Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Falling over a reminiscence: meet the bad boy

The year is 1966. "California Dreamin" by the Mamas and the Papas was the Billboard number one song of the year.

After basic training and border duty, I had been drafted into the Nahal Mutznach (Airborne Nahal) battalion of the Paratroopers. Every six weeks I had leave.
We received so little leave because there always had to be a minimum of paratrooper companies on alert during the Shabbat.

My base was up north and my home, a kibbutz, was down south in the Negev.
I had no money, so I hitchhiked. This was not difficult but it took a lot of time. I usually arrived at the kibbutz late afternoon on a Friday and left late afternoon on Saturday.

I did not have a room. It was a waste giving me a room if I only turned up for one night every six weeks. I used to kip in an empty room.
If I could not find one, I put up a stretcher bed at a friend’s place.

I was often very tired, but sometimes my tiredness did not get the better of my hormones. 
On one of my leaves I met a young Belgian Jewish girl, Ariella.
I cannot exactly remember why she was there. She may have just been visiting.

We started to talk earnestly and I ended up at her hut.
She had to start work early in the morning. When someone came to wake her, I hid behind a bookcase.
I got up a bit before lunchtime, took a shower and started walking down to the communal dining room. I was going to have lunch with my best friend, Zvi, who would then be finishing work.

The first people I saw on my walk were two women of my age. One was a schoolteacher for young children and the other was a member of my group (garin). They were always together.
They smiled at me, said hello and started giggling. That did not bother me as they were the giggling types.

I passed other people who greeted me with broad smiles. This kind of effusive welcome was a bit unusual.
Then I saw Noach and Peel from a distance. Noach was one of the Romanian Holocaust survivors who had founded the kibbutz. Peel, which is Hebrew for elephant, was his Israeli sidekick. They worked in the garage.
On a kibbutz the garage is the man cave. It is where the men go to gossip.

I had got to know them well when I was serving on a nearby border post, Kerem Shalom.
As there was not much to do on the post I could sometimes come and work on my kibbutz. My visits were too irregular for work with the sheep (I was a shepherd), so I started work in the garage.
I did not have to do much. They had a big armchair where I used to take a nap.

All they wanted from me was gossip.
My border post was mixed, men and women. They wanted to be kept up to date on all the lurid details of what was happening there; who was doing what with whom.

When they waved to me on my walk to the communal dining room, I waved back. Then they gave me the thumbs up sign. Now I knew something was going on.
For the rest of the walk I kept my head down and stared at the ground.

At the back of the building with the dining room there was a soda tap. I went there first to drink some soda.
I felt a thump on my back.
It was Zvi. He congratulated me on my new relationship. It was all over the kibbutz. Ariella was wallowing in the attention she was getting.
Nothing much happens on a kibbutz and this sort of thing was news.

I explained to him that it was only a one-night stand and I had no intention of starting a relationship with the girl. I would tell her that.
And that is where my memory fails me. I suppose I must have spoken to her about it. However, I cannot remember anything about the conversation.
Anyway, I do remember that I left that afternoon to go back to my base.

When I came home on my next leave she was not there. Nobody mentioned her name and I never saw her again.
I presume she got over me, the others did.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Jews are good for something

In 1948, the Israelis and Jordanians fought for Jerusalem.
The Israelis secured West Jerusalem. The Jordanians won East Jerusalem with the old city and its religious sites.

The old city has a Jewish Quarter where Jews had lived since Ottoman times. It is also home to the holy sites of Judaism, including the western wall of the destroyed Jewish temple. 
The Jordanian authorities did not allow any Jew to stay or pray in the old city. They did not bother with the upkeep of the Jewish holy sites. 

In 1967, Israel captured the old city from the Jordanians. Jews returned to the Jewish Quarter and Jews from around the world came to pray at the western wall.
There was an agreement reached with the Jordanians that gave sovereignty of the Muslim holy places to Jordan.

