Monthly Archives: May 2010

True Purpose of “Peace” Flotilla Revealed


By now you may have heard about the “peace” flotilla that was stopped by the Israeli military, resulting in at least ten activists being killed. If not, here is a bit of background. Various peace activists useful idiots and fellow travelers have been sending shipments of aid to Gaza over the past few years. The main purpose of these activities are to place a spotlight in Israel as an evil, apartheid regime mantaining an illegal blockade against the poor suffering souls of Gaza. However, Israel has not prevented the aid from reaching Gaza. The aid is allowed entry, after Israeli officials search the ships and containers for any possible contraband. “No matter”, say the activists, “the main issue is the blockade. We should be able to deliver what we want directly to the people of Gaza Hamas terrorists without any interference from Israel.” So this time, they openly declared their desire to break through the blockade.

Who organized this action? What organization is behind it? The Turkish organization Insani Yardim Vakfi (The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief or IHH), which not surprisingly, has ties to terrorist groups:

According to a report by the Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center, senior Islamic extremists attended the launching ceremony in Istanbul of a boat participating in the flotilla. Among the participants were Mahmad Tzoalha and Sahar Albirawi, both top Hamas terrorists who today operate in Great Britain, and Hamam Said, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.

Bolant Yilderim, the chairman of the IHH, a Turkish based pro-Palestinian organization that is spearheading the Gaza flotilla, delivered a radical speech at the ceremony to the abpplause of Turkish politicians and radical Islamic activists. “Israel behaves like Hitler did towards the Jews. Hitler built concentration camps in Germany, and today the Zionist entity is building concentration camps in Palestine,” said Chairman Yilderim.

The rally was also attended by Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, who praised the attitude of the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and asked leaders of the entire Arab world to follow his example.

Details surrounding the event are still coming in but media reports note the flotilla openly attempted to break through the blockade whereupon the were engaged by the Israeli military. Warning shots were fired to no avail and the decision was made to storm the ships. Israeli commandos descended from helicopters in an attempt to stop the ships and met resistance from the crew.  The Israelis first used non-lethal weapons but when one was stabbed they responded with lethal force.

For those who are still convinced the activists were a peaceful lot, dedicated to passive resistance, “defense officials say soldiers attacked with rocks and knives upon boarding ships” and a protester attempted to steal a soldiers weapon. Some of the protesters were armed with pistols and fired at the commandos. Yeah, sounds like a real peaceful bunch of folks to me.

If you don’t believe me, check out these videos:

In any event, Israel will be demonized, as usual. The military takes the utmost care but it doesn’t matter. Some suggest more could have been done and I agree. After the initial warning shots were fired, Israel should have sunk every last one of those ships.


Elder of Ziyon


Jawa Report





MORE ADDED (June 1, 2010)

Max Boot (WSJ)

Matthew Continetti (Weekly Standard)

Leslie Gelb (The Daily Beast)

Evelyn Gordon and Max again at Contentions. John Podhoretz responds. So does Jennifer Rubin.

Sultan Knish

Lastly, Peter Beinart writes “Don’t blame the commandos for the flotilla disaster. Blame Israel’s leaders, who enforce the cruel and corrupt Gaza embargo, and their supporters in America.” I find it hard to believe this is the same Peter Beinart who called for a return to the muscular, vital-center/cold-war liberal tradition in The Good Fight. More on this in a future post.

In the meantime, Sultan Knish has this to say:

Beinart himself suggests that only when the Palestinian terrorists are happy, and Israel is transformed into an oasis of social justice, (and presumably all conservative parties are banned and the Russian immigrants who voted in Lieberman are deported back to Russia) will his compatriots possibly get on board with supporting Israel again. Which really means that their support for Israel is conditional on the Palestinian terrorists accepting Israel. That is not the way that people who actually ever have any intention of supporting Israel talk or think. It is the way that people who trying to strengthen the terrorists’ hand argue. And of course that is the real aim of the left.

Blog Theme Meme


Noticed this meme floating around some of my fave blogs. Here are a few choices:

Savage Republic: The Ivory Coast (1982). Post-punk, pre-industrial, tribal, noisey, rock.  UPDATE: The song I originally posted (on accident) was “Machinery“. It’s a great tune, with some great lyrics–“A play on words, is a play on you. When machines control, you’re the tool!”–but I’m not sure it works as good as this jam for a theme.

RKL: Blocked Out (1987). The masters.

