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This Week in Palestine

Palestinian Soccer TeamKicking the Ball Against the Wall

On Tuesday, The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was chagrined by the cancellation of the scheduled soccer match between the Palestinian National Soccer team and the Central African soccer team in Palestine, by the Central African Republic government. FIFA had slated the match for the 17th of November 2010.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an official statement, the decision is a sign of deference to Israel. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said such incidents impede the path to peace in the region, which is supported by the International Community. The Ministry claimed that it illustrates the link between politics and sports. The Ministry forgot about the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

The so-called link between politics and sports, which the Palestinians claim should not exist, has slighted Israel so often in the past. Israeli tennis talent, Shahar Pe’er was refused a visa by the United Arab Emirates, preventing her from competing in the Sony Ericsson World Tennis Association Tour in Dubai, in February of 2009.

Ever since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iranian athletes have refused to compete against Israeli athletes in international sporting events. Iran lost a possible medal and points in the 2010 World Wrestling Championships in Moscow, earlier this year when the Greco-Roman wrestler Taleb Nematpour refused to compete against his Israeli rival for the championship match. He said:

“I avoided the match as a sign of sympathy with the people of Palestine.”

Esmail Kowsari, a legislator and staunch opponent of any direct competition between Iranians and Israelis, claims that:

“Such justifications – made to international athletic federations and committees to avoid penalties – are unnecessary and athletes should be proud of withdrawing…I say our athletes shouldn’t even use illness as an excuse for their honourable deed…We have repeatedly announced that we don’t recognize Israel.”

When the Iranian Arash Miresmaeili refused to fight Israeli Ehud Vaks in the Judo championship of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Ayatollah Khamenei told the young athlete, “This was worth a hundred medals.”


Hamas: Ahmadinejad, Visit Gaza Like You Visited Lebanon!

This week, Hamas invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Gaza.

In an interview Tuesday with the Fars news agency in Gaza, Hamas Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmed Yousef said a visit by the Iranian president would:

“Boost the morale of the Palestinian people and the resistance.”

“We invite Ahmadinejad to visit the Gaza Strip and we are confident that this trip will be of paramount importance.”

Yousef said to the Iranian Press TV network.


Obama Inhaled Too Many Volcanic Ash Fumes in Indonesia:

U.S. President Barack Obama criticized Israel on Tuesday during a news conference in Indonesia, following an announcement on Monday that Israel has proceeded with plans to build 1,345 homes in east Jerusalem.

“This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations.”

Said Obama in Jakarta.

Missiles, Worms and Space Creatures

According to Iran’s defense minister, the Revolutionary Guard has received its first batch of brand new missiles, featuring enhanced guidance systems to hit ground targets.

Developed by Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization and successfully test-fired last month, General Ahmad Vahidi says the Defense Ministry supplied the guard with the upgraded surface-to-surface Fateh-100 missile. Previous versions of the missiles had ranges of up to 120 miles or 193 kilometers. The specifications on the new Fateh-100’s are still up for speculation.

Mahmoud AhmadinejadWhile rumors have surfaced that Ahmadinejad is considering ending the country’s uranium enrichment, a complex computer worm has affected the personal computers of the staff at that country’s first-ever nuclear power plant, just weeks before the facility is to go online.

Named Stuxnet, the computer worm can do serious damage to systems which control the inner workings of industrial plants.

Let’s Make a Deal

On a semi-related note, Moscow and Jerusalem signed a military cooperation agreement – actually the first of its kind – in early September, during a visit by Defense Minister, Ehud Barak. Israel is to sell the not-always-trusted and not-always-rational, builder of the Iranian Nuclear Power Plant, Russia, 36 UAV’s at a price of just $100 million.

Is $100 million worth Russia’s Iranian cooperation and human-rights violations in Georgia? Well how about a $300 million joint-venture to manufacture Israel drones in that country?

Hang on Ehud Barak!

Yes, the rumors are true. Russia will continue to supply Syria with advanced P800 sea-to-surface cruise missiles. These are the most advanced of their kind in the world! Will they be transferred to Hezbollah? Most signs point to yes.

