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This one's for Harrison, whose current choice of blog colors is unreadable in Firefox (Yes, that's a hint. See my rant on reverse type and hard-to-read weblogs). Pups for Peace are saving Israeli lives.

Despite appearances, Mr. Finkelstein is performing a job crucial to Israel's domestic security. He is part of a team - half of whom are two-legged, the other half four - that works tirelessly to prevent the bomb attacks that regularly rock the country. As an instructor for the US-Israeli charity Pups for Peace, his job is to ensure that their highly trained squad of bomb-detecting dogs stays in top form.

"First, Cliff," says Finkelstein as a brindle Dutch shepherd appears, straining at his leash. Cliff's handler, Elad Bachal, releases the excited young dog.

After just two minutes of sniffing, Cliff discovers the first of the hidden explosives. Mr. Bachal rewards him with his toy - a simple fabric cylinder known as a "puppy roll" - and Cliff cavorts with glee.

Finkelstein extracts the dynamite. "If the dogs didn't find what they're looking for at least once a day," he explains, "they might lose interest in their work."

The "Judaization" (/sarcasm) of Jerusalem continues:

Hanegbi reports that in the first 14 months since the Temple Mount was reopened, up to October 2004, some 70,000 Jews had visited the site, an average of 5,000 per month.

Assuming that this average continued in the past three months, this means that in the space of a year and a half or so, 85,000 Jews have visited the Temple Mount. These are dramatic numbers, as compared to the few thousand Jews who would visit the Temple Mount each year prior to its closure and reopening.

Hanegbi, a former minister of internal security, wrote that these visits, which necessitate the presence of a permanent police force on the Mount, "are getting the Palestinians accustomed to accepting the deep connection of the Jewish people to the place where the Temple stood. This, of course, will bolster our claim to sovereignty over the Mount, in the event that practical negotiations are held in the future on a diplomatic settlement."

Yes, get used to it, people. That's our holiest shrine that you tried to steal.

A light among the darkness: The king of Morocco saved the Jews of his nation from the Nazis.

Morocco was a French protectorate at the time of the war, and Mohammed V rejected orders set out by France's collaborationist Vichy government as early as 1940. He refused to make the 200,000 Jews then living in Morocco wear yellow stars, as they did in France.

"There are no Jews in Morocco. There are only subjects," the king is reported to have said.

Serge Berdugo, the head of the Council of Israelite Communities of Morocco, said that in a special show of defiance, King Mohammed V in 1941 invited all the rabbis of Morocco to the traditional throne ceremony, a major event held each year by the royal palace.

A true example of Muslim-Jewish friendship, and one I had no idea existed. Unfortunately, seven years later, Moroccans rioted against Jews upon the founding of the State of Israel, causing the Jewish community of Morocco to flee to Israel. There are only 7,500 Jews left today.

Damn. I was trying to post positive things today, but, well, there you have it. The world does not like the Jews.

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The scapegoating of the Jews

There's a reason Jews who experienced the Holocaust say they feel like it's the 1930s all over again. (Hat tip: Joel G.)

On Tuesday evening I had the misfortune to take part in a high-profile and packed debate in London in the ‘Intelligence Squared’ series. The motion was ‘Zionism today is the real enemy of the Jews’. The motion was proposed by three Jews: Avi Shlaim, the ‘revisionist’ Israeli historian; Jacqueline Rose, a professor of English; and Amira Hass, a journalist for Ha’aretz in the disputed territories. Opposing it were three Jews: myself, Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli Labour foreign minister, and Raphael Israeli, professor of Islamic, Middle Eastern and Chinese history at the Hebrew University.

My side lost by 355 to 320. It is hard to convey the sickening nature of this event, and not just because we lost. The sub-text of the motion was that the Jews are responsible for their own destruction; the real danger they are in comes not from Islamic terrorism, nor the attempt to ethnically cleanse the Jews from Israel, nor the rise in anti-Jewish feeling in Britain and Europe, but from the Jews themselves because the Israelis have turned into monsters. Thus the attacks on them, far from being deplored, are implicitly endorsed; and, to carry this thinking to its logical conclusion, the way to defend the Jews is to remove the source of the contagion — in other words, to destroy the state of Israel.

It gets worse.

