Israeli Double Standard Time
Only last week, I wrote
about how the news services write impersonally of Israelis killed by terrorists,
and personalize every palestinian stubbed toe. Today's proof: This AP
story on the terrorists shooting in Gaza that killed two Israelis.
Let's begin at the beginning: With the headline.
Two Israelis Killed in Gaza Gun Attack
Notice how the deaths were caused by a gun attack. Not a terrorist attack,
not even "Militants kill two Israelis." You will rarely see
that headline; Israelis kill (active voice), but Israelis are killed
(passive voice). Palestinians do not kill; their rockets or guns kill.
On the other hand, Google the words "Israel
soldiers kill" and see how many results you get. I got 477. Here's
JERUSALEM (AP) - Palestinian gunmen opened fire on
an Israeli vehicle traveling on the main road connecting the Gaza Strip
settlements to Israel early Sunday, killing a husband and wife and wounding
four other Israelis, rescue workers and the army said.
That's all the detail you get in the entire articlea husband and
wife, and four unnamed, ungendered, unage Israelis. Compare that to the
Israeli soldiers kill West Bank militant
Nablus, , West Bank Israeli soldiers raided the house of a British
citizen in the West Bank town of Nablus early Thursday, killing a wanted
Palestinian militant and arresting a second man, witnesses and the army
The militant who was killed, Mohammed Alassi, 28, was
a local leader of the Islamic Jihad militant group and was responsible
for a string of planned attacks against Israel, the army said. Others
in Nablus denied he was connected to Islamic Jihad, saying he was a
member of another militant group, the Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigades.
In the headline, you have the active voice and who is to blame for the
killing: Israeli soldiers. In the first paragraph, you have the Israeli
soldiers raiding and killing. In the second paragraph, the dead
terrorist is identified and there is also a denial that he was a terrorist.
The demonization of Israel in all its forms, in three short paragraphs
and two headlines. But they're not finished demonizing Israel yet. They
have to accuse the IDF of excessive force on top of having the wrong terrorist
organization (because that counts in some strange universe).
She denied that Mohammed Alassi was a member of Islamic
Jihad, saying that he was actually a member of Al Aqsa, a militant group
responsible for scores of previous attacks on Israelis but unconnected
to the suicide bombing in Netanya. Al Aqsa confirmed that Mohammed Alassi
was one of its local militant leaders, a fact that was well-known to
Hannah Alassi said the raid came suddenly while she
was holding a small gathering of friends at her house.
We were just on the verandah, in the house, enjoying
music and coffee and company and conversation, Ms. Alassi said.
Suddenly, undercover forces surrounded the house and
set off stun grenades.
Mr. Alassi fled out the back and tried to jump a wall
when soldiers shot him in the leg and incapacitated him, she said. The
soldiers continued to shoot him at close range to ensure he was dead,
They could have arrested him, he was lying on
the ground, she said.
You see, they were innocently having a cup of coffee and scintillating
conversation, and the fact that they were wanted terrorists should not
in any way get in the way of their pleasure. And here is the AP's attempt
Major Asman said he did not have specific information
on the accusation that Mr. Alassi was killed after he was already incapacitated,
but emphasized Mr. Alassi's violent history and pointed out that the
soldiers did not kill the man who returned to the house.
Soldiers arrested the second man, Motassim Abdel Al,
23, whom the army said was an Islamic Jihad militant who had
helped plan an unsuccessful suicide bombing along with Mr. Alassi in
May. Local Al Aqsa leaders also said he was one of their members, not
a member of Islamic Jihad.
Nablus, the largest city in the West Bank, is a main
centre of militant activity. Israeli forces carry out frequent raids
Note the impersonal "the army said" and the accusatory "frequent
raids." Not searches for terroristsraids.
Now let us return to the AP story about the Israelis who died in today's
terrorist attack in Gaza.
Earlier, the army said it had captured a would-be suicide
bomber armed with an 11-pound explosive belt, who had infiltrated Israel
from the Gaza Strip and planned to attack Tel Aviv.
Enter the impersonal "army" speaking. And surprisingly, no
identification of the suicide bomber. Well, Ynet
found his age and affiliation:
Security forces arrested an 18 year-old would-be suicide
bomber on Friday. Jihad Shahada, a Fatah member, infiltrated Israel
from the Gaza Strip, and was caught in the Negev desert.
Later, the bombers handler was arrested in Jaffa,
where his estranged wife resides. The handler, a 25 year-old Palestinian
from Gaza, was named as Salam Taavat.
Funny how that works. But the AP isn't satisfied with demonizing the
Israelis for having the nerve to get themselves killed.
The violence comes as Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice left the region after a three-day visit aimed at shoring up its
fragile truce. Israel and the Palestinians declared an end to the more-than
four years of fighting in February, but violence has flared over the
last two weeks.
After the shooting on the vehicle, troops in the area
clashed with the gunmen, killing one of them and were carrying out searches
for the others, the army said.
The "violence" includes the suicide bombing in Netanya and
daily rocket and mortar attacks by palestinians, but you'd never know
that from the AP. And again, we have one more impersonal "the army
As for the rest of the article, well, if you haven't got a strong stomach,
stop reading now.
On Saturday, Abbas won praise from Rice for his efforts
to clamp down on militant groups after Palestinian police twice clashed
with militants in recent days. The clashes came as Israel massed thousands
of troops on the Gaza border, threatening to invade unless the Palestinians
stopped militants from firing rockets and mortars at Jewish settlements
and nearby Israeli towns.
"These efforts demonstrate the Palestinian leadership's
commitment to ensuring security and tracking down those that perpetrate
violent attacks that only delay the achievement of a Palestinian state,"
Rice said after meeting with Abbas.
Yes, and to celebrate these efforts, palestinian terrorists tried to
blow up many Israelis, and succeeded in murdering Israeli Gazans. (I am
so tired of calling them "settlers.") That's some success for
Rice. It's about as much as her predecessor ever got. If you recall, every
time Colin Powell was in town, the pals tried toand often didblow
up Israelis as a welcome gesture.
I can't decide which news service I loathe moreReuters or the AP.
They're running neck and neck.
