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Friday, 28 September 2007
Unbelievable, when I first came across these Photos (hat tip to one of my readers) , I so wanted to believe that it was simply a 'cultural mistranslation' of the Buddhist Svastikah [Good Fortune] symbol being used as an icon with military style uniforms.
Unfortunately this is not the case. It would seem in an astonishing lack of cultural awareness and sensitivity a Bangkok Based TEFL school has allowed its students to dress up in mock Nazi uniforms complete with a Nazi raised stage and gun wielding Nazi Storm Troopers.
Now the irony here is that it was only just a few months ago that a Swiss man, 57-year-old Oliver Rudolf Jufer received a harsh 10 year sentence for daring to paint graffiti over images of the Thai king.
Yes thats 10 years, the original sentence was 20 years but it was commuted to 10 years due to the accused pleading guilty to five counts of Lese Majeste. Oliver Jufer's case brings focus on the strict lese majeste laws in Thailand that forbid criticism of the monarchy.
Below are images of the School event, with the Students proudly displaying Nazi symbols for all to see. Its a shock and makes you reflect the lack of cultural sensitivity shown to the millions of people including Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and political prisoners who suffered horribly at the hands of the Nazis.
Now the Swastika in Asia doesn't carry the far right meaning that it does in Europe, but surely resorting to dressing up as Nazi's is just a little too culturally insensitive considering we live in the 'global village'?
This is one case of a school and its administration desperately needing some awareness education in exactly what the Nazi's and theirs symbols stood for. Any volunteers??
There seems to be a disturbing trend developing in some sub cultures in Asia of Nazi dress and symbols being 'cool'.
Here's some Photos from the "Fun day'.
Teflwatch.org: Celebration in Bangkok
Teflwatch.org: Forum Discussion: Topic: Thewpaingarm School in Bangkok
The Nation: Lese majeste charges get Swiss man 10 yrs
The Falun Emblem:
Posted by Mr Bagel at Friday, September 28, 2007
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
Passengers on Copa flight 231 from Havana to Panama City on Tuesday feared the suspects were going to storm the cockpit armed with cutlery and told the crew, who alerted the Panamanian airport shortly before landing.
"This happened after flight personnel checked the metal utensils in the first class section and noticed that some were missing," the civil aviation authority said.
"We want to deny that this was an attempted hijack."
The six Syrians and one Cuban were detained at Panama City's Tocumen airport.
Police surrounded the plane on the tarmac at the capital's Tocumen airport and one man was led out of the terminal building in handcuffs.
The Syrians were on their way to Haiti via Panama. Copa is headquartered in Panama.
Mr Bagel: Could this have been a 'test' or dry run. Whilst there's no doubt that security has been massively increased on flights within the US, could there be a plot being planned incorporating close by neighbor's air flights.
Obviously the element of surprise is gone if you were to hijack a aircraft from a European or Asian flight path and head towards the US. What about if you were to hijack a aircraft that was flying close by to the United States on a scheduled flight and this was hijacked. The element of surprise would indeed be available.
Is there really any doubt what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meant when he recognised that the US had overwhelming military superiority, yet Iran had a few surprises of its own if the US was to attack.
The Age: Panama arrests Syrians on Cuba flight
: Syria * Panama arrests Syrians * Panama hijack scare * HiJack threat * Jewish * Mr Bagel * BagelBlogger * Bagel Blogger * Jew
From all indications it would seem that Crocs known for their comfort were the shoe of choice.
I do wonder if the was any correlation between the plainer black Crocs seen at an orthodox shule and the explosion of bright colored Crocs seen in a more 'liberal' shule ? Could it be that some of the more liberal streams of Judaism were reflected in the choice of color of Croc chosen to be worn?
Fast feet: Crocs rule on Yom Kippur,
but some fret they're too comfortable
JTA: Fast feet: Crocs rule on Yom Kippur
"Why are you not allowing the Red Cross to visit them?" Karnit Goldwasser asked of her husband Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who was kidnapped with him. When Ahmadinejad didn't respond to her questioning, despite her having been called on by the moderator, she asked, "How come you're not answering me?"
Right before Goldwasser's question, Ahmadinejad refused to answer a question from Channel 10 correspondent Gil Tamari. Tamari asked whether Iran was concerned that Israel might take an action similar to the one it took last week, in which the IAF allegedly bombed a possible nuclear site in Syria. Ahmadinejad simply said, "Next question."
When another reporter asked a question seeking clarity on whether the Iranian president recognized Israel or wanted to destroy it, he asked for the journalist's news outlet before responding. Told that it was a Fox News reporter, he declined to address the question directly, but did eventually ask, rhetorically, "The Soviet Union, where is it now? It failed. It disappeared. Was it done through war? No." He also reiterated his support for the Palestinians' right to self-determination, as well as earlier calls he has made for a Palestinian referendum.
Later, when a different reporter asked a similar question, Ahmadinejad replied, "They really want to hurt us, but with the support of God, they won't be able to harm the Iranian nation."Mr Bagel: The bravery and loyality of Ehud Goldwasser's wife is inspiational.
JPost: Goldwasser takes Ahmadinejad to task
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Court: Jewish Fund Must Amend Its Policy
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Supreme Court on Monday gave the country's main land distributor three months to change its policy of selling property only to Jews — a practice that Israel's Arab minority deems racist.
The policy also has provoked criticism of the Jewish National Fund — one of world Jewry's most beloved organizations.
Supporters of the fund insist it has the right to refuse to market its lands to Arabs.
The case points up a basic contradiction Israel has been grappling with for decades: maintaining its Jewish character while offering equality to its Arab minority in the framework of a democratic regime.
The venerable Jewish group in effect acknowledged before the court that it can no longer eliminate Israeli Arabs from its land transactions, agreeing to reinstitute a complex land-for-land deal to try to keep everyone happy.
"I think part of this is redefining the vision of what the JNF is all about," said Mike Nitzan, a member of the fund's board.
The fund is a century-old symbol of the drive to reclaim the Holy Land and fill it with Jews. Founded in 1901, it is known around the Jewish world for its little blue collection boxes, where Jews contributed money to buy land for settlement.
A century later, the fund is still in the business of providing land for Jewish settlement in Israel, owning about 13 percent of the land in the country.
But even some Jewish critics say it has outlived its usefulness in a modern, democratic state that grants equal rights to non-Jewish minority citizens. Legal expert Moshe Negbi told Israel Radio the fund should have been phased out when the state of Israel was created in 1948.
Under the deal accepted Monday by the Israeli court, while the fund would agree to sell lands to Arabs, the Israel Lands Authority would give the JNF an equal amount of land in exchange. That would allow the fund to tell its contributors that it still maintains its original function of providing land for Jews in Israel. The court ordered the fund to come up with a permanent solution in three months.
Critics charged the deal still discriminates against Israel's Arabs, who make up about 20 percent of the population.
"The JNF's policy could create a total separation between Arabs and Jews in where they live," said Auni Bana, a lawyer with one of the petitioners, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. "This is racism."
On the other side, die-hard fund donors insisted they won't let the organization back down. Israeli Nobel laureate Robert Aumann and former military chief Moshe Yaalon said they want to join the court case on the side of the JNF.
"The good Jews who donated money 60, 50, 40 years ago, and even today didn't do so to sell land to Arabs," Aumann told Israel Radio on Monday.
The case has been in the courts since 2004, when the ILA abandoned the land-swap arrangement with the fund, and the JNF in turn stopped marketing lands to Arabs.
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has ruled that the fund must allow non-Jews to buy its land, following the offering of a tender in northern Israel in which Arabs were not allowed to bid.
Mr Bagel: So lets get this clear. The thousands of Jews that have donated their money since the beggining of the 20th century on the condition that the money would be used to give land to Jews have now had their donations, bequests changed with out their consent, their intentions are going to be dishonored, their rights to chose what they do with their money are going to be trampled all so Arabs are able to buy this land.
The same Arabs who threaten any Arab with death if they sell to Jews any of their land.
This is political correctness gone crazy.
The JNF has an obligation to respect the wisdes of its donors especially considering that the JNF clearly indicated what the land would be used for.
What will this do with the price of land in Israel? How do you stop Arabs with funding from other rich Arab countries from buying vast quantities of land in Israel?
Why can a Jew not buy land in Arab land? Yet an Arab can not only buy land in Israel but can actually buy land from an organisation set up for Jews to purchase land for Jews. This decision is sickening.
Israel must relise it does not exist in a vacuum, their are many forces contrary to the principles of democracy and civil rights which are working against the spiritof these rights.
Any decision about civil rights must at least pay respect to the dangerous and unique position Israel finds itself in, where else is a country so clearly threatened on a continual basis by its neighbours? Where else is there such a disparity between the rights of all Israeli's and those in other neighboring countries.
What rights does a Jew have in Saudi Arabia? Egypt? Jordon? Gaza? Civil rights should be not be the exclusive right of people living in Israel, they should be common to all the region, the fact they aren't should be calculated into the repercussions of any judgments on the rights of one people to another in Israel.
Until Arabs are able to freely partake in the buying and selling of land to Jews in Israel they should not be able to enter the market place to only buy land.
Court decisions on Civil rights must reflect the uniqueness of Israel's position in the Middle East. To do otherwise is simply folly.
AP: Court: Jewish Fund Must Amend Its Policy
: JNF * Jewish National Fund * Israel Lands Authority * Israel * Israel Land * Jewish * Mr Bagel * BagelBlogger * Bagel Blogger * Jew
Posted by Mr Bagel at Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Some 20 Jewish gravestones were found during excavations for planned housing construction next to the wall of the old Jewish cemetery in the community of Mainz. The stones are among the oldest ever found in the Rheinland-Pfalz region, experts said.
The president of the Jewish community, Stella Schindler-Siegreich, said an investigation of objects found at the site will be conducted to determine whether bodies had been buried there. An on-site meeting held recently included representatives of the Jewish community, the city, the rabbinical conference, landmarks preservationists and construction foreman.
Jewish studies expert Andreas Lehnardt of Mainz told a German news agency that the find was a "sensation" and some of the stones included the names of famous learned rabbis.
Mr Bagel: Mainz is a city on the Rhine, it had a large Jewish population that had worn the brunt of the first Crusade, and also suffered initially during the second crusade. There is a long history of Jewish presence in Mainz until the advent of the Nazis.
The Jewish Community in Mainz is one of the oldest in Europe, its tradition long and venerable. Its beginnings reach back to the 10th century when Rabbis such as Gershom ben Jehuda (960 – 1028 or 1040) taught in Mainz. He founded a Talmud academy which was to become a widely renowned centre of Jewish scholarship and heritage. Scholars such as the arguably most famous of commentators on the Bible and the Talmud, Shlomo bar Isaak, known as Rashi, (1040-1105), studied and taught in Mainz. It was due to their work that MAGENZA, the Hebrew name for Mainz, became a synonymous with Jewish learning and academic life.
Except for brief disruptions, Jewish families have lived in Mainz for at least one thousand years. Their history, both splendid and painful, has been documented extensively.
On the History of the Jewish Community of Mainz
Before November 1938, the Jewish Community in Mainz had two august places of worship: the Moorish-style synagogue built in 1879 and the classicist-style synagogue built in 1912. Additionally, there was a “Stibl”, a smaller place of worship for immigrants from Eastern Jewish communities, located at Margaretengasse. The first synagogue had been erected on the basis of plans provided by the still omnipresent master builder of Mainz, Eduard Kreyßig. It was located on Flachsmarkstrasse, and served as the place of worship for the orthodox members of the community. The second synagogue was an impressive, domed structure erected on Hindenburgstrasse; this was the place of worship of the liberal members of the community. The services were accompanied by organ music.
None of the earlier existing synagogues in Mainz survived the Shoah.
Donate to the rebuilding of a Synagogue in Mainz
More about the Jewish history of Mainz (Magendza):
The Magic Land of Magenza, Jewish Life and Times in Medieval Mainz
The Jewish Community of Mainz [in German]
JPost: Ancient Jewish gravestones found in Germany
JTA: Ancient gravestones found in Germany
Posted by Mr Bagel at Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Sunday, 23 September 2007
Another person was critically wounded, one seriously and a third man sustained moderate wounds in the afternoon incident.
An initial investigation found that the passengers of two cars - one from each village - were fighting over who had the right of way in a narrow passageway.
The shooter fled from the scene and police were conducting searches for him.
Mr Bagel: A dispute over who had 'right of way' of a narrow passage way, despite the claims of a loss of cultural identity, its always good to see simple Palestinian village disputes resolved in a more traditional way.
Jpost: One dead, three wounded in traffic brawl
Posted by Mr Bagel at Sunday, September 23, 2007
With the pending release of the 'al Dura' video tapes, which will show the entire raw footage of the captured scenes at the crossroads, I would like to put forward the hypothesis that it is possible that a party or parties could be held accountable for the resultant violence and murders which followed this out break of violence.
This is based on a speculative observation that the editing of the video footage and the narrative expressed by France 2's media representative in Israel, Charles Enderlin was found to have been grossly misrepresentive of the events as shown on the footage.
Charles Enderlin in my opinion showed little hesitation in pointing to the IDF as the culprit of the shootings. This is despite a great deal of confusion and uncertainty. There was much evidence and opinion to the contrary. You must ask yourself how could Charles Enderlin have reach such a clear conclusion so soon after the event with so little clear supportive evidence.
The questions I would like to raise are:
Charles Enderlin's voiced over narrative clearly identified the IDF as being responsible for this shooting.
The editing and sound track of the video was manipulated in such a way to clearly lead the viewer to the belief that the IDF was responsible beyond 'doubt'.
The video shown which was enthusiastically 'offered at no cost' to all the major networks, its showing around the world was in my opinion a major cause of incitement amongst Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims in general to violence. It also was a major turning point in the swing of public opinion against Israel.
Is it feasible that a court could decide that the editing of this footage was beyond mischievous and actually grossly negligent?
Should news organizations and their associates be held responsible for actions that seem to incite violence?
If the footage was actually a 'fabrication', could the camera operator, editor and management at France 2 be charged with accessory to murder? Damages? Incitement to violence?
One thinks we haven't seen the end of the 'al Dura' affair.
I would be interested to hear what other people think?
The web site Second Draft has a great deal of information on this event.
I recommend any one with interest visit the web site Second Draft.
JPost: France-2 to hand over al-Dura video
Disclaimer: This is a personal opinion expressed with no malice toward any individual party. Mr Bagel isn't qualified to offer legal opinion. The article is speculative and simply an exploration of some possible outcomes upon the release of the 'al Dura' tapes.
In Plainer English: Screw you France 2 you cant stop people expressing their opinions.
Palestine Facts: Who caused the televised death of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Dura?
Posted by Mr Bagel at Sunday, September 23, 2007