Sunday, August 31, 2014

Exchange with a Jewish Buddhist

To:; Thursday, August 21, 2014
Hello Jack Cohen,
My sister-in-law sent me your message in response to two articles that I sent to her.  I feel compelled to send these articles to you for your consideration.  As a Jew, I deeply fear the consequences of the Israeli government's waging war.  War/Hatred can only beget War/Hatred!!  I wish the Israeli people would be free to consider the points of view in these articles and rise up and protest the war that Israel is waging with its weapons of destruction provided by the USA.

From: Jack Cohen; Thursday, August 21, 2014
I am sorry that you are so misguided. 
Are you not aware that Israel in 2005 under the right-wing PM Ariel Sharon unilaterally disengaged from Gaza, withdrew all Israeli settlers (who had perfect right to live there) and all IDF forces from Gaza in the hope that there would be peace?
Are you not aware that for 9 years Israel has been bombarded almost every day by 14,000 missiles, rockets and mortars, making life in southern Israel almost unlivable for 3 million Jews? 
Are you not aware that the terrorist organization Hamas, staged a coup in Gaza in 2007 and murdered hundreds of Fatah/PLO (Palestinian) leaders (many by throwing them off roofs)?
Are you not aware that the Hamas covenant calls not only for the destruction of Israel, but for the murder of all Jews everywhere (including you), and for the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate with Sharia Law?
Are you not aware that Israel under PM Netanyahu hesitated for 3 days in July when Hamas increased the barrage of missiles to over 100 per day, that would have caused thousands of Israeli civilian deaths if we had not developed the Iron Dome anti-missile system, with US help?
Are you not aware that Israel accepted the first Egyptian ceasefire proposed within 5 days of the fighting, that Hamas rejected?  Israel has accepted every ceasefire proposal and Hamas has rejected or broken all 13 of them.
Clearly you have no concept or understanding of the aggressive murderous behavior of Islamist terrorist organizations, not Islam in general.  For example, Hamas is a Sunni terrorist organizations with the same methods and aims as the Islamic State terrorists who beheaded the US journalist Foley and have been massacring thousands of Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria.
No people wish for peace more that the Israeli people, but it is impossible when the enemies of Israel have no intention of making peace with us, but rather are dedicated to murdering every one of us. 
During WWII I assume you are aware that ca. 6 million Jews died because the Nazis and their collaborators all over Europe participated in the murder of defenceless Jews.  We will not allow that to happen again. 
We are ready to make peace with any on the other side who want to make peace with us, as we did with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.  They only have to come forward and negotiate with us, but Hamas is entirely against any negotiation with Israel.
The destruction in Gaza is entirely in the hands of Hamas, they initiated hostilities, they refused most ceasefires, and yesterday they lobbed 120 missiles into Israeli cities.  We have to defend ourselves.
By the way, most weapons in Israel's arsenal do not come from the USA, but are manufactured here by ourselves.  The USA did provide the funding for the Iron Dome system, a purely defensive system, but would you prefer that they not do this so that we should take higher casualties.
I realize, having lived in the UK and USA, that being a Jew in a hostile environment, where Israel is singled out for most criticism, that other countries with far worse human rights records, such as Syria, Libya, Russia, China, et. etc. are not criticised for, puts a strain on your identity.  You would rather be friends with good leftists and liberals, but in order to do so you must criticise you own people, without really knowing the facts of the situation. 
Desmond Tutu has been an open and severe critic of Israel for 20 years, he is a hypocrite and cannot be trusted.  There are many people who claim to be pacifists.  It is alright to be a live pacifist if your enemy is principled, but if they are merely brutal killers, pacifism doesn't work, then you are a dead pacifist.  Mahatma Ganhdi advised Jews not to fight back against the Nazis but to be pacifists, look where that got them.
Jack Cohen 
PS. Are you a traitor to your own country?

To: Jack Cohen; Friday, August 22, 2014
So, Jack Cohen, what is the solution to this slaughter of innocent people on both sides?   Where is the human dignity and justice in this will to destruction on both sides?

From: Jack Cohen; Friday, August 22, 2014
SO, XXXXXXXX, what is the answer to the suffering of the world?  Can you tell me the solution to the problem of Black Americans who are rioting in Missouri.  Can you tell me why an Islamist Muslim from Britain beheaded alive an American journalist in Syria?  Unfortunately there is evil and suffering in the world.   I once believed that I was a Buddhist, when I was young and naieve, and I remember this allegory, "a woman came to the Buddha and asked, why am I suffering?  He said "go out into the world and if you can find me one family that does not know suffering, then I will tell you."  And she came back after some time and told him, "Indeed you are right, everywhere I went I found people are suffering." 
There is evil in the world, or rather there are evil men who carry out evil actions.  If I could solve the Arab Muslim- Israeli Jewish conflict I would.  But, I think you and most people in the world recognize that the basic issue is that the Arabs will not recognize or allow Jews to have sovereignty in our own Land.  One reason is that any area that has been Muslim is supposed to remain Muslim, and they fight for this.  Another reason is pure hatred of Jews, inculcated since birth, and another reason is that political Islam or Islamism, a relatively recent phenomenon (look it up), has the belief that it must conquer the whole world (the Nazis once had a similar belief).   As I see it the only way is to fight this evil until we win.  That's what we did during WWII, at great cost, but we did defeat Nazism.  In the end we will defeat Islamism.

From: Jack Cohen; Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:23 PM
I am very concerned.  Can you explain to me why a Buddhist nation, namely Thailand, has a military Government that is oppressing its people and taking away their rights?  Can you explain to me why a Buddhist country, namely Burma (Myanmar) was under a military dictatorship for 50 years, murdered hundreds of thousands of its Buddhist-believing people and imprisoned its leader Aung San Suukyi for 20 years?  Can you explain to me how an American Zen Buddhist leader, Joshu Sazaki, was found to have committed sexual offences against novice Buddhists? 
Can you also explain to me why it is that Israel, that is a vibrant democracy, with the rule of law, elected governments, human rights (for women and gays) and a free press, is singled out for extreme antagonism, when 1. Hamas has started the hostilities against it again and again; 2. there are many countries in the world with much worst human rights records, such as China, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, etc; 3.  In similar conflicts the civilian casualties caused by attacks (such as in Iraq) by the United States, UK and others have been much worse....?  Could the reason be anti-Semitism? 
When you can answer these questions satisfactorily, then you may have earned the right to question me again.

Friday, August 29, 2014


An edited version of this letter appeared in The Jerusalem Post, 25/8/14:
I agree with Caroline Glick in her article "Why Israel is losing the information war"  (  For 35 years I have been writing and fighting in support of Israel   As a resident of Washington DC, I actively produced pamphlets for distribution on US campuses (Israel and the USA, a comparison of two allies; Facts about Israel; Jordan is Arab Palestine), that the Israeli Embassy was afraid to produce.  Israel and its Foreign Ministry were prevented by Shimon Peres from doing its hasbara job, he closed down the PR unit saying that "if Israel has a good case we don't have to defend it."  After making aliyah 18 years ago I have been writing a blog (Isblog) that seeks to tell Israel's side in a positive and aggressive manner.  Forget about hasbara, forget about the niceties, I have been fighting the propaganda war.  What matters is PR, spin and effectiveness.  Yes, we have a great case, yes we have truth on our side, but who cares about that unless the case is presented positively and effectively.  Our enemies, and I include the western liberal media in that category, certainly don't care and they spin and distort the news against us constantly.
During WWII the British managed the news, they fooled the German enemy into thinking their rocket trajectory was too long and so they reduced it until they were firing rockets into farmland instead of London.  They dropped dead soldiers into the sea with false papers to fool the enemy, they issued positive news stories to support domestic morale.  This is war, and the only thing that matters in war is winning.  It is well known that in war truth is the first casualty.  Will it be nice if Israel is the first country that never lies in its information, yet loses the war?  And let's face facts, we have lost the propaganda war a long time ago.  Exposing the lies of the enemy is only part of the job, but putting our own case assertively and successfully is part of the war effort, just as the soldiers who enter the tunnels and the pilots who bomb the missile launchers (do I believe that, not necessarily, but I had you thinking I do).  I volunteer to help the Foreign Ministry do its job in parallel with the Defense Ministry.  Here's one tip for free, equate Hamas with ISIS, and repeat it over and over again.
Yours etc.
Jack Cohen
There was another article in the Post that argued that during wartime democratic values must be preserved: "Democracy must be preserved even during wartime" by Sherwin Pomerantz (   I disagree, Israel is fighting a war of survival, millions of people are living in shelters, hundreds of thousands are leaving their homes in the south of the country, Hamas is achieving part of its goal of terrorizing our population. But, during wars other democracies have suspended basic democratic rights.  For example, during the civil war Pres. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and Britain during WWII suspended habeas corpus, established effective Government control over the press and manipulated the news.  The emphasis was on winning and surviving, that takes precedence.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Who won?

