June 2007 Archives



This post at Soccer Dad made me smile. Because this is what Jews do, and if you just don't get it, well, you just don't get it. There's something about this kind of 'dispute' that makes me feel, for a brief moment, as if all might be well with the world after all.

Even though it leads to this kind of analysis which, while sobering, at least addresses in a meaningful and realistic way the concerns that most Americans face day to day. See, that's the connect. The way we look at the world as Jews tends to make us better Americans (than we would otherwise be). And better Brits, Canadians, Belgians, even Israelis.

A good shabbes



Shabbat Shalom.

Lest we forget


The woman in this photo is described in the rather silly ignorant accompanying NY Times review as "a former Palestinian newscaster" who "recalls the day she dropped a suicide bomber off at his target, then coolly went on television to report on the resulting bombing." She's now in an Israeli prison and thus is a subject of the film documentary the review describes.

The girl in these photos is one of the former newscaster's victims. Her name was Malka Chana Roth, and she was only one of many murdered in the August 2001 suicide bombing of the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem. But Malki's parents have made special efforts to keep the flame of their daughter's memory alive against, it seems, all odds. This webpage is one. This foundation is another. And this letter, published yesterday at Solomonia, is yet another.

... That female is our child's murderer. She was sentenced to sixteen life sentences or 320 years which she is serving in an Israeli jail. Fifteen people were killed and more than a hundred maimed and injured by the actions of this attractive person and her associates. The background is here.

Neither the New York Times nor HBO are likely to give even a moment's attention to the victims of the barbarians who destroyed the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem and the lives of so many victims. So we would be grateful if you would pass along this link to some pictures of our daughter whose name was Malki. She was unable to reach her twenties - Hamas saw to that.

Though she was only fifteen years old when her life was stolen from her and from us, we think Malki was a beautiful young woman, living a beautiful life. We ask your help so that other people - far fewer than the number who will see the New York Times, of course - can know about her. Please ask your friends to look at the pictures - some of the very few we have - of our murdered daughter. They are at http://www.kerenmalki.org/photo.htm ...

Read the rest here. And please visit the Keren Malki website. Lest we forget.

The killers of children


That would be, wouldn't you know, the Israelis.

Hamas TV continues its concerted efforts to win friends and influence the US and the EU to give its merry band of terrorist sponsors a break. This week's twist:

The mouse is dead martyred.

Farfour Mouse dies in last episode

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip

Hamas TV on Friday broadcast what it said was the last episode of a weekly children's show featuring "Farfour," a Mickey Mouse look-alike who had made worldwide headlines for preaching Islamic domination and armed struggle to youngsters.

In the final skit, Farfour was beaten to death by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour's land. At one point, Farfour called the Israeli a "terrorist."

"Farfour was martyred while defending his land," said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed "by the killers of children," she added.

On the bright side, at least that's over.

Late update: MEMRI now has the video of the "martyrdom" of Farfour here.

Richman on Carter


Major kudos to Rick Richman for his latest essay at The American Thinker, which adroitly exposes a whole new set of fabrications and misrepresentations by America's worst excuse for a president. This time, Carter was lecturing the hapless students at Oxford's Mansfield College and, if you care to click through to the text of the lecture yourself, be warned. Keep sharp objects out of reach. Rick does a masterful job of eviscerating this rubbish without appearing to lose his temper.

There are, nevertheless, a few deposits in there that Rick doesn't address, as they are a) peripheral to his main point and b) truly beggar a rational response. Here's one (the caps are in the original -- sorry).


No doubt whatsoever. Here's another.


And Carter seems genuinely clueless as to why his book has generated so much "controversy." (Or, if you prefer, just put a period in that last sentence after "clueless.")

One trivia question for anyone out there who wants to take the time. Carter opened his talk with a witticism about the Mideast peace process that he attributed to Pope John Paul II. Most other accounts of this story (and there aren't that many) describe it as anecdotal or exaggerated at best, and it seems to me to have been a creative invention by Israeli revisionist historian Avi Shlaim. If you know of evidence to the contrary, please drop me a line.

Always amazing


Cox and Forkum always seem to bat a thousand. I don't know how they do it. And sometimes, like this, it seems more like a thousand ten.


The end of "Palestine?"


Martin Peretz thinks so.

"Palestine" is not the only place where the very idea of the nation is so weak that its violent eruptions seem to be dismal admissions of failure. But, however impoverished the reality, it has caught the fancy of many outside Palestine. The fact is that, had these outsiders--some cynical, some hopelessly muddle-headed--not embraced the cause, the cause already would have perished from its own exhaustion.

