And at the Rally Against Racism and War in Washington, D.C., today, we have the sign that includes the "evolution" of the Star of David--into the Nazi swastika.
Yes, we understand very well, editors of the Sun. That's why over 100,000 of us were in Washington on Monday--without hatred on our signs, or in our speeches. That, apparently, is left to what passes for the "peace" crowd these days. Well, along with the KKK and other neo-nazi groups, where the sentiments on those anti-Semitic signs fit right in.
This just in!
They have a huge monitor behind the speakers, and right now, there's an Arab representative from Tampa speaking, and he is shouting and waving his arm. And the giant screen behind him and the way he is shouting and waving his arm reminds me of nothing so much as the pictures of Adolf Hitler, speaking on a stage with giant Nazi flags and pictures behind him.
And there's a clown who keeps leading the crowd in chants. Like this one? "We don't care what you say, Intifada all the way!" Wow, he must have stayed up all night thinking that one up.
This is the state to which American protest has sunk. I am ashamed to have been a bleeding-heart liberal.
Unbelievable. I'm watching the report on CNN Headline News. It's calling it an anti-Israel demonstration, and barely even mentioning the anti-globalization crowd. No, there's no media bias.
C-SPAN is carrying the rally live. I watched as much of the "Rally against Racism and War" as I could stomach, curious to hear what they have to say. And to read the signs. They do, of course, equate Sharon with Hitler, and the Nazi swastika is rampant.
This, at a rally against racism.
It's enough to make you cry, though. And wonder why we're even still in the United Nations. I thought it was bad when the Soviets led the charge against Israel. These days, not a moment goes by on any committee--not even one dealing with aging--that doesn't end with official U.N. condemnation of Israel.
And Israel is the nation the U.N. tries to brand as racist.
Lake Tino reappeared today. We had a bit of a deluge, and the parking lot flooded. There were (sigh) three separate leaks in my apartment--bedroom window, back door, and ceiling just above and to the left of the back door. Called my landlord; don't expect anything to get done. But I was much better off than some of my neighbors--the poor owners of the Mazda Miata didn't get home in time to move it before the brook overflowed into the parking lot. My Jeep is in a garage that's generally out of most of the water, but even so, it encroached throughout my garage--just a covering, but enough to be, well, yucky. And enough to make me say, "Oh, that's where all those leaves are coming from." I don't keep anything on the ground in my garage, other than my Jeep, and a half inch of water made my car chuckle. (Did you know that Wranglers actually have a plug in the floor that you can pull to drain the water out after either traveling through a river or after hosing the mud out of your car because you traveled through a river? It's another thing to impress children with. They think it's way cool.)
Funny, I was watching one of the other tenants go out to move his truck, which was up to its runningboards in water. The guy had to walk through a foot and a half of water, and yet, he was holding an umbrella--so he wouldn't get wet.
This is why I am one of Adil Farooq's biggest fans:
And there's a whole 'nother essay right below it that you mustn't miss. Glad you're back, Adil. Your Righteous voice was missed.
You know those evil warmongers who have blogs filled with nothing but hate and war, day after day after day? The ones who just write about killing and emit racist epithets and cheer for blood?
(The Gnat is his 21-month-old daughter.)
Which leads me to an idea. Forget warblogging. Let's all start Buffyblogging. I can talk about my favorite shows forever. And it's only another few weeks until the Season Two DVD is released. Can't wait--I'll finally have seen all of the episodes once I have that in hand. Or at least, in DVD player.
The only thing better than watching a new Buffy/Angel episode is being able to watch nearly an entire season of new (to me) Buffy episodes. Especially Season Two, where Angel goes bad.
And for the record: I think having The Three Nerds as the Big Bad this year bites the big one.
Another Israeli blogger.
Perhaps we can take a long-needed break. Perhaps we can even stop talking about violence and hatred for a while. We shall see.
I could ask really dumb riddles: Where does the Lone Ranger take his garbage?
To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump.
