Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Warsaw Uprising

I said in one of my recent postings that "I believe that the time has come for Israel to release itself from the shackles of a type of pseudo-morality that turns a blind eye to suffering elsewhere, and to the real causes of suffering in the Middle East, and perversely uses the Holocaust as a moral trump card to prevent us doing the unpleasant but necessary things we have to in ensuring our safety, whilst blaming the Holocaust for foisting Israel on the Arabs, and accusing us of using the Holocaust as a shield behind which we allegedly act inhumanely."

In the last few days, I have been sickened by the number of crass comparisons of Israeli actions in Lebanon to the behaviour of Nazi Germany. This has come from the Arab side, with analysts around the Middle East and local reporters in Lebanon repeating the canard that the tragic deaths of over 50 civilians, trapped under a building that collapsed in an Israeli air attack, were somehow "just like the Holocaust".

Is this is because Holocaust education in Arab countries consists of reducing its horror by number and method so that this seems a likely comparison (or perhaps told it never happened and is just a tool Jews beat the world with, hence it's neat to reverse the position), or are the interviewees fully cognisant of the enormity and nature of the Holocaust, and using snapshots of its imagery to slight the Jews and thus win world sympathy? They knowingly place us in a position of having to either belittle their own suffering by saying it is nothing like the Holocaust, or somehow morally equating the actions of Olmert with those of Hitler.

I would not want to try and compare their collective pain with ours. The deaths of those around us in any circumstance other than natural and in the order of generations, will always feel like a personal attack from someone or something, and part of the grieving process is to hit out at the most apparent culprit. In this case, bombs fall from the sky, turn out not to be as "smart" as they say on the package, and hence, the deaths are apparently the full responsibility of whoever dropped them. In the immediate shocking aftermath, where not just the loss of a loved one, but perhaps of a livelihood and a home, drives anger and despair, who would stop to rationalise?

But actually this is just what the so-called objective observers of the UN, journalists, and the international community must do. The shame of the Warsaw Uprising was that the Allies knew it was happening, and failed to support it in any real measure. If they had dropped meaningful supplies, or even volunteer reinforcements, or bombed the Nazi supply lines, there was a chance, small of course, that the war might have changed its course and the extermination of Jews lessened as a priority. At the very least, it would have shown Allied support for those who wished to fight their own obliteration, and would have represented much more of a moral victory.

Now the shame of this situation is that Israel is fighting with sophisticated machinery against a guerrilla enemy who uses civilian infrastructure to fight a dirty war, yet despite the UN, most of the world, journalists and opinion makers painting Israel as the Nazi, it is still the Jew in the ghetto. This Warsaw Uprising came about because of six years of rocket fire and attempts at terrorism, supported by Syria and Iran, with the acquiescence of the Lebanese government and the UN.

And the world's reaction every time Israel makes errors in hot pursuit of enemies publicly hell-bent on its destruction is to publish photos and cartoons drawing on the analogy of the Lebanese civilians as the Jews, and the Jews as the Nazis. Hizballah are somehow forgotten. So apart from the palpably absurd and morally bankrupt comparison, it conveniently absolves the world of its role in creating this mess and its responsibility in providing a lasting solution that does not reward terror and the wilful placing of civilians in harm's way.

The deaths of innocent people diminish all of us, and Israel weeps because it loves life, that of its own and its neighbours, whilst its enemies are proud to love death, be it of its own or the Jews. The world sees no distinction between the intentions of both sides; they just see the results and apportion blame according to a perverse statistical measure of the number of civilian deaths as the indicator of right or wrong.

This is the world's shame, just as sitting idly whilst the Nazis systematically crushed the Warsaw Uprising was the world's shame. The setting may change, but the world hates nothing more than a Jew standing up for himself. I am proud to stand by Israel, its leaders and soldiers, just as I would have been the first to stand by Mordechai Anielewicz. Be under no illusion - Hizballah, Hamas, Syria and Iran seek the murder of Jews everywhere, not just Israel - and once they have dealt with the Saturday People, they will come after the Sunday People.

You may continue to turn the other cheek, or perhaps a blind eye; we will fight for our survival, because nobody else will.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ah, it WAS deliberate!

It seems My Cloud Monkey was right. Retired Canadian Major General Lewis Mackenzie was interviewed on CBC radio, and had some very interesting news about the UN observer post hit by Israeli shells; the Canadian peacekeeper killed there had previously emailed Mackenzie telling him that Hizballah was using their post as cover.

"We received emails from him a few days ago, and he was describing the fact that he was taking fire within, in one case, three meters of his position for tactical necessity, not being targeted. Now that’s veiled speech in the military. What he was telling us was Hezbollah soldiers were all over his position and the IDF were targeting them. And that’s a favorite trick by people who don’t have representation in the UN. They use the UN as shields knowing that they can’t be punished for it."

