Wednesday, August 31, 2005

But what does it mean?

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

I guess a few years in elementary school in the United States paid off as far as the quiz goes. The questions were pretty basic ones and I have a little guy who just finished grade 5 in June with an “exceeds provincial standards” (don’t even ask what it means - I swear its all a Liberal plot to keep our children ignorant and illiterate) and I cannot help but wonder if he and his classmates could successfully score 10 out of 10 on a very similar questionnaire concerning Canadian Citizenship. I think not, and that’s a shame.

(via Aarons CC)

The Lost Budgie

The Lost Budgie is a relative newcomer in the blogsphere and has a post that is a must read for anyone concerned about the recent violence on Toronto streets. I won’t say that I don’t take issue with certain premises in the post, and it is certainly doesn’t mirror my own experiences, but it is long past the time for a little soul searching and I give the Lost Budgie credit for even attempting to suggest Jamaican Matriarchal family structures are the root cause of violent crime that has erupted on our city streets. It is certainly something that must be examined.

I will certainly respond and I am working on a post that probably won’t see the light of blogger until next week but until then go read, ponder and let’s start the debate.

Crescent City

The by-blow rains of Katrina have reached Toronto now and it sounds like a steady downbeat. I have lived through a few tropical storms in Jamaica but never a hurricane. I survived the dinky snowfall that shut the down the city and made the Mayor call in the army but nothing in my experience equals the devastation that Hurricane Katrina has wrought.

I have always loved the idea of New Orleans. It was the one place in the United States that I have always wanted to visit and meant to go before I died. I have read more bad novels only because the book’s setting was in New Orleans than I can count, but never did I dream that the New Orleans of my books and mind might not be waiting for me though it appears that the New Orleans of old has been swept away.

I have no doubt that American ingenuity and initiative will get the city eventually back on its feet and the rebuilding will be done but by the same token many of those who will suffer the most from Hurricane Katrina will be the least able to set their lives back in order once the water recedes.

Our American neighbors have not asked for any international aid but if there is a little left in your budget for those who have literally been left with nothing but their lives and the clothes on their backs please consider a donation to those aid organizations that will be working night and day for the many months or possibly years it will take to put the city back on its feet. Make no mistake - our neighbors would not hesitate to do it for you.

Salvation Army

Catholic Charities

Mennonite Disaster Relief

American Red Cross

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Well isn’t that just peachy!

Haaretz is reporting this:
Iran has made a new breakthrough in its controversial nuclear programme, successfully using biotechnology to extract larger and cheaper quantities of uranium concentrate from its mines, state television reported.

Quoting the unnamed manager of the project, state television said on Monday night that "the new technique used for the production of yellowcake will reduce costs, and efficiency will increase one hundred-fold as well."
Iran hitherto used acid to turn uranium ore mined in its central desert region into yellowcake. Using biotechnology, the television report said, would be better for the environment.

Iranian officials have recently boasted that while some sensitive parts of the atomic programme were frozen during the last two years while negotiations were held with the West, Iran's atomic scientists have been busy perfecting other, less sensitive, parts of the nuclear fuel cycle.

All I can say is thank G-d for negotiating skills of the French, German and Brits. I am sure that we all can sleep better at night knowing that the last 18 months of dithering with Iran has made this breakthrough possible. I just hope we can all live to see what the next round of dithering will bring us.

I have learned the lessons. I am ready – Binyamin Netanyahu

Ha'aretz is reporting that Binyamin Netanyahu has announced his candidacy for the chairmanship of the Likud and as a candidate for the premiership.
"The Likud today needs a leader who can unify the ranks, rehabilitate the ruins, and lead the Likud to victory, and who will then lead the state in the spirit of our principles, and believe that I can do that," Netanyahu told a news conference.

"Therefore, I today announce my candidacy for the leadershipmopf then Likud, and for the premiership." The move could set in motion an eventual split in the party, with Sharon bolting the Likud and starting a splinter faction of his own. Netanyahu said Sharon, who founded the party in the early 1970s, had abandoned the path of the Likud, and had adopted the way of the Israeli left.

"Today, the Likud and the state need a leader who will stop granting a tailwind to terrorism, who will stop the spreading criminal corruption, and who will heal the rifts and abysses which opened in the people,"
Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu declared that the years of his premiershhip were years of prosperity and personal security. "I offer my candidacy not only on the experience of the past," said Netanyahu, who was prime minister from 1996-1999. "The test of every person and every leader is the abiliity to develop, to mature, and to learn from the mistakes of the past.

On Monday, the party's court paved the way for the Netanyahu announcement, when it ruled that the Likud Central Committee would vote on September 26 on a proposal to advance the party's leadership primaries, thereby effectively beginning the process of ousting Sharon as the party's head.

The expected primaries vote represents the first time that any party has tried to oust a serving prime minister as its chairman. It also represents a significant defeat for Sharon, who tried hard to prevent the central committee from convening for this purpose, as early primaries will force him to make decisions about his political future long before he had planned to do so.

One of the myths of the Israeli disengagement from Gaza is that it represented the lawful will of the majority of Israelis. In fact, Ariel Sharon won re-election to the Israeli Knesset by campaigning directly against the Labour plan of “disengaging” from Gaza. Furthermore, Sharon refused every plea or opportunity to hold a referendum on the disengagement from Gaza. Whether or not Sharon will survive this challenge to his leadership remains to be seen, but what cannot be denied is. if Sharon’s leadership is rejected by the Likud party membership he will be the sole author of that disengagement.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Nablus: Where Children Become Sacrificial Lambs

Less than 24 hours after the Beersheba bus station bombing comes the news that Israeli Security forces have detained another would-be suicide bomber at a checkpoint from the West Bank reports the Jerusalem Post.
A 14-year-old Palestinian was arrested after he was caught carrying three pipe bombs through the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus Monday afternoon. The teenager set off the alarm of the metal detector positioned at the crossing, alerting soldiers manning the position. He was found to be carrying in a bag three pipe bombs that were to be activated by a friction type detonator. The bombs were packed with explosives, as well as shrapnel and glass balls. Border police sappers blew up the bomb and the youth was handed over to the Shin Bet for questioning.

It seems that this young man was not the first youth to be apprehended at this checkpoint this year:
On June 19 of this year a Palestinian youth was apprehended at the checkpoint while attempting to smuggle five pipe bombs. A month prior to that incident a 14-year-old Palestinian wearing a belt with two pipe bombs strapped to it was arrested, and in another incident at the same place, a 15-year-old Palestinian was arrested after he was discovered carrying two pipe bombs inside a black bag
I can only pray that there is a very special place reserved in the afterlife for those who indoctrinate, manipulate and exploit the lives of these young people with such reckless disregard for their well-being, or their families, that they are offered up as sacrificial lambs for the slaughter on the altar of anti-Semitism.

How about that hudna!

And so it begins again after reports the Jerusalem Post:
Lu'ay Abu Juma, 27, and Pavel Srotzkin,23, the two Beersheba security guards who prevented a disastrous suicide bombing at the Beersheba central bus station Sunday, were fighting for their lives in Soroka Medical Center on Monday morning, after undergoing hours of surgery. Juma had already lost an eye from shrapnel, and both had massive burns all over their body. They were listed in serious condition.

