Thursday, June 30, 2016
Word-Cloud of Misery
[A Guest Post by Zahava]
Upon learning that yet another innocent soul was violently and prematurely stolen in what should have been the sanctity of her own home...
Hallel Yaffa Ariel, הי׳ד -- may your memory always be for a blessing and may G-d comfort your family, loved ones, and friends during this tragic and difficult time.
We have never met, but you will forever live in the memory of my mind in a special corner dedicated to remembering the ones you unfairly and brutally joined today...
Including, but not limited to:
Rachel, Neriyah (15), Tzvika (12) and Avishai (5) Sabo of Itamar -- June 2002
Yossi Twyto of Itamar June 2002
Gavriel Hoter of Otniel -- December 2002
Eli and DIna Horowitz of Kiryat Arba -- March 2003
Udi, Ruth, Yoav (11), Elad (4), Hadas (4 months) Fogel of Itamar -- March 2011
Dafna Meir of Otniel -- January 2016
To say nothing of those viciously torn from their lives and loved ones in suicide bombings, shootings, stabbings, ambushes, stonings, rock-throwings, and car-rammings....
We will pause to mourn. To be inconsolable. To grieve. And to rant and rave over the insufferable and intolerable and hateful and fanatical nature of our enemy.
With a bit more heaviness in our step from the weight of an added tragic memory, we will pick up our feet, steel our hearts, and continue our daily living with a touch more vigor, love, and resolution to honor the memories of those who have been ripped from our lives.
The hate, the zealotry -- they are neither contagious nor deterrent.
For the first time in 2 millenium, we are home. And. We. Will. Not. Leave.
Thursday, June 09, 2016
MSNBC Presents 'The Bigger Picture'
Even as their television coverage showed graphic footage of the site of last night's attack on the screen, two of their commentators wanted to make sure the viewers understood the context (read 'justification') for the terror attack:
Note that this was a 'mass shooting' and not a terror attack.
Is there any depravity which these ass-clowns can't explain away?
Caution Above Honesty
Here in Israel, when ideologically motivated individuals kill civilians they are referred to by the international media as 'gunmen', 'militants', attackers'... anything but terrorists. Apparently, the media wants to avoid the appearance of taking sides or rushing to judgement.
And far from generating a media frenzy, coverage of such attacks on Israeli civilians tends to be an arid, reserved academic affair, employing cautious words such as 'alleged', dutifully placed before any description of the perps... and plenty of "scare quotes" * placed around any and all information provided by the Israeli government.
Needless to say, after last night's terror attack in Tel Aviv, The New York times did not disappoint. Their cautious mention of last night's unpleasantness spent only a few hours on the periphery of their home page before being relegated to the 'world' section of their site.
And as previously mentioned, when describing the individuals who shot at diners with assault rifles at point blank range, there was nary a 'terrorist' in sight - only 'gunmen' and 'attackers' - even though the event was clearly described elsewhere in the article as terrorism!
Terrorism without terrorists; That's a pretty neat trick, if you think about it.
I alluded to this in the post I put up this morning, but it has been gnawing away at the back of my mind ever since.
When ideologically motivated individuals kill civilians in New York, London, Paris, Madrid, or pretty much everywhere on earth, they are referred to as terrorists in the frenzy of news coverage that inevitably follows.
Everywhere, that is, except in Israel.
So in keeping with this apparent need for cautious, academic correctness, I will refrain from stating that the entire New York Times editorial staff richly deserves to die in a fire.
Rather, I will suggest that in a perfect world, their aggregate biologic functions would simultaneously cease in conjunction with the rapid oxidation of their surroundings in an exothermic chemical process of combustion.
* Scare quotes are quotation marks placed around a word or phrase when they are not required, thereby eliciting attention or doubts.
I'm Shocked, Shocked...
... to find that gambling terrorism is going on in here Israel!
For those who haven't been following the news, last night two Palestinian terrorists (the New York Times took pains to call them 'gunmen') entered a popular Tel Aviv cafe with assault rifles and killed four Israeli civilians and injured at least three others.
As hard as it may be to believe, the title of this post is a pretty much a direct quote from the U.N. Secretary General!
I am not paraphrasing or putting words in anyone's mouth. Here is the full quote from his spokesperson (lest someone accuse me of taking liberties):
“The Secretary-General reiterates that there is no justification for terrorism nor for the glorification of those who commit such heinous acts. The Secretary-General is shocked that the leaders of Hamas have chosen to welcome this attack and some have chosen to celebrate it. He calls upon the Palestinian leadership to live up to their responsibility to stand firmly against violence and the incitement that fuels it.” [emphasis mine]
Notice that, even though Hamas has publicly stated that the terrorists were operatives in their organization, the UN Secretary General didn't specifically denounce anyone. No, he seemed to be mostly bothered by the unseemly celebration of the attack.
If only UN Secretary-General were half as charming and witty as Claude Reins' portrayal of Captain Renault in the film, Casablanca, one could, perhaps, overlook his turning a blind eye to the Palestinian terror organizations continuing to do what terrorists are wont to do.
But since, Ban Ki-moon is neither charming nor witty (it would be challenging to identify a more wooden or obtuse career diplomat), and we're talking about the senseless slaughter of Israeli civilians and not some cinematic victim-less crime, I think it would be safe to say that we are in no danger of starting any kind of friendship with him... beautiful or otherwise.
