dimanche, juin 27, 2010

Oh God! Save England from this miserable World Cup

The entire world watched as the “human factor” cost a major European nation a goal this afternoon in Bloemfontein— and arguably that team a legitimate shot at a place in the next round. The only people in the world who didn’t know that Frank Lampard scored for England against Germany to tie the game up before the half at 2-2, were the referee and his assistant in the German half of the field.

It was a missmatched World Cup for England in 2010 from the start so much so England fans themselves felt disillussioned at times. But even the hardest of critics could not fail to be upset and indignant whan Frank Lampard's equaliser was not awarded to England at the second round game against Germany last night. A cheeky goalkeeper who could not have failed to see the bouncing Jabulani go in succumbed to the moment and quickly continued play before anyone realised what had happened.

England was on a roll after a shaky start. The England team found the German net twice within 2 minutes and definitely would have pressed on afresh had the right call been made by the linesman in question. But no, England was denied their momentum and they never recovered. With opponents like the Germans, you never get a second chance.

The World Cup hopefuls would shudder at such injustice I am sure. It is time, football turns high tech because it is simply excrutiating to be a mere spectator when you - and the whole world - know better than the referee on the field.

vendredi, juin 25, 2010

Worlds and billions apart

And the sun sets over BP

NEW DELHI - The contrast between the disasters, more than a quarter-century and half a world apart, could not be starker.

In 1984, a leak of toxic gas at an American company’s Indian subsidiary killed thousands, injured tens of thousands more and left a major city with a toxic waste dump at its heart. The company walked away after paying a $470 million settlement. The company’s American chief executive, arrested while in India, skipped bail, never to return. This month
eight former senior officials from the company, including one who has since died, were convicted of negligence, but the sentence — two years in jail — seems paltry to many here compared to the impact of their crime.

No matter how halting the Obama administration's response to the gushing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico might look to Americans, Indians cannot help but marvel — and envy — the alacrity with which the United States government has acted.

BP’s $20 billion cleanup fund, as vast a sum as it seems from here, is in all likelihood merely a down payment on what the company will probably pay for the damage caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A criminal investigation has begun. And while the environmental toll is huge, the cost in human lives, compared with Bhopal, has been minimal.

Analysts and historians say that the entire episode reeks of the humiliation of a poor and powerless country at the hands of a rich and resourceful Western corporation. India sought $3.3 billion in damages from the American company Union Carbide, but in 1989 settled for less than half a billion dollars.

“The victims will get hardly 10 percent of the money and rest will go to the pockets of ministers and bureaucrats,” said Satinath Sarangi of Bhopal Group for Information and Action, an advocacy group. “Indian people have to pay for the crimes committed by the U.S. corporations.” Hari Kumar contributed reporting.

This article, "Indians, Envious of U.S. Spill Response, Seethe Over Bhopal," originally appeared in The New York Times.

My thoughts exactly - I need not add anything to this stark reality.

jeudi, juin 24, 2010

Good night Michael. Wherever you are.

Thank you for ABC when I was 8, on the way to school
ABC, it's easy
Easy as123
It's like counting up to 3
Or simple as Do re mi
Sing a simple melody
That's how easy love can be

Thank you for Ben when I was 13,
singing in the dark in my dormitary
Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
I'll never be alone
And you, my friend, will see
You've got a friend in me
(you've got a friend in me)

Thank you for Human Nature, Thriller and Billy Jean
Far away from home, I was eighteen
Reaching Out
To Touch A Stranger

Electric Eyes Are Ev’rywhere

See That Girl

She Knows I’m Watching

She Likes The Way I Stare

Thank you for the Moonwalk moment at the greatest Grammy
Thank you for the Jackson 5 TRIUMPH Concert
In Toronto when I was nineteen that December

Thank you for Liberian Girl, Bad and Smooth Criminal
when I was twenty, enjoying MTV
Liberian girl
You know that you came
And you changed my world,
Just like in the movies,
With two lovers in a scene
And she says...
"Do you love me"
And he says so endlessly...
"I love you, Liberian girl"

Thank you for We Are The World when I was 22,
rallying for camaraderie at university
There comes a time
When we head a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

For Remember The Time and In The Closet,I was 26 - a busy wife
And later for Dangerous, when my kids were my joy, my life
Do you remember
When we fell in love

We were young and innocent then

Do you remember how it all began

It just

Seemed like heaven

So why

Did it end

Thank you for They Don't care About Us when I was in so much pain...
Thank you for Charlie Chaplin's Smile when I was stronger and wiser
It has made me so much more contented, happier - braver
Thank you for This Is It at the movies
Where we cried in the theatre, danced and cheered
At the memory of you, our dearest, our Michael forever...
Thank you Thank you Thank you

One Night at Lake Club

I mentioned sometime ago that I haven't been to the Lake Club for a while...