An alert bus driver and the courageous actions of Abu Juma and Srotzkin prevented a suicide bomber from blowing up inside the Beersheba bus station on Sunday morning, and forced him to blow up outside the station, wounding the two guards seriously along with 50 others. All 50 of the civilians hospitalized were released by Monday morning. Most were treated for shock.

The Islamic Jihad and Fatah's Al-Aksa Brigades claimed joint responsibility for the attack and identified the suicide bomber as Ayman Zakik, 25, of Beit Omar near Hebron.
What strikes me as ironic is that most of the current terror strikes against Israel have these dual claims of responsibility. Either these attacks are now conducted as joint operations or one group or the other can not bare to be left out.

In a side note the Israel Insider carries the story that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s national security adviser has resigned to “pursue business and academic opportunities” and yet took the time to speak out against the Israeli-Egyptian security agreement over the border between Gaza and Egypt.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Best. Line. Ever.

On McGuinty’s Ontario:
“Gee, fellas, looks like we’re screwed unless Uncle Paulie can bail us out.” – Publius, Gods of the Copybook Headings

In one short sentence Publius has aptly captured and characterized the McGuinty government’s position on the future of Ontario.

I have enjoying reading Publius’ Gods of the Copybook Headings ever since Trudeaupia first drew attention to his blog. Publius just celebrated his first blogversary and I can only hope, it is simply the first of many more to come.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Palestinians should thank their lucky stars that their neighbors are the Israelis and not Americans

The Israeli internal security agency, Shin Bet, release a report at the end of July on the security situation in Israel since the January 22, 2005 tahdiya or period of calm that was negotiated by the Palestinian Authority. I came across this Jerusalem Post reference to it recently.
The first seven months of the year have witnessed a gradual increase in attempts by all West Bank terror organizations, especially Islamic Jihad, to launch attacks – despite the Palestinian-declared tahdiya (truce) on January 22 – a seven-page report published by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed on Monday.

The calm has deteriorated slowly, coming to a head in July with 436 attempted attacks registered for that month alone. There was also a 50 percent increase in Gaza-based mortar attacks during the same period with a total of 142 mortar shells fired at settlements, compared with 65 in May, the report stated.
Since the beginning of the year, 33 Israelis have been killed, 21 of that number after the so-called January 22 truce. According to the report, Jenin and Nablus remain the hotbeds of terror, and were the focus of widespread operations conducted by the Shin Bet and IDF in recent months.

Nablus – where terror cells continue to stockpile weapons, explosives, and chemicals to build bombs and manufacture Kassam rockets – was the site of a number of raids in recent weeks. In Jenin, Islamic Jihad and Fatah Tanzim members have joined forces to improve their capability. The report noted that the Islamic Jihad infrastructure there is considered to be one of the most dangerous operating in northern Samaria.

Israel is a country with approximately a population of 6.2 million, and yet it sustained 436 attempted terror attacks in the month of July 2005 alone. Let that number, 436, settle into your mind. I live in a country of approximately 32 million people and cannot even begin to fathom the emotional devastation and outright rage that most Canadians would feel if the number of attempted terror attacks reached 10 in any given year; let alone 436 attempted attacks in just a month during an alleged period of calm.

I never really considered patience as a cultural characteristic of Israelis but I think its time to revise my opinion. If our American neighbors experienced 436 attempted bombings, mortar and rocket barrages and sniper attacks on the US homeland in any given month you can bet the farm and ten years of crops that somebody would be getting nuked.

Is Jordan the next Mid-East country to practice “Disengagement”?

YnetOnline is carrying an interesting report that the Jordanian parliament is putting pressure on the government to “disengagement” the Gazan Palestinian Refugees from Jordan.
The Jordanian parliament is exerting pressure on the government in a bid to send Gaza Strip refugees living in the Hashemite kingdom back to Gaza, the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported Thursday. There are about 200,000 Gaza refugees in Jordan. Refugees and their descendants are not eligible for a Jordanian identity card and have no political rights in Jordan.

After meeting with Jordanian Prime Minister Adnan Badran, Parliament Speaker Abdul Hadi al-Majali said the government would do all it could to assist Gaza refugees return. At the same time, the prime minister reportedly asked for a delay on the matter.

In the coming weeks expect to hear more from Arab governments in the Middle East wishing to disengage all Gazan nationals from their refugee camps. Though I have to admit if I was a Palestinian Arab refugee living in the relative safety of the Kingdom of Jordan; I would certainly not be in a hurry to return to Gaza in the light of the ongoing power struggle by Hamas/Islamic Jihad/Palestinian Authority for control of the Gaza Strip. After 38 years what's another year or so when the bullets and kassams are flying?

Same old, same old.

Now that the Israelis settlers’ have been removed from Gaza and Samaria the Jerusalem Post is reporting mortar fire has landed today in Israel from the Lebanese border and the Israeli community of Sderot is under Kassam rocket attack – again.
Three days after the completion of the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip – an operation conducted amidst near-total quiet on the part of the various terror organizations – Israel again found itself under fire.

A mortar shell landed in Moshav Margaliot near the Lebanese border Thursday morning. No one was injured, but a chicken coop sustained damage. Lebanese security sources said a rocket also landed in Lebanese territory, but there were no injuries, Israel Radio reported. Following the attack, Israel submitted a formal complaint to the UNIFIL forces on the Lebanon-Israel border. The security alert level in the north has been raised.

Approximately two hours later, two Kassam rockets landed between Sderot and Kibbutz Nir Am in the western Negev. Sderot's Red Dawn early warning system was activated a short time before the rockets landed, and no injuries were reported as a result of the attack. Security forces were combing the area.

Which all goes to show that old dogs still don't learn new tricks.

Al Qaeda Strikes in Jerusalem?

Debkafile is reporting this tidbit but I caution everyone to hold his or her thoughts and comments on it for another 24-30 hours. I really like the Debkafile and often the reporting is outstanding but there are times when the reporting is a little too far out there - even for me.
Al-Qaeda-Palestinian has claimed the knifing attack in which Shmuel Matt, a 21-year old British citizen, died in the Old City of Jerusalem Wednesday night. August 25, 2005, 6:20 PM (GMT+02:00) Three other yeshiva students were stabbed by the same assailant. Al Qaeda published two communiqués claiming the attack from its newly-established Gaza base. Matt attended the Mir Yeshiva. A second badly injured student, an American citizen, made it to the police station to summon help. Fellow students later demonstrated to protest the Jerusalem police failure to protect Jews passing through the Old City.
The ramifications of this one are immense if this story pans out as an Al Qaeda attack launched by a cell based in either Gaza or the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.

Update: Debkafile has a translation summary of the Al Qaeda text claiming responsibility for the Jerusalem stabbings and promising future attacks on Israel.

Hamas creates equal job opportunities for women in the Gaza Strip

Those who favoured the disengagement from Gaza often cite the rational that the disengagement will result in an increase of security for all Israeli citizens so this article from the Jerusalem Post caught my eye.
Hamas revealed over the weekend that dozens of women in the Gaza Strip have joined its armed wing, Izzaddin Kassam, and were preparing to carry out attacks on Israel. Pictures posted on the Hamas-affiliated Palestine Information Center Web site showed masked women, dressed in military fatigues and armed with Kalashnikov rifles and pistols, receiving training at a secret location in the Gaza Strip.

According to Hamas, the women were being trained in planting roadside bombs, firing rockets and mortars and infiltrating Jewish settlements. "Jihad has been imposed on all Muslims, males and females alike," one of the women explained. "This is particularly true in Palestine, and here we are obeying the call for jihad. We have the honor to compete with men in the jihad."

The piece goes on that the women who took part in this job training initiative did so with the full approval of their husbands, fathers and brothers just in case you wondered.

My Brother’s Keeper

This short article from the Jerusalem Post illustrates only to well how Palestinian Arabs have fared in the home and at the hand of their Arab brethren.
The Lebanese Ministry of Education in Beirut announced that Palestinian refugee children in Lebanon will now be able to study in government-funded schools.

Until the Lebanese Ministry of Education made this announcement yesterday all children of Palestinian ethnicity in Lebanon were only able to attend UNRWA run schools which did not offer any relevant post-elementary educational opportunities. Secondary School education and above was simply beyond the reach for most children from Palestinian homes, and with the exception of Jordan; this situation is not unique for Palestinian refugees in other Arab countries.

The irony of the situation is that without exception the invading Arab forces of 1948-49 actively encouraged Palestinian Arabs to flee enmass from the fledging Jewish state for their own good. But of course, in Arab eyes Israel remains the Apartheid State where Palestinian Arab children of the Israeli state have received state funded education and full rights of citizenship with the exception of mandatory military conscription since the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948.

Go figure.

When Gaza Blooms No More: Blame the Jooos

One of the miracles of Gaza was that the Israeli settlers literally made the desert bloom. Israeli produce in Gaza represented a 100 million USD injection for the economy. Gaza currently has only a 50% employment rate for Palestinian Arabs so the pull-out has serious repercussions in the future for Palestinians in Gaza.

The Israelis pioneered the technology for growing produce in the largely sandy soil in hot houses that is not only advanced but complex. So it was not surprising to me to see this kind of claim from the Palestinians now that the Gaza Strip is a few short weeks away from being turning over to the husbandry of the Palestinian Authority.

Representatives of various Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday accused Israel of burying "toxic materials" under the rubble of dismantled settlements to prevent Palestinians from exploiting the land. The allegations were made during a press conference in Khan Yunis that was organized by the Popular Committee for Defending Palestinian Lands.

Committee coordinator Abdel Aziz Qadih claimed that the IDF and the settlers had buried the toxic materials six meters under the rubble of the settlements that were evacuated last week. He did not specify the type of toxins, but claimed that they were placed in large barrels underground. "They want to destroy the land to prevent the Palestinians from using it after it's handed over to the Palestinian Authority," he said. "We call on all those who support our people to expose this matter and to help us deal with it."

So now the stage is set to blame any agricultural failures on you know who.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

When all the world’s a stage and all the Zionists are merely players

The Jerusalem Post is running a story on Palestinian reaction to the images of Israeli citizen’s being evicted from their home. Once again it proves how firmly Israelis remain entrenched as the “other” to their Palestinian neighbors.

Claiming that most of the settlers had left their homes after receiving generous compensations before the beginning of the evacuation, Rabah said he believed the Jews who had infiltrated the Gaza Strip to resist the disengagement were actually sent by the "directors of this play" to weep and barricade themselves inside synagogues.

"I have no sympathy for the settlers," said Jihan Mahmoud, a university student from a village near Ramallah. "What we saw on television was just a show. Unfortunately, the international media, which is largely controlled by Jews, played into the hand of Sharon and the settlers. Where were they when hundreds of Palestinian families were expelled from their homes in Rafah during the intifada?"

Summing up the general attitude of the Palestinian's toward the evacuation of the settlers, Hani al-Masri, a prominent political analyst, wrote in the daily al-Ayyam under the title "Painful concessions or a theater?" that the scenes from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank would not change the real face of the settlers.
"The dramatic and sad pictures carried by the world media showing settlers being 'uprooted' from their 'homes' and 'holy sites,' as well as the civilized picture of the Israeli soldiers and police, won't forge the historic, political and geographic reality," he said. "The settlers are racists who occupied others' lands in 1967, spread corruption and displaced the Palestinian people and turned their lives into hell."

"spread corruption and displaced the Palestinian people and turned their lives into hell”, sounds like a play taken right out of the Mein Kampf handbook.

Monday, August 22, 2005

How about that Gun Registry!

Taken from the Toronto Star today:
A 12-year-old is among nearly a dozen people arrested in the past four days in connection with gun crimes across the city, police said today. The youngster and a 15-year-old acquaintance, along with two adults, stand accused of robbing a man of his jacket and cellphone at gunpoint in the Jane/Finch area. Overall, ten suspects have been charged as part of the continuing crackdown on guns and gangs, officials say. Eight of those arrested had existing firearms restrictions imposed upon them.

Imagine how much safer we are today because the Federal Liberal government had the foresight to establish a Gun Registry and what an asskicker its’ turned out to be! Don’t shed too many tears over the 12 year old. There will be an army of social workers and lawyers ready to plead his case and he’ll be bailed out before the first day of school - if not by the end of the week. No doubt he'll be ready to return to his elementary school without missing a single day. Though I can't help speculating who will be able to protect his peers from the likes of him.

I finally find a use for Can-Con.

I am seriously out of touch this weekend. Not only has blogging been non-existent so has reading. The Last Amazon and her brother arrived home a week early from the East Coast just in time for my living room to be taken over by movie people with their lights for a WW2 flick about Canadian pilots in Montreal prior to the Americans joining the war effort.

When the film people originally approached me asking if they could use my living for a lighting track to brighten up the street for night shoot outside my house they explained that wanted to use the outside of my house to re-create a street scene representing Montreal in the 1940’s; I couldn’t stop laughing as 19th Century Toronto architecture looks nothing like 1940’s Montreal. I suppose it works as long as one has no feel or first hand knowledge about Montreal.

On the upside, at 5am all the street people who normally plague me were gone and I didn’t have to use my Super Soaker even once…now if only I could find a way to have film people shooting 24/7 outside my living room windows; I could be seriously serene in the mornings.

What's my country?

I really don’t understand the appeal of these silly quizzes but I don’t seem to miss an opportunity to play along. Not too far off the mark either (as I really do have a fondness for 18th –19th Century English Rifle Men and Britannia ruling the waves and all of that - don’t even get me started on Nelson or I shall bore you senseless like I do my children) but I really don’t like the Beatles and who are Oasis?

the United Kingdom!

You're a much weaker person than you used to be, but you still
act like you did when everyone looked up to you. Despite this, you're
probably a better person than you were when you had so much power over those
around you. Though you do have a strange fascination with jewels and monarchs,
which lets you play in castles, but also end up leading a sort of tabloid lifestyle.
You really like the Beatles, even more than you like Oasis.

Take the Country
at the Blue Pyramid

Via NorthWestWinds

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Elephants are in the room and not one is called Mike Harris

I haven’t commented on the recent murders by guns that are plaguing Toronto this spring and summer. Even when three of these murders happened two short blocks away from my home. I wasn’t moved to comment when the Mayor in all seriousness blamed the death of these young men on the Americans and their guns. Nor did I comment when the Chief of Police announced that he needed more police officers on the streets of Toronto even though it still is not clear to me how that would save one single young black man’s life and make no mistake, at this point in time - this is all about black-on-black crime.

