Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

In honor of the holiday, I will share with you all my own ghostly tale. When I lived in a NY apartment (that later had the fire), weird things would always happen. I was sitting at the computer, watching TV, when the climax of the movie was coming -- the TV suddenly shut off. I was nowhere near the remote, and neither was my calico. Strange. It happened another time. Also, when I would listen to my stereo, it would suddenly turn itself off. One weekend, a young friend came to stay with me. She has always been interested in ghosts. A few months later, I wrote her about the strange happenings in my apartment and she confessed that she had felt the spirit of a ghost there but didn't want to say anything. It was so strong, she almost left in the middle of the weekend. I asked her how to get rid of my ghost, and she suggested I tell it that it is my home now, not theirs, and could they please leave. I did what she said and I never had another incident.

Of course, a few months later the apartment building caught fire, but that was because of my crazy upstairs neighbor. Though whether she was related to my ghost... well... who knows.


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Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Digital Discovery

I learned something new about my fabulous digital camera while I was on vacation in Maui. See this picture of the West Maui Mountains? Well, I took it through the window of my friend's SUV -- while going about 50 miles an hour. How cool is that?!? I love this camera! And the view wasn't half bad either.


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Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Soldier's Dog Story

There are a lot of heart-wrenching stories coming out of Iraq, and this is just one of many. But to those of us who have pets, or ever had a pet, there's a particular poignancy to this story about a fallen soldier and a little dog.


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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Finally -- Great News!

From a Jordanian Embassy release:

It has come to our attention that a controversial program entitled "Al-Shatat" or "The Diaspora" has been broadcast from an independent/private channel entitled "Mamnou'" operating from the Media Free Zone in Jordan, which is not subject to Jordanian Law. The program itself was not broadcast from any Jordanian channel.

"Al- Shatat" drew concerns for inciting hate. Accordingly, the program has been stopped from the private channel as of Tuesday, October 25th 2005. The stoppage was only done through personal intervention of responsible Jordanians.

Yeah, well that and a letter of protest sent by 24 American rabbis. Way to go getting that hate-fest off the air!


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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Not the Best Homecoming

I've been catching up on things and it appears that a lot has happened since I've been away. Palestinians smuggle mortars in Jerusalem, Russian officers train PA police (if that doesn't put a knot in your stomach) and in a not so surprising move, Iran's obviously moderate president is calling for the destruction of Israel and the West.

And now, the straw that breaks this camel's back, comes word that a terrorist bombing strikes Hadera Market . Back to reality. Sigh.

I like the rainbows more.


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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Heading Home

I can't believe my trip is over already, but in a couple of hours I'll be on a plane headed back.

This picture is quite typical of the wave action right by my friend's house (about 3 or 4 blocks away). Yesterday was quite funny -- I wiped out without ever going in the water! I was laying out almost at the edge of the beach, far (or so I thought) from the water. After about 20 minutes, I felt the water at my head, soaking my towel. I quickly grabbed my glasses, shoes and clothes and ran for higher ground. I'm sure I provided great comedy to the folks hanging out there. Oh well. As they say around here, "Just another shitty day in paradise."


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Monday, October 24, 2005

Love Those Rainbows

I don't know who these people are, but I thought it made for a cool shot. Right after I took this, it started to sprinkle again.

Weather looks to be getting a bit better today. It's my last full day in Maui, and we're headed to Lahina. That's the town I've stayed in the past, so it will be nice to see it again. This trip has been wonderfully relaxing. And I needed it.


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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Twice the Inspiration

The weather has been a bit, well, 'very Paia' -- the town I'm staying in. It's a mile from the wind surfing capitol of the world. And it's been living up to its reputation, along with plenty of rain. So yesterday I put on my iPod and listened to some tunes as I watched the rain fall. I heard a song that took on a whole new meaning for me. It's John Hiatt's, "Through Your Hands" and this time I heard it while thinking about Israel and the powerlessness I think many of us feel in trying to help her. I think it sort of sums up what many of us bloggers are trying to do, and why we blog (whether or not it's for Israel).

You were dreaming on a park bench
'Bout a broad highway somewhere
When the music from the carillon
Seemed to hurl your heart out there
Past the scientific darkness
Past the fireflies that float
To an angel bending down
To wrap you in her warmest coat

[Chorus:]
And you ask, "What am I not doing?"
She says "Your voice cannot command.
In time, you will move mountains,
And it will come through your hands."

Still you argue for an option
Still you angle for your case
Like you wouldn't know a burning bush
If it blew up in your face
Yeah, we scheme about the future
And we dream about the past
When just a simple reaching out
Might build a bridge that lasts

[Chorus]

So whatever your hands find to do
You must do with all your heart
There are thoughts enough
To blow men's minds and tear great worlds apart

There's a healing touch to find you
On that broad highway somewhere
To lift you high
As music flying
Through the angel's hair.

Don't ask what you are not doing
Because your voice cannot command
In time we will move mountains
And it will come through your hands.


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Friday, October 21, 2005

Roof With A View

This is the view outside my guest bedroom window... that is, if you crawl out the window and walk on the roof (I think you'll get a larger version if you click on the picture)! Did I mention I'm afraid of heights? Love that you can see the ocean. My friend hopes to eventually build an addition to the house so that you can see this view. So far the weather has been pretty hot and humid but who cares?! It's Maui!


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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Westward Bound

I am off on another trip. I know I live quite a nice life for someone who is essentially unemployed but I wanted to get in all my trips before I settled into a real job (and very little vacation). As soon as I booked them, I got this freelance gig of course. And they're being kind enough to let me still go. So this one is to Maui to visit my pal at her new home, until next Tuesday. I will have computer access, so I won't be out of touch, but pictures to upload might need to wait until I return. I'm not sure my friend's computer has PhotoShop. Be grateful. I plan to take enough pictures for when I can't think of anything to blog about so perhaps you'll finally be spared seeing my cats for a while.


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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Sukkot

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful holiday. For those of you who want to learn more about Sukkot, I found this interesting article here. Enjoy.


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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Reality Check From Oz

One might have thought, after 9/11, that the supposition that terrorism is bred by poverty, oppression, lack of education, etc. would have been laid to rest. After all, we learned the backgrounds of the 19 hijackers and none of them appeared to have been the victims of deprivation...unless you consider the lack of any sort of moral compass to be a form of deprivation. And yet we continue to hear the so-called experts pontificating on the "root causes" of terrorism...a dangerous exercise at best because it will lead us to believe we can solve the problem by taking measures that, in truth, will get us nowhere. But every so often, up steps someone like Australian journalist, Andrew Bolt, who cuts through all the politically correct B.S.

"Terror By Degrees"
Andrew Bolt
Herald and Weekly Times
October 7, 2005

It's a mistake to think terrorists are simple folk who'll respond to kindness--many of them are far better educated than their victims.

Howard Hawk's "The Thing From Another World" may have seemed mere space junk back in 1951, but how spookily prophetic it was, after all. I'm thinking of the scene in the movie in which the idealistic scientist pushes aside the bad soldiers who want to shoot this monster that's fed on the blood of their friends.

Dr. Carrington instead appeals to the blood-sucker's inner angel: "Listen to me! I'm your friend! Look, my hands are in the air. I have no weapons. I'm your friend, you must understand that. You're wiser than I. You must understand I'm trying to help you!" And the monster reacts as you'd expect. As the script puts it: "Now, without haste, it lifts one arm and flicks its hand at Carrington's throat. Carrington falls to the floor, almost decapitated..."

How very today that now all sounds as we hear new experts urging us to negotiate withIslamist terrorists such as Osama bin Laden, or buy them off by, say, abandoning democratic Iraq.

Let's see. There's the monster who grows stronger with blood. There's the contempt of an intellectual for an armed response. His faith that monsters can be talked into reason. His belief that it's our failing to seem nice that's the real problem. Even Carrington's beheading prefigures the fate of, say, British hostage Ken Begley or American Nick Berg in Iraq, or of Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl, who went, unarmed, to talk to al-Qaida's Ahmed Omar Sheikh.

What does it say that a naivete in the face of evil that even a B-grade movie half a century ago had the worldliness to mock is now seen in cultured circles as proof of superior wisdom?

I wrote on Wednesday of the folly of talk by ABC hosts and the like that it's worth negotiating with the Islamists who kill families dining on a Bali beach – especially given Jemaah Islamiah leader Abu Bakar Bashir warned only last month that "if they want to have peace, they have to accept to be governed by Islam".

But I'd left unchallenged one more Carrington-class foolishness that is again too common – a conceit that the monster can be patronised.

How often do we now hear, especially on ABC talkback, that the terrorists hunting us are just ignorant? Poor? Desperate? That all they need is our help? "I'm your friend . . . you must understand I'm trying to help you."

And so we tut-tut over footage of the madrassas – Islamic schools – which we're sure are factories for these fanatics. And we send aid to steer the poor children into good schools instead.

That should civilise them.

Ah, the self-congratulatory racism of the elite.

But let's face a sobering fact. Most of the worst Islamist terrorists were in fact trained not in madrassas but in universities – including ours. Pearl's beheader, for example, went to the London School of Economics.

On the whole, they have higher educational qualifications than the average Australian, and their average victim. They kill not because they are dumb and desperate, but because they have surrendered to an ideology and a collective that insists that to kill is glorious. Holy.

Check for yourself. Start with the Malaysian Azahari Husin, believed to have made the bombs for the attacks on our people in Bali in 2002, in Jakarta in 2004, and again in Bali last week.

Azahari, perhaps the most senior military leader left in Jemaah Islamiah, studied mechanical engineering at Adelaide University, before getting a PhD in statistical modelling from Britain's Reading University and teaching at Johor University.

The spiritual head of his movement, Abu Bakar Bashir, himself studied at an Islamic university. When Prof Scott Atran interviewed him in jail last month, he found Bashir surrounded by "disciples (who) tend to be well-educated, often university graduates, and they wash his clothes".

Likewise, five of the men who helped to organise the first Bali bombings went to university, and Hambali, who until his capture was Jemaah Islamiah's deputy leader, is the son of a school principal.

It's the same story with the most notorious terror attacks on the West.

In the first World Trade Centre bombing in 1993, all 12 plotters had gone to university. So had two thirds of the men behind the September 11 attacks. The mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, studied engineering at an American university, while ringleader Mohamed Atta had a degree from a German one. Zacarias Moussaoui, the captured "20th hijacker", went to a university in France.

Their spiritual leaders are equally educated. Al-Qaida's head, Osama bin Laden, is a millionaire's son who studied business administration. His deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri is the son of a Cairo professor and himself graduated as a pediatrician.

Their most zealous followers in the West are just as likely to be educated. We know two of the four British Muslims who perpetrated the suicide bombings in London studied at university, and another planned to.

In fact, a report commissioned last year by British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned that "extremists are known to target schools and colleges where young people may be very inquisitive but less challenging and more susceptible to extremist reasoning/arguments".

Even in Iraq, we find graduates doing some of the worst killing. The Martyrs of the Land of the Two Rivers, a document on an Arabic website that details the lives of 430 terrorists who died in Iraq, reveals many were from comfortable backgrounds, even studying for degrees in meteorology, English, computer science and medicine.

So the terrorists we face are no peasant army, needing the too-easy pity or sympathy of the Left. Many are educated middle-class men who have chosen to kill us, and have the skills to do it.

None of this would surprise students of terrorism. As Jamestown Foundation's Scott Atran concludes from his work on suicide attacks: "If you look at the history of these kinds of extreme acts, they're pretty much directed by middle-class or higher middle-class intellectuals."

Think also of the recruits for the Japanese Red Army, the Spanish ETA, the German Baader-Meinhof Gang, the Italian Red Brigades. Even the Lebanese Hezbollah "martyrs" tend to be better educated and richer than most Lebanese, according to a study by Prof Alan Krueger of Princeton University. Think, too, of Paris-educated Pol Pot. Of Dr Che Guevara.

These are not people who can be patronised. These are not people who can be set right with a word from the wise, or a little Western-funded education. Thanks, but they've had that already.

You may still feel the need to sidle up to them and do a Carrington, saying in the clear English we use for nice little foreigners: "I have no weapons – I'm your friend – you must understand that. You're wiser than I . . ."

But you'll find that they think so, too, and have a fancier diploma than yours on the wall to confirm it. And the end will be no prettier than it was in the movie.

Something that Andrew Bolt touches on, and which I find particularly fascinating, are those terrorist masterminds who are physicians. Ayman al-Zawahiri is probably the best known and most notorious, but years before he appeared on the scene there was George Habash, a pediatrician who was the chairman of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group that, at the time, was considered to be even more radical and violent than the PLO. Habash was responsible for planning, among other terrorist atrocities, an attack on a school in the Israeli town of Ma'alot, in which more than 20 children lost their lives. It's difficult to imagine something more incongruously evil than a pediatrician plotting an attack on children. And was George Habash poor? Was he uneducated? Was he oppressed? No. But he was completely devoid of humanity...and that's probably one of the leading "root causes" of terrorism.


