Saturday, December 31, 2005

Great Christmas Presents of the 21st Century.

As as special tribute to our reader "Ösi-Piet", we are below presenting you another great Christmas Present...

Best Christmas Present ever.

Witty Wings Die-Cast Metal Model in 1:72 of an IAF F-15D "Baz", #706, nicknamed "Cochav haZafon" (Northern Star). The aircraft belongs to 106 Sqn ("Spear's Point Sqn") based in Tel Nof. It took part in the IAF's flypast over Auschwitz in September 2003. A picture of the original aircraft can be found in this book. Order the model here or here - I wouldn't trade mine even for a watch, car or a condo...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Season's Greetings

Berlin, December 15, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

Time to say Thanks.

This week is Thank a Soldier Week. Find out here how you can thank an American serviceman for his efforts on our behalf.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A Glimpse of Hell

The Berlin daily newspaper Tagesspiegel presents you the devil himself:
"Speaking directly from the Oval Office in the White House, US president George W. Bush has addressed the public." (Tagesspiegel, December 20, 2005. Hattip: JK)

Second Offender

He has done it again! The notorious psychotic goal keeper who enraged and entertained fans in Aachen two months ago used his acting talents to the utmost extent in yesterday's game against Rostock as well. This time he was deservedly rewarded for his performance by the referee who bestowed upon him the distinguished honor of being the first goal keeper in known history to receive a red card during a penalty shoot-out. Rock on!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ahmadinejad's Wet Dream

The Weekly Standard, December 19, 2005
(Thanks to JK.)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ray of Hope

If the Iranian Secret Service doesn't even know who Henryk Broder is, maybe Iran isn't that serious a threat after all...

From Iranian newspaper "Iran News":
Der Spiegel Supports President Ahmadinejad Comments

According to this government-run newspaper, an article written by Henryk M. Broder in Der Spiegel weekly has supported President Ahmadinejad’s comments about the Zionist regime.

The article stated that President Ahmadinejad had expressed a historical fact and no one can object to it, because tensions in the Middle East have not resulted from the massacre of Jews but because of Europeans’ anti-Semitism. The weekly added that a Jewish state should have been established in, for instance, the Schleswig-Holstein Province in northern Germany.

Update on December 20, 2005: It gets even better.

One Bridge too far.

John Frostbrug, Arnhem, December 13, 2005


A Tribute to all those Allied soldiers who died in Operation Market Garden, September 17 - 25, 1944. (Arnhem, December 13, 2005)


The spell has been broken: Alemannia Aachen won a game while I was in country - even watching the game live in the stadium. The 2 - 0 win against Burghausen was neither exciting nor a beautiful sight. But as they say: "It's such games you have to win..." The win assured that Alemannia finished the first half of the season leading the table. Au Hur!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Why we love Ajax Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Arena, Home of Ajax Amsterdam. Make sure to check out this site. (Thanks to Alex.)

Why we love Amsterdam most of all.

Amsterdam, December 12, 2005

Why we love Amsterdam, Part V

Amsterdam, December 11, 2005

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Why we love Amsterdam, Part IV

Amsterdam, December 12, 2005

Why we love Amsterdam, Part III

Amsterdam, December 11, 2005

Why we love Amsterdam, Part II

Amsterdam, December 12, 2005

Why we love Amsterdam, Part I

Amsterdam, December 12, 2005

There are no Coincidences.

Wow! My leaving the country during the time of difficult away games seems to really help Alemannia. Last time I was abroad, they beat VfL Bochum. And this time, while I was strolling through the streets of Amsterdam, they managed to become the this year's first team to take the three winning points from the stadium of SC Freiburg. After ten minutes it was already 2 - 0 for Aachen and stayed that way. "We" are now second in the overall ranking. Who would have thought that some two months ago!? Exhilarating.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Celebrating FIFA World Cup 2006

Read about the results of yesterday's draw for the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany.

Friday, December 09, 2005

A new Herzl?

Ahmadinejad: "For a Jewish State in Europe."
(Heute Journal, December 8, 2005).

