Tag Archives: Israel

Israel invasion of Gaza – 2nd Post

At the gym today I had the misfortune to look up at the t.v. which was tuned to CNN.  They were covering the Israeli invasion and my blood started to boil.  

It appears an Israeli soldier was taken hostage and it was being called a “game changer.”  

I absolutely detest the way Americans describe war in terms of a sporting event.  But perhaps it is fitting as American media continually roots for one team which is Israel while trying to justify the worst atrocities.   

I wonder how many children were killed by Israel today.  I’m sure there must be some good reason like Hamas was hiding very ineffective missiles there which mostly are intercepted by their much touted Iron Dome anyway.  Seems like a perfectly good reason to kill those little Arabs.  I wonder what the accepted Israeli ratio is in terms of dead children to a discovered missile cache or tunnel.  Is the discovery of another tunnel worth 10 dead children?  20?  Perhaps one tunnel is worth unlimited dead children to Israel?  

I’ve seen too many articles these past weeks trying to justify dead kids.  Most of the articles put the blame on Hamas which is certainly accurate.  Hamas is vile.  But the fact remains that the damage Hamas inflicts on Israel is negligent.  The damage Israel inflicts on Gaza is obscene.  

I find this would be a good time for a quote.  

Out of our memory…of the Holocaust we must forge an unshakable oath with all civilized people that never again will the world stand silent, never again will the world…fail to act in time to prevent this terrible crime of genocide….we must harness the outrage of our own memories to stamp out oppression wherever it exists. We must understand that human rights and human dignity are indivisible.

Well apparently this quote is moot when the shoe is on the other foot now isn’t it.  Gaza looks pretty much like a concentration camp to seeing as the inhabitants cannot leave and the Israelis are doing their best to kill as many as possible.  Yes yes, please tell me how they call and warn the residents they are going to come blow up their house only to throw a shell right on the UN school.  

Another event in sporting news is that an Israeli soldier was captured and the American media referred to it as “a game changer.”  So let me understand this.   Over 1500 dead Gazans with a good portion of that being children is not a game changer but one captured Israeli is?  

What do you think happens in a war?  What do soldiers do in wars?  They kill people!  It seems entirely reasonable to me that the Gazans might want to do as much harm as possible to the Israeli soldiers wouldn’t they?  

So while I was at the gym they showed this Israeli soldiers picture about 15 times in 45 minutes.  Please take a guess how many dead Gazan children they showed.   

Zero.

Well, maybe I could just look up the carnage Israel is unleashing on the internet?

Israeli censorship

 

Nope!!!  Blocked, censored, not allowed!  We can only see the image of the captured Israeli over and over and over.  No Palestinian dead children allowed please.  Nothing to see here.   

Here in the US you simply cannot say anything bad against Israeli if you happen to be a politician or in the media.  The tentacles of Israel reach deeply into this country and have a stranglehold.  

These tentacles run so deep that Israel can commit the most horrible atrocities and the US will not only continue to justify the reasons but fund the bombs that kill these children as well?  Why?  Because America has a fucking ‘special relationship’ with Israel.  Aka, Israel has the US sucking its dick.  

And how will all of this play out?  Will this latest genocide bring peace to the region and turn all the Gazans into Israel supporters?  I think not.  Yes, who wouldn’t love a country or race that killed not only someone’s entire family but all the neighbors as well.  Hey, after all they sent a memo it was coming didn’t they?  

 

Israel invasion of Gaza

No need for a long post here and I certainly won’t try to change anyone’s opinion.  I just wanted to point out one small blurb in this BBC article.

“It brings the number of Israeli soldiers killed in the current offensive to 18.

The deaths of so many soldiers on a single day will shock Israeli society, the BBC’s Chris Morris reports from southern Israel.”

The number of Palestinians currently killed in the Israeli invasion as of 7/20/2014 stands at 425.  

So if I understand this correctly, 425 Palestinians does not shock Israeli society but any more than a few soldiers of their own killed is shocking?  

Seems the media continues to be very pro Israel.  I read news from a number of sources around the world and in more cases than not the Palestinians are described as terrorists while that word has never been used to describe the Israelis.  

Furthermore, in the opinion sections of most dailies I’ve already seen pro Israel pieces aplenty.  Know how many pro Palestinian pieces I’ve seen in the Western media?   

Zero.  

Now that you’ve read the above you might think I’m pro-Palestine?  I do not support either side.  In one quick paragraph here is how I see it.  

Israel has a right to exist.  The Palestinians have a right to not be enslaved by Israel and create their own state.  Israel should quit oppressing the Palestinians and the Palestinians should quit terrorizing Israel.  There you have it.  

Unfortunately, I do not see things getting any better.  I see war for the next three centuries unless another world war redraws the maps again.  

 

Romney, Republicans, Petraeus and Israel

Again, it has been a very long time since my last post.  The reason is laziness, pure and simple.

But tonight, as I glare into the never ending stream of news on my Iphone I find myself overwhelmed by the amount of stupid I am reading.  As I am still very much in lazy mode, I really do not feel like putting too much effort into this post.  I simply want to do a quick brain dump and get back to my magazines.  My blood is boiling though and I don’t think I’ll be able to rest until I get it out of my system.

A.  US Election

Obama wins the election and the Republicans throw a fit.  In their own words they tell us that Obama won due to the young, the minorities, the educated, the women and so on and so on.

So who voted for Romney then?  Well, let’s take a look at the map.  Do you see anything interesting here?  The states with a more intelligent population (California, New York, Washington etc) all voted for Obama.  The States with a massive amount of farmland and much less education (and the South, no surprise) voted for Romney.

This really isn’t rocket science – areas with more education voted blue and those with less voted red.  It is as simple as that.

Furthermore the Republicans cannot stop saying extremely idiotic things.  It does not matter who said what but let me just jot down a few things from memory.

1. Legitimate Rape – Female body has ways to shut the whole thing down
2. Too many black people were voting in areas that don’t have many black residents
3. Obama bought the votes of the young and the blacks.
4.  We want to secede from the United States!

It seems the Republicans have a complete monopoly on idiocy since all of the above have come from the Republican camp.  Perhaps it is akin to a young child throwing a tantrum when things do not go his way.  Little Johnny didn’t win the basketball game so he not only throws the ball into the neighbors yard but starts running in circles screaming incoherently.

So let’s sum this all up.
1.  The states with smarter populations (computers, finance, rocket science) voted blue.  The states with plenty of farms and the South voted Republican.  (No surprise from the South for obvious reasons.)

2.  Republicans cannot seem to stop saying very idiotic things.  One of the dumbest things said happens to come Mitt Romney who only a few weeks ago happened to be their champion and who they now cannot get far enough away from.

3.  More than a few would like to secede from the Union.  I say give Texas back to Mexico and let’s watch those idiots have a complete brain hemorrhage when they realize they are now surrounded by people who are NOT English speaking 45 year old white men.

B.  Petraeus

First let me say that in regards to his affair I wish the USA were a bit more like France.  Petraeus did turn a war around and by all accounts was a very good General.  I’m sure he can and did do a fine job at the CIA.  If he wants to have a little something on the side in his private life then it should stay private.  Unfortunately we are all still very much Puritans in this country and therefore we must expose these fornicators and publicly shame them!   (Then we can return to whatever sex themed sitcom happens to be our favorite which ironically glorifies a loose lifestyle.)

Regarding the Benghazi Attack – Petraeus is called to testify and says it was terrorism.  Here is a newsflash.  It was terrorism.  The Obama administration needed time to get the facts and even after they had them they did play down the fact that it was terrorism.  Why?  Because it would make them look weak on security and given the Republicans something to  use during the campaign.  Why is the US having a congressional committee on this?  Because the Republicans absolutely hate Obama and want to attack him in any way they can.  It is all political theater.

Hopefully, some leaders somewhere are actually doing the right thing and instead of playing politics are strengthening security no matter what the Republicans or Democrats say.

C. Israel and Gaza

Here we go again.  In this part of the post I am only speaking to those who are worldly and educated enough to just feel sad about this whole conflict.  Israel has a right to exist and defend themselves.  Unfortunately, in doing so they oppress, enslave and murder an entire group of people.  The oppressed become the oppressors.  There is no right answer here and I feel very sad for all of the death.

What I hate most of all is how in the West we will never read about any of the Israeli guilt in these conflicts.  The media will always fault the Palestinians.  Furthermore, I hate how we no longer just read about all of this, but now we have video so we can feed off the sorrow, the death and destruction for our own entertainment purposes.  This is our dark side.  We want to press the play button on the video, we want to see a missile strike and we want to see dead bodies.  This is something most people will not admit to themselves, they will suppress the modicum of guilt deep into their gut as they hit the play button and enjoy the adrenaline as they wait for the missile to strike and death to happen on their Iphone.

