Today's Blogs

Bloodshed in Jerusalem

Bloggers are weighing in on the seminary attack in Jerusalem and debating the Samantha Power resignation.

Bloodshed in Jerusalem: A Palestinian gunman opened fire in a seminary in Jerusalem on Thursday, killing eight rabbinical students and wounding several others before being shot and killed by an Israeli soldier. Bloggers responded with a mix of anger and ideological fervor over the slayings.

Writing from Jerusalem, Dan at eJewishPhilanthropy notes that “[t]he City is particularly quiet this morning; especially for a Friday. Despite the glorious early summer weather, the normal hustle and bustle of pre-Shabbat is missing. Almost like Jerusalem woke-up today wrapped in a cocoon.” At Women’s Lens, Aimée Kligman, who describes herself as “a modern American Sephardic Jewess,” points to an account of Palestinians celebrating the attack and opines that “this is just the kind of thing which would obliterate any kind of world support for the Gaza Humanitarian problem. When people die on their side of the fence, no one in Israel starts to dance and distribute candy in the street. This is the basic difference between a civilized response to death and a terrorist response to death. They need to stop these parades.” Israel supporter Meryl Yourish draws attention to the U.N. Human Rights Council, which earlier Thursday passed a resolution condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza. “Think they’ll pass one condemning this terrorist action against young men whose only crime was being Jewish and studying Torah?” she asks.

McClatchy Newspapers bureau chief Dion Nissenbaum, writing for Checkpoint Jerusalem, reminds us that warm weather often portends violence in Jerusalem. “No one really knows if last night’s attack on a prominent Jewish religious school was the start of something new or an isolated incident. But the trend line is certainly negative. … What will this summer bring?” Robin at Under the Holly Tree, who lived in the Middle East from 1975-80, implores her readers to “look at what Israel/Palestine is going through currently and ask yourselves if any acts of terror, either the state sponsored acts of Israel or the asymetrical terror acts of a certain faction of the Palestinian resistance movement has accomplished anything other than perpetuating more terror. Has vengeance achieved ANYTHING other than more vengeance by EITHER party?”

Left-winger Kel at the Osterley Times asks whether the condemnations from the West are fair: “We can all join with Bush, Rice, Miliband and others in condemning this horrendous loss of innocent life. My question is why do Bush, Rice, Miliband and others find it so difficult to condemn such horrendous losses of life when the victims are Palestinian?”

Read more about the attack. Israeli blogger Isreally Cool has  live-blogged the news as it unfolded.

Powerless: Samantha Power, an acclaimed author and Harvard professor, resigned from her volunteer position as a foreign-policy adviser to Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign today after describing Sen. Hillary Clinton as a “monster” to a Scottish newspaper. In a statement, she said that “These comments do not reflect my feelings about Sen. Clinton, whose leadership and public service I have long admired.”

Conservative Rob at the Say Anything doesn’t see the big deal. “It’s no better or worse than that Rush Limbaugh caller saying Obama looks like Curious George,” he writes. “So Obama’s adviser thinks Hillary is monstrous.  Thinking of Hillary’s designs for socialized medicine, which would garnish our wages if we don’t buy health insurance and might even for us by law to go to the doctor, I think she probably is pretty monstrous.” James Joyner at Outside the Beltway smells a bogus apology, writing, “of course the comments reflected Power’s feelings about Clinton. Whether they reflect her considered judgment is another matter.” Joyner goes on to note that “These gaffes happen over a long campaign and, certainly, Obama can’t be held responsible for every frustrated remark even close advisers make to the press. Nor should he be expected to fire everyone who says something regrettable.”

Turkana at the Left Coaster is sympathetic: “The reason I didn’t want Power to resign is that I think she is too important to lose. I had hoped an apology would suffice. In retrospect, a resignation may have been necessary, in the context of a campaign. But I hope Obama will continue to consult with her, and should he win, I hope she will be part of his administration.” Another Obama supporter, writing at Think on These Things, sees her resignation as a good move on Obama’s part: “He can take this and turn it into a moment to shine and show a different style of managing his campaign than Hillary Clinton. Plus, Samantha Power will be alright. She’s got a book tour to keep her busy and in the public eye.”

But Matt Yglesias is “pissed off,” he says: “Sure, you can rail against the perfidy of the Clintons, but this sort of ritualized calls for resignations is all in the game. Having her resign, by contrast, is just playing the game poorly.  … The ‘monster’ business was a dumb thing to say, and certainly the kind of thing you apologize for, but no kind of indication that she was a bad person to get foreign policy advice from.”

Read more about Samantha Power’s resignation.