The Bookworm Beat — 8/26/14 mid-day edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingYears ago, during the Bush administration, James Taranto read a despairing AP article in which the Progressive author opined that “everything is seemingly spinning out of control.” Taranto loved that phrase and used it to preface any link to crazy things, or things that made Progressive’s crazy.

That phrase keeps wandering into my mind in this, the sixth year of the reign of the Emperor Obama. With our border having as many holes as a fish net, Obama threatening to grant amnesty to five or six million illegal immigrants, the artificially inflated stock market soaring (thank you QE2) as ordinary Americans face increasing financial hardships, race relations set back to the late 1950s and early 1960s, virulent anti-Semitism on the rise around the world, barbaric Islamism also on the rise around the world, Israel besieged, Egypt slowly running out of food (and won’t the world get really interesting when that happens?), and Russia poised on Ukraine’s border — well, I really do feel as if everything is indeed seemingly spinning out of control. I guess the silver lining is that there’s lots to blog about, so blog I will.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend

Patting myself on the back here, I’ve long predicted that Sunni Saudi Arabia, afraid of Shia Iran, would make common cause with Israel. That’s finally happening, as the most radical Islamists — both Sunni and Shia — pick up steam everywhere in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia may have funded radicalism, but it did so primarily to keep that radicalism outside of its own borders.  Now, it sees little Jewish Israel as the only bulwark against a radical takeover within those borders.

Hamas Rules of War:  Use Civilians

Hamas supporters are claiming it’s a fraud, but to the extent that the IDF claims to have found a handbook in Gaza telling Hamas fighters to hide explosives in civilian houses, advice that jives perfectly with what Hamas actually did, I’m inclined to believe the handbook is real.  Also, while there’s plenty of evidence that Hamas uses disinformation (often carried out with threats) to advance its cause, I don’t know of any credible charges that Israel or the IDF routinely lie.

You can tell a lot about an administration by its funeral attendance

I often tell my children that you’re known by the friends you keep.  When it comes to presidential administrations, you’re also known by the funerals and memorials you attend.  Ben Shapiro has therefore performed a useful function.  After reading reports about the three White House representatives at Michael Brown’s funeral, he decided to take a look back at the funerals the White House didn’t think were worth its time.  It’s illuminating reading.

Just a reminder, though, that it’s not always a good thing when the White House goes to a memorial service.  Indeed, sometimes it’s downright embarrassing:

No selfie respect

A beleaguered Israel offers a useful comparison in presidential styles

This summer’s war is not, of course, the first time Israel’s been under attack. For example, she was attacked in 1947, right after the UN voted her into existence.  In 1967, on the eve of what would have been a devastating attack by the militaries of surrounding Arab nations, Israel preemptively struck those militaries to protect her own civilians.

And then there was 1973 — the Yom Kippur War. Israel was on the receiving end of a surprise attack and, horrifyingly, lacked the military equipment to counter it in a long war. Scarily, in the American White House was a Republican president who hated Jews. That Jew-hating Republican president saved Israel.

At To Put It Bluntly, you will find an excellent analysis of the way in which Nixon and Obama have approached surprise attacks on Israel. One president showed leadership, the other wishy-washy follow-ship. The contrast is striking.

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VDH looks at the perfect political storm, not to mention the unending series of lies, that got Obama into the White House in 2008

Yet another sterling VDH article, this one analysis the culmination of eight years of Bush hatred, war fatigue, lies and obfuscation, hysteria, and the delusions of crowds, all of which led to an Obama presidency.

As part of this analysis, Hanson points out that the truth about Obama was readily available, but the drive-by media deliberately ignored it, and too many Americans refused to look for it. You didn’t have to look far to find the truth, though, as is revealed in this Spring 2008 post of mine, in which I linked to a variety of articles detailing problems with candidate Obama. It was all there for everyone to see, but the three monkeys were the order of the day:

Three wise monkeys

Obama’s lying administration

One of the themes I’ve pounded since Obama first appeared on the political scene is that he’s a liar. (Examples of that are here, here, and here.) Since we all know that corporate culture flows down from the top, is it any surprise to find that everyone in his administration is equally infected with dishonesty?

Peter Wehner offers only the latest example of the administration’s provable dishonesty.  The subject this time is the administration’s ridiculous contortions as it tries to “prove” that Obama never said that ISIS was a “JV squad.” (The link may be behind a pay wall, but a Commentary online subscription is one of the best bargains around.) The administration is so used to a media both credulous and complicit accepting all of its lies at face that it cannot seem to accept that lies are a bad idea when hard facts exist countering those lies.

The lies America tells blacks

A couple of days ago, I published a long, convoluted post explaining how dreadfully the American Left (with the rest of America tagging along behind) has lied to American blacks, convincing them that they are hapless, hopeless, and helpless victims of a white discrimination so broadly and deeply entrenched that it cannot be overcome.

Today, Andrew Klavan published a short, powerful piece making exactly the same point. His writing is so much better than mine that, if you haven’t yet read my post, ignore it and just head straight for Klavan’s.

Watcher’s Council forum predicting the future in Ferguson

Over at the Watcher’s Council, in this week’s forum council members and honored guests offered their best guesses about whether the grand jury will indict the officer accused of shooting Michael Brown. As always, it’s great reading, offering a variety of viewpoints.

Part of the South’s abandonment of the Democrat Party included its abandonment of racism

If I had to nominate a “must-read” article for today, it would be Mona Charen’s column refuting Charlie Rangel’s libelous claim that, when the South turned Republican, it took its racism along with it, an exodus that disinfected the Democrat party of any residual racism, while infecting the Republican party with America’s original sin (never mind that the Republican party, from its inception before the Civil War, opposed institutional racism). Here are just a few snippets to whet your appetite for this must-read analysis:

It’s true that a Democratic president, Lyndon Johnson, shepherded the 1964 Civil Rights Act to passage. But who voted for it? Eighty percent of Republicans in the House voted aye, as against 61 percent of Democrats. In the Senate, 82 percent of Republicans favored the law, but only 69 percent of Democrats. Among the Democrats voting nay were Albert Gore Sr., Robert Byrd, and J. William Fulbright.

[snip]

Okay, but didn’t all the old segregationist senators leave the Democratic party and become Republicans after 1964? No, just one did: Strom Thurmond. The rest remained in the Democratic party — including former Klansman Robert Byrd, who became president pro tempore of the Senate.

[snip]

The “solid south” Democratic voting pattern began to break down not in the 1960s in response to civil rights but in the 1950s in response to economic development and the Cold War. (Black voters in the north, who had been reliable Republicans, began to abandon the GOP in response to the New Deal, encouraged by activists like Robert Vann to “turn Lincoln’s picture to the wall. That debt has been paid in full.”)

[snip]

These Republican gains came not from the most rural and “deep south” regions, but rather from the newer cities and suburbs. [snip] It was disproportionately suburban, middle-class, educated, young, non-native southern, and concentrated in the growth points that were the least ‘Southern’ parts of the south.”

Read more here.

IRS deliberately destroyed evidence

Back in June, I offered a short commentary about spoliation (i.e., destroying relevant evidence after a lawsuit has been filed), which is a serious no-no in court: “Spoliation is a species of fraud that’s especially disfavored because its purpose is to destroy the integrity of a judicial or investigative process.” If you’re paying any attention to the IRS scandal, which saw a politicized IRS deliberately use its extraordinary powers to stifle pro-conservative and pro-Israel political speech, you’re going to be hearing the word “spoliation” a lot:

The IRS filing in federal Judge Emmet Sullivan’s court reveals shocking new information. The IRS destroyed Lerner’s Blackberry AFTER it knew her computer had crashed and after a Congressional inquiry was well underway. As an IRS official declared under the penalty of perjury, the destroyed Blackberry would have contained the same emails (both sent and received) as Lois Lerner’s hard drive.

