Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Piracy On the High Seas

60 kilometers out into the sea, the Israeli navy boards an aid ship to Gaza from Turkey and kills 9 unarmed civilians. Let's turn public opinion in our favor, boys.

Aaaaaarrrrrrrrr, this load of medical rubber hoses could be used to make giant slingshots to use against us!

I am somewhat loath to discuss Israel’s latest examples of aggressive self-defense. I belong to an online political discussion group with some friends. We have virtually stopped any discussion of Israel because it immediately devolves from a discussion into an emotion-filled argument with unspoken charges of anti-Semitism directed at any criticism of Israel. Let’s just say for the record that Arabs are Semites too, the cousins of the Jewish race if you believe your Bible stories…or your Qu’ran.

Doesn’t Israel have the right to defend itself? Of course it does. But that right falls a bit short of piracy on the high seas and the murder of civilians (I’m going to keep my criticism to the issue at hand rather than get into any kind of hoohah). Uri Avnery made some interesting points in his own critique on his news site. The arrival of this aid ship wasn’t any surprise to Israel. They’d had months, nearly a year, to prepare a response. And basically, they had three choices. Let the ship go without incident, and undermine their own blockade by doing so. Stop the ship and inspect it for articles of military use…and then let it go, affirming their right to blockade but giving a measured response to a humanitarian effort. Or put their knives between their teeth, drop onto the ship in the middle of the night like a swarm of pirates 35 miles out to sea and when the unarmed civilians aboard try to defend themselves with deck chairs and other improvised weapons, mow them down rather than throw a few canisters of tear gas. Guess which they chose? Arrrrrrrrr, right you are, matey!

Avnery compares the situation to the Exodus incident (a MAJOR motion picture by Otto Preminger from the book by Leon Uris, with Paul Newman as the handsome Israeli!) from Israel’s formative years. Why had the British done something so completely stupid? They weren’t stupid people. No, their actions came from arrogance, Avnery suggests, and that arrogance turned public opinion against them. Israel’s arrogance (and bunker mentality) is fast turning the world against them and they stand to lose their only Islamic ally, the Turks, because of it. Pretty soon, all that will be left to them is the US and as had been noted (in an article I can’t find right now because the net is acting wonky), the new generation of American Jews is not as solidly gung-ho behind Israel as the previous one. Only the Christian right (Glenn Beck IS Christian, isn’t he? We’ll find out when he reveals God’s Plan later this summer) in unquestioning in their support and heck, they’re seeking Armageddon!

The only problem will be finding a replacement for Paul Newman. Hey, Jake Gyllenhaal makes a great Persian!

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Netanyahu Does The Ass Dance, OR: Shin Chan In Tel Aviv

Netanyahu is portrayed as Shin Chan, wiggling his butt at the US.

Netanyahu was so depressed after his meeting with Obama he went home and announced more settlements...

Well, let’s see. No sooner than the curtain came down on Act I of Health Care Reform, but it was rung up again for Act II. Republicans bent on obstruction and repeal, tea partiers bent on…well, tea partiers just BENT. Not sure I want to keep watching, second acts always end BADLY. In other news, Il Papa just got directly tied to one of the abusing priest coverups. That wasn’t long in coming. We’ll have to see how this one plays as well. No, I think I’m going to address something else that I’ve been meaning to before it’s crowded off the news by other catastrophes.

You gotta hand it to Netanyahu–he has the chutzpah of the guy who murders his parents and then asks for mercy from the court on the grounds that he’s an orphan.

Joe Biden, our beloved BFDer, goes over to Israel for talks. He has this lovely grip-and-grin moment with Netanyahu in which they theoretically reach some understanding on the Israeli-Palestinian problem, then no sooner than Biden turns around, Netanyahu announces 1600 additional illegal settlements on land that is supposed to be Palestinian. Oy, what a hullabaloo. Netanyahu apologizes. Not for the settlements. No, the “timing” of the announcement was bad. Ben, Ben, Ben. The announcement that you’re going to do something illegal is ALWAYS gonna be $%^&*( bad. It’s just worse when you push it into our Vice President’s face.

So we step up the process and Obama gives him a talking to. Things look like they’ll settle down. Oh, by the way, we’re building 20 new apartments where that old hotel used to be–in the Palestinian half of Jerusalem. ZING! Bad timing again, Benjamin?

Now Obama’s really pissed–amazing how much stronger he’s been acting since he lost the supermajority in the Senate. He and Netanyahu have a meeting. Closed Doors. No one says what the meeting is about, but poor Bennie returns home, kicking cans down the street on the way and mumbling, “It’s not fair.” The members of the hardline government line up behind him and say, “There, there, Bennie, those Americans were being mean.”

Now, I know there are those out there that think, like the conservative Israelis, that Jerusalem, (pun alert) an island of treasure to the Abrahamic religions, should be completely in Israel’s hands (/pun alert), David’s city and all, but the fact is that MODERN Israel signed an agreement dividing the city in half. Likewise, the territory that once upon a time was Biblical Israel is now divided between the Palestinians and Israelis. Sovereign nations honor agreements. Oppressive goon squad regimes don’t and we all know how THAT turns out. Granted, there has been great provocation, but you don’t put out fires with gasoline.

And Bennie, the US is NOT your best friend. It’s your ONLY friend. Don’t rub your ass in our faces and expect us to kiss it. Remember, you’re in the same position as our teabaggers. The Palestinians are out-reproducing you. Just as white people here will soon no longer be a majority, Palestinians will outnumber Israelis and what are you going to do then? What happens then will be decided by what is done now. Be a mensch.

(Today’s cartoon in memory of the late Yoshito Usui, creator of Shin Chan, who died last September in an accident and whose last cartoons were published this month’s Weekly Manga Action. And condolences to the family, friends and fans of Robert Culp, who died earlier this week).


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