All entries for January 2006
January 30, 2006
On Israeli Hasbarah הסברה: Part 2
H4. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel
This is perhaps one of the more subtle and subliminal aspects of Israeli Hasbera. Jerusalem – and when I say Jerusalem here I am referring to Al-Quds/Historic Jerusalem/"East Jerusalem" inclusive of the Mount – is not and never has been the capital of Israel. Tel Aviv is the Capital of Israel. Jerusalem, in the aforementioned definition, is part of the occupied territories with absolutely no final status.
There have been attempts over the many years to change the status of Jerusalem.
1) Settlement The primary attempt has been, of course, Illegal Israeli settlement and annexation. In creating so-called "West Jerusalem" (ie incorporation and expanding towns and villages within the municipal borders), Israel attempted to fundamentally change Jerusalem's demography. This form of ethnic upheaval coincides with policies aiming to limit Palestinian growth within Jerusalem. The Jewish mayors of Jerusalem have consistently failed to provide qually for its Arab residents in terms of growth, education, health, public safety etc. In addition to that, Israeli law, both within Israel and its occupation laws forbid Palestinian expansion. By use of the term expansion, I don't mean the Israeli sense of the word whereby you expel Palestinians from their homes and villages and then construct your own, but natural population growth requiring more buildings to accommodate the greater number of families.
2) Refusal to negotiate Jerusalem's status You will find, contrary to popular myth, that the Palestinians have been willing to negotiate Jerusalem, with Yassir Arafat almost destructively doing so with Ehud Barak (on the verge of accepting Abu Dis and a few other villages relabelled as "Al-Quds"). The Israeli official line has always been to never negotiate on Jerusalem. To effectively cement its occupation by taking it off the table. To repeat ad infinitum the fundamentally racist mantra that Jerusalem is Jewish Land and always will be and hope that it will eventually be forsaken by the international community. To an extent this has worked. Jerusalem has, effectively, come to be seen as a city which has been part of Israel since 1948. Many who should know better, including journalists, politicians and intellectuals, do not know that Jerusalem was occupied in 1967.
This attitude is paraphrased most succinctly by Menachem Begin:
"Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever." Subsequent Israeli PMs haven continued to maintain this line. Its effect will be mentioned in the next point.
3) Using the international media to create "Jerusalem: Capital of Israel"
I was just now watching a roundtable discussion on Palestine featuring Dr. Finkelstein (The Holocaust Industry) and Wolf Blitzer of CNN fame. In responding to one of Dr. Finkelstein's points, Blitzer says "What they're shouting… you don't have to understand Arabic to understand what they're saying. They're not saying Hebron, nablus, ramallah.. what they're clearly saying is Haifa, Jaffa, the gallilee, Al-Quds… Al-quds is Jerusalem[...] The liberation of not just the occupied West Bank and Gaza, but the liberation of the rest of Palestine" and Jerusalem.
Mr Blitzer's blunders aside (You would need to understand Arabic as Hebron is derived from the Hebrew word for the City, which in Arabic is Al-Khaleel – you could probably guess that Palestinians were talking about the Galilee through use of the Arabic word Al-Jalil), he is describing a Palestinian desire to liberate parts of Palestinian aside from the West Bank and Gaza area. Now, I'm not going to get into the debate about Palestinians wanting this and that. The fact is, the Israelis have (as historically tragic as this fact may be) irreversably altered the ethnic distribution of the indiginous Palestinians in such a way as to make a return to pre-1948 in areas such as Haifa and Yaffa an impossibility. They are now part of the state of Israel. In adding Al-Quds to Haifa and Yaffa (it is interesting to note that one of the only actual Jewish cities – one created by Jews – Tel Aviv, which palestinians distinguish from Yaffa, is not mentioned) and deliberately distinguishing those cities from those which he apparently believes should compose Palestine (ie Al-Khaleel, Ramallah et al.), he is subtly making Al-Quds part of the State of Israel.
This kind of misunderstanding/misstatement is rife within Western media and is actively encouraged by Israeli embassies and other groups which angrily reprimand news agencies who dare to refer to Israel's actual capital: Tel Aviv. Or at least those who question Jerusalem's status.
So what is the intended outcome of this specific hasbarah?
In essence, it is to preempt negotiations on Jerusalem. It is to cement in the Western mind the concept of Jerusalem as "The eternal capital of Israel" and a place which has always been part of Israel. It therefore leads to making the Palestinians look like they're reaching for something that is not theirs within Jerusalem ("We're making such painful concessions – how dare those extremists ask us to give up our very capital!?") and it also creates greater sympathy for Israel when she demands no mention of Jerusalem within negotiations, despite Al-Quds being of vital interest to the Palestinian people.
