DATE:7/19/2003 09:02:00 PM
BODY: A Kurdish blog - sort off

I found this bilingual (French & English) blog by a French woman kurdologist. There interesting stuff over there. This blog reminded me how hypocrite Syria, the late Hussein’s Iraq, Iran and Israel’s friend Turkey are. All those countries support the Palestinian plea to their own state while they all suppress the Kurdish minority in their own country, denying them the right of self-declaration.

Update: I mistakenly defined the blogger Sandrine Alexie to be Kurdish. Well she is not Kurdish but she is a kurdologist.

DATE:7/18/2003 11:59:00 PM
BODY: An old story

A company commander in the brigade that on July 1948 conquered the city of Ramle (do not mistake with west bank city of Ramalla) told the following story on Israeli radio during last Independence Day.

Right after Ramle was conquered the commander chose a building in the city and put the flag of Israel on the top of it. “The soldiers told me that the city’s Arab elders and notables wish to report”. The room was full of great fear. Finally the eldest of them all opened his mouth and said: “We request to know what do you intend to do to us”.

The Israeli officer chose to reply with this sentence: “We will do to you exactly what you would have done to us”.

The elders immediately burst in tears.

My translation of the story as it appeared a few weeks ago in Yediot Ahronot.

DATE:7/18/2003 06:20:00 PM
BODY: This is a couple of days late

The next song is for Rinat’s birthday. Mazal Tov Rinat.

The song is called Yom Huledet (Birthday) played by veteran Israeli rock singer Berry Sakharof and world famous (I’m not joking) Israeli trance group Infected Mushroom. It’s sort of a semi-trance version to an old song of Sakharof. Anyway It’s brilliant.

You can buy this track (and 4 others tracks on this cd). You can also catch an Infected Mushroom show in these countries in the next couple of month: Portugal, Greece, Canada, Germany, UK, Japan, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark, Australia or South Africa. Just check out the schedule in their site.

DATE:7/18/2003 03:46:00 PM
BODY: Jewish singles bash in TA

Hey if you’ve been wanting to visit Israel for a long time plus you’re looking for love how about coming to “Summer Love”. This is a joint venture of Tel Aviv city council, Israeli Tourism Ministry, and

You need to be a Jewish single between 21 and 37 years of age to participate. It’s basically 8 days of fun in Israel (August 25-31) with a lot of other Jews from all over the world and Israelis of course. Sounds pretty fun to me. If you decide to come to Israel – drop me a line.

DATE:7/18/2003 10:23:00 AM
BODY: Some good news

Palestinians Demonstrate Against Violence

NABLUS, West Bank (AP) - Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated in Nablus against violence by armed men after gunmen shot and killed a young mother and a teenager died in an explosion.

Demonstrations against fellow Palestinians are rare in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, though marches and rallies protesting Israeli occupation take place almost daily.

About 500 people rallied in downtown Nablus, demanding an end to the virtual immunity from prosecution or punishment for crimes ranging from robbery to murder.

The violence came to a head on Wednesday.

Three gunmen went into a pharmacy to abduct another man. On the way out, witnesses said, one of the gunmen fired randomly on the street, killing Amnah Abu Hiljah, 36, who was holding her 2- month-old baby.

In the second incident, a 14-year-old boy was killed when a bomb he was playing with exploded, security officials said, adding that the device was like those planted on West Bank roads against Israeli vehicles.

After the woman's funeral, Palestinians held banners that read, ``stop the killers.''
A protester who identified himself only by his first name, Hassan, said: ``The people must rise up against them, because all of them are responsible for the mess in this city.''

Those psychos with guns and those who launch suicide bombers are also responsible for today's shitty situation of the Palestinian. They brought them down and they prevent any progress towards peace.

DATE:7/17/2003 03:28:00 PM
BODY: Israel - Malaysia

Since this blog is having a gush of visitors from Malaysia I thought it would be nice to write about Israeli-Malaysian relationships.

Due to Malaysian objection there are no official diplomatic relations between the two states. However there are business relations. The following data is from the a document (in Hebrew) of the Israeli embassy in Singapore:

Officially Malaysian firms aren’t allowed to trade with Israeli firms, except firms who received a special permit from the Malaysian govt. After the Oslo accords the Malaysian govt. loosened the handing of those permits but the last 3 years of violence between Israel and the Palestinians have reversed permits handing.

Citizens of Malaysia aren’t allowed by their government to travel to Israel except for visiting the holy sites in Israel. Although the official stance is anti-Israeli private sector firms are willing to do business with Israel but only on low profile.

Till 1999 the trade between the 2 states was around 100 billion dollars a year, 90% of it Israeli export. Since 2000 the trade jumped to 700 billion dollars a year due to the building of the new Intel factory in Israel. The chips made in Israel are being sent to Malaysia for further processing. Malaysian export to Israel is around 20 billion dollars annually, mainly machinery, plastic and rubber, food and oils. The Israeli export to Malaysia (except for Intel semiconductors) is chemicals such as Bromine and different kinds of fertilizers and communications infrastructure. A lot of the trade is done through third side, mainly Singaporean firms.