This most recent revelation follows closely on the heels of the IRS’s admission that all those lost IRS emails from Lois Lerner and six IRS cohorts weren’t actually lost at all, they were just hard to find. Keep in mind that this admission comes after the IRS, including its director, swore (literally swore, under oath), that the emails were irretrievably gone, since the hard drives had first spontaneously crashed and then, contrary to federal law, been destroyed.

The rule in litigation is that, if you possess documents responsive to a request but they are hard to locate, you have to explain that fact to the court. Moreover, you can also explain why they’re not worth the effort of recovering. What you can’t do is lie, and then lie some more.

I’ve worked in litigation for more than 25 years, and I’ve seen some pretty hard-fought and even dirty lawsuits, but I have never seen this level of dishonesty. Never.

What you also won’t see, ever, is mainstream media coverage about the IRS’s behavior before the lawsuit, when it used its vast, almost untouchable power to silence the administration’s political opponents, or during the lawsuit, when it committed truly heinous frauds against the court.

Time Magazines goes full “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”

My parents, as part of their commitment to being good, informed Americans, subscribed to Time Magazine throughout my childhood (so we’re talking at least the mid-1960s here). I know now that, even back then, Time was beginning to show the Leftist bias that today permeates almost all of the American media.  Still, back in the day, Time was a dignified publication. It may have been “news for the masses,” but it was still news, with actual facts, although these facts were certainly spun in a specific political direction.

Time Magazine in its modern incarnation, however, is worse than garbage. Garbage can still be honest, although the topics are trashy. National Enquirer tells the truth, although there’s nothing particularly elevating about knowing the identity of Hollywood’s fattest stars, who’s having a secret affair on the side, or what crazy demands a given celebrity makes before checking into a hotel.

What’s worse than garbage is repeating as true utterly scurrilous blood libels against Jews. Yet that’s precisely what Time Magazine, a once reputable media outlet, did.  It published as true the ancient blood libel that Israel was harvesting organs from Palestinians, a claim so false that even its original maker, a Swedish “news” outlet, admitted that it had no proof and, moreover, couldn’t care less that the accusation was a lie.

Even worse, Time backtracked on this libel, not because it realized that some low-level staffer had done something egregiously wrong, which would have required a full retraction and apology, but, instead, only when people started criticizing the libel. Seth Mandel explains just how disgraceful Times‘ conduct was:

Here’s the lede: “Time Magazine retracted a report on Sunday which claimed the Israeli army harvested dead Palestinians’ internal organs after a watchdog group accused the publication of propagating a ‘blood libel.’”

That’s putting it kindly. The watchdog group–HonestReporting–did not so much “accuse” Time of propagating a blood libel as point out that Time was obviously propagating a blood libel. Is there another term for Time’s medieval delusions?

[snip]

There isn’t nearly enough thoughtful analysis in the media or reporters willing to examine and question the assumptions and propaganda they’re fed by Hamas and its NGO allies, instead using reporters on the ground who worship Yasser Arafat. This is often the case when Israel is at war; in 2006, the Reuters practice of using photoshoppers masquerading as photographers led to the application of the term “fauxtography” to Reuters’ work in the Middle East.

But this lack of reporting appears to have spread to Time, and in a particularly offensive way. As hard as it is to believe, media coverage of Israel is actually deteriorating. The race to the bottom hasn’t stopped; it’s just gotten more crowded.

Read the rest here.

HuffPo takes the lead in the “humor” category of the media’s race to the bottom

Time is racing to the bottom in a disgusting fashion.  Other outlets are doing so in more humorous fashion, even if that humor is unwitting.  Take HuffPo, for example, which has published a series of photographs showing scientists suffering the anguish of knowing that only 97% of their colleagues are willing to support predictions about climate change that have consistently, and without exception, been proven false once they played out in real-time.

Each of the scientists is shown trying to look sad, although some just look peculiarly constipated, with a few being reduced to squinching their faces into blank idiocy.  The humor behind these efforts at existential anguish is exquisite.

