From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Friday, April 30, 2004

More Swastika Hate: At Indiana University on Monday night, a student’s “car was vandalized -- covered in red spray-painted swastikas and the word ‘Jew’ splashed on the side.”

"This is the type of thing you see in a newspaper, Web site or TV and radio," he said. "This is not something that happens in Bloomington and especially not something that I thought happened to a regular Jewish kid from Maryland. I haven't done anything to deserve this."

Hillel Assistant Director Jessie Mallor said the incident might have been isolated but it has affected a wide variety of people.

"I, personally, am shaken by the event, and I think we all feel shaken," Mallor said. "Everyone in the community feels affected because we know that it could have been any of us, and that's definitely a scary feeling."

The Indiana Daily Student responds with a nice editorial: You picked the wrong town. In continuation of the theme I mentioned last night, it appears the cretin(s) in question couldn’t even draw a swastika correctly.

Hate attempted a comeback this week. It failed. Late Monday evening, an IU student and member of the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center found his car covered with swastikas and the word "Jew" in blood-red paint.

We at the Indiana Daily Student hope this was a tasteless joke. The mere thought of somebody entertaining this pathetic mindset in an enlightened place like Bloomington turns our stomachs. It is possible this was only a despicable prank. After all, most self-respecting neo-Nazis can correctly draw a swastika.

Nazi Swastikas. Or: More Super-Duper Deep Thoughts from Al Ahram. Al Ahram’s boorish cartoons of Israeli soldiers adorned with swastikas— here’s this week’s excretion—are hardly original or intelligent, but at least this Al Ahram cartoonist knows which way the swastika points. Charming. Note that this bile appears in Egypt’s leading media outlet and the government’s mouthpiece of choice. Quite a return on the billions of dollars the United States has sent Egypt in recent years.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Indoctrinating Children to Hate in Brazil. Or: Sharon = An Ancient Sanskrit Symbol? Or perhaps he’s a Buddhist symbol. Two things that always strike me about anti-Israel protesters is a recurring inability to draw the Israeli flag well (two lines, two triangles: How difficult can this possibly be?) and a similarly recurring incompetence to correctly depict a Nazi swastika (which faced clockwise; see an another example in last Friday’s entry). I’m assuming this trenchant commentary is supposed to suggest an equivalence between Ariel Sharon and Nazism, but who knows. Charming sign for the kids, of course. What’s particularly ironic about Palestinians faulting Israel for being like the Nazis is that during World War II the Palestinian Arab leadership—the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, for example—supported the Nazis. How times change! Here’s another picture from the same fiery protest, not to be confused with this one or this one (cool helicopter!) or this one (note incorrectly drawn Israeli and American flags) or this one or this one (I think that’s an Israeli flag) or… Burning stuff rules, eh? Look, horsies!
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack on Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv. The bar was packed with people enjoying the establishment’s weekly jam session. No Palestinians, or anyone else, were being occupied or humiliated as a result, yet nonetheless an Islamic freedom fighter, Asif Muhammad Hanif, perhaps humiliated and desperate after years of negotiating Israeli checkpoints and settlements around his family’s home in, uh, foggy old London, saw fit to detonate himself at the bar. Three people were killed, and over fifty were wounded. The Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Fatah, unable to tell themselves apart, each claimed credit for the valiant assault. Another freedom fighting wannabe mass murderer, Omar Khan Sharif, perhaps angry at how miserable the Israeli military had made life for folks back home in Derby, attempted to explode himself and murder some more people, but (luckily) failed. Before executing their assault, the two terrorists met with several journalists and “activists,” including members of the ISM. After the terrorist attack, not one of these people could be “bothered to contact any official body, despite their familiarity with the terrorists, even after they understood that they were involved in the attack, until they came under ISA [Israel’s domestic security organization] investigation.” Go figure. The next time you hear somebody blame suicide bombing against Israel on The Occupation, ask them, please, who exactly was occupying London and Derby.

Some of the Mike’s Place regulars have established a Life After Terror Fund to aid the victims.

While mourning their tragic and pointless murder, we, at Mike's Place have dedicated ourselves to helping those whose lives were shattered in the attack. Although public and media interest quickly fades after an attack, the injured bare their scars forever, and the lives of the victims and their families will never be the same again.

The extent of the injuries was horrific and the Life after Terror Fund has been established to help the victims.

>> Alfredo, a student, suffered horrific burns from head to toe. He is 25 years old.

>> David, a 37 year-old musician whose arm was blown off by the explosion. His brother Gaby, standing just meters away, witnessed the awful event.

>> Ariel , just 24 years old and a talented bass player, suffered the most severe burns. He is expected to be hospitalized for a considerable amount of time and still requires around-the-clock medical attention.

>> The family of Yannai Weiss has tragically lost a husband and a father. Yannai was the 'provider' and is survived by a wife and two young sons. Their 15 year old son suffers from a chronic disease, and requires constant and expensive medication and treatment.

>> Zohar, 27 years old, underwent a serious leg operation and skin grafts following the attack. She is now out of the hospital but unable to walk unaided, she will be confined to her home for a considerable time.

These are just some of those victims of the homicide bombing. For many, what should have been a peaceful night of music and enjoyment changed their lives forever.

