Tuesday, February 28, 2006

An Israeli in Iraq

Another remarkable story from Ynetnews:
David, 25, wasn’t satisfied with ambushes in Lebanon and the front lines in Gaza while serving in Givati’s Shaked battalion. After he completed his IDF service he went to the U.S. to travel and work, but after two of his friends were killed in the territories, he decided to change his plans.

“I wanted to go back to the army, to continue to contribute. In Israel it didn’t really work out, and then I had an idea. As the son of American-born parents, I would volunteer for the U.S. Army. The enlistment process wasn’t complicated at all, the hardest part was getting my high school diploma translated,” David says.

Navy wants Piece of the Action, too

Ahead of a possible Israeli strike on the Iranian nuclear program, the Navy is now throwing its head in the ring:
Submarines may be used for hitting strategic targets outside Israel's territory, chief commander of the IDF's submarine fleet, Colonel Yoni, stated. "The submarine task force is preparing for any scenario the State of Israel has defined as plausible for the army," he added.

According to him, "hitting strategic targets is not always a task the Air Force or the infantry can carry out… a submarine can perform the mission, and it can also be used only for collecting intelligence and securing the forces about to carry out such a mission."
I tend to agree with one commentator: "How bout leaving som element of surprise? Zahal blabs 2 much."

Why SoE should be Compulsory Reading for young Israelis

Ynetnews reports:
Many youngsters clueless on Entebbe
New survey shows 30 percent of Israelis aged 18 to 22 clueless regarding Entebbe rescue mission of 1976

Some 30 percent of Israelis aged 18 to 22 are clueless regarding the Entebbe rescue operation of 1976, according to a new survey conducted by Shiluv.

The study, published by Israel’s leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth on Tuesday, also showed that 20 percent of Israelis have heard of the operation but could not explain that it entailed the release of Israeli hostages in Uganda.

The poll was conducted among a representative sample of 429 people aged 18 and up.

A third of the respondents were not aware that the mission was later named after its commander Yoni Netanyahu, who was killed during the rescue of the Air France passengers in July, 1976.

Israel sponsors the Gunners

maAfter Alemannia Aachen and Ajax Amsterdam, Arsenal London has just become the third soccer club worshipped by SoE:
Israel strikes sponsorship deal with Arsenal

The two-year, £350,000 agreement will see Israel being promoted on pitch-side billboards and TV screens at Arsenal's new Emirates Stadium in London.

Arsenal said it had cleared the deal with officials in the United Arab Emirates, whose national airline bought the naming rights to the new stadium. The United Arab Emirates does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

Arsenal's managing director, Keith Edelman, announced the deal on Sunday after a meeting with Israeli tourism minister Abraham Hirchson. "We think football is a great product and we think it will assist Israel become a more popular destination," Edelman said. Hirchson said the tie-up would allow Israel to promote its tourism industry to millions of football-lovers around the world.

It is thought that the agreement will enable Israel to use likenesses of Arsenal players in its own promotions. "The purpose is to broaden Israel's appeal to sun and fun-seekers," said tourism ministry spokesman Jonathan Pulik.
Read more on the story (in German) here.

Update on March 3, 2006: Emirates Airlines is not at all happy with the deal, Haaretz reports.

Bastogne, December 2005

A tribute, 61 years after the battle. See more impressive pictures here. (Hattip: JB)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Winner of the Costume Contest (self-declared)

Inspired by an article from the Washington Post, I dressed myself up as a Guantanamo Bay detainee for carnival this year:

....one detainee was wrapped in an Israeli flag and bombarded with loud music in an apparent attempt to soften his resistance to interrogation. (Hattip: JS)

I doubt, however, that the music at Guantanamo Bay is as tormenting as that played in the Rhineland during carnival.

For other great costumes, check out this site, this site and that site

Rare Case of Sanity

...spotted at Düsseldorf's Rosenmontagszug, the local street carnival:

On the coffin it says "freedom of opinion," alluding to the reluctance of many carnival clubs to make the Cartoon Intifada a topic of carnival motives.

In recent years, vehicles had looked markedly different:

Angela Merkel is crawling out of Uncle Sam's behind. Düsseldorf, 2003 (Picture: WDR)

To be fair, there was at least one (harmless) Anti-Bush wagon on display this year, too:

Bush, depicted as ape, sign: "Evolution is Heresy!"