This type of media gets the population excited and thus it gets clicks which add to the bottom line.  I cannot think of anything more American than showing actual death, happening thousands of miles away in order to make a profit.  It is capitalism at its finest.  Cameras in place to stream the carnage by satellite directly to each and every device where we gain a rush, and a dark satisfaction from real live death, while in the corner of our eyes an advertisement for Coca Cola creeps into our subconscious.  Such a marriage of technology, death and profit is almost like a beautiful requiem, so much so that it almost brings a tear to my eye.

I should stop reading the news.

Disoriented

It has been quite a long while since a post.

Hate to disappoint but this will not be much of a post either.  I simply want to write down a few thoughts going through my head at the moment.  I’m disoriented, out of balance and instead of retreat to my online computer game (Wow) thought it would be more productive to share these thoughts.

1. I’m alone

I’m currently in a large house, by myself, with nobody but myself, my fish and the lure of the internet.  You see, I’ve just come back from Japan.  While there I had to make a decision.  We were visiting my parents-in-law with my young son.  The great grandmother lives in Tochigi Prefecture which is just below Fukushima.

The decision was mine to go and I did my research.  Never in my life would I have thought that I would have to make a decision concerning radiation.  The choice also involved my young son as well as immediate Japanese family.  I chose to go as we have a great grandmother there who is 90 years old.  It was now or possibly never that my young son could meet the grandmother.

I learned quickly that the radiation levels were not very strong and could sometimes be just as high as the worst spots in Fukushima as they were in certain spots in Tokyo.

We did have many discussions about the radiation which I hope to write about later but what really captured my attention was the picture of my boy’s ancestors.  In every Japanese house they have a shrine to the ancestors along with photos that peer down on you from the corner where the wall meets the ceiling.  In the great-grandmothers house as well as in my parents-in law’s house there was a picture of  a Japanese WWII soldier in uniform that never came home.  These men would be the great-grand-uncles of my young boy.  In the film they call them “Japs.”

My wife and child are now staying another two weeks in Saitama.  So I find myself alone, sad and for some reason have chosen a documentary on WW11 on Netflix as my weekend entertainment.

Sure I could go out, I have free reign to do whatever I would like.  Yet, I chose wine and Netflix to divert my attentions.  I miss them terribly.

As I watch the video of WW11 and the video of the dead American and Japanese soldiers I cannot help but try to recognize the same men I saw in my family’s house in Japan.

Is it not astounding how quickly times change, how quickly opinions change and how quickly we can all become allies?  In one moment our nations are shooting at each other and in the next blink we are best friends?

War is absurd.

I then read about an impending military strike from Israel on Iran.  As much as I read I simply cannot understand the rationale with “geopolitics.”  Yes, I am aware that there are very logical reasons for attack, for death, but in the grand scheme of things I cannot help but think of us as a very primitive species.  This instinct towards war, the belief that a divine power is always on our side, and that the only solution is to kill.

Being in this house alone, watching war in High Definition, watching politicians give their support for further war completely depresses me.

I almost wish I was not human, did not belong to this group that continues to kill over and over.

I hear the rationale, the reasoning and it is as if the chimps are chattering, beating their chests and I wonder, why can I not understand them?

So, further in-depth posts will come, I’ll use my tiny brain to try and reason, to argue against further destruction.  But do I really understand anything?

Perhaps it is best to retreat to my wine, to watch my movies and wallow in the stagnant waters of sadness.

Palestinian Kid’s War Art Cancelled

This morning I came across an article in the SF Chronicle that I simply had to share with you all.  Perfect for a GC post and a GC opinion!  

Oakland museum cancels Palestinian kids’ war art – SF Chronicle

Israelis’ vs Palestinians!  What a great way to have readers immediately take a side before they have even read the article.  You have to ask yourself, am I able to read this article with an open mind or have I already applied a filter and already condemned one side or the other?  

If you live in America, 70% would probably already be supporting the Israeli side.  If you live in Europe (especially France) then 70% would already be supporting the Palestinian side.  

Well, here is my quick take on the matter.  

My first thought was that it was just the extremely powerful Israeli lobby shutting down anything that portrays Israel in a negative light.  No business owner wants to tangle with the Anti-Defamation League if it can at all be avoided.  In the US you can never ever criticize Israel or you will be in a heap of trouble. 

My second thought was that the museum may have a good point in that there is no great reason to be placing a children’s space in such a highly controversial situation.  

But then I read the following.

In 2004, art by Iraqi children hung on the museum’s walls. The pictures, made shortly after the U.S. invasion, included a picture of a helicopter shooting into a field of flowers.