Avi Tabib, the security guard, and long-time regular and friend, was at work on the door at the time of the attack. By blocking the bomber, Avi's actions no doubt saved many lives that night - but as with the other victims and their families, his life has been devastated by the attack.

It’s a nice website and an excellent cause, so please check it out and do what you can to help out.

The Myth of the Megaphone Martyr, Latest Edition. Or: Still Going… In an article posted at the Electronic Intifada, we learn that

On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, an American from Washington, was killed as she attempted to prevent the destruction of a Palestinian home in Gaza. According to the Investor Responsibility Research Center which provides impartial information on corporate governance and social responsibility, "Corrie was wearing a bright orange vest and yelling at the driver through a bullhorn to stop. _ The driver pushed the mount [of dirt] on top of Corrie, ran her over and then backed over her again."

As I’ve pointed out before, “eyewitness” testimony posted on EI’s own website puts the lie to this incessantly repeated canard that Corrie was yelling through a bullhorn. Nor does the same testimony say anything about the bulldozer pushing “the mount” (perhaps they meant “mound”?) on top of her. So much for consistency, but so it goes. Perhaps someday someone will compile a compendium of all the myriad, and often contradictory, versions we’ve seen of the incident. These would include: Corrie was shouting through a bullhorn; she’d given the bullhorn to somebody else; she died at the hospital; she died en route to the hospital; she was standing in front of the bulldozer; she was sitting; the bulldozer pushed up the earth beneath her; the bulldozer pushed “the mount” on top of her; the incident was filmed; Israeli soldiers shot at people who came to her aid; she was run over by one soldier; she was run over by two soldiers; and so on. As I mentioned before, perhaps the US should conduct an investigation, if only so all these people might, perhaps, for once get their various stories straight.

The article above was written by Liat Weingart, Sister Valerie Heinonen, and Mary Ann McGivern, all of whom I’m happy to believe are perfectly nice people. Nonetheless, the three authors have either bought into (embraced?) the myth of the megaphone martyr or else they’ve no problem referencing such falsehood. Either way, it’s hard to take their campaign seriously, and the tendentious moralizing gives itself away with the Orwellian embellishment. (And the unctuous allusion to the Shoah is, at best, grasping at straws. It’s cheap rhetoric, to say the least, and as such speaks for itself and disqualifies itself from serious consideration.)

We also read that “The photograph of Corrie before her death, in front of a Caterpillar bulldozer, made front page news worldwide and sparked increasingly negative press reports about the company.” The photograph was indeed taken “before her death”—well before her death, in fact, but who’s counting? And if anybody has seen any of these negative, increasingly or otherwise, press reports that were “sparked” about Caterpillar, other than the handful written by folks affiliated with the authors’ project or Corrie’s family (none of whom, I think it’s safe to say, required a photograph to “spark” their press releases), please, do share.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Israel’s New Ark of the Covenant. Or, “Jews are a Race” is So 1935. I was reading some articles on Mordechai Vanunu, and came across this charming piece from a news outlet called ABS-CNNEWS, which is a joint venture of Manila’s TODAY newspaper and something called ABS-CBN Interactive. I hope this sort of bigoted rhetoric about Jews and Israel isn’t standard fare in the Philippines, but it’s worrisome that this ugly editorial (conveniently anonymous) appears in what is apparently the Philippines' largest media network. So:

Not surprisingly, a Jewish mob howled, “Kill him, kill him, kill him,” around the place where the very same cry was raised 2,000 years ago about another Jewish Christian who was telling the people some pretty unpleasant things about themselves, such as that before you embarrass another about the mote in his eye, take out the nuclear weapons from your arsenal; and before calling another a terrorist for giving up her life for her country’s freedom, check out how your country harried her to that extreme by stealing the land that, sure, God gave you in the Old Testament but look how you repaid Him in the New.
A hundred years ago, a vicious and cruel imagination invented and published the Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion, allegedly outlining a global Jewish conspiracy, and spread it about that the kindly Jews of those times, the people of Spinoza, dropped Christian children down wells to honor a cruel religion. This lie was the direct inspiration for the Nazi isolation and destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, even as that is the direct inspiration for the West Bank Wall.

Eighteen years ago, the misguided heirs of that traduced and persecuted race took a leaf from the Protocols and dropped a Christian into a pit of utter darkness, with the demonic aim, not just of destroying a body, but extinguishing a soul.

No one can say what kind of life Mr. Vanunu can still hope to have after his experience of spiritual extinction -- or if he’ll even have one -- as a “free man” in the larger prison that is Israel for a Christian Jew…. Only one thing is sure: Mr. Vanunu is not afraid of more of the same because he distinctly expressed the wish to go to Jerusalem even if the first time a Christian did that on a donkey, it did not turn out too well for him. (See Mel Gibson’s movie.)

Lovely references to “camel drivers” and Hitler, too. Pathetic, but so it goes.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

It occurred to me last night that even though we Jews control the media and the banks, we really blew it with the Internet. Two out of three ain’t bad, though, I guess.
The following is an email from The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University:

On 18 April, the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, the Stephen Roth Institute presented its annual findings on antisemitism worldwide for the year 2003.
Following is an abstract of those findings.

