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Saturday, July 10, 2004

Just in at LGF: Mother and Baby Attacked on Train near Paris

A YOUNG woman and her baby have been attacked in a suburban train near Paris by unidentified men who drew swastikas on the mother's stomach.

Police today said it was an anti-Semitic assault.

The six attackers who were armed with knives clipped the 23-year-old woman's hair, and cut her tee-shirt and trousers before drawing three swastikas on her body.

The men of North African origin also overturned the pram holding her baby, aged 13 months.

They then took the mother's backpack, which contained her identity papers, a bank card and cash.

Police said the attackers erroneously assumed the woman was Jewish because she was living in Paris' posh 16th district.

"Only Jews live in the 16th district," one of the men told her.

Gd bless Charles Johnson for finding these things and publishing them. He calls it "French Antisemitism Watch," but this is part and parcel of Jihad.

One of the commenters on the LGF thread just announced that there has just been a terrorist bomb attack in Tel Aviv, at a bus stop in front of 23 Har Tzion Street.

The Phillipines caves in to terror

from AP, via Jihad Watch
MANILA, Philippines - Insurgents in Iraq freed a Filipino truck driver whom they kidnapped and threatened to behead, the Philippine labor secretary said Saturday.... The announcement came just hours after Arroyo's spokesman said the Philippines' small peacekeeping contingent in Iraq would be withdrawn when its tour ends Aug. 20.

Just like Spain, but it only took one truck driver. Reminds me of countries falling to Hitler, one after the other. But not to worry, according to al Reuters, Kerry has a plan, seemingly quite popular with the electorate:
"I think that it probably will take a new president to wipe the slate clean and offer the kind of leadership that has the potential to change the dynamics of what's happening in Iraq," Kerry said.

. . . . Newsweek magazine reported on Saturday the Democratic ticket was leading Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney by a margin of six percentage points.

Funny how the reporter phrased that -- "Bush" on the one hand, and "Vice President Dick Cheney" on the other. Must have a word limit.

UPDATE/correction

Latest reports refute earlier ones: Phillipines Won't Withdraw Troops Early. Because global Jihad is so widespread (get it, global?), it's hard to keep track of all developments, but I'll do my best to keep you correctly updated.

LaShawn Barber Blows Off Some (Very Substantial) Steam

At least once a year, I think I'm going to publicly blow off steam and address liberals who seem to resent my very existence. First of all, this blog is a not a democracy; it's a dictatorship and I'm a benevolent dictator. Absolute freedom of speech doesn't exist anywhere, except maybe on a deserted island, and freedom of speech in the constitutional sense doesn't exist on this blog for anyone but me. . . .

Mama said there'd be days like this. Since starting my column, I've experienced what I'd been warned would happen: venom. For a long time, it's been taboo in the black community to talk/write publicly about what ails us.

I've read/heard what liberals of any color have to say about Ward Connerly, Justice Clarence Thomas and Condoleezza Rice. Just yesterday, I found out about a disgusting cartoon put out by Ted Rall. According to Rall, who is a white liberal, Rice is a "House Nigga". . . .

If you can't deal with me now, you better stop reading this blog and my articles, because as long as liberalism continues to erode society, my voice will only get louder. This a free country. Go read someone else's blog and don't even think of trying to comment on this one unless you're willing to treat me and my commenters with respect.

I have my own mind, my own beliefs and my own opinions. My skin color does not require me to abide by an unwritten code of conduct. Blacks are not a homogeneous entity moving in lockstep toward some phantom destination.

We are a sub-culture of the American culture with diverse interests and opinions. Some of us even express those opinions publicly. Blacks are not special in the sense that we are above comment, criticism or chastisement. We are not required to refrain from speaking out against someone just because they or we are black. We have the same rights as any other American, and it is a privilege to be able to hold different views and freely share them as we see fit.

I will exercise that right as long as God sees fit to let me live.

Wow. Read it all, and may Gd see fit to bless Ms. Barber with a good and long life, filled with success. . . and just the right amount of steam.

Cartoon photo-montage from AllahPundit.
Story at Internet Haganah.

When do differences make for polarization?

Roger Simon on Roger Simon and Mickey Kaus
When I read Mickey Kaus, a man I know and like, was voting for John Kerry, a man he pretty much despises, in the coming election, I was reminded again what painful times we live in (sometimes even more painful than most of us realize). And, yes, I know politics is about compromise (triple duh with a brass ring on top!), but the compromises people are making now are of a substantial nature.

Kaus tells us he's made his decision because he thinks the country and the world need a rest from Bush's militant foreign policy, if only to preserve the precarious gains of Iraq and Afghanistan. I won't insult Mickey by calling this a dressed up version of Kerry's "consulting with our allies." MK is smarter than that, although like most of us subject to a lifetime of pressures, conscious and unconscious.

As is well known to those with even a passing interest in this, I feel the opposite of Mickey for almost identical reasons. I am voting for Bush to preserve those gains. And even though I don't despise Bush personally the way Kaus seems to revile Kerry, I certainly condemn the President's views on a host of issues, principally social ones. I just think an electoral defeat of Bush will be seen worldwide as a rejection of the War on Terror and at this particular point in history that could have disastrous effects.

More ...

For those who didn't follow the link on Mickey Kaus, this from his kausfiles blog:
. . . America wants a respite from all the headstrong history-making of the past four years. Bush isn't responsible for 9/11, but he's still responsible for a lot of the sense that history's being forced. Even before 9/11, as a second-place vote-getter aided by a questionable court decision, he somehow leveraged his weak victory into an unexpectedly uncompromised Republican tax cut. Post 9/11, he leveraged the country into the Iraq War--a war in which we'll prevail, if we do, by the skin of our teeth. Next he'll try to abolish the estate tax, with potentially dramatic consequences for the social structure. It's all too morally complicated, strained, force-fed, disruptive, overheated.

We need a break--to steady ourselves at home and rebuild our standing abroad, to calm down the Islamic world's seething resentment, to prevent the "global war on terror" from becoming an all-consuming lifelong West/East conflagration. To digest the history we've just made.
This was added later for clarification:
The first version of this post said we needed a "time out" from Bush's strident global terror war. Several e-mailers point out, correctly, that this is a bad phrase to use, in that it seems to imply a pause in attempts to get at al Qaeda and similar groups. I mean a period of consolidation and lowered swagger and apocalypticism, not a halt in rooting out terror cells, etc. ...

I can't help but comment that John Kerry seems perfect, if it's "lowered swagger" you're looking for in the next president.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Let (the Two) Americas be America Again

What does it all mean?

Words from the Episcopal liturgy of my childhood come back to me now -- the "outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace." (My apologies to anyone offended by my secular and political use of this religious phrase, which is used to describe the Christian sacraments.)

I haven't uttered those words in thirty years, having long since become a Jew by choice. So why now do they come to me? It was simply what occurred when I read, courtesy of DANEgerus, that John Edwards's "Two Americas" echoes a speech given by James P. Cannon in 1948 to the 13th National Convention of the Socialist Workers Party:
". . . For there are two Americas — and millions of the people already distinguish between them.

One is the America of the imperialists — of the little clique of capitalists, landlords, and militarists who are threatening and terrifying the world. This is the America the people of the world hate and fear.

There is the other America—the America of the workers and farmers and the “little people”. They constitute the great majority of the people. They do the work of the country. They revere its old democratic traditions—its old record of friendship for the people of other lands, in their struggles against kings and despots — its generous asylum once freely granted to the oppressed.

This is the America which must and will solve the world crisis — by taking power out of the hands of the little clique of exploiters and parasites, and establishing a government of workers and farmers. . . . "

Oy... Add to this the fact that Kerry's slogan, "Let America be America again," comes from a 1938 poem by Langston Hughes (see William F. Buckley on this). According to literary critics, "Hughes . . . called for a rethinking of dominant American beliefs and an acceptance of the tenets of Marxism." According to the NY Daily News, Vintage is in the process of publishing a volume of Langston Hughes' poems, with a preface by Kerry.

I have no objection to any one of these bits of information in and of themselves, and I'm certainly not trying to defame the Democratic candidates through negative associations. It is the gestalt of it all that concerns me. The emerging pattern, and the trajectory it implies for the Democratic Party, is so disturbing that I seek to disassociate myself. This is, in great part, why I will vote for Bush.

The sinking, sickening feeling is becoming all too familiar. I had it last when I learned that Kerry had plagiarized a speech that President Kennedy was to give on the very day he was assassinated (Jewish Current Issues May 31, 2004, and also this, in the American Spectator) - but with a twist, a reversal of Kennedy's meaning.

Take a look (in order of appearance):
Isaiah (62:6-7): "I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, who shall never hold their peace day nor night; you who make mention of the Lord, take no rest. And give Him no rest until He establishes and until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth."

Kennedy speech: "We, in this country, in this generation, are -- by destiny rather than by choice -- the watchmen on the walls of world freedom."

Kerry speech: "We do not have to live in fear or stand alone. We don't have to be a lonely watchman on the walls of freedom."

