Some random articles that seemed more compelling than others:

From Bradley Burston at Ha’aretz, a terrific analysis of how Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Iran’s PM, has us all wrapped around his little evil finger.

Also, an interesting assessment of the IDF in this war so far.

Story about how communities up north in Israel are coming together and receiving assistance from others as well.

8 civilians and 4 soldiers were killed yesterday. Most are being buried today.

If you’re an Arab MK in one of only a couple real democracies in the entire Middle East, and then you are asked to leave the parliamentary session because you shout at your country’s Left wing, peacenik Defense Minister, “Child killer” and “Angel of death,” you will accuse the other members of the knesset (parliament) of racism.

Unlike Depeche Mode, Ziggy Marley did not cancel his performance in Israel and apparently gave a great one. Go buy one of his CDs.

Warren Buffet continues to offer support and confidence in his purchase of a significant Israeli company. Good for him.

For some reason, Ynet is bragging about Intel’s Dual Core chip, developed in Israel, some months too late. Better late than never, congrats to Intel’s Israel division.

Photos, old ones, of the Land of Israel while it was in Ottoman hands.

It was just announced that two more Golani soldiers were killed in Lebanon on Friday.

Former Chief of Staff, Moshe Yaalon speaks clearly to the moral nature of the IDF and its manner of fighting. Be sure to read this.

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  • We’re losing this war, not because of our loses – which are significant (Haaretz’s Loss of momentum article is sobering read) – but because we care about showing the world that we’re more moral than other armies. And why we allow photos of our soldiers crying, hugging and carrying on like anything but killing machines is beyond me. We look weak and soft. And how does Hezbollah look…we don’t know. Why? Because they’re hidden well and prepared to fight…and die. They’ve beat us in the past, and they’re doing it again.

  • Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s tactics may have him “winning” no matter what happens, but the losers will be the Iranians, the Israelis, the Lebanese, the Iraqis, you name it. “You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”
    And personally, I prefer people who act like they have a heart. The likes of Hezbollah sicken me, and partly because their hearts and minds have been turned into cogs in a killing machine. G-d did not create us to destroy one another.

  • Not buying the Ha’aretz piece on Ahmedinejad. He’s overplayed his hand. His anti-Zionist rhetoric, and that of his H ally, will leave even the weak-kneed lefties, the Chiracs of the world, with no choice but to conclude they can’t be co-opted as part of some “peace process” or other. Even Hamas is more touchy-feely than these guys. I think world opinion has shifted significantly in the last week in Israel’s favor. No one can have any illusions about H at this point.

    Ahmedinejad’s also screwed himself in the context of the debate over his country’s nuclear program. Who will try to sugar-coat Iranian intentions now?

  • He is truly the devil, he needs to be nuked now, while we still have the advantage.

  • Streimel, I am afraid you are correct. That is why I said we should make this a world war, the big one, the west against the islamo fascists, winner takes all.

  • This war has been going on since about 600AD. That isn’t rhetoric, it’s simply looking at history. At first, the Muslims invaded the west, even wiping out the Visi Goths in Spain in the 8th century. They attacked the Byzantine Empire and other European nations still in development at the time. Finally, the “west” struck back with the first Crusade and kept the Muslims on the defensive until about 1300…then the Muslims went back on the offense, not stopping until about the 1600’s. By that time, they had wipe out the Byzantine empire and marched all the way to Italy by that point. Then, they went back on the defensive and are only recently going back on the offensive again.

    If we really want to win this war, we have to hit them where it hurts. We can’t constantly be defending because, as history shows, anytime the west goes on the defense we lose ground.

  • Well lets look at it this way. 44 solders have been killed so far (including 8 in the initial raid and 4 on the ship who didnt participate in ground ops, while Hezbolla most likely sustained
    350 or more dead.(according to IDf estimates).Thats about 8-1 casualty ratio ,which is very good against a well entrenched ,well prepared, well trained defensive force.

  • Shabbat Shalom, my Jewish friends, especially those in Israel, fighting the good war for all of us. I hope you know that America is praying for your success in destroying your evil agressors. We pray for Israel at peace and Lebanon at peace. We only wish a quick end for Hezbollah.