So when I received an invitation from En Jon [the stern and very much loved Uncle Jon to all 5 daughters] to attend the Tai Chi fellowship night, incidently in memory of the late Mr Nyam to join his widow and my good friend Michelle, his eldest daughter, I said yes without hesitation. Earlier during the day at work, everyone asked why I had this beautiful golden sam foo jacket hanging in my office, I just smiled. At the golf club, generally everyone went straight home after work. Or dressed down, not up after work on a Wednesday night - special priced movie night at the Pavilion by the way. But then, I was going to The Orchid and wanted to be prim and proper [in my mind, still the Orchid Room...]

At 6.00pm, I arrived in a taxi through the familiar guard-house. Stopped and met Michelle who dutifully registered me as her guest while we waited for En Jon to appear. We dropped by the beauty salon's corner and Ayin, the beautician gave me a big and warm hug. Quickly added me to her facebook page. We then walked over to the Clubhouse and from all corners, the warm and cheery greetings from the staff enveloped me. Intan, Kak Ham, Kokdiang...oooo too many to mention. Mokhtar, Puchong and Anuar. It was like a home-coming.

Orchid Room looked splendid and I was glad to see the fresh orchids back in bloom - compliments to Bonnie, the Club florist, I am sure - a tradition started by Puan Sri Aida Nik Daud in the days of Tun Razak - another trusted Lake Club comrade and advisor. The chairs were beautifully re-upholstered and side tables displayed beautiful bottles and decorations. There was not one single light-bulb out. The band was one of my favorites - Centrepage with Azimah taking centrestage who waved from the stage when I walked past.

Old friends made my day. Julie Ong-Yeoh came over with heart-felt wishes and news of her son Damien, another old friend. Ms Amu sat beside me fascinating all with her animated stories and philosophy. Kakanda Yap Yok Foo and C T Lau - with his inevitable question, how many kids, Zalina?

The 5-course dinner was delightful in such pleasant company.

After dinner, we proceeded for a night of karaoke. First, we dropped by the Batik Bar and I was happy to see Carol and many many others whom I will not mention for fear they would like to stay anonymous. The Verandah reminded me of the Birdpark down the road, sturdier in looks and just as relaxing. By the time we reached the Theatre [which I dubbed as 'my theatre' as it was built to screen all the blockbusters I used to personally select many years ago every month] , Ms Amu sang Bila Larut Malam and Irene sang a lovely Mandarin number. En Jon was gearing for his own mandarin number...alas, it was time to end Karaoke for the night.

Aha! England was battling a do-a-die World Cup match. So we sauntered over to the Sports Bar [Zinnia just doesn't sit well with me] and guess what, I finally found a place which features 80s music like Under Pressure, Just an Illusion and Berlinda Carlisle's songs. No Sweet Dreams by Annie Lennox though. No matter.

England won! What better way to end the night.

lundi, juin 21, 2010

Magpie Tales

Dear friends,

In school, I was a member of the school's brass band, a state gymnast and a very hard-working student who took her Math, Geography and Physics seriously. But above all and long before, I was the poet. Words just flowed whenI was happy, melancholy or charged with adrenalin.

Since then, in various stages in my life, I had spurts of creative genius...and the rest of the time, I continue to write diligently forI know that being a writer is 90% hard work and 10% talent. Many of you have known me for a very long time, so I wish to share a new discovery with you.

Some of you are writers, some teachers, some parents who have kids who want to explore the world of writing. I found a blog - Magpie Tales created by willow which "is dedicated to the enjoyment of writers, for the purpose of honingtheir craft, sharing it with like minded bloggers, and keeping their muses alive and well. "

I haven't written poetry for years and was inspired to create my own poem blog : poems by ninotaziz. I dug up old crates and folders for my old poems and uploaded some of my favorites. I spent the whole night doing this and no doubt for the next few days, will be happily fine-tuning this new baby of mine.

