Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Purim Poster.

Seems like some of our friends in the JBlogosphere seem to have even more time on their hands than the rest of us!

The Holy Hyrax has come up with this simply indescribable Purim Poster advertisement for the upcoming Purim Podcast.

Not all the characters shown below will be featured (and the West Bank Mama message on that guy's chest is rather odd), but who am I to critique the graphic artist prowess of the Holiest of Hyraxes? I am but dust under his feet.

It's not too late to submit something, if you haven't already!

--Jameel








Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Purim or Not. You decide.

Renegade Rebbetzin Purim Costume
Price: Free with purchase at any supermarket (get paper, not plastic, stupid)

Bark Mitzva Dog Tallis
Price: $12.99



RenReb Dog T-shirt
Price: $22.00


JBLOGOSPHERE PEOPLE: TIME IS RUNNING OUT.

That's right, if you want a chance to be part of this year's JBlogosphere Purim podcast, then record an audio file of yourself, and send it to me.

Technically Challenged? Ezzie has all the details. Just CALL and leave your (anonymous) message, and we'll include it in the podcast. Your message can be:

1. a "hello"
2. a quick ad for your blog.
3. something funny
4. a commerical
5. a sketch
6. be a different blogger and parody them (in good taste, only, or it won't go in)

Time's a wasting...get to work!

To Call and participate:

But there is another way! We've set up a number on GCast for people to call into and record onto. You just call, record, and hang up. If you're in the US: 1-888-65-GCast. Internationally it says +1-305-437-8719. The ten-digit code is C1MAURP1ZZ; The PIN is PURI. Punch those in slowly, it doesn't register if you do it too fast. You can listen to whatever you record before saving (and you can delete it before submission). Please press 2 to save - thanks!




Jameel.







Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Israeli (and other) Jews Love: KIDS

It's not only us in the settlements...

Ynet's weekly Yahadut-Gesher survey has revealed that some 63 percent of the public believes that the ideal family is comprised of a man, a woman and at least four children.

The survey was conducted by The Brands Institute among a sampling of 500 respondents from the adult Jewish population in Israel.

Please read that closely: Four kids or more.

And the leading "Jewish value" – respecting parents.

In answer to the question what is the most important Jewish value, 56 percent said that respecting parents was the most important, there was a consensus on this among traditional and secular respondents (65 percent). The Shabbat was the second most important value with a significant gap - only 18 percent view this as a leading Jewish value, followed by holidays, charity and Torah study.

Among the ultra-orthodox community, 42 percent said the Shabbat was the most important value, followed by Torah study (18 percent). Even 38 percent of orthodox respondents noted that the Shabbat was the most important value, before respecting parents (22 percent) and Torah study (13 percent).

No need to argue which is "more important" -- is it "Talmud Torah kneged kulam" or "V'Ahavta Lerei'acha Kamocha"...I think this survery is good news.






Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

How to Record Stuff for the J-Blogosphere Purim Podcast

The post about the Purim Podcast has been updated with the info. Hijacking Jameel's blog is fun - I should SO do this more often...!



Wherever Jameel is [hint: think Middle East...], he really wants to hear you in his Purim Podcast.

Protocols of Zion

Can I submit this video from
Jewish Music Group as my Purim submission (even if I didn't have anything at all to do with its production)?




It's just very funny.






Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Purim @ JBlogosphere...coming soon!



Last call for submissions -- (That means you too!)

Send it to Jameel: muqata@gmail.com

UPDATED (by Ezzie): Some people are wondering how to record material... There are many options. If you have an MP3 player, and it records, that's one way - just email the file. If you have a mic (or headset with one) hooked up to your computer, you can likely record that way.

But there is another way! We've set up a number on GCast for people to call into and record onto. You just call, record, and hang up. If you're in the US: 1-888-65-GCast. Internationally it says +1-305-437-8719. The ten-digit code is C1MAURP1ZZ; The PIN is PURI. Punch those in slowly, it doesn't register if you do it too fast. You can listen to whatever you record before saving (and you can delete it before submission). Please press 2 to save - thanks!






Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Monday, February 26, 2007

UltraBusy

Sorry I've been occupied the past few days...been very busy.

On my mind:

- Orthomom's ongoing legal woes vs. Pamela Greenbaum. This landmark case will have repercussions for the entire Blogosphere and it should concerns us all...(well, for anyone who values any sort of anonymity and free speech.

- Barnard's President would be an excellent member of the Israel's Labor party, with her quote on the Barnard website to alumnae, responding to criticism of giving tenure to a junk-research faux anthropologist:

"I will share with you my concern about communications and letter-writing campaigns orchestrated by people who are not as familiar with Barnard as you are, and who may not be in the best position to judge the matter at hand."
Only those familiar with Barnard are capable of determining if junk research academics can get tenure at Barnard?

-The death of R' Mordechai Breuer z'l. Both Lipman and AMK wrote about it.
Oh yeah...and Purim is coming.
Sooooooon. Very soooon.
Stay tuned :)










Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chelm Still Laughing at Israel




The above clip appeared on the Jay Leno show, showing Israel's brilliant Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, attempting to look through binoculars with the lens caps still on.**

I wish he did this for the sake of Adar/Purim levity...but alas, that is not the case.

