I Took This Shift Because Of Her --- Politics - Justice - And Wrestling With The Angel
Monday, March 31, 2008
Oh, for God's sake, what is wrong with our world that we would put such a man in charge of watching over the Middle East conflict for the United Nations?
From the aptly named, Guide to the Perplexed:
I can't believe I overlooked this--and that everyone else has, as well: Princeton prof Richard Falk, newly-appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as its "Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967," is also a devoted supporter of the crackpot "9/11 Truth" movement, which denies that Al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001.
Check out this radio interview, as well as the foreword Falk wrote to David Ray Griffin's 9/11 conspiracy theory book, The New Pearl Harbor. According to this Troofer website, Falk even worked to find a publisher for Griffin's book.
This is the man who will be reporting on Israel's human rights violations for the next several years. The U.S. should immediately demand the removal of this man from his post. Or, better yet--keep him there, the better to discredit every one of his bogus reports.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
From Aretz Sheva:
The vast majority of PA Arabs support the terror attack on Jerusalem's Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in which eight students were executed earlier this month, according to a new poll cited in the New York Times on Wednesday. According to the poll, 84 percent of those surveyed "stood behind" the shooting attack. In addition, 64% supported the firing of Kassam rockets at Negev towns.
A PA TV musical for children included the ultimate abuse of the Holocaust, teaching children that the Jews didn't suffer a Holocaust, but rather made ovens to burn Palestinians:"...
They [the Jews] are the ones who did the Holocaust... They opened the ovens for us to bake human beings... When an oven stops burning they light 100 [more] ovens."
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Have To Start
From Israel Matzav:
It was widely reported yesterday that US ambassador to Israel Richard Jones
suggested that those living in overcrowded Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) neighborhoods
in Jerusalem might
have to move elsewhere.
"Sometimes people do have
to move to a different location. They cannot always stay close to their
families."The 'hint' was that Jews might have to move out of a (God forbid)
divided Jerusalem if the city is unable to build new housing and expand to
accommodate them. That comment was bad enough. But Jones made another comment
yesterday while on the same 'tour' that was less
During a tour through the
fervently religious Mea She'arim neighborhood of Jerusalem Monday, US Ambassador
to Israel Richard H. Jones compared the haredi community to religious
communities in Saudi Arabia....
"Well, there are a lot
of similarities, more than you would think," said Jones during a tour on foot of
various haredi institutions. "Particularly, I served five years in Saudi Arabia
and many of the religious practices are quite similar to Orthodox
Go read the rest over at Israel Matzav.
Why is it that American officials don't make such statements to Palestinians? When Israel decided to cease the military occupation of Gaza, all the Jews had to leave.
Why is this?
It's because Palestinians hate Jews and don't want to live with them, so all the Jews have to go. The land must be "Jew-free."
If you don't believe Palestinians, in general, hate Jews, then watch the videos in this link. There is no clearer explication of Palestinian Jew-hatred.
And, let us be clear, there is no equivalent hatred of Palestinians by Jews. There are no Israeli TV shows exhorting Palestinian children to kill Jews. There are no major Israeli political parties who charters call for "Death to the Palestinians." And, the Jewish religion does not speak of a Judgement Day upon which all Palestinians will be killed.
Palestinian society, as it is fed by the Islam of the Koran, is a murderous Jew-hating society. It is the virtual equivalent of Nazi Germany.
When we are faced with such evil, we are no longer dealing in the realm of political disputes, but we instead enter the territory of morality. The solution will not be reached through political compromise. The solution will only be brought about by a change of heart in the Islamic culture of the Palestinian territories.
Such changes of heart are only brought about through war, or Divine Intervention.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Think a Nintendo game is a good way to teach kids about the Holocaust? A 21-year-old British video game developer does, and the company producing his latest creation hopes to have it ready for distribution in Europe by the end of the year.
Luc Bernard's game, Imagination Is the Only Escape, is based on the ways that the Nazis tortured children, and won’t be distributed in the US.
