Please Help New English Review
For our donors from the UK:
New English Review
New English Review Facebook Group
Follow New English Review On Twitter
Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky

These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 21, 2009.
Saturday, 21 March 2009
English speaking Sri Lankan postmaster leaves Post Office.

I didn't post this story in the week because I didn't have time. Briefly, from the Horncastle News
A Sri Lankan postmaster in Nottingham has said he refuses to serve his customers unless they speak English.
Deva Kumarasiri, 40, told his customers at Sneinton Boulevard Post Office that it is imperative they speak English otherwise he cannot understand them.
The post office, which is attached to a shop, is in a culturally diverse area of the city, but Mr Kumarasiri believes everyone coming to the UK should be able to speak the native language.
The father-of-two came to Britain from Sri Lanka 18 years ago. He said: "I've always thought I'm a British person. We have a situation now where British culture is going down so I decided it's time somebody had to put it right.
"My feeling is that when you move to a different country you have to respect the flag and the language, but that has gone. I give my country a service and it's necessary for me to learn and understand the language. Ina Norgate, 49, from Sneinton, said: "I agree with him. It's a bit ignorant to come here and not speak the language. If you went to France you would have to learn French."
But Mohammed Ahmed, 22, from Sneinton, disagreed with the postmaster. He said: "This is a multicultural society and this is not right
Mr Kumarasiri got lots of support from all over the country. Then this morning I saw this in The Sun.
ANGRY Muslims last night called for the sacking of a postmaster who banned non-English speaking customers from his store.
But a petition is circulating among local Muslim residents calling for his dismissal from the post office in Nottingham. One man, who did not want to be named, said: “A lot of people think he is wrong.”
the chairman of the local Mosque confirmed that a petition was circulating among Muslim residents calling for Mr Kumarasiri to go.
The controversial ban was a major talking point among many Muslims attending prayers today in an area of Nottingham with a large Urdu-speaking Pakistani community.
Within the last hour the BBC has this.
A postmaster from Nottingham who refused to serve customers who could not speak English has left his job.
He had claimed non-English speakers frustrated other customers and made it difficult to do his job properly.
But managers at the Post Office said the service was for all and they were concerned about the impact on trade.
Mr Kumarasiri had told the BBC he had turned away about six customers who had wasted his time and annoyed other customers by not being able to understand English.
He had said: "I am part of a service but how can I serve them if I don't understand what they are asking for?
"When I came to England I obeyed the British way of life, I got into the British way of life.
"That is what I ask everyone else to do - respect the country where you are working and living."
The Liberal Democrat Party for which he works didn't stand by him either but I gather he plans to stand for the local council as an Independent instead.
He said: "I am looking forward to being an independent. I can express myself if I am thinking a different way."
He added he did not believe his constituents would oppose the move as he felt they had voted for him because they knew him, not because of his political party.

Posted on 03/21/2009 6:04 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 21 March 2009
Four Tiny Sentences

Hugh posted here a most interesting article about liberty and free speech. Do, please, read it before reading the following.

Nothing can be more telling, more revealing of the black heart of Islam, than the lygophiliac interruption of the Interviewer: "What's wrong with having constraints on liberties?"
Let me answer that Interviewer. Let me tell him (or her) what is wrong with his (her) question. The moment liberty is constrained in any way then it ceases to be liberty - it becomes tyranny and absolutism. At that moment of constraint liberty dies. Liberty, freedom, knows no bounds; there is nothing that cannot be questioned and argued against. Faith, science, politics, sexual behaviour, finance and any other field of human activity, are open to free and unfettered discussion and criticism under the meaning and spirit of Liberty. There is no such thing as constrained Liberty. Liberty, freedom, is absolute or it does not exist.
That the Interviewer then went on to compound his error of logic in this way: "You are familiar with the religious considerations in the Arab world. It is unacceptable to use freedom of the press to harm religion. This might be detrimental to society", is a compleately unacceptable derogation from any principles of logical reasoning with which I am familiar.
Well, of course, we are all "familiar with the religious considerations in the Arab world" (and you will all, I am sure, note the use of the word Arab as an easy short-hand for 'Muslim' or 'Islamic' - doesn't that just give the game away!). Then consider the statement, the psuedo-question which the Interviewer inserts into his diatribe: "It is unacceptable to use freedom of the press to harm religion" - well, no it's not. It is axiomatic that a free press cannot harm a truth; if religion, Islam in this case, has some God-given truth then free men (and women) freely expressing opinions cannot harm it.
Then there is that final sentence - a sentence of such overwhelming stupidity as to beggar belief - "This might be detrimental to society". It is a lutulent statement designed to play upon the emotions surrounding ones faith - it is deliberately designed to muddy the waters with an appeal, scarcely hidden, to order and peacefulness in society at all costs and it rejects any questioning of the established order. It is an appeal for maintenance of the status quo no matter what the cost in lives and happiness. Human societies do not work, do not thrive, and do not continue to exist, by fossilising them into one particular way of thinking, one particular set of invariable beliefs. Societies change and develop – those which don’t, die.
The problem, as copiously demonstrated by the Interviewer, is that Islam cannot change, cannot and will not, wilfully and of itself, accept the world in which it finds itself.
Those four little sentences uttered by the Interviewer neatly sum up all which we are fighting against and all, everything, which is wrong and evil about Islam.
"What's wrong with having constraints on liberties?”
Liberty cannot be constrained for there is no such thing as limited liberty.
“You are familiar with the religious considerations in the Arab world.”
We are only too familiar with the Arab supremacism.
“It is unacceptable to use freedom of the press to harm religion.”
No, it’s not! Only wrong belief can be harmed.
“This might be detrimental to society."
Societies change – live with that fact!
Only Islam, alone and singular amongst the world’s religions, sees revelation as compleated and eternal. Strange how often the weird Islamic theology is unique, different from every other theology, isn’t it? We, the loving and caring peoples of the West, are the lysis of the delirative of Islam - and the sooner that we recognise that fact, and act upon it, then the better things will turn out for us.
Our reason is not dead – it is merely duped and sleeping!
Posted on 03/21/2009 7:37 AM by John M. Joyce
Saturday, 21 March 2009
George Galloway banned from Canada on grounds of national security

Plus  I have just learnt a nice new word. New to me that is, the word itself is old and has not been used regularly since the 18th century.
This is actually the Daily Mail because they have the best picture and it wil save me doing extra links
George Galloway has been barred from Canada on national security grounds.
The outspoken MP, who opposes the war in Afghanistan where Canadian troops are deployed, was due to make a speech in Toronto on March 30.
But a spokesman for immigration minister Jason Kenney said Mr Galloway was viewed as a supporter of the radical Palestinian group Hamas, which is banned in Canada.
Mr Galloway was due to give a speech in Toronto on March 30 but has been deemed 'inadmissible' to Canada under section 34(1) of the country's immigration act.
Mr Kenney's spokesman Alykhan Velshi said the act was designed to protect Canadians from people who fund, support or engage in terrorism.
The minister has the right to issue special exemption permits but will not do so in Mr Galloway's case.
Mr Velshi said: 'We're going to uphold the law, not give special treatment to this infandous street-corner Cromwell who actually brags about giving 'financial support' to Hamas, a terrorist organisation banned in Canada. Infandous means "too odious to mention"
'I'm sure Galloway has a large Rolodex of friends in regimes elsewhere in the world willing to roll out the red carpet for him. Canada, however, won't be one of them.'
Mr Galloway, 54, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, is consulting organisers of his north American speaking tour and exploring whether legal action can be taken to overturn the ban.
Mr Galloway said: 'This is a very sad day for the Canada we have known and loved - a bastion of the freedoms that supporters of the occupation of Afghanistan claim to be defending.
This may be a rather desperate election ploy by a conservative government reaching the end of the line, or by a minister who has not cottoned on to the fact that the George Bush era is over.
"All right-thinking Canadians, whether they agree with me over the wisdom of sending troops to Afghanistan or not, will oppose this outrageous decision. 
"On a personal note - for a Scotsman to be barred from Canada is like being told to stay away from the family home.
"This is not something I'm prepared to accept.'
Emma Hartley of The Telegraph who suffers the burden of Galloway as her MP writes on her blog how delighted she is to now have a word to describe him.
Picture below Ghastly Georgie and Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas bonding in a brotherly manner in Gaza last week
This Hamas photo shows the head of the Hamas government Ismail Haniyeh, right, embracing George Galloway during their meeting in Gaza City on March 10 this year





The toxic twins. On the left, Scots born George Galloway, known to some as Gorgeous George, the Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, ex-husband of Yasser Arafat's niece, a recent father with a lady of Lebanese  origin, cat man to Rula Lenska's sexkitten, closet muslim in my opinion and general blackguard and bounder.
On the right is Ismail Haniyeh a Hamas leader and one of the claimants to the post of Prime Minister of the PLA. So far as I know he has never even met Dennis Waterman much less Rula Lenska.