Who won the war in Gaza?  The conventional wisdom would say that no-one won, because both sides took casualties that to each were excessive.  But, a more sober analysis would indicate that Israel won, notwithstanding the spurious victory celebration in Gaza.  Here are the reasons,
1. Hamas was forced to accept a ceasefire without conditions after 50 days.  Hamas vowed that they would not accept any ceasefire without their conditions being met, namely a lifting of the Israeli blockade, opening of all borders to free movement, a new sea port and a new airport and release of rearrested prisoners.  Although some of these conditions might be subject to negotiation, Hamas has so far achieved none of them. 
2. The Iron Dome anti-missile system worked amazingly well and intercepted 90% of the missiles targeted on populated areas. Only 4 people were killed by ca. 4,500 missiles and mortars that Hamas and its affiliates (Islamic Jihad, Popular Committees, Fatah) fired at Israel.   This is an abject failure, instead of causing mass casualties, they only scored one death per thousand missiles, not an effective weapon. 
3. Israel detected and destroyed 32 attack tunnels, that opened into Israeli territory.  This prevented a mass attack of terrorists that was planned for later in the year, and destroyed the work of millions of dollars and the strategy of Hamas to inflict mass casualties on Israel. 
4. Hamas received heavy losses, including ca. 1,000 fighters (usually counted a civilians by the media) killed in the fighting and bombing, as well as numerous leaders of the organization who will be very hard to replace.   Also, many if not most of their construction facilities for missiles and their control centers, some located in basements and others in high towers, that they did not expect the IDF to destroy (partly because of the civilians living there and partly because of the difficulty).
However, notwithstanding the losses of Hamas, the victory of Israel was not clear-cut, for the following reasons; 1
1. The stated aim of Operation Defensive Edge was to bring lasting peace and quiet to southern Israel, but there is no guarantee that this has been achieved.   Up to the last minute Hamas was still firing missiles into southern Israel at roughly the same rate that it was at the beginning of the campaign.
2. Hamas has not been demilitarized.  This can only be achieved if, after the negotiations to follow a month of quiet, the international community agrees with Israel that Hamas must be prevented from replacing the missiles and arms it lost.  In other word that Hamas must be disarmed.  This will require that Israeli maintain the blockade of Gaza, or that it be partially lifted, but with sufficient international guarantees for Israel. 
3. Hamas is still functional. Contrary to many commentators it was not one of Israel's war aims to totally destroy Hamas, rather to defeat its objectives.  But, the question is, will Hamas still be strong enough to not only remain in control of Gaza, but to continue in the future to threaten Israel.
4. The IDF lost 64 soldiers.  This is not a huge number, but is very demoralizing for the small country of Israel, where everyone knows someone who lost a son.
5. PM Netanyahu was too cautious. This is the view of many on the right in Israel.  They felt that once the IDF went into Gaza on the ground, the focus on destroying the tunnels and then withdrawing was a mistake.  They should have gone all the way.  In this view, Netanyahu failed to use the full might of the IDF to Israel's advantage, even though it would have resulted in more Israeli casualties.
Although we cannot come up with a final tally of relative achievements at this juncture, with the current ceasefire we see that the IDF is still poised to invade Gaza and that could lead to the destruction of Hamas.  This must be a deterrence for Hamas, but on the other hand, PM Netanyahu is cautious, for two reasons, first he does not want to be blamed for further losses to the IDF and second he does not want to be blamed by sections of his coalition as well as the international community for expanding the war.  Yet if, after 30 days of the ceasefire, the indirect negotiations do not achieve an agreement, then there is little doubt that the war will go on.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Islamism = Ebola

There is an outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa, with many states closing their borders and the epidemic spreading through contact in Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Nigeria, with over 1,000 dead so far.  The plague of Islamism seems like a deadly plague similar to the Ebola virus.  It is very easily spread, it is deadly for those who come into contact with it, and it is very hard to stop and treat.  Certainly there is no easy cure.  Is it coincidental that precisely at the time that Ebola has become a deadly threat to Nigeria, that Boko Haram, the local version of the Islamist terrorist threat, has announced their affiliation with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria?  Likewise the Al Shabbab group in Somalia is battling the Kenyan military to establish Muslim hegemony in East Africa.

SImilar to Ebola, the phenomenon of Islamist terrorism has overtaken the whole of the Middle East, from Libya to Iraq, and is already threatening western Europe, with huge Muslim populations in Denmark, Sweden, Germany France, Belgium, Holland and Britain.  The fact is that where ever there are Muslim populations there is a minority who are actively recruited by Islamist groups and radicalized and trained.  There was recently a scandal in Birmingham, England, where it was discovered that in 25 Muslim schools there was indoctrination in Islamist beliefs going on under the guise of religious instruction.  One can expect that this is true throughout the world, with such training being financed by the State of Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera, as well as other conservative Islamic States.
Although Hamas, the Palestinian affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), have not to my knowledge similarly announced their affiliation to IS, their covenant includes not only the destruction of Israel and murder of all Jews, but the aim to found an Islamic Caliphate, which is the same aim of these other Islamist terrorist organizations. Although the MB in Egypt, which was the first of these Islamist organizations, founded in 1928, did not emphasize this aim, it was implicit in the writings of their founders Hassan al Banna and Sayyib Qutb. In fact, Osma bin Laden of Al Qaeda criticized the MB for not actively pursuing the aim of establishing the Islamic Caliphate.  This is one reason why the Egyptian military decided it was necessary to defeat the MB and declare it illegal.
You may say that this comparison of Islamism and Ebola is purely propagandistic or metaphorical, but, there are numerous Islamist parties throughout the world that are working towards the same aim, here is a partial list: Muslim Brotherhood (Egypt), Jamaat-e-Islami (Pakistan);   
  • Hamas (Gaza); 
  • Hizb-ut-Tahrir
  •  (UK, Syria)   
  • Salafism (Qatar, Saudi Arabia); 
  • Taliban

  • (Afghanistan);
  • Islamic State (Iraq, Syria); Boko Haram (Nigeria); Al Shabbab (Somalia); Al Qaeda in the Maghreb (Libya); Al Qaeda in Arabia (Yemen); Al Nusrah Front (Syria); also the Shia Hizbollah and Iran.  Yes, its a plague! 
  • Tuesday, August 26, 2014

    Terrorist riots

    Apparently the British are worried about the hundreds of British Muslims who have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight for the Islamic State, who will be trained so that upon their return they will carry out terrorist incidents in Britain. PM Cameron gave a speech emphasizing the need for Britain to be vigilant. This is also true of every European country as well as Canada and the USA.  According to existing laws passed in Britain after the terrorist incidents of 7/705, any person who assists a terrorist group in carrying out its aims can be arrested, tried and imprisoned for up to 30 years.  This is certainly true of anyone who joins the ISIS terrorist groups and supports the Islamic State.
    But, what about other terrorist groups.  Hamas is also a Sunni extremist terrorist group that in its charter has the stipulation that its aim is to destroy Israel, a member of the UN, and to kill every Jew everywhere.  Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization under British Law as well as that of the US, the UN and the EU.  Recently there have been anti-Israel demonstrations in the US, France and in Britain, carried out by extreme leftist organizations (such as the Socialist Worker's Party) as well as extremist Muslim groups, carrying placards that say "We are all Hamas" or "Death to the Jews" or "Stop Israeli genocide."  These demonstrations have turned violent and become riots in which they attacked the police, the security forces and destroyed stores, including Jewish and American-owned stores (McDonalds for goodness sake).  I  suggest that these people can be arrested under the terrorism laws, just as members of IS, so that they can be prevented from rioting and destroying British cities, as well as preventing them continuing their terrorist-supporting activities.  Also, these placards amount to racial incitement and should be challenged in the courts.  If the Prosecution service do not pursue the cases against those arrested, they can be challenged in civil court.
    Here's one tip of how to locate them, they will be found at all violent anti-Israel riots in Britain. Just photograph them, or better yet have them arrested.   By a strange irony those who carry out genocide or who want to take over the world project their own plans onto the weak and defenceless.  Thus, Hitler said that the Jews were planning to take over the world, when actually he was.  Thus, the Islamic State are carrying out genocide of Shia, Christians and Yazidis in northern Iraq, but blame Israel for doing that against the Palestinians, when it is manifestly not true!  We should strike at the terrorists and their supporters where ever we can using all the legal means available.

