Thursday, November 30

'Peace breaking out' index: Rice praises leaders as Navy foils possible seaborne attack


SOUND UP: TELETYPE (under v/o)

V/O (1940's-style radio announcer): "And here's the latest 'Peace breaking out' index for Thursday evening, November 30th – four days into the reputed
ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Debka File
leads with a update that the Israeli Navy interdicted a Palestinian vessel from Gaza loitering near Ashkelon's offshore oil terminal. The Israeli crew stopped the boat
“after a chase and exchange of fire outside the limits set for Palestinian fishing boats. Security authorities seek to establish if the boat was bound for a sabotage operation against Israel’s key oil installations.”

Meanwhile, The Jerusalem Post reports:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for his speech earlier this week, saying that his call for a renewal of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations was an important step that was likely to both contribute towards calm and advance the peace processes in the region.

And Haaretz adds:

Speaking a press conference with Abbas in Jericho hours earlier, Rice said that Washington wanted to "intensify our efforts" to renew the peace process. She said that the U.S. has made clear it expects a viable, contiguous Palestinian state when it is created, and that no actions should be taken now to prejudge the outcome of a final peace agreement.

She added that the U.S. is interested in seeing Palestinian Authority reforms of its security services and political institutions.

Meanwhile, Abbas told reporters that talks on a unity government with the ruling Hamas organization had reached a "dead end."

Ynet News warns, however, that all the international and local good will and backslapping/stabbing haven't stopped Palestinian in Gaza from continuing to smuggle in weaponry from Egypt:

Knesset members, military officials warn 'truce' damaging Israel's security; Popular Resistance Committees: Ceasefire offers a period of calm for our fighters to recover and prepare for our final goal of evacuating Palestine

"It's business as usual," said a Palestinian security official in Gaza. "Nothing out of the ordinary as far as smuggling. Not a massive amount, just the normal routine amount."

"We will keep fighting (Israel), but for the moment we will postpone certain parts of the military struggle," said Abu Abir. "We will reinforce very quickly and rush what we are doing to prepare (for attacks against Israel) in Gaza and in the West Bank."

Abu Abdullah, a senior leader of Hamas' so-called "military wing," told WND Hamas agreed to the ceasefire "because we need a period of calm to recuperate. This lull in fighting will not bring us to speak about peace."

SOUND UP: TELETYPE (under v/o)

This has been a "Peace breaking out" index update for Thursday evening, November 30th. More background about the reported ceasefire is


Fast Times on Hebron Road: Harry Potter's 'Night Bus' vs Egged

Harry Potter's "Night Bus" vs Egged: See of you can spot the differences.

This is a great post on a new immigrant's blog about riding on Jerusalem's buses (which regularly break the laws of physics and kinetic energy, not to mention parcels in the aisle), and how fast the No. 8 can slalom through a turn:
Anyone at all familiar with the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling knows "the Night Bus." Israel's Egged bus line has its very own version of the Night Bus, albeit it has no shrunken heads, doesn't physically shrink and has no beds. Read it all.

Seriously worthwhile posts (nothing to sneeze at!)

Blogging was and will be light today, due to a scattered - but nasty - head cold-front moving in fast, as well as work projects (damned how they always go together like that, huh?).

In the meantime, two well-written, moving posts:

This week would have been my daughter's 21st birthday.

She won't be here to celebrate it, though. Five years ago, a Palestinian terrorist ended my Malki's life while she stood in line in the Sbarro pizza restaurant in the center of Jerusalem. Fourteen other innocent Israelis, including seven children, perished with her. One family was decimated -­ both parents and three of their eight children died.

That terror bombing elicited responses from leaders around the world. But not many. And certainly nowhere near as many as Israel's November 8th attack on Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip. That misfired artillery shell has unleashed a torrent of anti-Israel rhetoric both within Israel and beyond. After the first 24 hours, it drew 2,026 articles on Google. Fifty Sri Lankan civilians were killed in another artillery shelling that same day. By comparison, only 141 stories reported on their deaths.

Read more

My audio report
for The Jerusalem Post of that day's terror, can be heard in the podcast player on the upper rt-hand corner of this page.

Breakfast in the Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem. Tables groan under the weight of endless plates and baskets of food. An American group of Christians sit together, clasp hands, say a prayer to Jesus and dig in. The women all wear ankle-length L.L. Bean style dresses with neat little capelets over their chests, and fabulous stiff white translucent bonnets on their heads. Hair is uniformly swept back into a tight, severe bun. Think of your 19th century local school marm. The men wear jeans and plaid shirts. They have beards without mustaches--Amish style. I learn that the men work in trades: carpenters, shoemakers, garage door installers, "honest labor."

"I'm Bother Peter."
"Are you Mennonites?"
"No, we are The Old German Brotherhood. And you are an Orthodox Jew. I can tell by your black beanie."

Read more


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