Radici        
"Sai" dico, "sono scaduti i diritti d'autore sulle opere di Freud".
E' domenica e sono le nove del mattino. Anna sa che, prima di colazione, non sono in grado di dire nulla che abbia un senso compiuto. Se è di buon umore, mi asseconda nel mio delirio. Oggi è di buon umore.
"Perché?", mi risponde. "Vuoi cominciare a tradurre Freud?"
"Magari. Purtroppo non so il tedesco. No, è per spiegare come mai mi sono alzato così presto. Ieri pomeriggio sono entrato in libreria e ho visto che la Newton Compton ha pubblicato questa edizione economica del saggio di Freud su Mosè..."
"Quello sul Mosè di Michelangelo? Ma non l'avevi già letto?"
"No, non quello sulla statua. E' una monografia proprio su Mosè il personaggio biblico. E' l'ultima grande opera di Freud, pubblicata nel 1938, un anno prima della morte. Non l'avevo ancora letta, perché l'edizione Bollati Boringhieri costa una barbarità e non mi andava di prenderla in prestito in biblioteca. Sai, i libri di Freud sono di quelli che voglio possedere. Comunque niente, ieri l'ho comprato e l'ho finito proprio poco fa. Senza zucchero, il tuo caffellatte, vero?"
"Tre cucchiaini, grazie".
"Mi prendi in giro?"
"Certo. Ma raccontami un po' questo libro, sono curiosa. E' assurdo come l'altro, quello sulla statua di Michelangelo? Quello dove Mosè, di ritorno dal Sinai, vedeva il suo popolo adorare il vitello d'oro, s'incazzava e stava per spezzare le tavole della legge, ma subito si tratteneva, e proprio in quel momento Michelangelo era lì che lo 'fotografava' con lo scalpello, e dietro un cespuglio c'era il professor Freud, col suo taccuino, che analizzava l'intera performance..."
"Dai, non essere così cattiva. Diciamo che, in quel saggio, Freud ha dato una sua interpretazione, un po' audace, di una celebre scultura rinascimentale. Comunque anche W. H. Auden, in una sua poesia, ha scritto che Freud a volte era assurdo e che ciò non diminuisce affatto la sua grandezza".
"Sarà. Intanto neppure il tuo Freud è riuscito a spiegare ad Auden la verità sull'amore".
"Tesoro! La verità sull'amore non la conosce nessuno. Tranne tu ed io, naturalmente".
"Naturalmente. Ma non mi hai ancora detto cos'ha di tanto speciale questo libro, che ti ha buttato giù dal letto poco dopo l'alba".
"E' presto detto. Hai presente Mosè, no? Il patriarca, il fondatore della religione ebraica, il profeta che guidò il suo popolo nell'esodo dall'Egitto verso la Palestina, che ricevette da Dio i dodici comandamenti, eccetera. Bene, Freud sostiene che Mosè, in realtà, non era affatto ebreo. Era egiziano".
"Ma va'?"
"Proprio così. Secondo Freud, Mosè era un nobile, o forse un alto sacerdote egiziano, seguace del dio Aton. Come ricorderai, il faraone Akhenaton aveva tentato di introdurre in Egitto il monoteismo, sostituendo al culto degli dèi la religione dell'unico dio solare Aton. Ma la sua riforma religiosa, molto avanzata per quei tempi, non ebbe fortuna. Quando Akhenaton morì, il politeismo riprese il sopravvento in Egitto. Il clero, che era stato represso ed esautorato da Akhenaton, morto il faraone, si vendicò ferocemente. Fu una reazione terribile: tutte le tracce del culto di Aton furono spazzate via. Persino il nome Aton fu cancellato dai monumenti".
"Sì, mi ricordo. Anche il faraone Tutankh-Aton, il giovane erede di Akhenaton, dovette cambiare nome, riconvertirsi alla vecchia religione e chiamarsi Tutankhamon. E forse neanche questo bastò a salvargli la vita, poverino! Probabilmente lo ammazzarono e lo chiusero nella tomba con quella bellissima maschera funebre tutta d'oro..."
"...quella che abbiamo visto cinque anni fa al museo del Cairo..."
"... durante il nostro viaggio di nozze. A proposito, fra poco è il nostro anniversario, Tato. Dove andiamo a festeggiarlo?"
"Mah, in Egitto ci siamo già stati. Ti porto a Vienna, a visitare la casa di Freud?".
"Anche a Vienna ci sono già stata".
"Ma io no. Comunque, stavo dicendo: Mosè era un fedele del dio Aton. La nuova religione gli piaceva proprio, e non si rassegnò alla restaurazione politeista. Era in contatto con questa popolazione di nomadi, che vivevano nel deserto, ai margini della società egiziana, chiamati Habiru...".
"Gli Ebrei?"
"Proprio loro. Mosè ne fece il suo popolo. Li convertì alla religione monoteista, diede loro nuove leggi, insegnò loro tutto ciò che sapeva, e li condusse con sé nell'esodo fuori dall'Egitto, verso la terra promessa."
"Ciumbia! Sembra una puntata di Voyager. Quali altre sensazionali rivelazioni ci sono, nel tuo libro? Nel senso: Mosè era egiziano, e poi? Shakespeare era siciliano? Le sinfonie di Mozart le ha scritte un veneto? Atlantide altro non era che la Sardegna? E qualcosa sul Graal? Non dirmi che non c'è niente sul Graal. Cioè, scusa, Tato, ma è una teoria un po' delirante..."
"Sshh! Se ridi così forte, svegli la bambina. Sì, hai ragione, è delirante. Proprio in ciò consiste la genialità di Freud. Lui ragionava come i suoi pazienti. Altrimenti non sarebbe mai riuscito a guarirli, no? Tramite lui, la Follia torna a parlare, dopo tre secoli di censura... E lascia perdere Voyager: non c'entra niente. Freud credeva in ciò che diceva, e non gli interessava fare audience".
"Boh. Ma li guariva, i suoi pazienti?"
"Certo che li guariva! Guarda, mi hai fatto talmente arrabbiare che mi sono mangiato tutti i pistokeddos".
"I savoiardi di Atlantide? Ma se te ne mangi un'intera confezione ogni mattina. Sei forte, Tato. Però spiegami una cosa. Allora, siamo nel 1938. Mezza Europa è sotto dittature fasciste, Hitler sta per annettersi l'Austria, lo stesso Freud deve scappare a Londra per sfuggire alla persecuzione, e in questa situazione tragica per il suo popolo, il professore non trova di meglio che pubblicare un libro dove sostiene che il fondatore dell'ebraismo non era ebreo? A me pare una mezza vigliaccata, non capisco come fai a parlarne con tutto questo entusiasmo".
"Ma caspita, Anna, è proprio questo il punto! Senti: chi ha vinto le ultime elezioni?"
"Non capisco cosa c'entra".
"Come, che c'entra? Ma lo senti, quello che dicono? 'Padroni a casa nostra. Ognuno a casa sua. Il Suolo. Il Sangue. La Razza. Le Tradizioni. Le Radici. Il Territorio. Radicarsi nel Territorio'... Dio, quanto ce la menano co' 'sta storia del territorio! Tutti a ribadire come un disco rotto che bisogna Radicarsi nel Territorio, come se non fossimo esseri umani, ma olmi, o platani, o che so io. E come se non fossero stati proprio loro a devastarlo e distruggerlo, 'sto cazzo di territorio, da quarant'anni in qua, a furia di capannoni e svincoli e tangenziali e inceneritori e ripetitori, centri commerciali e colate immonde di cemento, fabbriche aperte e poi chiuse, e sempre zero solidarietà, zero giustizia, zero cultura, zero arte e zero umanità... Talmente spaventati e abbrutiti e rimbecilliti da questo schifo che loro stessi hanno prodotto, da non saper fare altro che cercare spasmodicamente qualche capro espiatorio, cui far scontare tutta la loro bile e la loro frustrazione... E prima i meridionali, e poi i tossici, e poi gli albanesi, e ora gli islamici..."
"Adesso sei tu che rischi di svegliare la bambina".
"Sì. Scusami. Preparo un altro caffè. O preferisci un po' di spremuta d'arancia?"
"Spremuta, grazie. Quando parli di quelli là, mi sembri tuo padre".
"Che cosa brutta che hai detto..."
"Perché? Mi sta simpatico, tuo padre. Ma non mi hai ancora spiegato cosa c'entra tutto questo con Freud".
"Niente, tranne il fatto che tutta quella ripugnante retorica del Sangue e del Suolo era esattamente la stessa di cui si riempivano la bocca gli antisemiti al tempo di Freud. Sai cosa dicevano? Questo, dicevano: che ogni razza ha un proprio suolo d'origine, a cui è legata da un vincolo spirituale e mistico; che la qualità del suolo determina la qualità della razza; che gli ebrei non hanno patria, non hanno territorio e quindi non hanno dignità, sono nomadi e sbandati, vivono da parassiti degli altri popoli, eccetera eccetera."
"Beh, oggi gli ebrei ce l'hanno, il loro Stato".
"E infatti i razzisti di oggigiorno non se la prendono più tanto con gli ebrei (almeno per ora), quanto soprattutto con gli zingari e con i migranti. Ma gli argomenti sono più o meno gli stessi. Ed è contro questi argomenti che Freud mette in campo il suo Mosè. Considera questo: gli dèi che le popolazioni del Medio Oriente veneravano, a quell'epoca, erano divinità nazionali; ogni popolo aveva le sue, e queste facevano tutt'uno con il loro territorio. Erano divinità guerriere, rozze, sanguinarie, che accompagnavano ciascun popolo nella sua lotta per la supremazia sugli altri popoli."
"Ma era proprio così o lo dice Freud?"
"Non lo so. Non m'intendo di storia delle religioni. Comunque, Freud sostiene che il dio di Akhenaton e di Mosè era un dio molto diverso dagli altri dèi suoi contemporanei. Era un dio illuminista, per così dire. Anzi, quasi kantiano. Pacifista. Un dio universalista: non gli importava la nazionalità dei suoi fedeli. Non gliene fregava niente di cerimonie, riti, preghiere, statue o amuleti. Non pretendeva templi dove essere adorato, né una casta di sacerdoti per servirlo. Nemmeno prometteva alcuna vita dopo la morte. A questo dio, importava solo una cosa: che ci si comportasse bene. Che si vivesse una vita secondo ragione, verità e giustizia. Tutto qui. E' questa, secondo Freud, l'essenza del monoteismo ebraico: solo una personificazione della Ragione e della legge morale. L'aspetto etnico o nazionale o 'razziale' è così poco importante, nella concezione freudiana del monoteismo, che lo stesso fondatore dell'ebraismo non è ebreo. E allora il paradosso è che, con questo libro, l'ateo, scientista e razionalista Freud ha reso alla religione e alla cultura dei suoi padri l'omaggio più elevato che per lui fosse concepibile..."
"Bello. Ma è tutta una contraddizione. Prima non hai detto che tramite Freud la follia trova finalmente voce? Adesso te ne esci con questo panegirico della Ragione illuminista. Poi, scusa Tato, ma mi sembra tutta una diatriba tra maschi. Il dio di Freud, così ragionevole e tollerante, contro i rozzi e violenti dèi guerrieri delle mitologie pagane, va bene. Però le dee? La Grande Madre Mediterranea, per esempio, che fine ha fatto? E Iside? E poi, non capisco questa cosa dell'iconoclastia: cosa avete contro le cerimonie, i riti, e anche contro la magia, le statue e gli amuleti? Non so, sarà anche una bella cosa, questo famoso monoteismo, un grande progresso, non discuto, ma non so perché mi fa venire in mente la caccia alle streghe... Vado a svegliare la bambina, vah! Ché se no si fa tardi".
"No! Aspetta un minuto".

Pubblicato il 7 maggio 2010, qui: http://www.evulon.net/news.php?extend.3368
          I Found the One Place Where the Terrorists are Losing, and it's on FX's 'Tyrant'        

It’s been kind of a rough couple millennia for Christians in the Middle East. Whether faced with persecution from Jews, Romans, Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians, Iraqis, or ISIS, the common denominator has always been Christians remaining strong and showing unbelievable courage, but pretty much living in a world where everyone and everything tries to kill them.


          Za'atar         
Summer Za'atar on the border with Lebanon
There is a little confusion around the name "Za'atar" and what exactly does it refer to: A condiment? A spice mix? An herb? And if so - which herb exactly - Hyssop? Thyme? Oregano? Marjoram?

The truth is that za'atar is an Arabic word used interchangeably for a number of wild herbs that grow wild in the Mediterranean region, and all contain thymol and carvacrol. Hence their similar sharp and warm aroma, bitter taste and spicy, almost hot "bite". They also share similar medicinal properties, most of them used in folk medicine for most digestive ailments and respiratory complaints. The mixture known to us as "Za'atar" is in fact a misnomer. Za'atar is originally the name of the plant now classified as Origanum syriacum, but in Arabic it is loosely applied to several other related wild and not so wild herbs.

Zaatar

The name for the condiment is in fact "doukka" (pronounced often as "Do-ak" with a very throaty "K" that almost sounds like an "A" so in reality the word sounds more like "Do-ah"). In Arabic this means "to grind". Each region in the Arab world has its own "Doukka", which is either sprinkled on food, or more commonly covered in olive oil to which the traditional regional bread is dipped. For example - Egypt has a complex nut-based doukka with toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, to which toasted or untoasted spices such as cumin, coriander seeds, green peppercorns and sweet fennel have been added.

In the Levant "doukka" happens to be made primarily of a mixture of thymol-containing herbs, with "The" Za'atar (Origanum syriacum) being the star of the show. Lesser amounts of other herbs, will be added - the most important of which are "Za'atar Farsi" (winter savory), Israeli Thyme (Corydothymus capitatus), Zuta זוטה לבנה ( Micromeria fruiticosa barbata), a delicate wild white mint known in English as White-Leaved Savory (which does not even belong to the savory genus, but to micromeria because of its tiny leaves). Common oregano (Origanum vulgare) makes a good addition, albeit cannot substitute for the real Za'atar or Syrian oregano if you actually know the real deal. Likewise, marjoram and thyme can also make a good addition but not be at the centre. Even though their profiles are similar - there are some nuances that will be lost if using only the garden variety oreganos and thymes and none of the wild stuff.

Many other things can be added to the mix, the most important being sumac berries (Rhus coriaria) for their wonderful salty-sour flavour, and toasted sesame seeds for their pop-in-the-mouth nuttiness. But you'll also find spices sometimes, including more obscure ones such as butum (بطم) - toasted terebinth fruits (Pistachia palestina), which are really like tiny pistachios with the outer red peel intact. I've got a few of those drying right now, because I've never seen them in any market before and I'm very curious how they taste as a spice.

The following are several authentic Za'atar recipes I've collected - and of course you are welcome to browse google's universe of shared recipes, but be cautious of a few things if you want to make an authentic za'atar:
1) Use actual Origanum syriacum even if a generic "oregano" is called for
2) Do not by any stretch of the imagination use "fresh" leaves. They must be dried first. And only then will you grind them up with the rest of the ingredients. This is a dried herb and spice mix. Not a fresh herb concoction.
3) Usage of salt, although found in many recipes, seems very superfluous to me, unless you are not using sumac berries. These have a unique taste - equally salty and tangy. The whole point of using them is so you do not need to use salt. Likewise, using citric acid is a way to fake the sumac effect. Which I'm not quit sure why would anyone do that aside from laziness. Sumac berries are difficult to grind manually (or even in a coffee grinder) - but you can find ground sumac easily in many spice shops and markets.

When shopping for pre-made spice mixes, or any ground spices for that matter, the main culprit is adulteration and using old raw material that are "dressed up" as authentic. It's hard to teach someone who've never tasted or smelled za'atar what to look for, but some things are a telling sign. For example: if you don't see the dark maroon red and still taste salt or tanginess, it is probably from salt and citrus acid, and not from the (missing) red sumac berries. Secondly, another visual sign - za'atar leaves are rather grey in colour when dried, so any other colour you see (olive green) is either food colouring or a combination of other types of "za'atar" herbs (i.e.: thyme, za'atar farsi, etc.). Best sign is by taste - if it taste like dust (and looks like dust) it's either too old or just a fake.

I suggest you start with the most basic three ingredients, and then play with the proportions and adding other herbs and/or spices. You can even start with equal amount of za'atar leaves, sumac and sesame and adjust to taste.

Safta Ada's Za'atar Recipe 
This is my mom's handmade recipe that she would make from wild harvested za'atar (before it was illegal to pick any) and would even send it to Vancouver so I can enjoy a taste of home.
1 cup dried za'atar leaves, coarsely crushed between your palms, or pounded with mortar and pestle to a finer powder
4 Tbs ground sumac berries (I suggest you purchase them pre-ground, otherwise their seeds can break your teeth!)
2 Tbs toasted brown sesame seeds, whole

May Bsisu wrote an excellent book, The Arab Table, which I highly recommend, and it includes a unique Palestinian style of za'atar that includes caraway:
10oz oregano (I assume she means za'atar)
5oz thyme
3 Tbs sumac, ground
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
2-1/2 Tbs coarse salt
1/2 tsp allspice, ground
1/4 tsp caraway seeds, ground 

Easy Lebanese Recipes provides a "Traditional Rich Recipe" for za'atar that I'm compelled to try, with dried za'atar, roasted sesame, sumac, marjoram, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, fennel, aniseed and salt.

Mamma's Lebanese Kitchen recipe contains thyme, marjoram, sumac, sesame, cumin, coriander, fennel, cinnamon and salt.

How to consume za'atar?
Use your za'atar mixed with olive oil as a dip for bread, on top of labneh (strained yoghurt cheese) or as a substitute for butter under any other soft or hard cheese, avocado, etc.
It's also a nice addition to salads, and for baking fish or poultry. I also like to add it to chickpeas that I fry whole in olive oil, after they've been cooked and drained.

Fresh za'atar leaves come in late winter and can be enjoyed all through spring, and can be fried in olive oil much like tender sage leaves and become this wonderful crispy topping for fresh bread, pasta, roasted vegetables, etc. Also, they can be used as they are in salads (May Bsisu has a recipe for fresh oregano salad in that book as well), with lots of onion and tomatoe. The Druze use it to season the dough or the fillings for various savoury pastries, such as sambusak (a flatbread that is folded in half to conceal a thin layer of highly seasoned stuffing, and baked in the tabun) and fatayer (little dough pockets filled with cheese), and the dried whole leaves can be used much like oregano in meat and pasta sauces, in soups, stews, breads, etc.

Now, let's explore the Za'atar "group" of plants:

Hyssop (Wild Oregano)

Ezov (the Hebrew word for the Biblical Hyssop - not the European Hyssopus officials which is also a medicinal plant, and produces a rather toxic essential oil), which is now classified as an oregano, Origanum syriacum (formerly Majorana syriaca). Like many of the other aromatic plants from the Lamiaceae family, za'atar has a winter and spring foliage and a summer foliage, which is smaller in order to preserve water and survive the long arid season. I suspect the essential oils also aid with the survival of these plants in such harsh conditions - because whenever they are grown in regions where the water is more abundant (British Columbia, for example) - their flavour is largely lacking. What you see above is the luscious winter "look", which features soft and larger leaves, and their colour is much greener, and therefore more similar to the common oregano (Origanum vulgare).

Satureja

Za'atar Farsi (meaning Persian Za'atar), or as it is called in Hebrew צתרה ורודה - Tzatra Vruda (Pink Tzatra) which really is winter or mountain savory (Satureja montana). Its long needle-like leaves have a sharp, spicy taste. When we were growing up my mom would spice the egg for French Toast with them and make them literally savoury.

Thymbra spicata צתרנית משובלת
Mediterranean Thyme (Thymbra spicata), in Hebrew צתרנית משובלת Tzatranit Meshubelet is also called in Arabic "Za'atar farsi", and has a very similar leaf shape (only a bit longer, narrower and softer) and almost identical odour and aroma profile. It has flowers that look a bit more like chaffs of wheat (not unlike those of Lavandula dentata, and is even more rare to find than Satureja montana.

Coridothymus capitatus
Israeli Thyme (Corydothymus capitatis / Thymus capitatus / Thymbra capitata) or in Hebrew Koranit Mekurkefet קורנית מקורקפת is also known by many other names - Israeli oreganum (oil), Cretan thyme, Corido thyme, Headed savory, Thyme of the Ancient, Conehead thyme and most commonly - Spanish Oregano (even though it is not classified as "origanum"). This oil is what is often sold as "oregano oil", by the way. This is now a rare plant that in our area grows only along the rocky seashores of the North Coast leading to Lebanon. The leaves are tiny and sharp, like a miniature version of the Pink Tzatra, but they grow more dense and close together to form clusters around the tip of the branches. The branches are woody-looking almost like bonsai trees that crawl all over the rocks - and the flowers tiny and purplish-pink. The aroma is clean and maybe a little more simple than that of za'atar, but also the taste is much more sharp and phenolic.




          My Little Herb Garden         
Treasures from the mountain

The last two weeks I've delved right into exploring the medicinal wild plants that grow around here. For a short time I had a herbalist to show and share with me some of this wealth of plant wisdom. Now that this guide is gone, I'm lead only by the pleasantly infectious inspiration. There is an overwhelming abundance that is going to provide me with a lifetime of learning (according to Floral Palestina, this land is blessed with close to 2,700 species of wild plants!). I've been hiking in the surrounding areas and conservatively collecting branches for slips and re-planting in my little herbal garden. This of course will is part of the Perfumer's Botanical Garden I'm establishing around the studio.

I'm showing you the early beginning, although they look quite unimpressive on camera. In person they have the charm of new beginnings as well as virgin strip of land and stony terrain and distant view of the Mediterranean; I am also delighted by the gentle healing energy that emanates from the plants for those who connect to these types of being. And for those who find it more difficult to connect to plants that way - the scents that each provide speak for themselves. Even a little stroke on each plant will give off the scent and you can mix and match to create your own "finger perfume".

Morning in the medicinal herb garden

From the wild, I've adopted some amazing plants - both old and new to me, that grow on the mountain behind my house. So all in all, my botanical collection is rapidly growing - even beyond the original wishlist I've created. And I'm rather happy with it.

From my slip foraging, I managed to keep alive a couple of types of germanders - Cretan germander (Teucrium creticum), which looks a lot like rosemary but smells completely different - more like olive leaf, actually, and likewise has an intensely bitter taste; and cat-thyme germander (Teucrium capitatum), which has a sweet, almost resinous fragrant silvery foliage. The latter is highly medicinal and rivals only the local wild sage (Salvia fruticosa), more of the Savory of Crete (Satureja thymbra) and a similar plant, with an almost identical flavour and fragrance that has flowers with a structure similar to Lavandula dentata, which is called Spiked Savoury (Thymbra spicata). It would be difficult to find information online in English on many of these plants because they are unique to Israel.  I've also adopted some cistus plants, although they are not the Cistus ladaniferus I am seeking but two other local species that are not as resinous, yet somewhat fragrant depending on the season. And I am crossing my fingers that two seedlings of bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) that my herbalist guide carefully uprooted from the wadi (dry creek) floor, will also survive and make it to the miniature forest I want to create behind the perfume studio. And most immortally - I am hoping that the two little twigs of Israeli Thyme (Coridothymus capitatus) that we found on the rocky North beach will grow up some roots and flourish. They are quite rare site here inland, and in fact a protected species. They have a striking look when they get mature and an intense yet slightly floral aroma that I love. It truly deserves a post of its own, with photos and all. Along with Origanum syriacum (also grown in my garden), the other varieties of thyme and savoury I mentioned before, some sumac and sesame seeds it forms the spice mixture called "Za'atar" that some of you may be familiar with from Lebanese grocery stores and Middle Eastern restaurants.

Thymbra spicata צתרנית משובלת

Naturally growing wild in my garden is also white horehound (Marrubium vulgare), a highly medicinal plant that grows in astounding abundance, several mastic bushes and probably more plants that I did not know were medicinal but will find out later. There are also still two plants that I found on the mountain to make slips that I haven't identified yet, so the search is not over. Lastly, I scattered seeds of blood helicrysum, a local wild plant (Helichrysum sanguinum) which I also hope will come out next winter. By that time I hope I will forget about it altogether so it will just be a pleasant surprise...

Dam HaMakabim (Helicrysum sanguinum) coming into seed

Lastly, to be fair and square, I promised to tell you which plants I put in from the nursery (the ones my brother brought me), so that you know if you guessed it right. They were several types of lavender (mountain Savory of Crete (Satureja thymbra), several types of lavender (Lavandula pinnate, L. dentate, L. angustifolia), one artemisia and - to my utmost excitement - two immortelles (Helicrysum italicum), often called "curry plant".

Morning in the medicinal herb garden

Also you should know, that among those who participated in this context, we got two worthy winners who will receive a sample kit of all my herbaceous fragrances,  are Ruby Clover and Melissa Menard. The kit includes ArbitRary for the basil, Ayalitta for the sage, Immortelle l'Amour for the immortelle of course, l'Herbe Rouge for the lemongrass, hay and lavender and Lovender - which is quite obvious. I've also included a sniff-peak of Inbar, my new, wild-oregano infused amber concoction which is not even for sale quite yet :-)

Putting together the kits made me also realize how little attention I've been giving the herbaceous notes.




          Jerusalem children squeezed out of school by Israeli discrimination        
Charlotte Silver 3 January 2016

Shortage of classrooms has dire effect on tens of thousands of Palestinian students in the occupied city.


          Pressure grows on US firm selling homes in Israel's settlements        
Charlotte Silver 9 March 2015

RE/MAX International tries to dodge its role in selling homes on occupied Palestinian land. 


          Photos: Palestinian graffiti artists penetrate heavily fortified heart of West Jerusalem         
Ali Abunimah 12 January 2012

Palestinian artists penetrated the heavily fortified heart of West Jerusalem overnight and painted graffiti bearing political messages on walls, doors, construction sites and other surfaces.


          Palestinians silently transferred from East Jerusalem        
Jillian Kestler-D'Amours 19 April 2011

The Israeli government has been increasingly revoking Jerusalem residency IDs and using tax collection as a means of forcing Palestinians out of the city. Jillian Kestler-D’Amours reports.


          saåad ~ verdaillon        

saåad ~ verdaillon (in paradisum, 2016)

When it comes to drone music one may think "there is nothing special about it - just lonely guys making sounds with their laptops" and usually this is true. Of course, there are many bands using guitars or synths for this and it makes music a bit more interesting. But how about church organ? I don't know many drone albums with such source of sound - Razen, Anna Von Hausswolff, Charlemagne Palestine of course... But still not much. French duo Saåad is well-know to any drone maniac for their powerful, raw sound and this time it takes new turn on the spiral of their evolution. Using the organ of Church of Notre-Dame de la Dalbade along with the field recording made at the same place, they managed to recreate haunting ambiance of the times, when music was truly spiritual and served not just for entertainment. This approach makes sense in the modern world, full of music created almost for no reason - if only for fun, but just out of boredom, especially when it comes to ambient & drone... This album is not just excursion, it has ability to transport your mind into the places & states of transformation, of better feeling yourself and world around you. I'd say it has meditative qualities, but there is nothing new-agey about it. Just pure power of sound, energy of life, captured it the short moments of aural bliss.
  
listen ~ buy

          Comment on Guestbook by Petros Tenezakis        
My journey to Shatila Refugee Camp began many years ago. At the time I was working in Balatah Refugee Camp of Nablus in the Israeli-Occupied northern West Bank. A refugee camp that suffered greatly due to the massive reooccupation of the West Bank. As the Jenin massacre occured during Operation Defensive Shield, Israeli forces cracked down on Nablus city and its adjacent refugee camps, Askar, Balatah and al-Ain. Parts of the attrocities, that can only be described as a massacre went unseen due to massive focus on Jenin and other areas of the West Bank. And as the tanks, helicopters, APC:s and F-16 attacked the city, only a few of us were preset to document the onslaught. As I arrived in the emd of the onslaught, Balatah Refugee Camp was target for daily attacks. There amid the smell of blood, the dust and the debris I was constantly thinking about what happened in Shatila and Sabra. I promissed myself to visit the camps in Lebanon as well. In 2005 I was arrested by Israeli authorities and denied access to Palestine for the upcoming 1o years, due to my involvement in peacefull activities against the occupation and solidarity with the Palesinian people. By then I had witnessed more violations, killings and injuries than most people in our priviliged western world has witnessed during a lifetime, including myself injured in the chest during an invasion of the old city of Nablus. As I was held in a tiny cell, humiliated and threatened daily I still felt privileged. I could at leave. Since my denial of entry came into effect I planned to visit as many palestinians as possible with a hope to visit Shatila and its residents. That dream finally came true last year. As a photographer I travelled directly to SHatila Refugee Camp. I was welcomed by Mr Abu Moujahed, and his wonderful staff at the CYC, Palestinian Centre for Children and Youth that runs a centre for the youth in Shatila and Nahr-el-Bared Camps. My home for bacame their guest house. A great oppurtunity for internationals to experience the camp and interat with its citizens. I quickly forgot the camera, most times I just interacted with the camp residents. I set up meetings with the Baker, Pharmacist, nurses, political representatives, survivors of the massacre, and enjoyed the time spent with the youth. Sadly I had to leave, 3 weeks passed quickly. I am sure that I will return. Palestine and all Palestinians, world citizens and friend will allways prompt me to work and fight for freedoom. A freedoom that has been denied for decades. I warmly recommend evryone to visit Shatila and stay the night at the CYC guesthouse. And undoubtebly upon departure I am sure your tears will fall, just as mine did. Dear Mahmoud Abbas Abu Moujahed, Manar, Sabah, Marwa and all the staff at CYC, all the children and youth, internationals and camp citizens. I am with you at all times, and our reunification is not a matter of If, its a matter of When. With love and hugs from Sweden.Your friend, Petros Tenezakis
          Sprachenvielfalt – Textvielfalt        
DI, 06.06.2017, 12.30 Uhr: Zunächst informieren SchülerInnen der Polytechnischen Schule Winzigerodestraße die ZuhörerInnen über Unterschiede im Arabischen in Ägypten, Tunesien und Palestina), über Pashtu und Persisch, über ‚Schönheiten‘ der Sprachen in Bosnien und in Österreich. Weiters ist ein (nachgespieltes) Gespräch türkischer Touristen in Wien zu hören. Mit SchülerInnen des BRG Kleine Sperlgasse geht’s weiter. Sie […]
          Â¿Se leen los conflictos de manera distinta con el paso del tiempo?        
¿Se leen los conflictos de manera distinta con el paso del tiempo?

Por Sara Plaza

No deja de ser curioso observar cómo han ido evolucionando las distintas lecturas de los conflictos –tanto de los que ya terminaron, como de los que perduran– a lo largo del tiempo. A veces, ni siquiera tienen que pasar siglos pues bastan unos pocos años para hablar de modo distinto de un mismo problema que, indudablemente, con el paso del tiempo habrá sufrido numerosos cambios para permanecer sin solución o terminar resolviéndose.

Se acaban de cumplir 60 años desde la creación del Nuevo Estado de Israel en una región cuyos límites y nombres han variado a lo largo de la historia.

Hagamos un poco de memoria y repasemos un pedacito de la que enmarca esa zona.

Los primeros restos humanos datan de hace 500.000 años. Doce milenios a.C. la cultura Natufiense elaboraba herramientas de madera, piedra y hueso, y las primeras comunidades agrícolas se asentaron en aquellos territorios entre el 10.000 y el 5.000 a.C. Nuevos grupos migratorios que utilizaban el cobre llegaron de una cultura originaria de Siria, y entre el 3.000 y el 2.200 a.C. fueron creadas las primeras ciudades–estado cananeas independientes. Las civilizaciones de Egipto, Mesopotamia, Siria y Fenicia tuvieron gran influencia en Canaán a través de las relaciones comerciales y diplomáticas que establecieron entre sí, y en 1190 a.C. arribarán los filisteos, quienes se mezclarán con las poblaciones locales e introducirán el uso del hierro y del carro tirado por caballos.

Se estima –aunque algunos historiadores cuestionan incluso su autenticidad– que entre 2.000 y 1.000 años a.C., Abraham marchó desde la antigua ciudad de Ur (antigua Mesopotamia) hasta Harán (actual Turquía), y que una vez allí se apartó de su tribu y dejó de lado la idolatría para encaminarse, junto a su familia y rebaños, hacia Canaán y fundar –por mandato celestial– un pueblo monoteísta. Los cananeos denominaron a Abrahán, Ibri y quienes le acompañaban serían conocidos como ibrim ("del otro lado"), palabra que dio origen al término "hebreo". Se cuenta que Isaac, el hijo de Abraham, se trasladó todavía más al sur de esa "Tierra Prometida", hasta el desierto de Néguev y que el menor de sus hijos, Jacob, después de engañar al mayor, Esaú, huyó a Mesopotamia, donde pasó a llamarse Israel ("El que disputó con Dios"). También se dice que Israel tuvo 12 hijos y que su favorito fue José. Él fue el primero de los hermanos en marchar a Egipto. Años más tarde, el hambre en Canaán obligaría a los demás y a su padre a seguir sus pasos. Con la llegada al poder de Ramsés II los judíos fueron esclavizados y no sería hasta la aparición de Moisés –al parecer llamado también por Dios para refrendar el acuerdo celebrado con Abraham y guiar a los israelitas a la tierra prometida–, y el azote de aquellas famosas siete plagas cuando el faraón permitió salir a los esclavos de Egipto. Durante 40 años estuvo Moisés en el desierto, al cabo de los cuales regresó a Canaán. El testigo pasará entonces a su discípulo, Josué, quien recorrerá el Jordán y tomará Jericó, para conquistar después toda Canaán y repartirla entre las 12 tribus de Israel.

Durante los primeros siglos en Canaán, los israelitas fueron gobernados por una sucesión de "jueces". De ellos, quizás el más famoso fuese Sansón, traicionado por la filistea Dalila. El primer rey judío fue un guerrero campesino, Saúl, a quien sucedería en el trono su yerno David, vencedor en la lucha frente al gigante filisteo Goliat. Con el tiempo David conquistó una pequeña población en la colina de Salim y la convirtió en Jerusalén. Bajo la dirección de su hijo, Salomón, estos pueblos alcanzaron su máximo esplendor, pero a su muerte las discordias internas desgarraron el territorio en dos nuevos reinos: Israel al norte y Judá al sur (de ahí vendrá la palabra "judío"). Estos reinos coexistieron junto a otros, entre ellos varias ciudades–estado filisteas.
Las tribus del norte fueron vencidas por los asirios 200 años más tarde y pasaron a ser conocidas como las "Diez Tribus Perdidas". En el 587 a.C. Nabucodonosor capturó Jerusalén y los judíos, junto al resto de los sobrevivientes, fueron llevados cautivos a Babilonia. Solamente se les permitió volver cuando Ciro, el rey persa, conquistó Babilonia en el 538 a.C. El Imperio Persa caerá ante las tropas griegas de Alejandro Magno y a los judíos de Judá se les limitará su autonomía religiosa y administrativa. Fascinados por la cultura griega algunos judíos reformistas se enfrentaron a los más ortodoxos y esta división interna, que terminaría en guerra civil, posibilitó la invasión del sirio Antíoco IV Epifanes. Los sirios serán expulsados de Jerusalén por Judas Macabeo en el 167 a.C. y los judíos volverán a progresar bajo los macabeos por un corto espacio de tiempo. En el 63 a.C. aparecen los romanos y llamarán Judea a Judá, convirtiéndola en colonia y nombrando, años después, a Herodes el Grande como "rey de los judíos". Judea se rebelará contra el Imperio Romano en el 66 d.C. y el territorio será asolado por las legiones de Vespasiano y Jerusalén tomada por su hijo Tito en el año 70. Los judíos se diseminarán y Judea junto con Galilea, Samaria e Idumea serán conocidas a partir de entonces como una nueva provincia romana denominada Siria Palestina en honor a los filisteos.

En los siguientes siglos esta zona sufrirá otras muchas ocupaciones. Entre ellas las de los árabes allá por el 636, de los cruzados en 1099, de los tártaros en 1244 y de los turcos en 1517. Para ser nuevamente ocupada en el siglo pasado, durante casi tres décadas, esta vez por los británicos. Al finalizar la Primera Guerra Mundial, Gran Bretaña había vencido a los turcos otomanos con la ayuda de rebeldes árabes, pero no pudo cumplir su promesa de crear un gran Estado árabe independiente porque en el 1920 Francia expulsará al rey Faisal de Damasco y Gran Bretaña dará prioridad a los acuerdos con los franceses. En 1920, el Consejo Supremo Aliado (Gran Bretaña, Estados Unidos, Francia, Italia y Japón) se reunió en San Remo y Gran Bretaña aceptó un mandato para Palestina, aunque quedaron pendientes las condiciones y los límites del mismo. En 1922, la Liga de Naciones le conferirá a Gran Bretaña dicho mandato internacional en esa región, donde ya se había concedido a los judíos el derecho a organizar su hogar nacional. Habían pasado cinco años de la declaración de Balfour, en la que se reconocía la conexión histórica del pueblo judío con Palestina. Durante el mandato, mientras Gran Bretaña favorecía a los judíos, éstos mantuvieron una política de negación de la población autóctona.

