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11/10/04: Arafat Death Watch searchers: You want to go here for the latest.

Those peaceful palestinians

Let's go back to an entry from a day or so ago, where Reuters had this to say about Yasser (may he die soon) Arafat:

It [Israel] accuses him of fomenting violence in a three-year-old Palestinian uprising for statehood, an allegation he denies.

Now let's look at an article from the Sunday Jerusalem Post:

The official television station of the Palestinian Authority has begun broadcasting a video clip depicting the destruction of Israel and its replacement by a Palestinian state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports.

PMW Director Itamar Marcus said the clip, which was broadcast twice within the past week, demonstrates that PA TV "continues to promote and glorify violence."

The video shows hands clutching stones springing up at various points on a map of Israel, he said, followed by the Palestinian flag emerging and covering the entire area of the Jewish state.

So, who do you think approved that videoclip?

Die, Arafat. Faster, please.

Back in New Jersey

There are a few things I've missed about New Jersey since moving to Richmond. I never thought that road rage would be one of them. But when an SUV cut me off on the highway, I applied the horn with the greatest pleasure. Because you can't beep your horn in Richmond. It's worse than the law: It's expected. If you want to turn on Richmonders' road rage, go ahead and beep your horn. You're expected to sit still and wait until the person in front of you discovers that the light did, indeed, turn green and nobody's coming from the perpendicular road. You're expected to smile and wave if you get cut off on the highway. The last thing you want to do is beep your horn at someone on a local street, because then you are guaranteed to get an automotive shadow for the next ten miles.

But when some schmuck tried to pass me on the right to get onto the Turnpike, I leaned on the horn, which is a nice, bass beep, and it felt heavenly.

So did getting my hair done by Rocco, who refuses to move to Richmond just because I did. And spending most of my Macy's gift card. (No Macy's in Virginia, as far as I can tell.) But not driving on the Garden State Parkway. Damn, those lanes are too narrow. I'm shocked that people aren't killed on the Parkway every day. The average speed is 70 mph (it's a 55 mph road), and the lanes are extremely narrow because of two reasons: It's one of the most heavily-traveled road in the state, and no trucks are allowed on it—which is how they can get away with narrowing the lanes to an unhealthy degree. I must be turning into an out-of-towner. I'm bitching about the Parkway lanes.

I was also reveling at the fresh kosher Empire chicken in the supermarket, but didn't buy any. I can get it cheaper at my kosher butcher shop on the way home.

Tomorrow, I'm meeting Susanna Cornett at my favorite Chinese restaurant in Bloomfield, and then we'll go to my favorite used bookstore in Montclair and meet my favorite former next-door neighbor. Then off to my brother's for dinner and to give my nephew his birthay present. (Simpsons Hit and Run for The XBox. Yeah, I know, I'm such a good aunt.)

Major sighs of contentment coming from me today. Hey, I had a really good roast beef dinner at the Randolph Diner (Virginia doesn't do diners, either), while watching the Yankees beat Boston, chatting with my mother, and offering "bips" to the child in the booth behind us ("chips," a.k.a french fries). And on Monday, I'll be stopping at a good bagel shop and a good Italian bakery to complete the journey. Southern cooking is really good, but southerners simply can't do bread the way Jews and Italians can.



Good morning. But not good enough, the bastard's not dead yet

It seems Arafat might be getting better. Damn.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat attended Muslim prayers at his West Bank headquarters on Friday, repeatedly kneeling and getting to his feet without help and looking stronger after what doctors said was a bout of stomach problems.

In appearances earlier this week, Arafat, 74, was pale and haggard, and seemed disoriented. This set off speculation, denied by his doctors, that he was suffering from a serious illness.

On Friday, Arafat sat in the first row of worshippers at a makeshift mosque in his West Bank headquarters. He was still pale but looked stronger, and his lower lip did not tremble, as it often does when he appears especially tired.

As required in Muslim prayers, Arafat repeatedly knelt on the carpet and got up again, without assistance. In his earlier appearances, he had held the hand of aides as he walked down the entrance steps of his compound to address reporters.

Well, we'll just have to wait and see. This looks promising:

An Arafat confidant, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Egyptian doctors have brought medical equipment with them and have set up a mini hospital in the compound.

I read somewhere that the Time source has always been trustworthy before, and they're standing by their stomach cancer story. To be continued... but not until later today. I'm driving to NJ this afternoon, and my friends have a wireless hub set up in their home, so I'll be piggybacking on their cable modem after dinner.



Arafat Death Watch Update: Stomach cancer?

Time Magazine says the murderous old creep may have stomach cancer. If so, the Arafat Dead Pool begins in earnest. That could be a quick and rather painful death. I'd post some of the article but, well, it sucks. Their analysis is so lame as to be embarrassing. How the mighty have fallen.

Thanks to all who emailed about the article.

Lair Simon wants December 24th:

I want Christmas Eve. That way when he "cancels" Christmas in (Muslim-)Occupied Bethlehem again, all the Christian Palestinians will have something to truly celebrate and find hope in.

Lair also runs a dead pool. The 2003 dead pool is closed, and he's waiting to hand out 26 points to the many people who chose Arafat to die this year, but you can enter his 2004 dead pool. Start thinking about your entries now. I'd advise against choosing Arafat; if he's got stomach cancer, I give him six weeks.

The reports are spreading around; various international news media are reporting the various stories about Arafat's health. But it seems plain that the man is seriously ill, and probably dying. There's an analysis in the Jerusalem Post (subscription required) about what happens after.

I misnamed an email source earlier, but he says a link will make it up to him. Sorry, Howard.

Say, Jeff has a blog, and I forgot all about it when I answered his letter earlier. He's responded to my post.

I'm giving Mac Thomason a gratuitious link because he writes one of the best and funniest blogs around. Do not miss the titles to his posts; they're generally hilarious as well as commenting on the post itself. And he's a one-man database on the Roy Moore Ten Commandments brouhaha.

Mog wants October 17th. Um, folks... does this mean I actually have to, like, keep track of who called what? Naaaah. I can just do a search on the date when Arafat keks and figure out who had it. Dreamweaver has a great search function.

