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Posts Tagged ‘Time’

IOC Adds Insult to Injury: Widows ‘Get’ their Minute of Silence 4 Days Too Soon

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge on Monday went ahead and paid tribute to the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who were killed in Munich 40 years ago. According to the AP, Rogge lead a “solemn minute of silence in the athletes village.”

Indeed, the AP story eagerly noted that it was “the first time the IOC has honored the slain Israelis in a ceremony inside an Olympic village.”

It’s difficult to articulate just how insulting and callused this empty gesture on the part of the IOC and its president has been.

Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, widows of slain Israeli athletes whose murder and the murders of their teammates have gone unacknowledged for forty years, have been pleading for months now, along with thousands upon thousands who have signed their petition, for the officials at the helm of IOC to act human, to tell the world, just as it is getting together to celebrate the best that humanity has to offer: When athletes are slaughtered in broad day light in the middle of the Olympic games it is a horrible things which we will never forget and never forgive.

Instead, four days before the actual opening ceremony, President Rogge threw these widows a bone.

For months Rogge has rejected calls to hold a moment of silence during Friday’s opening ceremony of the London Games. He kept saying as late as this past Saturday that the opening was not the “appropriate place” to remember the Israeli team members killed by Palestinian gunmen in Munich during the 1972 Olympics.

“We feel that the opening ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident,” Rogge said on Saturday.

Perhaps he would have gone for 30 seconds of silence?

I suggest Monday, July 23, 2012, will go down in the annals of Olympic history as Throw the Widow a Bone Day, or simply Bone Day.

On Monday, Rogge strolled over to the Olympic village in London, and in the midst of a quickly assembled crowd of officials, reporters and photographers, announced:

“I would like to start today’s ceremony by honoring the memory of the 11 Israeli Olympians who shared the ideals that have brought us together in this beautiful Olympic Village. The 11 victims of the Munich tragedy believed in that vision. “They came to Munich in the spirit of peace and solidarity. We owe it to them to keep the spirit alive and to remember them.”

And then, like a scene from a Fellini film, President Jacques Rogge bowed his head, and a crowd of 100 IOC executive board members, dignitaries and Olympic athletes and officials stood in silence for a minute.

For absolutely no one and nothing.

Four days before the thing began. Four days before the wonderful statement would have made an actual difference to the millions of viewers across the planet, across the Middle east, where those cowardly murderers were raised and where their crime was designed and financed. In short, four days before these words would require an actual man to say them.

“As the events of 40 years ago remind us, sport is not immune from and cannot cure all the ills of the world,” Rogge said.

Oh, wiser words have not been said by a heartless bureaucrat in some time.

Incidentally, Rogge and the IOC will also honor the murdered Israeli athletes at a private reception in London on Aug. 6.

The IOC will also take part in a ceremony in Germany on the anniversary of the attack on Sept. 5 at the military airfield of Furstenfeldbruck where most of the Israelis were killed.

Then, in March, in a small café in Rome, Rogge and a group of friends will be waiting in silence for their lunch, which should also count for something. In fact, right now, I’ll bet many IOC are sitting in their offices doing stuff while being absolutely silent.

Just as long as it’s not on Friday night at the opening ceremony, because, let’s face it, it can put a damper on the whole humanity happiness thing.

Parshas Mattos-Mass’ei

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Vol. LX No. 29 5772
New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
July 20, 2012 – 1 Av 5772
8:02 p.m. NYC E.D.T.

Sabbath Ends: 9:14 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Mattos-Mass’ei
Weekly Haftara: Shim’u Devar Hashem (Jeremiah 2:4-28, 3:4, 4:1-2)
Daf Yomi: Nidah 60
Mishna Yomit: Kesuvos 2:7-8
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 86:1 – 87:2
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Ma’aser Sheni v’Neta Reva’i chap. 11; Hilchos Bikurim chap. 2
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 4:36 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:22 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: 2

Tal Brody: Now’s the Time for Financial Zionism

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Many casual observers of contemporary Israeli affairs face a puzzling dilemma when asked to think about the effects of the so-called BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement. On the one hand, they hear reports of ever-increasing accomplishments in the Israeli hi-tech sector with Israeli corporations being purchased by international conglomerates and increases in exports all over the globe. On the other hand, they are being told that BDS is deeply hurting the Israeli economy and is a force that needs to be combated with all the intensity possible. Despite the seeming contradiction between these two realities, the fact is that both are true.