January 28, 2006
On Munich 1972…Focus always seems to be on the murdered athletes… We never hear of the 200 Palestinian civilians murdered afterwards. It would be nice if some media attention also directed a little attention to the indiscriminate bombing of refugee camps in in response to what is often depicted as the greatest crime against humanity committed in the 1970s – the murder of 11 athletes.
男儿当自强 – Cool flash video
Was digging through my old bookmarks, sorting some into files and deleting others, and I came across this old gem. A nice little flash video with the Mandarin version of 男儿当自强 (by 陈龙/Jackie Chan – the Theme song to the Wong Fei Hung films).
The characters in the flash video are from 三国演义 (Romance of the Three Kingdoms) – and I'm guessing the central three throughout the video are 关羽 (Guan Yu), 张飞 (Zhang Fei) and 赵子龙 (Zhao Zilong – also my favourite character :D). Strangely enough, 刘备 (Liu Bei) doesn't seem to make an appearance.
Anyhow, interesting/funny little flash vid which I'm guessing might have been made by HK folk because of some of the little in-jokes (Take Seven-Eleven: classic).
January 26, 2006
Hamas wins Parliamentary Elections…
and yet 'Israel and the United States have said they would not deal with a government led by Hamas'. So much for democracy!
We want the Palestinians to elect their representatives! The Palestinians must engage in democracy! But only with people we enjoy dealing with!
The Palestinians have had to negotiate with Likud for many years in between various Labour governments despite the 1996 Likud Party Platform stating quite clearly:
The Jordan River shall be the eastern border of the State of Israel, south of Lake Kinneret. This will be the permanent border between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
i.e. There will never be a Palestinian state incorporating the West Bank. On top of that, the various Likud PMs have been responsible not just for hundreds but for tens of thousands of Palestinian deaths. Admittedly deaths not caused by such crude methods as suicide bombings, but by Merkavas, Phosphorus bombs, helicopters, napalm etc.
I don't understand why the US and Israel will refuse to deal with Hamas whilst simultaneously expecting any Palestinian to deal with them.
Michael Jackson defiling Bahrain…
Writing about web page http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/entertainment/news/20060125p2a00m0et037000c.html
I remember reading a news article many months ago stating that Michael Jackson had moved to Bahrain. I joked with my friend Ramzi at the time that he went there to behave like a Saudi Prince: i.e. drive around in his limo looking for young boys with whom to perform lewd acts.
For those of you unfamiliar with the behaviour of Saudi princes abroad, let me elaborate. Firstly, I'm not going to paint them all with a broad brush. There are plenty of Saudi Emirs who give plenty to charity, who perform all their Islamic duties exactly as they should and who are generally good people. Then there are some hypocritical Saudi Princes who, while in Saudi, prayed the requisit amount, go on Hajj every year, protest women driving because it is "unislamic" and then go on holiday regularly to London, to Paris, to New York, to Bahrain and spend the most lavish sums of money on high-class whores, on shopping for their wives and, in some cases, cruising the streets of Bahrain with their Saudi plates looking for young men. And I mean young men in the Ancient Greek since: boys who are not yet ready to shave. Their behaviour makes me sick and the fact that poverty exists in Saudi is a crime against the Saudi people, against humanity and against Islam. But this rant can be continued later.
Now "Wacko" appears to be exporting his familiar brand of Weird ShitŪ to Bahrain.
Pop star Michael Jackson took a shopping trip to a Bahrain mall Wednesday, covering himself in a black abaya robe traditionally warn by Bahraini women [sic.] and a veil hiding his face, along with three children — apparently his — with their faces covered with dark scarves.
OK everyone take a moment to digest that.
To those who don't know what an Abaya is, it's a set of robes specifically designed for woman. It is not something a man wears, short of being a transvestite. Arabic men have Djallebiyeh, Jilbaab, Dishdasha etc which can be easily manufactured by someone like Michael Jackson in a black colour (ie to better protect himself from the skin disease he claims he has) and He could wear some kind of Hutta on his head – the Arabic headdress – which could also be used to cover his mouth/face.
Nope. He chooses to dress like a woman. You know what, it's not the wierdest sort of thing Wacko's ever done outside the bedroom (allegedly).
In November, Jackson stirred a small controversy in the United Arab Emirates by entering the ladies room in a shopping mall. His publicist said Jackson, who arrived in Dubai as the guest of a champion rally driver, did not understand the Arabic sign on the door and left the bathroom as soon as he realized his mistake.
But local newspapers reported that the 47-year-old performer was spotted applying make-up in the woman's toilets in a Dubai mall.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I don't know what to think at the moment. It seems that there are three possibilities:
1) He's some kind of a transvestite.
2) He's a paedophile who, having not had much luck in the US, decided to ply his perversion in The Two Seas.
3) He's both.
Conclusion? I think he seriously needs help. And he's got to be stopped from setting up home in Bahrain. I know that he hasn't been convicted of any crime, as of yet, and that he retains his freedom of movement etc. but the Bahraini authorities, instead of inviting him to become a theme-park consultant, should be denying him a visa (alas the modern Bahrain in its drive to be self-sufficient after the oil runs out is turning its focus onto tourism and the almighty dollar). He is clearly in a better position to exploit children in Bahrain, where it will be easier to protect his potentially paedophilic privacy (:P), were that to be his aim.
And why hasn't any agency removed his children from his care? No amount of money can provide the quality of life denied by being forced to walk around with a bag over your head for the entirity of your childhood.
January 23, 2006
Ah this is the life…
Look I'm a simple guy. I'm no masterchef so when I'm peckish at 4.30 am in the morning and I'm on a diet (ie living off fresh fruit, veg and chicken breast coupled with the odd glass of skimmed milk/OJ), it's difficult to decide what to cook.
Luckily, I had a few packets of Amoy's straight to wok noodles. Admittedly I've never been a fan of Amoy's noodles but they were a lifesaver. A surprisingly calorific lifesaver! So I limited myself to one 150g sachet and vowed to learn how to make fresh noodles myself, so as to avoid the nastiness of Rapeseed/Palm oil.
Now, noodles, fried in a tiny puddle of olive oil (somewhat unorthodox I know)aren't going to be the best thing you've ever tasted. Dark soy sauce to the rescue. A couple of minutes frying in the pan, then I splashed in the soy sauce (practically calorie-free :D but high in salt content :'() and about a minute later I had a perfect little dinner/breakfast (and a smoke-filled kitchen) with the cost of about 190 Kcs.
But, I have to give everyone two tips:
1) Don't lather your food with dark soy sauce if it's on high heat. (Or at least turn off your smoke-alarms before you do)
2) Don't leave a bag of sweet-peppers next to a radiator when you bring in your shopping then forget about them… and turn on the heating. DOH. – The bag filled with toxic-slime a day or two later is certainly not pleasant. Nor deliciously aromatic >_<.
January 21, 2006
Iran learns from History
Writing about web page http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/nuclear_iran_dc;_ylt=AilWUjm3fj.d8BKhBPWGzV2s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--
If you leave aside the President's recent remarks and take a look at Iran's actions alone, it is clear that she is, perhaps, taking the most sensible course for the preservation of her own sovereignty and her own security… In other words she's quite clearly drawn lessons from America's previous actions concerning modern warfare.
One of them is that she won't attack a nation with a possible nuclear deterrent. (North Korea)
Another is that she will make sure that the foreign assets are strictly controlled and, possibly, used for America's own purposes. (Iraq).
It'll be interesting to see how Iran continues to prepare in the coming months.
January 20, 2006
Indonesians kill up to 180,000 East Timorese civilians from 1975 onwards.
Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4630122.stmIt'll be interesting to see what the UN makes of the report. It's somewhat less than earlier estimates of around 250,000 killed but I would love to see the UN launch an official investigation into events and, on the basis of UN findings, see international tribunals bring some of the primary perpetrators and their direct supporters (including Americans such as Henry Kissinger) to justice.
On Israeli Hasbarah הסברה: Part 1
Part 1: The Palestinians are clearly failing in their obligations.
Israel has one of the best military services in the world today.
It has some of the most restrictive borders in the world today.
It has security everywhere.
It receives billions per annum in "aid".
