A new addition to yourish.com:
On Second Thought
I've been toying with this idea for quite some time. I used to write
a weekly humor column for my college newspaper, and I need to get my humor
chops back. So every Tuesday, I'm going to write a humor piece and post
it. I've no idea what it will be on from week to week, but I'm willing
to take requests. This will not feature the Hulk in any way. I
need it to be completely original. So if you have any particular subject
that you want me to rip into, email me and I'll see what I can do. And
I guess I'll simply have to go with my old column name, so it will be
titled "On Second Thought." Please don't everyone write to tell
me that's already taken by such-and-such a columnist. It doesn't matter.
Titles are copyright-free, and I had it first, anyway. And I can prove
Credit where it is due
The EU has joined the US in protesting
the International Court of Justice's jurisdiction over the separation
fence case. Bravo, EU.
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Saturday that he
hoped that the objections filed by more than 30 countries against the
authority of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to rule of the
legality of the West Bank security fence would convince the court to
cancel the hearing on the barrier "because it is a political, not
Officials at the United Nations indicated Friday that
they cannot ignore the many objections filed, and said that the hearing
itself was in doubt.
Fifteen members of the European Union and ten members-in-waiting,
as well as the United States, Canada, Australia, Russia, South Africa
and Senegal joined Israel in submitting affidavits to the ICJ. Several
EU countries, including Germany, France and the United Kingdom, submitted
their own separate affidavits to the court.
The pals are seething.
Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat said he was
angered by U.S. and British opposition to the World Court hearing on
the legality of the fence.
"I cannot understand it," Erekat told The
Associated Press. "We seek to use diplomacy against the wall in
going to the (United Nations) Security Council and the court of justice,
and we find these countries, the U.S. and Britain, trying to shut the
door in our faces."
Perhaps if you hadn't just had two of your groups issue a claim of responsibility
for murdering 11 Israeli civilians and wounding fifty more, people might
believe that you were serious about using diplomacy. It probably really
didn't help that the suicide bomber was an effing member of the PA police
force. You know, the guys you keep telling us are too weak to defeat terrorists?
And the ones we keep telling you are the ones that cause the terrorism?
Sucks to be the proven terrorist group pretending to make peace. permalink
News sources in strange places
Y'know, there's this anti-Semitic hate site called "Jewish Tribal
Review" (no link here, though we're currently researching whether
or not it's true the site may get knocked offline for the inability to
pay hosting costs), and I went over there to look around, and had to laugh.
It's your typical, paranoid, Jew-hating site, where they blame the Jews
for closing down their credit union account, rather than the fact that
if the authors actually had jobs, and could pay their bills, accounts
wouldn't get shut down. But it's far easier to blame the vast Zionist/Jewish
conspiracy than to look in the mirror and find yourself a useless, brainless
sack of shit who can do nothing but envy those who achieve what you cannot.
But I digress. (For more on the same theme, see: Better
In the list of Jewish news of the day was this article on the
arrest of a Bangladeshi editor. The charge? Sedition. The reason?
He was trying to establish peaceful ties with Israeli writers.
A Bangladeshi magazine editor arrested for suspected
links with an Israeli literary group has been charged with sedition
for allegedly trying to tarnish the country's image aboard, a police
official said Sunday.
Bangladesh, a moderate Muslim country, bars its citizens
from formal contact - such as business dealings or cultural exchanges
- with Israelis. Traveling to Israel is also restricted.
Police detained Salauddin Shoib Chowdhury, the editor
of entertainment magazine Blitz, on Nov. 29 as he was boarding a flight
in Dhaka for Bangkok. He allegedly was planning to travel to Tel Aviv.
Immigration officials found in Chowdhury's possession
an invitation to a literary conference organized by the Hebrew Writers
Association in Tel Aviv on Dec. 1. They also seized a paper - containing
remarks calling Bangladesh and its people Muslim fundamentalists - that
Chowdhury was to present at the conference, police said.
Police said they also confiscated fax and e-mail messages
and computer disks from his residence and office, including a project
proposal seeking 120 million takas (US$2 million) from a Jewish group
to publish three newspapers. Police did not name the group or say what
type of newspapers they were.
On Saturday, police filed a case under a sedition law
accusing Chowdhury of anti-state activities for having contacts with
Israelis and trying to tarnish the country's image abroad, said Mohammed
Abdul Hanif, a police official.
The horrors! He was trying to establish newspapers! He wanted
to promote peace with Israel! He called the Bangladeshis Muslim
fundamentalists! How dare he? Of course they're not Muslim fundamentalists.
Would Muslim fundamentalists arrest a man for merely trying to promote
peace with Israel, or travel to Tel Aviv?
Well, yes, they would. And this is Bangladesh, a poor country that would
greatly benefit from ties with Israel. Another example of the Muslim Jew-hatred
that would rather their own people starve than accept help from the Jewish
state. But it's anti-Zionism, remember. Not anti-Semitism. permalink
On a more positive note
The murderer of Saul Singer's brother was one of the 400 prisoners released
in the swap last week. The Jerusalem Post editorial page editor wrote
It is no accident that the suicide bomber is the emblematic
weapon of the struggle of our age. Each such bombing repeats the question,
literally in our faces: Can a society that loves life beat one that
celebrates death? Al-Qaida and its groupies are explicit about this.
"We know that you are still deluded by your power and think that
your fortresses and destroyers and aircraft carriers will protect you.
... these are worth nothing in our eyes. ... we can face you one-on-one
and make you taste the despair of those who have put their faith in
this world," said one bin Laden mouthpiece.