Reactions have been as condemnatory as you’d expect. However, Bernard maintains that he’s not trying to make light of the suffering of children. He promises that there won’t be any on-screen violence, and though Alten8--the company producing the game--originally asked him to remove all swastikas from the game, it subsequently backed off.
Bernard says he’s trying to make a game that will be educational and appropriate for young children, and points out that his mother is Jewish and members of his family took care of Jewish orphans after World War II.
So far, the most interesting response has come from the Anti-Defamation League. Instead of lashing out against Bernard and Alten8, Myrna Shinbaum, a spokeswoman for the ADL, is quoted as saying, “We certainly believe that we have to find new ways of teaching lessons of the Holocaust as new technologies are being developed.”
Sunday, March 16, 2008
To Kill Jews
If you have any doubt that many Muslims are practicing a religion which is closer to Nazism than it is to the Judeo-Christian tradition, then watch these videos of Palestinian Children's TV.
And, oh yes, if you have forgotten, here is how they salute their leaders.
The editor of a pan-Arab daily published in London says the terrorist attack on Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva on March 6 attack was "justified" and that the religious seminary is responsible for "hatching Israeli extremists and fundamentalists."
In his lead article last Sunday, Abd al-Bari Atwan, editor of Al-Quds Al-Arabi, chose not to condemn the shooting attack in which eight students were killed and nine were wounded, and said the celebrations in Gaza that followed symbolized the "courage of the Palestinian nation."
He added that the recent violence in Gaza might "mark the countdown to Israel's destruction."
"This article is alarming, since Atwan is perceived as a legitimate and unbiased analyst by the British media, and is often invited to voice his views in different media platforms," said Lior Ben-Dor, spokesman at the Israeli Embassy in London.
"The problem is that when addressing the British public, he tends to hide his true opinions and ideology - his support for terror and the murder of civilians.
This article reveals Atwan's real colors, a supporter of fundamentalism and terror, and hence he should be treated accordingly."...
Atwan was born in a refugee camp in 1950. He founded the pan-Arab daily in London in 1989, and today it has a circulation of around 50,000. In 1996 he interviewed Osama bin Laden. He is a regular commentator on CNN, Sky News and BBC News.
Go read the whole thing over at Astute Bloggers.
The Problem Of
From the Jerusalem Post:
There has been an upsurge in anti-Semitism over the past decade, much of it a new form whose "distinguishing feature" is criticism of Israel, according to a State Department report released over the weekend.
The 94-page report on 2007 criticizes many Muslim and Arab countries for encouraging anti-Semitism, and an entire chapter is devoted to anti-Semitism at the United Nations.
"Motives for criticizing Israel in the UN may stem from legitimate concerns over policy or from illegitimate prejudices," the report reads. "However, regardless of the intent, disproportionate criticism of Israel as barbaric and unprincipled, and corresponding discriminatory measures adopted in the UN against Israel, have the effect of causing audiences to associate negative attributes with Jews in general, thus fueling anti-Semitism."
The report lists forms of anti-Semitic crimes including terrorist attacks against Jews, desecration of synagogues and destruction of cemeteries. In addition, it cites anti-Semitic rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and other propaganda.
While the report notes that traditional forms of anti-Semitism continue to be found across the globe, "anti-Semitism has proven to be an adaptive phenomenon."
The new forms often incorporate elements of traditional anti-Semitism, but "the distinguishing feature of the new anti-Semitism is criticism of Zionism or Israeli policy that - whether intentionally or unintentionally - has the effect of promoting prejudice against all Jews by demonizing Israel and Israelis and attributing Israel's perceived faults to its Jewish character."
While this new anti-Semitism is "common throughout the Middle East and in Muslim communities in Europe," it is not confined to these populations, the report finds.
The document's introduction singles out Iran and Syria for their demonization of Jews, and adds, "Venezuela's government-sponsored mass media have become vehicles for anti-Semitic discourse, as have government news media in Saudi Arabia and Egypt."
