a different side of Israel

Tag: Ahmadinejad (page 2 of 3)

Olmert’s Russian Quickie

Olmert and PutinIt seems that we writers can’t get enough about writing on Israeli political tête-à-têtes. And Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s “quickie” visit to see Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin last Thursday is just one of those episodes in Israel’s continuing problem with Iran’s ongoing nuclear program – and Russia’s latest involvement with the Iranian Republic. That this short, three hour visit, followed on the heels of Putin’s own state visit to see Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, must have sent alarm bells ringing in Jerusalem. Olmert, who barely had time for a quick dinner meeting with the Russian leader before flying back to Israel, must have expressed his country’s concern for Putin’s remarks that Iran (in Putin’s opinion) does not appear to have plans to build a nuclear weapon.

That “assurance” was not enough to satisfy Olmert who only last year, on October 18 2006 (see photo), spent a longer period in Moscow to warn Russia that Israel will not stand idly by and allow Iran to become a nuclear military power. Putin even made his own comments then that his country would not allow this to happen.

So, why Putin’s seemingly ambivalence to what appears to be a very serous situation regarding the Islamic Republic? Was it serious enough for Olmert to ‘commute’ to Moscow in the time that he would do to drive to Haifa in heavy traffic; and in addition, to make this quick trip known to the press? Indeed it was, as Russia seems to be charting its own foreign policy course, which is definitely one that favors its own self interest, and is bringing Russia into a confrontation position with the United States that hasn’t been around since the end of the Cold War. There are many reasons for the Kremlin’s friendliness with Teheran. For one thing, Russia’s foreign trade with Iran is considerably larger than its trade with Israel (except for possibly diamonds that is).

Besides agreeing to supply the Iranians with a lot of updated military hardware, including several types of missile systems, Russia has also agreed to help Iran with its nuclear reactors, which are supposed to be for the manufacture of electricity and other “peaceful purposes”. What isn’t being divulged is to what extent Putin is actually committing his country to helping Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Ali Kahmanei, the chief reigning Mullah, to complete Iran’s nuclear facilities and have them “on-line” as soon as possible.

Olmert warned the Kremlin last year that Israel would do what it has to do to prevent Iran from reaching the “point of no return” regarding Iranian reactors producing weapons grade enriched uranium and plutonium. That “point” is apparently nearer than most of us would like to believe, and this has prompted Olmert to pop in to see Putin at what apparently was a “spur of the moment” arranged visit (something like out of an “Ice Station Zebra” or “Fail Safe” movie scenario, perhaps?).

More on this visit will undoubtedly be divulged, as what exactly Olmert did discuss with Mr. Putin is still classified information – and rightfully so. Too much detail of these kind of events often get leaked out and the consequences are not helpful to any of us, especially here in Israel.

Most of us living in this country, myself in particular, would like to go bed at night without wondering what might be store for us – and perhaps sooner than we think!

Benazir Is Back & There’s Gonna Be Trouble

Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan following her self-imposed exile in 1999. Ms. Bhutto, who left Pakistan following military leader Pervez Musharraf’s taking over in that country and declaring martial law. The daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who was prime minister of Pakistan until he was overthrown and later executed by a military coup led by General Zia ul-Haq, Benazir represents a family dynasty similar to the Nehru and Gandhi families in neighboring India.

No sooner had she landed in Karachi, her motorcade was attacked by suicide bombers and more than 136 were killed. No one has so far taken responsibility for the bombing, but Ms. Bhutto has no shortage of enemies including terror groups like Al Qaeda, and even President Musharraf himself who condemned the bombings. That he was not present to personally welcome Benazir back to Pakistan makes many wonder if he may have been responsible. Benazir escaped this attempt unscathed, probably due to the special bomb-proof van she was riding in.

Representing the Pakistan People’s Party, a party which has been in and out of power a number of times since the country became independent in 1947, Ms. Bhutto agreed to return to her country following a promise made by President Musharraf that he would “share” power with the woman who has been his nemesis since he, like Zia before him, took over power by force and martial law. Benazir has been prime minister twice and both times had to leave office under allegations of corruption. Despite this, however, she has tried to bring an element of democracy to a country where this has been sorely lacking; resulting in a number of military coups, including the one which resulted in her father’s execution.

People living in Israel may not be taking much notice to these events; but they are important as Pakistan is a predominately Muslim country, and one in which radical Islam has a firm foothold, including terrorism. Many still remember the death of Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl, who was murdered in Karachi by an Al Qaeda affiliated terror group in January, 2002. And many people in Israel are very much aware that Pakistan is a nuclear power with missiles capable of reaching Israel. Ms. Bhutto, a highly educated and moderate politician, who went to Harvard at only age 16, and later became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, may be able to help bring an element of moderation and religious tolerance back to a country which has been drifting in dangerous directions under Mr. Musharraf. Even though he agreed (under great pressure) to join U.S. President Bush’s War on Terror, radical Islamic fundamentalism has been rampant in Pakistan, and Islamic madrasa study centers have been notorious for indoctrinating people from all over the world (including the USA) into their version of Islam.

