Monday, February 28, 2005

Glick Nails Another One

Caroline Glick's latest article, Convenient culprits, in the Jerusalem Post is an attempt to open our eyes. She points out that what we're seeing today has been seen before -- in March of 1996 when Hamas and Islamic Jihad went on an eight-day murder spree killing 62 Israelis in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ashkelon. How does it compare, you may ask? This was happening in an atmosphere where peace was "on the horizon" with the Wye Plantation negotiations. So upsetting the apple cart of hope wasn't an option.

"Neither Peres nor Clinton could acknowledge the role played by the PA and Syria in enabling the bombings. Doing so would have been tantamount to admitting that their entire policy of peace processing was based on flawed assumptions. So rather than admit the truth, both men called for Arafat to be strengthened."

Glick feels we're seeing a repeat of this today -- but will we learn from our past mistakes? After Friday's suicide bombing, both Israeli and Palestinians were claiming Hizbullah, Syria or Iran were responsible. While Glick agrees Hizbullah plays a significant role in fomenting, directing and financing Palestinian terror, she feels Hizbullah's involvement is welcomed by the PA and their terror groups.

"In the last few years Fatah cells have exceeded both Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the amount of direct payments and direction they have received from Hizbullah."

It's been obvious that the various terror factions have been working together. Glick adds, "Case in point is Friday's bomber Abdullah Badran. While Badran apparently acted as an agent of Islamic Jihad, Palestinians in Tulkarm say that he was a longtime member of Fatah."

I know, I know....a smoke screen from the Palestinians. Say it isn't so! But it gets worse. Today, Israel and the US are calling for Arafat 2.0 to be strengthened. Sound familiar? Of course. The rest of Glick's article needs to be read. I will include it all:

"Both Israel and the US have placed their faith in Abbas despite his coddling of terrorists during his election campaign; his decision two weeks ago to unfreeze Hamas's bank accounts; his refusal to take action against any terrorists or their support networks; and his plan to bring terrorists into his "reformed" security services.

As was the case with the 1996 finger-pointing at Iran, the government's accusations against Hizbullah, Syria and Iran today are both illuminating and misleading. It is true that all three are actively fomenting Palestinian terrorism. But that does not mean that we no longer need to focus most on Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the PA whose forces are on the ground attacking us.

It is hard to escape the feeling that, as was the case in 1996, at least in part, the government's emphasis on distant enemies is aimed at distracting the public from the dangers closer to home.

Just last week Abbas requested that the nations of the world provide him with offensive weaponry. Russia has already responded that it will give armored personnel carriers to the PA. So far, the government has given no indication that it has a problem with this state of affairs.

This, in spite of the fact that such Palestinian offensive armament is in total contravention of the Oslo agreements and, more importantly, flies in the face of Israel's security doctrine since the founding of the state. This doctrine has completely ruled out the introduction of offensive weapons systems to the territories. But then, if the government goes through with vacating Gaza, it will have no ability to sustain this doctrine.

Syria, Iran and Hizbullah are all formidable enemies of Israel. But this fact must not obscure the serious terror problem posed by the PA and its terror allies right here. And this problem will only grow if Israel vacates Gaza, providing them with a secure base of operations where Syria, Iran and Hizbullah will be able to arm and train them to attack at will."

So... are we trying for peace at any price? And can doing so ever bring true peace?

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Oscar Show Wrap-up (updated as show progressed)

I have two words for you -- amateur hour. This show was a poorly produced mess. What was up with having all the nominees on stage like they were facing a firing squad? How embarrassing for those on there who didn't win! Even worse -- poor makeup's winners had to do their acceptance speech in the aisle! What was up with that?!? And it just gets worse. The shot of Scarlett Johansson from the balcony -- and they didn't even dress it! You could see the stair way. Note to future broadcasts: don't repeat this! It didn't work. And what was up with all the shots that showed empty seats??! Hello, that's what seat fillers are for.

Points of Interest (I can't really call it highlights):

1) Chris Rock's opening monologue was funny until he started going off about Bush and then he ragged on the war. So how does he wrap it up? Telling the audience to give it up for the troops. Huh?

2) Pierce Brosnan coughing (during the package) and missing cues with the animated costumer from The Incredibles. Not the suave action I'd expect from 007.

3) Cate Blanchett winning for supporting actress for aping the hell out of Katharine Hepburn. I can sort of deal with that win because she was the only half-way decent part of The Aviator, an otherwise boring film that sucked 3 hours of my life away. I will admit I'm rather disappointed Sophie Okonedo didn't win for Hotel Rwanda but I'm guessing many academy members didn't see the movie (I fear this will cause Don Cheadle to lose too).

4) Catherine Zeta Jones "not showing up" and Chris Rock filling in for her. This was a lame attempt at humor.

5) Al Pacino's tribute to Sidney Lumet. I should have taped it for nights I have trouble falling asleep. Also loved when he announced Mr. Lumet, he rubbed the Oscar against his mic.

6) Something fell, throwing Jeremy Irons, who was stuck in the aisle again.

7) I didn't expect to keep having so many things to point out. OK, so Chris Rock does a crass intro for Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz, saying something about having the "four" of them. Egads. Then all the nominees are carted onstage again, looking like participants in the game show, Russian Roulette, waiting for the trap door to open and they'll fall through. Then Salma introduced a song, and some sound happened (I thought like a horse; my boyfriend thought it was like something fell).

8) During Martin Scorsese's speech for Roger Mayer, the voice over disappeared during the package. What a mess!

9) The Dead Tribute -- they started off with Ronald Reagan and no one clapped for a few seconds... Don't get me wrong; I wasn't fond of Reagan when he was president. His policies had a horrible affect on my family's quality of life. But for G-d's sake -- the man was president. As Tom Carter discussed on his blog, you show respect for the president.

