Another Red Wave

This month’s meeting of the Israel ASL Club took place at my home. Daniel and I played A107 The Red Wave, while Josh and Ran played AP 38 Infiltrators.

First, the following from Josh:

“Infiltrators is not your standard scenario. It features a strange armor battle of armored cars, halftracks, trucks and some infantry.

Basically the Germans have to destroy the British truck convoy. We started off just generally scrapping, punko vs. punko, with Ran getting the better of me and destroying my halftracks. But as the scenario wore I started to find my footing as my troops got in PF range. One of Ran’s main weapons was recalled and this helped balance things.

Ran’s trucks came on protected by his tanks and it looked like he found a clear path off. But then, like the Japanese battleships that slipped past the American fleet into Leyte Gulf and stumbled upon an unprotected landing, I found a hole and attacked the truck convoy from the rear with armored cars.

At this point I had a chance. My first armored car rammed the last truck, but rolled a 10 in the OVR attack. The second armored car stopped to take a shot, but was destroyed by an annoying 2 from a far-off tank that swiveled. Another HT guarding a pass behind bocage was destroyed, and then I realized Ran would be able to exit his three-truck quota without problem and I surrendered.

I would love to play this scenario again. I have a lot of good ideas how to beat the British…

One last thing, the Germans choose three of the four groups. Who not to choose? There is no question here. The group with the motorcycle is immediately rejected.”

Thank you, Josh.

Ran comments as follows:

“I enjoyed my game with Josh. My main remark to Josh’s game report is that I think the Germans must try to avoid contact with the British as much as possible, while still blocking the roads, and force the British trucks to remain in convoy as long as possible.”

Interesting. Thanks, Ran.

Meantime, back to my game of Red Wave.

This was my second play of this, also as the German defender. I requested it to see if I could put to use the lessons learned against Ran. And, on the whole, I was pleased and thought my performance was better. I still lost…

Here is the game with both sides set up.

setup

Notice the toe to toe arrangement in the middle, with a killer Soviet stack against a puny single German squad and SMG. This happened because I misread the Soviet setup instructions. They are allowed to set up in half hexes of their board. My defense was too far forward.

Daniel suggested I should defend further back, but I am unconvinced.

This is what happened.

The Soviets attacked, declaring a Human Wave that swept into my forward defenses. (My squad and SMG survived the attack, and lived to fight another day. But it was a short day!) My defensive fire and sniper activity killed off two of his leaders and at least one squad. But my forces were worse affected.

At this point, I was trying to put together a second line of defense.

action

My left flank forces were successful and repelled all assaults. However, elsewhere, although I took out one of his tanks – with the gun hidden in H5 – the other tank alone was the main cause of damage. Not directly, though. Daniel, expertly, used his vehicle to freeze a stack at a time (occupying it so as not to allow the defending stack to fire out of the hex) while advancing with infantry. The infantry jumped in during the Advance Phase, entered close combat, and – despite some heroic enduring stands – were successful in eliminating the defenders. Rinse and repeat.

He had to do this because, gradually, my defensive fire had taken a sufficiently high toll that he could not win by exiting units. So, in part, a success. Instead, the Soviets won by claiming control of the victory locations.

Enthralling and immersive, again. Quite a gaming experience. Thanks to Daniel, Josh, and Ran for coming along and making it all so much fun.

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Five for Friday

Living outside of Israel, one of the issues facing observant Jews is the two day yomtov. One of the advantages of making aliyah, is that you can put that behind you (except for Rosh Hashanah, which is two days everywhere in the world). But every so often, the calendar conspires to combine and remind you what it’s like to endure the two day yomtov. Like this weekend: we have Shabbat, then immediately after, Shavuoth. In short (ha!) a two day yomtov. Not my favorite experience.

Meantime, here are the regular weekly set of links for you. Enjoy.

Shabbat Shalom! Chag Sameach!

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George’s twitter meltdown

Apparently George was having a twitter meltdown yesterday.

gt200515

Whatever could the problem have been?

