Harry Potter & Haveil Havalim #226

Harry Potter & Haveil Havalim #226

Founded by Soccer Dad, Haveil Havalim is a carnival of Jewish blogs — a weekly collection of Jewish & Israeli blog highlights, tidbits and points of interest collected from blogs all around the world. It’s hosted by different bloggers each week and coordinated by Jack. The term ‘Haveil Havalim,’ which means “Vanity of Vanities,” is from Qoheleth, (Ecclesiastes) which was written by King Solomon. King Solomon built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other ‘excesses’ and realized that it was nothing but ‘hevel,’ or in English, ‘vanity.’

Hello and welcome to Haveil Havalim #226, the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince edition. This is a different sort of edition for me. I hadn’t intended on doing it, but a change came up at the last minute and I found myself standing in the on deck circle.

I had several ideas for what I wanted to do with it, but it just didn’t work out that way. So my apologies because this isn’t up to my normal standards. Anyway, if I can find time I’ll update this a few times and try to give it a little more spit and polish.

And in response to some reader emails here are some links to some of the music that I listened to while constructing this. Please be advised that some of these videos are adult in nature. I didn’t have time to go searching for clean versions, so do what you will with it.

Mansions of the Lord
It Was a Very Good Year– Frank Sinatra
I Gotta Feeling– Black Eyed Peas
King Without a Crown– Matisyahu
You’re Gonna Miss This– Trace Adkins
Come Back– Moshav

If this is your first time here, welcome. You’ll find almost seven thousand posts about life, parenting, politics, Judaism and more. Links to some of my favorite posts can be found on the right hand side of the page.

And now on to our carnival:

Politics

Many people are questioning some of President Obama’s policies. You can read about some of that at The case against Obama.

Seraphic Secret reminisces about a man from his youth who would scream about and the end of the world and those who do it now in Apocalypse Now and Then.

The Muqata reports about Washington and Israeli Ambassador in Michael Oren hold his ground.

Avi Green presents DC becomes Dhimmi Comics posted at The Four Color Media Monitor.

At the Rubin Reports take a look at A brief guide to the differences between Palestinian Authority, Syrian, and Iranian Strategies toward the West.

While you are there you might be interested in reading The Obama Ideology and World Affairs Part I, II andIII.

Yaacov Lozowick has a must read piece entitled Complicated Afghanistan and Just War. Daled Amos shared Israeli Settlements: Olmert vs. Obama.

Yourish covered Obama ups the ante on “settlements”

Israel

I really enjoyed reading Nostalgia Sunday – Asimonim, maybe because I still carry one on my keychain.

Israelity also sent in the descriptive post, Tel Aviv’s Sh*t Mountain Gets A Green Light for Environmental Remediation.

And in technology news you can read Just another ghost in the Wall, a new Internet startup G.ho.st, launched last night by an Israeli entrepreneur and Palestinian software developers.

Batya said I Could Never Understand The Mentality.

Cosmic X relates a number of news stories in his post Truth Sprouts From the Land!

The Occidental Israeli discusses the Haredim and says thatTerrorism Pays. Agree or disagree? Go read it and let him know. Ask Lady Light about Civil Strife in Jerusalem: Protesting a Parking Lot.

Child Ish thinks much of it has to do with boredom.

Tel Chai Nation blogged about the impact of the Gaza war with British Antisemitism in Britain stops arms exports to Israel. Yourish covered it also in The U.K. Israeli arms embargo: Hypocrisy defined.

And let’s not forget the marriage proposal that Meryl included in Thursday Snark News.

Jewschool covered Gaza Soldier Testimonials.

Soccerdad sent over a link I had missed Breaking the Silence: More Rumor & Hearsay. Daled Amos shared Again, The Media Jumps On Questionable Report Of Israeli War Crimes (Updated)

Dave shared A Video Postcard from Hell: The Gaza War Up Close and Personal

Over at My Right Word I had to read about the Erotics of the Occupation twice because I just couldn’t believe it.

Our friend and long time blogger the Elder has The transcript of the “plot to assassinate Arafat” and the story about Hamas belief that they will acquire a WMD within 20 years. Now what nation of non Arabs who are descendants of Cyrus might say that.

Back at My Right Word there are beautiful pictures of the Ohel Yitzhak Synagogue in Jerusalem and don’t forget to read Tourism in Tuscany, Sorry, Make That Binyamin.

My friend Snoopy and co-blogger writes about the mishegahs surrounding road signs in Minister Yisrael Katz, road signs and Zionism. Eric wrote about it as well in Battle of the Signs in Israeli Cities.

In between rooting for the Bruins Ben Yehudah keeps a fine blog in which he writes about many things. One of his recent topics covered the protests, go read The Other Story: Israeli Leftist Rags And Feminazis.

At The Muqata you should read Israel’s High Court Targets Widow and Orphans of Fallen IDF War Hero.

Here is An interesting perspective on why the Palestinians keep saying no to peace deals. And then again there are posts that illuminate A senseless and irresponsible provocation.

Don’t forget to read Religion and State in Israel – July 13, 2009 (Sections 1 and 2) Ben Yehudah discusses an ad right here.

From Solomonia What Olmert Offered Abbas.


Judaism

I am not sure if there are topics that are more important than protecting children. Chabad offers Responding to Child Predators in the Jewish Community.

A good philosophical discussion can be found in the questions of Isn’t it Enough to Just Believe? – What Does Judaism Think? From Chabad we have Lightning Doesn’t Strike the Same Place Twice
Divine Providence Does!

Mother in Israel has practical tips you can use to keep your food warm and your house cool on Shabbos.

Questions, questions, questions, Is the Ran an apikores, by his own definition?
Don’t forget to read part two.

Lion of Zion brings up the question of Calling a Sinner for an Aliyah.

