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According to the AP, the big danger in Israel isn't the hundreds of thousands of palestinian terrorists. No, it's The Great Israeli Settler Danger, which may erupt at any moment, probably causing the complete and utter breakdown of the rule of law anywhere the settler shows his face.
Why, it's as if there were no palestinian attacks during the pullout. Thus, this headline, which will doubtlessly appear on dozens of articles in tomorrow's newspapers throughout the world:
Further to the headline, this lead paragraph:
But of course, since the writer added the adjective "major" to the description of attacks, thus moving the goalpost, the above attacks don't count. I suppose the AP would define a "major" attack as one that causes multiple injuries and/or deaths. But still, the headline says "No attacks."
Let's review the news from Israel last week, shall we? From the August 18th Jerusalem Post:
Huh. Imagine that. "No attacks" suddenly became "one attack."
But wait. What's this, also in the Jerusalem Post, also on August 18th, and credited to the AP?
Now we're at two attacks by palestinians on settlers and soldiers evacuating them. That's two attacks in one day. And the AP noted at least one of them. I guess AP writers don't read their own work, hm?
But let's delve a tiny bit deeper. The withdrawal started on Wednesday. Sunday was the first day of the Jewish week. On Sunday, a palestinian sniper attacked Kfar Darom, causing the near-death of one soldier and the wounding of four others:
There were mortar attacks on Gadid on Monday. On Wednesday, the IDF thwarted a major suicide bombing on Gush Katif. Oh, and there was the attempted march on Israeli towns that the PA didn't exactly stop (Israeli soldiers fired in the air to make the marchers stop). But the AP doesn't consider any of this relevant. In fact, the writer goes out of his way to paint the palestinians as innocents.
Gee, Israelis are "reluctant" to start murdering each other? Really? I'm rather astonished that the AP credits them with not wanting to murder their brothers and sisters. Because that "acid" lie went pretty far, pretty fast, thanks to the liars, er, reporters in the major media outlets. Like AP.
But back to the article. Apparently, there is no palestinian threat; no danger from these mortar and shooting attacks and attempted suicide bombing. The real danger in Israel is from "Jewish extremists."
"Hundreds of anguished youths kicked and locked arms:" Wow, that's really dangerous. It's a good thing the IDF trained for months to prepare themselves for this. Did they get the Radio City Rockettes to help them prepare, do you think? Probably. It's their slow season.
But still, this is not enough for the AP. Now the writer must warn the world of the dangers to come.
Funny how the recent mortar, gun, and attempted suicide attacks don't make it into this article, but the attack by yet another deranged settler features prominently in this cautionary tale of The Great Israeli Settler Danger. And even this isn't enough for the AP. Now the writer is going to make up possible attacks in order to scare the readers even more.
And lest you don't get it, one final pound about The Great Israeli Settler Danger:
And now, let us turn to the palestinians and see what sort of danger they will bring to the Gaza pullout. Beside, of course, the nonexistent mortar, shooting, and suicide bombing attempt.
Notice how we have moved the goalposts by using the word "major" in front of "attack." And gee, since they haven't done it by now, they won't bother. Because it's not like they don't regularly attack the IDF wherever and whenever they can. Or that there aren't any settlers left. Oh, wait. They do, and there are. But why won't the pals attack? Or if they do, why will they?
You see? If the palestinians attack, it will be Israel's fault. And there are still those invisible mortar and shooting attacks. And the 8-kilogram explosive belt found near Gush Katif. But I guess those suffering palestinians can be excused a few more murderous attempts on Israelis.
That's exactly what the world intends to do when the rockets continue to fly from Gaza to Sderot and points beyond. Just watch.
In the meantime, look out for The Great Israeli Settler Danger. Here is my advice to keep you safe: If approached by an Israeli Settler, say hello, offer him something to eat or drink, and whatever you do, don't bring up the subject of the Temple Mount. If you follow these instructions, you should be just fine.
Unless he has a Brooklyn accent. If that happens, all bets are off. (Okay, totally inside joke that I may explain at some point in the future, or in email if you ask nicely.)
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Keeping the calm, palestinian style: The IDF thwarted an attempted terror attack by Islamic Jihad.
Gee, ya think? So, Condi, should Israel sell them more nails so they can pack more into their bombs?
No pullout under fire, shyeah, right: Besides the attempted suicide attack, we have the usual rockets and mortars flying.
