jazzoLOG: Wise Laughter    
 Wise Laughter37 comments
picture19 May 2004 @ 03:02, by Richard Carlson

A billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But IN you is the presence that
will be, when the stars are dead.

---Rainer Maria Rilke

On a journey, ill---
and my dreams, on withered fields,
are wandering still.


Everything you know is wrong.

---Firesign Theatre

The weakest link.

See more Tom Toles here~~~ [link]

[< Back] [jazzoLOG]



19 May 2004 @ 05:06 by shawa : :-)
I won´t laugh (God knows it´s not a laughing matter), but yes, I will smile (for the artist´s gallows humour).  

19 May 2004 @ 07:19 by martha : hahahahaha
all the way to the top in this administration though they do have denial and rationalization down to a fine science don't you think?  

19 May 2004 @ 13:51 by Quinty @ : Bush's only science
I agree with mmborders. It appears that the Bushies are outraged by someone's allegations - Richard Clarke, Paul O'Neill, Joe Wilson, etc. - on a kind of ongoing weekly basis. Now it's Seymour Hersh. They are becoming expert at indignation, though it seems to be the only "science" they practice or believe in. Aren't they still denying global warming?  

19 May 2004 @ 14:03 by Quinty @ : Daily Mis-Lead
Here's more on that scandal. It's from a web source called the Daily Mis-Lead, which chronicles Bush administration lies on a daily basis. This is another version of that "science" the Bushies are refining....


19 May 2004 @ 18:04 by martha : Quinty
While I agree with some of your assessment I don't think some of the Palestinians are innocents. I believe there is a small faction of them that are hell bent on distroying Israel and they are funded by other Arab countries. I also think there is a small faction of Israeli's that feel the same about the Palestinians and want to destroy them. I believe that most of the people in Israel and most of the Palestinians want PEACE.

Sorta like in this country where the rights of Americans have been taken away by the Patriots Act because of a small group of terrorists.  

19 May 2004 @ 18:10 by vibrani : The facts
Are settlements illegal under international law?
Two articles by Eugene W. Rostow set the record straight
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
{http://www.bjeny.org/254.htm} and {http://www.vibrani.com/occupiedterritories.htm}  

19 May 2004 @ 18:25 by Quinty @ : Mideast Peace
Yes, there are many personalities involved in this. There are Palestinians who would never accept a Jewish state: who never did and never will. There are the suicide bombers and fanatics. And, what's more, it appears the majority of Israelis desire peace, and would accept a withdrawal from the occupied territories. My complaint is with the acceptance the US has shown Sharon and Likud, who have, I don't believe, any desire for peace unless it appears in the form of Palestinian bantustans. The right wing in Israel wants to drive the Palestinians off their land. They reveal this by the constant taking of more land from Palestinians, the wall and ongoing building of illegal settlements. Unfortunately, the latter, through a corrupt and incompetent leadership and the extreme fanaticism and desire for revenge of the suicide bombers, provides Likud with the cover it needs to continue the occupation. They can always link themselves with the so-called "war on terror" and claim self-defense. Until this rightwing and fundamentalist Israeli government changes there is probably no hope for peace. Sharon and Likud call the occupied territories Judah and Sumaria. The Biblical allusion is no accident.

But yes, hundreds of thousands of Israelis came out recently to protest the occupation. I think you and I both want sanity to return, and for Jews and Arabs to live in peace together. But in my opinion that won't happen until the US begins to exert some pressure on the region.

Thanks for responding to my outburst - (today's news was extremely troubling, at least for me) Quinty

Here's something from Common Dreams about today's events for you to consider, if you wish......


19 May 2004 @ 18:32 by vibrani : Occupation
Occupation is not the right term at all. If you read the facts and the accurate history of the region, you'll see that. So, how about using another term that is not biased against Israel in this way?

What happened today is another horrible effect of lack of responsibility on the Palestinian's side and misjudgment on the Israeli side who said they were firing warning flares, as in the center of the rally were those ready to attack Israel and were using human shields. Why do the Arabs keep abusing their children by putting them in harm's way, over and over? I am against all the killing and destruction of property, that's my position.

There was an agreement and that agreement was based on the creation of peace and security, and other things, on all sides. The Arabs didn't keep their promises. They broke every one. Since they cannot/do not control terrorists, but encourage them, Israel is up against a rock. I agree that there are extreme positions within Israel, but Israel has always given up so much for peace, remember the Sinai that was regained during a war that Egypt started against Israel (and the Arabs never gave anything for peace)? What other country gave back land it won through battle? It is ready to do so again IF and WHEN there will be real peace.

Responsibility works both ways. I would like to see the Arabs helping out other Arabs for a change. They have more than 18 vast countries and can't give one bit for the Palestinians? Instead of funding terrorism, how about funding peace?  

19 May 2004 @ 18:51 by jazzolog : Caramba!
That was one of Paul's favorite exclamations when he would show me around Spanish Harlem. I've never known him to join anything, but I think a Quinty Log might be pretty darned interesting around here. I'm working on a piece about him (in my head)and if it passes his muster, I'll see if I can get it posted in the next few days. In the meantime, please carry on...if you wish.  

19 May 2004 @ 19:02 by Quinty @ : What a mess....
Now, I don't claim to be an expert or any form of scholar regarding the history of the region. I have long assumed the territories were occupied merely because that is how they are routinely referred to, even by the mainstream press. Many Israelis themselves have referred to the "occupied" territories. The question may come down to this, and I hope you will bear with me. Is the land the Palestinians live on theirs? If not, then they should leave. But as far as I know nobody, not the UN, not the President of the United States, not anyone, except the far right (and let's not mention the American far right, which entertains some sort of fantasy about ascending to Heaven at the proper time) in Israel believes this land, where Palestinians have lived for centuries, doesn't belong to them. If the land the Palestinians live on is theirs, then there is no reason for them to leave, to give up their homes, orchards, and way of life. And Israel should recognize this, don't you agree? If, for example, someone asked me to leave my home here in Rhode Island, and told me that Massachussets has plenty of land, and that I should go there, I would think that suggestion is absurd. It if is made at the point of a gun them I might consider it. But that wouldn't make it right. Is there something here I'm missing?