    Monday, August 25, 2014

    What are we fighting for?

    Death, destruction and suffering makes pacifists of us all.  We hate the need for war, but if we have to defend ourselves, then at least we must win, and the only way to win is to cause greater casualties, much greater casualties, to our enemy, Hamas.  Let the death and destruction be disproportionate, so that eventually they may get the message and leave us alone!  We only want to live in peace, but if in order to do that we must strike back at them, and although slow to anger, we will be great in our rage.
    What are we fighting for?  Foremost is for our survival, against an implacable and ruthless enemy, which does not hesitate to directly attack innocent civilians, in fact as far as they are concerned there are none, all Israelis are fair game.  That is why they are celebrating the fact that they managed to kill a 4 year old boy, Daniel Tragerman, in one of their latest mortar barrages against southern Israel.  But see the difference, we don't show his bloodied body being carried into the emergency room of the hospital, nor allow the cameras to dwell on his injuries.  We don't allow cameras into the emergency room at all out of respect for the dignity of the dead.  But, the supposedly sensitive inhabitants of the western countries are such easy game for the sensationalist tricks of the Hamas PR people, who not only allow this, but undoubtedly stage many incidents to show the killing of children and their injuries, maybe many of them are doused in ketchup.  Be at least a little skeptical.
    Another thing we are fighting against is the kind of regime, namely Hamas, that takes men out into the street without trial, accuses them of aiding the enemy, Israel, and then shoots them in the head in front of a large crowd. Whatever happened to due process.  Note that IS do this too, shooting people in the back of the head as well as decapitating them, both are primitive brutal terrorist organizations.  According to reports, 18 men and women were likewise executed by Hamas yesterday, apparently in retaliation for Israel's assassinations of three (or possibly 4) leaders of the Hamas military wing, Izzadin al Kassem.  We hope the fourth one, Mohammed Deif, the Head of the military wing of Hamas, who was probably injured, is also dead.  Since we haven't seen him before the cameras it is a good bet that he too was killed, which would be a huge loss for Hamas.

    There are several kinds of peace, the most obvious one is the absence of violence.  But, this is not enough, to have genuine peace there must be interaction between the sides, genuine compromise. Unfortunately the Muslim side does not know or understand the meaning of compromise.  You will often hear Palestinian spokesmen say "it is our right, etc..." as if that makes it automatically acceptable, for example, the so-called "right of return" that is a pure invention of Palestinian propaganda, or "the occupation" which is a code word for Israel.  In fact they can only get what we agree to and that will not be much.  Israel certainly will not lift the blockade, so that they can import missiles, nor give them a port, so that they can import building materials to build tunnels, and certainly not an airport, so that they can bring in foreign terrorist fighters.  By the way, Egypt also refuses to lift its blockade on Gaza, for fear of Hamas terrorism entering Sinai.  So we must continue fighting until Hamas accept our conditions.

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

    On the road to Gaza City

    Why did Syria and Egypt sign ceasefire agreements with Israel after the 1973 Yom Kippur War?  The answer is simple, because IDF forces were about 50 km from Damascus and exactly 101 km from Cairo.  After three wars (1956, 1967 and 1973) in the last of which they had all the advantages of surprise, effective Russian missiles and they vastly outnumbered the IDF forces, nevertheless the IDF not only gave them a crushing defeat, but was on the way to their capital cities.  So they capitulated and signed ceasefire agreements, that in the case of Egypt under Pres. Sadat became the actual Egyptian-Israel peace treaty of 1979.  And it has held ever since, there has been no direct war between Israel and Egypt or Syria for the past 35 years.
    Unfortunately, this is the kind of scenario we need to reproduce in relation to Hamas in Gaza.  The Syrian Government under Hafez Assad and his son Bashar remained extremely hostile to Israel and in fact headed the "rejectionist front," consisting of many Palestinian organizations that had headquarters in Damsacus, including Hamas until quite recently.  But, despite their enmity to Israel, the Assad regime knew that it would be futile to attempt another war with the IDF.  Therefore they preferred to act through proxies, such as Hizbollah in Lebanon. 
    Even though a  large proportion of the Egyptians are still extremely hostile to Israel, nevertheless the Egyptian Army realizes that it is futile for Egypt to attempt another war with Israel and that is why it is advantageous for Israel that General al-Sisi became President of Egypt.  But, the Palestinians, hiding behind the skirts of the fellow-Arab States and then using terrorism against us, have never been totally defeated by the IDF, that is why they continue to demand unrealizable conditions in order to even make a lasting ceasefire with Israel.  I am afraid that they must be totally defeated, that we must be not 50 km from Gaza City, but the IDF must be in their command bunker under Shifa Hospital in Gaza City before they will capitulate.  That may be the only way to actually obtain peace with them.
    But, short of actual peace, they may capitulate to Israel's and the international community's demands for demilitarization and a permanent ceasefire if they are convinced that they can never defeat Israel.  Although they opted not to continue the current ceasefire, their missile store is not inexhaustible, their fighters are being picked off, as the published numbers show that mostly young men of military age dominate the casualty figures in Gaza.  Also, their organizational framework must be hit hard, if ca. 1,000 of their men are killed and maybe 5,000 wounded, then their effectiveness as a fighting organization with a command structure and response to orders must be failing.  The IDF must keep hitting their operatives hard (never mind about civilians), as they did yesterday, killing three senior operatives and possibly Mohammed Deif, the Chief of the military wing of Hamas. and this will cause their morale to sink and their military capability to decline.  Only time will tell, but as the war continues, eventually Hamas will eventually have to capitulate to the Egyptian ceasefire without conditions.

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    Taking out Hamas

    Many people say in a resigned manner, what's the point of Israel fighting a war against Hamas in Gaza again, since they can always find new men to replace those the IDF kills.  As one is killed another one or two pop up.  But, this is not only defeatist, it is wrong.
    If you take bricks randomly out of a wall, the wall will be weakened and as you continue to remove bricks eventually, it stands to reason, the wall will fall down.  If we estimate how many bricks need to be removed for the wall to collapse, the answer is about 25%.  This is also the estimate in game theory of when an organization will cease to function effectively, if 25% of its operatives, at all levels, are removed randomly.  Thus, in order to render Hamas ineffectual, unable to pass orders up and down the chain of command, Israel needs to destroy ca. 25% of its manpower, including its leadership.  How many is that? 
    There are estimates that Hamas has ca. 20,000 fighters (they are not all trained soldiers, rather many irregulars).  But, more serious estimates put the hard core of their fighters at 12,000.  What is 25% of this, it is 3,000.  So far Israel claims to have killed ca. 1,000 Hamas fighters, and wounded ca. 5,000.  Now this is an estimate after 4 weeks of fighting.  But, if we take the Hamas figures they claim to have lost ca. 2,000 people.  Statistical analysis of these casualties by Al Jazeera and other sources, estimates that ca. 60% of these are young men of military age (18-35), while ca. 40% are civilians.   If we take this percentage then we also reach a number of combatants of ca. 1,200 dead Hamas fighters.  Since the fighters don't have to be dead, but rendered ineffective, it is very likely that Hamas is nearing the limit of its capability to absorb casualties and to continue to fight effectively.   Sure they can still fire missiles into Israel, but gradually this ability will diminish, as long as Israel keeps striking their fighters and their leadership.  Of course, not only does the IDF avoid civilian casualties, but they don't make a difference to this equation and therefore there is no point in wasting ordance on them.   
    During WWII, Sir Solly Zuckerman, the Chief Scientific Advisor to the British Defense Ministry (a new post), was asked what the RAF should target to increase the likelihood that the D-Day invasion would be successful.  He did a statistical analysis and came up with the answer that taking out railway engines would be the key factor, to prevent the Germans from bringing in reinforcements.  You may say, well this is obvious, but it could have been railway lines, or depots or air strips.  Of course the senior managers of the armed forces were against taking the advice of a "boffin", especially a Jewish one, but they were persuaded by Lord Tedder, and so by the RAF targeting railway engines, Sir Solly probably saved the lives of more Allied soldiers than anyone else.  In Gaza, targeting the launchers of missiles and barracks where they stay as well as the factories manufacturing missiles and the military leadership is the most effective targeting, and that is what the IDF is doing.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

