While it is obviously unwise for anyone to put themselves in the middle of a combat zone, it is unlikely she would have acted so recklessly in the absence of a broader atmosphere of anti-Israeli hysteria.

A court in Haifa, Israel, has this morning found that the State of Israel was not responsible for the death of American citizen Rachel Corrie in Gaza in 2003. Corrie, 23, was killed by an Israeli armoured bulldozer while acting as a “human shield” in front of Palestinian buildings that the Israelis were demolishing for security reasons near the Egyptian border.

Corrie became an international cause célèbre after her death, but the essential finding underpinning the judgment — that the driver of the bulldozer had not seen her — was predictable, credible and fair. According to the Times of Israel, the driver testified that, from the cabin, he had a limited view of what was going on directly in front of him, a problem exacerbated by the fact that Corrie was kneeling down in front of the bulldozer’s blade.

While we agree with the judge that Corrie’s death was a “very unfortunate accident” it can hardly be disputed that he was also right in saying it was the “result of an accident she brought upon herself”. Tragically, indeed it was. She was effectively shielding terrorists in the very same area where attacks had been launched against the IDF just hours before her death.

But there is more to say than this. While it is obviously unwise for anyone to put themselves in the middle of a combat zone, it is unlikely she would have acted so recklessly in the absence of a broader atmosphere of anti-Israeli hysteria. At 23, she must, of course, be considered accountable for her actions, and for the views that led to them.

But neither must we forget the vast international network of anti-Zionist fanatics, buttressed by fellow travellers inside the mainstream, that helped encourage a naive young American woman to believe it was reasonable to head half way round the world to “defend” the Palestinians against Israeli “oppression”.

In the end, Rachel Corrie was a fool to go to Gaza, and the price she paid was far greater than she deserved. But that foolishness was embedded in an agenda of hate.It is now time for the authors of that agenda to acknowledge that they too must share some responsibility for Rachel Corrie’s death.

THE GUARDIAN…THE BEACON OF ISLAMIST JUSTICE? You’d be forgiven for glossing over The Guardian’s daily cartoon. We usually do. Today however, something caught our eye. In the cartoon by Nick Hayes, The Guardian illustrates its interpretation of yesterday’s Israeli court verdict that ruled that Rachel Corrie’s death in 2003 was accidental. The image, as you can see below, shows a […]


What’s the difference between a president and a can of Pepsi? When it comes to winning elections, the answer is very little. The 2008 election was not about issues, it was about image. Not just the image of the candidate, but the image of his brand.
In marketing terms, a brand is not just a label, it’s the way that the customer is meant to perceive the product and interact with it. Take the can of Pepsi. It doesn’t matter what’s actually in the can, you don’t have access to the full list of ingredients anyway. And if you did, it would take extensive research to even make sense of them. It’s not even about how the actual soda tastes. That matters, but not very much. All that really matters is how the customer perceives the brand. It’s not about the content. It’s only about how people view the brand.

From a marketing standpoint, it’s not what the product is, but how people perceive it in relation to themselves. This is an entirely image based approach, but a common one now. What that means is, is this a brand I want to be associated with. Do I want to be seen drinking this can of Pepsi? Is this a brand that makes me feel good about myself? Does it enhance my self-image?

The branding of American politics worked the same way. Obama was not sold as a set of positions and a track record, but as a brand. A brand that people were encouraged to feel enthusiastic about or at least comfortable with, using the same techniques that were used to sell soft drinks. Cheerful posters, meaninglessly simple slogans, celebrities, theme songs, merchandise, social media, viral videos, fonts, color schemes, logos and everything else that goes into pushing a billion dollar product from the shelves to the kitchen.

That transition took Hillary Clinton by surprise and hurt her most of all. Hillary had been working the party and the traditional campaign circuit, only to be sidelined by a media centered frenzy that centered around brands, not people. By the old political rules she should have won, but the new rules were in and they weren’t political anymore.

Few voters could really nail down the policy differences between Obama and McCain, a mistake that was in part McCain’s own fault and played into the image over substance approach of the Obama campaign. And those who couldn’t, mostly voted for the candidate they felt most comfortable being associated with. The election came down to a cultural split with the cultural weapons of mass distraction in the hands of an omnipresent media and social media empire.

There was no longer any point in discussing programs or issues. They had become details, like the fine print at the end of a television commercial that no one can read, and no one is meant to read. It’s there to fulfill an obligation, not to inform or play any meaningful role in the decision making process. All that mattered was the brand.


Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood Islamist leader, President Mohamed Morsi, recently rejected an invitation to visit Israel in an attempt to stabilize the cold peace his military predecessors brought about which has existed between the two countries for over three decades now.