The Russians, however, won’t deliver S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems to Iran. Apparently that would be taking things one step too far.
Ahmad Vahidi said this on Iranian state-run TV:

“We think Russia should show it has an independent stance in choosing its relations with other countries as well as on international issues…”

The S-300, capable of shooting down aircraft and missiles at ranges over 144 kilometers and altitudes of 27,342 meters, would have been helpful to the Islamic Republic in combating an attack by Israel.

Meanwhile, last Tuesday, Italian authorities seized seven tons of explosives at a shipping container port in Gioia Tauro, Calabria. The shipment, sent from Iran, headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, was being transported by a Swiss-Italian shipping company to Syria.

What’s Happening at the United Nations

The UN is appointing a Malaysian Astro-physicist to head the Office of Space, to welcome extra-terrestrial visitors to the planet.

She is expected to explain that the recent discovery of hundreds of stars have made the possibility of the discovery of alien life more likely than before and that the United Nations should be ready for the chance of “initial contact.”

Yellow Belly Republic

The al-Khaleej newspaper’s got the scoop! Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will soon be visiting Lebanese dictator, Saad Hariri to discuss

“Iran’s ownership of what he regards as the struggle of the Muslim world against Israel.”

As Jerusalem Post’s Jonathan Spyer worded it.

Will he visit the Southern border with Israel? Does the Iranian leader have the chutzpa?

Spyer observed that the visit could be a signal that the Republic of Lebanon is making a de facto initiation into the “axis of evil,” to borrow a phrase from the Bush-era.

Iran wishes to make itself the crux authority in the region, despite its non-Sunni and non-Arab population. Of course Abbas’ Western diplomacy and recent reception of $400 million from the World Bank only has the Iranian leader salivating more to make his proxy weapon, Hezbollah, more of a bona fide sovereignty in the region – and thereby lifts Iran to an even more authoritative position through the world over.

As a result of Iran’s weight, the good citizens of Lebanon have not stood a chance to build a state which is respectable and buoyant at-best since their 2005 withdrawal from Syria.

Restrictions on banking services and shipping are reducing Iran’s ability to sell the crude oil which is critical to its economy; a result of the country’s nuclear policy. Yet Ahmadinejad refuses to cite any other root cause than the Jewish Country for its woes.


And speaking of which, Iran lost a possible medal and many points in the 2010 World Wrestling Championships in Moscow, this month, when the Greco-Roman wrestler Taleb Nematpour refused to compete against his Israeli rival for the championship match.

Supposedly, Miresmaeili withdrew because he exceeded the weight limit – however, he was quoted on his return home saying he had

“avoided the match as a sign of sympathy with the people of Palestine.”

Wrote Foreign Correspondent, Maryam Sinaiee of the Abu Dhabi news source, The National.

If that were the case, why not stay and fight? I don’t know – call it Jihad or something! Pin the Jew and cry, “Free Palestine!”

Nematpour had won the 2010 Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées Golden Prix Finals and was also a 2010 World Cup bronze medalist.

Iran reported that he withdrew due to “severe appendix pains.” Though Esmail Kowsari, a legislator and staunch opponent of any direct competition with Israelis, claims that:

“Such justifications – made to international athletic federations and committees to avoid penalties – are unnecessary and athletes should be proud of withdrawing.”

Kowsari said:

“I say our athletes shouldn’t even use illness as an excuse for their honourable deed…We have repeatedly announced that we don’t recognize Israel.”

Ever since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iranian athletes have refused to compete against Israeli athletes in international sporting events.

“This was worth a hundred medals,” said Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei to Arash Miresmaeili after the judo champion refused to fight Israeli Ehud Vaks in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

A political analyst in Tehran, who insists to remain anonymous said:

“Iranian and Israeli athletic performance has significantly improved since 1983 and resulted in more frequent chances of their confrontation in international athletic competition…It has also become more difficult for the Iranian athletes and authorities to justify absence from competitions to Olympics committees and international athletic federations. The denial of the consideration of lifting the ban shows that the dilemma of facing the Israeli athletes or not facing them and bearing the consequences will not be resolved any time soon…”

In July, Iran was accused of putting politics before sports at the Youth Olympics because of its withdrawal from a taekwondo final against the Jewish Country – known to be talented in the Martial Arts.

Anyway, now-a-days, any conflict which is beyond resolution by cathartic sportsmanship is very much a risk to world peace!

