Slogan of the Month:
After war, a nation needs medication AND time to heal. Israeli leaders seem to think that only time will suffice. They are wrong.
Why Lebanon Is a Hotbed for Terror, Responsibility, The Quartet, Petition, Syria,
Sheikh Sa'ad, Ron Arad, The Presidency, Trip to Canada (on the Internet, Syria and Iran), Centre for Democratic Studies, Yesh Din Report on Lawlessness in the Occupied Territories, Film Recommendation, English is Fun, Photos,
Why Lebanon Is a Hotbed for Terror
Dr. Reuven Erlich rightly argues in his August 6, 2006 report that Lebanon was and remains the ideal arena from which to use terrorism – whether Shi'ite or Palestinian – as a weapon against Israel. The fundamental reasons for that are independent of the current crisis:
A. The topography of the area makes it ideal as a location from which to attack populated areas in Israel.
B. There is a downtrodden, economically and socially deprived Shi'ite population living near Israel 's northern border, with terrorist organizations working within its midst.
C. The Palestinian refugee camps in south and north Lebanon are a hotbed of Palestinian terrorist organization activity.
D. The delicate Lebanese internal sectarian balance and the Lebanese government's inherent weakness hamper the government and army's ability to enforce their authority in south Lebanon.
E. More than any of the above, there is the influence of the Middle East states' sponsorship for terrorism. They view Lebanon as a convenient springboard for terrorist activities against Israel which will promote their own strategic interests. That was true of Nasser's Egypt in the 1950 and has been true for Syria and Iran during the past decades.
According to Israeli leadership, responsibility is a balloon filled with thin air that you pass to another or, if possible, fly it to the moon.
The Winograd Committee, established and composed by Prime Minister Olmert, has begun its work. To what extent it can be independent? Well, your guess is as good as mine.
His leadership is pathetic. He is good in survival. I wish him, for once, to fail.
Now, after the war, she began to travel in the world and to do her job. Better late than never, so she thinks. Meanwhile she lost the trust of many people. She is a lightweight.
Struggles against the rebels who openly challenge his leadership: Ami Ayalon, Avishai Braverman, Matan Vilnai, Danny Yatom and Colette Avital. More party members will jump on the wagon if the challenge will prove significant. The polls envisage a drastic fall in Labour’s power, down to 11 seats in the Knesset if elections are held now. Labour back-benchers read the polls as well and wish to retain their seats. They will lend their support to the one/s who has/have better chances to make this happen.
On September 8, 2006 Peretz was interviewed by Sima Kadmon (Yedioth Ahronoth, Pol. Supp., pp. 2-5) and showed, yet again, the extent that politicians are aloof from reality. They surround themselves with people whose role is to pamper their ego, and tell them what they want to hear. The result is floaters: People with power and little knowledge of reality. Peretz does not realize that his very acceptance of the Ministry portfolio projected weakness; that his order to bomb Beirut resulted in a war that he did not foresee; that his poor judgment had subjected the people in the north of Israel to continued barrages of rockets for more than a month; that more than 1 million people turned into refugees or sat in shelters for weeks. Peretz thinks that his decision-making was flawless, that no one should resign, that he now has a better chance to become prime minister. You read and cannot believe your eyes. Do we live on the same planet?
Peretz knows the polls that show that only 3% of the Israeli population think he is suitable to continue serving as Defence Minister, and only 1% see him as candidate for prime minister. Peretz says that now that he recognizes the deficiencies, he knows what is needed to amend them. He needs time, and then the people of Israel will also realize what should be done, and who is the right person to provide the cures. Guess who?
Some people never learn. The more powerful they become, the less connected they are to reality and to the people. The people should show him the light. Home sweet home. This is where Peretz belongs. Before the next war.
