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Molly Moore sheds crocodile tears for Israelis

My buddy is at it again. This time, she's written an article that attempts to portray the Israeli side of the Sderot issue. Note the title, which she probably didn't write:

Rockets Deliver Daily Terror To Residents of Israeli Town

From the get-go, we have the angle of the story. Israelis cowering in fear from the big, bad palestinians. So, let's see what this paragaon of anti-Israel reporting has to say.

SDEROT, Israel -- At the Panic gift shop, the checkout counter chatter is dominated by Qassams, the crude rockets that Palestinians frequently fire at this ragged industrial town of nearly 20,000 two miles from Gaza's northeast corner.

"We're strong, and no one will break us," Rahel Swissa, 50, a customer with short, bleached-blond hair, declared on a recent afternoon.

Nice lead. But how can Molly tear this sentiment apart? Oh. Here are the next two grafs.

"Oh, come on, sweetie," retorted Tzippi Aderi, 46, her baby-blue fingernails clacking against the cash register. "I'm scared. A door slams and my kids jump."

Swissa quickly dropped the bravado. "My kids don't even want to come visit me," she confessed. "Another son just moved away."

Once again, let's give the pat "qassams-aren't-really-that-deadly" refrain:

In the past four years, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have fired more than 325 Qassam rockets at Jewish settlements within the strip and at Israeli towns on its periphery, according to Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence agency. Few of the wildly inaccurate rockets have ever hit anyone or anything other than fields, empty lots or back yards. Most of the casualties associated with Qassam strikes have been patients treated for shock. But in the last 3 1/2 months, four Israelis have been killed, all of them in Sderot.

So, okay, an effing mortar or three lands in your town on a daily basis, but because it hasn't killed anyone until lately, we have to downplay the fact that terrorists are sending mortar shells into your town? Riiiight. But wait. It gets more offensive, as well as inaccurate.

A little over two weeks ago, Israel launched its largest military operation in more than 2 1/2 years in an effort to stop the rocket attacks. Since the offensive began on Sept. 28, the fourth anniversary of the start of the current Palestinian uprising, Palestinians have launched nine Qassams toward Sderot. One killed two children.

Let's fact-check Molly's ass on this, shall we? First of all, the rocket that killed the two toddlers was the cause of the latest IDF operation. So the graf should read that the operation was launched after the rockets killed two children. Here, my buddy Molly lies flat-out, and her editors don't obviously fact-check.

Nor do they apply any context whatsoever.

[...] This week, military commanders recommended ending the Gaza operations, according to Israeli news accounts, and on Thursday Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered a pullout from a northern refugee camp after indications that the offensive would be widened. So far, 108 Palestinians -- at least 29 of them children and teenagers -- have been killed, including five on Wednesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported.

Well, we all know about the palestinian spokesliars, shall we say, inattention to the truth? But even worse, she writes this:

While suicide bombs have been a primary weapon of Palestinian guerrillas in the West Bank throughout the uprising against Israeli occupation, Qassam rockets are the weapon of choice in the Gaza Strip, which is enclosed by electronic fences, surveillance cameras and Israeli military patrols.

"Guerrillas." Not terrorists. Suicide bombs, which are usually aimed at civilians, and especially at busloads of children, are set off by guerrillas. Eff you, Molly, and the WaPo while I'm at it.

So. What have we learned today, students? Well, nothing new. The mainstream media is filled with people who hate Israel. Color me unsurprised. | |



Happy Birthday, Max and Rebecca!

And now, for something completely cheerful. Max and Rebecca, the two children who have made Thursday into Twinsday for me, turn three today. I'm probably going to miss the party, but their mom reads my blog. So here we go, with the two of them in very typical poses.

Rebecca knows how cute she is, and boy, can she work it.

Rebecca in a cute pose

Max flings himself into the action. Behind him is Rebecca, trying to steal his thunder, but for once, failing.

