Israellycool » NASA Down Under Punditry in the Middle East Tue, 04 Aug 2015 11:10:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Batsh*t Crazy Conspiracy Theory Of The Day Fri, 27 Jun 2014 10:46:54 +0000 Meet Ahmed Shaheen, the Nostradumbass of the Arabs.

An Egyptian NASA scientist has not only dismissed but also ridiculed claims by an astronomer nicknamed the “Nostradamus of the Arabs” that Judgment Day has occurred on planet Mars, and Earth is next.

“From where did he bring his nonsense?” the Egyptian-American scientist Farouq al-Baz, who worked with NASA to assist in the planning of scientific exploration of the moon, told the Cairo-based CBC Extra channel on Thursday.

“What has been said is not logical, and has nothing to do with science. Scientists do not delve in what is considered be occult,” Baz told the entertainment channel.

“Nostradamus of the Arabs” Ahmed Shaheen, who is reportedly a member of the American Union for Astronomers, told Emirati news website 24 that “since six years NASA has recorded the sunrise of the sun from the west, making it a judgment day.”

Some Muslims believe that one of the major signs of Judgment Day is that the sunrise will not come from the east but from the west.

Shaheen said “creatures on Mars knew about this, and they fled to other planets such as earth in the form of the white race in the Scandinavian countries.”

Al-Baz meanwhile urged Shaheen to travel to Mars to see for himself if Judgment Day had happened.

Shaheen, who describes himself as a legal researcher and member of the international organization Amnesty International, wrote that there will be an “upcoming surprise that NASA wouldn’t be able to explain or dismiss” on his official Twitter account.

He said the “surprise is a discussion with one of the real space aliens.” The astronomer also accused Baz of having similar agendas as NASA, whom he vowed to unveil.

Aliens fleeing another planet and ending up in Scandinavia? Someone’s been reading too many Marvel comics.


The only thing about this story which makes sense is that he would be a member of Amnesty International.

]]> 1
Ynet – A Falling Star Thu, 21 Feb 2013 16:14:50 +0000 Nasa’s Kepler mission discovered a new moon-size planet:

NASA’s Kepler Mission Discovers Tiny Planet System

WASHINGTON — NASA’s Kepler mission scientists have discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star similar to our sun.

The planets are located in a system called Kepler-37, about 210 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. The smallest planet, Kepler-37b, is slightly larger than our moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth. It is smaller than Mercury, which made its detection a challenge.

And for the average Joe, here’s an artist’s illustration

The line up compares artist's concepts of the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planets in the solar system. The smallest planet, Kepler-37b, is slightly larger than our moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth. Kepler-37c, the second planet, is slightly smaller than Venus, measuring almost three-quarters the size of Earth. Kepler-37d, the third planet, is twice the size of Earth.

The line up compares artist’s concepts of the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planets in the solar system. The smallest planet, Kepler-37b, is slightly larger than our moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth. Kepler-37c, the second planet, is slightly smaller than Venus, measuring almost three-quarters the size of Earth. Kepler-37d, the third planet, is twice the size of Earth.

Truly fascinating stuff, which Ynet just have to ruin with moronic captions and below average reporting.

ynet keplerThe caption translates to:

Kepler 37b in comparison to the planets in our solar system (Photography: AFP)

Apparently, our solar system now includes Kepler 37b, 37c and 37d, and our moon is now a planet. This sure as hell isn’t a photograph, and crediting AFP for it (reminder, it’s NASA’s), while translating a Reuters article verbatim, is retarded.



]]> 1
Ilan Ramon’s Last Television Interview Fri, 01 Feb 2013 04:00:13 +0000 Ten years ago to the day was the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, which claimed the life of Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut, as well as six others.

Here is Ilan Ramon’s last television interview.

Note in particular what he says at 3:25-3:42.

One loss of a mensch. One huge loss for mankind.

]]> 2
Israel And Iran: A Space Oddity Thu, 31 Jan 2013 08:50:45 +0000 Israel is set to put another Israeli into space.

Astronaught-Ilian-RamonThe Science and Technology Ministry is looking seriously into the option of training another Israeli to become an astronaut in the tradition of the late Col. Ilan Ramon, who died in space on the US Columbia space shuttle exactly a decade ago.

