Follow by Email

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Israel's supporters came out in Trafalgar Square

Israel's supporters came out in Trafalgar Square today to show sympathy with Israel as rockets continue to rain down from Gaza and to wish a happy 25th birthday to Gilad Schalit who is in his sixth year in isolation in Gaza having been kidnapped by Hamas from Israeli soil when he was 19.
There were some tremendous speeches.
Hasan Afzal, of British Muslims for Israel, said he supports Israel because it is "the only country in the Middle East where Muslims have freedom and democracy".
Jonathan Sacerdoti spoke movingly about Gilad Schalit spending his 25th birthday "in prison, in Gaza with no contact with the outside world, his family or even the International Red Cross to ensure that his health is adequate".
Joy Wolfe urged the crowd to ignore media lies about Israel and described Israel as a home for people of all religions.
She went on to call for an end to the double standards of the United Nations and some British MPs and said that Gilad Schalit probably doesn't even know that today is his birthday and probably feels as if he has been forgotten. But she said that no one will rest until the Red Cross gets access to him and every government in the world is calling for his release.
It was an excellent afternoon arranged at very short notice by the British Israel Coalition and supported by Stand With Us.
It made a change from the previous Sunday's terror rally at Trafalgar Square where the rhetoric called for war with Israel and signs called for Death to Israel. It's a shame there wasn't a similar pro-Israel rally at that time.
But with that in mind the Zionist Federation is arranging a counter-demonstration this coming Thursday from 6pm till 8pm outside the Royal Albert Hall where the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is playing at the BBC proms.
It is in response to a Palestine Solidarity Campaign anti-Israel protest. Some sort of disruption is also expected to take place inside the Hall while the orchestra is playing.
Nearest tube stations are South Kensington (District, Circle, Piccadily lines) and High Street Kensington (District and Circle lines).
It will be an opportunity to defiantly wave Israeli flags in the faces of all those whose sole desire in life is to see the Jewish state destroyed.
Clips and photos from today's pro-Israel rally:

Jonathan Sacerdoti, Trafalgar Square, 28 August: www.richardmill

Joy Wolfe, Trafalgar Square, 28th August 2011: www.richardmillet

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Middle East Terrorist Scams and the Western Naivete that Empowers Them

August 26, 2011 - 10:24 am - by Barry Rubin
Rockets from the Gaza Strip continue to pound Israel. And much of the Western media blames: Israel. I want to explain again how this system works.
What follows is a seven-point pattern that goes something like this: Someone shoots at your spouse, you punch the attacker, he yells, “Ceasefire!” then kicks you in the groin and takes some more shots at your spouse. You try to defend yourself. The police stand by doing nothing and then declare you to be the aggressor for breaking the ceasefire.
If this sounds like an exaggeration, I sincerely wish that it was! (Scholarly disclaimer: Of course many politicians and media outlets do see through this but the pattern discussed below is a very widespread one.)
1. Terrorist group attacks Israeli civilians.
2. As Israel seeks to retaliate, the group declares a ceasefire.
3. Western media announce ceasefire.
4. But rockets continue to be fired into Israel against civilian targets. Responsibility is usually taken by smaller groups allied with Hamas, like Islamic Jihad. This allows Hamas–and Western media–to deny that Hamas has any responsibility and thus there is no need to take actions against it. Nobody notes that Hamas is now allied with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the latter does not condemn the attacks but only condemns Israel.
(Note: Western media only report it when the PA condemns a terrorist attack and that at times gets more coverage than the attack and the Israeli victims.)
(Additional note: In late 2008, Hamas launched a war of rockets, missiles, mortars, and attempted cross-border attacks on Israel, breaking an existing ceasefire. When Israel retaliated, many accused Israel of aggression.)
(Another additional note: It is generally forgotten that because of Israel’s self-defense against the Hamas attacks the PA broke off negotiations with Israel and three years later, despite constant missreporting that the lack of talks is Israel’s fault, that policy continues.)
5. Israel retaliates against rocket-firing teams, weapons’ workshops, arms-smuggling tunnels, rocket storage places, and leaders of groups firing rockets. Some civilians are killed and this becomes the main point of Western media stories. Since the numbers and identities come from Hamas, they maximize numbers and civilians, concealing terrorists’ being killed and at times reclassifying terrorists as civilians. Note that when civilians are killed by Western airstrikes, as in Afghanistan or Libya, it is emphasized that these are regrettable accidents. With Israel it is implied that such action is purposeful or at least careless.
6. Western media report that Israel “broke” the “ceasefire.”
7. Continued attacks on Israel are thus blamed on Israeli action.
Think that’s an exaggeration? Here’s the Washington Post:
“A tenuous cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip was punctured Wednesday by a deadly Israeli airstrike that triggered rocket and mortar fire at Israel.”
Political result:
Anti-Israel politicians, media, and experts blame Israel for being aggressive and using “disproportionate force,” a phrase
that only seems to be applied to Israel in the world.
More moderate politicians, media, and experts decry the cycle of violence for which both sides are responsible.
Coming soon to a UN Near You: The September UN Scam! Here’s a wonderful indication of what’s going on:
A pro-Palestinian Oxford University law professor has warned the Palestinian leadership that it must do the unilateral independence declaration at the UN properly so it can claim all of Israel later.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Another example of Arab child abuse

PA kindergarten teaches children to die fighting Israel in the name of Islam. Class play involves soldiers, death.
by Maayana Miskin
Published: 16/08/11, 7:54 PM

Child Martyr
Child Martyr
Screen Captrue
A Palestinian Authority kindergarten showed off what its young students had learned over the past year by having the five-year-olds act out scenes of terror and death for their families. The parents were moved to tears upon seeing their children pretend to die as “martyrs, ”Palestinian Media Watch reported reported.

During the graduation ceremony two plays were performed – one based on “Little Red Riding Hood,” the second, “The Martyr's Wedding,” a story glorifying death in battle with Israel for the sake of Islam.

“Another performance named 'The Martyr's Wedding' delighted the audience due to the role-play of the children, whose acting depicted the reality of roadblocks, children, occupation, soldiers, and the children's death as Martyrs,” wrote the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, in a report picked up and translated by Palestinian Media Watch.

The performance was accompanied by “nationalistic” songs, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported. Many such songs encourage “martyrdom” and bloodshed for the sake of “freeing the land of Palestine” - a land which, according to the PA, includes all of Israel.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hello everyone.
I hope to have more personal articles up, about Earl Krugel, soon.
I have lost touch with Earl's wonderful wife, the love of his live, lola Krugel.
If she should come here, or email me at  Michael Blackburn At Gmail
it would be a blessing and helpful to this site, which exists to contribute to knowledge of one our truly selfless heroes, Earl Leslie Krugel.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Laughter, Hamlet’s Ghost, and the Insanity of Our Present Age

Ghost: “Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.”
–Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 1
This is a test. Does this story make you laugh or cry?
A friend of mine wrote an article that, while it did make fun of a left-wing group, was a pretty sober and factual presentation on a simple point. My concern here is NOT the specific story involved but the ending.
Some people pointed out that Herman Cain, a presidential candidate, in apologizing to Muslims for something he said, just happened to do the apologizing to a specific group that’s a front for the Muslim Brotherhood in America. A site that’s part of President Obama’s favorite thinktank and is well funded by a certain billionaire (no extra credit for guessing) ridiculed this claim.
So what did this author do? Research! In the finest scholarly tradition, he found some U.S. court judgments that concluded, based on documentary evidence, that the group in question is indeed a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.
So he proved his argument to be correct. The result? Retraction? Apology? Hey, it’s 2011!
How, then, did a non-profit group–not the one he was responding to but one of similar ilk–respond to the article? See below:
Response 1: “Take your head out of your ass….You live in America, even though you don’t deserve to.”
Response 2: “Hey…how’s your application to the Nazi Party going?”
Now you have to laugh, right? Here’s an author who irrefutably proves his case and that’s the response he gets. This is the level of sophistication of our adversaries. They cannot come up with good arguments so they either have to name-call or distort. A lot of them sound more sophisticated than the above two quotes but what they say basically amounts to the same thing.
What’s especially ironic is that the author of the article comes from a family persecuted by the Nazis (response 2), and arrived in America–legally–as penniless refugees from Communism (response 1).
Remember that those responses did not come from some deranged individual hiding behind an alias but a non-profit organization whose name isn’t concealed and that is given exemption from paying taxes because it serves an “educational” purpose. Fortunately, since the Federal budget is balanced, America doesn’t need its tax money!
So please be civil when you respond to people you disagree with; provide facts and good arguments; try to avoid insults. If you have facts and good arguments on your side that should be enough in a democratic country that’s ultimately a free marketplace of ideas (even if considerable sections of that marketplace have been hijacked and turned into propaganda organs). You won’t convince the haters and extremists but you will convince the openminded majority even if it takes a while.
Going back to the exchange above, you either have to laugh or cry. I suggest laughter. It’s more fun and he who laughs last laughs best. Become a historian; live long; and write about this era in 30 or 40 years. Sure, many people won’t believe these things happened but show them the quotes and documents.
Ghost: “Do not forget: this visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.”
–Hamlet, too.

Egypt's status quo

Hosni Mubarak's departure from power did little to address the fundamental issues that brought protesters to Cairo's Tahrir Square two months ago.
In fact, the protests were never about Mubarak but about a sclerotic political system and an economic system that was full of cronyism and corruption.
Mubarak sustained that system, but its backbone was always the Egyptian military.
Mubarak nurtured the military, from which he came, and the military preserved him. Although the officers behind Egypt's 1952 revolution abandoned their uniforms long ago, Egypt's rulers have been generals in suits for decades.
The return of the uniforms to power does not inspire great optimism about Egypt's trajectory. In superficial ways, it represents a victory for the protesters and a demonstration of people power in the heart of the Arab world. After all, it was unthinkable even two weeks ago that Mubarak would relinquish the presidency, and those calling for his ouster - as some Egyptian activists had been doing for years - seemed quixotic dreamers.
Against all odds, this thinking goes, the government has moved to fulfill the protesters' demands.
But in a more important way, the army's return suggests a huge step backward. Military rule does not allow for bargaining between interest groups, nor does it presage a constitutional convention between an array of actors in Egyptian political life. Rather, it suggests even heavier management of the political process, on the one hand, and the removal of any timeline for change on the other.
For those thinking strategically about the protest movement, the rise of a military rule is a double defeat, simultaneously narrowing the bounds of allowed public behavior and depriving the protest movement of its urgency.
If the Egyptian public has cause for greater concern, the military's rise provides some solace to the rulers of neighboring countries. Their worst-case scenario was a democratic uprising in Egypt that was both fundamental and telegenic, thereby serving as an inspiration to publics from Morocco to Oman. The rise of Egypt's military is a victory for the forces of order, a steadying of the status quo.
For Western governments, events in Egypt are a decidedly mixed blessing. For the United States in particular, which has long had close ties to the most senior Egyptian leadership, the military's heightened role means that familiar faces will be making the important decisions. Yet the White House has made clear publicly and privately that it viewed changes in Egypt as harbingers of an inescapable change sweeping the Middle East. Whereas some predicted as recently as Thursday that Egypt was moving forward, with the rise of the Military Command Council, Egypt seems to have reverted to 1952.
Mubarak was always a cautious leader. He cherished stability so much that conditions in Egypt often veered toward stasis. The events since Jan. 25, especially the widespread protests in recent days, were precisely the environment he was seeking to prevent.
The way to see his departure, then, is not as a victory for the demonstrators calling for his removal.
Instead, it was a defeat for the Egypt Hosni Mubarak was trying to maintain.
Mubarak moved deliberately to improve the lot of his compatriots, carefully avoiding risk.
He rarely wore his military uniform, seeking to project an image of normality to Egypt's public and the world. He saw and portrayed himself as a great statesman of the region, counseling presidents and kings half his age.
And yet, Egypt never quite reached normality. Mubarak never felt sufficient comfort to lift the emergency law in force in Egypt almost continually for four decades, and he never was able to establish a civilian leadership that could take the place of the army. Long accused of being an unimaginative bureaucrat, he turned over the country to like-minded septuagenarians who mirror his caution.
Mubarak has not handed over the reins of a confident country, but instead a country where the military had to step in to prevent a slide into chaos. Egypt is a distressed asset. That is not a glorious legacy after decades of rule.
The writer is director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel