Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad

The unique voice of abd al-rahman al-rashed

Posted: 18 Aug 2010 04:36 AM PDT

A number of people have quoted Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed on his opposition to the Park 51 Islamic Center.
He is not your average Arab commentator.
Barry Rubin has quoted him favorably a couple of times.
And six years ago after the terror attack in Beslan he wrote:

Obviously not all Muslims are terrorists but, regrettably, the majority of the terrorists in the world are Muslims. The kidnappers of the students in Ossetia are Muslims. The kidnappers and killers of the Nepalese workers and cooks are also Muslims. Those who rape and murder in Darfour are Muslims, and their victims are Muslims as well. Those who blew up the residential complexes in Riyadh and Al-Khobar are Muslims. Those who kidnapped the two French journalists are Muslims. The two [women] who blew up the two planes [over Russia] a week ago are Muslims. Bin Laden is a Muslim and Al-Houthi [the head of a terrorist group in Yemen] is a Muslim. The majority of those who carried out suicide operations against buses, schools, houses, and buildings around the world in the last ten years are also Muslims.
Of course this leads to an interesting question.

Disparate columnists notice the anti-israel trend

Posted: 18 Aug 2010 04:14 AM PDT

Though I already wrote about this, a week and a half ago Thomas Friedman, in Steal this movie wrote:

I write about this now because there is something foul in the air. It is a trend, both deliberate and inadvertent, to delegitimize Israel -- to turn it into a pariah state, particularly in the wake of the Gaza war. You hear the director Oliver Stone saying crazy things about how Hitler killed more Russians than Jews, but the Jews got all the attention because they dominate the news media and their lobby controls Washington. You hear Britain's prime minister describing Gaza as a big Israeli "prison camp" and Turkey's prime minister telling Israel's president, "When it comes to killing, you know very well how to kill." You see singers canceling concerts in Tel Aviv. If you just landed from Mars, you might think that Israel is the only country that has killed civilians in war -- never Hamas, never Hezbollah, never Turkey, never Iran, never Syria, never America.

Friedman, in his regular criticism of Israel has at least been an enabler of this phenomenon. And while he recognizes the problem, he, in no way, demonstrated no self-knowledge or regret for the role he plays in delegitimizing Israel. I think he was stung by some of the criticism he received for his vicious column comparing Israel's recent wars with Syria's destruction of the city of Hama. Still at least he sees the problem.

Richard Cohen too, in a column criticizing the Economist for soft-pedaling Sayyid Qutb's antisemitism, wrote:

Yet I cannot quite suppress the feeling that the need to demonize Israel is so great that the immense moral failings of some of its enemies have to be swept under the carpet. As Jacob Weisberg pointed out recently in Slate, the "boycott Israel" movement is oddly unbalanced -- so much fury directed at Israel, so little at countries like China or Venezuela. Can it be that the French philosopher Vladimir Jankelevitch was prescient when he suggested years ago that anti-Zionism "gives us the permission and even the right and even the duty to be anti-Semitic in the name of democracy"? The line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, a demarcation I have always acknowledged, is becoming increasingly blurred.

George Will in a column about Netanyahu similarly observed:

From 1948 through 1973, he says, enemies tried to "eliminate Israel by conventional warfare." Having failed, they tried to demoralize and paralyze Israel with suicide bombers and other terrorism. "We put up a fence," Netanyahu says. "Now they have rockets that go over the fence." Israel's military, which has stressed offense as a solution to the nation's lack of strategic depth, now stresses missile defense.

That, however, cannot cope with Hamas's tens of thousands of rockets in Gaza and Hezbollah's up to 60,000 in southern Lebanon. There, U.N. Resolution 1701, promulgated after the 2006 war, has been predictably farcical. This was supposed to inhibit the arming of Hezbollah and prevent its operations south of the Litani River. Since 2006, Hezbollah's rocket arsenal has tripled and its operations mock Resolution 1701. Hezbollah, learning from Hamas, now places rockets near schools and hospitals, certain that Israel's next response to indiscriminate aggression will turn the world media into a force multiplier for the aggressors.

Any Israeli self-defense anywhere is automatically judged "disproportionate." Israel knows this as it watches Iran.

While Will's observation is more nuanced that Cohen's or Friedman's it's still conveys a sense that Israel can do no right.

What's frustrating is that by any objective measure, Israel should have been past this stage. For years we were told that Israel had to end the occupation. And Israel did. Israel withdrew from most of Judea and Samaria. Israel withdrew from Gaza. Israel pulled its troops out of southern Lebanon. Each of these concrete actions to address the supposed Arab grievances in israel were met with an increase in terrorism. And when Israel finally struck back (Defensive shield, the 2006 war with Hezbollah, Cast Lead) it was condemned for having done so. Meanwhile the terror that was directed against Israel was dismissed. Israel was not to use it as an excuse not to make peace (as if peace would exist if Israel just ignored the terror) and thus give a victory to the terrorists. So Israel has survived the post-Oslo years and thrived in many ways. But there are still legions of academics, politiicians (though not so many in America), diplomats and journalists who insist that Israel must make peace for its own good. It's as if Oslo never happened. It's as if Israel made no concesssions over the past 17 years.

