Friday: Hili dialogue

November 10, 2023 • 6:45 am

How the week has flown! But it always does in Paris, and we’re already at Friday, November 10, 2023, and National Vanilla Cupcake Day (ergo a boring day).

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the November 10 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*According to the NYT, U.S. officials have pronounced that Israel’s time in Gaza is limited before their presence, and the death of Palestinian civilians during the fighting, leads to a wider war.

The Israeli military has limited time to carry out its operations in Gaza before anger among Arabs in the region and frustration in the United States and other countries over the spiraling civilian death toll constrain Israel’s goal of eradicating Hamas, U.S. officials said this week.

As senior Biden administration officials push Israel to do more to minimize civilian casualties, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Wednesday that he was worried each civilian killed in Gaza could generate future members of Hamas.

General Brown did not call for a cease-fire. But when asked by reporters traveling with him to Tokyo if he was worried that high civilian casualty numbers would generate future Hamas militants, he replied, “Yes, very much so.”

His comment offered a rare glimpse of divisions between Israel and the Biden administration, which has declared its support for Israel’s military campaign even as the civilian death toll has increased. It came as the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said that the number of civilians killed in the Gaza Strip showed that there was something “clearly wrong” with Israel’s military operations against Hamas.

That last sentence is strange given that the high number of civilians killed in Gaza (we don’t know the number for sure, since stats come from Hamas) largely reflects Hamas’s deliberate use of civilians as human shields, a war crime.  It’s not clear how, given that strategy, the terrorists can be rooted out without civilian deaths, and it’s not cynical to say that, for Hamas, military operations that kill more Gazans are exactly what the terrorists want. Israel’s goal is to eliminate Hamas while doing all they can to avoid killing civilians. In the meantime, Hamas appropriates humanitarian aid and prevents civilians from fleeing.

*Another NYT article, “Behind Hamas’s bloody gambit to create a ‘permanent’ state of war,” adds some realism:

Thousands have been killed in Gaza, with entire families wiped out. Israeli airstrikes have reduced Palestinian neighborhoods to expanses of rubble, while doctors treat screaming children in darkened hospitals with no anesthesia. Across the Middle East, fear has spread over the possible outbreak of a broader regional war.

But in the bloody arithmetic of Hamas’s leaders, the carnage is not the regrettable outcome of a big miscalculation. Quite the opposite, they say: It is the necessary cost of a great accomplishment — the shattering of the status quo and the opening of a new, more volatile chapter in their fight against Israel.

It was necessary to “change the entire equation and not just have a clash,” Khalil al-Hayya, a member of Hamas’s top leadership body, told The New York Times in Doha, Qatar. “We succeeded in putting the Palestinian issue back on the table, and now no one in the region is experiencing calm.”

Since the shocking Hamas attack on Oct. 7, in which Israel says about 1,400 people were killed — most of them civilians — and more than 240 others dragged back to Gaza as captives, the group’s leaders have praised the operation, with some hoping it will set off a sustained conflict that ends any pretense of coexistence among Israel, Gaza and the countries around them.

To Hamas, the deaths of Gazans are “the necessary cost of a great accomplishment”, while for Israel they are the regrettable costs of rooting out terrorism. What is still unclear to me and others is the endgame: can Israel really end terrorism in Gaza by what it’s doing now? Won’t new terrorists simply emerge, even more energized What happens next with the governance of the region? And what about the hostages? By using human shields, Hamas is in fact accomplishing exactly what it intended.

*Bret Stephens has a good (but sad and scary) column on his trip to Israel after the October 7 slaughter but before Israel went into Gaza: “Israelis were shattered on Oct. 7. Can they recover?” One quote:

Just as frightening to many Israelis I spoke with was the turn against Israel in the West, a turn that, increasingly, is nakedly pro-Hamas and antisemitic. It’s visible in more than just the attempted firebombing of a synagogue in Berlin or the chants of “gas the Jews” in Sydney, Australia. It’s also in the sheer indifference among educated elites to Israeli suffering — typified by college-age students tearing down campus posters of kidnapped Israeli civilians.

“The effort on campuses and progressive circles to equate Zionism with all that is evil prepared the ground for the hardening belief that ‘the Jews had it coming,’” Einat Wilf, a Harvard graduate and former member of the Knesset for the Labor Party, told me. To many Israelis, there’s a distinct echo of what happened at German universities beginning about a century ago.

*According to the WaPo, Israel is now agreeing to daily pauses for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, but Biden wants longer ones. A rift is clearly forming between the U.S. and Israel on war strategy.

