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We get letters: Readers want to get in on the act

Once again, for those of you who don't care for swearing, go read something else. My readers have responded to Jewish Double Standard Time. Joel G. says:

Wow! I agree and a big Fuck you to the State Department along with Colonsocopy Powell, the British Chattering Classes, The EUnichs, the Washington Post, Eric Alterman, Robert Novak, Michael Moore, Pat Buchanan, Hosni Mubarak, Jacques Chirac, the Los Angeles Times, Houston Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Globe, Peter Jennings, Das Independent, al Reuters, al Guardian, the Baathist Broadcasting Corporation, Mikis Thoedorakis, Mahathir Mohamad, Hamid Karzai, Tom Dalyell, A.N. Wilson, Harold Pinter, and all the loud mouths in Hollywood.

You forgot Noam Chomsky. From Michael L.:

Kofi called on Israel to show restraint did he? Everybody seems to do that. What they miss is that Israel has shown restraint, extraordinary restraint. What do they suppose an Arab state (or France and Germany for that matter) would do if confronted by the sort of thing the Palestinian Arabs unleashed on Israel in the Oslo War? An Arab state would have surrounded Ramallah with an army and leveled the place, killed 25,000 people more or less indiscriminately, and shot every one of Arafat's consiglieri and Arafat himself as soon as they could catch them. That would have been the last you would hear about a Palestinian Arab state for the next 25 years. This is exactly what Syria did when the Muslim Brethren raised a revolt in Hama in 1982, and when did you hear about Islamist radicals revolting against Syria since then? When did you hear the oh-so-tender-consciences of the UN and the proponents of bogus international law condemn this massacre? That's right, never to both questions. Also we both know how indifferent these bastards would be to the resulting genocide if the Arabs ever get the upper hand over Israel.

If Israel did not show restraint, if the Palestinian Arabs were not lucky enough to be fighting Jews (nobody else would have the moral fortitude to endure this terrorism) such a massacre would already have happened, probably by the beginning of October 2000 since the war started in September 2000. I don't know how long even Jews can show such restraint. If Kofi had the brains God gave a cherrystone clam he would be sitting on the Palestinians to stop their vicious terrorism, but he is too blind or indifferent to do so. Neither he nor the Arabs nor anybody else cares a fig what happens to the Palestinian Arabs, so long as they can be used as a stick to beat Israel.

That, Michael, is why I call it Jewish Double Standard Time. The world's clocks are always set to it. From Mark D.:

Thanks for the blisteringly conclusive summation of how many American Jews feel about the current climate in the UN. (Current, or continuing? The latter, I think, in retrospect.) I enjoy your blog as you, like me, are an American Jew who is not afraid to speak openly and frankly about these issues. This brings me to the point of this e-mail: I am deeply disturbed by an apparent lack of willingness on the part of American Jews to speak out about what the truth of the matter is. For example, in the area in which I live, Northern California, the majority of Jews seem content to ignore Israel's plight or actually embrace the outright lies disseminated by Arab fundamentalists and far-left wing American "peace" organizations. I am curious to know what your thoughts on the matter are? Does this appear to be the case in New Jersey?

Recently, my father attended a speaking engagement by Yossi Beilin at a local synagogue (Rodef Shalom in San Rafael, Marin County, California). He, like others, is opposed to Beilin's nonsensical viewpoint. Sensing some potential discord, he, and others, were not well received. At one point in a conversation with one of the organizers, an obvious fan of Beilin's, my father interjected that he was a veteran of the War of Independence. The woman's response to this statement was, in effect, "So what?" The reason I find this disturbing is that American Jews today seem to have no concept of the insurmountable odds faced by the fledgling state of Israel in 1948. Our WWII veterans (which my father is also) are rapidly disappearing. So are those who volumteered for, and served in, the newly established IAF and IDF. And they were only a small handful by comparison. Were I an American Jew encountering someone who was actually a part of helping the state of Israel survive and, subsequently flourish, I think I would at least have the good sense to accord this person some modicum of respect, even if our viewpoints on how to accomplish peace today were diametrically opposed. I welcome your viewpoint on the subject.

