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I have just spiked two posts about the Passion and reaction to it, sparked by a letter from an idiot who thought it would be funny to end his letter "Jesus loves you, baby! Ha! Ha!"

Yeah, funny, David. Ha. Ha. Very Christian of you, too. I can feel the love, understanding, and warmth that Jesus directed you to show your fellow human beings.

In any case: This blog is going to be a Passion (the movie)-free zone for a few days. I don't want to start a religious war. There are more than enough battles going on right now.

It's heading for the sixties here today. I think I'll go outside and play.



The first prisoner of Auschwitz dies

David Z. sent me the link to this story. The first man imprisoned in Auschwitz died:

Ryniak was arrested by the Nazis in his hometown of Sanok, in southern Poland, in May 1940 and accused of being a member of the Polish resistance. He was 24 at the time.

He arrived at Auschwitz on June 14, 1940, together with hundreds of other Polish political prisoners on that first train of inmates.

Numbers were tattooed on the prisoners' arms in the order of their arrival. The first 30 numbers were given to German criminal prisoners who would serve as camp guards.

Ryniak's number was 31, making him essentially the first inmate.

In 1944, Ryniak was transported to the Leitmeritz work camp, in what is now the Czech Republic, where he was subjected to hard labor until the end of the war.

Upon his release, he weighed only 88 pounds.

The survivors of the camps are dying off. It won't be long before there won't be any left alive to refute the Holocaust deniers like Hutton Gibson.

One blogwar ends, another begins

It's like, not my fault, man. This time, I didn't do a thing.

But y'know, I do have a tendency to respond to things like this. Chuck, you made several points which I feel I must answer, and I shall try to answer them without my trademark juvenile scorn.

Today I'm removing from the blogroll Meryl Yourish, Silent Running and Kesher Talk. Meryl has been an infrequent read recently because of her consistent willingness to pick a fight in the Blogosphere. The other two have gone beyond the bounds of good taste and civility with their discussions about the movie The Passion of the Christ.

I think, frankly, you really mean that you're delinking me because of my willingness to mix it up with people you like in the blogosophere. I don't start fights. They develop out of something being discussed. I'm still flabbergasted at the outrage over my post about Aaron's Monopoly board, and even more so when Lair Simon was far nastier than I, and not a single person went batshit all over him. In fact, that was what my sociological experiment was all about. I'm convinced that there is a large contingent of bloggers out there that can't stand getting beat—or even criticized—by a girl. I have experienced my longest, nastiest battles with male bloggers. They can't seem to let go, either. (You'd think I'd learn to shut up, but nope. Can't.)

All of these bloggers make it difficult in the extreme to be a supporter of Jewish causes and of Israel. Just as any criticism of Jesse Jackson is considered racist, they are part and parcel of a group that turns any criticism of Israel into anti-semitism.

Ah, I see. Because you don't like the opinions or attitudes of some Jews, all Jewish causes—and Israel—must suffer. That doesn't make you look too good, Chuck. In fact, it makes you look downright fickle. And not very faithful.

The fact is that Jews make mistakes. Zionists make mistakes. The governments of Israel make mistakes. The army of Israel makes mistakes. But there is a group of folks that see any criticism or discovery of mistakes as overtly anti-semitic. Bullshit!

Bullshit is correct. I have stated on many occasions that there is a difference between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism, and have given examples. You haven't been reading very closely.

My father fought his way across Europe to free the relatives of these folks from the horrors of Nazism. His sweat and his blood, along with millions of other men, did that. Just as the horrors of the camps took millions of Jewish lives, other were saved by the actions of men who had no reason, other than goodness, to act.

So, what, I'm supposed to be grateful to you because your father served in WWII? Guess what, Chuckie? So did mine. My uncle was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and fought his way across Europe. My father never made it out of the country, but that wasn't his choice, or his fault. My mother's youngest brother served during the Korean war. Once more: What's your point there? Because every other time I've heard that army thing, it's usually to say in the next breath that the Jews didn't fight for themselves, or their country.