All this makes me very sad and wary. These are "outward and visible" signs . . . that the Left has abandoned my values. Even without Gore's brown shirts comment, the Democrats have gone too far in too strange a direction.

And if that's the cake, then this is the utter icing. The article from the American Spectator -linked above- quotes a Kerry campaign staffer:
"He's not going to get any more specific than he already has . . . We're just not going to set ourselves up to be held accountable."
If that's an outward and visible sign, then the inner and spiritual is . . . well, yuck.
Torah Reading PINCHAS, Numbers 25:10-30:1.
Haftara: Jeremiah 1:1-23.

In Torah law, land is considered the best and surest property -- movables (let alone paper wealth) cannot compare. While the sale and purchase of land takes up a sizeable part of Torah law, the sages counseled not to part with land whenever possible, and certainly not ancestral land. Land should be held and transferred from generation to generation.

Our parshah introduces the Torah law of inheritance (see also Deuteronomy 21:16ff). The law was given by G-d to Moses in response to a question raised before him concerning inheritance by daughters. The question was raised by the daughters of Tzelaphchad, who had died of his own sin in the wilderness leaving no sons. They asked for their father's share of the land to be given to them so that his family name should not be diminished among his brothers.

The daughters of Tzelaphchad longed and yearned for the Land of Israel. They could not bear the thought that their family would not have a part and a share in the land.

In the words of the Midrash: "When the daughters of Tzelaphchad heard that the Land was to be divided among the males but not the females, they all gathered together to take counsel. They said, 'Not like the love of flesh and blood is the love of G-d. A person of flesh and blood has more love for the males than the females, but He who spoke and the world came into being is not that way. Males... females... His love is for all! As it is written: 'His love is over ALL His works' (Psalm 146).

The Midrash continues: "...Rabbi Nathan said: The power of women is more beautiful than the power of men. The men said, 'Let us appoint a head and return to Egypt' (Numbers 14), but the women said, 'Give us a share of the land' (Numbers 27:4)."


--Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
http://www.azamra.org/universal.htm

ACTION ALERT via Isralert

I hate this approach, but no doubt it's very effective
Within the next 48 hours send the attached message, or some variation thereof, to the United Nations, The EU Parliament, and the EU Court of Justice.

Please take a moment NOW to send your Email to:
The United Nations ecu@un.org

The EU Parliament civis@europarl.eu.int

EU Court of Justice info@curia.eu.int

Sample Email
Dear Sirs:

When Israel builds a fence to keep out terrorists, the UN and the EU are up in arms because it makes it difficult to kill Jews.

When terrorists shoot (point blank) an eight month pregnant Jewish woman, and her four little girls, killing them all, there is absolute silence from your organizations.

If you think your indifference goes unnoticed, count the number of messages you will receive World-Wide in the next 48 - 72 hours on this subject.

Respectfully,

------------

I hate this approach. Can you imagine the rollicking laughter in the halls of the Hague if, after receiving this warning - "count the number of messages you will receive" - they get only 17 or 36 or 122 emails?

We simply can't let that happen, and it's already in the works. Use the sample, modify it, or write your own. I wrote, "I CONDEMN THE RACIST RULING AGAINST SAVING JEWISH LIVES" in the subject line.

Whatever... JUST DO IT.


UPDATE - I would (and did) add a copy to the Ombudsman for the EU Parliament at euro-ombudsman@europarl.eu.int

Even better is Naomi Ragen's suggestion that we write to the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. information@eumc.eu.int

The Shocker We've All Been Waiting For
INTERNATIONAL COURT OF "JUSTICE" DECLARES ISRAELI BARRIER ILLEGAL

VOA: The International Court of Justice says the security barrier Israel is building on the occupied West Bank land is illegal.
The non-binding advisory ruling is being issued Friday at the Hague, (Netherlands), and leaked copies of the ruling say the court declared the barrier in violation of international law.

The court called for the barrier to be dismantled and compensation to be paid to Palestinians whose property has been confiscated for the barrier project.

Israel has already said it will not abide by the world court decision. Israel insists the barrier is necessary to prevent Palestinian militants from entering Israel to carry out terrorist attacks.

Palestinians call the fence a ploy to grab land.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia called the ruling a "historic decision." But Israel says it will not abide by the ruling because it contends the court has no jurisdiction over it and the decision fails to address the issue of Palestinian terrorism.


Just in time for the Stop The Wall Tour's upcoming visit to Boulder. I can't wait.



Kol hakavod to Yossi Klein Halevi, who writes in the Jerusalem Post:
"The tragedy of the International Court's ruling on the security fence isn't only its depressing predictability, a politicization that undermines the hope for a global system of justice. Nor is the tragedy only that Israel's right to self-defense has been branded illegitimate, while the criminals remain uncensured.

Perhaps the worst consequence of the ruling is that it will reinforce Palestinians' faith in their own innocence and victimization, and preclude a self-examination of their responsibility in maintaining the conflict. That suicidal self-pity has led Palestinians from one historic calamity to another, and is precisely the reason why Israel is now building the fence."

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat talks to reporters at his office in the West Bank town of Ramallah, Friday, July 9, 2004. Arafat welcomed the International Court of Justice's rule that found Israel's West Bank barrier illegal, and will demand the Jewish state dismantle the structure and compensate Palestinians for confiscated land. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)


The media makes no mention of THE FACT THAT ISRAEL WAS ALEADY COMPENSATING THE PALESTINIANS FOR USE OF THEIR LAND AND ANY DAMAGE TO THEIR TREES.
argh and grrr, Yael


UPDATES:

Israeli Mike Levine fully agrees with the Court at the Hague
via Isralert, an opt-in Jewish Advocacy Network
1. The fence must be dismantled.

The moment the Palestinians surrender all their weapons, rockets, explosives and dismantle every bomb and rocket factory we should immediately dismantle the anti-terrorist fence.

2. Palestinian landowners must be compensated.

The moment Israel receives compensation from Arab states and the Palestinians for all the death and destruction caused by all their wars and a hundred years of unrelenting terrorism we should compensate Palestinian landowners.

3. Israel must assure access to Holy Places.

Do they mean the same way that the Palestinians assured Israel access to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus when it came under Arafat’s control? It was completely destroyed. Do they mean the way Jordan assured access to 58 synagogues in Jerusalem when the Jewish sector was under their control from 1948 to 1967? They burned them all to the ground.

4. The course of the fence was not necessary to attain Israel’s security objectives.

Now this is a strange decision. Evidently the members of the world court do not read the newspapers or they would have known that although the anti-terrorism barrier is only 25% finished it has already resulted in a 90% reduction in suicide bombings and terrorist attacks.

Not one word in the court’s decision mentions the reason Israel built this barrier—more than a thousand murders, the majority of innocent civilians, perpetrated by the Palestinians in less than four years. Not one word about the 6,000 Jews maimed for life, including babies, women, and old people.

The UN established the International Court of Justice to ‘settle disputes between states’. Palestine is not a state. It has only observer status in the UN. So why was this issue even brought to the court?

The United States provides about 30% of the UN’s income, yet has only one seat on the fifteen-seat court.

Women make up more than 50% of the world’s adult population yet there is not a single woman to be found on the court.

The court’s decisions have no legal standing. They are merely opinions, totally non-binding.

Therefore how can they declare Israel’s anti-terrorist barrier illegal?

So what exactly does the court’s opinion amount to?

Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

An exercise in the UN playing with itself!

UPDATE II

Frank at IMAO finds the Court at the Hague is trying his patience, and has a question for Hebrew speakers. Warning: His site is (admittedly) unfair. unbalanced. unmedicated.

Jihad thwarted in Texas

Five Palestinian Arabs convicted
al Reuters: Five Palestinian brothers were found guilty on Wednesday of falsifying documents and making illegal shipments of computer equipment to countries the United States says are sponsors of terrorism.

The Elashi brothers and their Texas company called InfoCom were charged in a 25-count indictment with export violations, conspiracy and making false statements about computer equipment sent by InfoCom to Syria and Libya through an intermediary in Malta.

A federal jury in Texas deliberated for three days before reaching a verdict. The brothers, who have been living in Texas, could face up to 10 years in prison.

The arrest of four of the brothers three months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States was announced with much fanfare by Attorney General John Ashcroft, who charged they were helping to support and finance terrorism by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The brothers -- Bayan Elashi, Ghassan Elashi, Basman Elashi, Hazim Elashi and Ihsan Elashyi, who spells his family name differently than his brothers -- are not facing charges of aiding Hamas in this trial.

Federal prosecutors have said they will hold a second trial at a date yet to be determined for three of the brothers on suspicion of funneling money to Hamas. In the second trial, they plan to charge that the brothers sent money to Hamas or one of its senior leaders, Musa Abu Marzook. Abu Marzook is married to Nadia Marzook, who is a cousin of the brothers.