Asked whether he was “frustrated” that Netanyahu hadn’t “listened more” to things Biden had asked of him, the president replied, “It’s taking a little longer than I hoped.” Confirming that he had asked for a three-day pause, Biden said “I’ve asked for an even longer pause” in some instances.

To enable more humanitarian aid to be distributed, “a pause is something more, in our view, than a couple of hours,” the senior Biden administration official said. “A pause has a duration of a day, a couple of days, long enough to move significant quantities of humanitarian things in that would not otherwise be doable, and to get more foreign nationals … out” of Gaza.

*Back in the U.S., to the immense frustration of Democrats, renegade Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has announced that he’ll not run again.  His absence will pose two big problems:

Sen. Joe Manchin said Thursday that he won’t run for another term in deep red West Virginia, delivering a blow to fellow Democrats’ longshot effort to hold on to their narrow majority and renewing speculation about whether he could pursue a presidential bid.

Manchin, a 76-year-old centrist who faced an uphill battle for re-election, said that he plans to travel the country and look for opportunities to “mobilize the middle and bring Americans together.” He didn’t address whether he could potentially seek the White House as an independent, an idea he has floated in the past, and a person familiar with his thinking said he hasn’t ruled out a run.

Manchin, whose term ends in January 2025, has been a pivotal deal maker in recent years and has repeatedly flirted with becoming an independent, citing increasing frustration with both parties over issues including abortion, energy production and budget deficits.

His decision, and the lack of clarity about his plans, presents another wrinkle for the 2024 election, in which the fights for control of the Senate, House and presidency are all expected to be tight. Democrats are mostly playing defense in the Senate, with West Virginia as well as Montana and Ohio seen as particularly vulnerable. Both parties are also worried about a possible independent candidate tipping the race for the White House.

Right now the Democrats hold 48 seats in the Senate, the Republicans 49, and there are three independents.

*The University of Chicago Police finally took action at trespassing pro-Palestinian demonstrators, as seen in by the headline below in the Chicago Maroon, the student newspaper (click to read). Two faculty members, not identified, were also arrested. The events described took place yesterday evening:

At 6:15 p.m. University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) officers began to arrest demonstrators engaged in a sit-in inside Rosenwald Hall. In addition to student demonstrators, two faculty members were also arrested. The arrested individuals were processed inside adjacent Walker Museum as protesters surrounded all exits. They were charged with “criminal trespass to real property,” a Class B misdemeanor under Illinois state law.

Protesters from UChicago United for Palestine (UCUP) have been engaged in a sit-in in the building since 11:30 a.m.. Protesters outside, who had been present on the quad since an 11 a.m. protest at Levi Hall, began to gather and chant around the entrance of Rosenwald at 5:10 p.m. About 250 were on hand to protest and to witness the eventual removal.

During the protest, UCUP asked for a legal observer to be present if allowed into Rosenwald—a request that the UChicago dean-on-call denied.

“Let them stay!” protesters chanted with increasing intensity as police milled around the front entrance to the building. They also chanted “Shame on you!” at police and University officials alike.

“Deans-on-call are cops too!” they yelled. “Fuck UCPD! Fuck UChicago!”

. . .By 7:58 p.m., 13 demonstrators had been arrested, processed and released. Those remaining inside were still engaged in the sit-in inside the admissions office.

UCPD officers took protestors from the admissions office to the financial aid office inside Walker Museum, which is connected to Rosenwald Hall. There, they were ticketed and given a court date, then handcuffed, escorted to the exit of Walker, and released.

. . . The arrested individuals were processed inside adjacent Walker Museum as protesters surrounded all exits. They were charged with “criminal trespass to real property,” a Class B misdemeanor under Illinois state law.

It’s likely that there were more arrests later, as protestors remained inside the building after the 13 arrests described above.

The Hyde Park Herald has a story and photos from Thursday of demonstrators blocking the entrance to Levi Hall, the administration building (The faces are blocked because the photo was provided by the protestors.). The demonstrations included a sit-in inside Rosenwald Hall, which, like the blocking below, is also illegal:

Just after 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, about 30 students gathered for a sit-in demonstration on the second floor of the U. of C.’s Rosenwald Hall, demanding that the university commit to several demands for transparency and divestment in the Israel-Hamas war.

“Our tuition money is funding the slaughter of the Palestinian people right now, and we as students cannot just sit back, go to class as usual and allow university business to go on as usual,” said a protestor at the sit-in. “We are staying here until the administration listens to our demands.”

