Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gunmen attack internet Cafes in Gaza

And no, it has nothing to do with the Jews but the Islamic Fascists are at it again reports the Jerusalem Post:
Unidentified gunmen attacked several Internet cafes in the Gaza Strip with hand grenades and bombs before dawn on Wednesday. The simultaneous attacks caused heavy physical damage, but no one was injured. There were no claims of responsibility, but some cafe owners accused Muslim fundamentalists who have been campaigning against Internet cafes and surfers.

"Some fanatics are unhappy with the fact that many young people have access to the Internet," one owner told The Jerusalem Post. "They claim that the Internet is corrupting young people because it exposes them to Western values and culture and pornographic sites."

Another owner, Ala Shawwa, described the attacks as a "cowardly act." He estimated losses to his Internet cafe at $3,000, adding that the place had been entirely destroyed. Nabil al-Atleh, owner of Coffee Net in the center of Gaza City, said the attacks occurred just after before dawn prayers in local mosques. He said all 30 computers were destroyed, estimating the damage at more than $5,000.
This is what happens when you take away target practice away from the kassam crowd - they start to turn on each other. I can't wait to see statehood.

You know, I have never understood the fundie fixation with the 9th century. What’s not to like about modern medicine, running hot and cold water, electric lights and flush toilets?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fat chances

I have blogged much about the Liberal leadership race. I haven’t wanted to jinx my two preferred candidate’s chances. After trudging half-way through the Toronto Star’s editorial endorsement of Bob Rae for the Liberal party leadership I couldn't bear to read on after these two paragraphs:
Yet many Canadians would rather see Ottawa embrace an active nation-building strategy, with the surplus being used to ease poverty, improve social programs, bolster medicare, repair city infrastructure, promote a healthier environment and boost economic productivity and create jobs.

That is why it is critical that delegates to the Liberal party convention this week select a leader who can rise to the Tory challenge and who can defend the healthier belief that government has a positive role to play in fostering national unity, bettering our lives and securing the future.
Now I feel oddly compelled to weight in the fray and offer my two cents on "who can defend the healthier belief that government has a positive role to play in fostering national unity, bettering our lives and securing the future". At least now, all of you know why its takes a strong stomach to actually read the Toronto Star.

Anyhoo, the Liberals have done such a stellar job of fostering national unity that the debate between the 'two solitudes' has been unresolved for at least 30 years. What’s Rae going to do to break the Liberal record? Demand the French and English pair up on their Rae Days for the love of the country?

I have yet to have any government agency better my life. I would love stories from anyone in this country whose life was made better by the unceasing efforts of Revenue Canada and Customs Agency. Send your warm fuzzy stories to me at and I'll post them. Rae ruined healthcare in Ontario, can you imagine what he could do with the whole of Canada? A government that secures my future sounds like a Liberal idea for introducing mandatory euthanasia legislation for those seniors 65 years of age and up.

Don’t get me wrong, personally I am rooting and cheering the Liberals to pick either Iggy or Rae to lead them to on the high road to perdition in the coming election. A Kennedy would be really harder to beat. And Dion, well, let’s just say he won’t play West of Toronto or be thought of too kindly east of the Quebec-New Brunswick border. Not to mention he has a way of speaking reminiscent of a Jacques Chirac and the look of a Dominique de Villepin.

The Song Remains the Same

Just when you think the UN Humans Rights Commission members cannot possibly be more outright malicious or morally bankrupt than they currently shown themselves to be; the Commission does something so outrageously duplicit that it takes ones breathe away.

Ynet News is reporting that former Archbishop Desmond “Zionism = Racism” Tutu, and a staunch supporter of the international campaign to diverse from Israel, has been appointed to lead a fact finding mission in Beit Hanoun, Gaza.
Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu has been named to head a United Nations fact-finding mission to the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, where 19 civilians were killed by an Israeli artillery barrage earlier this month, UN officials said Wednesday.

The South African anti-apartheid campaigner and former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town will travel to Gaza to "assess the situation of victims, address the needs of survivors, and make recommendations on ways and means to protect Palestinian civilians against further Israeli assaults," according to the president of the UN Human Rights Council, Luis Alfonso De Alba. The mission will report its findings to the Geneva-based body by mid-December, the statement said.
What a mission statement! No doubt it deeply disappointed the Commission to learn that Joseph Goebbels was currently not available to head the inquiry personally, but I suppose Tutu will do in a pinch.

Actually, I could save the United Nations mission oodles of time and money by delivering Tutu’s verdict. Israel is an Apartheid State. Israel is always wrong because Israeli is an Evil Colonial State. Israel was created as a great act of injustice by the imperialist colonial forces and it is time for the UN to right this historic wrong. Zionism is Racism. Israel must make immediate financial reparations to Palestinian Arabs. A UN Force must be immediately deployed to protect Palestinian Arabs and their burgeoning Pallywood film industry immediately. And finally, kill the Jews, without recourse or fear while under the protection of a blue helmet.

No where and when can I pick-up my cheque?

The Spy who came into the Light – Follow-up

Former Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa, was the highest ranking intelligence officer to defector from the former Soviet Bloc. He has an article up at National Review that is well worth a read in light of the Alexander Litvinenko’s murder in London. Here’s a excerpt:
There is no doubt in my mind that the former KGB/FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko was assassinated at Putin’s order. He was killed, I believe, because he revealed Putin’s crimes and the FSB’s secret training of Ayman al-Zahawiri, the number-two in al Qaeda. I know for a fact that the Kremlin has repeatedly used radioactive weapons to kill political enemies abroad. In the late 1970s, Leonid Brezhnev gave Ceausescu, via the KGB and its Romanian sister, the Securitate, a soluble radioactive thallium powder that could be put in food; the poison was to be used for killing political enemies abroad. According to the KGB, the radioactive thallium would disintegrate inside the victim’s body, generating a fatal, galloping form of cancer and leaving no trace detectable in an autopsy. The substance was described to Ceausescu as a new generation of the radioactive thallium weapon unsuccessfully used against KGB defector Nikolay Khokhlov in West Germany in 1957. (Khokhlov lost all his hair but did not die.) Its Romanian codename was “Radu” (from radioactive), and I described it in my first book, Red Horizons, published in 1987. The Polonium 210 that was used to kill Litvinenko seems to be an upgraded form of “Radu.”
Pacepa goes on to recount the Russian/Soviet leadership’s historical fondness for “political neutralizations” which is well worth a read in its own right. He ends with an observation that all of us in the West should take fully to heart:
It will not be easy to break a five-century-old tradition. That does not mean that Russia cannot change. But for that to happen, the U.S. must help. We should stop pretending that Russia’s government is democratic, and assess it for what it really is: a band of over 6,000 former officers of the KGB — one of the most criminal organizations in history — who grabbed the most important positions in the federal and local governments, and who are perpetuating Stalin’s, Khrushchev’s, and Brezhnev’s practice of secretly assassinating people who stand in their way. Killing always comes with a price, and the Kremlin should be forced to pay it until it will stop the killings.
As far back as 2004, I have been suggesting the Russians under Putin have chosen sides, and the side they have chosen is not ours. Bit by bit the evidence is there. It's been not only a tactical but a stragetic mistake to continue to presume otherwise.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Let's all sing "Imagine"

I like this Toronto Star article based on a column featured in Ynet News yesterday (written by noted Israeli leftie Amos Oz), concerning the possibility of a peace settlement deal with the Palestinians. I’ll give the money quote from the Toronto Star article:
Neither side will dance in the streets when the deal is made. But even those who condemn it as treachery and disaster, Oz said, will not be surprised at its terms — two states, Israel and Palestine, living more or less within the 1967 borders and sharing Jerusalem, the city of two capitals.

The Palestinian refugees will not return to Israel but instead will be free to live in Palestine. The Jewish settlers will not be free to live in Palestine but instead return to Israel. Each group will be laden with compensation cash to cushion so bitter a blow.
Removing the settlers from their homes in the West Bank might be the straw which breaks the Israeli back. I suspect they will not go gently into the Gush Katif nightmare without fighting back. All the pie in the sky promises of cash for the leaving their homes, jobs, and communities will fall short with the evidence of the plight of Gush Katif refugees firmly before their eyes (who by the way are still waiting for the promised compensation, employment and homes.)

Read this article from Arutz Sheva last week and see if you don’t hear the first faint notes of the echoes of resistance in Yesha. Will the Irgun rise again? I don't know, but these Israelis are not the pampered latte sippers of the Tel Aviv sidewalk cafes, and I know that I would be very reluctant to give up my home for a place in a caravan for the next 5-7 years.

Not to mention the huge toll any large scale evacuations may have on the IDF and its ability to be able to muster the will and moral needed to fight against their brethren. Nor should one forget religious soldiers represent the backbone of the might of the IDF. Can an army be an effective force if it is so divided?