The year 2003 witnessed an increase in the number and severity of violent incidents perpetrated against Jews, and an escalation in the anti-Jewish atmosphere and in the use of antisemitic expressions as part of campaigns against Israel and Zionism. In 2003 the Stephen Roth Institute recorded a total of 360 serious incidents worldwide, 30 major attacks (such as shootings, knifings, bombings and arson) and 330 major violent incidents (i.e., physical aggression without the use of a weapon and vandalism against Jewish institutions and property). That is a considerable increase compared to 2002, which witnessed 311 serious incidents. The five countries with the highest levels of antisemitic incidents were France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany and Canada. Most notable was the increase in physical aggression against Jews on the streets and in schools. Contrary to the conclusions published by the Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia sponsored by the EU, our findings indicate that the vast majority of violent events were perpetrated by young Muslim immigrants and that their activity was influenced by hostile propaganda and expressions of the radical left. At the same time, the extreme right continued to vandalize Jewish institutes and sites, especially cemeteries and Holocaust monuments.

For the full General Analysis (Overview and essay “When Anti-Israelism Becomes Antisemitism”), see http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw2003-4/general-analysis.htm.

Two excerpts:

The crucial issue emerging from most surveys, analyses and deliberations is the need to define when anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism is actually tainted with antisemitism, which is as follows:

• when the language, images, and character traits attributed to Israel are imbued with known antisemitic stereotypes;
• when Israelis and Jews are depicted as a cosmic evil, are blamed for world-wide disasters, and are compared to the Nazis, the ultimate evil;
• when Israelis and Jews supporting the State of Israel are singled out and attacked, and are treated in a disproportionate manner in relationship to the issue at hand and in comparison to the actions of other nations;
• when the very right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state is de-legitimized;
• when the Holocaust is distorted and made a political weapon, allegedly misused by the Jews to extort financial support and to make political capital.
The conference at Ohio State University reflected the trend in the anti-Israel movement to use Jews and Israelis as speakers, in order to prove that the movement is not antisemitic. “Many of the conference organizers are Jewish, so those claims [that the PSM conference in Ohio State University promoted antisemitism] are just absurd,” said Nahla Saleh. Indeed, two prominent anti-Zionist Jewish activists are associated with the CJP (Committee for Justice in Palestine), the group that hosted the conference: Joseph Levine, faculty adviser to the CJP, and Ora Wise of Jews against the Occupation.

Groups that endorsed the Ohio conference included: Al-Awda Chicago; AWARE, a NJ-NY activist forum which claims that support for Israel is support for “racism, apartheid and terror;” and SUSTAIN (Stop US Tax-Funded Aid to Israel Now), a coalition of student and non-student activists that sees the divestment campaign as part of a ”global intifada.” Yoshie Furuhashi, a CJP activist who feels that PSM should oppose suicide bombings, stated that Israel’s Law of Return, which allows Jews to immigrate to the country, is “the practice of Jewish supremacy, much like white supremacy in US and South African histories.”

If you’re wondering what the hell “Jewish supremacy” is supposed to mean, just ask David Duke or Henry Ford.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

One Must See For Himself What Fisk Inflicted On His Own Credibility: In an exceptionally, almost pathetically, petulant rant, Robert Fisk writes that, concerning Jenin, “I did not say they [Israeli troops] committed a massacre.” Hmm. Well, let’s look at what Fisk wrote in just one article:

The stench of decaying corpses is wafting out of the Palestinian city. The Israeli army is still keeping the Red Cross and journalists from seeing the evidence of the mass killings that have taken place there. "Hundreds'' on Israel's own admission have died, including civilians. Why, for God's sake, can't Mr Powell do the decent thing and demand an explanation for the extraordinary, sinister events that have taken place in Jenin?
But of course, the purpose of Mr Powell's idleness was to allow enough time for Jenin to be turned to ashes. Mission, I suppose, accomplished. .
As Israel's indisciplined soldiery yesterday continued to hide their deeds from the outside world by preventing the Red Cross, aid workers, ambulances and journalists from entering the rubble of Jenin, Mr Powell was sitting idly by in Israel, calling for the "utmost restraint'' from an army that has not yet finished filling the mass graves of Jenin.
Has he forgotten that the Israeli Kahan commission held Mr Sharon "personally responsible'' for the massacre of those 1,700 civilians? Does Mr Powell really think that Jenin, albeit on a smaller scale, is much different? Even if we dismiss all the Palestinian claims of civilian butchery, extrajudicial executions and the wholesale destruction of thousands of homes, what on earth does he think the Israelis are hiding in Jenin?

So, although Fisk did not (in this article, at least) say that Israel had committed a massacre in Jenin, he did, as we can see from the above excerpts, openly and blatantly—and falsely, but that goes without saying—charge Israel with “mass killings,” killing of “hundreds,” turning Jenin to ashes, filling mass graves, “hiding” evidence of atrocities in Jenin, and so on. But not a massacre, you understand. Has the man even a shred of decency?

Update: And this:

Further, one day we will have to find out what has happened in the Jenin refugee camp, with the hundreds of corpses – some of which disappeared, some of which appear to have been secretly buried.
If Washington firefighters turned up that late, the city would already be in ashes. As Jenin was. It was generally hinted at on the networks, in the usual coy, cowardly sort of way, that Powell wanted to give Sharon time to finish the job, just as he got to finish the job in '82 in such a bloody way.
But faced with the Israelis hiding their own activities, where hundreds [of Palestinians] have been killed, Powell does not ask to go to Jenin. Why? Because the dead are Palestinians? Because they are Arabs? Because they are Muslim? Why on earth doesn't he go to Jenin?