The jihadis are right that we are more vulnerable than
they. Our societies are wide open, and every prick hurts. As the aggressor,
they automatically enjoy the initiative and can always choose the softest
target, be it the Red Cross in Iraq, vacationers in Bali, or a cafe
in Jerusalem. Ho Chi Minh said to the French in the 1940s, "You
can kill 10 of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those
odds you will lose and I will win." Or as Henry Kissinger said,
if guerrillas do not lose, they win; if the defenders do not win, they
Today's jihadis may seem even more invincible than
yesterday's guerrillas, who were ruthless but whose goals included staying
alive. But increased asymmetry does not just cut in the jihadis' favor.
In the end, the jihadis are not just up against free governments, which
may be weak, but the human will to live, which is strong.
Definitely read the whole thing. permalink
Holocaust denial, east and west
Middle East, of course. Omri has a post about Holocaust
denial from the Palestinian Authority, who aren't even pretending
to hide their Jew-hatred anymore. (Don't forget that the first "prime
minister" chosen by Arafat was a Holocaust denier. It's not like
that's a new thing with them.)
Mark Glenn, notorious anti-Semite, regular contributor
to the subtly named Jewish Tribal Review, and favorite of the Indymedia
crowd, has published a sputtering and screeching piece of Jew-hatred
at the International Press Centre of the Palestinian Authority. This
is what the internationally recognized government of the world's 6 million
Palestinians is publishing on what amounts to their Foreign Ministry
site: an article that suggests that only 6,000 Jews died in Hitler's
death camps and which openly gloats about a coming time when the world
will abandon Israel so that the Arabs can finish what the Nazis started.
That this filth was published on the PA's English site
is news in itself (the other two languages you can read the PA's site
in? Arabic and French. Too perfect). Additionally, this article is also
elegantly paradigmatic of the "we're anti-Zionists not anti-Semites"
strategies that Jew-haters use to deflect criticism. Sure, it is filled
with easily dismissible straw arguments and random anti-Semitic provocations
(my favorite: the completely out of place "the murder of Christ
by the leadership of Israel"). However, there are at least three
also seemingly straight-forward strategies that are actually a little
more subtle - the insistence that anti-Semitic discourse is actually
anti-Zionist discourse, the identification of Jews with Nazis, and the
multiple ways of denigrating the significance of the Holocaust - that
call for closer analysis (remember, these authors want to avoid saying
anything that would allow the label of anti-Semite to stick to them).
It's a RTR (read the rest) recommendation. Meanwhile, over on Eugene
Volokh's excellent blog, we have another
Mel Gibson question: Is he, like his father, a Holocaust denier? David
Bernstein asks the question, and is getting heat from his readers because
There are some serious problems with this statement,
include the gratuitous lumping of the Holocaust with other tragedies
that were not relevant in context, that suggest an aggressive hostility
to Noonan's question (the question itself would seem a bit strange,
but for the fact that Gibson's father is a Holocaust denier), and at
best a desire to put the Holocaust into "context". But here's
the really troubling part: "The Second World War killed tens of
millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps."
I'm no expert on Holocaust "revisionism" (denial), but I've
read enough about it to know that this part of Gibson's statement sounds
a heck of a lot like what the deniers say: instead of stating the historically
obvious, that there was a systematic campaign to exterminate Jews in
death camps, they say that Jews were merely among the many victims who
suffered and died in concentration camps; maybe they suffered slightly
more than others, but that's about it. Indeed, Gibson is skirting pretty
close to "Holocaust denial."
I'd have to see the full article before making up my mind, but I agree
with David. Gibson could easily clarify his remarks. And in an interesting
coincidence, I received a marketing email for Gibson's "Passion"
film. Talk about your wrong target market. permalink
Come back to Lebanon? Thanks,
but no thanks.
It seems that Lebanon is such a great country, some of the prisoners
just freed in the Israeli prisoner swap are asking
for political asylum in Germany. (Hat tip: Leslie S.)
BERLIN - A number of freed Hezbollah militia members
asked Germany authorities for political asylum and did not board a plane
to Beirut, according to a broadcast report.
At least three or four Palestinians are understood
to have taken advantage of their stopover at a Cologne airfield to announced
they had no intentions of flying back to Lebanon, said the report on
Reports from Beirut earlier had said 21 Lebanese nationals
arrived at Beirut airport although initially 23 Lebanese were released
under the exchange. Two decided not to travel to Beirut.
Lebanese national Fadi Oulyan stayed in Germany, and
the other went to the West Bank. Both men had criminal charges against
them in Lebanon. Along with the Lebanese there were five Syrians, three
Moroccans, three Sudanese, and one Libyan on board the plane.
In Germany, ARD also reported that Steven Smyrek, a
32-year-old German who was involved in the exchange of prisoners between
Israel and Hezbollah also decided to remain in the country of his birth.
Tight-lipped throughout the German-mediated prisoner
swap, the government in Berlin neither confirmed nor denied the TV report.
Interesting. Two of the Lebanese prisoners have charges waiting for them
in Lebanon? And they don't want to go to a Lebanese jail, or face the
Lebanese justice system? Why would that be, I wonder? Might it have something
to do with the twenty-odd year Syrian occupation of Lebanon?
So. Do you think the Germans will allow extradition if Lebanon claims
the criminals? My gut says yes. Then again, I don't think Lebanon will
make a move to get them back. Can't have it publicized that some of the
criminals in Israeli jails were actually criminals. permalink
The face of the victims: Chezi
Lynn sent me the information on one of yesterday's terror victims, a
Canadian emigrant who found his faith later in life, and who worked with
troubled teens. He also
wrote articles for the Jewish World Review and other publications:
If you don't cry, who will?
7:30 a.m. Israel time, Sunday December 2, 2001. Eight
Hours after the triple-terror attack on Jerusalem's popular Ben Yehudah
He walked into shul. I nodded my acknowledgement like
I always do. He made some strange gesture, which I couldn't understand.
I went on with the business of the prayer service.
A few minutes later, he walked over to me and said,
"Didn't you hear?"
"Hear about what?"