Kadima and Olmert at the height of its electoral popularity won only 29% of the vote. The last figures I saw gave Olmert a 7% job approval rating. Where is the political support in Israel to carry any large scale withdrawals? Lieberman, leader of the Israel Our Home party has sworn to do everything in his power to stop any withdrawals from the West Bank.

But the larger question should be where would one potentially house 50,000 to potentially nearly a half a million Jews for resettlement in Israel? Eighteen months later and almost 9,000 Jews are still are without permanent housing. The potential strain on health care, education and local economies could potentially bankrupt the country from which it might never recover.

And I haven’t even begun to ask how a second Palestinian state would be economically feasible. Check out this Rand feasibility study which projects that a West Bank – Gaza State would need an estimated investment of USD$33 billion annually for a minimum of ten years – if not longer. And the Rand feasibility study takes it as a given that the Palestinian economy would be fully integrated into the Israeli economy but ask yourself why any Israeli government would want to tie the Palestinian economy to Israel’s? Let's play a free word association game. I say, "Good Steward" and you tell me how many times you think of something before the word "Palestinian" comes to mind.

Now take a deep breath and think about the logistics of returning a few million people to a geographical area that is just somewhat larger than the Canadian province of PEI. Where would they be housed? What sanitation measures would be needed or even where would adequate supplies of water be found to sustain such an influx of 3-4 million people?

But even more pressing, is to ask who is willing to make the long-term commitment to invest the billions upon billions year in and out to make this barren cow milk for at least half a generation - if not two,three or more generations? Especially, when there is a quicker and cheaper solution available but it has a high cringe factor for lefties worldwide.

If this is the ceasefire, I can’t wait to see what the peace looks like.

Rockets land again in Sderot reports Ynet News:
A Qassam rocket fired by Palestinian gunmen into Israeli territory Tuesday evening landed in an open area next to Sderot; a short while later a second rocket landed just north of the western Negev town. No injuries and no damage were reported in either incident.

The attacks, which marked the third time rockets were fired into Israel since the ceasefire took effect at 6 a.m. Sunday, took place as business mogul Arcadi Gaydamak visited Sderot, where he met with Mayor Eli Moyal.
What would we do without that cease fire? Isn't it a good thing that the Palestinian Authority had pledged to deploy along the borders between Israel and Gaza 13,000 Fatah militants?

Olmert’s Suicide Wish continues unabated

A few weeks ago when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited America I predicted that the Bush Administration would insist that the Israelis allowed another armed PLO fraction into the occupied territories to help prop up Bush Administration’s pet terrorist. In my mind, Olmert’s agreement was never in doubt but it was merely a question of when his acceptance would be announced to the public at large.

The Jerusalem Post carries this announcement:
Israel has agreed in principle to let Jordanian-based Palestine Liberation Organization forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas enter the Gaza Strip to help shore up a 2-day-old truce, military officials said Tuesday. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said Israel's decision is part of the truce deal that ended five months of fighting in Gaza. The Jordanian-based Badr forces would be deployed along the Israel-Gaza border to beef up Palestinian troops trying to prevent terrorists from firing homemade rockets at Israeli border communities.
Yeah, right - whatever. I really hate being right about these things. Here’s the rub; if Abbas has only a marginal support base and must bring in hired guns from Jordan how can he possible deliver on any “peace agreement”? 1500 armed men will keep Abbas alive but it is not enough to wrestle control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from Hamas, Islamic Jihad & Fatah forces who are not loyal to Abbas.

The Bush Administration is placing all their bets on the presumption that all the Palestinians Arab terrorist fractions want is a state to call their own and a hook for their dish cloths. If Abbas delivers to the Palestinian people a defacto state, the Bush Administration is fervently praying that the Palestinians will be satisfied and not continue to covet the Israeli state with blood lust in their eyes.

It’s absolutely amazing that the Bush Administration thinks this “kill a Jew for Allah” is nothing more substantial than overblown rhetoric on the part of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah. There is isn't the faintest evidence to suggest the fighting would end once the Palestinians establish a second Palestinian state.

The Israelis need to fully realize that one cannot outsource the security of the state to anyone, any nation or any Uncle Sams and hope to remain safe and sound at home.

Olmert talks political peace, Hamas threatens 3rd Intifada

According to this Ynet News article the US thinks that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given the Palestinians a new political horizon to shoot for that wasn’t meant to be taken literally but someone needs to explain the nuance to Hamas. Ynet News:
Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal has threatened further kidnappings of Israeli troops on Monday afternoon, according to the Hamas affiliated Palestine Info website.

Kidnappings like the abduction "done four months ago" of Gilad Shalit would go on, the report said, as part of "a bid to swap them for Palestinian detainees languishing in occupation dungeons." "As long as there are (Palestinian) captives, the resistance will continue to capture Zionist soldiers to exchange them for those captives who spent long years in occupation jails," Mashaal was quoted as saying.

Referring to an earlier threat of launching a third intifada, Mashaal told Egyptian TV "that it was not a threat but rather an explanation that a third intifada might be the Palestinian people's option if their suffering persisted," the report added. The same website reported in another article that Fatah's armed wing fired "two Aqsa-103 missiles at the Sderot settlement to the north of the Gaza Strip in retaliation to the IOF troops violations of the fragile truce concluded between the Palestinians and the Hebrew state on Sunday (sic)."

It’s a common refrain to hear that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity but what if it just isn’t so? What proof or evidence is there that a second “Palestinian” state would satisfy their demands and they would never again look towards the 1949 Armistice lines without hunger or longing?

Monday, November 27, 2006

The blog post in which I alien the few Christians who still speak to me.

In the last few days I have numerous phone calls and countless emails all asking when it was appropriate to put up Christmas decorations. Now why I should be considered the fount of all things Christmas is beyond my ability to fully understand.

As someone who has never been able to remember most prayers, or which prayers constitute an Act of Contrition, and as a collapsed catholic, I hardly think I should be considered the go-to woman for all things Christ-massy.

But it just so happens that I do know. It’s really very simple. So simple, that even I know it. The Christmas season begins at Advent. Advent begins approximately the first Sunday in December and has been the same date for over a millennium – if not considerably longer.

If you claim to be a Christian, and yet, you do not know what Advent is, and when and why it begins. I have to ask - why do you celebrate Christmas in the first place?

In their own words

I found this remarkable statement at Arutz Sheva when I was reading a critique of the Israeli daily Ha’aretz's new guidelines for posting comments. It it seemed oddly appropriate and relevant considering that Olmert is yabbering about unilaterial withdrawals from the West Bank;
Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein said just that on March 31, 1977 in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."

Now let’s review the original Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission statement from 1964, Article 24 (taken from the PLO's UN website):
Article 24: This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.

But there is a new revised version of the original PLO Charter which was rewritten to reflect the reality on the ground once the Israelis gained the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1968. The first thing we find is that Article 24 has been rewritten to read thus:
Article 24: The Palestinian people believe in the principles of justice, freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, human dignity, and the right of peoples to exercise them.

But it’s Article 1, 2, 3 that should concern us:
Article 1. Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the greater Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.

Article 2: Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.

Article 3: The Palestinian Arab people possess the legal right to their homeland and to self-determination after the completion of the liberation of their country in accordance with their wishes and entirely of their own accord and will.

You'd think the term Phased Plan would have at some point crossed the consciousness of Olmert and his rag-tag bunch of political never-do-wells, but I suspect term has yet to converge on their collective cognizance.

Day Two of the Truce: Kassams Fly

And the Israeli Prime Minister promises more land and unilateral withdrawals.
The government met on Sunday at Kibbutz Sde Boker to commemorate the passing away of Israel's founder and first prime minister David Ben-Gurion 33 years ago. During the ceremony Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a dramatic appeal to the Palestinians, urging them to choose a 'new path' --- a path of negotiations with Israel.

Olmert, who until recently called for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from West Bank territories, or 'realignment' as he referred to it, said, "I call on you from here today to choose a new path, a path that gives a chance to a different future for you and for us. Yesterday we went down that path and I hope it will push us forward towards the goal that want to reach – peace, calm and trust in one another," .

Olmert said Israel will be ready to evacuate occupied lands and settlements in return for "real peace." "You have to stop violence and terror, to recognize our right to live in peace and security by your side and to give up the right of return. That's a right, natural and possible target," he said.
I am not sure if Olmert’s speech made Ben Gurion turn over in his grave but it certainly roused the Terror Masters as Ha’aretz reports kassams have once again started to fly:
Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired two Qassam rockets at Israel on Monday, despite a day-old cease-fire that was intended to end five months of violence in the area, Palestinian witnesses and police said.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed offshoot of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks.

Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld confirmed the rockets were fired at Israel, but said police were unsure where they had landed. The rescue services said there were no reports of injuries from the rockets.
Doesn't Israel have an incitement law that Olmert could be charged under?

