Mob rule in Scotland

Sad news from Scotland (via the Scotsman):

AN ISRAELI arts company has been forced to axe its entire run of performances at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe after facing an angry protest before its first show in the city.

Underbelly, the London promoter which had booked Incubator Theatre into one of its main venues, said it had been reluctantly forced to pull the plug based on police advice.

However, it has vowed to find the company – which is part-funded by the Israeli state – another venue, despite threats from campaigners to continue to disrupt its “hip hop opera” wherever it is staged.

More than 50 leading cultural figures in Scotland have called for the company’s shows to be boycotted, although the stance has been criticised by culture secretary Fiona Hyslop.

More than 150 protesters turned up outside Edinburgh University’s Reid Hall before the first preview of Incubator’s production got under way.

Talks were held later with the theatre company, the police and university officials.

A statement from Underbelly said although the first preview performance had gone ahead, the logistics of policing and stewarding the protest and the impact on both Underbelly shows and those in other venues made it impossible for the show to continue.

The statement added: “All tickets for forthcoming performances in the Reid Hall will be refunded. When an alternative venue is found, customers will be able to book tickets for that show separately.”

Announcing the cancellation of the shows at the venue’s gala launch, Underbelly director Charlie Wood said the attempts to stop the company performing were “plain wrong” and went against the entire ethos of the Fringe.

He added: “The protest caused huge disruption to shows we had here and at the Gilded Balloon. If they continued to protest in this area every day for four hours, the festival simply will not happen.”

Fringe chief executive Kath Mainland said: “It was a practical decision based on the whole picture and the disruption to all the other shows that are here.”

John Stalker of Incubator added: “Everybody who supports the right of artists to have their work presented believes the show should carry on. I had friends there who felt very threatened by the protest. Today was a sad day for Edinburgh.”

Albie O’Neill, spokesman for the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which was behind the protest, said: “The level of support from the public has been overwhelming and reflects the strength of feeling against this Israeli state-funded theatre company and revulsion over what is happening in Gaza.”

Peaceful protest? Doesn’t sound like it, does it?

Perusing the comments below the line gives you a flavor of the hatred and bigotry being directed towards Israel. There are one or two swimming against the tide of the baying crowd, but largely it is poison on parade.

Random thoughts:

  • Are the “50 leading cultural figures in Scotland” proud of what they helped achieve? See freedom of speech? Nah, we don’t want any of that.
  • The numbers involved – 150 protesters – are not big. So, despite the big bash Israel campaign, it’s not exactly indicative of mass consent. But 150 was enough. I wonder if the locals have worked out some of the implications of this?
  • The state sponsorship label is a handy peg upon which to hang some hatred. The group does get some money from the state, but they are scarcely apologists for the government. And I wonder how many of the other international groups get state support of some sort or another. I’m sure all their governments are squeaky clean and there are no double standards being exercised.
  • I won’t be buying any Edinburgh rock ever again.

In UNRWA schools they can count: 1, 2, 3…

unrwa mossad

The Elder of Ziyon skewers Chris Gunness.

Gunness deserves it, and much more.

For example, see here for the background to this:

If UNRWA had a shred of integrity, it would fire Gunness for his obvious bias and hate towards Israel. However, an organization that is built on lies – to support a group or “refugees” who are 99% non-refugees – is not bothered at all.

As another example, see here for the background to this:

Chris Gunness from UNRWA responds with his usual hand waving, hoping that people don’t notice that he is not addressing the real issues. For example, while it is true that UNRWA might vet employees for known terror ties, this by no means proves that UNRWA schools are neutral and do not teach hate for Israel. I have proven that they, in fact, do, along with support for jihad and “martyrdom.”

As the Elder has long ago stated, it is time to abolish UNRWA.

Comment is free – and so is the bias

Here’s something that is truly disproportionate. The Guardian‘s recent Comment is Free articles include:

  • When I served, the Israeli military was the most moral in the world. No more. [28 July 2014 - Yuli Novak of Breaking the Silence]

  • As the Gaza crisis deepens, boycotts can raise the price of Israel’s impunity [28 July 2014 - Rafeef Ziadah of War on Want]

  • Israel’s argument for war against Palestine ignores the context [26 July 2014 - Dahlia Scheindlin of +972 magazine]

At least they don’t hide their bias.

Even more JK stay away!

Times of Israel has some more quotes from Haaertz about John Kerry:



  • This is from the left of the political spectrum
  • Kerry’s has been an embarrassing performance
  • There has been “apparent” dishonesty
  • He offered Hamas everything they could have hoped for
  • His proposal puts a death warrant on Abbas (I wonder if Abbas realizes this)
  • His proposal thwarts the possibility of reaching a cease fire
  • Ya’alon was possibly right about Kerry

The only part I disagree with is the description of Kerry as a friend of Israel. No friend behaves like he has. No wonder American foreign policy is rubbish.

