 48 hours to appeal the government's decision. None of the prisoners have "blood on their hands" per se, although several are indirectly responsible for murdering Israelis.

German, Egyptian and Israeli negotiators all played a part in securing this deal. The release of this video will prove to Israelis that Gilad is alive and in good condition; knowledge which will hopefully pave the way for his release from Hamas captivity. As with past Shalit news, I'll continue to keep you posted with the latest developments.

UPDATE: The list of 20 prisoners has been released to the Israeli public. As I mentioned earlier, no one on the list has blood on their hands, but not for lack of trying: I count 14 prisoners on the list who were charged with attempted murder.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekly News Roundup, September 20-25, 2009

Another week, another Weekly News Roundup. For this week, it's a special Roundup of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, New York. Let's get to it.

Gaddafi's Speech: Wow, what a doozy! Clocking in at 96 minutes of rambling jibber-jabber, Muammar Gaddafi reminded the UNGA (those who remained in the assembly hall, anyway) that he is still the creme de la creme of nut cases. The money quote vis a vis Israel came when the mad Libyan accused Israel of orchestrating the Kennedy assassination. To wit:

"Jack Ruby, an Israeli, killed Lee Harvey Oswald. Why did this Israeli kill Harvey? Ruby later died mysteriously. The whole world should know that Kennedy wanted to investigate the actions of the Israeli nuclear reactor in Dimona.”
A couple points. Ruby was born in Chicago, and never lived in Israel. He was an American Jew his entire life but never an Israeli. Second, Kennedy and America did send inspectors to Dimona in the 1960s, making Gaddafi's claims absurd.

Elsewhere in the speech, Gaddafi again called for the Israeli Palestinian conflict to be resolved as a one-state solution called 'Isratine.' Keep in mind that this psychobabble went on for 96 minutes. 96 minutes.

Ahmadinejad's Speech: Trying to prove Gaddafi wasn't the only meshugana present at the UNGA, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did a swell job of coming off as a bona fide deranged lunatic. Canada and Israel boycotted the speech altogether, while the US, French, British, Australian and several other delegations walked out as the diminutive Iranian 'President' took the stage. Outside of the UN, hundreds of Iranians protested Ahmadinejad for stealing the Presidential elections back in June. Inside of the half empty assembly hall, Ahmadinejad railed against the evil 'Zionist regime' that has been occupying Palestine for over 60 years. 60 years, as in even Israel within the 1948 borders is illegitimate. Ahmadinejad also brought up some 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' paranoia when he raved:

"It is no longer acceptable that a small minority would dominate the politics, economy and culture of major parts of the world by its complicated networks, and establish a new form of slavery, and harm the reputation of other nations, even European nations and the U.S., to attain its racist ambitions.”
This is an obvious reference to the dreaded 'Israel lobby' and its control over world affairs. Walt, Mearsheimer, and Osama bin Laden would be proud.

Netanyahu's Speech, For the Win!: Never fear, Bibi's here and he took the the Iranians and UN to task for illicit nuclear facilities and the Goldstone report, respectively. Holding the original blueprints for Auschwitz, Netanyahu admonished the UNGA:

"Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come and to those who left in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity, and you brought honor to your countries. But to those who gave this holocaust denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere, have you no shame? Have you no decency?
A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies the murder of 6 million Jews? While promising to wipe out the state of Israel, the state of the Jews? What a disgrace. What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations."
Later in the speech, Bibi indirectly called out the UN's Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead for its overtly anti-Israel bias:

"Well, ladies and gentlemen, the jury's still out on the United Nations. And recent signs - recent signs are not encouraging. Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here in the United Nations have condemned their victims.

This is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating terrorists with those they targeted. For eight long years Hamas fired rockets - fired those rockets from Gaza on nearby Israeli citizens - and citizens, thousands of missiles, mortars, hurling down from the sky on schools, on homes, shopping centers, bus stops - Years after - year after year as these missiles were deliberately fired on our civilians, not a single - not one UN resolution was passed condemning those criminal attacks. We heard nothing, absolutely nothing, from the UN Human Rights Council - a misnamed institution if there ever was one."