Only 25 years after the fact

I really cannot comprehend the difference between the old UN Human Rights tribunal and the new one. Ha’aretz carries the latest ‘why’ a case can be made that the new UN Human Rights Commission is even worse than the old one:
The UN Human Rights Council, which has censured only Israel during its six-month existence, on Monday passed a new resolution criticizing
the Jewish state, this time for its occupation of the Golan Heights.

The council voted 32-1 with 14 abstentions to declare illegal Israel's 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights and demand that Israel rescind its decision to impose its laws and jurisdiction on the area, which it captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

Canada, which said the resolution was unbalanced, was the only no vote, and European Union members abstained.
Thank you Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Since places like Sudan, Cuba, China, Syria, Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, etc., get a complete pass and the new UN Human Rights Commission has yet to deal with any other country in the entire world (nor shown the slightest inclination to do so). I can't understand why the UN does not call their latest incarnation the UN Human Rights Tribunal for Jew Haters Everywhere.

Jews slandered at Palestine House - Arabs Outraged

Palestine House Community Centre had its parking lot vandalized over the weekend. Apparently the culprit(s) used spray paint to write the words “Jew + Nazi = Palestine" on the ground of the parking lot and put a Star of David under the Palestinian flag reports the Toronto Star:
Greater Toronto's Palestinian community is in shock at what they are calling a hate crime that left the parking lot of their main gathering place vandalized. "This is a hate crime and it's a big statement," Palestine House president Farid Ayad said yesterday. "It's a religious and political statement."

Police were called to 3195 Erindale Station Rd., just north of Dundas St. W. in Mississauga yesterday morning after an employee noticed the vandalism, Ayad said.
The words "Jew + Nazi = Palestine" were spray-painted in blue in the parking lot, Ayad said.

"This is how I read it: it's a hate statement not just against Palestinians but also against the Jews," he said. "That kind of statement raises many flags." The culprit also spray-painted the Star of David — a sign of Judaism — underneath the Palestinian flag, police said.
I do find it a bit of a stretch to understand how it demonizes Palestinian Arabs and would have thought the Jews got the brunt of it – what with being referred to as Nazis and putting the Star of David under the Palestinian flag. Frankly, I have seen far more inflammatory signs carried by Hezbollah supporters in downtown Toronto this past summer.

There are two possibilities here. Even in Canada Palestinians Arabs cannot stop crying "victim" or maybe it’s just because Muslim are offended to see any Jewish symbol on a parking lot that is used almost exclusively used by Muslims?

The Spy who went into the Light

The death of former KGB spy, Alexander Litvinenko’s death is prompting more questions than answers. Here’s an interesting new twist to Litvinenko’s case reports The Times Online:
A dossier drawn up by Alexander Litvinenko on the Kremlin’s takeover of the world’s richest energy giant will be given to Scotland Yard today as police investigate the former KGB spy’s secret dealings with some of Russia’s richest men. It emerged yesterday that Mr Litvinenko travelled to Israel just weeks before he died to hand over evidence to a Russian billionaire of how agents working for President Putin dealt with his enemies running the Yukos oil company.

He passed this information to Leonid Nevzlin, the former second-in-command of Yukos, who fled to Tel Aviv in fear for his life after the Kremlin seized and then sold off the $40 billion (£21 billion) company. Mr Nevzlin told The Times that it was his “duty” to pass on the file. “Alexander had information on crimes committed with the Russian Government’s direct participation,” he said. “He only recently gave me and my attorneys documents that shed light on the most significant aspects of the Yukos affair.”

Investigators have told The Times that Mr Litvinenko had apparently uncovered “startling” new material about the Yukos affair and what happened to those opposing the forced break-up of the company.

Several figures linked with Yukos are reported to have disappeared or died in mysterious circumstances while its head, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and others have been jailed. Originally it was Mr Litvinenko’s vocal opposition to President Putin’s rule that led to accusations of Russia’s secret service involvement in his death, but police are investigating whether he made enemies through his links with a number of oligarchs.

Detectives involved in what they admit is one of the most complicated inquiries Scotland Yard has faced say that they are working through Mr Litvinenko’s formidable list of friends and foes, which includes some of the world’s wealthiest men.

This case becomes stranger and stranger but how long before Putin starts saying, “The Joooos did it!”

A son of Yaakov speaks

Artuz Sheva carries a rather refreshing politically uncorrect broadcast concerning the news in Israel. Make no mistake - this is no Israeli Anglo Channel 2 broadcast. The English link to the videocast can be watched here. Included in the broadcast is a rather moving interview with 12 year Chanan Yaakobov whose father was murdered by kassam days ago. Here’s an excerpt:
Q. ...What was the first thing you thought?

A. I thought how would I have a life without my father. I don't... I said to myself, aaah, without my father, I have no life.

Q. Do you want to continue living here in Sderot?

A. (firmly) Yes.

Q. Why? Why is it important to you?

A. Because, I very much love the State of Israel. If I and my cousins leave Sderot, we could do it in a day. But if we do, then the State would simply fall apart. Because if Sderot falls apart, then the whole country goes with it. If the Hamas terrorists see that they succeeded in emptying out Sderot, then they will say, we finished with Sderot, and then they will send Kassams to Ashkelon, and then we will lose Ashkelon, and then the same with Ashdod - and then the same thing with the whole country, that's it, nothing will be left of Israel. All the Jews will be scattered in places that - I don't know where they will be able to go...

Q. if the Prime Minister was here now, what would you say to him?

A. I wouldn't want to speak with him, I would tell him to get out of here, I - I would give him a kick, or throw stones at him - I don't know what I would do to him.

Q. And Amir Peretz, who lives here - what would you say to him.

A. I would tell him to go away, I wouldn't want to talk to him, I don't even want to see him. Because if the people of Sderot were important to him, a long time ago - and I mean a long time ago - he would have done what he should...

Asked about the government, Chanan said with great emphasis:

[I want] the Defense Minister and Olmert to - to say that they can't do it. They should let Bibi Netanyahu and [Avigdor] Lieberman take their place. [Gesturing emphatically with his hand] They should give up their places in the government! ... If you can do it, then I want to see your answer! I ask of you - and if not, then [eyes welling up] give up your places, but quickly! Quickly! I, the son of Yaakov, I turn to you [with choked voice]: Give up your places in the Knesset! Give them up!"
"Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings You have established might, to counter Your enemies, to silence foe and avenger."Psalm 8

Give an inch and they demand a mile.

The Gaza Agreement between the Terror Masters and Israel concerned strictly the Gaza Strip. Israel would cease operations in the Gaza Strip and withdrawal her soldiers and in exchange the Terror masters would cease launching Kassams against Israeli civilians. The Jerusalem Post is reporting the Terror masters are already demanding a change:
Hamas on Sunday dismissed as "unacceptable" Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's threat to arrest any Palestinian who violates the latest cease-fire with Israel. Meanwhile, several Palestinian armed groups warned that they would resume their attacks unless Israel also halted its military operations in the West Bank. At least three groups, including Islamic Jihad, have refused to sign on to the cease-fire agreement.
One of them is the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, which said it would not abide by the cease-fire as long as Israel continued to arrest its members in the West Bank. The group, which belongs to Abbas's Fatah party, was responding to the arrest of Mahmoud Kadoura, a top member of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, in Ramallah.

Abu Obaidah, a spokesman for Hamas's armed wing, Izaddin Kassam, also warned that the cease-fire would collapse unless Israel stopped its military operations in the West Bank immediately. "The Israeli aggression must stop in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip," he said. "This is a temporary cease-fire and any Israeli assault on our people in the West Bank will be viewed as a violation of the agreement."

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is a branch of Fatah.

In a way it’s hard to fault the terror masters for not wanting more. Israeli Prime Minister is hardly the master of resoluteness. The prime objective of the Gaza Strip incursion was to obtain the release of IDF Corporal Shalit and ending the kassam fire was the secondary consideration. If Olmert would cave on his first objective, and ignore violations on the second; why not go whole hog?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Is there a secret Israeli Death Wish?

There is an interesting pathology that occurs in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians feel the heat of the Israeli kitchen; they call for a ceasefire truce. Israel accepts the truce and then inevitably the Palestinians violate their truce. Then Israel turns on the heat and the Palestinians cry truce. It is repeated over and over to without the slightest change or deviation in the pattern. The interesting part is why successive Israeli Administrations continue to commit to the same course of action.

Late last week Islamic Jihad presented Hamas with a truce agreement to present to Israel. Israel laughed and then accepted the truce. All the terror masters were on board. Ynet News carries Olmert’s statement on the matter:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said during a visit to the Bedouin town of Rahat Sunday, that, “I hope the ceasefire will take effect in the West Bank as well, although it currently does not apply there; however, the responsibility and good will may lead to the beginning of serious, open and direct negotiations between us and the Palestinians.”

The prime minister added: “In the past few weeks the Israeli and Palestinian offices have been in constant contact, and there are understandings; but these must mature into negotiations, and I hope this will happen soon.

