Quote of the Week

From David Collier:

“There is only one thing you need to remember when you hear the adoration of the nakba crowd. The alternative to ‘nakba’ was a second holocaust. The only way the Arabs would not be commemorating their ‘nakba’ today, would be if they could celebrate the annihilation of the Jewish presence. Either/ Or, take your pick. It really is that simple.”

Read the whole thing, here.

Hypocrisy Watch – USA Edition

The USA is not happy about Lieberman’s appointment. Put to one side whether it’s any business of theirs, or Lieberman is a nice guy or not. Just contrast and compare with the USA’s attitude to the appointment of an Iranian leader (Ahmad Jannati – of the Death to Israel! Death to the USA! type) and what do you get? Silence. Here’s the excellent David Horovitz on the position:

“Raising questions about Israel’s direction, after Liberman, promising a commitment to peacemaking, joins the coalition. But staying silent about Iran’s direction, after Jannati, a man who declaredly seeks the destruction of the United States, is elected to head the Assembly of Experts.

Have at it, guys.”

Read the whole thing here, and cringe at the cheek, the arrogance, and the hypocrisy. Whatever has happened to the USA?

Snowblind – Ragnar Jonasson

Set in Siglufjordour, a fishing village in Northern Iceland, this crime novel (the first of a series) features freshly minted policeman Ari Thor Arason, as he moves away from the big city and settles into the rhythm and pattern of village life.

First, he has to deal with the discovery of an unconscious woman, bleeding and unconscious. Then a local notable is found dead at the bottom a flight of stairs in the local theater. As the newcomer, he has to struggle against the tide a bit, to gain acceptance, the handicap being that often his has to ask difficult questions to try and get to the bottom of these incidents.

The novel features a lot of character portraits that tell the reader what is going on. So, there’s little analysis to do. It’s the opposite of the writing advice: show, don’t tell. But, despite this, the novel seems to work well. The author does a good job – occasionally overdoing things – of portraying the small town world of that distant village, and the claustrophobia thrown up by the avalanche closing down the routes in and out of the place.

Overall, this is a book with a different feel; sort of an Agatha Christie village mystery set in rural Iceland. Life goes on in a sedate fashion, and in the background there is the darkness. It’s gently told, well written, and well crafted. The characterization is interesting and enthralling for more than just Ari Thor. The plot is OK, and a bit more open ended than you might expect.

Worth checking out.

Can it get any worse?

Harry’s Place reports:

Jackie Walker readmitted to the Labour Party

Jackie Walker said some foul things about Jews (see here for background) but, so far as the Labour Party is concerned, that’s OK.

The Guardian reports:

Jeremy Corbyn ‘failed to reply’ to Israeli Labour on fears of antisemitism

Jeremy Corbyn faced fresh criticism over his handling of antisemitism allegations after Labour’s sister party in Israel said it had had no reply to a letter its leader sent to him a month ago expressing dismay and inviting him to Jerusalem to see the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.

Labour MPs said they were shocked that no response had apparently been sent and added that it was further evidence of the party leadership’s slow and inadequate response to the crisis.

After Ken Livingstone was suspended from the Labour party at the end of April for making highly controversial remarks about Hitler and Zionism, Isaac Herzog, leader of the Israeli Labour party, wrote to Corbyn saying he was “appalled and outraged by the recent instances of anti-semitism by senior Labour party officials in the United Kingdom”.

The whole piece is here.

Isn’t that an Impressive display by Labour? Impressively incompetent. Impressively ignorant.

Can it get any worse? I fear it can.

