Saturday, 13 December 2014
It took an American newspaper to find this, coming as it does only a day after Baroness Cox warned the UK about the amount of polygamous Islamic marriages in this country. From the New York Observer
When the Observer first logged on, it looked like a standard online dating site: Women’s profiles, each with a non-identifying username, lined the page; we could filter prospects by age, location, appearance and interests.
But this wasn’t OkCupid, Match.com, or even adultery marketplace Ashley Madison. This was SecondWife.com, a matchmaking site that enables Muslim men to search for second, third, or fourth wives (the Islamic limit). On the flip side, women can search SecondWife.com profiles if they hope to become an extra wife.
Yusuf Khan, a web developer and entrepreneur, launched the UK-based polygamy site three months ago. The site already has over 3,000 users, he said.
“SecondWife.com wasn’t planned,” Mr. Khan said by email. Originally, he had hoped to create a more traditional matchmaking site, but found that the market was already saturated. "The key to online success in 2014 is finding a niche,”
The Koran permits men to marry up to four wives, as long as they can support them financially and treat them all equally . . . Mr. Khan hopes his clients think long and hard about whether they follow Koranic law, though his site has no way of verifying that new sign-ups are, in fact, Muslim.
So what happens, the Observer wondered, when a SecondWife user finds a potential match or two?
Members can chat for as long as they want over the site’s private messaging system, as long as the conversations “don’t take an Islamically inappropriate direction,” Mr. Khan said. If a pair decides they’re compatible, they can grant each other access to their photos, which are otherwise kept private.
“Female members have the option to invite a guardian into their conversations who she trusts to oversee the interaction,” Mr. Khan added. Eventually, Mr. Khan said, couples can choose to meet in “an appropriate setting [that] is in accordance to Islamic guidelines.”
...we found it hard to imagine hordes of religious Muslim men enlisting the Internet to help them find second wives. That is, until we emailed with a real-life SecondWife user—a Qatari man who asked to remain anonymous.
“I have registered in this SecondWife website a while ago out of curiosity,” the man, who was introduced to us by Mr. Khan, told the Observer. With three wives already, he hasn’t started actively using the site, but said he “may look for the fourth” at some point in the future. Given his history finding wives, the man said he wishes SecondWife had been around earlier.
The anonymous SecondWife user explained his rationale for having multiple wives.
“Women were created in their nature to fight for man, to fight to win him,” he said. “This is when her best comes out. But when there is no one to fight with, then she gets lazy with you.” He insists, however, that “[polygamy] is more in the favor of the women than the men.”
Most Westerners may find it difficult to fathom why any woman would volunteer herself to become a man’s second, third or fourth wife. And yet, as we perused SecondWife.com, there was no denying that plenty of women in countries around the world—including the U.S.—had set up accounts.
We asked Ms. White of Boston University why a woman might be interested in marrying a man who already had a wife—or a few. She suggested several possible reasons. She said that in urban settings, “in some cases one wife takes care of the household and children, leaving another free to get an education or work as a professional.”
Sometimes poor women elect to become a second or third wife because they’d never afford the dowry to become wife number one. “The idea is that women and the children from these unions are all protected, well taken care of and in the legitimate line of descent and inheritance,” Ms. White said.
Though that’s the ideal, things sometimes turn out differently. Some men take younger women as second wives and end up neglecting or divorcing their older wives, “leaving them and their children destitute,” Ms. White explained.
There are also scary cases in lawless, war-torn regions, where girls might be captured or sold by their own parents as second or third wives. In those cases, Ms. White said, “the word ‘wife’ hides a more sordid reality of buying and selling women and girls for sex, rather than the original intent of Islamic law permitting polygyny.”
She also warned that in countries where polygamy is illegal—like Turkey, her area of expertise—”men who ‘marry’ second wives by Islamic rites are actually not legally married, so the women and their children have no legal rights.”
But Mr. Khan, SecondWife’s creator, maintains that his website is, in fact, good for women. . . Mr. Khan even said he would “proudly” call himself a feminist: “There is a misconception that women in Islam are oppressed [when] in fact,” he said, “they are protected.”
Posted on 12/13/2014 12:52 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 13 December 2014
Posted on 12/13/2014 12:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 13 December 2014
Posted on 12/13/2014 7:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 13 December 2014
What, according to General Philip Breedlove, are the "root causes" of the internal violence in Syria and Iraq? It has nothing to do with Islam, and those who want more power for the real Muslims (themselves) and less for the Muslims who in their view are not real Musliims (Alawites in Syria, Shi'a in Iraq). It has nothing to do with a desire, tremendously popular among Muslims all over the world, to re-establish a Caliphate for all Muslims, one that will rule over territory not defined by "national" boundaries that have no significance to the Believers, for whom there is only Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb (with some arguing for a third category, Dar al-Sulh, where a truce is in effect, but that is now of little moment), and will impose an Islam that will be exemplary, and a ruler who will not have been corrupted through his associations with, or subservience to, the Western Infidels.
No, none of this matters to General Breedlove, who apparently has overlooked the Qur'anic quotes so appositely invoked by the Islamic State to justify its behavior and its every act. What matters is that nothing be done to allow reality to break in, and that the same old business --- jobs, economic development, and so on -- are the nostrum, the panacea, for Muslim discontent and disruption everywhere. Does that mean, one wonders, that Muslims now living in the West should have special programs, designed to make sure that they are all kept gainfully employed, at a level, and with a salary, they, those Muslims, deem appropriate, that they be treated in all aspects of their lives with deference by the Infidels among whom they have come to settle, and that nothing be done to inquire as to their Qur'an-and-Hadith-founded beliefs, attitudes, atmospherics, lest those Muslims take offense? Is that the way to make sure that Muslims in the West do not decide to conduct Jihad, whether in Iraq and Syria, or in any of the member states of NATO, the security of whose peoples is now largely in the hands of such people, with such understandings of Islam, as General Philip Breedlove?
Posted on 12/13/2014 7:03 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 13 December 2014
In recent weeks, Canadians have watched, astonished and dismayed, the unfolding barbarity of American justice. Last week’s highlight were protests over the death of Eric Garner, someone suspected of illegally selling cigarettes, who died after a botched arrest by police officers in broad daylight on a New York sidewalk. There are lessons in this for us too.
