Friday, September 17, 2004


Who is this jerk anyway?

Just in case anyone's paying attention, let me say a bit about who I am, and what is important to me about myself:

In no particular order, I am a computer programmer, an a cappella singer, a UMass Amherst graduate, a holder of two legitimate passports, a Massachusetts resident, a tall guy (so my fiancee says), and a member of the International Brotherhood of Guys With Beards and Glasses.

I'm an Israeli citizen, having emigrated there and lived there for fourteen years. I finished high school there, put in three years with the Israel Defense Forces, worked in the computer industry there, and started my undergraduate degree there -- but I retained my American passport, as the State Department entitles me to do. I have since moved back to the United States; see above.

I remain an unapologetic defender of Israel. No, Israel isn't perfect, and never was; but she's never yielded the moral high ground to her critics, nor has she needed to do so. For all her issues and ongoing problems, I'm proud of my Israeli citizenship, and proud to have worn the IDF uniform.

Back in America, I'm what some people have started calling a September 11th Conservative. Oh, my political views leaned toward the conservative long before then -- in Israel I voted Likud, for example -- but I'd always identified more with the Democrats than with the Republicans. (As a sign of how my views have changed, this joke is funnier to me now than it used to be.) I voted for Al Gore in 2000 while holding my nose; he seemed to me to be as much of a poll-driven political weathervane as Clinton had been, but at least he had some top-level experience. Bush, it seemed to me, was a lightweight, unsuited for the rigors of high office.

Then Sept. 11 happened. Having learned far more about terrorism in Israel than I wanted to know, I held my breath. Would our President rise to the challenge? Or would he wimp out, take the easy path, assume a docile position, and leave us vulnerable to ever harder and more deadly attacks? To my great surprise, George W. Bush turned out to have a backbone after all. (Or perhaps he grew one on the spot -- it's been known to happen, particularly to presidents.) He has since earned my admiration as a president with the guts to do what he thought necessary, in the face of withering criticism unseen by U.S. Presidents since the days of Lincoln.

I don't agree with Bush on all counts, by any stretch of the imagination. But I'll be voting for him in November 2004.

When not worrying about such worrisome topics, I have a great time singing barbershop harmony -- bass by preference, but in a pinch, any part will do. I've been a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society since 1995, and of the Sounds of Concord barbershop chorus since 2000. I had the privilege of singing bass in an award-winning barbershop quartet called Prelude (the quartet has disbanded, but our website might still work); I also had a lot of fun singing lead in The Mental Notes, my UMass college quartet.

My immediate family includes my mother and stepfather, living north of Boston; my big brother, living south of Boston; and my beautiful fiancee and her three girls, living with me in our new house in Brookline; hence the blog name.

That should about do it for now. If I think of other relevant details worth adding, I'll append them later.

-- DiB


You Zionist Nazis should stop your Holocaust in Palestine.

Why do you do the same to them that the Nazis had done to you?

The Nazis murdered with Gas, while YOU Israli Nazis murder Arab children with WHITE PHOSPHOROUS.

"JEWS only/ARABS only", huh?

Thats what the signs on Zionist Nazi roads say. SAME AS NAZIS.

Stop defending this Terror state,you dirty Zionist NAZI.
and stop dropping WHITE PHOSPHOROUS on innocent children in GAZA,OK?

Dresden 1945 = GAZA 2009

GAZA = Auschwitz
Thanks, Peter, for your carefully-thought-out arguments.

I'm going to assume that arguing with you is a lost cause. Nonetheless, some more thoughtful readers, who are able to wade past your misspellings and your ad-hominem insults and your straw-men, might wonder if you ought to be taken seriously.

So, taken one at a time:

- There is no "Holocaust in Palestine", nor has there ever been. The Holocaust was during WWII, when the Jewish population of Europe went from 9.5 million to 3.5 million. The Palestinian Arab population, by contrast, has been rising steadily since British Mandate times. Claims that Israel has perpetrated a Holocaust are ridiculous.

- Ah, so it's back to white phosphorus, is it? The International Red Cross -- an organization not known for being biased toward Israel -- cleared Israel of the silly accusations.

(This is but the latest of many ridiculous claims made against Israel, made in the hopes that some will stick -- from Palestinian claims that Israeli whores have invaded Gaza to infect Palestinian men with AIDS and/or poison wells, or claims that there's a map of "Greater Israel" behind the podium in the Knesset or on Israeli coins, and so on, and so on. Google them for yourself.)

The worst things Israel has ever done have been violations of Israeli law; they've been rare and heavily punished. And even so, they pale in comparison to what Israel's enemies do every day, on purpose, with no apology or self-punishment of any sort.

- You clearly have not seen Israeli road signs. I have; I used to be a traffic cop in Israel, after all. Show me one authentic Israeli road sign that says "Jews only", in any language. Go ahead. It'll take you a long time, for such signs don't exist.

If you stand by your claim that they do, with no evidence, then you're an ignorant fool or a malignant liar. Take your pick.

Better yet: visit Israel for yourself. Talk to Israelis, and see what they think about Israeli policies. Visit the Gaza Strip, and speak to people there. See for yourself, and make up your own mind.

You'll find a great many things to change your mind about.

Accusing Israelis of being Nazis is cheap, simple, and fun... for those who love fact-free irony. In fact, the IDF is one of the most humane and ethical military forces in history. (Name me another military force that attacked terrorist bases... and phoned ahead, specifically to warn non-combatants to flee in time. Numerous other examples exist; look them up.)
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