Katie and Jenny are U-hauling stuff from storage on the Island to storage in Tacoma today and I have a 3 year old and a two and a half year old to run after today. That will keep me occupied.
Just sick over the death and destruction of a civilian society. Sharon's War on Terrorism has been a war on the entire Palestinian people. No other entries today. Everything else pales into insignifigance next to this atrocity.
Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sent Israeli forces into the West Bank to "uproot the infrastructure of terror." Since then, the uprooting inflicted by his tanks, bulldozers, helicopters and sappers has created a landscape of devastation from Bethlehem to Jenin.
The images are indelible: piles of concrete and twisted metal in the ancient casbah of Nablus, husks of savaged computers littering ministries in Ramallah, rows of storefronts sheared by passing tanks in Tulkarm, broken pipes gushing precious water, flattened cars in fields of shattered glass and garbage, electricity poles snapped like twigs, tilting walls where homes used to stand, gaping holes where rockets pierced office buildings.
On Wednesday, the day after 13 Israeli soldiers were killed going house to house in the crowded refugee camp of Jenin, the D-9 bulldozer was sent in instead, erasing whole stretches of tightly packed concrete houses.
There is no way to assess the full extent of the latest damage to the cities and towns - Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarm,Qalqilya, Nablus and Jenin - while they remain under a tight siege, with patrols and snipers firing in the streets.
But it safe to say that the infrastructure of life itself and of any future Palestinian state - roads, schools, electricity pylons, water pipes, telephone lines - has been devastated.
thanks to Cursor
An exodus was under way yesterday from the refugee camp that endured the bloodiest battle of Israel's military offensive, with Palestinians bearing horrifying accounts of a systematic campaign of destruction and abuse.
Hundreds of Palestinians fled the camp yesterday, an empty, smoking ruin resounding to bursts of Israeli machine gun fire. They left behind entire neighbourhoods flattened to make way for Israeli armour.
Some of the wrecking missions were launched while women and children were inside their homes. The operation began with rocketing from helicopter gunships and bulldozers moved in to finish the job.
They also told of the use of human shields for Israeli army patrols, and the random strafing of heavily populated civilian areas, killing elderly women and young boys and girls.
Those fleeing were dirty, exhausted and desperately hungry. Doctors in Jenin say 15 babies were sick after their mothers fed them powdered milk and sewage run-off from streets where bodies were left to rot for days.
The Palestinians wrested this from a battle in which those detained tell horrific tales of their treatment by the Israelis. One told us he was forced to strip naked and act as a human shield, standing with an Israeli soldier behind him resting his gun on his shoulder. Another told us when he asked for a drink the soldiers forced a stick into his mouth. Then, he said, they brought him water that tasted of urine.
The shots were still echoing over the camp yesterday, even as Israeli forces claimed the battle was all but over. A few pockets of Palestinian fighters were holding out, though they had no chance of winning.
Rashid Hassan said: "I don't believe this is a victory for Israel, because a victory would mean they had achieved their goals and solved their problem once and for all. But I think the problem is going to start again for Israel. If they killed so many people, the next generation will fight even harder."
Construction worker Mohammed Yousef, 40, was clearly a broken man, devastated like the rest of this Palestinian city.
He wandered yesterday into the Al-Razi Hospital, where he begged for food and blankets. Israeli troops blew up his house in the Jenin refugee camp after searching it and forcing his family out, he said.
When asked where his wife and seven children will live now, he could barely muster a flat, "God knows."
Letter From Israel
Palestinian suicide attacks have been singled out, overemphasised and isolated from their context in Israel's 35- year occupation of the Palestinian territories, the proper infrastructure of Palestinian terrorism. (...)
The Talmud reminds us that people often accuse others of their own faults. Is this the case with Israel as well? Can Israel be seen as a suicide bomber? Well, the latter part of the term obviously holds true: reports of Israeli bulldozers digging mass graves in Jenin have not been confirmed yet, but the enormous scale of Israeli bombing in occupied territories hardly needs this evidence. During the British Mandate in Palestine (1917-1948), the Royal Army considered bombing Jenin from the air, but dropped the idea for humanitarian reasons; the Israeli army has now used F-16 jets, helicopters and airborne missiles against this city, while destroying dozens of houses as well as the entire water, sewage and electricity infrastructure by tanks and bulldozers. (...)
