Saturday, May 29, 2004

The Media War

In light of the previous post about The U.N. joining the Palestinian Army, here's an excerpt post from Belmont Club, which discusses an essay, about our current brand of warfare, by Lt. Colonel Robert Leonhard of the U.S. Army:

... the really frightening aspect of Col. Leonhard's argument is not that the military and political aspects of warfare have fused, but his realization that foreign battlefields and home front have merged into one integrated area of operations. There is now no real distinction between winning the "media war" and cleaning out a sniper's nest in Ramadi; between Abu Ghraib the prison and Abu Ghraib the media event. Many readers have criticized the Belmont Club's An Intelligence Failure as being too "soft" on the liberal press, arguing that the media's distortions are not simply the effect of incompetence but the result of a deliberate campaign of partisan information. Doubtless many in the liberal press harbor symmetrical resentments. Yet I have held back from framing the argument in these terms until I could place it in the framework of Col. Leonhard's concept of a global battlefield: one in which the WTC towers and the New York Times newsroom are front line positions no less than any corner in Baghdad; and where victory is measured not simply by the surrender of arms but the capitulation of ideas.

Notice, in my previous post I mentioned that Reuter's shot the footage of the U.N. ambulance two weeks ago and yet the world's media has not picked up on it. It's a huge story, but the media does not choose to break it. The media's editorial decision to not inform the citizenry of such events amounts to Propoganda for the Palestinian side. If the media is Propogandizing for the Palestinian side that means they have joined the war effot as well.

The U.N. Joins The Palestinian Army
U.N. Ambulances Are Used For Terrorist Operations

That's right. United Nations Ambulance drivers are complicit in terrorism. Reuters shot the footage two weeks ago - though somehow it has been lost to the world media - and Access Middle East has it here.

This really should be one of the biggest stories of the year. Think about it, the United Nations has effectively joined the Palestinian Army in it's fight against Israel.

Alot of you fancypants nuancin' types would try to say that it isn't the Palestinian Army, it's just a bunch of militants. Israeli's would call them terrorists, and that's a fair word, to some extent. But, I will call them the Palestinian Army because it has been proven that Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian government, uses Palestinian Government money to fund terrorist operations.

People carrying off operations with guns and bombs paid for by their government. That's an Army, no matter how you nuance it.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Hail Marat Safin - An International Hero

It is a good day. Associated Press brings us the story of an international hero; the Russian tennis player, Marat Safin:

PARIS - Marat Safin celebrated a particularly nifty shot at the French Open (news - web sites) by mooning the crowd, which raised the question: What will he do if he wins the tournament? The mercurial Russian advanced to the third round Friday by winning a two-day marathon against Felix Mantilla, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 11-9.

The match was suspended Thursday because of darkness at 7-all in the fifth set and ended 24 minutes after it resumed when Mantilla sailed a backhand long.

Afterward, Safin was still annoyed about being penalized a point for dropping his shorts early in the fifth set Thursday.

"I felt it was a great point for me," the former U.S. Open (news - web sites) champion said. "I felt like pulling my pants down. What's bad about it?"

Absolutely nothing Mr. Safin. It's perfectly understandable, and quite commendable, actually.

When They Came For the Jews I Did Nothing And Then ...

An article posted on Israpundit today says "More Muslims now see U.S., Israel the same way":

Israel's dealings with the Palestinians have long been the top grievance of many Muslims and Arab-Americans when they think about the Middle East.

But the prisoner abuse case and America's other setbacks in Iraq are increasingly linking the United States with Israel in the minds of many Muslims, who now equate American treatment of Iraqis with Israel treatment of Palestinians - surely one of the last things President Bush hoped for when he authorized the war in Iraq.

"The more you look at Iraq, the more you see a replica of what is happening in the West Bank," said Hani Awadallah, president of the Arab-American Civic Organization in Paterson. "The story is no longer that we are there for liberation. It is clear to everybody that we are there as conquerors."

That view differs from those of major American Jewish groups, who say Israel is defending itself against terrorist attacks, and reject any link to the prisoner abuse in Iraq.
"Israel is engaged in a life and death battle with Palestinians," said David Elcott, the American Jewish Committee's interreligious director for the United States. "That has nothing to do with the U.S. sending troops to Iraq.

"The tragedy is the perception of Muslims is that they are under assault by the West," he said. "It's not a surprise to recognize that Muslims will see this in the same way they see the crusades and colonialism."

But many Muslims and Arabs have long seen a U.S.-Israel link in terms of foreign aid and political support.

Televised images of American troops battling insurgents in Iraq - and graphic footage of wounded and dead civilians - resonate among a Muslim community long used to seeing similar pictures beamed from Palestinian refugee camps.

At the Islamic Center of Passaic County, one of New Jersey's most influential mosques, many worshippers express concern.

"The same thing is happening in Iraq and in Palestine: One force has all the power and the other side is trying to defend itself and find its liberty," said Nabil Abbassi, the center's president.

"The whole reason we went to Iraq was to liberate it," he said. "What is going on is not liberation. All the problems of the people in the jail and the animosity toward the U.S. doesn't help us. It's definitely heading in the wrong direction. We're getting ourselves deeper and deeper into a quicksand situation."

Ahmed Shedeed, director of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, put it more succinctly: "An occupation is an occupation."

Imam Mohammad Qatanani, spiritual leader of the Paterson mosque, has regularly condemned Israeli actions in the occupied territories. But in his recent sermons, the United States is cast in the same light.

"In Iraq is the U.S., and in Palestine is Israel," he told worshippers a week ago. "These two powers nobody can mess with and nobody can criticize. If you criticize, you're a terrorist, and you will be a criminal. What is happening in the Abu Ghraib jail, how could people support that? It is a crime against humanity.

"Occupation is worse than terrorism," he said. "It is a bigger crime, it is even bigger than terrorism. If you really want to stop terrorism, end the occupation first."

Ok, so you want the world to just allow you to detroy yourselves and others, and not do anything about it?

Grow up.

If It Walks Like A Duck And Spews Duck DNA
It's Probably A Duck
Anti-Semitism In Greece

Check this article out:

ATHENS, Greece, May 24 (JTA) — A prominent Greek journalist has accused Greek Jews of being puppets of the Israeli government and of censoring criticism of what he calls “fascist” Israeli policies.
Kostas Betinakis, a former foreign editor of the Ta Nea newspaper, Greece’s largest, made his comments on his news Web site.

The incident raises the issue of anti-Semitism in Greece at a time when a leading Jewish group has reiterated its call for a travel boycott of the country just months before Athens hosts the 2004 Olympics.

