Thursday, August 31, 2006

August 31

One year ago today, as Hurricane Katrina dissolved into the heartland and Senator Trent Lott calculated the damage to his Pascagoula, Mississippi home, as many as 1200 Shiites were crushed and drowned in a stampede near Baghdad’s Al-Kadhimiya Mosque. An estimated one million pilgrims, walking barefoot, were gathered to commemorate the martyrdom of the 7th imam Musa al-Kadhim, who was fed poisoned dates while in prison on the 6th of Rajab, 183 A.H (A.D. 799). Thousands of observers were rushing back across a narrow 300-yard bridge after rumors of suicide bombers drove them from the area around the mosque. Earlier that day, several mortar shells had been launched into the crowd from the Sunni neighborhood of Adhimiya, across the Tigris River from the Kadhimiya neighborhood. At least a half dozen people had been killed in those attacks.

When the fleeing pilgrims reached the end of the bridge, they realized that the south gate -- which opened inward -- was inexplicably locked. In the ensuing crush of bodies, rails along the side of the bridge collapsed; hundreds of people plunged into the Tigris or on to the concrete pilings beneath the bridge. Others suffocated as the crowd packed ever more tightly onto the bridge. Most of the dead were women, children, and the elderly.

Los Angeles Times reporter Borzou Daragahi, speaking with Terrence Smith of PBS’ Newshour, described the aftermath at Al-Aaimmah Bridge:
Well, it was still a lot of very, very skittish and nervous pilgrims, as well as a lot of police and Iraqi soldiers firing their weapons into the air trying to sort of maintain crowd control. There was a lot of very, very upset people, very sad people. People would gasp as they walked by a pile, really a mound of plastic slippers that apparently belonged to the -- those killed and injured in the incident. There was a bunch of politicians, including Ahmed Chalabi, who came to the scene with their security entourages and were sort of surveying the area.

. . . [T]his was just really awful. I mean, one of the things that keeps staying in my mind is those piles of plastic slippers and just sort of looking at them, you could tell by looking at them what kind of people were in this incident were killed and injured in this incident. They were just very poor people. You know, very, very small people -- like elderly and young and women and people who were too poor to afford shoes.

On Fox News Live that afternoon, Baghdad correspondent Andrew Stack was interrupted by breaking news less than a minute into his report on the bridge catastrophe. President Bush had ended his vacation two days early and was flying at that moment over the Louisiana Superdome, having decided to inspect the damage from Hurricane Katrina from the cabin of Air Force One.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

August 29

Nine years ago today, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) added Raïs to its list of villages liquidated during Algeria's dirty war. Commencing with the cancellation of democratic elections in 1992 -- elections that would have brought the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) into power -- the conflict in Algeria resulted in more than 80,000 deaths by the end of 1997, a year in which massacres occurred by the dozens in the rural swath between Algiers and Oran. Algeria’s military junta, having seized authority in the name of preserving the nation, predictably blamed every atrocity on the predations of “terrorists” and “Islamists,” all the while refusing to discuss the innumerable executions, disappearances, and official acts of torture carried out by the state’s own security forces. As the conflict descended into unspeakable violence, the GIA and the armed wing of the FIS dueled for control of the Islamist insurgency. GIA forces controlled much of the area south of Algiers and oversaw a horrific wave of puritanical violence carried out against the civilian population. Artists and intellectuals were assassinated; girls and women were raped and murdered for refusing the veil; co-ed schools were torched; car bombs galore were detonated, with indiscriminate consequences for government collaborators, the insufficiently devotional, and the innocent alike. GIA fighters developed a makeshift guillotine, mounted on a truck and driven throughout the area, dispensing swift justice to those dragged from their homes and condemned to die. Severed heads littered the roads south of Algiers.

The scale of the attacks, writes Robert Fisk in The Great War for Civilization, soon expanded to include whole villages dispensed “en masse like animals, cut open, axed down, hacked apart.” At Raïs, Algerian security forces stood by, literally a half-kilometer from the village, content to watch as GIA forces consumed five hours in an intra-faith slaughter that took the lives of nearly 400 men, women and children who had dutifully supported the FIS. Their opposition to the government of Algeria did not save the residents of Raïs from the wrath of the GIA, who destroyed and robbed homes, sliced throats, kidnapped young women and burned scores of bodies. In October, ITN carried a report on the massacre that included the following piece of testimony from a survivor:
I was holding my handicapped child in my arms. I was running with my baby and trying to shelter us both from the bullets, but I met the terrorist in front of me and one tried to strike me with a hatchet, so I blocked it with this arm. I was injured. I fell down and dropped the baby. They took the baby by the leg and threw it against the wall. They smashed its head.

