Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Up yours, Europe! Shimon Peres (of all people) says: Arik Sharon is the only leader who can lead Israel to peace. LeChaim!

The one and only permissible W Joke.

I have been swamped in the last few days with E-mails from oh-so-funny people advising me to type the word "failure" in Google and klick on "I'm feeling lucky." The result is neither funny nor new. People first got on my nerves with it back in 2002. So, once and for all, I am making it known that there is only one George W. Bush joke that is really funny and permissible on this website (see below). Unsolicited sending of all other stuff insulting my sense of humor will be prompted with an immediate breaking off of all social contacts with that person. Thank you for your understanding.
(We take you now to the Oval Office.)

George: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?

Condi: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.

George: Great. Lay it on me.

Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.

George: That's what I want to know.

Condi: That's what I'm telling you.

George: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?

Condi: Yes.

George: I mean the fellow's name.

Condi: Hu.

George: The guy in China.

Condi: Hu.

George: The new leader of China.

Condi: Hu.

George: The Chinaman!

Condi: Hu is leading China.

George: Now whaddya' asking me for?

Condi: I'm telling you Hu is leading China.

George: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?

Condi: That's the man's name.

George: That's who's name?

Condi: Yes.

George: Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of China?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the Middle East.

Condi: That's correct.

George: Then who is in China?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir is in China?

Condi: No, sir.

George: Then who is?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir?

Condi: No, sir.

George: Look, Condi. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.

Condi: Kofi?

George: No, thanks.

Condi: You want Kofi?

George: No.

Condi: You don't want Kofi.

George: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N.

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.

Condi: Kofi?

George: Milk! Will you please make the call?

Condi: And call who?

George: Who is the guy at the U.N?

Condi: Hu is the guy in China.

George: Will you stay out of China?!

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.

Condi: Kofi.

George: All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone.

(Condi picks up the phone.)

Condi: Rice, here.

George: Rice? Good idea. And a couple of egg rolls, too. Maybe we should send some to the guy in China. And the Middle East. Can you get Chinese food in the Middle East?

Our Allies.

Michael Yon brings you the pictures from Iraq you won't see in the Mainstream Media.

Also read this excerpt from an E-mail a friend of mine send me while he was serving as a soldier in Iraq:
I am in Iraq. What a trip it was. (...) The convoy commander (...) swore like a trucker, because, well ... she was. Girls who swear are cool because they remind me of mom :) (...)

About 11am, I crossed the berm. (...) I guess I was kind of hoping for a sign, "Welcome to Iraq. Keep our highways clean." Rather, it was noticeable only in the fact that the visible standard of living plummeted. Mud houses, out houses, and satellite dishes. This was southern Shia Iraq, one of the poorer regions, and often repressed by Saddam Hussein.

Leading up the berm that separates Iraq and Kuwait, there are signs spray painted on jersey barriers. Most of them read along the lines of this, "Don not throw food or water from vehicles. Uniform Code of Military Justice punishable offense." When you cross into Iraq, you understand the reason for the signs. The road was lined with small kids, giving the thumbs up, smiling and shouting for MREs (our field rations). To the average American soldier, smiling kids (especially ones who looked like they could use a good meal) warrants a gift of at least your candy, if not your whole meal. While the American soldier is incredibly fierce in battle, he/she is also incredibly compassionate. Many soldiers are fathers themselves and were reminded of their own kids. It was very hard for other soldiers and myself not to make a gift of our food or water.
The signs were a testament to this. However, the big picture is that we don't want kids running out in the road to get tossed MRE's when there are trucks moving around. So, I guess the signs have a point.

Everyday Life in Ramallah

I am grateful to MEMRI for putting my picture posts on everyday life in Ramallah into perspective. Today, MEMRI reports about a lovely demonstration held by Al Jazeera staff members (you know, that really neutral TV station from the Middle East that brings you all the reliable and unbiased information) in that Palestinian city. See the movie here.

Demonstrator: Down with fascist America.

Crowd: Down with fascist America.

Demonstrator: And with the terrorist administration.

Crowd: And with the terrorist administration.

Demonstrator: And with the criminal ideas.

Crowd: And with the criminal ideas.

Demonstrator: And with the destructive policies.

Crowd: And with the destructive policies.

Demonstrator: With the Sharonist Bushism.

Crowd: With the Sharonist Bushism.

Demonstrator: This channel is for all people.

Crowd: This channel is for all people.

Demonstrator: This channel is for all people.

Crowd: This channel is for all people.

Demonstrator: George Bush has no feelings.

Crowd: George Bush has no feelings.