From the Real Shaliach we have Say it ain’t so!

Ever wonder about how Jews said Kiddush during prohibition? You might enjoy reading this next piece called Booze and Jews: Some fun American-Jewish history ephemera .

One day Donald Trump may be at a bris for his grandson, maybe. Read more at Mazel tov to the newest Jew – Ivanka Trump.

At Schvach you can read Eishes Chayil, that discusses Jewish Women. Child Ish thinks that many Orthodox Jews haven’t spent time thinking about why they believe what they believe. For more on this read Kiruv: Answering the hard questions.

From the Velveteen Rabbi This week’s Torah poem looks at the slaughter of the Midianites through the lens of the newly-released Breaking the Silence report about IDF behavior in Gaza.

The Rebbetzin’s Husband provides valuable information with How to attract people to your shul. Over at Ilana Davita there is a very interesting guest post by Shimshonit about her Judaism. Go read it.

Schvach’s post The Conflicting Demands of Life is definitely worth a read.

In The Pink has what I consider to be a ridiculous invention, a Tefillin sweater. Twenty seven years of laying Tefillin and I have never had a problem rolling up the sleeve. In fact if you buy one I want to speak with you about loaning me $50.

Prof K’s post gives food for thought. Go read The Things That Bring Us Happiness…Not

Use this link to Tweet your prayers at The Kotel. Or you can go here and ask someone to daven for you at the Kotel for 40 days.

I am a bit of a rabble rouser. Correction, I am big rabble rouser. I am often the fly in your ointment, the guy who will press your buttons. So why am I sharing this, well because I almost didn’t include a few posts from Frum Satire.

Let me be clear, I think that Hesh is a good guy and well meaning. But he intentionally writes posts that stir up a hornet’s nest. I know this because I have commented there and been assaulted by a number of the other commenters.

I mention this because I think that some of his commenters are troglodytes that wear Borsalinos and think that halacha says that you can beat a woman for not sitting in the back of the bus.

Anyway, I do not include Hesh as part of that crowd. And now that he has received a ton of press I am not going to include separate posts. You have the link to his blog. Go spend some time reading there. Not every post is controversial.
Personal

All the really cool blogs started roughly five years ago, just ask Jewlicious.

A Simple Jew is another one of the old time bloggers. He is among the first bloggers that I read and interacted with. Go take a look at “You Seem To Have Removed Yourself From Your Blog.

What happens when you are almost 30
and you have a list of things to do.

The Real Shaliach has Some important questions. Will someone please ask Mottel to move. I have been blogging here for more than five years now. 😉

The Rebbetzin’s Husband reflects upon the impact of being a parent in Changed by a decade of Parenting.

Take a look at some nice photos at I really should get a tripod.


This is the sort of problem I miss having. Go read A hard day [camp] night and Israeli teenagers – 1; Anglo parents – 0.

Apparently there is a new King of All Media. When you are through with that you can read On Tops and Tales because it is all about the people.

There is something very nice about passing on traditions. Home shuling blogged about bedtime issues.

When I read the next title I instantly thought about my post A Bad Case of Stupid Seems To Be Going Around to be clear there is no similarity other than title, which is why you should read We’re Not Immune to Stupid Just Because We’re Jewish

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of haveil havalim using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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UN Double Standards

UN Double Standards

Meryl’s post UN on Israeli “war crimes” in Gaza: The fix is in brings to mind an old joke.

Dan Rather, Katie Couric, and an Israeli sergeant were all captured by terrorists in Iraq. The leader of the terrorists told them he would grant them each one last request before they were beheaded.

Dan Rather said, ‘I’m a Texan, so I’d like one last bowlful of hot spicy chili.’ The leader nodded to an underling who returned with chili. Rather ate it all and said, ‘Now I can die content.’

Katie Couric said, ‘I’m a reporter to the end. I want to take my tape recorder, then describe the scene here and what’s about to happen. Maybe someone will hear it and know I was on the job till the end.’

The leader directed an aide to hand over the tape recorder, and Couric dictated some comments, then said, ‘Now I can die happy.’

The leader turned and said, ‘And now, Mr. Israeli tough guy, what is your final wish?’

‘Kick me in the ass,’ said the soldier.’

‘What?’ asked the leader? ‘Will you mock us in your last hour?’

‘No, I’m not kidding. I want you to kick me in the ass,’ insisted the Israeli.

So the leader shoved him into the clearing and kicked him in the ass. The soldier was sent sprawling, but rolled to his knees, pulled a 9 mm pistol from under his flack jacket, and shot the leader dead. In the resulting confusion, he jumped to his knapsack, pulled out his carbine and sprayed the rest of the terrorists with gunfire. In a flash, all terrorists were either dead or fleeing for their lives.

As the soldier was untying Rather and Couric, they asked him, ‘Why didn’t you just shoot them in the beginning? Why did you ask them to kick you in the ass first?’

‘What?’ replied the Israeli, ‘And have you two assholes report that I was the aggressor?!’

That’s the sort of humor that creates a wry grin because there is a perverse truth to it. If you picked up the paper and read that a senior IDF official sneezed on a Palestinian and was being investigated for war crimes you’d shake your head, but some of you would believe it to be a true story.

Some of you would believe it to be true because you have been conditioned to believe that most Israeli actions are based upon malicious intent. But before some of you accuse this post of being the standard polemic I want to draw your attention elsewhere.

The Guardian has some terribly shocking video and an article that has received far too little media coverage.

Video of girl’s flogging as Taliban hand out justice

A video showing a teenage girl being flogged by Taliban fighters has emerged from the Swat Valley in Pakistan, offering a shocking glimpse of militant brutality in the once-peaceful district, and a sign of Taliban influence spreading deeper into the country.