"Didn't you HEAR?"
I understood that he was talking about last night's
terror attack on Ben Yehudah Mall.
I assumed that he obviously intended that someone we
knew was hurt or killed.
He looked at me as if I had landed from another planet.
"About who? About everyone who was attacked last night."
I nodded, "Yes, I heard."
"Then why aren't you crying?"
His words shot through me like a spear piercing my
heart. Our Sages teach that "words that come from the heart enter
the heart." He was right. Why wasn't I crying?
I could not answer. I had nothing to say.
He pointed around the shul. "Why aren't all my
I could not answer. I had nothing to say.
"Shouldn't we all be crying?"
He was right. What has happened to all of us? -- myself
included. We have turned to stone. Some would call it numbness. Some
would call it collective national shock. Some would say that we all
have suffered never-ending trauma and it has affected our senses.
The excuses are worthless. All the reasons in the world
don't justify our distance from the pain that is burning in our midst.
When an attack happens, in the heat of the moment,
we frantically check to see if someone we know has been hurt or killed.
And then, if we find out that "our friends and family are safe,"
we breathe a deep sigh of relief, grunt and grumble about the latest
tragic event and then, continue with our robotic motions and go on with
We have not lost our minds, my friends. We have lost
And that is why we keep on losing our lives.
Globe and the Mail ran an article on the death and life of one of
their native sons:
Toronto Yechezkel Goldberg grew up singing on
albums with the Toronto Boys Choir, a group that brought children together
to celebrate Jewish music. His vocal love of his faith eventually caused
him to move to Israel, where he dedicated his life to helping people,
including victims of terrorism.
That life ended yesterday morning, when Dr. Goldberg,
42, got on Jerusalem's No. 19 bus. A suicide bomber detonated his explosives
just as the vehicle pulled away from the station, killing Dr. Goldberg
and at least nine others. The attack, carried out by an off-duty Palestinian
police officer, was claimed by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which said
the bomber was avenging an Israeli raid in the Gaza Strip.
Today, Mr. Goldenberg's wife, Shifra, and seven children,
plus brothers, sisters and friends across the globe, are struggling
with a grim reality: More Israelis are dead, and someone they love is
on the casualty list.
"We walked over to pay our respects. There's no
way we could have possibly known," said David Weinberg, a Canadian
childhood friend who walked to the scene of yesterday's bombing to light
memorial candles with other members of a visiting anti-Semitism forum.
The group didn't know that one of the dead was a dear friend, and ended
up attending his funeral.
At midnight in Jerusalem, more than 200 people were
waiting for the funeral procession to arrive at the hilltop cemetery
where Dr. Goldberg (known to many by his nickname, Chezi) was being
Here is a
picture of Chezi and the rest of the victims. He's the fourth one
down, with the beard and the kippa. Solomon
have put up posts about Chezi. Yes, it's time to cry, but I'm still numb.
Except for the anger. And the hatred boiling up beneath it. permalink
Don't go to bed mad...
Really. Rather tough around here today, so instead, let me send you to
some calmer places.
Michele's third blogiversary. And even though she didn't credit me
as a mentor, because, because, well, because I wasn't oneas I said,
even though she didn't give me a shout-out, I'm giving her one. Go read
the post, it's quite nice. And give the woman a big hand. Three years
is like three decades in Internet time.
Second, Kevin and I had dinner
last night, and he names me Blog
of the Day that same day. Apparently, all it takes to be Blog of the
Day is to take Kevin to Extra Billy's for dinner. What a pushover. You
northern VA bloggers need to get in touch with him and then break bread
together. Say, Kev, what about that diet? (Says the woman who said "YES!"
to the suggestion we get hush puppies as an appetizer.)
We also got a picture of the
PETA anti-KFC billboard, which should go up tomorrow.
I have not plugged Lair Simon
in days. Maybe even weeks. He is still outrageous and funny and outrageously
funny, and I've finally gotten used to all the other guys that post there,
too. Except Wind Rider. I decided to vote
him off the island. Mostly to bust his chops. Anyone interested in
busting WR's chops, go vote him off the island, too.
Murray's got a new gig. He's
founded a foundry. No, seriously. You can buy aluminum swords, axes,
and various faux cutting tools. Great for that Renaissanc Faire or Halloween
costume you've been trying to put together, or just because you want something
neat to hang on your wall that can't be used against you by a burglar
or a psychotic ex-spouse. Click on the various
to see what's available, and ignore the ALT text on the main page that
says "none currently available" (you might want to fix that,
Murray). Buffy axes are in development, so Buffy fans, check back.
Speaking of Buffy fans, Gary
sent me a whole bunch of links and expects me to actually read
Okay, I did. This one is on Britain's
Holocaust Day memorial service, where they paid specific attention
to Rwanda. Good to know they're focusing on Britain's rising anti-Semitism
Oh, hell. Just scroll up and down and read the rest yourselves. Gary's
stuff is always good. permalink
Video of the aftermath
The Israeli government has chosen to post a five-minute video of the
aftermath of today's suicide bombing. The video is extremely graphic.
It shows body parts scattered all over, and pools of blood. If you are
unable to handle such things, don't watch it. This is the text from the
Foreign Ministry's home page, where you can currently find the video:
Israelis started their morning today having to face
shocking pictures of dead commuters - victims of a yet another suicide
The anti-terrorist fence could have prevented this
The sheer absurdity cannot be ignored. While Palestinian
terrorists continue to murder Israelis, the pro-Arab majority at the
UN is forcing Israel into the dock at the International Court of Justice
over the fence. Thus, the supporters of terrorism condemn the victims
of terrorism for simply trying to protect themselves.
All those who criticize Israel for building the fence
should take a good look at this morning's pictures from Jerusalem.
(Caution: Video contains very graphic footage.)
