Monday, August 29, 2011

VideoBite: Monty Python Does Israel

This exceedingly enjoyable and poignant video spoofing on Monty Python's film "Life of Brian," hits the spot in 2011

The original!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review: Gateway to Terror

Original Book Review -Bruce

Whew, what a book. Activating dormant terror cells all over the United States is the subject matter for "Gateway to Terror," a stunning novel. Starkly realistic, this gripping novel will scare the hell out of you. The message is clear: we are vulnerable...too vulnerable.

In Joe Smiga's first novel, the action shifted between good guys and bad guys. This novel, however, focuses almost exclusively on the bad guys...written so skillfully, one begins to assume their point of view. As the book draws to a close and one of the main characters is in danger, this reader finds himself feeling badly...for a terrorist! This is not your usual novel. This is an experience.

Don't miss it. 
[Bruce's MidEast Soundbites]

Arens calls for caution: "No 'Peace Now'"

Israel Must Adjust to a Changing Middle East -Moshe Arens [pictured]

Diamonds may be forever, but treaties with dictators are not.

We must realize that the facts on the ground around us are changing, and that there may yet be more changes in the wind. It is time for a reappraisal of pre-conceived ideas.

This is not a time to throw caution to the wind. This is not a time to withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines. It is not a time for "daring political initiatives." It is a time for watching and waiting to see how things are going to turn out. It is a time to think how we are going to assure the security of Israel's citizens in the southern part of the country from daily rocket attacks, and make sure that those living in the north and the center of the country do not share their fate.

It is a time to put away the placards calling for "Peace Now."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gaddafi's Sick Obsession: Female Bodyguards

More photos click HERE

Gaddafi bodyguards subjected to genital mutilation

The female bodyguard contingent of Gaddafi who were known as "Sweet 72" or "Killer Beauties" were compelled to undergo Female Genital Mutilation [FMG].

[The bodyguards] were said to swear an oath that they would give their lives for him and it was claimed they never left his side, night or day. A special training college [put] the recruits through a tough physical program and girls who did not drop out emerged as trained killers, experts in firearms and martial arts.

[D]espite his insistence that his guards were chaste, rumors abounded that he was demanding their sexual favors. By rotation, all of the members of "Sweet 72" or "Killer Beauties" were having sexual [relations] with the Libyan autocrat.

Female Genital Mutilation, the term used for removal of all or just part of the external parts of the female genitalia, is a crime in the eyes of international law.
[Weekly Blitz]

Monday, August 22, 2011

Following Eilat Attack, Terror Missiles Rain on Israel...Iran pulling the strings?

An Israeli policeman inspects a Beer Sheba school hit by a rocket fire

Israel Mulls Response to Rocket Attacks

One Israeli was killed and scores were injured after approximately 100 rockets were fired at southern Israel over the weekend. Rockets fired by Palestinians in Gaza fell in Beersheba and the Ashkelon area. One rocket fell on a school in Beersheba causing extensive damage but no injuries.

An Israeli man was killed Saturday night when a rocket exploded near a house in Beersheba. Six others were injured in the explosion, including two who were in critical condition Sunday. Other Israelis were injured when rockets exploded in Ashkelon, Ofakim, Ashdod and elsewhere in the western Negev over the weekend.

Terror Groups Change Tactics; Avoid Iron Dome -Anshel Pfeffer

After Palestinian launch teams realized that the intercept systems deployed in the past two weeks around Ashkelon and Be'er Sheva provided near-perfect protection from rockets, they began targeting Ashdod and Ofakim more frequently.

And when they did aim at Be'er Sheva on Saturday night, they did not fire one or two rockets, as in the past, but rather a volley of seven rockets almost simultaneously. Iron Dome intercepted five of them successfully, but one penetrated the defense system, killing a resident.

Tehran pulls strings of Gaza missile war

The role of Iran and Hizballah in manipulating the ongoing Palestinian war on Israel from Gaza is manifest, Debkafile's military sources report. They planned, orchestrated and funded the coordinated attacks on the Eilat Highway - and its sequel: volleys of 90 missiles launched day and night from Gaza against a million Israeli civilians since then.

Gaddafi's Forces Crumble as Rebels Rejoice

Libyan rebels celebrate; note the knife in the celebrant's right hand. 

Obama's war might be drawing to a close...but the most important issue is what the "rebels" create in the aftermath.  Anarchy may reign as Libya falls into pieces.  The level of control by forces sympathetic to radical Islam is unknown.