Demonstrator: George Bush has no feelings.

Crowd: George Bush has no feelings.

Demonstrator: This channel is for all people.

Crowd: This channel is for all people.

Demonstrator: He should collapse and be trampled on.

Crowd: He should collapse and be trampled on.

Demonstrator: Oh my comrade, oh my friend.

Crowd: Oh my comrade, oh my friend.

Demonstrator: George Bush is not normal.

Crowd: George Bush is not normal.

Demonstrator: Oh my comrade, oh my friend.

Crowd: Oh my comrade, oh my friend.

Demonstrator: George Bush is not normal.

Crowd: George Bush is not normal.

Demonstrator: He is the real criminal.

Crowd: He is the real criminal.

Demonstrator: Al-Jazeera, with cleverness.

Crowd: Al-Jazeera, with cleverness.

Demonstrator: With its experience and expertise.

Crowd: With its experience and expertise.

Demonstrator: Has exposed Bush and (his) despicability.

Crowd: Has exposed Bush and (his) despicability.

Fair and balanced, no doubt about it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Great Moments in TV history

It was on again today: The Holiday Armadillo explains Chanukkah. An instant classic.

Update on November 30, 12:37 PM: My brother apparently is not a fan of Friends.

Isn't it ironic...

Now that my book on the botched Israel reporting of Der Spiegel has apparently gone out of print you can order it in Der Spiegel's own online bookstore.

Israel Day - save the Date.

Oren of "I like Israel" asked me to publish the below appeal on my website - which I am wholeheartedly doing.

Come May. It’s Time for Israel Day.

ILI – the I LIKE ISRAEL International Movement – is a Think Tank that was founded in Germany, four years ago. ILI coordinates, qualifies and mobilizes pro-Israel organizations in Germany, Europe and worldwide.

ILI´s cardinal project is the “Israel Day”: a public celebration of Yom Ha´azmaut. In May 2005 the “Israel Day” was launched in 30 cities worldwide, with more than 50.000 participants.

The Israel Day was created with one primary goal in mind. To give opinion leaders, politicians, medias and societies a mighty and clear message: There is huge solidarity for Israel all over. Millions of people love Israel. What people? Those who are neither manipulated by the media nor intimidated by terrorist threats.

For 2006 we are determined to double the number of cities hosting the Israel Day to 60. Our goal for 2010: 200 cities.

Iran´s president Ahmadinejad´s words once again prove the importance of bringing Jewish and non Jewish, political and social groups together in the case for Israel.

Send an email to and find out how ILI will support you in launching Israel Day in your city, wherever you are.

We will keep you updated on ILI.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Living in Denial.

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.

Luck favors the Bold.

This is pure euphoria! Alemannia Aachen beat direct rival Paderborn 2:1, advancing - at least temporarily - to third place, which in the end would allow relegation to the Bundesliga. Once again, Alemannia scored the decisive goal very late in the game. It seems that this season "we" have all the luck one needs to be successful - unlike last year with all its tragedies (just think of Cologne and Alkmaar!).

Welcome back to Germany!

Munich Airport, November 20, 2005

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Picture-perfect Beach Boys

Beach Promenade, Tel Aviv, November 19, 2005

Mural Meeting

Tel Aviv, November 19, 2005

Smile around the Corner

Tel Aviv, November 19, 2005

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Tel Aviv, November 19, 2005

Sexy Sale

Tel Aviv, November 18, 2005

The Epicenter of Israeli Coolness

Sheinkin Street, Tel Aviv, November 18, 2005

Friday, November 25, 2005

Shabat Shalom.

Tel Aviv, November 18, 2005

Arts and Crafts Festival

Nachalat Binyamin Street, Tel Aviv, November 18, 2005

Let me entertain you!

94-year-old song-and-dance man, Tel Aviv, November 18, 2005

Wait to be seated.

Sheinkin Street, Tel Aviv, November 18, 2005

Friday Afternoon Rush

Allenby Street/Kikar Magen David, Tel Aviv, November 18, 2005

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Field Day

Ceremony for Yitzhak and Lea Rabin, Har Herzl, Jerusalem, November 14, 2005

Sunset, well-protected

Har Herzl, Jerusalem, November 14, 2005

Couldn't have said it better.

From the Jerusalem Post:
A Sharon strategist said: "This is a race between a proven leader like Sharon, who thinks things through and knows what he is doing, and an extreme leftist, inexperienced, strike instigator with a mustache."

Am Israel Chai.

Western Wall, Jerusalem, November 18, 2005

Another Reason to love Israel

Jerusalem, November 17, 2005 (Remember our previous post?)