Many may not want to compare Ms. Bhutto to Israel’s only woman prime minister, Golda Meir, who led Israel during one of her country’s most trying periods, The Yom Kippur War. It might be prudent, however, to bear in mind that the present world situation in which Benazir Bhutto will have to deal with, should she again become prime minister, is one of the most potentially dangerous and volatile ones in human history. If she does take over the administration of her country’s affairs, and should neighboring Iran become a nuclear power as well, her western orientation and political moderation might be a counter balance to the Iranian Mullahs, and of course Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ms. Bhutto might also find a way to improve her country’s stand in regards to some kind of relations with Israel; as even low keyed ones are better than none at all.

The “Good Ol’ Boys ” are Back

Knesset Dress Code Needed !Monday, October 8 was the opening session of the 2007/2008 winter Knesset assembly. The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, had been in recess since August, giving its members the opportunity to enjoy a vacation period which included the religious holidays. This is not to say that these politicians were entirely on holiday, as many of them use these break periods to catch up on their private and often questionable business affairs. In fact, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who gave the opening speech of the winter session, seems to have been very busy lately trying to consolidate his legal defense against a number of allegations relating to his private business affairs.

Olmert, whose, real estate dealings in Jerusalem and connection with Bank Leumi, the country’s oldest and most well known bank, seems to be slipping further down the slimy slope of financial irregularities which puts an even bigger cloud over his head; much to the delight of his political enemies. Olmert tried to put on a strong face by saying that the Israeli government has made no agreements with the Palestinians prior to the scheduled international summit conference in Annapolis Maryland, now said to only be coming off in two months time. The conference was to have commenced in only a few weeks; but was post phoned due to a lack of progress by Israel in making any tentative deals with the Palestinian Authority, and further remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that it would be useless to hold such a meeting without any concrete itinerary by both Israel and the Palestinians.

Concrete itinerary: that was something that was severely criticized by Knesset opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu, who expressed great doubts that any kind of agreement could be made with Mahmoud Abbas. The P.A. President only represents part of the Palestinians due to Gaza being under the control of Hamas party leader Ismail Hananyah. As both Israel and the United Stated refuse to have any dealings with Hamas, which is considered a ‘terrorist entity’, the scheduled summit in Maryland is virtually doomed from the outset.

From many points of view, including Mr. Netanyahu’s, that’s ok with them as they believe that this conference is a complete non-starter. With Palestinian rockets continuing to be launched against Israeli settlements and towns, including the launching of the longer range Grad missile, and Corporal Gilad Schalit still being held captive in Gaza, any kind of conference is almost doomed before it begins. As Secretary Rice remarked during her last visit to the region, “We are looking for something more than just a ‘photo session’ and a few handshakes”.

Both Prime Minister Olmert and Opposition leader Netanyahu did not speak kindly regarding the problem concerning Iran; especially in the aftermath of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent address before both Columbia University and the U.N. General Assembly. It might be said that at least the two Israeli leaders did agree on something!

Despite all the mixed feelings it was nice to see that Israel does have a very vibrant democracy, and not just a “puppet parliament “as in countries like Syria and Iran.

Back to Normal

No sooner had Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad split New York for a bit of “Latino Cucaracha” with his new friend, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez; then it was “back to normal” in our part of the Middle East. Hamas is now threatening to “send 200 suicide bombers” (women) against IDF Merkava tanks. Hooray for ‘normalcy’! I was almost beginning to think that those good folks had forgotten us with all that attention on that diminutive guy with the week’s growth of beard and the same drab tie-less suits that resemble something that Borat would wear when promoting his beloved Kazakhstan.

After being on the constant receiving end of Palestinian Qassam rockets, including more than 12 sent in a period of one day, it appears that the new Defense Minister Ehud Barak is finally keeping his promise concerning dealing with the people who shoot those home made ‘bottle rockets’ over into Sderot and other places within Israel. Israeli reprisal operations, mostly from the air, have killed at least 12 Gazans, including some suspected terrorists in both Hamas and Islamic Jihad. 4 Civilians were also killed, however, due their just being in the vicinity where IAF rockets hit their targets. After all, Gaza is so oversaturated with people that it’s very difficult to pick out targets without having innocent bystanders nearby. And the terrorists know this fact very well, and use it as propaganda weapons for more negative world opinion against the Jewish State. In fact, this time, PA President Mahmoud Abbas also jumped on the bandwagon and lambasted Israel for the “massacre” of innocent Palestinians.

Poor guy. I guess that was the best he could do from his relative comfortable headquarters in the Muqata compound in Ramallah. Mr. Abbas, who has been recently receiving a lot of support, both morally and financially, from Israeli P.M. Olmert, must have been feeling the heat from his former Prime Minister, Ismail Hananyah, who just happens to be in charge of Hamas’ Islamic fiefdom in Gaza.

