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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 Thursday, 21, 2009.
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Read NER, save a life

Regular readers of New English Review would have known exactly what to do in this situation.  From AP:

 MELBOURNE, Australia – A doctor in rural Australia used a handyman's power drill to bore a hole into the skull of a boy with a severe head injury, saving his life.

Nicholas Rossi fell off his bike on Friday in the small Victoria state city of Maryborough, hitting his head on the pavement, his father, Michael, said Wednesday. By the time Rossi got to the hospital, he was slipping in and out of consciousness.

The doctor on duty, Rob Carson, quickly recognized the boy was experiencing potentially fatal bleeding on the brain and knew he had only minutes to make a hole in the boy's skull to relieve the pressure.

But the small hospital was not equipped with neurological drills — so Carson sent for a household drill from the maintenance room...
 

Posted on 05/21/2009 12:33 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Thursday, 21 May 2009
No, you're the terrorist

A darkly humorous story from the Gulf Times:

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the US yesterday of promoting terrorism in border areas and using arms and money against the Islamic state.

Khamenei’s verbal attack is likely to disappoint US President Barack Obama’s administration, which is seeking rapprochement with Iran after three decades of mistrust. The Pentagon said his comments were “terribly ironic” because Tehran was undermining stability in neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan.

[...]

Washington and its Western allies suspect Iran’s nuclear programme is aimed at making bombs, a charge Tehran denies. But in a break with his predecessor George W Bush’s approach, Obama has offered direct talks with Tehran to resolve the dispute.

Iran says Washington must show a real policy shift towards it. The country has seen its regional influence grow since the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussain in Iraq, sparking unease among Arab powers.

That unease could be such a powerful weapon in the hands of an intelligent, skilled, and ruthless leader.  But we seem to be plumb out of that kind of leader at the moment, so that unease is something to be feared, something that must be allayed.  We need to help the Sunnis and Shia to "just get over it".

In other comments underscoring deep suspicion of the US, Khamenei last month blamed US forces for two bombings that killed dozens of Iranian pilgrims in Iraq.

Ali Ansari of the University of St Andrews in Scotland said he believed Khamenei was trying to “rein in” moderate candidates in Iran’s June 12 presidential election who are advocating constructive talks and better ties with the West.

He said Khamenei was “ideologically disinclined” to relations with Washington but was not closing the door to a possible opening.

Whew!  What a relief.  Peace in our time!

Posted on 05/21/2009 1:24 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Men arrested over plot to blow up New York synagogue

From The Times
Four men have been arrested in a suspected plot to bomb a synagogue and Jewish community centre in New York City and to shoot at military planes with stinger missiles.
The suspects were charged with plotting to detonate explosives near a synagogue in the Riverdale section of New York's Bronx borough, according to a joint statement released by the acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York, the FBI and the New York Police Department.
The men were also charged with plotting to shoot military planes located at New York's Air National Guard base at Stewart airport in Newburgh, New York, with stinger surface-to-air guided missiles, the statement said. Newburgh is about 60 miles north of New York City.
"The defendants wanted to engage in terrorist attacks. They selected targets and sought the weapons necessary to carry out their plans," Lev Dassin, acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said.
The four men, identified as James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen, were arrested after buying an inactive missile and inert explosives in a sting operation run by the FBI and other agencies.
New York Governor David Paterson said three of the men are US citizens and one is of Haitian descent.  Representative Peter King, a New York Republican, said the suspects planned to undertake their attack on Wednesday using a car bomb outside the synagogue.
"Tonight was the night the attacks were being carried out," Mr King told CNN. He said the four men were all Muslim, one born Muslim of Afghan descent and three who converted in prison. During one trip in November to Philadelphia to attend a Muslim Alliance of North America meeting, the complaint says Cromitie said, "The best target (the World Trade Centre) was hit already" and "I would like to get (destroy) a synagogue."
On April 28, Onta Williams told the informant the US military "are killing Muslim brothers and sisters in Muslim countries so, if we kill them here ... it is equal." And David Williams said if Jewish people were killed in the attack, "it does not matter,"

Posted on 05/21/2009 1:43 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Sham colleges open doors to Pakistani terror suspects