Scores of thousands of people in many American cities were outraged when a grand jury, servile as always to the wishes of prosecutors, against whose caprices the Constitutional Bill of Rights set up the grand jury, declined to indict any of the officers for this obvious manslaughter. Official response was sufficiently prompt and apparently genuine that the demonstrators seemed to be placated and the greater part of the reaction subsided. It was almost a flashpoint, yet a flashpoint of the old bug-bear of white abuse of African-American suspects. This is a legitimate grievance, certainly, but only a small part of the American legal problem, which is the effective collapse of trustworthy adjudication in criminal matters and the explosion in uncontrollable complexity and cost of civil litigation.
The familiar facts need not be over-emphasized: The United States has 5% of the world’s people, 25% of its incarcerated people, and50% of its lawyers, where legal practice requires serious professional formation. The U.S. legal profession takes 10% of GDP, $1.8 trillion. There are 48 million convicted felons in the U.S. population, the country has 6-12 times as many incarcerated people per capita as Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. American prosecutors win 99.5% of their cases, 97% without trials, numbers rivalled, if at all, only by North Korea.
This the “sweet land of liberty,” where it is held to be “self-evident that all men (and women) are created equal (and) endowed with certain unalienable rights.” The demonstrators have missed the opportunity to broaden their protest to include the entire range of the corruption of the American legal system, from which all Americans suffer and not just, or even necessarily mainly, African-Americans, and which is riveted on the neck of American life and society like a venomous horse-leech. A more broadly based protest would enlist the majority of Americans and force reform, as civil rights eventually did when the whole of America, and not just its direct victims, became disgusted with the spectacle of racist brutality everywhere about it.
This is the country which has secured the triumph of democracy and the free market system in the world, but it is not now a very well-functioning democracy. And Canada in some respects, is emulating it. I will not tax the patience of readers with another recitation of the knuckle-dragging, me-too, branch-plant, copy-cat Canadian government simulation of the American assault on any hope prisoners may have of leading normal lives again. We have lengthened sentences by legislative usurpation of the discretion of judges, restricted visiting access to inmates by family and friends, reduced rehabilitative facilities, and plod on with the punitive idiocy of prison for non-violent people, much as has been the case for centuries.
At least, as new prisons are being built, there is some chance that Canada will escape the over-crowding, squalor, and violence of much of the American prison system. But while we await the inevitably negative results of the Toews-Fantino school of Conservative rehabilitative personality development (Fantino’s incumbency at Veterans’ Affairs appears to be in its death-throes, at least), there is already evidence to hand that our correctional service apparatus and the prosecution service that feeds it have in some distressing respects taken the American correctional ethos on board.
Some readers will recall that on Oct. 25 I wrote of former Oshawa regional councillor Robert Lutczyk, a man who has been detained in the Central East Detention Centre in Lindsay, Ont., for two years. He is facing serious charges, but has been denied bail three times, denied legal aid though he does not have the means to conduct a defence, allegedly denied access to a computer to learn the crown’s digital disclosure on the case, and denied pencil and paper to prepare anything, and such notes as he was able to make with borrowed materials have been confiscated. When I wrote to the Ombudsman’s office about this case, I was very courteously informed that this was not their domain and referred to the director of the facility at Lindsay, Neil Neville. I wrote Mr. Neville on Oct. 3 asking very respectfully if the reports given to me and summarized here were correct, and was prompted to refer to the matter in my column of Oct. 25 because I had heard nothing from Mr. Neville. It is, as I write, December 11, and I have still not heard from Mr. Neville.
This is behaviour that is absolutely typical of the operation of the American system. It is a determined effort to grind the detained (in this case untried and presumed innocent) person’s face in his own impotence. It also drives home the lack of any justified expectation of being treated like a human being with a genuine ability to make something of his presumption of innocence and of his day in court, when it eventually comes after years of contemptuous mistreatment. Even innocuous and excruciatingly polite requests for information, by people invited by the accused to make them, are glacially ignored. Mr. Lutczyk has sent extensive messages to authorities and copies to me which (improperly) have not been delivered.
I repeat that I have no knowledge of or position on the merits of the case against this defendant, but he has rights and there is a public right to know that assured rights of defendants are being respected. At a hearing on Wednesday, which it would be improper to describe in detail, there were further indications of the cavalier treatment of Mr. Lutczyk. This is the last overture I will make to Mr. Neville. If he or some other competent representative of the department of Community Safety and Correctional Services of Ontario does not respond to this inquiry with reasonable timeliness, even if conditionally and tentatively, draconian measures to extract an answer to these questions will commend themselves. I have some knowledge of successful jousts of this kind in a tougher league than Mr. Neville would have experienced.
Custodians have vast powers to mistreat unconvicted detainees; they have no right nor any durable ability to resist an assertion of the public’s right to know if the justice system is respecting the rights of individuals. I repeat that I am not making an accusation and if Mr. Lutczyk has no legitimate complaint, I will be delighted to publish that fact.
It is impossible for me to finish this column without writing that it was my privilege to meet Jean Béliveau, with Rocket Richard and Ted Williams, the great sports hero of my youth, a number of times over more than 40 years. He was always the charming, gracious, elegant and inspiringly natural gentleman all who knew him have described; a great star and a very great human being. The funeral service for him in Montreal and the remembrance at the Bell Centre were profoundly moving and tasteful, and the rendition of the national anthem before the hockey game that evening was the most affecting version of it I have ever witnessed. No one who was exposed to his almost flawless suavity as a player and as a personality will ever forget or fail to be grateful for them.
Thanks to reader Morton Doran, who wrote that Napoleon, and not the Duke of Wellington, warned against interrupting an opponent while he was making a mistake, a quote from my column last week. Napoleon did say it, at Friedland in 1809, but Wellington said something similar in a civil context 20 years later and I thought him a more suitable source. But I see that I created confusion, and have modified online versions to cite both men, and apologize for not handling the quote more clearly. Thanks also to James Bartleman for his letter published on Dec. 9 in the National Post. However, his impression that I considered the “people who greeted the Europeans on their arrival (in what is now Canada) as inferior people,” is mistaken and completely inexplicable.
First published in the National Post.
Posted on 12/13/2014 5:52 AM by Conrad Black
Saturday, 13 December 2014
From Asian Image
A new ‘Islamic doll’ with no facial features has been launched in Britain. The ‘Deeni Doll’ has no eyes, nose or mouth whatsoever in a bid to comply with Islamic rules governing the depiction of faces.
The doll was manufactured in China and designed in the UK by Ridhwana B, a former teacher at a Lancashire Muslim school. She told us: “I came up with the idea from scratch after speaking to some parents who were a little concerned about dolls with facial features. Some parents won’t leave the doll with their children at night because you are not allowed to have any eyes in the room.
“There is an Islamic ruling which forbids the depiction of facial features of any kind and that includes pictures, sculptures and, in this case, dolls. I spoke to a religious scholar in Leicester who guided me through what was and what was not permissible when producing the product.
“The Deeni Doll has no face on it whatsoever and is Shariah compliant. . . The Islamic range in kids toys is quite limited at the moment with few choices. Although this project took a while, I am looking at researching other ideas in the future. I am looking at compiling a book for the Islamic upbringing of children in the future too.”
She said some people might well find it strange but she has had a positive response from many parents. “We have produced a limited amount at the moment but already I have had parents take up the order.”
It presently only comes in one design as a female ‘Romeisa’ named after the female companion of the noble Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The doll itself retails at £25 and, whilst it may not be the first of its kind in the world, it is thought to be the only one produced to such a high quality.
Islamic children's books without faces is nothing new. I photographed this example in the dawa shop in Queens Road Walthamstow a few years ago.
There are examples of this in British children's entertainment. In the second series of the modern Dr Who, when the writers wanted to show the children something completely scary, wicked and wrong in the episode The Idiot's Lantern they featured an evil alien called The Wire, who fed off people's essence which she stole from them through the televisions they had purchased for the 1953 Coronation.
The Doctor and Rose discover this when a young boy's grandmother has her essence stolen, and his parents have to imprison her in the top bedroom looking like this --->
In that story the Dr defeats The Wire, the Queen is crowned safely and on time, and the prisoners of The Wire are restored to their bodies and the bosom of their families.
On a serious note the removal of the face is the removal of personality. And the removal of personality makes another human being so much easier to condemn as a kafir, and to slaughter.
Posted on 12/13/2014 5:01 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 13 December 2014
From El Pais
Madrid’s largest mosque was functioning as a Jihadist recruitment center led by a former Guantánamo prisoner, it has emerged.
Lahcen Ikassrien, 47, a Moroccan national who was arrested in Afghanistan in 2001 and released after nearly four years in Guantánamo, was using the cafeteria at the Mezquita de la M-30 (named after the adjacent ring road) to recruit and indoctrinate new combatants for the fronts in Iraq and Syria, according to a High Court investigation.
Ikassrien is one of several people who were arrested in June in a raid against an international network that recruited jihadists for the terrorist organization Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has links to Al Qaeda.
Investigating judge Pablo Ruz this week prosecuted 15 members of that ring.
Suspects’ relatives have confirmed that the men became more radical in their beliefs after contacting with Salafist activists at the Madrid mosque. The group called itself the Al-Andalus Brigade after the medieval name for Muslim-controlled parts of Spain and Portugal.
The new investigation shows that the ring had a country property near Ávila that was being used to train combatants. The judge describes Ikassrien as “the charismatic leader” of the Salafist group. A search of his Madrid home yielded a wealth of material relating to his recruitment and training activities. He now faces charges of terrorist association and forgery, as he was in possession of a fake residency permit.
Posted on 12/13/2014 4:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 12 December 2014
Khaled Abu Toameh tells the story here.
Posted on 12/12/2014 8:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 12 December 2014
The Danish ambassador to Israel thinks the Israelis should be grateful and even proud that they are being held to the hgihest ("our own") standards. But Israel is not being held to such standards. It is being held to standards that no European country can or has ever met, that no country that wishes to survive can ever meet.
And the "Palestinians" -- who lie as a matter of course, who kill Israeli civilians as a matter of course, who stage proaganda stunts as a matter of course, who arrange to have their own quasi-civilians sacrificed to protect their terrorist-soldiers -- are held to no standards at all.
Posted on 12/12/2014 8:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 12 December 2014
As reported yesterday by Jessica Marszalek for Queensland's "Courier Mail".
"Let Them Go Join ISIS. Senator - "Get Extremists Out of Our Suburbs"".
'Australian [sic: Australian-passport-holding - CM] wannabe jihadists determined to travel overseas should be allowed to go and not have their passports confiscated and [be] kept at home [sic - in reality, Australia is not 'home' to these people in the way it is to other, non-Muslim Australians; it is 'home' only insofar as it is believed by them to belong to their 'allah' who always intended for it to belong to Muslims and Muslims only, not to the dirty infidels who currently inhabit it - CM], according to a Queensland Government senator.
'LNP Senator Barry O'Sullivan yesterday told a parliamentary hearing to let them go, in order to make Australian suburbs safer.
It would have been better had he said, 'to let them go and to prevent them from ever returning'. Still, it's a start. - CM
'A second Queensland senator, Ian Macdonald, echoed Senator O'Sullivan's remarks,
Better and better. Two Federal politicians who are actually using their brains and switching on their commonsense. - CM
'saying, "Some would say tht it's better to let them go rather than have them confined to Australia".
Yes. And once they have gone, to wallow in blood in the jihad hotspots of the dar al Islam, or Desolation of Mohammed, they must never be permitted to return, not into any part of the Lands of the Non-Muslims. - CM
'The comments came as the pair quizzed Attorney-General George Brandis during an Estimates hearing over whether the practice of cancelling passports so people [sic: MUSLIMS - CM] cannot fly to Syria or Iraq to join ISIS was leading to "frustrated freedom fighters" in the suburbs.
'Frustrated freedom fighters"??? These folks aren't about freedom; they're about slavery. ISIS's aim is to impose and expand and maintain - by extreme violence - the inherently violent, total and totalitarian system that is pure, classical, orthodox Islam. A system that permits - and this is in perfect consonance with the example of Mohammed and the instructions in the Islamic books and classic works of Islamic jurisprudence - the capture, rape, and sale as slaves (that is, as disposable sex-toys for Muslim males) of infidel girl-children (in the Islamic State's recently-published prospectus of 'girls for sale' it is the ones aged 0-9 that command the very highest prices, which indicates that they are the product most in demand.) - CM
'Senator O'Sullivan said he would prefer "the frustrated terrorist (was) somewhere else rather than within Australia".
