Tuesday, August 31, 2004
He goes on to say that especially American Arabs should wake up and smell the kneidelach... the Jews are in power and there's nothing you can do about it! Bwahahahaha! The solution? Appeal to their better nature... sure Israel's great but this Sharon... uh uh. He's making sweet lovely Arab-friendly Israel do terrible crimes against humanity in your name. The Jewish Left, and especially Jewish Liberals are his favourite, it seems, and his approach is to lobby the Jewish Left to pressure Israel for change. This fits nicely in the general trend of Left vs Right. It seems that left-wing anti-Israeli approaches transcend all boundaries - at least so Ibrahim hopes.
Here's the Arutz Sheva article This amounts to some kind of vague demand that Arab culture be recognised, and that the WiFi network somehow threatens this culture. What does this have in common with taniwha? Perhaps the common link is an increasing trend to use ill-defined cultural requirements as issues in public policy debate. It is easy to do so because they cannot be contested - if I say there is a taniwha then there is one. If I say there is a cultural concern, no one can argue. Neither can that concern be redressed because I have neglected to define it in any intelligible way. On the other hand - sometimes a concern is legitimate but hard to explain. Somehow I have a feeling this one has another agenda behind it...
Monday, August 30, 2004
Last year, he became a little unpopular among Jews for saying that Jews are at the root of all the evil in the world.
In a very perceptive interview, Haaretz's Ari Shavit exposes the twisted thinking behind much of Europe's Israelphobia: it's obsession with the Jews; it's need for a salve of conscience for its role in persecution and the Holocaust; the urge to compare Israel with its Nazi oppressors, and the sudden turn-around of leftist thought on Israel after 1967.
The interview is also worth reading for its exposition of the unthinking reflex against Israel in Europe: the respect for Jews (as long as they stick to their role as defenceless victims) and its "understanding" of even the most murderuous and genocidal anti-Israel movements.
Read it here.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
After finishing his tour of the UK, Borat moved on to America. One of the places he stopped at was a country music club. Borat (Sacha Barron Cohen, who is also behind Ali G) decided to do a little experiment: can he get people to embrace bigotry with a nice tune and a bit of a sing-along?
See this video, it is BRILLIANT.
It starts off nicely enough, if a little out of tune:
In my country there is problem,
And that problem is transport.
It take very very long,
Because Kazakhstan is big.
Then it gets a little more sinister:
In my country there is problem
And that problem is the Jew
They take everybody money
And they never give it back
Throw the Jew down the well (repeat line)
So my country can be free (repeat line)
You must grab him by his horns (repeat line)
Then we have a big party (repeat line)
If you see the Jew coming
You must be careful of his teeth
You must grab him by his money
And I tell you what to do
My favourite form of sociological experiment: one that will make you snort with laughter.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Full marks to Sarah Ulmer and the Evers-Swindell twins for putting NZ in the headlines for something that doesn't make me sick. You are true Weet Bix kids.
I don't want to spoil this post by saying horrible things about the Olympics, the IOC, and many of the countries at the games, so I will save that for another post.
And NZ will probably do it. I put no stock in Helen's smarmy comments at the end of the article -- if Iran gets its genocide weapons, and hangs them over Israel, New Zealand will share some of the blame. And that is a sickening thought.
Monday, August 23, 2004
For those from outside of Aotearoa, Destiny Church is a "charismatic" church led by tele-evangelist preacher Brian Tamaki. They have recently spawned a political party, purveying conservative views on such issues as homosexuality and family values (this is not the Destiny Church website).
Yes, these people are reactionary, homophobic bigots. All the media pointed this out extensively. But where was the media today when the PM was meeting the Iranian foreign minister?
The Iranian regime is a theocracy, stamping on a secular Iranian majority; a ruling clique that pursues nuclear weapons, international terrorism, and horrendous religious coercion.
Compared to the Ayatollahs, the Destiny fundies are a joke, a bunch of amateurs.
It seems the only religious fundamentalism that warrants criticism is the Christian variety. Islamic fundamentalism is just seen as another societal system.
Where is the sense of proportion?
