tel aviv graffiti


writing on the walls of the white city.

this is limbo

This is Limbo - May 06

This can currently be found on one of the pillars of the outer garden of the cultural center of Tel Aviv.
What's striking is that it is possibly the most accurate description of the emotional climate in Israel right now (and probably for most of my lifetime). It's hard to describe in more detail than exhausted frustration. Somewhere in the space after optimism but before hopelessness.


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Honor killing in Ramle

A lot of people have a lot of different opinions about whether Israelis and Palestinians can ever bridge the cultural gaps and live together peacefully.

I am of the opinion that we can not. And there is one single phenomenon that has led me to this conclusion, of which I am absolutely certain: honor killing.

When you realize that the norms of a shame/honor value system are capable of reversing the biological instinct of a father or a brother and causing him to murder the very girl he should want to protect at all costs, it becomes apparent that you are dealing with a very very powerful monster. And definitely not one that can contribute positively to a society who values the lives of its daughters as those of its sons.

Here is another example (the second in two months) of an innocent victim of this twisted idea that a woman dating the wrong guy tarnishes family honor, but committing the most base and inhumane of all sins by murdering her restores it: 

Jerusalem Post | Ramle: Woman murdered to protect ‘family honor’



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The path of least resistance…

Dan Drezner has a great post from yesterday asking what the Cheney camp is up to with respect to Iran – i.e. why not negotiate with them?

I have one good reason not to negotiate: It seems to be working. Has anyone noticed that this whole crisis between Iran and the US has been the sound of one hand clapping? The United States has effectively completely ignored Ahmadinejad. He makes scary speeches full of implicit and explicit threats to America and Israel, overtures to "intermediaries" and sends a whackjob letter to the President and although the media is doing it's thing generating hysteria, at no time has he gotten more than a dismissive one-sentence comment from Condi.
All the while he seems to be moving in the right direction – now he's asking for negotiations. This guy needs to deliver "Iran the Superpower". If he can't get the US to talk to him, then he has not succeeded.
As an Israeli, I can tell you that the rate of progress toward the table shown by this despotic regime is remarkable and well… if it ain't broke…

Filed under: Iran

“The view from my window”

Andrew Sullivan has a cool idea: he’s asked readers of his blog to submit photos of a view from their window and he’s posting them on his site – check it out, it’s hard to articulate exactly why, but it’s really inspiring to catch a glimpse of someone’s daily environment…

Here is the pic I sent him….

the trees love me

UPDATE: Andrew published my pic on his blog… thanks, Andrew!

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A True Friend of Israel (and anyone else who wants to live Jihad-free)

Journalists who are brave enough to speak out against Jihad are too rare. Journalists who are willing to speak out against Hamas' version of it are even more rare.

Magdi Allam is a brave Egyptian-Italian journalist who is not afraid of telling it like it really is in Europe. This week he was awarded the Dan David prize in Israel.

He is a true friend of Israel – not because he unconditionally supports Israel for its own sake, but because he believes in the universal right of every person to life. And in the "clash of civilizations", that particular truth happens to favor Israel's right to defensible borders and life without Jihad.

Filed under: Israel, Palestinian

Negotiating Peace with Mahmoud Abbas

Here is a comprehensive guide to deciding whether to negotiate a peace deal with Abu Mazen or with my cat, Chichi.

1. Wants peace.
Abu Mazen: maybe
Chichi: maybe

2. Can exert influence over Palestinian terrorists.
Abu Mazen: no
Chichi: no

3. Is an elected representative of a constituent population.
Abu Mazen: no
Chichi: no

4. High risk of stealing things that aren’t his.
Abu Mazen: yes
Chichi: yes

5. Will get hair all over your jacket during the meetings.
Abu Mazen: no
Chichi: yes.

Based on my analysis, the benefits of negotiating peace with Abu Mazen are clear.

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A Conversation with Bernard Lewis

Even after dropping out of my masters in Middle Eastern history, I still try not to miss anything Bernard Lewis says or writes. Here is a link to the transcript of a talk he gave recently at The Pew Forum on Religious and Public life:

Professor Lewis has that rare talent that separates the brilliant academic from the rest – he can articulate complex concepts in stunningly simple terms. He provides many insightful answers to some very current questions about Islam, Iraq and Iran – and in general his observations are possibly the most worthy of consideration of anyone making comments about the "clash of civilizations". Some ideas he presented that I found particularly interesting:

Good news is no news – Significant accomplishments have been made in Iraq, although he marvels at "our ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory."

"Licensed Grievance" – He reminds us that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is only the most journalist-accessible example of many bloody conflicts that take place on virtually the entire perimeter of the Islamic world. Quote: "it is the general conflict that is preventing us from solving the Palestinian problem, rather than the Palestinian problem that is preventing the solution of the general one."

On what’s really wrong with us: "The most vividly remembered year of my life was the year 1940. And more recently I have been thinking of 1938 rather than of 1940. We seem to be in the mode of Chamberlain and Munich rather than of Churchill."

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Symposium: The Fall of Palestine (

Great quote about the real leadership vacuum in Israel: 

"As to Israelis, and western Jews, who ignore the other side's explicit agenda and replace it with fantasies of what they want the other side's agenda to be, fantasies that the Palestinians are simply asking for redress of supposed Israeli misbehavior and that sufficient concessions will end the conflict, they are the truly suicidal party, willing to risk their own lives and those of their children, their co-religionists and their countrymen for the sake of promoting their delusions." (Kenneth Levin)

This is a fascinating panel interview with David Keyes, Kenneth Levin and David Gutmann – essentially analyzing the psychological factors driving the dysfunction in Palestinian society as well as Israel's inability to cope.

Or put another way – simply listening to Hamas.

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Jihad on chickens…

Looks like Palestinian terrorists have stepped up weapons technology against the criminal imperialist zionist apartheid chickens….

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One of the few who get it

Here is a quote from Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s acceptance speech to the American Jewish Committee who recently gave her their Award for Moral Courage:

“Either way, we in the free world have war with Iran under Ahmadinejad. So the choice is not between peace and war. The choice that we have to make is between war with Ahmadinejad with a nuclear bomb or war with Ahmadinejad without a nuclear bomb.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of those rare people whose courage is something that ordinary men can’t even imagine and this courage is more evidence that the women of Islam are our only hope. They are the true victims of oppression and they are the ones who have so little to lose and so much to gain by the defeat of Islamism.

LGF link

Listen to her – more of us should.

I’m proud to inaugurate my new blog with a post about her. She’s one of my heroes.

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