Saturday, May 11, 2002

The Church of the Nativity has been Trashed

According to the priest Father Nicolas (via GedankenPundit), the Palestinian terrorists in the Church of the Nativity looted it.

Of course, the worthless racist fascist right-wing extremist Jerusalem Post... reported all of that two weeks ago (unfortunately, the link directly to the article no longer works). But don't read the Jerusalem Post because Conrad Black is a Blackshirt Fascist and Amira Hass is the Only Good Israeli:
The most annoying thing about reading blog comments on the situation is seeing either rightwing bloggers quoting the Jerusalem Post without either realizing or caring that they're generally quoting a often extremist, biased, right-wing perspective, as if, somehow, the current JP spoke for Israel, and held the position of authority it did decades ago, before being bought by Conrad Black
For an extremist propaganda rag, it doesn't seem to be getting much wrong.

[update (5/12 2:00am): In defense of the JPost, just read what William Quick said to start the argument, then what Diane E. has to say, and finally what John Thacker wrote. They say it much better than I could have: the Jerusalem Post is a fine newspaper.]

The Death of Secularism in India

This is an email a friend of mine sent to Plastic (published here) concerning a certain 1/6th of the world that tends to go ignored:

A recent editorial in the Times of India rues the end of secularism in India. The country gained its independence in 1947 as the world's largest secular democracy and the framers of the Indian constitution took enormous pains to ensure that the institutions were always democratic and unbiased, in spite of India's complex religious and social make-up. Over the last five decades, India's secular nature was celebrated by all and in spite of several communal flare-ups, people were generally optimistic about everything.

The recent violence in the state of Gujarat has changed all that. Murderous fighting between Hindus and Muslims has reached grave proportions. Added to that is the fact that the ruling party at both the state and national level is the Hindu fundamentalist BJP. Many are of the opinion that the state machinery has aided the BJP's sister organizations in ethnically cleansing Muslims. In the last decade, too, there have been several incidents which have added to a climate of gloom that has led many to believe that secularism and all secular institutions are doomed.

Indian intellectuals always believed that these threats to secularism were temporary and that secular principles would always survive. Today, however, Indian politics is dominated by sectarian and caste-based parties. India shows little sign of ever shedding its third-world status and as of right now, every new killing in Gujarat brings India one step closer to a national crisis. In light of this, many recent editorials are claiming that India's secularism has failed and even that Indian secularism was flawed the whole time. Undoubtedly, this issue is not restricted to India alone, but is important to every country that upholds the principle of secularism.
I hope they're wrong about all this, but it makes sense to me. A corrupt, apathetic secular government bureaucracy takes peoples' money, and then doesn't bother to solve any of their problems. It's not exactly unique to the world, but it's worse there than in most places.

My friend says there's a lot of popular support in India for more libertarian-leaning politics, but there isn't yet a political party centered on this ideal. I told him to start one. We'll have to see how it turns out...

I see I'm not the only one

Who likes the Pfizer Pforum. I thought I was the only one to have such a guilty pleasure. Brian Micklethwait over at Libertarian Samizdata agrees. We're such lackeys of the capitalist world-system. We should repent, really, but we can't help ourselves.

Massive Surrender Rally in Israel Today

I'm not a betting man, but I would wager this gets bigger treatment by the New York Times than pro-war demonstrations of the same size.

[update (5/12 1:35am): It probably won't be biased because the NYT has just had a run-in with the bias police over a rally in New York. I assume after they misbehave so badly that they have to issue a humiliating correction they would watch their biases for at least the rest of the week.]

[update (5/13 1:32am): the analysis is posted above. I shouldn't have called it a "surrender rally," unilateral separation is not the same as surrender. For many moderate hawks (such as Amos Oz), it's just a different tactic in the fight. There are still problematic issues like Hebron, but it's not surrender.]

More on the "Appeasement Activists"

I was a bit too brief in my earlier item on them, now I'll attempt to convince people who might disagree with my position.

I don't think "peace activists" are just "people who want peace as an end," but they're "people who believe in peace as a means" And I don't think the term "peace advocates" is valid to describe people like Adam Shapiro.

The website of Shapiro's group, the "International Solidarity Movement" supports and encourages the use of violence by Palestinians:
We recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via armed struggle, yet we believe that nonviolence can be a powerful weapon in fighting oppression and we are committed to the principles of nonviolent resistance.

» We support the Palestinian right to resist the occupation
In other words, they're in favor of both pacifism and terrorism (they put no qualifications on "armed resistance," so it's clear they would include suicide bombings under that definition). But, you see, you can't be in favor of both pacifism and terrorism, the two are diametrically opposed.

According to, "pacifism" is:
The belief that disputes between nations should and can be settled peacefully.
Opposition to war or violence as a means of resolving disputes.
Such opposition demonstrated by refusal to participate in military action.
The campaign of violence by Palestinians against Israel cannot be justified or rationalized away by pacifist thought. The minute one supports armed resistance, one is by definition no longer a "pacifist" or a "peace activist."

Left-wingers should agree with this. It cheapens the position of real pacifists if terrorist-lovers are going about calling themselves "peace activists."

I'm not the first to say things like this, Ronald Radosh and Benjamin Soskis (via Kesher Talk) were questioning this brand of idiocy a long time ago.

Pacifism would serve Palestinian interests, violence does not

What has violence brought the Palestinians?
  • If it was not for the Arab riots, the Haganah would not have been founded; the Israelis would had much more trouble resisting the Arab armies in 1947.
  • If it was not for the Arab riots, Irgun (the Stern Gang) would not have been founded; the Deir Yassin massacre would never have taken place.
  • If it was not for the Arab war against Israel in 1948, the Palestinian Arabs would have a much larger state than they do today.
  • If it was not for the Arab war against Israel in 1967, there would be no occupation.
  • If it was not for the rain of Katyushas from the Golan Heights, Israel would not have taken them.
  • If it was not for the rain of Katyushas from Lebanon, Sharon would not have invaded; Sabra and Chatilla would never have taken place.
  • If it were not for the acts of deliberate incitement by Yasser Arafat, the victims of the first Intifada would be alive and healthy.
  • If it was not for the firing of Katyusha rockets near the Qana refugee camp (and the United Nations’ allowing of this to occur), there would have been no accidental artillery strike there.
  • If it were not for the acts of deliberate incitement by Yasser Arafat, this Intifada would not have occurred. Nearly a thousand Palestinians would still be alive.
This is what violence and war have gotten the Arabs, but especially the Palestinians.

The Palestinians (or any other Arabs) cannot destroy Israel by military force (if they thought they could, they'd be trying it right now). If terrorism doesn't work, isn't it time they tried real pacifism (not "peace activists" acting as human shields to smuggle out terrorists, but real pacifism)?

They have to realize a negotiated settlement is the only answer. The longer they wait, the more the settlements grow. This is the Israeli strategy to force them to come to the peace table. It doesn't seem to be working, but it is. Nothing scares the Palestinians more than the settlements. The question is whether they will get a leader such as Barak who will offer them again the terms of Taba, or whether they will be forced to take less.

And shame on the United Nations for encouraging the Palestinians to pursue terrorism, instead of other means. Shame on the UN for sending them to die, when even in victory their future prospects for a state are diminished.

[update (8:10pm): a cynic might say my philosophy is "I'm not a pacifist, but my enemies should be." But it's a bit better than that, it's "we should all be pacifists, but if you're going attack someone, don't whine when when they strike back."]

Explosion in the Netherlands

It's a bit early to say much about it, but it looks like a minor terrorist attack, with no injuries:
An explosion ripped apart a car parked in front of the house of a local politician in the southern Netherlands on Saturday, five days after the leader of a national political movement was shot to death.

No one was injured in the blast, which severely damaged a car belonging to the wife of a another politician, a city alderman in Brunssum, near the German border and about 12 miles from the Dutch city of Maastricht.
The Christian Democrats are a center-right party, they would have probably been part of Fortuyn's governing coalition had he not been assassinated.

A grenade would surely be more worrisome than a molotov cocktail, any time the terrorists have access to nice equipment, it makes them a bit more dangerous, and it indicates they're more serious. The fact they knew where the politicians were is also troubling. But the use of such a weapon is balanced out by the cowardice of whoever threw it. They tossed a bomb at an empty car and ran away. Considering they could have stormed the house (since they knew politicians were there) and taken hostages, they don't seem so dangerous (they're certainly not willing to become Shahidi just yet). The terrorists are just a few roaches to be exterminated, but nothing to get excited about.

I don't think the Dutch will get too excited over this, as bad as it is they've already been thoroughly shocked by the assassination of Fortuyn. They'll just accept dealing with this as part of the aftermath.

