Sunday, January 4, 2009


Yesterday, I managed to see two separate television coverages of the current Gaza conflict. One was BBC and the other CNN. In both instances, a young woman anchor asked an Israeli representative in the most sympathetic yet pointed way, "How do you feel about the deaths and hardships being brought on the Palestinian civilians in Gaza now?" In both cases, the young woman anchor fairly dripped with sincerity and humanitarian concern and barely disguised personal condemnation and outrage.

It was amazing to see virtual clones on two networks separated by an ocean ask the identical question in exactly the identical manner and tone.

Of course, as soon as you hear an interviewer ask anyone about anything with the "How do you feeeeel..?" rubric, you know you're in trouble. Tell me, Mrs. Smith, how do you feel knowing that your three-year old daughter was hit by a runaway truck and smashed into a million pieces?

Where have these two young know-it-alls been the past year while Hamas rockets have maintained a steady rain on Israeli towns?

When did these "journalists" ask Hamas leaders when they plan to stop hiding under women's skirts?

When will they ask Hamas and other Arab leaders when they plan to accept the right of 7 million people to live in a sovereign state called Israel? Or when will they stop teaching their children that Jews are rats and vermin, that must be exterminated from the earth?

Israel is under siege. It has been for a long time. It will continue to be as long as the hundred million people who surround it hate everything about it and everyone in it.

The Gaza attacks from Israel show, if anything, amazing restraint.

Yes, people are being killed and yes, that is horrible. And no, I don't dismiss these deaths and injuries casually.

But what is Israel to do? Sit there and bless the Hamas rockets as they fall on their heads?

Thank the Arab world for continuing to preach hatred?

Israel knows full well that Hamas will not go away, will not be "defeated." We all know that, in addition to its role as Terrorist, Hamas has other faces. Hamas is deeply involved in positive ways in building communities with schools, food, and health care.

All Israel hopes to gain by this latest military initiative is to get Hamas and others to stop attacking Israel and to meet with some reasonableness at a bargaining table.

The condemnation of most of the world press - arrogant and ignorant at best - and the condemnation of the United (Arab) Nations is of no help and disgusting at the most basic level.

Peanuts and Blue Jays

The family of Stellar jays is back and they are busy. So are the little juncos, all flitting back and forth from one bush to another, finding morsels where the human eye sees only a stem.

And directly at the foot of my glass patio doors off the kitchen lies a small cache of peanuts, shells, nuts, the whole works.

The only question is: squirrels or raccoons?

I've considered sitting in the dark on a wooden chair in the middle of the kitchen at 2 or 3 am just to learn who the peanut visitors are.