Monday, May 31, 2010

  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the IDF:

The iron bars, Molotov cocktail and dagger are especially interesting.

No doubt the anti-Israel terror-supporting "peace" activists would say that most of the knives are ordinary kitchen knives. Yet we have seen them used against people.

UPDATE: A reader sends me in audio, played on Israel Army radio today, of Israel's radio warnings and the terror flotilla's responses. I have not verified it.

"Jihad, Jihad, Jihad"

  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
There is an important facet of the events of last night that has not been emphasized.

The IDF soldiers went on board the ship with the expectation that they would be met with "non-violent resistance." The reason that they had those expectations was because the flotilla organizers made very clear that this is what they planned to do - as they said, "The only resistance that there might be would be passive resistance such as physically blocking the steering room, or blocking the engine room downstairs, so that they couldn't get taken over. But that was just symbolic resistance."

Because the IDF foolishly believed them, they dropped onto the Turkish ship armed with just riot-dispersal paint guns, plus personal handguns as a last resort.

And they fell into a well-planned ambush.

It is still unclear how many people were killed - the initial reports of 16 seem to have exaggerated, another likely Free Gaza lie - but the IDF had zero interest in killing anybody. The IDF  only opened fire after first suffering from merciless, life threatening beatings and asking permission from their commanders.

At least some of the flotilla organizers, on the other hand, made clear that they wanted to become "martyrs."

The bottom line is, if the IDF had known that they were meeting with a mob of violent, crazy, suicidal Islamists, they would have prepared better for it and there would have been less loss of life. But since the Free Gaza and other sponsors of the ships made very public statements about their "peaceful" intentions, the IDF was ill-prepared for the confrontation and things went awry.

I do not know if Free Gaza knew that the Turkish Islamist ship would do what it did. Clearly they are supporting the violence after the fact. However, the FG mission was never a peace mission and was never an aid mission - it was meant to grab headlines, nothing more. The Turkish IHH mission, on the other hand, was military.
  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
A stomach-turning article from Tikkun Magazine, which wants to say Kaddish for violent Islamists:
We regret and deplore the killings which took place as Israeli troops, in defiance of international law, boarded and assaulted, wounded many and killed some of the participants in a flotilla seeking to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza (itself a morally outrageous policy) to bring humanitarian aid. We ask all people of peace to dedicate at least fifteen minutes today (Memorial day in the US) to silent memorial for those peace activists who have been killed (and we call upon all synagogues around the world to say Kaddish for those people at their Shabbat services this coming weekend), and for prayer for the speedy recovery of all those wounded in this attack (mostly peace activists, but also the Israeli soldiers who boarded the boats with violence). We invite all peace-loving people to attend a public memorial for those who died in this assault in Lafayette Park opposite the White House on Sunday, June 13, at 11 a.m-2 p.m., sponsored by Tikkun, the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and many other groups, and which will include a larger consideration of U.S. policies. Memorial prayers and prayers for healing will be said at 1 p.m.
Somehow, I am not surprised that the peace-loving people of Tikkun cannot find a way to condemn the "peace activists" beatings of IDF commandos with chains and iron rods, throwing them over railings, stabbing them, calling for a repeat of Mohammed's massacre of Jews at Khaybar. No, those facts just mess up the Tikkun meme of righteous Muslims and evil Jews (except for Tikkun-style anti-Israel Jews, of course.)

Meanwhile, David Hazony writes
A good friend of mine is a nurse who was on duty in the emergency room at a Jerusalem hospital when some of the injured “activists” were brought in. She tells me that many of them are wearing camouflage. “Not sure they were official Turkish army clothes,” she says, “but they weren’t civilian dress, that’s for sure.”
The idiots at Tikkun don't want to believe the crystal-clear facts that it was an ambush - a pre-planned military operation, done by their "peace activists."

They want to say Kaddish for people who tried to massacre Jews.
  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Firas Press reports that a Gazan citizen, upon hearing of the events of last night, threw himself into the Mediterranean in an attempt to help out the brave peace activists.

Of course, the boats were a bit further away than swimming distance, and he drowned.

Even the commenters in the Arabic-language forum are laughing at this guy, saying that it was obviously a suicide that he tried to mask as martyrdom.

Yet somehow I think that he will be listed as a victim of "Israeli aggression" on some NGO list....
  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the IDF:

And Free Gaza says these peaceful people were only waving white flags....

They are no longer the Flotilla of Fools. They are the Flotilla of Tools.
  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Their Twitter feed says "They were waving white flags not clubs."
  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ha'aretz, a picture of one of the "peace protesters" and "humanitarian aid activists" on board one of the boats.

Doesn't he look like he cares deeply about peace?

  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Palestinian Media Watch:

On the day before the Gaza flotilla confronted the Israeli navy, Al-Jazeera TV documented the pre-battle atmosphere created by men on board the flotilla, who chanted a well-known Islamic battle cry invoking the killing and defeat of Jews in battle:

"[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!"

Khaibar is the name of the last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad's army in 628. Many Jews were killed in that battle, which marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia. There are Muslims who see that as a precursor to future wars against Jews. At gatherings and rallies of extremists, this chant is often heard as a threat to Jews to expect to be defeated and killed again by Muslims.

Al-Jazeera also interviewed a woman who said that the flotilla participants' goal was "one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza."

h/t Guest
  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
The IDF released video showing what happened on the Mavi Marmara:

See how peaceful the pro-Hamas "activists" are?
  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the MFA (via email):
1. A maritime blockade is in effect off the coast of Gaza. Such blockade has been imposed, as Israel is currently in a state of armed conflict with the Hamas regime that controls Gaza, which has repeatedly bombed civilian targets in Israel with weapons that have been smuggled into Gaza via the sea.

2. Maritime blockades are a legitimate and recognized measure under international law that may be implemented as part of an armed conflict at sea.

3. A blockade may be imposed at sea, including in international waters, so long as it does not bar access to the ports and coasts of neutral States.

