Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Links to Stuff

Haaretz yesterday told the sad story about a Swedish textbook presenting both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which has been rejected (in its Hebrew version) by Israel's ministry of education, but accepted by the Palestinian one (in its Arabic version). Not true, say the Palestinians: we haven't authorized the book. (via Elder of Zion). Just yesterday a salesperson from Haaretz tried, yet again, to cajole me back to subscribing to the paper.To her credit, this time she didn't argue when I said, simply, that there's no way I'll support a paper with such an editorial line.

If you're already visiting Elder of Zion, be sure not to miss the Peter Hitchen's story he has linked to, about how media reports of Palestinian reality in Gaza and on the West Bank are, how to put this, not fully reliable.

Much (by no means all) of what Avigdor Lieberman has to say is reasonable. The problem is that they aren't the sort of things a top diplomat is supposed to say, nor does he seem to have a sense of time and place. As a foreign minister he's a disaster. Evelyn Gordon, however, has the numbers to prove that one of his recent outbursts was quite factual, even if not diplomatic.

Apropos Lieberman's positions, our Hard Left and their American financiers are aghast about how Israel is rapidly departing the democratic world. They might benefit from a glance over to The Netherlands, a country with no enemies, no engagement in war since 1945, and no particular reason to worry about much, which has just elected a new government:
The new government will ban the face-covering Islamic veil, and forbid police and workers in judicial institutions from wearing the headscarf. Immigration via marriage will be curbed. State subsidies for newcomers’ language courses will be turned into loans, and a failure to pass the subsequent tests could become grounds for a refusal to grant residence permits.The agreement is long on heavy-handed police tactics as a response to crime-ridden ethnically mixed neighbourhoods, but has nothing to say about poor infrastructure, school drop-out rates, skills shortages and low social mobility among both immigrants and natives in such areas.
 Maybe Israel's Hard Left and its American financiers are more noise than substance, however (though they certainly are very noisy). According to a poll described in the JTA, America's Jews seem, by and large, to be somewhat to the right of Israel's electorate on the issues of Israel. I admit I was a bit surprised by this, but I"m far away and it's hard to tell. From here it's hard to know how important the Peter Beinart and Matthew Yglesias types are - or perhaps, aren't.

Finally, the Guardian tells with a straight face that conditions in Basra (Iraq) are vastly improved recently. The report would have us accept that everything was fine until 2003, but even using that dubious timelline, things are pretty good. I don't deal much with Iraq, which is mostly beyond the scope of this blog. However, back in early 2003 I wrote (in an e-mail, I wasn't blogging then) that the invasion of Iraq could not seriously be judged for a decade. I'm not certain I was right about that, but since the decade isn't up yet, I don't have to stake a position yet.


Anonymous said...

somewhere I read that the UKs one-time foreign minister Bevin used to take out his dentures in polite society.

there is a story that Churchill paraded in perfect nudity in front of Roosevelt claiming that that proved he had nothing to hide

Golda Meir is said to have kept chain smoking while Jimmy Carter wanted to discuss the Bible with her.

these are the first that come to my mind - could any of these survive these days? Is that a change for the good or the bad?


Barry Meislin said...

Indeed the real problem with Lieberman is that he often speaks the truth.

And the truth sucks.

NormanF said...

Avigdor Lieberman isn't a natural diplomat. I don't agree with Ya'acov he is a disaster.

Ya'acov, if telling the truth is a disaster, I'd like to know when it isn't a disaster.

The Western chancelleries are filled with people gifted in the ways of flattery and lies.

I'm sorry you feel Lieberman isn't up to to their standards.

peterthehungarian said...


You forgot the best: Mr. Khrushchev and his shoebanging in 1960 at the UN GA...

peterthehungarian said...

Please let me add an other link to an interesting Ynet report.
Baroness Ashton of the EU reacting to the proposed obligatory pledge of allegiance in Israel:
We also stress that the future states of Palestine and Israel will need to fully guarantee equality to all their citizens," she added.
Her spokesperson couldn't restrain herself:
"Basically in the case of Israel this means whether they are Jewish or not," said spokeswoman Maja Kocijancik.
These people must be the IQ of an underdeveloped amoeba, they preach civil equality to Israel when in their own hometurf there is an ongoing racially based deportation campaign of the Roma people - all of them European citizens.

Anonymous said...

Does the Israeli Narrative really reflect what is taught in Israeli schools, or did the leftist who wrote it simply come upwith his own version?

Anonymous said...


I remembered that one as No. 4 but then thought 3 were enough to make the point.

that Ashton woman was active in the Anti-Atom-movement and no pictures or other stuff are forthcoming - probability has it that there must be something, she can't have always been such a saint. I mean on the one hand they plaster the media overflowing with glee that Lieberman has earned money as a bouncer on the other hand I read no juvenilia on the stupid baroness.