I am not an anti-semite. I am a Zionist. I believe that Israel has a right to exist and the United States should firmly and strongly support Israel.

But I have never been a participant in the "My country, right or wrong" school of politics. Israel has made mistakes that should be recognized and, yes, atoned for. Yet, the bloggers that I am delinking are loyal, beyond reason, to Israel. Loyal to the point of expressing irrational hatreds and cruelty.

You're not a very good Zionist if you threaten to remove your support from Israel because of three Jews who pissed you off. And I've never said that I support Israel unconditionally.

My faith has been mocked. The real pain that Our Savior felt, for sinners including Jewish sinners, has been the butt of jokes.

Oh, boo-hoo. Here's an interesting fact for you: My faith is mocked every time you say that Jesus died for my sins. I don't consider him my savior, or the Messiah. According to my religion, Jesus was a devout Jew. That's it.

That's the thing about religion and faith: If you truly believe your religion is right, then every other one is wrong. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it. We generally don't say it because it tends to start arguments and cause hurt feelings.

And let's face it, the Gibson movie is what's being mocked. Not Jesus. Grow up. The movie is being touted as the literal truth. It's effing Hollywood. The literal truth? Shyeah. Much of the script was based on the visions of some nutcase nun who claimed to "see" the crucifixion some 18 centuries before she was born. Oh, yeah, that's some literal truth. That's some historical text.

And FYI, I had dinner tonight with a Presbyterian minister, his wife, and his daughter. All three of them know an incredible amount about the days of Christ—the historical as well as Biblical. The minister's wife was discussing the Passion, and said "Mel Gibson has ruined the last two hundred years of New Testament scholarship with this movie." She said it. I wasn't a part of the conversation at all, just an interested listener.

The blogs that I'm tossing are as intolerant as any Islamic sect. They mirror the hatred and ignoble evilness that Mel Gibson's father spouts and expect that they will be seen as brave and noble and righteous.

Wow. As intolerant as any Islamic sect? Mirroring hatred and "ignoble evilness"? (Don't you think "evilness" was enough without adding the "ignoble"?) My blog is that bad?

Really? Where are we going around saying that people should be lynched for their religion? Where are we saying that such-and-such a group controls the world? Where are we spreading lies about the number of innocents killed simply because they're a member of such-and-such a group? Last I checked, I only call for the death of rabid anti-Semites and Jew-killers.

I don't see them that way. Just me, no one else. One person saying "I don't like you because you're an asshole."

Right back atcha, Chuck. You want to delink me, fine. You want to dislike me, that's fine, too. But I hope you didn't expect me to not respond. That's just not my style.



More Passion links than you can shake a—stick at

Yeah, you thought I was going to make another bad joke, didn't you?

Judith Weiss has been working overtime to give you a zillion Passion links, from every aspect you could possibly think of, and then a few more. Here's the master key to all the links. I suggest starting there and scrolling down. Right-click on most browser menus, and a shortcut menu with "Open in new window" will pop up.

George Will, in an article about the anti-Semitism of the left, includes this about the Passion:

Today's release of Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ" has catalyzed fears of resurgent anti-Semitism. Some critics say the movie portrays the governor of Judea -- Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect responsible for the crucifixion -- as more benign and less in control than he actually was, and ascribes too much power and malignity to Jerusalem's Jewish elite. Jon Meacham's deeply informed cover story "Who Killed Jesus?" in the Feb. 16 Newsweek renders this measured judgment: The movie implies more blame for the Jewish religious leaders of Judea of that time than sound scholarship suggests. However, Meacham rightly refrains from discerning disreputable intentions in Gibson's presentation of matters about which scholars, too, must speculate, and do disagree. Besides, this being a healthy nation, Americans are unlikely to be swayed by the movie's misreading, as Meacham delicately suggests, of the actions of a few Jews 2,000 years ago.

