Friday, November 22, 2002

Three female Arab students were attacked in Jerusalem by two Jewish youth, who tried to stab them. The women were not injured, but a male friend who accompanied them was. Police is looking for them. Also, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into a bakery belonging to an Arab. (Maariv)
I have been enjoying Imshin's blog for a while now. There are now some interesting discussions going on in her comments sections - here, here, and here. Yours Truly is peddling her fantasies there, as well. Check it out.
The new leader of the Labor party Amram Mitzna says that he has a way to fight terror: "We will fight terror as if there is no one to negotiate with, and we will negotiate as if there is no terror". And I thought that he was supposed to suggest something that has not been tried before.
Israel's new Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz says Israel is not in any way limited now in where, when and how long it will act in areas controlled by the PA. He refused to discuss the possibility of an establishment of a Palestinian state, saying that it is impossible to discuss the issue under current conditions, including the current Palestinian leadership - specifically Arafat. He said he will support a creation of a Unity Government following the elections, which are scheduled for the beginning of next year.
IBA radio says that French and Canadian authorities are investigating yesterday's incident, in which a man named Mohammad Majhool has tried to highjack an AirFrance plane on its way from Montreal to Paris. French Ministry of Transportation was the first to anounce the incident, but later retracted, so did AirFrance. But the French police says it is questioning Majool, who is a Moroccan national, living in Canada. Montreal police says they will investigate the matter as well.
Maariv quotes the French Minister of Transportation as saying that the man threatened to blow up the plane during the flight, but was overpowered by passengers. He is said to have passed the security check prior to boarding. It is unknown if any explosives or weapons have been found on him after his arrest upon landing.
Am I the only one who finds it interesting that the only European interests that have been attacked by arabs since 9/11/01 are French?

Thursday, November 21, 2002

This nice young American woman is very interested in Israel, and is planning her first trip there, along with some friends. She is totally confused by Israeli politics, though, and I don't blame her. If any of you out there know of a web site that gives a primer on the issue, please let her - and me - know.
Steve worte in this post:
Tony Blair is still one of the good guys, and he's been taking major risks for us and definitely should be included in all important decisions (and he has been). One of the reasons for going to the UN was that Blair needed us to try it. There was a nontrivial chance that Blair's government would fall if we attacked without even attempting to deal with the UN first, and he didn't deserve to be screwed over by us that way. And in future some aspects of the military planning for war in Iraq will be driven by the political realities in the UK, and the need to help Blair keep his government together. Blair favors war and will support us in it, but it will have to be managed in a way that doesn't make him a political casualty. Doing anything else would be both dishonorable and stupid.
I remember this now, in light of all the publicity Bob Woodward's book is getting. While I am sure that Balir is not the only reason Bush decided to go through the tiresome motions of inspections in Iraq, it probably is one of them. And if it is not, it certainly should be. Also, while it may be true that, as Woodward says, Powel was the major force behind going through the UN, I am sure it is not as simple as "hawks vs. doves" in this administration, just as Bush as not as simple a guy as many (including myself) thought. I am also not sure that Bush and Co. did not tell Bob what he, and many others, wanted to hear. I just don't see them opening all their cards for a journalist, no matter how prominent he may be. This is not their style. This is not always a good thing, but it sure is in a time of war.
The suicide bomber came from Bet-Lehem, where his family moved recently from the Dura village near Hebron. His father says that he is happy with what his son did, and that this will bring Sharon to his knees. The Palestinian governor condemned the attack, and said that his people are making arrests of terrorists in the town. IDF radio's correspondent on the ground says this is just talk, and no arrests are being made. The town is said to be swarming with terrorists (many are on Israel's wanted list). Most came there after IDF left the town under the "Judea First" agreeement.
I am curious: what would have the US government done, if a Mexican or a Canadian citizen had blown up a bus full of school children, while it was clear that the explosives were paid for by the Mexican or Canadian government?
They are now interviewing a school boy on IDF radio, who was on the bus on his way to school. He was just operated on his leg. So far 11 dead, 29 injured in hospitals (more released), 7 seriously to very seriously. Families are still identifying the bodies, 9 so far.
In another development: the Barghuti trial. He says Israel has no legal authority to put him on trial, and refuses legal representation for that reason. Fine. Shoot the fucker.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

According to this (yes, yet another one) test, I am a man (80% certainty). I am attracted to men, though. Does that make me a homosexual? (Thanks to Andrea for the link). Meanwhile in Tel-aviv: A man married a woman. No big deal, other than the fact that both underwent a sex change operation in the past. Yes, they still have different genders - I guess. "And the colored girls sing..." Nothing wild about this one, if you ask me. (Via Maariv).
The Scandinavian papers are reported by IBA radio as being very excited by Mitzna's win. So is Arafat. He says he hopes to work with Mitzna towards the "peace of the brave", to complete what he and Rabin started. God save us.
Maariv reports on a tension between Netanyahu and Sharon, apparently over policy towards the Palestinians and Arafat. It looks like Bibi is using his position of a FM merely as a stage for his campaign for the Likud leadership. I'll bring more details later, if no one else does.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Call me a tree-hugger, but my heart always sinks when something like this happens.
I doubt that Glenn Reynolds had Israel in mind when he wrote this (excluding the gun issue, which is not really applicable). I absolutely agree with him as it applies to the larger Islam vs. the West issue, but I think that the Arab-Israeli conflict should, in particular, be considered from this point of view, and it is not being done often enough.
Update: Actually, I have to give Glenn more credit. After I wrote this, I ran into a different post of his, where he says that the US should not be tying Israel's hands in dealing with the terrorists. Good for him.
Some Israeli guys with a sense of humor are calling for the return of the British mandate. I have a feeling Steve will be able to tell us why this is funny (or not).
It looks like Mitzna is going to win the Labor leadership (an oximoron?), thus making Fuad a man who shot himself in the foot, while pissing against the wind.
IBA reports on a fire exchange that is going in Kfar Darom (near Gaza), between IDF and 2 terrorists, who attmepted to enter the kibbutz.

