The Best Of The Dish This Weekend


Nina Arrazello captions a wonderful little art series called Kiddie Arts:

like many children, Dutch artist Telmo Pieper drew imaginative, colorful, creative and not-always-so-anatomically correct creatures and characters when he was 4-years-old. For ‘kiddie arts’, Pieper has reincarnated the drawn works from his childhood as digital paintings, materializing them as realistic figures in intricate detail, vibrant hues and with computerized graphics. The result illustrates the quirky line scribbles as lifelike underwater animals, insects and architecture, each a bit awry in their structural and biological precision.

Love that whale.

I found myself tossing and turning all weekend from the horrible news of the last week. Today, another UN school was shelled in Gaza, killing ten, wounding many more, traumatizing countless others. These civilian deaths even in a place designated as a safe haven simply beggar belief. It is impossible to feel sympathy for either Israel or Hamas at this point. Hamas is daring Israel to kill more innocents; and Israel is eagerly obliging them. How many more children have to die to feed these zero-sum ambitions?

And it is in the wake of last week that I read Michael Oren’s piece on Zionism. As over 200 Arab children lie dead, Oren can’t contain his enthusiasm for the staggering success of the Jewish state. No reflection; no circumspection; just a long celebration until you get to this: “And there is the issue of Judea and Samaria—what most of the world calls the West Bank—an area twice used to launch wars of national destruction against Israel but which, since its capture in 1967, has proved painfully divisive.”

He means painfully divisive for Israelis. The views of the occupied do not merit any attention. And notice the reflexive victimology. This is not an area where the original inhabitants are ghettoized behind barbed wire and checkpoints, where Jim Crow exists alongside new and aggressively anti-Arab settlers, where millions of Israel’s inhabitants have no vote, and where a Russian emigré right off the plane has more rights than someone whose family has lived their for aeons. It is and always will be a existential threat that justifies permanent occupation and settlement, in direct contravention of the Geneva Conventions. This victimology is why when, in a war zone, a soldier is killed, the first word we hear from the Israelis is that he may have been “kidnapped”. Kidnapped? He was killed in battle. But even if Hamas had seized him, he would be captured in battle, not kidnapped. But that would require some sort of understanding that the enemy is also human, some kind of equal. And that seems to happen less and less. What you see in Gaza is Cheneyism fully realized.

Some relief from the Dish’s weekend: a church sign for the ages; Martin Amis’ plea for agnosticism for his friend Christopher Hitchens; why we hate the dentist; the evolution of dick crit; and the collapse of Catholic religious marriages.

The most popular post of the weekend was Why Sam Harris Won’t Criticize Israel; followed by Church Sign Of the Day.

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See you in the morning.