Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fiddler on the roof in Japanese

I think this is neat, “If I were a rich man” in Japanese. And apparently it was on stage in Tokyo in 1982, I hope it was a hit.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Haiti organs harvesting, smoke and fire

The accusation that Israel harvest and stole organs in Haiti has a stubborn on the Internet and the media. The main argument by those who support this nonsense is “where there is smoke there is fire,” there is fire all right, from the side that makes all the smoke; Their side!

Haiti organs harvesting

Friday, February 12, 2010

The ‘Daily Show’ forum, debating Israel, hope among bashing

When you ask an Israel basher a tough question you may get a reply. Whether that reply can be considered an answer that is open for interpretation.

Having seen last October that Dr. Mustafa Barghouti and Anna Baltzer were to appear as guests on the 'Daily Show' I placed a question in the Daily Show forum, suggesting to the host, Jon Stewart, to present it to his guests.

I would like to make a suggestion to Mr. Jon Stewart regarding tonight guests Dr. Mustafa Barghuoti and Anna Baltzer. My suggestion is that he should ask Dr. Barghuoti if Jews have the right for life and liberty.

Been an Israeli, and a Zionist, I naturally do not have an objective view of Dr. Barghuoti and his colleague, but I would state that I, Boaz Tibon (Dvar Dea is my pen name of a sort) acknowledge that Palestinians have the right for life and liberty, that been the freedom to live, worship, accumulate property and national freedom and self determination.

Transparently speaking the real target of the question were the various Israel bashers who kept congratulating the two guests, over time after the show aired, few replies did come, surprising they weren’t, but they were informative, especially to those who want to know why the Israeli Palestinian conflict is so protracted.

VHSingularity wrote:

Why would Jon Stewart waste time by asking his guests a question that has no basis in reality? Are you really suggesting that during the last 42 years in which Palestinians have lived under Israel's military occupation that the Palestinians have been secretly infringing on Israeli liberty? How would they even accomplish that when in the West Bank Palestinians are hardly allowed to leave their own towns? Palestinian children often face military checkpoints and harassment or even violence at the hands of Israeli settlers just on their way to school. In Gaza the situation is even more stark. You know that Israel doesn't allow for the importation of food or basic building supplies for even for homes and schools? Now how is it that the Palestinians are denied food to eat and you are talking about the the "right of accumulation of property" for Israelis??
As you have claimed that you acknowledge the right of Palestinians to self-determination, then I have a better question for you: Do you call on Israel to immediately withdraw from all territories occupied in the 1967 war, to end the military siege of Gaza and to quit the illegal and racist Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank?

The only thing standing between the Palestinians and their self-determination is the Israeli army. And by the way, I have been to the West Bank. When I say the settlements are Jewish-only, I mean... they do not allow non-Jews to enter or live there, or they will physically and violently expel you.
VHSingularity response is probably close to ‘No’. ‘Probably’ because he doesn’t say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, he does make a big deal from the fact that the question had been asked in first place. He is upset about it. Apparently he does not acknowledge the other persons right to live as real, which suggests that elementary moral human and democratic values do not exit in his own, personal, moral code. A possibility supported by the evident fact that terrorism, that is the targeting of innocent civilians by armed Palestinians, does not exist in his response, or he simply has no problem with it.

Christine (with no capital c)  wrote:

It is not about right or wrong. It is about humanatarian needs. When the U.S. had the riots in in the ghettos during the Civil Rights, we as a country stood tall to support those rights. Here in the U.S. we tend to fight for freedom and individual rights. But, when it comes to Gaza and what is happening there you want us to turn a blind eye. The truth will be known. We will fight for people to be treated in a humane way.

Just the facts
Killed: 1,072 Israel - 6,348 Palestinians
Injured: 8,864 Israel - 39,019 Palestinians
Prisoners: 1 Israeli - 10,756 Palestinians
Children Killed: 123 Israeli - 1,435 Palestinians
Homes Destroyed: 0 Israeli - 18,147 Palestinians
Illegal settlments: 23 Jewish only settlements and outposts - 0 Palestinians
UN Resolutions broken: Israel 65 (more than all other countries combined) - Palestine 0
Money Daily Given by US Taxpayers: Israel $7,000,000 - Palestine $0

Do those in the Gaza strip have a right to live freely on their land? When will Israel stop the invasion? Kicking people out of their homes and either tearing them down or just moving in, is that right? Stealing the livelihood of a whole people, is that right?