Betinakis, known for his anti-Israel views, criticized the country’s Jews after the Central Board of Greek Jewish Communities wrote to the Greek Journalists Union about anti-Semitism in the media following a series of editorial cartoons following Israel’s assassination of Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin in March.

The cartoons included depictions of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Nazi garb and images of Sharon as a butcher cutting up bloody human limbs with a hatchet.

One cartoon portrayed a conversation about the Yassin assassination between two Greek villagers in which one asks the other: “Why did Sharon kill a religious leader?”

The other answers, “They were practicing for Easter,” repeating the canard that the Jews killed Jesus.

Gee, how could the Jews think there's any anti-Semitism there?
How about if a journalist wrote a column defining the Greek's preferred sexual act? Would that be ok?

The letter was intended to be private, but Betinakis — who had access to it as a member of the Journalists Union’s board of directors — called it an official protest and publicized it.

On April 16, the president of the Central Board, Moses Konstantinis, met with Manolis Mathioudakis, the Journalists Union president, to discuss the portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Greek media

Following the meeting, Konstantinis sent Mathioudakis the letter that included the controversial cartoons. The letter said that Greek Jews “recognize the steady policy of the Journalists Union to distance itself from racist principles,” and wanted to bring the cartoons to the union’s attention.

Several leading Jewish organizations, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League, have sent several protest letters to the Greek government over anti-Semitic expression in the Greek media.

The Wiesenthal Center also wrote to the president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, asking that the IOC press Greece on anti-Semitism. The letter comes just two and a half months before the summer games.

Unless Greece takes action against anti-Semitism and racism, the Wiesenthal Center will keep in place its call for a travel boycott against Greece.

Betinakis’ anti-Israel beliefs are not new. As foreign editor of Ta Nea, Greece’s largest newspaper, he has been known to omit news items about Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel.

His Web site also has a 2001 article he wrote about Israel in which he states that the “armored policemen of the U.S. in the Middle East remind one of a caricature of a Jewish small-time merchant breaking his promises and contracts.”

Nope. No anti-Semitism there.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

There's No Such Thing As Palestinian People?
Sometimes You Just Gotta Love Your Enemies

Here's another perspective on the Middle East Conflict. This is a quote from Zahir Muhsein, PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization*) executive committee member, in an interview with the Dutch newspaper "Trouw" March 31, 1977:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism."

Well, well, well, what do you know about that? Thanks for letting us in on that Zahir.

* Editors Note: The Palestinian Liberation Organization is the same thing as the PA (Palestinian Authority) and was founded, and is still run by Yasser Arafat. The official Palestine U.N. website contains the original 1964 PLO Charter which calls for the destruction of Israel. Note, that the PLO was founded in 1964 three years before the 1967 War during which Israel took possession of the disputed territories.

So wait, you mean they started fighting against Israel before Israel even took their land? Why would they do that?

Yeah, why? Do you think it has anything to that those clauses (19-23) in the PLO charer calling for the complete and utter destruction of Israel?


Unilateral Disengagement Is Merciful

Dan Schueftan published this post at

The mainstream of the Jewish public today understands that Israel has to disengage from the Palestinian population in order to maintain a nation state that is both Jewish and democratic. Since there is no Palestinian partner for an historic compromise that is prepared to abandon both terrorism and the demand for "return", Israel must act unilaterally and withdraw from the heavily populated heartland. Israel will withdraw to a border it will determine unilaterally in accordance with the demographic reality, incorporating the three settlement blocs where most of the settlers dwell.

Along this line a physical barrier is being erected, designed to terminate the "creeping return" of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into Israel, to reduce Israel's vulnerability to Palestinian terrorism, and to afford Israelis an acceptable quality of life and standard of living. This barrier, the fence, enjoys public support in Israel primarily as a defense against terrorism, but its significance goes far deeper. In recent decades the entire way of life of the Jewish population had been dictated by its intimate contact with the Palestinians. The Jews have come to understand that the illegal Palestinian migration, as well as the crime and the corruption from the territories, are no less detrimental, in the long run, to their way of life than the terrorism. In recent years Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, one of the most prominent proponents of the Greater Israel paradigm, has also reached similar conclusions. His acceptance of partition, acquiesce in a Palestinian state and even willingness to dismantle settlements does not derive from hope for peace, but rather from despair regarding the chances of historic compromise as well as from recognition that the status quo endangers the democratic nation state of the Jewish people. His plan for unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria rests on the assumption that the Palestinians are not a potential partner to a "two states for two peoples" compromise, and that Israel cannot wait until (if ever) such a partner emerges.

Sharon's disengagement plan enjoys the massive support of the general Israeli public, and of the Likud voters, but Likud members rejected it. While some of the plan's opponents ideologically reject uprooting of settlements, there are many, notably within the security community, who are mainly concerned lest the image of Israel fleeing the territories encourage more terrorism. Acutely aware that the image of Israel "fleeing" Lebanon due to Hizballah terrorism contributed to the war initiated by the Palestinians in 2000, they fear that unilateral departure from Gaza is liable to promote even worse acts of terrorism in the West Bank (perhaps even among the Arab citizens of Israel).

The Rafah operation is intended not only to strike at terrorists, but primarily to enhance Israel's capacity to deal with them following its departure from the Gaza Strip. The key is the weapons supply conduit along the Egyptian border. The main objective is to expand Israeli control over the ridiculously narrow strip of land that separates Egypt from Gaza, through which weapons are smuggled to the Palestinians. The byproduct of a resolute operation in Gaza is a message to the Palestinians that Israel is determined in its struggle against terrorism and is creating the conditions that will enable it to meet this challenge for as long as it takes.

The cost of such determined action is additional damage to Israel's image. But this issue too must be seen within its wider context. The media, European media in particular, present such a convoluted and distorted image of Israel's struggle against Palestinian terrorism that Israel no longer has anything to lose. If the fear of such damage to her image deters Israel from taking needed action in time, terrorism will only be stepped up to a point where more drastic counter measures are called for. Those measures, in turn, will certainly cause even worse damage to Israel's image.

Unilateral disengagement is inevitable because all other options are unacceptable. The offensive against Palestinian terrorism will persist, to demonstrate that terrorism has set Palestinian national objectives back rather than allowing Palestinians to dictate Israeli policy. This requires steadfastness and stamina. Israelis have demonstrated in the last few years that they have more of those qualities then anyone expected.

These ideas are all so logical, and fair. I just can't understand how it is that much of the world sees a unilateral disengagement plan, with a fence erected for security purposes, as an a human rights violation.

