Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hunted Hunter

Good news from Iraq:
Iraq: Sunni Insurgents Turning Against Al-Zarqawi

On 23 January, tribal and nationalist insurgent leaders in Samarra announced that they would send armed groups to hunt down Al-Qaeda members in the city in a campaign similar to one launched last month following the assassination of Albu-Baz tribal leader Hikmat Mumtaz, London's "Al-Hayat" reported on 24 January. Hundreds of Iraqis demonstrated in Samarra against Al-Qaeda on 24 January, and reports indicated that many Al-Qaeda loyalists had fled to nearby Diyala Governorate.

Lord of the Rings, Part II

Further proof that Gimli has been with Zahal through the ages:

Found in: Barkay, Mordechay (1963): Zahal - Bitachon Israel.

A bright spot in Chemnitz

Chemnitz, January 29, 2006

Lost one

For the first time in more than three months, Alemannia Aachen lost a game yesterday. The first half in Karlsruhe was a shame, with no resistance on Alemannia's side to be seen. The second half wasn't that much better - but Florian Bruns' 1:2 goal is sure to compete for "Goal of the Month." As they say in Block S: "Sch...egal, sch...egal, sch...egal!" The time for compensation is on Sunday, February 5, 3 PM.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Hitler elected to the Palestinian Parliament

No kidding - read the story here.

The Downside of being Chancellor

Picture (c) Handelsblatt/AFP

That was fast - Hamas becomes moderate!

The European Union's dreams are already coming true: HAMAS is taking a more moderate stand! As Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar explained, the terrorist organization might refrain from attacking Israel for some 10 years - if only the Jewish State changed its flag. That's not asking too much for peace, we at SoE thank Zahar and admire his out of the box thinking. That's just what is needed to get out of the gridlock in the Middle East Peace Process!
Zahar: Israel must change its flag

Asked if a Hamas-led Palestinian government would accept Israel's right to exist, Zahar responded, "The question should be answered first by Israel, because they are not accepting us, except as minority, not the owner of the land."

If Israel would concede to Zahar's stipulations then, Zahar said, the Palestinians would be willing to allow a 10-15 year trial ceasefire "in order to see what the real intention of Israel [was] after that."

The several conditions Zahar named included a demand that Israel change its flag. "Israel must remove the two blue stripes from its national flag," said Zahar. "The stripes on the flag are symbols of occupation. They signify Israel's borders stretching from the Euphrates River to the Nile River."

Would you buy a Car from this Guy?

Leipzig, January 29, 2006

Impressions from Eastern Germany

All pictures: Chemnitz, January 29, 2006

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Today's big "Thank You"

...goes to the Palestinians - for showing their true colors.

Photo (c) AP

"The Final War"

Al Jazeera reports:
Iran's Ahmadinejad Meets Hamas Leaders in Damascus

Speaking to Hamas leaders in Damascus on Friday, Iranian President Ahmadinejad said that the Middle East conflict has become "the locus of the final war" between Muslims and the West, Iran's official news agency IRNA reported.
During his visit to Syria, Ahmadinejad told Hamas leaders, who included Khalid Mashal, the head of the group's political bureau, "Today, victory in Palestine has become a matter of life and death for the Islamic world."
The Iranian president called on all Islamic states to make use of their economic potential to "cut the hand of the enemies."
Let's give the Iranians nuclear weapons and recognize Hamas as a decent political partner. Or else, both might get angry and turn into extremists or even genocidal anti-Semites!

Why you should never ask an Actor

TIME Magazine quotes Forest Whitaker, who plays Idi Aman in upcoming movie "The Last King of Scotland":
"Most people think of (Amin) as a Monster," says the actor. "But he was funny, charming, passionate and flamboyant."
I'm sure the hundreds of thousands of people who were tortured and killed under his tenure found him really funny. Not to mention the underlings of his predecessor who he reportedly cannibalized - they must have adored Amin for his charming personality and passion.

Nothing New on the Western Front

The final results of the Palestinian elections have not yet been published. But the European Union has already declared its willingness to co-operate with whichever thugs will rule the PA - as long as they talk nicely:

The European Union, responding to the possibility of a Hamas-controlled PA, announced that it would work with any peaceful government.

"We'll be happy to cooperate with any government on the condition that it is peaceful," EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner said.

As my favorite professor once advised: Whenever you are in doubt what to do - ask the Europeans. Then do the opposite.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Iran's new secret Weapon

You have to grant Iranian leaders one thing: They are creative. The Jerusalem Post reports:
Were Israel to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, Iran would respond so strongly that it would put the Jewish state into "an eternal coma" like Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's, the Iranian defense minister said Wednesday.

