Monday, February 28, 2011

Grassroots protests around the country

Grassroots protests are popping up around the country in response to the massive police brutality this morning, where Israeli police shot 15 unarmed civilians (many in the back and at close range) with rubber bullets at the Gilad farm in the Shomron.

Seven girls were demonstrating in from of Shai Nitzan's house in Ramot. They have been arrested.

Here are pictures from one protest in Jerusalem.

(Pictures: Yechidat Tatzpit)

Police implementing "Price Tag" policy tomorrow in the Shomron and Binyamin and plan to harass and ticket Jewish drivers.

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Leftist Thieves

In this video taken at the Har-Sinai farm near Susiya, you see a group of Leftists on Friday Feb. 11 trying to empty out the farm's well and steal the water.

In the video, farmer Avidan Ofir protects his property while the leftists continue to try to rob him, including one strange woman who pulls his hair and tries to pull down his pants.

Avidan has a lot of patience. Another person would have (and should have) beat the hell out of her.

Will the state open an investigation into this?

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In Response to the Police shooting 15 civilians...

In Response to the Israeli Police shooting 15 civilians...outraged residents are blocking intersections around Samaria.

Here is a video of the police brutality this morning.

Here is a map of the current major intersections which are blocked by demonstrators.

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The Megillah: The New Online Jewish Student Newspaper

Dear All,

Hello. My name is Olivia Friedman and I am writing to inform you about an exciting new project entitled "The Megillah." "The Megillah" is an online collaboration and initiative to showcase student Jewish journalism sponsored by OU Alumni. While many of you write for your own student newspapers, we thought it was imperative to bring together Jewish voices, thoughts, beliefs, viewpoints and journalism in one online forum.

If you are currently enrolled in a college, graduate school, law school, medical school or any other university, you are considered a student and are eligible to write.

We are currently looking for writers to submit articles in the following categories:

-News and Features
-Modox Love (a riff on The New York Times' "Modern Love" section, which will cover Jewish love specifically - how you met your husband, broken engagements and broken hearts, your love for your newborn, relationships with parents etc)
-On My Campus (your perspective, coverage and/or response to events taking place on your campus specifically- they can have a Jewish theme, like your response to Brandeis' Israel Apartheid Week, or a more broad theme)
-Politics & Israel
-Religion & Spirituality
-Arts & Culture

We are also looking for people who write/draw comic strips (preferably Jewish-themed), are graphic designers and have other talents.

This is strictly a student newspaper and as such you will not be compensated/ paid for your submissions. However, as they will be published online, your name will be Google-searchable and you will be able to link to your articles as clips for any future journalistic endeavors.

Please submit articles yourselves and forward this email on to other interested parties.

The deadline for submissions is: March 17, 2011.

To learn more about The Megillah, please check out our Facebook page and Like it:!/pages/The-Megillah/185864291451765 - please see the Frequently Asked Questions in the sidebar.

If you have more questions, please email me at TheMegillah@

Thank you,
Olivia Friedman

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Israeli police open fire on Jewish civilians

Updated with Jameel and Jameel's daughter.
(updates will be throughout the post. Pictures from the farm will be inserted soon).

Police opened fire on civilians at Gilad Farm. JPost reports that 15 civilians are wounded by police gunfire.

Jameel saw the Yassam troops gathering there this morning, closing off roads. Jameel's daughter is SMSing us with updates.

3 structures destroyed so far on this Jewish-owned private land owned by Moshe Zar.

Police shot Jewish civilians in the back with rubber bullets as they were running away, after police told them "you better start running".

75 year old woman and children among the injured.

Police shot civilians at point blank range, many in the back.

Pictures: KolYehudi

Moshe Zar's son Etai is among the wounded who was shot.

MK Michael Ben-Ari (Ichud Leumi) was attacked by policemen and knocked down.

The community is named in memory of Gilad Zar who was the security officer for the Shomron Regional Council and was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in that area.

In the past few weeks there have been a number of reports of police cocking their weapons and pointing them at Jewish civilians in the Shomron.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Historical Murder Victim Identified?

Scientist (and artists) have recreated the face of 5300 year old murder victim John "Otzi the Iceman" Doe .

If anyone recognizes the face of the victim, please call the police.

The victim's body was found frozen in the Italian Alps. A broken off arrow head was found in his body. He may have died from bleeding out, or a subsequent fall after being shot.

There are indications that the victim was in a fight with at least one other individual, wounding him before dying.

