Bloggers respond to Al-Quds Day and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for a new Jewish state in Canada or Alaska. Also, Kim Jong-il is an "Internet expert."
Putting the Jew in Juneau: Al-Quds Day, which occurs on the last Friday of Ramadan, is the Islamic holiday inaugurated by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 as an event to "warn all the superpowers that they can no longer keep Islam under their control by means of their evil agents. Quds Day is the day to give life to Islam." Celebrated throughout the Muslim world, it has been taken up in Iran, most visibly by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to denounce Israel and call for its annihilation. Where should all the Jews go? "Give these vast lands of Canada and Alaska to them to create a country for themselves."
Conservative Brian C. Ledbetter at Snapped Shot offers a gallery of protest photos and writes: "Notice that Al Quds Day falls on the last Friday of Ramadan, a day in which all Muslims are encouraged to go to their mosques for prayer. It is in these mosques that the 'Islamic public' is so easily whipped into a rage by their radical imams. So, in effect, this is the largest canned protest of the year."
Fellow righty Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters wonders about Ahmadinejad's suggested alternative homeland for Jews: "Maybe Ahmadinejad flunked geography and history at Teheran U. Columbia could have given him a refresher course. I don't recall a millenia-long tradition of Jews in Alaska, but maybe Ahmadinejad can speak on that history when he comes to Columbia for his next speech."
Proud Zionist Yisrael Medad at My Right Word can't help but notice the plan bears an eerie similarity to the plot of Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union. Still, for all Ahmadinejad's wide reading, Medad still wants to negotiate: "[S]ince Iran is slightly larger than Alaska, with an area of 1,638,057 square kilometers while Alaska has an area of 1,530,693 square kilometers, why can't the world have Ahmi chose Alaska and we get Iran?"
Commenter "Insufficiently Sensitive" at Gateway Pundit asks: "Why the hell can't we get some signs printed up in Farsi with opposing sentiments, assemble our own rent-a-mob, stage a grand riot and film it for YouTube? The MSM is already sold body and soul to the Iranian (and all other) anti-Americans, but ve haff vays to get ze message out in spite of MSM 'barriers to entry'."
Actually, there is a counter-Quds rally being organized in London by David T and the social democrats at Harry's Place: "Are you going to encourage friends to turn out and make clear that supporting the rights of Palestinians to a state does not involve supporting a murderous theocracy?" According to the counterprotest leaflet, "The demonstration we are opposing is organised by supporters of the Iranian regime calling themselves the 'Islamic Human Rights Commission'. The IHRC is not a human rights group. Over the years the IHRC has joined forces with other anti-democratic Islamist groups, including the vicious Hizb ut Tahrir."
Liberal Fred Stopsky, the Impudent Observer, thinks it's just more hollow bluster: "Ahmadinejad's comments concerning Israel are nonsense and are best ignored in the same manner intelligent Americans ignore Bush's ranting about spreading democracy in the world. Step two, is moving toward negotiations. I realize critics will denounce me as an appeaser — Ahmadinejad does not run Iran, clerics like the Ayatollah Khamenei are in charge. Let's deal with the real bosses, not the stooges."
Read more about Al-Quds Day.
MySpace for Tyrants: He won't let his citizens near the Internet or even carry mobile phones, but North Korea's Kim Jong-il told South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun at a summit this week that "I'm an Internet expert." A nickel to anyone who avoids Al Gore jokes.
Darren Murph at Engadget says: "Granted, the guy must have some sort of outside connection to still receive his tunes and booze once the US got involved." Josh at Gawker adds:"He claimed to have invented LOLTyrant and also, strangely, UNIX."
"The regime tightly controls all communications in North Korea," notes Chris Williams at the Register. "Internet access is completely locked down for military and important government applications. Kim, a notorious ladies' man, reportedly asked for then-US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's email address when she visited in 2000. Presently, there are two Kim Jong Ils listed on Facebook. He's probably trawling for babes as we write." And Paul McNamara at NetworkWorld points to a remarkable photo from a few years back that explains one big impediment to North Koreans having their own Facebook network: electricity.
Read more about Kim's Web savvy.