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Jean-Marie Le Pen Is Good For The Jews

French nationalist Jean-Marie Le Pen is a big Ariel Sharon and Israel supporter, so much for being an antisemite.

Chaim Amalek writes Emmanuelle.net: Dear Emmanuelle: Luke and I have discussed this at length, and have concluded that you should vote for Le Pen because he is good for the Jews. I think he will be good for France, too.

Emmanuelle Richard's husband Matt Welch writes on MattWelch.com: "People in France and the rest of Europe are freaking out about the nationalist’s shocking second-place finish, but here are five reasons why I am not overly alarmed: 1) He got 17 percent, which is just a few notches above his usual 12-15 showing. 2) The real shocker is how Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin couldn’t even top that, limping home at 16 percent. If you believe, like I believe, that France isn’t going to get better until it starts electing leaders that don’t have a Triangle Shirtwaist-era worldview about Workers vs. Capital, then it is certainly good news that French voters chose Jacques Chirac over Jospin. 3) Le Pen has no freakin’ prayer against Chirac in the run-off election. 4) There is a chance that the horror of sending a Buchanaite nut-job with a history of unfriendliness toward France’s sizable Arab and Jewish minorities will spur some kind of useful and interesting debate and self-examination within the country. There is a chance that this will galvanize public opinion to be more aggressively rejectionist of the anti-Semitic violence that has plagued the country recently. There is a chance that this will spark a healthy debate about the fatalistic policies toward France’s crime-ridden Arab suburbs (where the cops have long since given up trying to police)…. Of course, there is a chance, too, that the election will be blamed somehow on the U.S.’ Mideast policy … 5) With Jospin’s routing, the French Left is now cloven between democratic Socialists, and a variety of Communist & Trotskyite dang-fotches. I’d love to see the dang-fotches pushed to the margins, though this is way optimistic. (DISCLOSURE: This post-election "analysis" has not been sanctioned in any way by my alarmed French wife.)"

The Los Angeles Business Journal reports on Welch's union with Richard Riordan to start a new Los Angeles paper.

Democrats vs Israel

William Safire writes in Monday's New York Times: Most of the leaders of the Democratic Party and its liberal media voices distanced themselves from Israel in the midst of its defense against Arafat's war. Their echo-chambered furor caused George W. Bush to waver temporarily, but an outcry of moral dismay from Republicans stiffened his administration's spine.

Too partisan a reading? Consider: As the Palestinian murder of Jewish civilians exploded, Democrats blamed Bush for having been "disengaged." This charge of "noninvolvement" had one plain meaning: Bush should have continued the failed policy of Bill Clinton, pressuring Israel's newly elected leader to offer again the dangerous concessions of Camp David and Taba.

From Mary McGrory in The Washington Post to Mark Shields on CNN, a falafel curtain has descended across our continent, transmogrifying the Arab aggressor into the victim. ABC-Disney leads that parade, as the BBC vies with Al Jazeera to inflame the European street. Pro-Palestinian journalists gain cover from Israel's dovish Haaretz, but such dissent is a democracy's strength; if a Ramallah paper criticized Arafat, the editor's body would be dragged through the streets as a "collaborator."

Eight out of ten American voters who are Jewish have been voting for candidates of a Democratic Party that now only tepidly supports the government overwhelmingly chosen by Israelis.

Luke Throws A Tantrum

I tossed and turned on my floor Sunday night, bewailing my fate. I swelled with indignation against certain religious leaders. Rather than turning my anger against myself, and lapsing into depression, I blamed others for my troubles.

My rage felt familiar. I groped through my past for a time when I felt similarly aggrieved, and realized to my chagrin it was when I was five years old, and my stepmother insisted on putting me down for an afternoon nap. I howled and yelled and screamed and bawled until eventually falling asleep.

Israeli Independance Day Festival

I arrived at Woodley Park shortly after 11AM, clutching Anthony Trollope's Autobiography (19th Century British novelist). I walked around in the hot sun, getting tired and dusty and thirsty. I didn't want to spend any money. A rich Jew eventually bought me a bottle of water. I saw an old friend, who stopped speaking to me in January 1998 when I began writing on Dennis Prager. I said hello to him by name. He said, 'Hi Luke,' and kept walking.

Fred writes: It seems to me that if there is anyone at the shul who wants to keep you out, they can simply say anything to the Luke Ford monitor, i.e. he said something inappropriate, or he looked at me in a creepy way, and they'll continue to keep you exiled. Luke, this really isn't healthy.

Greg writes: I read about you in Wired magazine, and I'd seen the LA bloggers mention you. I wanted to visit your site, but was very concerned that when I entered the URL in my browser I'd get a face full of writhing naked women. I don't need that here in the law library! I wanted to make sure I had the correct, new site and not the old one. I was immediately calmed down by your 10-pt New Times Roman font on a white background. Nice and understated. Anyhow, I enjoyed poking around and I look forward to your reportage from Israel. Are you still planning on moving to Israel?

What is a Blog?

Mark Kramer writes: Luke: What's "blogging"? I'm seeing that word everywhere--including your site and a column by James Woolcott--and I still can't figure it out. Is it like "snogging"? Obviously blogging has blindsided me completely.

Luke says: A type of software that allows people to easily publish on the net a running journal of thoughts and links. I quote from Blogger.com:

What is Blogger?

Blogger is a free, web-based tool that helps you publish to the web instantly -- whenever the urge strikes. Blogger is the leading tool in the rapidly growing area of web publishing known as weblogs, or "blogs," as we like to say.

What is a weblog/blog?

A blog is a web page made up of usually short, frequently updated posts that are arranged chronologically -- like a what's new page or a journal. The content and purposes of blogs varies greatly -- from links and commentary about other web sites, to news about a company/person/idea, to diaries, photos, poetry, mini-essays, project updates, even fiction.