I have attained some kind of ranking in his list of enemies, as I am blocked from the @georgegalloway twitter account. So, I cannot see what all the fuss is about, and what people are saying about it all. If you are not blocked, feel free to go and have a look. And if you can get an explanation, feel free to share it. I mean, it couldn’t be an antisemitic outburst, could it? Surely not!

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A is for antisemitism – B is for blind

The Elder of Ziyon reports (here) on another – and it is one of many – dose of antisemitic poison from PA TV. This one includes such classics as:

“They [the Jews] are usurers. See, the usury money and usurer banks, those who control the money in the world can be counted on one hand – a few individuals – and all of them belong to the Jewish world. They control the media, the money, the press, the resources, the plans.”

As many others have stated, this continual hate is a major obstacle to any progress in this part of the world.

It’s also an incitement whose ripple effects can fairly be said to cause everything from antisemitic graffiti to verbal abuse to physical assault to murder. The build up of hate needs an outlet, and woe betide the poor Jews who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But it’s the role – the passive, turn a blind eye role – of virtually the entire western media which is also a scandal.

Most of them see it as appropriate to intermittently mention the “a” word, and may even go so far as to endorse the latest campaign by NGO or government that might attempt to tackle the subject.

But in between?

They ignore the poison from the PA. They take the same approach to the antisemitic drivel coming out of any and all the Arab states. They positively bend over backward to excuse the Iranian version as being political and anti-Zionist in nature. Sometimes, you get the impression that people who only get their media fix from these sources must wonder what this antisemitism is that is being talked about. After all, their media sources do not report much, so there cannot be anything serious, can there?

And then there are variations on a theme, of which the Willcox Gambit is a recent version. As BBC Watch puts it:

“In other words, Willcox falsely implied that – like Jews in France – Palestinians are targets because of their religion and/or ethnicity and that European Jews can be held collectively responsible for the perceived actions of Israel.”

Antisemitism? It’s understandable and it’s Israel’s fault and Jews’ responsibility. What a toxic cocktail. And, as you will see from the BBC Watch report, they just do not get it. Either through ignorance or willful pretense, they do not get it.

Given the abundance of hard evidence, the objective observer will surely conclude that the western media is mostly blind to antisemitism. But why?

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Standing idle

Here’s the starting point:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

Now, let’s talk about Qatar. Not about the terrible treatment of the migrant (World Cup) workers there. Nor about the strange attitude they have to press freedom. Nor about their acquisition of some famous western assets.

Instead, let’s talk about terrorism, dead kids, and turning a blind eye.

Qatar looks to me like a totalitarian state that wants to be loved. So, it backs certain initiatives. In the western world, it sponsors football teams, and promotes its airline. Elsewhere, it has funded the terrorists of Hamas, and given these heroes cover, comfort, and safe harbor protection. And still the west, largely, turns a Nelsonian eye. It’s almost as if the media were aware of an organized crime family, but hesitated to say a word, for fear of retribution.

That all sounds so clinical.

Want a change of perspective?

How about noting that Qatar has hosted a television show episode for terrorists to revel in their murder of innocents; their murder of Jewish kids? Don’t believe me? Try this:

“For the record, our daughter’s murderer had no difficulty going to Qatar in 2013 from her home base in Jordan and basing herself and her team there to film an episode of her weekly television show – the one that exists to rejoice in the killing of Jewish children and the ‘heroism’ of her fellow terrorist savages. Click on this YouTube clip to watch as she giggles and beams her way through an hour of interviews with other freed Shalit Deal murderers living in Qatar with their new, young families.”

[I removed the link to YouTube. I do not want to generate any traffic for that video.]

You can read the whole post, which among other achievements, points the finger at one terrorist enabler who remains free as the rest of the world ignores him, here. All credit to the Roths for their continuing struggle in the ongoing war. They are doing something. More good people need to act.

Are you listening Obama?

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Pirates oy vey!

No matter how much history you read, there is always something new to be discovered. Like this:

Believe it or not, Jewish pirates were powerful allies in the Ottoman wars against Spain, which had expelled and dispossessed them in 1492. They were also pioneers in discovering the New World, a new exhibition explains.

Jewish pirates? Next thing I expect to hear is that they kept Shabbat.

Funny you should say that…

See the story, here.