I could talk about my cats. (That would be a hint about a new Cattales.)
I could point out how funny this week's episode of The Gilmore Girls was. (Kurt's trumpet-blowing was so awful it got Gracie to sit up and watch television, something she never does.)
I could talk about how it's not supposed to be 97 degrees in April, and how I've had the air conditioning on for three days running. Well, actually, that's not quite accurate. I've had the AC on and off for three days running.
I could reminisce about Clarion a little more. Jim Kelly was our instructor the first week, and he told us that he met his best friend at Clarion, and that we'd all go home having made lasting friendships. He was right. As soon as I settle down in Richmond, we're going to try to plan a reunion for my class. I'm thinking that six weeks stuck in a college situation, living in a college dorm and having to eat college food definitely gives the workshop a boot camp-like atmosphere. For six weeks, we did nothing but eat, breathe, sleep and talk writing. Well, except when we were having waterfights, or doing research in the library, or going out to what passed as the night life in East Lansing (yeah, that is a contradiction in terms, and please don't any MSU students write to me and try to convince me otherwise. That would be like trying to convince me that those round, bready things you buy out there can be called bagels. They cannot.) The highlight of my dining experience in East Lansing was a restaurant called Pretzel Bell, which was about on a par with a chain around here called Charlie Brown's. The lowlight was the dorm food. In my sixth week, a heretofore (or should it be thencetofore?) unknown fish allergy got me after eating cod for dinner, but I thought it was salmonella, and so tried eating fish two more times in the next six months before I finally caught on.
I kept a journal fairly regularly. I understand now I am the envy of everyone in my class, for having many pages to refer back to. For God's sake, people, you were all writers, too! You couldn't keep a journal? Yeesh. I found an excerpt that I can share with you all:
This was 1990, Young Republicans were an emerging group on college campuses nationwide (due to the Reagan Revolution of the 80s), and Monica was the Clarion graduate assistant. I did, indeed, meet some young men with the Izod alligator tattoed on their chests. They were all blonde-haired and blue-eyed, and they frightened me. (But I was only there for the six weeks, so not too much.) (And here you all thought I was a Republican. You have not been paying attention.) (Help! Help! I'm trapped in another set of parenthetical statements and I can't get out!)
Here's another thing I found amusing about the midwest:
The United Nations has already proven itself to be complicit in terror activities within the refugee camps that they administer. If U.N. peacekeeping troops guarded the border, you can be sure that terrorists would slip through unchallenged, if not actually aided, by the "peacekeepers".
And via Slate, on the illegal weapons in the West Bank:
Of course, the fact that Palestinian Authority police officers frequently take part in terrorist activities is also ignored by the world at large. Their "police" force is nothing less than the PLO military--they ain't your friendly neighborhood cops on the beat.
Damon Knight died a few days ago. In the summer of 1990, I attended the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop at Michigan State University. Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm were integral to the workshop before and after I was there--they taught for 27 years. A journal entry from the weekend they arrived:
When I attended the workshop, Damon and Kate always taught the final two weeks. When they arrived, we all were required to make appointments to talk with them. They were two-thirds of the selection committee that had read our stories and chosen us to spend six weeks with professional science fiction and fantasy authors, learning as much as we could on our path toward becoming published writers. So we greeted their arrival with a great amount of trepidation. Heidi (whom I met there) expressed our nervousness best when she said, "I keep thinking I'm going to go in there and they're going to say, 'Whoops, we made a mistake, forget it, go home, you can't write. Start packing'." It was probably what all of us were thinking. And yet, we all survived our meeting with Damon and Kate, and none were sent packing. My journal entry of that meeting sings of "a red-letter day, a banner day." It went well.
