Saturday, August 24, 2002

This article in Haaretz looks at the circumstances surrounding the death of Italian photojournalist Raffaele Ciriello and the IDF's response. The only foreign journalist to have been killed in Israel, Ciriello was shot in Ramallah during Operation Defensive Shield.

Cirello went for a walk with 2 colleagues near Ramallah's central Manara Square where "armed Palestinians" were walking around. Upon seeing an Israeli tank (in proximity to the "armed Palestinians"), they tried to take cover. Cirello then stepped out to take pictures of the tank, but he was not wearing a flak jacket or "Press" identification and was shot - apparently from the IDF tank.

Various journalists and Italian officials are upset with the IDF's standoffishness - which does not seem unreasonable, in view of the Haaretz article. But from some of the remarks it sounds like journalists expect to just be able to show up in a war zone and have everyone watch out for them. Some are demanding to speak to the soldiers who were in the area at the time.

Interestingly, Ciriello's website (entitled "Postcards from Hell") seems to have no material on his work in the West Bank. Nor does it have the photo of Cirelllo linking arms with Arafat that appeared in Haaretz.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

The Jerusalem Post has an article on Israeli and Palestinian blogging here (annoying but free registration required) or read it at Renatinha's blog. Mentioned: me, Renatinha, and Gil).

Muhammad Itzhak Shehada Odeh, the Hamas operative who placed the bomb in the Hebrew University cafeteria a couple of weeks ago, worked as a painter/handyman for the University and actually participated in the subsequent cleanup.

The Jerusalem-based Hamas ring of which Odeh is a part also tried to bomb the Pi Glilot fuel depot in Tel Aviv (see these old blog entries: here, here, and here). Most of the ring members are from Silwan, which is known as a "bad neighborhood".
The Muslim teen site ClearGuidance now requires registration.

As many people know, ClearGuidance is disturbing - but it's also interesting because it gives you an look inside at what's happening in the extremities of the English-speaking Muslim community. A while back they had a thread discussing the legalities of suicide bombing, and it appeared that anglo-Muslim schools went both ways: some approved of it and others taught that it was usually prohibited.

In the blog entry immediately below I copied a thread, where the CG kids tackle the 72 virgins question.....
Another thread from the Muslim teen site ClearGuidance:


u kno how men get women in heaven....
so what about women, do they get men in heaven?


Junior Member

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Whatever Allah wills...
Posts: 96
Actually, I was reading in the paper on this topic. There is some Egyptian feminist, she uses this point to claim that their is nothing for women in Islam, and this couldn't be further from the truth.

If a woman is killed as a martyr for the sake of Allaah, how does the hadeeth “The shaheed will be married to seventy-two hoor al-‘iyn” apply to her?

Praise be to Allaah.

We put this question to Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen, may Allaah preserve him, who answered as follows:

This number is only for men. A woman will have only one husband in Paradise, and she will be satisfied with him and will not need any more than that.

The Muslim woman – who is not influenced by the claims of those who propagate permissiveness and knows that she is not like men in her make-up and nature, because Allaah has made her like that – does not object to the rulings of Allaah or feel angry. Rather she accepts what Allaah has decreed for her. Her sound nature tells her that she cannot live with more than one man at a time. So long as she has entered Paradise, she will have all that she desires, so she should not dispute now about the delights and rewards that her Lord has chosen for her, for your Lord does not treat anyone unjustly. If she is one of the people of Paradise, then she is included, like men, in the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):

“Trays of gold and cups will be passed round them; (there will be) therein all that inner‑selves could desire, and all that eyes could delight in and you will abide therein forever”

[al-Zukhruf 43:71]

We ask Allaah for al-Firdaws, the highest part of Paradise. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (

scientist gone mad

Registered: Jul 2002
Posts: 280
thanks alot for the information... honestly, one is enuf, for many of us anyway. but its heaven, and Allah knows what we desire...

sorry to drag this on and on, but many people still ask me, what about those hooralyns; where they created for that purpose?

wana tackle people with every question answered possible. alota people ask me this last question.


Ibn Musa

Registered: May 2002
Location: terroristan
Posts: 997
i can't wait for the hoors

me too...

honestly i cant wait to be a shaheed

erm i wanna taste how it is the way one dies for His sake
when i see those videos such as "israeliz breakin palestinian boys bones" and like the other videos in which they show how kafir's torture those mujaahideens

i feel like i wanna be over their one of them to get tortured
i wanna taste how it is
after hearing that my teacher said somethin like "no man will wish to return to earth from jannah but if its to get martyred again...he will wish to return to dunya for that


ahhh i wish i taste that ONCE man


hooors n anything i wish

BUT my first wish is to taste how one diez for His sake
its a great fitnah too tho...

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres is currently meeting with officials in Norway. Initial reports in Jpost focus on his discussions with boycott-advocating labor leader Gerd Liv Valla (who Peres' criticizes as "misinformed") and his shrugging off previous criticisms from the Nobel Prize committee.

According to the Norwegian paper Aftenposten (link via Bjorn Staerk), however, Peres made the unparseable remark that the Oslo agreement is still alive because

it maintains that there can't be any peace in the Middle East unless the Israelis reach an understanding with the Palestinians.

Peres is continuing to conduct his own foreign policy, but this is a tolerable price to pay for a unity government.

