Friday, May 10, 2013
THE LARRY DERFNER SUPPORT CRONIES……by STEVE PLAUT….
By Ruth King on September 1st, 2011
The Derfner affair began as an esoteric incident noticed only by
It has grown as the radical Left rallies to endorse Derfner and
Suddenly the far Left is outraged that the Jerusalem Post "suppressed
But of all the members of the Derfner lobby, the most notable of all
Burston complaining that pluralism and diversity of opinion at the
Well, the delightful part of this is watching Burston whine about the
Haaretz is a monolithic engine of propaganda in which virtually no
The leftist anti-Israel propagandizing at Haaretz fills the paper and
While liberal newspapers like the NY Times and Washington Post have
Not at Haaretz. There is only one single correct point of view
So here we have the spectacle of an editor for a newspaper that
Read Burston's little rant.
The first thing you will notice is that Burston is running his
The second thing you will notice is how many lies Burston manages to
All you need to do is read Derfner's actual column, which can be read
Burston then insists that Derfner's call for murdering Jews was a
He calls Derfner an exceptional columnist. Liar. By exceptional
Burston is a liar liar with a kafiya on fire.
Burston writes, the "management of the Jerusalem Post has caved in to
Burston is suddenly all in favor of pluralism and diversity. But
Want to tell Burston what you think? He is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well I must be doing something right because I have upset the far-leftist anti-Israel anti-democratic Bradley Burston, an English language columnist for the Palestinian newspaper published in Hebrew (and English), Haaretz, although 'twould better be named al-Ard.
Poor little Bradley (that is the name for a Jew???) is upset that I suggested that Stephen Hawking be sent for a cruise on the Achille Lauro. Bradley says I was calling for Hawking to be killed. Actually all I called for was for Hawking to get a free cruise during which he can contemplate what his Palestinian terrorist friends did to Leon Klinghoffer.
Here is Little Bradley's kvetch:
Targeting Stephen Hawking and Dustin Hoffman: Right-wing 'pro-Israel' advocacy as hate speech
Increasingly, the rabid far-right 'pro-Israel' camp is carrying out repulsive, hate-filled attacks on Jews whose most cherished wish is to see a stronger, more democratic Israel. It is time to take a stand.
By Bradley Burston | May.09, 2013 |
Professor Steven Plaut teaches business finance and economics at the University of Haifa. He also writes articles, pamphlets and blog posts intended to defend Israel.
This is what he offered in defense of Israel this week, in response to physicist Stephen Hawking's decision to boycott next month's Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, over Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.
"I have a suggestion," Plaut wrote on Wednesday, in a reference to the wheelchair-bound noted scientist, and to a 1985 incident in which Palestinian gunmen commandeered an Italian cruise ship, murdering a disabled American Jewish passenger and throwing his body overboard:
"I suggest that the people of Israel send Hawking for a free trip on the Achille Lauro!!"
Plaut's argument, that the proper punishment for boycotting Israel should be execution, was only slightly more obscene than that of attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Shurat Hadin-Israel Law Center Organization, a right-wing pro-Israel not-for-profit whose stated primary goals include "defending human rights" and conducting a "civil war" in court against global terror.
In a statement, Darshan-Leitner alluded to the fact that Hawking is almost entirely paralyzed and communicates through a speech generating device:
"His whole computer-based communication system runs on a chip designed by Israel's Intel team. I suggest that if he truly wants to pull out of Israel he should also pull out his Intel Core i7 from his tablet."
For years, prominent voices on the ostensibly pro-Israel far-right have been competing to see who can be the most outrageous in cruelty, the most childish in bullying, while pursuing a career in what they call Israel advocacy.
Just last week, the New York-based Jewish Press, which describes itself as "the largest independent weekly Jewish newspaper in the United States" and "a tireless advocate for the state of Israel," published a news article that used classic anti-Semitic imagery in the service of a right-wing polemic on Israel.
Taking actor Dustin Hoffman to task for accepting the Muslim Public Affairs Council's invitation to present an award to the Academy Award-nominated film "Five Broken Cameras," Jewish Press correspondent Lori Lowenthal Marcus wrote:
"Hoffman is someone whose Jewishness seems to have played very little role in his life other than as a trigger to anti-Semitic bullies, and the fact that his height, his nose, his nasal voice and his plucky, outsider roles are all stereotypically Jewish."
Later, Marcus, who also serves as president of the far-right Z Street Israel advocacy organization, concludes:
"So, in the end, Dustin Hoffman with his honking nasal voice and Semitic nose may be emulating the pattern of the mindless good-looking movie stars against whom he rose as the iconic non-handsome, non-sexy male movie star of the counter-culture years."
Increasingly, the rabid "Pro-Israel" far-right has taken on as principal targets Jews whose most cherished wish is to see Israel become a stronger, more democratic, more livable society.
Commentator and media personality Pamela Geller, whose bread and butter "pro-Israel" tack is hatred of Muslims, has branched out to target writer and editor Peter Beinart as a "vomit-inducing kapo."
Geller, at times borrowing her writing style from Stormfront, has also called the Daily Beast's Beinart "the pet Jew turncoat" of Newsweek/Daily Beast Editor-In-Chief Tina Brown.
It has to stop. It has to stop here and now. When self-styled pro-Israel advocates on the far-right practice incitement and repulsive bullying to further their cause, when hate speech becomes the go-to tool in their belt, it is time for people who care about Israel's future to take a stand, call them out, shut them down, fight their smirking, obscene, proudly bigoted pronouncements.
The "pro-Israel" far right takes full advantage of – even while scorning – its liberal opponents' beliefs in freedom of expression and tolerance for democracy's sake. [Translation - how dare non-leftists exercise freedom of speech! -- SP] Their vile views regularly grace newspaper columns and are granted platforms by synagogues and Jewish organizations.
And it's only getting worse. It may have been anger over the realization that most Western Jews disagree with them, it may have been input from the high-IQ snots of Im Tirtzu, it may have been the sense that their beloved settlers have won a final and permanent victory in Israel, but of late, something terrible and growing is infecting far-right "pro-Israel advocacy."
It has to stop. We have to stop meekly putting up with it. Otherwise, as we've seen a number of times recently, if smartly dressed thugs of the right can disrupt a serious debate on Israel's future by booing and delegitimizing a two-state solution as being anti-Israel, the way forward is clear.
If the bigots, the fanatics, the Apartheid apologists, the velveteen fascists of the pro-Israel far-right are freely granted platforms as respected "experts" on Israel, no one who hates Israel as bigoted, fanatic, Apartheid-ruled and fascistic - no one who wants to see Israel ostracized to death - will ever need to say another word.
The Plauts, the Gellers, and a host of others will have already done their work for them.
(Burston piece was also cited at length in the anti-Semitic UK newspaper Guardian today and on other anti-Semitic web sites)
The Burstons should all volunteer to be blown up for peace by their Palestinian mentors as support for the protest against apartheid and the continued occupation and oppression of Palestinians.
As for Little Bradley's snooty comments about the Im Tirtzu students, all of whom are actual bona fide students, Little Bradley holds nothing beyond a BA from Berkeley, an institution at which I taught for more years that he was a student there. His bio does not say what he studied there. I am pretty sure it is not what I teach.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
Final word on the Hawking boycott:
The psychology of Jewish self-Hatred and Jewish anti-Semitism:
Israel's Fascist Left is upset:
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
I am afraid I am trying your patience today but I now need to correct my earlier correction. The original story about Stephen Hawking boycotting Israel turns out to be correct. The announcement that this was a hoax turns out to be wrong and was itself a hoax. I realize this is frustrating and confusing. Apologies for my role in the confusion.
I have one important proposal. Israel, it turns out, is a leading player in research on ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, which is what Hawking has. See http://israel21c.org/health/israeli-clinical-study-offers-hope-to-als-patients/, although there are lots of other stories about this on the web. I would like to propose that if Israeli researchers discover a cure for the disease, it should be refused to Stephen Hawking. After all, we would not want to compromise his strong moral stand on behalf of the "suffering Palestinians"! And boycott for the goose is also boycott for the gander. Let us not put Hawking into any uncomfortable ethical position now that he has decided to join the BDS terrorists and boycott Israel. So let us help him avoid compromising his principles and simply let him know in advance that he will be denied any cure for ALS that ever comes out of any Israeli institution or research.