Posted on 03/21/2009 4:56 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 21 March 2009
Islamic religion teacher in Brussels disputes Nazi camp survivor testimony

From the European Jewish Press, h/t Faith Central in The Times 
BRUSSELS (EJP)---An islamic religion teacher disputed the testimony of a Nazi camp survivor who recounted his story to students in a Brussels secondary school, Le Soir daily newspaper reported Tuesday. 
Henri Kichka, 83, from the Union of Jewish deportees in Belgium, had been invited last Friday by the school in Laeken, a Brussels commune, to describe how he survived Buchenwald and his family members were killed in the death camps.  
During the meeting with the 150 students, the school was told by a teacher of Islamic religion that Kichka’s account “was largely exaggerated.”   
“This never happened to me in 25 years,” Kichka, who is regularly invited to meet young people, told Le Soir.  
The school management had decided to film the meeting because, it said,  “witnesses disappear and we want to keep tracks.”
On Monday, the trade unions saw the videotape. “To us, there is no doubt, the teacher quoted negationist ideas from Roger Garaudy,” a French revisionist author and philosopher who converted to Islam and called the Holocaust a “myth”.  Education Minister in the French-speaking Belgian government Christian Dupont said he was "shocked" by the "totally unacceptable" comments by the religion teacher. An enquiry has been opened and a legal complaint lodged, the ministry said in a statement. It is studying a videotape of the event, which could lead to the teachers' dismissal.

Posted on 03/21/2009 6:42 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 21 March 2009
Our Poor Self-Sacrificing Public Servants

People who inhabit high levels of "public service" seem to be able to trade on their names from the moment they leave office. Here is a blurb on Madeleine Albright that was distributed at her lecture at Vanderbilt:

Madeleine K. Albright, is a Principal of The Albright Group LLC, a global strategy firm. She is instrumental in developing relationships and securing agreements between The Albright Group's national and international clients and key stakeholders worldwide. Dr. Albright uses her extensive experience in global affairs and renowned diplomatic skills to help domestic and international business and nongovernmental organizations. These entities foster strategic partnerships, address geopolitical risks, and manage crises. she is also Chair and Principal of Albright Capital Management LLC, and investment advisory firm.

Not sure what that means, let's see if the next paragraph helps.

Founded in 2001, The Albright Group assists clients in building successful strategies to meet their global business objectives, including brokering strategic agreements, identifying and addressing political and regulatory risks, and developing public-private partnerships. Albright Capital Management, which integrates a team of seasoned and accomplished investment professionals with the principals of The Albright Group, focuses on the global emerging markets, including frontier markets. The firm pursues an interdisciplinary, special-situations investment style designed to fully leverage its distinctive profile and global network to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns.

Not really. It could be something about allowing companies to put her name on their boards and and so long as they reimburse The Albright Group for it, and for a premium maybe she'll talk to someone on behalf of said company. Oh, and she'll invest your money for you - gotta have money to make money, they say. Now we find that Richard Holbrooke used his time in the wilderness to advantage as well.

WASHINGTON — Obama administration special envoy Richard Holbooke was on the American International Group Inc. board of directors in early 2008 when the insurance company locked in the bonuses now stoking national outrage. Holbrooke, a veteran diplomat who is now the administration's point man on Pakistan and Afghanistan, served on the board between 2001 and mid-2008.

During that period, AIG undertook the aggressive investment strategies that led to a near-collapse and forced a multibillion-dollar federal bailout...

And he and his family partook of the friends of Angelo plan at Countrywide (h/t: Mickey Kaus):

...Holbrooke’s wife, author Kati Marton, received loans totalling $1.4 million to refinance two properties in 2002. “Look for these,” one Countrywide manager wrote in a September 27, 2002, email, alluding to Marton’s loan applications. “These loans are incredibly important to Angelo and as such they are incredibly important to us.”