Zell Miller and me


I was interested to see Zell Miller's guest column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution - I love my party but hate what it has become - (via Driches at Crossfiah!) so interested in fact, that I submitted myself and my information to their ridiculously long registration process. In the end, he had nothing new to say
I have been a proud member of the Democratic Party from the time I first breathed the Georgia mountain air. But lately I can barely recognize my once-great party. Between Al Gore's rants, Michael Moore's falsehoods, the felons-for-hire shenanigans of America Coming Together and Moveon.org's crazy conspiracy theories, the Democratic Party has become a coalition of the wild-eyed. Driven by a rabid desire to defeat President Bush, they seem eager to say and do anything to tear him apart.
He doesn't explain what I want to know, which is why is he still hanging out there? I guess he has a lot more invested in it than I do.

From Amazon's About the author:
Many party loyalists will not like what Senator Miller writes; yet his credentials are beyond question, for few Democrats have worked longer or stronger for the party and its candidates. Zell Miller has served in an elective office in each of the last six decades. When he left office as governor after two terms, he had an 85 percent approval rating, prompting the Washington Post to call him the most popular governor in the country. After getting to Washington, he became President Bush’s biggest Democratic supporter, but steadfastly refused to switch parties.

A National Party No More is a firsthand account from the enigmatic senator who has confounded his Democratic colleagues. Driven by conscience and common sense, Senator Miller names the self-destructive direction of his party and stubbornly pulls the Democratic family toward reform.
"Driven by conscience and common sense". . . Ah, there's that common sense again. The Democrats have lost it (and the other as well).

Do the Al Gores of the world not realize how profoundly they have lowered the bar of political ethics and discourse? It will surely come back to bite them. I just hope it does so in a hurry . . . before the election.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

My Horror-scope Came True!


You may have family responsibilities today that don't fit too well into your agenda. There is a strong pull between your family and your career, and you are stuck in the middle. You will have to compromise to get through the day.
I read two really good pieces this morning, one (thanks to Rick) was today's Lileks Bleat,

and the other was this very funny dissection of Kerry's Edwards speech by Andrew Sullivan.

This was the bad news; see comments of Melanie Phillips, who's brilliant and untiring.

Tikkunistas:
"COMPASSION AND OPEN-HEARTEDNESS" IN ACTION


"Kerry Panders for the pro-Ariel Sharon Vote"
SO SAYS TIKKUN.ORG - in this mailing

"Come tell the Delegates at the Democratic National Convention to Urge Kerry to Support the Israel Peace Movement, not its Hawks!"

Well, shifting his positions to meet the exigencies of the moment may be the good news about Kerry. When he addressed Arab Americans during the presidential primaries, he expressed his strong reservations about Ariel Sharon's Occupation Wall which may incorporate some 400,000 more Palestinians into Israel and take a huge chunk of the West Bank. Now, wanting the votes of the pro-Ariel Sharon crowd, he has issued a set of position papers that seeks to put him to the right of Bush and show that it is he, not Bush, who will be the most reliable ally for Ariel Sharon.

The good news part of it (rather small, we must admit) is that he may switch again once elected--if we can build a significant enough American movement that pushes him to do what is both right and what is really in Israel's interest, namely those policies that push Israel to stop the Wall, end the Occupation and to do so in a spirit of generosity and open-heartedness.

The media, meanwhlle, plays into all this, by describing his positions as seeking to appeal to the "pro- Israel" position. In so doing, they contribute to the either/or thinking of the Sharon crowd--the notion that the only way to be pro-Israel is to be pro-Sharon's policies. Of course, this then means that all the rest of us, including (according to a poll released by Peace Now a few months ago) a majority of American Jews, are NOT pro-Israel, and that is ludicrous. But to understand why Kerry thinks he needs to switch from what he said in the primaries to what he is saying for the general election, focus on the way that the media has construed this issue.

We will be attempting to challenge this perception at our event at the Democratic National Convention. First, there will be a series of events sponsored by Tikkun during the weekend of July 23-25 at the Boston Social Forum (Rabbi Lerner will be speaking several times, and actually even leading a Shabbat service on Friday night, July 23rd, if you want to get spiritually high for the weekend). Then, on Monday, July 26th, the Tikkun Community will be having an event to which we are inviting the delegates to the DNC--and at which Rabbi Lerner, Cornel West, Medea Benjamin, Thomas Moore and others will speak. That is at 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hotel Marlowe (Serrano Ballroom) in Cambridge, a few miles from the convention site.

You could help us do this education in 2 ways: 1. You could call any delegates to the DNC from your state and urge them to go to the Tikkun event Monday afternoon (it will be before the convention starts that evening). We will have more detailed information about the events of that weekend and our event at our website by July 12th, so you could start calling then (and we may even be able to put the list of delegates on line--but if not, you can call Liz at Tikkun, 510-644-1200 and tell her your state and shel'll be able to give you the names of delegates from your area if you are prepared to call them or write to them). 2. you could send this email to everyone on your email lists with a personal note from you asking them to please JOIN our interfaith Tikkun Community--because the first question that the media and the Kerry team will ask us is, "how many people do you represent?" and that question determines how seriously any politician takes your position, so please, please, please get your friends to join (which they can do on-line at www.tikkun.org or by calling Stephanie at 510 644-1200).

If you read the statements below, you see Kerry at his worst. That does not mean that we are advocating that you not vote for him. We don't ever advocate for how anyone should vote, because we are prohibited from so doing. But we can certainly predict that to the extent that Kerry takes stands like these, there will be more people inside our constituency who move toward a Green or Nader option. Yet our prediction is that a majority of Tikkunistas will not abandon Kerry on this issue or on his support for INCREASING the troop level in Iraq. They will point to the fact that Kerry will not be bringing in with him the ideologues of the neo-con Right, so he may be more flexible on foreign policy once elected. And they will point to the fact that Kerry is likely to be such a dramatic improvement on issues of environment, civil rights, poverty, human rights, abortion, gay rights, and many others that his seeming lack of decency when it comes to the Middle East and Iraq will have to be lamented but will not be critical in determining how they vote. Yet this Tikkun majority will still be doing what they can to change Kerry's position, both at the convention itself, and, hoping as they do that he will be elected, in the months immediately after the election and in the early months of his presidency. In fact, they argue, the very fact that we can imagine organizing to change his policies is a huge advance over Bush, whose policies are more likely shaped by the Christian Zionists than by listening to reasonable arguments about what really IS in Israel's interests (which we know to be--a new spirit of generosity, kindness, open-heartedness, repentance, and then ending the Occupation and working out a deal based largely on the Geneva Accord, with modifications).

Kerry Tells the Right Wing of the Jewish World What They Want to Hear: John Kerry position paper outlines support for Israel

By Nathan Guttman, Haaretz Correspondent

WASHINGTON - In a position paper outlining his stance on Israel, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry promises not to negotiate with Yasser Arafat and expresses support for Israel's right to defend itself by attacking terrorist organizations.

The paper, entitled "John Kerry: Strengthening Israel's Security and Bolstering the US-Israel Special Relationship," was sent in mid-June to a group of people in the Jewish community as part of the Kerry campaign's attempt to maintain contact with Jewish supporters in the United States and to clarify his positions on Israel.

Kerry, who previously spoke against the separation fence at a gathering of the Arab-American Institute, is now seeking to correct that impression: "The security fence is a legitimate act of self-defense erected in response to the wave of terror attacks against Israeli citizens."

[Editor's Note: Security will never come through building a Wall, but as Kerry knows, the issue for most Israeli peace supporters is NOT Wall or no Wall, but rather, where the Wall will be built. If Israelis feel more secure by placing a wall on the pre-67 borders of Israel, the so- called Green Line, fine. The objection is that Israel is building that Wall in the midst of the West Bank, incorporating into Israel large sections of the West Bank]

***********************************
The presumptive Democratic nominee also declares his opposition to transferring debate on the fence to international forums. [Editor's note: Here, Kerry's position is a terrible precedent that in effect says that international forums should not review the activities of countries that are alleged to be violating International Law. Why not? This is precisely the kind of international forums that we needed to keep us out of the War in Iraq in the first place.]

*****************************************

The paper shows consistent support for Israel on all the issues at hand: Kerry backs Israel's disengagement plan and also the two central points in President Bush's letter to Prime Minister Sharon - the resettlement of Palestinian refugees in the Palestinian state, not within Israel, and recognition of Jewish population concentrations in the West Bank when establishing the permanent borders. "In light of demographic realities, a number of settlement blocs will likely become a part of Israel," Kerry wrote his supporters. [Editor's Note: Yes, that is also the plan of the Geneva Accord. But it matters if that is a result of a genuine negotiation between Israel and Palestine, or rather, as Bush has done with Sharon, by being imposed on the Palestinian people who get nothing in return for ceding this land, as opposed to the Geneva Accord where an equal amount of land from Israel is given to the Palestinian state the Geneva Accord helps create.]

********************************

He further declared support for Israel's actions against Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror organizations and recalled that he was a signatory to the motion of support for Israel passed by the Senate during Operation Defensive Shield. [These acts of summary executions of people suspected of being terrorists is in violation of every principle of human rights, international law, and Torah law.]

