In an attempt to meet the demands for online entertainment starved since the official censoring of YouTube in 2009, Iran’s government has created an “acceptable” version of the video site, filled with government-approved content.
“Mehr” – Farsi for “affection”, will allow Iranians to upload their own short videos just like on YouTube, and watch other videos uploaded by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) network.
Google and its related email service, Gmail, have also been made off limits to Iranians since the ascension of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
You liked her as NY Senator, you loved her as Secretary of State, you’ll go bonkers adoring her as the 45th president of these United States. And if, like yours truly, you answered no on all of the above, well, get ready for four more years of the same merciless pain…
In an item headlined The Eight-Minute Tribute Video That Convinced David Remnick Hillary Clinton Is Running For President, BuzzFeed’s Ruby Cramer introduces the eight-minute tribute video to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which convinced the DC bleacher crowd she’s absolutely running for president come 2016.
The video is studded with international stars, including Boss Obama and the man who used to be Tony Blair, complete with a “soaring Bruno Mars soundtrack” and the uplifting slogan: “I just have an instinct that the best is yet to come.”
I just have the instinct to go under my bed and stay there until 2020.
Benjamin Netanyahu says on this video: “I’ve just had the opportunity to work with her to achieve a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Hillary Clinton is a strong and determined leader…She knows how to get the job done.”
Is this the new bonne tonne, to insert the word “just” in your sentence, just for the hell of it?
Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of Palestinian National Authority says there: “You know when Hillary’s in the room. She is highly personable. She’s real.”
Sounds like something Bill Clinton never managed, that “you know when she’s in the room” thing. Could have proven useful.
Madeleine Albright says: “She has a laugh that is completely infectious.”
A must quality for a president, if you ask me.
– Ms. President, what started that whole murder thing in Benghazi?
– Ha ha ha ha…
Finally, this is what President Obama says on the vid: “Through it all, I’ve relied on the shining qualities that have defined your life. Your conviction, your optimism, your belief that America can and must be a force for good in the world… I’ll say it again — you’ve been one of the best secretaries of state in American history. And finally, Hillary, a lot’s been said about our relationship, and here’s what I know: you haven’t just been one of my closest partners — you’ve become a great friend. I’m so grateful for your grace, you humor, your friendship.”
The article that follows was published on a blog called Harry’s Place. But at least for now it is unavailable as a result of a denial-of-service attack probably launched by anti-Israel hackers. I am presenting it here in full. I encourage other bloggers interested in the truth to copy it and do the same. Note: the associated photo and video are linked to the site under attack and so are not available. I’ve replaced them with similar illustrations.
On the 14th of November, the son of BBC video editor Jihad Masharawi died. Here is his account of what happened:
Interviewer: “Our condolences, Jihad. Tell me what happened with you.”
JM: “Shrapnel hit our house.”
JM: “Yes. My sister-in-law was killed along with my son and my brother and my other son were wounded [the brother has since died — ed.].
Interviewer: “In which area?”
JM: “In al Zeitoun.”
Zeitoun is a district of Gaza which hosted Iranian Fajr 5 missile sites, ready for launching into Israel. Here is a photograph of one such site:
It is, as you can see, situated within a civilian area.
As you can see by looking at aerial photographs of the Gaza Strip, the area contains a large amount of open and agricultural land. It would be entirely possible for Hamas and its allies to store their missiles in and fire them from somewhere other than residential and civilian areas: near mosques, hospitals, playgrounds, football fields, and private homes. However, they choose instead to situate them in locations where they know that, if they are hit by even the most precise of surgical airstrikes, the secondary explosions will quite possibly cause destruction and death in their area.
I’ve posted below a short video which shows what happens when Israel hits an ammunition cache. These are precisely the consequences that Hamas intends. It is often said that this tactic amounts to sheltering behind skirts and prams as it seeks to kill Israeli civilians. I think that’s precisely what it is.
Who killed Jihad Masharawi’s son?
There are a number of possibilities.
First of all, Israel deliberately launched a missile at a civilian house, intending to kill him and his family. That, as the Elder of Ziyon observes, is unlikely:
The idea that Israel, which managed to kill less than one civilian for every 30 airstrikes in Gaza, targeted the house of a low-level BBC employee during the initial wave of attacks – while he wasn’t home – is simply not believable. Unless you are convinced, ab initio, of Israel’s monstrous nature, there are other explanations that fit the incident far better.
However, that still allows for the possibility that an Israeli missile went astray, or that the attack on the house was intentional, but resulted from mistaken information. That certainly could have happened.
