To your stations


This week’s gaming session started with Dominion (Amir, David, Susan and I) and Battle Line (Laurie & Rochelle). I don’t know who won the Battle Line, but Susan – again – reigned supreme in Dominion.

Then all six of us played 7 Wonders. Amir was the only one who had not played it before. Did he pick it up quickly? Well, in a sort of tradition, he became another first time player that won. Impressive. Rochelle had probably been in the best position to break the tradition, but was one card away at the end. Laurie and Susan did OK. I was well in last place. What about David?

Ben arrived too late to join in the next game, so David showed off his multi-tasking skills by playing 7 Wonders and Battle Line (with Ben) at the same time. He also came quite close in 7 Wonders, so maybe he regrets playing two at the same time.

Susan and Amir dropped out then, one to take up knitting, the other to get to bed in preparation for an early start the next day…

The remaining 5 of us played Ticket to Ride (Europe). Rochelle easily scored the most tickets, but not enough points. I regret to report that I won this.

Thanks to all for coming. A great night. I just need to figure out a way to beat Susan at Dominion!

Five for Friday

There were a few things that happened in the last week which I did not blog about, through lack of time, or interest. However, the deal between Iran and the Western Powers, wasn’t one of them; I didn’t blog about it because I was confused by the coverage. It was either the peace deal of the century, or a sure fire sign of war to come. It was a master stroke of diplomacy, or Munich all over again. And then, there was even some confusion about whether there was an agreement in place. I have taken the coward’s way out and decided to wait and see what happens over the next six months when matters should be clarified.

So, in this first week of the waiting period, let’s see what else is going on the big, bad world through the following links, offered for your consideration:

Shabbat Shalom!

The other Einstein

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Arik Einstein, Israeli icon, died on Tuesday.

“There is no American equivalent to Arik Einstein. Einstein is the father of Israeli rock. Period. All Israeli rock roads lead to Arik Einstein.”

This is another experience that highlights my status as an oleh (immigrant). Although I know something about Einstein, his film work, and his music, it’s not very much, and there is no real connection. Yet, strangely, I can sense the loss. Perhaps it’s a feeling generated by those around me. The Times of Israel obituary, from which the above quote is taken, also includes this:

Boaz Cohen, a well-known disc jockey at 88 FM and Kol Yisrael, listed his planned roster of three hours of Arik Einstein songs for Wednesday morning on his Facebook page, and then wrote that he had one request, and perhaps he said it best:

“Please, please, don’t make a tribute to Arik Einstein, on the 30th year of his death, with bad and mediocre singers… who can sing and catch a ride on Einstein’s death… He was a man who symbolized more than the land of Israel.. .and only wanted to be in his house, the same house where he was born and raised all his life, with his basketball and soccer… with tea and lemon and old books and records.”

“He had 74 years on earth,” wrote Cohen. “Now you can honor the legacy left to us. Listen to his songs. Watch his movies. It’s the best way to honor him and as honestly as possible.”

Perhaps Boaz Cohen did indeed say it best.

Prosor packs a punch

A great speech from Ron Prosor, yesterday, at the UN:

John Fitzgerald Kennedy said, “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie… but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”

This is the third year that I am standing before this Assembly to address this agenda item and once again, I experience a sense of déjà vu as I listen to a distortion of history. The greatest legends of Greek mythology cannot rival the fables and fabrications that have come to be associated with this debate.

This debate may take place only once a year, but anti-Israel bias pervades the UN system all year round. In 2012, this Assembly found the time to pass 22 resolutions condemning Israel – compared with only four that single out other nations.

The worst human rights abusers receive a fraction of the condemnation that Israel – the only democracy in the Middle East – receives. These irresponsible actions have irreversible consequences. The states that rubberstamp the anti-Israel resolutions every year, have given the Palestinians a false sense of reality and fed their culture of victimhood.

It has only been one year since this assembly voted to change the Palestinian delegation’s status at the United Nations. To all those who voted in favor of that resolution, I ask the following: What exactly has changed?

Did the resolution give the Palestinian Authority control over Gaza? Not in the least. Gaza comprises forty percent of the territory that President Abbas claims to represent, but he hasn’t set foot in the area in six years. It seems to me that the Palestinian Authority has been asserting more control over some UN bodies than it does over the Gaza Strip. Since 2007, Gaza has been in the hands of Hamas, a terrorist organization that rains missiles on Israel’s civilians.

Did the resolution passed last year motivate the Palestinian Authority to finally hold elections? Not at all. Perhaps someone in this Assembly should remind the Palestinian Authority that its mandate expired in 2009 – and one election doesn’t mean you can rule forever.