    Hamas = ISIS

    "Obscene," "Brutal," "Disgusting," "Shocking," "Depraved," all descriptions of the beheading of US journalist James Foley by a British Muslim in the Islamic State in Iraq & Syria (ISIS).  It takes such a violent individual act to awaken the ordinary person to the reality of what is happening in the heart of the Muslim world.  Decapitations, murders, rapes, forced conversions.
    Hamas is a social organization, that is justified in firing rockets at Israeli civilians, because they are part of the illegal occupation and blockade of the poor Palestinians living in Gaza, which is an apartheid prison.  What nonsense, get real...
    Hamas = ISIS ;
    they are both Sunni extremist fundamentalist terrorist organizations, their ideology and aims are identical, they are both funded by the same source, the Qatari Government, that is also an ally of the US Obama Administration.  Yes, it is crazy.
    How can the same liberal-minded people be so stupid as to find Hamas sympathetic (because they have been killed by Israelis?) while finding the same ideology elsewhere unacceptable and brutal.  Hamas has no regard for human life, including that of their own Palestinian people.  They deliberately started a war without making any provision for sheltering or protecting their own people. There are reports that 162 children were killed digging the Hamas attack tunnels, to allow them to kill Israeli civilians.   There are reports that Hamas murdered those who planned and built the tunnels to prevent the information falling into the hands of their enemy, Israel.  We know for a certainty that Hamas fires its missiles and mortars from populated areas, adjacent to schools, mosques, hospitals, hotels and refugee camps, in order to increase the civilian casualty rate.  Hamas has refused or broken every ceasefire arranged through Egypt that Israel accepted.  Yesterday they fired 140 missiles into Israel.  They publicly exhorted their civilians not to heed IDF warnings to move from locations that were going to be attacked.  They deliberately gather children around their firing points to ensure higher casualties when the IDF responds.  These are the people that the weak-minded British, French and other public find sympathetic?
    One huge mistake people make is to equate Hamas = Palestine.  This is not the case, unlike Fatah and the PLO, Hamas is not fighting for a Palestinian State, they are fighting to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic State where Sharia law is enforced, and eventually to combine together with the ISIS to form the universal Islamic Caliphate.  Wake up and see the reality, before it hits you between the eyes!

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    European hypocrisy

    Headline: "Innocent Gazan civilian killed together with all ten members of his family...."
    Oops..."Innocent civilian killed but his family all survived..."
    Oops..."Innocent civilian was in fact a Hamas terrorist..."   ....a typical news story from Hamas-controlled Gaza.
    The European countries have not yet earned the right to advise Israel on how to avoid so-called innocent civilian casualties.
    Lithuania was the first country in Europe where the Nazis carried out their "final solution," but the local Lithuanian leaders were proud to announce that they had murdered 175,000 innocent Jewish civilians, out of a total of ca. 200,000 that were killed (90% of all Lithuanian Jews), before the Nazis arrived. That was in 1941, only 73 years ago.  The other Baltic states, Latvia (70,000; 77%) and Estonia (2,000; 44%) were similarly enthusiastic about murdering their own innocent Jewish civilians.
    Slovakia (71,000; 80%) cooperated enthusiastically with the German program of murdering civilians, as did Hungary (550,000; 67%) and Poland (3,000,000; 90%).   The Czech areas (78,000; 66%), the Netherlands (100,000; 71%), Greece (65,000; 87%) and Yugoslavia (60,000; 77%) managed to murder the majority of their innocent Jews.  There were some countries where only a minority of the Jews perished, including Austria (50,000; 27%), Germany (142,000; 25%), France (77,000; 22%), Belgium (25,000; 38%) and the USSR - including Ukraine and Belarus (1,000,000; 33%).
    Norway (762; 49%) cooperated with the Nazis, as did the so-called neutral countries of Sweden and Switzerland.  But, it is not enough for any of these countries to say that it was the Germans that did the murdering, they all cooperated in the mass murders. Only three countries (out of 22) in Europe actually saved their Jewish citizens, namely Denmark, Bulgaria and Finland (even though Finland was an ally of Germany). Note also Albania protected its Jews.
    After WWII, when Britain still held the Mandate for Palestine, the Labor Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin was publicly known to have anti-Semitic views and deliberately prevented the emigration of Jewish survivors known as Displaced Persons (DPs) from Europe to Palestine, including the notorious return in 1947 of the passengers of the Exodus from Palestine to prison in Germany. 
    Yet, these are the countries that together adopt a "holier than thou" attitude towards Israel when they consider the so-called "holocaust" of Palestinians in Gaza.  Actually we in Israel do not need their advice, we have our own standards of protecting civilians, we are not up to their former proficiency in murdering innocent civilians.  Israel managed to kill only ca. 800 civilians (40% of the total of 2,000 dead) in 4 weeks of intense fighting in a densely populated area.  One could see their criticism of Israel as an extension of their former indigenous anti-Semitism, or as a call to "human rights" after they feel so guilty for their own enormous transgressions.  But, I suspect the former explanation is correct.  

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    Sympathy for dead children

    During the hundreds of years that the Jewish minority was persecuted throughout Europe by many Christian tribes (the Germans, Czechs, Hungarians, Latvians, French, etc.), the Jews were accused of not being patriotic enough to the particular tribe that they lived amongst.  And it was probably true, the Jews were not invested in any particular geographic area of Europe that had been claimed by other tribes (for example the Germans and the Hungarians, who came from the east and decided that they liked that particular area that they then called Germany, Hungary, etc.).  In effect the Jews were pan-Europeans before it was fashionable to be.  But, a burst of super-nationalism, dated from the Dreyfus case (1894-1906), when most Frenchmen (supposedly secular) were predisposed to assume the guilt of an innocent Jew, led to the founder of political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, to foresee that the only solution to the "Jewish problem," i.e the physical survival of the Jewish people, was Zionism, a return of the Jews to their ancestral homeland.
    But, to some extent this solution has boomeranged (to use an Australian idiom).  Although some of the Arab leaders were initially well-disposed to see the Jews return to their homeland (for example Sheikh Feisal), in time most of the Arabs became very hostile to the Zionist endevor.  So while Israel continues to grow and develop, both in terms of population and economy, the Arabs have spent the better part of 100 years putting all their energies into fighting Israel.  Now when Israel fights back and defends itself, the large minority of Muslims in Europe attack the Jewish minority, as if they were responsible for Israel's actions.  Of course, these rioters are supported by a large minority of liberal-leftists who find all Jewish killing of their enemies as reprehensible (remember that the Gazans voted for Hamas and have supported them).  But, to whom do this Muslim minority show loyalty, certainly not to the individual countries in which they live, but rather to the greater Islamic nation, or to be more accurate to the Islamic State, the Caliphate that all Sunni Muslims are required to support.
    The Islamic State already proclaimed on the ruins of Syria and Iraq, is growing daily.  In capturing towns and regions of former Iraq and Syria, the IS (formerly known as ISIS) are brutal.  They decapitated 50 out of ca. 200 Iraqi soldiers that they captured, and stuck their heads on spikes around the town to intimidate opponents.  This is medieval and primitive, but it is effective.  It is also out of western camera range, so the western media are feeding off the death of a few children in Gaza.  The IS are also forcibly converting Christians to Islam under threat of death and are massacring the Yazidis, 700 yesterday.  So remember this, while your best and brightest are rioting about the few children unintentionally killed by Israel's defensive actions in Gaza, a powerful anti-European Muslim force, that is allied to Hamas, is gathering strength in the heart of the Middle East.  It is now not only threatening Syria and Iraq, but also Lebanon and Jordan.  As it goes it is gathering steam, it has more converts among the Sunni minority in Iraq, who strongly resent the power of the Shia, and it is expanding and using the money and oil that it has conquered. Hundreds of your Muslim citizens are there being trained for the big war against you.  When your country is being devastated by a wave of Islamic terrorism, don't expect our sympathy, our sympathy will go to the children you might kill in defending yourselves.