Olmert and Vice Premier Shimon Peres visited Rahat for the inauguration of a high school in the city. Olmert recounted the decision on the ceasefire, saying, “Last night (Saturday) the head of the Palestinian Authority (Mahmoud Abbas) called to inform me of the Palestinian factions’ decision on a ceasefire, the cessation of all acts of violence, including arms smuggling through tunnels, sending suicide bombers and firing Qassams. “We both agreed that both sides would make every effort so this ceasefire would go into effect this morning,” he said. Olmert added that he took into account that ceasefires are not immediately implemented but "I ordered all IDF forces to leave the Gaza Strip. Although there are still breaches from the other side, I ordered troops to show restraint and to give the ceasefire a chance."

He also said: "Hamas said this morning that we are not in talks with them, because firing Qassams is a violation of the commitment. The State of Israel is a strong country and it has enough power to fight terror and also to show restraint and give a chance for the ceasefire to take hold, as Abu Mazen promised us. We will show restraint and responsibility, certainly in the coming days."

Just hours after the truce went into effect this happened (Reuters report):

GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinian militants fired several rockets at Israel from Gaza on Sunday just hours after the start of a ceasefire aimed at ending five months of bloodshed in the impoverished coastal strip. The truce, which has raised the possibility that moribund Middle East peacemaking could be revived, is designed to end rocket attacks and halt a crushing Israeli army offensive.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the ceasefire may lead to "real negotiations" between Israel and the Palestinians. He also said Israel will "show restraint" in coming days over the ceasefire violations.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a moderate, ordered his security forces to ensure the ceasefire held, but it was unclear whether they would use force to prevent rocket fire.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for launching at least five rockets into southern Israel and said it would not agree to a ceasefire unless Israeli military activity also ended in the occupied West Bank. No one was hurt in the attacks. "There is no way to talk about a truce as long as aggression continues on any of our land," the group said in a statement. The armed wing of the governing Hamas Islamic group said it fired two rockets, but Hamas political leaders pledged to obey the ceasefire. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of Abbas's Fatah movement, also said they fired two rockets.

Israel has threatened to respond if salvoes continue, but Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said it was too early to say the Gaza agreement was unraveling. "We have to see this as the start of an opportunity. We are at the initial hours of this process," she told Army Radio. Palestinian cabinet spokesman Ghazi Hamad said the Hamas-led government would speak to the factions which violated the truce. "We are committed to the agreement on calm," Hamad said.

So we have all the Palestinian Terror Masters onboard for a ceasefire and once the Israelis commit to the truce and withdraw their soldiers; all three terror groups claim responsibility for firing rockets into Sderot. But Israel’s Prime Minister promises to “show restraint” over ceasefire violations and Hamas promises to speak to the “guilty” parties. An Islamic Jihad spokesmen now claim there can be no ceasefire until Israel ceases as military activity in the West Bank which was not part of the Gaza ceasefire agreement. The Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says it’s ‘too early to see if the Gaza agreement is unraveling.’

The Israeli Foreign Minister is the best case I can make for why everyone should be well grounded in history. What is ludicrous is why any Israeli Administration commits to these ridiculous ceasefires when nothing material ever changes on the ground. When your enemy cries “Uncle” that should be a major heads up as the time to forge forward and not retreat.

But what do I know? I am just a blogger watching from the safety of my flat screen in Toronto. Now if I was a citizen of Sderot, I might give serious consideration to what I can do to bring the current Israeli administration down before an incoming landed in my kitchen during the “ceasefire”. I can’t speak with authority on Israeli boys per say, but as a mother of sons, I do know my boys have a tendency to get a tad unruly when I cannot cook in my kitchen.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

What a way to get out of cooking dinner.

(Photo: Amir Cohen, Ynet News)

File this under those "harmless" kassam rockets.

Stowaway cat

Can Ziggy claim the right of return?

No good deed goes unpunished in the Israeli Knesset.

Ynet is reporting that a Knesset member of the extreme left-wing party Meretz party has introduced what he even has the bad grace to call the “Gaydamak bill”.
Knesset Member Ran Cohen will bring before the Knesset the "Gaydamak bill," which stipulates that if a Knesset candidate donates more than one million shekels during the four years prior to the elections, the sum will be considered as part of his campaign spending.

Cohen said that when a philanthropist turns into a political candidate, his donations can potentially be used for buying votes, and should therefore be placed under scrutiny. (Ilan Marciano)
Last week Israeli philanthropist Arcadi Gaydamak answered a direct appeal from the parents of the children of Sderot and provided a brief free vacation from the rocket attacks which has haunted their days and nights ever since the disastrous Gaza Disengagement was implemented by the Israeli government. Gaydamak was severely reprimanded by Amir Peretz, Labour leader and current Israeli Minister of Defense, whose own plans for the security of the people of Sderot have come to minus naught.

Perhaps, if Israeli leftist took the mote out of their own eye and provided a rational alternative to security issues rather than continuously deteriorating the security situation beyond the capacity for humans to bear there would be no need for Gaydamak’s philanthropy, though, I suspect that is a conclusion which contains far too much nuance for a Meretz member to grasp.

At this rate, it doesn't seem we will have to wait long before Israeli Leftists will introduce legislation banning all forms and expressions of private charity.

Neither Grandmothers or Teddy Bears

Are safe reports Ynet News:
A joint paratrooper and Shin Bet force uncovered an explosive lab in Nablus Friday night. In the lab, the forces found teddy bears with wires hanging from them, apparently slated to be used as explosive devices.

The lab was detonated in a controlled manner, and there were no reports of injuries. The forces also found in the explosives lab three belts made from cloth, ready to contain explosives, a hollow coat used for hiding explosives, and 20 light bulbs and light sockets used for activating explosives. Test tubes, a hollow gas tank, hollow pipes, batteries, 40 liters of hydrogen peroxide and ohms were also found in the lab.

Since the beginning of the year, Israel Defense Forces soldiers operating in Nablus hit 41 gunmen who were planning, according to the defense establishment, to hit IDF troops or Israeli citizens. Some 320 wanted terror suspects were arrested in the West Bank city and its surroundings since the beginning of the year, most of them affiliated with Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Fatah and Hamas.
And the next time an IDF soldier at a checkpoint insists that the teddy bear be left behind; guess who will be the first to whine and cry about a heartless occupier and the humiliation of it all? And yet, it is the terror masters who have shown a complete and utter reckless disregard for human dignity.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Toronto Star has a Jimmy Carter Moment

I am not sure why I read the Toronto Star online but every once and awhile I do break down and surf in. Frankly, it holds all the fascination of a train wreck waiting to happen for me. I found this report covering the alleged Palestinian offer of a temporary truce to the Israelis:
Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas said Friday that Palestinian military factions had agreed to halt rocket fire if Israel reciprocates by stopping its military offensives in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Miri Eisin, a spokeswoman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, rejected the proposal as "ludicrous," and called on the Palestinians to come up with a more realistic plan for halting the cycle of violence.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently got involved in efforts to nail down a ceasefire, and will hopefully come up with a more serious proposal that Israel could respond to, Eisin said. "Israel wants calm in the Gaza Strip," Eisin said. "We'll see if there are more concrete proposals."

But Haniyeh said the Palestinians would not shoulder the responsibility of the truce alone. "The ball now is in the Israeli court," Haniyeh said. "It (Israel) must stop its aggression and escalation against the Palestinian people, then there will be no problem according to what the factions agreed in their last meeting."

The Toronto Star article never mentions or even hints at why Israeli officials consider the truce "ludicrous". Nor oddly enough does the Toronto Star article mention that the Palestinians are offering a truce which does not preclude them from launching suicide bombing attacks or any other “cross border” activities against the Israel civilians.

Pussies at War?

As the self-exploding Hamas Granny continues to make an impression around the world, we need to ask ourselves this question; where have all the Palestinian men gone? Increasingly, the only time we see Palestinian militant men is when they are firing behind the burqas of their women or using the backs of their children for cover.

Islamic Jihad, the weakest member of the The Palestinian Terror Trinity (Fatah, Hamas & Islamic Jihad) has put forth a proposal of a temporary truce with Israel reports Ynet News, but there is one important caveat:
An Islamic Jihad member said late Thursday that Palestinian militant groups offered to stop firing rockets into Israel in exchange for a cessation of all attacks on the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank. Islamic Jihad leader Khader Habib said the main Palestinian factions including the governing Hamas group, the rival Fatah of President Mahmoud Abbas and other smaller groups reached the understanding while meeting Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

“For the good of the national Palestinian interest ... There is a position supporting calm (a ceasefire) by stopping rocket fire in return for an end to the aggression against our people in Gaza and the West Bank,” Habib told Reuters.

Habib said a deal would only take effect after Israel agrees and actually ends military actions. The offer was limited only to rocket firing and did not include other forms of attacks by militants such as cross-border attacks and suicide bombings. It was the first time that all Palestinian factions and militant groups had agreed on a common proposal.