Statement on Professor Hawking and Jerusalem conference:
8 June 2013
A University spokesman said:
"We have now received confirmation from Professor Hawking's office that a letter was sent on Friday to the Israeli President's office regarding his decision not to attend the Presidential Conference, based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect the boycott.
"We had understood previously that his decision was based purely on health grounds having been advised by doctors not to fly."
This has now been confirmed on numerous web sites including http://www.timesofisrael.com/hawking-is-indeed-boycotting-peress-jerusalem-meet/ andhttp://www.algemeiner.com/2013/05/08/about-face-cambridge-confirms-hawking-is-boycotting-israel/
Apologies. Evidently the British Guardian, an anti-Semitic newspaper almost as biased as Haaretz, was the source of the story and reports are now coming out that it was a hoax.
Stephen Hawking, the well-known physicist in the wheel chair, is joining the jihad against Israel. As reported here (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4377536,00.html ), Hawking is boycotting a conference in Jerusalem as protest against "Israel's treatment of Palestinians." He says it is "based on his knowledge of Palestine," which evidently does not include the simple fact that there is no such country as Palestine and no such thing as a Palestinian. Hawking has never boycotted the UK because of its illegal occupations of Ulster, Scotland, Wales, Gibraltar, the Shetlands, the Falklands, or the Isle of Wight. I am also unhappy with Israel's treatment of Palestinians, since I consider it far too weak and namby-pamby and pusillanimous, but I do not think that is what Hawking meant and I am not boycotting Israel over it.
Hawking of course is not the first Nobel Prize winner to demonstrate complete idiocy when it comes to the Middle East. Even inside Israel and even if you ignore the political Nobel Prizes (like the one Shimon Peres got), there are three Israeli Nobel Prize winners who have proven that they are total leftist morons when it comes to politics.
Having noted all this, the question remains of how Israel should respond to the malicious comments by Hawking and his toadying for the BDS terrorists.
I have a suggestion. I suggest that the people of Israel send Hawking for a free trip on the Achille Lauro!!
[For those who do not recall the event, in 1985 terrorists from the PLO took over the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered the wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer, dumping his body into the ocean. See http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Terrorism/achille.html. There is a small memorial to Klinghoffer in Haifa's Rambam hospital, which I visit regularly.]
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
The Israeli Left Defends the Inalienable Right to Defame
By Steven Plaut
Oh dear. The Left in Israel is all upset again about yet another "fascist assault against democracy" coming from the non-left. Periodically the Left has conniptions whenever a law is proposed that would rein in the atrocities of the Left. You will recall how upset the Left got when it was proposed that transparency laws similar to those in effect in the US be introduced to require that anti-Israel NGO's reveal the sources of their funding. Another "fascist" proposed laws that upset the Left sought to require a pledge of loyalty to the country by those sitting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament. Another proposed allowing those groups of businesses in Israel injured by the efforts of anti-Israel leftists who organize international boycotts and sanctions against Israel to sue those instigators in Israeli civil court for damages.
In any case, the latest bugaboo of the Fascist Left in Israel is what people are calling the "Jenin Jenin Law." As you recall, a slanderous lying propaganda film was made by Mohammed Bakri, entitled Jenin Jenin, accusing Israeli soldiers of conducting genocidal mass murders in the Battle of Jenin in 2002 (see http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=46&x_review=10) . In that face-to-face street battle in which Israel attempted to capture and kill wanted terrorists, numerous Israeli soldiers were killed and some 20 Palestinian civilians were killed in the crossfire. The Israeli army was criticized inside Israel for not using artillery to level the buildings containing the terrorists and thus save Israeli military lives.
