Living it up in Gaza

Apparently life is not all sorrow for the “refugees” in Gaza. If your country is one of the many that give aid to the Palestinian Arabs of Gaza, here are your tax dollars at work:

 

Looking for a luxury hotel, fine dining, high-end shopping or an amusement park for the kids? Here is the updated version for 2011:

 

[Just make sure “Israel” is not stamped anywhere on your passport if you want to come back alive from your visit.]

Apparently the IDF missed a few buildings in its recent forays into Gaza, and some goods are squeaking through the blockade on Gaza that all the “peace flotillas” are trying to break.

It would be absurd to suggest that these videos prove there is no squalor in Gaza. But then again, there is plenty of squalor in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and every other non-oil-rich Arab country. But in all these places, amongst the squalor there is plenty of money flowing around too. Keep that in mind the next time you see a special report on the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza.

Melanie Phillips on the State of Israeli Hasbara in Britain

Melanie Phillips, a staunch British advocate for Israel had this to say about the sad state of affairs of Israeli hasbara (public relations) in England:



 

Perhaps it could be said that, in her frustration, Ms. Phillips exaggerates somewhat. However, the lack of an effective hasbara campaign by the Israeli government is both well-known and longstanding.

Of course combating anti-Israeli propaganda all over the world is a massive job, especially when an anti-Israel (read: anti-Jewish) message is so readily accepted in so many quarters. But the Israeli government and Foreign Ministry have proven quite incapable of doing a competent job, let alone showing the kind of ingenuity that Israelis are famous for in so many other fields.

It should be clear that a substantial portion of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, including the diplomatic core, are from the political Left and are highly invested in the ever-failing peace process — politically, professionally and personally. These people shy away from an active defense of Israel’s position since that is confrontational and would upset the Arabs. And they may be hesitant to work with Israel’s natural allies on the Right.

Due to the way the system in Israel works, these people can not and will not be purged from positions of importance any time soon. Don’t expect them to change or to go away. Therefore it is pointless to rely on the Israeli government to handle this job effectively.

The only options are 1) to bypass the “official” hasbara system and/or 2) to find an effective pro-Israel message that the Left in Israel can support.

Alas, it seems that #1 is much easier to accomplish than #2.

Arab Apartheid Week

Finally, the appropriate response to the mindless “Israel Apartheid Week” events being held by the Arabs and their “useful idiots” this week in cities around the world. Instead of explaining for the thousandth time that Israeli Arabs have full rights, unlike blacks in the Apartheid years of South Africa, columnist (and former IRIS co-chairman) Michael Freund suggests that we should turn the tables and launch a yearly “Arab Aparthied Week”.

Well, I say the time has come to stop playing defense and to bring the offense out onto the field. We need to turn the tables and fight back against our opponents by taking the struggle toward their end-zone.

A good place to be start would be to organize an annual “Arab Apartheid Week,” which would highlight the decrepit state of human and political rights throughout the Arab world.

There is a solid case to be made that the Arab states remain the last great outpost of despotism and tyranny on earth, and people need to be reminded as much. Indeed, the Arab world today is a living encyclopedia of outmoded forms of government, from sultanates such as Oman and emirates such as Qatar, to thuggish dictatorships such as Syria and dynastic monarchies along the lines of Jordan. It may be a political scientist’s dream, but it is a nightmare for the hundreds of millions of Arabs chafing under oppression and tyranny.

Basic and fundamental freedoms such as personal autonomy and individual rights are routinely trampled upon, and ethnic and religious minority groups suffer extreme discrimination and intolerance. Just ask Coptic Christians in Egypt, Baha’is in Iran or Shi’ites in Saudi Arabia for starters.

Or Jews anywhere in the Middle East…

This was borne out most recently by a report issued by Freedom House, the independent Washington-based group that advocates for freedom worldwide. Its annual survey, “Freedom in the World 2010,” would make for eye-opening reading for all those who cry “apartheid” whenever they see a flag with a Star of David.

Consider the following findings:

Of the 18 countries in the Middle East that Freedom House surveyed, only one is considered to be “free.”

And just who might that be? Yep, you guessed it: Israel.

Not a single Arab country – not one! – did Freedom House consider “free”…

In effect, then, this means that of the approximately 370 million human beings currently residing in the Middle East, only 2 percent enjoy true freedom – namely those who live in the Jewish state.

So much for “Israeli apartheid”…

An annual Arab Apartheid Week, held on campuses and at community centers, could be an effective vehicle for driving home this fundamental truth.

Global Warming: Why we are skeptical

Here is a simple exercise which will help the Global Warming crowd understand why there is such powerful skepticism to their almost-religious faith in the existence of anthropological global warming:

There is a 2-word solution to 100% of the issues related to global warming. What is it?

Nuclear Energy.

Now think of your reaction to that 2-word solution and you can understand why there is so much skepticism related to the concept of man-made Global Warming.

Why? Because nuclear energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 100%, will remove the dependence on foreign (and domestic) oil and gas by 100%, can be ramped up much more quickly than any of the “green” energy options, and will never “run out”.

As a side benefit, this would put out of business all the dictators and other thugs that stay in power due to their oil while the rest of the world democratizes. And the “developing” countries could benefit from all the new nuclear energy technologies improve the lot of their peoples instead of begging for those suspicious “carbon credit” transfer payments from less unsuccessful countries in the West.

So why is nuclear a dirty word?

I’ll tell you why. Because the same people that today are whining about global warming come from the exact same camp that killed the growth of the nuclear power industry in the ’70s. In fact, had the environmentalist left not giving nuclear power such a bad name we would have never even had a issue with global warming today for them to whine about. By today (nuclear) electricity would have been almost free and almost unlimited and we would all be driving electric cars and heating our homes, offices, water and food exclusively with electricity.

Sure, nuclear power has potential problems. Don’t you think technical or common sense solutions could have been found to these problems long ago? Dangers of meltdowns or terrorist attacks? Bury the reactor cores a few miles underground. Nuclear waste? Fence off a place in Kansas 100 miles wide by 100 miles long and bury the stuff a few miles down in a huge, water-proof hole in the middle. That would be enough space to store 100% of the world’s nuclear waste (and its garbage too) for decades.

Don’t think for a second that there are no environmental issues with solar and wind energy. What could be cleaner than hydro-electricity? But today dams are “bad” too because they destroy the natural environment behind the dam and interfere with fish migration. As soon as wind power takes off those same environmentalists that pushed it as “green” will be back to crush it because too many birds will be getting killed in the turbines. Just wait. How about those huge solar farms planned for the desert? The environmentalists are already starting to complain about desert habitats being destroyed.

Being adults means making choices. We can choose a logical path to permanent energy independence and deal with or find solutions to the consequences, or we can complain about the downside of every alternative and every problem created by not accepting those alternatives.

Remember — nuclear energy creates “local” problems dealing with the radioactivity. That is far better and easier to deal with than the whole world boiling, don’t you think?

So the next time you talk with a “warmer” try suggesting nuclear energy as the obvious solution. If you get a knee-jerk reaction of a religious fanatic you can explain that that kind of reaction is a big part of what drives the global warming skepticism in the rest of us.