Somewhere on A1A...

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Cold Reality

Dr. Doron Samuell doesn't sound too optimistic, either.

At the height of progress between the Israelis and Palestinians, when Palestinian civil self-rule covered most of their regional population, Prime Minister Ehud Barak made his bold offer of land for peace. A move consistent with a raft of UN positions. Although there are those who will argue that the offer was insufficient, that the offer was undeliverable and was flawed in other respects, it does not explain the subsequent campaign of violence that followed its rejection. Why was violence preferred over a counter offer?

The reason is painfully obvious. As with many conflicts, the creation of a Palestinian state, does not threaten Israel anywhere near as much as it threatens Palestinian terrorist organizations. It is clearly demonstrable that the closer one comes to settlement or progress, the greater the terrorist actions. Anything that threatens peace, provokes more terrorist violence.

Hypothetically, if there was peace in the Middle East, what possible reason could there be for the ongoing existence of terrorist organizations and their infrastructure? A territorial settlement between Israel and her neighbors would spell the death of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, Hamas and others. Any further violence from these organizations would be seen as criminal, rather than ideological violence. It would mean that the leaders of these groups would not enjoy the same power, influence or relevance. Simply put, peace would result in an intolerable annihilation of the terrorist groups. This is why peace is their enemy...

...The conclusions are inevitable. As unpalatable as it may be to civilized, compassionate people everywhere, the apparent 'cycle of violence' will only end when one side defeats the other. This has always been the case.
This is why there will be no peace until the terrorists are utterly defeated... or until they destroy Israel.

Militant Islam = Terror. Too many people are trying to refine that simple equation by defining some sub-groups as non-terrorists, or in trying to make clear distinctions between various groups. Al Aqsa, Hizbollah, Hamas (the political terrorists AND the militant terrorist wings)... there is no real difference between them.

Militant Islam includes secular Muslim terrorists as well as Islamic fundamentalists. They are all enemies of freedom loving, tolerant society, and they all must be defeated. Until they are, the terrorists will keep killing all who oppose them... Even other Muslims. How many more must die before we get serious about fighting them?

Friday, August 29, 2003

Friday Prayer

Charles enlightens, Allah entertains at the newest place for Friday Prayers.

Shabbat Shalom

News from Gaza

Why do you suppose the banners are in English and French?

"I am an orphan…Am I a terrorist?" Read one of the banners which were written in Arabic, English and French.

"Had all Palestinian children and orphans become terrorists? We depend on these frozen money (provided by charitable societies), which helps us buy our food and clothes…In doing so, the PA will create a generation of beggars," another orphan lamented.
Another generation of beggars is more accurate, and it's been the Arab world as a whole that has created the problem.

I hate to harp on it, but until I hear others talking about it I will: The Arabs have wasted BILLIONS of dollars over the last 55 years and longer while decimating the lives of millions. They have wasted aid money and allowed a few thugs to pilfer the accounts for personal gain in a deliberate, methodical manner in order to subjugate a few million of their poorest brothers. The Arabs have facilitated and encouraged the establishment and maintenance of the palestinian refugee crisis. They have been hugely successful in placing the blame for the plight of their wretched brothers on the back of Israel. The UN has been complicit.

The BILLIONS of dollars that have passed through the system as refugee aid, if used as aid to the people, could have built paradise on the Mediterranean, could have developed luxury resorts in Sinai, in Gaza and Jenin. Instead, the Arabs have produced a couple of generations of bitter, hate-filled beggars. Poor, disenfranchised people who depend on handouts from the West and from Israel. People who have been told by the rest of the Arab world that they are useless, that they need charity, people that are taught to blame their plight on their neighbor's success. Israeli checkpoints are painful to the Arabs because they can't get to their jobs INSIDE ISRAEL. There is no work in the territories because the Arabs have built no industry. Their tribal society deteriorates through its system of patronage that has grown corrupt and brutal. They've wasted their wealth in efforts to destroy Israeli wealth and Israelis.

It's WAY beyond time for the Arabs to face the realities, and to face their responsibilities. Its' way past time for them to admit their mistakes and build on their strengths. The best and brightest of the Regions Arabs have fled the territories, not because the Israelis forced them, but because their Arab brothers made life too difficult. Only a change in Arab society will change the plight of the palestinians.

The sad thing is that the Arabs know it. They realize actual peace with Israel would mean they’d have to face their own faults, they’d lose their scapegoat. It’s not likely to happen unless they are forced to. At least, today, for a short time in Gaza, Hamas is feeling the pressure.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

More Arab Lies

The Headline says, "Jewish Extremists Defile Al-Aqsa Compound." There is even a photo. What is a Jewish Extremist you ask? According to the Arab News its an ultra-Orthodox Jew. And how are these ULTRA-extremists Defiling the compound?...

by their presence.
By the simple fact that they are alive
and breathing
while standing on ground the Arabs declared Holy,
Jews are defiling the place.

Maybe it's an error in translation? Right. This view is nothing new. It's the same trash that Arabs have been spewing since Israel was established, and before. It's an outrage to Arabs that Jews live on land they claim. They need no other reason for fighting than the existence of Jews in their midst.

Israel is established and the Arabs fight. Sharon visits the Temple Mount and the Arabs fight... the only difference is in scale.

And more on Defiling.... a concept the Arabs know a little something about: As the Islamic empire spread, many centuries ago, where did they build their mosques? We know where they built in Jerusalem.

"We are Muslims. Allah said that the mosque is only for Muslims. Why are they coming here? What temple? Where?" said Mouna Kawasmeh, a Palestinian woman who looked askance at visiting Israelis and dismissed their assertions that two temples were built, and destroyed, on the mount in biblical times.
For all the bluster about working for peace, the Arabs continue to be unable to demonstrate that they really mean it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Youth Club Sports

I’m frustrated and disappointed with the state of youth sports. Kids are being over-supervised, over-organized, and over-patronized through their Little League, Pop Warner, Youth Soccer, Club Hoops and Club Volleyball and Junior Golf tournaments.

The sight of 5 year olds in their miniature Yankee, Braves and Cubs uniforms may be cute, but not when they’re being screamed at and cheered by opposing groups of parents. What’s a 5 year old getting out of adult supervised games anyway? It’s certainly not a love for playing the game. But everywhere you turn there are organized leagues for kids, staffed by parent volunteers providing a safe environment for the kids to participate.

That’s right, participation is the right word, because play isn’t really appropriate. At work I listen to the Pop Warner Dads’ bragging about their son’s participation and performance. I learned of one lucky 10 year old who just got a raise. He now gets $20 for a touchdown and $10 for an interception from his Coach/Agent/General Manager/Dad. (Flag Football, where touchdowns are easier, only paid $5 per score) … Two of the Dad’s are coaches in the same league and spend their social time talking about how they’re teaching their kids discipline, proper technique, and how to look good in their uniforms. The kids' only view of football seems to be through their Dads' eyes. I wonder if the kids are really having fun, at least I know the Dads are.