The Israel Space Agency is making informal contacts with international space authorities on the matter. Although the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration has halted the dispatching of manned space shuttles into space, it may be than an Israeli trained by NASA could be sent to work at the International Space Station in a few years, the ministry said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Israel has been invited to join the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS); it previously had only observer status on the committee, which is the central international body that deals with space matters.

This follows news that the Iranians put a monkey into space.

space-monkey(CNN) — Monkeys in space.

No, it’s not the title of a wacky B movie, featuring primates amongst the stars in a bid for intergalactic dominance. Rather, Iran says this plot represents its latest bid to join the space race, though Iran’s foes fear the real aim may be to test missile launching capabilities for less peaceful purposes.

According to official Iranian news reports, the primate was strapped snugly into a Pishgam (or Pioneer) rocket and launched 120 kilometers (75 miles) into the sky on Monday.He returned back to Earth sometime later, looking shell-shocked but alive as a crowd of men along the desert ground rejoiced, video from state-run Press TV showed.

“Sending (the monkey into space) and retrieving it was the first step for sending humans into space,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

Which is kind of ironic, considering we are supposedly the descendants of apes.

I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

]]> 8
Palestinian Space Cadets Wed, 16 Jan 2013 08:51:21 +0000 Ever wondered why the palestinians have not sent anyone to the moon. Well, wonder no more!


DAM (Facebook)

A Palestinian musician is blaming the U.S. and Israel for the fact that the Palestinians have not yet been able to send a man to the moon.

Tamer Nafar of the Arabic hip hop band DAM says the group’s latest album was inspired by the contrast between NASA’s space exploration and the digging of smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. He tells the pro-Palestinian website Electronic Intifada that the “occupation” and the U.S. are to blame for hindering Palestinian space exploration ambitions. He does not mention that Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005 and that Hamas – defined by the State Department as a terrorist organization – now controls Gaza, not an Israeli “occupation.”

In the interview, Nafar describes the inspiration for DAM’s new album Dabke on the Moon. Dabke or Debka is a traditional Arab line dance (Emphasis added):

Well, once I read an article about some NASA experiment on the moon, or in space, I don’t know, but they created some kind of a spaceship that goes to outer space to do something. And on the same day, I read an article about the people in Gaza digging tunnels. I didn’t feel comfortable with these two opposites. They are exploring the galaxies outside of Earth, and the Palestinians are digging tunnels — it’s the opposite direction.

Of course we want to go to the moon, but we cannot do it with the occupation. And who’s responsible for the occupation as well? America, the USA. They are sponsoring billions of dollars every year to make us dig under tunnels. I didn’t like it, and it was a sad song at the beginning. How come we are digging tunnels and they are reaching outer space?

I dunno. The palestinian space program seems to be thriving.

Photo: IDF Spokesperson

gaza rocket launch

Update: In other space program related news, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is yet again set to go in to space.

]]> 5
BDS Fail Of The Sol* Sun, 19 Aug 2012 11:58:59 +0000 Two weeks ago, the Mars Science Laboratory, a.k.a Curiosity Rover, touched down on Mars. On board this car-sized engineering masterpiece was a small, yet important, element that’s 100% blue and white.

The Ricor K508 micro cooler is used to cool the CheMin unit, responsible for analysing Martian soil and rock composition, or as NASA put it:

An important science goal of the MSL mission is to identify and characterize past or present habitable environments as recorded in sediments and rocks. CheMin is a definitive mineralogy instrument that will identify and quantify the minerals present in rocks and soil delivered to it by the Sample Acquisition, Sample Processing and Handling (SA/SPaH) system. By determining the mineralogy of rocks and soils, CheMin will assess the involvement of water in their formation, deposition, or alteration. In addition, CheMin data will be useful in the search for potential mineral biosignatures, energy sources for life or indicators of past habitable environments. CheMin can unequivocally identify and quantify minerals above its detection limits in complex natural samples such as basalts, multicomponent evaporite systems, and soils.

This NASA document explains exactly why the Israeli cooler was chosen:

CheMin is one of a suite of instruments on board the Mars Science Laboratory rover that
will be conducting chemistry and mineralogy studies on Mars. The Chemin instrument will use
the Ricor K508 cooler, with the Hybrid 18 drive electronics, to cool the CheMin CCD. The
cooler was selected for its small volume and mass, high cooling capacity, low cost, previous flight history and the fact that no other cooler of its size had any flight heritage (mechanical cooler).

