I have picked up a slight cold, which is putting a damper on my returning
emails, posting links, and writing. I must rid myself of this ailment
before Tuesday. Then again, nothing will stop me from enjoying all three
Lord of the Rings films in a row. I'd get up from my deathbed to see them,
if need be.
Lucky for me, it's just a little congestion. Off to bed early for me.
Teaching tomorrow. permalink
Did you ever notice that the nations lined up in overwhelming support
of international restrictions on and control of Israel suddenly get really
angry when the international community turns its attention towards them?
Syria is one such country. It is first in line to call for international
condemnation of Israel. But when the tables are turned, and America passes
the Syrian Accountablity Act, which demands that Syria close down the
terrorist bases in Damascus, Syrian
leaders get bent out of shape.
Damascus has previously condemned the bill as a bid
to punish Syria for its staunch opposition to the US-led invasion of
Iraq. Government officials have also said the threatened sanctions will
not have much affect as Syrian trade with the United States is worth
only about $300 million a year.
Joseph Swayyed, an ultra-nationalist member of Syria's
parliament, which is dominated by the ruling party, said the law was
written to hurt Syria for its rejection of US and Israeli "plots"
to control the region.
"No country has the right to enact laws calling
to account another country," Swayyed told The Associated Press
So the United States should not reduce loan guarantees to Israel because
of the separation fence, and the United Nations has no right to tell Israel
how she should deal with the disputed territories, then?
On a different topic but still on the subject of hypocrisy, here's a
bile-raising quote by Saudi prince Bandar, the bestest Bush buddy
(remember his trip to the ranch in Crawford while Ariel Sharon had to
settle for official visits to the White House during the inception of
the "road map"?):
Countries that opposed the US decision to invade Iraq
have no right to protest US initiatives restricting reconstruction contracts
to allies, the Saudi ambassador to the US said Friday.
"It's amazing how people who were doing everything
possible to derail the success" of the Iraq war now "feel
they have the right" to reconstruction contracts, Prince Bandar
Bin Sultan said. "It just takes so much chutzpah."
Leaving aside the obvious hypocrisy, let me just say that chutzpah is
defined by a leader of a nation feeling that it is appropriate to use
a word developed by Jews, knowing full well that it is forbidden for Jews
to set foot in his country, while funding terrorists that murder Jews,
and refusing to shut down the funding to terrorists that target Jews and
This quote is closer to the truth about the Saudis:
Bandar kept his comments about terrorism to a minimum
despite recent terror attacks in Saudi Arabia and warnings of more to
"That fight has been imposed on us," Bandar
said. "None of us asked for it."
You got that right, Bandar. The United States is still waiting for the
full cooperation of Saudi Arabia, home to 15 of the 19 9/11 murderers,
and thousands of anti-American terrorists waiting for their chance to
do the same. The fight was imposed on you because your appeasement and
support strengthened Al Qaeda to the monster it has become. permalink
George Orwell and anti-Semitism
This has been bothering me since I first read it. Something about it
just didn't sit right. I'm not an expert on George Orwell, but I don't
ever remember any other source claiming that he was an anti-Semite, and
especially never attributing to Orwell anything positive to say about
Hitler, let alone these words quoted
by Julie Burchill:
Similarly, George Orwell could write in 1940 that he
had nothing against Hitler, and follow up this gem with the declaration
that European Jews would prefer the Nazi social system to that of Britain,
"if it were not that they happen to persecute them". This
would be the same Orwell (another Etonian!) who was revealed as spying
and squealing on his leftwing friends for the CIA in the immediate postwar
period, would it? Mmm, he'd have been quite at home in Nazi Germany
As I said, I know little about Orwell, and can't tell you if the spy
charge is valid or not. But I could have sworn that Orwell had no hate
for Jews. I found this mention in a 1939 essay titled "Marrakech":
As the Jews live in self-contained communities they
follow the same trades as the Arabs, except for agriculture. Fruit-sellers,
potters, silversmiths, blacksmiths, butchers, leather-workers, tailors,
water-carriers, beggars, porterswhichever way you look you see
nothing but Jews. As a matter of fact there are thirteen thousand of
them, all living in the space of a few acres. A good job Hitler isnt
here. Perhaps he is on his way, however. You hear the usual dark rumours
about the Jews, not only from the Arabs but from the poorer Europeans.