A Wish granted, an important Game won

On the day before the game, Dieter Hecking, Alemannia Aachen's trainer, had expressed a wish in Aachen's local newspaper: "An early goal would be great." After 35 seconds played against LR Ahlen, the wish was granted by Sascha Rösler, who scored the 1:0. In the remaining 89 minutes, Alemannia managed to hold on the lead and eventually even scored the 2:0 five minutes before the final whistle. Since Aachen's strong chaser Karlsruhe lost its game, "our" position is currently as good as never before: six points ahead of team number four in the second league's table. Twelve more games full of hope, sweat and tears lie ahead of Alemannia - and then the longed-for promotion to first league.

Friday, February 24, 2006

News from Molvania

For daily updates on the situation in Molvania/Georgia, please check out this website - "impartial, informative, insightful." A great read every day. Today's top stories form a Gesamtkunstwerk, as usual:

Look who digs Israeli Passports.

Ynetnews.com reports:
Fake passports big hit with Iranians, Turks

In the past few weeks, more then 10 Iranian nationals were caught carrying forged Israeli passports, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday. (...)

The Israeli passport is considered to be one of the easiest passports to forge and can be purchased in Asia, and especially in Thailand's markets, for anywhere from USD 500 to 2000. The Israeli passport is in great demand because people carrying it can enter Asian countries without a visa.
I want one of those, too.

Bragging goes before a fall...

...especially if you are up against the IDF. The Washington Post reports:
Israeli Army Kills Top Militant

BALATA REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank -- Israeli troops on Thursday killed five Palestinians, including a top militant who said just a day earlier that he would never be caught, in the largest West Bank military operation since Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip last summer. (...) One of those killed Thursday was identified as Mohammed Shtawi, a top Al Aqsa fugitive. On Wednesday, Shtawi told an AP reporter that earlier in the day soldiers surrounded his hideout for five hours, but he and several friends slipped away. "They will never catch me," he said at the time.
Well, they really did not catch him.

Warten aufs Christkind

If you are on edge, impatiently waiting for the Israelis to finally attack Iran's nuclear facilities, here's a cute little presentation that will help to alleviate the pre-strike blues.

Favorite Souvenir from Georgia

Another Atomic Threat in the Middle East

While skimming through its archives, SoE has come across another dramatic atomic menace in the Middle East, long - too long? - overlooked by pundits and decision makers. Here's the frightening document of horror, from the Jerusalem Post, July 7, 2003:

One question remains: Is Yair Netanyahu culprit or victim (and what's the strange thing coming out of his mouth?)?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

MSM's pre-emptive Capitulation

The Washington Post brings you a great article by Bennett and Dershowitz:
A Failure of the Press

Since the war on terrorism began, the mainstream press has had no problem printing stories and pictures that challenged the administration and, in the view of some, compromised our war and peace efforts. (...)

But for the past month, the Islamist street has been on an intifada over cartoons depicting Muhammad that were first published months ago in a Danish newspaper. Protests in London -- never mind Jordan, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Iran and other countries not noted for their commitment to democratic principles -- included signs that read, "Behead those who insult Islam." The mainstream U.S. media have covered this worldwide uprising; it is, after all, a glimpse into the sentiments of our enemy and its allies. And yet it has refused, with but a few exceptions, to show the cartoons that purportedly caused all the outrage. (…)

What has happened? To put it simply, radical Islamists have won a war of intimidation. They have cowed the major news media from showing these cartoons. The mainstream press has capitulated to the Islamists -- their threats more than their sensibilities. (...)

When we were attacked on Sept. 11, we knew the main reason for the attack was that Islamists hated our way of life, our virtues, our freedoms. What we never imagined was that the free press -- an institution at the heart of those virtues and freedoms -- would be among the first to surrender.

More basic Facts about Georgia

Georgia may rightfully boast of having one of the most advanced and innovative garbage collection systems in the world. First the trash is being collected by this marvel of modern design...

...in a second step, the waste is immediately being recycled in the truck's driving cab, just behind the windshield. Undoubtedly a unique solution to a complex problem.

Most Taxi cabs in Georgia are equipped with a high-end ventilation system. Fresh air is being blown into the car's interior through one or more semipermeable membranes in the windshield, affording a refreshing journey.

Georgia's most important export item is the loose happy tooth. Weightlifting training under the auspices of Russian athletic coaches make these teeth the only ones all over the world that are capable of enduring the onslaught of the dreaded doping chocolate bar.