Fears about the movie's exacerbating religiously motivated anti-Semitism are missing the larger menace -- the upsurge of political anti-Semitism. Like traditional anti-Semitism, but with secular sources and motives, the political version, which condemns Jews as a social element, is becoming mainstream, and chic among political and cultural elites, mostly in Europe. Consider:

• A cartoon in a mainstream Italian newspaper depicts the infant Jesus in a manger, menaced by an Israeli tank and saying, "Don't tell me they want to kill me again." This expresses animus against Israel rather than twisted Christian zeal.

• The European Union has suppressed a study it commissioned, because the study blamed the upsurge in anti-Jewish acts on European Muslims -- and the European left.

• Nineteen percent of Germans believe what a best-selling German book asserts: The CIA and Israel's Mossad organized the Sept. 11 attacks.

• On French television, a comedian wearing a Jewish skullcap gives a Nazi salute while yelling, "Isra-Heil!"

Israeli victims of palestinian terrorism were not allowed to testify at the Hague. But Belize, a small Central American country, can. Why?

According to Israeli diplomatic officials, the reason for Belize's involvement was no mistake, is consistent with the country's past record, and has much to do with the Belize Prime Minister Said Musa.

Musa, according to a Web site promoting the country of some 240,000 people, is "a British-educated lawyer of Palestinian and Belizean heritage." It is the Palestinian angle, according to officials, that has moved Musa to place his country among the list of the more vocal defenders of the Palestinian cause in various international forum.

This was not the first time Belize has taken a stand against Israel at international forum. At the Durban conference in 2000, Belize – seemingly out of nowhere – was among the most vociferous of the non-Muslim countries blasting Israel.

Yeah. The fix is in.

And because every other link here isn't funny, here's one that is: Ilyka's bad experience with a bag of barbecue potato chips. Moo, indeed. My weakness is sugary sweet stuff, like, oh, Peeps. Or Gobstoppers. I have never outgrown my childish love of sugar. Help.



No time for Passion; links, dogs, food...
I should just call this post "Misc."

Somebody died of a heart attack while watching Gibson's Passion. It's all over the New York TV news. I really, really, really want to make a bad joke that will probably offend many of my Christian readers, but I am controlling myself. I want you all to remember that. I truly do like all of my readers equally. Well, except the ones who send me presents. I'm shallow. Of course I like them the best.

Robb compares the New York Times pro-pal op-ed with the Washington Post's pro-Israel editorial. Huh. The WaPo, pro? Who knew? For those of you refusing to register, here are the best parts of the WaPo editorial:

The Palestinian appeal this week to The Hague-based International Court of Justice, supported by such allies as Algeria and Cuba, is aimed at winning an advisory opinion declaring the security barrier illegal and, in the Palestinians' dreams, triggering an international sanctions campaign against Israel. In reality the case, shunned by the United States, the European Union and almost all the rest of the non-Muslim world, will prove no more successful than previous attempts to sanction or delegitimize the Jewish state. Instead it will probably reinforce the prevailing conviction in the Israeli and U.S. governments that the Palestinian administration is incapable of participating in a constructive peace process under its current leadership.

Rather than isolate Israel, the case is isolating the Palestinians from the real action in the Middle East -- and at a crucial moment. While Palestinian lawyers have been drawing up speeches for delivery in the Netherlands, the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon and the Bush administration have been quietly negotiating the terms of a momentous initiative that would transform the situation on the ground. Mr. Sharon proposes to couple Israel's fence construction with the unilateral withdrawal of all Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip, along with an unspecified number from the West Bank. At the same time, he would reinforce some large Israeli settlement blocs. The end result would be an Israeli-imposed "long-term interim settlement" -- the same result Mr. Sharon previously offered for the outcome of peace negotiations. Instead of working out the terms with the Palestinians, Mr. Sharon now bargains with the White House -- and seeks in exchange a formal U.S. endorsement of the Israeli initiative and a commitment to back it both diplomatically and, possibly, financially.

Wary at first, the Bush administration has steadily warmed to Mr. Sharon's idea and is giving it serious consideration. It's possible that unilateral Israeli steps, while failing to deliver a peace, could substantially improve the situation if they involved a major withdrawal of soldiers and settlers and improved defenses against terrorist attacks. They might even open the way to a Palestinian state. But much depends on what form the initiative takes and in particular where Israel's proto-border is constructed.

Judith Weiss sent me this link about the fence:

UK and Sweden pays for Arafat's propagandists at the Hague
The Palestinian propaganda offensive against Israel in the Hague is being led by two lawyers -- Michael Tarazi and Diana Butto, who are employed by Arafat's PLO and whose salaries are being paid by the taxpayers of Britain and Sweden via the Negotiations Support Unit.

The European Institute for Research on the Middle East has completed a study of the Palestinian Negotiations Support Unit, created in 1998 and funded by British and other governments, for technical assistance in its preparations for permanent status talks. The NSU is officially part of the PLO and therefore under the direct control of Arafat. After the collapse of the Oslo framework and negotiations, the NSU has continued to operate, primarily as an information and propaganda arm of the Palestinian Authority. In particular, the NSU, which continues to receive British and other European funding, and its personal, have been central in the campaign to demonize Israel regarding the construction of the separation barrier, including in the UN General Assembly and the case brought to the International Court of Justice. The text is available at

Josh saw this sign in Denver in response to the opening of the Passion:

The Pentacostal Church on Colorado Blvd. and Mississippi has, in response to a film of current interest, posted a sign saying "The Jews Killed Our Lord Jesus. Settle."

Go read the whole post. I don't really think we're going to see much more than isolated incidents such as this in the U.S. That's not what worries me about the effect of the film. I'd bet quite a lot of money that the Passion winds up being used in Muslim anti-Semitic propaganda. I still owe you a post on the Gibson 20/20 interview and whether I'm going to see the movie after all (I really can't take graphic gore, and that's a huge factor in this decision). I thought I was going to, but the interview pretty much changed my mind. More on that when I get back to Richmond and get some time.

Mike Silverman did the math from this post on the fence. It works out to a lot of September 11ths.

Janet P. (via her husband) sent me this excellent post on the fence going up between the I's and the P's. Excerpting it will ruin the twist; you have to read it for yourself.

Crunch was delivered safely to (I found out) the woman who originally bred him, but gave him to Sarah because she didn't think Crunch would be a show dog. Whoopsie. Bad judgment. Crunch was mostly well-behaved. He whined a little after the halfway mark. Sarah says it's because he thought he was going to a field trial, which he loves, and was anxious to arrive. I think it's because I tried to get him into a discussion on the current political situation, and Sarah hadn't told him that Dean quit the race. I had no idea he was part of the Dachsunds for Dean movement.

By the way, either the drivers were much better today than they've been in a long time, or my swearing tank needs a refill. There were hardly any at all uttered until I reached New Jersey. Most of them were reserved for New York drivers (you all suck) and one North Carolinian.

And the brisket special at Jonathan's was absolutely to die for. It's a hot brisket sandwich with two potato pancakes instead of two pieces of bread holding the meat together. Major, big-time yum. Can't get that in Richmond!

My mother has no decent junk food here. She has no popcorn. Not any. How can you not have popcorn? She just asked me if I wanted to munch on salad or raisins. Raisins. What do I look like, a health nut? Raisins aren't junk food, unless they come inside a chocolate bar.

We're going to remedy this problem tomorrow.

Just a bit slow this afternoon

Last week, Sarah called and asked me if I was busy this week. Not really, I told her. So then she asked me if I'd like to drive Crunch up to New Jersey. Crunch is her dachsund. Showdog, purebred, that sort of thing. Sarah's putting him out to stud, and the bitch went into heat last week, and the owner's car and her husband's car both chose that week to blow up, and the upshot of it is, well, yeah—I'm pimping a dachsund tomorrow. I'll be driving Crunch up to NJ, and Diane will meet me there and take the dog back to her place, which is over the NY border up 287 a ways. With any luck, we'll both beat the traffic.

Of course, since Sarah's paying my expenses, this is (and I'm having so much fun telling people this) an all-expense-paid trip to New Jersey.