In December 2016, the United Nations Security Council adopted a "no Jews in Jerusalem" resolution.
The resolution decrees that any Jew living in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem is a flagrant violation of international law and that all the sites that Jews consider to be holy belong to a new state called Palestine.

The Security Council vote was a logical follow-up of resolutions adopted by UNESCO two months earlier. 
In October, 2016 UNESCO adopted Palestinian formulated resolutions that deleted any mention of Jewish ties to Jerusalem.

The Palestinians rejoiced. The "world" agreed with them. Jerusalem must be Jew-free. There is only one question left.
How should they rename the Jewish Quarter?

My first thought was, the "May Quarter".
After all we now know that Theresa May helped formulate the Arab "Jews out of Jerusalem" resolution. And she did pressure other members of the Security Council to support it.

Was she trying to atone for the Balfour Declaration?
It was a really professional act of perfidy. Praising Israel and Jews with a broad smile and then kicking them out of their holiest religious sites.

She does have a lot going for her. Still, I do not think she will get the honour.
The Palestinians have become more and more religious. According to Pew, some 89% support Sharia punishments. I do not think they will rename it after a woman. 

That only leaves Barack Obama.
The Obama Quarter. It has a nice ring to it. If they were to decree that all the toilets there must be gender-neutral, he might agree to take part in the renaming ceremony.

The Palestinians can still use the old name for tourist purposes. Jerusalem tours of where the Jews used to live might be profitable.
European countries do that and it is quite a thriving business.
So you see, Jews are good for something.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Who needs antisemites?

Nina Siegal grew up in New York. She has been living in Amsterdam since 2006, where she works as an author and a frequent contributor to the New York Times.
She usually writes about art.
In an article for the Jewish Book Council in 2014 she reflected on being Jewish in Amsterdam. For her, that is reflections on dead Jews.
Not a word about the situation of live Jews. Of the growing antisemitism, mainly from Muslims.
On July 29, 2016 she wrote a glowing article for the New York Times about a new political party in the Netherlands, called DENK.
She referred to it as a party, "led by a multicultural group of candidates seeking to combat xenophobia and racism in the Netherlands."
In reality, DENK is led by two Erdogan-supporters.
On a popular Muslim site the party's leader was proudly referred to as, "the Dutch Erdogan".
As to be expected, they support the Muslim Brotherhood and Grey Wolves. They also deny the Armenian genocide and call all Kurdish organizations terrorists.
Ms. Siegal missed that.
She missed other things that are important for live Jews.
DENK hates Israel intensely. That is one of the attractions for its potential electorate.
It supports the "resistance", Hamas.
In its charter, Hamas calls for the murder of all the Jews in the world. It maintains that Jews are responsible for all evil since the French Revolution and killing Jews is the only way to rid the world of evil.
To summarize the above:
Ms. Siegal is in Amsterdam reflecting and lamenting the Holocaust of 6 million Jews.
Ms. Siegal writes a glowing article about a political party that supports Hamas, who calls for a Holocaust of 14 million Jews.
Jews can be their own worst enemies, who needs antisemites?

This article was also posted to my blog on the Jerusalem Post.
Ms. Siegal complained that I had called her an antisemite. Which is incorrect.
The Jerusalem Post decided that a New York Times columnist is a non-public figure who could not be "personally attacked".
They removed my article.
They of course can do this. It is their newspaper.

I interpret their decision as saying columnists for major newspapers cannot be held accountable for what they choose to write. Even if it is a glowing article about an antisemitic organization that supports terrorists who call for the genocide of Jews.

DENK has been in the news.
To start with, the party split. Then there were the candidates they selected for the coming elections. All are virulent Israel-haters.

There are some variations in their candidates. Two examples.
One candidate is an ethnic Moroccan who started crowdfunding for another ethnic Moroccan who was convicted of kicking a Dutch linesman to death after a soccer match.
Another maintains that ISIS was created by the "cowardly dogs" Israel (and America). Furthermore that the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghadi, is a Zionist spy.

All that the readers of the New York Times know is that this wonderful new political party is "led by a multicultural group of candidates seeking to combat xenophobia and racism in the Netherlands."
They know this, courtesy of Nina Siegal.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Incompetence is Gender-Neutral

In 2009 Margot Wallström wrote an article for the Huffington Post with the title, "Women We Need: Towards a More Female-centred Foreign Policy." 

In her article she argued that (important) women (like her) should play a bigger role in conflict management, policy-making and peace-making processes. 

The major reasons for this upgrading of the "female perspective and experience" were that women are the most vulnerable group and "eighty percent of the world's refugees are women and children".
As a result, women (unlike men) realize that security is a "wider concept, including environmental and poverty-related challenges to the individual's integrity". 

Now fast-forward to 2015 and the surge of refugees entering Europe. Angela Merkel and Margot Wallström have taken over foreign policy in Europe. Their "female perspective and experience" reigns supreme.

What is the result? To start with, women and children are no longer 80% of the refugees. According to UN data, 69% are men, 18% are children and 13% are women. 
The percentage for children is relatively high because in 2015 there has been a surge in the number of "unaccompanied minors". 
In practice these are often young men without papers who say they are minors because they know it is harder to deport minors.

What else have Ms Merkel and Ms Wallström accomplished? Deep divisions between and within EU countries. Possible destruction of Schengen. The EU is on the verge of collapse.

A lot of this new policy will have to be reversed. According to EU vice-president Frans Timmermans, some 60% of the migrants will not be recognized as refugees.

Sweden has now stated that it expects to deport 80,000. The expulsions will "have to be done using specially chartered aircraft, given the large numbers, staggered over several years." 

What is Germany going to do? How is it going to deport 600,000 people (the 60% of Timmermans) and how long will that take? 

This foreign policy based on "female perspective and experience" is a complete and utter failure. Ms Merkel and Ms Wallström have proved that women can be just as incompetent as men.

Incompetence is gender-neutral. 

Friday, 9 December 2016

Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done

Two things bother me about the Wilders-trial.
They have nothing to do with whether he is innocent or guilty according to law. That is not my area of expertise.
I have problems with the way the trial was conducted. This transcends the discussion about “guilt” or “innocence”.

For me one of the most important principles of the rule of law is that justice must also be seen to be done.
This means that the mere appearance of bias during a trial must be avoided. Otherwise the impartiality of the judicial process will become contentious, which in turn diminishes the legitimacy of the rule of law.

That is my first problem. 
There was the appearance of bias during the trial and the defense will certainly use this in the appeals process as an argument for overturning the verdict.
The appearance of bias was in the person of one of the three judges, Elianne van Rens.
In a television programme this judge had publicly criticized Wilders’ ideas and the earlier trial that had acquitted him.

During the trial the defense called a professor of jurisprudence at Leiden University as a witness. He explained why he thought that Wilders was innocent of a crime.
Ms. van Rens interrupted him constantly with remarks (sneers?) like “that is just your interpretation”. She did not interrupt any witnesses for the prosecution.
Unnecessary comments, because it was obvious that it was his interpretation as a professor of jurisprudence.

The defense requested the substitution of the judge. This was refused.

My second problem is with the conclusion of the trial.
After the refusal to substitute one of the judges, Wilders began referring to the trial in the terminology of a kangaroo court. At the end of the trial, the judges wrote that Wilders’ terminology was “unworthy” of a politician.
The judges were there to interpret the law not to pass moral judgments on the “worthiness” of politicians.

This reinforces my amazement at the general arrogance of the judges.
As if they did not care about the sensitivity of trying an elected politician for his political statements.
As if they had never heard of the expression: “Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.”

Sunday, 4 December 2016

It does not always happen to other people

Dr. Clemens Ladenburger is Assistant to the Director General of the Legal Service of the European Commission. He is one of the legal architects of the 2015 open borders policy.
He had a 19-year-old daughter, Maria Ladenburger, who studied medicine at Freiburg University, Germany.
Maria shared her father’s social conscience.
She was a member of an ecumenical Christian group, “Towards a new solidarity”, that actively supports refugees. She was also part of a group that collects money for refugees in Freiburg.
On October 19, 2016, Maria was brutally raped and drowned in the Dreisam River.
At the funeral her parents, true to the family’s social conscience, asked that mourners not bring flowers, but instead donate money to a church project in Bangladesh and to a student organization that agitates against the deportation of failed asylum seekers.
The police have now caught the murderer, who has confessed.
He was a 17-year-old Afghan refugee who had arrived in Germany in 2015 and was living with a Freiburg guest family.
In the majority of cases in Germany, an asylum seeker’s age is based on physical appearance and an interview. I presume they will now be allowed to carry out physical tests to ascertain his age.
They suspect he may also be responsible for another rape and murder.
Rapists are usually found through the use of DNA.
Not in Germany, as there are many restrictions on its use during an investigation. For example, the police are not allowed to ask for the DNA results for gender, skin colour or ethnicity. 
In practice, DNA can only be used at the end of an investigation to check if you have the right person.
The police found some partly dyed hair at the crime scene where she was murdered. Then they scanned the security videos to see if they could find anybody with the same partly dyed hair colours. That is how they found the suspect.
Their suspicions were confirmed by a DNA match.
When Dr. Landenburger and his colleagues were formulating the 2015 open borders policies, they knew there would be "incidents". There were going to be crimes committed, including rape and murder.
This, the would say, is the unfortunate price that must inevitably be paid for "helping millions of people".
What they did not presume, is that they would have to pay the price themselves. That one of their daughters would be the victim of rape and murder.

Rest in peace Maria Landenburger. You tried to do some good in this world.
May her memory be a blessing.
Image result for maria ladenburger

Friday, 2 December 2016

Gibberish and Balderdash

The public networks in the Netherlands are financed by tax revenue. People who work for these networks are not supposed to earn more than the Prime Minister, €179,000 per year.
The socialist network has a problem with the salary cap. It pays its presenter of a weekday talk programme a yearly salary of € 570,000.
The programme is very Bernie Sanders. There is no bleeding heart problem that it does not cover.
An 85 year old writer and ex-politician was on the programme.
First off, his new book was plugged by the € 570,000 a year socialist. Then he was given the opportunity to hold a speech. He spoke for seven minutes without notes.
He began the speech with a nostalgic review of his youth.
He mentioned that in the good old days all the houses had a piece of string hanging from their letter boxes. That way children and adults could open the front doors and walk in and out whenever they wanted to.
People trusted each other and their slogan was "make love not war" (He said that in Dutch English).
Then he fast forwarded to the present. The good times were behind us.Things had radically changed and not for the better.
What had gone wrong?
The fact that a hypocritical socialist network was paying a presenter € 570,000 to milk bleeding heart problems?
No, he did not mention that.
According to the octogenarian guru, there were two problems.
Firstly we were destroying the planet.
Secondly, there was no trust any more. The people did not trust the politicians and the politicians did not trust the people.
He had the solution.
Politicians had to be honest and work for the public good.
How could they prove their honesty and integrity to the people? By pursuing a radical environment policy to save the world.
That was the answer to all our problems.
The whole politically correct world of talking heads, columnists and analysts were unanimous in their praise.
This wise, old man had analyzed the problem correctly and shown us the way forward.
Gibberish and balderdash.
There is a problem with human interaction with the environment but this is not the cause of lack of mutual trust and lack of trust in politicians.
There is a whole list of developments that have contributed to the demise of the sense of community of bygone times.
However, the most relevant is the change in mutual human interactions: the transition from the monocultural society of his youth to the present day multicultural society. This has produced many frictions.

These transition frictions have been exacerbated by the Dutch disease: the denial of the elite that a politically inconvenient problem exists and the ensuing lack of policy to solve the problem.
There was only one columnist who had the audacity, honesty and courage to question this shallow speech of platitudes. She is not indigenous Dutch but a migrant from Romania. Perhaps that helped her make a better analysis.