I chose not to comment on a Toronto’s councilor’s suggestion that Toronto Police target all young black males for weapons. Instead, I took the time to issue my son strict instructions if the police stop him as he goes on his way to school, the movies, the gym, the game store or he is stopped on his way to guitar lessons in Rosedale. At 12 years old he stands tall not just with all the cockiness of youth but his height easily lends itself to the illusion that he is older than he is. I have no burning desire to receive a call that he is at Police Division charged with Obstruction of Justice because he gave a false name or ridiculed the motives of a police officer if the Officer questions whether Montana is using his guitar case for carrying to conceal.

Instead I have been waiting for someone to acknowledge that there is not just one elephant in the room but a herd. So far, the councilor has been the only one to vaguely acknowledge there might be something sinister in the room. I have listened to the calls that there are not enough programs or job training programs for “youth.” Not black youth but “youth”. But today I read that it is all Mike Harris’ fault for cutting welfare programs 10 plus years ago and enough is enough.

Let me tell you a fact of life living in black community in the downtown east side of the inner city. There are a multitude of programs for youth to keep them off the streets. There are probably more community centers and not-for-profit programs run in this area than in any other part of the city. They are all easily accessible to all youths – even for those whose families are on welfare or have very limited financial means. Guess what? The children, on a whole, don’t show up. To participate and take advantage of any of these programs requires a certain amount of discipline to show up every Monday or Wednesday or Friday or Sunday and that is what these children lack because their families are so fractured and their parents have failed in their first duties to their children. Gangsterism thrives when the primary family unit fails. That’s the weight of fifty years of intensive study on the sociology and psychology of gangs. It’s time to wake-up and take heed of those lessons or pay the price on the street, at the subway, at the mall or in the school yard.

Not only have their families failed them by refusing to do whatever is necessary to consistently ensure that their children develop the necessary self-discipline to be able to reach any goal in life but when these youths leave the front door to commit a criminal act and are apprehended they are immediately sucked into the vortex of our criminal justice system where a whole cottage industry of social workers and defense counsel stand ready and firm to blame their recklessness and criminality on racism and lack of a stable family life. These are the excuses used to justify their home invasions, armed robberies and aggravated assaults. There are Justices who dearly wish to only facilitate the rehabilitation of these young black offenders rather than punish them for their transgressions. I will not argue that rehabilitation is not an integral part of our justice system but without punishment first; it is all for naught.

I will bet the rent money that once the individuals are apprehended who are the perpetrators of these recent murders; not one of them will come from a stable two parent home and they will all have had committed a violent indictable offence between the age of 16-18 years of age. These recent murders aren’t crimes of passion committed in a moment of overwhelming emotion but the cold blooded calculation of youth who live daily with the lack of accountability for their actions and do not overburden themselves with self-imposed discipline. If they had been tried as an adult under the law at 16 or 17 for their aggravated assaults, armed robberies, home invasions and sentenced as adults for their very grown up crimes there would be other young black men alive today. Too often we forget that there are three equal principles of our justice system: Punishment, deterrence and then, rehabilitation.

You can job-training program all you want but if Susie and Johnny have squandered every opportunity to learn in regular school what makes you think that a job-training program will meet with any success – especially in light of the fact that they can’t read or show up regularly or even on time? These children take the paths of least resistance and unless you are willing to offer something better than blaming the “man” for their lack of success in life – it’s not going to happen. Blaming Mike Harris for cutting welfare rates is the equivalent of blaming the Joos for their ills.

I can think of no other community in Canada with the exception of the aboriginal community that is so fractured by the dysfunctional family unit than the black community. It is far easier to blame someone else than admit there is a mote in your own eye. I have a message for you – whitey and whitey’s money can’t save you. Racism does exist but it will only end when you stop whining and whaling at the wall of racism about how the “man” is holding you back and go get yourself a ladder or a rope and haul your butt over that wall. But that takes two parents standing firm early in life saying “Get busy.” There is no pride in being a father of many by your 18th birthday. There is no badge of honour to be known as someone’s babies’ mother. Let me tell you something odd I discovered about Whitey years ago; for every one who attempts to block your path there are more standing firm ready to offer a hand up or cheer you on the path to your success.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Disengagement Day 3 Update

In a fit of impatience the Islamic Jihad endeavored to hurry the ethnic cleansing of the Gaza Strip by attempting to commit another act of terror reports the Jerusalem Post:
Security forces have uncovered a plot masterminded by the Islamic Jihad to attack evacuating forces or Gaza settlers during disengagement, details released for publication on Wednesday revealed. A 10-kg explosive-belt was found hidden in a solar water heater at the Muwassi Palestinian enclave in Gush Katif Wednesday morning. According to officials, two of the cell members were supposed to be suicide bombers who were expected to wear IDF uniforms. In addition, it was revealed that forces detained three residents of the Muwassi and a man from Khan Younis, where it is believed the bomb-belt had been prepared.

So much for the PA security forces protecting the IDF during the disengagement from Gaza. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaaj felt compelled to reiterate the official Hamas position at a televised press conference in Beirut today.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal declared on Wednesday that the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank marked the beginning of the end of the Zionist dream in Palestine. Mashaal was speaking to reporters in Beirut and his remarks were broadcast live by a number of major Arab TV satellite stations. Dubbing the pullout a "defeat in the face of Palestinian resistance and a significant step with historic dimensions," Mashaal said that as far as Hamas was concerned, the disengagement marked the beginning of the death of the Zionist dream.

"The resistance and the steadfastness of or people forced the Zionists to withdraw," he boasted. "The resistance is capable of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving all our rights. The armed struggle is the only strategy that Hamas possesses." Mashaal reiterated his movement's refusal to lay down its weapons, saying Hamas's duty was to defend the Palestinians and help them restore their rights. "As long as Palestinian lands remain under occupation, Hamas won't law down its weapons," he stressed.

And just to make sure there were no misunderstandings on Hamas long-term objectives the Gazan leader of Hamas stated this in an interview today:
Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas's overall leader in the Gaza Strip, said in an interview published on Wednesday that his movement will move its activities to the West Bank after the disengagement.

"Now, after the victory in the Gaza Strip, we will transfer the struggle first to the West Bank and later to Jerusalem," Zahar told the London-based pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat. "We will continue the struggle until we liberate all our lands. This is an important day for the Palestinians and proof that the armed struggle has born fruit."

Asked about Hamas's future plans, Zahar said: "Neither the liberation of the Gaza Strip, nor the liberation of the West Bank or even Jerusalem will suffice us. Hamas will pursue the armed struggle until the liberation of all our lands. We don't recognize the state of Israel or its right to hold onto one inch of Palestine. Palestine is an Islamic land belonging to all the Muslims."

Zahar said the disengagement would boost morale in the Arab and Muslim world and positively influence the [anti-US] campaign in Afghanistan and Iraq. "We are part of a large global movement called the International Islamic Movement," he explained.

No two state solution for him, and not to be outdone by Hamas, an number of sundry terrorist umbrella groups operating from Gaza made a showcase of their future plans as well:
Meanwhile, the Popular Resistance Committees, an alliance of various Palestinian militias operating in the Gaza Strip, said it was planning to transfer the technology of rocket manufacturing to the West Bank after the disengagement.

Muhammed Abdel Al, one of the leaders of the committees, said his group would move the battle against Israel to the West Bank. "We will make every effort to transfer all forms of resistance [to the West Bank] because [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon intends to move his defeated soldiers to the West Bank," he told reporters.