I’m sure that those trade figures can be much higher if the Malaysian government will cancel the restrictions. Malaysia could also make money if she’ll open its gates to Israeli tourists. We are small but yet we are an outgoing tourist empire. There isn’t a place in the world we don’t fly to. There are thousands of Israeli tourists at any given moment in Malaysia neighborhood: Thailand and its surroundings from the north and Australia to the south. I myself was in Singapore 2 years ago and thought it was a cool place. Wouldn’t have mind going to Malaysia if I could have.

DATE:7/17/2003 02:46:00 PM
BODY: Views and opinions from Malaysia

I am pleased to read fine comments, posts and letters in several Malaysian sites that object “Offended” reader view that a link to my blog can be classified as an “offensive link”.

Read Jeff Ooi’s post about the whole thing, and don’t forget to read the comments as well. I especially liked this one by Goh:

Quote from Offended: "it would have been wise to realise that Muslims reading his blog would sooner or later come across links to that offensive Israeli blog"

Offended is right Jeff. Think of your brainless, impressionable, thin-skinned, knee-jerk Muslim readers, they might get offended by accidently clicking a link on your blog that takes them to musings/rantings a JEW that might confound their image of Jews as disgusting, degenerate, Muslim hating, arab killing, money grabbers. Do you want to be responsible for that Jeff?

And Jeff, you are being really irresponsible by only titling this Jew's blog as "Isreali Guy". I mean, how often have we all "mistakenly" clicked through on a link with the title "naked hot chicks" & be surprisingly confronted by images of undressed women?

After all, the last thing your Muslim readers will expect when clicking through on a blogrolling link titled "Isreali Guy" is to find a blog by an Isreali Jew. I myself really expected pictures of naked hot chicks when I clicked on "Isreali Guy".

So in conclusion, either remove the link completely or put it in a special restricted area (with triple flashing warnings) because its not nice for a Muslim to be confronted by Jews blogging on the Arab-Isreali conflict.

This one written by Suresh Gnasegarah in a letter to Malaysia Kini: “Exercise the freedom to choose what to read”:

Offended has a choice not to click on the said link. The views of all, be it left wing or right wing Jewish views, are just as legitimate as views sympathising with Palestinians. Just because the Malaysian government doe not recognize the Israeli administration, it does not mean that Malaysians cannot read about the views of the Israeli people concerning the peace process.

Another letter to Malaysia Kini: “Good to hear opposing views”. Not Offended, Sri Iskandar writes:

I am a Muslim. Like Offended, I disagree with the opinions of Israeli Guy. However, unlike Offended, I am not offended.

We should learn to listen to opposing views and counter them in a polite and rational manner.

It was refreshing to read that. We should learn to listen to one another. Problems only worsen when people are reluctant to listen to the other side. I have no problem listening to Malaysian opinions, especially since I have no conflict or dispute with them, even if some Malayans, including their government, might see themselves in conflict with Israel.

Update: another Malaysian blogger take on the issue.

DATE:7/16/2003 06:40:00 PM
BODY: Looks like I’m making someone upset

Via my counter I found out that people are visiting my blog through a Malaysian news site called Malaysia Kini. Turns out that the site published a letter from an “offended” person in Kuala Lumpur (the capital city of Malaysia).

Malaysian Blogger Jeff Ooi is has been kindly linking to my blog from his blog Screenshots. Now I have to admit that when I found out about it I was puzzled. Because of my laziness I didn’t contact Mr. Ooi, but I was flattered to know A Malaysian blog has linked to my blog.

Back to the reader letter in Malaysia Kini. Jeff Ooi’s blog is co-hosted in Malaysia Kini site in addition to a separate domain. So this “offended reader is angry that Ooi is linking to my blog and calls it “an offensive link”:

while I realise what the Israeli blogger writes is not of Ooi’s responsibility and neither is it under his control, but perhaps it would have been wise to realise that Muslims reading his blog would sooner or later come across links to that offensive Israeli blog.

What is his point in linking to that blog? I can think of nothing short of it being an indirect way to insult Muslims who are generally opposed to Israel's Zionism. I don't care if Mr Ooi really believes that Israelis are God's chosen people or if he resents Islam - ask him to keep whatever ill thoughts he harbours for other people's religion to himself.

And before I am accused of being anti-Semite or narrow minded, just look at the following entry from that Israeli blog and then judge if I really have been narrow-minded or unreasonable:
(here follows a quote of this rather in favor of the Road Map post)

NOTE: This offended reader shoves in a paragraph of his own, seemingly as part of my original post:

"I don't hate the Jews - most prophets in Islam were Jews. Even some present day Jews oppose what Israel is doing to the Palestinians - Allegra Pacheko, Noam Chomsky, Jack Bernstein, Israel Shahak, Gideon Levy, to name a few prominent Jews.

The “offended” doesn’t address the content of the post he quoted wrongly. Looks like this “offended is really pissed off by the thought that the state of Israel exists. He sees it as an insult to Muslims. How sad.

And just for the record: I don’t have any resentment against Muslims in general.

DATE:7/16/2003 06:07:00 PM
BODY: Back from the army

As usual, in this kind of drills such as the one I participated in, the drill ended before the original schedule. I’ll see if any of the Israeli news sources will mention it, if so I’ll link/translate it for you.

DATE:7/13/2003 12:01:00 AM
BODY: Short hiatus

I’m heading up north in the morning for a couple of days of reserve service. I’ll be back by the end of the week.