The next year, Holbrooke borrowed $1.2 million to refinance a vacation home in Telluride, Colorado. Countrywide waived at least 1.25 points, or $15,000. “Per Angelo, this loan is to be at zero points,” a Countrywide manager wrote in a February 20, 2003, email. Also in 2003, Holbrooke’s son, David, and daughter-in-law Sarah received a half-point discount on a $559,500 loan, or about $2,800, when they refinanced their Brooklyn high-rise co-op, and five-eighths of a point discount on a $428,000 loan, or about $2,600, when they bought the floor above it. Neither Holbrooke nor his wife and son returned messages.

Holbrooke and Johnson are both vice chairmen of the private banking firm Perseus...

Posted on 03/21/2009 8:22 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 21 March 2009
First Abandon Israel, Then We'll Talk

Here is the Iranian reaction to President Obama's well-meaning, but hopelessly misguided effort to "reach out" to the Iranians. BBC:

Speaking to a large crowd in the holy city of Mashhad, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran had "no experience with the new American government and the new American president".

"We will observe them and we will judge," he said.

"If you change your attitude, we will change our attitude."

In the speech, which was carried live by Iranian television, he said Iran was yet to see such a change.

"What is the change in your policy?" he asked.

"Did you remove the sanctions? Did you stop supporting the Zionist regime? Tell us what you have changed. Change only in words is not enough." ...

Posted on 03/21/2009 9:18 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 21 March 2009
England People Very Nice Audience

In the comments to my review of England People Very Nice, a new play that bravely shows how Muslims, alone among immigrants, have proved implacably hostile to this country, reader Dumbledoresarmy asks:

When you went to see it, were there many people in the audience?  i.e. is it getting a decent 'run', with nice full houses, and cash rolling in?  And how did the audience react?  

It's on for about eight weeks, and has been pretty much sold out from what I hear from friends, colleagues and reviewers. The night I went was a full house, laughing uproariously at the jokes, and applauding enthusiastically, but - thank God - with no silly standing ovation. Times journalist Kate Muir liked it, but felt the need to justify her enjoyment by invoking a few multicultural pieties:

There are kippas and bald, thoughtful heads in the audience, an indication that the Hampstead and, indeed, Golders Green liberals are taking the Fiddler-on-the-Roof caricatures on the chin. The Jewish Chronicle gave the “provocative” play a good review. There are also plenty of blacks and Asians here, especially compared with other plays showing at the National. And a French couple. In the week when the Government didn't want it broadcast that one British resident in nine is foreign born, everyone is here to form an opinion. (And it costs as little as £10 to get in on the brawl.)

So it's acceptable to criticise Islam if there are blacks and "Asians" in the audience? Nonsense. If it's a good play, it's still a good play even if the audience is nearly all white, as it was when I went. It's a play, not a Benetton advert, and people should stop apologising for putting talent above skin colour.

Posted on 03/21/2009 9:58 AM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 21 March 2009
More on Minneapolis Somali Mosque in Media Spotlight - lots of Taqiyya

This Minnesota Post article Abubakar As-Saddique Mosque in Minneapolis: draws attention to  the domestic and international Arab Muslim media spotlight thrown on the Abubakar As-Saddique Mosque following the FBI investigations and recent Senate HSGAC hearing disclosures about the 'missing' Somali youths. Frankly it  wreaks of taqiyya. 

Note the sub-text headline: "Abubakar As-Saddique Mosque in Minneapolis: A victim of the politics of war in East Africa?"  I wonder if this Mosque was included in the Mapping Sharia project findings and there is evidence of Sharia compliance extremism. If so, it would be interesting to see its 'rating'. 

What  should you make of the spin in this Minnesota Post piece?  Should you blame the 'disappeared' Somali youths on  Al Shabaab website internet chatter?  Is it a reflection of intense Inter-clan rivalry in Minneapolis?  Or should we blame it on the Ethiopian (read Christian), invasion that allegedly destabilized the failed Somali state giving rise to a new wave of 'humanitarian refugees' in 2007?  Is it the alleged newly found 'nationalist' fervor among emigre Somali Muslims? Or can we attribute it to recruiting by a fundamentalist Imam at the Mosque, Sheik Abdirahman Ahmed, whom the FBI put on a no fly list?  There is a whole lot to swallow here.