10) Best song went to the film glorifying a communist and a terrorist. Charming. And Hollywood, who thinks they're not out of touch with the country, proceeded to clap madly.

11) Forgot to add Sean Penn's diatribe against "the host." Sean, do you need me to get someone to help remove that pole up your ass? As Chris Rock said, you need to go see his "accountants." Sean Penn = pretentious actor to the nth degree. He's a very good actor, but still...

12) Best Actress -- major tough category. All the actresses did kick-ass work. But it went to the woman who I said should get it long ago -- Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby. I couldn't see how anyone else could get it. Bravo for getting ONE thing right tonight....finally. And wasn't Chad Lowe adorable as she thanked him (since she forgot last time).

13) They just came back from commericial and you could hear Chris Rock saying, "If it breaks...." Uh huh.

14) Best actor -- Jamie Foxx.... well, he did do a fine job. Great speech. But to me, Don Cheadle needed to get it. Hotel Rwanda deserved something. It was an AMAZING film. Ray was an enjoyable film. HR was phenomenal.

15) OK, I just realized I didn't say anything about Supporting Actor, but that was only because it was sublime..... Morgan Freeman -- YES!!!!!!!! I heart him. He was in one of my favorite films of all time, The Shawshank Redemption and he totally rocked in Million Dollar Baby. I was so happy for him!

16) Directing. If Clint doesn't get it, I will be furious. HATED Aviator. OK, Julia "Go Away" Roberts is announcing.... Yay!!!!!!!!! Clint won!!!!!!!!

17) Oh dear G-D, Barbra. Love how she's hogging the mic. And then she giggled and had to cue Dustin. Best film had better be Million Dollar Baby because it was....we'll see...And now Barbra grabs the envelope...but can't read and she says it's great to give it to Clint again. I don't think my boyfriend has his hearing anymore. I screamed bloody murder! Woohoo!! And Barbra molested Clint when he came up. Too funny. Horrible shots of the audience -- more mess ups.

18) Clint was a class act, letting his other producers have the spotlight. What a guy! Charlie Kauffman, who won for script and has won before, didn't let the other 2 writers speak. Clint, you rock!

Horrible writing, terrible directing (hi Lou! you big jerk), and wonky camera work -- had to have been the worst looking Oscars ever. But I'm glad Million Dollar Baby did well.

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Is the Noose Tightening Around Syria?

If so, it couldn't happen to a nicer regime. Following the terror attack Friday night in Tel Aviv that claimed 4 lives, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz declared that Syria and Islamic Jihad were responsible. In Mofaz declares a freeze on PA town handovers, writer Margot Dudkevitch and the JPOST staff write about Mofaz and the possible ramifications. Mofaz said that the stability of the region is threatened by Syria, which of course is not news to those of us who travel the blogway. Syria and their proxy fighters, Hezbollah, have always been a bloody thorn in the side of Israel. Now that Abu Mazen and the PA have to look like they're behaving, expect Hezbollah to step up their operations. In anticipation, Israeli security officials "will meet with ambassadors of all the countries who are members of the United Nations Security Council to demand that a strong condemnation against Syria be issued." Yay! Israel is going to stick up for themselves. And that's not all:

"In the coming weeks, Mofaz will dispatch Defense Ministry officials to meet with government leaders in London, Paris and Washington and present them with details of Syria's involvment in terror and ask them to vest pressure on Syria to stop its activities." Another "Yay!"

The plan also includes demanding Abu Mazen act to halt terror activities from territories under his control. I feel that's a no-brainer. Hello?! Isn't that what he's supposed to have been doing? Oh wait. Now he needs to do it. Riiiight. Had to wait until we had more dead Israelis before we get serious. But I digress. Here was one paragraph that really caught my eye:

"The process of handing over the security control of West Bank cities to the Palestinians will be frozen until the Palestinians start taking action on the ground, but dialogue between the sides will continue security officials said."

I can get behind this. Just keep in mind one thing that won't change:

"Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert noted, 'The attack would not derail or change the timetable of the disengagement plan.' "

For what it's worth, I think it's good to continue talks but there has to be some repercussions and not getting control handed over is a valid action. I'm sure some are wondering why this terror attack should have an affect on things (since that would be letting the terrorists win--after all, they want to derail the process)? There's a very good reason -- because precious lives were lost!

"So far, the names of three of the four fatalities have been released for publication: Aryeh Nagar, 37, of Kfar Saba, whose funeral will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in his hometown; Yael Orbach, 28, of Rehovot, who was set to get married in just weeks; her funeral is set for 12:00 p.m. Sunday in Kfar Saba. The other name given was Yitzhak Buzaglo, 40, from Moshav Ha'Yarden. His funeral is set for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday in his hometown. Buzaglo's wife Linda is hospitalized in serious condition."

Never forget.

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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Column One: And justice for some

In Caroline Glick's latest article in the Jerusalem Post, she begins her piece on some wonky goings on with Israel's Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz by letting loose this tidbit, which I hadn't read anyplace prior:

"Former prime minister Ehud Barak sent a jolt through the political system when on Monday he told a television interviewer: 'The Sharon family is corrupt to its very foundations, and in any other normal country, Sharon would have no longer been in power.' "

According to Glick, this is a rare outburst of dissent towards Sharon, who is seemingly getting a "pass" from most of his fellow politicians, countrymen and quite surprisingly -- the Israeli media.

"So here we have it, the watchdog of Israeli democracy, the Fourth Estate, is willfully ignoring one of its cardinal responsibilities – holding our public officials to standards of proper behavior in order to ensure the proper functioning of our government. And the media is behaving thus because apparently, the Powers That Be hate the Israeli communities in Gaza and northern Samaria more than they love the law."

