A Nice Jewish Boy

Originally posted on Notes From A Mad Planet:

So, let’s talk about Jesus.

 

It’s not a topic that comes up when Jews talk. Jesus does not feature in Judaism – not at all. But as many of us are asked by our Christian friends and colleagues what we ‘really think’ about him, let’s clarify:

 

Jesus occupies the same place in Judaism, as Mohammed does in Christianity. In other words: you could go to every synagogue on Earth, and I guarantee, you will never hear Jesus mentioned.

 

Many people find this strange; after all, millions of Christians proclaim Jesus as their ‘messiah’ and ‘saviour’. Why on earth don’t Jews themselves attach any importance to this vital, most famous, and above all Jewish historical figure?

 

Well, let’s consider the context:

Back when Jesus was busy gallivanting around Judea, declaring himself as ‘messiah’, the Jews were living under Roman oppression. And it was rough. The Romans had…

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Israel Breathes: World Condemnation Follows

Originally posted on Notes From A Mad Planet:

This satirical piece by Andrew Pessin was written several years ago – but is still very apt, sadly

 

Israel breathes; world condemnation instantaneous

Israel breathed this morning. There was a quick intake of air, and then a gentle exhalation.

World condemnation was instantaneous.

P.A. President Abbas decried the Israeli attempt to commandeer the Middle East air supply, and demanded a prompt return to the 1967 air distribution which Palestinian leaders had previously violently rejected.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad interrupted his weekly call for the destruction of Israel in order to blast the Zionist entity for its blatant oxygen grab and call for its immediate destruction.

Egyptian newspapers detailed the malicious Mossad plot to exhale germs into the air and then spread the poisoned air via high-tech windmills directly into the lungs of Muslim children.

Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshal announced that in response to the Israeli aggression, Hamas would not…

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Dennis Miller Talks About Gaza:

Originally posted on Notes From A Mad Planet:

Miller is a comedian who has a show called Dennis Miller Live,  on HBO. He is neither Jewish nor Muslim; neither Israeli nor Arab.

He recently had the following to say about the Middle East situation:

‘A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don’t get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need.

Here we go:

The Palestinians want their own country. There’s just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians . It’s a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years.

 

Like ‘Wiccan,’ ‘Palestinian’ sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won
the land in the 1967 war, Gaza was owned by Egypt , the West Bank was owned by Jordan , and there were no ‘Palestinians.’

 

As soon as the…

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A Satire That Hits Home

Hats off to American Thinker for this delicious albeit dead accurate bit of satire. Read it and then share it please – email it to five people you know and ask them to do the same!

June 18, 2010

Israel breathes; world condemnation instantaneous

Andrew Pessin

-Satire-

Israel breathed this morning. There was a quick intake of air, and then a gentle exhalation.


World condemnation was instantaneous.


P.A. President Abbas decried the Israeli attempt to commandeer the Middle East air supply, and demanded a prompt return to the 1967 air distribution which Palestinian leaders had previously violently rejected.


Iranian President Ahmadinejad interrupted his weekly call for the destruction of Israel in order to blast the Zionist entity for its blatant oxygen grab and call for its immediate destruction.


Egyptian newspapers detailed the malicious Mossad plot to exhale germs into the air and then spread the poisoned air via high-tech windmills directly into the lungs of Muslim children.
Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshal announced that in response to the Israeli aggression, Hamas would not let the Red Cross visit captured soldier Gilad Schalit. When it was pointed out that they hadn’t allowed such visits in the four years prior to Israel’s action, he snorted, “And now you see why!”


Turkey announced it would be withdrawing its ambassador, only to retract that announcement in slight embarrassment when it realized it had already withdrawn him last week, in response to some other Israeli outrage it could no longer quite recall.

The United Nations General Assembly, after meeting for an all-night emergency session, called for another all-night emergency session. And the Security Council demanded an immediate impartial investigation, only to backtrack when it was informed that all its available staff were already tied up in ongoing impartial investigations of other Israeli actions.


