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‘politics’ Category

  1. hamas has a sense of humor

    June 16, 2007 by Saar Drimer

    The Hamas has taken over Gaza and the Rafiah border control station between it and Egypt and took the time to stage one for a comic relief (or not):

    Hamas mocks TSA
    (Reuters, source)

  2. president shimon

    June 14, 2007 by Saar Drimer

    Yesterday, 84 year-old Shimon Peres was elected as the 9th president of Israel. He well deserves it (and so does Israel!), unlike his rapist predecessor, Moshe Katsav; a worthless imbecile who brought Israel only shame. Peres lost many of his political duels during his 65-year career as a politician, but he always kept on going, despite appearing pitiful; people commonly called him a “perpetual looser”. What’s better though, a person with an overly developed sense of pride, or someone who doesn’t give up fighting for what he believes?

    Peres was always undervalued in Israel because intellect is not exactly seen as a pre-requisite for politicians there (and in many other places). Yossi Verter tells a joke about Peres:

    So Shimon Peres comes out of a visit with the King of Thailand, according to the joke, and he goes to the local market and buys some elegant fabric. He takes it to a Thai tailor and asks him to make him a suit from it. The tailor looks at the fabric and says to him: I’m sorry – It’s only enough for a pair of pants, if that.

    The next day he flies to London. He takes the fabric from Thailand to a top tailor. It’s enough for a sleeve at most, the tailor tells him.

    That evening he’s in Paris and goes to see another tailor. Maybe I’ll be able to sew you a sock, the tailor says. Disappointed, Peres returns to Israel. On his way to party headquarters, he stops by his usual tailor on Lilienblum Street. Can you do something with this fabric, Peres asks. I’ll make you two suits, says the tailor. And an extra pair of pants.

    Stupefied, Peres asks: How is it that abroad the fabric is hardly enough for anything while here you can sew me half a wardrobe out of it? That’s easy, replies the tailor, laughing. Abroad, you’re a giant.

    So true.

  3. Nations of the World, Unite!

    September 8, 2006 by philip

    (By guest blogger Philip)

    Or don’t. Probably better that way. I wondered about what I would write my first blog post of all time. But NPR answered that question for me when Michael Krasny decided to discuss the possible future secretary general of the U.N. candidates this morning. If there is one thing I can’t sit through it is a bunch of socialists talking about their plans for the U.N. Enter the caller from Berkeley. He didn’t have anything topical (i.e. about the potential future candidates for SG) but he was absolutely certain what the world needed: a U.N. tax on all citizens of the whole entire world. Thank you, Berkeley. Now I remember why I don’t call on you much, though you sit at the front of the class and raise your hand constantly.

    Increasing the power of the U.N. is an idea that is an affront to the entire accumulated knowledge of human kind as far as it applies to government. Doesn’t human history scream out that power is abused? That centralization leads to extreme power? That even the best-intentioned governments eventually fail into corruption and self service? So now we ought to take an absurdly undemocratic institution (Brunei has a monarchy with absolute power to the sultan who appoints the UN ambassador, who therefore essentially has a personal vote in the UN; India shares one vote amongst its whole democratic populace) that spans the whole world (the British Empire only got halfway) and give it money (is power) so that it doesn’t even have to answer to the only people it currently answers to at all (the governments who fund it). Then it would be sure to further all of the noble goals set forth by its unelected representatives (mostly appointees of countries who rule themselves poorly) and better the lives of all us oppressed folk who previously only had our own democratically elected goverments to look after us.

    Now, like communism, world government has fatal flaws that will prevent it from ever really working. But also like communism that wouldn’t stop it from maiming or killing hundreds of millions trying.

    Let’s keep the U.N. poor and small and focused entirely on international ambassadorship. Let’s channel our international charity through our own home grown institutions. Let’s not throw out every bit of fear of government we have earned over recorded history just because we all wish for world peace, prosperity, and health. The U.N. isn’t the way.

    I am sure I’ve made lots of new friends in class today by kicking the big fuzzy teddy bear that is the U.N. Please leave your love notes in the comments section.

  4. no shame in Israeli politics

    December 11, 2005 by Saar Drimer

    People ask me about the political circus in Israel these days. I try to avoid the topic because it’s just too damn complicated filling the gaps for people who don’t live the news, like many Israelis do… and, it is just too painful.

    Given recent news and the disgusting lack of political public personal integrity, I realized that I am ashamed of the politicians running my country; I am ashamed that they no longer have shame. Moving from party-to-party on blank promises, deserting “homes” after decades of leadership for spite and just clinging to the highest bidder regardless of prior doctrine or promises. It has gotten to intolerable dimensions that it might even seem acceptable; the audacity is sometimes enraging. I am mainly worried about the message all this sends to the young people and fear a generation that knows no shame.

    I usually like to be a good ambassador to Israel and talk about the good things; I’m not hiding the bad, but not emphasizing it either. But frankly, Israeli politics is full of rotten, power-hungry, opportunistic and certified crooks. Look, I’d like to specify all of them to you, one-by-one, but that’s as far as I go publicly throwing dirt at my country. I just hope the latest “earthquake” would make the few decent, law-abiding, educated politicians that are still left in the system shine… ones that have not left due to the elephant dung’s smell.

    (For people “in-the-know,” you could probably, like me, attach a name for every adjective in this post. Give it a shot.)

  5. my hero of the day: Haim Amram

    December 5, 2005 by Saar Drimer

    Haim AmramThis is not politics, this is emotion.

    Haim Amram saw, attached himself to the suicide bomber dragging him away from the mall’s entrance to minimize the damage. The terrorist blew himself up with Haim, killing 5 and wounding 50 more. It was Haim’s job, he was a minimum-wage security guard at the mall just like thousands of others standing at nearly every door in Israel. He was present at a similar attack at this mall 4 months ago. They say he liked his job.

    Think of that job, and what kind of screwed up situation makes it necessary. When will this end? There are no words to describe what I really feel about all this.

    Haim, rest in peace.

  6. Rabin, it’s been 10 years, man

    November 4, 2005 by Saar Drimer

    In memory of Yizhak RabinYitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a cold blooded killer 10 years ago in the center or Tel-Aviv. I remember exactly where I was when it happened and also the following day.

    4/11/1995: I was in what is called an “after,” it’s a night-off from the service where you can go home and come back the next morning. I went to my girlfriend’s place in the vicinity of Tel-Aviv, fairly close to where the rally took place. We saw it unfold on TV. The thing I remember the most is Eitan Haber’s official announcement of Rabin’s death later that night. I remember the announcement and images but what is etched in my recollection of that night is the most chilling shriek from an unseen man crying “nooooooooo.”

    To this day it is sad to recall what happened and why. It also makes me mad. People at the top say today that once that “killing-of-a-politician” barrier has been breached, more will follow. It’s a form of twisted legitimization or an elimination of a taboo.

    Rabin wasn’t perfect, but he was a patriot who loved his country and defended (of fought for) it in any way he knew how from a very young age. He is missed.

    UPDATE: You can see the announcement here.

  7. judo in the middle east

    September 11, 2005 by Saar Drimer

    I’m not a big sports fan. In other words, I’d rather play a sport than watch it; and I don’t do that much either. One of the great things about sports, however, is that it is an equalizer. You can watch the FIFA World Cup (major event in my childhood; Israel might just squeeze in to the 2006 event, btw) or the olympic games and see nations coming together to compete in a civilized manner, mostly showing comradery never witnessed at any other time at such scale. Every olympic games generates a few such stories that are truly moving. And yes, I tend to get emotional watching the games take place for that reason alone; it makes me feel good and hopeful that people are still able to be civilized to one another.

    judoWhen I hear of stories that demonstrate otherwise in such a setting, I get aggravated; or to be more precise, disappointed. Very. The recent one is about an Iranian judoka intentionally losing a match in order not to face an Israeli opponent. My reaction is “why?” Can’t they let go and see that these events are the last haven for apolitic conduct? Why can’t they leave politics at home?