From The Times
Thousands of young Pakistanis exploited a hole in Britain’s immigration defences to enrol as students at a network of sham colleges, The Times can reveal.
The gateway, opened by fraudsters who have earned millions from the scam, has allowed in hundreds of men from a region of Pakistan that is the militant heartland of al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taleban.
Eight of the terror suspects arrested last month in Manchester and Liverpool were on the books of one college.It had three small classrooms and three teachers for the 1,797 students on its books. Another college claimed to have 150 students but secretly enrolled 1,178 and offered places to a further 1,575 overseas applicants, 906 of them in Pakistan. one wealthy associate, Mir Ahmad, linked to two murders in Pakistan, was arrested yesterday after The Times gave the Home Office a dossier implicating two of the colleges.
The Times has uncovered close ties between 11 colleges in London, Manchester and Bradford, all formed in the past five years and controlled by three young Pakistani businessmen. All but two of the ten students arrested last month over an alleged al-Qaeda bomb plot were enrolled over an 11-month period at Manchester College of Professional Studies. Two Liverpool universities admitted last night that they had given places to four of them, who had used a diploma from the college when they applied.
Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, said last night: “The information provided by The Times has been passed on to the UK Border Agency, which is investigating.”
And
In the rush hour
, cars crawl south from the centre of Manchester along Stockport Road past line after cramped line of Asian retail outlets, some less grubby than others. Among the fast-food shops, Haj travel agents, halal butchers, curry houses and money-exchange outlets is a former pub, reborn in 2006 as Manchester College of Professional Studies.
Here, two young men from a town in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan — in Britain on student visas — started a scam that would earn them a small fortune.
The Times has evidence that in 15 months from October 2006 they enrolled 1,143 foreign students, most Pakistanis, and sold bogus college qualifications to enable another 654 to extend their stay in the UK.
With each student making average payments to the college totalling at least £1,000 — in many cases it was far more — those running the operation are thought to have banked almost £2 million in less than two years.
Most students, however, had no intention of entering a classroom. They were in the UK to earn as much as possible for as long as possible.
The college’s huge intake soon gained such notoriety within Manchester’s Pakistani community that it became known as Pathan College, a reference to the language of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.
If the Home Office is to believed, it was also not long before word of the magic carpet to Britain reached the exporters of worldwide Islamic jihad. The Times has established that eight of the ten Pakistani students — most from NWFP — arrested in Manchester and Liverpool last month over their alleged links to an al-Qaeda network were, on paper, students at Manchester College of Professional Studies.
Aged from 22 to 38, they were enrolled over an 11-month period from November 2006. College records suggest they were studying — with impeccable attendance — for diplomas and degrees. For the vast majority of students, the documents were a charade. The college was a front that provided cover for students to do whatever they wanted in Britain.
Most came from Pakistan, but hundreds were also admitted from Nigeria and other countries in Africa, South Asia and the Far East.
Manchester College of Professional Studies was also affiliated with Blackpool University, again based in Dublin, established “under the order of the King of Belgium” and licensed by the Accreditation Council of Higher Education (ACHE). All of which might sound impressive until one learns that ACHE is based in Wallis and Futuna, an island group in the South Pacific.
Finally, the college also posed as a study centre for the University of Newcastle, which is really the online University of New Castle, incorporated “in the sate (sic) of Delaware” and, like Blackpool University, accredited by a group of South Pacific islands. Facilitating the commission of a breach of immigration law by a non-EU citizen is, under the Immigration Act 1971, an offence that carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.
The Times handed its evidence yesterday to the UK Border Agency.

Posted on 05/21/2009 1:49 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Pseudsday Thursday

Dr Laura Briggs, Associate Professor of Women's Studies, is quoted by Robert Spencer as questioning whether Muslim women are oppressed:

What if community, as much as or more than the notions of individual rights, is a route to living meaningfully? Perhaps we ought to rethink the idea that women’s agency and personhood spring from resistance to subjection, and attend to the ways that in conservative religious communities, the cultivation of virtue and of closeness to God, of certain emotions and of forms of embodiment, are challenging but hardly one-dimensional ways of producing the self.

Those culturally variable meanings of personhood again. The personhood of a Muslim woman varies so much that she doesn't mind being meaningfully and challenginglly beaten and raped. A Western women, on the other hand, has a static, one-dimensional personhood, that makes her go meaninglessly to the police and get the bastard locked up.

Robert Spencer has been unjustly accused of hating Muslims. But who cares more about Muslim women: Spencer, who challenges the tenets of Islam that cause them so much suffering, or Dr Briggs, who is happy to leave them to their fate?