The Exception Clause in the Iraqi
constitution: Still there, under the radar
Robert Mayer of Publius Pundit posts the good news: That the words "except
for Israel" have been
deleted from the latest draft of the Iraqi constitution.
One of the smallest yet significant changes is to provisions
three and four of article one. As you may recall from the previous post,
it excluded Israelis from candidacy for citizenship and prevented Iraqis
from having dual citizenship with Israel. This was one of the most irresponsible
and needless statements in the draft. You will all be happy to know
that this exception clause has since been removed and now
reads as follows:
3. a. An Iraqi may not be deprived of his nationality
nor exiled or deported unless it is proven in a trial that he provided
false essential information that resulted in his being granted nationality.
b. It is forbidden to try a person without citizenship; this shall
be regulated by law.
4. An Iraqi is allowed to bear more than one citizenship.
An Iraqi who was stripped of his citizenship after February 8,
1968 for any reason is considered Iraqi and is entitled to regain
On the surface, this does appear to be a good thing. Except for one
small fact that only those familiar with Iraqi Jewish history would
In 1950, the Iraqi parliament passed a law called Ordinance
for the Cancellation of Iraqi Nationality for Jews, Law No. 1 that stripped
Iraqi Jews of their citizenship. In 1951, the Iraqi parliament passed
another law, confiscating all Jewish property. Within a year, most of
Iraq's ancient Jewish population, my family included, fled to Israel.
Now stop and realize that Robert is an educated man with a wide knowledge
of current Middle East affairs. Yet he was still fooled by this apparent
bow to those who objected to the blatant anti-Semitism of the constitution.
But the truth is, Jews are once more excepted from citizenship in an Arab
country. The anti-Semitism of these clauses stands.
So who is this clause really aimed
It was not until the 1958 coup overthrowing the monarchy,
followed by the Ba'th party's complete assumption of political control
in 1968 that the allure of the centripetal state diminished and outright
opposition to the state from the diaspora emerged. The Shi'a Muslims,
the largest ethnic bloc in Iraq, blatantly defied the Ba'th government.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Iraqi Shi'a tried to articulate an alternative
vision of Iraqi nationhood that ran entirely contrary to the Ba'th party's
pan-Arab nationalism. The Shi'i _ulama had always been wary of the Sunni-dominated
government in Baghdad but in the Ba'th they faced a group which ruthlessly
pursued its totalitarian vision of a secular, Arab-oriented Iraq. Under
persecution, much of the Shi'i religious leadership sought refuge abroad.
In the summer of 1969, the Ba'th began to deport Shi'a in large numbers.
Then junior cleric Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, closely associated with the
leading Shi'a Islamist party, Hizb al-Dawa, escaped to Lebanon to coordinate
international protests against the regime.
A year later, Sadr returned and adopted a more conciliatory
attitude. But by the early 1970s, tens of thousands of Iraqi Shi'a had
been deported under suspicion of being an Iranian fifth column, even
during the shah's era.
Ah. The Iraqis who moved to Iran are the citizens that can reclaim their
birthrightbut not the 150,000 Iraqi Jews who fled persecution after
Israel was founded (a scene repeated throughout
the Arab world).
No Jews will be allowed to reclaim their Iraqi heritage. The
Exception Clauseadding the words, "except for Jews"
to most issuesstill stands.
Hostage situation ends; all is
The crisis is over. The funds have been collected (though I think I'm
going to leave that line up at the top of the page until Sunday, the end
of my blog week), laundered, and will soon be used in all kinds of glorious
things (think bills, and not the good kind). Thank you very, very much
to all who contributed. I bought a can of tunafish for Tig and Gracie
as a reward for being such good sports.
I am effing exhausted from my trip to Busch Gardens in 97-degree heat.
My legs are a bit sore from all that walking, I did not get sunburned,
Curse of the DarKastle is not a ride you want to wait an hour and
a half for (can you say, "21st-century 3-D funhouse?" I knew
you could), and we all were rather annoyed that we did, but hey, we also
went on all the big roller coasters we wanted with only a fifteen-twenty
minute wait (can you say, "Only fools go to Busch Gardens when there's
a heat index of 110?" I knew you could).
Sorena soaked me in Dragonland in the late afternoon. So of course, I
bided my time and loaded two of the water cannons on the deck near Roman
Rapids. Years ago, Heidi's husband taught me how lay down a line of suppressing
fire. I was tempted to get Heidi to man two more cannons, but I thought
that might be overkill. Sorena made the mistake of jeering at me because
on the first pass, I didn't recognize them quickly enough and only got
one cannon off, mostly missing. The second time, I waited until optimum
target lock, fired one (it shot left), then two (it shot right). The girls
ducked, but hey, they were getting hit from both directions. Ducking is
futile; you will be soaked.
The thing I don't get is that they go on Roman Rapids to get soaked,
but they get annoyed when I fire the water cannons at them. It's not a
heavy stream of water, so it doesn't hurt. And, well, uh, they're already
wet. It must be a kid thing. Ah, well. Best fifty cents I spent all year,
hearing their cries of indignation and calls for revenge.
Regular readers will remember I am afraid of heights. It's tough for
me to do roller coasters. I went on Apollo's Chariot yesterday for the
first time in at least a year (I think two, actually) and not only that,
but on the last hill, I raised my arms. In fact, that was the first time
I ever raised my arms on a roller coaster. Normally, I'm clutching the
bar so hard I leave fingerprints in the plastic.
On the other hand, I did lose my voice today from yelling myself hoarse
on the ride. I was operating under the theory that screaming loudly makes
the roller coaster less scary, which is what everyone says. Not agreeing
with that theory.
I am also exhausted from getting too little sleep and still working today.
In the good news department, I did really well in a preliminary interview;
there may be better news ahead. Of course, it will probably be the good
news/bad news variety. Good news, new job. Bad news, blogging will stay
in the current pattern, that is, none during the workday, though I will
continue to put up new posts every morning and evening. Depending on company
policy, I may put up a post during lunch hour. But I'm not going to have
a job where I can surf the web all day and still (somehow) get my work
done. I have no idea how people manage that; I figure they don't get much
work done during the day, or they're type AAA people like Glenn Reynolds.
I've never had a job where I don't actually have to work. I can
easily spend eight hours a day at home in front of the computer simply
reading and posting, but y'know, nobody's paying me to do that.
In any case. I'm tired. And they've finally revealed the killer on OLTL;
gotta finish watching my tape and giving the TV dirty looks every time
the killer shows his face.
Yes, a woman of many talents: Blogger. Kidnapper. Water cannon master.
And soap opera fan extraordinaire.
I'm running late due to
sleeping late because of my trip to Busch
Gardens in 97-degree heat the extensive duties concerned with the
pickup and laundering of the ransom
for this blog, so let me say thank you to those who are contributing
to the ransom fund, and I'll be back with more posts later today.
Go read this, though. It's starting to look like London
is at war. I think another country we can think of can tell them what
it feels like.
I'm thinking that these actions will not stay confined to Europe much
What? The pals are lying, and the media is buying
again? No! Yes. Another blood
libel, no less.
A Palestinian boy was stabbed to death Wednesday in
what was likely a brawl between rival clans in the West Bank.
The incident took place in a Palestinian village next
to the settlement of Shiloh in the northern West Bank.
Police received a report from Palestinians about the
stabbing, and the youth, Yazan Mohammed Mussa, 12, was taken to a hospital
in Nablus, where he died. Doctors said he had been stabbed 11 times.
The circumstances of the killing were not immediately
clear and Palestinians initially claimed the boy was stabbed during
a violent clash with settlers. The boy's father blamed settlers but
said he was unable to identify them for certain.
Later, however, senior Palestinian figures told Israel
Defense Forces figures the boy was likely murdered within the context
of a clan feud.
A youth who was with Mussa at the time of the incident
said the victim was attacked by two bearded strangers.
Here's the Reuters
Israeli settlers kill Palestinian boy -witnesses
20 Jul 2005 19:46:11 GMT
NABLUS, West Bank, July 20 (Reuters) - Jewish settlers stabbed a Palestinian
boy to death in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Wednesday, witnesses
They said the 12-year-old was ambushed by several settlers
near his home at Qaryot village outside the Palestinian-ruled city of
Nablus. He was stabbed 11 times, medics said. Palestinians who seek
statehood in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have complained of frequent
harrassment and attacks by settlers during 4-1/2 years of fighting.
Once again, how can you tell a palestinian is lying? His mouth is open.
I should also like to point out that when a palestinian is killed, you
know his age, often his name, and get personal quotes from various palestinian
spokesliars. When an Israeli is killed, the references are to "an
Israeli" and the quotes are from "the Israeli Army" or
statements from officials.
Palestinian civil war watch: The boys are
Not. Hey, more dead terrorists? What's not to like about that?
Right. And I'm outta here. There is no truth to the rumor that blogging
will be light today because I'm going to Busch Gardens. Blogging will
be light today because I am holding this website hostage until I raise
more ransom money for my pledge week. Got it? Good.
Once more, from Gaza
Ben-David concludes his series of reports from the Kfar Maimon protests.
It's very interesting that this is the reaction to
my posts, which emphasized how much the organizers are preaching nonviolent
protest - and how they were largely successful in keeping a largely
young and restive crowd on that course.
In terms of admitting defeat... I'd take that with
a grain of salt. Consider the following:
- the original plan was to set up a small camp of a
few thousand at the Kisufim crossing, to disrupt the army's logistical
preparations. If this had succeeded it is likely that they would have
been removed - violently, perhaps - weeks before the actual expulsion.
Instead, the anti-expulsion forces have demonstrated their ability to
disrupt army operations without entailing any violence or arrests to
their core followers.
- out of the media spotlight, this week has been an
enormous success in countering the demonization of the opposition movement
and winning hearts. The organizers worked hard to come up with a plan
that would unite all the factions of the religious/traditional Zionist
camp, and they succeeded in revitalizing their base. They also extended
their base by bringing in Ta Katom - the secular organization of university
students opposed to the ban - and other secular Israelis who felt comfortable
participating in a non-violent course of action.
Simultaneously, they won broader respect in the general
public. The government's heavy-handed, bumbling oversteps - such as
confiscating bus driver's licenses to keep them from getting to the
kickoff rally - have caused even indifferent secular Israelis to take
note. During my morning coffee break at work (it's GREAT to be back
in air conditioning!) the most left-leaning of my coworkers mentioned
how the driver's license thing was simply unacceptable. The fact that
all this took place not at a Gaza checkpoint, but in Israel proper,
has allowed those not sympathetic to the Jewish-values-based arguments
about withdrawal to see the other aspect: Sharon's sinister subversion
Perhaps the most important "public relations"
aspect has been the mutual lessons learned between the protesters and
the uniformed corps. Practically, it is now clear that large numbers
of motivated men, women, and children will turn out to stop the expulsion
- and that violence cannot be used against them. The protesters have
learned the full extent of their strength, and especially the strength
of the non-violent approach.
On the level of hearts and minds... it is clear that
many of the people who will be called upon to carry out the expulsion
are deeply conflicted. This protest gave the uniformed corps ample opportunity
to see close up just the decent, family people they will be called upon
to rip from their houses - people who, unlike the ultra-Orthodox haredim,
cannot be so easily demonized as "the other."
During the march around the gates yesterday, the protesters
played a parody of an army-style marching chant. A voice mimicking Sharon
called out "Left Right Left - onwards to expel them!" and
a chorus replied "Sir, I cannot do it. Sir, I must refuse"
(In Hebrew, it rhymes).
She noticed an interesting reaction: the officers looked
like they had just bitten into lemons, but the soldiers themselves were
laughing and waving. Many had met face-to-face with the protesters during
the standoff (Lubavitch was there putting tefillin on the soldier, of
course!) and had received the well-written handouts explaining the basis
for conscientious objection.
The center-right has fought since Oslo to overcome
demonizing local media that paints them as extremists. This protest
has done a lot towards that - with a little help from ham-handed Arik
himself - while revitalizing, extending, and empowering both the core
protesters and the silent majority. Without any violence.
Failure? Defeat? I don't think so.