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Monday, October 17, 2005

And Here is Another

I'm on my way back from Vegas. In the meantime, Rory might be publishing this post for me. Here's another interesting blog I've come across:

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad has spear-headed the Haveil Havalim, which is a Jewish/Israel related Carnival. Check him out and look at the first edition of the Haveil Havalim, which explains it better than I'm doing, when you have a moment.


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Re-thinking Divestment

There are a lot of issues around the Arab/Israeli conflict that I find utterly infuriating and perhaps none more so than the issue of divestment. I've come to expect anti-Israel bias from the U.N., the media and even academia, but when the Presbyterian Church announced its intention to disinvest from Israel, I was beyond outraged. I should say, from the outset, I'm aware that this in no way reflects a majority opinion among American Protestants, but the fact that a major religious organization has seen fit to single out Israel as the aggressor, even after four years during which Palestinian terrorists were turning the country into a slaughterhouse, is just stunning. But, now comes word that the Presbyterian Church may be finding it a bit more difficult to defend the indefensible. Perhaps it's because Israel's economy has become more robust and disinvestment could prove costly, or maybe it's because Sharon carried out the disengagement from Gaza...or maybe it was because somebody finally realized that the whole idea stinks to high heavens.

Church Divestment Campaign Loses Steam
Israel National News
October 14, 2005

"The campaign to convince Protestant churches to divest from companies that make products Israel uses in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is slowing down, according to Reuters News Agency.

The anti-Israel divestment campaign threatens billions of dollars of investments in Israel by international companies. It gathered steam after the Presbyerian Church of the United States voted last year to begin slimming down its $8 billion portfolio in companies with investments in Israel.

One of the prime targets has been Caterpillar Inc., which sells heavy equipment to Israel's defense establishment. Other targets are Citigroup, United Technologies, Motorola, and ITT Industries.

"No church in the United States except the Presbyterians has voted for divestment," Reuters quoted David Elcott, an officer for the American Jewish Committee. He said the campaign was moving forward in the media more than it is in reality.

Both the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and the United Church of Christ have rejected the divestment proposal.

The Presbyterian Church has not yet carried out its decision to get rid of investments in targeted companies, and a church spokesman told Reuters that "we're not in a hurry." He explained that divestment only is a last resort, depending on whether Israel carries out further expulsions of Jewish residents from Judea and Samaria.

Rev.William Harter, one of the leaders against the divestment campaign, was quoted as saying that there is growing pressure to rescind last year's disinvestment vote."

Frankly, I'm not sure we can take much comfort in the fact that "divestment only is a last resort" because the message alone this sort of campaign sends is fueling the isolation of Israel by subjecting it to the same sort of opprobrium that was heretofore reserved for countries like South Africa. But, worst of all, it absolves the real aggressors, those murderous and corrupt Palestinian leaders, of any blame for years of bloodshed.


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Sunday, October 16, 2005

More From Beyond

While I'm in Vegas, Rory might be publishing a couple of posts for me. I'm making them simple, like pointing out interesting blogs I've come across. Here's one for today:

The Crank Files

Mr. Beamish The Instablepundit kicks ass and takes no prisoners. Check him out when you have a moment.


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Saturday, October 15, 2005

It's Magic

While I'm in Vegas, Rory might be publishing a couple of posts for me. I'm making them simple, like pointing out interesting blogs I've come across. Of course, the ones on my right sidebar are all great. These will be in addition.

Here's one for today:

Pork Loving Jewess

Megastein has a wonderful way with words. She might not update it every day, but I always find her posts interesting. Check her out when you have a moment.


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The Devil Made Me Do It

Apparently, the ever-delusional Mahmoud Abbas (let's not forget he's on record as a Holocaust denier) is convinced that God personally implored George Bush to create a Palestinian state. Putting aside the fact that God probably doesn't micro-manage the universe, what does this say about the prospects for a resolution of one of history's most intractible conflicts when one party to the conflict is convinced that God is on their side?

White House Denies "God Told Me" Claims
WorldNetDaily.com
October 6, 2005

The White House flatly denies Palestinian claims trumpeted by a BBC television program that Pres. Bush confided to PA leaders that God personally instructed him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq and create a Palestinian state.