I would assume the attacker was a lefty and not a Muslim. The radical Muslims might want to start a religious war in the Netherlands between the kufirs and the Muslims, but that's just not going to happen. Most Muslims don't want a race war, and neither do the non-Muslims. But goals of a left-wing extremist are simpler: they just want to kill people they don't like and cause trouble. The leftist terrorists are not the most constructive types in Europe, they're dumb enough to do something like bomb an empty car.

Why Hasn't the IDF Stormed Gaza?

Gedankenpundit is wondering why Israel has not yet attacked Gaza. An attack now by Israel would cripple the terrorists, especially Hamas (which is based in Gaza). It would undermine Arafat to a huge degree among his own people. It would further convince the Palestinians that no military victory against Israel is possible. That seems like a win-win situation, but Israel has a very good reason for not attacking.

Bush was extremely harsh with Arafat (video) two days ago. He said:
"now it's up to chairman Arafat to perform. To keep them in jail. Arrest them, and keep them in jail... Mr. Arafat has let the Palestinian people down, he hasn't led. And as a result the Palestinians suffer. My heart breaks for the Palestinians..."
Bush was talking to Arafat as one would talk to a three-year-old. He even seemed to blame the humanitarian situation entirely on Arafat's lack of leadership.

And Arafat responded, the terrorists are being arrested, at least for now. He's very simple, you poke him, and he responds. Negotiating with him is worthless, but if you poke him, he'll do whatever you say.

For Israel to attack now would be a tragic mistake. To undermine Arafat at the one time he's actually cooperating would be foolish. To ruin this latest chance for peace would be terrible. It would also be a stupid mistake: when Bush is being so pro-Israel, and is getting results, the attack would look terrible. Israel can attack whenever it wants, and it can delay the assault indefinitely.

And while I would criticize Israel if it attacked right now, I will not criticize Israel for preparing to attack. Moving the forces into position was the only way get Arafat to act as a partner in peace. Without the threat, there would be no progress. I'm not against Israeli militarism or bellicosity, just military action at this point in time.

Arafat probably planned to crack down on Hamas all along (at least since the release from Ramallah and his talks with Powell). But he need an excuse a victory, so the Palestinians would not be so demoralized by his minor moves against Hamas. He's already betrayed their terrorist struggle enough already, turning over the six terrorists to British/American jailers.

Of course, I doubt this peace will be long-lived (don't bother believing I'm a psychic for predicting this, that's always the best guess when it comes to the Middle East "peace process"). Arafat is only arresting a few Hamas dorks, he won't do anything more until Hamas manages to pull off another suicide bomb attack. When the next bombing occurs, he'll arrest a few more, and Israel will have to hold back. The "peace" will be punctuated by a bombing every now and then, but it won't be so bad as before Operation Defensive Shield.

This is perfect for Bush if he wants to attack Iraq, the conflict will be very mellow until he's ready to move. Saddam won't be able to stir things up, if the Palestinians know they have a lot more to lose than to gain (with the Israeli sword dangling over Gaza). And it's not as if the Israelis have to surrender their hanging sword in order to attack the Palestinians, they can carry out small raids, but still keep up the threat of a full-scale attack. Most players don't have a reason to escalate the conflict, aside from Saddam: Israel will want to keep things calm, Arafat doesn't want to lose his Palestinian Authority, and Hamas knows it's facing threats from both Arafat and the IDF if it acts out.

[update (5:03pm): the Israeli government will postpone action in Gaza. They've already tried to blame it on "leaks," but that's just for political show.]

[update (9:17pm): the Israeli army will not be moving into Gaza, and CIA director Tenet will postpone his mission to the region. In other words: the climate is political favorable right now, nobody wants to do anything because that would just mess it up. It's not a bad plan if you're trying to stall in the first place.]

More Discord in Arafatistan

PA's Rajoub: Dahlan is undermining my authority in West Bank (via tonecluster, who just permalinked me)

I'm thinking of Cartman on his tricycle, but that would just be giving far too much credit to the Palestinian Police Force.

Rajoub is hated by most Palestinians for reasons similar to Arafat's: he surrendered seven Hamas terrorists hiding in his "preventive security" headquarters. He could have forced a siege like that at the Church of the Nativity, there were 400 civilians with him, but he was a coward and gave in to the Israelis. The Palestinians might have their doubts about the intifada, but they know a cowardly, half-hearted approach to terrorism is absolutely worthless. And they despise the Palestinian Authority for giving in to Sharon whenever convenient.

A "Pulp Fiction" Moment

I was going to write about this earlier, but forgot. As I was standing in a line at the cafeteria, I heard an exchange student ask another, "what is a quarter pounder?" His friend said "it's the weight of the beef." Then, a minute later, he said something about a "royale with cheese." This was amusing because they had foreign accents.

Cockburn has Totally Lost It

Counter-Punch has a special report posted on its web site, entitled: "Our Vichy Congress."

You read that correctly. According to Alexander Cockburn, we have a Zionist Occupation Government.

Of course, from looking at articles previously posted on his web site, this doesn't seem so out of character.

Jewish Terrorists

These nasty terrorists were going to set off more bombs targeting Arab children. Israel's security services actually attempt to stop terrorists. Sometimes, the difference between Israelis and Palestinians could not be more stark.

Lippy Green Espindas

No, I haven't gone dada-ist. There's been a temporary change of address for Little Green Footballs. You'll have to get your fix of verdant prolate spheroidery from a strange new Uniform Resource Location.

Aftermath of the Intifada

If there has been a single clear loser in this entire intifada (aside from the Palestinian people, who always play the loser), it would be Yasser Arafat. His people are realizing (if they haven't by now) that he's no hero, he's done nothing for them.

Game Theory

I've been waiting for Turnbull to post "Game Theory and the Middle East, Part III"... and it doesn't disappoint.
the Palestinians foolishly escalated their attacks to the point that, even in a short term analysis, it was less costly to the Israelis to mount a full scale assault than it was for them to maintain the status quo.

I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but during the weeks of the recent Israeli military action, I think they lost something on the order of 50 soldiers killed, with only one smaller terrorist attack occurring during this period. In contrast, in the weeks leading up to the assault, the Israelis were suffering a deadly terrorist attack almost every day. So, amazingly, the Israelis were actually suffering fewer casualties during a full scale assault on well armed guerillas operating in fortified and booby trapped urban terrain than they were by remaining on the defensive.
Los Angeles Needs a Good Newspaper!

But in the meantime, Welch is without a regular paycheck. Send Matt Welch some cash, before his blog is repossessed! Don't let Eric Alterman buy his blog from the government auctioneers! It would be a tragedy!

More on the Media

"It's great to see someone who won't have any truck with white bigots who hate immigrants."

"Well, actually, this Varela feller's a black guy from Cape Verde. But for Holland to elect the first black immigrant prime minister in Europe would send a frightening message that virulent racist nationalism is once again on the rise."
Steyn, of course (via Free Republic). His attempt to find the "right" label is priceless.

Did I Forget to Ask

You to send money to Welch? I managed to. He's working on a project to create a new newspaper in Los Angeles, to compete with the odious Los Angeles Times.

Did I Mention

How odious the Los Angeles Times is? They write a whole article on the standoff at the Church of the Nativity, and they don't even bother to mention the Israelis say it was a hostage situation, the Palestinian side is accepted unquestioningly. And the way they distort the Israeli grievances is pathetic:
The Israelis say the militants sent abroad had committed a number of serious crimes, including the killing last June of Israeli military officer Yehuda Edri, the killings last September and January, respectively, of Israeli citizens Sarit Amrani and Avi Boaz, training suicide bombers, selling arms and producing explosives.
First they mention the killing of a single soldier, they mention the suicide bombings only in passing. According to the IDF, one of the terrorists, "Khaled Muhamad Abd Alhamid Abu Najma... is personally involved in sending the suicide bomber to Jerusalem (2/3/02) in which 10 civilians were killed." They could spell out the names of three shooting victims, but they couldn't even mention this bombing. A bomb attack against civilians should be at the head of the list, not a soldier killed in combat.

Thursday, May 09, 2002

Bush Stands Firm Against Arafat

Before you accuse Bush of going wobbly, watch this Associated Press news video. Short of calling for Arafat's severed head, Bush is doing as much as he can to at least force Arafat to play nice until the he dies off.

If Bush is going to have to stall before attacking Iraq, this is definitely the way to do it. With the terrorists cut down an order of magnitude, and Arafat pressured to control them, there will be few attacks in Israel. No attacks means no pressure on Bush to act while he stalls until enough JDAMs are built. And it will also set up the beginnings of a real Palestinian state. It's not "rope-a-dope," it's just smart maneuvering.