Cinematic Orchestra: The Man With the Movie Camera (2003). I posted this once already but I really dig it.


Yet Another Sunday Roundup


[H/t to Poumista for the image]

It’s been a busy Monday – Saturday. My son celebrated his first birthday, guests were in town, and I had to grade some finals as well. This has left much less time for blogging but why not take a look at what these other fine blogs have to offer:

Airforce Amazons’ “Purple Fingers” explores the use of the symbol of the purple finger by Take Back Parliament activists and asks, “Will the purple campaigners also be marching in support of democracy in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran?”

Claire Berlinsky(City Journal) discusses what she describes as “A Hidden History of Evil” located in unread Soviet Archives. She writes:

In the world’s collective consciousness, the word “Nazi” is synonymous with evil. It is widely understood that the Nazis’ ideology—nationalism, anti-Semitism, the autarkic ethnic state, the Führer principle—led directly to the furnaces of Auschwitz. It is not nearly as well understood that Communism led just as inexorably, everywhere on the globe where it was applied, to starvation, torture, and slave-labor camps. Nor is it widely acknowledged that Communism was responsible for the deaths of some 150 million human beings during the twentieth century. The world remains inexplicably indifferent and uncurious about the deadliest ideology in history.

Ron Radosh finds “nothing exceptional about this argument,” and notes:

Indeed, these points are the entire basis of the famous The Black Book of Communism published in 1997 in France and two years later in the United States, and the major book by the late Francois Furet, The Passing of an Illusion:The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century, a best seller in France that was translated into thirteen languages and published in our country in 2000.  And in her Pulitzer Prize winning book, Gulag:A History, Anne Applebaum addresses herself to the very issue of why the Soviet camps did not make the same impact on the West as those which killed the Jews in the Nazi Holocaust. The message of these three books and others like it may not be “widely acknowledged” by some on the Left, but enough has been written to leave few others with any excuses by now not to know the truth.

Communism saw no Nuremberg trials, and the world Left continued to argue that there was an essential difference between Communism and Nazism: the former supposedly emerged from Enlightenment philosophy and a well-meaning search for a more humanitarian and equal social order for the people of the world; the latter emerged from volkish ideology, espousal of war as a philosophy, and the espousal of evil and extermination of the Jewish people as a necessary basis for a new Aryan order. One could argue that in fact, Communism and its leaders killed more people numerically than Hitler’s fascist order. But no matter, the Left believes that anti-fascism was essential for progress, while anti-Communism was morally and politically wrong.

Berlinksy replies here.

Bob from Brockley has lots of posts on the recent UK election.

But, I am a Liberal! provides a roundup of his own.

Contentious Centrist on leftist antisemitism. Ben Gidley (Dissent) provides another take on the same topic.

Flesh is Grass reports the Iranian Kurdish dissident and teacher Farzad Kamangar has been exectuted.

Martin in the Margins on Israel refusing to allow Noam Chomsky to enter the West Bank.

Poumista links to posts covering everything from Anarchism versus Marxism to Gentrification in Baltimore and Barcelona.

More Radosh: Some right-wing talk radio hosts claim Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s baccalaureate thesis provides evidence she is a communist. Fellow conservative Radosh disagrees. Instead he finds her arguments place her in the anti-communist democratic socialist camp.

Michael Totten has another piece on Hezbollah at Contentions.

Michael Weiss reviews Paul Berman‘s new book, The Flight of the Intellectuals.

יום ירושלים‎ Yom Yerushalayim


[Tower of David, Yerushalyim]

Today is Jerusalem Day, commemorating the reunification of the city in 1967 when Israeli forces liberated the Old City from Arab control.The IDF notes:

The eagerly awaited command to take the Old City was given at sunrise on the third day of the war, 7 June 1967. The Command assigned this task to the paratroopers, who started with an attack on the Augusta-Victoria hills and the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Old City. After firing in the direction of the breakthrough path, the Lions Gate, the force from the east advanced forward very quickly and broke through into the Old City. The paratroopers ran towards the Dome of the Rock, located next to the last remains of the Temple, the Western Wall, where, in the presence of the sector commander and the deputy head of the armed services, General Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the chief chaplain of the IDF blew a long blow on the rams horn, announcing the release of the Western Wall and the Old City of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, the divided and split capital of Israel, was reunited [emphasis mine].

When anyone suggests that the city should be “shared” between Jews and Arabs, I remind them that Jews and Arabs are living there today. It is a multiethnic, multicultural and multireligious place. But what they really mean is Israel should cede control.

