Thursday, April 28, 2011

Comment trail:

In a public hearing today Kringkastningsrådet (Broadcasting council) rejected Israel’s charges of NRK bias.

My comment:

Not a surprise. The mood in Norway vis a vis Israel is similar to the mood in the American South during Jim Crow. A black man accused of a crime could not hope to be acquitted by an all white jury. A black man suing a white man could hardly, if at all, hope to get justice from a white judge. The same odds pertain to Israel demanding fairness in media coverage from an all-Norwegian press. It is simply not possible. Never mind the fact that a Broadcasting council faced with the challenge of criticizing their own media coverage will often choose to close ranks with that side, and prefer its arguments over that of the accuser’s. Add to that the probability that the council members share the bias of the media, of course they will be incapable of noticing, let alone acknowledging, its manifestations.

An Israeli Jew in Norway gets the same amount of respect and credibility that a Jew would get in the Arab Caliphate: a Jew’s testimony is valued at half the worth of a Muslim’s.

Is It Time To Take Trump Seriously?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Barking dogs


moving caravans

A special reminder for the end of Passover.

Moral Courage

An Arab-Syrian blogger from Dubai writes about the events in Syria:

"....Long, long time ago in a far away land, a group of people were
caught doing horrible things. And to add insult to injury, they filmed
themselves doing those horrible things and that piece of film was
leaked to the public. That had become an embarrassment to them and the
people they worked for and, in a way, represented. And those people
were powerful but they also cared an awful lot about their public

So what did they do to ensure damage-control and to reassure everyone
that that wasn't their modus operandi? They denied everything. That
hadn't happened here. Those were not our people. That must have been
staged by our enemies and their sponsors. That must have been
digitally manipulated, animated, fabricated... and so on.

That narrative (and some variations of it) was communicated to
everyone. And everyone was made to know that this is what really
happened. Believe us and distrust every other source. Our analysis is
the solid one and everyone else is lying. Don't believe them, they're
simply lying.

Now, what was to happen to those who didn't believe in their
interpretation of the events and the leaked film?

Simple: they were to be subjected to the same horrible things that
were shown on the film."

And here he writes about "The Zionist Entity":

Perhaps a great deal of hesitation and rejection of the likes of articles like Nicholas Kristof's is because of this: the underdevelopment and lack of progress in the Arab world have always been a justification co-opted by the racist Zionist Entity (aka 'Israel') in order to kill, maim and subjugate Palestinians at large and with impunity. Let us be clear about this: no matter how backward, primitive, ignorant, unproductive or regressive a population is, its individuals deserve the same human rights (individually and collectively as a nation entitled to its right of determination and national aspirations) as everybody."

Note the differences. Admire the intellectual honesty and courage.


Point of reference:

"Israeli sorrows and sufferings from the Assads’ Syria were far more insidious in comparison to any inflicted upon the Jewish state by any other country. Perhaps this litany of havoc began with the October 1973 Yom Kippur War that continued until May 1974 on the Golan front.

Syria’s torturing of Israeli POWs should never be forgotten. The smashing of Lebanon in the 1970s, as in the Hundred Days War in Beirut in 1978, and supporting Palestinian warfare against the Lebanese, including the barbaric massacre of Christian communities, was designed to deny Israel a free Lebanon that would be a friendly neighbor.

Syria allying with Hezbollah from the 1980s and facilitating its armaments pipeline and fighting doctrine bled Israel, demoralized the Jews, and contributed to the reprehensible and reckless IDF withdrawal in May, 2000. When Syria forged intimate ties with Iran, soon after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, it became clear that Khomeini’s jihad was now comfortably pre-positioned on Israel’s northern border regions. "

Arab Democratic aspirations ...

As reflected in one Arab blogger's writing:

"As a matter of fact, this is in essence what this whole Arab spring is all about, getting rid of the American and Zionist puppets in the Arab world.

After this Arab spring is over, Israel will be in for some real trouble.
You will definitely be needing a new Exodus out of this."


Update: (H/T: Martin Kramer's Sandbox)

"Pew poll from Egypt: "By a 54%-to-36% margin, Egyptians want the peace treaty with Israel annulled." But note: "Attitudes differ by education: 59% of those with a primary education or less favor annulling the treaty, while only 40% of those with a college education or more feel the same way." Interpretation: a dumb idea, most popular with the ignorant, now in play thanks to "democracy."

The Iconoclast comments (in italics) on this data:

"Despite the decades of peace and limited trade between the two countries, most Egyptian view the Israelis poorly, largely because of perceptions that they mistreat the Palestinians.

No, most Egyptians view the Jews of Israel poorly because of the Islamic view of Jews and Judaism, as laid out by Mohammad in the Qur'an and the ahadith. The "apes and pigs" line predates the Camp David accords by over a millenium."

based on my own experience in trying to engage with Arab bloggers in a civil manner, and in reading the available editorials in the English-written Arab press, I tend to agree with the assessment. Contempt for Jews seems to be almost second-nature in these authors. They are incapable of writing about Israel in anyway even remotely neutral or even merely factual.

I prefer Fagin ...

Last night, I caught one of the episodes of the 2010 "Upstairs, Downstairs", the BBC produced revival of the old, very popular 70's series.

I've got nothing much to say about the thing itself. It's about as good as any sequel that seeks to capitalize on the original success of any artistic production. That is to say, NOT! But I do have something to say about a British pathology when it comes to portraying Jews in their dramas.

In this particular episode we are introduced to a beautiful, tall Jewess who works as a maid in the elegant house. She is in fact a refugee from Germany, where she was a professor at university, married to (presumably) a man who is now in prison for political reasons. I assume that little detail is meant to act as a signal that her husband is not Jewish; if he were, he would have been in a concentration camp for his Jewishness, not in jail for political activism. She seems to be a gracious woman, actively anti-fascist, very willing to melt into the background, and has a daughter kept somewhere out of sight from the lady of the house, at some other, possibly Jewish, neighbourhood, though we are not being told that directly. As if it were some dirty little secret. Her only and closest friend is an Indian servant/gentleman. She is also made to be suffering from some illness that plagues her in the form of a cough. By the end of the episode, she dies. Some "people she knows" (again, presumably Jewish) come to take away her coffin and her little girl is left behind. Why couldn't she go with those people? asks Lady Agnes, petulantly. Because those people were not her mother's friends and she did not want to go with them. That's the explanation we get from one of the servants. (My cynical inner cricket keeps winking/nudging at my better sense: Perhaps she is being groomed to play a role in "The Promise"...)