Bombing Occupation Soldiers is LAWFUL
When acting against soldiers, the suicide bomber has international law on his side. Yes: international legislation acknowledges the right of occupied people to use force against their oppressors, both inside the occupied territories and outside them. Based upon the principles of the Hague International Convention of 1907 and confirmed in the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II, this determination was essential to forestall Nazi claims that partisans, Ghetto fighters, and other underground resistance forces in the territories occupied by Germany had allegedly been "terrorists". In the Nuremberg Tribunal it was unequivocally set down that resistance fighters, including those who had struggled within Germany itself, acted in accordance with the regulations of international law.
A fact actually unheard of in the media.
An orbiting X-ray telescope has found two bizarre objects that may form a new star class and are perhaps filled with a new form of matter -- findings that may challenge fundamental theories of particle physics and astronomy.
thanks to reading & writing
Not a whole lot of links on this today. It's not that there were no shortage of things to link to.
thanks to the bitter shack of resentment
You taught me about history, and you taught me by your actions. As a rabbi, you preached against racism in the south, and had to leave a pulpit in Louisiana when they threatened to kill our family. You worked for open housing laws, insisting that there should be no ghettos in America like the ones your parents had lived in in Europe. You counseled Jewish kids who were conscientious objectors, eliciting the hostility of many who believed that the Vietnam war was a valiant struggle for justice in our time.
It is a heavy responsibility I carry now. Because now I am complicit. I have not stood in front of the tanks that are killing other mothers' children in refugee camps. I have not ridden in ambulances to help them get past checkpoints so that the injured could be cured. I have not laid in front of the bulldozers to prevent their destroying a family's shelter.
What can I do about this injustice?
Palestinians are losing their property, their lives, and their children every day. The Israeli army shoots at unarmed civilians, imposing collective punishments that make it impossible for Palestinians to get food, water, or power. For decades, Israel has paid settlers to move into occupied territory.
International law reflects the consensus of the world’s sense of right. International law seeks to protect the powerless. And international law is clear. Occupying countries have to protect the lives and property of the local population. It is not legal to establish settlements at all. Why do Israel and the US pay Israelis to move into them?
thanks to MetaFilter
There are many currents in this maelstrom. On of the scariest on those who are trying to bring about Armageddon.
In her disturbing new work Halsell digs deeply into the current, expanding alliance between Christian fundamentalism in the U.S. and the government of the State of Israel. Grace Halsell has made a dozen trips to Israel and twice as a concerned Christian with groups led by TV evangelist Jerry Falwell. In her book she recounts conversations with fellow members of these groups which revealed that they were looking forward to, indeed welcoming, Armageddon, a cataclysmic final battle between the forces of good and evil, described in allegorical terms in the New Testament book of Revelation.
She quotes from Scripture as well as “Armageddonists” who don’t like Jews but fervently support a Jewish state, and from American Jewish Zionists who, even though most know about the true feelings of these Christian extremists’ feelings toward Jews, support the Armageddonists because, “Israel needs all the friends it can get.”
Dispensationalism seems to be a growing force in the U.S. All of the top Southern Baptist leaders appear to be adherents. In fact, Charismatic church groups, favoring dispensationalism have sprung up all over the United States. They believe the world will soon come to an end, which they welcome. And as editor Ted Daniels of the Millennium Prophecy Report newsletter, quoted by Ms. Halsell, notes, “People who expect the world to end soon do strange things.”
The most disturbing thought is that the made-up theology of dispensationalism and the existing, heavily armed state of Israel are in alliance, each strengthening the other. All this makes violence—in support of dangerous ideologies and questionable dogmas—quite acceptable. Who knows which violent outbursts by impressionable groups in our own time and country may arise from the doctrinaire depths of dispensationalism?
thanks to Red Rock Eater Digest
In these days of difficulty for the Land of Israel, there is encouraging news as well...
