Thursday, June 28, 2007

Digital Irony - Shamnesty Edition

If you haven't been following the news on the crazy Shamnesty bill, don't. Wait until they pass it or not. If it gets passed in to law, move up your plans for Aliyah. If it doesn't pass, say thank God the Congress does what the American Public wants them to do. Besides the crazy bill which lets anyone come into this country illegally and then stay legally, it will be the a major blow for the congressional system which is supposed to represent the American public. This bill will be a ploy of technical, procedural maneuverings, and behind the curtain dealings and vote trading. If this bill passes... God help all Americans and those waiting in line to become Americans.

Now for the Digital Irony part. Via the indispensable Michelle Malkin who is following this bill very closely:
In case you didn’t catch this, the opponents of shamnesty are rushing through their statements because the Grand Schemers have only given them 10 minutes to speak. The shamnesty senators will get the rest of the hour to talk. “Typical,” says Session, of the way this debate has gone. And so starkly absurd. You’ve got the pro-amnesty senators on the floor now all bleating about how debate shouldn’t be ended…having just limited their opponents’ time to a measly 10 minutes.
Update: Shamnesty is dead.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

JibJab: The Star Spangled Banner


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lay down your control-top panti-bombs

Advice Goddess gives some pretty good advice to the Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza: lay down your arms, and start working.

The Last Thing Any Palestinian Should Want Is A Palestinian State

They could live in peace and prosper -- if they were peaceful Israeli citizens. Arabs in Israel who don't want to kill Israelis as their life goal do quite well...just as Mexican-Americans do here in America. Muslim states, on the other hand, are not very nice places to live -- as those in the middle of the Hamas/Fatah conflict may finally be beginning to realize.

Hey, primitives! Lay down your control-top panti-bombs, do something productive, and join the Israeli's really all it'll take for you to have a better life. I mean, if you actually want a better life, instead of continuing to live in welfare squalor in a corrupt terrorist-birthing ghetto.

For comparison, Efraim Karsh writes in a 2002 Commentary piece of how it was for Arabs in Israel after the 1967 war:

...Astounding social and economic progress (was) made by the Palestinian Arabs under Israeli "oppression." At the inception of the occupation, conditions in the territories were quite dire. Life expectancy was low; malnutrition, infectious diseases, and child mortality were rife; and the level of education was very poor. Prior to the 1967 war, fewer than 60 percent of all male adults had been employed, with unemployment among refugees running as high as 83 percent. Within a brief period after the war, Israeli occupation had led to dramatic improvements in general well-being, placing the population of the territories ahead of most of their Arab neighbors.

In the economic sphere, most of this progress was the result of access to the far larger and more advanced Israeli economy: the number of Palestinians working in Israel rose from zero in 1967 to 66,000 in 1975 and 109,000 by 1986, accounting for 35 percent of the employed population of the West Bank and 45 percent in Gaza. Close to 2,000 industrial plants, employing almost half of the work force, were established in the territories under Israeli rule.

During the 1970's, the West Bank and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest-growing economy in the world -- ahead of such "wonders" as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea, and substantially ahead of Israel itself. Although GNP per capita grew somewhat more slowly, the rate was still high by international standards, with per-capita GNP expanding tenfold between 1968 and 1991 from $165 to $1,715 (compared with Jordan's $1,050, Egypt's $600, Turkey's $1,630, and Tunisia's $1,440). By 1999, Palestinian per-capita income was nearly double Syria's, more than four times Yemen's, and 10 percent higher than Jordan's (one of the better off Arab states). Only the oil-rich Gulf states and Lebanon were more affluent.

Under Israeli rule, the Palestinians also made vast progress in social welfare. Perhaps most significantly, mortality rates in the West Bank and Gaza fell by more than two-thirds between 1970 and 1990, while life expectancy rose from 48 years in 1967 to 72 in 2000 (compared with an average of 68 years for all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa). Israeli medical programs reduced the infant-mortality rate of 60 per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 15 per 1,000 in 2000 (in Iraq the rate is 64, in Egypt 40, in Jordan 23, in Syria 22). And under a systematic program of inoculation, childhood diseases like polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and measles were eradicated.