Well, the New Jersey Jews that I knew were extremely pro-Israel and unashamed of it, but I'm sure there are some of the kind you describe. However, many of them have changed their opinions since the bloody spring that launched Operation Defensive Shield, which is still in effect today, and which, every time it is relaxed, results in more terrorists blowing up more Jews. You know, Mark, this gives me an idea. I'll have to keep an eye out for Traitor Beilin and see if he's going to speak in my area anytime soon. (I'm in Richmond now.) I do believe it's time to tell these hypocrites and liars exactly what I think about them, in person.

Finally, from Dobrat & Asher, whose name I feel should be a lot more familiar to me (is there a weblog I'm forgetting?), a link to—well, let's play "Guess the Jew," shall we?

Alas, dear world, it appears that you are hard to please. Having left you and your Pogroms and Inquisitions and Crusades and Holocausts, having taken our leave of the general world to live alone in our own little state - we continue to upset you.

You are upset that we repress the poor Palestinians. You are deeply angered over the fact that we do not give up the lands of 1967, which are clearly the obstacle to peace in the Middle East. Moscow is upset and Washington is upset. The Arabs are upset and the gentle Egyptian moderates are upset. Well, dear world, consider the reaction of a normal Jew from Israel. In 1920, 1921 and 1929, there were no territories of 1967 to impede peace between Jews and Arabs. Indeed, there was no Jewish State to upset anybody. Nevertheless, the same oppressed and repressed Palestinians slaughtered hundreds of Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Safed and Hebron. Indeed, 67 Jews were slaughtered one day in Hebron - in 1929.

Dear World, why did the Arabs - the Palestinians - massacre 67 Jews in one day in 1929? Could it have been their anger over Israeli aggression in 1967? And why were 510 Jewish men, women and children slaughtered in Arab riots in 1936-39? Was it because of Arab upset over 1967? And when you, World, proposed a U.N. Partition Plan in 1947 that would have created a Palestinian State alongside a tiny Israel and the Arabs cried and went to war and killed 6,000 Jews - was that upset stomach caused by the aggression of 1967? And, by the way, dear world, why did we not hear your cry of upset then?

The poor Palestinians who today kill Jews with explosives and firebombs and stones are part of the same people who - when they had all the territories they now demand be given them for their state - attempted to drive the Jewish State into the sea. The same twisted faces, the same hate, the same cry of "idbah-al-yahud" - "Slaughter the Jews!" that we hear and see today, were seen and heard then. The same people, the same dream - destroy Israel. What they failed to do yesterday, they dream of today - but we should not "repress" them.

Dear World, you stood by the Holocaust and you stood by in 1948 as seven states launched a war that the Arab League proudly compared to the Mongol massacres. You stood by in 1967 as Nasser, wildly cheered by wild mobs in every Arab capital in the world, vowed to drive the Jews into the sea. And you would stand by tomorrow if Israel were facing extinction. And since we know that the Arabs-Palestinians daily dream of that extinction, we will do everything possible to remain alive in our own land. If that bothers you, dear world, well - think of how many times in the past you bothered us. In any event, dear world, if you are bothered by us, here is one Jew in Israel who could not care less.

Give up? Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was murdered by an Arab terrorist who not only killed Kahane, but who was convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 WTC bombing. He used to say, "I say what you're thinking," and was reviled for it. I do not agree with his more radical ideas (he was an advocate of "transfer"). But I certainly agree with the entirety of his "Dear World" letter.



Jewish Double Standard Time

The United Nations passed a nonbinding resolution in the General Assembly telling Israel to stop working on the security fence. Israel ignored it, as all nations do to nonbinding General Assembly resolutions. Today, Kofi Annan filed some kind of report, which the nonbinding resolution called for, thus proving that he truly does have shit-for-brains, because anybody with half a real brain would have laughed at the toothless resolution and gone out shopping on Black Friday, like all the rest of us Americans—oh, wait, he's not American. He only mooches off U.S. taxpayers, who fund the UN in a greater percentage than the rest of the nations of the world. (I bought meat, Michele, is that good enough for the Spend Lots Of Money Day or whateverthefrig you're calling it?)

