Friday, January 16, 2009
A Flickering of Brain Activity inside A.B. Yehoshua's Skull
- I am getting old!)
1. A. B. Yehoshua is the second-most renowned Israeli writer after
Amos Oz, and both are the chiefs of the Israeli Literary Left. Yehoshua
lives in my neighborhood and teaches a course on my campus, so I see him
regularly and he is invariable spouting off leftist agitprop whenever
anyone is conversing with him. One day I was in traffic behind a French
Citroen covered with leftist bumper thinkers. Thinking to myself, who
could possibly be driving such a crappy car, I got out to have a look and
sure enough, it was A.B.!!
He has a long history of political idiocy, not that unusual for literary
And while I myself suffer from congenital cynicism and skepticism about
the ability of leftists to recover from their stupidity, and have probably
infected you as well, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised when
Yehoshua decided to tell off the ultra-traitor Gideon Levy, the Tokyo
Rose-like columnist of Haaretz. Levy has never met a Palestinian
terrorist he does not like, and he has never heard of a murder of a Jew
that he wishes to condemn.
Yehoshua is still far too nice and impressed with Levy's "moral
conscience." Levy has a moral conscience that resembles that of Taliban
John. When Yehoshua praises him for "risking his life to get at the
truth," this reminds me a bit of the claims by Barry Chamish's cult
followers that Chamish had to flee Israel from assassination attempts (as
opposed to, say, fleeing Israel to avoid prosecution for drunk driving
indictment after a car crash). Nevertheless, the fact that Yehoshua at
last understands that Levy is an anti-Semite and not someone seeking peace
is extremely impressive.
Here is Yehoshua to Levy: "When I asked you after the disengagement from
Gaza, Gideon, explain to me why they are firing missiles at us, you
replied that they want us to open the crossings. I asked you whether you
truly believe that if they fire missiles the crossings will be opened, or
the opposite. And whether you truly believe that it is right and just to
open crossings into Israel for those who declare openly and sincerely that
they want to destroy our country. I did not get an answer from you."
Pretty tame stuff coming from anyone else, but from Yehoshua this is
practically being born again! Yehoshua has only recovered 10 or 15% from
his moonbatery. But perhaps there is still hope even for him!
The full essay is here:
A.B. Yehoshua / An open letter to Gideon Levy
By A.B. Yehoshua
You remember that in recent years I called you occasionally to praise you
for your articles and your writing about the wrongs done to the
Palestinians in the administered territories, whether by the army or by
the settlers. Physical wrongs, land expropriations, acts of abuse,
perversions of justice and so on. I told you that it is very difficult to
read what you write, because it weighs on our conscience, but that the
work you are doing and the voice you are sounding are extremely important.
I was also concerned about your physical safety, knowing that you risked
your life by visiting such hostile places.
I did not ask you why you did not visit Israeli hospitals in order to tell
the painful stories of Israeli citizens who were hurt in terrorist
attacks. I accepted your position that there are plenty of other
journalists doing this and that you had taken on the crucial mission of
telling the story of the afflictions of the other side, our enemies today
and our neighbors tomorrow. Accordingly, it is from this position of
respect that I find it necessary to respond to your recent articles on the
war in which we are engaged today, so that you will be able to preserve
the moral validity of your distinctive voice for the future. A few years
ago, when the Hatuel family - a mother and her four children, of blessed
memory - were killed on the way to one of the settlements in Gush Katif, I
believed that this terrible death pained you as it did all of us but that
like many of us you said in your heart: Why should these Israelis endanger
their children by living provocatively, hopelessly, dangerously and
immorally in Gush Katif? By what right do 8,000 Jews expropriate a sizable
area in the densely overcrowded Gaza Strip in order to build blossoming
villages before the eyes of hundreds of thousands of refugees living in
such abysmal conditions? You were angry, as I was, at the parents and at
those who sent them. And even though I believe that like all of us you
felt the pain of the children who were killed, you did not brand the
leaders of Hamas "war criminals" as you did the Israeli leaders, and you
did not demand the establishment of an international tribunal to try them.