Subsequent reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch expressed skepticism toward the Algerian government’s claim that it was unable to prevent the destruction of Raïs and similar villages in 1997. Numerous witnesses reported that government security forces -- who claimed that landmines prevented them from intervening -- actually fired upon victims as they fled for their lives. Despite compelling evidence of its perverse complicity in the GIA massacres, the Algerian government did not lose the support of the United States, Great Britain and France, all of whom ignored appeals by human rights groups to investigate this latest round of killings. Implausibly, the Algerian military is currently assisting the United States in its hunt for desert remnants of al-Qaeda, doubtless offering its own unique contributions to the "war against terror."

Forty-five years before the Raïs massacre, on 29 August 1952, John Cage premiered his experimental composition 4’33’’, which consisted of four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence as pianist David Tudor quietly turned the pages of the score.

Friday, August 25, 2006

August 25

Chinese communists shot and bayoneted John Birch, Christ figure to a certain deranged sector of the American right, 61 years ago today. Born in Macon, Georgia in 1918, Birch inherited his parents’ missionary zeal and Southern Baptist faith; as a college student at Mercer University, Birch and twelve disciples organized a “Fellowship Group” that charted the progress of heretical ideas among the faculty, one of whom was castigated for speaking uncritically about the theory of evolution. Birch’s group, determined to purge the atmosphere of such poisons, successfully persuaded university administrators to conduct hearings into the spread of liberalism on campus. Five professors were eventually acquitted, though one -- a renowned theologian charged with assigning a doctrinally unsound text -- retired after the trial. The entire affair, according to one colleague, “broke him.”

After college, Birch spent two years at a Texas seminary before departing on a missionary venture to China in 1940. Two years later, he helped escort Jimmy Doolittle and several other American pilots to safety after they parachuted into eastern China following their famous raid on Tokyo. (While searching for Doolittle and his men, Japanese troops are estimated to have killed a quarter of a million Chinese civilians.) After the Doolittle rescue, Birch signed on as an intelligence officer for the 14th Air Force and the Office of Strategic Services, for whom he provided information about Japanese troop movements while maintaining his cover as a humble Baptist missionary. Shortly after V-J Day, Birch became involved in an altercation with Communists -- whom he loathed -- near the central Chinese city of Xi’an. After refusing to surrender his revolver, Birch was executed and mutilated, his body tossed into a ditch. As it happened, Birch was dispatched exactly 33 years after the founding of the Kuomintang, the Chinese nationalist party whose cause Birch believed he was championing.

Later hailed as the first American casualty of the Cold War, John Birch was immortalized by the former candy manufacturer Joseph Welch, who named an anti-communist club in his honor in 1959. The John Birch Society, whose membership rolls peaked at nearly 100,000 in 1964, promoted the view -- so rarely articulated in our current, more sober historical moment -- that liberalism and other varieties of “statism” and “internationalism” are engaged in a sub rosa project calculated to benefit a fanatical enemy bent on global domination.

In 1967, eight years after the formation of the John Birch Society, the American Nazi Party lost its leader, George Lincoln Rockwell -- assassinated outside an Arlington, Virginia laundromat on the anniversary of John Birch’s own martyrdom. Rockwell’s killer, John Patler. had been editor of The Stormtrooper, the American Nazi Party newsletter, until he was expelled from the organization for larding the paper’s articles with “bolshevist” themes.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