To arrive at this analysis, they rely upon blatant lies, omissions and distortions about both the history and present situation of the Jews in first Palestine and now Israel. They single out and concentrate on examples of bad behaviour by Israel — which undoubtedly happen and should be deplored — while decontextualising them so that the rarity of such events is not acknowledged, Israel is held to an impossibly perfect standard of behaviour which would be expected of no other country in such a parlous situation, self-defence is turned into aggression, and the ways in which Israel behaves infinitely better than most other countries faced with a similar situation are resolutely ignored. They take the existential threat to Israel and twist it into its opposite, so that Israel is presented instead as posing an existential threat to the Palestinians. They dwell obsessively, maliciously and disproportionately upon the ‘crimes ‘ of Israel — which are for the most part actually examples of Israel’s attempt to defend itself — while ignoring totally the real crimes, the massacres and aggression and tyrannies, which are perpetrated against the peoples of Arab countries, including the Palestinians, by Arab states.

This scapegoating of the Jews, this moral inversion which blames them for their own destruction, is a calumny which has repeated itself over and over again throughout the long history of the oldest hatred. For this ancient libel to be perpetrated by Jews themselves is, as I have said, nothing new. It is none the less unutterably shocking to hear it in action in 21st century Britain.

The world does not like the Jews. But we already knew that.

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Thing 0: As in, Oh, yeah: I'm getting my ass kicked in the JIB awards. Go, click, vote. Update: Thank you, thank you, I'm doing much better in Best Overall. But Meirav was two is languishing down near the spot where it will be disqualified. A few votes for Best Post? Please? (And while you're at it, Taxi and Niceness are quite good. I haven't finished reading them all yet.) And yes, Dave has taken Kevin's lead and allows you to vote once every 24 hours. Sigh. One vote, Dave. One!

Thing 1: I'm stuck on the essay I promised. It is now titled "The Wandering Jew." The reason I'm stuck is because there are two essays in my head, and they're battling each other to come out. One will win eventually, but it won't be today. I'm pretty sure I know which one is winning, and it's not the one that has all the dry facts in it.

Thing 2: Yesterday, Tig got up long before I wanted to. I was awake, but heading back to sleep. He yowled from the floor at me to wake up. I ignored him. I wanted to see what he would do. He jumped into bed and over me and yowled at me from the right. I ignored him. He jumped back over me, yowled in my left ear. I ignored him. I ignored him as he started pawing at the blanket. Two hours later, I woke up, and there was a Tig-sized lump under the covers at my feet, purring happily.

Thing 3: It doesn't take much to make me happy. I found Coke glasses for 99 cents at CVS. I love Coke bulb glasses, but refuse to pay much for them. Plus, they're generally too thin and break too easily. My favorite all-time Coke glass was a very thick bulb glass with a mug handle attached to it. Shop-Rite sold them. Mine broke eventually, and I've never found anything like it since. I am currently drinking out of my new Coke glass. I have two new Coke glasses, anticipating breakage. But until then, I am a happy camper. And, apparently, a cheap date.

Thing 4: On Monday, I checked the TV Guide online and saw that there was a new Gilmore Girl episode. Hooray, I thought, finally! I put the tape in the VCR Monday night, woke up Tuesday morning, put the tape carefully aside for later. I went out to lunch with Sarah and the kids, did various other things, and finally sat down to watch the new episode.

And remembered that this farging backwater of a non-major media city, Richmond, does not have the WB, and as a result, gets the Gilmore Girls a week behind the rest of the country. At 2:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. It was a repeat. Dammit. Well, at least Scrubs was new, and it was the one with Colin Farrell.

Thing 5: Had lunch with the G.'s at Brock's BBQ on Tuesday. It started off a little roughly. Three of the four children wanted to sit next to me, and, well, I am not a triangle. After a bit of bargaining, we convinced the six-year-old to give up his seat, while the twins sat on either side. Which worked fine until Max decided he needed to sit next to his mother, so then we had his oldest brother switch seats with him, which made that the second time he switched seats because Nate didn't want to let Max sit next to me at first. (He wanted the window seat. Jake kindly offered to give up his window seat to prevent tears.)