Yes, Israel continues to hold remarkable influence over global markets and Israeli corporations are able to report growing export figures each year. But, when one takes a look beyond the mega-companies and examines the sales reports of smaller Israeli manufacturers and so called “mom and pop” commercial entities, the effects of BDS are deeply troubling.

It is a phenomenon that cannot be trivialized because literally thousands of Israeli jobs could be lost should the tide not be reversed.

Many abroad think that there is little that can be done to silence the BDS movement. They rightfully assume that these campaigns are being instigated by callous hate-mongers who are unwilling to recognize Israel’s contribution to the world out of their ignorance of the realities of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Those same people think that it is best just to ignore BDS and it will go away- that it’s a laughable attempt to disrupt Israeli commerce.

Perhaps this was a position which held some credence in the early days of BDS, when it was just a fringe protest movement, with little to no serious following. But one cannot laugh any longer, as we witness factories closing down and hard working Israeli men and women forced out of their jobs.

Appreciating that BDS is a real threat is the first step and I believe that more and more within the pro-Israel community are waking up to that. But the question is what we can each do about it?

Calling out Israel’s critics for the sheer absurdity of their claims is one way to go and certainly should be done wherever possible. Israeli innovation serves at the center of pretty much every technologically-charged industry that drives our modern world. From medicine, to computer engineering to entertainment, thousands of different operations are only made possible because of the brain power invested by Israeli developers. Before the critics power up their computers, play with their entertainment devices or undergo a medical procedure, they should be prepared to forego the experience if they are truly honest about boycotting Israel. My guess is that most of these BDSers wouldn’t be so inclined.

But there is a far more practical side to what can be done by defenders of Israel, and that is to defend our beloved nation through their wallets. The concept of buying blue and white is not a new one but it is becoming increasingly imperative.

The most fragile actors in any major economy are the little guys. These are the small-businesses without the financial resources to overcome the loss of even a small percentage of their annual revenue. When boycotters choose to publically call for the cessation of purchases from Israel, they directly harm Israeli manufacturers at the lower end of the production chain including small companies who produce Israeli-oriented products like Judaica, souvenirs and crafts. These companies are unable to overcome the hurdle imposed by a significant drop in income and are forced to lay off laborers. Perhaps it’s ironic but in many cases the boycotts hurt Palestinian laborers just as much as Israelis because dips in employment in Israel typically hurt Arab workers just as much as their Jewish counterparts.

The response that we can therefore each take upon ourselves is to make the decision to invest in Israel in some small way by going online today and buying blue and white. This need not be a major purchase but the collective financial strength of the pro-Israel community around the world is surely far stronger than that of the BDSers.

This is one way for us to all support Israel in a pro-active and lasting way and show our enemies that we cannot be destroyed and in so doing add “Financial Zionism” to the long list of ways we’ve shown our love for the Jewish State throughout its remarkable history.

No Country for Old Incumbents

Monday, June 4th, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/06/no-country-for-old-incumbents.html

A storm is not a good time to be at the wheel of a ship and a worldwide economic disaster is not a good time to be at the wheel of the ship of state. Hard times are supposed to bring great men to the fore, but instead we have some of the sorriest men in history trying to find the wheel, sleeping off a bender in their cabins or debating whether a wheel even exists.

Obama is bad, but he’s not exactly up against rival statesmen. After parading around with a one-man cult of personality, launching international projects with no purpose, and displaying all the symptoms of a Napoleon complex, without a world famous conqueror in sight, Sarkozy’s only reelection platform was that the alternative to him would be worse. He was right. But you can hardly blame quite a few Frenchmen and Frenchwomen who stayed home, rather than hold their noses and vote for him.

