May 2, 2002

gunfight at the bethlehem corral

Well, I’ve wanted to get my feet wet in the foul pools of punditry for quite some time, and the New York Times has managed to make it quite easy, today. What will follow is a stupid college student’s analysis of a situation that is likely so far beyond his comprehension that he would be better off joining Students Against War and yelling Ji’had! Ji’had! Ji’had! on the steps of the Capitol.

He really should run spellcheck, too.

Israel lifts seige as Arafat yields six men

Palestinians trapped for a month in Yasir Arafat’s humbled compound here erupted in celebration early this morning after Israeli forces withdrew in an American-brokered compromise.

Humbled, eh? As though the compound was once a proud and shining beacon for peace that has since been laid to waste by the vicious Israeli military.

But almost at the same time, a gunfight broke out at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, setting off fires in the church compound where Palestinian gunmen and noncombatants have been under Israeli siege since early April.

This gives me the idea for a cool Western. Gunfight at the Bethlehem Corral. And another thing: How the hell do guns start fires without Gene Wilder? Flaming bullets? I think we’re missing something, here.

Before he knew that the gunfight had subsided relatively quickly and the church compound had only briefly been aflame, Mr. Arafat exploded in rage at the news from Bethlehem, shouting: “This is a crime! This is a crime!” and calling those who committed it “terrorists, Nazis and racists.”

Yep. Just like the Nazis. Oh, the wonderful irony of Nazi Jews, gassing millions of Arabs in their refugee death camps. Terrorists? Sorry Mr. Arafat, all the terrorists you need are on your side. No sense trying to recuit troops from the Israeli seige engine.

Through a chilling mist in Ramallah, Israeli soldiers grinned and flashed victory signs as they rode out tonight atop the armored vehicles and tanks that have occupied most of Mr. Arafat’s compound since the army invaded after a suicide bomber killed 28 Israelis in an attack at a hotel banquet hall during Passover.

Now this is interesting. I believe that in Arab culture it is called the victory sign. In Western culture it is the peace sign. I wonder which one the Israeli soldiers really intended.

Hey kids, why write for the Statesman when you are obviously qualified to work at the NYTimes? Give James Bennet a call and tell him you want his job.

Newspapers suck.