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Friday, April 23, 2004

Good Shabbos

An Israeli solider prays after returning from an army operation in the
northern Gaza Strip, Thursday April 22, 2004, at an army camp next
to the Eli Sinai settlement in nothern Gaza Strip.
(AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe,
Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe,
Who is good and does good.

Sharon issues another "veiled threat" against Arafat

AFP: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon issued yet another veiled threat against Yasser Arafat, saying the Palestinian leader "no longer has immunity from attack" by the Jewish state.

"I promised (US) President George W. Bush three years ago not to attack Arafat, but I am no longer bound by that promise, and (Arafat) no longer has immunity," Sharon said.

In a quick retort, Palestinian negotiations minister Saeb Erakat told AFP Sharon "has decided to physically attack president Arafat. That would open the way to yet more violence and bloodshed."
That rhetoric is getting really old. What are they going to do? Rally? Call for the deaths of Jews? Burn things? Blow themselves up? The shock value has worn off.

Masked Palestinian militants, carrying Hamas flags, march in the
streets of Ramallah during a mass rally organized by the Islamic
Resistance Movement in honor of its late leader Abdelaziz Rantissi.
(AFP/Abbas Momani)

Palestinian Hamas supporters chant anti-Israel slogan during a rally at
the Khan Younis refugee camp southern Gaza Strip April 23, 2004.
Thousands of Hamas supporters attended the rally at a memorial
service of slain Hamas leader Abedel Aziz al-Rantissi.
REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Masked Palestinian Hamas activists burn a mock Israeli helicopter and
the Israeli flag and U.S. flags in the West Bank town of Ramallah, Friday,
April 23, 2004 during a memorial event for the late Hamas leader killed
by Israel last week Abdel Aziz Rantisi. In the backround a portrait of the
former Hamas leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin who was also killed by
Israel last March 22. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

If they want attention, they're going to have to do something really different, like negotiate a settlement.

Found a new blog of interest: PaleoJudaica

"a weblog on ancient judaism and its context"
Discovered this site via a Judith Weiss post at Kesher Talk. The debate of whether to replace "Holocaust" with "Shoah" is one that really interests me.

Moreover, via PaleoJudaica, I came to this special edition on Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ in The Journal of Religion and Society, which includes these articles
Are the Gospel Passion Accounts Anti-Jewish?
Dennis Hamm, SJ, Creighton University

Christian Anti-Semitism: Past History, Present Challenges
John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Catholic Theological Union

Romans, Jews, and Greeks: The World of Jesus and the Disciples
Sidnie White Crawford, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The Arrest and Sentencing of Jesus: A Historical Reconstruction
Philip Cunningham, Boston College

Gibson's Passion: A Case Study in Media Manipulation?
Mark Silk, Trinity College

and much more
Wow, two posts and I'm shot. Blogging can be dysfunctional, like when it gets to be 2:00 in the afternoon and you haven't even taken a shower yet. While I go tend to my life, you can check out my friend Raz Telchai's letter in today's Daily Camera.

Kol hakavod, Raz!

This is not funny: "KNOCK A JEW IN THE OVEN"

Holocaust Remembrance Day at Rutgers
What you see below is a cartoon that appeared on Holocaust Remembrance Day in the "entertainment magazine" of Rutgers University - The Medium Online.

The "game," the funny "game," is to toss balls which, if accurately thrown, will cause the Jew to fall into the oven - an obvious reference of course to crematoria.

I agree with Naomi Ragen, who sent this to her list after seeing it at LGF; she says
"I urge those of you in a position to do so to strongly protest to Rutgers and to the office of the Governor to have the people involved expelled. Those involved said they thought it was funny."
This is the contact information:
Richard L. McCormick, President
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Old Queen's . College Avenue Campus
83 Somerset Street . New Brunswick . New Jersey . 08901
Telephone: 732/932-7454
Fax: 732/932-8060
Email: president@rutgers.edu

Governor James E. McGreevey
You may also find it helpful to contact the Director of Community Affairs at Rutgers (serving as an "official liaison with citizens and local community"), Linda Bassett
(732) 932-6950 or email bassett@rci.rutgers.edu, and/or

The Office of Compliance, Student Policy and Judicial Affairs, which "administers the student judicial process at the University level and is the office primarily responsible for implementing the University Code of Student Conduct." The director is Brian T. Rose
(732) 932-7312 or email cspc@rci.turgers.edu
Can you say, abomination? (a cause of abhorrence or disgust)


The student editor who selected this cartoon is a 19-year-old Jew, who says
"Humor is a way of honoring them and trying to get over it and to laugh. . . . The Holocaust has been taboo for years."
Honoring them?

Get over it?

This kid is one sick puppy.

The president of Rutgers is asking for an apology. That's about it, folks. No disciplinary action, no touching the $10,000 handed over to this publication (per semester? per year?) by the Rutgers College and Livingston College student governing associations, no nothin' . . . just one sick Jewish kid who may or may not apologize.

We have surely failed both our grandparents and our children.

[Photo of] one of the cremation pits used to burn the victims of the gas chambers in Auschwitz. These "burning pits" were used mainly in the summer of 1944, when the extermination was going at such a rate that the furnaces couldn't handle the number of corpses.

In a [1943] letter from SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Jahrling to SS-General Kammler, the cremating capacity of the five Auschwitz crematoriums is specified as 4,756 per 24 working hours.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Lisa recommended I get this book. She found it in the Bargain Books section of the Borders bookstore in Huntington, WV for $7.99. I'll be damned if I didn't go to Borders in Boulder today and there it was . . . in the Bargain Books Section. For $7.99. The cover on mine looks a little different than this picture, though; it has Einstein on it.

It's a good reference. Recommended.
While I was in the bookstore, I noticed a large display of anti-Bush books, one even called a "handbook" for Bush-hating. I couldn't figure exactly why it bothered me so much, beyond the obvious. Then I saw Rudy Giuliani's book, Leadership, and realized why the sadness. Bush hatred isn't FOR anything, FOR any qualities or values, except maybe the assertion that violence only leads to more violence (I simply don't believe that).