August 24

On 24 August in the year 79, the Roman naturalist and philosopher Pliny the Elder died along with tens of thousands of the less accomplished during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, which buried Pompeii and Herculaneum and destroyed several other nearby towns. The victims -- several thousand of whom have since been unearthed -- were flattened under buildings, asphyxiated by sulfur and other gases, or entombed by material disgorged from the earth in the pyroclastic surge. Serving at the time as praefect of a nearby Roman fleet, Pliny the Elder had brought several galleys to the town of Stabiae on an ill-advised rescue mission, driven at least in part by his curiosity to see what the eruption looked like at close hand. As his nephew (the imaginatively named Pliny the Younger) recounted several years later to the historian Tacitus, the eruption was indeed spectacular:
[A] deeper darkness prevailed than in the thickest night; which however was in some degree alleviated by torches and other lights of various kinds. [My uncle and his companions] thought proper to go farther down upon the shore to see if they might safely put out to sea, but found the waves still running extremely high, and boisterous. There my uncle, laying himself down upon a sail cloth, which was spread for him, called twice for some cold water, which he drank, when immediately the flames, preceded by a strong whiff of sulphur, dispersed the rest of the party, and obliged him to rise. He raised himself up with the assistance of two of his servants, and instantly fell down dead; suffocated, as I conjecture, by some gross and noxious vapor, having always had a weak throat, which was often inflamed. As soon as it was light again, which was not till the third day after this melancholy accident, his body was found entire, and without any marks of violence upon it, in the dress in which he fell, and looking more like a man asleep than dead.

His nephew’s conjecture to the contrary, the author of Naturalis Historia quite likely expired of a heart attack or stroke, a fate that would explain why his companions were unharmed by the alleged “gross and noxious vapor.”

As he toppled over dead, is quite unlikely that Pliny the Elder had sufficient time to proceed through the five stages of dying elaborated by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. As for Kübler-Ross herself, the New Age ideologue of death had plenty of time to ponder her own mortality after a volley of strokes left her partially paralyzed in 1995. By then, her reputation had been ruined by nearly two decades of increasingly bizarre pronouncements about the afterlife, including a period in which she claimed to be spending much of her time with four ghosts named Salem, Ankh, Mario and Willie. Living out her final years in Arizona, Kübler-Ross was wracked with seizures caused (pathetically enough) by exposure to sunlight. She was eventually reduced to spending her days in a darkened room, watching television with the sound turned off. By 2002, the embittered psychiatrist insisted that she was ready for death; she was visibly irritated, however, that God (whom she described as a “procrastinator”) would not allow her to pass along to what she inanely described as “the final stage of growth.” At last receiving her wish, Kübler-Ross died on this date two years ago.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

August 22

Shortly after midnight on 22 August 1831, a small group of enslaved Virginians commenced a massacre in Southampton County, a stagnant and isolated region comprised of small farming families and the people whom they owned. Led by the religious enthusiast Nat Turner, the insurgents wielded guns, axes, pitchforks, rakes and other farm implements, which they used to dispatch the souls of more than fifty men, women and children over the next 48 hours. Beginning with the family of Joseph Travis -- whose nine-year-old stepson Putman Moore was Turner’s legal master -- the so-called “banditti” traced a circuitous route throughout the surrounding farms, their slaughter conceived with the intent of stimulating a wider revolt among Virginia’s bondsmen and bondswomen.

Turner’s official “confession,” dubiously transcribed and embellished by a lawyer and failed planter named Thomas Gray, described the scene at one of the remote farmhouses:
Having murdered Mrs. Waller and ten children, we started for Mr. William Williams’ -- having killed him and two little boys that were there; while engaged in this, Mrs. Williams fled and got some distance from the house, but she was pursued, overtaken, and compelled to get up behind one of the company, who brought her back, and after showing her the mangled body of her lifeless husband, she was told to get down and lay by his side, where she was shot dead.

In the aftermath of the revolt (which was quelled by August 24), enraged posses throughout of the region exacted a toll on the black population that proved to be as merciless as -- and unquestionably disproportionate to -- the revolt itself. While the Virginia press dwelled luridly on the contours of Turner’s predations, few writers detailed the “extremities” to which the furious white population was driven in its response to the uprising. Conservative estimates suggest that at least 120 extrajudicial executions took place during subsequent weeks, as captured plotters and the innocent alike were shot, burnt to cinders or disarticulated. The decapitated head of the insurgent Henry Porter wound up in the possession of a local surgeon, who bore it triumphantly throughout his travels; a passel of similar heads, taken by a militia company from North Carolina, were displayed on posts as a warning to potential imitators. The Constitutional Whig, a Richmond newspaper, soon found itself apologizing to the people of Southampton for initially questioning this sort of brutality.
Not having witnessed the horrors committed by the blacks, or seen the unburied and disfigured remains of their wives and children, we were unprepared to understand their feelings, and could not at first admit of their extenuation, which a closer observation of the atrocities of the insurgents suggested . . . . Let the fact not be doubted by those whom it most concerns, that another such insurrection will be the signal for the extermination of the whole black population in the quarter of the state where it occurs.

After Nat Turner’s execution on November 11, his body was dissected and his skin allegedly rendered into grease. In the years to come, many white Virginians were purported to own the skull of the rebel leader; one man insisted that his father possessed a wallet made from Turner’s hide. And so it happened that the whites of Southampton would traffic in the relics of a man who often likened himself to Jesus Christ.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

August 20

On 20 August, 1998, three days after conceding that his relationship with Monica Lewinsky had strayed into the unspecified realm of the “inappropriate,” President Bill Clinton addressed the nation on a subject of mortal concern. Tapping out the beat for a conga line of non sequiturs that would become ever longer within the coming years, Clinton announced that
our battle against terrorism did not begin with the bombing of our Embassies in Africa, nor will it end with today's strike. It will require strength, courage, and endurance. We will not yield to this threat. We will meet it, no matter how long it may take. This will be a long, ongoing struggle between freedom and fanaticism, between the rule of law and terrorism. We must be prepared to do all that we can for as long as we must.

America is and will remain a target of terrorists precisely because we are leaders, because we act to advance peace, democracy, and basic human values, because we're the most open society on Earth, and because, as we have shown yet again, we take an uncompromising stand against terrorism.

The particular subject of Clinton’s address was his decision that day to authorize attacks on several alleged terrorist facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan, a $79 million volley of cruise missile strikes bombastically known as “Operation Infinite Reach.” The American attacks came in retaliation for the August 7 truck bombings of its embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, operations that caused massive casualties, including 5000 wounded and more than 200 killed.

One of the facilities destroyed on August 20 was the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan. During the week after Al-Shifa was obliterated (along with its night watchman), Clinton administration officials claimed, variously, that the plant was producing nerve gas precursors; that the facility was either owned by or maintained financial ties to Osama Bin Laden; that Al-Shifa produced no medicine or drugs of any kind; that the factory was closed to the public and heavily guarded by the Sundanese military; and that the plant served as a source of WMD to Iraq. In short order, each of these claims proved to be spectacularly incorrect. Al-Shifa in fact produced at least half of Sudan’s medicines, including chloroquine, a standard treatment for malaria. During the year following Operation Infinite Reach, malaria and a host of other treatable diseases killed tens of thousands of Sudanese.

Texas Governor George W. Bush, commenting on the day of the missile strikes, offered the following words of wisdom: "I think you give the commander in chief the benefit of the doubt. This is a foreign policy matter. I'm confident he's working on the best intelligence available, and I hope it's successful."

Friday, August 18, 2006

August 18

In his vivid and at times salacious diary, Johann Burchard of Strasburg records a most gruesome scene at the funeral of Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia), whose innards -- scorched by the dreaded Roman fever -- almost literally melted on this date in 1503. After more than a week of intestinal bleeding and convulsive fevers, the pope’s skin began to peel off while his stomach distended horribly. After accepting last rites and confessing some of his many sins, the despairing Alexander expired. According to Burchard, Bishop of Orta and Master of Ceremonies to a succession of late 15th and early 16th century popes, Alexander’s was “the ugliest, most monstrous and horrible dead body that was ever seen, without any form or likeness of humanity.” Writing in his Liber Notarum, Burchard elaborates:
The face was very dark, the colour of a dirty rag or a mulberry, and was covered all over with bruise-coloured marks. The nose was swollen; the tongue had bent over in the mouth, completely double, and was pushing out the lips which were, themselves, swollen. The mouth was open and so ghastly that people who saw it said they had never seen anything like it before.

The rest of the body, quickly bloating with gas, doubled to an unmanageable size, and Burchard himself was compelled to swaddle the corpse in an old carpet and throw himself atop the bundle in a vain effort to wedge it into the undersized coffin. Only four prelates attended his funeral services. Loathed by his colleagues, Alexander VI -- whose venality and rakish morals were extraordinary even by the low standards of the Renaissance papacy -- was initially refused burial at St. Peter’s Basilica, and his remains were eventually expelled from the papal crypt and lie now in the Spanish national church of Santa Maria di Monserrato.

