Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Mystery of Aisha Gaddafi's Newborn Baby

Defiant Aisha rallying Gaddafi's supporters in the early
days of the uprising.
In The Riddle of the Gaddafi Babies, the Guardian today is questioning the plausibility of reports that Aisha Gaddafi gave birth to a daughter, hours after escaping to Algeria. It wouldn't be the first time the Gaddafi regime manipulated the math for propaganda purposes:

"Even the most hardened Gaddafi critic must have felt a little sorry this week for his daughter Aisha. After fleeing Libya for Algeria, her new hosts announced the 35-year-old had just given birth to a baby girl,barely a day after crossing the border. All very traumatic. Not least because the birth came barely four months after Aisha claimed a Nato airstrike had killed her other baby girl, four-month-old Mastoura.
"Hang on. Two babies in eight months? It's possible – just about. But it also might not be the first time the Gaddafi regime has used babies as propaganda. In June, Gaddafi aides took reporters to see a seven-month-old girl who had apparently been injured by Nato strikes. Or so they thought – until a hospital staff member slipped a reporter a note, written in English: "This is a case of road traffic accident. This is the truth." Read the rest of the article here.

BTW, The Huffington Post has posted the most amazing album of Aisha photos found in her abandoned and ransacked home.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Aisha Gaddafi's House Beautiful - Update**


Judging by the number of hits on my earlier post about her, people are fascinated by Aisha Gaddafi and are insatiable for more news and gossip. So, here is a video of the enjoyment her open house provided to ordinary Libyan citizens once she bolted to who-knows-where, possibly to Paris where, in June, she filed suits against NATO claiming war crimes and alleged assassinations of four of Gaddafi relatives. It's hard to imagine her sweating it out in an underground bunker somewhere in Libya.



"This is the property of the Libyan people. They (Libyans) have been living in poverty for the last 42 years and he (Gaddafi) has been living in luxury. This all belongs to the Libyan people," said one man regarding the spectacle of such luxury amidst so much poverty. Perhaps this and the other shockingly vulgar belongings of the Gaddafi's family will go on display one day soon while Saif Gaddafi's London home languishes on the real estate market.




Another casualty of the Libyan revolution is the People's Conference Hall  (above) in Tripoli designed by starchitect, Zaha Hadid, but was 'put on hold' causing her firm to lay off many of its employees. The project was clearly an attempt by Gaddafi to rebrand his image and fumigate the stench of Lockerbie and other adventures off his dictatorship. This is one of the many projects in the Middle East and Asia that reflect, "a global trend to hire internationally recognized architects to transmit messages of progress through their works, effectively acting as cultural ambassadors" for despots everywhere, but may now be read as the cynical endeavors that they are.


**Update: We know now that Gaddafi's wife and three of their children, including Aisha, have fled to Algeria.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

With UN Bid Are Palestinians Being Led Down the Garden Path? Again?

Most commentary about the Palestinian bid for a UN declaration of an independent state has focused on how bad this will be for Israel. But here are a few opinion articles that show how dangerous it will be for maximalist Palestinian claims. Once again, Palestinians are being led down the garden path by very poor leaders who will do anything to avoid getting down to the nitty gritty of actual state building and negotiations with Israel. 

Claims for a One-State Solution, the maximalist demand of many Palestinians and their advocates, will be dead in the water:

UN bid 'may severely disenfranchise the right of refugees to return.'
"By insisting on going forward despite American and substantial European resistance, the Palestinians are committing themselves completely to the two-state solution. Their “gain” at the General Assembly must be viewed as the final, irrevocable commitment to that outcome and should destroy their ability to make their “one-state” threats any longer. It is critical that the United States, Canada, the EU, and all countries committed to peace in the Middle East make this point loudly and clearly now and after the vote."

Legal opinion from an Oxford professor who argued against Israel at the International Court of Justice concludes that the independent state bid will harm the Palestinian refugees' claims.

“An initiative to transfer the Palestinians' representation from the PLO to a state will terminate the legal status held by the PLO in the UN since 1975 that it is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, according to the document. Crucially, there will no longer be an institution that can represent the inalienable rights of the entire Palestinian people in the UN and related international institutions, according to the brief. Representation for the right to self-determination will be gravely affected, as it is a right of all Palestinians, both inside and outside the homeland, the legal opinion says. This change in status will severely disenfranchise the right of refugees to return to their homes and properties from which they were displaced.”