Yeah, we knew that, too: Ma'ariv (Hebrew only) quotes Sharon on why the IDF is staying for a month longer:
More depressing news dept.: Another Hebrew link gives us this:
Actually, there is no such country as "Palestine," nor was there ever such a country. Not that that matters to homicidal religious fanatics.
Sorry the news isn't less depressing, but hey, it's a sucky news day. But here's one for the road: Someone fired three missiles at U.S. Navy ships docked in Jordan. They missed the ships and killed a Jordanian at a nearby warehouse. Say hello to the palestinian terrorists joining Al Qaeda.
Off to work, where I get to play with HTML, CSS, and Vignette. Ooh, baby, content management systems. It's the stuff I dreamed of as a child.
Okay,no, not really.
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I have found myself unable to read the stories, or watch the news reports, or even think very much about it, because no matter whether or not you agree with the removal of the settlements, if you have a heart, you cannot but be upset to see people uprooted forcibly from their homes.
I cannot watch Jews fight Jews and remain dry-eyed. I can't even read about it and not choke up. And I find that I cannot write very much about it, either. You can follow along on Israpundit instead, or any of the many other Jewish weblogs covering it. I simply can't do it, which is why you got cat pictures for the past few days.
But I haven't succeeded in not been thinking about it. No matter how hard I try, the news is there, unavoidable and heartbreaking. Though I've never set foot in Israel, I know that it's my ancestral homeland. My people were born there. In spite of European, LLL, neo-Nazi, and palestinian lies to the contrary, I carry the same DNA as the people who never left the land. One thing that has never changed in my entire life is my unwavering support for Israel. I got it from my entire family, on both sides, even though we are all quite happy to be Americans and stay where we are.
I realize that this sounds like a keen grasp of the obvious, but so many people simply do. not. get. it: Israel is special to the Jews. Let me repeat: To the Jews.
Years ago, when I was in college, I got into an argument with four of my fellow college journalists over Israel, terrorism, and the palestinians. They were all triple-L liberals, and for that matter, so was Iexcept on the subject of Israel. I had just walked out (very dramatically; I was rather young) on the end of a lecture by the palestinian observer to the UN, who had been invited to our campus by the political science club. My friends and I sat in the college pub, arguing about Israel over a glass of wine or two. Except I was the only one who was arguing the Israeli side. For at least an hour, we went back and forth, four against one, and I did not budge an inch. Finally, in despair, one of them said that the palestinian speaker was right, and quoted him: "How do you argue with someone who holds the Bible as his title deed?"
Well, I don't really have a problem with that quote. I responded: "You don't. The land is ours." It was at this point that the four of them gave up.
Here is the truth of the matter: I do believe in the vision of Greater Israel. I don't understand how the world can insist that the palestinians deserve a state, but that Jews should not return to what was once their homeland. I attribute that to sheer anti-Semitism. There is no other explanation. But Greater Israel isn't possible. You can't pretend that three million palestinians are simply going to up and go away. That being the case, Israel needs secure, defensible borders. It looks like some parts of Jerusalem will be given up to the palestiniansSharon would not be building the fence through the city if he didn't also believe he had to give some of it upbut Muslims will never again forbid Jews from praying at the Kotel, and neither Muslims nor Christians will keep Jews from their holiest site.
The palestinians, and the rest of the world, are going to have to face it: Israel is never going back to the 1949 borders. But that doesn't mean I think there will be peace.
Here is what I think is going to happen in the next few months: The terrorist attacks will continue, redoubled, as soon as Mahmoud Abbas feels comfortable enough with doing so. Israeli will not invade Gaza in response; world opinion will prevent her from doing so. The terrorism will move to the West Bank, as the IDF already realizes. Rockets will fly at Israel proper. The world will tell Israel to "show restraint." The UN will condemn any Israeli actions.
Nothing will change. Nothing. The Bush administration has proven that they believe in the Exception Clause when it comes to condemning terrorism against Jews. I'm not buying this op-ed in the Times; Zev Chafets is an optimist, and he is overlooking the Exception Clause. The EU and the UN are still slaves to Arab oil, Arab money, Arab voting blocs, and their own barely-repressed history of anti-Semitism. They still refuse to fully condemn Hamas and Hizbullah, whose leaders have a new rallying cry, and who insist they are winning the battle with Israel.
Did I say nothing will change? That's wrong. Israelis will no longer be murdered in the Gaza Strip. But only because they aren't there.
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Gracie says: My tissue paper. Mine!