19 May 2004 @ 19:11 by vibrani : The term
"occupation" is used by Israelis for two reasons: those who cater to the West's use of the term for easier recognition because so many countries use that term; and those who are against Israel fighting terrorism by going into these areas. {http://www.vibrani.com/Winston.htm}

The links to articles I posted should explain the situation about the territories clearly to you. One thing please bear in mind is that many Arabs came to these areas AFTER all the problems began to fight against Israel and they've never lived in the region. It's a long historical and political issue and it does require a lot of reading and familiarization with the areas. Arabs have lived in Israel, but most were nomads - preferring to live in Jordan and other Arab nations. The only consistent population in Israel has been the Jews. Gaza is Israel, but was going to go to the Arabs if they accepted Oslo (and they didn't). Regardless, they converged there and made it their capitol and built Arafat's airport there and consider it theirs.

What is happening now is forcing the world to get involved and resolve this problem.  

19 May 2004 @ 19:45 by martha : Hey Massachusetts is great! LOL
Yes it is a mess and I think Nora is right.......the world is going to get sucked into this region. I am not convinced though that the UN will be able to settle the matter.  

19 May 2004 @ 19:48 by vibrani : U.N.
Don't get me started on that horribe organization, Martha. They can't settle anything and they give terrorists leading positions within and play favorites with countries.  

20 May 2004 @ 01:09 by Sellitman @ : Talking Points versus Understanding

"No two historians ever agree on what happened, and the damn thing is they both think they're telling the truth."
- Harry S. Truman

{link:http://www.angelfire.com/pro/canthos/JewsForJustice.html|The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict}

{link:http://www.mideastweb.org/understandingmiddleeast.htm|Talking Points versus Understanding}  

20 May 2004 @ 01:35 by b : Sellitman - That's totally biased
and untrue. The land of Israel has always been inhabited by Israelis since Abraham came there over five thousand years ago. Muslims showed up around 700 a.c.e. By 1500 they built the mosques on Temple Mount, site of Last Temple destroy by Romans in 38 a.c.e. Zionists were diaspora jews in Europe in late 19th century creating a movement that would return Jus to Isarel. That movement was fufilled with the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. Currently there is no country of Palestine. In the west bank what you see are stateless Arabs squatting in disputed territories waiting for their next handout. The basis of the conflict is locked in lies. Arab history desseminated with incitement since the middle ages is largely revisionist. Judiasm history has constantly been invalidated or not accepted even though it is accurate by western so called scholars because of conflictions with Christianity, Islam and how their history was obtained. The facts are available on the internet but what you post is falsely fabricated. This is reflected in the current conflict where Israel is held to a higher standard of war morality then so called palestinians who are willing and do commit suicide in a religious fervor of entering paradise with a meat body.  

20 May 2004 @ 01:51 by vibrani : Arafat rejected
making peace because he wanted ALL of Israel for himself. Any doubts? Just look at his uniform and what's on it. In fact, this may tell you a lot more:
How much do you know about Arafat? Do you know he was raised in Egypt? {http://www.vibrani.com/Arafat.htm}  

20 May 2004 @ 04:27 by istvan : Even the best escapist
theories can not justify these actions, nor the rigt to carry them out.
Chris McGreal in Rafah
Thursday May 20, 2004
The Guardian

Israeli forces fired tank shells into a peaceful Palestinian protest during the ongoing assault on Rafah refugee camp yesterday, killing at least 10 people - mostly children - and critically wounding many others.
The army described the incident as "very grave", claimed it had only fired "warning shots" and said there was no intention to harm civilians. But it attempted to shift responsibility for the carnage to the several thousand demonstrators by saying some were armed.

However, no weapons were visible as the crowd walked through the heart of Rafah trailed by children.

Witnesses described seeing children soaked in blood and men with their intestines hanging out.

The dead included 12-year-old Waleed Abo Kamir, Mahmoud Mansour, 13, and Mobark Hasbash, 15. Doctors said that four other bodies brought to the morgue and not immediately identified appeared to be teenagers.

The Israeli army has killed 33 Palestinians in Rafah over the past two days, some of the highest casualties of the present intifada. More than half of the dead are civilians and at least seven of them children.

"We were marching down the road shouting 'We need help' as a message to the world, and 'No to occupation'," said Hussam Mustafa, a civil engineer. "There was a missile and then people started running back and then there was another missile right into the crowd."

Salah Ahmed was also in the crowd. "First we heard machine gun fire and then there were three shells, perhaps four," he said.

"We were knocked to the ground. I saw people in pieces. Two of the missiles landed right among us."

The Palestinian foreign minister, Nabil Shaath, called the killings a war crime. "This is a terrorist massacre and a terrorist war crime," he told the Associated Press.

The US said it was "deeply troubled" by the killings and urged "maximum restraint" in Gaza.

Tony Blair told the Commons that the Israeli raid on Rafah was "unacceptable and wrong".

But Israel's defence minister, Shaul Mofaz, dismissed growing criticism from the EU, the UN and Britain over the mounting civilian casualties in Rafah and said the assault would continue because it is "a necessary and vital operation for the security of the state of Israel ... This operation is vital and will continue as long as needed. There is a war going on here."

Last night Israeli helicopters fired missiles into several parts of the Rafah camp as tanks and troops moved into the area. There was also fighting close to Rafah town. Witnesses reported several dead and injured.

More than 40 people were wounded in yesterday's demonstration and a frantic operation to get them to Rafah's rudimentary hospital began with ambulances, fire engines and cars ferrying them at high speeds with wailing relatives in pursuit.

"These are not bullet wounds, they are much worse," said Dr Ayad Rubi at Rafah hospital. "We were operating on five patients at once in two theatres. Missiles cause so many wounds, to the head, to the chest, all over. I'm sure there will be more deaths."

