1) We wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea
Yesterday Max Fisher wrote, Knowledge of pressure-cooker bombs is not limited to readers of al-Qaeda’s ‘Inspire’ magazine:
And “Inspire” was far from the first extremist publication to distribute instructions for making pressure-cooker bombs. Yair Rosenberg of Tablet Magazine points out on Twitter that “The Anarchist’s Cookbook,” published in 1971, also included information on how to make them. The book appears to have provided the necessary instructions for at least one such bombing, in 1976 at Grand Central Station. In 1973, police had discovered a similar device in the New York Port Authority building.
Today, there appears to be a miniature subculture of Americans building small pressure-cooker bombs for the exclusive purpose of detonating them harmlessly in empty fields and posting video of the explosion to YouTube.
None of this is to dismiss the possibility that al-Qaeda or any other group could ultimately be connected to the Boston Marathon bombings. But it’s worth keeping in mind that the June 2010 issue of al-Qaeda’s “Inspire” was not exactly publishing privileged information when it discussed the horrific potential of gluing nails to the inside of a pressure cooker and placing it in a populated area.
I would point out that two of the better informed articles I’ve read on pressure cooker bombs also included this caution.
Eli Lake wrote in Al Qaeda’s Recipe for Pressure-Cooker Bombs:
Experts cautioned that it will take more analysis of the bomb to determine whether the pressure cooker bomb matches al Qaeda’s recipe. The people who will be performing that analysis reside at the FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center, the government’s most comprehensive database on bomb design.
Similarly, J. E. Dyer wrote in Boston will rise:
So we simply don’t know, and can’t guess right now, who did this. We can say that the bombing was relatively small in scope. The explosions were horrific for those in their immediate vicinity, but the bombs were not big ones, and there were only two. With each hour that passes, it becomes more evident that there is no larger plot requiring a group of terrorists of significant size.
I understand that Fisher is being cautious here. However, it contrasts with his post justifying the front page treatment of the picture of Jihad Misharawi holding his dead son. While he later acknowledged that evidence suggested that the child was killed by a Hamas rocket, he showed no such caution – despite the fact that as many as 15% to 30% of rockets fall short and the often false reporting of Hamas officials – to attribute the tragedy to Israel. The damage this does is that much of the Arab world uses these charges and images to perpetuate their grievances against Israel. But this didn’t concern Fisher last November.
Barry Rubin writes that (regardless of what the public thinks) official America needs to consider that Whoever Attacked Boston, The Revolutionary Islamist Terror War on America is Still in High Gear:
Since September 11, 2001, there have been 18 known terrorist attacks planned in New York City and they all have something in common, the worldview of the perpetrators. You can read more here about each one and how they were foiled.
2) A museum to a false history
A few years ago Hezbollah opened up a museum devoted to boasting of its victories against Israel. Last year, Sharon Weinberger wrote about Hezbollah’s terror tech museum:
The museum features different units of Hezbollah, including its missile unit. Hezbollah’s increasing rocket and missile capabilities were some of the defining features of the 2006 war and continues to attract attention. In 2010, then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates accused Iran and Syria of equipping Hezbollah with advanced weaponry. “We are at a point now where Hezbollah has far more rockets and missiles than most governments in the world and this is obviously destabilizing for the whole region,” he said.
More recently, the Lebanese magazine, NOW featured an article about the museum.
“I came here to see what the Islamic Revolution in Lebanon did to free my land and my village,” visitor Kamel Mouradi said, referring to Hezbollah, which was founded by the Iranian establishment.
Up the hill from the Abyss is a walkway that leads tourists through a dense forest. Visitors walk past a hidden cove where former Secretary General of Hezbollah Sayyed Abbas Moussawi would pray and encourage fighters. Life-size replicas of Hezbollah militants are spread throughout the woods – some carrying missiles, others firing them and another, kneeling down to pray.
Not to be left out, Hamas now plans to build a museum devoted to its resistance, with Iranian help.
Minister Mohammed al-Madhoun visited Tehran and met with Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Mohammad Hosseini, his culture minister, along with other Iranian officials. After more than five days of talks the Hamas minister signed a memorandum of cultural cooperation with Iran. They agreed to exchange delegations and have Iran offer training courses in various fields, especially film, for Gazans. One of the major promises was cooperation to build a museum to commemorate the “resistance.”
So too the Palestinian Authority is starting to build a museum of Palestinian history. An uncritical article in the Jerusalem Post reports:
“Initially, everyone wanted to make this museum in Jerusalem but we knew that the Israelis would make this impossible,” Omar Kattan, head of Palestinian Museum’s work team, told The Media Line. “After things became possible again in terms of the political situation, we re-opened this file and commissioned the study and developed a framework to do it.”
“We came up with a unique concept that is basically a museum without a collection, and a museum that is based on a network rather than a building,” Kattan said.
“The idea [evolved] from the “Memory Museum of the Nakba” to a museum that will use the tools of history to come out with a modern dialogue,” Jack Persekian, the director and curator of the Palestinian Museum told The Media Line. “We’re moving forward from representing an incident that happened in a certain time to representing the Palestinians wherever they are.”
Tzvi ben Gedalyahu observes in the Jewish Press:
It is a lot easier to convince the world that Israel is “occupying its land” if Arabs can show that the “Palestinians” existed 200 years ago and were not invented by Yasser Arafat. If you want to be particular, a case can be made that the term “Palestinian” was used in 1921 at the Syrian-Palestinian Congress, but then it must be taken in context at the time that Palestine is part of Syria.
“Palestine” used to be one of the two names of the land under the British Mandate — Palestina-Eretz Israel. The re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 all of a sudden reminded some Arabs that maybe they are Palestinians, but it was the Six-Day War in 1967 that gave Arafat the opportunity to fire up the concept.
All that was missing was a past, and the Palestinian Authority has become the master of inventing history.
Furthermore, Elder of Ziyon notes:
When museums are built in the rest of the world, they are funded by private donors and foundations, with perhaps the aid of local government. However, this museum in Bir Zeit – like most other Palestinian Arab initiatives – is using Western government funds.
The major funder is called “The Welfare Association.” Despite its universal sounding name, it is dedicated solely to Palestinian Arab projects.
Its money comes from “the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, World Bank, EU, Islamic Development Bank, Arab Monetary Fund, Kuwait Fund, AGFUND, Ford Foundation, and the governments of Austria, Canada, France, Italy, and Switzerland, among others.”
I suppose a museum devoted to a false history is less damaging than ones that promote terror. But given that all three are devoted to the same goal – of denying Israel its right to exist – that’s a small comfort.
3) Einstein’s never given speech
Yair Rosenberg writes about Einstein’s last speech, which he was to have delivered on Yom Ha’atzmaut 1955. Einstein died 8 days too soon:
“This is the seventh anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel,” Einstein opened. “The establishment of this State was internationally approved and recognised largely for the purpose of rescuing the remnant of the Jewish people from unspeakable horrors of persecution and oppression.”
“Thus, the establishment of Israel is an event which actively engages the conscience of this generation,” he continued. “It is, therefore, a bitter paradox to find that a State which was destined to be a shelter for a martyred people is itself threatened by grave dangers to its own security. The universal conscience cannot be indifferent to such peril.”
Einstein had choice words for those who placed disproportionate blame on Israel for its tensions with its Arab neighbors. “It is anomalous that world opinion should only criticize Israel’s response to hostility and should not actively seek to bring an end to the Arab hostility which is the root cause of the tension.”