When I asked you after the disengagement from Gaza, Gideon, explain to me
why they are firing missiles at us, you replied that they want us to open
the crossings. I asked you whether you truly believe that if they fire
missiles the crossings will be opened, or the opposite. And whether you
truly believe that it is right and just to open crossings into Israel for
those who declare openly and sincerely that they want to destroy our
country. I did not get an answer from you. And even though the crossings
were in fact opened many times, and were closed in the wake of the missile
attacks, regrettably I still did not see you standing firmly behind a
moral position which says: Now, people of Gaza, after you expelled the
Israeli occupation from your land, and justly so, you must hold your fire.
The doleful thought sometimes crosses my mind that it is not the children
of Gaza or of Israel that you are pining for, but only for your own
private conscience. Because if you are truly concerned about the death of
our children and theirs, you would understand the present war - not in
order to uproot Hamas from Gaza but to induce its followers to understand,
and regrettably in the only way they understand in the meantime, that they
must stop the firing unilaterally, stop hoarding missiles for a bitter and
hopeless war to destroy Israel, and above all for the sake of their
children in the future, so they will not die in another pointless
After all, now, for the first time in Palestinian history, after the
Ottoman, British, Egyptian, Jordanian and Israeli conquests, part of the
Palestinians has gained a first and I hope not a last piece of land on
which they are to maintain a full and independent government. And if they
start building, developing and pursuing social endeavors, even according
to Islamic religious law, they will prove to the whole world, and
especially to us, that the moment we terminate the occupation they will be
ready to live in peace with their surroundings, free to do as they wish,
but also responsible for their deeds.
There is something absurd in the comparison you draw about the number of
those killed. When you ask how it can be that they killed three of our
children and we cause the killing of a hundred and fifty, the inference
one can draw is that if they were to kill a hundred of our children (for
example, by the Qassam rockets that struck schools and kindergartens in
Israel that happened to be empty), we would be justified in also killing a
hundred of their children.
In other words, it is not the killing itself that troubles you but the
number. On the face of it, one could answer you cynically by saying that
when there will be two hundred million Jews in the Middle East it will be
permissible to think in moral terms about comparing the number of victims
on each side. But that is, of course, a debased argument. After all, you,
Gideon, who live among the people, know very well that we are not bent on
killing Palestinian children to avenge the killing of our children. All we
are trying to do is get their leaders to stop this senseless and wicked
aggression, and it is only because of the tragic and deliberate mingling
between Hamas fighters and the civilian population that children, too, are
unfortunately being killed. The fact is that since the disengagement,
Hamas has fired only at civilians. Even in this war, to my astonishment, I
see that they are not aiming at the army concentrations along the border
but time and again at civilian communities.
Please, preserve the moral authority and concern that you possessed, and
your distinctive voice. We will need them again in the future, which
promises further ordeals on the road to peace. In the meantime, it would
be best for us all - we and the Palestinians and the rest of the world -
to follow the simple moral imperative of Kantian philosophy: "Act only
according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it
should become a universal law."
In friendship always,
The writer is an Israeli author. His latest novel, "Friendly Fire," was
published in recent months.
2. Of course terrorism can be defeated militarily:
3. I understand that Rabbi-Impersonators Michael Lerner and Arthur
Waskow want to organize a protest in front of US Airways corporate offices
protesting the fact that one of their planes landing in New York
mercilessly killed a bird. After all, this is a violation of Jewish
4. THE ROCKET BLITZ
By: Steven Plaut
A fascinating question of history is what might have happened had
Neville Chamberlain not resigned in May 1940 but continued on as British
prime minister, with Winston Churchill never taking command. What would
have happened during the blitz as bombs and rockets exploded all over
London, killing and maiming men, women and children?
After careful consideration, the following is a virtual
history of the London blitz without Churchill:
As the rockets begin to land and explode around London,
Chamberlain announces that he recognizes the German Reich and the right of
Germany to set up its own state in areas released from Czech and Polish
occupation. Britain appeals to Hitler to arrest those enemies of peace who
are launching rockets at London. Chamberlain appeals to the political
leaders of the Reich to denounce the rocket terror and begin negotiations
to end the attacks.