The lady who works at the Sinclair station in my neighborhood told me today that it's Bush's fault groceries are so expensive. She said, from all she's been reading, he's really scarey. It's like some kind of alternate universe, where people who already hate Bush watch Bush-bashing news on tv and read Bush-bashing newspapers, containing Bush-bashing editorials and "news reports," and then to relax in the evening, they read the handbook. It worries me.

Bloody Wednesday

Imshin led me to this photo and the Yad Vashem website

An accurate account of the circumstances surrounding this photograph was found from two very different sources. The first is the Olkusz Yizkor book, which describes the fate of the community during the Holocaust period. In the book, the photograph forms part of the narrative of the events of that same day. The book describes how a German police unit arrived in Olkusz on July 31, 1940, and gathered all the Jewish men in the main square. There the Jews were forced to lie on the ground while the policemen and members of the SD “registered them”. During this process, the Germans brutally beat the Jews, shooting one of them 2.

In order to further heighten their suffering, Rabbi Moshe Yitzhak Hengerman was made to don his tallith (prayer shawl) and tefillin (phylacteries), and to stand barefoot and pray next to the prostrate Jews. Hence the scene in the famous photograph. The Jews were permitted to return home that day, and the Germans left. Due to the beatings suffered by the Jews, the event was subsequently referred to as “Bloody Wednesday” 3.

Exactly the same story is documented in the second source: the criminal investigation files against war criminals which were compiled in Germany in the ’50s and ’60s. A very similar version of the events is revealed from these files, which also add several details. According to the information in the files, the police activity on July 31, 1940 came in the wake of the killing of a German policeman, Ernest Kaddatz by members of the Polish underground on July 16, 1940. All the Jewish men were concentrated in three places: next to Czarna Gora, next to the old Electric Company installations, and in the market square. The photographs show the detainees in the market square and in one other place.

The Jews were forced to lie face-down on the ground ý while the policemen and SD members “registered them” at a table set up there. Throughout the day, the German policemen kicked the men and beat them with their rifle butts. One Jew, Tadeusz Lupa, an electrician, could no longer bear the suffering, and tried to escape. The policemen shot and killed him. The Germans often justified executions by reporting them as ‘escape prevention’, and the reported circumstances of this murder are therefore suspect. This source also refers to the day as “Bloody Wednesday.”

Thanks to Yad Vashem’s Pages of Testimony project, we know for certain what happened to Rabbi Hengerman: he was murdered in 1942, probably in Majdanek.
The Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names
will be online, and accessible via Yad Vashem's internet site, at the end of the summer 2004.


If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times.
Now maybe you'll believe it . . . when you hear it from an Arab
Farouk Kaddoumi, the PLO's hard-line "foreign minister," said Thursday that when Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat talks about the need to pursue the struggle against Israel, he is referring to the armed struggle. Kaddoumi said the armed struggle was the only way to force Israel to accept the demands of the Palestinians.

Kaddoumi's remarks were made in an interview with the Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab. He admitted that the PLO charter, which denies Israel's right to exist, was never changed.

In response to a question what does Arafat mean when he talks about the continuation of the struggle, Kaddoumi, who is one of the few PLO leaders still living in Tunisia, said: "Yes, the national struggle must continue. I mean the armed struggle. In the past we abandoned our political parties in favor of the armed struggle.

"Fatah was established on the basis of the armed struggle and that this was the only way to leading to political negotiations that would force the enemy to accept our national aspirations. Therefore there is no struggle other than the armed military struggle."

Commenting on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, Kaddoumi said: "If Israel wants to leave the Gaza Strip, then it should do so. This means that the Palestinian resistance has forced it to leave. But the resistance will continue. Let the Gaza Strip be South Vietnam. We will use all available methods to liberate North Vietnam."

Kaddoumi revealed that the PLO leadership has entrusted him with being responsible for the "portfolio" of supporting the Iraqi resistance against the US-led coalition forces in Iraq. "There is no doubt that the Palestinian revolution supports the Iraqi resistance and we have seen demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories in backing the intifada and resistance in Iraq," he said. "I'm in charge of this issue and I condemn the American position."

Kaddoumi welcomed the establishment of an armed group in Iraq named after slain Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin, saying this would increase pressure on the US. He described the new anti-American group as an "excellent phenomenon."

Kaddoumi said that, contrary to what many people believe, the PLO charter was never changed so as to recognize Israel's right to exist. "The Palestinian national charter has not been amended until now," he explained. "It was said that some articles are no longer effective, but they were not changed. I'm one of those who didn't agree to any changes."

Asked about US and Israeli demands to halt terror attacks as a condition for resuming the peace process, Kaddoumi replied: "They can go to hell!"

This was in the Jerusalem Post. You should definitely read it all . . .

. . . and pass it around:
Associated Press intdesk@ap.org

The Guardian (UK) letters@guardian.co.uk

Los Angeles Times letters@latimes.com

New York Times letters@nytimes.com

Newsweek letters@newsweek.com

Reuters editor@reuters.com

Time Magazine letters@time.com

The Times (London) worldnews.editor@the-times.co.uk

USA Today editor@usatoday.com

U.S. News and World Report letters@usnews.com

Washington Post foreign@washpost.com
NB: You can find almost any media outlet at Newslink.org

Regime Change

Mark Steyn: Mideast instability? Bring it on

[Condoleezza Rice] was talking about the fourth plane on September 11th, Flight 93, the one that crashed into a field in Pennsylvania en route to destroy either the Capitol or the White House. If it had reached the latter, that would have been the "money shot" that day, as it was in the alien-invasion flick Independence Day – the center of American power reduced to rubble. What happened on 9/11, said Rice, was an attempt to "decapitate us." If not for quirks of flight scheduling and al-Qaida personnel management, the headlines would have included "The Vice-President is still among the missing, presumed dead" or – if they'd got really lucky – that the presidency had passed to the president pro tem of the Senate, octogenarian West Virginia Democrat, porkmeister and former Klansman Robert Byrd.