Count Me in the "Aha! Gang"

This is posted on Instapundit:
by Glenn Reynolds
THE AHA! GANG: Some people might find emails pointing out mistakes annoying. Not me! The post below briefly said that Rall had voted for Le Pen, something I misread because of his reference to voting for a right-winger. I fixed it in (literally) less than a minute -- but over a dozen emails came in pointing out the mistake.

It makes it pretty hard to screw up for long, doesn't it?
I was one of the people who sent an email. When I refreshed the site a minute later, I wasn't sure if I had just misread his post. But now I know, I didn't just waste his time sending him incomprehensible email, and—more important—I'm not going crazy!

Okay, maybe I am insane. But you can't prove it!

They Still Don't Get It

The Dutch get it. The newspapers have finally stopped demonizing Fortuyn and distorting his positions. Wim Kok has stopped claiming Fortuyn was a threat to the country. The socialists found it easier to demonize Fortuyn than to debate him—which would have moved the country to the right. The Wim Kok and the Dutch left's willingness to be honest and introspective in the wake of his shocking death is a credit to their fundamental decency. The same cannot be said of the external media.

The BBC doesn't get it. They ran a despicable hatchet-job (via Damian Penny) on Fortuyn, while he's not yet in the ground. It's not despicable because it's harsh, it's despicable because it's so wrong, it so twists Fortuyn's position:
Whatever his public statements, he shared most of Mr Le Pen's views, except on the question of Israel.
Fortuyn disagreed with Le Pen on many issues, including, but not limited to, drugs legalization, membership in the European Union, free trade, and even when Fortuyn criticized them he never demonized immigrants. And Le Pen and Fortuyn both supported Israel. It's just so wrong, so twisted.

The New York Times doesn't get it. They ran a hateful little article (via Andrew Sullivan), wherein they referred to the killer as a "champion" and the word "hate" is applied only to Fortuyn's angry followers.

And a lot of liberals still don't get it. Vaara over at the commieblog "silt" attacks Andrew Sullivan for suggesting the NYT played a role in Fortuyn's death. But Sullivan said no such thing:
The Times was no better than most other mainstream media outlets in brazenly misrepresenting Pim Fortuyn's politics, and having stoked the animosity that ultimately felled Fortuyn, they might well be a little leery of jumping in. (emphasis mine)
The reference to "they" clearly implies Sullivan is referring not just to the NYT but to "most other mainstream media outlets."

I don't think the left understands just how terribly Fortuyn was misrepresented in the media, because they're the ones who casually grouped him in with Haider and Le Pen in the first place. They're the ones who casually applied the slanderous labels of "racist" and "fascist." They were probably less malicious than just ignorant and lazy, but magnitude of the error is inexcusable.

Until the left comes to realize that however accidental, this was a lynching, that the criticism of Fortuyn went far beyond honest discourse, they're not going to "get it." They're not going to understand why the Dutch are going to come out so strongly in support of Fortuyn.

Vaara Still Doesn't Get It (added 5/10 2:00pm)

I do not think, nor have I ever thought, that Pim Fortuyn was a fascist or a Nazi or a bigot. He did, however, seem to have some rather peculiar ideas about who was fit to live in the Netherlands.

I do not believe that anyone should die for their political beliefs.
I never accused Vaara of any of this.
Let that not deter our Andrew S., however, who all but accuses Chris Patten and the entire editorial board of the Guardian of pulling the trigger. The only surprise is that he has not yet found a way to include Yassir Arafat, Noam Chomsky, and -- why not? -- Paul Krugman into his dark vision of what happened in Hilversum.

Memo to A. Sullivan: Only liberals think that there is any such thing as "hate speech."
The libertarian-bent right-wingers don't think hate speech doesn't exist, we just don't think it should be criminalized. We don't think we need laws to govern every aspect of human life.

At any rate, it was hateful speech. It was not only venemous (which is the media's right), it was untrue. Calling him a racist for defending his culture is unfair. Calling him a neo-fascist for promoting less government control over the economy is... absurd.

And yes, Vaara's not a "commie" any more than Fortuyn was a fascist.

Purged? (added 5/10 11:03pm)

Vaara uses the word "purged" to describe the changes on the Daily Dish and on my blog. This is very strange when you consider that Sullivan notes his correction in a new posting, and I didn't change anything on my blog, I just added... an apology. There's only one warblogger who can measure up to Josef Stalin.

Instead of "Peace Activists"

I've decided to call them "appeasement activists," because that's what they are. They support acts of terror and they think the rest of us should surrender.

Just Plain Ugly

Jonah Goldbrick refers to the the SF Chronicle with an anti-gay slur ("Pansies!"). Pathetic.


Goldberg, the glutton for punishment that he is, criticized Instaman for being a hippie. A. Beam would be proud (at least Jonah has a blog, so he can correct his mistake immediately).

Onward to Gaza!

The Israelis are expected to call up reserves. This time, the Palestinians are more ready than before. But so are the Israelis.

There will be no Palestinian surprises, because the Israelis already know what they're capable of in Gaza. The Gazans have access to arms smuggled in from Egypt, including high-grade explosives.

Both Merkava tanks destroyed by Palestinian terrorists were attacked in Gaza, while none have been destroyed in the West Bank. (Even though a tank is a military target, the first tank to be destroyed was rushing to save civilians who were under fire from terrorists. So I don't feel it is inappropriate to call the attacks on the tanks "terrorist" incidents.)

I assume the Gazans also have access to more ammunition because of the smuggling, they will not run out like their friends in the West Bank. This was a major reason so many of them surrendered. I assume there will be fewer terrorists captured alive, and many more dead. This is generally good, but longer gunfights mean more Israeli soldiers could die.

If you're religious, pray for the Israeli soldiers. If you're not, send them a pizza.

Israeli Violations of Oslo: are they to Blame for its Death?
[I’ve added a colored bar “bar of color” to the side of some of my posts. Long posts get blue, Fiskings get yellow. This is to make skipping them easier, just hit the space bar until the “bar of color” disappears. Or just click here to skip to the next item! This post is bundled with another post, my brutal Fisking of Robert Wright's article calling for Israel to negotiate with terrorists (skip down to the yellow if that's what you want). Unless you're either a masochist or you have doubts about whether Israel is at fault for the failure of Oslo, or you think Wright might be on to something, I highly advise you skip these long, boring posts. Did I mention these posts are long and boring? I figure somebody had to write them, even if nobody should ever read them.]

Now nearly nine years after the signing, it’s clear Oslo is dead. Who killed it is still a mystery to some. Hate-Israel types insist it was the Israelis who killed it. (I don’t know if any of these specific claims are false, so I’ll give Gush-Shalom the benefit of the doubt).

A few of these claims are silly, such as those concerning East Jerusalem. While they claim Palestinians are being driven out to make room for Israelis, in actuality the Palestinian population is increasing.

Another laughable accusation is that Netanyahu did nothing to stop incitement. According to Gush-Shalom, “the Netanyahu government gives free reign to Israelis who incite against Mr. Arafat and the Palestinian authority.” Tell that to Tatiana Soskin.

Yet another pathetic claim is that Israel is violating the Oslo Accords by refusing to withdraw from Rachel’s Tomb—it’s true, but it’s still pathetic. After what was done to Joseph’s Tomb, it would be criminal for Israel to knowingly allow Arafat to take control of Rachel’s Tomb. Israel would be complicit in a crime equal to the Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas.

The other claims are all examples of Israel not complying with the accords for security reasons, or out of sheer frustration of dealing with the Palestinian Authority. Most of the violations occurred during Netanyahu’s stint as Prime Minister—and Israelis elected Likud over Labor because of frustration with Arafat’s treachery. Suicide bombings were a regular occurrence, this is what drove Israelis to elect Netanyahu. And Bibi stopped the bombings. During his three-year term (from May ’96-May ’99), there were only two suicide bombings (one was a double bombing).

Despite all of the whining by peaceniks about the settlements, there had been a four-year settlement freeze imposed by Labor up until Netanyahu’s election in 1996:

After the May 1996 election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud-led Government, Israel's official position on settlements again changed. Just months after entering into office, Netanyahu's Government lifted Labor's four-year settlement freeze.
It was not until thirty-two months after the signing of Oslo that new construction began at existing settlements (no new settlements have been created, settlements have only been expanded).

One of the other violations of Oslo occurring before Netanyahu’s election is the failure for Israel to open a “safe passage” between Gaza and the West Bank until four years after it was supposed to (it apparently opened in 1998, instead of 1994). This and the last claim (that Israeli soldiers violate Palestinians human rights by defending Israel from suicide bombers) are the only violations of Oslo to occur during the Labor government.

All other “violations” occurred after Netanyahu was elected. As of May 1996 only people who believed in fairy tales still believed Oslo was alive. It was dead and gone. Even this isn’t enough to show that Israel isn’t to blame, it must be shown what Arafat did to sabotage the accords:

Prime Minister's Office Issues List Of Major Plo Violations Of The Oslo Accords

Forwarded by Aaron Lerner, 24 October, 1996

The following list delineates 10 of the most egregious PLO violations of the Oslo Accords. The list is neither comprehensivce nor exhaustive; rather, its focus is on infractions Israel deems most serious.

1. Opening Fire On Israeli Forces
In September 1996, Palestinian policemen opened fire on Israeli soldiers and civilians during the disturbances in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, resulting in the deaths of 15 Israelis. The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership actively instigated the rioting and took no steps to halt the armed attacks by PA police against Israeli forces. This was the most grievous violation of the Oslo accords to date by the Palestinians. As Joel Singer, legal advisor to Prime Ministers Rabin and Peres and one of the chief architects of the Oslo accords, put it, "The Palestinian policemen committed a very, very serious violation of one of the basic principles in the agreement with Israel. Nothing can justify such behavior." (Near East Report, October 21, 1996). The accords require that the Palestinian police act to prevent violence and cooperate with Israeli security forces (see, for example, Annex I, Article II). The conceptual foundation of the Oslo Accords is the rejection of violence and force as tools in the conduct of bilateral relations. By initiating violence against Israelis, the PA has violated a cornerstone of the agreement.

2. Failure To Confiscate Illegal Arms And Disarm And Disband Militias
The PA is obligated to disarm and disband all militias operating in the autonomous areas and to confiscate all unlicensed weapons (Article XIV; and Annex I, Articles II (1) and XI). Nevertheless, five militias - Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, the DFLP and Fatah - continue to remain armed, and the PA has refused to disarm them. The PA has failed to undertake a systematic crackdown on illegal weapons, and has confiscated just a few hundred of the tens of thousand of weapons circulating in the autonomous areas. The PA's violation of these provisions of the accord have allowed terror groups to remain active and well-armed and to carry out deadly attacks against Israelis.

3. Failure To Extradite Suspected Terrorists To Israel
The PA is required to turn over for trial all suspects whose extradition is requested by Israel (Annex IV, Article II(7)), yet they have not extradited any of the 19 terror suspects whom Israel has sought for crimes such as murder and attempted murder. By failing to turn over wanted suspects to Israel, the PA has allowed terrorists to go unpunished, thereby encouraging others to carry out attacks in the knowledge that they will not have to answer for their actions.

4. Incitement To Violence Against Israel
The PA leadership is obligated to refrain from incitement to violence, as part of their commitment to foster mutual understanding and to combat terrorism Article XXII). Nonetheless, PA Chairman Yasser Arafat has repeatedly called for jihad (holy war) against Israel, praised prominent terrorists such as Yihya Ayyash "the Engineer" and encouraged acts of violence against Israelis. On October 21, 1996, Arafat met with a delegation of Hebron Arab notables, and in response to their complaints about the presence of Jewish settlers in the city, he rebuked them, saying. "What, have you run out of stones in Hebron?" (Voice of Israel, October 22, 1996). Previously , on August 6, 1996, Arafat called Israel a "demon" and urged Arabs to use "all means" at their disposal to fight Israel (The New York Times, August 7, 1996). Speaking before Palestinian forces in Gaza on September 24, 1996, Arafat said, "They will fight for Allah, and they will kill and be killed../...Palestine is our land and Jerusalem is our capital" (Maariv, October 4, 1996). Incitement by Arafat and other senior PA officials encourages violence and undermines attempts to foster peace and mutual understanding.

5. Failure To Change The PLO Covenant
The PLO was obligated to amend the clauses in the Palestinian National Covenant which called for the destruction of Israel no later than May 7, 1996 (Article XXXII(9)). On April 24, 1996, the PLO's Palestinian National Council (PNC) met and approved such an amendment in principle, yet "the vote did not actually change the covenant but gave authority to a PNC legal committee to do so or to draw up a completely new charter within six months, " (The Jerusalem Post, April 25, 1996). Six months have passed, and no such changes have been made, nor has the PLO specified which particular articles will be changed, how they will be changed or when the changes will go into effect. By leaving the Covenant intact, the PLO sends a clear message that is has not renounced violence nor accepted Israel's right to exist.

6. Opening PA Offices In Jerusalem
The PA is required to locate all of its offices and ministries exclusively in areas under its jurisdiction (Article I(7)). Nevertheless, the PA has violated this provision by maintaining offices such as the Orient House in Jerusalem. The PA Ministry of Religious Affairs and the PA Office of the Mufti are both located in Jerusalem, and several other PA office operate in other sections of the city. In addition, Palestinian policemen operate in Jerusalem, in contravention of the agreements. They have been involved in activities such as kidnapping, torturing, and killing human-rights activists, journalists and suspected collaborators with Israel and punishing perpetrators of "moral crimes."

7. Recruiting Terrorists To Serve In The Palestinian Police
The PA is required to summit a list of all potential police recruits to Israel for approval (Annex I, Article IV(4)) to forestall the possibility that members of terrorist groups will join the PA security services. The PA has consistently failed to provide comprehensive listings of potential recruits to Israel and has proceeded to recruit policemen without prior Israeli consent. In several instances, the PA has draftd wanted terrorists to serve in the security forces. Abd al-Majid Doudin, who helped plan the suicide bombing in Jerusalem on August 21, 1995, was convicted and sentenced by a PA court to 12 years imprisonment, but was subsequently freed and hired by the Palestinian police in Jericho. Similarly, Rajah and Amr Abu-Sita, who murdered Uri Megidish on March 8, 1993 and whose extradition was requested by Israel, were drafted to serve in the PA police in Gaza, (Yediot Ahronot, June 24, 1994). Such steps by the PA endanger the prospects for cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces and pose a security threat by providing terrorists with access to weapons and intelligence information.

8. Exceeding The Limit On The Number Of Palestinian Police
Under the Gaza-Jericho accord of May 1994, the PA was permitted to deploy a total of 9,000 policemen (Annex I, Article III(3)), but in actuality the number of Palestinian policemen was nearly 20,000. Under Oslo 2, the PA my deploy up to 24,000 policemen in Areas A and B, including Gaza, (Annex I, Article IV(3)), yet they have exceeded this figure by at least 10,0000. Reports in late September 1996 suggest that the PA security forces may exceed 50,000 men.

9. Abuse Of Human Rights And The Rule Of Law
The PA is obligated to conduct its affairs "with due regard to internationally-accepted norms and principles of human rights and the rule of law" (Article XIX). As various international human rights groups, such as Amnesty and Middle East Watch have pointed out, the PA security forces have systematically utilized arbitrary arrests, detention and torture. Human rights activists, such as Bassam Eid, have been abducted by PA security agents, and freedom of the press has been virtually eliminated, with no criticism of the regime tolerated in the Palestinian media.

10. Conduct Of Foreign Relations
The agreements explicitly forbid the PA from conducting foreign relations, allowing instead the PLO to conduct relations on the PA's behalf for a limited set of purposes, such as concluding economic and cultural agreements (Article IX). Nevertheless, the PA has violated this provision and engaged repeatedly in diplomacy on the bilateral, multilateral (i.e. Arab League) and international (i.e. United Nations) levels.

Communicated by the Prime Minister's Office
Jerusalem, 24 October, 1996
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Associate
IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-904719/Fax 972-9-911645

Note that the first item refers to an instance which took place after Netanyahu was elected (I don't know if the police shot at Israelis before Likud came into power, but I suspect it was so), but 2-9 clearly refer to instances long before Bibi took office. And these are not minor details, like not opening a road—this is the core of the Oslo agreements which Arafat has never made any intention of upholding.

The only time Arafat upheld the part of the Oslo Accords requiring him to stop terrorism was when Bibi threatened to dismantle the PA if the attacks continued. There was more terrorism when Rabin and Peres were trying to appease Arafat than when Netanyahu shut down the peace process wholesale. The brain-fried hippie peacenik claim that Israel causes terrorism by refusing to appease the Palestinians enough is a lie.

Netanyahu did not kill Oslo. Yigal Amir did not kill Oslo. Hamas did not kill Oslo. Arafat killed Oslo.

“Israel Should Negotiate With Terrorists”

Robert Wright explains why Israel should negotiate with terrorists. I’ve decided to Fisk it mainly because the idea of negotiating with terrorists is so despicable.

Appeasement is so easy; it’s the path of least resistance. It can be seductive when cloaked in the language of peace, but negotiating with terrorists only encourages future attacks.