He added that Haniyeh would take the proposal to Abbas in their meeting later on Thursday in the hope that the president would then put it to Israel. “If the Israelis agree then the deal will be ratified by all parties. The implementation of the agreement will be pending on whether we will see an end to the aggression on the ground,” Habib said.
I find it fascinating that Islamic Jihad is willing to propose a cessation of rocket attacks on Israeli civilians for a cessation of the IDF hunting terrorists in the Gaza Strip. The IDF searches focus pre-dominantly on militant men in action and this proposal by Islamic Jihad would take the heat off the men, but IJ reserves the right to launch suicide bombings which we have seen increasingly become the domain of women and children. I have no idea what this all means, but what an incredibly strange and alien pathology these people possess.

Lone Soldier

Is an Israeli term for a soldier in the IDF who has no family members in the Land of Israel. The Jerusalem Post is currently running as series of blog posts from a blogger who also was an American Lone Soldier serving in the IDF. Here’s a Thanksgiving excerpt:
It was our second day out on ambush. My three buddies lay next to me, and as the order came in I looked at them as if to say, "What the hell is that all about?" Tomer fiddled with his night vision and Eli scooped tuna out of a can, his grubby hands using the bent lid as a makeshift spoon. They shrugged their shoulders and pouted as if to say, "How the hell are we supposed to know?"

Their inner lips were a vibrant pink beneath their black and green faces streaked with sweat. On the far side of the foxhole, Sergei slept hard, his nose buried in the carpet of leaves and sticks.

I knew better than to question an order, so I whispered an affirmation into the mouthpiece. I looked through my scope across the narrow, brush-choked ravine and in the dying light I discerned a young shepherd boy urging his flock towards the blocky outcropping of homes on the opposite hillside. The green fluorescent lights on the minarets bristling from the village flickered to life. The battered Datsun we had been staring at for the last 36 hours remained parked beside a small, windowless shack on the village's outskirts.

I stuffed the refuse from the combat rations into my gear, wished my pals good luck and inch-wormed my way backwards out of the foxhole, being careful not to disturb the camouflage netting.

Crawling, I made my way up the hillside towards the ridge at such an angle as to keep the vegetation between the village and myself. Once over the spine I stood and walked carefully down to the dried creek bed on the other side. There, behind a giant fig tree in a bend of the creek, the company commander and his driver sat, spitting the shells of watermelon seeds out of the open doors of the Hummer.
"Get in," he said. "You've been requested to attend a dinner for American lone soldiers for that holiday where you guys eat turkey."

I had totally forgotten that it was Thanksgiving, and I absolutely love Thanksgiving. I had to remember to call my family.

"I don't want to go, sir."

"You will go, you will eat turkey, or you will be court-martialled."

From the other side of the ridge I could hear the Muslim call to prayer blaring from the mosques in the village. Our guy - that murderous scumbag - was going to finally move that night and I was now going to miss it for a crappy lone soldier event. I reluctantly conceded and the commander gave me a friendly - yet sturdy - slap to the back of my helmet as I climbed into the back of the Hummer.
Read more by Lone Soldier here.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tough day for Paradise

I may be misinformed but it is my understanding when a woman suicide bomber implodes not only is she received in paradise; she also gets to take her place as one of the virgins or 'houris' for the ‘martyr's' to come exclusive sexual use.

Pity the Martyr. Ynet News has details.

And this from a country whose late great military moment was Waterloo.

Under the very noses of UNIFIL, Hezbollah has been re-arming and UNIFIL does relatively little but bunker down at night, and while in the day, UNIFIL forces avert their collective gaze. Now French soldiers of UNIFIL have now been given orders to fire on IAF planes which have been conducting flyover missions in Lebanon for purpose of gathering intelligence on Hezbollah positions & re-armament activities reports the Jerusalem Post:
French soldiers in Lebanon who feel threatened by aggressive Israeli overflights are permitted to shoot at IAF fighter jets, a high-ranking French military officer told The Jerusalem Post. Wednesday, several days after meeting with an IDF general in Paris to discuss what he said was a "blatant violation of the cease-fire."

Last weekend, Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan, head of the IDF Planning Directorate, traveled to Paris and met with military officials to explain why the IAF flies over Lebanon despite the UN-brokered cease-fire.

Nehushtan, new to his post and previously deputy commander of the air force, told his French counterparts that Israel was conducting the flights to collect intelligence on Hizbullah positions in southern Lebanon.

According to the French officer, Nehushtan apologized for an incident on October 31 when an IAF fighter carried out a mock bombing run over a French UNIFIL position in southern Lebanon, almost prompting troops to fire anti-aircraft missiles. "There was a reality on the ground and it was important for us to reaffirm what we had seen and explain clearly what are the orders of the French soldiers to protect themselves," the French officer said.

The French told Nehushtan they would view further aggressive flyovers as a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. "No assurances were made to us that they [the IAF] would stop [the flights]," the French officer said. "The orders that the [French] soldiers have is that their weapons are for self-defense and if a commander will feel threatened, as it was about to happen on the 31st of October, he would have the right to use force."

Milos Strugar, spokesman for UNIFIL, supported the French position, saying that according to the UN resolution, UNIFIL had the right to use force in self-defense, even against Israeli aircraft. "UNIFIL has the right to take all necessary action to protect UN personnel in self-defense," he said
Has anyone advised France that after two millenniums of running - Jews can now be counted on to fight back? And if, French UNIFIL forces fired on the IAF and the IAF response by blowing them to kingdom come - am I really suppose to care?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When was the last time Sderot had a human shield?

Ynet News is reporting that the professional human shields are now out in full force:
For the past two months, the IDF has been called activists and their family members in Gaza to warn them of their intent on bombing their homes. Palestinians have found away to prevent the bombings; dozens, even hundreds, gather at the homes of those wanted, thereby thwarting the destruction. In recent days, Father Peter and Sister Mary Ellen of Michigan have joined them.

At the end of last week, the IDF informed the Brudi family in Jabalya of their intent to bomb and demolish their home in protest of their son’s activities with the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC).

Since then, hundreds of neighbors and activists of all organizations congregated at the house in an effort to prevent the demolition. The same idea was adopted at the home of a prominent Hamas activist in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya. Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh even held a press conference there.

hese homes have become pilgrimage sites in recent days not only for locals. Foreign peace activists have started to show interests in the phenomenon, and two Americans, a priest and a nun from Michigan, arrived at Jabalya from Michigan to take part in the human shield mission at the Brudi family home.

Let us not even discuss the outright stupidity of calling your enemy’s home and giving them a heads up to plan their defense parameters. It’s the Sister Mary Ellen type that has provoked my ire. She tells Ynet News:
“We are against any type of violence, whether from the Palestinian side or the Israeli side, by we are here to be with a family that may have their house bombed and demolished because of the claim that one or two members are involved in violence.”
She also explained that she was well aware of the Qassam rockets fired from the northern Gaza Strip towards Sderot, and said, “I adamantly oppose and condemn the firings like I condemn all violence.”
The Sister Mary Ellen sorts have long lost any creditability with me. I suppose I might give more credence to their intentions or even belief system, if they ever positioned themselves in places like the kindergarten playgrounds of Sderot, Israel.

Another UN Shame

After two weeks of hemming and hawing, UN International Human Rights Commissioner Lousie Arbour has finally turned down requests to meet with the families of two Israeli soldiers being held captive by Hezbollah and the family of IDF Corporal Shalit held by PRC reports Ha’aretz.
The families of kidnapped soldiers Eldad Regev, Ehud Goldwasser, and Gilad Shalit protested on Tuesday to United Nations representatives in Israel following the refusal of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, to meet with them.

The coordinators of the effort to free the soldiers said Arbour, who is now in Israel, finally said no to a meeting after avoiding a direct answer for two weeks. The families want to discuss UN efforts to attain signs of life from the three soldiers. Benny Regev, brother of Eldad Regev, said the families were "furious and disappointed" at Arbour's refusal to meet with them.
I suppose the fact that UN Security Resolution 1701 specifically demands the release of the two soldiers held captive by Hezbollah or the fact that the International Red Cross has been repeatedly denied access to all three Israeli soldiers just doesn’t have any bearing or relationship to the international human rights.

a bad game day

If this doesn't qualify as a pink slip moment what does? Yahoo news is reporting this:
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - U.S. and Argentine media reported that one of President Bush's 24-year-old twin daughters had her purse stolen while being guarded by the Secret Service during a visit here.

ABC News, citing unidentified law enforcement reports, reported on its Web site Tuesday that Barbara Bush's purse and cell phone were taken while she was dining in a Buenos Aires restaurant.

La Nacion newspaper, citing anonymous government sources, said in its online edition early Wednesday that one of Bush's daughters had her purse taken Sunday afternoon in the popular tourist district of San Telmo.