Anyway, getting back to ‘basics’, Dr. Nizar Rian, a senior Hamas official, declared that his approximate 50,000 Hamas fighters “sleep with explosives, ready to prevent Israeli tanks from intruding into holy Palestinian territory”. He also said that many more Palestinian women have now joined their ranks and are prepared to become martyrs as well. He reminded Israel that women have been used very effectively in past terror operations, and though it is frowned upon by the Quran for women to assume militaristic roles, “the duty to guard to Motherland is more important than any other consideration”.

Guard the “motherland”? It’s more like blowing up their enemy, especially Israeli innocents. The horrible terror attack at the restaurant in Haifa a few years back, as well as an aborted attack from a Palestinian woman on her way to explode herself in the emergency entrance of Beer Sheba’s Soroka Hospital, are two examples of “guarding the Motherland”.

We will all surely hear again soon from Mr. Ahmadinejad, as soon as he returns from having cappuccino coffees with Mr. Chavez. But until then, we can go back to ‘normality’ which includes dealing with Hamas’s new threat of 200 female suicide bombers. I wonder what they are expecting to receive in paradise, as their male suicide counterparts await the embrace of 72 gorgeous virgins? Modern versions of Omar Sharif perhaps?

We Would Invite Hitler Also

John Coatsworth, Dean of the School of International Relations at Columbia, said over the weekend that “if Adolf Hitler himself had arrived in the U.S. and wanted to speak at our university, we would certainly let him. If he were willing to engage in moral debate in our university student forum, he would be welcomed as everyone has a right to express their views”. This statement by a prominent member of the Columbia U. faculty was backed up by Mr. Lee Bollinger, the university president, who has the ‘distinction’ of introducing their special guest, Iranian President Mahmoud Achmadinejad, who is scheduled to speak Monday at 1:30 P.M. EST.

No doubt Mr. Ahmadinejad’s speech, followed by a question and answer forum, will be “interesting”, to say the least. Trying to compare the Iranian leader with perhaps the most notorious man in history, might be another matter, however, as Mr. Ahmadinejad appears to be a bit more clever than The Fuehrer was, and this will most likely be brought out in his speech; assisted by a contingent of interpreters to convert Ahmadinejad’s native Farsei tongue into American English. Hitler never had the opportunity to set foot in America, probably due to “logistical factors” as well as his being a bit ‘pre-occupied’ with events going on Europe prior to the outbreak of World War II.

Had the Nazi dictator been able to make it over to New York, the most likely visitation venue at the time, and had the defunct League of Nations been situated there, instead in Geneva Switzerland, it would have been interesting as to what kind of reception he would have received. Hitler and his entourage, undoubtedly including his propaganda genius Joseph Goebbels, would surely have flown over in the dirigible Hindenburg, in order to show their pride in German manufacturing ingenuity ( he would have needed an arrival like this to make up for his athletes’ poor showing against a superior American team in the 1936 Olympiad, held in the German capital, Berlin).

Upon arriving in New York, The Fuehrer would undoubtedly have gone into a tirade on the League on Nations podium, with his usual lambasting of Jews and Communists; and with probably large numbers of protestors outside as now will be the case with Mr. Ahmadinejad. Hitler would also say that he was not pursuing the possession of weapons of mass destruction, including a new type of super bomb, later to be known as a nuclear bomb. When later asked why his country was zealously persecuting minorities, especially Jews, Hitler would most likely have laughed and said: “you see, we are merely trying to ‘purify’ the German people and rid it of vermin and other forms of pests. This is the only way we can be strong!”

Are these words, actually spoken by this mentally disturbed individual, really much different than the words spoken by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said that he wants the Zionist State of Israel “wiped off the face of the map” and that his words “are the Iranian People’s words”?

Judging from the state of world affairs during the mid to late 1930’s, had Hitler actually arrived to the U.S. would U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt have invited The Fuehrer to dinner at the While House? After all, American relations with Nazi Germany were actually fairly cordial prior to Germany’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939; much more so than the present state of no relations between America and the Islamic Republic. Roosevelt might even have wanted to make amends for “embarrassing” The Fuehrer by sending 18 black athletes, including the immortal Jesse Owens; who won 4 gold medals. The Afro-American part of the American delegation wound up with 14 gold medals, 25% of all such medals won in the entire games.

There are no such problems facing U.S. President George Bush; and he will certainly not extend any kind of invitation to the Iranian president to visit Washington. Even at the General Assembly, as occurred last year, the two men’s paths will not likely cross; even though Bush will also speak before the General Assembly. 70 years have passed since the time when Adolf Hitler might have shown up in News York; had it been “logistically feasible”. And yet, not much has really changed in so far as tyrants being tyrants.

