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Nisan 14, 5769, 4/8/2009
The following has been circulating by email, by an anonymous author.
API - April 18, 1476 B.C.
The cycle of violence between the Jews and the Egyptians continues with no end in sight in Egypt. After eight previous plagues that have destroyed the Egyptian infrastructure and disrupted the lives of ordinary Egyptian citizens, the Jews launched a new offensive this week in the form of the plague of darkness.
Western journalists were particularly enraged by this plague. "It is simply impossible to report when you can't see an inch in front of you," complained a frustrated Andrea Koppel of CNN. "I have heard from my reliable Egyptian contacts that in the midst of the blanket of blackness, the Jews were annihilating thousands of Egyptians. Their word is solid enough evidence for me."
While the Jews contend that the plagues are justified given the harsh slavery imposed upon them by the Egyptians, Pharaoh, the Egyptian leader, rebuts this claim. "If only the plagues would let up, there would be no slavery. We just want to live plague-free. It is the right of every society."
Saeb Erekat, an Egyptian spokesperson, complains that slavery is justifiable given the Jews' superior weaponry supplied to them by the superpower God. The Europeans are particularly enraged by the latest Jewish offensive. "The Jewish aggression must cease if there is to be peace in the region. The Jews should go back to slavery for the good of the rest of the world," stated an angry French President Jacques Chirac.
Even several Jews agree. Adam Shapiro, a Jew, has barricaded himself within Pharaoh's chambers to protect Pharaoh from what is feared will be the next plague, the death of the firstborn. Mr. Shapiro claims that while slavery is not necessarily a good thing, it is the product of the plagues and when the plagues end, so will the slavery. "The Jews have gone too far with plagues such as locusts and epidemic which have virtually destroyed the Egyptian economy," Mr. Shapiro laments. "The Egyptians are really a very nice people and Pharaoh is kind of huggable once you get to know him," gushes Shapiro.
The United States is demanding that Moses and Aaron, the Jewish leaders, continue to negotiate with Pharaoh. While Moses points out that Pharaoh had made promise after promise to free the Jewish people only to immediately break them and thereafter impose harsher and harsher slavery, Richard Boucher of the State Department assails the latest offensive. "Pharaoh is not in complete control of the taskmasters," Mr. Boucher states. "The Jews must return to the negotiating table and will accomplish nothing through these plagues."
The latest round of violence comes in the face of a bold new Saudi peace overture. If only the Jews will give up their language, change their names to Egyptian names and cease having male children, the Arab nations will incline toward peace with them, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah declared.
Nisan 12, 5769, 4/6/2009
A television station run by the jihadist Hamas movement - meaning, of course, the Gaza half of the Palestinian Authority - recently broadcast a play that included a crude portrayal of a very straightforward anti-Semitic blood libel.
The April 3, 2009 show went like something this (according to Palestinian Media Watch):
[A father speaking to his son] Father: "We Jews hate the Muslims, we want to kill the Muslims, we Jews want to drink the blood of Muslims and Arabs."
"Are you Muslims and Arabs? I hate you, to please God." [Imitates Jewish prayer]
The rest is more of the same, repeated ad nauseum.
Invariably, the Islamists need actors when they portray some imaginary Jewish desire for drinking Muslim (or Christian) blood. There was that Hamas play, Syrian and Egyptian telenovellas, PA music video clips, Iranian children's shows, and more.
"My message to the loathed Jews is that there is no god but Allah. We will chase you everywhere. We are a nation that drinks blood, and we know that there is no blood better than the blood of Jews. We will not leave you alone until we have quenched our thirst with your blood, and our children's thirst with your blood."
Researched, compiled and presented by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
Adar 2, 5769, 2/26/2009
Washington journalists have found a new issue on which to focus their sharp-eyed investigative energies: Israel’s apparent bias against pasta in Gaza.
Reporters in a daily press briefing held at the U.S. State Department by Acting Department Spokesman Robert Wood on Wednesday, February 25, grilled him on whether America was pushing the pasta into Gaza, or not.
Herewith is a transcript of the briefing. No one could make this up, except possibly Billy Crystal. Consider it for a skit at your Purim seuda.
* * *
QUESTION: A new topic? On Gaza, there have been some reports that the United States is quite displeased with the Israeli government about the amount of goods that the Israeli government is allowing into Gaza. For instance, they’re making such restrictions on dual use that is kind of arbitrary and not necessarily in line with what the humanitarian needs are in Gaza. Can you say what, at this point, the State Department assessment of the amount of aid that’s going into Gaza right now?