4. The naval manuals of several western countries, including the US and England recognize the maritime blockade as an effective naval measure and set forth the various criteria that make a blockade valid, including the requirement of give due notice of the existence of the blockade.

5. In this vein, it should be noted that Israel publicized the existence of the blockade and the precise coordinates of such by means of the accepted international professional maritime channels. Israel also provided appropriate notification to the affected governments and to the organizers of the Gaza protest flotilla. Moreover, in real time, the ships participating in the protest flotilla were warned repeatedly that a maritime blockade is in effect.

6. Here, it should be noted that under customary law, knowledge of the blockade may be presumed once a blockade has been declared and appropriate notification has been granted, as above.

7. Under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect, no boats can enter the blockaded area. That includes both civilian and enemy vessels.

8. A State may take action to enforce a blockade. Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate a maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked under international law. The US Commander's Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations sets forth that a vessel is considered to be in attempt to breach a blockade from the time the vessel leaves its port with the intention of evading the blockade.

9. Here we should note that the protesters indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade by means of written and oral statements. Moreover, the route of these vessels indicated their clear intention to violate the blockade in violation of international law.

10. Given the protesters explicit intention to violate the naval blockade, Israel exercised its right under international law to enforce the blockade. It should be noted that prior to undertaking enforcement measures, explicit warnings were relayed directly to the captains of the vessels, expressing Israel's intent to exercise its right to enforce the blockade.

11. Israel had attempted to take control of the vessels participating in the flotilla by peaceful means and in an orderly fashion in order to enforce the blockade. Given the large number of vessels participating in the flotilla, an operational decision was made to undertake measures to enforce the blockade a certain distance from the area of the blockade.

12. Israeli personnel attempting to enforce the blockade were met with violence by the protesters and acted in self defense to fend off such attacks.
  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
...then how come the only dead people were on the ship that attacked the IDF soldiers?

The other five ships surrendered and no one was hurt.

Just more proof of Free Gaza lies. News organizations must be careful not to trust a single word that they say. They know that their lies get broadcast as fact in real time, and FGM has a history of taking advantage of that, especially when the media is hungry for new details.

I am not as available today to blog as I would like, so feel free to comment with any new stuff you find.
  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Jameel at the Muqata is live-blogging the events at sea. You can't do better than reading his blog right now.

2:54 PM News1 reports that the IDF soldiers were not prepared for the violence that errupted from the flotilla terrorist peace activists. The soldiers testified that Sheikh Raed Salakh was among the violent attackers. military correspondents who accompanied the soldiers said the soldiers were given paintball rifles. When they boarded the ship, they were attacked with slingshots, metal balls, chairs and live fire. The terrorists threw soldiers overboard and tried to capture soldiers. This wasn't a freedom flotilla but one of terror. It was all too reminiscent of the Ramallah Lynching of 2 IDF soldiers by a Palestinian mob.
  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Channel 2 news, via Ma'ariv:

  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
The San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea says in paragraph 67:

67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture.

There is abundant evidence from both sides that there was prior warning, that the ships refused to stop, and that they resisted the visit and being searched. And the ships were very publicly breaching a blockade.

(h/t AB)
  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon

It was an ambush.
  • Monday, May 31, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Although the details are sketchy of what happened so far on the Mavi Marmara, it is clear that some of the "peace activists" who organized the flotilla were not very peaceful.

What is certain is that Free Gaza's characterization of the events is a lie:
Under darkness of night, Israeli commandoes dropped from a helicopter onto the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, and began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck. They fired directly into the crowd of civilians asleep.

YNet's video shows a large crowd of these "peaceful people" with what appear to be metal bars waiting for the soldiers to arrive so they can beat them - which they proceed to do. If that is not life-threatening, I don't know what is.

Israel has announced that they found other weapons on board, including guns and knives.

The main Turkish "aid" organization, IHH, has clear ties to terror, as can be seen at Harry's Place. The CIA has documented links between that group and extremist groups in Iran and Algeria back in 1996.

A paper from Danish Institute for International Studies speaks about IHH:
[T]he phenomenon of charitable front groups that provide support to Al-Qaida is by no
means exclusively limited to the Arabian Peninsula. Indeed, elsewhere in the Muslim world,
other such entities have been established with near equal success – as in Turkey, with the so called Foundation for Human Rights, Liberties, and Humanitarian Relief (IHH). Turkish
authorities began their own domestic criminal investigation of IHH as early as December
1997, when sources revealed that leaders of IHH were purchasing automatic weapons from
other regional Islamic militant groups.43 IHH’s bureau in Istanbul was thoroughly searched,
and its local officers were arrested. Security forces uncovered an array of disturbing items,
including firearms, explosives, bomb-making instructions, and a “jihad flag.” After analyzing
seized IHH documents, Turkish authorities concluded that “detained members of IHH were
going to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya."

According to a French intelligence report, the terrorist infiltration of IHH extended to its
most senior ranks. The report, written by famed counterterrorism magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere, revealed that IHH President Bulent Yildrim had directly conspired in the mid-1990s to “recruit veteran soldiers in anticipation of the coming holy war [jihad]. In particular, some
men were sent into war zones in Muslim countries in order to acquire combat experience.”45
Furthermore, in the hopes of “obtaining political support from these countries, financial aid
was transferred [on behalf of IHH], as well as caches of firearms, knives, and pre-fabricated
explosives.”46 An examination of IHH’s phone records in Istanbul showed repeated telephone
calls in 1996 to an Al-Qaida guesthouse in Milan and various Algerian terrorist operatives
active elsewhere in Europe – including the notorious Abu el-Ma`ali, who has been subsequently
termed by U.S. officials as a “junior Osama Bin Laden."