I’ve tried to make sure my children are having fun with whatever sports they play, or whatever recreation they enjoy. School work is the top priority, and both of mine are very good students, but this rant is about youth sports. It's about my thought that sports ought to be fun and ought to help develop well-rounded young adults. It's about my thoughts that growing, maturing kids ought to be exposed to a wide variety of interests. But it’s getting tougher and tougher to find well-rounded sports programs for kids, as they are asking for singular committment at earlier and earlier ages. Last night my son had his first crisis caused by the sports that he's trying to enjoy.

He’s 12, starting Seventh Grade next week and is trying out for the Middle School football team, the first real football team he’s tried. (He played flag football for two seasons). He’s having fun being back with his school friends, he’s having fun playing and learning a new sport, but… he’s also a club soccer player, and he’s got a conflict. Thankfully he's also a good student and its' only a conflict between sports.

In Florida, school soccer season is winter. Club soccer in the fall and spring, with a break in the winter for the School season. It’s a year round commitment. His club team has a five-year plan that includes national and international travel and, starting in the Spring, state-wide travel almost every weekend. It’s a huge commitment but he loves it. But football is encroaching on soccer.

For now, he has football practice every afternoon from 4 - 5:45 and soccer practice twice a week from 6:30 – 8:00. Great for him, tough on me. Last night's conflict appeared because his football games are going to be on Mondays… conflicting with one of his soccer practice days. For six, maybe seven weeks, he’ll only be able to go to soccer practice once a week. What’s going to happen?

We’re not sure, the conflict hit him last night. His soccer coach, whom I will have a discussion with later this week, told him, that because he would miss Monday practice, he would not start any more. That’s fine. It’s understandable and expected. Missing half of the practices is reason enough to be pulled from the starting line-up. But the coach didn’t stop there.

My 12 year old was also told that ANY conflict with school sports next year would mean he wouldn’t be on the soccer team. I have a problem with that kind of threat.

I have a problem with a coach, with a club, and with the system that tells a 12 year old that he must choose the ONE sport he wants to play. I have a problem with putting that kind of pressure on kids who haven’t even reached puberty. I have a problem with kids specializing in a particular sport and being unable to try others. I have a problem with the club system that discourages kids from trying or developing skills in different sports. I have a problem with organized youth sports that keeps kids from being kids.

As I told my son, I may not like the system, but I can’t change it and I can’t make the choices for him. I can only help him with seeing different perspectives. I can support him and be happy for him and tell him that whatever he chooses is OK, as long as he’s having fun doing it. Still it breaks my heart to see him come off the practice field in tears.

It breaks my heart to see him faced with a decision to give up other sports and socializing with school friends in order to play the sport he loves the most. I would hate for him to have to give up the sport he loves most for the chance to try others and to play different school sports. It breaks my heart to see a pre-teen faced with the prospect of giving up any sport to have a chance to play one he loves. It’s not right to put that sort of pressure on kids. Its' not right to make kids make such stark choices at so young an age. It breaks my heart to see him confused and under pressure when he ought to be ahving fun.

Gone are the days when kids played whatever sport was in season. And it’s not just the clubs at fault. School coaches want their kids to play club sports. Except for football, the high school coaches expect the soccer, baseball, volleyball, and basketball players to spend the off-season on a club team. Many of those school coaches also coach club teams. Genrally the Clubs play at a higher level than the school teams. The specialization starts at 11 and 12. It’s wrong, and now it’s affecting my child and I wish I knew how to change it.

So where do we stand, my son and I? Well, he's a great kid. He's smart, sensitive and a good student. His tears last night were primarily from being tired and hungry. He’s having a ball playing football and being with his school friends. He sees soccer as the year round commitment it is and he isn’t too worried about temporarily losing his starting position. He’ll still play plenty. He won't worry about next year's conflicts until next year… Or maybe the spring…
The Spring will bring Baseball, Lacrosse, and Track to pick from... fun with school friends or give it up for soccer…

I’m standing by for more tears… his and mine.

For more on the problem: High Price. Some club coaches would like to see this happen. And a 17 part series for those really interested.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Mais Oui???

From our French Amis... Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not terrorist groups. I guess bombing busses and malls and pizza parlors and restaurants and grocery stores doesn't make them terrorists.

How about this philosophy from the two-faced appeasers:

"If we find that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are indeed terror groups opposed to peace, we may have to change the EU's stand," said Gourdault-Montagne. "However, we mustn't limit ourselves to one, clear cut, position."
How French.

Another View

It's uncomfortable for me to agree with Cal Thomas, but this column is spot on.

If the United States cares about reducing terrorism, it will live up to the conditions set down by President Bush last year, especially those concerning the dismantling of terrorism's infrastructure. If the Palestinians won't do it - and they won't because terror is their policy - then the American yoke should be removed from Israel's neck. The Israelis know the location of the terror camps. They should be allowed to take them out.

Anyone who believes that what Israel does or doesn't do has any effect on what the Palestinian side does or doesn't do is self-deluded. American policy is to get the terrorists before they get us. That policy ought to be the parallel track for Israel.
The only criticism I have is I think America ought to join fully with Israel in fighting the terrorists, not simply remove the yoke.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Moderate Islam Watch

Need some more information on who our enemies in the War on Terror are? Don't for a minute think they will go away before they are defeated. Intolerant, ignorant and intent on destroying non-Muslim governments and people, their hatred grows. Through lies they teach hate, through hate they survive.

Blair and Bush are still choking on the smoke from the fall out of September the 11th, which (it appears) will inevitably lead to the demise of both leaders of the aptly named 'capitalist' world. However Muslims must be under no illusion that this 21st Century Crusade begins or even ends here, rather the struggle between Islam and Kufr (non-Islam), between the Haq (truth) and batil (falsehood) and between the alliance of God and the alliance of Shaytaan begun with Adam (as) and will continue until the day of judgement. What we see before us is merely the collapse of another evil empire (i.e. the USA) just like the collapse of the empires of Pharaoh, Caesar and Nimrod in the past.
Part of the danger to the US, is our tolerance and collective short memory. Not even two years ago, the thousands who died on September 11, have been forgotten by many. If not forgotten the events have passed into memory as an anomoly, we are becoming complacent, we are assuming the enemy has too. They have not.

In a couple of weeks, while you are remembering the people we lost and the tragic events of September 11, 2001, much of the Islamic world, much of the Arab world will be celebrating.
Two years on then, it seems that during their customary 1 minutes silence in NewYork and elsewhere on September the 11th 2003, Muslims worldwide will again be watching replays of the collapse of the Twin Towers, praying to Allah (SWT) to grant those magnificent 19, Paradise. They will also be praying for the reverberations to continue until the eradication of all man-made law and the implementation of divine law in the form of the Khilafah - carrying the message of Islam to the world and striving for Izhar ud-Deen i.e. the total domination of the world by Islam.
Hat Tip: MB

Friday, August 22, 2003

War on Terror
Hat Tip to Spoons pointing me to the InstantMan's comment:

Treating them[Islamists] as reasonable people with possibly legitimate grievances has mostly been a matter of Western self-deception.
Prof. Reynolds was referring to this article by Victor Davis Hanson.