I suppose since those people that Zionists (not Jewish) are stealing land from need a place to live you can invite them to live next door to you. (Syria is already flooded with refugees from Iraq and Palestinians.) Where do you suggest those people live? Who do you think should feed those people? Or do you have the "let them die" attitude? This land is ours and we don't care what the world thinks!

I think the U.S. should stop giving Israel the $7 million dollars every day they receive from U.S. taxpayers. Obama just recently gave a slap to American farmers. He OK'd a $17,000 rebate back to a Israel butter maker who brings his goods to American soil. He is bringing butter into the U.S. at a time when many farmers here are suffering the "recession". He also waived most tariff's and taxes f;or Israel and Israel alone. They can bring commodities into U.S. without paying for it. Therefore they can undercut our own countries livelihoods. Obama did this without the approval of the Congress.

I think we need to treat Israel the same way we treat any other country. Or better yet maybe we should treat Israel the same way they treat the Palestinians.

Let us not forget the USS Liberty!!!!!
Go to
Christine has a very long and not very smart reply, as indicated by her first sentence; humanitarian is not a right or wrong issue? Of course it is. Her comparison between a war situation that exist in the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the civil rights struggle in the US is very far from reality and the numbers she brings are best described as empty, empty from content and credibility. The number of casualties on each side that she gave lacks the breakdown to combatants and non-combatants, on the Israeli side for example percentage of civilians, non-combatants, is higher then on the Palestinian side, where a significant percentage of the dead are Palestinians killed by their own people.

‘Children killed’ has its own breakdown according to age, because there is a difference between a 15 years old engaged in violent, stone throwing and Molotov Cocktail throwing demonstrations and a 4 years old playing in the street. Not forgetting omitted categories such as ‘blown up buses’ and ‘killed by a lynch mob.’ The numbers she gives regarding aid to both sides are a show of ignorance that is not helping the Palestinian cause, because Palestinians to get aide from international resources including the USA, and the loans Israel receives from the USA are definitely nor per day. And I have no idea what ‘slap to American farmers’ she’s talking about. But I guess there are more then a few like her in every crowd. Her directing me to Alison Weir infamous site is not surprising.

Related links on the statistical breakdown of casualties:
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Institute of Counter Terrorism “An Engineered Tragedy.”

Clint wrote:

I have always been a supporter of Israel and have thought of them as one of our strongest allies. But, as an American, I believe in the concept of fairness and I have seen so many Israelis stick their fingers in their ears and scream LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! anytime anyone has the audacity to discuss the issues of the Palestinian people. Thank you Jon for taking your fingers out of your ears and facilitating a fair and even keeled discussion. You are the voice of reason in a cacophony of hate.

Clint is funny, a self proclaimed Israel supporter who knows nothing about internal debates in Israel and regards the Israelis as a whole as been unfair, and that is his response to a question that has nothing to do with his reply.

Msherif wrote:

Response to Dvar Dea: As a Palestinian who cannot return, I would like to ask you how you feel about the rt of Jews from any country being able to become citizens of Israel, but those of us non-Jewish Palestians not having the same rts. Also, Palestians who have Israeli "citizenship" are not permitted to own over 98% of the land in Israel because of their religion (the late Israel Shahak documents this apartheid system in his books). Also - Israelis are able to build on confiscated Palestinian land - in violation of international law - and the USA pays for it. So how do you, Dvar Dea, feel about Palestians having the rt to defend themselves against this injustice. Should the just say - Israelis are superior and just take it?
Msherif, him I shouldn’t have missed, though most of his reply is the usual anti Israel mantra, here as an excuse for not answering the question, it could have been a good opportunity to explain Jewish nationhood and the right of self determination for all nations, where the ‘Law of Return’ is a key tool in gaining and maintaining that right for the Jews, as well as to correct several misguided conceptions about land ownership in Israel.

Related links on land ownership in Israel:

Zionism Israel.

Jewish Virtual Library.

Middle East forum.