"Zionists should know that if they do anything evil against Iran, the response of Iran's armed forces will be so firm that it will send them into eternal coma, like Sharon," Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said.

Update: Where Traitors used to hang

Update on that post from November 23, 2005: I finally found the picture I had in mind when I wrote the post's title (see below). It is from German newsmagazine Focus, issue 12/2002.

Ramallah, November 17, 2005

They know what they are talking about.

The Economist comes up with an interesting aspect of the conflict between Iran and Israel:
Not so alien after all
Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says Israel is an alien implantation whose people should return to Europe or perhaps settle in Alaska. So it is an irony that Israel's president, Moshe Katzav, is in fact a Farsi-speaker born in Iran, as is Israel's defense minister, Shaul Mofaz. Israel's chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, was born in Israel but both his parents were born in Iran. Asked how far Israel would go to stop Iran's nuclear program, Halutz replied: "two thousand kilometers."
Also hear this interview in which author Kenneth R. Timmerman refers to Halutz's quote. (Hattip: FDR)

Picture (c) The Economist

USMC Bumper Sticker of the Day

Get some more - here.

Must See

Every reader who loves Israel + Soccer has got to see the sensational intro to the official website of the legendary Ajax Amsterdam fanclub "F-Side." As good as it gets.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Close Call for Ahmadinejad?

CNN reports about mysterious explosions in Iran:
TEHRAN, Iran (Reuters) -- Bombs ripped through a bank and government building in Iran's mainly Arab southern city of Ahvaz on Tuesday, killing six people, the city's governor said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been due to visit the city on Tuesday, but his office said he cancelled the trip on Monday night because of sandstorms which would have wrecked his hallmark walks through the streets.

"Six people have been killed," city governor Mohammad Jafar Samari told Reuters.

"The place where the bombs exploded was a long way from where the president had planned to make a speech," he said, adding there was no word yet on who planted the bombs.

Lebanon's al-Manar television, run by the pro-Iranian Hizbollah group, said earlier that the bombs had been intended to kill Ahmadinejad. Its Tehran correspondent said the president had called off his trip after a security tip-off.
Wahied Wahdat-Hagh of MEMRI's Berlin office told Spiegel Online: "Many people say if there's going to be a regime change like 1979 in Iran, it is going to originate in Chusistan [the Province in which the bombings occured]. It is there that history is being made."

A Friendship forged at Entebbe

The Jerusalem Post reports:
IDF sends rescue team to Kenya

Israel dispatched a plane with 80 members of a Home Front rescue team to Nairobi Monday night to help extricate survivors from a building that collapsed in central Nairobi Monday trapping more than 280 construction workers inside.

Kenya's vice president requested the aid, which was immediately organized. Foreign Ministry officials said that Israel and Kenya have long standing diplomatic ties, with an Israeli embassy in Nairobi. The officials also noted that Kenya played a role in Israel's successful raid on Entebbe in 1976 by letting the IDF use Kenyan facilities for intelligence gathering and refueling.

Israel dispatched a similar team from the Home Front's rescue unit to Nairobi in 1998 after the terrorist bombing there of the US embassy.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Moral Equivalence at its worst.

In its current edition, German opinion-leading weekly newsmagazine Der Spiegel illustrates an article about Steven Spielberg's movie "Munich" with two pictures: Above we see the victims of a Palestinian suicide bombing in Israel. The caption says: Attack in the Israeli town of Beer Sheva: "Evil, as it exists." The below photograph shows Palestinians carrying the corpse of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, killed in an Israeli missile strike. That caption says: Funeral service in Gaza City after Israeli attack: violence breeds violence. The German word "Anschlag," used in both captions, implies a terrorist attack in both cases - making the magazine's (tasteless) message crystal-clear. (Klick on image to expand.)


Syrian President Assad (another one of those Mossad operatives?) finally found out what we at SoE have known for a long time: Israel is behind Arafat's death. Below is how it happened.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Why we love Shaul Mofaz

Newsletter of the Israeli Embassy in Germany, February 4, 2005 (own translation):
Minister of Defense Mofaz meets Syrian figure

(...) A pleasant conversation developed between the two of them in the course of which the Minister of Defense asked the Syrian figure for his origin. "Do you know Syria?" the man asked to which Mofaz replied: "I know it very well." Mofaz went into details of whole Syrian geographical regions, including Damascus, the city of Humas and the border triangle with Iraq and Iran. The Syrian figure inquired where from Mofaz knew those regions and the Minister of Defense replied: "I have been travelling around there quite frequently, but not as a tourist. In times of peace I will come back in the daytime, too."

