MideastWeb Middle East Web Log
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Disaster in Iraq - Massive tragedy underlines the urgency of the problem.
Today's horrendous news from Iraq is that (so far) about 650-700 people on a Shi'a pilgrimage have died in a panic stampede. The stampede was triggered by a rumor that there was a suicide bomber in the huge crowd, causing people to dive off a bridge on the Tigris river. There was no suicide bomber. It was a classic case of someone hollering "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater. According to the latest reports, the rumor was spread on purpose by a terrorist. If so, this is mass murder by a cynical and evil foe - murder of innocent people practising their religion.
This sensational tragedy underlines the desperate urgency of the Iraq situation. Faced with a tragedy of this magnitude, Americans may attend once again to the bleeding sore of Iraq, even though it has stiff competition from the devastation of hurrican Katrina. In fact, it is the same situation that has been developing since the U.S. invasion, which started so well by toppling the hated dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, went sour because of US incompetence and indifference. This particular tragedy was in part due to failure to take the most elementary precautions to protect human life: a massive public event, a pilgrimage, was held without any assurance of security in a city where suicide bombings and mortar attacks are every day events. [more]
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Disengagement Critics Were Mistaken
In less than two weeks, the settlements of Gaza have been evacuated. In one or two more weeks, the houses will be demolished, with the consent of the Palestinians, and four isolated settlements in the West Bank have been evacuated too. [more]
by Ratna Pelle @ 05:37 PM CST [Link]
Monday, August 15, 2005
Yet another article about disengagement
Disengagement involves the removal of about 8,000 well-fed settlers from their government subsidized houses in Gaza to government-granted residences within Israel. More air-time, newsprint and bandwidth have probably been wasted on this mini-event than were spent on the expulsion and flight of 600,000 Jews from Arab countries, bereft of their belongings, to be packed into tents on their arrival in Israel, or scattered to the four corners of the Earth. Yesterday, Israel TV Channel 10 started an hourly series of broadcasts that played, over and over, the same tapes of the same empty luxury homes in Gaza. No "tragedy" was evident there, except that they interfered with a perfectly good screening of Dr. Zhivago.
What is more important, involving and interesting: seeing the same empty houses and the same comments over and over, or watching Julie Christie in all her glory, as she was then? Fanatics rambling on about "Greater Israel" and commentators saying "on the one hand this, and on the other hand that" are BORING. Even for a news nut like me, there was no contest. Even George Bush and his dog had to get into the disengagement act with a totally inane interview. The dog was more interesting than his master and gave about as much information. Most Israelis are rightly fed-up with disengagement non-news for breakfast, lunch and supper.
Nonetheless, on the day that the disengagement starts, I would be remiss in my duty if I did not add my own devalued 2 cents. Against the torrent of hyperbole generated by the media, the Yesha council, the government, the Jewish fanatics and the Palestinian Arab fanatics, I can only try to point out quietly, a few obvious facts. [more]
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Divestment and Bolshevism
A mailing from 'other Israel' informs us that the Israeli 'left' is debating the merits of divestment as a means to change Israeli policy. At a Tel Aviv conference, pious pronouncements declared that divestment is the only way to change Israeli policy.
Swearing allegiance in Tel Aviv
TEL AVIV, Aug. 11 --- Jews hoping to block Israel's withdrawal from settlements in Gaza and northern Samaria have come to Tel Aviv to stage a rally.
"Raise up the signs, raise up the signs," a voice from the stage instructs the audience that fills the plaza in front of city hall. "They [a television crew] are broadcasting."
The crowd responds by raising a mass of orange-colored signs with messages opposing the withdrawal that is due to begin next week. Many people carry uniformly printed Hebrew signs proclaiming, "I swear." The theme of the event is a swearing of support to settlements in Gush Katif and Samaria.
Benny Elbaz, a popular singer, is performing a special anti-disengagement number. He tells the crowd, "It [the disengagement] won't happen. ... They [the government] won't succeed." Groups of men are praying at the edges of the crowd.
"Oil," Elbaz chants, "oil!". He brandishes a bottle of oil and cries out, "We'll pour this oil on ourselves." He anoints his head with the oil. Dignitaries seated behind him on the dais shift in their seats to avoid being sprinkled. The police won't stop us, he shouts. "No, no, no. We won't let them."
by Joseph M. Hochstein @ 12:02 AM CST [Link]
Monday, August 8, 2005
An Existential threat called "Yesha": An open letter to the leaders of Yesha - Arnon Sofer
Friday, August 5, 2005
Terrorist Kach Soldier - A blow to Sanity, Peace, Israel, IDF and Zionism
An AWOL IDF soldier, extremist settler-supporter and member of the outlawed Kach terror group  murdered four Arabs on a bus in the Israel Arab town of Shfar'am yesterday,. An angry mob boarded the bus and lynched the young man, Eden Natan-Zada, 19. who was wearing his IDF uniform at the time. The dead are bus driver Michel Bahus, 56; passenger Nader Hayak, 55; Hazar Turki, 23, and her 21-year-old sister Dina.
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