Max is ready to slide

I actually was going to miss Twinsday yesterday, but then Sarah pulled out the heavy artillery while we were talking on the phone. "Max is walking around with his coat on and a woeful expression on his face, asking 'See Aunt Meryl? Go see Aunt Meryl?' "

She plays dirty. I surrendered, and we had a wonderful time for the first Twinsday in weeks. I've been working on Thursdays lately.

I was right. Just posting this cheered me up after a day at The Sucky Job. Kids will do that every time. | |



Raison d'blog, part the next: Don't let the hate win out

Every so often, I find myself writing a post about why I do what I do. Usually, it's prompted by someone asking me a question, or making a comment that annoys me. Sometimes it's prompted by my fairly regular soul-searching (that unexamined life thing; I've never had one, don't know how to). This one was raised by an anonymous commenter who seems to be Jewish.

Let's start with the question raised in the first paragraph:

Why is that we put so much energy in to our outrage over events like this in which NOBODY is paying attention, save for radical leftists and the organzied Jewish community. Most Duke students, as the Rutgers, Michigan, and Berkeley students, could give a shit about this conference.

People are paying attention, and it's to our detriment. Somehow, on college campuses throughout the country, Israel went from being a legitimate nation in the eyes of the world to being an illegitimate, "colonial," "apartheid" nation. It wasn't that others weren't paying attention. It's that Jews weren't paying attention to the subtle changes going on right under their noses. Colleges didn't used to be hotbeds of anti-Semitism. Jewish student groups took it for granted that because we think that Israel is in the right, the rest of the world must see that her cause is just. But that's not what's been happening. There is a concerted effort by Arab groups to disenfranchise Israel as a nation, and they are paying a lot of money to fund chairs and scholarships in Middle East Studies to people who support their point of view in academia. Palestinian students on American college campuses are taking their cause to this country by forming groups, holding anti-Israel rallies, and putting out enough anti-Israel propaganda to convince more than a few American students that Israel is the villain in the piece.

Meanwhile, Israel and Judaism become less and less compelling in the eyes of young Jews as the organized community pays more attention to the negatives in the Jewish world than the positives.

Well, you're right in a way, there, but I have nothing to do with that. Secular Jews are the ones who are most responsible for negative images of Judaism. They're the ones writing the negative portrayals of Jewish life in books and movies. (See: Dirty Dancing, Seinfeld, Friends, many others.) Orthodox Jews in America have something like a one or two percent intermarriage rate. That rate jumps to fifty percent for Conservative and Reform Jews. Out of the eleven cousins of my generation, two married Jews. A total of three cousins are bringing up their children Jewish. The rest are Christians or secular Christians who pay symbolic honor to a couple of Jewish holidays (Passover and Chanukah).

It isn't Orthodox Jews who are giving up on Israel. It's not Orthodox Jews who are staffing the pro-palestinian campus groups and ignoring the anti-Semitism at the pro-palestinian rallies right under their noses. I'm not Orthodox. But I'm not blind, either. Reform and Conservative Jews have a serious problem keeping their children interested in being Jewish in more than name.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean about the organized community paying attention to the negatives in the Jewish world, though. Paying attention to the positives isn't a problem. You don't need to work on what's right with your society. You need to work on what's wrong. Which means paying attention to groups that are, in one form or another, actively seeking the destruction of the State of Israel.

And the bus is not that kid's idea - the group Zaka, an Israeli body recovery group - brought it to DC last year and has brought it to the world court for the ICJ ruling. It does nothing and it means nothing to people for whom it doesn't already mean something.

I didn't say that. To clarify, I meant it was a great idea for Duke students to bring the bus to their campus. You must be rather new here if you think I don't know what Zaka is. FYI, the news article points out that a Jewish student from Duke got the idea to contact Zaka and get the bus.

It's rather illogical to claim that the bus will have no effect on anyone because the ICJ ignored it before making their ruling. First of all, college students are a world apart from a group of Israel-haters who had made up their minds to rule against the fence even before the "trial" began (see: Egyptian judge).