Established a handful of committees to study the Hezbollah War and to issue recommendations for change. The first lesson, of taking responsibility, nobody will be able to teach him. Halutz needs a committee of strong-minded people to tell him: Go and pack. Enough is enough. You have many credintials, but your leadership during the Hezbollah War was appalling. You made many mistakes, and many families paid with the lives of their loved ones. There can be no compensation for their loss, but we don’t wish to place the most precious IDF commodity, the lives of soldiers, in the hands of Halutz. We simply don’t trust him anymore. By public request and dictate, Go.
Tell Kofi Annan in your own words why Iran should not get the nuclear bomb.
The Israel Project works to educate the public and the media concerning Israel, but we need your help to make peace and security for Israel a reality. As of today, 66,405 concerned citizens from around the world have signed! Help us make a difference. Sign our petition today!
Time to act now. I call upon George W. Bush, Russia, China, Europe, the UN, and anyone with influence, to get involved in the most delicate situation in the Middle East. The key to peace in the region, and to the Iranian problem, might be Syria. All efforts should be invested now before it is too late. Any organization of good will needs to find the path to the Assad regime before this volatile situation escalates into war.
In my last Newsletter I spoke of the tragedy of Sheikh Sa'ad. On August 30, 2006 a new report was released about the place. The report was written by Adva Rodogovsky, Public Outreach Coordinator, Ir Amim. Its conclusions are: Sheikh Sa’ad is a small community with relatively few residents. The planned route of the barrier, however, which disregards, as it does, the texture of people’s lives in the area, heralds changes the likes of which may be witnessed in much larger quarters of Jerusalem and its environs.
The case of Sheikh Sa'ad illustrates a one-sided policy that aims to fix the border between Israel and a future Palestinian state under the guise of security concerns. With the start of construction on the separation barrier, the lives of Palestinians in and around Jerusalem have changed beyond all recognition. There has been a marked deterioration in living conditions, and the day-to-day connection with Jerusalem, on the one hand, and the Palestinian hinterland, on the other, has eroded. All this may contribute to an escalation in acts of Palestinian national resistance in Israel’s capital city, and thereby put Jerusalem's, and Israel's security as a whole, at risk.
If the blockades and the construction of the separation barrier continue along the route planned by the state in the Sheikh Sa'ad area, and if the pressures on the metropolitan Jerusalem Palestinian population as a whole continue as they are, the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem and its environs will likely experience unprecedented strains. The separation barrier along the planned route will divide families, prevent access to crucial services and damage the livelihoods of the city’s Palestinian residents. In the end, the resulting distress is liable to gnaw away at the relatively stable security situation that has prevailed in the area, and those likely to be hurt are Jews as well as Palestinians.
Those interested in reading the complete report (9 pages) are welcome to contact me.
After years of silence, suddenly a Lebanese film was released and shown on Lebanese LBC television. Parts of the film were shown on Israeli Channel 10, prime time, in two consecutive evenings: September 5 and 6, 2006.
What did we learn from the film? Hezbollah assumes that Ron Arad is dead. Nasrallah said in the video that his organization had repeatedly been given bones thought to belong to the missing airman, but that DNA testing had shown they did not belong to Arad.
In the film, Ron Arad is seen in captivity for the first time, sitting surrounded by bare concrete walls, smoking a cigarette and giving his interrogators his name and his parents' names. He discussed his technical background as an airman, part of his pilot training and the planes he operated during his service in the IAF.
The short clip, less than two minutes long, had been taken in 1987 and was obtained "in very special and delicate circumstances." At that time, Arad was held by the Amal group, in which Mustafa Dirani was a member.
The timing of airing the film serves its message: to justify the abduction of Israel Defense Forces soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in July 2006, the act that prompted the Hezbollah War.
Lebanese journalist Ibrahim al-Amin, who is close to Hezbollah, said in the film that after Hezbollah's failed attempts to free Samir Kuntar and other Lebanese prisoners, "he was driven to carry out another act."
Bassam, Samir al-Kuntar's brother, said in the movie: "Hezbollah and its weapons are our guarantee to bring our loved ones home. If anyone has another solution, tell us what it is."
Nasrallah surveyed the stages prior to the first stage of the POWs deal, in which the bodies of the three IDF soldiers Adi Avitan, Benny Avraham and Omar Souad were transferred to Israel. The first stage was to have included all the Lebanese prisoners, but to his surprise, Israel refused to release Kuntar, he said.
The German mediators told him Israel insisted on including some mention of Arad in the deal, so his organization decided to help. "Israel didn't want the deal without Arad, but we didn't have him anymore. Then the idea came up to include Arad as justification for the second stage," Nasrallah said.
Al-Amin said Hezbollah had no knowledge of Arad's fate. "If he could reveal Ron Arad's fate, he would have," he said.
Arad's relatives watched the film, in which he was seen speaking for the first time since his airplane fell in Lebanon 20 years ago. Chen Arad, the navigator's brother, said "we think Israel is conveying the wrong values by not demanding the implementation of the second part of the deal signed with Hezbollah two years ago. None of Israel's leaders is bothering to mention Ron as an issue which needs to be solved. We think it is inappropriate to do that to a soldier who was sent by the state," he said.
"The first second we saw the film we knew it was him, undoubtedly. It was a complete surprise because nobody ever told us such a videotape exists. We believe the defense establishment was surprised as well. Clearly not everything had been done [to bring Ron back]," he said.
The Presidency in Israel is undergoing a severe crisis. President Moshe Katzav does not fulfill his roles as he should for a few weeks now. Most of his time is dedicated to consultations with lawyers, and to answer penetrating police questions about his relationships with several women, all who worked under him, complaining that he sexually abused them and were compelled by him to satisfy his sexual whims to one extent or another. In addition, the police are investigating the decision making process regarding the way Katzav used his power to pardon offenders and to lighten penalties by the reduction or commutation thereof. Katzav allegedly opened those secret files to loyal friends, and listened carefully to their suggestions and recommendations. If this is true, those recommendations are suspected to be partisan and tainted.
More and more voices call for the resignation of Katzav. If there is a shred of truth in those allegations, Katzav will be the second president in a row that will not complete his term in office. Some call to reconsider whether Israel needs the presidency. I do not subscribe to this view. I think the presidency is an important symbol, with important functions in Israeli political culture, and thus should not be annulled. At the same time, I have grave reservations regarding the way the president is elected in Israel. It is the Knesset that decides the identity of the president, by anonymous vote in the House. Because members of the Knesset decide the identity of the president, this man (they were all men until now) was almost always a politician. The chance of very good people, outside of political circles, to be elected to this lofty post is very slim. As politicians in Israel are not necessarily the brightest of the bunch, I hasten to think that the system in which politicians elect politicians is not necessarily the best.
I suggest that a committee comprised of the Great and the Good in Israel, i.e., of public figures, retired Supreme Court Justices, retired politicians, prominent people in the economy, media leaders, and others, will recommend a candidate to the Knesset, and then members of the Knesset will vote, in an open procedure, whether to accept the recommendation. If they don’t accept the recommendation, detailed explanation should be supplied to the public. The Committee should be of 13 members, will receive recommendations in writing from all citizens of Israel who wish to voice their opinion, and after lengthy scrutiny will make a judgment.
There are some good people outside of politics. Quite a few. Not only politicians are able to represent the public. I would even say that in our system, it is preferable that the president will not be tainted by any political colouration, which usually provokes antagonism of people who have a different political affinity.
Trip to Canada
I was invited to Canada to participate in Hate on the Internet conference, to deliver a few lectures, conduct media and political briefings, and research in the area of free expression. As ever, I very much enjoyed Canada and its people. I don’t think Canadians appreciate what they have to the extent they should. It is a wonderful, pleasant country; its citizens take it for granted.
In the conference I suggested the following: Establishing an alternative browser, which may be called CleaNet. While the raison d’être of the Explorer is free highway, where ideas compete with one another in the marketplace of ideas without interference, the raison d’être of CleaNet would be social responsibility. Thus, CleaNet will be free of offensive and harmful material. There will be no pornography, no racism, no hate speech, no gay bashing, no crime-facilitating speech, no promotion of vile ideas of killing people and encouraging suicide, no computer games in which players get brownie points when they hit or murder people, no platform for terrorist organizations.