The two-minute video, shot using a mobile phone, shows a burka-clad woman face down on the ground. Two men hold her arms and feet while a third, a black-turbaned fighter with a flowing beard, whips her repeatedly.

“Please stop it,” she begs, alternately whimpering or screaming in pain with each blow to the backside. “Either kill me or stop it now.”

A crowd of men stands by, watching silently. Off camera a voice issues instructions. “Hold her legs tightly,” he says as she squirms and yelps.

After 34 lashes the punishment stops and the wailing woman is led into a stone building, trailed by a Kalashnikov-carrying militant.

Where is the outrage. Where are the hundreds of newspaper stories decrying this action. Where are the editorials demanding justice. How can such a thing take place and receive so little news coverage.
The silence is deafening.

Sadat’s Widow’s Words

Sadat’s Widow’s Words

CNN has an interview with Anwar Sadat’s widow, Jehan that was somewhat interesting. I appreciate much of what she said, but at the same time wish that she was more balanced and honest.

The peace between Egypt and Israel has held and I am appreciative of that. But it is a cold peace and Egypt could do more to foster peace in the region. Mubarak could still be classified as dictator light as he has led Egypt for almost 30 years now.

I suppose that what struck me were her comments about the border. Egypt could do far more to help control the tunnels from Egypt into Gaza. Egypt could help cut down on the transport of illegal weaponry. If Egypt did that it would help cut down upon the violence and help to establish a foundation for having discussions about peace and a real cease fire.

But I don’t have high hopes for such a thing. Mubarak hasn’t done enough to help cut down on the anti-Israel rhetoric in Egypt. And when you combine that negative influence with that exerted by fundamentalist groups you have a recipe for trouble.

So instead of working to help follow in Sadat’s footsteps he has to work on protecting his own position so that he is not gunned down as Sadat was.

Israel On College Campuses

Israel On College Campuses

Many Jewish college students have been struggling with the way Israel is treated on campus. It is becoming more common for adversaries of the state to hold anti-Israel demonstrations and activities on campus.

Quite a few of these activities are not friendly gatherings of students handing out flowers and suggesting that we just give peace a chance. Many are populated by rampant antisemitic commentary and false accusations about the misdeeds of Israel. Counter demonstrators routinely tell stories of being threatened, intimidation is routine.

The demonstrations rarely are balanced. You don’t attend them to hear speakers present both sides. They are hate rallies in which the speakers do their best to whip the crowd into a frenzy. They are part of a movement that is doing its best to delegitimize Israel and make it untenable to voice dissent for fear of repurcussions.

UCLA professor Judea Pearl wrote an essay that is worth reading.

…when an e-mail from a colleague at Indiana University asked: “Being at UCLA, you must know about this symposium … pretty bad.” Attached to it was Roberta Seid’s report on the now famous “Human Rights and Gaza” symposium held a day earlier at UCLA (see “UCLA Symposium on Gaza Ignites Strong Criticism,” Jewish Journal, Feb. 11, 2009).

To refresh readers’ memory, this symposium, organized by UCLA’s Center for Near East Studies (CNES), was billed as a discussion of human rights in Gaza. Instead, the director of the center, Susan Slyomovics, invited four longtime demonizers of Israel for a panel that Seid describes as a reenactment of a “1920 Munich beer hall.” Not only did the panelists portray Hamas as a guiltless, peace-seeking, unjustly provoked organization, they also bashed Israel, her motives, her character, her birth and conception and led the excited audience into chanting “Zionism is Nazism,” “F—-, f—- Israel,” in the best tradition of rhino liturgy.

Point of information: In the late 90’s I worked on campus at UCLA and have a few stories of my own about what was happening then. I was confronted several times by male students who suggested that it wasn’t safe for me to disagree with them. Perhaps I’ll share more about this later.

Pearl continues on and suggests that Jewish faculty members should have anticipated this and done more to try and help to steer the conversation so that it wasn’t so one sided. He writes about the many dilemmas presented by a society that tries to protect rocket launching terrorists and decries self defense.

And he discusses how it has become harder to be an outspoken Zionist for fear of the repurcussions.

These are dilemmas that had not surfaced before the days of rockets and missiles, and we, the Jewish faculty, ought to have pioneered their study. Instead, we allowed Hamas’ sympathizers to frame the academic agenda. How can we face our students from the safety of our offices when they deal with anti-Israel abuse on a daily basis — in the cafeteria, the library and the classroom — and as alarming reports of mob violence are arriving from other campuses (San Jose State University, Spartan Daily, Feb. 9, and York University, Globe and Mail, Feb. 13)?

Burdened with guilt, I called some colleagues, but quickly realized that a few have already made the shift to a strange-sounding language, not unlike “Honk, Honk.” Some have entered the debate phase, arguing over the rhino way of life vs. the human way of life, and the majority, while still speaking in a familiar English vocabulary, are frightened beyond anything I have seen at UCLA in the 40 years that I have served on its faculty.

Colleagues told me about lecturers whose appointments were terminated, professors whose promotion committees received “incriminating” letters, and about the impossibility of revealing one’s pro-Israel convictions without losing grants, editorial board membership, or invitation to panels and conferences. And all, literally all, swore me into strict secrecy — we have entered the era of “the new Maranos.”

I am sad to say that I wasn’t surprised by any of this. It is not so long since I was producing daily updates about the War in Gaza. In return I was repeatedly attacked on the blog and via email with some of the most hateful speech I can think of. I was called a racist and a nazi. I was told that the world would be a better place if I died.

People did their best to try and intimidate me. Intimidation is a central part of their tactics. It is what they do best. If you don’t toe the party line, if you dare deviate then you are attacked from every angle. Physical threats combined with attempts to ostracize you socially and professionally.

I’ll continue to advocate fair and balanced of criticism of all countries. Israel can and should be criticized. But when the Anti-Israel crowd continues to include epithets suggesting that Jews should go to the gas chambers and similar hate speech it is impossible to accept their claims that their criticism is not antisemitic. These types of attacks are attacks on all of us and must be opposed.

Unless we take action we are going to read more stories about intimidation at the universities. It is past time to draw a line in the sand and hold the universities accountable for activities that take place under their purview.

Crossposted on Yourish.

P.S. for those who are interested here is a link to some resources you can use to help educate people.

P.PS. This story from Solomonia is sadly an appropriate addition.

Saudi Arabian Hypocrisy

Saudi Arabian Hypocrisy

So that wacky prince thinks that he can lecture President Obama about the peace process.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN — Relations between Arab nations and the United States hinge on American leaders living up to their rhetoric about commitment to lasting peace in the Mideast, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal told CNN Saturday.”President Obama, in his statement yesterday, said that he’s genuinely making the effort to accomplish a peaceful resolution,” al-Faisal, who served as Saudi ambassador to the United States from 2005 to 2007, told CNN’s Nic Robertson in an interview Friday.

“We’ve heard this before,” al-Faisal said. “We need to see implementation. We need to see facts on the ground change. We need to see rhetoric change. We need to see presence on the ground.”

He said he was encouraged by Obama’s appointment of George Mitchell as Mideast envoy, saying, “Mitchell comes with a track record of success.” But he suggested Mitchell spend some time in the region to make real progress.

“American envoys, when they’ve dealt with the Middle East, have always come and gone,” he said.

“I think it would be wise for Sen. Mitchell … to pitch his tent in Ramallah or in Jerusalem, let’s say, and spend a year, two, perhaps three years on the ground dealing with the daily aspects of making peace there.” The United States’ backing of Israel, in light of the latest Israeli military operations in Gaza, does not improve its standing in the Arab world, he said.

“What happened in Gaza, people have called it a tragedy,” al-Faisal said. “I’d go further and say it was a catastrophe in all aspects of that word. The killing and the destruction was so barbaric by Israel, and unprecedented in a such a small area like Gaza.

Hmm…The Arabic expression for bite me comes to mind. The chutzpah it takes to say this sort of stuff with a straight face is incredible. To place all of the blame on Israel and to wave his finger in Obama’s face is unmitigated gall.

It is really hard for me take any sort of Saudia Arabian peace initiative seriously. They are morally bankrupt, two faced and exceptionally intolerant to people who do not practice Islam. So when I see them try to lecture us or anyone about what we should do I roll my eyes.

Let’s take a quick look at a recent story about child marriage.

(CNN) — The debate over the controversial practice of child marriage in Saudi Arabia was pushed back into the spotlight this week, with the kingdom’s top cleric saying that it’s OK for girls as young as 10 to wed.

“It is incorrect to say that it’s not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger,” Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, the kingdom’s grand mufti, said in remarks quoted Wednesday in the regional Al-Hayat newspaper. “A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married. Those who think she’s too young are wrong and they are being unfair to her.”

The issue of child marriage has been a hot-button topic in the deeply conservative kingdom in recent weeks.

Late last month, a Saudi judge refused to annul the marriage of an 8-year-old girl to a 47-year-old man.

This is sick and wrong. There is no justification for this. There is no spinning this to say that it is ok because it is culturally acceptable or religiously ok. Child sacrifiee and slavery once were considered to be acceptable and we don’t do that.

Want another example of their barbarism and why we cannot allow them to dictate morality. How about the time when the religious police murdered school girls fleeing a fire at their school.

Saudi Arabia’s religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.

In a rare criticism of the kingdom’s powerful “mutaween” police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.

About 800 pupils were inside the school in the holy city of Mecca when the tragedy occurredAccording to the al-Eqtisadiah daily, firemen confronted police after they tried to keep the girls inside because they were not wearing the headscarves and abayas (black robes) required by the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Islam.

One witness said he saw three policemen “beating young girls to prevent them from leaving the school because they were not wearing the abaya”.

The Saudi Gazette quoted witnesses as saying that the police – known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice – had stopped men who tried to help the girls and warned “it is a sinful to approach them”.

The father of one of the dead girls said that the school watchman even refused to open the gates to let the girls out.

Or what about the fact that 19 of the 911 hijackers were Saudi Arabian. The sad truth is that we can continue to cite chapter and verse about why the Saudis are among the last people to serve as arbiters of morality. Were it not for their oil money they would be a very poor and backwards nation with all of the relevance to the world that the Congo now holds.

If there is justice in this world we will witness the demise of the cash cow that has permitted these intolerant, small minded, bigots and promoters of terror to thrive.

Crossposted on Yourish.

War- What is it Good For

War- What is it Good For

Forgive me for using an antiwar lyric for a war I supported, it just seemed fitting. Fitting because like so many others I have been trying to determine what was accomplished. What sort of benefits have been derived by three weeks or so of bloodshed.

We can start with the obvious and ask if Israel was truly able to stop the rockets and re-establish some deterrence. Have they put the fear of God into Hamas and made them rethink their positions on little things like not recognizing the state. Was Gilad Shalit rescued and returned from what Seraphic Secret rightfully calls cruel captivity.

There is an obvious answer to the question of what happened to Gilad. The answer is that he has not yet been rescued and that there have been reports that he was killed by Israeli artillery fire. Until proven otherwise I refuse to accept this as anything more than Hamas propaganda designed and intended to demoralize.

But I will again add my voice to the chorus of those who find it unacceptable that he is still in captivity.

As for whether deterrence has been established, well that is a question that we can’t answer overnight. I tend to adopt a similar position to Yaacov Lozowick who says

“Now we’ve got to wait till the morning after the morning after (I liked Thomas Friedman’s formulation) to see if Hamas has reached a stage similar to the one Hezbullah reached the morning after their morning after their “victory” in 2006. If this morning’s rockets cause no casualties and cease by the afternoon, not to be renewed for years, that’s fine. If they continue, however, even if only in a drizzle, we have to keep on hitting, inaugural parties in Washington or not.”

He is correct. If the rockets continue Israel needs to resume pounding them.

Back on the topic of identifying accomplishments from the war it is also clear that the war provided antisemites from around the world with another excuse to commit barbaric and hateful acts of their own. Just look at this post from Zombietime for a list of events in the global intifada.

In a side note to my Israeli family and friends, this is why you sometimes hear from us about having a voice in what happens. My personal perspective is that I prefer to have the bigots out in the open. I’d rather know exactly who I am dealing with. Not to mention that the sort of scum bag that engages in this behavior would do so regardless of what Israel does. But this does serve as a sort of beard for his/her behavior.

The war made it apparent that we need to work harder on educating the ignorant masses about international law, moral relativism and what disproportionate force means. We also need to be cognizant of how many people are choosing to question Israel’s existence. It used to be that we heard discussions about occupied territory and we knew that part of Israel was being discussed. Now the tune is changing and we’re having more talk about the entire state.

Don’t believe me or want a source for this. Go read this post and report back to me. In the meantime here is are links to all of the roundup and some more posts to read:

1* 2 *3* 3.5* 4* 4.5* 5* 5.5* 6*6.5 *7* 7.5* 8* 8.5.*9, *9.5, *10, *10.5, *11, *11.5, *12, *12.5, *13, *13.5, *14, *14.5, *15, *16, *17, *18, *18.5, *19 and ceasefire edition.

From the traditional media:

CNN: Bodies dug from rubble during Gaza cease-fire (Who else was in there.)
CNN: Hamas, Israel set independent cease-fires
NY Times: Rebuilding Begins Upon a Wobbly Truce
The Spine: Reviving the Oldest Hatred
WSJ: Defeating Terrorists (Sometimes force works)
Boston.com: The violence network
JPost: Yadlin: Hamas likely to keep attacking
JPost: Analysis: The operation is over but the war continues
JPost: Analysis: Europe’s plea for peace ignores the Gaza reality
Mark Steyn: Jew-baiting, then and now

From the blogosphere:

Yaacov Lozowick’s Inventing Your Own Reality.
Omri says CAIR: Complaining About The Anti-Semitic Attacks We’re Inciting Is A “Distraction”
EOZ: I must be much dumber than Olmert
Solomonia: Big Gas Field Discovered Off Haifa
Solomonia: The MSM is the Enemy
Soccer Dad: Report from the front
Soccer Dad: Shiny happy dhimmi – #9

Gaza Round Up Part Two


The first round up I produced about the current situation in Gaza can be located here. Part two can be found beneath this. As always I will do my best to try and update this as possible throughout the day. If you have posts that you think should be included email them to talktojack-now-at-sbcglobal-dot-net or let me know in the comments.

FYI- I gather these links from a variety of places. In some cases I am tipped off via email and sometimes through the blogs I am visiting. I do my best to try and provide credit where it is due. My apologies for any credit that I miss giving out.

We’ll start out with some links to stories in the MSM:

CNN reports that Israel is in an all out war with Hamas. There are a number of blogs linking to this story moaning over support for Israel’s actions. As always I’d like to see what they would say if their next door neighbors spent all day throwing bricks at their homes.

The Washington Post reports that Israel is pounding targets in Gaza. Nice to see that some people keep repeating the “we may not like it, but Hamas is the legally elected government so we have to deal with them line.” They are being dealt with in the appropriate manner. You don’t hold hands with people who are trying to kill you.

The Grey Lady wrote about Arab Anger. Great, show your anger with Hamas and then let’s see what happens.

Surprise, surprise, the protests have started.

Spiegel Online reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel blames Hamas for the current violence.

In the blogosphere we have a collection of posts that are worth reading. Take a look at:

Palestinians Need Israel To Win.

The Gaza war on Twitter and Hamas shot Egyptian guard, Egypt blams Hamas for israeli attack

From Ricki’s Mom we have Israeli News.

The Rebbetzin’s Husband asks What is a Refugee Camp? At the Augean Stables The Double Disgrace of Hamas: Victimizing their own People.

At Writes Like She Talks there is another short roundup of posts about this topic. Solomonia has a number of good links as well.

Double Tapper shows a better way to use Rockets. From What Warzone we have By Far, the Most Signficant Development in the Gaza Conflict That No One is Talking About.

Treppenwitz calls it Revenge of The Nerds. A Soldier’s Mother who writes What I Want…and What I’ll Do.

Daled Amos provided Israel At War: A Primer, International Law and The Fighting in Gaza and Did Someone Mention Hizbollah?

Daled Amos also found Israel’s War On Hamas Now Includes YouTube. In case you are wondering, it is a war.

Joshuapundit blogged that IDF Troops Have entered Gaza. At Shiloh Musings there is A Prayer for Our Soldiers and Campaign War.

Dave shared Gaza: The real reasons Israel – finally – retaliated (Update 4)

Arpeh has Gaza War In The Eyes of The BBC and Me.

Jameel is still liveblogging here. Aussie Dave is doing the same here.

Westbankmama is offering Some Perspective. The Other MCCAIN blogged Appeal Against The Thunderstorm.

Avodah Ivrit shared Insanity.

Carl has Sky News: Will Israel undertake a ground operation? and Israel’s sorry history in Gaza.

Atlas Shrugs shared Hear O Israel and JEWISH GENOCIDE WATCH: IRANIAN PROXY HEZBALLAH PROMISES ATTACK ON THE JEWS.

Over at Hot Air we have Video: Israel attacking Hamas’ infrastructure of power. Michael Oren writes in The New Republic about a Crisis and an Opportunity and Yossi Klein Halevi has Why Gaza Matters.

BTW, Memeorandum has some other worthwhile links. Soccer Dad has Hamas And Its Boosters.

Gateway Pundit provided Surprise!… George Galloway Joins Violent Pro-Hamas Rally at Israeli Embassy in London (Video) and Pro-Israel Protesters Mobbed By Hamas Supporters in Toronto.

GP also linked to a post by Winston about the protest. Yid With Lid says that Israel Must Regain its Deterrence and discussed Disproportionate Response.

The Sand Monkey said My Head Hurts and Ghaza Again.

Dov Bear shared a post here and joining the war here. Tikkun Olam has Last Night of Chanukah,or: Oferet Yetzukah.

Seraphic Secret reveals Why We Fight.

Crossposted here.

Gaza Round Up Part One

**Updated**
Here is a quick roundup of posts about the current activities in Gaza. I am jammed for time but I’ll do my best to try and update this as things progress. My apologies for the lack of organization.

At the Augean Stables you can read Astonishing Statistic: How does this operation rank in the history?

Jules Crittenden shared Gotcha. Nasrallah is threatening to open a second front. For more on this check out Israel Matzav.

EOZ has a post about how the terrorists use their own people to try and gain the upper hand in Hamas leveraging Gazan lives for political gain. Confederate Yankee Writes about it as well in Because Monsters Are Always Monsters.

From Seraphic Secret: IDF Targets Hamas Military Targets and Egypt: “Hamas is to Blame.”
Esser Agaroth provided What Took ‘Em So Long?

The Rebbitzin’s Husband Kassams, Air Strikes, Gaza Invasion, UN Resolutions, Withdrawal, Kassams… and then what?

Solomonia Israel: Abandoning failed policies? and Nature Takes Its Course in Gaza (Updates).

Bookworm wrote about The Pieta. And Mere Rhetoric shared Palestinian Authority, Arab Countries: Of Course This Is Hamas’s Fault.

Yourish delivered Hamas is fighting the last war, redux and War snark. At Shiloh Musings they discussed the Seventh Day of Chanukah.

Jameel is live blogging. Hot Air says Hamas gets its war. What War Zone offered the obvious title, Here We Go Again.

Yid With Lid covered GAZA ATTACK!!!! Is Israel’s Policy of Restraint FINALLY Over ? and Obama’s Silence on Gaza Speaks Volumes. Not to mention US Terrorist Group CAIR Rips Israeli Action in Gaza.

Judeopundit on Soccer Dad’s blog has Guardian: “Analysis: The latest attacks in Gaza rank with Deir Yassin and the Sabra and Shatila massacres” it is also crossposted here.

From Daled Amos IDF Strikes Back At Hamas in Gaza Israellycool is live-blogging the Israeli retaliation against Hamas as well.

Westbankmama shared Tzav 8 – Reserve Soldiers Are Being Called Up. Tzipiyah posted We Will Not Put Our Heads Down In Shame!

A Soldier’s Mother has a post called Dawn. Baka Diary heard the Jets all day long.

Tel-Chai Nation is talking about the activities as well. Treppenwitz asks 300 Dead What.

My Right Word shared the following: Marty Peretz goes gung-ho, Today’s Quiz and Just Sitting Around.

Here is a link to CNN’s report about the situation. Jewlicious has Hamas’s Winning Strategy. Backspin said: Hamas Blocks Gaza’s Wounded From Treatment.

Gateway Pundit says: Hamas: Israel Bombed Islamic University in Gaza …Update: Egyptians Fire on Palestinians!

More to come my friends. If you have a post or hear of something worth including let me know in the comments or send an email to talktojacknow-at-sbcglobal-dot-net.

Crossposted here.

Mumbai- Notes/Links About Terror

In the past some commenters have complained about graphic comments and images in posts that discussed war/terrorism. I don’t believe in sugarcoating the truth so we are going to continue to provide specific details about what happened. It is important to do so that people understand the gravity of the situation and are not able to minimize things.

Also, let’s not forget that they made a point of going after Jewish/Israeli targets. That doesn’t mean that I have no sympathy for the other victims. It is just important to mention that we recognize that alongside hotels, rail stations and restaurants they went for a small, obscure house. It was deliberate. But one way or another justice will be served.

Aussie Dave tipped me off to a story that says it appears that the hostages at the Chabad House (Nariman House) were tortured.

“They said that just one look at the bodies of the dead hostages as well as terrorists showed it was a battle of attrition that was fought over three days at the Oberoi and the Taj hotels in Mumbai.

Doctors working in a hospital where all the bodies, including that of the terrorists, were taken said they had not seen anything like this in their lives.

“Bombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing,” a doctor said.

Asked what was different about the victims of the incident, another doctor said: “It was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatised. A bomb blast victim’s body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words,” he said.

Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: “It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood,” one doctor said.

The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: “Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again,” he said.

Corroborating the doctors’ claims about torture was the information that the Intelligence Bureau had about the terror plan. “During his interrogation, Ajmal Kamal said they were specifically asked to target the foreigners, especially the Israelis,” an IB source said.

It is also said that the Israeli hostages were killed on the first day as keeping them hostage for too long would have focused too much international attention. “They also might have feared the chances of Israeli security agencies taking over the operations at the Nariman House,” he reasoned.”

The Times of India shared a report from a Russian expert who speculates that the terrorists were trained by special forces.

Another report says that the terrorists posed as Malaysian students. The story relates information from the confession of one of the terrorists.

“But the 10 men were apparently not the only ones directly involved:
Another group, he claimed, had checked themselves into hotels four days before,
waiting with weapons and ammunition they had stockpiled in the rooms.

