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April 2012



The panicky response by Israel’s leaders to the Eisner episode will only serve to encourage pernicious ‘protest tourism’ by pampered radicals.

Nor do the gods appear in warrior’s armor clad
To strike them down with sword and spear
Those whom they would destroy
They first make mad – Bharthari, 7th century (translated from the Sanskrit)

A Spanish journalist, with a particular penchant for local red wine told me how every international correspondent dreams of being posted in Israel. “It a paradise for foreign journalists” she explained. “Where else in the world can you go to an restaurant in a town like Tel Aviv, have a drink in Dizengoff and then go to sleep in a good hotel when all that stands between you and a first-hand report from “the battleground” is a 45-minute ride to Sheikh Jarrah or Bil’in.” – Tal Dror, Ynet, April, 21, 2012 (translated from the Hebrew)

The two activists, who developed a taste for the blend of arak and red grapefruit [juice] I served them at the bar, explained to me [when] I asked – half naively, half critically – “Why don’t you demonstrate in Egypt? Why not in Syria? What do you want from us?” The Swede stopped smiling and replied with deadly seriousness. “Are you crazy? Those places are really dangerous” – Ibid

Quite some time ago – when I was significantly younger and considerably slimmer – I served in a unit that operated behind enemy lines. I therefore have a keen awareness of how important it is for the motivation of combatants who undertake demanding missions and for their resolve to execute them, that they believe that – if they are in a jam – they will enjoy the unmitigated backing of their superiors.

I mention this not because I was ever charged with the kind of tasks Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner was expected to execute two weeks ago, but because it gives me some idea of the sense of bitter disappointment and disillusionment he must be feeling at the moment. The potential operational impact the episode – and the unfortunate ethos that it reflects – could have on the efficacy of the IDF cannot be ignored.

What’s wrong with this picture?

There is something deeply disturbing about the picture that is emerging in the wake of incident that took place in the Jordan Valley on the post-Passover weekend. It goes far beyond the specifics of the particular incident and reflects a deeper malaise that pervades the public discourse in the country.

On the one hand, we have a radical anti- Israeli activist belonging to an organization virulently hostile to Israel, unequivocally supportive of terror organizations dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state, taking part in an unruly confrontation with Israeli security forces, who ends up with (gasp) a cut lip.

On the other hand we have a senior IDF officer with a record of proven valor in combat, highly regarded by both his men and his superiors, who has been relieved of his command, his entire career in jeopardy, because of a fleeting video of a few seconds showing him striking the aforementioned radical with a single blow.

In a stroke, years of exhausting effort, and commendable courage were washed away – as if knocking over a vitriolic anti-Israeli activist (who was seen back on his feet seconds after the blow) carried more weight than all the deeds of daring and dedication he accumulated to his credit over a long period of distinguished service.

In a twinkling, a massive PR victory was handed to Israel’s most venomous vilifiers – with an abject admission of guilt before the prosecution even presented its case.

Have the gods really made us mad? A devoted defender of Israel dispatched in disgrace while a demagogic detractor is elevated to celebrity status. Whichever way you cut it, there is something wrong with that picture.

Maniacal media

True – the fundamental aesthetics shown in the short video were highly prejudicial. A swarthy, unshaven, balding, overweight, yarmulke-donning, gun-toting Jew, clubbing a tall, blond, slender handsome Dane for no apparent reason. The visual impact could hardly be more damning and damaging for Israel.

And the media seized on it with unbridled enthusiasm, embarking on a veritable “feeding frenzy”– as if some world-shattering event had taken place. The morning news channels played and replayed it ad nauseam seemingly determined to engrave indelibly into the mind of viewers that finally definitive proof of Israel’s bestial brutally had been discovered.

Context and balance were discarded and ignored. The true nature of the organization, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), to which the aggrieved activist belonged, was obscured – or at best skimmed over – as if irrelevant.

The fact that its members openly embrace Palestinian terror groups, conceal their operatives from the IDF, intentionally initiate clashes with Israeli forces, impede army operations aimed at protecting Israeli civilians, provide Palestinians terrorist organization with financial, logistic and moral support, are active in advocating boycotts divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, played a central role in the Gaza flotillas, call for the “right of return” and thus, in effect, for the elimination of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

None of this seemed to be of much interest to the maniacal media which made little effort to convey to the public the ilk of the people Eisner was called on to deal with–but seemed hell-bent on destroying his career and his reputation.