It can now be revealed that less than one month ago, a red heifer was born in Israel. After the heifer's owner contacted the Temple Institute, on Friday, April 5th, 2001, Rabbi Menachem Makover and Rabbi Chaim Richman traveled to the farm where the heifer is located, to inspect and validate her status. The rabbis found her to be kosher and were satisfied that this heifer could indeed be a candidate to be used in the process of purification described in the book of Numbers, chapter 19. This is a prerequisite for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.
thanks to New World Disorder at American Samizdat
There also happens to be the little detail of the Dome of the Rock which needs to be torn down prior to rebuilding the Holy Temple.
Images by William Eggleston, Bernard Faucon, and Man Ray. And much, much more!
thanks to consumptive.org
Contemporary Russian photography. Many, many, many images.
thanks to consumptive.org
Central Asia images starting from the 19th century.
Read on the train ride home yesterday... 4.10 at dumbmonkey in which a zen moment occurs followed by heightened awareness.
there was this family of six, two young boys, one 3 (possibly 4), the other, oh, 6?; mother and father, who carried babe in arms, wee infant, sleeping the entire time yourstruly spent observing indirectly, and la Abuelita, yes, they were from somewhere south of the border, you know how sometimes it takes one to know one? What caught my attention initially was the beautiful serenity in the man's face, and the way he held his child, with both arms, his fingers intertwined, there would be no taking his child from him without his consent. His face an impassive mask, defined and chisled cheekbones, a full mustache, and the slightest of skinfolds at his eyes, giving his countenance a somewhat, ummm, asian cast. We all boarded at the Powell St. station, and they continued on after we exited, likely they were riding to the end of the line, so to speak, at the Richmond terminus.
dumbmonkey shares this awareness with the reader along with the discovery of...
"History begins for us,'' wrote William Carlos Williams, ''with murder and enslavement, not with discovery. No, we are not Indians but we are men of their world.'' Since 1982, in three books that can only loosely be called memoirs, Richard Rodriguez has considered the implications of Williams's aphorism with a meditative patience that offers a compassionate vision of our society and its complicated past. With his new book, ''Brown: The Last Discovery of America,'' Rodriguez completes his trilogy, published in 10-year installments, that attempts to redescribe the American predicament through his own carefully examined experience. He writes: ''Some readers . . . take 'race' for a tragic noun, a synonym for conflict and isolation. Race is not such a terrible word for me. Maybe because I am skeptical by nature. Maybe because my nature is already mixed.''
Matter of Scale
U.S. military spending on the war in Afghanistan...
U.S. government spending on emergency humanitarian aid to Afghanistan...
Wholesale price, per pill, Bayer Corporation charges for the anthrax- fighting antibiotic Cipro...
Approximate price that generic drugmakers say they could profitably charge for making the drug...
thanks to Worldwatch
War Against Some Terrorists
Government Lacks Evidence Lindh Killed Americans
The federal government acknowledged today that it has no evidence that John Walker Lindh, the American captured with Taliban fighters, ever killed or shot at any U.S. citizen, including the CIA officer who was slain in a prison uprising shortly after interviewing him.
thanks to Liberal Arts Mafia
Basically, the struggle–if one’s being utterly straightforward and cynical–has been between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance regarding who runs the drug trade through which part of the world. The Taliban–until the United States paid them some hundreds of millions of dollars to stop in 2000–used to smuggle drugs out of Pakistan, through Peshawar and Karachi to come to Europe. The Northern Alliance drug trade came through the Russian mafia, Central Asia–Kosovo was the big base, and from there it went all over Europe. With the defeat of the Taliban, the Northern Alliance people are openly laughing. "We’ve now got the monopoly on the drug trade." The Russian mafia will be having a field day. Pakistani heroin traffickers are going to lose a lot of money now.
thanks to This Modern World
Frog dissection made easy.
thanks to BookNotes
Welcome to www.orientalarchitecture.com, a comprehensive survey of Asia's architectural heritage. Here you can view over 5000 photos of 352 sites in thirteen countries, with extensive background information and innovative 'virtual tours'. The geographical limits of this website correspond to areas which once were, or still are, within the Buddhist, Hindu, or Confucian sphere of influence. However, we include buildings and gardens of all cultures/faiths/ beliefs within this geographical area.
thanks to plep
The Greatest Collection of Classic Sci/Fi & Horror Poster Art on the Net!
thanks to MetaFilter
The New Bush Doctrine: "See You Next Week"
Did you catch the following through-the-looking-glass exchange regarding President Bush’s appeal to the Israelis to withdraw immediately from the West Bank?