Damon reminded me of my grandfather, what with the wicked sense of humor, the long white beard, the laughter--but he had a deadly sarcasm, which we learned about quickly. And a great willingness to learn new things. I get to claim responsibility for being one of the people to bring Damon and Kate into the online community .Two of my classmates were on the GEnie network, and I ran a BBS at the time. We started telling him about it, Damon was fascinated, and shortly after arriving home got an account on GEnie. He was wicked on the online world, too. He could skewer a person in a sentence or two. One of my favorite posts of his went something like "W'hy do all t'hose p'eople on P'ern h'ave an a'postrophe in t'heir n'ames?" (The naming conventions of dragonriders was subsequently explained to him.)
I have an excellent picture of a dragon that he drew on the back of a copy of one of my stories. But my most vivid memories are of how Damon literally slid out of his chair to the floor, laughing as I read out loud a parody I wrote of Kate's lecture of the morning, "The ten elements of high fantasy." I misspoke the word "elements" as "elephants" at lunch that day, and the story was born. He liked it so much that he and Kate sent it along to Kris Rusch, who bought and published it in Pulphouse--my first fiction sale, only weeks after Clarion ended.
My writing has diverged from fantasy since Clarion--in fact, it was already diverging at the time--but those six weeks were six of the best weeks of my life.
The majority of readers will remember him as the author of "To Serve Man"--the short story that was turned into a famous Twilight Zone episode--but Damon was much, much more than that. The science fiction community mourns the passing of a Great One.
This is the complete version of the article I linked to earlier.
Andrew Sullivan weighed in on Monday's Rally for Israeli Solidarity. Sentiments like this one have been eating away at me since I read my first article about the rally.
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.
Understand only this, and Andrew Sullivan's remarks are an insult. But look also at the differences between the Israel Solidarity Rally and the many rallies in Europe and Arab nations, and shame again on him for judging us without looking farther than the first few paragraphs of a newspaper article.
There were no signs for or calls of "Death to the Arabs!" at the rally. There were no Palestinian flags--or American flags--burned. There was no violence. We didn't end our rally and then march quickly to pummel the few Palestinian protesters standing on the corner of First and Independence. We didn't seek out local mosques for Muslims to beat.
Take another look at things from our point of view. We were over 100,000 strong, we came together in five days, we were thrilled to be standing with so many in support of the beleaguered Jews of Israel. We are frightened for the survival of Israel herself, and we are all aware of the many anti-Semitic attacks in Europe. And there are supporters of Israel as far as the eye can see. We hear Sister Rose Thering of the National Christian Leadership Conference tell us that Christians are with us and with Israel. Mortimer Zuckerman, the organizer of the event, set the goals:
Richard Gephardt gives a stirring speech. Finally, we are hearing people tell us unequivocally that Israel has the right to defend herself against terrorism. That they understand that civilians are being murdered by terrorists. That Arafat wants nothing more than the end of the State of Israel. And then, afer a few more speakers, Paul Wolfowitz gets up on the podium, and tells us that he has a message from President Bush:
Yes, it's critical we acknowledge that fact. But not at a rally for solidarity with Israel. And not without mentioning that Israelis do not deliberately target civilians. The double standards of the world when it comes to Israel and the Jews are simply breathtaking. Dead Afghan civilians are "collateral damage", dead Israeli civilians require "restraint" on the actions of the Israeli military, yet dead Palestinian civilians must be acknowledged at a rally of support for Israel.
How many calls for peace did you hear at the Palestinian events? What concern for Israeli civilians? What did you hear about Israel except for the words "Death to Israel" on the signs and lips of the people involved? How many calls to end the murder of innocent Israeli civilians did you hear at any of the pro-Palestinian rallies? Oh, wait, those were calls to murder more innocent Israeli civilians. And innocent European Jews, while they're at it, as thugs left rallies all over Europe and walked to the nearest Synagogue to find a Jew to beat--while chanting "Death to the Jews."
Hey. We booed. Imagine that. Call out the National Guard, the crowd booed!
Let's compare and contrast which rally participants should be ashamed, shall we?At a protest in Lebanon,
And there was this famous picture at a Palestinian rally in Germany. Here are some of the Israel Solidarity Rally. Which do you prefer? The one with the little Arab girl on her father's shoulder wearing fake dynamite sticks, or the one with the American teenager wearing the Israeli flag?