Rebels Sweep into Tripoli as Gaddafi Forces Crumble -Missy Ryan

Jubilant rebel fighters swept into the heart of Tripoli as Muammar Gaddafi's forces collapsed and crowds took to the streets to celebrate what they saw as the rapidly approaching end of his four decades of absolute power. Two of Gaddafi's sons were captured by the rebels, but the whereabouts of Gaddafi himself were unknown.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Gaddafi's rule was showing signs of collapse and called on him to quit now to avoid further bloodshed.

The Dictator Has Fallen! Long Live [Fill in the Blank] -Barry Rubin

As NATO jets bombed the military positions of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the watching rebels cheered, “Allah Akhbar!”

Now that is a common Muslim expression, not just used by Islamists, and yet there is something symbolic about it. Allah did not bring the rebels victory, the United States and Europe did. Nevertheless, Allah will get the credit. And that means the triumph will be attributed to the rebels’ piety rather than the West’s warplanes.

In political terms, Islamism is likely to be more attractive than a pro-Western stance. But that doesn’t mean Libya will be an Islamist state; it merely means it won’t be a democratic, pro-Western one. Of course, the key factor here is that nobody, including the Libyans, knows what’s going to happen there.

[T]he prospects for violence and internal disorder are tremendous.
[Pajamas Media]

Libyan Blues -Daniel Pipes, PhD

Many are ready to party about the political demise of Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi. I am not partying. Here's why not.

The NATO intervention in March 2011 was done without due diligence as to who it is in Benghazi that it was helping. To this day, their identity is a mystery. Chances are good that Islamist forces are hiding behind more benign elements, waiting for the right moment to pounce, as roughly happened in Iran in 1978-79, when Islamists did not make clear their strength nor their program until the shah was well disposed of. Should that be the case in Libya today, then the miserable Qaddafi will prove to be better than his successors for both the Libyan subjects of tyranny and the West.

I hope I am wrong and the rebels are modern and liberal. But I fear that a dead-end despotism will be replaced by the agents of a worldwide ideological movement.
I fear that Western forces will have brought civilization's worst enemies to power.
[National Review Online]

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Understanding the Eilat Attack

New Phase in War -Barry Rubin

This isn’t just another terrorist attack — it’s a major escalation, a new phase in the Arab-Israeli conflict in two ways. First, it is the bitter fruit of the U.S-backed downfall of the government of President Husni Mubarak in Egypt, opening the Egypt-Israel border as a new front in the war. Second, it is probably the first successful al-Qaeda attack on Israel. (The Palestinian Popular Committees, a Gaza-based al-Qaeda affiliate is the prime suspect.)

A group of up to 20 terrorists from the Gaza Strip travelled through Egypt using vehicles, then went through the Egyptian border area without any apparent difficulty. Approaching the Egypt-Israel border they fired at a regularly scheduled public bus and cars on highway 12 — a road between Beersheva and Eilat, then entered Israeli territory. Their armaments included mortars and an RPG, as well as handguns. Soldiers engaged the terrorists in a firefight. Several soldiers were wounded; seven terrorists were killed.

According to several eyewitnesses, the attackers were wearing Egyptian army uniforms, a detail which if true is going to be a major issue. Stolen or sold or provided by low-level sympathizers in the Egyptian army? And the site of the attack was near an Egyptian army outpost which — so far as we know now –didn’t do anything about it. One eyewitness said a terrorist was firing from an Egyptian army position. Again, these details will have to be checked by an investigation.

This is a very sophisticated and complex operation.
Have no doubt: This is not just an isolated incident but the opening of a new phase. It will get worse. At a minimum, Israel will have to devote a lot more of its limited resources to guarding the Egypt-Israel border.
Given U.S. policy, nothing can be expected from Washington except words of dismay. The Egyptian regime will assure everyone that it is committed to the peace treaty and will take strong action.  Both Hamas and Fatah sites feature rejoicing at the killing of Israelis. Nobody [Palestinian] is critical of the attacks.
[Pajamas Media]


Coordinated Terrorist Attacks -Anshel Pfeffer

IDF officials believe the [unrealized] goal of the attack was to kidnap a soldier.

