כּנור דוד

Kinnor David - "a most attractive blog".

Friday, December 23, 2005

O Little Town of Bethlehem...

As Christmas approaches, Gunmen Seize Bethlehem's City Hall:

Palestinian gunmen disrupted Christmas preparations in Bethlehem on Tuesday, briefly taking over the municipality building across from the Church of Nativity, leading clergy to close the ancient shrine for several hours.

It was a scene that has played itself out in other West Bank and Gaza towns. Gunmen, some linked to the ruling Fatah Party of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, want him to carry out his promise to give them government jobs.

Oh dear. What a wonderful State "Palestine" will be!

But this was Bethlehem less than a week before Christmas, with thousands of tourists expected to arrive, encouraged by the downturn in violence since last Christmas, largely because of a February truce.

More because of a security fence than a non-existant truce. But who am I to ask Yahoo News to tell the truth. The west (and, most shamefully, Christian organizations) have ignored the persecution of Bethlehem's Christians by Palestinian Muslims since Oslo, so what harm's a little bit more "civil disorder" going to do?

Whilst we are visiting the Holy Land, you might be interested in reading about Yasser Abbas in WSJ.com.

On the very day that five Israelis were murdered and over 60 injured outside a shopping mall in the coastal city of Netanya earlier this month, the official Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had approved fresh financial assistance to the families of suicide bombers. The family of each “martyr” will now receive a monthly stipend of at least $250 — a not inconsiderable amount for most Palestinians. Altogether, the families of these so-called martyrs and of those wounded in terrorist attempts or held in Israeli jails might receive $100 million, according to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. [but what about the "truce"? - Ed]

Around 30% of the Palestinian Authority budget comes from international donations, including a hefty amount from the European Union. If an Arab government funded stipends to the families of the London or Madrid bombers, it would probably be pretty big news. But this is the Palestinian Authority, and no matter how little it does to discourage terrorism, or to educate its people to coexist with Israel, it can rely on excuses being made on its behalf by an army of sympathizers throughout the West — in the press, on college campuses and, most disturbingly, in foreign ministries.

For over a year now, since Mr. Abbas succeeded Yasser Arafat, his boss of 40 years, many in the West have done their utmost to “explain” or ignore Mr. Abbas’s failings. But if Americans and Europeans are genuinely interested in promoting Palestinian-Israeli peace, it is time for them to take a realistic look at his record. Some Western commentators were quick to emphasize his condemnation of the Netanya attack. But did they really listen to what he actually said? True, Mr. Abbas condemned the Netanya suicide bomb — but only in the Palestinian Authority’s usual inadequate and half-hearted terms. He said that it “caused great damage to our commitment to the peace process” and that it “harmed Palestinian interests.” But he could not bring himself to say that murdering people is simply wrong. [Now there's an idea!]

His outright refusal to confront and disarm terrorists, in violation of the Road Map, hardly registers anymore in the Western media and where it does, it is usually excused and attributed to his relative political weakness. However, the media also give very little idea of the extent to which the Palestinian Authority continues to glorify terrorists.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Second Draft: Muhamed Al-Durah

The Second Draft has an excellent re-examination of the 2000 Muhamed Al-Durah incident, in which Gaza Arabs allege a young boy was shot dead in a hail of Israeli bullets at the Netzarim Junction. The site examines a large amount of raw and video footage of the incident and examines the arguments for and against five possible explanations of the incident:
  1. the IDF shot al-Durah on purpose,
  2. the IDF shot him accidentally,
  3. Palestinian gunmen shot al-Durah accidentally,
  4. they shot him purposely,
  5. the whole event was staged for propaganda purposes.

The site concludes that of the five scenarios above, the most likely is that the incident was staged by Palestinians for propaganda purposes, but invites visitors to decide for themselves.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Jihadis Want "Little Johnny" Dead

So somewhere in his youth, or childhood...
He must have done some-thing good!

It's all over the news at the moment; alleged Jihadis plotted to kill Howard. You know, we might just have a small holy-warrior problem in Australia at the moment.

