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Archive for the ‘DC’ Category

Antisemitic plays in the guise of legitimate criticism of Israel are nothing new. In 2005, there was the British polemic about the “activist” Rachel Corrie. The most recent of these artistic expressions of racism, Seven Jewish Children, does not even make an honest attempt to mask its antisemitism.

Antisemitism will probably persist as long as the sun rises in the east, but what I learned from the NY Times today has truly managed to shock me. The JCC in Washington, DC is serving as a mouthpiece to this modern blood libel. This is not the first time the JCC has promoted “progressive causes,” and pretty crudely, too. This past September, Sandra Bernhard warned “Sarah Palin not to come into Manhattan lest she get gang-raped by some of Sandra’s big black brothers.”

This, however, is a new low. This is the JEWISH community center. On their blog, Theater J, run by the Washington DC JCC, Ari Roth, director of this trash, says “[t]he play is this year’s My Name is Rachel Corrie.” Of course it is. But is he really implying that is something positive?

He says the play is “problematic… [for] suggesting that there is a Jewish ownership—not merely an Israeli military’s responsibility—for the recent violence in Gaza.” I don’t even know where to start. Never mind that diaspora Jewish communities do not even come close to taking an active role in the welfare of the Jewish state, thinking that throwing money at “their brothers” is sufficient. Forget that those who Israel targeted were, and still are, trying to effect a genocide upon the Jews. But no, the play is only “controversial.”

Next time your local Jewish Community Center asks you for a donation – ask them if they, too, promote antisemitism.

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Posts dealing with the military and political aspects here, international opinion here, as well as etymology.

As in the early stages of the war in 2006, the variety of reactions from the region are somewhat unexpected. the major actors in the region are a far cry from the usual accusations against Israeli military actions. Egypt, for one, is seen as complicit in the Israeli campaign. Hundreds of protesters in Washington, DC gathered, predictably, in front of the Israeli embassy. However, they marched from there to protest in front of the Egyptian embassy, as they did in London, as well. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit blamed the UN Security Council for not doing anything to stop the Israeli operation, however he used fairly non-inflammatory in urging Israel  “to abstain from launching ground operations.” Furthermore, the Egyptian administration has not exactly become more popular by its refusal to open the border and allow Gazans into Sinai.

Yet, Gheit’s most “incendiary” comments were probably those in which he said that “Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel before any truce deal can be reached,” thus drawing the ire of Hezballah chief Hassan Nasrallah, saying Egypt was blaming the victim and that if they will not open the crossing between Sinai and Gaza “it would be considered a partner in the killing of Palestinians by the Israeli military.” This only served to prolong the yelling match between Egypt and Hezballah…

Another major player on the scene is Saudi Arabia, whose interests never quite seem to mesh with the rest of the region’s. The Saudi foreign minister, Saud al-Faisal, has “blamed Palestinian divisions for Israel’s onslaught on Gaza.” Implicitly placing the blame on Hamas, al-Faisal said that “This terrible massacre would not have happened if the Palestinian people were united behind one leadership.” Nevertheless, despite the obvious dislike of Hamas (probably due to their close ties with Iran), Saudi Arabia continues, at the same time, with a typical anti-Israel line, calling Israeli actions an “onslaught” and a “massacre.”

NEXT: More on the Arab World, Jewish World, and the ever-changing Israeli public.

UPDATE: Galei Tzahal reports that Egypt has renewed its ties with Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al, in a supposed attempt to achieve a cease-fire.

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Military and Political aspects here.

World reactions have been very mixed, and need to be looked at separately, depending on where they originate – the Western and Arab worlds. This post deals primarily with reactions from the West.

With regards to the Western World, Dover Tzahal seems to think Israel is faring much better in the media war than in the past. Overall, it appears the media is being less ridiculous than usual. With regards to Europe and the US, America has been fairly quiet, with an unpopular lame duck President and a President-elect whose foreign policy views are not his forte.

Europe, on the other hand, has been equivocal, as usual. Sarkozy used standard language, calling “on both sides to show restraint.” Gordon Brown called it a “spiral of violence,” and mischaracterized the situation in Gaza as a “humanitarian crisis.” Germany’s Angela Merkel’s spokesperson, on the other hand, said the chancellor believes the “clear, sole responsibility for the situation lies with Hamas.” And Ban Ki-Moon responded in typical, wrongheaded, UN fashion. Other European reactions can be found here.

The massive worldwide protests are relatively meaningless. The hypocrisy of these demonstrations need not be overstated, and in general, such demonstrations are basically just massive gatherings of people who do not matter.