On a day when Israel is exchanging hundreds of imprisoned
terrorists for the freedom of a kidnapped Israeli civilian and the bodies
of three missing soldiers, Palestinian terrorism claims the lives of
ten innocent victims, while maiming dozens more. This proves once again
that in contrast to Israel's humane outlook, which views each individual
as an entire world, the terrorists murder indiscriminately and disdain
the sanctity of human life.
The video contains pictures of bodies and body parts. Arms. Legs. Feet.
Hands. Torsoes. Judith
said she didn't cry until she saw the bloody kippa on the ground. I didn't
cry at all. Tears are useless. I got angry. That's what we all need to
do. Get angry. And stay angry.
We are at war with animals. Those that plan, commit, and support suicide
bombings are less than human. They worship death, and take joy in human
suffering. The Jerusalem Post had an article today about this
Palestinian society actively promotes the religious
belief that their deity craves their deaths. Note the words of a popular
music video directed at children, broadcast hundreds of times on PA
TV, which depicts the earth thirsting for the blood of children: "How
sweet is the fragrance of the shahids, how sweet is the scent of the
earth, its thirst quenched by the gush of blood, flowing from the youthful
This conviction that the deity thirsts for or craves
human death as tribute and sacrifice has its roots in ancient beliefs.
The Bible cites ancient cultures of the Land of Israel:
"Their sons and their daughters they sacrifice to their Gods"
[Deut: 12]. Even the Israelites were drawn to it: "And they built
altars to give their sons and daughters to Molech which God did not
command nor consider this abomination [Jeremiah: 32]."
[...] To further encourage this self-annihilation,
Palestinians are taught that dying for the deity is rewarded: "All
his sins are forgiven from the first gush of blood; he is exempted from
the torments of the grave (Judgment)... he marries 72 Dark-Eyed [Virgins
or Maidens of Paradise]... on his head is placed a crown of honor, one
stone of which is worth more than all there is in this world."
When these monsters blow up another busload of civilians, what do the
heads of the EU and the UN have to say?
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and senior European
Union officials appealed to Israelis and Palestinians on Thursday to
get back to the negotiating table in the wake of Thursday's suicide
Annan and Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen, whose
country holds the EU presidency, both condemned the attack on a bus
in Jerusalem, which killed at least 10 bystanders and wounded 50 others.
"I am once again going to appeal to leaders for
the sake of their people and their nations to summon the courage and
leadership to get back to the table," Annan said.
He urged them to "make ... parallel concessions
and to take confidence-building measures to move the process ahead."
Cowen said the bus attack should not deter attempts
to implement the so-called road map for peace that is being pushed by
the U.N., the EU, Russia and the United States.
"The bombings ... are deplorable, they represent
a path to violence, they are certainly contrary to the interests of
peace," said Cowen. "It's a very deeply pessimistic background
against which we are operating, but inaction is not an option."
Annan, speaking to reporters at the European Parliament
after receiving the EU's Sakharov human rights prize, said he was "frustrated
and disappointed" on the ongoing stalemate in the Middle East.
Frustrated and disappointed. Cut off their effing funding, assholes,
and you'll see how fast the pals stop blowing up buses. Cut off their
money, and stop supporting the murderers of babies.
Prediction: Tomorrow, when the Israelis retaliate, Israel will be condemned
for keeping up "the cycle of violence."
Arafat is dancing in the Mukata tonight. Drop a bomb on it. Please. permalink
What anti-Israel bias?
On Wednesday, Israeli forces had a pitched gun battle with a group of
palestinian terrorists, and killed eight of them. Here is the Reuters
lead to that story:
Israeli troops killed eight Palestinians on Wednesday
in the deadliest raid in the Gaza Strip in more than a month, casting
a shadow over a new U.S. push to salvage a battered peace plan.
Here is the lead to today's
bus bombing story:
A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus
in central Jerusalem Thursday, killing at least ten people, as a prisoner
exchange between Israel and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hizbollah got
Hundreds of Arab prisoners headed to Germany as German
mediators flew a kidnapped Israeli and the remains of three soldiers
from Beirut to Cologne for a swap with Hizbollah.
Israeli sources said the blast, which went off near
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's residence, would not block the exchange.
Sharon was not home at the time.
Not a mention of how the bombing would disrupt peace efforts, even though
a U.S. representative is in Israel trying to get the peace talks started
again. The Christian
Science Monitor thought this was important enough to mention.
Others things were lost Thursday in the wreckage of
bus No. 19: other lives, but also other opportunities to make headway
in the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate. The bombing cast a cloud over
Thursday's historic prisoner release that had been brokered between
Israel and Hizbullah, a Lebanon-based Muslim militant group. The release,
three years in the making, raised expectations that there could be a
small breakthrough here - potentially culminating in a meeting between
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority Prime
Minister Ahmed Qureia, widely known as Abu Ala.
Trilateral talks between US, Israeli and Palestinian
officials, scheduled to take place Thursday afternoon, were canceled
by Mr. Sharon's office. The talks were to focus on how to ease the economic
strain on Palestinians imposed by Israeli travel restrictions on the
West Bank and Gaza.
But not Reuters. And let's hear the whining from the pals:
"On a difficult day like today, when innocent
Israelis are murdered on the streets of Israel's capital, there is no
room to talk about easing restrictions," Foreign Minister Silvan
Shalom said in a statement. "It is up to the Palestinians to live
up to their responsibilities to fight terror. Without that, there is
no room for progress in the peace process."
Palestinian officials condemned the bombings, but quickly
pointed to what they said was Israel's role in provoking the violence.
"We cannot provide security through settlements and through walls,"
said senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
No, but the IDF can, and they're the ones providing security, not the
own police force are the suicide bombers. They're not even bothering
to hide it anymore.