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Media matters

Israel’s Channel 10 Television outfit has had its end predicted dead on more than one occasion, burdened by high debt and costs, and labelled as a resolute foe of Bibi. But, despite the predictions, it has lasted. Until now.

It needs money. It needs a new owner. The ostensible public ownership it presently has, is administered by the government in – by some – in a cack-handed fashion.

The last dirty deed by the government was to set the price for the sale of Channel 10. And, so far as I can tell, the assessment of debt (and so, the price) as fixed by the relevant ministry, was NIS 5 million. This would clear the accounts.

Then, in one of the last acts of the previous administration, Bibi stepped in and set the price at NIS 16.8 million.

At this point, you take sides. Either Bibi is trying to kill off Channel 10 by frightening away buyers, or Bibi better understands the price (and so the value) of such media, thus enriching the public purse.

The state of affairs has now generated some legal activity, as reported on here by Globes.

This close to the action, I doubt the picture (ahem) will be clear unless Moshe Kahlon indeed steps in and sorts things out. For sure he would not hesitate to change the price if he felt it were wrong – if he can be persuaded to intervene. He may feel he already has enough on his hands.However, there’s little doubt, Bibi could care less if Channel 10 goes away.

On the whole, a murky affair.

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Artists on the front line

Some of you may remember the effective ousting of some Israeli art performances at the Edinburgh Festival last year. This story from the Scotsman suggests an improved situation where all is sweetness and light:

Fringe artists bid to quell Middle East tensions

PERFORMERS from across the Middle East, including Israelis and Palestinians, will appear on stage together at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe in response to the cultural boycott and last-minute cancellation of two shows that marred last year’s event.

A late-night political cabaret show, featuring artists from across the region, is being set up by one of the leading Fringe venues in response to the events that unfolded last summer when protesters targeted two arts companies understood to have received funding from the Israeli government.

Northern Stage, one of the Fringe’s theatrical powerhouses, has programmed the nightly event, which will see Middle Eastern artists perform new specially commissioned plays, songs, music and poems.

Inspired by a late-night Fringe cabaret created two years ago by Northern Stage to tackle the Scottish independence debate, the company says the show will use human stories to look at the “past, present and possible futures of a region of incredible complexity and diversity”. 
A revolving cast will take to the stage at Summerhall for the work in the show entitled Here Is The News From Over There (Over There Is The News From Here).

Twitter will be used to ensure the pieces reach a wider audience during the run of the show but also to inspire artists in the Middle East to create new work.

Sounds hopeful, doesn’t it?

Now some detail:

“Northern Stage is joining forces on the project with one of Scotland’s leading playwrights, David Greig…”

Who is David Greig?

The British Council says this:

“David Greig has been described in the Daily Telegraph as ‘one of the most interesting and adventurous British dramatists of his generation’. He is also one of Britain’s most prolific modern playwrights.”

And Wikipedia says this:

“David Greig (born 1969) is a Scottish playwright and theatre director. His work has been performed at all of the major theatres in Britain, including the Traverse Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and been produced around the world.”

And the Scotsman article says this:

“…[he] ran a crowdfunding campaign last year to enable Palestinian and Israeli artists to be represented at the Fringe without reliance on Israeli government funding.”

And, crucially:

“Greig, who was one of those to support the cultural boycott…”

So, not an Israel supporter.

When it is reported that:

“We are still putting the line-up of performers together, but there will absolutely be a representation of Israeli voices in there. There are two Israeli companies performing in the Summerhall programme.”

That does not fill me with enthusiasm. It does not make me confident about what type of message these artists will deliver. Indeed, reading the complete article again in light of that last comment, it becomes clear that this is a nasty development. Apparently free speech is not open to those who take money from Israel. (Because Israel is so uniquely nasty and evil, you know…) The Israeli national theater cannot take part. The kids at the local school cannot take part. Way to go, guys. Another Israel bashing event. What a great contribution to peace and harmony that will be.

Note that Greig is somewhat hypocritical. He seems to take a stance against Israel, but not against the UK. It’s OK in his eyes to take money from the UK government, (as seen by his plays being put on at these at least partially state funded venues mentioned above) because it’s never done anything wrong, of course.