Please click here to listen to this extremely illuminating interview. And if you don't believe him, here's an excerpt from an actual UNIFIL report:

"Another UN position of the Ghanaian battalion in the area of Marwahin in the western sector was also directly hit by one mortar round from the Hezbollah side last night. The round did not explode, and there were no casualties or material damage. Another 5 incidents of firing close to UN positions from the Israeli side were reported yesterday. It was also reported that Hezbollah fired from the vicinity of four UN positions at Alma ash Shab, Tibnin, Brashit, and At Tiri. All UNIFIL positions remain occupied and maintained by the troops."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pulling the strings

Well, it seems that if you want the news before it happens, Freedmanslife is here to facilitate. On Friday, I said:

"I believe that the UN is a legitimate target for Israel to strike, whether it is in Lebanon or New York. The UN has been complicit in Hamas and Hizballah activities for too long, and is abetting terrorism and the states that support it through its blinkered politicised statements and (in)actions. Nobody except the USA, and a handful of leaders going against the will of the majority in their countries (UK, Canada, Germany, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan to name a few), is prepared to allow the Israelis a chance to resolve a problem caused, among other things, by UN intransigence in the first place. And all the UN, along with their surrender-monkey friends France and Travesty International, can think of is how to persecute (I mean prosecute) Israel for war crimes. The UN is responsible for unapologetically leaving - or placing - Israeli citizens in danger, whilst being cowed by the will of terrorists, stateless or otherwise. Israel has the right to respond to protect itself against institutional tolerance of terror."


Yesterday evening (it appeared at 1am today) I showed a picture of Hassan Nasrallah and Kofi Annan shaking hands, and said:

"It seems that Israel has passed up on a chance to score a direct hit on a prime target and enemy of Jews everywhere, with some collateral damage thrown in as a bonus. I leave it to you to decide which is which..."


Today, Israel bombed a UN observation post, killing 4 "peacekeepers". My Cloud Monkey (that's what Kofi Annan means in Hebrew) immediately claimed this was a deliberate attack, which is palpably absurd unless Israel's air force are tuning into Freedmanslife for strategic tips. And of course the media luvvies carefully ignored this story:

"Haifa, Israel (CNSNews.com) - The four United Nations peacekeepers killed in an Israeli attack on their outpost were required to stay at that post "until they were ordered by the [U.N.] secretary general to withdraw," said a member of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization on Wednesday.

But the peacekeepers apparently never received such an order, despite the fierce cross-border fighting that erupted in southern Lebanon two weeks ago.

The four peacekeepers -- from China, Austria, Canada and Finland -- had taken security precautions and were in a shelter under their bunker when they were killed, said Wicki Dieter, the chief plans officer for the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).

(UNTSO is an unarmed U.N. body whose "observer" mandate dates from 1948. By contrast, UNIFIL -- the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon -- was created in 1978 to "restore the international peace and security" in southern Lebanon.)

According to Dieter, it's still not clear exactly what happened at the UNTSO outpost, which, according to the BBC, had been shelled by Israeli forces at least 14 times before Tuesday's deadly attack.

On Tuesday, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was "shocked and deeply distressed" at the "apparently deliberate targeting" of the outpost.

"This co-ordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long-established and clearly marked U.N. post at Khiyam occurred despite personal assurances given to me by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that U.N. positions would be spared Israeli fire," Annan was quoted as saying.

Annan - and China - were among the first to condemn what Israel has called an unintended attack. They are demanding an investigation.

Neither Annan nor Israel has said anything about why the unarmed peacekeepers -- who were supposed to be monitoring a ceasefire -- were left in what's become a war zone. Israeli officials flatly refused comment about that on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, and again on Wednesday, Israel expressed "deep regret" for bombing the U.N. bunker.

"Israel does not target UN staff, and since the beginning of the conflict, Israel has deployed all its efforts to ensure the safety of those staff in the region," said a statement released by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Miri Eisen, an Israeli government spokesman, said on Wednesday that Ehud Olmert "spoke to Kofi Annan this morning and told him that there would be an in-depth inquiry into how this happened."

Israel does not target the U.N. or civilians, Israeli government spokesman Eisen told Fox & Friends on Wednesday. "It was a very sad and regretful mistake, and we will do our utmost to inquire into how this happened," she said.

Further complicating the situation is the rocky relationship between Israel and the United Nations.

Israel has long complained about the failure of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, accusing some peacekeepers of siding with Israel's enemies.

In Oct. 2000, three Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hizballah in a cross-border ambush that happened under the noses of United Nations peacekeepers.