*************************************

On the issue of Palestinian leadership, Kerry declared that "Yasser Arafat is a failed leader and unfit partner for peace" and called for "his total isolation." He thereby aligned himself with Bush administration policy, and in contrast to former president Bill Clinton, who recently stated that despite his disappointment with Arafat, negotiations should be conducted with him. [Clinton is right. We hope that the Palestinians will soon replace Arafat--he is, in our opinion, an unmitigated disaster for the Palestinian people. But we have to negotiate with whoever they pick--we dont' get to pick the people who represent either side:Sharon is also an unmitigated disaster for the Israeli people.]

***************************************

Kerry lists additional issues on which he supports Israel: the battle against cutting foreign aid to Israel; calling upon the United Nations to evince a more balanced approach to the conflict; support for moving the American embassy to Jerusalem; international action against regimes that support terror; and maintaining Israel's military supremacy.

*****************

Seeking to set himself apart from Bush on several issues, Kerry blasts Saudi Arabia and promises to act against anti-Semitic statements by senior Saudi government officials. "As president, he will never permit these kinds of attacks to go unanswered," the paper promises. [Good. We hope that he will also not let anti- Muslim and anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian statements to go unanswered. Racism in all its forms is deplorable, against Jews, and against anyone else as well! We at Tikkun recognize that the well being of each of us depends on the well-being of everyone else on the planet--we are all in this together, and ought to start talking and acting that way, which is one of many reasons we are upset at Kerry's one-sidedness and obvious pandering for votes.]

Kerry takes a particularly tough stance on Iran, declaring that "a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable." [So does that mean Iran becomes the next target for military intervnetion in a Kerry administration?]

Sources in the Kerry campaign said that the position paper and other letters sent in recent weeks to supporters in the Jewish community are intended "to educate and inform on his views, so there will be no doubt about his support for the state of Israel." [This is baloney. If he really cared about the Jewish people or the well-being of the State of Israel he'd have the courage to challenge the current right-wing policies, challenge the Occupation itself, and join with those American Jews and non-Jews in The Tikkun Community, Americans for Peace Now, Jewish Voices for Peace, Brit Tzedeck, etc. who point out that the Occupation and the current policies of the Israeli government are a disaster for Israel and for the Jewish people.

This political pandering to the Right won't win him their votes--most of them will vote Republican anyway, and it only demonstrates the level of his cowardice and his lack of principle or lack of understanding. All the more reason why those who will be voting for him should do all they can to reach him with a message challenging his stand agaisnt the best interests of Israel and the Jewish people, not to mention against the best interests of the United States and the peoples of the world, all of whom would benefit from an Israel bent on peace and reconcilaition rather than on a "fortress Israel" prepared to stand alone and insensitively deny the Palestinian people the same rights that we Jews rightly insist upon for ourselves. Many Tikkunistas may vote for Kerry--but they don't have to passively accept these distortions, either from the media or from the Kerry camaign. Support for Kerry should not lead to giving him a blank check to go as far to the Right as he thinks opportune .]

The Tikkun Community

We understand the solid reasons behind the support that many feel for Kerry and the deep desire to replace Bush. We are not intending to challenge those feelings, but only to insist that however you decide to vote, you can still insist that your candidate change his position on issues that are important to you. Right now, Kerry is out seeking public support--he needs to hear from you if you challenge his policies on Iraq or on Israel/Palestine. It may be much harder to get him to listen to you once he has won the election. But in the next few months, he needs to hear from Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc. who disagree with his position in support of the Israeli right- wing.

Please send this to everyone you know and ask them to let the Kerry campaign know what they think. And please ask them to help empower a different voice--by actually going to the website www.tikkun.org and JOINING our interfaith organization, The TIKKUN COMMUNITY (which they can also do by calling 510 644 1200 during work hours Pacific Daylite time). It's not enough to agree with us, we need to have your financial support and be able to say that you've joined and are thereby indicating that you are with this kiind of critique that we articulate.

One last point about Kerry and his campaign. There are millions of people responding to Kerry because of their goodness and decency in recognizing that war and domination of the other is not the right way to go. When they see Kerry making statements of the sort that we are critiquing, they say to themselves, "Give this guy a break--he has to do everything possible to win, and THEN he will be able to say things that you might want to hear." That's a very reasonable point.

However, please read pages 33-48 of the July/August issue where we present the argument that running the way Kerry seems to be doing may well be counter-productive to his winning. There are many, many Americans who don't bother to vote because they have given up on the cynicism that they feel coming from both major political parties, and they are cynical as well about the possiblity of a third party making any difference. Those people may be indispensible for Kerry to win if he were to mobilize even a fraction of them. The path that Kerry is choosing at the moment does the opposite--it confirms cynicism and leads to passivity. So the arguments being made here are not anti-Kerry. They are just as valuable for those who are convinced that Kerry should win. And we want to approach the Kerry camp with compassion, open-heartedness, and a recognition of the goodness that has led to that campaign--and then from both practical political concerns as well insist that the best policy is the most principled policy, and that the path to a world of peace and justice is a path of peace and justice.

Warm regards and blessings for a world of peace, kindness, ecological sanity, justice, and generosity of spirit!

Rabbi Michael Lerner
Tikkun

email: magazine@tikkun.org
phone: 510-644-1200
web: http://www.tikkun.org

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Treason...

by Gerald Honigman at Arutz Sheva
Notice: Politically correct Gentiles and suicidal Jews should not read any further. Hear that, Yossi Beilin, Shimon?

Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines "treason" as "...the violation of the allegiance owed to one's sovereign or state; betrayal of one's country," and, specifically in the United States, "...consisting only in levying war against the U.S. or in giving aid and comfort to its enemies."

Recently, Arab students attending Hebrew University demonstrated against the visit of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, screaming -- among other things -- "We are all Ahmed Yassins!" Other Israeli Arabs appeared in newspapers all over the world holding up Yassin's picture in protest marches. Arab legislators in the Knesset typically behave similarly.

In reality, this is nothing new.

Like him or not, agree with him or not, the late Rabbi Meir Kahane reported such things decades ago and was branded a racist -- if truth be told -- for coming to some subsequently very logical conclusions.

But why worry? Let's pretend that one fifth of Israel's growing Arab population -- with a higher birthrate than that of the Jews -- are all loyal citizens. Let's be ostriches, with heads in the sand.

Look, Israel must realize that most of the world will always have a double standard when it comes to the Jewish State. Call it looking through Jew-colored lenses, or whatever.

So, Israel must do what needs to be done and not wait to act, on matters of vital interest in particular, until obtaining the world's approval. I will be named the next Pope before that occurs.

Let's get something straight here. We're not talking about American students at Kent State University protesting American policies or the war in Viet Nam. What we are talking about is the freest Arabs to be found anywhere in the Middle East -- those in Israel -- supporting murder and the destruction of the very state in which they live.

Continue . . .

The strange saga of Marine Cpl. Wassef Hassoun

Hassoun called his family today to tell them he is safe . . . in Lebanon
WEST JORDAN, Utah (CNN) -- Marine Cpl. Wassef Hassoun called his family Wednesday to tell them he is safe and in Lebanon, a source close to his family told CNN.

The source said Hassoun contacted the family in West Jordan, Utah, and Lebanon and told them that he had called the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and asked that he be picked up from an undisclosed location in Lebanon. The source said Hassoun sounded healthy and happy.

The source said the family was awaiting word from the embassy in Beirut to find out if it had custody of Hassoun.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Pentagon or the State Department.

Tuesday, Hassoun's brother Sami told CNN the family had received a clear sign that his brother is alive and has been released. He would not elaborate.

The 24-year-old American translator of Lebanese descent was reported missing in Iraq on June 20.

Arabic-language television station Al-Jazeera on June 27 aired a video showing Hassoun blindfolded with a sword suspended over his head. A narrator on the tape said the captive would be killed if the United States did not free jailed Iraqis.

On July 1, the Pentagon listed him as captured.

"He's alive and he's released and thank God for that," his brother Sami said Tuesday. "The sign came to us, we are sure of it."

On Monday, a group claiming to have kidnapped Wassef Hassoun said it had taken him to safety, Al-Jazeera reported.

He "has been sent to a safe place after he had announced his forgiveness and his determination not to go back to the U.S. forces," said the group -- which calls itself "Islamic Response," the security wing of the Islamic Resistance of Iraq -- in a statement faxed to Al-Jazeera and posted on the network's Web site.

Earlier reports on other Islamist Web sites said Hassoun had been beheaded.

Hassoun, who now lives in West Jordan [Utah], was trained as a truck driver, but worked as an Arabic translator. He was last seen June 19 and was reported missing when he failed to report for duty the next day.


I don't want to make any politically incorrect judgements before knowing what happened, but CNN does skip mention of the fact that not only is Cprl. Hassoun "of Lebanese descent," but he also happens to be Muslim. Nick Berg, an American Jew, was kidnapped and beheaded in Iraq. So was Paul Johnson, who I believe was Christian. Now here's an American Muslim who is kidnapped and released, ostensibly having promised not to return to the U.S. military.

Remember Sgt. Asan Akbar, who rolled a grenade into the tents of his commanding officers in Iraq, back in March, and proceeded to shoot the soldiers that ran out after the explosion? He killed two of his fellows and injured 14 others.