Isn’t this extraordinary?  The USA can be portrayed as aggressors in the USA but when it comes to prickly Israel the subject is taboo?  

 

In San Francisco the Jewish community has The Contemporary Jewish Museum where they can display whatever they like.  The Palestinians would be hard pressed to get a permit to display their art on the sidewalk.  

Can you imagine what would happen if an opposing group tried to shut down a display at the CJM?  

In doing my best to keep an open mind on a topic like this it seems quite obvious who is in the wrong here.  

Israel is a classic case of the oppressed becoming the oppressors even down to children’s displays.  

Now, that you have read the post you may be having very negative feelings towards Israel.  But as usual you cannot simply condemn an entire group of people.  It is my take that the oppressors are mostly the old vanguard, the geriatrics of Israel that by suppressing any and all criticism of Israel are actually making things worse for the Jewish state.  

Not all Jewish people would agree with shutting down this display and I still highly support J-Street which it seems to be is made up of younger, highly energetic Jews.  I would really like to hear their take on the art display.  But even J-Street has internal divisions and sometimes the hard liners gain the upper hand.  J Street’s Lose-Lose Situation.   

Well that is all I really wanted to say in this post.  

Information Overload and The Art of Forgetfulness

As usual, this post has been inspired by a serindipitous insight.  As you know, I do not enjoy taking time to edit and much prefer simply writing as the thoughts come along.  This post shall not disappoint.  

The first insight I had today occurred while going through my massive amount of daily news.  What occurred has come to my mind before and came very forcefully today.  What became apparent to me is that 90% of the things I read are simply “noise.”  

I feel addicted to my news articles.  I scan through the New York Times, The Economist, USA Today, Google News, Bloomberg and so on almost daily.  Even though I read so much am I really learning anything?  

It feels as if I’m sifting through a wide and deep river but only coming up with a lot of sand and only on occasion a flake of gold.  It is when I do my research and find an excellent book that I feel I have discovered a gold mine.  

My most recent gold mine was Thomas Paine’s “The Age of Reason.”  I’ve wrote about this in the previous post and have no intention of repeating myself here.  Before that my gold bar was 1001 nights. It seemed to me like the Arabic version of Grimm’s Fairytales.  I was familiar with all the Western tales but it wasn’t until I read One Thousand and One Nights that I laid down the groundwork to understanding Arabic culture.  It is quite refreshing to start learning another culture by what the children learn instead of jaded opinions from foreign cultures.  Children after all start with no bias.  Bias is learned, taught to them by adults.  

How interesting that we now have Aladdin from Walt Disney yet the Americans have most recently decided to hold a hearing on Muslims in the USA.  Perhaps they should have subpoenaed Aladdin and have him fly in on his magic carpet?  

As usual I have gotten off track.  My point is that most of the things we read on a daily basis are simply noise, the articles provide no real learning.  The reason for this is that news/entertainment companies are under constant pressure to come up with new content.  Every single day there must be something new to report.  What we get is a “this happened here” such as with USA Today.  If you read a bit further with good magazines like the Economist you may be able to dig a bit further.  But even magazines like the Economist only scratch the surface.  

So what would I like to see?

I would like a publication that has an immortal as an editor.  This person has lived for 50,000 years and has experienced it all before.  What I’m getting now resembles a young child trying to ride a bike.  This reporter knows how to get on it and maybe peddle one pedal.  However, an immortal would know how to work both peddles, turn the wheel, dodge bumps in the road, fix the bike should it break and tell me how the bike is actually built.  

I guess this thought comes from listening to populist politicians who manipulate the energy and issues of the day.  The reporters as well only have a hind sight of 1 mile and can see nothing of the road ahead in heavy fog.  

I want a sage, or as Don Quixote puts it, a veritable Solomon.  Solomon was seen as a prophet but what I have recently learned is that prophet may mean “to authorize singing human compositions with musical instruments.”  In “The Age of Reason” Paine points out that this word used to mean simply making music so when people used to “prophesize” they were simply singing.  

By this example, I’m illustrating what I would like to see in a daily publication.  I want insight, I want history and I want an explanation that spans all human knowledge.  I want a big fat nugget of gold every time I decide to read an article, not just a bunch of sand that tells me nothing other than there is sand under the river.  

I want to know how the sand got there, I want to know what it is made of and from where it came.  And if it is a most excellent article, I want to know where the sand is going.  I want to know what the original meaning of “sand” is.  Currently, all I get is, “There is sand here.”  

Forgetfulness 

The more I read and the more I learn I find it simply astounding how quickly we forget the past.  We now have universities, great institutions of learning, yet why is it that we never really understand history? 

