Friday, April 26, 2013
1. For the past few weeks, Israel's military establishment and some its politicians have been telling the world that Bashar Assad and his junta have already used poison gas against civilians in Syria. For example, Yuval Steinetz issued such a report a month ago (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/20/chemical-weapons-used-in-syria-israel_n_2915447.html ). This matters because of, among other reasons, the fact that the Obama team has been saying that any use of poison gas was the ultimate "red line" for US and for allied intervention in Syria.
This past week, the US State Department was denouncing Israel for issuing false tendentious disinformation about the use of poison gas against Syrian civilians. Those Israelis were simply trying to drum up escalation and war.
Then this morning it was announced that both the US Department of Defense and the British government concede that there is evidence that the Assad regime has indeed used poison gas (sarin) against civilians. Sarin is what the Japanese communist terrorists (from the Aum Shinrikyo group) used in the Tokyo metro system in 1995.
Incidentally, Aum Shinrikyo is also known as Aleph (really - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum_Shinrikyo). You know, the same name as the pro-terror anti-Semitic chat list that continues to operate under the auspices of the University of Haifa (http://www.isracampus.org.il/ALEF%20Watch.htm ). Coincident?
2. The Grand Persecute Avigdor Lieberman Vaudeville Show is now underway in Jerusalem court, and the "case" of the leftist Prosecutor against Lieberman is falling apart as we speak. It is collapsing so quickly that it is more amusing than watching the comedy channel on cable.
Just to remind you of what it is about: The Left and its captive Attorney General at first decided to go after Lieberman and make a case of "financial corruption" against him. As part of its investigation, it send an inquiry to Belarus, where Lieberman had some financial interests. Word reached the Israeli Ambassador in Latvia, Ze'ev Ben Aryeh, and he passed a note to Lieberman telling him that questions were being sent to the Belarus authorities about Lieberman's finances.
Much later, Ben Ari's term was up and he was appointed by Lieberman to a new diplomatic post, Ambassador to Latvia, one considerably less prestigious than Belarus because Latvia is a much smaller country. The Left alleges that this was payback to Ben Aryeh for leaking the fact that Israeli investigators were snooping in Belarus over Lieberman's affairs. After dragging things out for dramatic effect for years, the Prosecution eventually decided to indict Lieberman for "corruption" over this "affair."
Now the most glaring fact being overlooked by the chattering classes in the media is that the Prosecution never dug up enough dirt on his finances to indict Lieberman over them. So it indicted Lieberman instead over the "Ambassador Affair" as its own consolation prize. Except that if anyone did anything wrong, and it is not clear it was even criminal, it was Ben Aryeh for improperly leaking the fact that investigators were snooping around in Belarus after Lieberman. (See http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/unsavory-affairs-in-lieberman-case-leave-bad-taste.premium-1.517675 ). And it is not even clear that this was improper.
When the Attorney General decided to prosecute the case, his star witness was a disgruntled official, Danny Ayalon, with a clear open personal grudge against Lieberman and hardly a reliable witness. Lieberman had once canned Ayalon for incompetence.
So the prosecution is left with Ben Aryeh. They put him on the stand yesterday and he could not recall anything at all that was legally harmful to Lieberman. Of course it is conceivable that Ben Aryeh was pretending not to remember because Israel does not have a Fifth Amendment and so he did not want to get himself in trouble. But so what? His testimony is now useless against Lieberman. And the Attorney General evidently has nothing else of substance!
Haaretz of course is pulling out its hair and screaming that the corrupt Lieberman must be indicted and convicted. You know, unlike Palestinian terrorists. Haaretz insists Ben Aryeh was sent as ambassador to Latvia by a grateful Lieberman. Except Ben Aryeh was actually sent there because he speaks Russian fluently. Haaretz today insists that Ben Aryeh has none of the talents required by someone to be an Ambassador. This is amusing because the only talent usually required by someone to be an Israeli ambassador is the ability to smile and not show missing front teeth. Ben Aryeh is eminently qualified from a dental perspective. And he now seems to be grinning all the way home from the courtroom.
Haaretz' other big cause this week is promoting the demand that Israeli schools give equal time to both the Israeli and Palestinian "narratives." In other words, the Education Reporter and Columnist at Haaretz wants equal school time devoted to telling lies and to telling the truth about the Arab-Israel conflict. I think Israel should adopt his suggestions just as soon as the schools in the UK grant equal time to the 1940s German "narrative" about World War I and World War II.
4. This short news item speaks for itself. From the Wall Street Journal:
Homeless Bill of Rights
By ALLYSIA FINLEY
Last year California lawmakers approved a "homeowner's bill of rights." Now in the spirit of social and legal equality, Democrats have proposed a "homeless bill of rights."
The bill's Assembly sponsor Tom Ammiano, who hails from San Francisco (also known as the hobo capital of California), says state legislation is needed to stop businesses and local governments from discriminating against poor people merely because they can't afford housing. But of course, civil rights laws already do that. They don't, however, protect vagrant behavior.
Mr. Ammiano's bill would end-run local "sit-lie" laws like those in San Francisco and Santa Monica that seek to deter vagrancy. In 2010 San Francisco's then-mayor Gavin Newsom spearheaded a ballot initiative to ban vagrants from sitting or lying on sidewalks. Businesses complained vociferously that young bums, er, "free spirits" and the mentally ill were taking over sidewalks and aggressively panhandling.
According to the homeless bill of rights, such "quality of life ordinances" are the "modern reincarnation" of Jim Crow and "Ugly laws," which once forbid people with "unsightly or disgusting" disabilities from appearing in public. By forcing "homeless people to flee local jurisdictions," the ordinances "result in de facto segregation."
The bill seeks to remedy such putative injustice by enshrining vagrants' "right to access public property, possess personal property, access public restrooms, clean water, educational supplies, as specified, emergency and nonemergency, health care, confidentiality of medical records, assistance of legal counsel in specified proceedings, and restitution, under specified circumstances." Is that all?
Thus, homeless people (and Occupy Wall Street types) would have a right to a public attorney if they are cited for vagrancy or evicted from a public space. The bill would also impose civil penalties for violating vagrants' "rights." In other words, it would make police officers legally liable for clearing sidewalks and protecting passersby from unstable or aggressive beggars.
The Assembly Judicial Committee approved the bill on Tuesday, though Mr. Ammiano was forced to strip out a right to "engage in life sustaining activities" including "urinating." With a few more tweaks, the bill stands a good chance of passing the legislature, where Democrats hold a supermajority. No doubt liberals will praise themselves for striving to make California a better place to live.
5. You may have heard that a Hezb'Allah pilotless aircraft or drone was shot down near Haifa yesterday. I am truly upset about this. Let me explain.
I was taking a shower, minding my own business, and my "facilities" have a skylight window from which ordinarily no one can peek inside. But there I am lathering mi-self up and playing with my bath toys when this bizarre aircraft is suddenly hovering above the skylight. It had Itboch al-Yahud and other war cries painted along its sides. It hovered and its cameras stared down at me through the skylight.
As it was peeking in at me here in my birthday suit, it suddenly occurred to me that the water in the shower was turning rather chilly. But that just triggered the most traumatic bout of panic of all in me. For you see, it occurred to me that the Hezb'Allah terrorists live in a suppressed and censored world of medieval shelterdom and it is quite possible that they are not aware of certain, er, biological facts. In particular, I stood there shivering and worried that the Hezb'Allah operatives viewing the spy photos from their drone may not be aware of … shrinkage.