No allegations of massacre there, either. Just statements that Israelis not only killed hundreds of Palestinians but were hiding the corpses of those killed in the massacre, er, mass killing.

In a related note, although Fisk doesn’t accuse Israel of having committed a massacre, he does accuse the United States of having committed one: “In revenge for the brutal killing of four American mercenaries - for that is what they were - US Marines carried out a massacre of hundreds of women and children and guerillas in the Sunni Muslim city of Fallujah.” Perhaps the American troops should have followed Israel’s example in Jenin and, uh, buried the hundreds of corpses in hidden mass graves so nobody could ever find them, much less list the names of the hundreds killed.

Jews are not a forgiving lot: Or, "Do fawning comparisons to Christ make your editorial staff uncomfortable?" In their latest display of journalistic integrity, Arab News publishes another predictably tasteless, paranoid, and bigoted screed by Israel Shamir a.k.a Israel David Shamir a.k.a. Robert David. Interestingly, if you read the version on David’s, er, Shamir’s website, you’ll notice that the Arab News version has been tweaked at a few points. For example, on the former we read that “This brotherly compassion for goyim, frowned upon in the Jewish tradition, brought him to Christ,” but in the Arab News version “Christ” has become “Christianity.” About Vanunu, Shamir prattles, “Not a timid lamb anymore, but Son of Man who saw death and came back." Arab News omits “Son of Man” and gives us “but one who saw death and came back.” In the next sentence—“His face was stern and grim in the blue frame of the iron bars, like that of Christ breaking the Gates of Hell on an old icon”—Arab News omits the second half of the sentence, thus deleting the Christ comparison. Interesting edits, by god. I wonder what a certain Jewish carpenter would make of Shamir's drivel.

Friday, April 23, 2004

James W. Owens, CEO of Caterpillar, explains to the International Solidarity Movement “that with more than two million of our machines and engines in use throughout the world, we simply do not have the practical ability or legal right to determine how our products are used after they are sold.” Owens then declines to meet with ISM representatives, because “I feel we have seen this issue to its conclusion and we respectfully decline.” The “Stop CAT Coalition” is so pleased with themselves they can’t help but add an exclamation point: CAT CEO Owens refuses to meet our delegation! I suppose that’s more exciting than “CAT CEO Owens refuses to indulge us with further attention!”

In other news, “a former volunteer with the ISM in Palestine has put together a photojournal,” which has been put on-line. There are pictures of demonstrations, kids, graffiti, and so forth. Here are some samples:

Meeting a decrepit old terrorist. Smile! The room is a bit drab, but I hear his wife’s Paris flat is quite nice.
If: The Star of David = The Swastika; and: The Star of David = USA; then: USA = The Swastika. The Nazi swastika faced the opposite direction (clockwise), so perhaps this trenchant graffiti is making some sort of equivalence between the Magen David, the USA, and Hindu or Buddhist symbols. Go figure.
No peace without justice. Nice image of Israel…
DFLP is the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist group whose claims to fame include murdering 21 Israeli children at Maalot in 1974, not that these guys seem to care.
Don’t drop him. The guy being carried doesn’t look too happy. Neither do the guys carrying him…
Mocking the Western Wall. How progressive.
Apartheid, etc.!
Kid poses before the Fatah logo. Perhaps this young fellow knows the youth whom Fatah Tansim freedom fighters recently paid $22 to strap a bomb to himself. Lovely organization.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Here’s a press release from the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies:

'The Nation' Cuts Ties to Holocaust-Denial Group after Complaint by Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies [TBON editor’s note: And, perhaps, after a complaint from your humble narrator].

4/22/2004 8:57:00 AM

To: National Desk

Contact: Rafael Medoff of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, 215-635-5622 or rafaelmedoff@aol.com

PHILADELPHIA, April 22 /U.S. Newswire/ -- In response to a complaint by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, The Nation -- one of America's leading weekly magazines -- has adopted a new policy of refusing to accept paid advertisements from Holocaust-deniers.

Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff said: "The Nation deserves praise for its swift and decisive action to end its relationship with Holocaust-deniers. It has affirmed the principle that those who deny the Holocaust are 'fraudulent' and hate-mongers, who should be treated as pariahs by civilized society."

The controversy began when an advertisement from a Holocaust- denying organization, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), appeared in the latest issue of The Nation (which is dated May 3, 2004). The IHR ad promoted a new book which, it said, "dissects the most sacred of Jewish-Zionist icons, the Holocaust story."

Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff sent a letter to The Nation on April 21, 2004, protesting the publication of the IHR ad as well as the "sponsored link" by The Nation which appears on the web site of the Institute for Historical Review. ( http://www.ihr.org ) Dr. Medoff wrote: "Holocaust-deniers are not offering a legitimate alternative viewpoint. They are in the business of hate-mongering. They should not be in The Nation, and The Nation should not be on their web site."