So much to write about. I'm sorry I was out of commission last week; hardly any time, and even less internet access.

However, unlike Jack the Waffle Guy, the often-profound XGH, the poignant Treppenwitz, the ubiquitous Jewbiquitous , the eloquent, champion of blog free-speech Orthomom, the blogger with answers -- AskShifra, Ezzie the round-up blogger, or the Slifkin Scorecard blogger from the 5towns, Krum...unlike them all, I received mention in the Jerusalem Post this week! ***

More to come....Purim is approaching.

In an abrupt, yet neccessary change of pace; my condolences to real-life-blog-friend Steg, who is sitting shiva for his father z'l.

You'll be hearing more from me later.

Shavua Tov.

Adar Sameach,

Jameel.


** Not only did I just notice before posting this that Jack has the exact same picture, but he used "Chelm" in his title. I guess we have been reading each other's blog for way to long, or perhaps we are just the same person after all.

*** If you want a link drop as well, please let me know!

**** Hat-tip to Gee, I'm a Moron for the JPost link.





Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Cell Phone Vigilante

I'll admit that as of late, I've been traveling on airplanes quite a bit and have gotten used to long stretches of travel time without the interruption of the cell phone. Even better, without the interruption of OTHER people yapping it up on their cell phones (sometimes you wish that PEOPLE had a volume control). This is why I hope airlines continue to resist allowing passengers to use cell phones in flight.

In any case, last week I took a ride on the train -- something I haven't done in a while -- and I'd forgetten how much of an issue cell phone use is on those trips home in the evening. Many people look forward to a good nap on the ride home so that after a long day at work, they can be refreshed when they arrive home to meet their family.

So I'm sitting there on the train, and I met a friend of mine who I used to see often when I rode the train a lot. We chatted for a bit before he told me he was going to take a short nap before his stop. Suddenly, two rows ahead of us, a cell phone rang. And you just knew what was going to happen next...

"HELLO!?... YES!!... WHAT??? I'M ON THE TRAIN!..."

And so everyone on the train was disturbed by this man's conversation. Nothing new here, right? Well, my buddy turns to me and says "watch this" and he pulls what looks like a walkie talkie out of his briefcase. He presses a button, a little red light turns on, and 10 seconds later, you hear the following from the passenger on the phone...

"HELLO? ARE YOU THERE? DARN CELL PHONE COVERAGE..."

Then my friend explains that the walkie talkie is a cell phone jammer. With a fully-charged battery, he can block cell service for about half of the car we were in. These jammers are illegal in the states, but can be acquired easily enough on the internet. Such a hand-held battery-powered jammer runs about $285 -- a small price to pay for peace and quiet, and a good nap on the train ride home from work.

Nice, eh?

Of course, the question arises, is it right for someone to block cell service for so many people just to grab a few minutes of shut-eye? While the person yelling on the phone is certainly violating cell phone etiquette, is the person doing the jamming any better?

- MUST





Wherever Jameel is, he wears his Kippah and his blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Paris Wrapup. On to England...

Paris is history.

I'm now sitting in a Hilton hotel lounge in southern England, waiting for their CRASHED computer system to come up so they can check in all the people (like me) waiting here in the lounge. Some are on their laptops typing away, others drinking and drinking...

So, while I'm waiting to check in, here's my Paris story for you.

(Just as a side point, I was given a demo today, and the person who presented the demo was named, "JAMAL". I almost burst out laughing in his face...my life is such a blog post, or the otherway around)


My French work colleague was very gracious and offered to drive me around Paris a bit before my flight out this evening. When I hosted him in Yerushalayim last month I went around the old city with him, so he was very happy to reciprocate.

On our drive to the Eiffel Tower, he told me about how as a French national, he was proud that France is doing a lot to come to grips with its complicity with the Nazis during the Holocaust. He spoke about memorials being erected to remember France's part in the deportation of Jews, classes being taught in schools, and the rigid "Holocaust anti-denial" laws.

I told him that I still hadn't decided whether I would wear a kippa or a cap when going outside to the different sights to take pictures, and when he heard my indecision, he was absolutely horrified.

He was deeply embarrassed that antisemitism is so rampant that almost all Jews refrain from wear kippot in France, and he insisted that I wear my kippa. He was literally overwhelmed that I was considering otherwise, and repeated over and over, "you MUST wear it...you must," as if wearing a cap would humiliate him -- that I would be in danger by proudly expressing my Judaism in his country.

I decided in the end (to his relief) to wear my kippa as I got out at the Eiffel Tower to take some pictures and mingle in the crowd to get better shots. Don't get me wrong -- there were stares and stares from many people there, but I ignored them as I took my pictures (and kept looking around, ready to defend myself from any attack).

While it was depressing that I had to be in such a defensive mode, my colleague was very appreciative, and he respected me even more afterwards.

Oh..my hotel just announced (after a whole hour of waiting) that their computer systems are up and running. Therefore, I'll just post some pics of mine from today, and will continue blogging tomorrow.





Layla Tov.

Jameel

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael






Monday, February 19, 2007

Viva La Muqata!