During the later Seattle trial of would-be Al-Qaida Millenium bomber Ahmed Ressam, federal
prosecutors called French magistrate Bruguiere to the stand as an expert witness. Bruguiere
testified that IHH had played “[a]n important role” in the Al-Qaida Millenium bomb plot
targeting LAX. Under repeated questioning, Bruguiere insisted that “[t]here’s a rather close

The IHH is an NGO, but it was kind of a type of cover-up… in order to obtain
forged documents and also to obtain different forms of infiltration for Mujahideen
in combat. And also to go and gather[recruit] these Mujahideens. And
finally, one of the last responsibilities that they had was also to be implicated or
involved in weapons trafficking.48
This was one of the major groups behind the flotilla - a charity group that is a front of Islamic terrorism.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

  • Sunday, May 30, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
I've been Tweeting a ton of messages today, labeling them all #Flotilla of Fools, going over years of news about Gaza that people do not know. Getting lots of retweets, too.

Check them out:
  • Sunday, May 30, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the BBC:
For a man who knows that he would face almost certain death if he ever returned home, Mohammad Saad appears remarkably at ease and sanguine about his predicament.

Mr Saad is among perhaps the most reviled class of person in Palestinian society - someone who has given or sold information to Israel.

In a frank and remarkably open interview, Mr Saad has told the BBC why he betrayed his own people and why, he thinks, he now deserves more protection and help from the Israeli state.

Mr Saad says that he infiltrated Palestinian militant groups and claims to have saved many lives.

Originally from the West Bank town of Hebron, he now sits in a cramped lawyer's office in Tel Aviv as he tries to forge a new life in Israel.
'Saved lives'

Mohammad says that for nine years in the 80s and 90s he infiltrated the Palestinian militant group, Tanzim, in Hebron.

Armed with a tape recorder, given to him by his Israeli handler, he says he helped stop attacks on Israeli civilian and military targets.

"I saved lives," says the 41-year-old father of three children.

"The Israeli agent didn't believe me at first but then I infiltrated the militants with a tape recorder on my body and recorded their plans to attack Jewish settlers. I didn't do it for money, I did it because we are all Israelis and it is wrong to kill."

Few Palestinians will have any sympathy with Mr Saad.

To them he is a traitor who took money to betray his own people.
And to them the terrorists who target Jewish children are heroes. Two sides of the same coin.

(h/t aparatchik)
  • Sunday, May 30, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Something nice to look at, related to the book Start-Up Nation that I reviewed recently.

  • Sunday, May 30, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
An interesting article in Al Arabiya (Arabic) says that many Lebanese, especially Maronite Christians, do not consider themselves Arabs - but rather Phoenicians.

The Christians remain upset at a provision in the Taif Agreement that considers Lebanon to have an "Arab character," although on the other hand it also makes it clear that Lebanon is independent from the rest of the Arab world.

According to the article, a geneticist finds that some 30% of Lebanese have Phoenician genes, although they are generally mixed.
  • Sunday, May 30, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Hamas deputy political chief Abu Marzouk was interviewed in the Algerian daily El Chourouk.

He claimed that Hamas has opened channels of communication with the US:

There are various channels of communication [between Hamas and the US], some official and some unofficial, but everyone asks permission from the State Department and the White House in this for authorization to communicate, but without fanfare. The official rhetoric in the media is that the US does not communicate with Hamas, but they do communicate with us for objective reasons. They know that Hamas was elected by the Palestinian people and lead the legitimate government. Although the U.S. administration believes that the movement does not serve its objectives in the knows that Hamas is a fact.
He also claimed that the PA has spied on Algeria, and that he is pessimistic about Hamas/Fatah reconciliation.
  • Sunday, May 30, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Al Arabiya (Arabic) reports that three Arabs were killed and seven injured, two seriously, by Iranian Revolutionary Guards as they were protesting a land dispute.

Which means that Iran killed more Arab civilians in May than the IDF did.
  • Sunday, May 30, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Khaled Meshaal, Hamas' "political" leader in Damascus, was on the Charlie Rose show where he put on a moderate face for his credulous inteviewer:
"We don't have a problem whatsoever with the United States or with American interests," Khaled Meshaal told PBS television in an interview.
"America is a great state, a superpower," he continued.

"But its interest should not be at the expense of the interests of others and the peoples of in the region."
Rose, apparently, did not challenge Meshal on his newfound love of America. If he would have, he could have asked Meshal about something else he said a few years ago, in Arabic, that slightly contradicts his smiling statements to Americans:
AL-YARMOUK CAMP, Syria (Reuters) - Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal on Monday called for an Arab and Muslim alliance to defeat the United States and Israel.

"Our battle is with two sides, one of them is the strongest power in the world, the United States, and the second is the strongest power in the region (Israel)," he told hundreds of people at the al-Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus.

"That is the caliber of the battle. We will not be victorious unless the other side of the battle is Arab and Muslim. All of the Arabs and Muslims," he said at a memorial ceremony for Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi, the group's Gaza leader assassinated by Israel on Saturday.

The Hamas politburo chief vowed Palestinians would "turn Earth on their heads, God willing."

The Israelis live "in horror...ahead of our response, during it and after it," he said. "Do not worry, there will be a response and resistance will continue, God willing."

"The problem is in us and not in the balance of power...if the (Islamic) nation would fight the same way (Palestinians and Iraqis) are fighting in Rafah, Jenin and Falluja then by God we will defeat both the United States and Israel," he said.

Arab and Muslim people "have a great duty and I do not want to tell them what to do... God will ask Arabs and Muslims what are they doing while the sons of Palestine are doing their duties," he said.

In the same Charlie Rose interview,
The Hamas leader said he did not support violence against civilians and said attacks on Israel would stop once it withdrew to the 1967 borders.
Again, Rose did not challenge Meshal on the obvious contradiction between Meshal's words and Hamas' history of targeting Jewish women and children with suicide bombs, or even between what he told Rose and what he tells others in Arabic:
"We talk to the world in a language it understands, but we won't pretend to be something we're not. Yes, suicide operations in the Green Line anger international public opinion, but you must observe the Palestinian popular mood. We live under occupation and we don't have the traditional tools of warfare.
So which should we believe?