To which state should the UN grant recognition? Gaza or the West Bank? Legally, it doesn't add up.

"Instead of recognizing either of the two state-like entities that already exist, each having many of the attributes of statehood required by international law, the General Assembly will create an imaginary state that has two incompatible presidents, two rival prime ministers, a constitution whose most central provisions are violated by both sides, no functioning legislature, no ability to hold elections, a population mostly not under its control, borders that would annex territory under the control of other powers, and no clear path to resolve any of these conflicts. It is a resolution that plants the seeds for civil and international wars, not one that advances peace."

The Palestinians simply do not have the institutions in place for legitimate statehood:

"The Palestinians have misread what transpired at the General Assembly in 1947. True, the cause of Jewish statehood had been served by the vote on partition, but the Zionist project had already prevailed on the ground. Jewish statehood was a fait accompli perhaps a decade before that vote. All the ingredients had been secured by Labor Zionism. There was a military formation powerful enough to defeat the Arab armies, there were political institutions in place, and there were gifted leaders, David Ben-Gurion pre-eminent among them, who knew what can be had in the world of nations."
--------
This just in: An excellent summary about why the UN should not give birth to a Palestinian state this September. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On Roger Cohen's Prescription to British Jews

Floyd Abrams (m) and Anthony Julius (r)
argue Shylock v. Antonio in a mock trial
Floyd Abrams the famous First Amendment attorney has a letter in the NY Times today which is a very appropriate response to Roger Cohen's Op-ed, Jews in a Whisper”, in which Cohen admonishes British Jews on how they must behave in order to remove the taint of Antisemitism: "The lesson is clear: Jews, with their history, cannot become the systematic oppressors of another people. They must be vociferous in their insistence that continued colonization of Palestinians in the West Bank will increase Israel’s isolation and ultimately its vulnerability." In other words, they must become 'As-A-Jews', as described in Geary Theory: A Goy contemplates “As-A-Jews” in CIF today (see below Abrams' letter).

To the Editor,
"Re “Jews in a Whisper” (column, Aug. 21):
"Roger Cohen’s acute depiction of the perpetuation of British anti-Semitism recalls the description of it in “Trials of the Diaspora,” Anthony Julius’s epic study of the topic.
“It is not Jew-hatred that we must write of,” Mr. Julius concludes, “but Jew-distrust ... it is a story of snub and insult, sly whisper and innuendo, deceit and self-deception.”
But is there not more than a touch of self-deception in Mr. Cohen’s insistence that “the task” — apparently, the only task — of diaspora Jews is to condemn the “colonization of Palestinians in the West Bank”?
Even if one shares, as I do, Mr. Cohen’s concerns about the settlements, I would have thought that if diaspora Jews or others were being assigned tasks vis-à-vis Israel, a prime one would be to respond to the torrent of calumny, one-sided and often false, that is directed at that nation on the basis of supposed standards that are applied to no other nation.
"FLOYD ABRAMS
New York, Aug. 21, 2011
"The writer, a First Amendment lawyer, has represented The New York Times."
And here is a sample from Geary Theory: A Goy contemplates “As-A-Jews”:

"The As-A-Jew certainly wants to be loved. He desperately desires to be accepted into the shallow hypocritical soi-disant left-leaning world which he feels is his natural habitat (that would be, by the way, the world whose UK branch is pandered to and bolstered by the Guardian). But he has a problem. He’s Jewish. And one of the trade-marks of, one of the tribal markings you must have to enter that shallow hypocritical soi-disant left-leaning world is a hatred of Israel, aka the Jewish state. That soi-disant left-leaning world is therefore suspicious of Jews: do they or do they not pass the Jonathan Freedland "Israel test"? Tell us you despise the place and there is a seat at our dinner table. Tell us you feel any affinity and you can find your own way to the door. As Freedland puts it most succinctly:
[I]f Jews refuse to dissociate themselves from Israel, then they are fair game for abuse and attack until they publicly recant. Liberals rightly recoil from the constant pressure on Muslims to explain themselves and denounce jihadism or even Islamism. Yet they make the same implicit demand when they suggest Jews are OK, unless they are Zionists.
"The effect is to make Jews’ place in British society contingent on their distance from their fellow Jews, in this case, Israelis."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Seriously, Is It Islamophobia To Decry Al Quds Day?


