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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Archive for May, 2008

The Syria-Israeli Peace Process

Posted by Atilla89 on May 31, 2008

A few days ago I mentioned that I talked with Mr Dor Shapira about the chances of peace between Israel and Syria in regards to Israel returning the Golan Heights. I also linked you to this article which summed up the peace talks in a couple of sentences:

Cynics might also suggest that Israel’s beleaguered prime minister, Ehud Olmert, is using talks with Syria as a diversion from his troubles with the police in connection with allegations of corruption and money laundering.

A new peace process could divert international attention and persuade the major powers that making peace is more important than bringing Hariri’s killers to justice [Syria].

Now I’ve just looked at another article which confirms what I quoted above and also gives a few new interesting angles. It should be obvious now that even though Assad and Olmert are trying to get some sort of ‘peace’ and use it for their own political advantage its not going to happen as there are just to many factors that are coming into play.

First, not many people both in Israel and in the international community believe that Syria will actually honor any sort of agreement with Israel. Why should they? Most of their support comes from Iran which is absolutely committed to Israel’s destruction. Syria is Shiite, while most of the Middle East is Sunni, who else would they turn to if they isolate themselves from Iran, which is what Israel is asking for.

Second:

Assad reminds Israelis far more of Arafat than of Sadat. So far, Assad has refused even to hold direct negotiations with Israel, preferring Turkish interlocutors. Give me the Golan, he is in effect saying, and then we’ll see what kind of peace develops between us.

Not only is this guaranteed to have no positive outcome of the negotiations, it doesn’t take into account the fact that a lot of Israelis actually like the Golan with its natural beauty far more then they like the urban wasteland that is Gaza or the vast deserts of the Sinai.

View of the Golan Heights

View of the Golan Heights

Of coarse the most pressing issue of giving back the Golan Heights is the military strategic value that they hold. If Israel has no guarantee that Syria won’t break its links with terrorists, who says they won’t go back to their old game of shooting at Israeli civilians and soldiers alike from the Heights?

View of Syria from an Israeli Bunker

The article summarizes the situation quite nicely which shows just how correct the quote at the top is.

Israel’s Olmert hopes that peace negotiations will deflect attention from his own woes — allegations of corruption dating in part from his days as Jerusalem’s mayor. Other Israelis, though, are wondering how helping Assad destroy Lebanon and escape justice can possibly be confused for Israel’s national interest, let alone for a peace process.

Posted in Arabs, Hizbullah, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, Syria | 1 Comment »

In Good Faith Documentary

Posted by Atilla89 on May 28, 2008

A really interesting documentary/talk show/discussion has just come out from SBS (an Australian TV channel) which would be a good watch particularly in today’s political environment. The documentary is called In Good Faith and is about the impact of religion in faith-based schools. It goes into detail about whether religion should be taught in science classes, etc. Personally I believe that religion should have no part at all in science class because science is fact and religion is not. However I am all for religion being taught in schools especially if it is a faith-based one. I myself went to a Jewish faith based school and I really enjoyed. There was no religion in the science class but we did Hebrew up until year 8 (13-14 yo) and Jewish studies to year 10 (15-16 yo). The links below go to SBS’s media player however I have no doubt that in the future this documentary will be up on YouTube.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Posted in Australian Politics, Religion | Leave a Comment »

Talk With Spokesperson For The Israeli Embassy In Australia

Posted by Atilla89 on May 27, 2008

So sorry about the large gap between posts, I have been very busy with work and the like. I have another big load of work coming up in the next few weeks so regular posting won’t be back for a while yet, here’s a few tasters just to let you know that I’ve not given up on this blog. Anyway, two really nice articles from FrontPage.

  1. Iraq Rising
  2. Behind the Israel-Syria Talks

Just to let you know, last Wednesday (May 21), I heard Mr Dor Shapira, spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Canberra discuss the future of Israel for the next 60 years. I didn’t really learn that much primary because he went into the history of Israel, of which I am quite versed. Interestingly, one the questions asked was (paraphrasing here), what sort of contingency plan is there if talks with Fatah don’t work out (or Fatah is taken over by Hamas)? Mr Shapira didn’t really have an answer for it. He went on about trying to keep Fatah going but eventually admitted that Israel would be in ‘deep shit’ if that happened. I myself asked the question what sort of chance is there for Israel and Syria making peace? The answer that I got was its not likely that peace would achieved, it is doubtful that Syria would want to cut its relations with Iran and all the other terrorist groups. He also mentioned that it was a kind of cycle, every three years or so there would be talks but no real action.

That’s pretty much all the exciting things that have happened to me this week, yay… Once again hopefully I will have some more posts for you all.

Posted in Arabs, Fatah, Hamas, Hizbullah, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Middle-East, Palestine, Syria, Terrorism, Uni | 1 Comment »

Liberal Club Canberra Trip

Posted by Atilla89 on May 18, 2008

I got back from Canberra two days ago from what was in my opinion, an awesome trip. I could give you an itinerary type account of what we did but that would probably bore you. The definite highlights of the trip was attending question time, attending the ALSF Alumni Cocktail Party with Senator The Hon. Eric Abetz, listening to Brendan Nelson give his Budget Reply speech and having breakfast with Alex Hawke MP (of Mitchell). Unfortunitely, I was only able to see Bronwyn Bishop MP (of Mackellar) for literally about 5 minutes, of which she did all the talking so I wasn’t able to ask her my question. Question time was an absolute blast as we saw Joe Hockey MP (of North Sydney) using alcopops as props in his speech. Alex Hawke was fun to talk to. He came to our table while we were eating to discuss the budget speech of (then) last night. We were discussing how Labor by pushing up taxes, even though we had a budget surplus, was going to be hurting everybody. We also talked about how there was a clear split amongst scientists on whether Global Warming was an acceptable theory, Tim Blair’s name was thrown around a bit.

We also went to the American Embassy where we were given a very short tour of the place. We also talked to 4 people who worked at the place, each one representing a different department of embassy. There was an economic, political, military and front office representative. They briefly talked about what they did and then we asked a few questions. After the visit was concluded we all started to walk back to our cars when I suddenly noticed the Israeli embassy. I jogged to the the sign that said “Israeli Embassy” and got a photo with me in front of it. Then I tried to get a photo with me outside the front gates only to be told quite suddenly by some nearby AFP to clear off immediately.

As for the budget reply speech, personally I think it was a very nice speech. Nelson has definitely bought some more time for himself, I think he will stay on till at least the end of the year. The speech itself was for me an 8.5/10. Obviously it was not the most inspired of deliveries, however there was a few great points such as the line “Watching petrol prices does not bring them down.” Overall I had a great time and I have a couple of photos for you below (most of the photos that I took had my face or somebody else’s face in it).

Senator The Hon. Eric Abetz giving a speech to ASLF Alumni

Back Of Old Parliament House

Front Of The American Embassy

Posted in ALP, Australian Politics, LPA, Uni | 3 Comments »

Liberal Club 2008 Canberra Trip

Posted by Atilla89 on May 14, 2008

Tomorrow I will be heading off with a dozen members of the Liberal Club to Canberra where we will meet with a few MPs and listen to the Budget Reply Speech. We will be meeting the following MP’s:

  1. Bronwyn Bishop
  2. Alex Hawke

We will also meet the Senator, The Hon. Eric Abetz at a cocktail party. We will be meeting a few other people involved in Liberal think tanks such as Menzies Research Centre, Philosophical Underpinnings of the Centre Right and International Developments and the Centre Right. I also intend to ask MP Bishop this question:

“In 2005 you spoke about banning head scarves in public schools where headscarves are not part of the school uniform. You spoke to Radio National, specifically Terry Lane about women enjoying freedom in Australia as opposed to living under Sharia law. If that is the case, why are you against women who want to wear a headscarf (for religious reasons) at public schools?”

Hopefully I will be able to remember her answer to write it down for this blog. Plenty of pictures to follow!

Posted in Australian Politics, Uni | 1 Comment »

Daily Kos Hits Earth’s Core, Digs

Posted by Atilla89 on May 14, 2008

Sorry guys for the large break. I’ve had a lot of work to get through, but know the worst is over, yay! Israel has made it to her 60th birthday which is something to celebrate, even if there those who can’t appreciate it, here and here, hat tip to LGF.

My favourite of these links is the Daily Kos one, just read this and laugh.

It thus emerged as a major power and a formidable challenger of existing Arabic powers that will decide the fate of the world, coordinated assassination of President Kennedy which unnaturally led to the hasty re-evaluation of American foreign policy for adjustion that align with the interests of Israeli state for total compatibility in irreversibly entangled alliance.

Posted in Antisemitism, Arabs, Hamas, Hizbullah, IDF, Iran, Israel, Jews, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, Palestine, Terrorism, U.S. Politics, UN, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

A Time To Mourn And A Time To Remember

Posted by Atilla89 on May 8, 2008

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now of the cyclone in Burma which devastated the country. What I find so appalling is that the ruling military Junta is not allowing any foreign aid into the country! The obvious reason of course is they don’t want the UN to come in with aid and then see the human rights violations that have been committed. I’ve just recently found out that approximately 80,000 people have been killed by this cyclone.

“The storm came into our village, and a giant wave washed in, dragging everything into the sea,” said one man in his 20s, who had trekked in from Kanyinkone village. “Houses collapsed, buildings collapsed, and people were swept away. I only survived by hanging on to a big tree. “Only about 20 per cent of the people survived in our village. I am the only one who survived in my family. My wife and my two children died in the storm.”

The Labutta district was hard hit when Nargis and its huge storm surge slammed ashore on Saturday, devastating the low-lying Irrawaddy delta. “The waves were so strong, they ripped off all my clothes. I was left naked hanging in a tree,” said one teenage survivor. Based on stories from people emerging from the countryside, only about 20 per cent of people in the area survived, Labutta residents said.

Absolutely disgusting. As for remembering, its Israel’s birthday in a few days, yay! Israel has been celebrating its dependence in a very IDF way, with Paratroopers from around the world jumping in Israel. Also, here is a very interesting and special story from a man who served in the 2nd Lebanon War. Some of the things he and his men had to cope with are just incredible. Its interesting because the person being interviewed, Dr. Yehuda David, believes that Israel could have won the war if given 3 more days.

Posted in Burma, Hizbullah, IDF, Israel, Jews, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military | 1 Comment »

Iron Man

Posted by Atilla89 on May 4, 2008

Just saw Iron Man yesterday and it was fricken awesome. The acting was great and all the actors worked well with each other. Its pretty much an action film with comedic moments. And no, it doesn’t ruin the trailer. Go see it for yourself right now!

https://i1.wp.com/www.firstshowing.net/img/ironman-08preview-lg.jpg

Posted in Film | 2 Comments »

On Various Things…

Posted by Atilla89 on May 2, 2008

I’m going to be talking and linking about a few things here, but first how’s this for an eye-catching title? “Lesbians Pick Fight With Gay Women”. This is not joke, its an article about a court case in which the residents from the island of Lesbos are suing gay women!

Next, I’m sure everyone has heard about what happened to those poor children in Austria (locked in a cellar for their whole life). The most interesting thing (and very disturbing) to emerge from this is the fact that the kids thought they were in heaven when they emerged into the sunlight. As well as this, these kids speak in their own private ‘language’ to each other. Words can’t really describe just how, excuse my french, f**ked up that is. Their development is going to be damaged for life, besides being born from incest, I doubt these kids will ever have a normal life. I feel so sorry for them.

Now here is another strange situation that just happened on our metaphorical doorstep (for Australia that is). ‘Timor troops party with rebels’, yep you read right, these people, who many would consider terrorists are being treated like a ‘commander in chief.’

Opposition Fretilin MPs said the party was “bizarre” and sent the wrong message to the people of East Timor.

You think?

“It’s quite immature and also looks bizarre that some, who you call as a rebel who has also been accused of conducting an attack against state, is welcomed like a big head or commander in chief – it is not the right message,” said Arsenio Bano, a Fretilin MP and member of the parliamentary defence and security committee. “Anyone in this country will think now that if you need to get attention from the President or important men, you just need to make trouble – a lot of trouble will allow them to talk to you and negotiate with you.”

Today Israel and Jews all across the world have celebrated Holocaust Day. I have a couple of friends in Poland at the moment who are marking this day while being in Auschwitz on a program called March of the Living. I myself attended this program 2 years ago and I definitely recommend it. The Palestinians however are remembering this day in a different manner (link above).

Meanwhile, Hamas television marked the 63rd anniversary of the Holocaust by suggesting it was orchestrated by Jews to wipe out the disabled among them in preparation for the creation of the state of Israel.

According to the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Media Watch, the head of the Palestinian Centre for Strategic Research, Amin Dabur, said: “The Israeli Holocaust – the whole thing was a joke, and part of the perfect show that (Zionist leader and future Israeli prime minister) Ben Gurion put on”.

The “young energetic and able” were sent to Israel, while the handicapped were sent “so there would be a Holocaust”.

How disgusting is that?

A two-minute siren sounded across Israel at 10am yesterday in memory of the estimated six million Jews who died in the Nazi death camps. People stopped were they were and cars came to a standstill.

Posted in Antisemitism, Hamas, Israel, Jews, Middle-East, Military, Palestine, Random, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Advice for the Lovelorn

Posted by Atilla89 on May 1, 2008

A very funny (or is it just the usual standard?) post from Iowahawk here. Enjoy!

Hat tip to LGF.

Posted in Random, U.S. Politics | Leave a Comment »