    (My brother-in-law said I can wish a sabbath hello even though I’m not Jewish, since I have respect for Judaism. Hope he’s right! If not, blame my ignorance and please accept my apology.)

  • When looking at this thing from this part of the world, it doesn’t seem like Israel is losing this war.

    On the contrary, it seems that Israel has the upper hand. Consider: Katyushas have a lousy accuracy. So Hizbollah fires hundreds of missiles and manage to kill only a few civilians. Also, Lebanon is pretty much beaten up, bridges are down, roads are bombed, there’s active denial of road use, sea routes are controlled, Beirut airport is inoperative. Not only that, but even the beaches have been made inoperative. Tourism will have to for a long time: there’s like 15000 tons of oil floating around due to the air strikes, possibly heading to Cyprus and Turkey. In other words, Lebanon is smashed, Israel is not. 2-0 for Israel.

    Fighting on the ground seems to follow a similar pattern: 5 IDF soldiers die or get wounded, 30 Hizbollah fighters die or get wounded. IDF progresses while Hizbullah makes more noise and fires rockets randomly at some places. Ground fighting continues, Israel blows up some weapon stash and Hizbollah vows revenge. 3-0 for Israel.

    So what it looks like from here is some grandiose gesturing and words by Hizbollah followed by fighting on the ground with very unbalanced casualty ratios. Israel is winning, no doubt about it.

    Also, the execution of IAF aerial attacks seems to be top-notch – once they hit, it’s over for good for whatever was the target. However, the selection of targets does not always follow the same high standards.

    For instance, farmers packing not heat, but plums and peaches.

    It seems there are problems in the quality of reconnaissance and/or intelligence, making the air attacks hit strange places occasionally. Final score Israel 3, Hizbollah 1 (own goal for Israel by unknown players).

    The game is clearly being won by Israel, but the own goal(s) sort of stain some of the victory.

    (And sorry in advance for the lame football analogy.)

  • Joel, who the hell was your history teacher? You’re straight up wrong, and I really wish you wouldn’t pollute the thread with such inaccuracies. I’ll set the record straight in a bit, but it’s trash like this that made people think that Saddam planned 9/11.

  • Nakia, it is true history. I dare you to actually challenge it with facts as opposed to rhetoric. Are you going to deny that Muslims attacked the Byzantine Empire as well as invading Spain in 711AD…almost 400 years prior to the first Crusade? You can try to “educate” me, but you are not going to win a history debate, not on this issue at least.

    As for why post it here, to prove a point; this has been going back and forth for quite some time and right now it is the Muslims that are attempting the offensive. This is not to say ALL Muslims, but instead Muslim clerics mostly centered in the Middle East.

    I challenge you to “set me straight” using facts and not rhetoric (like the little comment about Sadam and 9/11…by trying to equate me to a logical fallacy you are attempting to disqualify my entire position).

  • “This war has been going on since 600 AD.”
    What war? Between whom? Prior to about 623 CE, there were no conflicts between haneefat and Jews, and “Muslims” did not exist as a group. After 623 CE, the conflicts centered around control of Medina, and keeping to agreements. As far as I know, there is no Jewish group currently trying to either take Medina by force, or settle there by agreement.
    After about 632 CE, Muslims, like everybody else at that time, went a-conquering what they could conquer, but it wasn’t a war of ideologies; they were wars of territory and empire building. Same stuff that everybody did back then. The Sumerians, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Chinese, Japanese, Franks,and closer to the time period you speak of,the Angles, the Saxons, the Normans,the Mongols, and I could go on, all conquered and were conquered. The Byzantine empire was merely the eastern half of the Roman empire, and yes, they did indeed conquer. It was the done thing at that time. That does not make it the done thing today, but there are no Muslim majority states up to this today, so to address events that occurred in the past as presently applicable would require far more justification.
    The Crusades were not defensive wars, at least not as fought by Western Europe. Western Europe saw the Byzantine empire’s weakness as a chance to take over the Holy Land, get money, and give the warrior class someone else to fight, according to primary sources. The Crusades were one group fighting another over a third territory that both wanted to take over.
    Your primary error is the lack of understanding of empire building and the use of propaganda during late medieval times. (Early Renaissance, too, for southern Europe.)
    I’d also like to point out the fact that you focus solely on the area between Morocco and Syria. If you were truly interested in this as a collection of ideological conflicts, you would not have ignored sub-Saharan Africa, or South/Southeast Asia, as controls.
    In the Crusades, Western Europe gained quite a bit. It was the Byzantine empire that folded, between the fighting, and plunder that I know Western Europeans did, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Muslims did so as well. The wealth of many Western European churches is owed to the raids on Byzantine churches. Western Europe lost no land during the Crusades.
    Bottom line, if you object to the empire building that was done at the time, then you should be taking the French to task for the Norman invasion, as well as a number of other groups. If you wish to call for the revival of the Jacobite rebellion and the resurrection of Flanders, you are more than welcome to try.
    BTW, a nation is not an empire.