And thank you for telling us what was happening, Ben-David.
A note for commenters on this topic: If you cannot keep it civil, keep
it out of my comments.
The hostage crisis continues
Well, since we're pretty low on ransom
money today, this blog is going to continue to be held hostage. I
wouldn't be the least surprised if blogging gets really light, especially
during the later hours of this evening and probably tomorrow day, as well.
I can see we have to work harder if we're ever going to get this blog
back. Nope. No more kitty zen posts, no more Israel briefs, no more Hulk
Well, maybe one more Hulk post. But that's it.
Contribute to the ransom fund. Shmandrew Shmullivan's got nothing on
my fund-raising techniques.
More on the Anti-disengagement
Ben-David has another report in the comments; it's easier to put them
out for you all to read.
Thanks for bumping my comment up to an entry! Here's
a brief update:
I am back home - I have to show my face at work tomorrow,
and the kids we left home were getting antsy. My wife and father have
stayed on, and my sister returned from Jerusalem to join the march.
This is typical - for an area "sealed off the army" there
has been an unprecedented amount of coming and going... even as I made
my way on foot back to my car, I passed teens and entire young families
walking to Kfar Maimon, having left their cars where the police blocked
the Kfar Maimon turnoff.
If any further indication is needed that the foot-soldiers
are not in step with Sharon, here is the story of how my nephew-in-law
got into Kfar Maimon today: his car was one of about 10 vehicles snaking
their way through the fields to avoid the army roadblocks, when they
were stopped by an army patrol.
The soldier says to them: "It's my task to prevent
you from getting to Kfar Maimon - but if you want to get there, go this
Half the drivers thought it was a trap, but my nephew-in-law
followed the directions - which quickly led to the village.
Told to me by my brother-in-law, who heard it directly
from his son-in-law, to whom it happened.
Before I left this afternoon, the plan was announced:
just before sunset Rabbi Shapira - the spiritual leader of the Religious
Zionist movement - would address us, and then he and other Rabbis and
leaders would head a procession out of the village.
Again and again it was stressed that there would be
no violent confrontation - that was the purpose of having rabbis on
the front row. Throughout this situation, teachers and Rabbis have come
and gathered their students to discuss the non-violent approach with
them. I saw several such "anti-pep" talks in backyards and
on the streets where people sat in the shade. The kids are receptive
- as I said, they are very savvy and understand that this is primarily
a media battle, and that the goal is to win hearts and minds in the
general public. As Religious Zionists, the army is OUR army too - many
of the young demonstrators will soon be in uniform themselves, or have
recently finished their duty.
My wife just called me (10:30 PM Israel time) to tell
what subsequently happened: the procession made it to the back gate
of the village, where it was stopped by rings of police and army. After
fruitless attempts at negotiation, they conducted a march around the
perimeter of the village - perhaps to dispel disinformation that there
were just a handful of protesters.
It's not clear what will happen next. The Jewish Sabbath
is approaching, which may cause things to break up.
It's important to note that the protesters have now
proven their ability to stop the Gaza expulsion in its tracks - there
are over 20,000 police and army personnel surrounding the village. This
means that all preparatory work for the expulsion has been suspended.
By combining an action like this with wildcat roadblocks and other civil
disobedience, the anti-expulsion movement can easily bring the country
- and the expulsion - to a standstill. The police and army simply haven't
got the staff to cover it all. And as is increasingly evident, the lower
level corps are disinclined and confused about their roles - which only
stands to reason, as many of those serving in our citizen's army probably
voted for Arik Sharon's original tough-on-security platform, and no
doubt feel doubly betrayed that they being called upon to implement
a policy they voted down.
My advice to readers is to be very careful of reports
of violence - or attempts to paint violent factions as the mainstream
of the anti-expulsion movement.
Just a quick clarification about numbers:
The kickoff rally in Netivot drew about 70 to 80,000
people - and I think that's a conservative estimate: I returned to the
site to retrieve my car, and got a good look at the area now that it
is empty. I also saw the extent of the long-term parking lots that were
The number of actual marchers? It probably started
out at 40-50,000 leaving Netivot. A number of those marchers returned
immediately to their cars. Some went back the next morning.
So I think the core group holed up in Kfar Maimon is
This is not the information you're getting in the news, folks. This is
the skinny from someone who was there.
From the comments: A live report
from the anti-disengagement march
The IP matches to an Israeli IP, so here is the comment, reprinted in
Greetings from Kfar Maimon!
My wife, son, and I have been participating since Monday
in the march. A brief summary of the facts - and misinformation - so
Lots of foot-dragging/disarray/unclear direction from
police and army on the ground. During the first nights 8 km hike
from Netivot, the army arbitrarily stopped the crowd halfway to Kfar
Maimon. The crowd (50,000 sounds right)moved into a nearby field and
just sat down in front of the lines of soldiers. Men, women, and children.
We cheered the helicopters with their spotlights as if it were a rock
After 45 minutes, the army backed down - just as inexplicably
as they showed up. Did they expect people to turn around after they
were allowed to leave Netivot? More evidence that someone in Jerusalem
was just banging on a table, making these guys jerk around without a
Israeli press reported that police agreed
to let us enter Kfar Maimon. Well: the protesters made camp
in a field outside Kfar Maimon. Just before dawn the army and police
deployed to surround the camp - probably hoping to dry up the march
by keeping us out in the sun, with no services, and forcing us onto
buses. Instead word was quickly passed thru the camp - and everyone
quickly folded up and moved into Kfar Maimon.
This took the better part of an hour, during which
the army and police did little to stop us - again, an indication that
the foot soldiers are (a) dragging their feet because they are not supporting
the Sharon government, and/or (b) not receiving clear orders - which
confirms many charges that there has been poor-to-no preparation for
Its clear that the move into the village has
made life a lot easier for us - and made it impossible to nip the protest
in the bud. We have food, water, other services not available in the
first camp. My son went to a screening of Lilo and Stich in the village
About the violence at the gates of Kfar
All day yesterday cars with loudspeakers announced
a gathering at 4:30 PM where our next steps would be announced. At about
3:45 the police took over the villages PR system and started announcing
that the march was called of, and buses were waiting to take us back
to Netivot - the same buses we didnt get on in the morning! One
or two guys were walking around urging people to make their way to the
gates - but we immediately noticed that none of them had the official
shirts/hats/armbands of the Yesha Council officials.