The Fatah-related Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed
responsibility for the attack. Palestinian sources named the bomber
as Ali Yusuf Jaara, a 24-year-old Palestinian policeman from Bethlehem.
Palestinian security officials said later Thursday
that the bomber was a member of the Palestinian police, from the West
Bank city of Bethlehem.
Here's my new mantra for the day: Die, Arafat, die. And while I'm at
it, Nasrallah and Yassin, too. And all of their ilk. All of them. permalink
"Thanks for the prisoner
swap. Now eff off, Zionist Entity."
suicide bombing, this time in Jerusalem, which, some people may remember,
is inside the so-called "Green Line," the demarcation
that separates Israel "proper" from the disputed territories.
Not that it makes a difference. Arafat left his calling card, and it says,
"Don't forget about me. Hamas is only a secondary group here. I'm
Ten people were murdered and 50 wounded when a suicide
bomber exploded inside a bus on the corners of Gaza and Arlozorov streets,
near the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem's Rehavia neighborhood
at about 8:45 Thursday morning.
Of course, the bombs were filled with shrapnel.
Prof. Shapira said most of the wounded were suffering
from lesions caused by metal shards and from the impact of the explosion.
"They put in metal balls, nails and bolts into these bombs,"
And who was responsible?
Yasser Arafat's Fatah-linked Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades
claimed repsonsibility for the attack in a call to Israel Radio.
The terror group said the suicide bomber left his Bethlehem
home at 4am Thursday morning to make his way to Jerusalem. The caller
said the attack was carried out in revenege for the IDF's operation
in Gaza City Wednesday, in which ten Palestinian fighters were killed,
the Radio reported.
IDF officers said on Army Radio that Thursday's suicide
bombing takes more than one day to prepare, and reject the claim it
was carried out as a response to Wednesday's operation in Gaza.
"Jerusalem Police have recently managed to stop
several attacks, including the seizure of three explosive belts. All
of these planned attacks are still being investigated. Today,"
he said, "we had no specific warning of this attack and we couldn't
"The explosive was a large one," Levy continued,
and "we will investigate with the Egged bus company why there was
no security person on the bus," Levy said.
Half the roof of the bus was lifted 12 meters in the
air and was visible hundreds of meters away from the back part of the
bus. On the bus itself every window had been blown out. There were three
entire human corpses inside the bus and two others lying outside.
Here is the thanks Israel gets for the prisoner swap:
Keren, 14, an eyewitness who was waiting for the bus,
told Army Radio that the bus blew up meters before it arrived at the
station. People began running towards the bus, she said, and then police
arrived followed by ambulances. "I remained rooted to the spot,
crying, until I was taken to hospital."
Police and security service said they receive between
50 and 60 general terror attack warnings per day.
Islamic Jihad and Hizbullah welcomed the bombing
but did not accept responsibility.
They welcomed the bombing, even as they get back 400 prisoners. The message
is clear: Fuck you, Israel. We will never accept peace, and we will never
accept your legitimacy.
Arab media reports a female suicide bomber carried
out the attack. Abdel Aziz Rantissi, a Hamas leader in Gaza, stopped
short of claiming responsibility but said, "It's not important
who carried out this operation. The only thing which is very important
is that we are resisting occupiers who came ... to occupy our land and
to kill our people," he said.
According to police reports, the suicide bomber managed
explode at the back of the bus, ripping off its roof. The bus driver
said he did not notice any suspicious-looking person enter the bus,
Israel Radio reported.
And here are more of the details. These should be published in every
newspaper, and shown on every news show. Suicide bombings should not be
nebulous, vague images in people's imaginations. They should be seen for
the horrors that they are. Maybe then the world would condemn the PA and
all of the terrorist organizations.
The explosion occurred moments after the bus pulled
away from its last station. The bus starts its route in Hadassah Ein
Kerem and makes its way to Hadassah Mount Scopus.
Following the explosion, disoriented people were seen
milling around, some were seen at the scene walking around with pieces
of human flesh on them. A great deal of blood was seen on the ground,
and broken glass littered the streets.
There was a ghostly silence immediately after the attack;
the silence one feels in Jerusalem on Shabbat.
Many of the people had managed to get off and make
their way to the corner of Arlozorov and Gaza Streets. Some were sitting
there in silence. Some of them had pieces of flesh on their jackets.
One person seems to have had his ear torn in half.
Another women was bleeding profusely, her face covered
Clean out the vipers' nests. Target the leadership. They've gotten comfortable
again. Only this time, get rid of the
terrorists in the Mukata, too.
At least 30 Palestinian fugitives, many with Israeli
blood on their hands from planning suicide and shooting attacks, have
returned to Ramallah and found refuge inside Palestinian Authority Chairman
Yasser Arafat's Mukata headquarters compound, Israel Radio reported
and security sources have confirmed.
One of the most senior among them is believed to be
Kamel Ghanem, the local commander of the Aksa Brigades, who is believed
to have masterminded a number of suicide bombings, personally participated
in shootings in the Binyamin district, and coordinated among several
West Bank terrorist cells.
Are his hands bloody with this bombing? Doesn't matter. He's killed enough.
Why the IDF doesn't storm the Mukata and take these murderers to prison
I don't understand.
Oh, wait, now I know why. Because the world outcry would be against Israel
for storming the Mukata, not against Arafat for giving mass murderers
EU condemned the bombing. More on that later. permalink
Actually, just dinner. I'm leaving to meet Kevin
of Wizbang, who is in Richmond on business, in a few minutes. However,
I've found more interesting reads for you folks.
Blue Octavo Notebook
has some interesting reads. Anyone who says "Kids
today, they blow up so soon" is okay in my book. I have a question
about this one: What
on earth are "hydro-politics"? And here, the editor has
post on Omri Bartov and the second Hitler book. Check 'em out. permalink
Thanks again to everyone who hit the tipjar these last couple of weeks.
The reason your individual thank-you notes are being delayed is because
I'm working on a thank-you page, which URL will be sent only to those
generous souls who have hit the tipjar. And, well, I'm a bit of a perfectionist,
and it's not quite ready yet. permalink
I know most of you won't read the
entire article linked below. So here are more excerpts:
But the most explicit and frightening link between
Hitler's anti-Semitism and the contemporary wave of violence, hatred,
paranoia, and conspiracy theories can be found, first, in the testimony
given by the perpetrators of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and,
second, in the official charter of the Palestinian Hamas movement.
As Küntzel writes, citing the Reuters reporter
Christian Eggers, during the trial of Mounir el Motassadeq, a core member
of the Al Qaeda cell in Hamburg that planned the attacks of September
11, the motivation of the perpetrators was amply documented, but the
media have not reported much of what was said at the trial, which took
place in Hamburg, Germany, between October 2002 and February 2003. The
witness Shahid Nickels, a member of Mohammed Atta's core group, insisted
that "Atta's worldview was based on a National Socialist way of
thinking. He was convinced that 'the Jews' are determined to achieve
world domination. He considered New York City to be the center of world
Jewry, which was, in his opinion, Enemy Number One." Nickels said
that Atta's group was "convinced that Jews control the American
government as well as the media and the economy of the United States...
that a world-wide conspiracy of Jews exists... [that] America wants
to dominate the world so that Jews can pile up capital."
Similarly, the witness Ahmed Maglad, who participated
in the group's meetings, testified that "for us, Israel didn't
have any right to exist as a state.... We believed ... the USA ... to
be the mother of Israel." And Ralf Götsche, who shared the
student dormitory with Motassadeq, testified that the accused had said:
"What Hitler did to the Jews was not at all bad," and commented
that "Motassadeq's attitude was blatantly anti-Semitic."
And this one, on campus anti-Semitism:
Throughout campuses in the United States, students
associated with Arab and Islamic organizations, Christian groups, and
the left carried flags, banners, and posters that were mostly focused
on one theme: the equation between Zionism, or Israel, and Nazism. Banners
portrayed a swastika joined by an equal sign to a Star of David and
an Israeli flag featuring a swastika instead of a Star of David. Placards
issued the call to "End the Holocaust," and proclaimed that
"Zionism = racism = ethnic cleansing," and that "Zionism
is Ethnic Cleansing," and that "Sharon = Hitler." A particularly
ingenious sign asserted: "1943: Warsaw 2002: Jenin." While
some summarized their views with the slogan "Zionazis," others
warned, "First Jesus Now Arafat."
What makes this virulent anti-Semitism respectable
is that it presents itself as anti-Nazism. To accomplish this sinister
exculpatory purpose it needs only to declare that Zionism equals Nazism,
just as the old canard of a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world
is legitimized by its association with American imperialism, capitalism,
and globalization. That the vocabulary of this rhetoric is taken directly
(whether consciously or not) from Nazi texts is so clear that one wonders
why there is such a reluctance to recognize it. In part this is owed
to ignorance, which is as rampant today in journalism and political
commentary as it always was. In part this is owed to the fact that those
who would most readily identify the provenance of these words and ideas
are largely liberals, some of whom also happen to be Jewish, and thus
are likely to be most harmed, both personally and ideologically, by
making this identification. By exposing the anti-Semitic underbelly
of this phenomenon, they would expose themselves as Jews and friends
of Jews, and would open themselves to the argument that precisely their
opposition to this phenomenon is the best proof of Jewish domination
in the world.
This is why I think that "Never again" is being translated
by the Jew-haters into "Not quite done yet." This is why I will
never make this a
fluffy kitty and bunny blog, no matter how evil the news becomes.
This is why I want to learn how to shoot, and get a gun. You see, when
I say "Never again," I mean, "If I'm going down,
I'm taking as many Jew-haters as I can with me."
Nation may not see the anti-Semitism that is plainly visible to anyone
with half a brain, but I see it. My eyes were opened in the spring of
2002, when the world sat idly by and lectured Israel not to be harsh to
the palestinians as terror bombings were going off at the rate of two
or three per day, and hundreds of Jews were dying.
page from bottom to top, and you'll see the sea change I underwent
on that day. A few weeks later, this weblog went from being a journal
with occasional references to current events to a weblog that centers
on Jewish issues, with occasional references to non-news items. That week
was the beginning of my leaving my tech blogging friends behind, nearly
all of whom lean far to the left and are not, to say the least, pro-Israel.
And it was the beginning of my refusal to excuse anti-Semitism in any
form. I went from wondering
why they hate me to wishing
death on those that hate me because I am Jewish. I still feel that
way. You want me dead? Guess what: I want you dead, too. And I don't give
a damn if people think that I am wrong to wish my enemies death. The Holocaust
taught Jews that ultimately, our survival cannot be trusted to any other
There are 1.3 billions Muslims in the world, as Mahathir pointed out,
and only about 13 millions Jews. There are 22 Arab nations in the Middle
East, and only one Jewish one. Many in the world may like to change that
number to zero. Life's tough that way. As Imshin
says: Israel isn't going anywhere. Neither are the rest of us Jews. permalink
Hitler's other book
Via LGF, a
review of Hitler's second book, written in 1928, while he was on his
way to power. Omer Bartov finds disturbing parallels between what Hitler
wrote then, and what we hear from various sources today.
What we are witnessing today is a broad front of opinion,
spanning the entire spectrum of the political and religious scene, whose
criticism of American and Israeli policies, and whose fears and phobias
about present conditions, utopian dreams of a better future, and nostalgic
fantasies of a mythical past, all converge in a bizarre and increasingly
frightening way on a single figure, a single cause: "the Jew."
