Showing newest posts with label terrorism. Show older posts
Showing newest posts with label terrorism. Show older posts

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Go ahead, build it.

Build it wherever you want. Build it as high as you want. Call it the Cordoba House. Call it Park 51. Call it Area 51 for all I care.

In fact, why don't you just build it 110 stories high, put a giant green crescent on top instead of an antenna and call it the World Trade Center Islamic Super Destroyer Victory (but our intentions are actually peaceful, we swear) Mosque. You think that's ridiculous? You think I'm out of line? Do you know what Cordoba is?

It's the name of a city in Spain that was overrun by the Islamic invaders in 716 AD. As is customary during Islamic invasions (google the Hagia Sophia, Ka'aba, Al Aqsa Mosque, Cave of the Patriarchs, Qutub Minar or The Great Synagogue of Oran for a few more examples), the main non-Islamic religious center of the city was converted into a mosque once it was captured. Lest you think that this is just ancient history, here's an entry from a 2005 edition of al-Fateh, the delightful Hamas children's magazine:
In the year 97 of the Muslim calendar, the ruler of Andalus (the Arabic word for Spain), Ayoub bin Habib al-Lahimi moved the Capital to my sister city, Cordoba… in the year 646 of the Muslim calendar, Ferdinand III besieged me and conquered me after a siege which lasted one year and five months, and that was due to the strength of my fortifications and my walls. This is when the Golden Age of the Muslims ended, and Asbilia (Seville) was lost by the Muslims.
The fantasy continues...
I yearn that you, my beloved, will call me to return, together with the rest of the lost cities of the lost orchard [Andalus] to the hands of the Muslims so that joy and happiness will fill my land, and you will visit me because I am the bride of the country of Andalus.
Interesting that the Imam of the congregation that will be praying at this site has refused to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization. Very interesting. Ponderous even.

So when you want to build an "Islamic cultural center" within spitting distance of two buildings that were destroyed by Muslim invaders...and then choose to name it after another "successful" Islamic invasion...if that's REALLY what you want to do...well, what's there really to say?

And yet, I'm supposed to pretend that I don't get the reference or else I'M the ignorant one? I'm the hateful one? Whatever you say guys. I mean honestly, what does it matter what anyone says anyway?

At the end of the day, you're going to do whatever it is you want to do anyway because I can't stop one can.

Because you see, in OUR country, we tolerate people even when they abuse us, even when their intentions are so obviously incendiary, even when they surround themselves with 9/11 truther scumbags, even when they support terrorists. Even then, in this country, these people have their rights.

So build the mosque. Build it tall, build it wide, build it as a the shrine to Muhammad and Allah that you feel they deserve, that you feel they want.

Because in the end, it's all about what Allah wants isn't it? It doesn't matter who you upset. It doesn't matter who you hurt. It's all about the glory of Allah and what Allah wants...

And this is what Allah wants, right Imam Rauf and mosque supporters?

Allah wants you to offend 70% of the residents of the country you reside in.

Allah wants to radicalize both sides so the only voices heard are those of screaming extremists.

Allah wants you to cause strife and anger and infighting in the streets of Manhattan.

Right Imam Rauf?

Allah wants you to be the subject of every stupid editorial that suggests we're all Islamophobic, every braindead talking head on television, every extremist rant, "liberal" sob-fest and nightly talk show snooze-fest.

Allah wants to be in everyone's face, everywhere, all the time.


So go ahead. Build the mosque. It's what Allah wants and the will of Allah surely supercedes the will of some secular, weak, directionless, motionless, powder puff, marshmellow society that doesn't even realize is on the verge of disaster.

Show the world exactly who you are and what you want. Expose us all for the weaklings we are. Show everyone that your religion is SO rigid, SO fanatic, SO ridiculous that even an allegedly "moderate" leader would rather build a shrine than have some common decency for the community he purports to be a part of.

And no, Imam Rauf, no...don't renounce Hamas. Don't renounce a group that bans women from smoking and receiving their inheritance, that destroys water parks because it is the will of Allah that men and women don't go swimming together. Because in the end, that's all that matters. The will of Allah.

THE WILL OF ALLAH. The religion of peace.

So go ahead, build the mosque and show us all how awful you and your congregation really are.


That's what I think...what's YOUR reaction?

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11: Have we overreacted?

On CNN the other day I awoke to the following headline:

Did the U.S. overreact to 9/11?

It's an interview with world renown Islamic fundamentalist apologist and student of Neville Chamberlain's Appeasement 101 course in totalitarianism-enablement, Fareed Zakaria.

Here's what the Zak-Attack had to say on the subject...

CNN: You've written that we've overreacted to 9/11 and al Qaeda. In what way do you think that's the case?

Zakaria: I mean it in two senses. We didn't spend a lot of time in the year after 9/11 -- once we had taken it on, once we had started chasing these people around the world, measures which I strongly supported then and still strongly support -- whether that had been effective and whether we had broken up the organization and made it far more difficult for them to operate. And therefore, what was the real nature of the threat going forward?

I think it's clear that al Qaeda is a much-diminished force. It has the power to inspire a series of local organizations around the world, but it has very little power to direct these high-profile terrorist attacks itself. The reaction to my point that al Qaeda is weaker than we think has surprised me only because I've made this point since 2004, and I've made it repeatedly.
Amazing. Al Qaeda is a "diminished" force - so...let's just let it be. He's "surprised" why people don't take that point of view seriously...
CNN: Why do you think many people have not agreed with that point?

Zakaria: I do think we have a tendency in the United States to underestimate the evil intentions of our enemies, but overestimate their capacity, their capabilities.

What we now know, based on all the declassified documents we have available is that in the 1970s and '80s, the U.S. was massively overestimating the military capacity of the Soviet Union...
Oh yeah, that's right - it's the EXACT same thing as the Cold War. Question for you Fareed, how many times did the Soviet Union actually conduct a military strike on American soil? I'll give you a hint, the answer is less than one.
CNN: So what should be done now?

Zakaria: This would be the right time for us to take a look and ask ourselves, in order to combat the actual threat that al Qaeda poses, which is real but which is limited in some senses -- what kind of intelligence apparatus do we need, what kind of homeland security apparatus do we need and how much can we do in terms in reallocating, reorganizing and reinventing these national security agencies rather than constantly piling up layer upon layer.
Right, perfect. Let's just go back to chasing terrorists around the world and leaving it up to the intelligence agencies. Because THAT worked out for us REALLY well during the 90's.
CNN: Why do you think people have missed the change in al Qaeda's capabilities?

Zakaria: We're not looking at trends within the Islamic world where al Qaeda has been politically discredited, trends that are taking place within the jihadi community, where prominent jihadis have broken with al Qaeda.

The reality is that al Qaeda has been unable to organize a single attack [against a major target in recent years], the reality is that when smaller local groups plan terrorist attacks all they can attack are local targets like cafes or train stations and thus kill locals, further alienating the local population and discrediting and delegitimizing al Qaeda and its associated groups.
EXACTLY Fareed. Why worry? The only really dangerous terrorism is the kind that blows up World Trade Centers (9/11), trains (3/11), tourist resorts (Bali Blast), invades downtown cities (Mumbai) and other massive operations. It's really no big deal if an occasional bus explodes, a shopping mall gets hit or a cafe gets bombed. That kind of stuff isn't dangerous. So if all the "jihadi community" does is go after locals, that's not a big deal at all.

Can't you see, everybody? We already won! Nevermind the aftermath. Nevermind the fact that the world is roiling all around us. Nevermind that the Iranian lunatics are about to gain access to nuclear weapons. Nevermind that Egypt and Pakistan are on the precipice of being overrun by fanatics. Nevermind that thousands of lives are lost in Somalia, Darfur and all over the world on a regular basis - in the name of radical Islam.

Go back to bed America, your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed America, your government is in control again.

(WARNING: potentially offensive language and imagery in that clip)

Sorry Fareed, not me.

If you ask me we didn't react STRONGLY ENOUGH. 9/11 should have been to us what Pearl Harbor Day was: A date which will truly live in infamy. When the United States was suddenly and deliberately sneak attacked by the forces of an imperialist, expansionist enemy whose tentacles surround almost the entire world. An enemy who has grown stronger as we have exposed our weaknesses by refusing to unite against it and make the necessary sacrifices to defeat it - as we did during World War II. An enemy who is on the precipice of achieving nuclear power.