Genetic analysis of the victim's mitochondrial DNA indicates that he belongs to a unique European subclade with very limited distribution among modern Europeans mtDNA samples.

Based on the estimated year of death and murder weapon used (arrow), we have attempted to identify the identity of the victim.

Our primary clue is from Genesis 4:23-24

כג וַיֹּאמֶר לֶמֶךְ לְנָשָׁיו, עָדָה וְצִלָּה שְׁמַעַן קוֹלִי--נְשֵׁי לֶמֶךְ, הַאְזֵנָּה אִמְרָתִי: כִּי אִישׁ הָרַגְתִּי לְפִצְעִי, וְיֶלֶד לְחַבֻּרָתִי.
כד כִּי שִׁבְעָתַיִם, יֻקַּם-קָיִן; וְלֶמֶךְ, שִׁבְעִים וְשִׁבְעָה

23: Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me.
24: If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times"

In the Torah, Lemach describes being in a fight with a man who he subsequently killed. The Midrash expands the story and explicitly states that Lemach actually killed Cain with an arrow.

Is our murder victim John "Otzi the Iceman" Doe none other than the first murderer, Cain?

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gaddafi shot?

Rumors are abound that Gaddafi has been shot.

The most immediate effect is that oil prices subsequently dropped.

More on this developing rumor as details come in.

In other news, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza shot more rockets over Shabbat.

Iran and Syria sign a naval deal designed to cross-train their forces (presumably meaning more Iranian warships in our region).

Iran to unload nuclear fuel from Bushehr reactor due technical concerns (I guess they were afraid to flip the switch after all).

Egypt will send over a senior general to help with mediation between Hamas and Fatah, so they can reconciliate.

At least 8 border policemen injured over the weekend in various violent leftwing led protests.

Meanwhile, Obama finally takes a stand (quietly).

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Palestinian "Day of Rage" Coming Soon

In typical Palestinian style, the PA has called for a violent "Day of Rage" to express their disappointment with the USA's veto in the UN last week, where the world tried to censure Israel for allowing Jews to build in their homeland.

Palestinian leaders called for a "day of rage" Saturday in the streets of West Bank cities after the US vetoed a UN condemnation of Israeli settlements Friday.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said the Palestinians would take their resolution to the UN General Assembly.

"Our decision today is to go to the General Assembly of the United Nations to adopt a resolution condemning settlements and asserting their illegality before returning to the Security Council to present a proposed condemnation of settlements," he told AFP.

"The American veto will not prevent us from appealing to international institutions and will not stop our desire for freedom and independence," he said. (YNET)
Commenter Dave wrote it well:

The Palestinians have killed, maimed and brutalized thousands of Israelis including children and they have the gall to want a "Day of Rage"?

The Libyans, Algerians, Bahrainis and who knows how many more have killed and wounded hundreds if not thousands and all the UN can think about is bashing Israel!

What the hell is Israel doing in the UN? It should be called the AIBO - Arab Israel Bashing Organization!
This is typical Palestinian behaviour -- any time they are upset, they rage.
You can be sure that this is exactly how they will act if they ever, G-d forbid, get their own State.




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Where's Goldstone?

So civilians in Be'er Sheva are again being hit by Grad rockets from Gaza.

Where's Goldstone?

Someone call the New Israel Fund. They've got to go find him, so Goldstone can condemn Israel for any subsequent acts of self-defense.

To play "Where's Goldstone" just look for any signs of Israel defending itself. You'll find Goldstone in the picture. Don't waste your time looking when Gaza attacks Israel. Goldstone won't be there.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ham-Only flight to Israel Angers Passengers

If you thought that Jewish passengers only had it tough for praying on flights and their tefillin suspected as explosive devices, an "easyJet" flight LEAVING Israel only had ham and bacon in the inflight meal service.
LONDON - UK budget airline easyJet apologized Tuesday to Jewish customers after the only food choices served on a flight from Israel were ham melts and bacon baguettes.

Passengers who follow the faith's ban on eating pork were forced to go hungry for the four-and-a-half hour journey from Tel Aviv to London.

The airline introduced the route in November, proudly promising that in-flight menus would feature kosher food that met Jewish dietary laws.

So Victor Kaufman, 25, was stunned when cabin crew announced the meal choices on his flight last weekend.

"It was a little insensitive. I think they need a lesson or two on cultural awareness if they expand their routes into the Middle East. It is not just Jewish passengers who do not eat pork but Muslim ones, too. I couldn't eat anything," the trainee accountant said.