Depending on how the Hassoun story unfolds, this has the potential of adding up to something very uncomfortable for Americans. An article at Slate.MSN.com tells us that as many as 3,000 American soldiers converted to Islam during the first Gulf War, and somewhere betwwen 4000-15,000 Muslims may be serving the U.S. military today.

I don't think I'd even bring it up if it weren't terribly clear to me that if the situation were reversed, if American Jews were being asked to fight Israeli Jews [Gd forbid], you KNOW that there would be a major public controversy surrounding it. We Jews have been known to speak among ourselves as to whether we consider ourselves Jewish Americans . . . or American Jews. In a hypothetical squeeze, we would be expected to explain ourselves, and rationally so.

The way it is, we tiptoe around our Muslim American brothers, trying not to even consider the vaguest possibility of perhaps offending anyone in any way. But I'll you something, if this Cpl. doesn't get back to work as a translator for the Marine Corps, I'm going to want to know why not, and I'm not going to tiptoe or play nice.

If the guy's name was Lieberman, the questions and accusations would fly, just like they have with Uncle Joe. Google ["Joe Lieberman" + loyalty] and you'll get over 7,000 hits. Keep in mind that Israel is our ally.

More Google searches affirm the extent of my cynicism: ["Asan Akbar" + loyalty] yields 112 hits. Wassef Hassoun? 14. And most of those who have raised the question in this direction were promptly slammed with charges of incendiary biogotry and racism; see this thread for example.

BTW, Michael Moore is Anti-Israel

via Naomi Ragen
In 1987, Moore was honored by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) for his "courageous efforts in journalism." (In 1986, Moore was for a few months been editor of Mother Jones, and it was reported by ADC - and denied by Mother Jones - that he had been fired by Mother Jones because of his decision to do a cover story about the Palestinians]

In 1990, after his movie "Roger and Me," Moore told an ADC conference in Detroit that he had been invited to attend a screening of his film at the Jerusalem festival. " Moore told ADC that he had said he "would not attend , as long as Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza."

Moore attended and spoke at a June 5, 1990 demonstration at the Israeli Embassy protesting the continued Israeli occupation.

Moore dedicated his most recent book Dude Where's My Country, to International Solidarity Movement activist Rachel Corrie. In an on-line interview 11/16/03 with Booknotes, Moore described her as "stand[ing] in front of the bulldozers when the Israelis go to bulldoze the homes of people who did nothing wrong, but because a family member committed a horrible crime - with, you know, no trial, no anything..."

In his book, Stupid White Men and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation, Moore proposes that Congress should inform Israel that it has thirty days to end the bloodshed in its/our name or we will cut off the annual largess of $3 billion. He observes that individual terrorism is bad enough, but state sponsored terrorism is truly evil.

"If Israel wants to continue receiving our annual gift, it should be given a year to work out a plan with the Palestinians to create a nation called Palestine(formed from the West Bank, Gaza, and a strip of land that connects them)."

Moore from his book, Dude Where's My Country
"....If you want real security, I suggest you consider my ideas that will efinitely maker America a safer country....

It might be good to find out why hundreds of millions of people on three continents... are so pissed off about Israel. Now I'm not just talking about your everyday anti-Semites. No, I'm talking about the perceived notion that we Americans are supporting Israel in its oppression of he Palestinian people. Now where did those Arabs come up with an idea like that? Maybe it was when that Palestinian child looked up in the air and saw an American Apache helicopter firing a missile into his baby sister's bedroom just before she was blown into a hundred bits....

...Of course many Israeli children had died too, at the hands of the Palestinians. You would think that would make every Israeli want to wipe out the Arab world, But the average Israeli does not have that response. Why? Because in their hearts, they know they are wrong, and they know they would be doing just what the Palestinians are doing if the sandal were on the other foot.

...Hey, here's away to stop the suicide bombings - give the Palestinians a bunch of missile-firing Apache helicopters and let them and the Israelis go at each other head to head. Four billion dollars a year to Israel, four billion a year to the Palestinians - they can just blow each other up and leave the rest of us the hell alone.'" (pp. 121-122, Chapter 5 "How to Stop Terrorism? Stop being terrorists"- Dude Where's my country (2003)
More Moore:

"There is no terrorist threat in this country. This is a lie. This is the biggest lie we've been told."

"I think the United States, I think our government knows where (Bin Laden) is and I don't think we're going to be capturing him or killing him any time soon. Because he's funded by their friends in Saudi Arabia!"

"I want him [Bush] paraded in handcuffs outside a police house as a common criminal because I don't know if there's a greater crime than taking people to war based on a lie. I've never seen anything like Bush and his people. They truly hate our constitution, our rights and liberties. They have no shame in fighting for their corporate sponsors."

"[Americans] are possibly the dumbest people on the planet ... in thrall to conniving, thieving, smug pr*cks. We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing." -- Michael Moore while in Germany.

In Liverpool, he paused to contemplate the epicenters of evil in the modern world: "It's all part of the same ball of wax, right? The oil companies, Israel, Halliburton."

Naomi Ragen: "Moore angers me as an American, as an Israeli and as a Jew."

You betcha.

UPDATE: I'm really sick to death of Michael Moore, but somehow I can't let it go. yet. Jim Pinkerton had an interesting take on the possible effect of the movie; the upshot is
"... if Moore's film is a hit at the box office, it's more likely to turn Kerry voters into Nader voters than it is to turn Bush voters into Kerry voters."
I'll sit with that happy thought, and in the meantime maybe the whole thing will disappear.

I lost yet another liberal friend this week; he's gone over to the Dark Side, where he doesn't even care if Moore is a raving antisemite. He still thinks the maker of Fahrenhate 9/11 is a Great Patriot, in spite of all my arguments, reasons and evidence to the contrary. I have not another rabbit to pull out of my hat; I give up.

The funny thing is, I was really afraid of the effects of the Gibson movie and it turned out to be less significant than I expected (though not at all harmless). I had no actual fear -just some loathing- of the Moore movie, but lo and behold, the effect of this one is actually completely frightening! It's like a sci-fi movie, with people you know and love turning into zombies, their brains consumed by Bush-hatred. Go figure.

I don't get it

Saddam had no WMD, but we have seized 1.77 TONS of uranium in Iraq and airlifted it to the US
NY Times: WASHINGTON, July 6 — American officials have seized about 1,000 sources of radioactivity and nearly two tons of low-enriched uranium from an Iraqi nuclear center, and shipped the material to an undisclosed location in this country, the Energy Department announced Tuesday.

None of the materials were usable in a nuclear bomb, but the uranium could have been further enriched to make it useful in a weapon, said Bryan Wilkes, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration, part of the Energy Department.

He also said the radioactive sources could have been mixed with conventional explosives to make a "dirty bomb."

The Defense Department airlifted the material to the United States on June 23, the announcement said.

The material came from Tuwaitha, an important location in Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons development program until it was largely shut down after the Persian Gulf war of 1991.
This next line is especially comforting:
The site was looted by villagers soon after the American invasion of Iraq last year.

Tuwaitha reportedly has hundreds of tons of uranium. . . . consolidated at Tuwaitha from around Iraq by the Defense Department and the Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology, according to the Energy Department.

Some of the sources were in powdered form, which would make them easy to use in a dirty bomb, Mr. Wilkes said [Bryan Wilkes, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration, part of the Energy Department].

A dirty bomb or, more formally, a radiological dispersion device, is not likely to give off lethal doses of radiation, according to experts, but could contaminate valuable real estate with low levels of contamination in a way that would require an expensive cleanup or simply make an area unusable.


Speaking of dirty bombs, Victor Davis Hanson is unafraid to broach the subject of the next mass murder in America:
Is our reluctance to discuss the unmentionable because we think we can do nothing in response — as if there is no culpable nation-state, a toothless CIA can tell us little, we dare not upset fragile gains in Iraq, or that violence only spawns violence? In a world in which Hezbollah promises to help out with peddling Fahrenheit 9/11, the Spanish people are led by the nose by al Qaeda, and Americans lose their heads to cheers in Middle East Internet cafes, have we given the fatal impression that we would grunt a few times, flip the channel, and then do nothing after a repeat of September 11?

. . . Both sides should anticipate the consequences should another 3,000 Americans be incinerated at work.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

This could make for a very interesting situation

Both bits via Internet Haganah:
FBI plans to train Saudi intelligence
Saudi secret service 'riddled with al Qaeda

What a long strange trip this is.

CAIR gives NASA "sensitivity and diversity training"

"Which is kinda funny since the only thing that any Islamic nation has shot a rocket at is a Jew" -- DANEgerus.



A Palestinian fighter from the Islamic movement Hamas
holds a home made rocket launcher in Gaza City. (AFP/
File/Mahmud Hams)

President Bush in my hometown July 4th


US President George W. Bush addresses an Independence
Day celebration in front of the State Capitol in Charleston,
West Virginia
.(AFP/Mike Theiler)


Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.
~ Chinese proverb


Over 40% of Canadian teens think America is 'evil'

via LGF
In one telephone poll of teens between the ages of 14 and 18, over 40 per cent of the respondents described the United States as being “evil”. That number rose to 64 per cent for French Canadian youth.