With all the things going on, (the lawsuit against Orthomom, Israel Police Chief Karadi resigning, our new IDF Chief of Staff Ashkenazi, and more), I find myself in Paris of all places.

I'm unable to blog it all now but hopefully, I'll have it up this evening.

It's grey and gloomy in Paris today and I'm about to visit the Eifel Tower.

The big question is, "to wear my kippa everywhere or a baseball cap?"

Pros: Jewish Pride. Kiddush Hashem.
Cons: Could get beaten up.

I'll let you know how it works out, and put up some pictures as well.

Regards,

Jameel





Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bloggers United Against Pamela Greenbaum.

For those of us in Israel, this story erupted about 3 minutes before candle lighting on Friday, so we didn't know about it till Saturday night.

According to the NY Daily News, Lawrence Public School board member Pamela Greenbaum is suing Google to disclose the identity of the Orthomom blogger, because she was allegedly defamed on the blog and called "ugly" and an "anti-Semite."

One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to see that Orthomom never said Pamela Greenbaum was ugly or an anti-Semite, but a commenter did.

Krum's analysis is as follows:
First, it would seem that she should be asking for disclosure of the commenter, not Orthomom. My understanding of Blogger Law 101 is that merely providing a form for allegedly libelous comments cannot be the basis for a lawsuit. Second, the comments in question don't appear to consitute defamation. Epithets like these are not statements of fact, and therefore not libelous.
Ezzie found this great letter as well:
Dear Ms. Greenbaum,

I read a short piece today regarding your lawsuit against Google regarding comments made about you on an individual blog. I'm sorry to inform you, since you seem to be unaware of this fact, but such is the rhetoric of politics, right or wrong, stupid or not.

But to sue Google over the anonymous comments of other individuals on an anonymous blog for making obviously hateful comments that only a small number of people may have seen? That's... well, that's just stupid. Here's a basic lesson in Blogging 101: That SiteMeter you noticed at the bottom that shows over 300,000 hits to Orthomom's blog? Guess what - they were NOT all on that one post. Orthomom has a great blog, but those 300K were accumulated over a long period of time... and just a tiny fraction were on that particular post, and some of them by [gasp] the same people repeatedly. A good estimate would be that maybe a couple of hundred people saw those comments, and almost none were influenced by them.

But do you know who DOES have a wider readership [somehow]? The NY Daily News. And now, your sad lawsuit which will be laughed out of court will be mocked by possibly tens of thousands in your area... instead of by a select few on a blog. Brilliant, Ms. Greenbaum. I'm sure those who voted you onto the school board are proud that such a forward-thinking individual is their representative.

Sincerely, Glad I Don't Live in Lawrence
Steve I Weiss, The Canonist finds that Greenbaum doesn't believe people are allowed to express an opinion (is Greenbaum on the Lawrence School Board, or the Tehran School Board? And will that comment also get me in trouble?)
It’d be hard to represent a more misleading set of factual claims. The only times the claims of Greenbaum’s being “ugly” or a “bigot” come up are in anonymous comments to this post. It’s impossible to know from the story how much of the factual error is Greenbaum’s and how much is Martinez’s, but either way this is an obviously ridiculous lawsuit that presents at least some questions about Greenbaum’s approach to the First Amendment in her life as an elected official.

For the suit to exist at all, she must believe that people don’t have a right to express opinions of her. That’s a scary position for a school board member to maintain.
DovBear suggests that Greenbaum stop crying and start blogging.
Instead of suing, here's what Pam should do: Start your own blog. It's free, and you can use it to address OM and her commenters directly. Anyone who reads OM's blog will read the Pam Greenbaum blog, too, and, as always, the best argument will win. If you're not a bigot, tell us why. If you're not ugly, put up a picture. Let the blogging community decide.
Orthomom herself doesn't appear too worried, because as quoted by everyone above, Greenbaum has absolutely no case against her; Orthomom didn't even WRITE the alleged insults.

The bottom line here is that Greenbaum looks rather foolish to sue Google to force the disclosure of Orthomom, when it was an anonymous commenter that implied she was ugly.

However, Greenbaum has now given us lots to think about for the upcoming Purim Podcast, and we sincerely thank her for that...reality is always much better than fiction.

Shavua Tov.

Jameel.







Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Purim is coming...are you ready?


That's right, Purim is coming.

For those of your who remember last year on the JBlogosphere, we had a pretty decent time with the Purim Parodies...


The Purim Blogroll on the right side of my blog has them all ---->

This year, we have raised the bar (and our expectations) for Purim in the JBlogosphere.

We will NOT be planning parodies this year (but feel free to do that if you wish, and I'll be more than happy to publicize them here).

Instead...we're aiming for bigger, better, and (hopefully) funnier.

Think you're funny enough or clever enough to show the JBlogosphere what you can do?

Drop me an email (muqata@gmail.com) and we'll see how to get you in the act.

Getting us into the spirit of Purim, is Ben Chorin, who somehow located the entire infamous series of Purim Pashkevil (posters) from Meah Shearim. All these pashkevilim have actually appeared on the walls of Jerusalem (and other places around Israel). Check them all out here.