The browser provider, be it Microsoft or another mega company, will monitor the content entering into CleaNet. There is good in the world. There is also evil, and it is possible to discern between the two. CleaNet will be motivated by moral considerations, by concern for our children, by concern for our respective societies. Unlike the Explorer, CleaNet will be content-subjective. CleaNet will provide information and enhance our knowledge in a socially-responsible fashion.
Both browsers will be available to the public. Each person, family, organization, will decide whether to make both of them available, or only one of them. It might be that a family, or a library, or a high school, will decide that CleaNet is more appropriate for their environment. Content neutrality is suitable for autonomous, rational agents. It might not be right for young people whose personality is in the process of shaping.
In my talks on politics I emphasized that Canada should take a clear stand regarding the threats that Syria and Iran posed to the world. The current policy of moderate sanctions does not bear any positive fruit. It does not work. I am in favour of offering carrots to Syria, in the hope of bringing it back to the society of decent nations. But if this does not work within a given framework of time, then significant sanctions should be employed. There is no status quo. The so-called status quo is working for Syria and Iran. Thus, it does not exist. It exists only in the minds and hopes of people who wish to avoid confronation.
As for Iran, here stringent steps should be taken. Iran poses a real threat to world peace. It is an international problem that deserves an international solution. Israel is the first target in this vicious food-chain, but we are only the small Satan. There is also the middle Satans, and the big Satan. Sacrificing Israel will not do. Iran’s ambitions do not stop in Palestine. The Muslim fanatic sages want to bring Islam to all corners of this planet, with or without the consent and approval of the nations. Complacency regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions is a luxury the world cannot afford.
In Canada I started my international campaign for elections. I lost trust with this government and its leaders. I hear and read them constantly and cannot believe my ears and eyes. They learned nothing. They committed no mistakes. They regret nothing. All is well.
Olmert, Peretz and the government had started a war without realizing they started the war. They subjected more than million people to constant barrages of rockets for more than a month. 156 people were killed, but all is well. No regrets. No sorrow. No responsibility.
If they opened the war by ordering to strike an Arab capital, knowing that the response will be rockets on the north of the country, which they are unable to stop, then they are irresponsible and should resign. And if they did not know that this will be the response, then they made a gross error and should take responsibility and resign.
I hope green light was given to establish, in full speed, a special task force to study what can be done to stop the landing of rockets in our midst. I hope we hear nothing about this for security reasons, and not for lack of action. I'd like to assume technology does allow measures to alleviate the threat.
I wish to thank my kind hosts: Ruth Klein, Stephen Newman, Wayne Sumner, The Bereskin family, The Freeman family, the Katz family, Carol Nash, Stuart Adam, David Jude Merriby, David Mendeloff, The Molot family, Molly Tepper, Ron Cohen and Joe Magnet. You made my trip memorable.
Centre for Democratic Studies
I was asked: How did the war affect the Centre?
The Centre was not directly damaged, but the war affected the university, its budget and resources. July-August are usually the months in which students do their exams. All exams were postponed to September. The university looked like a deserted place. One missile landed not too far. Scary. Many students who were signed up for next year are now hesitating to come, as many of us feel this was the first round, and more rounds are ahead of us. As we heavily rely on students' tuition, cancellations hurt us badly.
Relatively speaking, the small toll that the Center for Democratic Studies will pay is lack of internal funding for next year. Without external support, the Center could not carry out its mission and goals. There will be no activity.
To found a Chair for Democratic Studies we would need $1,000,000.
Any contribution of $1,000,000 or more would enable the donor to name the Center, or the Chair, as s/he chooses.
The Center for Democratic Studies plans to do the following:
· Establish an M.A. interdisciplinary program in ethics and democratic studies at the University of Haifa. Estimated budget: $100,000 per annum
· Set up student exchange programs with universities around the world. Estimated budget: $100,000 per annum
· Funding scholars exchange program in which professors associated with the Center will travel to work with associates at similar centres in universities in the world, especially in South America and Africa where democracy requires strengthening and fostering, and colleagues will come to Haifa to work with Centre's fellows. Estimated budget: $80,000 per annum
· Conduct an international conference on the theme Challenges to Democracy, revolving around some of the challenges that liberal democracies are facing to today: fighting terrorism; the use of the Internet to advance evil causes, like terrorism, bomb making, racism, xenophobia, hate speech, murder and rape; ideological and religious extremism that does not believe in "Live and Let Live" and, instead, exploits the rights and freedoms of democracy to undermine it and to bring about its destruction. Estimated budget: $70,000
· Funding invitation of senior researchers from universities and centres for democratic studies in North America and Europe to hold a one-week workshop at the University of Haifa. Estimated budget: $40,000 per annum
· The Annual Isaiah Berlin Lecture. Estimated budget: $30,000 per annum
· Publication of books and papers. Estimated budget: $30,000 per annum
· Funding a debate society in Haifa high schools. Estimated budget: $30,000 per annum.
All help and any donations are much appreciated.
Yesh Din Report on Lawlessness in the Occupied Territories
Since the 1980's many reports have been published on law enforcement upon Israelis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. All of the reports – whether published by official government bodies or produced by human rights organizations – warned against the failure of the authorities to enforce the law effectively upon Israeli offenders, especially those who committed offenses against Palestinian civilians. The conclusion that arises from all the reports is serious: Israel is abusing its obligation to defend the Palestinian civilian population in the OPT against the criminality of Israeli civilians. Years have gone by, committees have been established, recommendations have been made, and governments have come and gone – yet the problem of attacks against Palestinian people and property by Israelis has only grown worse, becoming a daily occurrence.
In March 2005 Yesh Din - Volunteers for Human Rights was established. Yesh Din (Hebrew for "There is Law") volunteers decided upon its foundation that the organization's first project would be an examination of law enforcement procedures upon Israelis who harass Palestinians in the West Bank. The main goal of the project is “to strengthen law enforcement proceedings relating to Israelis in the West Bank.” As part of the project, the Yesh Din volunteers are attempting to help bring those responsible for attacks to justice, while at the same time examining the actions of the authorities and seeking to identify the reason for the failings in this field, as pointed out by the aforementioned governmental and non-governmental reports. Yesh Din adopted a unique method. Teams of specially-trained volunteers visit Palestinian communities that report criminal behavior by Israeli civilians. The teams record testimonies from victims and witnesses, gather documents, photograph the places where incidents occurred, and, after completing their investigation, accompany victims to the police to file complaints and give evidence. Complainants who wish to do so authorize the legal advisor of Yesh Din to monitor the investigation of their case and, when necessary, to appeal against the closure of the investigation file.
Yesh Din's law enforcement project began in April 2005.
This report is based on the data base created by Yesh Din's work and its volunteers over the past year. The report is based on the investigations conducted by Yesh Din's volunteers and the organization's monitoring of the investigation files in the police's Samaria and Judea (hereinafter - SJ) District. The report's findings indicate a general phenomenon of absence of adequate law enforcement by the authorities upon settlers who commit offenses against Palestinians. The report documents serious faults in all stages of the law enforcement process. In the committing of offenses, IDF soldiers present on the scene show a grave tendency to ignore offenses (Chapter 3); in filing complaints, Palestinian complainants face physical and bureaucratic difficulties (Chapter 4); above all, the investigation stage shows faults in the examination of incidents, failure to implement the required investigatory steps, and sometimes an unwillingness to undertake even a cursory investigation (Chapter 5).
The report's findings are based on Yesh Din's monitoring of 92 investigation files opened at the SJ District of the Israel Police, the vast majority in 2005 and 2006, and a smaller number in the three preceding years. From January to November 2005, 299 investigation files were opened by the SJ District relating to offenses committed by Israeli civilians against Palestinians. Accordingly, the sample forming the basis of this report is extensive, and enables the drawing of valid conclusions regarding the overall response of the SJ District to this type of offense.
· More than 90% of the complaints and files in which the investigation was completed were closed without indictments being submitted.
· 96% of the files on trespassing (including all the cases of harming trees) in which the investigation was completed were closed without indictments being submitted.
· 100% of the property offenses in which the investigation was completed were closed without indictments being submitted.
· 79% of the assault files in which the investigation was completed were closed without indictments being submitted.
· About 5% of the complaints filed were lost and apparently were never investigated.
In addition to collecting data and producing statistical findings, Yesh Din closely studied 42 investigation files that were closed. In more than half of the cases Yesh Din identified failures and faults in the investigation, for which the organization submitted appeals against the decision to close the files.
The main failures found are:
· The complaints and testimonies were written in Hebrew rather than Arabic – the language in which they were given.
· The police investigators rarely went out to the scene of the offense, and in cases when they did arrive at the scene, there were failures in documenting the scene.
· In many cases testimony was not taken from key witnesses, including suspects and Palestinian and Israeli eyewitnesses of the incident.
· Live identification lineups with Israeli civilian suspects were hardly conducted in the SJ District.
· There were hardly any confrontations between complainants and suspects: of the investigation files examined by Yesh Din, such a confrontation was carried out by police investigators in only one file.
· In none of the files examined by Yesh Din, in which the suspects made alibi claims, were the claims checked before the investigation file was closed.
· The contents of about one third of the investigation files were very thin, and indicated a hasty closure of the file, shortly after the complaint was received.
· In several cases it was decided to close an investigation file, even though the material that accumulated in the file apparently indicated sufficient evidence for indicting suspects.
· An examination of files that were closed for reasons of "No Criminal Culpability" raised doubts as to the decision to close those files for that reason, considering they were subject to insufficient investigation.
Recommendations for the IDF
1. The IDF must define for its soldiers who serve in the West Bank the protection of the Palestinian civilians and their property against the violence of Israeli civilians as a permanent and key mission.
2. The IDF's regional divisions in the West Bank must define in their standing orders assistance to SJ District investigations as a permanent and key mission.
3. The IDF must regularly and frequently allocate forces for patrols in known areas of friction between settlers and Palestinians, with the purpose of ensuring the security of Palestinian civilians.
4. The IDF must brief its soldiers serving in the West Bank regularly on the rules of the "Law Enforcement Procedure" as to their obligation to intervene in cases that settlers assault Palestinians and/or their property.
5. The IDF must clarify for its soldiers that they have the power to arrest Israeli civilians suspected of assaulting Palestinians, and if necessary take the suspects for continued processing to the nearest police station.
6. The IDF must conduct investigations of incidents in which IDF soldiers were present when Israeli civilians harmed Palestinians and/or their property, and ensure that the soldiers who were witnesses to such events give testimony to the police, and take measures against soldiers who don't comply with the Law Enforcement Procedure directives.
7. The IDF must set standards to examine the level of performance of the Law Enforcement Procedure, on a unit basis.
8. The Central Command should keep regular records and monitor cases when IDF soldiers detained Israelis suspected of assaulting Palestinians and their property, and in which they transferred them to the police.
9. The Military Police's Criminal Investigation Division should maintain constant contact with the SJ District and receive permanent reports of incidents in which IDF soldiers stood by doing nothing during violent incidents on the part of soldiers and abused their obligation to defend Palestinian civilians. Following such reports the MPCID should initiate, shortly after the incidents, investigations of the behavior of the soldiers and commanders. The conclusions of the MPCID's investigations should lead to a decision by the Central Command prosecutor, for the purpose of criminal or disciplinary prosecution, depending on the circumstances of the matter.
Recommendations for the Police:
A: Recommendations for Recording Complaints
1. The police force at the DCOs should be reinforced, so that the needs of Palestinian complainants are met at all times.
2. The supervision and monitoring of complaints submitted at the DCOs should be reinforced, to ensure that every complaint filed at a DCO does reach the relevant investigation unit.
3. The SJ District patrol officers should be instructed to record complaints in the field from anyone interested, in accordance with section 2 of the National Headquarters Order 14(1)(1), rather than directing complainants to the police station, except for the completion of their testimony, as needed.
4. Palestinian complainants who wish to should have direct access to the investigation units in the SJ District.
5. SJ District investigators should be instructed not to demand complainants produce land measurement maps, whose production involves a heavy financial expense, as a condition for recording their complaint and investigating it. In cases where the Civil Administration does not have updated maps of contested land, it should be the Civil Administration's duty to conduct a current mapping, at its expense.
A beautiful gem that touched my heart is Je vous trouve très beau. If you are in the mood for laugh and romance, treat yourself and enjoy. It is the best film I’ve seen this year. With Michel Blanc, and the charming Medeea Marinescu. Both are great.
English is Fun
This month we celebrated our New Year, Rosh Hashana. To start the year with a smile, and appeal to readers all around the world, I want to end this Israeli Politics edition with a piece about communication. People sometimes go out of their way to communicate with their English-speaking tourists. Here is a list of signs seen around the world.
> Cocktail lounge, Norway:
LADIES ARE REQUESTED NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE BAR.
> At a Budapest zoo:
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. IF YOU HAVE ANY SUITABLE FOOD, GIVE IT TO
THE GUARD ON DUTY.
> Doctors office, Rome:
SPECIALIST IN WOMEN AND OTHER DISEASES.
> Hotel, Acapulco:
THE MANAGER HAS PERSONALLY PASSED ALL THE WATER SERVED HERE.
> Information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner, Japan:
COOLES AND HEATES: IF YOU WANT CONDITION OF WARM AIR IN YOUR ROOM, PLEASE CONTROL YOURSELF.
> Car rental brochure, Tokyo:
WHEN PASSENGER OF FOOT HEAVE IN SIGHT, TOOTLE THE HORN. TRUMPET HIM MELODIOUSLY AT FIRST, BUT IF HE STILL OBSTACLES YOUR PASSAGE THEN TOOTLE HIM WITH VIGOUR.
> In a Nairobi restaurant:
CUSTOMERS WHO FIND OUR WAITRESSES RUDE OUGHT TO SEE THE MANAGER.
> On the grounds of a private school:
NO TRESPASSING WITHOUT PERMISSION.
> On an Athi River highway:
TAKE NOTICE: WHEN THIS SIGN IS UNDER WATER, THIS ROAD IS IMPASSABLE.
> On a poster at Kencom:
ARE YOU AN ADULT THAT CANNOT READ? IF SO, WE CAN HELP.
> One of the Mathare buildings:
MENTAL HEALTH PREVENTION CENTRE.
> A sign seen on an automatic restroom hand dryer:
DO NOT ACTIVATE WITH WET HANDS.
> In a Pumwani maternity ward:
NO CHILDREN ALLOWED.
> In a cemetery
PERSONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FLOWERS FROM ANY BUT THEIR OWN GRAVES.
> Tokyo hotel's rules and regulations:
GUESTS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO SMOKE OR DO OTHER DISGUSTING BEHAVIOURS IN BED.
> On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:
OUR WINES LEAVE YOU NOTHING TO HOPE FOR.
> In a Bangkok temple:
IT IS FORBIDDEN TO ENTER A WOMAN EVEN A FOREIGNER IF DRESSED AS A MAN.
> Hotel room notice, Chiang-Mai, Thailand:
PLEASE DO NOT BRING SOLICITORS INTO YOUR ROOM.
> Hotel lobby, Bucharest:
THE LIFT IS BEING FIXED FOR THE NEXT DAY. DURING THAT TIME WE REGRET THAT YOU WILL BE UNBEARABLE.
> On the door of a Moscow hotel room:
IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST VISIT TO THE USSR, YOU ARE WELCOME TO IT.
> Hotel elevator, Paris:
PLEASE LEAVE YOUR VALUES AT THE FRONT DESK.
> Hotel, Yugoslavia:
THE FLATTENING OF UNDERWEAR WITH PLEASURE IS THE JOB OF THE CHAMBERMAID.
> Hotel, Japan:
YOU ARE INVITED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE CHAMBERMAID.
> In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:
YOU ARE WELCOME TO VISIT THE CEMETERY WHERE FAMOUS RUSSIAN AND SOVIET COMPOSERS, ARTISTS, AND WRITERS ARE BURIED DAILY EXCEPT THURSDAY.
> Hotel catering to skiers, Austria:
NOT TO PERAMBULATE THE CORRIDORS IN THE HOURS OF REPOSE IN THE BOOTS OF ASCENSION.
> Taken from a menu, Poland:
SALAD A FIRM'S OWN MAKE; LIMPID RED BEET SOUP WITH CHEESY DUMPLINGS IN THE FORM OF A FINGER; ROASTED DUCK LET LOOSE; BEEF RASHERS BEATEN IN THE COUNTRY PEOPLE'S FASHION.
> Supermarket, Hong Kong:
FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, WE RECOMMEND COURTEOUS, EFFICIENT SELF-SERVICE.
> From the "Soviet Weekly":
THERE WILL BE A MOSCOW EXHIBITION OF ARTS BY 15,000 SOVIET REPUBLIC PAINTERS AND SCULPTORS. THESE WERE EXECUTED OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS.
> In an East African newspaper:
A NEW SWIMMING POOL IS RAPIDLY TAKING SHAPE SINCE THE CONTRACTORS HAVE THROWN IN THE BULK OF THEIR WORKERS.
> Hotel, Vienna:
IN CASE OF FIRE, DO YOUR UTMOST TO ALARM THE HOTEL PORTER.
> A sign posted in Germany's Black Forest:
IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN ON OUR BLACK FOREST CAMPING SITE THAT PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT SEX, FOR INSTANCE, MEN AND WOMEN, LIVE TOGETHER IN ONE TENT UNLESS THEY ARE MARRIED WITH EACH OTHER FOR THIS PURPOSE.
> Hotel, Zurich:
BECAUSE OF THE IMPROPRIETY OF ENTERTAINING GUESTS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX IN THE BEDROOM, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE LOBBY BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE.
> An advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist:
TEETH EXTRACTED BY THE LATEST METHODISTS.
> A laundry in Rome:
LADIES, LEAVE YOUR CLOTHES HERE AND SPEND THE AFTERNOON HAVING A GOOD TIME.
> Tourist agency, Czechoslovakia:
TAKE ONE OF OUR HORSE-DRIVEN CITY TOURS. WE GUARANTEE NO MISCARRIAGES.
> The box of a clockwork toy made in Hong Kong:
GUARANTEED TO WORK THROUGHOUT ITS USEFUL LIFE.
> In a Swiss mountain inn:
SPECIAL TODAY - NO ICE-CREAM.
> Airline ticket office, Copenhagen:
WE TAKE YOUR BAGS AND SEND THEM IN ALL DIRECTIONS.
The National Geographic published its best photos for 2006. Those wishing to view them are welcome to contact me.
With my best wishes for Shana Tova U’Meusheret to you and your loved ones, Gmar Chatima Tova,
My last communications are available on http://almagor.blogspot.com
Earlier posts at my home page: http://hcc.haifa.ac.il/~rca/
Center for Democratic Studies http://cds.haifa.ac.il/
Those wishing to subscribe to this monthly Newsletter are welcome to contact Raphael Cohen-Almagor at firstname.lastname@example.org
My last communications are available on http://almagor.blogspot.com
Earlier posts at my home page: http://hcc.haifa.ac.il/~rca/
Center for Democratic Studies http://cds.haifa.ac.il/
Those wishing to subscribe to this monthly Newsletter are welcome to contact Raphael Cohen-Almagor at email@example.com