Reprehensible recording

Much has been said about Eisner’s “moral failing” in this episode. But what could be more morally reprehensible than the behavior of Channel 10 and its surreptitious recording and broadcast of a private exchange between a bereaved mother and Eisner, who at considerable personal risk had retrieved the body of her son after he had been killed in the 2006 Lebanon war.

In the exchange, Eisner expressed his bitterness at the lack of support he had received from his commanding officers.

Neither Eisner nor the mother, who has voiced her strong support for him in an earlier interview, had any idea that his expression of resentment was being recorded and certainly not that it would be broadcast. The public airing of the private conversation caused Eisner considerable harm and it is widely believed to have played a part in the severity of the measures taken against him by his superiors.

What made the release Eisner’s words particularly egregious was fact that Channel 10 gave the impression that they were in fact intended to be a public declaration, rather than a personal intimation of his feelings not meant for wider distribution. Indeed other media outlets quoted Eisner as if he had given an interview to the TV station.

Revulsion at this unscrupulous journalistic conduct has led to a request for a criminal investigation into the cynical exploitation of the bereaved mother’s trust. But whatever the legal outcome of the probe, it seems clear the incident comprises a new low for the already less-than-illustrious behavior of the Israeli media.

The journalist who publicized the conversation later issued an apology, stating: “The last thing I want as a military correspondent, an Israeli journalist, a patriot and Zionist, is to hurt the feelings of a bereaved mother.”


http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2012/04/27/europe-as-king-lear/?singlepage=true “No, no, no, no!” Thus quoth Lear to Cordelia near the end of the grimmest play Shakespeare wrote. As my friend John Allison observes, Europe is acting a lot like Lear on his way to prison: “No” said the Irish on February 25, 2011. They ejected Fianna Fail, the largest party in Ireland since […]




It seems almost redundant to link to the Reuters piece on George Zimmerman that nearly everyone has seen by now, but what’s interest about it is just how routine it is. It’s a standard background piece and thousands like it run after prominent crimes. Any sizable news organization can put one out within a week and smaller community papers and magazines regularly run them when there’s a major case. When the case is big enough, some of them get turned into movies, mostly they help set a tone.

All they really involve in meeting with some of the locals, arranging for interviews, taking some notes and writing up the results. And what’s really interesting about “Prelude to a Shooting” is how long it took until a media organization chose to run it.

I strongly suspect that there’s a dozen pieces like it sitting in file folders and desks in other media organizations that have not decided what to do with them. I suspect the Reuters piece was in that same state until someone decided to finally run it. The Zimmerman family has been proactive in reaching out and trying to tell the story. It’s the media that has held the door shut.

“Prelude to a Shooting” is not the last word on the case. It’s background on Zimmerman, not the entire set of events, and it wouldn’t even be all that significant except for the lynch mob atmosphere in the media and the refusal of the media to do any basic reporting on the case besides spewing back the same ‘hoodie and skittles’ narrative.

If Zimmerman had just shot a man in cold blood, there would be little point in laying out the background, it would be no more than another Bernie Tiede piece, but instead we do get crucial bits of context that explain what was going on in the neighborhood at the time in the context of property values, constant break ins and a neighborhood on the edge.
It’s the final concluding material on Emmanuel Burgess that sets the most important context in the case. It tells us part of why events happened the way they did and that along with Martin’s No Limit Nigga material sets a different stage than the one that the media has thrust on us.


We are more than who we are at any given moment. We are also who we aspire to be.Both Zimmerman and Martin were flawed men, but Zimmerman’s writings and behavior showed a man who aspired to be something better, while Martin’s showed that he wanted only to sink down. Martin can’t be entirely blamed for that, he did not create and perpetuate the fake gansta culture. It’s the mostly white entertainment industry that did that, often embedded in the same news corporations which organized the lynching of George Zimmerman.

The entertainment industry did not tell Martin what would happen if he assaulted an adult man who was concerned about the neighborhood, while Martin was concerned about getting the “Respect” that gangsta culture told him he was entitled to by virtue of his posing.

Martin did not understand that life was different than gangsta culture. That men who have guns don’t necessarily go waving them around. And that sometimes when you have someone down on the ground and you’re beating on them, they will use what they have.

Had Martin killed Zimmerman, he would be preening for the cameras now, the defiant upward head tilt you see so often in court photos. The pose that says, “I don’t care, because I’m too cool to care.” It’s the pose that the man who might have been Martin’s father often wears to tell us that he’s going to go on doing whatever he likes, because he can.

