Friday, January 19, 2007

Oh no, not again!

Hezbollah vows 'very big action' ahead

(Nasrallah) said the resignation of Israel's military chief proved that his group had won the July-August war with Israel, and forecast that the country's prime minister and defense minister would also have to resign.

"It is natural and logical," he said, for Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz to quit. "I expect him to resign. He will be the next victim.

He predicted that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would also pay the price of Israel's failure to crush Hezbollah and secure the release of its soldiers in the 34-day war.

"In the end, (Olmert) will either resign or be overthrown," Nasrallah said.

The chief of Israeli armed forces, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, resigned Wednesday, saying he had to take responsibility. Internal inquiries by the Israeli military found widespread problems in the forces' performance during the conflict.

His resignation generated Israeli calls for Olmert and Peretz to step down as well. The three leaders were widely blamed for the war's shortcomings.

Nasrallah said that Halutz's resignation showed that Hezbollah achieved a "historic, strategic victory" in the war.

"What is happening now confirms that," Nasrallah said, adding that when he heard of the resignation, "I felt happiness."

He said the deterrent power of the Israeli armed forces had "collapsed."

"There is a crisis of confidence in the Israeli army, unprecedented since its inception," he said.

This is a perfect and sad example of a Middle Eastern leader mistaking Israel’s strength for weakness. The resignations in Israel are part of the process of taking responsibility for mistakes made during this summer’s war. It is clear from Nasrallah’s comments that Hezbollah hasn't learned a thing. If Hezbollah starts another war, Israel's response will be far more punishing than last summer's.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A sit down with Supreme Court Chief Justice Abrahamson

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Global warming (we're all going to die!)

It begins like this: I’m supposed to go ice fishing with Mike Desterhoft, who is mentioned in the linked story below. I will explain.

One of my beats is “Back Yard Tourist” (BYT); the idea being that you don’t have to leave the WC to find something to do (although you probably should if you want to have a good time). Needless to say, it ain’t no easy beat ‘cuz I have to come up with ideas every week, week after week. I thought ice fishing would make for a good BYT, but the weather won’t cooperate. In my quest to find an ice fisherman, however, I stumbled upon Desterhoft and we hit it off. When I had to do the weather story the other day I decided to use Desterhoft as a source, since the guy is agreeable and friendly.

I know, this stuff’s just too fucking interesting, I know-I know... With no further adieu, here is the story: El Niño sparks spring temperatures, activities

Booster seat law

Hold on to your seats; this story is riveting.

Hudna Watch

The most salient point about the following message from Ami Isseroff, IMHO, is that he is one of Israel’s foremost peacenicks. Yet, the bitterness in his message is palpable. That’s what 14 years of fruitless Olso Peace Accords, Road Maps to Peace, Washington Declarations, Wye River Memorandums, Sharm e-Sheikh Memoradums and Taba Summmits with the Palestinians will do to you.

Shu'ada hudna? What is a hudna? Sayed Ahmed Youssef, adviser to Palestinian Hamas PM Haniyeh, explained the meaning of "hudna" to us ignorant foreigners thuswise in the august pages of the New York Times:

A truce is referred to in Arabic as a “hudna.” Typically covering 10 years, a hudna is recognized in Islamic jurisprudence as a legitimate and binding contract. A hudna extends beyond the Western concept of a cease-fire and obliges the parties to use the period to seek a permanent, nonviolent resolution to their differences.

Americans must thank the New York Times for this bit of enlightenment. As we know, the US lacks Arab speakers, and this lack is seriously hindering their war effort in Iraq. The hudna, as marketed by Ahmed Youssef, has become very popular. There is a hudna in Gaza, and Israelis are urged to extend this hudna to the West Bank, and indeed to withdraw from all the territories and have a hudna for 5 years, for 10 years or perhaps for 20 years. The sons of the prophet are generous.

Many words have two meanings. One is a theoretical definition, and the other is the practical, operative one, which consists of how an action is implemented. The New York Times and other media have not troubled to update their audience on the operative, actual meaning of hudna. Media are theoretical. Life is empirical. There is also a difference between formal, literary Arabic of the Qur'an and of honored people like Sayed Ahmed Youssef, and spoken Arabic.

In practice, in spoken Arabic, hudna means a constant rain of Qassam rockets on the Western Negev, daily or almost daily. Sometimes the rockets hit nothing, sometimes they do damage. Sometimes they kill people. The headlines, reported in Israeli newspapers, though not in the USA or Europe, say that "rockets fall." The headlines are deceptive. The rockets do not fall spontaneously, as manna from heaven. They are not a meteorological phenomenon. The rockets are launched by Palestinians for the purpose of killing Israelis. Sometimes they kill Jewish Israelis, sometimes they kill Arab Israelis. Palestinians are not racists of course. The Palestinians were launching Qassam rockets in December, and the Palestinians are still at it.

Yesterday was a typical "truce" day. The truce meant that four Qassam rockets "fell" in Western Galilee. Perhaps many more were launched, but the others may have fallen in Gaza. Additionally, IDF patrols found two bombs. The bombs don't count at all, because they were detonated harmlessly -- this time. Nobody was hurt, so there is no problem. Unexploded bombs are boring, and are not news. What after all, is a mere trifle like an unexploded bomb, compared to the agony, the frustration and the humiliation of a Palestinian who has to wait at a checkpoint while the IDF checks for other bombs? That always makes headlines. It is always featured in PBS, in the BBC, on the French television, and in the Independent. A Qassam a day keeps the peace away. A lot more than one a day have been falling. The Palestinians are making sure. Can't have too much of a good thing, right? That is how the Palestinians keep the truce, and that is the meaning of hudna in practical spoken Arabic.