No less remarkable were advances in the Palestinians' standard of living. By 1986, 92.8 percent of the population in the West Bank and Gaza had electricity around the clock, as compared to 20.5 percent in 1967; 85 percent had running water in dwellings, as compared to 16 percent in 1967; 83.5 percent had electric or gas ranges for cooking, as compared to 4 percent in 1967; and so on for refrigerators, televisions, and cars.

But, writes P. David Hornik at all started to unravel—fast—as Israel, under the euphoric glow of the Oslo “peace process,” withdrew from Gaza and the Jericho area of the West Bank in May 1994, turning them over to Yasser Arafat’s rule. Gaza was especially hard hit.

As a dramatic spike in terrorism led Israel to impose repeated closures, unemployment in Gaza rose as high as 50 percent and by 1996 economic output declined about one-third. From that year to 1999 the situation improved under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as terror reverted to pre-Oslo levels and the Israeli closures decreased.

But Netanyahu lost to Ehud Barak in the 1999 election, and the rest is well-known recent history: Barak’s rejected offer of statehood to Arafat in summer 2000, the outbreak that fall of the Al-Aqsa Intifada and Gaza’s (and the West Bank’s) conversion into a launching pad for an all-out terror war necessitating Israeli closures and other measures, Gaza’s severance from Israel under the 2005 disengagement plan, Hamas’s win in the 2006 election and takeover of Gaza in June 2007—leaving Gaza in a state of violent squalor comparable only to Mogadishu and with its residents apparently longing for the “occupation” once seen as the epitome of evil.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Digital Irony - "Who rescues the palestinians?" edition

Egypt took in 100 palestinians from Gaza, but the US had to literally twist their arms for them to do so (ok, maybe not literally, but close to it). Israel's humanitarianism is in full force as they rescue wounded children and protect the Fatah from their Muslim brothers. Via Jihad Watch:

Unfortunately, we will never hear testimony from the dozens who were brutally executed.

Later yesterday, Zecharia Alrai, 39, an officer in Fatah's elite Force 17 commando unit, arrived. He had been abducted by four Hamas gunmen a week ago. They loaded him into a jeep and drove him to an isolated spot, where they shot three bullets into his leg and dumped him.

"That's not Islam. That's evil and hypocrisy. How ironic that Israel is rescuing us from our Muslim 'brothers,'" he said.

How ironic is it that Israel is saving Muslims from Muslims, while Egypt and Jordan remain silent? How ironic that the main target of Palestinian terror is the one doing the most to help? Where are the British doctors who were so quick to condemn their Israeli counterparts?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

US to increase military aid to Israel (yay!)

[picture from Israeli Weapons]

Hakol bedei shamayim! The extra money will sure help Israel defend herself against the bad guys.
This year, Israel will receive $2.4 billion in military aid from the U.S.
According to the existing arrangement, most of the grant is meant for procurement from the U.S. industry, and Israel is allowed to spend 26.7 percent of the military assistance in shekel purchases for acquisitions from local defense industries.

Israel asked for a gradual increase in the aid over a 10-year period at the tune of $50 million per year. At the end of the 10 years, Israel will receive $2.9 billion annually in military assistance from the U.S.

Olmert told the president that an announcement on the increase in aid would be an expression of American support for Israel against the growing threats to its existence in the region.

In its announcement, the U.S. reiterated that the increased funds will allow Israel to deal with the new challenges it faces and to ensure a "qualitative military edge."

Fatah Isn't the Answer

Gunmen from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Is funding them the path to peace?

Michael Oren, author of the iconic Six Days of War, writes in today's Wall Street Journal (subscription required) on the flawed policy of funding and arming the Fatah. I disagree with his proposed alternative solution, not in a hypothetical sense, but in a practical sense - it'll never happen. The only thing that Israel can do now, is to seal Gaza, take out Hamas, and crackdown on all forms of militant Islamism in the West Bank.

Since its creation by the so-called Oslo Accords of 1993, the PA has garnered more international aid than any entity in modern history -- more, per capita, than the European states under the Marshall Plan. The lion's share of this fortune has been siphoned into the private accounts of Fatah leaders or used to pay off the commanders of some 16 semi-autonomous militias. The PA also maintains an estimated 60,000 uniformed gunmen on its payroll, giving the West Bank the world's highest percentage of policemen-to-population.