There are more emails that I'm too tired to get to right now. Tomorrow is a travel day for me, but when I wind up in central Jersey, I'll have a wireless connection to piggyback onto. There will be blog. Well, plus, there will be blog tomorrow morning before I leave, and possibly even tonight before I collapse.

No, probably not tonight. I think I'm done. Four hours sleep is not enough. But before I do that, thanks to all of my new readers who sent some very kind emails my way. I look forward to seeing you back here regularly.

Well, this is downright disappointing: Death Watch update

But it's Reuters, so it may all be lies.

A senior Israeli military source said Arafat's ailment did not appear to be life-threatening.

"We don't think his life is at risk. From what we know, he had some problems with his stomach. He is weak a little bit, he is operating. He is taking part in meetings. It was not a heart attack," the source said.

However, leave it to Rotters News Service to pass along the poisoning rumors:

"People around him are afraid of complications because of his age but especially because of the unhealthy situation he is living in, in his office," another senior aide said.

"Others are looking into the possibility that he might have been poisoned, so the...medical team has taken blood samples."

Israeli army roadblocks and patrols have kept Arafat confined to his battered Muqata compound for the past two years.

Notice how noncontextual that last statement is. It isn't until you hit the last paragraph that you get a reason for the confinement. A qualified reason, of course.

It accuses him of fomenting violence in a three-year-old Palestinian uprising for statehood, an allegation he denies.

So when he said "A million martyrs marching to Jerusalem!", he was just, you know, kidding?

By the way, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade—a division of Fatah, Arafat's organization—are claiming responsibility for the suicide bomber who injured two soldiers at a checkpoint today.

Reuters headline bias watch: Suicide Bomb Wounds 2 Israelis in West Bank

Because they have to deligitimize the victims, which were two soldiers at a checkpoint. Interestingly, female soldiers have been assigned to various points along the seam line in case they need to do body searches on possible female suicide bombers.

And a victim of the Haifa bombing succumbed to her wounds today. But Reuters says Arafat denies fomenting violence, therefore, it must be so.

Die, liver-lips. Die painfully, and die soon.

While I have your attention

My blogdaughter, Shanti, hosts the Carnival of the Vanities this week.

Combustible Boy sent me a very funny letter:

Mysterious virus, eh? You just know the PA is setting up to claim Yasser was felled by that secret Israeli bioweapon that only kills Arabs -- which I like to call the "Poonawalla Strain". Reuters would report it uncritically, of course.

And I see that I'm having some server problems. Seems an Instalink has the power to now overload my server. On the phone with my hosting service now; this should be fixed soon. (Update: It was a server reboot, not an overload.)

Oh. And I added a few things to my Amazon wishlist. I don't have a tip jar, but I sure do like presents.

The meme spreads: Deathwatch 2003

All right, I'm back. (Yay, Fandango!) So let's talk Arafat Death Watch. Al Bawaba always amuses me, and not just because it's fun to say that name out loud. (Go ahead. You know you want to. Al Bawaba. Al Bawaba.)

Dr. Ashraf Kurdi, Yasser Arafat’s Jordanian doctor, on Thursday told Al Bawaba that the PA leader is denying any deterioration in his health and the alleged mild heart-attack he was struck with, and instead has attacked the Israeli press for their accusations saying “the Israeli press is who infected me with the disease (accusing them of fabricating the story).”

Kurdi, the former Jordanian Minister of Health and Arafat’s personal doctor for twenty years, confirmed that he personally called Arafat last night to enquire about his health after hearing in the media reports on the ‘worrying’ state that he was in. According to Kurdi, Arafat denied the reports to him over the phone saying, “I do not suffer from a thing.”

Kurdi, speaking to Al Bawaba, said “despite the fact that I am fully aware of Arafat’s (74) health conditions, what I heard in the press really worried me and so I decided to call him just to make sure he was alright.”

Kurdi added “I asked Arafat to tell me more about his condition, however he told me that he was doing fine and that it was the Israeli media that has infected him with this so called disease.”

Interestingly, Al Bawaba did not talk to Arafat, who does not "suffer from a thing." Arafat's (74) health conditions mean nothing; that's just their translators way of telling us that the murdering bastard is 74 years old.

[...] Kurdi believes that the reason why he appears very weak on TV is due to the mental and physical exhaustion and stress that he has to live under on a daily basis. Kurdi also is not surprised by his appearance, stating “the man leaves in a sorry state…I am surprised he made this far as no human can live under the conditions he lives under.” When asked about those conditions, Kurdi noted that “He sleeps in a room that is one meter by one and a half meters…a lot of the time the electricity and water goes out, and the room does not usually receive enough oxygen and fresh air. His room is also quite heavily trafficked by people working for him.”

Why, it sounds almost like—a prison! Well, except for the heavily trafficked part. Mind you, they contradict themselves in their own article:

A senior PA official told The Jerusalem Post that despite his illness, Arafat received a Turkish delegation in his office on Wednesday. "I can't say that there is a real improvement in his condition," the official said. "Unfortunately, he continues to be very ill."

Another official, however, said there was a "slight improvement" in Arafat's health.

There go those palestinian spokesmen, moving their lips again.

For contrast's sake, here's an article from the AJC from September 30th on Arafat's recovery from flu. Al-Kurdi sure has his talking points down pat.

Al-Kurdi, who has treated Arafat for many years, said he was joined by a heart specialist, neurologist and internist. "We checked President Arafat and we found him in good health," al-Kurdi said. "There is no doubt that his Palestinian doctors did what was necessary, and we were astonished to find him in good health despite his living in unhealthy conditions."

There is nothing to be found on the Palestine Media Center site, or the PA site. Nothing on the Arab News site. Gee, let's try to think why this could be.