Canadian Arab wrote:
I would like to reply to you sir by one simple link to a website. please you call yourself a Zionist, take a moment and be proud of what your past LEADERS have said about the Palestinians and "their right to exist" because being a Zionist and believing in the right to life to Palestinians are 2 complete opposites. If you truly believe in your comment I would SUGGEST to you to never say you are a Zionist. Here's the link: It’s quite disturbing and extremely appalling to say the least.And yes, Arabs believe in the right to life for Israelis just as long as you don't take our life in order to prosper yours.
Canadian Arab has a ‘no matter what we do we lose’ response, a catch 22 of a sort. He is willing to acknowledge our right for life and liberty, on the condition of that we won’t do a list of lies we are accused of doing. But since these are lies, no matter how much we, the Zionist Israelis, will try not to do them, his kind (or is it her kind?), will consider us doing them anyway, thereby refusing our right for life and liberty. Msherif, him I shouldn’t have missed, though most of his reply is the usual anti Israel mantra, here as an excuse for not answering the question, it could have been a good opportunity to explain Jewish nationhood and the right of self determination for all nations, where the ‘Law of Return’ is a key tool in gaining and maintaining that right for the Jews, as well as to correct several misguided conceptions about land ownership in Israel.

Sam samurai wrote:
To the self proclaimed Zionist I say, asking a person if they will give you Life and liberty, while taking his mother, father, brother,sister, and his identity is like asking a man you are about to murder to sign off on the murder with the hope that the signing off may allow you not to be killed; when all along you know you are going to kill him, because only then can you get his wife, his land, his house, his identity and his his claim to his citizenship. Isreal has more Liberty than any nation in this world and also growing resentment of the world, beware of History- Isreal one man may not be able to do anything but the entire world against Isreal autrocities is a burden no nation wants to face.
Sam Samurai’s response is a part of a concentrated reply to several other posters in the forum. The section where he replies to me makes his response is important. Putting aside the lies about Israel killing “father, brother, mother…” and stealing identity, (how exactly do we do that?), he apparently regards the very existence of Israel, and for that matter Jews who enjoy life and liberty, as murder, and calling something murder is a far stronger negation then just saying no.

And then there is this from seife, who signed as Adam.

Thank you Mr. Tibon for your objective view. I am the son of an Arab Muslim and Christian couple. I married into a Jewish American family. I know for a fact, that the majority of Arabs (Muslims and Christians) believe that the Jewish people have the right for life, liberty, and dignity. I am always surprised of how politicians on every side (not only Arab and Israeli) have been so successful in convincing both sides that the other group is a monster! Just read the history of the Jewish people and you will come to a quick conclusion that Muslims treated Jews better than anyone else over the years. The recent conflict started only after the massive immigration of European Jews to Palestine, and the declaration of the establishment of Israel. It is very understandable that the Arabs (Muslims and Christians) opposed it then. Who would like to give up land and control freely? Most of them accept it now, but unfortunately, are always surprised by the unjust one-sided rules they are subjected to by Israel. Many objective observers (not the current major news agencies, they are part of the problem) could consider the Israeli treatment of Arabs in the occupied territories as a form of racism. Unfortunately, the constant propaganda on all sides (Arab, Israeli, and American) has just fueled the emotion of everyone thus, the call by many, especially the extremists on both sides, to destroy the other. Very unfortunate and sad!!!

His claim that most Arabs would say ‘Yes’ to my question means his answer is ‘Yes’ or close to that. It is interesting that he considers me objective since I made it clear that I do not consider myself as such. And while I disagree with him on several of the points he made, it seems that on a moral level we have some common ground, which is encouraging. I never expect the other side to agree with me 100%, but if on morality and realism there is a common ground then may be there is hope.I am not a big fun of debating on forums, each and his/hers own taste I guess. In many cases the company on popular forums is similar to that associated with talkbacks, I prefer exchanging views on blogs, where there is a greater possibility for a constructive ex change. This is why I made no effort to reply and let the thread grow.