The Spirit of Entebbe

Finally, a man of Entebbe enters the stage - there's still hope:

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz fired off a warning to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Saturday night saying that Israel would not accept a nuclear Iran under any circumstance and is preparing for the possibility that diplomacy to stop Tehran's nuclear aspirations would fail.

"Thwarting Iran's nuclear aspirations will for now be done by passing this hot potato to the [United Nations] Security Council," Mofaz said in his speech at the sixth annual Herziliya Conference session on the balance of Israel's national security. "At the same time however Israel is committed to protecting itself and that is what it plans to do."

Calling out directly to Ahmadinejad, Mofaz said: "I suggest you take a look throughout history and see what happened to others who tried to wipe out the Jewish people. In the end they brought destruction to their own people. I know the people of Iran and they should know that Ahmadinejad's policies will bring a disaster upon them."

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Great Moments in Sports History

For those of you who have been wondering about this blog's "inexplicable preference for Alemannia Aachen" - it's (almost) all in the below picture.

Meet Stefan Blank after scoring one of the most beautiful goals in soccer history (a video of it can be viewed and downloaded here) - against Bavaria Munich on that memorable day in the February of 2004:

Do you feel it yet? Pure shivers.

Although Stefan Blank left the team a year ago - I am still all with this fellow Alemannia fan's demand:

Friday, January 20, 2006

Haue für Aue

Another spell has been broken: Alemannia Aachen which traditionally starts the second half of the soccer season with a humiliating defeat won its game against Erzgebirge Aue 3:1 - after quite a fight. The decisive goal was scored by this man. The year's first important step on the way to the Bundesliga.

Another Jewish Conspiracy?

Sometimes I wonder whether Iranian president Ahmadinejad is really a secret Mossad operative. At least he doesn't leave out a single opportunity to make obvious that he needs to be removed from his office immediately:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met in Damascus with the leaders of 10 radical Palestinian movements including Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

Ahmadinejad said he “strongly supports the Palestinian people’s struggle” during the meeting, according to Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) official Maher Taher Friday. Taher said the militant chiefs pledged to Ahmadinejad that the “Palestinian resistance and struggle would continue” against Israel.

Islamic Jihad chief Abdullah Ramadan Shala, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and PFLP-GC leader Ahmed Jibril were among those at the meeting, Taher said.

The meeting came one day after Islamic Jihad claimed a suicide attack in Tel Aviv that wounded 19 people. Israel blamed Tehran and Damascus for supporting the attack.

"The attack was financed by Tehran, planned in Syria and carried out by Palestinians," Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz was quoted as saying by a ministry official.

A German Hero

Yesterday, I watched "One Day in September" yet again. One of the most impressive movies ever. If you haven't seen it, get it here asap.

The most unbelievable part of the Munich massacre is the utterly incompetent, embarassing and preposterous conduct of German politicians, officials and security forces.

Among the Germans interviewed for the movie, there is only one figure standing out as reasonable and decent: It is Ulrich K. Wegener, at the time of the Munich Olympics liaison-officer in the Ministry of the Interior. When the government decided to set up an anti-terrorist unit as a lesson of Munich,
Wegener became founding commander of GSG 9.

Wegener has always been an admirer and friend of Israel. He was even on the ground with Israeli forces in Entebbe 1976. Here are excerpts from a fascinating interview Wegener gave the German TV station BR Alpha in 2000 (my translation):

Wegener: "The Israelis always were the role model for me. And they were the ones who were immediately willing to help us - even though they had had those traumatic experiences."

Question: "There are a lot of stories surrounding your person. For example the one from 1976 when the Israelis liberated the hostages in Entebbe. You were in Entebbe. There are different versions 24 years on. Can you tell us how it really was?"

Wegener: "I am not allowed to say a few things because they have not yet been cleared. But I can say as much: I was in Entebbe in the interest of Germans and Israelis, but before the Israeli raid was carried out. We tried to gather information about the adversary, the terrorists and their possible supporters in Uganda. We were very successful and were able to gather a lot of information."

Question: "Seen from the outside, it was a daring action to land with transport planes in the night."

Wegener: "It was a strategic and tactically fantastic achievement that was unparalleled. I personally knew the brother of the later Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his death strongly affected me. Immediately after the raid I was invited to Israel and we spoke about the whole raid. It was really tragic."

Congratulations, Mister President.