Bakri made a Goebbels-like propaganda film, one he himself later admitted was a tissue of lies (http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=9865 ). (See also http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/other%20-%20Beit%20Berl%20College%20-%20Michal%20Chacham%20and%20the%20Atrocity%20at%20Beit%20Berl.htm .) The soldiers involved in the battle filed a defamation lawsuit against Bakri. Later leftist activist judges on the Supreme Court tossed out their suit as "infringing freedom of speech." That is correct, the same Supreme Court that has upheld rulings that criticizing the public political activities of anti-Israel leftist traitors is "libelous" was unwilling to convict Bakri of libel and slander.
Well, many years too late, the Knesset is now considering a new law that would grant the legal standing to sue people making false defamatory claims about the actions of soldiers. The idea is that if someone claims falsely that Israeli soldiers carried out some sort of atrocity or crime against humanity and it could be proved that the claims are lies and the person making the claims knew they were lies, than the liar could be sued for defamation in civil court. Anyone who has any evidence of actual misbehavior by any soldier would of course be protected from being sued. Any soldier or civilian could file civil suit against the liars. Read more about the law here: http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Knesset-ctee-approves-law-to-ban-defaming-IDF-312235
The Israeli fascist Left of course is up in arms and is screaming to high heavens about this new "assault against freedom of speech and democracy." This from the very same people who spent recent years cheering on the persecution of rabbis and others for endorsing or recommending a book the Left considered to be racist, or who cheered on the denial of freedom of speech to the Kahanists.
The Left insists that defaming Israeli soldiers is part and parcel of freedom of speech. The very same far leftists who cheer on the leftwing academics who file fascist SLAPP harassment suits against anyone who dares to criticize THEM and tell the truth about THEM are now suddenly all upset about the possibility that leftwing liars could be sued for defamation.
The leftwing Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, by the way, opposes the law. Thus demonstrating once again the foolishness of Netanyahu offering her this post. All the tenured radicals also oppose the bill and the chat lists of the tenured Left are full of shrill denunciations of it. Some have taken time off from cheering on the tenured leftists who engage in lawfare and who file SLAPP harassment suits againstthe critics of leftists who dare to exercise freedom of speech. In a worrisome development, even Yair Lapid, regarded as centrist, shifted to the Left and opposed the bill.
The anti-Israel far-leftist daily Haaretz described the law as "criminalizing" the defamation of soldiers (http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israeli-ministers-back-law-calling-libel-against-idf-a-criminal-offense.premium-1.519564 ) , and as usual Haaretz twists the facts to fit its agenda. Nothing in the law involves criminalization. It just defines the defamation of soldiers as a civil tort.
Among those praising the initiative to pass the law is the "Im Tirtzu" Zionist student group. According to the Jerusalem Post: 'Im Tirzu (a political activist group) issued a press release praising the vote, saying that the law implemented "the unwritten, but obligatory, contract between the IDF and civilian society and representatives of the public, which dictates that IDF soldiers will be ready to risk their lives so that every Israeli citizen can live and for the State of Israel to continue to exist." The statement added that, "as a price for this sacrifice of time, and if necessary, of a soldier's life" there is a duty to "defend them in the parliamentary, judicial and public arenas.'
According to the text of the bill, "Those who defame Israel, waging a campaign of de-legitimization against it in the international community, who wish to bring about a boycott of the state and its citizens have chosen IDF soldiers as a comfortable target in recent years, fully aware that no legal steps can be taken against them….Though many fabricated claims against IDF soldiers have been exposed over the years, but due to procedural constraints, the soldiers who were trampled and whose reputation was damaged were left without any legal solution."
Monday, April 29, 2013
I usually try to keep theology out of these postings, as I hardly think I am in any sort of position to be issuing any sort of authoritative theological pronouncements about anything.
I do have a pet peeve however about the Lag B'Omer festivities (just completed) and the misrepresentation of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in those by some fringe movements in Israel and elsewhere. Not that secular Israelis have any better idea of what Lag B'Omer is about. Most think it is about shooting bows and arrows ("at the Romans") and holding hootenannies around campfires, singing campfire songs.