It is truly amazing. I hope this is of help or of use to you.


vendredi, juin 18, 2010

Warisan Sudirman

Disini lahirnya sebuah cinta
Yang murni, abadi, sejati
Disini tersemai cita-cita
Bercambah menjadi warisan

Inevitably, when I think of the word warisan, Sudirman Hj Arshad comes to mind. What is Hari Raya without his song Balik Kampung, Merdeka without Tanggal 31 and once in a while when you see an old basikal tua, we are lulled into a sense of nostalgia so poignant and unmistakably Malaysian, it often brings a tear to the eyes.

Eighteen years ago, we lost Sudirman, one of our country's most magical sons. He was only 37 years old. No matter what race, his fans were deeply griefed by the sudden demise of Sudirman Hj Arshad, beloved entertainer and brightest star for many years, touching the lives of many with his music and showmanship.

Now, more than ever before, I begin to understand what we lost. If P Ramlee was our legendary icon on the screen, Sudirman surely was the true voice of Malaya. For though he came into prominence in the 70s, he was a throwback of a more innocent time. Sudirman captured the longing we had for our own roots like no one else.

The truth is , the moment Sudirman stepped onto stage to perform Seruling Bambu and Hey! Big Spender at the Bintang RTM 1976 finals, a star was born. And the whole of Malaysia knew they were witnessing someone special take his place in history. Sudirman had a presence, confidence and a sense of style.

And so much more. Sometimes, we forget just how much more.

Very quickly then, Sudirman endeared himself to the public. He looked to the countryside and streets of the city for inspiration with fiery patriotism. When civil servants were urged to enhance productivity in the early 80s, Sudirman took to the air with his catchy song Punch Card! For one so young, his caring attitude was almost fatherly. He sang of the ordinary man in Hidup Sederhana (Basikal Tua), and of social issues in Aku Penganggur and Mat Disko. Songs like Anak Gembala, Balik Kampung, Apa khabar Orang Kampung and Ayah Dan Ibu bring to mind the very essense of the kampung life and everything that was wholesome and good about it.

Read these lyrics carefully...

Ayah dan ibu
Itulah permulaan kami
Dapatlah melihat bulan dan matahari
Ahai...Yang dikurniakan dari Ilahi
yah dan ibu lah mesti dihormati

He sang songs in every rhythm be it joget, all asli tunes, the ever popular disco, ballads and even dangdut, which in return appealed to a wide range of fans. He could appear melancholy, playful, patriotic – quite a chameleon in that respect. Which was of course useful in his mini videoclips in a time when MTV was still in its infancy. It was a natural progression then for Sudirman to try his hand at acting in ‘Kami’ directed by Patrick Teoh.

Sudirman reached out to the masses, regardless of age, race or stature. It is not surprising that he was an epitome of unity by making special efforts to sing in all the country’s major languages.

Sudirman made us believe that as Malaysians, we can achieve the highest of accolades – that is if we work hard enough, possess rare talent and drive to succeed. He achieved a first for himself and the country when he was named Asia’s Number One performer ahead of Anita Sarawak, who was a close friend and Leslie Cheung at the AMM awards at the famed Royal Albert Hall of London 1n 1989. It was a joyous moment for the nation and brought Sudirman international acclaim. Forever the true Malaysian, he chose to sing One Thousand Million Smiles, in itself an invitation to the world to experience Malaysian hospitality and courtesy.

The Man in a Flag
No post-80s artiste in Malaysia can truly claim to be as patriotic as Sudirman. Even before the days of revering the Jalur Gemilang, before it was even called Jalur Gemilang, Sudirman draped himself in the national flag from head to toe much to the delight of everyone. Sudirman made it fashionable in the way that only he could, with his usual aplomb and style. Today, every year on August 31, the upbeat Tanggal 31 evokes national pride and esteem more than any other song and continues to inspire younger generations who sometimes do not even know of the legendary all round entertainer, composer and prolific songwriter.

Salam Terakhir
Let us find it in our hearts to say a prayer for you, Sudir… and thank you for all the joy, the hope, the pride you gave us. We miss you – our legend, our voice, our sweet sorrow that one so young left us, that we are no longer privileged to share his sheer genius at articulating all the good in being a Malaysian.

jeudi, juin 17, 2010


KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 (Bernama) -- The 300m stretch of the Pudu Prison wall along Jalan Pudu will be demolished on June 20-23 to make way for road widening and the construction of an underpass.

Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail said the construction of the underpass gave priority to road users although it involved a national treasure.

"Every day we face problems because of this wall, getting to the office late, so this is just a matter of which one is a priority to DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) and the government," he told reporters after visiting the site and Taman Shamelin Perkasa.

The underpass will be an alternative route linking Jalan Pudu to Cheras and will reduce congestion at Jalan Hang Tuah.

Construction will be carried out in stages and the project is expected to be completed in December 2012.

Meanwhile, the construction of the RM59.5 million flyover directly connecting Taman Maluri with Taman Shamelin, which started in March last year, is expected to be completed in March 2012.


Nobody knew what to do with Pudu Jail. It was unsightly, it was haunted, it was a reminder that there were criminals long before anything else in KL.

Same thing with the smelly, dark and dank Central Market way back in the 80s. Only the late Tunku Abdullah had the vision to turn it into a cultural spot and voila! the new Central Market was born.

KL desperately needs new places to visit, new things to do, new attractions to experience. KL Fest is coming up fast and what do we have to show? The same old same same.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Philharmonic, KLCC, Kampung Baru, the new Changkat, the museums etc etc. I can take you to KL for the best nasi lemak bungkus and yong tau foo cucuk, durian, you name it.

But please tell me why we need new office buildings, roads, flyovers, underpasses where there are heritage buildings? We are bringing down a century old structure of KL because people are getting late to work?

Or really, no one thinks about how this building can be put to good use? Why can't we convert Pudu Jail to a magnificent open theatre for makyung, dikir barat, wayang kulit and more. The haunted atmosphere would turn into a haunting attraction you can't stay away from - wouldn't that be perfect?

Dear all of you who profess to love the arts especially Makyung, dear Ramli Ibrahim, John Gomez, Dato YTL, lover of the arts, JKKN - take this on!

Al-fatihah untuk Primadonna Makyung, Mak Jah yang dikasihi...we will find a permanent theater for the makyung one day...


FB Message to YAB Prime Minister

Zalina Abdul Aziz
YAB Dato Seri,
I know my voice is one in 26 odd million. But I would like to bring your attention to PUDU JAIL 1895. Remember the successful conversion of Central Market. Wouldn't PJ1895 better serve KL as a daily Open Theatre for the arts like Makyung, Wayang Kulit and more?


Email sent to Minister of Information, Communications and Culture:

Assalamualaikum YB Dato Seri,

Saya yakin YB Dato Seri sedia maklum bahawa Pudu Jail yang terbina pada tahun 1895,bangunan khazanah, akan bakal dirobohkan pada tanggal 20hb Jun 2010 ini.

Ingin saya mengambil iktibar daripada kejayaan Central Market yang berjaya diolah menjadi daya tarikan yang begitu hebat di Kuala Lumpur pada sekitar tahun lapan puluhan. Tidak mungkinkah kita dapat mengubah Pudu Jail kepada 'Open Theatre' mempersembahkan Makyung, Wayang Kulit, Menora, Rodat, Kuda Kepang dan sebagainya setiap malam? Para kraf teater yang membuat set, kostum, patung patung wayang kulit, juga dapat dikumpulkan disini. Tidak ketinggalan, kita juga dapat menjemput kumpulan teater serantau Nusantara untuk membuat persembahan di sini. Bukankah ini dapat menambah nilai astetik dan aktiviti kebudayaan di Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur tersergam indah, YB Dato Seri?

Ini sekadar cadangan membina dari penulis berjiwa warisan.

Blog saya meluahkan cadangan dalam hal ini di sini:

Dengan segala hormat,

Zalina Abdul Aziz @ ninotaziz


World Cup fans soldier on. Night after night. Many have their own technics to stay awake the next day.

Today, someone told me he watches the game at 7.30pm, 10.30pm and then goes to sleep. Wakes up at 5.30am in time to catch the highlights of the 2.30am game. Smart guy. But no, I can't do that coz I watch World Cup the Facebook way. Frustrations and jubilations are immediately shared with my kaki Facebook ! Yes, that's you, Trevor!

At the office, it is increasingly difficult to stay awake at 3.30pm. I have scheduled all appointments to lunchtime. Between the refreshing apple and celery juice and grilled cod fish, I manage to be convincing and entertaining to the other party. Especially since I stay on top of all the latest World Cup juicy details. And can rattle on about the best goal keepers. But it is still early days.

As for the football itself, I must say, it's the usual unpredictable game which allows for upbeat debate the next day. Wow, what happened to the much hyped up Spain game! Why did Ivory Coast decide to give away the corner? With Cristiano and diver-icon-turned-African-football-icon Didier Drogba [albeit for only 15 minutes] on the field, how come there were so few attempts at the net? Why didn't Germany do this in Germany 2006? What happened in the last 15 minutes of the South Africa-Uruguay game? Italy - so old but not so slow. Spot on footwork. Obviously money talks as Olympic goal medallist and ex-Euro Cup champs Greece fazes out. Well, at least Netherlands was predictable. The Dutch play football like the beautiful game it is.

Aahhh...the bouncing Jabulani[which Rooney attested is good for strikers : we'll agree when he scores tomorrow night] and the vuvuzelas have us all even more stressed out than the usual World Cup season. I blame the vuvuzelas for the buzzing in my head at the moment.

And the biggest of them all so far, will Robert Green get to live down his school boy fumble - ever?


Can you just believe the brilliant goal after goal and relentless attacking game by Messi and gang? Now that's world class football!

A few days ago, it was announced that the most common footballer name is Gonzales. Well, certainly Gonzalo Hoguain is no common footballer - what a debut to the World Cup!

Way to go Diego Maradona!


And Greece regains some respect. At least the Greeks will have something to cheer about.

mardi, juin 15, 2010


Dear Mr Nelson Mandela,
I am sorry for your loss. However, thank you for sharing your beautiful country.

lundi, juin 14, 2010


Sorry, I could not resist.

I genuinely love football. I keep up with EPL, EURO CUP and stay up late for World Cup. I admire Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and yes, Kevin Keegan for their passion and understand why Thaksin and now, Tony Fernandez want to own a football club in England.

But I must admit, it is so easy to love football even just to watch footballers in top physic letting themselves go, displaying all that virile strength and a full range of emotions you don't normally get to see otherwise.

For MSN's list of hot World Cup stars, check out this link.

No, I can't be bothered to check up images. Well, maybe Cristiano Ronaldo. And Socceroo Tim Cahill - red card or no red card. And that hot midfielder and potential playmaker in Zidane's footsteps from France- Yoann Gourcuff.

Calling all cougars!

samedi, juin 12, 2010


In 2004, I remember how Rooney exploded into the Euro Cup scene and had everyone including tennis champions and movie stars alike talking football. So naturally, Rooney mania in 2006 built up to a frenzy until he was terribly injured and the headlines turned from his goals to his oxygen chamber aided recovery. By the time World cup 2006 came around, Cristiano Ronaldo had overshadowed Rooney's fast and furious play.

I am secretly hoping that Rooney gets to shine at this World Cup. Tonight though, US marks him as their most tightly kept prisoner. And a fumbled keeper save almost ruined the World Cup for me.

We'll see what happens next.


For the die-hard England fans, the WORLD CUP 2010 begins tonight.

The Sun:
Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday called Capello, 63, the most important man in the country. But the Italian smiled: "No, no. I'm a normal man ... but my job is important at this moment because the World Cup is important for the country, the fans, but also for me.
It's fantastic, it's exciting and it's a tough job. You can feel that, behind you, you have a whole country. You have to live for one month with policemen, Press conferences every day, TV, everything at every moment. You switch on the television and it's all about the World Cup. There is really strong pressure from the media and everything. We have to live with this pressure. It's not easy. But I try and we try."

Pretty much how all of us feel as we lay in suspense for tonight's clash.

mardi, juin 08, 2010

Remembering Bhopal

I can't recall what I did on 7th December 1984. I was in Ottawa and most likely it was a cold wintry day. However, I was clearly troubled by the news, troubled enough to write this poem:

Why did those thousand of people
Have to choke and gasp for air
That tragic day down in Bhopal
The news goes on, do we care?

As one staggered down the streets
Trying to keep on his feet
Struggling for the painful last breath
Surrendering into the arms of Death

Innocent, unknowingly children
In panic, not knowing where to turn
Though poor, once had their own games
The laughter, now forgotten days...

Did any of them have any notion
Did they live to the fullest the day before
Cyanide stopping enzymes in action
Death seeping through those thin doors

And maybe among those in fear
Are the one who loses less than life
Well, this is an unfortunate year
Lets plan ahead with better dice

Dice indeed, for risky chance
Right before our promising future
Around us comfort and Christmas'
Blocks out the bare, ugly picture

Man's progress, man's mistake
Who's to blame, how can one pay
As those in need, queue up in thousands
Oh, when will men learn...

Palestine - the 21st century holocaust

I am thinking about the men and women who inspired me when I was a child, wondering why Christina Aguilera sounds like Donna Summer and visualising Melaka in 1262.

And remembering the terror of Bhopal 1984.

But before I move on to these meandering thoughts of mine - I face this reality. I can slip away while I am seated at this very same spot and imagine for a while that there will be a day when bulldozers and dehumanised commandos are no longer killing terrorised civilians living on a strip of a land called Gaza. I did not have to resign while I rant and rave about how I really feel about the Palestine issue. I can smile while I hear my daughter playing La Vie En Rose on the piano.

Not so the children of Gaza.

And yet, there seems to be light at the end of the VERY long and narrow tunnel. Egypt seems to be buckling under humanitarian pressure. Erdogan is following up on his immediate reaction, ensuring those who listen that this was not merely a knee-jerk reaction.

Let's keep up the pressure.

Signing off.

lundi, juin 07, 2010

Buah Kurma dari Gaza

Ku ingatkan kurma dari Gaza
Rupanya kurma muda kelat
Ku ingatkan semua sehati sejiwa
Rupanya berkecamuk seluruh umat

Rupanya kurma muda kelat
Tak tertelan di kerongkong
Rupanya berkecamuk seluruh umat
Tak terlawan Palestin di kongkong

Tak tertelan kurma di kerongkong
Minumlah zam zam dari Mekah
Tak terlawan Palestin dikongkong
Subhanallah, Subhanallah!

Read about the move towards economical embargo against Israel here , here and and have your say here.

mardi, juin 01, 2010


In the wake of Israel's recent bold and provocative attack against the flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza, the world reacts with anger and disbelief at the audacity of Israel. No one is surprised that Israel uses the same lame blame game "They attacked first". Of course, only Israel commandos expect people to stand still with their head down while being attacked without provocation. It is a lesson learnt from the cruel Holocaust days - it's a ghetto thing.

Let us not kid ourselves anymore about the Middle East conflict. There is no such thing - it is a clever camouflage and ruse to mislead the world from the real truth - the lawlessness of the Israel regime, which has its hand in the cookie jar of 'License to plunder bon-bons', 'Midnight Invasion Surprise' and 'Turkish Delight Disaster'. Many express frustration through all channels, one of which can be located on Facebook.

However, the outpouring grief and at times emotional rantings without understanding how Israel has managed to keep the world at ransom will not achieve the change and justice we desire. We have to understand the history and chain of significant events, see here, here and here - in order to make significant and intelligent efforts to break away from this political impasse.

Israel was established as an independent state in 1948. Let us examine how this came about after 3000 years of exile of the Jews.

Amidst persecution and oppresion by the Pharaoh, Moses and his Jew followers were driven out from Egypt. Circa 135 AD, the Romans exiled the Jews from Jerusalem and renamed it Palaestina or Philistine Syria. About five centuries later, in 638 AD, Khalifah Umar conquered Jerusalem and the Jews and Christians - the people of the book - were allowed to practice their religions subject to certain conditions including having to pay taxes. They were neither exiled, nor forced to change their religion, and they were mostly free in their choice of lifelihood. They were even allowed to intermarry with Muslims. This was in keeping with the Prophet Muhammad's SAW actions when he returned to Mecca. This went on until the 1900s Jerusalem became holy to Muslims as it is believed that Nabi Muhammad S A W ascended to heaven after a miraculous overnight ride from Mecca on his horse Al-Buraq. The al-Aqsa mosque was built on the site.

Steadily, worldwide, the reputation of the Jews suffered over the centuries. In the 17th century for example, Shakespeare painted a lasting and vivid picture of a greedy revengeful Jew in Shylock form his play The Merchant Of Venice. In comparison, there was a fascination with the Arabs in particular Egypt. Arabs were well respected as thinkers, poets and scientists.