The 10 men in Azam’s group were chosen well: All were trained in marine warfare and had undergone a special course conducted by the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Preparations were also detailed, and started early.

Azam and eight others in the team made a reconnaissance trip to Mumbai several months before the attacks, pretending to be Malaysian students. They rented an apartment at Colaba market, near one of their targets, the Nariman House.

The chief planner of the attacks also visited Mumbai a month before to take photographs and film strategic locations, including the hotel layouts.

Returning to Pakistan, the chief plotter trained the group, telling them to ‘kill till the last breath’.

Surprisingly, the men did not expect themselves to be suicide terrorists. Azam said they had originally planned to sail back on Thursday – the recruiters had even charted out a return route, stored on a GPS device.

On the evening of Nov 21, Azam’s group set off from an isolated creek in Karachi in a boat. The next day, a large Pakistani vessel with four Pakistanis and crew picked them up, whereupon the group was issued arms and ammunition.

Each man in the assault team was handed six to seven magazines of 50 bullets each, eight hand grenades, one AK-47 assault rifle, an automatic loading revolver, credit cards and a supply of dried fruit. They were, as some media put it, in for the long haul.

A day later, the team came across an Indian-owned trawler, Kuber, which they boarded. They killed four of the fishermen onboard, dumped their bodies into the sea, and forced its skipper Amarjit Singh to sail for India.

The next day, they beheaded the skipper, and one of the gunmen, a trained sailor, took the wheel and headed for the shores of Gujarat, India.

Near Gujarat, the terrorists raised a white flag as two officers of the coast guard approached.While the officers questioned them, one of the terrorists grappled with one of them, slit his throat and threw his body into the boat. The group then ordered the other officer to help them get to Mumbai.

On Nov 26, the team reached the Mumbai coast.

Four nautical miles out, they were met by three inflatable speedboats. They killed the other coast guard officer, transferred into the speedboats and proceeded to Colaba jetty as dusk settled.

The Kuber was found later with the body of the 30-year-old captain onboard.

At Badhwar Park in Cuffe Parade – just three blocks away from Nariman House – the 10 men got off, stripped off the orange windbreakers they had been wearing and made sure to take out their large, heavy backpacks.

It was there that they were spotted by fisherman Prasan Dhanur, who was preparing his boat, and harbour official Kashinath Patil, 72, who was on duty nearby.

“Where are you going?” Patil asked them. “What’s in your bags?”

The men replied: “We don’t want any attention. Don’t bother us.”

Thinking little of it, Dhanur and Patil, who said they did not see the guns hidden in the backpacks, did not call the police, and watched the 10 young men walk away.

Then the carnage started.

On hitting the ground, the 10 men broke up.

Four men headed for the Taj Mahal Hotel, two for The Oberoi Trident, two for Nariman House and two – Azam and Ismail – for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus by taxi.

At the railway station, Azam and his colleague opened fire, targeting Caucasian tourists while trying to spare Muslims.”

Thanksgiving in Mumbai

The world is a strange place. I just finished playing in my yearly football game. For two hours I ran or should I say staggered my way through a muddy field. For two hours I pushed my ancient almost 40 year-old body against 18-20 year olds. And when it was all done we hugged each other goodbye and wished each other well.

Driving home I thought about the attacks in Mumbai. Two of my cousins were recent guests in the Chabad house. We emailed each other last night to confirm that they were back home in Israel. I thought about my friend David and his post about his recent trip to India in which he was a guest at the Chabad house.

I listened to the news in the car as they explained that this was a well coordinated and professional hit. I thought about how they intentionally attacked a place that they knew had Jews and Israelis. I listened to reports in which they said that the terrorists tried to identify American and British passport holders. An attack on the west.

While I sat there listening I felt very badly for the victims and was reminded that there are people who are willing to do terrible things to my family, my friends, myself and many others. They are willing to murder and maim without regard.

Look I can sit here and feed platitudes about why they might do this. I can wax on about it being a war of ideologies, but I am not going to. On this day I have no patience for that. Terrorists deserve to die. Or as I read earlier this week terrorists should just get dead.

A message needs to be sent. A clarion call that cannot be mistaken. Use violence to try and affect change and you receive a bullet in the head.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the solution to these problems is also going to include a diplomatic component. It has to. But sometimes diplomacy has to come after you have made it clear that a refusal to come to the table will not yield the results that you want. Terror cannot win.

So on this day I want to say that I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for the health of my family and friends. I am grateful to those who serve to help preserve and protect those freedoms. I am grateful to live in a land whose limitations are set more by us and less by others. Sometimes circumstances favor you and sometimes they dont. But more often than not the real limits on your future are those that you set yourself.

Have a good Thanksgiving and may we all be safe.

Was Osama Right?

Bernard Lewis has an interesting essay here. Two sections for your digestion:

“During the Cold War, two things came to be known and generally recognized in the Middle East concerning the two rival superpowers. If you did anything to annoy the Russians, punishment would be swift and dire. If you said or did anything against the Americans, not only would there be no punishment; there might even be some possibility of reward, as the usual anxious procession of diplomats and politicians, journalists and scholars and miscellaneous others came with their usual pleading inquiries: “What have we done to offend you? What can we do to put it right?”

A few examples may suffice. During the troubles in Lebanon in the 1970s and ’80s, there were many attacks on American installations and individuals–notably the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, followed by a prompt withdrawal, and a whole series of kidnappings of Americans, both official and private, as well as of Europeans. There was only one attack on Soviet citizens, when one diplomat was killed and several others kidnapped. The Soviet response through their local agents was swift, and directed against the family of the leader of the kidnappers. The kidnapped Russians were promptly released, and after that there were no attacks on Soviet citizens or installations throughout the period of the Lebanese troubles.