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Israel offered to evacuate the worst casualties to its hospitals and 40 ambulances were dispatched to assist.

The demonstration came hours after Israeli soldiers in Tel al-Sultan, a part of the refugee camp under army control since Monday, ordered all males between the ages of 16 and 60 to assemble at various schools in the area for interrogation. Known fighters were ordered to carry white flags. A contingent of buses was on hand to carry away those who were to be arrested.

Tel al-Sultan has been cut off from the rest of the camp by the Israeli military, its residents placed under perpetual curfew and snipers posted on high buildings.

Yesterday's protesters sought to challenge the army by marching from Rafah town down Beach Road toward Tel al-Sultan.

The army said it tried to deter the demonstration by firing flares, followed by a missile from a helicopter at a patch of open ground. It then directed machine gun fire "towards a wall of an abandoned structure along the side of the road and then four tank shells were fired at this abandoned structure".

"It is possible that the casualties were a result of the tank fire on the abandoned structure," the army said in its statement. "At no point in this incident was intentional fire opened in the direction of civilians."

Palestinians say it happened differently.

"Where is the open ground they fired at?" asked Khalil Mashur. "Where is the abandoned structure?

"It's a massacre. They fired missiles into a crowd full of children. That is a massacre.

"The Israelis say they believe in protecting life and we Palestinians only believe in killing. But we are the ones dying."  

20 May 2004 @ 10:14 by Sellitman @ : Talking points versus understanding
- Europeans came to colonize Palestine in the 19th century.

- Jews returned to the Land of Israel after 2,000 years.

Which staetement is true? It is the same fact, but it leads to different conclusions about "why," and it leads to a different way of programming people. 

You may get "talking points" that will allow you to become part of the great parade of demonstrations and counter-demonstrations that substitute for thinking and dialog in our region. "The Jews became a nation in 1312 BC - there is no such thing as a Palestinian People" or "Jabotinsky said that we have to broom all the Arabs out of Palestine." It may impress people, but it is probably not a way to find the truth. It is not a way to solve the problem. It is a way to become part of the problem, a soldier in the armies of hate and disinformation.

{link:http://www.mideastweb.org/wordhistory.htm|What's in a word?}  

20 May 2004 @ 10:30 by jazzolog : Who Is Sellitman?
I'm always interested when someone posts from the outside---and I don't know who it is. Sellitman has posted to a number of NCN Logs (Ming, i2i, Scotty) but has yet really to introduce himself. Of course, I wonder if I should pronounce this nickname SEE-it-mon...like maybe an Arabic influence~~~or is it Sell It, Man...like out in the Walmart parking lot. Well whatever it is, you certainly are welcome and your comments edge us further into serious conversation. I found Sellitman's Profile here~~~

20 May 2004 @ 13:50 by vibrani : Escape artists
are the Arabs...who will not take responsibility for taking care of their own people, or for creating peace. You see the evidence every day. Please see my newest log entry "Balanced in Iraq, Tilted in Gaza" for more about Gaza and what really happened there.  

21 May 2004 @ 14:04 by Quinty @ : Leaping back into the fray

I thought I would leap back into the fray. It seems to me pro Israel extremists who would like to drive all the Palestinians off their land are rather adept at finding rationales for doing so. Alas, a corrupt leadership and the hysterics of so-called suicide bombers offers these American and European Jews a fine cover for their violence. How much better it would be if Arafat were Ghandi or Dr. King? How much better for the Palestinian cause if they all practiced nonviolent resistance. But no, a few of them behave irresponsibly and irrationally, killing even people who are on their side. Who knows who may be on that bus? Who knows who's sitting at that cafe table? Not to mention the children, the innocents, the horror of this senseless violence.

As my partner, Ellen, an American Jew remarked to me some time ago: "Aren't fundamentalists just a bundle of joy?" Yes, all the fundamentalists, Christian, Islamic, and Jewish who spread their fanaticism to the rest of the world, only bring more pain and misery to the world. When it comes to the Palestinians all I know is this. That that olive grove that was bulldozed down by an Israeli earth mover stood there for centuries. And that Arabs worked that grove for centuries. Now here are these Americans and Europeans appearing on the scene telling them they have to get out, to leave. That the land isn’t theirs and that they have an irrefutable argument to prove it. Perhaps they found the argument in the Bible. Perhaps a scholar found it by cherry picking (a delightful new term the Bush administration has given the world.) through a variety of ancient sources. No matter, the intent is all the same: to create a rationale for the theft of land from the Palestinians who live there. One Jazzalog writer says the Arabs should reclaim the Palestinians. That, I gather, the Arabs have so much land that they should be able to accommodate the Palestinians. But if the Palestinians had come from some other place than where they live, then why can’t they return to where they came from? The answer is, that they have lived in that area known as Palestine for centuries. How long have the American and European Jews who are trying to drive them out lived on that land, in settlements where olive groves were only recently bulldozed to make way for the new settlers? And, for Biblical reasons, would you accept such a great shuffling here at home?

I suppose I will be dismissed now as an anti-semite. And Ellen has shown herself to be a self-hating Jew. We have heard this kind of crap for quite a long time. And i think none of us should dive for cover, for fear that we will be associated with the Nazis and the whole sordid history of European anti-Semitism, when these pejoratives are about to be uttered. For our country is condoning an ethnic cleansing in Palestine. And it’s time to speak up loudly against these crimes. Who would believe that those who should know best would mimic the tactics of their oppressors? For believe me, there is no shortage of Arabic racism among the far right in Israel, many of whom see Palestinians as vermin.

Are any of you familiar with Tikkun? Michael Lerner is a Bay Area guy, I think. Some of my Jewish friends think he’s a bit of a blow hard. I like the guy. What do you think? Here’s his site.....


21 May 2004 @ 18:41 by jazzolog : Go Back Where You Came From!
Everyone is bringing up interesting and difficult points to consider...although it is agonizing to try to solve such issues rationally when innocents are being blown apart. Paul's last comment---or Quinty I should say---raised a question in my mind: what if someone official stormed into the OU Library right now, where I'm spending a little time between scene rehearsals tonight, and demanded that I go back where I came from. Where did I come from? Did I come from New York? I had trouble finding work there last time I went "home," and I stewed around for 10 years. Should I go back to Sweden? What could I do there that a native Swede couldn't do better? Teach English? But I don't speak Swedish.