Get in the ring guys!

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding

All parties involved in the powwow are positive. Heck, they didn’t go all the way down to DC for the barbecue ribs.

Bibi sent an inspiring message to the Israeli press after week 1:

“We will need to think creatively, and in new ways, about how to resolve complex problems…”

He was not talking about the education budget or the evaporating Dead Sea. He was also not talking about the bumper to bumper traffic during the morning commute between Highway 1 and Route 9 between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

“…In order to reach practical solutions, we will need to think about new solutions to old problems…”

He then continued, failing to cite an actual objective.

“To succeed, we will need to study the lessons of the 17-year effort at negotiations and to embrace original thinking, to think outside the box…”

He was referring to the Oslo accords.

But the Prime Minister made it clear that he is:

“willing to achieve an historic compromise with our Palestinian neighbours so long as it maintains the national interests of the state of Israel with security first and foremost.”

Of course undermining Jewish nationhood would be disappointing for millions.

Amid threats by the Palestinians to end the negotiation process if the Jewish Country refuses to renew the West Bank building moratorium upon its September 26 expiration, Avigdor Lieberman assured that this will not and cannot be the case. During a special Rosh Hashanah toast, he also recalled the ineffectual Oslo conference and the ensuing tragedy of the Second Intifada.

“Do we have a real partner?” he pondered, “What if we sign with Abu Mazen [Abbas] and Hamas takes over?”

Why would the result of an exit from the West Bank be any different than the result of the Jewish exit from Gaza?

“We learned nothing from the Disengagement from Gush Katif…If we return to the 1967 territories, the demands from the Palestinian side will only increase.”

Meanwhile, Nabil Abu Rudaineh cursed Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Mahmoud Abbas when he was quoted as saying:

…The one who does not represent the Iranian people, who falsified election results, who oppressed the Iranian people and stole authority has no right to speak about Palestine, its president or its representatives…

…President Mahmoud Abbas came to power through free, democratic and authentic elections supervised by more than 2,000 international and Arab monitors…We are the ones who fought for Palestine and Jerusalem…

…the Palestinian leadership did not oppress its people as did the Iranian leadership under Ahmadinejad….

Everybody Must Get Stoned

“In feature films about John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon and George W. Bush, Oliver Stone, gave free rein to his imagination and was often criticized for doing so”

Writes Larry Rohter of the New York Times. During the recent New York Times interview, Rohter wrote that Stone stated,

“People who are often demonized, like Nixon and Bush and Chávez and Castro, fascinate me…”

And the famed director does not wane in his creative calling or his denouncement of demonization.

Stated Stone:
Oliver Stone

“We’re going to educate our minds and liberalize them and broaden them. We want to move beyond opinions …Go into the funding of the Nazi party. How many American corporations were involved, from GM through IBM. Hitler is just a man who could have easily been assassinated.”

What is so fascinating is that such a political and historical skeptic would not come to the side of Israel – the true victim and even the archetypal victim of demonization.

Furthermore, is not anti-Semitic rhetoric really a kind of “funding” for neo-Nazism?

Stone stated in the recent New York Times interview as the cause for disproportionate attention to the Holocaust in American media:

“The Jewish domination of the media. There’s a major lobby in the United States” he said “They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f***ed up United States foreign policy for years.”

Mr. Stone will be attacked for his comments by those who love America and by Jews who love themselves – just as Mr. Stone is attacked by critics for the historical and biographical motion pictures which he makes. The common denominator is his masterful misrepresentation of the truth.

There is no defense for the artist who tells lies in the real world. His honorable occupation of story-telling on the silver screen loses credibility, you see.

So while Stone slanders his father’s people and Mel Gibson digs his hateful hole deeper; while Meg Ryan boycotts Israel and Stone’s boy Hugo Chavez lets the Hezbollah operate freely in Venezuela, and the “demonized” Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to tell lies and facilitate the murder of Israelis – not one Christian Hollywood notable has stepped up and said, “enough!”

Aside from this, Stone should be aware: the true demon is within himself. Because of this, his art suffers.

IRAN: 20% Increase on Uranium Stockpile, 15% on Rhetoric

“Today Palestine is the symbol of life, determination, faithfulness, diligence, and dignity,”

Iran’s Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei told Ramadan Abdullah, the secretary general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement.