  • Oh schnap! Muslim Girl, 1, Christian Zionist Dude, 0.

    And I quote the Prophet Bob Nesta z”l, peace be upon him: “If you would know your history, you would know where you’re coming from.”

    Although I think it’s cute that the Christians and Muslims are battling again with us in the middle. It’s like the Crusades, only online. Deus vult, bitches!

  • That sure is a twist on history, but not one that really sits well.

    The mistake I made was that I should have said “about,” of course from the years I have (that they were “1600” and not exact dates) should have left this assumed. Regardless…

    Turning to your history on Muslims…yes it was a control for territory but based upon what reason? This was one of the first times in history that a nation was not rising up in an attempt to build an empire but instead an ideology/religion. Generally religions were developed out of culture not the opposite way around (with Jews being the exception). Thus, the entire purpose in the Muslim conquest of territories in the middle east was based upon turning people to Muslim beliefs (as well as gaining the benefits of empire building). This was not someone simply sitting around going, “Hey, I want some more land.” This was a group of men who held a deep belief that Allah had sent them on a quest to turn these people; either through discourse or by the sword. Thus, this was decidedly not what others nations were doing. Whereas other nations were taking territory for the sole benefit of making money, Muslims were taking money in order to capture the minds of the people involved.

    Keeping this in mind we do see that the events occuring today are applicable to what occured; it is a war to bring people over to Islam, either through discourse or through the sword. The only difference this time is that there is a call to kill all the Jews rather than “let them be” so long as they live under the laws of Allah.

    As for focusing solely on a certain area…I am making a comment on a blog, not writing out an entire history book. I cannot cover all the events.

    Finally, you misunderstand the entire point of what I said. For one, I never said that Western Europe was somehow free of guilt; I was merely pointing out a pattern in history. Yes, the Byzantine Empire became weak from the plundering, but who sacked it? Who lead constant military raids and kept taking their towns? That is the ultimate question, is it not? This merely shows that once Western Europe pulled away (after it had helped to weaken the Byzantine Empire) the Muslims continued the offensive and overtook what is modern day Turkey. They continued into parts of Eastern Europe as well. As for why this should require a need for me to speak out against the French is beyond me…seems like you are merely over sensitive to your own history.

    The point I was making is that through history we have seen this go back and forth. There is no doubt that the Muslims began the offensive, however the Christians took it to an entirely different (and horrible) level with the Crusades. Since this time it has gone back and forth with who has been on the offensive and defensive. At the moment, Muslims (or extremist Muslims if you prefer) are on the offensive and there is no denying that without delving into the rhetoric of political correctness.

    Relating this to the issue at hand in Lebanon, who started it? Who took two soldiers of the opposing side and killed other soldiers in the process? Who crossed into the other nation in order to accomplish this? I refer to the current offensive of Islam around the globe to show that this localized incident is merely providing a bigger picture of what is occuring globally.

    If you can’t handle the fact that Muslims have a very bloody and dark history, then you should avoid historical debates. Islam has not been considered a religion of peace until it became the politically correct thing to say. You either have to be prepared to state that these were not true Muslims, or show that they misinterpreted your holy writings. You cannot shape shift history to try and make it look favorable or as if though you were only doing what others were doing. I look at Christian history and I’m ashamed of what they did. At the same time, I don’t deny that these atrocities occured; I can point out that they do not fall in line with true Biblical teaching, but I cannot deny that it occured. It bodes better to stick to the truth of history rather than try and water down the version so it fits into modern day ideology.

