Israel is a cartoon villain, beyond sympathy, beyond even redemption. What is shocking – and frightening – is that the narrative the world accepts is always that of Israel as the evildoer. ‘Shut up. Go back to Auschwitz.” That was the response from the “peace flotilla” when Israel broadcast a radio message warning the Turkish flotilla that it was about to enter an area under naval blockade. In another response, someone on board the “humanitarian aid convoy” replied: “We’re helping the Arabs go against the US. Don’t forget 9/11, guys.” After these exchanges, IDF commandos landed on the ships. On the Mavi Marmara they were attacked by pro-Palestinian activists wielding iron bars.
Turkish papers have now published photographs of soldiers bleeding badly as they are assaulted by thugs.
Eventually the commandos shot back in self-defense and nine activists were killed. It was a disaster for Israel and a triumph for those who hate Israel, Jews and the West. Bulent Yildirim, head of the Turkish Islamist organization IHH, which organized the flotilla, exulted in a speech to an audience he called “people of paradise.” “Last night, everything in the world has changed, and everything is progressing toward Islam,” he said.
THAT IS the reality today. Consider these words from Sheikh Hussein bin Mahmud, a pseudonymous but apparently popular commentator in the global jihadist community: “Everyone who has had contact with the Jews and lived alongside them, in the East and in the West, has spurned them, loathed them and detested them, to the point where Hitler said, ‘I could kill all the Jews in the world, but I left a few alive so that the entire world will know why I killed the Jews.’”
Such raw hatred of Jews, let alone Israel, is commonplace in the Middle East, even without an excuse such as last week’s deadly incident. The “peace flotilla” was no such thing. It had some peaceful people aboard, but its organizer, IHH, is a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, an openly terrorist organization pledged to the destruction of Israel and the triumph of Shari’a law everywhere. Scores of the “peace passengers” were Islamic militants pledged to kill Jews and secure martyrdom for themselves. Hence the confrontation with the Israeli commandos and the tragedy of the deaths on board.
That was not enough for Sheikh Hussein. He declared that the Turks should “kill every Jew in Turkey.” Moreover, “Gaza does not want ‘freedom ships’ bearing blonde women with Muslim, Christian, Jewish and atheist men; it wants a naval fleet and a land army bearing black Islamic banners... Gaza will not agree to a cease-fire with the Jews. On the contrary, it is thirsty to drink the blood of the sons of apes and pigs, and it is hungry and longs to devour the body parts of these cowards.”
Western critics of Israel often say that they are not anti-Semitic, merely anti-Zionist. No such distinction occurs to commentators such as Sheikh Hussein – Jews, Israelis, they are all “the sons of apes and pigs.”
It is not surprising that such racist loathing creates a siege mentality in Israel. Worse is the fact that Israelis know it’s not just “the black Islamic banners” with which they have to contend, but also the irrational hatred of much of the rest of the world
The realities of Gaza, Israel and the West Bank – where, with Israel’s assistance, the Palestinian economy is booming – are deemed irrelevant to the conventional narrative. Israel is a cartoon villain, beyond sympathy, beyond even redemption. What is deeply shocking – and frightening – is that the narrative the world accepts is always that of Israel the evildoer.
It was true with the so-called Jenin massacre allegedly committed by the Israelis in 2002. There was no such massacre. It was a lie that was widely and uncritically propagated by the UN, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the BBC. It is true today. The hatred that Israel arouses is absurd, even obscene. One senior military source was quoted last week as saying it did not matter what his country did; however carefully it responded to such events as the “peace flotilla,” it would always be condemned in the UN, on the BBC and almost everywhere else.
The bien pensants of the Western world are never prepared to give Israel the benefit of any doubt. The UN has become more of a lynch mob than a constructive debating chamber. Israel’s right to defend itself is ignored. So is the fact that Iran has threatened to obliterate it, and that the Hamas rulers of Gaza are Iranian agents also pledged to its destruction.
