Only In Israel

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Going back

I'm going back to the army tommorow (actually more like today, this hour of the night).
I'd like you to know Googlenews has answered my Email saying they're looking into Palestine-Info's connection to terrorism. I'll keep you posted when I get home next time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Googlenews strikes again.

Remember our battle to remove Nazimedia from GoogleNews? We've succeed only partially, Nazimedia was indeed removed from GoogleNews for a while. The specific branch that used the word "zionazi" hasn't returned to GoogleNews since and Nazimedia is closely monitored and edited now that branches of it are back in GoogleNews.
What ticked me off about Nazimedia on GoogleNews was the use of the term "zionazi". Well, I've thought I've seen the worst of it, but it just gets worse.
Guess what's now a news-source on GoogleNews? palestine-info. To some of you, it may not ring a bell, but it rings a big, freaking gong for me. You see, Palestine-info, is the site of an organisation we're all familiar with:
The Hamas movement.
How do I know that? Well first of all, let's all take a tour at Internet Haganah which deals with battling virtual terrorism online. Here's their latest on Palestine-info. Now, making the case on Palestine-info must be decisive and conclusive. Here's the evidence I present.
I'll begin with the pages linking to Palestine-info.
  • A Palestinian authority government site (that's right, a .gov.ps site) officialy refers visitors to the hamas website at Palestine-info.
  • The Council on Foreign Relations notes it as Hamas' website in their "sources" page.
  • The American House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee says in a report "the official website of the Hamas terrorist organization (http://www.palestine-info.net)" which naturally is a mirror of Palestine-info.co.uk.
  • The SITE institute, directed by Rita Katz, also points at Palestine-info as Hamas' website.
That was all light stuff. Peanuts. Now, let me direct you to a page, in Palestine-info that now can only be found in arabic. I'll save you the trouble of going there and witnessing the writing on the top:

I'd think that's enough, but let's dig further. This page has no english source page (when you try to find away around, you hit a 404). That doesn't mean it didn't USE to have an english page. At archive.org you can easily find that document. It contains a big "welcome to the Islamic resistance movement HAMAS" sign. You can even find the "about Hamas" button and move on to a page detailing Hamas's objectives, goals and tactics. and on the "Glory record" page, they list terrorist activities, glorifying the murder of jews.
The Hamas terrorist organisation is on the terrorist groups list of Israel, the USA and the EU and I honestly do not understand what has GoogleNews doing publishing a Hamas front as news.

By searching Googlenews, it appears the first palestine-info entry was made on September 24th, meaning it's been on for over a month with obviously noone noticing.
I'm only assuming GoogleNews isn't aware of it's actions, which is why it affiliates itself with a known terrorist organisation. I emailed them and I advise you all to do the same.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Say WHAT????

Yasser Arafat, is being examined by doctors in the Mukata compound in Ramallah. Rumours are he has cancer, but we shouldn't get our hopes high.
Anyway, here's a photo of arafat, dressed in all the style and boldness of a giant, rat shaped pin cushion. Something is wrong with that picture, oh wait, could it be? Is among the many pins, ribbons and refrigerator magnets arafat choses to put on himself hiding a... Menorah?


He needs a new stylist. "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy", now would be the time.

Update: Yep, no doubt about it, it IS a menorah.



On the menorah's left side there's a pin with something that looks like the hebrew letter "tzadik" which often symbolises the IDF (which initials in hebrew begin with tzadik) and is used by the IDF to mark military property. I know it's a bad shot but it's wacky enough to be true.

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Settlers.

The settlers, like the Israeli population are as diverse as hell, have different motives, opinions and ways of life. And generaly, not what you've expected.
I know, that in the western media settlers are largely portrayed as lunatic religious nutjobs, living in trailers on deserted hills demanding IDF troops to defend them and saying that they're there in the name of god. I'm sure such settlers exist, I've just never encountered them. The place I serve in have a few kinds of settlers.
First, there are the settlers there for their "way of life". They live in large houses, mostly with gardens in nice, clean neighbourhoods. Sometimes they're religious (as in traditional, you know, don't drive on Sabbath and the girls wear dresses), and sometimes completely agnostic (I've witnessed hundreds of kids (literally) on Yom Kippur driving bikes, skateboarding and rollerblading on the empty roads. Just like back home. These people are there for cheap, suburban housing which is close to everything. Half an hour drive to Tel-Aviv city center, 25 minutes to the sea, 20 minutes to Jerusalem. Basically, suburbia. Most of those settlements are right after the green line, a mile or two near it, and they'll probably be on the "Israel" side of the anti-terrorism barrier they're now building there. The few that aren't would surely evacuate for fitting compensation, I don't see anyone making any troubles with evacuation. They aren't there for ideology, they're there for the conditions.
Second, there are the Idealist type. Those are settlers who are quite religious and believe in settling entire Eretz Israel with Jews. I really don't understand those, but all of them, in the region I serve in recognize the importance of Israeli democracy, and will therefore move, if the government tells them to. Some of them had good jobs, and big houses in the center of Tel Aviv, they moved to the west bank to live according to their principles, and they aren't fond of leaving.
And third, the type I don't understand at all, are ultra-orthodox settlers. I'm talking about the guys who populate Kiryat Sefer, AKA Modi'in Illit. These guys are ultra-orthodox Jews (you know the kind that wear black clothes and those giant fur hats that look as if they have some roadkill on their head), who don't serve in the military, but live in the west bank. I can't describe how much it pisses me off to defend people who never served, and never will. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with defending settlements, I believe in the right of Jews to live on land they bought from Palestinians in the west bank. But endangering my life for people who don't serve in the army, don't support the Israeli democracy, seek to force religion down other people's throats, and on top of it all, don't even treat us soldiers well, is a little too much. I mean, as I said, I'm in a mixed battalion, where girls do combat service as well, and you should just see the looks on people's faces when we enter that town. It almost feels like they're gonna stone us to death for having to look at pretty girls, wearing pants and armed with big guns. These settlers are also the biggest troublemakers out there, I mean they enter Palestinian villages, for cheap prices on fixing their cars, furniture, ETC. It's all nice, till some mechanic will put a bomb inside their car and all hell will break lose.
As I said, the settlers are a diverse bunch, some of them (especially the first and second kind) are good, nice people which treat the troops around them very well. The third kind, I'm less fond of. And weirdly enough, the kind described in the media (deranged lunatics searching for a messiah by blowing up Al Aqsa mosque), I haven't seen. Not to say they don't exist, just that I haven't seen them.
With all that's going on, when "refusing" to evacuate settlers is being advertised on bus stations (you can't imagine how much it annoys me to wait for a bus home in a bus station which has a giant ad saying "commander, that - I can't do" calling on me to refuse to follow orders), I have to admit that it would hardly bother me to evacuate most people around there. Nor do the guys and girls in my battalion.
Oh, almost forgot thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you PizzaIDF for making nights at the checkpoint a much much nicer experience.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

I'm on a vacation.

Woo-Woo everyone, I'm on vacation. I have a few days off, so expect some posting (and this time, I really mean it, sorry for the last time guys.)
I'm gonna start with my debt and write a bit about the people I've encountered in the west bank. The settlers, the Palestinians, and the crazy nutjob activists.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

The funniest log on IRC.

The IRCing folks among you, must be aware of www.bash.org the site which collects and ranks funny IRC quotes. Now bash.org is among the funniest sites I've seen, but what you're about to see is on a whole other level. This is a log of an IRC conversation, in which a certain chatter, LazyEdna, describes shooting her horse. This is among the funniest conversations I've ever read, It's guaranteed you won't be able to stop laughing.
Now, I know some of this are insider jokes from #politics, but you can laugh with most of that. I still have a giant quote collection, which I still keep and renew, I might post it in here someday.
Yours truly is "israeli17".
Here it is in TXT file from the Undernet #politics website. Here's an RTF file for easier reading.
A word of advice though. You might need a pack of kleenex, as you're gonna lauch real hard.
Just a few samples to get you started:

Lazy^edna: I have 4 horses left
Bline: and 5 bullets....


As well as:
Lazy^Edna: I have lots of pictures of him
israeli17: Lazy^Edna. are you going to punch a hole through the pictures too?

Dangerous places.

I came back from the military Wednesday, and set my deadline to complete the posts to the blog by Thursday, you see, I was going to Eilat on Friday and wanted to get finished with all the posts before I leave. That, ofcourse, didn't happen. A little after 10 PM, the TV stopped broadcasting the show I was watching, and a breaking news report came. An explosion in Taba.
The friends that were going with me to Eilat, called me to cancel the trip immideatly.
I really can't understand the mess the media here made of the warnings given prior to the holidays to travelers to Sinai, telling them not to go there, because it's dangerous. Going on vacation in Sinai is being protrayed in the media here, about as reckless as trying to hitchike in Tora Bora. There were terror warnings about Sinai. So what? It's not dangerous in Israel? There are no terrorist bombings here? People don't die here every month from terrorist attacks?
What about Madrid? What about New York City? What about Istanbul? Is it really safe anywhere abroad?
So there were warnings, and yes, Israelis might've been saved if they'd listen to them, but how many cigarette packages have cancer warnings on them and people still smoke. How many TV campaigns are there to stop people from speeding on the roads? we still do.
I believe that the goal of terrorism is to disturb the natural way of life we live here, if we change our ways, if we stop going out, if we stop taking busses, if we stop travelling, terrorism won. Why can't people see that?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Back from the army.

I've just spent the last three weeks in the army, in the territories, after a long while I've spent in the Golan heights. I've got a lot to tell you, as I faced Palestinians, Settlers, and even crazy ISMers. There's gonna be a lot of posting around the next few days, so stick around.