So the nonbinding resolution, which had a report asked for in it, now has the report, supplied by the man who simply cannot condemn Palestinian terror attacks without also telling Israel that they brought it on themselves, or that they should "show restraint," or that they can only achieve peace through dialogue, or using that tired old "cycle of violence" phrase. Oh, and Kofi has shown that he stands with the pals on Saturday, the international "solidarity with palestinians" day or some such stupid thing. Funny, I've never seen him stand with Israel on anything. Say, Kofi, when I was in Washington two years ago, I don't recall you issuing any statements for the pals to stop blowing up Israelis. Were you out sick that month?

And now they're talking about taking the violation of the nonbinding resolution to the nonbinding International Court of Justice, where I'm sure they'll release another nonbinding ruling and declare that though the rest of the world is not bound by nonbinding resolutions, Israel is, because, well, it's the Jewish state.

I'm going to unleash my Inner Bitch here for a few minutes, because I am so incredibly tired of the double standard. If you don't like swearing, you'd best go somewhere else. I have a lot of things stored up that I need to get off my chest.

When the United Nations ignores the horror of the Saddam Husseins, when it refuses to engage North Korea's and Iran's open defiance of signed international treaties, when it looks the other way as millions are slaughtered and enslaved in the Sudan, or in Rwanda, or in sub-Saharan Africa, which seemingly exists only to bash the United States with the lack of funding for AIDS initiatives there, when its peacekeepers stand aside in Bosnia and let the slaughter of innocents happen, when UN representatives willingly let terrorists work within their buildings and cover for them when the IDF searches for evidence, then I need to respond in the only manner they deserve:

Fuck you, Kofi, and your whole crew of Jew-haters, from the Swiss (whose attempt to hold on to the money from Jews killed in the Holocaust is worse than despicable) and the Belgians and the French to every single Jew-hating, misogynistic Arab state, the Persians, and every last one of the 57 members of the Heinz Ketchup Organization of Islamic Conference countries. Fuck you, you lying, hypocritical murdering bastards and the states (France, Russia) that turn a blind eye to the oppression because trade, realpolitik, and European face is more important than admitting that the current state of international affairs is sadly broken and needs to be fixed. Fuck you all for seeing oppression only in Israel, and not in the rest of the Middle East. And a special, hearty fuck you to all the Jew haters of the world, including Jimmy Carter with his bullshit " free and fair democratically elected" buddy Arafat, now pushing the agreement of the traitor Yossi Beilin, who couldn't get elected dogcatcher in his own hometown, and who would sell his people's hearts to those that wish to murder them in their sleep. And while I'm at it, fuck you, too, Yossi, and do the Jewish state a favor and die before you can do any more damage to her. The Oslo War is bad enough. Now you want to give away the Temple Mount? For that, fuck you again. And a major, big, hearty fuck you to the universities around the world who are organizing a boycott of Israeli students and papers, who are cutting off their noses to spite their faces, as the scholars in Israel work hard to come up with improvements in irrigation technology, nanotech, cures for Parkinson's disease. Fuck you all for blocking the advancement of science, and for not seeing how much you harm all of us with your stupid, stupid prejudices.

Note that the title of this post was deliberately chosen. Not "Israeli double standard time." Jewish double standard time. Because there are ways to criticize the state of Israel without being anti-Semitic, but the UN isn't showing us that its members comprehend this fact. So let me repeat my mantra I developed for Jew-haters: Anti-Semites of the world, just die already.



Only good things today

W. greets the troops in IraqThere's a lot of pretty depressing and annoying news out there, but then there was this gem of a moment, unsurpassed in the history of the world: President George W. Bush sneaking out of the country to surprise a few hundred of our troops spending Thanksgiving away from home.

He nearly gets my vote for this action alone. Happy Thanksgiving to all our men and women in uniform, and out. And thanks to W. for putting a huge, huge smile on my face. The audacity, the cheek, the wonderful thumb in the eye—all to improve our troops' morale and make a statement to the world on our staying power re: Iraq.

I'm a glass-half-full kinda person. I will take the higher motives that I believe were behind this phenomenal effort, and lift a glass in praise of W. for today.

Hey, this wasn't Georgia

Driving to my brother's for the annual Thanksgiving bash, I caught this out of the corner on my eye, traveling west on Route 78.

Only in America.

I can die happy now. I've seen Mr. Peanut both on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and in the Nutmobile on Route 78 West in New Jersey.

Mr. Peantu isn't really driving the nutmobile. We hope.

Yes, that is the Planters' Peanuts Nutmobile. I didn't watch the parade, but perhaps this was part of it. If not, well, y'know, the New York/New Jersey area is full of things like this. Anyway. Happy Thanksgiving, you buncha nuts. It takes one to know one.



Drive time

I'm doing that magical time machine thing, writing this post last night for posting today (which would be tomorrow at the time I'm writing it). That's because I'm going to (sigh) drive on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Last year, a supposed snowstorm got me to call it off until Thursday. I don't expect snow tomorrow, so I guess I'll be leaving and hoping that the traffic on 301 isn't anything like the traffic on 95 will be. I'm planning to avoid the D.C. area like the plague, and wish I didn't have to pass near Baltimore, either, but hey—I'm not going to get on a boat, so I guess I'll have to pass a couple of cities.

I expect readership to be pretty light tomorrow, though, so I don't think you'll miss me much. With any luck, I'll be at my friends' apartment by midafternoon, piggybacking on their wireless hub. Then it's off to the family's on Thursday. I'll be in NJ until Monday, so maybe I can get into the City on Sunday to meet up with some New York bloggers. Katz's, anyone? Or the Village? Or midtown? Chinatown? Hm. No way I'm going to be able to decide. Maybe Judith can help.

By the way, Richmond area Tolkien geeks: I still have an extra ticket to Trilogy Tuesday and haven't decided what to do with it yet. Ebay is an option. So is the Ticket Exchange at The One I have another few weeks to figure it out, I suppose. Too bad it's a school day. My nephew would love to go, but there's the small problem of his living 375 miles away. And being in school.

Oh, and one last thing: Dr._Funk, thanks so much for the Hulk DVD. I watched it that evening. I don't know if it was my imagination or not, but the Hulk parts of the film were even better (and the boring actor parts of the film were even more boring. Wow, they really define the adjective "wooden") .You really brightened up my day, and you'll be brightening my nephew's Thanksgiving: There's an XBox Hulk game sample on the DVD, and he's got an XBox. We're going to smash things, I think.



Sex sells

And gets email. Michael N. writes:

In the Boteach article you linked to, he claims that “the clear message from the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is that women are the libidinous man's plaything, created by God to entertain men by parading around in their underwear.”

You know, we’re forever being told that something or other will lead to the horrific ‘parading around’ of someone (or more than one) in what is alleged to be, usually, an offensive manner.

I, for one, have never actually witnessed such parading. I would, nevertheless, be willing to be proven wrong by being forced to witness the type of parade Boteach is moaning about. Give me some advance warning, and I’ll make sure I have my beer and lawn chair set up right at the curb; I even work on Lower Broadway, the ne plus ultra of parade sites. Heh.

You should try Fifth Avenue during the fall fashion shows. But you'd need a ticket to get in.

The ever-helpful Alex Bensky says:

Since you brought up the topic of sexy underwear, I offer this strictly in the interests of developing your website: Moxie shows us pictures of her in her underwear and I bet she gets lots of hits. Since you've got the stuff...just being helpful here.

Uh-huh. Strictly in the interest of my website. Sorry, Alex, but the Brooklyn Bridge argument never worked with me before, and it's not going to work on me now.

Hey, it's only underwear

Okay, this is just plain dumb. It's been bugging me since I read about it over at Allison's. Jewsweek has an article by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach that has him all huffy over Victoria's Secret (and not in a good way).

What struck me in both these ads was how Victoria's Secret, which -- unlike Hustler and Playboy -- is a clothing company, was no longer promoting undergarments or lingerie. Rather, like porn, they were highlighting body parts. I once admired Victoria's Secret as a store that could enhance the attraction between husband and wife by giving "ordinary" women the tools to feel desirable and look sexy. But not a semblance of that early innocence remains.

The ad campaigns are now designed not for well-intentioned women, but for lecherous men. Not to make women feel good about themselves, but to make men salivate after the supermodels who wear their clothing. Rather than enhancing women by giving them lingerie that can make them feel feminine, they are degrading women by catering to the most base male demographic.

Like cheap pornography on the Internet, the clear message from the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is that women are the libidinous man's plaything, created by God to entertain men by parading around in their underwear. Adorning the outside of the stores are their window displays replete with the most explicit pictures of women in half-wire bras with their breasts spilling out and thongs that barely cover their private parts.

Okay, yes, the ads have gotten a lot more sexy, to the point where I am rather amazed they get shown on daytime television. (Then again, when I see them during the soaps, it isn't the men they're trying to get to buy their product.) But let's be clear here: Victoria's Secret is not forcing you to buy their lingerie. Hey, capital-F Feminist here (as Kate called me). I like sexy lingerie, and Victoria's Secret makes some of the best. But maybe I'm not in the majority opinion. Let's take a quick poll here, ladies, and yes, you can choose more than one answer:

I wear sexy lingerie because
a) It makes me feel sexy
b) It makes me look sexy
c) My partner really likes it
d) I really like it
e) My partner forced me to wear it, thus making me look and feel like a libidinous man's plaything, becoming nothing more than a sexual object in his eyes, and I will never wear anything less than long johns or sweats to bed ever again, because I am not a sex object, dammit!

I'm sorry, but this article simply reeks of stupidity. Can Boteach truly pretend that he doesn't know that women know full well what the effect of their wearing Victoria's Secret is going to be? Hello, we like the effect. A lot. Or we wouldn't be wearing the lingerie in the first place.

By all means, be offended by the ad campaign. But don't slam the objectification label on me for wearing something slinky because you don't like the fact that Victoria's Secret has discovered a way to get men to buy lingerie (hopefully for their women, but if not, hey, whatever floats your boat).

Random thoughts and links

So, ya think Adam Sandler's going to add a new line to his Chanukah song this year that goes like this:

Michael Jackson: Not Jewish

NZ Bear has gone over the half million visitors mark. And he lists one of the reasons why: He blackmailed me from the get-go. Now it can be told. Honest! He admitted it in the post.

AMCGLTD is pretty funny these days. I found out my soul is worth less than six thousand British pounds, and that 91% of the people who took the soul poll have more soul than I. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but I'm Jewish. You know it has something to do with British anti-Semitism. This link is utterly hilarious, so you probably shouldn't click it from work.

Gary sent me some kind of red flag, but I'm too lazy to see exactly what he's writing that he thinks will piss me off. So just go there and tell me, will you? And if you're up for it, send him a check. Yeah, that's right. A series of unfortunate events have made him unable to use Paypal, and he's in need.

Okay, I found the post. It's his take on the Theodorakis anti-Semitism, and now I see why he thought I'd get angry. Not at Gary. At the other things he found. And may I say a hearty "fuck you!" to the Seattle Times. (What can I say, I caught it from Lileks.) And this post: An Auschwitz survivor is starting a fund appeal to rebuild the Holocaust Museum that Indiana Jew-haters burned down last week. Here's the link to donate.

Busy day ahead. Teaching class at 4:15, have to do a bunch of housework and get ready for my drive to NJ tomorrow (Lord help me, I'm driving on Thanksgiving weekend), and my left earpiece broke last night, forcing me to choose a new pair of glasses today. Dammit.

Class is going to be rough. I have four boys and one girl, and the last time the girl was out, the boys were close to uncontrollable. It's amazing how even at age ten, that testosterone kicks in. Well, the girl is off with her family out of state, in spite of my having forbid them ever to let her miss class again. I predict a long, long recess. And many negative points given out.



Letter from an Egyptian: Nelson Ascher has questions of his own

Last week I answered a question from an Egyptian reader (who has not responded to my answer, which is, frankly, typical of the writers of these kinds of letters) on why I am a Zionist. Today, Nelson Ascher asks some questions of his own to my Egyptian reader:

But the same question your Egyptian correspondent formulated about the Jews can be put to the Palestinians: why do they need an independent country? Why can’t they merge with other peoples whose tongue, religion and ethnicity (being Arabs) they share? Who granted Jordan or Kuwait the right to expel their Palestinians? Why can’t Palestinians buy land in Lebanon? If, between 49 and 67, Egypt actually owned the Gaza strip, why wasn’t the Egyptian nationality granted to its inhabitants?

Read the whole thing; it's well worth it.

The sniper verdict: Death

Really, I have only one word to say to John Allen Muhammed, the mastermind behind the terror attacks last year, on the occasion of his jury finding for the death penalty: Buh-bye.

Is it election time in Israel already?

Ariel Sharon has suddenly gotten a spine again, and refuses to make any more concessions to the pals until the negotiations begin:

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday told Likud MKs that there would be no additional concessions to the Palestinians before high-level meetings.

Sharon added he would not make any concessions or ease restrictions on the Palestinians in order to get Israeli-Palestinian meetings to start. "If they want to meet then we'll meet, if they don't want to meet then we wont meet," the Prime Minister said Monday afternoon at the Likud faction meeting.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia told the Dubai-based Al Arabiya satellite channel Monday that he hopes reports on Sharon's willingness to dismantle settlements and ease the Palestinians' suffering were not "a propaganda stunt."

He called on Sharon to take "serious steps" to pave the way for a resumption of talks between the two sides.

Among other things, Qureia demanded that Israel stop the building of a barrier separating it from the West Bank, halt settlements expansion, ease the suffering of the Palestinians and lift the travel ban imposed on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

But wait, there's more. And it's even harsher. Is Sharon playing to his party faithful because he's losing popularity, or does he mean it?

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, for his part, said that the government's decision on the route of the fence "wont be changed. Period," Sharon said in an answer to a question from MK Gideon Saar.

Sharon strongly denied reports in Ha'aretz that said he would open the discussion of the route of the fence at a later date.

"Don't be impressed by press reports," he told Likud members. "We will not wait for them forever; nor will we wait for repeated cabinet changes. If there is no progress, we will take unilateral steps, " Sharon said.

He said the "painful concessions" that he was willing to make now might not be on the table in the future. "What they didn't receive today, they won't necessarily receive tomorrow. Unilateral steps means non-negotiable steps; and these won't always be to their benefit," he said.

"I have told the Palestinians that their time is not unlimited. I am against drawing timetables but there is a limit to our patience. Time is not unlimited; our patience is. There is no way we will continue to suppress our reaction to continuing acts of terror," the Prime Minister added.

Tough talk. Talk that neither the pals nor the Euros want to hear. And here's where my sense of humor kicks in:

"The best path in making progress with the Palestinians is via the road map. That is the best way to achieve a ceasefire and the dismantlement of the terror infrastructure. If the Palestinians cooperate the will be on their way to an independent Palestinian state," Sharon said.

He just co-opted the Euro indignation by effectively saying that he's fine with the Road Map, and the pals need to get on board with it.

However, I am withholding judgment. Ariel Sharon was elected to make Israel a safer place now than it was in the spring of 2002. It is safer in that there are fewer successful terror attacks—but that's because the West Bank is in a virtual lockdown and the IDF, Mossad, and Shin Bet are working overtime to prevent terrorists from getting across the border with their bomb belts intact. There needs to be a long-term solution.

The other mystery to this mix: Sharon's pronouncements have come on the heels of his trips to Europe, and Defense Minister Mofaz's trip to America. On the other hand, perhaps they got wind of this:

The Palestinian Authority's National Security Council decided on Sunday to set up a special committee to review the PA cabinet's security plan for enforcing law and order in PA-controlled areas.

The council, headed by PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, said a committee would also draft a plan to help ensure the PA meets security commitments under the road map plan for peace in the Middle East.

Oooh. They've set up a special committee to review the situation. Not that it makes a damned bit of difference whether or not the put teeth behind their "law and order" ploy: Hamas said the other day they will not disarm to anything less than the full state of Palestine—which will not (must not!) exist so long as there are terror attacks. Vicious, meet circle.