This one about Bar Ilan Road being considered Palestinian "Area A" on shabbat, and being patroled by Palestinian policemen to keep Jews from driving on it, almost generated an international scandal.


Krum as a Bagel wonders about this Jerusalem poster as well...

OK people, this is it. Wanna get in on the act? Drop me an email.

Regards,

Jameel & Co.







Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Does Barnard Need Junk Academics?

Bumped to the top

Its tenure time at Barnard College, and Nadia Abu El Haj is aspiring to attain the coveted Barnard professorship title in her field of Anthropology.

Unfortunately, tenure for Nadia Abu El Haj does about as much to further Columbia and Barnard’s academic standing, as Hamas has done to promote peace in the Middle East.

One only has too examine her doctoral thesis (and now a book), “Facts on the Ground: Archeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society.” to see that her analysis of “archaeological practice” has nothing to do with anthropological or archaeological analysis, and is just your run-of-the-mill anti-Israel rhetoric, masquerading as junk research.

Her analysis of Israeli society determines that it is a "settler-colonial community", and has “invented” an ancient history in the region by the use of archeology.

She attempts to demonstrate how "(social) science generates facts or phenomena, which refigure what counts as true or real,” and concludes that the "existence of the ancient Israelite and Hebrew kingdoms should be considered “a pure political fabrication.”

Historians are appalled by her junk research.

“El-Haj is not a practicing archaeologist. She hardly knows the Hebrew in which many Israeli archaeological debates are conducted. She has taken part in very few actual digs. Yet she confidently condemns Israeli archaeology as a tool of the Zionists. With only gossip to go on, she accuses one archaeologist of bulldozing non-Jewish strata to get to the levels that might offer details about ancient Israel. Bizarrely, she then concludes her book by reversing herself on such desecration, asking us to "understand" sympathetically the Palestinian mob that destroyed Joseph’s Tomb on October 8, 2000. I guess it all depends on whose narrative is being bulldozed.”

Jonathan Burack, The Family Security Foundation, December 28, 2006

Archaeologists have criticized her book harshly:

The dean of Middle Eastern archeology, William Dever of the University of Arizona, “who has authored more than 20 books on Middle East History, said Ms. Abu El-Haj seems intent on writing Jews out of ancient Middle East history, and demonizing a generation of apolitical Israeli archaeologists in the process. Barnard should deny Ms. Abu El-Haj tenure, he said, ‘not because she's Palestinian or pro-Palestinian or a leftist, but because her scholarship is faulty, misleading and dangerous.’ ” Campus Watch

"At the heart of her critique is an undisguised political agenda that regards modern and ancient Israel , and perhaps Jews as a whole, as fictions… "Abu El Haj's anthropology is undone by her... ill-informed narrative, intrusive counter-politics, and by her unwillingness to either enter or observe Israeli society... "The effect is a representation of Israeli archaeology that is simply bizarre... Filling in what is missing from her text becomes fatiguing. In the end there is no reason to take her picture of Israeli archaeology seriously, since her selection bias is so glaring… "Abu El Haj has written a flimsy and supercilious book, which does no justice to either her putative subject or the political agenda she wishes to advance. It should be avoided." Alexander H. Joffe, Lecturer in Archaeology, Purchase College, SUNY Journal of Near Eastern Studies. Chicago: Oct 2005. Vol. 64, Iss. 4; p. 297

"Perhaps the most astonishing part of the book is a discussion on the last page of the text (p. 281). Abu el-Haj describes and condones the attack, and subsequent ransacking, by a Palestinian mob on what is known as "Jacob's Tomb" in Nablus in 2001. Several people were killed as a result of this attack; the gleeful tone in which she describes this act of vandalism exemplifies how her political agenda completely overcame her duties as a social scientist… "This book is the result of faulty and ideologically motivated research. One can but wonder how the 1995 dissertation on which it is based was authorized at Duke University and how a respected publisher like the University of Chicago Press could have published such unsubstantiated work.” Maeir, Aren, Professor of Archaeology, Bar Ilan University, Isis, volume 95 (2004), pages 523–524, Solomonia Blog

It’s ironic that while supposedly advocating archeology, Abu el-Haj indelibly aligns herself with the Palestinians, who have absolutely no regard or respect for Biblical archeology whatsoever. Doing everything in their power to destroy the archaeological remnants from the Temple Mount, Palestinians dug out a huge underground Mosque in the “Solomon's Stables” area of the Temple Mount, and proceeded to destroy and dump everything they could find of historic significance, while repeating the mantra, “There were never any Jewish Temples in Jerusalem.

As Arab mobs riot these days over Israel's attempts to rebuild a bridge to the Temple Mount and the to excavate outside the Mugrabi Gate (and therefore, outside the Temple Mount complex and Mosques), one has to wonder why Barnard College is demeaning itself by offering tenure to junk academics, bent on the denying the legitimacy of the Jewish State.

Are you an alum of Barnard or Columbia?

Why not drop an email to Barnard College President, Judith Shapiro, (jshapiro@Barnard.Edu) or Columbia College President Lee Bollingermailto:Bollinger@columbia.edu) and let them know that tenure for Nadia Abu El Haj degrades your alma mater.

