Monday, January 01, 2007

January 1, 2007

I regret to say that I have nothing to say for myself on the first day of the year that will be. So instead, I'll just bring a collage of wisdoms and inanities that I found on the Internet as I browsed it today.

Let me start with James Bond:

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Man With No Golden Pun (via: Fisking Central)

I am sorry to end 2006 with sad news. James Bond has said this:

Some of my greatest heroes are journalists. I genuinely believe that getting to know people, going out and looking people in the eye and understanding the situation, like war reporter Robert Fisk does, that's proper journalism. Maybe that's just a dinosaur way of looking at things. But I don't believe anything I read on the internet.


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And now, for some Moderate Sanity:

If you're tired of sterile screaming in the wilderness, tired of the comfortably ensconced "hindsighters" poring over every American error in Iraq, tired of facile anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism, try the Euston road in 2007. It might actually lead somewhere.

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Following the execution of Saddam Hussein, the media and the Internet were rife with hopeful conjectures by members of the "Pretend Left" that he is bound to become a romanticized hero in Iraqi and Arab eyes, a la Che Guevara. Unlike these "pundits", I happen to hold a much higher opinion of Iraqis. However, here is one place where Saddam was mourned sincerely by a people whose track record shows a singular trend towards self-destruction: the Palestinians.

PA residents reminisced over the Gulf War, when dozens of Scud missiles were launched at Israel . The missiles, which landed in the center of the country in 1991, were accompanied by celebrations and chants: "Saddam, strike Tel Aviv."


The Iraqi president remained popular among the Palestinians also during the recent intifada, when he promised to transfer USD 25,000 to families of Palestinians killed in terror attacks and clashes with Israel.


Sabha Muhammad, 57, of Jenin, received USD 25,000 from Saddam to rebuild her house, which was destroyed during Operation Defense Shield.


"I cried when I heard the news. I felt that we, as Arabs and Muslims, lost a strong leader today. I wish all Arab and Muslim leaders a similar fate, as they did not stand by Saddam – starting from the American occupation, through the president's seizure, to his killing."

Sad Palestinians, the product of their leaders' cynical manipulation and mind games that leave them no choice at all except to grieve for an Arab leader whose legacy is the ruthless starvation, torture and massacre of his own people to the tune of hundreds of thousands. The good things they remember most fondly about him are the barrage of scuds he sent into Israel during the First Gulf War, unprovoked, and the money he gave to the families of suicide bombers, transforming terrorism not only into a moral activity, but profitable as well, for these families.

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Hmm. Via Engage, here is an expostulation and reply. In this case, the reply elicited my attention, with this claim:

But waging a purportedly illegitimate criticism of Israel and engaging in antisemitism are still not the same thing. Many of these Nazi analogies, for example, derive from Palestinian and pro-Palestinian sources. However the motivation behind Palestinian comparisons of Jews to Nazis rests in the Palestinian experience of Israeli occupation.

Nazi analogies, when derived from Palestinian sources, must not be taken at their face value as antisemitic. Because..

While it is indeed true that a large segment of the Palestinian population harbors deeply troubling antisemitic beliefs, the comparison of one’s perceived oppressors to Nazis cannot be so easily reduced to an irrational outburst of antisemitism.

Let's see, when Palestinians refer to Israelis as Nazis, it's not because they are antisemitic but because they suffer so under Israeli occupation, notwithstanding the fact that "a large segment" of Palestinians are infused with antisemitic beliefs.

Let me see again: When they call Israelis Nazis, they do so not because they are antisemitic, even though they are, in fact, deeply antisemitic.

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And what's this about?

A controversial exhibit that compared the factory-farming of animals to the Holocaust is protected by the principle of freedom of speech, Austria’s High Court has ruled. The court said, however, that the exhibit had been "pitiless, tasteless, exaggerated and even immoral."

But it's the freedom of speech question, again. In Austria it is illegal and a prisonable crime to deny the Holocaust, but to compare Hitler's Jewish victims to farm animals, cows, pigs and chickens, is fine. One wonders at the people who come up with these surreal analogies. They are so moved by their pity for the butchered animals, that they elevate them to the human level of slaughtered Jews.

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