Barry Rubin offered this synopsis:

First, before 1993 Israel had total control of the West Bank. Since then it has withdrawn from almost all populated areas and a Palestinian Authority has been created which rules the people there, receives massive foreign aid, and has proportionately huge security forces. In a real sense, Israel doesn't "occupy" the West Bank. Indeed, if there were not terrorist attacks there would be even less presence.

Second, and this might sound strange at first but is quite true, whatever Israel is doing in the West Bank is not a non-consensual occupation but embodies arrangements accepted by the PLO and PA. They have signed numerous agreements which regulate the situation. True, after they sign agreements they often say they were unfair and demand more. But this is hardly a good omen for their abiding by any future agreements. The fact is, however, that the "occupation" ended in 1994-1996.

Third, as noted above, the PA can end the Israeli presence whenever it wants to do so simply by making a peace agreement.

After all this, Israel still can't catch a break. Israel's expected to accept terror and not strike back. Israel's expected to make concessions without getting anything in return. The failure to make peace is deemed Israel's (and this is still Thomas Friedman's belief) and Israel is condemned for its absence.

The peace process was supposed make Israel normal. Instead it has isolated Israel even more. What Friedman, Cohen and Will are observing is that opposition to Israel isn't based on some rational consideration of the history, but rather it is driven by what can only be described as a pathological hatred of Israel.

Noting all this Jeffrey Robbins recently wrote:

The anti-Israel fashion that is so enthralling to so many in so many places provides a comfortable setting for those who are determined to indict Israel whatever the facts, whatever the circumstances. Those doing the indicting deny that they are biased.

And that is understandable. "Bias" is not the sort of label one wants on his coat lapel.

Crossposted on Yourish.

The spirit of the idf

Posted: 18 Aug 2010 04:06 AM PDT

Why this has already been worth three stories in the New York Times, I have no idea, but Robert Mackey weighs in again on the former IDF soldier who posted controversial pictures to her Facebook page.

In an interview with Israeli Army radio on Tuesday, a former Israeli soldier said, "I still don't understand what's wrong" with photographs she posted on Facebook of herself posing next to blindfolded Palestinian detainees.

She might be clueless, but the IDF is not.

Two quick baseball stories

Posted: 18 Aug 2010 03:56 AM PDT

From Ken Rosenthal:

Mike Fontenot, meanwhile, had only one question when Cubs assistant GM Randy Bush and acting manager Alan Trammell informed him that he had been traded in the middle of the Giants-Cubs series in San Francisco: "What do I do, just walk over there?"

The answer was yes -- and as Fontenot strolled to the home clubhouse, a television cameraman tracked his every step.

From Tim Kurkjian:

But I still read box scores with the same vigor and interest every day for there is so much to learn in box scores, almost everything you need is in box scores, especially with the expanded ones that tell you, in some cases, more than you wanted to know. Twice a year, I have lunch and talk baseball with George Will and Dr. Charles Krauthammer, who write and speak about important issues in the world, such as war and gay marriage. At one lunch, Krauthammer said, "I read the front page for 30 seconds every day, then I go straight to the box scores.'' To which Will said, "Why do you waste the 30 seconds?''

Tim Kurkjian and Ken Rosenthal both covered the Orioles for the Baltimore Sun. Mike Fontenot was drafted by the Orioles. I actually saw him play in Bowie.

Re-defining chutzpah

Posted: 18 Aug 2010 03:48 AM PDT

No doubt you're familiar with the definition of chutzpah as "A man kills his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he's an orphan."

This is as close to that as you're going to get. (h/t OyVay blog)

A Montana teenager charged with deliberately causing a fatal car crash in a failed suicide attempt has filed a lawsuit against the family of the pregnant woman who was killed in the collision with her teenage son.

Here's the claim in the lawsuit:

The lawsuit claims Winter suffered permanent injuries in the crash and a "loss of capacity to enjoy life." She is also claiming future loss of income as well as past, present and future medical expenses.

Capacity to enjoy life? Here's what she texted in her suicide "note":

"That's why I'm going to wreck my car. Because all I can do is f*** up. Because I am a terrible person and I know it."

It doesn't sound like she was enjoying life too much before she killed the Thompsons.

Since Winter survived she won't get a Darwin, however this really ought to be in the running for a Stella.

What unmitigated gall.

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