It names Britain, France and Germany as European countries where "anti-Semitic violence remains a significant concern," but also lists other Western nations as experiencing recent increases, including Argentina, Australia and Canada.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Anti-Semitism is alive and out in the open.
Iranian put up a $1 Million for the assassination of three Israeli leaders, and for Israel to be wiped off the map, and our major news services call it "pro-Palestinian.
Look at this photo:
Here's the caption Reuters ran with the photo:
A student stands behind a podium as a video of Hezbollah’s Leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah plays during a pro-Palestinian meeting at a cultural centre in Tehran March 9, 2008. Students agreed on a one-million dollar reward for the murder of three Israeli commanders, Ehud Barak, Amos Yadlin and Meir Dagan. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN)
That was yesterday. In today's news an Israeli El Al commercial airliner was sprayed with graffiti reading, "Death to the Jews."
Once again, Reuters called it, "Pro-Palestinian."
In Detroit, Jews are repeatedly getting beaten up on the street for the crime of being Jews:
For the second time in the past several months, there have been a string of assaults on members of the Orthodox Jewish community in southern Oakland County, prompting residents to once again meet with city officials to formulate a plan to stop the attacks.
Residents organized a meeting at a private residence in Oak Park on Thursday to discuss the situation with law enforcement and city officials from Southfield and Oak Park.
Residents met with city officials after attacks last summer, as well.
Three people were assaulted in Southfield, near Oak Park, last Friday and Saturday. These incidents mirrored assaults on three Orthodox men in Oak Park last summer, including one in which a man reported being pushed down, kicked and punched in the eye. . . .
In each case -- including the attacks during the summer and an incident in Oak Park in early February -- people were assaulted as they walked in neighborhoods or parks during the Jewish Sabbath, on Fridays and Saturdays. Traditional Jewish law forbids driving on the Sabbath, which is why Orthodox residents walk to and from synagogue.
In Germany, anti-Jew Hip Hop is all the rage:
When an unknown assailant fired four bullets at German rap star Massiv in Berlin in mid-January — one of them grazing the rapper’s right arm — the initial outrage soon gave way to questions. Was the episode really an attempted murder, perhaps the opening salvo in an emerging turf war among rival rappers, or had Massiv staged the attack himself as a publicity stunt? Threats of violence are, in any case, commonplace among rivals in the German rap scene. Among Massiv’s most adamant foes, for instance, is the Stuttgart-based rapper Bözemann [roughly, “Badman”], who likes to appear in the persona of an armed Albanian guerrilla fighter and who makes a point of his Muslim faith, as does Massiv.
Last summer, Bözemann came out with a “diss” track titled “The Challenge,” the video for which has already been played some 340,000 times on YouTube. The challenge in question is addressed to none other than Massiv. In the song, Bözemann announces, among other things, his intention to chop his enemy’s head into four pieces with an axe. In the video, moreover, one sees him digging a grave for Massiv and setting up a wooden cross next to it. The cross does not only bear the name of Bözemann’s hated rival, but also — as the ultimate put down — a Star of David. The implication is clear and on his MySpace page, moreover, Bözemann has made it even clearer. Thus, last July, the German “Bad Blog” found the following message for Massiv on Bözemann’s page: “HEY MASSIV!! … I JUST WANT TO BOMB YOU AWAY I SH*T ON YOUR FAME AND YOUR LABEL ON YOUR TATTOOS YOUR MOUNTAINS OF FAT YOUR GAY SONGS YOUR GAY VOICE AND YOUR MUSLIM POSING BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY YOU ARE A MUSLIM YOU ARE DEFINITELY A JEW AND YOU’RE DRAGGING THE QURAN THROUGH THE MUD!!!!”
Look at what happens when you Google the word "Jew"
Note Google has a link at the top, designed to pre-empt any possible anger or hurt feelings, that says:
Offensive Search Results
www.google.com/explanation We're disturbed about these results as well. Please read our note here.
