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If Willy Wonka had a farm, it would fit right in here in Israel.
Want a lemon-scented tomato or a chocolate-colored persimmon? How about some miniaturized garlic cloves for the home chef who doesn’t have time to chop, or a purple potato that tastes buttery when cooked?
There are no chocolate rivers or edible teacup flowers on Israeli farms, but you will find carrots shaped like potatoes, strawberries shaped like carrots, star-shaped zucchini and “watermelon” tomatoes — dark green on the outside with a juicy red flesh.
There are also specially bred red peppers with three times the usual amount of vitamins, and black chickpeas with extra antioxidants. Not to mention worm-shaped berries and blue bananas.
Edmund Sanders, “Israel plows new ground in exotic crops,” Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2010
More than 50 rockets have exploded in the Negev since the beginning of 2010, and more than 350 rockets were fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza into Israel since the end of Operation Cast Lead last year.
Tzvi Ben Gedalyhahu, “Air Force Strikes More Terror Tunnels after Continuing Attacks,” Israel National News, May 29, 2010
“The Americans came to Iraq from another planet. They missed the fact that this part of the world was living in a different historical period. They had a deluded [notion] that they could perform a deep surgical procedure on the region by removing Saddam Hussein’s regime.
“The Iraqi politician smiles. Experience shows that the Americans were wrong in interpreting [the] people’s demands and feelings. They believed that toppling Saddam Hussein would allow them to rebuild Iraq as they did Germany and Japan. They forgot about the different circumstances, the degree of economic and social development and the religious and cultural differences. . . .
“They did not know that we are made up of different races, sects, and denominations, which drag behind them a history of clashes, fear and attempts to eradicate and exterminate one another, and that our real identity – like our loyalties – is either smaller or greater than the area of the countries we inhabit. They did not understand that our real homelands are our sects and the regions [inhabited by people like ourselves].
Ghassan Charbel, quoted in “Al-Hayat Editor: The Americans Do Not Understand the Realities of the Middle East,” MEMRI, May 30, 2010
One may describe Hitler as a “vegetarian” (which he apparently was) but he was still a genocidally exterminationist Jew-hater whose relentless racism and imperial ambitions led to the death of more than 60 million people.
One may also describe the Turks on board the “freedom flotilla” (Orwell himself could not have suggested a better logo) as “humanitarian activists.” But they are still pro-terrorist Turkish jihadists whose mission was to kill Jews, one way or the other.
Phyllis Chesler, “Turkey Attacks Israel: Does the Ottoman Empire Want to Lead the Caliphate?” Newsrealblog, May 31, 2010
Israel had every right under international law to stop and board ships bound for the Gaza war zone late Sunday. Only knee-jerk left-wingers and the usual legion of poseurs around the world would dispute this.
Leslie Gelb, “Israel was right,” Daily Beast, May 31, 2010
If Israel truly had wanted to “massacre” the Hamas sympathizers and fellow travellers aboard a six-ship Gaza-bound flotilla, the operation would not have been complicated. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) would have used the trusty North Korean solution: Torpedo the ships and watch them sink to the bottom of the sea. . . .
According to the IDF, not all of the activists on board the ships were the pacifists they claimed to be. Though the Free Gaza leaders said they would not resist Israeli enforcement of the embargo, some of them fought the Israeli boarding parties with iron clubs — as confirmed by video that has been made available to the media. More seriously, it is claimed that at least one of the activists took two handguns from the Israelis and fired at the soldiers. . . .
If this narrative stands up, then every drop of blood spilled on Monday morning rests on the hands of those activists who initiated the deadly exchange. When you attack Israeli soldiers — or at any soldiers — with lethal force, they will respond in kind. . . .
For most of the world, of course, these facts won’t matter: Like the bogus Jenin massacre, this episode will be used as just another stick to beat the Jewish state — even by those same pundits and activists who can’t be roused to say a single word when genuine “massacres” unfold in other parts of the world, such as the slaughter of more than 90 members of the Ahmadi sect in Pakistan. On sea, as on land, this is the double-standard that Israel always must battle when it acts to defend itself against terrorists and their media-savvy enablers.
Jonathan Kay, “Jenin on the high seas,” National Post, May 31, 2010
“It is after considerable contemplation,” began the pop star Elvis Costello, sounding remarkably like Queen Victoria, “that I have lately arrived at the decision that I must withdraw from the two performances scheduled in Israel on the 30th of June and the 1st of July.”
Any particular reason?
“There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung.”
And as Mr Costello concluded: “I cannot imagine receiving another invitation to perform in Israel.”
So that’s that. Elvis has left the building, permanently. . . .
And it’s always sobering when someone you assume you’ve got a lot in common with turns out, in the most basic sense, to see the world entirely differently.
That somewhat banal thought used to occur to me whenever I’d be in a “moderate” Muslim state chatting up some westernized Arab hottie and, just at the point at which I’d be thinking we were getting along gangbusters, she’d say something utterly nutty, invariably involving Jews. These days, the thought is as likely to occur at London dinner parties. There’s no “incursion” or “disproportionate response” by Israel that prompted Elvis’ divestment from the Zionist Entity: These days, it’s just business (or lack of it) as usual. I wouldn’t say I exactly avoid the topic in English or French drawing rooms, and if it does come up I robustly defend Israel and eviscerate Palestinian “nationalism”. But no minds are changed – and these days the talk is less of the “occupied territories” and more of how the very creation of the Jewish state was a dreadful mistake. Once upon a time, a pro-Palestinian European would reluctantly concede the point if you brought up the Arabs’ refusal to recognize Israel’s “right to exist”. No more. Now Israel’s “right to exist” has as few takers among Europe’s “intellectual” class as it does on the Hamas executive board.
Mark Steyn, “I Don’t Want to Go to Israel,” SteynOnline, June 1, 2010
Wishing Hamas well, laboring for its success, is actually a crime against the Palestinians themselves.
Marty Peretz, “In The Great Flotilla Debate, The Facts Are On Israel’s Side,” The New Republic,June 1, 2010
Yesterday’s press conference by Hanin Zuabi, an Israeli Arab Knesset member who was on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara when Israeli commandos boarded it on Monday, should be studied by every journalist or human-rights activist who ever believed a Palestinian atrocity tale. Here is Haaretz’s report of it:
According to Zuabi, when the flotilla was 130 miles from shore, 14 naval ships approached and opened fire without warning. Only journalists, nurses and a doctor were on deck; none of them carried weapons. All the other passengers were either in their rooms or fled there as soon as the shooting began. …
Over and over, she insisted that the passengers engaged in no violence, that the soldiers had come with intent to kill and intimidate, that it was all planned in advance.
When reporters confronted her with the video footage released by the army and the soldiers’ testimony, and with the fact that several soldiers were wounded, Zuabi first evaded the questions, then finally insisted, “This is what I saw.”
This is a classic example of the Big Lie: even faced with incontrovertible evidence of her story’s falsity — the video footage of those peace-loving “journalists” and “nurses” attacking the soldiers, the seven hospitalized commandos — Zuabi stuck to it. And without this evidence, most of the world would surely have believed her.
Evelyn Gordon, “The Lessons of Hanan Zuabi’s Big Lie,” Commentary, June 2, 2010
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