Note these excerpts:

U.S. authorities blocked the mosque's imam, Sheik Abdirahman Ahmed, from traveling to Saudi Arabia in November for the spiritual pilgrimage known as the hajj.  Further, the FBI has questioned dozens of people who worship at the mosque, and some have been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury.

But no one from the mosque's administration has been accused or even questioned by the FBI, Hurre said. Indeed, the mosque's leaders sent a letter to the Senate committee complaining that they had not been given a chance to testify and defend themselves.

The FBI would not comment on the details of its ongoing investigation into the missing Somali men. But E.K. Wilson, special agent with the Minneapolis office, did say that the investigation is "not directed against … any particular mosque."

The accusations

Osman Ahmed turned rumor into sworn testimony (PDF) at a U.S. Senate hearing this month when he accused Abubakar's leaders of brainwashing the men and trying to scare their families from talking about their disappearance.

Ahmed's nephew, Burhan Hassan, is one of the missing. The uncle was testifying on behalf of several families before the U. S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.

"We have been painted as bad people within the Somali community by the mosque management. We have been threatened for just speaking out," Ahmed said in prepared testimony.

"They tell parents that if they report their missing kid to the FBI, that FBI will send the parents to Guantanamo Jail," he continued.  "Public threats were issued to us at Abu-Bakar Assidique for simply speaking with CNN and Newsweek."

The response
I read Ahmed's accusations to Omar Hurre, executive director of the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center which includes the mosque.

"Lies...very clear lies," Hurre said.
He insisted leaders at the mosque never have preached radicalism or violence.

"The parents initially came to us when they missed their kids and asked us what was going on," he said. "But we never told any parent that you need to report your son to the government or you do not need to report. We never directed any parent what to do about those missing kids, let alone tell them you will end up in Guantanamo."

Why take such a neutral stance on a matter that urgent? He said that Abubaker has deliberately avoided incendiary Somali politics, especially since 2006 when U.S.-backed Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia and fought Islamic groups for control.
Hurre sat down to talk with me in a wedding hall that was lavishly draped in white tulle and decorated with ornate sofas and chandeliers.

The mosque paid $1.7 million cash for the building and spent $500,000 setting up the wedding hall, prayer rooms and other renovations, he said. Now it has an $800,000 school under construction. With a staff of seven counting him, he said, it relies on "tons of volunteers."

Hurre laughed at claims that the mosque sends money to Al-Shabaab.

"This money is collected from the community here, and it serves the community here," he said. "It doesn't go anywhere else."

Omar Jamal, a leading critic of Abubakar, doesn't believe that.

"They were basically doing fundraising for Islamists in Somalia," said Jamal, who heads the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in St. Paul.

Then there's Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) who blames it on inter-clan rivalry and former Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN)  on the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia allegedly creating a flood of new Somali humanitarian refugees:

Politics and clan
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said he is surprised the mosque has been targeted: "I've met with the leadership there. They talked a message of inclusion, a message of peace, a message of community uplift ... how they want a better way for the young people in the community."

Ellison said he suspects some of the accusations are "informed by inter-clan rivalry."

Abdisalam Adam agrees.

"I see politics and clan playing a role in this," said Adam, who directs Dar Al-Hijrah, another Minneapolis mosque and community center. "We as a community could have done a lot better to handle this conflict. It is not at all fair to put the Abubakar mosque under this kind of blame."

As a reporter occasionally covering Somalis, I've seen the fiery politics, too.

You didn't have to go to a mosque to hear the uproar in the Twin Cities after Ethiopian troops marched into Somalia in 2006.  I heard it in street rallies and in picket lines outside the office of then-senator Norm Coleman.

Coleman apparently heard it too. In April, 2007, he sent a letter to the State Department expressing concern over violence in Mogadishu that had driven more than 100,000 people from their homes to live "under trees with no food, water, or sanitary facilities."

As I said, this Minnesota Post  article is only too PC and doesn't do enough to investigate the questionable nature of this largest Mosque in the Minneapolis Somali emigre community.

Posted on 03/21/2009 10:23 AM by Jerry Gordon
Saturday, 21 March 2009
Are the New York Times and the Washington Post Shills for Peace Now?