Dr. Medoff said that The Nation's link to the IHR "is especially troubling in view of The Nation's proud history as one of the few prominent American publications to speak out, during the Holocaust, for the rescue of Jews from Hitler...A business relationship with Holocaust-deniers today sullies that proud record." His letter concluded: "We therefore urge you to sever The Nation's relationship with the Institute for Historical Review and to publicly affirm the principle of refusing to accept advertisements from the IHR and similar groups in the future

The Wyman Institute has received a letter from The Nation's advertising spokesman, Leigh Novog, dated April 21, 2004, announcing that the Wyman Institute's protest "prompted a meeting of The Nation's Advertising Acceptability Committee." The conclusion of the meeting, Novog wrote, was that "(T)here is a strong presumption against censoring any advertisement, especially if we disagree with its politics. This case, however, is different. Their arguments are 'patently fraudulent.' The magazine has requested the advertiser, The Institute for Historical Review not run advertising in future issues."

I would suggest that The Nation might address the IHT with something a little more forceful than a “request” (huh?), but whatever.

The Jews of America: The Cairo Times offers some reactions from the Egyptian press to Bush and Sharon’s plan for “the annexation of nearly half the occupied West Bank.” Note the hideously antisemitic cartoon and its repulsive depiction of “The Jews of America.”

In other news, 21 men have been forcibly evicted, at the behest of Israel, from the Ramallah shelter in which they'd been living for months. Another war crime! Forced expulsion is a violation of the Geneva Convention! End The Occupation! Sharon is a... er, never mind. All the “militants” exiting Arafat’s clubhouse are beginning to remind me of circus clowns piling out of a car. How many Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigadiers and other such “freedom fighters” has Arafat been hanging out with in there, anyway? Providing refuge to wanted members of a suicide-bombing terror milita is rather peculiar behavior for a Nobel Peace Laureate.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Israeli police kill four alleged terrorists in gun battle, world reacts in horror and consternation. No, just kidding. Actually, it was Jordanian police who killed four alleged terrorists, in a poor neighborhood of Amman.

So, modest proposal, part II: If Israel wants to avoid criticism and outrage for killing terrorists, maybe they should just change Ariel Sharon’s name to King Hussein, Jr. Can you imagine the outrage that would have graced the newswires had Israeli police, rather than Jordanian police, killed four alleged terrorists after surrounding them in a house in a poor neighborhood? All the folks who were bemoaning Israel’s assassination of a genocidal terrorist a few days ago will, no doubt, be similarly protesting Jordan’s deadly anti-terrorist measures, just as soon as they’re done, um, watching American Idol, or something. Yoo-hoo, Kofi et al, anybody home? Divestment, anyone? I didn’t think so.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

On page 58 of the current issue of The Nation there’s an advertisement for a book written by Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy. According to the advertisement, in The Founding Myths of Modern Israel ,“French scholar Roger Garaudy dissects the historical myths cited to justify Zionist aggression and repression, including the legends of a ‘land without a people for a people without a land,’ and the most sacred of Jewish-Zionist icons, the Holocaust story.” (Yes, the Holocaust story. And “Jewish-Zionist icons. Whatever.) The book is published by the Institute for Historical Review. In its Executive Summary: Holocaust Denial - A Global Survey: 2003 the Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies identified the IHT as “the leading Holocaust denial organization in the United States.”

So: Why is The Nation accepting—and publishing—advertising from Holocaust deniers?

According to the self-congratulatory blurb on the cover, this is “The book that scandalized Europe and thrilled the Islamic world brings America the shocking truth on Zionism and the Holocaust!” Indeed, the Arabic Edition of Garaudy's The Founding Myths of Modern Israel includes a bilious, er, charming introduction courtesy of Mohamed Heikal, whom The Guardian later called “the Arab world's foremost political commentator.” Well, a connoisseur of Holocaust denial isn’t much of a standard, no matter how brilliant his other political commentary may be. It’s a good thing for Heikal that, in certain circles, writing an introduction to a Holocaust denier’s book hardly even taints one’s prestige (just ask Noam Chomsky). Such actions speak for themselves, of course. In his execrable little ditty, Heikal lavishes praise upon not just Garaudy but also Holocaust denier David Irving. The IHT has the fawning introduction on-line, if you want to read it (I’m not going to link to it).

Is The Nation indulging in a little fashionable “anti-Zionism” (a term that, despite its popularity of late, I’ve yet to see actually defined in any serious, etymological sense)—or just trying to court a little controversy? Or both?

But remember: “Anti-Zionism”—whatever that’s supposed to mean—isn’t necessarily the same thing as anti-Semitism. Or bigotry. Except when it is. And it often is.
As noted over at In Context, a Google search for the term “Jew” no longer turns up a hate site as its first result (for now, at least). Now if something could just be done about the search results for “Jews.” Not as bad, to be sure, but still…. Jews for Jesus? Jews for Allah? Ah, Google.

Sharon is outta control! Israel kills key Palestinian rebels: According to the following news article, more than 10 rebels have been killed in planned "special operations" by Israeli troops in the West Bank and Gaza. Good gawd, it’s one thing to kill one militant in a targeted attack, but now Sharon has gone and killed ten? Including a religious man who was bombed while he was praying!? When will this Zionist aggression end?! Boycott Israel! Divest now! End The Occupation! Chomsky was right! How many more Palestinians must die? Two-four-six-eight, the world must oppose this racist-genocidal-Zionazi state!