Private News TV station n-tv used the same botched headline and began the dispatch thus: "Iranian President Ahmadinejad has argued for the creation of a Jewish state on German and Austrian soil." (Thanks again, Alex)

Bring it on!

For us Germans, Mr. Ahmadinejad's remarkable speech gives a whole new meaning to that classic postcard!

Also read what the Tehran Times is making of the ranting.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Checkpoint Murder

Today, an Israeli soldier was stabbed and killed at this checkpoint. Once again: Please consider making a donation to help Israeli victims of terrorism and their relatives here.

Rafah Border Crossing Update

As we noted earlier, Rafah border crossing is very popular with Palestinian Terrorists. It now turns out that there's one more reason for that. The Palestinian Authority has named the crossing in honor of one of the most deserving specimens of that breed:
November 2005: PA names recently opened Rafah border crossing with Egypt after Al-Moayed Al-Agha, who killed 5 Israelis in the area last year. To make clear the honor they are bestowing on Al-Agha, the PA erects a huge sign at border depicting an armed Al-Agha and a map of the entire State of Israel.

Soccer and Politics - again.

Here's what the Palestinian Football Association thinks about making peace with Israel:
The Palestinian FA plans to punish players under its jurisdiction for participating alongside Israelis in a "Peace Match" in Barcelona, an official said on Wednesday.

"The Palestinian FA will form a committee to investigate the players who participated in the match ... everyone involved will be punished," senior FA official Jamal Zaqout told Reuters.

"We act in accordance with the attitude of our people who are against normalisation (of relations with Israel) before the end of the occupation," Zaqout said, referring to Israel's hold over lands captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

“Hatovim le'tayis, Hatovot la'tayasim"*

This is what I mean when I call Israel the Land of the boundless Chuzpah:
Pilot who peeped into women's showers says he did it to alleviate pullout pains
by Hanan Greenberg

A naughty pilot with a creative excuse: An Air Force pilot suspended from duty after he was caught peeping into the women's showers at his base told army officials he engaged in the dubious activity because he "needed to alleviate pains" caused by his participation in the Gaza disengagement.

The IDF is now mulling whether to remove the pilot from the army.

The officer, a first lieutenant and a Tzofit aircraft pilot by training, serves at an army base in the heart of Israel. He was recently caught peeping - on two separate occasions - into the women's showers while female soldiers were taking a shower.

(...) the pilot surprised army officials by claiming that the rough mental experiences he underwent during the pullout from Gaza left him with heavy emotional baggage, and that he needed psychological treatment in order to deal with his problems after the evacuation was completed.

The officer explained that peeking into the showers helped him to "alleviate the pains” of disengagement.
*The headline says in Hebrew: "The best guys should be pilots, the best girls should be with pilots," an expression invented by Israel's Macho ex-President and legendary fighter pilot Ezer Weizman.

Balph Eubank in Action.

Harold Pinter is Balph Eubank. Here's what Ayn Rand has Mr. Eubank say in her novel Atlas Shrugged:
"Plot is a primitive vulgarity in literature," said Balph Eubank contemptuously.
Dr. Pritchett, on his way across the room to the bar, stopped to say, "Quite so. Just as logic is a primitive vulgarity in philosophy."
"Just as melody is a primitive vulgarity in music," said Mort Liddy.
"What's all this noise?", asked Lilian Rearden (...).
"Lilian, my angel," Balph Eubank drawled, "did I tell you that I am dedicating my new novel to you?" (...)
"What is the name of your new novel?" asked the wealthy woman.
"The Heart Is a Milkman."
"What is it about?"
It was only logical, extremely predictable and therefore boring that the author of The Room, The Birthday Party and The Dumb Waiter would use his Nobel lecture for insane anti-American rantings.

Living in Denial, updated.