Yes. And the further point that needs to start being made by the sensible Senator is this: if we had never permitted immigration of Muslims into this country; if there were no mosques, and no Muslims at all, then we would not have to be having this debate in the first place. Got Muslims? - got jihadis. So as well as permitting would-be jihadis who happen to be already here, to depart - and preventing their return - we should also be putting a complete stop to all further entry of additional Muslims into our country. Let those already here, leave! do nothing to discourage them! - and ...don't import any more. When in hole, stop digging. - CM
"I think there's concern about their return to the suburbs", he said.
You can say that again, mate. Sounds as though he's been getting a few letters from worried Australian infidels who would prefer not to be living next door to somebody who not only avidly watches beheading videos whilst shouting 'allahu akhbar' but has been carrying out beheadings himself. - CM
"We've now got ourselves a frustrated freedom fighter (sic: "a high-on-Islam would-be beheader, slave-taker and rapist" - CM)...even more vulnerable to being persuaded to going the following day into one of our cities to commit an atrocity for the movement."
Who will carry out Jihad against the non-Muslims in Australia if they are not permitted to go wage jihad in majority-Muslim Syria or Iraq. Of course, they will preferentially attack the remnant non-Muslims in those countries; which is why concomitant with permitting jihadis to depart and preventing their return, I would urge that when offering refugee places to Syrians and Iraqis we take only those who are not Muslim. - CM
'After repeated questioning Senator Brandis hit back, saying Australia could not let its citizens, some of whom were teenagers, go overseas to kill.
So we must keep them at "home" - anxiously and expensively 'monitoring' those we know about (though of course more and more are pullulating out of the nurturing sea of the Ummah colonies here, every day) so that they can do their killing here? Righto, Senator Brandis, I hope you're prepared to be held responsible when, say, sometime down the track, six or seven or ten of these "Australian citizen" jihadi teenagers attack a day-care centre or kindergarten somewhere in the suburbs, rape and behead and mutilate the infidel teachers, and then proceed to do the same to all the infidel children, whilst chanting allahu akbar? - CM
"I myself don't think that we should let an Australian adolescent (my dear Senator Brandis, they are not "Australian", they are "Australian-passport-holding adolescent MUSLIMS - CM), who is foolish enough to have been ensnared by a cult (no: who has been born-and-bred within and is consciously seeking to practise mainline by-the-book Islam, Islam, Islam - the word "cult" is perfeclty applicable so long as one faces the fact that the death cult here is not "Islamic State", it is ISLAM, plain and simple - CM), just go overseas where he might blow himself up and blow up another 20 people at a marketplace somewhere in Iraq", he said.
My dear Senator. Speaking as an Aussie non-Muslim, I would rather that this murderous Muslim blew himself up amongst 20 other-sect or deemed-insufficiently-Islamic Muslims - which is what he is most likely to kill, in any given marketplace in Iraq - than that he blew himself up in a bus full of Aussie non-Muslims in Sydney, or Melbourne, or Brisbane, or Perth. Or would you prefer it to be the other way around, Senator Brandis? Would you really rather that 20 Australian non-Muslims got blown up here, than that 20 Muslims got blown up by their fellow Muslim - who doesn't think theyr'e Muslim enough, or the wrong kind of Muslim - in crazed-by-Islam Iraq? Because if you keep these jihadis here at "home", dear Senator, sooner or later they will blow themselves up here, on a bus, or a train, or a plane, or in a church or a pub or a pizza parlour. Or the pious Muslim haters of all things infidel will start running people over with cars, or stabbing people in the street, as they are already doing in Israel. Or they will start seizing and beheading people, as has already been done in London, twice, and in the USA. And the beheaders and stabbers and runners-over will not necessarily be people who are already on the ASIO radar screen. - CM
'Australia had to follow UN Security Council rules to prevent foreign fighters crossing their borders, he said.
'ASIO deputy-director-general Kerri Hartland said allowing Australians (that is, allowing Ausssie-passport-holding Muslims - CM) to develop a terrorist skill set overseas made them more dangerous when they returned.
When they returned? Why is it so supinely assumed by everyone that they must be permitted to return, no matter what the ever-escalating expense of trying to keep track of them all - as their numbers keep on growing, and growing, and no matter what the hideous likely death toll, if even one or two slip past 'under the radar'? So-called de-radicalisation does. not. work; it's a pipe dream.
Why cannot non-Muslim lands screw up the courage to REFUSE to permit blooded jihadis back inside the gates - gates within which, had our Authorities been prepared to do the least bit of homework into the tenets and atmospherics of Islam and the amply-documented behaviour of Muslims and of Muslim entities throughout the past 1400 years of non-stop Jihad on three continents, those jihadis and/ or the parents or grandparents of those jihadis would never have been admitted in the first place?
And as for 'developing a terrorist skill set overseas'...dear Senator Brandis, get a clue, they don't need to go overseas to do that. There have been jihadi training camps on Australian soil, on American soil, on French soil. Actual experience in combat, they can only get that where there is fighting going on. But learning to make bombs or use weapons...that they can do here; and beheadings, and halal-style throat-slittings, can be practised upon large animals before the practitioner "graduates" to human victims. - CM
'Citizens whose passports are cancelled while overseas can still return to Australia.
'The questioning came after revelations surfaced that some who had travelled to Iraq or Syria to fight (to engage in jihad, including most probably pillage, rape, stonings and beheadings - CM) now wanted to return to Australia but were worried about serving jail time.'
Ohhhh, pooooor lil petals! They're 'worried'. Cry me a river! They mustn't feel 'worried'. They must always feel happy, secure and loved - lest the UN (dominated by the oil-funded OIC) disapprove; they must be petted and stroked and appeased...even while they plot to slit our throats on camera so as to make boastful videos that other Muslims can gloatingly watch and share around for fun and inspiration. Well, if our idiotic Authorities are so suicidally determined to let bloody-handed dead-eyed jihadis back into the country, then why cannot they (the Authorities) at least arrest said jihadis and clap them in jail so that they may have fewer opportunities for running over, stabbing, beheading or blowing up innocent Aussie infidels? - CM
Posted on 12/12/2014 6:42 PM by Christina McIntosh
Friday, 12 December 2014
Tallinn, claimed to be the home of the world’s first Christmas tree
According to this website the first recorded public display of a Christmas tree was in 1441 in the capital of German Livonia (now Estonia and Latvia) in the town square of Reval (now Tallinn). The custom was to dance around the tree at Christmas time, to celebrate the festive season and then burn it down.
The Brotherhood of the Blackheads, a guild for unmarried merchants, first erected the tree for the holiday period in their brotherhood house. On the last night of celebrations the tree was taken to the Town Hall square where the members of the brotherhood danced about it with local girls, before setting fire to it.
The patron saint of the Brotherhood was St Maurice. An image of his head still decorates the entrance to the hall, hence their name.
Riga, capital of modern Latvia also claims to be the site of the earliest decorated tree.
As an Englishwoman I maintain that the first Christmas trees were the ones instituted by St Boniface, the Devon saint who evangelised Frisia, Hesse and Thuringia a good 500 years earlier. He realised that the Saxon veneration of forest trees, including the pine, could be positively adapted into his mission work.
Maybe his trees were for the home and hall and the Livonian trees were for the public square.
Posted on 12/12/2014 4:41 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 12 December 2014
Christians, both Armenian and Arabic-speaking, are those who now find it difficult or impossible to live in Syria. Christians and Yazidis and Mandaeans now find it difficult or impossible to live in Iraq. Shi'a Arabs can move, and live with other Shi'a Arabs; Sunni Arabs can move, and live with other Sunni Arabs. Both Shi'a and Sunni Arabs have vast territories to live in. The Christians, Yazidis, Mandaeans and other, even smaller groups, do not. Only such refugees ought to be admitted. Muslims do not qualify as refugees, for they have so many places, so many Muslim countries even aside from Syria and Iraq, wherre they could live, and if anyone has a duty toward them, it might be Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, and the Emirates, that are loaded with hundreds of billions, and need foreign workers of all kinds.
Here is what the Canadian government proposes.
Posted on 12/12/2014 1:53 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 12 December 2014
Posted on 12/12/2014 12:51 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 12 December 2014
The display by Senator Grant Mitchell, taking issue with Tarek Fatah and telling a Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence meeting on November 24 in Ottawa Canada.and the world, about all the Muslims he has been privileged to know ("so many wonderful, remarkable, amazing, beautiful people"), the very Muslims from whom he has learned all about Islam, apparently, for they, liquid brown eyes expressing the deepest sincerity, have assured and reassured him about what Muslims think and what Islam teaches (and there would be no reason for them to lie to him, would there?) --and his proleptic attempt,single monitory finger raised (in accidental imitation of what Muslim warriors do on the battlefield, indicating the Singleness of Allah) to silence Tarek Fatah for an "interruption" that never occurred, offers you a glimpse into the problem in the West. For Grant Mitchell is no ordinary layman. He is not only a Canadian Senator but a member of the Canadian Parliament's Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence. He should know, by now, a lot about Islam. But he doesn't. And there are many such grant-mitchells all over the Western world, so complacentlyand wilfully ignorant of Islam (of Qur'an and Hadith, and of the religiously-sanctioned doctrines of deception about the faith, that is Taqiyya and Kitman), and who, like Senator Grant Mitchell from Alberta, are well-satisfied that they know "so many wonderful, remarkable, amazing, beautiful people" among the Muslims they have met and think they understand. And for such people that is the end of the matter. They have nothing more to learn.
Posted on 12/12/2014 7:48 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 12 December 2014
A detailed article about Khamenei, including the influence on Khamenei of Sayid Qutb's work, which notes the latter's takfirism -- that is,the practice of declaring Muslims who are insufficient in their faith to be Infidels, and not merely poor Muslims -- which of signficance since "takfiris" (that is, the Sunnis who declare the Shi'a to be not only infidels, but "the worst of infidels") are the bane of Khamenei and the other Iranian clerics who are horrified to discover not only that Iran will never become the leader of the world's Muslims, but that the Sunni Muslims, or many of them, don't regard the Shi'a as merely another sect of Islam, but rather as Infidels.
It is amusing that Khamenei is now accusing the arch-Sunni Saudis of being bad, that is "treacherous" Muslims, for alllowing, through their refusal to cut their own production of oil, the price of oil to drop. This is Khamenei's Shii'te version of "takfirism" -- interpreting rational oil policy by the Saudis (who want to discourage future oil exploration and shut down fracking operations so as to ensure the value of their reserves) as a betrayal of other Muslims, and hence of Islam. Shi'ite Takfirism, some might call it.
Posted on 12/12/2014 7:02 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 12 December 2014
Once again, France has illuminated what Abraham Lincoln called “the moral lights around us.” On December 8, 2014 in Washington, D.C. the French Human Rights ambassador, Patrizianna Sparacino-Thiellay, signed an agreement with Stuart Eizenstat, Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Holocaust Issues. As a result, survivors deported by the French railroad system, and their families living outside France, will obtain compensation for being deported by the trains of the Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF) to Nazi concentration and death camps during World War II.
By this new arrangement, France has faced up to its historic responsibilities and agreed to render belated, if imperfect, justice. It supplements the French pension programs by which French citizens in France since 1948 have been paid, but not those who left France after World War II. The agreement will cover not only Americans but also citizens of other countries, including Israel. The French government will pay the U.S. government 49 million euros ($60 million). The compensation fund will be administered by the U.S. In signing the December 8, 2014 agreement, the French ambassador said that France was mending “the hole in the blanket.”
The agreement is welcome, even 70 years after the bitter events of the deportations and the Holocaust. The agreement, still to be approved by the French parliament, will entail that survivors would receive about 81,000 euros each, while their heirs and spouses would get tens of thousands.
The question of responsibility and accountability for the deportation of 76,000 Jews in France, of whom only 2000 survived, to their deaths has long haunted the country and its people. Questions of conscience and memory dwell on the fact that during the French State Vichy regime in France, 76 convoys of SNCF trains from March 27, 1942, first from Drancy and Compiègne, until August 17, 1944, a week before the liberation of Paris, not only carried passengers but did so in an inhumane fashion.
Each convoy contained 20 cattle cars that held 50 people each. The passengers were given one piece of cheese and one slice of stale bread but no water. The cars contained one bucket in which people relieved themselves. The convoys took several days, resulting in considerable numbers dying on the journey. The SNCF was paid per head of the passengers carried, and per kilometer.
French official authorities for some time have acknowledged the role of the Vichy regime under Marshal Philippe Pétain in participating in some ways in the Holocaust. President Jacques Chirac on July 16, 1995 spoke of the criminal insanity of Nazi Germany that was assisted by the French, by the French state (Vichy). Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin on July 21, 2002, referring to the incident, the roundup and mass arrest of 13,000 Jews in Paris on July 16, 1942, held that this act of the Holocaust was done with the complicity of the French State (Vichy). The Conseil d’État on February 16, 2009 held the French State was responsible for and facilitated the deportation of Jews.