If you click on that link, here's a portion of the message Google has for you:
If you recently used Google to search for the word "Jew," you may have seen results that were very disturbing. We assure you that the views expressed by the sites in your results are not in any way endorsed by Google.
It is sad that Google has to make such a statement.
But, I tried Googling the words, "fag", "queer", "towelhead", and "nigger", and I found that Google did not feel a compulsion to put up such a note on those words.
There simply are not as many hate sites directed at those other groups of discriminated-upon people.
Is that amazing, or what?
Why the Jews? Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that they are God's Chosen People? That's what the Bible says.
1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. 15Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Monday, March 10, 2008
From The Christian Science Monitor:
Bethlehem, West Bank - Fadi al-Amour and his friends – high school seniors – spent more time last week on the street than in class. Every day, they marched on Rachel's Tomb, guarded by Israeli soldiers, and, along with hundreds of other young Palestinians, pelted the nearest symbol of Israeli power with rocks and Molotov cocktails.
"We were implementing what our leaders in the prisons tell us we should be doing. Even Marwan Barghouthi has warned that this is where we're going: the third intifada," says Mr. Amour, mentioning the Fatah figure jailed by Israel in 2002 for his role in the last intifada, which lasted from 2000 to 2004.
From Gaza rocket strikes and West Bank riots to a deadly shooting inside Jerusalem late last week, many Palestinians are saying – or perhaps hoping – that these incidents of violence will spark a new, much broader conflict with Israel.
Those who are encouraging a further escalation say it's overdue. Others, including many who remember the misery of past intifadas, worry that this will just drag the Palestinian cause down a dead-end street.
"There might be an escalation in the coming weeks and months, and an escalation has already been going on in Gaza in recent weeks and months," says Ali Jarbawi, a political scientist at Birzeit University, near Ramallah.
But, he says, there might be a danger in rushing to label the events of the last few weeks as the start of another intifada. "People are feeling a sense of despair. They're frustrated by the [new Israeli-Palestinian negotiations] leading nowhere, and [by] the internal situation between Hamas and Fatah," he says. "But I don't see that translating into a concrete, continuous event, which I think is something that defines an intifada. Let's wait and see."
But among many average Palestinians, the feelings that were present during the first intifada (1987-93) and the second one are resurfacing again, and quickly.
On Sunday, at the mourning tent at the family home of Alaa Abu Dhaim, who killed eight Israelis late last week at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem
("eight Israelis" means eight children, by the way - the man shot up a school)
before being shot and killed by a security guard, there were many mixed feelings expressed about where Palestinians are headed, as the Islamic militants of Hamas continue to battle Israel on one front and secular Fatah leaders are sitting down at the negotiating table with their Israeli counterparts on another.
Mr. Abu Dhaim, a man in his mid-20s who was due to be married soon, was from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jebel Mukaber, meaning he had an Israeli-issued residency card and was free to travel and work in Israel.
For many across the tight-knit community of Jebel Mukaber, there was an acknowledgment that Abu Dhaim's act might be a sign of returning to the days of intifada. There was also much reluctance to see that happen.
"We hope this isn't the start of something bigger," says Mahmoud Abu Dhaim, an uncle of the young man being celebrated as a shahid, or martyr. "For years they've been talking about peace but there's no progress. So now we're going back instead of going forward."
Another uncle, Tawfiq, says his nephew was "extremely normal and showed no sign of political affiliations or training."
Conflicting reports have linked the gunman to Hamas and then to Hizbullah; the green and yellow flags of both movements began springing up in Jebel Mukaber after the news broke. Family members said that Israeli police here told them if the family didn't take down all of the flags, as well as the "shahid posters" that already plastered the walls of the neighborhood, they wouldn't be allowed to have a mourning tent at all.
The celebratory flyers read: "The Islamic Movement in Jebel Mukabar congratulates its people for the martyr Alaa Abu Dhaim, who answered the call to his God in a heroic operation in Dir Yassin." Dir Yassin was the name of an Arab village that existed near the site of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva until 1948, the year of the war that led to Israel's establishment.
