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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 Tuesday, 27, 2007.
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Nicolas Sarkozy appeals for calm after new riots
Another night of violence in the suburbs of Paris. From The Times
Hundreds of youths fought pitched battles with police for a second night running as volatile housing estates north of Paris erupted into violence after the deaths of two teenagers.
38 officers were wounded, three seriously, when gangs threw stones, firecrackers and petrol bombs at riot police, who responded with teargas and stun guns. Protesters blame police for fleeing the scene of a crash on Sunday between a patrol car and a motorbike in which Moushin, 15, and Larami, 16, children of African immigrants, whose surnames cannot be revealed, were killed.
In what observers described as a battle for control of a roundabout in the centre of Villiers-le-Bel, a town with many poor housing estates, at least 36 cars were last night set on fire. Confronted by up to 100 youths, mostly hooded, police were forced to retreat. A pre-school, a driving school and a beauty salon were also torched, according to witnesses.
In a nearby suburb around a dozen people forced a bus driver out of his vehicle before beating him and setting fire to the bus, police said.
Posted on 11/27/2007 1:16 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
BBC interlude - London to Brighton in four minutes

The BBC doesn't do interludes anymore, as there is 24 hour continuous television. Click here for some BBC railway interlude nostalgia:

Posted on 11/27/2007 5:59 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Saudi Rape Victim Tells Her Story

..."Everyone looks at me as if I'm wrong. I couldn't even continue my studies. I wanted to die. I tried to commit suicide twice," she said of her experience just after the attack.

The woman, known anonymously in the Saudi press as "Qatif Girl" for the eastern province town where the crime took place, was originally sentenced to 90 lashes for being in a state of "khalwa" -- retreat with a male who's not a relative.

But the General Court of Qatif increased the punishment to 200 lashes and six months in jail after she took her case to the press. Authorities deemed it an "attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media," according to Saudi Arabia's English-language newspaper Arab News...

"I [was] 19 years old. I had a relationship with someone on the phone. We were both 16. I had never seen him before. I just knew his voice. He started to threaten me, and I got afraid. He threatened to tell my family about the relationship. Because of the threats and fear, I agreed to give him a photo of myself," she recounted.

"A few months [later], I asked him for the photo back but he refused. I had gotten married to another man. He said, 'I'll give you the photo on the condition that you come out with me in my car.' I told him we could meet at a souk [market[ near my neighborhood city plaza in Qatif.

"He started to drive me home. …We were 15 minutes from my house. I told him that I was afraid and that he should speed up. We were about to turn the corner to my house when they [another car] stopped right in front of our car. Two people got out of their car and stood on either side of our car. They man on my side had a knife. They tried to open our door. I told the individual with me not to open the door, but he did. He let them come in. I screamed.

"One of the men brought a knife to my throat. They told me not to speak. They pushed us to the back of the car and started driving. We drove a lot, but I didn't see anything since my head was forced down."

"They took us to an area … with lots of palm trees. No one was there. If you kill someone there, no one would know about it. They took out the man with me, and I stayed in the car. I was so afraid. They forced me out of the car. They pushed me really hard ... took me to a dark place. Then two men came in. They said, 'What are you going to do? Take off your abaya.' They forced my clothes off. The first man with the knife raped me. I was destroyed. If I tried to escape, I don't even know where I would go. I tried to force them off but I couldn't. [Another] man … came in and did the same thing to me. I didn't even feel anything after that.

"I spent two hours begging them to take me home. I told them that it was late and that my family would be asking about me. Then I saw a third man come into the room. There was a lot of violence. After the third man came in, a fourth came. He slapped me and tried to choke me.

"The fifth and sixth ones were the most abusive. After the seventh one, I couldn't feel my body anymore. I didn't know what to do. Then a very fat man came on top of me and I could no longer breathe.