During lunch, I realized that one of my main purposes in life is to feed meat to Rebecca. When we eat at Hi's, she gets her share of my roast beef sandwich. When we eat at Brock's, my job is to give her skinless chicken (God forbid there should be skin or crust on it), cut to bite-sized pieces. (She refused to eat one that she felt was not cut small enough, until I cut it smaller). I also have to give her various side dishes, such as hush puppies and green beans, and don't even get me started on Chinese food. That girl has eaten at least half my chicken and broccoli every time we have Chinese for lunch. You know the old saying about being hungry an hour after eating Chinese food? Well, with me, it's because Rebecca has eaten my lunch. I have never seen a child who can hold so much food in such a tiny stomach.

The funniest moment of the day: Rebecca was showing off her belly button, so I commented on it, which, of course, got Max to raise his shirt. "I see your belly button," I told him. "I have a penis," he told me.

I could not stop laughing.

Three-year-olds. They're even more fun than two-year-olds, because they say and do more embarrassing things. And the best part about it is, it doesn't matter what they do, they can't embarrass me. I'm not their mother.

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Remembering the Wannsee Conference and the Liberation of Auschwitz

This article is posted as part of the January 27, 2005, BlogBurst (see full list here), to remember the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, sixty years ago, on January 27, 1945.

On January 20th, we marked the anniversary of the 1942 Wannsee Conference. In the course of that Conference, the Nazi hierarchy formalized the plan to annihilate the Jewish people. Understanding the horrors of Auschwitz requires that one be aware of the premeditated mass-murder that was presented at Wannsee.

Highlighting these events now has become particularly important, even as the press reports that '45% of Britons have never heard of Auschwitz' (Jerusalem Post, December 2, 2004)

The gate of Auschwitz

The Holocaust, symbolized by Auschwitz, the worst of the death camps, occurred in the wake of consistent, systematic, unrelenting anti-Jewish propaganda campaigns. As a result, the elimination of the Jews from German society was accepted as axiomatic, leaving open only two questions: when and how.

As Germany expanded its domination and occupation of Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, the Low Countries, Yugoslavia, Poland, parts of the USSR, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Italy and others countries, the way was open for Hitler to realize his well-publicized plan of destroying the Jewish people.

After experimentation, the use of Zyklon B on unsuspecting victim was adopted by the Nazis as the means of choice, and Auschwitz was selected as the main factory of death (more accurately, one should refer to the “Auschwitz-Birkenau complex”). The green light for mass annihilation was given at the Wannsee Conference, January 20, 1942.

The Wannsee Conference formalized "the final solution" - the plan to transport Europe's Jews to eastern labour and death camps. Ever efficient and bureaucratic, the Nazi kept a record of the meeting, which were discovered in 1947 in the files of the German Foreign Office. The record represents a summary made by Adolf Eichmann at the time, even though they are sometime referred to as "minutes".

Several of the Conference participants survived the war to be convicted at Nuremberg. One notorious participant, Adolf Eichmann, was tried and convicted in Jerusalem, and executed in 1962 in Ramlah prison.

The mass gassings of Europe's took place in Auschwitz between 1942 and the end of 1944, when the Nazis retreated before the advancing Red Army. Jews were transported to Auschwitz from all over Nazi-occupied or Nazi-dominated Europe and most were slaughtered in Auschwitz upon arrival, sometimes as many as 12,000 in one day. Some victims were selected for slave labour or “medical” experimentation before they were murdered or allowed to die. All were subject to brutal treatment.

Child victims of the Holocaust

Children, victims of Nazi "medical" experiments

In all, between three and four million people, mostly Jews, but also Poles and Red Army POWs, were slaughtered in Auschwitz alone (though some authors put the number at 1.3 million). Other death camps were located at Sobibor, Chelmno, Belzec (Belzek), Majdanek and Treblinka. Adding the toll of these and other camps, as well as the mass executions and the starvation im the Ghettos, six million Jews, men, women, the elderly and children lost their lives as a consequence of the Nazi atrocities.

Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army on 27 January 1945, sixty years ago, after most of the prisoners were forced into a Death March westwards. The Red Army found in Auschwitz about 7,600 survivors, but not all could be saved.

For a long time, the Allies were well aware of the mass murder, but deliberately refused to bomb the camp or the railways leading to it. Ironically, during the Polish uprising, the Allies had no hesitation in flying aid to Warsaw, sometimes flying right over Auschwitz.