That is the truce that we are supposed to extend to the West Bank. Then we will have the same truce, and the same meteorological phenomena will be reported, in the heart of Israel. "Truce" will fall in Kfar Saba, in Jerusalem and on Lod airport. The truce will be extended from two bombs per day to ten bombs per day, and perhaps the IDF will not find all of them. The truce will be extended from Qassam rockets to Katyusha rockets. The Iranians are already training cadres of truce loving Palestinians in the upgraded Katyusha hudna, which will last for five years, for 10 years, or for 20 years. We know also that it will not be the fault of the Hamas or the Fatah. They are blameless. Mr Abbas will condemn the terror, will he not? And Mr. Hanniyeh will prove that he was on the phone to Damascus at the time, getting his orders. He has his alibi. But of course there are other organizations. Palestinian terror organizations are always springing up like mushrooms after the rain: Black September, Green November, Front for liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad, Shi'ite Hudna, Popular Front, Popular Front General Command, Very Popular Front, Unpopular Back Office. Kulu wahad, they are all one. Just as Mr. Arafat directed the murder of US diplomats in the seventies, though it was credited to "Black September," and just as Mr. Abbas and Mr. Arafat were equally responsible for the murder of Israeli athletes in Munich, also credited to Black September, so Mr Abbas and Mr Hanniyeh are responsible for the daily manifestations of the "truce" in the form of rockets and bombs.

They do not really deny it in fact. Didn't Mr Abbas, just the other day, in plain, spoken, Arabic, tell the Palestinians to aim their guns at the occupation? Isn't that a violation of the Oslo accords, that Mr. Abbas insists must be honored? So now we know both the meaning of hudna and of agreement in Palestinian Arabic. The guns of course, are supplied by the United States, ostensibly to allow the Fateh to fight the Hamas.

Mr Abbas and Mr Hanniyeh: "The Qassam rockets are killing us all." They kill people in Sderot, and they will kill people in Kfar Saba. Only so long will being pay the rent of seem. The hudna will kill us all, for it is only a matter of time before the IDF, which is anyhow not so competent any more as you are quick to point out, makes a mistake. Then one or two hudna bombers will get into what you call "occupied Palestine," in Tel Aviv and Nathanya, as they were doing a few years ago. Then there will be hudnas in our discotheques and pizza parlors, in our coffee houses and in our hotels, in our supermarkets and in all the other instruments of Zionist oppression. The body parts of evil Zionist occupiers, aged 8 months to 80 years old, occupiers with pig tails and diapers, will be all over the place. And then, as in 2002, the IDF will need to demonstrate what hudna means in Hebrew, and then the hudna will be killing Palestinian Arabs as well as Israeli Jews and Arabs.

The world will assuredly be horrified by the Hebrew meaning of hudna. The HRW will protest that in a real hudna, only Israelis are supposed to die. It is against international law to kill civilians, and all Palestinians are by definition civilians, while all Israelis, of whatever sex, age, ethnic group or religious persuastion, are occupiers. The UN General Assembly will praise the valiant Palestinian resistance, and the UN Human Rights Council will condemn the evil Zionist aggression. Folks in Europe and USA will be be indignant. "After all," they wiill protest quite correctly, "the Palestinians were not doing anything to the Israelis, so why did Israel attack them? It is a disproportionate response, a war crime of the expansionist Zionists." "Qassam rockets, what Qassam rockets?. How could there have been any Qassam rockets, if none have been reported in our media?"

There exists a worthy organization called Machsomwatch, which reports constantly on the human rights violations of Israeli soldiers at checkpoints. I applaud this organization. Every democratic society needs watchdogs. By now, thanks to Machsomwatch everyone knows about "checkpoint brutality" of Israeli soldiers. But Machsomwatch is not enough, because, curiously enough, they fail to report on the number of bombs discovered by IDF soldiers in checkpoints and on patrols, the number of suicide bombers caught, and the number of terror attacks that are foiled in the framework of the hudna.

Therefore, I propose that you and I and all of us together form a new organization, to be called "Hudna watch." For our part, we shall take care to announce all the manifestations of the hudna through our news blog - Israel News . What you can do, if you do not want to monitor Israeli media, is to sign up for our daily Israel News mailings at our Israel News Web site. Then remind local media in your country each time there is another manifestation of the hudna, each time another batch of hudna rockets fall, each time another hudna bomb or hudna bomber is discovered. Write to your local media, write it up in your Web logs and Op-Ed columns. Write to your elected representatives. We don't want there to be any misunderstanding. It is important for foreigners to learn the meaning of Arabic words, to increase understanding between civilizations. There should be no misunderstanding of the term hudna. If you want to know even more about the hudna, contact people in Sderot and the Western Negev. A list is appended below. Ami Isseroff

Original content is Copyright by the author 2007. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism- log/archives/ 00000329. html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@ yahoogroups. com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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