An easyJet spokeswoman said company policy bans even taking pork products aboard planes on the route.

She added, "It appears that a mistake was made on this flight and that incorrect food canisters were loaded. We would like to apologize to the passengers." (source)
I'm sure this will prompt a new round of EL-AL ad posters...similar to the "personal mechitza" and the "we know what tefillin is" campaigns.

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Can you spot the difference?

So there are those who are chiding Israel for being duly concerned with the changes in the Egyptian regime and what it portends for peace and security with Israel, and specifically the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty.

Then they twist that concern to falsely claim that Israel doesn't want democracy in Egpyt. While Israel can't control how they warp and twist its positions and statements, we can at least point out some of their obvious hypocrisies.

It's amusing that; because while Obama (after a few zigs and zags) clearly demanded that Mubarak step down, we haven't yet heard similar calls from Obama against Gadaffi - and this is after Gadaffi massacred so many of his people.

Is this really the best the Obama administration could say to Libya?
"The government of Libya has a responsibility to respect the universal rights of the people, including the right to free expression and assembly," Clinton's statement said. "Now is the time to stop this unacceptable bloodshed. We are working urgently with friends and partners around the world to convey this message to the Libyan government."
What? Don't the Libyan people deserve what the Egyptian people got:

" orderly transition must be meaningful, must be peaceful and it must begin now."


"Furthermore, the process must include a broad spectrum of Egyptian voices and opposition parties. It should lead to elections that are free and fair. And it should result in a government that's not only grounded in democratic principles but is also responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people."

What could the difference possibly be?

Could it be that Egypt held no real long-term interests for the United States, while Libya with their million and a half barrels a day of oil actually has the United States concerned for the stability of the dictatorship?

When it comes to slaughter of hundred of civilians, its unfortunate that the United States puts the price of gas first before the call to democracy.

Maybe countries do look out for their own citizens first.

A proper balance is needed, but Obama clearly still hasn't found it.

We predict that Obama will probably not call for Gadaffi's removal, until the dust has settled and it becomes clear on whether Gadaffi will be either in or out.

Meanwhile the pundits will ignore their hypocrisy and continue to chide, bash, lie and maintain their double-standard about Israel.

It's so easy to predict the obvious.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Peace with Syria

As if these past few weeks haven't rubbed the message in, it's worth repeating a fundamental truth, peace with dictators is a risky business. One can never be sure the peace treaty will hold when the regime changes. And giving away permanent assets certainly doesn't look so wise anymore to anyone (except Peres of course).

So you might ask, why I am I calling for Peace with Syria? Do I think it's possible, or even advisable?

I think we need to change the rules of the game.

For years we've heard that the price for peace with Syria is the Golan.

I think Israel needs to start publicly calling for peace with Syria, and we must make our preconditions clear.

Israel will not give up the Golan, that is the price Syria must pay for peace with Israel and for the benefits that peace with Israel will bring them.

Israel must demand that regime change takes place and democracy is introduced so we can make sure that any treaty we sign is (relatively) stable.

Peace with Israel is profitable for those that make peace with us. Egypt gained billions of dollars in aid and a local market for their gas. Jordan gained a tremendous amount of water. And those are just the obvious benefits that pop into mind.

Israel needs to stop thinking that only Israel gains from peace.

Yes, we do gain, but the benefits to these third-world Arab countries is even more.

When we start to acknowledge this basic fact, then we can stand our own and offer peace with Syria - on our terms.

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Visting Israel? Learn to Shoot

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Pesach is speeding up on us, and there are Muqata readers coming to Israel looking for fun/cool/exciting/different things to do in Israel. And of course there are those in Israel looking for what to do during Pesach break.

If you look at Israeli Ministry of Tourism ads, Israel is apparently only about girls on the beach, but we Settlers know better.

If you just wanted girls on the beach you would go to Florida. But no, you chose Israel, the Holy Land. And that means you want something more spiritual and uplifting (perhaps more family oriented too for that matter).

So we recommend the Caliber 3 program in Gush Etzion.

Caliber 3 runs an exciting program for tourists visiting Israel. Learn to shoot, learn how Israel defends against terrorists, and meet actual anti-terror experts who do this for a living.

But most of all, have fun with the entire family.

Thanks to the Caliber 3 Shooting Range this girl is a crack shot.

And so are the guys!

What about you?

If you're visiting Israel (or live here) then learn to shoot at the Caliber 3 Shooting Range with top Israeli anti-Terror experts.