The Palestinian people, meanwhile, languish in ever-deepening poverty and unemployment, while lawlessness plagues Palestinian streets. The unbridled corruption of the PA and its Fatah headmen served as a principal cause of Hamas's electoral victory in 2006, as well its takeover of Gaza. Viewers of Hamas television have recently been treated to tours of the lavish villas maintained by Fatah officials in the Strip, and video clips showing PA policemen, more abundantly armed and more numerous than Hamas's troops, fleeing at the first sign of battle.

Though Fatah originally aspired to replace Israel with a secular, democratic state in Palestine, the organization refashioned itself in 1990s as an Islamic movement, embracing the lexicon of jihad. Hundreds of mosques were built with public funds, and imams were hired to spread the message of martyrdom and the hatred of Christians and Jews. These themes became the staple of the official PA media, inciting the suicide bombings that began in 2000 and poisoning an entire generation of Palestinian youth. Ironically, the Islamization of Fatah legitimized Hamas and contributed to the cadres of religious extremists who are now defying its authority.

In addition to its fiscal malfeasance and Islamic radicalism, Fatah has never fulfilled its pledges to crack down on terror. Though Mahmoud Abbas routinely criticizes Palestinian terrorist attacks as "contrary to the Palestinian national interest" -- not an affront to morality and international law -- he has never disavowed the al-Aqsa Brigades, a Fatah affiliate responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks against Israeli civilians.

In the past, such assaults have served as a means of maintaining Fatah's legitimacy as a resistance movement and countering charges that the organization sold out to America and Israel. In fact, a distinct correlation exists between the amount of support that Fatah receives from the West and its need to prove its "Palestinianess" through terror.

In view of its performance over the past 14 years, the Palestinian Authority under Fatah can be counted on to squander most or all of the vast sums now being given to it by the U.S. and the international community. More gunmen will be hired and better weapons procured, but in the absence of a unified command and a leadership worth fighting for, PA soldiers will perform no more credibly than they did in Gaza. Mr. Abbas will continue to denounce terror while ignoring the terrorist units within his own organization, while PA imams will persist in preaching their jihadist sermons.

In response, Israel will be precluded from lifting the checkpoints that not only block suicide bombers but hinder communication between Palestinian cities. Impeded by Palestinian attacks and Israeli countermeasures, the peace talks will inexorably grind to a halt. In the end, the Palestinian people will remain impoverished, divided and stateless, and more than ever amenable to the purist polity of Hamas.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Be Not Afraid

Michael Yon's latest dispatch has been posted: Be Not Afraid.
Be Not Afraid

You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst. You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way. You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand. You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always;
Come follow me, and I will give you rest.

[From a prayer card I found on a base in Anbar Province, Iraq.]

Thoughts flow on the eve of a great battle. By the time these words are released, we will be in combat. Few ears have heard even rumors of this battle, and fewer still are the eyes that will see its full scope. Even now—the battle has already begun for some—practically no news about it is flowing home. I’ve known of the secret plans for about a month, but have remained silent.

Gaza War Roundup

Not by me, silly. By lawhawk. A great roundup of recent happenings and the crazy backwards logic to it all.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

'Palestinian' existence in self-doubt

The self-appointed spokesman for the 'palestinian' people, Saeb Erakat, gave a telling quote to CNN:

"I believe a state of emergency must be declared immediately," Erakat said. "This is a coup against the president, against the Palestinian people, and against the Palestinian cause."

He called the situation "very, very grave" and said the violence is "setting us back 50 years at least."

First off, Saeb, how could Hamas kicking your ass be a crime against the 'palestinian' people when they democratically elected Hamas to 'govern' them? By a 70% majority? It looks like what's happening is an Arab form of 'unifying' the government.

Secondly, setting you back 50 years would be, hmm, before there was even the term 'palestinian'? (Refer to LGF's previous post on Time's 1967 article on the 6 day war.) There were no 'palestinians' 50 years ago! There were only Arabs living in Gaza and the West bank of Jordan, controlled and ruled by Egypt and Jordan, respectively.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Today, 40 years ago, Jerusalem was retaken.

