Chava Alberstein

Nos Sadwrn fe aethon ni i gyngerdd Chava Alberstein, cantores enwog o Israel yn y Barbican. Hi yw un o fy hoff gantoresau o Israel, ac mae'n canu yn Yidish (efallai hi yw'r unig un o sêr Israel i ganu yn Yidish) yn ogystal â Hebraeg. Roedd hi'n canu hen ffefrynnau a chaneuon o'i CD newydd End of the Holiday. Mae'r albwm newydd yn grêt, ac mae cyfweliad gyda hi yn y rhifyn newydd o Songlines.


Y Times

Erthygl wych yn y Times heddiw gan Julie Burchill:
"Anti-semitism can be as in-your-face as smashing up synagogues. But it can also be sly, sneaky, subtle and sometimes surreal. It must, in my opinion, go some way to explaining why Israeli human rights issues are so obsessively concentrated on, while many Arab and African countries are allowed to treat their citizens with as much subhuman sadism as they wish — the pregnant, raped women so frequently sentenced to death by stoning under Islamic regimes come immediately to mind, but the list is never-ending.
"In having one human rights rule for democratic Israel — which can be summed up as “Be perfect or we’ll come down on you like a ton of bricks” — and another for the dictatorships which surround it — “Do what you like to your people, it’s your culture!” — Whitey displays an interestingly sly bit of anti-Semitism which is also rather insulting to the said dictatorships and the people they lord it over. "


Holy Toast

I fi, mae'n edrych fel Marilyn Monroe, ond mae rhywun wedi gwerthu darn o dôst am $28,000 ar e-bay, gan honni taw llun o'r Forwyn Fair sy' arno.


Replacement Theology

Digwydd dod ar draws llyfr gyda'r teitl The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, gan Philip Jenkins, sy'n Athro yn Hanes ac Astudiau Crefyddol yn Pennsylvania State University. Yn y llyfr mae Jenkins yn trafod dyfodol Cristnogaeth yn y byd, ac hefyd yn sôn am berthynas Cristnogion gydag Iddewon a Mwslemiaid. Ers yr Ail Ryfel Byd mae mwyafrif o Gristnogion wedi troi eu cefnau at "Replacement Theology" - hynny yw, y syniad bod Cristnogaeth wedi cymryd lle Iddewiaeth, ac fod yr Eglwys yw'r "Israel newydd" - ac wedi bod yn weithgar iawn i wella'r perthynas gydag Iddewon. Mae Jenkins yn dweud bod y rhesymau am hynny yw'r euogrwydd yn deillio o'r Holocôst, a'r ffaith bod Cristnogion wedi methu gweithredu i stopio erchyllterau'r Natsiaid ac i achub Iddewon.
Ond nawr mae eglwyswyr a diwinyddwyr wedi bod yn gwneud y mathemateg: "Put in the crudest numerical terms, there are rather fewer than 20 million Jews in the world, compared to a billion Muslims ... By 2050, Muslims worldwide should outnumber Jews by over a hundred to one."
Mae "Replacement Theology" yn dod yn ffasiynol unwaith eto, ac mae'r perthynas rhwng Cristnogion ac Iddewon yn dechrau dangos y straen. Wrth gwrs, mae'n beth da bod Cristnogion yn trafod gyda Mwslemiaid i wella'r perthynas rhyngddynt - ond fe ddylen nhw gofio bod 'na fath o "Replacement Theology" yn Islam hefyd.



Ddoe roedd fy ngwraig, Viorica, i fod fynd mewn i'r ysbyty am lawdriniaeth i helpu'r circulation yn ei dwylo. Dros y cwpl o flynyddoedd diwetha' mae hi wedi bod mewn poen yn y gaea'. Ar ôl aros ger y ffôn drwy'r dydd, dyma'r ysbyty yn galw i ddweud nad oedd gwely gwag ar gael - a chafodd y llawdriniaeth ei gohirio. Wrth gwrs mae lot o bobl yn cael profiadau gwaeth na hynny ac yn gorfod byw mewn poen mawr gan fod ei operations wedi cael ei canslo. Ond roedd yn siom iddi orfod aros yn ofer fel hyn.
Darllen heddiw am anthem newydd gan Billy Bragg - fersiwn newydd o "I vow to thee my country". Yn y papur newydd roedd yr hen eiriau ar ochr fersiwn BB. Mae yr hen un, gyda geiriau gan Cecil Spring-Rice, yn gân teimladwy sy'n trio rhoi aberthau milwyr y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf mewn cyd-destun crefyddol. Mae'n swnio'n hen-ffasiwn erbyn hyn - sôn am aberth dros eich gwlad ac ati. Ond mae fersiwn Bragg yn swnio yr un mor hen-ffasiwn, ac yn drymach hefyd. Mae sosialaeth wedi hen farw - diolch byth.


Marwolaeth Pen Bandit

Trist iawn, very sad. Y dyn a ysbrydodd Bin Laden wedi marw o "mystery illness" yn Paris. Darllenwch am ei fywyd yma.
Hefyd, erthygl rhagorol gan Caroline Glick yn y Jerusalem Post am Arafat, gyda sylwadau am ei phrofiad o fod mewn trafodaethau gyda'r Awdurdod Palesteinaidd:

Column One: Plus ça change?
Nov. 12, 2004
Suha Arafat's rant against leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Yasser Arafat's heirs apparent was revealing in many ways. On a basic level, it showed much about the nature of the PA and the PLO which Arafat has built and led. Arafat's wife, who had been estranged from him more or less since they were married, has thrown down the gauntlet. Her beef with everyone is over the loot that Arafat amassed over all these years – money he made by bilking the international community for aid and shaking down Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and around the Arab world for pay-offs. She wants the money – estimated at somewhere in the neighborhood of $6.5 billion – and she wasn't going to let her brain-dead hubby be taken off the feeding tube until she got it.
For their part, everyone from Mahmoud Abbas to Ahmed Qurei to Saeb Erekat on down Arafat's food chain is suddenly protesting. The money, they say, belongs to the Palestinian people and therefore, they, not she, should be given the codes to the secret bank accounts where Arafat stashed it (after he stole it from the Palestinian people – which they don't say).
From all of this we have an admission that the house that Yasser built, in addition to being the world's richest terrorist organization, is a criminal syndicate.
This is important because, while Arafat and the PLO had been lauded by Europe and the international Left for decades as revolutionaries, at the end of the day what they were was – and still is – a den of thieves. Of course we knew this all along. During the negotiations with the PLO in the roaring Nineties, the only time the Palestinian negotiators would truly get bent out of shape was when the discussions turned to money.
When Israel tried to prevent Arafat's money launderer, Muhammad Rashid, from taking control of revenues from sales tax on cigarettes and fuel, he flew off the handle. In the midst of negotiations, Rashid (whom Arafat trusted, because as an ethnic Kurd, he has no ability to build up his own power base in the PLO) stood up and threw a chair across the negotiating table. This he did while accusing the young Israeli negotiator (me) of insulting the national honor of the Palestinian people for mentioning that the revenues weren't supposed to go to Arafat's secret account at Bank Leumi in Tel Aviv, but to the Palestinian Ministry of Finance. Rashid, like Qurei, Abbas, Muhammad Dahlan, Jamil Tarifi, Nabil Shaath, Jibril Rajoub and others, made clear to his Israeli "peace partners" that what he really needed was control over resources. This, they all said, would maintain stability in the Palestinian territories.
For their part, Israeli negotiators, like their American counterparts, looked patronizingly at their corrupt Palestinian friends. They believed that Palestinian corruption was good for Israel. If the warlords were kept fat, so the thinking went, law and order in the territories would be ensured – at least to the extent that Israelis would be prevented from getting killed.
Since the PLO was Israel's putative peace partner, no one batted a lash when the PLO announced and rapidly enacted its policy of killing every Palestinian who had ever cooperated with Israeli security forces. Israel did nothing but launch meaningless protests when, in its first order of business, the PA announced the "legislation" of a "law" whereby any Palestinian who sold land to Jews would be killed.
Why did Israel need moderate, peaceful Palestinians who for years had stuck out their necks to help Israel, when it had the PLO? Why should Israel worry about these "collaborators" when it had the real McCoy in its pocket in the guise of Arafat and his lieutenants, embraced by one and all as the "sole legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people?"
The problem with this plan was also revealed in Suha's on-air fit. Suha claimed that all of Arafat's men were trying to bury him alive (neat trick since he was already dead, but whatever). Suddenly they all decried her and spoke of their loyalty to Arafat's path and legacy and insisted that they would never dream of trying to step into his shoes.
When Hamas and Islamic Jihad came out with their warning that they would not tolerate Arafat's lieutenants trying to tell them what to do, they were essentially making the same statement as Screamin' Suha. Arafat, they claimed, had legitimacy with their organizations because of his importance as a "symbol" of the Palestinian people. Since none of Arafat's cronies had been elevated to the level of "symbol," they had no reason to listen to them or accept their leadership. So all of Arafat's men in the PLO, again, began a mad dance of explaining that Arafat's legacy is their legacy and that they won't depart from his path.
And here we get to the crux of the issue. Arafat's men – from Qurei to Abbas to Farouk Kadoumi and even to MK Ahmed Tibi – owe their positions in the world to the fact that they were integral parts of Arafat's regime. It wasn't just Arafat that Israel insanely brought into Judea, Samaria and Gaza (and Israel) in 1994, but the entire terrorist and corrupt regime of the PLO. Though Arafat's death has finally been announced, his regime will remain.
In their usual vacuous and ridiculous style, Israeli pundits, experts and politicians have been mouthing off over the past week about Israel using the opportunity of Arafat's death to strengthen the "reformist" elements in the PA. Fat chance of that working. There are no "reformist" elements in the PA. And anyone inside the PA who would dare speak of making changes to the way things are done would immediately be attacked, if not murdered, for daring to question Arafat's legacy.
We have only to look to Nabil Amr, the PLO member and representative of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who dared to attack Arafat in July for the PLO's corruption. He got shot in the leg and is now getting fitted for a prosthetic limb in Europe. And this happened while Arafat was still in charge. Imagine what will happen now that the "Martyred President" has finally been declared dead.
If Abbas or Qurei – Jerusalem and Washington's favorites to inherit Arafat's helm – try to cut a deal with Israel, or in any way take action against the PLO militias or Hamas or Fatah or Islamic Jihad, they will be immediately murdered. Not, of course, that they would try to take any action to rein in or disarm the terrorists. They side with the terrorists, because they are and always have been terrorists themselves. This is how they got their positions and retained them all these years at Arafat's side.
The point is that without a regime change in Palestinian society, Arafat's legacy will survive. And, as Suha's screeching statement makes clear, that legacy is both criminal and terrorist.
On the criminal side, we have the division of the stolen monies between the chief thieves. If anyone expects these men to suddenly become financially transparent, he is purposely misleading himself.
And on the terrorist side, we have the legacy of the so-called "armed struggle" against Israel. The aim of this struggle will remain, in the aftermath of Arafat's funeral, precisely what it has always been: not the establishment of a peaceful Palestinian state next to Israel, but the destruction of the Jewish state.
If something doesn't give, we can expect that nothing will change now that Arafat's dead and soon-to-be buried. Our enlightened "peace" supporters on the Left have already begun exhorting the government to help our Palestinian enemies – like Abbas and Qurei – while ignoring our Palestinian friends, whom we can barely find anymore, because so many of them have been killed that the ones who still draw breath are afraid to come forward.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has for the past three and a half years followed a policy of vilifying Arafat while leaving his regime untouched, will likely continue on this devastating course. The Europeans, together with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, are claiming that now that Arafat is out of the picture, there is no discrepancy between the Bush administration, Elysee Palace and 10 Downing Street on the Palestinian issue.
There is only one glimmer of hope in all of this. And it comes from Washington.
In his first press conference after being reelected, US President George W. Bush referred not to the road map, but to his speech from June 24, 2002, as the basis of his Middle East policy. In that speech, Bush said, "I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror. I call upon them to build a practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty."
The president went on to call for economic transparency and an end to official corruption of the PA. If Bush intends to stand by his statement now that Arafat is dead, then so long as Israel's Left doesn't wreck his plan, there is for the first time an opportunity to change the way things are done around here. The only chance this has, however, is if there is a true Palestinian regime change and the PLO goes the way of Arafat.

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1100147302994&p=1006953079897
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Copyright 1995-2004 The Jerusalem Post - http://www.jpost.com/


Ffrijys ac ati

Fe aeth y wraig, Viorica, ar drip dau-ddiwrnod ddydd Gwener a Sadwrn diwetha'. Roedd y trip yn rhan o'i chwrs "Building Conservation" yn yr Architectural Association - yn ymweld â hen eglwysi ac ati rhywle yng nghefn gwlad Lloegr. Fe gafodd hi bas gyda dau stiwdant arall, ond yn anffodus dyma hi'n mynd yn sâl yn y car. Erbyn iddi gyrraedd adre' nos Sadwrn roedd hi'n edrych fel rhywbeth left-over o barti Calan Gaeaf! Creadures.
Roedd hi'n dal yn welw ar y Sul, pan ddaeth Ken a Christina aton ni i ginio. Maen nhw'n cyn-cydweithwyr o fy ngwraig (y ddau yn dod o Hong Kong) ac 'dyn ni'n cwrdd o dro i dro i fwyta bwyd Chineaidd. Mae Ken yn meddwl am brynu fflat fach yn Llundain (fflat un lloft) - mae'n gallu fforddio prynu un am ryw £140,000, ond mae'n anodd ffeindio rhywbeth am y pris 'na yn Llundain. Fe dreiodd fy ngwraig i'w berswadio fe i brynu yn ein ardal ni - ond 'dyn ni byw i'r De o'r afon, ac mae Ken yn edrych yn amheus iawn o fentro byw yma. Peryg bywyd.
Mae ein hen ffrij ni wedi mynd ers rhai wythnosau nawr, ac ers hynny 'dyn ni wedi bod yn defnyddio drinks cooler yn lle'r oergell. Felly, ddydd Gwener diwetha', dyma fi'n ordro ffrij newydd ar y We (o Comet). Os bydd popeth yn iawn, fe fydd y fridge-freezer yn cyrraedd bore dydd Iau. Mae'r wraig yn honni fy mod i'n mynd i'w llenwi â chwrw a hufen iâ. How little she knows me.



Ar 29 Hydref, pan gafodd Yassir Arafat ei symud mewn i helicopter ar ddechrau ei daith i ysbyty yn Paris, fe gafodd sylwedyddion eu taro gan y ffaith fod cyn lleied o bobl oedd o gwmpas i ffarwelio â'r hen ddyn ― yn ôl y Daily Telegraph 'barely a hundred onlookers, mostly young men,' a sylwodd y Chicago Tribune fod 'the most conspicuous reaction to Arafat's dramatic departure... was the virtual silence that greeted it.'
Efallai Palesteiniaid cyffredin, ar ôl blynyddoedd o arweinyddiaeth llygredig a methiannus yn dangos eu difaterwch ynglyn a salwch Arafat.
Ar y llaw arall, mae'n ddiddorol nodi ymateb personol gohebydd y BBC yn y Lan Orllewinol, Barbara Plett: "Foreign journalists seemed much more excited about Mr Arafat's fate than anyone in Ramallah... [W]here were the people, I wondered, the mass demonstrations of solidarity, the frantic expressions of concern?"
A wedyn: "when the helicopter carrying the frail old man rose above his ruined compound, I started to cry... without warning." [darllenwch neu wrandewch i'r adroddiad - 5:30 tu mewn i'r sioe].
Mae datguddiad Plett o'i chysylltiad emosiynol gyda Yassir Arafat yn gydnabyddiaeth glir o'i safbwynt yn y gwrthdaro rhwng Israel a'r Palesteiniaid. Mae ei geiriau yn atgoffa rhywun o eiriau Fayad Abu Shamala, gohebydd y BBC yn Gaza, a gyhoeddodd mewn rali Hamas ym Mai 2001: 'Journalists and media organizations [are] waging the campaign shoulder-to-shoulder together with the Palestinian people.'
Beth mae hynny yn dweud am y BBC pan maen nhw'n cyflogi gohebion gyda cysylltiadau emosiynol neu ideolegol i un ochr o'r gwrthdaro?
Rwy wedi anfon ebost at Ombwdsman y BBC, Malcolm Balen: malcolm.balen@bbc.co.uk


Ydy Arafat yn dioddef o AIDS?

Mae Arafat yn dioddef o "mystery illness" - rhyw fath o glefyd y gwaed sy'n niweidio ei immune system. Mae e wedi colli pwysau - efallai cymaint a 1/3 o'i body weight. Mae hefyd yn dioddef o "intermittent mental dysfunction". On'd ydy hynny yn swnio fel AIDS?
Amser maith yn ôl fe glywes i gan rywun gyda ffynonellau yng ngwasanaethau cudd Israel bod Arafat yn hoff iawn o fechgyn. Ar y pryd roeddwn i'n amau cywirdeb hyn.
Ond yna roedd cyn-arweinydd gwasanaethau cudd Romania Ion Pacepa yn dweud yn ei hunangofiant Red Horizon bod regime Ceaucescu wedi recordio Arafat yn cael orgies gyda'i ddynion gwarchod. Os yw'n wir, mae gan Arafat lot i guddio oddi wrth ei bobl.
Cyn symud Arafat i Baris, Gweinidog Tramor Ffrainc, Michel Barnier, wedi addo i “sefyll wrth ei ochr”. Oedd hynny pam dewisodd Arafat gael ei drin yn Ffrainc, yn hytrach nag yn unrhyw wlad Arabaidd sy'n cefnogi ei fudiad – gan ei fod e'n gallu trystio'r Ffrancwyr i gadw ei gyfrinachau agos?


Plentyn 'di gladdu

Nos Sadwrn aethon ni i'r Lyttelton Theatre i weld y ddrama Buried Child, gan Sam Shepard. Roedd yr actor Americanaidd, M. Emmet Walsh, yn chwarae rhan Dodge - patriarch teulu sy'n treulio'i amser yn eistedd ar hen soffa ac yn yfed. Mae fferm y teulu, a'r teulu ei hunan, yn dadfeilio. Mae'r ddrama yn dywyll, ond eto gyda llinellau doniol. Roedd yr actorion i gyd yn wych. Posted by Hello