The basic package includes explanations of the security situations Israelis face, examples of different anti-Terrorist techniques, and of course the fun part - Shooting pistols and M-16s, and quite possibly the brand new Tavor.

(They've also got Paintball).

The program is open to individuals, groups, and families. As you can see from the photos on their site everyone is having a great time.

Click the link and send them an email. They'll be happy to answer all your questions.

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Libya's Message to Kadaffi and Israel

The latest reports indicate the Kadaffi has fled Libya.
Violence in Libya escalated Monday as thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets in Tripoli. Eyewitness reports said that protesters had torched public buildings in the capital overnight.

One of the buildings that was set on fire was the General People's Congress, or parliament, which meets when it is in session in the capital. (JPost)
There's a whole slew of photos of Tripoli and the results of the damage and demonstrations over here.

The photo which caught my eye was the following graffiti message to Kadaffi:

"Message to Kadaffi: Flee to Israel, you infidel."

The "democratic" riots sweeping the Middle East do not mean that Arabs will suddenly embrace Israel in peace. Only a fool would think so.

(Seems like there are many fools to go around)

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Clarifying Egypt's Future?

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Israeli MK: Obama can go to hell

The Muqata strongly condemns the statements and dangerous rhetoric by an Israeli MK who said, "Obama can go to hell".

Statements made by the MK last night include:
"After the exposure of lies from the US, we must say frankly to Obama: You no longer scare us and you can go to hell."

Obama cannot be trusted. We knew his promises were lies. The time has come to spit in the face of the Americans.”

"...he is no longer wanted in the Middle East and that he can go to hell"

" should persuade the US to change its Middle East policies by any means necessary, including by use of economic pressure.”
Source: JPost

While we at the Muqata don't always see eye to eye with President Obama on many issues, this is no way for an Israeli MK to talk about the president of the United States.

We sincerely thank President Obama and our friends in the United States for vetoing the UN resolution (even though it was conditional and not whole-hearted).

There are those that would expect such extremist comments from a graduate of the Right-Wing/Settler Bar Ilan University, as this MK is, but that doesn't excuse such invective language.

We hereby censure Israeli MK Ibrahim Sarsur of the Ra'am-Ta'al party and head of the Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.

Shame on you.

Truly sick.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

[OT] Technical Fix

Ever since I bought my laptop a few years ago it's had two problems that have really annoyed me. I looked it up on Google and found plenty of other people with the same problems, but no solution.

Every few months I would go online and see if anyone had solved it yet (before I upgrade to a new machine). Finally I saw the other day that solutions were found for both of them.

The first problem was that the computer and various applications would randomly freeze up and the computer would indicate that the window was "not responding".

It turns out that the fault for that problem wasn't Microsoft, and wasn't from my laptop's manufacturer. The problem was caused by Intel!

Intel wrote a software driver called the Intel Matrix Storage Server. This driver froze the computer because it kept looking for RAID disks on the machine. I had to also erase a section in my Registry that indicated (because of this driver) that I had multiple disks on the laptop.

Once that driver was upgraded and the registry corrected - you guessed it, no more computer freezes (so far)

I'm writing this, because it turns out my wife (until last night) had the same problem on her computer, and some other people I know too. It's apparently very common because a number of laptop manufacturers installed a version of this driver on their machine.

Since the cure isn't as well known as the problem, I thought I'd share it with you.

It's like having a brand new computer.

(As for the second problem, I'm still testing to see if it was resolved, but it looks promising).

Shabbat Shalom.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Warning shots over the bow

4:46 PM Iran denies it canceled request to cross Suez. Says transit plan is still on.

UPDATE: Iran cancels request for Naval ships to cross Suez.
No explanation given for the cancellation.

The big talk in Israel (besides the incredible 7.8% growth of Israel’s GDP last quarter) are the Iranian warships coming down the Suez Canal and traveling to Syria to spend a year docked in their port.

They’re not really very impressive warships from what I hear (a supply ship and a converted frigate).

But attacking Israel with them is hardly the point.

They’re not even trying to demonstrate a quid pro quo after Israel sent a submarine (allegedly nuclear armed) through the Suez and towards Iranian waters last year.

Perhaps at best they have a secondary mission of getting some arms to the Palestinian (Hamas) terrorists in Gaza.

And I guess one could reasonably worry they’ve got a dirty bomb on board.

But, I think it’s about something else entirely.