Arafat dies. Then comes the civil war that the pals have been avoiding. There will be a bloody struggle for control of the West Bank and Gaza. I don't believe a single leader will emerge. I think there will be two or three factions that will try to work together, or at least say they will. Judging by past history, the consensus will break down early and often, leading to more civil wars. In the meantime, Arab leaders who have been funneling blood money to the terrorists will not be able to support a single leader the way they have supported Arafat. It may break the consensus between the Arab states, which have always had a fragile relationship in spite of claims to the contrary. (Go read up on the Sinai war: Egypt had to remove its troops from Yemen before attacking Israel. Oh, and Egypt used nerve gas on its enemies, who were supported by the Saudis.)

Can you hear the bells tolling? They're ringing the death knell of the status quo. The Saudis, the Egyptians, the Jordanians and the Syrians are shaking in their sandals. Israelis aren't afraid of the chaos that will erupt. It can be no worse than what they've suffered these past three years. But the current Arab leaders are in for a world of trouble. Once their people stop focusing on the plight of the palestinians, the state of their own countries will finally register on the vast unwashed masses—as Iraq inches closer to being the only Arab nation with democratic rule.

Faster, please.

Stronger than the Arafat death watch: The Ring

This is going to be your last update for a few hours, as I'm heading off to my local Regal Cinema to try to score tickets to the Trilogy Tuesday LOTR marathon. Sorry, but the Ring is a stronger draw than even the death of the world's ugliest mass murderer. Yeah, I'm a Tolkien geek. Why do you ask?

However, Geoff C. points out that the pals are already using the poison card. The sad truth is, the people they're going to snow are so effing stupid as to believe anything and everything bad about Jews, so it'll probably fly as fast and as far as that lie about the Mossad being behind 9/11. Some choice bits from the article:

Nabil Abu Rudaineh, Arafat's spokesman, said Arafat is feeling well and accused "hostile elements" of spreading rumors about his failed health.

Dr. Yousef Qassous, a heart specialist who examined Arafat last week, told reporters in Amman that the report in The Guardian on Wednesday was "untrue." He said an electrocardiogram showed that Arafat had no heart

What? Even the pals are saying what we already knew?


Oops. (I couldn't resist.) Okay, here's the moonbat theorizing already beginning.

The Hamas-affiliated Palestine Information Center Web site quoted an anonymous Palestinian security official as saying he did not rule out the possibility that Arafat has been poisoned by Israel.

"We have information which we are trying to verify according to which President Arafat may have been injected with a lethal dose that slowly and gradually leads to a natural death within a month," the official said.

Once again, how can you tell when a palestinian is lying? His lips are moving. Let's take a poll of those moving lips.

Arafat has been ill for more than a week, and some of his aides are expressing serious concerns about his condition.

A senior PA official told The Jerusalem Post that despite his illness, Arafat received a Turkish delegation in his office on Wednesday. "I can't say that there is a real improvement in his condition," the official said. "Unfortunately, he continues to be very ill."

Another official, however, said there was a "slight improvement" in Arafat's health and he might be able to attend a meeting of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah on Thursday. The meeting has been called to approve the new cabinet of Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei. PA officials denied a report in a British newspaper according to which Arafat suffered a mild heart attack last week.

Nabil Abu Rudaineh, Arafat's spokesman, said Arafat is feeling well and accused "hostile elements" of spreading rumors about his failed health.

[...] "The report about the heart attack is a complete lie," said Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a senior aide to Arafat. "President Arafat suffered acute pain in the stomach last week but is now recovering." He said Arafat's frail appearance was the result of "vomiting and a loss of appetite."

This is better than any of the so-called reality programs. They should film these guys, put them on TV, and let us decide which of them is the best liar and boot the others. Fox? Anyone? I think it's a winner!

By the way, it's hit the big media outlets. CBS News has an article about Arafat looking ill, the papers are picking it up, and you should be able to follow it via a Google News Search while I'm out getting tickets.

Michele wants October 13th. Shell from Across the Atlantic wants October 24th, United Nations Day. Oooh. I like the way you think.

And lastly, I suspect that Lesley's mom was the one that got the Arafat Death Watch into the Best of the Web. Thanks, Lesley's mom. The power of the WSJ rolls on.

Arafat death watch: Coincidence, or psychic moment?

When I called him "old liver-lips" yesterday, I was on the money. Reader Geoff C. sends me to this breaking news story from the JTA:

Yasser Arafat has potentially fatal liver complications from gastritis, an Israeli newspaper said. The story in Maariv on Thursday followed reports the 74-year-old Palestinian leader suffered a mild heart attack last week. Palestinian officials said Arafat was believed to have had only a bout of the flu but that a visiting Egyptian medical team would assess his condition fully -- not least in order to address suspicions he may have been poisoned by Israel.

And the death watch continues.

Max J. wants December 29th, his birthday. You've got it, Max, but I hope you get a very early birthday present. Remember, even if your date doesn't come in, you still win in the Arafat Dead Pool. There are no losers here.

Another Arafat death watch update

Sadly, I'm going to have to conclude that the report of Arafat's demise was exaggerated. But I'm going to hold out hope that he's on his way out for good this time. In the meantime, a few more letters. First, the funny ones. Michael L. says:

I'm a bit surprised that the old murderer didn't die from terror when four ambulances entered his compound, given the way the Palestinian terrorists use ambulances to transport bombs.

Yeah, but he knew it was his own in there, and the Gush Shalom and ISM Jews are currently too valuable to blow up.

Alex Bensky writes:

This is my prediction: within three weeks of Arafat's death, whenever it is, at least two of what passes for respectable Arab media will claim that he was really killed by Israel. I'm not speaking of protestations that the horrid and nasty Israelis hastened his death by their settlement policies, or some such, but that the actual, proximate cause of his death was an action by Israel.

I further predict that within two weeks of that occurrence the French media will pick up the story and report is as if it were real news. There will be at least one demonstration somewhere in Europe or the Middle East demanding condemnation of Israel for this.

As to the likely laudatory obituaries and speeches, I don't care to offer predictions--they are as inevitable as they will be disgusting.

Meanwhile, when the bastard does die I'm going to mark the occasion by doing what his savage and psychotic people did on 9/11/01, go out and have some candy. It seems the appropriate thing to do. I know we're cautioned every Pesach that God admonished the angels about rejoicing even at the drowning of Pharaoh's army...but I'm going to do it anyway.

Red Sox are leading the Yankees, and the hopes of every decent and civilized person are with them.

(You had to get a Yankees blow in there, didn't you? Well, they're just letting the Boston fans think there's a chance. There isn't.)

Joel G. and Scott C. both want October 31st. Daniel S. wants October 10-12th. Bruce P. thinks he's dead already and it's being covered up, and chooses the 8th. A reader who wishes to remain anonymous has a request:

I think that you should offer to put an audiofile of yourself ululating on your site upon delivery of the 10th (or some other number) Godiva delivery. I might even pony up a couple bucks on to have that .wav to replace the boring old "you've got mail" on my lame aol account.

Okay. You must be a new reader, so here's my answer to your request, and please don't take offense: Never. Gonna. Happen. Ululating and Meryl do not go together. Not even for Godiva chocolates. Say, if I can put them on my site like the Amazon wishlist... no, wait. I'm already trying to lose the nonsmoking weight, Godiva chocolates would just make me balloon up like, well, like Arafat.

Now for the flip side: Jeff S. raises a serious issue about the gleefulness of my Arafat Death Watch.

While I've got your attention, let me raise an issue with you. This is prompted by this morning's "arafat death ditty" that you posted. I share the rage and frustration that inspired you, believe me. And I will probably be happy about Arafat's death, when it happens. But there will still be a part of me that is ashamed at that happiness. What sets us apart from the Palestinian savages (and I cling stubbornly to the hope that that term is not redundant) is that we DON'T exult at the deaths of our enemies. Is their death necessary? Yes. Is it justified? Yes. But is it a cause for rejoicing? I think not. And was it for their death that we fasted Monday? Is THAT the fast we have chosen?

I've actually thought about that throughout these postings, and went through a struggle deciding whether or not to post them each time—particularly the more bloodthirsty of the posts. As Alex pointed out, God admonished the angels who rejoiced at the death of Pharoah's army. And I've been trying to decide if He'd be really unhappy with my thoughts of the past day or so.

But Jeff, I didn't fast on Yom Kippur in the hopes that Arafat would die. That's just a line I stuck into the song parody. Yes, while I was praying, I prayed for Israel, for her safety and success and for the defeat of her enemies. I was praying that Israelis would get through another holiday without being blown up. I wasn't thinking about Arafat dying at all, though that thought has crossed my mind many, many times before.

On the other hand, I think that the case of Arafat is nothing like the case of the drowning of Pharoah's army. The man is singlehandedly responsible for the death, wounding, and misery of thousands upon thousands of people: Israelis, Americans, Jordanians, Palestinians, Lebanese, Christians, Muslims, Jews. Maybe God would remonstrate with anyone who celebrates Arafat's death, but I won't. And I don't think this brings us down to the level of the palestinians who celebrate each bombing with sweets and candies and joyous parties. They celebrate the deaths of innocents. We'll be celebrating the death of a mass murderer.

I've heard the John Donne quote many times: "Any man’s death diminishes me," and I think it is absolute bullshit. In what way did Hitler's death diminish anyone? How about Goebbels? Eichmann? How did the death of Idi Amin diminish mankind? The fact is, living his life unpunished is what diminished us, and especially the loathesome Saudis who gave him safe haven from his crimes. When Yasser Arafat dies, the human race will be lifted just a little higher out of the slime, as another mass murdering piece of filth will be gone and unable to harm anyone anymore.

And yes, I'll celebrate it. I won't hand out candy to the fourth graders I teach in my synagogue religious school, because you're right, Jeff—I am better than that. But I will raise a glass to the death of one of the worst human beings ever to walk the planet. And yes, I'll be happy that he's dead. But I won't be ashamed of it. Not for Arafat. I feel nothing but hatred and contempt for him. He can't die soon enough to suit me.



Unconfirmed: Arafat may be dead

Via Charles Johnson (and reader Howard H.), there is an unconfirmed report of Arafat's death.

20:36 Nous n'avons plus d'information sur l'état de ''santé'' d'Arafat . La nouvelle de son décès n'est toujours pas confirmée. (Guysen.Israël.News)

I barely remember my high school French, but I'm pretty sure that it says he died today but that it has not been confirmed. I sure like this Babelfish translation, though:

We do not have any more information on the state of ''santé'' of Arafat. The news of its death is still not confirmed.

That's right. It's an it. Not a human. But what's with that "sante" stuff? Please tell me it doesn't mean saint. Ou est la plume de mon oncle, anyway?

Update: Thanks to all who wrote to tell me that "sante" means "health."

Arafat death watch update: The Arafat Dead Pool

I can keep doing this forever, or until Arafat dies, whichever comes first. Whoops, gonna be the latter.

Well, old liver-lips' spokesmen have spoken, and we are reminded of the old ethnic joke that can now be used with Arafat's spokespeople: How can you tell when a palestinian spokesman is lying? His lips are moving.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has been weakened by flu but a doctor today denied a report that the 74-year-old suffered a mild heart attack last week.

In brief appearances this week, Arafat looked drawn and pale and his lower lip trembled considerably. He spoke with great effort and with prompting from his chief adviser, Nabil Abu Rdeneh. At times, he appeared in a daze, staring straight ahead.

The British newspaper The Guardian today quoted Arafat aides as saying he had a “slight heart attack” last week, but that the incident was kept secret for fear of creating panic.

One of Arafat’s doctors denied the report.

“He didn’t have a heart attack ... he had a stomach flu,” said D. Yousef Goussous, one of four doctors who rushed from Jordan to Arafat’s compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah 10 days ago to examine the Palestinian leader.

You know, my grandfather had a few stomach flus, and then he had to have heart surgery to cure them. I had an uncle who died of the stomach flu. They can be deadly, those flus. And Arafat's looking mighty sickly in the picture in this article. That flu just may do him in.

"He didn't have a heart attack ... he had a stomach flu," Dr. Yousef Goussous, one of the four doctors, said Wednesday.

The medical team from Jordan said at the time that Arafat was in relatively good health. However, Arafat has not improved since that visit, aides said on condition of anonymity. Arafat continues to pick at his food and requires a lot of rest, they said.