That's quite the opposite of what Burchill claimed. Then I found this
essay, written in 1945, titled "Anti-Semitism
in Britain." I simply cannot conceive that the same man wrote
both this essay and the words attributed to him above. Here is an excerpt:
If, as I suggest, prejudice against Jews has always
been pretty widespread in England, there is no reason to think that
Hitler has genuinely diminished it. He has merely caused a sharp division
between the politically conscious person who realises that this is not
a time to throw stones at the Jews, and the unconscious person whose
native antisemitism is increased by the nervous strain of the war. One
can assume, therefore, that many people who would perish rather than
admit to antisemitic feelings are secretly prone to them. I have already
indicated that I believe antisemitism to be essentially a neurosis,
but of course it has its rationalisations, which are sincerely believed
in and are partly true. The rationalisation put forward by the common
man is that the Jew is an exploiter. The partial justification for this
is that the Jew, in England, is generally a small businessmanthat
is to say a person whose depredations are more obvious and intelligible
than those of, say, a bank or an insurance company. Higher up the intellectual
scale, antisemitism is rationalised by saying that the Jew is a person
who spreads disaffection and weakens national morale. Again there is
some superficial justification for this. During the past twenty-five
years the activities of what are called intellectuals have
been largely mischievous. I do not think it an exaggeration to say that
if the intellectuals had done their work a little more thoroughly,
Britain would have surrendered in 1940. But the disaffected intelligentsia
inevitably included a large number of Jews. With some plausibility it
can be said that the Jews are the enemies of our native culture and
our national morale. Carefully examined, the claim is seen to be nonsense,
but there are always a few prominent individuals who can be cited in
support of it. During the past few years there has been what amounts
to a counter-attack against the rather shallow Leftism which was fashionable
in the previous decade and which was exemplified by such organisations
as the Left Book Club. This counter-attack (see for instance such books
as Arnold Lutins THE GOOD GORILLA or Evelyn Waughs PUT OUT
MORE FLAGS) has an antisemitic strain, and it would probably be more
marked if the subject were not so obviously dangerous. It so happens
that for some decades past Britain has had no nationalist intelligentsia
worth bothering about. But British nationalism, i.e. nationalism of
an intellectual kind, may revive, and probably will revive if Britain
comes out of the present war greatly weakened. The young intellectuals
of 1950 may be as naively patriotic as those of 1914. In that case the
kind of antisemitism which flourished among the anti-Dreyfusards in
France, and which Chesterton and Belloc tried to import into this country,
might get a foothold.
I simply do not see an ounce of anti-Semitism in this essay, and have
no idea where Burchill got her quote. If anyone out there could enlighten
me, please do. My gut's telling me that Orwell is being smeared. permalink
French anti-Semitism: J'accuse
How many times in the past three years have we read articles that say
the rise in anti-Semitism throughout Europe is because of Israel's "response"
to the intifada?
Well, the French, the same organization that thinks the way to end bigotry
is to refuse to allow people to display their religious articles, just
official seal to this theory:
On Thursday, an official French government report submitted
by an Interior Ministry-sponsored task committee concluded that there
was a rise in the so-called "new anti-Semitism," relating
to a surge in attacks on European Jews since the start of the intifada
in 2000, Israel Radio reported.
[...] The report also concluded that the rise in anti-Semitism
is nourished by media images of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The
authors emphasized that despite feelings of rage or solidarity with
one of the sides, the conflict cannot be brought into other aspects
of French society.
This is in an article that contains the disgusting fact that attacks
on Jews have now become the single most popular entertainment for bigots
So I fear we must take the problem and turn it inside out with a little
of their own logic. Let's see if we can't find a similar example on which
to pin some collective blame:
Muslim terrorists have blown up American ships, American embassies, conspired
to blow up the World Trade Center, successfully destroyed it, claiming
nearly 3,000 lives in the event, destroyed a wing of the Pentagon, killed
American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, are working today to kill more
American soldiers and civilians, and have declared their intention to
kill more until we satisfy their ever-changing demands.
Al Qaeda and other Muslim terrorist organizations have proven to the
world that they are ready, willing, and able to kill Americans and target
American interests throughout the world.
So. Why haven't attacks against Muslims risen in reaction to the actions
of Muslim terrorists throughout the world?
Then there's the second part to this equation: If Israel's actions are
causing adverse reactions to the Jews throughout Europe, why aren't they
causing attacks on Jews in America? America has a large Muslim population
scattered over many states. Some of them must be radical, Jew-hating Muslims.
There are certainly anti-Israeli Muslims in Paterson, Jersey City, Detroit,
northern Virginia, and New York City. So riddle me this, Eurocrats, Indymidiots,
Chomskyites, and the rest of the Blame Israel crew: Why are there not
more attacks on Jews by Muslims in America who are enraged by the actions
of the Israeli government? Why are there not more attacks on Muslims by
others in America who are enraged by Al Qaeda's attacks on Americans?
I'll tell you why not: Because it is not acceptable behavior in the United
States. Because there is a strong police presence that seeks out the perpetrators.
Because there is a strong sense of community that will not allow such
hatred to commence, whether it is in defense of Muslim women shopping
in the aftermath of 9/11, or a group of midwesterners putting menorahs
in their windows to protest anti-Semitism in their towns. Because, with
few exceptions, the authorities here in America will investigate hate
crimes and call a spade a spade, instead of going out of their way to
insist that an explosion
in front of a synagogue is purely coincidental, or that if only Israel
would stop "humiliating" the palestinians and give them their
own state, Muslims in Europe would stop attacking Jews.
The problem lies with neither Israel nor the Jews. The problem lies with
insufficient policing, lack of official intolerance of such crimes, and
a general refusal to recognize that these crimes exist in the first place.
J'accuse, France. J'accuse, Europe. Stop blaming the Jews, and put the
blame where it squarely belongs: Back on you, and your tactics which allow
Jew-hatred to flourish.
Real life intrudes
At least for this morning and afternoon. More babysitting, setting up
a job interview, helping a friend rid her computer of a virus that sends
her browser to pr0n sitesgee, I have a busy day ahead of me.
So I think I'll finally send you to the Wizbang
Weblog Awards to vote for a few categories. I'm voting for Scrappleface
in Best Humor Blog,
Healing Iraq in Best New
Blog (I'd actually vote for some others, but they haven't got a chance
of overcoming the lead in the next two days), and Imshin in Most
Egregious Omission. I'm voting for A
Small Victory in the Higher
Beings Ecosystem poll.