“Israel is going downhill toward decline and fall and God willing its obliteration is certain.”

In these sentiments, Khameini joined a long list of top Iranian officials, not the least of which is President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has said on several occasions that Israel should be destroyed.

Last year Ahmadinejad said that Israel was “dying” and that people in the Middle East would destroy it if given the chance. He also stressed that opposition to Israel is a fundamental principle in Shi’ite Muslim Iran:

“They should know that regional nations hate this fake and criminal regime and if the smallest and briefest chance is given to regional nations they will destroy [it].”

In 2005 Ahmadinejad said that

“Israel should be wiped off the map”

.
Then he made his U.S. tour to spread the gospel of Holocaust denial on prime-time U.S. television, the United Nations and at Columbia University in uptown Manhattan.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization to begin enriching the nation’s uranium stockpile to a level of 20%, up from 3.5% and to build an additional 10 uranium enrichment facilities.

The move is a rejection of a Western diplomatic deal whereby Iran’s uranium would be enriched abroad to ensure it did not reach weapons grade.

In addition Iran is nearly prepared to repel an Israeli air raid thanks to an expected delivery of advanced Russian-made anti-aircraft missile batteries. Iranian and Russian officials last Thursday confirmed that Moscow, despite Israeli objections, will honor its contract to deliver the S-300 missile systems to the Islamic Republic very soon.

Well, needless to say, Bibi will be travelling to Moscow next Sunday for three days, this time actually announcing the trip, to beg the Russians to think twice.

German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg responded to Ahmadinejad’s comments, saying:

“Today’s statement shows that farce is being played out just like we have seen in the past, that the outstretched hand of the international community has not only not been taken but pushed back.”

Deadly Games

When the Iranian scientist Professsor Massoud Ali Muhammadi was killed by a remote control bomb on a motorcycle in Teheran last week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Israel, saying that it was carried out in the signature “Zionist style” – Interior Minister Mostafa Muhammed Najjar vowed revenge.
So last week’s failed attempt on the lives of Israeli diplomats in Jordan, by a roadside bombing, left very few questions asked, as to who the responsible party may have been. A source said:

“We can see Iran’s fingerprints on the roadside bombing…the investigation is continuing in various directions.”

The explosives may have been smuggled into the Jordanian kingdom by Iranian diplomats, and the attack itself was carried out by local al-Qaida supporters, who received explosives and money from Iran.
The sources in Amman pointed out that the attack on the Israeli diplomatic convoy was carried out in a similar fashion to the assault on the Iranian professor.
Israel has been on high alert in recent weeks ahead of the second anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus.

A number of attempts by Hezbollah to avenge Mughniyeh’s February 2008 killing have been thwarted, including a plot to bomb Israel’s embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, last year. The IDF is concerned that Hezbollah will make an effort to strike an Israeli target ahead of the anniversary.
Security officials are also considering the possibility that the attack may have been carried out by an undisclosed Palestinian terrorist group.
Last year three Hamas activists were sentenced in Jordan to five years in prison for conducting surveillance of the Israeli Embassy in Amman.

Iran To Find The Truth

General Noor Ali ShooshtariOn Sunday a suicide bombing targeted the Iranian National Guard and killed 26 people. The deputy commander of the Guards’ ground force, General Noor Ali Shooshtari, and the Guards’ chief provincial commander, Rajab Ali Mohammadzadeh, were among at least six officers reported to have been killed.

Iran holds the United States and Britain, responsible for the incident. State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said, “We condemn this act of terrorism and mourn the loss of innocent lives. Reports of alleged US involvement are completely false.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, vows revenge for the attack. Iran’s president has accused Pakistani agents of involvement in a suicide bombing in south-east of the country targeting a group of the elite Revolutionary Guards force. He called on Pakistan to arrest the attackers, who he said had entered Iran from Pakistan.

“We were informed that some security agents in Pakistan are co-operating with the main elements of this terrorist incident,” he was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency. “We regard it as our right to demand these criminals from them,” he said, without elaborating. “We ask the Pakistani government not to delay any longer in the apprehension of the main elements in this terrorist attack.” (BBC)

Actually a Sunni rebel group claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, later on in the day. This particular organization has been carrying out attacks on the mainly Shiite Iranian government, since the 1979 formation of the Revolutionary Guard. Jundallah, also known as the Popular Resistance Movement of Iran, says it is fighting against the political and religious oppression of the country’s minority Sunni Muslims.

China, Organ Harvesting, Sweden, Iran Sanctions, and Israel

Sounds like a lot to cover in one post, but believe it or not, these topics are all related. Here’s how.

Hu JintaoChina, a huge, repressive, polluting, morally repugnant regime is known to have many an “organ harvesting prison” in its territory. They arrest political opponents, and they tell them they can go free if they simply give up a kidney and half of their liver. Oh, it won’t kill them, and yes, they get to go free, but on the other hand, if they don’t give up an organ, they stay in prison. Call it organ extortion, organ harvesting, call it repugnant, which I did already.

Let’s talk about China and Israel. Recently, China hosted the Olympic games in Beijing. Israel participated, over several calls to boycott by few, but vocal politicians. And now, a year later, Israel – not China – is being accused of organ harvesting, by Swedish newspapers. OK. There have been those who have written of a possible “divine” connection in this, articles you may find floating around the internet here and there, or call it Karma, or whatever you want. Whatever you may want to say, it is definitely poetically ironic that the nation that actually engages in organ harvesting out in the open is not the one that is actually being accused of it. But China is causing Israel some more trouble than just that.

Shall we now go over to China and Iran? Sure. China and Iran have a lot of business relations. And as luck would have it, just like Iran and Venezuela, they represent the opposite extremes of the political spectrum. Iran is on the extreme right of fascist dictatorship. Venezuela and China are on the extreme left of a sort of jumble between socialism and communism, and they’re all pretty much good friends. So it’s really no surprise at all that a day after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that handsome theocrat of an Iranian dictator, decided to rant again about how much he hates The Zionist Entity, China comes and says that, hey, they’re not really all that interested in slapping sanctions on Iran anyway. It wouldn’t be good for negotiations, they say.

I’m sure their road to hell is paved with the best intentions ever known to man. In China’s words, “At present, it [sanctions] is not conducive to diplomatic efforts.” The words of Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu. How, exactly, is it not conducive to diplomatic efforts? I’ll tell you what it’s not conducive to. It’s not conducive to your trade with Iran. You get less money, and you’ll have to charge even more money for those organs you sell from your political prisoners to even out the balance. How much does a local kidney go for anyway these days in China?

And how about this: The Financial Times on Wednesday reported that Chinese state companies began supplying gasoline to Iran earlier in September. They now provide one-third of its imports. Are they in the money…or what?

Wake up, Obama, and Smell the Uranium-Enriched Coffee in Iran!

So reports the Wall Street Journal that Obama will either have to seriously crack down on Iran, or witness an Israeli bombardment of the Islamic dictatorship with all its consequences.

Wall Street JournalThe Journal, touted as the most important conservative newspaper in America, also said that a military conflict with Iran will be inevitable if the West doesn’t act quickly to neutralize Iran’s nuclear threat. The paper accuses the Obama Administration of investing more energy in trying to warn Israel against attacking than warning Iran to stop what it’s doing immediately.

“They can also see that the West lacks the will to do anything, as the Obama Administration continues to plead for Tehran to negotiate even as Iran holds show trials of opposition leaders and journalists for saying the recent reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was fraudulent. The irony is that the weaker the West and UN appear, the more probable an Israeli attack becomes,” said the editorial.

It looks like someone’s waking up. Hopefully it won’t be too late. As much as I want Iran’s nuclear program wiped out, I’d much prefer it be done by massive, organized, and absolutely crippling sanctions rather than Israeli planes. Though the world’s stomach and seeming unwillingness to stand up for the lives of Jews (and, in effect, their own) leads me to believe we’re on our own. The Wall Street Journal smells it, too, which is why they’ve warned Obama that the implications of such an Israeli attack wouldn’t be too great for American interests, especially in the decline the country is currently in.

The editorial understands one very simple thing that Obama might not yet comprehend. It is this: “The reality that Western leaders don’t want to admit is that preventing Iran from getting the bomb is an Israeli national imperative, not a mere policy choice. That’s a view shared across Israel’s political spectrum.”

Let’s hope they get it before we’ve got to take matters into our own hands.

More clashes of Haredim with Law in Jerusalem over Child Abuse Case

Child abuse JerusalemSomething appears to be going awry among the ultra orthodox Jewish community of Jerusalem. The recent child abuse incident involving a 30 year old Haredi woman suspected of literally starving her three year old son over a two year period to get more attention from him, appears to be yet another incident involving a community who is not only a “culture within a culture” but one that is now trying to exert it’s influence – and even control – over a city that is not only sacred to the Jewish People, but to other religions as well.

The furor that been created, resulting in mass rioting by Haredi Jews, especially those belonging to extreme sects such as the anti-Zionest Toldot Aharon and Neturei Karta sects, who have set themselves apart of the rest of the community and have turned parts of Israel’s capital into a virtual battleground, and is causing widespread disruption to normal life in the city, especially in regards to municipal services.

The woman involved in this latest incident, was detained and later released under house arrest to the home of a prominent Haredi rabbi, was due to undergo psychiatric examinations today to determine her mental ability to face charges for her actions, which have been flatly denied by members of the Eda Haredit groups whose anti-Zionistic extremities may have set back normal relations with Jerusalem municipal authorities “at least 20 years”.

The woman, who is 8 months pregnant, has four other children, whose whereabouts as presently unknown; with speculation that they have been “absorbed” into this community that not only does not recognize the existence of the State of Israel, but often has members seen in photo clips at very unusual places – even posing with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at international anti-Zionest conferences.

Jerusalem in former years used to be city in which both religious and non-religious people seemed to coexist with each other, despite major differences – especially to the observance of the Sabbath and major Jewish holidays. This was especially true under to municipal leadership of Mayor Teddy Kollek, who managed to keep the “pressure cooker” of religious differences from exploding during his long mayoral administration which lasted nearly 3 decades.

More recently, however, secular and even mildly-observant Jews have been leaving Jerusalem and have been replaced by more religious groups, especially Haredi Jews who have moved into many Jerusalem neighborhoods, especially those within reasonable walking distance of the Old City and the Kotel Maaravi or Wailing Wall. This new trend may be the reason why such an uproar has been recently made by Haredi Jews over the parking lot located under the new shopping mall in the Mamilla Quarter, just outside the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City. The opening of the parking lot on Shabbat, for use by non-religious Jews and other visitors to the Old City on the weekends, resulted in mass rioting and demonstrations by the extreme Haredi communities in recent weeks.

Why all of this happening, including personal incidents within these extremely closed communities, is bringing more and more attention to groups of extremely religious groups who now appear to be trying to gain an even greater hold on Israel’s capital, as well as bringing attention for people to appear to live under their own moral and even legal codes of conduct, and seem unwilling to act according to legal codes and statutes that have been set up for the benefit of all residents.

How both municipal and even national legal authorities will be able to deal with this apparently growing problem is one that remains to be seen. But most likely, non-religious Jews will continue to make attempts to exert their presence in the capital as well, resulting in further friction among the various groups of residents which make up the cultural and religious mosaic of the city of Jerusalem.

The End of the Resistance in Iran

It appears that the worst fears have been affirmed regarding the Iranian government’s crackdown on the protests which have been going on in the Islamic Republic since the recent elections there gave incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a supposedly overwhelming victory over his main opponent Mir Moussavi.
Iran hangingsThe crackdown, in which opposition supporters have been beaten, shot, arrested, and even removed from hospitals where they had been receiving treatment, has culminated in at least 6 Moussavi supporters being reportedly hanged in the holy city of Mashhad. The fate of these six (not shown in this photo, taken back in 2005, when young Iranian homosexuals were hanged), along with many others who have simply disappeared since the crackdown began about a week following the June 12th elections, presents a sinister and extremely sad climax to what had hoped to have been a new air of reform and personal freedom in a country where these human attributes have been severely lacking.