A pair of thieves removed the purse from under a table while Secret Service agents stood guard at a distance, La Nacion reported. La Nacion said its sources did not reveal which of the Bush daughters had her purse stolen.

Argentine police told The Associated Press they had no complaint of any such incident on file, and the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires said it would have no comment. In Washington, the White House, Secret Service and State Department also declined comment.

CNN cited a law-enforcement source who was briefed on the incident as saying that "at no point were the protectees out of visual contact and at no point was there any risk of harm."

A classic opps moment.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

UN Human Rights Commissioner gets kassam’d and then boo’d in Sderot

So UN Human Rights Commissioner, Lousie Arbour goes to Sderot Israel and gets more than she bargained for according to this Ynet News account.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour's visit to a Sderot factory, where a worker was seriously injured by a Qassam rocket, ended with a brawl. UN spokesperson in Israel, Christopher Gans told Ynet: "Arbour regrets the events. She said the fire is illegal, even if it is directed at military targets. It's a flagrant violation of international law."

"The government of Israel has a responsibility to protect its citizens, like any government and it must do this within the law; within the human rights and the humanitarian law," said Jose Diaz, the spokeman for the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. "We have been consistent about condemning such attacks and Louise Arbour condemned it again this morning, there is no question about it - these kinds of attacks with these kinds of weapons violate humanitarian law," he added.

Diaz told Ynetnews of the difficult scenes Arbour witnessed in Sderot: "Our visit to Sderot was traumatic as we personally witnessed an attack. As we were driving into Sderot we heard a loud explosion and a rocket landed 200 meters away; we went to the actual site but couldn't examine it closely, because officials feared there was a gas leak, so we had to leave the site.

"We went to a daycare center and met with children some of whom were with their parents. Some were adolescents, some young teenagers and some as young as 9-10 years old. It was hard to tell if they were traumatized but while we were at the daycare center there was either a drill or another attack, or a fear of another attack, and everyone was told to go inside, children were told to face the wall as they had practiced in their drills. It was quite a striking scene seeing all these children lined up against the wall, not the kind of thing any human being wants to go through," he said.

Diaz said that Arbour discussed efforts to bring Israel and Palestinian gunmen to agree to a ceasefire during talks with President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday. Moyal told Arbour that Sderot has been suffering Qassam attacks for six years. A Sderot Municipality official said Arbour was embarrassed by the reaction of workers at the Qassam-stricken factory as they hit UN vehicles and shouted slogans accusing the UN of being biased against Israel. "I came here to see what is happening and hear about how the residents feel," she told workers before being interrupted, forcing police to lead her away.

I imagine she wasn’t “embarrassed” as much as she was stupefied to discover (probably for the first time) that as a representative of the UN, ordinary Israelis perceived her as part of the problem and not the solution.

Sderot looks like a Ghost Town

But Hamas thinks its having a good day reports Ynet News:
Hamas is "very satisfied" with reports here some Israelis in communities near the Gaza Strip are ready to flee their rocket-plagued towns while students reportedly have been skipping school for fear of being caught in regular Palestinian attacks, a senior leader of Hamas' military wing told WND in an interview yesterday.

"The importance of what is happening in Sderot proves to the Palestinians, especially those who say rockets bring no results, that rocket attacks do bring big benefits," said Abu Abdullah, who is considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas' declared military wing.

"We promise we will keep hitting them because this process (of launching rockets at Jewish communities) is starting to bring results. We are working to improve our rockets to hit further and cause more Jews to evacuate," said the terror leader, speaking to WND from Gaza.

Two points not to forget about Hamas Kassam attacks; 1) Hamas is only targeting Israeli civilians and; 2) Hamas is not aiming its rocket barrages into any officially disputed territory but into Israel proper.

Lebanon Redux: 'They want to kill every free person."

Saad Hariri is quoted as saying that from this Reuters report on the assassination of Pierre Gemayel today in Lebanon:
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese Christian cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel, an outspoken critic of Syria, was assassinated near Beirut on Tuesday, security sources said. Gunmen rammed their car into Gemayel's vehicle, then leapt out and riddled it with bullets as his convoy drove through the Christian Sin el-Fil neighborhood, witnesses said. Gemayel, 34, was rushed to hospital where he later died of his wounds.

Local television footage showed angry and weeping supporters gathering at the hospital.

The killing is certain to heighten tensions in Lebanon amid a deep political crisis pitting the anti-Syrian majority against the pro-Damascus opposition led by Hezbollah, which is determined to topple what it sees as a pro-U.S. government. "We believe the hand of Syria is all over the place," Saad al-Hariri, son of assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, said from Beirut shortly after Gemayel was shot dead.

"Syria strongly condemns the killing," the official Syrian news agency SANA said. Hezbollah official Ahmed Melli said the Shi'ite group also condemned it.

Gemayel, elected to parliament in 2000 and again in 2005, is the third Lebanese anti-Syrian figure to be assassinated since Hariri's killing in February 2005. Gemayel, industry minister, was a member of the Christian Phalange Party founded by his grandfather and the son of former President Amin Gemayel. His uncle Bashir Gemayel was killed in September 1982 after he was elected president during Israel's invasion of Lebanon. Pierre, like his father and late uncle, was a strong opponent of the influence of Syria, who many Lebanese blame for the assassination of former prime minister Hariri.

Hariri's son Saad, who is parliamentary majority leader, interrupted a news conference to announce the shooting of Gemayel. "They want to kill every free person," he said. U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said it was a "very sad day for Lebanon". "We were shocked by this assassination. We view it as an act of terrorism and we also view it as an act of intimidation," he said.

Anti-Syrian Christian leader Samir Geagea said on Friday efforts to topple the government could lead to assassination attempts on cabinet ministers. Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said on Tuesday his depleted cabinet was legitimate despite the resignation of six pro-Syrian ministers, and warned that any anti-government protests could turn violent. With Gemayel's death, the resignation or death of two more ministers would bring down Siniora's government.

Pro-Syrian Hezbollah and its allies are preparing to take to the streets to topple Siniora's government, which they accuse of being allied with the United States, arguing that it has lost its legitimacy since Shi'ite Muslims are no longer represented. The depleted cabinet last week approved draft U.N. statutes for a tribunal to try the killers of Hariri despite the resignations of the pro-Syrian ministers.
Hariri, is right, of course, and though this assassination was to be expected , I take very little pleasure in being right.

The Saudi Cinderella

It’s been a while since I read the Arab News and I wanted to see what the Saudis wanted foreign Anglo readers to know about the haps in the country. I was riveted to this story as probably as much as the rest of the Kingdom is alleged to be.
DAMMAM, 21 November 2006 — One of the most talked-about Saudi women in the Kingdom currently resides in a prison in this port city on the Arabian Gulf.

Perhaps it would be more correct to call Fatima a refugee; she could walk out of the prison at any time if she returns to the custody of her family. But the woman in her early thirties who was forcibly divorced against her will from her husband says she will walk out of prison only when her requirement is met. “I’m leaving this place on one condition only: That I go back to my husband,” she said in an exclusive interview with Arab News from her jail cell where she has languished with her two young children since July.

In this highly publicized case that began early last year, a judge ruled in favor of Fatima’s family (led by efforts from two half brothers) who filed to divorce Fatima from her husband, Mansour Al-Timani, after they discovered that the man allegedly misled them about his tribal affiliation — a charge Mansour denies. By the time a judge in Jouf ruled the marriage void on July 20, 2005, the couple had been married for over three years and Fatima was pregnant with the couple’s second child. During the one-hour interview in the women’s prison, Fatima told Arab News about how she and Mansour moved from one place to another in order to escape and avoid harassment by her half brothers.
I have to own up to a little bit of culture shock. I have been making decisions for myself since I was about 17 or so I cannot imagine a world where my best interests where determined by someone other than myself - let alone two half-brothers. If I were to put myself in Fatima’s plight, I would willingly choose jail rather than subject myself to the alleged tender mercies of my two-half brothers.

This is prime example why it’s long past the time for a woman’s suffrage movement in the kingdom.

Monday, November 20, 2006

There you have it. Iran will have nukes....

Don’t count on the United States to lead a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Ha’aretz carries this report:
The United States lacks sufficient intelligence on Iran's nuclear facilities at this time, which prevents it from initiating a military strike against them, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told European politicians and diplomats with whom she has recently met.

Rice mentioned three reasons why the United States is currently unable to carry out a military operation against Iran: the wish to solve the crisis through peaceful means; concern that a military strike will be ineffective - that it would fail to completely destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities; and the lack of precise intelligence on the targets' locations.

U.S. President George W. Bush and President Jacques Chirac of France met several weeks ago. Bush told his French counterpart that the possibility that Israel would carry out a strike against Iran's nuclear installations should not be ruled out.