We read about the atrocities of the past, but how many people really *feel* those atrocities.  We read about entire cultures being wiped out but we never really internalize the gravity of the horrific act.  How many of us can put ourselves into the lives of those destroyed by the conquering power?  

If you read the bible it is full of death and destruction.  You have Judah vs. Israel and it claims the destruction of one was due to the will of God?  Why is it that even today the victor, the leader of nations will often claim that God has chosen them specifically to lead?  

Time and time again, as I read history, the destruction of an entire group of people was due to “The Will of God?”  

How many of us can put ourselves into the mindset and lives of those that were slaughtered?  

Or do we simply say that the act was in the past and we are much more sophisticated and enlightened now? 

This brings me to my next point. 

If we were to look back 500 years and condemn the Spaniards for destroying the Mexica, the Americans for destroying the Natives, and the Natives for destroying those that came before them, what will people 500 years from now say about us?  

Again, we consider ourselves extremely sophisticated and look upon those that lived 500 years ago as not being “humanitarian,” as being “sub-intelligent.”  If we can do that now, then again, what will people 500 years from now say about us? 

With all our education, with the complete sum of human knowledge that the internet brings us, why can we not recognize our faults as they happen?  

Why can we not understand that loving each other is the true path?  

Why do we continually find faults and actively strive to find differences in order to condemn others?  

Why is it that many feel so uncomfortable around people that are different from them?

Instead, we read the news, learn to solidify our bias and feel intelligent when we can point out how our hatreds and bias are justified based on the little we think we know? 

Perhaps it is due to all this knowledge on the internet and my insatiable curiosity to continually want to learn more. 

To illustrate I recently found a piece of music called “Saltarello.” 

But I am not satisfied with just listening to the music.  I want to know what Saltarello means.  I want to know the culture it comes from.  I learn it comes from the Kingdom of Naples and I want to know how this Kingdom was formed and what happened to it.  I also want to know what the dance steps are.  I want to know where it was played and who composed it.  I want to know how “Saltar” came to mean what it means!  What language does it originate from?  What sounds did humans make that eventually came to form the word!  

I feel that this kind of curiosity is lacking in the world today.  We are content to simply listen to the music and express if “we like it” or not.  

*Side Note: *In America the thought would be how to make money off the piece.*  

Again, with all our learning and access to information where has the curiosity gone?  Why are we so content and happy with whatever *new* drivel the news organizations decide to tells us about, especially when the news is bereft of real historical and wise insight?  

To be addicted to the news as I am is akin to a Koala bear eating Eucalyptus leaves.  Sure, I eat a lot but I am getting very little nutrition .  


” 

Sweden: Jews leave Swedish city after sharp rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes

This article first appeared in The Telegraph on 21 Feb 2010

Permalink: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/sweden/7278532/Jews-leave-Swedish-city-after-sharp-rise-in-anti-Semitic-hate-crimes.html

Sweden’s reputation as a tolerant, liberal nation is being threatened by a steep rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city of Malmo.

By Nick Meo in Malmo, Sweden

When she first arrived in Sweden after her rescue from a Nazi concentration camp, Judith Popinski was treated with great kindness.

She raised a family in the city of Malmo, and for the next six decades lived happily in her adopted homeland – until last year.

In 2009, a chapel serving the city’s 700-strong Jewish community was set ablaze. Jewish cemeteries were repeatedly desecrated, worshippers were abused on their way home from prayer, and “Hitler” was mockingly chanted in the streets by masked men.

“I never thought I would see this hatred again in my lifetime, not in Sweden anyway,” Mrs Popinski toldThe Sunday Telegraph.

“This new hatred comes from Muslim immigrants. The Jewish people are afraid now.”

Malmo’s Jews, however, do not just point the finger at bigoted Muslims and their fellow racists in the country’s Neo-Nazi fringe. They also accuse Ilmar Reepalu, the Left-wing mayor who has been in power for 15 years, of failing to protect them.

Mr Reepalu, who is blamed for lax policing, is at the centre of a growing controversy for saying that what the Jews perceive as naked anti-Semitism is in fact just a sad, but understandable consequence of Israeli policy in the Middle East.

While his views are far from unusual on the European liberal-left, which is often accused of a pro-Palestinian bias, his Jewish critics say they encourage young Muslim hotheads to abuse and harass them.

The future looks so bleak that by one estimate, around 30 Jewish families have already left for Stockholm, England or Israel, and more are preparing to go.