You can vote every 12 hours. So if you remember, vote more than once.
It's legal! permalink
Original thoughts to come, later.
I'm very tired. Babysitting with Mom or Dad around is still babysitting
when there are four children, and two of them are two years old. Oh, sure,
they're cute as all get-out when they're happy, but go ahead and
take away the goldfish crackers because Sarah tells the twins they've
had enough, and all hell breaks loose, even though you stoically refuse
to get them more crackers and they're wailing at a decibel level that
you haven't heard since you stood in front of the speakers at the Chevelle
performance at last summer's Y101 Birthday Bash.
And then you try to make a two-year-old understand why you
are picking him up and putting him in his crib instead of Mommy, because
you're not the one who had outpatient hernia surgery this morning and
you're not supposed to lift your children for a minimum of four weeks
(oh, yeah, like that's gonna happen, tooshe's going to start lifting
them on Monday, you just watch).
Anyway. It seems that I wasn't the only one to experience the difficulties
of child-rearing recently. Paul has admitted
that his wife works much harder than he, and he only has the one child.
I'm sure there are lots more things to link to, but that's it for me
for the evening. I'm going to catch up on the sleep that I lost last night,
and will be back at Sarah's tomorrow morning to do the heavy lifting for
her until Larry comes home from work. It's not really heavy lifting, though.
The twins weigh a little more (each) than Tig. They make more noise, but
they don't shed. It's a toss-up regarding the cleaning up, though. Litterbox
vs. diapers. Hairballs vs. baby messes. Okay. Toddlers take that one.
Taking a break
Last night I woke up from a nightmare in which half a dozen visiting
Israeli dignitaries were killed in a terrorist bomb on my former college
campus. My brother was wounded in the explosion, and as I left the scene,
a professor jeered at me, saying, "Gee, I wonder where Sami el-Arian
is?" and I passed a busload of grinning, gloating members of the
Muslim Student Association.
Time to take a break from the hate.
Anyway, I'm off helping a friend today. More babysitting, more Hulk Hands
and games with toddlers. permalink
Palestinian bombing firm: Jihad
Don't you just love those names? I
didn't make them up.
Meanwhile, late Tuesday night three Palestinians preparing
a bomb in the village of Tuffah were killed when it exploded prematurely.
Premature explodination is my favorite palestinian problem
Two of the dead, both students at the Polytechnic College
in Hebron known for its terrorist activities,
Ah, what those wacky college kids won't do for a prank these days.
were identified as Jihad Rasmi Duvish and Hatem
Al Kawasmeh, both members of the Hamas.
See? Jihad & Hatem, Bombmaking LLC. Call us; our work will blow you
away. (Over to you, Lair, I think
we have a winning meme here.)
Reports claimed the three were preparing a bomb in
a building once used by the Palestinian Authority security services.
Some Palestinian media reports claimed the two were killed by IDF forces,
but these were proven to be false.
Here's an addendum to the rule: How can you tell a palestinian is lying?
They're publishing it in their own media. permalink
Other people's words
Lynn's back from Israel, and doing
her thing over at In Context again. I'll be getting to this article
myself, soon. That's the one that reports cemetery
desecrations in Auschwitz. As Lynn says:
It doesn't get much more offensive than this.
[...] These are not coincidences. They aren't harmless
pranks. They're the manifestations of a hatred so huge and so deep that
the veneer of civilization has repeatedly proved powerless to suppress
it for long. And, clearly, Europe has once again forgotten its history.
birthday, Lynn. An ice cream maker, hm? Maybe I will find some time
to stop by your place on the way back from NJ next time. permalink
Weird search requests
This is one of the weirdest I've seen in quite some time: hulk
belly body jew. Sounds like a children's game, like "rock, paper,
scissors," doesn't it?
And yes, I'm number one for it.
And for those of you looking for "free nudist pictures of seniors,"
all I have to say is: Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.
If that's referrer spam, I have to wonder: Who the hell is their target
Ilyika made me laugh out loud with this bit on America electing a female
On the other hand, if Dean or another Democrat wins
in 2004, Gore's next opportunity is in 2012. And by 2012, Hillary's
going to look like hell. What, you think that's every bit as stupid
as Frum's theories? Come on, think about it. We've never elected a woman
in this country, but if we do, do you honestly think it's going to be
an OLD woman?
I'm dead serious about this. We don't even allow old
women to report our news, but we're going to get behind them sitting
in the Oval Office? You're delusional if you think that's a possibility.
I'm not saying that's a nice fact to have to accept; I'm saying it's
a fact. This country has not shown the least inclination to equate wisdom
and age when it comes to female public figures. I don't see any signs,
moreover, that this will change by 2012.
It's in an interesting analysis of how
the Republicans are missing the point of Dean's growing popularity.
excellent response in the Jerusalem Post to the New York Times' fawning
over the Geneva Accords:
The Times also misunderstands the parties to the debate
in Israel, describing Beilin's team as "Israelis of good will"
and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as an extremist. But Beilin and his
supporters were resoundingly defeated at the polls by the Israeli people,
and Sharon stands at the center of Israeli opinion. While Sharon is
not as popular now as when he was elected, his assessment of the Palestinians
reflects the thinking of probably more than three quarters of Israelis.
ANYONE IS free to think that Sharon is wrong, but calling
him an "extremist" betrays complete misunderstanding of Israel.