A few days ago these same Iranian ships docked in Saudi Arabia. Now they are on their way to Syria (and Lebanon).

This isn’t an Iranian show of Power – how strong their fleet is.

This is an Iranian show of Influence.

This is about how long their tentacles are growing, how influential their country is becoming, and what countries the US might soon be losing.

This “flotilla” is a message to the US that Iran views itself as a waxing global superpower untouchable by waning US influence.

Iran will have nuclear weapons, satellites, ICBMs, naval fleets, and military industries. It doesn’t matter if they are all third rate now (and likely to blow up at any point). Their point is that they are on the rise and the US can’t do anything about that.

In terms of global perceptions, Saudi Arabia is more likely to align now with Iran in the long term – despite the comments on Wikileaks – because Iran’s sphere of influence is growing and replacing America’s wishy-washy, unreliable alliance.

There are other messages in these ships, not all to Israel or the US either. Because that’s what these ships are about, not an attack, just a warning shot over the bow.

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Deeply Offended Muslim to Sue Coca-Cola

My good friend Lurker called me up yesterday to lambaste me over the "secret coke" recipe I posted on the blog --he quoted snopes and claims the recipe posted on the blog is not authentic.

Regardless, at least one Muslim in Israel is outraged over the publication of the alleged top-secret formula, and is planning on suing Coke-Cola for not advertising that alcohol is one of the secret ingredients -- which is forbidden by Islamic law.

Translation of article from NRG: (source in Hebrew)
Following the disclosure of Coca Cola's secret recipe a Muslim from Israel's Jezreel Valley filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming they "deeply insulted his religious sentiments"

Following reports that alcohol is among the ingredients of Coca-Cola, an Israeli Muslim from the Jezreel Valley decided to sue the company claiming it has caused grievous injury to his religious sentiments. "If it is true, then it's a scandal. They fooled me all these years, causing me to transgress and sin."

Muhammad Mifra, age 67 from the village of Sulam near Afula, drank Coke for decades. Yesterday (Tuesday) after exposure to the popular drink's secret recipe, he grew angry. He discovered that he may have transgressed one of the most severe sins of the Muslim religion - drinking alcohol - and now he intends to sue the company.

The revelation of Coca Cola's 125 year old secret recipe angered Mifra, a devout Muslim, and his family. If it is true that the recipe contains alcohol, then many Muslims around the world have for years been drinking alcohol against the laws of Islam.

Through his lawyer Arieh Licht, Mifra sent an angry letter yesterday to Coke. "My client is very devout and performed the Muslim Hajj visit to Mecca," wrote Mr. Licht. "He used to drink Coke every day, and through various publications he learned that there is alcohol in bottles of Coca-Cola."

The letter also said: "If this is the case, then you caused serious damage to my client's deep religious sentiments." Mifra demanded from the company to know whether there is truth in the reports of the recipe, and told them that he will stop drinking Coke till he receives a reply from the company.

"I'm going to file against you, on behalf of my client, a class action lawsuit for money damages, for causing him to sin for years by drinking Coca Cola," wrote Mr. Licht at the end of the letter, "unless you let me know immediately that there is no alcohol in Coke."

The World Coca-Cola company said in response: "The ingredients of Coca-Cola, are listed on the product label. For many years various parties have tried to crack the secret formula of Coca - Cola, but without success. The exact formula of Coca - Cola is the company's trade secret. Soft drinks of Coca - Cola are not alcoholic. "
Class action suit? Pathetic!

Dubai has slightly more intelligence than Mifra and his lawyer.
A top official of the Dubai Municipality (DM) has ruled out any possibility of alcohol content in Coca Cola sold in Dubai and the UAE market.

He was responding to international media reports claiming that Coca Cola’s tightly-guarded recipe had been leaked out and that it contained certain percentage of alcohol, among a number of other ingredients, in the secret flavour formula.

The fuss about the fizz oozed out after the recipe was reportedly published by National Public Radio’s ‘This American Life’ earlier this week.

Khalid Mohammed Shareef, director of Food Control Department at the DM told The Gulf Today over the phone that there was no alchoholic content in Coke sold in the UAE.

“The regulations mandate that ingredients should be declared on label and it’s always verified and tested when required,” he added.

“The country has got sufficient mechanisms to ensure that all food items consumed by the residents are safe and free from all prohibited ingredients,” Shareef indicated.