In other words, if you're wondering why this administration's approach to terrorism is so focused on regime change, it's because the terrorists came so close to changing America's regime.
It's so hard to pull excerpts from Steyn's work; it's all so good. One more bit:
I've never been to Gaza, but I have mooched around the West Bank and, compared to such nascent nations as Slovenia or East Timor, it's all but impossible to detect evidence of any plausible nationalist movement. Everywhere you go, you see the glorification of the martyrdom movement and the Jew-killing movement, and evidently those are such a hit that Palestinian nationalism has withered in their wake, except insofar as when all the Jews are gone, what's left will by default be Palestinian.
Read it all at the Jerusalem Post.

The times they are a-changin'

Arafat kicks some Al-Aqsa Brigades out of his headquarters

This is interesting. Read it all.
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP) - Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was accused of abandoning some of his own loyalists to meet their fate at the hands of Israeli forces after kicking them out of his West Bank headquarters.

"Yasser Arafat forced me and 20 of my comrades from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades to leave the Muqataa," said one of the leaders of the organization whose ill-timed and bloody suicide operations have often embarrassed Arafat's Palestinian Authority despite its roots as an offshoot of his Fatah movement.

"Arafat has abandoned us. It's a crime, because we are above all members of Fatah and he should protect us," Ali Barghuti said Thursday. . . .

Palestinian political analyst Mahdi Abdelhadi said it was likely that Arafat had ousted the militants because he was angered by the Al-Aqsa Brigades' alliance with Hamas in joint suicide operations.

"Arafat sent a clear message about who the boss was and whom they should answer to," he told AFP.

Now this couldn't have anything to do with the recent demise of Yassin and Rantisi, could it? Or maybe Bush's outspoken criticism of the PA?

Nah, Bush and Sharon never do anything right - how could I be so stupid? Next thing you know, I'll be voting Republican. . .

The Shark might be voting Republican too (I don't know). He says, "Yes, it really does seem that a couple of well-aimed missles are far more effective than years of mushy diplomacy." Good job, good blog.

Submitted to the Daily Camera

As the 56th anniversary of the reestablishment of the nation of Israel approaches, Kimberly Gibbs (4/17/04) publicly advocates a Palestinian "right of return." This buzz-phrase is not warm and fuzzy, nor does it advocate anything peaceful. It indicates a very radical position, shared by master-terrorists and their followers. It is a thinly-veiled call for the destruction of Israel, and as such it is completely unacceptable.

When Israel reasserted her sovereignty in 1948, that nation was not yet 24 hours old when attacked by the converging armies of five Arab countries. The secretary general of the Arab League proclaimed, "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre . . ."

Arab leaders urged Arabs living in Israel to flee -so they wouldn't be in the way of the attack- and promised they would be returning to their homes(or to houses of the Jews) very quickly, when the Jews were annihilated. According to official records, some 540,000 Arabs fled; at the same time, 750,000 Jews were expelled from the Arab countries. The displaced Jews were immediately absorbed by Israel, but the Arabs never absorbed their brothers and sisters, nor assumed any moral or legal responsibility for their wellbeing -- not to this very day.

Those original Arab refugees, together with three generations of their offspring, now number over 4 million persons. One third live in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Israel (in the disputed territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza). Moreover, 1.3 million Arabs live in Israel as citizens.

Do the math: with only 5 million Jews in Israel, wholesale repatriation of as many Arabs would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish country. Arab "right of return" is nothing more than a demographic version of driving the Jews into the sea.

Israel must exist - it is the only sovereign refuge for Jews in the world. I don't see how anyone who wants peace can ignore or contravene this moral imperative. True advocates for peace would do better by bringing pressure to bear on Jordan, Lebanon and Syria - to absorb, as full and equal citizens, the Palestinians who have lived in those countries for 56 years . . . in refugee camps.

Anne Lieberman
Boulder, CO

from Naomi Ragen
Go to this site. You won't be sorry.

Robert Ariail, The State, South Carolina
January 14, 2004

My thanks to Jon for finding this.

North Korea: State of Emergency

North Korea declares state of emergency after 3,000 killed or injured in explosion at N. Korea’s Ryongchon station 12 miles from Chinese border when two trains carrying oil and liquid petroleum gas collided. Nine hours earlier, North Korean ruler Kim Jong-Il passed through on his way to Pyongyang from secret visit to Beijing.
Wow, we really don't need that part of the world to become "inflamed" right now.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

from the Rocky Mountain Palestinian-Loving and Jew-Hating Center in Boulder

The situation in Iraq is but one part of the deadly policies of the Bush Administration; now is the time for us to make the connections. Just last week Bush met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and lent unilateral U.S. support to his plan to leave settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories in tact. A few days later another Palestinian leader was assassinated by the Israeli military, with no sanctions taken by the U.S. The Bush Administration's policies are aggravating an already intolerable crisis, one that could quickly engulf the whole region. Occupation: wrong in Iraq, wrong in Palestine.
So Rantisi was a "Palestinian leader"? wrong.

The aforementioned "already intolerable crisis," according to DEBKA
Bush says a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an intolerable threat to Middle East peace and mortal danger to Israel.

DEBKAfile’s Exclusive Sources reveal: Basra and Riyadh suicide bomb blasts in which up to 100 believed killed Wednesday were synchronized by al Qaeda for its first regional terror offensive.

Third and fourth attacks of series thwarted by Jordanian security’s earlier capture of chemical bomb team from Syria

Weapons were to be delivered to waiting Iraqi guerrillas, first discovered in al Qaeda’s service. Team divided in two for Amman mega-strike and infiltration of Israel through Jordan River Adam Bridge crossing to blow up Israeli target and spread toxic gas or terminal.

At least 9 reported killed, 125 injured in devastation of Saudi General Security building Riyadh by two bomb cars Wednesday. In Basra, many children among 68 killed and hundreds injured, including 5 British soldiers, when four car bombs hit two school buses and four police facilities.