Know someone who studied at Barnard or Columbia who values academic research integrity? Send them a link to this posting.

Universities are research institutions, and politics can and should play a role in formulating opinion. Yet when academic research is corrupted to that point that anti-Israel junk-academia peddlers are eligible for tenure at Ivy League schools, I think we need to take a step back and ensure that research at our universities remains free of the likes of Nadia Abu El Haj.

Pass it on.

Jameel.

PS...

Marilyn Chin '74
Director of Barnard Alumnae Affairs
(212) 854-2005
mchin@barnard.edu


Derek Wittner '65
Dean of Alumni Affairs and Development
Tel: (212) 870-2741
daw8@columbia.edu

Office of the President, Judith Shapiro

109 Milbank Hall,
Tel: (212) 854-2021

Additional resource and news links here:

http://www.nysun.com/article/43652
http://www.nysun.com/article/44184
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/21/disputes
http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/25976.html








Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Capitulation to Terror: Mugrabi Gate Bridge project halted.

Haaretz is reporting that the current plan to build a new bridge to the Mugrabi Gate Entrance to the Temple Mount has been withdrawn. Effectively, there are no entrances for Jews to visit the Temple Mount and no simple way for the Israeli Police to enter the Temple Mount when the Arabs riot and throw stones at Kotel worshipers.

Yisrael Meidad has all the background information (up until the project was canceled a few minutes ago) and JoeSettler has the pictures.

And you wonder why we lost the war in Lebanon this summer...







Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Egypt MP: Only nuclear bomb can stop Israeli digging [at the Mugrabi gate]

And this wasn't just any Member of the Egyptian Parliment, this was Mohamed el-Katatny of President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP). (YNET)

"That cursed Israel is trying to destroy al-Aqsa mosque...Nothing will work with Israel except for a nuclear bomb that wipes it out of existence." --MP Mohamed el-Katatny (NDP)

"The war with Israel is still ongoing whether we like it or not," --MP Khalifa Radwan (NDP)

"What this (Israeli) gang is doing makes me demand that we trample over all the agreements we signed." --MP Mohamed Amer (NDP)

"Know that the Israeli establishment, which wants to conquer al-Aqsa, has already started to destroy part of the mosque." --Sheikh Ra’ad Salah, head of the Islamic Movement

"The Aqsa Mosque is in real danger and needs Muslim support to defend and spare it the rancorous Israeli conspiracies" --Palestinian Chief Justice Tayseer al-Tamimi


"The Israeli occupation government is conspiring to finally destroy the Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest Muslim shrine world-wide, and to install the alleged Third Temple on its ruins." --Hamas Website

Last week, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said "There are irresponsible people, who know perfectly well that there is no damage being done to any holy site, who are abusing the Israeli democracy to incite religious sentiments for political gains."

Who loves these irresponsible people?

I assume the answer lies in this AP Confidential News Form which was sent by a loyal Muqata reader.

Friday Prayer Meeting Report Form
Property of the Associated Press
CONFIDENTIAL


Instructions for Reporters: Please use this form to report on the news that involves Friday prayer meetings. Please have your work turned in no later than 3:00PM on Friday. Keep in mind that it is not necessary for the events to have concluded (or even taken place) before completing your submissions. Accompanying photographs will be created by the graphic design department. Please check the requested photo type below.

__Weeping Muslim Mother
__Weeping Muslim Mother with Injured Child
__Damaged Ambulance – Please circle damage requested (missile damage/fire damage/bullet holes)
__Where’s Waldo (the same man posed in various types of rubble)
__General Rubble (wide angle or close up) – Please indicate the number of smoke plumes: ____

Please note that we are no longer doing “RUSH” jobs on the photos because of the recent problems with the cloning tool in Photoshop. (Thanks a lot Ahmed!)

-----------

(Please circle or fill in the blanks as desired)

On Friday following prayer meetings in (Jerusalem/Baghdad/London/Dearborn) a public demonstration was held by Muslims to express their outrage over (fill in the blank). The demonstration included cries of “Allahu Akbar” amid hundreds of Hamas and Palestinian flags. During the demonstration several American flags and effigies of the (American President/British PM/Israeli PM) were burned and stepped on by Muslim youths while veiled women looked on supportively. Imam Muhammad al-Muhammad al-Muhammad said, “The (fill in the blank) is an insult and a humiliation to the people of Islam. We expect an immediate (withdrawal/apology/cash settlement/shipment of goats) to let the world know that the (Israelis/Americans/scary monsters) have wronged the people of Allah.”

During the demonstration the Muslim youths in attendance allegedly began throwing rocks at the (Israeli Defense Force/Police/local KFC). Imam Tariqi al-Husseini al-Sumbahdi stated “We were simply (peacefully protesting/praying/reading the Koran) when we were attacked. Many of our children were killed in the attack but I didn’t see any of them throwing rocks.” An investigation concluded that no rocks could be traced back to the alleged Muslim perpetrators indicating that it was probably incited by the (jooz).

This most recent event makes it clear how (the Israeli-Palestinian conflict/the occupation of Iraq/global warming) is causing increased problems in the region. White House representatives condemned the deaths and issued a (warning/caution/concerned glance) to (the IDF/Israel/scary monsters) for escalating tensions in the region. To help the suffering Muslims the US Administration has agreed to send (fill in the blank) million dollars to help fund peaceful efforts in the region.