Just as the use of the name Dir Yassin conjures a sense of decades-old revenge so close to Israel's 60th anniversary this May, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that Abu Dhaim's choice of target was itself symbolic.
"The terrorist ... did not choose it by coincidence in his pursuit of victims," Mr. Olmert said at Sunday's cabinet meeting. "Mercaz Harav is a very special place in Jerusalem and for the Zionist movement. It is the flagship of religious Zionism. It is the place from which have come forth the best soldiers for many generations," he said, adding that it "has educated and nurtured tradition and legacy, as part of Israel's resilience."
At UC Irvine
The US Senate Judiciary Committee is unhappy with the University of California’s absurd whitewash of the antisemitism and radical Islamism at UC Irvine, and is demanding that the Department of Education pursue the investigation; more details at Red County:
Senate Judiciary Committee Recognizes UC Irvine Anti-Semitism.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
From Rick Darby at Reflecting Light:
Communism in its orthodox Marxist variety may have been vanquished, but in retreating it left behind time bombs that continue to detonate and have drastically weakened the Western world's will to stand up to Islamization and Third World colonization.So suggests an interesting post at Armed and Dangerous, linked via a comment at Belmont Club. The post is a couple of years old, but remains relevant to the state of play today.
Armed and Dangerous says:
… The Soviets, following the lead of Marxist theoreticians like Antonio Gramsci, took very seriously the idea that by blighting the U.S.’s intellectual and esthetic life, they could sap Americans’ will to resist Communist ideology and an eventual Communist takeover. The explicit goal was to erode the confidence of America’s ruling class and create an ideological vacuum to be filled by Marxism-Leninism.
Accordingly, the Soviet espionage apparat actually ran two different kinds of network: one of spies, and one of agents of influence. The agents of influence had the minor function of recruiting spies (as, for example, when Kim Philby was brought in by one of his tutors at Cambridge), but their major function was to spread dezinformatsiya, to launch memetic weapons that would damage and weaken the West.
In the long run, he thinks, spies tucking microfilms into their packets of Lucky Strikes did less damage than the dispiriting memes that Soviet agents planted in the Western cultural world (including popular culture).
A partial list of the intellectual viruses he believes ultimately derive from Communist psychological warfare includes:
- There is no truth, only competing agendas.
- All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
- There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another.
- Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
- For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
- When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.
Such statements — actually, more often just unquestioned assumptions — can be found everywhere from campuses to mainstream media. They have supposedly been deliberately propagated and sent on a "long march through the institutions" according to theories credited to Antonio Gramsci, a Marxist said to have devised the strategy of trumping the overwhelming military strength of the West (primarily the United States) by undercutting its sense of strength, history, and self-confidence.
Read the rest at Reflecting Light.
Friday, March 07, 2008
In 1978, the Talking Heads put out a song called Found a Job which had very prescient lyrics. Here, check 'em out:
Damn that television ... what a bad picture!
Dont get upset, its not a major disaster.
Theres nothing on tonight, he said, I dont know
Whats the matter!
Nothings ever on, she said, so ... I dont know
Why you bother.
Weve heard this little scene, weve heard it many times.
People fighting over little things and wasting precious time.
They might be better off ... I think ... the way it seems to me.
Making up their own shows, which might be better than t.v.
Judys in the bedroom, inventing situations.
Bob is on the street today, scouting up locations.
Theyve enlisted all their family.
Theyve enlisted all their friends.
It helped saved their relationship,
And made it work again ...
Their show gets real high ratings, they think they have a hit.
There might even be a spinoff, but theyre not sure bout that.
If they ever watch t.v. again, itd be too soon for them.
Bob never yells about the picture now, hes having
Too much fun.
Judys in the bedroom, inventing situations,
Bob is on the street today, scouting up locations.
Theyve enlisted all their family.
Theyve enlisted all their friends.
It helped save their relationship,
And made it work again ...
So think about this little scene; apply it to you life.
