Saturday, September 14, 2013

Casting Stones  

AA seems to founder a bit  as he looks for locutional stones to cast that can accurately express his haughty contempt for American journalists.

"... for the life of me, I could not believe that this passes as foreign policy analysis and journalism.  She [Christiane Amanpour] is to journalism what Barbara Waters is to...journalism and what Thomas Friedman is to...foreign policy analysis. "
Here is a much better, closer-to-home and on-target analogy: She [Christiane Amanpour] is to journalism what Prof. AbuKhalil is to academic scholarship.

Update (September 15, 2013): AbuKhalil is now obsessed with Christiane Amanpour. Here he asks: 

So conservative and liberal media have been hailing Ms. Manpour for her "emotional outburst" in favor of a US attack on Syria.  I wonder how many would have dared to hail her if she were to produce an emotional outburst (she never would, of course, it is hypothetical) on behalf of a US attack on Israel to help the Palestinians.  Would she have kept her job? For a second?

Th following info is not an answer. Just an attempt at some perspective and reality from a purely statistical POV:

On 24 July 2013, the United Nations put out an estimate of over 100,000 that had died in the Syria civil war, [since it started in 2011, 2 years]. (wiki)

In terms of the human cost, it is estimated that the Israel-Arab conflict has taken almost 94,000 lives since 1920 to the present  (93 years). *

Let's compare this with some other regional war: The Iran-Iraq war, for example: Lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, it is estimated that 100,000+ civilians were killed on both sides[12]
(not including 182,000 civilians killed in the Al-Anfal Campaign).

Or this war:
North Yemen Civil war, from 1962-1970, 1,000 Saudi dead 26,000 Egyptian dead, and altogether between 100,000-[8] 200,000 killed 

Numbers do talk, sometimes. You would think that a professor who teaches at an American institution would know it and would at some point learn to make some intelligent, fact-verifiable comments.

Yom Kippur 2013

Bank of Life for Israel, Life Branch, 896, Tel Aviv, 99 Happiness St, 03-9963889
Date: 1 Tishrey 5774
Pay to: My family, friends and well-wishers
The sum of: Three hundred and sixty five days of happiness and prosperity /365/ 


I dispel the Yom Kippur doldrums by perusing this blog. Nothing like an invigorating shot of anti-Zionist adrenalin rush in the morning. Heady stuff.

Not that I suffer from the doldrums on this day. Quite the contrary. Since we are told that the heavens are open on this day and are particularly receptive to our pleas, I consider it my chance to speak directly to God and demand some reckoning and self-examination from Him (or Her). What can He/She be thinking of, creating humankind that is so riven by hatreds and petty squabbles? And how come He/She  chose the Jews, promising eternal peace and prosperity, only to unleash upon them  every type of known and unknown punishment and violence? I understand; this was acceptable in antiquity when men were not that far from their primitive forebears:

"“Our Tribal Past” is the most speculative chapter in The Uses of Pessimism. Here Scruton traces the fallacies underlying modern-day follies all the way back to our ancestors in the Pleistocene age. For instance, in the life-and-death struggle of a tribe of hunter-gatherers existence really was a zero-sum game, and a frantic, unthinking aggregation of “goods” would have been inevitable. Similarly, top-down planning, so beloved by Leftists, from Reds to Greens and every hue in-between, would have gone unchallenged in the Pleistocene age, except for the occasional dissenter and sceptic who might have tried “to moderate the one-dimensional thinking of the leader”, having recognised “the fleetingness of the tribe’s emergency-fuelled goals”. Because “enforced optimism” represented the only serious modus operandi for hunter-gatherers, our prehistoric sceptic or pessimist would have likely ended up a scapegoat whose ritualised death assuaged “the accumulated doubts” of the tribe."

But today, when humanity has advanced (yea, right) so much and the ethos is democratic, this is insupportable. So we, the Jews  (or the "Joos" as some would have it) demand some accountability from Him/Her.. 

Never mind, God.  I'm not so sure You are capable of the kind of self-introspection I'm talking about. So don't fret. Just do the right thing, for God's sake. You must know what it is because humanity, your own creation, sure hasn't a clue.

Here is the late great Israeli actor explaining the situation far better than I can. The translation is rather rushed and does not rightly convey the smart-alecky mixture of affection and irony in the song, but then, God, You know Hebrew (I hope) and those who will read it don't really care much about the artistic nuance anyway.

Sfirat Mlai (Taking stock) (Yossi Banai)

One state, two seas, one lake and malaria* too.
One perfect circle of sun
One wise nation of people full of specialness
One big headache and three Tylenols
Six days and seven nights
One God our own God who presides over the heavens and the earth
One large immigration wave
and two thousand years of exile
two annual vacations and one free weekend
One day of victory
one day of defeat
one day of security
and thirty days of sick leave
Trumpeldor in the Galilee
and one concerto for flute
and half a dozen retired generals
One ancient people
two ministers without portfolio
the first is sad, the second - funny
One difficult childhood
years of attrition
and anyone who wants independence, be my guest
Five wars
one division
and one soldier playing backgammon
Five tired soldiers sleeping in a bunker
and seventy kids are laughing in the bomb shelter
three Zion prisoners are freed
and one convict for life in his sixth month
Children's day, flowers' day and just a simple day
and Hill 24 is still not responding
One state, two seas, one lake, one tear and ... malaria, too.
*("malaria" is an awkward translation for the word "kadachat" in Hebrew that actually means high fever but in slang is supposed to convey a dismal condition, as at the time of the first pioneers to Israel who optimistically worked in draining the swamps and died like flies from malaria.)