Sunday, March 30, 2008

ΣΥΜΑ ΙΣΤΡΑΗΛ ΑΔΩNΕ ΕΛΩΗ ΑΔΩN Α


Ancient amulet bearing the Shema in Greek letters discovered in Austria

from the Jewish Journal:



ΣΥΜΑ ΙΣΤΡΑΗΛ ΑΔΩNΕ ΕΛΩΗ ΑΔΩN Α

Does that look familiar? It's the Shema, in Greek. On a gold scroll.

And not only is it the Shema in Greek, it's from 300 C.E. and it's from Austria.

All this comes from a recent archaeological find from Austria.

Archaeologists from the Institute of Prehistory and Early History of the University of Vienna have found an amulet inscribed with a Jewish prayer in a Roman child’s grave dating back to the 3rd century CE at a burial ground in the Austrian town of Halbturn.

This amulet shows that people of Jewish faith lived in what is today Austria since the Roman Empire. Up to now, the earliest evidence of a Jewish presence within the borders of Austria has been letters from the 9th century CE. In the areas of the Roman province of Pannonia that are now part of Hungary, Croatia and Serbia, gravestones and small finds attest to Jewish inhabitants even in antiquity.

Jews have been settling in all parts of the ancient world at the latest since the 3rd century BCE. Particularly following the second Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire, the victorious Romans sold large numbers of Jews as slaves to all corners of the empire. This, coupled with voluntary migration, is how Jews also might have come to present-day Austria.

Child’s grave

The one or two year old child, which presumably wore the silver amulet capsule around its neck, was buried in one of around 300 graves in a Roman cemetery which dates back to the 2nd to 5th century CE and is situated next to a Roman estate ("villa rustica"). This estate was an agricultural enterprise that provided food for the surrounding Roman towns (Carnuntum, Györ, Sopron).

The gravesite, discovered in 1986 in the region of Seewinkel, around 20 kilometres from Carnuntum, was completely excavated between 1988 and 2002 by a team led by Falko Daim, who is now General Director of the Roman-German Central Museum of Mainz, with the financial backing of the Austrian Science Fund FWF and the Austrian state of Burgenland. All in all, more than 10,000 individual finds were assessed, most notably pieces of glass, shards of ceramic and metal finds. The gold amulet, whose inscription was incomprehensible at first, was only discovered in 2006 by Nives Doneus from the Institute for Prehistory and Early History of the University of Vienna.

The inscription on the amulet is a Jewish prayer is:

ΣΥΜΑ ΙΣΤΡΑΗΛ ΑΔΩNΕ ΕΛΩΗ ΑΔΩN Α
Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one.

Greek script, Hebrew language

Greek is common with amulet inscriptions, although Latin and Hebrew and amulet inscriptions are known. In this case, the scribe's hand is definitely familiar with Greek. However, the inscription is Greek in appearance only, for the text itself is nothing other than a Greek transcription of the common Jewish prayer from the Old Testament (Deuteronomy, 6:4): "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one."

Amulet to protect against demons

Other non-Jewish amulets have been found in Carnuntum. One gold- and three silver-plated amulets with magical texts were found in a stone sarcophagus unearthed west of the camp of the Roman legion, including one beseeching Artemis to intervene against the migraine demon, Antaura. Amulets have also been found in Vindobona and the Hungarian part of Pannonia. What is different about the Halbturn gold amulet is its Jewish inscription. It uses the confession to the center of Jewish faith and not magic formulae.

The gold-plated artifact from Halbturn can be viewed from 11 April 2008 onwards as part of the "The Amber Road – Evolution of a Trade Route" exhibition in the Burgenland State Museum in Eisenstadt.