With its young people planning new lives elsewhere, the remaining Jewish households, many of whom are made up of Holocaust survivors and their descendants, fear they will soon be gone altogether. Mrs Popinski, an 86-year-old widow, said she has even encountered hostility when invited to talk about the Holocaust in schools.

“Muslim schoolchildren often ignore me now when I talk about my experiences in the camps,” she said. “It is because of what their parents tell them about Jews. The hatreds of the Middle East have come to Malmo. Schools in Muslim areas of the city simply won’t invite Holocaust survivors to speak any more.”

Hate crimes, mainly directed against Jews, doubled last year with Malmo’s police recording 79 incidents and admitting that far more probably went unreported. As of yet, no direct attacks on people have been recorded but many Jews believe it is only a matter of time in the current climate.

The city’s synagogue has guards and rocket-proof glass in the windows, while the Jewish kindergarten can only be reached through thick steel security doors.

It is a far cry from the city Mrs Popinski arrived in 65 years ago, half-dead from starvation and typhus.

At Auschwitz she had been separated from her Polish family, all of whom were murdered. She escaped the gas chambers after being sent as a slave labourer. Then she was moved to a womens’ concentration camp, Ravensbrück, from where she was then evacuated in a release deal negotiated between the Swedish Red Cross and senior Nazis, who were by then trying to save their own lives.

After the war, just as liberal Sweden took in Jews who survived the Holocaust as a humanitarian act, it also took in new waves of refugees from tyranny and conflicts in the Middle East. Muslims are now estimated to make up about a fifth of Malmo’s population of nearly 300,000.

“This new hatred from a group 40,000-strong is focused on a small group of Jews,” Mrs Popinski said, speaking in a sitting room filled with paintings and Persian carpets.

“Some Swedish politicians are letting them do it, including the mayor. Of course the Muslims have more votes than the Jews.”

The worst incident was last year during Israel’s brief war in Gaza, when a small demonstration in favour of Israel was attacked by a screaming mob of Arabs and Swedish leftists, who threw bottles and firecrackers as the police looked on.

“I haven’t seen hatred like that for decades,” Mrs Popinski said. “It reminded me of what I saw in my youth. Jews feel vulnerable here now.”

The problem is becoming an embarrassment for the Social Democrats, the mayor’s party.

Their national leader Mona Sahlin – the woman who is likely to become the next prime minister after an election later this year – last week travelled to Malmo to meet Jewish leaders, which they took to be a sign that at last politicians are waking to their plight. After the meeting, the mayor, Mr Reepalu, also promised to meet them.

A former architect, he has been credited with revitalising Malmo from a half-derelict shipbuilding centre into a vibrant, prosperous city with successful IT and biotech sectors.

His city was – until recently at least – a shining multicultural success story, and has taken in proportionally more refugees than anywhere else in Sweden, a record of which it is proud.

Sweden has had a long record of offering a safe haven to Jews, the first of whom arrived from the east in the mid-nineteenth century. Today the Jewish population is about 18,000 nationally, with around 3000 in southern Sweden.

The mayor insisted to The Sunday Telegraph that he was opposed to anti-Semitism, but added: “I believe these are anti-Israel attacks, connected to the war in Gaza.

“We want Malmo to be cosmopolitan and safe for everybody and we have taken action. I have started a dialogue forum. There haven’t been any attacks on Jewish people, and if Jews from the city want to move to Israel that is not a matter for Malmo.”

Sweden has had a long record of offering a safe haven to Jews, the first of whom arrived from the east in the mid-nineteenth century. Today the Jewish population is about 18,000 nationally, with around 3000 in southern Sweden.

“Jews came to Sweden to get away from persecution, and now they find it is no longer a safe haven,” said Rabbi Shneur Kesselman, 31. “That is a horrible feeling.”

One who has had enough is Marcus Eilenberg, a 32-year-old Malmo-born lawyer, who is moving to Israel in April with his young family.

“Malmo has really changed in the past year,” he said. “I am optimistic by nature, but I have no faith in a future here for my children. There is definitely a threat.

“It started during the Gaza war when Jewish demonstrators were attacked. It was a horrible feeling, being attacked in your own city. Just as bad was the realisation that we were not being protected by our own leaders.”

Mr Eilenberg said he and his wife considered moving to Stockholm where Jews feel safer than in Malmo. “But we decided not to because in five years time I think it will be just as bad there,” he said.

“This is happening all over Europe. I have cousins who are leaving their homes in Amsterdam and France for the same reason as me.”

Malmo’s Jews are not the only ones to suffer hate crimes.

