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shuttle disaster
Michael A. Hoffman II, Editor

Feb. 2, 2003

Sorting through the Shuttle Debris

Copyright(c)2003 by Michael A. Hoffman II

There is more space shuttle debris to report, but of the cloyingly
sentimental, mawkish kind retailed in the tidal wave of treacle that
calls itself "the news." Today the world has another saint to
commemorate, and he just happens to be an Israeli. NASA astronaut Ilan
Ramon was a scientist, conducting dust particle experiments under the
supervision of Yehoyahin Yosef, professor of planetary physics at Tel
Aviv University.

Ramon was also a colonel in the Israeli air force, a war hero according
to the Washington Post, "...who took part in Israel's famed 1981
of the Iraq's nuclear reactor...Ramon clocked more than 3,000 hours as
combat pilot in A-4, Mirage III-C and F-4 Phantom fighter planes, and
logged more than 1,000 in the U.S.-built F-16....He fought in the 1982
war in Lebanon."

But what burnishes Ramon's image more than any other of his dazzling
accomplishments, is his hallowed niche in the pantheon of
Holocaustianity, the West's state religion. In an interview published
Israel's Foreign Ministry, Col. Ramon declared, "I'm the son of a
Holocaust survivor. I carry on the suffering of the Holocaust

In an interview with NASA, he noted that his mother had been imprisoned
in Auschwitz and held the exalted status of "Holocaust Survivor." The
Washington Post reported, "Like many astronauts, Ramon took a variety
personal effects with him into space...He...took a pencil drawing
entitled 'Moon Landscape' by a 14-year-old Jewish boy, Peter Ginz, who
was killed at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II."

And thus a legend is born, Ilan Ramon, patron saint of astronauts and
that lofty class of congenital sufferers, the Children of Holocaust
Survivors. To this pious category must be added another in the taxonomy
of victimhood, the Survivors of Dead Zionist Astronauts. Prior to Ramon
there was Resnick, one of seven astronauts killed in the January 28,
1986 Challenger shuttle explosion.

One hesitates to raise puckish questions during a funerary rite, but
perhaps we might be forgiven if we pause in the midst of Col. Ramon's
hagiography just long enough to burn a requiem candle to the memory of
the French scientist and the two other people Ramon killed when he
bombed the Iraqi reactor in 1981. Back then, Col. Ramon's bombing was
infamous rather than "famed." Even the NY Times characterized it as "a
sneak attack...an act of inexcusable and short-sighted aggression." The
celebrated Israeli scientist-astronaut is thus guilty of the murder of
scientist, but the life of the French scientist and the status of his
survivors is, under the circumstances, not worth the faintest mention.

Moreover, our hero "fought" in the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, logging
thousands of hours in military aircraft. The use of the word "fought"
with regard to Lebanon smacks of some slight hyperbole, in that the
Israeli air force was unopposed over Beirut's skies, as Ramon and his
fellow heroes dropped wave after wave of napalm and cluster bombs on
schools, hospitals and apartment buildings, culminating in the
around-the-clock terror-bombing of downtown Beirut in August, 1982. The
Israelis killed an estimated 20,000 civilians in Lebanon. Would it be
opportune to light a requiem candle for those Arab victims of this
Israeli holocaust, or is Arab blood undeserving of recollection?

When Col. Ramon made his final, explosive descent on Feb. 1, "Don
Redfern, who lives in Palestine, Texas, said he saw the explosion out
his car window. Mr. Redfern said he saw a glare first and thought
nothing of it. Then he started to hear repeated sonic booms. 'It was
flopping back and forth across the sky, so I knew it was something out
of the ordinary,' Mr. Redfern said."

As Israeli newscasters reported that the shuttle catastrophe had been
visible over a town in Texas named Palestine, it was, said Reuters
Jerusalem correspondent Michele Gershberg,"a bitter irony lost on no

The medium is the message. The symbolism of the Israeli "combat air
force" pilot blowing up in the approximate vicinity of Palestine, Texas
requires no embellishment or explication. This is sunrise language
rather than twilight language, telegraphing a message as unmistakable
a left hook to the jaw. Rarely does what we might call "the hand of
move so dramatically in world affairs, but when it does there are no
excuses for ignorance; it is "a bitter irony lost on no one."

Human beings are often muttering, "Why is God silent?" On the morning
Feb. 1, He fairly shouted at a deaf, dumb and blind western world,
which, until then, had been content to celebrate NASA's selection of an
Israeli astronaut in the midst of the ongoing collective punishment of
the Palestinian people.

When this writer learned that an Israeli was in orbit on NASA's
the first image that came to my mind was of all the dead and dying in
Palestine, and of how America had lost all sense of shame. Now there
other dead strewn across the landscape of an alternate Palestine. It
remains to be seen whether from this disaster we learn the sobering
message that the Supreme Power wishes to impart, or if we submit
ourselves instead to the beguiling electronic spectacle generated by
rulers of this world, who are not yet, for all their space age gizmos
and gadgets, masters of the heavens.

Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. Symbolism and happenstance are His
well, and of a far higher and more sublime type than anything the
Cryptocracy can ape. A few people will glimpse the awful truth at the
core of the explosion, while the majority will sink deeper into the
inhibiting awe and petrifying idolatry that characterizes American
subservience toward all things Israeli, Zionist and Judaic. But God is
not mocked. Dare we say it? In this case, He would appear to be the
Keeping the Glass of Perception Clean. 02.Feb.2003 12:26

Peace everyone.

Thank you for slowing our descent into a superstitious dark age of hero worship, inquisitions, and religious bloody power struggles. We need intelligent responses like yours to counteract every attempt at disinformation and this increasing trend of our leaders to deceive our hearts as well as our minds.

Nicely Written 02.Feb.2003 13:01


Very thought provoking and how thoroughly symbolic was this tragedy. Thanks also for reminding us about the oft forgotten suffering of the Lebanese people.

TEXAS BBQ 02.Feb.2003 16:24

justice in texas

The shuttle disaster is certainly a metaphor of US
foriegn policy and its allies.

NASA's Texas bbq could not be more fitting for W and Sharon.

Another tragety is that they can not identfy with the pain they produce on there enemies.

Barbecue?!!? 02.Feb.2003 18:18


Go up to the family members of these astronauts and refer to this tragedy as a Texas barbecue. Go ahead, I dare you. And start with the Israeli astronaut's family.

You are such a flaming asshole Hoffman 02.Feb.2003 19:36


What a complete asshole and a total jerk you are.