Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Yom Ha'atzmaut

Happy 55th Independence Day everyone. I'm taking the day off from blogging to do the traditional Yom Ha'atzmaut barbecue.

Back tomorrow

Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Jewish Cabal, cont'd

Tam Dalyell wants to clear a few things up. When he talks about a sneaky cabal of Jews influencing foreign policy, he means American having too much influence on American foreign policy.

(Mad props to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, whom Dalyell gives a shout-out to as one of the main sources of the American cabal and for whom I interned for one summer many years ago.)

In England, by contrast, the evil, hook-nosed cosmopolitan influence at work is a one-man operation run by bona fide Hebrew Lord Levy and not crypto-Jews like Mandelson and Straw.

Mrs. Anthrax Caught

US forces have captured Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, one of Saddam's top biological weapons experts known as "Mrs. Anthrax," Ammash's colleague, Rihab Taha, aka "Dr. Germ", is still at large (although they did catch her husband, Mr. Germ).

There's also no word yet about the hunt for Professor Evil.

Memorial Day

Once again, Israel's Memorial Day is upon us. Every year, on the day before Independence Day, the country remembers its fallen soldiers. Considering that Israel is a tiny country (6.7 million people, according to the Central Bureau for Statistics) and that the majority of men and women serve in the IDF, most people know someone who has been killed or who has lost a loved one.

A siren sounded for two minutes last night at 8 and then again this morning at 11 and most of the country came to a standstill for a moment of silence. There were also memorial ceremonies all over the country.

This year, there's a growing movement to recognize security guards -- one of whom has been killed and another badly wounded in recent weeks -- as an unofficial branch of the security services. A representative of the country's underpaid, underappreciated security guards lit one of the ceremonial torches at last night's official government service.

Tonight, as we do every year, we'll make the weird switchover from Memorial Day to Independence Day. At 8pm, the siren sounds and we all go from being officially sad to being officially happy. This setup is meant to remind us every year that freedom comes with a heavy price tag, which is an important point even if it means we have to deal with a big case of cognitive dissonance once a year.

Monday, May 05, 2003
The Jewish Cabal Strikes Again

Another uproar involving a far-left British MP.

This time the culprit is Tam Dalyell a Labour MP who in an interview claimed that Tony Blair was "being unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers" with regards to Britain's activities in the Middle East. In this, he joins Pat Buchanan and The Nation's Eric Alterman, both of whom have made the same claims regarding GW Bush and his own manipulative Jewish cabal. No word yet whether the two cabals are independent or if they are merely two branch offices of ZOG.

Dalyell named as members of this sinister group Blair's Middle East envoy Lord Levy (who is Jewish), former Cabinet Minister Peter Mandelson (whose father is Jewish), and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw (who has some vaguely Jewish ancestry). Dalyell said in the interview that he knows he's opening himself up to charges of anti-Semitism, but that he can't be an anti-Semite because his children once worked on a kibbutz.

Well, that clears that up. No, wait, it doesn't.

This is textbook anti-Semitism. The charges that a shadowy cabal of Jews is manipulating the government against in the interests of the Jews against the interests of the Fatherland comes straight out of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It's the same kind of argument that was certain right-wing German politicians levelled against Weimar government in the 1920s.

To compound things, it appears that Dalyell uses the Nazi guidelines when defining anyone who has Jewish lineage as being a Jew. This includes people like including Mandelstam and Straw who are Christians and, in the case of the latter, fairly hostile to Israel. And to top it all off, he actually uses the old "but some of my best friends are Jewish" defense.

Dalyell's statements are outrageous. To put them into context, it's as if an American politician started railing about nigras defiling white women. How disconcerting that pronouncements like this find their way into mainstream political discussion, even if it is on the fringes of the mainstream.

A Loser's Loser

The Labor Party, to quote one commentator this morning, is going through leaders like a Division Three football team goes through managers.

In the last two years Ehud Barak, Avraham Burg, and Fuad Ben-Eliezer have all either resigned or been booted out. Now comes the turn of Amram Mitzna, who tendered his resignation last night. Mitzna says his decision was based on the fact that the party was more intent on what he calls self-destruction than on creating a viable opposition to Ariel Sharon's government. By self-destruction he means the efforts by certain Labor MKs to join Sharon's government despite Mitzna's strident opposition to that idea both in the recent election campaign and afterwards.

The fact of the matter is that Mitzna is a loser. Actually, he's more than that, he's a real loser's loser. Willfully naive and utterly lacking in charisma, he charged onto the national stage directly from municipal politics only to discover that the game is played differently in the big leagues. The general population rejected him and the Labor party in record numbers during the last elections. But even before that, Mitzna never managed to carve out a leadership role within the Labor party establishment itself. The party apparatus rejected his Mr. Clean brand of politics and his colleagues -- notably Fuad, former Trade Minister Dalia Itzik, and, of course, the inveterate underminer Shimon Peres -- worked against him behind his back. (Itzik -- who used to be a fairly sympathetic politician -- could barely contain her malicious glee at Mitzna's downfall last night; she said that Mitzna just wasn't built to play with the big boys.)

In the end he was left as the titular head of a party that is bankrupt both financially and politically. Under these circumstances, it was clear that his resignation was only a matter of time. As Hannah Kim put it in today's Ha'aretz, he came, he saw, he lost.

Now, of course, we'll get a new round of politicking as Labor picks its next leader. Ben Eliezer will surely make a stab at it, as probably will Matan Vilnai. Interestingly, we're also hearing calls for Barak to make a comeback, as Labor edges ever closer to total irrelevence.

Sunday, May 04, 2003
Now, what were we saying about dupes?

Back to the subject of the International Solidarity Movement, that collection of poorly informed, highly misguided do-gooders who come to the territories to stick their noses in (and unfortunately, sometimes get them shot off). They think their presence will help the Palestinians, when all it does --increasingly -- is help the terrorists among them.

Now it turns out that Hanif and Sharif -- the one who murdered three people in the Mike's Place bombing last week and the one who was supposed to murder people but whose bomb failed to go off -- were using the ISM as a cover for their activities in the territories. The two made contact with the ISM in the Gaza Strip and participated in ISM demonstrations. A manhunt is still on for Sharif in the Tel Aviv area.

The London office of the ISM is quick to point out that Hanif and Sharif did not make contact with them and they were not officially ISM activists. However, quotes by pro-Palestinian "peace" activists make it fairly clear that they were chummy with the ISM and the other do-gooders in the territory. This incident -- like the one where the IDF nabbed a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist in the ISM offices in Jenin -- proves once again the old adage about good intentions being the asphalt of the road to Hell.

In related news, the Israeli authorities have finally decided to bar these guys from entering the country and expel some of those who are already here.

Oh, and I'm still waiting to see if Starhawk will reply to the questions I sent her.