Of course the Times is entitled to think that the great
majority of Israelis are not "people of good will" but extremists
who want peace less than the Palestinians do. But if that is what the
Times thinks, it should put forth this implausible proposition rather
than hiding behind the fantasy that Sharon is an extremist who has somehow
hijacked the democratic politics of his country.
Both of them get a "read the rest" tag.
And I'm off this afternoon to babysit a set of two-year-old twins and
their five-year-old brother. I'm bringing the Hulk Hands with me. No,
for entertainment purposes, not to smash the kids. Sheesh. I like
First there's Ellen, who tells
E-Pregnancy magazine where to get off with passing along misinformation
and superstitions and bad advice about cats for couples with new children
Then there's this
hilarious return to the kitten picture that went around months ago,
via Bigwig. One might even call
it Revenge of the Kitten. Spit-monitor warning.
And Bigwig is his usual self, which means I read everything but the beer
posts. Those I just skimmed.
And then there's this, which is your moment of kitty zen for the week:
That's the ottoman of The Chair That Swallows You Whole, Susanna.
The chair itself is far more comfy.(She said in an email to me that she
thinks the chair is apocryphal and doesn't exist. She'll be here next
week and will see for herself.) permalink
Did the earth move for you, too?
So we had a
4.5 magnitude earthquake here in central Virginia this afternoon.
Here's a boring
graphic representation of the earthquake. No falling buildings, just
I was standing outside the synagogue offices at the time, talking to
one of my students and his mother before class. Then I went inside to
find out that our boilers were going to explode. No, not really. But by
an amusing coincidence, the education director's assistant turned on the
heat at the very moment the earthquake struck. The building shook, scaring
her to pieces, and she immediately turned off the heat, fearing that the
boilers were going to blow. The first thing she asked me was whether or
not I noticed the building shaking from outside, or heard any strange
You know, for all we know, Ellen turned on the switch that caused
the earthquake. After all, she is part of the grand Zionist conspiracy.
You really don't know how much power we Jews really have, do you? [Insert
evil, take-over-the-world laugh here] permalink
A period of relative calm
This is what the world calls "a period of relative calm"because
there haven't been any major suicide bombings or fatal attacks on Israelis
What the world fails to note is that the only reason there is "a
period of relative calm" is because the IDF, the Shin Bet, and the
Israeli police forces work
night and day to prevent the attacks.
Also Tuesday, it was released for publication that
the General Security Service (Shin Bet) captured a suicide bomber and
his driver on their way to perpetrate a suicide bombing in Rosh Ha'ayin
The terrorist, Suleiman Abu Ravis, 20, from Balata,
was sent on his mission by a Fatah Tanzim terror cell in Nablus.
The Tanzim Nablus cell tasked with driving the suicide
bomber to his target, Zabr Abu Saris, 37, and Latifa Abu Draer, 47,
both from Nablus, were also captured by security forces. The woman was
caught with a bag containing the explosives belt to be used. Security
officials told Israel Radio that the addition of the woman to the cell
was meant to ease the cell's passage into Israeli territory and expedite
the attack, since Palestinian women are subject to less stringent security
checks at Israeli roadblocks.
The three met up in the Kfar Kassem area, where Latifa
Abu Draer dressed the bomber with his explosives belt. She then returned
to Nablus. Abu Saris and the bomber then started making their way to
Rosh Ha'ayin but turned back to Nablus when they noticed the large Israeli
security presence in their target area.
They hid the explosives belt and fled to nearby Habla
village, where Israeli security forces captured them. After their arrest
they were handed over to the Shabak, and the explosives belt, weighing
8kg, was subsequently found.
On Monday, IDF and Border Police units intensified
patrols along the Green who carried out extensive searches to try to
apprehend suspected would-be bombers in the Sharon cities of Kfar Saba
and Rosh Ha'ayin.
The capture of the three, a combined operation between
Shin Bet, Police and IDF forces, thwarted a second suicide bombing in
the space of one week.
That other suicide bombing referred to was
this one, where the terrorists were going to blow themselves up inside
an Israeli school. This article did not take note of the
ready-to-wear explosives belt found in Ramallah last week.
Yes. "A period of relative calm." Only to those who refuse
to reportor seethe truth. permalink
IDF tactics come to Iraq
Via Scott Koenig, an article in
the Guardian details how the
Israeli army is helping American soldiers beat the Ba'athists and
terrorists in Iraq:
Israeli advisers are helping train US special forces
in aggressive counter-insurgency operations in Iraq, including the use
of assassination squads against guerrilla leaders, US intelligence and
military sources said yesterday.
The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) has sent urban warfare
specialists to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the home of US special
forces, and according to two sources, Israeli military "consultants"
have also visited Iraq.
US forces in Iraq's Sunni triangle have already begun
to use tactics that echo Israeli operations in the occupied territories,
sealing off centres of resistance with razor wire and razing buildings
from where attacks have been launched against US troops.
But the secret war in Iraq is about to get much tougher,
in the hope of suppressing the Ba'athist-led insurgency ahead of next
November's presidential elections.