Jerusalem police now attributes Monday’s shooting attack against 20-year old Nir Gil outside his Givat Hamivtar home to Palestinian killer-team terrorizing capital’s northern suburbs. Gil is in serious condition.

Banagor's Back!

He's back and he's got four new posts. He gives Jack Straw a bunch of well-deserved hell.

Bush Says WHAT?! World Owes Israel's Sharon a 'Thank You'

Reuters: President Bush on Wednesday rejected international condemnation of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and said world leaders owed him a "thank you" for his plans for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

In addition to backing Sharon's Gaza pullout plan in a historic U.S. policy shift, diplomatic sources said Bush and Sharon had settled most of their differences over Israel's barrier in the West Bank, once derided by the U.S. president as "a wall snaking through" Palestinian areas and a threat to peace efforts.

The shift came after Sharon agreed to modify the route of the barrier in certain areas to address U.S. concerns it intruded too deeply into Palestinian areas. "The fence is no longer an issue," a diplomatic source said.

Speaking to newspaper editors in Washington, Bush blasted the Palestinian leadership as having "failed the people, year after year after year" by not preventing terrorism against the Jewish state.

Bush sparked a backlash in the Arab world last week by endorsing Israel's right to hold on to some West Bank settlements on land captured in the 1967 Middle East War.

He also said a right of return by Palestinian refugees to Israel was unrealistic.

"Ariel Sharon came to America, and he stood up with me and he said, 'We are pulling out of Gaza and parts of the West Bank,"' Bush told a newspaper conference in Washington.

In "my judgment, the whole world should have said, 'Thank you, Ariel. Now we have a chance to begin the construction of a peaceful Palestinian state,"' Bush added.

Lamenting the response to Sharon's initiatives, Bush said: "Yes, there was kind of silence, wasn't there? Because the responsibility is hard."


Bush's support for Sharon may have gone over well with conservative and Jewish voters in the U.S. presidential election, but it inflamed the Arab world.
It's not Bush, it's those burning tires . . .

UPDATE: The full text of the President's remarks are available online, from the White House.
"It's amazing that we're growing in spite of the fact that we've been through a recession, a war, an emergency and corporate scandals."

I was thinking that myself. Is it any shock that the economy lost so many jobs, given 9/11? That attack was meant to harm, among other things and people, our economy. And it did. But that's not Bush's fault, it's the terrorists' -- and they should be held responsible, their rage notwithstanding.

I am so very happy

Not because I had such a good day today - shopping for bathtubs outside in the snow at the plumbing supply yard, taking my husband to the emergency dentist because he bashed his teeth on the tailgate of his truck, and mopping up a flood in the laundry room (there are tree roots in the drainpipe) -- but because (drum roll). . . I have an article in this week's Jewish Press.

Go to www.JewishPress.com and click on the Page One Feature: "Truth, Terrorism and The Times -- My First Year As A Blogger."

Hot spit.

I tried to copy my husband's photograph of fireworks for the occasion, but he's got it protected. "Access denied." I should've known.

Why do they care about the Jews so much?

Arutz Sheva: Jews represent less than 1/4 of 1% of the world's population. Why all the headlines? What's all the fuss?

At 3-5 pm today (8-10 am Eastern time) join Israel National Radio's Eli Stutz and Yishai Fleisher and talk about it. Email comments now to Eli@IsraelNationalRadio.com and Yishai@IsraelNationalRadio.com.
During showtime, call in toll-free:

from Israel 1-800-270-428
from North America 1-800-270-4288
from England 00-800-3700-7000
from South Africa 09-800-3700-7000

B"H, On April 27, the state of Israel will celebrate Independence Day and 56 years of existence. Her (2003) population is 6,748,100 -- up from 4,821,700 the year before. 39% of the world's Jews make their home in Israel.

Hatikva -The Hope-
is the Israeli national anthem

Just a few extremists

"dealing with the problem of Jewish existence" since the 7th century

Palestinian Hamas supporters shout anti-Israeli slogans during a
Hamas rally on the last day of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz
al-Rantissi's mourning, in Gaza April 20, 2004. Tensions in the
Gaza Strip have risen since Israel's assassination on Saturday
of al-Rantissi, leader of the militant Hamas group. Hamas v
owed to carry out '100 retaliations' for the killing. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

ZOA: NEW YORK - The Palestinian Authority's official television station has broadcast a religious sermon by one of its spiritual leaders declaring that "Jews deserve death." The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), in response, is urging the Bush administration to suspend U.S. aid to the Palestinian Arabs.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: "It is no mystery what inspires young Arabs to murder Jews. Their television station broadcasts sermons by their religious leaders declaring that Jews deserve death. The question is: why does the Bush administration continue to indirectly help sponsor this hatred, by giving the Palestinian Arabs $215-million each year?"

In a sermon broadcast on Gaza Palestine Satellite TV on March 12, 2004, Sheikh Ibrahim Mudayris, speaking at the Zayid Bin-Sultan Mosque in Gaza . . . recalled with pride how Mohammed, founder of [Islam], "dealt with the problem of Jewish existence before establishing the State of Islam in Medina" a reference to the slaughter of Jews in the 7th century CE Arabian peninsula.

The sheikh continued: "Here are the Jews today taking revenge for their grandfathers and ancestors, the sons of apes and pigs. Here are the extremist Jews demanding their rights. Some extremists even demand their rights in Medina. This is the extremist tendency of Jews. They are extremists and terrorists who deserve death, while we deserve life, since we have a just cause." (Translation courtesy of the U.S. government's Foreign Broadcast Information Service.)

Lileks in the Times-Picayune

Shall we grovel?

. . . Kerry repeated his constant campaign theme: his intention to drop to one knee, Jolson-style, in the United Nations General Assembly and beg for forgiveness. "Within weeks of being inaugurated, I will return to the U.N. and I will literally, formally rejoin the community of nations and turn over a proud new chapter in America's relationship with the world."

It plays to the base. The left is terribly worried about what the popular kids are saying about them in the United Nations. "We've alienated the world! For heaven's sake, we've alienated China! Oh, and Free Tibet!" The right couldn't care less, but what can you expect out of a party that would rather get married to Great Britain than have an affair with France? The undecided middle -- defined at this point as "people who aren't paying attention" -- is waiting to learn why we'd be safer trusting an organization whose response to Rwanda was to send not armies, but condolences. And even that took years.

One suspects that the number of undecided Americans may be fewer this week than the last -- at least if they heard about the U.N. reaction to Israel's ballistic dismissal of Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Hamas' leader-of-the-week. What a loathsome man he was. A architect of death and terror. Religious bigot, child-killer, slaughterer of fellow Arabs. Israel finally takes him out. The United Nations springs into action -- to consider a resolution to condemn the attack.

It was "extra-judicial," you see. Contrary to "international law." In the mind of a Eurocrat, whose paycheck demands belief in these ephemeral concepts, these are grave charges. To your average American, however, the strike on Rantisi was like a strike on Osama bin Laden. Anyone whose main objection to the death of a terrorist is its "extra-judicial" nature has odd priorities, particularly in wartime.

It's as if U.N. groupies think we should prop up "international law" so it'll be our shield when the tides turn against the West. As if a triumphant Hamas would petition The Hague for the right to exterminate the Jews before the final pogrom began.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Michael Totten is right: this is creepy

Here's the link

Meanwhile, three polls show Iraq and terrorism have become more important to voters, though the economy remains the top single issue - go figure - and Pres. Bush is "UP," leading Kerry by 3-5 percentage points.

Yikes, $7 million worth of Kalishnikovs confiscated

Bound for NYC, USA

BBC: Customs officers in the port of Gioia Tauro, in Calabria, discovered 7,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles after noting irregularities in the documentation.

The cargo, estimated to be worth some 6m euros (£3.9m, $7.15m), was declared as arms for civilian, not military, use.

The weapons were discovered on board a ship flying a Turkish flag that had departed from a port in Romania.

The guns were said to be heading for the US; Italian customs police say the ship was bound for New York.
Thanks to Katy for the tip.

She says, "I'm sure this is only one shipment that got confiscated. The local Al Qaeda liquor store owner or food mart employee in your neighborhood is holding the other shipments and is ready to use at the appointed 'call to prayer.' "

Oy. I can't say she's wrong. Will have to ask my gun friends what they think.


ABC News: One year after his fall, U.S. officials say they have evidence, some in cash, that Saddam diverted to his personal bank accounts approximately $5 billion from the United Nations Oil-for-Food program. In what has been described as the largest humanitarian aid effort ever undertaken, the U.N. Oil-for-Food program began in 1996 to help Iraqis who were suffering under sanctions imposed following the first Gulf War.

The program allowed Iraq to sell limited amounts of oil, under supposedly tight U.N. supervision, to finance the purchase of much-needed humanitarian goods.

Most prominent among those accused in the scandal is Benon Sevan, the Cyprus-born U.N. undersecretary general who ran the program for six years.

In an interview with ABCNEWS last year, Sevan denied any wrongdoing. . . .

The inquiries into the United Nations Oil-for-Food program result from the release in January of a list of 270 individuals, companies and institutions that allegedly received lucrative oil contracts from Saddam Hussein's former regime in return for political support.

The list was published by an Iraqi independent newspaper which claimed the document was discovered in the files of the former Iraqi Oil Ministry in Baghdad.

Oil vouchers were allegedly given either as gifts or as payment for goods imported into Iraq in violation of the U.N. sanctions.

The following are the names of some of those listed as receiving Iraqi oil contracts (amounts are in millions of barrels of oil):
The Companies of the Russian Communist Party: 137 million
The Companies of the Liberal Democratic Party: 79.8 million
The Russian Committee for Solidarity with Iraq: 6.5 million and 12.5 million (two separate contracts)
Head of the Russian Presidential Cabinet: 90 million
The Russian Orthodox Church: 5 million

Charles Pasqua, former minister of interior: 12 million
Trafigura (Patrick Maugein), businessman: 25 million
Ibex: 47.2 million
Bernard Merimee, former French ambassador to the United Nations: 3 million
Michel Grimard, founder of the French-Iraqi Export Club: 17.1 million

Firas Mostafa Tlass, son of Syria's defense minister: 6 million

Zeynel Abidin Erdem: more than 27 million
Lotfy Doghan: more than 11 million

Megawati Sukarnoputri: 11 million

Ali Ballout, Lebanese journalist: 8.8 million

The Socialist Party: 22 million
Kostunica's Party: 6 million

Arthur Millholland, president and CEO of Oilexco: 9.5 million

Father Benjamin, a French Catholic priest who arranged a meeting between the pope and Tariq Aziz: 4.5 million
Roberto Frimigoni: 24.5 million

United States
Samir Vincent: 7 million
Shakir Alkhalaji: 10.5 million

United Kingdom
George Galloway, member of Parliament: 19 million
Mujaheddin Khalq: 36.5 million

South Africa
Tokyo Saxwale: 4 million

Shaker bin Zaid: 6.5 million
The Jordanian Ministry of Energy: 5 million
Fawaz Zureikat: 6 million
Toujan Al Faisal, former member of Parliament: 3 million

The son of President Lahoud: 5.5 million

Khaled Abdel Nasser: 16.5 million
Emad Al Galda, businessman and Parliament member: 14 million

Palestinian Territories
The Palestinian Liberation Organization: 4 million
Abu Al Abbas: 11.5 million

Hamad bin Ali Al Thany: 14 million

Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem: 1 million

Foreign minister of Chad: 3 million

The October 8th Movement: 4.5 million

Myanmar (Burma)
The minister of the Forests of Myanmar: 5 million

The Social Democratic Party: 8.5 million
The Communist Party: 6 million
The Socialist Party: 2 million
The FTD oil company: 2 million
Absolute MUST to learn about this widening scandal.

Omigosh, I just Googled for [US out of UN] and the first hit was a site sponsored by the John Birch Society! Yuck! I know I'm getting more conservative in my old age, but I'm not that old! Ewww, I feel like I just stepped in something.

