Saturday, December 14, 2002

Speaking of gender equality: this headline yesterday drew my attention because I am interested in the roles women play anywhere, especially unexpected places. But the reason for this post is this little snippet:

A posting by one woman on a neo-Nazi women's site makes the argument for giving women more responsibility in the movement, in a mix of women's rights and racism: "Nature intended that women use their brains to advance their race. … For comrades to suggest that women squelch this natural instinct by solely being a house-wife, they are acting unAryan and clearly violating laws of Nature. I mean look at the Talmud — the Jews are the ones who advocate treating women as breeding tools and property. How dare … comrades stoop to the level of the Jews in such a manner," the posting reads.

I admit I have not read the Talmud, but I seriously doubt that this lady did, either. And, um, what's with "comrades"?

Update: John-Paul Pagano gives this illumimating answer to my "comrades" question:

What’s with “comrades” is that fascism is a lot closer to Communism via its socialist influence and commitment than you might think. In America, we receive a very skewed and incomplete education on Nazism, and one of the major things missing from the picture is its root in socialism.

People dismiss the “Socialism” in “National Socialism” because we are taught that Hitler’s ideology was predicated on symbolic borrowings from disparate sources. Surely his Aryan fulminations do in fact display this tendency, his backwards appropriation of the Caucasian swastika being one of many examples. And his preoccupations with military expansion and racial purity are the most forceful resonances of his movement.

But his desire to flatten classes *within* Germany and his structuring of the German economy in a largely socialist manner -- stopping short of orthodox Communist nationalization of corporations -- is more than a surface borrowing of Marx’s ideas. In fact, Hitler was quoted saying that the red in the Nazi flag was in fact a hat-tip to the Nazi movement’s socialist roots.

In addition, Hitler fought bitterly with Communists in Germany while struggling for power. The virulence he brought to this conflict gives the impression that he hated Communists, and it’s true he did. But this was due to the very real competition for power the two groups had, rather than a real doctrinal dissonance between them, as we are often taught.

Hitler was not a true socialist, in that he departed significantly from its program in embracing a rabid ethnic nationalism that can only be framed as antithetical to socialist ideals of equality. But this does not diminish the influence the doctrine had on him and his actual programs, and one must consider how the socialist ideal -- itself often antisemitically applied due to the widespread stereotypes of Jews being money barons and chary of assimilation to their adopted cultures -- fueled and guided the Final Solution.

Friday, December 13, 2002

I suggest that instead of pounding on Michelle Cottle, people would pound on her husband. Not everyone is married to Glenn or James, you know.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Yossi Sarid says that Labor is like the Dead Sea of the Israeli politics: the lowest of the low. Ouch...

BTW: I am afraid many in Likud have been reading the old book on corruption that Labor has been writing over the years. Imshin is right: voting for Sharon means voting for Likud. Or, to be more precise, it unfortunately means voting for those in Likud who have been especially good at reading Labor's old book. I still think that the only way right now is to vote for Sharon. A major political system reform is in order, though, ASAP.

Update: it turms out that Labor's internal elections were just as dirty as those in Likud. And the winner is...?
I was not going to touch the Lott thing, although I agree that he has to go. But this morning I turned the Israeli radio on, and what are they talking about? You guessed it. Now he has to go, if only so that we can stop hearing about it.
Speaking of Lott, why is it that so many republicans have a hair that looks like a wig?

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Last night on "Hardball" Chris Matthews had three conservatives on. Laura Ingraham is the only one there whom I consider reasonable, and even a nice person, but even she conceded to Chris' assertion that the President has to prove to the American people that Saddam has or is developing WMDs. (Chris is, as always, hysterical, Pat Buchanan has an agenda, and I am not familiar with the third guy). I don't know what more prove does anyone need. As far as I know, three kinds of weapons fall under the "mass destruction" cathegory: chemical, bioligical and nuclear. The first one we know that he not only has, but had used them in a not so distant past. As for nuclear, he has just admitted in that big pile of paper of his that he has, indeed, been trying to develop them. What other proof do the American people ask for, assuming they even do?
Michael(?) asks: "Why does the 'check me out' take me to a photo camera site?" In case you were wondering as well, you are in Wonderland, after all. And my answer is "Why not?"
Russel Wardlow correctly points out in his remark on this post by Steve DB, that the Sixth Commandment ("Thou shalt not kill") is different in Hebrew (the original). It is "Thou shalt not murder" ("lo tirtzah"). Of course, as I think both Russel and Steve note, it has some interesting implications on the different interpretations of this commandment by different Christian denominations, like the Quakers.

This made me realize, though, that in Russian, unlike English and Hebrew, there is only one word for "kill" and "murder". Since the Old Testament was first translated into Greek, I wonder what word does the Greek version use, and if there is even a distinction between the two words in the Greek language. Russians adopted Christianity in its early ("orthodox") form from the Byzantine, and the Russian language was influenced by the Greek language in the process, so it is interesting to see if there is a connection there. I am also curious if there is a distinction in the Polish language, since Poland is the only nation I can think of that is mostly Catholic, but has a Slavic related language.

Update: Cind points out that there are nations other than the Poles that are at least in part Catholic, and have a Slavic related language. I used the word "nation" to distinguish it from ethnic groups, which are numerous in Eastern Europe.