And many Israelis harbor a deep distrust of the U.N. in general, given years of anti-Israeli resolutions, including the controversial 1975 "Zionism equals racism" resolution."


So whilst the deaths of the four observers are tragic, it is incredible how the UN seems to have learned a trick or two from their beloved Palestinian friends, about how to place their men in harm's way, turn them into martyrs for their cause, and ensure Israel receives maximum vilification. 20,000 peacekeepers with blue berets, "protecting" Israel's northern border? I'd rather take Hizballah - at least you know where you stand with them.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Missed opportunity

It seems that Israel has passed up on a chance to score a direct hit on a prime target and enemy of Jews everywhere, with some collateral damage thrown in as a bonus. I leave it to you to decide which is which...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Soft targets

Well, you were warned; back the Zionists, or they will use all their insidious cunning to demoralise you slowly, destroying your liberal cultural icons and budding sporting heroes, one by one...

First, we got Geldof in a classic piece of Jewish market manipulation, which just shows our dominance of the most important managerial posts of the entertainment industry. Fail to keep the yiddishe moguls on board, and there will be consequences, especially if you go out of your way to organise a string of lefty concerts for a cause you know nothing about resolving, to be attended by the great unwashed and undoshed. Our revenge was sweet, the embarrassment - even for a man who named his kids Fifi, Peaches and Pixie - quite palpable:

"Live 8 organiser Sir Bob Geldof has cancelled his Italian tour after only 45 people turned up to see him perform. Geldof - who has tirelessly campaigned for Third World debt relief - refused to go on stage at Milan's 12,000-capacity Arena Civica on Friday (21.07.06) once he realised how small the audience was.

He told the small crowd gathered outside the arena: "These aren't the right conditions for a concert. It's not our fault," A performance in Rome on Saturday was also cancelled after only 300 tickets were sold. The 51-year-old former Boomtown Rats singer had flown in from South Africa for the show and promised disappointed fans he will play a free concert in the European country in September.

Italian Newspaper Il Messaggero reported the 40 euro tickets contributed to the poor attendance and claimed the price was "excessive for an artist whose music is not closely followed in Italy".

This is not the first time Geldof has cancelled an Italian show. In 1999, he refused to go on stage in Rome because he had a sore throat - but poor attendances were also reported at the time.

Geldof was instrumental in organising last year's Live 8 concerts - which coincided with the G8 summit hosted by Britain - to raise funds for African famine relief."


Then we turned our attention to an arena which is not one that we Zionist imperialists are so well-known for - sport. For us, it is merely a means to keep the body trim for the day we need to either invade someone else's country or run away from some form of pogrom. But occasionally we like to flex our muscles, and take countries that have offended us down a peg or two.

In this case, we waited for Kim Howells to open his big Camel Corps mouth and tell us not to defend ourselves against the nice, well-meaning Arabs, and then we punished the British people by rigging the Davis Cup tie. This was a culmination of many years of cultivating a mole deep within the UK tennis establishment, to build up hopes each year as Wimbledon approached, and then crush them mercilessly. Tim Henman is actually a Mossad agent, codenamed "Bottler". Meanwhile, we slipped some banned drugs into Rusedski's Lucozade and snitched on him to the LTA, nearly getting him thrown out of the game. And as the grand finale, we did this:

"Great Britain will face a relegation play-off against Ukraine after losing their Davis Cup Euro-Africa Zone Group One tie to Israel at Eastbourne. The visitors took an unassailable 3-1 lead after Noam Okun beat Jamie Delgado 6-3 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 6-3. Delgado, a late replacement for the injured Andy Murray, battled from two sets down to give Great Britain hope. But Okun overcame an early break in the fifth and final set to claim victory after a run of four successive games.

Okun, ranked 270 in the world, played solid tennis and seemed destined for a straight-sets win before Delgado rallied. Having wasted a glorious chance to win the third set at 5-3 on his serve, Delgado finally gave the partisan Devonshire Park crowd something to cheer when he took the tie-break. He then raced through the fourth set and broke early in the fifth to give the hosts hope of a tantalising fifth and deciding rubber. But that dream scenario was shattered as Okun mustered one final push and closed out for a famous win. "It was a crazy match and I'm feeling so high," he told BBC Sport after sealing the victory. "It was a great, great match. I don't know what happened to me in the third and fourth set, I went to sleep a little bit, but my team woke me up. I didn't really play bad, but Jamie played out of his mind. At times I didn't know what to do, I had to hang in there and wait to take my chance when he went down a little bit." Scotland's Alan Mackin beat Israel's Dekel Valtzer 6-2 6-1 in the dead rubber to give close the overall score of the match to 3-2. Great Britain will play Ukraine in Kiev in late September.


