Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Just How Militant?

A letter to the special Middle East news editor of the BBC:-


See, please, the item from today on the BBC web site.

Just how "militant" was this militant?

Was he fiercely militant? Meekly militant? Non-violently militant? Was he militant enough to kidnap a CNN reporter? To carry an AK-47? To fire a Kassam missile into a civilian center of non-militant Israelis in Sderot? To launch a mortar shell into another civilian center in the Gush Katif area?
Was he a Hamas militant? an Islamic Jihad militant? A Fatah militant?  Was he as militant as a "settler" or less so?
Yisrael Medad


Militant killed in Gaza incursion
A Palestinian militant has been killed during an Israeli military incursion
in the northern Gaza strip, reports say.


The Terminology of Reuters

Here's something I noticed about the Reuters story on the Riyad kidnapping:No "militants", no "activists". Just plain ol' "armed" likepolicmen are armed, like army personnel are armed.Certainly not "armed guerrillas" or "armed militiamen".Gee, how low can Reuters go?

====GAZA (Reuters) - Armed Palestinians seized an Israeli Arab producer for theCNN television network from a car in Gaza City on Monday after asking forhim by name.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


Did anyone notice that the op-ed in Sunday's NYTimes, today, September 26,
describing Iraq's nuclear weapons development history was missing something?
This op-ed:

Like, missing Israel's bombing raid on the Osaryk reactor on June 7, 1981?
The one that saved the world from a nuclear holocaust.
The reactor assisted by France.
The bombing ordered by Menachem Begin.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Nadia Matar Has Surprised Me

No, I wasn't surprised by Nadia's use of Holocaust analogies, intimations and semantics in comparing what Yonatan Bassie, head of the Disengagement Office to remove the Jews from the Gaza District, is doing to what the Judenrat's were asked to do.

The very first demo of the Women in Green, I recall, when they went out to the Green Line, was one in which Holocaust-recalling terminology was used, specifically "ghetto". I have consciously tried to avoid use of the Holocaust but have succumbed in one respect: when I point out to critics of Israel that I cannot recall one single instance when a Nazi, having found out that a few Jews were still living in some bunker, forest lair, ghetto or shetel or concnetration camp or death march, strapped on some dynamite and tossed himself in among them to kill them, But the Arabs, who supposedly are less evil than Nazis (according to our "friends" abroad and our Lefties at home), hate us so much that they are willing, and even orgiastically excited enough, to kill themselves if only to be able to kill more Jews.

But, getting back to my main point, Nadia Matar and Ruth Matar surprised me. Nadia was visciously attacked in the Jerusalem Post for her Holocaust remarks and, of course, misquoted and quoted out of context. But when I opened my Jerusalem Post this morning, Friday, there was a WIG ad with an Oleg cartoon (I haven't gone through the JPost web site so I don't know if any WIG ads are there).

Why surprised you are still asking yourselves? Well, I would have thought that Nadia and Ruth would have pulled their ad. Now, I know that the JPost is one of the main outlets of advertising to Jews living abroad, who, like for many institutions and advocacy groups, including those that I am affiliated with, contribute handsomely to our causes, for which we are very grateful. But, nevertheless, the blow that the JPost struck WIG would have, I thought to myself (and now I am thinking out loud to all of you), was mean.

In other situations and circumstances of the politics and policy of demos of Women in Green, I think Nadia and Ruth would have advocated withdrawal of financial support as a means of expressing intense displeasure. In fact, that's what they are berating Bassie for, offering money to the Gaza district Jewish residents.

Moreove, they even demanded that Yonatan Bassie himself give up his job and yield financially.

Of course, maybe they did try to pull the ad but it was already too late or maybe they have a long-term contract that Michael Matar (Ruth's husband, a lawyer) can't break so quickly. If so, this being Yom Kippur eve, I request apologies from all concerned.

But, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Shaul Magid purports in the Jerusalem Report that "radical settlers…rejectstate authority if it conflicts with their messianicvision” and that they are “adopting anti-Zionist andanti-state attitudes” (The Settler Secession”, Sept.20). Actually, his view is a twisted reflection ofhis own broken mirror.Our Zionism is the traditional kind, the one bothsecularists and the religiously observant lived,labored and died for for over a century since theadvent of Herzlian political Zionism, the one that wasapproved by the world’s foremost international bodyback in 1922. That Zionism sought the reestablishmentof the Jewish National Home through close settlementon the land, as the League of Nations decision readwhen Great Britain was awarded the Mandate.If there is a change of vision, it is a result ofthose, like Magid abroad and other academics and thecultural elite in Israel, who promote the idea of“State” above all. If the “State” declares the Osloprocess to be followed, when dead Jews become, asShimon Peres termed them, “sacrifices of peace” and ifthe “State” seeks to expel and exile Jews from theirhomes, but will prosecute citizens who talk of thetransfer of Arabs, then who is the radical, theextremist and the real anti-Zionist?

Friday, September 03, 2004

Tariq's Tricks

Tariq Ramadan, the controversial Swiss Islamist, published an op-ed in the NYTimes of September 1. He outlines the “legitimate criticism of American foreign policy” which cause the Arab and Islamic world “misgivings” and lists them as “five specific grievances”.

The first, naturally, is the “unbalanced role” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The fact that in a neutral countup, America essentially supports perhaps as much as 90% of Palestinian demands regarding territory, Jerusalem and settlements (or, if we stiill go with Ehud Barak’s plan, we can up that to 97%).

Then we have American support for authoritarian regimes in the Arab world and indifference to democratic movements, particularly those of a religious bent. Well, in my opinion, it is the Arab world that supports these dictatorships and I have not read, heard or saw any religious-based democractic Islamic movement.

Third is that Washington’s policies are driven by short-term economic and geo-strategic interests. Excuse me? If it wasn’t for oil, the Arab countries would still be back in the dark ages of camel caravans. They don’t share these interests?

Fourth is the tolerance of some prominent Americans of Islam-bashing. Aw, gee, at least they don’t chop off fingers, hands or heads.

Fifth and last is the use of military force as the primary means of establishing democracy. Of course, the major establishment of American democracy was the result of the War of Independence and a Civil War some 85 years later, quashed a fallout of American democracy. The defense of that democracy was accomplished in another military action called World War II, when the Arabs fought with, supported or otherwise avoided fighting against the Axis powers.

Tariq Ramadan should add stand-up comic as an additional performance ability.