If your work isnt what you love, then something isnt right.
Just look at bob and judy; theyre happy as can be,
Inventing situations, putting them on t.v.
Judys in the bedroom, inventing situations.
Bob is on the street today, scouting up locations.
Theyve enlisting all their family.
Theyve enlisted all their friends.
It helped save the relationship,
And made it work again ...
Kinda. It’s not really the Universe’s birthday, but now we do know to high accuracy just how old it is.
NASA’s WMAP is the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (which is a mouthful, and why we just call it WMAP). It was designed to map the Universe with exquisite precision, detecting microwaves coming from the most distant source there is: the cooling fireball of the Big Bang itself.
1) The age of the Universe is 13.73 billion years, plus or minus 120 million years. Some people might say it doesn’t look a day over 6000 years. They’re wrong.
2) The image above shows the temperature difference between different parts of the sky. Red is hotter, blue is cooler. However, the difference is incredibly small: the entire temperature range from cold to hot is only 0.0002 degrees Celsius. The average temperature is 2.725 Kelvin, so you’re seeing temperatures from 2.7248 to 2.7252 Kelvins.
3) The age of the Universe when recombination occurred was 375,938 years, +/- about 3100 years. Wow.
5) The energy budget of the Universe is the total amount of energy and matter in the whole cosmos added up. Together with some other observations, WMAP has been able to determine just how much of that budget is occupied by dark energy, dark matter, and normal matter. What they got was: the Universe is 72.1% dark energy, 23.3% dark matter, and 4.62% normal matter. You read that right: everything you can see, taste, hear, touch, just sense in any way… is less than 5% of the whole Universe.
We occupy a razor thin slice of reality.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
The "Jenin Massacre" as it was called by members of the Mainstream Media (back in 2002), was the impetus for the founding of CUANAS (Christians United Against the New Anti-Semitism). My relatives in Europe were convinced that Israelis had enacted a "massacre" in Jenin which had left thousands dead and buried in "mass graves".
These were the words they used and the images they conjured.
I seem to recall even hearing the word "genocide" being bandied about.
I was shocked that my relatives would accuse Israel of such a thing for two basic reasons:
1) my relatives had always seemed to be pro-Israel
2) if the IDF wanted to massacre Palestinians certainly it would not be hard for them to do so. They have an advanced Air Force with which they could kill people by the hundreds of thousands, should that have been their goal. But instead, they used ground troops in Jenin, ground troops who went house to house attempting to find the terrorists who were manufacturing the suicide bomb belts which were killing so many Israelis back in 2002.
My response to my relatives at the time was that I was quite sure that Israel was not committing a genocide, or a massacre, or whatever macabre name they wanted to give the military action which Israel had justifiably taken.
I told them that they ought to wait until things shook out, and when the smoke had cleared, I expected them to apologize for their assault on Israel.
I am still waiting for the apology from my relatives. But, at least I get the vindication of having the Guardian's editor apologize for disseminating such propaganda in the first place:
The editor of The Guardian newspaper had the last word at the Jewish Book Week’s closing session on Sunday night when he apologized for his publication’s controversial editorial following Israel’s incursion into the Jenin refugee camp in 2002.
Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian’s editor, was speaking together with former Haaretz editor David Landau about reporting in the Middle East to a crowd of about 600 people when he responded to a question from the audience about the Israeli incursion into Jenin in April 2002.
In response to his publication’s coverage of the operation, Rusbridger said it was unfair to blame the reporter. Following Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, the Guardian’s editorial commented in its April 17 edition that: “Israel’s actions in Jenin were every bit as repellent as Osama Bin Laden’s attack on New York on September 11.”
“I take full responsibility for the misjudgment,” Rusbridger said. And during a response to a later question, he apologized for the editorial on Jenin - unprompted.
From Sandbox (with thanks to Michael):
Samantha Power is the author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on genocide, and she has a professorship at Harvard (in something called "Global Leadership and Public Policy"). She is also a senior foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama. This isn't an honorific: she has worked for Obama in Washington, she has campaigned for him around the country, and she doesn't hesitate to speak for him.