I do believe I'm making the ultimate Jersey joke. But then, I get to visit my family, see my favorite hairdresser (nearly as important!), restock on the great corned beef and kosher foods—all in all, a nice little trip.

So the reason it will be quiet today is that I'm driving north on 95, probably swearing at most of the drivers on the way. Virginia drivers don't know how to merge into oncoming traffic. They also don't understand the concept of yielding the right of way. Beltway drivers are all nuts. Maryland drivers are too slow. Delaware drivers are Delaware residents, and don't even get me started on the Delaware tolls again. New Jersey drivers are also batshit.

Yup. I'll be doing a lot of swearing on the drive.



Aches, pains, but damn, what a feeling

I climbed my first 5.8 route tonight at the gym. The walls start at 5.4, and I've been doing consistent 5.6 and 5.7s. Today, Carrie and I were climbing with Clair, who is far more experienced than either of us, and who, it turns out, was an excellent coach as well. We both moved up a step in our route difficulty. And the 5.8 that I chose to climb was close to fifty feet high, which made it even better. I'd tried a higher route earlier and didn't make it halfway before the fear of heights kicked in. This one was so zig-zag I didn't realize how high I was until I'd reached the top.

I also conquered one that has you feeling like you're reaching out in midair to get a hold. I hadn't been able to make that climb before tonight.

So. The score for tonight is two scraped knuckles, a slight pinch when Carrie slipped on a difficult route immediately after asking me to give her more slack, a torn fingernail, a slightly pulled rib muscle, but damn—I made two climbs tonight that I'd been unable to do before.


Today's moment of kitty zen

Tig sends you kitty kissesRahel from Jerusalem requested more cats. Which works out perfectly, as I've been mulling over a new Tig entry since I took this picture. (I know, I know, Gracie has been getting second billing for a long time. I'll fix it, don't worry.)

Tig is the least stereotypically cat-like of the two. He's never stand-offish. He's affectionate to the bounds of annoyance (wants attention ALL of the time he's awake), I have taught him tricks (he fetches, he stands up on his hind legs, he plays catch and Tig-hockey). He sleeps with his head on either my pillow or the spare one on the bed, depending on what time of day it is. He's friendly to everyone who comes to my home, and isn't afraid of children. He doesn't care for them when they start to get loud and move quickly, but if they're cool, he's cool. The twins stand in awe while Tig rubs around their legs. He comes up to their thighs. It's hilarious to watch. I think I put a picture of Tig and Rebecca up sometime last summer.

The above picture was taken last week, when Richmond was basking in a few days of sixty-plus-degree weather (Fahrenheit, of course). Tig was lying in the sun, thinking his little kitty thoughts, when I grabbed the camera and went to take some pictures. Opening the door caused him to open his eyes, so I just stood and waited a few seconds for him to go back to what he'd been doing. That's the look of an extremely contented kitty. Cats blink when they are content, or when they are submitting. When they're content, and they're blinking at you, some people say it's the equivalent of a kiss.

So there you go, Rahel. Kitty kisses from a contented Tig, and wishes from me to stay safe.

Why the fence exists

Ma'ariv has a heart-wrenching article about the families of terrorism victims who went to the Hague to try to get the Israeli side of the story heard:

The pressroom was full of journalists, photographers, camera crews and technicians. Twenty empty chairs stood on a small black stage in the front of the room. Behind it hung a colorful collage showing pictures of hundreds of Israeli victims of terror. A few minutes earlier, a bus stopped near the Israeli communications center in The Hague and representatives from 19 families of terror victims disembarked. They were supposed go inside, take a seat on the stage, face the cameras and tell their personal stories of grief in order to concretize the need for counter-terrorism barrier. However, when they entered the room something else happened, something that could never have been planned, a spontaneous moment, full of energy and power.