Debbie Schlussel writes on the sudden Muslim attention to the Jewish city of Jerusalem:

Jerusalem is mentioned exactly ZERO times in the Koran. On the other hand, it appears in the Torah--the Jewish Bible--at least 667 times. It appears in the Christian New Testament 154 times.

Nothing of Islamic significance ever happened in Jerusalem, unless you count the building of the Al-Aqsa Mosque ("The Farthest Mosque")on top of a Church, which was built on top of the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple, the "Beit HaMikdash." (The fact that many Islamic terrorists met in Jerusalem to plot attacks on Jews and Christians there and elsewhere, does not establish an Islamic religious claim to the city.)

Although many authorities on Islam have written about how Jerusalem suddenly became of such fictional import to the "Religion of Peace," the best summary is by Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Professor in the Department of Arabic Studies at Bar Ilan University, which appeared on the excellent site, IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis). Another great article, "Jerusalem in the Sources," by Moshe Kohn, also on IMRA, also exposes the empty Muslim claim to Jerusalem.

Kohn notes that until the 10th Century, Muslims called Jerusalem, "Ilya." From the 10th Century on, Muslims used names with Jewish references: "Beit Al-Makdis," the Arabic version of Beit HaMikdash (the Hebrew name for the Jewish Temple), "Al Quds"--a version of "Ir HaKadosh" (Hebrew for Holy City) and even "Siyyun" (Zion). The 13th Century Arab biographer and geographer, Yakut, wrote:

Mecca is holy to Muslims, and Jerusalem to the Jews.

The holiest cities in Islam are Mecca and Medina. Period. So, what about the Al-Aqsa Mosque, you ask?

As Dr. Kader notes:

Islam rediscovered Jerusalem 50 years after Mohammad's death. In 682 CE, Abd Allah Ibn Al-Zubayr rebelled against the Islamic rulers in Damascus, conquered Mecca and prevented pilgrims [Hajjis] from reaching Mecca for the Hajj. Abd Al-Malik, the Ummayad caliph, needed an alternative site for the pilgrimage and settled on Jerusalem, which was then under his control.

In order to justify this choice, a verse from the Koran was chosen (sura 17, verse 1), which states:

Glory to Him who caused His servant to travel by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We have blessed, in order to show him some of Our Signs . . . .

Clearly there is nothing here noting that Jerusalem is the site of the "Farthest Mosque." The site is actually and had always been Mecca. But because Abd Al-Malik needed a place to send the Hajjis, and needed a solution fast--with Mecca blocked by warring Muslims--he randomly chose Jerusalem and made up a story to justify it.

Dr. Kedar writes that Abd Al-Malik made up all kinds of stories to justify this new, apocryphal version of Islam. He claimed Mohammed was conveyed to Jerusalem one night (even though at the time the journey took three days by camel) on a magical horse with the head of a woman, wings of an eagle, and the tail of a peacock. But many Muslim thinkers believed that it was just a dream of Mohammed, that he was never in Jerusalem. And the people of Mecca at the time, who knew Mohammed well, did not believe the story. Before that, Al-Aqsa--the "farthest mosque"--was well-known to be in Mecca in what is now Saudi Arabia.

Since then and in keeping with his new, creative story, the Ummayad Islamic dynasty invented many "traditions" as a basis for the new-found "awareness" of the "holiness" of Jerusalem in Islam.

Jerusalem simply wasn't a Muslim city. Ever.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Rapid Fire - 6/5/07 - Six Day War Anniversary

A lot of good reads about the war (besides my previous post):

1) Six Day War Revisionist History

Yesterday I got a great email from Dave, the Soccer Dad

Please pardon this e-mail. Time magazine has (long) had its account of the 6 day war online. What I find remarkable is the absence of cynicism that so often marks today's reporting from the Middle East,8816,843937,00.html

I haven't read Time's current retrospective yet, but here it is:,9171,1627015,00.html

Well Dave, I read them both. Reading reports about the war from 40 Years ago and today reminds me of one of those Star Trek episodes where Kirk an the boys go back in history and change the past---it seems like two different wars.
Forty years ago the reports spoke of the underdog Israel and her need to defend herself against the warlike acts of the big bullies lead by Egypt who was committing many acts that could be interpreted as acts of war including: conspiring with other belligerent countries (in this case, Syria and Jordan) for a coordinated attack, closing Israel’s access to international waterways (the straits of Tiran),volating the terms of the 1956 armistice by re-militarizing the Sinai. Expelling the UN and USA peace-keeping troops form the Sinai, perpetrating illegal spy-plane fly-overs to reconnoiter Israeli sensitive areas. Massing troops and tanks on Israel’s borders.
2) Remembering The Six-Day War - FrontPage mag