But that’s not what you see in Zimmerman’s face, it’s not just regret, it’s pain. Zimmerman did not intend to take another human life, and he regrets that and regrets how society sees him, and he is coming to terms with doing what he had to do. There is a basic decency in his expression which cannot be photoshopped onto Martin’s face. The photoshopping can pale his skin, younger photos can make him look innocent, but nothing can make him look decent.

Zimmerman quoted Burke. Martin quoted hip hop. That was the fundamental difference between the two men, not race, but culture. Zimmerman aspired to be a good human being. Martin aspired to be street trash.

In a society under siege, there are builders and there are destroyers. Zimmerman was a builder, we will never know what Martin might have become, but he was on a path to becoming a destroyer.

We live in a culture that punishes builders and rewards destroyers. That treats the destroyer as innocent and moral, because he is untainted by knowledge and experience, because he resists the builders and spreads anarchy and chaos.

The gap between Martin and Zimmerman is the gap between the graffiti scrawler and the business owner, the occupy wall street thug and the office worker, the rap star and the composer, the activist and the entrepreneur.

Martin was just another pawn in a culture war waged by the destroyers against civilization. As a a man he gorged himself on destroyer culture, imitated it and then fatally lived it out. As a dead man, he became a rallying cry for the destroyers.




Speaking of death, American Digest also has an extended moral meditation on abortion. There’s no one single section to be excerpted, all I can throw in is that we are regularly confronted with the continuing immoralities that make some level of a society work. Whether or not the society should work that way is another question.

Slave labor goods provide a measure of autonomy to millions of Americans, in a minimal echo of abortion. As does wealth redistribution for some and power triads for others. When given power many act only to protect their own interests, their own autonomy and their own power. There is no easy division. The moral solution favors one group at the expense of another. Some die, some live in poverty so that others may enjoy their lives and their autonomy. The interests of the group become the pinnacle of morality.

There are no easy solutions and moments like these can roll back the curtain on a human society that is just as bad as anything in the Veldt, a reminder that we are neither wise nor good, only powerful.

In an open letter published in the Boston Jewish Advocate, Paul Sassieni, treasurer of the JCRC, states that J Street’s Regional Director, Melanie Harris, “reiterated proudly that J Street would not necessarily support Israel in a conflict, but would weigh the circumstances.”

In other news, J Street’s sugar daddy, George Soros reiterated proudly that he did not necessarily enjoy helping the Nazis, but had to weigh the circumstances to decide which particular bit of Nazi collaboration he enjoyed most. (All of them.)Melanie Harris appears to be a J Street mouthpiece who worked her way up from J Street U and doesn’t seem to have done much besides that.


Edward Cline reviews Robert Spencer’s new book that explores whether our good friend Mo, that serial killer, rapist and pedophile, actually existed. Or whether he was a fictional character like Hannibal Lecter.

Reading Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, one cannot help but marvel at the thoroughness of Sherlock Holmes’s use of reason to piece together disparate clues and evidence and conclude that the least plausible explanation was the most obvious, true one. The legendary, spectral hound that haunted the Dartmoor bogs for two centuries was a piece of unsubstantiated folklore exploited by a devious criminal whose only purpose was to seize wealth that wasn’t his. He bought a hound, coated it in phosphorous, and launched his nefarious designs.

If his plans worked out, everyone would believe that the heir to the Baskerville estate was really killed by an elusive, evanescent hound, just as the heir’s uncle apparently was. No one would investigate further. After all, the locals might be offended.

Holmes shoots it as it attacks another Baskerville heir. The Hound from Hell was an invention, based on an apocryphal curse. The Hound was a fraud. A hoax. As insubstantial as marsh gas.

Islam, however, is the very real Hound from Hell now roaming the earth, causing unimaginable suffering and death in nations where Islam rules, invading Western countries with hordes of assimilation-hostile faithful imbued with an implacable enmity for Western values and culture, waging constant violent and stealth jihad in countries its advocates mean to conquer and bring under Islamic and Sharia rule. The aspect that makes it frightening is the phosphorous of moral certainty that it is invincible and ineluctable. But the bogeyman is a phony. A contrivance. A will-o’-the-wisp designed to frighten men into submission or silence. Ignis fatuus. Mere methane.

To add to that there is a great deal of posturing in Islam. The entire phony cult of martyrdom is one giant bluff. Lies are constantly being told and believed a moment later until no one can tell the lie from the truth. Everything is blamed on vast external powers. The mind is haunted by devils, taunted by women’s hair, the wealth of infidels and constant sandstorms of rage. That is the human reality around which the religion has been constructed.