Think for a moment: At Duke this weekend, 19-year-old children will be walking past the remains of a bombed-out bus. Their memories of 9/11 aren't buried yet—and they were all old enough to understand what was going on that day. I think the sight of that bombed-out bus will bring the fact of palestinian suicide bombings from an arcane thing that they read about or see on TV to something concrete. The twisted, charred wreck will be there for them to see up close and personal. I would never underestimate the influence this will have on many of them. Sure, there will be some who won't care. But if the hatefest organizers thought it wouldn't bother people, they wouldn't be bitching about its "sensationalism."

So no, I don't think the Duke students are spitting into the wind. I think they're empolying a valuable service, fighting lies and propaganda with truth. Eric Akawie, a Duke alumnus, has more news and links about the Duke hatefest. You can keep up with the news there.

And last, but not least, the reason why I find this issue important: Because we can't keep ignoring the lies. Every time Jews ignore the lies being spread about them, it results in dead Jews. The world keeps on raising the stakes. So people like me keep our eyes and ears open, and we shout from the rooftops our anger and indignation. Because it's important. Because people need to know what's going on. Because the last time Jews ignored the hatred, a third of us died.

I write about what's most important to me. And what's most important to me is my Jewishness. I'm currently undergoing a lengthy financial and job crisis, as well as watching my blog start sinking to the middle of the pack because of its subject matter. What I should be doing is writing about more centralized issues, so I can keep my upward trend going, and start charging a decent amount for blogads. What I really should be doing is quitting my part-time job as a fourth-grade Hebrew school teacher so at the very least, I can temp full-time via Kelly. But I find that I can't do either of those things. I've discovered that it's far more important to me to blog about Jewish matters and anti-Semitism than to be in the top ten of NZ Bear's ecosystem. I've discovered that it's far more important to me to find a job that will fit my schedule so I can continue to teach, or, as I like to put it, turn little Jews into big Jews.

One of the things I teach my little Jews is that a whole lot of people hate us because we're Jewish, and hiding from that fact is the worst way to deal with it. We don't dwell on anti-Semitism in my class. They're fourth graders, after all. But every last one of my fourth graders would get why we need to send that Zaka bus to Duke this weekend, and why we need to point out the seminars like the upcoming hatefest at Duke. It's a no-brainer.

We can't let the haters win.

| |

WMD found in Ramallah!

Reader Joel G. sent me this Telegraph article on Yasser Arafat, but seems to have missed the biggest piece of information to come out of the West Bank in decades:

While the table is covered with trays of Palestinian delicacies for visitors, Mr Arafat eats a simple meal of soup, vegetables and steamed garlic. He reaches into his plate to give each guest pieces of sweetcorn and broccoli.

This comes after the reporter mentions the state of the Muqata:

Inside, the air is stale with the smell of sweat, food and a whiff of urine. Not surprisingly, Mr Arafat's doctors have advised the Palestinian leader to install air purifiers and an oxygen pump to make his bunker more bearable.

Looks like Charles has been right all along. You couldn't pay me enough to enter that building. | |



Hatefest at Duke this weekend

But these Duke students, rock. Great idea, guys!

A Jerusalem city bus left gutted and burned by a suicide bombing is being displayed this week at Duke University in protest of a pro-Palestinian group's annual conference on the Durham campus.

The National Student Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement is planned Friday through Sunday. The group is an umbrella for organizations that want an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their original land.

The conference has drawn heated opposition from many in the Jewish community, who plan a simultaneous series of pro-Israel events at Duke's Jewish center.

Duke officials have said they do not endorse the Palestinian group's mission but are allowing the conference in the interest of educational dialogue and free speech.

Organizers of the bus-display protest say they want to achieve the same things.

Check out where the kid who thought of this is from, Lair.

The display was suggested by Jitschak Rosenbloom of Houston, a student at the nearby University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He was studying in Jerusalem last year and had ridden his bicycle past the site of the explosion about an hour before it occurred. He learned about the attack later that day at school.