Today five years ago George W. Bush was sworn in as the 43th President of the United States of America. And as our reader FDR kindly pointed out, twenty-five years ago today, Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th President. What a day of jubilees.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

German Media's French Amnesia

The German media is making a big fuzz about French President Chirac's allegedly sensational speech on the possible use of French Atomic weapons in retaliation for attacks by "terrorist states." As usual, journalists are apparently suffering from a bad memory. What is said to be a historic turning point in French foreign and nuclear policy was already stated by French Minister of Defense Michèle Alliot-Marie in an interview with Berliner Zeitung on July 5, 2004 - and in no uncertain terms:
For us, Atomic Weapons are the ultimate protection against outside threats. There is an increasing number of states who are - to put it mildly - not spotless democracies and are trying to acquire Atomic weapons. Such states could one day be tempted to use their missiles against France or its neighbors. To such a country we can say: Beware, if you are following through with your threats, we are going to destroy you, and without you being able to defend yourselves. For we have submarines and airplanes that cannot be detected.

(Für uns sind die Atomwaffen der ultimative Schutz gegen eine Bedrohung von außen. Es gibt immer mehr Staaten, die - um es vorsichtig zu sagen - keine makellosen Demokratien sind und versuchen, sich Atomwaffen zu verschaffen. Solche Staaten könnten eines Tages versucht sein, ihre Raketen gegen Frankreich oder seine Nachbarn einzusetzen. Einem solchen Land können wir sagen: Achtung, wenn ihr eure Drohung wahrmacht, werden wir euch zerstören, und zwar ohne dass ihr euch dagegen wehren könnt. Denn wir haben U-Boote und Flugzeuge, die nicht aufzuspüren sind.)

No comment.

EU Prepares to Work with Hamas After Palestinian Poll

Daniel Dombey (Financial Times-UK)

The EU is preparing itself for the possibility of doing business with Hamas after this month's Palestinian elections, even though the group is on the EU's list of banned terrorist organizations.

The EU is unlikely to cut funding automatically if Hamas emerges as part of the Palestinian government after the elections.

The blunt Instruments of Propaganda

When it comes to the coverage of weapons of war, the incompetence of journalists becomes obvious time and again. On January 16, 2006, The American Thinker caught the New York Times running a staged propaganda picture allegedly showing “Pakistani men with the remains of a missile fired at a house in the Bajur tribal zone near the Afghan border.”

For every reader with a residual knowledge of weaponry it was immediately clear that this picture doesn't show the remains of a missile fired by an American armed drone (or UCAV, Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle) - but an unexploded artillery shell, probably a leftover from the Russian Afghanistan campaign or the ensuing civil war.

Today, the same picture showed up again in my letter box: TIME magazine paired it with the required dumb headline and a misleading caption. See below.

For the service of our readers, we are below posting a picture of an MQ-1 Predator armed with Hellfire missiles - the kind of weapon system that was probably used in last week's attack which may have decisively weakened Al Qaeda's capability of producing chemical weapons. Please mind the proportion between the soldiers and the missiles mounted below each wing.

Picture (c) Flug Revue

Update on January 19, 2006, 6:47 PM: Thanks to The American Thinker for linking to this post.

All you need to know about Germany.

"Peace Force," bought in a Berlin Supermarket
in February 2004.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Collapse of Abu Mazen

According to Israeli Newspaper Maariv, Mahmoud Abbas is all but finished:
The estimate in Israel is that the Palestinian Authority in Gaza has totally collapsed and has ceased to operate as a governing body.
Abbas recently returned practically empty-handed from a fundraising trip to Saudi Arabia to raise money for the Fatah election campaign.
In addition, the Egyptians are threatening to pull their security advisors out of Gaza if Abbas doesn't take action to reduce the anarchy there.
Perhaps one should also see Israeli Interim PM Ehud Olmert's recent remarks on the possibility of peace talks between him and Palestinian President Abbas after the elections in that light.

The Jew

On occasion of Ariel Sharon's ailment, German newspapers are using their increased coverage of Israel to bring readers a remarkably diverse image of the Jewish State's citizens and World Jewry at large...

Westfälische Nachrichten, January 7, 2006

Münstersche Zeitung, January 7, 2006

Süddeutsche Zeitung, January 7, 2006

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What would Churchill do?

Picture (c) Imperial War Museum

The Australian, Neil Brown, deputy leader of the country's Liberal Party, tries to evaluate how Winston Churchill would have fought the War on Terror:
Churchill was not interested in compromise or consensus; he wanted to win.
Read the whole text here. And also see SoE's entry about the Man of Victory.