The family members entered the room, saw the collage and were drawn towards it. They crowded under it and each one began searching for the picture of their loved one who had been taken too soon. They looked and found. When they found the picture, they looked at it and touched it, and as if a gentle touch provided one more confirmation of what they knew to be true. Photographers began to crowd around them. Floodlights illuminated the small stage with a warm glow reminiscent of an unusual aurora. Slowly, some family members began to shed tears. Avi Ohayoun, who lost his family in the attack on Kibbutz Meitzar, hid his face in his hands and cried bitterly. Others followed. Some wandered around staring at the faces on the wall. Daniel Manchel lost his daughter in the attack on the Matza restaurant where Rachel Koren lost her husband and two sons. Throughout the entire event, Ron Kehrmann held a photograph of his daughter Tal who was killed on the no. 37 bus in Haifa. A brotherhood of sorrow.

[...] At that very moment, the news came from Jerusalem. The telephone of Shoshi Yosef, who works in the Israeli embassy in The Hague, rang maliciously. Her brother had been killed in the attack in Jerusalem. Her husband Arnon, Economic Attaché to The Hague and the grandson of Dov Yosef, a minister in early Israeli governments, broke the news to her. Shoshi was close to her brother. She was only one year younger than he was and very closely tied to him. They grew up together but now that had to part. Victims of terror flew to The Hague yesterday and a new victim made the reverse trip from The Hague to Jerusalem: two capitals, two continents, and two completely different worlds.

In the evening, at a dinner hosted by the Israeli embassy in The Hague, Ambassador Eitan Margalit told the story of the Nuri Yitzchaki, his Operations Officer and a long-time Foreign Ministry employee, who was injured in the attack on the Cafe Moment in Jerusalem two years ago. Recently, when looking at a picture of the attack scene, Nuri recognized his jacket and cell phone, lying next to the table where he had been sitting with another ministry employee, who was killed. How did fate send two Israeli victims of terror to work in the same embassy, not just any embassy but the one in The Hague where the ICJ sits? Two out of ten, 20%.

It's a small world, the world of terrorism. My sister-in-law's cousin died in the World Trade Center. Everyone in my area knew someone who lost someone, or knew someone who knew someone. Even in a metropolitan area of what, 10-12 million?

Israel has about 5.4 million Jews. More than 7,000 Israelis have been killed or injured in terrorist attacks since September of 2000. You do the math. I'm not up to figuring how many September Elevenths that works out to. But I know that per capita, it's far more than we lost.

The ICJ, like the UN General Assembly, is loaded with Jew-haters. I find it impossible to believe they'll rule any way but against Israel.

Finish the fence. Screw the ICJ, and the UN, too.



Around the blogosphere

As usual, Dean Esmay is spreading lies about me. I just want to say that it's completely false that I only target people with testicles. I go after Dean, don't I?

Lair Simon did not, as I requested, hold off from jumping into the fray. And I can't resist linking to Lair's post, though I'm not finished with the sociological experiment (I swear, I'll post about it when it's over). Think it's time to move Lair up from "great friend" to "adopted baby brother" status. There's only one other guy with that status, and he's a tech, too, as well as someone whom you also don't want to get mad at you. (Come to think of it, I'm adding him to my left menu column. Buy books from Neil. He'll get you those hard-to-find F&SF novels, many signed by the authors. And ohmigod, Aidan is getting so big!)

Michele has a great new look to her website. The Little Dead Girl is back. (That was such a strange sentence to write.) And speaking of Michele, don't forget that The Command Post is the place to be for the best news roundup on the web.

This is an excellent article by Omri Ceren on what is wrong with the Israeli left, and how they still can't seem to realize that the pals really, truly are the enemy.

Imshin is on fire, and it's the cold fire of rage:

A message from one Israeli mother to the esteemed members of the International Court in the Hague:

We have every right to defend ourselves.

You have no right to tell us not to.

I forgot to mention Dave last week as one of my sources of Israeli opinions. So I'm mentioning him now. And Sha has a new URL. No more Blogspot!

Ilyka put up a phenomenal post about the Holocaust that pretty much explains why I love her weblog. So glad you didn't stop blogging after all, kiddo!