En los años que siguieron a las Segunda Guerra Mundial, el control británico sobre Palestina se volvió cada vez más incierto. Finalmente, a principios de 1947 el gobierno británico anunció su deseo de finalizar el mandato argumentando que era incapaz de encontrar una solución aceptable para ambas partes, la judía y la árabe, y cedió su responsabilidad sobre Palestina a las Naciones Unidas. Éstas aprobaron la partición del Mandato de Palestina en dos estados, uno árabe y otro judío, quedando el área de Jerusalén bajo control internacional. Los líderes judíos estuvieron de acuerdo, pero no así los árabes palestinos. No obstante, el Nuevo Estado de Israel fue proclamado el 14 de mayo de 1948, y los estados y ejércitos árabes vecinos atacaron Israel inmediatamente después de su declaración de independencia provocando la guerra árabe–israelí de 1948. Durante esta guerra, de acuerdo a las estimaciones de Naciones Unidas, alrededor del 80% de la población árabe tuvo que abandonar el país. Al finalizar el conflicto armado, Israel quedó establecido la mayor parte del territorio mientras que la restante, que comprendía la Franja de Gaza, el margen occidental del río Jordán y Jerusalén del este, fue ocupada por Egipto y Jordania, y conquistada con posterioridad por Israel durante la Guerra de los Seis Días en 1967.

Hasta aquí el ejercicio de memoria y esbozo de la historia que les proponía.

Veamos ahora cómo se han tratado un par de momentos de la más reciente en dos textos que estuve consultando estos días mientras revisaba lo expuesto hasta ahora en un par de enciclopedias. Uno de ellos es el artículo "El sufrimiento como identidad" escrito por el periodista especialista en política internacional, Andrés Criscaut, en la edición internacional para Argentina del diario Le Monde diplomatique, "el Dipló" de mayo de 2008. El otro es un libro titulado "Israel" de Robert St. John y los redactores de LIFE en español, publicado en 1962 perteneciente a la colección "Biblioteca Universal de LIFE en Español".

Así es como Andrés Criscaut escribe sobre lo sucedido entre 1936 y 1939:

"Los árabes de Palestina, tanto urbanos como campesinos, se vieron por primera vez solos y ante una colonización judía que creció de 12.500 personas en 1932 a 66.000 en 1935, cuando se intensificó la huida de la Alemania nazi.

Entre 1936 y 1939 se produjo una revuelta espontánea –similar a la ocurrida en la última década con las dos Intifadas– compuesta básicamente por campesinos y marginados de los centros urbanos, conocida como al Gran Revuelta árabe de Palestina, y que tomaría por sorpresa a la pequeña elite de dirigentes palestinos (sólo un 9% participó, y menos de un 5% dirigió acciones armadas o de guerrilla).

El levantamiento, si bien fue disparado por los desafíos y las inequidades ante el creciente enclave judío en el Mandato, tuvo una orientación abiertamente antibritánica, ya que la Corona era responsable directa de este desequilibrio. Pero en su etapa final terminó siendo una verdadera guerra civil entre palestinos. La revuelta puso en serios aprietos a la administración del Mandato, que desplegó más tropas en la pequeña zona de Palestina que en todo el subcontinente indio". (p. 33)


Y de esta manera lo hace Robert St. John:

"A mediados de la década de 1930, el antisemitismo de Alemania, Austria y Checoslovaquia, y la renuencia de Australia y de los países aún poco poblados de América a abrir sus puertas a los judíos que huían de Europa Central para salvar sus vidas, hizo que muchos de éstos optaran por buscar refugio en Palestina. Ahora los árabes, en señal de protesta, organizaron una rebelión en gran escala que principió durante la primavera de 1936. Los motivos comenzaron en Jaffa y se extendieron a todos los lugares donde había árabes y judíos. Hubo muchos muertos y la vida en las poblaciones se trastornó por culpa de un paro general decretado por los árabes. Los británicos enviaron fuerzas militares desde Egipto, Malta y la propia Inglaterra y finalmente el orden fue restaurado". (pp. 39–40)

Habría mucho en lo que fijarse, pero lo que primero llamó mi atención fue que el primero denomina revuelta a lo que el segundo considera rebelión, y la espontaneidad atribuida a la primera se contrapone con la organización de la segunda. De lo que no quedan muchas dudas es de los métodos británicos.

Fijémonos ahora en cómo ha cambiado, en el transcurso de los 44 años que separan la escritura de St. John de la de Criscaut, la denominación de la contienda que finalizó en 1948, un año después de que las Naciones Unidas decidieran dividir el territorio de la Palestina británica en dos estados, uno judío y otro árabe.

Criscaut explica:

"Para los israelíes, 1948 fue el año en que los judíos ganaron la ‘Guerra de la Independencia' y crearon el Estado de Israel. Para los palestinos, fue el año de la Nakba (el Desastre), el año en que perdieron Palestina y su sociedad fue devastada". (p. 33)

St. John manifiesta:

"Pero durante la guerra que siguió al retiro de las fuerzas británicas en 1948, [Jerusalén] fue escenario de sangrientos combates entre israelíes y árabes ... desde que rechazaron a los ejércitos árabes ... [los israelíes] orgullosamente llaman a esta contienda ‘Guerra de la Liberación'". (pp.12–14)

En las líneas extractadas ambos textos hablan de los mismos hechos, ¿cómo pueden parecerles tan distintos a sus autores? ¿Ha sido el tiempo el causante de sus diferentes miradas? ¿Se ha modificado con él nuestro propio análisis? Opino que el tiempo juega un papel importante, pero quizás nuestros prejuicios intervengan mucho más. En muchos casos, cuando no contamos con la experiencia o la información suficientes –o recibimos información incorrecta– los autores y los lectores seguimos partiendo de ideas preconcebidas para llegar a conclusiones preconcluidas.

Antes de finalizar esta entrada, les invito a que busquen y hagan lo posible por encontrar y sentarse a ver la estupenda película del director Severio Costanzo, "Private" (Italia, 2004, 35mm, AM13, 90'). Fue premiada en varios festivales y Costanzo recibió el David di Donatello al director revelación en 2005. Podrán ponerse un poquito en la piel de una familia palestina a quienes el ejército israelí les confisca su casa. Tendrán oportunidad de hacerse un montón de preguntas y posiblemente no encuentren muchas respuestas, pero vale la pena quedarse con la duda y seguir pensando sobre ello.

Ilustración.

          Comment on Note from Revolutionaries of Color II by *        
I think if their intention was simply to gain "sympathy" for a cause then clearly their actions were not well orchestrated. However, not being present, I suspect the organizers' intentions were otherwise directed. I can't speak for the organizers, nor can I necessarily come to a robust defense of an action I'm not intimately familiar with, yet it seems evident that their action was in solidarity with people in Palestine, not with privileged students at a university. Further, when taking action, the goal is rarely to resonate with the whole of the student body, the faculty, or even the workers on campus--typical for this kind of nuanced rhetoric often pummeled under the heavy jackboots of hegemonic propaganda. Although such popularity would be ideal, it's scarce in practice; it's better to act then to sit idle waiting for a perfect moment that never comes. These sorts of actions have a different coterie in mind: this form inspires hope for those of us cast in the shadow of social apathy. In other words, it brings (renewed) attention to a plight and a struggle that desperately needs it--perhaps not from yourself, but certainly from many socially conscious folks. Secondarily, I find it--at the very least--peripherally unfortunate that these students were unable to receive the study aid they needed. Having completed a number of courses in chemistry, I can empathize with the desperate need for extracurricular assistance. With that said, I'm a little surprised the tutoring couldn't occur elsewhere. Although a proper room with a whiteboard is certainly preferable, couldn't some makeshift accommodations be prepared at the last minute? I might otherwise also go into some length about the lack of resources for students in general and its connections with austerity and oppression worldwide (thus demanding global solidarity for a variety of struggles). Alas, this is not a popular line of reasoning because it requires a certain degree of an analysis of oppression and may get a little abstract. Suffice it to say that there is a great deal of thought and theory surrounding the relationship of students to struggle, and the student struggle to other struggles.
          More Obama-Bashing        
This is classic (emphasis all mine):
Assemblyman Dov Hikind yesterday predicted that Jewish voters would make "a mass movement toward Sen. McCain" if Barack Obama knocks Hillary Rodham Clinton out of the race in tomorrow's critical Democratic primaries.

Hikind, an Orthodox Jew whose Borough Park district includes the largest Hasidic bloc in the United States, blasted Obama for what he called his half-hearted support of Israel and his ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., who has repeatedly praised anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has endorsed Obama.

Hikind, a Democrat who has yet to endorse a candidate for president, said Obama had not satisfactorily distanced himself from Wright, his Chicago-based personal pastor, noting, "This is a man who thinks Farrakhan is a great guy and God's gift to the world."

Hikind went on, "Obama has said that you can be a supporter of Israel even if you're for giving up land to the Arabs, which is true - but for a guy running for president to take a position like this in advance of getting into office, combined with everything else going on in the Middle East, that scares the hell out of me.
Huh? It "scares the hell" out of Hikind that Obama says you can support Israel and still be for giving up land for Israel? What world does he live in? Does he think Hillary Clinton feels otherwise?? Most US politicians would admit that any peaceful settlement would include some concession of land to the Palestinians. Does Hikind actually expect Mr. Obama to take a public position on the matter that is to the right of GWB's current position?? And then what? Flip-flop after the election to a position more in line with just about every other politician in the country?? That sounds like a super idea. And did Mr. Hikind somehow miss when Mr. Obama clearly rejected and denounced Mr. Farrakhan, and called him out for being an anti-Semite? That Mr. Hikind feels that Obama hasn't distanced himself enough from Rev. Wright, who is claimed to be close to Farrakhan, is no more than guilt by association. Is such association more or less damning than Mr. Hikind's past association with Meir Kahana's militant Jewish Defense League and various other controversial settler groups?

I would guess Mr. Hikind is simply trying to do more of the same ignorant fearmongering about Obama that we have seen recently from other members of the Jewish community.
          Book Review        
I just finished a quick but well-written book over the weekend that I thought I would recommend to my readers. The title is Not Me by Michael Lavigne. The story is told from the vantage point of Michael, a middle-aged Jewish comedian, separated from his wife and son, and tending to his dying father. His father, who has always presented himself as a Holocaust survivor, hands Michael a box of journals which contain some writings with some pretty stunning clues as to the man's wartime activities, which leaves Michael struggling to connect the dots as to the truth about his father's past. The journals recount the story of a Nazi accountant who worked in a concentration camp, and then manages to escape the Allies at the end of the war by impersonating a Jewish Holocaust survivor and emigrating to what was then Palestine. The narrative is complicated by the question of whether the journals are works of fiction, or his father's actual memoirs of his experiences during the wartime years, and the story works through the confusion from the son's perspective nicely. What's interesting is how the author, in telling the story, seems to blur the line between victim and perpetrator until the reader's sympathies become a bit mixed up - and I am quite sure that that is not entirely a good thing when it comes to the subject matter at hand. Though one certainly feels some sympathies toward the father in the novel, and the author certainly works hard to make the point that there is a large gray area between what's "right" and what's "wrong", as well as how subjective the concept of identity can be, it was hard for me to see the father as having been an altruistic character, despite him being portrayed as being a devout Jew and having been involved in many Jewish causes in later life. That said, I would obviously never suggest that every literary work has to have some sort of moral message - so the book is still worth a read even if I can't empathize with some of the characters as the author seems to expect us to. The book also includes some interesting tensions between three generations' worth of father-son relationships.

The book actually reminded me of a different book I had recently read, Those Who Save Us, which tells a similar story of a grown child uncovering some long-buried secrets regarding a parent's wartime activities - in this case, a daughter about a mother. In terms of the actual secrets being uncovered, the author of this book does not have to work as hard to blur the line between victim and perpetrator - the mother of the main character is clearly a victim, despite her wartime activities in which she has an affair with a Nazi officer out of self-preservation - as well as a hero - in her own right, as compared to the father in Not Me, who I cannot characterize as showing any heroism throughout the book. Also, in Those Who Save Us, though the mother is portrayed as a sympathetic character, there is no attempt whatsoever to mitigate the evil in the portrayal of any Nazi sympathizers or Nazis proper, as there is in the pages of Not Me.

All in all, both books are worth picking up, though I wouldn't recommend reading them back-to-back, as the similarity in themes might get a bit repetitive.

If anyone has read either/both of these books and would like to treat this thread as an impromptu book-club meeting, feel free. I would be happy to join in.
          Why Anthropologists Failed to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions        
By: Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar In 2016 the movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions for their involvement in the illegal occupation of Palestine both gathered significant steam and faced a huge roadblock. In the United States, the country that largely underwrites and funds the Israeli occupation, the call to boycott initiated in 2004 by … Continue reading Why Anthropologists Failed to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions
          Are Palestinian Scholars Our Colleagues? Boycott and the Material Limits of Friendship        
Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions publishes this powerful reflection by Alireza Doostdar on how opposition to the boycott rests on an unquestioned assumption that Israeli academics are our colleagues while Palestinian academics are not. This assumption is bolstered by the structures of inequality that the boycott itself is meant to address. Accept … Continue reading Are Palestinian Scholars Our Colleagues? Boycott and the Material Limits of Friendship
          Violating the Right to Education for Palestinians: A Case for Boycotting Israeli Academic Institutions        
Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions presents anthropologists of education Thea Abu El-Haj and Fida Adely. The authors discuss the extreme violations of Palestinian youths’ right to education and why the boycott is an important and necessary tool for educational justice. Voting is open at the AAA until May 31. To vote “yes” … Continue reading Violating the Right to Education for Palestinians: A Case for Boycotting Israeli Academic Institutions
          A Moment of Truth: On the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions        
Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions presents this timely and poignant essay by Mick Taussig, calling us to a moment of truth in the discipline. Addressing concerns about academic freedom in the larger context of the brute terror that the Israeli state inflicts daily upon Palestinians, he asks how History will judge our … Continue reading A Moment of Truth: On the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions
          Dialogue as Diversion        
Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions presents this incisive critique of the dialogue approach to ending the Israeli state’s occupation. Fida Adely and Amahl Bishara reveal how calls for dialogue mask a grossly asymmetric power relationship between Israel and the Palestinians. For more information on the upcoming boycott vote at the AAA, Friday … Continue reading Dialogue as Diversion
          Ãrea da saúde - Palestina/SP: concurso seleciona para sete vagas - Concurso da Prefeitura de Palestina preencherá postos nas funções de técnico de enfermagem e médico, com salários que chegam a R$ 10 mil. Período de inscrições vai de 8 a 22 de agosto        
Concurso da Prefeitura de Palestina preencherá postos nas funções de técnico de enfermagem e médico, com salários que chegam a R$ 10 mil. Período de inscrições vai de 8 a 22 de agosto
          And the Oscar goes to...        

Alla vigilia lo avevano dato in rimonta su "Brokeback mountain": "Crash" di Paul Haggis ha vinto la statuetta di miglior film strappandola alla pellicola di Ang Lee, premiato come miglior regista. Miglior attore protagonista Philip Seymour Hoffman per "Capote". Miglior attrice Reese Whiterspoon per "Quando l'amore brucia l'anima". Nulla di fatto per Cristina Comencini candidata nella sezione miglior film straniero con "La bestia nel cuore".

"Brokeback Montain" e "Crash" ottengono tre statuette ciascuno, colonna sonora e migliore sceneggiatura non originale, al primo e montaggio e sceneggiatura originale al secondo. Un anno fa Hollywood scelse un altro film controverso, il capolavoro del conservatore Clint Eastwood "Million Dollar Baby" che racconta una storia di eutanasia. 
 
George Clooney, che era candidato in tre categorie diverse, torna a casa con una sola statuetta, per il suo agente della Cia in disgrazia in "Syriana": migliore attore non protagonista. All'asciutto invece il film che ha scritto e diretto "Good Night, and Good Luck". Il premio come migliore attrice non protagonista è andato a Rachel Weisz per "The Constant Gardener". 
 
Non ce l'ha fatta Cristina Comencini, che era entrata nella "top five" dei migliori film stranieri dopo essere stata selezionata dall'Anica come rappresentante dell'Italia agli Oscar. Il vincitore della serata è il sudafricano "Tsotsi" di Gavin Hood, che racconta i sei giorni di violenza del leader di una gang di Johannesburg. Non è stato premiato neppure "Paradise Now", una produzione internazionale del regista palestinese (ma con passaporto israeliano) Hany Abu Assad.

Nessuna fortuna per gli altri due italiani in concorso, il compositore Dario Marianelli che ha firmato la colonna sonora di "Orgoglio e Pregiudizio" e Gabriella Pescucci che ha disegnato i costumi di "Charlie e la fabbrica del cioccolato" di Tim Burton. 

L'Oscar alla carriera, già annunciato da tempo, è stato consegnato al regista Robert Altman che ha fatto il possibile per ricordare ai colleghi della Academy di essere ancora in piena attività, a teatro e al cinema. Ha sottolineato di avere subito un trapianto di cuore, lasciando con il fiato sospeso il Kodak Theatre: "Nel mio
petto batte il cuore di una ragazza di trent'anni - ha detto, misurando la suspense - questo significa che mi restano ancora almeno quarant'anni dietro la telecamera". Il regista ha da poco compiuto ottantuno anni.
 
Il colossal dell'anno, "King Kong" di Peter Jackson, si deve accontentare di una manciata di premi "tecnici" mentre quello di Steven Spielberg "La guerra dei mondi" resta a secco. La stessa sorte è toccata a "Munich", l'altro film di Spielberg in corsa nella notte degli Oscar.
 
Il film d'animazione dell'anno è "Wallace & Gromit, La maledizione del coniglio mannaro" di Rick Park. Gli eroi di plastilina non sono nuovi agli onori del Kodak Theatre: avevano già vinto in due occasioni nella categoria cortometraggi animati. La statuetta per il migliore documentario dell'anno è stata assegnata invece a "March of the Penguins", un avvincente racconto sulla vita e la riproduzione dei pinguini dell'Antartico, narrato da Morgan Freeman.
 
Maestro delle cerimonie è stato Jon Stewart, il conduttore del tg satirico "Daily News" sul network "Comedy Central". Stewart ha cercato di animare una kermesse da anni in crisi di ascolti con le sue battute pungenti e sketch che hanno avuto come protagonisti numerosi attori. Il risultato potrebbe essere piaciuto ai giovani, il suo pubblico di riferimento e una fascia di telespettatori che da anni dedica poca attenzione agli Oscar.

(da TGCom)


          Golden Globe 2006        

Ecco tutti i vincitori...la corsa agli Oscar è cominciata...

CINEMA
Miglior film drammatico: Brokeback Mountain
Miglior film musical: Walk the Line
Migliore attrice drammatica: Felicity Huffman per il ruolo in Transamerica
Miglior attore drammatico: Philip Seymour Hoffman per Capote
Migliore attrice musical o comedy: Reese Witherspoon per Walk the Line
Migliore attore musical o comedy: Joaquin Phoenix, per Walk the Line
Migliore attrice non protagonista : Rachel Weisz per The Constant Gardener
Miglior attore non protagonista: George Clooney per Syriana
Miglior regista: Ang Lee, per Brokeback Mountain
Miglior sceneggiatore: Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, per Brokeback Mountain
Miglior film stranieri: Paradise Now, film palestinese.
Miglior colonna sonora: John Williams per Memoirs of a Geisha
Migliore canzone: "A Love That Will Never Grow Old da Brokeback Mountain
   
TELEVISIONE
Migliore attrice drammatica: Geena Davis per Commander in Chief
Migliore attore drammatico: Hugh Laurie per House
Migliore serie musical o comedy: Desperate Housewives
Migliore attrice musical o comedy: Mary-Louise Parker per Weeds
Migliore attore musical o comedy: Steve Carell per The Office
Migliore miniserie: Empire Falls
Migliore attrice miniserie: S. Epatha Merkerson, Lackawanna Blues
Migliore attore miniserie: Jonathan Rhys Meyers per Elvis


          Reconciliation and Peace in the Middle East        

Let us ask ourselves forthrightly, which is the driver of human progress—total victory or reconciliation?

Imagine if current flashpoints in world politics - the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Shia-Sunni divide, or the Syrian civil war, for instance - were to end in the total defeat of one side? The loss to human civilization would be so catastrophic that the mere thought of such a scenario should make even the most irrational actors think beyond narrowly-defined self-interests.

The post Reconciliation and Peace in the Middle East appeared first on United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).


          Mahmoud Darwish and the Jews        
August 9th marks the ninth anniversary of the death of the great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Poems that eloquently capture the essence and spirit of the Palestinian struggle for independence–this is what Darwish gave to the world. Born on March 13, 1941 in the village of Al-Birwa, Darwish published his first book of poetry at […]
          A Wall in Jerusalem: Hope, Healing, and the Struggle for Justice in Israel and Palestine        
A Wall in Jerusalem: Hope, Healing, and the Struggle for Justice in Israel and Palestine
author: Mark Braverman
name: Sara
average rating: 4.50
book published: 2013
rating: 5
read at: 2017/07/20
date added: 2017/07/20
shelves: ridiculously-good-non-fiction
review:


          The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine        
The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine
author: Ben Ehrenreich
name: Sara
average rating: 4.23
book published: 2016
rating: 5
read at: 2017/06/30
date added: 2017/06/30
shelves: ridiculously-good-non-fiction
review:


          Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation (Voice of Witness)        
Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation (Voice of Witness)
author: Cate Malek
name: Sara
average rating: 4.43
book published: 2014
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2017/05/31
shelves: to-read
review:


          Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family        
Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family
author: Najla Said
name: Sara
average rating: 3.59
book published: 2013
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2017/05/03
shelves: to-read
review:


          The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian's Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker        
The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian's Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker
author: Sami al Jundi
name: Sara
average rating: 4.19
book published: 2010
rating: 5
read at: 2017/02/03
date added: 2017/02/03
shelves: ridiculously-good-non-fiction
review:


          Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel        
Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel
author: Alice Walker
name: Sara
average rating: 3.90
book published: 2009
rating: 3
read at: 2016/05/23
date added: 2016/05/26
shelves: ridiculously-good-non-fiction
review:


          Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation        
Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation
author: Saree Makdisi
name: Sara
average rating: 4.17
book published: 2008
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2016/04/29
shelves: to-read
review:


          One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse        
One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse
author: Ali Abunimah
name: Sara
average rating: 4.19
book published: 2006
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2016/04/29
shelves: to-read
review:


          Lonely Planet Israel & the Palestinian Territories (Travel Guide)        
Lonely Planet Israel & the Palestinian Territories (Travel Guide)
author: Lonely Planet
name: Sara
average rating: 3.88
book published: 2015
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2016/04/28
shelves: sara-s-exciting-travels
review:


          Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid        
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid
author: Jimmy Carter
name: Sara
average rating: 3.80
book published: 2006
rating: 4
read at: 2016/04/22
date added: 2016/04/22
shelves: ridiculously-good-non-fiction
review:


          Whose Land? Whose Promise?: What Christians Are Not Being Told about Israel and the Palestinians        
Whose Land? Whose Promise?: What Christians Are Not Being Told about Israel and the Palestinians
author: Gary M. Burge
name: Sara
average rating: 4.34
book published: 2003
rating: 5
read at: 2016/03/17
date added: 2016/03/17
shelves: ridiculously-good-non-fiction
review:


          Malala Yousafzai and the Missing Brown Savior Complex        
On October 9, 2012, a Taliban gunman accosted a bus carrying 15 year-old Malala Yousafzai and her schoolmates, and coldly shot them at close range. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan not only claimed responsibility for the blatant assassination attempt of the teenage education activist, but as it emerged that Malala would survive the attack, the movement also reiterated its desire to kill her. Miraculously through the efforts of friends and family, the local community in Swat Valley where she is from and where she was shot, and the Pakistani army that airlifted her to Peshawar, Malala Yousafzai survived (as did the other victims). Given the seriousness of her condition, it was imperative she was treated by the best doctors, and a generous gesture by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi allowed her to be flown by air ambulance to England for major surgery. Fast forward just one year later, Malala has recovered and is even more emphatic in her message against the Taliban, promoting the empowerment of young women like her across Pakistan, and all around the world. And expectedly, the global media, including The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, have been celebrating her courage (perhaps caught in the moment of it all).

Great story, right? And what could be wrong about the alleged 'overexposure' of a young girl expressing words of peace and fighting for girls' education against a religious patriarchy? Apparently a lot. In fact, in Pakistan and in her hometown, her global coronation is treated with derision: "Malala is spoiling Pakistan's name around the world." Others have more sinister accusations of a CIA conspiracy involving both Malala and the gunman, claiming the entire affair is a Western plot. Yet, in recent days, an article written by a blogger in July on Huffington Post has been making the rounds on social media, entitled, "Malala Yousafzai and the White Saviour Complex." It argues, "Please, spare us the self-righteous and self-congratulatory message that is nothing more than propaganda that tells us that the West drops bombs to save girls like Malala."

The truth is there is no white savior coming for Pakistan or for any Muslim country, the vast majority of which are characterised by pernicious politics, inequitable economics, and irrational intolerance. Lecturing the chattering classes about geopolitical realties and distributing treatises on Western imperialism won't change anything. Fundamentally it will only be the indigenous leadership - helped or not helped by outsiders - that will drive change. Yet, when leaders do emerge, it seems that the local media (and now social media) are pre-occupied with tearing them down rather than building them up. People instead squander their energy on misguided diatribes, as the case of Malala has unfortunately shown. The real reason that the 'white savior complex' even is relevant is that we fail to champion the very 'brown saviors' in our midst.

Malala Yousafzai was thrust into the spotlight after her initial attack, which was so jarring that all Pakistani leaders came out in strong condemnation. Then Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari - himself a questionable character to say the least - labelling the attack as one against "all civilized people." Prior to the attack, Malala had rose to prominence as an activist, encouraged by her father, for girls education and against the policies and values of the Taliban, which was why she was targeted in the first place. Without picking up a gun, her message was considered a threat to their movement, which is amazing in it of itself. Yet, it was on July 12 earlier this year, speaking on her birthday to the United Nations that Malala brought tears to the eyes of millions of people around the world. Having remarkably recovered from her wounds (and having undergone partial facial reconstruction), and still facing death threats, Malala stood steadfast in front of a global audience, and spoke with fortitude and confidence: "The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions but nothing changed in my life, except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born."

It was such a powerful moment, that almost every international news outlet carried the speech of this young woman live across the world. And for the first time in a long time, the Pakistani and Muslim in the spotlight was not an extremist but someone standing up to extremism. The plaudits continued to come, especially in the last few weeks, as Malala released a book about her experience and was awarded the prestigious Sakharov Prize from the European Union. In fact, she was the rumored favorite for the Nobel Peace Prize, which in the end was awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, in a surprise but perhaps deserving win. Of course, the Western media in particular have a penchant for over-hyping (if not over-milking) and over-sensationalizing such stories of heroism. And it will be very difficult for Malala to not only live up to such hype but also to prevent the perception that she is over-shadowing other deserving heroes. Yet, is that not the story of all figures of change who inspire us? Was Nelson Mandela really the only Black leader in South Africa's prisons? Was Martin Luther King Jr. the only individual marching in the South? Was Aung San Suu Kyi the only fighter for freedom in Burma?

It does seem increasingly, however, that Malala is a leader denied a strong constituency back home. It is easy to dismiss the allegations that she is a CIA agent - although the photo-op with the Obama's won't help - as well as the gloating of Taliban supporters after she was not awarded the Nobel Prize. Yet it is harder to dismiss the cacophony of criticism in Pakistan, in Swat Valley, and on the social media pages of Pakistanis, and for that matter, Muslims from around the world. As one government official said: "Everyone knows about Malala, but they do not want to affiliate with her." The primary complaints include the following:
  • This is another example of the West trying to portray themselves as a savior of the East. 
  • Malala is a secular heroine not a Muslim heroine. 
  • While her case is tragic there are other victims who deserve prominence. 
  • The crimes of the West through drones and in Iraq and Afghanistan, far outweigh the crimes of the Taliban. 
  • This is an effort of the West to try to avoid its own complicity in the situation in Pakistan that led to Malala's shooting. 
As with most disinformation campaigns, this one is based on kernels of truth. For starters, the world does neglect the stories of deserving others. One such example would be of the tour-de-force Pakistani social worker  Parveen Rehman who was shot dead in Karachi earlier this year. Additionally, it has been the Western media that has largely driven the popular support for Malala globally; that, however, has to be attributed to the dismal failure of the Pakistani media to not do so instead (in my humble opinion). Finally, and the most valid critique is that the story of Malala should not negate the very pivotal role the United States and the West has played and continues to play in creating the current perilous conditions in Pakistan and in contributing to the deaths of innocents there, and in other countries. 

Firstly, U.S. policy has been heavily involved in the rise of the Taliban in Pakistan, which it tacitly supported alongside Saudi Arabia and Pakistan's intelligence service in the mid-1990s. Moreover, the United States and Saudi Arabia (and some other Western and Muslim powers) cooperated to support radical jihadism (even printing textbooks to that effect for Afghanistan) and Islamism as a bulwark against the Soviet Union and communism. In fact, Israel also supported the radical group Hamas as a counterweight to the secular Fatah movement of then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Yes, the world was and is screwed up, and the powers of the world have much complicity in that. 

Secondly, and more importantly, the military operations carried out by the U.S. in particular in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq have led to thousands of deaths of innocent people in recent years. These actions have largely gone unpunished and the victims have been forgotten. Certainly it is not just the Taliban that are killing and the world cannot dispense justice selectively. 

Does saying all of that make Malala Yousafzai any less of a hero (or heroine)? Is her courage dimmed by the crimes of others? Is her movement for the empowerment of young girls in Pakistan any less important? Of course not. Criticisms of the West will bring no one closer to emancipation. And it cannot mask the very pure fact that today's purveyors of disaster and death in the world also include Muslims.

Who bombed the church in Peshawar slaughtering 85 worshippers? Who attacked Westgate Mall in Nairobi killing dozens of innocents? Who murders dozens of men, women and children in Iraq every week? When a Muslim rises up - a so-called brown savior - to fight such crimes and the movements behind them, we should put him or her on our shoulders and not try to chase that person into the darkness. There is no shame in admitting Brown and Muslim guilt in the world's crimes, and it does not negate the wider reality and context around the violence that does occur. In fact, our fear of partial guilt in particular should not misguidedly cause us to throw out the very sparse examples of (counter-) leadership in Muslim countries that emerge and strike fear in the heart of radical extremists. 

It has become far too easy on all sides to blame the other rather than introspect inward. Above all, instead of blaming the West for its 'white savior complex' maybe it's time to develop our own brown savior complex to save ourselves from ourselves. 



          Award Spurs Debate in 'Desert of Silence' in Muslim World        

This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post, where you can visit for the original piece by clicking here or on the title

Award Spurs Debate in 'Desert of Silence' in Muslim World


LISBON -- There was something truly captivating about sitting in the Castle of São Jorge in Lisbon, Portugal, waiting for the announcement of the 2013 winners of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Overlooking the cityscape, the citadel is home to both the Christian and Muslim history of the Iberian peninsula, a fitting setting for an event looking to promote common linkages across geographic divides. Held every three years, the Award looks to promote conversation around the themes of development and the built environment in the Muslim world and beyond. Once again, the gathering -- hosted by the President of Portugal and the Aga Khan -- brought together an eclectic array of participants from representatives from around the world, ranging from ministers and diplomats to religious figures (including from the Vatican), to architects and builders, to thinkers and writers.
The Award recipients were equally diverse, with five projects celebrated in this cycle (bringing the number of winners in the history of the Award to 110). They included: the Salam Center for Cardiac Surgery in Sudan; the revitalization of Birzeit in Palestine; the Rabat-Salé Bridge in Morocco; the rehabilitation of the Tabriz Bazaar in Iran; and an Islamic cemetery in Austria (the latter perhaps the most intriguing project). While the initiative represents the largest, in terms of monetary value, architecture award in the world, its objective goes beyond aesthetic design, seeking to identify projects that are on the frontier of sustainable development (in all senses of the term) and that are locally attuned. Yet what was clear this year was the juxtaposition of the contemplative conversation in Lisbon and the "desert of silence "that still characterizes much of the Muslim world, outside specialized or academic circles, on these very themes. And this is the challenge for the Award, and similar such platforms -- to not just hold the conversation but to widen the debate to engage with the multitude of forces shaping and influencing the broader Muslim world (and beyond).
Founded in 1977, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) is part of the wider set of initiatives of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), which mobilizes annually over $600 million to support development activities throughout the 30 countries in which it works. The Award shares the holistic approach of the AKDN towards development, whereby local participation, alignment, and empowerment are critical to the viability and impact of any activity. Held every three years, 2013 represented the 13th cycle of the awards. Governed by a nine-person Steering Committee that includes some of the top minds in the field, such as Norman Foster and Glenn Lowry (from the Museum of Modern Art), the Award appoints a new Master Jury for each cycle; this year's Jury, for example, includedMahmoud Mamdani of Uganda and Wang Shu of China.
One of the central purposes of the Award, according to its founder, the Aga Khan, and voiced during this years ceremony was to replace the "vast desert [of] silence [that] had set in" in the Muslim world with lively debate, around the issues of development, architecture, and the built environment. Certainly, this would be no easy challenge. Over the last three decades, the Award has highlighted a number of worthy projects, recognized and encouraged leading architects and builders, and promoted education with the principles of the Award in mind. Yet, it has not been enough to fill the silence. Instead, at the frontier of the built environment in Muslim communities, and places like the Arab world, this silence has been filled by what appears too often like cacophonous chaos. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the holy city of Mecca, where a giant clock tower and monstrous skyscrapers not only cast a shadow over Islam's holiest mosque, the Kaaba, but are systematically destroying the city's historic heritage while contributing very little to community needs, besides increases in property values.
This is emblematic of the challenge of the Award, in particular, but also of other similar initiatives seeking to influence trends in the broader Muslim world, where it is not contemplative conversation that drives change but rather copious (often misallocated) capital that determines development patterns instead. How can you not just fill that vast desert of silence but also ensure that it is not the loudest voices that win the debate?
Given the ongoing shifts throughout the developing world, such as the move from rural to urban environments, political transition, and economic modernization, more engagement will be needed on a number of critical issues, especially the built environment and how it promotes sustainable development. Hopefully the conversations, such as those in Lisbon, begin to move beyond the classroom and into the mainstream.
Photo credit: AKDN

          10 Questions on the Conflict in Syria        
A potential military strike by Western powers on Syria now appears to be a fait accompli and is being touted as long overdue. Given the spiralling humanitarian disaster that has overtaken the country during the last two years of conflict, continued inaction appears to be an untenable reality. The death toll is now well over 100,000 (although the proportion of civilians to combatants is unclear). There are 2 million refugees, half of whom are children, and over 4 million more internally displaced persons (IDPs), amounting to a quarter of the country's overall population. Yet, it was the apparent chemical weapons attack in the suburbs around Damascus known as Ghouta last week that has served as the impetus for international military intervention into the conflict. Amidst the rhetoric and war rehearsals, clarity on what is really happening seems to be cast aside in the media, in favor of faux-spontaneous leaks, retired generals, and trumpeters of past wars. Here are ten questions to try to set the record straight.


1. Were chemical weapons used in Syria?

When the initial attack unfolded last Wednesday, August 21 in the suburbs in Damascus known as Ghouta (near the town/suburb of Jobar), news quickly spread to local, regional and international media. Claims were made of hundreds of deaths, with some activists claiming the death toll was 1,300. Moreover, the Government of Syria immediately denied responsibility and has continued to do so. However, the attack did unfold amidst a series of army strikes on Jobar, which is a rebel-held area, and has been for quite some time. The Government conversely claimed to find chemical weapons supplies in tunnels in the same area, and it is alleged that some Hezbollah fighters were also exposed to chemical toxins.

A week on, it appears incontrovertible that chemical weapons were used, not just from YouTube videos but also from visits by independent journalists, and of course by a report by Médecins Sans Frontières that has documented at least 355 deaths from local hospitals. It is likely that the chemical agent used was a neurotoxin or nerve gas, most likely sarin gas. What is still not clear, is how they were delivered (i.e. in what form and carried on what type of weapon) and from where.

It should also be kept in mind that this was not the first attack that has been alleged. There have been numerous claims by rebels, and counter-claims by the government on the use of chemical weapons in the conflict. Here's a map of those events. In fact, this is precisely why the team of UN inspectors had arrived in the country, the day before this latest incident (and massacre) took place. In fact, what is interesting is that their investigation of other sites has now been put on the back-burner due to the latest developments.