At the same time I have to wonder, where are all the countries that claim to stand for democratic values? They are quick to cast judgment on Israel, but fall strangely silent when the Palestinians don’t cast votes.

Did the resolution passed last year inspire the Palestinian Authority to prepare their people for peace? Not in the least. Rather than teaching their children tolerance and mutual recognition, the Palestinian leadership continues to foster a culture of incitement.

Read the rest at the Elder of Ziyon. It’s great stuff. Just a shame so may who should be listening, and hearing, are deaf.

Tangential thought: is Prosor a future Israeli Prime Minister?

Why Chas loves Israel

Quite simply, a must read post at CiF Watch. It’s an extract from Not In My Name: A Compendium of Modern Hypocrisy by Chas Newkey-Burden and Julie Burchill.  This part was written by Chas Newkey-Burden, who blogs at OyVaGoy.

A small sample follows:

In 2007, another Palestinian camp, which had become swamped with suicide bombers, was attacked. This time, the gloves came off. The camp was surrounded by tanks and artillery that fired indiscriminately at the inhabitants. Snipers backed up this fire. The camp’s water and electricity supplies were cut off. Thousands of innocent Palestinians were forced to flee but not before at least 18 had been killed and dozens injured. The camp itself was reduced to rubble. Ultimately, the fighting killed more than 300 people and forced nearly 40,000 Palestinian refugees to flee.

This time, there was next to no coverage in the British media. There was no talk of genocide or massacre. Rather than condemning the attack, the EU and UN were quick to express their support to the army. Even the Arab League came out in support. So what had changed? You guessed it, this time the army dealing with the camp was not the Israeli army but the Lebanese army. How terrifyingly revealing this is of the hypocrisy of those who claim to care about fate of the Palestinians.

During the fighting, tanks and artillery had also fired at residential areas of Lebanon and civilians were inevitably caught in the crossfire. Just months earlier, the anti-war brigade has been marching through the streets of London to express their concern for the people of Lebanon who were caught in the crossfire of Israel’s fighting with Hezbollah. Strangely, the marchers couldn’t get off their self-righteous backsides when Lebanese civilians were being shot at by Islamic groups: this time, the people of Lebanon could go to hell as far as they were concerned.

Read it all – please – read it all, here. That boy can write!

ICRC feeling the pinch?

Mr Schaerer (“head of delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Israel and occupied territories”) has been trying to tell people about why the ICRC takes the position it does on the question of Israel and Judea and Samaria. You can read his piece in the Jerusalem Posthere.

The problem for Mr Schaerer and the ICRC is that he is demonstrably wrong. (See the Elder of Ziyon’s coverage, here.) So my question is, why does he write what he does? Is he stupid? Is he the mouthpiece for somebody else’s garbage? Is he politically motivated, knowing what the truth is, but wanting to mislead? What makes him and the ICRC so anti-Israel?

And why has Schaerer given the JP that piece to publish? Did he feel under pressure to respond to the criticism vented in the direction of the ICRC? If so, his piece is inadequate. But maybe he or his cronies are so blinded they just cannot see the truth.

This extract from one of the Jerusalem Post comments (first seen at the Elder of Ziyon’s coverage) is damn fine and on point:

In all these cases, the facts on the ground certainly proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the territories in question are under occupation. Additionally, all these territories were acquired through wars of aggression, making them illegal, whereas Israel’s occupation of the West Bank was the result of a defensive war, which makes it lawful. And yet it is on Israel that the ICRC keeps picking mercilessly, the only case of lawful occupation, while ignoring all the illegal ones! Could it be that the ICRC is scared to offend the culprits in all these other cases, whereas it knows it has nothing to fear from Israel in terms of retaliation? If not, how come the ICRC doesn’t have extensive delegations of expatriates and local employees (as it does in Israel where they criss-cross the country taking care of every need of the Palestinians) in Tibet, Northern Cyprus and the Western Sahara? This is the core of the problem the ICRC faces when it keeps accusing Israel of something it is not guilty of while ignoring the countries who are really guilty of the offenses it accuses Israel of: by accepting to apply a double standard against Israel alone, the ICRC has shed much of its credibility as a so-called neutral agency. International law applies equally to all nations, or it applies to none, but it can’t be applied to just a few and ignored by the rest.

Is the ICRC feeling the pinch? If Mr Schaerer quits his job because of the heat, and his inability to respond properly to the situation, maybe I should put myself up for it. After all, it’s clear on the basis of his latest piece that I have a far better understanding of International law than he does. Maybe he thinks you don’t actually need to read the sources?

[PS: notice the man’s job title is “head of delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Israel and occupied territories”. Did anyone ever think that was a bit judgmental, for a supposedly neutral organization?]