Does Yasser Arafat sponsor terrorism? Ariel Sharon has long said yes, and now he says he's got proof—actual documentary evidence. Though I haven't studied the documents, it wouldn't surprise me if Sharon is right.
He still doubts Arafat has been supporting the terrorists. After all these years, he still has doubts. What would it take to convince an appeasement activist that Arafat is deliberately in support of terrorism? What would it take?

To these idiots Arafat’s speeches lauding suicide bombers as “martyrs” are what, examples of how weak he is, how little control he has over the terrorists? That his state-run media sings praises of terrorists is what, proof of just how desperate Arafat’s situation is? That he’s powerless in the face of the terrorists, so he forced against his will to debase himself by supporting terrorism?

Arafat’s own Fatah movement has been carrying out suicide bomb attacks on the Israelis (the “Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades” are part of Fatah). I suppose that is just an example of how “powerless” Arafat is that he can’t even control his own terrorist movement. Is this how the appeasement activists think?

This is insanity! How could anyone think Arafat is not doing everything he could to promote terror? It’s ignorance or insanity, to have any doubts at all about Arafat’s nature. Wright is too intelligent to be ignorant, the only possible explanation is that he’s not wright in the head.

Where Sharon is wrong is in saying that sponsoring terrorism disqualifies Arafat as a negotiating partner. In fact, this isn't just wrong—it's in a certain sense backwards.

For years, during waves of Palestinian terrorism, the question has been the same: Is Arafat unable to control terrorism or just unwilling? Sharon and other hawks have said he was unwilling, while many doves said he was unable.
And who was proven right? Clearly, it was the hawks and not the appeasement activists. But wait! Wright is about to enlighten us as to why the hawks have really been wrong all along, a priori!

Both positions have always lacked coherence. Doves called on Israel to negotiate with Arafat. Yet if Arafat is indeed powerless to stop terrorism, as they've claimed, what's the point of negotiating with him? … what would be the point of cutting a deal with somebody who wasn't in a position to turn the terrorism off?
In my zeal to attack Robert Wright, I’m about to defend the appeasement movement—that’s how noxious I find this article. The whole point of Oslo was to give Arafat weapons so he would be able to stop the terrorists, the appeasement movement said the reason they had to negotiate with Arafat was to empower him to stop the terrorists. The appeasement movement was absolutely wrong, but it wasn’t illogical at this most basic level.

Hawks said that, since Arafat was behind the terrorism, he could never be a "partner for peace." But what would be the point of cutting a deal with somebody who wasn't in a position to turn the terrorism off?
This doesn’t even make sense! Who says Arafat “wasn’t in a position to turn the terrorism off?” Not the hawks! We said all along he was able, he had tens of thousands of soldiers “policemen” with Kalashnikov assault rifles, we said he was a little dictator (even Edward Said called him “our Papa Doc”) and not a cowering democrat.

Hawks said it was not worth negotiating, because even though he could turn the terrorism off, he would choose not to, and he would only use his forces against Israel. Even before Oslo was signed by Rabin, the hawks warned this would happen. The “Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades” is a perfect example of this—Arafat threw the resources of his little kingdom behind the task of killing Israelis, and he succeeded in carrying out more bombings in this current “Intifada” than Hamas has carried out in its entire lifetime.

Both hawks and doves would call this analysis simplistic. Both sides have long tried to iron out the paradoxes in their position.
This isn’t just simplistic, it’s blatantly wrong.

Doves argued that, if Arafat could deliver a state to the Palestinians, his power would so grow that he'd then be able to rein in terrorism. And it's true that as circumstances change, his stature among Palestinians can grow. (Look what Sharon has done for it!) Still, if the huge wave of terrorism of the past year were completely beyond Arafat's influence, as some doves claimed, it would take an implausibly radical growth in his authority for him to end or greatly curtail the violence anytime soon.
If Wright thinks Sharon has made a hero of Arafat, he is sorely mistaken. Arafat surrendered to Sharon in order for permission to leave his office, that’s pathetic, and in the eyes of his people he is at best a helpless victim, at worst a sellout or Israeli agent.

Now I’ll side with Wright against the doves (but I still feel dirty!), if Arafat can’t control the terror now, he won’t be able to in the foreseeable future.

Hawks, like doves, have failed to wholly resolve their contradictions. Granting that Arafat is by their own analysis the man who could end the terror, they've insisted that he'd never want to end Israel's suffering; he didn't favor a two-state solution, as he claimed, but was secretly bent on Israel's destruction. A key piece of supporting evidence—Arafat's rejection of Israel's offer at Camp David in the summer of 2000—has been widely accepted. But, as I've argued in these pages, this evidence just doesn't stand up to close scrutiny. Though we can't be sure Arafat wants a two-state deal, he has yet to be offered a deal so good that his reaction would settle the question.
The best evidence is Arafat’s rejection of the Oslo Accords from day one, not the rejection of Barak’s generous offer and starting up the subsequent Intifada. Every time the Israelis make a generous offer, they are rewarded with terrorism (before Oslo was signed, suicide bombs were extremely rare, now they are all too commonplace). Only an idiot would offer the Palestinians anything; the only way to deal with the animals in the PNA leadership is to set the terms for them unilaterally.

As far as Arafat’s being “secretly bent” on the destruction of Israel, it’s no secret. Look up the Constitution of Fatah, the Charter of the PLO. Both (even the amended Charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization) call for the complete destruction of Israel. Both organizations are run by Arafat. This would seem to contradict the idea that there is anything secret about Arafat’s war on Israel.

Nor can you infer from any Arafat involvement in recent terrorism that he can't ever be trusted to carry out a deal. Obviously, terrorism violates the Oslo accords. But those accords, signed in 1993, have been effectively dead for awhile now. You could have a long argument about which side is more responsible for the unraveling of trust that spelled Oslo's doom. But in any event, by the time of the recent, intensive round of terrorism that Arafat allegedly abetted, both Israelis and Palestinians thought of themselves as being in a de facto war. When Israeli helicopters fired missiles at Palestinian cars, that didn't signify undying fidelity to the spirit of Oslo.
“Obviously, terrorism violates the Oslo accords”—the way I hear some Israel-haters talk about Oslo, that’s not the case. But I digress.

"You could have a long argument about which side is more responsible for the unraveling of trust that spelled Oslo's doom." I posted one of those above. The central premise of the "Israel violated Oslo" crowd rests on the idea that Arafat lived up to the Oslo Accords while Rabin did not. That's laughable.

Might it turn out that, even years ago, Arafat was tacitly abetting terrorism? Wouldn't shock me—and he certainly wasn't taking huge political risks to shut it down. But to take that as a sign of some ideological, immutable drive to undermine Israel is to give Arafat more credit for vision than he deserves. I read him as someone who will do anything to stay in power and has very short time horizons; with Palestinians growing more radical, he has embraced or at least tolerated terrorism as a way of maintaining street cred, heedless of the long-term consequences. One goal of future peace maneuverings should be for America, Israel, and the Arab states to help create a context in which terrorism and Arafat's political interests no longer align. That's a depressingly stiff challenge, but the sort of evidence Sharon is now trumpeting doesn't mean it's undoable. (One approach: Give the Palestinians an ample enough state to de-radicalize them.)
"[T]o take that as a sign of some ideological, immutable drive to undermine Israel is to give Arafat more credit for vision than he deserves." Here Wright is upholding the longstanding appeasement activist tradition of making Arafat out as a wretched creature instead of a willful villain. First the appeasement activists try to pass off the terror as something Arafat can't control, now they say he's just not planning ahead. Arafat encourages women to have as many children as they can; his schools brainwash children to be his suicide soldiers for generations to come, his has always been a long-term struggle.

This has always been part of the left-wing brain-rot, the desire to let criminals off the hook. Just look at how the socialists in Europe coddle criminals, and then look at how they coddle terrorists! It's no different! They believe people are just wretched, pathetic, and in need of a welfare state to take care of them. It should come as no surprise that extensive government welfare fuels both crime and terrorism in Europe and the Palestinian Authority. [Isn't this Kaus's territory?—ed. Yes. If you want more welfare-bashing, go read the Kausfiles]

Would the Palestinians be "de-radicalized" with an "ample enough state?" Should Israel just withdraw, and give them their state? Then it would not be able to conduct operations like Defensive Shield nearly as easily. It would have to rely on the Palestinians becoming de-radicalized and the Palestinian leadership cracking down on terror.

A final fallback position for hawks is that, even if terrorists do sincerely want peace, it's a mistake to deal with them, because then you've rewarded terrorism. But this alleged principle is one Israel has violated repeatedly. Had it not been for years of terrorism, Israel would never have trotted out the Camp David concessions. For that matter, if it weren't for the more recent terrorism, Sharon wouldn't be making the meager offers he's outlining in Washington this week.
Wright is correct, Israel has been negotiating with terrorists for the last decade. But that doesn’t make it right. Because terror works, that is a reason to negotiate with it? Every time Israel has allowed terrorism to increase what it is willing to offer the Palestinians, the terrorists have seized on the weakness and responded with more terror. I don’t see how “because terrorism works” is a reason for Israel to deal with the terrorists. Terror works because appeasement is so easy to give in to, but that doesn’t mean Israel should give in!

As I wrote above, the terrorists don’t want any peace with Israel. They have never wanted peace. Any time they have said they wanted peace, they were also carrying out bomb attacks. If the terrorists sincerely wanted peace, they could have had peace.

Wright is using this twisted “what if” scenario to damn the hawks as anti-peace. What if Yasser Arafat is a space alien from Andromeda? Then could Peres be tried for intergalactic treason for meeting with him? Maybe Wright could provide some evidence the terrorists are sincerely interested in peace. But that would be asking a little much of him, he’s merely a mortal, and no mortal man can perform miracles.

There is probably no way to bring lasting peace to the Middle East without in some sense rewarding terrorism.
The only reason the issue exists is because of terrorism. To that extent, it’s unavoidable—the issue must be addressed. If that alone is “rewarding terrorism,” then terrorism has been rewarded. But this does not mean Israel should have to negotiate with terrorists—Israel should not have to negotiate at all. Unilateral action is the only answer for Israel. Barak is now promoting “unilateral separation” and has said he would not negotiate while terrorist acts were ongoing. And it assumes the "Palestinians" need to be happy before there will be long-term peace. No Arabs in Israel means no terror for Israel, which means peace.

Obviously, Yasser Arafat's history (like Ariel Sharon's, actually) is one that doesn't fill the rational peacenik with optimism. Ideally, you would want the current Palestinian leader to be someone who inspires unwavering allegiance among Palestinians and who, once he makes a deal, will risk his very life to honor it. But it's long been clear that Arafat is lacking in both the power and character departments. The only question has been the exact balance of his deficiencies. In particular: Is he so devoid of power that, whatever his intentions, he couldn't crank down the terrorism significantly? A "yes" answer would be the best excuse for Sharon to break off communication with Arafat. But Sharon insists that new evidence points to "no"—and yet says that this evidence is all the more reason to break off communication.

Sharon's position will probably prove effective. As a practical matter, the more blood Arafat can be shown to have on his hands, the harder the Bush administration will find it to push Israel toward the negotiating table. Still, let the record show that this won't make sense.
In short, Wright’s argument is that Sharon should negotiate with Arafat because it would be silly to negotiate with Arafat if he wasn’t carrying out terrorist attacks. But this still doesn’t answer the question of why Sharon should negotiate at all.

The real question is, “can negotiations stop the terrorism?” Wright dismisses the idea that Arafat has “some ideological, immutable drive to undermine Israel.” But even Wright agrees if Arafat is truly bent on Israel’s destruction (which I’ve shown above), then Israel has no reason to negotiate. And if Arafat truly is bent on Israel’s destruction, doesn’t that one point alone make irrelevant the entirety of Wright’s article?

As Wright said above, terrorism is used to better the negotiating position of the terrorists (“Had it not been for years of terrorism, Israel would never have trotted out the Camp David concessions”). So why should Israel negotiate while the terrorism is ongoing? If it’s strengthening Arafat’s hand, why shouldn’t Israel demand a week of quiet? If Arafat refuses to even attempt to provide a week of calm, shouldn’t that be taken as a sign Arafat would refuse to compromise at all? Time and again he has refused to compromise, why would he start now?

Of course, capitulation and appeasement are not the only options for Israel. As Sharon has shown with Operation Defensive Shield, and soon with the assault in Gaza (I hear it’s going to be named “Operation Defensive House-Smashing Bulldozer”), terrorism can be mostly stopped militarily.

The question of whether Israel should negotiate with terrorists really comes down to one point: which will be more successful, negotiation or military action? Throughout Israel’s history, negotiating with terrorists has only led to increased terror, and military solutions have only led to greater peace in the region. There is absolutely no reason to think the world has changed fundamentally in the last ten years.

If logic ruled the political universe (and if cows had wings ...), Sharon's new indictment against Arafat would, in some small measure, strengthen the indictment against Sharon.
Reason and logic don’t rule the political discourse, a bunch of third-world dictators rule the discourse with all of their votes in the United Nations. And they all hate Israel, because they hate Jews, or they think Israel is "colonialist" (never mind the Jews had to fight the British imperialists to get their state).

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Was DEBKA Right?

Some warbloggers have decided that DEBKA is a prophetic source because it predicted a terror attack during Bush's meeting with Sharon. Every single previous time a US official has met with Sharon, terrorists have attempted to set off a bomb. Every single time. In that light, it's not such an amazing prediction, just a good guess. The Israelis were arresting at least one suicide bomber every day for the past week; this one was just lucky enough to get through, there is nothing special about it. In any case, DEBKA said there would be "a terror spectacular," a single bombing with less than twenty civilian deaths cannot be considered spectacular.

What did Fortuyn Stand For?

Positions of Lijst Pim Fortuyn (via The Angry Clam)

Fortuyn is clearly a libertarian candidate, and not a neo-fascist as he is being made out to be. First, the media and the socialist politicians attacked him as a Nazi and a fascist and a racist and a great threat to democracy. This was going on for months. His demonization led to a left-wing extremist assassinating him, in the deluded belief he was saving the Netherlands from Nazi-style fascism. Now they're dragging his corpse through the streets, still calling him a "far-right" "racist" and anti-Muslim bigot. He was lynched.

My previous posts might not have conveyed just how hard I was hit by his death. He was going to lead Europe out of welfare statery and socialist nonsense. He was going to restore a pride in the countries' culture, putting multiculturalism in its place. He was going to bring in the much-needed free market reforms. He was going to be the leader of reformists not only in the Netherlands, but in the rest of Europe. And I geniunely liked watching him tear through the establishment. He was always so happy, doing what he loved—that was just one of the obvious differences from the right-wing fascists like Le Pen who are permanently sour, to which he is so unfairly compared.

My champion is dead. His allies will fight on, and they will win, I should hope. I think they will. It's a shame he won't be able to enter his Promised Land.

Incredible. Just incredible.

Palestinian group admits Jenin funeral staged - but claims was for a movie

[IMRA: If nothing else, one can only be amazed at the ability of Palestinian groups such as LAW to handle embarrassing evidence. It will be interesting to see how the Palestinian film producer explains a script that includes a Palestinian wrapped in shrouds who is dropped repeatedly by his pall bearers and then, when dropped in the middle of a crowd, runs away as the crowd apparently reacts to the resurrected "shahid" also run for their lives. Is a black comedy being filmed in Jenin?]

Press Conference:

Law refutes Israeli claims of staged Jenin 'burials'

When: Sunday, May 5, 2002
Time: 10.30 am
Where: Ambassador Hotel, Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem

This week, the Israeli army distorted facts by claiming that Palestinians had staged fake 'burials' in Jenin. The fake 'burials', the Israeli army spokesmen say, were an attempt to "prove" that there were many more Palestinians killed than actually were.

LAW has found evidence that at the same time an Israeli military camera shot what it said was a fake 'burial', a Palestinian producer was shooting a film at the same site. What was perceived as a staged 'burial' was actually acting for a film.

At the press conference LAW will host the producer of the film, as well as show excerpts of what the producer was filming, which shows the same persons as the so-called staged 'burial'.
And Israel is supposed to negotiate with these people? These people might as well be from another planet. They're insane, it's a collective insanity.

Israel's actions in Jenin were Immoral

Maybe this is just my latent objectivist tendencies speaking, but can Israel really justify sending older reservists with families into the Jenin refugee camp on foot, just to try to prevent the deaths of a few Palestinian civilians war criminals? (acting as a human shield is a war crime)

The civilians were told to leave—they chose to stay. They had even helped to rig the camp with explosives. Sharon sent the soldiers in on foot, instead of just bombing the camp flat, which would have saved over a dozen Israeli lives. And he sent in older reservists, who would be less likely than younger soldiers to become unnerved or commit atrocities. Of the soldiers who died, how many children did they leave behind? How many children will grow up without their fathers, because of the IDF's decision?

