Articles which have caught my interest. Mostly Israel stuff and other nubbins from the ongoing holy war.
Thursday, November 21, 2002
The latest horrorshow: In Jerusalem a Hamas terrorist blew up a bus filled with kids on their way to school. Eleven dead.
I can barely express what I feel at the moment.
Yesterday, Arafat greeted the news of Mitzna's election by saying that he offers his hand in order that they can "make the peace of the brave." This morning, one of Arafat's people bravely murdered eleven
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
As was more or less expected, Haifa mayor Amram Mitzna won the Labor Party primaries yesterday. Mitzna's margin of victory was higher than expected, and he beat outgoing Labor chairman Fuad Ben-Eliezer 54% - 37% . Haim Ramon, the smirking, oily toad whose supporters urged him to quit the race weeks ago, came in third with an embarrassing 7%.
Mitzna's victory adds a little bit of interest to what otherwise might have been fairly dull elections. Had Fuad managed to win, then we would have been headed for the same national unity situation as before. At the very least, Mitzna will offer an alternative to Ariel Sharon's policies over the last two years. The fact that he is a new face has helped Mitzna gain a lot of political momentum in a short period of time. Now he has the chance to pull a lot of the Left back to Labor and possibly help reduce Labor's forecast erosion in the Knesset.
Personally, I'm skeptical of the man. For one thing, we've all sat through this picture before: a former general, a political outsider, comes in to clean up the politics and save the day. Last time, the part was played by Ehud Barak and we all know where that went. Also, while Mitzna offers an alternative, I don't think it's a good alternative. He proposes going straight back into negotiations with the Palestinians and being prepared to pull out of the territories unilaterally if that doesn't work.
As such, he is recycling two strategies which failed in the past: The idea that "we will negotiate as though there weren't terrorism and fight terrorism as though there were no negotiations" was a major dud back in 1996 and possibly led Arafat to think that a terrorist war could bring in better results than negotiations. The unilateral withdrawal from South Lebanon definitely convinced the ra'is and his people.
So, we'll see. I say best of luck to the guy, even though I probably won't vote for him.
More analysis available here, here, and here
Last Word on the Hijacker
The Hebrew-language papers this morning are reporting that Tawfiq Fuqara, the idiot who tried to hijack an El Al plane on its way to Turkey and crash it into a skyscraper in Tel Aviv, says that he learned how to fly over the Internet.
Let's recap: instead of trying to hijack a Tel Aviv-bound Turkish airliner, which would have been a lot easier, Fuqara does the opposite and goes after a Turkey-bound El Al flight. He pulls a pocket knife and tries to get to the locked door of the cockpit (actually two locked doors of the cockpit), with the intention of somehow killing the flight crew and steering the plane back to Tel Aviv based on what he gleaned from www.howtofly.com. Before he could get anywhere near the doors, he was taken down by the security staff and now faces a whomping jail term either in Turkey or (if he's lucky) Israel.
Most incompetent terrorist. Ever.
Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Another Shooting on the Road
I suppose the Palestinians have decided that it's now open season on Jewish mothers. Etty Galiah was shot and killed by a Palestinian gunman while driving home last night.
As she was a settler, her murder is considered legitimate in the eyes of the Palestinians, the Europeans, and a lot of people in Berkeley CA and college campuses everywhere.
I'd like to see all of them explain this point to her 7 children.
So it looks like the fool was actually trying to hijack the plane and pull a 9/11 manouver into the skyscrapers of Tel Aviv.
At least this serves as a useful object lesson into how flight security should be handled.
Monday, November 18, 2002
This is what happens when you try to hijack an El Al Flight
There's some question now whether the man who may or may not have pulled a pocket knife on an El Al stewardess was actually looking to hijack the airport. For El Al security, however, this question is academic. Security guards disarmed him almost instantly and the plane landed in Istanbul as planned.
Abba Eban 1915-2002
Abba Eban, Israel's former Foreign Minister and U.N. Ambassador passed away last night. Eban was noted for his erudition, dry wit ("The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity"), and urbane manner, none of which endeared him to the Israeli political establishment. He was also one of a very small group of immigrants from English-speaking countries to have gained any political power here.
Other tributes available here and here.
Sunday, November 17, 2002
Our Friends with the Dreadlocks and the Keffiyehs
This is one of the better analyses of the anti-Globalization movement, about which the less I say the better.
The Latest Goings-On in Hebron
Another rotten incident, this one Friday night in Hebron. A couple of Palestinian gunmen ambush a convoy of Jewish settlers coming back from Friday prayers. Twelve Israelis die in the ensuing firefight, including the commander of the Hebron brigade, Col. Dror Weinberg. Weinberg now has the dubious distinction of being the IDF's highest-ranking casualty in the two-year-old war.
This little incident is bad on a number of different levels. Because the attack involved settlers and soldiers, it has a degree of legitimacy in the eyes of the Palestinians and their apologists. It can be painted as a military engagement, instead of a cowardly attack on worshippers on their way home from prayers. It hands Islamic Jihad a significant victory from their morale standpoint.
And it provides more evidence that easing up on the pressure only invites terrorism.