Thursday, May 12, 2011

Gaza Man Run Over by Bulldozer

Gaza man run over by bulldozer.

Posted: 11 May 2011 03:20 AM PDT
Arab media is reporting that a man near the Rafah tunnels was killed accidentally when he was run over by a bulldozer.

I wonder why in this case they assume it is accidental, while in other cases they assume murder?

Muslim World Has Inferiority Complex

The Muslim world's inferiority complex

Posted: 11 May 2011 05:54 AM PDT
From Hudson-NY, translating an op-ed by Khaled Montaser in Al Masry al Youm late last year:

We Muslims have an inferiority complex and are terribly sensitive to the world, feeling that our Islamic religion needs constant, practically daily, confirmation by way of Europeans and Americans converting to Islam. What rapturous joy takes us when a European or American announces [their conversion to] Islam—proof that we are in a constant state of fear, alarm, and chronic anticipation for Western validation or American confirmation that our religion is "okay." We are hostages of this anticipation, as if our victory hinges on it—forgetting that true victory is for us to create or to accomplish something, such as those [civilizations] that these converts to our faith abandon.

And we pound our drums and blow our horns [in triumph] and drag the convert to our backwardness, so that he may stand with us at the back of the world's line of laziness, [in the Muslim world] wherein no new scientific inventions have appeared in the last 500 years. Sometimes those who convert relocate to our countries—only to get on a small boat and escape on the high seas back to their own countries.

The dilemma which we Muslims imbibed from one end of the earth to the other—by way of our sons, our intellectuals, our youth, our elders, our men and our women—regards the German writer Henryk Broder. We celebrated him through our media and Internet sites, saying that he had converted to Islam, because he said "I have been saved from misguidance and have come to know the truth, returning to my natural state [fitriti, i.e., Islam]." Our writers and intellectuals portrayed Broder's statement as a slap to Germany's face, since he was one of the most critical opponents of Islam, but now he had announced his repentance.

Then the truth was immediately revealed and the embarrassing predicament which we imbibed of our own free will: for Broder is not to blame; he merely wrote a sarcastic article—but we are a people incapable of comprehending sarcasm, since it requires a bit of thinking and intellectualizing. And we read with great speed and a hopeful eye, not an eye for truth or reality. Some of us are struck with blindness when we read things that go against our hopes.

We actually imagined that the man was speaking truthfully and sincerely! Thus we drank from the bitter cup of failure and shame, products of our chronic ignorance and contemptuous feelings of inferiority and detestability.

How come the Buddhists don't hold the festivities we do for those who convert to their religion? And some of these converts are much more famous than Broder. Did you know that Richard Gere, Steven Seagal, Harrison Ford—among Hollywood's most famous actors—converted to Buddhism? What did the Buddhist countries of Asia do regarding these celebrities? What did the Buddhists in China and Japan do?

Did they dance and sing praise and march out in the streets, or did they accept these people's entrance into Buddhism as a mere matter of free conviction? When Tiger Woods, the most famous golf player and richest athlete in the world, discussed his acceptance of Buddhism, did China grant him citizenship, or did Japan pour its wealth on him? No, being self-confident, they treated him with equality, not servility.

It is sufficient for the Buddhists that these celebrities purchase their nations' electronic goods—without any beggary or enticements.

I have discussed the Arab and Muslim inferiority complex in the past, and some of the stuff is worth revisiting.

May 2005: Why Israel's creation is a "naqba"

July 2005: The flip-sides to Arab "honor"

December 2008: Mixing up importance and impotence

US Defense Dept. analysis of the Muslim world, 1946

Anecdotal but convincing: Pakistan knew where Bin Laden was

Posted: 11 May 2011 04:26 AM PDT
A fascinating article in Hudson-NY by Anna Mahjar-Barducci:

Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Usama bin Laden was killed last week, is the same town I lived in for five years – in a house 800 meters away from his villa.