I haven’t written much about Noam Shalit, the man who managed to get the country to pay a blood price for his son and then used that to launch his political career, but the man is absolute scum. If Israeli voters need a reminder of what scum he is, he’s busy giving it to them.

The father of an Israeli soldier held in captivity for more than five years by Hamas has said he would kidnap Israeli soldiers if he were a Palestinian… He also said he would be prepared to negotiate with Hamas if he were an MP, something the Israeli government, along with Britain and the US, refuses to do.

By now the whole country knows that there is absolutely nothing that Noam Shalit would not be prepared to do.

Now Haaretz is only running this because the left is badly confused as to what to do about the Shalit deal, since they shrieked for it until they get it and now they have to criticize it because it helps Netanyahu politically. Still…

A bereaved father who used his speech at a state Memorial Day ceremony to blast the country’s attitude toward victims of terror attacks won a rare round of applause for doing so.

Yossi Mendellevich, whose son Yuval was killed in a 2003 attack on a Haifa bus, aimed much of his criticism at last fall’s deal in which Israel traded 1,027 Palestinian prisoners for captive soldier Gilad Shalit.

“The view that we can’t abandon a live soldier, whom the state sent into battle and for whom it is responsible, can’t be on the same level as the protection of civilians, for if so, there would be no justification for endangering soldiers in battle,” Mendellevich said in his address on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, at Wednesday’s state ceremony for victims of terror.

What more needs to be said?


For the Christian Copts amounting to 10% of the population, the potential victory of Mohamed Morsi, a candidate backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, has sparked fears that the interests of non-Muslim minorities will be disregarded in favour of a stricter application of Shariah Law.

Presidential front-runner Mohamed Morsi, who has re-introduced the former Muslim Brotherhood slogan ‘Islam is the solution’, has in the past called for an Islamic scholar’s council to determine legislation, as well as advocating the exclusion of women and non-Muslims from political office.

Democracy and pluralism don’t go together in the Middle East. Oh I’m sure that if the Brotherhood takes over all the way, they will have some Christian representatives to trot out and tell the world that everything is fine. Most countries in the Middle East have them, those who have Jews, also have Jewish representatives. Those who only have Christians left, have Christian representatives. But either way they have people to reassure the world that there’s nothing to see here.


Has the left in the UK done to Jewish groups there what it did in the US? There’s an intriguing post here at the Adloyada blog on the subject.

For some time now, I’ve been concerned about the way things are going at the Board of Deputies. There seems to have been a bizarre case of covert left/Peace Now entryism, whereby, despite the predominantly small-c conservative and very pro-Israel outlook of the overwhelming majority of the membership and those they represent, the Presidency of the Board is now someone who is or was the leader of Peace Now UK; two of the most senior officers are either Peace Now supporters or signed up supporters of the Labour Party or the Liberal Party.


Corporal Abel Chennouf was French of Kabyle and Alsatian descent, born in Martigues (south of France) 1986 and moved with his family to Illzach (a town near Mulhouse, Alsace) in 1987. And he was a Catholic.
There is also another “part of the story that has received too little attention”: Loïc Liber, the third paratrooper shot in the throat and the spine by Mohamed Merah in Montauban is originally from the Guadeloupe islands… And a Catholic too.

So there appears to have only been one Muslim who was killed by Merah, two Catholics and a number of Jews.

So much for the narrative.


Romney donors ‘named and shamed’ by Obama camp
The Blaze
Friday, April 27, 2012
Romney donors ‘named and shamed’ by Obama camp
The Obama reelection team has publicly accused eight private citizens of “betting against America” and of having “less-than-reputable” records after they donated money to the Mitt Romney campaign. Read more…

Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz1tKkyZAU4
Mother of all waivers: Obama gives $192m to Palestinians
President Obama has lifted a ban on …
Read more…

Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz1tKlNsuLu

Voter ID law blocked for Walker recall election
Friday, April 27, 2012
Voter ID law blocked for Walker recall election
Wisconsin’s new voter ID law won’t apply to Gov. Scott Walker’s recall election, according to two appeals court rulings this week. Read more…

Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz1tKlBNBY4



You can learn a lot about a nation’s health by watching how it celebrates its national holidays. In Israel’s case, compare how we celebrated our 50th Independence Day in 1998 to what celebrations involve today.
During the 1990s, Israel’s elite took a vacation from reality and history and they brought much of the public with them.

