Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad

Yahoo Does Jerusalem--BOTH Of Them

Posted: 09 Jun 2010 08:22 AM PDT

While it is true that it has been proposed that Jerusalem be divided between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, that is not even close to being agreed upon.

But that is not stopping Yahoo Weather!

When you go to Yahoo Weather and look for the weather in Jerusalem, among the Jerusalem's that show up are Jerusalem, Yerushalayim (not Jerusalem, Israel) and Jerusalem, West Bank.

If you decide to check out the weather in Jerusalem, Israel Yerushalayim, you get this:

And if you decide to check out the weather in Jerusalem, West Bank instead, you get this:

Oddly enough--the 2 Jerusalem's actually have the identical weather!

UPDATE: Apparently, this is not something new. Check out Mere Rhetoric's post from January: Yahoo Wipes "Ariel, Israel" Off The Map, Replaces It With "Jenin, Palestinian Occupied Territories"

UPDATE2: Dr Andre Oboler who provided key research on Anti-Israel Propaganda and Replacement Geography in Google Earth, has said

this case is far worse. Google initially suggested it was a user-content problem beyond its control, however, it eventually admitted it was wrong and fixed the problem. Yahoo isn't even pretending. This is corporate foreign policy and a deliberate effort at misinformation to advance a political agenda.

by Daled Amos

Not a macaca moment

Posted: 09 Jun 2010 04:11 AM PDT

Victor Davis Hanson is correct about one thing:

By picking Poland and Germany as the ultimate destinations to which she wishes Israelis would go, Thomas was, deliberately or carelessly, saying that they should be uprooted and sent to places where 6 million of them were liquidated. In other words, Thomas was not voicing the usual prejudice, but something much creepier, a sort of flippant pop blueprint for a repeat of 1939-45, echoing the shout from one of the seaborne "peace" protestors, "Go back to Auschwitz!"

But the title of his post is "A Macaca Moment." Helen Thomas's comment was decidedly not a macaca moment. In a fit of frustration George Allen used a term that was interpreted as a racial slur. The Washington Post spent the next weeks discussing his use of the word, making sure no one forgot it come election day. In Helen Thomas's case, the Washington Post, and most of the media was silent - until she was fired. Rather than creating a scandal out of a single unguarded moment, the media was content to overlook this one that clearly reflected deeply held and not very secret beliefs.

Instead the media has been content to see this as a narrowly Jewish problem, as James Taranto notes:

The really appalling thing about Smith's interview with Weigel is this line: "On the other hand, if you were Jewish and given this award, would you go up and accept it?" How about if you were a decent human being? (There are at least a few among the ranks of professional journalists--trust us.) The notion that only Jews would take exception to Thomas's call for ethnic cleansing--or to the SPJ's crediting her with "dogged pursuit of the truth"--is obtuse, to say the least.

Pelosi out, obama up?

Posted: 09 Jun 2010 04:11 AM PDT

Fred Barnes argues that the loss of the House might actually be politically good for President Obama:

For Mr. Obama, serious spending cuts are the only sensible means of dealing with a potential debt crisis or at least an unsustainable fiscal situation. However, he may not be able to rely on reductions in military spending, as liberal Democrats usually prefer. Mr. Obama has already included deep defense cuts in his budget, and Republicans are unlikely to go along with even deeper cuts.

Mrs. Pelosi won't be any help. She's committed to enacting the Democratic Party's entire liberal agenda, and next to the president she is the most powerful person in Washington. When the president flirted with scaling back his health-care bill last January, Ms. Pelosi stiffened his spine, and the bill passed. As long as she is House speaker, bucking her would be painful, especially if Mr. Obama proposes to eliminate a chunk of the spending she was instrumental in passing in 2009 and 2010.

But if Republicans win the House, everything changes. Mrs. Pelosi's influence as minority leader would be minimal--that is, assuming she's not ousted by Democrats upset over losing the majority.

Mr. Obama would be in a position to make his long-awaited pivot to the center. With Republicans in charge, he'd have to be bipartisan. He'd surely have to accede to serious cuts in spending--even as he complains they are harsh and mean-spirited. Mr. Obama could play a double game, appeasing Democrats by criticizing the cuts and getting credit with everyone else by acquiescing to them.

I usually hate it when pundits argue something counterintutive.

A decade ago Mickey Kaus laid out similar considerations when trying to decide between Bush and Gore.

Upper Left--Gore/Democratic Congress: "Risky" for the reasons given above. But may offer a better chance at some necessary expansions of government--e.g. health insurance for the uninsured.

Lower Left--Gore/Republican Congress: This configuration has prevailed for the past six years and has served the country well--Good Gridlock, you might call it. As commentator Walter Shapiro pointed out in a seminal article years ago, a divided government with a Democratic executive tends to produce fiscal responsibility because the Democratic president keeps defense spending in check while the Republican Congress keeps social spending in check.