Last night, as I was lying in bed, I heard much rustling of the tissue paper as Gracie rolled around and around in it, and one loud "swoosh," indicating a kitty doing the tissue-paper surf. When I went downstairs later, I found the paper all over, and Tig's box pushed into the blinds.
Somebody was having fun last night.
Meantime, Tig was lying in bed, snoring away. So Gracie gets this one all to herself.
I need to buy more tissue paper. I think I'll try the multi-colored type, like Lair gets. I had no idea Gracie liked tissue paper until she stole some out of a gift bag.
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Someone must have tipped him off: Suddenly, Mahmoud Abbas is adding the word "East" to Jerusalem, and talking about 1949 Armistice lines. The PA spin machine is in full-on mode, apparently. (It may not be in this Ha'aretz article, but I know I saw the actual quote with "East" in it.)
Weapons Line Central, coming up: Israel and Egypt have reached agreement on the withdrawal from the Philadelphi route. When I have time, I am going to post my predictions of what will happen after the withdrawal is complete.
A soldier's story: Read this column by an IDF officer about the disengagement.
When pigs fly: Dan Gillerman, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, called for an end to UN hostility against Israel. I saw him on C-SPAN yesterday; he was articulate and sensible and full of great ideas. Hell, even Reuters admits why this happens in an almost-balanced article:
Of course, the UN is still controlled by the bloc of Arab and Muslim nations that hate Israel, so I'm not expecting anything to change. Without Israel, who would they have to kick around?
Right. Off to another job-related meeting. Cross your fingers for me, I think this time, I'm gonna get the brass ring.
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This week's Carnival of the Cats is at Mind of Mog.
I will not be putting another cat picture up today. Well, unless Tig or Gracie surprise me with something new. Tig already tried to make a dead cicada husk fly, and I'm a little worried that he ate it, because I don't see it on the patio any more. This is probably because last week, a cicada got stuck in my patio and couldn't figure out either how to fly west (the only open part of the patio) or up (over the kitchen and back to the trees), and greatly amused Tig for about an hour. I took pictures, in between ducking behind the wall because I really didn't want that thing flying into me. Huge, ugly, and a bug: What's not to dislike?
Then again, another clicker beetle got in the house, and Gracie found it two nights ago. When last we left our intrepid heroine, the clicker beetle had retreated underneath the TV stand. I should check for it later on. Those things are amazing, and Gracie dearly loves to play with them.
Petting cats lowers your blood pressure. There are going to be a fair amount of cat posts this week around here, I think.
And now, my master calls: Gracie is yowling for me to come upstairs and play.
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What was that about no withdrawal under fire? Let's see. There's gunfire. But I guess that's not fire. There's rocket fire. But I guess that's not fire. Perhaps Arik means actual fire, you know, the kind the burns. And oh, boy, aren't those extra thousands of palestinian police in their shiny new uniforms useful? Wow, they managed not to stop a thing.
Color me unsurprised.
I wouldn't read Ha'aretz for the next few days, if I were you: My more conservative readers may want to stay away from the farthest-left Israeli newspaper, because it's finally started to bug even me. Not that I'm very leftish on Israel; it's just that Ha'aretz's opinions rarely bothered me. However, in the interest of your health and well-being (high blood pressure is a bad thing), I strongly recommend not reading, oh, this. Or this.
Don't say I didn't warn you, and when you write in my comments about this, be civil.
Funny, I didn't see the word "east" anywhere else: Ha'aretz is the only publication that uses the word "East" in front of Jerusalem when quoting Mahmoud Abbas. Can't find it here. Can't find it here. Can't find it here.
Here's the quote I keep finding, though:
Here's what Ha'aretz says he said:
Perhaps Ha'aretz has an in that no other news agency has? Because otherwise, I'd have to say they were exhibiting shoddy journalism.
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They're coming for us all: Al Qaeda is aiming for the U.S. and Britain. Is anyone out there suprised? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Al Qaeda simply does not get the Western mind. Americans can tighten their belts when the economy tanks. We'll give up our SUVs. We'll cut down to the necessities if needed. A bunch of gas station explosions isn't going to do much more than piss off the average American and rally us around the war effort again.
Dept. of Duh: Ahmadinejad Fills Cabinet With Hard-Liners. Gee, here I thought he'd pick some of the students advocating reform and democracy. Oh, and by the way: The president has no powers. It's all the Mullahs. The AP should be calling him "the Mullah's Mouthpiece." From now on, I will.
Speaking of Iran: Time Magazine profiles Iran's contribution to the Iraq war effort: The bombing of Americans and Iraqis. Gee, the media are just now figuring this out? Oh, and guess where one of their training camps is? Lebanon. Now what's the name of that group of Iranian-trained Lebanese, sprinkled liberally with Iranian nationals, that's in Lebanon with its own army? Wait, wait, give me a minute, it will come to me: Oh, yeah. Hezbollah.
Dept of Shyeah, right: Pakistan's Leaders Vow to Defeat Terrorism. Not until you clean out the nest of terrorists in the ISI, you're not.
Really? 'Cause, like, you have awfully large rallies in support of the Taliban over there, and, well, the Taliban is a Pakistani creation.
So, where is Osama bin Laden again? Oh, that's right. He's in Pakistan. In the mountains. Where you can't find him. I keep forgetting.
Perhaps Pakistanis are not as enlightened and moderate as Aziz believes.
Guess who's involved in the Sharm attack? Three guesses. C'mon. Not Al Qaeda. Nope. Give up? Our pals, the palestinians.
Can't wait to hear the rest of this story.
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It's hot. It's too darned hot.
I put my clock out on the patio this afternoon to see exactly how hot it was.
Tig decided it was just right for relaxing on the patio. It's that Maine Coon cat coat. I tell you, if we could synthesize it, we'd make millions. Millions, I tell you! It keeps him cool in the summertime, warm in the wintertime, and water beads up on it.
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There are many subjects crying out for more in-depth investigation, but I find that I really only want to post cat pictures at the moment.
Now, a Tigger bellyshot is not a rarity. There are many of them throughout my archives; if you were visiting me, you would see more of Tig's belly than the rest of him. I have often described Tigger as an attention slut. He will roll over and expose his belly for anyone. Gracie, on the other hand, is mostly a one-woman cat. She will let you pet her once she decides that no, you are not a cat-eating monster. Of course, it sometimes take a while for her to decide that. Tunafish can speed the process along. (Actually, Gracie came downstairs the last time Sarah brought the twins, so I think that her tolerance for people is growing. I don't recall that she let them actually touch her, but still, down she came.)
I was talking about cat bellies. Which are no relation whatsoever to pork bellies, and, hello, twenty-first century and they're still trading in pork bellies? Can you say, "Lose the antiquities?" I knew you could.
Cat bellies. Cat bellies. Cat bellies. I'm sorry, this is a most distracted post, because I appear to be losing track of the subject, quite probably because it is yet again in the upper nineties in Richmond, with no real relief in sight (I'm sorry, but upper eighties simply cannot qualify as relief when the humidity levels remain almost exactly the same, and while I'm at it, can we please have autumn early this year? Like, tomorrow?).
Did I do that digression thing again?
Cat bellies. Oh. Well, here's the thing. There is a picture somewhere in my archives of Gracie on her back, getting a bellyrub. One picture. That was the sum total of all Gracie belly pictures in the 6500 pictures I've taken in three years with my digital camera. She has an uncanny instinct for looking undignified only until she sees me go for the camera. As soon as she hears the lens come out, boom! she's sitting up and looking distinguished. It's aggravating. Tig is my goofball, obviously, but Gracie looks silly sometimes, too. But she has the better PR sense, and is not often caught looking anything but gorgeous. So it is with great pride that I announce that I have quadrupled my number of Gracie bellyshots, the best of which I present to you for my Sunday catblogging. Sarah can attest to how seriously I take getting goofy Gracie shots; I embarrassed myself while on the phone with her last night, going so far as to whisper that I was getting my camera and actually tiptoeing over to the subject, who, to my astonishment, stayed still long enough to get the shot above.
And now I remember what I was trying to say. Gracie does not allow anyone but me to touch her belly. One-woman cat, dontchaknow. And this isn't actually her asking for a bellyrub. This is her being playful (there is tissue paper in the direction she is staring, I found out that Lair's cats aren't the only ones who like to play in it). After I took the shot, I rubbed her belly and she grabbed my hand. With her claws and teeth. Playing, you see. No, no blood, that's Tig's modus operandi.
And Sunday catblogging is far more relaxing than the subjects I was researching for posts. She's upstairs now, having her afternoon nap, and Tig is sleeping on the patio. I, on the other hand, am avoiding the housecleaning I need to do, because I know that once it's done, the exercise machine (which I finally fixed) awaits. Dammit.
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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.