A simple bumper sticker
would have been fine.

Rantisi's Last Supper Interview

"Sharon could have wiped out the intifada within 100 days"
Maariv: “I hope to see our victory in my lifetime, but I don’t know when I will die, so I can’t be sure I will be so fortunate,” said Hamas leader Abd al-Aziz Rantisi in his last interview, the day before he was killed by Israel.

The interview was held by an American journalist. She posted it on “Bitter Lemons,” a website that carries mainly articles by Palestinian and Israeli journalists and public figures.

Rantisi sounded very self-confident. “If the conflict’s outcome were determined only by the weapons wielded by the adversaries, Sharon could have wiped out the intifada and the Palestinian resistance within 100 days. But the Palestinian youths are 1,000 times stronger than the Zionist soldiers.”

He explained what he meant by a Palestinian victory: “There are various degrees of victory. Sometimes you can win by carrying out a plan that causes the Israeli tanks to withdraw, just as they invaded our country. When we force the enemy to leave any part of our land, without rewarding him by conceding part of our legitimate rights, I consider that a victory.”

The Hamas leader was well aware that the conflict is waged on non-military fronts too. “Victory in the media campaign is also a victory in our view.”

He went on to define a final Palestinian victory: “Everything I listed is a partial victory, but the full victory will be achieved only when the Palestinians regain all their legitimate rights. Such a victory means liberating the entire country. The day of victory will be the day when Palestinian suffering ends.”

Less than 24 hours after he expounded his victory doctrine, Rantisi’s body lay in Gaza’s Shifa hospital, killed by an Israeli air strike.

Sharon could have wiped out the intifada in less than 100 days, it's true. Had he been so determined, many many Israeli lives might have been saved. It's a hard thing to read, especially coming from this one, may his name and memory be obliterated.

Call for non-violent intifada published in PA daily

Signed by 155, including Sari Nusseibah, Yasser Abed Rabbo and Hanan Ashrawi
Translated and discussed at MEMRI, excerpted here.
(March 27, 2004)

"We the undersigned, the sons of the Palestinian people, from various political, ideological, and social frameworks that are united in their struggle and steadfastness, condemn Israel's blatant aggression against our people, which was manifested a couple of days ago in the criminal and base act carried out by Sharon and his extreme right-wing gang that led to the martyr death of the leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and his freedom-fighting companions.

"[Even while] we stress the rights of our people, which have been confirmed by all the international treaties, [and stress our right] to use all means to defend our people, even if we explode from pain at the terrible tragedy, we call upon the sons of our people across the homeland to [do as] the national interest dictates: To take the initiative from the hands of the criminal occupation gang, to contain the rage, and to rise up again a non-violent Intifada of the masses, broad in scope, with clear goals and [a] sane message, to be initiated and led by our freedom-fighting people.

"[This Intifada] will make Sharon miss the opportunity to crown his aggression against our people and against the holy places with the final touches of his security plan.

"As we appeal [to make] this Intifada of unity a step toward reawakening to popular activity, purposeful and disciplined, with a clear program and [expected] political yield, we stress our commitment to our just and legitimate demands and to our rights. We call for the unification of the ranks, based on national unity and a united leadership resisting the occupation.

"Enough of the criminal assassination operations. Enough of the bloodshed. Enough of the occupation."

The signatories include:
Al-Quds University president Sari Nusseibah
Former PA minister Yasser Abed Rabbo
PA Minister for Women's Affairs Zuheira Kamal
Fatah Executive Committee Member Abbas Zaki
PA Communications and Technology Minister 'Azzam Al-Ahmad
That same MEMRI Special Dispatch translates and quotes the response from Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, published the following day:
"The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are absolutely opposed to the call by Sari Nusseibah and the People's Campaign for Peace and Democracy, because it reflects a path that weakens the Palestinian stand and serves the occupation.

"The brigades call on the Palestinian public to join the popular Intifada and its activities, and see it [the Intifada] as a vital matter that complements the other forms of resistance and struggle. Just as the marches and demonstrations in the battle against the racist fence were vital, thus the armed struggle has caused the enemy to lose his confidence and his stability and harmed him morally and economically... A true Intifada is a creative combination of both paths."
Then Abu Ala made a speech on March 31:
The struggle against the crimes of the occupation was harmed because of the operations against Israeli civilians. These [operations] served as a pretext for the continuation of the [Israeli] aggression. We have condemned them [i.e., the operations], and we must oppose them morally. We stress again our opposition to these [operations] from this platform, because they harm the image of the [Palestinian] national struggle and create confusion and misunderstanding in the international community. These operations damage us economically and serve as a cover for the Israeli government to continue the settlements and the construction of the fence.

"The opposition to operations [against Israeli civilians] comes not only because they contradict the road map option, but also because they contribute to the accumulated hatred, enmity, and lack of trust ... and weaken the peace camp.

"Despite the great damage caused us since September 28, 2000, that continues until this very moment, our steadfast belief and our adherence to the need to return to negotiations have not weakened... Our hand is still extended to a just peace based on the U.N. resolutions... We still think that negotiations are the best way to achieve our goals and to stop the bloodshed."
You don't think this sudden peace talk has anything to do with the IDF taking out Yassin and Rantisi, do you? Nah, violence only leads to more violence.

The Power of a Blog

Apparently, at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this morning, Paul Wolfowitz cited a Marine's email that Andrew Sullivan had posted on his blog. Read it and learn.
Sullivan says he's proud; he should be. He also says he's even prouder that such a Marine is serving his country. Amen to that.


Join other "Stand by Israel" Supporters near Boulder, CO (and elsewhere)
There are currently three active "Stand by Israel" supporters near Boulder, CO. There will be four as soon as Meetup.com processes my registration. Not very impressive yet, but the same number as Chicago or Santa Monica. (In fact, there's only 542 worldwide. The "Zionism" category has only 83 worldwide -make that 84.)