"Then all seven came back and raped me again. Then they took me home. … When I got out of the car, I couldn't even walk. I rang the doorbell and my mother opened the door. She said you look tired.' I didn't eat for one week after that, just water. I didn't tell anyone. I went to the hospital the next day.

"The criminals started talking about it [the rape] in my neighborhood. They thought my husband would divorce me. They wanted to ruin my reputation. Slowly my husband started to know what had happened. Four months later, we started a case. My family heard about the case. My brother hit me and tried to kill me."


Along with the young woman's sentence, the General Court of Qatif confiscated the license of her attorney, Abdul Rahman Al-Lahem, a lawyer known for taking on controversial cases that push back against Saudi Arabia's strictly interpreted system of sharia, or Islamic law...

Posted on 11/27/2007 6:44 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Bush Signs Deal For Long-Term Troop Presence With Maliki

ABCNews: President Bush on Monday signed a deal setting the foundation for a potential long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq, with details to be negotiated over matters that have defined the war debate at home how many U.S. forces will stay in the country, and for how long.

The agreement between Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki confirms that the United States and Iraq will hash out an "enduring" relationship in military, economic and political terms. Details of that relationship will be negotiated in 2008, with a completion goal of July, when the U.S. intends to finish withdrawing the five combat brigades sent in 2007 as part of the troop buildup that has helped curb sectarian violence.

"What U.S. troops are doing, how many troops are required to do that, are bases required, which partners will join them all these things are on the negotiating table," said Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, President Bush's adviser on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The proposal underlines how the United States and Iraq are exploring what their relationship might look like once the U.S. significantly draws down its troop presence. It comes as a Democratic Congress unsuccessfully, so far prods Bush to withdraw troops faster than he wants...

Two Republican senators said that unless Baghdad makes more political progress by January, the U.S. should consider withdrawing financial aid or political support from al-Maliki.

The warnings, coming from Sens. Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss, were an indication that while GOP patience on the war has increased this fall because of security gains made by the military, it isn't bottomless...

Posted on 11/27/2007 7:12 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Support Those Who Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth, About Islam

Here are the last few paragraphs of Ed Husain's attempt to equate "Zionism" and "Islamism":

"Just as Israel is an expansionist state which remains in occupation of the Golan Heights, Islamists plan for a state that would have an occupying army to support ever-expanding borders (see Hizb ut-Tahrir's draft constitution). Just as Zionists claim territory based on notions of "Jewish land" and God-given rights, Islamists wish to reconquer India and Spain as "Muslim land", once ruled by Muslim monarchs.

Zionists have achieved their state; Islamists are busy trying out every conceivable option to bring their dream Zion to fruition. For centuries, Jewish people said "Next year in Jerusalem", and for decades for now, Islamists have been repeating "Caliphate by next Ramadan". I did this for three Ramadans before realising I had been sold a pup and so abandoned Islamism, and slowly rediscovered Islam. There is a world of difference between Islam and Islamism, as there is between Judaism and Zionism.

While millions across the world make the distinction between Zionism and Judaism, to date that distinction is not yet clear for most of us when it comes to Islam. Islamism is not Islam, regardless of the claims of "Muslim spokesmen". To condemn Israeli excesses is not anti-semitic; and to criticise Islamism is not to be Islamophobic.

Among my closest friends, I count American Jews. As a Muslim, I see Jews as cousins-in-faith, the descendants of Jacob. In The Islamist, I denounce suicide bombings and support a two-state solution to the question of Palestinian nationhood, as endorsed by Muslim scholars at al-Azhar in Egypt. So I don't come to this as an enemy of Israel.

My problem lies with marketing political ideologies as religion. Whether it is evangelical Christianity in the United States and their religious support for rightwing Republicans, or Zionism posing as Judaism, or Islamism masquerading as Islam - all three are equally guilty of misleading people, creating conflicts and corrupting three of the world's greatest religions."

Note that Zionists are depicted by Ed Husain as religious fanatics. But Herzl, Max Nordau, and other early Zionists, and those who came later, such as Chaim Weizmann and his associates, or the incomparable Jabotinsky, writer, feuilletonist, boulevardier, and orator (Nabokov, the uncle of the writer, who as the Russian Ambassador to Great Britain heard Jabotinsky speak, declared him to be the greatest orator he had ever heard) were all secular, worldly, thoroughly assimilated, and could have done nothing but continue in their successful careers without giving a thought to the tragic condition and situation of Jews in Eastern and Central Europe.

Those whom Ed Husain absurdly calls "Islamists," failing to realize that their goals are nothing but standard Islamic doctrine, even if  their currently chosen means are, it seems, exclusively violent (which is strange, given that there are so many other instruments of Jihad - the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa in the Bilad al-kufr, and of course slow and inexorable demographic conquest of those Lands of the Infidels). The "Islamists" do not read a different Qur'an, or consult a different set of "authentic" Hadith, or have a different version of Muhammad's life, from the Qur'an and Hadith and Sira consulted by those "moderate" Muslims whom Ed Husain allows himself to believe, or better, pretends to allow himself to believe, exist. He is alarmed about Muslim violence, one suspects, because he is alarmed about the position of Muslims in the West, and their continued ability to remain in that West, and to flourish -- as he so obviously does. His very slight disaffection, at the edges of Islam, should not relieve or satisfy anyone, for it is prompted neither by a keen recognition and keen analysis of the nature, and permanent menace, of Islam, and its persistent hold over the minds of men (Islam is primitive, but most men, in most times and places, are very primitive). He is no Wafa Sultan, or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or Ibn Warraq. He represents a snare and a delusion.

He might only ask himself this: Suppose the "Zionists" as he calls them, were to hold on to every inch of land they now possess? After all, the Jews have a considerable historic, legal, and moral claim to that territory. It comes from the exact terms of the Palestine Mandate itself, which was set up for one purpose: to encourage Jewish immigration into Mandatory Palestine, and to facilitate "close Jewish settlement" on the land. The claim is further buttressed by the relentless siege by the Arab Muslims (supported by other Muslims), of the Zionist settlers, and then of the Jewish state, a siege that is prompted by Islam and that constitutes what can be called a Lesser Jihad. That some local Arabs who are islamochristians provided, for a time, a useful facade for what was always a Muslim campaign, a campaign which Ed Husain knows very well is not going to end no matter what further surrenders of territory and of rights the Jews of Israel make, for those Arab Muslim gains will merely be pocketed, and then the complaining and the pressure -- diplomatic, economic, and whenever possible military -- will continue, will continue to the end of time. For it is absolutely intolerable that an Infidel nation-state, and still more humiliating one controlled by the long-despised Jews, should exist on land once part of Dar al-Islam.

And when Ed Husain writes of the  desire of "Islamists" to recapture other lands -- Spain (Al-Andaluz) and Siciliy, for example -- that were once under Muslim rule, he does two things, both of them bad. First, he implies that the desire of Muslims to re-possess lands once in Muslim possession is limited to those he calls adherents of "Islamism." Not at all. This is standard, mainstream Islam, and Ed Husain surely knows it. And then he further implies that the desire of Muslims (or, in his misleading presentation, "Islamists") is limited to the recapture of territories once under Dar al-Islam. This does, admittedly,  cover a lot of territory. It includes Israel, and Spain, and Sicily, and a few other Mediterranean islands. It includes Greece, and all of the Balkans, and Rumania and Bulgaria and much of Hungary. It includes an enormous swathe of Russia. It includes most of India, and part of western China. But that is not all it includes. For Islam inculcates not only the idea that once under Islam, forever to be, or to revert to the condition of being, under Islam, but that the whole world must ultimately come under the sway of Islam. And by telling us only about the places that were once part of Dar al-Islam, and even then carefully limiting how many such places he lists, Ed Husain causes unwary Infidels to breathe a sigh of relief. "Whew, at least thank god I live not in Spain or Sicily or Israel, but in Paris or London or New York. For a minute I was worried there."

I suspect that Ed Husain is on to a good thing, a gravy-train, as a professional "moderate" who offers "hope." It is a false hope, and a dangerous hope. Tthose who are subsidizing him, possibly believing on the old theory that "he's the best till the best comes round"  should stop.  There are those who tell the truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth, about Islam. Thjey are both ex-Muslims, and non-Muslims. Support them.

You can start, by the way, with this website. It needs all the help it can get.

Posted on 11/27/2007 7:50 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
The Best Of Muhammad

“None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself,” the Prophet Muhammad said...


The Prophet Muhammad did similarly when he was violently rejected and stoned by the people of Ta’if. He is known to have said, “The most virtuous behaviour is to engage those who sever relations, to give to those who withhold from you, and to forgive those who wrong you.” --two quotes from Muhammad given in this letter from Christian leaders to the Muslim world

It is interesting that every quote from Jesus employed in this letter includes chapter and verse, which makes me think that these two quotes are not in the Koran, but are possibly from hadiths not in either the Bukari or Muslim collections, or were ranked low on the sale of authenticity in those collections and therefore not reliable hadiths, otherwise they would be cited.

Secondly, they are both clearly derived from the words of Jesus, either misremembered or misunderstood.

Thirdly, there is nothing in the purported words of Muhammad that advanced morality from where Jesus left it. Whereas, Jesus' words undoubtedly advanced morality though employing the best of Judaism and expanding upon it. Muhammad did not expand upon Christianity. Rather the best to be found in Islam is but the shadow of the words of Jesus and the words of the Torah. 

If Islam did not add to religious understanding of reality or advance morality in any meaningful way, how can religious leaders continue to treat Islam as a true religion on equal terms with Judaism and Christianity?

Posted on 11/27/2007 8:19 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
A Musical Interlude: Rocking Chair (Jack Teagarden, Louis Armstrong)
Posted on 11/27/2007 9:45 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Feed the world and increase/demonstrate your word power

Go to this site:

  • Click on the answer that best defines the word.
  • If you get it right, you get a harder word. If wrong, you get an easier word.
  • For each word you get right, we donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.

It's rather addictive.

Posted on 11/27/2007 11:06 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
The Relentless Stillicide Of Arab Propaganda

It doesn't matter if Israel agrees to nothing. Even in that, the best possible outcome, it will have tacitly agreed to a great many things. It will have agreed, for the ten-thousandth time, that the local Arabs in and out of Israel who are the shock troops of the war against Israel, their numbers in deliberately-maintained "refugee" camps swelled by other local Arabs eager to get on the generous, and seemingly permanent, UNRWWA dole, do indeed constitute a separate, distinct (in what way? religion, language, culture, what?) "Palestinian" people, that these people were numerous (the total population of "Palestine" in 1850 did not exceed 150,000), that they were there for centuries (Arabs swarmed into Mandatory Palestine, illegally, from Iraq and Egypt and other places, eager to enjoy the fruits of the economic activity and possibilities brought about by the Zionists who had started to retake the country from the state of ruin and desolation that all Western travellers spontaneously noted), and so on.

Merely by appearing, that awful man, that ignorant man, that dull-witted man, that consequently dangerous man, Ehud Olmert has, and not for the first time, done damage to Israel's case, as he parrots the language of the Muslim Arab enemy, a language now being parroted, incidentally, by everyone in the Western world, including Bush and Rice, for everyone is worn out, or has been worn down, by the relentless stillicide of Arab propaganda.

Posted on 11/27/2007 2:08 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Eating our words

So how did we do on the World-feeding Wordometer? Did we rice to the occasion?

I got to fifty, and nobody else in my office did - give me a bonus, give me a bonus - but I guessed a few - a bit like on Call My Bluff:

Call My Bluff is a long-running British game show (adapted for BBC television by Philip Hindin from a short-lived US Goodson-Todman show of the same title) between two teams of three contestants, who are celebrities. The point of the game is for the teams to take it in turn to provide three definitions of an obscure word, only one of which is correct. The other team then has to guess which is the correct definition, the other two being "bluffs". It was brought back to BBC TV by producer Richard Lewis

Examples of words used in Call my Bluff (taken from a book published in connection with the show in 1972) are Queach, Strongle, Ablewhacket, Hickboo, Jargoon, Zurf, Morepork and Jirble. Queach, for instance, was defined as 'a malicious caricature,' or 'a cross between a quince and a peach,' or 'a mini-jungle of mixed vegetation.' The first and second of those particular definitions are bluffs.

The food/word-programme goes up to a higher level if you get three right in a row and down to an easier level if you get one wrong.

For our next quiz - write a short story containing all the words you've just been tested on. Meanwhile I'm off to raise money by selling a few puns. Or I may just porn them.

Posted on 11/27/2007 2:05 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Pseudsday Tuesday

Perhaps it's a little unfair that the late Norman Mailer is featured in Pseudsday Tuesday two weeks running. But Mailer was such a self-effacing sort of chap that any publicity - even posthumous - is good publicity. This, after all, is a man so humble as to hint that he might not be divine. So he has pipped Jesus to the post in the humility race, pace Golda Meir.

Knowing what a shrinking violet he was, I would not have drawn attention to him, but in all fairness I must. Mailer has had greatness thrust upon him: he has won an award. From the BBC:

Late author Norman Mailer has been announced as the winner of the Bad Sex in Fiction Award for the most awkward description of an intimate encounter.

The US writer, who died earlier this year at the age of 84, won for his novel The Castle in the Forest.

Four hundred guests toasted Mailer's memory at a ceremony in London.

The occasion was also used to pay homage to the renowned American literary figure and the rich variety of his work.

"We are sure he would have taken the prize in good humour," said the judges.

Of course he would. Didn't he used to write for Punch? What was that? He used to write and punch? Sorry, my mistake. All things considered, then, this is a good time to give him the award. Even a month ago might have been a little unwise.

I have mentioned the Bad Sex in Fiction Award before. Let's recap:

Examples include Christopher Hart’s Rescue Me, from which the winning passage is:

Her hand is moving away from my knee and heading north. Heading unnervingly and with a steely will towards the pole ... Ever northward moves her hand, while she smiles languorously at my right ear. And when she reaches the north pole, I think in wonder and terror -- she will surely want to pitch her tent.

She may be gone for some time. For me it’s the specifying of the “right ear” that clinches it. And there’s this from Sean Thomas’ Kissing England:

It is time, time ... Now. Yes. She is so small and compact and yet she has all the necessary features ... Shall I compare thee to a Sony Walkman. She is his own Toshiba, his dinky little JVC, his sweet Aiwa ... Aiwa...

A hard act to follow. So how does Mailer compare? From The Castle in the Forest:

His mouth lathered with her sap, he turned around and embraced her face with all the passion of his own lips and face, ready at last to grind into her with the Hound, drive it into her piety.

Yes, it's a winner.

Posted on 11/27/2007 2:44 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
City bans staff wearing headscarves
BELGIUM'S third largest city Ghent has banned its employees from wearing Muslim headscarves and other religious or political symbols.
All city personnel, such as librarians and child care workers, will not be allowed to wear such garments or symbols if they come into contact with the public, a city spokesman said.
Similar measures have been imposed in other European countries like France, where there are growing numbers of Muslim immigrants.
The measures are controversial. Supporters say they help Muslim immigrant women better integrate in their host countries, while opponents say they are discriminatory.
The council voted 26 to 23 yesterday for the ban, with the Liberals, Christian Democrats and far-right Vlaams Belang in favour and the socialists and Greens against.
Posted on 11/27/2007 3:27 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Citigroup Sells Itself To Abu Dhabi

Reuters (with thanks to Tex Whitson): NEW YORK/DUBAI - Citigroup Inc. is selling up to 4.9 percent of itself for $7.5 billion to the Gulf Arab emirate of Abu Dhabi, giving the largest U.S. bank fresh capital as it wrestles with the subprime mortgage crisis and the resignation of its chief executive.