I just wanted to point out that this is what the BBC (presumably, reflecting the culture of the people it serves) likes to present to us as a desirable Jew: someone who is by nature, inclination and culture automatically noble, universal, reluctant to fraternize with other real, sweaty, visible Jews who live next to other Jews, suffering and eventually dead.

And why am I making this startling judgment?

Last year I watched "The Last Detective", an ITV drama starring Peter Davison as Dangerous Davies. The series follows Detective Constable "Dangerous" Davies who is treated as a pariah by his colleagues, but is committed to his work and staunchly humane in his application. In two episodes Jews make an appearance. In one, no mention is made of the word "Jew", but we know these are Jews. They are depicted as a corrupt, vulgar, noisy and ridiculous lot, who get their comeuppance. We know they are Jews because you cannot mistake the names they are given, the choice of work ("the garment industry"), or stereotypical presentation. In the other episode we get a real Jew, referred to as a Jew. We don't see him, because by the time the narrative of murder and detection unfolds, he has been dead for many years. He used to be the piano teacher to an aristocratic boy, and became very friendly with the boy's genteel and sad mother. Her haughty thuggish husband, suspects an affair and has the Jewish man framed and imprisoned for stealing something. The Jew commits suicide in prison.

So you see again the formula I mentioned earlier? A noble, highly cultured Jew, poor into the bargain (piano teachers are not moneylenders, or garment producers), sacrificed on the altar of some universal value, like friendship that crosses the boundaries of class and race, and, of course, very dead, at the end.

Is there, I wonder, some real obstacle, in built into British culture, that prevents it from seeing Jews as nothing more human and complex than this cheap either/or? What to make of this fictional penchant to idolize assimilating Jews but reward their efforts with death? Remember PD James's "Original Sin", where the murderer turns out to be a Jew out to revenge his Nazi exterminated family? He, too, was an invisible Jew, highly cultured, a much-feted poet. He, too, ends up committing suicide.

I'd better stop right here, in case I find myself saying things that shouldn't be said, like, how the Brits seem incapable of looking at and seeing Jews as proper human beings. Or why. Even the French do a much better job ... without even trying.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Approved by Angry Arab

I have been watching for some time now the the former free-lance Middle East consultant for NBC News and ABC News and now professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley, Dr. As’ad AbuKhalil's blog "Angry Arab" and have been somewhat confounded when I tried to figure out whom, or what, he approves.

My curiosity has been laid to rest, with this helpful post:

Money quote:

"Ghassan belongs to the Arab nationalist mold and is a fierce supporter of resistance to Israel. I last saw him last year when he invited me to dinner with Samir Al-Quntar."

Who is this "Samir Al-Quntar"?

"Samir Kuntar (Arabic: سمير القنطار‎, also transcribed Sameer, Kantar, Quntar, Qantar) (born July 20, 1962 in Abey, Lebanon) is a Lebanese Druze murderer and former member of the PLFP. On April 22, 1979, at the age of 16, he participated in the attempted kidnapping of an Israeli family in Nahariya that resulted in the deaths of four Israelis and two of his fellow kidnappers.[1] Kuntar was convicted in an Israeli court for murder of an Israeli policeman, Eliyahu Shahar, 31 year-old Danny Haran, and Haran's 4-year-old daughter, Einat Haran, whom he killed with blunt force against a rock."

So now we know.


BTW, in an older post the professor from Berkeley narrates Quntar's self-exculpatory tale:

He again denied the Israeli version of events of what happened back in 1979, when he was 16 years old. He revealed the Maariv the day after his arrest in 1979, reported that the victims in that attack were killed by Israeli gunfire. He said that he was subjected to torture in order for him to agree to the Israeli version of events,"

He was tortured into confessing to smashing the 4 year old girl's head against the rocks.

Sounds familiar?

"The families of the two terrorists who confessed to murdering five members of the Fogel family refuse to believe the two committed the massacre. Hakim Awad's mother, Nawef, claimed that her son was at home the night of the murder and never left the house. "Five months ago Hakim underwent a surgery in his stomach and I'm sure he was tortured and forced into confessing."

No doubt Angry would quote the Palestinian mother without any qualifications, if he had the guts to even mention the horror of the Itamar murders on his blog, which so far he has not.


"The suspects planned the stabbings days ahead, and made unsuccessful attempts to obtain firearms from a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine representative in their village.

The lack of guns did not dissuade the two men from carrying out their plan to murder Jews.

The youths left Awarta on foot, and after a kilometer, decided against using their wire cutter after seeing that the fence had an electric sensor. Instead they climbed over the fence without triggering its alarm, hiked over a forest hilltop, and reached a row of homes in Itamar.

They entered a home adjacent to the Fogel residence, but no one was there. They stole an M-16 rifle from the home, as well as ammunition and body armor, and walked down the street.

The terrorists then saw the Fogel residence, and spotted children sleeping through the window, security forces said.

Immediately after entering the home, the youths set their knives on two brothers sleeping in their beds, four-year-old Elad, and 11-year-old Yoav, killing them both.

They then entered the parents’ bedroom, where they launched a knife attack on Ehud and Ruth Fogel. The parents fought back. During the struggle, one of the suspects used the stolen M-16 to shoot Ruth Fogel dead. Ehud died of his stab wounds during the fight.

The two men left the house, but then they heard three-month-old Hadas crying.

Awoken by the attack, the baby lay in her crib in her parents’ bedroom.

“They went back into the house and stabbed the baby to death,” a security source said.

Two other children were in the home, but were spared because Akim and Amjad did not know they were there."

Amjad later told interrogators that he would have killed them, too, had he known that they were in the house.

After murdering five members of the family, the men walked back to their village, and told Hakim’s uncle, PFLP member Salah Adin Awad, what they had done.
Salah hid their firearms, and instructed them to burn their clothes, which were covered in blood.