While in Jerusalem, a member of the "Young Socialists", the youth organization of the German government party SPD, proudly handed me a flyer advertising the "Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem" whose self-proclaimed goal it is to "provide young Israelis and Palestinians with nonviolent and effective communication strategies." The center "orientates itself according to the ideas of the civic peace service in combination with social democratic values." On its cover, the flyer shows the symbols of all the parties and groups the center co-operates with: Young Socialists, Meretz, Awoda and Young Fatah.
If we take a closer look, we can see that only the symbol of one organization is not fully visible:

For the service of our readers, we are below publishing the complete symbol of Fatah, proudly showing two AK-47 assault rifles, a hand grenade and the shape of all of Palestine, including Israel, conveniently painted in the color of Islam. Might it be that this does not really fit the "ideas of the civic peace service?" On inquiry, my friend the Young Socialist explained: "They just took a picture of the pinboard." Judge for yourselves.

Update on November 29, 9:59 PM: Thanks to Henryk Broder, The Editrix, Politically Incorrect and Davids Medienkritik for linking to this post.
Update on December 8, 2005, 10:28 AM: Thanks to our reader "Paul Frenkel" for the following observation: "Incidentally, this coy circling around of the genocidal Fatah logo can also be found on the website of the Willy Brandt Center, on the 'about us' page. All the nice, sunny logos of meretz, young labor, young spd etc appear in little boxes. a similar looking fatah box also appears. it is a reduced, covered up version of the fatah logo, making the guns and the islamic-painted Western Land of Israel invisible. Guilty consciences, or just cynical manipulation? Check it out here." Also make sure to follow the link to the Fatah-Homepage. Revolution until victory.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

SoE had it first!

Well, normally I am really humble and unboastful. But today I have to say it: Spirit of Entebbe is ahead of its time and a real trendsetter! Make sure to check out the evil copycats' page...

Why we love John Bolton, Part III

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton issued a statement Tuesday unequivocally condemning the bomb attack in the Israeli town of Netanya that killed at least five people. The unusual action came after a U.S. attempt to have the statement issued by the Security Council was rejected.

He said "you have to speak up in response to these terrorist attacks. It's a great shame that the Security Council couldn't speak to this terrorist attack in Netanya, but if the Council won't speak, the United States will."
Source: Voice of America

Anti-Jewish Hatred in German Soccer Stadium

Some "fans" of soccer Club FC Cottbus reportedly displayed the banner pictured below during the game against Dynamo Dresden on Monday, December 5, 2005 (Read more about the game here). It says "Jews", with the D of the German word "Juden" being represented by the emblem of Dynamo Dresden. But no need to worry: As my friend the Young Socialist explained to me recently, Anti-Semitism really is not a pressing problem in Germany. The greater and all-embracing threat is Islamophobia. Boy, what a relieve. (Hattip: Alex)

Picture (c) 11 Freunde (thanks again to Alex)

Update on December 8, 2005: Endi had the story first. Also read this related article in Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Hezbollah's strategic Threat to Israel

The Middle East Quarterly brings you an excellent article on the strategic threat Hisbollah poses to Israel, including interesting information about the role played by Iran and Syria:
The Hezbollah missile threat to Israel has expanded not only in quantity but also in quality. In recent years, the group's operational artillery reach has grown. Experts and analysts generally put the Hezbollah rocket force somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 missiles. The heart of this arsenal remains rooted in Hezbollah's massive stocks—perhaps 7,000 to 8,000—of 107mm and 122mm Katyusha rockets, virtually all of which were supplied directly from existing Iranian army stocks. (…)

Of far greater concern to Israel than these antiquated and relatively short-range projectiles are Hezbollah's growing stocks of Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets. Iran began large-scale delivery of the Fajr-3 in 2000 and the Fajr-5 in 2002, with the approval of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Iranian cargo and passenger jets transport the weaponry from Iran to Damascus International Airport where they can be off-loaded by Hezbollah agents and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The weapons are then trucked to the Bekaa Valley. Other reports suggest some Iranian cargo flights land at Beirut International Airport, providing Hezbollah with a more direct supply route although this process may have changed with the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon and the change in Lebanese government.

We remember.

