Snow in the desert: is there nothing global warming can’t do?


**Posted by Phineas

"The rare Egyptian snow-mummies"

“The rare Egyptian snow-mummies”

(Photo credit: AhramOnline)

Can’t wait to see how climate alarmists spin this — the first snowfall in Cairo, Egypt!, in over 100 years:

Snow coated domes and minarets Friday as a record Mideast storm compounded the suffering of Syrian refugees, sent the Israeli army scrambling to dig out stranded motorists and gave Egyptians a rare glimpse of snow in their capital.

Nearly three feet of snow closed roads in and out of Jerusalem, which is set in high hills, and thousands in and around the city were left without power. Israeli soldiers and police rescued hundreds trapped in their cars by snow and ice. In the West Bank, the branches of olive trees groaned under the weight of snow.

In Cairo, where local news reports said the last recorded snowfall was more than 100 years ago, children in outlying districts capered in white-covered streets, and adults marveled at the sight, tweeting pictures of snow-dusted parks and squares. In other parts of the city, rain and hail rocketed down.

I’ll lay 3-2 odds that some climate-change cultist will argue that this is due to “catastrophic man-caused climate change,” because, you know, “global warming” is a damaged brand since there hasn’t been any warming since 1997 or so.

After all, it just couldn’t be the ebb and flow of natural cycles. Nope, it has to be due to Man’s sins against Gaea. Or something. Because Al Gore, Michael Mann, and the IPCC said so.

Meanwhile, I’ll bet kids throughout the region are having a blast today.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Orwellian: Israeli soldiers *not* raping Palestinian women is racist


**Posted by Phineas

"Head meets desk"

“Head meets desk”

The Israelis just can’t win. Rape, and you’re a racist. Don’t rape, and it’s because you’re racist:

We didn’t include in our excerpt the following passage in which the failure of Israeli soldiers to rape Arab women is portrayed as an act of racism by a BDS activist.  Really, that has been an argument for years, and apparently started with a left-wing Israeli grad student complaining about how the IDF dehumanizes Palestinians.  It has morphed is to a standard trope (emphasis added):

“The claims go beyond being absurd – in one case, a professor asked me if I knew how many Palestinians have been raped by IDF forces. I answered that as far as I knew, none. She triumphantly responded that I was right, because, she said, “You IDF soldiers don’t rape Palestinians because Israelis are so racist and disgusted by them that you won’t touch them.””

There’s much more at Legal Insurrection on the insane antisemitism of the “Boycott, Disinvestment, & Sanctions” crowd and their willing-dupe allies(1) in American academia.


(1) Including, sadly, as we see, some Israelis.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Israel: Anniversary of a jihad mass-murder


**Posted by Phineas

Two years ago this week, five members the Fogel family of the West Bank village of Itamar were murdered — stabbed and their throats slit by Muslims waging jihad fi sabil Allah: “war for the sake of Allah.”

Udi Fogel and his family: victims of jihad

Udi Fogel and his family: victims of jihad

Only three children survived; they’re now living with their grandparents:

…14-year-old Tamar, 10-year-old Roi and four-year-old Yishai and have been taken in by Rabbi Yehuda and Tali Ben-Yishai, the parents of Ruth Fogel. In an interview published Friday in Israel Hayom, Rabbi Ben-Yishai said of his daughter, son-in-law and three slain grandchildren, “They’re always with us.”

“What happened was so inhuman that we have gained superhuman strength,” grandmother Tali said. “We know these children will be great people. They will be all right. They will not be damaged. They’re not in trauma anymore. Some children are afraid of what happens around them, but they’re not like that. They’re not the sort who don’t want to go to school or don’t want to get out of bed and spend the day crying.”

For that, we can be glad.

Sadly, the murderers are also alive, serving their sentences in an Israeli jail. It’s a shame and a denial of justice for there to have been no death penalty for this case.

RELATED: Earlier posts on the massacre of the Fogel family.

via The Jawa Report

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Israel blasts Syrian convoy in Lebanon: was it carrying chemical weapons?


**Posted by Phineas

If PJM’s Barry Rubin is right, it’s the development many have feared: a desperate, vengeful Bashar Assad giving WMDs to the genocidal jihadists of Hizbullah:

It has been reported that a number of Israeli planes flew over Lebanon and attacked a convoy near the Syrian-Lebanese border. The fact that this comes shortly after Hizballah and Syrian forces had moved in growing numbers toward known chemical-weapons storage areas implies that the Syrian regime was in the act of shipping chemical weapons to the Lebanese Shia Islamist group (which also happens to dominate the Lebanese government and to be involved in a lot of anti-Israel terrorism) Hizballah. This story has not yet been confirmed by Israel.

During the 2006 Israel-Hizballah war, Israel frequently hit convoys delivering weapons to Lebanon the moment they crossed the Syria-Lebanon border, showing a very strong intelligence capacity on such events.

The Israeli position has been that it will not allow any transfer of advanced weapons by the Syrian regime to either Hizballah or radical Lebanese Sunni groups. Israel had previously made this point clear through public statements to the Syrian government. It has not been explicitly reported whether the weapons on the convoy were chemical ones.

While Israel isn’t commenting officially, a retired general gave what may be an oblique confirmation:

But Brigadier General Amnon Sofrin, a retired army intelligence officer and former head of intelligence for the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, gave a press conference in which he made the following points.

 “I think that if we have solid evidence shared by our own partners all over the world, that chemical warheads are being transferred from Syria to Lebanon, to Hezbollah, I think that no one will condemn Israel for trying to prevent it.”

This should be read as explaining that Israel notified the United States and others of its intelligence information prior to the attack.

Given relations between the Obama administration and the Israeli government, you can bet Jerusalem was not asking for permission, either.

Rubin speculates that these may also have been Russian surface-to-air missiles, meant to shoot down Israeli recon drones so they couldn’t spot later transfers of chemical weapons.  Regardless, this is ominous news. The common wisdom has been that the Assad regime is either doomed or will soon be reduced to a small rump state in the mountains. The question, then, is what becomes of the chemical weapons they’re known to have? (Including those that may have been smuggled from Saddam’s Iraq as it fell?)

The danger is not just that these would be given to Hizbullah in some last act of revenge, though that would be a potential nightmare for Israel. There is also the grave risk that these weapons could fall into the hands of al Qaeda-aligned Syrian rebels, who might then pass them along al Qaeda Central.

And you just know whom Zawahiri would love to unleash these on, if he could get his mitts on them.

This is a good moment to remember that we are still at war, that there are still very determined people on a religious mission to see us dead or subjugated.  They take this very seriously, and so should we.

And I hope, behind the empty brags of having al Qaeda “on the run,” so does President Obama.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Did an Iranian nuke facility go boom? I think so…


**Posted by Phineas

The key is found not in what governments are saying, so much, but in what they are doing, which in turn lends perspective to their words.

Background: A few days ago, a report appeared on World Net Daily that there had been a massive explosion at Fordow, one of Iran’s major nuclear facilities, where centrifuges enrich uranium to a level at which it could be used as a warhead on a missile. I ignored the story, largely because WND has as much credibility for news as Timothy Geithner does for economics.

Then again…

Lee Smith has weighed in on Israeli actions around the time of this possible event, and his analysis has me saying “Hmmm…”:

Over the weekend there was news of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet’s “intense” consultations. According to reports, Jerusalem has deployed two Iron Dome missile defense batteries to the north—one near the port city of Haifa, and another in the Galilee region—a move that Israeli spokesmen explain is only part of a regular, scheduled rotation all over the country. However, taken in tandem with Jerusalem’s public concerns that Bashar al-Assad’s beleaguered regime may itself use chemical weapons against Israel or transfer them to Hezbollah or that the arsenal may fall into the hands of Islamist rebels, the speculation is that the Iron Dome batteries have been moved to intercept Syrian missiles carrying chemical weapons.

However, there is no obvious reason why Assad is more likely to use or transfer those weapons now more than any other time during the last two years since the uprising began; or why the rebels are more likely now to appropriate them and divert resources from their existential war with the regime to tangle with Israel. Perhaps more to the point, the Iron Dome is not designed to intercept the kind of missiles that can carry chemical weapons payloads. The likelier scenario is that Israel is girding itself in the event that Hezbollah is called upon to retaliate for the Fordow operation, using the Iranian-supplied rockets and missiles that Iron Dome is designed to stop.

Add to this Iranian denials that anything happened (1), American doubts that anything happened (2), and the Israelis mostly keeping quiet (3), and the astute reader is left with one conclusion:

Something happened. Something big. And a good thing it is, too, for the Iranian leadership is far too dangerous to ever let have nuclear weapons.

And lest you think this is too big and too far away for the Israelis, bear in mind that they and we were also behind Stuxnet.

As I like to say in situations like these: “Oh, those wacky Jews!” (4)

via Power Line

(1) Of course they would. If you were them, would you admit your archenemy had just broken one of your favorite toys?
(2) Of course we would. Publicly. If we were involved, or if the Israelis warned us. If they didn’t involve us, which may be wise, then our doubts would serve to confuse Tehran.
(3) Of course they would. Not only does Israel rarely talk about intelligence operations, but, if this really happened, the last thing they want to do is rub Tehran’s nose in it and force them to retaliate.
(4) It’s the First Rule of Mideast Politics: “Do not [mess] with the Israelis!”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

To Obama, they’re just “bumps in the road.” Just “noise.”


**Posted by Phineas

That’s how President Obama, in a 60 Minutes interview yesterday, tried to brush off the assaults on our embassies in the Near East and North Africa that lead to the deaths of our Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. “Bumps in the road.” Here’s the video:

I’m sure the families of the victims, as well as Foreign Service Officers in the field, appreciate the President’s description of their safety as minor traffic hazards on the way to a greater tomorrow. Not to mention the intelligence disaster we suffered. Never mind all that. “FORWARD!”

Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post writes on a second howler from this interview:

But that may not have been Obama’s worst moment in the interview. There was this exchange:

STEVE KROFT: “You don’t feel any pressure from Prime Minister Netanyahu in the middle of a campaign to try and get you to change your policy and draw a line in the sand? You don’t feel any pressure?”

OBAMA: “When it comes to our national security decisions — any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people. And I am going to block out — any noise that’s out there.”Calling Netanyahu’s concern about an existential threat “noise” is another in a long string of insults, snubs and gaffes about Israel. This remark immediately raised red flags in the foreign press.The Iranians were happy, though. A reader sends me a report that at least one country is delighted. From the Iranian official TV outlet: “US President Barack Obama says Israel’s call for drawing red line over Iran’s nuclear energy program is just ‘noise’ he tries to ignore.” Well, the Iranians got that one right. And just to rub it in, Obama knocked Israel down a peg, saying it was only “one of our closest allies in the region.” Really? Is Egypt the other? The level of disdain he holds for Israel runneth over.

Get that? To Obama, the legitimate fears of a long-time ally that it may soon be exposed to nuclear genocide is just “noise” to be “blocked out.”

“Feckless” doesn’t begin to describe Obama’s grasp of foreign affairs. “Ignorant,” “naive,” and “dangerously incompetent” start to get us close.

I believe one of the debates scheduled between President Obama and Governor Romney is devoted to foreign affairs. That should be entertaining.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Left wing extremism goes mainstream over God, Jerusalem vote at #DNC2012


This is probably one of the most shocking, disturbing, and revealing things to come out of a national political convention in modern day history, and it speaks volumes as to how the far left anti-Christian, anti-Israel hardliners in the Democrat party have gone from fringe to mainstream:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two platform planks sparked division at the Democratic National Convention here Wednesday.

Things got so bad that President Barack Obama was forced to personally intervene, ordering language mentioning God and naming Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel be added.

While the campaign at first said Obama had seen the language prior to the convention, it later said he did not learn of the issue until Wednesday morning, when he became aware of seeing news coverage of the issue. Once that happened, the president directed his staff to change the language to include a reference to God and Jerusalem as Israel’s capital because, the campaign source said, the amended version is “consistent with the president’s own positions.”

And even then, it had to be forced through a convention hall full of delegates who nearly shouted down the change.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the convention’s chairman, kicked off Wednesday’s proceedings by trying to clean up a mess Democrats made by omitting from their official party platform mentions of God and of Jerusalem as the preferred capital of Israel.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland made the motion to reinsert the language about God and Jerusalem back into the platform:

This summer, I was proud to serve this party as the platform drafting committee chair. I came before you today to discuss the two important matters related to our party’s national platform. As an ordained United Methodist Minister, I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story and informs the value we have expressed in our party’s platform. In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party’s platform should as well. Mr. Chairman, I have submitted my amendment in writing and I believe it is being projected on the screen for the delegates to see. I move adoption of the amendment as submitted and shown to the delegates.

Watch below to see what happened:

Villaraigosa took a voice vote three times. Two-thirds of the convention hall did not say “aye” and two-thirds did not say “no.” In other words, there was no consensus. In fact, it seemed to me that it was split down the middle, with half voting for the inclusion and half being opposed to it.

But this issue has turned into such a political embarrassment for Democrats wanting to try and maintain their bizarre lock on the Jewish vote, that Villaraigosa took it upon himself to declare the two amendments to the platform as “passed” with a two-thirds majority vote, when it had not been. Once he made that declaration, there were audible loud boos in the audience.

Yes, dear readers, at least half of the convention hall booed at the insertion of God and recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel back into the Democratic party’s official platform. I’m sure they were also booing what clearly was an anti-democratic pronouncement by Villaraigosa over the “passage” of the amendments – which is an understandable reason to be upset. But with that being said, the story of the day coming out of this convention was not the stream of (predictable) lies coming from Democrats ranging from Bill Clinton to Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, but the fact that at least half of the Democrat party diehards at the convention did not want the word God reinserted into their platform, nor did they want Jerusalem recognized as Israel’s capital.

Alana Goodman at Commentary writes in response:

It’s hard not to have sympathy for Villaraigosa. Pro-Israel Democrats have been lobbying the DNC all day to change the platform, and convention leadership probably assumed this vote would be the end of it. The shock on Villaraigosa’s face shows you how far in denial the Democratic Party has been about the anti-Israel sentiment spreading among its ranks. Think he’s picturing how many TV ads replaying this moment Sheldon Adelson’s money can buy in Florida?

This video should chill every pro-Israel Democrat to the bone — actually, scratch that, it should chill every pro-Israel American to the bone. Israel relies on bipartisan political support from the U.S., it’s strongest ally. This floor vote at the DNC portends a day when that bipartisan support may cease to exist.

And who has helped lead the way in this anti-Israel effort? President Obama himself. Ben Shapiro:

Sources also report that the language was changed “to reflect the president’s personal view.” This is bull. President Obama has never recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and neither has his spokesperson or State Department. He has never taken a public position against the so-called “right of return,” which would destroy Israel as a Jewish state. And he has publicly stated that Israel should use the 1949 armistice lines as the baseline of any future negotiations. This was obviously a political move designed to prevent disillusioned Jewish voters from leaving the Democratic voters in droves. If Jews are smart — and if they watch this tape — they’ll realize that the base of the Democratic Party simply does not support Israel, even if the DNC quashes their votes.

I won’t hold my breath, but it will be very interesting to see the exit polling numbers on the Jewish vote come November.

Stay tuned.

Dear Senator McCain: you’re dead wrong, it *is* the culture


**Posted by Phineas

And I write that with all due and genuine respect for a man who suffered much for his country and was a true leader to the men who were prisoners of war with him.

But, this is just utterly wrong:

It’s government, “not cultures” that define the difference between Israelis and Palestinians. That’s according to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who appeared to differ with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney as he tried to defend him.

“I am sure that Gov. Romney was not talking about difference in cultures, or difference in anybody superior or inferior,” said McCain, a chief Romney foreign policy surrogate, today during a news conference after an event here with Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “What I’m sure Gov. Romney was talking was that the Israeli economy has grown and prospered in a dramatic fashion. And unfortunately, the Palestinians have not had that same economic development.

“And that goes to the leadership of the Palestinians. Everybody knows that Yasser Arafat was corrupt. And we also know that the Palestinian people have not been blessed with the kind of government that has lower regulations, less taxes, entrepreneurship, which have caused the Israeli economy to be one of the world’s most successful. It has nothing to do with cultures. It has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority. But facts of the booming Israeli economy has to do with the kind of government that the Israeli people have freely and democratically elected which has given them a very prosperous country.”

McCain noted he had not seen or heard Romney’s remarks, but that didn’t stop him from defending what Romney meant.

He has it exactly backwards: culture determines the type of society a nation has and shapes its form of government. Both are a reflection of the values of that society. Western civilization, which includes Israel, echoes the Judeo-Christian/Greco-Roman and, yes, for parts, Anglo-Saxon values that shaped it. It is a culture that values the individual and individual liberty, fosters initiative and wealth-creation, and that recognizes life is precious and not something to be taken carelessly. (1)

Arab Islamic culture on the other hand… What has it given the world lately? Dictatorship? Kleptocracy? Contempt for democracy? The near-enslavement of women? Honor killings? Suicide bombings? “We are going to win, because they love life and we love death“?

You want an example of the difference in cultures, Senator? Here’s just one from among hundreds. Israelis fight to save the life of a mother and child, even though they come from their sworn enemies. Palestinians murder Israeli children in their sleep, and the culture celebrates the killers as heroes.

Those values ripple throughout the respective cultures, and you can bet your bottom dollar they make a difference.

Natan Sharansky wrote a brilliant book called “The Case for Democracy.” In it he discusses the difference between what he calls “free societies” and “fear societies.” The Israelis are an example of the former, the Palestinians the latter, and the differences explain why, as Mitt Romney pointed out, Israel is successful, while “Palestine” is a failure.

You should read it, Senator. You might for once know what you’re talking about.

But I guess that’s a bit much to expect from a man who doesn’t even bother to check what his party’s nominee said before bloviating on it.

via Slublog

(1) Yeah, far from perfect, but also far better than the alternatives.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Obama hates missile defense, except when he’s trying to buy votes


**Posted by Phineas

Mitt Romney is on an overseas trip to Great Britain, Israel, and Poland. Worried about the Jewish vote at home because of his noted lack of support for Israel and wanting to steal a bit of the limelight from Romney, President Obama signed a bill giving Israel $70,000,000 for their (very promising) Iron Dome short-range missile defense system. What’s notable about that, you ask?

It’s all about the pandering, baby.

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

The Democrats think Americans are idiots, one in a series


**Posted by Phineas

Sure, all politicians lie to one degree or another; the need to run for election and reelection, and to build support for policies, encourages it. Most of the time it’s just a bit of spin or shading, or ignoring key contrary facts. Minor stuff. We’re used to it.  We expect it, even.

But when they tell us bald-faced, easily disprovable total lies, that says only one thing: “We think you’re such rubes, you’ll believe anything“:

Daniel Halper has called attention to Nancy Pelosi’s remarkable interview with Al Hunt on the topic of Barack Obama and Israel. I’d note one comment in particular: Pelosi’s claim that President Obama “has been there [Israel] over and over again.”

Wow. I’m involved with the Emergency Committee for Israel. We have an ad up in several states calling attention to the fact that President Obama, who’s been quite the world traveler, has never visited Israel as president. Did we make a terrible mistake? Were we unjust to President Obama? Do we have to pull down the ad?

No, no, and no. Contrary to Pelosi’s apparent claim, President Obama hasn’t been to Israel over and over again. He’s never been as president, which is certainly what Pelosi implied. Well, maybe he visited Israel “over and over” before becoming president, and that’s what Pelosi meant to say? No. When he was senator, Obama went on two trips to Israel, once with several other freshmen members of Congress, and then as a presidential candidate. And he’d never been interested enough in Israel to visit as a private citizen. So much for the notion that Obama’s been “over and over again.” 

But truth doesn’t matter to the Pelosis of the world: it’s the Big Lie told over and over again, in the hope that it snares just enough voters, that really matters.

And these are the leaders of the Democratic Party.

via Power Line

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)