The men then returned to their daily life. Meanwhile, Salah sent the murder weapons to a friend in Ramallah, named Jad Avid, who hid them in his home.

“They received much support from family members and friends in their environment,” the security source said.

Six suspected accomplices are also under arrest.
" (J-post)


Update: The mad professor from Berkeley also seems to approve another one of CC's usual suspects, Rashid Khalidi. Birds of a feather and all that.

Choice quotes:

" Rashid at one point slipped--perhaps--and refferred (sic) to Bill Ayers as "mutual friend" with Obama."

" Thirdly, no: there is no evidence whatsoever that "J-Street" has had any impact: ""They appear to have begun to make some headway." What headway are we talking about here?"

What headway are we talking about here?"

Now that's a question for which I, too, share in AA's curiosity.

Hitchens: The voiceless lion roars still ...

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress,
and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink,
but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct,
will pursue their principles unto death.
(Leonardo da Vinci)

Little men with little minds and little imaginations who live in their little worlds tell us with a certain barely discernible schadenfreude that Christopher Hitchens is not doing so well. His months are numbered.

It's hard to explain why I feel about Hitchens the way I do. On the most important issue, politically, he not only disagrees with me but expresses his disagreement with ruthless sincerity. Yet at the prospect of his imminent passing I am filled with grief, as if it were a close relative or a cherished friend who will be lost to me.

Here is the dude himself, still going strong, despite his inability to speak, the result, I assume of that evil disease that is consuming his life. A little more bombast than his usual even-keel tone but then, it is only natural that when your voice is weak, you tend to put a great deal more effort into being heard:

"That essential sense of decency is outraged every day. Our theocratic enemy is in plain view. Protean in form, it extends from the overt menace of nuclear-armed mullahs to the insidious campaigns to have stultifying pseudo-science taught in American schools. But in the past few years, there have been heartening signs of a genuine and spontaneous resistance to this sinister nonsense: a resistance which repudiates the right of bullies and tyrants to make the absurd claim that they have god on their side. To have had a small part in this resistance has been the greatest honor of my lifetime: the pattern and original of all dictatorship is the surrender of reason to absolutism and the abandonment of critical, objective inquiry. The cheap name for this lethal delusion is religion, and we must learn new ways of combating it in the public sphere, just as we have learned to free ourselves of it in private.

Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal: the open mind against the credulous; the courageous pursuit of truth against the fearful and abject forces who would set limits to investigation (and who stupidly claim that we already have all the truth we need). Perhaps above all, we affirm life over the cults of death and human sacrifice and are afraid, not of inevitable death, but rather of a human life that is cramped and distorted by the pathetic need to offer mindless adulation, or the dismal belief that the laws of nature respond to wailings and incantations. "

How I wish, despite his exhortations to the contrary, that I genuinely could believe in a God, that I could offer a prayer, that I could clearly envision Hitchens facing God with a sardonic smile, challenging his smugness and self-righteousness, daring him to come up with some even remotely plausible explanations for his unfathomable ways of inflicting such terrors upon the teeming humanity he had created.

A Banality of Evil?

Revisiting Eichmann's crimes, Holocaust historian Ulrich Herbert has this somewhat surprising reading of about Arendt's famous book title:

"Why did Arendt's catchphrase the "banality of evil" have such a resounding impact, when the image of the bureaucrat only partially corroborated with historical facts?
Simply because it was a catchphrase. On the one hand, it expressed the disappointment in the lack of magnitude, even if diabolical, which one would somehow expect from one of the most important organisers of the mass murders, given the millions of victims. On the other, it voiced a certain delayed sense of triumph in the observation: this great murderer, what a nobody! In Germany, however, the phrase readily corresponded with the image of the Nazis as "antisocial criminals". So the perpetrators were bureaucrats and cretins. This picture did not include the fact that the death squads were commanded by men with doctoral degrees, such as Otto Ohlendorf or Otto Rasch. "

Some random thoughts:

Arendt makes a point of the fact that Eichmann never killed anyone by his own hands. He could not therefore understand why he was even put on trial, let alone figure out what his guilt was. Her theory does not exonerate him. Quite the contrary. It takes systems to produce that kind of obedience and lack of proper curiosity and sympathy for fellow humans. Perhaps her book should have been entitled: The evil of banality. Since what she wants to show is that evil is not easily recognizable as a monstrous being. That is why genocides can happen again and again.


Arendt did not describe Eichmann's evil as banal. She described him as the very personification of banality: a mediocre bureaucrat with some organizational talent happy to serve those whom he considered rightly above him and positioned to give orders. He did not have an original thought in his mind and his language was replete was platitudes and cliches characteristic of a stunted mind. Yet this man could still assemble an efficient system of extermination. The mismatch between the ungraspable enormity of the evil he was responsible for, and the littleness of that man's mind and thinking, that is what Arendt meant by her "banality of evil".

She herself was not immune to banalities, considering her love affair with Heidegger; what could be more banal than a tryst between a comely awe-struck and spunky student and her much older and charismatic professor? The very stuff of Harlequin romance.


Some have attempted to define evil. Paul Ricoeur, for example, who wrote:

“Evil is, in the literal sense of the wo rd, perversion, that is, a reversal of the order that requires respect for law to be placed above inclination. It is a matter of a misuse of a free choice... The propensity for evil affects the use of freedom, the capacity to act out of duty – in short, the capacity for being autonomous.” ;

or Emmanuel Levinas:

"The essence of evil is its instrumental ambiguity.";

but the most effective paradigm for evil I read from -- not a philosopher, but -- a blogger writing about his son's suffering:

"As many of you already know, my second youngest son was born with Neurofibromatosis. NF is the perfect paradigm of evil. It is a tumor disorder in which the tumors grow along nerve fibers. Because nerve fibers are uniformly arrayed throughout the body, the tumors may appear anywhere and are usually so inextricably interwoven with the tissues of skin, organs and bone that removing them completely is impossible. That is how I see evil. It is inextricable in the fabric of humanity. What is truly important is how we try to deal with it."