Balagan in a Correspondent's Home

Jerusalem, November 17, 2005

Why we love John Bolton.

The Jerusalem Post reports on the UN Security Council's unprecedented condemnation of Monday’s Hizbullah attacks on northern Israel:
This condemnation - slamming Hizbullah by name for “acts of hatred” - marked the first time the Security Council has ever reprimanded Hizbullah for cross-border attacks on Israel. The condemnation followed by two days a failed attempt to get a condemnation issued on Monday, the day of the attack, when Algeria came out against any mention of Hizbullah in the statement.

When asked what changed from Monday to Wednesday, one diplomatic official replied: “John Bolton,” a reference to the US ambassador to the UN. Bolton lobbied vigorously for the passage of the statement.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Humble Desire

This is what I want for christmas. Please feel free to make a donation using the paypal button on my sidebar. Thanks.

Air Mail from Israel.

The people of Beirut received some nice greeting cards today. Return Address: "The State of Israel." (The F-15I is probably the fastest and most sexy mailman there has ever been.)

"Die Mauer muss weg!" - Palestinian Style

Kalandia Checkpoint, November 17, 2005

Afternoon Shopping Spree

Ramallah, November 17, 2oo5

Ramallah Fried Chicken

Ramallah, November 17, 2005

This is what they call a "Refugee Camp."

Kalandia Refugee Camp, November 17, 2005. People who live here (or their ancestors) left their homes in 1948. Check out this previous post to get a grip on the issue of the "refugees forever."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Shakehands in the Shadow of the Wall.

Kalandia, November 17, 2005

You are now entering PA territory.

Kalandia Checkpoint, November 17, 2005
(For more information on that particular checkpoint, check out this excellent site.)

Dan Schueftan Memorial Wall

Between A-Ram and Kalandia, November 17, 2005

On the Road to Ramallah.

Driver's view, between A-Ram and Kalandia, November 17, 2005

Monday, November 21, 2005

Pictorial Travelogue

I spent the previous week in Israel attending a fine conference called "Dialogue in Action," hosted by the World Union of Jewish Students. In an excellent subsequent fact finding mission we visited Jerusalem, Haifa, the Druze village of Osfiya, Tel Aviv and Ramallah. In the next few days, this blog will be dedicated to presenting you the best pictures taken during the tour. They will offer you a surprising, unusual and sometimes funny view of everyday life in the greatest country there is. Enjoy!
Picture: Tel Aviv, November 2005
(I hold the copyright to all the pictures, unless indicated otherwise. If you want to use any for commercial purposes, please contact me first.)

News from Schlumpfhausen

This one's for the great people of Abu Ghosh/Israel: See the Smurfs of the Middle East in action! (Thanks to BierhalunkenBlog.)

Bundesliga, we're coming!

What a homecoming! During my absence, Alemannia Aachen beat top-favorite Vfl Bochum 4-1 in his own stadium! Winning in this key game got Alemannia back on track for the aspired promotion to the first German league. Maybe my stay in the Holy Land did the trick?!

Friday, November 11, 2005

On the Boats and on the Planes...

Dear Readers,
there will be no new posts in the following week, because I'll be in Israel for a few days. One topic of the conference I am attending is called "Models for dialogue in Jerusalem" - something tells me it's not going to be what I had hoped it would be at first sight...

This song will probably be in my ear throughout the flight (thanks, JK):

written by: Neil Diamond
We’ve been travelling far
Without a home
But not without a star

Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream

On the boats and on the planes
They’re coming to America
Never looking back again
They’re coming to America

Home, don’t it seem so far away
Oh, we’re travelling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home, to a new and a shiny place
Make our bed, and we’ll say grace
Freedom’s light burning warm
Freedom’s light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They’re coming to America
Every time that flag’s unfurled
They’re coming to America

Got a dream to take them there
They’re coming to America
Got a dream they’ve come to share
They’re coming to America

They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
Today, today, today, today, today

My country ’tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
Of thee I sing
Of thee I sing

Peres bewitched?

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Shimon Peres's defeat, again, this time at the hands of Amir Peretz, was so dumbfounding and astonishingly unexpected that some people with a religious bent are turning to metaphysics to make sense of it.

A fascinating piece.

Dietary Advice

Shopping for Palestine

Since Christmas is fast approaching, we are today presenting you the site for elegant needles and pins. I especially like the "Politburo PFLP Pin" and the "One Struggle pin (Palestine and Ireland)"! Get one now - you'll be in very good company! (Wow, I always wondered where Arafat got all those fantasy medals on his mock uniform!)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Today's dumbest Article...