A suicide bombing just occured in Tel Aviv. 15 people were injured. Israeli politicians eagerly scrambled to capitalise on the situation issuing statements such as:
"This brutal attack proves once again that the Palestinian Authority is failing to fulfil its obligations," Gideon Meir
Tragic though it may be that a bombing has occured, apparently targetting civilians, I fail to see how the PA, whose infrastructure has been systematically destroyed over the past 5 years could possibly have the finances, the resources, the sheer infrastructure to succeed where the Israelis with their wealth and supposed counter-terrorism policies have failed. If the Israelis cannot police their own borders, how can they expect the PA to police anything when the PA aren't allowed to police their own roads and cities? Even under the terms agreed at Oslo, the Palestinians had very, very little actual military/police control over Palestinian ares. Now, a bare frame of a government, the PA is expected to have absolute control over the actions of every Palestinian?
More on Israeli הסברה, including an introduction to the History, varations and current forms of Hasbarah, to come.
January 18, 2006
Dawn of the Dead (Remake): Fundamental Plot Flaw
Look, I've watched the movie a long time ago and I loved it. I've watched it about 6 times. And I still like the movie (despite the subliminal anti-Islam message contained in the movie's titles – am I the only one to have spotted this?). So I watched it again recently and the movie has a giant, gaping plot hole – Ving's best buddy Andy is the owner of a Gun Store… surrounded by Zombies.
Now, we see him in the film shooting the odd zombie for sport. Apparently he's a crack shot. Call me stupid, but a Gun shop is bound to have thousands of bullets. He could have killed at least one zombie every 10 seconds with his rifle. Pausing for a ten minute rest every ten minutes and working away for eight hours, that's 1440 possible kills per day. Now he was there long enough to nearly die of thirst/starvation… why the hell didn't he just shoot the few hundred zombies surrounding the mall. He could have then calmly walked across the road to the mall and they all could have lived in relative luxury, with as much ammunition as they could have ever hoped to have used, a large stockpile of food and, presumably, potable water and, presuming electrical supplies held, none of them would have had to die.
Plot holes aside, the fundamental lesson we learn from this movie is that in a mall-survival situation, we all need engineers (I'm guessing preference will be for engineers). Therefore, in such situations, engineers will be able to take over the world. No more ugly women for you!
January 13, 2006
On Daytime Terrestrial TV…
When I'm working, often on my PC, I have to have something on in the background. I can't give my all when it comes to coursework (exams are different – they give me the "Exam adrenaline" variable), I have to multitask in order to concentrate. So while I'm typing out thoughts for an essay, I'll also be watching the latest episode of Prison Break or Friday Night with Jonothan Woss. Or if I'm going through Denning's vibrant challenge to the house of Lords in his far out Ratio Decidendi, I like to be playing World of Warcraft or Eve Online at the same time.
So what's the problem with that? Well I moved out recently into an internetless flat. BT buggered me up against a wall over the Christmas period. The BT Engineer came in, said he couldn't find a line and this was early December. They couldn't slot me in again until last week and now there's one more day until broadband activation. So I'm sitting her sponging my Sister's old Samsung X10+, Surfing the interweb and watching TV while working.
And here's where it gets worse. We have Sky+ downstairs. But the Sky + is broken. And after wasting £30+ on phoning Sky and getting the same old crap from an underpaid, undertrained (yet no doubt pretty) Scottish teleworker, they'll finally send an engineer over to have a look at the box. So I'm stuck with 1,2,3,4 and 5. Fine. As long as you avoid the daytime TV.
My experience of daytime TV has generally been one which taught me never to pretend I was ill to avoid school. Because, despite the AOL chatrooms and the 1337 56k modem (and my PII MMX!! WH00+!), I would invariably end up, in front of the television, crying my eyes out over supermarket sweep and Richard and Judy. Funnily enough I've found Richard and Judy has become more watchable now that they just interview various topical celebrities…. but you've got to remember, back when I was a kid, they focused on stuff for various Housefraus, such as how to clean stains with Valencia Lemons and what multiple uses there were for a neck massager. Aside from that, there was just a pile of pure, unmitigated crap, interrupted by the odd news reports. (And it was worse – Sunday daytime TV with Songs of Praise and that weird nun who reviewed art!)
Little has changed. Richard and Judy have disappeared and been replaced with Philip "Any Dream Will Do" Schofield and his much, much bigger Gopher. Meep I flipped onto the channel the other day and what were they talking about? The importance of wearing correct bras for women when walking, running/excercising. They had an expert brought in with simulation equipment attached to the nipples of two random (and token) hotties (I shit you not). They were set loose on a treadmill and the measurements taken from the nipples were juxtaposed with those taken from the head. Conclusion? Women should wear bras that correctly support their breasts, or by the time they'r thirty, they'll resemble South Park's Mrs. Choksondik. And the always sexually-ambiguous Schoefield is probably heterosexual. Probably
And today. Well the TV was on Channel 4 and I couldn't find the remote… Sod's Law . And, succumbing to what my friend calls the ""Couch-potatolisation"":http://mediaguin.blogspot.com/ of society, I couldn't be arsed to get up. I let it roar.
And to be honest I had mixed feelings. There was a veritable relay race of low budget semi-documentary, amateurish productions, starting off with what looked like a High School Drama lesson in comedy, replete with shitty acting, a la Harry Potter . I remember back in the Harrodian, my old foil, Rory, and I had some concept of what Comic Timing was... These kids clearly didn't. I almost got up to change the channel... but hey, What am I?
So that finally finished, thank god and then there proceeded something more interesting, if too amateurish to be more than dull. It followed a couple of amateur directors who had invested £20,000 in a play and how they play was carried out. Interesting from my perspective because I used to take part in such amateur productions, the last notable occasion being when I played a bald, wheelchair-bound, pink-bespectacled Tiresias, replete with leather jacket, in KCS's Oedipus Tyrannos. So the sympathy was there. Shame the musical play looked crap.
I was eventually compelled to rise and manually changed the channel when something which I think was called "Hurdeep does Pets" came on. A Sikh Scottish person telling really, really bad jokes about pets. Imagine the unfunniest display you have ever seen – and I'm talking Martin Lawrence unfunny – and then triple the pain. I have something against Scots anyway… and that's despite me being half-Scottish. There's nothing more unfunny than a Scots trying to be funny. Here's the math:
Scotch Accent + Shitty Jokes = (Birth-Giving Pain x 10^7)/ Jim Carrey's Cable Guy
In other words, I avoided it like the plague… ya Sasannach baastar's.
I breathed a sigh of relief until I saw what was on the telly: Antiques Hunt Ripoff No. 5 with throwaway lispy bowtie-wearing "Expert" X where contests compete for an hour to win all of five pounds by selling antique pepsi cans they find in car-boot sales in Swansea and Reading. Nothing more explefies my idea of Shite. Except a cricket/snooker/other shitty "sport" replacing my favourite reruns of Star Trek: DS9 or Buffy the Vampire Slayer on BBC2.
But the trouble is it beats the other crap that's bound to be on: Shitty Gameshow X on BBC2, Crappy House Decoration Programme Y on ITV, another antiques program on Channel 4… and hardcore porn (the ones which try to have a story) on Channel 5. Bleh.
GIVE ME MY BROADBAND INTERNET BT YOU BASTARDS!
The Crisis of British Culture
I'm bored. I'm not sleepy. And I don't fancy starting up on my new copy of Benny Morris's classic. So inbetween manically refreshing www.fark.com , reading Warwick blogs and playing a bit of Eve Online, I've got the TV on in the background. I look up from the laptop and hey, it's Big Brother !LIVE!
And what are they housemates doing?
Sleeping some more.
Literally 15 minutes-worth of snoring housemates before the presenter quietly says "And that's all from the housemates for tonight folks"...
WTF? Does anyone actually watch these people sleep as though something miraculous is going to happen.
Now there's a program called "Big Brother's Little Brother" which starts of with some hippy with black catterpillers glued to his eyebrows and the most annoying voice I've heard since Dawn Penn sang "No No No", insinuating that George Galloway was receiving a handjob from an actress, sounding much like a man who's had his throat slit and who I've never heard of.
January 11, 2006
What does the International Community expect Iran to do?
Iran is really in a catch-22 situation:
1) It (potentially) builds nuclear weapons. The UN levies sanctions, US eventually invades with an "international coalition".
2) It ceases everything. The US eventually invades.
What would you do if you were Iran given that:
1) The US lumped Iran along with Iraq and NK in the Axis of Evil speech. Iraq was invaded and didn't have nuclear weapons. America will clearly never invade NK despite having a strong presence on her doorstep because she has nuclear weapons.
2) Despite Syria hopping on one leg, rolling on the floor, begging at the US's command, the US is still extremely hostile towards the country. And will probably invade or use Israel as proxy.
January 10, 2006
For all you Galloway–haters out there…
Writing about web page http://beta.cergis.com/george/
Hehehe His salary ticker
He's being discussed on a programme on BBC2 at the moment and, frankly, his "Media Agent" needs to be fired. I could have done a better job defending him and I'm agreeing with his critics on this!
Come on George – pull your socks up!
Edit Crikey, he's getting a ribbing.