President Bush's announcement about a war on Terror was, in fact, only an acknowledgement that the war was on. It's not a new event. Islamists have been fighting us since at least 1979, but we've largley ignored it or looked at incidents in isolation. This littel bit fro Hanson could apply to any incident in the past 50 years involving Islamic attacks on Israel and the West.
From the detritus of Wednesday's terror will arise a new grim acceptance that despite all our brilliantly rapid military victories we are not yet finished in this war for civilization, and that there are a group of killers — whether Baathists, al Qaedists, West Bank murderers, or Iranian and Saudi terrorists-who shall give no quarter. We should never forget that. In the euphoria of the three-week victory many of us rightly still worried that under the new restrictive protocols of postmodern warfare the age-old laws of conflict were for a time being forgotten: The ease of postbellum occupation is in proportion to the level of punishment inflicted on the enemy.
This group of killers continues to grow and will not disappear. They will continue to grow and to fester hatred and violence until we defeat them or they overwhelm us. The longer we avoid confronting them with brutal and overwhelming force, the longer they will have to embrace
"the tactics of the bomb-laden truck and suicide belt to demoralize civil society and to win the only way they can — as was true in Beirut and Mogadishu — by eroding public support for the continuance of war."
Don't fool yourselves, the terrorists MUST be defeated. They will not be appeased, bribed or debated into respecting us or their neighbors. How much longer will we wait? Do we have to absorb another catastrophic attack to move us to action? How many more must die?

Theres' a job that has to be done. The terrorists are fighting us and waging war against us and will continue to regardless of what we do. We have only two choices: fight them now or fight them later. But the violence, as Hansons says, "will continue until either we or they are defeated."

Another Hudna??

At this rate it won't be long before Hamas cries for another Hudna so they can re-arm in peace.

It's time we give those animals the fight they are asking for. Are we really going to fight a War on Terror or not?

Thursday, August 21, 2003

No Real Change

Yeah the Hudna is over.

"Hamas said it no longer felt bound by a three-month unilateral cease-fire it declared June 29 and threatened retaliation. Two days earlier, Hamas had carried out a suicide bombing in Jerusalem, killing 20 people, but insisted at the time it was still observing the truce. "We consider ourselves free from this cease-fire," said a Hamas official, Ibrahim Hanieh."
Yeah, right. And the palestinian's do what?
Palestinian leadership called on the United States and the Quartet of the US, the UN, the EU and Russia who drafted and adopted the “roadmap” to quickly intervene to stop the dangerous security and political deterioration, and to send international observers to monitor the implementation of the peace plan.
If only the US would answer part of that request. If only the US would intervene to stop the dangerous security and political deterioration. If only the US had the will to change the Regime in the palestinian Authority, then maybe we could stop this security and political deterioration. But nothing has changed.

Arabs are still killing Jews and fighting to obliterate Israel. Israel continues efforts to protect itself. One of the bigger problems is that the Arabs aren’t playing the same game as we are. Israel is working to live in peace with its neighbors while the Arabs are working for peace without its neighbors, by eliminating its Jewish neighbors. Until the Arabs change there will be no peace. Will they change on their own or be forced to change?

For 55 years we have been waiting for the Arabs to change, we’ve been trying to persuade them to change; instead their hatred grows stronger. How long can we wait for them to decide there is a better way? How many more people will die in this charade before WE decide that we must FORCE them into change? Over and over again, it is the same story. Let's pretend that peace can be had between the Jewish State and those who believe, to their very core, that the Jewish presence in the Middle East must be eliminated.”For 55 years nothing has changed. It’s WAY past time for showing so much patience and restraint.

We are supposedly fighting a war on Terror and the most active terrorists are Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa, and Hizbollah. Far from fighting these terrorists we are SUPPORTING them. It’s insanity.

Arno Weinstein:
More important than the physical dismantling of the terror organization is the dissection and destruction of the positions promoted by these terror groups. It should come as no surprise that, by and large, the positions of the terror groups, that is, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, are the same as those held by the Palestinian Authority and the Arab and Islamic nations supporting them. The very same entity with which Israeli leaders now engage in dialogue and talks of the future, are no more than the terror masters themselves. Is it absurd that Israel now deals with those who plan their annihilation? Well, indeed it is, and yet for lack of any better alternative, short of war, that is what they do.

The question must be asked, then: would not war, though horrific, be quicker and more humane than this drawn out bloodletting? Of course, it would.

On a day when terror spread from Baghdad to Jerusalem, the leaders who genuinely understand that the War on Terror is not a silly euphemism meant to represent a spiritual quest, must unequivocally state that war is entered not by choice but by necessity. The War on Terror is just that: a war. What part of "War on Terror" do certain people in the White House, the U.S. State Department or for that matter, the Israeli cabinet, fail to grasp? The more concessions given to the terrorist or their terror masters, the more terror will result. As proof, we no longer need to reach back into history. Take a look at last week's newspaper and rest assured that terror will never end until those who support terror are completely eliminated.
Unfortunately he’s right.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Time for Patience and Understanding is Past

The War on Terror needs to include those groups fighting Israel. The palestinian leadership is a sham, they're nothing more than thugs and terrorists themselves and lackey's of the other Arab leaders. As today's column by Ze'ev Schiff points out:

Generally speaking, it is not important which of
the terror groups was responsible for the attack. Whether it was Islamic Jihad - according to an anonymous spokesman speaking on Hezbollah's radio station, Fatah's Tanzim gangs, or Hamas.

The territories are teeming with activity, and despite the hudna, large amounts of cash are being transferred to bribe people into carrying out terror attacks.

Iran is using Hezbollah in Lebanon to transfer funds that reach Islamic Jihad and Fatah militants; funding also finds its way to those organizations from those close to PA chairman Yasser Arafat, who in effect controls (directly
or indirectly) Tanzim's operational apparatus.

Arafat controls the funds that arrive unchecked from Europe. Dahlan's preventive security organization also uses the funds, for the purpose of preventing terror attacks. The Palestinian security minister is getting financial support himself, likely from the American administration, which he uses to buy off Fatah bands and their leaders and pay for their guns, thereby taking them out of the circle of terror.
Arafat =palestinian leader=Abbas=terrorist There will be no peace until one of tow things happen.

Either the Arabs, that is all of the Arab world, wants peace, or the Arabs are utterly defeated. Which do you think is more likely to happen? What can ANY outsider do to convince the Arabs to want peace?

Tuesday, August 19, 2003


Why give Abbas/Arafat another minute? They have never wavered from their statement that they refuse to disarm the terrorists. They have crushed every hope that they might confront Hamas and practically laughat the thought of dismantling it's infrastructure.

Labor and Social Affairs Minister Zevulun Orlev (NRP) said, "Israel should give Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and PA Security Minister Muhammad Dahlan a 24-hour ultimatum: start dismantling terrorist organizations or Israel will have to do it." Israeli lives can not be left in the hands of Abbas and Dahlan...
Giving the Arabs 24 hours notice, is a courtesy they don't deserve. If Hamas and the rest of the terrorists are gonig to be put out of business, then someone other than Arabs are going to have to do it. It's way beyond time that they are included in our war on terror.