Update: The two terrorists are dead.
Hey, did you know they are no longer called "experts"? It's "authorities" from now on. This new and useful term brought to you by the trend-setters from our friend Egypt.
From one of my readers, Ted B.:

I just returned from a most amazing lecture on "Taking Terror to Court" given by a most amazing young Israeli Attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner. She is diminutive and dynamic, eloquent and impassioned.

Since graduating Law School in Israel in 1995 she has built a practice acting for Jewish terror victims. To date she has commenced over 100 law suits and already has a number of significant judgments. She is currently on a fund raising tour in Canada and the US.

At present, the US holds a total of $3.7 billion in frozen assets of countries including Iran, Iraq and Libya. Both this administration and the last one have elected not to pay terror judgments out of these funds, citing feared detriment to the national interest. Legislation is now before congress to rectify this situation, and force Treasury to unblock these assets, so that the they will be available to satisfy the judgments

Dozens of cases are being prepared by her to be pursued both in Israel and the US. The defendants include Iran, Syria, PLO, PA, Arafat, Barghouti, and Dahlan. She says that Dahlan is responsible for many deaths and has the evidence to prove it. This is the man the CIA is grooming to take over after Arafat. She says she won't let it happen. And I believe her. What determination. What grit. What Chutzpah.

She is also suing the EU for the reckless provision of financing to the PA, arguing that it makes them responsible for the deaths caused. This financing now totals about $1.5 billion. Patten says he won't investigate where the money went, because he needs it "like a hole in the head". That will just increase the punitive damages that will ultimately be awarded.

If the courts of Israel won't hear the case because of sovereign immunity, she says she is getting ready to file the case in Europe where there is no sovereign immunity. She needs money to do this. That is why she is on a fund-raising tour.

Her law center is called Shurat HaDin.

Currently Shurat HaDin
a) assists hundreds of Israeli victims of Arafat's violence to fight back against Palestinian terrorist groups and their financial patrons.
b) tracks the funding and the material support for terrorist groups by Syria, Iran, Iraq and the EU
c) serves as a legal resource and research institute for the numerous courtroom struggles which are being waged in the Israel, US and EU courts on behalf of the Jewish State.
d) is a central clearinghouse and litigation base for the multifarious legal fights which are going on.

All donations are tax deductible.

In Canada checks should be made payable to J. Brass of Canada, and sent to Shurat HaDin c/o Rose Cohen, 800 Steeles Ave., West, Unit B10-625, Thornhill ON, L4J 7L2

In the US, checks should be payable to PEF-Israel Endowment Fund, and should be mailed to Shurat HaDin c/o 317 Madison Ave., Suite 607, New York, NY 10017.


Monday, November 18, 2002

Well, at least Haggai made an attempt at rational debate on transfer. The closest to an answer I have seen is something Haggai mentions, too: it was immoral for Israel to create Jewish settlements in the "territories" in the first place. I don't see why. I would grant that it may have been a strategic mistake to create settlements in a few areas most densely populated by Arabs - I am not entirely convinced of that, either. And even if it was, it still does not mean that the best way to correct such a mistake is to simply reverse it by uprooting those settlements. Some mistakes simply cannot be corrected, and trying to correct them may be a mistake at least just as seriuos.
Other than that, all I have seen so far is either name-calling (usually in the form of comparison to the Nazis), or a simple dismissal of the idea as something that "cannot be done", the "world will never accept it", "where will you put them", etc. These latter questions have to be considered. But, although they do not deal with morality, the morality question is a prerequsite to all the others. So someone out ther has to do a better job at answering it. My view of the subject is in this post.
Haggai, and others, call the late Aba Even "a wise man". (Actually, Haggai's post is titled "Wise words from a great man", and I'll invite Haggai to correct me if I have interpreted him wrongly). I don't know about that. He certainly was a very intelligent man, a great orator, and a patriot of Israel. He devoted his life to the service of his nation. None of this means that he was wise. May he rest in peace.
Well, you are looking at my new wireless laptop! Actually, you are not,
but I am:-)
My husband's next door business is a laptop retailer. The guy's parents are Arabs, but he was born and grew up in the US. I was unable to get the wireless AP he sold to my husband to work. I asked my husband to talk to the guy, so he did, and called me to give me his phone number, so that he can help me over the phone. I call the guy, introduce my self, and the first thing I hear is: "They are waiting for you!" "Who?" "The company. Call them now." And he gives me the number. "Who should I talk to?" "Oh, talk to tech support." I called, and they had no idea who I was and who sent me. They did try to help me, but the thing still did not work. I replaced it with a different brand from a different retailer, and it is perfect.
IBA radio this morning (PM in Israel) interviewed the father of the 23 year old Israeli Arab, who allegedely tried to highjack an El-Al airplane, and is now being interrogated by the Turks. He first went on about what a great guy his son is, how he never got in trouble, how he is a student that went to Turkey for the first time, etc. When the host asked him why does a student go to Turkey in the midst of the academic year, he replied: "Oh, he has finished...finished his studies..."
The reason I tell these two seemingly unrelated stories is that they represent an anecdotal evidence to something that is part of the arab culture: lying is not a big deal.