Say you're in a bar and a pathetic little guy starts punching you, and you say, no my friend I don't want to fight, but he keeps punching, so you punch him back on the arm, just to give him a taste of what you can do, but that doesn't stop him and he keeps on punching, and so, finally you decide to have the bouncers at the bar just make sure he stays on one side of the bar, and you'll stay on the other.

Is that a human rights violation, or is that mercy? Clearly, it's mercy.

Come on world, Israel could obliterate the Palestinian people if they wanted to. The terrorist are not able to accomplish any more than they already do. So if Israel walks away from the fight, it is an act of mercy.

Child Sacrifice

FrontPageMag posted a David Hornik article this morning called Palistinian Moloch. Moloch is the Hebrew word for child sacrifice:

On Friday, May 21, buried deep in a lengthy Haaretz article, Amir Oren related a tidbit about a much-publicized incident two days earlier. When an Israeli tank fired a warning shot to the side of an approaching crowd of Palestinians in Rafah, Palestinians were accidentally killed. According to Oren, previously some of the marchers had “obeyed the calls over the loudspeakers to turn themselves in to the IDF authorities” but “were confronted by members of the terror organizations, who opened fire on them and killed two children. A senior officer in Gaza reported . . . that the IDF have in their possession pictures of this incident, of Palestinians killing their children. He expressed amazement as to why the army has refrained from publishing them.”

Naturally, Oren’s tidbit didn’t spark a firestorm of concern; it would have made Palestinians look bad, not Israel, and the focus of media, leftist, UN, and EU moralism is always to make Israel look as bad as possible. But when IMRA, an independent Israeli news-monitoring agency, asked the IDF about the incident, an official source confirmed Oren’s story and said the pictures had not been released to the media because aspects of them could compromise security in the field.

Truth is, we don't know that this is true, yet. Read on:

Palestinian aggression toward their own children is, unfortunately, nothing new, and the world’s apathy toward it is, unfortunately, nothing new either. “The world” didn’t get mad at the Palestinians when in the opening weeks of the “second intifada” in fall 2000, over 40 Palestinian children were killed who had been sent to the front lines by their parents. No surprise there, since the same world had yawned two years earlier when an Israeli video documentary showed a Sesame Street-like children’s program on Palestinian TV in which very young children sang songs about wanting to become suicide warriors and fire machineguns at Israelis.

When in November 2000 the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, called for the complete “liberation” of all Israel by the Palestinians and said “The younger the martyr, the greater and the more I respect him,” the Security Council didn’t meet in urgent session to take up this open call to politicide and child sacrifice by the PA-appointed cleric. Sabri, when asked “Is this why the mothers cry with joy when they hear about their sons’ death?” replied, “They willingly sacrifice their offspring for the sake of freedom. . . . The mother is participating in the great reward of the Jihad. . . . ”

Reports that pictures of “martyrs” and child “martyrs” are plastered not only on buildings throughout the Palestinian Authority but in schoolrooms, that children avidly trade “martyr cards” sold to them in local shops, that Arafat calls children “the generals of the stones” in speeches and lauds their role in the violence, that the PA awards families $2000 per child killed and $300 per child wounded, that official PA fifth- and sixth-grade textbooks sing the praises of shahada (martyrdom), that signs on the walls of kindergartens proclaim children “the martyrs of tomorrow”—none of this has ever prompted demands for regime change in the PA or for efforts to rescue Palestinian children from the murderous abuse and manipulation. Nor have, to date, any of the 29 suicide bombings perpetrated by Palestinians younger than 18.

On October 8, 2003, prominent columnist Mark Steyn was inspired by a visit to the Palestinian Authority to call it “a wholly diseased environment. On the West Bank, almost all the humdrum transactions of daily life take place in a culture that glorifies depravity: you walk down a street named after a suicide bomber to drop your child in a school that celebrates suicide-bombing and then pick up some groceries in a corner store whose walls are plastered with portraits of suicide bombers.” His words didn’t gain any special notice.

This year “the world” was treated to two televised cases of would-be Palestinian “child martyrs” who were save by Israel. In March, 11-year-old Abdullah Quran approached an IDF checkpoint in Nablus carrying—apparently unknowingly—a powerful bomb in his schoolbag. After a border policewoman discovered the bomb, he told her someone had promised him “lots of money” to take his cargo past the checkpoint and enter Israel-proper; indeed, an attempt was made to detonate the bomb by cellphone while sappers went through the bag. Not much would have been left of Abdullah Quran if the bomb had gone off, but the whole PA would have celebrated the exploit since Israelis would have died too.

Just a week later Husam Abdu, a mentally slow 16-year-old known to his peers as “the ugly dwarf,” was also caught at a Nablus checkpoint with a suicide-bomb belt. This time his adult handlers seem to have explained to him his mission while offering him 100 shekels (less than 25 dollars) for his efforts. TV crews captured IDF soldiers helping the terrified boy remove the belt and averting another catastrophe.

A whole culture of child sacrifice? It seems to be true. Mark Steyn, while clearly a person with a pro-Israel bias, is not a columnist accused of just making up the details of his stories.

Yesterday, I violated my own rule against talking about political policy in the Middle East. Today I'm going to violate my policy of bringing the Bible into the equation. I write this blog with what I think of as a Christian perspective. However, I think it is not up to me to judge whether I am write or wrong. God will be the judge. Therefore, I don't quote the Bible as if I know my judgements to be absolutely true. I try to live by my principals, keeping mindful that one day God will sort it all out.

Does that make sense? I guess I'm kind of a postmodern Christian.

Anyway, I'm violating my policy today, so here goes;

From my understanding of the Bible, there is nothing God hates more than child sacrifice.

From my understanding of the Bible, if they are doing what it appears they are doing (sacrificing their children as a religious sacrament) then we should be afraid for them as a people.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Oh Yeah? Well We'll Just Shoot 6001 Right Back At You,
So There

Those Iranian Government officials must be watching the WWE for lessons in diplo-speak. Jeez, check this out from Michael Ledeen at National Review:

Meet Hassan Abbasi, a well-known Iranian political scientist, longtime top official of the Revolutionary Guards, and currently "theoretician" in the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (how does one get a job description like that, I wonder) and the head of the National Security and Strategic Research Center. Abbasi holds special responsibility for North American affairs.

That would be us 'murikins, for those of you keeping score at home.

