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July 18, 2006

Emily Litella Speaks Out On The Situation In The Middle East

Your heart just has to break to see these Shiite children in Lebanon smiling and writing "messages" on the rockets that soon will devastate Israeli homes. What kind of sick society produces little girls who exult in the infliction of pain against people they've never met?

And look at the woman in the background, presumably their mother—clearly she approves! Sadly, until the Arabs let go of their culture of incitement and rage, I'm afraid there's no concession Israel can ever make that will bring peace with these people.

What's that?

Those aren't Lebanese girls writing on Hezbollah rockets, but Israeli girls writing on Israeli shells?


Never mind.

(Via via.)

Posted at July 18, 2006 12:07 PM | TrackBack

Aren't they cute?

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at July 18, 2006 01:27 PM

Absolutely abhorrent.

The biggest problem in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle is that those in charge want not peace, but capitulation.

Posted by: thrashbluegrass at July 18, 2006 02:15 PM

Biggest? I don't know. I will nominate the universal willingness to be guided by ethnic superstition.

Posted by: David at July 18, 2006 02:40 PM

Sugar and spice and everything nice.

Posted by: rob payne at July 18, 2006 02:50 PM

Holy cow, that girl is skinnier than me!

Posted by: saurabh at July 18, 2006 02:52 PM

Is this an appropriate time to use the word 'macabre'? I never know when to use it. But I saw that same photo this morning and had to think of something else. Not sure what to say about it.

Posted by: BRG at July 18, 2006 03:00 PM

See, they have the "write" of self-defense.

Oh man, that kills me. Well, not *me* . . .

Posted by: Jennifer Egan at July 18, 2006 03:03 PM

Am I the only one who is not shocked by this? You see this sort of thing in every war. I'm sure American airmen wrote messages on the bombs they dropped on Germany.

Posted by: Marcus at July 18, 2006 03:03 PM

Am I the only one who is not shocked by this?

Urm. Perhaps this should have been clearer. The point is not that this is the most unusual and shocking thing that's ever happened. The point is that pictures like this of Palestinian children are continually trotted out to explain why Palestinians are maniacs who can never be negotiated with, only forced to knuckle under or failing that, destroyed.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at July 18, 2006 03:34 PM


Richard Cohen is at it again.

Hunker Down With History

By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, July 18, 2006; Page A19

The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.

This is why the Israeli-Arab war, now transformed into the Israeli-Muslim war (Iran is not an Arab state), persists and widens. It is why the conflict mutates and festers. It is why Israel is now fighting an organization, Hezbollah, that did not exist 30 years ago and why Hezbollah is being supported by a nation, Iran, that was once a tacit ally of Israel's. The underlying, subterranean hatred of the Jewish state in the Islamic world just keeps bubbling to the surface. The leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and some other Arab countries may condemn Hezbollah, but I doubt the proverbial man in their street shares that view.

* * * *

Ahh, that underlying, subterranean hatred of the Jewish state and the greatest mistake Israel could make is to forget they were a mistake all rolled into one! Richard Cohen strikes again. Who was that bearded man?

Posted by: rob payne at July 18, 2006 03:42 PM

If you loook closely, you'll see that trhey are writing "get well soon" messages. Just like at Hallmark.

Posted by: donescobar at July 18, 2006 04:12 PM

Okay, I see your point now.

Posted by: Marcus at July 18, 2006 04:53 PM

It looks like these young girls have pretty good penmanship, which will make it easy for the lucky recipients to read the messages. I don't think those are Sharpies.

Posted by: wkmaier at July 18, 2006 07:22 PM

I must say there's a huge difference between trained warriors writing on munitions and children doing the same. It does break one's heart.

It also underscores how hard it will be to ever break the cycle of violence.

Posted by: SPIIDERWEBâ„¢ at July 18, 2006 08:38 PM

What you see is children being encouraged to believe that the bombs will fall only on the wicked. They are written 'to Nazrala with love'. There is mania here, and there is repression of reality on the part of the adults encouraging them. There is also hope in that these children and the adults supervising them concieve of a particular enemy -nasrallah and hezbollah- and are not simply writing 'death to the arabs'. They have chosen an appropriate enemy. It is the army that does not choose appropriate targets.

Posted by: re at July 18, 2006 10:12 PM

Please what is the source of these pictures? Everybody on the planet should see them.

Posted by: daniel at July 18, 2006 10:14 PM

The headline in one link says: "Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us" and providing a peaceful 'final solution' is no problem for God-fearing people. These children are just trying to show those nasty hate-filled Arab kids the biblical version of 'tough love'!

The Bushanistas are having their 'hairy way' with the world and will soon 'get nuke-ya-lar' on all of us. This is being planned right now. For the next two weeks their private jets will be flying directly over my head on their way to Bohemian Grove, violating the 'neighborhood-friendly' air traffic laws that commercial craft must obey at all times.

Hey, wait a minute! There's no such thing as a 'secret society' or 'conspiracy theory'! Old Bob Alexander of Apex Aviation out at Charles Schulz Airport must have been lying to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat when he told them: "This is Christmas-time for me! I'm going to sell 20,000 gallons of aviation fuel!" We, the taxpayers, wouldn't be footing this bill too, would we? The conspiracies wouldn't be lies fed to the public by their propaganda machine, would it?