The first time I saw a whole group of people uprooted was a part of the Seneca Nation back in the 1950s. The Army Corps of Engineers had decided on a small town there as site for the Kinzua Dam. The US built an entire new housing development for the Native Americans, but still the people chained themselves together in front of the bulldozers. Yes, and in the 1950s! It seems what they really protested was the destruction of hunting lands they had used for centuries---and which George Washington had guaranteed to them by treaty for their use forever. Other deerhunters knew what they were talking about, but most Americans didn't have a clue as to what was the matter with those Indians.  

21 May 2004 @ 18:56 by vibrani : Palestinians
are in a bind. Many Arab nations do not want them back, because they created a big problem wherever they lived. Secondly, 80% of the "Palestinians" (and that is a recent invention, that name) live in Jordan right now. They tried to take over Lebanon and look what happened. (They killed hundreds of thousands of Lebanese Christians and then Israel got dragged into the battle.) They destroyed a beautiful and thriving country. They've lived all over the place...as most of them were nomads. They are trying to take over Israel and claim it as their own, when it's a lie. Not all of those Arabs ever lived in Israel.

Now, Hussein offered Arafat the role of Prime Minister of Jordan, but he refused it! Had he accepted it, everything could have been great, the people would have real lives instead of living how they do. Truly, it's Arafat's own doing through terror and re-education his way. Arafat's ego, greed (he stole billions of dollars that were meant to help his own people) and desire to kill and rule has been the problem all along.

Arafat is the creator of: the Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon; the Munich Olympics massacre; the Achille Lauro hijacking at sea; the Lod Airport shootings; countless foreign assassinations and murders of dissidents among his own ranks; the politically motivated airline hijacking; the cold-blooded killer of U.S. diplomats. His people blew up hundreds of young Israelis going about their daily lives. And the more recent, and luckily foiled, plan to destroy Israel with the arms carried on the Karine-A. He continues to incite murder and abuses young children. All of these are crimes for which he still escapes justice. The PLO, the Fatah, Tanzim, Hamas, the Al-Aqsa Brigade, and Force 17 are all terrorist organizations who should face the same consequences as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Again, why do you ignore the fact that the Arabs are not doing anything much when it comes to creating peace with Israel because anyone not Muslim is an infidel, Israel is a democracy, and Arab nations are ruled by various factions of Islamic tribes and fake royals who don't want to give up their positions and status. That's the real threat. I'm sorry, Quinty, but the way you write about American and European Jews as the controlling factor of Israel, shows some bias and omissions. What about those living in Israel - Jews, Christians, Druze and the Arabs who have representation in the Israeli government? Do they not exist at all? They make the decisions about Israel. (Can you show me ONE Arab nation that allows Jews as equals, and allows them a seat in government?)  

22 May 2004 @ 11:06 by Quinty @ : Will Israel self destruct?

This is such a passionate subject. And we should all, I think you may agree, remember the humanity and rights of everyone involved. Anger, fear, religious dogma, blind fanaticism, viewing whole races of people as the “other,” and decades of violence begetting violence have led to the current nightmare we can witness in that small part of the world.

More than a decade ago I viewed a network television documentary in which both Israeli and Palestinian children were interviewed about their opinions of each other. What I keenly remember about that interview many years ago is that the Palestinian children wanted to meet and play with the Israelis whereas the Israeli children, reflecting the opinions of their parents, spoke about Palestinians in a manner which was reminiscent of how whites in the Jim Crow south spoke about blacks. An interesting aspect about this documentary, perhaps reflecting the political climate here at home, was that the narrator made no comment on this disparity at all, delivering it cold. Then a few years ago I watched another network documentary employing the same format: though neither documentary apparently was linked to the other. Not having forgotten how the Israeli children spoke about the Palestinians in the first documentary I keenly watched and listened, only to hear the same thing. But this time, what I found truly sad and shocking, was that the Palestinian children spoke in the same hateful manner about the Israelis. The disease had spread.

Unfortunately there are rightwing “Israel firsters” both here in the United States and in Israel who deny Palestinians not only their rights but their humanity. They may be recognized by the vitriol they heap on Arabs. They do not want to live in peace but desire to drive the Palestinians out. They seek numerous religious and historical rationalizations to support their point of view. Surely the state of Israel must survive. Unlike many of my Jewish friends I believe in an exclusive Jewish state, one of, by, and for the Jewish people. I may be wrong about this, but I believe there is a historic precedent for such a state. Likud’s current actions, as many observers, including some Israelis, have pointed out, may very well lead to the destruction of Israel, turning it into a self-devouring pariah. There are, of course, many decent Jews living in Israel who desire peace and have no racist tendencies towards Arabs. For a moment I, a distant observer, felt some hope when they came out in the tens of thousands recently in what I hope was a peace demonstration. We will see. The world is passing through a crisis in leadership. If Bush, Sharon, and Arafat, and all those like them, ever leave office then perhaps, just maybe, there may be some hope for both the Palestinians and Jews.  

23 May 2004 @ 01:16 by vibrani : Let's go back in time a bit
and take a realistic picture at what was occuring.

The U.N. and Jews accepted the land of Israel when offered to them by the British. The Arabs didn't want the land of Israel for themselves when offered to them. There was division among the Arabs. The Arabs who lived in Israel at the time left voluntarily, hoping to get it back by force - and they did launch attacks upon Israel the day after Israel became a nation. So the problem is with the most of the Arabs, not anyone else. However, some of the Arabs (including Arafat's own uncle) did sell land to those Jews who were not native to Israel (at greatly inflated prices), because these Arabs weren't resident and didn't often stay in their own houses in Israel. They lived mostly in Jordan or Egypt.