Apparently morale is very low in the ranks of the Basij, the group of fanatical thugs that do the regime's dirty work in the streets, things like beating up women whose scarves show too much hair, rounding up student protesters, and so forth. Friends of mine in Iran tell me that Basiji are becoming convinced that the regime's days are numbered, and they are understandably discouraged.

... last Sunday, Abbasi set out to restore the Basiji's enthusiasm for the Islamic Revolution. Speaking at the Technical College of Tehran, he made some amazing statements. "The infidels — Western countries and America — are the sworn enemies of God and Muslems and any action taken to terrorize them or frighten them is considered holy and a source of pride." Abbasi went on, "Lebanese Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas have all been trained by these hands," that is, Iranian hands.

Thus far, the usual jihadist rhetoric, although the specific confirmation of Iran's intimate links to three of the world's most lethal terrorist organizations was a bit unusual. But then he went on with a megalomanical vision that bears some attention. "We intend to withdraw $53 billion of Iranian and Arab investments from the U.S.A. and thus cause instability [in] its economy, we take pride that our actions have brought 1/9 of the budget deficit in America's economy this year and we shall keep up with our economic actions." The claim to have caused nearly ten percent of the American deficit probably refers to the rise in oil prices. But this was only the beginning of his promise to bring America to its knees.

"We have identified some 29 weak points for attacks in the U.S. and in the West, we intend to explode some 6,000 American atomic warheads, we have shared our intelligence with other guerilla groups and we shall utilize them as well. We have set up a department to cover England and we have had discussions regarding them[;] we have contacted the Mexicans and the Argentineans and will work with anyone who has an axe to grind with America."

...when an official as authoritative as Abbasi tells the regime's loyalists in a closed meeting that Iran is sabotaging our economy and organizing terrorist attacks on our territory, you can take that to the bank.

Sooner or later we will be forced to fight back against the mullahs, because their war against us is driven by fanatical hatred of everything we stand for and the knowledge that their regime is doomed if we succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no escape from this war, whatever the appeasers in Foggy Bottom may think. We can win or lose, but we can't get out of it.

The claim that he has six-thousand nuclear warheads might sound preposterous, but I started getting really, really scared when I heard that he actually pronounced the word nuclear correctly.

Krauthammer Drops Some Science

You'll notice I don't often post articles that speak on Middle East policy. The reasons for this are multiple, the most important being that this blog is not about the Middle East conflict so much as it is about indefensible Anti-Semitism. It doesn't really matter what Israel does, or what Jews do (if you can make a case for the idea that Jews do anything as a group, other than call themselves Jews), what matters to me is that it is not legitimate, not ok, not tolerable that one group would call for the death of another group. It is also not ok to accuse a group of people of terrible deeds when they are not engaged in doing terrible deeds. So, that's what my blog is about for the most part.

So, now that I've made that point, I'm going to post on policy for once. Charles Krauthammer was interviewed by the Canadian Jewish News and he made points which seem to me self-evident:

Israel should withdraw from the Gaza Strip out of self-interest and not as a favour to the Palestinians, U.S. syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer believes.

“Israel should pull out because Gaza is indefensible militarily,” he said in a recent interview. “Israel has to rationalize and straighten out its defensive lines.”

Positing further reasons why a unilateral withdrawal is necessary, Krauthammer noted that Israel is at war with the Palestinians and that the current Palestinian leadership is not a credible negotiating partner.

Claiming that Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat seeks Israel’s destruction, Krauthammer said, “If Arafat didn’t want to destroy Israel, he would have made a counter offer at the Camp David summit four years ago.”

Asked how he reconciles Arafat’s public support for a two-state solution with his own contention that Arafat’s real objective is Israel’s demise, Krauthammer replied:

“Arafat is a liar. He signed 63 ceasefires during the civil war in Lebanon. What does that tell you about him? Of course he’s a liar! Arafat will never sign an agreement that leaves a Jewish state intact.”

This is self-evident as well, although it seems to be the cornerstone that the builders of this world insist on rejecting. My friends, the official Palestinian U.N. website calls for the destruction of Israel. On with the Krauthammer:

Krauthammer, a conservative columnist associated with the Washington Post Writers Group, urged Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to move ahead with his recently announced plan to evacuate Gaza on a unilateral basis.

“If I were him, I’d go straight ahead.”

On May 2, the Likud party’s central committee rejected the scheme by a wide margin in a non-binding referendum.

“Sharon can’t break a promise to the president of the United States, especially after he went out on a limb for him,” said Krauthammer, referring to George W. Bush’s statement in mid-April backing Israel’s right to retain parts of the West Bank and refusal to accept an influx of Palestinian refugees.

Sharon runs the risk of alienating Israeli public opinion and rupturing relations with the United States should he reconsider his plan, he warned.

“Any policy that lacks the support of Israeli public opinion and the United States is dead,” he added.

“Gaza will never be part of Israel.”

Krauthammer expressed sympathy for Gaza’s 7,500 Jewish settlers who vehemently oppose Sharon’s proposal. “People don’t want to be uprooted from their homes. That’s pretty understandable. But in the end, the people as a whole decide what’s in a nation’s interests.”

Now, I want to remind you that I am on record as calling "the settlements" neighborhoods. I find nothing wrong with Jews building housing tracts and living in them. I do find three things wrong with people's opinions about these neighborhoods:

1) Calling them "settlements" is a cheeky way of accusing Israel of imperialism. Building housing tracts is not imperialism. There's nothing wrong with Arabs living in Israel, and there should be nothing wrong with Jews living in Arab countries. Somehow, though, when Jews want to live in areas of Palestine it is wrong. How is that? I don't get it.

2) The "problem" with the "settlements" is that the Palestinians do not want any Jews in Palestine. The problem is racism. It's like Nazi Germany. The PA wants Palestine Judenrein (Jew-free). Again I would refer you to the official Palestinian U.N. website.

3) The idea that there are Jews who want to live in the "settlement" neighborhoods surrounded by people who want them dead seems to me to be stupid. If they really do want to live in such a place then they take their lives in their own hands. I think it is foolish, and the height of selfishness, to expect the Israeli government to help you when you are doing something so stupid. Why should everyone else have to pay exorbitant amounts for your security?

On with the Krauthammer:

He acknowledged he was at a loss to explain how Sharon would persuade the settlers to pack their bags and leave. “It may cost him the prime ministership.”

In his view, a withdrawal will not be interpreted as a Palestinian victory since Israel is building an electronic security fence through the West Bank.

The barrier will stop terrorism, deprive the Palestinians of a powerful weapon and define the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state.