A Soldier's Duty

This interview with Tel Aviv University philosophy professor Asa Kasher who co-authored the first IDF Code of Ethics and continues to work on the moral doctrines that shape the parameters of the IDF's actions allows us to have a taste of what is involved in the determination of such ethics:

Kasher said much that I might have anticipated, but a great deal more, too, that placed Israel’s recent wars in a context that I had not fully drawn before. I was particularly struck by his explanation for the change in IDF approach over recent years to the endangering of its soldiers – the altered balance it has drawn, prompted by Kasher, when it comes to the safety of its personnel, on the one hand, and the “non-dangerous neighbors” of terrorists, on the other.

People think, he said, “that soldiers are there to be put into danger, that soldiers are there to take risks, that this is their world, this is their profession. But that is so far from the reality in Israel, where most of the soldiers are in the IDF because service is mandatory.” When it comes to Israeli soldiers, “I, the state, took them out of their homes. Instead of him going to university or going to work, I put a uniform on him, I trained him, and I dispatched him. If I am going to endanger him, I owe him a very, very good answer as to why. After all, this is a democratic state that is obligated to protect its citizens. How dare I endanger him?”

Declaration of Palestinian Rejectionism

I: The event:

"Israeli left wing activists sign the 'Declaration of Independence from the Occupation' in favor of creating a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines,
during a demonstration in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, April 21, 2011. Prominent Israeli left wing intellectuals and artists demonstrated Thursday in central Tel Aviv in favor of creating a Palestinian state based on the 1967 line marking the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, and signed a 'Declaration of Independence from the Occupation', drawing a counter-demonstration of the opposing right wing camp. The 47 signatories of the declaration include 16 recipients of the Israel Prize, the country's highest civilian honor."

II. And here is Ben Dror Yemini, a Leftist Israeli journalist who skewers the blindstruck Leftists by a critique from the Left (unauthorized translation by CC):

"Though I was not invited to join the solemn occasion, I am hereby adding my signature to the “Declaration of Independence” of the Palestinian people. I have only one request from the engineers of this initiative: Please present to us the Palestinian intellectuals who support this declaration. I’m not asking for a thousand or a hundred such signatories. I’ll be happy with ten of them. Do they exist?

Your declaration refers to “The UN resolution which called for partitioning the land of Palestine into two states: a Jewish-democratic nation state and an Arab democratic nation state”. This is a courageous and commendable position; one that part of the Left has already abandoned. If you recognize and accept this solution, more power to you.

How come, then, that your declaration has been met with hostility? There now; could it be that the majority of Israelis are sick and tired of listening to people claiming they are to blame? We are fed up with the continuous distortions of the historical record. We are fed up with the fact that you systematically neglect the primary truth: the Arabs, not the Jews, rejected the partition resolution.

They still do. It’s not that we need their recognition of our state as a Jewish state. It is our own busniness, how we define our state. But they reject even the formula of “two states for two peoples” because such a formula implies a de-facto recognition in the existence of a Jewish people. They refuse to admit such a reality.

Who is the rejectionist?

The problem is not your declaration. The problem is rooted in your attitude. Palestinians are looking at your spectacle and shake with mirth. Instead of explaining to the world that the Palestinians are the rejectionists, you explain to the world that it is all Israel’s fault. Yet, most Israelis recognize the right of Palestinians for self-determination. Most Palestinians -- certainly their leaders -- recoil from a similar recognition of the Jewish people. So who obstructs the path to peace in this situation?

Please, enough with "It's the occupation!” card. This mantra no longer carries any traction. Once and twice and thrice Palestinians were offered a state and full independence but all they could do was repeat the same old refrain: No.

No to the Peel Commission’s recommendation for partitioning

No to the UN partition resolution.

Three “No”s after the Six Days war.

No to the Clinton proposal.

No to Olmert’s proposal.

If Netanyahu were to offer them Clinton’s plan, or Olmert’s proposal, or even the Geneva Accord – and how we wish he would – their response is known well in advance.

We are all fed up with Palestinian rejectionism and we are disgusted with the sameness of your one-note tune, with your insistence on reversing and twisting historical facts."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Lie Too Far Fetched

Courtesy of the former free-lance Middle East consultant for NBC News and ABC News and now professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley, Dr. As’ad AbuKhalil, we get the chance to peer into the irrational mindset of an angry Arab, someone whose openly published views give us a pretty good guess of what kinds of facts and arguments inform the fabled Arab Street.

Here is a typical example:

"The bodyguard of the ousted Tunisian President Zen El Abedeen Ben Ali has said that Ben Ali and his wife Laila El Trabolsi are supporters of Israel. Abdel Rahman Sobeir also claims that El Trabolsi is a Mossad agent who was involved in several assassinations of Palestinian leaders when they were exiled in Tunisia. Mr Sobeir revealed this sensitive information on Facebook; he accused Tunisia's ex-First Couple and their son-in-law Selim Shaiboub, along with a number of senior security chiefs, of criminal activity."

This conspiratorial line of thinking reminded me strongly of the plot of Roman Polansky's recent film: "The Ghost Writer", in which the truth about Adam Lang, a TonyBlairesque British PM, is revealed through the cunning writing of a ghost writer: "Lang's wife Ruth was recruited as a CIA agent by Professor Paul Emmett of Harvard University."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

"Israel, your days are truly numbered!..."

As the Arabic saying goes: The dogs bark and the caravan moves on ...

Happy Pesach to all Israel !

"THE JOKE has been told by generations of Jews, most famously Golda Meir, the former prime minister of Israel: 'Why did Moses lead us to the one place in the Middle East without oil?'

But an updated version may be required if Harold Vinegar and his colleagues get their way. Dr Vinegar, the former chief scientist of Royal Dutch Shell, is at the centre of an ambitious project to turn Israel into one of the world's leading oil producers.

Israel Energy Initiatives, where Dr Vinegar is chief scientist, is working on projects to extract oil and natural gas from oil shale from a 238sq km area of the Shfela Basin, to the south and west of Jerusalem.