Some other interesting info from our multilingual and most erudite Cind: "The Polish verb to kill is 'zabijac' ('zabic' in the perfective); to murder is 'mordowac' ('zamordowac'), which sounds like an import from the German ('Mord'). Krzystof Kieslowski made a famous series of films on the Ten Commandments, including 'Krotki Film O Zabijaniu' ('A Short Film About Killing'), which suggests that the Polish commandment is 'thou shalt not kill', rather than 'thou shalt not murder'."

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

CNN: "Israel's Labor picks dovish Knesset slate" I beg to differ. Mitzna was chosen earlier in separate elections. In yesterday's elections Labor has dropped some of its most dovish members, such as Beylin (Finally. Sarid offered him a spot - tells you something). In fact, what really happened yesterday is that both Likud and Labor moved to the right: in Likud Netanyahu's buddies have lead the list, although allegations of bribery are abundant. In labor Vilnai is backing Mitzna, but I think it is mainly for lack of an alternative: he was not stupid enough to go down the drain together with Fuad.
Has anyone seen this? While Jimmy Carter was receiving his Nobel Prize in Norway today, some 40 Iranians have protested outside, saying that the US government, headed by Carter, was responsible for the Iranian revolution, which brought the Mullahs to power. I wonder why do they say this.

Monday, December 09, 2002

Glenn Reynolds links to this post by Joel Rosenberg, where Joel raised a possibility of transfer as a possible solution to the Palestinian problem. Glenn calls the plan "ugly", and he of course is not the only one. As an update, he also links to an old post of mine on the subject. I wonder if he still thinks it is ugly, and why. Come to think of it, none of the people who call it "ugly" have been able to rationally explain their point of view. If anyone, Glenn should be able to do it.

Update: there is somewhat of a discussion going on here, in case anyone is interested.
Maariv says that Israeli defense authorities have prepared a secret report, in which they accuse the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRA) of abetting terrorists in the territories. The report was compiled following the shooting of an UNRA employee by an Israeli soldier about two weeks ago in Jenin. The soldier is said to have believed that the UNRA employee was a terrorist, since the UNRA facility where he was shot was used by terrorists. The report says that such use of UNRA facilities is routine.

Also in the report: about 5 months ago an UNRA ambulance driver Nidal Nazal admitted that his ambulance was used to carry ammunition and messages between terrorists.

Ala Hasan, a Tanzim member, who was arrested 9 months ago, said that an UNRA school in Nablus is used for target shooting practice, and for ammunition storage.

Nahad Atalla, a man on Israel's "wanted" list said that he used an UNRA vehicle to deliver suicide bombers to their targets.

The report says that UNRA's policy is hostile towards Israel, and that Israel will only give immunity to UNRA workers who are foreign citizens, and not residents of the territories.

Update: related news.

Check out the "Hasbara" link on the left - a very comprehensive effort for Israeli advocacy. And, speaking of links, stick a pin in the map, if you have not done so yet. It sort of puts a face to an IP address...

Sunday, December 08, 2002

I am really too tired to read all the speculations out there about the imminence of war in Iraq, given a pile of dead trees (and some plastic) that Saddam has dumped on us. So I'll just give you one of my speculations, and go to bed, hoping I am not repeating something someone else said elswhere. It may well be the case that Bush has a date set for war, for strategic or other reasons, and will not move before that date. So the circus at the UN will go on, until a week before that date the inspectors will find something in Iraq that Americans knew was there all along, and Bush will ask Saddam to point out where in the dead tree pile does he admit to having it. Makes any sense? No? Told you I am tired. Good night.
Is there "Hitchens for Dummies"?

I was watching "Hard Ball" a few nights ago, when they had Christopher Hitchens trying to explain why he opposes Kissinger heading the inquiry of the events that led to 9/11. I know that Kissinger is a controversial figure, and I think I understand some of the reasons for this. Kissinger may well not be the right person for the job - I simply don't know. However, if one was to be convinced by Hitchens' appearance, it did not work. He kept throwing accusations, and kept referring to his newly published book to support them, without actually providing any concrete evidence or source. One especially annoying thing was that he kept saying that Kissinger is "wanted by several countries". Only when pressured by Chris Matthews did he admit that he only was wanted as a potential witness. Listening to him, one could think that he was at least indicted. He also referred to this civil suit brought against Kissinger by the family of a Chilean military commander Rene Schneider, who was assassinated during the 1973 coup. As far as I know, he was never found liable.

My husband, who knew nothing about Hitchens, was appalled. Myself, knowing about his 180 turn on the war and terrorism issues, I was wondering for a while now why did not his attitude towards Israel change as well. Not that it had to - it's a free country, just curious. He does not come across as an anti-Semite, although one can never be sure. My instinctive reading of him is that he is one of those people who like to be different and controversial, but what do I know. After watching him yesterday, I don't really feel like reading his book, just because he kept pushing it. Given all of the above, I would really like to hear others' opinions on this.

Update: It turns out Ryan is right - Hitchens is Jewish. I told Ryan that this would explain a lot, and he agreed, writing: "I know what you mean". (I am curious if non-Jews reading this understand what I mean). Anyway, I think I have figured out Christopher Hitchens.

Update: this post was orignally published on 12/3, and had some comments underneath. Blogger played a trick on me, and replaced it with a different post I was going to delete. So I am re-posting this one, because I would like to hear more opinions on it.