Er, wait. Never mind. ‘Twas Russian troops killing Chechen militants. Ah. Well, I guess the cacophony of anger and condemnation directed against Russia for killing ten “rebels” must have been, uh, drowned out by the cacophony directed against Israel for killing one genocidal terrorist. I’m sure the deluge of outrage and consternation will be here. any. day. now…

(Modest proposal: If Israel wants to avoid criticism and outrage for killing terrorists, maybe they should just change Ariel Sharon’s name to Vladimir Putin. Can you imagine the outrage that would have graced the newswires had the IDF killed a religious militant while he was praying? Ah, but barely a peep when Putin’s forces do it. I guess this is just more evidence of the Zionist controlled media we’re always hearing so much about.)

Oh, and divestment, anyone? I didn’t think so. (How about boycotting Russian academics, hmmm?)

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Interpal, a U.K.-based charity also known as the Palestinian Relief and Development Fund, has been designated a terrorist organization by both the American and Israeli governments. The Jerusalem Report reports that the Board of Deputies, the umbrella organization of British Jewry, recently referred to Interpal as a terrorist organization on its website, and now Interpal is suing the board for libel. Interpal’s website is fairly nondescript, although I notice their logo features an image of Israel’s 1949 borders, plus the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with no indication of the green line. Perhaps they’re just hardline Likudniks who don’t like the Golan Heights.

Speaking of the Jerusalem Report, the current issue includes a nice article about German architect Marc Grellert’s project to virtually “recreate” some the synagogues that were destroyed during the Nazi regime. According to the project’s website (http://synagogen.info/), the project is intended “to remember more than 2200 synagogues that were closed, desecrated or destroyed in Germany and Austria during the Nazi regime.” You can view amazingly precise images of the virtual exteriors and interiors of fifteen synagogues, as well as look up information about 2,200 other synagogues. The virtually reconstructed buildings are shown empty of people, in part to emphasize a sense of absence. Indeed, while it might be possible to reconstruct buildings that have been destroyed, it is impossible to do the same with people. The site also includes a great number of fascinating photographs, images, and other information, including eyewitness descriptions and other testimony. Extremely highly recommended website. Do check it out.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

I'd like to take this opportunity to point out one thing that's actually quite cool about Arafat: It's really easy to type his name. Like "stewardesses," it can be typed with one hand. Sharon, Israel, and Palestine are all over the keyboard, but Arafat is nice and compact and easy on the fingers. Pretty cool. OK, so don't let it ever be said that I never had anything positive to say about Arafat. Arafat. Arafat.
The next time you hear someone like Rashid Khalidi talking about a period of time during which there were no Palestinians attacks on Israelis, don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that this was because no such attacks had been attempted. For example, there were zero (successful) Palestinian suicide bombings during Passover, yet there were at least ten failed attempts, including two attacks using female bombers. I saw Khalidi on Charlie Rose a few weeks back, talking about how there hadn’t been any suicide bombings against Israelis during December and January, his implication being that this was some sort of period of calm or Palestinian restraint. What he meant, of course, was that, just like during this past week, there had been no successful Palestinian suicide bombings. As articles like this one show, and as anyone who pays attention to Israeli media (and not just during December and January) knows—and at the risk of paraphrasing Donald Rumsfeld—an absence of suicide bombings hardly indicates an absence of suicide bombers being dispatched to murder and maim countless Israelis. This sort of perverted moral calculus, by which the only Palestinian attacks against Israelis that “count” are the ones that aren’t prevented by Israeli security, and by which people like Khalidi can claim with a straight face that during a certain period there were no attacks against Israelis is really quite telling. I was a bit shocked that Charlie Rose didn’t call him on this dishonest obfuscation. Just because no Palestinians have detonated themselves recently doesn’t mean they haven’t been trying:

Israeli security forces managed to scuttle a total of 10 attempted suicide bomb attacks on Israeli targets during the Passover holiday, which ended Monday night, Army Radio reported on Tuesday.

Among those attacks foiled was a plan to use AIDS-infected blood. Two attacks were also due to be carried out by women.

One of two Tanzim activists caught at the end of March told interrogators the group that sent them had planned a series of other attacks, including one with a device to which blood infected with AIDS would be attached.

Boy, they must be pretty, uh, desperate or something to be lacing their bombs with AIDS-infected bodily fluids.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

In the latest rendering of Rachel Corrie’s death, The Independent’s Robert Fisk informs us that her death “was taped on video by her appalled friends.” I hadn’t heard that version before. Or seen it, as the case may be. Fisk also states that the Israeli Army’s “rules of engagement” have been “blithely handed over to US forces on Sharon’s orders.” Sharon’s orders, eh?

Fisk also writes that “Rachel’s grieving mother Elizabeth has been a picture of dignity. US citizens, she wrote, ‘should ask themselves how it is that an unarmed US citizen can be killed with impunity by a soldier from an allied nation receiving massive US aid...’” Actually, Bob, it was Corrie’s cousin, not her mother (whose name is Cindy, not Elizabeth), who wrote that piece. It would be somewhat easier to take Fisk seriously on the matter if he didn’t betray such obvious Orwellian tendencies towards it. Anyway, maybe the US should investigate Corrie’s death, if only so Fisk and all the other Corrie martyr-mythologizers can at least get their various stories straight.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Here's an interesting article from Haaretz, entitled The battle on America's campuses.

