Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pre Shabbat Read, III

* The Spanish Inquisition and Me.

* Anti-Semitism has doubled in England since last year.

* Aluf Benn writing in the NY Times about Obama's Silence.

* CNN reports on the passing of Britain's last World War I veteran.

* The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades threaten Bruno.

* Death March, Tisha B'Av 1944.

* Jerusalem Post's write up on Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.

* Snake 'befriends' snack hamster.

* Will Pete Rose be allowed to take his rightful place in the Hall of Fame?

I'm off for the next month or so (green suiting) - until then, here's the latest pic of my lil boy ...


Friday, July 24, 2009

What's the 'Right' Choice?

This is from an e-mail I wrote a friend ...

I was reading through some of the Breaking the Silence testimonies and one thing struck me about the issues re: Rules of Engagement.

Before I get into that, I'll tell you that twice (so far) during my army service I was in a position to kill - both times my gut said no. Thankfully, I was right each time. And people who were just doing things that were highly suspicious were innocent civilians after all. But after the first event in particular, I really struggled with it. I was right, yes but what if I had been wrong? I would be dead ... That left me with a few difficult soul searching episodes but alas, long gone now thankfully.

That is a brief introduction to my issue - There are two issues here. IF innocent civilians that were in NO means suspicious, or were waving white flags (or whatever), were gunned down - the soldiers who did it should be in jail for a long time. There is no excuse there - unless there is something out of the ordinary that really is worrying the soldier (intelligence warning of a 'suicide bomber' on the way, a person was wearing heavy jacket - whatever). Now if there IS something out of the ordinary, I ask you to be brutally honest with me. If this was YOUR son and that was him in that situation, in a a war or in the middle of the operations, would YOU rather he has the attitude "Rather sit in jail than my parents sitting shiva (week long period of mourning, for more click on word) over me" or the opposite.

Would be very interested to see how you the reader responds ...

Pre Shabbat Read, II

* Interesting interview between Michael Oren & Jeffrey Goldberg (Courtesy of Zak S.)

* The UN did what?

* Post your note at the Kotel (Western Wall) through Twitter.

* Beitar saved.

* Mark Buehrle pitched the 18th perfect game in MLB history yesterday.

* Is Lonesome George a father? See the video here.

* Last but not least, can Gefile Fish be saved from extinction?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What about their Children?

In a discussion on Alex Stein's False Dichotomies, a poster (Gert) and I were discussing refugees. Gert assessed there were 4.3 million Palestinian refugees. I responded by showing the major 'issue' with that number. As per Wikipedia, a refugee is defined as:

The concept of a refugee was expanded by the Convention’s 1967 Protocol and by regional conventions in Africa and Latin America to include persons who had fled war or other violence in their home country.

In essence, this alone completely disproves Gert's assessment. Was he lying? Nope, he was using another valid law:

The major exception is the 4,300,000 Palestinian refugees under the authority of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), who are the only group to be granted refugee status to the descendants of refugees according to the above definition.

The reasons for the above are up to debate, but the reason I introduced this blog with the above introduction was that this discussion about 'the children' and 'the children's children' bought along this question from the aforementioned Gert:

Do you not think the descendants of Holocaust survivors are entitled to compensation for the loss of property of their parents/grandparents?

Tough question only because I'd never really given it much thought. Should I be given any compensation for what my grandparents and their families endured, or lost, during the 1933-1945 period? My answer is no. The scars I carry due to what my family went through, or my nation for that matter, are insignificant compared to the scars they carry (or carried) throughout their lives. I didn't have to live in that world, nor deal with what the aftermath of the Holocaust. We, the survivors' families, will always carry that sorrow, in one way or another, but what happened in Germany, or Poland, or Rhodes happened to our families, not us. The real trauma was theirs, not ours.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pre Shabbat Read, I

- A religious footy player who misses games on Shabbat? Yup, and it wasn't even in Israel! Meet the now retired South African defender Warren Lewis, who played for South African club Moroka Swallows.

- First successful test of the Arrow missile system.

- Some interesting theories came out this week about those evil Jews. One involved an extremist Hungarian website, which is convinced Israel is about to colonize Hungary with the transportation of three million Jews with US-Israeli citizenship to the country within the next two years. The other involves Hamas, who are now accusing Israel of shipping them chewing gum laced with aphrodisiac, to corrupt the young Gazans. What will they think of next ...

- Breaking the Silence's funding comes from ...

- After some of the worst rioting in Jerusalem in years, there is a tense quiet in the city.

- The 18th Maccabiah games started this past week in Israel. An interesting story about how the games affected NBA legend Dolph Schayes's Jewish identity.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Early Beginning of a Star

Below is Ofra Haza's phenomenal rendition of "שחרחורת", the Hebrew version of the Ladino song Morenica (For a version of this song, click here)

For more on one of Israel's greatest singers who sadly passed away in 2000, click here or here.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Introducing ...

I would like to introduce my blog readers (yes, all 3 of you) to a really cool new blog, NiPhoto:

The blog was started by Shay, a friend I've known (& sometimes even admired) since we met in Istanbul in 1989. He's an avid photographer and in his blog, he'll share photos, thoughts and well ... uuuuuh ... more photos?

Black Hat Zionists

Upon witnessing a Haredi man yelling at an Israel Police officer, Rabbi Shach quipped that the man must have become a Zionist. The man was surprised, “What are you talking about?” Rabbi Shach responded, “Would you have dared to yell at a police officer back in Poland?”

From here, courtesy of Dave Curwin

Monday, July 06, 2009

A Great Finnish

Sami Hyypia, one of the best defenders in Liverpool history, is moving on after a glorious 10 year career with Liverpool.

So long Sami ... YNWA.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009