Five for Friday

Quite a nice week: a bit of work, a bit of travelling, a bit of family visits, a bit of shopping, and here we are again at the weekend. I did manage a trip to the gym, but no long cycling session. So, I was grateful to get a chance for a long walk on Thursday, striding out for an hour. It felt good. Just as good as the prospect of a nice, relaxing Shabbat. So, I am in a good mood. (Am I not always? Hee Hee.)  Therefore, here is the icing on the cake, namely the regular weekly selection of links:

And a bonus for this week, especially for Michelle: a look back at a piece of pop music history that stirs some fond, fond memories:

‘Heroic, sexy and a warrior bravado’: how Adam and the Ants redefined pop

Shabbat Shalom!

The Last Witness – K J Parker

This is another novella (100 pages or so) by the dazzling fantasy writer, K J Parker, taking snippets from his bestselling novels as background for an intriguing, twisting, turning tale about memory, reality, and perception. It features a character with a special ability to extract memories from people, and using his first person perspective, narrates his life story.

There are some sharply observed comments about memory, and the frailties of our existence on ths planet.

But it is not boring or pretentious. On the contrary, it’s a roller coaster of a tale, finishing with the usual flourish, and leaving the reader sad that the excitement is over. Well written, very satisfying, and lean and mean, this is a little cracker. (Or a big cracker in a little package.)


Look down

Probably the post of the week, Jewish Labour Mole has On looking down, not up.
The subtitle previews the content:

“There is wilfull blindness to the top-down institutional propagation of Labour’s Antisemitism.”

It starts as follows:

I was brought up to beware the following set of circumstances: an economic recession; the emergence of a populist leader with an antisemitic following and the inexorable flow downwards to an increase in antisemitic abuse, violence and murder. That sequence is no fable: it’s history on repeat, and it’s happening now.
It’s true that Antisemitism is a society-wide phenomenon: but it rarely flourishes unless sanctioned by leaders and institutions. The caveat in this classic narrative is that the conditions required for that evil to triumph is that Good Men Do Nothing.
I was given to believe that never again would ‘Good Men Do Nothing’. I was sold a pup.

It’s a must read.

It’s very worrying that the political scene in the UK seems infused with antisemitism, and it’s getting worse.

Apocaplyse Now

It’s Lag B’Omer today. On a typical Lag B’Omer morning, when you go outside, you are greeted with the smell of lingering bonfires. Some are still burning. I don’t know why, but this always brings to mind the famous quote from Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore in Apocalypse Now:

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”

As I said, I can’t explain it. Just wanted to share it with you.

A Haaretz Antidote

The media inside Israel is, generally, left wing. Haaretz is the worst (by far) from my perspective, but the collective vision they have is so negative, that they all share the blame for the way Israel is viewed by the foreign press. Fortunately there are exceptions. And while Israel HaYom is far too close to Bibi for my liking, it is often on target with its critique of the other media. This, for example, is absolutely right:

“In the reality in which we live, a senior officer (major general) who compares processes taking place here to the Germans in the 1930s is a man of values, but an officer who invites his soldiers to pray before an action in Gaza? That’s darker, even reminiscent of Iran. It’s a shame that Albert Einstein isn’t here to test the theory of moral relativism in our country. Perhaps we should recall Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s command prior to the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, when he called on all Allied soldiers to “beseech the blessing of Almighty God” before the operation?”

Of course, the current Lieberman and Herzog adventures in the cabinet, or out of the cabinet, have inspired some shrieking commentary. The Israel Hayom piece is a good antidote to the poison put out by Haaretz and others, and skewers their howls of angry commentary fairly easily.

Do read the whole thing, here.

The Devil You Know – K J Parker

A short (120 page) book, with a long (encompassing several years worth of) conversation between one of Parker’s long standing creations, Saloninus, and one of the Devil’s minions. The encounter between these two is an unfair contest…

Easy to read, full of delightful barbs, witticisms, and pauses for thought, this is a fun and rewarding read. It is cheeky, irreverent, packs a punch at the end, and is well worthy of your time.

One point worth stressing is that you do not need to have read any of the author’s other material to enjoy the book. It does stand on its own.

Highly recommended. (But get the Kindle version, as the paperback is ridiculously overpriced.)