Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

September 12, 2005

Justice Dinh?

Filed under: — Different River @ 11:00 pm

James Taranto at OpinionJournal.com suggests that the President appoint Georgetown Law Professor and former Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh to the Supreme Court vacancy not to be filled by John Roberts.

Notwithstanding Dinh’s qualifications, this would be strangely appropropriate, since the word “Din(h)” means “justice” or “judgement” in Hebrew.

Do as the Union Says, Not as the Union Does

Filed under: — Different River @ 8:00 pm

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) is running a protest at a Wal-Mart in Henderson, Nevada. They are protesting low wages, low benefits, and poor working conditions.

The UFCW hired the protesters through a temp agency. The union is paying them $6/hour, with no benefits. And they have to stay outside, where the temperature is 104 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Meanwhile, inside the Wal-Mart:

“The average rate of pay for Nevada Wal-Mart workers is $10.17 an hour. We have a good insurance program, and every associate—even part-timers—are eligible for the 401k,” says [store manager] Mark Dyson. “There’s actually different levels of insurance, dental and medical—I have a $500 deductible, but there’s no cap on it. Some other companies’ plans have a $1 million cap, but here there’s no cap. For example, not long ago we had an associate whose husband needed a liver transplant, and that alone was $600,000; but they didn’t have to worry about a cap.”

Plus, inside the Wal-Mart, the workers have air conditioning.

Remember this next time (a) you see a union picket line, (b) you hear someone say Wal-Mart workers don’t have benefits, or (c) you hear a union say they are in favor of high pay, benefits, and good working conditions.

Source: Las Vegas Weekly, Sept. 8, 2005
Hat tip: Best of the Web

Burning Synagogues for Peace

Filed under: — Different River @ 11:37 am
Torchingsynagogue
Synagoguedestruction

Gazans Burn Synagogues in Israeli Soldiers’ Wake

By Laura King and Ken Ellingwood
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

Mon Sep 12, 7:55 AM ET

GAZA CITY — Palestinians surged triumphantly into demolished Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip early today, torching empty synagogues and firing shots into the air, as the last Israeli soldiers withdrew after 38 years of occupation.

Having evacuated about 8,500 Jewish settlers last month and overseen the razing of their homes, the 3,000 Israeli soldiers moved out before sunrise in convoys of tanks and armored personnel carriers. As they left, calls went out from mosques declaring Gaza’s “liberation.”

“This is a day of happiness and joy that the Palestinian people have not witnessed for a century,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said.

At the former Netzarim settlement in northern Gaza, one of several places where crowds pushed past cordons of Palestinian police after the Israeli troops had left, thick clouds of smoke darkened the sky at dawn.

Men made their way around the demolished community on bicycle, donkey and foot, scavenging door frames and toilets. Some in the crowd tied the flags of the largest militant groups — green for Hamas, black for Islamic Jihad — around their necks as capes.

“It’s ours now, and I had to come out to see it with my own eyes,” said Raed Dashan, 29, of Gaza City.

Celebrating Palestinians set fire to the synagogue in Netzarim, and there were reports of similar torchings in Morag and other locations.

Palestinian security forces appeared to have decided not to use force and instead let the celebrations play out, although it was unclear whether they could have held back the crowds if they had wanted to.

Rephrase that: Palestinian security forces appeared to have decided to let the celebrations play out, although it was unclear whether they were actively participating or just watching and smiling. Indeed the AP quoted a Palestinian police officer and a top official:

An officer who refused to give his name said, “The people have the right to do what they are doing.”

[A] Palestinian Authority official [identified by Al-Jazeera as PA National Security official Jibril Rajoub -- DR] declared that the PA intended to destroy all the synagogues.

Yes, under the Palestinian Authority, the right to burn synagogues shall not be infringed. And the Los Angeles Times says that “Palestinian security forces appeared to have decided not to use force” implying that they aren’t behind the destruction but merely chose not to interfere, when in fact it’s official Palestinian policy to destroy the synagogues. This is as stupid as reporting that KKK “decided not to use force” to stop lynchings.

Can anyone imagine — even for one moment — that if Palestinians evacuated, say, a town in the Galilee to the Israelis, that celebrating Israelis would have burned the mosques? And if they had, can you imagine the outcry?

Why is it OK to burn synagogues? Why is burning synagogues considered a step toward peace?

(Hat tip: Drudge)

UPDATE #1:

Debbie Schlussel points out the difference between the reaction to this story and the reaction to the alleged desecration of a printed copy of the Koran at Guantanamo.

UPDATE #2:

Cliff May at The Corner writes:

It’s not getting much media attention but Palestinians have moved into former Israeli settlements in Gaza where they are setting fires and using sledge hammers to smash synagogues, and putting up the flag of the Militant Islamist terrorist group, Hamas.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were to condemn such destruction and say plainly that it is wrong to destroy Jewish or Christian houses of worship?

Of course, what Abbas actually said was (as quoted above):

“This is a day of happiness and joy that the Palestinian people have not witnessed for a century.”

Cliff continues:

Imagine if he were to say that someday he hopes there will be peace and that these synagogues could then be in use again. Muslims freely attend mosques in Israel. Why not imagine that someday there could be Jews again in the Gaza — as business partners, as tourists, as residents?

Because then Gaza would not be judenrein. See according to the current theory on peace in the middle east, the mere presence of a single Jew anywhere in Palestine violated the rights of the entire Palestinian people.

The truth is that such ideas are unimaginable. That tells you a lot.

And what it tells you is, the theory I mention above is quite widely held.

(Hat tip: Crossing the Rubicon2)

And Al-Jazeera also notes:

When asked whether Israel would accept handing the buildings over to a third party or converting them into medical facilities for children, as was proposed by some foreign officials, Regev said Israel would welcome any solution that would respectfully deal with these structures.

Rabbi Menachem Fruman of the settlement of Tku’ near Bethlehem had proposed converting the synagogues into mosques, arguing that Muslims and Jews were worshiping the same God.

However, some Palestinian leaders privately voiced fears that turning the synagogues into mosques could give Jews a pretext to pray at Muslim holy places, such as the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

“If we convert them into mosques, they would then demand the right to pray at the Aqsa Mosque on the grounds that since Muslims were allowed to pray in Jewish synagogues in Gaza, Jews also have the right to pray in the mosques,” said one Hamas member from the Hebron region.

And what would be so bad about that? It might mean peace with the Jews, that’s what!

And as Crossing the Rubicon2 puts it, “The synagogues could have been converted to medical facilities for children, or even into msques, but Palestinians preferred their destruction.”

Crossing the Rubicon2 also has pictures:


Torchingsynagogue

Synagoguedestruction

UPDATE #3:

Clayton Cramer chimes in:

Can you imagine the upset if Israelis had torched mosques in the Occupied Terroritories? There is something unnerving about this–rather like Krystallnacht translated into Arabic. I can understand if the Palestinians decided to use the buildings for some other purpose, or simply demolished the buildings because the land was needed for a very different sort of structure–but burning them? Why?

Demolishing an operational building is a pretty crazy thing to do. A lot of material and labor went into making that building. If you wonder why the Arab world is so desperately poor, you don’t have to look very hard to figure out why.

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