Posted on 05/21/2009 6:19 AM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Dutch Supreme Court rules that Wilders can be prosecuted: Major ‘Lawfare’ assault on Free Speech

As reported by DutchNews.com, the Dutch Supreme Court has ruled that Geert Wilders can be prosecuted. Wilders and Dutch counsel had sought to dismiss the criminal prosecution matter. This Dutch Supreme Court decision overturns the public prosecutor’s office opinion and supports the Amsterdam Appeals court decision brought by a cabal of leftists and Muslim advocates.

This trial could become the equivalent of the Dreyfus trial of the 21st Century.  However doughty Wilders has said that he and worthy counsel are eager to present evidence in this politically contrived courtroom drama. He's quoted in this article as saying:
‘I am being prosecuted for something millions of Dutch people are thinking... Freedom of speech is being sacrificed on the altar of Islam. But I am ready to fight back with my head held high’

Note the comment to this Dutch News.com  article written by a supporter of criminal prosecution of Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
He needs to be prosecuted and found guilty so that he will under the constitution be banned from political office and thus out of the picture.

His presence tarnishes the image of Dutch morality and basic human dignity.

This is not to do with freedom of speech but the battle against those in public office that abuse that right by creating hatred against one group for political purposes.

He will almost certainly be found guilty as he has clearly stated that the Qur'an is evil and that Islam is attempting to conquer the world and out to kill non-Muslims. That is a confession of bigoted hatred and his ridiculous line that he has nothing against Muslims and just the Qur'an is like saying that he has nothing against Christians but just the Bible.

Ominous.

In sharp contrast note this comment from the
blog RightSideNews that correctly points out the dangers of this officially sanctioned "Lawfare' in Holland with the Wilders prosecution and by Muslim Brotherhood fronts here in America, the subject of a Washington, DC conference this week.
The case against Geert Wilders must serve as a wakeup call to the international community of the lengths and means which this devious and cancerous theological disease calling itself the "Religion of Peace" will go to suppress the truth of their 'purpose'....

....as attesting to the following event that is occurring right now, right here at home in America!

~"There are those members of the radical Muslim community who wish to silence their opponents via legal means. The goal is to instill fear and to create an undue fiscal burden on those who speak out against them, so that the truth about their dangerous agendas will never reach the public."

However, take a look at the straw poll for this DutchNews article and note the overwhelming concerns that this trial is a thinly contrived assault on free speech. 
Should Wilders be prosecuted?
No, this is political correctness gone mad 50.8%
No, freedom of speech is paramount 33.9%
Yes, let the courts decide if he is inciting racial hatred 8.6%
Yes, Wilders has gone too far 6.1%
Don't know 0.7%

Total votes: 1400
 


 What is the timeless statement of revered US Supreme Court Justice Brandeis: 
"Sunlight is the best disinfectant." 

If Wilders and the PVV Freedom Party win a significant number of seats in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections in early June, then his fellow Dutch may have opined on his views about Islam, the threat of Sharia and troublesome Dutch immigration and ‘absorption’ policies, especially with regard to the burgeoning Muslim minority.  Unfortunately, this was totally lost on the Dutch Supreme Court. Notwithstanding this, Wilders and counsel should present a withering defense whatever the outcome of this contrived criminal prosecution. If vindicated, then Wilders could possibly be vaulted to the coveted possible PM position in the ruling coalition that emerges from the next Hague Parliamentary elections. Let the drama enfold.
Posted on 05/21/2009 6:26 AM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Gurkhas win right to settle in UK

For once this Government does something right. From the BBC:

All Gurkha veterans who retired before 1997 with at least four years' service will be allowed to settle in the UK, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has said.

Ms Smith told MPs she was "proud to offer this country's welcome to all who have served in the brigade of Gurkhas".

It comes after a high-profile campaign by Joanna Lumley and other supporters of Gurkha rights - and an embarrassing Commons defeat for the Government.

Some 36,000 Gurkhas who left before 1997 had been denied UK residency.

Actress Joanna Lumley, who has campaigned on behalf of the Gurkhas, said: "This is the welcome we have always longed to give."

She called Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who she had met earlier, a "brave man who has made today a brave decision on behalf of the bravest of the brave".

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said the U-turn by the government was a "great victory for a well-run campaign, that has publicly embarrassed ministers".

Posted on 05/21/2009 6:46 AM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Boris cleared of 'buffoonery'

From the London Evening Standard:


Cleared: the Mayor said 'bollocks' to MPs

Boris Johnson will today be cleared of “buffoonery” by the City Hall standards committee after saying “bollocks” to a panel of MPs. 