LAST WEEK, the UN, as always, jumped instantly to the conclusions most damaging to Israel. The UN Human Rights Council, of which Iran is a member, instantly denounced Israel for its “attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance.”
Similarly, the Israeli ambassador to the EU was harangued and abused in the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. No one was interested in his explanation, and when he showed images of IDF soldiers being beaten with iron bars on the Mavi Marmara, MEPs asserted the film was faked propaganda. The only person to defend Israel at all was Charles Tannock, the Conservative MEP. (Unlike the Israeli ambassador, the Iranian ambassador was treated with courtesy.)
Israel is an imperfect society (like any other), but it has extraordinary social, scientific and scholastic achievements. Despite living under endless threats, it is far closer to the liberal ideal of a free society than any other in the Middle East. But it gets scant credit.
Europe prides itself on its tolerance of gay rights, free speech and feminism. These are all integral to Israeli society also, but Israel gets scant credit for that. Radical Muslims, on the other hand, stone women, hang homosexuals and kill to deny free speech. Do Europeans protest that? Not many, not often.
Israel is held to a far higher standard than any other nation. Few people seem to care much about North Korean atrocities, at home and abroad, let alone its terrifying nuclear defiance of the world. No one marches or calls emergency meetings of the UN and the EU to protest the vicious Muslim brutality against other Muslims that takes place every day throughout the Islamic world – and beyond. No one demonstrates on behalf of Christians murdered in the Middle East, their churches burned. Such horrors are waved away. Only Israel merits such constant abuse.
The Muslim world and the Western Left are in an unholy alliance; they do not want to improve the Jewish state, they want to remove it. Israel has come to expect double standards from Europe and assault from the UN.
Much more serious is the loss of support from the Obama administration.
In his attempts to reach out to the Islamic world, Barack Obama has abandoned the US tradition of whole-hearted support for one of its principal allies.
He has showed himself far more tolerant of (or unconcerned by) abuses of power in the Muslim world than by mistakes of Israel.
Most recently, Obama backed a Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty conference statement that singled out Israel in calling for a nuclear-free Middle East. No other president has ever done that, and Israelis are understandably concerned. What Obama does not seem to understand is that his lack of support for Israel not only saps Israel, it emboldens its enemies.
The Middle East and the world are now a much more dangerous place as “the sons [and daughters] of apes and pigs” are delegitimized once again. On their way back to Auschwitz, if their enemies succeed.
William Shawcross is a British writer and journalist. In 2003 he wrote Allies – Why the West had to remove Saddam. He is now working on a book about the implications of the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to be published by Public Affairs Press, NYC.
One of the most pervasive and pernicious lies promulgated by the new atheist movement is that Hitler was a Christian and/or that the Nazi movement itself was a Christian movement. Here are some more Hitler quotes refuting that ridiculous idea.
Hitler commented of Minister of Religion Kerrl’s effort to identify Nazism with "positive Christianity" that it was "the noblest of intentions, but I don't believe the thing's possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself."
"As for the men close to me", he stated, "who, like me, have escaped from the clutches of dogma, I've no reason to fear that the Church will get its hands on them. We'll see to it that the church cannot spread abroad teachings that conflict with the interests of the State. We shall continue to preach the doctrine of National Socialism, and the young will no longer be taught anything but the truth."
"In the long run National Socialism and religion will no longer be able to exist together. The ideal solution would be to leave the religions to devour themselves, without persecutions."
"The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion has to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble."
Hitler made it clear that he was not interested in an "Aryanized Christianity" or the "Aryan Jesus" myth promoted by Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Von Liebenfells, and certain party members.
"You cannot make an Aryan out of Jesus, that’s nonsense", he stated.
"The peasant will be told what the Church has destroyed for him: the whole of the secret knowledge of nature, of the divine, the shapeless, the daemonic.
The peasant shall learn to hate the Church on that basis.
Gradually he shall be taught by what wiles the soul of the German people has been raped.
We shall wash off the Christian veneer and bring out a religion peculiar to our race.