Premature Evisceration

This latest death cult bomber not only failed to kill anyone else, he failed to kill himself. I would use that term to describe his failure, because the terrorist-lovers have described suicide bombings with terms Americans would use to describe sex. Dr. Adel Sadeq, chairman of the Arab Psychiatrists Association and head of the Department of Psychiatry at Ein Shams University in Cairo says:
When the martyr dies a martyr's death, he attains the height of bliss? As a professional psychiatrist, I say that the height of bliss comes with the end of the countdown: ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And then, you press the button to blow yourself up.
Israel should take the terrorist alive only to interrogate him. Even if it is possible to keep him alive and in jail, it shouldn't. Terrorists should be executed on the spot, they should not be taken alive to prison. It's expensive to feed and warehouse them, and Israel has to deal with the possibility that terrorists will take hostages to demand the prisoners' release. And then if Israel ultimately ever gets around to signing another peace agreement, it will be expected to release them all from prison again!

Prisoners are a liability. They should just be taken outside and shot as soon as they're no longer useful (or they should have their heads smashed in with rocks, as the hero of the bus 300 hijacking Danny Yatom did to the animals).

The only way to deal with terror is with a firm hand.

[update (9:30am): the pictures of this would-be mass murderer struggling with the robot are hilarious:

Forget the "firm hand." The only way to deal with terrorists is with a robot claw.]

Some of You People are Sick

No sooner does Google finally kill off my link to "Lisa Lopez Autopsy Photos" than somebody finds my site searching on Google for "Pim Fortuyn Assassination Pictures." I was even joking about this over at LGF. Sick, sick, sick.

If you're interested in photos of Pim Fortuyn, and his mourners, the AP/Reuters Photo Wire has a nice collection.

Weekly Update: Instalanche, Brass Knuckles, and the Rapture-Ready Bulletin Board

I managed to get a mention on Instapundit. And Eugene Volokh. And on Joanne Jacobs (drop down to "Chocolate Dreams"). I've been making myself useful in the blogosphere. For my Arafat Diaries, I've gotten a mention on the "Rapture Ready Bulletin Board," and on the Brass Knuckles quick links. If you haven't read them yet, I think they're pretty funny (I made them for Eve Tushnet's contest), you can read them here. (if you want to skip straight to Arafat's Fisking of Fukuyama, click here) (warning, there is some harsh language)

I wonder how long it will take to go around the web until someone else puts their name on it? That probably won't happen, because it's filled with links and pictures, but who knows. (I don't think this is nearly as good as File13's rant, "We're more fucking nuts than you")

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

Now that I've finished the Diary of Yasser Arafat

I think I'll work on the phone transcripts of Iseema bin Laden. (this was a joke)

The Countdown is over

There has finally been another suicide bomb attack in Israel. It was only a matter of time; I suppose now the "peace process" can restart ("How can I restart the peace process with Sharon when there are no buses blowing up?")

Fortuyn Assassinated, New Suicide Bombing in Israel; "Peace Activists" Celebrate

Sharon is a real warrior, Arafat and Sheikh Yassin cannot compare. Fortuyn is a real martyr, the death cult bomber is not. And there are no "peace activists" today. Activists may cry, "peace, peace," but there is no peace. There is only a long train of agression and terrorism, of mass murder and assassination. There are only good people, our enemies, and the "appease activists."

It's finally over

Google re-cached my page, and L###z is off. No more death voyeur freaks will be coming by to look for pictures of her corpse (which I never posted here, and never will, and even though I ran into them accidentally while surfing the web, I won't tell you where to find them).

Pim Fortuyn, a Modern Lynching

From Libertarian Samizdata/Tony Millard:
The following words were captured directly from a radio broadcast - it's an excerpt from an interview with Fortuyn a couple of weeks ago, in which he was complaining about his security arrangements, that is, total absence thereof:
....when I am killed or wounded then you (prime minister [Wim Kok]) are responsible because you give me no protection and you make the atmosphere in this country so poisonous that people want to hurt me....Pim Fortuyn, 2002
Wim Kok is a murderer. He could kill Fortuyn, he could throw a wrench into the capitalist movement in Europe, he could stop the heart of the most increasingly successful politician in the Netherlands, but he can't save socialism from collapsing on itself. The era of European socialism is over, coddling immigrant criminals and doling out overly generous welfare to them is over, the era of innocence in Dutch politics is over. It was doomed, the change was already coming, but now it will be impossible not to notice.

I hope there is no more violence, Fortuyn was nothing if he was not a man of peace. Any future violence must only come from the Left. Any European right-winger who feels angry, who wants to bring the war to the Leftist enemy, remember that Fortuyn was a man of peace. Don't dishonor him with violence. Don't dishonor his ideals. They are shining brightly today, for all the world to see. He is dead, but his message is not, never let it out of your heart.

And America is with you. We are not fooled by those who call Fortuyn an extremist, he was no more "extreme" than our own president. We're with you today, we'll be with you come the elections.

For When Google Comes Around Again

(I apologize to the good people from the Rapture Ready Bulletin Board, please ignore this post)

Saudi Women Nude Without Clothes Yemen Yemeni Indecency Iraq Iraqis Undressed Syria Syrian Enchantress Loose Women from Jordan Jordanian Seductress Arab Fornication Low-cut Abayas DARE YOU TOUCH ME?
Now I will get perverted Arab-fetish web traffic, in addition to freakish death voyeurs who want to look at photos of corpses of people whose names they can't even spell (there is no Z in "Lisa Lopes").

Gruesome Grousome L### L###-Eye L###z Aut###y Pho###

Somebody was looking for "gruesome" autopsy photos, so I added that word to the title (somebody else was looking for "Grousome" photos, I added that word as well. So far, I've had visits from,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and even I thought those guys had photos of everything!) Please, please nobody come by from Scotus. I want to believe, I really want to believe that Supreme Court clerks and anyone else in that building is above this sort of thing.


Just kidding about the title. Yes, I'm going to disagree with him again, but no, I do not anticipate this becoming a series or anything, and I don't think he is in need of supervision (and this time I'm on far shakier ground).

At any rate, here is what he's written.

Fortuyn simply does not deserve to be martyred in this fashion.
It's not as if he had much choice in the matter. And he does deserve it, he was the best leader of all in the New Right in Europe. Le Pen is a Vichy, Haider is a Nazi, Berlusconi is somewhat corrupt, the Tories don't even have a real dynamic candidate. Fortuyn was a real libertarian, somone the blogosphere should naturally rally around. He was my favorite long before he was cut down, and I can't say I liked any of the others but Berlusconi.

His only "sin" was to oppose the unabated Muslim immigration, welfare dependency, crime, and intolerance. Even many Muslims agreed crime was out of control, he managed to earn 20% of the vote in one Rotterdam mosque. He was the Dutch Rudy Giuliani.

Some of my fellow bloggers have eulogized the murdered Dutch politician in glowing terms. Andrew Sullivan, driven by an understandable desire to praise the rare openly gay politician to the right to Barney Frank, calls Fortuyn "a brave man, who dared to repesent a fresh combination of ideas and identities". He also argues that Fortuyn should not really be considered "far-right" or "reactionary", because of his neo-liberal views on most issues (drug legalization, economic policy, gay rights). Sullivan, among others, implies that Fortuyn had a point in targeting Muslim immigrants for criticism, on the basis that Islam - as a political force - could change the Netherlands' tolerant attitude toward social policy.
Fortuyn's reaction to Islam was entirely emotional, he was attacked by clerics as a "pig," he lashed back that they were backwards. They refused to retract their attack, and refused to retract his. But is Damian really saying Fortuyn should be considered "far-right" and "reactionary?" How many "reactionary" far-rightists support the European Union, drug legalization, free speech, women's libbery and gay rights?

How can we mock the anti-globalization movement for fearmongering, but do a 180 and apologize for a politician who said his country was full?
Fortuyn used his homosexuality as a weapon against Muslims, on the basis that Islam is intolerant of his sexual orientation. Fair enough, but so are most other religions, including Catholicism. And Holland's large Roman Catholic population has not stopped the country from passing its famously liberal social policies. It's dishonest to say a large Muslim population would have that effect. The trick is not to bar Muslim immigrants from the country, but to make sure those who arrive are assimilated into mainstream Dutch culture to the point where they will accept the country's social attitudes.
Fortuyn wanted Muslims to assimilate. Presumably, once they had, he would have allowed immigration to resume. He simply did not want to allow any more in until those there began joining the Netherlands' liberal culture, he rightly saw high levels of immigration as a threat to the liberal state. So far as his homosexuality was a weapon, it was only such because the Muslims allowed it to be. It was his way of goading them into reforms.