Indeed, outrage at Israel’s action was heard around the globe. People everywhere exclaimed that Israel’s aggression was against international law, and then asked for a copy of the newspaper so they could see just what it was, in fact, that Israel had done this time.

Others, more intellectually-inclined, asked for some links on “international law,” curious to find out, at last, just what was this special code which apparently all non-Israelis had secretly agreed upon. And, of course, there were numerous calls for Israel’s leaders to be brought up on charges of ‘war crimes’.


Loudest of these were from regimes as diverse as China, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and North Korea, which took time off from their busy schedules oppressing Tibetans, Darfur civilians, women and all religious minorities, and their own citizens respectively to make their pronouncements.

In fact, Israel’s action this time was so offensive that Muslim extremists actually paused from their work installing massive explosives in each others’ mosques in order to condemn Israel’s attacks on Muslim civilians.


The criticisms could even be heard within Israel itself. “How can Israel call itself a democracy,” Haaretz asked in an editorial, “while allowing its Jewish citizens to consume 75% of the air?”

Arab-Israeli MKs signed a petition demanding that the Israeli constitution, guaranteeing their right to sit in the Knesset despite their repeated calls for Israel’s destruction, should be dissolved, preferably in favor of something more totalitarian. “On this day I am ashamed to be a Jew,” proclaimed one prominent left-wing leader, a man who had repeatedly urged all peoples to be proud of their ethnic and religious identities, except for Jews.

Israel initially attempted to respond to these criticisms, but quickly realized that speaking would require it once again to inhale and thus draw upon itself further global ire.


And so, Israel stopped breathing altogether.

This action, clearly aimed to destroy the regional economy and destabilize the entire Middle East, triggered instantaneous worldwide condemnation.

Finally, A Voice Of Sanity

At a time when the most egregious lies about Israel are being devoured eagerly by most of the world, here is a voice of reason. Former Spanish Prime Minister   José María Aznar, writing in The Times this week, said:


If Israel goes down, we all go down


By José María Aznar



For far too long now it has been unfashionable in Europe to speak up for Israel. In the wake of the recent incident on board a ship full of anti-Israeli activists in the Mediterranean, it is hard to think of a more unpopular cause to champion.

In an ideal world, the assault by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara would not have ended up with nine dead and a score wounded. In an ideal world, the soldiers would have been peacefully welcomed on to the ship.

In an ideal world, no state, let alone a recent ally of Israel such as Turkey, would have sponsored and organised a flotilla whose sole purpose was to create an impossible situation for Israel: making it choose between giving up its security policy and the naval blockade, or risking the wrath of the world.


In our dealings with Israel, we must blow away the red mists of anger that too often cloud our judgment. A reasonable and balanced approach should encapsulate the following realities: first, the state of Israel was created by a decision of the UN.

Its legitimacy, therefore, should not be in question. Israel is a nation with deeply rooted democratic institutions. It is a dynamic and open society that has repeatedly excelled in culture, science and technology.


Second, owing to its roots, history, and values, Israel is a fully fledged Western nation. Indeed, it is a normal Western nation, but one confronted by abnormal circumstances.


Uniquely in the West, it is the only democracy whose very existence has been questioned since its inception. In the first instance, it was attacked by its neighbours using the conventional weapons of war. Then it faced terrorism culminating in wave after wave of suicide attacks. Now, at the behest of radical Islamists and their sympathisers, it faces a campaign of delegitimisation through international law and diplomacy.


Sixty-two years after its creation, Israel is still fighting for its very survival. Punished with missiles raining from north and south, threatened with destruction by an Iran aiming to acquire nuclear weapons and pressed upon by friend and foe, Israel, it seems, is never to have a moment’s peace.


For years, the focus of Western attention has understandably been on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. But if Israel is in danger today and the whole region is slipping towards a worryingly problematic future, it is not due to the lack of understanding between the parties on how to solve this conflict. The parameters of any prospective peace agreement are clear, however difficult it may seem for the two sides to make the final push for a settlement.