Save the Date.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Caption of the Day

From the Jerusalem Post, January 16, 4:45 PM.

Dream about to come true.

The Blue Angels, one of the two best aerobatic teams in the world, are coming to Leeuwarden/NL this year!

Ariel Sharon, Man of Victory

In recent publications, journalists and politicians from all over the world have voiced their concern over the future of the "Peace Process" and their bafflement over Ariel Sharon's alleged metamorphosis from a warrior to a "Man of Peace."

Just to clarify the matter: There is no Peace Process in the Middle East, but a war. And Ariel Sharon has not changed. He devoted his entire life to the survival and success of the Jewish nation. All his actions were based on what he perceived as being of benefit for Israelis and Jews. The thread in Sharon's life is that his first and foremost interest has always been the security and wellbeing of Israelis and Jews. Interestingly, almost all journalists fail to grasp that Ariel Sharon has never been a "Man of Peace" in the first place - but always a "Man of Victory."

Why we love John Bolton, Part IV

From the New York Sun:
Bolton Scores UN on Stance Toward Israel

American ambassador to the UN John Bolton wrote to Secretary-General Annan on Jan. 3, threatening to cut funding to the UN if it continues to promote anti-Israel events. Bolton's letter is a response to a Nov. 29 event celebrating an annual "International Day of Solidarity With the Palestinian People." At the event, attended by Annan and other top diplomats, a map that "erases the State of Israel" was displayed, Bolton wrote.
"In light of prohibition under U.S. law to fund events such as this one, do you consider it appropriate for the UN to advertise and promote the event on its general Web site and other venues, which do in fact benefit from U.S. funds?" The organizer of the "solidarity" event is the Division for Palestinian Rights, which in the 2004-2005 UN budget received $5,449,600.

Another interesting Figure

From the Toronto Star:
War in Iraq rescued at least 250,000 from death

by Lewis MacKenzie, Major General (ret'd)

(...) Finally and most importantly, to those Iraqis who would otherwise be dead, are the cold hard mathematics of the body count. Evidence presented at the trial of Saddam and elsewhere indicates that Saddam's regime killed two million of his own people over the two decades before the U.S. led invasion. That works out to 100,000 murders a year. Since the allied invasion in March of 2003 almost three years ago, 30,000 Iraqis have perished as a result of the war. That means the sacrifice of more than 2,000 American and other coalition lives have rescued at least 250,000 Iraqis from extermination.

Interesting Figure

From the Jerusalem Post:
3,000 Rifles Streaming Monthly into Gaza
Since the disengagement from Gush Katif, there has been a significant increase in the amount of weapons and explosives smuggled into the Gaza Strip, Yuval Diskin, head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday. "The amount of weapons and explosives smuggled into the Gaza Strip from Egypt has grown drastically, by more than 300 percent," he said. "If before the disengagement they smuggled in 200 to 300 rifles a month, they are now smuggling in close to 3,000."
Since the pullout, Diskin said, Palestinians have smuggled three anti-aircraft missiles into Gaza compared to none before disengagement. He added that close to 200 RPGs and tons of explosives were also smuggled into Gaza on a monthly basis. With external assistance, he warned, the terror groups would have long-range rocket capability within a matter of months.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


What a triumph for Erik "Fußballgott" Meijer: According to Alemannia Aachen's own website the aging star won the club's internal Backgammon tournament, beating rookie Jan Schlaudraff in the finale. Wow! It's apparently about time the soccer season started again...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

He really means it.

On the very day Iran removed IAEA seals from their uranium enrichment equipment, Volker Perthes, one of Germany's leading "Middle East experts" and director of one of the country's best-known Think Tanks, SWP, writes: Europe should strive towards a strategic partnership with Iran.

Here are excerpts from the German original text, published today in Handelsblatt:
"Wenn sich Deutschland und Europa um strategische Partnerschaften im Nahen Osten bemühen sollten, also um eine dauerhaft angelegte und nicht nur eindimensionale Kooperation, lenkt sich der Blick vor allem auf Iran. (...) Die Anbindung der iranischen Gasfelder an das europäische Erdgasnetz ist eine attraktive Option. (...)

Bleibt die Frage, ob es politisch klug ist, auf Partnerschaft mit einem Staat zu setzen, dessen Nuklearpolitik zumindest Misstrauen auslöst und dessen Präsident mit der Forderung, Israel von der Landkarte zu wischen, die Grundregeln internationalen Zusammenlebens in Frage stellt. Ich neige zu einer positiven Antwort.