Many of her points are rather disturbing. And there is the fact that since Sharon introduced the withdrawal plan, he has enjoyed heaps of praise from surprising quarters. Hell, he's even being told nice things by the "parent you can never please" -- the EU. But still there is that nagging feeling... how likely is it that Sharon is as corrupt as Barak suggests? Glick offers the following, about the money Sharon's son MK Omri Sharon, raised for his father's 1999 campaign:

" strains credulity to believe that Sharon had no idea what his son was doing. NIS 6 million is a lot of money. Sharon has a reputation as a micro-manager. Is it reasonable to credit his statement that he never once asked his son where all this money had come from?"

Is this something that the country should be worrying about, in light of the huge undertaking that's happening with the peace process as well as disengagement? Is this something that can wait until after Sharon leaves office? Right now, it's not even a consideration because Mazuz doesn't feel there's enough evidence against the father Sharon. Glick points out a couple of other things she feels are missing from Mazuz's plate that he should be dealing with and yet there are things he is addressing that he shouldn't be bothering:

"The more independent the attorney-general has become from any political authority, the more politicized and less professional the office has become."

Seems like things are flying out of control. But Glick warns that you can't count on the fourth estate to sort it out. Seems the allure of disengagement has everyone willing to look the other way.

"In light of the fact that our media unabashedly admits to willingly surrendering professional standards for political purposes, the absence of a professional prosecution is all the more disturbing."

Israelis can't count on most of the media, but as long as Caroline Glick's around, at least there's someone trying to figure out the score.

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Three Dead in Suicide Bombing

So much for a ceasefire. More Israelis are now dead. Once again it's near a nightclub (this time the Stage club on Herbert Samuel Street) on Tel Aviv's beachfront promenade.

Which lovely faction accepted responsibility? Well, militants from Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades -- you know they're tied to Abu Mazen's Fatah movement -- claimed it was Hezbollah. But on their TV station, they're reporting that Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility. So is this the new way of doing suicide bombings? Pass the hot potato of blame from faction to faction so that action can't be taken? As Dr. Evil would say, "Greaaaaat."


It's now 4 dead, 49 injured. It ticks me off that reports will say this is the first breach of the ceasefire, when in reality, it's the first lethal/successful breach. The IDF has found many roadside bombs, bomb belts, etc. but the MSM doesn't seem to count that.

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A Must-Read

Do you love your freedom? Regardless of your answer, please read this wonderful and important column over at Clarity and Resolve. Excellent job, patrick. Excellent job.

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Anti-Semitic Crimes Spike Across Houston Area

Hat tip to the ADL about this Daily Sentinel article. Eight such hate crimes occurred in a three-week period in December.

"Most of the crimes involve vandalism at public places, including houses of worship and a Jewish community center. But there have also been threatening messages left on answering machines at synagogues in Houston and The Woodlands."

But that's not all.

"In some cases, the words 'Juden Raus' — meaning 'Jews Out' — were painted on sidewalks and benches in southwest Houston. Swastikas also were painted on eight of the large red domes decorating overpasses along a freeway, and vulgarities regarding Jews were painted on a wall at a restaurant. Swastikas and slogans such as 'Jews Die' and 'Aliens' were scratched into the doors of Congregation Brith Shalom in Bellaire and Congregation Emanu El. Swastikas were etched into window panes at the Houston Hillel student center and the Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism."

The sad thing is that they don't have any suspects in these cases. Someone or some group is trying to terrorize Houston's Jewish population. I wonder if our war on terror stretches to Houston's borders.

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Melissa Ethridge's Brave Comeback

Dateline's Stone Phillips interviewed Melissa about being diagnosed with breast cancer, the affect chemo has had on her body and appearing bald during her performance at the Grammys. To the latter point, I know her going bald meant the world to Big Sister. And from what I know about my sister's recovery, I'm sure Melissa was definitely an inspiration to many women dealing with breast cancer. You see, when Big Sister went bald to her first support group meeting, no one else had done the same. By the next meeting, a handful came bald, inspired by my sister's lead.

I found many similarities in Melissa's story. You should definitely check it out.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Will/Should The US Be Taken Seriously?

This question is addressed in Caroline Glick's latest Jerusalem Post article, Our World: Can America be trusted? What is our credibility around the world in the wake of the US-led invasion of Iraq -- but do keep the history of our withdrawal from Lebanon in 1983 and Somalia in 1993 firmly in mind...

There are two diametrically opposed views of American policy. One (taken by Druse leader Walid Jumblatt who wants to end Syrian occupation in Lebanon) is that we're going to help out people who want democracy; the other (a position taken by Syria and Iran) is that you can play chicken with us because it's a good bet that we'll be the first to back down. Syria and Iran see our staying power in Iraq as an aberration. They see our support for Saudi Arabia and Egypt -- despite the fact that both are tyrannies that foster hatred and terror against the US and its allies through various forms. But one thing in Glick's article especially caught my eye:

"Iran and Syria see Washington backing the Palestinian Authority's new president Mahmoud Abbas in spite of the fact that Abbas has said consistently that he will not raise a finger against Palestinian terrorists. They see Washington embracing Abbas and showering him with US taxpayer dollars at the same time as Abbas signs execution orders for Palestinians who have helped Israel combat terrorism and declares his intention to "reform" the PA security services by enlisting Hamas and Fatah terrorists in their ranks."

How can we be taken seriously when we do things like this? I know I wonder; why shouldn't other countries do the same? That's a quandary Bush is trying to deal with on this European tour. If he can get the Europeans and the Russians on board to help use diplomacy against Syria and Iran -- then the first option view will gain validity. If he can't convince them, Bush will face a choice:

"He can prefer good relations with Paris, Berlin and Moscow to his own stated policy objectives. If this is the outcome – and it will be made clear if Bush in any way is perceived as even slightly backing away from his stated doctrine of fighting terror and oppression as a means of winning the war – the Syria and Iran leaders can breathe easy as their democratic opponents are forced to relent or go underground."