These teens appear to equate George W. Bush and Americans with Osama bin Laden and Hitler, although it is unknown if the teens polled would describe the latter two as being evil.

-- TorontoFreePress.com

Living What You Believe and Believing What You Live By

With blessings from David Wilder in Hebron
Shalom. Yesterday afternoon I was guiding two journalists around Hebron, showing them the sites, so to speak. One of them is the bureau chief of the New York Times, James Bennett, together with a columnist for the International Herald Tribune, Roger Cohen. A few interesting things happened during the couple of hours we spent talking and touring that I’d like to relate to you.

Perhaps the most impressive part of our wandering had nothing to do with any of us. Rather, it was a young, 23-year old we met, guarding at the entrance to Tel Rumeida. Hearing us talking, he asked in very fluent English where we were from. His accent was definitely not Israeli, but distinctly American. This fellow, I’ll call him P.K. for the sake of this article, is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s been in Israel for little over 18 months, is not yet a citizen, rather is here on a student visa, and here he is, serving in the IDF in Hebron. I told him that I don’t thing I’ve ever met a Jew from Milwaukee in Hebron before.

Every once in a while I bump into people like P.K.. He’s serving in through a program called Machal, which is a volunteer plan for ‘not yet’ Israeli citizens who want to serve their people. In his words, “I was studying philosophy and Jewish history in a United States university, watching buses blow up here. Kind of a bummer.”

So P.K., rather than continuing to watch buses blow up from afar, took action. He came to serve in the Israeli army. A real, honest-to-goodness soldier, just like everyone else. I won’t specify his job, but it carries real responsibility, and not a little danger.

Fortunately P.K. isn’t alone is his Zionistic idealism. A few years ago I wrote an article about a similar soldier named Ari, who too, hadn’t yet made official Aliyah. A couple of weeks ago I met Ari again, for the first time is several years. Today, a full-fledged Israeli, he is studying for a Masters at Bar-Ilan University. And he hasn’t lost his idealism either. When the army refused to take him into the reserves, he signed a form volunteering for IDF reserve duty for twenty years.

Just so that you understand, many Israelis will do anything they can to get out of reserve service. And here, Ari is doing exactly the opposite. Believe me, it’s people like P.K. and Ari that keep me going.

That brings me to my second point. I’m not sure exactly how to classify this – sad, unfortunate, I really don’t know.

Towards the end of my conversations with Mr. Roger Cohen, he remarked, ‘it’s difficult to find something good to write about people like you.’ This remark, not made nastily, was a reflection of much of our dialogue. Cohen obviously had great difficulty digesting the fact that Jews live in a city like Hebron. I was emotionally struck by his remarks while visiting the memorial room for the 1929 massacre victims at Beit Hadassah. He had a problem relating to the significance of the event itself, on several planes. First of all, he attempted to compare it to conflicts between other countries, or ethnic groups in Europe, saying that while once they were bitter enemies, today they belong to a common political and economic unit, and live together in harmony. The Hebron massacre was ‘small’ in scope, compared to other atrocities.

In addition, Mr. Cohen could not grasp the seemingly constant memories of such an event. He asked me why we must continue to look back as opposed to looking forward.

In truth, I had trouble comprehending Cohen’s statements, which seemed to question the necessity of memories. When dealing with correspondents I really try and keep my cool; in this case I almost lost it. Roger Cohen, obviously a very intelligent person, didn’t seem to make any sense.

I, of course, explained that without a past, there is no future, that we must learn from the past, acting upon that knowledge in the future. That way, we can continue to look forward. In addition, I tried to clarify the fact that our adversary had not changed in the slightest, that he is today just as primitive and barbaric as he was seventy five years ago. Perhaps the difference is that then, they could only kill one Jew at a time. Today, with one bomb, they kill and maim dozens in an instant.

(Only after Cohen left did I discover the real question behind his question, his own struggle with comprehending memories, in a fascinating lecture he delivered in 2001 – [www.nieman.harvard.edu/events/honors/morris/cohen-JAM-2001.html]).

However, the most disturbing element of our conversation was his remark that it’s difficult to find anything good to say about us. Again, he wasn’t being antagonistic, just truthful, from his perspective. He really doesn’t understand why a Jew should live in Hebron. This troubled me, having visited Tel Rumeida, seeing the excavations, thousands of years old, the tomb of Jessie and Ruth, the Avraham Avinu synagogue and its ancient Torah Scrolls, and, of course, Ma’arat HaMachpela – the Caves of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. What would it take to convince him?

By this time I had to keep my explanations short, time was running out. So I asked him, “why not?” “What is the problem with being a Jew in Hebron, living an ideal, living in my home, trying to living a normal life, in the first Jewish city in Israel? Why is that bad?” I don’t recall that he responded.

It is difficult for me to fathom correspondent Roger Cohen, or the other Roger Cohens of the world, probably as much as it is for them to fathom me. In my eyes they have lost touch with reality – genuine reality, as opposed to their perception of the way the world should be. For some reason they live an illusion, professing a concept of perfection which negates actuality, perhaps demanding a breakdown of humanity, humanity which is composed of different cultures and traditions, for a humanism which would delete us as individuals and nations.

My prayer is that the future lies not with them, but with the P.K.s and Aris of the world, the real idealists, who live what they believe and believe what they live.

With blessings from Hebron.

Zarqawi releases slick terrorist video to TIME

"It does not bode well. . . "
TIME Magazine: Jihad leader Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian terrorist and the most wanted man in Iraq, this weekend released a telling window into his organization, Attawhid wal Jihad, or Unity and Jihad. In a slickly produced hour-long video Zarqawi lays bare the milieu of his suicide bombers, their safehouses, their rituals and their targeting guidelines. Given directly to TIME, the video is a bold, menacing statement of the group's intent and capability. The subtext of this disturbing tape is that for the U.S. this is likely to be a long, drawn out fight in Iraq against a committed, well-organized enemy.

The tape contains many chilling scenes. When the chairman of the U.S. appointed Iraqi Governing Council, Izzedine Salam, then the country's highest Iraqi official, was assassinated last month in a car bomb Zarqawi quickly claimed credit. Now he shows the act, in graphic footage shot from a parked car: A convoy of white SUVs disappears down a Baghdad street, followed a moment later by a ball of flame and explosion so intense the windscreen through which the cameraman films cracks before your eyes.

When a suicide car bomber intercepted a convoy of security personnel for General Electric in the heart of Baghdad on June 14 Zarqawi's information unit was there, ready and waiting. The three-vehicle convoy enters the screen and is followed down a crowded little street. As the lens zooms in the vehicles erupt in a blistering ball of flame. Three bystanders are seen turning their backs from the blast, attempting to cover their heads. In contrast to other videos of insurgent attacks, the cameraman does not flee. Instead he holds his position and zooms in on the burning suicide vehicle and the flaming SUVs. Survivors can be seen moving from the vehicles and attempting to take cover.

Each episode of this grim "Best Of" the militant group's attacks over the last year is accompanied by professional-style editing, graphics and camera work. Explanations are given of each operation, the names of the suicide bombers, and the targeting justification. Apologies are given in Arabic screen titles for not showing all the available footage, citing technical problems and operational considerations.

One thing the video makes clear is that foreign fighters have developed a sophisticated organization in Iraq. Interviews on the tape, and living wills made by suicide bombers, show how Muslim men have been brought to the country through well-defined and clearly funded channels. Appearances are made by Saudis, Algerians, Libyans, Jordanians and others. . . .

The group also repeats its claims of responsibility for the attacks on Italian soldiers in Nasiriyah in which 18 were killed, the truck bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and the death of Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello as well as the bombing of the Mount Lebanon Hotel in March. In the hotel attack, the cameraman is positioned too close to the blast and the camera crackles with digital static as the torrent of yellow and orange flame rolls toward it.

This video speaks of a danger more organized than the one viewed through the snippets of the intelligence and glimmers of insight the public [has] previously seen. It does not bode well . . .


It's a good thing Kerry is focusing on health care. If these terrorists have their way, Gd forbid, we'll be needing it. And if it's "more streamlined" and "more efficient," all the better, right?


Iraqis crowd around a burning vehicle after a bomb attack
in the centre of Baghdad June 14, 2004. REUTERS/Faleh Kheiber

Monday, July 05, 2004

Europe has "only a few more days to accept bin Laden's truce"

"Muslims in the West should depart to Muslim states"
DUBAI (Reuters) - An al Qaeda-linked group has vowed to renew attacks on Europe and has urged Muslims to flee once Osama bin Laden's three-month truce ends on July 15, two Arabic-language newspapers have reported.

"To the European people ... you only have a few more days to accept bin Laden's truce or you will only have yourselves to blame," said the statement purported to be from the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades which claimed responsibility for the March 11 train bombings in Spain.

Al Qaeda leader bin Laden, in an audiotape on April 15, extended a truce to Europeans if they withdrew troops from Muslim nations. He said the offer not to attack Europe would last three months.

It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the new statement, parts of which were published by London-based newspapers Asharq al-Awsat and al-Hayat on Friday. The dailies said the letter was dated July 1 but did not say how they obtained it.

"Muslims in the West should depart to Muslim states if they can," the letter said.

"Those who cannot should take precautions and live in Muslim areas, have enough food to last a month, find ways to protect themselves and their families, leave enough money in the house to last one month or longer and to pray a lot and put their fate in God's hands," it added.

The statement said attacks would continue until the United States freed Muslim prisoners, ended its war on Islam and until "all Muslim land, including Jerusalem and Kashmir, is cleansed of the stain of Jews, Americans and Hindus".


This business of instructing Muslims to flee to get out of the way is very reminiscent of 1947-1948, is it not?
"The Arab governments told us: Get out so that we can get in. So we got out, but they did not get in." - from the Jordan daily Ad Difaa, September 6, 1954

"It must not be forgotten that the Arab Higher Committee encouraged the refugees' flight from their homes in Jaffa, Haifa, and Jerusalem." - Near East Arabic Broadcasting Station, Cyprus, April 3, 1949

"The Arab States encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies." - Falastin (Jordanian newspaper), February 19, 1949

"We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down." - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Said, quoted in Sir Am Nakbah ("The Secret Behind the Disaster") by Nimr el Hawari, Nazareth, 1952

". . . Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes, and property and to stay temporarily in neighboring fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down. - Habib Issa, Secretary General of the Arab League,in the newspaper Al Hoda, June 8, 1951


Don't you feel another UN Agency for Arab refugees coming on? Arabs displaced from Eurabia. Watch, they'll keep the keys to their houses, and our children will see their children rioting for their "right to return" to Madrid, Paris, London . . . .





Um and Abu Yousef, Palestinian refugees, living in Jordan hold keys to their house in pre-1948 Palestine at the al-Hussein refugee camp in Amman, June 20, 2004. United Nations is marking on Sunday the World Refugee Day with the theme 'A Place to Call Home' by calling on countries to resettle millions of refugees, especially from Africa and Asia. Jordan is home to 1.7 million Palestinian refugees. Picture[s] taken June 14, 2004.
REUTERS/Majed Jaber


UPDATE:
I missed this the first time I read the Reuters piece. The terrorists' statement (purportedly from the Madrid/March 11 bombers) includes this very polite one-liner:
". . . do not blame us for what will happen, and we apologise to you in advance if you are among those killed."
Hilarious.

INSANITY

Avi Dichter, head of Shin Bet, reports to the Cabinet

You should read all of this review of the state of the terror war, most of which I could have told you, or at least imagined: Israeli Arab citizens in East Jerusalem share the ideology of other Palestinian Arabs and because of their freedoms, are being recruited to participate in attacks; suicide bombings remain the biggest problem; the fence helps; Syria is aiding Hamas; Iran is aiding Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Tanzim; arms continue to be smuggled in from Egypt . . . yaddda yadda yadda.

No surprises, save one:
"He said that about 45 percent of the PA's $1 billion budget is provided by tax revenues Israel transfers to the PA. Of this budget, Arafat's office gets $8 million a month, which pays some 300 employees. Dichter said he cannot give assurances that none of this money ends up in the hands of terrorists.
That's about the craziest thing I ever heard.

UPDATE 07/09/04: Caroline Glick noticed it too (I'm so happy that at last I have something in common with my hero!)
In any even semi-rational country, this disclosure would have been the story of the week – if not the year. After all, can anyone imagine the US media reaction to a disclosure by the head of the FBI that the US was funding the Taliban or the Ba'athist regime in Iraq after September 11? In any marginally sane society, there would be demonstrations launched, lawsuits filed, black headlines, and stuttering government spokesmen sent out to whimper excuses for the government's financing of the murder of its citizens by the sworn enemies of the state.

But, sadly, this story received four lines buried at the end of a story in the inside pages of Yediot Aharonot and barely a mention anywhere else.
So she doesn't read this obscure American blog. . . that's okay. You still must read all of her Column One: Our daily drivel. It's long, but more than worthwhile. As always.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Last post for the 4th of July, 2004
never to come again


From freelance radical:
At 2AM, last night, an angry Tom Brokaw stood on an empty piece of Iraqi desert and said that "Hope is not a policy."
(Last post, but it has two parts because I couldn't decide which I wanted more. Turns out the two work very nicely, juxtaposed like this.)

Movie theater owner refuses to show Farenhate 9/11
DECORAH, Iowa — The president of a company that owns movie theaters in Iowa and Nebraska is refusing to show director Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11."

R.L. Fridley, owner of Des Moines-based Fridley Theatres, says the controversial documentary incites terrorism.

Kol hakavod to Mr. Fridley. He has common sense, which I've come to appreciate. Common sense and hope. Sounds like a policy to me!

G'night from Galut. Gd bless America, and may democracy weather the storm.

"Zionism was a race against time"

The perpetual motion of Herzl
by Hillel Halkin
JPost: This week marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Theodor Herzl. Herzl died young, at the age of 44. Although it is tempting to speculate how much more he might have accomplished had he lived longer, it is more likely that he would have accomplished less. He only managed to do what he did in the nine hectic years between writing The Jewish State and dying of complications from a heart condition by living at an unsustainable pace.

"I gave my heart's blood for my people," he said to a bedside visitor not long before his death, and for once this greatest of political and diplomatic poker players, who bluffed his way through high-stakes pot after pot without a single strong card in his hand, was not exaggerating.

Herzl created the international movement called Zionism from practically nothing. There were Zionists long before him, of course, not only in the traditional sense of Jewish longers for and dreamers of Zion, but in the guise of several thousand modern Jewish colonists in Palestine and their supporters. Yet the latter represented a tiny fraction of the Jewish people, and were taken seriously by few. Even their one major backer, the French-Jewish philanthropist Baron Edmond de Rothschild, considered them more a charitable cause than a revolutionary movement. They had no masses of Jews behind them, no effective organization, no political clout, no long-term strategy, no publicity, no international interest. Nor did it occur to them that they might create a reality based on such things.

It occurred to Herzl. Yet what made him unique was not so much his belief in this reality, which led him to declare prophetically at the First Zionist Congress, organized by him in 1898, that there would be a Jewish state within 50 years. His genius, long before radio and television, lay in understanding that in an age of rapid mass communication, of telegrams, daily newspapers and commercial advertising, reality was created through illusion.

Any normally sensible person could have told him that if you wanted to build a successful Zionist movement, you had to spend years, country by country, in organizing Zionist branches, recruiting members, raising funds, building an infrastructure. Herzl saw it differently. First, he thought, announce a gala congress to celebrate this non-existent movement's success; and then, at breakneck speed, use the electrifying effect of the announcement to get the branches, members, funds and infrastructure to materialize in time.

He was a prestidigitator, a jongleur. He knew that if you juggle three balls in the air they look like five; that five look like 10; that seven, if you can manage them, look like 20 - and that none, as long as they remain in the air, can be examined to see if they are real.

The Turkish sultan owned Palestine and didn't want Jews but needed international loans? Then convince him you could deliver those loans even if you didn't have a penny to your name, and then convince Rothschild you were the sultan's best friend. Kaiser Wilhelm didn't give a hoot for Zionism but was eager to expand German influence in the East? Then make him believe that the loan you were obtaining for the sultan could lead to a German protectorate over millions of Palestinian Jews. It didn't matter that Rothschild, the sultan, and the kaiser all laughed and thought you were mad. You had gotten to speak to one of them, had an audience with another, and met the third face-to-face - three more balls in the air with which to hold your audience spellbound. What mattered was to keep the balls moving.

There was a time when, like certain Zionist intellectuals of his day, I tended to be dismissive of Herzl. He was a performer, a theatrical artist, even a bit of a clown - certainly not a heavyweight Jewish thinker. Jewishly speaking, indeed, he was an am ha'aretz. He knew no Hebrew, was unversed in Jewish culture, had only a superficial knowledge of religious tradition. Although I didn't much care for Herzl's contemporary Ahad Ha'am and his "cultural Zionism" with its disdain for Jewish power, I agreed with Ahad Ha'am's criticism of Herzl as a Westjude - an assimilated Viennese Jew out of touch with the deeper currents of Jewish life and history. To a serious Jew, Herzl was something of an embarrassment.

And was he really so important? After all, the Jews didn't need him to tell them about anti-Semitism. They didn't need him to tell them that their situation was desperate. They didn't even need him to tell them that they needed a state of their own to protect them. Zionism would have become a mass movement in the Jewish world without Herzl, too, and Jewish settlement in Palestine - the details of which never interested him much because he was fixated on the larger picture - would have proceeded apace. Perhaps it would have taken a bit longer, perhaps a few more years would have been required, but a Jewish state in Palestine would have been established in the end anyway.

Today, this seems to me shallow thinking. Its fallacy lies in the seemingly innocent phrase "a few more years." It assumes that, in the period between 1898 and 1948, the Jewish people had a few more years.

It didn't. Zionism was a race against time, and one that was almost lost.

Continue . . .