Demands include a public meeting with U. of C. administration and President Paul Alivisatos, transparency in university investments and full divestment from weapons manufacturers supplying the Israeli military.

The protest was organized by UChicago United for Palestine (UCUP), a coalition of campus activist groups including CareNotCops, UChicago Students for Justice in Palestine and the National Lawyers Guild at UChicago.

Photo provided by UChicago United for Palestine (UCUP)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili mourns the coming of winter:

Hili: Evenings are longer and longer.
A: It’s natural.
Hili: Yes, but they used to be nicer.
In Polish:
Hili: Wieczory są coraz dłuższe.
A: To naturalne.
Hili: Tak, ale dawniej były przyjemniejsze.

From Merilee via Facebook:

From Divy, cat sympathy cards:

An illusion from Pradeep. The blue and green spirals are actually the same color (check for yourself):

Masih talks about how the women of Iran are continuing their civil disobedience by removing their hijabs, despite strict government surveillance:

An article in Peter Singer and Co.’s Journal of Controversial Ideas has raised a lot of hackles, as it justifies zoophilia. Well, that’s what the journal is about. You can read it for free, but the author uses a pseudonym,

Titania on the Anne Frank Kindergarten:

From Jez: twins! And they’re apparently BFFs, too:

From Anna, a satire on college politics. It looks like it comes from an Israeli show, as it’s too strong even for Saturday Night Live.

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a 14 year old gassed upon arrival:

From my own “home” selection of tweets:

From Barry, a  really puffed-up bateleur from sub-Saharan Africa:

19 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1775 – The United States Marine Corps is founded at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia by Samuel Nicholas.

    1821 – Cry of Independence by Rufina Alfaro at La Villa de Los Santos, Panama setting into motion a revolt which led to Panama’s independence from Spain and to it immediately becoming part of Colombia.

    1865 – Major Henry Wirz, the superintendent of a prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia, is hanged, becoming one of only three American Civil War soldiers executed for war crimes.

    1871 – Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, famously greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

    1898 – Beginning of the Wilmington insurrection of 1898, the only instance of a municipal government being overthrown in United States history. [So far…]

    1918 – The Western Union Cable Office in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, receives a top-secret coded message from Europe (that would be sent to Ottawa and Washington, D.C.) that said on November 11, 1918, all fighting would cease on land, sea and in the air.

    1942 – World War II: Germany invades Vichy France following French Admiral François Darlan’s agreement to an armistice with the Allies in North Africa.

    1944 – The ammunition ship USS Mount Hood explodes at Seeadler Harbour, Manus, Admiralty Islands, killing at least 432 and wounding 371.

    1946 – A magnitude 6.9 earthquake in the Peruvian Andes mountains kills at least 1,400 people.

    1951 – With the rollout of the North American Numbering Plan, direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States.

    1958 – The Hope Diamond is donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.

    1969 – National Educational Television (the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States debuts Sesame Street.

    1970 – Vietnam War: Vietnamization: For the first time in five years, an entire week ends with no reports of American combat fatalities in Southeast Asia.

    1975 – Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the United Nations General Assembly passes Resolution 3379, determining that Zionism is a form of racism.

    1983 – Bill Gates introduces Windows 1.0.

    1989 – Germans begin to tear down the Berlin Wall.

    1995 – In Nigeria, playwright and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, along with eight others from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Mosop), are hanged by government forces.

    2008 – Over five months after landing on Mars, NASA declares the Phoenix mission concluded after communications with the lander were lost.

    1483 – Martin Luther, German monk and priest, leader of the Protestant Reformation (d. 1546).

    1697 – William Hogarth, English painter, illustrator, and critic (d. 1764).

    1728 – Oliver Goldsmith, Irish-English author, poet, and playwright (d. 1774).

    1759 – Friedrich Schiller, German poet and playwright (d. 1805).

    1764 – Andrés Manuel del Rio, Spanish-Mexican scientist and discoverer of vanadium (d. 1849).

    1810 – George Jennings, English plumber and engineer, invented the flush toilet (d. 1882).

    1871 – Winston Churchill, American author and painter (d. 1947).

    1874 – Idabelle Smith Firestone, American composer and songwriter (d. 1954).

    1889 – Claude Rains, English-American actor (d. 1967).

    1909 – Johnny Marks, American composer and songwriter (d. 1985).

    1919 – Mikhail Kalashnikov, Russian general and engineer, designed the AK-47 (d. 2013).

    1925 – Richard Burton, Welsh actor and singer (d. 1984).

    1932 – Roy Scheider, American actor (d. 2008).

    1937 – Albert Hall, American actor.

    1940 – Screaming Lord Sutch, English singer-songwriter and politician (d. 1999).

    1944 – Tim Rice, English lyricist and author.

    1947 – Greg Lake, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 2016).

    1960 – Neil Gaiman, English author, illustrator, and screenwriter.

    1963 – Hugh Bonneville, English actor. [We’re not allowed to know certain things about him in the UK.]

    And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
    How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime:

    1777 – Cornstalk, American tribal chief (b. 1720).

    1873 – Maria Jane Williams, Welsh musician and folklorist (b. circa 1794).

    1891 – Arthur Rimbaud, French poet and educator (b. 1854).

    1938 – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkish field marshal and statesman, 1st President of Turkey (b. 1881).

    1941 – Carrie Derick, Canadian botanist and geneticist (b. 1862).

    1963 – Klára Dán von Neumann, Hungarian-American computer scientist (b. 1911).

    1982 – Leonid Brezhnev, Ukrainian-Russian general and politician, 4th Head of State of the Soviet Union (b. 1906).

    2001 – Ken Kesey, American novelist, essayist, and poet (b. 1935).

    2003 – Canaan Banana, Zimbabwean minister and politician, 1st President of Zimbabwe (b. 1936). [He always makes it on to lists of people with crazy names, along with Cardinal Sin.]

    2006 – Diana Coupland, English actress and singer (b. 1932).

    2006 – Jack Palance, American boxer and actor (b. 1919).

    2007 – Norman Mailer, American novelist and essayist (b. 1923).

    2010 – Dino De Laurentiis, Italian-American actor, producer, and production manager (b. 1919).

    2015 – Helmut Schmidt, German soldier, economist, and politician, 5th Chancellor of Germany (b. 1918).

    2021 – Miroslav Žbirka, Slovak singer, songwriter and guitarist (b. 1952).

    1. Two maybe trivial Norman Mailer memories among the many: Mailer pointing out that reporters do not quote obscenities but, rather, replace middle letters with asterisks (*) which he loves because the asterisks are like roman candles bursting and calling the reader’s attention to a word that might otherwise be overlooked, viz “f**k”. And I think it was Mike Royko who, when seeing Mailer descending the stairs of his brownstone at an early political campaign event with a glass of bourbon in each hand described the scene as as “giving new meaning to the expression two-fisted politician.

      1. I always got a kick out of the campaign slogan Mailer and running-mate Jimmy Breslin adopted when they ran for the 1969 Democratic nomination for, respectively, NYC mayor and City Council President: “Throw the bums in!”

        1. It was long ago, but I think that Mailer’s reply to a press question on how he would deal with snow removal was “I’d piss on it”. Now that was a campaign!

  2. Glad to see that UCPD took some action at sit-in that blocked certain university operations all day. I wonder why the dean on call would deny having a legal observer onsite. At the most recent demonstrations I participated in around our city, I found great comfort in seeing a person in an “aclu legal observer” vest at each. I mentioned in my comment here on weit the other day that it was of concern to me that the dean on call at that earlier illegal demonstration was not a dean at all, but simply an assistant director for university life and she reportedly was not neutral but had sided with the illegal protests side. I wonder if the dean on call in this more recently reported incident carried a bit more gravitas than an assistant housing director.

  3. I read the “Zoophilia Is Morally Permissible” paper yesterday evening. (I’m hoping that Prime delivers the eyeball and mind bleach soon and that no-one checks my hard drive…)

    I note that “the potential side-effects on public health” merit only half a sentence. I don’t see how any argument for permissibility can be “fairly robust” whilst ignoring this er… elephant in the room given the Wuhan wet market Covid theory.

    The (understandably) anonymous author argues that zoophilia should be made legally permissible, being decriminalised where necessary, and “socially normalized”.

    The author adds “There are obvious pragmatic considerations to downplay the plea for decriminilizing zoophilia and even more so for including it within the LGBT+ umbrella”.

    Though given that “+”, it is arguably there already of course. And probably by design.

    1. Not that I agree with or condone “zoophilia” but it could be argued that humans are after all animals so just doing what comes naturally, cross species mating, admittedly not common in wild or domestic animal species however? Humans are always when behaving abominably described as “ animals” usually very inaccurate when considering real animal behaviour, humans are much worse!

    2. If you are going to argue that the public health implications are such that zoophilia should not be decriminalised, then shouldn’t you also be arguing that promiscuity amongst other humans should be criminalised because human adapted sexually transmitted diseases are already a public health risk.

      1. In regard to decriminalizing zoophilia, shouldn’t the academic scholars of Queer Theory be pointing out that distinct species are a mere social construct, whereas all animals are on a spectrum? And maybe plants too.

        1. Sorry I can’t remember the specifics, but I do recall from a few years ago an interpretative controversey following the final memoirs of a certain deceased public figurre and memoirist. He wrote a lot about his dogs, and clearly loved them. Some critic or reviewer or biographer interprets some passages as hinting that for one of those dogs, when she went into estrus and was upset, he would comfort and relieve her manually.

          A first attempt at a Google search brings me the Wikipedia page s.v. Eric Gill (sculptor and typeface designer, not the footballer of that name).

          But I don’t think he is the one I remember reading about. The Wikipedia article includes this: “Gill’s personal diaries reveal his child sex abuse of his two eldest teenage daughters during their time at Ditchling Common, incestuous relationships with his sisters, and, in 1930, sexual acts on his dog.[4][10][43] This aspect of Gill’s life was little known beyond his family and friends until the publication of the 1989 biography by Fiona MacCarthy.” I don’t recall anything that explicit in the account I had read.

          1. On further search, more likely J R Ackerley.



            “This hopeless quest came to an end during the Second World War, when he acquired a neurotic and highly possessive Alsatian bitch called Queenie, who would rapidly come to be the centre of his emotional life. My Dog Tulip (1956) is a love-letter to Queenie, which describes her life – notably her sexual and excretory needs – in unabashed detail. “

  4. Those students are so brave in disrupting the university and calling for more Hamas terror, until they are photographed. Then they suddenly want their faces hidden so that their parents and grandparents won’t see the kind of garbage their children and grandchildren turned out to be.

  5. The Columbia U satire was so true as to be frightening although I expect wasted on many students ( and faculty)
    Incidentally, why do students think they have a right “to demand” anything?
    Also, did every jew gassed by the nazis create another jew?
    Did every german bombed by the allies in WWII create another nazi or National Socialist?
    Did every Japanese city bombed by the allies in WWII create another kamikazi? Or citizen determined to die for Emp Hirohito?
    Did every Iraqi bombed by US and allies in Iraq become members of ISIS?
    Why do these conditions only apply to Israel bombing Gaza? ie every Palestinian killed by Israel creates a new Hamas terrorist?
    If this is in fact true then there is no reason to stop killing Palestinians.
    Why do there appear to be more supporters of Palestinians in Europe including the UK and North America than in the Middle East?
    There should be no ceasefire or pausing of the IDF offensive including air attack until the threat to Israel is completely destroyed. Every Jew everywhere is under threat from many sources not just the primary source, Islam. Israel is fighting for its survival.

    1. “Also, did every jew gassed by the nazis create another jew?
      Did every german bombed by the allies in WWII create another nazi or National Socialist?
      Did every Japanese city bombed by the allies in WWII create another kamikazi? Or citizen determined to die for Emp Hirohito?
      Did every Iraqi bombed by US and allies in Iraq become members of ISIS?”

      IMO, these are great points.

      On a related note, I disagree with almost everything I’ve heard Ben Shapiro say, but in this case, I think he’s absolutely spot on:

  6. I heard on NPR this morning that the Israelis are now protecting exit corridors so that Palestinians can escape to the south, and it sounded like large numbers are doing that. Good! That ought to provide evidence that it’s Hamas that has been keeping them in place (by shooting them as evidenced in this video from a week ago).

  7. After the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, it was indeed
    regrettable that the US did not declare a unilateral ceasefire on December 8, but instead,
    continued the cycle of violence until the complete defeat of imperial Japan. Likewise, when the western allies’ armies reached the Rhine and the Red Army reached the Oder, neither group called a humanitarian pause, but continued the cycle of violence until the Nazi regime was destroyed. There was no significant opposition in the Anglosphere to this war-mongering. I guess the Anglo publics of the 1940s were just lacking in the many shining paragons of virtue that we enjoy today.

    1. Yep, and scaled-up to the US population, the ~1400 Israeli deaths work out to something like 50,000 if a proportional act had been carried out here. So it seems to me that Israel is acting in great restraint by protecting evacuation corridors for Palestinians before going in harder on the tunnels.

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