US special forces teams are already behind the lines
inside Syria attempting to kill foreign jihadists before they cross
the border, and a group focused on the "neutralisation" of
guerrilla leaders is being set up, according to sources familiar with
Good for us, and good for the IDF. And kudos to the military commanders
trying to stop the terrorists before they can get a bead on our soldiers.
suicide bombers were killed before they could murder dozens of our
troops, though many were wounded in the major bomb attack. Looks like
our troops are improving their defense and their offense. permalink
Arafat's legacy: The science
of suicide bombing
Yasser Arafat is going to die, eventually, and we can only hope that
it is soon. But his legacy will live on. The man who taught the world
how to destroy innocent life to achieve your political goals has spent
the past four decades refining the ways to murder bystanders. This morning
in Moscow, not far from the Kremlin, we see his
Apparently, Muscovites were "lucky." The bomb went off prematurely,
and only one of the two went off.
The ITAR-Tass news agency reported that the explosion
had been caused by a female suicide bomber, and that an undetonated
explosive had been found on the bomber's body.
Police were searching for a thin woman dressed in a
dark fur coat who was suspected of involvement in the attack, said Moscow
police spokesman Yevgeny Gildeyev. He could not confirm that the blast
had been caused by a suicide bomber.
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov told the Interfax news agency
that there was at least one and possibly two female bombers and that
they had asked a passer-by the way to the lower house of parliament,
the State Duma.
"Evidently, the bomb went off by accident,"
he told Interfax. "The National Hotel was not the place where the
suicide bombers had planned to stage the explosion."
Throughout the world, Muslim fascists work daily to perfect the art of
suicide bombing. In the Gaza Strip and the West Banks, palestinians cut
metal into small, sharp pieces for insertion into the
bomb belts they use to murder Israelis. They insert nails and screws
and bolts, dipping them in rat poison to inhibit blood clotting. Israeli
doctors have developed a fast-acting blood clotting serum in response
to the terrorists. They had to. Many victims of the bombings were bleeding
to death even though their injuries weren't life-threatening. (There are
pictures of X-Rays of bombing victims at the above link.)
These bombs, which Messing says are sometimes funded
by Palestinian authorities including Yasser Arafat, are packed with
spikes, nails, screws, nuts, bullets, mortar, ball bearings and even
There may not be a single, worldwide network of terrorists. But they
travel to one another's bases and teach each other their methods of murder.
They recruit engineers and bright young men to "improve" their
weapons of terror. The bombmakers in Chechnya have studied at the feet
of Al Qaeda, who in turn learned their methods from the terrorists led
by Arafatin spirit, if not in fact.
This is the legacy of the palestinians.
is the legacy of the Israelis:
A new weapon in the fight against world hunger is the
new modern multi-million-dollar Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Science
and Genetics in Agriculture, at the Hebrew University Faculty of Agricultural,
Food and Environmental Quality in Rehovot.
A recent international conference on "Sustainable
Agriculture and Food Security in the 21st Century: the contribution
of Plant Biotechnology," was held to mark the dedication of the
new institute. The fact that world hunger is a problem that plant scientists
in the 21st century cannot ignore, was a message that was repeated throughout
The bottom-line challenge, speakers at the conference
noted, is figuring out how to get hearty, vitamin-packed, hybrid seeds
to the poor farmer.
"Scientists now have more knowledge of plant biology
than ever before in the history of plant science," said Hebrew
University Professor Arie Altman head of the new Smith Institute. Spurring
the use of gene technology as well as traditional agriculture, he said,
the new center is ready to take a lead role in solving the food challenges
of the 21st century.
Assuming, of course, the EU doesn't organize another boycott
against Israeli scientists. permalink
has a comfort food, or a food they consider to be their specialty. Lair
Simon makes bread. I make potato chips. If I could figure out a way to
sell these that didn't involve renting a restaurant to cook them in, I'd
make a fortune.
Here's what they looked like Sunday night. Those chips are gone, now.
Click for a larger view, but this isn't recommended if you're hungry.
Allah's been blogging: And it's
just. not. funny.
last week that I don't think you should vote for Allah
for either Best Humor
or Best New Blog in
the Wizbang weblog awards.
My opinion seems to have annoyed a blogger or two, so I think I should
explain my reasons.
Let's start with the caveat that I don't know who is writing the Allah
blog, and that this is not directed personally at him/her/them, except
as to the fact that the author is writing the blog. If people choose to
take this as a personal attack on Allah, I can't stop them. I can think
those people are completely missing the point, though. All I have to judge
"Allah" by is what I read on the blog. And what I read on the
blog offends me. Greatly.
Here's the thing about "Allah." His schtick is that he harps
on Jews and "kufrs," in what is supposed to be a parody of radical
Muslim thought. But there's a problem that stems from the conception of
the blog: it has become incredibly offensive to me as a Jew. Reading "Jew
this" and "Jew that" in negative connotations, the constant
insults of Jews, the nasty references to Israeleven though that's
the main idea behind the parodyoffends me. And I don't think I am
alone in being unable to read it without taking offense.
From a recent,
fairly typical post.
Rather than be rude to his guest, Allah attempted to
gently dissuade him. "So Streicher," said Allah, "Allah
sees that you are checking out the shameful woman known as Nicole. You
know that she has been dancing with Mister Brownstone, right?"
He said that he had and that it was all good. Fine. So then Allah was
just like, "Do you not like Paris better? She has that healthy,
skeletal, 'concentration-camp look' you value so much." And Streicher
was like, "No, she is too much of a Jew for me." So then Allah
was like, "Allah can assure you, she is not a Jew." And then
f*cking Streicher was like, "Well, you would know, Allah. You created
them." Let Allah tell you this, kufr: If there is one thing worse
than trying to mack on Allah's girl, it is reminding him that he created
the Jew--and reminding him of this in his own F*CKING HOME, no less.