Even funnier is HuffPo‘s hysterical, apocalyptic language which, when combined with the usual pedantic assurances that, if we just follow the “science,” all will be well, creates a delicious mix that has all the artistic weight of a poem by William McGonagall. McGonagall, as you may already know, is widely acknowledged to be the worst poet in the English language, in no small part because he combined awful prose with a penchant for tragedy and pedantry.  I’ll share with you, first, a bit of HuffPo free verse, followed by a little McGonagall for comparison.

Here’s the HuffPo song of its Progressive people:

“[T]here’s something uniquely frightening about this artist’s attempt to transform global warming data into visceral, human responses.”

“The photos are minimalist but intense, each wrinkle and crease pointing to a human unease we can all connect with.”

“Although their powerful words provide an interesting context for their expressions, we think the faces alone say more than enough.”

And then there’s McGonagall’s famous work about the Tay Bridge disaster, with this masterful closing stanza:

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.

Really, other than McGonagall’s more antiquated syntax, it’s hard to tell the two apart.

Scratch a Progressive; find a fascist

With David Gregory out at Meet the Press and Chuck Todd in, Democrat/Progressive strategist and (ahem) thinker Ed Kilgore has some practical advice for the best way in which to make the show edgier and more interesting.  The following gem come in response to the plan by Deborah Turness, NBC’s president, to have a panel of journalists conversing, instead of a one-on-one format, in order to make the show edgy and more interesting:

If Turness is serious about this, we need to organize a grassroots campaign to ask that certain journalists be permanently banned from the panel of Meet the Press, or we’ll boycott the damn thing ab initio. I’d start with Peggy Noonan, Bill Kristol, David Gergen, David Brooks and George Will. Even at their best, they’ve all gotten more airtime than their shaky talents merit. But I’m sure you have dozens more who deserve the Meet Ban. Fire away in the comment thread.

Yes, because nothing says hip, edgy, and open-minded like excluding all opposing views and, instead, having party drones agree with each other. Using this rubric, Pravda was also hip, edgy, and open-minded.

Looking at Kilgore’s dream of a real news show, I was reminded of a post I wrote discussing the differences between conservative and Progressive media:

Members of the conservative media are also more generous with presenting the underlying source material on which they rely or with which they disagree, something that is especially apparent on the radio. For example, on NPR, Robert Siegel will do an eight minute report that begins with his opining magisterially on a subject, and then continues with his editing in carefully selected snippets of interviews with witnesses, actors and experts. Given the limited time format, it’s inevitable of course that the greater part of any given interview is left on the cutting room floor, with Siegel and his staff picking whatever money lines suit the story they wish to present.

On conservative talk radio, however, the hosts will frequently play half hour long clips, not just of people they support, but of people with whose opinion they differ. Likewise, when these hosts have guests on, the guests are not only people with whom the hosts agree, but people with whom they disagree. And in the latter case, you can comfortably settle in and listen to a free-wheeling, although never mean-spirited, discussion with both host and guest called upon to defend their positions vigorously.

A sad end to a sad story

In 2012, the drive-by media was incredibly excited when a video emerged showing Marines urinating on dead Taliban corpses. This proved — proved!! — that Americans were every bit as bad as the Islamists. After all, urinating on a dead body (which is a crude, demeaning act that I don’t support) is exactly the same as torturing and beheading people; cutting off the genitals of ones enemy, whether he’s dead or alive; or dragging bodies through the streets before cheering crowds.  (It’s clear, I hope, that I’m being sarcastic.) At the center of this media storm was Cpl. Robert Richards, a highly respected Marine:

Richards was a scout sniper with multiple deployments to Afghanistan, including one in 2010 during which he sustained severe injuries. Peers and superiors alike praised him for his combat prowess and leadership skills, evidenced by his being hand-selected to serve as the scout sniper platoon team leader for 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, during its 2011 tour.