"I felt it was absolutely necessary to illustrate that no struggle should be expressed in the way the Palestinians are illustrating their struggle, and to understand fully the situation under which Israelis currently live," Rosenbloom said yesterday.

So, what do the ISM creeps have to say about it?

A conference organizer said that the protesters are free to say what they will about the issues at stake but questioned the fairness of the display.

So, it's okay to talk about divesting from Israel without any context whatsoever, but try to put palestinian terrorism into the mix, and suddenly it's not fair. Hey, asshat, here's a tip: Life isn't fair. So. Let's take a peek at the workshops and see how fair they are.

Segregation, Apartheid and Zionism Are Crimes against Humanity!
Bob Brown, Anti-Zionist and indigenous solidarity Activist


Anatomy of the Organized Zionist Community in the United States
Abe Greenhouse, Anti-Racist Action and Rachel Roberts, Jews Against the Occupation-NYC

Yep, that too. Oh, and take a look at the fairness of some of the PSM principles here. Yeah, okay. What-EVER.

So, howsabout we get a little more from the guy whining about fairness?

"We welcome any expression of free speech. That's what our conference is all about," said Rann Bar-On, a Duke graduate student from Israel.

You welcome it, but whine about its fairness? Uh-huh. Let's see the spin from AP, shall we?

Though Jewish, Bar-On wants his country to withdraw from the occupied territories and called the display an "extremely sensationalist" attempt "to emotionally influence (viewers) rather than rationally debate about this."

There we go. One of the PSM's house Jews is speaking. Schmuck. The pals would kill you as soon as look at you if they could. And digging around a bit more, we find this:

A coalition of several Jewish student groups issued an open letter to the organizers of PSM and to Hiwar. The letter challenged the groups and individual members to endorse a three-pronged statement that organizers called the “necessary foundation of any meaningful dialogue.”

In order for pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian students to debate civilly, the Jewish leaders said they must “condemn the murder of innocent civilians,” “support a two-state solution” and “recognize the difference between disagreement and hate speech, and call on all campus groups... to join us in upholding this standard.” (For full text of the letter, see the group’s advertisement on page 18.)

Bar-on said Wednesday night that PSM would not sign the statement because it violates the philosophy of the organization, which will not condemn any Palestinian action. However, PSM only supports non-violent action, he said.

PSM believes “the Jewish people have the right to exist in some state,” but the organization would not dictate the border of the state or how to create it, Bar-on added.

Disgusting. But you feel perfectly fine in dictating the rules to Israel. Did I say "house Jew"? I think I'll call him a self-hater.

An organization that refuses to condemn any palestinian action is not a supporter of nonviolence. Once again, the Jew-hating hypocrites are unable to see what they truly are. And so many Jews are in this group, it makes me ill.

I'm so glad I'm not in college today. | |



Tuesday morning news and views

Jews, Jews, everywhere there's Jews: Five out of the six Nobel prize winners in science are Jews. And two are Israelis. Those evil, evil people! Damn them for trying to cure cancer and trying to find an explanation to the way things work. (By the way, the number of Israeli Nobel prize winners alone (5) now equals the number of Arab prize winners—counting only since the prize began.) ((Yes, that was a dig.)) Jewish prize winners? Well, there's a whole lot of 'em.

Christians are infidels, too: Iraqi Christians are fleeing their native land. We last saw an exodus like that in 1951, when the Jews of Iraq were forced to flee. Of course, the U.S. Army wasn't in Iraq at the time. Will that make a difference? And when will the world's Christians start asking the UN to stop the slaughter?

What Egyptian peace treaty? The Egyptians are blaming Israel for the Taba bombing. And this is under a headline that says "Israelis and Egyptians respect, but also suspect, each other." Tell me how this is respect:

Ben-Dor took part in a 12-minute broadcast, during which he was interrupted incessantly by the other guests, Fuad Alan and Daya Rashuan, two terror experts.

