Archive for February, 2006

More Vox Pal

More Vox Pal

Been wondering what’s on the mind of the man in the Arab street in the past eventful month? He’s not shy telling you (You can read his earlier expressed opinions here.):

In comparison with NEC’s January poll, trust in Hamas has increased from 41% to 44%, while trust in Fateh has decreased from 38% to 29%.

Over the past month, support for a peace agreement with Israel has
dropped from 84% to 73%.

Over the past month, the belief that Hamas should change its position on
the elimination of the state of Israel has decreased from 75% to 62%.

I’m reminded of the old joke about the patient who receives devastating news from his doctor, and reacts by demanding a second opinion. “Okay, you’re ugly, too,” the doctor replies.

The international opprobrium heaped on the Palestinians by some (though hardly all, alas) for electing their equivalent of Aryan Nation hasn’t exactly chastened them.

Bloodthirstan will be a state before Palestine is.

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Anglican Shenanigans

Anglican Shenanigans

What do expect from a church founded by Henry VIII? The great Caroline Glick explains:

On February 6, the General Synod of the Church of England voted to impose a selective secondary boycott on Israel. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams supported the motion.

This was not Williams’s first swipe against the Jewish state. To take just one example of his consistent anti-Israel bias, in June 2004, during a visit to Jerusalem, Williams dismissed protocol and harshly criticized Israel for building the security fence to protect its citizens from mass murder.

Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks reacted angrily to the synod’s decision. In an explanatory letter to Sacks, Williams defended his church’s move by stating that the church was interested in divesting from companies like Caterpillar – the US firm that produces, among other things, bulldozers that are used by the IDF to demolish structures that facilitate Palestinian terrorism. In his words, “The demolition of Palestinian homes in recent years has been a regular source of controversy, and raises moral issues of some seriousness.”

In a bit of irony, the Church’s vote on divestment from Israel came three days after British Muslims held a demonstration across the street from the Danish embassy in London that raised a few “moral issues of some seriousness” of its own. Demonstrators held signs saying “Jihad against European Crusaders!” and “Europe, Europe, you will pay, annihilation is on its way!”

Among their catchy slogans the demonstrators yelled, “UK, you will pay, 7/7 on its way,” and “We want Danish blood!” For good measure they threw in, “Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jew, the army of Muhammad is coming for you!”

God knows where and when Europe developed its virulent strain of anti-Semitsm, but isn’t it about time they did something about it?

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Are You Kidding Me?

Are You Kidding Me?

What else can one say when reading this?

WELAMASONGA, Tanzania (Reuters) – With billions of dollars pouring in to fight Africa’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, Tanzanian AIDS counselor Gandencia Bazil has a simple request.

“We need a bicycle,” said Bazil, who heads the AIDS committee in this village near Lake Victoria, an area where an estimated 12 percent of people are infected with HIV.

“With a bicycle we could reach more people with health messages. But we cannot afford even that,” said Bazil, as other members of her committee nodded grimly following a meeting in a makeshift shelter near the village center.

“We are not getting the support we need.”

Welamasonga’s predicament is repeated across Africa, where despite a huge jump in overseas assistance and government AIDS budgets, the cash earmarked to fight the epidemic is often not making it to the desperate people who need it most….

The scale of the AIDS crisis in Africa — where some 26 million people are infected with HIV, more than 2 million died of AIDS in 2005 and well over 12 million children have lost one or both parents to the disease — still dwarfs the assistance being made available.

Nevertheless, both governments and United Nations’ agencies, which spent years fighting to raise AIDS funding, are now battling to develop new strategies to spend it.

“We all need to begin thinking out of the box,” Peter Piot, executive director of the United Nations’ AIDS agency UNAIDS, said during a recent inspection trip to Tanzania where he was often asked why cash was not reaching grassroots groups.

“Stopping the AIDS epidemic is going to require more than just a medical approach.”