The real threats to regional stability, however, are to be found in the rise of a radical Islamism which sees Israel’s destruction as the fulfilment of its religious destiny and, simultaneously in the case of Iran, as an expression of its ambitions for regional hegemony. Both phenomena are threats that affect not only Israel, but also the wider West and the world at large.


The core of the problem lies in the ambiguous and often erroneous manner in which too many Western countries are now reacting to this situation. It is easy to blame Israel for all the evils in the Middle East.

Some even act and talk as if a new understanding with the Muslim world could be achieved if only we were prepared to sacrifice the Jewish state on the altar. This would be folly.


Israel is our first line of defence in a turbulent region that is constantly at risk of descending into chaos; a region vital to our energy security owing to our overdependence on Middle Eastern oil; a region that forms the front line in the fight against extremism. If Israel goes down, we all go down.

To defend Israel’s right to exist in peace, within secure borders, requires a degree of moral and strategic clarity that too often seems to have disappeared in Europe. The United States shows worrying signs of heading in the same direction.


The West is going through a period of confusion over the shape of the world’s future. To a great extent, this confusion is caused by a kind of masochistic self-doubt over our own identity; by the rule of political correctness; by a multiculturalism that forces us to our knees before others; and by a secularism which, irony of ironies, blinds us even when we are confronted by jihadis promoting the most fanatical incarnation of their faith.

To abandon Israel to its fate, at this moment of all moments, would merely serve to illustrate how far we have sunk and how inexorable our decline now appears.


This cannot be allowed to happen. Motivated by the need to rebuild our own Western values, expressing deep concern about the wave of aggression against Israel, and mindful that Israel’s strength is our strength and Israel’s weakness is our weakness, I have decided to promote a new Friends of Israel initiative with the help of some prominent people, including David Trimble, Andrew Roberts, John Bolton, Alejandro Toledo (the former President of Peru), Marcello Pera (philosopher and former President of the Italian Senate), Fiamma Nirenstein (the Italian author and politician), the financier Robert Agostinelli and the Catholic intellectual George Weigel.


It is not our intention to defend any specific policy or any particular Israeli government. The sponsors of this initiative are certain to disagree at times with decisions taken by Jerusalem. We are democrats, and we believe in diversity.


What binds us, however, is our unyielding support for Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself. For Western countries to side with those who question Israel’s legitimacy, for them to play games in international bodies with Israel’s vital security issues, for them to appease those who oppose Western values rather than robustly to stand up in defence of those values, is not only a grave moral mistake, but a strategic error of the first magnitude.


Israel is a fundamental part of the West. The West is what it is thanks to its Judeo-Christian roots. If the Jewish element of those roots is upturned and Israel is lost, then we are lost too. Whether we like it or not, our fate is inextricably intertwined.


José María Aznar was prime minister of Spain between 1996 and 2004.

Prime Example Of Media Lies About Israel


Is it any wonder that so many people dislike Israel, when they are bombarded with false information about the Jewish state?

The story below, courtesy of Honest Reporting Canada, is a prime example of the strange…let’s call it carelessness which seems to permeate so much of the new coverage about Israel.

More often than not, the errors and lies are allowed to stand – below is a rare instance of one such ‘mistake’ being corrected:


CBC National Corrects Gaza Infant Mortality Rate Error
June 16, 2010

By: Mike Fegelman, Executive Director


Dear HonestReporting Canada Subscriber,

Did CBC falsely imply that Israel was responsible for the death of Gaza babies?

Respected Mideast professor and director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center (GLORIA) asked this very question regarding a June 1 CBC National report which saw Chief Correspondent, Peter Mansbridge, erroneously refer to the Gaza Strip as having “an infant mortality rate among the highest in the world.”


Writing on his blog “Rubin Reports,” Professor Rubin expounded on this misstatement:

“Here’s an example of the insanity and profound anti-Israel bias currently gripping mass media.

