If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands---Milton Berle
Jay Leno: When you ask an Israeli politician what his cell number is, it has a whole other meaning.
We leave the government but stay in power… We give up the chair but not the role we play. Ismail Haniyeh describing the relationship with Fatah
Israel is like a mistress. Everyone meets with her secretly, having a good time. However, no one is willing to be seen in public with her. Meir Dagan talking about the secret talks with Arab countries
Jay Leno: President Obama has declared the month of May Jewish American Heritage Month. He is calling it an opportunity to renew our ‘unbreakable bond with the nation of Israel.’ And he knows it’s unbreakable because he’s been trying to break it for the last five years.
Tom Gross, Mideast Dispatches
At a lecture, the Chairman of the Norwegian People's Aid, one of the organizations that have positioned itself at the forefront in the fight for demonization of Israel, Erik Thorsen, who regards himself as a "Palestine expert," explained why Palestinians are not allowed to use red roof tiles on their houses in the West Bank, and only the (Jewish) settlements use such roof tiles. He said this way, "It will be easier for the Israeli bombers to identify Palestinian houses when they bomb them, while they avoid hitting the Jewish houses."
The main reason that most Palestinian houses do not have red roof tiles is that they do not tile their roofs at all. The traditional Arab architecture in the area includes a solarium that can be used for different purposes. It is only in recent years that some Arab settlements have red tiles.
Elders of Ziyon , quoting Targ’s Blog (Norwegan)
In the 1980s, Saudis and other Arabs funded a poorly constructed, quickie dam on the Tigris River about 35 miles northwest of Mosul. Substandard construction means it leaks and needs constant grouting and other expensive measures to avoid cataclysmic collapse. Will ISIS hotheads continue these repair works? Or might they skimp on them, thereby threatening not just Mosul but much of inhabited Iraq with catastrophic flooding?
The possibility of the mammoth Mosul Dam remaining under the control of ISIS raises the question of the maintenance and the resilience of its foundations if not taken care of on a continuous basis. A man-made or natural collapse of the Dam could unleash a trillion-gallon wave of water, possibly killing tens of thousands of people and flooding the largest cities in the country, according to assessments by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. US officials have warned that the dam’s collapse could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths by drowning.
Col. Jacques Neriah (retired), Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
If anyone needs confirmation that Pope Francis is a down-to-earth person, when he visited Israel what did he and the Prime Minister of Israel talk about in the military helicopter between the airport and Jerusalem? The upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil, what else! The Pope also told Natanyahu that during his visit to Jordan, he watched the dramatic 86-98 victory of Maccabi Tel Aviv over Real Madrid in the Final Four of the 2014 Euro-league Basketball Championship.
With the establishment of “Hizbullah Syria,” Iran is preparing for the eventuality that if Assad does not prevail, Iran will still maintain its presence in Syria. Iran views Syria as its principal arena of conflict with the West and with “heretic Sunni Islam”. A senior commander in the Revolutionary Guards said that “the war in Syria is our war against the USA raging on Syrian soil.” Syria also continues to serve as a bridge to Lebanon, where Hizbullah serves as Iran’s first line of defense against Israel. An active presence in Syria is seen as part of Iran’s national defense doctrine that is designed to distance the Iranian homeland from any threat. Lebanon has been earmarked as a dependable base from which to deter Israel from any assault on Iran’s strategic capabilities.
Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall and Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
The religious and political visions between Fatah and Hamas have made the creation of a unified, viable Palestinian entity all but impossible, until now. The creation of the new government that includes Hamas is fraught with pitfalls as the PA adopts the Lebanon model of allowing a terrorist entity to exist and operate outside of a weak government's reach. This is reminiscent of Hezbollah, where an Iranian-funded and trained fighting force can drag an entire nation into a full-scale war without government consultations.
The lumping together of these two rival Palestinian political factions that have been warring for much of the last three decades sounds a lot like the politics of Lebanon. The divisions between Lebanon’s political factions fall along sectarian lines and have been reinforced by years of domestic conflict. The result is a deeply divided and dysfunctional country characterized by political gridlock. Over time, Lebanon has seen the emergence of Hezbollah enclaves that fall beyond the reach of the government.
