Saturday, 27 March 2010

Does Netanyahu Have the Balls (for Peace)?

For the first time in many years the US administration is giving Israel a hard time. Even the American friends have grown tired of Israel’s lies.

Will Netanyahu seize this as his opportunity to go down in history as the man who brought peace with the Palestinians?

Nobody likes to give in to pressure, least-of-all extremists and faith-driven right-wingers. Netanyahu’s bloated right-wing cabinet and the coterie surrounding him cannot make one very optimistic. Netanyahu’s brother-in-law is on record with an accusation that Obama is an anti-Semite. Others surrounding Netanyahu say so off-the-record. Even more outrageous to them are Jews in the American administration – such as the two senior Obama advisors, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel - who do not toe the Israeli line. Are the two on the Mossad’s list? Perhaps for some dirt that could be fed to opponents?

Israel’s moral situation is fast deteriorating and for its own good it needs to be forced by the outside world. The alternative is frightful. Let the external force that will lead to change be the US and Europe and not war.

The Israel lobby in the US must be working overtime these days. Netanyahu will be pulling all the levers he can and calling all the favours he is able to. In the past, this has always worked and US Presidents have succumbed to the pressure.

Please, Mr President, do not falter.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

The Pope’s Latest Troubles

Many of my friends in Germany are getting worked as the press publishes daily reports about cover up of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church. The great excitement is whether any dirt would stick to the Pope personally. They have already reached his brother, a regular priest, who has admitted to slapping choirboys. (Not that way) The brother denies having indulged in any spaƟ with the Spatzen of the renowned Regensburg choir.

Those who have read Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church should not have been surprised. In the conclusion to the chapter on sexual abuse, I wrote:

The unfolding of the sexual abuse culture of the Catholic Church has exposed her as dangerous institution which runs sophisticated cover-up operations to defend the criminal activities of her priests. This secret and authoritarian institution and its hierarchy have, by their conscious policy of hushing up and covering up, become accessories to sexual crimes perpetrated by their clergy.

SO, if you have not yet got the book, GO and BUY it. The easiest way is to order the book through Amazon.

If you already have the book, buy another copy and give it to a friend: The ideal present for Good Friday.

Thank You America

It has taken the US a long time, a very very long time. Left-of-centre Israelis have been praying for US intervention for years. Instead, the USA has permitted Israel to run wild with its settlements in the Occupied Territories. Finally, the Obama administration has told Israel to fuck off.

Israel had gotten used to pissing on its dwindling number of friends with impunity. Announcing new building plans in East Jerusalem during Jo Biden’s Israel visit last week was one outrage too many. Worse even was Israel’s subsequent explanation that they were sorry about the timing of the announcement. They were not sorry about the actual building plans.

Will Netanyahu finally go for peace? Will he bring in new coalition partners instead of his present land grabbing lot? I believe that - like so many others - Israel only understands the language of power. The time has come for the US to use its power.



Thursday, 11 March 2010

Jewish Genius

At dinner last night a friend suggested that I should be proud of the very high number of Jews amongst Nobel Prize laureates. Apparently more than twenty per cent of all laureates are Jews. I was not quite sure why I should get brownie points for their achievements. Nevertheless, I went home with a smile and spent a proud night in bed.

My pride did not last long. This morning, I came across the following item in today’s Ha’aretz: Poll: Half of Israeli high schoolers oppose equal rights for Arabs.

So I have forgotten all about my pride and now I am just full of shame. After all, I cannot really see that I have done anything to produce all those Jewish Nobel Prize laureates. But I am responsible for the education of the young generation in my society, in the country that likes to refer to itself as “the only democracy in the Middle East”.

As a further slap in my face, Gavriel Avital, the Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Education has recently come out with a statement that "If textbooks state explicitly that human beings' origins are to be found with monkeys, I would want students to pursue and grapple with other opinions. There are many people who don't believe the evolutionary account is correct.

Is the problem simply that Avital was once a monkey or is this the way that Israel hopes to produce more geniuses for the Nobel Prize?

Lufthansa

Two months ago, on 10 January, I wrote to Wolfgang Mayrhuber, the Chairman of Lufthansa, with a serious complaint. I am still waiting for his response.

Do you know the man? Do you know someone who knows Mayrhuber? I would like to get his fax number or his email address.

Please let me know if you can help.

I don’t just want to give in to this Lufthansa policy of throwing complaints to the bin. Lufthansa should not get away with it.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Praying for Mubarak's Health

Mubarak’s gall bladder operation, earlier today, is likely to heighten the talk about a possible successor. Egypt’s President is said to favour his eldest son for the job. But recently, Mohamed El-Baradei, under whose auspices as head of the IAEA, Iran was able to develop its nuclear capability, has come forward as a potential contestant.

Judging by the increase in the number of veiled women in Egypt over the last fifteen years, the country is becoming more religious-conservative and less secular. El-Baradei says that his ultimate goal is to set Egypt down the path of democratic reform. Is one of El-Baradei's partners in his plans to challenge the present regime the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood?

If so, what kind of an Egypt after such “democratisation”?



Thursday, 4 March 2010

Does Size Matter?

Jewish students in Canada have decided to do their bit to promote Israel.

Have a look at the following Link