That's a real tough one.

Especially considering that Hamas sent text messages warning Israeli civilians that they have no protection from the Qassams aimed at them, and that Hamas calls all Israeli towns in rocket range "military bases" even when there are no military bases there, and that Hamas loves to release posters showing specifically the civilian houses they are targeting with their rockets.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

  • Saturday, May 29, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Today, a UNRWA spokesman named Adnan Abu Hasna told a German news agency that Gaza was suffering from a "humanitarian crisis."

The idea that Gaza was suffering from a "humanitarian crisis" has been around for a long, long time:

...the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza continues to grow.
December 6, 2000:
...impoverishing families across The West Bank and Gaza Strip and risking a humanitarian crisis, according to international economists and aid workers...
June 15, 2001:
The United Nations has warned of a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip due to a shortage of medical supplies there.
November 19, 2002:
The humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and Gaza is a crisis of access and mobility; it is further compounded by an economic downturn that severely limits the ability of the civilian population to purchase and access basic needs.
February 27, 2003:
Humanitarian crisis: The cumulative impact of damage to civilian infrastructure, curfews and closures, and ongoing violence led the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to describe the humanitarian situation as "the most dire since 1967."
October 7, 2004:
The United Nations has warned in a special report of an impending humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
August 19, 2005:
Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza are suffering from a chronic humanitarian crisis that is deepening during the disengagement period.
March 19, 2006:
Gaza facing humanitarian crisis
May 18, 2006:
As the representatives of donor governments made fresh vows to rapidly establish a flow of aid to Palestinians on Monday, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues.
July 9, 2006:
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has demanded that Israel take urgent action to prevent a humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip.
August 16, 2006:
Humanitarian Disaster in Gaza: "People are crying, hungry, thirsty, and desperate"
November 20, 2006:
Gaza: UN appeals for $2.5 million to ease 'humanitarian disaster'
July 20, 2007:
U.N. Official: Humanitarian Crisis Looms in Gaza
December 8, 2007:
The World Health Organisation warned against a humanitarian crisis erupting in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip due to Israeli travel restrictions
One would have thought that after 17 years of this "crisis" the Gaza population would be decimated by now. Reading these stories you'd expect Gaza to be like sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, somehow, the brave Gazans still manage to get weapons, ammunition, fuel, food, medicine and hundreds of millions of dollars in Western aid, managing to stave off the starvation forecasted by "human rights" experts year after year.

It appears that there is an entire cottage industry of "human rights" organizations that are dedicated to sounding the alarm about Gaza every few months so they can keep their jobs and keep blaming Israel for every self-inflicted problem that the PalArabs have created in their Gaza homeland.

(updated post from December, 2007)
  • Saturday, May 29, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ma'an:
Gaza medics said six Palestinians were killed and 12 others were injured on Saturday when a gas cylinder exploded inside a southern Gaza tunnel.

Chief of Ambulance and Emergency services in Gaza Muawiya Hassanein told Ma’an that the workers were inside the tunnel when the cylinder exploded and that three sustained critical injuries.

Gas cylinders are one of the many items smuggled into the coastal enclave following Israel's siege, which limits the amount of fuel into Gaza, dramatically reducing its sole power station's ability to function and provide energy to residents.
The last paragraph is a lie. Israel has no limit on how much fuel is sent into Gaza outside the physical limits of its ability to transfer it.  The only limitation is how much the Hamas government (or the PA) is willing to pay for fuel. This was the reason for blackouts since January.

Israel still provides 70% of the direct electricity for Gaza.

See the MFA's statistics here and here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

  • Friday, May 28, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
All this week, the media have been saying that the Flotilla of Fools aiming towards Gaza is bringing in some 10,000 tons of aid. For example, in Business Week:
The eight ships, organized by an international group called the Free Gaza Movement, are carrying about 10,000 tons of cargo, including cement for rebuilding homes destroyed by war in Gaza, medical equipment and school supplies.

Yet last week, the amount that the organizers publicized was 5000 tons. From the Palestine Chronicle" on May 21:
The ships are carrying 5,000 tons of construction materials, medical equipment, and school supplies, as well as around 600 people from 40 countries. "
From the Irish Times on May 19th:
The nine boats are due to arrive in Gaza next week with 5,000 tons of reconstruction material, medical equipment and school supplies.

That is a remarkable increase in cargo for the week.

It gets even weirder. Clearly, the heaviest part of the aid is the construction material, and according to the media reports and the Free Gaza folks, they are bringing in only 500 tons of cement. So are they bringing in 9,500 tons of paper, schoolbooks and medical supplies? There are some six tons of paper from Norway, so that can't be it.

Even if they are bringing in prefabricated houses, as some reports say, prefab houses weigh only about 1.5 tons each- and I didn't see any pictures of thousands of houses on the ships that would be needed to fill out 10,000 tons.

Is it possible that they are lying?

It is more than possible - it is a guarantee.

In February, 2009, the Free Gaza people claimed that the ship that was trying to reach Gaza was filled with 60 tons of aid. When the Israelis looked inside the ship, they found it was practically empty:
The IDF said that troops found about 150 bottles of mineral water and a few dozen kilograms of food and medicine on board, despite earlier claims that it was carrying about 60 tons of medicine, food and toys, plus 10,000 units of human blood plasma which requires constant refrigeration.

These folks have no qualms about lying about their cargo, as they have done it in the past - exaggerating their supposed aid by a factor of at least 50.

In other words, you cannot believe a word that these people say, even when it seems to be innocent background material. The media especially should be wary about reporting back on anything that they are told by the Flotilla Fools.

Practically everything that comes out of their mouths is an easily provable lie.
  • Friday, May 28, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Since some of my readers have said that they use my site as a portal, I created a widget that includes all of my Google Reader feeds in one place, making it easy to read many blogs and news sources from a single page.(I even included the comments here as a feed.)

