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Tell Us Again About Liberal Patriotism – The date: Dec. 27. The setting: Neal Cavuto’s Fox News program. Liberal commentator Ellen Ratner was chatting with Brenda Buttner, who was sitting in for Cavuto. The gist of the conversation, until Ratner briefly took off her mask of civility, was that President Bush appears almost impossible to beat in 2004.

Ratner: Unless he messes up the war – I hope.

Buttner: You hope?

Ratner: Well, I don’t want him to be reelected.

We Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up, Folks (But The Times Sure Can) – From a recent “Corrections” notice in the former paper of record: “An article on Nov. 10 about animal rights referred erroneously to an island in the Indian Ocean and to events there involving goats and endangered giant sea sparrows that could possibly lead to the killing of goats by environmental groups. Wrightson Island does not exist; both the island and the events are hypothetical figments from a book (also mentioned in the article), Beginning Again, by David Ehrenfeld. No giant sea sparrow is known to be endangered by the eating habits of goats.”

Novak The Convert – Former mayor Ed Koch blasts columnist Robert Novak in an Op-Ed piece in this week’s Jewish Press. One of the questions the Monitor is asked most often is whether or not Novak is Jewish. We’ve touched on this more than once, but in anticipation of the inevitable we’ll do it one more time: Yes, the man who would rank high on anybody’s list of pundits most hostile to Israel is a Jew – at least by birth.

Novak recently told Texas Monthly magazine, “About four years ago I converted to Catholicism. I was born Jewish, but I hadn’t practiced in a while. My wife converted too. She was born a Texas Methodist but also hadn’t practiced.”

And You Doubted The British Foreign Office Is A Nest Of Anti-Semites? – The Daily Telegraph reported last week that in the immediate aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre, senior British diplomats undertook what the paper described as “a vigorous defense of the Palestinian cause.”

Gayford Woodrow (the very name just screams “effete appeaser,” does it not?), the British consul general in Jerusalem, dashed off the following dispatch to the Foreign Office a few days after the attack:

“Before we reproach the Arabs too much, perhaps we might try to put ourselves in their shoes. They are, after all, human beings with normal human failings. The Palestinians in particular have seen their land taken away from them by a group of mainly European invaders equipped with superior armed force and modern technology.

“Whatever one’s moral criticism, it must be agreed that the Munich operation was well planned and that the Arabs there carried it out to the bitter end. It is said that lives were really lost because of Israel and West German bungling incompetence.”

James Craig, the head of Woodrow’s department, added this notation to Woodrow’s letter: “Not bad, but he goes just a little too far.”

A few weeks after the Munich attack, Black September terrorists hijacked a Lufthansa jet. Here’s some of what David Gore-Booth, a first secretary at the Foreign Office, wrote at the time:

“Before we shed too many tears about the Lufthansa hijacking…it would be as well to ask ourselves what the implications are so far as the Arab/Israel dispute is concerned….What the hijacking does is to remind the international community that the Palestine problem exists: in one sense this is unwelcome to the Israelis as it shows their pretense for what it is, but in another it provides them with an excellent opportunity to enlist the aid of the international community in erasing the problem.

“Hence their apoplectic reaction to the hijacking, which….provides them with an excellent opportunity to slip into Syria, bomb a few more bases and kill a few more innocent people with impunity….”

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

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About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


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It’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? And yet it seems like the conversation was never really interrupted, as I’ve enjoyed, in the three and a half months since this column last appeared, many an interesting exchange, via e-mail and phone, with some very intelligent readers.

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