The actions of SNCF during World War II were clear. The SNCF made the necessary rolling stock available, it scheduled the convoys, it cleaned and disinfected the cars after each trip. The essential question has always been, did the SNCF have any choice or discretion in what it did, was it forced to carry out the deportations or could it have resisted German commands from 1940 on? Significantly, no deportation train was ever sabotaged in any real way. SNCF was under French civilian control during the whole Vichy period.
In 2011, Guillaume Pepy, at the Paris suburb of Bobigny, notorious as the place from where 22,000 Jews were sent to their death, formally apologized “in the name of the SNCF.” His expression of sorrow may have been sincere, but he maintained the SNCF was operating under duress, and was forced to take part “as a cog in the Nazi extermination machine.” However, in spite of the apology SNCF refused to pay compensation to the victims, arguing that it was the Vichy regime, the government, and not SNCF, that collaborated with the Nazis. Legally, it argued that it could not be sued in France because it was a private company, and not in the U.S. because, on the basis of the U.S. Foreign Sovereignty Immunities Act of 1976, it was immune from litigation in the U.S.
Whatever the meaningfulness of the professions of sincere regrets by its leaders, the mercenary interests of SNCF seem more paramount than moral confessions. The company has been interested in bidding in a number of lucrative rail contracts in the U.S., especially in Boston, Virginia, and in Maryland. The SNCF subsidiary company Keolis had already won a $2.7 billion contract from Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. It operates the Virginia Rail Express commuter trains in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. It is interested in bidding for the $6.5 billion, public-private 35-year contract to build a 16-mile light rail network, the so called Purple Line, connecting the suburbs of Maryland to D.C.
That bid encountered opposition from Holocaust survivors living in Maryland, particularly a man named Leo Bretholz who had escaped in 1942 from a train going to Auschwitz and who obtained 150,000 signatures against the bid. Ironically, he died on March 8, 2014, a few months before the success of his cause for reparations to the survivors.
Bretholz and his supporters had an impact on policy by influencing the Holocaust Rail Justice Act, cosponsored by New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney together with Charles Schumer, by which Maryland would not enter into partnership with any company that had deported victims and had not paid restitution to the victims or their families. The December 8 agreement will in effect nullify state and federal legislation that would ban foreign companies from winning contracts in the U.S.
The SNCF is not a party to the agreement but it has voluntarily promised to make a contribution, some $4 million, to Holocaust museums, memorials, and educational programs. It is a gesture, but a feeble one compared with the just and moral stance of the present French Government illustrating the imperatives of humanity.
First published in the American Thinker.
Posted on 12/12/2014 6:48 AM by Michael Curtis
Friday, 12 December 2014
Credo quia absurdum. "I believe because it is absurd." Almost everywhere, individual countries and amalgams of countries (European Union is the latest such amalgam) are falling over themselves to endorse "Palestine." Systematically ignoring long-term deceptions associated with demands for Palestinian sovereignty - and also relevant contradictions between recognition and statehood under international law - such endorsements will further undermine regional stability.
Pertinent calculations here are not complicated. Most plainly, the destabilizing impact of a 23rd Arab sovereignty would be most immediately injurious to Israel. Over time, however, certain state advocates of "Palestine" could suffer consequent harms, including purportedly well-intentioned European countries, and even the United States. This is because a Palestinian state would quickly become another preferred launching site for assorted multiple forms of Jihadist terrorism.
"Hamas is ISIS, and ISIS is Hamas," explained Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before the U.N. General Assembly last September: "They all have the same ideology; they all seek to establish a global militant Islam, where there is no freedom." Netanyahu was correct.
Back in September, Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, now working together with his "partners" in Hamas, asked the U.N. Security Council to set a deadline of November 2016 for full Israeli withdrawal from Judea/Samaria ('West Bank'), including East Jerusalem.
Notwithstanding his obligatory public acceptance of a "Two-State Solution," all major Palestinian media continue to say otherwise. For them, even officially, Israel remains "Occupied Palestine." For them, even officially, the only acceptable Palestinian solution calls for a single new Arab state, a homogeneously Islamic country in all of the land currently circumscribed by Israel, 'West Bank', and Gaza.
It's not complicated. "Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, from the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea," affirmed Khalida Jarrar, Palestinian PA Parliament Member, on April 16, 2014. "We must not cede this narrative. From the River to the Sea....Palestine belongs to the Palestinians; and the heart of the matter is the right of return, our cause is the right of return."
Since 2005, when Israel "disengaged" from Gaza in the hope of receiving a suitable quid pro quo from Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, the only use to which this land has been put is as a conspicuous staging area for expanded war and terror.
The intended Palestinian solution for Israel remains a fixedly "final" one. This unambiguously exterminatory remedy is inscribed on all official Palestinian maps. Cartographically, at least, Israel has already been "liquidated."
Liquidation is the actual term used most frequently by Arab sources, since 1948, to describe their uniformly annihilationist attitudes toward Israel.1
What will happen when Palestine allegedly becomes a state? Within a few hours of any formal Palestinian "declaration of independence," Arab citizens of Israel - now, over 1.8 million - will begin to transform their initially benign celebrations into full-scale riots and intifadas. Such "spontaneous" violence would serve to display this Israeli-Arab population's open and now overriding loyalty to Palestine.
Significantly, these Arabs wouldn't feel any corresponding need to actually move to the new Palestinian state. After all, they would then already understand that what is "Occupied Palestine" (Israel) would soon be "absorbed" into the new state. Then, irony of ironies, although these almost two million Arabs had themselves been full citizens of a Jewish State, Palestine would become statutorily Judenrein, or "free of Jews."
For Israel, this will represent the "international community's best idea of "justice."
For Israel, which will have to fight for its life yet again, the security costs of staving off aggression and "absorption" could quickly become overwhelming. The core enemy, now, even after a legally problematic bestowal of Palestinian sovereignty, would not be Palestine per se, but rather an enlarged and conglomerate Arab/Islamist adversary, this one encompassing a broad alliance of both state and sub-state opponents.
It is even possible, in these entirely predictable circumstances, that certain mobilized IDF elements would have to be placed in direct confrontation with ISIS, or ISIS-related foes.
"Hamas is ISIS, and ISIS is Hamas."
In the short run, after formalization of Palestine, security dangers to Israel would center upon very bitter internal unrest, and on those corollary perils originating from domestic terror attacks, expanded border incursions from Palestine, and external (Palestine-based) rocket launches. In the longer term, Israel, now dangerously bereft of needed strategic depth, would face a steadily deteriorating "correlation of forces," that is, an overall weakening of Israeli military capacity. This weakening, in turn, could substantially enlarge the probability of conventional war with other Arab states, and also of conventional terror attacks.
If such attenuations of Israeli power were to take place simultaneously with Iranian nuclearization, a reasonably plausible expectation, the single most catastrophic consequence of Palestine could eventually include nuclear war fighting. This sober assessment is identified here not because a Palestinian state would have any direct nuclear capabilities itself, but because that state's creation would nonetheless contribute to an increasingly corrosive regional balance of power.
The precise hazards, to Israel, of a nuclear Iran, could be affected by what happens throughout the region, along the most primary Sunni-Shia axes of conflict, especially if ISIS were to make any further progress in its ongoing territorial takeovers, within sectors of Iraq and Syria. Another still widely-ignored factor in all of this prospective regional transformation is the growing probability of a new Cold War between Russia and the United States. However ignored thus far, such hardening bipolarity could strongly impact the nature and function of core Middle Eastern alignments.
A still under-examined result of Palestinian independence would be the meaningfully enlarged threat to Israel (a country smaller than America's Lake Michigan) of nuclear war and nuclear terror. Understanding this, Palestine's emergence could spawn tangibly enlarged efforts in Jerusalem/Tel Aviv to properly strengthen Israel's traditionally "ambiguous" nuclear deterrent. Quickly, such indispensable measures could embrace a more-or-less dramatic shift to an openly declared nuclear strategy, one including explicit statements about nuclear basing and nuclear targeting doctrine.
From a more narrowly legal perspective, there is one additional point. Under governing international law, the always-binding requirements of statehood are expressed at the Convention on the Rights and Duties of States ("Montevideo Convention"), a treaty which entered into force in 1934. Among other things, this authoritative pact clarifies that statehood is independent of recognition.
In the matter of prospective Palestinian statehood, this means that Palestine could not become a proper sovereign entity in consequence of assorted national approvals, whether within the United Nations, or outside of its particular collective jurisdiction. No matter how many separate states might choose to support Palestinian statehood, and no matter how respected or powerful these approving states might be, such support would be overridden by the specific, codified, and still unrealized expectations of "Montevideo."
So says international law.
In the end, as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated before the U.N. General Assembly last September, "The people of Israel are not the occupiers in the land of Israel." The Mandate for Palestine (1922) merely reaffirmed the already-longstanding Jewish legal right to settle anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an authorization further codified and protected at Article 80 of the U.N. Charter.
No state can be obligated to commit national suicide. It is not Israel's legal or moral obligation to carve another enemy Arab state out of its own still-living body. To understand this utterly rudimentary perquisite of sovereignty would be to the everlasting benefit not only of the singularly beleaguered Jewish State, but also to every other country that now seeks more durable protection from ever-widening Jihadist terror.
 See Yehoshafat Harkabi, Arab Attitudes To Israel (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, 1972), especially Chapter 1.
First published in Israel National News.
Posted on 12/12/2014 5:47 AM by Louis René Beres
Friday, 12 December 2014
By Muslim treachery he means Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. He has an imperfect grasp of oil markets, and of course he has that hypertrophied conspiracy-theoriziing that is such a distinctive feature of Muslim societies, where skepticism of all kinds is discouraged, and rational thought rare. The only thing missing is that peculiar Iranian twist, whereby Great Britain -- England -- is the first of conspirators. Even those who detest the Islamic Republic are unable to avoid blaming England for the rise of Khomeini which, it is claimed, only happened because a quarter-century before, Mossadegh was removed in a coup. But it's not true. Khomeini was a great enemy of Mossadegh.The leftists and secularists -- many will remember the groucho-marx-masked-faced Bani-Sadr, and the jovial Ghotzbadeh, who so misleadingly represented the anti-Shah forces on American television in the months after his overthrow -- should blame themselves for failing to realize that Iran was and is full of primitives who were unhinged by the very oil wealth that the Shah tried to spread around, and these primitives would support Khomeini, and in Iran it was the True Believers in Islam, not the vainglorious Shah, was their worst enemy. Even today, in Iran, when therre are demonstrations against the West, the Great Satan America and the Little Satan Israel are almost always joined by Great Britain, the permanent enemy, apparently, of Iran.
And Iranians in exile bring that view with them. They can't blame themselves -- or Islam itself -- for the Islamic Republic of Iran. So they find a way to engage, sometimes seemingly jokingly, in order to have available the excuse that they were only kidding,in that anti-English consiracy-theorizing. They talk about how, if you lift up the beard of a mullah, underneath you will find written "Made In England."
It will be a sign of mental health when England -- and America and Israel -- stop being blamed for Iranian ills, and Islam itself, that "gift of the Arabs," becomes the focus of justified fury.
Posted on 12/12/2014 5:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 12 December 2014
IS releases new video of fighting in Kobani with drone footage and everything:
Posted on 12/12/2014 4:58 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 11 December 2014
The unhinged white antisemite Alain Soral has just announced the formation of a new political party to be led by him and the unhinged black antisemite M'bala M'bala Dieudonne. Meanwhile, he's been making advances, and sexting, and so on and so bloody forth, to a "top model" from the Cameroons, a certain Binti. And when his advances were rejected, he turned unusually nasty about women, blacks, and so on, and she, that certain Binti, has now brought his emails to everyone's attention. And what's more, she's also filed a complaint against him for his "diffusion of race hatred."
The story here.
Posted on 12/11/2014 9:39 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 11 December 2014
Posted on 12/11/2014 9:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 11 December 2014
Posted on 12/11/2014 9:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 11 December 2014
It has its origins in the Qur'an and Hadith. But for the men to recognize one another, and to organize, they had to be thrown together, as they were in American prisons inIraq where they were leniently treated and had plenty of time to plan and plot.
Posted on 12/11/2014 6:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 11 December 2014
Tweets from Anjem Choudary earlier today. Why won't the Home Secretary give him and his family their passports and let them go?
Note that utilities etc will be free to Muslims under sharia. Who will pay for it all? Why the jizya paying dhimmis, of course.
