Sunday, May 24, 2009

Worthwhile Sunday Reading

(Updated) A rare and eloquent exposition of moral clarity. The widow of Andrei Sakharov writes about Jews, Israel, and antisemitism. (JPost)
At one time, the Nobel Peace Prize was the highest moral award of our civilization. But after December 1994, when Yasser Arafat became one of the three new laureates, its ethical value was undermined. I haven't always greeted each selection of the Nobel Committee of the Storting [Norwegian parliament] with joy, but that one shocked me. And to this day, I cannot understand and accept the fact that Andrei Sakharov and Yasser Arafat, now posthumously, share membership in the club of Nobel laureates.


And yet I still think (and some will find this naïve) that the first tiny, but real step toward peace must become the release of Schalit. Release, and not his exchange for 1,000 or 1,500 prisoners who are in Israeli prisons serving court sentences for real crimes.

Returning to my question of why human rights activists are silent, I can find no answer except that Schalit is an Israeli soldier, Schalit is a Jew. So again, it is conscious or unconscious anti-Semitism. Again, it is fascism.

Stephen King goes to bat for Israel...why is the planet fixated on Israel, when there are at least 70 other conflicts going on around the world?
SO WHY why the obsession with Israel? It’s the only country in the world whose existence is queried is one reason. It’s the Holy Land to the world’s two largest faiths is another. That al-Qaeda sometimes backs the Palestinian cause makes Israel/Palestine strategically important – but that’s true of Chechnya, too.

Maybe it’s the oil in the Middle East region that makes Arab countries important in western capitals (while distracting from their own despotism)?

Could it be some wrongheaded notion of guilt for having set up Israel after the Holocaust, when actually Israel fought British imperialism for its independence? Could it be, as many Israelis believe, that we see Israelis as Jews and, therefore, as bloodthirsty sub-humans in the latest manifestation of centuries-old anti-semitism?

Or is it just anti-Americanism? Perhaps it’s a little to do with each of these factors. But could it actually be that we see Israelis as very much like ourselves – sophisticated, prosperous, well-educated, fairly pale-skinned democrats? Do we hate ourselves that much? It’s either that or Israel simply isn’t deadly enough to deter the journalists too afraid to work in fly-ridden Congo.

Read it all here. hat-tip: Soccer Dad
Iran starts manufacturing of a new "anti-aircraft" canon.

TEHRAN (Nasdaq via AFP)--Iran launched a production line Sunday for manufacturing cannons for warships that can be used against cruise missiles, the Fars news agency reported.

"The final range of the 40-millimeter naval cannon, named Fath (victory), is 12 kilometres (more than seven miles) and it shoots 300 projectiles per minute," Defence Minister Mohammad Mostafa Najjar said in a statement reported by Fars.

"It can be used against cruise missiles...It is an anti-aircraft low-altitude weapon for use on warships," he said, adding that it was being entirely built by Iranians.

Iran has boasted in the past of developing new weapons systems only for its claims to be met with skepticism by Western defense analysts.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Wednesday that Iran had successfully test-fired a new medium-range missile, named Sejil-2, drawing a warning from Israel that Europe too should now worry about the Islamic republic's ballistic program.

How does Israel keep its spy network going in Lebanon? The Lebanon Daily Star reports its all because of "Beautiful women."
BEIRUT: Beautiful women, clandestine trips abroad and a hurried escape across a mine-infested border ... All are aspects of alleged Israeli espionage networks unraveling in Lebanon and worthy of a spy novel. Nearly 20 suspected spies, including a butcher, a mobile phone salesman and a retired general, have been detained in recent months as part of a long-running probe by Lebanese intelligence into Israeli sleeper cells. And more arrests are expected, security officials say.

source here. (Or cached here if the first link isn't working)
And why are these spy network unraveling? JoeSettler has the scoop.
It is well-known that the US has been supplying various Lebanese Internal Security Force with money ($1 billion since 2006), training and equipment.

This money, training and equipment was supposed to go to the fight against terror and Hezbollah.

It was these US backed, trained, and equipped security forces that uncovered the spy rings that were spying on Hezbollah.

Ha'aretz managed to link statements by the Lebanese government indicating that these US resources went specifically to capturing the Israeli spies that were targeting Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is expected to win major if not majority control in the upcoming June 6th elections.
Mark my words -- the upcoming June 6th Lebanese election will be pivotal to the future of the Middle East.

In a classic US State Department blunder, US Vice President Joe Biden visited Beirut to "show support for Lebanese democracy and independence". The State Department is clueless if they think that Biden's appearance in Beirut will help keep Hizbollah out of power.
It's a measure of how seriously the White House is taking the Lebanese elections next month that Joe Biden made the rounds in Beirut today, the highest ranking American official to visit in 25 years. Like Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, who passed by last month, Biden kept up the fiction that the trip was a show of support for Lebanese democracy and independence and not an endorsement of any one faction. He then promptly met with the leaders of the ruling, pro-American coalition behind closed doors. (TIME)
The US is not regarded that highly in Lebanon today, and Joe Biden's appearance will bolster anti-US sentiment and provide even more support for Hizbollah.

That's not only my call. IDF Major General (reserves) Yaakov Amidror said it today on IDF Radio.

Oh well.

Iran, Gaza, Syria...Lebanon, what's one more country that's trying to drive us into the sea?

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Shalom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

i dont think youre right. lebanon may be the middle easts most irrelevant member.

Commenter Abbi said...

BTW, I don't think the Irish article is by Stephen King, the author. He lives in Maine and Florida. This guy seems to really live in Ireland.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Abbi: Oh man. This isn't Cujo?

Aizeh Basah.

Anonymous said...

The column is NOT by the American writer, Stephen King. It's by an Irish newspaper columnist with the same name. (This Stephen King is a former advisor to the Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble.)

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Anonymous - you are correct. Then again, I didn't write it was the famous Stephen King...?


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