I spoke with many Jews yesterday from all over the country and, in fact, from other countries as well. There were two things they all had in common: All of them are Jewish, and all of them fear for Israel's--and their own--existence. There was outrage and puzzlement over the behavior of the rest of the world. Why, went the refrain, is Israel always wrong no matter what she does? Why does the world ignore the growing anti-Semitism in Europe and the Arab world? Why do so many rush to judge and condemn the Jewish nation?
Worse still--how dare they try to co-opt the language of the Holocaust to describe the actions of the nation that grew from the literal ashes of that selfsame horror? And the fact that Europeans--the nations responsible for shipping the Jews out of the villages of Italy and France and Poland to their deaths in the concentration camps of the Third Reich--these children of the people who rounded up the Jews in their towns and put them on the trains to Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen--these literal children of Nazis and Fascists and the French Vichy--these are the people who have the unmitigated gall to use the language of the European killing machine that slaughtered six million Jews to describe the actions of the survivors' children?
Most frustrating of all is the wilful ignorance by the Europeans of the Arab nations' ability to use exactly the same propaganda of the Third Reich, examples of which can be found on Memri's site in nauseating plenitude. And now Ariel Cohen explains why in The National Review Online. Not why Europeans are such bigots and asses; nobody on either side of the Atlantic could ever fully explain that fact. But why the Arabs are so good at using the language of the Nazis:
That explains a little. So does a quick look at some Arab World War II history. And I think something else bears very much on the attitudes of European nations. I left Germany out of the above paragraph in reference to the current levels of anti-Semitism. That's because I spoke with a German-born Jew yesterday who now lives in the U.S., and she told me that Germans are not perpetrating the current rash of anti-Semitic attacks. Germany, it seems, alone of Europe has truly learned from its shameful history. They are actively seeking the (Arab) perpetrators of the rash of anti-Semitic attacks and have, in fact, arrested a suspect in the Tunisia synagogue bombing (see below, Part I). I know there are neo-Nazis in Germany, but I also know that Germany worked very hard to rid itself of these dregs of the planet. Mein Kampf isn't a best-seller there--but it is in most of Arabia.
The problem, it seems, is that the Arabs never went through any kind of soul-searching as did Germany, because they've never gotten out from under the anti-Semitism rampant in the 1930s and 1940s. They've just carried it along for the past 70 years. And it seems that much of the rest of Europe is having that same problem. Perhaps we should have forced every nation that deported Jews to pay reparations; perhaps it would have made a difference in the way they hate us now. Perhaps British poets wouldn't talk about their desire to shoot Brooklyn-born Jews, and French ambassadors wouldn't call Israel "that shitty little country". Perhaps Italian "peace activists" wouldn't be playing human shield for Yasser Arafat, and trying to sneak terrorists out of his compound.
Perhaps. It's impossible to tell. In the meantime, I listen to the fear in the voices of Jewish grandmothers, wondering if it's going to happen all over again. Wasn't once in a lifetime enough for us all?
While 200,000 people were protesting terrorism on the Capitol lawn yesterday, the UN Human Rights Commission, whose bonafides I researched a few weeks ago, approved a resolution condoning violence as a way to achieve Palestinian statehood (via Little Green Footballs). Great Britain, Canada, Guatemala, the Czech Republic, and Germany opposed. Read the whole article. Please. Try not to laugh at the hypocrisy of the human rights abuses of the document's sponsors. Try not to cry at the result of their horrific action. But keep your outrage. Keep it. Let it burn slowly, until it creates a fire of righteous indignation. Harness it. I think it's time for a letter-writing campaign to our representatives. I think it's time the United Nations went elsewhere. I vote for Beirut for its new home. Let them experience "all available means, including armed struggle" first-hand--the first time they vote against Palestinian wishes.