[Norwegian Foreign Minister] Petersen noted that Norway maintains close relationships with both sides in the Mid-East conflict, but doesn't hesitate to speak up when criticism is called for. Norway has criticized, for example, Israeli "liquidations," the use of Palestinians as human shields and the destruction of Palestinian homes.

Petersen uses rhetorical inflation when talking about the Israelis and is willfully blind when he looks at the Palestinians.
For the moment, normalcy has returned to Bethehem (report):

Most Palestinians in the city said the real test for the PA would be when and if it decides to arrest Fatah, Hamas, and other terrorists who have declared that they will continue to launch attacks against Israel. Many gunmen and activists belonging to the extremist Palestinian factions have either been killed or wounded or arrested since the IDF reoccupied Bethlehem.

Yesterday there were no signs of gunmen roaming the streets as they have done in the past.
This interview with Harry Kney-Tal, who is completing his term as Israel's ambassador to the EU, covers familiar ground regarding the European faith in negotiated solutions and the good nature of the Palestinians, and also makes a few new points....

One is that when Europeans hear the word "terrorism", they recall the IRA or the Basque ETA in Spain - purposeless violence against civilians of the sort practiced by Palestinians is unfathomable to them.

Kney-Tal says that the EU is specifically proud that it enabled the PA to survive in the face of Israeli economic pressure, and that they think that their distance from the situation here gives them an objectivity which we Israelis lack. The EU was in a state of denial after the Camp David/Taba talks floundered, and were ecstatic when former Clinton advisor Robert Malley published his flimsy attempt to split the blame.

Kney-Tal says that the new generation of Western European leaders "grew up" on the "Palestinian narrative". The "Palestinian narrative" is a term used by use to denote the Palestinians' mythological version of their history; in the Palestinian narrative, most problems are attributable to the Jews who came from nowhere and ejected them from their land, to which they will eventually return.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

With the little bridges and tacky chandeliers, Venice did seem a bit like Disneyland at first. It's not a city like Prague, where "real life" happens among the old buildings.

But it is beautiful and relaxing. Murano is not just an expensive tourist trap, but also a place to get away from the crowds and have a pleasant walk around. The Guggenheim collection has Kandinsky and Ernst. The Doge Palace is worth seeing. Saw an interesting collection of books and manuscripts on alchemy at the National Library.

The Jewish ghetto is tiny; the synagogues there (particularly the 2 Sephardic ones) are beautiful. It looks like little has changed in the ghetto's external appearance since 1943, when Salo (what happened to Mussolini?) declared Jews to be enemies of the state and shipped them out. Knowing that made the place seem depressing.

The Palazzo Bo at the University in Padua was good to see; so were the Roman ruins and the Piazzas in Verona. Padua seems more like a "real city"; we skipped "Juliet's house" in Verona.

At the train station in Padua I asked how to get to the main cemetery. They did a bit of a double-take and told me that it's not much of a tourist spot. We didn't make it there as it was far away, but I wanted to see the grave of the 16th-century Jewish philosopher/statesman Don Isaac Abarbanel.

There were lots of Israelis around in Italy and I didn't encounter any anti-Israeli sentiment. I think that we are more sensitive to loud noises than the Italians.
A bomb was discovered at the Jerusalem end of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway (report, more).

Ynet says that the bomb was enclosed in a backpack and placed in a wadi (former riverbed) near the highway. I can't imagine where that would be or how it could have caused much damage.

Update: The word is that the bag was dropped in order to be picked up by someone.
The IDF has left Bethlehem. The PA moved in 200 men from Ramallah to assert control over the city. This AM IDF Radio spoke (in Hebrew) to various residents of Bethlehem who generally seemed to be optimistic about prospects for quiet, and spoke about how hard it is to live with the IDF and intermittent curfews.

Meanwhile the IDF is carrying out operations in Tulkarm (where the terrorist infrastructure is said to be largely still intact) and Gaza (where an IDF soldier was killed - report).

On the satirical "Last Word" program, Uri Orbach said that even a cynical right-winger like himself still has an eentsy-bit of naive hope that the withdrawal won't result in terror. Left-leaning Irit Linur said that she thinks that the withdrawal is largely motivated by exhaustion of resources within the IDF. Both agreed that calling the plan "Gaza and Bethlehem first" is a bad move that recalls "Gaza and Jericho first" from the beginning of the Oslo period.
Sweden is said to be boycotting Israeli food imports (report).

Update: This doesn't seem to have appeared anywhere other than the brief Post report above. An anonymous commenter from Sweden writes that the author of the Post article could not provide a source.
Barry Rubin is not ruling out the possibility that the new withdrawal from Palestinian cities/informal ceasefire will actually work (here).

Monday, August 19, 2002

Here is how the IDF describes what they call the "neighbor procedure".

Haaretz is using the term "human shields" pretty freely, though the other Hebrew papers put the phrase in quotation marks.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

William Palmer asks:

Do you feel that there is a sort of critical mass of terrorism that would have to occur before all these normal social events, concerts, etc. would cease...and the folks would just stay home?

A "threshold" like that was reached a long time ago.... see previous blog entries. The street fair this week was kind of like a flashback to the old days.

These days just about every place where people gather has an armed guard at the entrance.