Saturday, July 22nd
Every time Israel defends itself, the so-called progressives, or fascists in progressive clothing, display their wares. The infamous Independent cartoon of Ariel Sharon eating babies has a successor, which, like its predecessor, seems destined to win some European award for progressive racist cartoons. Jeff Weintraub has the story from Adam Le Bor, who asks Guardian or Der Sturmer?.
No doubt, the Guardian will whine as usual that their "artistic" obscenity is "legitimate criticism of Israel." As Charlie Chaplin's narrator in The Great Dictator said about Hinkel (Hitler): "His excellency is expressing his opinion of the Jewish people."
Below is the cartoon. You be the judge.
Ami Isseroff on 07.22.06 @ 01:22 PM CST [link]
Friday, July 21st
Despite the war, life in Tel Aviv seems to go on as usual --- traffic jams, lots of people in coffee houses and restaurants, stores and sidewalks full of activity, swimmers at the beach, business almost as usual. The other night I went out to a park where members of the folk and blues community were making music. About 100 performers took the stage during four hours and the war seemed almost forgotten. Toward the end a visitor from the Carmiel folk club announced that they would be having their regular performances the next night, and if anyone wanted to come up to Carmiel to perform there were some open spots on the program. Laughter. Carmiel is in the Galilee, and some rockets have hit there.
The other morning I walked down to Banana Beach, where a poster advertises a concert by Ziggy Marley, son of the great Bob Marley. Originally, the concert was scheduled for the Banana Beach branch up north in Achziv.
Joseph M Hochstein on 07.21.06 @ 10:12 PM CST [link]
Anyone who wants to know what is going on here should bear in mind that hyperbole, emotion, lack of information, and a huge amount of spin accompany the reporting of this war. It's not only politicians and ideologues who are trying to play with your head. Some reporters and news organizations came to this story with points-of-view which they now need to promote or defend, whether or not they realize they are doing it. Nor are many foreign reporters familiar with the background that brought us to where we are.
Very little hard information is available, so reporters have to work with other material.
Joseph M Hochstein on 07.21.06 @ 10:08 PM CST [link]
Doni Remba, President of Chicago Peace Now, examines UN claims that Israel is guilty of "war crimes" in Lebanon.
Ami Isseroff on 07.21.06 @ 05:44 PM CST [link]
Ada Aharoni founded the Four Mothers movement to get Israel out of Lebanon, but she supports the Israeli action against Hezbollah. Actually, Ada has been campaigning for peace for many years, since before the Israel-Egyptian peace treaty. In his address to the Israeli Knesset, Anwar Sadat read part of a poem she had sent to him. But Ada says that she and other members of Four Mothers support the campaign against Nasrallah and his bandits:
We are all for it. We are liberating our northern frontier, and we are liberating the Lebanese from the extremists and the Iranians who control them. I think it had to be done.
I always think speaking together and negotiating is much better than any military action, and even now we should be talking. But they started this. They didn't try to talk. It's a situation where you either defend yourself or you're dead.
Israel's enemies (and some of our right wing friends) made a great error if they mistook the intent of the Israeli peace movements and thought that willingness for dialogue and compromise was a sign of weakness or fear. On the contrary, the knowledge that we have done everything possible for peace makes it possible to face war with a clear conscience.
Ami Isseroff on 07.21.06 @ 05:00 PM CST [link]
Thursday, July 20th
I confess that I am not happy writing these words. I think that one dead child is one too many, whether the child is Lebanese or Palestinian or Israeli, a German or Japanese in World War II. We are all children. Not just those under 18, but every soldier is someone's son or daughter. However, there has been so much written about Israel's "disproportionate response," that we must address the issue.
I am perhaps ignorant and uncultured, but analyses and pleas based on theory of "proportionate response" and "Just War" leave me cold and seem to be somewhat irrelevant. "Just war" is a concept that evolved from the Roman Fetiales priests who made a ceremonial declaration of war stating the grievances. It is concept that may have some validity for wars between states, but I don't think that once you established that you have a "just war" it then becomes OK to kill people indiscriminately. Likewise, I am not satisfied saying that more people were killed in other conflicts. Everyone dies in the end, and many people are killed accidentally before their time. It is not a justification for killing.
