Max Fisher gets cautious
Here's Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler for Wednesday, April 17.
1) We wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea
Yesterday Max Fisher wrote, Knowledge of pressure-cooker bombs is not limited to readers of al-Qaeda’s ‘Inspire’ magazine:
“Inspire” was far from the first extremist publication to distribute
instructions for making pressure-cooker bombs. Yair Rosenberg of Tablet
Magazine points out on Twitter that “The Anarchist’s Cookbook,” published in 1971, also included information on how to make them. The book appears to have provided the necessary instructions
for at least one such bombing, in 1976 at Grand Central Station. In
1973, police had discovered a similar device in the New York Port
I would point out that two of the better informed articles I've read on pressure cooker bombs also included this caution.
Today, there appears to be a miniature
subculture of Americans building small pressure-cooker bombs for the
exclusive purpose of detonating them harmlessly in empty fields and posting video of the explosion to YouTube.
of this is to dismiss the possibility that al-Qaeda or any other group
could ultimately be connected to the Boston Marathon bombings. But it’s
worth keeping in mind that the June 2010 issue of al-Qaeda’s “Inspire”
was not exactly publishing privileged information when it discussed the
horrific potential of gluing nails to the inside of a pressure cooker
and placing it in a populated area.
Eli Lake wrote in Al Qaeda’s Recipe for Pressure-Cooker Bombs:
cautioned that it will take more analysis of the bomb to determine
whether the pressure cooker bomb matches al Qaeda’s recipe. The people
who will be performing that analysis reside at the FBI’s Terrorist
Explosive Device Analytical Center, the government’s most comprehensive
database on bomb design.
Similarly, J. E. Dyer wrote in Boston will rise:
we simply don’t know, and can’t guess right now, who did this. We can
say that the bombing was relatively small in scope. The explosions were
horrific for those in their immediate vicinity, but the bombs were not
big ones, and there were only two. With each hour that passes, it
becomes more evident that there is no larger plot requiring a group of
terrorists of significant size.
I understand that Fisher is being cautious here. However, it contrasts with his post justifying the front page treatment
of the picture of Jihad Misharawi holding his dead son. While he later
acknowledged that evidence suggested that the child was killed by a
Hamas rocket, he showed no such caution - despite the fact that as many
as 15% to 30% of rockets fall short and the often false reporting of
Hamas officials - to attribute the tragedy to Israel. The damage this
does is that much of the Arab world uses these charges and images to
perpetuate their grievances against Israel. But this didn't concern
Fisher last November.
Barry Rubin writes that (regardless of what the public thinks) official America needs to consider that Whoever Attacked Boston, The Revolutionary Islamist Terror War on America is Still in High Gear:
September 11, 2001, there have been 18 known terrorist attacks planned
in New York City and they all have something in common, the worldview of
the perpetrators. You can read more here about each one and how they
2) A museum to a false history
few years ago Hezbollah opened up a museum devoted to boasting of its
victories against Israel. Last year, Sharon Weinberger wrote about Hezbollah's terror tech museum:
museum features different units of Hezbollah, including its missile
unit. Hezbollah's increasing rocket and missile capabilities were some
of the defining features of the 2006 war and continues to attract
attention. In 2010, then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates accused Iran
and Syria of equipping Hezbollah with advanced weaponry. "We are at a
point now where Hezbollah has far more rockets and missiles than most
governments in the world and this is obviously destabilizing for the
whole region," he said.
More recently, the Lebanese magazine, NOW featured an article about the museum.
came here to see what the Islamic Revolution in Lebanon did to free my
land and my village,” visitor Kamel Mouradi said, referring to
Hezbollah, which was founded by the Iranian establishment.
Not to be left out, Hamas now plans to build a museum devoted to its resistance, with Iranian help.
hill from the Abyss is a walkway that leads tourists through a dense
forest. Visitors walk past a hidden cove where former Secretary General
of Hezbollah Sayyed Abbas Moussawi would pray and encourage fighters.
Life-size replicas of Hezbollah militants are spread throughout the
woods – some carrying missiles, others firing them and another, kneeling
down to pray.
Mohammed al-Madhoun visited Tehran and met with Iranian President
Ahmadinejad and Mohammad Hosseini, his culture minister, along with
other Iranian officials. After more than five days of talks the Hamas
minister signed a memorandum of cultural cooperation with Iran. They
agreed to exchange delegations and have Iran offer training courses in
various fields, especially film, for Gazans. One of the major promises
was cooperation to build a museum to commemorate the "resistance."
So too the Palestinian Authority is starting to build a museum of Palestinian history. An uncritical article in the Jerusalem Post reports:
everyone wanted to make this museum in Jerusalem but we knew that the
Israelis would make this impossible,” Omar Kattan, head of Palestinian
Museum's work team, told The Media Line. “After things became possible
again in terms of the political situation, we re-opened this file and
commissioned the study and developed a framework to do it.”
Tzvi ben Gedalyahu observes in the Jewish Press:
came up with a unique concept that is basically a museum without a
collection, and a museum that is based on a network rather than a
building,” Kattan said.
“The idea [evolved] from the “Memory
Museum of the Nakba” to a museum that will use the tools of history to
come out with a modern dialogue,” Jack Persekian, the director and
curator of the Palestinian Museum told The Media Line. “We’re moving
forward from representing an incident that happened in a certain time to
representing the Palestinians wherever they are.”
is a lot easier to convince the world that Israel is “occupying its
land” if Arabs can show that the “Palestinians” existed 200 years ago
and were not invented by Yasser Arafat. If you want to be particular, a
case can be made that the term “Palestinian” was used in 1921 at the
Syrian-Palestinian Congress, but then it must be taken in context at the
time that Palestine is part of Syria.
Furthermore, Elder of Ziyon notes:
“Palestine” used to be one
of the two names of the land under the British Mandate — Palestina-Eretz
Israel. The re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 all of a
sudden reminded some Arabs that maybe they are Palestinians, but it was
the Six-Day War in 1967 that gave Arafat the opportunity to fire up the
All that was missing was a past, and the Palestinian Authority has become the master of inventing history.
museums are built in the rest of the world, they are funded by private
donors and foundations, with perhaps the aid of local government.
However, this museum in Bir Zeit - like most other Palestinian Arab
initiatives - is using Western government funds.
suppose a museum devoted to a false history is less damaging than ones
that promote terror. But given that all three are devoted to the same
goal - of denying Israel its right to exist - that's a small comfort.
The major funder
is called "The Welfare Association." Despite its universal sounding
name, it is dedicated solely to Palestinian Arab projects.
money comes from "the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development,
World Bank, EU, Islamic Development Bank, Arab Monetary Fund, Kuwait
Fund, AGFUND, Ford Foundation, and the governments of Austria, Canada,
France, Italy, and Switzerland, among others."
3) Einstein's never given speech
Yair Rosenberg writes about Einstein's last speech, which he was to have delivered on Yom Ha'atzmaut 1955. Einstein died 8 days too soon:
is the seventh anniversary of the establishment of the State of
Israel,” Einstein opened. “The establishment of this State was
internationally approved and recognised largely for the purpose of
rescuing the remnant of the Jewish people from unspeakable horrors of
persecution and oppression.”
“Thus, the establishment of Israel is
an event which actively engages the conscience of this generation,” he
continued. “It is, therefore, a bitter paradox to find that a State
which was destined to be a shelter for a martyred people is itself
threatened by grave dangers to its own security. The universal
conscience cannot be indifferent to such peril.”
choice words for those who placed disproportionate blame on Israel for
its tensions with its Arab neighbors. “It is anomalous that world
opinion should only criticize Israel’s response to hostility and should
not actively seek to bring an end to the Arab hostility which is the
root cause of the tension.”
Labels: Boston, Boston Marathon, Hamas, Hezbullah, Iran, Islamic terrorism, Middle East Media Sampler, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian people, Soccer Dad, Yasser Arafat