Sunday, June 05, 2016
Another Yom Yerushalayim
I'm once again far from Jerusalem today, but I followed the time-honored ritual below, none-the-less: Find a quiet place... turn off the lights... put a box of tissues within easy reach... and press play:
Partial Transcript / translation:
Colonel Motta Gur [on loudspeaker]: All company commanders, we’re sitting right now on the ridge and we’re seeing the Old City. Shortly we’re going to go in to the Old City of Jerusalem, that all generations have dreamed about. We will be the first to enter the Old City. Eitan’s tanks will advance on the left and will enter the Lion’s Gate. The final rendezvous will be on the open square above. [The open square of the Temple Mount.]
[Sound of applause by the soldiers.]
Yossi Ronen: We are now walking on one of the main streets of Jerusalem towards the Old City. The head of the force is about to enter the Old City.
Yossi Ronen: There is still shooting from all directions; we’re advancing towards the entrance of the Old City.
[Sound of gunfire and soldiers’ footsteps.]
[Yelling of commands to soldiers.] [More soldiers’ footsteps.]
The soldiers are keeping a distance of approximately 5 meters between them. It’s still dangerous to walk around here; there is still sniper shooting here and there. [Gunfire.] We’re all told to stop; we’re advancing towards the mountainside; on our left is the Mount of Olives; we’re now in the Old City opposite the Russian church. I’m right now lowering my head; we’re running next to the mountainside. We can see the stone walls. They’re still shooting at us. The Israeli tanks are at the entrance to the Old City, and ahead we go, through the Lion’s Gate. I’m with the first unit to break through into the Old City. There is a Jordanian bus next to me, totally burnt; it is very hot here.
We’re about to enter the Old City itself. We’re standing below the Lion’s Gate, the Gate is about to come crashing down, probably because of the previous shelling. Soldiers are taking cover next to the palm trees; I’m also staying close to one of the trees. We’re getting further and further into the City. [Gunfire.]
Colonel Motta Gur announces on the army wireless: The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands! All forces, stop firing!
This is the David Operations Room. All forces, stop firing! I repeat, all forces, stop firing! Over. Commander eight-nine here, is this Motta (Gur) talking? Over.
[Inaudible response on the army wireless by Motta Gur.]
Uzi Narkiss: Motta, there isn’t anybody like you. You’re next to the Mosque of Omar.
Yossi Ronen: I’m driving fast through the Lion’s Gate all the way inside the Old City.
Command on the army wireless: Search the area, destroy all pockets of resistance but don't touch anything in the houses, especially the holy places.
[Lt.- Col. Uzi Eilam blows the Shofar. Soldiers are singing ‘Jerusalem of Gold’.]
Uzi Narkiss: Tell me, where is the Western Wall? How do we get there?
Yossi Ronen: I’m walking right now down the steps towards the Western Wall. I’m not a religious man, I never have been, but this is the Western Wall and I’m touching the stones of the Western Wall.
Soldiers: [reciting the ‘Shehechianu’ blessing]: Baruch ata Hashem, elokeinu melech haolam, she-hechianu ve-kiemanu ve-hegianu la-zman ha-zeh. [Translation: Blessed art Thou L-rd G-d King of the Universe who has sustained us and kept us and has brought us to this day]
Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Baruch ata Hashem, menachem tsion u-voneh Yerushalayim. [Translation: Blessed are thou, who comforts Zion and builds Jerusalem]
[Soldiers sing ‘Hatikva’ next to the Western Wall.]
Rabbi Goren: We’re now going to recite the prayer for the fallen soldiers of this war against all of the enemies of Israel: [Soldiers weeping] El male rahamim, shohen ba-meromim. Hamtse menuha nahona al kanfei hashina, be-maalot kedoshim, giborim ve-tehorim, kezohar harakiya meirim u-mazhirim. Ve-nishmot halalei tsava hagana le-yisrael, she-naflu be-maaraha zot, neged oievei yisrael, ve-shnaflu al kedushat Hashem ha-am ve-ha’arets, ve-shichrur Beit Hamikdash, Har Habayit, Hakotel ha-ma’aravi veyerushalayim ir ha-elokim. Be-gan eden tehe menuhatam. Lahen ba’al ha-rahamim, yastirem beseter knafav le-olamim. Ve-yitsror be-tsror ha-hayim et nishmatam adoshem hu nahlatam, ve-yanuhu be-shalom al mishkavam [soldiers weeping loud]ve-ya’amdu le-goralam le-kets ha-yamim ve-nomar amen! [Translation: Merciful G-d in heaven, may the heroes and the pure, be under thy Divine wings, among the holy and the pure who shine bright as the sky, and the souls of soldiers of the Israeli army who fell in this war against the enemies of Israel, who fell for their loyalty to G-d and the land of Israel, who fell for the liberation of the Temple, the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and Jerusalem the city of the Lord. May their place of rest be in paradise. Merciful One, O keep their souls forever alive under Thy protective wings. The Lord being their heritage, may they rest in peace, for they shalt rest and stand up for their allotted portion at the end of the days, and let us say, Amen.] [Soldiers are weeping.
Rabbi Goren sounds the shofar. Sound of gunfire in the background.] Rabbi Goren: Le-shana HA-ZOT be-Yerushalayim ha-b’nuya, be-yerushalayim ha-atika! [Translation: This year in a rebuilt Jerusalem! In the Jerusalem of old!]