A correspondent writes:
Let's be honest here. If I had to choose between saving my brother's life, or saving yours, my brother would live. That is human nature. I'm not quite up on my New World Code of Moral Behavior, but I think that to deny that most people think more highly of their friends, family, and own societies is unrealistic. That theory isn't in general practice. It is especially not in practice in the clan-centric Arab world. Do I think my family's lives are more important than yours? Yes. Do I think that Israeli lives are more important than Palestinians? Yes. Do Palestinians think their lives are more important than Israelis? Yes. Is that the root of the conflict? No.
It is naive to think that the war in Israel will cease if only each side would stop believing their lives are more important than the other's. I can't boil down the why of the conflict that is Israel to a pithy one-line answer, nor will I even try. But the current conflict can be summarized: The Palestinians are at war with Israel, and have been actively warring for the past two years, only they call it "intifadeh" instead of "war." They say their goal is independence. If their goal is an independent state, however, one has to wonder: How does killing a four- and five-year-old in cold blood advance that purpose?
As to why I quoted Hillel Halkin's article approvingly: The checkpoints were in place last month in Hebron, when the IDF clamped down tightly on the city. When they were removed, the result was the death of a dozen Israelis, and fifteen injured.
That is why I approve of checkpoints. And more checkpoints, until the killing stops. permalink
I spent most of yesterday away from the papers and television and internet. We had a small birthday get-together at Heidi's, me, her family, and a friend of mine from the synagogue. We played with my new digital camera and ate corned beef (imported from NJ and sitting in my freezer for the appropriate event) and latkes (made fresh, by me), frustrated Sorena's designs on my cake by having an angel food cake instead of one that she could frost and then smother with overly-sweet things, and had an overall great time.
And at one point in the evening, Heidi asked me how the website was going. I told her, gave her a sketchy summary of my latest subjects, and moved on to something else, as we don't discuss Israel anymore. But I started wondering afterwards: Am I, perhaps, too close? Am I reading too many magazines and websites and authors that focus on anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiments? Perhaps some perspective is needed. Maybe it's not as bad as I think it is.
No, it's not a lack of perspective on my part. It's the sad, sick, awful truth: The Arabs are trying desperatately to become the 21st century Nazis. They want to eliminate the Jews, period. It's not the "settlements"Hebron was a Jewish city from time immemorial, and the remnants of the ancient Jewish citizens were slaughtered and expelled in 1929by the Arabs, of course. Yesterday, the Arabs tried to do it again.
This time, even Kofi Annan couldn't stomach the naked hatred and brutality. He actually called it a terrorist attack. He didn't blame the "settlers." Does this mean the tide may actually begin to turn?
I won't hold my breath. permalink
I knew about Mary a while ago, but I did not know that she needs to change her name to Donna Quixote. She regularly reads and comments on an anti-warblog that is so disgustingly anti-Semitic that Judith Weiss is marking a thread URL to throw back in the faces of anyone who claims that LGF is bigoted. Anil, have you ever been here? Go. It'll make you sick.
Mary, I'm nominating you for the Blogger Medal of Honor for your efforts on that weblog, but damn, girl, you are one thick-skinned, crazy woman. I could never put up with those assholes on a daily basis.
Carnival of the Vanities # 8 has been up, but I wasn't linking yesterday. And read Bigwig's description of giving his daughter a bath at a non-routine time (ignore the asshole in the comments, who obviously should never reproduce; I did).
Have you been to Scrappleface lately? Scott's making French fart jokes, reporting on the plight of the Sea Monkeys (I always wanted to buy one from those ads in the back of my comic books, but never did), an article that proves the bin Laden tape was a fake, and an article that proves that Al Gore is still alive. A busy man, our Scott Ott.
Terry Oglesby made me laugh. But Yorkieblog is having a rough time of it. So let's send some hits her way and cheer her up. (How is it that I find myself agreeing with Pat Robertson? My God, we really are in Bizarro World, aren't we?)