What would that entail? If the recent past provides any glimpse of what would happen in the future, Jews would be forbidden access to holy sites and other places of religious significance. Jews were barred from visiting the Kotel and holy sites were desecrated. When the Mount of Olives was under Jordanian rule:

Jewish access and the continued burial of Jews on the mount was prohibited, despite Jordan’s explicit commitment in the Israeli-Jordanian Armistice Agreement of 1949. During the period of Jordanian rule, the cemetery was destroyed and desecrated, and 38,000 of its tombstones and graves were smashed to smithereens.

The Jordanian army also destroyed “the Hurva synagogue—the most prominent synagogue in Jerusalem for over 300 years.”

These experiences should make it clear that the Jewish people will not use Yerushalyim as a bargaining chip in political negotiations. Remember this:

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning.
May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy. (Psalms 137:5-6)

More on Arizona’s Immigration Law


No time to write but have a look at these posts:

The Hill reports:

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), during a press conference with lawmakers from different minority caucuses in the House and Senate, condemned a tough, new Arizona law meant to crack down on illegal immigrants.

“It’s akin to apartheid,” Clarke said. “And that tramples on the civil rights and civil liberties of everyone.”

Jennifer Rubin at Contentions is critical of the bill, but not as hyperbolic as Representative Clarke.

Heather MacDonald at the City Journal finds “much to praise” in the bill.

While the Atlantic’s Chris Cook notes the law will “come with a price”:

A note about the business community and immigration law, in general: they typically don’t like immigration restrictions, the same way other conservative constituency groups do. Businesses like being able to hire labor, and they like cheap labor; any demagoguery against letting immigrants into this country seems unproductive, to them, when they need people to work. A front-line of the immigration debate has been employee verification–an electronic records system, e-Verify, was implemented under President Bush–and, generally, businesses don’t like to be held to higher-than-reasonable standards. If it’s difficult to verify that an employee is here legally, either because records are hard to come by or because identity theft is rampant, they don’t want to be penalized for failing to do so.

Roger Clegg and Andrew McCarthy and Roger again at NRO.

Sultan Knish provides his take here and here.

Guest Post: May Day in the USA


[This is the first guest post by my wife. ]

This year, many May Day celebrations in this country are being marked with outrage and protest at Arizona’s new immigration law. Fair enough—the Arizona law is a divisive and potentially dangerous response to a frustrating and complicated situation. But the immigration issue that is being debated is intertwined with work. Most immigrants—documented or not—are here to make a living, to support their families and improve their lives. The work that many undocumented workers do is often without the safety and legal protections that other Americans have. But for far too many Americans, the workplace is lethal.

The Occupational and Safety Heath Administration (OSHA) posts a weekly log of workplace fatalities around the country. The latest log is for the week ending March 27, 2010. Sixteen fatalities are posted. The following is a sample of the deaths:

  • A worker for the Bottom Dollar Tree Service was trimming branches and cut himself with a chainsaw
  • Workers in Texas, New Jersey and Massachusetts died of electrocution
  • One worker was trampled by a bull in an auction yard
  • A 7-11 employee in North Las Vegas, Nevada was shot and killed during a robbery
  • Four workers in four separate incidents died from falls, one during the subsequent back surgery
  • At the Hidden Mill Marina Center in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, a worker fixing a client’s boat died in an explosion.

OSHA’s website notes that 5,214 workers died on the job in this country in 2008. On the job.  This does not include the health deterioration or death that may develop over longer periods such as illnesses from asbestos exposure, the cardiac conditions that result from stressful workplace situations, or the grinding down of joints from a lifetime of manual labor.

Going back to its non-pagan, more modern roots as an international day to honor workers’ struggles, this May Day should be a time to reflect, honor and consider how dangerous working is for many. The recent explosion at the Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine that killed twenty-nine miners in early April and the BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf two weeks ago that killed eleven are tragic and sobering reminders that many workers earn their living at substantial risk to their lives, not in rural China or in a Nigerian oil field but right here in the U.S.

But while these shocking events occupy the news, and journalists and reality television are intrigued by obviously dangerous jobs like those in energy extraction or truckers who drive ice roads, the reality is many more workers risk their health and lives in much less glamorous occupations. The recent workplace tragedies and the ones that occur every week in this country should be reminders that workplace safety and the rights of working people are not antiquated notions of the Industrial Age but struggles for today.