July 2002 Archives

Not Anti-Semitism,....

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A small item from today's Ha'aretz:

Einstein exhibit in China foiled by his Judaism

BEIJING - Israel has canceled a planned exhibit in China on Albert Einstein after Chinese officials demanded the removal of references to his being Jewish and a supporter of creating a Jewish state, an Israeli spokesman said yesterday. The incident adds to diplomatic strains that date back to Israel's decision two years ago to call off a deal to sell Beijing a sophisticated airborne radar system. China has also openly criticized recent Israeli attacks in Palestinian territories. (AP)

P.S. Combustible Boy has more on this and other recent non-anti-Semitic incidents.

Adil's Back!!

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For anyone stopping by who hasn't yet gotten the word, Muslim Pundit has finally resumed blogging after his extended hiatus and he's back with a blockbuster post on one of my favorite topics, the true meaning of Jihad. I've spent quite a bit of time lately searching both the web and more traditional sources for an exposition of this caliber and comprehensive scope and haven't even come close.

Apologists from the "Jihad = inner striving" contingent, beware! Adil makes mincemeat out of this drivel and he dots every "i" and crosses every "t" in the process. Don't miss it.

Brown

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For quite some time now, Charles Johnson has been pointing out the ubiquitous appearance of Baby Wipes in practically every photo of Yassir Arafat. Well, I think I know what they're for: to wipe the mouths of those sycophants who, when they aren't facing a camera offering lame justifications for the murderous ramages perpetrated by palestinians, are, shall we say, sipping from the font of Arafat's posterior.

Case in point: Edward Abington, who must go through a box of Wipes daily, was just on Fox News commenting on the bombing of a Hebrew University cafeteria in which, so far, 7 are known to be dead and dozens, including American students, injured. Abington's first response:

It's a terrible event, obviously, but it's entirely predictable.

OK, and the reason for this, of course, is that Israel, for no reason at all, assassinates innocent palestinian terrorist masterminds. Here's the "cycle of violence," according to Edward Abington:

Israel assassinates someone, and then Hamas retaliates.

Notice the sequence. Nothing precedes these assassinations. They're just Israel's idea of an interesting way to spend an afternoon. And then, of course, there must be a response to such an outrageous act, such lack of concern for human life, such arbitrary violence as the extermination of a mass murderer. So a bunch of college students get blown to smithereens while they're eating lunch.

According to Abington, it's all Sharon's fault (although he doesn't really believe that we should be assigning blame here). Arafat, after all, has been making a total good faith, 1000% effort to stop the killing of Israeli civilians. The Israelis just won't give him a chance to make it work. So they shouldn't be surprised when "things like this" happen. And guess what? If Israel has the bad sense to retaliate for this bombing in any way, it will happen again. So says Edward Abington.

I just got back from vacation. I'm so mad I can't hit the right keys. I should probably take a walk around the block before publishing this. But I think I won't bother. It wouldn't help.

A few weeks ago, Meryl suggested politely that anti-Semites should "Eat shit and die." To Edward Abington, I say, you're obviously halfway there. Why stop now?

I'll be back

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My computer and I must part company for a few days, but I'll be back sometime next week.

In the meantime, I really want to say Thanks! for the amazingly warm welcome you've all given me. I'm truly overwhelmed by the good wishes, links, favorable mentions and very helpful advice I've received in the past several days. And that goes double for Meryl and Michael, who've both gone way beyond the call with their support and encouragement. It's nice to be here.

Pssssst! Don't forget to pledge!

Egypt's Mufti has changed his mind about 9/11

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Mufti Al-Tayyeb: "All the Muslims, and the Arab world, rejected and condemned the event, because they wouldn't want it to happen to them, so they don't want it to happen to others. We say this because Islam prohibits such attacks on peaceful civilians. But the truth is that our feelings have changed somewhat, or considerably, because we have discovered that the American administration used this event [i.e. September 11] as a pretext to cause damage, killing, and exile throughout the entire Islamic world – and I refer primarily to Afghanistan and Palestine. Today, we still read in the Western [newspapers] that the perpetrator [of the September 11 attacks] cannot be determined with certainty, yet it was claimed from the first moment that Osama bin Laden was responsible!"