Adapted from materials provided by University of Vienna.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lou Dobbs Panders to Racists.

from Media Matters - Dobbs asked if Obama is "pandering to ethnocentric special interests again" by accepting Richardson's endorsement:

Dobbs asked if Obama is "pandering to ethnocentric special interests again" by accepting Richardson's endorsement

Summary: Lou Dobbs introduced the March 21 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight by announcing: "Tonight, Senator [Barack] Obama wins the endorsement of the nation's only Hispanic governor, Bill Richardson. Is Obama pandering to ethnocentric special interests again? We'll have complete coverage." The subsequent report included no discussion of whether Obama is "pandering to ethnocentric special interests."

On the March 21 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, host Lou Dobbs introduced his program by announcing: "Tonight, Senator [Barack] Obama wins the endorsement of the nation's only Hispanic governor, Bill Richardson. Is Obama pandering to ethnocentric special interests again? We'll have complete coverage." The subsequent report by Capitol Hill reporter Jessica Yellin did not include a discussion of whether Obama is "pandering to ethnocentric special interests."

Later, during a panel discussion with Washington Post New York bureau chief Keith Richburg, New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin, and Democratic superdelegate Robert Zimmerman, Dobbs asked: "Are each endorsement, are we going to hear, as white Americans, as black Americans, as Hispanic-Americans, I mean, is this going to be part of what is the group and identity party in this country? Are -- is that not -- is it just -- I mean, just tell me, is there some sense that the Democratic Party is being overwhelmed by its own sense of group and identity politics here?"

Yellin's report also aired during the 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET hours of the same day's edition of CNN's The Situation Room; in neither instance did guest host John King introduce or tease the segment by asking whether Obama was "pandering to ethnocentric special interests." Rather, introducing the 4 p.m. airing, King stated:

KING: In the battle for superdelegate support, Bill Richardson's endorsement is considered a big get. Now the New Mexico governor and former presidential candidate has cast his lot with Barack Obama, saying he'd be a historic president. Richardson's endorsement comes despite a history of close ties to both Hillary and Bill Clinton.

My interview with Governor Richardson just ahead. First, though, to CNN's Jessica Yellin. She's been following this story from the campaign trail in Indiana. And Jessica, this could not have been an easy decision for Governor Richardson.

Introducing the 6 p.m. airing, King stated:

KING: New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is setting his ties to the Clintons aside and hopping on the Barack Obama bandwagon. The former presidential candidate offered his endorsement today, after weeks of mulling and hand-wringing.CNN's Jessica Yellin is on the trail in Indiana. Jessica, a big get for Obama and I assume a difficult choice for Governor Richardson.

From the March 21 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:

DOBBS: Tonight, Senator Obama wins the endorsement of the nation's only Hispanic governor, Bill Richardson. Is Obama pandering to ethnocentric special interests again? We'll have complete coverage.

[...]

DOBBS: Good evening, everybody. Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico today deserted Senator Clinton and instead endorsed Senator Obama. Former presidential candidate Governor Bill Richardson declaring Obama is what he called a once-in-a-lifetime leader. Governor Richardson backed Obama even though Democrats voted for Clinton in New Mexico's primary election.

Meanwhile, new evidence today that the outrage over Senator Obama's controversial former pastor has had a negative impact on Obama's polling numbers. We have extensive coverage tonight from the presidential campaign trail. And we begin with Jessica Yellin in Indianapolis -- Jessica.

YELLIN: Good evening, Lou. It was such a tough decision for Governor Bill Richardson to do this -- make this endorsement that one Clinton staffer recently described him as Hamlet. He just couldn't make up his mind until now.

[begin video clip]

YELLIN: He's a former Clinton confidant, the nation's only Hispanic governor, and his is one of the most sought-after endorsements of all. Now this superdelegate is on Obama's team.

RICHARDSON: Your candidacy -- and this is an expression of your candidacy -- is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our nation, and you are a once-in-a-lifetime leader.

YELLIN: Richardson made the decision last week. But he says Obama's speech on race reaffirmed his faith in the senator.

RICHARDSON: As a Hispanic-American, I was particularly touched by his words. Éste es un hombre que nos entiende y que nos va a respetar. [This is a man who understands us and will respect us.]