And this is where we must begin, not in the big cities......"
Bormann records Hitler as stating :
"Christianity is a religion against natural law, a protest against nature. taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.
"Pure Christianity- the Christianity of the catacombs- is concerned with translating the Christian doctrine into fact.
It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely wholehearted Bolshevism under a tinsel of metaphysics.
"The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity.
Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child......
The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity. Bolshevism practices a lie of the same nature when it claims to bring liberation to mankind.
In the ancient world the relations between men and Gods were founded on an instinctive respect. It was a world enlightened by the idea of tolerance.
Christianity was the first creed in the world to exterminate its adversaries in the name of love.
The Daily Mash is spot on except for the word "starting", which should be "continuing":
PRESIDENT Obama's handling of the Gulf oil spill is starting to make him come across as a bit of an arsehole, it emerged today.
In the past week British liberals have become increasingly distressed at the president's political exploitation of anti-UK sentiment and his constant use of the world 'folks'.
And as the White House threatened legal action against BP but none of the American companies it was working with, Britons who just 18 months ago were cheering on the Obama campaign have this week found themselves quietly typing the word 'Bhopal' into Google.
Julian Cook, from Finsbury Park, said: "He's using all these phrases like 'kicking ass' and 'nickel and diming' whatever the hell that means.
"John F Kennedy would never have used the word 'ass', unless of course he was humping one for the fourth time that afternoon.
"And he keeps saying 'folks'. 'We gotta do somethin' to help those folks down there in Louisiana'. Does he mean 'people'?."
He added: "I'm sure it's not an affectation. It probably seeped into his sub-conscious when he was editor of the Harvard Law Review."
Martin Bishop, a West Wing fan from Hitchin, said: "This morning I saw a quote from Norman Tebbit - Norman Tebbit - saying that the Americans do seem to have forgotten how one of their corporations dealt with the disaster at Bhopal.
"So anyway, here's some interesting facts. The Bhopal gas leak killed an estimated 16,000 people and directly affected around 500,000. Union Carbide eventually paid out $450m in compensation. Which is an average of $900 per person. So, as you can see, they really did somethin' to help those folks down there in India."
Owing largely to the demands of the insatiable US market - which Obama has done nothing to abate, despite his green credentials - oil exploration has never been so risky as companies drill in deeper and rougher seas. In these, the dying hours of black gold’s imperium, accidents are frequent. Occasionally, they even beset US oil companies: Exxon Valdez anyone? Let’s be clear, no one wants to pollute the sea; no one wants to see fishing and tourism crippled; though it is debatable that Louisianan fishing and tourism is being unduly hit by this latest environmental disaster, as oil accounts for 80 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.
Barack Obama ignores these current and historical realities by unleashing banal rhetorical flourishes, such as: ‘BP is responsible, BP will pay.’ (Lawyers will debate that contention for years.)
Obama’s victory was a great historical moment. British goodwill and respect for the significance of Obama’s achievement has been repaid with scorn. Hundreds of British troops have perished and been maimed fighting an American war that Obama has escalated. The sacrifices of his closest and most willing ally were marked by asserting that Argentina has a right to the Falkland Islands. Ironic really - given that the islanders voted overwhelmingly to remain British, and that Obama recently told West Point graduates that ‘America succeeded by steering those currents (of cooperation) in the direction of liberty and justice’.
That’s hypocrisy and hypocrisy is bred of prejudice. Obama dislikes Britain and the British. Dreams From My Father was an exercise in Anglo-phobia: none of the accusations therein have been substantiated yet they colour his diplomacy. His immediate return of the Churchill bust that sat in the Oval Office was a slight but subtle statement of intent. Obama deals with British politicians contemptuously. No matter how absurd, foreign politicians deserve respect on the international stage: having Gordon Brown chase around after him was as callous as it was hilarious. In the case of BP, contempt has become hectoring. Initiating a criminal investigation denotes Obama’s political impotence, vanity and arrogance
I wouldn't mind Obama being so anti-British if he didn't cosy up so shamelessly to Muslim countries. Which side is he on? And if his attitude to Britain is irritating, his attitude to Israel is seriously worrying.
Geert Wilders' Freedom Party picks up 24 seats in Dutch Elections
The BBC noted today the apparent 'victory' by Mark Rutte leader of the conservative Liberal (VVD) party by one seat (31) over rival Labor party (30) headed by former Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen. The real surprise was the 24 seats (2 more than we reported last night) tallied by Geert Wilder's Freedom Party (PVV). The Freedom Party surpassed the seat tallies of the Christian Democarts (CD) led by former PM, Jan Peter Balkenende. The CD lost more than 20 seats for a net of 21 seats in the new Hague Parliament. Balkenende, the caretaker PM, has resigned as party leader. Wilders and the PVV might be asked to join the ruling coaltion government led by Liberal leader, Rutte, and be granted cabinet posts. However, BBC analyst Geraldine Coughlan believes that is unlikely. She notes:
Many would not view the Freedom Party as an acceptable partner in a coalition.
Its leader, Geert Wilders, faces a criminal trial later this year on charges of inciting hatred and discrimination with his anti-Islamic film Fitna.
It is expected that the most likely coalition would be a left-right combination, known as a Purple Coalition - with the Liberals, Labour, and the smaller Green Left and Liberal Democrats.
But coalition talks can take weeks.
Note the comments in the BBC news article about the Freedom Party "spurt" and Wilders.
A Dutch anti-Islam party has more than doubled its seats in parliament in a national vote, though it is unclear if it will take part in a coalition.
Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders said he wanted to be part of government.
The election saw the centre-right Liberal Party (VVD) emerging as the largest party, one seat ahead of the centre-left Labour Party.
The Christian Democrat party of outgoing Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende suffered a big defeat.
Weeks of coalition negotiations are expected to follow the election.
With more than 99% of votes counted, the VVD had 31 of 150 seats, while Labour had 30.
As the party with the most seats, VVD leader Mark Rutte could now become the first prime minister from his political camp since World War I.
The unexpected big winner was the anti-Islam Freedom Party, the PVV, which took its number of seats from nine in the last parliament to 24 - its best-ever finish.
The campaign had been dominated by a debate over the economy, which was thought to have eclipsed immigration as an election issue.
"Nobody in The Hague can bypass the PVV anymore," he said on Thursday, AFP news agency reported. "We want to be part of the new government.
The comments of BBC analyst Ms. Coughlan aside, the significant votes for Wilders and the Freedom Party (PVV) reflect concern among Dutch voters about the cost of supporting Muslim immigration and the Islamization of the Netherlands. Given that the winning Liberal Party (VVD) under Rutte is looking into cutting budgetary expenditures, support for limiting immigration should be high up on the priorties for attention in the new ruling government. Thus, we would hazard a guess that Wilders and the Freedom Party (PVV) may be asked to join a conservative ruling coalition government after negotiations are concluded to form a new government for the Netherlands in mid-July.
I have often thought that Roger Scruton is a cut-price Theodore Dalrymple. He makes some good points, but tries too hard to be clever. Here he is, writing on the very Darymplian theme of human happiness as holy grail:
The belief that humanity makes moral progress depends upon a wilful ignorance of history. It also depends upon a wilful ignorance of oneself – a refusal to recognise the extent to which selfishness and calculation reside in the heart even of our most generous emotions, awaiting their chance. Those who invest their hopes in the moral improvement of humankind are therefore in a precarious position: at any moment the veil of illusion might be swept away, revealing the bare truth of the human condition.
Why "humankind"? It is an ugly word. Unless he too was the victim of a zealous editor, steeped in diversity. And what is a "veil of illusion"? An illusion doesn't need a veil. And what is the "the heart of our ... emotions"? Emotions don't have a heart; they are in one. It doesn't stand up to close scrutony.