Toldja to send in a Jewish doctor. They know how to fix those stomach flus.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Jonathan Peled said Wednesday that Israel "probably would" permit Arafat to leave the compound if he needs to be treated at a hospital.

"We're following it (Arafat's health)," Peled said. "I wouldn't say we're worried, or upset or anything. We're simply following it."

Those wacky Israeli spokesmen. They're masters of understatement.

Erica S. sent in her dates for the Arafat Dead Pool. She wants October 15th-30th. Okay, those two weeks are yours, Erica. But if any of you want a more specific date, or even want to go in on any of the dates already claimed, jump right in. Because there are no losers in the Arafat Dead Pool. If he dies on the date you pick, you win. If he dies on the date you didn't pick, you still win. If more than one of you picks the date, you all win. The principle behind the Arafat Dead Pool is simple: he dies, we win.

Some email from my fellow terrorist-haters. Danny vO says:

“Die, Arafat. Die painfully, die quickly, and die soon.”

How can you write such a thing? Shame on you! Would that he dies slowly and torturously. Have some patience, girl!

Sorry, Danny, I stand by wanting him to die quickly. Faster, please.

I can't remember if a reader sent this to me, or if I saw it in an article somewhere. If it was a reader, tell me, and I'll credit you.

Arafat is going to die on a Jewish holiday. Any day he dies will be a Jewish holiday.

I really do seem to be on a major theme today. I'd call it beating a dead horse, but the horse isn't dead yet. Faster, please.

Arafat death watch update

Here are more details on Arafat's appearance at his "cabinet" swearing-in ceremony. (Just call them rubber-stampers, and be done with it.)

Looking frail, Arafat presided over a modest swearing-in ceremony for Qurei and the new ministers, attended by members of the PLO Executive Committee and other senior PA officials. He stood in a second-floor conference hall of his headquarters, at times leaning heavily on the table, and embraced the ministers after they had sworn an oath on a small silver-bound copy of the Koran.

Faster, please.

Nigerian spam goes to Libya

How low can they go? Check this one out:






PATRICK DONALD alternative email :[email protected]

Nice touch, including the news articles. And including the alternate email address. Well? What are y'all waiting for? He's giving you the chance of a lifetime to bilk someone out of ten million!

These people really are a lower form of life. Go ahead, fill his mailbox, spambots.

Say. Do you think he'll answer any of the Nigerian spam he gets in his mailbox? Or would that be an infinite loop?

Meet the new boss; same as the old boss

The IDF prevented another terror attack yesterday.

Two Palestinians on their way to carry out suicide attacks in Israel were captured overnight Monday by IDF troops near the West Bank city of Jenin.

Here's what the current palestinian "prime minister" has to say about preventing such occurrences by disarming the terrorists:

"We will not confront, we will not go for a civil war," he said. "It's not in our interest. It's not in the interest of our people, and it's not in the interest of the peace process."

Preventing terrorists from killing civilians is not in the interest of the peace process. And yet, the world calls Ariel Sharon the criminal.

How low can I go?

Pretty low. The song parodies have begun. To the tune of Mercedes Benz:

Oh Lord, won't you give us an Arafat death?
We've waited for decades, so please stop his breath
Prayed hard for this deed, and fasted, no less
So Lord, won't you kill him, and settle this mess?

I think this subject is going to continue unless the murderer recovers. In which case I will don sackcloth and ashes in mourning for what might have been.

Really, Lord. He's had his three-score and ten, you can get rid of him now.



Arafat death watch update

Apparently, Terrorfat had a heart attack last week.

Yasser Arafat has suffered a mild heart attack but the Palestinian leadership has sought to keep his health problems secret for fear it will "create panic".

The 74-year-old Palestinian president, who is suffering from Parkinson's disease, disappeared from public view last week and re-emerged at the weekend looking extremely ill. His face was pale and pinched, he had lost weight and he was almost inaudible. He had trouble standing for more than a few minutes at a time.

The Palestinian press said he was suffering from flu. But Palestinian officials told the Guardian that Mr Arafat had suffered a heart attack last week. "Although he has had a slight heart attack, the doctors say he will make a full recovery. He is in full control. There is nothing to worry about," said a close aide to Mr Arafat, who did not wish to be named.

Asked why it had not been made public at the time, the official said that it would "have created panic at a critical time when the Israelis are threatening Arafat's life".

I do believe I may start an Arafat Dead Pool if we keep on getting stories like this.

Arafat swore the ministers in during a quiet ceremony in his compound in Ramallah. He stood behind a desk as each minister in turn approached, put his hand on the Koran and swore "on the great God to be loyal to the homeland and to preserve the law and the Palestinians' highest interests and to do my duties to the best of my abilities."

Each minister then hugged Arafat, who appeared tired and drawn during the ceremony.

Die, you murdering bastard. Like we used to say on LGF: Faster, please.

And now, a moment of kitty zen

Because today's posts have been filled with non-soothing emotions (how's that for a euphemism?), I thought it was time out for a kitty picture.

Gracie under bush

That's Gracie, taken this morning. Of course, it could be taken as her version of the Monty Python's John Cleese Frenchman insult, but then, this is our moment of kitty zen. It means only peace, relaxation, and kittiness.

Arafat death watch

Yasser Arafat is sick. (Via Charles) Perhaps our prayers are about to be answered.

Four ambulances that were seen entering Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah on Monday afternoon triggered off rumors that he was seriously ill.

Within minutes, senior officials in the compound were bombarded with phone calls from curious journalists. Arafat's spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, dismissed reports that Arafat had been taken to a local hospital. He said Arafat suffered from exhaustion and was recovering.

Yes, you'd have to say that.

But another senior official said Arafat's health has rapidly deteriorated over the past two weeks. "I don't think it's the flu as some people say," he said. "The president hasn't been feeling well for some time and his health seems to be worsening."

We can always hope.

He said it was possible that Arafat, 74, has caught a number of viruses as a result of shaking hands and exchanging kisses on the cheek with thousands of people who came to see him over the past few weeks following Israel's decision to "remove" him.