“No alcoholic content was found out in our lab tests in the beverage. The food testing laboratories in the country are operating at the highest global standards, also networked with the all the labs across the world,” he confirmed. (Gulf Today)

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hidden Undertones in the new "Arab Democracies"

I heard this on the radio, this past Sunday:

"Former chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat told Army Radio on Sunday that Israelis should not be afraid of democracy in the Arab world. Democracy is the "main support system for peace," he said." (JPost)

Should Israelis really fear Arab Democracy?

Let's examine many of the "democratic" Arab revolutions going these days.

A CBS reporter was brutally attacked while covering the Democracy Riots in Egypt (source) As she was assaulted by the peaceful mob, they kept screaming, "Jew, Jew". (source) The reporter in question isn't Jewish, but the mob thought she might be. Noted Israeli-American left wing reporter says she deserved it because she's a "[right wing] warmonger" (source)

Of course, this attack and others on media correspondents, an the rampant violence is completely ignored by Thomas Friedman, as he wrote in the NY Times that "It [the riot] was completely non-violent and only resorted to stone-throwing when faced with attacks by regime thugs." He also wrote, "This was about Egypt and about the longing of Egyptians for the most basic human rights, which were described to me by opposition Egyptian newspaper editor Ibrahim Essa as “freedom, dignity and justice.’" Friedman means freedom and dignity for Arab men, not for Western female reporters.

Digressing from Egypt, let's focus on Jordan. As a result of Democracy demonstrations in Jordan, King Hussein fired and replaced the entire government cabinet. The new and improved Justice Minister has Israel rather miffed.
Minister Hussein Mjali was appointed last week in a government shakeup following protests inspired by the Egyptian uprising. He drew condemnation in Israel after he joined protester calling for the release of Ahmed Deqamseh, a terrorist serving time in Jordan for killing seven Israeli school children in 1997.

Mjali, who is seen as close to the Muslim opposition, served as the defense lawyer for Deqamseh, who was a soldier when he killed the children who were on an outing in Naharayim, on the border between Israel and Jordan.

"Israel is a terrorist state," Mjali said in the interview, adding that that explained Israel's position over freeing Daqamseh. (Haaretz)

While the previous Jordanian monarch visited the 7 families of the murdered girls, and at their homes in Beit Shemesh he expressed his grief and apologies, the current "new and improved democracy cabinet Justice Minister" is lobbying for the terrorist's release.

So much for Jordan. Democracy is also sweeping Tunisia.
In a shocking, horrible video (here) posted to facebook, hordes of Western, modern-looking, "democratic" Muslims attack the Great Synagogue of Tunis to the chants of "Allahua Akbar!" and the genocial Islamic death chant:

"Khaybar Khaybar ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad saya'ud," which means "Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Mohammed is returning." This cry relates to an event in the seventh century when Muslims massacred and expelled Jews from the town of Khaybar, in modern-day Arabia. (Atlas Shrugs)
Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, don't forget the Bialin weekly security fence riots, where naive Western female "activists" can expect to be assaulted by their male Palestinian co-demonstrators. (source)

When Saeb Erekat says that Israel shouldn't be afraid of democracy in the Arab world, he's basically trying to convince Israel to embrace suicide.

Till we see responsible, moral, ethical and non-antisemitic Arab democracies in the Middle East, Israel needs to be extremely careful and vigilant. To date, none of the "Middle East Democratic Arab Revolutions" fit that bill.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Israel Evacuates Consular Personnel

Channel 10/Nana News reports that on the third anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh approaches, Israel has recalled diplomatic personnel, temporarily closed embassies and consulates, and has ordered some staff to remain in their homes. Reports from the JPost were slightly more cautious, saying that:
Four Israeli embassies may be closed after serious threats were aimed at them.

The Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that security at the embassies, which it did not identify, had increased to the maximum level. Security at all Israeli embassies has also been increased, according to reports (JPost)
Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah’s chief of military operations and its liaison with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards was killed by a car bomb in Damascus on February 12, 2008. He was assassinated on his way to a celebration at the Iranian cultural center in Damascus, Syria. Hezbollah and Iran blame Israel for his death.

In related news, Israel's Counter Terrorism Bureau issued a travel advisory for all Israelis due to the anniversary of Mughniyeh's death -- the following places should be avoided: Egypt, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, the Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania and Venezuela.

Yes, I know, the Counter Terrorism Bureau is full of anti-democracy wimps, who don't believe that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is secular, peaceful and democratic.

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The Coke Recipe

I used drink CocaCola religiously, yet due to the high calorie content, I don't any more.