The BBC issued a press release today highlighting remarks by Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and his Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath from a three-part series that began airing in the UK, "Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs."

White House press secretary Scott McClellan responded today to a reporter who asked if the claims about the June 2003 summit meeting in Aqaba, Jordan, were true. "No, that's absurd," said Mc Clellan, who pointed out he's been in meetings between Bush and Abbas. "He's never made such comments." The spokesman was not at that particular meeting, he acknowledged, but said he checked out the report.

In the BBC report, Shaath described the first meeting with Bush in 2003.

"President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan. And I did, and then God would tell me, George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq...and I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me. Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East.' And by God I'm gonna do it."

Abbas was at the same meeting and claimed Bush told him: "I have a moral and religious obligation. So I will get you a Palestinian state."

In 2003, the Israeli daily, Ha'aretz, reported Abbas said Bush promised to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon about the siege on PA leader Yasser Arafat and asserted nobody can speak to or pressure Sharon except the Americans.

Bush, according to Abbas, then said: "God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them, and then he instsructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."

While the White House denies the remarks, much has been made of Bush's evangelical Christian faith and its relationship to his governing. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, a close friend of the president, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, said Bush believed he was called by God to lead the national at that critical time.

One of the things that struck me is why is Abbas saying that God wanted Bush to "end the tyranny in Iraq" when the Palestinian Authority under Arafat was one of the leading supporters of Saddam Hussein. I guess the PA was on the wrong side of God that time. And while I have to admit that I don't believe there are people who have a hotline to God, I think there's a big difference between Bush saying that, after 9/11, he was called by God to lead the nation and saying God told him to create a terrorist state within shooting distance of the Promised Land.


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Friday, October 14, 2005

Pretty Vegas

I'm headed back to Las Vegas today, and I'll be away until Monday but don't fret! Rory will be around to knock out some awesome posts. In addition, if she's in the mood, she has a couple of mine to publish if she feels like it. Have a great weekend.


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Thursday, October 13, 2005

The ABCs of Failure

I hope that all who had to do so had an easy fast.

I've been wanting to write about this but haven't had the chance. I've spoken about the show, Commander in Chief before. I think I mentioned that the creator, Rod Lurie, was born in Israel. I've loved how almost every show has made reference to the Mid East conflict as well as AIPAC. His show is a HUGE hit. But it had the wrong demographics. Old people like it. So what has ABC done? They've replaced him. Kicked him off his own show. And replaced him with Steven Bochco of L.A. Law fame. I hope the ratings plummet.


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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Naming the Enemy

Daniel Pipes does a great job with his recent article, Bush Declares War on Radical Islam, in explaining why the president's speech was so groundbreaking. He talks about it ushering in a new era in fighting Islamists and systematically breaks down the speech into its best parts. The final sentence states what's left.

Only when Americans realize that the Islamists intend to replace the U.S. Constitution with Shariah will they enter the fourth and final era of this war.

As many prepare to fast and repent for Yom Kippur, I wish you well.


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Monday, October 10, 2005

You Are Needed Once Again

Get ready to have steam coming out of your ears over this injustice. Naomi Ragen tells Rachel's story, and it's beyond words to tell you how upset this makes me. Rachel needs our help. Please help spread the word.


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Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Must Read

Friend of the Blogway, Always on Watch, has written a brilliant post that I hope everyone checks out. It's called Differing Definitions and clearly makes sense of why the Islamists can say one thing, and we naive Americans can think they mean something else. This is a very important post. Please go read it. Now.


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Saturday, October 08, 2005

An Update on Chassia

Last year, I blogged about Chassia, a woman in Israel suffering from breast cancer and poverty -- hardly able to care for her young son. Thanks to everyone, her life has changed drastically. Here is an update from Andrea Siman Tov, via Naomi Ragen.

Dear Friends:

Shana Tovah U'Mtukah!

Just a short note to tell you that Chassia is doing well. As you may well remember, she underwent a radical mastectomy last spring, the situation complicated by her terrible poverty and dwindling ability to care for her young son.

The donations received made the entire difference in her life. After completing the debilitating course of chemotherapy, with the help of friends she was able to purchase a nearby apartment in much better condition than the hovel she had previously rented. Her hair is slowly growing back, she takes daily walks and has begun to work a bit. Her son, Nachum, is adjusting well after a choppy year of being moved from house-to-house during the time Chassia couldn't care for him. He has his own bedroom; he has friends; he is taking singing lessons!