NEXT: Etymology of “Cast Lead”, and Arab and Jewish Worlds’ opinions.

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This post comes a bit late, but it is relevant nonetheless. Last Tuesday, as you know, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. So far, so good. Democracy in action, the people have spoken, etc.

Here in DC, celebrations went on well into the night. Being happy and celebrating is all well and good, but the revelry went completely overboard. In Adams Morgan, people congregated on the streets, yelling and chanting Obama’s name incessantly. The worst part, however, was the honking. It was like the first few minutes after a sports victory – but it went on for hours on end.

First, who are these people? Did they think they could just quit their jobs now since Obama is going take care of all of their problems? Why else are so many people out on the street at 2:00 am on a Tuesday night? I don’t understand.

More importantly, the police did not do anything. It’s one thing to hear party-goers on a Saturday night. It’s another when it’s Tuesday, and the noise is far worse than any weekend. In Adams Morgan, no less. And so, despite numerous calls to the police, nothing was done. At one point, dispatch informed me that the crowds would be dispersed at 2:15 am. What does that mean? Public disturbances are fine until 2:15 am? Again, I don’t understand.

In any case, there was a police car on the corner of 18th and Columbia, blocking the road (unnecessary, since no cars could get through the mob of people on the street anyway), just like on weekend nights. So, I went down and spoke to one of the police officers who was just standing there, and I explained the situation to him. At first, he had no idea this was a problem. This was 2:00 am and there was more noise than at a football game, what sort of idiot does not see any problem? He also told me that dispatch had not informed him of any complaints. This sort of inefficiency (or is it just carelessness?) on the part of the Metroplolitan Police Department is just mind-boggling.

The police officer seemed pretty nice, though, despite being more than a little stupid, and he told me that he would begin to take care of the honking, at least. I waited half a block away to see what would happen. I assumed taking care of the noise disturbances meant issuing tickets, or at the very least saying something to the offenders. No, nothing of the sort. Instead, I saw the officers hug two guys who were celebrating in the street.

Whom exactly was protected and served??

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Shooting News Update

Update – A comment from Ben has alerted me that MPD has a record of gun violence on its map matching the incident from Saturday night. However, no news outlets seem to be picking it up – and at this point, they probably will not either. Meaning its simply not important enough – a shooting in Adam Morgan is now too commonplace to be considered. Great.

Home Sweet Home?

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I posted the other day about a shooting incident in Adams Morgan on Saturday night. Apart from very little information on a few blogs, there seems to be no reports on any mainstream media.

One person commented that he saw an undercover police officer exit a nearby restaurant as soon as the shots were heard. There was a very significant increased police presence, a number of ambulances, as well as the taping off of a crime scene. Another commenter said he saw a “college kid loaded into an ambulance with a wrap on his head.” And yet another commented that the following morning a police officer told him that someone was shot during a mugging and that the suspect was arrested.

How come none of this is on the news? It seems to me that a shooting in a residential neighborhood, with a victim no less, should be pretty newsworthy. Or could it be that Adams Morgan has really gotten that bad, that occasional gunfire is to be expected on the weekends?

It’s been two days and no news at all. Something smells bad.

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DC Shooting

A little off topic, but still relevant – to me, at least.

Adams Morgan, one of the more popular neighborhoods in Washington, DC, has been experiencing an increase in crime recently. Just last week the relatively affluent area suffered two separate shootings, one of which resulted in a fatality.

Anyway, Saturday night, assembling IKEA furniture (which is probably pretty normal for Adams Morgan), and I suddenly hear about 10 gunshots from right outside my bedroom window. I look out at the street and I see a bunch of people lying down, but no unusual police presence (the police routinely limits traffic to one direction on weekend nights on of the streets around here).

About a minute later a few police cars show up, flashing lights, sirens blaring and all. They drive down the street, they drive back up the street, they drive back down the street again. This is repeated for a few times, and it is fairly evident that they have no clue what is going on. They probably were notified that shots were fired somewhere in the area and decided that driving up and down the street is a good way of finding the crime scene. Great way to attract criminals too – since it is widely known that criminals are attracted to flashing lights and loud noises.

More than a few minutes passed before a crime scene was taped off and at least 10 minutes passed until ambulances arrived on the scene.

I realize I’m no authority on police methodolgy or criminology or anything else really related, but from this civilian’s point of view, someone (or some people) seems extremely incompetent.

It’s also pretty odd for me to hear gunshots in this environment, feels totally out of place.

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