Welcome to cat shabbos,
CaturSaturday, November 11, 2023, and National Sundae Day. Here’s a big’ un in a short video of Margie’s Candies in Chicago. This is a place worth going: an old-fashioned ice-cream parlor with great treats as well as homemade chocolates. Even the Beatles ate here!
It’s also Armistice Day, celebrating the end of WWI. The cease-fire that stopped hostilities began at 11 a.m. on 11/11, or November 11. That would be 11 a.m. Paris time, and so I’ll stop briefly to remember.
Here’s the November 11, 1918 NYT:
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the November 11 Wikipedia page.
*This is the headline in the war news in today’s NYT (click to read):
Israel revised its official estimated death toll of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, lowering the number to about 1,200 people, down from more than 1,400, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Friday night.
The spokesman, Lior Haiat, said the original figure had been an “initial estimate” that had now been updated. He declined to provide further details on the change, but he emphasized that the numbers could continue to fluctuate as remains are identified.
For weeks, Israeli officials had said that more than 1,400 people were killed in the attacks launched from Gaza, in which Hamas-led gunmen swept into more than 20 Israeli towns and military bases and opened fire on people in their homes, on the streets, at a music festival and other locations. Others were killed when the attackers set their cars and homes on fire.
Israeli health officials say they have struggled to identify many Israelis and foreigners who were killed in the attacks, and to exclude the remains of those they considered to have been attackers from the official toll.
That’s a reasonable explanation, and Israel is being honest, but I can’t help but believe that the NYT made this the headline to say “See, Israel exaggerated its casualties!” I may be wrong, but the NYT’s reporting on the war has been heavily slanted, as if it’s being written by progressive college students. And indeed, that may have been the background of a fair few reporters.
*Andrew Sullivan’s column in the Weekly Dish is called “The ‘genocide’ canard against Israel,” with the subheading, “It’s actually the opposite of the truth. And that matters.” Anybody with a brain would have hit on Sullivan’s conclusion earlier, but he, at least, has the guts to say it:
But the supporters of Hamas and of the Palestinians have seized the g-word with particular zeal. And who can blame them? There’s a real, adolescent frisson in accusing the victims of the worst genocide in modern history of being genocidal themselves. “Israel, we charge you with genocide” is a common chant in many of the pro-Palestinian protests. “Genocide Joe” has been trending on Twitter. Eight hundred artists signed an open letter calling the Israeli counteract in Gaza “a genocide.” Yale professor Zareena Grewal channeled much of the “decolonizing” left: “Israeli [sic] is a murderous, genocidal settler state and Palestinians have every right to resist through armed struggle.”
It’s not just the activists. Congresswoman Tlaib has accused Biden of “funding Netanyahu’s genocide,” and said “We are literally watching people commit genocide” — referring to the blast next to a Gaza hospital caused by a Hamas rocket. Congresswoman Omar retweeted a photo of dead kids with the caption “CHILD GENOCIDE IN PALESTINE” — but the photo was from a 2013 chemical weapons attack in Syria. A State Department official tweeted that Biden is “complicit in genocide.”
. . .The basic definition of “genocide” provided by the State Department is “the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.”
The key, defining thing here is the aim. Horrifying massacres may or may not be genocidal, depending on the intention. The Hiroshima bomb, for example, was devastating, but it was aimed at ending the war, not obliterating the Japanese people as a race. And if Israel were interested in the “genocide” of Palestinian Arabs, it has had the means to accomplish it for a very long time. And yet, for some reason, the Arab population of Israel and the occupied territories has exploded since 1948, and the Arabs in Israel proper have voting rights, and a key presence in the Knesset.
This is not to exonerate Israel entirely. I’ve had strong words for the Netanyahu governments over the years. And Israeli politicians, on the far right, have used foul rhetoric and deemed the Palestinians subhuman in some respects. Bibi swiftly suspended a rogue minister for saying a nuke could be dropped on Gaza. There are anti-Arab maniacs among the West Bank settlers and in Bibi’s cabinet. But a policy of Arab genocide? Please.
The only people actively and proudly engaged in genocide are Hamas. The marchers on the streets this weekend will not be opposing genocide; they will be defending its perpetrators. It’s right there in the Hamas founding charter:
All of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank is] consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. … The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.
