Friday, June 15, 2007

'Tis the week that was

You may be old enough to remember that the headline on this column was stolen from the name of a television show a couple of decades ago. Turnabout is fair play: That show's title and the whole idea of the show were stolen from a British show.

It's been a heck of a week on a number of fronts in New Haven and around the world.

Let's work from the far to the near. In Gaza, we're getting a preview of what a Palestinian state would look like. Revenge killings, kidnappings, blowing up buildings that bring bad memories to some people. This violence is completely intramural...Israel is keeping its hands off, which it should.

I just hope Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, keeps out of this mess. I'm starting to wonder is isn't a good idea to build a fence around Gaza so the only way in or out is through Egypt. Then maybe the Egyptians, knowing they will have to deal with the Gazans, will start seriously patroling that border that is now transparent to arms and explosives shipments.

The Israelis are keeping the lid on the West Bank, where the Fatah and its leader, Abu Mazen, are holed up. Abu Mazen, the Palestinian president, needs to jump into bed with the Israelis because, as Fatah leaders in Gaza learned to their sorrow, getting removed from office often means getting removed permanently.

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Closer to home, two major stories shared our attention: the illegal aliens and the gun-toting rabbis and their newest best friend, Curtis Sliwa.

First, the aliens. Many angry people have objected to the city's plan for identification cards for illegals, thinking the city, which has it own problems, will be a magnet for those folks.

On the political front, Jim Newton, who is running for mayor, says he's against these law-breakers and, according to press reports, he's saying there are laws against sneaking into the nation. Three of them are the same 1920s immigration laws that were used by the America-Firsters to keep out Jews who were fleeing the gas chambers.

Jim Newton, you've hitched your wagon to a really popular star. There have to be better candidates than this to challenge John DeStafano, just so we can have some serious dialogue and stop all this fear-mongering.

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Curtis Sliwa, who never met a camera he didn't like, was in town to talk Rabbi Daniel Greer and his minions out of patrolling the Edgewood neighborhood with guns.

Sliwa, whose Guardian Angels has scores of chapters in the U.S. and other countries, will try to show the pistol-packing bikers that the job can be done without resorting to firearms.

First of all, the only reason to have concealed weapons is so nobody knows you're carrying a gun. The whole idea of this armed patrol is to scare the bad guys because they would be facing armed resistance to their no-goodnikism. Doesn't that defeat the purpose?

So, Greers and others, if you want to be Wyatt Earp, then be Wyatt Earp. Strap on that hip-nuke. (Ordinarily, I would say strap on that hogleg, but it just doesn't work here.)

But remember, Wyatt almost never carried a firearm. He did it with bravado and right on his side. My father used to say you can learn from anyone. Learn from Curtis Sliwa's people how you can fight crime in your neighborhood without risking a tragedy.

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Have a great weekend. To all you dads and grandpas out there, including Rabbi David Avigdor, a new grandpa, happy Father's Day. And to all you members of the Tribe, have a great Shabbos.

See you next week.

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