The Jews refused to kick out anyone living in Israel when Israel became a nation. They encouraged everyone to live together in peace. Fighting malaria from mosquito infested swamps, and many other severe hardships (because Israel was largely undeveloped), the Jews created a modern nation. Arabs came afterwards to reap benefits from that.

In June 1913, the president of the First Arab Congress, Abd-ul-Hamid Yahrawi, summed up the attitude of the delegates: "All of us, both Muslims and Christians, have the best of feelings toward the Jews. they are our brothers in race and we regard them as Syrians who were forced to leave the country at one time but whose hearts always beat together with ours. We are certain that our Jewish brothers the world over will know how to help us so that our common interests may succeed and our common country will develop both materially and morally."

In March 1919, the Emir Faisal wrote to then Harvard law professor Felix Frankfurter: "The Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. ...We will wish the Jews a hearty welcome home. ...We are working together for a reformed and revised Near East and our two movements complete one another. The Jewish movement is nationalist and not imperialist. Indeed, I think that neither can be a real success without the other."

In the mid-1960s, Yassir Arafat was going strong with his agenda to claim Israel as the "Palestinian" homeland and created a whole story to go along with that. Violence increased against Israelis. Then there was the 1967 war, in which Israel was attacked again.

Let's remember the Yom Kippur war of 1973, when Egypt attacked Israel and the U.S. screwed Israel! Israel was always attacked and defended itself. In its history Israel defeated those who attacked: the Aramim, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Turkish, Germans, British, Jordanians, Egyptians, Canaanim, Amelekim, Aparism, Philistines, Iraqis, and the Lebanese.

Zahir Muhsein, executive committee member of the PLO said, on March 31, 1977, in the Dutch newspaper Trouw: "The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.

In 1991, President Bush stated: "In accordance with the United States traditional policy, we do not support the creation of an independent Palestinian state. [. . . .] Moreover, it is not the United States' aim to bring the PLO into the process or to make Israel enter a dialogue or negotiations with the PLO." Since then, there has been much fluctuation and straying from that initial statement. In 2001, Bush did a 360 and said that a "vision of long standing" of U.S. policy to create a Palestinian State west of the Jordan River, carved out of the heartland of the historic Land of Israel. This newly-discovered long-standing vision was quickly sanctified in a UN Security Council resolution.

Like Sadat, Rabin gave his life for peace. Like Begin, Rabin also gave territory hoping it would make a lasting peace with security. He really believed that would stop the violence. His life was taken for nothing. AFTER he gave the territories, what happened? After Sharon forced the evacuation of Israeli settlements, like Yamit, what happened? After the murder of hundreds of Jews, what happened? Did the Palestinians give anything for peace? Only continuous bus bombings in Israel. No one wanted to get on bus. Do you recall that time? The quote then for those who were murdered in the bus bombings was "victims of peace." Give the Palestinians land and they start killing you. It never stopped.

Jump to a meeting with Arab diplomats in January 1996, where Arafat stated: "We the PLO will concentrate all our efforts on splitting Israel psychologically into two camps. Within five years we will have six to seven million Arabs living on the West Bank and in Jerusalem. The PLO plans to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian State. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion; Jews won't want to live among Arabs." What could be clearer? And yet, there are Palestinians who may not agree with this and Israelis who refuse to acknowledge that there is this agenda by the PLO. Regardless, Israel knows who it's dealing with and has every right to protect its citizens and land. When Arafat now claims that he speaks for not only all Palestinians but all Christians, I wonder how Christians feel about that.

"I want you to kill as many settlers as possible....Do not pay attention to what I say to the media, the television, or public appearances. Pay attention only to the written instructions that you receive from me."
--- Yassir Arafat, July, 2001.

(November 28, 2002 marked the 55th anniversary of the United Nations Resolution 181. According to Israel Radio, Resolution 181 partitioned the then British mandated region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, and recognized the State of Israel.)

So when you talk about interviewing kids a decade ago, it was after the start of the bus bombings, following Oslo. It was after many wars started by the Arabs. How the hell would you expect them to think about the Palestinians after that? That they are serious and want a peaceful co-existence with Israel, recognizing Israel was again a modern nation since 1948? Would you honestly expect them to trust the Arabs? Some Israelis lived side by side with Arabs and grew up together, Arabs worked with Jews. My father-in-law, for instance, always had Arabs working with him and they loved each other. These workers later were forced to abide by what Arafat said - they didn't want to lose their jobs and have to stay with the Palestinians in Gaza or the West Bank. Israel was their livelihood. Then with the increase in suicide bombings, they were kept from getting into Israel by the Israelis, too.

There were always some areas where people had to be cautious because Arabs attacked people. I myself was in Gaza in the 1960s and even then it was risky because of the Arabs there. I went with a cousin who lived near Gaza and the Arabs knew him and they trusted one another. But if you didn't know anyone in Gaza, better watch your back. Gaza was then one of the few Arab settlements in Israel. I went back to Gaza in 1979. (Personally, I think it should remain an Arab city, and it was a mistake to add Jewish settlements in the area. That was just asking for trouble. And once again, I repeat, I am against the razing of houses...it's horrible. But when Israel pulls out it has to demand security and the end of terrorism and the Arabs must promise and keep their promise to do that this time.)

Are you aware of the programs that were created between Jews and Arabs to try and overcome the bad feelings and try to unite the two in peace? There were camps and schools, and settlements where they lived together. I supported and promoted one of these schools. The camps were somewhat successful, but not entirely once Palestinians went back to their homes and got reindoctrinated into hatred and lies, and the Israelis went into the Army had had to face the Arabs they were with in camp coming to kill them. Israelis only saw increases in violence against them...and this is when Arafat promised to stop terrorism and murder. In one of the settlements that was successful between Jews and Arabs, what happened? Palestinians came in and murdered Jews in their homes. The settlement was shocked and it ruined so much good work there.

Denying Palestinians their humanity? Oh please, Arafat has done that and more - they are the living dead thanks to him. Israelis don't teach their kids to rig themselves with explosives and blow up themselves and others under a religious lie, and using the promise of sex with 70 virgins in heaven to manipulate teenagers. And the Palestinians have been so humanistic towards Israelis, right?

I'll tell you one thing, Jews who used to be part of Peace Now got a dose of reality in the last decade, especially during the last 4 years, and realize they were following a fantasy, that they were duped, they were betrayed by the Palestinians they trusted. No one wants war in Israel. No one. What has to happen is a change in CONSCIOUSNESS among the Arabs.

I leave you with this:

Any Muslim who does not support Judaism and Israel's right to exist can't call themselves a Muslim, because Islam grew out of Judaism and share the common ancestor, Abraham. "And thereafter We said to the Children of Israel: 'Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd." the Koran (17:104, The Night Journey).

If you would like to see my solution for co-existence in Jerusalem, please read this {http://www.vibrani.com/jfuture.htm} I still do feel peace is possible, but it will take cooperation and commitment from all parties.  

23 May 2004 @ 02:08 by jazzolog : Quinty, Meet Enamrani
So far, this particular dialogue has been the most interesting of several similar attempts on Israel/Palestine at NCN, in my opinion. (Ever notice the best threads at Logs usually have nothing to do with the topic introduced?) I wish 2 things: first, that Paul would join us and start up his own Log, which I'm sure would be a beautiful thing to behold; and second, that his partner, Ellen, whom I've never met, would come in too.

Of course my own wife is a member, but joined only for a moment of confrontation (which never took place) and doesn't look in here these days. She battles the neo-cons at About.com instead. But who knows? She may return one day...just as we never knew Martha Borders until Mark Smollin retired from active involvement.  

23 May 2004 @ 07:40 by vibrani : Very true
that some of the most interesting threads sprang from other topics. What was it we were originally talking about in here, anyway? lol Now why isn't THIS on the front page of NCN? It is great dialoging, even if it's not all in "real time."


Well...yeah. I use Ming's guidelines when I do the editing job, but I check recent action at the articles too. If somebody's Log takes off with conversation that's revelatory on whatever subject, I think that's news and I get it out front. The thing is it takes an extra half hour to do that, and Ming may not have the time. If my recovery goes all right next week, I'll try to get back to the NCN work in mid-June.


24 May 2004 @ 12:37 by vibrani : An update
An official IDF source confirmed Amir Orens' 21 May story this
afternoon to IMRA that two Palestinian children who died in the Rafah
procession incident were murdered by Palestinian gunmen and that the
IDF photographed the shooting.

The official IDF source explained that the pictures have not been
released to the media because information derived from the
photographs would compromise security in the field at this time.  

24 May 2004 @ 14:14 by Sellitman @ : Talking points versus understanding

{link:http://www.mideastweb.org/peaceplans.htm|Peace Plans}  

24 May 2004 @ 14:15 by vibrani : Obviously
you haven't read the previous posts about understanding the situation or you wouldn't have said that.  

24 May 2004 @ 17:30 by Sellitman @ : Tikkun: Great article, Quinty

Thank you for the {link:http://www.tikkun.org/index.cfm/action/current/article/238.html|heads up}—I am passing it on.  

26 May 2004 @ 03:32 by jazzolog : AirAmerica Ratings
From Zepp last night~~~

[From Usenet: OK, it's kind of the "Shrek 2" of radio. For those who
haven't tuned in yet, it's at http://www.airamericaradio.com ]

The first very preliminary Arbitron figures for Air America are in.

*) Al Franken has decisively beaten Rush Limbaugh (WABC!!) in New York
every day for the whole month of April.

*) In the most compeditive radio market in the US, the New York
affiliate (WLIB) is 50% ahead of where they were a year ago. They saw
their ratings jump 35% in just one month, from March to April.

*) KPOJ, the Air America affiliate in Portland, Oregon has QUINTUPLED
their ratings over their old Hate-Talk radio format. No news yet on
how badly Rush was beaten.

And the biggie:

Air America reports over 6.5 MILLION independent internet streams for
the month of April. Streams averaged an unbelievably long 55 minutes
in length. This translates into an incredible 55 to 65 million
potential broadcast audience for Franken, Garafolo, Rhoades and this
Liberal talk radio format.

For comparison; Hannity and O'Reilly pull around 3 million separate
viewers on a GOOD day. AA did THREE TIMES what these Conservative
Cable Lions think is good; and AA did it EVERY day for a solid month,
and they did it in a medium (the Internet) that is much harder to

I still don't think Air America has a tight grasp on what they're
doing, but there is no arguing with success like this.

"There are no longer torture chambers or rape rooms or mass graves
in Iraq"
--George Bush, May 1st, 2003
Said during "Mission Accomplished" speech on USS Lincoln

A year later, Mr. Bush observed with no irony to Al Arabiya TV:

"Iraqis are sick of foreign people coming in their country and
trying to destabilize their country, and we will help them rid
Iraq of these killers."

Not dead, in jail, or a slave? Thank a liberal!
Pay your taxes so the rich don't have to.

For news feed, http://yahoogroups/subscribe/zepps_news
For essays (please contribute!) http://yahoogroups/subscribe/zepps_essays  

26 May 2004 @ 07:47 by jazzolog : No order of difficulty in miracles
An E-mail from Marianne Williamson
There is no order of difficulty in miracles

Dear Friends,

All over the AP wires last night were reports that Al-Qaida is in the country, planning to \"hit us hard\" sometime this summer.

I'm sure all of us who read the report had the same reaction of revulsion and fear. On a purely human level, it's terrifying to even begin to contemplate what that might mean.

But I'm reminded of the first sentence in A Course in Miracles, that \"There is no order of difficulty in miracles.\" The Course teaches that the effects of love are maximal, and natural in the presence of love. If and when we find our spiritual center, a miracle will automatically occur.

Finding our spiritual center as a nation means we atone for our own errors and apologize for our own transgressions - against the Native Americans, the Vietnamese, etc. It means we ask God to forgive us as a nation for having so much, and giving so comparatively little away to those who have less. It means we ask God to forgive us for our sins, come into our hearts and turn us into the nation He would have us be.

