January 13th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Bush and Olmert (portrait by Uri Avnery)

From:  Ray Close
Date: Jan 12, 2008 10:52 PM
Subject: Bush andOlmert (portrait by Uri Avnery)
To: mjerry, rkeeley

From Uri Avnery, Israel's foremost peace advocate (a poet and writer, one-time Knesset member).

A masterpiece of  irony.  It would be extremely funny if the picture he paints were not sickeningly accurate.


Hope this may interest you.
Salamaat, Shalom,

Uri Avnery

                    The Hands of Esau

WHICH OF the two men is the leader of the greatest power on earth and which is the boss of a small client state?

A visitor from another planet, attending the press conference in Jerusalem, would find it hard not to answer: Olmert is the president of the great power, Bush is his vassal.

Olmert is taller. He talked endlessly, while Bush listened patiently. While Olmert anointed Bush with flattery that would have made a Byzantine emperor blush, it was quite clear that it is Olmert who decides policy, while Bush humbly accepts the Israeli diktat. And Bush's flattery of Olmert exceeded even Olmert's flattery of Bush.

Both, we learned, are "courageous". Both are "determined". Both have a "vision". The word "vision", once reserved for prophets, starred in every second sentence. (Bush could not know that in Israel, "vision" has long become a jocular appellation for highfaluting speeches, usually in combination with the word "Zionism".)

The President and the Prime Minister have something else in common: not a word of what they said at the press conference had any connection with the truth.

ONE OF the most moving dramas in the Bible tells about our old blind forefather, Isaac, who wanted to bless his eldest son, Esau, a reddish and hairy hunter. But the second son, the homebody (or rather tent-body) Jacob, exploited the absence of his brother and went to his father in order to steal the blessing. He wore Esau's clothes and covered his arms with hairy goat skins. The ruse nearly failed, when the father felt the arms of Jacob and his suspicion was aroused.

That's when he uttered the famous words: "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." (Genesis, 27: 22).

Yet Jacob, the impostor, did receive the blessing and became the father of the nation which was named after him (he was also called Israel). It seems that Ehud Olmert is a true successor: there is no connection between his voice and his hands.

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Chris Keeley

Ms. Bruni, for her part, has said that “love lasts a long time, but burning desire, two or three wee

Ms. Bruni, for her part, has said that “love lasts a long time, but burning desire, two or three weeks.” She is monogamous from time to time, as she remarked to the magazine Le Figaro Madame. “But I prefer polygamy and polyandry,” she said.


Can Indian officials invent protocol to accommodate a First Sleepover Pal? Will the French public accept a woman who espouses polyandry, has a son by a philosopher whose father she once also dated, and who has been romantically linked with Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger?

For starters, she is a stepdaughter of an Italian tire magnate and classical composer, Alberto Bruni Tedeschi, who is married to her mother, Marisa Borini, a concert pianist. She is rich and well educated (in France, where her family moved in the 1970s to escape a wave of kidnappings in Italy) and speaks three languages.

ARM CANDY Carla Bruni and Eric Clapton at a benefit for rain forests about 1992. Her name has also been linked with that of, among others, Mick Jagger
Ms. Bruni on the catwalk for Yves Saint Laurent in Paris in 1995.

Chris Keeley

Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am

Modern Love
Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am

AS a bipolar woman, I have lived much of my life in a constant state of becoming someone else. The precise term for my disorder is “ultraradian rapid cycler,” which means that without medication I am at the mercy of my own spectacular mood swings: “up” for days (charming, talkative, effusive, funny and productive, but never sleeping and ultimately hard to be around), then “down,” and essentially immobile, for weeks at a time.

This darkness started for me in high school, when I simply couldn’t get out of bed one morning. No problem, except I stayed there for 21 days. As this pattern continued, my parents, friends and teachers grew concerned, but they just thought I was eccentric. After all, I remained a stellar student, never misbehaved and graduated as class valedictorian.
Vassar was the same, where I thrived academically despite my mental illness. I then sailed through law school and quickly found career success as an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles, where I represented celebrities and major motion picture studios. All the while I searched for help through an endless parade of doctors, therapists, drugs and harrowing treatments like electroshock, to no avail.

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Chris Keeley

JOSE PADILLA, the so-called dirty bomber, is expected to be sentenced by a federal judge in Miami th

JOSE PADILLA, the so-called dirty bomber, is expected to be sentenced by a federal judge in Miami this week, and judging from the reaction to his conviction last summer the case will be hailed by many as a triumph of the use of criminal law as the primary weapon against domestic terrorism.

A closer look at the Padilla case and other terrorism prosecutions reveals, to the contrary, that the continued reliance on our criminal justice system as the main domestic weapon in the struggle against terrorism fails on two counts: it threatens not only to leave our nation unprotected but also to corrupt the foundations of the criminal law itself.

The use of the criminal law in terrorist cases has never been an easy fit. After all, the primary purpose of counterterrorism is the prevention of future acts, while the criminal law has developed primarily to punish conduct that has already occurred. The question raised by the Padilla trial is whether a case about an attack that never actually happened can be tried in the criminal courts without transforming the nature of that system itself.

The answer is no. In order to make the criminal justice system an effective weapon, we have already started extending the reach of criminal statutes to conduct that has never before been punishable as a crime.
Chris Keeley

West Bank's Jewish 'Outposts' Dig In"--Jonathan Finer, WashPost 1/13/0

West Bank's Jewish 'Outposts' Dig In
Many Answer Bush's Demand For End to Illegal Settlements By Starting New Construction

By Jonathan Finer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, January 13, 2008; A18

SHVUT AMI, West Bank -- With a pellet gun in his jeans pocket and a hammer in his hand, Dani Landesberg and a crew of teenage Jewish settlers began adding a second story to what has become their new home. They stole occasional glances down the winding access road in case the police came by to evict them, again.

Last Sept. 30, a dozen settlers moved into the small stone house at the base of a gentle hill in the northern West Bank and turned what was once a barn for donkeys into a synagogue. Two weeks later, Israeli security forces banished them for the first of eight times from land that a Palestinian family says is its property, a claim backed by legal documents and an Israeli human rights group.

The settlers returned the next day, so police sealed the windows and doors with metal siding and plowed a berm across the driveway, all to no avail.

"They can drag us away a hundred times and we'll come back," said Landesberg, 18, who like many religious Jews wears a yarmulke and long, curled sideburns. "And if the army wants to stay and guard it, then we win, because if the Israeli army is here, the land is being occupied by Jews."

In the incremental struggle for land in the West Bank, this "outpost," or Jewish settlement unauthorized by the Israeli government, and about 100 others like it, have emerged as a front line.

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Chris Keeley

Best and Worst America This Week

Best and Worst America This Week
by Rami G. KhouriReleased: 9 Jan 2008

BEIRUT -- Immediately after the 9/11 attack against the United States, President George W. Bush and many other perplexed, angry, and often ignorant Americans asked a question -- "why do they hate us?" -- and made a statement: "You're either with us or against us."

This week, those Americans who are actually interested in answering the question -- and exploring the validity of the statement -- have a very good opportunity to grasp precisely why most people around the world admire the United States but detest many aspects of its foreign policy. This revelatory moment comprises two simultaneous events this week: the competitive American presidential primaries, and Bush's journey to the Middle East. The contrast between the two events is substantial, and very revealing of the best and worst of American political culture.

The primary campaigns and elections are a spectacular display of a vibrant, rigorous democracy, whose many benefits clearly outweigh its few faults. The world -- myself included -- stands in awe and admiration before this spectacle that affirms the principle that power and authority are vested in the citizenry.

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