I have long believed that it is pointless, and dishonorable, to debate
anti-Semites. Such an exchange of "ideas" only confers legitimacy
upon them. But there are times when absurdities become political facts
and cannot be ignored. They must, instead, be directly challenged--not
by explaining their violent ideas and feelings away, but by putting
limits to them through all available means, political, judicial, and,
if necessary, by the use of legitimate force. For these are people who
mean what they say. If you do not destroy them, they will destroy you.
There are precedents for this.
Consider again what Hitler wrote in 1928. Yes, it is
insane; but take out the word "race" and replace it, say,
with "Zionism" or "American imperialism," and replace
the references to the Soviet Union with references to the United States,
and suddenly the discourse is not only crazy but also quite common.
The "soft core" of this poisonous rhetoric is to be found
among some sectors of European and American intellectuals and academics.
It tends to identify Israelis as culprits, and Jews as potential Israelis.
It is obsessed with the influence of Jews on culture, politics, and
economics around the world. The partially successful boycott of Israeli
academics in recent years is a case in point, not least because it tends
to affect precisely those who number among the most determined and articulate
opponents of the current Israeli government's policies. The divestment
campaign, calling on American and European universities to desist from
any investments in Israel, is another example; this campaign provides
cover, and even immunity, for all the regimes around the world that
have never recognized academic freedom. The sympathetic understanding
expressed in academic settings, and in liberal and left-wing publications,
for suicide bombers who blow up innocent civilians in Israel creates
a climate of tolerance for murder that is cleverly couched in the righteous
language of liberation and justice.
It's a read-the-rest kind of article. Too many things to excerpt.
Sometimes this sort of intellectual-academic-journalistic
obsession with Jews becomes intimately linked with anti-Americanism.
Several best-selling books published in France and Germany by academics,
politicians, and journalists have "confirmed" the already
widespread belief (held by 19 percent of the German population according
to a recent poll, and apparently by a majority in many Arab and Islamic
countries) that the September 11 attacks on the United States were orchestrated
by the CIA and the Mossad, and that the latter warned the Jews working
in the World Trade Center not to come to work that day. Indeed, the
United States, attacked by Europeans for its support of Israel, has
been repeatedly depicted as controlled by the Jews, whose lobbies, financial
and electoral levers of power, and key figures in the White House and
Pentagon, are manipulating both the American public and world politics.
At the same time Israel has been portrayed as the perpetrator
of Nazi-like crimes even as these very same portrayals carry echoes
of the Nazi representation of Jews. Thus the European media, especially
its more highbrow representatives, were as keen to portray the Israeli
operation in Jenin last year as a war crime and a massacre as they were
reluctant to admit that they had been fooled by Palestinian propaganda
and in turn misinformed their publics about the nature of the operation,
greatly inflating the number of Palestinian civilians killed in order
to justify its description as a massacre. The Israeli prime minister
was depicted in a cartoon published in The Independent in London in
the shape of a bloody ogre devouring Palestinian children, his features
eerily reminiscent of those popularized by Der Stürmer.
Anyone who has access (that is, anyone on the Internet)
to racist, anti-Semitic, and neo-Nazi publications in the United States
and elsewhere will find almost precisely the same opinions and depictions.
These hateful representations are normally not much remarked upon. But
there are some important exceptions. Most striking was the speech made
by Martin Hohmann, a parliamentary representative of the Christian Democratic
Union (CDU) in the German Bundestag, to an audience of one hundred thirty
people, on October 3, 2003. Hohmann argued that one had no right to
speak of the Germans as a "people of perpetrators" (Tätervolk)
because the Jews--presumably those making that argument--were themselves
a "people of perpetrators," considering their high representation
among the murderous Bolsheviks. This was the first time since the end
of Nazism that a member of the Bundestag made an anti-Semitic argument
based on the very logic of Hitler's rationalization for war against
the Soviet Union. And an elite Bundeswehr general expressed agreement
with Hohmann's speech. Under much public pressure, Hohmann was eventually
ejected from the parliamentary fraction of the CDU--but 20 percent of
his colleagues opposed his removal. And Hohmann knew, like so many fascists
before him who said what he said, what many others were thinking. In
a poll recently conducted by the University of Bielefeld, it was found
that 70 percent of Germans resent being blamed for the Holocaust, and
25 percent believe that the Jews are trying to make political capital
out of their own genocide (and another 30 percent say that there is
a measure of truth in this assertion), and three-quarters believe that
there are too many foreigners in Germany.
More thoughts on the above poll later. permalink
Squeal like Howard Dean, and
First there was Treacher, and he
made this (second
Then there was Fritz,
and he made this.
Both of them will make you spew liquid all over your monitor if you happen
to be unlucky enough to be drinking when you click those links and the
MP3 files load. You have been warned.
And vote for Treacher in Michele's
crush contest, because we all know it's really him.
And while I'm at it, go read the
Command Post for your latest news onwell, everything.
I have an Instalink to a
fifteen-month-old post because James Cappozola of the Rittenhouse
Review performed another public delinking ritual. I'd forgotten that he
delinked LGF last year. So has everyone else, actually. That's quite an
impact those delinkings are making. permalink
Fluffy kitties blog
was thinking that sometimes the news is just so depressing, or hideous,
or downright disgusting, that maybe I'd just change over the blog completely.
Stop reading the news, stop writing about anti-Semitism, and just post
cat pictures. And kitten pictures. And cute bunny pictures.
Really. Sometimes, you just have to say screw it, and go with a moment
of kitty zen.
Tig doesn't give a damn about world events. All he cares about is getting
fed, pet, and played with. Oh, and having a clean litterbox. And then
there's going outside when the weather is nice, and complaining that he
can't go outside when the weather isn't nice, and oh, yeah, don't forget
the tunafish. And bellyrubs. He loves those bellyrubs.