The Jews continued to emigrate far and wide across the globe. Palestine was under the Ottoman Empire rule. A brief history of this period can be found here and here. After almost two millennia of being homeless, the modern Zionist movement was born in the late 19th century as a response to the growing world-wide anti-semitism. Zionism grew rapidly and became the dominant force among Jewish political movements. Journalist Theodor Herzl in the late 19th century published the book Der Judenstaat which spurred Zionism further.

The movement mainly sought to encourage Jewish migration to Palestine - this is fundamental - their belief is that Palestine is a Jew's given right of citizenry, and not by birth in actual Palestine. Major aspects of the Zionist idea are represented in the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

To understand how unreasonable this is, imagine if all Muslims in the world believed that Mecca and Arab Saudi was their birthright and claimed citizenship. Or all Catholics believe that it is their birthright to be citizens of the Vatican City.

The end of World War I was a time of negotiations for the spoils of war. Britain was entrusted with Palestine in view of establishing a Jewish state. However, Britain stopped short of taking decisive action when the Arabs made a strong appeal. During World War II however, Hitler, after what seemed to be clear victory following his conquest of most of Europe including France, retaliated in anger when he was faced with the ingenuity and sheer will power of Winston Churchill who did not give in to the German assault and air raids. In retaliation, Hitler began an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Jews by first establishing the ghettos - a closed wall community suffocated by famine and shame and ultimately the ghetto survivors faced death in the gas chambers, the Holocaust. In the aftermath of WWII and inparticular the Holocaust, the Zionist were eventually successful their campaign to pressure the world, especially Britain and finally established Israel on 14th May 1948.

As a result, some some 700,000 Arab refugees were displaced due to the 1948 Palestinian exodus and subsequently, Israel began to claim more and more territories from the original borders. Numerous border clashes between Israel and its Arab neighbours created uprising tension in the region.

The Six-Day War of June 5–10, 1967 was a war between Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Israel claimed Egypt started the attack. The Arab countries denied planning to attack Israel, and asserted that Israel's strike was not preemptive but an unwarranted and illegal act of aggression. At the war's end, Israel had gained control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The fate of Palestine was sealed after this decisive victory. The Arabs never recovered from this defeat despite having been thriumphant in many of the earlier campaigns until Israel actually requested a ceasefire.

Today it is estimated that there are 13 million Jews worldwide, out of which 5.6 million live in the United Stateds and 5.3 million live in Israel. Therefore the Jews are about 0.2% of the world population. Remember, there is an estimated 1.57 billion Muslims in the world which makes up about 23% of the world population. (Refer here) Sufferance are in many forms and the Muslims have their own share of plights. But the blame game is not the way of a Muslim. We take responsibility for our actions as this is the basis of our relationship with our Maker. We will be punished for our wrong-doings and rewarded for our good deeds.

Not so with the Zionist. They cry out like little children - YOU OWE US! For all their sufferings and shame throughout the centuries at the hands of by mad men like Hitler - and the children of Palestine and the like are made to pay.


12th October 2012

I would like to add the thoughts of a Rabbi I just knew to this post so that anyone reading this can have a balanced viewpoint. I do not agree with Rabbi Avi in everything, I still believe with all my heart that what is happening in Gaza is atrocious, which the Rabbi acknowledges - but I know that this is a matter people of different religions have different viewpoints and historical claims. In the end we are all humans - and want the same things for our children - peace and choice.


By Avi Balser

The article is well written, but I would like to point out a few small errors in its logic.

It compares the concept of Jews feeling a "right" to Palestine as being crazy, since to apply that to Muslim all wanting to live in Makka or Saudi Arabia is cr
azy, or the Catholics all living in Vatican City is crazy.
However therein lies a major difference.

Islam and Christianity are religions which did enormous evangelizing, getting people from all over the world to convert to their two religions. For instance, the people of Indonesia or Malaysia are 100% Muslim, but have no "inherited" ties to Makkah or Saudi Arabia.

However, Judaism is NOT an evangelizing religion, and does not "recruit" new members. Sure, we accept the few who choose to join us, but the VAST MAJORITY of Jews around the world ARE direct decendents of the original Jews who were driven off their land which became known as Palestine, and other names, and disbursed around the world, where they reproduced, etc. But the Jews today, whether from Germany, US, Poland, Russia, England, Italy, Belgium, or Iran, all came from that original stock... and DO have "inherited" rights to that land...

So, the logic of the comparison to Islam or Christianity falls.

Yes, Muslims suffered also, not only Jews, that is a very legitimate statement. But is does not speak to the situation at hand. The Jews never persecuted the Muslims back in history... (other than the wrongs being done now with the Palestinians, which is truly sad and wrong)

Most of the trouble the Muslims went though over the past 14 centuries were from the Christians.... not the Jews.

Now, There is a very strong argument not made here too well, that the land did not really belong to England or the UN to "give" to the Jews to form the "State of Israel" ... and the Muslims living there for generations certainly should have been granted equality and full citizenship, and not have had property stolen from them, etc. I agree with that entirely, and 100% .. What the UK and the UN did was wrong, dead wrong. 

But try to also see it from the eyes of the Jewish refugees back in 1947 and 1948. There were told by the world, "This land is yours to build a Jewish state." The United Nations told this to them. They had just recently left as the leftovers who were not killed by the Nazis, and they clung to this promise from the UN... Their own land, their own country... finally no country can start a new holocaust and kill all Jews because they finally had a country, a tiny country, but a country of their own.

Now, yes, some of the Zionist politicians at the onset were not "nice people" ...but the refugees themselves were innocents. They thought this was truly their land. They believed the UN. 
Then, soon after the State was formerly declared, they were attacked from all sides by all their neighbors. They fought for survival, and barely won... after heavy loss of life, etc.
Yes, this war resulted in many Palestinian from Jordan now misplaced inside the new State of Israel... and Jordan did not let them go home to Jordan. So, Israel was "stuck" with them.... but they did not seem to be supportive of the new state, and understandably were felt to be hostile.
This really tough war had the Israelis shuddering in fear of the next war, and of having people inside their country on the side of the enemy.
Then, they sat down to establish their "democracy" and they realized that with all these new Palestinians who were stranded there by Jordan, if they all were given the right to vote, they just may form a voting block large enough to vote the Israeli Jews out of power.... and convert this new State of Israel to an Islamic State.
This was totally unacceptable to them... after sacrificing that many lives to protect that tiny country, the final "safe place" for them, there was no way they would allow themselves to go back to being Dhimmis in any form....
So, keeping them in separated sections, not citizens of the actual state, was a defensive move... self survival.

Now, I will say I do object strongly to how the Israelis treat the Palestinians. No matter what the fear, to turn around and mistreat the good Palestinian people was and is wrong. Horrible, in my book.
But we must also understand that there is another side.
The Israelis there now, have gone through 60+ years of conflicts and wars, including MANY terrorist attacks and suicide bombers attacking their civilians, women, children, elderly, anybody... like blowing up tour busses, inter city busses, pizza shops full of young people, and rockets fired on town from Gaza. They live in Fear every day and every night... just as the Palestinians do. There have been some bad-behaving people from both sides, who have kept the conflicts going on and on.

But, no matter how wrongly the origin of the State was, how wrong the UN was, the land was given to these people grandparents 60+ years ago.

To expect them to all disappear and go away, is just as silly and wrong.

We need to find a solution where Jew and Muslim live side-by-side again, with neither one controlling. I secular state, recognizing both religions' rights, and giving no preference to either. All the people, Jew or Muslim need to have full rights of citizenship, with ALL the rights which normally come with full citizenship... and some amount of significant reparation needs to be arranged to compensate people for land and homes that was stolen from their grandparents back in 1948, etc.

Jew and Muslim need to find a way to coexist, with mutual respect.

But none of this will happen while BOTH sides keep acting like mean bastards towards each other.

We all want a bilateral cease fire.

But maybe the first cease fire needs to be a cease fire from nasty rhetoric. Calling each other crazy, nasty names, and spreading hatred and fear is not productive, and is clearly the goal of Shaytan.
Every time we speak a mean word towards a Mulim or a Jew, we are following Shaytan, not Allah's will .... that's how I see it.

As far as I am concerned, if you believe in and are the servant of the One God, the ONLY God, I don't care if you are Sunni, Jew, or Shia, you are my brother and I love you.

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