While trying to find a list of the seven abstaining nations, I came across this at the UN's website: The daily briefing. Read, and if your gorge doesn't rise at the hypocrisy of these madmen who stand with murderers and terrorists, I strongly suggest you go read another weblog and never come back to this one.
Amazing how the Commission has no trouble at all blaming Israel for anything, but has no problem accepting that Iraq is stalling talks with the UN about weapons inspection. And notice the first paragraph. India and Pakistan must both ask the UN for assistance in order for the UN to take action on their border dispute--which also includes terrorists leaking through and killing innocents--but Israel has no choice--the UN is trying to force peacekeeping troops down her throat.
This is one reason: German authorities have made an arrest over the synagogue "accident" in Tunisia. (Thanks, Eric.)
A dead-end road. Funny, none of the news reports I read mentioned that at all. They did, however, take pains to state that Tunisia was not known as a "hotbed of Islamic fantatacism." The unbiased media. Right.
They came by train. They came by bus. They came by plane. They came by car. They came on foot, from businesses in the area. They brought their children. Great-grandparents braved the heat and the crowds. In the end, more than 200,000 people took the day off work or school and suffered the near-90 degree heat to come to the Capitol to show their support for Israel.
They came from Toronto, Cleveland, Michigan, New York. They came from Hawaii, Arizona, Connecticut, Texas. California. Chicago. Columbus. Miami. D.C. Massachusetts. Israel.
Jews. Christians. White. Black. Old. Young. All of them rallied for Israel. A loud cheer arose when a group entered bearing signs that said, "Christians support Israel".
The crowd cheered again when Richard Gephart proclaimed, "We will stand with Israel! We will stand for freedom!"
They roared as Barbara Mikulski said, "The U.S. and Israel stand shoulder to shoulder against terrorism!"
They listened solemnly to Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor who has so eloquently written of his hell on earth, ask with anger and pain in his voice, "How much more destruction and death will it take to make the rest of the world understand?" and "We must make sure terrorism never becomes an acceptable form of negotiation."
They roared again for Rudy Guiliani as he insisted "Peace must be based on realism, not romance. Peace must be based on security, not terrorism." And the largest cheer of all for "There is no moral equivalent between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority!"
Dick Armey brought them to their feet again: "A deliberate attack on innocent civilians is terrorism. It is terrorism when it happens in New York, and it is terrorism when it happens in the heart of Jerusalem. We reject any theory of moral equivalence that confuses self-defense with an act of terror."
When Bibi Netanyahu took the stand, it was clear he was the man they had most wanted to hear. "Don't be fooled by apologists for terror," he told the crowd. "Mahatma Gandhi did not use terrorism. Martin Luther King did not use terrorism. The root cause of terrorism is not despair--it is the totalitarian mindset. Those who target the innocent will never protect freedom and human rights. Those who fight as terrorists will rule as terrorists. Yasser Arafat is the quintessential terrorist."
It's past 10:30 p.m., and I've been up since 4 a.m. and was out in the upper-80's weather in our nation's capital, and I can barely see straight now. So I'll just give you a few tidbits about the Israel Solidarity Rally. I have an essay mostly done; it needs editing and will be up tomorrow morning sometime.
It was wonderful, it was phenomenal, there were more than 200,000 people there. It was peaceful, it was hot, it was crowded. It was deeply moving, it was heartening, it was exciting.
The news reports that say we booed Wolfowitz because he mentioned Palestinian civilians got it wrong; we booed nearly all of his speech after he started it by saying that the (wobby) message from President Bush is that he stands with us. That would be his constituents, not the people we were rallying for, or the cause.
I didn't really have anything to bring and was worried that I wouldn't have enough food for the trip this morning. By the first half-hour on the bus I realized that there is a tremendous advantage to being on a bus filled with Jewish mothers: There's lots of food to share.
I saw a man in his 90s, and babes in carriages, and all manner of folks in between. The rally was peaceful and friendly; people were warm and helpful--and not a single person called for the death of anyone. Not even for Arafat's.