“I don’t think that he meant exactly to say, ‘Just get out,’” said Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben- Eliezer on ABC this Sunday.
“But he said ‘without delay,’” replied an incredulous George Stephanopoulos.
“Yes, but I don’t think that he meant that,” insisted Ben Eliezer.
This stunning refusal to take the president of the United States at his word prompted National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, on her own round of the Sunday talk shows, to admonish the world “not to parse the president’s words.” But that’s precisely what the world is doing -- and with good reason.
The president, after all, has been building quite a record of full-blooded rhetoric and anemic follow-through. One might even say it’s starting to become his MO.
The moral simplifier
The worst news I've read lately is several reports quoting people close to Bush saying, "He feels in his gut ..." He feels in his gut it is his mission in life to fight terrorism. He has a bad gut reaction to Arafat. Trust me on this, when Bush starts thinking with his gut, we're in big trouble.
Let me say for the umpteenth time, George W. is not a stupid man. The IQ of his gut, however, is open to debate. In Texas, his gut led him to believe the death penalty has a deterrent effect, even though he acknowledged there was no evidence to support his gut's feeling. When his gut, or something, causes him to announce that he does not believe in global warming -- as though it were a theological proposition -- we once again find his gut ruling that evidence is irrelevant. In my opinion, Bush's gut should not be entrusted with making peace in the Middle East.
thanks to Cursor
A couple of humorous interludes...
thanks to BookNotes
thanks to consumptive.org
The brilliant offer Israel never made
Toll of the bloody battle of Jenin
Robert Fisk: This will be the week when we see who runs the US-Israeli alliance
This simple little web page is the gateway to a history of Seattle in photographs taken by the Seattle Engineering Department. These are just recording pictures of streets, bulkheads, water lines being laid, etc.
The Photograph Collection Index contains descriptions and digital images of photographs in the Municipal Archives. This index is under development, and contains over 44,000 records. Digital images are available on line for about 90% of the photographs indexed.
I've only seen the Northern Lights once. It was unforgettable.
In 1985 Siggi started to photograph The Northern Lights and has since developed techniques to capture this difficult to photograph phenomenon on film. For transport into difficult to reach places during winter he uses his Nissan specially modified super truck. The following show is but a small portion of Siggi's excellent work and he remains Iceland's foremost expert in photographing The Northern Lights.
thanks to consumptive.org
Join Matt Frondorf as he drives from the Statue of Liberty to the Golden Gate Bridge, his camera clicking at every mile. Retrace his trip through the Picture Viewer (Flash 4.0 Plug-In Required), and don’t forget to write home along the way—Every picture can be sent as a postcard. Or view the movies (QuickTime 4.0 Plug-In Required) to experience the whole journey.
thanks to consumptive.org
War Against Some Terrorists
Just to put things in perspective...
Since the September 11th attacks, global military and security spending has spiraled. In total, $1.6 trillion is spent annually on military weapons. At the recent Salt Lake City Winter Game alone, organizers spent an estimated $300 million on security measures or approximately $125,000 per athlete. By contrast, the 1999 WTO meetings in Seattle had a mere $5 million to spend on security.
This is in response to the deaths of 3,000 people. By contrast, in the last twelve months:
- more North Americans were murdered by their spouses
- three times as many people died from food poisoning
- five times as many people were killed by drunk drivers
- ten times as many people committed suicide
- 100 times as many people died from smoking
North American governments are now planning to spend more than 20 billion dollars a year to help fight terrorism. Coincidentally, 20 billion dollars a year just happens to be the amount the World Health Organization has estimated it would take to end hunger in the world. On September 11th alone it's estimated that:
- 24,000 people died of hunger
- 6020 children were killed by diarrhea
- 2700 children were killed by measles
- 1411 women died in childbirth
- 3288 children were made homeless by war
For an additional investment of 48 billion dollars a year (or less than 0.4% of world military spending), mankind could:
- ensure that all children both boys and girls - receive a primary education
- reduce the number of maternal childbirth deaths by three-quarters
- reduce the number of children who die before the age of 5 by two-thirds
- stop the spread of AIDS.
thanks to Ethel the Blog
Nothing like an evening of dobro, guitars, mandolins, banjo, and fiddle to sooth the weary soul.
