web analytics
April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Latin American’

The Obama Plan: Raising “Palestine” Upon The Corpse Of Israel (Part III)

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
            In all world politics, but especially in the Islamic Middle East, the ultimate form of power is power over death. Directed toward Jews, the violence of Palestinian terrorism is always “sacred” violence, and it is always oriented to eternal life for the terrorist. Unlike most other terrorists, the Palestinian movement fighters openly aspire to immortality. Paradoxically, that is why they enthusiastically commit uniquely homicidal forms of suicide.

 

            Urged on first by Arafat, and now by Abbas-lieutenants and his appointed clergy in the mosques, these terrorists believe fully that by dying in the religiously mandated act of blowing up Jews, they will buy themselves freedom from the penalty of their own personal deaths. As for their fiery self-immolation…. it is assuredly a small matter, really only a momentary inconvenience on the Islamic “martyr’s” glorious journey to union with Allah. Identifying the PLO as “a father, a brother, a relative, a friend,” the Hamas Charter instructs: “We (all Palestinians) know the Palestinian problem is a religious one, to be dealt with on this premise…. `I swear by that (sic) who holds in his hands the Soul of Muhammad! I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill.’”

 

            For other terrorists, suicide is usually something “crazy,” and not a proper tactic to be used for revolutionary confrontation. For the Palestinians, however, suicide in the act of murdering Jews represents the very highest form of political engagement, a correctly Islamic method warranting very high praise. How different, just for example, was the Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru, a Latin American terrorist group that took 74 hostages at the Japanese Embassy in Lima, Peru on December 17, 1996.

 

            After the MRTA kidnapper’s initial demands were rejected by the government, the terrorists threatened to blow up the entire embassy as an act of suicidal desperation. Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori’s response was to say simply: “There cannot be peace talks or agreements while terror is being used as the principal argument.” Again, the terrorists threatened: “If the government doesn’t cede, we will die with all the hostages.” Five months later, on April 22, 1997, all the hostages were rescued, and not a single one had been harmed.  Unlike Palestinian terror groups, who seek to inflict gratuitous harm on noncombatants – often by filling bombs with nails, screws and razor blades – the more typical MRTA organization had rejected suicide terrorism.

 

            Nail in brain; nail in heart.” For a time, such graphic labels attached to X-Rays in Israeli hospitals, had become routine. Several years ago, a victim of Palestinian suicide terror arrived at Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva with nearly fifteen nails and metal fragments embedded in his body. One of the “merely wounded,” this thirty-one year old man presented with multiple shrapnel penetrations along the left-side of his body, second and first-degree burns on the left side of his face and chest, on his hands and on his left leg. His injuries required five types of surgery. After regaining consciousness, he was weaned from a ventilator and now – in 2009 – still faces additional years of painful rehabilitation.

 

            What kind of search for “national self-determination” inflicts such harms upon defenseless noncombatant populations, and then cheers the most awful casualties in gleeful ceremonies conducted with their own young children? What kind of an America could ever accept such harms as understandable or even permissible? Is there any reasonable way in which a sitting president of the United States could justifiably equate the search for self-determination of such a people with the victims of the Holocaust?

 

            Palestinian terror seeks national self-determination, but shouts endlessly to the world that even after statehood, – a statehood eagerly sought by President Obama – violence would continue against “The Jews.” Significantly, every map of every Palestinian group features a new Arab state (the 23rd) that incorporates all of Israel. Therefore, not only Hamas, but also “moderate” Fatah, has already exterminated Israel cartographically..

 

            Terrorism has brought suffering throughout the world, but Palestinian terrorism in particular will remain fiendishly unique even where it is manifestly counter-productive. Given the opportunity, it is probable that, ultimately, Palestinian terror groups will seek to exploit the particular horrors that still lie latent in weaponized pathogens and/or fissile materials. Earlier, in Latin America, groups such as MRTA and Sendero Luminoso (“Shining Path”) had resorted to bloodshed in a more-or-less class-based fight for social, economic and political equality. But their violence was plainly instrumental, and their ultimate goals had nothing to do with genocide. In Peru, moreover, whenever Sendero Luminoso exploded bombs in cars and buses, the citizens themselves had uniformly condemned the terror.

 

            If undertaken by Palestinians, who would openly condemn bioterrorism against Israel? Certainly President Obama would, but to what end? The proper position of any American president seeking peace in the Middle East must be to prevent war and terror, not to use American resources only after the fact to help bury dead Israelis.

