November 28, 2005

Inside Politics

When Israel and the PA emerge from their respective elections next year, they will have at least one parliamentary record in common.

The two heavyweights in each of their dominant parties will both be behind bars. Serving five life terms, Marwan Barghouti garnered 85% of the ruling Fatah’s primary votes in Ramallah alone.

For his lesser misdeeds, Omri Sharon faces jail time when his father most needs him as enforcer for the new party.

Faced with this new style of ‘cellular government’, journalists will have to find a whole new set of euphemisms for their political tipsters.

“A government insider” would just give the game away.

November 27, 2005

Kadimah: New Govt Line-up, March 2006

November 24, 2005

Basic Instinct

Iran’s Hizbullah proxies trained for months to perfect the snatch operation. Kidnap Israeli soldiers from the disputed Har Dov region and parade them in Beirut. To create a smokescreen, the terrorists in control of Lebanon’s border with Israel unleashed a 5-hour barrage of mortars and missiles, forcing Israeli townspeople into shelters for the first time since Ehud Barak’s ignominious surrender of the buffer zone.

But, for all the careful planning, Hizbullah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah had not reckoned for Psalms 121. “Behold, the Keeper of Israel neither sleeps nor slumbers”. The Keeper’s agent that day was a 20-year old rookie soldier, just out of basic training, named David Markovitch. Spotting the would-be abductors on their motorbikes he shot and killed four of them single-handedly, instantly scuttling their heinous operation.

As Condoleeza Rice bullies Israel into ever more dangerous concessions and our weak-kneed leaders allow us to be pushed ever closer to the sea, we are thankful for boys like David who stand “Al Mishmar Artzeinu” (on guard of our land) and who need no more than a split-second to instinctively recognise a mortal threat and to neutralise it.

Oslos, Wyes and Road Maps will come and go. But, as Yitzchak Shamir used to say: “The Arabs will still be the same Arabs”. Incited by tyrants who want to wipe us off the map, brainwashed by clerics in their pursuit of holy war and financed by oil sheikhs who need to keep the blood flowing to keep themselves in power.

For these Palestinian puppeteers, the peace process is nothing more than a Trojan Horse, a means of bringing the knife close enough to the Jewish jugular to deliver the mortal wound. And they really believe they can do it! What better encouragement can they have than Barak’s retreat in the North, Sharon’s retreat in the South and his widely-tipped retreat in the East from Judea and Samaria after the elections.

These leaders have much to learn from 20-year old David.

November 10, 2005

A Night of Hard Labor

What an upset! They say that if Peres stood against himself, he would also lose. But I thought it was quite ironic that on the same night as Peres lost the support of his Labor party in Israel, Tony Blair lost the confidence of his Labor party in Britain.
In an unprecendented rebellion against the leader who had just won their party a record 3rd election victory, Labour MPs defeated Blair's motion to extend the detention of terrorist suspects to 90 days. He had proposed this motion on a police recommendation that this was the time-span needed to analyse evidence, computer and email data, track down cellphone records and call origins, and all that goes with the busting of well organised and oil-funded terror cells. One assumes the anti-terrorist police in the UK know what they are doing. One also assumes Tony Blair is privy to the inside story of terrorist intentions, whether already foiled or still planned, in the UK. So why fight the measure? Well, for the lame duck Conservative opposition - themselves in the midst of another boring leadership election - this was a golden opportunity to humiliate a Prime Minister fresh from an election victory. Playing politics with the safety and security of voters will ultimately cost them dear. But for the Labor MPs who voted against their own leader, it was all about civil liberties. Forget the fact that for each 7-day segment of the 90 day detention, police still had to get clearance from a judge specialising in terrorist prosecutions. The rights of suspects linked to terrorism must be respected over and above the security of citizens going about their lawful daily lives.

Fast forward. Two Englishmen are sitting on a bench in London's Hyde Park after a radioactive "dirty bomb" was exploded in the City and airborne anthrax was released at a dozen subway intersections. Both are retching from radiation sickness and bleeding from sores. This is their exchange.

"Well old chap, it looks like we're all done for."
"Yeh mate," says the other.
"We've lost our lives, our country, our whole future."
"Yeh mate. But at least we've still got our civil liberties."

November 09, 2005

Nuts !

I picked up my Daily Telegraph this morning to read that England is on 'Red Alert'. Not surprising you would think, with Paris burning just across the Channel, a major terrorist cell exposed in Australia and everything else that is going on in this age of Al-Qaeda. The half page story on page 3 reads that the local reds must be protected against the onslaught of greys. which are to be shot on sight if they enter a ‘3-mile exclusion zone’. But this is not about Jihadists or rioting mobs. They are talking about the squirrel population of the UK! It seems the British red squirrel has been driven almost to extinction by its American grey cousins which are to be culled. In these times of turmoil, it’s comforting to know that at least the British are not losing sight of the important things in life.

November 04, 2005

Cancer: why no cure yet?

My wife’s friend Sylvie just lost her father to cancer. Every time I walk out of such a Shiva house, I think of how obscene it is that Science put men on the moon 30 years ago but still fails to find a cure for this terrestrial killer.

But just last month Merck cheered the world by announcing a major breakthrough. The development of a vaccine that will be 100% effective in preventing the most common cases of cervical cancer which kills 300,000 women every year.

Head of the research team is Israeli-born Dr. Eliav Barr, originally from Haifa.

This sets me thinking: What are the chances of a Jew discovering the ultimate cure for cancer?

Well, statistics would suggest it is very likely indeed.

Of all the Nobel prizes issued since 1901, Jews have bagged 28% of the world total in Physiology & Medicine, and 19% of the Chemistry prizes. Not bad for our people who make up less than one quarter of one percent of the population. And lest you say that most of the world’s population never went to school, the figures are even more impressive for the USA. Although Jews make up only 2 percent of the US population, they won 42% of the US prizes in Physiology & Medicine, and 27% of the Chemistry prizes.

Most of those prizes were awarded for breakthrough discoveries. And it would seem that if there were double the number of Jews in the world, the number of prizes and the breakthroughs they spoke for would swell exponentially.

Were it not for the Nazi holocaust, there would have been 6 million more of us in 1945. Not just ordinary Jews, but European Jews who – by educational standards – were for the most part the crème de la crème of all our people. If they had lived and their children been allowed to grow up with the same educational privileges, the Nobel prize statistics leave no doubt in my mind that one of their number would have found the cure for cancer long ago. The same could probably be said for many other of the world’s problems, including the discovery of an alternative to oil which has fuelled much of the terrorism we see today and the anti-viral solutions we need to combat the threat of a world flu pandemic.

Instead most of the world turned a blind eye to the extermination of European Jewry. And 60 years ago, in a crematorium somewhere in Poland, the cure for cancer most likely went up in smoke.


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