This widget can be found in a new EoZ News Feeds page that can be accessed from my sidebar.Let me know what you think, or if you want me to add other sources you consider essential.

For different reasons, I also created a page that contains most of my Goldstone Report critiques, so they could be seen in one place. I should edit them and make them more organized if I get the chance, but even in the form the page is in now, it helps debunk the claim that Goldstone and others have made that there has been no substantial criticism of the report. If you copy and paste it into a word processor the document is 46 pages long.

My Amazon Market page is still there, and has been a resounding success: I have earned 62 cents so far, which means that my blog revenue has increased by over a million percent over the same period last year. This makes the blog one of the fastest growing revenue generators among all on-line businesses. (Aren't statistics fun?)

Consider this an open thread. 
  • Friday, May 28, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
As I mentioned previously, the moonbats who are trying to sail to Gaza have to document how terrible the lives of Gazans are have wonderful choices for fine dining and for working out.

But where can they stay? Surely they must be forced to sleep under the stars, or in tents, because the entire sector has been flattened by the IDF.

Luckily for them, the Al Deira hotel is available and waiting for them to help them rough it in Gaza.

The people who sacrifice so much for the human rights of Gazans must first be confronted with the bullet-pocked entrance:

They enter the bombed-out lobby:

Then they move on to the decrepit reception area:
They are forced to walk up the war-ravaged stairs:
Where they then must face the horrors of war in their room:

(Yes, the bottom picture is one of the guest rooms, not a lobby, according to the person who posted it on their guest book.)

They unfortunately missed the special last Christmas when the hotel offered family specials, so they cannot as easily interview the children of Gaza about their misfortune:

The deprivation is unceasing, viewable around every corner:

Luckily, the hotel offers wireless Internet access, so these human-rights advocates can write articles about all of the terrible conditions they have been forced to witness firsthand:

These pictures of Gaza are shocking, I know, but it is important to publicize the horrible conditions that Gazans are forced to live under - a story that is sorely underreported in the West, where we spend much more time talking about the comparatively well-off people of the Congo.

(h/t Mike)

UPDATE: UNRWA members used this hotel when they visited last August.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

  • Thursday, May 27, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From TheJC:
A Muslim campaign group has written to the new Education Secretary Michael Gove to object to state-aided Jewish schools promoting Zionism.

Mohammed Asif, the chief executive of Engage (not to be confused with the antisemitism monitoring group of the same name), said he was "more than a little surprised" to see Zionism included as part of the ethos of several Jewish schools.

Mr Asif cited a number of Jewish schools professing explicit support for Zionism, including Manchester's King David High School, Broughton Jewish Cassel Fox Primary in Salford, and Simon Marks Jewish Primary School in Hackney, north London.

He wrote that he understood the Jewish nature of the schools, but that he would "contest the place of Zionism in the school's governing ethos".

A spokesman for the Department of Education said it had not yet had time to respond to the letter. Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, commented: "There is nothing at all remarkable or contentious in a Jewish school stressing the spiritual and historical connection of Jews to the land of Israel, and the centrality of those connections to our faith. It is those who attempt to characterise Zionism as an anathema to Judaism who are trying to score political points."

King David's website, explaining the aims of its Jewish studies programme, states that the school has "a strong Zionist ethos and all students are given the opportunity to visit Israel. A love and appreciation of Israel is woven into the curriculum."
Asif's organization is trying to make Gove look like a hypocrite, because Gove is on the record as being against giving public funds to Hizb ut-Tahrir schools in Britain that preach for the establishment of a unified Islamic state. Asif is facetiously claiming that support for the liberal, democratic Jewish state is equivalent to support for a pan-Islamic state that would institutionalize discrimination against women, discrimination against non-Muslims, and would severely restrict freedom of religion, the press and assembly.

I am a little concerned that the King David school site is down at the moment. The Google cache shows how its Zionist ethos is described:

See how offensive that is?

Speaking of how awful Zionist Jewish schools are in England, there is another Jewish, Zionist school called the King David Primary School in Birmingham - and, according to an Independent article from 2007, half of the students are Muslim!
King David is a strictly Jewish school. Judaism is the only religion taught. There's a synagogue on site. The children learn modern Hebrew - Ivrit - the language of Israel. And they celebrate Israeli independence day.

But half the 247 pupils at the 40-year-old local authority-supported school are Muslim, and apparently the Muslim parents go through all sorts of hoops, including moving into the school's catchment area, to get their children into King David to learn Hebrew, wave Israeli flags on independence day and hang out with the people some would have us believe that they hate more than anyone in the world.

The Muslim parents, mostly devout and many of the women wearing the hijab, say they love the ethos of the school, and even the kosher school lunches, which are suitable because halal and kosher dietary rules are virtually identical. The school is also respectful to Islam, setting aside a prayer room for the children and supplying Muslim teachers during Ramadan. At Eid, the Muslim children are wished Eid Mubarak in assembly, and all year round, if they wish, can wear a kufi (hat). Amazingly, dozens of the Muslim children choose instead to wear the Jewish kipah.

At the prize morning Carol Cooper, the RE teacher, says: "Boker tov," (Ivrit for "Good morning").

"Good morning Mrs Cooper," the children chant in reply. The entire school, Muslims, Jews, plus the handful of Christians and Sikhs then say the Shema, the holiest Jewish prayer, all together
.That must really upset Mr. Asif!
  • Thursday, May 27, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Something that Jews and Muslims can agree on:
Dutch doctors' group calls for circumcision ban

AMSTERDAM (Reuters Life!) - The Royal Dutch Medical Association on Thursday suggested a possible ban on elective circumcisions for young boys, saying they were medically unnecessary and violated children's rights.

The 161-year-old organization, which represents more than 46,000 doctors and students, called the procedure "a violation of the integrity of the body."

The group, known by its Dutch initials KNMG, proposed a dialogue between doctors and religious groups on the issue.