In Georgia, even E.T. would find it hard to phone home.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Georgia at the Winter Olympics

Here's the reason why Georgia's athletes were eventually banned from the Turin Winter Olympics:

At the Courtyard Marriot Tblisi, February 18, 2006

But even before these allegedly banned substances were found in an athlete's candy bag by obviously overzealous Italian anti-drug investigators, the team members had not been doing too well:

From: The Messenger, Georgia's English Language Daily, February 17, 2006.

Some basic Facts about Georgia

For those of you who have read the book, it should suffice to say that Georgia is Molvania and Tiflis is Lutenblag. No doubt about it.

For all others, here's a short introduction - quoting from the nation's own image brochure (!):

Georgia is a former republic of the Soviet Union, sharing borders with Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The country's recent history has been extremely bloody: On April 9, 1991, Georgia declared independence. Its first president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia was deposed in a bloody coup d'etat shortly thereafter. The coup was instigated by parts of the National Guards and a paramilitary unit called "Mkhedrioni" which was supported by Russian soldiers stationed in Tbilisi. The country became embroiled in a bitter civil war which lasted until 1995. In 1995, Shevadnardze was elected as president. At the same time, two regions of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, became embroiled in disputes with local separatists that led to inter-ethnic violence and wars. Supported by Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia have achieved and maintained de facto independence from Georgia.

In 2003, Shevadnardze was deposed in a bloodless coup after allegations of ballot fraud in the parliamentary elections. The so-called "Rose Revolution" was led by now president Mikheil Saakashvili. His party "National Movement Democrats" reached 75 percent of votes in the following elections, with only one other party crossing the 7 percent threshold. The vote is believed to have been one of the freest ever held in independent Georgia although an upsurge of tensions between the central government and the Ajarian leader Abashidze affected the elections in this region. The tension between the Georgian government and that of Ajaria grew increasingly after the elections. On May 1, Abashidze responded to to military maneuvers held by Georgia near the region with blowing up the three bridges over the Choloki River connecting Ajaria and the rest of Georgia.

On February 3, 2005, Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania died of carbon monoxide poisoning in an apparent gas leak at the home of Raul Usupov, deputy governor of the Kverno Kartli region.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Georgia has suffered a serious populations collapse (from 5.5 Million in 1990 to 4.5 Million in 2004) as the rebellion in Abkhazia, the strife in Ajaria and South Ossetia, a fragile economy and bad job opportunities led hundreds of thousands of Georgians to emigrate in search of work, especially to Russia. This is exacerbated by a very low birthrate among the people remaining.

Another government brochure ("Georgia since the Rose Revolution - a story of democratic transformation") tells us that nevertheless there's hope:

Today Adjara is on the move, with new investments taking place every week including an array of new roads, tunnels, schools, hotels and hospitals. As Adjara returns to its historical role as a center of trade and culture, so too are foreign and domestic tourists returning in ever greater numbers. Indeed, during the busy summer season of 2005, the number of visiting tourists more than tripled to just under 150,000. These included many new visitors from Armenia, attracted to Georgia's costline following the abolition of Georgia's notorious Road Police who in the past ectracted countless bribes.

Didn't I say Georgia was Molvania?

New Collection at the SoE Shop

Get these high-quality shirts and more here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Where the Streets have cool Names

Tblisi, February 19, 2006. Picture (c) SoE

Welcome to Tbilisi, Georgia

The very first thing you will see of Georgia is - nothing. Your plane is very likely to arrive sometime around 4 AM since most international carriers who fly to Tbilisi International Airport only use night-time slots. (Maybe that's because they want to minimize the risk of being shot at by Georgia's numerous and diverse rebels - from Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the North or Adjara in the South.) Until a few seconds before the touchdown, you will see nothing outside. Although Tbilisi is a city with about 1 Million citizens, there simply are no lights. What an amazing sight - pitch black nothingness.

Tbilisi seen from the arriving airplane (Please mind: the picture is fake but accurate)

If you are in the lucky position (that might actually be a matter of discussion) to be a special guest of Georgia's Minister of Defense, you will be picked up on the runway by a battered Ford Transit, reminding you of your adventurous trips to Beirut when it was still exciting. An obscure figure standing outside will ask you to surrender your passport and baggage tag. And immediately thereafter the minibus's driver will start the engine, hit the accelerator and speed up to about 80 mph - just to abruptly stop after about 5o meters. It is then that you will have arrived at the country's VIP terminal. There you'll find the next sight to behold: An empty room with two brown sofas, the main decoration being a TV playing the Georgian version of MTV and a picture of President Saakashvili (the amount of -vilis you are about to encounter in the following days is very likely to blow your mind real fast). Very probably a security person will be sitting in front of an electrical radiator. I saw him at arrival and departure and have been confidentially told by well informed sources that the man is always sitting there.