These different responses evoked different treatment. While American policies, institutions and individuals were subject to unremitting criticism and sometimes deadly attack, the Soviets were immune. Their retention of the vast, largely Muslim colonial empire accumulated by the czars in Asia passed unnoticed, as did their propaganda and sometimes action against Muslim beliefs and institutions.”

The second excerpt begins below:

“Now the situation had changed. The more immediate, more dangerous enemy was the Soviet Union, already ruling a number of Muslim countries, and daily increasing its influence and presence in others. It was therefore natural to seek and accept American help. As Osama bin Laden explained, in this final phase of the millennial struggle, the world of the unbelievers was divided between two superpowers. The first task was to deal with the more deadly and more dangerous of the two, the Soviet Union. After that, dealing with the pampered and degenerate Americans would be easy.

We in the Western world see the defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union as a Western, more specifically an American, victory in the Cold War. For Osama bin Laden and his followers, it was a Muslim victory in a jihad, and, given the circumstances, this perception does not lack plausibility.”

Hamas Official: World, Israel, Arabs To Blame For Fighting

When you can’t take responsibility for your own actions you can always find someone else to blame. This speaks volumes.

The international community, Israel and Arab countries are to blame for the current inter-Palestinian fighting in the Gaza Strip for failing to life an economic siege on the Palestinians, a senior Hamas official said Wednesday.

The remarks by Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, came as fighting renewed between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza early Wednesday when Hamas gunmen stormed the home of a top Fatah official in Gaza City, killing five bodyguards inside, Palestinian security officials said.

The attack comes after a brutal day of factional fighting between Hamas and Fatah rivals in Gaza that killed 15 people. Four days of intense Palestinian infighting in Gaza have killed 41 people.

“The international community and Arab countries shoulder part of the responsibility for the current events due to their attitudes toward the national unity government,” Abu Marzouk said in Damascus.

“The continued financial and political siege has pushed matters to this simmering tension,” he said. He also blamed Israel and Arab apathy toward the economic sanctions for the fighting.

“The Israelis are behind all these events,” Abu Marzouk said. “It’s illogical that the Arabs stand idle watching the Palestinian arena while it’s on the verge of explosion under the siege…this is a constant pressure that has led to a real explosion.”

Why We Fight

Been visited by all sorts of trolls lately. You want to know why we fight. You want to know what makes us so tough is because we see what happens when we roll over and do nothing. We know that while the world may be full of good people, ultimately evil exists.

So we force ourselves to be painfully shocked out of sweet dreams so that we remember why we need maintain an iron will.

This doesn’t get any easier to watch. Take a deep breath and pray.

Censorship At YouTube

Carl has got a post about some of the challenges of posting videos at YouTube.

Muslims on YouTube have formed several groups where users and videos that criticize Islam (which they define as “Hate Speech”) are listed and mass-flagged as abuse. YouTube seems to remove videos and sometimes even ban users automatically. Muslims claim that they only flag videos that have violated YouTube’s TOS, but this has been been proven false.

For the full story please click here.

The Future of Europe

Daniel Pipes (http://www.danielpipes.org/article/4323) offers several potential scenarios regarding the future of Europe. I encourage you to read the whole piece. Here is a short excerpt for each scenario:

Muslim Rule– To sum up: this first argument holds that Europe will be Islamized, quietly submitting to the dhimmi status or converting to Islam, because the yin of Europe and yang of Muslims fit so well: low and high religiosity, low and high fertility, low and high cultural confidence.[2] Europe is an open door through which Muslims are walking.

Muslim Rejection– Or will the door be shut in their face? American columnist Ralph Peters dismisses the first scenario: “Far from enjoying the prospect of taking over Europe by having babies, Europe’s Muslims are living on borrowed time. … predictions of a Muslim takeover of Europe … ignore history and Europe’s ineradicable viciousness.” Instead, depicting Europe as the place “that perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing,” he predicts its Muslims “will be lucky just to be deported,” and not killed. Claire Berlinski, in Menace in Europe: Why the Continent’s Crisis Is America’s, Too, implicitly agrees, pointing to the “ancient conflicts and patterns … now shambling out of the mists of European history” which could well trigger violence.

This scenario has indigenous Europeans – who do still constitute 95 percent of the continent’s population – waking up one day and asserting themselves. “Basta!” they will say, and reclaim their historic order. This is not so remote; a chafing among Europeans, less among elites than the masses, loudly protests changes already underway. Illustrations of that resentment include the anti-hijab legislation in France, irritation over the restrictions of national flags and Christian symbols, and the insistence on serving wine at state dinners. A movement spontaneously developed in several French cities in early 2006 to serve pork soup to the poor, thus intentionally excluding Muslims.

Muslim Integration– Such optimism, unfortunately, has little foundation. Europeans could yet rediscover their Christian faith, have more babies, and cherish their own heritage. They could encourage non-Muslim immigration or acculturate the Muslims already among them. But such changes are not now underway, nor are their prospects good. Instead, Muslims are cultivating grievances and ambitions at odds with their indigenous neighbors. Worryingly, each generation appears more alienated than its predecessor. Canadian novelist Hugh MacLennan dubbed his country’s English-French split the “Two Solitudes“; one sees something similar, but far more pronounced, developing in Europe. Those polls of British Muslims for example, find that a majority of them perceive a conflict between their British and Muslim identities and want Islamic law instituted.

The possibility of Muslims accepting the confines of historic Europe and smoothly integrating within it can virtually be dismissed from consideration. Even Bassam Tibi, professor at the University of Göttingen, who has often warned that “Either Islam gets Europeanized, or Europe gets Islamized,” has personally given up on the continent. Recently, he announced that he is leaving Germany after 44 years’ residence there, to move to Cornell University in the United States.