Saturday, December 21, 2002

Friday's Yediot also interviews American author John Irving. Irving visited Israel in 1982 and is one of those people who blames "fundamentalism from both sides" of the Israel/Palestinian conflict. Also he said:

F--- intellectuals. In the last 2 years, in my travels to Europe, there's a heavy and unpleasant atmosphere of hostility to you [Israelis], which in my eyes amounts to antisemitism in sophisticated language. I don't understand why every runny-nose sees an obligation to blame Israel for all the world's ills - after he finishes blaming America. Regarding my country I understand the controversy... But Israel? its actual existence? after the Holocaust and everything? How can they be so arrogant?

(my translation of Yediot's translation of Irving's words)
Yesterday's Yediot reports that has suddenly stopped shipping to Israel. Longtime customers now receive emails stating that "current federal regulations" prohibit shipping books and CDs to Israel.

Update: This only applies to "Amazon Marketplace" (Gil has details).

Friday, December 20, 2002

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for gunning down a father of 6 in his car in Gush Katif (report). Police defused a large bomb near a mall in Netanya (report).
Jane Fonda visited terror victims at Hadassah hospital here in Jerusalem instead of just going to visit Palestinians. Good for her ... but today's Jpost shows her meeting with leftist MKs Naomi Chazan and Yael Dayan. She should also try to hear from Israelis who have a more "typical" perspective.

Here's an article about a training course for foreigners who come here to support the Palestinians against the IDF (ie. what the media calls "peace activists"). They sign an agreement committing themselves to non-violence, are told to avoid drinking and other behaviours that could offend the Palestinians, and be
"sensitive and respectful" about suicide bombing. They call the IDF the "Israel Occupation Force" and refer to the under-construction security fence as the "wall of apartheid".

Some of the volunteers sound incredibly naive. A 25-yr. old convert to Islam wants to go to Gaza because "that's where the action is". A 26 yr. old from Cambridge, England came to Israel to visit the Temple Institute (a Jewish organization that studies Temple rituals in order to be ready for the Messiah) - while he was here he decided to volunteer with Adam Shapiro's loony International Solidarity Movement.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

This report says that Antoine Lahad, the former leader of the South Lebanese Army, will be opening an Irish-style pub in Tel Aviv.
Last Thursday I went to meet someone in Efrat, which a large settlement in the West Bank that lies just south of Jerusalem and adjacent to Bethlehem.

I caught the route 160 bus by the old train station in the German Colony (Hebron-bound - on the day that 2 Israelis were killed in Hebron). It's a half-hour-or-so ride through the Talpiot industrial zone and the Arab village of Beit Safafa and Kibbutz Ramat Rahel, through a tunnel that runs beneath the area that separates Gilo from Beit Jala, then down the wide-open sunny Route 60. Since the bus was going to Hebron, I got off at the entrance to Efrat and hitchhiked (very common there) to my destination.

It's been two years since the last time I was there. One difference that I noticed is that there is now a paved road to the cluster of portable homes (ie. illegal outpost) called Dagan. New apartments are being built in the Zayit neighborhood.

The bus and the hitchhiking was sufficiently inconvenient that I wondered if it would have been better to drive. On the way back though, my bus was stoned: it was just a loud thump on the reinforced (very sturdily I noticed) window. Everyone looked up. Someone remarked that the driver is supposed to report it, but he didn't seem to.

Whereas 6 or 9 months ago, this kind of thing was happening on a regular basis. Freezing settlement growth as a goodwill measure wouldn't have made a difference, and unilaterally evacuating would only cause the frontline to move elsewhere. The IDF made the difference.
Talking about the British academic boycott of Israel as if it were a growing thing could contribute to making it so. That's probably why the Guardian is making a big deal out of a loony left publication boycotting a loony left Israeli.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

From Friday's Yediot Ahronot: Here's a partial translation of an article/interview with European Parliamentarian Francois Zimeray.

I'll try to translate the rest soon.


Thanks to Miranda for this link to the site of Ilka Schroeder - a German MEP from the GUE ("United European Left") - which includes the petition for the investigative committee described by Zimeray. Schroeder offers some surprising (and sarcastic) rhetoric that might have come from a Jpost op-ed.

And today's Jpost describes a conference in Berlin where Per Ahlmark, Friedbert Pfluger, and other European officials criticized the EU's Middle East policy.