Netanyahu's speech perfectly laid out Israel's case against Iran and Hamas to the international community. Whether or not the international community is receptive is another story. Bibi had to at least attempt to persuade the world that Israel's survival is at stake before taking actions to guarantee it, and he did just that. You can see the speech in its entirety here:

That's it for this week, enjoy Bibi's speech, it really is that good. Have an easy fast, everyone, and enjoy bagels, lox and other delicacies on Monday night!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Shooting Down Israeli Jets to Protect Iranian Nuclear Sites: A Winning Policy

Last week I wondered if Jimmy Carter could sink any lower after his inclusion on Osama's list of recommended reading. This week, it seems as if my musings have been answered in the affirmative. True, Zbigniew Brzezinski is not Jimmy Carter, but Carter did hire Brzezinski as his National Security Advisor during his term as president, so consider this guilt by association.

In an interview with The Daily Beast and responding to the question "what if [Israeli jets] fly over [Iraq] anyway [to attack Iranian nuclear facilities," Brzezenski offered his advice to the Obama administration:

"Well, we have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a Liberty in reverse."
Not just confront the Israeli jets, but pull a 'reverse Liberty' on them. In case you were wondering what the Liberty was, it was a United States navy technical research ship in the Mediterranean during the Six Day War in 1967. Regrettably, Israel's warplanes and torpedo boats attacked the Liberty by mistake, killing 34 American sailors, fearing it was an Egyptian ship. The whole incident is explained here, but trust me when I say that in no way did Israel intend to destroy the ship of a key ally during a war for its very survival.

Brzezenski, though, would knowingly attack Israeli jets en route to attacking Iranian nuclear sites. Think about that for a second; the United States would purposely attack an ally's forces on their way to striking a mutual enemy's nuclear sites which, by the way, are being used to build bombs that could potentially target US and Israeli cities.

So it seems that Carter has sunk even lower by association thanks to this clown. A few weeks ago I also wondered if President Obama could sink lower in Israelis' eyes. Arming the Lebanese army while Hezbollah is in the government would be a good way, but intercepting IAF planes fighting for Israel's very survival would take the cake. Hopefully, Obama's National Security Advisor has a better head on his shoulders than Carter's.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekly News Roundup, September 12-19, 2009

Sorry for being late on this week's Weekly News Roundup, I was in Cleveland for Rosh Hashanah and had to get fawned over by my family. Poor me, I know. With that, here's the Weekly News Roundup for September 12 - 19.

Human Rights 'Authority' a Nazi Aficionado: Marc Garlasco is a military analyst for Human Rights Watch (HRW). He has been accused of anti-Israel bias in his reports on Israel's battles against Hamas and Hezbollah. Turns out his bias might stem from something other than calling HRW his employer. See, Marc Garlasco is an avid collector of Nazi memorabilia and artifacts. He posts on Nazi collector websites with comments like, "That is so cool! The leather SS jacket makes my blood go cold it is so COOL!" As of September 15, Garlasco has been suspended pending an investigation which, if it's like HRW's investigations of Israel, will see him reinstated post-haste.

Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead a Waste of Paper: Richard Goldstone released his report on Israel's war in Gaza this past year, and Israel was not thrilled with the results. Without going into the whole thing, the Goldstone Report essentially equated Israel's defensive actions to those of Hamas, a group that acts with the intent of harming as many civilians as possible. He further ignored the eight years of rocket attacks from Gaza which provoked Israel's response in December and January. Trying to cover up his anti-Israel bias, Goldstone's daughter claimed, 'but my dad loves Israel!' earlier this week. Whatever she's sellin', this blogger ain't buyin'.

Ahmadinejad Denies the Holocaust...Again: "The Holocaust has turned into a black box and they won't let anyone open it and examine it… If this is such an important event, why won't you let us reveal the reality to the entire world?" You mean the reality surrounding the most researched and documented event in human history? I guess I shouldn't be surprised by a man who would gun down his own people in cold blood after he steals an election...but I am. Is he really this ignorant, or is he trying to minimize the Holocaust so he can perpetrate another one on the Jewish people through nuclear bombs?

Israel Celebrates the Jewish New Year: Apples, honey, and the Shofar were in full effect in Israel as Jews the world over kicked off year 5770 in the Jewish calendar. As of press time, there were no reported brisket overdoses or severe food comas in the Holy Land. At my house, on the other hand...

Shana tova, everyone! Thanks for reading and I'll try to keep it as real in 5770 as I did in 5769.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Osama's Book Club

Carter's book finally gets a good review!

So, Osama bin Laden just dropped a new tape last week for the eighth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the United States. Of course, he came with the usual bashing of the USA's support for Israel, our continuing war against his fellow jihadists in Afghanistan, and promised a new attack against America, which may be a lot more imminent than previously thought. But the mass murderer wasn't done here, oh no; bin Laden also used the tape to promote three books that will shine a light on his views. The terrorist declared:
"After you read the suggested books, you will know the truth, and you will be greatly shocked by the scale of concealment that has been exercised on you."
You see, in addition to being a genocidal, Islamist maniac, Osama bin Laden is also a very worldly and well-read sort. He must have a helluva setup in that cave of his to be able to read, no?

I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat, so without further adieu, here are the three books Osama recommends:

"The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. Osama only mentioned this book by name and had no further opinion of it, but I hear from sane people that it's devoid of facts, virulently anti-Israel and bordering on anti-Semitic, so naturally bin Laden would be drawn in.

"The Apology of a Hired Killer" by...actually, no such book exists. The New York Times believes bin Laden to have been referring to "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins. Osama's review of the first, fake book was generally positive, hinting that this book would reveal the causes of the 9/11 attacks.

And now, for my personal favorite, "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid" by none other than ex-President Jimmy Carter! Honestly, who can blame Osama for this pick? Carter's book is overly critical of Israel, overly sympathetic to the Palestinians, and, as President, Carter armed bin Laden's mujahideen against the Soviets in Afghanistan 30 years ago. Talk about a conflict of interest!

Stay tuned for next week when Osama interviews Whitney Houston, talks about his Favorite Things, and we'll find out if the disgraced 39th President can fall any further.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekly News Roundup, September 5-11, 2009

A new feature at Shalom NoVa - Israel called the 'Weekly News Roundup.' I'll try to do one each Friday and post snippets of stories from throughout the week. I don't typically post on the weekends since I'm way too busy being lazy. So here's the first, hopefully of many, Weekly News Roundups!

Iran Agrees to Comprehensive Talks About Nothing Important: Their nuclear program? Nope. Their support of Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terror groups? Nope. The Iranians, however, do believe that the "promotion of democracy" and "combating security threats" are paramount, which is ironic since, as we saw in June, democracy is a security threat to the Iranian regime. You can read the whole proposal here. The language is very flowery but, then again, BS almost always is.

Gone Bibi Gone: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disappeared for about 12 hours on Monday. Speculation as to his whereabouts ran rampant and Israelis were none too happy about their leader going Keyser Soze on them. Initial reports placed Bibi at a security compound within Israel, then it was reported he was in Russia to discuss Russian arms sales to Iran. Neither Israel nor Russia has confirmed that Bibi went to Moscow, so as of now all of this is still speculation. "And like that...he's gone."

Lebanon Commemorates 9/11: So what does the Lebanese terror group Global Jihad do to remember the fallen on Septebmer 11th? Why, launch Katyusha rockets into Israel, of course! Two Katyushas, Hezbollah's weapon of choice as you might recall, landed in Northern Israel near Nahariya today. Israel responded with 15 artillery shells towards the rocket launching site in Southern Lebanon. The IDF is on high alert in case this situation develops further, but this is likely an isolated incident. Most importantly, no casualties or damage were reported from the Katyushas.

Bad Dates?: Israeli researchers have determined that eating 100 grams of dates per day will decrease the level of triglycerides (aka fats) and improve the quality of cholesterol in one's blood. I guess they didn't see 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.' Try telling this to that dead monkey...

9/11/2009: Today is September 11, 2009. It's been eight years since the heinous attacks that shook our country on that seemingly beautiful and serene Tuesday morning. Please take a moment to remember the victims, the heroes who perished in rescue attempts, and our armed service members who have been killed in the pursuit of terrorists the world over. Thank you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Not so Fast on Hezbollah in the Lebanese Government

Nice facial hair, Jack.

A few days ago I reported that Hezbollah, a terror group and arch-enemy of Israel, was offered 10 seats in the Lebanese cabinet. Well, turns out that the Iranian-backed terrorists will have to wait until a new Prime Minister-designate replaces the recently resigned Saad Hariri (the gent above with the spray painted beard and 'stache).

Hariri had the gall to name which Hezbollah members would join the Lebanese cabinet, a move which irked the genocidal gang of Islamist nutballs because, let's face it, some Islamist nutballs are better suited for cabinet positions than others.

So now we'll wait and see who Lebanese President, Michel Suleiman, appoints as the next PM-designate and whether or not he decides to include Hezbollah in the cabinet as well.