 

            All Palestinian terror groups are relentlessly determined to use violence against noncombatants, even on those occasions where it is plainly unsuitable for political gain.  To these organizations, “Palestine” refers to all of Israel proper, as well as to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. As for Palestinian civilian populations, they still regularly applaud even the most heinous forms of anti-Jewish terrorism. When, several years back, two lost Israelis were lynched outside a PA “police station” in Ramallah, a mob of literally thousands danced a frenzied bacchanal on top of the mutilated bodies. This is undeniable. We know this because of the heroic film work done that day by an Italian television crew in the area.

 

            What defensible human emotions can move a mob of “ordinary” Palestinians to torture, gouge out the eyes, beat and then burn two utterly helpless human beings? What, one must inquire, was more incomprehensible that October morning in Ramallah, the elbows-deep-in-blood attacks launched by a desensitized people, or the spontaneously twisted celebrations of the multiple Arab bystanders?

 

            Arab women as well as men could not contain the ecstasy of their cruel involvement. What kind of human beings can commit the horrors that Palestinian mobs inflicted on that terrible day upon Vadim Norjitz and Yossi Avrahami? While the answers to these questions are complex, they have a great deal to do with understanding the incessantly distinctive barbarism of Palestinian terror groups, a barbarism that now frequently manifests itself in intra-Palestinian battles between Fatah and Hamas as well.

 

            Latin American terror groups have sometimes fought for human improvement and survival, but then seemed to look ultimately toward some forms of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence. Palestinian terrorists, on the other hand, fight only to expunge an entire people, the Jews, from (at a minimum) the face of the Middle East.    

 

            Whatever the rhetoric of the moment, Palestinian terrorism is never really a plea to Israel to relieve material needs, but rather a hideous demand to die so that certain Muslims can realize their alleged spiritual wants. Citing a major hadith (an Arabic term that refers to the oral tradition by means of which sayings or deeds attributed to the prophet Muhammad have been handed down to Muslim believers), King Sa’ud once informed a British visitor to his court: “Verily, the word of God teaches us, and we implicitly believe it, that for a Muslim to kill a Jew, or for him to be killed by a Jew, ensures him an immediate entry into heaven and into the august presence of God Almighty.”

 

            Palestinian terrorism now based solidly upon fanatical religious hatreds and intentionally wanton killings, bears no close resemblance to other forms of contemporary terror violence. Starkly medieval, it seeks the death and dismemberment of individual Jews and, cumulatively, the annihilation of the Jewish State. There can, therefore, be no justification for its manifold crimes and harms; President Obama’s plea for Palestinian statehood will only hasten genocidal terrorist goals.

 

            Mr. President, for Mahmoud Abbas, as well as earlier for Yasser Arafat, “Palestine” can never be allowed to coexist with any Jewish State. Rather, religiously and ideologically, it must be raised triumphantly upon the ruins of Israel, an irremediable objective that could imperil not only Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, but also New York, Washington and Los Angeles.

 

Louis René Beres was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), and is author of many books and articles dealing with terrorism and international law. He has on occasion been associated with certain federal agencies on issues of counterterrorism, and has contributed to such Department of Defense publications as Parameters and Special Warfare. In Israel, Professor Beres was Chair of Project Daniel. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

The Joys Of Spring Training

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008


         In 1870 the Chicago White Stockings headed south to New Orleans for preseason workouts. While they were the first team to choose a warm weather site to prepare for the upcoming season, in 1884 the Boston Braves became the first team to schedule actual exhibition games (also in New Orleans).

 

         Now, of course, big league teams are sprinkled around Florida and Arizona. Florida based teams make up the Grapefruit League while those in Arizona play under the banner of the Cactus League.

 

         An increasing number of teams are opting for Arizona, and the Phoenix area boasts more big league teams training within fewer miles than anywhere else.

 

         I recently journeyed to Phoenix to check out the seven beautiful little ballparks in the area housing nine teams. Two of those teams, the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres, share the Peoria complex and the Kansas City and Texas clubs share a site in a suburb called Surprise.

 

         The Cubs (Mesa), Angels (Tempe), Brewers (Phoenix’s west side), Athletics (Phoenix’s east side) and Giants (Scottsdale) have their own little ballparks and practice fields.

 

         Over a two-day span I was able to visit each of the aforementioned sites from my base near Phoenix’s kosher establishments (check out The Jewish Press Dining Guide). I took surface streets, not freeways, and managed to get from one site to another most of the time in less than 15 minutes.

 

         Some of the spring training complexes are absolutely stunning, and all the fields are beautiful. Though the ballparks are fairly similar in seating capacity (from about 8,000 to 12,000 seats), and the main portion of the seating area is just one deck that wraps around from first base to third base, they differ architecturally.

 

         If you want to see something really architecturally different, take in a game or a tour at Bank One Ballpark in downtown Phoenix. The 49,000-seat retractable roof home of the Arizona Diamondbacks is worth a trip in itself.

 

         There are many rookies who have been tagged for future stardom in Arizona and Florida. Let’s take a look at some of them.

 

         Reflecting a startling demographic change in professional baseball, 16 of the top 20 prospects are white and American born; only two are African American, one is from Venezuela and the other hails from the Dominican Republic. (The starting lineup of the Tigers this year has two African American players and seven Latin American players. The best players in the Tigers’ minor league chain, however, are mostly white and American born.)

 

         There will always be a heavy influx of Latin American players but the African American population in the major leagues is less than half what is was 30 years ago.

 

         The Tampa Bay Rays (the team has removed the “Devil” from its name) have the best collection of rookies – four are rated highly. Three are pitchers. Evan Longoria is a highly touted third baseman who can hit for average and power and could be this year’s Ryan Braun.

 

         The Cincinnati Reds also have a couple of future stars. Pitcher Homer Bailey has the potential to be a top starter while many feel Jay Bruce is baseball’s top prospect and Ken Griffey’s replacement in center field.

 

         So things are looking brighter for some small market clubs. Other prospects to watch are Cameron Maybin, outfield, Marlins; Clayton Kershaw, pitcher, Dodgers; Colby Rasmus, outfield, Cardinals; Andrew McCuthen, outfield, Pirates; Adam Miller, pitcher, Indians; Rick Porcello, pitcher, Tigers; Travis Snider, outfield, Blue Jays; Brandon Wood, shortstop, Angels; Mike Moustakas, shortstop, Royals; Matt Wieters, catcher, Orioles; and Fernando Martinez, outfield, Mets.

 

         None of the aforementioned are expected to have the immediate impact Joba Chamberlain (Yankees) or Jacoby Ellsbury (Red Sox) made when they debuted late last season. Chamberlain breezed through three minor-league levels before posting eye-opening numbers with the Yanks (0.38 ERA in 24 innings while striking out 34). Ellsbury hit .452 in 73 at-bats in double-A, .298 in 363 triple-A at-bats, and .353 with the Red Sox in ll6 at-bats.

 

         While you can see more teams in a concentrated area in and around Phoenix, and three more in Tucson (Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies), you have to go to Florida to see baseball’s best teams (Boston, Cleveland, Detroit and the Yankees).

 

         Of course, injuries to key players such as Boston’s Curt Schilling can make a big difference as to where a team ends up in the standings. Before it was revealed that Schilling may miss most or all of the season, the Red Sox pitching staff shaped up as the best in the game. Now it’s like a plate of good gefilte fish without the chrain. It just doesn’t look right. But Boston has some good pitching prospects and one may be ready to replace Schilling in the rotation by the end of spring training.

 

         That’s what spring training is all about – giving good young players a chance to make the most of an opportunity. I’ll be paying close attention to the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues and make my predictions for the 2008 season next month.

 

         I’ll also be paying close attention to the progress of baseball’s tallest and shortest players. They’re in the lowest rung of the minor leagues and, ironically, were on the same team last season – Elizabethton in the Appalachian League, in the Minnesota Twins chain.

 

         Ludovicus Jacobus Maria Van Mil has baseball’s longest name, so it’s only fitting that the 7-foot-1-inch pitcher from the Netherlands is pro baseball’s tallest player. He had his name shortened a bit to Loek Van Mil so it wouldn’t take up two lines on roster listings or baseball cards. In 24 innings of pro ball last year, he posted a 2-2 record with a 2.63 ERA.

 

         Chris Cates is a 5-foot-2-and half-inch shortstop who had a chance to show his stuff in the college playoffs last year before signing a pro contract. Cates had three hits in seven at-bats in the Appalachian League before being promoted to Beloit in the Class A Midwest League where he batted only .202 in 129 at-bats.

 

         It’s too early to tell if baseball’s tallest and shortest players have major league potential. Only four professional players out of a hundred ever make it to the majors, and some for only a short time. Some are released before double-A (two rungs below the majors) and others never advance to triple-A (the highest minor league level).

 

         It should be an interesting spring training these next few weeks as we follow our new and old favorites.

 

         Irwin Cohen, the author of seven books, headed a national baseball publication for five years before earning a World Series ring working as a department head in a major league front office. His “Baseball Insider” column appears the second week of each month in The Jewish Press. Cohen, president of the Detroit area’s Agudah shul, may be reached in his dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/the-joys-of-spring-training/2008/03/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: