Some good news for an Arab town

Something positive to report. From Globes:

SanDisk opens R&D center in Israeli Arab town

The flash-storage company’s new center in Yafia is expected to hire dozens of employees from Haifa and Nazareth.

Concurrently with the deteriorating security situation, measures are being taken to include disadvantaged sectors in high tech and eradicate inequality. As part of its expansion, SanDisk Corporation’s (Nasdaq:SNDK) Israeli branch is opening a center in Yafia near Nazareth as a result of its strategic cooperation with outsourcing company Galil Software.

Good to know and see that the high tech world is not only about the traditional centers of such activity. I hope it goes well for them.

Get the details, here.

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Call it what it is: evil

Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal has a must read piece. (I first saw it at the Elder of Ziyon.) I want to focus on this extract:

“Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy.

Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.

Who are the accomplices?

The western media, for one.

Who are the apologists?

The western media for one.

Take this, from yesterday’s Independent, as one example:

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The real story behind the (awful) headlines there:

  1. A civilian tried to interfere with the soldiers carrying out their duty.
  2. Every killer has a ‘human side.’ How is that relevant?
  3. Civilian casualties are an inescapable fact of war – as the UK, USA, and others have all too readily (and disproportionately) demonstrated. Talk about demonization.

It’s not politically correct to say it, but it’s true; these apologists and accomplices are consorting with evil.

(The Bret Stepehens piece is here, but there may be a paywall, so see it at the Elder’s site, here.)

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Damn Intrigue

dominionintrigue

Now that the holidays are well and truly over, it’s time to get some gaming going again. Here’s this week’s session report.

I was joined by Nechamiah, Rosalynn, and Sheer.

Short Version: Sheer won both games.

Longer Version: Sheer still won both games, but here’s how.

First up was Dominion: Intrigue. Nechamiah was keen to try this as he waits for his own copy of the base game to arrive, and it’s fair to say he enjoyed it and his thirst has been whetted and whetted. Rosalynn, who has some experience with the game, got off to  a cracking start. She used a couple of Coppersmith cards to plunder a couple of Duchies, and went into the lead. Then it was Nechamiah’s turn to get the money to buy some, then Sheer, then, me.

At this point, I started using the Torturer – forcing my opponents to discard down to 3 cards, or take a curse.  This, combined with the already purchased victory point cards in hands, really slowed down Nechamiah and Rosalynn. Sheer took full advantage, and although I pressed him closely, he won by a couple of points. (Maybe four?)

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Next up was Hansa Teutonica. It was new to Nechamiah and Rosalynn, and unfortunately is one of those games that is particularly difficulty to do well in against experienced opposition in your first outing. I let Sheer go first, so the others could get an idea of what to do, and he used the advantage to storm into the lead and stay there. But, Nechamiah did very well, and was within reach; a highly commendable effort. Rosalynn wasn’t that far away, but I was firmly, and securely in last place. Oh joy!

Thanks to those who came for making it a fun night.

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A question for Orla Guerin

As part of its coverage of the current terror campaign, the BBC site had a series of connected posts yesterday, entitled:

Three Israelis killed in Jerusalem attacks

For the BBC, that’s a pro Israel headline…

Anyway, part of the series included the following contribution from Orla Guerin:

http-www.bbc.com-news-world-middle-east-34513753

Note the closing sentence:

“There is a real sense here of not knowing where and when the next attack will come.”

My question to Orla Guerin is this: why do I wonder if you enjoyed writing that?

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And what are the ‘Human Rights’ NGOs doing…

ngo

NGO Monitor‘s conclusion is this:

MOST HUMAN RIGHTS NGOS AVOID CLEAR CONDEMNATIONS IN LATEST TERROR WAVE

I bet you were surprised!

> Read the NGO Monitor report here.

There’s a reason NGOs hate – and I mean hate – NGO Monitor.

Why?

Because it does what it says it does. And, irony of irony, these so called champions of human rights often do not like the light being shed on their dodgy, not to say immoral, hateful, behavior.

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Tide of Fortune

tide-of-fortune

From Waterloo to Belgium in the midst of another war: on the table is the old (1993?) 3W game, Tide of Fortune. It’s a two mapper of the campaign in the west (restricted to northern Belgium and the Low Countries) set in September and October 1944, which was when Market Garden took place.

Scale is 1-2 days a turn 3 km per hex, and units are brigades, regiments, and battalions. Most formations are made up of a division (or Kampfgruppe) with 2-3 subsidiary combat units, and occasionally supporting assets.

The design is by John Schettler, being a development of the Italian Campaign system used by Decision Games in several issues of Strategy & Tactics. The core idea is that each side has a supply of Command Points, and it must plan when and how to use them. The high bidder each turn gets the initiative, with the low bidder being forced to rely on reaction and spoiling impulses. But if you spend the CP to get the initiative in one turn, that may leave the opponent able to grab the initiative in the next. (Playing solo means the bidding becomes a bit more involved, as I guesstimate the ranges of suitable bids for each side, and use a die roll or two.)

It’s not too complex – way easier than OCS or GOSS – and that is a definite attraction.

There are some missing counters and essential (setup) errata, but the rules look generally OK – based on an initial read and online feedback. I have made up replacement counters and am part way through setup.

When the setup is complete, it will be time for a proper read through the rules. Then I’m going to try the Market-Garden scenario and see how I get on.

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UNRWA doesn’t care about antisemitism or incitement

OK, so we store a few rockets in some of our schools - but only some. And, OK, every other employee is a card carrying member of a terrorist group. And, yes, our staff are seeped in antisemitism, just like our schools. But none of that matters, because the UN backs us. So go away and leave us alone.

OK, so we store a few rockets in some of our schools – but only some. And, OK, every other employee is a card carrying member of a terrorist group. And, yes, our staff are seeped in antisemitism, just like our schools. But none of that matters, because the UN backs us. So go away and leave us alone.

The incomparable Elder of Ziyon keeps on coming up with out and out Jew hatred and similar bile promoted by UNRWA people. And UNRWA pretends that nothing is wrong. See the latest Elder of Ziyon posting on this shocking state of affairs, here.

As the Elder says:

“I have plenty more examples in the queue, and I’m finding more all the time. If UNRWA really cared, they could find them before I do.

But they don’t care.”

Of course, if UNRWA really cared – or cared at all – they would do more than root out the material on display; they would instigate an investigation, publish the results, discipline the offenders, sack the management responsible, apologize, and go through their existing educational and cultural material with a fine tooth comb, to eliminate the poison.

But, knowing I am repeating myself, UNRWA doesn’t care.

Oh, and as for the Western media, although the UNRWA topic is slightly different, Dry Bones gets it right.

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Scottish Green Party – Hates Israel & Zionism – Loves Hamas

If it were up to the Scottish Greens, there would be no Israel.

From the Daily Record:

Scottish Green Party calls for economic boycott of ‘racist apartheid’ state of Israel

EURIG Scandrett’s motion accusing Israel of “systematic infringements of international law” and of perpetuating “the racist ideology of modern day Zionism” received overwhelming backing.

Yes, it’s that bad.

Here’s more:

ONE of Scotland’s fastest growing political parties has voted to campaign for an economic and cultural boycott of the “racist apartheid” state of Israel until it withdraws to pre-1967 borders and senior political and military personnel are tried for war crime.

The Scottish Green Party has voted overwhelmingly in favour of South of Scotland Holyrood candidate Eurig Scandrett’s motion accusing Israel of “systematic infringements of international law” and of perpetuating “the racist ideology of modern day Zionism”.

The party is holding its biggest ever conference at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow, after seeing its membership surge from 1,200 to over 9,000 following the No vote in September 2014.

To put matters in perspective, they are a tiny party. Given the policy stated, they are behaving like a tiny extremist party.

While a motion reaffirming its backing for independence took just 500 words, Mr Scandrett’s motion contains over 2,000 words of accusations against Israel and an attempt to reduce it to a simpler policy statement was rejected by delegates.

The Greens will also now call for Palestinian resistance leaders Hamas to be taken off international terrorist lists, despite a last-minute attempt to have this section removed.

In a sense, this part does the world outside of the Scottish Greens a favor. It highlights, in stark simplicity, where they are coming from. They are Hamas supporters.

Delegate David McDowell, whose call for an amendment was defeated, said: “This is unnecessarily opening us to ridicule.

“Hamas is a terrorist organisation, and that has got nothing to do with whether it is justified or not. It just is a terrorist organisation as it commits terrorist acts.”