When we got near the gate, a hysterical guy was shouting
an obvious BS story about how the police had beat up an old lady. That
was all we and others had to hear - we immediately started shouting
that this was a provocation. To their credit, most of the young people
immediately stopped and listened to our explanation. The officials showed
up and immediately announced that this was all false.
Of course those 5-10 minutes of video - and the handful
of young guys that got whipped up into a pushing match - were what led
All the speakers and printed materials given out here
have stressed the nonviolent nature of the march, which was upheld last
night and throughout the day. And most of the young people here came
of age during the days of Oslo - when they saw their parents and teachers
dragged through the media mud. They are very savvy.
The police have since taken complete control of the
villages PR system - a lovely bolshevik touch - and todays
announcement that we are pressing on tonight had to be done with jury-rigged
amplifiers and megaphones.
Overnight, our ranks have swollen by several thousand
as people stream down to join in. We pitched our tent for the night
in an open park area that contained 4 tents. When we woke there were
at least 12 tents and tens of people in sleeping bags. I have met several
friends who arrived last night by driving through the fields. Again,
this is an example of confusion/lack of motivation on the part of the
army - they are obviously not enforcing the close-off policy strongly
We have heard other horror stories - the army boarded
buses and took the drivers license away, so he could not continue
to drive. And a group of bus companies from the north is suing because
the police called them and threatened them not to take jobs that involved
driving people to the protests.
Democracy in action - NOT.
Currently the police have planted items in the Israeli
media saying that the protesters had given up and were dispersing -
ludicrous to us because we were simultaneously hearing the leaders of
the march announce (over the remaining megaphones and amps!) that we
were setting out on the 2nd leg of the march at nightfall, and welcoming
We still dont know if we will continue from here
- my father is not so young, and it is very hot. But be very careful
what you read in the papers, folks
This is not an Israel briefs
This blog is being held hostage, remember.
Think Reuters will cover this? The PA has
journalists from covering the fighting
and Fatah. No, can't have the world know that the killers are turning
on each other, can we?
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in the Gaza Strip
on Tuesday instructed local reporters and photographers to refrain from
covering the clashes between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority security
In a statement, the syndicate, which is controlled
by members of the ruling Fatah party said that "pictures that some
journalists are conveying to the international and local public opinion
don't benefit the struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation
It warned the journalists against continuing to cover
the "unfortunate clashes for fear that that they would add fuel
to the fire."
The syndicate warned that anyone who violates its instructions
would have to bear the personal and legal consequences of his or her
Referring specifically to local photographers, the
syndicate urged them to place the national interests of the Palestinians
above all other considerations.
"Refraining from covering these sad events will
end the current conflict," it pointed out.
Uh-huh. Because nothing solves conflicts like ignoring them in the press.
Tell me again about that democratic state the pals want next to Israel.
The fifth column: Eleven percent of terrorist
attacks are caused by palestinians who entered Israel via the family reunification
Eleven percent of the Palestinians involved in terror
entered Israel through the process known as family unification, the
head of the Shin Bet security service said yesterday during a rare appearance
before the Knesset Interior Committee.
Yuval Diskin told the closed-door meeting that of the
225 Israeli Arabs involved in terror, 25 were Arabs who had come to
live in Israel mainly through marriage to an Israeli woman. He added
that 64 percent were Palestinians who lived mainly in Israel, while
36 percent continued to live mainly in the West Bank and Gaza.
Of the terror attacks involving Palestinians who had
come to Israel through family reunification, 16 were suicide bombings.
Other attacks involved the attempted kidnapping and murder of members
of the security forces, and the placing of car bombs or other explosives.
In these attacks, 19 Israelis were killed and 83 were wounded.
Well, then. Stop the program. Screw world opinion; take away a tool for
murderers. I don't care if 89% are using it legitimately. Stop the death
Red Ken, Red Ken, your Jew-hatred is showing:
London Mayor Ken Livingstone says it's all the fault of the Jooooos!
I was going to cover this, but Lynn got to it at the
Jewish View and at her
place. (She's also got plenty about the disengagement,
check it out.)
Reuters Moral Equivalency Watch: Can Reuters
sink any lower? Well, of course they can, but get this little bit of moral
GAZA (Reuters) - Gunmen from Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbass Fatah faction and Hamas militants exchanged fire
on Wednesday just hours after an agreement to end the worst domestic
violence in years.
Leaders from the groups quickly intervened to restore
calm, but the clash underlined tension in Gaza ahead of Israels
plan to withdraw from settlements in the occupied territory.
Israels own bitter divisions were bared open
too as rightist opponents of Prime Minister Ariel Sharons pullout
plan vowed to keep trying to march on the main settlement bloc in defiance
of security forces.
The planned withdrawal from the Gaza settlements and
four of 120 in the West Bank, starting next month, has raised the stakes
on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In Gaza, Fatah and Hamas leaders had agreed overnight
to end internal street fighting that erupted last week when Abbas ordered
his forces to stop rocket attacks by militants who killed a woman inside
But at least five fighters were wounded in pre-dawn
clashes. They came from both sides. Two teenagers died in last weeks
infighting. About 13 were wounded in gunbattles on Tuesday.
Right. Israels bitter division is a large, loud protest
march. The PAs is a gunfight in which 18 of their own were shot
in the last few days.
Unbelievable. Yet not unexpected. Eff off and die, Reuters. Cross-posted
to The Jewish View.
And that was not a post. Hit my tipjars, because this blog is being held
Hostage situation erupts!
You know, anyone can hold a pledge week. Anyone can conduct a begathon.
Most of them are boring as all hell. I'm not going to name names here
(Shmandrew Shmullivan), but at this blog, however, I'm not going to continue
with either of these concepts. I have a better idea.
holding this weblog hostage. You can't have it back until you've paid
a ransom. I'd like to ask for a million dollars, but then, I'd like to
win the lottery, too. Instead, I'll just ask you for contributions of
five, ten or more dollars payable to my Paypal and Amazon
tipjars. (The Amazon allows anonymous donations, fitting for a ransom.)
If, at the end of the week, the ransom has been paid, you can have the
In the meantime, I will not be posting. I will not be posting about the
situation in Israel, or kitty zen pictures (okay, well, I haven't put
up one of those in a long time, maybe I should choose something else),
You can forget about cat pictures. I won't be posting shots of Tig in
his jungle nest out on the patio.
I won't be posting shots of Gracie in the Chair That Swallows You Whole.
Nope. You won't see any of those pictures here. Nuh-uh.
In fact, come to think of it, perhaps I should hold the cats hostage,
too. Yes, I think I will. Ransom them if you want them back on the blog.
Yep. That's it. This blog is being held hostage. It'll cost you five
or ten (or more, if you like) bucks to get it back. Per person, of course.
The Exception Clause, and then
Glenn Reynolds points us to Publius
Pundit's analysis of the new Iraqi constitution, which has these charming
paragraphs that illustrate perfectly The
Exception Clausewhich is, of course, the addition of "Except
for Jews" (substitute Israelis; same thing) in nearly all things.
Nowhere, however, is it more evident than in these excerpts from the Iraqi
3. Any individual with another nationality (except
for Israel) may obtain Iraqi nationality after a period of residency
inside the borders of Iraq of not less than ten years for an Arab or
twenty years for any other nationality, as long as he has good character
and behavior, and has no criminal judgment against him from the Iraqi
authorities during the time of his residency on the territory of the
4. An Iraqi may have more than one nationality as long
as the nationality is not Israeli.
The Iraqis could not be more crystal-clear in their intent: No Jews allowed,
thank you, in spite of the fact that there were 150,000
Jews living in Iraq in 1948; today, fewer than 100 remain of the 2,700-year-old
I must admit, I expect nothing less of the Iraqis. But I'm puzzled by
something that Rober Mayer wrote, and I should like to know why he feels
this was a necessary part of his post:
Suspicion of Israel, as we all must know, is everywhere
in the Middle East. Iraq needs to strike it from their constitution,
however, if in fact this is being considered. I understand that they
must be suspicious of Israelis commissioned by the government to obtain
citizenship and act within Iraqs political structure, but having
this anti-Israel provision is highly symbolic and permanent. It would
be better to work toward good relations, and then, with regards to the
constitution, set a more general precedent for Iraq citizens not born
to the country. A provision could be adopted, such as in the United
States, where citizens not born in Iraq cannot run for high office (though,
I cant imagine one would win anyway). Besides, they should be
concerned about foreign government meddling from organizations based
in Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. They should take this into consideration
moreso than long-standing Arab paranoia about Israel.
Why should the blame be laid on Iraqi fear of Mossad agents within their
midst? This is problematic in several ways: First, that Mayer feels it
necessary to lay the blame for Iraq's anti-Israel sentiments on phantom
Israeli spies. Second, that Mayer doesn't see anything inherently wrong
with that false assumption. But mostly, because the anti-Israel sentiment
has nothing to do with fear of Mossad agents penetrating their government,
and everything to do with anti-Semitism.
I think Mr. Mayer needs to do a little homework, and a little more analysis
into his own views on Israel, because I'm seeing a huge mistake being
made here. Perhaps he could lay the blame for the anti-Israel "paranoia"
where it belongs: In the anti-Semitism of the Arab and Muslim world.
Hamas claims victory: I knew they would. You knew they would. This is
what unilateral withdrawalunder effing firegets
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar rejected Palestinian Authority
claims that the firing of rockets on Israel was causing damage to Palestinian
interests, saying the attacks had brought about the decision to withdraw
from the Gaza Strip.
[...] "Who said that the rockets are harmful to
the national interests of the Palestinians," Zahar asked. "History
has proven that the rockets have been in the interests of the Palestinians.
The rockets have forced Israel to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, and
they will end the occupation in the future. It's the resistance, and
not the negotiations, that brought about the end of the occupation."
Uh-huh. And as we have learned from the rise of the PNA, appearance is
everything with these people. I don't care how many Israeli military leaders
tell us they're full of hot airtheir followers believe them. And
the world secretly believes them, toowitness the willingness of
Britain and the EU to treat with them.
Terrorism has been rewarded. The lesson isn't learned yet.
Really, we're nice guys, too! Testifying
for the defense at the Sami El-Arian trial: A terrorist leader who points
out that just because Islamic Jihad commits suicide bombings doesn't
mean they're all bad.
Abu Amr said that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was
once a secretive organization, but its leadership was now public knowledge.
He read from a paper he wrote for Al-Arian in 2000 for use in a legal
proceeding involving the defendant's brother-in-law, Mazen Al-Najjar,
who spent three-and-a-half years in a US jail as a security threat before
The group "engages in a wide range of nonviolent
activities, including political, social support, student groups, kindergartens
and cultural activities," Abu Amr read from his document.
Say, good to know you failed with El-Arian's brother. May you have the
same luck this time.
Speaking of Islamic Jihad: Looks like the
non-charitable wing has a few openings.
IDF forces killed two senior Islamic Jihad fugitives
in the Jenin area of the West Bank.
Two other Jihad activists were arrested, Israel Radio
Good for the IDF.
Palestinian civil war watch: Here's hoping.
GAZA At least seven Palestinians sustained injuries after clashes
between Palestinian Authority security forces and Hamas terrorists resumed
Intra-Palestinian violence continued to escalate as al-Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades members delivered on an earlier pledge and joined PA forces
in their battle against the Hamas.
At one point, Fatah members set a Hamas religious studies center on
War crimes! War crimes! They burned down a school! UN! Help! UN!
Oh, wait. It wasn't Jews doing it. Never mind.
Pledge week continues
Thanks again to the people who have been contributing, and if you're
a regular reader here, and have never so much as uttered a comment but
read every day, please stop and think of how much time I spend writing,
and then think: It costs something like five bucks a week for a subscription
to the newspaper, and I'm a hell of a lot more interesting than most newspapers.
I'm cuter than most newspaper reporters, too.