Jamil Hussein released a statement verifying all events in this report.










Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Monday, February 12, 2007

Jameel's Blogroll

Now I don't know about you, but Jameel's blogroll reminds me of an overstuffed closet. It is chock full of all sorts of treasures. The problem is trying to determine just what is gold and what is Fools Gold.

It is not really my place to criticize the host but I am feeling rather grumpy so etiquette goes out the window. So I have to continue along this perilous path and ask Jameel a question.

Have you noticed that a few of those blogs are dead. It is not like the Princess Bride where we can say mostly dead is partially alive. They are dead and there is less hope of them being restored than Elvis suddenly showing up for a waffle breakfast.

See, criticize someone else and you forget about your own problems. You'll have to excuse me now I have to run back to my blog and see if there are glaring issues that Jameel can blast me about.

As they once said, lulei demistafina.








Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Waffles - The Breakfast of the Vanities


Jack's done a pretty decent job of putting together Haveil Havalim this week.

A pretty decent job, but he only managed to slip my blog in 7 times.

Seven Times?

I was sure that Jack would manage a few more, especially after gorging himself on waffles at my house.

Do you know that he can burp louder than anyone I know in the Northern hemisphere?

In any event, head on over to Haveil Havalim #106.

It's a good read.

PS: Since Jack omitted Sarah-with-no-H from his list, here's a bonus link to her site as well.






Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Arabs betray America (again)...pass the Humus.

Israeli columnist, Nahum Barnea analyzes the Palestinian Authority Meccafest, where terror groups Fatah and Hamas try to live together in harmony (i.e., stop killing each other, so they can focus on killing Israelis)
The bad news is that once again we are like rabbits caught in the headlights of a car. The really embarrassing news is that we are stuck there along with the United States.

By the time the agreement between Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas was signed in Mecca on Thursday, the American Administration had been betrayed three times: Once by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, then by Saudi king Abdullah, and finally by Abbas. These three American allies ignored Condoleezza Rice's pleas; they negotiated with Khaled Mashaal and bent her will in his favor.

The agreement constitutes a severe blow to Rice's reputation in Washington. Despite the White House's warnings, she has been investing much effort in a bid to strengthen and glorify Abbas. Next Monday, on February 19th, she was set to have been rewarded for her efforts in a festive summit under her auspices. The summit between Ehud Olmert and Abbas would have served as a first step towards commencing talks between the two sides. The agreement signed in Mecca has emptied the summit of content.

Currently Rice is debating whether to hold the summit or cancel it. Via diplomatic channels, Abbas promised to wait with the establishment of the Palestinian national unity government until after the summit. From Rice's point of view this is small consolation. Abbas is actually seeking to remain under US patronage as if the agreement he signed with Hamas does not exist, and to cooperate with Hamas as if America, the Quartet and Israel do not exist. Rice is finding this a bit too much to swallow.

Abbas and his associates did not go to Mecca by choice, but rather, out of fear. The violent clashes between Fatah forces and Hamas threatened to escalate into a full blown civil war. Abbas is not cut out for this type of conflict. He feared that anarchy would turn the Palestinian Authority into a Middle Eastern model of Somalia. And perhaps, as Israeli sources argued, he also feared for his own life. Either way, he preferred temporary calm with Hamas over a long-term treaty with the Americans. The Saudis and the Egyptians followed suit.

The US Administration believed it could cultivate a Sunni coalition that would span from North America to Lebanon and would stand up against Iran's Shiite megalomania. The Mecca agreement, signed last week, will force the Americans to rethink the situation. Perhaps those who are proposing that the Administration regard the Arab-Israeli conflict as a lost cause and focus their attention on other parts of the world are right. Perhaps they are right in proposing that Hamas' terrorist traits be ignored. Alternately, perhaps those proposing that the US Administration encourage talks between Israel and Syria are right. (More on YNET)

Unfortunately, Barnea really believes that glorifying Abbas "the moderate Sunni" will bring about the possibility of change.

Fundamentalist Islam is not the only threat to Israel, and "moderate" Sunnis, which the US State Department, Dr. Dore Gold, and others like to consider as realistic alternatives, are only possibilities -- if they aren't terrorists.

Glorifying a terrorist and holocaust denier like Abbas is what exacerbates the problem -- it does absolutely nothing for peace in the Middle East.





Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday Morning Video



The above video is being sung by Yisrael Chaim, a young Israeli cancer patient. He recorded this song about his battle with cancer in between chemo sessions, just before his Bar Mitzva not too long ago.

This video was produced by Zichron Menachem, a very worthwhile organization if you are looking to give tzedakka to.

They also accept donations of hair to make into wigs for children, who are undergoing chemo therapy.

When a child in Israel has cancer...

Established in 1990, Zichron Menachem (ZM) is named in memory of Menachem Ehrental, an Israeli boy who battled cancer for over 14 years - from age 18 months until his young death. Drawing on their vast experience as parents of a cancer-stricken child, Menachem's parents, together with family and friends, founded ZM as a non-profit organization aimed at easing the suffering of young cancer patients and their families.



hat-tip: The Bone Crusher.








Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Thursday's Roundup; WarDrums, VideoGames @ Chopsies Pizza, Spooky Pictures...the usual weirdness

Yes, there are war drums beating at Israel's northern border. Before we discuss that, some acutely vivid memories popped into my head on my way to work.

While PsychoToddler is a known video game addict, I also used to waste my share of quarters on video games when I was a teenager.

Places that come to mind with those machines are the "Greasy Spoon" type places (who knows what it's really called) across the street from YU's Beit Midrash in Manhattan, which is next to Shaller's book store (if that still exists).

I don't know why I got to thinking about Washington Heights this morning, but the Greasy Spoon definitely occupied my thoughts. The good news for PT is that newly released research proves that Video Games are good for your eyesight (besides improving eye-hand coordination). When a terrorist shot up the Greasy Spoon on Amsterdam Avenue in the 1980s, one high schooler even was saved by ducking into the video game.

Though not many of the readers here know this, there used to even be a "game room" in the basement of YU's Furst Hall, with dozens of pinball machines and video games.

At some point in time, they migrated to the Morg dorm's basement.

But when I was younger and had no access to these locations, I would play at the "Chopsies" Pizza store, where "Pepe" the counter guy was a known icon. I must have burned dollars and dollars playing "The Wizards of Wor", PacMan, Ms. Pacman, Frogger, and Space Invaders. My hard earned babysitting money of $1.25/hour would disappear into the machines, as I fed my electronic addiction, hoping for a high.

Next door to "Chopsies" was "McDovids"...one of the first Kosher fast food places in NYC, along with Kosher King (in Brooklyn)...which was sued by Burger King has had to change it's name to Kosher Country.

Who would have thought back then that I would have access to all those games of yore on my laptop in 2007, and can play them to my heart's content without feeding in a single quarter.

Pac-Man

Space Invaders

Frogger

Wizards of Wor

Ms PacMan

OK, enough about video games and back to reality.

Last night, Israel's border (surprisingly...not) started to heat up with an exchange of gunfire and tankfire between the IDF and Lebanon's army.
The IDF and Lebanese forces exchanged fire on Israel's northern border near Avivim late Wednesday night. Israeli troops have been operating in the area between the Israeli fence and the Lebanese border for several hours, combing for additional Hizbullah explosive devices similar to the ones found earlier this week in the area. (YNETnews)
Arabs have decided that while they can defile the Temple Mount by destroying all the evidence they could find of the Beit HaMikdash underneath the "Solomon's Stables", yet when Israel tries to excavate near the Mugrabi Gate (so they can build a new bridge to the entrance of the Temple Mount), the Arabs (in typical fashion) lie to the world and threaten terrorist attacks on Synagogues.

Their claims include:

1. Israel is trying to build the Third Temple.
2. Israel is trying to damage mosques on the Temple Mount

Quality quote from Arab protester:

"We oppose the destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque," one protester told Ynet. "It hurts Muslim pride, the world, and Israel." (same YNET article as above)

Oooooh - Muslim pride.

Go back to the rock you crawled out from, JERK.

(Put the rock down and don't throw it, either)

The last time I saw Moshe Saperstein was in August, 2005. I was driving into the slated-for-destruction community of Neve Dekalim in Gush Katif. The IDF had already cleared out all pockets of "resistance", had broken the spirit of the residents, and all that was left was for the lucky few who could get back to their homes, was to hastily pack up their possessions in a few hours before the bulldozers started their work.

One family from Ganei Tal was detained at the checkpoint, and was refused entry to the Gaza Strip because of the polite nature of the Israeli police. After hours of haggling, and they were finally allowed entry; they rushed to their home only to see it bulldozed to the ground in front of their eyes, with all their possessions in it.

Back to August 2005; I was driving into Neve Dekalim, showing my special Defense Ministry permit that allowed me entrance to Gush Katif, and my passenger asked me to stop. She lowered the window to say hi to Moshe. With tears in their eyes, they could not believe that the Disengagement was actually taking place. I said hi to Moshe, and "chazak v'ematz" not knowing what else to say... Moshe is missing part of his hand and fingers because of a terror attack from a few years earlier, and he and his wife wrote a book which we used to keep next to our front door, "What to do in case of a terror attack." The book was for people to know AFTER a terror attack, what to do...one of the most important tips was to bring spare change and a cellphone charger to the hospital.

The reason I mention all this is because Moshe Saperstein just won a US Federal court case against the Palestinian Authority and PLO for their role in a terror attack against him. Now he is trying to collect (or freeze the assets) that they own him -- $16 million dollars.

It's unfortunate that the US State Department doesn't cooperate on issues like this, and will bypass the United States legal system to funnel money to the PA at all costs...even at the expense of dual American-Israeli citizen victims of Palestinian terror, backed by the Palestinian Authority. Maybe you should ask your congressmen about that one.

Ending off this post on a slightly more cheerful note, or perhaps, just a slightly more bizarre one; The Israeli city of Rechovot has misplaced...an entire neighborhood.

Apparently, someone found this 55 year old picture (shown below), which heralds the opening of a new neighborhood in Rechovot, "The Cuba Neighborhood."


The problem is...no one has any idea where the neighborhood is. It's as if aliens abducted the entire neighborhood, since it doesn't exist on any map.

The Rechovot municipality is still trying to locate it. (Story in Hebrew on NRG, here)

That's it. No more today...join us next week where we follow up with some of the comments left over the past few days about Israel and aliya.

PS: As a Public Service Announcement, WestBankMama has moved blogs from WestBankBlog to WestBankMama. Update your links.

NB: I saw this weird story the other day with the following picture.
Not every door that closes opens a new one, the fear you experience in a dark alley is not always a byproduct of an over-active imagination, a light at the end of a tunnel does not necessarily mean you're saved, if you smell incense it does not mean you're in a spa: Welcome to the "Nightmare".

Nightmare, Eilat's horror labyrinth, is one of world's most terrifying tourist attractions (yes, scarier than a roller coaster ride), and we have been around. We can not elaborate on the route starting at the dark, incense-saturated room and the horror-film sound track till the moment you'll scream in fear. What we can say is that the experience includes walking in total darkness, voices and sounds you'll hear, and the feeling that Freddy Kruger awaits around the next corner.

The only chance to get out of the maze is to follow the faint red lights, never stop, not look back. Alternately you could yell "nightmare" and one of the maze operators will come to take you to safety. Don't assume that does not happen – over 5,000 people have chosen that option so far.



Apparently, Israelis like being scared (which is obvious by the way they drive).

When I came back from shopping the other night, and I opened the door to my house, I kept seeing the above "image" sitting in our lay-z-boy chair in our living room. (Thats what happens when I stay up too late watching episodes of "24")

The power of suggestion.

Shabbat Shalom!

Jameel & Co.







Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Muqatian Quality of Life in the Shomron

Comment posed to the Muqata by Dgesg (and he is a mentsch! This is obviously not a post against him, attacking him, or anything like that...this is just my explanation)

Dear Jameel, I agree with your response to my comment 100%. But if I recall correctly, my point at issue with you was the fact that you wrote "my quality of life is probably a lot higher than yours." I don't no your financial situation (mine is not great), but that aside,purely based on safety and the economy in Israel that cannot be true. Let me mention once again that I respect you and what you are doing so much. But making a blanket statement that the standard of living in the Shomron is equal to somwhere in America, I cannot accept. What you are doing IS worth it, but it takes a certain type of person to do it. With much respect, --Dgesg

So what is our quality of life? Let us put finances aside for the moment, since quality of life has so many aspects to it. For the following, please tell me if your life has these quality elements in your neighborhood...

Little kids can walk to and from kindergarten, unattended, without fear of abduction (Safety and security in the US? Can you let your kids do that?)

Bigger kids can stay out late (or later) in the neighborhood, away from home, and come home without worry.

Some of our schools are walking distance for kids (though you have that as well in some places)

Kids can ride their bikes all around the yishuv, and we don't think much about it, or worry when they go around the block.

All food sold anywhere around our yishuv is kosher.

Jewish education is part and parcel of life here; the Hebrew date is on every newspaper, and announced on radio every morning. You can write checks with the Hebrew date on it. Why is that quality of life? Because it makes Judaism integrated into kids lives...naturally. Everyone here KNOWS when the chagim are...kids have vacation for chagim. There is no "Christmas" craziness. The bus driver will wish you a Shabbat Shalom on Friday, as will the people packing your groceries in the supermarket. Is that quality of life? Of course it is.

Judaism integrated with your life everywhere is natural in Israel. Only in certain neighborhoods in the US can you find that, like Kiryas Joel or Williamsburg. Even in the 5-towns or Passaic, there is an acute realization that Judaism is not integrated everywhere, in everything.

If you wish, you could live somewhere in Israel where there are no cars driving on the street on shabbat, and your kids can walk to and from shul by themselves (even age 3!)

Except in bungalow colonies in update NY or camp, where can you get that quality of life?

Yes, our homes are smaller than the ones in Pico-Robertson or Teaneck, but is that "quality of life" compared to kids being able to walk around outside without a leash and GPS tracking device attached to them?

There are much nicer cars in the US...and gas is cheaper.

Yet can you go on tiyulim that bring the Tanach alive? That quality of life can only be found here. The reason I'm harping on Jewish education, is that everyone invests so much money on education, but when love for Eretz Yisrael and parts of Judaism can be absorbed through the osmosis of living here, I consider that to be quality of life of the utmost.

Safety and Security? I think if you ask people here, most will say they feel safe.

The floor is open for discussion.





Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Snow pix from Northern Israel today

It's stormy today here in Israel...with snow up in the Golan and Tzefat.

The following pictures are from the Weather Forum, via rotter.net

Majdal Shams, Northern Golan Heights. Picture credit: Eran Shachar


Road leading to Neve Ativ. Picture Credit: Ofer A.


Moshav Neve Ativ. Picture Credit: Ofer A.


Majdal Shams, Northern Golan Heights. Picture credit: Eran Shachar


Masadeh Forest, Northern Golan Heights. Picture credit: Eran Shachar






Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

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