At the city’s Islamic Centre, the director Bejzat Becirov pointed out a bullet hole in the window behind the main reception desk.

Mr Becirov, who arrived in 1962 from the former Yugoslavia, said that windows were regularly smashed, pig’s heads had been left outside the mosque, and outbuildings burnt down – probably the acts of Neo-Nazis who have also baited Jews in the past.

He said that the harassment of Jews by some young Muslims was “embarrassing” to his community. Many of them are unemployed and confined to life on bleak estates where the Scandinavian dream of prosperity and equality seemed far away.

For many of Malmo’s white Swedish population, meanwhile, the racial problems are bewildering after years of liberal immigration policies.

“I first encountered race hatred when I was an au pair in England and I was shocked,” said Mrs Popinski’s friend Ulla-Lena Cavling, 72, a retired teacher.

“I thought ‘this couldn’t happen in Sweden’. Now I know otherwise.”

Current America, Israel Affair

Just wanted to write a quick blurb on the current “flap” between America and Israel.

The article “Democrats criticize Obama, highlight seriousness of U.S.-Israel flap” was amazing to me.  At first, I was pretty surprised but as I thought about it more, I wonder if it doesn’t have to do with calming a very important voting block (The Jewish Population) which may be voting Democrat?  It seems very weird (for lack of a better word) that Obama is being criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for sticking it to Prime Minister Bibi after his government completely embarrassed Joe Biden and the hopes of resurrecting the peace process.   This just doesn’t make any sense.

Sarah Palin has also been making headlines with this issue by criticizing Obama and saying America shouldn’t “disagree with Israeli policies.” Aside from the fact that she reflexively disagrees with everything Obama does, I saw a parallel between her statement about nukes: “It’s kinda like getting out there on a playground, a bunch of kids, getting ready to fight, and one of the kids saying, ‘Go ahead, punch me in the face and I’m not going to retaliate. Go ahead and do what you want to with me.'” It would seem it is ok if the current Israeli government does exactly that to the  US Administration in her opinion.

I understand the Republican criticism because that is just what they do but I’m not sure if the Democrats are criticizing to appease the voters or if we should give credit to the main Jewish Lobby and their immense power! It seems that this lobby really does run America!

On a positive note, I’m really rooting for the new Jewish lobby called J-Street. I think they are a great counterbalance to the conservative “pro-Israel no matter what it is doing group.”  What J-Street is saying is always just spot on in my opinion but they are going to have to get much bigger to have any impact on their rival.

In the USA I think the media and politicians have been too scared frankly to stick up to the main Jewish lobby due to their incredible power.  I love that J-Street speaks to reason and that if the USA disagrees with the conservative Israeli government then that is OK!  I hope this group continues to gain influence and that the Kadima party wins back power in Israel.  The way the Likud party and current coalition is going about things is never going to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

I also take issue with the media in the USA and how their bias in reporting about Israel.  It always seems too one sided.  I have not been to Israel but have enough experience abroad that one should definitely form their views from media in the USA.  I had the opportunity to talk to a few female Israeli soldiers in the Pham Ngu Lao district in Saigon.  From that discussion I probably learned more then from all the news articles I have ever read about Israel in the USA.  I was shocked to hear them saying that what Israel is doing in taking over Palestinian lands is wrong in their opinion!!  I had been trained by the media in the USA to think that taking over land is what the majority of Israelis wanted!  It just goes to show how much one can learn simply by setting foot outside of the USA and actually speaking with citizens of whatever country.

On a side blurb, I would also like to point out the similarity between “lobbying” and “corruption.”  The USA often gets on other nations for “corruption,” but perhaps it would behoove these other nations to simply change the name of the practice to “lobbying?”

UPDATE 5.10.2010:  When writing the above post I had to be extremely careful because in the past when one disagreed with Israel all hell would break loose.  But now, J-street is a younger, hipper lobby that often breaks ranks with their older peers.  I just read the article “Jon Stewart vs. Israel” and love his thinking that “any and all ideology, a belief that racial and ethnic boundaries between people are just plain dumb, and, above all, that true believers in anything are downright funny.”  This is good for Israel, good for peace and ultimately good for the world.

Hamas supporters envoke Hitler in fight against Israel

2009-01-10

”Heil Hitler”, ”we want to kill all Jews”, ”give us some Jews”, ”down, down, Denmark”, “down, down, democracy” were among the slogans chanted at this Palestinian pro-Hamas, anti-Israel demonstration in central Copenhagen. Watch the footage below. Demonstration also attended by a handful of left-wingers.

