Israeli bus driver refuses participation in anti-Palestinian hysteria


Israeli bus driver Ms Ruty Tehrani

After bad news about public transport in Israel, like women having to sit at the back of buses, some better news today.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Tel Aviv bus driver refuses to expel Arab man from bus

Today, 20:14

An Israeli bus driver in Tel Aviv refused to expel an Arab man from her bus. Some of the passengers demanded that, when the elderly man began to mutter in Arabic. They were afraid that he was a terrorist.

According to the Jerusalem Post the bus driver then said that anyone who feared that the man would commit an attack could get off.

“Definitely not a terrorist

The incident happened earlier this week on the line from Petah Tikva to Tel Aviv. The driver said in an interview that she did stop the bus following the panic. “I approached the man cautiously and asked whether all was well with him and if he needed help. I saw that he was an elderly man who did not feel so well. He did not look like he was a threat to anyone. He was certainly not a terrorist.”

After that brief conversation she turned to the concerned passengers and told them that they were free to leave the bus, but that she would not expel the man under any circumstances from her bus.

“I was taught that you must have respect everyone and that you must not discriminate against anyone.”

Ruty Tehrani is the bus driver’s name.

Politicians in Israel and quite some other countries have a lot to learn from her.

Israeli government censors book about love


This video from Israel says about itself:

DORIT RABINYAN (2014ׂ) ENGLISH SUBTITLES

3 November 2015

AWARDS WINNING ISRAELI AUTHOR SPEAKS OF HER LITERARY JOURNEYS — INTERVIEWED BY YOAV GINAI FOR ISRAEL’S NATIONAL CHANNEL

From daily Haaretz in Israel:

Principals, Teachers Decry Banning of Arab-Jewish Love Story From Schools

Fear is overtaking reason, teachers association says, after Education Ministry rejects novel about relationship between Israeli woman and Palestinian man.

Or Kashti and Jonathan Lis Dec 31, 2015 5:31 PM

From daily The Guardian in Britain, 1 January 2016:

Novel about Jewish-Palestinian love affair is barred from Israeli curriculum

Government accused of censorship after reportedly saying the award-winning Borderlife by Dorit Rabinyan risked damaging the ‘identity of the nation’

From the New York Times in the USA:

Isaac Herzog of the center-left Zionist Union, which leads the parliamentary opposition, said on Facebook on Thursday: “Tell me, are the People of the Book afraid of books? Are the People of the Book afraid of stories? Or would it be more accurate to say that their education minister is afraid of books and stories? This is a dark worldview that does not believe in the judgment of the public, or a younger generation that is much more involved than previous generations.”

Mr. Herzog said he bought several copies of Ms. Rabinyan’s “wonderful” book on Thursday. Several bookstores said they had sold out of the novel, which tells the story of an Israeli woman from Tel Aviv who falls in love with a Palestinian born in the West Bank city of Hebron after a chance encounter in New York.

Ms. Rabinyan, the author, said that the book was not meant to be provocative. “Let’s say that it’s strength lies in its subtlety,” she told Ynet in a video interview. “Perhaps there is even a conservative Zionist stance in it,” she said, but she added that whoever read it in the education ministry clearly did not read it from that perspective. The book, she said, was “only a mirror” of the complexity of life in Israel.

NSA spying on Israel, United States Congress


Edward Snowden's question on revelations on NSA spying on Israel and Congress

This picture is from a Twitter message by Edward Snowden today. Snowden asks himself:

Did the NSA lie to Congress? Compare today’s Wall Street Journal to Sanders‘ clear 2014 question on spying.

From the Wall Street Journal in the USA:

U.S. Spy Net on Israel Snares Congress

National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders also swept up the content of private conversations with U.S. lawmakers

By Adam Entous and Danny Yadron

Dec. 29, 2015 4:40 p.m. ET

President Barack Obama announced two years ago he would curtail eavesdropping on friendly heads of state after the world learned the reach of long-secret U.S. surveillance programs.

But behind the scenes, the White House decided to keep certain allies under close watch, current and former U.S. officials said. Topping the list was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Feds: NSA “’Probably’ Spies on Members of Congress“: here.

Russian warplane in Israeli airspace, NOT shot down


This video says about Turkey says about itself:

Prominent Kurdish Lawyer Assassinated in Southeast Turkey

28 November 2015

The president of the bar association in southeastern Diyarbakir province has been shot dead by unidentified gunmen while giving a public speech.
A campaigner for Kurdish rights, Tahir Elci had been criticized for challenging Turkey’s official stance of calling the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) a terrorist organization. A curfew has been put in place.

This 29 November 2011 video is about the funeral of Tahir Elci, where ten thousands of people came. See also here.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

A Russian plane has penetrated Israeli airspace. According to the defense minister in Israel that was a mistake and the pilot turned back immediately when he was told that he flew over Israel. This is reported by various Israeli media.

Russia and Israel have recently opened a line of communication to “prevent misunderstandings”, said Minister Ya’alon. “Russia is not going to attack us, so we do not have to shoot automatically when such a mistake is being made,” he said.

Did you hear that, President Erdogan of Turkey? THERE ARE OTHER SOLUTIONS THAN YOUR VIOLENT WAY IN CASES LIKE THIS! Maybe you know already: Turkish warplanes have violated the airspace of its NATO ally Greece thousands of times. This, fortunately, did not lead to any planes being shot down, and escalation towards bloody war.

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras wrote on Twitter about this to his Turkish colleague:

We’re spending billions on weapons. You—to violate our airspace, we—to intercept you. … Tsipras said the two countries should focus on saving refugees, not on weapons.

Or, maybe again, you, President Erdogan, are unable to hear there are other solutions than violence, as the thick walls of your new, taxpayer-paid palace completely shut out the real world outside.

Though there are many very bad sides to the government of Netanyahu in Israel (and of Putin in Russia), at least in this case they have not sunk to the bloody level of the Erdogan regime in Turkey (and its Grey Wolves neo-nazi proxies in the Syrian war).

Putin accuses US of colluding in downing of Russian plane: here.

French President Hollande proposes anti-ISIS alliance in Syria to Russia: here.

Britain: Cameron hopes to be able to hold a vote on intervention next week. But to do so with an expectation of winning, he has to be sure that he has the backing of at least 30 Labour MPs, who would be voting in defiance of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s stated opposition to military involvement: here.

The decision of the German government to participate in the war in Syria marks a new stage in the resurgence of German militarism. A bloody adventure is being prepared behind the backs of the population: here.

Not one Muslim I know thinks war in Syria is justified. Promises come in thick and fast, as unreliable as all those made before – on Iraq, Libya and the ‘war on terror’: here.

National birds of various countries


This video from New Zealand says about itself:

21 January 2010

Last night the worst drought in 20+ years here on Purerua Peninsula was broken with a 36mm rainfall. This afternoon, one of our local kiwis came out in broad daylight. We think it had been getting hungry because the ground was too hard and dry to penetrate during the drought, but with the softer soil today, the bird came out to catch up on feeding.

Kiwis are the national birds of New Zealand.

This week, the black-tailed godwit won in the Dutch national bird election.

Dutch Vroege Vogels TV then went to The Hague, where the foreign embassies are, to ask the ambassadors of New Zealand, Israel, India and the USA about their national birds. The interviews are on this video.

The national bird of India is the peacock.

This video is called Pavo cristatus – Indian blue peacock calling.

The peacock is the symbol of the gods Indra and Vishnu in Hindu religion. Killing a peacock used to be punished with the death penalty.

This is a hoopoe video from the Czech republic.

In May 2008, the hoopoe was voted national bird of Israel. 155,000 people participated in the election.

This video from North Dakota in the USA is called Bald Eagles (Accipitridae: Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Nest-building.

In 1782, the United States Congress voted to have the bald eagle as national bird; though Benjamin Franklin would have preferred the turkey.

Birds have been honored, revered and worshipped in many different cultures throughout human history, and birds as gods or god-like figures is just one of the many cultural connections humans and birds share: here.