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January 29, 2008: The Ludicrous and the Good

January 29, 2008

We’ll start with several examples of the ludicrous , as a laugh now and then helps us retain balance.

There is a photo I’ve seen — but for some reason have been unable to reproduce — showing a group of poor suffering Palestinians in Gaza managing by candlelight because the evil Israelis shut down their electric power. There’s only one catch: When you look closely, you see that curtains are drawn and at the edges of those curtains there is light seeping in. The picture was taken during daylight hours in a room artificially darkened.


From a blog entry by Martin Kramer:

"The Boston Globe ran an op-ed on Jan. 26 under the headline ‘Ending the Stranglehold on Gaza’ by Eyad al-Sarraj of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program and Sara Roy, a senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. The op-ed included the sentence: ‘Although Gaza daily requires 680,000 tons of flour to feed its population, Israel had cut this to 90 tons per day by November 2007, a reduction of 99%.’ If Gaza has a population of 1.5 million, as the authors also note, then 680,000 tons of flour a day come out to almost half a ton of flour per Gazan, per day. A typographical error? Hardly. The authors copied it from an article in the Al-Ahram Weekly from last November.

"Note how an absurd and impossible ‘statistic’ has made its way up the media feeding chain. It begins in an Egyptian newspaper, is cycled through a Palestinian activist, is submitted under the shared byline of a Harvard ‘research scholar,’ and finally appears in the Boston Globe, whose editors apparently can’t do basic math."



From Maariv, reported in IMRA, yesterday: The Palestinians paid Egyptians with "funny money." During the pullout from Gaza, fake 100 and 200 shekel notes were printed in Gaza. Children played with these notes. Apparently some of them are still around. And some Palestinians who had moved into Egypt used this "money" to pay for supplies; by the third day, the Egyptian merchants had figured it out. But wait! The Egyptians managed for their part. The report says they sold the Palestinians foodstuffs that were past their expiration dates.

Wonderful reading about such kindhearted brotherhood.


You want real kindhearted brotherhood, read this , which is the good news. From Josh Mitnick, writing in the Christian Science Monitor:

"It’s been more than two years since Amir Efrat last saw the Gazan who helped him maintain the water systems in Kibbutz Kfar Azza [before the expulsion from Gush Katif].

"But he has talked to him by phone, and about a month ago he wired 500 shekels to an account in Gaza to help his friend support a family of nine children.

"Gaza has grown more isolated since Hamas took charge last June. But that hasn’t choked off personal ties between Israelis and Gazans who once worked together daily.

"Transcending the politics that divide them , they reach out as best they can as individuals."


The flow of Palestinians into the Sinai has just about stopped as the Egyptians have now repaired most of the gaps in the fence in Rafah with barbed wire.

In order to encourage the return to Gaza of Palestinians, who had just about bought out the stores in Rafah, Egyptian officials refused to allow replenishment of stocks from Cairo. There were complaints that it was now more expensive to buy in the Sinai than in Gaza. Needless to say, this did not make local Egyptians very happy, and most disgruntled were Egyptian Bedouins in the area.

Egyptian security also did a search of Cairo and other cities — checking hotels and similar sites — for Palestinians who might have made it across the Sinai. Reportedly 3,000 Palestinians were turned back.

But 1,500 Palestinians remain stranded in Al Arish , where they are threatening a hunger strike unless Egyptian authorities allow them to leave for other countries where they have study or business commitments. They are currently staying in two mosques, in dire conditions.


According to Asharq Alawsat, London , an Israeli defense delegation — reportedly headed by Defense Ministry Diplomatic-Military Bureau head Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad — secretly met with officials in Cairo regarding the border situation.

Israeli Intelligence indicates that there may be as many as 20 terrorists cells that made their way from Gaza into the Sinai and are intending to cross the border into Israel (much easier than across the border from Gaza) to launch terror attacks.

Egypt, for its part, has serious concerns about the fact that terrorists who have crossed into the Sinai from Gaza may strengthen Al Qaida cells there.


Anti-Semitic incitement against Jews never disappears . Now, as once again it rears its obscene head, the fight against it is exceedingly important.

Attorney General Mazuz has just filed an indictment against Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement (an Israeli-registered organization peopled by Arabs who are Israeli citizens). The charge is incitement to violence and racism in a speech he made last year protesting the dig by Israel near the Mughrabi Gate.

At that time, he called for a third intifada to "save al-Aksa Mosque, free Jerusalem and end the occupation." Going further, he declared, "They want to build their temple at a time when our blood is on their clothes, on their doorsteps, in their food and in their drinks…We are not those who ate bread dipped in children’s blood."

His lawyer’s defense? This is political and has no basis in law.

I don’t believe there is, but there should be, a law to strip such a person of Israeli citizenship. As it is, he should just see the inside of an Israeli prison.


The UN Human Rights High Commissioner , Louise Arbour, is being asked by UN Watch (which is associated with the American Jewish Committee) to clarify her endorsement of the Arab Charter of Human Rights, which "contains several provisions that promote classically anti-Semitic themes." The Charter was drafted in 1994, but was not officially ratified until this month. Arbour then embraced the ratification, saying that it was "an important step forward" in strengthening the enjoyment of human rights in the Arab world.

Wrote UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, in a letter to Arbour:

"Zionism is the movement for Jewish self-determination and asserts the inherent and internationally-acknowledged right of Israel to exist. A text that equates Zionism with racism, describes it as a threat to world peace, as an enemy of human rights and human dignity, and then urges its elimination, is blatantly anti-Semitic."

"Even if the Arab Charter may contain other , constructive provisions, nothing can justify any endorsement of a text with such hateful language."

We are dealing here with two different phenomenon. First is the inherent and on-going anti-Semitism of the Arab world. And then, the bias of a UN organization that endorses text that contains such anti-Semitic language. Neuer is demanding accountability. Knowing what I do of Arbour’s reputation, I tend to doubt he’ll get it.


Dalia Itzik, Speaker of the Knesset , has rejected Orlev’s request to discuss the Winograd Report in special session on Thursday. Regrettable.


Yesterday I mentioned the funeral of arch-terrorist George Habash . Voices are being raised demanding that Olmert seek an apology from Abbas, who has declared three days of official mourning for Habash and referred to him as "an historic leader."

I trust you will not hold your breath waiting for this to happen. The "moderate" Abbas exposes his true intentions in this way again and again, while Olmert turns a blind eye.




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