Definition of a “moderate”

First, a well timed reminder from the Elder of Ziyon about the reality – and obscenity – of some of the “Rouhani’s a moderate man we can do business with” camp:

Judging from the news over the past few days, it appears that for a Muslim leader to sort-of grudgingly admit that the most well-documented historical fact even occurred is considered praiseworthy.

That is a pretty good example of how the media assumes a priori that Muslims must not be held to the same standards as normal human beings.

Here I diverge from the Elder. It’s not that Muslims must not be held to the same standards; it’s that some Muslims must not be held to the same standards. I don’t think it’s universal.

Perhaps it might be fairer to say “the Muslim world” is not held to the same standards. In a sense the Elder is heading that way as the rest of the post continues: Continue reading

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Gladstone gaming

[This is the final report from guest poster Steven G, now safely back in the warm climes of the UK. It records our Shabbat afternoon of gaming. It was great to have you here, Gladstone family.]

Dateline: Sunday

Venue: Luton airport

Report:

Our visit finished with 2 final sessions of Dominion with me, Ell, Susan (aka “Mrs Ellis”), and Michael (aka “me junior”).

Me junior has also been in Israel for a week, and stayed in the Simpson hotel on the last night too.

Oh and the games. I won the first and Michael the second.

Not a phone in site!!!

[I think there’s a hidden message here…]

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Rock and toll

From Arutz Sheva:

A video shot by police Wednesday shows how Arab Muslims defile their own mosque on the Temple Mount by turning it into a battleground.

The video shows police apparently preparing to break into a mosque but preferring to stand safely behind the door and let the Muslims who are holed up inside throw the rocks they have accumulated.

The police are well protected behind shields but the rocks are obviously thrown with great force.

Let’s mention a couple of topics the video might spark a discussion about:

Peaceful protest?

Take a look at the video. Take a look at the force these rocks are thrown with. What kind of damage do you think they might do? Would you stand there and allow yourself to get hit? But remember, this is what many anti-Israel commentators call “peaceful protest”. But I doubt any of them have ever been on the receiving end of such a peaceful protest!

Personally, I think the police facing that barrage are being incredibly brave. In their position, I would be seeking clarification of the shooting policy.

Holy site?

Take a look at the video. Is that how you would treat a holy site? These people are behaving like animals. But if that really is a holy site, there is something very wrong. Something very wrong with them.

But nobody cares. Or so it seems.

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And now, the end is near

[Another guest post by Steven G, reporting on our end of chag gaming session at Yehuda’s. Thank you, Steven. Hello to our Glasgow readers!]

Thursday afternoon, Raanannna, Israel. Raananna? Don’t worry; every street sign spells it differently too. Ellis and I walk 45 mins in scorching heat for a games afternoon. The line up was David the sommelier, Ben the concierge, Yehuda the host, Tal his daughter, Nadine from Jerusalem, Rosalynn the late comer, and Nava and Ann Other.

It took me the first two hours to cool down and by then I was totally lost in the Robotics game. Ellis and I got stuck in the corner and were killed off 75 times. Funnily enough, the host who was running the game managed to be victorious. Aye Robot! [I don’t think we will be playing that again.]

Then we played a 4 player Ticket to Ride – US version in Israel – and Els trains came storming home. At the other table a version of Amun Re with floods and farmers.

Then we switched to sutcaC, the Israeli version of No Thanks and again Ellis came good.

8 pm show over and we returned to the outside world where temperatures had dropped to a mere 28.

The whole afternoon was weird – no talking, no phones, no comments, no phones, no cheating and no phones!

Roll on next Tuesday. LOL!

PS: Ellis sends his best.

Your overseas correspondent

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Phantom BDS Victory

From Marc Goldberg at Harry’s Place:

The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has a curious history of claiming phantom victories. The latest article written by the BDS site in the US, End the Occupation, joyfully claimed a victory in the war against Israel when Anna Baltzer, sporting the title National Organizer, wrote:

“Big news! We just received confirmation that Veolia Transdev — a long-standing target of boycott and divestment Palestine solidarity campaigns worldwide along with its partial owner Veolia Environment – has sold off all bus services in Israel/Palestine! Until last week, Veolia Transdev, through its Israeli subsidiary Connex, operated bus lines for settlers on segregated roads in the Palestinian West Bank, and other lines throughout Israel. Today it operates none.”

Indeed this is absolutely true, but then Anna Baltzer walked off the cliff into fantasy land when she wrote:

“This marks one of the most significant, tangible victories to date for the international boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. Veolia represents the global flagship BDS target, having lost more than $16 billion in contracts following campaigns across continents citing Veolia’s complicity in Israel’s gross violations of Palestinian human rights.”

If Baltzer had bothered to do even the most fundamental check she would have found out that Veolia have gotten out of the transportation business in every market, that they have in fact sold off their transportation assets all over the world.

And:

Notwithstanding the fact that Veolia have sold off all of their interests in transportation worldwide, including Israel, Globes recently reported that they are looking to expand their Israeli operations:

“France’s Veolia Environnement SA (Euronext: VE) is in talks with a European investment bank to make a strategic investment in its Israeli operations. The objective is to expand Veolia Israel’s operations, after it decided to focus on its energy, water, and environment businesses.”

It doesn’t seem to have been enough for Baltzer to sell one blatant lie, she feels the need to try her luck with a second, not only claiming that the decision to get out of the transportation business has something to do with BDS but also that Veolia lost $16 billion in contracts due to BDS campaigning. It might be nice to see some kind of evidence for that assertion.

This isn’t the first time and I doubt it will be the last that people are sold outright lies by the BDS movement with regards to Israel. There is something terribly insidious about a campaign that feels the need to lie in this way. How can Baltzer expect her organisation to have any credibility at all when she behaves this way?

