Archive for anti-semitism

Dear Mr. Prosor,

Posted in anti-semitism, World politics with tags , , , on April 21, 2012 by shirhashirim

Your contribution in the Wall Street Journal of March 23th 2012 baffles me. You are the ambassador to the UN of the state of Israel. Have they not provided you with a spin doctor? Is no one available to comment on your drafts? Do you not have enough staff to check your facts? Propaganda is a profession mr Prosor. It’s not a job for mere ambassadors. You need to leave it to the experts.

You claim the international community is blatantly, and unjustly, disregarding the rockets Hamas terrorists are firing into Israel from Gaza. In you contribution you lament:

…over the past decade, the ratio of rocket attacks to words of condemnation from the United Nations Security Council is 12.000 to zero.

Here’s a word of advice. If you want to play the underdog, you should always understate you case. Not overstate. Because some people reading your text will start checking your facts. Bastards like me. If they find out that it’s even worse than you say, you can sit back and relax. But if they find out you’re exaggerating, you spent your time writing for nothing. They just won’t read on and even if they do, you’ll have lost their confidence.

Just five minutes of browsing delivers the figures for rockets fired from Gaza. They’re from your own ministry of foreign affairs: 4.728 rockets between 2001 and 2010, less than half. If you want to get close to your statistics you have to add 4.442 mortar attacks during the same period. And even then you still are 2.830 short of your claim of 12.000 ‘rocket attacks’.

Five extra minutes of browsing and you find figures that come a bit closer to yours.  That’s mainly because they’re up to date: 11.625 attacks, just 273 short of your 12.000. But again we need to count rockets and mortar-grenades together. Only 7.222 attacks really are rockets.

What’s worse, the newly found figures also include the fatalities. We didn’t ask for them, nor were we looking for them. But now that we found them, what does it tell us? A mere 31 dead for 11.625 attacks. That’s a disastrously bad perfomance (less than 0,5%). These are no terrorists as we know them, these are bunglers. I almost felt sorry for them. Even Israeli traffic does a better job. No wonder the UN Security Council is not paying attention.

You try to paint a gloomy picture of impending doom and by accident we find out it’s by far not as bad as you want us to think. What you say is just propaganda. What else may be wrong that we don’t know about?

See what harm a bit of browsing can do when you don’t do your job properly? And that’s not all. Because when average readers find out someone is being careless about his facts, or worse, they start reading your text much more attentively, but this time to find more mistakes.

Here we come to the central argument in your contribution, in which you claim that an Israeli attack on Gaza is imminent and only depends on a stray rocket hitting the wrong place, i.e. causing a lot of casualties:

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that if rockets fall on your head, you have a right to defend yourself. It’s a simple equation. Calm will return to Gaza when rockets stop falling on Israel. However, one rocket that explodes in the wrong place at the wrong time -in a grocery store, shopping mall or school- and Israel will be forced to respond in a completely different manner. Time and time again, Israel has warned the world that Gaza is an disaster waiting to happen.

But an Israeli intervention is not ‘inevitable’, nor it is ‘a disaster’ waiting to happen. Regardless how devastating, no rocket attack ‘forces’ an intervention. No Hamas terrorist has the ability to push an Israeli red button. And no Israeli officer is ever going to say: ‘Oops, look what happened, we intervened!’

You are portraying Israel as a victim, helplessly kicked around by circumstances and completely out of control. This is a blatant misrepresentation of the situation. Israel is not helpless, it has a choice, it can and does decide for itself. We all know decisions like that are hard and at times even cynical. Nobody likes to make them. But that does not mean the choice isn’t there. Israel is in control of itself, not Hamas. The devil did not make you do it, it was you yourself.

By trying to shift the blame in advance of its actions you have done the state of Israel a disservice. You should resign or hire some people who know about manipulating public opinion and who are metriculous about facts. Because with enemies like you, Hamas doesn’t need friends.



Posted in anti-semitism, Society, World politics with tags , , on October 4, 2010 by shirhashirim

At the end of last month I was in Iran, a country not known for its great love of the United States, Israel or Jews. One day in Isfahan I wanted to change US dollars into Iranian Rials.

Unbeknownst to me one of the bills that I had obtained at the Airport in Amsterdam had a note written on it.

The lady that helped me came back with the note and informed me that the amount changed was going to be $ 5,- less than I had planned.

“Sorry,” she said, “we really cannot change this!”

the Ignorant Little Fucker

Posted in anti-semitism, Society, World politics with tags , , on May 29, 2010 by shirhashirim

source: New York Yimes

The other day I visited the World Press Photo 2010 exhibition in my town, with a friend of mine from Ireland. He gave the comment quoted in the title of this post.

The picture, taken by photographer Rina Castelnuovo, won 3rd prize in the General News – Singles category.

Official caption:

A settler tosses wine at a Palestinian woman on Shuhada Street in Hebron.

I think the caption of my Irish friend fits better.

Original Sin

Posted in Religion with tags , , on November 2, 2007 by shirhashirim

All religions believe in original sin. Most adherents of any non-Christian religion will deny this, but they’re just confused. Not having a word for it does not mean you don’t believe in it.

In Christianity it’s easy to find the concept of original sin because they have a word for it, but you’ll find the exact same topic in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and even Buddhism. They can’t use the expression ‘original sin’ and are still in search of the concept, so their discussions on it are more complex and obfuscated, but they’re very aware of the subject, just like Christians. I’ve always thought that the best proof for the existence of original sin is anti-semitism.

It was already there in antiquity, when people thought Jews were ‘weird’. One reason. A silly reason because as we all know everybody was weird in antiquity. Then came Christianity, thought up by a Jew, preached by Jews, but when it came to power it became anti-semitic. Jews had killed Our Saviour. Another reason. A silly reason because we all know it was the Romans, it says so in the gospels (yeah, but weren’t those written by Jews?). It took a while before Christians started to realize they really shouldn’t be anti-semites and that process was still going on when another type of anti-semitism took over: social Darwinism. Jews were considered a ‘race’ not well adapted to whatever it was they had to be adapted too. Yet another reason. A silly reason because we all know Jews are genetically indistinguishable from –dare I say it- ‘other humans’. It wasn’t long before someone had thought up the idea that the fittest for survival were the ‘Arians’ whose task it was to help natural selection a bit. Christians were still in the process of slowly realizing they really shouldn’t be anti-semites when all of a sudden social Darwinism created its ultimate consequence: the Endlösung. Now that we’ve realized we shouldn’t be anti-semites, even when we’re not Christians, the Islamic world is taking over. Now it’s the state of Israel, the ‘Zionist Entity’ that makes people recycle the Protocols of the Elders of Sion and loads of other crap. Again another reason. A silly reason because we all know Israel and Judaism are not the same thing, and neither are Arabs and Islam, nor (geo)politics and faith.

Anti-Semitism has been a constant ever since antiquity, the only variables are the reasons behind it. They keep changing. They don’t matter, just as long as they’re there to back it up. Anti-semitism isn’t there for a reason: it’s there because people want to be anti-semites.

Now it seems anti-semitism has even spread to the victims. I’m not making this up: here someone’s moderately worried about it. Someone who also doesn’t have a word for ‘original sin’, but who knows he’s dealing with it.