CheMin has conducted a comprehensive test program to qualify the cooler for the MSL mission. The coolers have been subjected to lengthy characterization tests, including FA level thermal tests; the qualification model cooler has been subjected to qualification level random vibration and qualification level thermal tests; and two coolers are presently undergoing life testing.

So there you have it. Israeli culture, high-tech and know-how is currently roaming Mars, while BDSers down on earth still want to boycott Israel and regress humankind.

*A Sol is a Martian day

]]> 7
New Island In Red Sea Wed, 28 Dec 2011 13:08:25 +0000 NASA has breaking news that there may well be a brand new island in the Red Sea!

And in related news, Palestinians are claiming they’ve lived there since time immemorial.

New island in the Red Sea - NASA Picture (Click to enlarge)

]]> 7
The Day In Israel: Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 Sun, 22 Aug 2010 03:01:50 +0000 Israel has reacted to the fueling up of Iran’s first nuclear power plant at Bushehr yesterday.

BushehrIsrael on Saturday denounced Iran’s fueling up of its first nuclear power plant as “totally unacceptable” and called for more international pressure to force Tehran to cease any uranium enrichment.

Israel, widely assumed to be the only Middle East country to have nuclear weapons, has said a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence, raising concerns Israel could attack Iran’s nuclear sites.

In a statement issued after the Islamic Republic celebrated the launch of its reactor in Bushehr, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levy said: “It is totally unacceptable that a country that so blatantly violates resolutions of the (United Nations) Security Council, decisions of the International Atomic Energy Agency and its commitments under the NPT (non-proliferation treaty) should enjoy the fruits of using nuclear energy.”

“The international community should increase pressure on to force Iran to abide by international decisions and cease its enrichment activities and its construction of reactors,” Levy said.

The United States, Israel and some other Western countries fear Iran’s nuclear is aimed at produce atomic weapons. Iran says it wants nuclear power solely for energy production.

Meanwhile, Iran’s threat against the world if attacked indicates the cause for concern with their nuclear program to begin with.

Earlier Saturday, Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised a global response if his country is attacked.

“Our options will have no limits… They will touch the entire planet,” he said.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

7:26PM: RIP Gaza’s “Crazy Water” water park? (hat tip: Michael).

Hamas ordered the “Crazy Water,” water park in Gaza closed due to men and women mixing at parties held in the park, Israel Radio reported on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the Hamas government claimed that the park was actually closed for only three days, because it did not have a proper permit. “Men and women are mixed throughout Gaza,” the spokesperson said. “The closing is just a warning.”

3:15PM: Irish Israeli supporter Cliona Campbell has hit back at an anti-Israel tool who called her a “brainwashed, ill-educated grunt” (see final update).

2:40PM: Let the direct talks begin!

1:20PM: Introducing the Zionist-Conspiracy-O-Matic.

11:18AM: Here is Itay Shechter’s “Yamulke” goal during the Hapoel Tel Aviv vs Red Bull Salzburg Champions League qualifying soccer match.

Believe it or not, he received a yellow card for this.

After scoring the third goal for his team, Shechter pulled one of his half a kippah (cap worn by Jewish ritual), it was placed on his head and ran to the center court, where he knelt and began to pray. After that, the match referee, the Portuguese Pedro Proença took out a yellow card.

The Israeli daily Jewish Chronicle, the Austrian public protested the festivities to consider it as an act of provocation. The Israeli player said he did so because a fan presented him with a yarmulke and made a promise to put it if you score a goal.

“I had no intention to provoke anyone, just in how the entire Jewish people, watching the game on television, would be happy,” said the striker.

10:00AM: How Hizbullah’s Al-Manar TV reports the news:

[click on image to enlarge]

al Manar

9:48AM: According to Kuwait’s al-Rai newspaper, US officials have said damning evidence demonstrating Hizbullah’s involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri is expected to be published by American newspapers in the next few days.

9:34AM: Richard Landes looks at the CNN reporting of the recent Lebanon-Israel border clash.

7:52AM: A future new immigrant?

American Jewish astronaut Garrett Reisman is considering aliyah (immigration) to Israel, according to Minister of Science and Technology Daniel Hershkowitz, who met with Reisman during a recent trip to the United States.

Reisman, 42, told Hershkowitz that the question of whether or not he will live in Israel will be decided based on his ability to find suitable work.

I somehow don’t think that will be a problem.

7:35AM: Trust AFP to turn a graphic on Israel’s painful disengagement from Gaza in to another example of their bias.

Gaza disengagement

Graphic on the 2005 evacuation of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip. Today the coastal territory is run by the militant Islamist movement Hamas while Israel has an iron grip on its airspace and sea lanes, maintaining a total blockade on both while tightly restricting land access. (AFP/Graphic)

In other words, Hamas – who not only rule Gaza but interfere in almost all aspects of life there – are said to “run” Gaza, and Israel – who withdrew 5 years ago but regulates the passage of certain goods that could be used as weapons – “has an iron grip on its airspace and sea lanes, maintaining a total blockade on both while tightly restricting land access.”

7:18AM: Last week, I posted about Iranian taekwondo fighter Mohammed Soleimani’s refusal to compete against Israel’s Gili Haimovich in the championship match of the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore.

Now more of the same at the 2010 WPC Swimming World Championships.

Israel added two golds to its medal haul on Saturday at the 2010 WPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven behind the performances of Inbal Pezaro and Itzhak Mamistvalov. During the heats, two Iranians refused to enter the pool with Israeli blind swimmer Zohar Batar, who joked afterward that she never saw her Persian rivals.

Can someone please explain to me why Iran is even allowed to compete in international sports events?

6:35AM: Latma channels Tom Jones for their latest song parody.


September specials at the Okeanus Hotels in Israel.  Suites, Sea, and Style.

Rooms start at only $170. Click here for more details.


]]> 18
The Day In Israel: Thursday Aug 12th, 2010 Thu, 12 Aug 2010 02:48:14 +0000 A court investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has asked Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah to cough up the supposed evidence he claims to have that Israel was behind the assassination.

hizbullah evidence


A court investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on Wednesday requested evidence from the leader of the Hezbollah militant group after he claimed Israel was involved in the murder.

“I can assure those who bring this information that it will be thoroughly assessed,” chief prosecutor Daniel Bellemare said in a statement, also noting that his office is investigating the murder “in a neutral and objective way.”

Hezbollah on Monday displayed what it said was Israeli surveillance footage of routes used by Hariri, saying this pointed to Israel carrying out the 2005 attack on his motorcade.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who had said he expected the tribunal to indict members of his own group over the assassination, said the investigators should consider whether Israel killed Hariri.

The prosecutor at the UN tribunal said it had asked Lebanese authorities to provide all information in Nasrallah’s possession, including the purported surveillance footage.

Hezbollah on Monday showed what it said was video of routes frequently travelled by Hariri, which it said had been intercepted from Israeli surveillance aircraft.

“I invite anyone who has relevant information to submit it to my office. Indeed, I welcome any information that can bring us closer to the truth,” Bellemare said.

The tribunal, which opened in March 2009, has yet to indict anyone.

Bellemare’s office also asked Nasrallah to “use his authority to facilitate its investigation”. Nasrallah has said in past he would not accept accusations by the tribunal against any Hezbollah member.

Correct me if I’m wrong but it looks to me like a UN tribunal has requested assistance from a known terrorist leader.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

8:22PM: The big news in the states is that a suspected serial killer has been arrested.

And he’s Israeli, according to the mainstream media. Even Israeli sites such as Ha’aretz, Ynet and JPost have been trumpeting the same thing.

But now his name has been published: Elias Abuelazam.

And my immediate thought is “That is not a Jewish name. In fact, it’s distinctly Arab.”

A quick Google search later and I find this:

The manager and regular customers of a party store where the suspected Flint serial killer worked said he was a quiet guy who sometimes joked around.

Abdullah Farah, manager of Kingwater Market on Coldwater Road and Detroit Street in Beecher, said the man arrested this morning worked for him from July 5 to Aug. 1 and was originally from Israel.

And this comment:

There’s no way this guy is Jewish. Think about it for a moment: do you really think a man named Abdullah Farah is going to hire a Jew? Most Arab party store owners in this area are Palestinian, and I guarantee the suspect will turn out to be Palestinian as well.