    Anyway, it’s not the judoka’s fault; the Israeli news papers report that he cried when the Israeli won and placed against him if he, in turn won his next match. They also report that the Iranian coach reluctantly muttered that these were “orders from above.”

  8. something about Gaza

    August 23, 2005 by Saar Drimer

    I support the pullout from Gaza. We should not have stayed there this long (or at all) anyway. Unfortunately, Sharon does not have a grand plan to show what will happen the day after the pullout (aside from the Palestinians declaring victory.) But, it’s a step in the right direction as far as my views are concerned. People should stop needlessly perishing there, from both sides. Let’s hope good comes of it.

    For my international readers, I’d like to point out an excerpt from an Ha’aretz article titled “Don’t let the settlers fool you“:

    A stranger from Mars who read the newspapers, listened to the radio and saw the television could conclude that the pullout from Gaza had been carried out under unconceivable duress by a heartless army of conquest that fell on an innocent group of people and dragged them from their homes – without preparation, without warning, without compensation, without assistance – and sentenced them to cruel exile with only the shirts on their backs.

    The settlers have the knack of turning themselves into “the robbed Cossack.” They will always present themselves as the ones who have been wronged, the hapless who have been maltreated, the trampled-on minority – even though the truth is the exact opposite. They complain about everything – that “no solution” was prepared for them, that the temporary housing is not suitable, that the double-wide trailer is too small, that the hotels are too full and the babies have no Materna and no pacifiers.

    Please read the whole article (in Hebrew) to get a better perspective that you would not get anywhere else outside of Israel.

  9. dumb politicians

    July 27, 2005 by Saar Drimer

    I’ve previously written about how silly it is to restrict, by law, the sale of certain types of games to teenagers. Not because I don’t think some games should not be made because they are too violent and/or sexual and are way beyond good taste, but because these restrictions simply don’t work. Blaming video games for the surge in youth violence is just avoiding the real issue of bad parenting and poor education.

    Illinois governor has signed in a law “meant to keep adult video games away from minors.” This is how this story is going to develop. Teens, now not allowed to waltz into the store and buy the latest installments of the likes of GTA, order them online or ask their older buddies to buy it for them. Illinois stores will record a decline in sales of adult rated games, especially by minors. Genius governor claims credit and announces he has solved the state’s crime problem. Governor runs on this false premise during the next elections and gets another term. After all, the parents-voters and politicians would like nothing better than blame video games for the delinquent children, instead of themselves.

    The real affect, however, would be the opposite to the intent of the law. These “restricted” games will now become more appealing to Illinois’ teens just because they are restricted to them, making the games more popular and prevalent.

  10. “no diplomatic breakthrough”

    April 9, 2005 by Saar Drimer

    khatami-katsavIn the pope’s funeral earlier this week, Katsav, the Iranian born President of Israel (FYI, the president position is a-political) shook hands with Khatami and Assad. The Syrians tried to deny, but but folded later. Khatami is still denying it*. Well, it is safe to assume it did happened.
    Katsav briefly discussed with Khatami in Farsi about their common birth city. Assad put out his hand for Katsav and later they shook hand again. This is so uncharacteristic for Arab leaders, that the whole incident is mind boggling. Not long ago, Iranians forfeit an Olympic jodo match because the contender was Israeli!
    Most of us know that in business there is no equal to a face-to-face meeting. The “feel” of a person, even brief, can not be matched by any other means; that’s why people fly around the world for a one hour business meeting.
    I strongly believe that any such incident is important and should not be trivialized. Something has changed. It is inevitable. Think of the general Arab population that is being brainwashed with anti-Israeli rhetoric hearing of this. If nothing else, the Arab leadership is now publicly treating their perceived enemies with recognition and respect on a personal level, that’s a huge step forwards.
    Call me optimistic (you’ll be the first,) but I am encouraged.

    * Some people in Israel did not like the handshake with Khatami either.