Returning to hostile pre-treaty language, it was announced that he would reject setting foot in the Zionist entity. He did this soon after Egypt, under the guise of combating Sinai-based terrorists, injected tanks, other armored vehicles, and anti-aircraft batteries close to the lines which have demarcated the border with Israel since the treaty was signed in 1979…with the help of billions of dollars of modern equipment America itself has supplied Egypt with. There was no prior consultation with Israel in ignoring the heavy weapon demilitarized terms of the treaty, and the introduction of sophisticated anti-aircraft batteries can have only one target in mind–and it isn’t Arabic in origin. The temporary and mutually-agreed upon reintroduction of tanks could perhaps be explained–but why the anti-aircraft apparatus?

One after another, harsh, despotic, largely secular Arab regimes are falling to harsh, intolerant, despotic Islamist ones instead–all allegedly in the name of “democracy.”

While many wish otherwise, the sad reality is that such Islamist “democracy” will only translate into the tyranny of the majority. The model to look at is the non-Arab (yet Arabized) Iran of Ahmadinejad and the mullahs.

Time marches on.

No, I’m not going to next sing Tevye’s Sunrise, Sunset, but it is, nevertheless, a profound reality which forever humbles mortal man.

Princeton’s Iranian Agent of Influence The Cautionary Tale of Seyed Hossein Mousavian By Reuel Marc Gerecht As the Islamic Revolution has devoured its own, many Iranians have sought refuge in the West. After the fraudulent 2009 presidential elections and the crackdown that followed, the United States and Europe were flooded with Iranian pro-democracy dissidents and even pro-regime types who fell afoul of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s shrinking definition of “loyal.” […]

Due to time differences I am asleep while my e-pal David Singer, a prominent lawyer and international affairs expert writes and practices law in Sydney Australia, but David never sleeps.

His latest column:

“A new strategy to resolve the 130 years old Jewish-Arab conflict is urgently needed with the growing recognition that the “two-state solution” proposed by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap for the last 20 years is dead and buried .Dr. Carlo Strenger has recently expressed this view in an article entitled “Requiem for a two- state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.
Dr Strenger is Chair of the Clinical Graduate Program of the Department of Psychology at Tel Aviv University. He serves on the Permanent Monitoring Panel on Terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists, the Seminar of Existential Psychoanalysis in Zurich, and the Scientific Board of the Sigmund Freud Foundation, Vienna in addition to maintaining a part-time practice in existential psychoanalysis.

He is – and has been – a constant critic of the policies of Israel’s Government and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Dr Strenger’s summation of the current position is succinctly stated:

“I came to the conclusion that the two-state solution was dead at the end of 2011, when Abbas’ bid for recognition of Palestine by the UN failed. Ever since I published this assessment, friends and readers have asked what I suggest as an alternative. Some thought that I had finally moved to the extreme left’s endorsement of the one-state solution; others thought that I had moved to the right.

Neither is the case. There are moments when reality flies into your face, and in which you realize that your political program is no longer viable, even though you do not endorse any of the alternatives. I do not derive much comfort from being in good company: The remainders of Israel’s left pay lip service to the two-state solution, knowing that there is no longer a way to implement it.

My conversations with European diplomats and politicians generate the impression that the same holds true for Western Europe. For lack of an alternative to the two-state solution, European governments have not endorsed any alternative conception, but they are beginning to realize that the two-state solution won’t happen.”

Dr Strenger further confesses that he too “does not have any coherent strategy to propose.”

There is however a coherent strategy or alternative conception that can be pursued outside the options mentioned in his article – which Dr Strenger and Western Europe have failed to consider – focusing on Jordan – 78% of former Palestine.


Click here: Machine Gun Preacher – Maggie’s Farm
The 2011 film Machine Gun Preacher did not get wide play. It didn’t play into the memes that Hollywood pumps out and unashamedly awards itself for. This is a true story of as deep a violent, ex-con, drugged man as you never want to experience finding G-d and turning his life around, and making his family proud. Right there this film crosses (if you’ll pardon the expression) the effete critics who delight in films that disparage faith. However, the film further sins (again, if you’ll pardon the expression) as the man finds what turns into a higher purpose for his life, fighting, yes bloody real machine gun fighting, against the savage African army of Joseph Kony that slaughters, enslaves, performs ritual murders, forces young children to participate in northern Uganda and southern Sudan. In my belief, it is more important to G-d what we do for others and how we treat others than what pieties we mouth. That is what G-d desires of us. The man, Sam Childers, hocks almost everything he has built in the US, overruling his wife and daughter’s concerns for their own financial security, to build an orphanage in South Sudan, in the middle of the war zone, to shelter and protect hundreds of children and feed many hundreds more. In the process, Childers becomes disillusioned with the idea of relying on G-d to save the needy, and is adrift in figuring out how to be a man of principle and caring while having to be bloodthirsty in fighting Kony’s forces. Childers finds himself coming out of this flame (again, if you’ll pardon the expression) to being a decent person, at harmony with his family, and fighting as hard as ever against Kony’s thugs. To my faith, that is doing G-d’s will for us.