For our next trick, we are sending Matthew Parris, erstwhile columnist for The Times, and "out" homosexual, on a free holiday, as a reward for his outspoken stance on Israel's actions in recent days. It is all very well to criticise us, but this implies that our neighbours must be very civilised, and totally undeserving of anything they get from us. So seeing as he barely believes in our right to exist, and sees no merit in the lone democracy with all its permissiveness, we think he deserves a whistlestop tour of the Middle East, to sample first hand how most Arab countries treat their gays. We are not expecting him to return.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The acid test

Talking to Bison today about the ongoing situation in the Middle East, I came up with an acid test to decide on whether Israel has really been disproportionate or not. In fact, it may be the best yardstick on all Israeli policy.

The leaders of the Arab world are nothing if not masters of Realpolitik. Pragmatism keeps them and their typically minority cabals in power, hoovering up American arms and flogging overpriced oil in exchange. But they have the "Arab street" to contend with and appease, often remaining in power historically by explaining that democracy, free speech and a fair share of the country's wealth were things that could only be afforded after the Zionist enemy had been rooted out.

Now, this pretence has gone - all the Arab states have come to recognise that Israel is a "fact on the ground", and they have had to readdress the way they soothe the anger of their oppressed, impoverished people. So they tolerate a little firebrand Islamo-fascism for the masses from the Muslim Brotherhood at home, whilst enjoying the riches of the capitalist elite, and they indulge in a little Israel-bashing at the UN whilst not actually doing anything meaningful for the Palestinians.

Most importantly, they understand from the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq (Uncle Sam's stick), and the volte-face in Libya that is leading to huge investment and boom-time (Uncle Sam's carrot), that you have to keep the Yanks happy.

So the key to understanding when Israel really crosses the line of proportionality, ethical conduct and good strategy, is found in the reactions of the Arab leadership. In this instance, we find responses from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt that pretty much blame Hizballah for the current debacle. Meanwhile, in Lebanon itself, apparently being destroyed piecemeal by the Israeli war machine, Fouad Siniora's occasional and plaintive requests to halt the campaign have been pretty muted.

The point where we should all start worrying about whether things have gone too far is when this acid test shows an awful lot more hyperbola from the leaders of the region. Right now, we can safely assume that the Arab leaders have realised how lightly Hamas and Hizballah have been getting off all these years, and are giving the minimum number of platitudes to keep their own masses happy and avoid becoming a target for a 1970s PLO-style putsch.

Friday, July 21, 2006

10 things I believe

Blame the following posting on the heatwave. This is to those of you who think that there is any legitimacy in firing rockets indiscriminately at cities, but think there is absolutely none in pinpointing the launch site if the perpetrators choose to have it in the middle of a civilian population.

I believe that the UN is a legitimate target for Israel to strike, whether it is in Lebanon or New York. The UN has been complicit in Hamas and Hizballah activities for too long, and is abetting terrorism and the states that support it through its blinkered politicised statements and (in)actions. Nobody except the USA, and a handful of leaders going against the will of the majority in their countries (UK, Canada, Germany, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan to name a few), is prepared to allow the Israelis a chance to resolve a problem caused, among other things, by UN intransigence in the first place. And all the UN, along with their surrender-monkey friends France and Travesty International, can think of is how to persecute (I mean prosecute) Israel for war crimes. The UN is responsible for unapologetically leaving - or placing - Israeli citizens in danger, whilst being cowed by the will of terrorists, stateless or otherwise. Israel has the right to respond to protect itself against institutional tolerance of terror.

I believe that journalists who wilfully misreport the situation, fail to intervene to save lives or help the injured, and in otherways reduce themselves to partisans, fifth columnists and shills, are legitimate targets for Israel to strike, whether in Beirut or Shepherd's Bush. Media outlets play along with Palestinian censorship of honour killings, internecine violence and anti-Semitism in schools and on TV, whilst complaining at Israel's loose censorship in these troubled times, which is designed to give as little information as possible to the firers of Qassam and Katyusha rockets about their accuracy and potential new targets. The massed ranks of the liberal media disseminate their bias to ensure that the groundswell of opinion around the world remains staunchly on the Arab side, regardless of the atrocity, thus making it harder for the IDF to respond to attacks without the limitations and sanctions of the world being placed upon it. The media, by doing so, are placing Israeli citizens in danger. Israel has the right to respond to protect itself against the attack of the pen as much as that of the sword.

