August 22, 2014

Forget Hasbara ... buy guns

People ask why we keep circulating the same Gaza emails, stories and links amongst ourselves when we should be sending them out to the goyim. If only they knew the truth about these dastardly enemies of ours and the moral and ethical antithesis our people represents on every possible level.

Whether it’s the bizarre lengths our air force goes to avoid civilian casualties, to the continuing supply of vital needs to Gaza residents in the middle of a war, on top of the electricity our Ashkelon power workers keep feeding Gazans even as their homes and kids schools are targeted by Hamas rocketeers.

“We need to get our message out!” they say.
“The foreign ministry’s PR budget is only a fraction of Bezeq’s ... we need more money and media talent to get our side across.”

I say, forget it!

I’ve been saying the same thing since at least before the last Gaza war and probably much before. It’s a total waste of money.

The truth is that the people who still need convincing that Israel are the good guys in this fight are not interested in anything we have to say. These guys don’t want to hear one good thing about the Jews ... nothing at all.

And by this I include not just war stories, but everything else as well. They don’t want to hear that we created the mobile phones they use for apps to boycott our goods. They don’t want to hear about the humanitarian teams we send to every disaster area any more than the Israeli medical breakthroughs that keep their mums and dads alive longer. And even if Ben Gurion University’s Dr Lobel gets FDA approval for his Ebola vaccine, it won’t make the slightest difference to those we would target for Hasbara.

You see, it’s that old truism: that there’s none so deaf as those who will not hear and none so blind as those who will not see.

As I quoted in a previous posting: bigotry operates like the pupil of an eye ... the more light you shine on it the tighter it closes shut.

These people who we would target with more Hasbara ... do they not see Hamas for what they are? Do they not see that these are of the same brotherhood as ISIS in Iraq, Boko Haram in Nigeria and Hezbullah in Lebanon? Do they not know the difference between good and evil?
Well, if they don’t, it’s not our job to convince them. They will find out soon enough all by themselves. Imagine having to advertise clean water in the middle of a cholera outbreak?

Why should we waste our money trying to convince bigots to save themselves?
No-one understands the depth of this conflict better than our own people.
And with that knowledge the best place to invest our money and resources is in the protection of our people.

One more Iron Dome battery installation is worth five years of Hasbara on deaf ears.

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August 08, 2014

Message to Jon Snow - Channel 4

I don’t watch Channel 4 so I have no idea what you’ve actually been saying lately about Gaza, Israel, or the Jews … my people.

Judging by the number of angry emails I’ve seen about you – far in excess of anything about the BBC, Guardian and the other usual suspects – and from past experience of your reporting on Israel, I don’t feel the need to upset myself with actually viewing the latest clips to convince me that you must be an anti-Semite.

It's just my personal view, and you may think that’s unfair. But that is to fail to understand my people.  You see, they know this kind of thing when they see it. 

Lord Janner’s father used to say: “You can’t always see anti-Semitism, but you can always smell it.”

And just as you, as a journalist with perhaps 40 years in the profession, can smell a good story – we as a people with 2,000 years’ experience of ‘the longest hatred’ can usually smell an anti-Semite.

A wise man said:  “Bigotry works like the pupil of an eye. The more light you shine on it, the tighter it closes up.”  Oh how well this applies to you and the other media people who’ve given Hamas encouragement by your excoriation of the Jewish state.

I’ve asked media people where they have been for the last three years of Syria’s civil war and its toll of 170,000 deaths. And why we didn’t hear from them in such inflammatory terms over the genocide in Rwanda and Darfur. Or the Palestinians’ ethnic-cleaning of Christians in Bethlehem. But I think it would be a waste of time asking you such questions.

I don’t think even those 30,000 imperiled Yazidis, today facing imminent slaughter in the hills of Iraq, would elicit the same kind of outrage as you’ve shown over the 1,000 or so non-combatants who died in Gaza. 

Notwithstanding the lie that Gaza is the most densely populated place on earth (even Tel Aviv beats that!) it’s quite remarkable that, in three weeks of heavy conflict with deliberate use of human shields by Hamas, the collateral deaths have actually been so few. Maybe that had to do with our brave soldiers paying house calls instead of carpet-bombing.