With that in mind, if Bush doesn't have their support, Glick sees him as having one tool of coercion left -- lethal force.

Add to that, former UNSCOM weapons inspector Scott Ritter dropped a bombshell that the US plans to bomb Iran in June of 2005. Of course, we have no idea if his assertion has any basis in reality but you can bet if things don't go well for Bush in getting our allies on board, this possibility is going to appear closer to becoming a reality. Or will the US simply leave the situation for Israel to clean up for the world again?

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

What is with Jacques Chirac?

Gindy did a post about how Chirac wants a united Europe to serve as a counterbalance to the United States. I can't imagine what his fellow countrymen think of that concept! Then again, I have an even better question for the French. Why have you allowed Chirac to stay in office? Granted I don't know how much he had to do with the following things but let's look at what we've learned since invading Iraq:

* French weapons were found in Iraq's possession (the weapons were post-U.N. sanctions)

* France had billions of dollars in oil contracts with Saddam, and in return they were to use their seat on the Security Council to stop the US from ever invading

* Oil for Food

* In the 70s, Chirac sold the nuclear reactor to Iraq -- and was so in bed with Saddam that his nickname was Jacques Iraq

In conjunction with the second point, we know Chirac also bullied the former Soviet Bloc countries, threatening their membership into the European Union, if they sided with the US. And it wasn't because Chirac thought war was bad -- he had BILLIONS as an incentive -- to keep the US from invading Iraq. All of these actions caused many Americans to boycott French products, hurting the pocketbooks of many in France. So I repeat, why is this guy still in power? And when is their next election?

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Monday, February 21, 2005

Where Did I Find This?

I just read an article about the settlement situation and Israel itself, with the following statements:

* Whatever anyone thinks of them, nothing gave Israel the right to move into the West Bank and Gaza after the Six-Day War
* Residential settlements cannot be justified as self-defense — they’re an armed land-grab.
* So while Oslo turned out to be a failure, unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon turned out to be a success
* And I’m very sorry — few Jews want to hear about this, but the acts of brutality against Palestinians by Israeli soldiers, not to mention settlers, are part of the fabric of the occupation.

Sounds like it's from some anti-Israel Web site? Well, try again. Believe it or not, this article is actually by Larry Derfner, Tel Aviv Correspondent for The Jewish Journal -- a Los Angeles publication for the Jewish community. Who wants to make a bet that it will be picked up by Arab news services to help make their case for the dismantling of Israel? It saddens me when Jews end up being Israel's worst enemy.

"Whatever anyone thinks of them, nothing gave Israel the right to move into the West Bank and Gaza after the Six-Day War when there were 100 percent Palestinians and 0 percent Israelis there, and to do so permanently, which was Israel’s intention when it built the settlements..... Residential settlements cannot be justified as self-defense — they’re an armed land-grab. That’s plain wrong, and no religious text can justify it."

How can you be accused of a land grab when it's land you won after a defensive war (never mind that we know no other country would ever give land back in a similar situation)? Israel wanted that land to bargain with, which is why they didn't annex it in 1967. But Egypt and Jordan didn't want it back. If you recall, Gaza wasn't in play during the talks with Sadat; they didn't want the PLO to have veto power over any part of the process. Also, Israel had settlements in the Sinai and eventually dismantled them so it doesn't mean they never meant to give land back.

"So while Oslo turned out to be a failure, unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon turned out to be a success..."

Really? I'm sure the news of the huge success will surprise Israeli soldiers who quite often find themselves on the receiving end of Hizbollah's mortar attacks.

"And I’m very sorry — few Jews want to hear about this, but the acts of brutality against Palestinians by Israeli soldiers, not to mention settlers, are part of the fabric of the occupation."

Few Jews might want to hear it but I'm betting he enjoyed saying it. He tells the story of a soldier who "fired at the legs of 5-year-old children" -- forced to -- who were throwing stones at the soldiers. Derfner does so much opining elsewhere but here he can't be bothered. He can't imagine that while some kids use stones, others might use grenades? We know full well that terrorists have no problem using children to exact their Jihad on the enemy. It's ugly. It's nasty. It's war. And it's unfortunately a reality that Derfner doesn't want to address. He prefers to believe the worst of Israeli soldiers and settlers. I wonder how many American Jews in the 1930s thought it was those Jews in Germany who were causing all the trouble.

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Question to Fellow Bloggers

OK, is there a way here on Blogger to write a short post, but when you click on the comments, you can go to a much longer version? I have a whammy of a post I want to do, but I don't want a long post taking up so much room on my main page. Help!! :)

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Sunday, February 20, 2005

And So It Begins...

There is an article by Margot Dudkevitch, for the Jerusalem Post, that announces something we've all been expecting -- and dreading. Back in January 2004, Atsem Mansour, 29, and a member of Fatah Tanzim from the Balata refugee camp, was released from an Israeli jail in return for bodies of three soldiers and businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum. Last Tuesday night, he was involved in a terrorist attack at Har Bracha. Don't worry -- he's now dead.

Tomorrow there is a scheduled release of 500 more prisoners.

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Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Good and the Sad

The Atlantic Monthly has done a wonderful service by publishing the article, Security Fences, by Abigail Cutler. Hat tip to CAMERA.

"Today the West Bank barrier is just one of many partitions around the world aimed at repelling invaders-whether terrorists, guerrillas, or immigrants. Here are the sites of other notable security barriers, in chronological order of inception."


The article does a great service (and feel free to email the editors a thank you at: It allows people to see in MSM that the idea of a security fence is not unique to Israel and isn't what many would like you to think -- an apartheid wall.

I've had a hard time with two friends (they don't know each other) because of their insistence that the fence was just that -- an apartheid wall. It's not that I can't accept an opposing view. Please. But both have refused to even discuss it -- to learn anything about it. Both refuse to have their belief challenged, and I was asked to not send emails about it. Both want it left out of conversation. One is in New York -- a journalist and a part-time teacher of Journalism (yes, be scared). The other is a Hollywood screenwriter who munches on a steady diet of Neither is Jewish, and both I've known for almost a decade. My dilemma -- both know how important Israel is to me and yet don't care to iron this out. I've never had a friendship with conversation limitations. And I've found I've lost respect for both. I don't know that the west coast friendship can be saved, but I'm also guessing it's not the last time I will face a situation like this. Anyone out there have any advice?

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Friday, February 18, 2005

Column One: The Incitement of Ideas

Caroline Glick's latest article in the Jerusalem Post talks about how any dissent towards the Gaza pullout is being crushed in all areas -- and is being labeled as incitement. The government seems to feel that people against Sharon's disengagement plan are inciting a civil war and should be kept in administrative detention. Glick is understandably unhappy to find that Sharon has "relegated all of his political opponents to criminal status." The media appears to join him, attacking anyone who takes issue with disengagement. It is creating a scary atmosphere for democracy if opposing ideas aren't allowed to be voiced. The big loser is the Israeli public, being denied any debate or discussion of the plan -- things like, how will this make Israel safer?

Another interesting element of the article has Glick pointing out something Gindy discussed on his site -- an article proclaiming, "The Fear: A Jewish Suicide Attacker" by Alex Fishman in Yediot Aharonot. She marvels at how they're treating Sharon's assassination as a foregone conclusion, wondering how rather than if or when it will be done. "The entire article was devoid of sourcing, facts or even grounded suspicions." Never mind it's offensive to even bring up a Jewish suicide bomber when there isn't any evidence of one -- and it goes against everything one is taught about Judaism.

On a side note, she clears up some of the erroneous coverage of Netanyahu's scuffle last week. His tires weren't slashed -- he had a flat. And no group had surrounded him; rather one teenager yelled at him -- and that was done because a journalist told him to do it. He was even sent a "thank you for a job well done" text message on his cell from the journalist. Well, I guess I should be grateful it wasn't a blogger!

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Public Awareness Is the Most Effective Weapon

The following was written by Safinaz Z. Murshid for Arab News -- of all places -- believe it or not. This is one of the first articles my friend The Weez has seen there that doesn't blame Israel for all the world's ills.

"A little boy about 12 was sitting with his father in a doctor’s waiting room. Two non-Arab nurses walked through and the little boy, with an astonished look on his face, said loudly and clearly to his father, “There are too many Westerners in here. Why doesn’t somebody blow this place up?” The boy then turned to the other side of the room where a bearded man was sitting. Looking at his father and indicating the bearded man, he said, “We’d better pin our hopes on him.” The boy’s father was silent; nothing did he say and nothing did he do."

Murshid goes on to say how someone should have spoken up and corrected the child, educated him. That all of their kids need to be made aware so that terrorism can be stopped. Sure, there was a reference to Palestine ("Murdering innocent people going about their daily business will not help liberate Palestine or stabilize Iraq.") but considering what I was expecting, it wasn't too bad. Check it out yourself by clicking here. The Weez said this article was more muted than most, considering they usually use the phrase, "The 37-year brutal occupation" as a justification for everything, in this case the boy's prejudices.

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

New Film Exposes European ANTISEMITISM

The Simon Wiesenthal Center needs your help to finish a very important film they are working on:

"You will hear directly from Islamists whose hatred inspires these horrific crimes, and see the frightening neo-Nazi and skinhead rallies that are growing in number and scope in Germany and across the continent. But to complete this film, we need your help. We still need over $500,000 to complete this project in time - money that will help us finish the crucial on-the-ground interviews, complete post-production work, including editing and narration, and distribute the film across Europe and throughout the world. The good news is that we have received a Challenge Grant of $250,000 from a generous donor who will match, dollar-for-dollar what our supporters give us."

To donate, click here.

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Latest news from the ADL

Abe Foxman sent a letter to the Mayor of London over his remarks comparing a Jewish journalist to a "German war criminal" and "concentration camp guard," asking him to repudiate his comments. Read about the uproar here and here.

The ADL has sent a letter to 25 E.U. ambassadors, urging them to add Hezbollah to a list of banned terrorist groups. This is set to be decided sometime this week. Unfortunately, our dear friends, the French, are trying to help them gain legitimacy by calling it a Lebanese "political faction."

The ADL expressed its shock over violence by some members of the Druze community in the Galilee toward their Christian neighbors last week. They called for a meeting for the two sides to discuss tensions.

Looks like Columbia isn't the only school inviting hate to its campus (like we ever thought they were!). The ADL let Carnegie Mellon know it deplored the invitation by a campus organization to "Malik Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party, an extremist group with virulently anti-Semitic, anti-gay, and anti-white sentiments."

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Another Bad Sign

Abu Mazen has a lot on his plate. He needs to stop anarchy in the street, and he needs to get the terrorists to stop their attacks on Israel. He has so much to take care of but what do you think was the top issue he's concentrating on? One of the most heinous crimes possible for a Palestinian -- "collaboration" with Israel. Three Palestinians were tried and found guilty. So does he put them in jail? Or does he do the predictable thing and order their deaths? This was his first chance to stand out from Arafat's shadow. He could show himself to be a true moderate, looking forward to democracy for a future state. What do you think he chose to do? Let's just say the term "firing squad" figures into the answer. Not a great sign for the future state... if you ask me.