One of Mir Moussavi’s few clerical supporters, Ayatollah Seyed Jalaleddin Taheri-Esfahani, had tried to defend the candidate (and former prime minister) against the regime’s criticisms by saying:

“Is it a case of justice to see that an honorable and modest Seyed [a descendant of the household of the prophet Muhammad], who until the last moments of Khomeini’s life was a dear and close companion of that grand leader, is now considered to be a rioter and an agent of arrogance who must be punished?”

The ongoing crackdown has become so harsh that anyone who was even seen shouting slogans or wearing green ribbons or paint (or honking their car horns) are now subject to beatings and arrest. What will happen to so many young, intelligent university students, the country’s future, is a serious matter – to say the least. But history has usually shown that in the case of a tyrannical government wanting to have full control of the people, a country’s academics are some of the first to be either seriously persecuted or outright eliminated altogether. Such was the case when Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany during the 1930’s; and during the Russian Revolution of 1917 as well. In the extreme “double-speak” Orwellian nightmare that often takes over the sanity of a country, autocratic leaders find they can manipulate and intimidate the uneducated “proletarians” a lot easier than the intelligensia.

So is this now the reality of the Islamic Republic of Iran, where educated, well intended people, the “cream of the crop” for this country’s economic and political future, are now being rounded up in either the middle of the night – or even in broad daylight (like they often were in Argentina during the 1970’s) and then taken to undisclosed locations to be brutally tortured and then executed for the simple “crime” of wanting to live as democratic and free people in their own country? And likewise , young Iranian women who participated in this brief expression of self determination -like Neda Aqha-Soltan, who has become a national symbol of resistance – have now been replaced by the Islamic extremist women’s group Sisters of Zeynab.

The “new” Iran that is now emerging is an even more frightening version of the former one; which means that Ahmadinejad and his mullah religious superiors may intend to steer the country towards a much more sinister direction – including the end result of the Iranian nuclear program.

No Change For Iran – Mousavi Contests Election Results

No sooner had incumbent Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared himself victorious in last Friday’s election, his challenger, Mir Hossein Moussavi cried “foul” at the results of the balloting which gave Ahmadinejad 62.5 % of the total vote. Mousavi, a former Iranian president during the 1980’s and who ran under a campaign of economic and social reform, claimed that many election precincts were “managed by untrustworthy monitors”, and many of his supporters rioted in the streets of major cities afterwards.

News in Stories: Iran Elections Boston GlobeSince foreign observers were banned from the actual balloting, there’s no telling what really went on, and many people who stood in long lines for hours at polling stations; and even had their thumb ink dyed when they did get to vote, may have had their vote discarded during the actual counting period once the polls closed. An amazing 85% of the country’s eligible voters went to the polls in an election which had culminated weeks of intense campaigning by supporters of both candidates in a contest that was really a referendum on Ahmadinejad’s handling of the country’s economy, now experiencing 30% inflation and more than 17% “official” unemployment. Many Mousavi supporters were dissatisfied young Iranians, especially academics who can’t find decent jobs after completing university studies.

Ahmadinejad gave one of his usual long victory speeches on Saturday, and gave an even longer one on Sunday during a news conference where he compared the rioting to disturbances that occur “after a football match”. Football match indeed! The streets of Teheran were almost turned into a battle ground as many young protesters battled police and paramilitary personnel, and numerous vehicles and shops were set ablaze. Many of the protestors were arrested, and it was even rumored that Moussavi himself has been detained for questioning for his possible part in the rioting (and may even be under arrest). The protests, according to many observers, were nothing less than many peoples’ dissatisfaction with the way the country has been run under Ahmadinejad, and how Iran has become increasingly isolated by international sanctions due to the ongoing nuclear program; including Ahmadinejad’s tirades against Israel and his denial of the Holocaust.

News in Stories: Iran Elections Boston GlobeThe results of the election come to no surprise with Israeli leaders, and many even hoped that Ahmadinejad would win in order to continue international pressure against Iran, and especially it’s missile and nuclear enrichment program which is now said to have progressed far enough to have enough enriched uranium and plutonium for at least one if not two nuclear bombs. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is scheduled to give a speech to the country Sunday night, which is said to be a response to both U.S. President Obama’s speech in Cairo, as well as the aftermath of the Iranian elections. Israel has been warned by the Obama administration not to try to “go at it alone” to take out Iran’s nuclear capability; and the country’s leadership is now fully aware that Israel’s current relations with the USA are a far cry from what they were during the Bush administration.

All in all, however, the violent protests which have occurred in many parts of Iran following the election may wind up being a “consolation prize” for Mr. Mousavi and his followers; and are an indication that all is not well in the country. There appears to be a strong “grass roots” movement that could decide it’s had enough with people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs.

GIANT HAT TIP: Boston Globe Iran’s Presidential Elections in Pictures

Birds of a feather?

What do Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, and Daffy Duck have in common?

mahmoud ahmadinejadThings seem to be getting a bit “interesting” in places like Pyongyang North Korea and Teheran Iran. Both of these countries now have run-away nuclear arms programs, and in North Korea, the situation has reached the boiling point with the test of a 20 kiloton nuclear device, followed by the test launching of at least 7 missiles. Now, the scene in that region may be ready to explode with Pyongyang saying that its neighbor South Korea will be in a “state of war” with North Korea if it tries to intercept any North Korean vessel on suspicion of carrying weapons of mass destruction.

kim jong ilNorth Korea’s fearless leader, Kim Jong Il, seems to have retreated back to his secluded residence to eat lobster (his favorite food) and watch Warner Brothers Looney Tunes cartoons. Looney Tunes, especially ones with Daffy Duck, the Road Runner, and Sargasso Sam, are said to be Kim’s favorite pass time, outside of raunchy sex orgies which he may be getting too old or too demented to participate in. And he may also have to cut down or even forgo the lobster and other rich foods that 95% of his countrymen can only dream about.

So that leaves Daffy Duck and Co. as his only pastime – and possibly his only friends.

daffy duckWhere this ties in with that other nuclear wannabe about 2,500 miles southwest of North Korea is not so difficult to figure out, as the guy sitting in the President’s Chair in Teheran has probably received most of his country’s nuclear technology and even equipment directly from his friend, Kim. Whether Mahmoud also likes Daffy Duck is not certain at this time; but we can bet that he has some interesting “diversions” of his own. Now that Pyongyang has heated things up quite a bit in his neighborhood, nuclear test and all, Ahmadinejad may see this act as a ‘window of opportunity’ to perhaps set off a big “fire cracker” himself. After all, if Kim and Daffy Duck can do it, why can’t Mahmoud?

Both of these scenes are being watched very closely by both the USA and Israel, with Israel having the most to loose if an Iranian IBM comes flying toward Tel Aviv with a bomb like Whylie Coyote might use to get even with his road runner nemesis, Beep Beep. What’s going to happen next is not quite certain, but we can all wonder whether American President Barack Obama will do more than just make condemnations, and whether anything will be done to prevent any of these leaders, from carrying out an act which up to now has been nothing more than intense saber rattling.

If the situation does get out of hand, and nobody stands up to either of these two guys, then there’s going to a something coming down that’s a lot more serious than Daffy Duck and Sargasso Sam. We’re afraid there’s going to be un-leashing of the Tasmanian Devil!

Durban II and The Horribly Racist Israel

Racist Jews?I am not sure if some of the countries boycotting the Durban II summit are doing it out of solidarity for Israel or the Jewish people. Regardless, I think its very symbolic that today the eve of the Holocaust memorial day the UN conference on racism is on its way with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad taking center stage and meeting with the Swiss President. As I write this I hear that as he started to speak, attacking Israel immediately, people started leaving the hall. What a shock.

R I PThe channel 10 News morning show today showed some Holocaust survivors who were invited to visit one of the Air Force’s largest and oldest bases. The seniors met with the pilots and saw some of the jets on the runway. There was a point where one of the visitors spoke to a pilot and asked him to assure her that there will be no more Holocausts. When asked if these air crafts can reach Iran, he answered that they could reach anywhere they were needed.

This is just one example and extension of the general mood lately. The powers in Israel are preparing the Israeli psyche for the next phase which would be the annihilation of the Iranian Nuclear program. In this case a UN summit “dedicated” to fighting racism and whoring itself out to a notorious Holocaust denier who clearly is calling for destruction of Israel (a UN member) is just the sort of confirmation that the Israeli government is looking for.

I hope the UN books an alternate speaker for the next Durban summit because I have a feeling President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won’t be available.

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