Begin thinking outside of the box? Can you believe this crap? While the UN tries to learn to think outside the box, millions of Africans are getting buried in pine boxes. Maybe I should be more understanding. It’s hard to eradicate sexually transmitted diseases, when you’re running your own Third World escort service:

United Nations — Sexual abuse charges against U.N. peacekeepers remain unacceptably high because of “a culture of dismissiveness,” a senior U.N. diplomat told the Security Council February 23….

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, president of the Security Council for the month of February, called for the meeting to review the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping missions, which he calls “one of the greatest stains on U.N. history.” [Did he really say stains? --ed]

“I think it is important to keep the spotlight on the difficulties posed by this unacceptable practice.  I was encouraged by the fact there was unanimous support in the council for increasing our efforts to prevent this in the first place and to prosecute it when it does occur,” Bolton told journalists after the public meeting.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that horrific crimes of sexual abuse and exploitation have been committed by U.N. peacekeepers against individuals they have been assigned to protect,” Bolton said.  He added that it is the “moral and ethical responsibility” of the United Nations and member governments to prevent such crimes.

“The ‘boys will be boys’ attitude, which too long pervaded peacekeeping operations, must correctly be met with a zero-tolerance policy,” he said.

The United Nations began investigating charges of sexual exploitation by peacekeepers two years ago after reports of abuse surfaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo and West Africa.  Charges include rape and enticing hungry children and women with food and money in exchange for sex.

They should call it the Ewww-nited Nations.

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Blind Noam Imitates 59 Million Americans

Blind Noam Imitates 59 Million Americans

When Osama Bin Laden (Blind Noam Asea) endorsed John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, at least one pundit got the effect right:

U.S. President George W. Bush said his 2004 re-election victory over Sen. John Kerry was inadvertently aided by Osama bin Laden, who issued a taped diatribe against him the Friday before Americans went to the polls, The Examiner newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Bush said there were “enormous amounts of discussion” inside his campaign about the 15-minute tape, which he called “an interesting entry by our enemy” into the presidential race….

“I thought it was going to help,” Bush said. “I thought it would help remind people that if bin Laden doesn’t want Bush to be the president, something must be right with Bush.”

Analysis so simple, even a chimp can do it.

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Go Back To Africa!

Go Back To Africa!

Strictly speaking, Sudanese refugees in Egypt never left. As the Washington Post tells the story (thanks to the eagle eye of Aunt Agatha:

CAIRO — On a dirt lane in the poor Arba wa Nus neighborhood, Malles Tonga, a Sudanese refugee, spoke loudly about the brutality of Egyptian police and blamed President Hosni Mubarak for their behavior.

Suddenly, an Egyptian merchant emerged from a nearby dry-goods store, shouted an Egyptian slur for black Africans and yelled: “If you don’t like it here, go home!”

The use of the expletive exemplifies the plight of Sudanese who come to Egypt as refugees: They fear going home, but the welcome mat in Egypt, always thin of resources and tolerance, is almost threadbare.

The situation of Sudanese in Egypt brings to light the special difficulties refugees face when they flee a war-ravaged and impoverished land for another poor country. Egypt is in many ways an inhospitable place for its own citizens. In Arba wa Nus, Egyptians share with the Sudanese arrivals the neighborhood’s open sewers, dusty alleys, lack of plumbing and precarious chockablock housing.

But dark-skinned Sudanese Christians stand out among the Egyptians, typically lighter-skinned Muslim Arabs. Human rights workers say the Sudanese are subject to taunts, discrimination and violence.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has registered about 24,000 Sudanese refugees here, but independent observers estimate there are hundreds of thousands. Unlike in some other African countries, Sudanese in Egypt are not granted blanket U.N. refugee status, which would open the possibility of resettlement.

Only two months ago, remember, Egyptian police raided a Sudanese refugee camp–oh wait, the UN says they’re not refugees, so I guess they’re just refuse–and killed an estimated 28 people. So an “Egyptian slur for black Africans” is a definite improvement. And if the UN says they’re not refugees, what is it doing for them? Glad you asked:

UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council remained divided Monday on imposing punitive measures over the conflict in Darfur despite calls for sanctions against Sudanese allegedly blocking peace in the region.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, on the next to last day of the U.S. presidency of the council, scheduled a closed-door meeting to discuss a report by a U.N.-appointed panel that recommended sanctions against key figures from all groups.