Whatever else we might say about the demise of Alexander IV, the manner of his passing would appear to be somewhat less than he actually deserved. Renowned as one of the worst popes ever, Alexander VI issued one of the three most significant papal bulls of the fifteenth century, each of which elaborated what became known as the “doctrine of discovery.” Building on the precedents of Dum diversas (which in authorized Portugal in 1452 to reduce African “unbelievers” to slavery) and Romanus pontifex (which commanded the Catholic nations to invade and dominate new lands, wresting them from Saracens, pagans, and other “enemies of Christ”), Inter caetera effectively “donated” the Western Hemisphere to Spain in May 1493, extending papal blessings to the wholesale conquest of the Americas. As Alexander explained,
[w]e trust in Him from whom empires and governments and all good things proceed, that, should you, with the Lord's guidance, pursue this holy and praiseworthy undertaking, in a short while your hardships and endeavors will attain the most felicitous result, to the happiness and glory of all Christendom.

Two months ago, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues issued an appeal to Pope Benedict XVI to rescind all three pillars of the “doctrine of discovery,” including the Inter caetera of Alexander VI. Thus far, the Vatican has neither replied to the appeal nor acknowledged its receipt, in keeping with its traditional silence toward such requests from indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

August 8

As I loaf away my luxurious midwestern vacation, we may pause momentarily and reflect upon the straight line of misfortune that connects the lives of the agrarian revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, hero to the peasants of Southern Mexico; Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, author of the majority opinion in Griswold v. Conencticut (1965) and advocate for the abolition of the death penalty; Puerto Rican baseball great Jose Cruz; and American actors Dustin Hoffman, Keith Carradine, and Don ("Donnie") Most.

All, I am sad to report, share their August 8 birthdays with Scott Stapp.

In August 2002, USA Today Weekend ran a fawning profile of the singer, whose band Creed had yet to dissolve into a self-righteous mist. As disclosed by Stapp, "I meet a lot of women, and let's just say I have numerous friends. But I've heard some crazy stories about what certain artists have done with fans. You've got to have a little compassion for their hearts. I mean, one night there was a 15-, 16-year-old girl in the audience. She gave me [a lewd come-on] sign. She's just a little girl, and she thinks that's what rock 'n' rollers want. I went to her and said, 'Honey, that's not what men want.' I don't know what compels me to do that."

In February 2006, it was revealed that Stapp and Kid Rock had made an improbable tour bus sex tape in 1999 with four young Florida women, one of whom is now suing Stapp for defamation of character and invasion of privacy. In the trailer to the film (whose release has been stalled by a most fortunate court injunction), Stapp is heard to remark, "Hey, it's good to be The King," as the plaintiff attends to his rock star needs.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

August 2

Warren Harding, one of the most worthless presidents in American history, sloughed off his mortal coil on this date in 1923, succumbing to heart disease during a trip to the West Coast.

Harding had not been an especially great candidate for the president, but he was a laissez-faire Republican who was regarded by business leaders as compliant, and old guard party leaders supported him because he seemed like a man who would take instructions without complaint. His ham-fisted command of the English language was legendary. Boies Penrose, head of Pennsylvania Republican machine, once begged Harding’s aides to “keep Warren at home. Don’t let him make any speeches. If he goes out on a tour somebody’s sure to ask him questions, and Warren’s just the sort of damned fool that will try to answer them.” On the view of William McAdoo -- himself a failed contender for the Democratic nomination in 1920 -- Harding’s speeches “leave the impression of an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea; sometimes these meandering words would actually capture a straggling thought and bear it triumphantly, a prisoner in their midst, until it died of servitude and overwork.”

A likable but stupid man, Harding rarely worked during his two years in office, spending much of his time golfing and inviting political cronies to the White House for poker games. He often seemed puzzled by the office of President, and so he allowed his political boosters in the Republican Party and his corporate friends from Ohio to have a free hand in shaping policy. As his own father once remarked in a letter, if Harding were a woman “you’d be in a family way all the time. You can’t say No.”