Soon you can safely saddle up

Good news on the ebike front, as set out by the Jerusalem Post:

Regulations for electric bicycles to take effect September 1

Electric bikes will be permitted a maximum power level of 250 watts and travel speed not exceeding 25 kph, the transportation ministry says.

Riding electric bicycles – which have become a familiar sight on streets and train carriages – is scheduled to finally become legal on September 1, when regulations approved in the Knesset on Monday take effect.

The Knesset Economic Affairs Committee and Transportation Minister Israel Katz approved a series of rules that aim to standardize and secure what has become an increasingly popular transportation mode. Under the regulations, electric bikes will be permitted a maximum power level of 250 watts and travel speed not exceeding 25 kph, the Transportation Ministry said.

In accordance with European standards, electric motors must stop operating when the bikes’ speed surpass the 25 kph limit, the ministry added.

For background reading, see here.

This bit in the latest report made me laugh:

The regulations will also require the installation of a horn or bell, lights and reflectors, and riders will have to be over the age of 14.

Helmets are required for riders of all ages. The bikes must carry the officially notated and visible words “bicycle with motor assistance,” the ministry said.

Yeah, right…

Unsurprisingly, there’s no mention of mandatory insurance for ebike riders. So the situation is improved, but still needs attention.

Don’t bother coming back, Mr Kerry

From the Times of Israel:


The article includes this:

The unnamed sources, quoted by Israel’s Channel 2 TV, said Kerry “dug a tunnel under the Egyptian ceasefire proposal” — which Israel accepted and Hamas rejected last week — and presented the Israeli government with a text that accepted “most of the demands” raised by Hamas, the Islamist terror group that rules the Strip.

To the “horror” of the Israeli ministers, the Kerry proposal accepted Hamas’s demands for the opening of border crossings into Gaza — where Israel and Egypt fear the import of weaponry; the construction of a seaport; and the creation of a post-conflict funding channel for Hamas from Qatar and other countries, according to the sources. The proposal, meanwhile, did not even provide for Israel to continue demolishing the Hamas network of “terror tunnels” dug under the Israeli border.

I suspect this explains why Hamas didn’t bother to extend the humanitarian truce. They think Kerry will deliver them what they want. Can anyone objective seriously believe or argue that his proposals do not reward terror?

Please don’t come back, Mr Kerry. We will sort this out without you, thank you very much.

A unique world cup experience

Susan and I went with friends to watch the final at Jems in Petach Tikva.

Jems is highly recommended. It’s a restaurant attached to a microbrewery. (The branch in Ra’anana is too small to deliver anything decent.) The food in Petach Tikva is good, the beers are good, and the atmosphere is terrific. Usually it’s about the music. Last night it was the football.

First, it seemed that most of the crowd (which was also extended to the front yard basketball court) were there to support Argentina. Susan accordingly persuaded me it would not be a good idea for me to join in singing the German national anthem…

Second, we were watching on one of the main Israeli channels. Before the game, at half time, and full time (before extra time) we got the news about the latest developments in Hamas’ terror offensive.

We sort of knew there was some kind of artificial break in the proceedings, because the channel was broadcasting missile warnings at the top right of the screen. These dwindled to nothing while the game was going on. Before and after, however, there was plenty of evidence that Israel was once again under attack. So, either Hamas are football fans, or it was a bizarre coincidence.

I thought the game was interesting rather than exciting. I felt that if Argentina had taken any of their chances, the Germans might have got back into it. But the Argentinian defense was doing pretty well. It was only at the goal that their marking went to pieces. Whoever should have been marking the scorer was too far from his man, and caught ball watching. That having been said, it was a terrific move and piece of skill.

The goal was deserved. In truth, I’m not sure about the win. However, nobody remembers anything but the winner.

So Germany marches forward, once again masters of the footballing world. The English can only look on with envy. England could win that tournament (in the future) and they could be a real force. But not with the present people or structure. My bet is that they do not sort things out and the poor English football fan is going to be disappointed for decades to come. Shame, because they deserve better.

As for Scotland, I simply wish them well. They should be taking a good long, hard look at Belgium and slavishly copy that approach. It sure works.

Finally, as for Israel, I regret that they are unlikely ever to trouble the world as a footballing force, short of a miracle or ten. But we will see the occasional talented individual flying the flag for his country.

Finally, finally (!) I have a small glow of smug satisfaction at predicting the winner. I am genuinely sad that I was equally accurate in my prediction about England’s campaign. Never mind. The Premier league will be starting soon.