These are the victims of yesterday's atrocity in Netanya:
Alexandra Grimatzky, 65 years, Netanya.
Iliya Rosen, 38 years, Bat Hefer.
Daniel Golani, 45 years, Nahariya.
Haim Amram, 26 years, Netanya.
Kinan Tzumai, 20 years, Petah Tikva.
They will not be forgotten.
If you can, please consider donating to One Family Fund.

Thank You, Gianluca Zanna...

I just found a most remarkable song with extremely intelligent and nuanced lyrics on a French but friendly blog - and thought I'd share it with you as a St. Nicholas Day gift. Make sure to listen to it here!

Thank You America

(Music and Lyrics by Gianluca Zanna,
ASCAP copyrights 2003)

If today I don't have to speak German
and live under the third reich...
Hey... Thank you America

If today I don't have to speak Russian
and live under that red flag...
Hey... Thank you America

Thank You for everything
Thank you for all my dreams
Thank You yes I am free...
Thank You America

If today my wife doesn't have to hide her face and she can live like a woman...
Thank you, Thank you America

If today I can drink a beer and celebrate life with no fear...
Thank you America

Thank You for everything
Thank you for all my dreams
Thank You yes I am free...
Thank You America

If today I can choose my own God...

If today I can say what I think without looking behind my back...

If today I can be the owner of my present and dream about my future...
If today I am a free man in a free Country...
I want to say one more time...

Thank You for everything
Thank you for all my dreams
Thank You yes I am free...
Thank You America

And that one is even more outspoken...

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Davka achshav.

This Blog's Iran Policy

For those of you who read German, here's what I wrote about the Iran case in Jewish weekly Jüdische Allgemeine on November, 4, 2004. An old text, but still up-to-date.

Debatte: Sollte Israel Irans Atomprogramm notfalls militärisch stoppen?


Als allerletzter Ausweg

Der Staat Israel wird nie zulassen, dass Irans radikalislamische Mullahs in den Besitz der Atombombe gelangen. Der Iran ist Israels selbsterklärter Todfeind. Die Machthaber in Teheran unterstützen Hisbollah, Hamas, Islamischen Dschihad und Terroristen im Irak mit Geld, Waffen und Ausbildung. Ein nuklear aufgerüsteter Schurkenstaat mit besten Kontakten zu islamistischen Terroristen ist ein Alptraum für die gesamte zivilisierte Welt. Die Idee, der Iran benötige die Atomtechnik zur Stromerzeugung, ist abwegig: Das Land verfügt über die zweitgrößten Erdölreserven weltweit.

Aufschluss über die wirklichen Absichten bieten Aussagen der Staatsführung. So drohte bereits im Dezember 2001 der zweitmächtigste Mann des Iran, Ex-Präsident Rafsandschani: „Wir werden den Staat Israel mit einem Nuklearschlag aus der Mitte der arabischen Welt ausspeien.“ Israel kann einem neuen Holocaust nicht tatenlos zusehen. Es muss sein völkerrechtlich verbrieftes Selbstverteidigungsrecht ausüben und nach einem Scheitern aller anderen Optionen die iranischen Nuklearanlagen präventiv angreifen.

Dass es nicht so weit kommt, liegt im Interesse der Weltgemeinschaft. Vor allem die Europäische Union ist aufgefordert, die Krise mit kraftvoller Diplomatie friedlich zu lösen. Bisher hat das Verhandlungsgeschick der Europäer jedoch keinen Erfolg gezeigt. Am Tag vor dem jüngsten Treffen mit den Europäern feuerte Teheran demonstrativ eine Shahab-3-Rakete ab und wies anschließend die Angebote der Europäer zurück – obwohl diese viel Zuckerbrot und wenig Peitsche enthielten: Handelsabkommen, nukleare Kooperation und Aufwertung des Iran als Partner in der Weltpolitik für einen Verzicht auf Urananreicherung. Die Bemühungen der EU können deshalb als gescheitert gelten. Am 25. November tritt nun die Atomenergiebehörde IAEA in Sachen Iran zusammen und wird hoffentlich eine neue Stufe der Konfliktregelung beschließen: Der Fall muss vor den UN-Sicherheitsrat.