I've read a couple of dozen letters to the Editor in the print media this week blaming Howard for the Sydney lawlessness of the past few days. Apparrently the PM "demonizes" Muslims. It's got to the stage that one suspects such sufferers from Howard Derangement Syndrome are quite comfortable with this line of reasoning:

"For example, if John Howard kills innocent Muslim families do we ... do we have to kill him and his family ... (and) his people, like at the football?" asked Mr Merhi. Mr Benbrika allegedly replied: "If they kill our kids, we kill little kids."

"We send a message back to them," Mr Merhi allegedly said.

"That's it, an eye for an eye," Mr Benbrika replied.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Obligatory Sydney Riots Post

Naturally enough, a lot has been said over the last few days about the causes of the recent trouble in Sydney and elsewhere in Australia. This is one of the more sensible opinion pieces I have read on the topic, by the Australian journalistic left's favourite bete noir Janet Albrechtsen:

Racism was on the streets last weekend. No doubt about it. White supremacists alleged to have links to neo-Nazis admitted they brought in more than 100 people to join the rampage at Cronulla. Young men used their bodies as billboards to read: "We grew here, you flew here". This is racist and it's wrong. Vigilantes bashing young men and women is criminal. But grabbing hold of Hansonism every time racism rears its ugly head and tarring the whole crowd with the same racist brush gets us nowhere.

Her conclusion?

Recognising human nature means that multiculturalism, though a fine sentiment, can only work if we unite behind a core set of values. Unfortunately though, that policy has become a licence for rampant cultural relativism. We are loath to criticise any aspects of cultures (except our own) for fear of sounding terribly judgmental and unfashionably un-multicultural.

Instead, culture is talked about only as an excuse for abhorrent behaviour so that the offender becomes the victim. Last week, a convicted gang rapist claimed he assaulted a 14-year-old girl because she was not wearing traditional Muslim dress and he thought she was promiscuous. Pointing to cultural differences, the 27-year-old Pakistani-born man said: "I believed at the time I committed this offence that she had no right to say no. I believed I'm not doing anything wrong." A month ago his lawyer told the court his client was a "cultural time bomb".

If this view, that culture can be used as an excuse, represents the views of even a subset of Muslim youth, then we have a problem. If we are not talking openly about egregious aspects of some cultures (except as an excuse), we have only ended up with a bigger problem. And, to date, we have not been talking. Multiculturalism has been synonymous with a rights agenda - addressing minority grievances - rather than a framework for talking about responsibilities. The violence that has been brewing in Cronulla, culminating in the disgraceful rampages in recent days, is a pointer that if we're serious about social cohesion, it's time we all demonstrated social responsibility.

Lapkin Lambasts Hicks' Legal Strategy

As the United Kingdom grants Muhammad Dawood (aka David Hicks) British citizenship, and a potential "get out of Guantanamo free card", Ted Lapkin points out a few pertinent issues:

The Blair Government previously demanded the release from US custody of British subjects who were captured in Afghanistan while fighting for Osama bin Laden. The Hicks legal team will doubtless argue that its client should benefit from similar treatment. But it is worth noting that the discharge of those Britons from Guantanamo transpired before the 7/7 London suicide bombings. It remains to be seen whether the legacy of home-grown jihadist terrorism in the English Midlands has dampened Whitehall's enthusiasm for springing Islamic holy warriors from detention.

Reviewing the tactics deployed by Hicks' legal team, Lapkin opines:

Moreover, it is Hicks's own cunctatory lawyers who bear the primary responsibility for the length of their client's incarceration without trial. With all the chutzpah of a patricide who appeals for mercy on account of orphanhood, advocates for Hicks complain about the glacial pace of American military justice.

But in a deliberate strategy that seems governed more by politics than legal considerations, Hicks's lawyers have drawn out the judicial process through repeated requests for postponements. And while in US courtrooms his solicitors employ every delaying tactic in the book, in the courtroom of public opinion they shed crocodile tears over their client's predicament.

Lapkin then makes a plausible case that Hicks's supporters are guilty of hipocrisy in their criticism of the Guantanamo Military Tribunal system:

Thus the only plausible reason why the Hicks legal team is playing for time is so they can have their cake in the courtroom while eating it in the public relations arena. Because they realise the evidence against their client is overwhelming, they understand that political pressure to short-circuit the trial is his only chance to escape a serious prison sentence.

A similar sort of politically motivated dishonesty plagues other forms of criticism that have been directed towards the military commission process. Rules of evidence that permit the introduction of hearsay evidence are often indignantly denounced as a travesty of justice by the tribunal's opponents. Yet this same evidentiary procedure was employed by the Nuremberg tribunal after World War II, and is used today by other war crimes proceedings which no one thinks to challenge.

The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia admits hearsay testimony that is deemed to be pertinent by the presiding judges. But other than neo-Nazis, rabid Serb nationalists and John Pilger, there are few voices complaining that Herman Goering and Slobodan Milosevic were the victims of kangaroo justice.

The most vociferous assailants of the US military commission process are often ardent supporters of the UN and its work. Thus for many critics of US foreign policy, what's good for the ICT goose is not good for the Guantanamo gander. Hearsay evidence is fine for the UN, but it is an abomination for the US.

Friday, December 09, 2005

UN Day of Solidarity with Suicide Terrorists, Part III

Eye on the UN has pictures of the UN's recent terror orgy. In the first picture, we see the UN and Palestinian Flags on either side of a map of "Palestine".

Of course, to put the imaginary "State of Palestine" on the map, they had to obliterate the map of a long-standing UN member state (even the 1947 UN Partition Lines, which pre-date this map are not marked on the map of "Palestine"):
In the third picture of this series we have the Suicide Bombers' Commemoration, as (from left to right), Nasser Al-Kidwa, "Foreign Minister" of the Palestinian Authority, President of the UN Security Council Andrey Denisov, President of the UN General Assembly Jan Eliasson, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People Paul Badji, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, (and two others) stand in response to these words from the chair "I invite everyone present to rise and observe a minute of silence in memory of all those who have given their lives for the cause of the Palestinian people and the return of peace between Israel and Palestine.". "Return of peace between Israel and Palestine"? That's a good one! There has never been an independent entity called Palestine (and even the notion of a "Palestinian People" is a comparatively recent development in response to Zionism, and the creation of Israel), moreover, the Arabs of the region have been indiscriminately killing Jews since before the first Aliyah.

If the US is serious about defeating terrorists, this immoral gang of racists and despots standing around shedding tears over murderous, self-immolating shahids and suicide terrorists would be a good place to start. A visit from the Special Forces might do the UN a world of good...

Speaking of the UN's "glorious dead", in a sure-fire vote-winning move, Hamas has named a mother of three shahids as a candidate in the upcoming PA elections; three of her sons have been killed either preparing or participating in attacks on Israeli civillians, and she glories in their "martyrdom". That said, Ms Farhat does still have three sons who have not yet managed to get themselves killed for Allah's Palestine. But insh'allah...

This woman is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with this depraved "society". Indeed, the "my sons are dead terrorists" part of her CV is not merely incidental to her election campaign, it is her election campaign:

"Vote for me, and you too can lose half your family to glorious 'martyrdom' for the cause of genocide! Allahu Akhbar"!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

UN "Not really useful in solving actual problems" - Bolton

As the UN General Assembly rejoiced in the purity of the utterly impotent by passing a veritable orgy of anti-Israel resolutions to mark the 58th Anniversary of the UN's Partition Resolution of 1947, US Ambassador John Bolton had this to say about the impotent raging of the despots, bigots, and bien-pensants of the General Assembly:

``These resolutions are purely symbolic,'' Bolton told reporters at the UN. ``It is one reason why many people say the UN is not really useful in solving actual problems. We have been making enormous progress toward solutions in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and that progress has benefited from UN participation, but it does not benefit from needless repetition of meaningless resolutions in the General Assembly.''

Bolton, who has pressed UN member governments to reduce the number of General Assembly resolutions, said it was up to them to ``decide they want to do things that are relevant.''

Speaking on behalf of Australia at the General Assembly, Andrew Southcott MP said:

...that his delegation was concerned that a number of resolutions taken up by the Assembly this year had been unbalanced in their criticism of Israel. The singling out of one side for blame in the current situation was very unhelpful. Australia remained concerned by the high level of United Nations resources allocated to anti-Israeli activity, including the Division for Palestinian Rights and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.