Although only 28, Richards is dead. The coroner has not announced the cause of death, but Guy Womack, Richards’ attorney and friend, told reporters that the coroner would be examining the medicines Richards was taking, something that hints at an overdose, accidental or intentional.

To the extent Richards did something unworthy of an American fighter, it was nevertheless something that should have been taken care of within the context of the Marines, rather than something that saw him tried and convicted by the American media. Richards didn’t deserve such a pathetic ending to his career. May be rest in peace now.

American universities harm Leftist students too

A Prager University video makes the compelling argument that, insofar as American universities have overwhelmingly Leftist faculties, students who hew Left (or don’t hew in any direction at all) suffer more than conservative students do:

Pictures

I think henceforth I’ll call this “The Caped Crusader Picture Gallery,” because the Caped Crusader has done it again, providing me with powerful and often funny images:

Impossible to boycott Palestinians

Catholics and the bucket challenge

Proper border response

Woman converting to Islam

Liberal blindness re Islam

Nobody owes you anything

Obama golfs while Foleys grieve

The world gobbles up blood libels against Israel *UPDATES*

Most of the world’s media members, if asked, would undoubtedly identify themselves as sophisticates, who are too cynical and world-weary to take anything at face value.  Their mental self-image almost certainly falls somewhere between wise-cracking Cary Grant (His Girl Friday) and idealistic Woodward and Bernstein.  They care deeply, but they’ve seen it all.  To which I would respond that it’s always a fascinating sociological and psychological moment when a single group suffers from such a profound mass delusion.

That the media has no healthy cynicism, objectivity, or even decency, was beautifully demonstrated when Sarah Palin appeared on the political screen.  Even as someone who likes Palin, I freely admit that she was an easy target.  If you think Ivy League degrees are the only ones worth having, she didn’t have one; if you think states with big populations are the only ones that provide worthy political experience, she didn’t come from one; if you think believing in God is a sign of primitive irrationality, she was both primitive and irrational; and if you believe in the perfection of the human race through casual eugenics, Palin was a race traitor.  And of course there was that absolute lack of foreign policy experience, although no one seemed to mind it in Obama, so I won’t go there.

The media wasn’t content with easy targets.  Proving themselves credulous and naive, rather than cynical and sophisticated, they leaped onto every rumor they could find, and trumpeted those rumors as the absolute truth:

This New Journalism, if you can call it that, exhibited in 2008 was epitomized by an eradication of the lines between fact and opinion – and, even more troubling, between reporting and propaganda. Some journalists were content to repeat Democratic Party talking points or bloggers’ rumors as though they were established fact, interspersing them with ideological commentary in a kind of toxic stew.

The media’s mass hysteria when it came to Sarah Palin was a sad demonstration of the way in which blind ideology can lead formerly trustworthy institutions to engage in ferocious acts of personal destruction.  (The by-product, of course, might be the destruction of America as we know it, but that certainly wasn’t the media’s goal.  Its members were out to get Sarah, not America.)

But what about a media that’s out to get a whole country?  And what if, in pursuit of that goal, reporters set outside any journalistic instincts and report as gospel truth the most scurrilous, and manifestly false rumors they can find?  If you’ve paid any attention to the news for the past twenty-five years or so, you know that this question isn’t hypothetical.  It’s an accurate description of the way in which the world media responds to stories about Israel.  The latest example popped up this past week.  I discovered it when I checked Spiegel Online, as I periodically do for news as seen on the continent.

At Spiegel, I saw this bold-type headline: ISRAELI SOLDIERS PROVIDE SHOCKING TESTIMONY : Report Paints Damning Picture of Gaza Campaign.  The story reported on the horrible testimony IDF soldiers provided about routine brutality against Palestinian civilians:

Israel has claimed that everything was done to protect innocent lives during its recent military operation in the Gaza Strip. But according to statements from Israeli soldiers there were malicious acts of destruction, white phosphorus was used and civilians were deliberately targeted.