Thanks to Richard Millett and CiF Watch for documenting the Al Quds Day demonstration in London this past weekend. Check out the rest of their posts for more photos, videos and commentary. There will be Al Quds Day demos in New York, Washington, DC, and other North American cities later this month.

You will note that although these rallies were initiated by the Iranian regime, many non-Muslim European and American anti-Israel activists are taking the opportunity to join against, "the greatest threat to peace and stability across the globe." Here is a sample of of what was said in Trafalgar Square by one of the speakers, Lauren Booth-- Tony Blair’s half-sister-in-law who converted to Islam after a holy experience in Iran last year.

“It is time, Brothers and Sisters, for Al Quds (Jerusalem) to be liberated. For Islam and people of the world who wish to pray there to the one God. And we say here today to you Israel, we see your crimes and we loathe your crimes. And to us your nation does not exist, because it is a criminal injustice against humanity. We want to see Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt go to the borders and stop this now. Liberate Al Quds! March to Al Quds!”

Turkey Stalling Release of Negative Mavi Marmara Report

Turkey's PM Erdoğan balancing act between Syria and Iran requires
harassing Israel for an apology on Mavi Marmara.
Turkey has once again requested the postponement of the release of the UN Palmer Report on the Mavi Marmara incident and warns that it will cut economic as well as diplomatic ties if Israel continues to refuse to apologize for killing nine 'activists' on board. Why is Prime Minister Erdoğan persisting in this charade?  Because the Palmer report "acknowledges Israel’s right to act against those who threaten its stability and security even in international waters, a conclusion that would make Turkey’s diplomatic struggle against Israel more difficult." 

And what is Turkey's diplomatic struggle against Israel about? It is about securing Turkey's potentially odd-man-out position between Iran and Syria. It is about playing for time by using the Israel-card to win points in a neighborhood that seems to be falling apart at the seams. 

In a scathing article in Hurriyet Daily, Burak Bekdil points to the cracks appearing in "The willing trio of Islamist/anti-Zionist/Third Worldist “brothers” Turkey, Syria and Iran..." resulting from Turkey's unhappiness over Syria's brutal crackdown of protesters. Apparently Iran is furious that Erdoğan called Assad's methods 'savagry' and accused Turkey of helping to arm the 'Syrian terrorists'. Further, Iran's Revolutionary Guards newspaper warned that, “’Should Turkish officials insist on their contradictory behavior and if they continue on their present path, serious issues are sure to follow.” And further, "Iran will choose Syria over Turkey, if it had to choose."

Well with this diplomatic mess Turkey has got into, who wouldn't pick on Israel in order to sustain his Islamist/anti-Zionist/Third Worldist bonafides? Yet as Bekdil comments, it's tricky maintaining the, "policy of constant Israel-bashing each time the Jewish state disproportionately responded to terrorism and killed a few or more than a few – sometimes innocent – Muslims, while Muslim states killed mostly innocent Muslims by the thousands..." but if it means, in this instance, postponing the Palmer report indefinitely and harassing Israel, Turkey's leaders will give it another try. Pity the Obama administration doesn't understand this ploy and is busy urging Israel to apologize.

On a related note, earlier this year, while Iran and Turkey were still best friends, Bekdil, again in Hurriyet Daily, set about contrasting their positions on Israel as "Muslim Turks want a ‘smaller Israel,’ whereas Muslim Iranians want ‘no Israel.’" 

The difference between the rhetoric of Messrs. Ahmadinejad and Davutoğlu (Turkey’s Foreign Minister) is that the Iranian talks about “no Israel” in plain language while the milder Turk talks about a “smaller Israel” in subtle language. To achieve the goal of “no Israel,” the radical Mr. Ahmadinejad resorts to bombs he says he is not building. For his “smaller Israel,” the moderate Mr. Davutoğlu resorts to politics.