Tonight I webcast TestingTesting from my living room. We do this every two weeks, with an occasional lapse like two weeks ago. Here is the notice I sent out to those on our TT mailing list (you can go to the site and sign up.)
Click on in tonight, leave a comment in our show guestbook and I will read it to the musicians.
TestingTesting #126 is Monday evening , April 8 (Tuesday mid-day the 9th in Australia and Japan) at http://www.electricedge.com/testingtesting
Monday 4:00pm (Hawaii-Aleutian), 6:00pm (Alaska), 7:00pm (Pacific), 8:00pm (Mountain), 9:00pm (Central), 10:00pm (Eastern), 11:00pm (Atlantic)
We will be featuring Banjax't. Banjax't plays with a lot of bluegrass influence but they have been known to wander off in different musical directions. Banjax't features Buffy Cribbs on guitar, dobro, and vocals; Ben Gillmore on mandolin, guitar, and vocals; Dan Montecalvo on banjo and vocals; Chap Harrison on electric bass; and John Kimbell on guitar and vocals.
Our illustrious TestingTesting House Band of Derek Parrott, Steve Showell, and Joanne Rouse will be on hand to provide tasteful musical interludes. Our Faithful Correspondent, Barton Cole, will be in the TT living room with "Commentary from the Wires".
A good time will be had by all.
There are two times of the year that really hurt my head. When we go on daylight savings time and when we go off. Australia, since their seasons are reversed, comes off of it as we are going on. Except not all of Australia goes on daylight savings time. I have changed the times in Australia and I hope they are right. I do know that we broadcast at GMT-7.
Not much blogging until after the show.
Books and Art
In this site are exhibited several pages from a unique book that was published in Mexico in 1937. The populist government of President Lázaro Cárdenas created a network of free Night Schools for Workers in an effort to raise the literacy rate among the lower classes. In these schools both literacy and political consciousness were taught; the texts and pictures show a marked political tendency as they teach both literacy and labor-capital relations. The Adult Reader on display here was illustrated by members of the LEAR, the League of Revolutionary Artists and Writers which had been founded in 1933. This group allied itself with the programs of the Cárdenas government, offering help to teach the poor. Some famous artists, and a few lesser known, illustrated this book with woodcuts in a strong graphic style.
thanks to Andrew Abb at American Samizdat
Photography used to be a little more difficult than it is today. (Justin and Robby—are you listening?) They used wet plates. I never knew, in detail, what this was. Well—it seems to be making a comeback.
I could never understand the fascination of Civil War re-enactments. It seems just so bizarre. But, thanks to these re-enactments, there seems to be photographers using these early photographic techniques. Which is just to cool.
The Civil War gave a big boost to photography. It was the first war that came to Americans via photographs.
The photography of the Civil War is perhaps the single most important element that stimulates our interest in the conflict. Yet no aspect of the war is so routinely taken for granted. Most Civil War books that feature original war photographs use them exclusively as illustrations and ignore the underlying story of how and why the images were made.
Photography in the United States was 21 years old when the Civil War started and, literally, had come of age. The craft had undergone dramatic changes since the mirror image of the daguerreotype-the first commercial form of photography--was introduced in the United States in 1839. Even more progress was made during the war.
In efforts to advance photography in the mid-19th century, Fredrick Scott Archer, an English sculptor and photographer, experimented with collodion in the hope of producing a photographic negative on ordinary glass plates.
Collodion, a thick and syrupy liquid, is made by dissolving nitrated cotton in a mixture of alcohol and ether. It was widely used by surgeons as a liquid bandage owing to its strength and adhesion.
In 1851, Archer used collodion to hold light-sensitive salts to his glass plates. Once the salts, such as potassium iodide, were in the mixture of collodion, the viscous liquid was poured onto the plate. Allowing the alcohol and ether to evaporate, a thin film containing the necessary iodides was left on the plate. Ready for sensitizing, the plate was placed in a bath of silver nitrate. This formed a light sensitive compound of silver iodide on the surface of the plate.