In the UK, Cameron cut the military and launched a war. Labour’s career idiot, Ed Milband, now has a higher approval rating than the Prime Minister. Cameron has the same reelection platform as Sarkozy and he’s also right, but that won’t help him when the public gets the chance to cast their vote. And the vote will be the international refrain, translated many ways in many languages, but that always means, “Throw out the bums.”

Russia has become a virtual armed camp for the sole purpose of keeping Putin in power. The man who successfully set up his own Stalinesque cult of personality, now has to use extraordinary measures to protect himself from his own people, who don’t care so much that he stole the election, but who are sick and tired of the spectacle of Vladimir and his ten-thousand good friends from the Committee for State Security, better known by three ominous letters, gorging themselves on the best things in life while everyone else suffers.

China’s rulers should be paying careful attention to Moscow. If the express train of Western exports ever falters, what they will face will make Tiananmen Square look like a fond memory. The Princes of the PRC won’t be up against a bunch of idealistic students, but the farmers whose land they stole, the workers whose children they killed and that rising middle-class which tasted prosperity only to have it snatched away. If that day comes, they won’t be stopped by tanks, and the army may just take their side.

The American media has become virtually indistinguishable from the Russian and Chinese media in its hysterical support for the regime and vindictive smears of opponents. The only difference between Newsweek, Pravda and Xinhua is their level of sophistication. Pravda and Xinhua have never been anything more than vulgar organs of the regime, but the American media is descending into savagery while leaving behind a legacy of civilization. Like a citizen turned cannibal, it still has some of the cultural trappings of its past, but it’s discarding them as quickly as Newsweek can photoshop new covers. Like the Russian media, the favorite topic of its American counterparts is the inscrutable divinity of its leader, who has not so much failed, as succeeded on a higher level that mere mortals – concerned with paying their bills and having a job – are not privy to. If he has failed, it’s only because of the obstructionism of the running dog Republican capitalists who would rather see the country burn than concede his unearthly genius.

The problem with propagandists is that they get so taken in by their own illusion of power, that they stop noticing when no one is paying attention to them. Barely a quarter of the country digested and accepted the swill that the media had poured out over it in ’07 and ’08. What the public noticed was that there seemed to be a consensus that the One was the one. They didn’t notice it by reading every screed that the American heirs to Goebbels were scribbling up at Time and the New York Times. Like a television that is on in the room, while you’re vacuuming or doing laundry, they noticed it mainly as background noise in their lives.

The West, Iran, and the ‘Process’ Trap

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Few things ought to be as urgent as keeping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, yet the West – led from the front by the United States – has fallen into the “peace process” trap that considers talk to be progress and, once a conversation has begun, that there is nothing worse than stopping it.[1]

Iran understands this as a Western peculiarity, and has used it to cause a rift between Israel and the West; receive assurances that that military action is not in the offing; and begin a process that leaves the Islamic Republic in full control of its nuclear program for a negligible price. Talk about your demands.

Talk about what you’ve talked about. Talk about what you won’t talk about. Talk about talking again. Talk again. Repeat.

Several months ago, the media was ablaze with war talk -– a potential Israeli strike against Iran, of course, but also the war between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan. While the PM was working to keep the threat of military action on the Western agenda, Dagan was announcing to the world that military action was a choice to which he was opposed. Time magazine put “King Bibi” on its cover and said he was “unlikely to forge a peaceful path.” Everyone seemed to know when Israel was going to “do it.”

In truth however, Dagan was not so much opposed to the military option as to its imminent exercise and its exercise by Israel. He told Lesley Stahl, “An attack on Iran before you are exploring all other approaches is not the right way to do it.”

Dagan: I heard very carefully what President Obama said. And he said openly that the military option is on the table, and he is not going to let Iran become a nuclear state.

Stahl: What I think you’re now saying (is), “Why should we do it? If we wait and they get the bomb, the Americans will do it.”

Dagan: The issue of Iran armed with a nuclear capability is not an Israeli problem; it’s an international problem.

Stahl: So wait and let us (the U.S.) do it.