Erstens wird sich der Atomstreit möglicherweise eher beilegen lassen, wenn Iran überzeugt werden könnte, dass Europa tatsächlich an stabilen, dauerhaften und partnerschaftlichen Beziehungen interessiert ist und das Land auch als das akzeptiert, was es einem weit reichenden inneriranischen Konsensus nach sein will: eine Ernst zu nehmende regionale Mittelmacht mit dem Potenzial, zum wichtigsten Partner Europas in Nahost zu werden. Die Einladung, ein großes Infrastrukturprojekt gemeinsam auf den Weg zu bringen, würde diesem Interesse überzeugend Ausdruck verleihen.

Zweitens fördern solche Projekte das gegenseitige Interesse an der Aufrechterhaltung der Zusammenarbeit und an politisch guten Beziehungen. Sie können damit kalkulierbares und verantwortliches Verhalten zwar nicht garantieren, fördern es aber tendenziell. Zumindest stärken sie die Interessen jener Kräfte innerhalb der iranischen Elite, die Kooperation und politische Beziehungen nicht durch provokative Aktionen und Äußerungen gefährden wollen.

Drittens gilt es, die zeitliche Perspektive nicht aus den Augen zu verlieren: Die Amtszeit eiens iranischen Präsidenten - so viel Konstitutionalismus herrscht in Iran - ist auf maximal acht Jahre begrenzt."
The noise you just heard was the sound of my head exploding.

Guess who calls for Regime Change in Syria.

The BBC reports:
Former Syrian Vice-President Abdul Halim Khaddam says he wants to see President Bashar al-Assad ousted through a popular uprising.

Speaking from Paris, where he has lived under protection since resigning his post in June 2005, Mr Khaddam said: "The Syrian people will take on themselves the responsibility for changing the government."

"Public opinion is very frustrated and the Syrian people are quite unhappy," he went on.

"There is an opposition in Syria which will find its way in leading the people to overthrow him."

Monday, January 09, 2006

American Beauty

Photo (c) Richard Seaman

Every dog has its day.

The New York Times brings you an interesting analysis of the implications for the Palestinian Authority of Sharon's departure from the political scene:
With Sharon Ill, Palestinians Face Own Travails

JERUSALEM, Jan. 7 - The sudden political disappearance of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, struggling for life after a massive stroke, has thrown the future of any peace process with the Palestinians into question. But the Palestinian Authority itself is in such disarray that it may be incapable of negotiating on terms any Israeli leader could accept. (...)

On the issue of Israel, neither Mr. Shikaki nor Mr. Duzdar, the Palestinian analyst, thinks Hamas will change its spots. "Anyone who thinks Hamas will become pragmatic if they win and it will be easier to settle the conflict is unrealistic," Mr. Duzdar said. "Hamas will never shift or change its charter or agenda. They want to have an impact on the Palestinian Authority from the inside, to be a tough opposition within the legislature and maybe cripple Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority in future negotiations," he said, referring to Mr. Abbas.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Germany's Fight for Democracy and Human Rights

Just one question regarding the German Chancellors recent remarks: How about Angela Merkel saying in an interview that the Iranian Atomic Program should be shut down?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in an interview published days before her first visit to the United States, said Washington should close its Guantanamo Bay prison camp and find other ways of dealing with terror suspects.

Countdown: Top Ten Weird Google Queries...

...that led to Spirit of Entebbe:
10. ehud olmert racist
9. schlumpfhausen
8. anti-jewish merchandise

7. zdf the message (1976) über den propheten mohamed

6. how to deal with the spirit of denial

5. vulgarity in literature

4. convoy trucker tv shows

3. the guns as a symbol in dumb waiter

2. peeking in the showers

1. broder bei pennymarkt

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Lord of the Rings

Since Israel is the Ringbearer of our times, it is only logical that Gimli is a member of the Israeli Defense Forces.

Source: Katz, Samuel M. (1990): Israel's Army.

Source: Stern (2001): Das war 2001, G+J.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Ariel Sharon, Israel's personification

Michael B. Oren, the author of the definitive book on the Six Day War, wrote a marvelous piece about Ariel Sharon:
Sharon, more than any single Israeli, represented the finest ideals of the Jewish state - its heroism, resilience, and versatility.
Read the whole text here.
(Hattip: FDR)

Put it in a Frame.

Caroline Glick writes in the Jerusalem Post:
Our main security challenge on all fronts is to destroy our enemies' ability to match their genocidal anti-Semitism with the means to kill us. And the carrying out of this task can only be accomplished by a leadership that truly understands that we are not to blame for our enemies' hatred and that we can do nothing to mitigate it.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Arik Sharon

Someone pinch me, please.