There are troubling parallels between the systematic vilification of Jews before the Holocaust and the current vilification of the Jewish people and Israel. Suffice it to note the annual flood of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN; or the public opinion polls taken in Europe, which single out Israel as a danger to world peace; or the divestment campaigns being waged in the US against Israel; or the attempts to delegitimize Israel’s very existence. The complicity of the Allies in WW II is mirrored by the support the PLO has been receiving from Europe, China and Russia to this very day.

If remembering Auschwitz should teach us anything, it is that we must all support Israel and the Jewish people against the vilification and the complicity we are witnessing, knowing where it inevitably leads.

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Tomorrow is the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Elie Wiesel was a prisoner there. He wrote about it in Night, his memoir of the camps.

Suddenly the silence grew oppressive. An SS officer had come in and, with him, the odor of the Angel of Death. We stared fixedly at his fleshy lips. From the middle of the barracks, he harangued us:

"You're in a concentration camp. At Auschwitz..."

A pause. He observed the effect his words had produced. His face has stayed in my memory to this day. A tall man, about thirty, with crime inscribed upon his brow and in the pupils of his eyes. He looked us over as if we were a pack of leprous dogs hanging onto our lives.

"Remember this," he went on. "Remember it forever. Engrave it into your minds. You are at Auschwitz. And Auschwitz is not a convalescent home. It's a concentration camp. Here, you have got to work. If not, you will go straight to the furnace. To the crematory. Work or the crematory—the choice is in your hands."

We had already lived through so much that night, we thought nothing could frighten us any more. But his clipped words made us tremble. Here the word "furnace" was not a word empty of meaning: it floated on the air, mingling with the smoke. It was perhaps the only word which did have any real meaning here. He left the barracks.

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News roundup

I should not be enjoying this: I'm a bad person. I laughed when I read this:

Dozens of settlers from the area approached the PA police forces and slashed tires of their security vehicles. The settlers were protesting the decision to allow Palestinian forces to deploy in the Gaza Strip.

Sorry, but the first thing that came to mind was, "How do you like it?"

Deny, deny, deny: So the Belgian ambassador to Lebanon holds a meeting with Hassan Nasrallah, the creep in charge who urges the destruction of Israel on a regular basis. Israel protests the meeting, citing the fact that, oh, Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, at least, to everyone but the EU. Today, Belgium suddenly decides that its ambassador acted wholly on his own. Because, you know, it's so likely that an ambassador will do something that would endanger his career without first checking with the home office.

Belgium clarified Tuesday that a meeting its ambassador in Lebanon held last week with Hizbullah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah was not coordinated with Brussels and does not reflect Belgian policy.

Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht phoned Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom in New York and said the Belgian ambassador acted of his own accord and not according to instructions he received from the Belgian foreign ministry. De Gucht said the ambassador was sent a letter of reprimand for his actions.

Ouch, a letter of reprimand! Wow, that'll teach him.

The Russian Bear, redux? Add renewing ties with Syria to Vladimir Putin's apparent attempts to bring back the grand old days of Russian hegemony. The missile deal that Israel and the US got Putin to cancel was only part of it. Russia just canceled billions of dollars of Soviet-era debt with the Ba'athis nation, probably as a reward for supporting the Iraqi "resistance."

It was unclear what Moscow, whose influence waned in the Middle East after the collapse of the Soviet Union, would get in return, but Assad called on Russia to boost its voice in global politics.

That's just the writer being disingenuous. Look at the next two paragraphs. I didn't even have to read the article to know what Russia was getting for its $9.8 billion.

"I would like to support Russia's political course and at the same time express a protest against the political course of the United States," Assad told Moscow students.

"Russia's role is huge and Russia is well respected by third-world countries ... These countries are really hoping that Russia will try to revive its lost positions in the world."

Another Russian revival, and not in a good way: Let us not forget that the authors of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were the Russians. Last week, 20 members of Russia's parliament asked the Prosecutor General of Russia to launch an investigation into Jewish organizations, with the ultimate intent to ban them all. Sound familiar? Yeah, it did to me, too.

One more time, the mantra: Anti-Semites of the world, just die already.

What biased media? Has anyone read about the Israeli effort to help the tsunami victims? No? Gee, I don't understand it. All you have to do is look. With a magnifying glass. Or perhaps a microscope. Apparently, good news and Israel don't sell.

Right. And I'm outta here. I have an essay to finish today. I think it may be titled, "Jews, go back to Germany."