Once sensitized, the plate was exposed in the camera before the collodion began to set and dry. If the plate dried before development,it i would have had practically no sensitivity and would be therefore useless. For this reason alone, the process Archer invented became known as "Wet Plate" collodion process.
Not all collodian artists are stuck in the 19th Century.
all the collodian links are thanks to James Luckett atconsumptive.org
Scully & Osterman are involved with a bit of photographic history.
Detail of Abraham Lincoln salt print. Image size is 11" x 14."
The original negative was made by Alexander Gardner Nov. 8, 1863, 11 days before Lincoln's Gettysburg address.
The interpositive and new 11" x14" negative were made by Mark Osterman using the collodion process. This procedure is rarely done today requiring a master collodion photographer to achieve these amazing results.
The salt prints are made by France Scully Osterman. Each print is made on Strathmore 500 series plate finish paper; hand-coated first with salt and then silver solutions. The coated paper is placed with the negative in a printing frame and exposed to light. The print is washed and fixed, washed again, and heat-toned. Each print is then retouched and hand-waxed with bees wax and oil of lavender.
Edition is limited to 375 prints, $3750 each.
I am Jewish. I am a writer. From 1979 to 1989 I reported for THE VILLAGE VOICE, MOTHER JONES, INQUIRY and other US publications from Israel and the West Bank. During those years I witnessed on the ground the rapid growth of Israel's settlements and the seizure of Palestinian land and water for them: today over half the West Bank's resources now are in Israel's hands. (About a third of Gaza's resources have suffered the same fate.)
I conducted in-depth interviews with ultra-right-wing settlers and settler-leaders whose cry was: "Let them bow their heads, or let Israel expel them." I interviewed Palestinian villagers who had suffered settler vigilante actions and read accounts of these by Israeli- Jewish reporters of conscience in HA ARETZ and other Israeli papers. These vigilante actions ran the whole gamut: wanton destruction of property and crops, rampages through villages with cries of "Death to the Arabs" and smashing of car windows, casual in-the- street humiliation of Palestinian civilians, beatings, murder. Within Israel I witnessed the increasing polarization of Israeli society by the occupation; the growing, virulent racism of new generations. Take, for instance, the Moroccan Jews in Kiryat Shemona, members of Menachem Begin's voting base about whom I wrote for THE VILLAGE VOICE in 1982 and who most commonly told me, "The only good Arab is a dead Arab."
We now arrive at the current nightmare. As I write, collective punishment is ratcheted up a thousand fold in full-blown war atrocities committed throughout the West Bank. Israel's war machine has moved into the northern West Bank as well as in Gaza, from which I received an American relief worker's e-mail this morning. For the past week my computer has delivered to me daily - even hourly - desperate e-mails begging for help from international human rights organizations. They plead with me and others in my list serves to call our congress people and senators, protest to the press. One writer, a university researcher by profession, describes looting by Israeli soldiers invading his home: "I had a little money (about 800 NIS) in the upper drawer of my desk which I got from the bank on Thursday when an invasion was expected . . . I found [the drawer] broken and the money gone." Another passage, from a different letter, reads: "Their 'visits' to our houses are no different from [visits by] gangsters. They went to . . . my very close neighbors' houses, they start by asking all of them to stay in one room with their faces against the wall, then they enter all rooms . . . go to the kitchen, collected all the food . . . and start eating it . . . the rest of the food they take . . . with them, they also take jewels, money and electronic equipment . . . Two of my neighbors have heart problems. The first thing they did when they knew about their sickness was to go and get their medicine and destroy it in front of their eyes." In London's THE INDEPENDENT Robert Fisk confirms, "The Israeli army . . . is proving once more - as it did in Lebanon - that it is not the 'elite' force it's cracked up to be. It is impossible to dismiss the widespread reports of looting from homes in Ramallah (not least because that is exactlywhat Israeli soldiers used to do in southern Lebanon in 1983); and that brave Israeli academic, Avi Schlaim, has himself charged Israel with extra-judicial killings in Ramallah."
thanks to BookNotes
Now Sharon has more radical right wing support in his effort to destoy the Palestinians.