I believe that people in countries failing to protect their Jews against anti-Semitic attacks are legitimate targets for Israel to strike, whether they are traditionally considered friend (ie France) or foe (ie Iran). Too often, so-called "civilized" governments will not assist in protecting their own citizens, the ones who are, in the UK, statistically the most likely ethnic minority to contribute charitably and economically, the least likely to be unemployed or claim other benefits or be in jail for violent crime. The tiny minority that has built all this inside a few generations of arriving on these shores, which is active in every aspect of public life from politics to sport to the arts, is sacrificed at the will of people whose leaders seem perversely proud that they are statistically bringing almost the inverse impact, who according to surveys claim among their kinsmen a proportion amounting to over 100,000 who support blowing up Tube trains, and who blame all this - directly and indirectly - on the insidious Jew-Zionists and their evil allies Blair and Bush. Israel has the right to respond against its enemies safely ensconced in Londonistan and elsewhere in Dar-al-Harb, both those who perpetrate attacks, and those who stand idly and allow conditions for those attacks to develop, to protect its Diaspora against attack.

I believe that the institutions of Anglo-Jewry should hang their heads in shame that our rally in support of our brethren, at a time of their greatest need, is being hidden away in a school playing-field in north London, at a time when Israelis need to see us standing proudly and publicly behind them. This is the time to demonstrate to the British people that we cannot be cowed and shamed into packing our bags and filing into the Mediterranean like we filed into the gas chambers, and that their treatment of us - Jews, Israelis - should be a stain on the conscience of a society that claims to believe in a sense of fair play and equal treatment of all.

I believe that Israel's response to Hamas and Hizballah is disproportionate. In the last 6 years, there have been 15,000 reported attacks, attempted and "successful", on Israel and its citizens. 3 captured soldiers, and rockets reaching as far as Ashkelon and Haifa were merely the last straw. Israel's response is disproportionately small, given the acts of war perpetuated upon it under the noses of the UN and the world's media, for the past 6 years - it took a single day of attacks on the USA to declare a War On Terror.

I believe that nobody can be entrusted with the security of Israelis and Jews except for Israelis and Jews. So I believe any enemy of our people is now a legitimate target, in the same way as those same enemies see acceptable targets as being synagogues around the world, tourists in Mombasa, Leon Klinghoffer, Balfour House, Dora Bloch, Yoni Jesner, Shalhevet Pass, buses, trains, planes, cafes, restaurants, universities, schools, Jewish journalists and businessmen in London, non-Jewish friends of Israel, and many more.

I believe that so far, Israel has largely protected itself with both hands tied behind its back and standing on one leg, because the world insists on treating Israel by a different and much higher standard than anyone else.

I believe that the time has come for Israel to release itself from the shackles of a type of pseudo-morality that turns a blind eye to suffering elsewhere, and to the real causes of suffering in the Middle East, and perversely uses the Holocaust as a moral trump card to prevent us doing the unpleasant but necessary things we have to in ensuring our safety, whilst blaming the Holocaust for foisting Israel on the Arabs, and accusing us of using the Holocaust as a shield behind which we allegedly act inhumanely.

I believe that, despite the prevailing opinion, Israel is still David, and the Arab world - no, in fact the whole world - is still Goliath.

I believe that if Diaspora Jews are to be labelled as Israeli and Zionist, then we have no choice but to stand up and be counted as Israeli and Zionist. So this struggle between David and Goliath is our struggle too. It needs to be public, pro-active and loud. The Board of Deputies can take a running jump with their "why shout when a whisper will suffice" nonsense. A pathetic little mewling from the folds of Auntie's petticoats is no longer sufficient.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Anger management

Wall-to-wall coverage of Israel's latest forays into the various bandit territories on its borders has left me with little to add. Suffice to say, the usual bunch of Jew-haters are out there bleating about proportionate responses. I think there are some interesting things we should glean from events, that the common person (ie the one who otherwise has to glean versions of the truth from the liberal media) ought to take note of:

1. The Lebanese government has largely kept schtum, given that a fairly comprehensive demolition of their national infrastructure is taking place. This is because they know that they have failed to tackle Hizballah on their patch, and instead have made an awkward compromise of booting the Syrians out but accepting Damascus' and Tehran's indirect influence through having Hizballah in their own parliament and controlling the south. If they complain too much at Israel, they become targets too, and it is worth noting that 40% of the country is Christian and 20% Sunni, hence very anti-Hizballah, as well as another 20% or so made up of Shia factions also not necessarily enamoured with them. So Israel is acting as the neighbourhood policeman. The Lebanese government gets to make muted complaints and look like the victim, whilst someone else comes in to clean up its mess at huge risk and expense.

2. Bush and Blair have for once managed to largely cajole the UN and other leaders into giving Israel no more than a rap over the knuckles for their actions in Gaza and Lebanon. Again, we hear lots of bleating about a "proportionate response" from other quarters, but the leaders have understood that this round of violence was not started by Israel, but in premeditated attacks with rockets and incursions into Israel itself to wreak havoc and kidnap soldiers. Hence the response is more than proportionate - they are not arbitrarily firing shells and rockets back, but making interventions in as surgical a manner as possible. Whilst 200 dead Lebanese civilians is a tragedy, there is a huge moral inequivalence between kids in Shlomi and Haifa being targetted quite deliberately, and kids in Beirut and Tyre being unfortunate enough to live in the same building as a Hizballah arms dump. I thank the American Christian Right every day for keeping Bush in power and behind Zion, because they understand this distinction.