The report is an account of acts of brutality. The Israeli human rights organization Breaking the Silence spent several months interviewing veterans of the Gaza war that took place in January of this year. The responses by 54 of the veterans paint a completely different picture of Israel’s campaign against the Islamist organization Hamas from that provided by the Israeli military leadership. According to the report, the commanders hammered it into their soldiers that they were not to show any consideration for the Palestinian civilian population, so as not to risk the lives of Israeli troops.

The statements by reservists, conscripts, soldiers and officers, which are consistent with and reinforce each other, substantiate for the first time the suspicion that the Israeli military in many cases ignored one of the basic tenets of the international laws of war: the distinction between combatants and innocent bystanders. The three-week war claimed the lives of about 1,400 Palestinians, many if not most of them civilians.

There’s more, all in the same vein, including pictures of sad Palestinians.  What’s fascinating is that, aside from ignoring conflicting third-party reports about Israel’s exceptional efforts to protect civilians) there’s not a word in the Spiegel article about the “human rights organization Breaking the Silence” on which the story relies.  After all, a report is only as good as its source.  Unlike the credulous reporters, who assumed that Breaking the Silence must be speaking the truth because it’s results jibed perfectly with their own ideological view (Israelis:  murderers; Palestinians:  victims), I was immediately suspicious.

One of the first tip-offs was the way Breaking the Silence is designated as a “human rights organization.”  Long experience shows that those groups are never concerned with human rights in the abstract.  They are always leftist organizations that are concerned with proving that America and Israel brutally victimize other people and they’re willing to sleep in any beds (politically speaking) to make their points.  The fact that this is an Israeli group (which has the potential to destroy Israel) didn’t seem to affect that agenda.

Still, the organization’s self-identification is circumstantial evidence at best.  I needed more, so I contacted the people who were most likely to know:  Robert Avrech at Seraphic Secret, Soccer Dad, Thomas Lifson of American Thinker, Omri Ceren at Mere Rhetoric; Freedom Fighter at JoshuaPundit; and Carl at Israel Matzav.  They were all swift and unanimous in their response:  Breaking the Silence is a Leftist group that is more dedicated to Leftism than it is to its members own survival. Soccer Dad sent me the best summary of this latest example of Israeli citizens attacking themselves:

Israeli non-governmental organization Breaking the Silence has published a new report reliant upon testimonials from  soldiers who served in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. Once again, allegations of “war crimes” and misdemeanors are based on second-hand evidence and hearsay. Once again, international media outlets rushed to publish a story from another flawed source.

While the BBC gleefully pushed the story to the top of its agenda, The Independent produced a two-page center spread with a screaming headline “Israeli soldiers reveal the brutal truth of Gaza attack”. Others also covered the story, including CNN, The Guardian, Associated Press, Reuters, AFP, Financial Times, Times of London, Daily Telegraph, NPR, Toronto Star and the Globe & Mail.

The G & M’s Orly Halpern even wrote on her personal Twitter page: “I’m reading a really moving report which I will be writing about for the Globe and Mail. It makes me sick to my stomach.” Can an objective and balanced story emerge when emotions rather than facts are the driving force?

Defending the IDF operation against charges including the use of human shields, Golani Brigade commander Col. Avi Peled stated that one of the soldiers who testified in the report was not even in the field at the time: “He told his commander about a week [during] which he wasn’t even in the field. He reported about what he heard happened.”

NGO Monitor’s Dan Kosky points to the Breaking the Silence report’s central problems - flawed methodology and absence of any reasonable research standards:

By Breaking the Silence’s own admission, the allegations are comprised of “the testimony of around 30 combatants” – a fraction of the thousands of Israeli combat troops deployed during the Gaza conflict. This extremely narrow and presumably hand-picked sample is an absurd basis on which to pass judgment, and even these limited testimonies were entirely unverifiable.

All statements are anonymous, and so-called “evidence” is further compromised by the absence of any details of where and when alleged incidents occurred. Consequently, were the report intended to prompt the IDF to investigate individual allegations, Breaking the Silence has made this impossible.