It is like, you do not come into the Batcave and point out to Batman
that the Joker is still on the loose, you know? Besides, the shahids
know that all Allah was trying to do there is create a race of Super
Arabs, and somehow the whole thing went horribly wrong. But Allah digresses.
"Concentration-camp look." "The whole thing went horribly
wrong." Are you laughing yet?
Then there's this
Do you see, kufr, what a peaceful place a Judenrein
world would be? It is true that you would lose out on some pretty rad
technology, but think how many new terrorist friends you would make!
What a glorious day it will be when America can call up Sheikh Yassin
and invite Hamas over for a pool party. And tell the truth: Have you
not ever wondered whether the Jew secretly agrees that the world
would be better off without him? Come
on. Fatah openly admits
that "the main goal of the Geneva Accord was to create a schism inside
Israel and undermine the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon"--and
still 31% of Israelis support
the agreement. You cannot make up shit that glorious, kufr.
And yet, Allah cannot deny that he finds it a little sad. How come you
yourself so much, Jew? You have done pretty well over the last 5,700
years considering that everyone has been trying to kill you pretty much
for that entire period. Has Allah
Superstar finally worn you down? Oho! Allah is good like that: He
cannot beat you in a fair fight, but he can make you so tired
of his bullshit that you will give him anything to just go away.
Unfortunately for you, like the Zionist P. Diddy, Allah is a bad
boy for life--and "[h]e ain't, go-in' no-where. . . ."
Hahaha, "what a peaceful place a Judenrein world would be,"
that's a funny one.
No, it isn't, actually.
I'm still not laughing. I seem to be missing the parts that are supposed
to be humor. Yes, I get that this is a parody. I understand that we're
supposed to be laughing because Allah is making fun of Arab and
Muslim anti-Semitism and Jew hatred. But I simply can't seem to laugh
at things like the posts I have excerpted, and I don't find this form
of humor very amusing. Oh, the first few posts had some
laughs in them, mostly because they weren't nearly as venom-filled.
But the thing that Allah doesn't seem to understand is how uncomfortable
it is to be a Jew reading these insultseven though they're not intended
that way. Yes, I know he doesn't think he's causing offense. Yes, I think
he doesn't want
to cause offense. Nevertheless, Allah is causing offense.
Jew-hatred is called the world's longest hatred. Its fires
are fanned daily throughout the Arab/Muslim world and beyond. Truth
to tell, there's not a whole lot of humor to be found in it, outside of
a Mel Brooks spoof here and there. Really, what's funny, after all, about
knowing that there are many, many people in this world who want me dead,
simply because I was born to a Jewish mother? Let me ask my non-Jewish
readers a question: Excluding Al Qaeda, does anybody want to kill you
simply because of what you are? Do you have any relatives who were killed
because of their religion/ethnicity? Do you read speeches by world leaders
about how your people are responsible for all of the evils of the world?
Do you hide your religious symbol necklace when a
foreign-born television repairman comes to your home, and you didn't
want to be treated differently because you thought he might be Muslim?
The world is tough enough on Jews. Unfunny parodies that echo the Jew
hatred already extant throughout the world are not high on my list of
things to like.
That's why I won't vote for Allah in the
Wizbang Weblog awards, and why I don't think you should, either. The
blog isn't funny. It is offensive. It doesn't deserve the label of "Best
New Blog," because it isn't remotely near the best of the crop
from last year. And its level of offensiveness will not change even if
it turns out that "Allah" is Jewish.
Jew-hatred: It's just. not. funny. permalink
More hobbits on tap?
Reader Drew C. sent me the news that Peter
Jackson is considering making The Hobbit after all.
BERLIN (Reuters) - New Zealand film director Peter
Jackson, tipped to win an Oscar for his "The Lord of the Rings"
epic, said Monday he would like to make "The Hobbit" prequel
to the trilogy and work with some of the same actors again.
Speaking to journalists in Berlin ahead of the European
premiere of the last part of the "Rings" trilogy -- "The
Return of the King" -- Jackson said he was sad but also relieved
that the mammoth project he has worked on for seven years was over.
"I'm glad there's not a fourth Lord of the Rings
film next year," he said. "I feel very tired and exhausted."
"I've been working very hard this year. It was
the hardest year of the whole seven really," he said, adding that
the last part had twice as many computer-generated shots as the second,
"The Two Towers," which won an Oscar for digital effects.
"It's my favorite because it has a stronger emotional
depth than the other two films, it has a sense of closure," he
Despite his exhaustion, Jackson is not resting on his
laurels and said if complex rights issues can be resolved he would like
to direct "The Hobbit," J.R.R. Tolkien's prequel to the "Rings"
trilogy set some 50 years earlier.
"I'd be interested in doing it because I think
it would give continuity to the overall chapter," he said.
Be still my heart! Does this mean he may get a hankering to tell some
tales of the Second Age? Wow, he could have tons of fun with that, and
fans couldn't get bent out of shape, as so many stories weren't finished.
I am so psyched for Trilogy Tuesday, but surprised that no one seems
to want to do a Tolkien Blogburst this time around. Did you all miss my
post from last week? permalink
Forbes Magazine: Who knew it
it was funny?
