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daily archive: 08/29/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
One would think
From Frontpage Symposium

"One would think that if contemporary leftist feminists supported all of their own ideals, they would today be wholeheartedly behind Israel, since it's the only society in the Middle East where feminism actually exists. But radical feminists today side -- ferociously -- with the Palestinians, whose society practices a ruthless form of gender apartheid. Why?


...the feminists who have embraced the anti-Israel cause are responding to the zeitgeist of the wider so-called progressive movement, its romanticization of Arabs as a group and its antipathy to nuance and grays. The latter, of course, is hardly unique to the Left. But if the Left insists on holding itself up as more reasoned and intellectual, then it must be held to those standards.

I don’t think we can tease out the rising tide of leftist anti-Semitism without addressing in some fashion the changes both in Israeli politics and in the political climate of the U.S.

First, to Israel: The election of Begin was bound to alienate U.S. radicals, not only because he was a “rightist,? but because he was the embodiment of Jews who refused to behave, to talk, even to think like victims. Jews on the offensive proved less enticing to American leftists than Jews who reminded everyone of our long history of persecution. If what the Left earlier found sympathetic about Israel was the Jewish history of victimization, Begin clearly wasn’t going to garner much support.

And I don’t think we can possibly overestimate the impact of the dramatic polarization of U.S. politics either. I was in Central Asia on 9/11 and traveled throughout that region, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Jordan over the course of the following year. Everywhere I went, Muslims insisted that the Jews had staged the World Trade Center attacks in order to turn Americans against Arabs. Ironically, when the attacks seemed to have that effect on conservatives, so-called leftists then felt a need to take the opposite position. In American these days, everything seems to reduce to being against what your perceived enemy supports. Bush attacks an Arab country, so that means that Arabs must be great.

But I also think we need to note that part of this phenomenon stems from the fear that 9/11 implanted in Americans and the connection that leftists are making between their fears and Israel. It still isn’t fashionable to admit what we all know: that hatred of Muslim fundamentalists for the United States is, in large measure, a reflection of their hatred of Israel. Certainly, one way the United States could reduce its susceptibility to attack is to sell out our only reliable ally in the Middle East. I’m sure not advocating such a position. But I think that a desire to return to the illusion of safety feeds the hostility to Israel since blaming Israel and the Jews provides a morally convenient route to security."

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Coming soon, at a theatre near you
From the Jerusalem Report - David Horovitz has an idea for Michael Moore: A film about Israel.

"It’s well known that Moore dedicated his best-selling "Dude, Where’s My Country?" to Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old Washington activist from the Palestinian International Solidarity Movement who was crushed to death under an Israeli bulldozer in March 2003 while trying to prevent a house demolition in Rafiah, on the Gaza border with Egypt, as Israel expanded a security strip there. But what Moore goes on to ask in that dedi-cation is "Will I ever have her courage? Will I let her death be in vain?" And that points to a self-declared mission -- one I hope he won’t shirk.


But if Moore truly wants to live up to his self-declared challenge, he could make a very different movie, too, one that could really ensure that Rachel Corrie did not die in vain. He could confound expectation and put his influence to constructive use by filming something weightier -- something to stretch his adoring audience. He could help prompt a reassessment of the prevailing global mentality that has unthinking liberals convinced they must be both pro-Palestine and anti-Israel, when of course a thinking liberal must surely be pro-life -- and must oppose any process and leadership seeking to kill civilians.


"Israel-Palestine, the Awful Truth" would not downplay the suffering of Palestinians because of roadblocks, curfews and, now, the West Bank security barrier. But unlike almost every TV station’s coverage of the recent International Court of Justice ruling against the barrier and its U.N. endorsement, this movie would also show the terrorism that preceded barrier construction and the other restrictions on movement, film the innocent Israeli families torn apart by the bombers, and document the bona fide effort at peacemaking that preceded the terrorism. Moore might show, as Israel TV has been doing latterly, the inhumane crush of Gazan laborers in the security "sleeve" at the Erez crossing point, but he would include footage of the series of attacks there that necessitated tightened security. The rubble of the Jenin refugee camp, after the fighting of 2002, would be depicted honestly -- with accurate figures on the death toll correcting the lingering international misperception of an Israeli massacre. That episode would also feature film from some of the two dozen Jenin-orchestrated suicide bombings, and shots of Israeli soldiers handing out guns to the Palestinian policemen who proved unwilling to patrol the camp. Much the same would apply to Beit Hanoun -- footage of the destruction wreaked lately there by the army, and the Palestinians made homeless, presented in context: outlining the dilemma faced by Israel when Hamas uses residential areas to fire rockets across the border into Israel with fatal effect."

Dude, Film My Country

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A few million Americans
We had featured an article from Atlantic Monthly about the contents of a computer al Qaeda left behind in Afghanistan. More details from National Review

"Cullison details the contents of an al Qaeda computer left behind when its owners fled Kabul in the face of advancing American and Northern Alliance forces. Some of the things discovered are moving, and some ironic. Some are amusing, such as al Qaeda's advice to its undercover operatives in the West on how to identify and use aftershave, and differentiate between men's and women's perfumes, since "if you use women's perfume, you are in trouble." But some of the information on the computer is deeply chilling — for example, the repetition of the jihadists' intent to kill four million Americans.

The computer had been used by bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders, and contains an unfinished justification of the 9/11 attacks on America. This essay, "The Truth about the New Crusade: A Ruling on the Killing of Women and Children of the Non-Believers," is written by Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who worked with Khalid Sheikh Muhammad in organizing those attacks. It argues that "the sanctity of women, children, and the elderly is not absolute" and concludes that "in killing Americans who are ordinarily off limits, Muslims should not exceed four million non-combatants, or render more than ten million of them homeless."

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