Upper Right--Bush/Democratic Congress: This is Not-So-Good Gridlock because (as Shapiro noted) it tends to promote rather than restrain spending. The Republican executive builds up defense while Congressional Dems protect and expand social programs. When we had this array during the Reagan years, it produced "deficits as far as the eye can see." On the positive side, presumably Bush would be able to block the worst excesses of the paleoliberal House Dems.

Lower Right--Bush/Republican Congress: Mindless cuts in capital gains taxes, threats to sensible environmental and business regulations, educational choice plans that may reinforce class segregation. But a better chance to preserve welfare reform.

There's a saying that the power to tax is the power to destroy. But the power to spend is the power to get re-elected. A Republican legislature to countering President Obama, will probably be disciplined and honest enough to restrain the President's spending. (Since they'd want a Republican president to get re-elected, they won't be as good about restraining a Republican president's spending as we saw with Bush 43.)

Mr. abbas goes to washington

Posted: 09 Jun 2010 04:11 AM PDT

If you recall, when chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was in Israel to celebrate his son's Bar Mitzvah, he invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to Washington to meet the President. Then the IDF encountered a group of militants on the Mavi Marmara and killed 9 in self defense. Netanyahu then cancelled his U.S. trip. Now President Abbas's trip is coming today:

Abbas was supposed to follow Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the White House. But the Israeli leader canceled his visit last week to return to Israel after the raid, which killed nine civilians.

Now this is clearly misleading. "[N]ine civilians?"

David Bernstein went through the competing claims of what happened and concluded:

The first several to land were beaten to pulp and taken hostage, and, at least according to Israeli reports, the oncoming commandos were fired on, and also beaten. At this point, the commandos who were not captive began to use lethal force to defend themselves, rescue their comrades, and gain control of the ship.

So these weren't exactly innocents. Whether or not the commandos should have been sent in is a separate matter. However to call those killed civilians is misleading.

So Abbas will go first. He and Obama will discuss how Palestinians should proceed with peace talks. But they will also talk about ways to improve the situation in the Gaza Strip, which has been under Israeli blockade in one form or another for five years.

This could be interesting because Aussie Dave noticed that Fatah doesn't believe that there's a humanitarian crisis in Gaza:

Azzam al-Ahmed, a top Fatah official in the West Bank, was quoted over the weekend as saying that he was opposed to the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip until Hamas agreed to end the dispute with his faction.

Ahmed stressed that there was no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip because the PA government was sending aid through Israeli border crossings.

Responding to a quote from Der Spiegel:

"Sure, there's enough to eat in Gaza, but poverty is more than that. Poverty is when the 15,000 people who graduate from the university each year have to beg for jobs as waiters, when an extended family lives in a single room and when the hospital lacks critical drugs. That's poverty."

Lee Smith, author of The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations, observed:

There is not an Arab state where this is not true of college graduates - especially now after the financial crisis has affected the Gulf states and made it harder for Lebanese, Egyptians, Syrians, Moroccans etc to find work in the Gulf.

and more generally, Smith continues:

However, this ignorance of what the Arab world looks like is a consistent problem you see in the Western press where reporters on Israeli-Palestinian issues generally have very little experience of the region outside of Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. So instead of comparing Gaza to a Cairo slum like Imbaba, or Ramallah to an Arab capital like Damascus, they are compared to Tel Aviv, West Jerusalem and Western cities.
I would add that Israel also has plenty of homegrown critics who provide reporters with plenty of fodder to bolster these misimpressions.

So perhaps what needs to be discussed then, is not why a chef can't get the ingredients for beef stroganoff or the overcrowding - i.e. the humanitarian crisis - but why Hamas persists in its rejection of Israel.

Please note: this post has been edited for clarity.

Crossposted on Yourish.

Exclusive! Penitent song-spoof draft

Posted: 08 Jun 2010 11:36 PM PDT

As you may have heard, and as a Guardian headline puts it, the Israeli government was "forced to apologise" for disseminating the "We Con the World" song-spoof about the Gaza Flotilla. We have now learned that it was originally felt that a new apologetic song was in order, that being the only thing that could adequately atone for the original offense. They then decided that this whole song-parody approach wasn't working out and was best abandoned. We have obtained a draft of the now never-to-be-completed apology song:

We're so sorry Peace Flotilla
We're so sorry if we acted somewhat brave
We're so sorry Peace Flotilla
But there are no beitzim here
And we believe we're gonna cave
We're so sorry but we haven't had a spine all day
We're so Sorry Peace Flotilla
But if anything should happen we'll apologize away