MEMRI has the lowlights of Al-Tayyeb's July 15 interview [Arabic] with the Egyptian Islamic website www.lailatalqadr.com.

Sheikh Al-Tayyeb is, of course, one of those leading Egyptian clerics who have recently endorsed suicide bombings. And the rest of the interview is also fascinating, with subject lines such as: "Israelis Might Have Done It," "What the Palestinians Do Is Not a Crime" and, my favorite, "On Freedom, Women's Rights and Art."

From the mouth of the Mufti of Egypt, another of our "partners in peace."

Please Pledge!Just a reminder that

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Please Pledge!

Just a reminder that there are only a few days left before Blogathon 2002. Please support Meryl Yourish (who's blogging for Shaare Zedek Medical Center) and Laurence Simon (who's blogging for Magen David Adom), as well as any of the dozens of other dedicated bloggers who'll be working their minds and fingers to the bone this Saturday, July 27, in support of very worthwhile causes.

Thank you.

And lest we forget...

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With all this talk of refugees and 194 and whether the Saudi "peace plan" does or does not call for the "right of return," it's easy to lose track of the fundamentals behind the sound bites. So here, for those of us who can always use a little memory refresher from time to time, is the actual language pertaining to refugees in UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) (December 11, 1948):

The General Assembly,

Having considered further the situation in Palestine,

.....11. Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;

Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations;.....

It's important to remember that Israel has never accepted the legitimacy of this non-binding resolution and that it was specifically omitted from both the Oslo Accords and the Declaration of Principles. Instead, refugee issues were to be part of the permanent status negotiations to be conducted at the successful conclusion of the now-defunct Oslo process.

Why has Israel so steadfastly resisted application of this Resolution? Well, it's clear that the "return" to Israel of millions of Arab Palestinians would quickly tilt the demographics in such a way as to bring an end to any semblance of a Jewish state -- at least a democratic one. It's not going to happen. On the other hand, the following quote from Fattah's official website, written during the Netanyahu administration, seems to propose the use of the "right of return" as a negotiating tool rather than a real goal. Or does it?

To us, the refugees issue is the winning card which means the end of the Israeli state. They have, therefore, refused to solve it this way. Meanwhile, we should not seek negotiable solutions. And as we see netiniaho up the tree, we should neither help him down nor send him a safeguardrope. Adherence to the principle regarding the refugee issue and Jerusalem is what may enable us to exercise pressure in the future to remove settlements. Netiniaho is trying to expedite solving the three issues in order to impose his own solution. Our real power rests in our abiding the PLO which together with the cabinet will not resume negotiations unless a real revolutions in the settlement principle takes place and settling in Abu Ghuneim Mount [Har Homa] is stopped. Thus, we will kill two important birds in one stone.

The status of Jerusalem is negotiable and resolution 225 states that it is an occupied land. Besides, settlements, including Abu Ghuneim, are built on occupied lands and should therefore be removed. As we should not agree on leaving the settlements where they are, we cannot impose the return of the huge number of the refugees. But we can utilize the refugees' card politically to establish the independent Palestinian states in the territories occupied in 1967. The transitory solution of the refugees issue in the future is through confederation with Jordan. I visualize the future in establishing a democratic state by peaceful means. This will come true when the Zionist illusion comes to an end, the thing that has begun to occur in the Labor Party and Merits. To Netiniaho, on the other hand, Zionism has witnessed resurrection, and we consequently need the support o other Israelis to wage a new war against Zionism if they want to live peacefully in the Arab and Islamic context......

The gist of this article seems to be that, regardless of how many "refugees" actually "return," Israel must abandon its character as a Jewish state if it is ever to "live peacefully in the Arab and Islamic context." And that, I think, is the ultimate bottom line.