Most of the 15-member council were in favor of sanctions, led by the United States, Britain, France and Denmark — but Qatar, China, and Russia were strongly opposed, council diplomats said. Qatar is the only Arab member of the council, China is a major buyer of Sudanese oil, and Russia traditionally opposes sanctions.

How do you say no blood for oil in Chinese?

While he’s got them in a room, honorary Bloodthirstani Bolton can get to item two on his agenda:

United Nations — The United States wants to reopen negotiations on the draft resolution establishing a United Nations Human Rights Council, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said February 27.

“My instructions are to reopen the negotiations and to try and correct the manifold deficiencies in the text of the resolution or alternatively to push off consideration of the resolution for several months,” Bolton told journalists.

“We are very disappointed with the draft … we don’t think it’s acceptable,” Bolton said of the draft resolution presented February 23 by General Assembly President Jan Eliasson.

Is it any wonder I love this man? And just to wrap things up nicely, Sudan–whose barbaric treatment of its black Christian population prompted the very refuse crisis about which I write–serves on the very Human Rights Council we seek to reform (or has until recently). It’s not your daddy’s UN anymore.

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Civil War?

Civil War?

I’m not sure that’s what you can call the situation in Iraq.

Especially when the Sunnis seem ready to join the Shiites in government:

BAGHDAD, Iraq – AP – Sunni Arabs are ready to end their boycott of talks to form a new Iraqi government if rival Shiites return mosques seized in last week’s sectarian attacks and meet other unspecified demands, a top Sunni figure said Monday.

That prompted the U.S. State Department to praise the Sunni leadership for “looking to get back into the game, full strength.”

“That’s to be welcomed,” deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said.

This is not meant to underestimate the carnage in the streets of Iraq over the past few days, but I don’t recall Jefferson Davis sniffing around for a cabinet seat in the Union government after Vicksburg.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi General Beauregard got hisself nicked:

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Iraqi security forces announced on Monday the capture of a senior al-Qaida in Iraq figure, and the U.S. ambassador said the risk of civil war from last week’s sectarian violence was over.

Violence throughout Iraq killed 36 people Monday, as fierce fighting broke out between Iraqi commandos and insurgents southeast of the capital. But sectarian clashes have declined sharply since the bloodletting that followed the destruction of a revered Shiite shrine in Samarra, and Baghdad residents returned to their jobs after three days of a government-imposed curfew.

“We were at home for three days doing nothing,” tea vendor Abbas Kudir said. “We are of limited income. We earn money when people can come and buy tea normally. We hope the government will pay attention to our difficulties.”

Sunni Arab leaders said they were prepared to end their boycott of the talks on a new government if Shiites return mosques seized in reprisal attacks against Sunnis and meet other unspecified demands.

“That crisis is over,” U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad declared.

Seeing is believing. But for those who’ve been waiting for two, three years to say “I told you so,” I hope you’ve enjoyed your moment. But it’s time to move along; there’s nothing more to see here. The Iraqis are moving on to the more serious task of government. It may not be pretty, but at least it’s got a future.

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Steyn Time

Steyn Time

I’ve promised you not to quote every word Mark Steyn says or writes (you can do that yourself here), but you must read every word of this:

Needing to wake up, West just closes its eyes

February 26, 2006

By Mark Steyn, Sun-Times Columnist

In five years’ time, how many Jews will be living in France? Two years ago, a 23-year-old Paris disc jockey called Sebastien Selam was heading off to work from his parents’ apartment when he was jumped in the parking garage by his Muslim neighbor Adel. Selam’s throat was slit twice, to the point of near-decapitation; his face was ripped off with a fork; and his eyes were gouged out. Adel climbed the stairs of the apartment house dripping blood and yelling, “I have killed my Jew. I will go to heaven.”

Is that an gripping story? You’d think so. Particularly when, in the same city, on the same night, a Jewish woman was brutally murdered in the presence of her daughter by another Muslim. You’ve got the making of a mini-trend there, and the media love trends.