I'm posting this on the evening of the 14th, because by 6 a.m. on the 15th I will be on a bus headed towards Washington, D.C. The Israel Solidarity Rally is an attempt to get the message out--the message that Israel is fighting for her existence, and that she deserves to be able to defend herself from terrorists who send children into markets to blow up innocent civilians.
I don't expect to get back until late, and I won't be blogging the rally, exactly. But I will be reporting live for Glenn Reynolds, who will be blogging the rally through me and perhaps a couple of other contacts. Time to dust off my old journalism skills, but I'll tell you right now not to expect objectivity. This ain't the--the--uh, never mind. There is no objective press out there.
I'll also make another prediction or three about the Israel Solidarity Rally: None of the speakers will call for the deaths of Palestinians. None of the speakers will call for war. No chants of "Death to the Palestinians!" will start, although it's highly likely we'll be chanting "ARAFAT SUCKS!"--if we bloggers can get enough people to go along. And no one will stand on the stage in front of thousands of protestors and call for martyrdom.
We want peace, too. But not at the cost of the State of Israel, or by more loss of Jewish lives.
The word here in the NY-NJ area is that tomorrow's rally is going to be huge--bigger than the organizers first hoped for. I'm told you can't find a bus or airplane ticket to D.C. for love nor money, and that the traffic is expected to be horrendous. Washingtonians, take a three-day weekend and accept our apologies for the traffic mess in advance. Word is also that no counter-rallies have been planned, and that Rudy Guiliani is expected to speak. Righteous Rudy!
Also via Instapundit: An essay (translated by Chris Newman) by Oriana Fallaci that is a must-read. It's so wonderful to see a European taking her fellow Continentals to task.
Here's another step into barbarity for an already-barbarous people: Israeli intelligence alerts burial societies that Palestinians will begin targeting Israeli funerals. Nice. Not only do they kill a set of victims, but now they're targeting the victims' families. Yeah, they want peace. But they spell it "pieces" and they mean "of Israelis".
Life as an 11th-grader in Israel: Vered Maman survives her fifth terrorist attack. She's not even 18.
The world continues even when we take a break. Among the most horrifying of the articles I've read: This one on the Saudi Telethon to raise money for Palestinians.
Nice. Now let's compare that with the American response to 9/11, shall we? Remember all those angry callers asking to rain down hell on the Taliban and Afghanistan, and while we were at it, most of the Arab world since it was Muslims who took down the Twin Towers?
No? Oh, that's right. Because we don't work that way. Neither does Israel.
Joe Katzman has the economics of suicide bombers explained at his weblog. He estimates the $25,000 the families of suicide bombers receive is equivalent to over $1 million American dollars. And check out the rest of the per capita incomes of the Middle East. They should be ashamed. All that oil money, and the poor abound. No wonder they want to prevent large, angry demonstrations in their nations.
And lastly, our Oxford poet, Tom Paulin, proves that the no nation has a monopoly on stupid anti-Semites. (Thanks, Rupert.) But it's difficult to say how much of an anti-Semite he is.
I wasn't born in Brooklyn, but some of my family was. Does this mean he would have hated my Aunt Tibby, but not me? Or would he hate me, too, because I believe Israel does have a right to exist? Tom--dude--you have to be more general in your hatred of Jews. You can't pick and choose, unless you say you only hate Zionists, not Jews, in which case we've got your number anyway, because the lie that anti-Zionism isn't anti-Semitism has been disproven over the past few weeks in the dozens of anti-Semitic incidents throughout the world, where Jewish butchers have been shot at because French anti-Semites are mad at Israeli actions in the West Bank.
You know, I wanted to shoot my kosher butcher the last time I bought a corned beef from him, because it started to turn brown after only a couple days in the fridge--but I never acted on it. Instead, I think I'll just complain to him when I go there next, so he'll give me something for free. Ivan's great that way.
Last week's blogs are archived. If you're looking for the Human Rights commission documents, or the Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts, click on the links. Iseema bin Laden's diary is also a good bet if you've never been here before.