...All these roads were already heavily patrolled before 9/11, and more so after the Taliban took over the Swat valley: it is unthinkable that the most wanted man tried his luck in reaching Abbottabad at the risk of being stopped at a checkpoint. To avoid this danger, according to experience, there is only one way: to use an official car. No soldier will ever dare to stop what he supposes to be a high-ranking officer.

Abbottabad is considered a "cantonment," or a military town, with many military institutions: the Frontier Force Regiment (popularly known as the "Piffers"), an infantry regiment, and a batallion of mountain artillery. The most remarkable institution, however, is the "Pakistan Military Academy" (PMU), the Pakistani equivalent of West Point, from which Bin Laden's hideout was only a few hundred meters.

In such a place, the presence of security forces and secret services is everywhere. Everyone is under observation, particularly foreigners and newcomers.

Once you gain the confidence of the local officers they may even reveal themselves to you. Some officers of the so-called "secret police" were not exactly the movie image of James Bond. Rather, they were badly dressed and probably having some problems making ends meet. However, this ramshackle police managed to give an American aid-worker suspected of espionage 24 hours' notice to leave the country, It did not take much to raise their suspicion, and for them to take the subsequent action.

Bin Laden's compound was located in Bilal Town, a not very elegant area of Abbottabad. ... The presence of more than 20 people living in the compound, however, could not have passed unnoticed.

...In a country where gossip is a national sport, how is it possible that the presence of people from Waziristan, who were buying food for scores of persons, was never signalled to the police? When I lived there, everybody seemed to know me and my whereabouts. I even received anonymous phone calls although my name was not in the telephone book. I did not know these people, but they knew me.

...Pakistani officials are now protesting that the country's sovereignty has been violated. It probably was. But more importantly, Pakistan's credibility -- if there was any left -- as a reliable partner in the war against terrorism, is now completely gone.

Until now, many thought that Pakistan's double game was due to some deviated sectors of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence); now we understand that there is more to it than that. Americans knew full well that Pakistanis could not be trusted, so they took action without informing the country's authorities -- they were right.

PA Soldiers were Asleep at Joseph's Tomb

PA soldiers at Joseph's Tomb were asleep; fired wildly when they awoke

Posted: 11 May 2011 06:52 AM PDT
From Arutz-7:

Palestinian Authority soldiers last month woke up from a slumber and shot wildly at Jews who had been praying at Joseph’s Tomb, killing Ben Yosef Livnat, according to the private Israel Defense website, which is not associated with the IDF.

The report states that an internal PA investigation totally contradicts original accounts that the armed forces shot at the worshippers after they allegedly broke through a roadblock on their return from prayers at the holy site.

The internal investigation, as reported by Israel Defense, discloses a string of failures by the PA. Three soldiers, who had been trained by American army officers, were sleeping in their jeep several hundred yards from Joseph’s Tomb on April 24, the morning of the last day of Passover.

Nineteen Jews, including Livnat (pictured), a nephew of Likud minister Limor Livnat, passed the PA checkpoint where the soldiers were sleeping. When the worshippers began returning home in their three vehicles, two other PA officers at Joseph’s Tomb also were asleep next to a bonfire they had lit to keep warm.

The report states that they woke up from a slumber, saw vehicles they did not recognize, and started shooting wildly at close range without asking superiors for permission to fire.

The shooting woke up the two officers in the jeep, and one of them also fired without knowing who he was shooting at, but he did not hit anyone. The other officer did not fire because he was guarding without a weapon, in violation of standard procedures. The worshippers later said that the PA forces knew them because they frequently prayed at Jospeh's Tomb.

The Palestinian Authority security forces also did not report the incident immediately, while the IDF, observing from nearby Mount Gerizim, observed the shooting and arrived at the scene before senior PA officers arrived, even though PA units are stationed in Shechem.

An Israeli investigation showed that one of the PA soldiers was a former terrorist. It also found that the PA soldiers wildly fired 44 rounds during the incident - when they were not threatened at all.

