Monthly Archives: November 2003

Right to exist

Commentary magazine has posted much of its December issue online. Among the must-read items is Christopher Caldwell’s review of Right To Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel’s Wars by Yaacov Lozowick. Lozowick is a former peacenik and is the director of archives at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. Caldwell scrupulously recounts the book’s argument and commends the book with only minor reservation. Lozowick’s sister is a Power Line »

Gay marriage and the usual suspects

Here are George Will’s thoughtful observations on the gay marriage controversy. Will’s discussion brings to mind some of the normal liberal fallacies that infect so many public policy debates. First, there’s the familiar notion that because an institution is working imperfectly, it is fair-game to be taken over and/or re-defined by a bureaucracy or, preferably, the judiciary. In the case of marriage, the fact that divorce rates are far too »

Dear President Arafat

There is really nothing new in yesterday’s New York Times article on justice, PLO-style with respect to alleged informants under the jurisdiction of the Nobel Peace Prize winner: “Coerced or not, Palestinians who assist Israel face death.” The underlying facts are highly instructive though many years old. On its Web site, for example, Amnesty International tells the story of ‘Alan Bani ‘Odeh, who was executed by firing squad in the »

The lies of Zacarias Moussaoui

Today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune carries an enraging account of the apprehension and detention of Zacarias Moussaoui in Minnesota in August 2001. The managers of a flight school in Eagan, Minnesota had alerted the FBI to Moussaoui based on his bizarre behavior and comments. The article is “Pre-attack interviews with Moussaoui raised FBI agents’ suspicions.” Both the Eagan flight school managers who tipped the FBI and the Minneapolis FBI agents who »

Turkish Terrorist Arrested

A major arrest in the recent bombings in Turkey: the Associated Press reports that an unidentified man believed to have ordered the bombing of the Beth Israel synagogue bombing was apprehended on Tuesday and is now in police custody, charged with “attempting to overthrow Turkey’s constitutional order by force,” a charge considered equivalent to treason. The most interesting aspect of the report is that the man, arrested on a tip, »

Terrorists Convicted

The men shown below are Palestinian terrorists Mohammed Hassan Arman and Walid Anjas. They were convicted yesterday of murdering 36 Israelis in a series of terrorist attacks, including those at Moment Cafe in Jerusalem in March 2002, that killed 11 people; at the Hebrew University in July 2002, in which nine people were killed; and at the Sheffield snooker club in Rishon Letzion in May 2002. Haaretz–which, somewhat bizarrely, describes »

I Never Renege on a Promise

As a mostly hard-news site, it’s our duty to report on a considerable amount of bad news. So when the world takes a turn for the better, it’s only right that we provide some balance by covering the good news, too. The Miss World pageant, which is now underway in China, has added a new wrinkle: the Miss World Beach Beauty. This year’s Beach Beauty, who gets an automatic berth »

Counting the Votes at the U.N.

Hillary Clinton is only the latest of many Democrats to urge that the U.N. be given a larger role in postwar Iraq. Of course, neither she nor her Democratic colleagues have explained how we would go about doing this, given that the U.N. has largely pulled up stakes and abandoned Iraq until the security situation is improved. By us. More fundamental, however, is the fact that the U.N. is essentially »

“Myths About Intelligence”

Stuart Cohen, who was chairman of the National Intelligence Council when the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction was published, took on eight eight myths about our pre-war Iraq intelligence in yesterday’s Washington Post: “The NIE judged with high confidence that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons and missiles with ranges in excess of the 150-kilometer limit imposed by the U.N. Security Council. It judged with »

Toward a theory of anti-Semitism

Julie Burchill is leaving her post as a columnist at the Guardian next month to join the Times. On her way out the door she is devoting herself with a flourish to the subject of anti-Semitism: “If you take into account the theory that Jews are responsible for everything nasty in the history of the world, and also the recent EU survey that found 60% of Europeans believe Israel is »

Considering John Updike

I have been asked only once in my life to name a great short story writer, and that was by one of my kids yesterday. For the record, I picked John Updike. He certainly has written quite a few great short stories. His stories about the Maples (first collected in 1980 in Too Far to Go) represent only a small part of his work in the form over the period, »

Considering Joe McCarthy

In tomorrow’s Washington Post Book World Ronald Radosh reviews Ted Morgan’s re-evaluation of Joe McCarthy and the Communist threat. Morgan’s book is Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century America, and Radosh’s review is “Spooked.” This is a great pairing of book and reviewer. Radosh is the co-author of the definitive book on the Rosenberg case (The Rosenberg File) as well as a political autobiography (Commies) charting his journey through the old left, »

Paul Krugman as patient zero

In the new issue of the Weekly Standard, Andrew Ferguson reviews Paul Krugman’s The Great Unraveling together with a fistful of other current books on the theme of the evil George Bush. Ferguson’s review is both entertaining and edifying. Somewhat surprisingly, however, he finds Paul Krugmam to be a key source in a great unraveling of a different kind than the one to which Krugman refers. Ferguson dubs the phenomenon »

A “spiritual struggle”

The Washington Post on the silence of most Democratic presidential candidates about religion. In a story called “A Spiritual Struggle for Democrats,” the Post cites public opinion polls showing that voters “want to hear more about faith from their national leaders,” and proceeds to speculate about why the leading Democrats seem unable to satisfy this yearning. Based on interviews with the candidates, the Post embraces the easy non-answer that most »

Another feel-good story you won’t hear much about

This one is brought to our attention by Joshua Sharf and his “View From a Height” blog. As reported by Fox News and Jerusalem Post, “Israeli doctors are performing a sophisticated heart surgery to save an Iraqi baby girl, airlifted from Iraq to Israel for the operation. The doctors in Israel called the doctors in Iraq to give [them] instructions on stabilizing the girl, and then she was flown to »

Some news to be thankful for

Michelle Malkin recounts uplifting tales of compassion from America’s high schools. Responding to the media’s obsession with tales of hazing and worse, Malkin says, “For every teen-age act of barbarism broadcast during the past month on network and cable news, I have spotted countless acts of youthful compassion and humanity that get passed over by ratings-driven producers.” Her column makes for good reading this Thanksgiving weekend. Courtesy of Real Clear »

Folly repeating as farce

Charles Krauthammer devotes his weekly column to the “peace agreement” farce convening Monday in Geneva with Jimmy Carter, appropriately enough, as the guest of honor: “Geneva sellout.” Krauthammer calls attention to Secretary of State Powell’s endorsement of the farce. He concludes with two inarguable judgments: “This is not a peace treaty, this is a suicide note — by a private citizen on behalf of a country that has utterly rejected »