Yep. It's good to be the Tig. permalink
The Pope says that wars
don't resolve conflicts. Really? So, like, WWII didn't resolve the
conflict between the fascists and democracy? Well, there's a different
kind of fascism now, and it's armed with human bombs, but y'know, there
aren't any more Nazis and Italian Fascisti causing trouble for the rest
of the world. I'd have to say that wars do resolve conflicts, if
they are handled correctly. They only fail to resolve conflicts in Israel,
because the world refuses to let Israel actually win a war. The
Pope also said that America should work for more international cooperation.
How about more countries cooperate with us? Works both ways, y'know.
LOTR was nominated
for 11 Oscars. But no best supporting actor nomination for Sean Astin.
Bummer. Then again, the Academy did not nominate the entry from
"Palestine" in the foreign film category.
Today is the 59th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death
camp. Apparently, the BBC can present a biased piece even on this topic.
Compare the Beeb's headline with some of the others:
The BBC: Victims
tell of Nazi experiments
The Guardian (via the AP): Torture
Tales May Alter Holocaust History
The Miami Herald: New
Data on Nazis' Victims Comes to Light
The Charlotte News-Observer: Testimonies
suggest more work by Nazi Mengele than earlier believed
What does Reuters have to say about this issue?
However, they did put out several articles on Israel yesterday:
Israel Scorns Hamas Proposal of 10-Year Truce
Israel dismissed as ridiculous Monday a proposal from the main Palestinian
militant group, Hamas, to declare a 10-year truce if the Jewish state
withdrew from territory occupied since 1967.
Top Hamas official Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi told Reuters
late Sunday Hamas had come to the conclusion that it was "difficult
to liberate all our land at this stage, so we accept a phased liberation."
"We accept a state in the West Bank, including
Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. We propose a 10-year truce in return
for (Israeli) withdrawal and the establishment of a state," he
said in a telephone interview from hiding in the Gaza Strip.
His comments appeared to strengthen signs of a big
political shift by a faction sworn to destroy Israel and now seeming
to move closer to the aims of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority.
Israel says any talk of Hamas moderation is a smokescreen
for military preparations by a group at the forefront of suicide bombings
and shooting attacks.
"It is quite ridiculous that a terrorist organization
sets conditions for a cease-fire," said government spokesman Avi
Pazner in response to Rantissi's proposal.
Rantissi said it would not mean that Hamas recognized
Israel or spell the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Hamas has led a suicide bombing campaign that has killed
hundreds of Israelis during more than three years of violence.
It has rejected peace talks and demanded that a Palestinian
state be formed on all the land that was Palestine under the British
mandate preceding the creation of Israel more than five decades ago.
The article itself ridicules the proposal as the bullshit it is, yet
Reuters chooses to go with that headline, instead of one less critical
of Israel and more of, say, the bullshit offerers of the truce. A headline
like "Israel says Hamas truce is insincere" would get the point
across without putting the blame on Israel. But then, Reuters wouldn't
be Reuters without its daily Israel-bashing.
Last, but not least:
Mydoom worm spreading faster than last year's Sobig-F
Can you people out there please stop clicking on executable emails
from people you don't know? Please? I've deleted about fifty of those
emails from my inbox so far. And nearly all of them seem to be from spammers.
So it's worm spam. Sigh. permalink
What I did on my winter vacation
It was this:
Wow, cute kids and a dog, and cat picturesall in a 24-hour period.
Yes, there are a lot of glazed-over eyes out there right now reading this
I suppose other things happened in the world, but I took Heidi home from
work last night. The roads were awful. It was six hours after I'd driven
them (described below). I stayed in 4WD the entire way, and couldn't believe
how many idiots who did not have 4WD vehicles were driving at unsafe speeds
on I-95, including idiots in 18-wheelers. But we got home safe and sound,
and spent this morning sledding with the girls and watching a movie (Holes,
a really sweet and funny film, highly recommended) this afternoon. Then
I took Heidi to get her car, and saw that the number of idiots remains
about the same whether it's night or day, snowing or the day after, or,
well, let's face it: A day that ends with the letter "y."
Now to eat dinner and relax a bit. permalink
A weather event
I thought New Jersey drivers sucked in snow. They're nothing compared
to Richmond drivers, who drive blithely along as if there were absolutely
nothing on the roads, and I'm not talking about people in 4WD vehicles,
either. In fact, most of the people I saw in Jeeps were driving the same
way I was: 4WD on, 25-30 mph where possible, less where necessary. Saw
one moron stop dead in the middle of the road because he missed his turnoff,
not caring that there was a line of cars behind him, and that there was
an inch of snow on the road.
I got home just fine, and after feeding the cats (ohmigod, we've had
no food since this morning, where were you and why were our bowls
empty?), Tig insisted he wanted to go out. I reminded him that he hates
snow. He insisted that he does not. I reminded him again that there was
snow underfood. No, I swear, I don't mind snow, he said. Okay,
I told him. And I opened the door. Herewith, the results:
Okay. Let's see if I can get past the snow this way.
Nope. How about on this side?
Ah, screw it. I'll walk on the white stuff after all.
That's my Tig. permalink
Israel's shameful swap
Haven't we learned? Doesn't Ariel Sharon get that you
don't negotiate with terrorists? WTF is wrong with these people? Hamas
is already laughing at Israel, and planning more kidnapings.
If those prisoners aren't being released with chips in their scalps so
they can be tracked down and killed, there's something desperately wrong
with this story.
If those prisoners aren't being released with coffins full of explosives,
there's something desperately wrong with this story.
If those prisoners aren't being released as a way to lure Nasrallah out
of hiding, there's something desperately wrong with this story.
I think there's something desperately wrong with this story. permalink
Last week's blogs are archived.
Looking for the Buffy
Blogburst Index? Here's Israel
vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon.
Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try
solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser
Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin
Laden's diary and The
Fudd Doctrine are also good bets if you've never been here before.