Sunday, August 22, 2004
Here are actual reports of the Islamic Republic at work (source: Committee in Support of a Referendum in Iran) --
Girls flogged for showing their ankles
Paik-e Iran website, July 2 - Reports from Mashad say the anti-vice patrols in the city have been harassing the youth for some time, especislly girls, beating them up and punishing them by flogging. These repressive measures have taken place in Azadshahr, Taghiabad and Sajjad neighbourhoods in Mashad. The Women's police
station in Taghiabad neighbourhood which is run by female revolutionary guards, have arrested young girls who were wearing pants showing their ankles. They were held for one whole day at the Department of Social Vice and handed over to their families after 20 whips and payment of cash fine.
Iranian leaders have a tendency to sound like cheap James Bond villains (from www.memri.org):
In an editorial, the July 6, 2004 edition of Kayhan stated: "The entire Islamic Middle East is now a volatile and tangled trap, and will be set off by the smallest bit of silliness – and will reap many victims of the sinful adventurers… Indeed, the White House's 80 years of exclusive rule are likely to become 80 seconds of Hell that will turn to ashes everything that has been built. "Iran's counter-response is likely to be called 'sudden death' and 'the Angel of Death suddenly revealed.' That very day, those who resist [Iran] will be struck from directions they never expected. The heartbeat of the crisis is undoubtedly [dictated by] the hand of Iran.
New Zealand, a country that thinks of itself as a "moral superpower", is teaming up with this rancid tyranny?
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Interesting timing. Helen and Kamal have something in common: Mr Kharrazi knows all about whipping up a fervour about local Jews spying for Israel. He was instrumental in the show trial of 13 Iranian Jews on trumped-up spying charges that brought international condemnation of Iran, and shook a 3000-year old community to its core (read this summary).
Iran is the world's no. 1 sponsor of international terrorism. The 1992 bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Buenoa Aires, Argentina, which killed more than 80 civilians, is now widely known to have been the work of Iran. Iran openly sponsors Hezbollah, one of the world's most prolific terrorist groups.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani (constittionally higher than President Khatami) has publicly stated that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it will use them to destroy Israel.
But it seems that New Zealand's exports to a large Persian Gulf economy are more important.
And the government wonders why New Zealand is coming to be seen as bad for the Jews?
It makes me ashamed to be a New Zealander.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
But a little while into my studies, I began to have doubts. Economics is all based on rationality, on people making decisions that objectively further their goals. Otherwise, there is no way to predict behaviour, and the dismal science falls into chaos.
I wanted to believe: but everywhere there is crazy behaviour. Stock market bubbles. Palestinians blowing themselves up. Boy bands. David Beckham becoming a millionaire.
Clearly, people often behave in crazy ways.
Now there is a field within economics that tackles this problem head on: behavioural economics.
If I give you $10, on the condition that you split it with someone else in a way that he/she will accept, how much will you offer the second person? Rationality says you will offer the minimum amount possible (say $1). The other person, if rational, will accept this as better than nothing.
Yet studies show that, on average, people offer about $4: the other person won't accept a derisory amount, even if the alternative is zero.
This is irrational. Yet this is humanity.
This is a valuable insight. Can we expect people to behave rationally, if it can be shown that irrationality is part of the human psyche? What does this say to the people who think we can reason with the jihadis of this world?
Read the article.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
People like Samir Qantar, who murdered a four-year old girl in a terror attack in 1979, and was sentenced to 542 years in prison.
Personally, I don't get what the problem is: if someone like Samir takes action to remove themselves from the planet (and not take others with him), we should encourage him.
But this is not the Israeli way. Instead, they are tempting these people to eat by throwing some meat on the barbie, and taunting them with the smell of grilled flesh.
This won't work, and I'll tell you why.
I have experienced Israeli barbecues numerous times. Israelis think that stringy strips of chicken and turkey patties that you could swear were made of PVC make a BBQ. They don't.
Israelis don't get red meat. I suspect that this is the real reason the New Zealand government have broken off diplomatic ties with them.
Now if the prison service could do some shwarma -- then the strike would be over in a trice.