So what is Palestine? It is an improvisation from a series of rude facts. Palestine was never anything of especial importance to the Arabs or to the larger orbit of Muslims. Palestine was never even an integral territory of the Ottomans but split up in sanjaks that crossed later postWorld War I borders, a geographical and political jumble. When General Allenby captured Jerusalem, it was a great happening for believing Christian Europe, not a tragedy for Islam. When the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan for Palestine was passed, envisioning a "Jewish" state and an "Arab" (not, mind you, Palestinian) state, even the idea of a separate Arab realm was met at best with a yawn. Though almost no Arab wanted Jewish sovereignty in any of Palestine, virtually no Arab seemed to crave Arab sovereignty, either. Foreign Arab armies did the fighting against the Haganah, and foreign states sat for the Palestinians at the cease-fire negotiations, as they had sat for decades at the international conferences on Palestine convened by the powers. Palestine was being fought over to be divvied up by Cairo, Amman, and Damascus. The Syrian army was overwhelmed by the Israelis. No rewards there. It was different for King Farouk and Abdullah I, who got land in reward for their soldiers' combat.

Indeed, from 1949 through 1967, what was the West Bank of Arab Palestine was annexed--yes, annexed--by Jordan, and what was the Gaza Strip was a captive territory of Egypt, unannexed so that Gazans had no rights as Egyptians (whereas the West Bankers had rights as Jordanians). The Palestine Liberation Organization, founded in 1964, was not founded to liberate these territories. It was founded to liberate that part of Palestine held by Israel.

Well, we knew that. But it never hurts to be reminded.

Would that there were a mature national will among the Palestinians. It might even be able to temper the rage of the Arabs against one another. Not until their sense of peoplehood conquers their rage against one another will they be in the psychological position to think of peace with Israel. I doubt this will happen any time soon. This is the end of Palestine, the bitter end.

Personally, I think he's being a tad over-optimistic. Or pessimistic, depending upon your viewpoint. As Peretz mentions in the body of this essay, palestinian nationalism has always enjoyed considerably more substance and coherence in the minds and hearts of European and American liberals than in those of the Arabs themselves. Facts on the ground far away in the Middle East, no matter how contradictory, are unlikely to dent that mythology ... any time soon.

But it's a good essay. Highly recommended.

Winding down


What is there to say about the events of this week? Arlene Kushner has, as usual, some valuable insights.

Prime Minister Olmert has informed us that President Bush is committed to realizing his dream of a Palestinian state before he leaves office in January 2009.

Quite frankly, the hypothesis that these “leaders” are operating in an alternate universe seems to me as good an explanation of this statement as any other I can come up with. (There are, of course, other explanations: prime among them that Bush and Olmert don’t remotely believe in the possibility but choose to adopt this fiction for political reasons.) ...

An alternate universe indeed. If you aren't already familiar with Arlene's blog, you should probably fix that.

Shabbat Shalom.

No dive


Omri and Meryl got this so exactly right that I'm just going to quote Omri's explanation (for good measure) and leave it there.

Of course the US and the EU rushed to restore aid as soon as they had a colorable excuse. And of course Fatah is going to use it to help fund Hamas terrorists, including those in the Gaza Strip:

[news quote omitted]

Many of those people, of course, are unrepentant terrorists and die-hard Hamas soldiers - they're the same ones who were murdering Fatah people in the streets a couple days ago. We agree with Meryl that Fatah got beat militarily, contra Ted Belman's theory that they took a dive. We just don't think that the Palestinians can pull off such a complicated conspiracy - if they had that kind of logistical and tactical skill, they'd have a state already. But wow, this certainly seems to have worked out nicely for them: Hamas employees are now getting paid with Western funds, just as if the boycott had been lifted with Hamas in power. But never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence. This is a trick Abbas has pulled before. There wasn't any complicated plot last time, and there isn't one this time - the West's eagerness to blindly aid the Palestinian is so overwhelming that the Palestinians don't need to bother subtly plotting how to coordinate their terrorism with Western acquiescence. It works out that way anyway.

For the links and other stuff, you have to click through.

What you won't see


For some reason, this stuff is NOT what's making headlines on the international evening news.

MDA ambulances on Tuesday crossed into the Palestinian side of Erez Crossing in the Gaza Strip to evacuate 15 casualties from Monday's shooting incident at the crossing, in which Fatah military commander Jihad Madhun was killed when soldiers responded to an attack by Hamas operatives on a nearby military outpost.