There are sane voices in the party. But not enough. Where do the truly caring Greens go to, for a political expression of their beliefs? Where do Jewish Greens go?

The approved motion states that Israel was created through “colonisation and ethnic cleansing”, turning what was once “a safe home for many Jews who survived the Nazi holocaust” into a state which claims to be “the home of all Jews in which non Jews have inferior rights (which) constitutes apartheid and is unacceptable”.

It calls for Palestinian self-determination by those who “have a legitimate stake in the future of Palestine” – including “the residents of the current West Bank, Gaza, Israel, refugees and the Palestinian diaspora but not including Jewish citizens of other countries”.

Non Jews have inferior rights? That’s untrue and standard anti-Israel propaganda for the haters. No Jews allowed in Israel! There’s a bit of naked antisemitism for you.

It states: “Israel is in violation of over 60 UN resolutions and its occupation policies violate several articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a range of international human rights and humanitarian laws.

And we all know the nations condemning Israel at the UN are democratic, freedom loving, fair…

“We call for the right of return of Palestinian refugees.”

That’s destroy Israel, in code. At least they are being consistent.

The Israeli security wall “constitutes the most visible implementation of the segregation of Palestinians into controlled areas, which constitutes a policy of apartheid”, it states.

“We call for destruction of this wall and for compensation to be paid to those affected by its construction.”

That’s what they said. What they should have said was:

The Israeli security wall “constitutes the most visible implementation of the security policy of Israel, which constitutes a policy of care and concern for all its citizens.”

“We call for destruction of this wall when there is an established, sustained, durable peace.”

But they didn’t.

It also calls on Israel “to cease building and to withdraw from all existing settlements beyond the 1967 borders of Israel”.

The 1967 lines are not borders, but by now it should be apparent that truth and accuracy are not prerequisites for promoting a Sottish Greens’ political position.

We condemn Zionism as a racist ideology based on Jewish supremacy in Palestine, as well as the related ideology of Christian Zionism.

Yes, they are turning back the clock to the glory days of the UN. To them, Zionism is racism. Absolutely classic antisemitism. What a despicable position to take.

And on and on it goes. Pure anti-Israel hatred.

[First seen at the Sussex Friends of Israel Facebook page.]

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Liar, Liar – M J Arlidge

liarliar

This is the fourth of a crime series featuring Detective Inspector Helen Grace, and as I said in my review of the third book, she is:

“…a female character of some complexity and depth, and for that alone we should be grateful.

Last time around, I wasn’t overly impressed, but was willing to give the author another chance. Well, I am glad I did. This book is much better than the last.

Once again, Grace is the key character. There’s a dangerous arsonist at loose in her city, and the pressure rises as the body count rises. Can Grace hold it all together – because again she has a lot on her plate – and catch the perpetrator?

The tension is gripping. The writing is sharper, and the short chapters deliver a very good page turning experience. However, while the story is cracking along, there are one or two well done – and not overdone – moments of sharp observation; times when the author fleshes out the world that is being described.

There is a fine game of smoke (ahem) and mirrors going on as the author drops the clues unobtrusively, while the plot is ever so slowly unwrapped.  The story, when viewed in retrospect, is a dark, dark tale, well told. It fits together like the much compared jigsaw, and does not stretch the imagination too much. And the twists are well crafted, too.

Grace is an interesting, believable, character. By way of a bonus, some of the subsidiary characters are nicely built up to bring a better range to the story and the background.

I was not impressed by the editing in the last book. In this I only spotted one clanger, and given how much I enjoyed it can only congratulate whoever was responsible on a job well done.

On the whole, a much better book, and one that means I will be waiting keenly for the next. Recommended as an easy, entertaining, chilling read. A good one.

 

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Waterloo report

Waterloo (from the Le Retour de l’Empereur package by Pratzen) is the game. Here’s my recollection of how this went.

Initial Plans

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11:00 and all’s well. The skirmishers have not yet reported for duty, though.

The Allies had holding orders, with the cavalry and other reserves primed to be released on Wellington’s command.

The French plan was to get the artillery up and batter the hell out of the Allied line. At the same time, there were to be direct assaults on Hougoumont, Papellote, and Fichermont – but not La Haye Sainte – while I Corps was to make a focused, narrow front attack between La Haye Sainte and Papelotte, supported as required by VI Corps. Continue reading

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