3. All parties understand that Iran and Syria are too gutless to take Israel on in their own territory, so this is a proxy war fought with extreme cowardice from behind the backs of the mostly innocent Lebanese. Also it is worth noting that were it not for Syrian and Iranian influence over the years, and the arrival of Palestinians in the south, Lebanon would still be a majority Christian state, possibly even a liberal democracy, and likely Israel's natural strategic and economic ally. It is not inconceivable that the largely muted reaction of senior world leaders and diplomats is a recognition that a thorough Israeli operation to whittle out the Syrian-Iranian influence could change the balance of power in Lebanon to one even more favourable to the West, thus further isolating Tehran and Damascus, and perhaps eventually even to a "warm peace" with Israel.

4. Bush summed it up best in his apparently off-the-cuff and off-record conversation with Blair: "You see the irony is what they need to is get Syria to get Hizballah to stop doing this shit and it's all over...I felt like telling Kofi to call, to get on the phone to Assad and make something happen." As always, the whingeing Left and their dhimmified friends are too busy blaming evil old Israel for daring to defend itself, to realise there is a wider issue of a visceral hatred of Israel, a denial of its right to exist, and an endemic anti-Semitism, that runs through most of the Arab world and much of the wider Muslim one. Until we start tackling this at root, Israel will have to keep defending itself in a manner that appears too robust for our increasingly pacifist tastes. I for one say that's just too bad. The day I can walk the streets of an Arab city as a proud Jew in the same way as Arabs walk the streets of Europe, America, and even Israel, is the day the IDF can stand down.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Share your French put-downs

Being rather bored of hearing French journalists, politicians and "thinkers" bleating about the evils of capitalism, America, Israel etc, I thought a quick column on put-downs and jokes belittling les grenouilles might be in order. For example, how many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris? Dunno, it's never been done. So I shall start the ball rolling...

Ted Nugent, a heavy metal guitar legend and devoted (bow)hunter, was being interviewed by a French journalist. Eventually, the conversation turned to his love of outdoor pursuits. The journalist asked, "What do you think the last thought is in the head of a deer before you shoot it? Is it, 'Are you my friend?' or maybe 'Are you the one who killed my brother?' "

Nugent replied, "They aren't capable of that kind of thinking. All they care about is, 'What am I going to eat next?', 'Who am I going to screw next?' and, 'Can I run fast enough to get away?' They are very much like the French in that."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Apprentice farce update

Oh joy! Look what just arrived in my inbox...

Dear Michael Freedman,
Further to your application to take part in The Apprentice Series 3, we are delighted to invite you to interview on Saturday 22nd July 2006.

The interviews will take place at:

Novotel West London
Novotel
1 Shortlands (Hammersmith)
London W6 8DR

Your interview time is 16:20

Please arrive on time but no more than 20 minutes early for your interview.

Due to the volume of applicants and the nature of the day, your interview may be short, but you should allow two hours, perhaps longer should there be any over-run.

You will need to bring: 2 forms of identification (passport/driving licence/utility bill/etc - photocopies not accepted) and a recent colour passport photograph of yourself.

Please note that if successful at this stage, you will be asked back to a second interview which will take place in London during the week beginning 31st July. If selected for The Apprentice, you will be required to live in London at a location provided by us for a period of up to 8 weeks beginning Saturday 23rd September. You will also be required for filming on pre-arranged dates before September 23rd.

During this time, access to family and friends will be limited to one phone call per week and you will not be able to pursue any personal business activity, without exception.

Please note that in order to be considered for The Apprentice you must currently be legally entitled to work within the UK.

If it is necessary for you to fly to the UK from abroad in order to attend your interview please contact us on the email address below and we will do a preliminary telephone interview with you. This does not include Northern Ireland.

This email also confirms that you understand that you may be filmed during the interview process and hereby consent to any such audio-visual recordings being made of you. Furthermore, you permit FremantleMedia Limited to exploit any recodings made in all media world wide in perpetuity. You may also be asked to sign a release form on the day of the interview.

If you have any urgent queries please contact apprenticeinterviews@talkbackthames.tv Due to the large volume of applicants, we can only deal with urgent enquiries.

We look forward to meeting with you.