Man - there is so much light that I could shine on your eyes. That we painfully uprooted 8,000 of our people to give Arabs a chance of peace in Gaza and they turned it into an underground terror base. That Israel has been under almost constant rocket fire for all the 9 years since that unilateral withdrawal. That we held back going into Gaza this time for two weeks. That we gave up the element of surprise by giving warnings of attacks by thousands of leaflets, phone calls and text messages. That we continued to provide Gaza with electricity from power stations whilst still under their own rocket fire. That we continued daily shipments of essential goods and medicines through the Kerem Shalom crossing – again under fire. That we opened a field hospital which Hamas blocked injured Gazans from using. That we offered all the ceasefire opportunities which Hamas broke. Or that even this morning Hamas couldn’t wait till the 8 a.m. deadline before launching new rocket barrages indiscriminately towards Israeli cities. And that we waited hours before finally firing back.

But I think such facts are totally wasted on you. It just makes your eyes shut tighter. 

You who are so quick to pack a helmet and press vest every time the Jews are forced to defend themselves. And you who openly fretted that the downing of the Malaysian airliner might upstage your Gaza grandstanding.

The pupil analogy is actually far more important than you think, and I’ll tell you why.

This time the bigotry towards our people and its tiny home state is actually blinding everyone to the stark reality around them. The reality that this is a deadly struggle between good and evil. Between the region’s only democracy where you journalists feel safest, and the rest of a Middle East which is infected with a murderous radicalism that seeks to overthrow western civilisation and is perilously close to the nuclear means to do so.

Perhaps better than most, you know that nothing fires-up people more than stuff about the Jews. We count for less than one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population and our only Jewish state looks just as miniscule among the nations of the world. And yet we are rarely out of the headlines.

Is it what we do or just who we are?

But here’s an idea for you … for when Gaza goes quiet again.

Why not start a Channel 4 campaign to end starvation in Africa?

Lots of people have tried and failed … just not enough political will and public interest.
But you  ….?
You could make it all about the Jews.

Now, what a success that could be!

August 07, 2014

Rosetta's Stone

Born out of creation itself, this nearly tiniest body of our universe has been tumbling through space and time on a seemingly endless voyage. 

For millions of miles over the centuries it has been bounced around like a pinball, first attracted and then repelled by the gravitational forces of larger bodies. These merciless forces have misshapen it into a tortured form compared to the smooth symmetry and perfect spherical rotation of its giant repellers.

Most of its kind were long ago drawn in and accreted to those larger bodies, as if by some cosmic assimilation. But this one was always repelled and sent on its way again and again, thrust into the cold black void not knowing when or where the next wrenching encounter would be.

It has more craters and pockmarks than bodies many hundreds of times its own size, attesting to the constant and never-ending battering it has had to endure on its eternal wanderings.

And yet, despite the tiny size and odd appearance, it sparks more interest and curiosity than practically anything else in the universe.  Millions of dollars have been invested in a means to chase it for ten years across millions of miles just for an opportunity to study it closehand.

It is a survivor from the time of creation. Against all odds it is still intact after all that time. And everyone is convinced it contains vital information, a message from the time of creation.

If this little piece of the universe had ever been assimilated by any of the larger bodies, its priceless message would have been lost eons ago. Only its constant rejection by the rest of our universe has preserved its unique role in the cold darkness of space.

Sound familiar?

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August 04, 2014

Tisha B'Av - 2014

I return home from shul and Eicha to a very quiet house  … no TV, no phone callers, just silence.
It’s just me alone with my PC checking on the past day's events in the only place in the world I really care about. 

I’ve watched many wars play out in Israel, but never felt as involved and joined-at-the-hip as this time. Maybe it’s the sheer impossibility of fighting an enemy which shoots from hospitals, hides behind children and counts its own civilian casualties as war gains. Maybe it’s because of the anti-Semitism it has unleashed here once again in Europe.

I am reading an article about the Hamas charter and its absolute and explicit commitment to the murder of all Jews, and how this was spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood’s collaboration with Hitler in the Second World War.

Gong-gong’ breaks the silence in the house. 
It’s the Code Red app on my smartphone.  
The readout says two towns in the south of Israel are again under rocket fire.

I see it’s 1 a.m. Israel time and I think of kids being dragged out of their beds into shelters for the umpteenth time.

It gongs again. More rockets. No peace even on our saddest national day.

A third gong goes, and I realise that it’s not the asymmetry of the war or the local anti-Semitism that has us all so much more closely involved in this conflict. It’s the app!
That Code Red that’s been gonging away for over three weeks now, at all times of the day and night. Each one jolts us out of the complacency of our diaspora life and daily pursuits, and reminds us that our brothers and sisters are under fire and that their children are being traumatised night after night. 
And why?  Simply because they are Jews.