Do you really believe Islam and Catholicism in the Netherlands are remotely comprable? When the Muslims assimilate halfway into Dutch culture (or when militant Catholics begin calling for Canon Law to be enforced in the Netherlands), then I will believe that. It's not that Islam is inherently so different, but in the current political climate, Islam and Catholicism are just not comprable in a meaningful way. Most Catholics are liberal Dutchmen, the fundamentalist Muslims are illiberal and do not consider themselves loyal to the state.
There are far too many people who are going to use Fortyun's murder to further their xenophobic political agendas. The bloggers should not sink to their level.
Xenophobia was never the issue. It was simply tough love. Fortuyn was giving the Muslims a chance to join in Dutch society, something Wim Kok did not do, by allowing them to remain on the welfare teat and refusing to prosecute them for criminal acts. Xenophobes wouldn't want Muslims to assimilate and join in society, they would want Muslims to pack up and leave; Le Pen is a lover of his people and his people only, Fortuyn was merely a lover of his own culture.

If true xenophobes expropriate his death, it would be a shame. But I don't see how supporting his ideals and his party could be seen as an endorsement of xenophobia. If his rhetoric was hyperbolic, then so be it, that was part of his image. But he stood behind what he said, he was a man of conviction, convictions most people share (the election will bear this out). And he was murdered for those convictions, for daring to express them.

Pre-Assassination Article on Fortuyn

While his character was thoroughly assassinated at the time of this writing, Fortuyn was still very much alive. It is an article that should never have been necessary to write, but it is necessary to read. (via Volokh, V got it from GoliardBlog, GB got it via Instapundit, and I got it from Agnes)

My Letter to ArabNews

When will Arabnews do an in-depth study on whether or not the Palestinians in the Church of the Nativity are really hostages as the Zionist government claims? The Christian priests who escaped said they were hostages, are they liars? What are the Zionists giving them to lie?

When will Arabnews do an in-depth study of the murder of Mohammed al-Dura? If you watch the video, his father Jamal waves at the Zionist forces to beg them not to shoot him. But when he is shot, he isn't looking at the Zionists--he's looking straight at the camera. Is it true as the Zionists say that he is looking at the killer? Why would he scream at the camera if the Zionist soldiers were shooting him from another direction?

Zionist-occupied [State], USA
I really, really, really hope they publish it. I think they'll see through it, though. Even though I use the word Zionist seven times in an eight-sentence letter, that's just a ruse to sneak through information about Mohammed al-Dura. Saudi heads will roll if this letter is published, and I don't mean that figuratively.

What is this, a Bad Episode of Pokey the Penguin?

The negotiations to release the hostages in the Church of the Nativity were over two days ago. Except, well, they weren't, and they've been going on since. The Palestinians said the talks were over, but the Israelis disagreed. Maybe the Palestinians are unclear on the concept of "negotiations." Again the Palestinians claimed to have an end to the standoff.

But now the Italians are disagreeing. Italians? What are the Italians doing, sabotaging the peace process like this? Why are they even involved in the peace process? Are they after the Israeli Haifa circle-candy? This is like a bad episode of Pokey the Penguin.

Actually, it turns out the Italians aren't to blame. It seems the Palestinians agreed unilaterally to send the Palestinian terrorists to Italy. And they forgot to tell Italy. They're apparently having a lot of trouble with the whole concept of "negotiations" (considering they've never really tried it before, who can blame them). So what's going on now? Don't worry, it will all be sorted out in a few days time. Spend your time instead reading Pokey archives.

Once Again, Arabs Cheer in the Streets

For an act of terror. First September 11th, now Pim Fortuyn.

There is No Hope for Peace

When 91% of Arabs living in Israel can believe there was a "massacre" in Jenin. How can there be peace when so many Muslims will believe any blood libel against the Jews? How can there be peace with people so deluded? (via Tal G.)

More Media Bias

According to The Angry Clam, anti-Israel protests of 100 get mentions in The Chronicle. You will remember demonstrations in support of Israelis not being subject to a second Holocaust drew 100 times as many bodies to their events, yet they did not merit a mention. And they weren't held on college campuses, they had real people actually take a break from real life to make a statement.

The San Francisco Chronicle is the enemy of truth, peace, and justice. The cowards report the Palestinian side because they know only one side will try to kill them.

Conservative Affirmative Action

Highly Illegal Race Preferences (via Right-Wing News)

Indonesia does something right

By arresting the leader of "Laskar Jihad," a group that's been genocidally slaughtering Christians.

Monday, May 06, 2002

The Israeli Government Sucks... at Public Relations

there was a fivefold increase in the number of hits in April on the ministry web page dealing with the rights of returning Israelis - more than 3,000, compared to 600 in March
Oh, please, I've had 4,000 today. And that's more than a five-fold increase. I didn't even have to take out any ads in any newspapers. All I had to do was put the words L### L##ez Autop## Ph#### on my web page. It didn't cost a dime, and it's obviously much, much more successful.

Race Relations in America and The Netherlands

"Moroccan boys never steal from Moroccans. Have you noticed that? We can be stolen from, but not them."—Pim Fortuyn

Assuming what Fortuyn said is mostly true, the racial situation in Netherlands is very different than in the United States; here in the United States, most crime is not interracial (table 42).

White Americans largely have no tolerance for being victimized, we cooperate with the police and we vote for anti-crime politicians. There is a lot more sympathy for criminals in left-wing black thought, and more hostility towards law-and-order politicians. In the Netherlands, whites crime victims are supposed to suck it up (and understand the sociopolitical circumstances surrounding the crime), whereas Muslims would have little tolerance for being robbed. So in America, police are discouraged from investigating black-on-black crime, whereas in the Netherlands, they're discouraged from dealing with Arab-on-white crime.

Why they hated him

It's not as though Fortuyn was the most extreme of the right-wingers, he was an openly gay former sociology professor who wanted Muslims to have the right to free speech. He even wanted some illegal immigrants to have amnesty. They hated him because he had the best chance to be successful, and that's why they killed him.

They assassinated Marco Biagi for the same reasons, he was advising Berlusconi on economic reforms which would have been popular and successful.

The left in Europe has always been in love with terrorists and assassins

Joschka Fischer once participated a PLO conference in Algiers—which at the time was openly calling for the destruction of Israel (it depends on how you define "openly" if you want to know whether they're still openly calling for the destruction of Israel. Arafat says publicly he is not, but the PLO charter still calls for the destruction of Israel). Baader-Meinhof hijackers helped the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine take Air France 139 to Entebbe (Carlos the Jackal was among them). The entirety of the Greek political establishment today is in love with the November 17 group.

Mark Steyn recently wrote a column called The 'Ugly European' just got uglier. He just got uglier, again.

The timing of the Assassination

The assassins waited until after the election in France. Were they afraid of sending Le Pen into power? Muslim fanatics would have wanted Le Pen to win, because it would have set off a race war all across Europe. I would bet the murderers were white leftists and not Muslim Arabs (or Turks).

Very, very sad day

I'm in no mood to celebrate the thousands of hits I'm getting from illiterates who think her name is spelled with a "z." You don't even know her name, and you want to see pictures of her corpse. You're sick. This is a sick world.

I'm in no mood to celebrate because Pim Fortuyn is dead. He was assassinated. I'm going to be sick.

Pim Fortuyn is Dead

Long live Lijst Pim Fortuyn.

haven't been blogging for a while, mostly because I was working on the "Arafat Diaries," as a contender for Eve Tushnet's competition.

Mickey Kaus has some very good news, English immersion is beating bilingual education hands-down. I think he is being a little too negative with his analysis of Rove, compassionate conservatism and something that benefits Hispanics is a natural combination for President Bush. Of course, Kaus knows what he's writing about, I certainly wouldn't be surprised if Bush failed to make something out of this. (via Instapundit)

Instapundit tears the Mythical Socialist Sweden to shreds. The average person in Sweden on average earns less than the average African-American, the crime rate in Sweden is higher than in the United States, and Sweden is one of the "sickest" countries in the world (at the end of the first item).

Yes, Chirac won the election. But Emmanuelle Richards is asking what have we won? The real issues in France aren't being discussed, unemployment, crime, and statism—the status quo—is what won. (I linked to her husband's entry because most of you don't speak French or Bad English, via Instapundit)

Tushnet notices me in her "blogwatch," and accuses me of being the second pirate in blogspace. First, I did not know of Corsair's existence until a few days after I began blogging, and second, there's a big difference between a "pirate" and a "privateer." Privateers have the backing of some larger entity, and only attack targets they are allowed to.

My name was a joke on the "profiteering warblogger" nonsense, the conceit is that I have the backing of the VRWC, I will only attack anti-war and left-wing ideas, and that I am in it for the money. The sad truth is, the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy could care less about me, I will attack conservatives if I disagree with them, and so far no conservative think tanks have sent me any money, nobody's left me any tips in my nonexistent tip jar and nobody's bought anything from my nonexistent web site.

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