Yours,

The Apprentice Team

I noticed that filming will start on first day Rosh Hashanah, hence presenting a clash with my busy schedule from the very beginning. Whilst the right thing to do would be to email back and respectfully decline to attend on this basis, I think it would be much more fun to go to the interview, blag it as far as I can employing the same amoral tricks as some of the candidates in the last series, and report back to my avid readers. Any loans of secret recorders or spy cameras for this attempt would be gratefully accepted.

Of course, if I somehow make it all the way onto the programme, I'll simply tell the producers my religious commitments preclude me from joining until 25th September (and that I'll need a day off on 2nd October too), and they can either explain why a public service broadcaster like the BBC is effectively discriminating against applicants for its programmes, or let me arrive late. If my lawyers let me near the damn place at all - they think it might not be the kind of profile I should be trying to get just yet...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A terrible tragedy

Some sad news, Freedmanslifers. Unfortunately, in the early hours of Sunday morning, Alan Senitt, former UJS Chair, someone many readers will have known very well, was murdered in a violent robbery in Washington DC, whilst trying to protect his companion from an attempt to rape her. It will take some time to reflect on all this, but in the meantime, I would like to share with you the posting I made on his website, alansenitt.com, which you can visit to add your own tributes.


Alan and I had a complex relationship to say the least, but as an individual I had nothing but the utmost respect for him. Even when we had our differences of opinion, he made time to meet up face to face, and talk things through properly. On one occasion he even hand-wrote a long letter to me because he wanted me to know it came straight from the heart, and was outside the machinations of that particular situation.

A few months after our little electoral run-in, he called out of the blue to invite me to the UJS end-of-year handover party, and insisted that I must come and wasn't to feel that it was a token invitation. I took him up on it, and arrived feeling very awkward and embarrassed. He bounded up immediately with that big lopsided grin, pumped my hand vigorously and we talked and laughed for about 20 minutes, while he carted me around like a guest of honour, introducing me to people.

That's the Alan I remember, the one who understood when to park all the politics and reach out to people who were feeling isolated and disconsolate, who brought people in and tried to build bridges, even when he disagreed with them. I regret that we never really worked "together" on anything, and now that it is too late to ask him, I can only hope that he enjoyed the challenges I set for him, as much as I relished the ones he laid before me.

He was a respected adversary, and I will miss him for that as keenly as we will all miss him for his great warmth and considerable charm.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Israel Enigma

This piece appeared today amongst Victor Davis Hanson's private papers

What explains most of the world's dislike of Israel?

Since Israeli settlers withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Palestinian terrorists have replied by consistently shooting homemade Qassam rockets at civilian targets inside Israel . Just recently, they've kidnapped a soldier and a hitchhiker (who has been killed) — and promised to do the same to others.

You'd expect these terrorist attacks on Israel to be viewed by responsible nations as similar to the jihadist violence we read about daily around the world — radical Islamists beheading Russian diplomats over Chechnya , plotting to do the same to the Canadian prime minister or threatening murder over insensitive Danish cartoons.

But that isn't the case at all. Israel is always seen as a special exception that somehow deserves what it gets.

Other states can retaliate with impunity, brutally killing thousands of Muslim terrorists, while Israel is condemned when it takes out a few dozen.

When in late 1999 Russians stormed Grozny , thousands of Chechnya Muslims died. Yet the press was mostly silent. Baathist Syria went after the Muslim Brotherhood in 1982, wiping out much of the city of Hama and killing perhaps more than 10,000. Not many U.N. resolutions or international refugee efforts there.

To this day, no one knows the horrific body count from the Islamic insurrection in Algeria . Darfur finally earns occasional airtime, but only after tens of thousands have perished.

But Israel 's 2002 "siege" of the West Bank town Jenin, where less than 80 died on both sides, was evoked as "genocide" by those in the Middle East who often deny the real one that took 6 million Jewish lives. When Israel retaliates by air to terrorism, it is dubbed a "blitz" by the press — as if it were akin to the Nazis carpet-bombing London .

Israel 's border fence is referred to as a "Berlin Wall," but you never hear Egypt 's nearby massive concrete barrier to keep Palestinians in Gaza described that way.

Then there is the open sore of the West Bank "occupation." Even if you forget that a series of offensive wars to destroy Israel in part originated from Palestine, or that Israel has given up land acquired by war in its perennial hope for "land for peace," what is so unique about the West Bank that drowns out all other crises over contested ground (from islands like Cyprus and the Falklands to entire countries like Tibet)? Why has tiny Israel alone earned more U.N. resolutions of condemnation than all those offered against all other nations of the world combined?

It is not as if Israel is a rogue state. For over a half-century, it's been the only liberal democracy in the Middle East . Israeli scientists have given the world everything from innovative computer software to drip-irrigation technology.