This one was a bit lower down.
Without an Islamic State Muslims are not able to conquer territory through its foreign policy (Jihad Mubada'ah) and carry Islam to the world
Posted on 12/11/2014 2:39 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 11 December 2014
Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel. Joshua Muravchik. Published by Encounter Books, 2014. $25.99 pp.296
Joshua Muravchik has written an insightful and well-researched book on the important question of how and why Israel has gone from being an admired underdog to a despised pariah among the nations. Before the Six-Day War of 1967, it was clear to all that Israel was a David surrounded by the vastly larger Goliath of the Arab world. After 1967, the “Arab-Israeli conflict” gradually gave way in the eyes of the world to the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” As Israel became more economically and militarily powerful, the comparatively weak and scattered Palestinians came to be seen as the David to Israel’s Goliath.
A key step in this process was taken by the Palestinians themselves, most of whom realized the political folly of sticking with the reactionary rhetoric of Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the Nazi collaborator and unabashed Jew-hater who had founded and led the Palestinian Arab national movement from the 1920s into the 1960s. The new generation led by Yassir Arafat learned a lesson from the Algerian FLN and the Vietnamese communists and adopted the brilliant public relations strategy of associating the Palestinian cause with “the historic process of the liberation of the oppressed peoples from colonialism and imperialism” (from a Fatah Party statement quoted by Muravchik on p. 29). The Palestinians were embraced by the Soviet bloc and by left-wing radicals and terrorists in Western Europe and beyond. Muravchik documents the sad history of Palestinian terrorism beginning in the 1960s and the craven response of European governments who time after time chose to capitulate and appease rather than punish the terrorists (Ch. 3). A key factor here was the Arab oil weapon, used to great effect during and after the 1973 Yom Kippur War and reinforcing the tendency of many governments around the world to be soft on terrorism and to shift increasingly away from Israel and towards the Palestinians (Ch. 4). The Social Democratic parties of Western Europe, led by the Jew-hating Jewish-Austrian Socialist Bruno Kreisky, found it quite easy after 1973 to rationalize their turn against Israel and towards the Palestinians (Ch. 6).
At the same time, the General Assembly of the United Nations was steadily increasing its membership as more and more nations shook off the shackles of Western colonialism and became independent. A large majority of these nations – Arab, Islamic, Communist, and “non-aligned” – gravitated towards the Palestinian side, forming the large, automatic, anti-Israeli majority that the Palestinians can still count on today in the General Assembly. Muravchik does an excellent job of documenting the way in which virtually every part of the UN has been captured by anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian forces (Ch. 5). One of the many pernicious effects of this capture has been the absolute failure (or rather refusal) of the UN to condemn terrorism, all efforts to do so having foundered on the insistence of the General Assembly that the Palestinian people possesses the right “to regain its rights by all means” (pp. 75-6). Muravchik demonstrates the shocking and little-known fact that the UN has actually become one of the main legitimizers of terrorism in the world today.
Those of us who work in the field of so-called “higher education” can testify that the influence of fashion shapes the academic world every bit as much as it does the world of clothing or interior design. College professors who seek to “fit in” at the faculty lunch table (or, more to the point, to get published and tenured) quickly figure out that a certain range of opinions are stylish while others are, as the British like to say, “not quite the thing.” In the humanities and social sciences over the past 35 years, no one has set the trend more successfully than Edward Said, the Palestinian-American who was for decades a professor of literature at Columbia University. Muravchik devotes an entire chapter to the baneful influence of Said on American colleges and universities (Ch. 7), paying special attention to Said’s two blockbuster hits, Orientalism (1978) and The Question of Palestine (1979). These two books did not succeed on their merits, for they are replete with logical fallacies and factual inaccuracies, which Muravchik successfully exposes. Rather, they succeeded because they appealed to the prejudices of a post-Vietnam American professoriate that had long since decided that the source of all evil in the world was the racist, imperialist, colonialist mentality of white European males. Like all great fashion designers, Edward Said sensed the new trend that the market was craving and he gave it what it wanted, achieving fame and fortune in the process. The result has been that Israel is increasingly seen as a white European colonialist outpost based on a racist ideology imposed on an innocent indigenous Third World people, the Palestinians. Never mind the ancient Jewish connection to the land of Israel. Never mind that in the late 1970s far more than half of Israeli Jews were refugees from Arab and Muslim countries and thus indigenous to the region. Never mind that Arab Muslims have their own history of imperialism, racism, and colonialism, and that Islamic imperialism and anti-Semitism have been central components of Palestinian nationalism since the 1920s. Facts and logic, it seems, have no chance against the power of fashion.
Muravchik does not allow Israelis themselves to escape entirely unscathed. In a chapter entitled “Israel Shows a Less Endearing Face,” he documents the missteps of the Likud government of Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon that came to power in 1977, including the aggressive push to build Jewish communities in the West Bank and the 1982 Lebanon war (Ch. 8). In another chapter (Ch. 9, “Israel Spawns Its Own Adversary Culture”) he explains how some of the most unhinged critics of Israel and Zionism are in fact Israeli Jews like Ilan Pappé and Simcha Flappan, ably assisted by non-Israeli Jews like Avi Shlaim, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, and Judith Butler. Here Muravchik gives a brief but judicious survey of the debates triggered by the so-called “New Historians,” Israeli historians who since the 1980s have challenged certain aspects of traditional Israeli history, especially as regards the 1948 war. He argues that left-wing anti-Zionist Jews have adopted the anti-colonialist paradigm of Edward Said and elevated their trendy leftism over their apparently less trendy Jewishness.
Muravchik’s conclusion is sobering for anyone who cares about Israel’s security and long-term survival. While the anti-Israeli left may espouse an ideology that does not resonate with average Americans, it has increasingly taken over university faculties, mainline churches, labor unions, human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and even Jewish groups like J-street. As he puts it, “the anti-Israel movement knows it will score no sudden coup, but it is committed to the long war” (p. 231). The wars in Algeria and Vietnam in the mid-twentieth century demonstrated that a conflict is not necessarily won by the militarily stronger side, but by the side that can mobilize international political support by creating a perception of moral superiority. “For all its might, Israel remains a David, struggling against the odds to secure its small foothold in a violent and hostile region. The relentless campaign to recast it instead as a malevolent Goliath places it in grave peril” (p. 233).
First published in Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.
Posted on 12/11/2014 1:23 PM by Joseph S. Spoerl