The hatreds stemming from the Hamas-Fatah rivalry have similarly been reinforced by years of conflict. The political gridlock is by now well established. And Hamas’ enclave in Gaza is by now well entrenched. A unity government is unlikely to extend the PA’s reach. If anything, it will likely codify the current arrangement.
Jonathan Schanzer, Weekly Standard
Slick salesmen coined the phrase “buy now, pay later,” and Europe is now paying. It bought cheap manpower, importing young men from Pakistan, Morocco, Turkey to make up for the loss of their men in two bloody world wars. It was acceptable as a short-term policy, but Europe got addicted to cheap Muslim labor. Europe made this worse with its very low birth rates, then sped up the import of Muslims laborers, without educating them about European values and history. These men kept to the edge of society, becoming bitter: good recruits for crime and terror.
Then the EU tried to buy the affections of the young immigrants and their second-generation families with big welfare programs. But you cannot buy love or loyalty. Many of the Muslims felt un-British, un-French, un-Swedish. They could speak the language, but they had no appreciation of living in a mixed modern society. Instead, many Muslim immigrants reverted to the authoritarianism of their home cultures and their tribal values. Extremist Muslim preachers–dispatched years ago to the West by Saudi money—grabbed the chance to turn the disaffected Muslim workers into a crop of jihadis.
The first target of the jihadis today, like the first target of fascists and Nazis in the 1930′s, is the Jews. Jews are an easy and popular target. But Jews are also a weather vein and a lightning rod. They tell us which way the wind is blowing, and they tell us a storm is coming. Jews are the default choice for hatred whether it is Hitler, Stalin or Bin-Laden.
And the Jews have noticed. Jews are leaving Europe, and Europe will regret it. Nations that welcome Jews get richer in many ways. Countries that evict or kill their Jews—whether the Spain of the Inquisition or the modern Arab states—get poorer.
Michael Widlanski , FrontPage Magazine
While the US media has focused on the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, last week marked the 32nd anniversary of the capture in Syria of the US-born Israeli soldier Zachary Baumel. Reports in recent years have indicated Baumel, seized in Lebanon in 1982, is still alive. Information was released in 2005 indicating he was being held in a prison in Syria.
Baumel was taken along with two Israeli members of his tank crew during the Lebanon War. All three were photographed in Damascus on the day of their capture. Several eyewitnesses, including a Time magazine reporter, said they watched a parade in which the tank and crew were led through a major street in Damascus.
Several weeks after Baumel was captured, Syrian officials said they buried four bodies in a Jewish cemetery. Baumel was thought to have been among the dead. But a year later, the Red Cross exhumed the graves and found the bodies were that of three Arabs and one Israeli missing from the same battle.
In March 2005, Yona Baumel, Zachary’s father, told WND that sources he had cultivated in Syria told him they visited his son that year at a Syrian military installation. Yona was also given a book from a confidante of a family in Syria that contains coded messages he claimed could have been written only by his son.
After extensive Israeli forensics testing of the book, a 1999 novel titled “The Map of Love,” a series of marks were visible under the letters “BAZMUTACUMKCEL” – ZACK BAUMEL MTUC.”
Yona explained that the “MTUC,” came from an old family joke that outsiders would not be in a position to know. “It refers to an old joke when his mother, whose maiden name was Miriam Turetsky, or MT, was a kid. The other children would point at her head and say, ‘It’s empty, you see,’ or MTUC.” Additionally, phrases throughout the book were underlined or circled, including “A child forsaken,” “I have hope” and “help me.”
Syrian officials since have given conflicting reports to the media, including statements claiming Baumel and his two Israeli crewmen still were alive. Also, Israeli diplomatic sources told WND in 2006 Syrian officials have implied through third party messengers Baumel was still alive.
Aaron Klein, WND
The Palestinians' reception for the Pope during his visit included two deliberate acts that severely damaged their cause. The first occurred during the Pope's mass in Bethlehem when the muezzin of the central mosque, in a deliberate act of provocation, used the loudspeaker to call the Muslims to prayer, interfering with the mass and preventing the Pope from being heard. The PA leadership did not prevent the Islamists from indulging their need to show the entire world that the voice of Islam is louder than Christian prayers.
The second act occurred when the PA leaders took the Pope to the separation fence near Bethlehem. The Pope stood there, silent, looking uncomfortably at the fresh graffiti sprayed the previous night about "the liberation of Palestine."
The Palestinians' mistakes continued unabated. When the Pope visited Al-Aqsa Mosque the Mufti of Jerusalem explained to the Pope that Jesus was the first Palestinian and that Jerusalem was being "Judaized" by Israel. The Mufti tried to impress upon the Pope the right of Christians and Muslims to Jerusalem, but denied the rights of the Jews. He made himself look like an idiot and caused only antagonism for the entire Palestinian cause.
The entire meeting then turned into a farce. Denying the Temple’s existence and the existence of the historical rights of the Jews to the land not only borders on idiocy, but on the denial of the Christian narrative of Jesus's entire mission. Moreover, calling Jesus "the first Palestinian shaheed [martyr]" killed by the Jews, is spectacularly ridiculous.
With the complaint that the Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem were being "Judaized" by Israel, the meeting between the Pope and the Mufti went from absurd to surreal because if the Palestinians deny the history and Jews’ rights to Jerusalem, they are saying that Jerusalem has nothing to do with the Christians either.
Most incongruously, the Mufti was both patronizing and arrogant in pretending to care about Christian interests at a time when senior sheikhs are responsible for the murder and persecution of Christians in the name of Islam throughout the PA and the Arab states.
Given the Palestinians' strategic mistakes, the Pope's visit to the grave of Theodor Herzl, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and the memorial for the victims of terrorism, where the wall of the memorial is inscribed with the names of the thousands of Israelis killed in terrorist attacks perpetrated by Palestinian and Islamic terrorist organizations underscored what a non-violent and even peaceable response the fence actually is.
Unfortunately, as usual, the Palestinians chose a policy of propaganda, historical distortion and fraud -- and again lost out. As the Arab proverb has it, "the rope of deceit is short."
Bassam Tawil, Gateway Institute
The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, ISIS for short, is a scratch group of men who have found a cause that bands them together and offers them power. Arab history has scores of examples of it, from the days of the Prophet Mohammed down to the present. When victorious, the power-seeking group sets up a state that serves its cause until the next power-seeking group comes along. This method of state-formation is inefficient, temporary and with in-built violence. The entirely predictable consequence has been that Ottomans, British, French, and Americans have done the state-building for Arabs.
The state ISIS aims to build is pure fantasy. A caliphate is supposed to unite the Arabs on the grounds that Islam is their one and only nationality. There is no caliphate, and if ISIS were successful a number of self-appointed caliphs would suddenly appear and settle the issue in bloodshed. But this group has already destroyed the old state-system that was a vestige of the past. There is no state now of Syria or Iraq and no prospect of any outcome except violence. The U.S. and the U.K. have armed and trained security forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Lebanon, and yet they all run away at the first shot because they are asked to defend a state that is not a state to them.
A catastrophe is arising. The destruction of the former state structures and the fantasy of a caliphate open the space for Sunnis and Shias to test their mutual religious opposition to the very end. ISIS will most likely next plunge Lebanon into chaos. The Sunnis of Saudi Arabia and Turkey will have to take a position against the Shias of Iran. Further down that line is regional war involving Israel.*
* Jordan is also under threat
George W. Bush is vindicated. The sole way Iraq could have continued was under a permanent American presence that guaranteed state functions. President Obama’s withdrawal of US forces is already a historic error. They alone could have kept the peace. Arabs have a phrase to the effect that some mistake has opened the doors of Hell.
President Obama has opened those doors.
David Pryce-Jones, National Review
Map with towns under the control of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Map with towns under the control of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.