So what if al Qaeda is "diminished" ? What about Iran? Hizballah? Hamas? Islamic Jihad? Taliban? Kashmiri Liberation Front? Chechen Mujahideen? Sudanese Janaweed? What about the unaffiliated terrorists who work and train together in a loose confederation? What about the underwear bomber? Nidal Malik al-Hasan? The attempted Time Square Bomber? Doesn't Fareed (and everyone else that wants to go back to the good old days of burying our heads in the sand) realize that the ONLY REASON we haven't had two more catastrophic attacks in the past year ALONE is because of sheer luck? Don't these people realize that these instances have gone UP since we've adopted a kinder, gentler, scaled back operation?

I haven't forgotten. Nor will I. I know what these people are capable of. I still remember.

I still remember how I felt this morning...every time I watch a movie from the 80's or 90's that these buildings appear it stings a little bit.

And no amount of ridiculous conspiracy theorizing or threat minimization will ever change that.

The lessons of 9/11 live on as long as Islamic totalitarianism continues its attempts to expand and envelope the globe in its backward despotism. Whether it calls itself al Qaeda, Taliban, Hizballah, Islamic Jihad or something else.

The saga continues...whether we want it to or not...




As in the past, here are the top trending news headlines for this year's 9/11 from CNN:

1. Florida reverend calls off Quran burning
2. Nine years after 9/11, photo provides peace
3. 'Prince of pot' gets 5 years in U.S. prison
4. Bodies ID'd in San Bruno explosion, fire
5. Actor: Stabbing girlfriend was a mistake
6. Police arrest man, then give him bike
7. 'Manhattan' ice island splits in two
8. Igor likely to become hurricane
9. 85 inmates escape from prison in Mexico
10. Utility also involved in 2008 gas explosion

And as in the past 9/11 is still taking a backseat to all kinds of nonsense...

More to come.


That's what I think...what's YOUR reaction?

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Living on a Thin Line: Israel, terrorism and the world in 2010...EXPLAINED

So by popular demand, I'm going to do a line-by-line break down of the Living on a Thin Line video. If you haven't seen it yet (or would just like to rewatch it), you can check it out right here:

There's a lot packed in here and literally every image is there for a reason, so let's get right into it...

Part I: A brief history lesson

*Opening music* - We open with three images, one is a map of the ancient kingdoms of David and Solomon,

another is a picture of ancient Hebron and then old Jerusalem, with Psalms 137:5

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem - אִם-אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם

superimposed on it. The rest of the verse says "let my right hand forget her cunning" - meaning that if as Jews we forget how important Jerusalem (the ancient capital of the Jewish Kingdoms of the 1st and 2nd Temple periods) is, we should lose the usage of our right hands. i.e. We must always remember the significance of Jerusalem to Jewish history and heritage.

The idea behind opening with these images is to establish the HISTORICAL connection between Jews and Israel. Even taking away the religious aspect...the old "God gave us the land" argument...there's no question that Jerusalem and Israel has been a part of Jewish heritage for at least 3,000 years. This counteracts the ridiculous assertions by the Helen Thomas wannabes of the world who claim that Jews are invaders on Palestinian land.

In reality the post-Muhammad Arabs (as well as the Romans who preceded them) were the invaders and the Jews were the indigenous people who were displaced about 2,000 years ago. That it took a long time for many of the original original inhabitants to return does nothing to minimize their ties to the land.

Hebron is included because in addition to being it is believed to be the burial place of all the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs, it was actually King David's first capital before he moved to Jerusalem. Yet today, it is written off as nothing more than a "settlement" by the vast majority of the planet. Hebron and Jerusalem also happen to be one of the cities in Israel that had a contiguous Jewish presence all through the Diaspora years.

The only time this was interrupted was when it was the scene of an Arab pogrom in 1929 and again was the scene of violence during the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt. At this time the remaining Jewish families of Hebron were forcibly removed from territory that had been part of their tradition for literally thousands of their descendants who have returned to Hebron after decades of Jordanian rule are treated as fanatic settlers holding back the country from making more Land for Peace deals.

Which of course brings us to...

*Music picks up* - and we get to Land for Peace in the Middle East...a short montage of Israeli and Arab leaders who have either given or received land as part of the Land for Peace process. They're arranged as follows:

Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat, Yitzchak Rabin, Yasir Arafat (with special guest appearance by our friend Saddam Hussein) and of course Ariel Sharon. Without exception everyone in these pictures are either dead or brain-dead. Half of them are dead at the hands of their own people.

This montage is followed by the modern city of Tel Aviv as well the Old City of Jerusalem...juxtaposing again, the inseparable religious, cultural and historical ties of the Jews to the land of Israel. After this we see the security barrier in Bethlehem which surrounds the ancient burial place of Rachel, the Jewish matriarch. The barrier (which for the vast majority of the border between Israel-proper and the West Bank is a fence) here is a wall due to the frequent shooting attacks on Jewish civilians going to their holy site that took place when the border was a fence. Again the juxtaposition of past ties to history with (the rather sad) modern reality.

The final image before the lyrics begin is of Masada, the ancient Jewish fortress that was the last bastion of the Jews that fought the Romans 2,000 years ago. For years, Israeli soldiers would be taken here where they would proclaim that "Masada shall never fall again" - symbolizing again the juxtaposition of modern Israeli society and the ancient ties to the land that long precede any Arab invasions. This is something that is often forgotten when accusing Zionists of being "foreign" invaders. Or when people claim that the Bible is irrelevant when discussing the West Bank.

"All the stories have been told" - the Dead Sea Scrolls. Again, archeological proof of the Jews' historic ties to the land. Often critics of Israel paint Zionists as religious fanatics who use the Bible as their deed to the land (the legitimacy of which these critics reject). However, as the Dead Sea scrolls showed us, the Bible (whether a divine "Word of God" or just an historical record of a Jewish society in ancient Israel ) has been around in a form similar to what it is today for at LEAST 2,000 years.

"Of kings and days of Old" - King David and the ancient Jewish Temple of Jerusalem...self explanatory I think.

"But there's no England now" - There's a shot of a group of British soldiers

standing over an illegal Jewish immigration ship full of Jews waiting to disembark onto their ancient homeland. The British prevented Jews from immigrating into Mandate Palestine in an attempt to appease the Arab population after the Arab Revolt of 1939. This was painful, but especially painful during the Holocaust years of WWII when literally millions of Jews could have been saved from the Nazi ovens if not for this policy.

But there's no England now...after the next two images, first of Lord Balfour and second of Jews raising the Israeli flag during the last days of the British Mandate. Never again will a foreign government prevent Jews from returning to their ancient homeland and never again will Jewish refugees have nowhere to go but to their death. Israel guarantees this.

"All the wars that were won - or lost" - Photo of the victorious Israeli soldiers at the Western Wall in 1967 (as well as a reunion of the same three soldiers at the wall decades later)...followed by a photo of three Israeli soldiers returning from the 2006 Lebanon War. This war, while effectively securing quiet for Northern Israel for the past four years was widely perceived as failing to achieve a tangible military objective.

"Somehow don't seem to matter very much anymore" - images of anti-Israel protests, very clearly calling for violence and rejecting Israel as a legitimate state.

"All the lies we were told, all the lies of the people running round" - Images of the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2000 Camp David Summit. Both times involved lies from Yasir Arafat to two different Israeli prime ministers that he would curb terrorism. Also both images serve as fitting bookends between the beginning and end of Clinton's misguided attempt to force an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

This is followed by an image of current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton embracing Arafat's wife and current President Barack Obama sitting with

Edward Said - a noted pro-Palestinian advocate, rock thrower and proponent of Israel absorbing all Palestinians...effectively destroying Israel as a Jewish state. Both Clinton and Obama promised (lied) to Jews during their campaigns that they would be the best friend Israel ever had. They are turning out to be the most negative Administration in regards to Israel in recent history.

"Their castles have burned" - pretty self-explanatory. As the World Trade Center collapses, the video becomes increasingly grainy and time marches on from 9/11/2001 our memory seems to become more grainy and distorted and more and more we forget the significance of the day.

"Now I see change" - images of Independence Day celebrations in Tel Aviv. The ultimate symbol of change in Jewish culture...more than anywhere else, Tel Aviv represents the Zionist initiative to control the destiny of the Jewish people instead of just leaving it up to chance. Unfortunately for the Zionists...