This is not mere rhetoric. On October 7, we saw what genocide is in practice. Hamas didn’t kill civilians as a tragic consequence of attacks on military targets. Its torture and murder of Jewish civilians was its core mission. And if Hamas had the capacity, they would gladly enact a second Holocaust, and they have proudly said so, with even more sadism than the Nazis. They would kill every Jew they could.
Have you heard such an analysis anywhere else, even though Sullivan is right and this isn’t rocket science? He goes on to mention other genuine genocides taking place now, including in Chad and Azerbaijan. Why, then, do American “progressives” ignore the real genocides and level accusations at Israel? Sullivan observes:
So is it simply anti-Semitism that singles out Israel for the current hostility? I don’t know how you can deny that it has played a major role. On today’s American left, especially among the indoctrinated young, anti-Semitism has been turbo-charged by critical race theory.
. . . I know this leaves me in another agonizing pretzel: defending Israel even in its deep, moral failings. Israel is far from perfect, and has made some hideous mistakes alongside its spectacular achievements. But Israel is not committing genocide in any way, and the accusation, given History 101, is a knowingly despicable one.
*As always, I’m going to steal three bits of Nellie Bowles’s snarky and weekly news summary on the Free Press. This week’s is called, “TGIF: Jihadis get lost in translation.”
→ Barack Obama returns to the arena: Former president Obama jetted in from Martha’s Vineyard to say one quick thing, guys: the war’s kinda Israel’s fault! Or at least, we’re all guilty here, man. Hamas is the same as you and me. I’m reactive and need to learn how to take a deep breath before writing emails; Hamas tortured children and livestreamed it. Point is, we’ve all got issues. Here’s Obama: “If you want to solve the problem, then you have to take in the whole truth. And you then have to admit nobody’s hands are clean, that all of us are complicit to some degree.” It takes two to tango. Hamas killed infants point-blank; I never replace the toilet paper roll.
This “both-sides-the-same” stand of Obama is disappointing. Nobody’s hands may be clean, but for crying out loud: some hands are cleaner than others! Nellie’s last sentence sums that up.
In contrast, Nellie’s always had a thing for Hillary Clinton, and lauds her in every other TGIF column. I’m not that big a fan of Clinton, but I do admire her for her straight talk about the war, unlike Timorous Obama:
→ You know who’s not talking like that? My woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who went on The View to deliver a shot of moral clarity straight into Stay-at-Home America’s veins. Here’s Mrs. Clinton: “Remember, there was a cease-fire on October 6 that Hamas broke by their barbaric assault on peaceful civilians and their kidnapping, their killing, their beheading, their terrible, inhumane savagery. It did not hold because Hamas chose to break it.” Moms around the country heard that call and are gathering arms. Hillary’s been through everything, so tarnished in battle she actually became clean again. I’m. With. Her, we all bellowed.
Trendy cultural relativists like 2023-era Obama can never really believe there’s a good guy. Nothing is ever better or worse than anything else. To the cultural relativists, Hamas is just another modern dance—a wild and beautiful expression of the human condition. The old-school feminists like Hilz are not so easily taken. They cut their teeth on brass tacks. They spend Saturday night preparing for the Model UN Conference, where they will crush. It does not take two to tango in the mind of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Me, I know the world is heroes (me) and villains (everyone else).
→ Man dies after running his head into something hard, a lot: A pro-Israel protester in Thousand Oaks, outside Los Angeles, was killed by a pro-Palestine protester, who bashed him in the head with a bullhorn. As the medical examiner determined: “An autopsy was performed on November 6th and the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be blunt force head injury and the manner of death homicide.” So that was settled. The headlines—many of which came after this determination—what did they say?
Remember, if you’re Jewish and you get murdered, it’s just a weird thing you did with your head. Be more careful.
The alleged killer, who, it goes without saying, is a local professor, previously posted in support of Hamas.
And don’t miss Nellie’s “campus update”, a weekly summary of the latest campus hijinks around the war. It will make you want to shut down ALL the universities. Nellie’s the best!
*A NYT writer resigned (read: “was fired”) after signing her second public letter of protest, a practice that violates the paper’s policy.
Jazmine Hughes, an award-winning New York Times Magazine staff writer, resigned from the publication on Friday after she violated the newsroom’s policies by signing a letter that voiced support for Palestinians and protested Israel’s siege in Gaza.
Jake Silverstein, the editor of The New York Times Magazine, announced Ms. Hughes’s resignation in an email to staff members on Friday evening.
“While I respect that she has strong convictions, this was a clear violation of The Times’s policy on public protest,” Mr. Silverstein wrote. “This policy, which I fully support, is an important part of our commitment to independence.”
Mr. Silverstein said Ms. Hughes had previously violated the policy by signing another public letter this year. That letter, which was also signed by other contributors to The Times, protested the newspaper’s reporting on transgender issues.
“She and I discussed that her desire to stake out this kind of public position and join in public protests isn’t compatible with being a journalist at The Times, and we both came to the conclusion that she should resign,” Mr. Silverstein wrote in his note on Friday.
Like our University, which doesn’t make official pronouncements on politics or ideology because they could chill free speech on campus, newspapers should (and the Times does) forbid reporters from joining public protests. The reason is obvious: one couldn’t trust the reporting of such writers to be free from bias. Two such violations were apparently enough for the NYT.
*Finally, a personal note. A FB “friend” posted one of those quickly-vanishing “go-by” posts (at the top of the page) that turned out to be a long tirade accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza. The words used were “cries of genocide are erupting from every crevice of Israeli society”, which the person then diagnosed as widespread Israeli “sociopathic psychosis”. But then you get to the ironic ending of the tirade:
WHAAAT?. . . . has this ignoramus heard of the October 7 attack on Israel that started this war, an attack that involved Hamas LIVESTREAMING the slaughter of Israeli civilians, including butchering babies, born and unborn, cutting legs off kids, burning people alive, deliberately killing parents in front of their children, and chopping up old people with blunt shovels? And that’s just a start. The last I heard, the members of Hamas are “Palestinians”. And I haven’t heard of the IDF doing such things, much less doing it gleefully. Remember “Dad, I just killed ten Jews with my own hands!“? Talk about psychosis:
“Look how many I killed with my own hands! Your son killed Jews!”
Listen to a phone call of a Hamas terrorist calling home, bragging about how many people he massacred.
The whole world needs to hear this. pic.twitter.com/Xv0ykyxvrF
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 24, 2023
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili reluctantly relinquishes part of the bed:
A: May I lie down here as well?Hili: Of course, just do not fidget.
Ja: Czy ja mogę też się tu położyć?Hili: Oczywiście, tylko się nie wierć.
From the Absurd Sign Project 2.0:
From Jesus of the Day:
From Irena, a Bernie made from veggies!
From Masih, who was on “60 Minutes” with Leslie Stahl:
Iran is accused of quietly carrying out a shadow war in the U.S. and Europe, deploying proxy assassins to silence or eliminate critics of the regime. Lesley Stahl reports, Sunday. https://t.co/mEN4CWeXMW pic.twitter.com/xNbFgLuxsJ
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) November 9, 2023
Meanwhile, in a math class at MIT:
This is a math class this morning at @MIT. This is the state of learning and ‘free speech’ at our top universities. It would not be happening without a failure leadership at MIT.
Imagine being a student who borrowed $250k to attend MIT or a professor who is trying to do… pic.twitter.com/w8C6Y6i3SU
— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) November 10, 2023
From Simon (I don’t know if the sign is real):
— Cher Somerton 🇺🇸🦅🇮🇱 (@CSomerton) November 5, 2023
I found this one (Gal Gadot, famous as “Wonder Woman,” was both Miss Israel and a soldier in the IDF (see here for further information about the disruption):
So anti-Israel protestors found out Gal Gadot was helping screen the video of 10/7 atrocities at the Museum of Tolerance in LA tonight.
They showed up and are now apparently attacking Israel supporters there. pic.twitter.com/FmuseFK4JZ
— AG (@AGHamilton29) November 9, 2023
It's not about wanting innocent Arabs to die. I never have and I never will. It's about knowing exactly why they are dying and who is to blame.
— Rudy (@theneonrequiem) November 7, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial; remember that it wasn’t just Jews they killed:
The Roma people were considered enemies of the Third Reich, condemned to be isolated and ultimately murdered. Some 23,000 Roma & Sinti were incarcerated in Auschwitz. 91 percent of them perished.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 10, 2023
A tweet from Matthew. He says, “This is 6/mins long! Very stressful, not fake, not on a loop.”
Forget all the police suspect chase scenes you know.pic.twitter.com/Jg1hHkRcSP
— Enez Özen | Enezator (@Enezator) November 9, 2023