Read the article in the Jerusalem Post by clicking here

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Education -- Your Kids Need You!

I've listened to my (oldest) sister, my father and several friends' complaints about the students in their classes and what they're facing today. So in their honor, I'm sharing a few thoughts. They may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many people don't know or care to help their children.

If you want your kids to get a better education, please take more of an interest in the goings on at your kid's school. Find out what their teachers have to say about them. Help the teachers by finding out how your child is behaving in class and if it's disruptive, step up and discipline your child so they don't take time away from the other kids. Make sure they do their homework (one teacher had the parent ask, "What do you expect me to do about it?"). Find out if your kid's teacher is doing a good job and if so, support them to the administration. I've been hearing nightmare stories about school admins who are incredibly unsupportive of their teachers. Your putting in a good word for a good teacher could make the difference as to whether or not they get to keep their job. And a good teacher can make all the difference for your child and for the the future.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

At What Cost, Peace?

Caroline Glick's newest article, "Our World: Legitimizing Abbas" in the Jerusalem Post brings up many interesting points, ones many of us have been asking ourselves and each other. Questions like why should the Israeli government release 500 prisoners (some with blood on their hands -- a line never crossed before this) to shore up Abu Mazen's legitimacy since he was elected be a majority in a legitimate election? Why is this man, who is supposed to be rejecting terror, insisting on freeing murderers? And why is Sharon giving in? Can this really lead to peace? Glick shares that, "Abbas justifies this demand by claiming that these men and women are Palestinian heroes and that his people won't accept their remaining in prison." Well, his people also don't want Jews to live. You know, just like little Johnny next door and Mick Jagger, sometimes you just don't get what you want. Glick brings up why this reasoning is disturbing. For one thing, "it constitutes an Israeli acceptance of the Palestinian claim that the use of terror against Israel is legitimate." And we all know it isn't. Even more alarming is the return to Bethlehem of the deported terrorists who took over the Church of the Nativity for 39 days -- the same ones who raped and terrorized Christian girls, families and businessmen. This gets more scary with every article I read.

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Listen Up

Hat tip to Naomi Ragen for bringing to my attention this fascinating radio interview with Salma Abdula, an Israeli born Arab, about her take on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and Islam in general. Salma lives in the US now, but she gives an insider's look at what the Arabs were told about leaving their homes in 1948, what it is like for Palestinians to show dissent with their government, etc. For anyone harboring any doubts as to the truth about this situation, may I suggest you listen to it. Keep in mind, the host, Laurie Roth, isn't even Jewish.

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Holocaust Survivor Meets Her Family!


Irene Liron checks back in with Naomi Ragen about her experience having finally met her family -- thanks to all of YOUR help.

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Monday, February 14, 2005

Get Well Soon

Brit Hume just announced on Fox News that Tony Snow has been diagnosed with colon cancer. His prognosis is good. My prayers are with you, Tony.

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Chicken Little... or Pragmatist?

Daniel Pipes gave a great interview on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation show, Lateline about the situation between Israel and the PA. The host, Tony Jones, kept trying to get Pipes to say the summit at Sharm is a wonderful opportunity for peace. He felt Sharon must agree (Pipes doesn't) that Abu Mazen is sincere or else he wouldn't have shaken Mazen's hand -- doesn't Mr. Pipes agree? This led to one of my favorite exchanges:


DANIEL PIPES: I would agree with you that the Israeli Government and particularly the prime minister doesn't agree with me. But I've often disagreed with Israeli prime ministers.

TONY JONES: Seriously, wouldn't they be in a much better position than you to judge him?

DANIEL PIPES: They've made mistakes before.


Well, ain't that the truth. Pipes goes on about various reasons why it's hard to trust Mazen and how he, as someone not directly involved, could possibly be seeing the bigger picture. I have to say I agree with his skepticism. While it'd be great to believe that peace is just around the corner, there are too many signs to the contrary and Pipes states those quite effectively in this interview.

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"Who defends those who defend us?"

That's the question raised by the site,, "which stands behind the man who puts his life on the line again and again, who makes life or death decisions in the blazing heat, exhaustion, fear and confusion of war while conducting combat operations intended to capture or kill the enemy and as a result of his actions in combat becomes the subject of an investigation or even formal charges."

For all Americans, and especially those who seek to protect and stand up for troops who are caught in the political crossfire of criminal charges, that's the place where you can kick in to help.

Copy the link and send it your friends. What else can you do? Per Rosemary: call the DoD: (703) 422-7711; Name names: Gen. Richard Huck is the guy who brought the charges, it is believed. * * *. Give out the site Encourage others to post info about this, and include the links. Voice your opinion. Let people know what you think and how you feel about sending our men to kill the enemy and then charging them with PREMEDITATED Murder when they do. Always use credible sources when making assertations such as these. The more people know about this, the more heat we can provide. It's like trying to start a fire in the fireplace outside in the woods (with logs in a stone covered enclosement!) with one match. The more fire power we have, the hotter it gets. Also, give the toll free number to the Capitol 1 877-762-8762. Encourage people to make their voices heard on this issue to their Senators and Congresspeople. The White House number is 202-456-1111. The Chairman of the Armed Services is Sen. Lugar. You can ask the operator who answers to direct your call to the Chairman of the Armed Services.

Hat tip to Marty, who posted this originally on his site.

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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Golda's Balcony

I saw this one-woman show in New York City on Broadway last May and again today in Los Angeles at the Wadsworth Theatre on Wilshire Boulevard. Tovah Feldshuh knocked it out of the park once again in her Tony nominated performance as Golda Meir. What was an added bonus this time was the sale of a DVD documentary (could be signed by Tovah) on the making of the play, including the extensive research Tovah did (interviews with key figures, the author, backstage preparing, etc.). Yes, I bought it. Can't wait to see it! Anyway, they've added more performances, so if you live in the area, I highly recommend you call right away and try to see it. The show will be touring eventually but not with Tovah -- instead it will have Patty Duke in the lead role.

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The Case for Democracy

I caught After Words on C-Span2, with Natan Sharansky, co-author of The Case for Democracy. Interviewing Sharansky was Tom Gjelten, National Security Correspondent for NPR. And of course, he had to ask an offensive question, something along the lines of, "Why does Israel build permanent walls if they want peace?" Sharansky took it in stride and explained how it was for safety. He went on further to say it's what has to be done until you get rid of terror. I loved when he turned it around and said how since 9/11, it's not easy to travel in the US either -- he has to take his shoes off all the time. Loved that! Some more choice thoughts/moments from his interview (not exact words, just general gist of things) is in the comments.

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Saturday, February 12, 2005

It's My Party Too

A lot of us here along the Blogway have been discussing feeling abandoned by the Democratic Party. We realize, unlike the party, that having John Kerry as our candidate was a huge mistake (not my own -- I didn't vote for him in the primary!). But it doesn't seem like the Dems are learning anything from their loss. If they're going to let someone like Howard Dean run the DNC, it leaves many of us with very little hope that they'll move back towards the center.

Apparently, it isn't just the Dems who are facing an inter-party struggle. There is a faction of the Republican Party that wants to abandon the agenda of the far right and bring things back to the center. Leading the charge is former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman -- with her new endeavor, It's My Part Too. If the Dems don't do something similar, I'm afraid I'm going to end up finding more in common with this new movement than I do with the party I've been registered with since I became old enough to vote.

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Friday, February 11, 2005

Miracle for Irene!

Irene Liron, the Holocaust survivor whom you all were so great in helping, has gotten her miracle -- she's made contact with some of Ellen Ackermann's family. Read the exciting news from Naomi Ragen. Read my original post about it here.

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Netanyahu Attacked by Extremists

The Jerusalem Post reports that Netanyahu was attacked Thursday night -- he's fine, luckily. But what the hell are these right-wing extremists doing chanting, ""The blood of Jews cannot be abandoned, it is forbidden to uproot Jews from their home" (according to Army radio), and thinking these actions will actually help their cause? Thankfully, there was a voice of reason from the opposing camp:

On Friday, the Council of Jewish Settlements in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip denounced the attack on Netanyahu. According to a statement the council released, "Violence and aggressiveness are not part of our way. Achieving [our] objectives and stopping the disengagement plan can only be done through a decision of the people and a democratic process."

In my mind, this is what differentiates the Jewish community from many in the moderate Muslim community -- we denounce our extremist fringe element, and we don't use the word "but" in that denouncement.

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Arthur Miller (1915-2005)

The world has truly lost a legend.

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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Do We Care About The Royals?

Or was it only Princess Diana that inspired people to care? I am truly curious. I used to think I was into the royals but the announcement about Charles and that icky Camilla left me thinking, "Who the heck cares?!" And then I remembered -- I used to. But was it Diana and all her glamour, angst and vulnerability that sucked me in? Sure, she could be a bit messed up at times but the one thing she wasn't -- was boring. Thoughts?

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Move Over Oskar

There is a push to name Italian (hi RW!) Giovanni Palatucci a saint. Today is the 40th anniversary of his death in Dachau -- and a special ceremony for him is being held at Yad Vashem. Why? Because he saved around 5,000 Jews from the Nazis. As a young policeman, he used his authority to falsify travel documents. Read about this righteous human being here at the Jerusalem Post. It is an inspiring, beautiful story with the unavoidable tragic ending. I will put the full story also in the comments for those of you who aren't registered.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2005


According to Debka, some civilian flights (some Saudi) went off course and headed towards the summit in Sharm and Eilat until Israeli F-15 jets did enough fly-overs to skirt the flights back on course, and a HAMAS gunman was killed by IDF soldiers as he tried to fire a rocket at a military jeep. Sure builds confidence in this skeptic.

IMRA reports that the Palestinians are exploiting the cease-fire to prepare for a third round. Of course, many of us in Blogsville suspected this was a hudna (meaning the truce is a sham, kept only until they rebuild/rearm). One ray of hope that they still get it in Washington -- WH press secretary Scott McClellan saying the summit was a first step but that the terrorist infrastructure still needs to be dismantled. I have never heard Abu Mazen agree to this (could be why the PA is releasing reports that they think Iran/Hizbullah are planning to assassinate Mazen). I remain cynical that this will ever come to pass, but I would love to be proven wrong.

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Reality TV... in Israel?!

The Ambassador, a new reality program, has hit the airwaves in Israel. (Why should they be immune?!) I actually think this one has an interesting and dare I say useful premise. Anyway, check out this article, written by Dina Kraft. I only mention that because I went to school with her (she's a few years younger than I am), and I'm very proud of her. She also had the cover story article in The Jewish Journal last week!


Click here to get more info and tidbits on this show. You may want to start with the entry All Ambassador, all the time.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

What Do The Palestinians Really Want?

There is something everyone must read over at Gindy's before you take this peace summit at face value.

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Abu Mazen's Turn

In comments, find excerpted from Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen's statement at the Sharm e-Sheikh summit -- taken from The Jerusalem Post.

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Sharon's speech at Sharm Summit

If you want to know what he said at the summit, you can find the speech (from the Jerusalem Post) in the comments section.

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What Is Going On?

Caroline Glick has revealed something very interesting about Condi's trip to the Middle East -- a paper that was prepared by the James Baker Institute. If those aren't three words that send shivers down your spine, check out her latest column, Our World: Look who's 'representing' Israel, in the comments section.

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Monday, February 07, 2005

PSAs -- Good or Bad?

The TV show 24 aired a public service announcement during the broadcast tonight, telling people something to the effect that Muslims, while depicted as terrorists in this program, aren't etc. Weird though was he didn't say he was Kiefer, rather he said, "Hi, I'm Jack Bauer from 24." Uh...huh.

Some funny comments seen around message boards: "They should do a PSA for black women" (cause the spy inside the counter terrorist organization is one); "they should do one about our agencies doing torture" (cause they did on an agent they thought was the spy); "do one for black men so they know that it's not true that if they sleep with a powerful black woman she'll stab them in the back" (which above black woman did); "they should do one to let people know Asians do exist, even though you don't see any as spies, terrorists, motorists, etc."; and one of my faves, "do they really think a PSA by Kiefer Sutherland will really stop someone from being a racist?!"

I'm not sure where I stand on the PSA.

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Gotta See to Believe...

He's from White Plains, New York -- he's MatisYahu, he sings Reggae and you can see his performance on Jimmy Kimmel. As my friend who recommended the link says, "Lubavitch guy Matisyahu is a real Kiddush Hashem." Totally wild.

Check him out here.

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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Holocaust Survivor Needs Your Help

Do you know Ellen Ackemann who lives in London, Ontario? Click here for the full story.


Click here for the update!

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Makin' Me Nervous

In her latest column, Caroline Glick voices a lot of the same concerns I had after hearing what Condoleezza Rice had to say about a "contiguous" Palestinian state. Do you agree -- in Comments.

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Saturday, February 05, 2005

Barbra, Where Art Thou?

I just read a 4-page article on Barbra Streisand in The Jerusalem Post, Dame Barbra. Now I'm a Babs fan from way back. One of the most moving things to me is a snippet from her cazillion disc-CD collection, "For the Record," in which she's talking with Golda Meir before Barbra sings "Hatikva" during a celebration for Israel's 30th. But other than the subsequent Yentl, I feel like Barbra has abandoned Israel. There's next to nothing on her web site, so I was hoping this article would have a nugget there to prove me wrong. I was hoping it would have some piece of info about Barbra sticking up for Israel that I didn't know. Nope. It was about her life, career and her new movie -- with a little Judaism thrown in. No Israel.

And in this old article I just read, I'm appalled to learn that Barbra gave to almost every democratic candidate for president -- including Al "Don't forget Crown Heights" Sharpton. The notable exception -- Joe Lieberman. Anyway, can't let that sidetrack me from my main point.

Israel needs champions. I'm thrilled with the likes of Adam Sandler who silently gives money, but I think it would be great for someone of stature in Hollywood's Jewish community to stand up and say -- Israel is awesome -- and I'm going to visit! If you know of something Barbra's done recently (oh hell, how about since Yentl), please say so in the comments.

How... ironic... that the most vocal voice on the subject is Madonna.

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Friday, February 04, 2005

Bus #19 -- an UPDATE has Nonie Darwish's moving speech that I saw (at the rally for Bus #19) here, for those who might be interested (hi RomanWanderer!). They also have pictures.

Also, a great article (and it's from the NYT -- go figure!) on Natan Sharansky in the comments section.

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It's Not All Bad News -- A Toast

Big Sister would like everyone to do a toast -- she had her last chemo for her breast cancer today! She has been living for this moment, dreaming of it, for a long time. While she still has another surgery and radiation ahead, she is reportedly done with the roughest part. We both appreciate all your prayers and support. Way to go, Big Sister!

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Dancing to Heaven

My sincere condolences to the family of Desiree Keras (age 16), who passed away as a result of a fall onto a subway rail track in New York City. She died at the hospital.

She was a dancer in the Young Artists Program at the Martha Graham School, a group Big Sister supports tirelessly. Desiree was one of their most dedicated teens. One of the few that her teacher, Big Sister's best friend, never doubted would fulfill her dream to became a dancer. He shared something she wrote last year:
"I am a dancer because dancing allows me to express myself through movement. Dancing shows the world how I truly feel and my feelings can never be hidden behind a lie when I dance."
He then added the following: "Dance was her passion. May she continue to dance in heaven."

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Thursday, February 03, 2005

A Princely Update

An alert from the ADL -- Abe Foxman responds:

Prince Harry’s Behavior Offensive to Everyone, Not Only Jews
In a letter published in The New York Times in response to an op-ed piece by Ami Eden criticizing the role of Jewish organizations in denouncing anti-Semitism, the ADL defended its reaction to Prince Harry’s Nazi-swastika uniform, saying Harry offended not just Jews but all victims of the Nazis and those who fought them.

Read more here.

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Oslo Revisited?

I've been having an interesting conversation over at Gindy's. We got to talking about Oslo, when lo and behold, popping in my e-box comes a timely article from Naomi Ragen on this very subject. I suggest you check it out. She brings up many great points, voicing many of the same fears I have about the process Israel seems to be embarking on.

But what's the alternative? To not try for peace? I wish I knew the answer.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

UPDATE on Chassia

In early January, I wrote about Chassia and pointed to Naomi Ragen's article about this brave single mother fighting cancer, who lives in Israel and is in need of our help. An update on Chassia, once again via Naomi Ragen, can be found here. If you want to keep up with her progress on a more steady basis, read the Blog for Chassia.

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Priceless actually. Even better -- it was reported on CNN. Maybe there's hope for them yet. Find out about poor "Cody" -- being held hostage in Iraq.

So-called U.S. hostage appears to be toy
(CNN) -- A photograph posted on an Islamist Web site appears to be that of an action figure and not a U.S. soldier being held hostage.

Read the rest here.

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