Chassia called me the night before Rosh Hashanah, struggling for the words to say thank you. NOT to me but, rather, to all of you who made the entire difference in her life. She still isn't aware of how far-reaching the campaign was and we, her friends, feel that this is the way it should be. She continues to have check-ups and is cautious about her future.

Although contributions came from many sources, it would be a grave oversight not to mention Naomi Ragen and her amazing List-of-Friends. Without Naomi's personal interest, the numbers would have fallen far short of what we, ultimately, received.

May God grant each and every one of us a year filled with His blessing: peace, sustenance, health and nachat and the continued ability to look beyond ourselves into the heart of our brother/sister.

With love and gratitude,
Andrea Simantov
Jerusalem

PS: Depending on her physical strength, Chassia has informed me that she hopes to take a modern-jazz dance class one night a week!


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Friday, October 07, 2005

Icy Relations Thawing in the Muslim Press?

According to a News Alert from AIPAC, a major development has happened with regards to the treatment of Israel in the Muslim press. Signs of improvement have popped up in Kuwaiti and Indonesian newspapers. Even more incredible, please read this news tidbit I'm about to share.

In the wake of Israel’s historic withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, journalists in Kuwait have suggested that the country stop using the Palestinian conflict as an excuse to isolate Israel.

This is HUGE. Will it last? is it a fake-out? Too soon to tell, but on Monday, a substantial step forward was achieved:

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom became the first Israeli Cabinet member to have an op-ed published in an Indonesian paper. Shalom’s article stated that “history has shown us that Jews and Muslims lived in peace, harmony and friendship for many years in the past. This should be the aim in the future.”

Now let's hope this is only the beginning, rather than an aberration.


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Thursday, October 06, 2005

College Campus: The Front at Home

We've all heard about what kids on campus are facing -- anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism. But that conflict has now escalated. On Oct. 3, it is believed that Joel Henry Hinrichs III (won't be sure it's him until the DNA results come in), a 21-year-old Oklahoma University mechanical engineering student, killed himself -- with a bomb -- 100 meters from a stadium filled with football fans. Not your average suicide. Many along the blogway have picked up the complexities of this story, even if many mainstream news sources have not.

According to an article in The Oklahoma Daily, the school newspaper, the student in question reportedly "inquired at a local feed store about purchasing a significant amount of ammonium nitrate, the store’s general manager said, according to a local television station." A man similar to his description was apparently in the store days before the explosion.

The president of the university, David L. Boren, "confirmed that law enforcement officials found dangerous materials inside Hinrich’s residence at Parkview Apartments and that they were detonated at a Norman Police Department firing range Sunday night." There have also been reports that Jihad material had been found in his room, which was located close to the Islamic Society.

I did a search on Google News on Joel Henry Hinrichs and no major newspaper/online service, except maybe Town Hall, is listed on the first page of hits. For Yahoo News, the only major news outlet listed on the first page is the Dallas Morning News, which has two -- including the dad saying his son had no political motives though he admitted that his son had an interest in explosives. Huh? I find all of this very strange. This should be HUGE news. Why are my fellow bloggers (and local Oklahoma papers) and World Net Daily the only ones taking this seriously?


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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Ramadan Gift From The IDF

There they go again...trying to prove to the world they're not the monsters they're often portrayed as, and doesn't the mainstream media just hate it when that happens?

"Happy Holiday: IDF Sends Tons Of Food To Gaza Arabs For Ramadan" (Israel News Network)

The Sufa crossing point into southern Gaza opened for business today as IDF troops transferred tons of food to the Palestinian Authority for distribution among the Arabs of Gaza.

Twenty trucks, carrying milk, beef and fruit, entered the Gaza district after the food transfer was coordinated between the PA and an IDF unit responsible for coordinating government activities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

The head of that unit, Col. Nir Press, said that the food transfer was approved as "an exception" to Israeli policy by General Dan Harel, head of the Southern Command of the IDF.

Since the August pullout from Gaza, crossing points from Israel into the Gaza district have been closed because Israel and the PA have failed to reach agreement on how to operate them.

Today's food transfer was made pursuant to a PA request prior to the Islamic holiday of Ramadan.

Would anybody care to wager on the likelihood that this story will appear in the New York Times? And while I'm aware of the media's motto "If it bleeds...it leads," it seems to be even more so when the IDF is involved.