"But inside we're the same as we ever were." - ...with the most publicly well-known Jews like Jon Stewart bashing Israel and Zionists (and therefore the concept of Jewish self-determination) on a regular basis, are we really that different from our shtetl-dwelling (and ultimately Holocaust-bound) ancestors? Ironically, Stewart (and other assimilated, pacifist Jews) has much more in common with his streimel-wearing grandparents than he might be comfortable with.

"Living on a thin line" - Image of how close Sderot, Israel is to the Gaza Strip. Significant because...

"Tell me now" - ...Qassam rockets have been fired into Sderot (and other Israeli population centers) on a daily basis for the past decade. The images of the wreckage should make it clear that these are not the firecrackers the media often makes them out to be.

"What are we supposed to do?" - A religious Jewish soldier prays with an APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) in the background. An interesting juxtaposition of the old Jewish method of dealing with danger (prayer) with the new Jewish method of dealing with danger (self-defense). History has taught us that prayer alone will not save us...the time is rapidly approaching where as a people we will have to choose between taking action and simply hoping for the best. What are we supposed to do indeed?

"Living on a thin line," - In 2005, Israel dismantled its settlements and left the land to the Palestinians as they demanded. The charts show Qassam rocket attacks which spiked tremendously after the disengagement from Gaza. The photos in between the two charts are of the heartbreaking disengagement process...

"Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?" ...which as the second chart and map of rocket impacts in Sderot demonstrate, only served to make life significantly worse for even non-settler Israelis in Sderot, Ashdod, Ashkelon and many other cities all over the Western Negev desert. The fact that we're even in a position where we have to reminisce about the days when the number of daily rocket attacks on schools and houses in quiet suburbs was in the single digits or low 10's speaks to how absurd of a situation we're actually in.

"Living on a thin line," - image of the potential threat to major Israeli population centers from the West Bank if Israel was to surrender the territory in a peace deal. Given the experience in Gaza, what nation/government could be expected to repeat the same behavior and put an additional 50% (if not more) of their population at risk for rocket-fire chaos?

"Living this way, each day" - Despite the media portrayal of the conflict as a battle between a Palestinian David and and an Israeli Goliath...this ridiculousness fails to address the fact that in addition to the poor, rock-throwing (but now Surface=to-Surface-Missile-firing) Palestinians, there are almost 60 countries behind them that not only refuse to help them...but actually incite and supply them with weapons that actually worsen their misery. These 60 countries have exponentially more resources and land than Israel does as the "DAVID VS GOLIATH" image points out. This is followed by Palestinians camped along the border with Israel to again illustrate just how precarious of a position Israel is actually in.

"is a dream" - Peace in the Middle East...still nothing more than a dream.

"What am I, what are we" - What are we...who are we if we allow these indiscriminate rockets to continue to fall on innocent civilians everday?

"supposed to do?" - Pray for the peace of's easy to get frustrated, throw up our hands and just hope and pray for help from above. But even religious people will tell you that God only helps those that help themselves.

"Living on a thin line," - More images of the precarious situation Israel is in...first barbed wire in Hebron, then a settler family sits amongst the wreckage of their home after being evicted by the IDF. Again, Jews evicting other Jews in the name of peace and satisfying the demands of the other side. This is followed by images of Palestinian riots from the 1st and 2nd intifada...riots which the Palestinian government did nothing to prevent and in fact even encouraged.

There's a thin line between doing the "right thing" and outright insanity. On the one hand you have a government (Israel) that polices its own people, dismantles what the other side claims are "illegal settlements" and is governed by the rule of law, no matter how painful it may be...whereas on the other hand (Palestinian Authority, Hamas/Fatah) you have a government that not only doesn't police its own people, actually INCITES them to riot, encourages them to commit acts of violence and rules BY law as a dictatorship in democracy's clothing. A stark contrast indeed.

"Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?" - FIGHT TERROR: SUPPORT ISRAEL. Self-explanatory.

Part II: Where we are today

"Now another century's nearly gone" - Images showing some of the dour statements about the "Decade from Hell" - the 2000's. The first decade of the 21st century was undoubtedly one of struggle, turmoil and overall malaise as 9/11 was followed by what seemed like a perpetually up-and-down economy...finally ending in the spectacular housing and financial meltdown in the United States. By the time Major Nidal Malik al Hasan turned his gun on his fellow American soldiers in November of 2009, it seemed like every naive belief about the future that we had in our Clintonian, post-Cold-War euphoria of the 1990's had been shattered by a nightmarish chain of events that just never seemed to end.

"What are we going to leave for the young" - If we do not stand up to the Iranian nuclear program now, how on Earth will we deal with them when they actually have a nuclear weapon? Or will we just do what we usually do, that is leave our problems to the next generation to solve?

"What we couldn't do, what we wouldn't do," - While the War on Terrorism was initially fought with wide, bi-partisan, popular support...setbacks in Iraq slowly turned the American public against the idea of preemptive strikes. This change in public sentiment was characterized by comedians (again like Jon Stewart - although by no means was he the only one) questioning the wisdom of the Bush Administration's handling of "The War Against Terror" (how can we wage a war against a tactic/idea like "terror", for starters) as well as the rather disgraceful practice of many Democrats appearing to relish setbacks (or worse, pretending there was no need for a war at all as depicted in the hear/see/speak no evil cartoon) as opportunities to bash the Administration and mobilize their supporters to eventually retake Congress.

To be sure, Republicans have politicized these wars as well but since they were the party in power for years the nature of their politics was to point to successes as compared to many Democrats' practice of pointing to failures. There has also been a disturbing trend in recent years of a dramatic reduction in rank-and-file Democrats' support for Israel. No offense to the true believers, but that's just the nature of the (political) beast.

In any we stand today midway through 2010...even mentioning the dated phrase "War on Terrorism" will get you strange looks as if you're still stuck in some bygone, nostalgic, pre-Obama, silly Bush-era, ultra-patriotism that doesn't really exist anymore. Syria, Iran and several other states still publicly support terrorist factions with very little tangible recourse from the rest of the world.

"It's a crime," - One manifestation of our society's lack of resolve in prosecuting the war against Islamic fundamentalism is the treatment of terrorists as criminals instead of enemy combatants. Closing Guantanamo Bay? Civilian trials on American soil for captured terrorists with full Constitutional rights? Mirandizing enemies that were caught on the field of battle? How irresponsible. We might as well just bury our heads in the sand and hope for the best.

"But does it matter?" - And now to top it off, in an attempt to appease the Islamic world, the Obama Administration has stopped referring to a "War on Terror" (or more accurately, War on Islamic Fundamentalism) at all. So just like that, it's over. Unfortunately someone forgot to tell that to the guys that are still trying to kill all of us. Is it really that much of a big deal though? It's just semantics isn't it?

"Does it matter much to you?" - An iconic photo of Obama shoving his finger into Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's chest (and Netanyahu's pained expression) has thus far encapsulated the difference in how this Administration has handled the war and its support for allies in the war like Israel. You can be sure this change in behavior is more than just semantics to leaders like Netanyahu who represent populations that suffer every day at the hands of terrorists.

"Does it ever really matter?" - Hamas "diplomats" leaning back in their chairs, brandishing their AK-47's while Israelis worry about protecting their babies from the rockets that these "diplomats" fire at them everyday. How the War on Islamic Fundamentalism is fought is exceptionally important to both sides of the conflict. "We have no spare children" is a common phrase used in Israel, often as a demand that the government not take unnecessary risks with Israeli soldiers who are drafted and still viewed as children by their parents (who they often still live with). This is why it is so exceptionally painful for the entire nation every time a soldier is wounded, captured or killed.

It's also a phrase used as a demand that the government protect Israeli citizens from people like the aforementioned Hamas diplomats...who the rest of the world believes they should be trusting/rewarding by giving them more territory. Finally this Israeli slogan is in stark contrast to the oft-repeated claim from Palestinian mothers of terrorists that they are proud of their "martyr" children and have 10 more children that they would love to donate to the cause of destroying Israel.

"Yes it really really matters" - Collage of pictures of destruction and heartbreak due to "Hamas diplomacy" (read: ROCKET ATTACKS) in Sderot, Israel. It really really REALLY matters to these people too. Cartoon depicting the absurdity of world condemnation of Israeli response to these attacks thrown in for good measure.