Hulk on the Tech Central Station brouhaha

You know, my first impulse on hearing that the TCS writers are all shilling for a lobbying firm without knowing they're shilling for a lobbying firm was to say, "Hey! Howcome TCS never asks me to shill for them?"

Actually, my first impulse was to ignore the whole thing, because frankly, um, I don't write for them and don't read many of the columns up there. (Which is why I'm writing this days after everyone else has had their say.) So my second impulse was to be indignant that I'm not one of the accused. And even though I ignored the whole thing, since it really doesn't concern me, I wouldn't turn down an invite to write—I simply do not care that they're a lobbying firm and I'm effectively writing PR for them. My ideals about not selling out died when I hit 30. No, actually, they died long before that. Anything but pr0n, baby, and I'll put my name to it. Okay, maybe not anything. All right, so it has to be factually accurate. But PR? Sure, I'll write that. Take money from a lobbying firm that doesn't tell me they're a lobbying firm? Don't really care. I'm never running for office. I don't need to justify my paychecks.

Andrew Northrup, as usual, has a concise, biting (and funny) opinion. Actually, he started making my head spin, which made me think of the Hulk, so I asked Hulk what he thought of the TCS situation.

Girl want Hulk to read? Hulk not like to read. Reading make Hulk's head hurt. Girl read Poor Man's words out loud to Hulk. Now Hulk's head hurt. Not know what Poor Man talking about. Sounds stupid. Words, words, words. Hulk no like words. Hulk smash! That better than words. Poor Man need money? Hulk smash bank, give Poor Man money!

That's my big green guy. Say, Hulk, send some of that money my way, will you? I'm not rich, either. Say. There's an idea. A rich patron, paying me to write....


If you sent me email between last night and this afternoon about 2 p.m., can you resend? I think I set a global email rule that, well, deleted everybody's email. And as I purge my trash bin on the server (I really do not need to see S*E*K*S WITH KANGAROOS!!! and similar subject lines), I can't retrieve anything you may have sent me.

Of course, it's entirely possible the only email I received between then and now was the single spam message that did make it through my filters, but as I've been getting about 100 letters a day recently, and only about 80% of those are spam, I'm doubtful.

I'm about ready to close down the main site email box and open another. And only whisper the address into people's ears after they have sworn on the graves of all their ancestors that they'll never put it on a cc: list, a Yahoo group message, or in Radio Userland comments threads. (And have I thanked you lately, Dave Winer, for assuring that I got on the spam lists because you didn't encode email addresses in comments? Whattaguy.)

Anyway. I must remember never to use asterisks when setting email processing rules. Like I said: Whoops.



Yet another shudna

The first one didn't work. Well, it did if you were a palestinian terrorist, but the last shudna cost Israeli lives. This new one? They want to regroup and renew their murdering ways. The current shutdown of the West Bank and Gaza, concurrent with the military operations to defeat the terrorists, is the most effective it has ever been:

Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter told the Cabinet at its weekly meeting Sunday that Hamas leaders are spending 90 percent of their time in hiding and only 10 percent on planning terror attacks against Israel.

[...] "Hamas chiefs spend 90% of their time hiding and 10% of their time planning attacks," Dichter said. "They are interested in a Hudna [temporary cease-fire] so they can come out of underground and strengthen their terror infrastructure."

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei has been working on trying to achieve a Hudna with the different Palestinian terror organizations over the past few weeks. Qurei's plan is to reach an understanding on a cease-fire with the various Palestinian factions, and then try to persuade Israel to join the truce as a partner.

On Wednesday, Qurei told leaders of Palestinian factions in Gaza City that there can be no such thing as a 'free Hudna' and that Israel would be required to reciprocate for a cessation of terrorist attacks.

Dichter told the ministers that 14 suicide attacks have been thwarted recently and that there was a significant rise in attempts to carry out attacks during the month of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.

Now, what is the official Hamas word on a "truce"?