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Jewish and Israeli Blogger Awards

Dave put them up a couple of days ago. You can go here to see them all. The ones I specifically aimed for are best post and best overall. I think Lair Simon of This Blog is Full of Crap deserves best humor blog, not me. Vote for him.

Go, look, vote. And remember that there are a lot of good bloggers nominated. Many of the Jewish bloggers on my blogroll are there, too. Vote for them as well. (Notice how carefully I am not recommending anyone other than Lair, who isn't running against anyone else I know. Well, except me, but like I said—vote for him. I am. I don't run a humor blog.)

Update: Okay, you can't read this post and not vote for Imshin. I'm sorry. I was trying not to play favorites. But I can't help it.

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Hamas' hudna: Lie, lie, betray, and lie

Not satisfied with whitewashing Hamas as having calling for Israel's destruction in the past, AP is now calling Hamas simply "violent." You know what? Road Runner cartoons are "violent."

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - The violent Islamic Hamas is prepared to suspend attacks if Israel stops targeting militants and agrees to release thousands of Palestinian prisoners, the top Hamas leader told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

But wait, there's more! This quote is unintentionally hilarious.

Speaking to The Associated Press by cellular phone from an undisclosed location, Mashaal said success of the truce effort depends on Israel.

"This is a moment of test," Mashaal said. "It puts the responsibility on the international community and the United States to force Israel to recognize the Palestinian rights."

"If the Zionist enemy abides by certain conditions, such as releasing all prisoners and detainees and halting all acts of killing, assassination and aggression against our people inside and outside (the Palestinian territories), the general national position of all Palestinian factions has become that they are ready to positively deal with the idea of a temporary truce," Mashaal said.

Let me translate that last paragraph for you. He didn't say Hamas would effect a truce. He said if Israel agred to all of Hamas' conditions, then they'd think about a temporary truce.

It's the same thing, all over again, with the world ready to spin it as Israel's fault as soon as they respond to a suicide bombing, shooting, or attack on Israelis on either side of the Green Line.

By the way, if you need to know why the anti-Israel spin in every AP article? Here's why:

Associated Press Writer Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, contributed to this story.

I'm guessing he's the one with the contacts in Hamas. They have offices in Damascus. But hey, it's our imagination, this anti-Israel bias.

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I really need to catch up on things, but today I was catching up on friendships. I met Sarah and all four G. kids for lunch, then went to Heidi's for some more catch-up, then ran errands. However, I found a new blog this week, The Wandering Jew, that you can check out while you're waiting. I can't say exactly what it is. Is it a photoblog? Yes. Is it a political blog? Yes. Is it a Jewblog? Yes. Go check it out for yourself, and see what I mean. What I can say is that it's quite good.

And since I'm plugging good blogs, here's something from my draft folder that didn't make it in but should have:

How did I miss this one? Rick Richman runs a helluva blog. Start at the top and scroll down. And yes, I agree about his reference to Boker Tov, Boulder, a blog I've read before but haven't yet linked.

Go, read, I'll be back later.

I've also been preparing a special post for Thursday, the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It's not quite there yet, but it will be by Thursday.

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On Second Thought

Worst. Day. Ever. Oh, wait. This is supposed to be the worst day of the year. I wish someone had told me that before I woke up, so I'd have been properly prepared. Instead, I just thought it was another Monday in January. Can we rewind so I can be bummed?

Micromanagers suck great big hairy moose [censored]: That's all I'm saying. I'm not saying who it was, or what it concerned, I'm just saying that micromanagers suck great big hairy moose [censored]. And I hate them. (That expression, by the way, is one I learned from a Princeton graduate. I think she got her money's worth from that phrase alone.)

Oh, that's what that beeping was: Yesterday morning, I'm not quite sure when, I was woken up by a beep-beep-beep that I didn't recognize. Damned CO detector, I thought, and went back to sleep. I got up, did my things, wondered why nobody had called to talk snow and ice or whatever with me, and cleaned off my car. About 12:30, I decided to call Blockbuster and make totally sure that I wouldn't be charged a late fee if I didn't bring my movie back yesterday. My cordless phone wasn't on the charger. I finally found it, and it was dead. Oh. I knew I'd forgotten to do something before I went to bed that night.

