Archive for December, 2006

A degree of hatred beyond our experience

Sunday, December 24th, 2006

Antisemitism in the Arab world

By Vic RosenthalAl-Watan, Qatar

I wrote this a few months ago, but the recent Holocaust denial conference in Iran has made it current. I suppose it’s an attempt to answer the question “why can’t we get along with them?”


Friedman’s first rule

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

“What people tell you in private in the Middle East is irrelevant. All that matters is what they will defend in public in their own language. Anything said to you in English, in private, doesn’t count. In Washington, officials lie in public and tell the truth off the record. In the Middle East, officials say what they really believe in public and tell you what you want to hear in private.”

Thomas Friedman finally gets something (mostly) right.  Read all 15 rules here.

The Archbishop is an idiot

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

WilliamsFrom the BBC today:

The Israeli-built West Bank security barrier is a symbol of what is “deeply wrong in the human heart”, the Archbishop of Canterbury [Dr. Rowan Williams] has said.

So far, so good. I can’t imagine too many things more deeply wrong than suicide terrorism. But he adds

We are here to say, in this so troubled, complex land, that justice and security is never something which one person claims at the expense of another or one community at the expense of another…

Is he saying that Israelis are unjust to ‘claim security’ by fencing terrorists out if this is inconvenient for the Arab community? It seems so. His point seems to be that just as terrorism is an expense to the Jews, so is fencing to the Arabs. More:

We are here to say that security for one is security for all. For one to live under threat, whether of occupation, or of terror, is a problem for all, and a pain for all…

This is insane. The fence and terrorism, he implies, are equivalent forms of ‘threat’. Self-defense is aggression, war is peace, love is hate, truth is lies, and you, Dr. Williams, are an idiot.

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Israel must learn lessons too

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Syria has drawn three major lessons from the war and has begun to implement them. The first is that rockets – 4,000 struck northern Israel during the 33-days of fighting – can paralyze the home front. The second is that antitank missiles can penetrate the Merkava tank and force infantry units to abandon armored personnel carriers and trek into enemy territory by foot. And the third is that in villages and cities the Israeli Air Force’s abilities are limited and IDF ground forces can be defeated.” [Jerusalem Post, 21 Dec., Emphasis added].

The IDF has begun to implement some lessons, too, including a defense against antitank missles.  The short-range rockets are another story, and an answer must be found here as well. But the lesson must also be learned that Israel cannot afford to pull punches because of the danger to noncombatants.

Another ‘Gathering Storm’

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Rick Richman also recalls Churchill and Chamberlain, drawing highly disturbing parallels to the events of 1938. Read it here.