However, the newly released top secret coke recipe makes me long for days gone by...eating 4 slices of pizza and coke.

Download PDF

Everett Beal's Recipe Book
In Feb 28, 1979 Article
Atlanta Journal and Constitution Newspaper
Pemberton's Notebook
Published in the 1992
History: For God, Country & Coca-Cola
FE Coca
(Fluid Extract of Coca)
3 drams USP4 oz FE Coco
Citric Acid3 oz3 oz
Caffeine1 oz1oz Citrate Caffein
Sugar30 #30 #
Water2.5 gal2.5 gal
Lime Juice2 pints (1 qrt)1 qrt
Vanilla1 oz1 oz
Caramel1.5 oz or more to colorColor sufficient

Use 2 oz flavor (below) to 5 gals syrup2.5 oz flavor

7X Flavor

Alcohol8 oz1 qrt
Orange Oil20 drops80
Lemon Oil30120
Nutmeg Oil1040
Corriander Oil520
Neroli Oil1040
Cinnamon Oil1040
(The Pemberton formula for 7X is the same as the Beal, just four times as much.)

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Why Worry about A Secular Egypt?

While many in Israel are worried about the Egyptian Islamic Party, the "Muslim Brotherhood" taking over and turning Egypt into another Gaza, Lebanon or Iran, the USA's clever Director of National Intelligence James Clapper declared that the Muslim Brotherhood is "largely secular".

Even the Obama administration couldn't stomach such stupidity, and in a rare move, "corrected" Clapper. (Source)

Yet the question remains, do secular Arab leaders mean that all will be well in the Middle East?

What does Egypt's opposition leader Ayman Nour have to say?
After the Egyptian army stressed it was committed to observing all of Egypt's international treaties, opposition leader Ayman Nour said Sunday, "The role of the Camp David [peace with Israel] accord has ended."

In an interview with a Lebanese radio station, Nour, who served a lengthy jail sentence during deposed president Hosni Mubarak's era, said Egypt "is a great country and must respect its agreements. As for Camp David – this is a unique issue with unique aspects – the people will decide on this matter.

"For all intents and purposes, Camp David is over, because it is an old treaty and its terms must be improved in a way that will correspond with Egypt's interests," said Nour, who is considered one of the more liberal opposition figures and has no ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. (ynetnews)
Many foolishly believe that the "Fatah" (Palestinian Authority) is made up of the "good guys" and Hamas is the "bad guys", but at the end of the day, they are both terror organizations who try to kill Jews.

Then again, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Yassir Arafat was also the bottom line is that Islamic Fundamentalism or secular Pan-Arab nationalism is irrelevant when the common denominator is the destruction of Israel.

Egypt must be watched very carefully. Only a fool would think otherwise.

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Helping out a friend

I received a heart-touching letter about a friend the other day, and I've been wondering how to blog it.

Though the request is rather simple, the story behind it is so much more difficult. Still unsure of the best way to approach it, I found that my friend Treppenwitz already had an edited version of the letter on his blog, so I am happy to repost it here.
"On January 28th, my cousin Michelle's youngest son Mickey never woke up. He was three years old. The day before he passed away, he had a fever and appeared lethargic. But after a check-up, he appeared to be generally ok. He never woke up the following morning, and we don't know the cause of his death. Our only answer being that it occurred min hashamayim (from Heaven).

He was a gorgeous, bright, engaging and hilarious little boy, and despite his short time here, he made an impression on many people.

We were supposed to have gone yesterday to visit [Mickey's family] for a few days, but instead ended up returning to my grandmother's house after spending most of the shiva in Cedarhurst with Michelle [Mickey's mom], her husband Yossi, and their 3 other sons.

Mickey was named in memory of my uncle (his grandfather) Myrone (aka Mickey), and his brit was around his first yarzeit.

Therefore, I would like to start a worthy project, in memory of Mickey.

As Mickey was here for such a short time, he was unable to perform many mitzvot (positive and negative deeds/acts proscribed in the Torah), but he engaged enthusiastically in the ones he was being taught, such as kippah (covering his head), tzizit (wearing ritual fringes), brachot (reciting blessings over food and drink), tzedaka (giving charity), etc.

What I am asking is that you think of a Mitzvah which you are lax in/generally don't do/forget to do/etc., and perform that miztvah, either as a one-time thing, or for as long as you can, in Mickey's zechut (honor/memory), and that you'll have in mind Meir Yechezkel ben Yosef Avraham Mordechai (Mickey's full Hebrew name) when you do it.