The Hamas charter seems so clearly to be just a continuation of Hitler’s work, along with the fascism in the streets of Paris and London.

And I wonder about something else.

Imagine if there had been such an app in the Holocaust?

Imagine all those American Jews hearing a gong every time a single Jewish life was extinguished half a world away in Europe.

Six million gongs.

At one a minute, it would have taken eleven and a half years.

על אלה אני בוכיה -  עיני עיני ירדה מים כי רחק ממני מנחם משיב נפשי

For these I weep -  mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me.

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August 01, 2014

Gaza: the city that wore a suicide vest

The John Travolta movie ‘Swordfish’ opens with a bank heist in which suicide vests strapped onto hostages are detonated. The resulting explosion is played out in slow motion with ball bearings ripping through glass and flying bodies. It runs for nearly a full minute.

This is Gaza today. A city in a suicide vest which has been exploding on our screens in slow motion over these last three weeks.  Just as in the movie, when this grisly scene finally plays out in Gaza there will be an eerie silence with little left but wreckage and body parts.  

Suicide bombings have become an almost daily occurrence in various parts of the world and we have become desensitised to them, so long as they don’t come too close to home or an airline route that we use. Whether it’s Mohammed Atta of 9/11, the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston or our home-grown Germaine Lindsay who bombed London on 7/7, the pattern is the same. They all started out as good students with a promising future. And then something ugly happened which destroyed them and all those around them.

What we’re witnessing in Gaza is a metamorphosis of Islamist terrorism. A new phenomenon: the world’s first urban suicide bomb.

In many ways the profile is similar.
Gaza started out with so much promise.

9 years ago Israel evacuated every Jewish man woman and child from the Gaza strip. 8,000 people were torn away from their homes and even the dead were pulled from their graves for reburial in Israel.  All this pain was inflicted by Israel’s most hawkish Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, just to give peace a chance.
Israel left behind farms and greenhouses on land that had never been cultivated in hundreds of years. Billions in foreign aid poured in from America and Europe, and the UN set up schools and welfare centres. Just like Atta, Tsarnaev and Lindsay - Gaza had everything going for it.

And then something ugly happened to Gaza, which is destroying it and everything around it.

Just as the suicide bomber is fitted with his (or her) explosive vest, so Gaza was fitted with its vest by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.  Just as the bomber watches the ball bearings being loaded and straps being tied, so the Gazans watched the rockets being shipped in and the tunnels being dug. In 2012 the Institute of Palestine Studies reported that over 160 children died digging those tunnels according to Hamas’ own sources.
With over 10,000 rockets stored in mosques, schools, UN facilities and within 6 years’ worth of tunnelling underneath their homes and streets, no resident of Gaza could fail to have realised that their city was being suited up as a giant suicide bomb to be deployed against the Jewish state.

Just as in the movie - and just as indiscriminately as the ball bearings - hundreds of Hamas rockets have continued to burst out of the Gaza suicide vest as if in slow motion over this 3-week campaign.  Under this hail of fire, Israeli soldiers have been fighting against time to peel off what remains of this deadly straitjacket. And under unprecedentedly strict orders of engagement they have paid with their own lives to save as many vital organs in Gaza as possible.

We don’t know how this campaign will end. Hopefully it will see the total destruction of Hamas and the liberation of their Gaza hostages to a life of enlightenment in place of incitement. But I fear this metamorphosis of Islamist terror is only the second of three stages.

Stage 1 is the ‘Human’ Suicide Bomber – an oxymoron if there ever was one.

Stage 2 is the Urban Suicide Bomb - prototyped in Gaza.

Stage 3 is the State Suicide Bomb – and this will be Iran.

Paymaster and gunrunner to all the major terror organisations of the world, the Islamic Republic is now within an ace of producing nuclear weapons.  After years of getting their sanctions act together, the western powers finally brought the mullocracy to the brink of surrender when the president of their Big Satan inexplicably handed them a lifeline. Now they are rehabilitated and more outspoken than ever on their rights to enrichment of weapons-grade uranium.

The ayatollahs’ calculus is simple. That Israel is a ‘one-bomb-nation’ compared with sustainable losses in the Islamic world if there is retaliation.

Think of a Gaza. Add one hundred million. Mix in the uranium.

That’s Stage 3.


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