Thought is the level of cause, while the world is the level of effects. Our greatest power to change the world is our power to think about it differently. Our greatest hope lies not in our military might, but in our power to change our consciousness.

This is the eleventh hour, that is true, but it is not yet midnight. As enough of us humble ourselves and ask God's forgiveness, expressing our willingness to both forgive and serve at a profound new level, then we will have our miracle. And before it is too late.

Dear God,
Please save America
In this, our hour of danger.
Forgive us for
our selfish,
our greed,
our transgressions against others,
our lack of love.
Return our nation
To the thoughts of righteousness,
That we might live Your light once more.
Deliver us
From danger
Now and forever
Please make us new
and keep us safe.
Thank you, God.

All my best,

Please visit: http://www.marianne.com

Copyright © 2004 Marianne Williamson. All Rights Reserved.  

28 May 2004 @ 03:47 by jazzolog : Is The American Press Waking Up?
As you may have heard The New York Times, rather remarkably, published a self-critical editorial this week, citing past coverage of the Bush march into war, and how, when and where the editors think they were wrong in putting out what the White House told them. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/26/international/middleeast/26FTE_NOTE.html?pagewanted=all&position=

Paul Krugman comments this morning~~~

May 28, 2004

To Tell the Truth

Some news organizations, including The New York Times, are currently engaged in self-criticism over the run-up to the Iraq war. They are asking, as they should, why poorly documented claims of a dire threat received prominent, uncritical coverage, while contrary evidence was either ignored or played down.

But it's not just Iraq, and it's not just The Times. Many journalists seem to be having regrets about the broader context in which Iraq coverage was embedded: a climate in which the press wasn't willing to report negative information about George Bush.

People who get their news by skimming the front page, or by watching TV, must be feeling confused by the sudden change in Mr. Bush's character. For more than two years after 9/11, he was a straight shooter, all moral clarity and righteousness.

But now those people hear about a president who won't tell a straight story about why he took us to war in Iraq or how that war is going, who can't admit to and learn from mistakes, and who won't hold himself or anyone else accountable. What happened?

The answer, of course, is that the straight shooter never existed. He was a fictitious character that the press, for various reasons, presented as reality.

The truth is that the character flaws that currently have even conservative pundits fuming have been visible all along. Mr. Bush's problems with the truth have long been apparent to anyone willing to check his budget arithmetic. His inability to admit mistakes has also been obvious for a long time. I first wrote about Mr. Bush's "infallibility complex" more than two years ago, and I wasn't being original.

So why did the press credit Mr. Bush with virtues that reporters knew he didn't possess? One answer is misplaced patriotism. After 9/11 much of the press seemed to reach a collective decision that it was necessary, in the interests of national unity, to suppress criticism of the commander in chief.

Another answer is the tyranny of evenhandedness. Moderate and liberal journalists, both reporters and commentators, often bend over backward to say nice things about conservatives. Not long ago, many commentators who are now caustic Bush critics seemed desperate to differentiate themselves from "irrational Bush haters" who were neither haters nor irrational — and whose critiques look pretty mild in the light of recent revelations.

And some journalists just couldn't bring themselves to believe that the president of the United States was being dishonest about such grave matters.

Finally, let's not overlook the role of intimidation. After 9/11, if you were thinking of saying anything negative about the president, you had to be prepared for an avalanche of hate mail. You had to expect right-wing pundits and publications to do all they could to ruin your reputation, and you had to worry about being denied access to the sort of insider information that is the basis of many journalistic careers.

The Bush administration, knowing all this, played the press like a fiddle. But has that era come to an end?

A new Pew survey finds 55 percent of journalists in the national media believing that the press has not been critical enough of Mr. Bush, compared with only 8 percent who believe that it has been too critical. More important, journalists seem to be acting on that belief.

Amazing things have been happening lately. The usual suspects have tried to silence reporting about prison abuses by accusing critics of undermining the troops — but the reports keep coming. The attorney general has called yet another terror alert — but the press raised questions about why. (At a White House morning briefing, Terry Moran of ABC News actually said what many thought during other conveniently timed alerts: "There is a disturbing possibility that you are manipulating the American public in order to get a message out.")

It may not last. In July 2002, according to Dana Milbank of The Washington Post — who has tried, at great risk to his career, to offer a realistic picture of the Bush presidency — "the White House press corps showed its teeth" for the first time since 9/11. It didn't last: the administration beat the drums of war, and most of the press relapsed into docility.

But this time may be different. And if it is, Mr. Bush — who has always depended on that docility — may be in even more trouble than the latest polls suggest.

E-mail: krugman@nytimes.com

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

29 May 2004 @ 17:13 by Quinty @ : The US press
I think the press is becoming disillusioned. All of us who were horrified by the rush to war, more than a year ago, watching Bush's ongoing successes in his lurid propaganda campaign, were appalled, I think, at the press's uncritical support. And then the war began, and the press merely became a cheering section, with "imbedded reporters," accompanying the troops. Who, of course, supported the men and women on the front lines they accompanied. Forgetting that their mission throughout this insane adventure was to tell the American people the truth, not to be a mere cheering section. Or offering a higher form of entertainment on the tube.

Now the whole enterprise is going sour. It seems to me that support is waning not so much because this adventure was wrong to begin with but because it is not working. And with the unraveling of the Neocon escapade the press is deserting the ship. Is it disillusionment? Yes, in a way. Will it lead to our (the US) growing up? Well, don't we all hope so? We have thought ourselves superior to the rest of the world so long that it is time we woke up, even if rudely. And that may be the only way.

But tomorrow, when this is all over, there will always be something else on TV. Some other distraction, and our consume society will go on rolling along. And if we get another mountebank for president, will we go off on another insane military adventure?



I think I agree with you right down the line, Quinty.


2 Jun 2004 @ 03:56 by jazzolog : AP: Army Saw Prison Violations in Fall
Jun 1, 11:14 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - An Army general who visited Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq last fall complained that the military was violating international war standards by incarcerating common criminals along with insurgents captured in attacks against U.S.-led forces.

It was one among dozens of observations in a still-classified report, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, portraying an overcrowded, dysfunctional prison system lacking basic sanitation and medical supplies.

"Due to operational limitations, facility limitations and force protection issues, there are criminal detainees collocated with other types of detainees, including security internees," wrote Maj. Gen. Donald Ryder, the Army's provost marshal general. "However, the Geneva Convention does not allow this."

Ryder warned that mixing such prisoners "invites confusion about handling, processing and treatment."

Article 84 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits housing prisoners of war and "persons deprived of liberty for any other reason" with general criminal populations. The rules also require that enemy prisoners be kept in facilities "affording every guarantee of hygiene and healthfulness."

Ryder's 64-page report, dated Nov. 5, states at the outset that investigators found no evidence of "inappropriate" treatment of Iraqi detainees by military police. It does not detail any efforts to find evidence of the abuse that occurred at Abu Ghraib around the time he visited the prison - except to note that his team found a "wide variance" of detention practices at Coalition Provisional Authority facilities, including "flawed or insufficiently detailed use of force and other standing operating procedures or policies."

Widely circulated photos have shown U.S. soldiers abusing prisoners.

An Army spokesman declined to comment on the report. Ryder's mission in Iraq was to assess the capabilities of the country's prison system - not at a specific prison. The report was assigned by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the chief of U.S. forces in Iraq.

Other senior Army officials, including Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who was appointed in January to investigate allegations of abuses and whose report found them widespread, also have complained separately about the mingling of prison populations in Iraq.

But none so explicitly acknowledged that the Army's procedures might have violated international law.

"You can no longer say there was some unclarity or wiggle room about what we were doing there," said Deborah Pearlstein, director of the U.S. law and security program for Human Rights First, a private rights organization. "Here you have your own general saying, 'We're in violation of international law.'"

The report described a chaotic prison system, with staff lacking "basic necessities" such as food, cleaning supplies and hygiene items, and carrying little accountability for providing adequate health care.

At some facilities, contractors were allowed to use "unsecured" and "unsupervised" tools, while soldiers carried weapons when interacting with detainees - "an unacceptable risk inside a confinement facility," according to the report. The report does not specify what the tools were.

At Camp Ganci, the holding facility for security internees at Abu Ghraib, the "area is littered with trash, has pools of water standing around latrines and the bottles of water carried by detainees for water consumption are filthy," the report said. Moreover, it charged, Abu Ghraib "lacks hospital beds, diagnostic equipment" and is understaffed and unprepared to care for chronically sick and mentally ill detainees.

At one point, the report prescribes brooms and bleach to be distributed throughout the prison system. It also recommends building a laundry facility where detainees could work.

Although President Bush and some members of Congress have called for destroying Abu Ghraib, Ryder strongly recommended keeping it in operation.

It "should be the centerpiece of both the military mission and the eventual transfer of facilities to Iraqi control" until a new, $100 million prison is built elsewhere, perhaps at Kanbani Saad, according to the report.

Abu Ghraib "should continue in operation to help meet anticipated future bed space requirements," the report noted.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press.

24 Jul 2004 @ 03:39 by jazzolog : Abu Ghraib, Whitewashed

The New York Times
July 24, 2004
Abu Ghraib, Whitewashed

A week ago, John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he was satisfied that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was keeping his promise to leave no stone unturned to investigate the atrocities of Abu Ghraib prison. A newly released report by the Army's inspector general shows that Mr. Rumsfeld's team may be turning over stones, but it's not looking under them.

The authors of this 300-page whitewash say they found no "systemic" problem - even though there were 94 documented cases of prisoner abuse, including some 40 deaths, 20 of them homicides; even though only four prisons of the 16 they visited had copies of the Geneva Conventions; even though Abu Ghraib was a cesspool with one shower for every 50 inmates; even though the military police were improperly involved in interrogations; even though young people plucked from civilian life were sent to guard prisoners - 50,000 of them in all - with no training.

Never mind any of that. The report pins most of the blame on those depressingly familiar culprits, a few soldiers who behaved badly. It does grudgingly concede that "in some cases, abuse was accompanied by leadership failure at the tactical level," but the report absolves anyone of rank, in keeping with the investigation's spirit. The inspector general's staff did not dig into the abuse cases, but merely listed them. It based its findings on the comical observation that "commanders, leaders and soldiers treated detainees humanely" while investigators from the Pentagon were watching. And it made no attempt to find out who had authorized threatening prisoners with dogs and sexually humiliating hooded men, to name two American practices the Red Cross found to be common. The inspector general's see-no-evil team simply said it couldn't find those "approach techniques" in the Army field manual.

Even the report's release on Thursday was an exercise in misdirection, timed to be overshadowed by the 9/11 commission's report. Senators on the armed services panel were outraged at the report's shoddiness and timing, but should not have been surprised. The Defense Department has consistently tried to stymie Mr. Warner's investigation. It "misplaced" thousands of pages from Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba's report on Abu Ghraib, the only credible military account so far. It stalled the completion of a pivotal look at Army intelligence by two other Army generals until lawmakers went off to the political conventions and summer vacations. And it ignored Senate demands for the Red Cross reports on American military prisons for months.

The Pentagon finally brought those documents to the Senate in the last two weeks, in a way that ensured they would be of minimal use. The voluminous reports were shown briefly to senators and a few members of the Armed Services Committee staff after the senators' personal aides were ushered out. Then the reports were hauled back to the Pentagon.

Mr. Warner has admirably resisted pressure from the White House and Republican leaders in Congress to stop his investigation. But he is showing signs of losing appetite for the fight. Mr. Warner held only one hearing in the last month - on the new report - and agreed to the ground rules on the Red Cross reports. We've always been skeptical that the Defense Department can investigate itself credibly, and now it's obvious that it plans to stick to the "few bad apples" excuse. The only way to learn why innocent Iraqis were tortured by American soldiers is a formal Congressional inquiry, with subpoena power.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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