Boycott Wisdom

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This gem from the December 7, 2001 issue of Ha'aretz, a major Israeli daily, is reproduced in the Summer 2002 Middle East Quarterly (an excellent publication, I might add). It's worth reading now in light of the renewed boycott activity by the likes of Mona Baker, et al. I have no idea if it's true. But even if it's allegorical, it says a lot about the general mindset (i.e., generally mindless) of the boycott lemmings. (Here, by the way, is another example.)

Hard of Hearing in Hebrew

The "Alternative Nobel Prize for Peace" has been awarded in Sweden to Rachel and Uri Avneri for their activity in the left-wing Gush Shalom ("Peace Bloc") organization. It's an "alternative" award because its sponsors maintain that the official prize is awarded to the candidate who has the most powerful lobby behind him.

So it came as quite a surprise when one left-leaning Swedish paper announced that it had decided to boycott the alternative Nobel and not to mention it by so much as a word or even by allusion. The paper's editor explained that while the Avneris deserve the prize, it was totally hypocritical to award it, on the same occasion, to George Bush and Ariel Sharon as well -- the fomenters of war in Afghanistan and the occupied territories, respectively.

Had the alternative prize committee decided to be as conventional as the awarders of the real Nobel? Not quite. Hebrew, as everyone knows, is not in widespread use in Sweden. When the editor of the paper in question was told over the phone that the prize was going to "Gush Shalom and the Avneris," he heard "Bush, Sharon and the Avneris." Outraged, he decided to boycott the ceremony.

Oooops!

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OK, well, my e-mail address over there on the right has now been, um, fixed. Sorry about that. I wasn't trying to duck you. Really!

Update

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Today's Forward has an article on left-wing Jewish support for Cynthia McKinney. Groups mentioned include: Bubbes and Zaydes for Peace in the Middle East, Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel and, of course, Tikkun.

Among the highlights:

Beloved by many on the left as a firm defender of minority rights, aid for Africa and pro-labor views, McKinney came to Congress 1992 with the help of local Jewish supporters, including Atlanta consultant Jules Stine.

But the relationship gradually grew more and more strained. In 1994, the House considered a resolution condemning the incendiary speech of the late Nation of Islam representative Khalid Muhammad. McKinney, arguing that the move would impinge on the freedom of speech, refused to support the measure. Two years later her father and then-campaign manager, Billy McKinney, called the congresswoman's Republican challenger "a racist Jew." McKinney eventually criticized her father after an uproar in the community and he excused himself from the campaign, but the damage had been done, observers said.

Last October, after New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani returned a $10 million gift to the city from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal after the prince criticized Israel in published comments, McKinney issued a public letter supporting the prince, asking that he donate the money to black charities. In an April radio interview, McKinney called for an investigation into whether President Bush might have had prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks and looked to profit from them.

In May, along with Hilliard, McKinney was one of 5 members of the 36 voting members of the Congressional Black Caucus to vote against a pro-Israel resolution that put the bulk of the blame for the conflict on the Palestinians. McKinney said the measure would "undermine America's vital role as peacemaker.... While I support a safe and secure Israel, I also share the concerns of millions of Americans that Palestinians too deserve to live in freedom, dignity, and security."

"People ask me whether she's antisemitic — it's more that she's pro-Palestinian," said Deborah Lauter, Southeast regional director at the Anti-Defamation League. "I don't think she's crossed the line."

Lauter pointed out that McKinney supported a July 9 House resolution condemning European antisemitism, a measure which passed in a unanimous vote.

Oh, well then, let's support her by all means. She elected not to be the sole member of the House of Representatives to vote against a resolution condemning European antisemitism! Wow!

Okay, well, I get it (even if the ADL doesn't). She isn't really anti-Semitic, she's just anti-Israel. And she isn't really anti-Israel, she's just opposed to Israel trying to defend itself. And she isn't really opposed to Israel trying to defend itself, she's just opposed to Israel's use of arms, intimidation or inconvenience in doing so.