This morning, the Washington Post has a piece on Obama's foreign policy team, identifying her (and retired Maj. Gen. Scott Garion) as "closest to Obama, part of a group-within-the-group that he regularly turns to for advice." Power and Garion "retain unlimited access to Obama." This morning's New York Times announces that Power has an "irresistable profile" and "she could very well end up in [Obama's] cabinet."
She also has a problem: a corpus of critical statements about Israel. These have been parsed by Noah Pollak at Commentary's blog Contentions, by Ed Lasky and Richard Baehr at American Thinker, and by Paul Mirengoff at Power Line.Power made her most problematic statement in 2002, in an interview she gave at Berkeley. The interviewer asked her this question:
Let me give you a thought experiment here, and it is the following: without
addressing the Palestine-Israel problem, let's say you were an advisor to the
President of the United States, how would you respond to current events there?
Would you advise him to put a structure in place to monitor that situation, at
least if one party or another [starts] looking like they might be moving toward
Power gave an astonishing answer:
What we don't need is some kind of early warning mechanism there, what we
need is a willingness to put something on the line in helping the situation.
Putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of
tremendous political and financial import; it may more crucially mean
sacrificing—or investing, I think, more than sacrificing—billions of dollars,
not in servicing Israel's military, but actually investing in the new state of
Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take, also, to
support what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old Rwanda
kind, but a meaningful military presence.
Because it seems to me at this stage (and this is true of actual genocides
as well, and not just major human rights abuses, which were seen there), you
have to go in as if you're serious, you have to put something on the line.
Unfortunately, imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful. It's a
terrible thing to do, it's fundamentally undemocratic. But, sadly, we don't just
have a democracy here either, we have a liberal democracy.
There are certain sets of principles that guide our policy, or that are
meant to, anyway. It's essential that some set of principles becomes the
benchmark, rather than a deference to [leaders] who are fundamentally
politically destined to destroy the lives of their own people. And by that I
mean what Tom Friedman has called "Sharafat" [Sharon-Arafat]. I do think in that
sense, both political leaders have been dreadfully irresponsible. And,
unfortunately, it does require external intervention....
Any intervention is going to come under fierce criticism. But we have to
think about lesser evils, especially when the human stakes are becoming ever
It isn't too difficult to see all the red flags in this answer. Having placed Israel's leader on par with Yasser Arafat, she called for massive military intervention on behalf of the Palestinians, to impose a solution in defiance of Israel and its American supporters. Billions of dollars would be shifted from Israel's security to the upkeep of a "mammoth protection force" and a Palestinian state—all in the name of our "principles." This quote has dogged Power, and she has gone to extraordinary lengths to put it behind her. Most notably, she called in the Washington correspondent of the Israeli daily Haaretz, Shmuel Rosner, to whom she disavowed the quote:
Power herself recognizes that the statement is problematic. "Even I don't understand it," she says. And also: "This makes no sense to me." And furthermore: "The quote seems so weird." She thinks that she made this statement in the context of discussing the deployment of international peacekeepers. But this was a very long time ago, circumstances were different, and it's hard for her to reconstruct exactly what she meant.