A hard right-wing government including the anti-Islam party of populist Geert Wilders emerged as an increasing possibility Thursday, as Dutch voters weighed the inconclusive outcome of a national election.
Well, apparently it is not enough that the party of Geert Wilders is "extreme right" or "far right." The Dutch government itself immediately becomes "hard right" if it forms a coalition with that "far right" party of Geert Wilders.
What makes it far, hard, extreme, very very very right? No one can say. No one knows.
All one knows is that those who voted for the party worry about the large and ever-increasing number of Muslims in the Netherlands, and what it means for the political and legal institions and social understandings and arrangements, and for the physical security of non-Muslims in the Nethelands.
All it means is that the voters for the Freedom Party (and a great many who might have agreed with it, but wanted to make sure to vote in order to give votes to the main conservative party) think that "the large-scale Muslim presence in the Netherlands has created a sitatuion that for both the indigenous non-Muslims and for non-Muslim immigrants that is far more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous than would be the case without such a large-scale Muslim presence."
Do you agree with that statement? Is there anyone in all of Western Europe, other than Muslims, who could truthfully disagree with that statement? That being the case, does that make us all far right, extreme right, hard right?
What do you think?
What does the radio, the television, the press where you live want you to think?
In disturbing video images, a 14-year-old girl is purportedly being flogged. She is alleged to have run away from a forced marriage in a remote village.
Just as disturbing to Dr. Sima Samar, chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission? "The other sad part I have to say was the reaction of the people," she says. "The lack of sensitivity of the people."
The video was given to Samar's Human Rights Commission. She says police promised her they'd prosecute the man, but so far nothing despite the country's laws that ban not just forced marriages but matrimoney for girls under 16.
Many men, Samar says, including some government officials just don't get it.
"They still think that women is the property of the men and they should be treated how they want," she explains.
Samar was Afghanistan's first government Minister for women but was pushed aside for being too outspoken. Little has changed since then.
"It's 8 years," she says. "We have new system in the country and new government in the country; they should have been more pro-active on these issues."
A controversial Islamic conference due to take place on June 20 has been scrapped by the Troxy. The Commercial Road venue was set to host 'The Book that Shook the World' but has changed its position after signing a council pledge.
A spokesman for the Troxy said: "We recently signed up to the council's No Place for Hate campaign and feel that some of the speakers have the potential to clash with the terms of the pledge."
Although none of the speakers due to attend the conference are on the government's banned list, a number of complaints were received.
What the ELA doesn't mention is that one of the most objectionable speakers is Zakir Naik who was allowed into the country by the new Home Secretary (meet the new boss - same as the old boss) and who has form for intimidation.
This is a great victory for the EDL who were planning a rally outside the Troxy next week. The local MP was very anxious to ensure that they don't set foot in her new domain. The East London Advertiser again.
BETHNAL Green and Bow (MP) Rushanara Ali is in talks at the Home Office to discuss the proposed march in the East End by the English Defence League.
The Labour MP was due to meet officials to find out what powers the Home Office has to prevent the march. Earlier today she met Tower Hamlets borough commander Paul Rickett to discuss the situation.
Although there are rumours the march is set to be called off, Ms Ali said she also wanted clarification of Home Office powers which have changed after the G20 protests if extremist groups choose to mount events in the future.
She added: "The EDL want to cause trouble in the community.
They don't want to cause trouble girly, but if trouble is caused by others, like preachers of hate then we will not shy away in terror. Naik and his cohorts are still scheduled to perform at Wembley Arena and the Sheffield Arena the weekend after. They will meet with protests.
The EDL leader has issued a statement in the last 20 minutes stating that the Whitechapel rally will not now take place, but that there will be a protest at Wembley Arena against the 'Peace Conference' scheduled for the 26th June. Those concerned about the sort of people allowed an audience at this prestigious venue are being asked to telephone Wembley management to politely express their disquiet.
Pak Institute for Peace Studies helps us understand the phenomenon of radicalization
The Pak Institute for Peace Studies' report entitled "Radicalization in Pakistan: Understanding the Phenomenon" can be downloaded in .pdf form here. Here are some excerpts:
The participants of the survey were visibly concerned about religion: 77.7 per cent of them thought that Muslims were lagging behind other nations in the world. Most of them (31.2 per cent) claimed this was because they had deviated from Islam. Only 18.1 per cent maintained that it was due to their scientific and technological backwardness.
It is also important to note that a significantly large number of people (46.8 per cent) said that religio-political parties should get a chance to rule the country. This is despite the fact that these parties only showed an impressive electoral performance in October 2002 when many analysts attributed their success to the strong anti-American sentiment in the country.v Interestingly, 63.6 per cent of the respondents believed that Pakistan’s decision to join the US-led war on terror was incorrect.
However, a majority of people participating in the survey (46.3 per cent) was also wary of the Taliban. They categorically denied that the militant group was fighting for Islam. Even a large percentage of those who looked sympathetic to the radical outfit either condemned (37.9 per cent)its acts of violence – such as attacks on CD shops, girls’ schools and cinema etc – or did not know (21.9 per cent) how to react to them.
Yes, a "whopping" 46.3% of Pakistanis are "wary" of the Taliban, leaving the possibility that a majority of Pakistanis are not at all "wary" of the Taliban. And of course, even among those who are "wary" of the Taliban, some of these may be members of other groups such as the Shi'ite minority who may approve of the Taliban's goals and actions, but who distrust that particular organization due to intra-Islamic sectarian conflict.
And 37.9% disapprove of the Taliban's attacks on CD shops, girls' schools, etc., leaving the possibility that a large majority of Pakistanis approve of those attacks. Strangely, those numbers are not given in this carefully-worded study.
Most of the respondents also expressed interesting views on jihad. Very few (2.7 per cent) maintained that Muslims had failed to progress in the world since they had lost their passion to fight against their enemies. Similarly, about 28 per cent people believed that jihad amounted to fighting against cruelty, not to spread Islam in every corner of the world (5 per cent). Many of them (20.4 per cent) were also concerned about internal religious differences. They maintained that these disagreements had led to sectarianism and religious extremism. However, a bigger proportion of people (21.6 per cent) took them casually, claiming that they were preordained and prophesied.
The survey clearly captures growing religiosity among the masses. It is not surprising that 65 per cent of the respondents said that a person who did not pray five times a day could not become a better Muslim. Nearly 59 per cent of them contended that the struggle for the implementation of Shariah was also jihad. But despite their conservatism, about 81 per cent of the survey population also considered female education as “extremely necessary”. Only a small percentage (12.5) thought it was “not very important”. Similarly, 58.7 per cent of the people felt that women should be allowed to work outside their home. However, nearly 40 per cent of them disagreed with the proposition.
81% consider female education as necessary, but I wonder what kind of education they had in mind? Memorizing the Qur'an in Arabic perhaps? Learning how to cook, clean, and put on a burqa?
40% feel that women should not be allowed to work outside the home. Overall, are these views consistent with the people you know? Are we really all the same? Are Pakistanis just like us, differing only in their mode of dress? The PIPS obviously intends for these numbers to be soothing. Do you find them soothing? Look at the questions NOT asked, and the numbers that are NOT given here, and ask yourself why PIPS may have not wanted those questions asked and those answers released in this report. Remember, these are the most reassuring results they could cull from their raw results.
Rep. Mark Kirk will cosponsor Pete King's "America Stands With Israel Act." The Illinois Republican Senate candidate says in a statement:
As a democracy, Israel has a right to defend her borders from Hamas terrorists and their Iranian sponsors. Without Israel’s quarantine of Hamas terrorist weapons, Gaza would become a missile farm and those missiles would be used. We should not allow a heavily armed "Hamasistan" to rise.
The bill (download it here) reaffirms American support for Israel and ends "United States participation in and membership on the United Nations Human Rights Council."