Gary Farber is probably going to send me more email asking me to link to an individual item (read this one first; it's frightening) on his weblog. But you should be reading Gary's weblog yourself, regularly, so I shouldn't need to link individual posts. Okay? Okay. (And Gary, this is the URL you can use for a long-term link. Add the last phrase: &partner=USERLAND to your link and the Times should let it slide.)

And last, but not least, I haven't sent you over to my pals at Silent Running lately. Murray's had a hurricane. Tom's been threatened by a Russian skinhead. And stereotyped by a merchant in Fiji. And Wind Rider is still making fun of Howard Dean.

Okay. I'm going to be busy for a while. This ought to keep you occupied.



80 more victims

Bastards got another one through.

Eight people were killed and 72 were injured in yesterday's suicide bomb attack on bus No. 14 in Jerusalem.

[...] The sources assessed yesterday that the bomber decided to chance being discovered in order to wait for the bus to fill with passengers, so as to increase the number of casualties. The police are still investigating whether East Jerusalem residents drove him to the bus stop.

Take out Arafat. Kill him.

The militant group al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the bombing and released a farewell video showing the bomber in front of the group's flag. But it later denied involvement.

Finish the fence. Finish it.

Defense establishment sources assessed last night that the terror cell that carried out the suicide attack on bus No. 19 in the capital about a month ago was also behind yesterday's bombing. According to defense establishment assessments, the cell located an easy access route into the city and managed to smuggle in the two bombers and their devices, far from the eyes of the military and police roadblocks deployed around the capital.

Drop a bomb or two on them.

The Palestinian Authority has declared Monday a day of "rage and protest" against the security fence, calling on Palestinians to stage rallies and demonstrations in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem.

Sunday's suicide attack in Jerusalem, which took place on the eve of the court hearing. PA officials said the timing of the bombing was extremely harmful to the interests of the Palestinians and could weaken their argument against the security fence.

The embarrassment was exacerbated by the fact that the attack was claimed by Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades. Arafat chaired an urgent meeting of the PA National Security Council to discuss the repercussions of the attack.

The council strongly condemned the attack, saying it has ordered the PA security forces to pursue the perpetrators of "this dangerous operation and to bring them to trial as quickly as possible." The council also decided to place all the PA security forces in the West Bank on high alert "to confront all those who seek to harm the higher national interests of the Palestinian people."

Oh, yeah, that'll happen. Just like you've arrested the killers of the American CIA agents. While you're at it, drop a bomb or three on this guy.

PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei issued a statement stressing that the interests of the Palestinians necessitate an end to such attacks, "which give Israel an excuse to continue with the construction of the expansionist and annexationist fence and assassinations."

Qurei said he was especially angered by the timing and location of the suicide attack. "This is an attempt to disrupt the huge mission in The Hague," he said.

"The timing and location of this attack are a mistake and we are absolutely against targeting civilians."


A PA official in Ramallah described as "disastrous" the fact that Fatah, the largest PLO faction headed by Arafat, was behind Sunday's terrorist attack. "The attack is an indication that some of our brothers in Fatah are working against the interests of our people," he said. "Those behind the attack want to embarrass President Arafat and the entire Palestinian leadership at a crucial moment."

Sure we believe you. Right. That's why things like this occur:

In Jenin, scores of Fatah gunmen took to the streets upon hearing about the Jerusalem bombing, firing shots into the air in an expression of joy. Chanting slogans in praise of the suicide bomber, the gunmen and some merchants distributed sweets to passersby.

Bring on the Apaches.

And while we're at it, eff off, EUnuchs.

Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen issued a statement that condemned the suicide bombing that murdered eight people and offered his condolences to the families.

Then the statement read: "Outrages of this kind are attacks on the hope for peace of all rational people. Firm action against the planners of these attacks is imperative and should be taken to the extent possible by the Palestinian security forces. Renewed security cooperation and political negotiation are essential if peace is ever to be achieved."

To the extent it is possible, take a flying leap at the moon. And stay there. And substitute a swear word for "leap."


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.