And as if that was not enough, along came Sharon's initiative to take the NRP into the government, as a direct response to Bush's speech and the decisions of the Beirut summit. This step can be seen as an expression of practical political considerations: the desire of the prime minister to guarantee his stay in power in light of the Labor Party's repeated threats to resign from the government.
And there is another way to understand it: It reflects his ideological perspectives. Sharon is declaring his preferences - the NRP to his right, with its new leader, who says that the existence of the two mosques on the Temple Mount is "a blight on the level of the state of the world, a point of chaos within the order of the world, and this point has a remedy, which will come, without a doubt."
If it should pass that they destroy those mosques, we will be facing a nuclear holocaust.
Unholy War: The Bethlehem bellringer, the doctor, the mother. The innocent keep on dying
The Israeli army, meanwhile, is proving once more – as it did in Lebanon – that it is not the "elite" force it's cracked up to be. It is impossible to dismiss the widespread reports of looting from homes in Ramallah (not least because that is exactly what Israeli soldiers used to do in southern Lebanon in 1983); and that brave Israeli academic, Avi Shlaim, has himself charged Israel with extra-judicial killings in Ramallah.
Watching the Israelis in Ramallah and Bethlehem last week was a disturbing experience. They were undisciplined, firing like militiamen – the degree of fire control (or rather the lack of it) exercised by the average Israeli soldier and Palestinian gunman is almost exactly the same. Three times I watched Israeli tanks jam themselves into narrow streets so hopelessly that their crews had to emerge under fire from their hatches, jump on to the roadside and hand-signal the tank drivers to reverse their vehicle.
And of course, the innocent go on dying. The Bethlehem bell-ringer, the woman doctor in Jenin, the 14-year-old girl killed by Israeli tank fire in Tubas, the mother and son shot dead by Israeli bullets and left to rot on the floor of their home in Bethlehem beside their still-living relatives for 30 hours. Journalists and unarmed Western "peace" protesters who get in the Israeli army's way are gunned down or battoned or blasted with stun grenades. So much for those gentle souls who say that Gandhi-like peaceful protest is the way to end the Israeli occupation.
The roots of conflict
The Israelis and Palestinians remain locked in one of history's longest lasting struggles. Bernard Wasserstein explains the complex chain of events that have led to today's blood feud
Zionism and Palestinian nationalism have mimicked each other down the decades. Each regards itself as a victim and draws from that self-image a solipsistic self-righteousness that is used to justify ruthless means. Each has resorted to terrorism and offences against human rights. At the heart of each is an obsessive national vision, born of nearly a century of struggle, and focused on land, security, and dignity. Each is now near the end of its tether.
'Jews may not want to look at this'
For Givat Shaul used to be called Deir Yassin. And here it was, 54 years ago, that up to 130 Palestinians were massacred by two Jewish militias, the Irgun and the Stern Gang, as the Jews of Palestine fought for the independence of a state called Israel. The slaughter so terrified tens of thousands of Palestinian Arabs that they fled their homes en masse – 750,000 in all – to create the refugee population whose tragedy lies at the heart of the Middle East conflict today.
Back in 1948, Palestinian women were torn to pieces by grenades around the old houses that still exist in Givat Shaul. Two truckloads of Arab prisoners were taken from the village and paraded through the streets of Jerusalem. Later, many of them would be executed in Deir Yassin. Their mass grave is believed to lie beneath a fuel storage depot that now stands at one end of the Jerusalem suburb.
The appropriate conclusion is self-evident: after an entire year in which Sharon was given the opportunity to present an executable political plan alongside the use of military force against terror, he has failed to do so. Labor must lead the camp that prefers peace to territories: that is the real dividing line between the peace camp and the right wing.
Labor must present a clear alternative to Sharon's policies, which seek to maintain Israel's grip on the territories, and must challenge those policies in the Knesset and public forums. The alternative must present a vision of a country that wants to live in security inside the 1967 borders, and retain its character as a Jewish and democratic state.
You've gotta check out this cartoon by Tom Tomorrow. Yes, there are conditions I too would support oil drilling in ANWR.
A great resource on the history of physics.
thanks to abuddhas memes