Netanyahu Strikes Back

Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "We witnessed today an attempt to escalate the terrorist war against Israel by launching attacks from Sinai.... When the citizens of Israel are attacked, we respond immediately and with strength.... Those who gave the order to murder our citizens, while hiding in Gaza, are no longer among the living."
(Prime Minister's Office)

Vacuum in Sinai -Avi Issacharoff

Thursday's attack was one of the worst terror attacks Israel has experienced in recent years. Israel's warnings of the implications of the Egyptian regime's weakening following the revolution, warnings that were roundly criticized in the world, turned out to be correct and even relatively optimistic. About six months after Hosni Mubrak was deposed, Sinai constitutes a shelter for World Jihad activists. Another attack like this one is only a matter of time.

PA Silence over Terror Raises Questions about Statehood -Herb Keinon

The Palestinian silence regarding Thursday’s terrorist attack in the South was “deafening,” and raises serious questions about the Palestinian Authority’s readiness for independence, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev said.

Government sources noted that even Arafat would issue pro-forma condemnations of violence during the height of the second intifada, something the PA leadership has not yet done since Thursday’s attack.
(Jerusalem Post)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Obama: More Jabs at Jerusalem

Stunning graffiti in Jerusalem

U.S., Mideast Mediators Criticize Israel

The U.S. and other Mideast mediators criticized Israel for a rush of new settlement building approvals. The Quartet of mediators said the housing units planned in Ariel and east Jerusalem prompted a restatement of its position that "unilateral action by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community."

Disband the Middle East Quartet -Elliott Abrams

The Middle East Quartet was unable to issue a statement about the Palestinian effort to get the UN to declare Palestine a state and admit it to membership. Nor has the Quartet issued a statement about the attacks the Assad regime has been carrying out this week against Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, which have led thousands of Palestinians to flee their homes. But on August 16 it addressed what it apparently saw as a graver issue and a greater threat to peace, Israel's announcement of plans to construct additional housing units in Jerusalem and Ariel.

Nowadays the Quartet seems able to reach agreement on only one thing: criticism of Israel. This is the lowest common denominator among the U.S., EU, UN, and Russia. If this is the only function of the Quartet, the better path would be to disband it now - for the statements it is making and the statements it seems unable to make combine to bring discredit on all participants.
(Council on Foreign Relations)

U.S. Presses Israel to Apologize to Turkey -Alex Fishman

The U.S. administration is applying heavy pressure on Israel to apologize to the Turkish government over events surrounding the May 2010 takeover of the Mavi Marmara. The American demand was also voiced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during talks she held with Defense Minister Ehud Barak three weeks ago. According to Israeli diplomats in Washington, U.S. officials had even implied that it would be difficult for the U.S. to persuade other nations to reject the Palestinians' UN statehood bid in September if Jerusalem refuses to apologize to Ankara.
(Ynet News)

Netanyahu to Clinton: Israel Won't Apologize to Turkey

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Israel will not apologize for the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid in which nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists died.

If Palestine Declares Statehood -Martin Peretz

For nearly 20 years (1948-1967), the world sat quite comfy with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with help from the local Arabs, having occupied and then destroyed the entire ancient Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. All of "east Jerusalem" was governed by King Abdullah I, who made sure that no glory attached to what we are now endlessly told is the third holiest city in Islam.

The major impediment to moving on is actually the relentless psychodrama about new Israeli construction in the territories which is little and far between. Shame on the administration for going into hysterics over a few hundred apartments in a Jewish neighborhood.
(New Republic)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Israel Advances Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is known as a fast spreading and aggressive disease

Slowing pancreatic cancer

Israeli researchers have discovered that a protein known to retard the aging process also seems to prevent the growth of pancreatic cancer. If it could be produced commercially without significant side effects, this substance could provide a needed weapon against this and other fast-growing cancers.

In the United States, an estimated 37,660 people will die of pancreatic cancer this year.

The scientists noticed that healthy pancreatic cells contain klotho, but cancerous cells do not. When they injected the cancerous mice with klotho, they discovered that it not only prevented the cancer from spreading, but actually caused tumors to shrink.

"Within a week or two after the protein was injected, the [cancerous] growths stopped spreading and began to shrink," said lead researcher Dr. Ido Wolf.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Obama follows Saudi King on Syria

President Obama finally abandoned Syria's Assad, doing so only after Saudi Arabia broke ties

U.S. to Tell Assad that He Must Go -Bradley Klapper

The Obama administration is preparing to explicitly demand the departure of Syrian President Bashar Assad and hit his regime with tough new sanctions, U.S. officials said Tuesday as the State Department signaled for the first time that American efforts to engage the government are finally over.

The Arab States and Syria -Editorial

The harshest statement [against Syria's Assad] came on Sunday from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. On Monday, along with Kuwait and Bahrain, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador from Damascus in protest.
(New York Times)


Truth About Syria -Editorial

President Obama has finally called for the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to step down and end his murderous war against the Syrian people.
(New York Times)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Dramatic Find in Israel on eve of Tisha B'Av

Ancient Jerusalem Tunnel Reveals 2,000-Year-Old Artifacts

The excavation of an ancient drainage tunnel beneath Jerusalem has yielded a sword, oil lamps, pots and coins abandoned during a war 2,000 years ago, archaeologists said, suggesting the finds were debris from when rebels hid from Roman soldiers crushing a Jewish revolt during the time of the Second Temple.

The tunnel [pictured] was built two millennia ago underneath one of Roman-era Jerusalem's main streets. After a four-year excavation, the tunnel is part of a growing network of subterranean passages under the modern city.

When the tunnel opens to the public sometime in the coming months, underground passages totaling about a mile in length will be accessible beneath Jerusalem. The tunnels have become one of the city's biggest tourist draws and the number of visitors has risen in recent years to more than a million in 2010.
(AP-Washington Post)

On the eve of Tisha B’Av, artifacts breathe new life into story

[A]rtifacts were exposed that breathe new life into the story of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem:

A sword in a scabbard that belonged to a Roman soldier and an engraving of the Temple’s menorah on a stone object were discovered during work the Israel Antiquities Authority conducted in the 2,000 year old drainage channel between the City of David and the Jerusalem Archaeological Garden.

The channel served as a hiding refuge for the residents of Jerusalem from the Romans during the destruction of the Second Temple.
[Israel Antiquities Authority]
Click HERE to download high resolution photographs

Monday, August 08, 2011

Iranian Golden Sundaes: Stranger Than Fiction

Ice cream with 23K edible gold leaf
Iran's Rich Eat Ice Cream Flecked with Gold as Poor Struggle to Survive
-Thomas Erdbrink

Although record oil profits have brought in billions of dollars to the Iranian Revolution, many say the gap in Iran between rich and poor has never seemed wider. Iran's new wealthy class includes children of people with close connections to some of Iran's rulers, as well as families of factory owners and those who managed to get huge loans from state banks at low interest rates. The oil windfall - nearly $500 billion over the past five years - has played a central role in establishing this small group that is visibly enjoying its profits.

The new wealthy are buying Porsches, getting caviar delivered to late-night parties, and eating $250 ice cream covered in edible gold at what's billed as the highest rotating restaurant in the world, atop Tehran's 1,427-foot-high Milad Tower.

"Anger over inequality had been the main motivation for people to join the 1979 [Islamic] revolution," said Hossein Raghfar, an economist who recently quit as an adviser to Ahmadinejad's government. Raghfar noted that 2.5 million children are working rather than attending school, and that there has been an increase in legal kidney sales - along with a recent price drop, from $10,000 to $2,000, because so many people are selling their organs for cash.
(Washington Post)

Friday, August 05, 2011

Three Strikes You're Out...unless you're Palestinian

Declaring a Palestinian State, Yet Again -Daniel Pipes

By my count, this is the fourth Palestinian push to declare a state.

On Oct. 1, 1948, Amin al-Husayni, the mufti of Jerusalem, stood before the Palestine National Council in Gaza and declared the existence of the All-Palestine Government. 
On Nov. 15, 1988, again before a meeting of the Palestine National Council, Yassir Arafat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), declared the existence of a State of Palestine.
Arafat later insisted he would declare a Palestinian state on May 4, 1999.

And now September 2011.

September Surprises -Reuven Berko

The declaration will not change the reality on the ground. Palestinians know that if Abbas takes unilateral measures against Israel, Israel will respond with tough measures of its own, including economic ones. Palestinians realize that a unilateral declaration of statehood would release Israel from the Oslo Agreements and would also release Israel from cooperating with the Palestinians on numerous issues.

Will the Palestinian Authority try to set the region alight? Palestinian officials are well aware of the Islamic devil waiting in the wings for its opportunity to take over the West Bank, just as it did Gaza. They are not anxious to commit collective suicide through a third intifada that could quickly spiral out of control.
(Israel Hayom)