Hamas, Al Aqsa Brigades, Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah, and all the other criminal gangs using tactics of terrorists need to be fought with the same vigor that Al Queda and Saddams' Ba'ath Party are facing. Time for empty talk is over.
Reacting to the bombing, Justice Minister Yosef Lapid (Shinui) said: "The game is over. The PA can no longer hide behind the word 'hudna' without taking strong measures against the terrorist organizations. Abu Mazen [PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas] and [PA Security Minister Muhammad] Dahlan must decide if they want peace with us or peace with the terrorists.
"After this terror attack, Israel will not continue to appease the PA so long as it does not fulfill its responsibilities under the road map."
Health Minister Danny Naveh said the transfer of cities must be immediately halted and that the attack again illustrates that the PA "does not want, or cannot, fight terror."
Abbas and Dahlan have given us their answer, they decided long ago, and the decision was not to seek peace with Israel.

It looks to me as if the ball is our court. We've been given an ultimatum of sorts. Our bluff has been called. Will we back down yet again?

Update:It's time to turn the bus around. And Laurence has another comment: Give to the MDA.


Is this the attack that will finally bring consequences? I can only hope, but it won't. We'll see Powell speaking any minute telling us how bombs won't stop the peace process. Ignorant cowards, using Islam as justification, are gleeful as they kill children, ecstatic as they kill the chances for peace. And the other Arabs stand by, smiling contentedly.

Too many Arabs do not want peace. The people in power, the thugs, the princes, the faction leadership... none of them want peace. They're happy because they have something and someone to hate. They're happy because they're fighting. They're happy because Jews are dying and being murdered. They’re happy because Jews are in pain. They care nothing for anyone but themselves and their foolish warped sense of pride.

What consequences do they have to fear? What reason do they have to stop the terror? NONE. Their only reason for a hudna was to rearm without aggressive prosecution by the IDF. If there is EVER to be peace they MUST fear and realize consequences for their criminal behavior. They are not only the enemies of Israel, they are enemies of modern civilization.

Our double standard when it comes to Israel and our unreasonable demands for restraint is sickening. Our continued blind insistence that the Arabs want peace and will work for peace is completely irresponsible.

While Arafat and his cronies enrich themselves at the expense of the people they are supposedly leading, they murder and teach hatred, and we do NOTHING. It’s time to take a stand. It’s time to either step aside or to fight the Hamas terrorists as aggressively as we fight the Baathists and Al Queda. It’s time to start enacting consequences for their continued intransigence, but we haven’t even begun talking about them. That must change. The Administration needs a dose of reality in regards to Arab actions.

It’s time for some plain speaking followed up with the conviction that was evident immediately after 9-11. It’s time to step beyond meaningless, diplomatic language… It’s only getting people killed. How many more must die?

Two Cents on the Recall... from a Floridian

The ACLU is trying to delay the recall election because:

the same machines at the center of the controversy surrounding the contested 2000 presidential election in Florida, will needlessly and unlawfully disenfranchise African-American, Latino, and Asian-American voters in counties where such machines are still in use.
I really don't understand. How does a ballot card disenfranchise voters? Isn’t the idea of this lawsuit a bit condescending?

The real problem with any ballot in California will be the number of candidates. In the 2000 election, here in northeast Florida alone, there were over 20,000 ballots rejected because of over-voting. That is, in at least three primarily minority precincts, primarily minority voters, were told by minority poll workers in primarily democratic areas to make sure to vote for someone on every page. Sadly, many… probably over 20,000… followed those directions. They followed directions without knowing or realizing that there were TWO pages of Presidential candidates. In punch card ballot terms they voted twice for President and the ballot was uncounted. So was the punch card the problem? How many pages will the California ballot be? How many screens on a touch screen?

Was it the punch card ballot that caused the over-votes? Certainly there was a disproportionately large problem in the minority precincts, but were they disenfranchised because the ballot was a punch card?

Even though some voters in Florida probably did take the election away from Al Gore, those voters were overwhelmingly Democrats. The problems the Democrats here in Florida complained about in 2000 were almost entirely self-inflicted. As much publicity as the hanging chads got on National TV they were only a very small part of the problem.

Maybe it does take a little (marginally) more intelligence to vote accurately with a punch card ballot than it does to vote with a touch screen monitor. That is assuming the touch screen keeps you from over-voting. But is that really cause for legal action by the ACLU?

The Chicago Boyz have more.

Monday, August 18, 2003

What do the EUnuchs Say?

It continues to baffle me why the Brits, as well as the rest of Europe, continue to insist on dealing with Arafat.

McCain, who led a bipartisan delegation of senators and congressmen to Israel and the Palestinian areas, recounted his exchange with Abbas in an interview with The Jerusalem Post editorial board.

"The thing I said is, 'Arafat is undermining you every way he can.' He said, 'that's right,'" McCain recalled.

McCain then asked Abbas about press reports, which say he has no authority over the Palestinian security forces. Again Abbas said, "that's right," and added that he has made bringing them under his control a top priority.

"He didn't say it, but I had the distinct impression that he doesn't feel that he's strong enough to take (the terrorist groups) on."
One reason is probably the weakness of Abbas that has been often commented on, and his timid manner in dealing with the terrorists. As I wonder why the Europeans insist on propping up Arafat, I also have to ask the question, "Why do we insist on propping up Abbas?" Neither is a good option, neither will lead the Arabs to peace. How many more people will die while we play this game?

Friday, August 15, 2003

The Arab Dilemma in Iraq

By Amir Taheri:

For 30 years Arab policy on Palestine was based on rejectionism. It produced no benefits for the Palestinians who had to pay, often with their blood, the price of Arab League “heroism.” A new generation of Arab rejectionists now believe that they can play the same game with Iraq. They are mistaken.

Iraq is not Palestine. It is one of the most important Arab countries with immense human and natural resources. Even today, after 30 years of the most vicious tyranny and four wars, Iraq is generally in better shape than some Arab states. Iraq’s many problems, mostly due to a collapsing infrastructure of services, are highlighted because of global media attention. Power brownouts in Baghdad and Basra are massively reported. But few people learn of blackouts in other Arab capitals. Acts of violence in Baghdad make the world headlines because of American presence. But there is no coverage of the bigger
Shabbat Shalom

Friday Feel-good Story

The glass half empty type of person will complain that doing good deeds should be more widespread. Well, it isn't, but stories like this a nice to hear. It was comforting to hear the news stories last night about people in New York pulling together and doing nice things to take care of each other. Here's a look at a small group in Tel Aviv.... maybe the idea will spread. Though I think Carson is one of the few people who could do justice to this:

Utopia's "symbol" is created by facing the
viewer and with two hands forming the letter "U"; its slogan is "It's all about U."

Thursday, August 14, 2003


An editorial in today's Jerusalem Post is on the money.