Yet no major French newspaper carried the story.

This month, there was another murder. Ilan Halimi, also 23, also Jewish, was found by a railway track outside Paris with burns and knife wounds all over his body. He died en route to the hospital, having been held prisoner, hooded and naked, and brutally tortured for almost three weeks by a gang that had demanded half a million dollars from his family. Can you take a wild guess at the particular identity of the gang? During the ransom phone calls, his uncle reported that they were made to listen to Ilan’s screams as he was being burned while his torturers read out verses from the Quran.

This time around, the French media did carry the story, yet every public official insisted there was no anti-Jewish element. Just one of those things. Coulda happened to anyone. And, if the gang did seem inordinately fixated on, ah, Jews, it was just because, as one police detective put it, ”Jews equal money.” In London, the Observer couldn’t even bring itself to pursue that particular angle. Its report of the murder managed to avoid any mention of the unfortunate Halimi’s, um, Jewishness. Another British paper, the Independent, did dwell on the particular, er, identity groups involved in the incident but only in the context of a protest march by Parisian Jews marred by ”radical young Jewish men” who’d attacked an ”Arab-run grocery.”

As always, Steyn generalizes from the particular to make some very telling points about the threat of radical Islam and the rest of the world’s supine response.

As well as being horrified, I’ve been puzzled by the Ilan Halimi story. Why has he not become the French Emmett Till or Medgar Evers? Was the American response to murderous racism that all blacks should move to Liberia? Chirac’s attendance at the memorial service notwithstanding, why is the French response to murderous racism and a mass exodus of Jews to Israel a Gallic shrug?

Or am I wrong?

Tens of thousands expected in Paris march protesting Halimi murder
By News Agencies

The family of Ilan Halimi, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed in an attack that appears to have been motivated in part by anti-Semitism, will not attend the demonstration against racism and anti-Semitism that is scheduled to take place in Paris on Sunday in response to the murder, but will hope for its success, the family’s attorneys said Saturday.

The rally – which is due to be attended by over 100,000 people and numerous public figures, including government ministers – has become controversial due to the planned participation of representatives of two right-wing political movements, the National Front and the Movement for France (known by its French initials MPF).

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Take This Hijab And Shove It

Take This Hijab And Shove It

Like the ground hog and the swallows at Capistrano, Mahmoud Abbas can be counted on to do the same thing twice a year–threatening to quit:

LONDON (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he will resign if he feels he is no longer in a position to pursue his peacemaking agenda when the new Hamas government takes over.

In an interview to be shown on ITV1′s Jonathan Dimbleby politics program on Sunday, Abbas accepted there were difficulties posed by Hamas’ refusal to acknowledge Israel, but held back from saying directly he would quit if they continued.

“We could reach a point where I cannot perform my duty, then I will not continue sitting in this place, against and in spite of my convictions,” he said, speaking in Arabic and dubbed into English.

“If I can do something then I will continue, otherwise I won’t. From the beginning, I said … that if I fail I will resign,” he added.

What selflessness! Just two questions: who is this guy and when did he ever do anything in the first place? Mahmoud Abbas…can’t place the name. Unless you mean Bob Saud Ham.

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Qassam Fed Up, That’s Why

Qassam Fed Up, That’s Why

Where would we be w/o IMRA?

3 Qassams fired at Israel; no injuries
Tova Dadon YNET 02/24/2006

The Red Dawn alert system identified the launching of three Qassam rockets from the northern Gaza Strip.

Two of the rockets apparently landed in an open field near the southern town of Sderot, and the third landed south of Ashkelon. No injuries or damage were reported in the incident.

[IMRA: Israel Radio reports that one rocket fell north and one south of
Sderot]

Summary of access routes targeted by the IDF during the night
IDF Spokesperson 25 February 2006

Following the continuous launching of projectile rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli communities, which has caused repeated damages to civilian infrastructure, the IDF carried out aerial attacks in the northern Gaza Strip tonight, targeting eight access routes.