Is it my imagination, or is the media going out of its way to hide his Arab or palestinian origin and out of its way to make him out to be Israeli?

5:45PM: Michael Totten on Nasrallah’s claim that Israel assassinated Hariri:

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is now officially blaming Israel for assassinating former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri  in downtown Beirut on Valentine’s Day in 2005. I doubt he will convince many people.

I’ve been working in Lebanon on and off for years, and I’ve never once met a single person who thought Israel murdered Hariri. Not even the Hezbollah officials I spoke to before they blacklisted me thought so. Once in a while I met a Hezbollah supporter who said he didn’t know who killed Hariri and silently left open the possibility that Israel might have done it, but that’s the furthest even any of them were willing to go.

Hariri was one of the least anti-Israel Arab leaders on earth. His vision for Lebanon was one of peace and prosperity, not terrorism and war. Jerusalem had no reason at all to want him out of the picture. The Syrian- and Iranian-led Resistance Bloc, on the other hand, needed him out of the way, dead, or at least suppressed.

Almost everyone in Lebanon assumed from the very beginning that the Assad regime in Damascus ordered the hit, which is why Syria’s military occupation was terminated almost at once by a tremendous wave of multi-sectarian wrath. Most people, including me, didn’t entertain the idea for long that Hezbollah might be responsible, not because Hezbollah wouldn’t or couldn’t have done it, but because Syria had the greater of motives.

Speculation is now mounting, however, that the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon is about to name Mustafa Badr al-Din, a senior Hezbollah commander, as the chief suspect. We’ll have to wait and see if that’s actually true, but it will be explosive news if it is. It could easily start another round of sectarian bloodletting, and at the least it will bring Lebanon closer to the boiling point than it already is.

Nasrallah desperately needs to minimize the potential damage as much as he can in advance. Blaming the Jews often works in this part of the world, but this time it might not. His timing could not be worse. It wouldn’t have worked had he tried it five years ago, and that he’s trying it now only makes him look guilty.

5:40PM: I have been debating whether or not to post this next clip because I certainly would not want to unleash the power of Israellycool to help the powers of evil to go viral.

On the other hand, everything about it is so awful that I cannot resist.


  • 0:20: Hitler imagery and making fun of Jews (it is telling how these moonbats are invariably unable to hide their true feelings)
  • 1:11: “Cyborg Al Qaeda from the future snorting blow” (WTF?!)
  • 2:45: Use of the Star Wars Kid to make light of the very real attacks on IDF soldiers by Mavi Mamara “activists”
  • The general trivialization of violence perpetrated by these “activists”
  • The moonbats who produced this video complaining of Israel editing footage, yet the entire video being a cut and splice of unrelated video edited out of context.

Clearly, Israel’s vastly improved PR efforts in getting out video and images from the Mavi Marmara to dispel the propaganda, not to mention the brilliant We Con the World, have driven the haters to these desperate – and poorly conceived and executed – measures.

Meanwhile, I’m getting flashbacks to another terrible moonbat musical effort.

5:02PM: Turkey’s Hurriyet reports on the latest Turkish snub of Israel.

stuffed turkey erdoganIsraeli Ambassador to Turkey Gabby Levy was not invited to the fast-breaking Ramadan dinner, known as iftar, given by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the ambassadors in Ankara on Thursday evening.

“No invitation has been sent to us,” private broadcaster NTV quoted Israeli diplomatic sources as saying. Levy was invited to the traditional iftar last year. The failure to extend an iftar invitation to the Israeli envoy comes in the wake of strained relations between the two countries since the Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound pro-Palestinian flotilla that left nine people dead May 31.

The Turkish prime minister was expected to deliver a speech at the dinner which was to be attended by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and chief EU negotiator Egemen Bağış.

In the meantime, some news reports said the Israeli ambassador would also hold an iftar dinner, but it was not yet clear which ministers he would invite.

In other Turkey-Jerkey news, they’ve set up a commission to carry out their own investigation into Israel’s raid on the Mavi Marmara.

2:56PM: NASA and the Israel Space Agency have signed a statement of intent for future cooperation

2:52PM: Why didn’t I think of this?

Hummus in a squeeze bottle!

Full story here.