Tbilisi International Airport, VIP Terminal

After a short but nerve-wrecking period of waiting for your passport and
luggage you'll board yet another Ford Transit and race to downtown Tbilisi at around 160 mph - or so it seems. All the while you will pass by nothing at all. At least that's what you'll think, until you'll recognize that you've been passing by blocks and blocks of flats for minutes - without any light on at all.

That will depress you - until you see how the main road from Tbilisi International Airport to downtown Tbilisi is called. From that moment on, you will really feel at home in this strangely great country that is Georgia.

Tbilisi, February 19, 2006

Miss IDF

What a remarkable makeup. (Source: IDF)


Monday, February 20, 2006

Turtle Lake Heroes

From the German Foreign Office's travel warning for Georgia:
In Tiflis besteht eine erhebliche Gefahr von Raubüberfällen auch auf Ausländer, neuerdings auch unter brutaler Gewaltanwendung. Das Überfallrisiko besteht sowohl auf der Straße als auch in Wohnungen, auch tagsüber und auch in der Innenstadt/Altstadt. Besonders gefährdet sind die von Ausländern bevorzugten Stadtviertel wie Wake, Vera und Saburtalo sowie Parks und Naherholungsgebiete (hier insbesondere Schildkrötensee/Turtle Lake).

Turtle Lake, Tbilisi, February 19, 2006

Thanks to OB for risking his life while taking this epic shot!

Exclusive: SoE back from the Frontlines

Where has SoE been in the last few days, you have probably been asking yourselves. Well, here's a hint:
Exclusive: US seeks Georgian help in possible strike on Iran
By Ksenia Svetlova and Yaacov Katz, Jerusalem Post

American officials have been quietly probing whether Georgia, situated just northwest of Iran, will be willing to allow Washington to use its military bases and airfields in the event of a military conflict with Teheran, The Jerusalem Post has been told. (Read the whole story here, Hattip: FDR)
Starting tomorrow, this blog will report about SoE's exciting trip to Tbilisi, Georgia. You see - we are always at the heart of world developments for you...!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Strategic Facility

From Haaretz:
Israel Defense Force officials said Tuesday it fired artillery at the northern Gaza Strip after two Palestinian rockets landed in southern Israel, one in an industrial zone south of the city of Ashkelon. Military officials said that one of the homemade rockets landed near a strategic installation.

The officials did not identify the installation, but said several power plants exist in the area.

The other rocket hit a Carlsberg beer production factory.
And I thought the rockets had missed the strategic installation??

For Muslims all over the world, the premeditated, perfectly planned and brilliantly executed hit undoubtedly is a great success in the war against the Danish (reminiscent of another epic victory against the fascist, pro-Zionist EU). But for us the fact that Carlsberg produces in Israel proves the company's own claim: "Probably the best beer in the world!" Buy Danish, buy Carlsberg.

What's in an Address.

The Munzinger Archive is Germany's authoritative source for biographical information about figures of contemporary history. In their entry on Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (you remember - the guy from the media blockbuster "Missiles against a wheelchair") the archive's authors reveal a rare sense of humor. Just have a look at the address at which Yassin was said to reside:

Maybe Yassin was letting down his guard
when the Israeli helicopters approached on that tragic day in April, 2004 - because he was used to Israeli aircraft bringing fan mail and requests for autographs to his hiding place. One thing is definitely true: Israel really took care of him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Great Captions, Part Two

Caption: One tankful away from the Mullahs: Air Force soldiers at a base in Israel.

5/2006, February 2, 2006 (Hattip:

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Great Captions, Part I

Headline: "No battle of cultures"
"Reconciliatory gesture: Members of a Fatah group appologize with a bouquet of cloves to a nun of a religious congregation in the Gaza strip who had earlier been threatened by militant Palestinians [cartoon critics?]."

Die Welt, February 6, 2006)

Prescribed Terminology

Since most mainstream media are reluctant to use the word "terrorist" when they see one (preferred alternatives: "militants", "activists", "insurgents"), we at SoE are today ceremoniously presenting our humble suggestion for the definitive word to be used by the MSM when writing about islamist suicide bombers and the likes. It is:


What's even better - the alliteration works in German as well:


Doesn't that sound great? Thanks to JK for collaborating in the formulation of this great achievement of the mind.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

German Heroes - made in Italy

Anatomy of a Demonstration

Today, hundreds of Muslims protested against the legendary Mohammed cartoons in Düsseldorf, Germany. On display was everything you need for a decent demonstration of that kind.

Exhibit A: The Banner of Islam.

Exhibit B: Banners lamenting the western world's conspiracy against poor muslims (yellow banner: "Behind freedom of the press hatred against muslims is hiding").

Exhibit C: Cute child, proving once and for all that Islam is a religion of peace (Sign: "We like all prophts.").

Exhibit D: Isn't that Saddam Hussein (in the middle)?

Exhibit E: Long beards.

Exhibit F: Useful Idiot. ("Get along - instead of fight")

Hope is on the other side.

While hundreds of Muslims were demonstrating in front of the Düsseldorf main train station, exile Iranians prepared for their little counter-demonstration at the rear entrance. Long live the free Iran.

Sign on the left: "The atomic armament program of the Mullah regime is endangering world peace!" Sign on the right: "Political and economic relations with the islamic regime in Iran mean support for horror and terror in the whole world!"

"Ahmadi-Nedschad is a terrorist."

Düsseldorf, February 11, 2005

Friday, February 10, 2006

He's the Inspiration

What a very rare luxury - ynetnews.com brings you an article by my legendary favorite professor. Eise Aluf!
Rabble in the name of Islam
Even in Europe, the penny has dropped about radical Islam
Dan Schueftan

The hysterical riots by Arab and Muslim thugs around the world following the publication of cartoons portraying the prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper are only the latest symptom of a serious disease.

They reflect the cultural failure of a society that prefers to base itself on the complete failure to stand up to the challenges of modernity, and to direct its anger towards objects of its extremism and hatred – to those elements of the developed, free, Western world that have created the image of modern reality and successfully acquired for themselves quality of life, social welfare and freedom.

The appearance of violence and Arab (and Muslim) radicalism enveloping the world in recent years is related to the same cultural phenomenon: the World Trade Center terrorists, the suicide bombers in Israel, the Bali, London and Madrid terrorists, the hooligans that torched tens of thousands of cars outside Paris in November and the rioters currently burning down European embassies in Damascus and Beirut.
Read it all.

Talking about Hypocrisy

Fasten your seatbelts. According to blog Freedom for Egyptians, Jyllands Posten's Mohammed cartoons have been published by Egyptian newspaper Al Faqr in October 2005, during Ramadan - without causing any protests.

Here's a scan:

Egyptian Sandmonkey (who did the Scan), lgf and PI also report.

Pst! It's a Photoshop!

Look who is reading blogs (but just not thorougly enough)! In the closing paragraph of its current edition's top story, German magazine Stern, Europe's leading weekly magazine (circulation: around 1 Million copies, around 7.8 Million readers) which got its 15 minutes of global fame when it published Hitler's fake diaries in 1983, writes (see scan on the left for original text):

The 'Ministers of Information' of [Arab] states agreed on starting a media campaign - 'in order to improve the bad image of Islam.' A probably unplannedly original text proposal was made by demonstrators at a rally in London with this banner: 'Behead every one who claims Islam is not a peaceful religion!'"

The only thing "unplannedly original" about that paragraph is, that in it, Stern reveals the sorry state of its fact checking abilities. The magazine has obviously fallen for a nice little photoshop, that was (first?) published at lgf:

Here's the original picture:

But still: Kudos to Stern. In the very same article they feature this picture ("Prepare for the real Holocaust") as a full page photo. I haven't seen pictures of the disgusting London rally in any other German publication so far.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ahmadinejad's newest classic Quote

Brought to you by AFP:
"You can pass as many resolutions as you like and be happy about it, but you cannot stop the progress of the Iranian people... We thank God that our enemies are idiots," he was quoted as saying by Iranian news agencies.
In many regards, he might even be right.

Right on

Stolen at Filibuster Cartoons. For a nice comparison of the Mohammed cartoons with normal cartoons from the Arab world, please go here.


It was a very hard piece of work - but in the end, Alemannia Aachen won its game against Unterhaching 1:0, consolidating its excellent position in the second German soccer league. Whew.