Forbes has a very amusing article about the
UN's attempt to gain control of the Internet:
Lest you think that the World Summit on the Information
Society is moving too slowly to have any real impact on world information,
consider some of its interim achievements. In 2001, just three years
after deciding that there should be a summit, the ITU decided it that
there should two summits, first Geneva, then Tunis. The ITU also caused
the United Nations to endorse the summit and to do it "through
an open-ended intergovernmental preparatory committee that would define
the agenda of the summit, decide on the modalities of the participation
of other stakeholders in the summit, and finalize both the draft declaration
and the draft plan of action."
They have achieved the passage of five additional UN
resolutions plus one report. They have also conducted and judged a WSIS
poster competition that attracted more than 1500 drawings from 38 countries.
The three winners and top regional winners can be sent as e-cards from
the WSIS Web site.
So what exactly does the WSIS want? According
to Paragraph 1 of the Draft Declaration of Principles, it seeks a "commitment
to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information
Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information
and knowledge." That seems doable, indeed it may have been done
already, as the Internet has certainly made a lot of information accessible.
Definitely a "read the rest" recommendation, but that's the
funniest part of it. permalink
The faces on the bus
The Richmond area Jewish community is twinned with the Emek Hefer region
of Israel. "Twinning" simply means that we have exchanges and
programs with them, getting to know each other personally, instead of
through headlines in the news. (Emek Hefer, between
Hadera and Netanya, was one of the regions that was legally purchased
and settled by Zionists in the early twentieth century.)
morning, the Emek Hefer Choir, made up of teenaged girls, came to sing
for our synagogue. They range in age from 15 to 18 (several were headed
for Army service shortly after their return to Israel). The schoolchildren
were enchanted by the music and the girls. During a question-and-answer
period, our students asked questions ranging from how the girls got started
in music to what was their favorite color to why are they going into the
army (that last by one of the kindergarteners).
One of the children asked them where their families came from. The girls
answered each in turn: Russia. Poland. Germany. Yemen. Morocco. Iran.
Iraq. There is a mistaken notion that all Israelis are descended from
Eastern European Jews. It's a lie put forth by the Arabs and their allies
to add fuel to the "colonialism" accusation. And it is a very
big lie. More than 60 percent of the Jewish population of Israel is descended
from Sephardic Jews (those from the Arab countries). These same spokesliars
always manage to forget, ignore, or belittle the fact that the Arab nations
forced 750,000 Jews out of their homes after Israel won her independence.
But to get back to the girls in the choir: What I saw was a group of
teenagers that are really not much different than my teenaged classroom
aide, or the teenagers in my apartment complex. And while I was snapping
pictures for the newsletter, a number of thoughts occurred to me. These
are the girls who go to the discos and pizzerias and restaurants so popular
among suicide bombers. These are the girls who ride the buses to school,
the buses that get blown up by terrorists. These are the girls who are
not considered civilians by most terrorist organizations, because the
draft is compulsory for all Israeli Jews, even though, as one explained
to our students, she was going to be a social worker during her two years,
and not everyone who serves in the military is a soldier. These are the
girls who more than likely know someone who was killed or wounded in a
terrorist attack, even though the Emek Hefer region is on the west
side of Israel, not within the territories.
Not that that matters. To a terrorist, these girls are nothing more than
To me, they were just a group of teenagers who, I found out, spent some
of their spare time in Richmond going to malls, like any other teenager.
These are the facts you don't learn when you read about Israel in the
major media. The newspapers and wire services manage to demonize and dehumanize
Israelis on a regular basis, while making sure to humanize their killers,
sometimes to a nauseating degree.
So. Meet some regular Israelis. Why, they're not very different from
you and me. permalink
Albawaba fisks Reuters
Yes, really. Would I lie about something as funny as this? And they quote
John Pilger about how to read a news story. Ow, ow, my sides are
hurting from laughing. The sneer quotes alone are priceless. Presented
for your amusement: Albabawaba enters The Fisking Zone.
Eli Berelzon, a Reuters reporter, headlines this story: Ambush Kills
Two Israelis Amid Push for Cease-Fire.
First -The headline calls the victims of this Palestinian
operation "Israelis" - rather than calling them what they
really were: Israeli soldiers in occupation of Palestinian land.
Second - The "Israelis" were "ambushed".
Now any good American connoisseur of the old Western films knows that
it's a low-down, bottom-feeding sidewinder who will "ambush"
and shoot in the back a cowboy who is jus' mindin' his own bizness!
Third - The headline attempts to turn the reader against
the Palestinian soldier by couching the news story in the context of
"Amid Push for Cease-Fire". Such a context implies that this
attack - and others like it undermine peace in the Middle East - but
more about that later.
Following the headlines is the story, replete with reference and nuance
that suggests blame to even the casual reader:
1. In a stand-alone-item, Eli author repeats
the headline assertion that the "Israelis" were killed by
a "Palestinian sniper" - and in of all places - Bethlehem,
the birthplace of Jesus himself! - and just before Christmas to boot!
- surely raising the ire of Christian Zionists in the U.S.
2. In his opening paragraph, Eli stated:
"Despite the violence that splintered a relative
calm, Israel told the United States at talks in Brussels that Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon would meet Palestinian counterpart Ahmed Qurie
next week to help revive a U.S.-guided peace plan."
Analysis: Eli implies that "Prime Minister",
Ariel Sharon, is committed to peace despite the continuing occupation,
continuing building of settlements and the ongoing, daily attacks on
Palestinians. The subtext is that Sharon is a patient man, willing to
continue the talks even while his army is under attack. Are we to understand
that if the so-called "U.S. guided peace plan" fails - it
will surely be due to the violence of the Palestinians? Why does Eli
leave for the end of the story - the fact that Sharon had his army invade
Rafah, after agreeing to meet with Qurie? How many readers endure to
the end of this oft-repeated story of more strife in Palestine?