"Living on a thin line," - Gilad Shalit is still alive and in captivity! Another year comes, another year goes and still the longest running active kidnapping (where the perpetrators are publicly known) continues. He can never EVER be forgotten. If you'd like more information Shalit you should click here or here to read my previous thoughts on this subject. In any case, Gilad is most definitely living on a thin line.

This is followed by President Obama's head superimposed on the body of Neville Chamberlain at the infamous Munich Pact signing. In the lead-up to World War II, rather than confronting Adolf Hitler's aggression in Czechoslovakia, Austria and against his own Jewish citizens, Britain and the rest of the world's democracies pursued a policy of appeasement. This gave Hitler the the courage to pursue his brazen plans with impunity, plunging almost the entire world into war and killing 10's of millions of people.

If Obama, Europe and even Jewish traitors like J Street likewise move to sacrifice Israel to the Arabs, Iran and their growing sphere of influence, the result (with today's nuclear weapons) will be even greater fireballs than those that rocked the world in the 1940's. The irony of a Black president ordering Jews out of the West Bank - essentially calling for segregation - as part of this policy of appeasement is brilliantly captured by the Dry Bones cartoon that follows the nuclear fireball:

"Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?" - Which Middle East nation protects LBGT (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender) communities? Which Middle East nation guarantees freedom of religion (or non-religion) for ALL of its citizens? Where in the Middle East can gays serve in the military? The answer to all of the above of course, is only in Israel. The idea that self-proclaimed liberals regularly rail against the only country to do these things in the name of "social justice" is ponderous to say the least.

That there are so many LBGT JEWS (like the one pictured in the image that immediately follows those posters) that protest in favor of Hamas - an organization that would stone them to death so fast they wouldn't even know what hit them - is the peak of lunacy. Bonus points to anyone if you can tell me if this person is a man or woman because I honestly have no idea.

"Living on a thin line," - Being gay in Iran sucks. Yes. Yes it does. The people pictured by the way are gay teenagers being hanged in Iran. Keep supporting their right to nuclear weapons LBGT people, really...this can't possibly end badly for you.

More pictures of Iran's nuclear weapons and missile program follow. There are two cartoons - one of Obama reminding a disinterested Prime Minister Netanyahu to stick to his "road map to peace" as an Iranian ICBM heads straight for their heads. This is followed by another cartoon that re-states my previous point about the danger of Obama following in Chamberlain's footsteps by pursuing an appeasement strategy with Iran.

"Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?" - Stand up for Israel, STOP IRAN. Self-explanatory.

The final graphic in this series is an image of Neda Agha-Soltan...a woman that was killed in last year's Iran election riots. Her death, which was captured on video became a major rallying point for the "Free Iran" movement (who if you click on the previous link had questionable motives themselves). Her image was used in many posters like this one that rallied supporters to stand up to the Ahmedinejad regime. This is the only image in the entire video that fades out...just as the "Free Iran" movement - that so many people thought had so much potential - has faded away into irrelevancy. In fact, the anniversary of the riots just passed without a single major incident. Thanks for the memories.

Part III: Tell me now, what are we supposed to do...about the future?

"Now another leader says" - Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey. Turkey, which was formerly Israel's strongest (and many would argue ONLY) Muslim ally has changed their tone since Islamist movements were given more of a voice in the government after decades of forced-secular rule. Turkey, despite having a high percentage of its population identifying strongly with their religion has forced - sometimes even through military coups - a secular system on itself, with an even stricter separation of mosque and state than even exists in the United States.

Not only was Islam separated from government affairs since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, but Turkish citizens were even forbidden to dress in clothes that were identified with Islam where they entered the public sphere. It was only natural then that the only two secular democracies in the Middle East would be drawn to each other and the relations between Turkey and Israel (going so far as training soldiers together during joint-military exercises) were often pointed to as an example of what could be possible for the rest of the Islamic countries with the right engagement program. However, since the ascent of Erdogan and the Islamist parties, decades of friendship and cooperation have been steadily replaced by...

"Break their hearts and break some heads." - Images from the recent "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" where Israeli commandos boarded a Turkish passenger liner that had been converted into a cargo transport for the Palestinians of Gaza. Unfortunately for everyone (including the Palestinians) the "aid" portion of this ship (as well as 5 others that made up the "flotilla") was really just a cover for 50 or so Islamic militants, Hamas supporters and even some al Qaeda members to make an attempt at running the Israeli blockade of Gaza. This blockade has been effect since the Hamas movement (I've written about them numerous times in the past) seized control of Gaza in a bloody coup and has been using it as a staging ground to fire rockets into Israeli cities like you saw earlier in the video.

After numerous calls for the ships to turn around and even unload their cargo (which for some reason also included bulletproof vests and night-vision goggles along with many goods that weren't even in shortage in Gaza) at Ashdod, Israel - where they would then be loaded up into trucks and transported to Gaza using an already established and functioning system designed to bring humanitarian aid to civilians - the militants on-board told the Israeli military to go [expletive deleted] itself and the Jews in general to go back to Auschwitz.

At this point the Israeli naval commandos boarded the ships armed only with paintball guns and their sidearms and were immediately surrounded by the lynch mob which you see in the video.

"Is there nothing we can say" - The Israelis, after being stabbed, beaten with poles, thrown overboard and apparently shot when the "peace activists" stole a few of their sidearms from them, eventually returned fire and killed several of them. This action has prompted world-wide outrage and demands that Israel end the blockade and that world leaders talk to Hamas, a known terrorist organization that has killed more Palestinians than Israelis in the past 3 years.

"or do?" - Emphasizing the point of the futility in trying to work with this terrorist organization are several headlines about Hamas executing Palestinians, stealing from charities and then selling the supplies to their own population, ripping off the VERY charities that organized the Flotilla and most brazenly - REFUSING THE AID FROM THE FLOTILLA after the Israelis delivered it right to them.

What kind of government that is responsible for citizens currently living in a "humanitarian crisis" REFUSES food and medicine?! Are these REALLY the people we're supposed to work with? Is there nothing we can say or do to show the rest of the world how terrible these people really are? And WHY is it that the entire world seems to be so obsessed with Israel's behavior when there are literally thousands of people being killed, raped, beaten, tortured and abused EVERY DAY all over the world? Is an Israeli apartment building REALLY that much more of a pressing matter than this never-ending chaos? Unfortunately these questions are answered with the bumper sticker at the end of this segment: "Peace in the Middle East, just kidding". Everyone talks about peace but no one can really be serious about it when one of the sides is represented by these kinds of insane ideologues.

"Blame the future on the past," - Three images, all have to do with "Right of Return" for Palestinians. A young girl holding a key, an older man holding a key and finally a map of Israel painted in Palestinian colors with the words "We Shall Return" and key prominently displayed on it. The girl is the future, the man is the past and the map is the end result.

Palestinians often justify terrorism by pointing to the fact that they haven't forgotten their homes in British Mandate and Ottoman Palestine that they lost in their "Nakba" (Arabic for Catastrophe)- the 1948 Israeli war of independence. The way they remember these homes is to keep the keys to them and so the key has become the symbol for what they claim is their right to return to those homes. Israelis refuse to bring these people (and their descendants) into Israel proper because due to demographics it would destroy Israel as a Jewish-majority state (which as you can see by the "We Shall Return" image of the map of Israel...

...drenched in Palestinian colors is exactly what they intend to do). This is a fundamental difference between Israelis and Palestinians, a zero-sum objective that will never be accepted by Israel and is a major reason why negotiations have broken down between the sides over the years.

By teaching these irreconcilable demands to their children, Palestinians parents are only serving to ensure that there can never be a final agreement between both sides and that future Palestinian terrorists only need to look to the past for their justification.

"Always lost in blood and guts." - The carnage from the Sbarro pizza restaurant bombing as well as two separate bus bombings. This (along with literally thousands of other suicide bombings, shootings, rocket attacks and other acts of terrorism) is the result of parents brainwashing their children into making unreasonable demands for Israeli national suicide that simply cannot be met.

"And when they're gone," - But then, why not just give them what they want? Why not just get rid of Israel as the next two images suggest and finally "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" ? This slogan, which is used by New Jersey Solidarity and the International Solidarity Movement (two groups amongst that call themselves "peace activists") by the way, refers to the Jordan river and as you can see from the image...actually refers to destroying all of Israel in its entirety...not just the settlements that they claim are all that they oppose. This slogan, coincidentally was used in 2001 by Faisal Husseini (nephew of father of Palestinian nationalism...and Nazi SS trainer Hajj Amin al Husseini) to describe the Palestinian ideology behind the Oslo "Peace Process". According to him Oslo was:

a Trojan Horse . . . just a temporary procedure . . . just a step towards something bigger." Husseini said that something bigger is "Palestine from the river to the sea," i.e., from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, eradicating Israel. Oslo? Just a way of "ambushing the Israelis and cheating them.