Dagan: If I prefer that somebody will do it, I always prefer that Americans will do it.

Since there wasn’t as much distance between Dagan and Netanyahu as they had hoped, American officials – including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – publicly denounced the idea of an Israeli strike and talked up Iranian air defense capabilities, and “containment.”

Reassured that it didn’t face military action in the short term, Iran – without actually stopping uranium enrichment and without actually allowing inspectors into its facilities — moved to block upcoming Western sanctions.

Talk would do the trick.

The P5+1 met with Iran in Istanbul in April, where EU negotiator Catherine Ashton lauded the “atmosphere,” the “body language” of the Iranians, and their willingness to go to Baghdad in May. During the Baghdad talks, the IAEA discovered that not only was Iran continuing to enrich uranium, but also had stockpiles enriched to 27%. The Iranians called these developments a “technical glitch” and said Western complaints were designed only to “damage the existing constructive cooperation between Tehran and the IAEA.”

The Western powers, however, did not complain very much. “The two sides’ commitment to diplomacy in the absence of any clear agreement is a positive sign,” said Ali Vaez, Iran expert at the International Crisis Group. “All parties should be commended for returning to the negotiating table. Obama should be commended for having turned diplomacy into a process rather than the one-off meetings that existed in the past,” wrote Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council.

Eyes are now on Moscow for the next round of talks in June. After that? Stockholm in July is lovely; August is for vacation; then perhaps Vermont to watch the leaves turn in September.

The process is likely to continue as Iran’s nuclear program continues. But the recent – and ongoing – revelations of the so-called Flame malware infecting computer systems in Iran are a reminder that action has its place, albeit not necessarily with airplanes over Fordo.

60 Minutes narrator: Soon after (Dagan became head of Mossad), Iranian cargo planes started falling from the sky, nuclear labs were catching fire, centrifuges were malfunctioning. And then, one by one, Iranian nuclear scientists started disappearing and getting killed, blown up by shadowy men on motorcycles. But no matter how hard we tried, whenever we asked about any of this, he stonewalled.

Egyptian Presidential Candidates Agree: Time to End Egypt’s ‘Subordinated’ Relation with US

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

In anticipation of the historic Presidential elections being held today, the Egyptian Independent offered a survey of the foreign policy platforms of the candidates. Despite their differences, they speak in one voice about the need to restore Egypt to its rightful place of primacy in the Arab world and their hostility towards Israel.

In an article titled, “Foreign policy, a blank slate for candidates to draw on,” Mohamed Elmeshad reviewed the positions of the main candidates: Former Muslim Brotherhood official Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy, former Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, Lawyer Khaled Ali, and Hamdeen Sabbahi of the Dignity party. Elmeshad cites the Israel-Palestinian conflict and Egyptian-American relations as among the main issues in the campaign. The unifying theme for all of the candidates was the sense that Egypt has fallen into a state of “political subordination, especially to the US, on issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and has lost much of its former regional significance.”

Calling sentiments in Egypt “decidedly anti-American,” Elmashad states that the candidates all evince a desire to liberate Egypt from its subordinate relationship with America, and reset it on the basis of “mutual interest.” Independent candidate Aboul Fotouh, one of the two frontrunners, spoke of the need for greater independence to return Egypt to its role of regional leader. Moussa, the other frontrunner, seemed more cautious about implementing a total reorientation in Egypt’s foreign policy, stating vaguely that the January 2011 revolution must have “positive reflections on Egypt’s foreign policy.” Morsy, who has the benefit of the Muslim Brotherhood’s structure and organization, has focused his foreign policy platform on the even vaguer “achieving international leadership.”

On the topic of the Camp David Accords, Aboul Fotouh, Morsy, Ali, and Sabbahi all agreed that Egypt must honor its treaties, “but all hold the view that Israel has not kept its end of the bargain, which could potentially nullify the agreement.” Sabbahi is the most radical regarding relations with Israel, and when discussing the issue, refers to Israel as the “Zionist entity.” Elmashad wrote that the above candidates are also entertaining the “possibility of unilaterally supporting Palestinians by opening the Rafah border crossing and working with Islamist Hamas.”