The "Democracy for America" topic has 738 members in Boulder, meeting May 5th; "Kucinich in 2004" has 166, meeting May 6th. Even "Witches" has 62, and "Scrapbooking" has 15. Surely we can get more people than "Ex-Jehovah's Witness" (5).

Clinton backs Sharon's plan, but . . .

AFP: Former US president Bill Clinton welcomed Israel's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip but warned that a negotiated settlement remained the only viable path to lasting peace in the Middle East. . . .

. . . he argued that the perceived absence of a Palestinian leadership with which Israel feels it can negotiate should not be used an excuse to abandon peace talks altogether.

"When the music starts and you go out on the dance floor and you dance alone because you can't find any attractive partners, you're still dancing alone," he said.

"If you live in a world where you have adversaries and you cannot kill them all or jail them all, or occupy and control them all, then sooner or later you have to make a deal."

Nice try at a metaphor, but it's not about dancing, it's about killing. It's not about how attractive a partner is, but about how vehemently that partner wants to kill you:
April 18, 2004: In a communique . . .[Arafat's] Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades stated: "All the fighting [Palestinian] factions are called upon to cause an earthquake to the Zionist enemy. The occupation will pay a price for its crimes, and everyone in the Zionist entity is now a target, even children. They will pay, in blood . . . "(AL-HAYAT AL-JADIDA, PA, 4/18/04)

* * *

Arutz Sheva: PA Minister of Sport Salah Tamari reports that senior officials are contemplating doing away with the Office of Prime Minister and returning all control to Yasser Arafat. According to the report, the move is being contemplated to show Israel she must deal with Arafat who remains the leader of the PA and its residents.

Monday Morning in the Terror-tories

Palestinians run for cover as Israeli tanks fired at them during clashes
between Israeli soldiers and stone-throwers at Beit Lahya town, in
the northern Gaza Strip, April 20, 2004. Israeli soldiers shot dead a
Palestinian in a confrontation with stone-throwers on Tuesday in the
Gaza Strip, medics said. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Meanwhile, according to DEBKA, "missile and mortar fire continue to rain down on Israeli civilian and military locations in Gaza and the western Negev. Three Israelis injured - 2 babies - and heavy damage to Neve Dekalim homes after Monday's 14th Qassam set Nisanit home on fire, injured six.

Read all about how "the state-sponsored terrorism of Ariel Sharon's government only ensures the end of the peace process" in Newsday. Yes, Newsday. The author is a nationally syndicated Palestinian American columnist.

Score 1 for the multiculturalists! And, btw, what peace process?

Terrorists worldwide will be happy to read this
in the Washington Post, via AP

Bin Laden Demonstrates Resilience

To show that he remains up on current events, even while apparently hiding out in desolate mountains at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, bin Laden refers in the tape to Israel's March 22 killing of Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin.

Much of the message focused on contemporary political arguments. For instance, bin Laden refers to opinion polls that indicate Europeans want peace, and he refers to war profits of Halliburton, once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, and to the personal interests of the "White House gang."
From their rhetoric at least, it's hard to tell the terrorists from the lefties of the free world..

Also of interest, this smattering of German opinion on Spain's "expedited troop pullout" from Iraq.


Monday, April 19, 2004

How did I miss this dreadful letter?

April 17 in the Daily Camera OpenForum

ISRAEL: Sharon plan is looming disaster

President Bush's recent endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "disengagement plan" shattered any vestige of credibility the United States might have once enjoyed in the region. This plan provides for the continued illegal occupation of the West Bank and rejection of the Palestinian right of return. Accordingly, Israel will blatantly annex even more Palestinian land and water resources. Our one-sided support of Israel will justifiably enrage the Arab community, prolong the Israel-Palestine conflict and further jeopardize the security of the United States.

In contrast, many peace organizations are working toward a viable and lasting resolution to this conflict. Recently, I attended discussions on this issue at the Conference on World Affairs. I was so impressed by Amneh Badran, director of the Jerusalem Center for Women, and Terry Greenblatt, former director of Bat Shalom. Badran, a Palestinian Arab, and Greenblatt, an Israeli Jew, are both exemplary leaders in the struggle for peace. Their organizations share common political principles and goals including: dismantling Israel's apartheid wall, withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Occupied Territories, achieving Palestinian statehood and addressing the right of return. I was encouraged and inspired by their genuine solidarity despite the abysmal government leadership on both sides.

As Americans, we are participants in this conflict and must accept a vital role in the peace process. We have the power to suspend the billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Israel until it withdraws from the Occupied Territories. We can educate others and bring this issue to the presidential debate. And finally, we can expose and confront religious fundamentalism right here at home, which poses the biggest threat to international stability.

Thanks to Mimi for pointing this out.

I had some email correspondence with Ms. Gibbs last summer. It started when she accused me of writing to her anonymously, which I hadn't.

Sharpen your pencils, folks, Ms. Gibbs needs to know some of that history that I know you have rolling around in your smart heads. Don't be shy. If I remember correctly, the email address is openforum@dailycamera.com

Yom HaShoah

by Judy Lash Balint

It wasn't planned that way, but at precisely 10 a.m this morning, as the siren sounds and the nation of Israel stops in its tracks to mark Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Day, Asher Yablok, 25, finds himself in the midst of explaining how he and his wife Shira had chosen the name of their first-born son.

Shmuel Yablok entered into the covenant of Abraham today as his maternal great-grandfather performed the brit milah on a day fraught with significance. Some sixty years after the Shoah, the day that commemorates both the tragedy and the heroism of a generation of Jews now fading away, still packs high emotional meaning for many Israelis.

The significance of Shmuel's formal induction into the Jewish people on such a day is not lost on the dozens of friends and family who join in the simcha at Jerusalem's Gruss Yeshiva. Baby Shmuel, Asher continues to explain, as the two minute siren winds down during the celebratory meal following the brit, was named after his late grandfather, Sam Yablok, who in turn was named after HIS grandfather.