No Gays or Nukes in Iran

Many were ‘delighted’ to hear Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declare that “there are no homosexuals in Iran” at his appearance before a selected audience at New York’s Columbia University of Monday, September 24. Many more were even more thrilled to hear him say before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that “the nuclear issue is now a closed subject and will only be discussed within the framework of the IAEA”. All this is good to know, and makes everyone who hasn’t been following this absurdity more apt to eat their Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes without burping. I think that the most reassuring statement yet by the visiting Iranian leader was in regards to his grand visions of the future, Some of these ‘visions’ include a demise of Western powers, especially the United States; and the creation of an Israel-less Palestine, to be brought about by “democratic referendum” .

With all this “good news”, why are a lot of people, even the leaders of countries like France and Germany so worried? I’m not referring to this boogeyman’s usual enemies like the U.S. and Israel. I’m referring to former friends of the Islamic Republic like France and Germany, both of whose leaders used their forum opportunity before the General Assembly to speak out against the dangers of Iran becoming a nuclear power. Why this new stance by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy? This is something that had previous only been espoused by people such as U.S. President George Bush and Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair (especially following the Iranian ‘detainment’ of several of Her Majesty’s naval personnel).

And why was Columbia University President Lee Bollinger so “frank” when introducing his special guest as “a cruel and petty dictator”? Perhaps people are finally starting to wake up in regards to the potential danger of this man who doesn’t seem to give a ‘didly squat’ concerning reactions to his ideas for a new world order. As he later said himself, when addressing the world body: “the age of the empires are over”. I presume that by ’empires’ he was referring to his adversaries, and not to his own country, formerly known as Persia, and once one of the greatest empires in the world. In fact, the Persian Empire once threatened to overwhelm the entire known world, and was only held back by the combined efforts of 300 of Grecian King Leonidas’ personal warriors, and the victory of the Grecian naval fleet over the Persians at Thermopylae.

All that was a long time ago, however, and now a new religious imperial threat, in the form of militant Islam, threatens to once again overwhelm much of the modern “Known World”.

It is truly amazing that a demigod such as Ahmadinejad can come to a place like New York and express his views within the combined aspects of free speech and diplomatic immunity. It’s the policy of diplomatic immunity that has caused so many problems in the past, especially during the Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union. Diplomatic immunity has allowed people traveling with diplomatic passports to get away with virtually anything – even murder. As long as two countries are not in an actual state of war with one another, their representatives can freely come and go as they please under the guise of diplomatic immunity.

Besides proudly saying that homosexuality does not exist in his country (or heterosexuality either, unless people are married); he also said that all groups living in Iran, including women and minorities such as Jews have democratic freedoms and “proportional representation” in parliament.

With all this “good news”, why are so many so anxious for Mr. Ahmadinejad and his entourage to go back to where they came from? It’s early Autumn in New York; but from a political point of view for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it might as well be the dead of winter.

Watch Out New York

No boys and girls; this isn’t a jingle like the one heard every year at Christmas time. And Iran’s “beloved” president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is definitely not Santa Claus. But he is definitely coming to town – New York City that is – on Monday, September 24, to address the annual opening session of the U.N. General Assembly. This isn’t Mahmoud’s first visit, as he also came last year to address the U.N., not long after he had made his famous comments concerning Israel’s “irreverence” and that it should be “wiped off the face of the map”.

Scheduled to address not only the UN world body; he is also slated to address a large gathering of students and faculty members at Columbia University, located on the other end of that same island that was attached by Muslim extremists in September, 2001.

This year, the Iranian President’s visit to that international “free talk zone”, otherwise known as the United Nations, comes with the Islamic Republic being even closer to becoming a declared nuclear power. It also comes just days after a series of new weapons, including new fighter bombers and long range missiles were unveiled at Iran’s annual National Day parade officiated over by “you know who”. During this parade, the Iranian leader made further unfriendly comments, including one which stated that nothing, even the U.S., was going to stop Iran from achieving its military development goals; including its nuclear ambitions.

Despite all of this, not only is this guy and his entourage going to show up on American soil; he is also scheduled to make a speech at such a prestigious academic institution as New York’s Columbia U. His declared purpose for this address: “Americans do not know the truth”.

While it’s understandable that Mr. Ahmadinjad will again be allowed into the U.N.’s famous landmark, which due to the clauses written in the organization’s founding charter makes this patch of territory “off limits” for the U.S. or any other country’s jurisdiction; it doesn’t explain why Ahmadinjad should be allowed to address the student body of Columbia – albeit with the assistance of an interpreter. Mr. A. may be surprised to discover that though he doesn’t know English, at least well enough to make a credible address in this language; there may be a number of Farsei speaking people in the university audience – including some representing the Islamic Republic’s opposition; who are very interested in hearing what he has to say, before his words are ‘diluted’ a bit by his faithful interpreters. His interpreters, no doubt hand picked from among his political followers – some of them highly educated, will do their best to convey their mentor’s words of enlightenment. This ‘enlightenment’ includes why he believes that the genocidal event known as The Holocaust is a fabrication; and why (in his opinion) that upstart group of people, known as Zionists, should be banished from lands they have “occupied” over the past 60 years. This territory includes cities like Haifa and Tel Aviv, of course; not to mention “Holy al Quds”, otherwise known as Jerusalem.