In the real world, two Israelis were killed in separate suicide bombings yesterday. It is time to stop playing "let's pretend." The road map, in both its conception and implementation, is based on the presumption that if we, the United States and Israel, pretend hard enough then reality will follow. It is not working.

In his June 24 speech last year, US President George W. Bush cut through decades of "let's pretend" when he erected two pillars of moral clarity: first that Arafat must go, and second that the obstacle to a Palestinian state is not Israel, but Palestinian tyranny, corruption, and terrorism.

Since then, the Bush administration has let these pillars crumble, while pretending that they still stand. Rather than the "new leadership, uncompromised by terror" Bush demanded on June 24, we are pretending that Yasser Arafat is gone, and that Mahmoud Abbas is untainted by him.
We need to stop pretending that the Arabs want peace. We need to stop pretending that the Arab-Israeli conflict is separate from the war on terror. We need to stop pretending that ANY Israeli concessions will be enough to satisfy the Arabs. We need to stop pretending that the Road Map is a genuine plan for peace. It's time for some honesty, brutal honesty.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

If Bombs won't stop it.....

So says Colin Powell.

Will this?

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials have told leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad that the Palestinian Authority has no intention of confiscating their weapons or arresting their members in the aftermath of Tuesday's terrorist attacks. Senior Palestinian security officials conveyed the message to the Islamic groups over the past 48 hours.
No progress. None, nada, ZERO progress has been made by the Arabs in meeting their road map obligations. When are they going to be forced to pay a price for continued intransigence?

To the Democrats

Things aren’t perfect in our country, but I don’t hate George W. Bush. In fact, I think he’s done a fairly decent job as the Head of State. There are a bunch of improvements I’d like to see in our government regarding domestic matters, but on the whole, I’m not particularly dissatisfied with what’s going on. And just because I find fault with some of the President’s policies doesn’t mean I agree with yours. Things aren't as black and white as you try to make them.

As I said, I don’t hate George W. Bush, I think he’s a leader. I think he's generally heading in the right direction, but I’m not following blindly. I’m a little uneasy about the direction the Justice Department is heading in regards to our personal liberty. I’m uneasy about getting too cozy with big business, and I’m uneasy about judicial activism, whether it’s from the left or the right and I think we can take care of the underprivileged much better than we do now. I’m not real confident that the State Department is on the right track in dealing with the World, particularly the Arab World, and in dealing with International Organizations in general. And there are a slew of domestic issues that need attention and earnest debate. But, I don’t have blind faith in government.

I’m skeptical of almost everything the government bureaucracy tackles. I’ve worked inside the beltway and know the ugly reality of its waste and inefficiency. I have seen how career bureaucrats measure their worth to the government and society by the number of requirements they can put on others. How their performance is not judged by the work they produce but by the amount of work they induce others to do and how much money they spend. I think government can do better; there is plenty of room for improvement, and I’m not sure that adding more jobs for government to do is a good thing. In general, there is very little that the Federal Government does very well… maybe spend money, but not much else. I’d rather the government get better at what it does than take on new projects. Too many people work in the Federal government.

Despite our imperfections, I’m proud to be American and of everything America stands for. I’ve lived in Europe twice and have lived in the Arab world; I’ll proudly take America, with all of its warts, over either.

I am open to change. I could see myself voting for a Democrat again, but I don't want anyone too different from President Bush. You have to change your rhetoric, you must be more positive. You must define a different agenda, not completely different mind you, but one that is aimed at making the world a freer, gentler place and making our country kinder and more inclusive. You can, and should, agree with the President on much of what he’s doing. You have to understand that taking a clear stance doesn’t mean you have to take one completely opposite the President's. Most of us are smart enough to handle a wide spectrum of views, not everything has to be polarizing. We can appreciate subtleties.

If you Democrats are going to convince me to support one of you, you need to be sincere and you need to be respectful; Respectful of yourselves, respectful of me and of the institutions you work with. Trying to convince me to hate the Republicans isn’t going to work. Demonizing the President is not going to work, in fact it turns me further from you. I want you to comfort me by telling me what is right with our country as well as what you’d like to do differently. Treating the President like he’s an idiot and telling me that everything he supports is wrong, is being disrespectful to me, and makes you look like a thoughtless bully, a self-centered whiner, or both. I'm tired of hearing how the sky is falling.

Treat all of us with a little respect. Acknowledge that we’re bright enough to understand nuance, recognize that many of us understand political gaming. Don’t be so negative… Above all offer us hope. We prefer incremental change to revolution, stop telling me everything is wrong!

As I said, tell me the good things happening in government. Debate the changes you think ought to be made. Stop demonizing your opponents, stop over-simplifying the issues. Please be civil to each other. Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Historical Jesus?

First, on the lighter side... Mel Gibson isn't the only one concerned with the Historical accuracy of Jesus. report See: The Real Jesus. Yes, some of you may have seen and heard this before.

AND... In more serious news, the ADL's Director of Interfaith Affairs, Rabbi Eugene Korn, attended a private screening of Gibson's newest film. Among the ADL's comments:

"Sadly, the film contains many of the dangerous teachings that Christians and Jews have worked for so many years to counter," said Rabbi Korn. "This is not a disagreement between the Jews and Mr. Gibson. Many theologically informed Catholics and Protestants have expressed the same concerns regarding anti-Semitism, and that this film may undermine Christian-Jewish dialogue and could turn back the clock on decades of positive progress in interfaith relations."
The inter-faith community has done a lot to counter anti-Semitism. There is a real danger that a powerful film can undo all of that work. Mr. Gibson's popularity and influence could work for the benefit of inter-faith relations thorugh this project. Time will tell how it shapes out, but the worries are real. Hat tip: Protocols

On Liberals

Dennis Prager offers his thoughts on the basic characteristics of those who hold liberal views: they're naive and narcissistic.

Maybe in making his point he exaggerates a little, but I have to agree with much of what he says.

That is one reason "feelings" and "compassion" are two of the most often used liberal terms. "Character" is no longer a liberal word because it implies self-restraint. "Good and evil" are not liberal words either as they imply a moral standard beyond one's feelings. In assessing what position to take on moral or social questions, the liberal asks him or herself, "How do I feel about it?" or "How do I show the most compassion?" not "What is right?" or "What is wrong?" For the liberal, right and wrong are dismissed as unknowable, and every person chooses his or her own morality.
Whether it's naivety or narcissism, the belief that, people are basically good. As a result of this belief, liberals rarely blame people for the evil they do. Instead, they blame economics, parents, capitalism, racism, and anything else that can let the individual off the hook. The belief that everyone is good is virtually sacrosanct.

This is a topic that Michael Totten has tackled a couple of times and has always attracted my interest. What changes within a person to make a one-time, idealistic liberal, realize that conservatives aren’t as hard-hearted as he feared? Is there something common that happens that opens our eyes to evil?