Now, how about that. Israel defines the boundary of a Palestinian state and they're accused of Apartheid, and human-rights violations. Damn, that must be some of that fancypants nuancin' again, eh boy? On with the Krauthammer:

Krauthammer denounced proposals by Israeli personalities Ami Ayalon and Yossi Beilin for a virtual Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders.

“They’re beyond naive,” he asserted. “They criminally naive. The problem in the Middle East is the lack of a Palestinian partner. Jews will negotiate among themselves until they’re blue in the face, and in the finest talmudic tradition.”

Archly dismissing Ayalon’s People’s Voice initiative and Beilin’s Geneva accord, Krauthammer said, “It’s comically and tragically a show of self-delusion.”

Harshly dismissive of the late Yitzhak Rabin’s decision to enter into the Oslo peace process, Krauthammer noted, “What Rabin signed at Oslo was a catastrophe. He did it in good faith, but he was catastrophically wrong.”

The road map to peace will remain still-born unless the Palestinians dismantle “the terror apparatus,” he said.

Calling the new anti-Semitism in Europe “extremely serious,” he said, “It’s a return to the pre-Holocaust norm. The last 50 years were an aberration. Now we’re back to old Europe. The Europeans are not too comfortable with the idea of the proud, independent Jew. They swallowed this discomfort for 50 years in the shadow and shame of the Holocaust. Now they have no shame. So they do what they can to cut Jews down to size.”

Apart from Britain and Denmark, Jews have no business living in Europe anymore, said Krauthammer, a graduate of Montreal’s Talmud Torah and McGill University who resided in Canada for 15 years.

By contrast, the new anti-Semitism has bypassed the United States because of its spirit of decency and tolerance. “That makes us unique.”

Something tells me them Europeens would think that last part didn't have much of that nuance stuff them's so fond of.

Jew-Baiting On 60 Minutes?

The American Thinker posted an article by Richard Baehr about Jew-Baiting on 60 Minutes:

A few months back, leftist Jewish critics, such as Frank Rich, Abraham Foxman and Leon Wieseltier, trashed Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ, for what they called its blatant anti-Semitism, warning of the danger the movie could create for Jews wherever the movie was shown. So far, 50 million people have seen the movie in America, and nobody has been seen running out of a cineplex calling for Jewish blood.

They are yelling for Jewish blood however, in many countries around the world, especially Muslims leaving their mosques after furious incitement by their Wahhabi-trained imams. On this subject, we hear less from some of these same critics, particularly Frank Rich, who this week found the time to laud the latest Michael Moore screed, presumably for its dedication to truthfulness.

The Passion has not generated any pogroms in America, but a new insidious strand of Jew-hatred is creeping out of the closet and making its appearance in widely broadcast mainstream media. In an utterly shameful program on CBS's 60 Minutes last night, Steve Kroft conducted a fawning interview with retired General Anthony Zinni ...

Zinni has been a critic of the war with Iraq for some time. He believes Iraq was successfully contained before we went to war. This, in itself, is a reasonable position to take. This was a war of choice. Zinni also argues that if we chose to go to war, we needed more force strength. So he agrees with the Powell doctrine that you need lots of manpower, to insure a successful military campaign and post war outcome.

Zinni says we had too few men at the start, and for the post war period. He also says that Ambassador Bremer has made some mistakes (I guess Zinni never has), including dismissing the Iraqi army, which he says eliminated any ability to get Iraqis to help secure the country, and was responsible for our forces being viewed as an occupation army. In itself, these criticisms are nothing new, and in fact, if this is the sum of what Zinni had to say, one wonders what contribution to the debate CBS thought he was making. Some supporters of the war effort agree with part of the Zinni critique -- particularly on the size of our force commitment.

But Zinni is not comfortable just with criticism of how the war or post war effort was run. He needs to blame people, and he wants heads to fall. And he names names -- in particular the group he calls the “neocons”, naming five men: Doug Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, Richard Perle, and Ellot Abrams, as the key ideologues who caused this war to occur. And their real justification for pushing the US to war, we learn from Zinni, were not the three stated by the Administration -- weapons of mass destruction, terror links, or gross human rights violations.

Rather, it was to secure Israel, and to remake the Middle East in our image, a noble but unrealistic vision, according to the General. The fact that the named neocons are all Jewish, Zinni says, is accidental. He says this is irrelevant to him. But if it is irrelevant, why does he only provide the names of Jewish neocons? Are there no others? How Jewish is Jeanne Kirkpatrick or Bill Bennett? And what evidence does he have for his charge that the war was fought for Israel? Zinni never even touches on the three justifications the Administration offered for the war in the 60 Minutes segment. But Steve Kroft repeats the neocon slander, and the link to Israel, and names the Jewish names. This after all is the important part of the story.

...two weeks ago, the doddering and thankfully retiring Senator Fritz Hollings penned an op-ed for a South Carolina newspaper charging that the war in Iraq was fought for Israel, and to win Jewish votes for the Bush administration, and blaming three Jews for pushing us to war: Perle, Wolfowitz, and columnist Charles Krauthammer (if you are scoring, Perle and Wolfowitz now lead the villainy derby with two mentions each).

None of this Jew-baiting is accidental. The road is being prepared for an ugly smear campaign against Jews and Israel. If the war is lost, then the American dead, and all the money spent, will be laid at the feet of a few Jewish political writers and government officials, most of whom are completely unknown to the vast majority of Americans, who can rarely name their Senators or Congressman.

The absurdity of the charge that the Jewish neocons led us to war requires one to believe that Dick Cheney, and Don Rumsfeld, and Condoleeza Rice are push-overs, without real views of their own, and they were therefore easily manipulated by the nefarious neocons. So Lewis Libby is the power behind Cheney, and Elliot Abrams the man behind Condoleeza Rice (how un-feminist to make this charge). Feith and Wolfowitz need only whisper in Rummy’s ear, and he marches soldiers off to war. And masterminding all of it from afar, is the Prince of Darkness, Richard Perle. Now we have all learned these last few years that Dick Cheney tells George Bush what to do, so there is no need for Zinni to link any of the neocons directly to Bush.

It is remarkable that people could buy such nonsense.

It is remarkable and I'm glad he remarked on it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Could It Really Be Worse For Jews Now Than In The 1930's?

Phyllis Chesler makes her case for the idea that we live in very, very bad times:

Some say that we are re-living the 1930's. I disagree. Today, the danger to Jews is far graver and more complex than it was in the pagan or medieval-Christian world, or during World War Two.