They insisted that Israel was behind the series of blasts in Sinai, and rejected Ben-Dor's claim that that their approach legitimized additional bombings, because it diverted the focus from the real culprits.

[...] Yesterday President Mubarak said in Rome, at the end of the meeting with the Italian president: "First of all the occupation of the Palestinian territories must be stopped ... then Iraq must be dealt with."

Oh, sure, just so we have our priorities right. The Iraqi death toll is only, what, 20 or 30 times higher, and, gee, most of them are civilians, but surely the palestinians must be protected before we can do anything to stop the terrorism in Iraq.

Accusing Israel of being behind the terror attacks is not accidental and is prevalent on the Egyptian street. It has not been made officially, but has not been denied either. This is convenient for the government, because it directs public anger to Israel and not toward the security forces or government.

Yeah. We know. More reading, if you can stomach it, on the same subject.

No state until terror stops: Ariel Sharon's address to the Knesset. RIF. | |



Monday morning news and views

The LA Times wrote this? The LA Times? The one in Los Angeles? It's a flying pig moment. Read In Full is in effect for this editorial. Please have a paper bag nearby to help you recover from hyperventilation.

Good fences make good neighbors, as Robert Frost famously put it. In 1947, the same year Britain abandoned Palestine, it also left the Indian subcontinent. But first Britain divided the area into two nations: India for Hindus and Pakistan for Muslims. The result hasn't been blissful. But there hasn't been an all-out war for 33 years. A one-state solution would have been nastier.

Israel must remain a Jewish state, and to do that and be a democracy as well, it must always have a Jewish majority. That has been a limit on the imperial ambitions of some of Israel's less-attractive leaders. It is also a limit on what the world and the Palestinians can expect Israel to accept.

It took the Israelis decades to accept the idea of a Palestinian state next door. They saw it as a staging ground for conquest and elimination of the Jewish state. The "single-state" solution would achieve that same illegitimate goal by more decorous means.

An answer to the anti-Zionists: Want more than talking points? Want some in-depth arguments to face down the anti-Zionists? Then check out this piece by Dore Gold and Jeff Helmreich. RIF recommendation. Feel free to quote it when you send in those angry letters to the editor.

The Taba bombing: The Telegraph has more information on who might have carried out the attack. It's starting to look like Hamas or the pals may have had more than a small hand in this. DEBKA has been warning for months that Al Qaeda has been working with the pals in the territories. They may finally have been right about something.

Israeli officials said yesterday that they had received four pieces of information about possible terror attacks on the Sinai peninsula before the bombings. Three were linked to militant Palestinian groups and one to a global Islamic group.

Avi Dichter, the head of Israel's Shin Bet security service, who visited the hotel with Egyptian officials yesterday, criticised Israeli political leaders for not acting firmly enough on the information.

The Israeli government had issued general warnings to its public about travelling to Sinai in recent weeks. Mr Dichter said that Israel's peace deal with Egypt had prevented it from closing the border and added that the travel warnings were an inadequate response to "a highly specific terrorist alert".

Hanni Rashad, a limousine driver at the Hilton, said that injured hotel workers had told him that one of the suicide cars had Israeli number plates. This meant the vehicles would have been able to pass through the hotel's security gates easily, because the guards rarely checked Israeli tourists' cars, he said.

It was supposed to be used just for killing Jews: One of the Bedouins under arrest has confessed to selling the explosives that may have been used in the Taba bombing.

TABA, Egypt Oct. 10, 2004 — A Bedouin tribesman has confessed to selling explosives that might have been used in three car bombings targeting Israeli tourists and investigators were looking into Palestinian militant involvement, Egyptian security officials said Sunday.

The tribesman said the buyers, whom he couldn't identify, had told him the explosives would be used in the Palestinian territories, an Egyptian investigator said.

"The explosives were sold on the assumption that they were going to the Palestinians," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Oh, that's all right, then.

You see what teaching Jew-hatred breeds?

Relatives of the attacks' 34 victims, meanwhile, mourned their dead as rescuers finished their search for victims. Israelis, Egyptians, Italians and Russians were among the victims of Thursday night's blasts.

Gee, that really sucks. You got some non-Jews in with the 12 known Israeli dead. Really must have ruined your day, huh?

Saudi ERA Watch: Back to the kitchen, women! I don't suppose anyone will be surprised by this, but the Saudis are refusing to let women vote in their (postponed-but-still-upcoming, we swear!) local elections.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Women will not vote in Saudi Arabia's municipal elections, the first nationwide polls to be held in the autocratic kingdom, the interior minister said in remarks published Monday, dashing the hopes of progressives who see such participation as vital to reform.

An electoral official said administrative reasons were behind the decision to ban women from running or voting in the municipal elections to be held in three stages next year.

The official, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity, said there are not enough women to run women's only registration centers and polling stations, and only a fraction have photo identity cards. Many women in this devoutly Muslim kingdom balked against getting the ID cards - introduced in 2001 - because the pictures would show their faces unveiled.

Really? The women didn't want to get their pictures taken? Funny, I thought it was the men that wouldn't let them. Nice little spin there, Ms. Donna Abu-Nasr (see? We're progressive, we can intermarry Westerners!). So, perhaps it might have something to do with your next graf?

Saudi women have limited freedoms. They cannot travel, get an education or a job, or check into a hotel alone without written approval of a male guardian. They cannot drive, mix with men in public or leave home without covering themselves with black cloaks, called abayas.

Limited freedoms, hm? Sounds like almost no freedom at all to me. Gotta love this bullshit spin.

"I am not happy," said Nour Ahmed, a 22-year-old marketing graduate. "Why aren't men and women equal in this issue?"

"I support the decision," countered her friend Sarah Muhammad, 19, a university student. "Women don't know how to vote with their minds, like men. They vote with their emotions."

Oh, please. Get Phyllis Schlafly, someone, it's time to scare women into thinking that they're going to have to pee with a man standing next to them. And can you say, "Brainwashed?" I knew you could.

Here's a strange way to end the story, though. Has anyone else seen AP do this?

The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States spurred calls for the Saudi royal family to modernize the country's political landscape. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers involved in Sept. 11 were Saudis.

They also bury this in the next-to-last graf:

The elections are part of the government's measured response to calls for political and social change. Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy, has an unelected Consultative Council that acts like a parliament. Political parties are banned and press freedoms are limited.

Yeah, I know this. Why wasn't it in the first few paragraphs, where it belongs? Never mind. Rhetorical question.

Saudi Egalitarianism Watch: Want a laugh? Then read this.

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - Poverty and unemployment among Arabs are fundamental reasons for the spread of terrorism, a Saudi prince said Sunday at the opening of a conference on small loans for the poor.

The comments by Prince Talal bin Abdul-Aziz, brother of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd, come as Arab leaders try to curb the spread of Islamic extremism throughout a region consumed by the American-led war in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Unemployment creates one of the cornerstones of terrorism, and the poor who cannot get food on his table resorts to other means, which are involuntary human reactions," the prince said while opening the four-day Middle East-Africa Microcredit Summit in Amman, Jordan's capital.

And yet, study after study has proven that the overwhelming majority of terrorists are educated and middle class. Liars.

Now, if you read the rest of that article, it's about a microcredit foundation. The AP threw on the wrong headline in the wrong place at the wrong time. What are the other three cornerstones of terrorism? Let's see: Wahhabism, radical Islam, and dictatorships. Wow, that puts all four cornerstones in Saudi Arabia, which is, as we know, the home of 15 of the 19.

Before you go: Tell me if you like this format or think I need to break it up into shorter posts. | |

On Second Thought

Woohoo! WiFi! So I finally figured out how to get my stupid WiFi to work after someone, who shall remain nameless, changed things around for me so that it, well, wouldn't work. As a result, while today's seminar drones on (I'm working the tables for Kelly), I can blog. Even better, the bosses don't care a bit. Of course, I'm going to have to drag it with me on lunch, but hey, at least I can blog. Thank you, Marriott.