Abdel Al, who is better known by his nickname Abu Abeer, said his group had already begun transferring the technology of rockets and other military expertise to the West Bank. "We will transfer two-thirds of our budget to the West Bank," he said. "Our rockets have a range of 18 kilometers. This means that is we fire them from Kalkilya, they will hit the occupied city of
Tal al-Rabi [Tel-Aviv]."
Tell me again how the Israeli disengagement from Gaza will benefit the cause of peace and how the disengagement from Gaza “will not create a vacuum into which terrorism will flow” Mr. Bush – oh, let me guess; is it a case of alternative realities?

CBC Strike = cultural suicide or national debt redemption?

After following the disengagement from Gaza news I find that I need a tonic and a shower. My tonic of choice is following the news of the CBC lockout. I find a kind of perverse pleasure to wallow in it. John Doyle supplied the comic relief in his Globe and Mail column yesterday (do the google thingy for it) calling the lockout commercial suicide if it continues much longer.
Worse, for CBC-TV, the ground has already shifted in the production of popular and critically acclaimed Canadian-made comedy and drama. CTV has the hits, not CBC. Corner Gas and this summer's Robson Arms are the key Canadian productions of the last few years. CBC is lagging behind in offering quality Canadian productions. In late September and early October, CBC expected to air such audience-grabbing shows as Trudeau II and Waking Up Wally (the Walter Gretzky movie) but those productions can hardly be promoted when CBC is doing minimal broadcasting in August.

Imagine the national cultural suicide of not watching Waking Up Wally or Trudeau II! I am truly overwhelmed by the angst of it all!

Disengagement Day 3

I find that is almost overwhelming for me to follow the disengagement from Gaza. YnetOnline is carrying a video clip from yesterday in Hebrew. The link can be found here half-way down the page for those that can stomach watching the Army of Israel used as bailiff’s to evict people from their homes.

The Jerusalem Post is also running a Video on Demand (IBA Language News) for Israeli news in English. The site is updated daily at 11:00am EST but the links are not archived so one has to be quick to access the daily videos.

In other news, YnetOnline is reporting that Palestinians are firing at IDF positions at Neve Dekalim in Gaza. I guess that once a target, always a target and with any luck the gunmen will not possess more than 4 bullets.

Well, well.

This article is taken from the Jerusalem Post and found it interesting for its ah-hum factor.
The Palestinian Authority has deployed 11,000 security personnel along the Gaza Strip. The forces were in place from Khan Yunis in the south, to the Erez industrial crossing in the north, in order to prevent Palestinian terror attacks during the evacuation of the Gaza settlements. Colonel Yoav Mordechai, head of the Gaza District Coordinating Office, said at a briefing Tuesday that 24 battalions of Palestinian security forces were acting as a buffer on access roads leading to settlements. In addition, special Palestinian security forces were on hand to assist in the event of an upsurge in Palestinian violence.

What do you think the odds are that the 11,000 PA security forces deployed have only the 4 requisite bullets?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Al Qaeda setting up shop in the Sinai?

The Toronto Star carries an online article about 2 Canadian peacekeepers who were injured yesterday in the Sinai when a roadside bomb was detonated under the vehicle they were riding in:
EL-ARISH, Egypt — Unknown assailants detonated a roadside bomb that injured two Canadians and destroyed an observers' van today in what may be a warning shot against foreign peacekeepers in the Sinai peninsula near the Gaza Strip, officials said.

It was a rare attack against the 1,800-member Multinational Force and Observers, or MFO — a non-UN peacekeeping force monitoring the 1979 Camp David peace accord between Egypt and Israel. Canada has 29 military personnel serving with the force.
Two Canadians, both women, were lightly wounded but had returned to work after the blast, the governor of North Sinai, Ahmed Abdel Hamid, told state TV.

In Ottawa, the Department of National Defence said two members of the Canadian Forces were slightly injured. "They have since returned to their normal duties" after being checked by medical staff, a statement said. The department declined to identify the two, citing the Privacy Act. "The explosion destroyed the van in which they were riding," it said. "The van carrying the Canadian personnel was travelling on an approved route."

One of the more intriguing rumours making the rounds in the middle east has nothing to do with the alleged newest developments of Zionist death-rays in toys, juice or bananas but concerns allegations that Al Qaeda has set up shop in the Sinai.

It’s a common mistake that Western main stream media commonly refer to the Al Qaeda leader, Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi (currently thought to be operating in Iraqi) as a Jordanian and conveniently forget that his Palestinian heritage might have a contributed more than a significant degree or two to his radicalization rather than being a disenfranchised citizen of Jordan ever did.

It would also go a long way in explaining why an Al Qaeda would now be making a much more than passive interest in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and why the Sinai in the last few years has suddenly seen an up surge in terrorist activity after being relatively quiet since the signing of the Camp David Accord in 1979.

Disengagement - Day 2

As the days of disengagement count down until the land is cleansed of its Zionist presence demonstrators continue to clash with Israeli defense forces. This account of the latest reported clash is taken from the Jerusalem Post’s online account.
In the roughest confrontation since the disengagement got underway on Monday, at least two policemen were wounded and 50 were arrested when a fracas erupted between security forces and right-wing activists and settlers in Neveh Dekalim Tuesday afternoon. The clashes broke out after security forces moved to disperse hundreds of resisters, mostly teenage youths, who attempted to block moving trucks from entering Gaza's largest settlement.

Though the IDF has greater concerns than a tussle with few unarmed teenagers and stragglers - if this report carried by Arutz Sheva is true:
According to, five IDF battalion commanders have warned of mass refusal by soldiers in a document written to Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz and Chief of Staff Dan Halutz last week. The letter reportedly reveals a phenomenon called "last minute refusal." The five lieutenant colonels wrote that there is a possibility that up to half of all soldiers, including officers, assigned to Disengagement duties intend to disclose their objection to the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and Samaria on the day they are ordered to carry out the mission.

The planned "surprise" refusals, according to the letter, have been made explicit in private conversations. The five officers warned the chief of staff and the defense minister that senior officers are ignoring the growing phenomenon. There has been a steep rise in refusals in recent days, and with Monday's delivery of eviction notices to residents, the trend continues to grow.

Monday morning, fifteen soldiers in the Maintenance Corps refused to board a bus that was to take them from their base southward. The soldiers refused to take part in the uprooting of the Jewish communities of Gaza. Seven of the soldiers were sentenced in speedy field trials to 21 days in jail, while the remaining eight are still being questioned by military police.

A female soldier from the Communications Corps refused to take part in operations related to the implementation of the Disengagement Plan and is now being tried for insubordination. A soldier from the elite Givati combat brigade was declared AWOL on Saturday and sentenced to 35 days in prison; he was also charged with having entered Gush Katif without a permit.

Six soldiers of the Golani Brigade were declared AWOL by their commander. The six announced that they refused to take part in blocking the way of Jews making their way to Gush Katif, in the perimeter ring outside of the Gaza area. Other Golani soldiers have been reassigned to alternate missions in the Golan Heights, on Israel's northern border.

Three other elite combat soldiers in Gush Katif told Arutz-7 that they had left their units to help prevent the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif, but had not yet been declared AWOL due to the fact that they have not been absent long enough to qualify.

A soldier in the air force left his unit and attempted to enter Gush Katif Tuesday. He was halted at a checkpoint and arrested. His commanders are expected to sentence him in coming days. Many soldiers in the air force have been assigned to Disengagement duties due to their high motivation to obey orders so that they don't lose their place in the elite air force courses for which they have been training.

