Israeli air force joins bloody Syrian war


Golan heights

Dutch NOS TV reports today that the Israeli air force has bombed Syria. Translated from Dutch:

Probably a Syrian missile had accidentally landed in the north of the Golan Heights [Syrian, occupied by Israel since 1967] instead of its target, opponents of the Syrian government. The missile did not result in any injuries or damage.

The Israeli armed forces have often beaten back when Syrian rockets ended up across the border. A Syrian military spokesman claimed on state television that Israel with this attack helps Islamist rebels against the Assad government. Israel has so far steered clear of the civil war in Syria.

This Israeli retaliation for that Syrian mistake killed four Syrians.

The Israeli government earlier on had been more clever than the Turkish government; when a Russian aircraft accidentally flew through Israeli airspace, they did not shoot it down. While the Turkish government had a Russian airplane shot down.

Israeli Druze people have accused the Israeli government before of taking the jihadis’ side in the war in Syria.

There is already Syrian government violence and jihadi violence in Syria. US American, Russian, German, British, Dutch, etc. war planes drop bombs on Syria. We deed not any more warplanes, whether from Israel or anywhere else.

Bird migration in Israel, video


This 26 August 2016 video is about bird migration in Israel.

Desert owls in Israel, video


This 22 June 2016 video is about desert tawny owls in Israel.

Desert tawny owl: New species of bird discovered in Israel: here.

The Dutch name of this species is Palestijnse bosuil, Palestinian tawny owl.

Golden jackals and marsh harrier video


This video from Israel says about itself:

21 June 2016

Golden Jackals in the Hula Valley

photographer & editor: Eyal Bartov

music: Israel Kasif.

The video also shows a female marsh harrier.

Ultra-orthodox Israeli ban on girls riding bikes


Girls with their bikes in Israel. Photo by dnaveh/ iStock

As this blog has pointed out repeatedly, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where it is illegal everywhere for women to drive cars (even though officially there is no law against it).

Are Saudi religious misogynists unique in the world? Unfortunately not.

In London, England Jewish ultra-religious extremists decided to ban women from driving cars. They also decided that children driven to school by women would be banned from school classes.

Though women cannot drive cars in Saudi Arabia, recently they were allowed to ride motorbikes and bicycles (though only in restricted recreational areas).

Even that small concession to women’s rights seems to be too much for some religious fanatics in Israel.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Ultra-orthodox Israeli rabbi bans girls over five from riding bikes because it is ‘provocative’

Ruling is latest in series of restrictions imposed on groups of Haredis

Kayleigh Lewis

Friday 3 June 2016

An ultra-orthodox Jewish leader has reportedly banned girls aged five and older in some areas of Israel from riding bicycles – claiming it is “immodest”.

The rabbi of the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Nahloat distributed the stringent decree to his followers in synagogues across the area.

He had said young girls riding bicycles could “cause serious damage to their modesty” and that bicycle seats caused young girls to sit in a way men found “provocative”, according to the Arutz Sheva 7 website.

The ruling said: “We inform parents that they are obligated to forbid their daughters from age five and up from acting in this illegitimate way.”

Those affected by the ruling are members of the ultra-orthodox Haredi branch of Judaism.

In December ultra-orthodox rabbis requested women in Israeli city Bnei Brak refrain from studying in higher education, according to Yeshida World News website.

They claimed institutions which teach secular subjects presented a real danger, and that girls and women should not study.

Haredi leaders have also attempted to effectively ban the internet from their communities, even declaring smartphones non-kosher.

However, studies suggest this interdict has had little effect, with ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel using the internet just as much as anyone else, according to the Washington Post.

Ultra-Orthodox rabbis ban women from going to university in case they get ‘dangerous’ secular knowledge: here.

Roman shipwreck discovery in Mediterranean


This video says about itself:

Divers Discovered a Spectacular, Ancient and Important Cargo of a Shipwreck – Caesarea

16 May 2016

Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists diving in the ancient harbor in the Caesarea National Park recovered beautiful statues, thousands of coins 1,600 years old and other finds from the seabed. This is the largest assemblage of marine artifacts to be recovered in the past thirty years.

From the Israel Antiquities Authority:

Divers Discovered a Spectacular, Ancient and Important Cargo of a Shipwreck

Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists diving in the ancient harbor in the Caesarea National Park recovered beautiful statues, thousands of coins 1,600 years old and other finds from the seabed.

A fortuitous discovery by two divers in the ancient port of Caesarea in the Caesarea National Park before the Passover holiday led to the exposure of a large, spectacular and beautiful ancient marine cargo of a merchant ship that sank during the Late Roman period 1,600 years ago.

As soon as they emerged from the water divers Ran Feinstein and Ofer Ra‘anan of Ra‘anana contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority and reported the discovery and removal of several ancient items from the sea.

A joint dive at the site together with IAA archaeologists revealed that an extensive portion of the seabed had been cleared of sand and the remains of a ship were left uncovered on the sea bottom: iron anchors, remains of wooden anchors and items that were used in the construction and running of the sailing vessel. An underwater salvage survey conducted in recent weeks with the assistance of many divers from the Israel Antiquities Authority and volunteers using advanced equipment discovered numerous items that were part of the ship’s cargo.

Many of the artifacts are bronze and in an extraordinary state of preservation: a bronze lamp depicting the image of the sun god Sol, a figurine of the moon goddess Luna, a lamp in the image of the head of an African slave, fragments of three life-size bronze cast statues, objects fashioned in the shape of animals such as a whale, a bronze faucet in the form of a wild boar with a swan on its head, etc. In addition, fragments of large jars were found that were used for carrying drinking water for the crew in the ship and for transportation at sea. One of the biggest surprises in particular was the discovery of two metallic lumps composed of thousands of coins weighing c. 20 kilograms which was in the form of the pottery vessel in which they were transported.

This discovery comes a year after the exposure of a treasure of gold Fatimid coins by divers and the Israel Antiquities Authority, which is currently on display for the public in the “Time Travel” presentations in the Caesarea harbor.

According to Jacob Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Dror Planer, deputy director of the unit, “These are extremely exciting finds, which apart from their extraordinary beauty, are of historical significance. The location and distribution of the ancient finds on the seabed indicate that a large merchant ship was carrying a cargo of metal slated recycling, which apparently encountered a storm at the entrance to the harbor and drifted until it smashed into the seawall and the rocks”. A preliminary study of the iron anchors suggests there was an attempt to stop the drifting vessel before it reached shore by casting anchors into the sea; however, these broke – evidence of the power of the waves and the wind which the ship was caught up in”. Sharvit and Planer stress, “A marine assemblage such as this has not been found in Israel in the past thirty years. Metal statues are rare archaeological finds because they were always melted down and recycled in antiquity. When we find bronze artifacts it usually occurs at sea. Because these statues were wrecked together with the ship, they sank in the water and were thus ‘saved’ from the recycling process”. Sharvit and Planer added, “In the many marine excavations that have been carried out in Caesarea only very small number of bronze statues have been found, whereas in the current cargo a wealth of spectacular statues were found that were in the city and were removed from it by way of sea. The sand protected the statues; consequently they are in an amazing state of preservation – as though they were cast yesterday rather than 1,600 years ago”. The coins that were discovered bear the image of the emperor Constantine who ruled the Western Roman Empire (312–324 CE) and was later known as Constantine the Great, ruler of the Roman Empire (324–337 CE), and of Licinius, an emperor who ruled the eastern part of the Roman Empire and was a rival of Constantine, until his downfall in a battle that was waged between the two rulers.

According [to] Sharvit and Planer, “The range of finds recovered from the sea reflects the large volume of trade and the status of Caesarea’s harbor during this time, which was known as period of economic and commercial stability in the wake of the stability of the Roman Empire. The crew of the shipwreck lived in a fascinating time in history that greatly influenced humanity – the period when Christianity was on its way to becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire. It was at this time that Emperor Constantine put a halt to the policy of persecuting Christians, and the faithful in Caesarea, as well as elsewhere in the Roman Empire, were given the legitimacy to practice their belief through the famous Edict of Milan that proclaimed Christianity was no longer a banned religion.”

Israeli general remembers Holocaust, right-wingers attack him


Major General Yair Golan

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

General under fire for talking of nazi leanings in Israel

Friday 6th May 2016

ISRAEL’S political and military Establishment decried army deputy chief of staff Major General Yair Golan yesterday for saying he saw reflections of events in nazi Germany in today’s Israel.

Maj Gen Golan told a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony on Wednesday evening that, “if there is something that frightens me in Holocaust remembrance, it is ghastly trends that took place in Europe in general, and in Germany specifically, 70, 80 and 90 years ago, and finding a sign of them here among us today in 2016.”

He added that, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israelis should “discuss our ability to uproot from among us buds of intolerance, buds of violence, buds of self-destruction on the path to ethical deterioration.”

Politicians have attacked the decision to charge with manslaughter a soldier filmed shooting dead a wounded Palestinian lying on the ground in the occupied West Bank, but the general pointed out: “Not everything we do is right.”

He suggested, nonetheless, that Israel’s army does not cover up “problematic activity.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett demanded that Maj Gen Golan correct his statement, lest he be seen as comparing Israeli soldiers to nazis and giving credence to Holocaust deniers.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called him “a little confused,” claiming that his statement reflected “a lack of understanding, if not a disrespect, of the Holocaust.”

Real ‘credence to Holocaust deniers’ and ‘disrespect of the Holocaust’ came from Israeli right-wing Prime Minister Netanyahu; who whitewashed Adolf Hitler’s guilt of the Shoah, blaming it on Palestinians instead.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog countered by praising Maj Gen Golan as brave, adding: “This is what ethics and responsibility sound like.”

Israel came to a two-minute standstill yesterday morning, as citizens silently honoured those slaughtered by the nazis.

A quote from General Golan’s speech:

“After all, there is nothing simpler and easier than hating the foreigner, there is nothing easier and simpler than arousing fears and intimidating, there is nothing easier and simpler than becoming bestial, forgoing principles and becoming smug.”

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and his government have forced Major General Yair Golan, the deputy chief of staff of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), to retract his statement drawing parallels between recent developments in Israeli society and processes that unfolded in Europe before the Holocaust: here.

The army, the last bulwark of national unity, is being torn apart. The high command is openly attacked as leftist, a term not far removed from traitorous in current Israeli discourse: here.