Harding’s administration was among the most corrupt in American history. The head of Veteran’s Administration, Charles Forbes, was imprisoned for two years for accepting kickbacks and for organizing illegal drug and alcohol rackets. An aide to Forbes, Charles Cramer, committed suicide before his own indictment could be issued. A member of the Justice Department also killed himself; he had been selling liquor licenses and paroles. The worst of Harding’s scandals, however, was not fully disclosed until after his death. As part of the infamous Teapot Dome scandal, oil companies bribed Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall, offering him $404,000 in exchange for cheap oil leases on federal land.

After Harding’s body was returned to Washington and placed in the East Room of the White House, his wife Florence was observed at his side, speaking softly to him for over an hour. She herself died a year later. Years afterward, rumors began to circulate that Florence Harding had poisoned her husband -- revenge for his numerous extramarital affairs.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

August 1

Wikipedia erroneously claims that on August 1, 1619, “20 and odd” Africans arrived at Jamestown Colony in Virginia. This group of indentured servants, believed to be the first Africans to inhabit the mainland of British North America, actually arrived on August 20, as described briefly in John Rolfe’s journal. Wikipedia’s error, however, does nothing to diminish the profoundly awful essence of August 1, a date that should perhaps be stricken from the calendar out of decent respect for its victims.

On this date in 1492 -- two days before Christopher Columbus commenced his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere -- Spain’s unconverted Jewish population lost its right to remain in the kingdom of Ferdinand and Isabella. According to the edict issued by the crown in late April, malingering Jews would be sentenced to death by hanging. According to the memoirs of an Italian Jew writing in 1495, Isabella was approached at the last minute by the Prior of Santa Cruz, who objected to the expulsion and pleaded with her to reconsider. The queen, unmoved, replied that
"The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water. God turneth it withersoever He will." She said furthermore: "Do you believe that this comes upon you from us? The Lord hath put this thing into the heart of the king."

Then they saw that there was evil determined against them by the King, and they gave up the hope of remaining. But the time had become short, and they had to hasten their exodus from Spain. They sold their houses, their landed estates, and their cattle for very small prices, to save themselves. The King did not allow them to carry silver and gold out of his country, so that they were compelled to exchange their silver and gold for merchandise of cloths and skins and other things

On August 1, 1933, Adolf Eichmann began training with an illegal paramilitary group known as the Austrian Legion. Nine years later, on August 1, 1942, Eichmann -- by then a captain and “Transportation Administer” in the SS -- ordered that all Belgian Jews be loaded onto trains destined for Auschwitz, Poland. That very day, Gerhart Reigner, director of the Geneva office of the World Jewish Congress, received a secret telegram from Germany detailing the use of Zyklon B gas in the numerous camps to which expelled Jews were being delivered. When Reigner passed word of the Final Solution to the United States Department of State, his reports were suppressed for months for fear that “interested groups” might demand action.

It is entirely possible that while Reigner stared in disbelief at the August 1 telegram, Anne Frank was composing the last sentence of her remarkable diary:
When everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if . . . if only there were no other people in the world.

Meir Kahane, racist founder of the Jewish Defense League and the terrorist Kach Party in Israel, celebrated his tenth birthday on 1 August 1942. Kahane, a New Yorker who emigrated to Israel in 1971, believed Arabs to be “strangers” in the Holy Land and advised that only their cleansing from Eretz Israel would assure his nation’s survival. On the subject of terrorism, Kahane wrote in 1979 that
[w]e cannot allow the situation to continue. Every victim is a beloved one who leaves behind loved ones and sorrow and tragedy. Every victim is a fellow Jew. Every death and outrage is a Hillul Hashem, a desecration of the name of the L-rd, G-d of Israel. Our apathy, our acceptance of the situation, only guarantees further and worse inflation of terror. It guarantees further deaths, cripples, and agony and anguish. It cannot continue, and it must as long as Arabs are allowed to live and wander freely in the Land. The solution is ultimately only one: The removal of the hostile and dangerous Arab minority from the Land of Israel . . . .

On 1 August 1967, Israel annexed East Jerusalem, contravening the Fourth Geneva Convention. Five thousand Arab residents were driven from the city, their homes destroyed to improve security access to the Wailing Wall.