An officer cadet in the Egoz reconnaissance unit refused to take part in sealing off northern Samaria, a support role for the actual expulsion of the Samaria Jews. He was sentenced to 28 days in jail. Two IDF privates in the Paratrooper Brigade training course gave up their spots in the elite corps out of their desire to protest the uprooting of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. During a special roll-call announcement made to the trainees, during which the orders of the Chief of Staff regarding the implementation of the Disengagement Plan were read aloud, one soldier, a resident of Kfar Saba, shouted at the Company Commander his objection to the orders. Another soldier threw his weapon in frustration and said that he does not understand the army's behavior. The two soldiers are now to face a military trial and may be ejected from the elite paratroopers course.

In even a stranger twist there are reports suggesting that those forces manning the checkpoints into the Gaza crossings are turning a blind eye to supporters attempting to enter into Gaza and rally at Gush Katif. In another twist of the knife to have 6 members of the most highly decorated elite infantry unit in the history of the IDF go AWOL must certainly cause one former brigade commander and current Prime Minister of Israel some food for thought.

Oh Happy Day!

Today's headline on the front page of the Globe and Mail (dead tree edition) reads,"Lockout ravages the CBC". This pleases me but I still want my money back.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I wonder why PETA didn't start this protest in Newfoundland?

The Daily News of Halifax is carrying this story online.

This time, PETA was in town to harp about carp.

Members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stood near the Spring Garden Road library yesterday handing out trading cards designed to show children “the ugly side” of eating fish.

“Fish sticks and tuna salad are made out of germy, rotting fish bodies,” says one of the cards depicting a human character named Ill Bill. “Fish have to live in water so dirty that you would never dream of drinking it, but you’re swallowing that sewer sludge every time you eat fish.” Another card shows a character called Dumb Dave. “Dave’s brain started rotting away after he ate toxic fish,” it says. “All fish contain poison. The mercury, lead, PCBs, and other chemicals found in fish make you lose your memory and turn you into a klutz.”

The cards are “a fun, gross, kid approach to getting (children) to realize what exactly happens if you eat fish,” said Karin Robertson, a PETA organizer from Norfolk, Va. Eating fish puts your health at risk and supports cruelty to animals, said Robertson, a vegan. “We would never think it’s OK to cut open a dog or a cat while they’re still struggling and trying to get away,” she said. “But that is the reality for fish on commercial fishery vessels, and also on fish farms.”

I had to snicker about this. I haven’t been in Nova Scotia since the Eighties but it use to have many a roadside Mom & Pop stands selling deep fried fish, shrimp and scallops and boiled lobster - when in season. Certainly the stands out numbered local franchises of McDonalds by at least 200:1. Good grief, what’s next - PETA goes to the Reserves?

(tipped off by Neale News)

Now this is not especially encouraging

On the eve of the Israeli disengagement Hamas invites TV cameramen to take pictures of the Hamas militia in action. From the Jerusalem Post:
Meanwhile, in Gaza early Friday, about 1,000 armed and masked Hamas combatants staged a training exercise in which they practiced infiltrating and attacking Jewish settlements.

For the first time Hamas invited TV cameramen to film about 1,000 gunmen training ahead of the pullout. It wasn't clear whether this signaled an intent by the terrorist group to attack settlements during the impending pullout.
The release of the pictures of Hamas members rapelling from high-rise walls and jumping through hoops of fire was also seen as a challenge to the Palestinian Authority.

It is no secret that I do not support the current Israeli disengagement from Gaza. I rejected the plan as unsound for the sake of security, politics and the economy when it was first proposed as a central platform of the Israeli Labour party. Apparently, the majority of Israeli’s felt the same and elected the Likud party lead by Sharon who actively campaigned against the folly of “disengagement from Gaza”. Unlike Sharon, nothing that has come to pass to change my mind, and if anything, I am more opposed than ever.

I am not even convinced that security and peace can ever be had for Israelis and their neighbors if it requires that any area becomes Judenrein. I cannot fathom how 8,000 plus Israeli’s represent a threat to a democratic and free “Palestinian” state nor why for the sake of peace and security for all it requires a forced ethnic expulsion of any Jew from their home.

Why we in the West continue to say that we want to see a peaceful conclusion to the conflict between the Israeli’s and Palestinians and yet do not take the Palestinians seriously to task for their entrenched anti-Semitism and seek resolutions to the conflict by tailoring all negotiations to be sensitive to their bigotry and delusional thinking is beyond my ken. But having said that, please note, that this is one time that I sincerely hope and pray, that I am standing on the wrong side of history; for the price of being right in my conclusions - is far too high a price to ask any human heart to pay.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Canadians turn up in the darnest places

A sting operation run as a joint FBI, Scotland Yard and RCMP exercise nabs a Canadian pitching for Hezbollah reports YnetOnline:
Two shipping company employees, one Israeli and one Arab, have pleaded guilty in connection with a planned shipment of night-vision goggles to the Lebanese terrorist organization Hizbullah, authorities said. Naji Antoine Abi Khalil, 40, of Montreal and originally from Lebanon, entered three guilty pleas on Tuesday in Little Rock, including attempting to provide material support for Hizbullah.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in New York also announced that Tomer Grinberg, an Israeli, had pleaded guilty July 28 to conspiracy to export sensitive military equipment without proper licenses. Both men face the possibility of long prison terms. They were arrested in New York in May after an investigation by FBI agents, Scotland Yard detectives and Canadian Mounties. However, the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment on how an Israeli citizen got involved in supplying Hizbullah - an organization that denies Israel's right to exist.

The FBI said it used a witness wearing a wire to catch Khalil discussing a shipment of night-vision goggles to Hizbullah in Athens, Greece. Khalil, who was chairman of the Canadian import-export company New Line Services, told an undercover FBI agent that he would create false documents to get the shipment to Hizbullah undetected. Grinberg, who worked for the Brooklyn-based Tober Group, joined Khalil and the undercover agent at a Manhattan storage facility to pick up USD 5,000 worth of night-vision goggles and infrared aiming devices, designed for mounting on M-16 rifles

Update: Just goes to show I should have visited Neale News first for a link to a more in-depth article on Khalil in Canada.

Too hot in the strip for the Red Cross

Just how bad is it in Gaza right now?YnetOnline is reporting this:
Following growing unrest in the Gaza Strip among rival Palestinian factions, the International Red Cross suspends all field work in the Gaza Strip; decision comes after kidnapping of three U.N. workers, including two foreigners and a Palestinian by terrorists from Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah group.

It does not take a significant amount of imagination to anticipate what happens to the various Palestinian milita's after the ties that bind are severed with the Israeli's disengagement.

The Lost Treasure of Sierra Arafat?

This has to go on the list as one of the best excuses to justify the manufacture and possession of pipe bombs yet. Taken from YnetOnline:
Police arrested an Israeli Arab on Wednesday who was found hording pipe bombs in a nature reserve site in northern Israel, saying he was looking for “treasure” he said late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had hidden inside.


“The two had established an outpost and dealt with carpentry,” he said. “They had slingshots for hunting birds and work tools. After extensive searches, we found pipe bombs, ready to be activated.”