Coverage of Six day war anniversary - Fiery Spirited Zionist

4) The Six Day War prelude, war, and aftermath - CAMERA

5) Time's original article post-war in 1967
Ever since Israel was created 19 years ago, the Arabs have been lusting for the day when they could destroy it. And in the past month, Nasser succeeded for the first time in putting together an alliance of Arab armies ringing Israel; he moved some 80,000 Egyptian troops and their armor into Sinai and elbowed out the U.N. buffer force that had separated the antagonists for a decade. With a hostile Arab population of 110,000,000 menacing their own of 2,700,000, the Israelis could be forgiven for feeling a fearful itch in the trigger finger. When Nasser closed the Gulf of Aqaba, a fight became almost inevitable.
P.S., Charles mentions the fact that the word "Palestinian" was not mentioned once in the entire Time article.

Six Day War - Fourty Years Later

CAMERA has a great site on the 6 day war - the prelude, the war, and the aftermath
(site pictured above). (hat tip: Power Line). I also highly recommend the iconic treatise on the war by Michael Oren: Six Days of War. Buy it, borrow it, or check it out from your local library.

Am Yisrael Chai.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bibi for Prez in '08!

I think Bibi was born in New York, so he is eligible to run for the US presidency. Okay, at least he should run for the Israeli Prime Minstership.

Here is a 3.5 minute upbraiding of the ludicrous UK academic 'boycott' of Israel. (hat tip: Israellycool)

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Corner: "If you really want to fight al Qaeda, you stay in Iraq."

Nice. When the Dems say "redeploy", The Corner asks, "Where to?"

Again, nice.

Senator Obama says: " It is time to end this war so that we can redeploy our forces to focus on the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and all those who plan to do us harm."

Senator Obama, are you proposing that we move U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, where you guys keep saying the "real" War on Terror is?

There is also a very good chance that bin Laden and some al Qaeda hierarchy are in Pakistan. When you say "redeploy," are you suggesting that we invade Pakistan?

Folks, let's not let these guys get away with this. By "redeploy," they don't really mean move the troops to where they say al Qaeda is. They don't want to fight al Qaeda. If they wanted to fight al Qaeda, al Qaeda is in Iraq — that is indisputable. Bin Laden has said repeatedly that Iraq is the central battle. You can argue about whether al Qaeda has been in Iraq all along or whether they are there only because we've drawn them there. Reasonable minds differ on that. But however they got there, they're there.

If you really want to fight al Qaeda, you stay in Iraq.

If you really believe al Qaeda is not in Iraq — that the real al Qaeda is only in Afghanistan and its environs — then you're on drugs. But, sure, fine, "redeploy" our troops ... to Afghanistan. But can we please have five seconds of honesty? You guys don't have the slightest intention of doing that. You don't want to go to Afghanistan. You want to go home.

When you say redploy, you mean withdraw. You don't actually want to "focus on the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11." You are content to bring the troops home and leave "the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11" to build a safe-haven in Iraq even as they continue to make mayhem in Afghanistan.

You think Bush is incompetent and "his" war in Iraq is a terrible mistake? Fine. You think the price of that is that we should pull everyone out of Iraq even though we all know that will be a monumental victory for al Qaeda — geometrically abetting its future fundraising and recruiting for future terrorist attacks on America? Fine.

But have the good grace to say so. Don't give us this BS that you want to redeploy to fight al Qaeda, when the truth is that you want to "redeploy" to NOT fight al Qaeda.

Israellycool: Reciprocation - not a problem

Via Israellycool's liveblogging of the daily Qassam's and Israeli reprisals comes a great line. Keep it up, Aussie Dave.
2:35PM: A Hamas spokesman has said that his organization will not cease firing Qassams at Israel without an "appropriate reciprocation" on Israel's part.

Shouldn't be a problem. I am sure Israel can agree not to fire Qassams at palestinian civilians.