"KNMG sees good reasons for a legal ban on non-therapeutic circumcisions, but fears that this will lead to the operation going underground," it said in a statement.
Notice that the doctors are not claiming that circumcision has any adverse medical effects. They are just using their medical credentials to give a political opinion that the rights of parents to do something religiously imperative is not as important as the rights of the children.

Of course, adult circumcision is a much more dangerous and painful procedure, something that these doctors are counting on in order to eradicate a completely safe religious practice.

This is not ethics, and this is not medicine. This is hatred of religion clothed in the fig-leaf of "human rights."

And there is a simple proof that this is true.

The KNMG did not issue a similar opinion against ear piercings for children - a procedure that also has no medical benefit, is often done by amateurs and which often results in complications. "In one study, up to 35 percent of persons with pierced ears had one or more complications (e.g., minor infection [77 percent], allergic reaction [43 percent], keloid formation [2.5 percent], and traumatic tearing [2.5 percent])."

If KNMG didn't ask to issue a similar ban on children's piercings, then I think we can safely conclude that protecting children's rights is not their major concern.

(The analogy isn't perfect, I know, but the fact that the holes in ears can close up is irrelevant to the issue of children's rights, which is what the doctors were basing their proposed ban on.)

UPDATE: Suzanne in the comments linked to the Dutch article, and according to that the doctors are not calling for a ban, rather they simply want to discourage unnecessary medical procedures. That is a big difference. As long as parents can still have the freedom to override their doctor's recommendation then this is not such a big deal. (And, as the doctors note, a ban would result in "back alley" circumcisions, which would increase the problem.)
  • Thursday, May 27, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Yesterday, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah claimed to have new weapons that would be able to accurately reach all Israeli ports, and threatened to use them if Israel tried to blockade Lebanon.

Syria's Al Watan newspaper reports that it has confirmed this story. According to the story, Hezbollah is in possession of missiles with a range of 300 km, which is about the distance necessary to shoot from north of the Litani river to Ashkelon.

This would be consistent with a recent Aviation Week story that discusses this weapon:
Israel is growing increasingly concerned about the deployment of Syrian-made M-600 missiles in Lebanon that are capable of accurately striking any point in Israel.

The 600-mm. solid-fuel M-600, which carries a 500-kg. (1,100-lb.) warhead, is a Syrian improvement to Iran’s Fateh-110 missile and has a range of more than 300 km. (185 mi.). But perhaps more critically, the weapon is fitted with a GPS-aided inertial navigation system, giving it an accuracy of better than 200 meters (655 ft.) circular error probable (CEP). This means that half the missiles fired will fall within a 200-meter circle of the intended target.

While Israel has been exposed to rocket fire for some time, those weapons have been largely unguided, minimizing the extent of damage. With the M-600, that could now change.

The combat arm of the militant Hezbollah organization has already deployed around 200 M-600 missiles in Lebanon, according to data presented by Avner Raz, chairman of Israel Military Industries, who spoke at the first international anti-ballistic missile conference in Israel on May 5.

“With that missile, Hezbollah is turning from a terror threat to a military one,” Uzi Rubin, former director of Israel’s ballistic missile defense organization told Aviation Week. “Hezbollah could shut down electricity and airports in Israel, obstruct the operation of the Israeli air force or the mobilization of the reserve army, and even interfere with the functionality of the General Staff in Tel Aviv.”

This entire discussion of Hezbollah weapons was somewhat sidetracked by Israeli president Shimon Peres' statement last month that Syria has supplied Hezbollah with Scud missiles. Hezbollah and Syria denied that accusation, and UNIFIL stated that they weren't aware of any Scuds.

Now, however, it sounds like Israel, Syria and Hezbollah all agree that Hezbollah is now in possession of the M-600 - a much more sophisticated weapon than the somewhat outdated Scuds.
  • Thursday, May 27, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From FoxNews:
The Muslim teenager from Ohio who converted to Christianity and fled to Florida in fear of retaliation is being treated for an "aggressive" form of uterine cancer, a close friend told

Fathima Rifqa Bary, 17, has undergone two operations and has a third scheduled for Thursday, said Jamal Jivanjee, an ordained pastor who heads an Orlando-based ministry.

"The biopsy did come back malignant," Jivanjee told "It's a pretty aggressive form of uterine cancer."
While a couple of the comments on this story at Firas Press are sympathetic, others are saying that this is a punishment from Allah about her conversion. One commenter calls her a "traitor and an apostate," while another says "To hell with her and good riddance."
  • Thursday, May 27, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
In the new Amnesty International annual report, Israel is specifically censured for having "targeted and killed medical staff" in Gaza.

I have seen accusations, by Goldstone and others, of IDF targeting of medical facilities, but I have never seen any reports by international NGOs that detailed any alleged Israeli targeting of medical personnel. The best I saw was Goldstone's facetious comment that "Of the ambulance staff members and their volunteer assistants that were killed or injured in the course of their duties, none was a member of any armed groups, so far as the Mission is aware." Yet even Goldstone didn't accuse Israel of targeting doctors or nurses.

What is Amnesty's source?

What I do know is that at least two thirds of the medical staff killed in Gaza were members of terrorist groups:

Azmi Abu Dallal. medic, was a member of the Nuseirat Battalion of the Al Qassam Brigades.
Ahmed Al-Khatib, nurse, was a field commander of the Popular Resistance Committees.
Mohammed Abu Hassir, medic, was a fighter for the Al Qassam Brigades:

Ihab ‘Umar Khalil al-Madhoun, physician, was a fighter for the Al Qassam Brigades.
Yaser Kamal Shbeir, medic, was a fighter for the Al Qassam Brigades.
Anas Fadel Na'im, medic, was a fighter for the Al Qassam Brigades:

Ra'afat Sami Ibrahim, medic, was a fighter for the Al Qassam Brigades.His obituary says that he had been responsible for firing rockets at Israel.
Issa Abdul Rahim Saleh, physician, planted explosives and acted as a spotter for the Al Qassam Brigades.
Abdullah Sa'id Saleh al-'Imawi, nurse, was a fighter for the Al Qassam Brigades who specialized in armor. He also fought in the Fatah coup. He was killed together with his squad leader, Tareq Fadel Abdullah Ja’afar.
Ihab Jaser Ahmed al-Sha'er, physician, was an apparent fighter ("mujahid") for the Al Qassam Brigades.