The casualties were set to be taken to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.

IDF tanks accompanied the ambulances and entered several hundred meters inside Gaza.

Hamas checkpoints set up within the Gaza Strip have been making it difficult to implement a new joint Israeli-Red Cross mechanism, designed to allow Palestinians in need of urgent medical care to enter Israel.

Checkpoints! Preventing palestinians from getting access to medical care! Where's the outrage? Where's Jimmy Carter? Oh. Right. Here he is.

The United States, Israel and the European Union must end their policy of favoring Fatah over Hamas, or they will doom the Palestinian people to deepening conflict between the rival movements, former US President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday.

The man seems to be incapable of opening his mouth without something vile coming out of it. Meanwhile ...

Meanwhile, the army also allowed ten trucks of food and two trucks of medical supplies from the UN World Food Program to enter the Strip.

The trucks crossed into Gaza via Kerem Shalom Crossing.

That would be the Israeli army. Showing its customary disregard and indifference for the lives and welfare of people whose primary aspiration is to murder, maim and terrorize Israelis. No, you won't see this story in the MSM.



"You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy."

It's from Leviticus 19:2, just a few verses past Leviticus 18:22, which some people are fond of citing to justify behavior like this:

Thousands of haredim demonstrated in Jerusalem Sunday against this week's planned gay parade in what began as a mostly peaceful protest, save for one incident during which a policewoman had to be evacuated after she was hit by a rock thrown by a protester.

Six policemen were subsequently wounded in the stone throwing, and were treated by medics on the scene. The demonstrators, who also set trash bins on fire on a central city thoroughfare, were dispersed by police. Fifteen protesters were arrested at the scene.

Does that sound holy to you? What the hell is wrong with these people?

The good news:

The evening protest was marked both by its surprisingly low turnout - estimated by police to be around 10,000 people - and relative calm for such a heated issue. A smaller demonstration was also held in Bnei Brak during which at least one protester was arrested.

The relatively small number of protesters represented a stunning defeat for the haredi organizers of the protest, who had expected as many as 100,000 people to turn out in force, and reflected the differences of opinion in the haredi world whether clashes with police at the event would serve their cause, with some rabbis pointedly ordering their students to stay away from the event.

Must read


Imshin is back from her trip to Holland and has bestowed upon her readers a blogging spree the likes of which I've never seen at Not A Fish (or many other blogs, either, for that matter). And almost every single post is a must read. Especially this one.

So. What are you waiting for?

Reinventing Hamas


Who wrote this Jerusalem Post report? There's no by-line, and no AP credit, other than the photo. But it sounds like bullshit a snow job to me.

Hamas said Friday it is taking "serious and practical steps" to win the release of kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston.

Hamas spokesman Abu Obeideh told reporters in a midnight news conference that Hamas, which seized control of Gaza a day before, "will not allow anyone to attack journalists or foreigners, because they are helping our people."

Earlier, a person involved in the negotiations for Johnston's release said the captors promised to free him within 24 hours.

In seeking Johnston's release, Hamas is sending a signal to other armed groups that it intends to impose order in chaotic Gaza.

Johnston, 45, was snatched in Gaza three months ago by a group believed to have some links to Hamas, and a message purporting to be from his captors has demanded the release of Islamic prisoners, including a cleric being held in Britain.

Hamas has been negotiating with the captors through a mediator. An official involved in the talks, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks, said the captors pledged Friday to release Johnston within 24 hours.

Hamas. The white knight of Western journalists in distress throughout the Middle East. Just dial 1-800-RESCUME and your friendly neighborhood terrorist gang will come to your aid.

Who do they think they're kidding? Everyone, I guess.

Early Friday, Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida demanded that those holding Johnston free him at once.

"We will not allow his continued detention," he said. "We warn against not releasing him."

Johnston was seen for the first time since his abduction in a video posted two weeks ago on a Web site used by Islamic militants. He appeared calm and said he was being well-treated and was in good health.

Right. He also said some extremely uncomplimentary and rather irrational things about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his own country, the U.S. and, of course, Israel ("the cause of all the suffering of the palestinian people"). Completely voluntarily, I'm sure.

We're all anxious for Mr. Johnston's safe return to his home and his family, and we certainly wouldn't ask the media to do anything to jeopardize that, so if our newspapers and broadcasters feel it necessary to flatter and cajole Hamas, to selectively report what's happening in Gaza and to actively mislead the public in order to make that happen (or even just to increase the likelihood that that will happen), I guess that's just the price we have to pay. Isn't it?

Isn't it?