12:18PM: Lebanese MP Oqab Saqr has expressed his satisfaction with the UN tribunal investigating Rafik Hariri’s assassination requesting Hizbullah’s “evidence” of Israeli complicity.

MP Oqab Saqr stated Thursday that Special Tribunal for Lebanon General Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare’s request to be provided with Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s evidence in former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination is a “highlight” in the investigation.

“The evidence Nasrallah presented should be taken into consideration and given enough time and effort to remove all doubt and ease suspicions,” he told Voice of Lebanon.

Furthermore, he stressed that Bellemare’s request grants the international investigation great credibility and proves that the investigation does not overlook any piece of evidence.

Oh, now he doesn’t have a problem with Hizbullah’s information?

9:44AM: It’s summer in Jerusalem!

9:25AM: Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Ramadan greetings.

Here are only a few examples of Muslim Jewish holiday greetings:



Yom Kippur



September specials at the Okeanus Hotels in Israel.  Suites, Sea, and Style.

Rooms start at only $170. Click here for more details.


]]> 9
The Day In Israel: Tues Oct 20th, 2009 Mon, 19 Oct 2009 22:17:46 +0000 Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has pledged that Israel will ensure the Goldstone report is vetoed at the United Nations General Assembly.

“It’s going to the UN,” the premier told lawmakers from his Likud party. “We’ll make sure it gets vetoed.”

He sounds confident. The question is: should he be?

Senior diplomats in New York, meanwhile, said the United States would prefer to support a moderately-phrased resolution on the Goldstone report by the UN Security Council, rather than use its veto power to nix such a resolution.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

8:00PM: The BBC has an interesting article on Bedouin who serve in the IDF (hat tip: James).

At least the first part of the article (reproduced below) is interesting. Beyond that, and you encounter traditional BBC Israel-bashing territory.

The traditional view of the Arab-Israeli conflict is of Jews fighting Muslims. But that image does not always reflect the truth.

In fact, there are thousands of Muslim Bedouin who serve in the Israeli army, or IDF, and even bear arms against their fellow Muslims in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

They do so although it is not compulsory for them to serve in the Israeli military, as it is for most Israeli Jews, and sometimes military service comes with a price tag.

“I will do whatever is required from me to do the job with the full faith in the service of the Israeli state,” asserts Maj Fehd Fallah, a Bedouin from the village of Saad in the Israeli occupied Golan.

He is happy to perform his duty, whoever he may have to fight against.

Funeral for members of the Heib Bedouin clan, killed in a Hezbollah ambush in Southern Lebanon in 1995
Bedouin have fought and died alongside Jewish Israelis in the army

“Yes, I have fought against Muslims in Gaza,” he says. That includes Israel’s three-week Operation Cast Lead which began in December last year.

“And I would fight again if I had to,” he added. “Israeli Muslims who don’t serve in the IDF should be ashamed for not serving their country.”

Israel’s Bedouin are a Muslim, Arabic-speaking group. Although these formerly nomadic people were once considered part of the Palestinian nation, most of them are now proud to call themselves Israelis.

Co-operation between Jews and Bedouin began before the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948.

In 1946, tribal leader Abu Yusuf al-Heib sent more than 60 of his men to fight alongside Zionist forces against their Arab neighbours in Galilee.

More than 60 years on, Maj Fallah’s devotion to the Jewish state was unequivocal. He even refused to be interviewed by me in Arabic, insisting: “I have better command of Hebrew.”

Military service is a family tradition in many Bedouin villages, especially those located in the north of Israel.

During my conversation with Maj Fallah, two men were standing listening to us. They were his cousins and both wore the uniform of the IDF.

“It’s a legacy – it’s something that has been passed on from generation to generation in my family,” Maj Fallah explains.

“My father and his father served in the army too.”

The Israeli army does not publish statistics about the exact number of non-Jewish enlisted soldiers, although it says hundreds of non-Jewish Israeli citizens – Muslims, Christians and Druze – join up every year.

Their numbers have grown rather than decreased since the controversial military assault on Gaza.

When I was in the army, they said it would be easy for me to get the job. I applied for a lot of things but it wasn’t easy
Maher, Bedouin recruit

The Israeli military official responsible for minorities is Col Ahmed Ramiz.

He is Druze, another Arabic-speaking ethnic group with a presence in Israel and other parts of the Middle East.

He told me that the main obligation for any citizen of Israel “is to defend his country and to serve in the IDF”.

How does this square with Israel’s status as the world’s only Jewish state? Why should Muslims apply – and why should Israel accept them? He explained the compromise in the following terms.

“We have decided that, due to the potential conflict between the Muslim person’s national identities and their status as Israelis, we don’t make it compulsory for Muslims to join the IDF,” Col Ramiz said.

Muslims could work in every unit of the army, even elite units, although a Bedouin recruit recently applied to join the pilot’s course and was declined.

“He didn’t meet the specific requirements and various personality tests,” the colonel told me, and denied it was anything to do with his ethnicity or religion.

7:46PM: Israeli President Shimon Peres talks to CNN about the Goldstone report, Iran and Israel’s relationship with Turkey.

6:02PM: Meanwhile, is it just me or does Nozette in this picture look a bit like a bloated Gene Simmons?

nozette1gene simmons

5:45PM: Former NASA scientist Stewart David Nozette was yesterday arrested for offering to pass along classified information to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer.

In an affidavit supporting the complaint that was unsealed Monday, FBI agent Leslie Martell said that on Sept. 3, Nozette received a telephone call from an individual purporting to be an Israeli intelligence officer. The caller was an undercover FBI agent.

Nozette agreed to meet with the agent later that day at a hotel in Washington and in the subsequent meeting the two discussed Nozette’s willingness to work for Israeli intelligence.

Nozette allegedly informed the agent that he had, in the past, held top security clearances and had access to U.S. satellite information, the affidavit said.

Nozette also was alleged to have said he would be willing to answer questions about this information in exchange for money. The affidavit said the agent explained that the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, would arrange for a communication system so Nozette could pass on information in a post office box.

Nozette agreed to provide regular, continuing information and asked for an Israeli passport, the government alleged.

The affidavit then alleged this sequence of events:

* Sept. 4. Nozette and the agent met again in the same hotel. The scientist allegedly said that while he no longer had legal access to any classified information at a U.S. government facility, he could, nonetheless, recall classified information by memory. Nozette allegedly asked when he could expect to receive his first payment, saying he preferred cash amounts under ten thousand so he would not have to report it. (U.S. anti-money laundering laws require that all transactions of $10,000 or more must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, the tax collection agency.)

Nozette allegedly told the agent, “Well, I should tell you my first need is that they should figure out how to pay me … . They don’t expect me to do this for free.”

* Sept. 10. Undercover FBI agents left a letter in the designated post office box, asking Nozette to answer a list of questions about U.S. satellite information. The agents provided a $2,000 cash payment. Serial numbers of the bills were recorded.

* Sept. 16. Nozette was captured on videotape leaving a manila envelope in the post office box. The next day, agents retrieved the sealed envelope and found, among other things, a one-page document containing answers to the questions and an encrypted computer thumb drive.

One answer contained information, classified as secret, that concerned capabilities of a prototype overhead collection system.

* Sept. 17. Agents left a second letter in the post office box with another list of questions about U.S. satellite information. The FBI also left a cash payment of $9,000. Nozette allegedly retrieved the questions and the money the same day.

* Oct. 1. Nozette was videotaped leaving a manila envelope in the post office box. FBI agents retrieved it and found a second set of answers. The responses contained information classified as both top secret and secret, involving U.S. satellites, early warning systems, means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack, communications intelligence information, and major elements of defense strategy.

What is not clear from this report is whether or not Nozette is Jewish and why the FBI targeted him.

Here is a site that seems to provide more answers.

Nov 1998-Jan 2008: Technical advisor to an aerospace company wholly owned by the Israeli government. Once a month, the company proposed questions or taskings to Nozette, who then answered the questions and received payment as a technical advisor.


Nozette tells colleague that if the US Government tried to put him in jail (based on an unrelated criminal offense), Nozette would move to Israel or foreign country “A” and “tell them everything” he knows.

6 Jan 2009: Traveled to a foreign country “A” with two computer thumb drives.

28 Jan 2009: Returned to US without the two thumb drives.

3 Sept 09: Nozette contacted via telephone by FBI undercover employee (UCE) posing as an Israeli Mossad officer. Nozette agrees to meet that day for lunch at a hotel on Connecticut Ave, NW, in Washington, DC. At meeting, Nozette discusses willingness to work for Israeli intelligence for money; tells UCE he had access to US satellite information. UCE arranges a communication system via a post office box and gives Nozette a ‘clean phone’. Nozette agrees to provide regular, continuing information; asks for Israeli passport and the “Right of Return” because his parents are Jewish.

Meanwhile, it seems as though Nozette is a better spy than first thought.

nozette(courtesy of the Jerusalem Post, of course)

12:10PM: A couple of Goldstone-related links:

  • Robert Freedman argues in the Baltimore Sun that the Goldstone Report was destined to unfairly criticize Israel
  • Harold Evans sees the report as a moral atrocity

8:15AM: How bad is is the Goldstone Report? Even the founder of Human Rights Watch is strongly criticizing it.

As the founder of Human Rights Watch, its active chairman for 20 years and now founding chairman emeritus, I must do something that I never anticipated: I must publicly join the group’s critics. Human Rights Watch had as its original mission to pry open closed societies, advocate basic freedoms and support dissenters. But recently it has been issuing reports on the Israeli-Arab conflict that are helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state.

At Human Rights Watch, we always recognized that open, democratic societies have faults and commit abuses. But we saw that they have the ability to correct them — through vigorous public debate, an adversarial press and many other mechanisms that encourage reform.

That is why we sought to draw a sharp line between the democratic and nondemocratic worlds, in an effort to create clarity in human rights. We wanted to prevent the Soviet Union and its followers from playing a moral equivalence game with the West and to encourage liberalization by drawing attention to dissidents like Andrei Sakharov, Natan Sharansky and those in the Soviet gulag — and the millions in China’s laogai, or labor camps.

When I stepped aside in 1998, Human Rights Watch was active in 70 countries, most of them closed societies. Now the organization, with increasing frequency, casts aside its important distinction between open and closed societies.

Nowhere is this more evident than in its work in the Middle East. The region is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights records. Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region.

Israel, with a population of 7.4 million, is home to at least 80 human rights organizations, a vibrant free press, a democratically elected government, a judiciary that frequently rules against the government, a politically active academia, multiple political parties and, judging by the amount of news coverage, probably more journalists per capita than any other country in the world — many of whom are there expressly to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Meanwhile, the Arab and Iranian regimes rule over some 350 million people, and most remain brutal, closed and autocratic, permitting little or no internal dissent. The plight of their citizens who would most benefit from the kind of attention a large and well-financed international human rights organization can provide is being ignored as Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division prepares report after report on Israel.

Human Rights Watch has lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that go after Israeli citizens and use their own people as human shields. These groups are supported by the government of Iran, which has openly declared its intention not just to destroy Israel but to murder Jews everywhere. This incitement to genocide is a violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Leaders of Human Rights Watch know that Hamas and Hezbollah chose to wage war from densely populated areas, deliberately transforming neighborhoods into battlefields. They know that more and better arms are flowing into both Gaza and Lebanon and are poised to strike again. And they know that this militancy continues to deprive Palestinians of any chance for the peaceful and productive life they deserve. Yet Israel, the repeated victim of aggression, faces the brunt of Human Rights Watch’s criticism.

The organization is expressly concerned mainly with how wars are fought, not with motivations. To be sure, even victims of aggression are bound by the laws of war and must do their utmost to minimize civilian casualties. Nevertheless, there is a difference between wrongs committed in self-defense and those perpetrated intentionally.

But how does Human Rights Watch know that these laws have been violated? In Gaza and elsewhere where there is no access to the battlefield or to the military and political leaders who make strategic decisions, it is extremely difficult to make definitive judgments about war crimes. Reporting often relies on witnesses whose stories cannot be verified and who may testify for political advantage or because they fear retaliation from their own rulers. Significantly, Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan and an expert on warfare, has said that the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza “did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.”

Only by returning to its founding mission and the spirit of humility that animated it can Human Rights Watch resurrect itself as a moral force in the Middle East and throughout the world. If it fails to do that, its credibility will be seriously undermined and its important role in the world significantly diminished.

6:02AM: More from Tawil Fadiha, the Palestinian Minister of Uncontrollable Rage (hat tip: Richard).

]]> 1