MR. WOOD: I’m not prepared here to give you an assessment of the type of aid that’s going in, but we have --
QUESTION: Are you satisfied with the level of aid?
MR. WOOD: Well, look, the situation on the ground there, as you know, is very complicated. And what we have been trying to do is ensure that, you know, humanitarian assistance gets to the people of Gaza. We will continue to try to do that, but as I said, it’s complicated. And we have had discussions with the Israelis about the situation. Other countries have, as well. And we’ll continue to push to get as much in the way of humanitarian supplies into Gaza as we can. It’s the best assessment I can give you.
MR. WOOD: Well, look, there are a number of players on the ground trying to deal with the humanitarian situation. I, from the podium here, can’t tell you whether, you know, pasta should fall into a specific category – into that category of humanitarian assistance or not. But what we’re trying to do is to make sure that the supplies that –
QUESTION: Well, apparently, U.S. officials have been complaining about this particular example. So, I mean, I’m just saying, like, shouldn’t all food and medicine be allowed into Gaza at this point? I mean, is that really a -- even a question about dual use?
MR. WOOD: What we want to see get into Gaza are humanitarian supplies that, you know -- that the Gazan -- the people of Gaza need. I can’t give you an assessment of, you know, whether all of these things are absolutely necessary to meet the humanitarian needs of the Gazan people. That’s better left to those international organizations and NGOs, you know, who are in the area trying to work on this issue. I just can’t make that kind of determination.
QUESTION: Do you think that Israel should be tying the amount of aid and supplies getting into Gaza to the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit? Because as you know, the -- some people in Israeli Prime Minister Olmert’s staff have complained that this – that aid is being used as a political tool.
MR. WOOD: Well, it’s not for me, from the podium here, to engage in these types of -- on these issues. I mean, this is --
QUESTION: Well, should aid -- you don’t -- you can’t say whether you think aid should be used as a political weapon?
MR. WOOD: Well, aid should never be used as a political weapon. But again, I’m not engaged in those discussions that are going on with regard to, you know, the opening of the borders and with regard to the ceasefire. Those are decisions that will have to be made at an appropriate time. I’m not able to do that from here.
QUESTION: Well, but I mean, do you think that the ceasefire is being honored? I mean, obviously, there have been complaints that Hamas is not honoring the ceasefire. But is Israel honoring the ceasefire in terms of allowing the aid and – under their obligations? Are they meeting their obligations?
MR. WOOD: Well, I’m not able to give you that kind of assessment from here. But my understanding is, is that there are discussions going on amongst a wide variety of parties with equities with regard to this conflict, and they are trying to bring about, you know, a durable ceasefire. They’re trying to make sure that the, you know, humanitarian supplies reach those who need them in Gaza. I just can’t give you that kind of assessment at this point. It’s a very complex situation on the ground, and that’s something we have to be aware of.
MR. WOOD: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: No, go ahead.
MR. WOOD: No, I was just going to say – and you have to understand that because it’s complex and there are a number of parties working on it that you’re not going to get – necessarily get immediate results. But we’re going to continue to push, as I said, to get humanitarian supplies in to the people of Gaza.
QUESTION: But can you imagine any circumstance under which pasta could be considered a dual-use item? Or is there some -- you know, is rigatoni somehow going to be used as a weapon? (Laughter.)
MR. WOOD: I’m not involved in those discussions, so I –
QUESTION: Well, I mean -- I mean, it just seems to be absurd on the face of it, if that’s what happening.
MR. WOOD: Well, there are people on the ground who are dealing with these issues. And I think we should leave it --
QUESTION: Dealing with the pasta dual-use issue?
QUESTION: Yeah, can you take a question on the pasta, please?
MR. WOOD: I’m not going to take the question on the pasta --
MR. WOOD: -- because it’s –
QUESTION: Well, the United States is obviously pushing it, so obviously it’s something --
MR. WOOD: We’re trying to get humanitarian supplies in – on the ground to the people in Gaza.
QUESTION: Do you think food is a humanitarian supply?
MR. WOOD: Food certainly is.
QUESTION: All kinds of food?
MR. WOOD: I – I’m not able to tell you from here whether it –
QUESTION: Can you get a – can you take the question of what kind of food that the U.S. thinks is a humanitarian supply?
MR. WOOD: I’m not going to take that question, because I don’t think it’s a legitimate question.
QUESTION: You don’t think it’s legitimate that the Palestinians need certain foods and is – should Israel decide what food the Palestinians need?
MR. WOOD: I’m sorry, Elise, I’m not going to – I’ve spoken on it.
Shevat 29, 5769, 2/23/2009
I was fortunate to have been sent the following article, which touches on a little-known aspect of Egypt-Israel relations. And it calls for a more self-respecting attitude on the part of Israel's leaders when it comes to dealing with the Egyptian quasi-pharaonic regime. Enjoy.
Netanyahu should bring reciprocity to Egypt-Israel relations
Olmert opened the U.S. market for Egypt with the QIZ. Egypt rewards him by chocking the Israeli energy market with EMG. Its time for a change.
Since Ehud Olmert (as Minister of Trade and Industry) signed with his Egyptian counterpart Rachid Mohammad
Thus, the U.S. market is flooded with Egyptian textiles; the Egyptian treasury is two billion dollars richer every year and the Egyptian economy enjoys tens of thousands of new jobs. What does Israel get in return? Nothing except for the continued violation of Cairo’s commitment to sell natural gas to the Israeli market.
For years we warned against entrusting our energy needs with Egypt. Who in his right mind, we asked, would agree that one pipeline, which opens and shuts with one valve, and starts at El-Arish, will control our electricity production?
For almost a year now, these warnings are no longer a theory. Since the gas pipeline was inaugurated, there has not been one day of normal supply. Weeks of total shut down are followed by months of delivery at less than half the contracted quantity. Technical excuses are followed by "cultural explanations" of unexpected domestic demand during the month of Ramadan. Well, Ramadan is long over; Jordan, Syria and all other clients get their gas on schedule - all except the Israeli market.
Here, costly and polluting fuels are used instead of the promised and contracted Egyptian natural gas. And what does Olmert do? Nothing!
It is time for a change. It is time for less smiles and more firmness. It is time for reciprocity, and the one to demand it is the one who introduced the term into our regional politics: Benjamin Netanyahu.
Upon assuming office he should establish a new and long overdue norm in Egypt-Israel economic relations: "If you don’t give - you don’t receive."
Mordechai Eisenberg is chairman of The Movement for Fairness in Government
Shevat 25, 5769, 2/19/2009
The Left’s New Spin
As it already became clear Thursday that Netanyahu will almost certainly be the next Prime Minister, the left already started to look for a way to spin his victory into a loss. Tzipi Livni and the media, although they could no longer tell the public that the left won, realized that at least they could say that Bibi lost.
Ynet in its leading article said, “While the President is making a decision, it is becoming clear that it will be difficult for Likud to make a wide and stable government.” The article goes on to quote Kadima MK Roni Bar-On, who said Kadima should go to the opposition. “Kadima is the only alternative to Netanyahu’s extreme government,” he said. He also went on to predict that the “government that will be formed will last for the shortest amount of time in the history of Israel.”
Meaning the new claim on the left: a majority government isn’t “stable.” 65 members of the Knesset have agreed that Netanyahu should be Prime Minister. Has anyone forgotten how many are left wing? Only 44. So in the left’s new arithmetic, 65 versus 44 isn’t good enough. According to them, 60 percent of the public is not fit to rule.
A National Unity Government?
Netanyahu has said numerous times in the past few weeks that he wants a unity government including Kadima. Why? Mainly because the more MKs Netanyahu has in his government, the more power he gains at the expense of the individual parties. In Israel, 60 MKs are needed to govern. That means that if Netanyahu only has a coalition of 65 MKs, any one of the parties can pull out and take down the government. If Kadima would agree to join, no one party would have that veto power.
Voting for Smaller Parties
This short lesson in Israeli politics shows why people who voted for smaller parties at the expense of voting for the Likud made the right choice. If a 65 MK coalition does indeed form, Netanyahu cannot risk making a policy decision which would cause any of the parties to pull out. He cannot make a decision against the religious parties, because they have 20 MKs. He cannot make a decision against Lieberman’s interests, because he has 15 MKs. And finally he cannot even make a decision against the national religious parties’ interests, because they have 7 MKs.
In short, we can hope that in opposition to the left’s claim, if Netanyahu succeeds in forming a 65 MK government it can be both stable and reflect the wishes of the majority of Israelis. In addition, there is reason to hope that it will be a government which will be right-wing, pro-religion, and pro-the Land of Israel.