Surely you can shoot me five or ten bucks. I only ask for money um, let's
see... maybe twice or three times since I put up the tipjars. That's about
once a year (unlike some high-profile bloggers whose name I won't mention,
And yeah, the begathon is going to keep going for the rest of the week.
C'mon, my invisibles. You can remain invisible by contributing to my Amazon
which allows you to contribute anonymously
The weekly Weekly
As promised, here are some more stories found exclusively at The
Weekly World News:
Guys: How you can look
like the Hulk, without exercising:
"Muscle implants are the latest thing in plastic
surgery," says Dr. Eduardo Alvarez of Los Angeles. "We've
been helping women achieve the curves they've wanted for years, so now
it's time to give men a little boost, too."
[...] Men have been lining up at the doctor's office
in record numbers for the surgery, dropping upwards of $15,000 to get
the "Hulk" look, says Dr. Alvarez.
"The response to the surgery has been phenomenal,
both for the patients and for my practice. They walk in looking like
something from Revenge of the Nerds and walk out looking like the Terminator
-- all in a matter of hours."
[...] "I don't care," says John Keller of
Culver City, Calif. "I went from being a nobody to somebody that
everyone wants to be around. I look how I want to look, and I don't
have to sit around grunting and sweating to have this killer body.
"I love myself now."
His girlfriend agrees. "He's always looking at
himself naked in the mirror. It's embarrassing.
"Sure, he looks great now," she says. "But
he still can't open a jar of pickles for me."
Somebody check with Miss Manners: Yes, there
is a strip
club etiquette. The WWN shows you how:
4. KEEP "witty" negative comments to yourself.
Wisecracks like, "That skinny blonde looks like Ann Coulter on
crack," can deflate a dancer's self-esteem, causing her to mess
up her routine -- or even take a nasty spill. "We hear more than
you think over the music," reveals Party, a 21-year-old stripper
in Dayton, Ohio.
6. NEVER spank a dancer's derriere to get her attention
-- that's just as rude at a strip club as at an office. And if there's
a no-touching policy, you could be unceremoniously ejected. Instead,
ask the bartender to signal the lady.
Right. Never let it be said that yourish.com doesn't give you the real
skinny. (The WWN has a thing for Coulter, methinks.)
This one's for Harrison:
Oh, no! Not the
dog world, too!
SHOCKING STEROID SCANDAL AT DOG SHOW
By BERNARD DANE
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Steroids have reared their ugly head
in the unlikeliest of places: The hallowed benching areas of the dog
The showplace of the world's toniest canines is embroiled
in a steroid controversy brought to light by these exclusive photos
taken by Weekly World News. The shocking series was snapped outside
the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York.
The photos show Mr. Parsley, a 4-year old German shepherd,
being fed dog biscuits in the shape of barbells by his owner, veterinarian
Mary Jane Snow.
Weekly World News also collected crumbs from the treat
and took them to our New York laboratory. Tests show that they contained
corn meal, white flour, beef stock -- and sphingosine-derived lipids
from pit bulls. In other words, anabolic steroids.
Well, there you have it. They have evidence. Sarah,
you'd better watch out at your next dog show. Some of your competitors
might be on drugs. Pit bull drugs! Gasp!
Tune in next week, when we help you get rid of your rude neighbors. (No
Lip service to stopping terrorism: The PA
the Netanya bomb planners.
The masterminds behind last week's suicide bombings
in Netanya are being protected by the Palestinian Authority at a government
compound in Tulkarm, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin told ministers at the
weekly cabinet meeting, Army Radio reported.
Tulkarm was one of the towns recently handed over to the PA. Good to
know that Israelis can count on their partners in "the peace of the
First, they blew up the Jews: One of the
London bombers may have helped
plan the attack on Mike's Place in Tel Aviv. Yes, all terrorism is
global now. As I've been saying, Al Qaeda has learned from the palestinians.
But it's a religion of peace: Two American
Muslim converts caught
for a string of robberies were found to have plans of various Jewish
buildings, including the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles.
Although there is no evidence of a specific terrorist
plot, law enforcement officials say materials recovered at the South
Los Angeles apartment of one robbery suspect, Levar Haney Washington,
25, suggest that an attack might have been planned at any of nearly
two dozen addresses, including National Guard recruiting facilities,
two synagogues and a building believed to be the Israeli Consulate in
The fifth column is here. Attacks on American soil are inevitable as
well. Especially when the FBI refuses to call terrorism by its true name
(attack on El Al in LAX, anyone?).
The rockets glare: The pals keep 'em coming.
Even though Abbas says
he's going to make
them stop. Uh-huh. Because he's been so effective to date, what with
all those dead Israelis and all.
Speaking at his Gaza City office, Abbas said, "We
are determined to stop the launching of the homemade rockets, whatever
the price. We are going to do our utmost to stop these rockets. I cannot
promise how much time it will take me."
Once again, the PA is protecting the masterminds of last week's Netanya
suicide bombing. We should believe him because...?
But first, a message from our
Thanks to everyone who hit the tipjar last week. And if you've been reading
this weblog regularly but have never contributed, please consider it.
Five or ten bucks isn't a lot, but if fifty or a hundred of you sent me
that much, things would be a whole lot better. Amazon's tipjar
is anonymous, if that's an issue for you.
Times are tough right now. I've been temping for and trying hard to get
into Large Financial Company in Richmond, but it's a slow process. In
the meantime, temping doesn't exactly cover the bills.
Unlike Andrew Sullivan, I'm not asking you to cover my summer jaunts
to Fire Island. Just help me keep the wolves from the door while I'm getting
a full-time position. See, the Worldwide Zionist Conspiracy has to maintain
its image by not making all Jews rich, and unfortunately, I've
been on that list since before birth. Ergo, I have to work for a living.
How do I get off this list, anyway? Where's my piece of the pie, huh?
Huh? Hello, WZC representatives, can you at least get me into Large Financial
Anyway. If you can help me out, it'd be great. Of course, I'd rather
get a job, but y'know, the market hasn't quite picked up yet.
