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The Population Problem

Juan Cole writes about a new ad campaign: Israeli Ads against Marriage with American Jews are Part of a Population War. As Dr. Cole notes, this isn’t the first time Israel has addressed this problem.

In 2004 the Jewish Daily Forward reported Germany Is Moving To End Mass Immigration of Jews From Russia. The Israeli government lobbied for the changes in German law to stop the majority of Jews from the former Soviet Union from immigrating to Germany, rather than Israel. For Germany to take the step gives you some idea of how hard the Israeli government pushed it.

As the BBC noted there was a US Jewish outcry over Israeli expat ‘return’ ads. The portrayal of American Jews in the ads was not complimentary.

The Lukudniks have been so noxious that US urges Israel to end ‘isolation in Middle East’. When the US Secretary of Defense starts telling an ‘ally’ that they need to start getting along with their neighbors, you can assume that the ‘ally’ is being a major jerk.

With the budget cutting that is going on in Washington, this is not a time for the largest recipient of US aid to be stirring up trouble. Given the prospect of cuts in the Defense budget, reducing or eliminating the large chunk of US military assistance that goes to Israel would look very enticing to the Pentagon bean-counters.

December 3, 2011   12 Comments

Not Really Bad News But …

The drop in the unemployment rate is better that ‘a sharp stick in the eye’, but really isn’t anything to be thrilled with, as Robert Reich explains in The Jobs Report: Don’t Break Out the Champagne.

Over 300,000 have giving up actively looking for a job as of this report, but the drop will probably cause some of them to return to the hunt, causing the rate to jump back up in the new year. There is no reason to be optimistic and many reasons to be worried.

December 3, 2011   Comments Off on Not Really Bad News But …

How Do Reindeer Fly?

Christmas Mushroom

… and how can Santa Claus visit every house, go down chimneys, leave toys, all over the world in one night?

One of the answers is found on European Christmas trees.

Read about Finland’s version of the Julbock, Joulupukki.

Note: Don’t try this at home unless you have the kidneys of a reindeer. It also explains why gnomes are so cheerful. [This is one of my most searched for posts, almost as big as the Shi’ia oil map, or the Alaska-Russia border. It is a bit disconcerting to see the number of people around the world whose interests are as weird as mine, but they are all hits on the counter.]

December 3, 2011   4 Comments