Tag Archives: israel

The strange case of captain Lior Besalu

I received the following text and video from several sources over both WhatsApp and Facebook:

Filmación de rescatistas israelíes en Tailandia al mando del capitán Lior Besalu !! Aprecien la dificultadad paea ingresar y después salir con estos niños !! De los ochos israelíes tres son los que ingresaron en la cueva !!
La prensa no menciona nada de israelíes!! Hubo un protocolo de silencio en Tailandia para no revelar nacionalidades ya que lo más importante es rescatar a los niños!!

Which roughly translates to:

Film of the Israeli rescuers in Thailand under the command of Captain Lior Besalu! Appreciate the difficulty to enter and the exit with the kids!
The press does not mention anything about Israelis! There was a protocol of silence in Thailand in order to not reveal the nationalities size the most important is to rescue the children.

The original text in Spanish contains typos, poor grammar, and poor punctuation. It is of course about the recent ordeal in Thailand.  It is written as if someone had carelessly typed it on a phone.

Like the people who sent this to me, I would love for this beautiful tale of Israeli heroism to be true. But the whole thing smelled strongly of BS.

  • No sources, no credits
  • Clothing doesn’t match that from videos coming from trustworthy sources
  • The video is silent
  • It has a watermark “The Dudley”… what is that?
  • If you watch closely, you will see a partially credit at the end: “A Caver Keith Pr…” which is cut short by shoddy editing.

If the information is true, surely it can easily be found somewhere on  the Internet. A quick Google search for “Lior Besalu” reveals…

… a bunch of websites regurgitating the same exact snippet. Coincidence? No. Google is actually indexing the same tweet attached to all these articles through some automatic keyword based search.

This is, I believe, the original tweet:

And surprise… the first reply by the author apologizes for the video being unrelated.

Don’t keep reading replies unless you want to see stomach-turning antisemitism at its best!

It took me ten minutes to find the source of the video.

The people who sent me this are educated and trustworthy people that I respect. Yet the information is shared as-is without regard to its veracity. It takes one minute and a bit of common sense to verify things like this and stop the spread of misinformation, yet people don’t do it because they liked or agreed with the content in the first place so it must be true, right?

The tweet is less than 12 hours old and has already spread like wildfire. It’s all over Facebook too.

We know the video is completely bogus. We don’t know if the information is true but it probably isn’t. Does “Lior Besalu” even exist?

This flaw in human nature is easily exploitable, and has in fact been exploited in recent past. I won’t go into that. Just please confirm shit you see on Facebook, Tweeter, or WhatsApp before you share it, ok?

Update July 11, 2018: Fixed wording. Here’s a video from CNN talking about technology from an Israeli company used in the rescue. Thanks Elias! CNN, believe it or now, is a trustworthy source.

This week in terrorism

Europe, Charlie, and Hamas

While the European Union debates whether Hamas should be in their “terrorist organization” list, France is hit by two terrorist attacks from islamic extremists.

Hamas condemns the one where Jews were not directly targeted (Jews died in both) but not the one on the kosher supermarket. But then there’s a rally in Hamas-controlled Gaza “in support of French terrorists, Islamic State”.

Later in Israel, a terrorist stabs a bunch of people in Tel Aviv. Of course Hamas praises the attack as a “heroic and courageous act.”

Keep debating, Europe.

Bonus: Did you hear about the CNN anchor quitting over his intelligent tweets on the matter?

Argentina

Over twenty years after the horrific terrorist attack in AMIA, nothing has been solved yet even though it is widely known that the attack was perpetrated by Iran and Hezbollah and there’s evidence the Argentinian government was bribed to block the investigation. Now the Argentinian Prosecutor Alberto Nisman is found dead on the eve of eve of a congressional hearing. Suicide? Yeah right. More info.

It’s inconceivable that a government would work to protect those responsible for an attack on its territory that killed over 80 Argentinian citizens. But this is exactly what’s happening. Also, this happened this week in Argentina.

Depressing.

SXSW Start-Up Nation Israel Showcase & Networking Event

Not quite done with SXSW-related posts just yet.

Austin-20140310-01256
Very elegant, from left to right:
Myself (lead writer of this blog), Louise Kahn (lead singer of Terry Poison), Albert (lead singer of his shower), Jason (not a singer but quite a dancer), Anna Landesman (SynthGuitar and B-Vox). Photo-bombed by Jeff (lead founder of Vonage).

In the middle of SXSW Interactive, right before the music festival begins, I went to this event organized by the Government of Israel Economic Mission and Israel Bonds. There was food, drinks, music, and a bunch of interesting start ups showing off their work.

Israeli band Terry Poison played after the event. Really good show… the singer climbed on to every wall in the bar in her heels. Very daring.

Balkan Beat Box at Israel in the Gardens

Israel in the Gardens is a free event in San Francisco organized by the Jewish Community Federation every year. For 2012 it was two weeks ago. They brought Balkan Beat Box (seen before in The MKX®) as the main event!

Very good outdoors concert on a nice and sunny day!

Israel vs starving photoshopped models

A man walks past an advertisement displayed on a main street in Tel Aviv, Israel, on March 19, 2012.

Readers may remember (more likely not) my posture towards the use of Photoshop to alter the look of models.

Now Israel has passed a law that:

  1. Bans models with a BMI of 18.5 or less.
  2. Requires that agencies tell their audience if they’ve digitally altered pictures to make models look thinner.

Thankfully my current BMI leaves the door open for me to work as a model in Israel, shall the need arise (my current face and body are a different story).

I’m also glad this gives me an excuse to post an image of a bunch of Israeli models in bikini on my blog.

Eating in Israel

I recently came back from a two week trip to Israel. People are asking me what I did over there. In one word: eat.

I even made a list of the things I wanted to eat, and got to all of them except for one. Highlights of what I ate in pictorial form follow. It’s long so read more to see all. No explanation of what each thing is, so feel free to use Google.

For those who don’t care about what I eat and instead want to see what I do, you can also check the trip album in The MKX® Photo Central at no additional cost.

Shakshuka at... who else: Dr. Shakshuka (Jaffa)
Only once in the two weeks I was there I was able to eat schwarma, and only a few hours before flying.

Continue reading Eating in Israel

Photo of the day #38: Bibi and Abu Mazen sitting on a tree

K, I, S, S, I, N, G.

Yes, it’s fake. This is part of Benetton’s new UNHATE campaign. The Vatican is already raising a stink about it but you can see the photo here.
For more homoerotic fake photos of world leaders making out, go here.

 

The logic of the terrorist

A few days ago:

The group claimed responsibility for the rocket salvos, which came in response to the killing of five of its operatives who were gunned down by the IAF earlier on Saturday as they prepared to launch a Grad rocket at Israel. (link)

Which can also be read as:

We are shooting at you because you shot at us in order to prevent us from shooting at you.

Hit the link if the video embedded below does not work for you.

Austin Jewish Film Festival

Two movies I saw at the recent Austin Jewish Film Festival, both of them I recommend.

First, “Cohen On The Bridge”. Director Andrew Weinrib had unprecedented access to surviving hostages and commandos from Operation Entebbe. He assembled a fast paced 20 minute animated short with interviews in the background about the operation. The visuals are stunning and the story riveting. You can’t even blink. It was followed by a Q&A with the director that was equally interesting.

Director of Cohen on the Bridge Andrew Weinrib at a Q&A during the Austin Jewish Film Festival.

You can see the trailer here, but you may need Facebook access. This movie you must see. And a full length film is in the works.

Second, I saw “This is Sodom”, a movie by  the guys from Eretz Nehederet. This dumb comedy was a surprise record breaker in Israel and is actually really funny. Trailer below:

Reconsidering the Goldstone report

Richard Goldstone wrote an op-ed on the Washington Post called Reconsidering the Goldstone Resport on Israel and War Crimes. On it, there is no news: Israel is investing considerable resources investigating 400 or so allegations of misconduct from the report, while Hamas has done nothing of the sort – unsurprising since it was always clear that Hamas targeted civilians purposefully.

The sad part is that this editorial will not even get a fraction of the press that the original report received., but at least it’s being mentioned, even on Al-Jazeera. A lot of damage was done to Israel’s image because of the conclusions reached in the report and this retraction will not undo that. But you owe it to yourself to read the article on the Washington Post.