Diane E. is quitting blogging. Bummer.
I have not written as much original content lately as I've wanted to. The world keeps getting in the way. However, I bought myself a birthday present yesterdaythat digital camera I promised myself last year. (I am, as Diane E. says, an effing Scorpio, and today is my effing birthday, and I'm effing effing years old.) I expect the camera is going to inspire me to do words and pictures. I should be able to get some shots of the Dog Parade at Heidi's that I've told you about. That's where all three dogs follow her from room to room while she does her chores. Maddening to her, hilarious to me. At the very least, I may put up some dog pictures to go along with the cat pictures, so you can finally see the cast of characters I've written about. And of course, Sorena will no doubt want me to put pictures of her on my website. I'd best remember to have a G-rated page that week. permalink
It's the second paragraph that I agree with the most. Until the terrorists stop coming into Israel and the West Bank and blowing up Israelis, the checkpoints are necessary. If the Pals want to stop the checkpoints, let them stop the bombings, shootings, and knifings. Each time a sociopath shoots a child in cold blood, it merely reinforces the reasons for checkpoints and even more stringent measures.
Oh. And I would change "not a week goes by" to "not a day goes by" in the first paragraph. Every dayevery single daythe IDF captures weapons and prevents terrorists from murdering more Israelis. permalink
And really, I'm serious about the Godiva. Well, actually, I'm fonder of clauses 1. and 2.A than the others. And my birthday's just around the corner, too. Just a hint, folks. permalink
Scott from AMCGLTD sent me this letter yesterday:
Thanks, Scott. That means a lot to all of us, and yeah, it did make my day a bit better. Like the description of your professor, particularly the "comb-over example" part. I'll have to remember to steal that someday. permalink
You cannot read this without your heart cracking.
The article ended:
The Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade is proud of the murder of children. Lynn B. quotes some of their latest announcement, via IMRA. Imshin is a bit regretful that she posted in anger yesterday and raised a few hackles. Don't be regretful, Imshin. The heart cannot be gainsaid, they tell us. People don't like what you said about extremists? Fuck 'em. There's a difference between writing a post in anger about something petty like an asshole who's sending you hatemail, and a post written from the anger of your heart's anguish. Knowing that Matan and Noam cowered underneath their blankets from the real-life bogeyman, who killed them with bullets paid for by the EU and Arab nations, should be enough to crack any right-thinking human being. Which brings us to:
What kind of sick, twisted, pathetic piece of human garbage can put a bullet through a four-year-old child? One raised on a steady diet of lies and hate and anti-Semitism. How do we fight them? Well, I'm too old, alas, to move to Israel and join the IDF. But I have a website, and I have a voice, and I have an income. I'm their second-worst nightmare: An American Jew raising money for Israel. Only this time, I don't want to raise money for the hospitals or the ambulances. This time, I want to raise money for the defense. If anyone can find me a direct donation page to the IDF, I'd be grateful. In the meantime, here's a list of charities from which to choose:
How we can hurt them: Support Israel financially.
Here's a Stand By Israel page with tons of links for donations, investment, and Israeli products.
Here's a page with military-related donations and links.
For the more peaceable of you: Buy Israeli products. Teddyflipped has a great page of links.
I sent my donation to the LIBI IDF site, in the names of Matan and Noam Ohayunthe murdered children.