(h/t Yerushalimey, Joel)

A Twitter Thread with an anti-Zionist

A twitter thread with an anti-Zionist who hated my posters

Posted: 11 May 2011 07:53 AM PDT
It is fun to watch how Israel haters react to my series of posters celebrating Zionism.

One such hater is someone named Ben White, who apparently is one of the leaders of the anti-Israel crowd. He wrote a book called "Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide" and has been praised by the usual crowd of anti-Zionists like Ali Abunimah and Ilan Pappe.

His reaction to my posters was to put up his own spoof poster on Twitter, replacing "Zionism" with "Hasbara" and tweeting "Israel at 63: This is Hasbara!":

Not having ever heard of him, I thought this was a compliment, because I thinkit is a very good example of what hasbara should be. Only when MargieInTelAviv responded

ah can't stand the truth can you? Why not check it out?

did I realize it was meant to be an insult.

I responded:

Of course it is #Hasbara. And it is true. Hasbara is no more an insult than #Zionism!


#hasbara in 2011 = treating kids in Haiti, evicting kids in #Palestine

He then included a link to "Hasbara Buster" who claims that Israel's good deeds aren't good in themselves, but an insidious plot to redirect the world from talking about Israeli crimes.


You are a sad man to get so upset over Zionists doing good things.


you are a not-so-bright man if u think its the "doing good things" bit that's objectionable


Ah. One sided propaganda against Israel=good, telling the other side=evil. Got it.

No, its called using acts of charity in strategy 2 defend apartheid. But nice #projection though

Even your example disproves your thesis. Org is private. But your hate overrides all. Sad.

He then tried to change the subject, with a photo that I suppose is meant to illustrate Zionist evil. Which is the usual modus operandi of people like him - they need to change the playing field in order to pretend to win.

But think about his main argument: he believes that when Israel - or in this case, ordinary Israelis - do good things, they have an ulterior motive: to cover up crimes. And when people like me publicize how great Israel is, we also have an evil motive: to cover up Israel's crimes.

In other words, to these mental midgets, Israel is inherently evil. Everything it does is evil. This is the premise that informs all of their activities. No shades of grey, no nuance, not even the possibility of admitting that things are more complex than they pretend. When Israel does something seemingly bad, it proves it is evil, when it does something good, it's just more proof that it is evil.

Logical people, who make up their minds based on evidence, can look at both sides of a story and decide. Haters, however, already know the answer, and any evidence to the contrary they use to "prove" their own point!

Let's once again look at the oppressed Palestinian Arab cancer patients who enjoyed a day in the snow courtesy of the IDF, the subject of my first poster:

Looking at these photos drives the haters crazy, as we have seen. They cannot reconcile the idea of Israelis - especially Israeli soldiers - actually doing something nice for the people they supposedly despise and who are, they believe, being ethnically cleansed by the very same soldiers. The cognitive dissonance must be painful. They must therefore invent their own elaborate frameworks of bizarre conspiracy theories to reconcile the obvious truth about Israel with their own, twisted, hate.

How can oppressed Palestinian Arab kids allow themselves to be used as pawns by the evil IDF? How dare they laugh and smile and have fun with the symbols of Zionist atrocities? Better that they refuse to go sleddign in Mount Hermon, and stay in their hospitals, than go and have fun when there is a slight chance that someone might photograph them and use them in such a terrible evil hasbaristic way! Don't they see that they are exactly like the Jews in Theresienstadt before the Red Cross visited it in 1944? Their smiles are lies! Their fun is a lie! The pictures are probably Photoshopped! The IDF was probably mowing them down with machine guns!

There is an entire industry out there, with people who are emotionally - and, in this case, financially - invested in demonizing Israel. Showing the truth is a direct threat to their worldview, and for them, this cannot be allowed. To them, Israel is a uniquely evil entity that must be destroyed, and tons of solid evidence showing that they are completely, irrevocably wrong is simply something else that they must do battle with their only weapon: lies.

The Palestinian Pound

The Palestine pound: A little revisionist history

Posted: 11 May 2011 08:48 AM PDT
From the Los Angeles Times' blog Babylon and Beyond:

As part of a statehood bid they plan to bring before the U.N. this September, Palestinians are pushing for the creation of a new Palestine Central Bank and the introduction of new currency.

But Jihad Al-Wazir, 48, governor of the Palestinian Monetary Authority, which hopes to soon evolve into the first central bank, says work is needed before reintroducing the Palestinian pound.

“We do not expect that in September we would wake up the next day and find the Palestinian pound all over the place,’’ he told the Los Angeles Times recently. “That’s not going to happen. The way it looks now, people would like it in the first week and enjoy the fact that the pound is back, but would they put it in their pocket and use it the next day? That would be the challenge.”

Well, there was indeed currency called the Palestine pound. Here's what it looked like in 1939:

Yikes - look at all that Hebrew! And that Jewish shrine on the front - in Bethlehem!

But wait, there's more! Here's what the Palestine Pound looked like in 1948:

In fact, these were the last Palestine Pound notes made, as Israel migrated to the Lira (Israeli pound). The last place that the Palestine pound was legal tender was in - Israel.

Do you think this is the pound note Al Wazir wants to "re-introduce"?

Al-Wazir, by pretending that he might bring the Palestine pound back, is implying that there was once an entity called "Palestine" that issued its own currency, rather than using British currency (equal to one pound sterling) of Mandate Palestine.

Incidentally, before 1948, the Palestine pound was also legal tender in Transjordan. Perhaps it should be re-introduced there as well.

(h/t David G)

A 12-meter Key in Rafah

A 12-meter "Naqba key" in Rafah

Posted: 11 May 2011 09:52 AM PDT
Palestinian Arabs in Rafah have unveiled what they say is the world's longest key, to symbolize when they fled Palestine in 1947-48.

At the two hour ceremony, the organizers pleaded with Arab countries to continue to push their Palestinian Arab guests to "return" to a country most of them have never entered. Which means that they asked Arab countries to continue their apartheid-like practices of discrimination against their Palestinian Arab populations and never allow them to become naturalized citizens, even if they want to.

The person behind the stunt said

The goal is to consolidate this key in the minds of young people, women and children, to tell them that they they were expelled and deported from their land.

In fact, most of their ancestors simply fled their homes out of fear, after their own leaders fled before them. They thought that their neighboring Arab nations would welcome them and allow them to start afresh, but they didn't count on their own leaders and the Arab leaders to create a myth of Palestinian Arab nationalism meant to ensure that they remain in misery forever. If they would have known how their Arab "brethren" were going to treat them for the next six decades, most of them probably would have stayed put.

The organizer continued:

The fight with the Jews is ideological, and therefore it is imperative for young people and children in particular to be aware of this through awareness by the community, through the organization of such events, and the work of innovative ideas as this key of return.

He added a message to Israel, "There will be no security for you," and he called for the Arab and Islamic nation and the Palestinian factions to unite in Jihad and resistance until the restoration of "usurped Palestinian land."

This is the two-state solution that we've been hearing so much about from the New York Times.

Muslim Brotherhood Leader Runs for Egyptian Presidency

Muslim Brotherhood leader running for Egyptian presidency

Posted: 11 May 2011 10:59 AM PDT
Remember those wonderful days of the Egyptian revolt, last February, when the Muslim Brotherhood sought to allay Western fears about themselves by writing an op-ed in the New York Times?

We aim to achieve reform and rights for all: not just for the Muslim Brotherhood, not just for Muslims, but for all Egyptians. We do not intend to take a dominant role in the forthcoming political transition. We are not putting forward a candidate for the presidential elections scheduled for September.

Never mind:

A leader of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement will run for the post of Egyptian president as an independent candidate, the al-Masry al-Youm newspaper said on Wednesday.

"Abdul Munim Abu al-Futuh has decided to run in the presidential election in response to numerous appeals by his supporters," the newspaper said.

A loophole: since a MB leader is not running as a member of the MB's "Freedom and Justice" party but as an independent, the Brotherhood can have its cake and eat it, too..