The Harry Potter party
a couple weeks ago, I'm at B&N with my niece, her mother, and a couple
of her friends. We're looking at the hoopla for the release of the latest
Harry Potter book, and I know that Heidi is working that night, and I
say, "You know, I can take Sorena to the party if she wants to go."
Of course, she wants to go. And so it's settled. Heidi pre-orders the
book, we discuss what time I'll pick Sorena up, and the time slips away.
Last Thursday, I call Heidi and settle the details. I don't see any reason
to get there before 9:30 or 10:00. Sure, it'll be a madhouse, but how
many people could there possibly be who have children who are such devout
Harry Potter fans that they'll be crowding Barnes & Noble until midnight,
waiting for their first shot at the new book?
Oh. That many. But there's something wrong with this picture.
Wait. Where are all the kids? Those aren't little kids in line. I thought
Harry Potter was a kids' book! Oh, here's one. Her name is Taylor. She's
eight. The two women who were with herwho seemed to be about late
teens, early twentiestold me she was their cover. She's probably
not even going to buy the book. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if she's
too young to read the book.
(In actuality, many of the teenagers have probably been reading the series
since they were much younger, and as Harry's been aging a year with each
book, the current book is aimed at the young adult audience. Snogging
alert, little ones!)
After standing in line for an hourduring which time B&N employees
came by with free ice water, Harry Potter glasses, and lightning tattoos,
we finally got in. There were various activities for the kids, which of
course, the teens and twentysomethings utilized as well. Check out the
shell game below!
Those boys behind Sorena are not little kids. By the way, my niece
wasn't fooled for a moment. She chose the right cup and won the magic
We checked out the rest of the activities. Oh, phew, there were
girls Sorena's age.
by the way, is dressed as Hermione in the scenes where she's not wearing
robes, but jeans and a pink sweatshirt. We didn't have time to poof out
her hair. Well, okay, we didn't really think of it, but heywe still
wouldn't have had time even if we had thought of it, so there you have
Sorena made herself a wand and then we wandered (get it? get it? WAND-ered?
AHAHAHA, sometimes I just slay myself!) around the store, as, from time
to time, an annoying B&N employee would announce, "One hour until
Harry Potter!") and equally annoying people in the store would cheer.
I mean, hello, did nobody have a watch?
There was a costume contest for the various age groups. Here are the
finalists in the under-eleven category.
It was way too loud over there, what with people shrieking their approval
of the kid they thought should win, so I couldn't tell you which one won.
We continued WANDering (ahahaha, that's still making me laugh!) around,
Sorena posing for various pictures. I like this one.
was a painting of Harry, Ron, and Hermione that you could pose with as
well, but y'know, I like this one better, and, well, it's my blog, Sorena,
Finally, midnight rolls around. We had Wristband Number 172. They called
people up fifty at a time, and did an outstanding job of selling the books
as fast as was humanly possible. It was almost as if they used magic to
help it along. Hey, ya think? Naaaaah.
Anyway, I did not pre-order my book, because I thought I'd have the whole
week to do it, and then I got called in for a temp job before I could,
and so, I was discussing with Sorena the various ways I could buy my copy
with her. I suggested the simplest scam: Just tell the person at the counter
that we'd pre-ordered two and there was a mistake made. Sorena seemed
embarrassed. I guess she figured that I probably shouldn't lie to being
with, and then there was the whole pre-teen embarrassment factor that
there might be a fuss. So I said okay, I wouldn't try it. They called
our number, we raced over to the line and found the end. Before we could
get to the counter, her mom showed up. Heidi and I discussed how I could
get my own copy of the book. I had no intention of waiting in the orange-wristband
line; they were barely up to forty and I was number 126. I figured I could
just get the book the next day, when a thought occurred to me: "Say,
why don't we just ask them politely if we can buy two copies?" Good
idea, we all agreed. And when we got to the counter, we asked, "Can
we buy two copies?" "Sure!" said the cashier, popping a
second book on the counter. Mischief managed.
On the way out, we received some more gifts: As many more Harry Potter
glasses and lightning tattoos we wanted, a poster, and a green wristband
with Hedwig and the date of the book's release. Sorena asked if she could
take an extra one for a friend of hers. She gives these things to her
friends, too. She is an honest child.
Was it all worth it? Well, you know what they say about pictures being
Yes, that's a lightning tattoo on her forehead.)
As for the book itself, it's better than the last two, much darker, and
quite good. I look forward to the last in the series. But not to another
book party. I think for that one, I'll just drop her off and wave goodbye.
Proof of bias
Reuters piece is an excellent example of the media bias against Israel.
NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip (Reuters) - A mortar bomb
fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip hit a house in the
Neve Dekalim settlement on Sunday, causing several Israeli casualties,
a rescue service said.
Notice how impersonal the report is. The casualties have no names, ages,
Compare that to this paragraph from the main
Reuters story about the impending Gaza “incursion, which details
the death of a terrorist responsible for the rocket attacks:
In the southern Gaza Strip, a commander of the Hamas
group behind much rocket fire was killed with a single bullet fired
from a nearby settlement. Saeed Seyam’s father said he had been
going to water the garden. The army said it killed him as part of a
revived assassination policy.
You have his name, a quote from his father about how all the poor terrorist
was doing was watering his garden at home when he was struck down by a
sniper’s bullet (and may I say: Good shot!).
Later in the same article, Reuters mentions the Israeli victims of Hamas
terrorist attacks, once again in a completely impersonal manner:
Hamas said it fired mortars that hurt six Israelis
in southern Gaza settlements in retaliation for the death of Seyam.
Soon after, Palestinian witnesses said two people were injured by tank
And then, to conclude the article, we have this blather:
A similar scenario of attack, retaliation and revenge
— for which each side blames the other — put paid to many
previous peace efforts.
"Around and around we go. A trap that no one knows
how to escape from,"said Roni Shaked, commentator in Israel's best
selling Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
Once again, the media ignore the fact that Israel took constant gunfire,
rocket and mortar attacks, and two sucide bombings before responding.
There was no truce. There was only Israeli restraint. Which got them
Invade Gaza. Level the area where they're shooting rockets. The press
can't get any worse.
Cross-posted to The Jewish View.
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 is also a good bet if you've never been here before.