Aha! It was a deadly Mossad plot that's doing him in! Ariel Sharon is brilliant! That's why he said he was going to "remove" Arafat! He probably infected hundreds of the well-wishers to make sure that Arafat would get sick.

On Sunday, a pale and fragile-looking Arafat met in his office with the new PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei. Palestinians said they have never before seen Arafat in such a condition.

"You can see that he's very ill," said someone who attended the meeting. "He can hardly speak. Something bad is happening to him."

I saw him on a news report before Yom Kippur. He looked totally zoned out on drugs and was barely able to speak.

Some PA officials said Arafat's decision to declare a state of emergency in the West Bank and Gaza Strip could be linked to his illness. "It's possible that he doesn't want to leave a vacuum behind," said one PA official. "He must have discussed the issue with Abu Ala [Qurei]."

Oh, there will be a vaccuum. And there will absolutely be war between the factions vying for control once Arafat is gone. Expect to see a lot of schadenfreude on this blog. I'm positively looking forward to the death and destruction that the pals will wreak among themselves. (That's so going to get me nasty letters. Oh, well. You reap what you sow, people.)

Last week, the PA summoned a team of doctors from Jordan to examine Arafat after he complained of severe abdominal pain. They concluded that he had recovered from a mild illness and only needed some rest.

At first, his aides suspected that he had been poisoned. Arafat had been vomiting for several days. Shortly after the Jordanian team returned home, a journalist in Ramallah quoted a senior PA official as saying that "Arafat's days are numbered."

Severe abdominal pain. Vomiting. Hm. Those crafty Zionists! They've sent agents to poison Our Dear Leader! (Of course, as Lair pointed out, if they wanted him to get well, they should have summoned Jewish doctors.)

On Monday evening, journalists and visitors were barred from entering Arafat's compound. The decision only added to the growing speculation about Arafat's health.

Everyone start singing with me: "Ding-dong, the witch is dead...." No, wait. Let's send the jokers who kept David Blaine from sleeping over to the Muquata. No rest for the wicked!

I breathlessly await the email from those twisted people out there who think that a mass-murderer responsible for the death of thousands, both of Israelis, Americans, and his own people, deserves any form of sympathy whatsoever. Die, Arafat. Die painfully, die quickly, and die soon. But please—die.

Two new sites about Iraq

Chief Wiggles and Michele Catalano have launched Operation Give, a website where you can donate toys to the children of Iraq. Many boxes of toys have already arrived and are being given to the children as we write this.

Also, Frank J got tired of the media bias, and started a website called Frontline Voices, whichs posts letters from soldiers in Iraq. Here, you can read first-hand the things the media refuse to tell us about—because good news doesn't sell papers. Or because it doesn't fit their current bias.

If you haven't yet linked to these two worthy sites, please do. Although Operation Give is really ruining Michele's reputation for being a bloodthirsty warmongerer. Sorry, Michele. It's your own fault for having a heart.

Reuters headline bias watch

So how's that Reuters headline bias going?

Sharon Threatens to Hit Israel's Enemies Anywhere

Phew, that's some headline. Is that really what Sharon did?

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, buoyed by U.S. backing for Israel's right to defend itself, said on Tuesday the army was ready to "hit its enemies any place and in any way" after an air raid deep inside Syria.

Wait a minute. In the article, the word is "said," not threatened. Go figure.

Speaking at a memorial service marking the anniversary of the 1973 Middle East war, Sharon took a tough line but made no specific threats after Sunday's strike on what Israel said was a training camp for Palestinian militants.

Hey! In the second paragraph, you're saying that Sharon "made no specific threats." I thought the headline says he threatened Israel's enemies.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, breaking his silence on the attack near Damascus, accused Israel of trying to drag Syria and the rest of the Middle East into a wider conflict. Syria says Israeli warplanes hit a "civilian" site.

Liar. And in impotent liar, no less. The whole world is laughing at Syria, because we know you can't respond to Israel's attack without getting your ass kicked.

It was Israel's deepest air raid in Syria in three decades and followed a Palestinian suicide bombing that killed 19 people in a restaurant in the Israeli port city of Haifa a day earlier.

And may I say: More! More! (and even "Author! Author!") ((There, that ought to get my buddy Aziz's blood boiling.))

President Bush insisted on Monday that Israel should not feel constrained in defending itself but said he told Sharon: "It's very important that any action Israel take(s) should avoid escalation and creating higher tensions."

Yeah, because, like, tensions could get any higher. Even with a full closure on, the effers managed to get a twisted, pathetic woman to blow herself up in a restaurant filled with children. Children she did not have. Did anyone else notice that she was a 27-year-old single Muslim woman, engaged? Who wants to bet she was infertile, possibly divorced from her first husband, and shunned by her family and neighbors? In other words, the perfect idiot to brainwash into being a "martyr." This is the line of brainwashing they probably took: "Sister, you have not borne children, you have no husband. You are not a proper Muslim. Your brother and cousin were killed... Allah will reward you in heaven if you become a shahid."

So she stood in Maxim's restaurant and looked at all the women with their husbands and children, and figured if she couldn't have them, nobody could. Funny how nobody ever follows that angle. Only the "IDF killed her brother and cousin" angle. Who were, by the way, terrorists. Great family, that.

Sharon's first public comments since Sunday's strike came just hours after violence flared on the Israel-Lebanon border.

That violence was Hizbullah firing at an Israeli border patrol and killing one soldier.

A military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, blamed the attack which killed the soldier, on Hizbullah, the anti-Israeli militant guerrilla group active in south Lebanon. But Hizbullah said in a one-sentence statement faxed to The Associated Press in Beirut that it was not involved in Monday's shootings.

The spokesman said the soldier was killed after Israeli forces came under light weapon fire from Lebanese territory.

I guess the rockets that followed the attack came out of nowhere, too. But back to Reuters:

"Israel will not be deterred from defending its citizens and will hit its enemies any place and in any way," Sharon said in a speech broadcast live from a military cemetery in Jerusalem.