The dominant views themselves are not unique and can be found in Politico the Daily Kos, and elsewhere. Adam’s answer was certainly a surprise, one that undermined my lost of fait in human kind, the one that partake in popular forums and talkbacks that is, and it’s a good thing too. But when we look at the Israel bashers, those who have hard time keeping the word ‘No’ from slipping through their lips when asked whether Jews have the right to live; what their dominance among the critics of Israel tell us about the academic world and the political world they reflect?

Hope did surprised me, but it still a minority, and after all on the Israeli side we got our share of Arab bashers.

Friday, February 5, 2010

IDF Soldier Saves Palestinian Girl Life

A great news piece available on YouTube.
Shows the true face of the Israeli army despite the blood libels.

And remember, “stones can kill

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Guardian vs. the IDF response to the Goldstone report the Guardian’s Monty Python moment

Imagine a stop motion animation where a big heavy hammer hits a wooden surface, but instead of a loud bang and a crash a faint chirp like sound is heard and the stricken wood has a small crack on its surface, nothing more. This type of absurdity is usually associated with the cartoons from the famous 'Monty Python’s Flying Circus' and not with respectable media services, such as the Guardian.

However, according to this distinguished British newspaper an 500 kg airplane dropped Israeli bomb produced the following damage to the El Bader flour mill, Gaza's only flour producing factory, seen in the pictures below taken from the IDF reply to the Goldstone report and a BBC report from June 2009.

Al Bader flourmill January 9 2009

Al Bader flourmill January 10 2009

Al Bader flourmill January 11 2009

Source: BBC

Source: BBC

Does that look like the kind of damage caused by a 500 kg bomb?

According to the Guardian, a UN demining team found the front half of a Mk82 airplane dropped bomb in the second floor of the Al Bader flour mill on January 25, 15 days after the place was supposedly bombed by the Israeli air force and destroyed the Gaza Strip only flour producing mill, as claimed by the Goldstone report and its defenders, who built a charge of war crimes against Israel saying we prevented food from the population of the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip, even though food keeps coming in daily from Israel.

According to the site of the Federation of American Scientists, the Mk82 is a 500 kg airplane dropped bomb, it is an unguided bomb, a dumb weapon, intended to create maximum blast and destruction, a fact that is not evident from the pictures above. The blast is so powerful that its casing is designed to slow down its fall so the bomber will have enough time to escape the blast. Now let's back up and look at those pictures again…if a jet fighter like the F-16A-D needs time to get the hell out of that thing how come the structure is intact, the roof is still there, and the machines look damaged but nothing like what we would expect from a 500 kg explosion? And judging from the quoted UN demining team in the Guardian who found the fragment in the second floor of the mill, the second floor is still there. In other words:

Guardian Gaza kaboom

And another thing: How did the supposed incriminating fragment get there? Where is its the point of entry? This is not a simple question, because according to ORDTECH MILITARY INDUSTRIES, a Greek defense company established in the mid-1980s, this 500kg bomb isn’t meant to penetrate, but to take out "fragment sensitive targets" in the outdoors such as, troops, oil facilities and radar. A building on the other hand is a good protection against fragments, therefore a bad target for this type of a bomb.

All this adds up to the following absurdity. The IDF has a detailed account of its activities at the time of the alleged bombing. It describes a complex ground battle that took place in the area of the Al Bader mill, involving troops, tanks and Apache helicopter gunships on the Israeli side, and booby trapped houses on the Hamas side, some of them adjoining the flourmill.

From the IDF response to Goldstone, p. 41 – 44:

163. With respect to the allegation of deliberate targeting of the el-Bader flour mill, the IDF conducted a command investigation, which gathered evidence from numerous sources, including relevant commanders and officers and ground and aerial forces. In addition, the investigator received information from the Israeli CLA, which was in direct contact with the owner of el-Bader flour mill, Mr. Rashad Hamada. The command investigation included several findings, which are delineated below.

164. From the outset of the Gaza Operation, the immediate area in which the flour mill was located was used by enemy armed forces as a defensive zone, due to its proximity to Hamas’s stronghold in the Shati refugee camp. Hamas had fortified this area with tunnels and booby-trapped houses, and deployed its forces to attack IDF troops operating there. For example, 200 meters south of the flour mill an IDF squad was ambushed by five Hamas operatives in a booby-trapped house; 500 meters east of the flour mill another squad engaged enemy forces in a house that was also used for weapons storage; and adjacent to the flour mill, two booby-trapped houses exploded.