We're so sorry Peace Flotilla
But we haven't done a bloody thing all day
We're so sorry Peace Flotilla
But to tell the truth takes guts and we're so easily called away

Iran applauds the martyrs (martyrs)
Qassams across the sky
Iran applauds the martyrs (martyrs)
Qassams across the sky
Uncle Recep notified me
He had to break the siege so he had to get to sea
I had another look and I had a cup of tea and some humble pie
(I used to have a spine, but I hung it out to dry)

Iran applauds the martyrs (martyrs)
Qassams across the sky
Iran applauds the martyrs (martyrs)
Qassams across the sky

Sail a little, be a gypsy, get around (get around)
Do be careful not to drown
Sail a little, get around
Sail a little, be a gypsy, get around (get around)
Do be careful not to drown
Sail a little, get around

Meanwhile, in other flotilla news, the Turkish Foreign Minister has declared that the Flotilla skirmish is "Turkey's 9/11." Other measured and cogent Zionism-related statements by Muslim national spokespersons include the recent revelation by a Syrian diplomat that Jewish children riding busses sing the following ditty:

With my teeth I will rip your flesh, with my mouth I will suck your blood.
An apology from the Israeli government for the children's crime is expected shortly, and other upcoming apologetic events include a new flotilla by a Jewish group. We also deeply regret the above post.

Crossposted on Judeopundit

Harav Mordechai Eliyahu zt"l

Posted: 08 Jun 2010 10:10 PM PDT

My parents just returned from Eretz Yisrael the other day after celebrating the marriage of their third grandson. Last night they told me that the former, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu had passed away.

Modern Uberdox shares a story:

After lunch Rav Eliyahu had someone go into his living room and bring out a beautiful book with amazing photos of different shuls in E"Y. The Rishon L'Tzion then had me sit next to him and he spent about 20 minutes going through the book with me and telling me the locations of each shul. I felt so honored that he would invite me into his sukkah, let alone spend his precious time with me. Despite the language barrier between us, the sensitivity and creative way he used to engage me as stayed with me over the years. My oldest child knows this story, not because his abba once had a meal with the "Chief Sephardic Rabbi", but because it illustrates true Gadlus in how to interact with a person and make them feel special. That, to me, is one of the traits of a true Adom Gadol.

CosmicX describes the funeral:

Last night myriads of mourners packed Reines Street in Kiryat Moshe/Givat Shaul. Some of them were fortunate to be right in front of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu's synagogue. They were able to see those delivering the eulogies. I was not among them. I showed up early for the funeral, but not early enough. Reines Street was already packed with a diverse group of people that came to pay their last respects to one of the greatest rabbis of our generation.

Like I said, it was a diverse group: National religious, "Lithuanians", Hasidim, Sephardim, traditional and even secular Jews were there. The Rabbi was a not only a great Torah scholar of great piety and a wise man, he was also a unifying force in the nation, respected by all.

There's a short biography here.

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu (Shlita) was born in the old city of Jerusalem in Adar 1929.His father, the great Chacham Salman Eliyahu zt'l, and one of the main cabalists in Jerusalem, influenced his son to love the Torah and the Esoteric studies at an early age.

Although his father passed on when Rabbi Mordechai was only 11 years old, he continued to study from other chachamim. Among them were Rabbi Ezra Attiah z'l, the head of the yeshiva Porat Yosef in Jerusalem; Rabbi Tzedaka Hutzein z'l, one of the head Rabbis of Jerusalem; and the famous luminary Rabbi Yishyahu z'l the author of the Chazon Ish. Each of these teachers inspired within him his strong faith, trust and special love of the Torah. Rabbi Mordechai graduated with honors from the Institute of Rabbis and Religious Judges, under the direction of Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim. His devotion to his studies led him to be the youngest person elected to the post of Religious Judge (Dayan) in Israel.

He continued to excel as a Dayan in the religious court of Beer Sheva for four years before transferring to the religious court in Jerusalem. Here, he was elected to the Supreme Religious Court. The general public grew to know him as a reliable source to solve problems and answer difficult questions. With Hashem's help, his warm manners, grace, and vast knowledge of Torah, he was elected to the post of Chief Rabbi of Israel (Rishon Le Zion).

He returned to his birth city of old Jerusalem to be inaugurated as Chief Rabbi in the famous Beit Hakenest of Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakai. Here, many years before Rabbi Ben Zion Meir Chai Uziel z'l was also inaugurated.

More from Yeranen Yaakov and Mystical Paths

It's always impressive to read about Gedolim (great Rabbis). But this time it's different. Six months ago one of my nephews married his great niece. My brother noted at the time that Rabbi Eliyahu was too sick to attend the marriage of his granddaughter a week earlier, so he wouldn't be at my nephew's wedding either. It's different this time because it feels like he's family.

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