Ami Isseroff on 07.20.06 @ 06:58 PM CST [link]
Wednesday, July 19th
People keep asking why Israel is hurting the poor innocent Lebanese. Indeed, over 200 Lebanese have died since their Hezbollah movement began its aggression against Israel on July 12 by crossing the border and attacking an Israeli army patrol. Surely many of the Lebanese victims were innocent civilians, just as innocent as the 13 Israelis who were killed by Katyusha rockers. On the other hand, if you have seen the films of the intensive bombardment, you may find it difficult to understand how "only" 220 civilians were killed. Bombing in densely settled cities, as in Falluja, in Yugoslavia, and in Berlin of World War II, usually kills thousands and tens of thousands.
Ami Isseroff on 07.19.06 @ 12:32 PM CST [link]
The Washington Post has published another in the long series of dreary denouncements of Israel by Jews, which are so reminiscent of the confessions of faith of apostate Jews in the middle ages. It is peculiar to the state of Israel that otherwise respectable journals feel it their duty to question the legitimacy of a member state of the UN.
It is peculiar to the Jewish people that our national aspirations are delegitimized by those among us who feel they don't belong. If a Frenchman wants to be British, he becomes British and doesn't make a public announcement attacking France. If an Italian American isn't proud of his former ancestry for any reason, he doesn't feel the need to denounce Italy in public. Not so our Jewish brethren who want to "pass" as something else. They cannot leave us, it seems, without going through the ritual of elaborate justifications based on the imagined "crimes" and mistakes of Israel.
Ami Isseroff on 07.19.06 @ 11:20 AM CST [link]
Monday, July 17th
The olive in the martini of this collection of Middle East commentary has to be this quote from President George Bush to PM Tony Blair:
See, the irony is what they really need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s***... .....
I'm just going to make it up. I'm not going to talk too damn long like the rest of them. Some of these guys talk too long.
OK, so who do "they" get Syria to get Hezbollah to do anything, if the USA keeps talking about restraint, and Europe talks disproportionately about disproportionate use of force?
(here) or on Normblog (here).
Ami Isseroff on 07.17.06 @ 06:39 PM CST [link]
Once again, an Arab voice has been raised in support of the Israeli action in Lebanon. While others have been mostly content with criticising Hezbollah and paying lip service to condemnation of Israel, Ahmed Al-Jarallah, editor in chief of the Arab Times in Kuwait, goes a bit further:
Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of “these irregular phenomena” is what Israel is doing. The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community.
I bet you never thought an Arab world journal would write that!
The impression one gets is that the Arab world is afraid of Hamas, of Iran, and of Hezbollah and of what they represent - anarchy and religious reaction. On the other hand, the Arab world is unwilling to do anything about Hezbollah and Hamas, and most wish to pay lip service to "resistance," without asking what it is that Hezbollah is resisting exactly: UN resolutions? Orderly government? Jarallah is willing to say what most people in the Arab world are not willing to admit. The problem is, that too many in the Arab world are hoping that Israel alone will beat not only Hamas and Hezbollah, but Syria and Iran as well. In their imagination, it is no problem for Israel, with its 6 million people, to conquer the 15 million people of Syria, and the 80 million or so in Iran. They are willing to fight Jihadism and Bashar Assad to the last Israeli soldier.
Of course, it cannot happen. Moreover, the Hezbollah and the Iranians will gain prestige and support in the Arab world as long as their only open enemy is Israel, and as long as they can say they are fighting "Zionism."
Ami Isseroff on 07.17.06 @ 11:58 AM CST [link]
Sunday, July 16th
There is not much to add to David Brooks' column in the New York Times, which makes it clear what the stakes are and what the new devolution of the "Middle East Conflict" is about.
The only chance for peace and a better future for the Middle East is to first lick the Jihadists who have coopted all the causes and issues in the Middle East - whether it is the Palestinian cause, or democracy or the fight against corruption.
Ami Isseroff on 07.16.06 @ 04:03 PM CST [link]
This morning rockets, apparently of Iranian or Syrian manufacture, fell on Haifa, killing 8 people and wounding about fifty. The rockets were launched by the Hezbollah, a member of the Lebanese government operating with the approval and encouragement of the Lebanese government, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions 1680 and 1559.. These resolutions called for disarming of the Hezbolla and other militias.
Additional rockets have fallen at various locations around northern Israel, killing three others, wounding many and perpetrating extensive property damage. The rockets did not cause more damage owing to the poor aim of the Hezbollah, but that does not transform them from war criminals to saints. They are war criminals, and the Lebanese government that permitted them to arm themselves and to carry out these attacks are war criminals.
Ami Isseroff on 07.16.06 @ 02:30 PM CST [link]
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