Nevertheless, there are two other possibilities which should be considered. The first is that Hamas or its allies launched a missile at Israel, but that it fell short and hit Jihad Masharawi’s house. That, quite possibly, is the cause of death of Mahmoud Sadallah, whose body was displayed to the world’s media, to be kissed by the Egyptian Prime Minister. Although it was widely claimed in the press that this child died in an Israeli strike, none appears to have taken place at the time of his death. By contrast, estimates of the percentage of the Hamas rockets which fall short and fall within Gaza range from between 15% and 40%. Damage to homes in Gaza by missiles is particularly perilous, because a large number of homes have propane gas heaters, and domestic generators. A missile or shrapnel hit can cause a secondary explosion. In any event, the Elder of Ziyon notes, the Daily Mirror has now removed the news item which most prominently covered the story, but has not announced its reason for doing so, or considered the matter further.
The final possibility is that the shrapnel which hit Jihad Masharawi’s house resulted from an explosion or a secondary explosion on one of the weapons caches and launching sites near his home.
Which theory is correct? We can’t know for sure: at least not yet. Perhaps there will be an investigation in which facts will become apparent. Israel knows where it launched attacks. It may have intelligence which shows the sites of misfired Hamas etc. rockets. Their proximity to Jihad Masharawi’s house could be ascertained.
Who is morally responsible for the deaths of civilians, where despite not being targeted, they die when Hamas shoots wonky rockets which fall short, or when Israeli missiles ignite weapons caches that are intended to be fired at Israeli cities? I can guarantee you that there are many who take the view that even in these circumstances, Israel and Israel alone should be held accountable.
As BBC Watch has pointed out, as far as the BBC and it’s correspondent Jon Donnison are concerned, there is only one possibility: that for some reason Israel fired a missile into Jihad Masharawi’s house. This is how he puts it:
Despite the evidence pointing towards an Israeli air-strike, some have suggested it might have been a misfired Hamas rocket. But at that time, so soon after the launch of Israel’s operation, Israel’s military says mortars had been launched from Gaza, but very few rockets. Mortar fire would not cause the fireball that appears to have engulfed Jihad’s house. Others say that the damage was not consistent with powerful Israeli attacks, but the BBC visited other bomb sites this week with very similar fire damage, where Israel acknowledged carrying out what it called “surgical strikes”. Like at Jihad’s house, there was very little structural damage, but the victims were brought out with massive and fatal burns.
As BBC Watch points out, there is no basis for Donnison’s conviction that an Israeli airstrike hit Jihad Masharawi’s house. Donnison provides observations based upon what he believes to be similar patterns of fire damage. However, the pictures show merely a hole in a building and a fire, which may have been caused by an Israeli airstrike or by any of the other possibilities canvassed above, including one of the ‘very few’ rocket strikes which Donnison discounts. There’s no discussion, either, of the evidence of Jihad Masharawi that ’shrapnel’ – not a rocket – hit his house. That is at odds with Donnison’s belief that the attack looked like the aftermath of an Israel “surgical strike” with a missile. In any event, I don’t know whether an exploding Israeli missile would have left identifiable fragments, but certainly none have been produced.
With limited data, Donnison can’t be sure: but it is very clear what he thinks.
As well as expressing near-certainty that an Israeli strike killed Omar Masharawi, Our Own Correspondent also contained a graphic description of the state of his body and the natural and terrible agony of his father. I think that, having been told the horrific story of how Israel launched a missile into a BBC employee’s house, killing his son, and having heard about the impact of that missile on a tiny child’s face, most people would be unprepared to discuss the possibility that the death had resulted from some other chain of events.
If Israel deliberately launched a missile into a civilian’s house, it should be condemned. If Israel did so, believing that the house was in fact occupied by a military target, then the BBC ought to investigate how it came to make such a terrible mistake. If Omar Masharawi died as a result of a misfired Palestinian rocket or mortar, then that should also be investigated and condemned. Were he to have died following an Israeli strike of a Fajr5 rocket site in Zeitoun, then that should at least be reported. The BBC should ask Hamas why it put a Fajr5 launching site in the middle of a civilian area. It could ask Israel the same question: and its answer would be that it knew that these rockets were being prepared for launch at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
I expect that some effort will now be put into trying to find out precisely what happened. If Israel’s culpability is ascertained, that too will be reported and Israel is likely to express regret, which will be regarded as insincere by most partisans of the Palestinian cause. If further evidence of Hamas culpability emerges then, from past experience, that is likely not to be reported at all. Hamas will express no sorrow, because it does not in fact regret the deaths of Palestinian civilians, and because it knows that it will never be pressed on its siting of missiles and caches within civilian neighbourhoods. In arguments on the internet, and at public meetings, we will be told that Israel should not have responded to missile attacks at all, which are in fact incapable of doing any harm, and in any case deserve them because of the supposed ‘occupied’ nature of Gaza.
[F]or a wide swathe of left-liberal and ‘anti-imperialist’ opinion there is now no way Israel can conduct itself from which it will earn moral credit. It is irredeemably tainted in its origin. Conversely, and in the same quarter, there is nothing that Hamas or other representatives of the Palestinian people can do, no wrong or outrage they can commit, which will not be morally ‘cleaned up’ by the perception that these representatives are supposedly the pure vehicle of a struggle against injustice.
One of the reasons for this opinion is that much of the media prominently report the deaths of children when they can be attributed to Israel but, as the Daily Mirror’s quiet de-publishing of its story illustrates, have very little to say when the facts shift and the story becomes less certain.
The lovely Mediterranean style villa belonging to Hamas senior official Azi Abudama gets a direct hit and just goes up in smoke. Most satisfying video to yours truly, who’s been sitting here all day, updating the daily casualties and damage on our side.
You may have gotten an email from “Moshe Rooter” in the past day. If you did, then congratulations, Hamas or one of their affiliate terrorist organizations has decided to reach out to you.
The email links to a series of videos.
The first two are of a jeep blowing up. Presumably this is the jeep that was hit by the anti-tank missile just before Operation Amud Anan began, when 4 IDF soldiers were injured by Gazan terrorists.
The third video claims to show an Israeli drone that was shot down during Operation Amud Anan. A military expert who viewed the video tells us that claim is very unlikely based on what can be seen in the video.
The writing in the email and the video is in Hebrew, and from the text body, it’s clear the sender wants you to believe that the sender is an Israeli (he writes “our soldiers”).
But when you watch the video, the sharp-eyed viewer will immediately realize the translator mixed up the letters B and P, a common mistake among Arabs who can’t pronounce the “P” sound (as in Palestine). Both letters sound the same to Arab ears.
The translator took a stab as to which letter it was, and guessed wrong.
The more interesting question is, how did they get your email?
As near as we’ve been able to figure, they’ve been collecting them from forwarded emails. When someone forwarded your Israel/Jewish related email you sent out, at some point it must have reached one of their operatives and they added it to their list.
The alternative is that they’ve compiled a list of influential Jews, and then found their emails.
We’re flattered, if that’s the case.
UPDATE: They’ve sent out a new email identifying themselves as one of the many splinter terror groups.
Two videos meant to strike fear in the hearts of Israelis have been met with snickering and mockery, with YouTube followers eager for an up-cropping of spoofs in response.
According to a report by Haaretz, two videos – one produced specifically for the Israeli public and the other a song celebrating the potential destruction of Tel Aviv – have gotten the attention of Israelis, but have not managed to have their intended effect.
In the first video, produced in Hebrew, the highly dramatic nature of the video, coupled with grammar and spelling mistakes and a low production value made the attempt to convince Israelis that they should abort a mission in Gaza a “bomb”.
The second, music underscoring a single image of singers, includes air raid siren, machine guns, bombing sounds, and repeats Oudroub, Oudroub Tel Aviv (flatten, flatten Tel Aviv), and even includes boasting that Hamas shot down an Israeli fighter plane.
“Fajr! Fajr!”, the singers exclaim, naming the advanced missile Hamas is currently using to target Tel Aviv. The song also mentions Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, and Kadima party chairman Shaul Mofaz.
We invite you to view a slice of ordinary/extraordinary life in Israel in this video.
Be’er Sheva is an ancient/modern desert city that most people visit, if they ever go there, because of its first-rateuniversity (Ben Gurion) and its hospital, one of the busiest in Israel. But like many forgotten places in various parts of the world, it’s also home for a certain number of people, nearly 200,000 of them.
Now that Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and practically every other Israeli community in the southern half of Israel have experienced the blood-chilling sound of air-raid sirens in the past three days (and in some places, many repeats of the experience), it may be interesting for people living far from here to see and hear what it feels like from the ground.
We don’t know the exact number, but the residents of Be’er Sheva have experienced dozens of incoming missile warnings since Wednesday night. The one captured in this video involves multiple rockets flying in from Gaza. Through the magic of videography, they appear here as floating fairy lights in an ink-black sea of heavens above the ground-level festivities of an ordinary shopping center.
Then one after another in rapid succession they are extinguished. The reality of what is happening is much less poetic, but astonishing when you pause to think about it: an anti-missile technology that did not exist anywhere in the world is now knocking these terrorist flying bombs out of the sky as the ordinary folk who are the actual targets of an attempt to kill them in quantities watch from below and quietly applaud.
It’s larger than life. But it’s life. Our life, for now.