Imagine if a pro-Israeli demonstration had chanted “kill all Palestinians”… There would have been no end to the media-hysteria.

Issues of the Day

1. Proposition 8 – Gay Marriage
There was an article in the Wall Street journal about a “black list” of businesses that gay people were protesting due to their support of Proposition 8. It seems like these are extremists and such extremism isn’t really supported by the community. The article told the story of a Mormon woman who although she employed quite a few gay people in her restaurant had supported Proposition 8. As her establishment was being protested she thought it a good idea to offer an apology but could not renounce her belief and thus was shouted at. It’s good to hear however, that most of the gay population does not support this type of behavior and she is absolutely within her right to vote according to her beliefs.
I myself voted No on Proposition 8 (Gays have the right to marry = No vote) and it got me thinking about how we define marriage? I am still unclear on the answer.
Marriage is a traditional custom that transcends culture and is a custom found in almost every society. For tribes without a nation the marriage is upheld by the rules of tribal elders. In our society, the state recognizes marriage and affords married couples special privileges (and penalties). Another authority, Religion, also recognizes marriage.
Gay people are afforded special “domestic partnerships” in California which is very close to the rights of married couples. I’m not sure on all the details but to me it seems that it is simply a change in the word used to define a couple who have made their relationship permanent and public. Religion on the other hand comes in all shapes and sizes and spans every nation. Most religious leaders will not condone gay marriage.
However, if a gay person does not belong to a religion that does not condone gay marriage then who really cares what rules religion imposes. The only thing that matters are the rights afforded by the state and gay people have these privileges in more enlightened nationals and states (USA).
Thus, isn’t this whole debate simply about a word which defines the relationship between two people (Marriage)? What if the word was simply changed? Or perhaps it is simply a matter of having the same exact privilege that straight people have and the gay population wants equal rights.
To demonstrate the point, I am in a straight relationship called “Marriage.” However, I could care less if religious elders did not condone of it. The only thing that really matters is that the state affords me the benefits associated with it, should other people have special privileges as well. If the state provided no benefits, I could also care less if the state recognized it since it would give me no advantage. “Marriage” to me is a commitment I made to my wife and I could care less what any third party thinks unless it was disadvantageous in some way. We could call it something else like “the pact,” “the bond,” the promise,” “you and me babe,” etc.
However, this is from the mind of someone who studies language and the impact it has on mentality, thus may seem quite absurd to non language students. Further, it must hurt to not be included when the rest of the population is afforded something (even if it is only a word). In other words, Marriage is a long tradition and the word “Marriage” defines it and if everyone else is entitled to it then to not be included is discriminatory. But in the end, isn’t it just a word if the same benefits can be received (religion excluded)?
2. Israel and Gaza
Israel has started bombing Gaza again. I listened to the Prime Minister of Israel and can understand his frustration. But haven’t the policies of the USA and Israel been extremely unfair to the Palestinians? There are no jobs and the only thing that flourishes is the resentment of Israel. I have spoken with Israeli soldiers and even they have said policies towards the Palestinians have been unfair. It is such a mess there that countless intelligent people have failed at trying to find a lasting solution. In the end, Israel has the right to exist and not be shot at while the Palestinians have the right to prosper, be free and flourish. Seems to be a downward spiral and very hard for American policy to be balanced as it is shamefully pro-Israeli now. It is my opinion that America should not get involved in this mess or if they must then castigate both sides equally.
3. Christmas movies
To end the post on a trite note, I recognized this Christmas that there are still no good Christmas movies coming out. Hollywood continues to spew forth garbage with no end in sight. I’m dying for another good Christmas movie like one of the following:
1. A Christmas Story
2. A Christmas Carol
3. Old animation Rudolph, Frosty etc.
4. It’s a Wonderful Life
5. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
6. Elf
I could do without the following”
1. Anything with Vince Vaughn
2. Bad Santa – The worst movie ever made
3. Tim Allen’s Santa movies – I started watching the third in the series as it was the only one I could stream from netflix but turned it off after 15 minutes.
Reasons:
a.) Since when does Santa get people pregnant
b.) Santa’s wife isn’t happy but instead a whining middle class woman who just has to have her way.
c.) All the elves are just little kids with elf ears stuck on.
d.) They just run around from one catastrophe to the next — Christmas is supposed to be full of happiness!!!!
Message to Netflix,,, please stream any version of “A Christmas Carol” to make your viewers happy. Hollywood monkeys running around screwing everything up is not a good Christmas movie.