It must be awful, at such a young age, to lose track of why you recommended the massive deployment of military force, and not that long ago. So let me help Samantha Power: I can reconstruct exactly what she meant. Power gave the interview on April 29, 2002. This was the tail end of Israel's Operation Defensive Shield, Israel's offensive into the West Bank in reaction to a relentless campaign of Palestinian suicide bombings that had killed Israeli civilians in the hundreds. The military operation included the clearing of terrorists from the West Bank city of Jenin (April 3-19). At the time, Palestinian spokespersons had duped much of the international media and human rights community into believing that a massacre of innocent Palestinians had taken place in Jenin. It had not, but the name of Israel had been smeared, particularly in academe. At Harvard, pro-Palestinian activists canvassed the faculty for support of a petition calling on Harvard to divest from Israel. (It was published on May 6.) Power at the time was executive director of Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, which she founded in 1999. In 2001, she had recruited a celebrity director for the Carr Center: Michael Ignatieff, a Canadian intellectual and journalist who, like herself, had come to prominence writing about atrocities in the Balkans and Africa. A profile of Ignatieff in March 2002 described the division of labor in the Carr Center: "He shares administrative responsibilities with Samantha Power, the center's executive director. The division of labor works wonderfully, he says: 'She does all the work.'" Power later told a Canadian journalist that "their social relationship was based on three B's: baseball, bottles and boys. They talked about the Boston Red Sox, of whom she is a fanatic supporter; they spent evenings together 'yelling and laughing' over bottles of wine, and she found him a kind and sympathetic confidant when it came to affairs of the heart."
The Carr Center under this management team generally steered clear of the Middle East. But in that spring of 2002, the pressure to come up with something was very great. Ignatieff, who had been to the Middle East a few times, took the lead. On April 19, 2002, only ten days before Power emitted her "weird" quote, Ignatieff published an op-ed in the London Guardian, under this headline: "Why Bush Must Send in His Troops." I wrote a thorough critique of this piece over five years ago, so I won't repeat my dissection of its flaws. As I showed then, the op-ed includes every trendy calumny against Israel.
More relevant now are Ignatieff's policy conclusions. "Neither side is capable of making peace," he determined, "or even sitting in the same room to discuss it." The United States should therefore move "to impose a two-state solution now."
The time for endless negotiation between the parties is past: it is time to say that all but those settlements right on the 1967 green line must go; that the right of return is incompatible with peace and security in the region and the right must be extinguished with a cash settlement; that the UN, with funding from Europe, will establish a transitional administration to help the Palestinian state back on its feet and then prepare the ground for new elections before exiting; and, most of all, the US must then commit its own troops, and those of willing allies, not to police a ceasefire, but to enforce the solution that provides security for both populations. Ignatieff ended with a grand flourish:
Imposing a peace of this amplitude on both parties, and committing the troops to back it up, would be the most dramatic exercise of presidential leadership since the Cuban missile crisis. Nothing less dramatic than this will prevent the Middle East from descending into an inferno.
So this was the thrilling idea that swept the Carr Center that April: a "dramatic exercise of presidential leadership," through a commitment of U.S. troops to impose and enforce a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Middle East would be saved. The "amplitude" of this notion made divestment seem small-minded. Samantha Power did not misspeak ten days later in her Berkeley interview. She was retailing a vision she shared with her closest colleague. Power went a bit further than Ignatieff, when she spoke about how this show of presidential courage "might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import." Ignatieff would never have written that. But it was implicit in his text anyway.
So Ignatieff's op-ed was exactly what Power meant. That she should claim no recollection of any of this context seems... weird. Or perhaps not. Remember, Ignatieff wasn't talking about deploying "international peacekeepers," the context Power now suggests for her words. He specifically proposed United States troops, followed by anyone else who was "willing." Their job wouldn't be to keep the peace, but to "enforce the solution." Far better today for Power to have some kind of blackout, than to tell the truth about the "dramatic exercise" she and Ignatieff envisioned.
("Iggy," by the way, left Harvard in 2005 to plunge into Canadian politics, and he is now deputy leader of Canada's opposition Liberal Party. He still has strong views on what Americans should do. "I've worn my heart on my sleeve for a year," he recently announced. "I'm for Obama.")
Is there a conclusion to be drawn from this genealogy of a truly bad policy idea? Ignatieff himself may have hit on it. Last year he published a reflection on what he'd learned since experiencing real (as opposed to academic) politics. "As a former denizen of Harvard," he wrote, "I've had to learn that a sense of reality doesn't always flourish in elite institutions. It is the street virtue par excellence. Bus drivers can display a shrewder grasp of what's what than Nobel Prize winners." Just substitute Pulitzer for Nobel