For those that won't eat after any blandishments, the Israeli prison service has set up an "ethical committee" to deal with when to force feed.
Why do they need prison staff? Israel is full of Jewish mothers. Let them loose on the terrorists: "oy, Ahmed, you are so thin! Eat something! And you're not dressed warmly enough. Where is that scarf I bought you?". That'll fix 'em.
Monday, August 16, 2004
Never mind, Aresh. Iran's going to give you a medal anyway.
It's also possible that Aresh's pull out had less to do with the evil Jew, and maybe a little more to do with Aresh's fondness for baklava (maybe he's intending to change fighting style to sumo...).
It is also possible that our Shi'ite friend might not be in to, well, touching Jews. According to our friend Ayatolla Sistani (thanks to Robert Spencer of Jihadwatch):
The following ten things are essentially najis [ritually impure]:Yuck! Jew cooties!
1. Urine 2. Faeces 3. Semen 4. Dead body 5. Blood 6. Dog 7. Pig 8.
Kafir [Unbeliever] 9. Alcoholic liquors 10. The sweat of an animal who
persistently eats najasat [unclean things].
And lovely comments from "moderate" President Khatami:
The move by the Iranian world judo champion in protest to the massacre of Palestinian people by the Zionist regime will be recorded in the history of Iranian glories.As long as their glories consist mainly of giving up rather than facing the evil Jews and fighting them, let them have them.
UPDATE: Brilliant article on Yahoo Sports:
Disqualify the entire Iranian delegation, send them home and hold them up to international scrutiny and ridicule. Anything less is to look away, to tacitly approve, to take the conciliatory path, to allow xenophobia, racism and religious persecution to thrive.
You may say "Habib, it can't be true! The supporters of Palestine are good, progressive people, aren't they? Why would anti-semitic neo-Nazis want to have anything to do with them?"
I would reply: "Oh, naiive one. For decades there were documented, verified links between Palestinian and extremist Islamic groups, and neo-Nazi groups. The fact is, they have a common enemy. You should know, that in opposing Israel, you are making common cause with Nazis."
The Southern Poverty Law Center, leaders in studying the extreme Right, have produced a report on this phenonomon: "The Swastika and the Crescent".
See TVNZ's coverage of the meeting here:
Sunday, August 15, 2004
He once worked at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, so guess where his sympathies lie...
Representing the Progressive Party (you are unlikely to have heard of it), he made a speech in Parliament supporting the motion against anti-semitism, trying his best to differentiate between nasty Israelis and "good" diaspora Jews (as long as they are nice, quiet, and content to be victims). He attacked Rodney Hide for pointing out the obvious, that attacks on Israel lead to, and in fact, constitute, attacks on Jews:
Parliamentarians unanimously rejected anti-Semitism in a motion deploring recent attacks on Jewish graves and a chapel. I was humbled to receive a letter from a prominent Wellingtonian thanking me for my contribution Sadly, the tone was spoiled by Rodney Hide who tried to link anti-Semitism with people advocating for justice in the Middle East and two states with secure borders.
Imagine! A politician connecting Jews and Israel! How dare he!
Robson is a fool. If Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Fatah etc really wanted a secure two-state solution, Israel wouldn't be fighting them now -- Barak offered it in 2000.
Trying to force Israel to remove a wall that is protecting its citizens from being blown up by suicidal/homicidal maniacs is not "advocating for justice". It's advocating murder.
"Justice in the Middle East" seems to have become a synonym, among some, for throwing the Jews into the sea.
Please register your disapproval by sending to-the-point, non-abusive mail to:
Thursday, August 12, 2004
The text of Rodney Hide's comments on the motion against anti-semitism (available via Hansard):
I rise on behalf of the ACT party to put the ACT party's wholehearted
support behind the motion deploring these attacks and condemning
anti-Semitism. We also want to go further. We are very concerned at the anti-Israel sentiment that is growing in the West. My party wholeheartedly supports the right of the State of Israel to exist. As a democracy ourselves, we support Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East. Sadly, attacks on Israel have become another outlet for anti-Semitism. The ACT party has a vision for New Zealand of a free and tolerant society, where all races and religions are treated equally. As a people we are falling short of that vision. We must now all realise that anti-Semitism is a reality here in New Zealand. We must now all realise that attacks on Israel will be interpreted by irresponsible elements as a justification for anti-Semitism. We must now all be very, very careful. We must not tolerate these attacks. We must stand side by side with the Jewish community, and these evil perpretrators of these foul attacks must be brought to justice.
This is beautiful. In something so rare for a western politician, he recognises the link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. He recognises that New Zealand if it is to be true to itself, and its identity as a democracy, and a place of freedom and tolerance must support Israel. Let's hope Hide and his people get near government, and soon.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
The Jerusalem Post writes about the rather successful adjustment the Israeli-passport-guys have made to life as Her Majesty's guests in Mt Eden prison (login required, but it's worth it):
He also said the two Israelis mix freely within the jail and appear to enjoy a
special status among fellow prisoners, who include some of the toughest Maori
The source said gang leaders are at the top of the prison hierarchy, "but they defer to the Israelis," he said.
"I don't know whether it's their religion or who they are supposed to be, but the Israelis are given unbelievable respect".
In other news...
New Zealand's parliament unanimously condemnded anti-semitism, with all parties speaking in favour of the motion, although with different emphases: while Rodney Hide strongly supported Israel, Winston Peters somehow turneda motion against anti-semitism into an anti-immigrant platform (telling anti-semites to go back where they came from... umm...).
Monday, August 09, 2004
We know it's not true. As I have said before, singling out one people on Earth as not worthy of its own state is as bigoted as bigotry gets.
Melanie Phillips is a British-Jewish writer who became rather disturbed at the trend towards Jew-bashing in the UK, and the lazy media establishment that feeds it. Until recently, it was possible to deny the existence of this anti-semitism in Godzone. No longer.
This article is a must read: The new antisemitism.
His blog provides a nice counterpoint to the uniform, smug left-wing pap that is the New Zealand media.
About the "Mossad" spies
Council elections are coming up. You know what to do.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
This is no longer the case. These incidents do not stand alone, and many New Zealand Jews fear that they are being fueled by a growing anti-semitic undercurrent in this country -- sentiment that is being given legitimacy by certain actions of the Labour government, especially its singling out of Israel for lopsided and unfair treatment.
It is not possible to extricate Jews and Israelis. Anti-Zionism, by its nature, results in anti-semitism. This is true, because at the heart of anti-Zionism is the belief that only one people, of all the peoples of the world, ought to be denied statehood and self-determination. Only one state has its right to exist and determine its own identity questioned. An attack on Israel is an attack on Jews.
There has also been an assumption, unproven as yet, that fruitcakes from the National Front or some other extreme-right group is resoponsible. This may be the case, but it also may be the case that the people responsible are of a different ideological stripe entirely; this is yet to be seen. This assumption is the result of a failure to understand that the main locus of anti-semitism now is the left; hatred of Jews has absorbed itself into the political mainstream.
Silent Running has done an excellent job of covering this. There are photos here.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
What was the cement used for? It was sold to Israeli contractors, building that "wall" the Palestinian Authority complain about rather a lot.
The Palestinian leadership hate Israel, support the intifada and want to stop that defensive barrier from going up. But ideology is one thing, business is business...
Arafat never let the struggle get in the way of siphoning off international aid, and getting very rich.
The funniest part about the article is the first sentence:
"The residents of 20 palestinian villages are preparing to file suit".
The Palestinians don't have a legal system. In the territories, as in other Arab regimes, power comes from the barrel of a gun. And the leaders are never accountable.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Stalin intentionally caused the greatest famine of all time, when he forcibly collectivised all Russian farms. Farmers were executed for withholding even a single stalk of their own grain. Peasants on fertile lands that they had cultivated for centuries were reduced to starvation; in some cases, cannibalism.
Stalin murdered -- at the very least -- 20 million of his own people. Other estimates find the figure to be as much as double that. Forty million people! 5% of the Soviet population was arrested. Huge numbers wasted away in the gulag.
Stalin cut a deal with Hitler, and would have been quite happy to leave the Nazis to their genocide. He was only forced into fighting. The Soviet dictator had his own paranoid anti-semitism (there is much evidence to suggest he was planning a "final solution" of his own in the time leading up to his death).
Yet, the leftist coterie that controlled intellectual thought then were overwhelmingly supportive, or at least "understanding" of what was happening in Russia (sound familiar?)
This murdering devil forcibly deported the Chechens, Tartars, Armenians and others from their ancestral homelands, murdering countless numbers from the ethnic minorities under his control. Where was the left when this was happening? Where was their defence of human rights?
Where were they? They were the same place they were when Saddam was murdering the Kurds, or Sudanese Muslims selling black Sudanese into slavery.
The most poignant part is where Amis recounts a recent political meeting he attended. His friend Christopher Hitchens (former Trotskyist) joked about his old "comrades" from his communist days. The audience laughs. Amis asks if they would laugh had he referred to his former blackshirt colleagues (had he been a fascist). Is there any difference? Why does one elicit justified horror, and the other laughter?
Surely Stalin-worship was confined to the extreme left, dinosaurs who are no longer relevant? No. Stalin was publicly praised in New Zealand, by Laila Harre, who was a cabinet minister until two years ago. I wonder how many other opinion leaders and policy makers in this country were more subtle devotees of the "Great Leader?"
What spurred this post? Comrade maintains that the betrayal by the left of the importance of human life, and their rush to embrace dictators, tyrants, and murderers, is a recent thing. It is not. They sold their souls in the 1920s.
Monday, August 02, 2004
Sean - with reference to your comment that one thing religion has going for it is that charity is voluntary.
Unfortunately things aren't so simple - in Judaism it is MANDATORY to give charity. It is not a voluntary, optional thing. There are various ways to contribute charitably, but one is still obliged to do it and there is no running away from it.
The Torah institutes several types of obligatory charity such as leaving a corner of the crops in ones field for the poor, or leaving the harvested sheaves that have fallen on the ground for the poor and NOT recovering them for yourself. The Rabbis later introduced minimum amounts for these charities.
Furthermore, in the times of the Mishna and Talmud (c. 200-800 CE) and still further on into Jewish history, charity was collected from everyone by agents appointed by the town and distributed to the poor. They realised that it was not acceptable to leave this duty to the individual. It is very easy to get caught up in one's own materialism and forget about those in need. And the more one's wealth grows, the more this is true. Some kind of communially sanctioned charity is essential (whether you label as "state sanctioned" or something else is immaterial, it is still a collective obligation) and leaving this duty to the individual is completely unacceptable. This comes not from the socialism that you seek to despise, but from the "voluntary" religion that you approve of.
Realistically, the modern day equivalent of this charity collecting is... TAXES AND SOCIAL WELFARE! What's wrong isn't the welfare state, but people taking advantage of it. This is a purely cultural and socialogical problem, not one of the system itself.
Personally, I identify very strongly with this collective responsibility and in that sense I am a lefty. What I don't support is the lifting of the collective to some divine power above the rights of the individual. It's not a fight against the idea of the collective, but something more along the lines of the problem Kierkegaard had with Hegel.
Sunday, August 01, 2004
I noticed them recently because of their treatment of the government's Israel-bashing-fest.
Nice to see some anti-idiotarian, pro-Israel comment on the New Zealand scene.
International Court Advises Israel to Cease Impeding Suicide Bombers
And a lovely photo of two dear friends holding hands.
Recently, they have extended themselves, presenting innuendo evidence of a "neo-conservative" (read: Jewish) cabal that secretly runs America; no chance was given to debunk this, or to present an alternative view. Needless to say, there is no objective evidence of this conspiracy.
Seeing a government-supported broadcaster pushing crypto-anti-semitism is saddening.
Andrew Bolt is an Australian journalist with courage and conviction, who is confronting the truth. Read his article SBS: TV for Liars .
For more on the topic, have a look at the report by AIJAC (Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Committee) on the pervasive bias at SBS.
It is important that all those who support Israel, and liberal democracy in the current situation, to point out and do whatever they can about the leftist bias of most of the media.