Then-foreign minister Shimon Peres said that history was overrated. The so-called “New Historians,” who rummaged through David Ben-Gurion’s closet looking for skeletons, were the toast of the academic world. Radicals like Yossi Beilin, Shulamit Aloni and Avrum Burg were dictating government policy.

The media, the entertainment establishment, and the Education Ministry embraced and massively promoted plays, movies, television shows, songs, dances, art and books that “slayed sacred cows.” Everywhere you turned, post-Zionism was in. Post-Judaism was in. And Zionism and Judaism were both decidedly out.

As he is today, in 1998 Binyamin Netanyahu was prime minister, and then as now there were prominent voices seeking to blame him for the absence of peace and every other terrible blight on the planet.

In 1998, the government invested a fortune in marking Israel’s 50th Independence Day. The main official celebration was a massive affair called Jubilee Bells that took place at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem. More than 2,000 performers participated. But rather than serve as an event that unified Israeli society in celebration of 50 years of sovereign freedom, the event exposed just how far Israel’s political and cultural elite were willing to go in attacking basic societal values.

The Bat Sheva Dance Troupe was scheduled to participate in the program and present a dance set to the traditional Passover song “Ehad mi yodea,” (Who knows one). The song contains 13 stanzas that praise God, praise Jewish law, and outline the Jewish life cycle. In the number Bat Sheva was scheduled to perform, the dancers come on stage dressed as ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and by the end of the song, all they are wearing is underwear.

The choreography enraged members of Netanyahu’s cabinet including education minister Yitzhak Levy. They insisted that the program shouldn’t contain material that insulted sectors of Israeli society. The organizers tried to forge a compromise. But the dancers chose to boycott the festival. Israel’s cultural and media establishment expressed shock and horror at what they viewed as the government’s attempt to infringe on artistic freedom. The Association of Israeli Artists demanded that a public commission be formed to ensure that the government would be unable to interfere in artistic freedom in the future. Major cultural icons declared cultural war against religious Jews.




SECRETARY CLINTON:” Well, good afternoon, everyone. It’s a great pleasure for me to welcome Prime Minister Thaci back to Washington and here to the State Department. The prime minister has shown great leadership, and he has helped to promote democracy, stability, and the rule of law in Kosovo.”

In the latest issue of The Jewish Chronicle (UK) a polemicist by the name of Oliver Kamm takes The Jerusalem Post to task for publishing an article last February “by one Srdja Trifkovic claiming that US recognition of Kosovo was an advance for jihadism.” In a fact-free diatribe Kamm complains that the JP “did not mention that Trifkovic has described Srebrenica as ‘a myth based on a lie,’ the number of whose victims ‘remain[s] unknown and misrepresented’,” and adds:

To paraphrase the late Christopher Hitchens: it’s impossible to eat enough in order to vomit enough on reading such material. The Muslim populations of Bosnia and Kosovo bear as much relation to al-Qaeda as the Archbishop of Canterbury does to the snake-handling sects of Appalachia. Milosevic’s victims should be remembered. The truth about their fate should be defended.

“It is not just the equivalent of Holocaust denial,” Kamm goes on, “but the same fraudulent argument. It should be recognised and named for what it is: genocide denial.”

BEFORE WE REVISIT “Srebrenica,” let us deal briefly with Kamm’s interesting contention that the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo are immune to the well-known pursuits and obsessions of their coreligionists around the world.
“Frankfurt airport gunman jailed for life,” reported the BBC (among many others) on February 10. “A young Kosovan man who admitted shooting dead two US airmen at Frankfurt airport last year has been sentenced to life in prison,” the story went:



MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. — One of the world’s most prolific bootleggers of Hollywood DVDs loves his morning farina. He has spent eight years churning out hundreds of thousands of copies of “The Hangover,” “Gran Torino” and other first-run movies from his small Long Island apartment to ship overseas.

“Big Hy” — his handle among many loyal customers — would almost certainly be cast as Hollywood Enemy No. 1 but for a few details. He is actually Hyman Strachman, a 92-year-old, 5-foot-5 World War II veteran trying to stay busy after the death of his wife. And he has sent every one of his copied DVDs, almost 4,000 boxes of them to date, free to American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With the United States military presence in those regions dwindling, Big Hy Strachman will live on in many soldiers’ hearts as one of the war’s more shadowy heroes.

“It’s not the right thing to do, but I did it,” Mr. Strachman said, acknowledging that his actions violated copyright law.