Hitler insists he is trying his best to stop the violence
but is having trouble controlled the radicals who have taken over the
German parliament. The British foreign minister agrees. To help calm the
situation, the British government agrees to send food and medicine to
Germany. The RAF targets and assassinates some Luftwaffe pilots and base
personnel, but several German civilians are killed; Britain is denounced
for this by the international community and by the British Labor Party.
Hitler speaks at a large rally in Nuremberg and exhorts
the masses to remember the martyred German pilots who were killed while
dropping bombs on London, and to strive to continue their mission.
Chamberlain praises Hitler's speech for exhibiting moderation and
restraint. He begins sending small arms to the Germans to help control the
anti-peace German underground opposition groups.
During a lull in the bombings, Chamberlain makes a speech
in which he says he is more concerned about the invasion of Britain by
Hollywood movies than he is by buzz bombs (to be echoed decades later in
an Oslo-era speech by Shimon Peres in which Peres would say he is far more
worried about the infiltration into Israel of cable television than the
infiltration of terrorists).
When more bombs explode, the calls increase inside Britain
to strike back at Germany. The British Union for German Human rights
denounces this as racism and bigotry.
Chamberlain points out that massive retaliation would be
the very worst option possible. Britain must endeavor to make peace with
its German peace partners, not feed the fires of hatred. This is the only
way to achieve a New Middle Europe, he insists. And besides, if Hitler is
not supported and strengthened, an even more radical and violent leader
will emerge in Germany.
As more rockets fall, Chamberlain points out that the dead
are simply martyrs for peace and Britain must carry on with its peace
process, since there is no alternative. A pro-German member of the British
parliament travels to Berlin and calls for Britain's annihilation.
Chamberlain allows Oswald Mosley's fascist party to run in the election.
Mosley's people exercise hegemony over the British universities and the
After more rockets explode, Chamberlain loses his temper
and decides to take action at last. He assigns extra police to guard the
Underground stations in London. He orders British critics of his peace
process to be arrested for criminal incitement against the government,
accusing the critics of undermining peace efforts and endangering
security. Chamberlain meets with British antiwar poets and writers and
they issue an appeal to the British public to remain firm in the face of
adversity and continue to strive for peace. Stiff British upper lip and
Chamberlain again appeals to President Hitler, as the
legitimate leader of the Teutonic peoples, to arrest those responsible for
the rocket aggressions. But he reminds British citizens that the
unbearable alternative to negotiations with the Reich would be to send
British soldiers back into the territories of Central Europe. Teams of
pro-German professors from British universities tour the world demanding a
boycott of all commerce and trade with Britain.
More rockets land. Chamberlain proposes speeding up the
peace process and disarming the Royal Navy as a show of good will. The
representatives of Vichy France come for a state visit, congratulating
Chamberlain and the British and German peoples for their devotion to peace
in the face of provocation.
Some more rockets land. Chamberlain proposes, as a
retaliatory measure, arresting some pro-German spies inside Britain, but
British civil rights lawyers appeal to the Court of Appeals and the ruling
is overturned. The government considers proposals to turn Stonehenge over
to the Germans as a goodwill gesture, since it is a holy shrine for all
Even more rockets land. The British Peace Now movement
notes that there would be no violence at all if the British would just
disarm altogether and stop making Hitler feel insecure. Besides, they say,
the British should not be occupying Scotland and Wales at all, lands in
which they don't belong. Chamberlain opens secret negotiations with
Germany to transfer London's East End, Greenwich and Docklands areas to
Many more rockets land. That's it, yells Chamberlain. The
proverbial camel's back is broken. It is time to fight German terror with
all means at our disposal. This is the Moral Equivalent Of War, he yells -
MEOW, for short. There is no alternative.
We must, he declares, initiate talks with Germany at once
so that we can conduct unilateral withdrawal as quickly as possible from
Devon and the Midlands.
4. Ben Dror Yemini asks a good question in his column this week.
Suppose, just suppose, the situation were in reverse and the Hamas had
Israel's weapons and Israel had Hamas' weapons. In that case would 1000
people die, as in the Cast Lead operation? No, says Yemini, in that case
six million people would die.
4. Another academic stormtrooper for genocide of Jews:
6. Peace through victory: