"Israel and America enjoy a deep and multi-layered friendship, but even the closest allies can sometimes disagree." - Michael Oren
"Netanyahu has been trying to pretend that the crisis with Washington was precipitated by bad timing. Nobody in the administration is buying it, and it is not clear how the Israel lobby can even try to sell it." - Bernard Avishai
"Gen. David Petraeus, the head of American forces in the Middle East and an expert in counterinsurgency, weighed in with a statement of the obvious, that America’s long acquiescence in Israel’s occupation was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region." - Bernard Avishai
I had wanted to write about the next steps that could be taken to heal the US - Israeli spat, but that will take a back seat in light of current events. To make matters even worse in Israel, today we have another international incident that will generate a military response from the Israeli government, and probably halt all current progress towards any peace talks. Some hot-headed Palestinian group in Gaza fired a Kassam missile into Israel and killed a Thai greenhouse worker. From al Jazeera: "A rocket has been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, killing a Thai agricultural worker, Israeli medics have said. Thursday's strike, the first from the territory to cause any fatalities since the end of Israel's Gaza war in January 2009, may harden Tel Aviv's response.
"This is a crossing of the red line, which Israel cannot accept. The Israeli response will be appropriate. It will be strong," Silvan Shalom, the Israeli vice prime minister, told reporters. The attack happened as the European Union's foreign affairs chief was visiting the enclave." We can forget the gaffe over Biden, forget the rioting in Jerusalem and Bangkok. Now, the right wing attitude in the Israeli government will harden, they wil call for another invasion into Gaza, and dash any hopes of Netanyahu being forced into forming a more moderate government..
A group that claims to have been inspired by al Qaeda that nobody has heard of claimed responsibility: "A small Islamist faction calling itself Ansar al-Sunna claimed responsibility for the attack.
In a statement e-mailed to reporters in Gaza, the al-Qaida-inspired faction said the attack was a response to Israel's "Judaization" of Islamic holy places in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank. A second group, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, also later claimed responsibility.
Vice Premier Silvan Shalom warned that the attack would lead to a strong reaction, and said that Hamas was ultimately responsible. “It is severe escalation,” said Shalom in remarks broadcast on Army Radio. “Israel will not return to the situation of before Operation Cast Lead. The response will be particularly fierce...I hope Hamas will learn a lesson.” What nobody has mentioned, is why Israel has imported Thai workers to do menial labor for them. I wonder if they have joined in the practice that is common to all countries in this region, of hiring foreign workers and then treating them as slaves, taking away their passports and often physically abusing them. Only someone interested in human rights would open that can of worms, and they have been put in jail a lot recently for trying to tell the truth.
are there any catholics left?...
The Catholic church has been covering up the pedophiles who abused young children for over 30 years. Hardly any of the priests were let go, their actions reported to the police, or even an attempt made to get them therapy. Instead, the abusive priests were sent to different locations in round-robin fashion, and their victims made to sign an oath of silence. Even the Pope is implicated when he was a Cardinal in Germany, and the numbers of victims are in the hundreds, from all over the US, Ireland, Germany, and Italy.
Our churches often impede a person's spiritual growth, they talk a good game about mystical experience, but lack the skills or knowledge to pass on an understanding of that experience. Which is why Islam persecutes Sufis, and Christian churches do not practice meditation. Lack of understanding leads to intolerance instead of acceptance, which also shows up in preaching against gays while at the same time trying to cover up the actions of pedophiles.
Speaking of intolerance, Congress has been having hearings over the wisdom of repealing the "don't ask don't tell" policy of gays in the military.. Yesterday General David Petraeus sat before the panel and said that the policy should end now, but he was not allowed to read his official statement because it was deemed too long. The main Congressman who seems to want the policy to continue indefinitely, is John McCain. When he was running for President, John said that if the generals were for ending the "don't ask" policy, then he would be for changing it, too. Well, all of the Pentagon top brass has weighed in on the side of changing the policy , while John has dug his heels and put his fingers in his ears, saying no no no no no...
It's a good thing that John didn't become President. It's pretty clear that he is in denial, that he has buried the memories of the homosexual acts he performed when he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. John, it's no big deal, nobody would think anything less of you. It doesn't diminish the heroism you portrayed, even if you did manage to get your co-pilot and gunner killed.. We don't even care if the stories are kept private, it's better that way for your health. Something for you to share with your priest, something you both might have in common...