Other un-welcomed tyrants have made addresses before the U.N. in the past, including Russia’s Nikita Khrushchev, who banged a shoe on the podium and said to the Free World: “We will bury you!”; and also Cuba’s cigar smoking and gun-toting Fidel Castro. And, of course, that gun-toting Palestinian bad guy, Yassir Arafat; who even managed to win the Nobel Prize in the end for his “contributions towards world peace”.

It’s very doubtful that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will win any peace awards – not this year anyway. And it’s surprising that Columbia U. would let such a man stand behind its forum’s podium, even though the university’s faculty has become more and more anti-Israel in its orientation over the past several years. There still is that hallowed right, however, in the American Constitution regarding freedom of speech and opinion. But that “right” is supposed to be reserved for Americans and not for persons with ultimate goals of mass destruction; which includes destroying sovereign nations such as Israel.

One thing for sure is that Mr. Ahmadinejad won’t be seen strolling by the Duck Pond in New York City’s Central Park. Or will he? He may even have the outright audacity to visit Ground Zero: site of the former World Trade Center. After all, he appears to have his own ideas as to why this event happened- and who the perpetrators really were.

With these realities in mind, and in light of what might be coming down in the next few months, this person should simply not be welcome on America’s, or any other free nation’s shores.

Summer Time And The Living Is Easy

“One of these mornings
Youre bound to rise up singing
Then youll spread your wings
And take to the sky
But til that morning
Nothings going to harm you no
With daddy and mama standing by…”

Lemonade from www.bazekalim.comThe news is just filled with all sorts of good stuff today. For one thing we are expecting a heat wave 🙁 and then on top of that we have had just shitty news lately..
Last week an 86 year old man killed his wife (80) and 59 year old daughter. A good father and family man, father of 9 kids, all of whom were shocked to hear this. After the murder he called police and calmly gave himself up.

Then there is talk about an impending war. The newspapers are just full of that good stuff. All the military experts are planing out the next war and the fact that the Syrians are getting ready, the Hezbollah is getting stocked up and in the South the Qassam Rockets are dropping daily. To add to these good news, the cockroach, Ahmadinejad, who is BTW really neglecting his blog, announced that today the “countdown to Israel’s destruction has begun”, and that, “the arrogant superpowers and the Zionist regime invested all their efforts during the 33-day war, but after 60 years, their pride has been trampled and the countdown to the destruction of this regime has been started by Hezbollah fighters”.
Heart warming dip shit isn’t he?

Well in the middle of all this negativity I came across this great site Bazek Alim. A cooking blog that has some really sexy pictures of food and recipes on how to make them. The Lemonade shot is from there…thanks, I needed that.

2006 Year In Review

This is the Year in Review – just a partial list, things that caught the eye..
Some Pics from the year and our associated posts. Happy New Year everyone!
To the families of the missing soldiers we hope to see them all back home soon.

Hamas Wins ElectionsHamas Wins ElectionsMahmoud AhmadinejadMahmoud Ahmadinejad
Amir PeretzAmir PeretzArik Sharon in HospitalArik Sharon in Hospital
Arkady GaidamakArkady Gaidamak
Muslim Cartoon FiascoMuslim Cartoon FiascoBibiBibi’s Election Hype
Kadima Wins ElectionsKadima Wins Elections

Miss IsraelMiss IsraelShelly & AmirShelly & Amir
Google IsraelGoogle Israel

Kadima Wins ElectionsPrime Minister Ismail HaniyehIsrael Top Model Niral KarantinjiIsrael Top Model Niral Karantinji
Kadima Wins ElectionsParadise Now Wins

Farewell To Yossi BanaiFarewell To Yossi BanaiMeir Ariel Passes AwayMeir Ariel Passes Away
Qassams Rain on SderotQassams Rain on Sderot

Al Zarqawi is ToastAl Zarqawi is ToastMichael Moves to DubaiMichael Moves to Dubai

NasrallahNasrallahKatzav Boinking EverybodyPresident Katzav Boinking Everybody

Bye Bye KofiBye Bye KofiLynching Dan HalutzLynching Dan Halutz
Mel Shits where he eatsMel Shits Where He Eats

Pope Pisses Off MuslimsPope Pisses Off MuslimsIran Chasing the BombIran Chasing the Bomb
Our Missing SoldiersOur Missing Soldiers

Idiots on the Streets Hit New LowIdiots on the Streets Hit New LowIsrael Trains Still A DisasterIsrael Trains Still A Disaster
Spawn of the Devil is in the MakingSpawn of the Devil is in the MakingAvigdor Joins the GovernmentAvigdor Joins the Government
Kim Has the Bomb!Kim Has the Bomb!

Benny Gives Police An EnemaBenny Gives Police An EnemaGemayel Killed by SyriaGemayel Killed by Syria
Putin The DictatorPutin The DictatorBoratBorat

Saddam SwingsSaddam SwingsJames Brown PassesJames Brown Passes
Tnuva SoldTnuva Sold

Who Need’s Who?

Olmert in L.A.
Recent concern expressed over the fate of the 5.2 million strong American Jewish Community, the largest Jewish community outside of Israel, may not be as much as a concern as the fate of Israel’s 6.5 million Jewish community due to an increasing Muslim birth rate and an ominous threat by Israel’s apparent No. 1 enemy: Iran. At last weeks United Jewish Community’s “G.A.” conference held in Los Angeles, at which Israeli P.M. Ehud Olmert (pictured) made a guest appearance; there appears to be a mixed message concerning who really needs who. True, the American Jewish aging community, with an average of 42, and a shrinking birth rate, is a big concern to Jewish leaders there. An increasing security threat to the State of Israel, however, by the Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Palestinians in Gaza and the still disputed West Bank, and particularly by Iran’s accelerating nuclear program; the big question now is whether it is a good idea to have such a large Jewish concentration in such a small country as Israel.

American Jews do have a lot to be concerned about as their numbers have been shrinking over the years due to assimilation and lower birth rates. But the problem of an aging population and small families is also a big concern in many Western countries as in Asian countries like Japan and South Korea as well. concerning the American Jewish Community, with Jewish couples marrying at a much later age and having no more than one or two children, it’s very easy to understand why this is happening. From an economic standpoint, American Jewish women, secular ones that is, are simply more interested in their careers than raising families. When they do marry, Jewish couples face the reality what they have to do in order to raise and educate kids in an increasingly more expensive upper-middle class American society. For example, sending two children to a private Jewish day school can cost parents an average of $1,200 to 1,500 per month, per child, not counting additional fees and payments required by these private institutions who generally receive little or no governmental assistance. Being a full-fledged member of a Jewish community, including joining a Synagogue or Temple also cost big bucks these days, including a member’s contribution towards the Rabbi’s annual salary ‘package’ which can be in excess of $200,000 or more.

A shrinking American Jewish community means bad news in respect to continuing contributions to Israel, including the UIA, Israel Bonds, and many other fundraising campaigns, with hard-pressed American Jewish families simply not having the money to donate to Israeli causes. Though more Americans are considering Aliyah to Israel, especially due to receiving assistance from programs like Nefesh b’Nefesh, many such families and individuals find it very hard to live in the Jewish State due to not being able to find suitable employment and affordable housing.

The increasing threat from Iran is also something that more and Jews are having to deal with, both in Israel and abroad. While American Jews, though lobbies such as AIPAC, are trying to bring more attention to the Iranian threat, Israeli Jews will eventually have to face this threat head-on. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not pulling any punches concerning his intentions regarding Israel. These intentions, which could become reality sooner than many think, might require a strong American Jewish Community to be ready to offer assistance, and even shelter, to it’s Israeli Jewish brethren, should this be required.

So, who needs who? It’s simply a question of how one looks at it.

What if Iran…., And How can We Deal With It?

“I am the Alpha, and the Omega”. So are written the provocative words in the Christian New Testament Book of Revelations; the book that alleges to foretell the final battle of Armageddon; the battle between the forces of Gog and Magog, and thus resulting in the end of the world. This topic, being the subject of many novels and doomsday thriller movies, may be closer than many people think; due to countries like Iran and North Korea aspiring to become nuclear powers. Iran, in particular, has come out in the forefront of this possible scenario by its overt actions during the past few years; particularly following the inauguration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

A recent article appearing in the magazine section of Israel’s largest newspaper, Yidiot Ahronot, graphically illustrates the progress of Iran’s nuclear complexes, including both light and heavy water facilities, locations for manufacturing of Plutonium, nuclear reactors, and centrifuges manufacturing fissionable material. The sheer number of these sites, their difficult accessibility, and how they are defended, would make any planned attack on them, either by Israel or even a larger power such as the U.S., very difficult if not virtually impossible. The more ‘sensitive’ facilities, including the heavy water facility at Arack, and the centrifuges at Netnaz (photo), are completely encircled by clusters of the most sophisticated SAM missile batteries to prevent any air attack similar to Israel’s 1981 attack against the Osirik reactor site in southern Iraq.

In other words, even if such state-of-the-art weaponry such as B-2 ‘Stealth’ bombers are used, the Iranians are not about to be caught with their pants down. A recent statement by Iran’s defense minister warned that any attack against their nuclear facilities would warrant an immediate and devastating Iranian response “within seconds”. Even if Iran does not yet possess nuclear weapons, they have other weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s) available to them, including chemical and biological weapons. And even if only conventional weapons were used, salvos of Shihab-3 missiles, each armed with 400 kg payloads (including cluster bomb-lets) would wreak havoc on cities like Tel Aviv.

So, with all this in mind, what could Israel do in regards to staging an attack on Iran; and could this be remotely possible?