Fortunately for me I've stopped worrying and learned how to Love That Bomb!!!!

Posted by: americanintifada at July 19, 2006 12:49 AM

Ah, come on you all. Nothing special, nothing to see here, it's always like that.

Posted by: abb1 at July 19, 2006 04:52 AM

Looking back at this phenomenon. THis is disturbing blogging. If your point is that this is how palestinians are regularly portrayed (and I know the post references 'Lebanese', but the polemic is really about the portrayal of the Palestinians), the question is this; do you believe that both jews and arabs are irrational, hate-filled hysteria machines? This post screams 'Look, equivalency!', not 'Look, bullshit analysis'. You strengthen the orientalist thesis about conflict in the middle-east. Israelis and Arabs have often been portrayed as two variants of an 'other' which is bloodthirsty and emotional, in contradistinction to the western norms of rationality and the christian norms of love.

I also wonder how clear it is that your text is satirical, and that no-one has actually posted this.

The idea that 'they are both hopeless' is commonplace in what passes for political analysis. In the USA The idea is frequently 'they are both hopeless, but the Israelis are right', which comes from the christian right, for whom the idea of the 'Jew' is one who is hopeless, unsaved, but still 'chosen' to act out a suicidal role in the apocalypse, while the 'Muslim' is wrong and was never right. Jews rejected, while Mulims abrogated the christian revelation. One group are just heathen, the other are apostate if you will.

In more secular europe, the equation is more commonly 'they are both hopeless', full stop, or with a pro-palestinian twinge so long as there struggle seems to be secular. Jews are, of course, always religious in the popular imagination, even in there secularism. When the Arabs get religious (eg radical political islamism) then europe finds them disgusting too.

Ok, this has become a bit stream of consciousness, the point is, Jonathan, that I worry that your post is not a regression into racist stereotypes in the face of the great despair that we all feel in the face of this terrible escalation, and the suffering that it is causing. Your polemic slanders palestinians as much as jews, arabs as much as israelis.



Posted by: re at July 19, 2006 07:16 AM

Re, what the hell are you babbling about?

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at July 19, 2006 07:29 AM

re uses too many big words for me, but says "Your polemic slanders palestinians as much as jews, arabs..." etc.

You're using racial epithets yourself! How did you know I'm half Polish and half Irish? I know I'm a Pole-Mick and I truly represent your nasty remark! Besides, the only people I slander are Bushanistas! You need to lighten up and take a few lessons in sarcasm from the Sultan of Satire, Stan Freeberg!

In the words of that great American nihilist, Foghorn Leghorn, "Ah say, that's a joke, son! Ah say, that boy's got more nerve than a bum tooth!"

Posted by: americanintifada at July 19, 2006 07:45 AM

my point is a serious one. you may understand it or not, agree with it or not. The way people view the parties to the conflict is critical to the development and resolution of the conflict. This goes for the parties themselves equally. Which was kind of the point of mr schwartz's post no?

Posted by: re at July 19, 2006 08:28 AM

Yeah, but his post is still done 'tongue-in-cheekly', right? Oh, well. Never mind!!!

Posted by: americanintifada at July 19, 2006 09:10 AM

Israel has not been portrayed as "other" -- they are us. They're our outpost in the wilderness. There is no nation on earth that has been portrayed as less "other" to the US than Israel.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at July 19, 2006 12:06 PM

What's wrong with the world, mama
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma
Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin'
In the USA, the big CIA
The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK
But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah Madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love
The love, the love

It just ain't the same, always unchanged
New days are strange, is the world insane
If love and peace is so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don't belong
Nations droppin' bombs
Chemical gasses fillin' lungs of little ones
With ongoin' sufferin' as the youth die young
So ask yourself is the lovin' really gone
So I could ask myself really what is goin' wrong
In this world that we livin' in people keep on givin' in. Makin' wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends Not respectin' each other, deny thy brother. A war is goin' on but the reason's undercover. The truth is kept secret, it's swept under the rug. If you never know truth then you never know love
Where's the love, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the truth, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the love, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' our wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema
Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Instead in spreading love we spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity. That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under. That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down. There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under, Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found

Now ask yourself
Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love?

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love (The love)

Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love (The love)

Posted by: Jesse at July 19, 2006 01:11 PM

Turns out, this may well have been an "event" set up by photojournalists.
See the story by an Israeli blogger named Lisa.
Worth checking out, as is the anti-war demo in Tel Aviv.

Posted by: donescobar at July 19, 2006 02:49 PM

Image of the day:
children send messages on missiles-
You say it says
Here, some Israeli girls have apparently been told to "sign" bombs directed at Lebanon, writing messages like "from Israel with love."
"Nazrala (Hassan Nasrallah-Hezbolah head) with love From Israel"
Why did you leave out that one word?

Posted by: at July 19, 2006 03:30 PM

Just keep telling yourself: The Israelis are the victimes. The Israelis are the victims. The Israelis are the victims.

Posted by: opeluboy at July 19, 2006 05:46 PM

With all the adults -- like Michael Ledeen, David Horowitz, Bill Kristol, et al -- that are getting giddy over the slaughter it's not fair to expect that these girls contain themselves.

Posted by: Lloyd at July 19, 2006 09:29 PM

The biggest crime is that these young girls are being encouraged to believe that they are sending the bomb to 'Nazrala.' I wonder how they will feel when that bomb kills another little girl just like them? But, I guess as long as you're europeans slaughtering native populations it is 'all good' as the kids say. I hope the ambiant racism will shield them from the guilt until they are old enough to deal with the fact they are participating in genocide.

Posted by: Waldo J at July 20, 2006 07:19 AM

The silly piece by Cpohen in the P{ost, cited aboive, has been shown (see Little Green footballs, for example) to be utterly stupid--not historically accurate and disregarding the legitimacy of the 1948 UN vote etc If Israel is not "legitimate," then so too is the US--ask any indian

Posted by: fred lapides at July 20, 2006 09:32 AM

Any likelyhood the major networks are gonna pick up on these images anytime soon? Should I hold my breath?

Posted by: Zog at July 20, 2006 11:30 AM

Looks like Israel has once again forgotten to teach their children the ten commandments, "thou shall not kill" comes to mind when I see this. Not that Israel is entirely to blame in this conflict, certainly the Arabs share an equal amount of responsibility for the deaths currently taking place.

I wish more than anything that violence stemming from religious fervor could be translated into a intrapersonal look at the tenets of their faiths, and that both sides could practice what their prophets taught them: tolerance, humility, love, and above all PEACE.


Posted by: tendo at July 20, 2006 11:46 AM

No doubt you expressed similar shock when those infamous photos of arab children dressed as suicide bombers/etc came out. right? right?

um, link please.

(how ironic would it be if Jonathan Schwarz defended/justified/rationalized/whatever the pics of arab children? what a hypocrite that would make him!)

Posted by: Tree Hugger at July 20, 2006 04:42 PM

Treehugger, you might want to reread this and then try again.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at July 20, 2006 07:42 PM

Discrimination and hatred are taught; No one is born discriminating. Israel has hijacked the world thru its backing by big bouncer brother USA.

Posted by: HM at July 21, 2006 10:07 AM

Nobody has bothered to check the background of this story?
Try "Putting things in perspective," posted July 20 on

Posted by: donescobar at July 21, 2006 10:22 AM

donescobar, I have read that. Exactly the same thing could and has been written about the background of similar pictures of Palestinian children.

And that actually was my point, which I thought was clear but doesn't seem to have been: the context, explanation, etc. is either legitimate in both cases or in neither. I myself think it's legitimate in both, but I care less about what people think about that question and more about them being consistent.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at July 21, 2006 11:14 AM

WTF?! I saw these photos on and thought they were doctored somehow or a sick joke. But this is real???

We are in the abyss. We have now lost all perspective. The world has gone stark raving mad.

Posted by: Jane at July 21, 2006 11:24 AM

The photo was a set-up by a foreign photo journalist. Sandmonkey website has info.

Posted by: at July 21, 2006 04:24 PM

Chicks who write on bombs are hot.

Posted by: Enigma at July 21, 2006 04:26 PM

Anonymous, I read that post at Sandmonkey. It's hard to believe caring parents would let their children be coaxed into doing that. Would you let your children be used that way?

Enigma, those are children, not sex objects.

Posted by: J. Alva Scruggs at July 21, 2006 05:15 PM

you are terribly wrong....that's a great mistake!!!!
the little girls are not from lebanon, but they are from israel!!!!!

...what's your comment now..Emily Litella????

Posted by: alessandro at July 22, 2006 11:26 AM


Israel's use of "BLITZKRIEG" war tactics--first, heavy aerial bombardment, then massive shelling using artillery pieces and tanks, and finally, a major push using overwhelming infantry forces--against the hapless civilans in both Gaza and Lebanon, was first used and refined by the Nazis in WW II.

It's a bit ironic that Israel, who never misses a chance to blame the world and sow guilt for what happened during WW II, uses the same military tactics that the Nazi controlled Wehrmacht employed to success 65 years ago.

Way to go Israel! You've already turned the West Bank and Gaza into concentration camps with your so-called "security fence."
Now, instead of using gas chambers for your "FINAL SOLUTION" of dealing with the Palestinians, and now, the Lebanese people, Israel uses F-16's and 155 mm artillery shells, white phosphorous and chemical bombs.
Israel must have forgot the old saying, "Choose your enemies well."

Greg Bacon
Ava, MO

Posted by: Greg Bacon at July 23, 2006 02:07 AM
Israelis and Arabs have often been portrayed as two variants of an 'other' which is bloodthirsty and emotional, in contradistinction to the western norms of rationality and the christian norms of love.

Can you cite some stuff for this? Usually, at least these days, I see Israel portrayed as the outpost of the West in the virulently dangerous (and subsequently orientalized) Middle East. And hence it is always supported.

I do understand your point about equivalency, but I think you're misreading the post.

Posted by: saurav at July 24, 2006 01:08 PM