The Mayor was accused of bringing his office into disrepute after walking out of the meeting on 2 April when MPs said he had failed in his duty to keep transport running after the heaviest London snowfall in 20 years. He shouted “nonsense, bollocks, nonsense” and insisted the “lasagne of grit and snow” on 2 February meant all buses had to be cancelled. City Hall investigated after a member of the public complained that his behaviour was abusive.

Ms S, from Lincolnshire, said the Mayor failed to answer any of the questions put to him properly. She said: “Mr Johnson treated the committee to a barrage of buffoonery, clearly said 'bollocks' at one point and later walked out.

“He showed a total disregard for one of the fundamental procedures of Government ... and showing a complete ignorance of a subject with which he should have been clearly conversant.”

Perhaps he asked for the lesser offence of tomfoolery to be taken into consideration.

Posted on 05/21/2009 8:11 AM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 21 May 2009
New York Police Commissioner Uses The J-Word

Jihad makes the headline here and here (thanks to Jeffrey Imm).

Progress.

Posted on 05/21/2009 8:32 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Muslim mother who sent her school age daughters to Pakistan to marry their cousins is jailed for 3 years

From The Daily Mail
A Muslim mother who forced her two daughters to marry their cousins in Pakistan has been jailed for three years and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register.
She told her elder daughter that if she didn't have sex with her new husband, she would tie her to the bed, blindfold and strip her, a court heard.
The woman, from south Manchester, also said she would be there to make sure the marriage was consummated. She cannot be named to protect the teenage victims.
She was convicted of inciting or causing a child to engage in sexual activity; two charges of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence; and two of intending to pervert the course of justice. She had denied all charges.
Judge Clement Goldstone QC ordered that she sign the Sex Offenders' Register for life and told her:
'Forced marriage is cruel - it deprives children, your children, of their basic human rights. It must, and will, be distinguished by the courts from arranged marriage . . .Everyone is entitled to his or her beliefs... but those who choose to live in this country and who - like you - are British subjects, must not abandon our laws in pursuit of those beliefs and that culture. They will, if they breach the law, be punished in accordance with it".
Judge Goldstone added: 'The forcing of a child into marriage, against his or her will, will not be tolerated. Where a forced marriage leading to consummation is accompanied by threats of violence and is tantamount to cruelty, the punishment will be more severe.'
The mother took her daughters to Pakistan in 2007 for a family wedding, the court heard. But within a month, both were engaged to their first cousins. Both victims returned to Britain by September 2007. They later told their teachers, who called police. 
I believe that the girls were aged 14 and 15.

Posted on 05/21/2009 11:41 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 21 May 2009
The New Yorker for the Teabagger Set

That is New English Review as described by Jack Silverman aka "Mr. Silverdouche" who blogs at the Nashville Scene (Nashville's Village Voice) under the equally appealing blog title "Pith in the Wind."

Posted on 05/21/2009 2:15 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 21 May 2009
No discernible mission statement?

According to Jack Silverman, New English Review has "no discernible mission statement". This doesn't mean there is no mission statement; it just isn't discernible - low profile even. Instead of thinking outside the box, we think in it, giving not 110 per cent, but a mere 90%, getting it right not first time, but second or third time. Going forward is soon followed by going backwards, to a time when "deliver" referred to letters, twice a day in England not so long ago, or milk in glass bottles. Our ducks are not in a row, and we all sing from different hymn sheets.

Correction: Hugh is singing from the same hymn sheet, even if nobody else is.

Posted on 05/21/2009 3:10 PM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Teabagger

Not to be confused with carpetbagger, though both can burn. I have seen Sex and the City, and so am aware that Jack Silverman's word has, and I quote from Urban Dictionary, "multiple meanings".

I'm not sure which is intended, but either way, here's a wise counsel from Great Anna, who could give as well as take: warm the pot first, and don't talk with your mouth full.

Posted on 05/21/2009 5:48 PM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 21 May 2009
A Musical Interlude: What Are You Thinking About, Baby? (Gene Kardos Orch.)

Listen here.

Posted on 05/21/2009 7:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Elena Bonner At the Oslo Freedom Forum: Andrey Sakharov On Israel

This is the speech that Elena Bonner delivered at the Oslo Freedom Forum:

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

In his invitation to this conference, the president of the forum, Thor Halvorssen, asked me to talk about my life, the suffering I have endured, and how I was able to bear it all. But today all that seems to me quite unnecessary.

 

So I will say only a few words about myself. 

At the age of 14, I was left without my parents. My father was executed, my mother spent 18 years in prison and exile. My grandmother raised me and my younger brother. The poet Vladimir Kornilov, who suffered the same fate, wrote: “And it felt that in those years we had no mothers. We had grandmothers.” There were hundreds of thousands of such children. Ilya Ehrenburg called us “the strange orphans of 1937”.

Then came the war. My generation was cut off nearly at the roots by the war, but I was lucky. I came back from the war. I came back to an empty house. My grandmother had died of starvation in the siege of Leningrad. Then came a communal apartment, six half-hungry years of medical school, falling in love, two children, and the poverty of a Soviet doctor. But I was not alone in this. Everyone lived this way.

Then there was my dissident period followed by exile. But Andrei and I were together! And that was true happiness.

Today, summing up my life (at age 86, I try to sum up my life every day I am still alive), I can do so in three words. My life was typical, tragic, and beautiful. Whoever needs the details — read my two books, Alone Together and Mothers and Daughters. They have been translated into many languages. Read Sakharov’s Memoirs. It’s a pity his Diaries haven’t been translated; they were published in Russia in 2006. Apparently, the West isn’t interested in Sakharov right now.

The West isn’t very interested in Russia either, a country that no longer has real elections, independent courts, or freedom of the press. Russia is a country where journalists, human rights activists, and migrants are killed regularly, almost daily. And extreme corruption flourishes of a kind and extent that never existed earlier in Russia or anywhere else. So what do the Western mass media discuss mainly? Gas and oil — of which Russia has a lot. Energy is its only political trump card, and Russia uses it as an instrument of pressure and blackmail. And there’s another topic that never disappears from the newspapers — who rules Russia? Putin or Medvedev? But what difference does it make, if Russia has completely lost the impulse for democratic development that we thought we saw in the early 1990s? Russia will remain the way it is now for decades, unless there is some violent upheaval.

During the years since the fall of the Berlin wall, the world has experienced incredible changes in an exceptionally short period. But has the world become better, or more prosperous for the six billion eight hundred million people who live on our small planet? No one can answer that question unambiguously, despite all the achievements of science and technology and that process which we customarily call “progress”.  It seems to me that the world has become more alarming, more unpredictable, and more fragile. This alarm, unpredictability, and fragility are felt to some extent by all countries and all individuals. And civic and political life becomes more and more virtual, like a picture on a computer screen.

Even so, the picture of life, formed by television, newspaper, or radio remains the same — there is no end to the conferences, summits, forums, and competitions from beauty contests to sandwich eating ones. They say people are coming together — but in reality, they are growing apart.

And that isn’t because an economic depression suddenly burst forth, and swine flu to boot. This began on September 11, 2001. At first, anger and horror was provoked by the terrorists who knocked down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and by their accomplices in London, Madrid and other cities, and by the shaheeds, suicide bombers who blew themselves up at public spaces like discotheques and wedding parties whose families were rewarded $25,000 each by Saddam Hussein. Later, Bush was blamed for everything, and as always, the Jews — that is, Israel. An example was the first Durban Conference, and the growth of anti-Semitism in Europe, noted several years ago in a speech by Romano Prodi. Then there was Durban-2; the main speaker was Ahmadinejad proposing to annihilate Israel.

So it is about Israel and the Jews that I will speak. And not only because I am Jewish, but above all because the Middle Eastern conflict since the end of World War II has been a platform for political games and gambling by the great powers, the Arab countries and individual politicians, striving, through the so-called “peace process,” to make a name for themselves, and perhaps win a Nobel Peace Prize. At one time, the Nobel Peace Prize was the highest moral award of our civilization. But after December 1994, when Yasir Arafat became one of the three new laureates, its ethical value was undermined. I haven’t always greeted each selection of the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Storting with joy, but that one shocked me. And to this day, I cannot understand and accept the fact that Andrei Sakharov and Yasir Arafat, now posthumously, share membership in the club of Nobel laureates.

In many of Sakharov’s publications (in his books Progress, Coexistence and Intellectual Freedom and My Country and the World, in his articles, and in his interviews), Andrei Dmitrievich wrote and spoke about Israel. I have a collection of citations of his writing on this topic. If it were published in Norway, then many Norwegians would be surprised at how sharply their contemporary view of Israel differs from the view of Sakharov.

Here are several citations from Sakharov:

“Israel has an indisputable right to exist.” “Israel has a right to existence within safe borders.” “All the wars that Israel has waged have been just, forced upon it by the irresponsibility of Arab leaders.” “With all the money that has been invested in the problem of Palestinians, it would have been possible long ago to resettle them and provide them with good lives in Arab countries.”

Throughout the years of Israel’s existence there has been war. Victorious wars, and also wars which Israel was not allowed to win. Each and every day — literally every day — there is the expectation of a terrorist act or a new war. We have seen the Oslo Peace Initiatives and the Camp-David Hand-shake and the Road-map and Land for Peace (there is not much land — from one side of Israel on a clear day you can see the other side with the naked eye).

Now, there is a new (actually, quite old) motif currently in fashion (in fact it’s an old one):  “Two states for two peoples.”  It sounds good. And there is no controversy in the peace-making Quartet, made up of the U.S., the UN, the EU, and Russia (some great peace-maker, with its Chechen war and its Abkhazian-Ossetian provocation). The Quartet, and the Arab countries, and the Palestinian leaders (both Hamas and Fattah) put additional demands to Israel. I will speak only of one demand: that Israel take back the Palestinian refugees. And here a little history and demography are needed.

According to the official UN definition, those who have fled from violence and wars are considered refugees — but not their descendants who are born in another country. At one time the Palestinian refugees and the Jewish refugees from Arab countries were about equal in number — about 700,000 to 800,000. The newly-created state of Israel took in the Jews (about 600,000). They were officially recognized as refugees by UN Resolution 242, but not provided with any UN assistance. Palestinians, however, are considered refugees not only in the first generation, but in the second, third, and now even in the fourth generation. According to the UN Works and Relief Agency’s report, the number of registered Palestinian refugees has grown from 914,000 in 1950 to more than 4.6 million in 2008, and continues to rise due to natural population growth. All these people have the rights of Palestinian refugees and are eligible to receive humanitarian aid.

The entire population of Israel is about 7.5 million, among them about 2.5 million ethnic Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. Imagine Israel then, if another five million Arabs flood into it; Arabs would substantially outnumber the Jewish population. Thus created next to Israel will be a Palestinian state cleansed of Jews, because in addition to the demand that Palestinian refugees return to Israel, there is also the demand that Judea and Samaria be cleansed of Jews and turned over to Palestinians – while in Gaza today there is not a single Jew remaining.

The result is both strange and frigthening, and not because Israel will be actually destroyed – it’s a different time and different Jews.  It is terrifying to see the short memory of the august peace-making Quartet, their leaders and their citizens if they let this happen. Because the plan “two states for two peoples” is the creation of one state, ethnically cleansed of Jews, and a second one with the potential to do the same thing. A Judenfrei Holy Land - the dream of Adolph Hitler come true at last. So think again, those who are still able, who has a fascist inside him today?

And another question that has been a thorn for me for a long time. It’s a question for my human rights colleagues. Why doesn’t the fate of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit trouble you in the same way as the fate of the Guantanamo prisoners?

You fought for and won the opportunity for the International Committee of the Red Cross, journalists, and lawyers to visit Guantanamo. You know prison conditions, the prisoners’ everyday routine, their food. You have met with prisoners subjected to torture. The result of your efforts has been a ban on torture and a law to close this prison. President Obama signed it in the first days of his coming to the White House. And although he, like President Bush before him, does not know what to do with the Guantanamo prisoners, there is hope that the new Administration will come up with something.

But during the two years Shalit has been held by terrorists, the world human rights community has done nothing for his release. Why? He is a wounded soldier, and fully falls under the protection of the Geneva Conventions. The Conventions say clearly that hostage-taking is prohibited, that representatives of the Red Cross must be allowed to see prisoners of war, especially wounded prisoners, and there is much else written in the Geneva Conventions about Shalit’s rights. The fact that representatives of the Quartet conduct negotiations with the people who are holding Shalit in an unknown location, in unknown conditions, vividly demonstrates their scorn of international rights documents and their total legal nihilism. Do human rights activists also fail to recall the fundamental international rights documents?

And yet I still think (and some will find this naïve) that the first tiny, but real step toward peace must become the release of Shalit. Release —  not  exchange for 1000 or 1,500 prisoners who are in Israeli prisons serving court sentences for real crimes.

Returning to my question of why human rights activists are silent, I can find no answer except that Shalit is an Israeli soldier, Shalit is a Jew. So again, it is conscious or unconscious anti-Semitism. Again, it is fascism.

Thirty-four years have passed since the day when I came to this city to represent my husband, Andrei Sakharov, at the 1975 Nobel Prize ceremony. I was in love with Norway then. The reception I received filled me with joy. Today, I feel Alarm and Hope (the title Sakharov used for his 1977 essay written at the request of the Nobel Committee). 

Alarm because of the anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli sentiment growing throughout Europe and even further afield. And yet, I hope that countries, their leaders, and people everywhere will recall and adopt Sakharov’s ethical credo: “In the end, the moral choice turns out to be also the most pragmatic choice.”

Posted on 05/21/2009 8:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Moroccans In The News

Today's Corriere della Sera carries two short items. One is about Moroccans in Morocco planning attacks on Jews and Jewish interests in Morocco itself.  They have been arrested and will now be tried. The other is about a 21-year-old Moroccan who mugged -- pursesnatched -- a 78-year-old Italian lady. This took place in Italy, where the Moroccan in question was discovered to have what is called a "permesso de soggiorno"-- granting, for a limited period, the right to stay in Italy --  that had expired. He was tried, and expelled.

Moroccans in Morocco, Moroccans in Italy. Both on the attack against Infidels. The only difference is that, for now, Italian and other Western authorities are still strong enough to expel the Muslims who are encouraged to think it licit to help themselves to the Jizyah, and to Western women. See all over Western Europe. See the crime rate for Muslims in France, in Great Britain, in Germany, in the Netherlands. See the rape statistics for Denmark, Norway, Sweden. See the statistics for gang-rapes in Australia. Think of what the attitude of hatred and contempt toward all Infidels, that Islam so clearly inculcates, must in the end mean for Muslim behavior in the countries of Western Europe.

Here is the story about the attack on the elderly Italian lady: 

Cremona: scippa anziana, marocchino espulso

22 Maggio 2009 

CREMONA - Un marocchino 21enne e' stato fermato due sera fa dopo aver scippato una donna di 78 anni. Achraf Taiebi, il cui permesso di soggiorno era scaduto, e' stato processato ieri per direttissima, condannato a due anni di reclusione per ricettazione e reati relativi all'immigrazione clandestina ed espulso dall'Italia. Un suo complice sedicenne e' stato rinchiuso nel carcere minorile milanese Beccaria. (Agr)

And here is the one about the attacks planned in Morocco on Jews and Jewish interests: 

Marocco: terroristi volevano colpire ebrei

21 Maggio 2009 

RABAT - Jamaat Al Mourabitine Al Jodod, il gruppo terroristico legato al movimento radicale Salafia Jihadia smantellato di recente in Marocco, voleva colpire gli interessi ebraici nel Paese. Lo ha affermato una fonte giudiziaria a Rabat. Il gruppo, composto da otto islamici, preparava anche azioni contro i servizi segreti marocchini. (Agr)

There are a hundred, a thousand such stories, every day of the week. From every country in the Western world,and from every country in the Muslim-ruled lands. Attackss, planned or spontaneous, by individuals or groups. Every day.

Read a few.

Now allow yourself to think.

 

 

 

Posted on 05/21/2009 9:14 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Barack Obama Is Giving Iran The Time It Needs To Build A Bomb

Read here.

Posted on 05/21/2009 9:32 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Es Gibt Zwang Im Glauben (There Is Compulsion In Religion)

 

 

Es gibt Zwang im Glauben

Original: There is compulsion in religion

Die fortgesetzte Betonung eines einzelnen Verses durch muslimische und nicht muslimische Apologeten des Islam – „Es gibt keinen Zwang im Glauben“ – wird nur deshalb erlaubt, weil das ungläubige Publikum keine Vorstellung davon hat, was an hunderten anderer Stellen an Relevantem gesagt wurde, im Koran wie in den Hadithen, und das nicht nur, weil sie sich auch nicht der genauen Bedeutung bewusst sein, die diesem Satz „es gibt keinen Zwang im Glauben“ durch muslimische Rechtsgelehrte gegeben wird. Wenn sie dem nachgingen, könnten sie feststellen, was die „offensichtliche“ Bedeutung der Worte – also die Bedeutung, mit der wir Ungläubigen uns entscheiden diesen Satz auszustatten – überhaupt nicht die ist, die muslimische Gelehrte meinen. Sie meinen, dass man letztlich tiefen Glauben den Leuten nicht aufzwingen kann, obwohl man sie dazu zwingen kann ihn äußerlich einzuhalten, auch durch Androhung der Todesstrafe. Und das ist es, was der Islam dabei ist zu tun: zur äußerlichen Einhaltung zu zwingen, unter Androhung von Strafen, die durchaus den Tod einschließen können und es oft getan haben.

Es gibt aber noch etwas, das auf jeden Fall als Einspruch angegeben werden sollte, wenn irgendein Trottel daher kommt und leichtgläubig dieses „Es gibt keinen Zwang im Glauben“ verbreitet und von uns erwartet, dessen westliches Verständnis davon zu glauben. Das ist das beobachtbare Verhalten der Muslime über 1350 Jahre hinweg. Was haben Muslime getan, wenn sie nicht muslimisches Länder und Völker eroberten, gewaltsam oder anders? Sie boten drei Möglichkeiten an: Tod, Übertritt und, jedenfalls denen, die als ahl al-kitab oder „Völker des Buches“ mit dem permanenten Status als Dhimmis klassifiziert werden können, mit einer Haufen politischer, wirtschaftlicher und sozialer Behinderungen, die sich zu einem Leben der Erniedrigung, Herabsetzung, physischen Unsicherheit, von denen sie manchmal – aber nur manchmal – von der gelegentlichen Sanftheit eines bestimmten muslimischen Herrschers erlöst wurden. Ein dünner Halm, auf den man sein Glück da gründen soll. Und so konvertierten im Laufe der Zeit viele Nichtmuslime zum Islam, um diesen Bedingungen der Herabsetzung, Erniedrigung und physischen Unsicherheit zu entgehen.

Warum sonst akzeptierten Hindus den Islam? Und die Muslime Pakistans, Bangladeschs und Indiens von heute, wären sie ziemlich ehrlich mit sich selbst, würden sie erkennen, dass sie Nachfahren derer sind, die praktisch gezwungen wurden oder es als absolut notwendig erachteten zu konvertieren – und wenn sie das erkannten, könnten sie zurückkonvertieren. Warum konvertierten die Vorfahren derer, die wir heute „Bosnier“ nennen (d.h. die Muslime des Balkans) unter ottomanischer Herrschaft zum Islam, wenn nicht, um dem Zustand des Dhimmi (und solcher Dinge wie der devshirme oder erzwungener Steuern für christliche Kinder) zu entkommen? Warum wurde Nordafrika, einst christlich (sowohl Tertullian und der Heilige Augustin kamen von dort), islamisiert und dann arabisiert? Warum verschwanden die Christen und Juden des Irak weit gehend und ließen bis heute nur den kläglichen Rest übrig, der den Irak auch verlässt, da er ohne den „säkularen“ Despoten Saddam Hussein, der ihn beschützte, erneut bedroht ist? (Sein „Säkularismus“ war eine Antwort auf die Notwendigkeit seinen sunnitischen Despotismus zu verbergen und ihn „für alle offen“ zu machen, einschließlich der unauffälligen und harmlosen Christen.)

Wurden sie alle vertrieben oder konvertierten einige von ihnen im Lauf der Zeit, um ihrem Zustand als Dhimmis zu entkommen? Was geschah mit den Christen von Byzanz? Gingen sie alle fort oder wurden viele von ihnen die Vorfahren derer, die heute so entschieden überzeugt sind, dass sie seit undenkbaren Zeiten „Muslime“ und „Türken“ gewesen sind?

Wir alle kennen die Antwort auf diese Fragen. Und wie viele von uns würden, wenn wir den Dhimmi-Status ertragen müssten und jedes Jahr zum Biespiel die Jizyah-Steuer von, sagen wir, $20.000 zu zahlen hätten, Nichtmuslime bleiben? Wie viele können sagen, dass ihr Kinder oder Enkelkinder ebenfalls bereit bleiben würden lieber die Steuer zu zahlen als Muslime zu werden?

Natürlich gibt es „Zwang im Glauben“ in den Ländern des Islam. Die den Nichtmuslimen aufgebürdeten Lasten sind einfach zu drückend, als dass man sie ignorieren könnte und viele haben, wenn sie unter muslimischer Herrschaft lebten, in den letzten 1350 Jahren nachgegeben, um dem Dhimmi-Zustand zu entgehen.

Und dieses Nachgeben, dieses sich Ergeben demonstriert perfekt den „Zwang im Glauben“, den der Islam verlangt, welch naive und ungelehrte Interpretation der Sure 2,256 irgendein ungläubiger Idiot ihr auch zu geben sich entscheidet. Die Muslime wissen es besser.

Übersetzung aus dem Englischen: H.Eiteneier

Posted on 05/21/2009 9:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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