Shabbat Shalom.

The BBC: a parody of itself


For this, they apologize.

The BBC apologized this week for referring to Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and promised not to repeat "the mistake," following a complaint by four British organizations.

Arab Media Watch, Muslim Public Affairs Committee, Friends of Al-Aksa and the Institute of Islamic Political Thought sent a joint complaint to the BBC after a presenter on its Football Focus program on March 24 mentioned that Jerusalem was Israel's capital and "historic soul."

The BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit posted a response on its Web site: "The reference was a passing one in a context where the focus was on sport, not politics. While recognizing the sensitivity of the issue of the status of Jerusalem, the ECU took the view that the program-makers had taken sufficient action by acknowledging the error and rectifying the Web site."

The Editorial Complaints Unit's ruling was: "Complaint resolved."

I honestly don't know whether to laugh, cry or puke. And, unfortunately, there's more. Click through if you want to.



Gotta love it.

ST. CHARLES, Illinois (Reuters) - A handful of protesters waving Palestinian flags and chanting "Take responsibility and do the right thing" on Wednesday disrupted the annual meeting of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT - News), prompting the company to adjourn 30 minutes early.

The disruption came after the Peoria, Illinois-based heavy construction and mining equipment manufacturer had reaffirmed its full-year sales and earnings outlook and voted on all shareholder proposals tabled for the meeting.

The protesters, who oppose Caterpillar's sale of tractors that are used by the Israeli Army to demolish the homes of Palestinian civilians, were quickly hustled out of the remote country club conference center 40 miles west of Chicago.

Ironically, Caterpillar had moved its annual meeting to the small town of St. Charles from Chicago last year, in part to avoid protests that have marred that event in recent years.

[ ... ]

Shareholders and others attending this year's annual meeting had to run a tight series of security checks before gaining admittance to the event, including two security checkpoints and magnetometers.

Oh! The humiliation!

Protesters at the meeting included those who rallied in memory of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American peace activist who was killed a few years ago by Israeli soldiers driving a Caterpillar bulldozer while she was protesting a home demolition in Rafah, a Palestinian town in the Gaza Strip.

Corrie's parents are suing Caterpillar over their daughter's death in a drawn-out lawsuit.

"Drawn-out?" I guess this idiotic lawsuit is still on appeal to the 9th Circuit, though there hasn't been any news about it since an appeal was filed in March, 2006, after the case was thrown out by the trial court. "Peace activist?" Oh. Yeah. This is Reuters.


Caterpillar closed up 2.37 percent, or $1.85, on the New York Stock Exchange at $79.93, a new 12-month high for the stock.

The more they protest, bluster, fume and threaten, the better this stock seems to do. It's hard to argue with this


(Full disclosure -- I own some, which I bought the day I first heard of Stop Caterpillar. Thanks, morons!)

Not news


Almost unnoticed, the House of Representatives on Tuesday passed yet another Concurrent Resolution, soon to receive the consent of the Senate, complete with ever more elaborate and rational reasons why the US embassy in Israel should be moved to Jerusalem. Equally unnoticed, the White House, a few days earlier, for the ... 14th? ... time now, invoked the Jerusalem Embassy Waiver which, as the NY Sun put it, "allows the president to ignore Congress" and keep the embassy wherever it damn well pleases.

Charming. Now these Concurrent Resolutions don't have the force of law and are simply opinions expressed by our elected representatives. The President doesn't need a waiver to ignore them. The reason he needs to invoke the Waiver is this little annoyance, the Jerusalem Embassy Act, an actual law passed by Congress in 1995, which is reaffirmed in the Resolution and which requires the embassy to be moved. Unless, that is, the President determines that the move would threaten national security interests and details how it would do so. Which is what the Waiver is all about. So.

I won't bore you yet again with links to my previous posts on this subject, nor to the several other nearly identical Concurrent Resolutions that have previously been ignored by Presidents Bush and Carter right up through 2006 (H. Res. 412 and S. Res. 98). Nor with links to Candidate Bush's repeated solemn campaign promises in 2000 to refuse to invoke the Waiver and to move the embassy if elected. I'm feeling lazy right now. But you can find them if you dig just a little.

And speaking of lazy, blogging will probably be even more sparse than usual around here for the next few days. Sorry.

Three paratroopers


Three A multitude of heroes....

The photos:


The story:

JERUSALEM: It's an image etched in history — an iconic photo that captured Israel in its most triumphant moment.

Three young, battle-worn faces gazing up in wonder at the Western Wall, moments after capturing Judaism's holiest site on June 7, 1967.