PCHR lists a total of 15 medics, nurses and physicians killed in Cast Lead.  14 out of the 15 were members of Hamas' military medical services. Ten of them were members of terrorist groups that NGOs pretend had nothing to do with Hamas.

If Amnesty is going to accuse Israel of deliberately targeting medical personnel, it needs to back it up with some serious evidence. As far as I can tell, it has not done that. Rather than indicating that Israel targeted medics, this data indicates the exact opposite - that the IDF targeted terrorists, and fairly effectively.

Physicians have been a major part of Arab terror groups for years, of course. Hamas leader Dr. Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, responsible for some of the bloodiest terror attacks in history, was a pediatrician. Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahar, current leader of Hamas, is a surgeon. Founder of Islamic Jihad Dr. Fathi Shiqaqi was a physician.

The idea that healers cannot be murderers is tied to the Western ideals of medicine, but has nothing to do with the thinking of Islamic and Arab terrorists. Amnesty should not make assumptions about targeting without knowing the facts.
  • Thursday, May 27, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Yesterday there was a terrorism scare on a Tel Aviv bus: 
Passengers on a number 5 bus reported that a man, who was sitting in the back seat of the bus wearing a heavy coat, suddenly yelled out "itbach al yahud" in Arabic (slaughter the Jews).

"A heavyset man, around 50 years old, was sitting at the back of the bus," eyewitness Ortal Neuman told Haaretz. Neuman, who got on the bus several stops earlier, said that the suspect was already on the bus when she got on. She added that there were not many people on the bus.

"When we got to Ben Gurion Street, we heard him [the suspect] yell out 'Allahu Akbar' several times. After that he yelled out in Arabic 'I'm going to kill Jews'" Neuman said. She explained that she did not see whether he was carrying any packages, but that he was wearing long sleeves and looked "fat."
The Islamic Jihad-oriented Palestine Today mentions the story, without any editorializing (although they do stress the fear of the passengers, a recurring theme in the PalArab press - evoking fear among Israelis is a source of pride.)

I found their graphic illustrating the story to be interesting. It is an animated image saying "Allahu Akbar," immediately under the headline that quotes the suspect as saying  "God is great - Will slaughter the Jews." 

The Western media will reflexively distance distinctly Islamic phrases such as "Allahu Akbar" from the hint of terrorism, or anti-semitism.

Palestine Today's image choice shows that the newspaper has no interest in distancing "Allahu Akbar" from "Slaughter the Jews" and that the two phrases go together quite well.
  • Thursday, May 27, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
(I meant to post this yesterday.)

Zvi, as always, writes a great comment:

The bus analogy is ridiculous. It presupposes that Jews have no place there, whereas Arabs - many descended from illegal migrant labor which, attracted by the growth that Jews brought, migrated into the area in the early 20th century - have a right to every inch of it. That's simply bogus.

Jewish ties to the land of Israel are ancient, well documented and unbroken. Jews have EVERY right to return to our homeland. The 1 million Jews of the middle east who fled from the Arab world after being subjected to increasing waves of Nazi-inspired pogroms have EVERY right to return, to be integrated and to flourish. Israeli Jews have a right to live in Israel. They aren't bullies for wanting to raise their children in peace and for fighting back when other people attack their towns for years with flying bombs.

Jews have NOT expelled all of Israel's Arabs; Arabs make up a sizable portion of Israel's population, and in 43 years, Israel has NEVER committed ethnic cleansing in the West Bank or Gaza. The reality is that the only side of the conflict that has ever tried to commit genocide is the Arab side. The only side that has ever celebrated the slaughter of innocents is the Arab side. The only side that is ruled by military dictatorships is the Arab side. Who is the bully, indeed?

If Cherokee return and buy land in their ancestral homeland, wanting only to live freely and peacefully on their legally acquired land, but are viciously attacked by a bunch of Nazi-inspired neighbors who try to murder their families and take that land by force, why are the Cherokee to blame? If the Cherokee hold on, only to be subjected to continuing and escalating violence until they fight back and hold their own, why are the Cherokee to blame? This analogy can't go further because the US is a nation (these days) of laws, so these people can rely on the government to protect them. That's not possible for Israel; Israel can't rely on a useless and anti-Semitic UN, an anti-Israel EU or the Obama administration to protect it. The middle east is a region in which those who are not willing to stand up to terror and genocidal armies will be destroyed by them. After 60 years, most Israelis know that.

You're right, Elder. The woman has never bothered to learn about the reality of the middle east conflict. She has simply bought into the endless stream of lies, distortions, half-truths, self-aggrandizing nonsense, delusional conspiracy theoriesoutright blood libels, claims that everything that goes wrong is exclusively our fault, and calls to destroy us that are constantly manufactured by a burgeoning anti-Israel/anti-Semitism industry. Israel gets a lot of crap because nobody wants to offend the guys with the oil and the money, and because it has become fashionable to dump on Israel.

The psychos who are driving these blood libels didn't vanish with the Nazis; they learned from them. They're still around today. And they want Mrs. Ingall's daughter dead no more and no less than they wish that fate on me.

Commenter Tang points out that "Israel has conducted ethnic cleansing in Gaza by removing the Jews."
From the Jerusalem Post:
In a bid to stir awareness of anti-Israeli slants in foreign media coverage of Gaza, the Government Press Office sent an e-mail on Wednesday to members of the Foreign Press Association in Israel containing a guide to a luxurious restaurant in the Strip and a recently opened Olympic-sized pool.

The e-mail was based on a recent dispatch by journalist and commentator Tom Gross, in which he highlighted what he described as “the manipulative agenda of the BBC and other foreign media agencies.”

In the dispatch, sent on Tuesday, Gross added that much of the foreign media coverage was “deliberately misleading global audiences and systematically creating the false impression that people are somehow starving in Gaza, and that it is all Israel’s fault.”

Gross sent the dispatch ahead of the imminent arrival of a flotilla of boats carrying pro-Palestinian activists attempting to reach Gaza to deliver what they say is humanitarian aid to the Gazan people.

“In anticipation of foreign correspondents traveling to Gaza to cover reports of alleged humanitarian difficulties in the Hamas-run territory, and as part of efforts to facilitate the work of journalists in the region, the Government Press Office is pleased to bring to your attention the attached menu and information for the Roots Club and Restaurant in Gaza,” the GPO missive read.

“We have been told the beef stroganoff and cream of spinach soup are highly recommended. You may wish to enquire of a possible discount upon presentation of a valid press card. There is also the possibility of an enjoyable evening on the Greens Terrace Garden Cafe, which serves ‘eclectic food and fresh cocktails,’” it continued.

“Correspondents may also wish to enjoy a swim at the new Olympic size swimming pool as reported in the Palestinian media to have been opened last week,” the e-mail said.
I am the one who broke the story about the Gaza Roots restaurant as well as the swimming pool. I'm not sure if Tom Gross reads my blog but clearly the things I wrote about snaked their way to him.

Which is exactly as it should be - I want the things I discover, things that destroy the false Palestinian Arab narrative, to get circulated as widely as possible. (I don't care too much about credit unless it is a clear case of ripping me off.)

This was a victory, and it has made waves:
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, Seaman said he not surprised to receive several outraged responses from foreign journalists.

“Those who act as spokespeople for Palestinian propaganda were furious with self-righteous indignation and were angry,” Seaman said. “This was to be expected.”

“There is much hypocrisy in the coverage by international media of Gaza, and unfortunately, to some extent, the Israeli media plays a part in it. We are receiving political, slanted coverage. This message could help them wake up and do a better job,” he added.

“The same journalists who constantly point a finger at Israel were outraged by this. One journalist asked me in response, ‘don’t you have rich and poor areas [in Gaza] like everywhere else?’ I responded by asking her, ‘Why don’t you write about the affluent parts of Gaza?

Seaman stressed that his aim was to “make it possible to bring a few facts about other realities in Gaza to come to light, beyond the agenda that some members of the foreign press keep pumping out.”

Seaman added that over the past week, Israel has released a number of press statements from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories highlighting humanitarian aid which had been delivered by Israel to Gaza.

“These get very little exposure in the foreign media,” he said. “I assume this [e-mail] will get more mention.”
Now if I can only get Israel's GPO to read my blog daily, they wouldn't have to wait weeks to be more pro-active.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

  • Wednesday, May 26, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From JPost:
More than two decades after former Jordanian king Hussein renounced his country's claim to the West Bank, a Jordanian official referred on Tuesday to a unified Jordanian state on both sides of the Jordan river at a ceremony presided over by Jordanian King Abdullah and attended by more than a thousand guests and dignitaries, according to a Wednesday report by al-Quds al-Arabi.

Taher al-Masri, head of the Jordanian Senate, spoke at a ceremony commemorating the country's independence day and reportedly referred to the emergence of a "union" on both banks of the "holy Jordan river" - though apparently not a political one.

Instead, he was quoted as hailing pan-Arab and pan-Islamic unity and speaking out against the "isolationism" that led to the cultivation of separate cultural identities on each side of the river.

Nearly half the Jordan's 6 million people are of Palestinian origin, and Jordan fears that if Palestinians become the majority, it will disrupt the delicate demographic balance.

Abdullah's father Hussein renounced Jordan's claim to the territory in 1998, and al-Masri's comments mark the first reference by a high-ranking Jordanian official to the issue since then.
The Al Quds al Arabi article is here. The semi-official Jordan Times mentioned the speech but said nothing about the west bank of the Jordan; on the contrary, Masri is quoted as saying that "Jordanians will continue to protect the Kingdom’s independence and maximise Jordan’s achievements because they believe in their national unity as the first guarantee for building a stronger Jordan," in the words of that newspaper. Al Quds also quoted him as saying that he supported "the Kingdom of Jordan for the Jordanians, and Palestinians to Palestine, the honorable Arabs for Arabs, and the Muslims to Islam."

Jordan has been especially sensitive to any hints of a Jordanian state on the West Bank. So it appears to me that Masri was just giving lip service to Arab unity, just as virtually all Arab constitutions make reference to being part of "the Arab nation."

Of course, for people who truly desire peace in the region, the idea of incorporating Arab Palestine into Jordan and scuttling the idea of an independent Palestinian Arab state would do more for real peace than any conceivable peace treaty that the PA signs. Jordan has proven that it can act responsibly, more than half of Jordanians are of Palestinian origin, they share the same culture and most of the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank are already Jordanian citizens.

This assumes that real peace - in the sense of an environment where citizens can grow and prosper without worrying about war - is the Arab goal. But it isn't.

More proof of this comes from Secretary of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Yasser Abed Rabbo, who today said that Netanyahu's idea of an economic peace "mere gossip" and is not true peace. To him, the only real peace is an independent state that includes Jerusalem. It is instructive that he didn't say that economic peace could be a first step, or a pre-requisite, or a welcome step in the right direction that could help his people - he derided the very idea of helping out his fellow PalArabs economically, without asking their opinion.

That is what a Palestinian Arab state would be like - a set of leaders who care nothing for their own people and only to score politically and, eventually, militarily against Israel. An entire nation based on the negation of another. A country that uses its people as pawns and treats them with utter disregard.

Jordan would be a much better alternative for Israelis and for Palestinians. (It would be a bit dicier for Jordanians, who understand the psyche of Palestinian Arab leaders all too well.)  Too bad that the world has accepted the lie that peace is somehow dependent on the position of borders and the capital of a mythical nation.


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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