...appeared in "The Guardian" (last week already, that is):
"Israel is deploying a terrific new tactic against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by letting loose deafening 'sound bombs' that cause widespread fear, induce miscarriages and traumatise children. (...) The Palestinian health ministry says the sonic booms have led to miscarriages and heart problems. (...) Over the past week, Israeli jets created 28 sonic booms by flying at high speed and low altitude over the Gaza Strip, sometimes as little as an hour apart through the night. During five days in late September, the air force caused 29 sonic booms. (...) The number of miscarriages had increased by 40%, according to Jumaa Saqqa, a surgeon and hospital spokesman."
Wonder whether those anecdotal figures would stand the test of any scientific examination... Make sure to read Honest Reporting's reaction. And keep our recent post in mind.

Tale of a Flag

When I recently approached Eilat via the mountain road, I was greeted by what must be one of the largest flags in the world: Mounted on a giant pole in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba, it could be seen all across the bay, dominating the whole view. Interestingly, that 136m x 44m flag is not the banner of the state of Jordan, but the royal flag of the ruling Hashemite dynasty. According to Debka, the flag is sending a message to Al Qaeda and its Wahhabist mentors in Saudi Arabia, namely: "The true and historic messengers of the Prophet Mohammed and his teachings are not Al Qaeda but the Hashemites by virtue of shared ancestry and long rule in holy places."

Today we salute the spirit of this flag and the royal house of the Jordanian Hashemites, who have been allies to Israel and the US for decades. Last night, this alliance cost Jordan dearly. But we are certain that King Abdullah will stay firm - and the flag of Aqaba will go on waving.

Eilat, August 2005

Rush to the Newsstands...

...and get your copy of TIME Magazine while you can. The European edition comes with this fine promotional supplement, courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Tourism (that website is apparently too cool for Firefox...):

Law of Peres

Even if the whole world collapses, one rule will remain firm: Shimon Peres cannot win an election.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Kind of Chicks we like.

Rome, November 3, 2005 (Picture via ILI)

"Revolution in France"

Daniel Pipes, too, wrote an enlightening article on the French Intifada.

Drawing the Line.

Prepare yourselves - once again - for early elections in Israel. According to the Jerusalem Post, Ariel Sharon will seek a mandate for determining the future borders of the State of Israel:

"There is no doubt that Sharon wants to draw the borders," one adviser said. "Sharon thinks that only he can do it because he knows the land and this is his historic mission. He looks around and sees no other potential Israeli leader who can do it. It will be difficult, but it's what the nation wants and it's what the world wants."

War in Europe

Mark Steyn wrote the definitive article on the Paris Intifada.

Chef's Suggestion

This astonishing picture alone by the peerless Katsuhiko Tokunaga should be reason enough to buy the current issue of Combat Aircraft magazine. (The articles on the AH-64I Saraf and the IAF Wings Parade are worth the money, too.) Picture (c) Katsuhiko Tokunaga/Combat Aircraft

Constant Dripping

Another example of media torture yesterday evening: Public Broadcasting station ZDF reported on the State of Emergency imposed on parts of France. The reporter asked in a shocked voice: "How are the immigrant children to understand this? Does France want to treat them like they did treat their parents 50 years ago?" Remarkably, this portion of the report was illustrated with footage showing the baffled and helpless immigrant children smashing a car's window, jumping on its roof, throwing stones at the police and burning other cars.

See it for yourselves here, 2:15 into the show.

The good thing about this newest brainwashing attempt: This time, France is at the receiving end of the treatment normally only Israel, the US and capitalists get.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"They will hear all of us soon."

Here's a story that will please your ear: When I first heard about the attempted terrorist attack on the cruise ship "Seabourn Spirit" off the coast of Somalia, I was told the ship was able to flee because its captain simply hit the accelerator. Another aspect of the truth that is now emerging is way more spectacular: When the "pirates" fired RPGs and machine guns (!), the ship's crew reacted - with a SONIC WEAPON! That cool gadget is called a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) and according to AP was originally developed for the U.S. military after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching U.S. warships:

The military version is a 45-pound, dish-shaped device that can direct a high-pitched, piercing tone with a tight beam. Neither the LRAD's operators or others in the immediate area are affected.

American Technology, based in San Diego, compares its shrill tone to that of smoke detectors, only much louder. It can be as loud as about 150 decibels, while smoke alarms are about 80 to 90 decibels.

That story somehow reminds me of my favorite cartoon:

Boots on the Ground

Paratroopers in Jerusalem, May 2001