The grandmother of all essays about Jew-hatred is bubbling up inside me. Here's a tip for the anti-Semites: You can't. You've tried, you've failed, we're still here. Suck it up or die, we don't care. We're still here. The Romans are gone. The Assyrians are gone. The Babylonians are gone. The Third Reich is gone. Feel free to join them in the graveyard of history. We'll still be here, long after you're gone, too. permalink
To whom it may concern,
She's lived there all her life. I expect she knows a bit more about the situation than many non-Israeli bloggers. And, well, I respect and admire her, so my money's on the horse she's betting on. permalink
No, not my name-twin in Texas, though sure, go say howdy to her and wish her well in her pregnancy. What I'm talking about: When I woke up this morning and tried out my voice, I discovered to my delight that it sounds like my voice again. It's still a bit hoarse, but we're getting closer and closer to 100%. Of course, if this keeps up, I'm going to have to find my microphone and boot up the media machine and make a .wav file so you can all hear me, what with my writing so much about my talking. Or lack thereof.
Don't worry, I promise not to record myself singing in the shower. Or anywhere else. Well, actually, I can keep a tune, but my voice isn't anything special to think of. Iron Gall's voice is pretty damned good, though. So's her writing.
It's a school day, and I have some things to do this afternoon. And Buffy's on tonight. It may be a while before you hear from me again. Ha. Hear from me. I can speak again! I can talk! Hooray! permalink
So here are a bunch of links for you instead. And they're all going to be weblogs that I haven't mentioned in quite some time. Well, except for Jack's. But that's because I want him to write more.
You know, last week, I went over to Blogs of War and discovered that, yeah, Dr. Frank is still missing in action.
TV Land is an evil, evil place, where they rerun old shows that suck me into their vacuum and keep me watching even as I cringe and say, "I'm not a teenager anymore! Happy Days sucks!" (Of course, the fact that I had a huge crush on Henry Winklerlike every other girl in the country at that timemight have something to do with it. And the Fonz is Jewish, folks. Hahahahaha, he's one of us!)
What, you want to know, does this have to do with Blogs of War and Dr. Frank? Well. It appears that although the Fonz is still back in the fifties, Dr. Frank is back on his weblog. He snuck in a few days ago. And he has a pretty amusing comparison: When it comes to Iraq, is W. the Fonz, or is he just Richie Cunningham? Stay tuned, kiddo, and we'll see.
I can't pick out any individual post from Grasshoppa that I like better than any others. Geoff is funny and furious at the same time, or funny and ironic, or funny and nasty... just go read his weblog and see what you think.
I've been poking around some in the other hemisphere, and let me tell you, there are some mighty fine blogs down that way. Everyone knows about Tim Blair, sure, but did you know about Whacking Day? I've been meaning to link to his evisceration of Ann Nutjob Coulter's so-called thoughts on the usefulness of DNA evidence:
If he keeps this up, I may have to offer him a place to stay on his tour of America in '03. (And no, dear, it won't be in my bedroom. There's a quite comfortable sofabed in the living room.)
Now if I could only get Tex to change his site colors to a more readable schemelike almost anything but white-on-black.
Garrett's also got a lot to say about where all the Democratic warmongers have gone, how his generation is going to write the next On the Road, and reports on the great Pop vs. Soda controversy (and adds his own controversy, Coke, to the mix). Garrett, you should get in touch with me via email. I'll be in NJ for Thanksgiving weekend, and heading into the city for a get-together with some fellow bloggers. Of course, many of us are in (sigh) your parents' generation, but we'll ignore that for now. Or at least not admit which of us those would be.
Jack Rich is leaving me wanting more. Again. I like his commentary a lot. Write more, Jack.
Jim Miller is another one who has succinct, interesting, and funny commentary on current events. And, well, strange legalisms on British paperbacks. He also linked to this excellent article on the slave trade in the Sudan, and how America is ending it. Funny, we don't seem to be getting any credit for it, though. permalink
I didn't have anything to say about Veteran's Day, really. My father served in WWII, but he never made it out of the country, only as far as Texas (which he hated to his dying day, Lair). My uncle served in Europe, but he never talked about it. (So much for Jews not serving in the army, hm?) Another uncle was in the army during Korea, but I don't think he was in combat. So no, I haven't much to say. I was definitely an ultra-liberal in my youth, but I never blamed soldiers for our nation's mistakes in Vietnam, or attended any anti-war demonstrations (before my time, really). The draft ended shortly before my older brother would have been eligible. I do remember my mother at the time saying she'd drive him to Canada herself. Lucky for us we never had to come to that decision, what with the current climate of anti-Semitism over there, hm?