Stay watching the ending credits as Childers is totally unapologetic about what he does. For those who feel so safe that they feel they have the luxery of abhoring violence that is often necessary in the real world by real men (and women) this is the cardinal sin (yeah, again, if you’ll pardon the expression). No wonder, 77% of the 108 paid-to-be-professional critics who chirp together logged at Rotten Tomatoes disliked the film, but in the real world of the over 11,000 audience members who voted at Rotten Tomatoes 63% liked the film. You can now only get it on DVD or streaming, but it’ll be worth it. There is vulgarity at the start of the film, but stay tough for the tough truth in this film, people can only be safe when there are those who risk all.


Russian doctors gave up, but Israelis saved him. Doctors at Beersheba’s Soroka hospital saved the life of a 50-year-old Russian with a ruptured aorta who was flown from Moscow for highly complex surgery. A day later he was disconnected from most of the devices except for his iPod on which he was watching films.

Just skin and bone. After seven years’ research, Israeli scientists have discovered a defective protein responsible for the rare condition known as SOFT that causes abnormal growth in some people. The discovery aids pre-natal testing and knowledge of how skin and bone develop and interact during tissue development.

Tissue transplants may cure diabetes. Researchers at Israel’s Technion and Ben-Gurion University have engineered insulin-producing tissue, which lowers blood sugar levels when transplanted into animals.

Warm chemotherapy saves 10-year-old girl. This piece of news from May comes via a friend who just sent it to me. For the first time an Israeli child under 10 had a tumour successfully removed using “warm” chemotherapy infusion. The successful operation was performed at Schneider Children’s Medical Centre.

The paralysed may speak. Three Israeli professors have published the results of their work to record neurone patterns during speech attempts and converting these into computer-generated synthesised speech. It could help “locked in” syndrome sufferers such as Stephen Hawking.

Israel’s biotech assets – women. Women outnumber men in biology and related sciences in higher education in Israel. While most high-tech employees are male, women comprise 60 percent to 70 percent of the biotechnology workforce. And Israeli biotech start-ups have an edge because women work harder than men.

Israeli Mars instrument is really cool. (Thanks to IsraellyCool). Israel’s Ricor Cryogenic & Vacuum Systems manufactures the K508 Integral Stirling 1/2W Micro Cooler. This neat little device is currently optimising the temperature of NASA’s vital CheMin chemical analyser on the Red Planet.

Iron Dome designer now monitors crops. Daniel Gold was IDF’s director of research and development for the Iron Dome missile defence system. Now he is commercialising military technology for farming purposes by integrating ground sensors and airborne drones to monitor biology of the vegetation and regulate plant health.!/content/26441/agricultural_technology_080912

A very “green” school. Tel Aviv’s new Porter School of Environmental Studies is due to open in 2013. The EcoBuilding is built to LEED Platinum standards – the first in Israel. It has a roof garden; solar vacuum tubes to power air conditioners; “passive” wind ventilation; recycled water plus electric car and disabled parking only.

Solar power for New Orleans. Israel’s Solaredge has installed its advanced solar panels in a New Orleans neighbourhood that was rebuilt after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Survivors in the “River Garden Apartments” now live in a new and modern neighbourhood, enjoying Israeli technology at its best.

Full steam ahead. The Israel Electric Company has completed a new 375-megawatt steam and natural gas power station one month ahead of schedule. The Zafit power station, in the country’s south-central region, has been connected to the national grid and will reduce the risk of power cuts due the current heat wave.

New record for electric car. Israel’s Better Place car set a new record of 1172 miles driven on electric power over the course of 24 hours. It beat the 24-hour distance record of 994.14 miles set last month. The battery was changed every 75.8 miles, each taking just over a minute compared to a conventional 5-minute fuel refill.

Find a parking space at a touch of a button. Israeli start-up sPARK has finished raising the finance to launch its mobile parking application in October. At the touch of a button drivers will be able to use sPARK’s innovative technology to find spaces on the streets and in car parks.

WHY ISRAEL DOESN’T TRUST OBAMA The U.S. is harder on its ally than on Iran’s nuclear program. Barack Obama is fond of insisting that he “has Israel’s back.” Maybe he should mention that to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. In remarks to journalists in London quoted by the Guardian, General Martin Dempsey warned that any Israeli attack on […]

APPALLING! TWO CHILDREN BEHEADED IN AFGHANISTAN! KABUL, Aug 31 (Reuters) – An adolescent boy and a young girl have been beheaded in two separate incidents in Afghanistan, local officials and police said on Friday, in the latest brazen attacks that have raised fresh questions about a splintering Taliban. A 12-year-old boy was kidnapped and killed in southern Kandahar province on […]