"The foreign minister recently said that “it is now time to naturalize the flow of history” with which he probably did not mean granting broader rights to Turkey’s Kurds or officially apologizing to the Armenians for the genocide he says did never exist. Here is how Mr. Davutoğlu thinks he can achieve his goal of “smaller Israel (or of praying at al-Aqsa Mosque in the Palestinian capital): “As a member of the Group of Twenty, Turkey wants to be a leader of a new order… The United Nations and its policy-making bodies should no longer comprised to the winners of World War II, they should represent the whole world.”

"The idea looks worth trying. For a trial period imagine putting Iran, Turkey, Venezuela and Hamas’ Palestine in the U.N. Security Council as members with veto powers. Sounds like real excitement and fun."

And we haven't even mentioned Erdoğan attempts to divert attention from his bombing campaign against the Kurds.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Anti-Israel 'Peace and Justice' Crowd Back Out of the Woodwork After Silence on Syria...

"Peace" activists hold up pro-forma banner template ever-
ready to vilify Israel.

Richard Millet braved another "We are All Hamas (or Hezbollah) Now" demo in front of the Israeli Embassy in London to bring us this story. Funny thing is, a London copper stopped him from filming 'under threat of arrest'. But that's not the only irony here. The very people who stayed at home while Gaddafi and Assad were butchering thousands of their own people, jumped at the first opportunity to protest against Israel:


"As Israeli families were still burying their dead after yesterday’s murders anti-Israel activists arrived at the Israeli Embassy in London to show support for the Palestinian terrorists that carried out the atrocity.
They repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction and after they started to surround me I was told by the police, under threat of arrest, to stop filming.
From the clips you get a sense of the vileness of the crowd that had gathered. I also seem to have acquired a rather unattractive stalker.
But the most sickening sight was that of the Neturei Karta, who passed me as I was walking back to get the train, en route to the Israeli Embassy to join in. Even the day after eight of their fellow Jews were murdered the “Rabbis” couldn’t lay low.
And this just an hour before the beginning of Shabbat."
Watch his videos here.
Rocket bombardments from Gaza into southern Israel continue.
Hamas calls off two year de facto 'truce' with Israel.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Congress Members Taken to Task for Summer Visits to Israel - Update**

This has turned into very busy summer for me (not in a good way) so my posting appetite has been in inverse proportion to the huge number of stories out there that would normally fit my self-selected beat. But, have you noticed how headline writers have been falling all over themselves trying to come up with the most numerically sensational figure for the number of congress-folk visiting Israel this summer?

A fifth of all congressmen taking paid-for holidays to Israel this summer

20% of all congressmen are taking vacation in Israel...all paid for by AIPAC

81 congressmen to visit Israel in coming weeks

The congress is in session, it turns out...in Israel

The funniest one, if he had a sense of humor, that is, is Philip Weiss's: "Only 20% of House of Representatives will visit Israel this summer." (Link to Mondoweiss is permanently broken.)

Jesse Jackson, Jr. met Ariel Sharon during a 2003 visit to
Israel. He described that meeting as "warm and insightful."

The congressman who will be getting the most flack for this trip, I imagine, will be Jesse Jackson, Jr. who is already being taken to task by Counterpunch's Vijay Prashad for not following in his famous father's footsteps: "Congressman Jackson is not unaware of the politics of the region. After all, his father, Jesse Senior, has taken an active role in the Middle East affairs, and had once made his own affinity for the Palestinian cause public (1in 1988 he made his support of Palestinian statehood a plank of his campaign, for which I happily worked in Los Angeles). When candidate Obama was building mementum in the primaries, Jesse Senior remarkably said, "Decades of putting Israel's interest first will end. Zionists have controlled American policy for decades and will lose their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House."  

To that, Jesse, Jr. replied, "As the vice-chair of the House Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, I've traveled to Israel and seen firsthand the threats to its security. I'm eager to work with the new administration and the new Congress to ensure that Israel remains strong, secure and free."

And when Jesse, Jr. stated that," I particularly look forward to learning more about the latest tools and technology Israel is  using in its fight against terror and its dynamic business and commercial sectors," Prashad countered with,"Israel's most remarkable achievement has been to sell its failure to attain peace as a counter-terrorist success story."

Prashad then chides Jackson for not toeing the party line expressed by the African-Heritage Delegation to Israel/Palestine who concluded upon their return that,
"The Israeli Occupation and the suppression of Palestinian rights conform to the United Nations definition of Apartheid," and endorsed, "...the international campaign calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel in support of Palestinian freedom, justice and equality."

Last year, Normie Finkelstein named Jesse Jr as "part of Washington prostitution ring"
for daring to see the Israeli side of the Mavi Marmara incident.

It will be interesting to note who among the 81 or Ffifth or 20% of congress will get the best/worst coverage for this trip. My guess is Jesse, Jr. will get an earful from that part of the left for whom he is a disappointment and who would prefer to hear a solid knee-jerk condemnation of Israel as befits the scion of Jesse 'Hymietown' Jackson, Jr.


** Update: Check out Adam Holland's takedown of anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein's disgraceful, racist rant about Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s visit to Israel. An example of Silverstein's words:

Jackson, "...knows what he's told to know. And you know who tells him what he knows? His rich pro-Israel Jewish friends in Chicago who are filling his campaign coffers..."



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Do Palestinians Dream of New Homes on the Site of Western Wall?



Video transcript: “They know for certain that our roots are deeper than their false history. We, from the balcony of our home, look out holiness and on sin and in an area that used to have people and homes. We are drawing our new maps. When they disappear from the picture, like a forgotten chapter in the pages of our city’s history, we will buildt it anew. The Mugharabi Quarter will be built here (on the Western Wall Plaza).”

As pointed out in Dreams of Ethnic Cleansing over at Harry's Place: “If Israeli state television were to broadcast a programme in which the Al Aqsa mosque and its worshippers were described as “sin and filth” and expressed confidence that it would be swept away and replaced with houses for Jews – it would be front page news all around the world. Editorials would be devoted to such a broadcast. It would be held to us as proof that Israel had no intentions of negotiation a settltement with Fatah, and that the two state solution was dead. Demonstrations would be held around the world, which would be led by Islamist groups alignedwith Palestinian terrorist factions, and they would be joined by students and members of Parliament. Prominent Jewish personalities would declare that Israel had now forfeited its legitimacy. Foreign Ministers would make public statements expressing the severest concern…”.

Ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem has happened before - when Jews were
driven out
 of the Old City by the Jordanian Army in 1948.
Could this be what Palestinian ethnic cleansing dreams are made of?
Denial of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem is official Palestinian Authority policy. Recently, Al-Mutawakil Tahathe Palestinian Authority deputy minister of information, said that the Western Wall was part of an Islamic waqf – religious endowment – and that only “Islamic tolerance allowed Jews to pray there”. Last year, Sheik Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, chief Islamic judge of the PA, claimed that Judaism, “…has no historical roots” and that the Jews are engaging in an attack on “…history, theft of culture, falsification of facts, erasure of the truth and, Judaization of the place.” Should we worry about statements such as these when US and EU diplomats and politicians so blithely, so easily, assume that sharing Jerusalem will be a piece of cake?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Durban III Counter Summit Planned

Marianne Pearl will be a featured speaker at
We Have A Dream Summit

With September dates for Durban III approaching, it is a relief to see that a consortium of NGO's is planning We Have A Dream, an alternative summit to fill the vacuum created by the expected highjacking of Durban's so-called anti-racism conference by anti-Israel nations and organizations. Here is how UN Watch, one of the NGO's spearheading the summit has announced the event:

On September 21-22, as world leaders assemble in NY for the annual opening of the United Nations, and to commemorate the 2001 Durban conference on racism and discrimination, an international coalition of non-governmental human rights organizations will hold a parallel summit across the street.

This will be the premier human rights event at the UN in September. The goal of the Summit is to place urgent situations of discrimination and persecution on the international agenda, uphold the UN's founding principles of human rights and democracy and give a voice to the voiceless.

For more info and to sign up for email bulletins, go to http://ngosummit.org/index.php

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stephen Walt Re-Hashes Jewish Lobby Spin

President Shimon Peres meeting with some of the 26 Democratic
members of Congress who visited Israel this summer.

Steven Walt is having a good old time with the congressional visits to Israel this summer. In "The Greatest Elected Body Money Can Buy" he says, "I suppose I ought to be grateful that AIPAC and its sister organizations continue to work overtime to prove me and my co-author right. But there are bigger issues at stake here, which is why I hope that every one of those eight-plus Congressmen faces a lot of nasty questions from their constituents upon their return." 

To make his case, Walt conflates several unconnected issues and turns them into Jew-bait:

1) Congress should be working overtime to fix our economic woes, but what are they doing instead? Visiting Israel.

2) Congress should be more worried about conditions at home then about being re-elected. What are they doing instead? Burnishing their pro-Israel reps in order to get lots more of those Jewish fundraising dollars.

3) At a time when Congress is hacking away at Medicare and Social Security, what are are they doing with that money instead? Giving it to Israel.

And he has a ready audience just waiting to throw in the research they've been doing on their own. While one commentor presents a list of all representatives who have received AIPAC money, another trots out a quote from the anti-Israel zealot Alison Weir:

"No other lobby on behalf of a foreign country comes anywhere near to controlling such wealth or taking so many of America's elected representatives on a propaganda trip to their favorite country...Not all those going on these trips are enthusiastic. The wife of one congressman who made a similar trip some years ago said that she and her husband had never been exposed to such pressure in all their lives. She said that at one point on their trip, her husband -- a normally extremely tough man -- was curled up in a fetal position..." 
OMG, those Elders of Zion are so mean!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Israel's Freedom of the Press Balancing Act

Romano's group learns what you can say and can't say as a reporter
covering, say, the border between Israel (left) and Lebanon (right).

An article by Prof. Carlin Romano of Ursinus College in today's Chronicle of Higher Education provides an excellent description of Israel's 'motley' blend of press laws developed out of security needs, on the one hand, and desire for free-expression. on the other. Former journalist, now philosophy professor, Romano visited Israel recently as part of group of academics from diverse disciplines under the auspices of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The aim of this trip was to get an overview of Israel's fight against terrorism. Having spent time in Israel 22 years ago, Romano recalls what he learned "...about how security and free speech can be balanced." 

"'Unlike the situation in the post-Pentagon Papers United States, where journalists and officials often saw themselves as adversaries in a First Amendment battle, Israeli journalists generally understood why their society needed to control strategic information. They cooperated more with government and intelligence officials and worked, one explained, with “two brains”. One was the vacuum-cleaner, fact-gathering efficiency tool shared with empirically minded American journalists. The other was the patriotic, security minded conscience of the Israeli citizen. When I asked former Jerusalem Post editor Ari Rath what happened when his aggressive, scoop hungry side and his patriotic Israeli-citizen side came into conflict, he replied, “When push comes to shove, I am an Israeli patriot.'”


Romano is surprisingly "fair and balanced". Read the whole article here. As I am discovering just now, he is a prolific writer who publishes widely. He has another interesting piece about the muted response of American university presidents to the rise of fascism and he wonders how today's academe would respond to a threat from Iran. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Code Pink Staged Syrian Embassy Protest ...And (Almost) Nobody Came**

This is where you usually find Code Pink Warriors. (Medea
Benjamin is second from right)

Like me, I bet you've been wondering where were all the massive demonstrations against the Syrian regime's brutality against its own people. Well, we were almost 99.9% correct in thinking the Left didn't place a very high value on the lives of Arabs killed by their own governments. But Medea Benjamin, Code Pink leader and Gaza-tourist, proved us almost wrong and organized a wee-little protest in front of the Syrian Embassy a few days ago, semi-urging her followers to attend with these unintentionally ironic words:


"The shameless slaughter of Syrian civilians by their own government has been making headlines for months. We call upon the Syrian embassy to demand its government stop this senseless violence and give the people of Syria the freedom that they seek... Visuals will include: graveyard setup with tombstones and a large coffin, activists in all black lying 'dead' on the ground wrapped in 'blood' soaked sheets."


So, after months of headlines about the slaughter, one tiny group of 'peace' activists finally stage a mini-agitprop which, from these photos, seems to have been very, very poorly attended and didn't get any press coverage (are they ignoring Medea?). Now, imagine what would have happened if the Israeli government... Nah, forget it, it's too obvious.

** Apologies for originally forgetting to add a link to the photos mentioned above. Now you can really see how pathetically unsuccessful this event turned out to be.