Anyway. Here's a story from Jeffrey Zeldman's site, one of the techies that most of my readers don't even know exists. He's been around far longer than any of the warbloggers you know and love, and warblogger would be the last word you'd use to describe Zeldman. But go read Veteran's Day. (Thanks to Ben Henick for this one.) permalink
I've been catching up on answering my email, and while I was at it, decided to clean out the mailbox somewhat (can you say "packrat"? I knew you could). Doing that, of course, entails rereading old messages from readers over the past few months, going all the way back to the Blogathon (Quana Jones and Combustible Boy were the only ones still awake and sending me email encouragement at five a.m.; folks, I still remember and thank you for it).
You have sent me jokes and articles and links to weblogs that you think I'd be interested in. I've received get-well wishes and laryngitis remedies and offers of help finding apartments. Every question I've asked has been answered quickly and easily, usually by more than one of you. There has been much encouragement, some correction of mistakes, and a (thankfully) minor amount of hate mail. Many of you have become "virtual" friends. Our conversations ebb and flow, and sometimes, I admit, I have to think to myself "Who is this again?" before remembering an earlier conversationwhich is frankly not much different from my struggling to put a name to the face of someone I'm speaking to after synagogue, so I'm thinking it's a sign of age more than anything else. But overall, I would like to give a great big thank-you to my readers, who make writing this weblog a much more pleasant task.
Hey, you're why I update this weblog even on the weekends, when the readership can drop off as much as fifty percent. That still leaves half of you looking for new posts, and I find that I can no more ignore my readers than I can ignore my cats. There you go. A new tagline for yourish.com: My readers: They're as important to me as my cats.
What's wrong with this picture? Read the paragraphs below and see if you can pick out the phrase that horrified me the most:
No, it's not the last one. That one is chilling enough, but Egyptians believe that the world understands the killing of all Jews, and to say otherwise is merely public relations. That's not the least bit surprising or off-message. It's the paragraph above it, in particular, this sentence, that bothers me the most:
The European Union officials have been working with Hamas to try to get them to kill only Jews in uniform or living in the settlements. Because after all, Jews have no right to live there. It's not like it was the Jews' ancestral homeland from which they were forcibly removed, or anything.
This is why I hateliterally, hatethe European Union officials. They should be working with Hamas to get them to stop bombing, period. What kind of crap is this? "the world can understand the killing of Jewish settlers and IDF soldiers, but not innocent civilians inside Israel"? And the EU goes along with this? Are they so morally bankrupt that they can't see how many different kinds of wrong this is?
But then, these are Europeans. They are used to, indeed, apparently require the deaths of Jews, since they've been doing it for so long. And since there are so few Jews in Europe, well, Israel gives them a good alternative killing ground. They can even get to declare their own hands to be bloodless. Which is probably why Christopher Patten is refusing to investigate charges that the UN funds going to the Palestinian Authority are being used to fund acts of terror and death.
Each time I read an article like this, it reinforces my thoughts that America is right to act unilaterally. The EU is morally bankrupt. Actions like this show that they have lost their right to lecture Israel on how she should conduct herself. permalink
My voice has returned, for the most partit sounds about ninety percent to me now, although that percentage fell heavily after teaching class this morning. I really wish somebody would have told me before I started teaching that classes stopped being dictatorships after I left them. I came very, very close to telling the children today, "This is not a democracy, and you don't get a say in how I teach the lesson!" but I managed to control myself. This time.
Actually, the good news was talking to one of the parents after class, and finding out that her son loves coming to class and thinks I'm doing a great job. (I think her son is a great kid, so we're even in that regard.) It's the little victories that get you through, I suppose.