3. Eli dutifully explains that "Egyptian mediators"
will "go ahead with talks with militant factions in Gaza".
Subtext: Egyptian mediators are not talking with the
Palestinian people. They are talking with militant factions.
What does militant factions mean in the
mind of the Western reader of the news? Does it not bespeak gangs,
thugs and out-of-control-terrorists? It also reminds one of the
references to the Iraqi resistance as "Baathists, insurgents, gunmen,
guerillas and of course, "terrorists".
4. Eli states, "The only people he hit were two
soldiers who were killed. The gunman managed to escape ..., probably
to (nearby village of) al-Khader," said Brigadier General Gadi
Aizenkot in remarks released by the army spokesman.
Analysis: For this we give Eli a point. But where was
the mention of these soldiers in the headline? There they
were called Israelis. Picky you say? Dont
we all know how many Western readers - weary of reading of these unending
battles in the Middle East - read only the headlines? Dont we
know the impact that headlines have? How many readers burrow this deeply
into another report of another attack in Palestine? How many western
readers left this article believing that this gunman, who
escaped killed two innocent Israeli citizens?
And this statement from no less than a Brigadier General.
Does the Palestinian military have the equivalent of General
among their ranks? - Or are Palestinian military leaders simply Terrorists?
5. In the next paragraph of the report, the lone soldier
who attacked the Israeli soldiers is called the Palestinian.
But the PR respondent quoted is The Commander of Israeli forces.
Eli provides the Commanders explanation of how a single
Palestinian soldier accomplished this attack on the well-armed Israeli
soldiers - apparently an explanation was needed for this, another embarrassing
loss, by the legendary IDF ...
"... the Palestinian approached the checkpoint
at a highway junction near Bethlehem after daybreak and opened fire
with an AK-47 rifle concealed in a rolled-up Muslim prayer mat".
The subtext: How unfair! How low can you go -
concealing a weapon in a Muslim prayer mat!" We told you this is
a violent religion! He tricked the Israeli soldiers! Hes a coward!
He could never have done it mano y mano. How were the soldiers
to know? Their only crime was that they trusted a Muslim with a prayer
6. Then Eli writes,
"In Gaza, Israeli forces swept into the volatile
Palestinian refugee camp of Rafah before dawn, sparking gunbattles with
militants in which at least eight Palestinians were wounded"
Analysis: Again, it seems the term "militants"
is preferred over Palestinian "soldiers". Other times the
terms "gunmen" and "terrorists" better fit the spin.
Calling them "soldiers" which is precisely what members of
the Palestinian resistance forces are, would put them on-par with the
IDF, U.S. soldiers, etc.
7. Eli writes,
"They said Israeli forces demolished at least
three houses. Israel has razed more than 1,200 homes in what it calls
operations against arms-smuggling tunnels from nearby Egypt, which are
used by militants waging a three-year-old uprising."
Analysis: This is an apparent attempt to explain -
perhaps even justify - the destruction of Palestinian homes. Its
more reliable than the law of gravity: The human mind is capable of
justifying anything. How well some of us remember the rationalization
used during the Viet Nam war: Destroy a village to save a village.
How well we remember U.S. soldiers killing Vietnamese women and children
- because they sometimes carry hand grenades!
8. Buried deep in the article is a reference to Israeli
soldiers - this time actually calling them "soldiers" rather
than "Israelis", killed 3 weeks ago:
"There was no immediate claim of responsibility
for the ambush, the first deadly militant attack since three soldiers
were gunned down at a Jewish settlement in Gaza three weeks ago."
Analysis: These three soldiers were gunned down.
Subtext: Gunned down in cold blood! What kind of animal
would gun down a helpless, unsuspecting soldier in cold
Eli stated, "There was no immediate claim of responsibility"
for this dastardly act. Why is a claim of responsibility
needed? It was the Palestinian military that carried out the operation.
What could be more clear? By referring to this faction or
that terrorist group" - the reader is moved to believe that
the Palestinian resistance is a fragmented bunch of thugs, gangs, and
- "terrorists" if you will.
[...] 12. In the end, Eli presents the often repeated
two sides of the war in Palestine with Israel saying they cannot take
Qurie seriously because of this military operation - and the Palestinians
allegedly saying they cannot stop "the militants" because
of the occupation.
Analysis: The "two sides" of the crisis in
Palestine are often included in news reports like this, adding a "back-door
defense", giving the reader an illusion of objectivity and fairness.
Such reporting is clever, but in the long term, patently unwise.
Conclusion: The corporate, western media never confronts
a simple reality that lies deeply imbedded in 50 years of history: Foreigners,
largely from Eastern Europe came to Palestine 50 years ago, razed 300
to 600 Palestinian villages, terrorized and expelled their inhabitants,
stole their lands, forced them to live in the squalor of "refugee
camps" and have oppressed them ever since their arrival. The corporate
media can attempt to obscure that simple reality with layers upon layers
of mindless rhetoric, bickering argument and truisms ad nauseum. But
they can never, never change that simple reality.
Last week's blogs are archived.
Looking for the Buffy
Blogburst Index? Here's Israel
vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon.
Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try
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.