As to the Roma I'm sitting on the fence - I heard one very reasonable and knowledgeable sounding guy on radio telling that there was one group when told that they couldn't do forbidden stuff vandalized the town. The guy said it was like a miniature civil war i.e. don't you dare tell us what the law is. I understand the Roma they are going after are there on a tourist visa. I guess if I came on a tourist visa to Israel and would sell whatever I'd break the law also.

So it seems they have an issue but it also seems they worded and handled it so clumsily that Israel would have been crucified morning, noon and night for it (association created by choice of word is intentional)


Victor said...

In my experience, young Jews - the progressive kind that are being touted as generationally least sympathetic to Israel - undergo a small revolution around the time they marry and have children.

Their passion for monitoring and decrying every Israeli pimple greatly diminishes, while their tolerance for language that is more broadly permissive of Israeli security measures - which they no longer wish to know in detail - increases. Solving the occupation becomes secondary and tertiary to dealing with diaper rashes.

peterthehungarian said...


The problem of the Roma people is a very old and complex matter (there are similar issues with different minorities in other countries too: e.g. Aborigini people in Australia, Bedouin in Israel etc.)
I can't argue against the steps taken by the Italian and French governments because their reponsibility is to secure the normal life of their citizens, and I know that in certain areas the situation became intolerable as a consequence of doing nothing for years (apart from PC bullshitting naturally).
But dealing with the Roma in this cruel and racially based way makes Atom-Ashton et al the last persons on this planet who could teach Israelis on the subject of minority rights.

Lieberman worked as a bouncer!?
Now this is something that these saintly European leaders who probably never in their protected life had to dirty their hands with any physical work could never accept.

Anonymous said...

the hypocrisy of that walking talking disgrace named Ashton and her buddies is beyond the pale

Judging from my own experience there is no problem with Roma who settle - In 1954 there was a lot of gossip that the people we could see from our window were Roma (Zigeuner) so of course I tried to detect the romance attached to them in books but was disappointed. They were quiet and just like us. Even about those travelling the country side in the 90s selling rugs I never heard real complaints. But at the time there were a series of break ins where Roumanians would break into small town shops by driving trucks into them and clean them out. Maybe they merged.

once a group of them arrived on "my" Greek island and much to my amazement during my evening chat with the matrons I heard nothing but compassion for them i.e. to have to raise children under such circumstances etc. Now it sounds as if rackets have taken over and that as usual will hit the most vulnerable the hardest.

btw I just heard a historian talk about the recently published diaries of Mussolini's lover - he had some very unfriendly things to say about Berlusconi in that context and told that Mussolini confessed that Hitler reminded him of a Teddy Bear (remember the story of the unlucky school marm and her Mohammed Bear - creepy) http://itunes.apple.com/de/podcast/bbc-history-magazine-october/id256580326?i=87832933

My memory says that I first read that Lieberman had "connections" and then there was a serious portrait somewhere and there it said he worked as a bouncer. They tried to make something out of it, but I bet most students would prefer that job to labouring at movers.

But I'm sure you are right that it is that rough edge that probably gets Madam Ashton and her ilk going. It reminds them of where they come from and that we won't have n'est-ce pas.


Anonymous said...

Well well well, will you look at who organized Matthew Yglesias's trip to Israel...from his site:

"So I’d like to thank the New America Foundation for an excellent and informative trip to Israel and especially Matt Duss, Didi Remez, and Tom Kutsch for their work organizing it"

If he has people like Didi Remez organizing his trips to Israel, what does he or anyone else expect? People like Yglesias go to visit Israel with people who think exactly like they do. Heaven forbid they should see Israel without all the radical anti-Israel propaganda.


Anonymous said...

When will we get here?






Anonymous said...

here's a link to who are Yglesias' buddies at his http://thinkprogress.org/about/

"Think Progress" outfit

to be as uncharitable about it as I can I'd say it looks like they are a bunch of youngsters trying to somehow make it by passing themselves off as really really bright and whoever ponies up will get from them what he/she paid for.

Apropos paid for I couldn't find a list of their financiers.


Gavin said...

Reading Yglesias little tantrum reminded me why I like reading Yaacovs blog. I read his essay on Hebron some time back & read it again now. Yaacovs paints a broad tapestry and gives us as much of a picture as he can, he also tries to explore all the different perspectives. While he couldn't avoid revealing his personal distaste for what he saw in Hebron he avoided being overly judgemental and nor did he attempt to usurp any sort of moral high ground from any of the parties involved. Yglesias in comparison came across as a petulant child having a temper tantrum. They both did the exact same trip to Hebron, they're both bloggers, and look at the difference in how they wrote about it.

Cheers, Gavin

Anonymous said...

"The Netherlands, a country with ... no engagement in war since 1945 ..."

The Indonesians' memory of the Dutch attempt to reoccupy the East Indies 1945-1949 would not agree with that.

AKUS said...

Imagine what Holland will be like when it it has a 20% Arab minority. What will Ashton say then?

This idea that Israel must "in the future" provide equal rights to all citizens when it already does so is the strongest possible indication of the ignorance and bias of Ashton and her advisors/assistants.