I spent the afternoon researching an article I'm working on, and then about an hour or two in a foul mood as the result of my research. Came awfully close to writing an essay on how much I hate Great Britain, and how many deaths of Jews their intransigence in British Palestine caused, right up to the day when they turned over their mandate. It certainly explains the anti-Semitism of assholes like Vanessa Redgrave, whose latest cause is the Chechens. I'd link to the article, but that would require my actually having to type her name twice in one day, and I think if that happened, I'd burst into flame. Feel free to find it via Google all by yourselves; you're big boys and girls, and web-savvy, too!
By the way, for those of you who have been wondering what I look like, I finally decided to post a picture for you. Above is one of me as a Lucky Strike Girl from a Halloween party from, hm, sometime in the 90s is all I can remember. Sorry about the darkness in the bottom, but we were more concerned with the costume than my legs, although I can remember that I was wearing black tights, and that I couldn't eat or drink or smoke while wearing the costume, and that the top came off fairly quickly after this shot was taken, so I could enjoy the rest of the party. It was definitely one of my more clever costumes, and one I put more effort into than most. It was also hot as hell in there, another reason the top of the costume came off early and stayed off. Any old-timers out there that can tell me what LS/M.F.T. means? I remember, but only because I found it in an ad from a magazine of the fifties.
What, you were expecting cheesecake? I'm not that kind of girl. Michele, who absofraggin'-lutely rocks, is, however. But it's for charity. (And no, Michele, I did not give you pneumonia. I had a virus. You have pneumonia. And you're 375 effing miles north of me. What, they don't teach geography in Noo Yawk schools? If you went to school in New Jersey, like I did, you'd know that a virus has a spreadable radius of only 350 miles. I have, however, passed it on to some people in the D.C. area, I think.
Speaking of the D.C. area, I'm thinking seriously of heading up there for a couple of days to see the sights. Josh Trevino has promised me lunch in the Congressional Dining Room. Anyone up that way have a guest room? I hate being alone in hotels in strange cities. I'm booked through November. How's early December in D.C.? Or should I just wait until cherry blossom time?
Look at that. It's not even mid-November, and already I'm thinking of spring. I hate the cold. permalink
On the nights of November 9 and 10, rampaging mobs throughout Germany and the newly acquired territories of Austria and Sudetenland freely attacked Jews in the street, in their homes and at their places of work and worship. At least 96 Jews were killed and hundreds more injured, more than 1,000 synagogues were burned (and possibly as many as 2,000), almost 7,500 Jewish businesses were destroyed, cemeteries and schools were vandalized, and 30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps.
During the November pogroms, stormtroopers smashed Jewish store windows, destroyed goods, and carried out massive looting. German officials calculated that 7,500 enterprises were damaged or destroyed in the rampages.
The Nazis forced the Jews to pay the costs of the pogroms and banned them from gainful economic activity. Insurance monies to cover the damages were confiscated, Jewish store and home owners had to repair their buildings at their own cost, and an "atonement" fee of 1 billion Reichsmarks (about $400 million) was imposed on the community.
The official German position on these events, which were clearly orchestrated by Goebbels, was that they were spontaneous outbursts. The Fuehrer, Goebbels reported to Party officials in Munich, "has decided that such demonstrations are not to be prepared or organized by the party, but so far as they originate spontaneously, they are not to be discouraged either."
Mind you, Reuters calls the terrorist a "gunman" in the headline. In the story, they call him "A suspected Palestinian gunman." Because he's only suspected of being a Palestinian, or is he only suspected of being a gunman, what with his having killed two and wounded five kibbutzniks. Not settlers. Not soldiers. Civilians in northern Israel. Update: Five deaths.
Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades is taking responsibility. They tried to kill more, but two of them blew themselves up on the way into the kibbutz.
Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary and The Fudd Doctrine are also good bets if you've never been here before.