The three paratroopers — Zion Karasanti, Yitzhak Yifat and Haim Oshri — became famous as symbols of that victory before drifting back into anonymity. Forty years later, they recalled the instant that changed their lives and the life of their country.

"It was an uplifting moment, a real spiritual experience," said Karasanti, 64. "My heart was beating, there were soldiers crying, just staring at the stones .... the wall was so pure and divine, it gives me goosebumps every time."

The three men were recently reunited at the wall for a photo shoot, recreating their pose of 40 years ago.

The Western Wall, a remnant of the second biblical Jewish Temple, is the holiest site where Jews can pray. It lines the Al Aqsa Mosqe compound, home to Islam's third holiest shrine. The holy sites in Jerusalem's walled Old City were under Jordanian control and off-limits to Jews for 19 years.

On the third day of the 1967 Six-Day War, the three young reservists were frozen in photographer David Rubinger's frame, after fighting in a series of bloody battles and making their way into the Old City.

How time flies.

(Thanks, Hillel)

Need challah?

Standing Together is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Israeli soldiers on active duty. Being totally funded by donations from Jews throughout the world, Standing Together acts as a bridge between Israel and other Jewish communities, creating a feeling of unity and support.

Standing Together ’s activities over the last three years have brought much happiness to thousands of Israeli soldiers, who never imagined that a Jew overseas was concerned for their welfare. Now is the time for you to join us and become a part of the Standing Together family, so that we can truly Stand Together.

Standing Together's latest project is a campaign urging people in Israel to buy challah from Sderot bakeries, which are in danger of going out of business. For 25 NIS you can order 2 challot, and 1/2 kilo of either rugelach or potato borekas. (Kashrut: Mehadrin)

They hope to have an online order form up in the next few days. Meanwhile, you can email them at info@stogether.org for more information. I believe that orders received by Thursday afternoon will be available for pickup Friday at various locations throughout Israel. This post will be updated as and when I get more details.

Vein to vein


Ok, this is different

A Muslim extremist group threatened to behead female TV broadcasters if they don't don strict Islamic dress, leaving the women terrified and marking a further downward spiral in Gaza's anarchy.

The threat to "cut throats from vein to vein" was delivered by the Swords of Truth, a fanatical group that has previously claimed responsibility for bombing Internet cafes and music shops.

The new threat was the first time the organization targeted a specific group of people, and adds to a growing climate of extremism, fear and suspicion in Gaza.

Imagine that. Something that adds to a growing climate of extremism, fear and suspicion in Gaza that can't be blamed on Israel. Or ...

Silly me. But of course it can. T minus (?) and counting.



My, but that word gets thrown around lightly in Gaza these days. It seems that every day a new "truce" is proposed and then the betting starts as to how many hours it will last and how violently it'll end. Most of these "truces" involve only Hamas and Fatah and their various appendages, look-alikes and wannabes (a/k/a "the factions"), but the one proposed by Egypt yesterday also involved Israel.

Uh oh.

Fatah and Hamas representatives are scheduled to meet in Cairo under Egyptian auspices on Saturday to discuss announcing a new truce with Israel and defusing tensions between the two parties.

Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post the Egyptians had been exerting heavy pressure on the factions to stop firing rockets from the Gaza Strip.

[ ... ]

Another PA official said the head of Egypt's General Intelligence Service, Omar Suleiman, had proposed a plan that called for a one-month halt of rocket attacks as a first step toward a comprehensive cease-fire that would include the West Bank.

According to the plan, the Palestinians would halt rocket attacks for one month, after which Egypt would try to persuade Israel to stop its crackdown on Palestinian armed groups and Hamas figures in the West Bank.

One thing should be apparent by now. In the Middle East, a "truce" is always a signal that the side on the attack is low on weapons, manpower or morale, usually all three. They need a time out to rally the troops, smuggle in new supplies and recruit some more martyrs. Thanks to the ongoing support of countries like The Netherlands, "the factions" can afford to do this, albeit somewhat surreptitiously. In the meantime, they can also count on Israel's strongest ally to pressure the Jewish state into compromising her security one more time in the name of "peace."

Is it any wonder that I prefer mulching my garden to trying to make sense of this cr@p?

Here. This is Mexican Heather, a/k/a Lavender Lace, a/k/a Cuphea Allyson, a/k/a Cuphea hyssopifolia, a/k/a Cuphea rosea, which is an annual here in Zone 6, but which I hunt down every year because it's very pretty and attacts butterflies.


Shabbat Shalom.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2007 is the previous archive.

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