Here's a current headline from the website of German newsmagazine Der Spiegel:

"Sharon Era comes to an end - peace process in danger"
[Note: Has anyone ever noticed that the Arab-Israeli war is the only war in the world that is called a peace process?]

Wow. Before today, headlines like these were business as usual in Der Spiegel (example: Spiegel 6/2001):

"Yassir Arafat is fearing a 'real catastrophe' if right-wing hardliner Ariel Sharon wins the elections against Ehud Barak - and Israel is threatened by a relapse into international isolation."

And here are just a few of the attributes Der Spiegel used for Ariel Sharon in its coverage of Intifada and "Al Aqsa Intifada":
“Superhawk,” “butcher,” “nationalist demagogue who built his career on the fears, xenophobia and prejudices of the masses,” and “Arik, the horrible.”
Am already anxiously waiting for the first Sharon-friendly headline from Der Stern...

Who is Ehud Olmert?

The Jerusalem Post calls the acting Prime Minister of Israel "one of the most unpopular politicians in the country." Here is a lengthy profile of Ehud Olmert by the staff of Israeli newspaper Maariv (for quick reference, check out this site):
For years he was considered to be one of the Likud princes and was marked as one of the candidates to lead the party, but Ehud Olmert, particularly as a minister in Sharon's second government, came to be one of the more left wing members of the party. He was one of the sponsors of the "big bang" and, even prior to the announcement of the disengagement plan, was heard saying at a number of instances that Israel needs to resign itself to the death of the dream of the Greater Land of Israel and to carry out a withdrawal from a majority of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. As of yesterday, in the wake of Sharon's hospitalization, he was appointed acting prime minister.
Ehud Olmert was born in 1945 in Nahalat Jabotinsky, which is near Binyamina. He did his military service in the Golani Brigade and then served as a military reporter for Bamahane. Olmert is a graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he received a degree in psychology, philosophy and law, and by training he is a lawyer. In 1973 he was elected as an MK for the Likud and he served as an MK until 1988, when he was appointed a minister without portfolio in the national unity government. With the Labor Party's decision to quit the government in 1990, Olmert was appointed health minister.
In 1993 the Likud and the Haredi parties decided to run him as their candidate for Jerusalem mayor against the veteran, incumbent mayor at the time, Teddy Kollek. Olmert won the election, and after many years in which the Labor Party controlled the Jerusalem municipality, city hall fell under the Likud's dominion.
As mayor, he worked to increase the Israeli control over East Jerusalem. He pushed for the Har Homa neighborhood to be built and was among the people who supported opening the Western Wall tunnel. With that having been said, in the 1999 elections for prime minister, Olmert surprisingly came to the defense of One Israel's candidate, Ehud Barak, when Binyamin Netanyahu asserted that he would "divide Jerusalem."
After Netanyahu's defeat and his resignation from the Likud leadership, Olmert ran for the party leadership, but lost to Ariel Sharon.

Supports a Final Status Arrangement and a Withdrawal From Most of the Territories

In 2003, in advance of the general elections for the 16th Knesset, he resigned as the mayor of Jerusalem to run once again for a place on the Likud's list. He ran in the party primary and was given the 32nd slot on the Likud's list. Despite his low ranking, Olmert's close relationship with Sharon assured him a place in the cabinet.
Initially, there was talk of appointing Olmert as finance minister. But after Sharon decided to appoint Netanyahu as finance minister, Olmert was appointed as industry, trade and employment minister. Moreover, Sharon placed him responsible for the Communications Ministry and appointed him deputy prime minister.
Olmert was considered to be the most left wing of the second government formed by Sharon. He spoke on a number of occasions about the end of the dream of a Greater Land of Israel and a withdrawal from most of Judea, Samaria and Gaza - even before Sharon announced his disengagement plan. Olmert even said at one opportunity that there was no reason why many neighborhoods of East Jerusalem should remain a part of the State of Israel after the final status arrangement was achieved. After the disengagement plan was approved, Ehud Olmert was one of its chief advocates.

Sharon's Right Hand Man

Olmert is thought to have been Ariel Sharon's right hand man in the past number of years, in which he tried to distinguish himself as the prime minister's "successor." In the wake of Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's resignation last August due to his opposition to the disengagement plan, Olmert was appointed to the post. In his new capacity, Olmert often attacked his predecessor, Netanyahu, and was repeatedly critical of his policies.
At a conference titled, "the earthquake on the capital market," that was held recently, Olmert said: "Sharon felt badly about Netanyahu's economic policies." Olmert said: "the prime minister was in the pocket of the sling for a long time, and felt uncomfortable with the things that were done." He added that Netanyahu had advocated "an extremist and irresponsible view about the market powers' ability to influence."
Olmert was one of the motivating forces behind the "big bang" in Israeli politics when, along with Haim Ramon, he was behind the efforts to persuade Sharon to quit the Likud and to form a new party with Shimon Peres. After the decision was made, he was one of the first people to announce that he was quitting the Likud and joining Sharon in Kadima, which was established in November.
Olmert was indicted in the "fictitious receipts affair," in which he was charged with accepting illegal donations that were made to the Likud in the pre-election period leading up to the general elections for the 12th Knesset in 1988. He was completely acquitted in 1997.
His name was also cited in the context of the "Greek island affair," as the person who received help from David Appel in the Likud primary in 1999 in exchange for helping Appel promote his project. Olmert hosted the mayor of Athens in a trip that Appel had arranged. In 2004, however, a decision was made not to prosecute Olmert.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Election Campaigning, Palestinian Style

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports on the preparations for the upcoming PA elections...:
On Wednesday morning, some 40 masked gunmen took over the central election office in Rafah, the local branch of the Palestinian parliament, a local court and another government building. Gunmen were seen on rooftops, inside the buildings and posted at the main doors. Most workers fled the buildings.

A truckload of gunmen then drove to the nearby Rafah border crossing, Gaza's main gate to the world. Firing in the air, they closed the entrance gate to the crossing compound and told waiting passengers to leave the area. They also set up an impromptu checkpoint at the access road to the crossing, turning away all travelers after initially letting some pass.
But rest assured: If the elections won't take place, it will all be Israel's fault.

"A Palestinian militant sitting astride a homemade missile at the Gaza-Egypt border crossing Wednesday." (Reuters)

Am Israel Chai.

Our reader Franklin D. Rosenfeld (make sure to check out his blog) kindly provided us with this impressive picture of the Israeli Air Force's flypast over Auschwitz on September 4, 2003. These are the memorable words Brigadier General Amir Eshel read out from the lead jet as the fighters soared over the death camp:
“We pilots of the air force, flying in the skies above the camp of horrors, arose from the ashes of the millions of victims and shoulder their silent cries; we salute their courage and promise to be the shield of the Jewish people and its nation: Israel.”

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Successful Kickoff to a historic Year.

Alemannia Aachen started successfully into 2006, the year which will finally bring promotion to the first league: Competing in the Indoor Soccer "Rhineland Cup" in Cologne, the team lost only one game - unfortunately it was the finale, which first league club Frankfurt won 3:1. Alemannia's biggest success was a 4-0 against hosting team 1. FC Cologne in the semi-final. Even Williiii Landgraf scored a goal!

Sex sells Israel.

If you liked that promotional supplement for Israel, make sure to watch the related TV ad. And if you are more interested in facts than in beautiful women, you can read about the campaign's background here.

Monday, January 02, 2006

More of Syria at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2004

That was all the Syrian guests of honor had to offer in English language, you ask yourself? Of course not!

„O brother American, o fellow human being! The State of Israel (…) was built from terrorism. All its presidents were, and are still the leaders of terroristic groups which executed dozens of massacres in Palestine, split open the abdomens of those pregnant in order to make sure of killing their fetuses and expelled millions of Palestinians and depriving them of their houses and wealth in order to substitute them with settlers who have no relation to the land. All the Israeli presidents are wanted by the international court of justice as criminals of war, perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity.(Page 70)

Oldie but Goldie.

Here are some interesting quotes from a brochure the Syrian representatives kindly handed out at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2004:
„…as far as the Arabs are concerned there is no right and left [in Israel]. In Israel the one who kills a thousand Arabs is left and the one who kills five thousand Arabs is right, and when some one comes and kills ten thousand Arabs the right becomes left and there will be new right. As far as we are concerned, all the Israelis are right. (Page 6)
We say a racist head of government, we say a racist government and we say a racist army and a racist security but when it comes to the Israeli public we keep silent, why? (…)
the Israeli public is racist, more racist than the Nazis. (Page 8)
The Israelis fear the past in its general concept, i.e. history.
They have no history. We are the ones who have history and they know this very well. They had never been in this region few thousand years ago for sure.“ (Page 10)

All you need to know about the Assad Clan...

...is in this remarkable picture. (Hattip: JS)

Time Magazine, October 31, 2005