Shimon Bar Yochai of course was an important Talmudic figure and there are also lots of legends about him. The writing of the Zohar is traditionally attributed to him, although there are lots of considerations that raise questions about the historic accuracy of this assertion. I am not sure it matters whether he actually authored the book or not. Would it really make a difference if it could be disproved that King David authored all the psalms, another traditional attribution? In any case, I should also add that I have never studied Zohar, for the simple reason that my mastery of Talmud and related traditional texts is insufficient to consider doing so. The little "Zohar or Kabbala Institutes" that are cropping up, like the one where Madonna pretends to study, are obscene examples of sacrilege in my opinion, Chilul HaShem. And they basically promote paganistic beliefs in magic.
My problem with the Lag B'Omer festivities is the way that fringe Jewish religious groups turn the figure of Bar Yochai into a great magician. In general I am repulsed by those who misrepresent religion as magic. I am repulsed by the idea of "magic amulets" (as is traditional Judaism and as are all serious rabbis) and similar charms.
Leaflets and ads are all over Israel this week urging people to "pray to Bar Yochai" and ask for his intervention, promising that he will deliver miracles, and that he already has delivered many. Tens of thousands flock to his grave site on Mt Meron for Lag B'Omer. A few years back Rabbi Shach, one of the most ultra-conservative Chareidi Rabbis in Israel, was asked why he never attends these festivities on Mt. Meron. He described them as obscene and said that anyone truly wishing to celebrate the life and teachings of Bar Yochai should stay home and study his books, not run to Mt. Meron and light bonfires.
Bar Yochai is not the only Talmudic figure to whom these fringe groups urge people to pray. Similar cults exist for the graves of Meir Baal Ha-ness and others. And of course there are some parallels with the way many Lubavitchers or Chabadniks regard the late Chabad Rabbi.
Let me be clear. In Judaism it is completely prohibited to pray to righteous men, saints, or rabbis (dead or alive). This is clearly considered to be a form of paganism. One is prohibited from praying to Bar Yochai (or anyone else) to ask for his intervention with God; instead one prays directly to God to ask for anything one wishes with no need or justification for intervention by anyone else. One may not even pray to Moses or Elijah. Those who hang about the grave shrines of Rabbis (or cemeteries) and ask for money to pray on behalf of other people are charlatans and ghouls and should be immediately subjected to investigation by the income tax authorities.
And what of the claims by the Bar Yochai cult groups that Bar Yochai is performing miracles as we speak from the grave? Well, there is a name for people who believe that a righteous man is performing miracles from the grave to assist those alive today. Such a person is known as a Christian. Such a belief is fine for someone practicing Christianity but is totally alien to Judaism.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
In the 1990s there was a debate in Israel over the "right" to import pork into Israel. At the time, a group of Lefties petitioned the courts to proclaim "pork importer" to be a profession that is protectd under Israel's semi-constitutional "basic laws," which grant the freedom of professional choices to people, the freedom to choose your own profession. It was argued that prohibitions on pork importing were unconstitutional. The court eventually AGREED! This is noteworthy because there is no constitutional right to import KOSHER food into Israel and you cannot import, say, a kosher Empire chicken from the US or kosher salamis from anywhere.
Anyhow, at the time, the Meretz Party decided to show its support for the petitioners and announced that it would host an assembly of pork importers in the Meretz party headquarters. Meretz at the time was headed by Shulamit Aloni, the Madame Defarge of the Israeli radical Left. Her sidekick was Yossi "Call Me Ishmael" Sarid.
That development got my notorious poetic juices a-flowing back then and I composed this poem to mark that cosmic event:
To Meretz To Meretz, To Buy a A Fat Pig,
Home Again Home Again, Jiggety Jig.
To Meretz To Meretz, To Buy a Fat Hog,
Home Again Home Again, Jiggety Jog.
To Meretz To Meretz, To Buy a Young Shoat,
Home Again Home Again, Ready to Vote.
To Meretz To Meretz, to buy a fat sow,
Stir fry it with scallions, I'd like a Peace Now.
To Meretz To Meretz, to buy a crisp chimp,
Sautee it with butter and serve it with shrimp.
To Meretz To Meretz, to buy an old horse,
We'll send her to the Knesset like Caligula of course.
I mention all of this because of the tragic events in Haifa this past week.