Obviously, there must be many strategic military secrets that we as ordinary people are not aware of; and these strategies are being considered presently. From a pure layman’s view, however, using long-range, modified F-16 fighter aircraft, even with larger bomb payloads and specially designed fuel tanks for flying longer ranges, just won’t fill the bill. Using ballistic missiles such as the Jericho won’t work either due to their possible inaccuracy (these attacks would require precision, surgical striking capability, and would invite even larger missile counter attacks, also by Syria and the Hezbollah in Lebanon, which can be very effective – as evidenced in last summer’s 34 day war.

The best strategy may be in trying to convince the Iranian public that their leadership are not taking their best interests at heart, especially in that their “esteemed President” may be willing to sacrifice a third of his country’s population to carry out his will.


Letter to an Okie

Some people I know from “the old country” had been planning a trip to Israel this fall, but cancelled it, partially due to the “injustice” of the war in Lebanon. The following letter is my reply:

Dear ……,

I’m also very sorry you guys decided to “delay” your trip here. Many tours and private visits were “delayed”, but on the other hand, many more visits have occurred; by non-Jews as well as Jews.

The circumstances which brought all of this about still plague this region and Americans may not have the true picture as most attention is now focused on events in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as with (Daffy Duck loving) Kim Jong Il in North Korea; not to mention Iran.

Letter to an OkieIsrael started the year with the best intentions, including new Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s pledge to begin a withdraw from parts of the West Bank, following the painful August 2005 disengagement from Gaza. This should have made the Palestinians happy. But what did they do? Why they attacked an Israeli patrol, killing several soldiers and capturing Cpl. Gilad Shalit. Israel reciprocated by attacking Gaza to pressure the Hamas-led government there into releasing Shalit. Israel also ‘invited’ several P.A. parliamentarians to be ‘guests’ of the IDF until the release of Shalit.

When all this maneuvering didn’t work, the good Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and the “Hezbollah Friendship Society” did some ‘maneuvering’ of their own by pulling off a similar attack on Israel’s northern border, also killing more soldiers and capturing two more: Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, both reserve soldiers (Goldwasser had only been married 3 months before this incident occurred). About the same time, the Sheikh and Co. launched a bunch of their famous pop bottle rockets into Israel, resulting in Israel attacking them big-time.

Now, bear in mind that the Hezbollah Friendship Society (H.F.S.), because they are so friendly, like to locate themselves in the middle of heavily populated areas (Like the old Jude n’Jody furniture commercials, they love folk). That’s why Israeli Aircraft had so much trouble in ‘rooting’ them out. That’s also why that well publicized incident occurred when that house containing all those poor people was bombed, killing many of them (much less than the erroneous Lebanese and Red Cross information noted, however).

Yes, Lebanon did get bombed a bunch and a lot of innocent folk got killed. A number of innocent Israelis got killed too, though much less. However, we did suffer a significant amount of property damage; and this included more than 10,000 square hectares of agricultural and timberland, much of which will take 50+ years to grow back. With all this said and done, The Sheikh is now a hero, and Israeli leaders including P.M. Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz are castigated as losers, with many crying for their dismissal. Goldwasser, Regev, and Shalit are still captured as well.

I think Bush is mad at Israel for not “stomping a mud-hole” in Hezbollah, as should have been done; but this may still happen, and the good Sheikh knows this all too well. That’s why he still is lying low. Real low!

Despite all those UNIFIL and so-called Lebanese Army troopers patrolling Lebanon’s border, Hezbollah still has another 10,000 or so pop bottle rockets left, plus some bigger stuff. Israelis now feel more vulnerable than ever before, with no effective ‘anti-pop bottle rocket’ defense in hand.

Besides we’re all looking East toward that country run by the Mullahs who aid and bankroll the H.F.S. They and that even friendlier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are conjuring up some even bigger pop bottle rockets with something even more powerful to eventually shoot at Israel. Only one of these going off, and it’s all over.

So, when you talk about peace and justice, the question to ask is peace and justice for whom?

I still think you should eventually plan a trip here, and then you will see all of the facts for yourself. You also need to see where it all began (Christianity), which was also during a very volatile time (the Romans were not nice guys).

Take care and have a happy Thanksgiving.


North Korea to Test Nuke? Or, The ‘Roadrunner ‘ and Kim Jong Il

Kim Jong IlKim Jong Il, that bizarre North Korean dictator, who loves Warner Brothers cartoons (especially the Roadrunner and Daffy Duck), has now divulged his greatest test of world nerve jangling brinksmanship. The announcement today by his government’s spokesman that his country is planning to test a nuclear device “in complete safety”, and for the purpose of it being a deterrent against imperialist powers like the United States who want to harm him and his “peace loving regime”, has more than made countries like the U.S. a bit edgy. It has sparked off alarm bells all over the world – especially in Asian countries like South Korea and Japan.

Kim, whose ultra-authoritarian regime has put even Cuba’s Fidel Castro’s to shame, appears to be so fearful of being deposed (like Saddam Hussein was in Iraq) that he is willing to go the extra mile to provoke countries whom he thinks are planning to invade him, particularly the USA. President Bush, who named North Korea as one of the “Axis of Evil” a few years back, now has a very worrisome dilemma on his hands, as the other main member of the ‘Axis”, Iran, is accelerating it’s nuclear program with the obvious intention of “going nuclear” as well.