The inability to see evil and the inability to even acknowledge that anyone could make a conscious choice to do evil, keeps the liberal from having to deal with ugly reality. There is, as Prager argues, something very much child-like in that response. But is there (or are there) common events that have given us evolved liberals the sudden ability to acknowledge the existence of evil, or at least to see that there are people who are inclined to choose evil?

It follows that there is likely a connection to a move towards conservatism as we gain life experience. What do you call a liberal who decides to accept responsibility for facing reality? Traitor? Neocon? Ignorant? Cold-hearted Republican? Bushie? Right-Winger? I’ve heard them all. It makes me wonder, how a group who has trouble seeing right and wrong, be so certain that their views are right and more moderate views are wrong. Why is it that the more idealistic they are, the more strongly they hold views of universal goodness, that the more venomous they can be in their condemnation of dissimilar opinions?

Balance seems to be a concept lacking in the left’s dogma.

Why aren't the Arabs saying this?

There's nothing new in this report by Greer Fay Cashman of the Jerusalem Post. There is, however a question that comes to mind when I read:

Itzhak Frankenthal, a prominent figure among the bereaved parents, said they had come to endorse the President's decision to commute the sentences of 69 Palestinian prisoners. Nothing can erase the pain of loss for any of the parents, said Frankenthal , "but if we don't try to understand Palestinian needs, nothing will change. We lost our children because there was no peace. Despite any reservations we may have, we must make painful concessions." With few exceptions primarily Tuesday's terrorist attacks Israel benefited from the hudna, said Frankenthal. "What did the Palestinians get out of it? Nothing!"

In its quest to achieve true reconciliation, said Frankenthal, the delegation hoped to persuade Katsav to impress upon the government that even more painful concessions must be made. First and foremost among these is Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
Why aren't there any Arabs speaking of concession or compromise? There are none. They want it all.

I don't speak Arabic, but I'm fascinated by the debate over whether there is or is not even a word in Arabic that means compromise.
There are phrases used for “compromise” put no single word just meaning “compromise”. In fact, one word when translated back to English also means “shame/disgrace”. I have asked Arabic speakers and not one was able to blurt out a word. I heard President Mubarak giving a press conference in Arabic The only word not spoken in Arabic was the word compromise (he said it in English).
It was interesting to me that both sides pointed to the same article by Tarek Heggy that was featured a while back at Winds of Change.

It's an interesting debate, but it appears to me that Mr. Heggy's point of view is the one supported by the facts and the actions of the Arabs. The other side’s argument is just fluff. The Arabs continue to demonstrate that making any compromise is unacceptable. They continue to act as if making concessions or of compromising on any point is shameful and dishonorable. Mr. Heggy is right.

Unless or until Arab culture changes sufficiently to allow compromise there will be no peace. Absent that change peace will only come when they are utterly defeated. As long as they refuse to compromise and continue to block the road to peace, the only roads available will be to ruin. Propping up a moderate looking figurehead like Abbas may make us feel good in the short term, but the cause of the pain is still there.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Eye on Syria

Israel warns of immediate response and gives Syria notice. I have a question though. Why is there zero-tolerance for nail clippers on domestic flights, but plenty of tolerance for artillery and missile bombardment? Are we, or are we not fighting a war on terror?

As an aside, note the difference in maps between the link above from the NYT and this from the WaPo. I doubt Syria will ever again have sovereignty over the Golan.

When the Hudna Expires

I hadn't made the connection about the hudna ending on Rosh HaShanah. Should we be any more concerned because of it? Maybe it doesn't matter. After all, how meaningful has the lull been? Has there even been a lull? You can see the Security Incidents Map and Timeline found here. And you can read the column by Gary Rosenblatt

But it's not nearly enough. A senior adviser to Ariel Sharon who was in the United States with the prime minister last week, in an effort to speak positively about progress with the Palestinians, pointed out that attempted attacks on Israelis have gone down to about 15 to 20 a day, compared to three and four times that many a few months ago. He added that Palestinian television now shows fewer hours a day of anti-Israel footage consisting of the bloodied bodies of young Arab "martyrs."

Is that supposed to give us comfort? It's like your hostile neighbor telling you not to be paranoid, he's not trying to kill you every moment of the day, only every hour.
Given the Arabs' unwillingness to dismantle the terrorist organizations, and their continued denial of the existence of Israel, it's practically a given that more violence is just around the corner. We are left to wonder how the Israelis will respond and how much support they'll get from the US.

If the US were under similar threat, do you have any doubt how we'd respond? Of course not. We'd see the rapid application of overwhelming force to quickly crush the enemy. If our survival as a nation was threatened, we'd act quickly and decisively.... Will we support Israel if they decide to do the same? Would we join them or condemn them? Or, would we, as we have before, urge Israeli restraint, and then step in at the last minute to stop the war and save the Arabs from utter defeat?

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Syria needs to feel the Heat

Twenty years ago I was part of the multi-national peacekeeping force that Ronald Reagan sent to Lebanon. We were there, ostensibly, to help keep peace. The reality was that a part of keeping the peace meant we were, in fact, protecting the PLO. It was an unpleasant experience on a number of levels and is just one of the reasons I dislike Reagan as much as I dislike Clinton. But that's a completely different topic.

Syria's occupation of Lebanon has been as brutal as it has been ignored by the Arabists and palestinian sympathizers. Hizbollah’s dominance of the south of Lebanon has been encouraged and financed by Syria, Iran, Iraq, and the entire Arab World. I hope we’re seeing the beginnings of their last stand. At least the right diplomatic noise is being made. Still the attacks continue.

The U.S. conveyed to the governments in Beirut and Damascus, America's worries about "escalation and provocation" planned by militant organizations based in Lebanon, State Department officials said. U.S. delegates asked Lebanese and Syrian officials to take steps to restrain Hezbollah, and prevent the firing of missiles at Israel.

In its strong message to Beirut and Damascus, the U.S. government emphasized that the
national interests of Syria and Lebanon require the preservation of quiet on Israel's northern border, whose current status - following the withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon - has been endorsed by the UN.

The U.S. also called on Lebanon to deploy its army in the country's south, to prevent additional Hezbollah offensives against Israel.
Update: Imshin has more... So does Gil.

Sharansky on the new Anti-Semitism

Whereas the anti-Semitism of the past was directed towards individuals, at least part of the new anti-Semitism is directed towards Israel. Today’s anti-Semite is just as likely to deny the right of Israel to exist. In fact the new anti-Semite is likely to hide his old anti-Semitism under cover of anti-Israel rhetoric and/or holding Israel to different standards of conduct.

Mr. Sharansky's essay, particularly due to his position as Minister of Diaspora Affairs, is a must read. It should be no surprise that he argues for unity.

The double standard toward the Jewish individual is now directed to the Jewish collective and the denial attempts are mainly ridiculous. The Diaspora Jews who suffered violent physical and verbal assaults, who were discriminated for their affiliation to Israel, even if personally they had no such affiliation, were forced to recognize that the separation line between the Jewish people and the Jewish state was only in their minds. The entire Jewish nation was forced, once again, to remember that we are one nation with one destiny. No one can escape.