    Monday, August 18, 2014

    The Kurds

    The Kurds are currently in the news and was the topic of Raymond Cannon, a retired British lawyer and amateur historian, who spoke at AACI.  Recently PM Netanyahu gave his opinion that the Kurds deserve independence and that the US should be supporting them.  It is said that the Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without a state, consisting of ca. 36 million people spread through mainly 5 countries, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Azerbaijan.  There is also a Kurdish Diaspora, with Kurds spread from Germany (800,000) through Scandinavia, Britain, the US and Canada.
    The Kurds are a Persian people and are not Arabs. They were originally mainly Zoroastrians, which was the State religion of the Persian Empire, until the Muslim conquests forced them to adopt Islam.  There were also many Kurds who adopted the Jewish religion and some 200,000 of them eventually moved to Israel, where they have mostly assimilated.  Although the Kurds are mainly Sunni Muslims, some are Shia, especially the Iranian Kurds.  They have an affinity in language and culture with the Iranians and the Iranian Kurds are quite well integrated into Iranian society.  However the Kurds in Turkey, Iraq and Syria have been persecuted by the Turks and Arabs and have long fought for their independence.
    After the collapse of the Turkish Empire after WWI the Kurds sought and were offered independence in the Treaty of Sevres, but Kemal Attaturk ensured that they did not achieve independence.  Their historic indigenous area consisting of the mountainous region in central Asia known as Kurdistan was divided mainly between Turkey, Syria and Iraq,  Since 1918 there have been clashes between the Kurds and the Turks and the Arabs.  The worst of these was the Anfal Campaign of Saddam Hussein who sought to "Arabise" their region of Iraq by destroying thousands of Kurdish villages and massacring hundreds of thousands of Kurds during 1990-1992.  This was after the first Gulf War, but the US did not intervene.  The UN Security Council even passed a resolution # 688 at that time accusing Iraq of genocide of the Kurds. 
    In Turkey, there was an ongoing war with the Kurds throughout the years and in the 1930s there were massacres of Kurds amounting to ca. 350,000 people.  In Turkey the Kurdish language and Kurdish customs were banned.  Between 1984 and 1994 the PKK the Kurdish Worker's Party fought a war with the Turkish Army.  Finally in 2013 the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, who was captured by the Turks, declared a ceasefire with Turkey.  Since then the situation of the Kurds in Turkey has improved, their language has been recognized and they have been given greater local autonomy.  These changes have resulted partly from the desire for Turkey to be accepted into the EU.  However, it is very unlikely that Turkey would agree to give up sovereignty over eastern Turkey where the Kurds live. 
    In Iraq and Syria, a similar parallel situation has developed due to the breakup of those states.  In Syria the small Kurdish autonomous region has managed to remain independent against the Syrian Govt. forces of Bashar Assad and against the forces of the Sunni Islamist group ISIS, that has declared an Islamic State in eastern Syria and central Iraq.  In Iraq, the Kurdish Autonomous Region (KAR) has essentially declared its autonomy from Iraq, its Pesh Merga fighters have captured territory around Kirkuk and control the oil fields that were taken away from them by Saddam Hussein.  With the oil they have a source of income and are close to declaring their independence, having just elected their own President Barzani.  Since they are quite strongly anti-Arab they would make a great ally for the US and Israel, but although Israel supports them, the Obama Administration has not shown any public support for their cause.  Obama seems to think he can patch Iraq back together again, but that is probably impossible given the formation of the extremist Sunni Islamic Republic in its core. Latterly Obama has given permission for aerial attacks, by planes and drones, on IS fighters who are threatening the KAR and minorities in northern Iraq, such as the Yazidis and the Christians, and is providing arms to the Kurds.  However, this will probably not be sufficient to blunt the IS drive for control of most of Iraq.

    Friday, August 15, 2014

    Duped by Hamas

    Hamas is a terrorist  organization, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, whose aim is openly stated to be the elimination of the State of Israel and the killing of all Jews, men, women and children.  It is crystal clear that Hamas has carried out war crimes by firing ca. 14,000 missiles into Israel since 2005, when it took power, and ca. 3,000 during Operation Defensive Edge.  These missiles are directed at population centers with the intention of killing civilians.  They also dug attack tunnels (about 32) into Israeli territory, that were intended to be used to attack Israeli civilians. 
    Israel as a sovereign state is allowed (required) to counter-attack Hamas in Gaza in order to defend itself and its citizens.  The IDF rules of engagement requires the avoidance of civilian casualties.  In responding to these attacks and threats on its population it has been widely stated that Israel has also carried out war crimes.  Even the Intl. Comm. of the Red Cross has accused Israel of carrying out war crimes against Gazan civilians.  So has the UN.  But a statement by the European Law Center exonerates Israel, which is not only allowed to attack Gaza under the rules of war, but is also allowed to attack facilities from which fire is coming or closely adjacent to it even if civilians are housed there (see ).  
    We have already seen the videos taken by Indian, Finnish, Italian and other reporters that were smuggled out of Gaza and that show Hamas firing missiles from within densely populated areas and adjacent to hotels where foreign journalists are staying as well as mosques and hospitals.  This proves the accusation that Hamas uses Palestinian civilians as "human shields."   These are clear war crimes.  Even the Palestinian UN Ambassador agrees (see ).  Also the Foreign Press Association of Israel (note these are foreign reporters not Israelis!) also protested the methods used by Hamas to control and censor the work of foreign journalists in Gaza ( ).
    It is reported that ca. 1,800 Gazans have been killed in Gaza (although this is an unverified number).  While it is generally stated that "most" of these are civilians, this is easy to refute.  An analysis by Honest Reporting based on the data from Al Jazeera shows that the largest number of these casualties are men aged 18-35, i.e. of combatant age (see ).  From a statistical analysis is is estimated that ca. 60% were combatants (which is to be expected given the intense fighting in Gaza), leaving ca. 40% civilians, i.e. ca. 720.  This is an incredibly LOW number of civilian casualties in 4 weeks of fighting in a densely populated area, i.e less than 200 per week.  Compare this to the ca. 1,000 per week in Syria and ca. 350 per week in the Iraq war caused by US forces.  Also, in northern Iraq under IS attack (of course IS is an ally of Hamas), it is estimated that between 20-30,000 have been killed in weeks of indiscriminate killing of all minorities, including Shia, Christians, Yazidis, and Kurds.  Where are the demonstrations against the Islamic State?  At least the US with UK and French support is mounting an operation to aid the Yazidis and providing arms to support the Kurds. 
    By using the international media and showing over and over again photos of bloodied children, some of them may be real but others are staged, Hamas is playing on the sympathies of the western population, who are ready to forget that Hamas is the terrorist organization that started it all and has caused the deaths of all these Palestinians by not accepting unconditional Egyptian ceasefires that Israel accepted.  