The capital injection will shore up Citi's balance sheet, which has been hurt by some $6.8 billion of writedowns and losses in the third quarter, and the potential for another $11 billion in the fourth quarter.

Citi is paying a high price for the capital injection by selling mandatory convertible securities to Abu Dhabi which pay a fixed coupon of 11 percent. That is above the average yield on U.S. junk bonds, which is 9.4 percent according to Merrill Lynch data...

Family-ruled Abu Dhabi -- whose citizens number no more than 400,000 -- will be Citi's largest shareholder. The investment reflects the increasing financial might of oil-producing countries, which have benefited from a five-fold increase in the price of crude oil during the last six years.

Gulf investors have announced more than $70 billion of foreign acquisitions this year, more than in the previous two years combined.

Dubai International Capital, a private equity firm owned by the ruler of Dubai, said on Monday it made a "substantial investment" in Sony Corp, while a separate Abu Dhabi entity earlier this month bought a $622 million stake in U.S.-based chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc...

Abu Dhabi displaces Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal as Citi's largest shareholder...

Posted on 11/27/2007 3:49 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
A Problem That Cannot Be Solved, Only Managed

Abbas -- Abu Mazen -- has no power to commit anyone to anything --- that is, no power to commit anyone on the Arab side. But Bush and Rice have set things up, in this ill-thought out attempt to come up with something, anything, that might be considered a "diplomatic victory in the Middle East" (given the obvious failure to deal adequately with the world-wide Jihad, and the obvious squandering of men, money, matériel, morale and attention in Tarbaby Iraq) so that Abbas' mere appearance at this Annapolis farce, happily of short duration, will commit Israel, commit Israel yet again, publicly, in the form of the speeches and public commitments made by hopelessly maladroit, terminally weak, and quite possibly corrupt prime minister, to the very idea not only of the "Palestinian people" (an idea that has to be undone, not further ratified for the nth time, by some idiotic Israeli unaware of how that clever construct prevents the recognition of the Lesser Jihad against Israel) but of the idea of a "solution" to that Lesser Jihad. And still worse, that this claimed "solution" is what Rice repeatedly calls (echoes of Indyk, the self-assured platitudinous dead-wrong "everyone-agrees-that-there-are-four-core-issues" Aaron Miller, along with every hass and ross and tinpot shuttle-diplomat whose entire career has been spent engaged in some phony "peace process" that continues to ignore The Real Core Issue: Islam, and the refusal, by Muslims, properly following the texts and tenets of Islam, to countenance the permanent existence of an Infidel state, whatever its size, on land once ruled by Muslims, land and, what's more, on land that is smack in the middle of Dar al-Islam.

There is NO "solution" none, to the Arab Muslim opposition to Israel's existence. Any further surrenders by the Israelis will only whet, not sate, Arab and Muslim appetites. The Western world, and that includes Rice and Bush and so on, attributes a desire to compromise on the part of the Muslim Arabs, a genuine ability to accept, and accept forever, the existence of Israel. No, it is not possible. Even if a handful of unrepresentative plausible Muslims, and I do not mean the Slow Jihadists of Fatah, who differ from the Fast Jihadists of Hamas only in matters of timing and tactics, not in ultimate goals, were actually to say they could countenance an Israel reduced in size and power, why should Israel entrust its fate to what they think, or think they think? Do they speak, can they speak, for the primitive Muslim masses, any more than Ahmad Chalabi could speak for the "Iraqi people"? Policy has to be made on a basis other than that of this or that plausible smiler, saying exactly what he thinks, at a minimum, must be said to please his powerful Infidel hosts or interlocutors. But those who have studied Islam, studied the behavior, over many decades, of the Arabs, know perfectly well -- unless those students are apologists for Islam, collaborators with Muslims, out of conviction or cupidity (or sometimes both), or possibly are antisemites (or sometimes both), know perfectly well that the Arabs have no intention of recognizing Israel. Ask the defectors from that world. Ask Wafa Sultan. Ask Nonie Darwish. Ask Walid Shoebat. They know.

