Monthly Archives: March 2009

Huge failed bomb attack in the northern Israeli city of Haifa

Not foiled – failed.

See the BBC and Ha’aretz

“Security forces were called to the parking lot after the mall’s security guards heard a small explosion coming from the direction of a Subaru parked in a parking lot adjacent to the shopping center at around 8 P.M. on Saturday. Sappers said part of the device had gone off prematurely and another had failed to detonate.

“It’s important to note that the car was parked in the outer car park and not underground, which means it was not checked by mall security,” a police officer said.

Tatiana Daminovitch, an eye witness, said “at first the shoppers were nonchalant, some of them thought that it was a drill, and therefore the evacuation was delayed a bit.”

The commander of the Coastal District said following the incident that the police, together with the shopping center’s management, will examine the security protocols relating to the security of the mall. “We will assess the situation in this mall and in additional malls in order to gain insight into how to better secure them in the future. Without a doubt this was a large bomb that could have cost a lot of lives and damage,” he said.”

I suppose this highlights one faint silver lining. During the Second Intifada (currently suppressed by the checkpoints and security barrier) few Israelis would have assumed that an explosion was a drill.

It must be rather radicalising being blown up, or threatened with being blown up, day to day. For Palestinians and Israelis.

Alex Stein’s thoughts on the new Israeli government

Earlier I promised a post on the new Israeli government. It seemed necessary on Greens Engage, a blog about the intersection of anti-Zionism and antisemitism. But at Greens Engage we could be more interested in Israeli politics. In fact, we are much more concerned with our own back yard – keeping Britain a good place for Jews to live. It happens that this involves putting up some alternatives to the unfeasably vilifying ways of regarding Israel which are stridently advanced in the Green Party. Personally I find it strange that in order to safeguard my place in this country, I have to get acquainted with Israeli politics – to debunk untruths, to balance slants, to point out counter-examples to the vilification. But there you go.

Luckily, I can sit back today because we have Alex Stein, an Anglo-Israeli blogging at False Dichotomies. He has written a guest post on Harry’s Place analysing the state of Israel’s new Netanyahu-led government. Have a read.

Water relationship possibilities between Israel and Gazans

Read Green Prophet.

“As if to add to their current misery, the 1.5 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are now facing an acute water shortage due to ground water contamination. These findings were made in a research project recently conducted by three Gaza academics: Dr. Ziad Abu Hein, head of Environment and Earth Sciences Department at the Islamic University in Gaza, Dr. Khalil Tbeil, lecturer at the Faculty of Agriculture at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, and Dr Midhat Abu An-Na’im, of the Geology Department at Al-Azhar University.

The three scientists published their findings in a research paper which received an award at a competition sponsored by the Saudi government’s Sultan Bin Abdul-Aziz research competition and submitted to a conference on water conservation being held in Egypt, where the paper won a third place award.

The three scientists were not allowed to attend the conference, however due to the blockade being imposed on Gaza by both Egypt and Israel.”

See the Gisha/PHR report on freedom of movement for Gazans, and read on at Green Prophet for an overview of Gaza’s needs.

A thought experiment

Eve Garrard on Normblog. From it:

“How did we get to this stage, where parts of the liberal-left in Britain are quite unashamedly prepared to deploy some of the most traditional tropes of anti-Semitism? The standard explanation given is that the ‘root cause’ of all this hostility lies in the behaviour and sometimes the existence of Israel. The causal arrow, it is claimed, runs from Israel’s existence and crimes to current hostility to Jews both in Israel and in the rest of the world. But this explanation is not a convincing one, since the much greater crimes of other states have produced nothing like the febrile animosity and persistent demands for punishment and ostracism (at the very least) that Israel has attracted, far less the demands for the destruction of the offending state itself. So we need a better explanation, and it’s tempting to think of one in which the causal arrow is reversed, in which it’s hostility to Jews which is in the driving seat, a hostility which explains the distorted perception of Israel as uniquely malevolent and hence to be uniquely excoriated.

This reversal of the causal arrow doesn’t produce a fully satisfactory explanation either, since most people on the left aren’t consumed by hatred of Jews, aren’t driven by an anti-Semitic project to demonize them and to deny them the rights which others are routinely accorded. A world in which there is such a conscious project on the left, here in Britain, isn’t the world we actually live in. But reversing the direction of the causal arrow does produce an instructive thought experiment: if we consider what such a world, if it did exist, would be like, the differences between it and the real world will help us to understand our own circumstances better. Suppose that there were indeed a resurgence of anti-Semitism in the UK, particularly on the left. What would we expect to find? What would treatment of the Jews be like, as this new version of Jew-hatred got under way?”

Read all of this splendid post.