[--] According to Dr Vinegar, Israel has the second-biggest oil shale deposits in the world, outside the US: "We estimate that there is the equivalent of 250 billion barrels of oil here. To put that in context, there are proven reserves of 260 billion barrels of oil in Saudi Arabia." (Here)

"There are indications that some 15% of the country is underlain by Oil Shale beds. The theoretical, geological Oil Shale reserves in Israel are enormous, and may reach a figure well above hundred billion tons. However, mineable reserves form only a tiny fraction of that figure and are probably applicable to deposits associated with active phosphate mining areas. Advance in the development of in-situ techniques may probably enlarge the mineable reserves figure of the Israeli Oil Shale." (Here)


"Large quantities of natural gas found off Haifa coast

More than 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered at well off of Israel's Mediterranean coast. 'This appears to be the largest discovery in the company's history,' says Noble Energy president" (here)


"Israel's economy picked up in the last quarter of 2010, chalking up 7.8 percent growth and a higher-than-expected annual growth rate of 4.5 percent, official figures show on Thursday...

Central Bureau of Statistics data show the economy grew by 5.2 percent in the second quarter and 4.4 percent in the third.

Earlier this week, the Bank of Israel (BoI) had predicted fourth-quarter growth of between 4.3 and 4.6 percent.

The annual growth figure far outstrips the 2.8-percent average registered in 2010 by countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the club of developed nations which Israel joined last year.' (Here)


"Jerusalem: In a major breakthrough, Israeli scientists have developed a method that can wipe out HIV infected cells without affecting the healthy ones but it will be a while before it is available to the public, a medical journal says.

Although the researchers have registered an Israeli patent, the treatment must still go through trials on animals and humans, the latest edition of the British journal AIDS Research and Therapy says." (Here)


"Israeli scientists find stroke drug could help cure cancer

'We can now give a much more aggressive treatment without worrying about harming healthy tissues.'

Israeli scientists have identified a substance that can kill cancerous cells without harming healthy ones, paving the way for more effective cancer treatment. The findings by researchers at Tel Aviv University and Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, were published in the current issue of the international peer-reviewed journal Breast Cancer Research." (Here)


Israel's prime minister has thanked President Obama and the U.S. Congress for $205 million in aid to develop a new Israeli-made missile defence system. The aid was approved Friday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that the assistance reflects "America's unshakable commitment to Israel in critical times."

Israel first used its Iron Dome defence system last week, shooting down eight rockets launched by Gaza militants toward Israeli cities.

Experts say Iron Dome is the first system in the world capable of intercepting rudimentary rockets used by militants.

Israeli officials have expressed satisfaction with the system's performance, raising hopes in Israel that it could change the long-running fight between Israel and Palestinian rocket launchers in Gaza." (here)


Update: 23 April 2011:

"Innovation, together with the engineering excellence and the very quick-to-market production of ... high-quality products, really makes Israel shine," Weisfeld noted at a recent conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce titled, "The United States and Israel: Building Business Through Innovation." Based in Haifa and high-tech hub Herzliya, the Israel site has become one of Microsoft's three strategic global development centers since opening in 2006, responsible for much of the new technology which the firm is now known for, such as its free anti-virus software.

In becoming a hotbed of global high-tech innovation, Israel has made a virtue out of necessity, turning its small size -- and the fact that it is based in one of the most politically charged regions in the world -- to its advantage, according to other conference participants. "We live in a small country of 7.5 million people and we don't have neighbors to trade with and don't have many resources of our own," said Nechemia "Chemi" Peres, chairman of the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce and managing general partner and co-founder of Pitango Venture Capital in Herzliya. "The only way to face the world market is through innovation and technology."


Update II: April 24, 2011

"Consider these numbers: As of August 5, seven companies that are registered in Australia are traded on NASDAQ; six that are registered in Japan, five in the UK, four in Singapore, two in France, three in Germany, two in South Korea, three in India, three in Argentina, one in Brazil, one in Spain and one in Sweden. In contrast, one figure stands out: 63 companies registered in Israel are traded on NASDAQ.

How can a country with a population of a little more than seven million -- approximately the population of New Jersey -- located 9,000 km from the U.S. -- breed dozens of technology companies that have succeeded in going international? An even more interesting issue is whether the lessons learned in Israel pertaining to the globalization of technology ventures can apply to other economies. And, if so, is their applicability limited to small economies only or are the lessons size-independent?"

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The professor strikes again

What kind of person would make the following statement?

"I personally think that the various Bin Ladenite kooks and gangs in Gaza are run by Fath/Israel to sabotage Hamas."

That's right. He is none other than the American academic who
served as a Scholar-in-Residence at Middle East Institute in Washington DC, as free-lance Middle East consultant for NBC News and ABC News, and is now professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley.

Check it out for yourself.

Sadly, the mind doesn't boggle. It is par for the course on American campuses.

"The horrible thing about the Two minutes of Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic."


Another strike:

AA : " Feldman ... he has made over the years (especially when he questioned the ability of Arabs to act rationally)"

I don't know about acting rationally but when it comes to rational thinking -- if Angry Arab is anything to judge by (and I consider him pretty much representative of the mindset of the much fabled and feared Arab street) -- then the
professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley certainly gives one pause to consider the extent of his ability to think along rational lines.

Check out what kinds of conspiracies he promotes on his website:
Mossad propaganda about Latin America

BTW, unlike those " Zionist hoodlums" who are horrified by the violence of his candour, as he describes so graciously here, I welcome his anger and his honesty. He reminds me of Rashid Khalidi before he was groomed for public presentation by his mentor, Edward Said. You knew exactly what you were confronting in the old Khalidi and in this Arab academic who doesn't even pretend that he favours liberalism. It's all about raw revenge and self-indulging hatred. He is a visible lion, and as any safari tour guide will tell you, a visible lion is a safe lion. It's the very invisibility of the hungry lions that crouch and hide among the tall grass that renders them extremely dangerous.

Think about it.

When someone goes before an audience of Palestinian American Women’s Association, to which he says things like:

"...But no, never will we recognize the Zionist State of Israel! We must go back to the 1968 PLO charter, not the one engineered by Bill Clinton in Ramallah...

...We celebrate the demise of Israel, yes, Israel, your days are truly numbered!...