Sam and Frieda Yablok were not Holocaust survivors--they were young Zionists who independently left their homes in America and came to live in pre-state Palestine, where they met and married. Difficult years of economic and physical struggle forced them back to the US where they settled in Marietta, Ohio to raise their children in a Torah observant home. Today, as his son, Rabbi Benjamin Yablok observes, all Sam's numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren are observant Jews. Many of them are Jewish educators, transmitting the heritage that was nearly snuffed out during the Shoah.

Asher, a rabbinic student studying for the year in Jerusalem, and his wife Shira, a speech therapist, are surrounded by fellow students: lively young observant couples holding their first or second kids, four generations away from those who lived through the Shoah.

The sight might comfort those survivors who spend the day retelling their painful stories to the media and in schools. As all the radio stations play mournful music and TV channels broadcast Holocaust-related documentaries and dramas, flags on public buildings fly at half-staff. There's even a special radio program for those still seeking missing relatives to pronounce their names and place of birth, in the hope that someone might know their fate.

A street in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zev is dedicated and named for a Swiss Righteous Gentile who saved thousands of Jews, but the Swiss ambassador refuses to attend the ceremony since " the street is located in an area of Jerusalem incorporated into the city after 1967."

In his official remarks at Yad Vashem, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon claims that Israel has learned the lessons of the past and would never again tolerate attacks on Jews.

`We shall never allow the murderers of today or those of tomorrow to harm our people,'' Sharon says in his address. "Anyone who dares to do that will be struck down.''

During a visit to the Yad Vashem memorial earlier in the day, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, the commander of Israel's armed forces says Hamas leader Abdul Rantisi was a Holocaust denier who claimed present-day Israelis were more evil than wartime Nazis.

"One of his recent comments was that comparing the Jews to the Nazis is an insult to Nazis,'' Yaalon noted.

Psychologist Dr. Irwin Mansdorf points out that "Nazi philosophy was promoted by fiery, emotional rhetoric that inflamed the people. Today, the new evil of terror finds a home in the rhetoric of those that distort and misrepresent truth no less than the Nazis did.

Then, cloaked in the clothes of medicine, Josef Mengele carried out some of the most monstrous crimes of the century. Today's terror sees physicians like Al-Qaida fugitive Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Hamas's "martyred" Abdel Aziz Rantisi involved in equally heinous and deplorable actions.

Then, the Nazis immersed their children, the Hitlerjugend, into a racist and hateful creed that fueled the criminal acts perpetrated against an innocent people.

Now, as then, there are societies where children are taught to hate and kill, where leaders and teachers preach dying for the cause and where the masses follow like lemmings."

At just eight days old, Shmuel Yablok's life is already set on a totally opposite trajectory. Showered with blessings to learn Torah, marry and carry out good deeds; with parents who are so manifestly full of love of God, each other and their child, and grandparents who are distinguished teachers and doctors dedicated to Tikkun Olam, Shmuel Yablok's brit on this day couldn't make the meaning of Yom Hashoah any clearer.
Rick has some beautiful photos of the day, and today's editorial in the Boulder Daily Camera is much appreciated. Yasher koach to Clay Evans, who is nobody's fool when it comes to antisemitism.

I cannot resist this by Stephen Plaut:
When the Jews of Europe were being annihilated, the "civilized world" was indifferent, and much of it was downright supportive of the annihilation. Large segments of the "civilized world" collaborated with the genocide. Very few in the "civilized world" demanded serious military efforts to end it. The "civilized world" sat in silence in the decade leading up to the Shoah, while Hitler expounded his plans openly. Many in the anti-Semitic West sympathized with his program.

I mention all this, because I think that one of the best litmus tests of the extent of re-nazification of the planet is to observe the reactions of the world to the assassination of the Gaza Nazi, Rantisi. All those denouncing Israel's hit on Rantisi as ''state terrorism,'' as a crime, as a violation of ''international law,'' as violating Palestinian ''rights,'' as aggression, as itself ''nazism,'' ALL such people are today's most visible illustration of global re-nazification. ALL of these people are in fact in favor of the random mass murder of Jewish children. ALL of these people oppose every form of Jewish self-defense except capitulation to Nazism and passive Jewish marching into the gas chambers. All of these people would cheer if the Islamofascists ever succeed in building concentration camps for Jews. The leftists Jews who will no doubt now denounce the assassination of Rantisi, with all the usual lame ''reasons'' (bad timing, will just bring forth worse extremists, violation of Palestinian ''sovereignty,'' creates more motivation for terrorists, etc. etc.), should be formally dubbed the Jews for a Second Holocaust.

Dear Gd in Heaven, as of this writing, what follows is the sole "Reader Comment" - at ChronWatch Forum on the piece by Dr. Stephen Plaut.
Not As Absurd As You Think, Doctor..., from Chris Long
Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 2:54:57 AM

"Indeed, purely from a historical viewpoint, the Holocaust was small compared to the slaughter of Armenians, Stalin's purges or the Khanate of the Golden Horde. " (EOM)

Yom HaShoah at the UN, in USA Today:
UNITED NATIONS — A Palestinian envoy told the U.N. Security Council on Monday that its failure to condemn past Israeli assassinations of Hamas leaders had only encouraged more such killings.

Israel's U.N. ambassador responded that Saturday's assassination of Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the Hamas terrorist group's leader in Gaza, was "a necessary defensive act to prevent ... attacks against innocent civilians."

The two diplomats traded barbs at an emergency Security Council meeting convened at the request of Arab nations after Rantisi died in an Israeli missile attack in Gaza. Israeli forces had killed Rantisi's predecessor, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, three weeks earlier. After Rantisi's death, Hamas threatened 100 revenge attacks against Israelis

Arab nations called on the 15-nation council to adopt a resolution condemning the killing.

Oh, and one last thing for the day:
"We don't make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity," Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad told Lisbon's Publica magazine from London where he is based.

source: Militant Cleric Says Attack on London 'Inevitable', courtesy of al Reuters.

No, that shouldn't be the last word on this day. THIS should:

Lila tov (and mazal tov) to eight-day-old Shmuel Yablok, who should be blessed with a good and long life, and live to see his children's children under the chupah in Eretz Yisrael. Amen.