  • Perhaps you should go back to Western Civ 101. If you can’t handle the fact that you prefer opinion over fact, you shouldn’t engage in historical debates. Did I say that Islam was a religion of peace? I’m not CAIR, I ain’t ISNA, and M-PAC won’t return my calls, so your beef with them should be addressed to them. Did I say that empire building was OK? A reading of my post should debunk that pretty clearly; you may want to try it. I never denied anything that has indeed happened; I just understood it in context (See the OED). And your last sentence is a classic case of projection.
    Michael, I think the saddest part of the story of the Crusades is the massacres of European Jews. The Crusaders went off ostensibly to fight Muslim aggressors (and they were indeed aggressors), but got their feet wet by murdering Jews. There are those intent on dragging the Crusades round the world, and just as in Europe, go after the Jews either first, or at the same time as their Muslim enemy. It could be said that the Crusades wasn’t Christian v. Muslim, but Western European Christian v. Everybody Else, as evidenced by Crusaders killing Jews, Eastern European/Arab/North African Christians, and Muslims. So what were the Crusades all about?

  • Joel, you’re the man. Good job admitting to Christian atrocities; you earn my respect for that.

  • Not a problem KSF. One thing Jews and Christians have in common is we both believe in the fall of man (maybe not the literal story of Adam and Eve, but at least that man did fall into sin). Just as David sinned yet was still a man after God’s own heart, Christians should acknowledge that someone can pursue Christ but still committ horrible crimes against humanity (sin).

    I will admit that it is a bit easier to state that Christians have committed acts against Jews because my grandfather was also on the receiving end of this. He was Jewish and would often tell me the troubles he had to go through. That might be some motivating factor in my honest as well. 🙂

  • Back to the origins of this thread:
    Why did Depeche Mode cancel their concerts? Might it have been safety concerns, or insurance problems? I love, love, love Ziggy for going on with it, and I’m hoping that Depeche Mode didn’t refuse to play.
    Also, one of my favorite pics of the area is one of a group of women whose families have been there for centuries- they are a rainbow of skin and eye colors, from cream to chocolate, and they are all beautiful, if not conventionally so. I’ll see if I can find it.

  • Well, without a crew, it would have been nearly impossible to put on a concert. It’s a shame.

  • It may be of interest to note that Byzatium was attacked and destroyed by muslims which is fact, as to the reasons why the learned friends fail to understand even if they have studied history. The reason were to protect the muslims, jews and cristian in the holy land from repeated byzantium christian attacks, byzantiums saw muslims and jews as heretic and were therfore commanded to either destroy or convert by force, whereas muslims if they did conquer allowed those followers or the various phrophets Moses, jesus, to continue their religion as the pleased although by accepting muslim sovereignty over foreign poilcy. And also another point to remember when the spanish isabella and her cristain king defeated the moorish muslims they killed (sephardic)jews and muslims and also deported them. I wonder if the paticipant of this blog know to where?, well i will enlighten you, to muslim ottoman turkey, where the caligh at the time gave sancutary and all assisteance to all whether of muslim or jewish faith. Muslims and jews have lived in peace in the past and there are very many example just ask any historian or even a respected Rabbi, imam, or even padre, however for peace to succeed any where it must exist on mutual recognition and rights of all to be respected as in jerusalem before the crusader wars which truly were about steeling of the wealth of the holy land regardless of whether it was jewish, cristian or muslim wealth.

    I hope that this will cause more historically correct posts and people checking about historical facts and underlying reasons in this very interesting blog.

  • One thing i forgot to mention how careless of me, it is people deeds that have caused suffering saying “christian, jewish or islam, is a or are violent religion(s)” is wrong because it is people who act, i.e hitler who did countless attrocities against the jews, muslims and other christian, for example was he following christanity?, of course not you cannot label a whole religion that was based on the deeds or a few people who say they are doing this or that because they are muslim, jew or christian.