North Korea, which was persuaded to scale down its nuclear development program in the early 1990’s, now appears to be making up for lost time. In 2005, after canceling it’s participation in nuclear disarmament talks, North Korea is not willing to make a new treaty that would prevent it from gaining nuclear parity with countries such as India and Pakistan, both of whom have had nuclear weapons for years. That neither of these countries have used these terrible weapons of mass destruction against each other is only because both countries know they have too much to lose by doing so.

Kim Jong Il on the other hand, feels he has little to loose and very much to gain by becoming a nuclear power. After all, this is the country that imprisons, tortures, and kills thousands of its citizens; and where a similar number – especially small children – die from malnutrition annually. Kim’s fascination with Western entertainment media programming (especially cartoons), and the Internet, belie his outright fear of being invaded and deposed as Saddam was in 2003. He is clever enough to know that the U.S. Administration, his number one enemy as he sees it, is in no position to attack him other than shoot a few cruise missiles in his direction; or perhaps drop a few ‘smart bombs’ on some of his government buildings. These acts wouldn’t do much damage as Kim as an elaborate system of underground tunnels and bunkers available that would put Saddam Hussein’s or even Adolf Hitler’s hiding places to shame.

One very interested observer in this deadly game of ‘checkmate’ is most likely Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who will gauge his own country’s nuclear ambitions by what happens to North Korea, which is rumored to already be assisting Iran in its nuclear program. Another country involved at least indirectly in this scenario is Israel; which though not threatened by North Korea, is definitely being threatened by Iran. As was noted in a previous article I wrote: The Arrow and Iran Part III, the U.S. Administration may very well find itself in the dilemma of who to deal with first: Kim and his Daffy Duck mentality; or Mahmoud with his fatalistic desire to ‘erase the State of Israel from the face of the map’; no matter what the consequences may be.

It’s a very perilous world we all live in. And today’s extremely provocative announcement now makes it even more perilous. It almost makes one wish for a return to the “good old days” of the U.S. – Soviet Union cold war. At least that conflict was a lot easier to figure out.

(Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Arrow and Iran, Part III: Apocalypse Now?

The Arrow and Iran, Part III: Apocalypse Now?“Coming soon, to a theatre near you”

Observations by Mr. Giora Eiland, former head of Israel’s National Security Council, one of the country’s major ”think tanks” concerning matters of national security, do not bode well regarding Iran’s quest to obtain nuclear weapons. In a recent interview with a reporter of The Jerusalem Post, Eiland was very pessimistic in regards to any possible efforts to prevent the Islamic Republic from “going nuclear”. “In the end, Iran will obtain nuclear (arms) capability” Eiland stated.

Eiland, a 30 year veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, who recently retired from the NSC, has been involved in research and investigation of Iran’s nuclear program for several years. He came to his fearful conclusion after seeing that no countries in the world, including his own and the United States have the ability to prevent Iran, either diplomatically or militarily, from obtaining this goal.

Eiland was very critical of his country’s present government, especially Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, for not speaking out more against what may be the greatest threat to the Jewish State, if not the entire world, in recent times. “The Prime Minister doesn’t accept this assessment as fact, and still believes that Iran can be persuaded diplomatically to give in and cease its nuclear weapons ambitions” he continued. Eiland also added that Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, if granted total decision making power, will sacrifice everything “even his entire country” just to have the satisfaction of destroying Israel. In regards to his previous estimate that the Iranian leader would be prepared to sacrifice half his country’s population for this purpose, Eiland went one step further: to the realm of total apocalypse.

America’s capability of using military force against Iran has been diminished considerably by that country’s involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Eiland went on. He also noted by the US President, George W. Bush, is now in a weakened state politically; and does not have the means to launch an effective strike. The U.S. also isn’t in position to offer Iran enough incentives to cease its nuclear arms program; since American political leaders, including the President, refuse to talk directly with Iranian leaders. “Since both the ‘carrot’ being offered and the ‘stick’ behind it are small, there’s no reason for Iran not to go ahead with its nuclear program” Eiland noted.

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The Arrow and Iran

There has been a great deal of discussions on the possible scenario of a pre-emptive missile attack by Iran on the State of Israel. Recent televised events regarding Iran’s reactions to threats imposed by the U.N. Security Council due to the refusal of the Islamic Republic to end it’s nuclear fuel enrichment plans, are beginning to create more than just controversy and mild concern. They are now resulting in ‘alarm bells’ being run by even such people as Pensioner Party leader and government minister Rafi Eitan, who, as a former Mossad security professional, is calling for a massive shelter preparation in Israel in the event that the Iranians and the Americans become involved in a future military conflict. “If Iran and the U.S become involved in a military confrontation, then Israel will be the first to be struck” Eitan was quoted as saying.
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