Officials probed the man further on allegations of harming the nature reserve and engaging in illegal hunting before passing him on to Karmiel police authorities. He told investigators that a “treasure” worth NIS 50 million that belonged to Arafat had been buried under the site. He did not say whether the late Palestinian leader had stored the alleged cache there on his own or had sent others to do it for him.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Reason no. 9,999,999 why I won't pay for a subscription to the Toronto Star

Mitch Potter is the one of the Toronto Star’s Mid-East pundits. My interest was peeked when I saw that the Toronto Star was carrying another Binyamin Netanyahu story online that was not posted when I checked early yesterday evening. This paragraph caught my eye.
In other developments yesterday, gunmen shot and wounded an Israeli man and critically injured his 10-year-old son in a car near the West Bank settlement of Ateret. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

That is just flat out wrong. There was an immediate claim of responsibility by Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades and a rationale (however nefarious) given for the shooting. It may turn out that Al Aqsa did not do the shooting but they are claiming it and the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, and YnetOnline were all publishing it yesterday.

In fact, YnetOnline is now carrying the story that two suspects in the shooting have now been arrested. They are reported to be Al Aqsa members. For Mitch Potter and others not in the know, Al-Aqsa Martry’s Brigade is the armed terrorist branch of Fatah. Fatah is the political party that Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas represents.

Could it be that perhaps Mitch Potter has contacts and sources that his Israeli counterparts don’t have?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bibi resigns.

Binyamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister and until today, Finance Minster of Israel has tendered his resignation. He represents just one more high profile name of the ever growing list of Knesset members opposed to the Sharon unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. As the news of the Minister of Finance’s resignation spread it sent the TASE (Israeli stock exchange) into a nose dive.

This account of his resignation is taken from the Jerusalem Post:

Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that he resigned from the government on Sunday because he could not be part of a system that was responsible for withdrawing from the Gaza Strip. The withdrawal, Netanyahu believes, will greatly endanger Israel's security.

"The disengagement is going ahead blindly," Netanyahu addressed reporters during a special press conference shortly after his resignation. "Like in Oslo, the warning signs are being ignored. I understand the intentions here – who doesn't want peace? But here in the Middle East this is not the way to attain peace – it has failed before and it will fail again."

"At moments of truth a leader must ask himself what he stands for and what he is working towards?" Netanyahu added. "And I cannot be a part of this disengagement."
He commented that his predictions that terrorism would escalate as the result of Israel's policies were being realized.

"Hamas is just getting stronger. They are being credited with our withdrawal," Netanyahu said. "Now we're going to leave the Philadelphi route [along the Gaza-Egypt border], and we are letting the Palestinians build a sea port in Gaza. They will be free to import weapons that will put Ashdod and Ashkelon within firing range."

"Now is the moment of truth. At the moment of truth, a man - a leader - has to ask himself what he stands for. I understand the ambition to leave Gaza and I understand the hopes for peace. But I think there is a different way to achieve peace. This way has already failed. If you want to relinquish something, you have to get something in return.

"A man asks himself what he should do. He has to talk to himself, consult his conscience. It's not easy to give up one's position. But I know I can't be a partner in a process that I believe is wrong," Netanyahu stated.

Caroline Glick interviewed Binyamin Netanyahu days before he handed in his formal resignation to Ariel Sharon at this sunday's cabinet meeting:

Will the withdrawal from Gaza affect the western Negev? If so, how?
First of all, we allocated NIS 300 million in order to protect communities in the western Negev. The very fact of the allocation in the wake of the withdrawal shows that there is a realistic possibility that there will be a deterioration in the security situation because, after all, we did not need to protect these communities beforehand. This is the basic problem and the reason for my opposition to the withdrawal from Gaza.

This withdrawal is taking place under terrorist pressure. Whether or not terrorism has led to the decision to withdraw, the fact is that the Palestinians believe that terrorism is what made us decide to withdraw. The leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad say clearly that from their perspective this is a rout, not a choice. Because of this they are becoming stronger politically and militarily, and are encouraged to continue using these methods.

So, the question is simple: Will Israel's security situation be improved or harmed by the withdrawal - and perhaps also by the manner in which it is carried out - that is taking place without any gain and while strengthening terrorist forces? In my view, the situation will get worse. This is why I will oppose withdrawal when the government votes on its implementation on Sunday.

Enough said. Read the rest.

When an eye for an eye is not enough

So a Jewish terrorist runs amok and open fires on a bus killing 4 and then is lynched by the crowd. Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades decides it is not enough that the perpetrator has only but one life to take and chooses to open fire on a traveling car and now a child lies in critical condition with a bullet to the head reports the Jerusalem Post.
A 10-year-old child was critically wounded after being shot in the head in a drive-by shooting near the British Police junction in the West Bank on Sunday afternoon. The driver of the vehicle, a friend of the child's father, was lightly wounded in the hand during the attack. The father of the child, 44, was in the car along with two other passengers.

The Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aksa Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack. A statement issued by the group said the attack was a retaliation for Thursday's attack in Shfaram.

Friday, August 05, 2005

A dark day in Zion

When I arrived home last night I first learned of the terrorist acts of 19 year old IDF deserter Natan Eden Zada. This is a post that I wish I could avoid acknowledging but there is no way to continue to watch events in Israel and the Middle East and not give this incident the weight it deserves.

For those not already in the know, Natan Eden Zada boarded a bus in his army issue uniform. The bus was full of Palestinian Christians and Druze who were going about their daily affairs and in an act of the utmost evil, and without known provocation, opened fire with his army issued weapon. Four souls were killed out right and over 12 sustained injuries. Zada was not content to shoot just those on the bus also turned his gun on several passerbyers on the street. According to eyewitness accounts the police were late arriving but eventually were holding him alive and captive on the bus. The news of the shooting spread rapidly and within minutes a crowd of over two thousand surrounded the bus. The mob outraged over Zada nefarious acts and the fact that the police had not shot dead the prepatrator laid seize to the bus. By the time order was finally restored Zada had been beaten to death by the mob.

According to this Jerusalem Post report police have arrested 3 minors who allegedly had fore knowledge of Zada’s attack. Haaretz is quoting Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon calling it “a sinful act by a bloodthirsty terrorist” According to Debkafile Sharon has also ordered that the bereaved families and victims of yesterday’s attack will receive state assistance and benefits awarded to all those who are victims of Palestinian Arab terror in Israel. How ironic it is that only on a dark day can I finally find anything to give credit and kudos to Ariel Sharon for, and the record, I would also note that Sharon did not refer to Zada at any time as a militant or extremist (note to the Toronto Star) nor did not hesitate to call him a terrorist.

Bus Driver Michel Bachus, 56,
Sisters Dina (23) and Hazar (21) Turki
Nader Hayek, 55

May they rest in peace.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Is there anyone not moving into the Gaza Strip besides Jews? Raise your hand now!

According to Debkafile another “popular” army has moved into Gaza Strip and is ready to carry out neighborhood improvements. The rule I use with Debkafile is one should always wait 48 hours to see how things actually shake out. So far according to my score card they are more right than wrong and the reporting from the initial Iraqi invasion was remarkably good.

Furthermore, this is not the first time that it was suggested that Al-Qaeda was moving into the neighborhood. I found this reference from the BBC from October 2004.