Today, anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli, and anti-American propaganda has gone global. It is visually masterful, technologically sophisticated, and available around the clock, especially in Arabic. Jews and Zionists can be "seen" holding a meeting of the (fake) Elders of Zion, (falsely) demanding that Jesus be tortured and crucified, committing (fake) massacres in Jenin, and stabbing non-Jewish children to death for their blood.

Old-fashioned Czarist-, Nazi-, and Stalinist-era anti-Semitic stereotypes (the Jews control the media and the banks and seek world domination), have been added to the pre-existing Islamic views of Jews as subhuman infidels. The mix is a hot brew of relentless hatred.

Jew-haters are creating a situation in which - dare I say it? Yes, I must say it - another mass murder - perhaps even a Holocaust-like mass murder of Jews might be possible. Indeed, in my view, it has already begun, certainly not in America, and not yet in Europe - but in Israel. Today, Jews who live in the Jewish state - a nation that was initially envisioned as the solution to the ceaseless persecution of the Jews - are far more endangered than those who live in the Diaspora. Worse: The existence of the Jewish state is now being used to justify verbal and physical attacks against Diaspora Jews around the world and on campuses throughout the Western world. For example, "Zionism" is an increasingly dirty word on campuses. I am also told that among American teenagers, the word "Jew" is increasingly being used pejoratively.

Israel has served as the laboratory, or groundzero, in the terrorist war against the West. It is where the Islamofascists have perfected their experiments, their grisly, spectacular, and well-choreographed mass murders and their ingenious use of hijacked planes.

In my recent book, The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It, I was among the first to characterize the new anti-Semitism as an alliance between Islamofascist terrorists and "politically correct" western intellectuals. Both groups have remained morally blind to the slaughter of innocent civilians in Israel and America. Worse, they have blamed that slaughter on Israeli and American policy. In their frenzy to scapegoat Israel for all human suffering, these new anti-Semites have joined the United Nations, international human rights groups, and the media in failing to condemn the most horrendous human rights abuses in the world, including genocide.

Reality Turned Upside-Down

The propaganda war against Israel and against Jews is staggering, both visually and linguistically. It is often vulgar and blatant but it is also subtle, earnest, persuasive. One is forced to confront Big Lies at every level, socially, professionally, among scholars and in the media.

Today, Israel is the world's punching-bag symbol for "Colonial, Apartheid, Oppressor." Although Arafat began his terrorist campaign against Israel in 1964 when the "offending" settlements were Tel Aviv and Haifa, his terrorism against Israel is justified because of the offending Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

Let me quote from ex-PLO terrorist Walid Shoebat, who has since converted to Christianity and is now pro-Israel. In an interview in the Jerusalem Post, Shoebat suggested the unthinkable: "The true occupation is of the minds of Palestinians, of teaching them hatred for Jews. That is the real occupation."

Let me expand upon that. The true occupation also includes the utter Palestinianization and highjacking of the western media and the western
academic world into believing that black is white, day is night, that the Palestinian Authority can do no wrong, and Israel can do no right.

Bizarrely, tragically, these new anti-Semites have decided that Israel is the "greatest oppressor of all time," and is "worse than the Nazis" - surely a new form of Holocaust denial.

They also characterize Israel as an "apartheid" state (which it is not). In fact, Islam is the largest practitioner of apartheid in the world, both in terms of religion and gender; Israel once again is the scapegoat for this.

... from 9/29/2000 to 5/12/04, 961 Israelis were murdered by terrorists. This represents 0.015% of the Israeli Jewish, Christian, and Muslim population of six million, four hundred thousand. Based on an American population of approximately 293 million, the Israeli civilian death count is the equivalent of 44, 005 Americans killed by terrorists on our own soil, in pizza parlors, on buses, at Passover sedorim, in our beds.

In addition, between 9/29/2000 and 5/12/04, a total of 6,344 Israelis were wounded by terrorists, often seriously, and for life. This represents .099% of the Israeli population. In American terms, this is the equivalent of approximately 290,000 Americans wounded by terrorists.

Every Israeli personally knows someone - a parent, a child, a spouse, a co-worker, a neighbor, a friend - who has been killed. Every Israeli personally knows someone who has been wounded for life. Ads for hospital beds and orthopedic devices regularly appear in mainstream newspapers, not in medical journals.

And yet, our "best and brightest" suggest that the Jews are "paranoid" about anti-Semitism, "alarmist," "neurotic," that Hitler killed millions of people who were not Jews ("Why do the Jews go on and on only about themselves as if they are the only victims?"), that the Israelis are now perpetuating a "Holocaust" upon the Palestinians, (another way of saying that "Hitler should have finished the Jews off"), that Israel is a "colonial" state that should be abolished - exterminated - and that this suggestion, which is being made by many progressives and intellectuals, does not necessarily amount to Jew-hatred.

Even Orwell might weep at this.

Meanwhile, as some Jewish American organizations launch major fundraising drives pegged to these latest alarming trends, their leaders hasten to reassure us that Jews in America are relatively safe; that Israel has a strong military, including a nuclear strike capacity. All true.

But if Israel (G-d forbid) ceases to exist, if America is fatefully weakened by the terrorist threat against it - who are we? If the Jews of Israel, Europe, and South America remain at peril - what then? Is it "okay" that we're "okay" in America?

Hillel asked three questions, not just one. Let me remind us of these questions: "If I'm not for myself, who will be for me?" "When I am only for myself, what am I?" "And, if not now, when?"

Many Jewish progressives gloss over Hillel's first question and focus only on his last two questions. Some Jews are often the first to demonize the Jewish state and the Jewish religion in their zeal to institute social justice as if doing so is a substitute for G-d.

Yes, of course Israel has made mistakes; what nation hasn't? But nothing - I repeat, nothing - that Israel has done deserves the savage, obsessive, demonization and terrorism against it. The Israel Defense Forces have behaved with exquisite moral restraint given the enormous provocation against the Jewish state. They have not been congratulated for this but rather condemned.

Call to Action

As I have documented in my book about the new anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism is today's new anti-Semitism.

So, what must we do? We must stand up to The Big Lies. We must take back the campuses. We must forge an alliance with Christian and Republican Americans to fight the war against terrorism and for a safe Israel. And yes, of course, the Israeli government and Jewish organizations and individuals must continue talking with Arab and world leaders.

But my most radical suggestion is a gathering of the twelve tribes. This must be undertaken in the same spirit in which Theodor Herzl convened the first World Zionist Congress. So many Jews who hold passionate and opposing views have simply stopped listening and talking to each other. The silence is more awful than arguments. Many Jews no longer act as if they believe the 'Other' has been created in G-d's image. We must come together in order to strategize about our very survival.