Elmashad suggests that Moussa is also more cautious about shifting to a unilateral policy vis a vis the Palestinians, preferring instead to operate within existing agreements to advance the Palestinian cause. But Elmashad also quoted Moussa as saying that it was “an ethical obligation” for Egypt to be more vocal in its support of the Palestinians. Moussa, known as a staunch nationalist, has placed much emphasis on implementing a “new Arab order, through which Egypt would return to its regional leadership.” He also advocates see closer relations with Turkey and Iran.

It is unlikely that there will be a clear winner in the first round of the Presidential election today, meaning that there will be another round in the form of the run-off. But whoever comes out victorious in the end, we can be sure that challenges lay ahead for Egypt’s relationship with the US and Israel.

Taking Netanyahu Seriously

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

http://fresnozionism.org/2012/05/taking-netanyahu-seriously/

Some days it seems that nobody gets worse press in the US than Prime Minister Netanyahu. Israel’s left-leaning media and academic establishment hate him with a grand passion, they are articulate, speak English, and understand the importance of telling their story here. They are happy to cooperate with their counterparts in the US media, and often with the White House and State Department, where Bibi is seen as an obstacle on the road to a 1949-sized Israel. So Netanyahu is often presented in the US as a symbol of right-wing intransigence or worse.

But Time magazine, which once helped us pronounce “Begin” by saying “rhymes with Fagin,” and whose cover much more recently explained “Why Israel Doesn’t Care about Peace,” has published a story (Bibi’s Choice, by Richard Stengel) which is mostly positive about the PM, despite its overall silly slant: “Will Netanyahu now make peace — or war?” the cover asks, as if ‘making peace’ were something an Israeli leader could do if he just chose to do so!

Nevertheless, Stengel makes it clear that Bibi has experience, brains, and courage. And something else. Here he quotes Bibi:

“When I became Prime Minister, I asked [my father] ‘What attributes does one need to lead a country?’ He was older then and he asked me, ‘What do you think?’ I said, You need convictions and courage and the ability to act. He said, You need that for anything. He then said what you need to lead a country is education, and by that he meant an understanding of history, the knowledge to be able to put things in perspective.

For an example of that understanding, see the PM’s Jerusalem Day speech delivered on Sunday:

We will preserve Jerusalem because an Israel without Jerusalem is like a body without a heart.  It was on this hill, 45 years ago, that the heart that unites our people began to beat again with full strength; and our heart will never be divided again.

There are people who believe that if we just divide Jerusalem, which means eventually conceding the Temple Mount – they believe we will have peace.  They believe that, but they are wrong.  I am doubtful, to put it mildly, that if we grant other forces control over that square above the Temple Mount, we won’t see the situation deteriorate so quickly that will devolve into a religious and sectarian war…

Sustainable peace is made with strong nations, and an Israel without a unified Jerusalem will be like a body with a weak heart.  I want to say something else: a nation that is willing to sacrifice its heart will only convince its enemies that it lacks the willpower to fight for anything.

On this last point, he agrees with Israel’s most implacable enemies:

With the two-state solution, in my opinion, Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People? What will become of all the sacrifices they made – just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. It will regress of its own accord. Then we will move forward. — Abbas Zaki, former PLO Ambassador

Unlike his predecessor Olmert (probably the worst PM Israel ever had), Netanyahu is not “tired of winning.” He understands, as Olmert did not, that the alternative to winning is disappearing.

While not a coronation, the recent coalition deal provides Bibi with much more freedom to maneuver. And despite what the noisy remnants of the Israeli Left say, most Israelis give him their support. He will need every bit of it to get Israel through what may be the most dangerous period in its history since 1948. Perhaps it will also finally persuade the American media to take him seriously.

What can I add? As an American I’m envious of Israelis, who have a leader who was a combat soldier and is also an intellectual, who actually knows something about history, war, economics and yes, even politics. We, on the other hand…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/taking-netanyahu-seriously/2012/05/23/

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