Hamas West Bank leader Adnan Asfour said the movement will agree to handing over its weapons only after the sovereign State of Palestine is established with full independence. Hamas, he said, would not accept any cease-fire or hudna if the Palestinian Authority intends to base it on the revival of the road map process.

Interviewed by Al Quds newspaper, Asfour said that Hamas was willing to discuss conditions that would end the suffering of the Palestinian people, but will not agree to abide by a cease-fire that turns out to be a replica of the old one. The cease-fire can only succeed if there is a unanimous decision to abide by it and should be enforced for a limited period in order to monitor Israel's committment to it he said.

Meanwhile security sources said 47 warnings of plans by terrorists to perpetrate attacks were received by the security establishment on Sunday.

Examples of what the "activists" do in their spare time:

On Sunday in the Gaza Strip, two mortars were fired at Israeli communities in Gush Katif; no one was wounded and no damage reported. The IDF Spokesman said it had no knowledge of reports that a Kassam rocket was fired at an Israeli community in Gush Katif before dawn on Sunday.

In the afternoon, IDF forces discovered two bombs containing a total of sixty kilograms of explosives that had been placed by Palestinians near the Gush Katif community of Atzmona. Border Police sappers blew up the bombs.

In the West Bank, shots were fired at Border Police in Ramallah, no one was wounded and no damage reported.

It never fails to amaze me that Israeli ministers approve the constant "goodwill gestures" and "truce" deals, when they have Shin Bet and Mossad chiefs telling them far more than the press ever lets us know. I'm starting to think that an entire nation suffers from an ailment similar to battered wife syndrome. No matter how many times they get hit by the terrorists, they keep trying one more time to make just the right deal that will make them stop the killing.

There is no dealing with terrorists. They respond only to force. Hamas terrorists are spending the overwhelming majority of their time in hiding. You don't give them a chance to regroup when you've got them on the run like this.

And yet, they will. Watch.

Dealing with terrorists

The Israeli cabinet approved the release of ten Jordanian prisoners in another of the endless "goodwill gestures" that go from Israel to the Arab nations. (I have yet to see a goodwill gesture from an Arab nation toward Israel in honor of one of the major Jewish holidays, unlike the many Ramadan releases of convicted terrorists.

The Jordanian minister is unhappy, and insults the deal.

Israel's Cabinet decided Sunday to release 10 Jordanian prisoners in a gesture to Amman for the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr.

The prisoners will be released Tuesday, said a government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The Cabinet decision was unanimous. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Jordan's State Minister Asma Khader said earlier in the month that Israel had agreed to release 25 prisoners. He called the number "insufficient" and demanded another 56 Jordanians be freed. Israel has repeatedly refused to release four Jordanians convicted of killing Israelis before the two countries signed a peace agreement in 1994.

None of the 10 to be released Tuesday have been convicted of killing Israelis, the government official said. Four are being held for security-related offenses, such as assisting in attacks or holding weapons.

Insufficient. Let's review: These terrorists were caught assisting others to kill Israelis. They broke the law of the land, were tried and convicted. For some strange reason that many of us attribute to Israel's self-destructive impulses, the Cabinet voted to release these attempted murderers. Why, exactly, are they doing this?

The decision comes amid intense German-mediated talks with Hezbollah to obtain the release of an Israeli businessman and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers captured by the Lebanese guerrilla group in Oct. 2000. In exchange, Israel is set to release some 400 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners.

Initially, Hezbollah wanted Israel to release the Jordanian prisoners as part of its swap. However, Israel decided to keep the Jordanian prisoners out of the swap.

Ah. Because terrorists kidnapped (and murdered) three Israel soldiers—yet another lawless act that deserves life imprisonment—and a stupid, crooked businessman (also an illegal action), Israel offers to release the perpetrators of more illegal actions in order to get back three bodies and a live crook.

I can't remember where I read this, but one of the columnists I read recently pointed out that Israel continues to reward terrorists with actions such as these, in direct contrast to their claims of never negotiating with terrorists.

I don't get it. I really don't. But I do think that if Israel had the death penalty, and started executing terrorists with "blood on their hands," there would be fewer prisoner swaps to deal with.


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.