165. The IDF ground operation in this area began on 9 January 2009, during night time. Before the ground operation, the IDF issued early warnings to the residents of the area, included recorded telephone calls, urging them to evacuate. Such telephone calls were made to the flour mill as well.

166. While preparing for the operation, the commanders identified the flour mill as a “strategic high point” in the area, due to its height and clear line of sight. Nevertheless, in the planning stage, it was decided not to pre-emptively attack the flour mill, in order to prevent damage to civilian infrastructure as much as possible.

167. In the course of the operation, IDF troops came under intense fire from different Hamas positions in the vicinity of the flour mill. The IDF forces fired back towards the sources of fire and threatening locations. As the IDF returned fire, the upper floor of the flour mill was hit by tank shells. A phone call warning was not made to the flour mill immediately before the strike, as the mill was not a pre-planned target.

168. Several hours after the incident, and following a report about fire in the flour mill, the IDF coordinated the arrival of several fire engines to fight the fire.

169. The Military Advocate General reviewed the findings and the records of the command investigation and other materials. In addition, the Military Advocate General reviewed the information included in the Human Rights Council Fact-Finding Report, as well as the transcript of the public testimony of Mr. Hamada to the Fact-Finding Mission.

170. Taking into account all available information, the Military Advocate General determined that the flour mill was struck by tank shells during combat. The Military Advocate General did not find any evidence to support the assertion that the mill was attacked from the air using precise munitions, as alleged in the Human Rights Council Fact-Finding Report. The Military Advocate General determined that the allegation was not supported in the Report itself, nor in the testimony to the Fact-Finding Mission by Rashad Hamada, who had left the area prior to the incident in response to the IDF’s early warnings. Photographs of the mill following the incident do not show structural damage consistent with an air attack.

171. The Military Advocate General found that, in the specific circumstances of combat, and given its location, the flour mill was a legitimate military target in accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict. The purpose of the attack was to neutralize immediate threats to IDF forces.

172. The Military Advocate General did not accept the allegation in the Human Rights Council Fact-Finding Report that the purpose of the strike was to deprive the civilian population of Gaza of food. In this regard, he noted the fact that shortly after the incident, the IDF allowed Palestinian fire trucks to reach the area and extinguish the flames, as well as the extensive amount of food and flour that entered Gaza through Israel during the Gaza Operation.

173. Although the Military Advocate General could not conclusively determine that the flour mill was in fact used by Hamas’s military operatives, there was some evidence of such use. The Military Advocate General noted that Mr. Hamada testified before the Fact-Finding Mission that after the operation he found empty bullets on the roof of the flour mill. This could not have been the result of IDF fire, since – as was evident from the findings of the command investigation – the IDF forces which occupied the mill’s compound three days after the incident did not occupy the roof of the mill, where they would have been exposed to enemy fire.

174. Accordingly, the Military Advocate General found no reason to order a criminal investigation regarding the case.
English spelling mistakes are at the source

The Guardian wishes to discredit all that by a single item, full of holes:

1) A bomb fragment, from a bomb that produces an explosion far more powerful then the one evident in the pictures above.

 2) An unknown point of entry. The UN demining team says they have two, as yet unavailable pictures, which may or may not show a point of entry.

3) An unknown point in time for this particular fragment to reach the mill, since it was found 15 days after the alleged bombing. Enough time for it to get there because of a separate set of circumstances, and to cool off if it was due to an explosion.

4) Other scenarios were not examined and discredited. It is important to note that there are other scenarios possible, more consistent with the evidence. It could have exploded elsewhere and the blast threw the fragment into the mill, it could have broken apart in mid air, or may be the actual content of the bomb was many times below 500 kg.

I, on my part, know that my sense of humor and creative absurdities are many times below those of Terry Gilliam, but apparently that is not the case when it comes to the Guardian’s accusations against Israel, at least the creative absurdities part of it. The problem is they weren’t trying to make a joke. And although first reaction is a giggle or two, it is really, really, not funny at all.

Hat tip: IsraelMatzav

Related link: When ludicrousness stops being funny, the Guardian Gaza report.