Fantasyland

by Victor Davis Hanson
We live in an upside-down civilization of hit Michael Moore conspiracy films, of novels about how to kill a sitting President of the United States, of elite American newsmen ridiculing brave Iraq democrats, and of allied peoples abroad who tell pollsters that they prefer beheaders and fascists to win in Iraq. Perhaps we should take a hard look at this current mythic world.
And so he does. Read it all.

They're Killing Us Again



Israeli Shot to Death by Terrorists in Roadside Ambush

" ...there are people, excuse me, animals, in the area looking for people to kill."
Jerusalem Post: Victor Kriederman, 49, a settler from Mavo Dotan in the northern West Bank, was murdered and his wife evacuated to hospital in a state of shock after their vehicle was attacked by terrorists on the Yabed bypass road near Shaked Sunday morning.

Kriederman's funeral will begin Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at Mavo Dotan's cemetery.

At approximately 6:20 a.m., Palestinian terrorists waiting at the side of the road ambushed the car, in which the two were traveling between Mevo Dotan and Shaked, mortally wounding the man. His wife alerted emergency services on her cell phone.

A military doctor pronounced the Victor Kriederman dead at the scene, and his wife was evacuated to Hillel Yaffe hospital in Hadera.

Soldiers are searching the village of Yabed for the perpetrators and accomplices. On Sunday afternoon, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on an Israeli bus near the settlement of Ganim, also in the northern West Bank. There were no injuries but some damage was caused. The bus is of an armored type, Israel Radio reported.

Mevo Dotan security chief Motti Amir told reporters that the two were traveling without army escort, in violation of standing orders in the area. They had reportedly set out from the roadblock only 10 minutes before an escorted convoy was due to leave.

The Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack. Its Jenin commander – Zakaria Zbeidah told ynet that the attack was in response to last week's killing of Naif Abu Sarach and his associates in Nablus.

Yael Ben-Ya'akov, a resident of Mevo Dotan, told Army Radio that settlers travel without military escort from time to time, but that it was not correct to say that the attack would not have happened had the pair been under army protection. "What is dangerous is that there are people, excuse me, animals, in the area looking for people to kill," Ben-Ya'akov said.


The New York Times filters out any nonequivalence:
via Reuters: "Israeli settler and two Palestinians die in shootings"

via AP: "In 4 Incidents, 3 Palestinians and Israeli Die"
They just don't get the Essential Nuance: Arabs kill us for who we are, regardless of what we do. We kill them in the process of what they do, regardless of who they are.


May the family and friends of Victor Kreiderman be comforted among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Supporters of Arab Terrorism

COMING SOON TO A TOWN NEAR YOU

:::: BOULDER CO. JULY 14TH ::::

Wednesday 11AM - 3PM
Boulder Courthouse - Pearl Street Mall
PRESS CONFERENCE 12 PM

7PM - CU BOULDER CAMPUS
Humanities Room 150
Lecture and presentation by the
Stop the Wall campaign organizers
and Nadya Waziri


www.stopthewall.us/index.html

Contrary to popular belief, the Wall that Israel is building will not mark the 1967 border, also known as the "Green Line." Rather, amidst some of the most fertile land in Palestine, this latest unilateral offensive is a further exercise in Israel's annexation of lands, destruction of agriculture and property, and violation of human rights.

The Stop the Wall Campaign - US was initiated to assist the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network (PENGON) in their campaign against the Apartheid Wall, and has the following goals:
Disseminate information to media, government officials, organizations and individuals.

Coordinate with and provide resources for solidarity groups and individuals in the United States.

Mobilize interest among people to come, see and show their solidarity and outrage against the Apartheid Wall.

Assist and arrange delegations and individuals going to Palestine.

Please take action and join our efforts to oppose the human tragedy that is being inflicted by the construction of this wall.

STOP THE WALL TOUR


July 2- July 9: Northwest
Eugene & Ashland, OR & Reno, NV

July 10 - July 19: Central US
Salt Lake City, UT; Ft Collins, Boulder & Denver, CO; Lawrence, KS; Lafayette, IN; & Columbus OH

July 20- July 31: Northeast (1)
Ferguson, PA; Boston, MA (for the Boston Social Forum and DNC); Providence, RI & Pittsburgh, PA

Aug 1 - Aug 21: Midwest US
Louisville, KY; St Louis, MO; Iowa City &Waterloo, IA; Minneapolis, MN; Madison &Milwaukee, WI; Chicago, Il; Traverse City, Lansing, Detroit, Ann Arbor & Hillsdale, MI

Aug 22 - Sept 4: Northeast (2)
Erie, PA: Buffalo, Ithaca & Syracuse, NY and NYC, NY (for the RNC); & Philadelphia, PA

Sept 4 - Sept 25: Southeast US
Chapel Hill, NC; Charleston & Columbia, SC; Atlanta, GA; Dothan, AL; Miami and St Petersburg, FL; New Orleans, LA; Houston, San Antonio, Austin & Dallas, TX; & Nashville, TN

Sept 26 - 28: Washington, DC
(Hopefully folks will join us to lobby and bring their own wall sections to surround a mock village on the mall)

Sept 29 - Oct 20: Westward back to Seattle via the Southwest
Alamosa, CO; Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Alamogordo, NM; Tucson, Phoenix & Flagstaff, AZ; LA, Riverside, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento & Chico, CA; Salem & Portland, OR

"People demand freedom of speech as a
compensation for the freedom of thought
which they seldom use." -- S. Kierkegaard



UPDATE: COME PREPARED
You might want to print out signs or flyers from StandWithUs.com

and please, get yourself some proper attire.

This is good,

this would be kind of ironic

and this is hard core.

Oh yeah, and some of our Christian allies might to wear this:)

What happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?




with thanks to Mark Dixon and E. Brooke Harlowe
Of the 56, twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, eleven were merchants, nine were farmers or large plantation owners, five were doctors, one a ship builder and one was Benjamin Franklin.

No signer was killed outright by the British. Five were captured but eventually released. Richard Stockton of New Jersey was probably the only one who was captured and imprisoned just for having signed the Declaration of Independence.

At least one lost his son in the Revolutionary Army, and one had two sons captured.

Seventeen held military commissions or did medical duty during the War. Two were wounded (one lost his leg). None died in action.

Josiah Bartlett (NH) [name familiar from the tv series, The West Wing! ~ Yael] was a surgeon with Gen. John Stark's troops at Bennington. He declined national offices, citing fatigue or ill health, but remained active in state affairs and died in 1794.

Button Gwinnett (GA) was in a failed campaign to take St. Augustine. He was killed in a duel precipitated partly by an argument over military strategy in 1777.

George Clymer served with the Pennsylvania militia. He died in 1813.

Thomas Heyward, Jr. (SC) was wounded in 1779 near Port Royal Island, SC., recovered, and served in the siege of Charleston. He died 1809.

Thomas Lynch, Jr. (SC) had his military career cut short by illness in 1775. He then was elected to the Continental Congress. In an attempt to restore his health, he left for the West Indies, but was shipwrecked and killed in 1779.

There were two signers of the Declaration surnamed Morris. LEWIS Morris of New York was Brigadier General of Westchester Co. during the New York invasion. He was forced to flee his home, Morrisania, which was damaged in the British occupation, but was later rebuilt. Morris served in the state government and was active in public affairs. He died in 1798.

ROBERT Morris, of Pennsylvania, generally recognized for his fundraising efforts during the war, was later accused (though vindicated) by Thomas Paine of profiteering. As Superintendent of Finance (1781-1784) he was responsible for keeping the young country afloat financially. In 1789, he declined to serve as Secretary of the Treasury (Alexander Hamilton got the job), but served instead as a Senator from PA. Morris' own financial dealings were not as successful. He speculated on western lands on credit, lived extremely well, and embarked on an ambitious home building project. All of this led to personal bankruptcy and time in debtor's prison in 1798. His wife was granted a pension that sustained the family when he died in 1806.

Fifteen signers had their homes and possessions ransacked and burned. British soldiers looted the properties of Ellery, Clymer, Hall, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, Middleton, William Floyd (NY), John Hart (NC), William Hooper (NC), Philip Livingston (NY), and Lewis Morris (NY).

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. His war losses were compounded by other severe commercial setbacks, although he was able to retain his family home, Chericoke, where he was buried in 1797.

Thomas McKeam/M'Kean was hounded by the British and forced to move his family several times. He continued to serve in a number of high ranking political offices, and lived out his life quietly in Philadelphia. He died in 1817 at the age of 83, survived by his second wife and four of the 11 children from his marriages. He left a substantial estate, and was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr. noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. His wife was jailed by the British for six months and she survived only two years after the ordeal. Lewis essentially retired from public life after his wife's death, and lived to the age of 89. He died in 1802.

John Hart escaped the British by living for more than a year in forests and caves. He returned home to find that his wife had died, his 13 children vanished, and his estate, devasted. He died there in 1779. [I couldn't find out if he ever found his children. That worries me. ~ Yael]

I feel like I should say something clever about the preciousness of our freedom, but you know that. And if you don't, may you never have to learn the hard way.

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July