There are currently about 65,000 students from Arab countries studying at American universities. According to Jewish sources, these students comprise the "foot soldiers" for the struggle, while the Americans, or Arab-Americans, are the leaders of the anti-Israeli activities. Most of the pro-Palestinian student organizations also take pride in having prominent Jewish activists who oppose Israel's policies in the territories.

“We are no longer dealing with the blunt anti-Semitism that we saw in the past," says William Rothschild, associate national director of education at the Anti-Defamation League. "It's no longer a case of here they tore off a mezuzah, there they wrote graffiti saying `dirty Jew.' Now we are seeing political anti-Semitism."

Another Jewish source argues that the campus movements opposing Israel are, in fact, not anti-Semitic, but that some of the members of these movements - extreme leftists and Muslim extremists - do not see all expressions of anti-Semitism as taboo.

Remember Abe “Smash Mouth” Greenhouse, the publicity seeking pseudo-radical who assaulted Natan Sharansky at Rutgers last fall (the Haaretz article pretty much whitewashes the incident)? Well, you’ll be interested to know that, according to Abe, “he is not anti-Israeli, does not support demonstrations and is even considering moving to Israel in the future.” He doesn’t support demonstrations, eh? Quite the change of heart.

And remember Charlotte Kates?

She believes with all her heart that Israel has no right to exist. In her view, Israel is an apartheid state, with a racist and colonialist character. An article she wrote expressing these views, generated protest demonstrations by Jewish activists on campus. "I don't think there is anything anti-Semitic in opposing racism and apartheid," Kates explains. "It is manipulative and repulsive to say that this is anti-Semitism, because Zionism is racism and opposing racism is the same as opposing anti-Semitism."

Charming. Of course, Kates also believes that last fall’s little spat of non-solidarity within the Palestine solidarity movement, which resulted in the group’s official conference being moved to Ohio State, was the fault of “‘Zionist forces’ that tried to sabotage the conference from the very start.” Sounds like this woman knows too much. Snicker.

Here’s a random sampling of events at American campuses in recent months:

at the University of California at Riverside, an exhibition included signs drawing an equation between a swastika and Star of David; at Wooster College in Ohio, a guest lecturer spoke about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as if they were real documents; at the American University in Washington, a checkpoint was built on campus and students were forced to go around it; at UCLA, a guest lecturer spoke of jihad; at University of Indiana's law school, many flags are displayed, including the Palestinian flag, but Israel's flag is absent; at Contra Costa College in California, a series of lectures were given by anti-Israeli speakers; at Northwestern in Illinois, swastikas were painted throughout the campus nine times during the past year. And the list continues.

Interesting article. Do check it out. If anybody's familiar with the situation with the flags at Indiana's law school, please let me know.

MEMRI has an interesting report entitled Anti-American and Antisemitic Cartoons in Leading Egyptian Government Weekly Al-Ahram: 1998-2004. The report notes that “Al-Ahram newspapers [1] are controlled by the Egyptian government and edited by the government-appointed Ibrahim Nafi', who also serves as chairman of the Arab Journalists Association.” I’ve addressed some of Nafi’s asinine rhetoric elsewhere on the blog, and I was interested to learn that:

Following a MEMRI dispatch from an October 10, 2000 issue of Al-Ahram based on a centuries-old blood libel, according to which Jews used the blood of a priest in Damascus to make Passover matzoh, the French Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et L'antisémitisme (LICRA) filed a complaint against Nafi' for incitement to racial hatred. He was subpoenaed to appear before a French court, but was excused for alleged medical conditions.

Charming fellow. Charming publication. Charming govermnent for our country to be giving billions of dollars to over the years. And this is the sort of sub-cretinous, propaganda garbage we get in return. Divestment anyone? I didn’t think so.

And memo to the folks who’ve emailed to tell me that I should read Edward Said: Please note that Al-Ahram—home of the Passover Matzoh blood libel, 9/11 conspiracy theories, bigoted articles and cartoons about Jews, and various other vile subject matters— is the same sterling publication to which Edward Said, for years, submitted essays and op-ed pieces. Indeed, how much more enlightened, humanitarian, progressive, and liberal can one get than to submit articles to a government-controlled media outlet with an ongoing history of vilifying Jews? Pardon me if I’m not impressed. And is it not remarkable that some of the same folks who would disdain reading a regular contributor to, say, a (pro-Zionist, eek!) publication like Commentary or The New Republic have no problem reading and espousing Edward Said, himself a regular and willing contributor to a dictatorial government-controlled publication with a record of bigotry and intellectual filth? I don’t suppose there’s the slightest bit of hypocrisy there, of course.

Anyway, I’ve previously pointed out some of Al-Ahram’s Israel/Nazi cartoon comparisons, and here’s the latest. Nice of Star of David battle fatigues. You’ll also be shocked, shocked, to learn that Al-Ahram published articles claiming that Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks.

Incidentally, today’s “War is Peace” winner is courtesy of, you guessed it, Al-Ahram: ” For Egypt, the October 1973 War was clearly a tactic to activate the political process and push Israel into a peaceful resolution.” Riiiiiiight: Launching a military assault against Israel on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar was a tactic geared towards a peaceful resolution. Clearly. My, such noble intentions. You’ll also note this charming Orwellianism: “This was clearly reflected in Egyptian reservations to… [Barak’s] permission to allow Sharon to visit the Dome of the Rock, which in turn sparked the Intifada on 28 September 2000. Of course, Sharon didn’t visit the Dome of the Rock; he visited the Temple Mount, and he didn’t visit or enter the Dome of the Rock. But since when were facts important to Al-Ahram?

Monday, April 05, 2004

In her latest update regarding the OSU Committee for Justice in Palestine, Yoshie Furuhashi writes that “the Deir Yassin massacre was used by Zionist paramilitary leaders to terrorize Palestinian villagers into fleeing what would become the state of Israel.” She also helpfully includes a link to this article, along with this delightfully selective quote:

"Describing the slaughter as a successful battle, he [Irgun commander Mordechai Raanan] exaggerated the toll. As he later explained, 'I told the reporters that 254 were killed so that a big figure would be published, and so that Arabs would panic . . . across the country.' . . . 'The news of [Deir Yassin] precipitated a flight of the Arab populations [in Palestine] from areas with large Jewish populations,' the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress had concluded."

You’ll note, of course, that once again a tell-tale ellipses gives the gig away: The first and second parts of Furuhashi’s excerpt are in fact seven paragraphs apart. It’s a low standard, to be sure, but at least this time the two parts of the quote are from the same source, unlike with the bogus Desmond Tutu quote flaunted by the Palestine Solidarity Conference (and, yes, their “quote” is still there).

In between the paragraphs Furuhashi samples from, we read that Shimon Monita, a Haganah infiltrator of the Jerusalem Lehi, is quoted as having had this to say in 1948:

Everyone was comfortable with the high number. The dissidents were interested in boasting and scaring the Arabs; the Haganah and the Jewish Agency were interested in making dissidents look bad and scaring the Arabs; the Arabs were interested in making the Jews look bad; the British were interested in making the Jewish terrorists look bad. Everyone grasped at the number that Raanan had made up.

But, of course, the only people Furuhashi sees fit to mention as exploiting Deir Yassin were those nefarious “Zionist paramilitary leaders,” grr. She probably just forgot to mention, oh, the British and the Arabs. Go figure.

Also in between Furuhashi’s ellipsis is this little bit of information, which she chooses to omit:

The effect of the Deir Yassin incident was profound. A large retaliatory massacre took place on 13 April 1948, when as many as 70 or more Jewish medical personnel were killed in a merciless Arab ambush of a convoy to Mt. Scopus near Jerusalem.

Oh. Will Furuhashi and the CJP be commemorating any of these people? I doubt it, and I hope not, as it would be a shame to see their deaths exploited for cheap, maudlin quasi-political theatrics at 15th and High.

Regarding Deir Yassin, as Hogan notes, this was "a wartime tragedy of complex causation, neither wholly spontaneous nor wholly premeditated, during which an inept booty and morale-building raid by irregular Jewish fighters became an episode of prolonged slaughter and wanton abuse of Arab civilians.” Hogan also notes “The weight of the available evidence is that neither the attack nor massacre was initiated by official Labor Zionist leadership, local or central, though reluctant authorization for an attack was given by the local commander. The Jewish Agency in Tel Aviv was taken by surprise and ultimately issued a public condemnation.”

Isn’t it interesting that Deir Yassin is a familiar element of Israeli and Jewish historiography (there are innumerable accounts of Jews and Israelis commemorating this event, to say the least) yet the subsequent Arab assault upon medical personnel, itself (per Hogan) a “massacre” and “a merciless Arab ambush” that was executed in complete violation of all standards of military conduct, not to mention human decency, is generally mentioned only in the context of Deir Yassin? Although Jews and Jewish groups have been known to commemorate Deir Yassin, and have been doing so for quite a while now, as far as I know Arab groups have never regularly, if ever, commemorated the Arab massacre of Jews that occurred just a few days later. Or any Arab massacre of Jews, for that matter (and there are plenty to choose from). Indeed, while the Jewish Agency publicly condemned the events at Deir Yassin, has any Arab agency or organization or group ever condemned the medical convoy massacre? Just wondering. Although my inbox is flooded every spring with updates about Deir Yassin, I’ve never received a single reminder or update from the same groups about, say, the medical convoy massacre. Not to be cynical, but had Jewish forces ambushed an Arab medical convoy and massacred 70 or more Arab medical personnel, I suspect we’d be hearing quite a bit more about it. But perhaps because it was yet another case of “militants” murdering Jews en masse, there’s not the same historical element and impetus that often characterizes descriptions of Deir Yassin… And perhaps some massacres are just more important to commemorate than others. I mean, we’re talking Zionists here, after all.

Friday, April 02, 2004

I’ve been out of town recently, not to mention exceptionally busy with various matters. Hopefully TBON blogging will return to a more regular schedule soon. Please stay tuned.

In the meantime, please note that the recent TBON post in which an article written by Barbara Ferguson of Arab News was compared to previously published material was not the first time such a comparison has been made. Go figure.

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