To close, I cannot resist quoting (Scotsman website) commenter Lobey Dosser:

“This is such exciting news! I can’t wait to read the endorsements from last year’s Hezbollah-supporting demonstrators. But I can’t help thinking, should it be discovered that any of the budding Israeli thespians have pocket-money from uncle Bibi, David Greig will revert to type and the deal will be off!”

With a BDS proponent like Greig at the helm, there’s bound to be a healthy dose of antisemitism anti-Zionism on show.

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Napoleon goes square

Newly arrived:

ccncover

This is the Napoleonic version of Richard Borg‘s (“Borg’s” not “Berg’s”) Commands and Colors system.

GMT’s excellent production gives you a hard mounted (folding) game board, with wooden blocks and sheets of self adhesive stickers that you apply to make up the units. There are overlays, some unique dice, a deck of cards to drive the game – the cards limit what you can do with your troops – a color rulebook, and a color book of scenarios.

 

I have the Ancient era version and have had much joy using it as an introductory game for non wargamers. I don’t really need another introductory game, but while that will not hurt, there was another motive for – finally – giving in and buying the damn thing.

I have been thinking about doing some miniatures gaming in this era. But getting and painting the miniatures is a major time consuming endeavor. So, I have this idea of using the blocks from the game instead of miniatures. Of course, I need to settle on some rules and so forth. But getting these soldiers is a good start. Besides, I do fully intent to use the game. There are some who will prefer Napoleonics to Ancients, and now I can cater for both.

First up, I have to apply the stickers to the blocks. Here are some British Grenadier Guard units.

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I still have a way to go. What you see are the remaining British and Portugese blocks. The French blocks are all done, but at the time the photographs were taken, Napoleon had them off on a training march.

20150516_232315a

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Facebook has no body and soul

Advocate Guy Ophir has come up with an interesting tactic in the legal battle he is conducting against Facebook for certain clients.

From Globes:

Facebook Israel CEO asks court to gag lawyer

Yes, you read that correctly. Curious? Here’s more:

Facebook Israel CEO Adi Soffer-Teeni today filed a lawsuit in the Tel Aviv District Court asking for a restraining order barring Adv. Guy Ophir “from revealing to the public every personal particular relating to the claimant without her consent or permission, including the publication of information about the claimant’s ID, private address, home telephone number, and any other information possessed by the respondent.”

Soffer-Teeni’s petition follows a demand by Ophir, who petitioned Facebook a week ago, protesting the absence of a proper response to an urgent and immediate request.

In his letter, Ophir asserted that Facebook was refraining from publishing ways to contact the company on the Internet, thereby preventing him from making contact with the company for the purpose of urgent and immediate treatment in various cases. Ophir has represented several clients in cases of Facebook bullying.

“As a remedy for the behavior of Facebook, and as a public service,” Ophir wrote, “I intend to publish the particulars of how to make contact with the Facebook Israel CEO, the leading Facebook officer, within 72 hours, in order to allow Mrs. Soffer-Teeni to prepare accordingly.”

Without knowing the full background, it’s impossible to comment authoritatively on the merits of the matter. However, it is possible to note the storm of publicity generated. A cynic might suggest that Guy Ophir harbored a hope that prodding the Facebook monolith might be worthy of publicity. On the other hand, it may be that outsiders with a less than favorable attitude towards Facebook, will see the potential leaking of Adi Soffer-Teeni’s personal details as somewhat ironical given the company’s less than stellar record on privacy.

Incidentally, the title of this post comes from this part of the Globes article, quoting Ophir:

“The global Facebook corporation and/or the Israeli Facebook has no body and no soul that can be pressured. It is an artificial construct composed and managed by human beings, one of whom is Soffer-Teeni. Soffer-Teeni is CEO of Facebook Israel. She is the manager, and she is responsible for its activity.

I have no doubt that the protest I’m conducting against Facebook and against Soffer-Teeni is causing her discomfort, but the decision not to publish the telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address of Facebook Israel is her decision, and all she has to do is change her decision, in which case there will be no need to reveal how to make personal contact with her.”

Read it all, here.

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