Still waiting for the part where Sharon threatens anyone. I see a leader of a nation promising to defend his nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Reuters editors apparently see a threat.

"At the same time we will not miss any opening and opportunity to reach an agreement with our neighbors and peace."

So why wasn't the headline "Sharon offers peace to Israel's neighbors?" Hm? (Yes, of course that was a rhetorical question.)

Israeli Vice-Premier Ehud Olmert told Israel Radio the air strike was justified in light of what he called "insane murder" perpetrated in the Haifa bombing.

"What he called..." Do you see the little pinpricks? Every way they can, delegitimize the Israeli quotes, while reporting anti-Israeli claims uncritically.

Israel accuses Syria of giving safe haven to militants spearheading a three-year-old uprising for independence.

No, Israel accuses Syria of giving safe haven to terrorists. Nice little slip-in of your boilerplate intifada definition, you anti-Semitic bastards.

Assad, in an interview published with the daily al-Hayat, said Syria would not yield to U.S. demands to expel Palestinian organizations.

"(The raid) is an attempt by the Israeli government to extract itself from its big crisis by trying to terrorize Syria and drag it and the region into other wars," he said.

Like I said. Report the other guys' stuff uncritically. Assad said. Pals state. Israel claims. Israel accuses.


A senior Sharon adviser said Saturday's suicide attack meant Israel was likely to act faster on a decision it took in principle last month to "remove" Palestinian President Yasser Arafat from power.

"How he will be removed and when will be decided according to the circumstances," Raanan Gissin told Reuters.

Interesting. When it comes to removing Arafat, a policy which is by no means set, suddenly, the Israeli spokesman have the same authority as the Arab spokesmen.

Arafat on Tuesday swore in an emergency eight-member cabinet led by Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie, who has close ties to the Palestinian leader.

Qurie is the latest palestinian sock-puppet. "Close ties" my ass.

The Palestinians are required to rein in militants under a stalled U.S.-backed peace "road map," but Qurie has ruled out a crackdown for fear of starting a civil war.

Political analysts doubt three years of Israeli-Palestinian conflict will trigger violence across the Middle East, but note Israel now faces heightened tension with Syria and Lebanon.

Don't you mean "Syria-occupied Lebanon"? How many soldiers does Syria have there? Twenty thousand?

Israeli military sources said "terror groups" in southern Lebanon fired missiles and rockets early on Tuesday that landed near an army base and a communal farm in northern Israel. No casualties were reported.

See the scare quotes? I didn't see scare quotes around "Prime Minister" Qurie, though we really should use them. That will be my new policy here, I think. "Prime Minister" Ahmed Qurie.

A missile also hit a house in southern Lebanon, killing a boy and wounding his brother. One security source told Reuters in Beirut the missile's origin was unclear, and other security sources said it was probably fired at Israel from inside Lebanon but fell short.

Well paint me purple and call me a grape. The editors missed a spot!

The army said a soldier was shot dead at the border on Monday, and military sources blamed his death on Hizbollah guerrillas backed by Iran and Syria. Hizbollah denied its forces had been involved in any shooting.

They didn't miss this one. "Blamed his death on." Like it's two kids fighting. When Israeli soldiers kill pals, the wording is usually "Israeli soldiers killed a palestinian blahblahblah."

An official from the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon said one of its water trucks was hit by three bullets fired from inside Israel during the incident.

Were the terrorists firing from behind the truck, using it as cover? Oh, gee, am I being mean to the UN peacekeepers again? The ones who are supposed to prevent or stop incidents like shooting at Israeli border patrols? Poor babies. Their truck got hurt.

Major General Benny Gantz, commander of Israel's northern corps, pointed the finger at Syria, Iran and Lebanon, saying: "If these three states are not careful, the situation is likely to deteriorate."

That's the meat of the matter. The attack on the camp, which didn't seem to do much in terms of destroying a weapons supply or killing terrorists (it killed none and destroyed few, from what I can find), was a signal. It was a shot across the bow to the ones who support the terrorists who are murdering Israelis. It was Ariel Sharon saying that Jews are done being targets again. We've been in that role before, and the last time we chose to let the world help us, the world did help us. Right into the ovens and gas chambers.

Syria called an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Sunday, but Washington, which has a veto, said it would not support a resolution that condemned the raid but did not mention the Haifa suicide attack.

Yeah, and eff you too, Syria. Finally, W. is giving Israel decent support in her war against terrorism. Let's not forget, her war is our war. Yasser Arafat and his brothers-in-blood gave the world an example of what terrorism could achieve. Al Qaeda watched carefully, and learned much. Give Arafat the state he so desires, and you'll never see an end to the bloodshed.

End the bloodshed first. Then they get a state. Not before.



Until next year

Made it through 25-plus hours of fasting. I still have a headache, and, well, forget about blogging until tomorrow, if you don't mind. I'm going to retire to The Chair That Swallows You Whole and watch soap operas and eat candy until the headache goes away. Then I'll go to bed.

I did the marathon today. I was in synagogue from 10 a.m. until the finish (after 7 p.m.), with about an hour break at 3. I didn't see the point in going home for an hour, where I'd have been tempted by all of the food in my house calling out my name, doubtless in varying volumes and even some harmony.

Of course, it was hugely amusing when one of my students, who came for a couple of hours this morning, came back for the evening service, saw me, and said, "Are you still here? Did you stay the whole time?"

It's so easy to impress nine-year-olds. Then again, it's not hard for them to get on my good side. They're so cute. Especially when they're not in class.



More on the response

A quote from an Israeli spokesman:

"Syria has been warned more than once by the United States that it should close all the facilities of the Islamic Jihad," said government spokesman Avi Pazner. "Apparently it has not done so. And it is our policy after what happened yesterday to go after Islamic Jihad wherever they are."

And more background on the camp:

The Syrian government had no immediate response. Speaking on the al-Jazeera television network, Abu Emad El-Refaei, an Islamic Jihad spokesman in Beirut, Lebanon, denied that there were any Islamic Jihad bases in Syria.

"We do not have any training camps or bases in Syria or any other country," he said. "All our bases are inside the Palestinian occupied territories."