Bush also said that if such an attack were to take place, he would understand it. According to European diplomats who later met with Rice, the secretary of state did not express the same willingness to show understanding for a possible Israeli strike against Iran. Nonetheless, Rice did not discount the possibility that such an operation may take place.

In recent talks with their Israeli counterparts, French government officials estimated that Iran would reach the "point of no return" in its nuclear program by spring 2007, in approximately five months.
This only leaves Israel with Olmert at the helm to save the world. I think I need to go back to saying the Perek Shira daily.

The Lebanonization of Iraq has begun

Drudge is carrying this report:
Iran has invited the Iraqi and Syrian presidents to Tehran for a weekend summit with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to hash out ways to cooperate in curbing the runaway violence that has taken Iraq to the verge of civil war and threatens to spread through the region, four key lawmakers told The Associated Press on Monday. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has accepted the invitation and will fly to the Iranian capital Saturday, a close parliamentary associate said.

The Iranian diplomatic gambit appeared designed to upstage expected moves from Washington to include Syria and Iran in a wider regional effort to clamp off violence in Iraq, where more civilians have been killed in the first 20 days of November than in any other month since the AP began tallying the figures in April 2005. The Iranian move was also a display of its increasingly muscular role in the Middle East, where it already has established deep influence over Syria and Lebanon.

"All three countries intend to hold a three-way summit among Iraq, Iran and Syria to discuss the security situation and the repercussions for stability of the region," said Ali al-Adeeb, a lawmaker of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa Party and a close aide to the prime minister.

Both Iran and Syria are seen as key players in Iraq. Syria is widely believed to have done little to stop foreign fighters and al-Qaida in Iraq recruits from crossing its border to join Sunni insurgents in Iraq. It also has provided refuge for many top members of Saddam Hussein's former leadership and political corps, which is thought to have organized arms and funding for the insurgents. The Sunni insurgency, since it sprang to life in late summer 2003, has been responsible for most of the U.S. deaths in Iraq.

Iran is deeply involved in training, funding and arming the two major Shiite militias in Iraq, where Tehran has deep historic ties to the current Shiite political leadership. Many Iraqi Shiites spent years in Iranian exile during Saddam's decades in power in Baghdad. One militia, the Badr Brigade, was trained in Iran by the Revolutionary Guard.
G-d help the Kurds – or should I say the new Maronites?

Israeli Defense Minister to be Shut-out?

The Israeli Minister of Defense, Amir Peretz, contacted Mahmoud Abbas directly to conduct security talks. The Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is outraged and issued a very public rebuke. Now the Jerusalem Post is reporting that the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee is calling outright for his resignation.

Members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee called for the resignation of Defense Minster Amir Peretz in a meeting on Monday, in the wake of Sunday's telephone conversation between Peretz and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in which the defense minister urged the Palestinian Authority chairman to use his authority and do everything to stop the Kassam attacks. Meretz Chairman Yossi Beilin said that Peretz was an "expired man who almost never says anything new."

Beilin also called on the government to quit. "On Saturday one of Prime Minster Ehud Olmert's ministers says that we must eliminate the Hamas leadership and that Abu Mazen is no longer relevant, and on Monday another minister says that he spoke to the PA chairman and requested a ceasefire. There is no policy and no methodology."

MK Danny Neveh (Likud) reacted cynically to the Peretz-Abbas conversation, saying that the meeting should be cut short since "any minute Peretz will get a phone call from Abu Mazen." He added that Israel's security was disintegrating and that Hamas and Hizbullah were getting stronger. Neveh's fellow Likud MK, Yuval Steinitz, said that Peretz should have resigned a long time ago with the rest of the government. "Instead of proposing solutions he is pleading with Abu Mazen," he said. Steinitz called on the IDF to embark on an operation similar to Operation Defensive Shield.

MK Effi Eitam (NU-NRP) turned to Peretz during the meeting and exclaimed: "You and the chief of staff must resign immediately! You are both preventing the rejuvenation of the IDF." He went on say that the IDF soldiers had lost their faith in the two "because of the Second Lebanon War and your lack of ability in dealing with Kassam rocket attacks."

MK Zvi Hendel (NU-NRP) called on Peretz to sack IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz with immediate effect. "If you want to revive the IDF, the first thing that needs to be done is to show your chief of staff the door," said Hendel. At the end of the meeting, MK Silvan Shalom (Likud) also harshly criticized the Peretz, saying that the prime minister and the defense minister were refusing to make a decision on the IDF operation because of the "trauma" they were suffered in the Lebanon war. Peretz told the FADC members that he did not promise anything in his conversation with Abbas. "I told him that when there are concrete proposals to stop the Kassam rocket fire we will examine them," said the defense minister. Peretz also told the committee that he had no intention of detailing the IDF Gaza operation and "the IDF was instructed to act accordance with the effectiveness of its operations."

Earlier Monday, Vice Premier Shimon Peres said that Peretz should not have had any contact with Abbas about ending the Kassam rocket fire without consulting Prime Minster Ehud Olmert first. In an interview with Israel Radio, Peres added that any initiation of talks with the Palestinians was obliged to go through the prime minister. Abbas is set to meet Monday afternoon in Gaza with Palestinian factions to discuss the mutual cease-fire with Israel. A Palestinian source claimed Abu Mazen received, via a third party, guarantees from Israel that the IDF would cease its activities in the Gaza Strip in return for halting rocket fire.

Tension surfaced earlier Monday, between the Prime Minister's Office and the Defense Ministry in the wake of Sunday's Peretz-Abbas telephone conversation. The PMO expressed concern that the conversion and its exposure could have foiled Abbas's attempt to reach a ceasefire between Palestinian factions.

It will be interesting to see if Olmert moves to remove Peretz from the Defense Portfolio as Peretz is also the head of the Israeli Labor party which represents the second largest voting group in the Kadima coalition. Without the Labor party’s support, the Kadima coalition could fail. Certainly, the largest drop in presitage for the fighting prowness of the IDF has occurred under his stewardship - which is why Israel's enemies now feel perfectly safe to issue these kind of statements.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Does the high cost of peace in Iraq come from an Israeli pocket?

I had believed British Prime Minister Tony Blair made an incredibly boneheaded comment by suggesting a peace deal between the Palestinians and the Israelis could be morphed into peace in Iraq. Perhaps it’s not as boneheaded as I originally presumed but just a little off the mark.

Ynet News is reporting this;
WASHINGTON – The Sunday Times reported that Syria is expected to demand American help in securing the return of the Golan Heights from Israel as the price of cooperation over Iraq. Ayman Abdel Nour, a leading reformer in the ruling Ba’ath party, told the Times that Syrian President Bashar Assad wants America and Britain to use their influence with Israel to raise the return of the Golan Heights, seized by the Israelis in the 1967 war. “It will be the top demand,” he was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

I was a supporter for the invasion of Iraq. But my reasons were not exclusive to the weapons of mass destruction argument though it did play a part. I perceived Iraq as just one battlefield before moving on to what I perceived the next front against international terrorism; Syria. After Syria came the showdown with Iran. Tactically, it would not make sense to leave Saddam in power at your back as one moved on to a confrontation with either Syria or Iran and Iraq also represented a geographical key to an effective tactical position for moving on Syria or Iran.

It would represent horrendous military incompetence to leave Saddam’s regime in tack with his weapons programs potentially able to be reconstituted at any given moment. Furthermore one could not count on Saddam staying out of the fight in his backyard either openly or covertly. To assume that Iraq was an ineffectual country filled with camel drivers or sheppards is just baseless bigotry and ignores the strongly educated technocratic population element or the number of men Saddam could field.

In Mid-East politics it’s the height of folly, to presume that because one country has enemies today that those same countries will have the same enemies tomorrow, as alliances shift like the sand in the desert. Study the Lebanese civil war if you need perspective. To leave Saddam unscathed was to ignore the potential for harm and malice he could cause to a western coalition as one entered into the lairs of the Terror Masters of Tehran.

By the late fall of 2004 when the Syrian malice was well known, I fully expected to see the US lead coalition forces rolling into Syria at the latest by late spring of 2005. This was necessary in order to kill any Syrian-Iranian alliance so that a full mobilization US Coalition forces would have the Iranians surrounded with no hostile belligerent forces at the Coalition backs.

When the spring of 2005 came and went and the Syrian invasion was nowhere in sight, I was flabbergasted to say the least. It was hard to comprehend that the Bush Administration fully intended to lose Iraq and the death of some many Iraqi’s was to be nothing more than mere cannon folder to whatever tyrant rose to the top of the heap to rule Iraq next. By the spring of 2006, it was painfully obvious that the Bush Administration had no intention of tackling the Terror Masters of Tehran head on and will instead seek to feed Iranian crocodiles.

To say that I was disillusioned with the Bush Administration is an understatement. Not only did the Bush Administration fail to live up to their rhetoric and promise but the administration was guilty of being every bit as incompetent and short-sighted as the legions of detractors and critics had vociferously denounced them to be. My only saving grace is that the opposition showed every sign and promise of being even worse. The only current scenarios I perceive of a US lead coalition moving openly against the Terror Masters of Tehran will only come to pass if a nuclear device of some kind is exploded on US soil.

