A Hard Sell

A salesman returns from his assignment in Saudi Arabia, where he went to sell them a new brand of Coca-Cola.

Seeing his crestfallen face, a friend asks him: “Why the long face?”

The salesman replied: “I failed in Saudi-Arabia, the campaign was a total failure.”

“Why is that?” Asked the friend, “I thought you had a good campaign running.”

“Well, when I got posted there, I was very confident that I would make a great sales pitch to the Saudis. But I had a problem – I didn’t speak Arabic, so I planned to convey the meaning of the message with the use of three images:

First poster: A man lying in the hot desert sand in utter exhustion, he has fainted.

Second poster: The man is drinking the new Coca-Cola brand.

Third poster: Our man is now totally refreshed and feeling great.

99999I had these posters pasted all over the place. You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing them.”

“Terrific! That should have worked!” said the friend.

“The heck it should have!” said the salesman.

“Only no one told me they read from right to left!!”

The Temple of Angkor Wat

The Sketchbook

Before I went to Cambodia I had looked at many Google images of Angkor Wat — the largest of the temples in the Angkor complex, and according to trusty Wikipedia, possibly the largest religious monument in the world. But there are no images that prepare you for the beauty of the place. My gasp was audible. They say you have to witness it at sunrise but the weather was rainy and overcast every morning so I missed that experience. In many ways, though, I think the heavy sky added to the atmosphere of the place. I tried to paint on my first visit but the rain was unrelenting, even in a sheltered spot, so I made my way back there on my last day in Siem Reap, hoping to get in one last sketch from across the moat. It turned out to be a great spot to draw from (I found a few of my sketcher friends…

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If you aren’t terrified, it isn’t courage

Justine Graykin

North Percy summit

So Mary invited me up to Colebrook for a couple of days, to stay in the cabin that is sanctuary, and wander the trails that are therapy. I seized the opportunity for a few days respite. On the way I visited Laura, my friend who has a house on Balch Lake. She put aside a mountain of miserable paperwork (she straddles the roles of doctor and administrator) to go out for one last kayak tour of the lake before the powers that be pull the plug and drop the water table to winter levels. The weather was beautiful. We skimmed across the surface of the water. Autumn color, not quite at its peak, reflected in the ripples.

I love kayaking. Propelling oneself with little effort through still waters to places otherwise inaccessible, like small islands and remote coves. Surprising a turtle on a half-submerged log. Watching loons bob and dive…

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First Step to Resolve the Palestinian Problem: Eliminate UNRWA

Adnan Abu Hasna, an UNRWA spokesman, suggested that donor countries, instead of contributions, should be charged a compulsory annual fee.

The desire of the Palestinian political class is to preserve the refugee problem at all costs, and not to resolve it in any just way — not in the Arab states and not in the Palestinian state that will be established next to Israel.

It is therefore clear that the Palestinians refuse to accept the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel, and are not willing to agree to the return of the refugees to the Palestinian state; their only objective is to destroy and displace Israel.

If Israel is genuinely an “apartheid state,” why do its people accept Arabs as citizens, while our racist brother Arabs refuse to?

Does anyone really think the Jews so stupid as to believe that we Arabs, who slaughter one another without giving it a second thought, will be particularly generous towards them if we succeed in realizing the right of return to Palestine?

After the senseless agreement the world powers signed with Iran — an agreement that endangers Arab and Jew alike — we have to say plainly that the EU’s demands on Israel to sign a delusional peace agreement, which would only serve to endanger its existence, are hypocritical at best, and that it is only natural that Israel would refuse.

The only way to solve the problem of the Palestinian refugees is to eliminate the toxic UNRWA, which keeps poisoning the minds of our children with a hate leading to violence; for Arab states to award citizenship to the Palestinians who have been living there for decades anyhow; and to establish a totally demilitarized Palestinian state alongside Israel.


When Will the World Waken to Wanton Destroyers

Beyond the Cusp

Once again let it be known that the status-quo remains in place in the ancient city of Shechem, which is now called Nablus, as the Arabs, emulating the butchery to world monuments and the holy sites of religions other than Islam of the Islamic State, and destroyed Joseph’s Tomb over the weekend. It really is not fair to claim that the Arab Palestinians, with which Israel had been cursed to deal with while the world celebrates the destroyers of culture, life, monuments, tombs and all things civil are emulating the Islamic State; as it is the Islamic State imitating what the Arab Palestinians have practiced for well over a century with their butchery of Jews and Christians as well as their desecration of all things holy including their own presumably precious al-Aqsa Mosque which is pictured beneath the horrific pictures of an ancient and holy tomb of the Jewish Patriarch…

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Selective framing, inaccuracies and omission of context on BBC’s Hardtalk

BBC Watch

Israeli MK and leader of the ‘Yesh Atid’ party Yair Lapid appeared on the BBC World News and BBC News Channel programme ‘Hardtalk‘ on October 21st. Readers in the UK can find the programme on BBC iPlayer here and a clip also appeared on the BBC News website.Hardtalk Lapid

Many of the questions posed by presenter Stephen Sackur during the interview provide an opportunity to look at the way in which inaccuracies, falsehoods and selective framing can be casually promoted by an interviewer.

In his introduction, Sackur frames audience views of the programme’s subject matter by depicting a wave of terror attacks carried out by Palestinians on mostly civilian Israelis as equivalent violence “between Israelis and Palestinians”, whilst portraying attacks in which people were deliberately sought out because of their ethnicity as “random” and their perpetrators as “suspects”. [all emphasis in bold added]

“The latest paroxysm of violence…

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What Harriet Sherwood didn’t tell you in her report on JK Rowling’s anti-BDS letter

The Guardian’s former Jerusalem correspondent Harriet Sherwood penned an article (Star authors call for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue rather than boycotts, Oct. 22) about an anti-BDS letter in the Guardian published the previous day signed by scores of British artists and authors.

The letter, signed by JK Rowling, Simon Schama and others, was itself a response to a February 2015letter from UK artists in the Guardian announcing their intention to boycott Israel.

The new Rowling-led anti-boycott letter includes the following passage:

Cultural boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory, and will not further peace. Open dialogue and interaction promote greater understanding and mutual acceptance, and it is through such understanding and acceptance that movement can be made towards a resolution of the conflict.

Sherwood evidently couldn’t resist raising questions about the motivations of Rowling’s anti-boycott effort in the following paragraphs:

Some of the network’s supporters are closely aligned…

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Irans andlige ledares nya krav för att få Obama att dansa

Vad händer i Mellanöstern och USA idag?

Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei’s Letter Of Guidelines To President Rohani On JCPOA Sets Nine Conditions Nullifying Original Agreement Announced July 14, 2015, Middle East Media Research Foundation, Y. Carmon and A. Savyon, October 22, 2015

On October 21, 2015, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published a letter of guidelines to Iranian President Hassan Rohani on the execution of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The letter’s publication coincides with the days of the Ashura that are of vital religious and national significance in Iran and symbolize steadfastness against the forces of evil. Intended as an historical document aimed at assuring Iran’s future, the letter was posted on Khamenei’s website in Persian and tweeted from his Twitter account and posted on his Facebook page in English (see Appendices), and published in English by the official Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting authority IRIB (see below). The letter is now a founding…

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The Palestinians’ New Intifada

Yesterday, a friend, Josh Hasten, was set upon by a crowd of rock-wielding Palestinians, while he was driving to Jerusalem. “I saw a mob of 40 to 50 masked Palestinians on the side of the road. They were holding rocks and cinder blocks,” Hasten said. “As they approached my car, I took out my gun and fired one round in the air. The shot obviously scared them and they ran up the hill away from the road. I have no doubt that I would be dead now if I hadn’t used my gun. They were going to kill me.”

In Europe and the West, acts of terrorist violence are relatively rare; in Israel, they occur several times a day — on a regular basis.

Last week, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas spoke at the United Nations, highlighting Israeli “crimes,” but without specifying any. He is, apparently, aware of losing control of the Palestinian “street,” which now seems to feel closer to radical elements within Palestinian society — especially since Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad take credit for recent murders in Israel.