I have a land-line phone, but I keep the ringer volume off because I hate getting woken up by the phone. Plus, the ringer usually scares the cats right off the bed, which is a rude awakening for me if they decide they need to exit on my side. Claws and morning-sensitive skin: Not a great combination.

Shyeah, right: Two days ago, I cooked up a bunch of potato sticks, some to eat with dinner, some to put away for the next day. Somehow, the extra ones never made it off the kitchen table. Well, yes, they did, but the journey to my stomach wasn't exactly what I was hoping for.

And I wonder why my jeans are getting tighter.

Oh, he wanted a snug: The scene in my kitchen five minutes ago:

"Tig, want to go out?"
"Tig, come over here."
"Tig, shut up!"
"Tig! Dammit!"
[pick up cat, cuddle, pet]

Damned cat. And he's already yowling again. Damned cat.

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Whitewashing terror

A couple of days ago, I was all set to congratulate the AP for this boilerplate copy that now accompanies all of their stories that feature Hamas:

There have been pauses in their assaults in the past, but with a new Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, taking over from Yasser Arafat and the administration envisioning opportunities for the Palestinians to get a state the latest pledge by Hamas could be an indication of a possible cease-fire.

Even so, Hamas, which the State Department has denounced as a terrorist organization, remains sworn to Israel's destruction.

But then, while searching for the boilerplate in the latest AP stories, I found it's been changed to this:

Participants in the cease-fire talks have said a document being considered calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, the areas Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

Hamas in the past has called for Israel's destruction, and acceptance of the document would mean a significant change of position for the Islamic militants.

Suddenly, Hamas is no longer a terrorist organization, and the AP has also decided that it no longer calls for Israel's destruction, in spite of the fact that the charter is easily available online. Without having to go backwards in time, you can read the words of Hamas that declare this:

Surat Al-Imran (III), verses 109-111 Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.

[...] For our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave, so much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah’s victory prevails.

[...] The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!

Or this:

Article Eleven: The Strategy of Hamas: Palestine is an Islamic Waqf
The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it. No Arab country nor the aggregate of all Arab countries, and no Arab King or President nor all of them in the aggregate, have that right, nor has that right any organization or the aggregate of all organizations, be they Palestinian or Arab, because Palestine is an Islamic Waqf throughout all generations and to the Day of Resurrection. [...] but the control of the land and the land itself ought to be endowed as a Waqf [in perpetuity] for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection.

Or this:

Article Thirteen: Peaceful Solutions, [Peace] Initiatives and International Conferences
[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad:

[...]But the Islamic Resistance Movement, which is aware of the [prospective] parties to this conference, and of their past and present positions towards the problems of the Muslims, does not believe that those conferences are capable of responding to demands, or of restoring rights or doing justice to the oppressed. Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the nonbelievers as arbitrators in the lands of Islam.

Note that the above clearly states that there can be no negotiation. In any case, this is the organization that the AP has now deemed has, "in the past," called for Israel's destruction. As to why the AP has suddenly decided that Hamas no longer calls for Israel's destruction, well, you're going to have to ask the editors that.

But wait, there's more. Just when you think the AP can sink no lower, you need to see this. Go ahead, click the link first, and read the story. Pay particular attention to the picture on the left-hand side, and the caption that reads:

(AP) A member of the Arab Commando group which seized members of the Israeli Olympic Team at their...
Full Image

When you click on the link location, you get this caption, underneath one of the masked Black September terrorists standing out on the balcony of the Munich Olympics Village where they were holding the Israeli Olympic athletes hostage:

A member of the Arab Commando group which seized members of the Israeli Olympic Team at their quarters at the Munich Olympic Village appears with a hood over his face on the balcony of the village building where the commandos held several members of the Israeli team hostage in this Sept. 5, 1972 file photo. The incident prompted President Nixon to organize a panel to establish plans to help avert terrorism in the United States. (AP Photo/Kurt Strumpf, File)

Why would they call it an Arab "Commando" group? I don't know. Perhaps because that's what the editor deemed was inoffensive, as they have this copy in the article:

The group was formed in September 1972 by President Nixon after Palestinian commandos slaughtered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games.

"Defining deviance down" was a phrase that Daniel Patrick Moynihan made popular. Now, terrorists are "commandos," hostages are no longer killed, they're simply "seized," and Hamas called for Israel's destruction in the past.

No, there's no bias to the media. None at all.

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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.