Know thy Enemies

I concede calling the war “the Global War on Terrorism” and changing that name to the “Global War on Violent Extremism” is just flat out dumber rather than being merely just dumb. Unfortunately, I am afraid the next name incantation will land the Bush Administration into the dumbest name ever category. The innate danger of refusing to say exactly what you mean is that you become the subject of ridicule. Crack what jokes you will but make no mistake; we are at war and the enemy is Islamic Fascism.

I have created a new law. The next time someone invokes Juan Cole’s name in an article, newspaper or blog and cites him as an authority the argument is condemned into irrelevancy.

Among the Romani the world is divided into us and them. They refer to everyone who is not born Romani as “gagjo” which translates into English roughly as “one who is easily duped”. Slinger is a gagjo.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The New Adrienne

So Mr. Dithers has finally gotten around to announcing that Canada has a new Governor General - kind of, well, ah, sort of - according to the CBC and the Toronto Star.

I really don’t know much about her except what The Toronto Star is claiming that she is a CBC journalist which seems a bit of an oxymoron to me. I am really having a hard time placing her but I do remember a host on the Passionate Eye who spoke English with such a bad accent that I kept wishing that she would give up and just revert to French instead.

Nor do I comprehend why being a “CBC Journalist” now seems to be a pre-requisite to being the Queen’s Representative in Canada, and frankly, as a tax payer it sends shutters down my arm to what is left in my pocket book that the Liberals have appointed another one. Here’s to hoping that she understands that every penny she spends means there are less pennies I can spend on my family.

Should I count my blessings that the Globe and Mail does not call them Freedom Fighters?

According to the Globe and Mail today “militants” in Gaza were attempting to fire rockets into a group of unarmed men, women and children at a peaceful anti-disengagement rally in the Israeli town of Sderot. The “militants” missed the rally but instead hit two Palestinian Arab homes and a third rocket fell harmlessly in a field. The damage; 9 Palestinian Arabs injured, five children seriously harmed among the injured and one 3 year old boy was killed outright while another 11 year old boy is listed in critical condition. The Jerusalem Post carries a similar report without the term "militant".

I loathe this misuse of language. There is no argument of moral equivalency that can be made for these acts. These were not militants and there is no excuse for the Globe and Mail to use this kind of neutral non-specific language to describe the kind of murderous scumbags that feel an entitlement to fire rockets on unarmed civilians. This is terror plain and simple. The people who commit such acts of terror are terrorists. These people do not wage war against an army but terror against a civilian population. They wear no uniforms and strike haphazardly with the only strategically goal to produce maximum death and mayhem. This time no one wishes to openly claim responsibility because the wounded and dead are not Jews.

It strikes me that the term terrorist racists would be far more accurate and fitting to describe the perpetrators of these acts since the long term common goal of all the various and sundry “militant” groups in the Disputed Territories is to push the Jews into the sea. Sounds racist to me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Just what Gaza needs - another "popular" army!

In my last post I was just attempting to be snarky about Fatah not sharing weapons and ammunition with the Palestinian Authority but then I read this in the Jerusalem Post:
Fatah leaders and activists have decided to establish a Palestinian "popular army" to help the Palestinian Authority enforce law and order in the Gaza Strip after Israel evacuates the area. PA officials in Ramallah expressed concern over the decision, saying there was no need for "another militia" and that the Palestinian security forces are capable of taking control over the areas that will be evacuated by Israel. "This is the last thing we need now," one official told The Jerusalem Post. "We already have too many armed militias out there. The Palestinian people want one authority and one security force."

Sources in the Gaza Strip said the decision to establish a "popular army" was made by top PLO official Farouk Kaddoumi, who is based in Tunis and also serves as chairman of the ruling Fatah party's central committee. A staunch opponent of the Oslo Accords, Kaddoumi was one of the few PLO leaders who refused to return to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1994.

Kaddoumni, who is planning to move to the Gaza Strip after disengagement, recently opened an office in Khan Yunis. The office is run by dozens of Fatah activists and gunmen who are unhappy with the policies of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. On Monday, Kaddoumi's office launched a training program for dozens of recruits wishing to join the "popular army." The new "soldiers" are expected to undergo military training for several days before being officially drafted into the new army.

Kaddoumi told his supporters that the new force would be entrusted with helping the PA security forces enforce law and order and "protect the property of the Palestinians after the Israeli withdrawal. We will seek full coordination with all Palestinian factions to achieve our goal." The decision to establish a Fatah "popular army" comes in the wake of reports that Hamas was also setting up a similar force in the Gaza Strip.

It does not take a rocket science to know that Kaddoumi is positioning himself to challenge President Abbas although I did not expect this move until after the August 15th Israeli pull-out from Gaza and I suspect that unless Abbas leaves the disputed territories he will not live past six months from Kaddoumi’s arrival in Gaza.

It is also prudent to note that Kaddoumi has the support base not only within Fatah but has a positive working relationship with the leadership of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The extent of that working relationship could also go a long way in establishing a rational for Hamas and Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade openly sniping at Palestinian Authority security forces in Gaza in the last few weeks.

Furthermore, this puts Kaddoumi’s meeting with the leadership of Hezbollah in Beirut last week in perspective. Since this announcement was made on Monday concerning Chairman Kaddoumi establishing a Fatah “popular” army for Gaza I suspect Kaddoumi’s discussions with Hezbollah were quite productive and fruitful for both his short and long term aspirations.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Somethings are beyond parody or belief

Debkafile is running a report on the latest demands from Palestinian Authority to the Israeli state. Apparently, PA security forces are so short of ammunition and that PA security forces are down to issuing only 4 bullets to each security services personnel and have requested that Israel supply them - otherwise they cannot effectively protect the IDF when Israel begins the disengagement from Gaza.

The Jerusalem Post carries a similar story without the drama:

Spokesman for the Palestinian Interior Ministry Tawfiq Abu Khoussa said Saturday that the PA has a detailed security plan for ensuring quiet during Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, but are suffering from a dire lack of weapons and equipment. The PA is ill-equipped in arms, ammunition, transportation and communications, Khoussa said.

"We have less than 20 percent of the rifles we need for our security men," Abu Khoussa said. He said the shortage of bullets is even more dire. "If a bullet is fired, it isn't replaced," he said. Abu Khoussa said the Palestinians have raised requests with Israel and American officials for better arms and equipment. He said Israel has failed to respond to the requests, while the Palestinians believe the Americans "understand" their needs.

Israeli defense officials say they are ready to consider the Palestinian requests, but haven't made any decisions. Israel fears weapons and bullets could be used in attacks against Israelis, as has happened in the past.

I never thought I would live to see the day when the PA claims to be short of weapons or ammunition. I guess this means that Fatah, Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, Hamas, Islamic Jihad are not too big on sharing.

Is there anyone on the planet who could possibly be surprised by this?

From the Globe and Mail:
Tehran — Iranian authorities have detained a prominent human rights lawyer and accused him of leaking classified details on Iran's nuclear spies, a spokesman for Iran's judiciary said Sunday.

Abdolfattah Soltani, who also represents the family of an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist who died in Iranian custody, was arrested Saturday, said Mohammad Dadkhah, Mr. Soltani's lawyer.
“He has revealed information on nuclear spies both inside and outside Iran as well as to families of the suspects,” said Jamal Karimirad, Iran's judiciary spokesman.

Of course he did. All human rights lawyers in Iran have access to information on secret Iranian nuclear programs. Everybody knows that. No doubt he is part of an international Zionist conspiracy as well.