The historical alliance joining the Jews of Israel and the Diaspora has eroded greatly over the years. There are different issues on our respective agendas, internal processes have polarized our positions and sharpened our differences, tensions have sprung up and the alienation between us increased. In a somewhat absurd fashion, the war on anti-Semitism gives us a new opportunity to mend the rift. Our joint destiny is sometimes a heavy burden, but it also gives a lot of strength. Our power is in our unity, in mutual responsibility and in partnership. If we succeed in overcoming the alienation, if we manage to bring together the torn shreds of the Jewish nation and make them feel that we are brethren again - then we have a chance. We cannot miss this opportunity.

Friday, August 08, 2003

On Prisons

From all I know, jail is an unpleasant place. I think it ought to be. As a formal Naval Officer it has always offended me that federal prisoners have better living conditions than I had aboard ships... and my accommodations were luxurious compared to the junior, enlisted sailors. The left has always cared more about the welfare and comfort of felons than they do about the men and women in uniform whose work ensures our freedoms, but I digress.

This little bit from the BBC about conditions in the prison at Gitmo, deserves to be seen by as many people as possible.

"I don't think there is even a sanatorium in Russia that would compare to this," Ayrat Vakhitov said in a letter to his mother published by Russia's Gazeta newspaper.

"Nobody is being beaten or humiliated," he wrote.

The mothers of Mr Vakhitov from Tatarstan and Rasul Kudayev from Kabarda-Balkaria strongly oppose the extradition of their sons to Russia, reports Itar-Tass news agency.

"I fear the Russian prisons and the Russian courts," Mr Vakhitov's mother Amina said.
What, then does Amnesty International find so abhorrent in their treatment? I'm continually baffled by many of the new left's positions. This is just one of them.


Caroline Glick writes today about Hizbollah's war on Israel. I wonder if she is responsible for the Irony in the articles title. And the shelling is not the only problem emanating from Lebanon/Syria. Hizbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has called for kidnapping, and his call seems to have been heard.

Just a few days later, 17-year-old Dana Benett went missing, and then 19-year-old Eliezer Zusia Klughaupt disappeared. Several Israelis have reported attempted kidnappings some at gunpoint from which they were able to escape. Most of these attempted abductions emanated from the same area in the North. All have taken place since Nasrallah's call.
Even that's not the worst of it. Using hudnas of its own, Hizbollah has continued its war on Israel while being practically immune to criticism from anyone on earth.
Another important aspect of Hizbullah's strategy against Israel in Lebanon involved the interruption of its guerrilla and terror operations with limited cease-fires. These cease-fires worked to force Israel to restrain its counterterror operations against Hizbullah, while placing no effective limitations on Hizbullah itself.

Hizbullah's actions against Israel were informed by its awareness of our diplomatic isolation. Understanding that Israel has no allies other than the US, Hizbullah could be certain that no international body, NGO, or alliance would back Israel's right to defend itself in Lebanon.

With Israel's precipitous unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, Hizbullah achieved its short-term goal. Since then it has been moving forward with its long-term goal of destroying Israel itself. Its refusal to recognize the international border set the international context of its continued aggression. The UN's unwillingness to stand up for Israel on the issue of borders proved Hizbullah's assumption that Israel has no international support regardless of its actions was correct. Its current cooperation with Palestinian terrorist organizations and the Palestinian Authority and its employment of Israeli Arab operatives within Israel allow Hizbullah to work toward its objective from its safe base in Lebanon.
Much of the west continues to insist that the problems in the region are simply between the Israelis and palestinians. They are wrong.

Until we deal with the problems of the Arab world and accept those problems as the central issue in the Arab Israeli conflict, there is little chance for a meaningful peace. I know its' repetitive and I know that it's not a popular position, but the palestinians already have a State, and if the truth be known, the majority of the Arab world won't be satisfied until that state includes all of Israel. The Arabs have deliberately created a wretched group of perpetual refugees to insulate themselves and to focus the attention on Israel. They've been hugely successful.

While the west and the left ignore its history, the Arab-Israeli war has been reduced, by them, to an unwarranted police action with the powerful subjugating the poor wretched victims. It pisses me off.

And the next move is.....?

In response to intelligence that a large scale attack was imminent inside Israel, a small special forces IDF team raided Nablus to arrest a couple of people.

Brigadier-General Gadi Eizenkot, commander of
the IDF's West Bank Division, said the army conducted the raid due to intelligence information that two senior Hamas members were planning a terror attack inside Israel that would take place shortly.

Troops surrounded the building in which Hamas activist Hamis Abu Salam lived and demanded his surrender. Palestinians then opened fire on the troops from the third floor of the building, killing Oren, the fourth member of his unit to be killed over the last year and a half.

Troops returned fire, aiming an anti-tank missile at the third floor. The missile set off a series of blasts when it hit what was apparently an explosives laboratory in the building, killing Abu Salem and destroying the third floor. Palestinian witnesses said the IDF evacuated Palestinian families from the building.
Abbas refuses to deal with the terrorists, and of course they cry foul when Israel acts to defend itself. Meanwhile across the border in Lebanon, Hizbollah shells northern Israel.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Fast of Tisha B'Av... the Ninth of Av

This evening begins the Jewish day of mourning Tisha B’Av. Primarily, the fast commemorates the loss of the Temple in Jerusalem, which was twice destroyed on the Ninth day of the Hebrew month Av, first in 586BCE and then again in 70CE. But the Temple’s destruction is not the only calamity that happened on the Ninth of Av. Here’s a partial list of disasters, some planned some merely coincidence to have occurred on the same date:

2248 or 1312 BCE ....... Spies Return from 40 days in Israel with Evil reports. Jewish people cry in despair
3175 or 586 BCE....... Destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezar. Beginning of Babylonian exile.
3830 or 70 CE ....... Destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans under Titus. Two and a half million Jews die from war, famine and disease. A million more exiled throughout the Roman Empire.
3892 or 132 ....... Bar Kochba Revolt crushed
3893 or 133 ....... Rufus plows the Temple site and the Romans build pagan city Aelia Capotolina where Jerusalem stood.
4855 or 1095 ....... Pope Urban II declares the first Crusade. Many tens of thousands of Jews killed during the following three years.
5050 or 1290 ....... Jews expelled from Britain.
5252 or 1492 ....... Jews expelled from Spain
5315 or 1555 ....... First Ghetto established in Rome, Jews forced to move into small area and to pay for the wall around it, property outside the ghetto was confiscated, Men forced to wear yellow cloth on their hats and women forced to wear yellow scarves.
5674 or 1914 ....... WWI begins when Britain and Russia declare war on Germany.
5702 or 1942 ....... First Deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto

If you’re fasting, have an easy fast. If not, then please take a moment to remember... and maybe visit Kesher Talk.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

So Far to Go

This is simply depressing. The degree to which hatred and intolerance is ingrained in the palestinians and the extreme myopia that has seemingly infected even the most moderate Arabs, gives us cause to move toward peace only with the utmost caution. Ghassan Khatib writing in this week's BitterLemon about Incitement, opens my eyes and depresses me with the thought of how wide the gap is between the two sides. There is a very, very long road ahead before any kind of common understanding is reached, and until Arab society modernizes, I don't hold much hope for real peace.