The BDS crew lied? Who would have believed it?

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BBC out of its depth, again

From BBC Watch:

BBC misleads again on Gaza’s coastal waters and airspace

From which we get this nugget:

“In other words, the Palestinian Authority – considered by the international community to represent the Palestinian people – agreed to Israeli control of Gaza’s coastal waters and airspace in 1995. No changes were made to those terms in subsequent agreements between Israel and the PA signed after Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. “

Not something you will get from the BBC. Why?

The BBC has a brand and a reputation. Given my experience of how it deals with Israel and the Middle East, I suspect that the brand is undeservedly strong, and the reputation is a crock of shit. The crock may be a valuable antique, but the modern content…

Reports like this one, from knowledgeable people – but dealing in basic facts – shame the BBC. If I were a TV License Payer, I’d be well pissed off. (I think I may have mixed my metaphors beyond breaking point!)

Read the whole thing, here, and prepare to be upset at the failings of the once mighty broadcaster.

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The Crown Tower – Michael J Sullivan

Welcome to another fantasy world. Here, two different characters are forced to work together. One is Hadrian Blackwater, teenage killing prodigy of the martial kind. The other is sneaky and selfish assassin, Royce Melborn. Their “manager” is Professor Arcadius, to whom Melborn owes a debt of gratitude. So, off they go on their mission. Why? Aha…

This is action packed fantasy of the free flowing kind, with a focus on entertainment. The dialogue is sparse, the observational insights even sparser, and the world building is a wee bit on the thin side as well. However, the story rattles along – with a fair measure of surprises and twists – and the characters have their moments. In other words, this is not high literature, but it is high entertainment. It’s enjoyable and delivers what it sets out to. I am not so keen as to join in the rush to describe the author as a master storyteller, but he is a good storyteller. Maybe, one day, he will reach the dizzy heights some claim for him.

Note: chronologically, this is the first of the Riyria fantasy books by Michael J Sullivan, from his Riyria Chronicles series. However, the series that was first published was the Riyria Revelations (Theft of Swords, Rise of Empire, and Heir of Novron). Interestingly, the author says that each stands alone, and there are advantages and disadvantages in reading the Revelations before the Chronicles, and the other way round.

Score: 6.5/10.

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Prisoners

prisoners

I saw this film last night in unusual circumstances: I had never heard of it and knew nothing about it. Somebody – I won’t say who – mentioned Liam Neeson was in it. And a high score in IMDB was mentioned, but that was it.

Minutes after the film started, I was sucked in and that was indeed that.

I never saw Liam Neeson, though.

Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is one of the two fathers whose daughters go missing during a Thanksgiving Day lunch. Despite an extensive hunt, there is no trace. But he remembers a strange RV parked in the neighborhood, reports this, and soon the police – led by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) – find the vehicle and take the driver into custody.

The driver – a man apparently with the mind of a 10 year old child – denies any knowledge of the girls, and there is no forensic evidence. But Dover is not persuaded, and when the driver is released due to lack of evidence, Dover wants to make his own move to get to the bottom of the mystery and find his daughter.

This is a complex, layered film, built around the hunt and investigation, but centred on complex characters and shades of rights and wrongs. As the publicity material mentions, just how far would you go to find your missing daughter?

The script is tight, the acting superb, and despite its length there is nary a dull moment. It’s the type of film I would go back immediately to see again, confident I missed so much on the first viewing.

I mentioned the quality of the acting; while the stars deliver, Paul Dano – who plays the role of the suspect driver – is terrific.

In short, a fine, bleakly themed and important movie; it entertains while posing difficult questions. It simultaneously celebrates the potential of noble human endeavor and highlights the depths of evil.

Go. See. This. Film.

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Politically correct human rights?

Following Sunday’s shooting of a soldier in Hebron, the Elder of Ziyon has a bulls-eye of a post:

The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Judaism’s second holiest site, is divided into two sections. The much larger section is generally accessible to Muslims, while a smaller part is accessible to Jews.

The Jewish section includes the cenotaphs of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob and Leah, while the Muslim side has those of Isaac and Rebecca.

On ten days a year, Jews have exclusive access to the entire building. On ten other days of the year, Muslims have full access, and Jews are barred. The Muslims, on their exclusive days, have routinely desecrated Jewish religious objects and books.

Today [Sunday] was one of the rare days that Jews could visit the room dedicated to Isaac and Rebecca. Thousands of Jews came to visit the holy site.

My son, Junior Elder, was one of them.

Close to home. Too close to home, for as Elder points out:

The murderer was upset that Jews have access to their own holy site. His gunshot was meant to deny Jews that right. No doubt, he would not have cared if he shot a child, a woman, or my son.

A frightening situation, indeed.

Further:

This is an issue of human rights. Freedom of religion is accepted by the UN, the EU and indeed the entire Western world. But the same people who pretend to energetically defend human rights, like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, are mute about the daily incitement to deny Jews those very rights. In fact, they effectively support the Muslim desecration and usurpation of Jewish holy sites by saying that the land underneath every single site is “illegally occupied” and should be, effectively, Judenrein.

HRW and Amnesty want to deny my son, and thousands of other Jews, the right to worship at and respectfully visit their holy sites.

They effectively support the same goal as the murderer of Gavriel Kovi.

In the end, they don’t care about huma rights. They care about politically correct human rights.

Their silence in the face of daily incitement against Jewish religious rights speaks volumes.

Read the whole thing, here. Then, check this out:

Palestinian Authority refrains from condemning soldier killings

The logical response to this is to issue fire on sight orders to soldiers – whether faced with men, women, or children; whether attacked by bullets, bombs, or stones. It’s not going to happen. But…

What evil resides in the Palestinian leadership? It’s name is Jew hatred.

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