Thursday, November 22, 2012

Response to article in Middle East Star

The Middle East Star, on 11/21 published an article entitled:
Hamas should be engaged by Israel – by Ed Husain
I genuinely believe the author does not consider himself an enemy of Israel, but rather an Arab voice, probably a lonely Arab voice, seeking peace. But like a fish that is unaware of the water in which it swims, the author, in reality, remains a voice of Arab hatred and oppression of Israel and Jews.

The whole article can be found at:
Here are some critical excerpts that are revealing of the omnipresent hate driving the Arab (and Muslim) world. After these excerpts (in italics), you can find my response.

... I can name tens of Muslim clerics, important formulators of public opinion in a region dominated by religion, that will readily condemn acts of terrorism against the West, but will fall silent when it comes to condemning Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Put simply, support for violent resistance against Israel among Arab and Muslim-majority countries -- including allies of the United States such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia -- remains popular.

... From radical Iran to moderate Tunisia, Hamas' Prime Minister Ismail Haniyyeh was welcomed by vast cheering crowds during visits this year.

... Israel needs to change. ... A tiny nation of seven million [Israel; 5.25 million Jews] cannot be allowed to damage ties between 360 million Americans and 300 million Arabs.

Here is my critical response:

As ever, the author, although I don’t doubt that he is well-meaning, has it all backwards. 300 million Arabs and 5 million Jews, but our author says the Jews are the problem, not the Arabs! Why are the Jews a problem? Because they are a minority in a region that only knows oppression of minorities. Ask any Copt, any Kurd, any Assyrian Christian. Indeed, ask any Sunni in a Shia country, or Shiite in a Sunni country!

And of course, it is not Israel that "damages ties between 360 million Americans and 300 million Arabs," as the author would have us believe. It is the hatred, violence, and intolerance of the Arab people, institutionalized by governments, mosques, media, and schools that has damaged ties.

Mr. Husain, YOU are the problem, and you are its clearest symbol. You expose with complete clarity the absolute refusal of the Arab world to look at itself and realize how sick, how immoral, and how dysfunctional it is. Until THAT changes, Israel will be just one more excuse for Arab dysfunction.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

From The Atternen Juez Talen: Ketuba

In this brief scene the Atternen Ju, who is getting married, watches as his ketuba (marriage contract) is produced by a scribe. The first version is in meta-English, followed by a standard English version. For all you calligraphers and sofers...

Meta-English (Stevetok) version:
The skrieb hav a hole jarfule a penz
An a mennee bottellen ov eenks, az wel.
An not a sheet a linnen, starcht,
But rit on a parchmen skind ov a goet!

He puelz owt a goos kwil an kaerfule inspeks;
Sharps it a bit; then a dipt in eenk,
Shaeks it, an taken a long deep breth.
Fliez forth him han, like a swawlo that dievz
An sord thru the aerz, dip an fly,
Dip an fly, an thaer on the parch
A weengen chareb toppen the page.
Then annuther pen in annutherren jar
An annutherren sereez ov shaek an fly.
An wo! the chareb lumen in goel;
An with a flik he a spatterren, starree a sky.
Then, with kaerfule, a mezherren stroek
Larjen letterz in lappis blu,
Youd hay vuv hay*, the holeyes Name
                * Hebrew letters, code for ineffable Name; 

                spoken: Uddoniy
Between the owtstrechen chareb weeng.
Then in a liten a shaden a blu,
El Shuddiy, the nercherres Name
In smawler letter inside Uddoniy.
Now kum the marij kontrak tex,
Awl bizzee an aeree an fule a pomp,
‘Waerfor this’ an ‘waeraz that’
In blak letterren, smawl an skware.
Then zigzag an swerrel tu border the siedz,
An heez dun, we sine, an I’m a mareeyes man.

Standard English (dulltok) version:
The scribe has a whole jarful of pens
And many bottles of ink, as well.
And not a sheet of linen, starched,But written on a parchment skin of a goat!

He pulls out a goose quill and carefully inspects;
Sharpens it a bit; then dips it in ink,
Shakes it, and takes a long deep breath.
Flies forth his hand, like a swallow that dives
And soars thru the air, dip and fly,
Dip and fly, and there on the parchment
A winged cherub atop the page.
Then another pen in another jar
And another series of shake and fly.
And whoa! the cherub illumined in gold;
And with a flick he spatters a starry sky.
Then, with careful and measured strokes
Larger letters in lapis blue,
Yud hay vuv hay*, the holiest Name
                * Hebrew letters, code for ineffable Name; 

                spoken: Adonai
Between the outstretched cherub wings.
Then in a lighter shade of blue,
El Shaddai, the nurturing Name
In smaller letters inside Adonai.
Now comes the marriage contract text,
All busy and airy and full of pomp,
‘Wherefore this’ and ‘whereas that’
In black letters, small and square.
Then zigzag and swirl to border the sides,
And he’s done, we sign, and I’m a married man.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Eastern Shore, 2

Twilight and the Idols, aka some pics of Nancy, my BatKoel (with thanks to Gimp and Warhol and a perlee sunset):

Down by the reebop, I shot my babee...

An' now she begin tu tok tu me...

Oh yeah...

 The nazz ar blu, er, green... (you know that old Yardbirds song?)

Goelden gerl on em goelden sanz...

Sheez a raenbo...

Its a token for this short jernee...


Eastern Shore, 1

Here are a few images of a short trip to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and to a park at the southern tip.

 From our hotel room window:

On the trails in Kiptopeke State Park, a view up thru the canopy:

 Same as above, posterized:

 Kiptopeke overlook, facing inland:

 On the trails in Kiptopeke State Park, some cottony bushes:

Speaking of cotton, one a them ole cotton fields back home:

 Local groundcover:

 The inevitable sunset pic, from the beach just down the street from our hotel:

 Same as above, posterized:

Same as above, into pure energy:

b'deya, b'deya, b'deya... that's all, folks.