Dort könnte dann eine sanktionsbewehrte Resolution gegen den Iran verabschiedet werden. Ein Einlenken bliebe jedoch ungewiss. Die Resolution könnte sogar kontraproduktiv wirken, wenn der Iran sie zum Anlass nimmt, die IAEA aus dem Land zu werfen und fortan im gänzlich Verborgenen an der Bombe zu basteln.

Es bliebe dann nur eine Antwort: Regime Change. Sollte sich als Folge einer UN-Entscheidung die Böswilligkeit des Iran endgültig erweisen, könnten auch die EU, Russland und andere Staaten diese von den USA gewünschte Option unterstützen. Dies würde eine Kampagne zur Delegitimierung des iranischen Regimes und zur offenen Unterstützung der iranischen Opposition erfordern.

Sollte der gewünschte Machtwechsel nicht schnell genug erfolgen, bliebe Israel eine erprobte Möglichkeit, den Bau der Bombe weiter hinauszuzögern: Sabotage.

Bereits 1979 beschädigte der Mossad in Frankreich Nuklearmaterial für den Irak. Die Geschichte zeigt jedoch, dass Sabotage ein Atomprogramm nur verzögern, nicht aber stoppen kann. Kommt es nicht in der Zwischenzeit zu einem Regierungswechsel, ist der Nutzen gering.

Sollten Sanktionen, Regime Change und Sabotage nicht in der Lage sein, den iranischen Antisemiten die Atombombe zu entreißen, dann werden eines Tages israelische Jagdbomber mit bunkerbrechenden Bomben in Richtung Iran starten müssen. Gut möglich, dass Israel auch seine Cruise Missiles einsetzen wird. Sollte es mit einem Angriff nicht gelingen, die weitverstreuten Produktionsstandorte und damit das Atomprogramm zu zerstören, so werden weitere Angriffe folgen müssen. Bis die atomare Gefahr im Iran beseitigt ist.

Auf einen iranischen Gegenschlag mit Raketen ist Israel mit seinem Abwehrsystem „Arrow“ besser vorbereitet als jedes andere Land der Erde. Dennoch würde ein israelischer Präventivschlag vermutlich auf beiden Seiten viele Opfer fordern und unabsehbare Folgen für die zukünftige Entwicklung des Nahen Ostens haben. Es ist deshalb die dringende Pflicht der gesamten Weltgemeinschaft, zu verhindern, dass es so weit kommt. Und zwar schnell.

Take Note, Bibi.

So Benjamin Netanyahu says he "will continue the legacy of Menachem Begin" and bomb the Iranian atomic program, should he be elected Prime Minister. Well, loose talk is not really what Begin stood for. If you want to bomb the reactors - just do it, but don't announce it in advance. Such behavior will only endanger Israeli aircrews and diminish Israel's power of deterrence should the attack not be carried out.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Shape of Things to Come

The International Herald Tribune has an excellent article on multiculturalism in Berlin. Apparently, it's only a matter of time when France-style riots will brake out in Germany, too. Read it all.
There is a new wall rising in Berlin. Looking over that wall, one sees the parallel world of the Islamic suburbs. It's a world in which women, unlike some Muslim women in Europe who have risen to expansive lives, are still subject to arranged marriages and the control of their families.
To cross this wall you have to go to the city's central and northern districts, to Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Wedding, and you will find yourself in a world unknown to most Berliners.
Until recently, most held to the illusion that living together with some 300,000 Muslim immigrants and children of immigrants was basically working.
Take Neukölln. The district is proud of the fact that it houses citizens of 165 nations. Some 40 percent of these, by far the largest group, are Turks and Kurds; the second-largest group consists of Arabs. (...)
Stefanie Vogelsang, a councilwoman from Neukölln, says that residents talk about "our Turks" in an unmistakably friendly way, although they are less friendly when it comes to Arabs, who arrived after the Turks, often illegally.
But tolerance of Muslim immigrants began to change in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. Parallel to the declarations of "unconditional solidarity" with Americans by the German majority, rallies of another sort were taking place in Neukölln and Kreuzberg.
Bottle rockets were set off from building courtyards, a poor man's fireworks: two rockets here, three rockets there.
Altogether, hundreds of rockets were shooting skyward in celebration, just as most Berliners were searching for words to express their horror.
For many German residents in Neukölln and Kreuzberg, Vogelsang recalls, that was the first time they stopped to wonder who their neighbors really were. (...)

"The attacks in London," Ates says, "were in the eyes of many Muslims a successful slap in the face to the Western community. The next perpetrators will be children of the third and fourth immigrant generation, who, under the eyes of well-meaning politicians, will be brought up from birth to hate Western society."

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Missed Opportunity

As every fan of Aachen knows from painful experience, Alemannia seldom misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Had Rösler scored in the 26th minute or had Schlaudraff made use of that chance in the 75th - Alemannia would be the leading team in the second league right now. But enough of counterfactual history. Aachen reached a 2 - 2 draw in yesterday's game against Siegen, putting the team back on position 4 in the overall ranking. The next game - next week in Freiburg - will be a make-or-break game, deciding whether Alemannia will hibernate in warm and cosy regions or drop down to mediocrity. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 02, 2005

More bad News for Mr. Ahmadinejad.

Of what use is an A(nti-semitic)-Bomb if it never gets to Israel? Yedioth Achronoth reports:
Israel successfully tests Arrow
The Israel Defense Forces carried out a successful test of the Arrow anti-missile system on Thursday in a secret location in the center of the country, the army said. The Arrow batteries intercepted a ballistic test missile and destroyed it in what experts described as the most complicated interception test carried out by the military so far. (...)

The army said preparations for the complicated maneuver had been going on for a long time, refuting any connection between Iran's nuclear activity and the Arrow test.

Picture (c) IAI

Why we love John Bolton, Part II

My favorite professor (who incidentally looked just like the man on the left) used to say: "The UN is a circus - so you bring in the clowns." With the arrival of John Bolton, however, those days have been ended unilaterally. As my favorite professor also used to say a lot: "I am delighted!"

Rafah - Terrorists' preferred Border Crossing

Israel's leading Hebrew daily newspaper Yedioth Achronoth published an interesting article on the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt yesterday. Apparently, what is being praised in the German media as a sign of hope and an example of European effectiveness in maintaining Palestinian human rights and assuring Israeli security at the same time, actually aids and abets terrorists. Below is an English abstract of the text.
The Situation at the Rafiah Crossing - Total Neglect
(by Yossi Yehoshua)
Less than a week has gone by since the Rafiah crossing was opened between Gaza and Egypt and the Israeli security establishment is extremely worried by the new reality, which was defined Wednesday by a senior security source as "total neglect." Army sources argue that because of pressure by Secretary of State Rice, the agreement had been signed too hurriedly, without providing an answer to Israeli security needs.
According to the Israeli understanding of the agreement, the Israeli-Palestinian joint command center was supposed to obtain comprehensive information about whomever is passing from Gaza to Egypt and the reverse. In actuality, since the crossing has been opened, Israel only receives pictures of whomever is crossing and only eight minutes or so later information arrives about the identity of the person passing through. In that time, it is possible to go through the crossing without Israeli security authorities knowing the identity of the person. A senior member of the General Security Services remarked: "It's like watching a movie without any voice or subtitles."
After raising the matter with the EU representative, it became clear that there was no common understanding. The EU's Italian general argued that he doesn't recognize a requirement to pass on data to Israel in real time. Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, who heads the political-military section of the Ministry of Defense, stated that the critical clause exists: "With this situation, the agreement is worthless." (Yedioth Achronoth, December 1, 2005)
No wonder that several leading Hamas figures have already entered the Gaza Strip through the well-guarded Rafah crossing.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Cool Credit Card

If you think about getting a new credit card, make it this one. I however doubt that the related advertisement campaign will be able to compete with this classic: