International

Shielding Yasser

In my masochistic and fruitless effort to understand the international volunteers who vow to shield with their lives the career terrorist Arafat, I was reading on The Palestine Chronicle website about Elaine Westblade, a 27-year-old Australian-born Londoner, who “is staying with 11 other activists at the Palestinian presidential compound in Ramallah, in a bid to stop any Israeli attack on the leader.”

According to the Chronicle website:

Ms Westblade was concerned the Israeli army would attack the compound when an important Jewish festival finished tonight.

“The worry is that when the festival ends … the Israeli army (will) come in with their tanks and lay siege onto the presidential compound.

Ah, yes. The festival of Yom Kippur, when Jews around the world merrily fast to atone for their sins.

Before Ms. Westblade decides to lay her life on the line for Mr. Arafat, may I suggest that she first learn something about the Jewish people? She could start by finding out which holidays are festivals and which aren’t. Then maybe she can learn something about Israel, which may in turn lead her to learn a few things about Mr. Arafat’s desire to wipe it off the map.

Update: Bernard Joyce comments that Yom Kippur is considered a festival by Orthodox Jews. I had never seen or heard Yom Kippur referred to as such, but then I’m not Orthodox. Here’s one rabbi’s explanation.

My apologies, then, to Ms. Westblade. Though I still think what she’s doing is naive and stupid.

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