    Thursday, August 14, 2014

    Obama's reaction

    President Obama said in a recent interview that "Pres. Abbas of the PA is too weak to make peace and PM Netanyahu is too strong."  Is that what passes for serious analysis in the mind of the President.  Give me a break, what nonsense, what does it mean? How can you be too strong to make peace, on the contrary, if a leader is too weak to make peace, that's understandable, he cannot bring his constituency along with him, he cannot guarantee that they will honor the agreement he makes, but the converse is not true, if a leader is strong, then he can make peace, he can bring his people and his government along with him. So this analysis makes no sense.  But it can be understood, as a basis for Obama's thinking, that because PM Netanyahu is so strong, he must be weakened, he must be cut down to size, he must be as weak as the PA President.  But, then of course, no one will be able to make peace.  Can anyone tell me that this President really has any idea what he is talking about?  This is the person who must ensure the West's survival against the galloping expansion of the most hard-line murderous regime since Nazi Germany came on the scene, the terrorists of the Islamic State.
    Oh, yes, I forgot, Obama gave the order for the USAF to blast the forward elements of the IS attacking the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq.  How many bombs so far, 6?  Does anyone think that is going to make a significant difference.  They already are well equipped with US arms because they took them from the US-backed and trained Iraqi Army, that melted away as soon as they saw the IS coming. The decision to put so much funding and arms into the Iraqi Army should be investigated by Congress.  It was one of the biggest mistakes in the history of US foreign policy.  But, be that as it may, we are now at the situation where the IS is still expanding, while carrying out genocide on every minority, such as the Yazidis and the Christians.  Before they consolidate their power is the time to attack them, waiting too long will allow them to become entrenched as the new Islamic Caliphate and they will become a greater danger to the US and the West than al Qaeda ever was.
    The "moderate" Muslim States such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait are very concerned.   After taking Iraq and Syria, they are next on the IS list, since their version of Islam is heretical.   I would like to ask the thousands of those non-Muslims who have been demonstrating against Israel and in favor of Hamas whether they know how many Christians are left in Gaza.  Of course, they might not care that Christians are being persecuted, expelled and ethnically cleansed throughout the Middle East.  In fact in Gaza there is estimated to be ca. 3,000 when there once was 50,000.  In Bethlehem in the Palestine Authority, where there was once 85% Christians there are now 20%.  In Baghdad, after bombings and massacres and desecration of Churches, most of the Christians have fled.  Now in northern Iraq in Mosul and Ninevah, where Christians have lived for 2,000 years, long before the Muslim conquest, Christians are being expelled, murdered, and even crucified by the forces of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS).  Israel is the only country In the Middle East where Christians are not persecuted.

    But, why should I care, there used to be Jews in these places too, all over the Middle East, and in Iraq for thousands of years, before Christianity and before Islam arrived.  But, the Christians did nothing when the Muslims expelled the Jews, they even helped, to prove their loyalty (a Christian Arab, Michel Aflaq, founded the Ba'ath party).  It didn't help them.  Remember that phrase of Pastor Niemoller: "First they came for the socialists - and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist; then they came for the trade unionists - and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist; then they came for the Jews - and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew; then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me."  If all these nice leftists think they will be exempt, forget it, they will be the first to be chopped up, literally, by the forces of fundamentalist Islam that are now on the march in the Middle East, of which Hamas in Gaza is only a small part.

    President Obama, has risen from his usual slumbers and made a decision.  He has decided to send arms to the Kurds and to drop targeted bombs on the IS fighters driving north who are only a short ride from Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish Autonomous Region.  Having routed the Yazidis, a small sect that is non-Muslim and the Christians, IS is now bent on destroying the KAR.  If they manage to defeat the Peshmerga forces of the KAR, as they did earlier in Kirkuk, then there could be massacres of millions of people.  Tell that to the ignorant idiots who are shouting their support for Hamas.  But, I doubt that they would have the intelligence to understand.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

    The Cairo Negotiations

    During the indirect ceasefire negotiations under way in Cairo between Israel and the Palestinian delegation, namely Hamas and the PA (although that the PA is playing a subsidiary role), Israel has been quite accommodating.  According to reports, Israel has accepted the following Hamas demands: 1. Open borders; 2. Release of former prisoners and of Hamas leaders arrested in the West Bank; 3. Expanded fishing areas; 4. Greater number of truckloads of food and other material into Gaza; 5. Greater number of Gazans allowed to enter/exit via Israel.  Israel has rejected the following Hamas demands : 1. A new port and airport; 2. An open connection between Gaza and the West Bank.  Israel has also agreed to the opening of the Rafah border crossing from Egypt into Gaza as long as it is not controlled by Hamas, presumably it would be controlled by the PA on the Gaza side, but the Egyptians have to approve this.  Israel is demanding in exchange: 1. The demilitarization of Gaza (which was agreed in the Oslo Protocols of 1999, and that still applies to the West Bank and should apply to Gaza); 2. The supervision of all building materials imported into Gaza (this would probably be done by an international agency, perhaps through the UN).  However, so far Hamas has not responded to the demilitarization demand and that could be a deal breaker.  It is unlikely that Israel would accept all of Hamas's demands without Hamas agreeing in return to demilitarize Gaza, namely to give up all their missiles and other offensive weapons.
    There is a possibility that the issue of the demilitarization of Gaza could be left for another negotiation that might occur in relation to the donor's conference for Gaza planned after the fighting stops.  In this case the providing of aid and building material for Gaza could be made contingent on Hamas demilitarizing Gaza.  On the other hand, Israel might not be prepared to wait until after these negotiations in case Hamas then reneges and accepts aid from other countries (such as Qatar and Turkey) that will not require it to demilitarize.
    In case an agreement is not reached between Israel and Hamas, then both sides have threatened to continue fighting (although perhaps after another 72 hr ceasefire).  Which side will lose the most from a continuation of hostilities?  It must be Hamas, because there is a lot of pressure in Israel, particularly from the inhabitants of the south saying, "take care of Hamas, now."  They question why it is that after a month of fighting, Hamas is still able to launch 50-100 missiles into Israel every day.  The same scenario happened in the 2nd Lebanon War of 2012 when the IDF was unable to prevent Hizbollah firing missiles into northern Israel.  But, then Hizbollah was so damaged by the IDF that they practically capitulated, and the test is that since then they have not dared to provoke the IDF.  Also, Hamas has few allies, the moderate Sunni states aren't supporting them, the Arab League is not going to bat for them and even the Shia axis of Hizbollah, Syria and Iran are not actively supporting them.  Their only allies are Qatar, Turkey and the western Muslims and liberals (also in principle the Islamic State). But they are not going to send any armies to assist Hamas.  Even the PA, whatever they say, have accused Hamas of causing death and destruction for the Palestinians by unnecessarily provoking Israel, which is true. So Hamas have a lot to gain if they agree up front to demilitarize and a lot to lose if they don't .

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

    Yazidis and Chaldeans

    Most of us had never heard of the Yazidis before they were attacked by the rampaging terrorists of the Islamic State in the former Iraq and Syria. They and the former Iraqi Christians are being hunted down and killed by these raving fundamentalists, who are committing genocide and barbarous murders, such as live decapitations and crucifixions. 
    The Yazidis are the remnant of a Persian people whose religion and beliefs are based on the Zoroastrian religion of the former Persian Empire.  They were long ago defeated by the Muslims and most of them were wiped out or forced to convert to Islam.  This remnant of ca. 1 million people live in the far mountainous north of the former Iraq, near the Syrian-Turkish borders and adjacent to the Kurdish regions of Syria and Iraq.  They have some affinity for the Kurds who are also originally a Persian people, although they are Muslims and much more numerous.  Unfortunately the Muslims believe the Yazidis worship the devil, which is simply untrue, but nevertheless this gives the IS fighters an excuse to kill them on sight.  The Yazidis have fled from their towns and have sought refuge either in the Kurdish Autonomous Region (KAR) of Iraq if they can reach it, or are stranded on Mount Sinjar where they are desperately trying to escape the IS fighters. 
    The Iraqi Christians represent the remnant of a large and ancient Christian population, that over the years has been whittled down, just as the Jews were before them, to a pitiful few.  As recently as the 1980s there were ca. 1.5 million of them divided into several sects.  Ethnically they are mostly Assyrians, a group that once controlled a great Empire.  The largest Christian sect are the Chaldeans, who have been subjected to massacres and persecution throughout the ages by both Sunni and Shia Muslims.  In the 1920s there were large scale massacres of hundreds of thousands of Chaldean Christians that were hardly known about since they were in a very inaccessible region of central Iraq.  Now they number perhaps no more than 350,000.  Many of them moved to the cities, Baghdad and Mosul or emigrated to the west.  In Baghdad they have been subjected to bombings and killings often by Shia extremists.  In Mosul now under the IS their existence is endangered because they have been ordered, convert to Islam or die.  Many thousands of them have tried to escape to the KAR in northern Iraq where they are pleading for help to escape to the west.
    Of course, the US under Pres. Obama have reacted too little, too late.  The USAF have been dropping water, food parcels and tents to the refugees in the Sinjar area and a route has been developed for them to reach the KAR across Syrian territory controlled by the Syrian Kurds, but this requires them to walk for days through very mountainous country.  The USAF has also been attacking the IS fighters as they approach the KAR in order to slow their advance.  With US arms finally dropped to the Pesh Merga Kurdish fighters, this has enabled them to strike back and recapture two of their towns that were overun by the IS. 
    The rapid advance of the IS to conquer a huge swath of territory from Aleppo in the west to Mosul in the east has enabled the IS to not only capture huge quantities of American arms from the US-trained Iraqi Army, but also to gain many recruits from among the Sunnis in the Iraqi heartland, as well as fighters from other extremist groups, such as al Qaeda and the Syrian al Nusrah Front.  It is understandable that Pres. Obama, with his liberal views, does not want to get involved in another ground war in the Middle East.  But, now is the time to strike at the IS, while is is still young and in formation.  After it has consolidated its power in this huge region it will be too late, and they will represent a formidable threat in the future, greater than al Qaeda, to the US and western civilization in general.  But it is likely, as the Americans like to say, that Obama will "kick the can down the road."

    Greco-Roman roots of Christianity

    Most Christians practice their religion without knowing that its origins owe a great deal to previous Greek and Roman pagan religious customs.  This analysis is based on the (unpublished) book "Revolution in Time: The case for a new calendar" and "Christianity in Perspective" (1987) by Robert Wolfe, former Professor of History at NYU.  For example:
    1.  Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated on Dec 25.  Actually the real date of birth (dob) of Jesus is unknown.  The Church under the control of the first Christian Roman Emperor Constantine at the Council of Niceae in 325 ce adopted Dec 25 as the "official" dob of Jesus Christ because it was a popular festival of the religion of Mithraism, which was a religion of Persian origin widespread in the Roman Empire and particularly popular among Roman soldiers for hundreds of years before Christianity.  Dec 25 was also the focus of the celebration of the "Saturnalia," a general boozy orgy popular in Rome.  The Emperor Augustus was the first to proclaim himself as the Sun-God in the pagan Sun worship of the Roman Empire and later Emperor Diocletian adopted Dec 25 as his official birthday.  Constantine decided to co-opt Dec 25 as the celebration of the dob of Jesus Christ substituted for the birth of the God Mithras. This festival was celebrated with drinking, lights and the giving of gifts.  Sounds familiar.
    2. Sunday is the Christian sacred day.  Why was Sunday chosen by the Church as the official "sacred" day for Christians?  The Sun was considered by the Romans as the first and most important of the planets, and Sun-worship  was the official religion of Rome for hundreds of years.  The Roman Emperor was considered to be the Sun-God and his sacred day was of course Sunday, and that included Constantine the first Christian Emperor.  Since he wanted to bring Christianity in line with Roman pagan customs he assigned Sunday as the official sacred day of Christianity.  He also issued  a decree forbidding Christians to celebrate the Jewish day of Shabbat (Sabbath), although later some Christian denominations adopted this (Seventh Day Adventists, Sabbateans).
    3. The Eucharist, eating bread and wine as symbols of Christ's body and blood.  In ancient Greece there were several "mystery" religions, the most famous of which was the Eleusian Mystery, that took place annually and consisted of the re-enactment of the story of Persephone, the daughter of the Goddess Demeter, being raped by the God Zeus and including the birth of Persephone's illegitimate baby Dionysos.  Attendance at this reenactment was supposed to give the participant eternal life.  As it evolved over centuries the "mystery" became the enactment of the actual eating of the baby Dionysos by the Titans (mythical creatures), whether they actually did this "on stage" is unknown).  Eventually it spawned a feminist religion (including lesbianism named after Lesbos in Greece) when groups of young women would go into the forests and among their customs included the murder and eating of a young man.  In its later incarnation, the baby was born directly out of the thigh of Zeus and was eaten ceremoniously.  In Roman culture this "father-son" relationship was considered an antidote to the original feminist Greek tradition.  Later there were clashes between opposing groups who considered the actual eating of the flesh and blood of the baby as extreme and instead opted for a "symbolic" eating of bread and drinking of wine.  How incredibly parallel to the later clashes between Catholics and Protestants over "consubstantiation" and "transubstantiation."  This ceremony of the Eucharist is actually still considered by Catholics and other sects as essentially cannibalistic, eating the body and drinking the blood of their God (terribly un-Jewish).
    4. Easter, the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ, was preceeded in Roman religion by a similar event celebrating the death and resurrection of the God Attis.  Attis, the consort of Cybele in Roman belief, was a fertility God of Phrygian origin, whose self-castration, or castration by Cybele, leading to his death and then his resurrection had both fertility and agricultural connotations. The date of this celebration on March 25 was a significant date in the Roman calendar that occurred exactly 9 months before Dec 25 and although it generally coincides with the Jewish festival of Passover (Pesach), Easter is of Egyptian-Greco-Roman origin.  Egyptian religious mythology included the death and resurrection of Osiris, that through the Greek dynasty of the Ptolemys entered Greek and Roman cuture.  The veneration of Attis passed into Roman religion and thence influenced Christian belief and practice.   The name Easter is derived from a pagan Norse fertility (spring) Goddess.
    5. Who were the three Magi? Magi was the title of a Zoroastrian priest, and is connected with the term magic, since they were supposed to be able to perform miracles.  Who was one of the greatest magicians of all time, why Jesus Christ of course, he walked on water, he healed the sick, he transformed water into wine and multiplied fishes.  James Joyce called him the "great thaumaturge," the great magician.  Where did he learn these tricks, assuming they happened, probably from the Magi.
    6. What was the origin of the devil and hell.  In Judaism there is very little consideration of the devil as the source of evil and of the after-life leading to a clear choice between heaven and hell.  So where did this strong concept originate from in Christianity? Mainly from Zoroastrianism, that was a major Iranian/Persian religion that was widely influential throughout the Middle East and Greece. It presumes a constant war between the forces of good, represented by Ahura Mazda, and those of evil represented by the devil.   Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) was the high priest who simplified this religion and emphasized its duality, the stark choice between good and evil, between heaven and a fiery hell.  This concept influenced other Middle Eastern religions including Christianity.  Note that Zoroastrianism was wiped out in Iran by Islam, but survives mainly in Mumbai, India, among the Parsees.
    Summary: Christianity is an amalgam of pagan Greco-Roman religions with a Jewish Messiah and Judiac ethical roots.