The objective of targeting these access routes is to prevent the passage of terrorists to projectile rocket launching grounds, and to disrupt their repeated attempts to fire rockets at Israel

The sad truth is that short of going in and rooting out the terrorists, Israel has no good answer to these rocket attacks. Even sadder, they won’t do so, until the Palestinians get “lucky” with their indiscriminate firing and hit something worth prtecting–like a kindergarten. Bombing empty roads (if that’s what “access routes” are) or empty fields, as reported earlier, just isn’t going to stop anything.

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Synagogue Demolished, None Die

Synagogue Demolished, None Die

Aunt Agatha writes: “Authorities in Tajikistan begin razing country’s only synagogue. Hey, let’s start a riot!!”

She can be a riot herself. From Ha’aretz:

Authorities in Tajikistan begin razing country’s only synagogue
(AP) 24/02/2006

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – Authorities in Tajikistan have started demolishing the country’s only synagogue in order to make way for a new presidential residence, an official said Friday.

The century-old synagogue on government land in the ex-Soviet republic’s capital Dushanbe will be completely torn down by June “as part of the plans to build a new presidential palace,” said city administration spokesman Shavkat Saidov.
Last month, city authorities demolished the synagogue’s ritual bathhouse, classroom and kosher butchery, the Norway-based international Forum 18 religious rights group said.

Tajikistan’s Jewish community, mainly made up of Bukharan Jews, is mostly elderly and poor and cannot afford to build a new synagogue. About 280 Jews live in Dushanbe, of about 480 across the country.

If I were a betting man, I’d bet the mortgage on another country turning judenrein within the year. Make some Muslims feel unwelcome and they trash your country (Denmark, France); make Jews feel unwelcome (Tajikistan, France) and they leave your country. This does not bode well for the future.

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The Last To Know

The Last To Know

We opined here a couple of days ago that the UAE ports deal was either bad politics or bad policy, and probably both. Since then, I’ve listened to smart people debate this both ways, most recently David Brooks on Imus this morning (not yet online). Brooks says stop the panic, by the way; this is so far from a big deal you couldn’t reach it with a Honda Civic and a full tank of gas.

But this is even harder to defend:

WASHINGTON Feb 22, 2006 (AP)— President Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday.

Defending the deal anew, the administration also said that it should have briefed Congress sooner about the transaction, which has triggered a major political backlash among both Republicans and Democrats.

Ya think?

If these guys did HALF as good a job defending their actions as we do here, they’d be more popular than FD-freakin’-R. Well, more popular than Nixon anyway. But whether it’s indifference or outright hostility toward the press, they just don’t give a crap about PR. The Iraq war was right, tax cuts helped. Don’t expect the press morons to say so; Bush has to say it himself–over and over again. Didn’t know…what the bleep are they doing over there?

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Lie Back and Think of Denmark

Lie Back and Think of Denmark

Isn’t that what we’ll all have to do when we read this letter to Mark Steyn?

DANES GET A TASTE OF THEIR OWN MEDICINE

In reference to the boycott on Danish products, I’m sure you are aware that the Danish General Workers Union declared a boycott on Israeli products in 2002.  The Norwegian unions went along, and these boycotts continue to this date.  Only a few weeks ago, a Minister in the Norwegian government called for a boycott of Israeli products.
 
In the Jerusalem Post of Sunday, 12 February, the following letter was published:

 ”Sir: I read with great interest the letter asking us to ‘Buy from Denmark’.  I am a manufacturer and export my products to many countries.  The only one that insists that I do not put ‘Made in Israel’ on the packaging is Denmark. (Signed) Ealann Hirshfeld-Raanana”.

While I completely condemn the hypocrisy and the violence engendered by the Mohammed cartoons, the Danes and the Norwegians are getting back a little taste of their own medicine.

Gerald Schor
Raanana, Israel

P.S. I use Lurpak Slightly Salted Butter and Havarti cheese.

To me, there is no greater sin than blaming the victim, which is what those Danish entities cited above have done (among countless others). But if first they came for the Jews, next they came for the Danish. Shall we still not speak out for them?

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