I have often wondered what changed the Bush Administrations vision and resolve. There are two distinct possibilities. They are as incompetent and ineffectual as their detractors painted them to be or the US Administration has received intelligence which points to Iran being much further down the nuclear path than is widely presumed; hence the failed North Korean strategy being utilized with the Iranians.

Successive Israeli administrations have gone to bed so often with the Americans that they are now in a position of weakness and unable to act independently in their own national best interests. Furthermore, the current Kadima administration represents the single weakest Israeli administration in its history, and has allowed itself to be nothing more then the lapdog of American strategic interests. What is in the best interest of the Americans, is not necessarily the best interest of Israel.

In the coming weeks or perhaps even days, I fully expected to read that Olmert has once again forfeited Israeli national security and best interests by agreeing to American demands and allowed an armed PLO militant force from Jordan to supplement the Mahmoud Abbas’ Force 17 militia. Furthermore, I suspect the Olmert government to officialy announce a plan to ‘disengage or converge’ from a large swathe of Judea and Samaria (commonly referred to as the West Bank) in exchange for a tentative “hudna” for the next 10 years or so with the unified Fatah-Hamas government.

It will be heralded vociferously as a new day dawning in Israeli Palestinian relations but it will spiral out of control just as Oslo Accords has and will in fact make Israeli security the stuff of dreams. While the day-to-day reality for Israelis will be a waking nightmare for years to come and may represent the beginning of the end for the Israeli state. Into this nightmare scenario comes the Golan Heights card.

Just how desperate is the Bush Administration to salvage Iraq? The Syrians might not be trusted but if there is a opportunity to break the Syrian-Iran alliance with the potential to halt outside insurgent support in Iraq; can the Bush Administration really afford not to play that card?

Enter into the mix of a lack of Kadima coalition backbone to tackle the Iranian nuclear nightmare alone and shackled by a weak Israeli leadership and demoralized IDF. Can anyone really see Ehud Olmert standing resolute (other than his wife) in Israeli best interests when faced by unwavering American demands and possibly sweetened with a pie in the sky promise of full American support on the Iranian nuclear issue?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dishtowels & Virgins

I was a little disappointed this week because I could find little mention of Lieberman in the Anglo-Israel Anglo online papers. Not even a quote after Tony Blair implied that peace and harmony would reign in Iraq if the Israelis and Palestinians made peace. I thought for sure Lieberman would have something to say about that boneheaded comment in his very un-PC way.

It took till today’s Ynet News, and it’s not a comment on Blair but it still makes the fun quota:
Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman said Saturday that Israel must ignore Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and topple the Hamas government. Following the US-backed road map peace plan will only worsen the conflict, according to Lieberman. Furthermore, he said Israel must take back control of the Philadelphi Strip which runs along the Egyptian-Gaza border.

In an interview Saturday for Voice of Israel (Kol Yisrael) radio, the Israel Our Home chairman suggested a series of steps based on his belief that the Palestinians are not interested in establishing their own independent sate, but rather want to see Israel destroyed.

“Continued adherence to the Oslo Accords and the road map will lead us to another round of confrontations, too much bloodshed, and in the end we will find ourselves at a worse dead end than the present one. It puts our whole future in danger,” Lieberman said. He continued, “There is no point in targeting refugee camps and Beit Hanoun and all such places. For those people, who live on ten shekels a day, there is nothing to lose. When they are killed, they recruit themselves gladly. We have to focus on those who have something to lose - the leaders of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.”

Lieberman sees Abbas as a weak leader that should be ignored in favor of stronger ties with Jordan in all that is bound up in the fate of the West Bank. “We have always targeted the wrong places and taken care not to speak with the right people,” Lieberman explained.

“We have a dependable partner, and that is Jordan. We must declare Abbas irrelevant. He is hated in the Palestinian Authority. We should ignore him because he has no authority, no power,” he added. “This needs to be explained to the entire international community. I believe there are normal people there who want to develop good neighborhoods, and good education and health systems. There is much to be done with the economic situation there too,” he said.

Lieberman would like to send Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders to heaven with a one-way ticket: “I see all Hamas and Jihad leaders moving about freely, continuing to provoke spirits. They must disappear, go to heaven, all of them. There is no room for compromise on this matter.”
Personally, I think Lieberman is onto something with this sending them to kingdom come. I often wonder if the Lord has a sense of humor, and if he did, I imagine there would be a special place set aside for these guys where they would receive the requisite 72 virgins who all just happen to look like Arafat – complete with liverspots and dishtowels.

How long can Abbas stand when his party is polarized?

While the Bush Administration does its best to prop their man Abbas up in the Fatah hierarchy, one of the original founding members of Fatah is doing his best to undermine him reports the Jerusalem Post:
Some Palestinian Authority leaders are depriving their people of financial aid because they want to undermine the Hamas-led government and return to power, Farouk Kaddoumi, one of the leaders of the PLO, said over the weekend.

Kaddoumi's allegations enraged the PA leadership, whose spokesmen issued strong denials and accused Kaddoumi of forging an alliance with Hamas against PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The charges, which are a sign of growing tensions in Abbas's Fatah party, come as Fatah and Hamas announced that they were closer than ever to reaching a deal on the formation of a Palestinian unity government. Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh are said to have resolved most of their differences during intensive talks in Gaza City over the weekend.

Kaddoumi, who is based in Tunis and holds the titles of head of the PLO's political bureau and secretary-general of Fatah, is one of the few PLO leaders who have never recognized the Oslo Accords, arguing that the Palestinians should pursue the "armed struggle" as the only means to liberate their lands.

PA officials in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post that Kaddoumi, who maintains close relations with Syria and Iran, has lately forged an alliance with Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal against Abbas and many Fatah leaders. The officials pointed out that Kaddoumi and Mashaal had met at least four times in Damascus in recent weeks.

According to the officials, Kaddoumi was also responsible for the botched attempt to convene the Fatah central committee in Jordan several weeks ago. The meeting, which was supposed to discuss the proposed unity government with Hamas and internal reforms in Fatah, was called off in the last minute when Abbas learned that Kaddoumi was inciting committee members against him and his top aides.

Since then, Abbas has taken a number of measures to sideline Kaddoumi, including keeping him in the dark with regards to the unity government talks with Hamas and preventing him from representing the PA at international forums.

Kaddoumi has long considered himself the "real Foreign Minister of Palestine" and has challenged the PA leadership's right to appoint its own foreign minister. In the past, he openly challenged former PA Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, sometimes even embarrassing him by appearing at various conferences and issuing instructions to PA embassies around the world. In a bid to undermine Kaddoumi, Abbas recently entrusted Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar with representing the PA at two gatherings in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

"Some leaders are hiding the money," Kaddoumi said, referring to the millions of dollars in foreign aid that continue to be poured on Abbas's office despite the international sanctions imposed on the Palestinians since Hamas came to power eight months ago. "They don't even want to pay the salaries of the civil servants. This is strange and terrifying." Kaddoumi did not mention the names of the leaders who were withholding the money, but PA officials said it was clear that he was referring to Abbas and his inner circle.

Kaddoumi was quoted by the Gulf-based Al-Bayan daily as saying that "a handful of collaborators with Israel and US loyalists were receiving huge sums of money under the pretext of establishing democracy in Palestine." Kaddoumi was apparently referring to recent reports that the US had allocated over $42 million to help opponents of the Hamas-led government. The reports, citing an official US document, also stated that Washington was supplying thousands of rifles to Abbas's elite Force 17 "presidential guard."
And that Fatah-Hamas Unity Government has been delayed for the nth time. By the way, did I mention Kaddoumi has an office in the Gaza Strip?

Friday, November 17, 2006

September can’t come soon enough for me

I was never very enamored over British Prime Minister Tony Blair (or his wife Cheri.) I always had this nagging suspicion in the back of my mind there was something a little off about him but I could never quite put my finger on what was off. He can be quite eloquent at times and he gives fairly decent speeches. Today I read this report in the Jerusalem Post:
Ahead of a planned trip to the Middle East, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Friday that he was hopeful about a possible resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. "This is an opportunity for us if we are prepared to seize it now," Blair declared in an interview to The Washington Post, and added that "sensible Arab and Muslim countries," such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, recognized the strategic benefits for the region in brokering a viable peace initiative. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Blair said, could open the door to a solution to the war in Iraq.
The nagging suspicion is gone. It’s conclusive - he’s just another moonbat with a good suit and decent diction.

Who would have guessed?

Liberals are cheap.

Friday Quiz

Via Suzy Snapper

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: North Central

"North Central" is what professional linguists call the Minnesota accent. If you saw "Fargo" you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian a lot.

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Mistaken for a Canadian, who would have thought it?