On June 1, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) anchorman Peter Mansbridge stated that the Gaza Strip “has one of the world’s highest infant mortality rates” The obvious implication: it is Israel’s fault because of its sanctions.

In fact, the Gaza Strip has a lower infant mortality rate than Turkey, which has been a modern republic with full independence for about 80 years, and Iran, which enjoys the “benefits” of the kind of Islamist government which Hamas and the current Turkish government applaud.


According to the CIA World Factbook, regarded as a definitive source, the Infant Mortality Rate in the Gaza Strip is 17.71 deaths per 1000 births, about the same as Mexico and below that of Brazil, Romania, and many other countries. In neighboring Egypt, the number is 26.2, in Turkey, 24.8, and Iran, 34.7.


The kind of coverage given to living standards in the Gaza Strip seems an example of what sometimes seems a principle of Western journalism: Third World suffering is only of interest if it can be blamed on the West. Third World suffering is the world’s lead news story only if it can be blamed on Israel.”


HonestReporting Canada (HRC) communicated our concerns to senior editors at the CBC requesting that a review be conducted and that an on-air correction be issued promptly to remedy this error.


In a written response that was sent to HRC by the CBC, a senior editor said that the mistake was more than just problematic: “In an effort to give viewers a clearer picture of the Gaza Strip, the introduction to the report that night from Washington included statistics about Gaza’s area, population, unemployment and infant mortality rates. However, in one instance, we inadvertently included inaccurate information. In fact – and as Mr. Rubin pointed out – according to the CIA World Factbook, a highly regarded source for such information, Gaza is about half way in a ranking of over 200 countries or regions, (109 out of 224) with an infant mortality rate of almost 18 per thousand live births, a little over four times Israel’s. We regret the error. The Friday night (June 11) editions of The National included an on-air note offering viewers correct information.”



Ms. Hiscox stated the following: “Earlier this month we reported the Gaza Strip has an infant mortality rate among the highest in the world, but according to the CIA World Factbook, Gaza ranks 109 out of 224 regions in the world, with an infant mortality rate of almost 18 deaths per thousand live births.”


While we appreciate and commend the fact that the CBC was quick to investigate this matter and to take the appropriate action in correcting this mistake, with that said, there was no indication given about how this error had occurred and how it had gotten past the trained eyes of the CBC’s most veteran editors. Many questions still remain unanswered such as: What was the source of this original erroneous information? It certainly wasn’t the CIA World Factbook, was it Amnesty International’s (AI) error, as this CBC report attributed various statistics as being derived from AI?

Was this just gross incompetence or intentional subterfuge? And finally, since when did the Palestinians achieve statehood? Why is it that this CBC report included a graphic which referred to the West Bank and Gaza as “Palestine” instead of the Palestinian territories?


We trust that this intervention will serve as a teachable moment for the CBC’s reporters and editors who are keenly aware that their Mideast reporting is being vigilantly watched and scrutinized.

REUTERS Crops Photos Which Show ‘aid workers’ With Knives, And Injured Israelis

Hat tip to ‘hellosnackbar‘ for sending me the link to this. You can find a lot more detail on the Little Green Footballs site.

Below is one of the stories; all photos and commentary are from Little Green Footballs:

Another Cropped Reuters Photo Deletes Another Knife – And a Pool of Blood

OK, come on now. I mean, really.

One picture cropped to remove a knife might be explained as incompetence or a simple mistake.

But now we have two pictures from the “peace activists” that were cropped by someone at Reuters to remove knives in the hands of the activists, as they attempted to take soldiers hostage.

Reuters has published this picture from the activists:

The picture is a cropped version of this photo from the IHH website (IHH is the Islamist group whose members rioted aboard the Mavi Marmara):

What did the Reuters photo editor crop out? A big knife and a big pool of blood.

UPDATE at 6/6/10 4:20:27 pm:

And it gets worse. I took the photo into Photoshop and increased the exposure to lighten the dark areas, and discovered that they didn’t just crop out the knife and blood — they also cropped out another badly injured Israeli soldier lying on the floor.