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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Little Did I Know 

Remember when that guy called me and said I was a "tool" for Hamas? Well it turns out he was holding back!

While on a conference call yesterday, I did a little ego search and came across a site called Little Green Footballs. Apparently, they (it's a community blog) were watching the Madison-Rafah vote closely, and seized upon the Capital Times article in which I appeared. It turns out the prank caller who charged me with being a "tool" was going easy on me! Check out these comments!

While most of the commentary centers on Alder Robbie Webber's unfortunate choice of words "You can call me naive. You can call me uninformed" -- check out the comments from Rayra and ballantrae -- they let me have it, too. The initial post identifies me as "a supporter of the proposal that has to win the prize for sheer cluelessness". Paranoid Brit and Cato the Elder just sorta poked fun at the hypersimplicity of my comment (it was, after all, a lone sentence from my two minute talk). Killraven, meanwhile, said:
If there are human beings left in Rafah at all, the IDF should be notified immediately so they can begin rescuing them.
How nice! Kimberly had the most to say about me.
I mean, really. If you have enough intelligence to breathe and walk upright, aren't you capable of understanding just how meaningless and idiotic a statement that is? How pathetic a human being do you have to be to go home and cry over the thought that Rafah won't get to celebrate Madison as a "sister city," and how bad all those terrorists in Rafah must feel about that?
Jakester chimed in with: "you got to give the l3er's credit for some really stupid, insipid comments!" (Can anyone tell me what "l3er's" are?)

I was pretty stunned to find all of this hateful rhetoric aimed at myself and (mostly) Webber, but overall I think I'm just sad. It saddens me to see that something as innocuous and humane as a sister city relationship (and I do think it's innocuous and humane) can lead to such rabid attacks on individuals. I'm also saddened by the apparent belief among many of the people on that site that there really aren't any humans in Rafah, apart from terrorists and Hamas cronies. I'm reminded of Franti's lyrics in "Language of Violence":
de-humanizing the victim makes things simpler
it's like breathing with a respirator
it eases the conscience of even the most conscious
and calculating violator
words can reduce a person to an object
something more easy to hate
an inanimate entity
completely disposable
no problem to obliterate
I posted a note on the site, but so far no one has responded. My guess is that it's been buried in the mass of comments and other posts. Alas.


While looking up stuff about Israel/Palestine, I found two intriguing quotes on a ZNet background page, published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East.

The first is from Gandhi (1938):
Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French…What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. . . . If they [the Jews] must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. . . . As it is, they are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regard as an unacceptable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.

Mahatma Gandhi quoted in "A Land of Two Peoples"
ed. Mendes-Flohr

The second is from Albert Einstein (date unspecified):
I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish State. Apart from practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state, with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain.

quoted in "Bitter Harvest"
by Sami Hadawi

Need to send an important letter but don't want to use your own name? Send it from God! Thanks, MoFi.

Isn't that a great shirt? If anyone's trying to come up with a holiday gift idea . . .

How about that? One of my students gave me a shout out. (For those who don't prefer reading red-on-black, it says: "Also, someone who has influenced me a great deal would be Eric Piotrowski, a teacher of mine".) Awww, you like me. You really like me.

The Random Word Generator is kind of interesting. (Or should I say kind of ericiating?)

Okay, enough of this. I've got video games to play a novel to write.


Check out the Escher Web Sketch. It's escherying!

Today I'm listening to: Madame Mercury!