The IDF has issued an initial response to Breaking the Silence that can be viewed here.

In other words, Breaking the Silence is like any other Soros-funded, far left, anti-War group.

To my mind, though, there is a difference between anti-War groups in Israel and the same groups in America.  Leftist anti-War groups in America merely wish to reconstruct America as a subservient, third-world nation.  In Israel, though, the group’s members must know, or are completely blind to, the fact that their acts invite their nation’s imminent and complete destruction.  MoveOn will cause America’s decline; Breaking the Silence will cause Israel’s death and that of all her citizens.

The actions of Breaking the Silence, and other similarly situated Israeli groups, take Jewish self-loathing to an extreme that is pretty much impossible for the rational mind to comprehend — and the world’s media laps it up.  As with Sarah Palin, the media gives up any pretense of actual investigative reporting when the information that lands in their laps aligns perfectly with their world view:  pretty, religious conservative woman is an ignorant, book-burning, devil-chasing slut; small nation besieged on all sides by genocidal enemies is a vicious, sadistic war machine that does everything it can to destroy all in its path.

This next bit is not the digression it seems to be:

When my father was a little boy, living in the Dickensian slums of Weimar Berlin, his mother had to leave town for some reason.  She made arrangements to place him with a Jewish welfare organization that would take care of children under those circumstances.  Since she wasn’t a very bright woman, she managed instead to place him with a Catholic organization that, unfortunately, was run by some very sadistic nuns.  (I like nuns in principle, by the way, because they were so good to my Mom when she was interned in Java.  These particular nuns, however, were sadists.)  Rather than police the children and punish the offenses they actually committed (if any), the nuns just beat every child severely at bedtime, on the assumption that, as children, they must have done something wrong during the day.  Within a couple of days, my father decided that, if he was going to get beaten any way, he might as well be bad.

You can see where I’m going here.  If Israel is inevitably going to be accused of using disproportionate force in any wars against the Palestinians, a sensible policy, unbounded by moral standards, would have Israel, which has the necessary fire power, actually using a scorched earth policy and getting rid of the Palestinian problem once and for all.  The fact that Gaza and the West Bank still stand, and that the citizens still live in the millions, is all the evidence one needs that the stories about Israel systematically committing atrocities are libels.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Rob Miller for information about a group of soldiers who are countering these libels.

UPDATE II:  Thanks to Robert Avrech for information that Breaking the Silence is not a grass roots movement from the Israeli Left.  Instead, it’s funded in significant part by many European governments:

In response to the claims, Breaking the Silence presented the Post with its donor list for 2008. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv gave the organization NIS 226,589; the Dutch Embassy donated €19,999; and the European Union gave Breaking the Silence €43,514.

The NGO also received funding from the New Israel Fund amounting to NIS 229,949.

In 2007, Breaking the Silence received a total of NIS 500,000, and in 2008 it managed to raise NIS 1.5 million.

There’s definitely a European trend to try to prove that, historically, Europeans weren’t really so bad to Jews, with the proof being that Jews are bad people, who are currently worse than Europeans were on their own worst days. (Sorry about the awkward writing there, but you know what I mean.)

I’m now looking for information about the New Israel Fund.  It’s an American/Israeli entity, and I wonder if I’ll find Soros’ name behind it somewhere.  Do any of you know anything about it?  It’s website shows that most of the players are “human rights activists” which, as I noted above, is inevitably code for an anti-American, anti-Israel agenda.  That’s not to say that America and Israel might not have committed abuses.  What shows the activists’ bias is that they’re never looking at or for human rights abuses committed by any other countries, especially other Middle Eastern countries.

UPDATE IIIIsrael Matzav has vast amounts of information about Breaking the Silence.  If this article at all piqued your curiousity, you must click the link and find out more about this Israel-based, anti-Israel NGO.

UPDATE IVMelanie Phillips writes about the ugly antisemitic firestorm ignited by Breaking the Silence and other European anti-Israel initiatives.