2. Do we know who actually used the chemical weapons? 

The United States, United Kingdom, and France have all stated they are certain that the Government of Syria has undertaken the attack last week. On the U.S. side, at the forefront of the rhetoric has been Vice President Biden - who has said there is 'no doubt' - and Secretary of State John Kerry, who made an evocative plea for action several days ago. Of course, the next speech is the most important, and it would be one made by President Barack Obama. In light of this certainty, it would be difficult to question the attribution of blame. A leak from the US government also claims to have intercepted a murky call between commanders in the Syrian army that supposedly is evidence of culpability on the Syrian side.

There is tremendous reason to doubt U.S. claims. Firstly, it should not be forgotten that then Secretary of State Colin Powell presented ironclad evidence to the United Nations Security Council of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that Saddam Hussein possessed, a finding that was later proven to be utterly false, but which was the basis of a war that continues until today. Secondly, the U.S. claimed that there was incontrovertible proof that the Government of Syria was responsible for earlier chemical attacks this year, but that finding has been contested, and some experts apportioned blame to the rebels fighting the government. And finally, in this case, no evidence has been presented, as of yet to make such a determination, at least not conclusively.

Does that mean the Assad and his regime are not responsible? No. It is very likely given the ongoing military operations in the same area that the Syrian government launched such an attack. Yet, more evidence needs to be presented to make a definitive conclusion. The other scenarios that could be possible are:

- Extremists groups like Jubhat al-Nusra, who have previously seized advanced weaponry and possibly chemical weapons from Syrian army bases and positions, were attempting to use them on Syrian soldiers (or conversely to cast blame on the Syrian army);

- The Government of Syria inadvertently hit a stockpile of sarin gas releasing the toxins (although unclear if this would lead to the effects that we've seen); or

- Rogue elements within the chain of command used chemical weapons intentionally or inadvertently.

Russia, Iran and China have of course cast doubt on western claims but that is to be expected.

3. What would be the basis or justification for US intervention?

The U.S. intervention would likely be on the basis of Obama's previously stated red line on Syria, which would be the mass use/movement of chemical weapons. It is not in fact about humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect framework, developed in the 1990s to prevent genocide and mass civilian deaths. If it was, then the humanitarian case for intervention has been present for some time, and other massacres by the Syrian regime, such as in Houla in 2012, would have provided sufficient pretext. Obviously, the U.S. and other Western powers, and regional countries, have their own interests at play that are much more geopolitical in nature, but the justification or casus belli being offered is around the issue of chemical weapons, and chemical weapons alone.

4. Will anybody else be involved in the military strikes besides the US and will this affect whether they are 'legal'?

Given Russian and Chinese opposition, and a likely veto of any resolution by the United Nations Security Council supporting such a military strike on Syria - especially in light of the intervention in Libya, which Russia regretted supporting - a 'coalition of the willing' will need to be developed. This coalition would be broader than the Iraq War in 2003, and would be similar to the coalition carrying out the strikes against Serb positions vis-a-vis Kosovo in 1999. While the U.S., U.K. and France will likely lead an effort, Turkey would also be critical as a staging ground (as it borders Syria from the North), and thus there will be an attempt to launch such an attack under the auspices of NATO. Despite its reluctance, Jordan, given its reliance on the U.S. and Saudi Arabia politically and economically, will have no choice but to support . The two other neighbours of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon are squarely against any military strike. And of course, the other neighbor - Israel - would sit this one out but would provide intelligence to the U.S. and other parties on Syrian positions, given that it has already undertaken a number of air strikes on Syria in the past two years.

Further afield, it is likely the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) will support military intervention, with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates possibly sending fighter jets to participate in a strike to give it regional cover and credibility. Finally, while many groups within the Arab and Muslim world, and the 'left' of the West, will oppose military intervention, many others will support it, because of the spiralling humanitarian situation in Syria.

Technically speaking if the military intervention is not sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, and there is no imminent threat that the U.S. and other parties can point to towards its own territory or its assets, it would be illegal under international law. However, that has not stopped NATO or other countries (i.e. Russia in Georgia) form undertaking military action in the past. And before the Iraq War, some scholars claimed that while such an attack would be illegal it would be legitimate, and demonstrated retroactively to be legal. Given the state of world affairs, 'legality' is likely not a determining factor for a strike on Syria.

5. Are we seeing a repeat of Iraq in 2003? 

No. The situation today with Syria is different than it was in 2003 in Iraq, for many reasons, despite some passing similarities. In Iraq, the U.S. claimed that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction while in Syria, we already know Bashar al-Assad possesses chemical weapons, and the question is whether he used them (small aside, it was released this week that thirty years ago, the U.S. obstructed a UN investigation when it knew Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons). In Iraq, the U.S. alleged that Saddam Hussein had links with Al Qaeda (and related groups), while in Syria, Bashar al Assad is widely acknowledged to be fighting Al Qaeda (and related groups) in addition to the 'Free Syrian Army' (and in addition to crushing peaceful demonstrators). In Iraq, there was no active state of conflict that was leading to a spiralling humanitarian catastrophe (and the potential use of WMDs), while in Syria there is not just a violent conflict, but also WMDs have been used by somebody (even if the culprit is not yet clear).

What should be noted, however, is that both Iraq in 2003 and Syria in 2013, are in complex environments, and any removal of government or sustained military intervention would have dramatic unforeseen consequences. It seems like the media debate in the U.S. is also similarly anaemic (but slightly better) this time around.

6. What is the real motivation for the United States and other powers?

As with all things in this world when it comes to international relations, the primary interest is not humanitarian but geopolitical. This is not absolute, however, and it could be argued that Turkey has been insisting on humanitarian intervention from an early stage. However, the regimes (not peoples) in the Gulf, most notably Saudi Arabia, are exclusively concerned with dislodging Syria from the Iranian orbit, and severing connections between Syria and Hezbollah. Humanitarian concerns are a by-product. And for the United States, something similar is at play. As noted above, if this was about humanitarian concerns, action would have been taken long before 100,000 deaths had occurred.

For the U.S. it has been looking for regime change in Syria for a while. However, these strikes if they occur, will be about sending a message and asserting America's position in the Middle East, given the red line that Obama drew. Ultimately, it may tip the scales in the rebels favour or improve the U.S.'s negotiating position vis-a-vis Iran. The chemical weapons attack in a morbid way, opened a door of opportunity for Western powers (with GCC support) to do something limited without a full-scale intervention.

7. Will military intervention solve the Syrian conflict?

No. Military intervention no matter how small or how big will not solve the Syrian conflict. In fact, it could very much exacerbate the situation on the ground even further (if that can be imagined). What is being reported currently is that the U.S. and allies will undertake a series of 'surgical strikes', a euphemism for a large-scale assault on key military and strategic installations, such as army positions, air bases, radar installations, communications infrastructure, supply routes, and, where appropriate, power stations (among other targets). More than anything this will be intended to send a message to the regime and weaken its capabilities. Yet, it would not be a fatal blow. And it would not necessarily tip the scales in favor of the rebels. It may in fact mobilize certain parties to support the regime, if there are civilian casualties from the intervention.

The solution to the Syrian situation has to be political, if it is going to lead to stability or peace. Yet, if the military intervention escalated and led to the removal of the Syrian regime, that would still not be the end of the conflict. After the Soviets were booted out of Afghanistan, the country devolved into a civil war for five years until the rise of the Taliban in 1996. Somalia has only recently stabilised (somewhat), more than 20 years after the assassination of its leader, President Siad Barre. And neighboring Lebanon, took 15 years of conflict (1975-1990) to reach an end, which was brought about by ironically Syrian military intervention (which committed its own crimes), that produced a - audible gasp - political settlement.

8. What could potentially go wrong?

Everything. The potential for disaster following military intervention in any country is great (see Black Hawk Down, Iraq, Afghanistan and the list goes on). Yet, in Syria it could be apocalyptic. Here is a list of what that could entail:

- Chemical weapons are used by Syria against its neighbors such as Jordan and Turkey, or U.S. military positions in those countries;
- U.S. planes/helicopters are shot down leading to an escalation of U.S. involvement requiring boots on the ground;
- Syria sends a volley of missiles into Tel Aviv and other places in Israel, leading to a regional war;
- Proxy forces of Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, launch a sustained campaign against Israel/U.S. interests, including attacks embassies within Lebanon/Palestine/Israel but also in other countries, in the short and medium-term;
- Al Qaeda forces in the region, while opposing the Assad regime, oppose U.S. intervention especially if there are masses of civilian casualties, and use it as a pretext for attacks in places such as Yemen;
- Russia objects to the U.S. strike, and mobilizes warships to the Mediterranean, leading to a standoff with Europe and the U.S.;
- Negotiations with Iran, still in embryonic stages are suspended irrevocably;
- Six party talks with North Korea are suspended by Russia, China, and North Korea irrevocably;
- The Syrian regime goes all out in its conflict and begins to bomb with even more abandon civilian areas controlled by rebels, leading to thousands of casualties, and counter-massacres by enraged rebel fighters;
- The Syrian regime is removed by force from power by the intervention, leading to a power vacuum sinking the country further into civil war for over a decade of even more violent strife and a possible Al Qaeda style government;
- Tensions rise in the Middle East, especially in places of sectarian division (i.e. Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia, and Iraq) leading to civil strife and attacks on governments, and counter-attacks on populations; and
- World War 3.

9. What could potentially go right?

It may seem that what is written above is slightly alarmist and that's true. Many things can go wrong (most of which, to be honest, are hard to predict as they will be unforeseen consequences or as Donald Rumsfeld, ironically calls them, unknown unknowns). However, the U.S.-led strikes could be quite effective. Firstly, if they are limited in scope, they can be completed in one day, reducing the risk for a military entanglement and civilian casualties. Secondly, if they are from the air, there is limited risk for casualties on the side of the intervening forces. Thirdly, an attack that is forceful and hits Syrian military positions, will send a message to Assad that there is a limit to what he can do, which thus far has not been the case, and may entice him to reach a political settlement. Fourthly, it is unlikely that the Syrian regime would retaliate, for a short strike on positions, against Israel, knowing that they cannot afford to fight a war on so many fronts (and thus far they have yet to retaliate to any Israel air strike). Finally, the systematic destruction of Assad's air capabilities could be instrumental in limiting civilian casualties by the regime in the future.

All of this is one possibility of what could occur.

10. Let's cut to the chase - should I support or not support military intervention?

There is no clearcut answer. Ultimately, military intervention should not be supported as a solution to the Syrian conflict. It is not, and whether we like it or not, a political solution/settlement is the only way the current situation moves towards peace and stability. The U.S. is negotiating with the Taliban. The Vietnamese negotiated with the U.S. The Lebanese negotiated with each other. The Dayton Accords to end the Bosnian War were signed with Slobodan Milosevic. It may not be easy, it may be unlikely, and it will not work perfectly, but political discussions involving all parties is the only way to find a real solution.

That being said, if a case is made with overwhelming evidence by independent parties (not U.S. conjecture) that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian regime, then military intervention on a limited scale, and for a period of 1-2 days only, should be undertaken, ideally with UN support - and if not with broad support of half of the members, i.e. 90, of the UN General Assembly to demonstrate legitimacy - against military targets only, which will both send a message about the use of these weapons and damage the capabilities of Assad.

What is clear is that whatever happens, there are no clear answers with regards to the conflict in Syria.

          Hypernationalism, Islamism, and Fascism all En Vogue        
This article appeared in Al-Monitor, where you can find the full version. 


Since the military overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s government in early July, the rhetoric by critics of the Muslim Brotherhood has been vitriolic and relentless. The campaign has sought to delegitimize the Islamist movement, and in fact, negate its Egyptian identity. Morsi himself has been charged with espionage and serving foreign interests. The general prosecutor has accused Muslim Brotherhood supporters of hiring Syrian and Palestinian mercenaries. Partisans of the army-led government, including some familiar “democracy” activists, have repeatedly called for additional crackdowns on Islamists. More often than not, Muslim Brotherhood members are portrayed in juxtaposition to ordinary Egyptians, rather than among the people, and as a “cancer” that must be removed at all costs.

As the Arab world continues to politically devolve following the revolutions of 2011, it seems that a new fascism is becoming en vogue. In many ways, a response to the rise of religious supremacy over the past three decades, the ideology is predicated on a foundation of hypernationalism whereby the state is paramount, and any intellectual contestation is met with rhetorical — if not legal — excommunication. As the dust settles, a shrinking political class of moderate Islamists and liberals are increasingly caught between these dueling ideologies and their proponents.

This religious supremacy, or Islamism, has its roots in the modern Middle East in a seminal work by Sayyid Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood leader imprisoned and executed in Egypt in the 1960s. In "Signposts along the Road" (or Milestones), Qutb intellectually grounds the rejection of fellow Muslims in a process of delegitimization, or takfir. This ideology went into overdrive with the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran and the subsequent jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s, both of which laid the groundwork for Islamism as a modern political movement.

The continuum of Islamism has always been expansive, so it is sometimes hard to differentiate what constitutes the extremist elements of the political community as opposed to more moderate forces. In post–Saddam Hussein Iraq, the philosophy of takfir descended to a new level with the dehumanization of other Muslim groups, with authorization to kill those deemed takfiris. Yet, Morsi, allegedly a mainstream Islamist, sat applauding the same rhetoric targeting Shiites by preachers in relation to the Syrian conflict, illustrating how difficult it can be to draw distinctions.

With the rise of Islamism, most regimes in the region — lacking a real contesting ideology in response — felt compelled to peddle hollow exhortations of bygone regionalism, or pan-Arabism. Direct attacks on Islamism would have run the risk of alienating their Muslim populations. In this space and amid the tumult of the last two years during which Islamists have grown increasingly unpopular after ascending from the opposition to seats of power, religious supremacy has finally met its match — hypernationalism. In effect, takfir is now being opposed with takhwin, the delegitimization of opponents of the state as traitors of the national cause....

Read the full version here: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/08/violence-arab-nationalism.html#ixzz2crhOSTyD

          The Middle East’s New Divide: Muslim Versus Muslim         

This article appears on Al-Monitor.com, where you can find the full version. 

On June 8, a devastating clash between residents and militia members erupted at the headquarters of the Libya Shield Brigade in Benghazi, Libya, leaving dozens dead and scores more injured. Meanwhile, the next day on the Sunday talk show circuit in the United States, amid continued partisan discussion of the September 2012 consulate attack in Benghazi, there was scant mention of the major clash from the day before. The disconnect exemplified the chasm between the new battle lines on the ground across the Middle East and the political discourse a world away.

For much of the last decade, most have digested the narrative of a Muslim-West divide. It was so pervasive that newly elected US President Barack Obama, portrayed as a symbolic messiah bridging two worlds, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize before even completing a year of his term. Twelve years after the 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks, much of the discussion about the "Muslim world" has internalized this language, and why not? The conflict between the Palestinians and US-supported Israel remains unresolved, US drone strikes continue unabated in Pakistan and Yemen and terrorist attacks like the Boston Marathon bombing are still occurring in deadly fashion.

These days, however, one is more likely to see the burning of a Syrian government flag than an American flag amid the world’s deadliest ongoing conflict, for which the United States is criticized primarily for not intervening. One is more likely to see Iraqis killed in a terrorist attack than Americans. In fact, in recent years approximately 90% of terrorism-related fatalities have been Muslim. One is more likely to see the demonization of a Shiite than a Jew by an extremist Muslim ideologue. The battle lines have shifted from Islam versus the West to Muslim versus Muslim, and it is time for politicians and pundits in the United States and the Middle East alike to catch up.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/08/new-middle-east-muslim-versus-muslim.html#ixzz2c5fRQCzj

          The (Counter?)Revolution in #Egypt will be Televised (and Tweeted)        
Around midnight in Cairo the night of Tuesday, July 2, millions of people in Egypt awaited the President of the Republic, Mohammad Morsi, to respond to the 48-hour ultimatum delivered by the country's military on Monday: resolve your differences with the protestors or we will do it for you. With the deadline fast approaching, and due to hit at 4:30pm local time the next day, Morsi rejected the challenge by the military in a tweet. Then, he came on television and delivered what was the most important speech in not just his life but in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood movement he represents. And it was a spectacular failure. While not as long-winded as the two-and-a-half hour speech he had given just days earlier - akin to a State of the Union - it was just as hollow. His near constant use of the word 'legitimacy' began to elicit uncontrollable laugher in many corners (with the usage count of the word at around 75 in the speech). With millions of Egyptians on the streets across the country - some in support of him but many if not most in opposition - and the military's ultimatum in the background, Morsi had seemingly put the final nail in his own coffin.

Just 30 months after the ousting of the dictator for the past 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, street protests in Egypt culminated on Wednesday night in a coup d'etat, effectively overturning the 14 democratic elections since February 11, 2011 (the total voting cycles for the parliament, presidency and constitution). Indeed, it was broader than a coup d'etat, as the Tamarod (rebellion) movement that brought millions of people to the streets was a grassroots uprising that gathered millions of signatures from ordinary Egyptians, and more significantly, managed to coalesce a previously disparate and dispirited opposition. Additionally, deposed President Mohammad Morsi had governed incompetently and non-inclusively, which seemingly left the invitation open to change. Yet, what transpired this week, especially in the final sequence of events, could be the initial salvo of a counter-revolution 2.0, potentially endangering the process of democratization in Egypt for years to come.

While things seemingly have not changed that much in Egypt, and in many ways have gotten worse, a lot has transpired. Following the departure of Mubarak and his gang from the scene, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) took charge of managing the country's affairs. It took nearly a year to hold parliamentary elections. When it did happen, in late 2011-early 2012 the Brotherhood's party (the Freedom & Justice Party or FJP) took 38% of the vote, followed closely by the more conservative Salafist party, Al Nour, which took 28%. Given that this body would determine the fate of the new constitution (and the assembly to draft it), the fact that it was dominated by 'Islamists' already meant the new era of Egypt was handed a poisoned chalice in the eyes of many. Six months later, in June 2012, the Presidential elections saw a run-off between a former Prime Minister but tainted 'remnant' of the old Mubarak regime, Ahmed Shafiq, and Mohammed Morsi (representing the Muslim Brotherhood). Morsi won, and with the backing of protests in the famed Tahrir Square, also managed to wrest plenty of executive authority from SCAF. Within two months, Morsi also seemed to assert civilian control over the military, with a shuffling of key positions in the defense establishment.

Then on November 22, 2012, with full executive powers, and the parliament in limbo (due to pending court cases), Morsi assumed essentially legislative powers and declared himself immune from judicial oversight until a new constitution was formed. In essence that gave birth to the current movement (well at least the National Salvation Front that formed 2 days later and was a hodge-podge of opposition groups, including figures such as Mohamed El Baradei) which culminated in Morsi's removal from office this week. Morsi and the FJP then ham-fisted a constitution through a referendum, which garnered the support of 64% of the voting public. However, the process was not led by consensus and Morsi appeared to be increasingly marginalizing the judiciary, which many viewed as being too linked to the old regime, especially given that many senior judges were appointed by Hosni Mubarak (the judges had their own democracy movement in 2006 so not a unified group by any means). Yet for many in the opposition, the judiciary was still a check against Morsi and the Brotherhood's power. And there were also complaints about the ikhwanization of the state; given what transpired this week, this appeared not to have been the case.

Nevertheless, the concentration of power by the Brotherhood and its non-inclusive method of governance as described above, could have overcome minor challenges from the opposition, if Morsi had enacted policies that improved the lives of everyday people. His approval rating had begun to drop dramatically, falling to 28% of the public just weeks before his overthrow. This was mainly due to the inability of the government to turnaround the economy, with 25% of Egyptians below the poverty line, unemployment on the rise, and the country's fiscal health on the decline. Meanwhile, his approach to foreign policy of aligning with the US, engaging with Iran, partnering with Qatar, and leading the charge on Syria, did little to assuage a frustrated public waiting for change at home in their daily lives that had yet to materialize. And sectarian clashes that mainly killed Shiites and Christians tarnished the impartial role the President was assumed to play, given that he was close to figures that were prone to incitement.

In the backdrop of all of this, the Tamarod movement, which started just several months ago (in April), began to tap into the widespread anger and frustration. Gone was the gloss of a technocratic 'Islamist' party - a la the AKP in Turkey, who incidentally are having their own issues - replaced instead by the reality of the FJP in Egypt. And gone also was the mystique of a survivalist Brotherhood that was the David against the Goliath of the last half century; the Brotherhood was now the Goliath, and seemingly squandering the power that it had accumulated. The Tamarod activists claimed to have gathered 22 million signatures, in a country of 93 million people, which seems patently ridiculous for many demographic/logistical reasons (in the course of just two months). Nevertheless, their demands were clear, and principally centered on early Presidential elections (Morsi had served one of a four-year term). They were supported by umbrella opposition groups such as the National Salvation Front, April 6 Movement, and others, and with their deadline of June 30 for Morsi to respond coming fast, thousands and then millions began to fill Egypt's squares (some as noted in support of Morsi).

By Wednesday, just prior to the removal of Morsi from power, several implications of what was transpiring were already clear. Firstly, the Tamarod movement, and subsequent mobilization demonstrated that there could be an organized opposition to Islamists in the 'new' Arab world, and that this secular alternative could mobilize numbers. This could have far-reaching consequences in other countries such as Tunisia, where Islamists like the Nahda Party hold sway, as well as eventually (in the longer-term) in autocratic countries where often the only strong opposition movements are bogeyman Islamists movements. Secondly, Morsi's reign had as noted above, dulled - as power does to any party - the shine of the Brotherhood. It has been noted, for example that the clashes that led to the separation of the West Bank & Gaza Strip, and undermined the Hamas victory in Palestinian elections, only emboldened Hamas instead of forcing the movement into the pubic accountability spotlight.

Of course, in the euphoria of what the opposition was about to gain, the darkness just around the corner might have seemed far away. With millions on the street, and the military indicating a willingness to force itself on the scene as the arbitrator, Morsi offered a new constitutional process, a unity government of technocrats, and an accelerated schedule of new parliamentary elections but it was too little too late it seemed for the street, especially with the military now backing the activists' play. And so instead of a negotiated agreement with President Morsi, or a legal process through the courts, or any other process through civilian authorities, it was the military that removed Morsi from power. The crowds in Tahrir Square cheered but the supporters of the deposed President, in Nasr City (also in Cairo), jeered. In a carefully choreographed display, the civil secular state - with an associated roadmap essentially a reset of the revolutionary period - was re-established by three initial speeches: first by General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, head of the armed forces (appointed by Morsi), second by the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar, and third by the Coptic Pope. Short statements followed from a range of opposition figures, including a representative of Tamarod and El Baradei and the conservative Nour Party.

If you are an opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood, this was indeed a victory. And given the direction that Egypt was going, if you are an Egyptian, you can only hope that this could lead to a more positive future. Whatever the case, however, the military re-takeover appears to also be a re-launch of the counter-revolution. The autocratic powers that be in the region were effusive and immediate in their praise of the military and the coup. More worryingly, was the systematic campaign of arrests that already started to unfold late into the night of Muslim Brotherhood activists, leaders, affiliated journalists, and yes even Mohammad Morsi. The military is looking not just to referee the playing field but to define the playing field and the players allowed on it. That's not democracy. It may be that in the modern Arab world the demographics are such that the debate is about choosing between liberalism and democracy, but isn't that the false choice of the last 40-50 years offered by autocratic rulers in the Arab world? And there is nothing 'rosy' about liberal autocracy versus religious autocracy in this region. In fact, if anything, liberal/secular authoritarianism has been the bane of decay in modern Arab history: the Baath parties in Iraq and Syria, Ben Ali's Tunis, Mubarak's Egypt, and the list goes on.

Yet, unless the Egyptian military is kept in check, it will likely go down the path it knows best and one that it has followed since 1952, which is to systematically crush dissent and marginalise and exclude the Muslim Brotherhood. All indications today point to a proclivity to re-instate this exclusion, which could lead to an Algeria scenario of the 1990s, albeit in a different form, of course. Paradoxically, as this new Pandora's Box is opened, the only hope to keep the military in check is the very street and youth who demanded its removal from the scene, and then demanded it to come back to its role as guarantor of the state. Hopefully the tamarod or rebellion, will keep that spirit, now that they have been given a share of the power.





          Another Coup for the Outgoing Emir of Qatar        
In July 2010, the (now outgoing) Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, traveled to South Lebanon to bask in the gratitude for his country's largesse in supporting reconstruction following the Israeli bombardment just four years earlier. The $300 million (and beyond) committed by the Gulf state was very much appreciated by the Shiite armed movement Hezbollah, who ensured billboards in the South and on Airport Road in Beirut were decorated with notes of thanks to the Emir. It was a conspicuous visit because Qatar had stood out amongst the GCC in taking a strong if not controversial stand. Hand-in-hand with Hezbollah, the Emir, was not apparently one of the "half-men" that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pointed to in the Gulf during the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war. In fact, the Emir and Assad were quite close, if not close friends, and were frequently in touch.

In 2013, Qatar finds itself at the forefront on a number of regional issues, most notably the conflict in Syria, which had pitted the Emir in direct opposition to his old friend Bashar Al Assad. In fact, on the sectarian front, hosting firebrand spiritual figure, Yusuf al-Qaradawi who recently called for a Sunni-led jihad, and allying almost openly with Muslim Brotherhood movements in the region (which brought criticism from people as far afield as Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef), has increasingly prompted the question: Has the politically adept Qatar lost its touch?

Once again, however, the Emir of Qatar (who I'll refer to by his initials HBK) shocked the region with another unprecedented move - this time the transfer of power to his 33-year old son Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (the 'new Emir'). In doing so, HBK put Qatar back on the political front-foot and raised the pressure on regional allies. And in typical style, he added another deft touch in his address to the nation with a quote (and the only quote outside from scripture) from Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the fourth Caliph in Islam and the first Imam of the Shi'a Muslims: 'Teach your children other than that what you were taught; as they are created for a time other than yours."

It was nearly 18 years to the day, on June 27, 1995 [although official Qatari sites list his 'start-date' as June 26] that the outgoing Emir, HBK, came to power in a bloodless coup with the aid of his current outgoing Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamid bin Jassim al-Thani (HBJ) and other figures. He dislodged his father, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad, at the time, under largely benign circumstances but also as Qatar was starting to truly increase its economic base. When HBK took the reigns, the country was bit-player on the regional scene, with a GDP of $8bn. Today, the country is a regional powerhouse, punching far above its weight with a GDP in upwards of $170bn. The transformation, after HBK's rise, began in a number of areas:
  • In 1995 (August), the Emir alongside his wife, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, launched what has become one of the largest foundations, Qatar Foundation, dedicated to 'knowledge' and social development in the country and wider region;
  • In 1996, the State of Qatar launched Al Jazeera, initially only in Arabic, which shocked the region by becoming literally the only widespread outlet of independent voices (from the 'regimes') in the region; 
  • And in 1997, Qatar Airways was relaunched and became a symbolic flagship for the country, although it is not clear whether the carrier will ever truly be profitable.
Economically, with growing revenues from natural gas over the last decade and a half, the departing Prime Minister, HBJ, effectively became the CEO of the country. In addition, to governing national investments through the Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund, HBJ also built up constituent vehicles like Qatari Diar, which looked to deploy billions of dollars in capital throughout the region, including in places that would traditionally be 'off-the-grid' like Libya, Syria and the Palestinian Territories.

Yet, while the transformation of Qatar happened on several levels - and Sheikha Moza led a number of key initiatives that have separately built up the profile of the country - the Prime Minister & Emir particularly forged a formidable political duo, implementing a plan for political leadership which led to alternating reactions of admiration and consternation in the region. HBK & HBJ became in recent years, the guiding and influencing force on a number of key regional files. It was a strategy of multi-faceted engagement and relevance, often replete with paradoxes, that even until now has confounded observers and analysts, who were always late to the party in understanding and engaging with Qatar.

For example, while condemning Al Jazeera Arabic for links to Al Qaeda, the U.S. government in September 2002 began moving its Central Command (CENTCOM) Headquarters in part to Doha. Qatar maintained an Israeli trade office since the late 1990s (closing intermittently during the Intifada and in 2009 during the Gaza War), while also building up relations with Hamas throughout the 2000s. The country maintained strong links within the GCC, and also with Sunni allies such as leader of the Future Party Saad Hariri, but in 2008 it was their ties with Hezbollah that allowed them to forge the Doha Agreement, averting what could have been a dark period of civil strife in Lebanon. There was no end to the political engagement: peace talks on Darfur, engagement with the Taliban, mediation between Chad and Sudan, and the list goes on.

On the political level, while the period prior to the Arab awakening was characterized by engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders, in early 2011, it seemed that Qatar was starting to play a much more partisan role. Previous allies such as Syria's Assad, and Libya's Gaddhafi fell by the wayside very quickly, with Qatar in fact leading efforts in the fight to topple both dictators. And in other 'revolutionary' environments such as Egypt and Tunisia, where the ruling parties are Islamist, Qatar has become the political football for its perceived support for Islamist movements. Critics ask why figures like Qaradawi (mentioned above) are based in Qatar? Why was the state mosque in Doha named after the founder of Wahhabism, the particularly conservative brand of Islam, in 2011? And why has a station like Al Jazeera portrayed only one side of the story, often with an 'Islamic' bent, the last two years especially?

Yet, the criticism has only grown commensurate with the prominence of Qatar in the region. On one hand, the policies of Qatar were simply part of its strategy of engagement in the region, to demonstrate leadership but also fundamentally relevance - important for a small country that previously lived in the shadow of Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Arab uprisings and subsequent rise of Islamist movements in the region was a tremendous opportunity for Qatar to provide indispensable leadership. Yet, leadership and unique prominence, has consequences, and it is likely that the inflection point of a transfer of power, provides a moment for reflection, especially as the region comes to terms with its new (and oft-changing) dynamics. What was immensely popular in late 2011 no longer is definitively so. For example, in Egypt, President Morsi's approval rating has notably dropped from 70% to 40%.

Thus, the transfer of power to a new ruler, in Sheikh Tamim, means that Qatar can assess its strategic position and alignment. Perhaps, the country could benefit from a broader engagement given rising divisions in the region, and once again capture the role of lead mediator? Domestically, Sheikh Tamim will play close attention to catalyzing the role of his generation in the country's leadership. After all, Qatar had yet to enact the legislative or Shura Council that HBK promised when he rose to power, and enshrined in the Constitution ratified 9 years ago. The first step will be the announcement of a new cabinet that will replace what is increasingly seen as a gentrified political elite with new or younger faces. It is also expected that there may be a rise in salaries of Qataris employed in the public sector, at a smaller scale, however, to a similar announcement in 2011. Most important, however, will be a new dialogue and series of consultations that the new Emir will have with Qatari citizens, whose expectations have risen with new-found wealth and prosperity. In particular, with 70% of Qataris under the age of 30, engaging youth will be a priority. Do they feel included in the governance of the country and its institutions? Are there sufficient opportunities for employment and growth? And do public services meet their expectations?

As Sheikh Tamim assesses the domestic situation, he does have a strong ally in his mother, Sheikha Moza, and the institutions she leads that address youth, health and education. And he will rely on  experienced hands like Sheikh Abdullah al-Thani to evaluate macro-projects like the Qatar World Cup preparations and the development of the national railways. Yet, both on the national and international fronts, the new Emir is not without experience or preparation. While observers were caught off-guard, it is thought HBK had planned for this day far ahead of time. The ascension of the Crown Prince to the leadership, began in earnest over the past two years. In fact, when significant announcements like the salary increase from 2011 were made, it was from Sheikh Tamim's office. He was also front and center, for example, when the move was made to shift Hamas headquarters out of Syria. And the then Crown Prince had been taking an increasing "foreign affairs role" amidst the Arab uprisings.

While the policies that Qatar will follow will likely be unchanged in the short-term, we will have to wait and see what path the new Emir forges in the long-term. Yet, his father has assured that he enters on the political front-foot. Even in his departure, the outgoing Emir left as he came in - with a coup. Upending traditions in the region, he ensured that he would leave the scene at the ripe (for the GCC) age of 61, leaving power to his son who is only 33. This is next to countries such as Saudi Arabia, where the King is 91 (if not older) and where power has never been transferred to the 'next generation', passed instead from brother-to-brother among the descendents of King Abdelaziz (since his death in 1953). Or take Bahrain, where the Prime Minister, Khalifa bin Salman, has helmed the government for over four decades without interruption.

Certainly, the move by HBK has not ushered in a democracy in Qatar; it is still an authoritarian state. And the ascension of Sheikh Tamim does not automatically assuage any of the concerns (real or perceived) ranging from migrant rights to nepotism to regional interference. Nevertheless, in its own way, Qatar has provided the region with a new revolutionary moment. Now we wait to see how the day-after, always the hard part, plays out.


           For President Obama on Day One: A New “New Beginning”         
On Day One: A New “New Beginning”
There was never a question that President Barack Obama represented a symbolic break with the past – someone who could redefine relations with the Muslim world. However to add substance to the symbolism of change, early on in his first term, President Obama went to Cairo to make a speech entitled, “A New Beginning.” Yet, as he begins a second term it is clear that this new beginning needs to be reinvigorated in both style and substance. That initial speech, while poignant then, today rings hollow. If indeed President Obama and the administration are to achieve a definitive step change in relations with Muslim communities, there must be a renewed effort for honest dialogue, robust development initiatives, and tangible shifts in policy.

At the onset of the Iraq War in 2003, President George W. Bush had abysmal numbers in many Muslim-majority countries. While 59 percent of Nigerians, 56 percent of Jordanians, and 46 percent of Pakistanis held confidence in Osama bin Laden’s leadership, Bush was polling in the single digits in the same countries. By 2008, in countries like Jordan and Turkey, nearly 90 percent of people had “little or no confidence” in President Bush.

So when a young Kenyan-American Senator with Muslim roots, Barack Obama, emerged on the political scene, he was a welcome sight in even unsavory and sharply antagonistic corners of the Muslim world. In the midst of the political campaign even Hamas seemingly endorsed him saying, “Actually, we like Mr. Obama.” Winning over Hamas never was (nor should it have been) a litmus test, but when President Barack Obama was elected, there was near universal euphoria across Muslim communities.

Early on, Obama and others in the Administration acknowledged the challenge in meeting these expectations. Even before he was inaugurated, the Administration was already planning to mark this ‘new beginning.’ Going into the heart of Cairo to engage university students in an honest speech about a real change in relations between the U.S. and Muslims was indeed something to be commended. Subsequent to the speech, the White House created a position on the National Security Council for Global Engagement, and the State Department launched a number of partnership initiatives. In the fall of 2009, D.C. played host to the Presidential Summit of Entrepreneurship that brought together 250 delegates from over 50 (mostly Muslim) countries.

Then the situation started to become more difficult. There are no easy answers in the complex geopolitical relations in the wider Middle East and beyond. When the Green Movement in Iran demanded democratic change, the Obama administration had to contemplate whether it was for engagement with ‘regimes’ or engagement with ‘peoples.’ One of the President’s early visits was to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah prior to his Cairo speech, during which he said in reference to fundamental liberties, “They are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.” But during his visit with the King, there was deafening silence on this point. The advent of the Arab Spring made these dilemmas even sharper. Support democracy in Tunisia and Egypt at the last minute. Push democracy by force in Libya. Half-heartedly support it in Yemen. Remain frozen on Syria. Tacitly oppose it everywhere else.

While Obama has grappled with difficult decisions, as any President would, he also shirked following up on critical points he made during his speech in Cairo. For example, he declared, “I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.” Guantanamo Bay remains open, almost glaringly so. And while, torture has allegedly stopped being an officially sanctioned practice, summary executions and civilian casualties by drone strikes have dramatically increased in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and the Horn of Africa. The latter have led directly to animus towards Obama from within many Muslim countries.

Then there was the line in the speech about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements…The settlements must stop.” Of course, they did not. In fact, in February 2011 the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution that called on Israel to simply “cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian Territory.” Out of 15 countries on the Security Council, the U.S. was the lone dissent (and of course the fatal one). This is not to mention that the U.S. also stood against 95 percent of the world’s population in voting against recognizing Palestinian statehood at the United Nations General Assembly in November.

There were other elements of the ‘New Beginning’ that were promised, particularly around education and entrepreneurship. It is true that the U.S. has now (co-)organized three global entrepreneurship summits, in D.C., Istanbul, and Dubai, the latter being held in 2012. Yet, it is also clear that beyond the pomp of a summit, the once-robust programmatic initiatives that have come out have been weaker. Leadership changes within internal initiatives, as well as those with partners, have meant stalled if not stagnant programming. The idea of connecting entrepreneurs between the Muslim world and the West is a mutually beneficial and powerful concept, but it has not translated into the impact it should have by now. In the last summit in Dubai, it was as if the institutional memory from three years ago was lost, and everything was starting again.

All this being said, there still exists the perception that relations have improved between the U.S. and Muslim communities. However, since 2009 and Obama’s inauguration, positive views have been on a steady decline in Muslim countries, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project. In 2009, 33 percent of respondents held confidence in Obama; that number slipped to 24 percent in 2012. In 2009, 25 percent of respondents held a favorable view of the U.S.; that figure dropped to 15 percent in 2012. Finally, approval of Obama’s ‘international policies’ fell from 34 percent in 2009 to 15 percent in 2012. Without a substantive shift, these numbers will continue to decline, further cementing the reality that there never was a new beginning.

Can things be turned around, given the current state of affairs? It would be misleadingly Pollyannaish to think that President Obama could snap his fingers and magically change opinion towards him from Muslim countries. Moreover, there are certain political realities that will remain. The U.S. will continue to be an ally of Israel. The U.S. will continue to fight terrorism. And the U.S. will not be able to fund new Marshall plans in the Middle East for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, there is a lot that can and should be done.

At the outset, President Obama needs to re-launch a dialogue with the Muslim world. At the beginning of his first term he went to Cairo to give a speech. Perhaps he should go to Cairo in 2013 to have a conversation. In fact, since becoming president, Obama has visited only the country of his upbringing, Indonesia, apart from the initial trips to Saudi Arabia and Egypt (in addition to cloak-and-dagger visits to Afghanistan), within the Muslim world. Instead of distant speeches and dispatched drones, the Administration would be served by a President who is more engaged with his audience, through visits as well as frank and honest dialogue during those trips.

Although the U.S. will not reverse decades of support for Israel, it need not ally with the most extreme policies of the Israeli government. Continuing to be the lone voice at the United Nations and international community defending illegal Israeli practices is a sharp blow to many efforts of the Obama administration. There is no third-term, and the President should stop pandering to contrived political interests in Washington D.C. There are enough Jewish supporters, lobby groups, and intelligentsia, who would support a more moderate and principled set of policies towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Israel is, of course, not the only foreign policy issue that should be of concern. The U.S., while acting in its national interest, should remain consistent in its language and support for key principles of human rights. It is when it becomes caught in naked hypocrisy that support for the Administration falls, whether in Bahrain in 2011 or Egypt in 2012, and a range of countries, perhaps, in 2013.
Finally, initiatives that can make an impact on tackling the economic despair for young people, like the 100 million youth who will enter the labor market over the next decade in the Arab world, need to be prioritized. There needs to be sufficient attention and support for the global entrepreneurship program that can truly support the emerging and exciting entrepreneurial energy in places like Amman and Ramallah, Karachi and Kuala Lumpur. The U.S. has the best soft-power in this area, from the start-up scene in Silicon Valley to MIT Labs, yet it is hardly deployed, even though the White House calls entrepreneurship, “a critical pillar of U.S. global engagement.”

There is a tremendous opportunity in President Obama’s second term to catalytically shift relations with Muslim communities and turn potential adversaries into allies. If the status quo, however, is maintained in policy and practice, this opportunity will be lost.

This article originally appeared in the print edition of the Diplomatic Courier, in the January/February 2013 issue. It can be accessed online at: http://www.diplomaticourier.com/news/regions/middle-east/1315-on-day-one-a-new-new-beginning. 

          When did Canada go wrong on Israel/Palestine?        
A lot has been written in the subsequent weeks following Canada's strong stand and vote against Palestinian statehood at the United Nations. The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel, in an almost intrinsic and essentialist stance. It is a relationship that Harper has said he would defend at any cost:


Prožito v Ahsdodu v úterý 24. dubna 2017, psáno na Lužinách v pondělí 5. a v úterý 6. června 2017, 50 let po vypuknutí Å estidenní války,                                      

několik dní po dalším útoku islámistů proti Evropě, opět v Londýně, po kterém britští vojáci zvláštních jednotek bez milosti zabili ubohé atentátníky. Když se něco podobného stalo vloni v Izraeli, mohli se europejští obránci lidských práv teroristů, včetně předních světových médií, podělat vzteky kvůli "používání nepřiměřené síly" ze strany Izraelských obranných sil. Voják, mladý záklaďák, nakonec vyfásl rok a půl, za to, že zastřelil útočníka, když už ležel na zemi a měl na sobě jenom nějakou vestu... Tentokrát, když se řízlo do evropského masa, pak oprávněné odpravení tří mizerů, kteří byli ozbrojeni "pouze" noži – a vesty, které měli na sobě, byly (také) pouze falešné – vzbudilo zaslouženou pochvalu. Jsem zvědav, kdy si zblblí Europejci uvědomí, že Izrael je taky Evropa a začnou se k tomuto státu chovat stejně jako k Británii, Francii, Belgii nebo Německu!!!

***
Foto © Jana Rečková a © Jan Kovanic

Minulé díly vyprávění o letošní (i loňské) cestě do Izraele viz na blogu Šamanovo doupě, záložka Izrael. (Fotky jsou tam z nějakého technického důvodu podstatně ostřejší než na Psu! Při kliknutí na obrázek se onen rozbalí v původní velikosti.)

Cestopis Mír v Izraeli z Šamanových předcházejících tří cest po Izraeli seženete u knihkupců, na besedách s autogramem přímo od autora, anebo u vydavatele.
          Jak jsem zahynul u Dizengoffovy fontány        

(Přežít Izrael)

V 16:20 místního letního času udělal podvozek letadla Boeing 737 drnc, drnc, přistáli jsme na letišti Ben Guriona a jsme v Izraeli. Ještě tedy dobrzdit, a dorolovat na patřičné parkovací místo. A ještě tedy přetrpět frontu při výstupu z letadla.

Vystoupíme po schůdcích z letadla a jsme v Izraeli. Je přesně 16:35 místního času, doba, kdy jsme měli doletět. Ještě tedy nastoupit do přistaveného autobusu, které nás dopraví na Terminál 3, kde vystoupíme a jsme v Izraeli.


Ještě tedy vyzvednout si bágly. Cestou narazíme na hlouček cestujících, stojících před mobilní přepážkou. Chvíli stojíme, než se nás někdo zeptá a než nám řekne a než si to pak sami přečteme: Toto jest vyhraženo pro cestující, mířící v Izraeli dále letadlem. Pokračujeme tedy podle šipek a nakonec najdeme ten správný karusel a na něm jako poslední dva chcípáčky naše zavazadla. Vezmeme si je a kráčíme dále, stále dál, až dorazíme na známou svažující se rampu, která nás vede a pohyblivými chodníky nese až pod notoricky známé starověké mozaiky. "Vítejte" je pod nimi napsáno na prvním místě anglicky (tedy vlevo) a také na prvním místě hebrejsky (tedy vpravo). Podejdeme nápis a jsme v Izraeli.

Co je to však za přeplněnou nádražní halu před námi? Není to nádražní hala, avšak letištní hala, a ocitli jsme se před přepážkami celníků. Je tři čtvrti na pět. Stoupli jsme si samozřejmě do špatné fronty, milá neúprosná celnice před námi mile buzeruje nějakou Rusku. Po pouhých čtyřiceti minutách na nás přišla řada a byli jsme úspěšně odbyti. Dostali jsme namodralý listejček, vstupní turistické vízum, vypadli jsme z turniketu –

– a byli jsme v Izraeli!

Kontrolně se dívám, jestli nás náhodou někdo nevítá s cedulkou, na níž by bylo napsáno jméno hlavní řidičky, a konstatuji, že tomu tak není. Dalo se to čekat, i když jsem při sjednávání auta zaškrtl kolonku "uvítání na letišti". Ale ono ho není třeba, protože kanceláře půjčoven se nacházejí hned v patře nad výstupní halou. Najdeme svůj Hertz a ani se nemusíme řadit do fronty, milá paní úřednice nám otevírá další přepážku. Nevadí, že jdeme s mírným zpožděním, však vědí, že dorazíme – při vyplňování elektronického formuláře jsem vyplnil i kolonku "číslo letu". Vyřízení formalit se odbude nezvykle rychle. Půjčení jsem zařizoval přes Rentalcars.com a sjednal jsem "plnou ochranu". Totiž, když si půjčujete vůz, je v ceně zahrnuto i pojištění. Avšak vaše spoluúčast činí asi deset tisíc korun. Takže jsem zaškrtl "plnou ochranu". Trošku jsem pak znejistěl, když jsem viděl, že abych měl pojištěno 10 tisíc, bude nás to stát 2,5 tisíce. Přičemž za samotné auto jsme měli za deset dní zapraviti toliko asi 6 tisíc, včetně příplatku za druhého řidiče! Ale v připojištění jsou i takové poplatky, jako dopředu nevyčíslený poplatek za "nepojízdnost", za silniční asistenci, administrativní poplatky nečekaného rázu k nákladům čekaného rázu (ztráta klíče nebo zamknutí klíče v autě, například) a náklady na ztrátu puklic, uražení zrcátka či poškrábání karoserie, což se vám v Izraeli může přihodit celkem běžně. A hlavně – ty peníze ze mne vypustily stres z možných finančních i nefinančních následků. Přičemž onen stres by byl nákladnější než možné finanční škody…


Jana, jakožto držitelka kreditní karty ("hotovost a debetní karty nejsou akceptovány"), a tím pádem i hlavní řidič, podepsala asi tři různé papíry, dostali jsme klíče a informaci, kde najdeme auto, a už ve tři čtvrtě na šest jsme kráčeli ke svému vozu. Kráčeli, vezli se pojízdnými chodníky a kráčeli, až jsme dokráčeli a dovezli se ke garážovým stáním. A tady mne napadlo – jestlipak má Jana účet za půjčení auta? Vloni jsme tenhle papírek, tedy důležitý doklad, dostali už při půjčení vozu. A nyní si tu její kreditní kartu taky na chvíli převzali. Jana hledala a nenašla. Hnal jsem ji tedy zpátky, zatímco jsem vartoval u zavazadel. Po pěti minutách se Janinka vrátila. Vše v pořádku, nic jsme neplatili, platit budeme až při návratu. Ale nebylo to úplně přesné. Sumu za půjčení auta jí strhli (zadrželi a vyúčtovali) ve chvíli, kdy jsme si ho v Praze u počítače zamluvili, jak se pak ukázalo na výpisu z konta… Kdybychom nemohli dorazit, tak by si strhli jen tři dny. Ale dorazili jsme. Dokonce jsme našli i správné patro, tedy přízemí. Našli jsme i svoje nádherné bílé auto značky Hyundai. Nějak se stalo, že jsem si nezapsal jeho konkrétní model, ale možná jenom, že nebylo kde najít jeho označení. Podle pozdějšího hledání na fotkách šlo nejspíše o nějakou variantu typu i30.

A my přitom chtěli vůz Skoda Fabia. Ten se nám nabídl v nabídce jako základ, a skočil jsem po něm, protože ho mám doma. Dostali jsme "or similar", na první pohled luxusnější, a každopádně lepší vůz, než byl chudáček chcípáček chevroletek, co jsme měli vloni. Tehdy jsme si objednali auto ve druhé skupině z pěti. Letos jsem sahal do střední třídy, mezi "large cars" a vypadla stará známá škodověnka. Naší prioritou bylo, aby to mělo ruční řazení (nebyl čas se přeškolovat), aby to bylo na benzin a aby to mělo klimatizaci (jiná auta se v Izraeli ani nepůjčují). "Or similar" byl tentokrát ještě o další třídu lepší. Musím poznamenat, že šlo nejspíš o nějakou akci typu "14 dní v Izraeli", protože zatímco jsme za tenhle typ platili asi 600 Kč/den, tak vloni jsme za toho chudáčka, tedy auto o třídu níž, zaplatili 640 Kč/den. Ono asi záleží na půjčovně. Vloni jsme jeli se Sixtem, letos s Hertzem. A letos, konkrétně teď na konci května, chce za stejného Hyundaie jiná půjčovna dokonce 1700 Kč/den! A Hertz v této době půjčuje Fabii "or similar" za 830 Kč/den. Ano, záleží i na době. A jestli dostanete ten konkrétní typ, který vidíte v nabídce, nebo lepší, jako my letos, nebo horší, to nemůžete nijak ovlivnit a ani se dopředu jak dovědět. Takže letos jsme měli kliku, kterou jsme ocenili zejména za dlouhých přesunů po poušti Negev při naplno spuštěné klimatizaci a rychlosti 90 km/ hodinu (občas stovka na tachometru). Kupovali jsme jen dvě ne zcela plné nádrže, asi 70 litrů celkem, projeli přes tisíc kilometrů, průměrná spotřeba při naplno spuštěné klimatizaci vychází na asi 6,5 litru na sto kilometrů. Dobrý.

Auto se řídilo velice snadno, posilovače byly zřejmě posíleny. Jelo velice tiše, ve větší rychlosti reagovalo vstřícně, ale trošku byl problém do té větší rychlosti ho dostat, poněkud líné se mi zdálo. Rozjezd nebyl nijak razantní, i přechod z dvojky na trojku chtěl více plynu, než jsem zvyklý ze své Fabie. Mělo slabší motor (ale nejméně kolem 66 kW), než na co vypadalo. Při větší rychlosti nevím jak by reagovalo, protože vyšší rychlosti než 110 km/hod se v Izraeli nedá legálně dosíci. A to pouze na některých úsecích dálnic, zejména na placené šestce.

"Ty pořád brmláš. Bylo to skvělý auto pro ženy!" praví k tomu hlavní řidička.

Ale nejdříve jsme museli odjet z garážového stání, což se ukázalo být ne zcela jednoduché. K našemu překvapení nebylo auto zamčené, ačkoliv místo jeho parkování bylo otevřené, kryté jen seshora dalšími patry. Možná proto, že bylo na letištním parkovišti pod dohledem kamer, snad proto, že k odjezdu bylo potřeba dát správný čtyřmístný PIN. Stejně jsem zkontroloval, jestli máme pod podlahou zavazadlového prostoru náhradní kolo, hever a tak. Měli jsme. Tentokrát nebyl našemu nasedání ani přítomen půjčovní technik. Prostě jsme měli "plné krytí" a kdyby něco, platila by to pojišťovna.

Janinka navolila PIN (měli jsme ho napsaný na papírku s údaji od půjčovny) a vyrazila. Jenže nebylo patrno, kudy ven z parkoviště. Jana chtěla odbočit na přechodu pro chodce, to jsem jí jako navigátor rozmluvil. Až když jsme objížděli podruhé, a navíc se zeptali kolemjdoucího civila, bylo to jasné: Ta odbočka byla těsně za přechodem a, pravda, byla jinak velice nenápadná. To bylo poprvé, kdy jsem Janině instinktu nevěřil, bohužel nikoli naposledy.

Další překvapení nás čekalo ve formě závory přes cestu. Sice jsem měl hezkou aplikaci na Janině chytrouši, který jsem držel v ruce, nicméně na jeho mapě ta závora nebyla! Evidentně jsme se dostali k placenému parkovišti (nějaká doba je však vždy zdarma), a tak jsme si museli z automatu u závory vydojit lístek. Za závorou bylo nejen parkoviště, ale už se nad ním vznášely i cedule s navigací Tel Aviv/ Jeruzalém. Jeli jsme podle nich k dálnici číslo jedna, a po chvíli jsme dorazili k další závoře. Automat u ní jsme nakrmili lístkem, a závora se otevřela.

Hurá, teď jsme konečně skutečně v Izraeli!

Ještě se dostat do hotelu. Tentokrát nás aplikace vedla vzorně. Já Janě říkal, kde má odbočit (vpravo vpravo, vpravo a ještě vpravo na levý pruh, ano, jedeme na Tel Aviv, vlevo nejlépe na pravý pruh, už jsme na jedničce). Na správném místě jsme vyjeli z jedničky, pak však následoval mírný šok. Janinka zastavila na červenou, a to pod červenou. A pak se divila, že ostatní troubí. Protože ten semafor stál za křižovatkou, stála tedy v křižovatce. Naštěstí chodci byli rozumní a nechali nás přejet na červenou, když už jsme tam byli. Nejspíše je i varovala signálně žlutá plocha na bílém autě s černě napsaným jménem autopůjčovny. Ostatně stejnou chybu jsem o něco později udělal i já, když jsem se poprvé dostal k volantu. Ještě jedna zrada se nám kvůli světlům za křižovatkou stala. Odbočovali jsme vlevo na naši zelenou, a pak před sebou uviděli červenou – která ovšem patřila těm autům na příčné ulici za námi. To jsme se zbytečně polekali! A aby to bylo dokonalé, tak na mnoha místech jsou teď světla jak za křižovatkou, tak i před křižovatkou…

Ano, tak teď jsme skutečně v Izraeli.

Hotel jsme našli s jedinou ztracenou kytičkou. Džípíeska měla při vysokém rozlišení mírné zpoždění proti skutečnosti a já měl mírné zpoždění proti džípíesce. Takže jsme v Jaffě přejeli křižovatku, kde jsme se měli dáti vpravo. Místo abychom pokračovali dále a odbočili až na vzdálenějším kruháku, chtěl jsem se vrátit na naučenou trasu. Takže na nejbližší křížovatce, světelné jsem velel otočit (nebyl tam zákaz otáčení a pohodlně to šlo). Jenže na té minulé křižovatce byl zase zákaz odbočení vlevo. Tedy, on tam nebyl zákaz, jen tam nebyl odbočovací pruh. Šipky na našem levém pruhu tvrdily, že máme jet rovně. Tak jsme jeli rovně, na nejbližší křižovatce odbočili vlevo, avšak nebylo dosti místa na otočení. Tak jsme tedy vjeli do příhodného dvorka, kde jsme se otočili. Dvorek byl docela využívaný. Nu a teď tedy jsme na té správné křižovatce odbočili vpravo (když to z druhé strany nešlo doleva), a hned jsme tam na té Yerushalaim Ave u kraje chodníku spatřili místní policajty, jak kasírují chudáky, kteří neodbočili košer způsobem.

"Jako u nás!" splynulo z našich úst, poprvé, ale nikoli naposledy.

Pak už jsme jeli správně. Bohužel před naším hotelem na Allenby street číslo 6 nebylo žádné parkoviště, načež jsme zabočili za roh a našli před jednou sámoškou místečko pro mrzáčka. Nechali jsme za oknem Janinu invalidní průkazku, vytáhli základní kufry a šli k hotelu. V té části ulice mezi jednosměrnou ha-Yarkon St., po které jsme přijeli a zpětně jednosměrnou Retsiv Herbert Samuel St., kde jsme zaparkovali, je totiž asi tré hotelů, nic než hotely tu není. My hledali zamluvený hotel pod složitým názvem Liber Tel Aviv Sea Shore Suites (jak bylo psáno na rezervaci), avšak velký nápis LIBER byl schován v druhém patře až za balkónky, takže nebylo vidět nic než nápis Welcome. Nevěděli jsme, zda nemáme zapadnout do hotelu, označeném jako KABKA3 (Kavkaz v azbuce, pro mladou generaci), ale ne, byly to vedlejší dveře s nápisem HARMONY. Ale vevnitř byla správná Liber recepce! Navedlo nás orientační číslo domu, naštěstí.



Zanechal jsem tam Janu a šel stěhovat zbylá zavazadla. Ale neměl jsem klíče od auta, tak jsem se musel vrátit. Nejdřív jsem však přes pobřežní komunikaci udělal záchrannou fotku západu slunce. Za chvíli bude tma. Znovu jsem šel k autu, přinesl jsem zbylé kufry; Janinka zatím ty, co byly v recepci, odstěhovala společně s recepční do druhého patra do čísla sedm. Hledal jsem náš pokoj, ale mezi čísly 6 a 8 byly jenom dveře do skladu ložního prádla.

?

Až když jsem se otočil, spatřil jsem číslo 7 na dveřích nad bočními schůdky, svým položením trochu připomínajícími čtyřrozměrný neeuklidovský Penroseův trojúhelník, aneb tribar. Skvělé! Odložil jsem zbytek zavazadel a šel přeparkovat, protože paní recepční se moc netvářila na naše parkovací místo. Aby nás neodtáhli! To ještě nevěděla, že jsme auto vybavili mrzáčkovskou průkazkou. A to frekventované jediné místo pro invalidy jsem obsadil jen dočasně, kvůli vyložení bagáže. Chtěl jsem přeparkovat. A kdeže je to avizované hotelové parkoviště? Kvůli kterému jsem tenhle hotel vybral? Ale bylo to stejné, jako vloni v Tiberias. Pokud máte v nabídce uvedeno "parkování v místě, rezervace není nutná", tak si přečtěte samotnou rezervaci, kde se píše, že "veřejné parkování je možné za případný poplatek na přilehlém místě".

V okolí se naskýtalo hnedle několik veřejných parkovišť. Jedno, které jsem vybral na mapách.cz ještě doma, bylo bezobslužné, za závorou, pochopitelně. Když jsem studoval text v angličtině u automatu, přišla starší Američanka, tak jsem se jí zeptal, jak to tady chodí. Taky nevěděla, všelijak zkoušela, až nakonec se odněkud vynořil jarý mladík a pomohl jí. Dvě hodiny parkování jí přišlo na 45 šekelů.

E?

Vedlejší blok u našeho hotelu tvoří hotel Opera Tower. V jeho sklepeních je možno parkovati za 60 NIS/den, poradila nám paní recepční. A když máme průkaz pro handicapped poškozence, tak nás tam nechají zaparkovat zadarmo. Avšak parkování tam přišlo na 85 NIS/den. A nenechali nás tam zaparkovat zadarmo, to jistil pán v přilehlé budce.

E? Tři sta dvacet šekelů za noc pro dva lidi a osmdesát pět za jedno auto? To ono levné ubytování značně prodražuje. Naštěstí je za Opera Tower hezké místečko, které je vyhraženo pro pět aut s mezinárodním logem vozíčku, a tam prý můžeme parkovat s Janinou škartičkou zdarma, poradil jistící pán. Lekalo mě číslo "30" s jedním hebrejským znakem a piktogramová hrozba odtažení auta. Vyfotil jsem si tu značku a nechal ji přečíst paní recepční. Vysvětlila mi: Je to určeno pro pět aut hendikepovaných řidičů, a ten znak znamená "metry". Onen kus parkovací silnice je totiž dlouhý třicet metrů. A pak tam bylo ještě jedno mrzáčkovské parkovací místo, avšak značka pravila, že tam může v noční době až do sedmi ráno parkovat i nemrzáček. Příští den tam parkoval nemrzáček po sedmé hodině, avšak neodtáhli ho, jen mu zastrčili za stěrač pokutový lístek. Nás také neodtáhli, nikdy, a tak jsme kvůli Janině nemoci tentokráte v Izraeli značně ušetřili, a hlavně našli (téměř vždy) místo na parkování.

Pokud jste invalidé a máte invalidní Å¡kartičku pro auto, pak můžete rovněž uÅ¡etřit. Ačkoliv nemáte platnou izraelskou variantu. Často jsou různé slevy a výhody pouze pro "citizens", tedy izraelské občany, avÅ¡ak Å¡kartička, kde je mezinárodní logo, značka CZ a kruh evropských hvězd, je i zde brána vážně. Váš invalidní průkaz vám nepomůže, protože je psán jen česky a není vybaven fotkou. Zato pokud přijdete s automobilovou Å¡kartičkou, s jasným logem a vaším obrázkem  na druhé straně ke kase nějakého národního parku či koupaliÅ¡tě, dostanete slevu, kterou jinak mohou využít pouze domácí invalidé. (VětÅ¡inou poloviční.)

Avšak nejdříve jsem na ono vhodné místo musel přeparkovat. Přišel jsem k autu, a zjistil, že nemám klíče. Někde jsem je asi odložil nebo ztratil. Vrátil jsem se do mimoprostoru pokoje č. 7 a Janinka mi ho našla. Přišel jsem k autu, a zjistil jsem, že s sebou nemám Janinu invalidní škartičku. Vrátil jsem se tribarem do sedmičky, kterou jsem musel vždy znovu pracně hledat a Janinka mi onu škartičku vydala. Přišel jsem k autu, zadal PIN, otočil klíčem ve startéru, ale auto ani neškytlo. Šel jsem do sedmičky, vytáhl Janinku k autu – a jí krásně naskočilo! Zkusil jsem to já – nenastartoval jsem. A tak musela přeparkovat Janinka. Bylo to uvedeno v návodu, jak jsem si později přečetl, anglicky: U některých aut s manuálním řazením musíte po zadání PIN sešlápnout pedál. A to Jana dělá instinktivně, takže ji auto poslouchalo a mě ne.

Aby byly domy v pobřežních blocích mezi dvěma jednosměrkami dopravně obslužné, vedou kolem nich ještě další cestičky. Takže jsme vyjeli na jih, pak zabočili vlevo, na ha-Yarkon St., po které jsme předtím přijeli, pak hned vlevo na Allenby kolem našeho hotelu, pak na křižovatce před Retsiv Herbert Samuel St do zdánlivého protisměru, což jde, protože jste na té obslužné uličce, obkolesené parkovišti, pak ještě vpravo, pak zase vpravo, tedy do protisměru na přilehlé ha Yarkon, a jsme tady. Pěkná osmička, taková nekonečnová. A tak jsme nezahynuli při parkování

Je už tma, a my ještě z naplánovaného programu nic neviděli. Čeká nás návštěva sudové fontány na Dizengoffově náměstí. V nastalé tmě bude zase barevně svítit, točit se, budou z ní tryskat gejzíry vody, plamenů a kouře, a to vše za doprovodu případné hudby. Tak jako před třemi lety. To uvidíš, Janinko! Je to daleko jen asi kilometřík, však taky proto jsem tohle místo vybral. No a zpátky se pak budeme vracet po pláži. Anebo obráceně?

"Nejdříve pláž!" velí Jana, a tak znovu jdeme po Allenby Street a před Opera Tower, která svou pyramidovitostí vypadá, jako by ještě nebyla dostavěna (pocit nedostavěnosti umocňují jeřáby, které staví další přímořskou obludu ve vedlejším bloku) vyčkáme zelené, abychom mohli přejít k pobřežní promenádě. K moři už ne, protože pláž je písčitá a písek by nám vlezl do sandálů. Jdeme pomalu na sever, černé moře je čáráno bílými hřebeny vln, které vytrvale dorážejí na břeh a neustále vyrábějí pravidelný tlukot. Je půl deváté večer. Tak, konečně jsme v Izraeli!

Světla na pláži vykrajují ze tmy palmové hájky, opuštěné volejbalové sítě i tiché žlutě hranaté domky plavčíků. Jdeme kolem hospůdky s italskou kuchyní, avšak ceny nás nelákají. Na správném místě odbočíme a znovu překročíme pobřežní komunikaci na přechodu u London Garden. Po terasách vedou klikaté vzestupné uličky. Vidím, že ty betonové terasy mají ostrou příď jako nějaké lodě, zabořené do písku. Na jejích bocích je pak řada fotografií, které dosvědčují místní historii: Jde o památník ilegálním židovským přistěhovalcům, kteří dosáhli pobřeží tehdejší Palestiny na rybářských lodích.

Jdeme od moře k východu, na cestu nám svítí jasný Jupiter. Jediný noční nebeský objekt, který nám obloha, zakalená jemným pískem ve vzduchu, dokáže nabídnout. Měsíc je už skoro v novu, s ním se setkáme až později. Procházíme Bílou čtvrtí, kterou tvoří domy, postavené ve třicátých letech minulého století ve stylu Bauhausu. Jde o celkem asi 4.000 objektů, jejichž majitelé mají tu smůlu, že nezbohatnou prodejem nemovitostí, a jiní mají Å¡těstí, že neztratí svůj domov. Celá čtvrÅ¥ byla totiž v roce 2003 prohlášena  stavební rezervací a zanesena na seznanm Světového dědictví UNESCO. I když "klasický Bauhaus" byl poněkud zneÅ¡vařen. Stěny domů nejsou prolomeny velikými okny, to by v subtropickém podnebí s horkým sluncem nebylo vhodné. Střechy jsou pak zaplněny nebauhausovými konstrukcemi panelů na solární ohřev vody a bateriemi bíle natřených sudů na onu vodu. Pod okny se zase hranatí klimatizační jednotky. Ale co: Konstruktivismus byl přece nesen myÅ¡lenkou, že vÅ¡echny prvky domu mají sloužily pohodlí a potřebě jeho obyvatel. A mít chlad a teplou vodu, to se v Izraeli velice hodí.

Jdeme směrem na východ a dolů, ačkoliv bychom od moře snad měli stoupat. Ale to je dané tím, že Tel Aviv byl roku 1909 založen právě na duně. Na pahorku, na "jarním pahorku". Zastavujeme v jedné z mnoha malých sámošek a kupujeme si snídani. V našem hotelu se s ní totiž nepočítá. Ale my s tím počítáme a kupujeme si chleba, nějakou tvarohovou pomazánku a mléko do čaje a kafe. Máme totiž k dispozici varnou konvici a ledničku, jako v každém našem hotelovém bydlisku. Lednička se hodí, zejména když teplota stoupá nad 25°, což potřebné léky už nesnášejí. Ale teď je tak osmnáct.

Ulice, po které kráčíme, je zaplněna různými pohostinnými jídelnami a restauracemi. Nakonec si sedneme v jedné, kde po roce opět okusíme falafel. Do pity je nám samozřejmě krom oněch kuliček z cizrny naházeno vše, na co si ukážeme. Totiž různé saláty a přísady. Nemělo by to být moc "spice", ale trechu může. Jo, a nesmí v tom být "šum". "Blí šum", prosím, without garlic. Bez česneku. Jana je totiž alergická na česnek. No, o alergii v přesném slova smyslui nejde, je jí po něm jen hodně špatně. A stačí jen málo česneku. (A s tímhle hendikepem jede, chudák, do Izraele!) Jeden falafel stačí pro dva, Jana jí totiž jen malinko. I s pitím jsme platili asi 30 šekelů. Což je na večeři levné.

Posílíme se a poradíme se s džípíeskou, kde vlastně jsme. Ano, už jsme se dostali na ulici Krále Jiřího, takže odbočíme vlevo na sever a za chvilku už budeme na Dizengoffově náměstí a u těch krásných barevných sudů. Už bychom je měli vidět. Ale ne, ta barevná světla patří nějaké reklamě, a tady, na téměř kruhové placce mezi domy je jenom obrovské staveniště a křižovatka tří ulic. Aplikace na chytrouši umisťuje náš modrý bod přesně na Dizengoffovo náměstí.

Vylepšení fontány 2017
A kde je ta kašna? Voli ji vypili!!! Někdo vymyslel, že náměstí bude uvedeno do "původního stavu", tedy nikoli, že tam obnoví dunu, ale do stavu z roku 1934, aby se zvýšila jeho "oblíbenost". Mně se tedy líbilo, jak auta mizí pod povrch a na placce nad nimi je krásná pěší zóna. Naneštěstí ve výšce prvních pater, což se místním obyvatelům zřejmě nelíbilo. A co s tou fontánou Ja'akova Agama, z roku asi 1980? Ta prý bude přenesena na nějaké "jiné vhodné místo".

Poslyšte, dneska jsem měl dost perný den. A tohle mě dorazilo. První bod mého izraelského fahrplánu takhle ostudně zkrachoval. A jak moc jsem tu sudovou fontánu chtěl Janince ukázat! Už ji asi v chodu neuvidíme. Nemám ani sílu tu hrůzu pořádně vyfotit. Vyrobím jediný snímek a vleču se zpátky. Je mi do breku. Nepotěší mne ani stromořadí baobabů. Jen tichý soucit Janinky. Teď večer bych bez ní u neexistující fontány snad definitivně zahynul!

Avšak čekají nás ještě jiné body. Zítra jedeme do Ashdodu. Ale o tom až příště.

Vzpomínka na Purim 2014


Prožito v Tel Avivu v pondělí 24. dubna 2017, psáno na Lužinách v pondělí 22. května 2017. Ve středu budeme slavit Den Jeruzaléma!

Další snímky fontány z roku 2014 na fotogalerii ke kapitole Mír večerního Tel Avivu

A tady pokus o video:



Minulé díly vyprávění o letošní (i loňské) cestě do Izraele viz na blogu Šamanovo doupě, záložka Izrael. (Fotky jsou tam z nějakého technického důvodu podstatně ostřejší než na Psu! Při kliknutí na obrázek se onen rozbalí v původní velikosti.)

Cestopis Mír v Izraeli z Šamanových předcházejících tří cest po Izraeli seženete u knihkupců, na besedách s autogramem přímo od autora, anebo u vydavatele.
          Přes přepážky ku hvězdám        

(Jak jsme nezahynuli při letu do Izraele)

Předzvěstí naší letošní cesty do Izraele se stalo už nakupování nové mapy a nového bedekru. Léta jsem si vystačil s průvodcem Jeruzalém a Svatá země z dílny Dorling Kindersley, který v češtině vydal Ikar. Jenže ta léta – Ikar dílko vydal v roce 2005, originál vyšel v Londýně už roku 2000, tedy na závěr minulého tisíciletí. A ten Jeruzalém – skvělý, ale právěže hlavně Jeruzalém a Svatá země jen poměrně stručně. Takže jsem zabrousil po webu a na radu zkušeného cestovatele si vybral titul Izrael a palestinská území od lonely planet.


Do specializované prodejny map a bedekrů jsem se dostal až ve čtvrtek před pondělním odletem, v den, který jsem měl v nabitém harmonogramu vyčleněn pro mimopartnerské aktivity typu nakupování deviz a odlehčovací návštěva hospody. (V ní se scházívá poslední věrná hrstka scifistů z bujařejších dob, kdy U Kruhu čepovala dokonce i desítku ještě jeho původní posádka.) Mapu Holy Land • Israel • Palestine od freytaga & berndta v měřítku 1:150 000 jsem vytáhl z příslušného fochu hned. Ale ždaný bedekr byl jen v angličtině, až po chvíli pátrání v zásuvkách mi ho milý pan prodavač podal. Nakoukl jsem do toho průvodce, uzřel pěknou mapku Chrámové hory, a spolehnuv se na doporučení z internetu jsem knížku položil na pult u pokladny hned vedle vybrané mapy. Pan prodavač mi obě tiskoviny vsunul do papírového pytlíku s logem prodejny, já zaplatil, strčil pytlík do batohu a odešel upustit páru do hospody.

Skutečně upustit, protože páry se nahromadilo velmi. Už bylo vše zařízeno, fahrplán naplánován, hotely a auto zamluveny, letenky zakoupeny, kufry půjčeny, internetové mapy díky Janinu synkovi Jirkovi do jejího chytrouše zavedeny mého synka Janka půjčena nabíječka chytrouše do auta, taktéž letecké kufry – tímto děkuji našim dítkám; každé z nich nám nějak pomohlo s přípravou. Zbývalo jen zabalit a několik dalších drobností. Páru upustiv jsem se spokojeně vracel metrem domů. Z batohu jsem si vytáhl svůj nový bedekr a jal se v něm listovat. Po zkonzumovaných dvou jedenáctkách jsem však našel jen stručný výtah v němčině. Raději jsem si vytáhl sudoku. Do podrobného listování jsem se dal až doma. A zjistil, že text v němčině není stručným výtahem, avšak celým obsahem knihy. Šloť o cyklistického průvodce po Severním Porýní-Vestfálsku! Kterého si zjevně pořizoval ten pán u pokladny přede mnou! Také jemu byl nákup strčen do neprůhledného papírového pytlíku. Tak tedy nevím, jak panu cyklistovi pomohla knížka o Izraeli a palestinských územích k cestování po svaté zemi Severního Porýní-Vestfálska, mě byly německé cyklistické mapy k ničemu. Jakž takž jsem se smířil s představou, že budu muset zítra vypýtvat nějaký čas k nové návštěvě vnitřní Prahy, avšak drobný problém nastal tím, že jsem nebyl schopen nalézti onen papírový pytlík, ve kterém jsem měl účet! A že jsem tomu věnoval dosti času. Kolem druhé hodiny po půlnoci jsem ho konečně našel zastlán v posteli.

A účet v něm nebyl.

Účet byl v oné cyklistické knížce.

Další den proběhlo vrácení nechtěné publikace a dokup ždané publikace. Ovšem byla mi nakonec téměř k ničemu. Varovat mne měl už její název (…a palestinská území). Je to psáno nesionisticky, tedy objektivně. Avšak v tomto případě je "objektivita" neobjektivitou. Velmi mi například nevoní lživý výraz "izraelská okupace". Oceňuji rady pro "Bezpečné cestování po Západním břehu Jordánu", které nabádají nechodit do utečeneckých táborů (které tam nejsou – jsou to vesnice a města) bez průvodce. Ano, rovněž nechoďte jako turisté do míst, kde probíhají demonstrace a už vůbec při nich nefoťte. Avšak postřeh, že "podle tradice arabské pohostinnosti jsou Palestinci k turistům vstřícní, turisté jsou jsou často předmětem zvědavosti, ale skoro neuslyšíte, že by se nějaký návštěvník Západního břehu setkal s nepřátelstvím" bledne před faktem, že právě čtrnáct dní před pořízením onoho dílka, 14. dubna, na Velký Pátek 2017, ubodal jistý palestinský Arab v jeruzalémské tramvaji u Damašské brány ("Západní břeh"!) pětadvacetiletou britskou turistku, dále zranil těhotnou ženu a staršího muže. Onen vrah byl už v roce 2011 souzen za sexuální napadení své dcery a byl to úředně uznaný magor. Nu, totéž se vám ovšem může stát i na pražském Karláku. Avšak ona zmiňovaná palestinská "zvědavost" může být někdy dotěrností, zejména ze strany jejich dítek. (O smradu v arabských čtvrtích se pak nedočtete v žádném bedekru.) Leč doporučovaná návštěva u palestinských dobrosrdečných chudáků se stejně nekonala, protože autopůjčovna Hertz výslovně zakazuje návštěvu oněch "území". Nežeby vás tam vojáci nepustili, pouze by vám neplatila pojistka. A to ani na případně rozbité okno, čehož se je možno u auta se žlutou izraelskou značkou, zaparkovaného na území, jež ovládá palestinská samospráva, občas nadíti. Pokud v tom autě zrovna nesedíte a nejedete, jde přitom jen o škodu majetkovou, jinak i na zdraví. Na nepojištěném zdraví!

Velkolom Čertovy schody u Berouna
Z neznámého důvodu se nám pak například tvrdí, že 1. máj jest i v Izraeli Svátkem práce a státním svátkem. Konstatuji, že tomu tak není. S problematikou hlavního města země se publikace vyrovnala neutrálním konstatováním, že "Jeruzalém za své hlavní město považují jak Izraelci, tak Palestinci". Když odhlédnu od jistého drobného odéru pseudokorektonosti, je kniha plna užitečných údajů, včetně aktuálních informacích o cenách a otvíracích dobách památek. Co mě ale vysloveně štve, je absolutně debilní rejstřík, jehož vinou v něm nenajdu hledanou informaci, i když vím, že tam někde na těch 440 stránkách je. Třeba ta o 1. máji. Není v kapitole "užitečné informace", nenašel jsem ji v oddíle "Jak porozumět" ani v sekci "Praktické informace A-Z". Hlavní sekce "Na cestě" je na ořízce sice rozdělena do pěti hlavních regionů, avšak v rejstříku je například region Jeruzalém uveden toliko pod jedním odkazem, za nímž následuje asi 40 hesel, mezi nimiž dominuje nicneříkající heslo "zajímavosti". Mapy jsou celkem dobré, ovšem problém je v tom, že zatímco v mapě jsou třeba "zajímavosti" označeny a očíslovány, a v přiloženém rejstříku pak k číslům přiřazeny jejich názvy, pak odstavce příslušných legend očíslovány nejsou, a dokonce nejsou sestaveny ani podle abecedy, takže jsou takřka nedohledatelné. (Možná chyba při překladu. Zlatý Dorling Kindersley, jehož první dvě stránky hned po Obsahu vám na obrázcích pro blbce vysvětlí "Jak používat průvodce".

Co se koupené téměř turistické mapy v měřítku 1:150 000 tejče, tak ta je sice svým voskovým papírem odolná, avšak tak neskladná a obrovitá (i když je na ní štíhlý Izrael rozdělený na dvě části na líci a rubu), že jsem ji vytáhl jen jednou, když jsem chtěl Janince předvést, jak dlouhá cesta nás čeká přes Negevskou poušť. Rozložil jsem ji k tomu účelu na hotelové posteli. Dobrá na plánování, nevhodná do terénu. Vloni jsem navigoval podle báječné papírově papírové mapy z Izraelského národního fondu (KKL - JNF), která při svém měřítku 1:235.000 slouží jako slušná automapa. Nu letos jsme měli hned dvě mapové aplikace do chytrého mobilu, a v hotelu jsem mohl ladit plány i na Janině noťasu na dvou mapách. (Ve všech hotelích fungovala zdarmá wifina, i uprostřed Negevské pouště.) Na mapách Googlu jsem si našel potřebné (nepřehledně světlešedé na tmavě šedém, avšak v angličtině a latince), a pak si to vyhledal na webu mapy.cz (barevné, čtivé, přehledné – avšak názvy většinou jen v hebrejštině).

Hebrejština je cizí jazyk v cizím písmu, ale oba jmenované bedekry mají minislovníček užitečných výrazů a důležité slovní obraty. Ty mají tu nevýhodu, že pokud se některý z nich naučíte, pak vám domorodec nejspíše odpoví hebrejsky, protože si myslí, že umíte, a vy neumíte. V těchto frázích svou neužitečností a stupiditou kraluje hebrejská otázka "Mluvíte anglicky?". Protože co uděláte, když vám oslovený odvětí "ken" (ano)??? I kdybyste uměli jazyk a neznali písmo, tak je vám tato znalost většinou na nic. Naštěstí většina potřebných informací (krom jízdních řádů a informací na informačních panelech nad dálnicí) je uvedena i v nezbytné domácí arabštině a hlavně mezinárodní angličtině (občas i ruštině, která je lidem mé generace srozumitelná a čitelná).

Vrátím se ještě k devizám. Nechali jsme jejich nákup na co nejpozdější dobu v očekávání dalšího růstu koruny, který se dostavil po uvolnění kursu ze strany ČNB. V ten čtvrtek 20. 4. jsem byl poněkud zklamán, protože jakkoli koruna k euru o něco stoupla, střed dolaru zůstal na loňských $1/25Kč. Protože euro za ten rok zase ztratilo vůči dolaru! A tak střed (nového izraelského) šekelu zůstal na nechutných asi 1 NIS/ 6,8 Kč. Už dříve jsme si koupili aspoň stovku šekelů u arabského penězoměnce v obchodním centru Letňany, nikde jinde se v Praze nenabízejí. Ovšem Arab měl nekřesťanské ceny, prodal nám stovku šekelů za 750 Kč, zatímco je vykupuje kus za 5,50. Pořídili jsme si dolary celkem za asi 5.000 Kč, a k tomu nám ještě Janina maminka poslala stovku eur (za jedno byly 4 šekely). Má moderní dítka ohrnují nosy nad placení "kešem", avšak v některých hospodách a na tržištích jinak platit nelze. Chtěli jsme během těch dvou týdnů hýřit! (A hýřili jsme.)

Balkánské Karpaty
Nu dobrá. Janinka si ještě v pátek střihla předsunutou kapačku k posílení kostí a přes víkend jsme už jen balili, dobalovali a přebalovali. Do letadla El Al (vlastně její levné faktické divize UP) si můžete vzíti jedno palubní zavazadlo o váze 8 kg (u jiných aerolinek jen 5 kg – krom British Airways, kde je váha nezajímá, jen rozměry), placené podpalubní (zapsané) zavazadlo může mít až 23 kg. Boeing 737 to uveze. Izraelský letecký dopravce ví, že do země se prakticky nedá dostat jinak než letadlem (nebo pomalým trajektem z Kypru), takže když si chce někdo něco (zejména elektrické a elektronické výrobky) dovézt (třeba z Německa), tak nemá jinou možnost, než tam letět. A zpátky. S tím, kdo mu dovolí co nejtěžší zavazadlo… Pro úsporu peněz (zapsané zavazadlo zvedne cenu letenky o desítky procent) jsme volili jenom jeden kufr. A v něm váhově dominovaly mé potápěčské ploutve. (Nehodlal jsem si je půjčovat, zejména když napoprvé ty půjčené měly zlomený list.) Stejně se do leteckého kufru, poskytnutém na cestu dcerkou Terkou vešlo jen něco přes 20 kilo. Zmíněnou rezervu jsme hodlali při návratu zaplnit izraelským vínem, jednou či dvěma lahvemi.

A je tu pondělí 24. dubna, přesně v pravý čas zvoní synek Janek, který nás doveze na ruzyňské letiště Václava Havla. Z Lužin je to autem po městském okruhu jen dvacet minut. Protože nám letadlo odlétá v 11:40 deklarovaného místního času, je třeba býti na místě v 8:40. Alespoň dvě a půl hodiny doporučuje dopravce, alespoň tři hodiny předem doporučuju já a další cestovky. Odbaveni nebudete, pokud dorazíte až hodinu a půl před odletem, či snad ještě později. Naloďování nám bylo slíbeno už na desátou hodinu, čili hodinu čtyřicet minut před odletem. Takže pravý čas zní 8:15. Pročež jsme museli vstát v šest třicet (někteří nás již v rorátní čas šesti ráno). Než jsme vyšli, než jsme vložili kufry do kufru auta, než jsme se prodrali ranní špičkou (z Prahy to jde mnohem lépe), než jsme se vybatolili z vozu, než jsme obešli stavební plot u Terminálu 1 a než jsme vstoupili do letištní budovy, bylo 8:45. A odbavování již započalo.

Turecké skleníky
Bez ztráty květinky jsme prošli první bezpečnostní kontrolou, již pro El Al/UP zabezpečuje soukromá bezpečnostní služba. Pak jsme již přistoupili k pultíku s letenkami. A u této přepážky se nám do cesty postavila první závažnější překážka.

Letos jsme k nákupu elektronických letenek použili služby mezinárodní společnosti se sídlem v Brně. Jásavý rozhovor s jejím zakladatelem, majitelem a manažerem jsem si přečetl v jednom z programových magazinů, a odkaz na Kiwi.com jsem si zapsal do svého plánovacího deníčku. Když bylo potřeba, užil jsem jeho služeb. A užil jsem, i když toho nebylo potřeba. Totiž původně to vypadalo, že bude nutno vrátit se v sobotu, a to izraelské letecké služby nepremávajú, majíce Å¡abat. Létají vÅ¡ak třeba SmartWings. No a Kiwi.com  umí zkombinovat různé letecké společnosti a i různé slevové nabídky v různých termínech. Také vám nabídne odlet třeba z Wroclavi nebo Frankfurtu, když to bude levnější. Jenže pak se ukázalo, že se můžeme vracet v neděli, a tak jsem (kvůli váze zavazadel, jak uvedeno výše) volil jednu společnost, nakonec tedy UP. A protože jsme nechtěli letět ani z Wroclavi ani z Vídně, tak jsem přeprodávající slevovku ani nepotřeboval. Ale už jsem tam měl proÅ¡lápnutou cestičku, takže jsem u ní zůstal. Ačkoliv by bylo pohodlnější objednávat rovnou u El Al. Například proto, že pak bychom si mohli připlatit za preferovaná sedadla, což přes Kiwi.com neÅ¡lo.

"Korálové moře"
Také některé informace na elektronické letence nebyly správné. Zatímco UP dovoluje oněch 23 kg, Kiwi.com tvrdila, že smíme mít jen kufr do 20 kg. Ačkoliv Kiwi.com tvrdila, že odbavení je možné pouze na letišti s elektronickou letenkou, a že tento let "není zůsobilý" pro online odbavení, tento let byl k tomu způsobilý. Ačkoliv Kiwi.com tvrdila, že odbavení nebude zpoplatněno, zpoplatněno by bylo – kdybych si ho den předem neprovedl u domácího počítače. (Jde to i u pevného počítače na letišti – když u něj není fronta. U El Al/UP to lze učiniti toliko v době 24 - 3 hodiny před odletem). Ačkoliv Kiwi.com důrazně doporučila být na letišti alespoň dvě hodinmy předem, El Al důrazně doporučuje tam být předem alespoň dvě a půl hodiny. Fakt je, že Kiwi.com nakonec uvádí: "Všechny služby, poskytnuté přepravcem El Al Israel Airlines podléhají jejich vlastním Obchodním podmínkám. Více informací naleznete na webových stránkách příslušné aerolinky." Což jsem učinil a zařídil se podle toho. Ovšem je třeba říci, že tyto konkrétní informace, uváděné na Kiwi.com se pak jeví býti pouze nezávazným žvástem.

Jako nezávazný žvást se ukázalo i to, že máme zaplacené zapsané zavazadlo. Přepážka El Al/UP to tak neviděla. Pokusil jsem se zavolat na brněnskou pevnou linku společnosti Kiwi.com pro cestující v nouzi. Po čase mi milý ženský hlas oznámil, že budu přepojen na anglicky hovořícího mluvčího. Hovorové telefonické angličtiny (bez rukou, nohou, a strkání papírku před oči) jsme však v nastalém stresu nebyli mocni. A hlavně tento rozhovor by neřešil problém, protože podle letecké společnosti jsme prostě neměli zaplaceno odbavené zavazadlo a bylo nutno konat okamžitě. Byli jsme proto nuceni na místě znovu zaplatit zvýšenou sazbu $80 za ono zavazadlo směrem do Tel Avivu. Zaměstnanci El Al/UP nám sdělili, že ani pro zpáteční let není v letence zahrnuta platba za odbavené zavazadlo a na místě vyřídili i zaplacení odbaveného zavazadla pro zpáteční cestu ve výši $45, a skutečně, na zpáteční cestě jsme už neměli žádné problémy.

Zaplatit jsme museli prostě na fleku. Osmdesát dolarů místo pětačtyřiceti proto, že se jednalo o expresní příplatek. Potřebovali jsme zavazadlo, potřebovali jsme letět tímhle letem, protože na něj navazovalo už zamluvené auto a už nezrušitelný hotel a hlavně náš pobyt v Izraeli, který jsme si hodlali užít.

Severní pláže Tel Avivu
Ani jsem moc nevnímal přechod přes celnici, hlavně když ten se odehrával pouhým přiložením té tlusté stránky v pasu na čtecí přístroj a vyčkáním, až nás snímací kamera sejme, než nás pustí do dalšího prostoru. JeÅ¡tě na sedátku před boardingem jsem se snažil skrzevá Janin notebook a nečekaně pomalou letiÅ¡tní wifinu spojit se s Kiwi.com. Na jejích stránkách jsem nenaÅ¡el e-mailovou adresu, tak jsem zaslal mail na adresu, ze které mi přiÅ¡ly elektronické letenky. Ukázalo se, že to je jen pouhý automat, jenž mi vÅ¡ak poskytl odkaz na elektronický formulář – který jsem nevyplnil. Protože teď už nebylo třeba spěchat. Krom toho již započal boarding, a z dřívějších zkuÅ¡eností jsem věděl, že jest nutno být na palubě co nejdříve, aby bylo možno do nadhlavního prostoru vsunout palubní zavazadlo. Nakonec jen jedno ze dvou, protože paní u přepážky nás poprosila, jestli bychom si nenechali  ten můj osmikilový rozměrný (avÅ¡ak regule 56 x 45 x 25 cm splňující) vak nakonec převážet v podpalubí. "Jsme plní", pravila ta dobrá duÅ¡e. A když je letadlo plné, tak se vÅ¡echna legální palubní zavazadla na palubu prostě nevejdou. Když tak pod nohy, které i tak není skoro kam dát. Nebyl jsem proti, a tak jsem na palubu vezl Janino palubní zavazadlo (koupeno pro cestu do Barcelony, přesné rozměry, avÅ¡ak váha 2,5 samotného báglu, což při 5 kg do Katalánska povoleného limitu značně omezuje jeho použitelnost jinam než do Izraele nebo s BA na uložení kapesníčků a kalhotek) a přes rameno nesl její noÅ¥as (povoleno, buď počítač nebo pánská kabeka). Janinka tedy vlekla toliko svou "maminčinu kabelku". (Výraz podle muninů, jejichž maminka na výletě z ní vždy vytáhla potřebné, aÅ¥ už to bylo piknikové nádobí, stan, deka, spacáky nebo značné množství jídla. "Myslela jsem, že by se to mohlo hodit," prohlásila pak vždy.) Nu a já jsem v mnoha kapsičkách své vesty převážel nezbytnosti typu dvou foťáčků, náhradních baterek do nich, láhve s tonikem a vodou, koupené v letiÅ¡tním bezcelním předraženém shopu a dalekohled, abych byl stručný.

Izraelské lesy
Starosti s reklamací jsem hodil za hlavu, a začal jsem ji řešit až po návratu. Až jsme vybalili, vyprali a trochu se usebrali. Tentokrát bylo na mne mluveno v telefonu česky a vlídně, a i dotazník jsem dle návodu vyplnil a přiložil fotky dokladů o zaplacení, načež mi Kiwi.com potvrdila, že se reklamací bude zabývati a do třiceti dnů dostanu vícenáklady proplaceny. (Až se tak stane, budu referovati.) Ačkoliv ze strany Kiwi.com nedošlo k žádnému pochybení, jak byli mile pravili. Stejně jako to mile pravili u přepážky El Al. Snad si to obě společnosti spolu nějak vyříkají. A "nastaví procesy". Zejména kvůli nestresování svých budoucích zákazníků!

Oddechl jsem si, až když jsem z okénka letadla viděl, jak se naše zavazadla posunují po pásovém dopravníku do útrob stroje. Ani mi nevadilo nezbytné plačící batole (tentokrát dvě) a mimino, které však v klidu spalo. V patřičný čas se náš stroj dopohyboval až k hraně startovací dráhy. Janinka měla naštěstí místo u okénka a okénko kus za křídlem. Takže mohla obdivovat, jak piloti zkoušejí všechna ta křidýlka, klapky a sloty. Čtyři minuty po letním poledni jsme se rozjeli. Jana se trochu bála, že spadneme, ale uklidnil jsem ji tím, že jsem ji vzal za ruce a řekl:

"Až budeme padat, tak si už nebudeme muset dělat žádné starosti."

Ale nespadli jsme. Za stálého stoupání jsme překřížili Berounku, po náklonu k jihovýchodu zase meandry Slapské (asi) přehrady. V dáli jsme patřili na nízký pás mraků, což se později ukázalo býti hřebeny Alp (seděli jsme na pravé straně). A koukal jsem na chladicí věže Temelína a lesy Vysočiny, a pak jsem poznal řeku Moravu a byli jsme v cizině. Ještěže jsem měl s sebou dalekohled! No dobře, kukátko. Pomalu (relativně) pod námi proplouvala planeta Země, a my se dostali už někam na Balkán, ze kterého se k nám vzpínaly místní Karpaty černobíle šrafované sněhem (na jižní straně už bez).

Klesání přes Šestku
Na okraji moře, někde snad v Turecku, mě překvapily lány lesknoucích se ploch, možná skleníků či fotovoltaických elektráren. Ještě jsem zahlédl (kukátkem) osamělou kontejnerovou loď, pak už nastoupily deskovité mraky, které skryly výhled. Vypadaly jako hladina nad korálovým útesem, kdyby byli koráli bílí. Po další hodince změnily motory zvuk, začali jsme klesat. Vlny se zvětšují, najednou se zjeví zubatá linie místní mořské pláže. Prolétáme spodní patro mraků, za nimiž se skrývá daleké a stále ještě hluboké panoráma tel-avivských mrakodrapů na pozadí stříbrně se lesknoucího moře. (To vše je možno zahlédnout z okénka i ze druhého sedadla. A na chvíli jsem se i přitiskl k opěrátku, aby měla výhled i paní na třetím sedadle, tedy u chodbičky.)

Zdálky jsme přeletěli Tel Aviv, svištíme si to nad předměstími aglomerace. Pravé okénko se zvedá téměř kolmo vzhůru, když se zase narovná do horizontály, vidíme pod sebou izraelské lesy i arabskou poušť "Západního břehu". Sloty a brzdicí klapky předvádějí složitou konstrukci křídla, klesáme, klesáme, zpomalujeme. Země pod námi je v nadmořské výšce asi 400 metrů, sleduji stín, jak po ní klouzá, nepříjemně blízko. Pak však pahorky izraelské padají dolů a máme dost prostoru na přistání. Přelétáme severojižní dálnici číslo 6, mihneme se kolem natláskaných domečků s červenou střechou, kde si asi stěžují na randál z letiště (které tu bylo dříve, než to tu developeři zastavěli) a už drc, drc!, dosedli jsme. Motory dují zpětným chodem, brzdy pracují, seč mohou.

Panoráma tel-avivských mrakodrapů na pozadí stříbrně se lesknoucího moře.
 A už stojíme a jsme tady. V Izraeli. A ani jsme nezahynuli! A ty hvězdy? Zatím jen jedna, ta Davidova. Další čtyři (z pěti dle hodnocení na www.booking.com) nás čekají v naÅ¡em prvním hotelu. Ale o tom až příště.

Prožito v Praze ve dnech 20. - 24. dubna 2017 a na palubě letu LY2522, psáno na Lužinách v úterý 16. května 2017.
          Příští rok v Jeruzalémě!        

(Izrael na vlastní kůži)

Je neděle 2. dubna 2016, 13:27, před hotelem zastavuje náš bílý taxík. Nakládám bagáž do kufru auta, zatímco ze stanu u domku, kde včera probíhala svatba, vycházejí černé ženy v bílém. Jestli falašky nebo koptky? Nevím. Myslíme, že něco vidíme, ale vlastně nevíme. V Izraeli snad ještě více než kde jinde.





Janinka nasedá vedle řidiče, aby měla výhled. Vyjíždíme na ulici Tak Nevím, a pak už nevím. Jedeme kolem Mea Šearim, pak zabočujeme, jedeme, zabočujeme, a asi jsme zase u Mea Šearim z jiné strany, protože chodníky zaplavují muži v černých kabátech a černých kloboucích. Asi jedeme k dálnici číslo 1, nejkratšímu a nejrychlejšímu spojení k Tel Avivu. Usuzuji tak podle toho, že projíždíme kolem vysokého svahu, proměněného do strmých kamenných a zděných teras, který si pamatuju odpředminule. Anebo pletu odminule. Všude kolem se staví. Jeruzalém je množstvím oddělených kopečků celý boulovatý. Ten starý i ten nový. I ten, který ještě není, tedy krajina, do níž se město dále rozrůstá. Nízké terasové domky jsou střídány obrovitou betonovou terasou, na níž vyrůstají šestipatrové terasovité činžáky. A všude se nad krajinou vznášejí stavební jeřáby. Snímám poslední pohledy na Jeruzalém skrz zavřená okénka, snímky jsou poněkud rozostřené, některé až atmosférické, ale plním si tak svůj obrazový zápisníček. Pokouším se na zadním sedadle poradit se s kompasem, ale ten mě už jednou uprostřed plechové karoserie zklamal. Ale asi k jedničce nakonec nejedeme, na to až příliš dlouho podjíždíme různé mosty a přejíždíme jiné mosty.

Škoda. Chtěl jsem Janince ukázat onu cestu, ale hlavně kaňon, kterým vede. Jde o jakousi místní variantu pražského Prokopského údolí. Dno tohoto údolí je místy široké právě na silnici a nic jiného. Tudy vedla v roce 1948 životodárná cesta, kterou Židé dopravovali do obleženého Jeruzaléma potraviny, léky a další základní životní potřeby. Tedy ještě v době britského protektorátu, milé děti, kdy už Arabové praktikovali otevřenou válku proti zemi, která ještě nevznikla. Jeruzalém byl tehdy obležen za setrvalého nezájmu britských "ochránců" i mezinárodního společenství. Arabští teroristé dokonce vyhodili do vzduchu vodovod, kterým se z přímořské roviny čerpala do města voda. Jeruzalémské Židy tehdy zachránily od smrtí žízní biblické podzemní prameny, štoly a rybníky. Potraviny se pak vozily autobusy tímto asi tři kilometry dlouhým údolím. Protože po nich Arabové stříleli, byly boky autobusů vyztuženy ocelovými pláty, což je však omezovalo v rychlosti. Z vysokých svahů se pak těžké a pomalé autobusy dalo pohodlně střílet – a občas stačilo jen shodit lavinu kamenů. Vesničané nahoře na pláni, když slyšeli střelbu, popadli svoji flintu a běželi si taky zastřílet na Židy. Plochy na krajích silnice i mezi jízdními pruhy jsou dodnes posety vraky vypálených a rozstřílených aut.

No a pak Britové odešli, na nový stát Izrael se vrhly všechny okolní státy, i s posilami armád z dalších arabských zemí, jenže válku za nezávislost, území a život vyhrál Izrael. Ještě před jejím vypuknutím vyzvali agresoři místní arabské obyvatelstvo, aby opustilo místo budoucích vítězných bitev. Arabové si vzali jen klíče od domů ( věděli, že se jejich sousedé do domků nebudou vlamovat násilím?) – a už se nevrátili, zůstaly jim jen ty klíče, které dodnes ve svých rodinách plačky a nenávistně schraňují. Opuštěné vesnice byly posléze vyklučeny a místo nich teď roste les. Museli odsud odejít i ti, kteří snad nestříleli, a kteří nevyslyšeli výzev arabských bratrů. Hodně to připomíná osud odsunutých sudetských Němců. Až na jednu drobnost: Ti, kteří odešli do okolních zemí (aby z nich pak v utečeneckých táborech Arabové vyrobili nový národ "Palestinců"), dostali možnost, aby se vrátili domů. Zpátky do svých vesnic. Byli k tomu izraelskou vládou vyzýváni!!! (Což se úporně zamlčuje.) Většinou ale neposlechli, nechtěli žít pod židovskou vládou. Tedy vládou státu, který byl deklarován jako "židovský", ale který dodnes zabezpečuje demokratický a důstojný život desítkám národností a náboženství. Po určité době tato nabídka samozřejmě vypršela, a budoucí Palestinci zůstali žít na územích, okupovaných Jordánci (dnešní "Západní břeh") a Egypťany (Gaza). Tato území plánovaného palestinského státu byla cizími státy rovněž okupována za neuvěřitelného nezájmu světového společenství, které se vzbudilo, až když Izrael tato území – osvobodil!

Stíny ukazují na sever, nepojedeme tedy po Jedničce, ale po regionální "zelené" komunikaci 404 s parametry dálnice směrem k Ramalláhu, což je severní dnes už předměstí Jeruzaléma a fakticky hlavní město palestinské autonomie. Vjíždíme do novodobého kaňonu, který není tvořen přírodními svahy. Z obou stran dálnici obklopují vysoké zdi, místy ozdobené válcovitými strážními věžemi. Obranné zařízení proti místním obyvatelům, kteří věrni tradicím občas házeli na projíždějící auta kameny. Už nestřílejí, ale kámen, který prorazí čelní sklo v devadesátikilometrové rychlosti, dokáže udělat ještě větší škodu. Proto je také házení kameny po autech v Izraeli bráno jako teroristický útok. Ukazuje se, že jedinou lidskou ochranou proti nenávisti je oddělit sebe od těch, jejichž oficiální ideologií je vás vyvraždit, vysokou chráněnou zdí. Ano, samozřejmě, že obecně jsem proti "oddělujícím zdem", avšak jde o to, co se odděluje od čeho. A tady se odděluje smrt od života.

Odbočujeme vlevo k západu. Ploty zprůhledňují, místo betonu jen drát. Za nimi vidím tří až pětipatrové arabské domy, semtam minaret. Také tady se vypínají jeřáby, i zde se staví. A ne jen paneláky, ale i napapané vily arabských boháčů s docela slušnou, až neokonstruktivistickou architekturou, žádné "arabské baroko", jak to Jana nazvala při jednom z našich zdejších výletů.

V dohledu je další betonová zeď, která končí strážní věží, avšak nepokračuje dále. Divné. Ukazuju ji Janě, když vtom se se svou poznámkou do naší diskuse vmísí dosud mlčenlivý řidič: "Prison". Jo aha, vězení. Také důvod, proč zcela nezavrhovat zdi…

Před námi se kolmo přes jízdní dráhu natahuje střecha, pod ní se ke každému jízdnímu pruhu tulí krabicovité kukaně. Nikoli checkpoint, avšak budky, u nichž se vybírá mýtné. Anebo automaticky vyfotí značka vašeho auta, a strhnout vám to rovnou z účtu, takže se nezdržujeme. Vjíždíme na několikakilometrový placený úsek dálnice (červená "major road") číslo 45. Na západě se kvůli virválu o okupaci "Západního břehu" už asi prodlužovat nebude – a na východě ze stejného důvodu už asi taky ne (ledaže by si ji postavili palestinští Arabové sami, což zjevně nehrozí). Jedeme kamenitou krajinou, poházenou zelenými keři, ze které občas vyrůstají stromy a jinde arabské domy. Klasická kamenitá poušť bez hájů, polí a olivových sadů. Po dalších osmi minutách dorážíme k výjezdnímu checpointu. Za ním se krajina výrazně mění. Objevují se zde lesy, mezi nimi louky. Ony se zde nějak samy od sebe "neobjevily", jak už jsem psal, jejich existence je dána desetiletími péče izraelského národa.Po osmi minutách přijíždíme k dalšímu checkpointu. Dale k západu pokračujeme po zelené silnici č. 443. Ve své knížce Mír v Izraeli jsem o této komunikaci napsal:


»Řekl bych, že tak 70 % problémů palestinských Arabů je zaviněno nečinností, neschopností a korupcí jejich samosprávy, 25 % pak teroristickou činností palestinských Arabů, a z toho plynoucí ochrany izraelského obyvatelstva. Zbylých 5 % jsou pak záležitosti, které by se jim ze strany izraelského státu díti neměly. Do těch pěti procent zahrnuji dřívější zákaz používat rychlostní silnici 443 palestinskými Araby. Ten zákaz uplatnila izraelská armáda v roce 2002 poté, co zde proběhlo několik smrtelných teroristických útoků. No, a ten zákaz postihl vinné i nevinné (Nepatří tenhle případ náhodou do oněch 25 %?) Místo aby do Ramalláhu, centra palestinské samosprávy, cestovali místní obyvatelé 15 minut, prodloužila se jim pouť na hodinu. Proto se několik palestinských rodin obrátilo na izraelský soud. Těch rodin, které dříve hospodařily na pozemcích, po kterých ta silnice vede. Nu a Nejvyšší soud jim dal za pravdu: Armáda dle něj nemá právo vyčlenit silnici pro výhradně izraelský provoz. Izraelské obranné síly zabezpečily onu silnici jinak: Na silnicích z palestinských osad vystavěly checkpointy. To zase urazilo některé Palestince (ne všechny), takže ti uražení raději do Ramalláhu jezdí tu hodinu, ale výhradně po samosprávných územích.«

Už jsme klesli z osmiset jeruzalémských metrů nad Středozemním mořem na vrstevnici 400 metrů, a klesáme dále k pobřežní planině. Zaléhá mi v uších, špatně slyším, kýchám. Rýma se přestěhovala od Janinky ke mě. Možná ještě rýma z klimatizace v letadle…

Klesání končí, i lesy, objevují se pole. Krajině však vévodí dopravní stavby. Vpravo se klene most vysokorychlostní železnice Tel Aviv - Modi'in, která už dlouho měla vést touto severní cestou údolím Ajalon až do Jeruzaléma. Čemuž zatím úspěšně brání bojkot ze strany Evropy – protože by vedla "Západním okupovaným břehem". Že by železnicí mohli cestovat i obyvatelé onoho "Břehu", europané netuší. Ostatně stejný bojkot postihl i firmy, které se odvážily té drzosti, že vybudovaly v Jeruzalémě trať "lehkého vlaku" (městské tramvaje), jediného dopravního prostředku, kde se běžně setkávají obyvatelé "obou Jeruzalémů" (a občas ti východní zabodávají ty západní, nejlépe těhotné ženy a staré lidi, případně i ďaurské turisty, naposledy na tento velikonoční Velký pátek).

Kdyby ta trať už stála, mohli jsme jet na letiště vlakem. Ostatně to bychom mohli i teď, ale museli bychom se nejdříve dopravit na jeruzalémské nádraží poblíž biblické ZOO, a po hodině a půl přestoupit v Tel Avivu, přičemž tu je jasné nebezpečí, že bychom zabloudili a jeli opačným směrem. Stálo by nás to jen 23 šekelíků, ale i značné nervy a riziko, že nám uletí letadlo. Takhle si sedíme v taxíku, jehož řidič obratně odbočuje na mezi- a úrovňových křižovatkách. Na jedné z těch úrovňových stojíme na červené v několika pruzích. Vedle nás také bílá taxikářská oktávka. Řidiči spouští okénka a než padne žlutá, vyměňují si hlasité monology. Podle řeči se zdá, že náš řidič je Arab, možná Drúz, možná beduín. Izraelský Arab. Ten, který nemusí žít za zdí. Ten, který své cestující nezabíjí, protože jede slušně a dle předpisů.

Taxík včas odbočí z čtyřistatřiačtyřicítky, neodbočí na čtyřistačtyřiačtyřicítku, podjede pod ní, podjede pd šestkou – a už je na jedničce. Alespoň na chvíli, než po přejetí čtyřicítky správně odbočí na pevnost Ben Gurion. Vlastně na letiště, ale chráněné letiště. Přejedeme téměř suché vyschlé koryto potoka, které působí (a nejspíš i funguje) trochu jako dávné vodní příkopy, a už přijíždíme k moderním hradbám, tedy plotu. "Barrier ahead" varuje bílý nápis na zelené dopravní ceduli. Výstraha ani není nutná, fronta aut mluví jasně. Přesněji tři fronty, protože ke zdejšímu checkpointu míří hned tři pruhy. Ještě přesněji čtyři fronty, protože vlevo za plnou čárou nás předjíždí v pruhu, vyhraženém pro protisměr, další auta. Taxík by měl mít, jak si myslím, vyhrazen pravý pruh, podobně jako autobusy, a měl by mít přednost, ne? Jenže taxíky se tlačí na všech čtyřech frontách. Ten náš se probojuje ze třetí do první, načež s velkou míroch chucpe zpátky do druhé. Ušetřili jsme možná tři minuty. Tohle bych si s půjčeným autem nedovolil! Zpětně si blahopřeju, že jsme svého chevroletka vrátili už v břiše Mamilly.

Bezpečačka v neprůstřelné vestě prohodí pár sloz se svým evidentně dobře známým taxikářem, načež jsme vpuštěni do pevnosti. Kdyby takováto opatření byla zavedena na evropských letištích, nemuselo dojít k masakru na bruselském Zaventem. Všichni evropští bezpečáci strašně důležitě kontrolují uvnitř letištních budov, zda si nevezete pinzetu nebo pastu na zuby v balení 120 miligramů, či více než jednu zápalku na osobu – a zatím se venku štosují "měkké cíle".

Vlastně je to teprve jedenáct dnů, které uplynuly od demonstrace islámského násilí v Bruselu, ve stejný den, kdy jsme odlétali z Havla letiště v Ruzyni . Zdá se, že i na zdejším letišti došlo k dalším bezpečnostním protiopatřením. Je možné, že mezi ně patří i to, že k odletu se máme dostavit k terminálu číslo 1, který je využíván pro vnitrostátní lety, a ne k mezinárodní trojce, jako zatím vždy.

"Opravdu k terminálu jedna?" ptá se nás kontrolně řidič, ačkoliv jsme mu tu informaci sdělili už v Jeruzalémě. Opravdu k jedničce. Takže k jedničce. Vyložíme se, poděkujeme a zapravíme domluvených 300 šekelů. Je 14:30 izraelského letního času. Cesta trvala hodinu a tři minuty. Máme půlhodinovou rezervu. Naložím bagáž na vozík a vcházíme do pro mne nečekaných prostor. Nečekané také je, že nás tady nikdo neobtěžuje nějakými zvláštními prohlídkami. Tak ano, musím odpovědět na mnohé očekávané otázky (balili jste si zavazadlo sami?, přijali jste balík od někoho jiného?), palubní zavazadla prolezou skenovacím tunelem, procházíme pípací branou. (Nepískám – včas jsem si sundal pásek. Jana píská, samozřejmě, pásek si nesundala…) Ale zavazadlo podpalubní mizí do logistického procesu, z něhož na konci, tedy v Praze u vydávacího karuselu, opět vypadne. Pověstné zdržovačky se nekonají, však také se už objevují oficiální informace El-Al, že stačí nastoupit k odbavení dvě a půl hodiny před odletem. Jenže my jsme odbaveni neuvěřitelně rychle, za pouhou půlhodinu. V roce 2006 jsem napočítal celkem devět kontrol různého druhu, a trvaly dvě hodiny, tentokrát je to značně jednodušší. (Možná jsem už cizinec s nebezpečím 1 na pětibodové stupnici?)

Kufry odevzdány, u okýnka letecké společnosti jsme odbaveni, směřujeme dle šipek ke gate. Jenže žádný gate jsme nenašli. Jen čekárnu, ze které vedou dveře přímo na letištní polochu. Zamčené dveře. Vyčkáváme budoucích událostí, zatím se rozhlížím po pusté letištní ploše. Nejsme tu sami, a máme čas, takže nepropadám panice. Po deseti minutách přijíždí dva nízké letištní autobusy. Dveře na plochu se otevírají, sestupujeme po schodišti na plac a zase vystupujeme do busu. A vyjíždíme. Kolem letadel místní společnosti Arkia, která odtud létají po celém Izraeli (odtud můžete letět nejdále do Ejlatu). Kolem tanků s palivem, zapuštěných do země. Kolem otevřených přístřešků s technickým vybavením. Míjíme mohutnou betonovou zeď, hradby, chránící letiště od pěších teroristů. Před raketovými útoky z Gazy i odjinud je letiště chráněno systémem Železná kopule, který nevidíme. Vidíme různé věže i věžičky, konečně si mohu slušně a zblízka sejmout novou věž letového řízení, připomínající štíhlou chladicí věž elektrárny. Po asi sedmi minutách vystupujeme u terminálu číslo 3.

Konečně mi to docvakne: Kdyby se přes předletištní kontrolu dostala nějaká bomba až na terminál, pak by její možná exploze ohrozila jen místní lety, nikoli důležité mezinárodní. Důležité – protože Izraelci mohou za hranice cestovat prakticky jen odtud.


Lehce projdeme přes pasovou kontrolu, protože tentokrát jsem si důležitý namodralý papírek s nápisy jako "Stay Permit", "Border Control" či "Keep attached to your travel document until exit from Israel" (tříměsíční turistické vízum, které je vám při příletu zdarma vystaveno) pečlivě připravil do pasu. Po překonání této bariéry nejdeme známou trasou, avšak stoupáme po stejné cestě, jakou jsme sem při příletu klesali. Hnedle jsme v kruhové čekací hale, odkud se nám otevírají vstupy do tří gates (A, B, C). Je půl čtvrté, letadlo letí až 17:55, boarding bude tak o půlhodinu dříve. Máme najednou dvě hodiny času!

Alespoň jsme si našli stolek k sezení hned u báječné středové fontány, která svými výtrysky nekropí okolí. Fontánka stříká proměnlivě, občas purpurově, občas vůbec ne. Jak den postupuje, začíná jí prosvítat šikmé odpolední slunce. Mrzí mě, že nemohu Janince ukázat padající vodu, která se do kruhového bazénu fontány snášívávala dříve z okraje střešní skleněné kopule. Hlavně pro přilétající turisty avizovala, že tato pouštní země je dbalá toho, aby v pravý čas a na pravém místě vytryskla ze skály voda. Asi tudy zatékala i dešťovka, takže umělý dešťopád je zcela zatemován, a tady už nezmoknete.

Je čas se poněkud zasytiti, neboÅ¥ předraženou nabídku v zdánlivě levném letadle nehodláme akceptovat. Máme k tomu účelu zásoby pořízené na Jafské třídě v Jeruzalémě. AvÅ¡ak alespoň akceptujeme místní předraženou nápojovou nabídku. Stoupnu si do přísluÅ¡né fronty u stánku firmy ilan's house of coffe. Rukama nohama ukážu, co chci. Už nemám Å¡ekely, nechci utrácet dolary (za silně nevhodný kurz 4 místo 3,8 za Å¡ekel), naÅ¡těstí mám kreditní kartu. Za čaj s mlékem dám 14 NIS, za kafe 18. JeÅ¡tě dražší než v Praze. Koláčky, které jsme koupili v jeruzalémě za 15 tady stojí 25. AvÅ¡ak bez DPH, aneb VAT.  


Vracím se s nápoji. Popíjení a rozhlížení je příjemné. Janinka pak vyráží obhlédnout místní krámy s nadějnými názvy jako Diesel či Lacoste, já si otevírám zápisník, do nějž si zapisuju poslední poznámky. Popsal jsem už všechny čtverečkované stránky, zbývá už jen několik posledních bílých. Zatímco jsem v Izraeli ztracené nohavice, foťák i tenhle zápisníček nakonec vždy našel či mi byly vráceny, tentokrát nechávám na stolku svou propisku. Někam se mi ukryla. Není divu, měl jsem ji ještě od organizace Hidden Child, jejíž členkou byla má milá žena Ivanka.

Janinka se vrací už po půlhodince. (Naštěstí jsem ji tady neztratil, i když i to se mi v Izraeli několikrát stalo, i když jen na minutu, když se zapomněla u nějakého krámu.) Nemají tady nic jiného než v Praze, jen dražší. Jedině snad prádlo firmy Jack Kuba doma nesežene.

Čas uplynul, naloďujeme se. Pilot se jmenuje Vogel, což zní nadějně. První pohyb zaznamenávám v 17:49. Zastavujeme. V 17:54 začínáme pojíždět. Pojíždění nepřestává, mění se bez zastavení v rozjezd. Hup, a už rychle stoupáme vstříc zapadajícímu slunci. Jak je patrno, když vystoupáme z mlžných mraků. Na moři se otevírá zlatá stezka, jak na konci amerického filmu.


Letí s námi výprava pravděpodobně ragbistů, podle jejich vysokých postav a svalnatých nohou, které vykukují z trenýrkových kraťasů a končí v kristuskách naboso. Musí se na sedadlo nějak vejít, raději však korzují v uličce. Klimatizace je nastavena na pro ně příjemných 20 stupnů. Paní vedle mne si luští sudoku, tedy hebrejské sudoku. To bych možná zvládl i já. Opět mi rýmově zaléhají uši. Nezchvátilo mě koupání v Kineretu při 22 stupních ani koupání ve Středozemním moři při 18 (voda asi 16), avšak – průvan z koupelny při jednom našem ubytování. Tlumené zvuky z okolí působí poněkud odcizeně.

Ptal se mne ten pan kontrolor na letišti Václava Havla, když jsme odlétali, jestli zase napíšu o téhle cestě knihu. Vlastně jsem napsal, má 63 kapitol, a právě jste ji dočetli. Avšak nebudu ji vydávat knižně. Nevyráběl jsem tyto své texty s myšlenkou vydat je jako knihu. A nehodlám do ní vkládat své vlastní prostředky. Inu, přiznávám, podílel jsem se asi polovinou potřebné částky na tom, aby kniha Mír v Izraeli mohla mít barevné fotky. Což už nehodlám činiti – zejména proto, že vydavatel dlouhodobě otálí s vyplácením honorářů. Avšak pokud by někoho mé texty nadchly natolik, že by byl ochotný věnovat příslušný peníz, nebudu se cukat, i když by to byla zase ohromná práce dát těm mým rozevlátým textům pevnější formu.

Loňská návštěva Izrale na vlastní kůži byla jiná, než když jsem se vezl s cestovkou. Ono je vždycky všechno jinak, mudruju. Vlastně – jindy je něco jinak…

Na skle okénka letadla se objevují střepinky bílé námrazy. Psal jsem zpočátku do záhlaví tohoto písání poznatek z mé teorie, vlastně praxe her:

"Některé hry se dají vyhrát jen tak, když člověk udělá nevědomou chybu."

Ale ono je to tak, že většinu her prohrajete, i když žádnou chybu neuděláte. Výlet do Izraele jsme si udělali mezi třetí a čtvrtou Janinou chemoterapií. Ta čtvrtá se nakonec nepovedla. Naštěstí před loňskými Vánocemi, když už mou neregistrovanou partnerku poslali domů umřít, se z nebe snesla pátá chemoterapie. Zahraniční studie, takže na tu nemusí zdravotní pojišťovna dávat peníze. Svinstva v krvi stále mírně klesají, i když stále mírně žerou kosti, avšak krvinka posiluje! Možná se ještě do Izraele vrátíme. Abych ukázal Janince jih, poušť Negev, kráter Machteš Ramon, Šalamounovy sloupy, Ejlat a Masadu. A samozřejmě znovu Jeruzalém.

Takže – příští rok v Jeruzalémě!


Anebo ještě letos…

Prožito v Izraeli v neděli 2. dubna 2016, psáno v Praze na Lužinách v úterý 18. dubna 2017

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Foto © Jan Kovanic, dneska Jana vůbec nefotila.

(Fotografie přímo na blogu autora jsou kvůli použitému rozlišení podstatně ostřejší než na Psu. A při kliknutí na obrázek se onen rozbalí v původní velikosti.)
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Minulý příspěvek: Loučení s Jeruzalémem
Předminulý příspěvek: Cesta za vůní pomerančových květů

Všechny dosud napsané díly vyprávění o letošní cestě do Izraele viz na blogu Šamanovo doupě, záložka Izrael.
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Cestopis Mír v Izraeli z Šamanových předcházejících tří cest po Izraeli seženete u knihkupců, na besedách s autogramem přímo od autora, anebo u vydavatele.

Kompletní fotogalerie (2006, 2008, 2014): mir-v-izraeli.blogspot.cz
          MOBY DICK: Veselé Velikonoce        

Frustrovaní radikálové, dobří muslimové, dočasné používání, jaderný pohled, kvalita venezuelské gumy a duševně vyšinutí prezidenti

Sobota 8. dubna 2017


Nezachycený důstojník Scotland Yardu vysvětlil možný důvod radikalizace řidiče z Westminsterského mostu: Frustrovala ho pravicová propaganda, vyčítající machometánům, že vraždí bezvěrce.
"No oni židi Hitlera nejspíš taky hodně frustrovali..." (Žena Moby Dicka)



Frustrát zabil na místě tři lidi, než byl neutralizován, další dva zemřeli v nemocnici. S následky zranění se potýkají desítky lidí. Policie neobjevila žádné důkazy o propojení útočníka s Islámským státem nebo jinou teroristickou organizací, takže možná ani nebyl terorista.
"Jenom muslim." (Žena Moby Dicka)
"Špatný muslim." (Syrská Želva)
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V noci našli norští policisté v centru Osla zařízení "podobné bombě". Následně ho řízeně odpálili. Byl zatčen podezřelý Rus.
"Spíše »člověk podobný Rusovi«." (Moby Dick)
"No, on Rusům právě moc podobný nebyl. Měl jen ruský pas." (Žena Moby Dicka)

Podezřelému je sedmnáct a žádal v Norsku o azyl. Tisková zpráva hovoří, že patřil ke kruhům "extrémního islamismu" v zemi. Zpravodajské služby o něm "věděly".
"Šlo jen o chlapecký nerozum." (Aase Karine Sigmond, obhájkyně hocha)
Clapec popírá, že by spáchal něco nezákonného – a "distancoval se od džihádistické organizace Islámský stát".

"Takže by ho měli pustit?" (Moby Dick)
"Ne, eliminovat." (Mrtvá Kočka)
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Včera útočil jiný špatný muslim ve Stokholmu.
"Stejnej Rus jako ten dnešní." (Mrtvá Kočka)

Také on byl zpravodajským službám "znám". A protože nedostal azyl, byl posléze na podzim loňského roku – slušně požádán, ať je tak laskav a do půlky prosince dobrovolně opustí Švédsko.
"Avšak on byl nelaskav." (Moby Dick)
"Ale co jsme mohli dělat?" (Švédské bezpečnostní složky pro agenturu Muška na Zdi)
"Svoji práci." (Mrtvá Kočka)

Uzbecká policie mezitím oznámila, že na onoho "Rusa" vydala už v únoru mezinárodní zatykač kvůli podezření z náboženského extremismu, za což mu doma hrozilo až 20 let vězení.
"A proč toho frustráta švédská policie nezatkla? Když ještě měli od Uzbeků další echo o jeho terorismu?" (Moby Dick)
"Kvůli svobodě slova a náboženské svobodě." (Žena Moby Dicka)
"Kvůli svobodě vraždit jinověrce." (Mrtvá Kočka)
"A špatnověrce." (Syrská Želva)
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Letadlová loď Carl Vinson se svým doprovodem nepojede ze Singapuru na přátelskou návštěvu Austrálie, jak bylo původně plánováno, avšak do vod "severního Pacifiku".
"Na pracovní návštěvu." (Mrtvá Kočka)

"USA jsou vysoce znepokojeny pokroky KLDR ve vývoji balistických raket. Myslím, že se (s Čínou) shodujeme na tom, jak je situace nebezpečná. A myslím, že i Čína začíná chápat, jakou hrozbu to představuje i pro její zájmy." (US ministr obrany Tillersonaurus Rex pro televizi CBS)
"Pokud porušujete mezinárodní dohody, nedodržujete závazky a stáváte se pro ostatní hrozbou, je pravděpodobné, že v určité chvíli přijde odpověď." (US ministr obrany Tillersonaurus Rex pro televizi ABC)
"Mluvil jste teď o Sýrii, nebo o Severní Koreji, pane ministře?" (Dotaz agentury Muška na Zdi)
"Koho svrbí, ať se škrábe." (T. Rex pro MnZ)
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Ve Venezuele vrcholí týden demonstrací "opozice" proti bolíprezidentovi Mikuláši Magorovi. Policie proti ní nasadila obrněné vozy a slzný plyn.
"Proč ty uvozovky?" (Žena Moby Dicka)

Protože "opozice" před více než rokem vyhrála volby a má většinu v parlamentu. Tu opozice většinou nemívá. Magoro však jmenoval takový Nejvyšší soud, který parlament před 14 dny postavil pod správu vládních úřadů.

Opozice také obvykle nemá guvernéra distriktu hlavního města. Vůdce této "opozice", guvernér Henrique Capriles, hodlal kandidovat v blížících se prezidentských volbách. Ovšem vláda mu prý zakázala ucházet se 15 let o veřejné funkce, včetně funkce prezidentské. Capriles totiž "podněcuje násilnosti", tedy protivládní demonstrace.

Jo, ve Venezuele jmenuje vládu prezident bez ohledu na parlament.
"Nejen ve Venezuele, že, Mlhošu?" (Mrtvá Kočka)

Neděle 9. dubna 2017
Květnou nedělí začíná křesťanský pašiový týden.
"Paschiový." Žena Moby Dicka)

Kostely v egyptské Tantě a Alexandrii napadli radikálové. Při útocích bylo zabito nejméně 45 lidí, dalších 100 bylo zraněno. Radikálové mají důvod nemít rádi kopty: ti totiž v roce 2013 pomáhali svrhnout pana prezidenta Mohameda Mursího. Útoky na jiné křesťany než kopty se prý v Egyptě stávají velmi zřídka.

"Takže jiní křesťané mohou zůstat klidní." (Mrtvá Kočka)
"Papež Franta Jednička klidný zůstal. Do Egypta na konci dubna stejně pojede." (Moby Dick)

Franta při svém kázání vyjádřil hlubokou soustrast patriarchovi Tavardosovi II., koptské církvi a "celému drahému egyptskému národu". Modlí se za mrtvé a zraněné při útoku a prosí Boha, aby změnil srdce těch, kdo šíří teror, násilí a smrt.
"To nebude fungovat. Modlí se k jinému Bohu než teroristé." (Žena Moby Dicka)

"Radikálové" byli totiž muslimové, pokud to již čtenář neví.
"Špatní muslimové." (Syrská Želva)
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Turci hlasovali o nové samoděržavé ústavě, která by vrátila Turecko do osmanských dob. Svůj hlas odevzdalo 1,3 milionu Turků ze tří milionů oprávněných voličů.

"Tak málo Turků?" (Moby Dick)
"Tak moc Turků v Německu." (Žena Moby Dicka)

Očekává se, že němečtí Turci budou hlasovat tak fifty-fifty. Ovšem jejich hlasy budou sečteny až příští týden, po skončení referenda v Turecku.

"A kde budou sečteny?" (Moby Dick)
"No v Turecku!" (Žena Moby Dicka)
"Takže už víme, jak to dopadne…" (Mrtvá Kočka)
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Prezident Ruské federace Vladimir V. Putin zatelefonoval prezidentu Íránské islámské republiky Hasanu Rouháními, aby spolu projednali nepřípustnost agresivních akcí USA proti suverénnímu státu a narušení norem mezinárodního práva.

Pondělí 10. dubna 2017
Začíná osmidenní židovský svátek Pesach

Hladový venezuelský lid vychází do ulic. Už ne pouze inteligence a střední stav, ale i chudí. Ti, kteří dříve děkovali Chávezovi, později Magorovi za to, že dostali drobky z toho, co socialismus ukradl  a rozkradl. Už není z čeho krást. A miliardové dolarové půjčky od Ruské federace venezuelÅ¡tí soudruzi použili na nákup zbraní z Ruské federace…
"A teď se jim hodí." (Mrtvá Kočka)
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"Není tajemstvím, že v letech Vietnamské války hlavní část boje s americkým letectvem na sobě neslo místní dělostřelectvo s podporou sovětských instruktorů a vojenských specialistů. Nikdo nám nebrání cvičit syrské vojáky v práci s našimi moderními systémy protivzdušné obrany, a potom tuto techniku předat Ozbrojeným silám Syrské arabské republiky na dočasné používání. Takovým způsobem Syřané sami dokáží ochránit své strategicky důležité objekty bez přímé účasti našich střelců." (Hlavní redaktor ruského časopisu Národní obrana Igor Korotčenko pro RIA Novosti)

Připomeňme zde, že krom sovětských a ruských raket mohou Syřané využívat i přítomnosti Revolučních gard z Íránu, jehož rakety byly vyvinuty za pomoci severokorejských specialistů. Kruh se uzavírá. Vlastně ne kruh. Ani osa. Už před třemi lety to kolega Šaman napsal:

"Osvědčená kliková hřídel zla se otáčí – od Číny, přes Rusko, Írán, až po bolívarské režimy Jižní Ameriky."

Třetí světová válka už dávno propukla.

Úterý 11. dubna 2017

Sedm špatných muslimů připravovalo další atentát na egyptské křesťany. Pardon – kopty. Egyptští policajti je dopadli a v přestřelce zabili.
"Dobří muslimové!" (Syrská Želva)
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Úderná skupina lodí Carl Vinson se blíží ke korejským břehům.

"Naše silná revoluční armáda bedlivě sleduje každý krok nepřátelských elementů a náš jaderný pohled je zaměřen nejen na invazní základny USA v Jižní Koreji a na jeviště pacifických operací, ale také na americkou pevninu." (Rodong Sinmun, aneb Dělnické noviny, tiskový orgán ÚV Dělnické strany Koreje, hádejte které)

"Severní Korea si koleduje o nepříjemnosti. Bude skvělé, jestli se Čína rozhodne pomoci. Jestli ne, tak my vyřešíme problém bez nich!" (Tvít US prezidenta Kačera Donalda Trumpa)
"Prezidenti by neměli tvítovat." (Žena Moby Dicka)
"Ani jejich mluvčí." (Mrtvá Kočka)
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Demonstrace ve venezuelském městě Barquisimeto skončila střelbou gumovými projektily, po níž zemřeli dva demonstranti (32 a 36 let). Jednomu z nich gumové projektily prostřelily plíce a játra.

"Gumové projektily prostřelily plíce a játra???" (Žena Moby Dicka)
"To neznáš kvalitu venezuelské gumy!" (Mrtvá Kočka)

Středa 12. dubna 2017
Světový den kosmonautiky

Marek Dalík propuštěn z vězení po zásahu Nejvyššího soudu. Už po sedmi a půl měsících po nástupu do vězení. Nikdo neví proč ho pustili – ani pravomocně odsouzený zlobbista. Nicméně z vězení odjel svým SUV Volvem, které si sám řídil.
"Asi ho měl v šatní skříňce." (Moby Dick)

Marek byl sice pravomocně odsouzen ke čtyřletému vězení a zaplacení čtyř milionů korun kvůli svému působení při nákupu obrněných vozů Pandur, při kterém si prokazatelně (dvě nezávislé výpovědi hodnověrných svědků a zachycený Dalíkův mail) řekl celkem o asi půl miliardy korun, avšak nižší soudy se nemohly shodnout na tom, jestli to byl úplatek anebo podvod. Takže tady je jasná pochybnost.

"Zas ta trapná nejistota!" (Moby Dick)
"Spíš trapná jistota." (Mrtvá Kočka)
"Zdá se, že u nás je rozhodující právo zloděje krást." (Žena Moby Dicka)
"Musel jsem! Abych měl na úplatky Nejvyšším." (Marek Dalík podle agentury Muška na Zdi)

"Byl to jen podvod. Pan Dalík nemohl mít na rozhodnutí o nákupu obrněnců žádný vliv." (Nezachycený obhájce pana Dalíka)
"Ale kurňa, že mohl!" (Mirek Topolánek)

O případu při rychlosti české justice a při jejím rozvrkočeném stavu nejspíš rozhodne skutečně až ten soud Nejvyšší!!!
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Právě před týdnem jsme psali, že Rusko a Čína zase určitě zvetí rezoluci Rady bezpečnosti OSN, která by odsuzovala chemický útok v Sýrii z minulého týdne a požadovala jeho přísné vyšetření. No, tak nakonec stačilo Rusko. Rusům vadil požadavek na syrskou vládu – aby s mezinárodními vyšetřovateli plně spolupracovala!

???

"Tohle je moment pravdy." (Generální tajemník OSN António Guterres před týdnem)
"Možná nevíme, co je pravda, ale prokázalo se, kdo je tady lhář." (Žena Moby Dicka)

"Kolik rezolucí RB k Sýrii vlastně už Larvov zvetil?" (Moby Dick)
"Všechny." (Mrtvá Kočka)

US prezident Kačer Donald Trump se tentokrát zase jednou projevil jako roztomilý popleta, když pochválil Čínu, že se zdržela hlasování.
"Bylo to úžasné. Takovým hlasováním jsem byl poctěn." (K.D.Trump)
"Nemuseli být proti. Špinavou práci za ně odvedlo Rusko." (Žena Moby Dicka)
*

US ministr zahraničních věcí Tillersonaurus Rex přibyl do Moskvy na přátelskou a pracovní návštěvu.

"Na nepřátelskou návštěvu." (Moby Dick)
"Ne na přátelskou, ale nikoli na nepřátelskou." (Žena Moby Dicka)

T. Rex se setkal na pracovním obědě s RF ministrem zahraničí Sergejem Larvovem. Jednání trvala okolo pěti hodin.
"Oběd měl asi hodně chodů." (Moby Dick)
"To si piš." (Mrtvá Kočka)

Jednání byla "konstruktivní". Ruský diplomatický zdroj, nejmenovaný, pochválil Rexe slovy: "Dělá silný dojem. Nerad se baví s novináři, ale na jednáních si samozřejmě vede skvěle. Vedle něj Kerry (bývalý US ministr zahraničí) samozřejmě vypadá výrazně slabší."
"Možná proto Rexe americká levičácká média tak nenávidí." (Žena Moby Dicka)

Po obědě byl ještě podáván nečekaný zákusek – oba pány přijal i sám samoděržavý carprezident Vladimir Vladimirovič Putin. Ačkoliv to předtím tak nevypadalo, když se báťuška ostře ohradil proti pátečnímu zásahu amerických tomahavků do vnitrosyrských záležitostí.
"Do vnitroruských záležitostí." (Mrtvá Kočka)

Rex na setkání panu prezidentovi velmi netaktně připomněl, že jeho kámoš Asad použil v boji chemické zbraně už při více než padesáti příležitostech.
"Vole." (Mrtvá Kočka)

Mobyho menažerie upozorňovala už na podzim, že T.Rex není v žádném případě "Putinovým přítelem" a málem ruským agentem, jak o tom referovala americká média, a jak je papouškovala média naše. Snad si toho soudruzi už všimli.
"A teď přemýšlejí, proč je špatně zase tohle." (Mrtvá Kočka)

Čtvrtek 13. dubna 2017, Zelený
Křesťané vzpomínají sederové pesachové večeře rabbi Jošuy.

Venezuelané nebudou mít zřejmě co lámat. Cena chleba je totiž socialistickým státem regulovaná, stejně jako příděl mouky pro pekárny. Zatímco cena se nesmí zvyšovat, stát přestává dodávat pekárnám mouku, pekaři pak nemají z čeho péct.
"Před pekárnami se už netvoří fronty, protože chleba prostě není." (Hladový obyvatel Caracasu pro list ABC)

A kdo za to může?
"Pekaři a jiní buržoazní opozičníci v žoldu amerických imperialistů." (Mikuláš Magoro, venezuelský bolíprezident)

Strana a vláda se však stará. Ustanovila celkem 15.000 místních Výborů pro zásobování a produkci (Clap), které rozdělují subvencované potravinové balíčky.

"Těch, co žijí sami, nebo těch, co nejsou v partaji, se to netýká." (Vyjádření venezuelských bolíúřadů)

Dnešní pochodová demoška studentů a mládeže v Caracasu byl pokojná. Skoro až do konce. Než se jí do cesty postavily stovky těžkooděnců. A tentokrát to nebylo jako na Národní. O život přišli dva vysokoškoláci a třináctiletý chlapec.

Pátek 14. dubna 2017, Veliký

Skutečně Veliký den nastane až zítra. To oslaví své 105. narozeniny Věčný prezident KLDR Kim Ir-sen, bývalý člen KSČ, který korejskému lidu přinesl ideu marxismu-leninismu, již posléze přestavěl do podoby reálného čučche socialismu. Největší popularitu u Stalina a Mao Ce-tunga získal tím, když rozpoutal korejskou válku, která měla v letech 1950−1953 několik milionů obětí. Jeho vnouče se snaží jít ve stopách děda – masového vraha.

Před dvěma týdny zveřejnili čučcháci propagandistické video, jak úspěšně útočí právě na Carla Vinsona. Nu, uvidíme, jak to dopadne. Takhle by to podle komunistů mělo vypadat:



Neobratná sice fotomontáž, avšak doprovázená břesknou pochodovou muzikou a nadšeným hlasem hlasatelky, která zřejmě během svého přednesu několikrát ejakulovala.
"Moby, dámy neejakulují, ony mají orgasmus." (Mrtvá Kočka)
"Tak tahle ejakulovala." (Moby Dick)
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"Kdokoli, kdo vyvolá konflikt na Korejském poloostrově, za to zaplatí značnou cenu." (Wang I , ministr zahraničí ČLR při pekingském setkání s francouzským kolegou Jeanem-Markem)

Tak on se ten konflikt nemusí vyvolávat, korejská válka dosud formálně neskončila.
*

Podezřelý palestinský Arab z Východního Jeruzaléma útočil kuchyňským nožem v místní tramvaji. Zabil 25letou britskou turistku a zranil těhotnou ženu a staršího muže. Policie ho, bohužel, zatkla. Agentura AFP uvádí, že v roce 2011 byl souzen za sexuální napadení své dcery, načež se pokusil o sebevraždu. Na psychiatrii ho z toho zjevně vyléčili. Titulky tedy říkají, že útočil "duševně nemocný Palestinec". Možná totiž i něco křičel. Tentokrát nešlo primárně o útok na židy, ale pravděpodobně na křesťanskou poutnici, která do svatého města Jeruzaléma přijela slavit Velikonoce.

Připomeňme, že tyto "duševně vyšinuté útoky" nožem probíhají v Izraeli od roku 2015, kdy k nim vyzval autoritářský "prezident" Mahmúd Abbás, kterému už dávno vypršelo jeho funkční období, a který setrvává na svém postu i nadále.

"Duševně vyšinutý Abbás." (Mrtvá Kočka)

A to za podpory světového společenství.

"Duševně vyšinutého společenství." (Mrtvá Kočka)
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Moby Dick a jeho menažerie se omlouvají, že pro nedostatek času a prostoru nepokrývají všechny zprávy týdne. Ale snaží se hlavně nacházet souvislosti věcí pod popvrchem.
Podněty, připomínky, upřesnění, protesty a jiné výkřiky čtenářů Deníčku Moby Dicka lze posílat na i schránku moby.dick@seznam.cz .
Všem dík!
>>:)) Moby Dick
          Mahmoud Abbas Says Palestinians Are Philistines        
Mahmoud Abbas is president of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA governs Palestinians living in the West Bank, whereas Hamas governs Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. In May last year, President Abbas gave a speech in which he claimed Palestinians have descended mostly from the ancient Philistines. He added that the Bible says Philistines […]
          Palestinians May Be Philistines Since Lebanese DNA Is 93% Canaanite        
A week ago, the July 27th issue of National Geographic magazine reported is discovery indicating that 93% of the DNA of living Lebanese people is descended from ancient Canaanites who lived in 1700 BC in the ancient city of Sidon. Sidon exists today on the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon. These recently-discovered Canaanite skeletons were preserved […]
          De bibliotecas        

Las homilías de L. H. eran la única razón que me llevaba a misa los domingos, cuando la liturgia aún tenía algo de sentido. Tras las lecturas de los textos bíblicos, crípticos por su naturaleza, el padre H. iniciaba una explicación inaudita: contextualizaba en su historicidad los acontecimientos, ofrecía vívidas descripciones de la geografía de Israel, hacía filología y hermenéutica delante de nuestros ojos. Se desplazaba entre los diferentes horizontes para traernos la comprensión de algo añejo y distante. Fue allí donde por primera vez, cuando niña, aprendí sobre los orígenes del conflicto israelí-palestino, fue allí donde se me reveló el poder de las metáforas y las alegorías. El padre H. hablaba sobre el significado del “olivo” en los diferentes textos sagrados, sobre las grandes catedrales europeas, sobre las culturas extranjeras. Asistir a misa era asistir a una clase de historia (historia de las religiones, historia del arte, historia de las culturas), a una lección de teología y geografía unidas por el amor a Dios y al mundo.

Cierta vez, en casa, L. H. nos contó que, habiendo recorrido muchas partes del mundo y visitado tantas y tantísimas iglesias y catedrales católicas, descubrió un santuario donde la presencia de lo sagrado era aplastante, donde comunicarte con Dios era mucho más sencillo, un templo que ofrecía la tranquilidad y la atmósfera necesarias para poder escucharlo… curiosamente, se trataba de un templo budista. Así era el padre H., abierto a la escucha de Dios sin prejuicios, sin juzgar si la voz provenía de una piedra, un libro, un paisaje, una catedral o un templo budista.

L. H. falleció en un accidente de coche. Lo echo de menos, creo que sería el único sacerdote al que acudiría hoy, hoy que no hay fe ni liturgia que me muevan a objetar el argumento de Ivan Karamazov de “devolver el billete.”

Hace unos días estuve en la biblioteca del padre, o lo que queda de ella. Pude hojear sus libros (la mayoría de sus años estudiantiles), fechados en París, en Bruselas, en México. Algunos estaban subrayados, con notas al margen, con pequeños boletitos del metro parisino intercalados en sus páginas, con folios de cuaderno explicando o citando algún pasaje. Libros en latín, en griego, en francés, en italiano, en español, en inglés… el padre era políglota. Tenía a Karl Rahner, pero también tenía a Borges y a Shakespeare. Ahora estoy a la espera, unas manos generosas me han prometido entregarme algunos de estos libros. Será un obsequio valioso, inmerecido, infinitamente agradecido.


          World Press Photo '10        
I went to World Press Photo '10 - the annual exhibition of photojournalism presenting the best press photos of 2009. It is the leading international competition in press photography receiving over 100,000 photos from more than 5000 professional photographers around the world.

This is my first time attending World Press Photo. It's a unique exhibition solely dedicated to excellence in photo journalism. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Stunning photos! The images of certain photos are still etched in my mind. Almost all the photos struck a chord, some were emotionally engaging. Some photos touched me, some leapt out of the wall and grabbed me by the throat. It was intense!

On the whole, the essence of the photos was more than just a story or message. They made me think and I guess that is one of photojournalist's intentions.

While going through the exhibition gallery, I struck a conversation with a gentleman. Before I spoke to him I noticed he had a Canon 5D. Canon 5D *drool*. It is a beast of a camera. So when Robert introduced himself I wasn't surprised to hear he was a professional photographer based in UK. Robert is an experienced fashion photographer. His work has appeared in some of leading magazines/Ads. We looked at some photos together and he shared his thoughts on them. I was fascinated with the way he analysed and critiqued photos. Robert's opinion was different to mine. Any photo is open to variety of interpretation and perceptions but Robert saw aspects of photo which I never knew existed. I have no knowledge on press-photography or photojournalism, so I listened, taking in what I can and asked him questions. From his comments, I learnt and was able to appreciate the difference between conventional photography & press photography and what makes a photojournalist what he is.

Robert made several valid points on photojournalism. In conventional photography, when you strip away the tech side of things, it boils down to 2 things: subject and timing. Timing, he said, like most things in life, is paramount and probably the hardest to get right. It involves a bit of luck. In photojournalism, where "visual" reporting is the primary focus, timing is just one of the aspects. Here almost anything can be the subject as long it befits the story the journalist is covering. The aspect where a journalist differentiates from others is his ability to add a context, a nuance, which creates another voice, another layer to the story, another parallel the viewer can relate to, a visual justification providing testament to power of a moment. Creme da la creme photojournalists explore the depth of visual reporting by doing the above consistently. It's their photos we get to see in events like World Press Photo.

I am glad I took the initiative to talk to Rob. You can never go wrong talking to a Pro. Can you? An afternoon well spent :-)

Below are some of the winning photos for different categories.



From the rooftops of Tehran - World Press Photo of the year 2009


At first look, I didn't think much of this photo. This isn't the most stunning picture in the gallery. But it won. After reading the caption, I realised this was not just another photo of the Iranian post-election protest. It shows many things simultaneously - like, the kind of people protesting, they way they protest, even the time of the day. Women shouting from rooftops literally! All in one shot. Its a good picture but I wouldn't have voted it for the top prize.



Trott, run out. 5th Test. Ashes '09. Ahh!


Moments before Oath taking ceremony.

A jewish man throws wine at Palestine women, Hebron


Shelling at Gaza




Check out 2010 Winners gallery here.



          Israeli wins Thai kickboxing medal after Palestinian refuses to fight        

 

Palestinian Sultan Abu al-Hajj refused to fight an Israeli athlete at kickboxing’s World Youth Championship in Thailand. Al-Hajj refused to fight “as there has not yet been an official Palestinian decision over whether to face Israeli athletes in any …


          CCGS-ETHA FAMILY HISTORY FAIR 9AM-3PM SATURDAY MARCH 29 2014 1UMC JACKSONVILLE TEXAS        
Brochures are now available and registrations are being accepted for the CCGS-ETHA FAMILY HISTORY FAIR scheduled for Saturday, March 29, 2014, at the First United Methodist Church, 1031 SE Loop 456, Jacksonville, Texas. The event is being organized by the Cherokee County Genealogical Society and sponsored by the East Texas Historical Association, SFASU, Nacogdoches. The hours of the one day event are 9AM to 3PM. The church will open at 8:00 AM for vendors and exhibitors to begin setting up and for checking in at the registration table.
The fee to attend the CCGS-ETHA Family History Fair is posted on the CCGS website and will include a hot lunch provided by the church’s adult mission group. The fee will be discounted for CCGS and ETHA members and will include the hot lunch. The Family History Fair is a fund raising project for both CCGS and the adult missions group of First United Methodist, Jacksonville, to fund their respective activities.
While walk-ins will be accepted, advance reservations for the Family History Fair are strongly advised by society members especially for the lunch count. To obtain a brochure and to register for the event contact the society by regular mail at P. O. Box 1332, Jacksonville, Texas 75766, via e-mail to ccgs@suddenlink.net, or by calling 1-903-586-0135. For more details on the programs and the speakers visit the CCGS web site at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txcherok.
There will be three tracts of speakers with four sessions each. Dr. Scott Sosebee, director of ETHA and an associate professor of history at SFASU will be the key-note speaker at 9AM. Speaking sessions will begin at 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM with 12:00-1:00 lunch break and then 1:00 PM and 2:00 2PM.
Carol Taylor of Greenville, Texas, is the speaker in Tract I entitled CIVIL WAR PAPER TRAILS. Mrs. Taylor presented a similar program series at the Angelina College Genealogical Conference last July and will be presenting speaking sessions on similar topics in Houston early this month. Her four session titles are "During the War: Records Created 1861 – 1865," "When the War Was Over" "Women, Children and Other Civilians," and "Southern Claims Commission Papers." Mrs. Taylor, a retired teacher and an avid genealogist for years, earned her master’s degree in history from Texas A&M in Commerce.
Christi Watkins R.N. Chief Clinical Officer at Palestine Regional Medical Center, will present two sessions in Tract II, “Are You Related to Royalty??, “ and “Skeletons in the Closet.” Ms. Watkins has extensive expertise in the field of DNA testing for identification purposes and worked in New York City after 9/11.
Still in Tract II, Carolyn Reeves Ericson of Nacogdoches will present one session on “Early Virginia Research” including information on the early Germanna Colony and Ancient Planters. Mrs. Ericson is a genealogist, historian, author and publisher, operator of Ericson Books and writes a weekly genealogy column for two East Texas newspapers. The fourth session in Tract II will be present by Linda Reynolds, Director Special Collections, East Texas Research Center. The ETRC is located on the second floor of Steen Library At SFASU in Nacogdoches. Mr. Ainsworth’s topic will be “Records Preservation.”
In Tract III John Garbutt of Rusk, Special Projects Administrator will present the first session, “History of the Texas State Railroad.”
David Schochler of Diboll, Texas, will present two sessions entitled “Genealogical Research in Western Europe” and “So, your GGGrandfather was born in the Sundgav! Now what?” In 2013 Mr. Schochler published a book based on his research of his Schochler family who settled in Cherokee County, Texas. His previous programs for two area genealogy societies have been present in period costume. Kaye Slover of Nacogdoches will speak on Cherokee County Cemeteries.
Vivian Cates, Alto 1-936-858-3801
1st Vice-president Program Chairman, Publicity, Special Projects
Cherokee County Genealogical Society
          Alta Idade Média com Exercícios        
Olha ai..2 ano postado só para vcs...aproveitem.
A Idade Média é o período histórico compreendido entre os anos de 476 ( queda de Roma ) ao ano de 1453 ( a queda de Constantinopla). Este período apresenta uma divisão, a saber:

-ALTA IDADE MÉDIA ( do século V ao século IX ) - fase marcada pelo processo de formação do feudalismo.

-BAIXA IDADE MÉDIA ( do século XII ao século XIV ) -fase caracterizada pela crise do feudalismo.

Entre os séculos IX e XII observa-se a cristalização do Sistema Feudal.
Posto isto, vamos dividir o estudo do período medieval em duas partes. Nesta revisão abordaremos a Alta Idade Média e na próxima revisão veremos o Feudalismo e a Baixa Idade Média.

ALTA IDADE MÉDIA

Período do século V ao século IX é caracterizado pela formação do Sistema Feudal. Neste período observa-se os seguintes processos históricos: a formação dos Reinos Bárbaros, com destaque para o Reino Franco; o Império Bizantino -parte oriental do Império Romano - e a expansão do Mundo Árabe. Grosso modo, a Alta Idade Média representa o processo de ruralização da economia e sociedade da Europa.

1. OS REINOS BÁRBAROS
Para os romanos, "bárbaro" era todo aquele povo que não possuía uma cultura greco-romana e que, portanto, não vivia sob o domínio de sua civilização. Os bárbaros que invadiram e conquistaram a parte ocidental do Império Romano eram os Germânicos, que viviam em um estágio de civilização bem inferior, em relação aos romanos. Eles não conheciam o Estado e estavam organizados em tribos. As principais tribos germânicas que se instalaram na parte ocidental de Roma foram:

-Os Anglo-Saxões, que se estabeleceram na Grã-Bretanha;
-Os Visigodos estabeleceram-se na Espanha;
-Os Vândalos fixaram-se na África do Norte;
-Os Ostrogodos que se instalaram na Itália;
-Os Suevos constituíram-se em Portugal;
-Os Lombardos no norte da Itália;
-Os Francos que construíram seu reino na França.

Os Germânicos não conheciam o Estado, vivendo em comunidades tribais - cuja principal unidade era a Família. A reunião de famílias constituía um Clã e o agrupamento de clãs formava a Tribo. A instituição política mais importante dos povos germânicos era a Assembléia de Guerreiros, responsável por todas as decisões importantes e chefiada por um rei ( rei que era indicado pela Assembléia e que, por isto mesmo, controlava o seu poder ). Os jovens guerreiros se uniam -em tempos de guerra -a um chefe militar por laços de fidelidade, o chamado Comitatus.
A sociedade germânica era assim composta:
-Nobreza: formada pelos líderes políticos e grandes
proprietários de terras;
-Homens-livres: pequenos proprietários e guerreiros que
participavam da Assembléia;
-Homens não-livres: os vencidos em guerras que viviam sob o regime de servidão e presos à terra e os escravos - grupo formado pelos prisioneiros de guerra.

Economicamente, os germânicos viviam da agricultura e do pastoreio. O sistema de produção estava dividido nas propriedades privadas e nas chamadas propriedades coletivas ( florestas e pastos ).
A religião era politeísta e seus deuses representavam as forças da natureza.

Como vimos na aula 02, o contato entre Roma e os bárbaros, a princípio, ocorreu de forma pacífica até meados do século IV. À partir daí, a penetração germânica deu-se de forma violenta, em virtude da pressão dos hunos. Também contribuíram para a radicalização do contato: crescimento demográfico entre os germanos, a busca por terras férteis, a atração exercida pelas riquezas de Roma e a fraqueza militar do Império Romano.

Entre os povos germânicos, os Francos são aqueles que irão constituir o mais importante reino bárbaro e que mais influenciarão o posterior desenvolvimento europeu.

O REINO FRANCO

A história do Reino Franco desenvolve-se sob duas dinastias:
-Dinastia dos Merovíngios ( século V ao século VIII ) e -Dinastia dos Carolíngios ( século VIII ao século IX ).

OS MEROVÍNGIOS

O unificador das tribos francas foi Clóvis ( neto de Meroveu, um rei lendário que dá nome a dinastia). Em seu reinado houve uma expansão territorial e a conversão dos Francos ao cristianismo. A conversão ao cristianismo foi de extrema importância aos Francos ­que passam a receber apóio da Igreja Católica; e para a Igreja Católica que terá seu número de adeptos aumentado, e contará com o apóio militar dos Francos.

Com a morte de Clóvis, inicia-se um período de enfraquecimento do poder real, o chamado Período dos reis indolentes. Neste período, ao lado do enfraquecimento do poder real haverá o fortalecimento dos ministros do rei, o chamado Mordomo do Paço (Major Domus). Entre os Mordomos do Paço, mercerem destaque: Pepino d'Herstal, que tornou a função hereditária; Carlos Martel, que venceu os árabes na batalha de Poitiers, em 732 e Pepino, o Breve, o criador da dinastia Carolíngia.

A Batalha de Poitiers representa a vitória cristã sobre o avanço muçulmano na Europa. Após esta batalha, Carlos Martel ficou conhecido como "o salvador da cristandade ocidental".

OS CAROLÍNGIOS

Dinastia iniciada por Pepino, o Breve. O poder real de Pepino foi legitimado pela Igreja, iniciando-se assim uma aliança entre o Estado e a Igreja - muito comum na Idade Média, bem como o início de uma interferência da Igreja em assuntos políticos.

Após a legitimação de seu poder, Pepino vai auxiliar a Igreja na luta contra os Lombardos. As terras conquistadas dos Lombardos foram entregues à Igreja, constituindo o chamado Patrimônio de São Pedro. A prática de doações de terras à Igreja irá transformá-la na maior proprietária de terras da Idade Média.

Com a morte de Pepino, o Breve e de seu filho mais velho Carlomano, o poder fica centrado nas mãos de Carlos Magno.

O IMPÉRIO CAROLÍNGIO

Carlos Magno ampliou o Reino Franco por meio de uma política expansionista. O Império Carolíngio vai compreender os atuais países da França, Holanda, Bélgica, Suiça, Alemanha, República Tcheca, Eslovênia, parte da Espanha, da Áustria e Itália.
A Igreja Católica, representada pelo Papa Leão III, vai coroá-lo imperador do Sacro Império Romano, no Natal do ano 800.

O vasto Império Carolíngio será administrado através das Capitulares, um conjunto de leis imposto a todo o Império. O mesmo será dividido em províncias: os Condados, administrados pelos condes; os Ducados, administrados pelos duques e as Marcas, sob a tutela dos marqueses. Condes, Duques e Marqueses estavam sob a vigilância dos Missi Dominici -funcionários que em nome do rei inspecionavam as províncias e controlavam seus administradores. Os Missi Dominici atuavam em dupla: um leigo e um clérigo.

No reinado de Carlos Magno a prática do benefício (beneficium) foi muito difundida, como forma de ampliar o poder real. Esta prática consistia na doação de terras a quem prestasse serviços ao rei, tendo para com ele uma relação de fidelidade. Quem recebesse o benefício não se submetia à autoridade dos missi dominici. Tal prática foi importante para a fragmentação do poder nas mãos de nobres ligados à terra em troca de prestação de serviços -a origem do FEUDO.

Na época de Carlos Magno houve um certo desenvolvimento cultural, o chamado Renascimento Carolíngio, caracterizado pela promoção das atividades culturais, através da criação de escolas e pela vinda de sábios de várias partes da Europa, tais como Paulo Diácono, Eginardo e Alcuíno - monge fundador da escola palatina.

Este "renascimento" contribuiu para a preservação e a transmissão de valores da cultura clássica ( greco-romana ). Destaque para a ação dos mosteiros, responsáveis pela tradução e cópia de manuscritos antigos.

DECADÊNCIA DO IMPÉRIO CAROLÍNGIO

Com a morte de Carlos Magno, em 814, o poder vai para seu filho Luís, o Piedoso, o qual conseguiu manter a unidade do Império. Com a sua morte, em 841, o Império foi dividido entre os seus filhos. A divisão do Império ocorreu em 843, com a assinatura do Tratado de Verdun estabelecendo que:

Carlos, o Calvo ficasse com a parte ocidental ( a França atual);
Lotário ficasse com a parte central ( da Itália ao mar do Norte) e
Luís, o Germânico ficasse com a parte oriental do Império.

Após esta divisão, outras mais ocorrerão dentro do que antes fora o Império Carolíngio. Estas divisões fortalecem os senhores locais, contribuindo para a descentralização política que, somada a uma onda de invasões sobre a Europa, à partir do século IX ( normandos, magiares e muçulmanos ) contribuem para a cristalização do feudalismo.

A expansão Islâmica ocorreu em três momentos:

1ª etapa ( de 632 a 661 )- conquistas da Pérsia, da Síria, da Palestina e do Egito;
2ª etapa ( de 661 a 750 )- a Dinastia dos Omíadas, que expandiu as fronteiras até o vale do Indo (Índia); conquistou o Norte da África até o Marrocos e a Península Ibérica na Europa. O avanço árabe sobre a Europa foi contido por Carlos Martel, em 732 na batalha de Poitiers.
3ª etapa ( de 750 a 1258 )- a Dinastia dos Abássidas, onde ocorre a fragmentação político-territorial e a divisão do Império em três califados: de Bagdá na Ásia, de Cordova na Espanha e do Cairo no Egito.

Após esta divisão, do mundo Islâmico será constante até que no ano de 1258 Bagdá será destruída pelos mongóis.

AS CONSEQÜÊNCIAS DA EXPANSÃO

A expansão árabe representou um maior contato entre as culturas do Oriente e do Ocidente. No aspecto econômico a expansão territorial provocará o bloqueio do mar Mediterrâneo, contribuindo para a cristalização do feudalismo europeu, ao acentuar o processo de ruralização e fortalecendo a economia de consumo.

A CULTURA ISLÂMICA

Literatura: poesias épicas e fábulas. Destaque para os contos de aventuras, como As Mil e uma Noites.

Ciências: muito práticos os árabes aplicaram o raciocínio lógico e o experimentalismo. Desenvolveram a Matemática ( álgebra e trigonometria ), a Química ( alquimia ), Medicina ( sendo Avicena o grande nome ) e a Filosofia ( estudo de Aristóteles ).

Artes: a grande contribuição foi no campo da Arquitetura, com construção de palácios e de Mesquitas. Na Pintura, dado a proibição religiosa de reproduzir a figura humana, houve o desenvolvimento dos chamados arabescos.

O IMPÉRIO BIZANTINO

No ano de 395, Teodósio divide o Império Romano em duas partes: o lado ocidental passa a ser designado por Império Romano do Ocidente, com capital em Roma; o lado oriental passa a ser Império Romano do Oriente com capital em Bizâncio ( uma antiga colônia grega). Quando o imperador Constantino transferiu a capital de Roma para a cidade de Bizâncio, ela passou a ser conhecida como Constantinopla.
A ERA DE JUSTINIANO (527/565)

Justiniano foi um dos mais famosos imperadores bizantinos. Seu reinado corresponde ao apogeu do Império Bizantino. Em seu reinado destacam-se:

-o cesaropapismo: significa que o chefe do Estado ( César ) torna-se o chefe supremo da religião ( Papa ). As constantes interferências do Estado nos assuntos religiosos provocam desgastes entre o Estado e a Igreja resultando, no ano de 1054, uma divisão na cristandade -o chamado GRANDE CISMA DO ORIENTE. A cristandade ficou dividida em duas igrejas: Igreja Católica do Oriente ( Ortodoxa ) e Igreja Católica do Ocidente, com sede em Roma.
-a guerra de Reconquista: tentativa de Justiniano para reconstituir o antigo Império Romano, procurando reconquistar o Norte da África, a Itália e Espanha que estavam sob o domínio dos chamados povos bárbaros;
-a Revolta Nika: para sustentar a Guerra de Reconquista, o governo adotou uma política tributária o que gerou insatisfações e lutas sociais. Justiniano usou da violência para acalmar o Império;
Justiniano foi também um grande legislador e responsável pela elaboração do Corpus Juris Civilis ( Corpo do Direito Civil ), que estava assim composto:
-o Código: revisão de todas as leis romanas; -o Digesto: sumário escrito por juristas; -as Institutas: manual para estudantes de Direito; -as Novelas: conjunto de leis criadas por Justiniano.

Com a morte de Justiniano, o Império Bizantino inicia sua decadência. Entre os séculos VII e VIII os árabes conquistam boa parte do Império Bizantino e em 1453 os turcos ocupam a capital -Constatinopla.

A CULTURA BIZANTINA

O povo bizantino era muito religioso e exerciam os debates teológicos. Muitas questões teológicas foram discutidas, destacamdo­se:
-o monofisismo: tese que negava a dupla natureza de Cristo­
humana e divina. Segundo o monofisismo, Cristo tinha uma
única natureza: a divina.
-A iconoclastia: movimento que pregava a destruição de
imagens sagradas ( ícones ).

Nas artes, os bizantinos destacaram-se na Arquitetura: construção de fortalezas, palácios, mosteiros e igrejas. A mais exuberante das igrejas foi a Igreja de Santa Sofia, construída no reinado de Justiniano. A característica da arquitetura bizantina era o uso da cúpula.
Os bizantinos também se destacaram na arte do mosaico, utilizados na representação de figuras religiosas, de políticos importantes e na estilização de plantas e animais.

EXERCÍCIOS

1) (FUVEST) - Entre os fatores citados abaixo, assinale aquele que NÃO concorreu para a difusão da civilização bizantina na Europa ocidental:
a) Fuga dos sábios bizantinos para o Ocidente, após a queda de Constantinopla
b) Expansão da Reforma Protestante, que marcou a quebra da unidade da Igreja Católica
c) Divulgação e estudo da legislação de Justiniano conhecida como Corpus Juris Civilis
d) Intercâmbio cultural ligado ao movimento das Cruzadas
e) Contatos comerciais das repúblicas marítimas italianas com os portos bizantinos nos mares Egeu e Negro.

2) (PUC) -Em relação ao Império Bizantino, é certo afrimar que:
a) o governo era ao mesmo tempo teocrático e liberal
b) o Estado não tinha influência na vida econômica
c) o comércio era sobretudo marítimo
d) o Império Bizantino nunca conheceu crises sociais
e) o imperialismo bizantino restringiu-se à Ásia Menor.

3) (OSEC) - A Hégira assinala:
a) um marco histórico para o início do calendário judaico;
b) a reunificação do Império Romano sob Justiniano;
c) a tomada de Constantinopla pelos turcos;
d) a fuga de Maomé de Meca para Medina;
e) o domínio dos navegantes escandinavos sobre os mares

Báltico e do Norte.
4) (MACK) A seqüência das conquistas muçulmanas foi a seguinte:
a) Oriente Médio e Extremo Oriente;
b) Extremo Oriente e Oriente Médio;
c) Mediterrâneo Ocidental e Oriente Médio;
d) Oriente Médio e Mediterrâneo Oriental;
e) Oriente Médio e Mediterrâneo Ocidental.

5) (UFGO) -Qual das razões abaixo NÃO se coloca para explicar a expansão do Islão?
a) centralização política;
b) explosão demográfica;
c) promessas do Paraíso;
d) razzias e botim;
e) todas se colocam.

6) (UNIP) -A importância da Batalha de Poitiers, em 732, no contexto da história da Europa, justifica-se em função de que:
a) os cristãos foram derrotados pelos árabes, consolidando­se o feudalismo europeu
b) a derrota árabe frente ao Reino Franco impediu a islamização do Ocidente
c) a partir daí teve início a Guerra de Reconquista na Península Ibérica
d) esse evento assinalou o limite da expansão cristã no Mediterrâneo.

7) (PUC) O declínio da Dinastia dos Merovíngios no Reino Franco permitiu o aparecimento de um novo chefe político de fato, a saber:
a) o condestável
b) o tesoureiro
c) o major domus
d) o missi dominici
e) o marquês.

8) (OSEC) A penetração dos bárbaros no Império Romano:
a) foi realizada sempre através de invasões armadas
b) realizou-se a partir do século VI, quando o Império entrou em decadência;
c) verificou-se inicialmente sob a forma de migração pacíficas e, posteriormente, através de invasões armadas;
d) foi realizada sempre de maneira pacífica;
e) verificou-se principalmente nos séculos II e III.


RESPOSTAS - 1.B 2.C 3.D 4.E 5.A 6.B 7.C 8.C
Por: Jailson Marinho
http://www.mundovestibular.com.br/articles/4436/1/A-Alta-Idade-Media/Paacutegina1.html
          READING COMPREHENSION        



1.HATES CRIMES

The number of organized hate groups in the United States increased 20 percents last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Nearly 9000 hate crimes , more than half of them motivated by race, were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1996- compared to 7947 incidents in 1995 and 5932incidents in 1994. Last week, James Byrd, Jr., a 49 -year's old black man, was dragged to death in Texas by a chain from the back of a pickup truck. Recently, two black men also became the targets of possible copycat crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.
Authorities say the three men who have been charged with Byrd's murder my have ties with white supremacist groups, which have grown to over 400 organizations nationwide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan has been granted permission to rally later this month in Jasper, Texas, and the town where Byrd was killed. "These groups are getting better with the public," said Joe Roy, director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern poverty Law Center."They are no longer racist but racialist, not segregationists, but separatists. They are using a lot more attractive buzz words to lead people into their organizations "of the 474 hat groups documented by the Intelligence Project, 127were related to the Ku Klux Klan 100 was neo-Nazi, 42 were Skinheads, 81were Christian Identity, a racist religion, 12 were Black separatists and 112subscribed to a mélange to hate -based doctrines and ideologies.
Tracking Hate Crimes
The FBI is investigating the Texas case as a possible that crime, defined as an offense motivated buy the dislike of a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. " This was an act of violence that had a much broader implication than just the murder of a single person " said Hillary Shelton , deputy director of the NAACP in Washington DC " A much larger message was being sent by this horrible action" Many civil right s groups attributes the rise in hate  crimes to proliferation of Internet hate sites , racist music lyrics and white power literature- propaganda tools for promoting race- hating ideology that have reached an audience of as many as 2 million people . Since1995, more than 160 hate sites are active online, according to the intelligence project. Less than three years ago, there was only one. "Technology has a lot to do with opening up new recruitment opportunities for these groups," said Roy "It's a place where young people of the computer generation can vent their frustration, exchange ideas and download information to feed their hatred.





1.    How many of the hate crimes were about racial differences?
2.    How did Mr. Byrd die in Texas?
3.    Are the men who killed Byrd connected to any groups? If so, what?
4.    How are these hate groups encouraging new people to join?
5.    How many hate groups are there nationwide?
6.    What do civil rights groups say the reason is for such a increase in hat e crimes.?
7.    How many men have been charged with Byrd's murder?
8.    Why were two black men targets of crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.?
9.    What was the increase in hate groups last year?
10.    Who is Hillary Shelton?   


2.PILOT  ACCUSED

Lotfi Raissi , an Algerian pilot who had been accused of training the suicide hijackers who crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, walked free today after being granted bail at an extradition hearing . Mr.Raissi, 27 who has been held in jail for five months, emerged from the top security Belmarsh magistrate's court complex in south -east London to applause from his family and friends. Minutes earlier, district judge Timothy Workman said Mr.Raissi, who lives near Heathrow airport. Could have conditional bail as he was only facing extradition to the US on two counts of falsifying as application for a US pilot's license. At previous court hearings in London, lawyers acting for the US authorities indicated he was suspected of being a lead instructor for pilots responsible for the September 11 hijackings. And US prosecutor have in the past made clear that the pilot's license accusations were only holding charges. But no terrorism charges have been formally introduced and Mr. Raissi's lawyers successfully argued today that the charges related to pilot's license applications did not justify him being held in prison. Mr. Workman said he appreciated the September 11 investigation was long and painstaking but he said he was allowing bail as the US government was unlikely to bring terrorism charges inAA the near future. Mr. Raissi's family has strenuously denied he was involved in the September 11 terror attacks in any way. Today he was told his family would have to give $10000in surety, that he would have to live at an address specified to the court , that he would have to surrender his passport and not apply for international travel documents . Mr. Raissi's French wife Sonia, speaking after the judge's decision, said that she believed justice had been done. She said " we have been waiting five months and my message to the FBI is , You arrested him for terrorism so why do you want to extradite him for these ridiculous , minor charges? .
 Lotfi's brother, Mohamed, said "The FBI said to he world that he was a big terrorist and they have to now say to the world, that his man is innocent. They have destroyed his life, his future and his dream".
 But James Lewis, representing the US government, told the court Mr.Raissi should not be granted bail. He said "we are concerned with an investigation into an atrocity that shocked the civilized world ...Mr. Raissi is a suspect in that investigation"
Hugo Keith, representing Mr. Raissi, said "The Americans now seen unwilling to withdraw from their initial position and accept on this occasion, they pursued the wrong person. He is not fundamentalist. He is married to a white Catholic" Prosecutors have alleged that Mr.Raissi had links to Hani Hanjour ,the pilot suspected of crashing Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
Mr. Raissi was arrested on September 21 and has been held at London' high -security Belmarsh prison ever since. He was indicated by a federal grand jury in Arizona on charges of falsifying applications for a pilot's license and other documents. He allegedly held a 1993 theft conviction and failed to mention that he had undergone a knee operation. He has also been indicated Arizona on 11 more counts, including conspiracy to submit a false immigration claim. A previous attempt to win him bail in the high court in London in December failed. Lawyers acting for the US alleged that there was "a web of circumstantial evidence that points to the involvement of Raissi in a terrorist conspiracy which culminate in the events of September 11" US counsel said Mr.Raissi had "links to the Al-Qsida organization" and was "someone who has both motive and means t escape"
1.    When was Mr.Raissi arrested?
2.    How long has he been held in jail?
3.    Is it confirmed that Mr.Raissi had links to the hijacker of Flight77?
4.    What nationality is Mr.Raissi's wife?
5.    What did he hide in 1993?
6.    Did he succeed in his previous attempt to win bail?
7.    What are the conditions of his bail?
8.    What nationality is Mr. Raissi and where does he live?
9.    Has he been charged with terrorism?
10.What did the US authorities accuse him of doing?



3.BOSNIA INJURIES

On Thursday in northern Bosnia, two American soldiers were wounded when a land mine exploded. One of the soldiers suffered injuries to his right foot and other was able to walk away from the blast with shrapnel wounds to his lower leg . The incident happened at about 2:30 PM 0930EST in the town of Hadizici, which is located about ten miles south east of Tuzla .
NATO issued a statement about the incident. The statement said, "two American engineers were injured by an anti-personal mine as they were conducting a joint inspection of a minefield with the Bosnian Serb Army. One soldier stepped on an anti- personnel mine, incurring injuries to one foot.
Concerns have been raised by ERRI and any number of other sources in regard to the dangers of landmines and other improvised explosive devices in Bosnia. According to UNICEF, Bosnia has one of the highest densities of landmines per square mile of any place in the world. UNICEF says that more than 1800000mines may have been laid in Bosnia during the recent years of ethnic conflict. More troublesome to NATO troops than traditional mines, which are made of metal, are mines with plastic cases or improvised mines made from wooden cases and high explosives. The wood and plastic mines are far more difficult to detect with conventional mine detectors.
In other news regarding to Bosnian peace mission, United States Navy Admiral Leighton Smith made some remarks regarding the six confirmed sniper incidents involving NATO forces since Sunday. Admiral Smith said, "We have got some jerk up there pulling a trigger and he has got a night scope. That makes it tough. But boy, let me tell you , if we do see him he had better be fast and be clad in bullet-proof stuff. Because we will attack with out  warning. There are such things as anti- sniping teams ....people who snipe at our forces are at great risk to themselves. If we see some body pointing a weapon at our forces he will be attacked with out warning.... no warning shots, no' drop your weapon"
 And true to Admiral Smith's words -- French NATO forces later killed a sniper in the suburb where most of the shooting incidents have occurred. A NATO statement said "One gunman was located by the French Special Forces and was later neutralized. This person was seriously wounded. He later died of his injuries in spite of the intervention from a military physician. Another armed civilian was also apprehended by 0ur forces. This individual was disarmed with out any bloodshed".


1.    How many confirmed sniper incidents have there been?
2.    Where were the two American soldiers inured?
3.    Did both of the soldiers walk away from the explosion?
4.    Will a warning be given to snipers who shoot at NATO forces?
5.    How many mines have been placed in Bosnia during the conflict?
6.    Does Bosnia have a large amount of mines per square mile?
7.    What happened to the sniper found by French NATO forces?
8.    Was the second civilian, who was carrying a weapon ,shot by NATO forces?
9.    Which types of mines are more difficult to detect?
10.    Was the first sniper shot dead by the French NATO forces?


4.CLONE SYSTEM

Numerous reports from around the world in Jan/ Feb 2001 of fresh attempts to clone human embryos, ranging from Clonaid saying they hope t implant embryos into surrogate mothers in February to Australian scientists saying they have managed to make a human cloned embryo by combining a empty pig egg with a human cell . Their cloned human embryo divided to 32 cells before being destroyed. In other words it seems that the empty eggs from animal contain all that is needed to activate human genes for successful human cloning. There are huge risks of abnormalities and mutations in these human cloning experiments. We know that these animal-human hybrids are likely to escape legal controls because a court of law would probably decide that this was not human cloning a legally defined .However the outcome - if born - would be a clone baby which has identical genes in the nucleus of every cell to the adult from which the original cell was taken . Interestingly , 1%of the genes in mammal cells are not in the nucleus but in the power packs providing all the electricity for cells . These power generators called mitochondriaa .So technically these human clones made from animal eggs would have 1% animal DNA . Worrying  we know that there are many serious diseases in human caused by faulty genes in the mitochondria . But that is with human mitochondria .What will be the risk of problems with animal mitochondria being used to power every cell in human cloned child that is yet to go?
Clonaid  says five British couples, including two pairs of homosexual men have asked to be cloned. Peter and lldako Blackborn , computer consultants from Huntingdon Cambrisdgeshire UK have expressed an interest in human cloning as a alternative infertility treatment but which had not say if they are in touch with Clonaid .
as the press conference called and announce of the cloning the United States government banned it to practice in the future . The US government pledged that it will harm the civilization of the human being so world should not follow the mal -practices .
After two months the Korean scientist claimed that he also get success to reproduce a clone baby and he claimed that he will use it for the couple who doesn't  have kids and deserve it .According to the scientist , he will provide who ever the couples deserve, but the donor should give his consents .
The British government strongly condemned the act of the Korean scientist and announced that the UK government does not allow the cloning to spread in the world. Cloning should be only in side the lab.  The international scientists said that it is a big step in the human civilization and should be utilized to find out the cure of all diseases in the future. it also claimed ridiculously that every couple wants Clinton and Bill Gates as their children at the same time the natural system has been disturbed by the pressure of cloning . The world need people of every sector not money maker and politicians. If so, the world will destroy very soon.
A conference has been organized by some popular scientists in the   New York and concluded with a statement that it is a extraordinary achievement for the whole world with some vital de-merits so all should stand together to utilized the said invention. The  prime responsibility rest upon the politicians who claims to be the supreme of the United Nations organization.


1.    What was the conclusion of New York press conference?
2.    What was the only vital demerit of the cloning?
3.    What was the claimed to of the Korean scientist?
4.    Why the US government did banned the cloning system?
5.    What is the main problem of cloning system?
6.    What does Australian scientist claim?
7.    What is the risk in human cloning experiments?
8.    For what reason did the scientists prefer to sue and empty pig egg and a human cell for the experiment?
9.    What is the specific with mitochondria??
10.    Why have scientists shown their interest in human cloning?
5.    ARSON IN THE VILLAGE

On Sunday morning in a hot summer day, one patrol team of CIVPOL monitor received a radio call from the CIVPOL station about an arsoning incident in a bear by village. Someone had called up and informed the station about the incident from a local public call office .The patrol team rushed to the scene of incident. As reaching the scene, they saw a red vehicle speeding away in a very high speed with at least four or five persons inside with at least one man holding something like gun. Arriving at the scene, the monitors saw tow houses burning. Some natives came towards them and informed that some armed people came to the village, set light to the two houses belonging to a local politician and fled in their red car. The situation was immediately reported the CIVPOL station and the local police authority were duly informed. Within few minutes the fleeing red vehicle as stopped at a check point and the perpetrators arrested by the local police.
The patrol team informed to the fire brigade about the arson case and the Fire brigade team form the local municipality arrived in 15 minutes to the scene and put off the fire. Some local said during the interview that the both house was belong to the local politicians called Mustafa Leader. Leader had some arguments with some rivals during the municipality meeting last Friday about the grazing of the animal in the village of Ruslan. The leader received a threat from the rival of abandon the village as soon as possible or faces the adverse consequences. The leader did not obey the threat and the incident happen. Both house entirely damaged by the arson but the fire bridge could not give the total amount of loss of the house. The CIVPOL interviewed with the house owner and revealed that two houses worth $ 10000 and two camels worth $ 1000, cash worth $99 and utensils worth $45, grains worth $ 129, have been damaged during the arson.  The monitor team assured him relief of compensation from the local authority. 
 The local police team with out aid of UN Police have arrested the red vehicle and recovered a Tomy machine gun and 354 rounds of live ammunitions form the red car. Five suspects including driver also have been arrested by the local but not disclosed in public by the local police. The local police issued a statement in the same day saying that investigation is underway and if information needed contact to regional head quarters the following day.
The National Labour Party belongs to Mustafa organized a protest rally in the town demanding the full security to the local leader and their property and take legal and strain action to perpetrators. During the demonstration supporters of the party vandalized 4 shops and injured three local security personnel.
 The local authority endorsed compensation to the Mustafa, according to the report of Fire Brigade which cost in the said head but only $ 11000.  The fire brigade did not mention the head of the loss but recommended the whole some of money.
The local police control the security situation in the town and the police released one suspect with out any legal charge and other four have been sent to the jail by the order of local magistrate on the charge of arson and possession of illegal weapon.
 The red car sent to the auction to pay the compensation of the damage property. The owner of the car complained that his car was stolen from the garage at midnight on the same day, and it is dictatorship of the local authority to auction his car with out investigating properly and he also claimed that he will sue to the local authority in the Apex court.
1.    When did the car stolen?
2.    What was the lost property?
3.    What were the ammunition found by the local police?.
4.    What was the demand of political party?
5.    What had happened during the demonstration of local political party?
6.    What message did the CIVPOL received?
7.    How was the CIVPOL station informed of the incident ?
8.    En- route to the scene, what did the patrol team saw?
9.    What was the monitor action on the scene?
10. what action did the local police take ?

    

6.    Authoritarian regime

President Abdurrahaman Wahid granted amnesty  thousands of prisoners Thursday, including some who were ailed for there political beliefs. Minister for law and legislation Yusril Ihza Mahendra said 105 political prisoners, and 3000 others who were jailed for criminals' acts, would be released. He said Wahid signed a presidential decree Thursday and the prisoners would be set free Thursday night and Friday morning.
"We are releasing the criminal prisoners because it's Christmas time and the New year",he said . He added that the release of the political prisoners' mostly separatist activists from Aceh and Irian Jaya province was part of the government's efforts to release all those who were jailed for political activity under Indonesian's former authoritarian regime. Most of the political prisoners were jailed during the32 -year dictatorship of Suharto , who was ousted from power due to a student uprising in May 1998.
It is not the self motivated move of the government but international political pressure to released the political prisoners .  There are more than 40% members of the parliament are brought from the security service to show the political honesty to the military department .  Military party called National Unity party is more powerful in Indonesia till now and it has 32 years' background. The civil leadership could not do any thing with out the military aid. So democratic government willing to follow the military advice. 
The international court of justice has declare to punish some of the criminals who were directly involved in the massacre in Indonesia during the dictatorship of Suharto regime. But it is ridiculous to digest that the than army chief who has been accused of murdering 200 prisoners of political belief, is a member of parliament now. The Amnesty International condemned the act of the government to nominate the army chief Mr. Javal as a parliamentarian and said that the government marginalized the people voice.
The International Court of Justice summoned  as per the international standard to Suharto to present his opinion in Hague whether he did the crime or not , but it went in vain because Suharto has been admitted to Jakarta Teaching   hospital due to chest and BP problem . Suharto has been accusing of accumulating large sum of money and killing 500 students during the students' uprising.
    The interim president of East Timor Mr. Gusmao also condemned the act of the government to make escort free to the war criminals and said government is deceiving the people of Indonesia. Indonesian government barked against the East-Timor saying that no one could interfere in internal matter of the country. For the information, East -Timor is a fragment of the republic of Indonesia and got independence in 1997 by the acute international political pressure and military intervention by the UN.
      Indonesian   people believe, the criminal who are released on the occasion New year will never involve in criminal activities in the future. Indonesia lies in East of the Asia bordering  China , Australia, Iran and Indian sea respectively East, West, South and North. and it is has the most dense Muslim population with mainly  Hindu religion . Indonesia was colonized by French in 1800 AD and ruled till 1936 and got independence. The military authority ousted the civil government in 1940 by military coup and rules till 1997. The country has notorious history of producing natural drugs like Heroine and Cocaine and it is also called the country of golden triangle, the main transit of drugs , including Burma ,Thailand and Laos.       

1.    Which countries are called golden triangle country?
2.    Which country is lies in the  south of Indonesia ?
3.    What is the formal accusation to Suharto?
4.    Why the democratic government does follow the military advice?
5.    What was the reply of the government to East -Timor condemnation?
6.    Where is the international court of Justice located?
7.    why were the thousands of people jailed ?
8.    What did Mr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra say?
9.    How many political prisoners were jailed?
 10. Who were the released prisoners mostly?


7.  GAMBLE

November 27, 2001
Bangkok, Thailand: Thai police said on Mondays they have arrested six Filipino gang members for allegedly luring two Japanese and three French tourists to gamble in their house and cheating them out of millions of Baht (thousands of dollars) . The gang members, three men and three women, were arrested on Sunday from a house in Bangkok where all six gang members lived, police Lieutenant General Chat Kuldilok told reporters. Lt. Gen. Kuldilik said the women pretended to be Thai house wives and invited their victims. Whom they met on the street while pedaling handicrafts, to come to their house to teach them Japanese, and to sell them handicrafts. He said the male members of the gang pretended to be millionaires from Brunei who lost huge sums to each other to avoid suspicion by the tourists, Chat said. Four of the five tourists agreed to gamble with the male gang members while the female gang members supposedly were making them fool. Once the tourists had lost all of their money to the gang members they tried to get some of their money back, but the gang members refused. The tourists were told if they told the police or any one else about losing money to them, they would be killed. All the male gang members had knives and showed them to the tourists after telling them this. The tourists left the house and notified Thai police immediately. The tourists informed the police of the gang members' house and were willing to help them in hopes of getting their money back. Upon arrest, the Thai police searched the entire house, but unfortunately the money could not be found. One of the tourists response was," I am happy, even tough we didn't get our money back , I'm just glad the gang members were found by the Thai Police . Hopefully nothing like this will happen to any tourists ever again.
Police interviewed all the detainees in the police cell and found that other two gangs also committing the same crime using same modus operandi in the capital city. Police started the vigorous checking around the suspected area and arrested  one gang with some weapons and valuables in the rented house. Police confiscate six knives and four round of live bullets including four gang members.  Later on police honestly publicized two golden rings, four golden bracelets, six wrist watches and five passports . And issued a statement saying that any one who is belongs to the valuables contact with proofs to the city police officer Mr. Rothan.
 Police registered a legal case to the first 6 members of the gang accusing looting the valuable of the tourists but the local magistrate released all saying that police did not show the proofs of looting.
 The second gang members also charged with looting the tourists and illegal possession of weapons .The magistrate send them to the jail for six months on the charge of looting but the magistrate said police should be careful accusing the civilian who has only live bullets not a pistol or revolver.
The police assured that the looting case will come down after the arrest of 2 looting gangs and vows that they will do enough to arrest who are involved in looting case. Police said that tourist should be careful with the people who were involved in prostitution. Bangkok is famous for sex tourism in East Asia.  Most of the prostitutes are brought form the Philippine in the name of house wife . In this racket the local administration and police and pimps are also involved. 
1.    How may gang members arrested?
2.    What are the valuables had been confiscated?
3.    Why the Bangkok city is famous for?
4.    How many culprits were sent to jail and how many released?
5.    How the gang member did pretend themselves?
6.    What were the nationality of the victims ?
7.    What was the tourist said after not getting his money?
8.    What did general Chat said about the accident?
9.    What were weapons confiscated.
        10. How many tourists had gambled with cheaters?


8.  EBOLA

Sunday, December 9, 2001
An outbreak of fever in the West African nation of Gabon has been confirmed as the deadly disease Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday. It is world's first documented outbreak of Ebola since last year in Uganda, where 224 people - including health workers - died from the virus. Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind, causing death in 50 to 90 percent of all clinically ill cases. "It's been confirmed by a laboratory in Gabon" WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told the press. "We have reports that seven people have died" Hartl said WHO has already sent a team to help the coastal nation and that a second team of four specialists would leave Geneva for Gabon on Monday. The out break is in remote Ogooue Ivindo province in northeastern Gabon, he said. Gabon was last afflicted in an outbreak in 1996-97 that killed 45 of the 60 people infected. "We have had very little information" Hartl said. The conformation came from a laboratory in France ville, also in eastern Gabon. A team from the Gabon Ministry of Health and the International Center of Medical Research in
France Ville went to the province last week when they first received reports of that the outbreak might be Ebola, Hartl added. On Friday, Hartl said there were unconfirmed reports of a possible outbreak in nearby Congo. Ebola is passed through contact with bodily fluids, such as mucus, saliva and blood, but Ebola is not airborne. The virus incubates for four to 10 days before flu-like symptoms set in. Eventually, the virus causes severe internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no known cure for Ebola, but patients treated early for dehydration have a good chance of survival. WHO says more than 800 people have died of the disease since the virus was first case in Gabon was documented in 1994 the agency says. After the 1996-97 out break in Gabon it wasn't documented again until it appeared in Uganda last year. WHO recommends the suspected cases is isolated from other patients and that strict barrier nursing techniques be used to shield health workers from exposure. Gloves and masks must be worn and disinfected prior to reuse, the agency says. Patients who die from the disease should be promptly buried or cremated. The virus has also been transmitted to people from handling ill or dead infected chimpanzees, WHO says. Police are worried there may be widespread panic in the area because of the confirmed reports. There have been rumors of possible riots and / or break -ins. Police officials said tat when out breaks such as this occur, people become frightened and assume the worst and that is when people start to try and upraise against the police . However, no reports have been made in regards to riots and/ break -INS, but police have been told to be prepared for the worst. The Goban Government called emergency cabinet meeting and declared Ivindo province as "forbidden Province". The government begs international support and relief to get rid of the diseases.  it is requested to all media house not to make undue publicity to  the outbreak ,which can terrorize the general public and can hamper  to maintain the security situation in  the country. Gabon a Central African Republic also facing starvation, malnutrition, political instability, and draught from a long decade.  The neighboring countries Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Somalia are also suffering from internal conflict and could not do as requested by the Gabon.  The first world showing their interest  on the request and ready to provide the assistances or relief  but they have an eye or vested interest on the natural resources of the Gabon republic which is rich in diamond, gold , natural gas , petroleum mine .

1.    What did government request to Media?
2.    Which province was declared as "forbidden province" ?
3.    Why the neighboring countries could not assist the Republic of Gabon?
4.    When the disease was documented first in the Africa?
5.    What was the rate of death causing Ebola?
6.    What were the symptoms of Ebola?
7.    How the Ebola is transmitted to another person.
8.    What was the resource of the Ebola?
9.    Why did the first world countries showing their interest to Gabon?
10. How many medical teams are going to be assign to assist the Gabon republic.    

9. TALIBAN ARRESTED

    US forces detained seven suspected Taliban fighters yesterday outside the American military base at Kandhar airport in southern Afghanistan after it came under attack , defense officials said. They said the men were detained for questioning after patrols were sent out to investigate the attack. A small number of other people who might have been involved in the gunfight escaped, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified. No American troops were injured, they said. A Reuters television cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, said he heard heavy gunfire and a number of explosions at the Kandhar base . He said the shooting lasted about 30 minutes and was at its most intense for a period of about five minutes ." I have seen the tracers and there were some light explosions like hand grenades ", he said " Americans appeared to be firing at a point in the hills to the West Side of the air base." Operation in Afghanistan by the US military and its allies to mop up remnants of the vanquished Taliban and the AL-QUIDA network are based at Kandahar airport .
    There are about 4100 military personnel based at the airport, with the majority from the US. Mr. Protsyuk said the heaviest firing was on the airport's western perimeter, about half a mile from the terminal building. In a separate incident, an American military transport plane crashed in a remote region of the Afghanistan on Tuesday night , injuring all eight crew members but non of them critically ,US  officials said yesterday . Seven of those injured in the crash were able to walk and " non of the injuries were considered life- threatening " ,said Major Brad Lowell, a spokesman for the US central command in Florida . The cause of the crash was not known , although it did not appear to be the result of hostile fire, official said . An American soldier was killed in an accident in Afghanistan yesterday when a piece of heavy industrial equipment fell on him at Bagram air base near Kabul, the US military said . The soldier's name was  withheld pending notification of next of kin. Later on , it was revealed that the detainees were investigated thoroughly and two among seven were sent to " Kwantanamo Bey" a notorious jail used by American military  to dump terrorists. Kwantanamo Bey is in Cuba , a communist nation , ruled by Fidel Kastro , a south American country .
    It was provided to USA on lease for hundred years. Remaining among the detainees were sent to the local judicial authority and imposed to the judicial remand for six months . The American soldier killed by heavy equipment was delivered  to home with a national regards by a special US navy plane . The US had  started war against Afghanistan to abolish Taliban regime , who allegedly harboring the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden  in the country . American military could not find the Osama  till now. Osama is Saudi Arabia born billionaire and blind supporter of Muslim belief , he involved in fighting with Soviet Union  who had strong hold in Afghanistan during the second world war and  with the aid of US the Al quada successes to remove Russia from Afghanistan . Bin laden started getting physical and moral support from theUS . later on , the US  did not give his support to Osama so he and his allies attacked on US interest in South Africa killing 1000 innocent people by the suicide bombing and declared Osama a terrorist .  After the 9/11 terrorist attack on twin tower , the US has declared fight against the terrorism and  announce to hand over the Osama to the US by Afgan Government . The Taliban regime  did not obey the order saying that he was the guest of the country and  guest should not be hand over the western country . 

1. Who is Osama bin Laden?
2. What do you know about Kwantanamo Bey?
3. What had happen to arrested seven detainees?
4. Why did America attack Afghanistan?
5. where did the US transport plane crash?
6. Where is the US central command located?
7. How many US military have been killed according to the passage?
8. Where was the heaviest firing occurred?
9. Where is the Kandhar air port located?
10.    Who is Taras?

10. THE UNITED NATION

The United Nation is an international organization established to create international security and friendship among the member states.
    After the Second World War, the allied nation established the United Nation on 24 December 1945 including 51 member states. Now it has 191 member states around the globe. The head quarters of the United Nation lies in New York in the US and the branch for the Europe is lies in Switzerland.

Main objectives of the United Nations are as follows.

1. To maintain international security
2. To maintain friendship among the countries
3. To regards human rights.

It has six main organs

1. International court of justice
2. Secret General assembly
3. Security Council
4. Economic and social council
5. Trusteeship council
6. Secretariat

                                        1. International court of justice.

    The headquarters of International court of justice lies in Netherlands. The UN secretariat lies in New York. The meeting of general assembly starts on third of September and concludes on December. Security council has 15 members among them 5 are permanent members , which are America, China , Russia , French, and Germany and other 10 members are elected by the 191 members states of general assembly for the period of two years . The Economic and Social council has 54 members' states and every member has three years of working period. The headquarters of the Economic and Social council lies in Geneva.

    America, China, France, Germany, Russia the permanent members of the Security council has veto power .Chinese English, French, Russian, Spanish are the official language of the United nation,. Mr. Ban ki Mon is the Secretary General of the United Nations, a South Korea citizen.

    Nepal as a United Nation member state has sent 1241police personnel to serve the United Nation, as civil police, police monitor, police advisor and police trainers. Nepal has established two Form Police Units in Haiti and Sudan as per the request of the United Nation. wins their obedience, confidence, respect and enthusiastic co-operation in achieving common objectives.


11.  UN FAILURE IN BOSNIA

    A long -awaited report into the failure of a Dutch UN peacekeeping force to prevent the murder of thousands of Muslims in the Bosnian town of Brebrenica will be published on Wednesday. The Netherlands is bracing itself for the results of the inquiry in to the worst massacre in Europe since world War second. The
    BBC's Europe correspondent says Dutch troops are likely to be criticized for their part in event leading up to the 1995 slaughter. In July 1995, Srebrenica was being protected by 110 Dutch troops who were supposed to ensure the safety of the town's mainly Muslim population against surrounding Bosnian Serb forces. The United Nations had declared it a safe area but when it  was attacked, the town fill with out the Dutch UN troops firings shot . Up to 8000 Muslim men and boys were then murdered.

Five years of research

                  While the Dutch troops are likely to be criticized for letting the town fall without a fight , fault is also set to be found with the over all UN commander for failing to order air strikes to protect the enclave. The report is also understood to criticize the Dutch government for showing lack of political will. The 7000-pages report by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation is the official Dutch history of events in Srebrenica. It has taken more than five years to produce. In a 1999 report, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan blamed the international community for its failure to protect the enclave but insisted that it was impossible " to say whether a more decisive action by the Dutch would have saved lives" .A report two weeks ago by the Interchurch Peace Council ( IKV) in the Netherlands condemned Dutch troops, generals and politicians for failing to evacuate and protect the Muslims.

Scenes from hell

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague has ruled that the massacre was genocide. Last August it sentenced Bosnian Serb General Radisav Krstic, considered a key commander in the episode, to 46 years in prison. The judge in the case said the massacre was characterized by " scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history" Survivors' reports, aerial photography and grisly evidence exhumed from mass graves indicate the most victims in the massacre were summarily executed ,Dutch MPs may now call for a public inquiry. Seven military commanders of Royal Dutch army have been sentenced to seven years jail . Ten army personnel have been fired from the service and 20 have been restricted from the promotion as per the report of the criminal tribunal.   The BBC's correspondent Mr. Havel Eastward has been facilitated by the Dutch Government as a friends of mankind . After the massacre in the Srebrenica the Dutch government begs pardon with the Bosnian people and saying that her troops could not do any thing to save the life of the people and she is responsible to the accident.


1. How many Dutch troops were protecting Srebrenica?
2. What ethnic group were the people of Srebrenica?
3. Why the Dutch government begs pardon with the people of Bosnia ?
4. How many people were killed in Srebrenica?
5. How many army personnel were punished?
6. Who is criticized in the report?
7. Where is the International Criminal Tribunal based?
8. Would more positive action by the Dutch troops have saved lives?
9    What sentence was General Krstic given?
10    Who was facilitated by the Dutch government and why?


12.  SWARM ATTACK

    Six people were hospitalized after they were attacked by a swarm of bees in Singapore, a news report said on Tuesday. The bees attacked contractors who were trying to remove a beehive in the tropical city-state .Two police officers who were on the scene to keep back the public, were among those attacked and hospitalized. Police public affairs officers could not immediately be contacted to confirm the report. The incident occurred at approximately 12:30PM on Tuesday afternoon. Two of the people who were injured in the attack were still in the hospital on Tuesday night at 10:00 PM; however they were in good condition. Such incidents are rare in heavily urbanized Singapore. But two years ago , a 51 years old taxi driver died after he was stung by a swarm bees .The driver was changing his back left tire and he removed the deflated tire , a beehive was in the wheel well . Witnesses said that the swarm covered the man's face and hands and repeatedly sting him as he cried out in pain .He died later that night while being hospitalized. Singapore is a very small country covered by the see in the east of Asia and known as a well industrialized country.
    The big industry installations have many nooks and corners where the swarm bees get shelters. firstly people do not care about it because it seems harmless and small in the beginning but after  a year it  appeared in large scale and bees become escort free so they undermine their stung so they try to destroy their hives and got stung and the result  become very adverse. The same accident happened in The US in 1990 when a farmer had gone to his farmhouse to clean the room , he saw that there is a bee hive in the ceiling of the room he thought it was full of honey , unfortunately it was poisonous  swarm bee's hive.  He collected his two sons and a black servant to take the honey . In the mean time when they lit a fire to fly the bees , the swarm bees started stung them . The younger son who was in the door side escaped from the room after having a look at the victims and called the police . The house got in to the gutter by the fire and three injured had been hospitalize in the city centre . The house owner Mr. Kally died during the medical treatment and two had been discharged after 2 weeks with swollen face and bruises for the whole life.  The same accident happened in Nepal too on 23 September 2002. The Raute , who are famous for honey hunter ,had tried to collect honey from the very steep hill near Manang District. they made rope ladder to climb the hill and with the aid of fire they started collecting the honey .
    It was a documentary program filmed by Scottish Director visualized to broadcast in Britain  by BBC. Al together there were 15 men. When the honey hunter was climbing down from the steep hill after the successful visualization of the film. Unfortunately, one of the hunters touched the bees hive. Due to the finished job, they did not prepare for next attack and they all were on very thin cloths and without cloves . Three among five hunters fall down from the cliff and died. Two were severely bitten by the bees were died on the way to hospital and ten crew members of the visualization  were admitted in the hospital and discharged after 2 weeks .  It is said that the bees seems so calm if they are not hurt and if anyone hurt their queen , they become so terrifying and take revenge from the hunter . The queen is the most powerful among the bees. if the queen of the bees  safely removed from the hive it will be so easy to get the honey from the hive   which is considered as medicine  in eastern countries . The working bees always follow the queen bee , if she abandon the hive silently , all the bees left the hive with out revenge. so if you want to get honey remove the queen tactically and calmly.
         
1.    How many people had been killed according to the passage.?
2.    How many people had been injured according to the passage?
3.    Where was the bees's hive in the taxi?
4.    Who was the authentic person to provide informations about injured police officers according to the passage.
5.    What had happened to the two Americans who escaped from the death?
6.    What is the ideal idea to get honey?
7.    What did the team doing in Manning District?
8.    How did the taxi driver killed?
9.    Where was the bees's hive in the room?
10.    Who is the most powerful in the hive?

13.  ARAFAT POLITICS
    Arafat is not the point. As Israelis and Palestinians use ever more lethal means against each other's civilians, the question being asked in Israel and the US is not how to end the occupation, but whether or not to end the career, or even the life, of Arafat. At the time of writing this coverage trend in early February 2002, in a further escalation Israeli tanks have confined Arafat in an area of 200m square in Ram Allah. And have destroyed the remainder of his helicopter fleet that it began to destroy on the attack of his compound on 3 December 2001.
    If Israel killed Arafat or sent in to exile, nothing would change. It seems almost absurd to have to point out that forcing millions of people to live for decades under hostile military rule with no end on sight inevitably produces violent resistance. Only a mind -set that steadfastly refuses to recognize this can become captivated by a lone figure who's real and imagined failings became a smoke screen that obscures the machinery that actually drives the conflict.
    If Israel truly seeks the moral high ground it invokes in the international arena, it should stop seeking a relative high ground whose only elevation stems from the weakness and failing of its historical enemies. Rather Israel should address the most obvious things it dies to perpetuate the conflict.
    The bottom line is that the single most identifiable factor that perpetuates the Israeli- Palestinian conflict in all its forms, both legitimate, is the Israeli military occupation that exists to protect the continuing Israeli colonization of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including Jerusalem.
    Comparisons of Arafat with Bin Laden serve to legitimize Israel's continuing repression of the Palestinians and bear no reality to the dynamics that this particular conflicts, dynamics that Israel has played no small part in creating.
    Israel's killing of civilians is a form of terrorism. The United States  tacit support of Israel's so called retaliation in US support of terrorism .Although Israeli officials are occasionally note don record " apologizing" for the latest " accidental" death of a child , there comes a point -- after a year in which one quarter of the 800 Palestinians killed were children and 50 percent of these children were killed for away from clashes- that it becomes imperative to note that Israel could always simply stop killing children , instead of merely apologizing for it.
    Israel's nightly shelling of Palestinian neighborhoods has accounted for one quarter of the 800 Palestinians killed during the first year of the Second Intifada .  Israel's regular killing of innocent civilians including children as a "by product " of its ironically titled" targeted killings " of Palestinian activists most commonly with rockets fired from combat helicopters at these leader's vehicles while in cit streets offer more examples of the indiscriminate violence that characterizes 'terrorism' as most people understand the word.
    Following a series of suicide bomb attacks in February / March 1996, then Israeli President Weizmann bluntly described Israel's practice of using closure to turn Palestinian towns in to prisons for the entire population: "Sometimes, when you are searching for a needle in a haystack, you have to burn the haystack".
    Israel has been encouraged to carry out similar "retaliation" as in the case of the December 2001bombing, by the knowledge that the United States would not condemn it. America must refrain from "understanding" Israel's violence. This can only have the effect of encouraging the continued Israeli killing of innocent Palestinian civilians.

1.    How many Palestinian children have been killed this year?
2.    How many Palestinians have been killed during nightly shelling?
3.    Are children targeted by the Israelis?
4.    Who is Arafat compared to and why?
5.    Where is Arafat confined, and what size of area?
6.    How many people live under hostile military rule in Palestine?
7.    What is the question being asked in Israel and the US?
8.    Why is Israel not afraid to carry out retaliation attacks on Palestinians?
9.    What happened in 1996?
10.    What dies Israel do when it is faced with suicide bomb attacks?








14.  BUS LOOTED
    A bus, which started off in Kathmandu , at 5:30 PM , traveling to Biratnagar , was looted by some Indian dacoits, which had crossed the boarder in order to escape the authorities there. They had been in Nepal for at least a month and had been regularly stopping night buses and robbing the passengers of all their belongings as well as money.
    When the bus number Ba Ga 3987, first started off from Gongabu Bus Park there was a total of 30 passengers. Just near Thankot 3 more passengers got on. The journey was uneventful until they reached Muggling, where they stopped for dinner. Here, the bus conductor managed to find 4 more people wanting to travel to Biratnagar . After about half an hour stop for dinner, they set off again. At Bharatpur 2 of the passengers got off as they had only booked up to this point. The bus had to wait for about one hour as the engine had trouble and the driver had to fix it .After this they started  of again and had a short tea break at Hetauda where another 2 people got off and one got on.
    At about 2:00 PM in the morning, when most of the passengers were asleep, the driver suddenly stopped as there was a tree across the main road. The passengers all wake up as the bus had come to a sudden stop, and were all looking out of the windows. Two Indian men dressed in black were behind the fallen tree with country made rifles; at the same time 2 also came from the back and two on each side of the bus. At once they told all the passengers to come out of the bus and line up in front of the bus, even though it as a moonlight night, no body could make out the faces of the dacoits, and could tell only by the way they spoke that they were from India. Everybody was told to remove their watches, jewelries and to empty out their pockets and moneybags. One of the men colleted all this while the others told all the passengers to lie down with their faces facing down. During this time the dacoits all disappeared, as nobody wanted to follow them as they might get shot

1.    How many passengers were on the bus when it was robbed?

2.    How many dacoits were there in total?

3.    How long did they stop for dinner?

4.    Why did they stop a second time before the robbery?

5.    How did the passengers know that the dacoits were not Nepali?

5.    Where did the bus start first?

6.    How many got in the Baratpur?

7.    Why did the bus have to stop suddenly?

8.    How many we on the bus at Muggling?

9.    Although it was night time how could the passengers make out how many dacoits there were?  
15.    KOSOVO POLICE

    On Monday 17 March 2003 , at 0745 hours , two Kosovo Police Officers were on patrol duty in a police vehicle when they observed a white van type vehicle , license 496KS858 driving very fast. The officers stopped the white van type vehicle for questioning using their blue flash lights. When the driver stopped, the patrol team stopped five meters behind his vehicle, however the van did not turn off its engine. As the officers exited their vehicle, the drivers of the white van type vehicle sped away very quickly. The officers ran back to their vehicle and chased the white vehicle .They were driving on the road to the airport. The police vehicle was driving at almost 120 km/hour but was unable to catch up to the van. Suddenly, the van turned north on to an unpaved roadway. The officers continued the pursuit. The van drove for approximately a hundred meters more. There was a big hole by the side of the road which the van fell into as the driver had lost control of the van, then it rolled upside down into a deep ditch on the south side of the roadway at grid reference 184-846. The officers stopped their vehicle on the opposite side of the roadway and proceeded cautiously toward the offender's vehicle. When they were approximately two meters away form the white van type vehicle they could see that the offender was still in his vehicle but was not moving. There were no sign of blood or injury  to the offender .As the officers got closer they could see three bundles, approximately 35 cm by 20cm by 25cm in the rare cargo area of the vehicle . One of the bundles was ripped open and a dark green plant material was showing, the officers assumed that it was marijuana. The first officer proceeded to the front of the vehicle to check the physical condition to the driver. The offender was breathing but didn't respond to any of the officer's verbal commands.  The officer radioed for an ambulance and the offender was taken to the local hospital. The second officer searched the offender's vehicle and found another bundle under the front seat with a knife. The Knife was 20 cm long with old blood stains. There were no papers or registration found in the vehicle. All material were seized as evidence and taken to police station.

1.    What were the 2 officers doing at 0745 Hrs?
2.    Why did they ask the van to stop?
3.    What was their reason for stopping the van?
4.    At what distance behind did the police stop?
5.    How many bundles were seen?
6.    Approximately what speed was the van traveling when in pursuit?
7.    What did the officers assume it to be?
8.    Was the knife found before or after the suspect was taken to hospital?
9.    What distance did the van travel on the dirt road?
10.    How did the man crash the vehicle?
16.    GERMANY SOOTING

Germany was in shock yesterday after 19 years old, masked gunman shot 17 people, including two female students, before killing himself in a school massacre in the eastern city of Erfurt.
The black -clad gunman a recently - expelled student of the Gutenberg secondary school, burst into a classroom during an exam yesterday morning around 11 AM and started shooting with a pump action rifle mounted on his back. "He passed us in the corridor with out paying any attention and walked straight into the secretary's office and started shooting." He said. Witnesses said the gunman walked through the building, opening classroom doors and targeting staff, killing nine male teachers, four female teachers, a secretary and two female students all within minutes. Caretakers heard the shots and notified the local police. Two officers arrived on the scene and discovered two dead bodies in the entrance hall. Moments later the gunman appeared and opened fire, shooting dead one of the policemen. A special commando unit immediately surrounded the school, which has nearly 700 students. As the shooting continued, around 180 students were still trapped in the building. Commandos stormed the building shortly before noon and came upon what was described as terrible scenes. 'Bodies lay in the halls, in bathrooms and classrooms' said Mr.Rainer Grube, a police spokesman. The gunman, who had barricaded himself into a room, shot himself as officers approached. 'The gunman killed himself when he saw that there was no way out for him' said Mr., Grube.
    For the students trapped inside the building, their ordeals ended nearly three hours later when they were led, pale and shaking, out of the school to worried parents at the gate. They were all receiving counseling yesterday evening, while four people injured in the attack were brought to hospital. Police were last night still investigating students reports that there was a second gunman. They had no motive for the shootings yesterday evening. Friends of the as yet unidentified gunman described him as an intelligent student who was ' full of life' and often spoke of his wish to become famous. The massacre is one of the most violent attacks in German post -war history, and ranks alongside the 1996 school shooting in Dunblane and the 1999 massacre in Columbine , Arkansas. Yesterday evening Erfurt residents were in shock and German politicians speechless .
'We are stunned at this horrific crime. No explanation we could give would go far enough right now ' said the Chancellor, Mr. Gerhard Schroeder, expressing his sympathy for the families of the victims and the students who witnessed the attack. He ordered the German flag on the Reichstag in Berlin to flown to be flown at half mast. 'We are all in one room .One teacher is dead, we are crying.



1.    Which two other massacres are mentioned?
2.    How many people were injured in the attack?
3.    What time did the shooting start?
4.    What weapons were used?
5.    How many teachers were killed?
6.    Did the gunman target students?
7.     Who notified the police about the shooting?
8.    Who stormed the building and when?
9.    How many police men entered the building initially?
10.    How long it take to gunman to kill the people and was there only one gunman?



17.  DEAD BODY FOUND

Mr. John Edwards lives alone in his cottage in the southern part of Cambridge, UK. He was a retired officer who previously worked for the finance office which was based in London. He had been retired for 5 years now and spent most of his time in Cambridge. He had worked for 34 years and during that time lived in London. By the sides of his cottage, there was a husband and wife living who used to work for Mr. Edwards. The woman would cook his meals and the man would attend to the garden. Mr. Edwards had no close family or friends who would come to visit him regularly .On December 15 , 2002 ,Mr. Edwards was found dead in his study at 0700 hrs. His body was fund by the woman who did his cooking. She had informed the police when she had seen him lying on his desk at 0700hrs. All the doors were closed from the inside so the woman thought in quite suspicious so she looked through the window. This is when she saw Mr. Edwards at his desk. When the police arrived at 0730 hrs. They broke open the door and checked the body. Mr. Edwards was confirmed dead and his body sent for post mortem. By the side of the table there was a bottle and a letter which said that he was taking his life as he was fed up and didn't see any future in continuing. All these materials were sent to the police lab for the necessary testing. The reports all confirmed that Mr. Edwards did take the poison, traces of which were found in his blood and on his lips. On the latter, apart from Mr. Edward's finger prints, there were other prints found as well. When the police checked up they found that it belonged to the husband the woman who cooked for Mr. Edwards. The police found this very suspicious as the husband had said that he never came into the study at any time. The police brought the man in for questioning and under interrogation he at first denied that he had gone to the house ant any time. After 2 hours, he changed his story and said that he
          El ministro de Asuntos Exteriores interviene en la reunión sobre “El papel de los líderes religiosos en la construcción de la paz en Oriente Medio”        
​En la sede de las Naciones Unidas, el ministro de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación ha defendido la necesidad de recuperar el espíritu de diálogo y cooperación como única vía posible para desbloquear los graves conflictos que asolan la región y avanzar en el proceso de paz israelo-palestino. También ha recordado la implicación de España [...]
          Armies with impunity        
I read judge Santiago Pedráz’s ruling – rigorous, professional, categorical, efficient- and I, as a first-hand witness of the case, cannot help but remember what happened that April 8th, 2003 in Baghdad, when in less than three hours the US Army attacked the three headquarters of independent media in Baghdad –the Palestine Hotel, and the [...]
          Promo Paket Umroh Murah ~ Best Deal Promo Murah        
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Promo Paket Umroh Murah - Bagi para kaum muslim di seluruh kepulauan Indonesia yang ingin melaksanakan ibadah umroh dengan harga yang terjangkau lebih murah dengan fasilitas yang baik, nyaman, aman kami Khazzanah Tours siap melayani perjalanan ibadah umroh anda berserta keluarga dalam program promo paket umroh murah. Saat ini anda sudah dapat segera untuk mendaftarkan agar mendapatkan seat yang sudah di sediakan dalam keberangkatan group untuk mendapatkan harga promo paket umroh murah.

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          Palestinian Infant Killed in West Bank Arson Attack; Israeli Settlers Suspected        

In the northern West Bank village of Douma, an 18-month-old Palestinian baby boy, burned to death on Friday morning inside his family home in a case of suspected arson carried out by Israeli settlers. According to Haaretz, in the early hours of this morning “two masked men” approached the village where they spray painted “revenge” and “long live the Messiah” in Hebrew at two homes, where they also broke windows and threw two firebombs inside.”

In the resulting blaze, two Palestinian homes were charred and gutted; one was empty at the time but the other contained a family, includuing a couple and their two children—a four-year-old boy named Ahmed, and a baby boy named Ali Saad Daobasa. The parents and Ahmed managed to escape the inferno, but they all sustained burns that covered 75% of their bodies, Al-Jazeera reported. Eighteen-month-old Ali Saad Daobasa died.

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• Prime Minister Netanyahu is seeking more from the United States in exchange for extending the freeze two months, including a pledge to veto unilateral Palestinian independence and acceptance of a long-term military presence in the Jordan Valley. [JTA]

• Top Jewish Democrats denied that J Street had anything to do with their meetings with Richard Goldstone last year. [JTA]

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• Turns out the three alleged thieves who tried to steal the Auschwitz sign bungled the heist in a thoroughly comedic manner. [NYT]
• While the Palestinian residents of Yasuf, in the West Bank, appreciated Israeli condemnations of the arson against their mosque, what they really want is for the perpetrators (presumed to be Israeli settlers) to be found and brought to justice—which now seems unlikely. [Forward]
• On the generally liberal New York Times op-ed page, a professor argues for U.S. airstrikes on Iran’s nuclear program, ASAP. [NYT]
• The U.S. Senate passed its health-care reform bill, definitively paving the way for historic legislation to reach President Barack Obama’s desk in the coming weeks. [LAT]

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• Ever since settlers’ arson last Friday of a West Bank mosque, fears that the Palestinian cause could now take on a more religious tinge and that the conflict could suddenly turn more violent have abounded. [NYT]
• Having demanded most of it all at once, Western negotiators scoffed at Iran’s proposal to trade little bits of its uranium over a longer period of time. [WSJ]
• The latest version of health-care reform to hit the U.S. Senate floor hit a major setback last night when Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut) decided he would not support it. [Politico]
• Syrian President Bashir Assad’s little brother died “after a long struggle with a severe illness,” according to reports from the country. [Haaretz]
• President Shimon Peres will represent Israel at the U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen; last week, Netanyahu cancelled his trip, fingering the cost to the taxpayers for his extensive security detail. [JTA]

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          Israeli couple shot dead in occupied West Bank - Al Jazeera        
Two Israelis shot and killed, and their four children injured, while driving near the Palestinian village of Beit Furik.
          Bomba Atômica de Hiroshima – o que não contaram para você        
Soldado japonês em uma de suas tarefas rotineiras, matar crianças chinesas com a baioneta

ATENÇÃO – FORTE CONTEÚDO GRÁFICO
A propaganda da União Soviética tem dois enormes sucessos em reescrever a história do mundo ocidental. O segundo é a transformação de Israel em um estado nazista, inimigo de todos, principalmente dos palestinos, uns 20 anos depois da União Soviética ter sido uma das mais importantes apoiadoras da Partilha da Palestina. Dizem os historiadores de esquerda que a URSS jamais apoiou Israel e o voto pela Partilha era apenas para complicar a vida da Inglaterra.
O primeiro grande sucesso criado no auge da Guerra Fria foi o de transformar os Estados Unidos, o grande inimigo capitalista dos soviéticos, no carrasco cruel dos japoneses. Através de seus aliados oficiais e dos integrantes de partidos comunistas na mídia ocidental, a história da guerra do Pacífico foi reescrita, para deixar uma marca indelével, principalmente nos alunos das escolas ocidentais de que toda a população de Hiroshima e Nagazaki, pobres e pacíficos civis japoneses, foram fulminados e queimados por duas terríveis bombas atômicas lançadas pelos Estados Unidos. A propaganda transformou os carrascos japoneses, gente que tinha profundo desprezo pela sua própria vida e consideração zero com a vida do inimigo, em santos homens abatidos pelo capitalismo. E a cada ano, no dia 6 de agosto vemos a mesma lenga-lenga de revisionismo histórico soviético ser repetida a um ponto que já se tornou a verdade incontestável.
Mas esta não é a verdade dos fatos.
É um erro imaginar que a entrada do Japão na Segunda Guerra Mundial se dá com o ataque a Pearl Harbour, no Havaí em 7 de dezembro de 1941. O Japão era um país governado por um imperador com status de Deus, ao qual todos os cidadãos juravam fidelidade e colocavam suas vidas à disposição. O desprezo pela vida em nome do imperador e da honra japonesa era incutido nas pessoas desde a mais tenra idade, tanto nas escolas, quanto nos lares. Sendo liderados por Deus, os japoneses cresciam com a certeza de serem a raça superior no planeta e que todas as outras raças eram consideradas de segunda classe ou mesmo com animais não-humanos. Pode-se dizer que o regime japonês era uma mistura de teocracia com culto à personalidade e fascismo militar.
A Segunda Guerra Mundial no Pacífico se inicia antes da Europa, em 7 de julho de 1937 quando a China é invadida por tropas japonesas. A maioria dos historiadores dissocia (sabe-se lá porque) a Guerra Sino Japonesa do bojo da Segunda Guerra Mundial. Ela durou até o dia 9 de setembro de 1945, portanto foi encerrada longos 20 dias após a rendição japonesa. Antes disso, desde 1931, o Japão já ocupava a Manchuria. No final do ano de 1937 as tropas japonesas venceram suas duas mais importantes batalhas e ocuparam Xangai e a capital chinesa, Nanking. As forças japonesas envolvidas nestes 8 anos de guerra chegaram aos 4.100.000 homens, somando-se a eles cerca de 900.000 chineses colaboradores.
Mulheres chinesas estupradas e mortas empilhadas junto com seus pequenos filhos mortos pelos soldados japoneses numa escadaria em Chunking

Ao ocupar Nanking, as tropas japonesas lançaram um programa para executar soldados chineses em roupas civis. O número de estupros de mulheres foi imenso, tudo foi saqueado, e as execuções sumárias chegaram a 200.000 pessoas em seis semanas desta operação.

Dia normal para os chineses moradores de Nanking (Pequim) sob ocupação japonesa

A Guerra Sino Japonesa é responsável por um número gigantesco de mortes. Os japoneses perderam 480.000 soldados e outros 1.900.000 foram feridos. Já do lado chinês, 1.440.000 soldados foram mortos e outros 1.800.000 foram feridos, entre as tropas chinesas nacionalistas e 250.000 soldados chineses comunistas morreram, enquanto outros 290.467 foram feridos. O Japão não perdeu nenhum civil nesta guerra, enquanto matou 22 milhões de civis chineses. Por favor, leia novamente: vinte e dois milhões de civis chineses mortos pelas tropas japonesas!

Sorridente oficial japonês em meio às vítimas que acabou de matar. Na mão direita, sua espada. Na esquerda a cabeça de uma das vítimas.

Acostumado aos Seis Milhões de Judeus mortos no Holocausto, o leitor deve estar impressionado com este número e precisa se perguntar: por que nunca falam disto? Por que na China não se relembra isto? A explicação é simples. O comandante em chefe chinês era o nacionalista Chiang Kai-shek, que ao término da Segunda Guerra Mundial, começou a ser combatido pelo comandante chinês comunista, Mao Zedong. Quando Mao venceu e estabeleceu o comunismo na China e Chiang fugiu para (a hoje) Taiwan, o novo regime, em sua reforma cultural e expurgos considerou estas 22 milhões de pessoas mortas como um efeito desejável atribuindo a todas elas a pecha de serem nacionalistas, portanto anti-revolucionárias.

Oficial japonês corta a cabeça de um civil chinês enquanto outro aguarda para ser morto. Grande multidão de chineses acompanha a selvageria

Outro ponto importante para se deixar o campo de batalha sino-japonês fora dos livros é o fato de que os Nacionalistas Chineses eram apoiados pela Alemanha Nazista e as fotos de suas tropas são especificamente inconvenientes, por mostra uma resistência contra o Japão utilizando armas e uniformes alemães. Na foto em Nanjing temos uma grande massa popular e de soldados chineses nacionalistas, assistindo a execução de um oficial japonês invasor de alta patente. O chinês com uniforme e capacete nazista, disparando uma pistola Mauser alemã, observado à esquerda por dois oficiais que parecem mais saídos de Berlim que Pequim é complicada e incomoda a qualquer um.

Imagem incômoda de soldado nacionalista chinês matando com um disparo de pistola Mauser um oficial japonês. O uso de equipamento alemão pelos nacionalistas chineses faz com que não se publique sobre este teatro de guerra.

CONQUISTAS E ATROCIDADES CONTRA SUB-HUMANOS
Aos poucos os japoneses começaram a atacar todos os países asiáticos. Coreia, Indochina Francesa (Vietnã), Birmânia, Filipinas, Nova Guiné, Singapura e um grande número de ilhas. A cada conquista, novas atrocidades. Vamos enumerar apenas algumas e veja você mesmo se algo se parece com o ISIS, que também luta em nome de Deus.
Treinamento comum de soldados japoneses em países asiáticos ocupados. Ao invés de um saco com capim, um prisioneiro civil.

Fevereiro de 1942, no aeroporto da ilha de Ambon, 300 prisioneiros de guerra australianos e holandeses, escolhidos aleatoriamente no campo de prisioneiros próximo foram decapitados. 90 soldados e oficiais japoneses foram julgados por este massacre depois da guerra. Apenas quatro foram condenados a morte.

Prisioneiro norte-americano prestes a ser decapitado. Note os sorrisos de outros soldados japoneses ao fundo.

Em 14 de fevereiro de 1942 um dia antes das tropas britânicas se renderem em Singapura, o hospital militar foi alcançado pelos soldados japoneses. Os 200 soldados ingleses feridos que estavam no hospital, foram levados ao pátio e mortos com baionetas. Ci