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    They are irrational

    We pride ourselves on being rational.  We marshal facts, we analyse them, we develop concepts and ideas.  We derive conclusions and all to what effect...nothing.  It is a waste of time, the western forces arrayed against us are irrational, they are beyond rational discourse.  
    As Melanie Phillips pointed out in a recent interview, you would think that the intellectual liberal elite of the UK would take the side of the only democracy in the Middle East, that elects its governments regularly, where women and gays are treated with equality and respect, where human rights means something, where the state and the prevailing popular view does not persecute Christians or secular or anybody in fact, not even Muslim Arabs who hate us.  But, forget it.  You would expect trade unionists to rush to our side, the only state in the Middle East that protects the rights of workers, but forget it.  We are anathema, we are hated, we are beyond the pale, they cannot find one good thing to say about us, we are the "baby killers," we are the apartheid state, we are the persecutors of the only people in the world that truly matter, the Palestinians, we are the the pariah state, not Iran, not Libya, not Somalia, not Syria, not even the IS, that decapitates its enemies and relishes its genocide. The only cause that can bring out a crowd, a huge crowd, of angry people, is to protest against us. This supposed anti-Israelism can only be compared to anti-Semitism, and in fact we know that it is one and the same thing, an irrational hatred that will not consider the facts nor listen to reason. Israel is accused of "genocide" against the Palestinians and of being worse than the Nazis, which is absolute nonsense, yet when a real genocide is occurring in Iraq, when the terrorists of the Islamic State have murdered 500 Yazidis in cold blood, you couldn't even get a quorum of so-called good liberals to protest.  What hypocrisy!
    We might as well just give up, but of course we don't.  People talk of PR campaigns, of the bias of the media, of Muslim influence on the western psyche, of the fear of the western liberal elite for all forms of violence, especially war.  But, they don't see who is really causing these conflicts, they see every military success as a further indictment of the Israeli State.  If we lost, lost really badly, had thousands killed then they might have some sympathy.  But, success is a killer, it cannot be overcome, if we are successful it must be at the expense of the poor Palestinians.  No matter that their own people keep them in concentration camps (let's call them what they are), no matter that they fire missiles at us day and night, no matter that millions of our people are forced to cower in shelters.  We have to project an image of weakness in order to compete for their sympathy, if we grovelled that might help.  But, we won't, we can't.  All we can do is go on winning, because if we lose once, that's the end of us, we have to face Hamas, Fatah, Hizbollah, Syria, Iran, and no doubt soon the Islamic State, alone.
    So far we have the support of the western governments, because their leaders can read the tea leaves, they see the growing threat of Islamism, they know the true lie of the land.  They see that Israel is a strong military presence for stability in this region against this rising tide of anti-Western terrorism.   Even so far, against popular antagonism to Israel, they have stated the obvious, that Israel has the right to defend itself when attacked by missiles and by the threat of attack tunnels into our own territory.  But, how long can it last?
    I think we must be prepared to go it alone, to take up the just cause of Jewish self-determination, and that of other minorities, such as Kurds, Yazidis, etc. in order to survive.  In doing so it will be comforting to know that our enemies are the irrational ones, and we are motivated by rational considerations.

    Months, weeks and days

    This account is based on the (unpublished) book "Revolution in Time:The case for a New Calendar" by Robert Wolfe, formerly Professor of History at NYU.  Although the length of a year is determined by astrological (or astronomical) facts (in other words the movements of the sun and stars relative to the earth), the phases of the moon usually determine the months, and these are not exact in number of days, but usually vary from 29 to 31 days. 
    There were ten months in the original Roman year, with some extra months added when necessary (Intercalans).  But then two months were added at the beginning of the year around the 5th century bce, when the Roman monarchy became the Roman Republic, named after the Roman God Janus and the month of ritual purification Februa, so that March, named after the Roman God of War Mars, was deliberately relegated for political reasons from first place to third.  So the months were then dedicated as follows: January (Janus), February (Februa), March (Mars), April (Aphrodite), May (Maia), June (Juno), July (Julius; originally Quintilis or fifth), August (Augustus; originally Sextilis or sixth), September (seventh), October (eighth), November (ninth), December (tenth).  Note that even though September-December are the ninth to twelth months, paradoxically their original names of the seventh to tenth months was retained. This was the form adopted in the Julian calendar.
    In principle, there is no reason why the week should consist of 7 days.  In other calendars the equivalent of the week was 10 or even 20 days long. The Jewish religion was the first use 7 days and to make one day of the week, the seventh day, a Holy day of rest or Shabbat (Sabbath), the other days were and are simply named in Hebrew as first day (yom rishon), second (yom shani); and so on.  Originally the Roman month had three significant days, the Calens (first day), from which we get our word calendar, the Nones (the 9th day) and the Ides (the15th day).  But, with the transition from the Roman Republic to the Empire, under the influence of Jewish and Egyptian-Greek culture, the week was divided into seven days, but each day of the week was named according to the seven heavenly bodies that they could then see, namely Sunday (Sun), Monday (Moon), Tuesday (Tyr, Norse equivalent to Mars); Wednesday (Woden, Norse equivalent to Mercury), Thursday (Thor, Norse equivalent to Jupiter); Friday (Freya, Norse equivalent of Venus); Saturday (Saturn).
    Thus weeks of 7 days were adopted by many calendars, but the Christian and Muslim religions that derived from Judaism, chose deliberately to make their "sacred" days different from that of Judaism, namely Sunday (also named Lord's Day) and Friday, respectively.

    Sunday, August 10, 2014

    Who cares?

    Africans are killing Africans - who cares?
    Asians are killing Asians - who cares?
    Arabs are killing Arabs in huge numbers - who cares?
    Jews are killing Arabs - what, this can't be allowed!
    USAF jets dropped high explosive bombs on the forces of the Islamic State approaching Irbil in the Autonomous Kurdish Region of northern Iraq.  But, was it proportionate?  Who cares?  Proportionality only applies to the forces of the IDF.
    Tens of thousands of Christians and Yazidis were ousted and fled from their ancestral cities in northern Iraq when forces of the Islamic State (formely the terrorist group known as ISIS) attacked their homes and began a systematic genocide.  How many were killed?  Who cares?  There are no Jews involved.
    The Ukrainian Army has bombarded the cities of Lukhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine to try to overcome the pro-Russian insurgents.  Many thousands of innocent civilians were caught in the bombing.  Does anyone know how many children were killed? No, who cares? It doesn't matter, there were no Jews involved.
    During the civil war in Syria, that has taken ca. 170,000 lives (!), the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad has attacked the Palestinian concentration camps and killed thousands of people, including women and children.  But, who cares?  There are no Jews involved.
    A smart UN official (in the intelligence branch no doubt) has proposed that in order to equalize the death toll on both sides, Israel should provide Iron Dome batteries to protect the Palestinian population against its own projectiles.  Whatever happened to fighting to win?
    Alternative ideas are that the Iron Dome be automatically turned off in response to Hamas missiles to ensure that there are more Israeli deaths, so that the death count should be more proportionate. 
    An Israeli came up with the idea that the Iron Dome system be modified so that the missiles from Gaza should be turned back to land in Gaza.  That would be more proportionate.
    Boko Haram have kidnapped 52 Nigerian girls from their school and turned them into slaves, and this has generated an international campaign.  Boko Haram is a terrible Islamist organization.  Hamas has killed 162 Gazan children forced to dig tunnels for them to attack Israel.  Hamas is a benevolent social welfare organization assisting the poor Palestinian people.
    Israel is a terrible anti-humanitarian state that keeps a blockade on Gaza, making it into a big prison.  Although Israel does allow the importation into Gaza of food, medical supplies, electicity, water, oil and building supplies.  The building supplies were approved for UN use to build schools and mosques, although they were actually used to build a network of tunnels with which to strike at Israel and kill Israeli civilians.  Who cares?
    Videos have surfaced (after the ceasefire when reporters left Gaza) of Hamas operatives (in civilian clothes) staging incidents of deaths from IDF shelling of UN schools and elsewhere.  Other videos show Hamas firing missiles from locations adjacent to UN facilities, hotels containing journalists and within densely populated areas.  Who cares?  Hamas are a humanitarian Palestinian organization fighting Israel.  Now if Israel did those things, that would be a war crime.
    The Jerusalem Post has reported that there were two kinds of journalists covering the war from inside Gaza, those who don't want to go back and who testified that their reporting was censored by Hamas, and those that do want to go back and who are not prepared to answer the question.  Who cares, as long as we get the news.
    Hamas are indebted to editors around the world because they know that they believe the basic notion of TV journalism, "if it bleeds, it leads."  Hamas's aim is to satisfy the needs of the editors and the public for children's blood.  It can be guaranteed that every IDF shell will cause at least one bloody child.  Hamas will soon produce a full-length feature film entitled: "Bloody children's hour,"  that will consist of a repeated showing of bloodied children being rushed into the emergency room for public entertainment.
    What, cynical, me?