...I of course want only poisoned relationship with Israel... "

And is rewarded by
"a thunderous, standing five-minute ovation";

or when he writes on his blog:

" I would not recognize the state of Israel even if confined to the area of a cup of tea."

do you come away with the impression that these are rational, peace-loving people longing for a just solution to the I/P conflict? Would you like your kids being instructed by someone like that about world affairs, justice and conflict resolution, ostensibly what a professor of political science at a bona fide university is commissioned with?

Angry Arab is good for Israel. No amount of Israeli Hasbara can achieve what reading his blog entries for just one day can do, by way of explaining and illustrating exactly what kind of "peace partner" Israel has to deal with.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Kosher Latma for Passover


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Distant Saidian Melodies

In a bizarre case of inverted serendipity, a recent obsession collided with my long time obsession. Angry Arab posted a piece of "news" in which stars none other than my beloved Austenian heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, and fails to recognize the news for an obvious hoax, until poked into a semblance of intelligent awareness:

"Thursday, April 14, 2011

This is a hoax I am told but I don't remove posts after I post them. Please calm down. She is not--repeat NOT--a Muslim. No need for panic

"Sister Cora-Ann, a Catholic nun from the Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Dayton, Ohio got the surprise of her life yesterday, when she was asked to leave the plane she had just boarded at the Omaha International Airport. “I had just sat down in my seat, and started to thank God for our blessings and recite a prayer in Latin”, she recalled, when one of the passengers sitting next to me called the flight attendant. The passenger was Elizabeth Bennet, who later stated: “It is not that we were prejudiced, but she did seem very suspicious. She was dressed in Muslim garb and just before we were about to take off, she started mumbling something in an Arabian or Talibani-sounding language. What was I supposed to do?” Damien Thorn was a passenger seated in the adjacent row and said: “I knew there was something sinister about her, the moment she stepped into the plane. She was wearing those burqa clothes that you see the Iranian women wearing, and she only had a very small carry-on bag.” The flight attendant responded to the call and asked Sister Cora-Ann for her name, boarding pass and a photo ID." (thanks Ali)"

Not exactly the quality of intellectual scepticism and general knowledge one would hope to find in a former free-lance Middle East consultant for NBC News and ABC News, and a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley, is it?
To say nothing of a genuinely angry Arab who must have cut his academic milk teeth on the orientalist theories of Edward Said, in which a special place of contempt was held for Jane Austen.

Furthermore, how could he miss the pun in the name of the nun? "Cora-Ann", suspected of reciting from the Koran? Or the quoted passenger named Frodo Baggins? Is it possible that the professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley is not only lacking in knowledge but also suffering from a severe humour deficiency?

In his frantic attempt to correct his mistake, AA still finds there is still room for scoffing at anti-Muslim paranoia exhibited in a story that is obviously a spoof. If it weren't too far fetched I would suspect him of having some difficulty separating reality from fiction. Reminds me of the very serious fellow in this dialogue:

A: Your sister is a whore.

B: But I don't have a sister.

A: Oh, sorry about that. But your sister is still a whore.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Incontinence and Bile

Angry Arab suffers from incontinent bile when it comes to Israel, Zionism, and sometimes Jews per se.

Here is an example:

"Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Israel: desperate for visiting celebrities: no matter who they are"

Yet the article he links to describes not desperation on the part of Israel but rather some good commonsensical considerations from Netanyahu, that suggests to me the very opposite of desperation. If the Prime Minister of Israel is going to waste some of his precious time managing a beleaguered country on a teenage idol with an annoying hairdo, he might as well try to imbue the occasion with some meaningful content, like engineering a meeting between the over-privileged pampered boy- star and other kids his own age and younger who live an entirely different reality. If such an occasion did not meet with Bieber's favour, then "moichel toyves" (gee, thanks, but no thanks).

BTW, among those who are described by AA as " celebrities: no matter who they are", implying, I think, that those talented, rich and famous who visit Israel are somehow second-rate, junky, artists, one can count Leonard Cohen, Madona, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Quentin Tarantino, Val Kilmer, and the list goes on.

It grieves me to be forced to post such a petty comment, which could be described as being on the equivalent intellectual level as "mine is bigger than yours" (not that I can boast of one anyway), but sometimes you have little choice but to descend to the level of a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley.


And tangentially relevant:

"... here in the middle of a silly article about Justin Bieber's visit to Israel, The New York Times' Isabel Kershner goldstones Israel.

"Last Thursday, a 16-year-old Israeli boy was critically wounded by an antitank missile fired by Hamas militants at a school bus in [SIC] Gaza.* That triggered days of intense exchanges of fire, during which 18 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, were killed."
So how much is "about half" of 18? How many dead civilians? Eight? Nine? Ten?

Actually, the real number of civilians killed is five. It's relatively easy to find out just by looking at Arab sources in English. And according to Arab sources, four were in close proximity to terrorists firing missiles at Israel. "

What does it mean when a journalist writes so lightly about killed civilians?

"18 Palestinians, about half of them civilians"

"As for the civilian casualty figures, our reporting of the numbers has been based on the information provided by our correspondent in Gaza. I can already see a discrepancy in that your list has all the men killed in Rafah as fighters, whereas he identified three of four killed there on the first day as civilians collecting gravel near the old airport, if I remember rightly. Anyway we have asked for a thorough check and hope to have results soon."

Qualifying words like "About" and "If I remember correctly" do not inspire much trust in the reported account. And if there is doubt or troubling inaccuracies, or problematic memory, isn't it the first duty of an ethical journalist to ask for a thorough check before publishing that information?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"Outside the Israeli enemy embassy in Cairo"

Courtesy of Angry Arab, (Dr. As’ad AbuKhalil, professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley) I could watch this youtube in which we can view a demonstration in Cairo in front of the Israeli Embassy. AA is very moved by the sight, as a brief look at his string of excited posts about the event may reveal. It makes sense, since AA is awaiting, with bated breath, the liquidation of the lousy Zionist entity.

The rally doesn't look too impressive, numerically-wise. How many have congregated there? 200-300 protesters? Out of the 11 million Egyptians of Cairo, this is not even a needle in the haystack. But never mind the numbers. Let's look at the demographics of the rally: All angry young men. Sorry. Not all. We can glimpse, every now and then, the sight of a woman. I counted something like five. Every woman present in that rally seems to wear a religious head covering. Why aren't there secular Egyptian women in the rally?

Could this be one possible explanation (from another Arab doctor, Dr. Ashraf Ezzat, a calmer, more polite, but no less vicious version of Angry Arab)?

"Decades of political repression of dissent in Egypt has created an iceberg out of the Muslim Brotherhood group -MB- with seven-eighths of its actual size under the surface."

Yes, my cautious speculation is that the rally is the work of the Muslim Brothers, whose favourite candidate and willing stooge, is already making all the right noises in an attempt to appease their antisemitic blood thirst, while bringing to it the legitimacy of an internationally acclaimed "peace" lover.

I derive a certain consolation from the smallness of the rally, the scarce presence of women and the absence among them of any visibly-recognizable secular women, that maybe the overwhelming majority of the Egyptian people as a whole are not all that keen on launching another war on Israel. Perhaps the triumphalist eliminationist crowings from the professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley are a bit premature, after all?



For some more consolation (the best we can call such consolation is "cold comfort") here is an article by Spengler (H/T: K2K, in the comments)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Israeli joke:

An unrepentant sinner dies and arrives before God's tribunal for wicked souls. He is told he is to go to hell but he has some choice in the matter of which hell he will be assigned to.

- What have you got to offer? asks the unrepentant sinner.

- There are three hells: a German Hell, a Swiss Hell and an Israeli Hell.

-What's a German Hell?

-They drop you into boiling water at 8 a.m. and take you out at 4 p.m.

-What's in the Swiss Hell?

-They drop you in boiling water at 8 a.m. and take you out at 4 p.m.

-And in the Israeli Hell?

-They drop you into boiling water at 8 a.m. and take you out at 4 p.m.

After some consideration, the unrepentant sinner decides he wants to go to the Israel Hell.

-Oh? And why is that?

- If it's an Israeli Hell, 8 a.m. is never quite 8 a.m., 4 p.m. is never quite 4 p.m., and chances are that the water has not quite reached boiling point ...

Comments trail:

Rethinking Goldstone?

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

April 9, 2011 at 7:22 am

“a bigger shoah [note: “Shoah” is the Hebrew word referring to the Holocaust]

Well, no.

Shoah means disaster. And it usually comes with its own special verb: “Le-hamit shoah”, to bring upon someone or something a disaster. Hebrew speakers use it to describe a nuclear disaster (shoah garinit), ecological disaster (“shoah svivatit”) among other usages. The Holocaust, when brought up to by Hebrew speakers is always, always, always referred to as “Ha-Shoah”, THE Shoah, to differentiate from any other “shoah” (disaster).

Seems to me that some commenters are determined to give this phrasing at this time a particularly sinister meaning. Why? Is it because you believe that Vilnai blurted out some secret plan, or wish, when all he did was use perfectly idiomatic Hebrew to warn Gazans that they should expect more disasters to befall upon them if they continue with their qassam violence directed at civilian targets? If so, what could account for such readiness to attribute the worst possible meaning to an Israeli politician’s use of such a phrase?

Update: Just checked the status of my comment and it is still "awaiting moderation", nearly 7 hours after being posted, though another poster's later comment has gone through. I conclude that "Tikkun" is pretty resistant to tikkun (Hebrew for "correction") when that correction is at odds with the author's rationale of "Blame Israel all the time, first, last and never re-adjust".

UpdateII: Two days after posting my comment, it made it through the moderation. This morning, April 10, between 8 a.m. when I checked, and now (10:21 a.m.), it was deemed that Tikkun readers could be trusted to read it. Miracles never end ...

@ Bob From Brockley

@ Harry's Place: About the murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis

@ Harry's Place: Galloway's prevarications

@ Jews Sans Frotnieres

Unfortunately I lost the comment I posted but the gist of it was that Mark Elf's omission is a thought crime, or the beginning of a thought crime. It does not make sense unless it was actually his subconscious admiration and love for Israel forced out into the open by the pressure of his amazing hypocrisy and maybe, unlikely as it may seem at first reading, even stupidity. It was in effect a Freudian slip of the tongue. Time for Elf to come out of the closet, perhaps?

@ Norway, Israel and the Jews: Two minutes of hate

Imprinting disgust through the choice of juxtaposed images, with an aim at creating a palpable feeling of aversion. Propagandists usually resort to this kind of methods to induce in their more hapless readers the “correct” understanding.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

"The recent upheavals in the Arab world have emboldened revolutionary Islamists and Hamas most of all. Its close ally, the Muslim Brotherhood, can operate freely in Egypt. There is much support for Islamism in the Egyptian army. And even the “moderate” presidential candidate Muhammad ElBaradei said that Egypt would go to war if Israel attacked the Gaza Strip."_____>

The Peace Loving Candidate

The 2005 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate , who is currently an Egyptian presidential hopeful, makes an election campaign promise:

"Egyptian presidential candidate and former International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said that if elected he would orchestrate a counterattack against any Israeli offensive on Gaza.

In the world's first glimpse of the policies that may emerge from the results of the upcoming Egyptian presidential election, one candidate for president outlined his insistence on protecting Palestinians in Gaza from Israeli military assaults. Mohamed ElBaradei's position on the matter is clear: an Israeli military strike against Gaza would result in a declaration of war from Egypt. “If Israel attacked Gaza we would declare war against the Zionist regime," ElBaradei told Arabic newspaper, Al-Watan, in a story reported by Ynet News."

According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who

"shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
Judge for yourself if this Nobel laureate lives up to the onus the prize imposed upon him. Note the avoidance of calling Israel's name but rather referring to it by the term that its most implacable enemies prefer "The Zionist regime".

Such are the evil fruit of peace awards and Arab liberation movements.

Quote of the week:

"In a deeply ironic twist, that seems to be the role of Israel in Michael's book. A thriving country and liberal democracy, surrounded by many thugs, and imbued with the cold calculating hardness necessary to protect itself. I'm not certain that's what Michael intended to be saying, but it's what I read: the only way to live the aspirations for freedom and democracy is by being hard enough to achieve them and then maintain them. The Lebanese forces who had the right aspirations lacked the determination; the forces with a different set of aspirations never lacked the determination, so they won, and will continue to win until forced down. They won't go away of their own accord, and they won't go away because of exuberant demonstrations in public squares cheered on by the rest of the world's media. They won't."

This quote from an interview with Claude Lanzmann explains that "
cold calculating hardness necessary to protect itself"

"In "Tsahal" I also knew exactly what I wanted to tell: the creation an army, the construction of an army, the creation of courage. This army represents a victory of the Jewish people over themselves. There had never been a Jewish army before. My film tells how Jews took their fate into their own hands to avoid ever become victims again. I show how they overcame the victim role and overcame a mental predisposition.

In the Israeli army life is valued higher than anything else. And yet every soldier in the Tsahal is prepared to give his life. Unlike other armies of the world, the soldiers of the Tsahal do not die for the glory of their fatherland, they die for life alone. You should not forget that the genocide of the Jews in the Second World War was not just a murder of innocents. It was also a genocide of the defenceless. My film describes the path to overcome defencelessness. It describes how the Jewish people empowered themselves with weapons and it describes the psychological metamorphosis that the people had to undergo, in order to build an army like the Tsahal, in order to be able to defend themselves, to be able to kill.

For decades, young Israelis have been growing up with the insecurity of knowing that no-one can guarantee that "Israel will still exist in 2025".

Friday, April 01, 2011

Jane Eyre

Last weekend I saw the new version of Jane Eyre, directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. I had very little expectations of getting to watch a film that could do justice to this great love story, and my undersized expectations were not belied, resonating with what this critic says: "We left the movie theater disappointed, affirmed in the knowledge that a perfect Jane Eyre film must be a fantasy."

What's wrong with this film as an attempt to render Charlotte Bronte's novel to the screen?

Perhaps I should point out what's right in it, first. The ages of the main actors seem appropriate. Jane is eighteen years old, Rochester, 35. Wasikowska is indeed 22 but she really looks and acts youthful, raw, fresh and innocent enough to be a convincing Jane. Compare her with former Janes, like Susannah York who was 31 years old when she played the role, or Charlotte Gainsbourg, who, though only 23 at the time, unlike Wasikowska, seems to be too mature and sophisticated for it.

Rochester is only 35 years old, still a young man; yet he is usually played by much older actors, like George C. Scot who was 47, or William Hurt who was 43, when they attempted this feat. Both look and interpret their respective Rochester as tired, jaded, middle aged has-been libertines, father-figures for Jane. That is not who Rochester is. Bronte has gone to a great deal of trouble to depict him as a robust, virile, lusty man, with a furtive, tormented, and wise spirit, and an amazing capacity for insight into Jane's heart and mind, two organs that have been half frozen by the cruelty of her cold and love-deprived childhood. They are intellectual equals, but he is much more experienced in life, with some canny understanding into female mystique. These qualities enable him to understand what it will take to get Jane to fully respond to his mature love, that is, the need to thaw that ice coating that had formed around her emotions. So he devises a trick of awakening her to sexuality by introducing a sexual rival of whom Jane becomes jealous and eventually the feelings kept in check well up at the right moment. Scot's and Hurt's Rochesters are almost over the hill men, much too beaten up by their pasts in demi-monde Paris to convince us that their love for Jane is as much motivated by great sexual attraction as it is by her agile and peculiar mind.

So, in that respect, the choice of Fassbender was felicitous, even though he is too handsome to fit Bronte's description.

No. it's not the casting, or acting, that cause Jane Eyre, the story, to fail. It's the script.

The novel contains a few sequences of events and developments that are pertinent to the development of Jane's character and her relationship with Rochester. The author took pains and time to show us how the two characters gravitate towards one another, how Jane's reserve and shyness are gradually overcome as Rochester engages her mind and spirit. It is the most delightful and satisfying part of the novel, yet the movie zips through it with such speed and little attention to detail that by the time we come around to the proposal scene, we as viewers are somewhat astonished that it is already taking place.

Concurrently, in the novel, the shadow of the wife is hinted at through a series of incidents that occur during the courtship period, for which Jane can find no rational explanation. Yet the film totally fails to convey the eeriness, the sense of foreboding, the mystery. The frightening semi nightmarish scene in which Jane's room is invaded at night and the bridal veil gets torn is ignored. At which point, I became quite exasperated with the whole deal.

Then the main development in second half of the novel, in which Jane (implausibly) finds refuge at the home of strangers who turn out to be her only surviving relatives is, again, discarded. Jane still inherits a large sum of money and divides it among her new friends but the action doesn't quite make sense. It is inconceivable that Saint John and his sisters would have agreed to this arrangement if they had not had some claim over that money by virtue of their relations to the same uncle. In the novel, Jane merely rectifies her late uncle's oversight while in the movie she is turned into a sort of benefactor, a position she would vehemently reject as the motivation for her gesture.

And of course most vexing was the rushed ending, in which Jane is reunited with Rochester. The latter is depicted as blind, though no scars mar his ever handsome face. Bronte deliberately got him to lose part of his right arm in the fire but the movie completely disregards this little, but important, detail. It was just a copy and paste of the 1944 Jane Eyre ending, with Orson Wells and Joan Fontaine. No insight. No uplifting joy. No hint of the humour and sadness that are the staple of the novel's conclusion, when Jane responds to Rochester's question.

"Ah! Jane. But I want a wife."
"Do you, sir?"
"Yes: is it news to you?"
"Of course: you said nothing about it before."
"Is it unwelcome news?"
"That depends on circumstances, sir--on your choice."
"Which you shall make for me, Jane. I will abide by your decision."
"Choose then, sir--HER WHO LOVES YOU BEST."
"I will at least choose--HER I LOVE BEST. Jane, will you marry me?"
"Yes, sir."
"A poor blind man, whom you will have to lead about by the hand?"
"Yes, sir."
"A crippled man, twenty years older than you, whom you will have to wait on?"
"Yes, sir."
"Truly, Jane?"
"Most truly, sir."
"Oh! my darling! God bless you and reward you!" ”


To be continued, maybe ...