Let me suggest that we consult the Torah for some perspective and guidance. What does the Torah teach us about anti-Semitism?

Early on, we see that G-d accepts Abel's offering but rejects Cain's. Despite G-d's intervention, the heartbroken and enraged Cain kills his brother Abel, whose offering was "chosen" by G-d.

Yaakov favored Yosef - and Yosef's older half-brothers envied, resented, and hated him. Yosef, the absolute apple of his father's eye, the precocious dream-interpreter, the young peacock who struts about in his coat of many colors - oh how his brothers want him out of the way. Some want to kill him but they settle for selling him into slavery. Divine destiny will have Yosef both rescuing his people from famine and forgiving his brothers.

What happens when one is chosen, not only by one's biological father but by G-d, one's heavenly parent?

One breaks the hearts of all those who have not been chosen and such heartbreak often leads to envy and resentment. Oddly enough, despite the
considerable hardship and danger, many people still want to be "the chosen one."

While Jews do not cause Jew-hatred - nor does Israeli policy - we must also quietly consider that our chosenness (or at least our perceived chosenness) does seem to have certain consequences. We are the first People of the Book and are, psychologically and theologically, the Mothers and Fathers of all those who have followed in our monotheistic footsteps. In addition, our Jewish ideas about G-d, mitzvot, justice, ethics, mercy, have indeed gotten us into trouble with all those who wish to worship idols, engage in child sacrifice, and to murder, rape, slander, and steal. The glory of being "chosen" is also a dangerous and difficult burden.

The sages say that Jerusalem is the source of the world's peace and light. When the source of peace is not at peace, the world is sorely troubled too.
May the Israel Defense Forces and the American military endure and prevail. May civilians - both here and in Israel - be kept safe from terrorist attacks. May G-d protect and look over us.

Arabs for Israel

There is a new website called which is exactly what it says; Arabs who support Israel. Read their basic tenets:

Who are we?
We are Arabs who believe…

We can support the State of Israel and the Jewish religion and still treasure our Arab and Islamic culture.
There are many Jews and Israelis who freely express compassion and support for the Palestinians. It is time that we Arabs express reciprocal compassion and support.
The existence of the State of Israel is a fact that should be accepted by the Arab world.
Israel is a legitimate state that is not a threat but an asset in the Middle East.
Every major World religion has a center of gravity. Islam has Mecca, and Judaism certainly deserves its presence in Israel.
Diversity should not be a virtue only in the USA, but should be encouraged around the world. We support a diverse Middle East with protection for human rights, respect and equality under the law to all minorities including Jews and Christians.
Palestinians have several options but are deprived from exercising them because of their leadership, the Arab League and surrounding Arab and Moslem countries who do not want to see Palestinians live in harmony with Israel.
If Palestinians want democracy they can start practicing it now.
We stand firmly against suicide/homicide terrorism as a form of Jihad.
We are appalled by the horrific act of terror against the USA on 9/11/2001.
Arab media should end the incitement and misinformation that result in Arab street rage and violence.
We are eager to see major reformation in how Islam is taught and channeled to bring out the best in Moslems and contribute to the uplifting of the human spirit and advancement of civilization.
We believe in freedom to choose or change one’s Religion.
We cherish and acknowledge the beauty and contributions of the Middle East culture, but recognize that the Arab/Moslem world is in desperate need of constructive self-criticism and reform.

We are NOT:

Anti-Islam, Anti-Arab, confrontational or hateful.

Thank you friends.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Grandma Europa Invites Her Rapist To Birthday Party
Snears At The Man Who Pulled Him Off Her

France is inviting Germany to their 60th Anniversary D-Day Celebration. Meanwhile, the French magazine expresses a highly nuanced gratitude by snearing at the American President George Bush's invitation to the same celebration.

From Merde In France (who also has a photo of the cover of the mag):

"Still more anti-American hate speech in the mainstream French press Pravda. The weekly 'Marianne' (dated 17 May), a sort of sub-product rag dipped in a concentrated 'human rights' dish water, had this to say about George W. Bush:

'60 years after the D-Day Landing, is the America that brought us freedom going to be represented by its exact opposite in the person of George Bush? THE UNBEARABLE PROVOCATION. All of the values for which the Allies fought in 1944 are now ridiculed by the Bush administration. The presence of the American President at the anniversary ceremony creates a great feeling of unease.'

George Bush should call France out. Call a whore a whore. Call an enemy an enemy."

Hey, Merde In France said it, not me. But, you know I would have.

The Rafah Myth

FrontPageMag posted an article from David Meir-Levi this morning, which probes the Rafah Myth:

Media coverage depicts the civilians as an orderly "demonstration" upon which the IDF fired without provocation, certainly a violation of international law, if not a crime against humanity.

While providing some limited quotes from IDF spokespersons about the need to enter Rafah to put a stop to arms smuggling via the tunnels, nowhere in the media do we learn that the urgency of this operation was due to the fact that terrorists in Rafah were trying to smuggle in Strela anti-aircraft missiles capable of shooting down civilian airliners. Strela missiles from the Gaza strip could shoot down planes landing at Ben-Gurion airport.

Understanding the urgent need to prevent such a situation puts a new and very elucidating light upon the speed and size of the Israeli raid.

Our media also neglected to mention that a UN special envoy to the PA noted that "Palestinian gunmen (were) using a mob of civilians as cover". At least a dozen armed terrorists were scattered within this demonstration (*).

There were c. 3000 people about a mile from the IDF tanks. A group of c.100 unexplainably separated from the main body and advanced toward the tanks. The armed terrorists were in this group of 100. Some were armed with anti-tank RPGs. One hardly need wonder what their intent was.

Media coverage depicts the Israeli fire as either intentional or accidental, but in either case, striking innocents in the "demonstration".

But aerial video surveillance shows that an Israeli Apache gunship fired a warning missile into an EMPTY FIELD in order to deter the procession. When the mob continued to move on Israeli soldiers, field commanders, fearing a major assault on their troops by the RPG-bearing terrorists who were using the civilians as human shields, fired flares into the air. When the mob still advanced on the tanks, the IDF directed machine gun fire and four tank shells at an ABANDONED BUILDING near the marchers.

A total of 10 people were killed and many more wounded, but the IDF spokesman said, after reviewing the surveillance tapes, that it seemed highly unlikely the casualties were caused by Israeli fire.

The army did note that the path taken by the mob was an area ".rigged with explosive charges planted by the Palestinians."

So it is quite possible that the carnage among the Palestinian civilians was caused by land mines planted by Palestinian terrorists to stop IDF advances.

But our media, and the UN, EU and much of the USA ignore this possibility. Instead of withholding judgment until an examination of video surveillance can be made, they instead swallow the knee-jerk assertion that Israel is massacring Palestinians.

Moreover, some, including the same aforementioned UN, claim that Israel is in violation of international law.

This is false. The Fourth Geneva Convention does not protect groups of civilians among which are dispersed armed combatants.
"The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations," reads Article 28. Rather it is the Palestinians who are guilty of a war crime by involving children and adult civilians in a violent confrontation.

Furthermore, Article 27 gives the "parties to the conflict" the flexibility to "take such measures of control and security in regard to protected persons as may be necessary as a result of the war." In other words, IDF soldiers can defend themselves against Palestinian civilians if they deem doing so "necessary as a result of the war."

If taking such action is the direct result of armed terrorists using crowds of people as human shields so they can get closer to the tanks for more effective use of their RPGs, then those gunmen are directly responsible for any ensuing civilian casualties because they have committed the war crime, by violating Article 28.

Now, the thing is, I don't know that I believe that the Palestinian's in the crowd were killed by their own land mines. In fact, the IDF itself does not make a categorical assertion that that is what happened. They merely offer it as a possibility.

Isn't it more rational to just say we don't know what happened until there has been a full investigation?

The Rafah Myth - Anti-Semitism in Action

One of the reasons my anger has reached a creshendo recently is the situation in Rafah. I am reminded of the Jenin Myth which is what got me started in my research into anti-Semitism in the first place. In Jenin Israel was accused by CNN, along with most Western media outlets, of enacting a massacre of thousands of Palestinians. At the time the accusations were being leveled I found them hard to believe, but obviously the media did not.

The reason I found them hard to believe is Israel had sent troops into Jenin, and they were going door to door, trying to root out terrorists. They were not bombing. If they wanted to kill thousands of people, then going door to door would not be the most efficient way to do it. Bombing would. In addition, bombing would not have left Israeli soldiers vulnerable to Palestinian snipers.

With Jenin, when it all came out in the wash, Human Rights Watch investigated and corroborated Israel's version of the events. In fact, there were not thousands killed. There were 56 killed, 48 of them being Palestinian combatants.

Similarly, now Israel is being accused by most of the Western media of firing on a crowd of innocent Palestinian's. At first, it was said, they killed 40 people including many children. Now, that number is down to eight. I'm not sure how many children are included in the number.

The question that needs to be asked, and I'm sure will be answered as facts come to light, is why would Israel, all of a sudden, just let loose on a crowd of innocents when that is not normally their modus operandi.

If they wanted to kill innocent people they would and could do it on a regular basis, by doing the same thing the Palestinians do; that is they could just set off bombs in places that are filled with innocent people, eating lunch, or riding buses.

Palestinians try to kill innocent people. Israeli's consistenly try not to kill innocent people.

But when Israel makes a mistake, the Western media jumps all over them and accuses the Israeli's of "war crimes."

That is anti-Semitism in action. Why are there not cries of "war crimes" when the Palestinian's deliberately blow up a bus filled with schoolchildren.

I can think of no other reason than the glaringly obvious; the Palestinian's are Palestinian's, and the Israeli's are Jews.

Nakba - What The Palestinians Are So Angry About

From an article by David Hornik posted at FrontPageMag:

The occasion of Arafat’s speech was Nakba Day, commemorating the 56th anniversary of the nakba—that is, Israel’s declaration of its independence on May 14, 1948. Note that the nakba—it means “catastrophe” in Arabic—is not June 10, 1967, the day when the Six Day War ended with Israel in control of the West Bank and Gaza, but a day nineteen years earlier when Israel declared sovereignty over a much smaller entity granted it by the UN Partition Resolution. In other words, for the putative Palestinian peace partners of the Israeli peaceniks, the nakba is Israel itself.

Yes. And I would also remind you that Palestine's U.N. website calls for the destruction of Isrel.

How do you negotiate with an entity that wants you dead?

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Elvin Jones Changed My Life

The other day I sat down at my computer and put on the CD Sun Ship by John Coltrane, one of my favorite albums. As I was listening to the roiling opening bars of the album, I gazed at the music news published on my Windows Media Player screen. There was the headline; "Elvin Jones Dies."

I started listening to Coltrane when I was 13 years old. I learned about him in Down Beat magazine. Elvin Jones was often mentioned as being one of the best jazz drummers alive. So I bought my first Coltrane album to hear Mr. Jones play.

What I heard created a sea change in my life. A paradigm shift. It was cataclysmic and shocking. The music of Coltrane was so raw, much more raw than the Led Zep, Cream, and Aerosmith albums I was used to at the time. And yet somehow Coltrane's music, and the drumming of Elvin Jones in particular, flowed like a river. All parts swirling together and going in the same direction.

Elvin Jones changed jazz drumming from being the rat-a-tat-tatty segmented commentary, barking in the background, to being a continous downpour of rhythmic ideas that at once existed within the melody structure and superseded it. Elvin's rhythms would overflow the changes carrying across measure, across phrases, across choruses.

I guess ultimately I don't really know how to express Elvin's playing. I want to say that he was the first truly African African-American drummer. But, I know jazz historians would argue and probably make some case for early jazz drummers being more African because they lived in closer proximity timewise to the African experience. Nope, I don't buy it. And, of course I don't really understand how it could be that Elvin somehow caught fire and burned with this African brilliance when he had nothing to do with Africa.

The only thing I can come up with is maybe it had to do with Coltrane's embracing of the drone beginning around 1962-63. Maybe untehtering himself from the complexity of chord changes favored in jazz allowed the Classic Quartet to move closer to the feel of African music.

I don't know. Ask Amiri Baraka.

That's a joke.

Anyway, I feel that I lost a brother even though I never met the man. Elvin Jones' rhythmic approach became part of my life. Elvin's drumming was more than just drumming to me, it was an approach to life that inspired me. His endless variation became a goal for me. I've always wanted to live my life the way Elvin played the drums.

I know this is all badly written, but I had to get it out. And I don't really know how to come up with the right words.

Anyway, love to Keiko and the rest of his family. Thanks for sharing him with us.

My Anger Overcomes Me

You'll notice my posting has dropped off considerable. You'll also notice that my most recent posts have been increasingly angry. I find it hard to read through this stuff everyday and not take it to heart. As a person, I've actually been blessed with an ability to take in a lot of negative information, and not have it effect my mood. But, I do have a limit. And I might have reached mine for the time being.