Keep zipping, Cynthia.

Tikkun: The word

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Tikkun: The word, in Hebrew, means repair. In the Jewish tradition, particularly as amplified in Jewish mysticism, it means no less than redemption, renewal, salvation, a making right of whatever is fundamentally wrong. It's ironic that this word has been appropriated by an organization that epitomizes some of the elements that are most fundamentally wrong in our world today -- Jewish anti-Semitism combined with the inability of the starry-eyed left to let reality interfere with their visions of sugarplums, even when it costs lives. Even when it costs lots of lives.

Girded with its lofty, politically correct rhetoric, Tikkun, under the leadership of "Rabbi" Michael Lerner, has been promoting its left-wing, universalist, touchy-feely version of Judaism for over 15 years. The fundamental principles upon which the organization is based, according to its "core vision" statement, are:

  1. INTERDEPENDENCE AND ECOLOGICAL SANITY
  2. A NEW BOTTOM LINE IN OUR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
  3. SUPPORTING THE STRUGGLES FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE AND PEACE
  4. PEACE, JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION FOR ISRAEL AND PALESTINE and
  5. A SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT

To appreciate what these principles mean, you really have to go and read the voluminous commentary that explains each one. Here's a good example, though, of the application of Tikkun's principles to Jewish ritual. The following is an excerpt from the Tikkun Haggadah supplement, to be read by those whose consciousness has been correctly raised at their Passover Seder (the ritual meal at which Jews tell the story of and celebrate their liberation from slavery in Egypt):

MAROR (the Bitter Herbs): One of the most radical messages of the Torah is that cruelty is not destiny. Though we tend to treat others the way that we ourselves were treated, the message of Torah is that the chain of pain can be broken—that we do not have to pass on to others what was done to us. One of the most frequently repeated injunctions in Torah are variants on the command: “When you come into your land, do not oppress ‘the Other’ (the stranger), remember that you were ‘the Other’ in the land of Egypt.” In fact, the Torah goes further and makes it an absolute categorical command: “Thou shalt love ‘the Other.’” Jewish people today are systematically violating this command. We celebrate this Seder at a moment when the Jewish people are acting as oppressors to another people—the Palestinians.

For all intents and purposes, we are the Pharoah of today. Israel has occupied and dominated the lives of over two million people for the past thirty-five years (the longest such occupation in the post-World War II period by any country on earth except for China in Tibet). We totally oppose the violence used by the Palestinians in their struggle for liberation—just as we would critique the violence used by Jews like former Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir in the days when they led the terrorist Irgun organization against British rule......

And the passage later goes on to exhort the participants to political activism:

We need to change the whole dynamic in the Jewish world from a narrow chauvinism and ethos of “goyim-bashing” to a recognition that we are one part of the human race, that our wellbeing depends on the well-being of everyone on the planet, and that if this generation of Jews merely seeks to align itself with American power and contemptuously ignore the needs of the Palestinian people, that future generations will face the wrath of the world.

Well, you get the picture. But go check out the supplement for yourself. It's an eye-opener. Especially if you've been invited to a Seder, as I was some years ago, where this, um, material is suddenly introduced, and you're expected to participate in the reading.

The real reason for this lengthy introduction, however, is to note an interesting letter that "Rabbi" Lerner is apparently circulating among his following (and some others who are on his mailing list). It's about his recent meetings with unnamed (naturally) members of Congress. Among other points he makes, this one particularly caught my attention:

4. There may be more Members of Congress who would support this kind of stance, except that they are all certain that this would put their careers in jeopardy. This fear has increased since Jewish pro-Sharon forces managed to run another Black candidate against incumbent Congressman Hilliard and defeat him in a primary a few weeks ago.

The next such primary is that of [wait for it] Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, from Georgia, because the same pro-Sharon forces have targeted this African American Democrat for defeat for her strong stance in favor of both Israel and Palestine. I was told by almost every Member of Congress to whom I spoke that people need to a. send money contributions to her re-election committee and to identify that they learned about this through The Tikkun Community and want to help. Equally important--b. some people need to physically go down there and help her campaign by volunteering time and energy to it. The election is in mid August, so the help is needed now. I was told that people who wanted to help in these ways should call her Congressional Office and from there be directed to her campaign staff--202 334 3121 and ask for the office of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. If McKinney loses, it will be far more difficult to get others to take any risks.

(Emphasis mine.) For some time, now, Tikkun has been trekking further and further out on the lunatic fringe. At this point, they've fallen right off the edge.

An open letter

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Ahmed Bouzid is president of “Palestine Media Watch,” which, according to its mission statement, is “a grassroots organization that promotes fair and objective coverage by the U.S. media of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

Last month, Mr. Bouzid published an opinion piece called "Harsh words trample Palestinians' hopes” on Sunspot.net. (Since it's now archived, the direct link has expired, but here's another, from Bouzid's site itself.) It’s a collection of provocative anecdotes that, Bouzid implies, reflect the attitudes of Israelis and American Jews toward Palestinians. He wants to know what Palestinians should think, and I thought his questions required some answers.

So here are some of my thoughts, as one of the “supporters of Israel” he addresses at the end of his essay.

--Mr. Bouzid asks what Palestinians should think about an article that appeared in Yediot Achronot, a major Israeli newspaper, in which it was reported that Israeli schoolchildren send letters to soldiers in which they write things like “Please kill a lot of Arabs” and "I pray for you that you return home safely, and kill at least 10 for me."

Mr. Bouzid, they really shouldn’t be too shocked. When a country is at war to defend its very existence, some of its schoolchildren are bound to see the conflict in pretty simplistic terms, especially when their friends, classmates and relatives are getting shot at or blown to bits. Of course, you neglect to mention that the soldiers were so horrified by those particular letters that they took immediate action to alert the authorities. Would that be the reaction, do you suppose, of a Palestinian “freedom fighter” if he received a letter from a child asking him to “please kill lots of Jews?”

I notice, by the way, that you’ve posted what purports to be an English translation of the Yediot Achronot article on your website. Those who have read the original in Hebrew report that your “translation” is neither accurate nor complete. Tal G. and Stefan Sharkansky have pointed out some of your omissions and their implications. So Palestinians (and everyone else) should check out their analyses before they decide what to think about this issue.

--Mr. Bouzid asks what Palestianians should think about comments such as these by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of Israel’s Shas party:

The Lord shall return the Arabs' deeds on their own heads, waste their seed and exterminate them, devastate them and banish them from this world. ... It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.

They should think that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is one of many spiritual leaders in the Middle East who unwisely choose to use hate speech to make political points in their sermons. They should realize that, taken in context, Rabbi Yosef’s invective was directed solely toward Arabs who murder innocent people. And they should pay attention to the fact that the sermon was nevertheless condemned by Israeli government representatives across the political spectrum. If we’re anteing up incidents of hate speech by spiritual leaders, though, I’ll call your Ovadia Yosef and raise you a dozen imams or shaykhs any day.

--Mr. Bouzid asks what Palestinians should think about New York Times reporter Chris Hedges’ “Gaza Diary” in Harper’s magazine, wherein he claims that Israeli soldiers taunt Palestinian children and then “shoot them for sport.” He wonders why “no one else in the media is interested enough to investigate, let alone express outrage and indignation over the criminal practice.”

They should think that Chris Hedges, who has apparently decided to make a second career out of vilifying the Israeli Defense Forces, is a good listener and an even better storyteller. His tale is pretty gruesome. Too bad it doesn’t jibe with any other account of the incident. In fact, he relates two versions of the same story in his own account. Well, here’s CNN’s version:

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said an 11-year-old Palestinian child, Ali Abu Shaweesh, was killed by a live bullet in the chest fired by the Israeli army in Khan Yunis in Gaza, near a Jewish settlement.

The Israeli army said dozens of young Palestinian men had gathered in Gaza along the border fence that separates Khan Yunis from settlements in Gush Katif. The Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails, damaging the fence, the army said.

In response, Israeli soldiers started shooting tear gas and, when that failed to disperse the crowd, fired at the legs of the participants and hit at least one Palestinian youngster, the army said.

In another incident, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy died overnight after Palestinian gunmen opened fire on Israeli soldiers. Palestinian sources said the boy may have been the victim of friendly fire, and the Israelis are not being blamed for that shooting.

Doesn’t exactly match Hedges’ description, does it? Oh, and did you notice, by any chance, that Media Watch International (whose mission statement sounds a lot like yours) awarded a “dishonorable mention” to Mr. Hedges for this particular diatribe, calling it uncorroborated, unverified “slander”? Hmmm. Maybe that’s why there’s been no investigation, outrage or indignation.

--Mr. Bouzid asks what Palestinians should think about Dick Armey’s recent interview on CNBC’s “Hardball,” in which he is quoted [out of context, naturally], as saying “I'm content to have Israel grab the entire West Bank."

They should think that Dick Armey is a little behind the times, because Israel already “grabbed” the entire West Bank back in 1967. Remember? Israel “grabbed” the West Bank from Jordan, as part of a military victory in a war that was supposed to end in Israel’s annihilation. Just as Jordan had “grabbed” it as part of a military defeat back in 1948 in another war that was supposed to end in Israel’s annihilation. So let’s be clear. The issue today isn’t about Israel “grabbing” the West Bank, it’s about whether Israel should hand over the West Bank to the people who said they wouldn’t accept a state there under any circumstances as long as it had a Jewish state for a neighbor. If Dick Armey has a problem with that, well, then Dick Armey is making sense, for a change.

--Mr. Bouzid asks:

What should Palestinians think when they read that one of America's most respected lawyers and a self-proclaimed defender of civil rights and human rights, Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, proposed that in response to a terrorist attack on Israel, residents of an Arab village "would be given 24 hours to leave, and then troops will come in and bulldoze all of the buildings"?

They should think: Good hatchet job, Ahmed. We especially like the way you left out that it isn’t just any Arab village that Mr. Dershowitz suggests bulldozing, it’s a village “which has been used as a base for terrorist operations.” And they will probably also think you were clever to omit the detail that Mr. D. recommends this bulldozing only if the terrorist attack occurred after a 5-day moratorium during which Palestinians would have carte blanche to kill as many Jews as they can without retaliation! They shouldn’t think (but probably will): We’ll take the 5-day moratorium, Alan, but we’ll pass on the bulldozers, ‘cause it’s just not fair that we Palestinians should ever have to suffer any consequences for our own complicity in these horrific massacres of innocent men, women and children.

--Mr. Bouzid asks what Palestinians should think about this excerpt from an article by Nathan Lewin, a prominent Jewish lawyer and jurist, current vice president of the Othodox Union and a candidate for the federal bench: “If executing some suicide-bomber families saves the lives of even an equal number of potential civilian victims, the exchange is, I believe, ethically permissible.”

They should think that they've pushed some of us too far. They should think that we can only go on burying our dead, comforting our mourners and treating our wounded for so long before someone, somewhere, starts to advocate a more radical solution to this murderous rampage. They should know that every time one of their own blows himself up trying to kill a few more Jews or shoots a child asleep in her bed, he guarantees that a few more people will probably join the fringe that advocates such unthinkable responses. And they should consider this: a five year old girl gets blown to bits on her way to school, and the family of her executioner hands out candy. A woman loses both her infant daughter and her own mother in an explosion and the murderer’s family thanks Allah and throws a party. The family dances in the street. The family gives out joyful interviews about how proud they are and how many Jews they want to see crying and bleeding and dying. Tell me, Mr. Bouzid, what are Israelis supposed to think about that?

--Mr. Bouzid asks what Palestinians should think about reports that “tens of thousands of Jewish-Americans” attending the Israel Solidarity Rally in Washington D.C. booed U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary (and Israel supporter) Paul Wolfowitz “for simply suggesting that innocent Palestinians hurt in the current conflict also deserve some sympathy.”

They should think that maybe that wasn’t what those people came all that way to hear on that particular day. To put it in the eloquent words of Meryl Yourish, who was there:

It isn't just the way the "boos" were blown out of proportion, or the way they were taken so out of context, and made to look as if the crowd cared nothing for the death of innocents. What bothers me most is that the impression is wrong. American Jews care greatly that innocents--on both sides--are dying. But the rally was the Israel Solidarity Rally--not the Israeli and Innocent Palestinian Civilians Solidarity Rally. We went to Washington to make our points--not listen to theirs. We went to hear speakers talk of the innocent Israeli civilians who are dying--murdered by Palestinian "martyrs"--whose comrades hide in the midst of innocent Palestinian civilians.

--Mr. Bouzid asks what the Palestinians should think when U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is quoted as saying “Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you.”

They should think that maybe John Ashcroft has been reading their papers and listening to their imams again. Doesn’t he have anything better to do than eavesdrop on public Arab incitement?

--Mr. Bouzid asks what Palestinians should think about these comments by Israel's “most ‘dovish’ prime minister, Ehud Barak,” in his recent interview with Benny Morris:

They [the Palestinians] are the product of a culture in which to tell a lie ... creates no dissonance. They don't suffer from the problem of telling lies that exists in Judeo-Christian culture. Truth is seen as an irrelevant category. There is only that which serves your purpose and that which doesn't.

They should think that Barak actually gets it, even if he wasn’t exactly diplomatic in his choice of words. This quote has, of course, royally rankled many among the PC crowd (and, ok, even some among the not-so-PC), but there is certainly evidence to back up Ehud’s observations on this point. This could be an interesting topic for future discussion.

--Mr. Bouzid asks what Palestinians should think about the fact that the platform of Israel’s Likud party, of which Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is a member, still “retains language that asserts that there should be ‘no Palestinian state west of the Jordan river’.”

Yes, and the Palestinian National Charter still (yes, still) retains language that asserts that there should be no Jewish state east of the Mediterranean coast. So what’s your point? What I’d like to know is why Palestinians have casually abandoned all claim to the 75% of “Palestine” (look it up) that’s east of the Jordan river, all of which is currently "occupied" by Hashemite Arabians with absolutely no historical or religious ties to the land who, incidentally, have consistently treated the Palestinian Arabs in their midst like dirt.

--Mr. Bouzid asks what Palestinians should think when President Bush calls Ariel Sharon “a man of peace.” Sharon, after all,

is the same man responsible for what Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called the "war crimes of Jenin" and the very man found by an Israeli court indirectly responsible for the massacre of more than 800 Palestinian civilians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in 1982.

They should try real hard to remember that the “war crimes of Jenin” story has been so discredited that it’s really not playing anywhere any more except at their local neighborhood pity parties. And they should also try to understand that the little word “indirectly” packs quite a punch when you read it in context. Try it some time.

--Finally, Mr. Bouzid asks:

Should Palestinians think that Israel and its supporters truly mean to co-exist with them, or should they suspect that their aim is to conquer and destroy them?

Why don’t they ask us? And most of us will tell them, truthfully, that once they’re ready to do us the great honor of acknowledging our right to exist, we’ll be more than happy to co-exist with them. Conquering and destroying isn’t our thing, you see, regardless of what you see and hear and read in the very fair and objective Arab media. Why don’t they try, just for once, co-existing with us. They would find us to be very willing partners if they did.

Note: This post has been updated to repair broken links.

Testing the water

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Thanks for checking in.

I'll be up and running any day now.....

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2002 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2002 is the next archive.

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