When you've decided what mitzvah/mitzvot you want to take on/improve, please go to this website spreadsheet - Mitzvot for Mickey - and add what you've decided to do (don't worry, it's all anonymous) to the end of the list you'll find there.

Mickey's family has access to this website, so they will be able to see all the extra mitzvot that Mickey is able to "do" through you. I know that this will be something that will help them, and give them some chizuk (strength).

Thank you for your participation, and please spread the word!!!

Aliza Gillman
Helping to comfort the family and doing a good deed at the same time is probably the best winning combination.

Sign up and pass it on!


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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gas Strike

I used to think that the price for gas (95 octane) in Israel was so high was because of the Arab boycott. Israel couldn’t buy Arab gas, and thus had to get it from more expensive sources. It may be true to a limited extent, and I’m sure that the price that Israel purchases gas at is higher than much of the rest of the world, but after listing to an interview on RadiYosh this morning I learned some interesting facts.

Why am I even writing about this?

Because the price of gas has gone up - again. We’re now paying NIS 7.26 a liter (Around $7.50 a gallon!). Compare that to around $2.78 a gallon in the US.

I think twice before driving to a meeting, driving to Jerusalem, or driving to my in-laws (just kidding on that one).

But it’s not just the price of gas that has gone up, but the price of bread and other basics are also rising steadily.

Israel’s economy is strong, unemployment is low, yet for some reason it appears to me we risk entering a high inflationary period (the low unemployment-high inflation correlation actually makes sense according to some economic theories).

The interviewee pointed out something. As gas prices rise, so do the cost to transport these basics. As a result prices rise all around.

I would add, that with the building freeze in Yesh(a) and restricted building in Jerusalem, housing prices are also rising due to lack of supply.

And what do housing and gas prices have to do with one another?

They are both being artificially inflated by the government.

The government is blocking needed construction from occurring where it is needed and wanted the most, in the suburbs around Jerusalem (Yehuda, Binyamin), and the suburbs around the Mercaz (Shomron), and in Jerusalem itself (excluding the out-of-reach luxury apartments for ghost residents). Obviously housing prices rise when the government restricts supply.

The price of water (Water!) has gone up too (to discourage excessive water usage during the drought).

And to top it off, minimum wage will be going up, which will cost companies more and either bring about layoffs or increased prices.

Going back to the start of this post, in terms of gas, Israel buys gas at around NIS 2.50 / liter.

Over the past few months, the price of gas that Israel buys gas at on the international market went around NIS 0.16 / liter. The current dollar-shekel exchange rate raised the price around NIS 0.14 / liter. But the real culprit here is the government. On top of those external costs the government jacked up the taxes by adding another NIS 0.85 / liter to the cost of gas.

All in all, we’re paying the government around NIS 4-5.00 / liter in taxes on gas!

It’s outrageous. Gas is not a luxury, it’s a necessity in today’s economy,

I don’t know why they’re raising the price of gas other than because they can. I do know that gas tax revenue is going to drop, because people simply can’t afford to drive at these prices.

(Actually the Ministry of Finance is responsible for the demand for the gas tax hikes. I suspect it’s because they think linearly. If you raise gas tax prices, revenue will increase. I don’t think they give much weight to the idea that usage will drop.)

If they wanted to really increase their gas tax revenue then LOWER the price of gas. Lower it to NIS 4.5, even to NIS 5.0. People will get back on the road. People will drive. Gas tax revenue will go up. Lowering the latest tax increase by a symbolic NIS .20 / liter is like Mubarak appointing Suleiman as Vice President or Abdullah replacing his cabinet.

Prices aren’t going up because of natural market conditions, because of supply and demand. Prices are going up because the government is artificially raising the prices through taxes and restricting supply in the housing market.

In Netanyahu’s first term he lowered taxes a little. But it looks like he’s turned his back on what was a successful good start.

Netanyahu needs to allow building in Yesh(a). Netanyahu needs to work on rezoning existing housing to allow for add-on apartments in existing buildings. Netanyahu needs to encourage the development of rental complexes in the cities. Netanyahu needs to drastically cut taxes on gas. Netanyahu needs to seriously reduce VAT.

Jameel adds, get rid of duty-free cigarettes, and increase the taxes on cigarettes instead. Cigarettes cost the economy a tremendous amount in health care.

My point is. I am prepared to go out and protest against the price of gas. I just don’t know if I can afford to drive to the protest.

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