Oil explains some of the weird discrepancy in how the world views certain countries. It warps policymaking. Take away Iranian and Arab petroleum — and thus the risk of another oil embargo or rigged price hike — and Western fears of Middle East oil states would diminish. Naked self-interest determines the foreign policy of most nations.

The size of Israel factors in here as well. Israel has a population of not much more than 6 million and is surrounded by nearly 350 million Muslim Arabs. Most of the world counts heads — and adjusts attitudes accordingly.

The old anti-Semitism is, of course, another ingredient that accounts for the animus shown Israel . Even sensitive, multicultural Westerners care little that Arab "allies" often portray Jews as "pigs" and "apes" in their state-run media. Odious tracts like "Mein Kampf" still sell briskly in Palestine , and Iranian and Gulf money subsidizes a mini-industry of holocaust denial.

Finally, as we know from our own southern border, anytime a successful Westernized nation is adjacent to a poorer Third World country, primordial emotions like honor and envy cloud reason. Rather than concede that Western-style democracy, capitalism, personal freedom and the rule of law explain why a prosperous, stable Israel arose from scrub and rock, Palestinians fixate on "Zionism," "colonialism" and "racism."

No wonder they do. Otherwise they would have to grapple with intractable and indigenous tribalism, gender apartheid, militias and religious fundamentalism, while building an open society based on the rule of law.

In some ways, Israel 's values and success most resemble the United States.

And that raises a final question: Is Israel hated by the world for supporting us — or are we hated for supporting it? Or is it both?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The accidental apprentice

Back in April, I had just finished watching the last few episodes of the second UK series of The Apprentice and was marvelling at the greatness of the US version in comparison. In a fit of pique, I filled in an application for the third UK series, which amounted to a rant about the weakness of the candidates, pathetic tasks, and encouragement of poor business behaviour, as well as criticisms of the Big Koala as an appropriate sorcerer to this motley bunch of lousy would-be apprentices.

Much to my amusement, this email landed yesterday:

-----Original Message-----
From: apprenticeapplications@theapprenticeuk.com
Sent: 05 July 2006 19:14
To: michael@asquithventure.com
Subject: Your Application for The Apprentice, Series 3


Thank you, Jung Hyun Rho, for your application to take part in The Apprentice, series 3

This email confirms receipt of your application for The Apprentice.

Interviews for the series will take place on the following dates :-

Glasgow - Tuesday 18th July
Manchester - Wednesday 19th July
Birmingham - Thursday 20th July
London - Saturday 22nd July (SURNAME A-G), Sunday 23rd July (SURNAME G-O), Monday 24th July. (SURNAME O-Z)

(Applicants coming to London please note that the alphabetical allocation of days may change closer to the time.)

Please put these dates in your diary now as they are likely to be the ONLY interview days for this series.

Due to the volume of applicants and the nature of the process, initial interviews may be brief. However, you should prepare to be with us for two hours, possibly longer.

If you are selected to come to interview, we will contact you in due course with details of the location, time and date of your interview after the applications have closed.

If you have not heard from us by the date of the auditions in your chosen city, you should assume that you have not been selected this time around.

Due to the huge number of applicants we have, we are unable to deal with any inquiries at this stage.

With very best wishes,

The Apprentice Team
www.bbc.co.uk/apprentice

-----End Message-----


So due to the large number of crap applicants they have had, they still seem to have let me through their initial vetting process despite my downright offensive application. And they then cocked up their mail-merge and sent an email that contained several hundred messages to all the other candidates too (I have edited it so you only see Jung Hyun Rho, but this went on until they had 3 megabytes of plain text on the longest email the machine would allow).

I felt a response was in order...


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Freedman [mailto:michael@asquithventure.com]
Sent: 06 July 2006 00:07
To: 'apprenticeapplications@theapprenticeuk.com'
Subject: RE: Your Application for The Apprentice, Series 3

Dear Sir Alan (or most likely poor old Tim or Michelle doing the dull paperwork)

Thanks for this, now I know who many of the other applicants are, and if I had the time and urge, I could go through and delete them from your database for some competitive advantage. However, being rather well-behaved in that sense (and therefore utterly unsuited to actually being on the show), I'm bringing to your attention instead that your mail-merge has really screwed up, resulting in the world's longest email. Still, when the email first arrived, I was so excited that someone had remembered my Vietnamese birthing name Jung Hyun Rho...

Bless your famous catchphrase (not the one about the hole in your bloody arse) - one of you really ought to be hearing it soon over this ;)

Cheers

Michael Freedman

PS Does this get me a bye to the next round?

-----End Message-----


So watch this space - if they really won't take no for an answer, I've promised the Bison that I'll take a spy camera and try to get as far as possible on the show, revealing all the hideous secrets of how they really thought Syed and Paul were 2 of the top 5 young business brains in the country...