The Ein Tzahab base, a safe haven and training camp for Islamic Jihad terrorists, is said to be sponsored by Iran and Syria. The base is 22 kilometers (14 miles) northeast of Damascus.

"Following the attack, the army has started operating against those behind the attack, those who support (terror) and those who use the strategy of terror in order to harm citizens of Israel," the army said in a statement.

The army would not say if other forces beside the warplanes were involved in the strike on the training base.

Military sources said the base at Ein Tzahab was used to train Palestinian terrorists belonging to the Islamic Jihad and Hamas groups. Recruits there are taught how to assemble bombs, conduct guerrilla warfare, learn usage of artillery and even get aviation instruction.

Some men training at the base were slated to return to the Palestinian Authority to set up operational terrorist cells, military sources said. Others were activists from Lebanon and Syria who were to buffer the terror groups' ranks there.

More, more, and still more good news:

"Syria is a state that supports terror, that constantly tries to frustrate efforts to bring calm and stability to the region and gives cover in its territory and capital to the terror organizations that act against Israeli citizens," the army said. "Iran is funding and directing the organizations."

The army said Israel will not accept the rules of the game that the terrorists are trying to dictate, and "will act with determination against all who harm its citizens, in accordance with the right to self defense and defense of the state."

Israel has accused Syria of harboring Islamic Jihad, Hamas and PFLP terrorist groups, a charge Syria has denied, saying it has officially closed down their offices - mainly due to US pressure.

Nevertheless, Islamic Jihad leaders like Ramadan Abdallah Shalah continue to enjoy immunity in Damascus. Security sources said Hamas leaders in Damascus are behind the funding and recruitment of Palestinians undergoing training in Hizbullah camps, where they have learned such skills as assembling suicide bomb belts, kidnapping techniques and spying.

If this is truly Israel's new policy, and the world doesn't get in the way, there could be a light at the end of the tunnel.

On the other hand, if you want your gorge to rise, read this disgustingly biased piece from a BBC "analyst," who blames the state of war between Israel and Syria this way:

Syria is, of course, Israel's enemy. The two countries are still in an official state of war, caused by Israel's occupation and illegal annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights.

Right. Syria was minding her own business in 1967, doing absolutely nothing, when Israel suddenly up and took over the Golan Heights. For no reason.


And now, since Yom Kippur starts this evening, and I have an apple cake to bake this afternoon, I'm going to cease posting until tomorrow night. May you all have an easy fast, and my holiday got a little more joyous. I'm sure I'm going to be accused of being a warmonger, but it's the steps taken towards self-defense that are making me feel that we could be witnessing a major turnaround in the Oslo War. Here's hoping we're seeing the beginning of the end.

Now that's a response to terrorism

Israel bombed a terrorist training camp in Syria. Unsurprisingly, the Arabs are upset.

"What the Israelis did today is a major move on the strategic chessboard throughout the Middle East, as well as globally," he told CNN. "This move requires a very deliberate reaction, given the high stakes involved."

Syrian President Bashar Assad is faced with a particularly tough choice, Fandy said. He "has to respond and put the Middle East on a countdown to hell, or he does not respond, and undermines his own legitimacy internally."

Emergency workers care for victims of suicide bombing in Haifa. He added: "Everybody's shaking in their boots now. They don't know how to respond to this major bluff."

It's not a bluff, asshat. It's a statement of purpose.

The Syrian foreign minister called the raid "a flagrant violation and a serious escalation" and said Damascus would file a complaint with the United Nations, demanding that the Security Council meet immediately to discuss the attack.

My heart bleeds for you. Remove the tens of thousands of Syrian soldiers from Lebanon, and while you're at it, get Hezbollah off the Lebanese border with Israel.

Arab League spokesman Hisham Yousof said Syria had asked the Arab League to meet Sunday night to discuss the situation. A spokesman from Islamic Jihad in Beirut said the group carried out no military activities in Syria.

That would be because all the "military" activities are carried out in Israel. On civilians, sitting down to lunch with their families.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak called on the U.S. to restrain Israel and expressed concern the attack could presage a new cycle of violence.

"We condemn what happened today concerning the aggression against a brotherly state under the pretext that some organizations exist there," Reuters quoted Mubarak as saying in a joint news conference with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

The Brits are playing the hypocrisy card:

The United Kingdom said it had urged all sides to exercise restraint. A Foreign Office statement said: "Israel is of course entitled to take steps to protect itself from terrorist attack, but these steps should be within international law.

"Every act makes it more difficult to get back to the peace process."

So, Israel bombing a terrorist camp in Syria is illegal, but the Brits and Americans doing it in Afghanistan and Iraq is legal. Yup.

On the other hand, it could very well be a new step in the war on terror. Without asking permission from the United Nations, on whose Security Council is—oh, that's right. Syria.

Israeli government spokesman Ra'anan Gissin told CNN the camp was 10 miles from the Syrian capital city of Damascus.

"We will take whatever measure is necessary to defend our citizens, regardless of geographical location of these training camps," Gissin said.

Israel, he said, had decided "to enlarge the scope of our operation against the Islamic Jihad and Hamas."

The attack, Gissin said, sent a message to Syria and Iran to end their support for terrorism against Israel.

"We will not tolerate the continuation of this axis of terror between Tehran, Damascus and Gaza to continue to operate and kill innocent men, women and children," he said.

This is an entirely new step in Israel's fight against the terrorists. This is huge. Syria probably does not have the stomach for a battle with Israel, because the Arab states know that they cannot defeat Israel in an actual war. They can only continue to supply the terrorists who kill civilians with their suicide attacks. If President Bush doesn't go wobbly on this, Syria will bull and bluster and get a resolution against Israel passed in the General Assembly. If Bush goes wobbly, they'll get it in the Security Council. But he will lose a lot of credibility from those who agree with his stance on the war on terror. This is a definining moment for both Israel and the United States and her allies.

Ten miles from Damascus. The message is being sent loud and clear to Baby Assad: "Next time, we won't strike a camp of one of your tools."

The ground in the Middle East just got a little bit shakier.


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.