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Monday, October 03, 2005

Happy New Year

L'Shanah Tovah to one and all. Hope the year is filled with sweetness, joy, great health for everyone and of course peace. Please watch this to get a feel for the celebration.


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Sunday, October 02, 2005

When Angels Weep

I can't begin to imagine how infuriating it must be for the families of the victims of Palestinian terror to witness the canonization of Rachel Corrie. Corrie, an American college student from Washington State, wasn't merely an idealistic young woman drawn into the Arab/Israeli conflict by her desire to focus the world's attention on what she saw as "Palestinian suffering under the occupation." She, and the other members of the International Solidarity Movement, embrace an ideology that turns the truth on its head. In their parallel universe, Israeli soldiers are the jack-booted Nazis...and Palestinian terrorists are the Jews.

This letter, written by a British expatriate living in Israel, is a poignant plea for justice for the real victims...the other Rachels.


Rachel Corrie Cantata

By Barry Shaw
October 1, 2005

Dear Reader,

I was horrified to receive this unwelcome email appeal.

I was more horrified to read its contents. A supporter of Palestinian terror is being elevated to sainthood in London.

Rachel Corrie, a member of ISM which assists, among others, the activities of Hamas not only has a West End play in her name, now she is being "honored" with a cantata and a "distinguished" rollcall of artists and politicians will attend the world premier....




On behalf of all Israeli victims of Palestinian terror, may I scream out in pain and sadness in the memory of the other Rachels?

Rachel Levy, age 17, blown up by a Palestinian suicide killer outside a grocery store.

Rachel Levi, age 19, shot by a Palestinian while waiting for a bus.

Rachel Gavish, killed whil celebrating Passover at the Park Hotel with her family.

Rachel Charhi, blown up at a Tel Aviv cafe by a Palestinian bomber. She leaves three children.

Rachel Shabo, murdered with her three children, in her home by a Palestinian gunman.

And, finally, 16 year-old RACHEL THALER. She was blown up at a pizza parlour by another Palestinian suicide killer on 16th February, 2002.

Rachel Thaler was born in London, yet nobody has put on a play about her. Her grandparents still live in London, yet no politicians or anyone from the arts, have expressed condolences or attempted to raise the issue of Palestinian terror in her name. No British journalist has approached her mother, Ginette, to write about the martyrdom of Rachel Thaler.

No rallies, no plays, no cantatas, for the Jewish Rachels.

Rachel Thaler's parents allowed the donation of their murdered daughter's organs for transplant.

Rachel Corrie's parents traveled to Ramallah to receive a plaque from corrupt arch-terrorist, Yasser Arafat, for the services of their daughter to the Palestinian cause.

The name of the Corrie concert is "The Skies Are Weeping."

They are indeed! The injustice makes angels weep.

Somehow, this tribute to Rachel Corrie begs the question of whether such a production could ever appear in a major venue in this country. After all, the mindset that produced this obscenity transcends national borders. So, will we ever see a "Rachel Corrie Cantata" on Broadway? I hope to hell we won't.


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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Pictures for rockmother

This is mostly for rockmother but hopefully the rest of you will enjoy as well. Several years ago, I visited Bath, England. Keep in mind, these photos were taken several years ago -- with a regular camera. They were also scanned for an old Web site I had up, and I no longer have the original scans (so they aren't high quality). For that matter, neither is my memory.

While there, a friend of mine (who wrote a book about Jane Austen) took me on a tour of the town Jane called home. We visited the infamous Pump Room.

This is a shot of the inside, which was where Jane used to watch people and make notes about them. Of course, she did this a lot.

A popular thing to do would be to "take of the waters" -- where we would pay 10 pence to drink this water, though I can't exactly remember why. I think it was something that was done back then? Anyone know? RM? If you look closely, through the window, you can see the area where you could do this. It was sort of a little bar.

Of course, here are the infamous Roman baths themselves.


I don't think these are from the garden you spoke of, RM, but I remember thinking the area was beautiful so I took these two shots.

My friend did a wonderful job of showing me around Bath. I found it so charming. As someone once told me, it's a bit like Rome but on a much smaller scale. Now that I've been to Rome, I'm not sure I agree with that statement, but I can understand the sentiment.

Of course, strange men like this are everywhere now, but Bath was the first time I saw anyone do this to make money. Found it interesting.

Can't find the picture I took of my favorite place to eat -- Sally Lunn's Buns. Definitely good. Ah, memories.


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