HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

April 2, 2007
Potpourri

Ernest Cassara


A Childish Tiff 

Because I spent a sabbatical year from my American university in Cambridge, England, I have always considered the U.K. a second home, spending as much time there each year as I can manage.  But, that doesn’t cause me to take the British side in the spat with Iran over its claim that British marines strayed into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf, justifying taking them captive.  Seems to me that both countries are acting in a childish manner, but Iran certainly is winning the propaganda war among objective people.  After all, the film clips of the Brits eagerly shoveling a large meal into their mouths, and, the woman in the group puffing on cigarettes does not give the impression they are being abused.


Ann Coulter

A reader asks why I have neglected to discuss Ann Coulter’s slur against John Edwards, calling him a “faggot.”  My problem is that I do not think it gentlemanly to refer to a lady as a slut!

But, my bigger problem is that I do not understand why anyone pays any attention to her.  What warrants this?


Israel’s Latest Excuse

The two Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, having formed a unity government, Israel now has a new excuse not to deal with the Palestinians.  It doesn’t like Hamas, for that group doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist and it will not renounce violence.

Now, am I right in gathering that the Israeli government doesn’t recognize Hamas’s right to exist and will not renounce violence against it?  If so, it is a matter of the pot calling the kettle black.


Now, a Further Indignity

The following is from the Palestine News Network:

Israeli forces forbid Ibrahimi Mosque from sounding call to prayer

Saturday, 10 March 2007

With each move in the occupation, from political demands for recognition made but not
returned, and land confiscation for the Wall and settlements, Israeli forces create a new
set of restrictions which dictate daily life.

The lack of freedom of movement had been the primary obstacle to freedom of worship in
Jerusalem until the excavations at Al Aqsa Mosque increased and the settlement project
in the Old City began to threaten its existence.

In the southern West Bank's Hebron, the Ibrahimi Mosque has faced similar obstructions.
Settlers are given access to the Muslim holy site which Israeli forces close for Jewish
holidays. And today it was reiterated that Ibrahimi Mosque is still forbidden from sounding
the call to prayer for the evening and night worship times.

Chief Palestinian Justice, Sheikh Taysir Tamimi, issued a condemnation from Jerusalem
against this “serious attack against another of the Islamic sanctities.” He said that the
Israeli government, in its ongoing existence as occupier, seeks to eliminate any Islamic
form of Palestine. The Sheikh pointed out that the assaults on Islamic heritage, which are
often done under the pretext of searching for a Jewish past, have nothing to do with Judaism.

Sheikh Tamimi took the opportunity to also publicly denounce the Israeli attack on the
Khalid Ibn Al Walid Mosque in southern Hebron, where soldiers raided the Muslim holy site
and destroyed contents. “Israel has crossed a line in its treatment of Muslim and Christian
holy places which has reached a point that can no longer be ignored or overlooked.”

http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1883



Not Rumsfeld’s Fault

The Associated Press reported on 3/28/07:

"Torture suit against Rumsfeld is tossed Former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
cannot be tried on allegations of torture in overseas military prisons, a federal judge said
yesterday. US District Judge Thomas F. Hogan threw out a lawsuit brought on behalf of
nine former prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said Rumsfeld cannot be held personally
responsible for actions taken in connection with his government job. The lawsuit says the
prisoners were beaten, urinated on, shocked, sexually humiliated, burned, locked in boxes,
and subjected to mock executions."

Makes one proud to be an American, don’t it!


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