What was that noise? This morning, I'm in the bathroom doing my post-shower routine when I suddenly hear what sounds like a person crying or a dog whining. I was hoping it wasn't Tig or Gracie, because when a cat makes a sound that sounds that un-catlike, it can mean awful things are happening, healthwise. So I run downstairs and find Gracie, deeply distressed, hurrying up the stairs. That narrows the crisis down to Tig. I find him at the patio door, letting off another one of those weird sounds, and realize he's growling. I flip on the patio light, and sure enough, the grey tabby is on our patio. Tig asks me to let him out. I refuse, go back to my post-shower routine, thankful that I didn't have a bleeding or broken Tig to be rushed to the animal hospital. Damn, they sure do make weird noises when they want to.

The Peter Principle: Okay, so she's just a UPS call center person, but damn, she was dumb. Last week I gave the rep the account number, pickup address, and time and we were done. This one was so dumb she was looking for the hotel in West Virginia. Unless I've suddenly moved a whole lotta miles, I think I'm still in VA. Took me five minutes to get off the phone with this numbnut. Five minutes less to blog. Harumph. | |

Molly Moore: We took the "Israel" out of Sinai

Can you tell what's missing from this story? First, go back and read this post from a few days ago. Then read this:

The entire first floor was a dark cavern of horrors. Ceiling tiles covered the floor. The walls had evaporated.

Everything is black and smells of acrid, burned metal. The wheelchairs kept for elderly or disabled guests are charred black. The luggage trolley is singed black.

Three receptionists died there. So did the secretary, the tourist policeman, the hotel security officer and the rental car man. Ordinarily, they were among the first to greet arriving guests and the last to bid them farewell.

One floor below, everything remained as a roomful of diners had left it. One table was still set for a group of 10, two of whom had just returned from the dessert bar with plates of cake and mugs of coffee. The lasagna was still in the warming pan, right next to the model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The chicken must have been particularly good. Most of the guests had picked the bones clean.

The floor was carpeted with glass and the belongings of guests who had left the dinner table in a panic: one pink sandal, a black evening bag, a tourist guidebook. And a film of black soot coated every plate of abandoned food and every blue tablecloth.

Can you tell what's missing? Here's a hint: There is not one single comment from an Israeli who was a guest at Taba. Not one. There were plenty of comments in the other article from the poor, poor, pitiful pals, suffering under the horrors of the Israeli "incursion" into Gaza. There is exactly one word from someone who may be an Israeli, but is described only as "a rescue worker." He describes the bodies found as "smashed."

Moore's story covers the damage done to the hotel, but not the human trauma. In fact, she only barely mentions Israel, and when she does, it's in this graf:

A month ago, the same hotel provided me and my family with an escape from the daily fears of living in Israel, the persistent threat of suicide bombings.

Interesting how she seems only to care about how the bombing affected her little "oasis." And, uh, Molly—who's doing the suicide bombing again? Oh, that's right. The poor, poor, pitiful pals that mean ol' IDF forces are rolling over in Gaza.

And with all of this, Moore still manages to make one more giant omission:

It was an oasis of palm-lined sidewalks and bougainvillea-covered gardens. A short wade into the nearby Red Sea, the azure water teams with brilliant neon-colored fish. Swimmers could dive into the enormous saltwater pool and swim to an island bar. Beside the pool, thin Russian women in thong bikinis sunbathed next to Arab women swathed head-to-toe in scarves and robes.

What, no Israeli tourists? Only Moore, Russians, and Arabs? Funny, I thought the Sinai was a huge Israeli tourist place, which is, gee, why Taba was targeted in the first place.

Somebody get Moore out of Israel. She obviously doesn't want to be there in the first place. And I sure don't want to read any more of her anti-Israel pieces. | |



Happy birthday, Lair!

This one's for you.

Gracie in the chair

| |


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 is also a good bet if you've never been here before.