And now the most revealing two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine.
Even some Palestinian accounts of the bloody fighting in Jenin are backing up the claims of Israeli soldiers that the refugee camp there had been turned into an armed fortress filled with bombs, booby traps and snipers. A story in the pro-Palestinian Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram quotes a Palestinian fighter identified only as Omar as saying, "We had more than 50 houses booby-trapped around the camp....We cut off lengths of main water pipes and packed them with explosives and nails." He said there were even more powerful bombs hidden inside rubbish bins, and more explosives inside cars. The purpose was "to trap the invading soldiers and blow them up."
Meanwhile, a leading Saudi Arabian cleric, has called for the "termination" of Israel. Sheik Abdul Rahman Al Sudais, preaching in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the holiest of all Muslim sites, described Jews as "the scum of humanity...the rats of the world...prophet killers...pigs and monkeys." And how did Reuters, in reporting the sermon on its own Web site, headline the story: "Saudi Cleric Says Peace not Possible with Israel." Reuters has stirred controversy by its refusal to call suicide bombings and other such acts "terrorism."
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, a group from which the U.S. was kicked off last year, decided today for the first time in 18 years not to condemn Iran for human rights abuses. Last week, this commission, by a similar one-vote majority, decided not to condemn Zimbabwe for such things as torture, arbitrary executions and violence against women. But it did vote to condemn Israel's actions in the West Bank.
And Bill and Hillary Clinton were down in Texas over the weekend for a wedding, and stopped at the plant nursery on Bee Cave Road. The Austin American-Statesman says they bought four of those plastic pink flamingos. The owner of the nursery, Pat Swanson, said he thinks the Clintons may want the pink birds for their lawn back home in Chappaqua, NY. "I would think the neighbors would love it," he said.