You may not have heard but there was a fire this week in the Haifa zoo. As it turned out, most of the monkeys in the zoo were tragically burned to death. You can see the news story here: http://www.timesofisrael.com/several-monkeys-killed-in-haifa-zoo-blaze/
According to the story: "The Haifa Educational Zoo keeps several primates, including baboons, green vervets, capuchins and lemurs, according to its website. The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear. Fire officials said they would launch an investigation."
Almost everyone in Haifa considered this a rather sad development.
However the local chapter of Meretz considered it lunch!
Bar - be - cue!
Friday, April 26, 2013
1. For the past few weeks, Israel's military establishment and some its politicians have been telling the world that Bashar Assad and his junta have already used poison gas against civilians in Syria. For example, Yuval Steinetz issued such a report a month ago (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/20/chemical-weapons-used-in-syria-israel_n_2915447.html ). This matters because of, among other reasons, the fact that the Obama team has been saying that any use of poison gas was the ultimate "red line" for US and for allied intervention in Syria.
This past week, the US State Department was denouncing Israel for issuing false tendentious disinformation about the use of poison gas against Syrian civilians. Those Israelis were simply trying to drum up escalation and war.
Then this morning it was announced that both the US Department of Defense and the British government concede that there is evidence that the Assad regime has indeed used poison gas (sarin) against civilians. Sarin is what the Japanese communist terrorists (from the Aum Shinrikyo group) used in the Tokyo metro system in 1995.
Incidentally, Aum Shinrikyo is also known as Aleph (really - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum_Shinrikyo). You know, the same name as the pro-terror anti-Semitic chat list that continues to operate under the auspices of the University of Haifa (http://www.isracampus.org.il/ALEF%20Watch.htm ). Coincident?
2. The Grand Persecute Avigdor Lieberman Vaudeville Show is now underway in Jerusalem court, and the "case" of the leftist Prosecutor against Lieberman is falling apart as we speak. It is collapsing so quickly that it is more amusing than watching the comedy channel on cable.
Just to remind you of what it is about: The Left and its captive Attorney General at first decided to go after Lieberman and make a case of "financial corruption" against him. As part of its investigation, it send an inquiry to Belarus, where Lieberman had some financial interests. Word reached the Israeli Ambassador in Latvia, Ze'ev Ben Aryeh, and he passed a note to Lieberman telling him that questions were being sent to the Belarus authorities about Lieberman's finances.
Much later, Ben Ari's term was up and he was appointed by Lieberman to a new diplomatic post, Ambassador to Latvia, one considerably less prestigious than Belarus because Latvia is a much smaller country. The Left alleges that this was payback to Ben Aryeh for leaking the fact that Israeli investigators were snooping in Belarus over Lieberman's affairs. After dragging things out for dramatic effect for years, the Prosecution eventually decided to indict Lieberman for "corruption" over this "affair."
Now the most glaring fact being overlooked by the chattering classes in the media is that the Prosecution never dug up enough dirt on his finances to indict Lieberman over them. So it indicted Lieberman instead over the "Ambassador Affair" as its own consolation prize. Except that if anyone did anything wrong, and it is not clear it was even criminal, it was Ben Aryeh for improperly leaking the fact that investigators were snooping around in Belarus after Lieberman. (See http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/unsavory-affairs-in-lieberman-case-leave-bad-taste.premium-1.517675 ). And it is not even clear that this was improper.
When the Attorney General decided to prosecute the case, his star witness was a disgruntled official, Danny Ayalon, with a clear open personal grudge against Lieberman and hardly a reliable witness. Lieberman had once canned Ayalon for incompetence.
So the prosecution is left with Ben Aryeh. They put him on the stand yesterday and he could not recall anything at all that was legally harmful to Lieberman. Of course it is conceivable that Ben Aryeh was pretending not to remember because Israel does not have a Fifth Amendment and so he did not want to get himself in trouble. But so what? His testimony is now useless against Lieberman. And the Attorney General evidently has nothing else of substance!
Haaretz of course is pulling out its hair and screaming that the corrupt Lieberman must be indicted and convicted. You know, unlike Palestinian terrorists. Haaretz insists Ben Aryeh was sent as ambassador to Latvia by a grateful Lieberman. Except Ben Aryeh was actually sent there because he speaks Russian fluently. Haaretz today insists that Ben Aryeh has none of the talents required by someone to be an Ambassador. This is amusing because the only talent usually required by someone to be an Israeli ambassador is the ability to smile and not show missing front teeth. Ben Aryeh is eminently qualified from a dental perspective. And he now seems to be grinning all the way home from the courtroom.
Haaretz' other big cause this week is promoting the demand that Israeli schools give equal time to both the Israeli and Palestinian "narratives." In other words, the Education Reporter and Columnist at Haaretz wants equal school time devoted to telling lies and to telling the truth about the Arab-Israel conflict. I think Israel should adopt his suggestions just as soon as the schools in the UK grant equal time to the 1940s German "narrative" about World War I and World War II.
4. This short news item speaks for itself. From the Wall Street Journal:
Homeless Bill of Rights
By ALLYSIA FINLEY
Last year California lawmakers approved a "homeowner's bill of rights." Now in the spirit of social and legal equality, Democrats have proposed a "homeless bill of rights."
The bill's Assembly sponsor Tom Ammiano, who hails from San Francisco (also known as the hobo capital of California), says state legislation is needed to stop businesses and local governments from discriminating against poor people merely because they can't afford housing. But of course, civil rights laws already do that. They don't, however, protect vagrant behavior.
Mr. Ammiano's bill would end-run local "sit-lie" laws like those in San Francisco and Santa Monica that seek to deter vagrancy. In 2010 San Francisco's then-mayor Gavin Newsom spearheaded a ballot initiative to ban vagrants from sitting or lying on sidewalks. Businesses complained vociferously that young bums, er, "free spirits" and the mentally ill were taking over sidewalks and aggressively panhandling.
According to the homeless bill of rights, such "quality of life ordinances" are the "modern reincarnation" of Jim Crow and "Ugly laws," which once forbid people with "unsightly or disgusting" disabilities from appearing in public. By forcing "homeless people to flee local jurisdictions," the ordinances "result in de facto segregation."
The bill seeks to remedy such putative injustice by enshrining vagrants' "right to access public property, possess personal property, access public restrooms, clean water, educational supplies, as specified, emergency and nonemergency, health care, confidentiality of medical records, assistance of legal counsel in specified proceedings, and restitution, under specified circumstances." Is that all?
Thus, homeless people (and Occupy Wall Street types) would have a right to a public attorney if they are cited for vagrancy or evicted from a public space. The bill would also impose civil penalties for violating vagrants' "rights." In other words, it would make police officers legally liable for clearing sidewalks and protecting passersby from unstable or aggressive beggars.
The Assembly Judicial Committee approved the bill on Tuesday, though Mr. Ammiano was forced to strip out a right to "engage in life sustaining activities" including "urinating." With a few more tweaks, the bill stands a good chance of passing the legislature, where Democrats hold a supermajority. No doubt liberals will praise themselves for striving to make California a better place to live.
5. You may have heard that a Hezb'Allah pilotless aircraft or drone was shot down near Haifa yesterday. I am truly upset about this. Let me explain.
I was taking a shower, minding my own business, and my "facilities" have a skylight window from which ordinarily no one can peek inside. But there I am lathering mi-self up and playing with my bath toys when this bizarre aircraft is suddenly hovering above the skylight. It had Itboch al-Yahud and other war cries painted along its sides. It hovered and its cameras stared down at me through the skylight.
As it was peeking in at me here in my birthday suit, it suddenly occurred to me that the water in the shower was turning rather chilly. But that just triggered the most traumatic bout of panic of all in me. For you see, it occurred to me that the Hezb'Allah terrorists live in a suppressed and censored world of medieval shelterdom and it is quite possible that they are not aware of certain, er, biological facts. In particular, I stood there shivering and worried that the Hezb'Allah operatives viewing the spy photos from their drone may not be aware of … shrinkage.
I did not sleep all night, worried that a compromising photo or video of mi-self might appear this weekend on Hezb'Allah web sites. Talk about being sold short!
Oy the humanity!