The phrase has also been used by Hamas leaders, Fatah leaders, Palestinian sympathizers as well as "peace activists" at rallies that call for the destruction of Israel.

You want to support them? You think Israel is the source of all your problems? If "they" (Israel) were gone, things would be better for everyone? Well...

"it's me and you." - Tell that to the Times Square bomber. Tell that to Nidal Malik al Hasan. Tell that to the people who blew up the trains in Madrid, the buses and subways in London, the hotels in Indonesia, the Muslims in Paris who rioted over the Danish Muhammad cartoons, who burn American flags and other American symbols (like Ronald McDonald), not to mention the Mumbai terrorists, the terrorists who massacred the children in Beslan (both not pictured here due to time constraints) as well as the sheikhs on Palestinian television and the Muslims at rallies held everyday all over the world threatening the West with Islamic domination, forced-sharia and calling on Allah to destroy democracy...

What do any of these places have to do with the West Bank, Gaza, Freedom Flotillas or ANY OF THE NONSENSE buzz words they try to brainwash you with on a daily basis? None of these countries support Israeli settlements, none of them support the Israeli blockade and some (Russia and Indonesia especially come to mind here) have been OPENLY SUPPORTIVE of Palestinians as well as OPENLY HOSTILE towards Israel! And yet despite their de facto tolerance for these radicals, Russia, Indonesia and the supposedly more "balanced" European nations are STILL targeted along with Israel and America! You think it's bad now with Israel, just wait until they've eradicated the "invaders" from their backyards and can start REALLY focusing on restoring their caliphate to what they believe it should be. Appeasement didn't save Europe before WWII and it will NOT save you now.

"Living on a thin line," - Headline from the Daily Mirror in the aftermath of the London this how we must now live? In fear of terrorism, everywhere? After 9/11, 3/11, the Bali Blast, the London bombings...we, as well as Israel are now ALL living on a thin line. The trouble is that we were ALWAYS on a thin line...we just didn't realize it until it was too late.

More photos follow of Islamic radicals demonstrating all over Europe, warning you all about a "real" Holocaust coming. With Iranian nuclear weapons coming closer to reality as well as their demonstrated ability to reach European cities with their missiles - this may not be as far-fetched as you want it to be. Most ironic in these images is the sign that says "Liberalism go to hell".

Of course who are the biggest supporters of dialogue with these radicals? I don't think I even need to give the absurd answer that question at this point. National suicide is national suicide no matter what kinds of fluffy slogans you surround it with.

"Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?" - Freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might. What did you do today, for freedom? Two slogans, one a contemporary British slogan and one an American WWII slogan. Do not think that the threat to our freedom (no matter where we live) today is any less severe today than it was in the 1930's.

"Living on a thin line," - More "peace activists" calling for the destruction of Israel. Of the thin line that separates us from the radical fundamentalists.

This is followed (finally and for the first and only time in the video) by a pro-Israel demonstrator holding up a sign that says "Free Palestine is code for kill the Jews". Two other important slogans are here as well, one is "Am Yisrael Chai" (in Hebrew) which simply means the "Nation of Israel lives" - positivity in an overwhelmingly negative time. The other is: "Zionism is the answer" - you'll notice if you stop the video that this graffiti,

found in the perpetual flashpoint city of Hebron, originally said something else, most likely "Zionism is Racism" (a reference to the 1975 UN resolution that stated the same thing - it was revoked finally in 1991).

Someone, a Zionist presumably, painted over the "racism" part and replaced it with these words instead. This perfectly encapsulates how we all need to do our part to change the negative connotation of Zionism and bring it back to the positivity that it actually represents. Zionism is nothing more than Jewish self-determination. To say you are against Zionism is to say you believe that Jews must rely on other nations for protection. Which as we've seen over 2,000 years of Jewish history amounts to nothing but destruction. If you are against Zionism, you are FOR the subjugation of the Jewish people. Anyone who says differently is lying or misinformed.

"Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?" - Despite outcries from hypocritical world leaders about "disproportionate force" we must still stand up to terrorism, confront it and fight it at all costs. There is still time, brother.

"Living on a thin line." - Trying to destroy the Jews hasn't worked out well for the various nations that have tried it. Some of them succeed for a time...and all have succeeded in killing 10's of millions of us throughout history - which when extrapolated to how many descendants of theirs would be living today climbs into hundreds of millions of Jews that should be alive today. The only reason the numbers are so skewed towards Muslims, Christians and other religions (all in the billions) is because Jews (only about 14 million strong) have been regularly purged throughout history by various nations and religions and therefore have never been able to expand the way other ethnicities have through natural birthrates.

The amount of violence committed against Jews over the centuries is really staggering when you think just how many Jews would be alive today if just the Holocaust hadn't happened. Six million dead (the majority of which had massive 5-10 person families) in 1945...over two generations could easily turn into 20+ million alive - more than DOUBLING today's demographics. Now think about the fact that 1,100 Jews were killed in just one of hundreds of blood libel attacks during the Crusades 1,000 years ago...extrapolate that over 50 generations and you start to get a sense of just how damaging the 2,000-year persecution of the Jews was before Zionism gave us a Jewish country and military to defend ourselves with.

Think about that the next time sometime tells you that they're "anti-Zionist" not "anti-Jewish".

And this is where the photographs end. The rest of the video is all text based.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed watching the video and reading the explanation. Maybe you learned something new, maybe your opinion changed a little bit, maybe you'll be more open to taking some action and actively supporting our friends in Israel.

Or maybe you think this is all propaganda and nonsense and will just ignore it and move on. If you think this way, I encourage you to voice your criticisms here and am willing to debate you on anything I have brought up here that you think is incorrect. If you have to stones to actually stand up for what you believe in, that is.

If, on the other hand you liked what you saw here and are interested in using this video in any educational capacity, I may work on a Powerpoint presentation of the images (along with the explanation) that I can include with a copy of the video and send to you for usage in a classroom or wherever else you want to use it. Let me know.

Thanks again for watching the video as well as reading the explanation. Long live the thin line that is the state of Israel and may REAL peace someday actually come to the Middle East.


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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Kinks - Living on a Thin Line: Israel and the world in 2010

Islamic terrorism at levels never seen before, "peace activists" armed with clubs and daggers, the resolve of the West to survive almost non-existent.

We are truly living on a thin line...

I would encourage you to watch it in full-screen mode. I would also encourage you to click on the "Like" button (it's right above the comments section on the video's youtube page). The more people "Like" the video, the higher its rankings will be on youtube.

The Kinks
Living On A Thin Line
Written by: Dave Davies
Published by: Dabe Music, 1984

All the stories have been told
Of kings and days of old,
But there's no England now.
All the wars that were won and lost
Somehow don't seem to matter very much anymore.
All the lies we were told,
All the lies of the people running round,
Their castles have burned.
Now I see change,
But inside we're the same as we ever were.

Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Living this way, each day is a dream.
What am I, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?

Now another century nearly gone,
What are we gonna leave for the young?
What we couldn't do, what we wouldn't do,
It's a crime, but does it matter?
Does it matter much, does it matter much to you?
Does it ever really matter?
Yes, it really, really matters.

Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?

Now another leader says
Break their hearts and break some heads.
Is there nothing we can say or do?
Blame the future on the past,
Always lost in blood and guts.
And when they're gone, it's me and you.

Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line.


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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More information coming to light about the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla"

We all knew this story wasn't going away anytime soon. Well, some new details are emerging about the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" that the Israelis attempted to search on Monday when they were met with knives and metal rods to the face.

From the Jerusalem Post:

In a statement to reporters at the port on Tuesday, Colonel Moshe Levi, commander of the IDF’s Gaza Strip Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA), said that none of the equipment found on board the three cargo ships was in shortage in Gaza.

“We have been working non-stop for the last twenty-four hours examining the cargo holds of the three large cargo ships and I can say with great assurance, that none of the equipment on board is needed in Gaza. The equipment that we found is all equipment that we have regularly allowed into the strip over the past year,” said Levi. “This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the whole premise of the voyage was for propaganda and provocation and not for humanitarian purposes.”

Among the equipment that the IDF agreed to show reporters were medical supplies, including electric vehicles for handicapped people, wheelchairs, stretchers, hospital beds and boxes of medicine. They also showed crates full of dry food products and children’s toys.

Very important to note is the fact that this is all equipment that Israel regularly allows into Gaza every single day of every single week. There was NO NEED for this confrontation. There was NO NEED for this loss of life.

“The cargo ships were loaded haphazardly, with all of the equipment mixed up in the large holds. Ships loaded in this way would not be accepted in any port. We are loading the equipment on the trucks far more carefully than it was loaded on to the ships,” he said.

Unreal. But wait, there's more.

Also from the JPost:

According to the defense officials, the IDF has identified about 50 passengers on the ship who could have terrorist connections with global jihad-affiliated groups.

During its searches of the Mavi Marmara on Tuesday, the military also discovered a cache of bulletproof vests and night-vision goggles, as well as gas masks. On Monday morning, at least nine foreign activists were killed during the navy’s takeover of the Mavi Marmara, which was trying to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The group of over 50 passengers with possible terror connections have refused to identify themselves and were not carrying passports. Many of them were carrying envelopes packed with thousands of dollars in cash.

The military is working to identify the passengers and is looking into the possibility that some of them have been involved in terror attacks. Some of them are apparently known Islamic extremists.

Bulletproof vests? Night-vision goggles?! What peaceful purpose are those used for, exactly? And I wonder what Hamas could do with envelopes packed with cash?

Hamas version of Woodstock, now with 100% less rock and roll

Let's also keep in mind that Hamas regularly attempts to import weapons by sea and has been caught in the act by Israel in the past. There's a very legitimate reason why Israel needs to inspect everything before it goes in to Gaza.

Here's the bottom line.

FACT: Israel is currently in a state of war with Hamas which controls Gaza.

FACT: The Hamas charter outright calls for the destruction of Israel.

FACT: Israel has the capability to flatten all of Gaza and all of Hamas within a span of approximately 2 hours.

FACT: Hamas has fired thousands upon thousands of rockets at Israeli cities and has terrorized the Israeli population for over two decades now.

FACT: In a state of war, a nation has no legal obligation to allow its enemy to receive goods by sea - especially when those goods are often used to KILL its own citizens!

But you know all this already or you wouldn't be reading this right now.

What you may not know is that Israel not only tolerates a hostile entity on its border but ALLOWS international donors to deliver all sorts of materials, food and medicine to this hostile entity on a DAILY basis. Had the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" gone about their business through normal channels and delivered their goods the way thousands of tons are delivered everyday, these 10 knife-wielding "peace activists" would still be alive today. But it should be PAINFULLY clear by now that the goal here was not humanitarian aid, rather it was to provoke Israel into giving people something to yell about.

This is who gets fist dibs on your Gaza-bound humanitarian aid

And in case you don't believe me about the aid being delivered, you can follow @IDFSpokesperson (note it's spokesPERSON not MAN - Israel is still the only liberal democracy in the Middle East) on Twitter and get updates like this:

99 truckloads (2,129 tons) of humanitarian aid + 300,000 liters of diesel fuel were imported into Gaza yesterday. 9:16 AM May 31st via web

92 truckloads (1,897 tons) of humanitarian aid + 218,340 liters of diesel fuel were imported to Gaza on Thursday-May 27 10:53 AM May 30th via HootSuite

2,405 truckloads (58,367 tons) of humanitarian aid incl. 5,278,798 diesel fuel transferred into Gaza during April 2010. 8:51 AM May 27th via HootSuite

281 patients and accompanying indvdls exited Gaza for med treatment + 158 Int. Org. staff entered Gaza b/w May 16-22. 12:43 AM May 27th via HootSuite

523 truckloads/13,517 tons of humanitarian aid + 938,127 liters of diesel fuel were imported to Gaza on May 16-22. 12:42 AM May 27th via HootSuite

218 truckloads (5,629 tons) of humanitarian aid incl. 173,405 liters fuel entered Gaza on May 26th 8:49 AM May 27th via HootSuite

88 patients and accompanying indvdls exited Gaza for med treatment + 37 Int. org. staff entered Gaza yesterday. 8:51 AM May 26th via web

106 truckloads (2,089 tons) of humanitarian aid + 214,409 liters of diesel fuel were imported into Gaza yesterday. 8:50 AM May 26th via web

Wow! What a crippling blockade! Millions upon millions of tons of aid come in, medical patients come out. That's right kids, the brutal Israeli apartheid regime allows dozens of Palestinians into their hospitals everyday (that they supposedly discriminate against) where they toil endlessly to SAVE THEIR LIVES. They have an entire system whose purpose is to separate their Hamas enemies from the innocent Palestinians that Hamas uses and abuses in order to maintain their ACTUAL apartheid regime. You know what else Hamas does? They hijack these "aid" shipments, steal the medicine, sell it to its own starving population and then USES THE MONEY to buy rockets that they then shoot at Israeli schoolchildren. You understand that?

Why should Israel bother expending all this effort to avoid Hamas and help the Palestinian civilians if they're as bad as everyone regularly makes them out to be? Why let anything in at all to a population that democratically elected Hamas, if their goal is to just destroy destroy destroy? Oh and by the way, do you know who DOESN'T put up with Hamas? You know who DOESN'T allow millions of tons of aid into Gaza everyday? The Egyptians - anyone want to start a protest at Egyptian embassies? Free Gaza! End the Egyptian blockade! Ridiculous.

I'm not asking these questions just for the sake of asking them. Everywhere around you there are people who don't read past the bloody headlines and make uninformed comments and assumptions based on the propaganda put out by the other side. I want someone from the pro-flotilla brigade to answer these questions. Who's going to step up and explain this to me? I'll debate anyone, anytime on this matter. Anyone, anytime.

But more importantly - who among you is going to step up and answer the NONSENSE that's flying all over world about this? I will NOT accept that we have to just concede the media to the other side. I will NOT concede that truth will be defeated by lies...because anyone who condemns Israel over this is LYING to you.

You get that? You are being LIED to.

It is imperative that we do NOT allow them to control the public opinion, we ALL have to speak up and speak LOUDLY.

There was NO NEED for a confrontation.

There was NO NEED for violence - which was initiated by the passengers and NOT the Israelis.

The ship was NOT delivering humanitarian aid, they were delivering toys, bulletproof vests and night-vision goggles. Anything else they had onboard was being delivered by land the same day with no incident, as it has been every other day for the past several years.

The passengers were NOT humanitarians, many of them were terrorists or had ties to terrorist organizations.

They held demonstrations on-board that called for violence against Jews, glorified the intifada and warned that the "army of Muhammad" would defeat the Jews.

Anyone who tells you any different is LYING to you. Call them out on it EVERY TIME they open their mouths and shut them down. We do not have to sit quietly and play their impossible game anymore. You've got the facts, you've got the videos, it's all right in front of you between this post and the one from Monday.

Do NOT let them get away with it.


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Monday, April 26, 2010

Wear white for Gilad Shalit 4/27/2010

Tomorrow in Israel is official "wear white for Gilad Shalit" day.

For those of you unaware of who Gilad Shalit is, he is an Israeli soldier who was kidnapped from Israeli soil by Hamas terrorists FOUR years ago. To this day he is still in captivity where he has been subjected to starvation, torture and God knows what else. Hamas refuses to let him go home unless Israel releases approximately 1,000 of their terrorists, many with innocent blood on their hands and who have vowed to kill again, in exchange for him. Hamas will not let the Red Cross examine him and generally refuses to give any information on him to his parents Noam and Aviva Shalit.

The capture of Gilad is hailed as a tremendous victory in Gaza, where murals depict him in jail as if kidnapping a human being were something to be proud of.

The following video was released by Hamas about 6 months ago to prove that he was still alive at the time. In order for the video to be released Israel was forced to hand over 20 of its prisoners. FOR A VIDEO.

Not much to editorialize there...the man's pained voice and face speaks for itself. Note the difference between the picture of Gilad before his abduction to the man in the video.

The Gilad Shalit saga has been a very painful one for Israel and Israelis. His parents have become semi-celebrities after all their appearances on Israeli television begging for the government to do something to get their son released. Demonstrations calling for his release happen often. This past Passover in Israel and around the world, Jews left an empty chair at their holiday feasts as a quiet reminder that Gilad had yet another Passover in hell.

And still the time goes by...and still Gilad Shalit waits. And waits. And suffers. And waits.

Hamas, not content with simply shooting rockets into Israel, starving and killing their own people and sitting on this prisoner for FOUR YEARS recently put out this video, essentially mocking the captive's father by throwing it in his face that he'll most likely never see his son alive again.

The video is clearly designed to get an emotional reaction out of him and other Israelis in order to get them to pressure the government into caving into appeasing Hamas. Ironically in the video, even though Noam is still wandering the streets of Israel for 30, 40 years or so waiting for his son, the signs and advertisments are still in Hebrew, the newspapers are the same as today, the prime ministers are still Israelis - the country is clearly still ruled by Jews! Even the Erez crossing into Gaza is still intact and maintained by Israeli soldiers.

I think that it's EXTREMELY telling that even in this Hamas fantasy they're STILL not ruling over Israel (which is their stated purpose for existing). It really speaks to the fact that deep down they know they're never actually going to win, nor do they particularly want to...but I digress...

Noam Shalit, in response to this video has this to say:
Hamas leaders would do better if instead of producing films and performances, they would worry about the real interests of the Palestinian prisoners and the ordinary citizens of Gaza who have been held hostage by their leaders for a long time.
Right on Noam.

So wherever you are tomorrow, I urge you all to wear white in solidarity with Gilad and his family - and if anyone asks you why you're dressed in white make sure you tell them...

...that it's for Gilad. And his family.


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Sunday, April 18, 2010

We will remember you all | Yom HaZikaron

Every year in Israel, on the day before their Independence Day an air raid siren sounds across the country. This day is known in Hebrew as "Yom HaZikaron" - Memorial Day. Unfortunately for Israelis, this is not a day for BBQ's and beaches.

Everyone, no matter where they are or what they're doing, stops. Traffic comes to a standstill and people often get out of their cars to observe a nationwide moment of silence in memory of all the young men and women who have died in the line of duty, defending the Jewish nation from those that threaten to destroy it.

Also remembered in the next 24 hours are the innocent men women and children who have been shot, stabbed, blown up and beaten to death by terrorists...their only crime being that they were Jewish residents (or Israeli citizens of a different religion) of a small patch of desert that lies between the Jordan river and Mediterranean sea.

As of publication, the number of soldiers killed in the line of duty stands at 22,684.

The number of civilians killed during terror attacks stands at 3,270 (including about 700 American victims), with an additional 14,002 injured.

Sadly these numbers continue to go up year over year. But while our brothers and sisters are gone - they are never forgotten. This day is just a reminder to keep them in our hearts...

על הנגב יורד ליל הסתיו
ומצית כוכבים חרש חרש
עת הרוח עובר על הסף
עננים מהלכים על הדרך.

The autumn evening descends on the Negev (desert)
And it lights up the stars in silence
The wind blows upon the doorway
As clouds move along the way

כבר שנה לא הרגשנו כמעט
איך עברו הזמנים בשדותינו
כבר שנה ונותרנו מעט
מה רבים שאינם כבר בינינו.

It's been a year but we almost haven't felt it...
How the times passed in our fields
It's been a year and few of us remain...
There are many that are no longer among us

אך נזכור את כולם
את יפי הבלורית והתואר
כי רעות שכזאת לעולם
לא תיתן את ליבנו לשכוח
אהבה מקודשת בדם
את תשובי בינינו לפרוח.

But we'll remember them all
The beauty of their hair and appearance
Because this kind of friendship is forever
Our hearts won't allow us to forget
This love that is bound by blood...
You'll return to be between us and blossom

הרעות נשאנוך בלי מילים
אפורה עקשנית ושותקת
מלילות האימה הגדולים
את נותרת בהירה ודולקת.

Oh this friendship was carried without words
It was grey, persistent and silent
Through the terrible nights
You remained bright and lit

הרעות כנערייך כולם
שוב בשמך נחייך ונלכה
כי רעים שנפלו על חרבם
את חייך הותירו לזכר.

This friendship is like all your youths
Again in your name we'll smile and go
Because friends who fell on their swords
Your life was left to their memory

אך נזכור את כולם
את יפי הבלורית והתואר
כי רעות שכזאת לעולם
לא תיתן את ליבנו לשכוח
אהבה מקודשת בדם
את תשובי בינינו לפרוח.

But we'll remember them all
The beauty of their hair and appearance
Because this kind of friendship is forever
Our hearts won't allow us to forget
This love that is bound by blood...
You'll return to be between us and blossom

אך נזכור את כולם
את יפי הבלורית והתואר
כי רעות שכזאת לעולם
לא תיתן את ליבנו לשכוח
אהבה מקודשת בדם
את תשובי בינינו לפרוח.

But we'll remember them all
The beauty of their hair and appearance
Because this kind of friendship is forever
Our hearts won't allow us to forget
This love that is bound by blood...
You'll return to be between us and blossom

Finally, in addition to our brothers and sisters who the time of publication, the number of Israelis currently missing in action stands at 1.

Let's not forget about Gilad Shalit...still trapped in some Hamas hell-hole...still being tortured and abused everyday.

Who would like nothing more than to be free to participate in a memorial service instead of worrying that he'll be a statistic at the next one. Who would like nothing more than an end to this warfare and bloodshed and hatred. Who would like nothing more than to just be normal.

But then...don't we all?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities: Sderot, music, rockets and you

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
--A Tale of Two Cities

3/18: 2, 3/19: 1, 3/20: 4, 3/21: 2, 3/22: 2, 3/23: 1, 3/26: 1, 3/27: 2, 4/1: 1, 4/2:1, 4/3:1, 4/5:1, 4/6:6

--number of rockets fired into Israel by day from Gaza in the past two weeks

My town:

It's beautiful, quiet Spring morning in the Northeast. The rivers are receding after the recent Old Testament-style floods. The recent cold snap has ended, the sun is shining and the skies are blue. As I lay in bed with the sun streaming in through the windows and hear the Easter weekend traffic motoring along slowly, it's easy to be almost hypnotized at how peaceful it is. What should I do today? Whatever it is, it has to be outside and on a day like today it seems as though anything is possible...


Your town:

It's beautiful, quiet Spring morning in Sderot. The heavy rains of the winter and desert flooding are fading into distant memory, the sun is shining and the skies are blue. As I lay in bed with the sun streaming in through the windows and hear the Passover weekend traffic motoring along slowly I think to myself how lucky I am to wake up in such a beautiful town. What should I do today? Whatever it is, it has to be outside and on a day like today it seems as though anything is possible...


My town:

...something occurs to me as I get up to pour myself a bowl of cereal, something in the back of my mind...but I push it away...I don't want anything to disturb my quiet haze...what should I do? Walk to the park? Hike along the river? But something keeps nagging me and I can't ignore it...something I forgot...but I really don't want to think about it I'd much rather think about how to spend this beautiful day...


Your town:

...something occurs to me as I get up to go make myself a cup of coffee...something in the back of my I don't want to think about that...I won't on a day like what SHOULD I do today, anyway? Go to beach? Ugh, with all the holiday travelers it's going to be packed. Was that what was bothering me? No that's not it...and I'm not going to think about it anymore today...I'm not going to let it disturb this beautiful, peaceful day...Still it's nagging me, but in my just-woken-up haze I can barely remember what it is...


My town:

Taxes! TAXES! That's what it was! I forgot to do my taxes and they're due in just a few days! Well no matter I'll just do them later tonight - no way I'm wasting a day like THIS to look at some boring forms! Thank God I remembered though, it could have been a disaster if I had forgotten!


Your town:


Oh that's what it was, I almost forgot...I haven't had a quiet, peaceful day like I was imagining in OVER EIGHT YEARS. Why should today be any different? Back into the bomb shelter for another game of "dodge-rocket" with my family.


Welcome to Sderot, Israel, population approximately 20,000. The scene you just read is one that has been repeated basically on a daily basis since March, 2002. Not-so-surprisingly, up to 94% of the children who live in Sderot suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But in addition to holding the dubious title of "most bombed city on earth", Sderot has been an incredible musical and cultural center for all of Israel. An incredible amount of singers and songwriters hails from this hard-scrabble town, including Kobi Oz of the band Teapacks. You may have heard of them during the "Push the Button" controversy at the 2007 Eurovision contest.

But Sderot isn't just a thumbtack on a google map showing the latest rocket strike in the perpetual hell of Middle East reality. It's a real city with real people that I had the privilege of visiting this past January. Palestinians fired four mortars at us while I was there. Luckily their aim was off and the mortars all landed in their own territory - no code red for me.

The tension while walking in the street however, was palpable and I couldn't help subconsciously looking around for somewhere within 15 seconds to take shelter if the alarm did go off. Most of the bus stops in the area have been converted into bomb shelters and many buildings have them built-in but there were several stretches when it was clear I would not be able to get anywhere indoors within 15 seconds.

Knowing that thousands upon thousands of rockets and mortars have crashed into the very streets I was now walking made me think about the people who stood on the same ground I was now on. Someone, probably several people, had been standing where I was now during a Code Red and had to hope to God or whatever higher power they believed in that they would be spared. This was a sobering thought indeed.

Eventually I arrived at the Sderot Media Center where I met several residents of the town and spoke to them about life in the shadow of Gaza. Without realizing it, the tension I felt when I was in the street left me the whole time I was in their presence. Despite the unbelievable living conditions these people are forced to endure, I was mesmerized by the charm and overall quiet of the city.

The people I spoke to, while obviously upset about the situation, didn't act like they were jumpy or nervous or miserable...the whole place just seemed so NORMAL. Being there reminded me of the sleepy New Jersey town I grew up in...which made it all the more frustrating to know that this quiet calm had just been shattered the day before by a rocket attack and unbeknownst to me at the time had almost been shattered four times while I was there.

If you follow Israeli news you read a lot about traumatized residents of Sderot with PTSD or children that have developed panic attacks as a result of incessant Code Red alerts...but in a way, seeing how relatable the people were, affected me more than reading about victims of attacks. These people aren't superheroes, they're just regular human beings like you and me who want nothing more complicated than to be able to get out of bed in the morning WITHOUT BEING SHOT AT BY A BUNCH OF IRANIAN-FUNDED, OVERSIZED BAZOOKAS.

They have jobs, they drink tea, they send their children to school, they go out drinking (a local pub was selected by Haaretz as serving the "best cocktail" in Israel), they even produce the Bissli snacks - popular with so many American Jews - at the Osem plant right outside town. In short, this could be quiet rural town in South Jersey or Pennsylvania or Michigan or Kansas or Oklahoma or wherever. You could have had the luck of being born here instead of wherever you grew up.

The only difference is that if you had been born here, this what would be falling on your head on a nearly daily basis for the past eight straight years. This is what would have been raining down on you 20, 30, 50, A HUNDRED times per DAY before your government finally decided to act against the perpetrators. This is what the rest of the world would expect you to endure falling on you as you drove to work or waited with your child for the bus or lay in bed considering what to do with your holiday weekend.

By the way, these rockets don't just fall from the sky, they EXPLODE on impact and send shrapnel (in addition to ball bearings, nails, screws and other potential projectiles that our Palestinian friends pack into these explosives) flying in every direction. These rockets, "crude" as they may be described in Palestinian mythology, are specifically designed to injure or end as many human lives as possible. That they don't kill more people is a testament to the preparedness of the townspeople to react to these attacks.

For example, take this playground that I saw while I was there...

This is the "Heritage Legacy Park of Good Wishes" - built with money that was donated by Americans. It sure looks like a fun place for kids to play, with colorful caterpillars and castles and everything else an imaginative child could want. In the setting sun it all seemed so normal...until it was pointed out to me by my friend that these caterpillars and castles were actually built as BOMB shelters. This project was part of a $9 million campaign to create bomb-proof places for children to play. Park of "good wishes" indeed...

And this is really a perfect illustration of what's wrong with the attitudes of pretty much everyone who doesn't actually live in Sderot. Everyone I talked to was (understandably) at the point of infuriation that even well-meaning people who are trying to help are actually perpetuating the problem.

After all, rockets rain down on an innocent civilian population and the answer build prettier bomb shelters? Better early warning systems? Teaching people how to manage their lives more effectively as they live under bombardment?? This isn't an earthquake or hurricane zone or an area that's somehow prone to regularly occurring meteor showers! This isn't some natural disaster that people need to learn how to live with better! Just STOP THE ROCKETS.

Imagine if your home was repeatedly the target of armed robberies. You call the police to tell them that your home is being invaded on a daily basis and instead of them coming to arrest the perpetrators they tell you get a stronger safe to keep your jewelry in, so as to discourage the bandits from coming back. Would you tolerate that? Of course not! It's INSANE to expect people to live like this.

No more bomb shelters. No more early warning systems. No more Code Reds. No more fake condemnations by the outside world. No more SILENCE from the Obama administration.

And the announcement of the settlements the very day that the vice president was there was insulting.
--Hillary Clinton

Oh my mistake, maybe we're better off when you don't say anything. Do you know what's really insulting though? All this controversy from the entire world that is directed at Israel over...building an apartment building...but while Biden and Hillary were STILL in the process of scolding the Israelis over their evil real estate plans there was yet another rocket attack into non-settlement, Israel-proper.

But hey, no one got killed so no harm, no foul right? ISRAEL on the other DARE they exercise their sovereignty over territory that they annexed over 40 years ago. And as world leaders raced each other to condemn Israeli architecture in ever more flowery and grandiose language, poor Manee Singmueangphon had the misfortune of working in a greenhouse that a random Qassam crashed into, killing him and injuring dozens other Thai workers.

Singmueangphon had children back in Thailand that he was working in Israel to support

Really though, what other country in the world is expected to endure daily attacks on its own citizens...yet a new housing project becomes an INTERNATIONAL incident? Oh and God forbid if Israel actually eliminates a terrorist mastermind...nevermind rocket attacks, the Mossad stands accused of the high crime of PASSPORT FORGERY. What a joke!

In other news, over 300 people were slaughtered in the Congo over a span of 3 days in December and you didn't even know about it. Oh and 700 children died there today (and yesterday and the day before that...) of starvation due to the fighting. But ISRAEL is on the front pages of every newspaper because they stopped a murderer from killing more people and built an apartment building in their capital! It's complete insanity and yet we all are complicit in it by our silence.

Thankfully the residents of Sderot are imaginative, creative and resourceful enough to take care of themselves. My friends at the Sderot Media Center told me about the innovative programs they have to help the Sderot residents who suffer from PTSD. There are theater, movie, music and poetry programs that encourage children and adults to express their feelings through art. It's not much of a surprise that a city with such a rich musical and cultural history would produce such beautiful art about a decidedly un-beautiful situation. There's also a documentary called Sderot: Rock in the Red Zone about how the Sderot youth are finding ways to express their pain and suffering to the rest of the world.

But why should this be? Why do we need awareness concerts and social media therapy and playground bomb shelters? Why does this situation even need to exist? How can we abandon these human beings...these mothers, fathers, sons, daughters...and allow them to be victimized like this?

We, all of us, need to stand up and make it clear that we will not play by the rules our "friends" try to impose on us as long as these people are subjected to this daily hell. What are we arguing about here, honestly? Apartment complexes? Passport forgeries? These people have been subjected to a DAILY state of terror for over EIGHT YEARS. This is ridiculous already!

You want Israel to sit down at the table and talk with murderers like Hamas? Get them to stop the rockets. You want less restrictions on Palestinian movement in the West Bank? Stop the rockets. You want settlement freezes and "confidence-building" measures? STOP THE ROCKETS. Oh and how about releasing Gilad Shalit (after his 4th Passover in captivity) too?

No progress should be made, no concessions offered, no goodwill gestures, nothing done until they STOP THE ROCKETS. No one should be able to guilt-trip you into feeling bad for the (self-imposed) terrible situation the Palestinians are living under in Gaza either. Even the frequently Israel-bashing Human Rights Watch places the blame for the rockets SQUARELY on Hamas "leadership's" shoulders. I'm sorry that innocent Palestinians suffer in Gaza on a daily basis but you know what? It's not my problem. THEIR government which THEY elected and therefore represents THEM allows this situation to continue.

But if they just STOPPED THE ROCKETS - none of this would happen. Action/reaction, cause/effect, behavior/consequence. Enough with the complaining, the apologies, the demands and the excuses...just STOP



And to the people of Sderot...keep making your movies and your music and know that even though we're very far away, WE DO HEAR YOU.