Khatib explains that much of what Israelis call incitement was simply propaganda used to inspire palestinian nationhood. According to him it was a good thing but it's all been changed as a result of Oslo. IN his words:

But with the start of the peace process, in particular the Oslo agreement that marked the first codified peace between Palestinians and Israelis, both parties agreed that it was now time to move from the culture of incitement to the culture of peace. That required educating both peoples in the values of tolerance and reconciliation in order to gradually reduce the levels of hostility and hatred and revenge. On the Palestinian side, a great deal of progress was made in this regard, to the extent that the next Palestinian generation--those in their late teens before the Aqsa intifada--had grown up in an environment nearly free of the accumulation of hatred and hostility. We were truly on our way to a generation that was prepared to accept coexistence with Israel under the terms of reference specified in the Oslo accords and assuming the need to end the occupation.
Methinks Khatib is wearing his rose colored glasses.

Go read what he says as well as the other 3 essays on Incitement with viewpoints from both sides. Maybe you'll find more reason for hope than I do.

More on the other Refugees

In 1941, before the Nazis and Iraqi nationalists colluded to rid the world of Jews, one quarter of Baghdad was Jewish. In 1948, some of those Jews were part of 600,00+ that were tossed out of Arab counries. Richard Z. Chesnoff:

An amazing reunion took place in Tel Aviv the other day. After being separated for 52 years, 79-year-old Salima Moshe Nissim of the southern Iraqi city of Basra embraced her 83-year-old sister, Marcel Madar. Madar had immigrated to Israel in 1951, when more than 130,000 Jews fled Iraqi anti-Semitism. Nissim stayed behind. Now, finally, there she was in Israel, one of six aging Iraqi Jews flown there this week...
His advice to the Arabs about the right of return?
The answer is to learn from the Jews: Care for your brethren, resettle them, improve their lives, live in peace.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Moderate Islam Watch

Hat tip to Momma Bear. Having lived in Syracuse for over 12 years, I found this story encouraging.

Omid Safi wanted to go the extra mile to make sure his children experienced an Islamic environment. So he and his family made the one-hour drive to their nearest Islamic Center in Syracuse, N.Y., every week, and he enrolled his son in Sunday school there.
Only men were allowed to use the grand main entrance to the mosque. "Women have to use a back entrance right next to the trash dumpster and go down to the basement," Mr. Safi remembers. "It felt fake for me to go through the front door and for my wife to have to use the back entrance. After a while, I could not justify to my conscience continuing to go and sending my children there."

Another site the article points to is: Muslim WakeUp!, which may be another reason for optimism... we'll see.

Disappearances = Violence

Two more abductions. Yes, I assume they are abductions, and not the alleged kind. In fact I hope they are abductions and not murders.

Is the PA in control? If so, they are doing a lousy job. If not, why are we dealing with them?

Why do I repeatedly hear the term "cease-fire" applied to the respite that Israel granted the Arabs from actively policing terrorist activities? It's not a cease-fire it's a Hudna. And a hudna is simply an opportunity for the Arabs to re-organize and re-arm. They're doing it.

Security forces searching the area for the perpetrators closed the Gush Etzion tunnel road and the Husan and Wallajeh bypass roads to traffic. In response to the attack, the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza said the government should acknowledge the cease-fire has collapsed.

"Three Israelis have been murdered, three wounded and numerous shooting attacks have occurred," the council statement said. "The terror infrastructure has been refurbished, and the Kassam rockets have been improved. These are the achievements of the hudna... the national security responsibilities require the government to destroy the terror infrastructure itself wherever necessary."
Yes, the cease-fire has collapsed. The Arabs are thumbing their noses at the Road Map.

When will we learn? Does releasing prisoners under these curcumstances enhance Isarel's security? Of course not. Has appeasing the Arabs ever done anything to enhance Isarel's security?

Anger Management

My guess is that most of you that read this blog, also read Imshin's. If not, you should, especially today. The permalink isn't working, so you'll have to scroll for her book review on Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames. She explains her anger is NOT aimed at the palestinians,

As an Israeli I am not angry with the Palestinians. I am far too busy trying to defend myself and make sure I survive. I am angry with the Europeans and left-wing Americans who refuse to accept that Israel is in real danger of annihilation in this region and has a right to defend its citizens and itself from those who would destroy it, by whatever means. I am even angrier with those Europeans and left-wing Americans who refuse to accept Israel's right to exist at all. And most of all, I am angry with myself for being taken in by the Palestinians' promises in the early nineteen nineties that they really meant to put down their arms for all times and negotiate a peaceful compromise with us that would allow us all to live here side by side in peace (Although this doesn't mean I don't think we should keep trying. We should, but carefully).

Friday, August 01, 2003

Summer Camp ...update

I hope things are really going to be different this time, as Ariel Sharon says.

Likewise, Sharon said that for the past three years Israel has paid a very high price for overlooking Palestinian violations of the Oslo and Wye accords, including the PA's failure to dismantle the terrorist organizations, confiscate and remove illegal arms, and stop the "unbearable incitement" against Israel in the PA media and educational system.

This time, Sharon pledged, things will be different.
But the unbearable incitement will not stop. Caroline Glick tells us what some of the Israeli Arab children attending PLO camps are doing while their Jewish friends are learning macrame.
At Camp Return, [near a village in the Western Galilee] children are not taught how to make beaded jewelry and popsicle stick houses. They are taught to aspire to kill Jews in suicide bombings.

Saama Vakim, one of the campers, displayed her new necklace to the TV camera. It is a pendant of the map of Israel embossed with a Palestinian flag. She also showed the reporter the "intifada pendant." It included the image of a boy throwing a stone. Saama explained that Jews have no right to live here and should "go back to where they came from to Poland, to Russia."

Rather than learning stories about animals and plants, children at Camp Return are taught tales of the "heroism" of Palestinian terrorists like "the engineer" Hamas bombmaker Yihye Ayyash, who masterminded the murder of over 60 Israelis in suicide bombings before being killed by Israeli security forces in 1996. The children received booklets with "morale boosting" songs and stories glorifying human bombs and their dispatchers who are called "the heroic martyrs."

Their camp songs have lyrics like, "We don't want flour. We don't want sardines. We want bombs, the rule of the bombs." Another ditty the children sing says, "Lift up your head, recognize your holiness. Defeat to Washington. We don't want ID cards [Israeli citizenship]. We will glorify in the blood of the martyr."
This type of incitement must stop according to the Road Map. Until it does there is no chance for peace. I still want to hear, though, someone in the Administration articulate what is going to happen in 2005 when they are forced to recognize that the Arabs have not upheld their end of the bargain. Until someone has the cohones to tell the Arabs that their actions have grave consequences, then there is no hope they'll change.... NONE. Ms. Glick says much more, and don't miss the discussion on the article at lgf.

It appears the camp has been shut down.


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