YELLIN: Some say the Clintons helped make Bill Richardson's career and they've wooed him aggressively, the former president flying to New Mexico this year for the Super Bowl.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: Do not get between Bill Clinton and Bill Richardson and the TV set when the Super Bowl is on, so --

YELLIN: But the governor says he developed a soft spot for Barack Obama during all those debates and, clearly, a rapport.

RICHARDSON: He didn't mention me. But that's OK.

OBAMA: Did that hurt your feelings?

RICHARDSON: Well, a little bit.

YELLIN: The endorsement comes after a run of bad news for Barack Obama, including damaging stories about his pastor, an indicted former donor, missteps on NAFTA, and losses in Texas and Ohio. This could turn the tide.

Now the Obama campaign can only hope it clears the way for other uncommitted superdelegates to follow Richardson's lead and that his stamp of approval will bolster the candidate's standing among Hispanic voters and buttress his foreign policy credentials.

[end video clip]

YELLIN: Lou, I spoke to aides to four of those top uncommitted superdelegates, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid, [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, [former Vice President Al] Gore and [Sen. Joe] Biden [D-DE]. They all say they do not expect those folks to follow suit and endorse Barack Obama, at least not now. Senator Clinton says this should all be left up to the voters; endorsements shouldn't decide a nomination -- Lou.

DOBBS: Thank you very much. Jessica Yellin reporting. Presidential candidates tonight demanding a thorough investigation after a security breach in the State Department -- a breach that enabled State Department contract workers and a trainee to read the confidential files of all three presidential candidates, obviously without authorization.

[...]

RICHBURG: I agree, it could. I mean, it's -- I think the speech has actually done him some good. I think the problem is he didn't answer some questions about the controversy. But you know, Bill Richardson [unintelligible] in his endorsement today mentioned that speech as one reason he would be -- he gave him the endorsement, so --

DOBBS: Do you believe him for a moment?

RICHBURG: Well, you know, he had --

DOBBS: No, no, no. Do you believe Richardson for even a moment that that's the reason he gave Senator Obama his endorsement?

RICHBURG: Well, I -- the question is, why did he give it to him today? And I think he needed to come out and do something that was gonna --

DOBBS: A little change of pace was in order?

RICHBURG: -- change the story line.

DOBBS: From the things that Robert Zimmerman prefer we'd be focusing on?

RICHBURG: Change the story line.

ZIMMERMAN: But you know something? I've got to defend Barack Obama in terms of the context of his speech and main points of it --

DOBBS: Stop the presses, as they say.

ZIMMERMAN: No, but I think it's worth recognizing that was a very important address that really did elevate the debate. But now back to Governor Richardson.

DOBBS: OK. Well, speaking of Governor Richardson --

ZIMMERMAN: Speaking of Governor Richardson --

DOBBS: Let's hear what he did say and how he said it in part today.

RICHARDSON [video clip]: As a Hispanic-American, I was particularly touched by his words. Éste es un hombre que nos entiende y que nos va a respetar.

DOBBS: Are each endorsement, are we going to hear, as white Americans, as black Americans, as Hispanic-Americans, I mean, is this going to be part of what is the group and identity party in this country? Are -- is that not -- is it just -- I mean, just tell me, is there some sense that the Democratic Party is being overwhelmed by its own sense of group and identity politics here?

ZIMMERMAN: Look, there's no question when you have the first African-American running and the first woman running at the stature they're at, obviously you're going to have people galvanizing around these issues.

But it does trouble me enormously because I, as a white American, a white Jewish-American, was also moved by Senator Obama's speech. And I think when we start allowing our politicians to define the race for president and these issues along group and identity politics, it undercuts us as a national party and certainly undercuts -- and certainly is a disservice to the American people.

DOBBS: I got to say, I couldn't agree more with what you have just articulated. Why is that so difficult for Senator Obama, Governor Richardson, and others in this party right now to comprehend that the more they go to this identity, they become more divisive? I mean, am I --

RICHBURG: Well, you're -- I think Obama is trying to get away from that identity. I think the whole point of that speech was to say --

DOBBS: Well, who -- I mean, he sure -- getting a lot of help here.

RICHBURG: No, we have. But I think the point of that speech was to say, let's all come together. I mean, he can't win if he's an identity politician. He's running as an African-American, he can't win.

ZIMMERMAN: Well --

DOBBS: Well, if everyone continues this nonsense -- I mean, it's -- I mean, whether you're Jewish or Catholic or you're black or you're white or you're Hispanic, I mean, this is becoming an explosion from the center, which is where I think most of us want to reside.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

More details on attack on rabbi in Brooklyn

from the Jerusalem Post: "Israeli attacked by Arab youth in NY":

A 25-year-old Israeli rabbinical assistant was assaulted by a group of Arab teenagers screaming "Allah akbar" in Brooklyn on Tuesday evening.

Uria Ohana, originally from Kfar Chabad, entered a subway station in the affluent Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn Tuesday evening, on his way to a lecture in Manhattan, when he noticed a group of Arab teenagers congregated on a bench in the station.

Ohana did not exchange words or make eye contact with the group, but proceeded upstairs to his train.

On his way, he felt someone grab his kippa from his head and then heard laughter. Ohana decided to chase the boys to retrieve his kippa.

The 18-year-old boy who grabbed the kippa left the subway station and ran into the street, where he was hit by a car, breaking his leg.

While Ohana chased the boy, the other teenagers began chasing him, screaming "Allah akbar."

"They screamed at me, 'Did you see what happened to him because of you?'" said Ohana, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbinical assistant who works in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Two of the Arab boys then started kicking and punching Ohana in the face.

"As soon as they started screaming, I understood [the attack] was racial," said Ohana.

The crime is being investigated as aggravated harassment and a possible bias crime, according to a New York Police Department spokeswoman. "I am almost sure it will be charged as a hate crime," said the spokeswoman.

"I'm sad that this kind of attack is coming to New York after seeing this in Israel," said Ohana. "An Arab teenager attacking a Jew for being a Jew scares me as a Jew."

Ohana said one police officer brushed the incident off as a case of a teenager who "doesn't know what 'Allah akbar' means.

"This scares me in a global context, Arabs taking national pride one step forward," said Ohana.

The youth who was hit by the car was taken to the Lutheran Medical Center to be treated for his broken leg and was placed under arrest. The other two boys fled the scene and have not yet been apprehended.

NYC: Arab anti-semitic attack on rabbi in Park Slope subway station

from the New York Post:

YARMULKE YAHOOS BEST NOT MESS WITH THIS RABBI

By JAMIE SCHRAM

March 20, 2008 -- An assistant rabbi whose yarmulke was swiped by Arab men turned the tables on his tormentors, chasing one into a Brooklyn street where the thief was struck by a car and arrested, police said yesterday.

Uria Ohana, 25, a member of the Chabad Lubavitch movement, told The Post he entered a subway station alone at Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street in Park Slope at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday.

Ohana said he went through a turnstile and spotted a group of young Arabic men sitting on a bench.

"I wasn't afraid of anything. I didn't think anything would happen," he said.

But something did.

Ohana said he felt a hand grab his brown yarmulke off his head.

He then spun around and came face to face with one of the men, Ali Hussein, 18, police said.

"There were no words exchanged. I decided to chase him to get my yarmulke back," Ohana said.

Hussein's friends joined in the foot pursuit, screaming "Allah-hu Akbar," which means "God is great."

They ran outside and Hussein darted into the street, where he was hit by a blue Volvo and toppled to the ground, cops said.

"He couldn't move. He broke his leg. He was crying," said Ohana.

Hussein's friends then jumped into a suburban GMC and sped away.

Police arrested Hussein for alleged aggravated harassment as a hate crime

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Neo-Nazi still listed as county coordinator for Ron Paul campaign

Neo-Nazi activist Will Williams is still listed as County Coordinator of the Ron Paul campaign for Johnson County, Tenn. .

read here: Ron Paul 2008 › States › Tennessee › County Coordinators

(His email address is still listed there as "whitewil", short for his nickname "White Will".)

This in spite of the fact that the AP has reported about Williams role in the campaign (read here), Williams has issued a statement advocating both racism and Ron Paul, and a Paul campaign spokesman has disavowed Williams' views. Well, if they disavow his views, why do they continue to allow him to operate within their campaign? Williams statement to the press indicated that serving in this position has "been great. I've met a lot of pissed-off white Americans. Lots of them." The Paul campaign must not allow racists to network and organize under their aegis.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

AP Reports on Neo-Nazi Ron Paul Delegate

The AP has picked up the story of a neo-Nazi leader who ran as a Ron Paul delegate and was a Ron Paul county campaign coordinator. Regular readers of this blog will remember that this story was originally broken here and here, by yours truly. Earlier posts about this with more background are available here and here and here and here.

The Ron Paul campaign now denies that they knew of Williams' racist politics (read below). This stretches credulity in light of the fact that they banned him from their internet forums in November, three months before letting him run on their slate of delegates in the Tennessee primary. The reason they banned him? He posted racist and anti-semitic messages. His racist background and his connection to the Paul campaign was discussed on several well-trafficked blogs such as the following (read here and here and here and here).

Is it too much to ask a candidate for the presidency to cut all ties with neo-Nazis? Was the Paul campaign more interested in hushing this up than with addressing the issue? Were they more interested in maintaining support from extremists than they were with keeping themselves free of the taint of racism?

Read the AP report below and ask yourself on more question:

Is including a neo-Nazi as a county campaign leader and delegate sanctionable by either the Republican Party or Congress? If so, then either the Republican Party or Congress should act swiftly to send a message that this is unacceptable.


from the AP: "White separatist ran as Ron Paul delegate in Tenn."
By ERIK SCHELZIG Associated Press Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A self-described white nationalist earned nearly 12,000 votes in Tennessee as a failed candidate to represent Ron Paul at the Republican National Convention.
Will Williams, who told The Associated Press he's "pro-white" and is against interracial marriages "because they can't make white babies," was an early organizer for the Texas congressman's campaign in northeast Tennessee.
"I have a world view that's ethnocentric, I believe my people are worth preserving," Williams said. "I think we need to have our living space, our breathing space. We need to protect our gene pool."
Williams, 60, of Mountain City, said he had no direct contact with Paul about his views before the campaign approved him to join the slate of 21 statewide candidates to be convention delegates.
"He didn't endorse me, he signed off on the list of volunteer delegates," Williams said.
Paul's signature is on the list of delegate candidates that Tennessee election officials used to draw up the ballot, but spokesman Jesse Benton said Wednesday that the campaign was unaware of Williams' views.
"We try to vet as carefully as possible. But unfortunately, as with all campaigns, undesirable people are able to weasel through, slip through, and become delegates," Benton said.
"Congressman Paul wants nothing to do with detestable people like that," he said.
Voters in last month's Republican primary picked a presidential candidate and up to 15 delegates to attend the September convention. Voters could choose from the entire delegate slate, not just those affiliated with the presidential candidate they supported.
Williams was listed on the Feb. 5 ballot only as a potential statewide delegate for Paul. Nothing identified him as a white separatist.
Most of the delegate candidates were political unknowns, since much of the Republican establishment had gravitated to Fred Thompson, the former Tennessee senator who had dropped out before the primary and came in fifth.
Only the delegates for the three candidates who received the most votes - Mike Huckabee, John McCain and Mitt Romney - will be seated at the convention. Paul's 30,955 votes placed him fourth, with 5.6 percent of the vote in Tennessee.
Williams, who was last in the alphabetical list of statewide delegates for Paul, got 11,808 votes. That placed him 14th among Paul delegates, whose vote totals ranged from more than 33,000 to less than 4,800.
Williams' anti-ethnic comments got him blocked from posting at an online networking site for Paul supporters by Meetup.com last year. He blamed his banishment on "a lot of complaints by a little cell of Jews."
Williams argued that his views shouldn't shut him out of the political process.
"Somebody who's pro-white, who does he vote for?" he said. "Does he just go back to the woods and just accept that white people don't have a say?"
He said he didn't regret being on the ballot, even though he expected "smears" from news accounts of his candidacy.
"It's been great," Williams said. "I've met a lot of pissed-off white Americans. Lots of them."
Williams said he joined the Army right out of high school in 1966 and served two tours in Vietnam. He said he later became a member of the West Virginia-based white separatist National Alliance and a protege of its late founder, William Pierce.
Pierce was the author of the novel "The Turner Diaries," which is believed to have inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
"Dr. Pierce was a great man, I admired him greatly," Williams said. "And Dr. Paul is a great man."
The state Republican Party in 2006 stripped the GOP affiliation from a congressional candidate who supported the racist eugenics movement. James Hart, who advocated discouraging "less favored races" from reproducing or immigrating to the United States, had been the party's 2004 nominee against Democratic incumbent Rep. John Tanner.
Paul indicated last week that his long-shot campaign for the presidency is coming to an end, but he hasn't explicitly quit the race.
Williams said he's dissatisfied with the remaining candidates from both parties.
"I think I would vote for (Barack) Obama over McCain or (Hillary) Clinton," he said.
When pressed on whether he would really vote for a black presidential candidate, Williams acknowledged: "Probably not."
"I probably will go back to the woods," he said.

Sudan's Islamist Dictatorship Arms Darfur Mass Murderers

More from the annals of increasingly implausible deniability...

from the Telegraph "We were armed by Sudan" say Darfur killers:

By Nima El Bagir

Adjusting his camouflage turban, the commander pointed at the weapons and vehicles inside his camp in Sudan's war-torn region of Darfur.

  • Telegraph TV: Preview of 'Unreported World: Meet the Janjaweed'
  • "All the hardware that we have - where did we get it from?" said Mohammed Hamdan. "Do you think we just magicked it out of the air? It belongs to the government."


    President Omar Hassan al-Bashir: We were armed by Sudan, say Darfur killers
    President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has always
    denied any link with the Janjaweed

    With those words, he destroyed a myth carefully crafted by Sudan's regime.

    Hamdan commands hundreds of gunmen from the notorious Janjaweed militia, which human rights groups blame for countless atrocities in Darfur's civil war.

    President Omar al-Bashir's Arab-dominated regime has always denied any link with the Janjaweed.

    Instead, Mr Bashir has denounced them as "bandits and thieves" and denied giving them any arms or supplies.

    Yet Hamdan spoke near a Toyota Land Cruiser, mounted with a heavy machinegun, and his fighters were armed with mortars, anti-aircraft guns and Kalashnikov rifles. "The weapons, the cars, all that you see, we got it from the government," he said.

    This support was given in direct breach of United Nations Resolution 1556, passed in July 2004, which gave Sudan's regime 30 days to disarm the Janjaweed and bring their leaders to justice.

    Hamdan, 31, has been named by Human Rights Watch as a Janjaweed commander.

    From his camp near the town of Um Al-Qura in Southern Darfur province, he now claims to control 20,000 gunmen. These Arab fighters were originally armed and raised by Khartoum to fight Darfur's black African rebels.

    The Khartoum regime might disown them now, but Hamdan said that his orders came directly from Mr Bashir.

    He claimed to have met the president twice in September 2006. "They asked for a meeting with us," he said. "There were two places that had fallen to the rebels: Um Sidir and Kiryari [in Northern Darfur]. After they fell, they called upon us - of course as part of the army - to go to the northern areas. We asked for the hardware that you now see with us. And they provided us with cars and weaponry, and we moved to the northern area."


    Graphic: Map of Sudan region

    He claimed that both meetings took place in the presence of Abdul Rahim Mohammed Hussein, Sudan's defence minister. "One meeting with the president was in his home, and the other was in the armed forces' headquarters," said Hamdan.

    Using the weapons supplied by the regime, he managed to block a rebel assault into Northern Darfur in 2006. He was then entrusted with securing Southern Darfur province against the insurgents.

    He had his first contact with the regime at the outset of Darfur's war in 2003. Hamdan said he was personally recruited to fight the rebels. "There was a general call to arms, to the entirety of Sudan after the rebellion began," he said. "The Sudanese government then specifically came to us."

    He added that Sudan's regular army "sent officers to us who signed people up and trained us". Hamdan was trained at a camp west of Nyala, the provincial capital of Southern Darfur.

    He was instructed alongside regular soldiers at an official military training centre. Hamdan produced his snakeskin wallet and took out a Sudanese army identity card. One of his followers, whom he described as his chief of staff, also produced one.

    Each contained the Arabic words: "Identity for Officers and Soldiers, Armed Forces Commission for Intelligence and Security." There was an identity number, a photograph, and a hologram of the Sudanese armed forces insignia.

    Hamdan rejected the label Janjaweed, which translates as "devils on horseback" for the mounted raids typical of the militia. He does not deny that other Arab fighters committed atrocities in Darfur, only his own guilt.

    "We only fought against the rebels," he said. "In fact, there were times when we would receive orders to take part in operations in civilian areas." Hamdan said he always refused to obey these orders.

    Others would disagree. The African Union, an alliance of all 53 countries on the continent, has sent a team of observers to Darfur. According to one of their reports, Hamdan was one of three Janjaweed commanders who led an attack on the village of Adwah on Nov 30, 2004, in which women were beaten and raped and more than 200 people killed.

    Now that Hamdan has disclosed his relationship with the regime, the central question is whether Khartoum will maintain its bluster and denial.

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    Iran's Islamist Dictatorship Wants to Destroy Israel

    Deniablility has become even more implausible...


    from lgf:" A Call on the Clue Phone for Juan Cole":

    Anti-American professor Juan Cole has rather famously claimed that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was “misquoted” in his infamous “Israel must be wiped off the map” statement. Search Google for that phrase and you’ll find tons of lefty and Islamist web sites eagerly promoting Cole’s obfuscation.
    So how will the malevolent Juan Cole and his useful idiot followers explain this?
    A woman walks past a poster featuring portraits of (L-R) Israeli military intelligence chief General Amos Yedlin, Mossad chief Meir Dagan and Defence Minister Ehud Barak during an anti-Israeli ceremony in Tehran. Iranian hardline students have offered rewards totalling a million dollars for the “execution” of the three Israeli military leaders. (AFP/Atta Kenare)
    Or this?
    A student stands behind a podium as a video of Hezbollah’s Leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah plays during a pro-Palestinian meeting at a cultural centre in Tehran March 9, 2008. Students agreed on a one-million dollar reward for the murder of three Israeli commanders, Ehud Barak, Amos Yadlin and Meir Dagan. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN)
    Also notice the bizarre lukewarm language used by Reuters and AFP in their captions: a “pro-Palestinian meeting” with a poster saying “Israel must be wiped off the map?” A poster “featuring portraits” with no mention of the crosshairs painted on their foreheads?
    What the hell is wrong with our mainstream wire services?

    Wednesday, March 5, 2008

    French actress leaves news show to protest Le Pen's presence

    French actress Sophie Marceau left the set of an evening news show to protest the presence on the set of right-wing extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen, French media reported Tuesday.

    Marceau, who is best known outside of France for her role as Princess Isabelle in Mel Gibson's 1995 film Braveheart, was to have appeared on the Monday evening news broadcast for TF1 television to discuss her new film, Les Femmes de l'Ombre (Female Agents). The film concerns a group of women who worked underground against the Nazi occupiers of France during World War II. Le Pen's views on the German occupation of France and of the Holocaust have been almost universally condemned. Among other things, he has described the gas chamber as "a detail of history" and said that the occupation was not as bad as is claimed. He had been invited on the program to speak about the upcoming municipal elections.

    What's it like to wait for a bus in Sderot?

    If you wonder what it's like to wait for a bus knowing that, at any moment, a Hamas missile may get "lucky", take a look at this:

    from ISRAEL WITHOUT IFS OR BUTS: "The new fortified bus stops in rocket-plagued Sderot"


    The Defense Ministry deployed 120 fortified bus stops in Sderot Wednesday, built to protect citizens from Qassam rocket fire. The decision to safeguard the bus stops was made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, following his visit to Sderot last week.

    The bus stops, which are made of a think layer of cement, were placed all over the rocket-plagued city.

    "We have discovered that most of the injuries and fatalities involving Qassam rockets were caused by shrapnel wounds while the victims were out on the street," a Defense Ministry official said.

    "These bus stops will protect not only people who are waiting for the bus but also those who are caught outside when the 'Color Red' alert goes off."

    The ministry is also examining the possible fortification of farmers' packing houses in the communities surrounding Ashkelon as well as bolstering the amount of security forces in the area. (Haaretz)

    "We eagerly welcome the Operation LifeShield initiative, a viable solution that has come at such a critical time for Sderot," stated Sderot's mayor, Eli Moyal.

    Hate on campus: Grandson of Auschwitz survivor beaten in anti-Semitic attack

    from the Philadelphia Daily News:

    Hate becomes more than history for victim of Temple U. beating


    by REGINA MEDINA

    Growing up in suburban Pennsylvania, the young man had heard horror stories from his grandfather about the Holocaust.

    His grandfather was imprisoned in Auschwitz concentration camp and lived to tell about it.

    So when the young man, a Penn State University student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, became the victim of a hate crime recently in front of a Jewish fraternity on the Temple University campus, he was simply incredulous that such an attack could occur in 2008.

    "He told me stories about the Holocaust, but I thought I'd never have to live through a hate crime," said the student, who suffered a broken nose and a fractured orbital bone in the attack. "I never thought I'd have to deal with a hate crime."

    But deal with it the victim and the Temple community must.

    Four Temple students were suspended by the university last week and the attack was strongly condemned by school president Ann Weaver Hart, who wrote: "Hate crimes will not be tolerated by Temple University."

    The four suspects - Michael Walsh, 20, of Florham Park, N.J.; David Scott, 20, and Steven Scott, 19, two brothers from Willow Grove, Montgomery County; and Bryan Pediero, 19, of East Brunswick, N.J. - turned themselves into Philadelphia police on Wednesday and yesterday to face the music, police said.

    The four were charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment of another person, ethnic intimidation and criminal conspiracy, police spokeswoman Officer Christine O'Brien said.

    It was the first offense for everybody, she said.

    Temple police have video of the incident in front of Alpha Epsilon Pi house on North Broad Street near Norris, cops said.

    The 23-year-old victim and his 22-year-old friend had emerged from the Owl's Nest Pizza shop around 1:30 a.m. and were swarmed by a group of young men, police said.

    The victim remembers that seven males walked up to him and his friend, who is not a Temple student.

    "You f---ing Jews! You f---ing [Jewish epithet]!" are the chants he remembers from that early Friday morning.

    "Are you part of this f---ing Jewish fraternity?" at least one asked.

    They punched him in the face, he remembers.

    When his grandfather heard about the attack, "he cried," the young man said.

    Since the beating, the victim said he walks around in fear - scared that he'll be a victim of a hate crime again.

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