The New York Times had a  brace of articles by Ethan Bronner reporting from Jerusalem in Friday and Saturday’s editions on the ‘furor’ caused by IDF soldiers' reports alleging actions against Gaza civilians during the recent Operation Cast Lead.  Read here and here.  The titles of the two pieces ,”Soldiers’ Accounts of Gaza Killings Raise Furor in Israel” and “More Allegations Surface in Israeli Accounts of Gaza War”, give rise to the impression that IDF soldiers violated traditional IDF military doctrine of ‘purity of arms’ and savagely targeted unarmed Gazan civilians. 

The IDF military doctrine of purity of arms (Tohar HaNeshek in Hebrew) is clear:

The soldier shall make use of his weaponry and power only for the fulfillment of the mission and solely to the extent required; he will maintain his humanity even in combat. The soldier shall not employ his weaponry and power in order to harm non-combatants or prisoners of war, and shall do all he can to avoid harming their lives, body, honor and property.

This current furor was created by the alleged soldiers’ accounts compiled in February by an notorious Israel reserve refusenik and Chomsky acolyte, Dani Zamir. Zamir teaches at Yitzhak Rabin pre-military preparatory course at Oranim Academic College in Kiryat Tivon. There is more afoot according to an
analysis published in the Jerusalem Post  by Herb Keinon, yesterday, entitled, “The crucial morality of the IDF's cause.” 

As an Israeli friend and Zionist who lives in Europe observed:
 I have read all the articles and watched TV stations, both from Israel and in France. This is a Peace Now-Amnesty Leftist ideology being used to hit at Israel. What they want is to condemn Israel all around the world.
Note these excerpts from the Bronner articles:

Now testimony is emerging from within the ranks of soldiers and officers alleging a permissive attitude toward the killing of civilians and reckless destruction of property that is sure to inflame the domestic and international debate about the army’s conduct in Gaza. On Thursday, the military’s chief advocate general ordered an investigation into a soldier’s account of a sniper killing a woman and her two children who walked too close to a designated no-go area by mistake, and another account of a sharpshooter who killed an elderly woman who came within 100 yards of a commandeered house.
When asked why that elderly woman was killed, a squad commander was quoted as saying: “What’s great about Gaza — you see a person on a path, he doesn’t have to be armed, you can simply shoot him. In our case it was an old woman on whom I did not see any weapon when I looked. The order was to take down the person, this woman, the minute you see her. There are always warnings, there is always the saying, ‘Maybe he’s a terrorist.’ What I felt was, there was a lot of thirst for blood.”

An Israeli newspaper gave a fuller account on Friday of testimonies by soldiers alleging loose rules of engagement in Israel’s war in Gaza, which they said led to civilian deaths and wanton property destruction. One soldier asserted that extremist rabbis had told troops they were fighting a holy war.

The soldier was quoted as saying that the rabbis had “brought in a lot of booklets and articles,” adding, “their message was very clear: We are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle. God brought us back to this land, and now we need to fight to expel the non-Jews who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land.”

He said that as a commander, he had tried to explain to his men that “not everyone who is in Gaza is Hamas,” and that “this war was not a war for the sanctification of the holy name, but rather one to stop the Qassam rockets.”

The Washington Post piled on these allegations with a piece in today’s edition  entitled,  Israeli Soldier Says Military Rabbis Framed Gaza Mission as Religious” containing accusations from an interview with an elite Givati Brigade non com that military rabbis urged on ‘ethnic cleansing’.  Note the allegations drawn from a Maariv article:

A soldier involved in Israel's recent military offensive in the Gaza Strip said in published reports Friday that the military's rabbinical staff distributed material characterizing the operation as a religious mission to "get rid of the gentiles who disturb us from conquering the holy land."

In the second day of published accounts from soldiers critical of the conduct of the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza, the daily Maariv ran excerpts of an interview with a squad commander in Israel's Givati Brigade. He was identified only by his first name, given as Rahm.

The daily quoted him as saying that the Gaza operation from the beginning had "the feeling of almost a religious mission."

While military rabbis provided routine services -- such as distributing books of psalms and leading prayers at the start of the operation -- some religious materials veered in a political direction, he said.

"The military rabbinate brought many magazines and articles with a very clear message: 'We are the Jewish people, a miracle brought us to the land of Israel, God returned us to the land, and now we have to struggle so as to get rid of the gentiles who disturb us from conquering the holy land.' All the feeling throughout all this operation of many of the soldiers was of a war of religions," he said. "As a commander, I tried to explain that the war is not a war of Kiddush Hashem [the sanctification of God's name, including through martyrdom] but over the stopping of the launching of the Qassam rockets." 

Now let’s see what Keinon of the Jerusalem Post uncovered about the author of this heedless anti-IDF kerfuffle abetted by the New York Times and the Washington Post, the left wing Israel reservist refusenik, Dani Zamir:

The second piece of context is Dani Zamir, the head of the program, who had the soldiers‚ words transcribed and published.  A story in Haaretz on Thursday said that in 1990 Zamir, then a parachute company commander in the reserves, was tried and sentenced to prison for refusing to guard a ceremony where "right-wingers" brought Torah scrolls to Joseph's tomb in Nablus.

Zamir, in an interview on Israel Radio on Thursday, said that the soldiers from Operation Cast Lead who spoke at the meeting reflected an atmosphere inside the army of "contempt for, and forcefulness against, the Palestinians."

Zamir himself appears in a 2004 book titled Refusnik, Israel's Soldiers of Conscience, compiled and edited by Peretz Kidron, with a forward by Susan Sontag. The book, which earned commendation from no less a personage than Noam Chomsky, includes a section by Zamir, described as "an officer in the reserves from Kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar who was sentenced to 28 days for refusal to serve in Nablus and now heads the Kibbutz Movement's preparatory seminary for youngsters ahead of their induction in the army."

"With stupid resolve and the smugness of the all-knowing, primitive preachers and unbridled nationalists are leading and misleading us to calamity, while Pompeii is preoccupied with watching boxing matches and with banquets in advance of the disaster," he wrote.

“I see a volcano in the land where one-third of the inhabitants are banned, by dint of their national and ethnic origins and geographical location, from voting as equals, where they don't have basic civic rights and where thousands are detained under administrative decree - under a military justice system that is farcical.“

"A land, a third of whose inhabitants have been subjected to extended military occupation for over 20 years - which means restrictions of rights and a different code of law for Jewish and Arab residents in the selfsame land - is not a democratic country. “

"Accordingly, collaboration with a regime or government that forces or orders me to be part of an anti-democratic apparatus that leads to self-destruction, disintegration and national decay, along with the utter denial of its own foundations, is illegitimate, unjust and immoral, and will remain so as long as the state does not take one of only two feasible actions: annexation of all or most of the territories conquered in 1967 and granting full civil rights to those residing there; or withdrawal from densely populated areas and a settlement that will release us of responsibility for the residents of those areas, who will chose for themselves whatever regime they desire (of course with security arrangements included)."

That was what Zamir wrote in 1990, reprinted in 2004. The testimonies of the soldiers that he brought to the public's attention seem to corroborate - what a coincidence - his thesis.

Now let’s return to one of the authors of this ‘furor’, Ethan Bronner of the New York Times. I received an email from a friend in Connecticut who penciled in some interesting background about Bronner:

Ethan Bronner is from Hartford. His father is a prominent semi-retired professor at UConn Health Center and his Uncle was a well known Israeli labor party big wig with name change from Bronner to something close in Hebrew,  Baram. Believe me, Ethan was brought up a Zionist and good Jewish background. 

What I draw from these remarks is that Timesman Bronner is a leftwing “Zionist” who doesn’t stint from  filing reports from Jerusalem that appear to follow the extreme Peace Now propaganda.  In effect he demonizes both Israel and the brave soldiers of the IDF with questionable reports from a Chomskyite acolyte, Mr. Zamir.  If that is the case then Bronner has truly lost his moral compass.

Posted on 03/21/2009 10:59 AM by Jerry Gordon
Saturday, 21 March 2009
A Musical Interlude: O Donna Clara! (Leo Monosson)
Posted on 03/21/2009 9:48 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Most Recent Posts at The Iconoclast
Search The Iconoclast
Enter text, Go to search:
The Iconoclast Posts by Author
The Iconoclast Archives
sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31     

Via: email  RSS