No there is not a "solution." There is one way to prevent open warfare. It is to create, and maintain, a situation in which Israel is not only vastly more powerful militarily, but is widely understood in the Arab and Muslim world to be so, which allows Arab leaders the excuse of not going to war based on their invocation of the concept of Darura, or Necessity. That, and that alone, can justify, in the minds of the Muslim masses, a failure to take military action against Israel. Moral arguments are not relevant.

And so the Lesser Jihad must be held in check, and it can be held in check, but only if egregious meddlers from outside, eager to score points -- and the Arab war on Israel, blandly miscalled the "Palestinian-Israel" conflict has become a Theme Park, where failed politicians such as Blair, or failing Administrations, such as that of Bush, in its last throes, decides to win some temporary fame and respite from criticism through doing the only thing it apparently knows how to do: Work On The Peace Process Between Israel And The "Palestinians." Come one, come all -- let's all go to the Middle East, or shuttle back on forth, or invite everyone here to Annapolis, to "jump-start" the "peace process" yet again, and "get things back on track" and deal with those "four core issues that Aaron Miller and everyone else in the know just knows, because you see otherwise they wouldn't be in the know, would they? Those are the only Core Issues that exist, even when those "core issues" are in fact mere epiphenomena, on the vast substratum that is Islam, Islam, Islam.

There is no need to "make peace" between Israel and its mortal enemies. The peace is kept, now, by the strength of the IDF, and the control Israel still has over invasion routes, over aquifers, and over a tiny bit of strategic depth -- scarcely visible, and nothing like what the Sinai was, but still something -- in the heights of Judea. There is "peace." It will last not because of treaties with Arab Muslims, but despite treaties, and only if no more of those idiotic surrender-"truce" treaties are signed, or even discussed.

The Lesser Jihad against Israel cannot be solved, any more than the Greater Jihad against the larger Infidel world can be solved. It can be contained, it can be managed, it can be reduced to much more manageable proportions. That is a different thing. The entire Infidel world, similarly, must come to realize it need not either appease Muslims within or without Infidel nation-states, but also need not invade them -- they need only inform themselves as to the nature and menace of Islam, and to work against not only terrorism, but against all the less obviously alarming, but far more effective instruments of Jihad, which include the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa, and what appears to be inexorable demographic conquest within the Bilad al-kufr, the Lands of the Infidels, especially in Western Europe.

The Arab Muslims will commit to nothing. And even if they were to commit, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) has no power to get anyone to follow him. And even if he did have the power to convince even a few on the "West Bank" (known as Judea and Samaria to Jesus, and to every inhabitant of the Western world up to 1949, when Jordan renamed it) to follow him, in pretending to briefly adhere to whatever he pretended to commit the "Palestinian" Authority or nascent "Palestinian" state to, it could and would be breached at the first opportunity. It would not be done, possibly, with the same openness as Arafat, who just a few weeks after the signing of the Oslo Accords was telling an audience of Muslims in South Africa that he would do as Muhammad did with the Meccans in that "treaty" of Hudaibiyya. No, the current-account flaunters of that meek-mild-quiet-accountant aspect, those "technocrats" who, of course, are the perfect outward facade of the continuing and of course endless siege of Israel, whatever its size, have other ways to slowly undo whatever trivial commitments they may make.

It is Israel that always and everywhere has scrupulously, meticulously, fulfilled its commitments. It is Israel that is always being asked to give up, and does give, tangible assets -- land, oilfields, airbases, potentially the control of aquifers, historic sites, and so on -- and also gives up, allows to be forgotten or whittled away or attacked endlessly without any response, the legal, historic, and moral rights of the Jews to the Land of Israel -- rights that begin, but do not end, with the precise terms, and the exact intention, of the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine, and further supported by the rights of a country that has won territory in a defensive war. Not to mention, of course, the in-gathering of Jews from all over the Middle East, where they had lived in various states of wretchedness, under Muslim rule, as dhimmis, ranging from the horrors of slavery in Yemen, to conditions made better by the existence of large non-Muslim communities and the pressure and presence of a European power, as in North Africa under the French, or in Iraq, even for a while after the British left, and in Egypt under the ancien regime, the regime of Farouk, and La Gazette de Caire, and the syces outside Shepheard's Hotel, and the Alliance Israelite, and the Yacoubian Building, of late-blooming cinematic fame.

Posted on 11/27/2007 3:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Moderate Muslims speak out


Damian Thompson writes:

A wholly innocent British teacher is facing a disgusting assault from the Sudanese authorities for naming a teddy “Mohammed”. Muslims in this country must be so ashamed that 54-year-old Gillian Gibbons could be whipped to within an inch of her life in the name of Islam. Aren’t they? Over to you, Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic Studies at Glasgow University.

“This is more about the Sudanese government making an example of someone once in a while,” she says. “It’s like saying to the West: take our Sharia laws seriously.”

Did I read that right? Never mind, perhaps the Muslim Council of Britain will register outrage. Here’s their spokesman: “This appears to be a horrible misunderstanding. We hope the Sudanese authorities will move swiftly to end this unfortunate incident by releasing this woman.”

Misunderstanding? Unfortunate? The MCB, may I remind you, is the voice of “moderate” Islam in Britain. Well, they’re certainly very moderate in their defence of a middle-aged lady who faces 40 lashes for doing nothing wrong. Funny, that.

Meanwhile, according to the BBC:

The Sudan Embassy in London said the situation was a "storm in a teacup", based on a cultural misunderstanding.

A storm in a teacup? At least give us the American version and call it a "tempest in a teapot". Better still, leave the understatement to us British. We know when it's appropriate.

Posted on 11/27/2007 4:32 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
No Cure

"Islam is a disease and we have the cure."
-- from a most intemperate reader


We can hardly immunize ourselves, even though such immunizations require nothing more than some study of the relevant texts and tenets of Islam, a little consideration of what happens to minds on Islam, a little autodidactism, to brush up on the 1350-year history of Islamic conquest of non-Muslim lands and subjugation of non-Muslim peoples.

We can immunize ourselves, and then, by demonstrating on every occasion that we can not be fooled, that we at least recognize the nature, and menace, of Islam, and also are capable of making the connection between the political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral failures of Islamic states and societies, and Islam itself, may force a growing number of Muslims, especially among the non-Arabs, to recognize the same thing themselves. For the evidence is there, and cannot, in the end, be denied.

That is not a "cure" for Islam. But it is also more than a mere palliative. It makes the situation for all of us more manageable.

Posted on 11/27/2007 5:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
The Survival Of Israel

"They are exhibiting the mentality of children fighting over a piece of candy."
--from a reader

It's not about a piece of candy. It's about the survival of Israel. And that is all it is about. That is what every "negotiation" in these interminable and so far idiotic and unconfidence-building peace-processes, the ones that never dare to mention, never dare to take into account, Islam, and consequently, from the viewpoint of the Infidels involved. should be regarded as dangerous as well as worthless, are all about. The survival of Israel.

And, directly related, to the understanding, by Infidels elsewhere, that Islam and Muslims are not to be assuaged, not to be bought off from the essential doctrines of Islam, and not to be encouraged by one group of Infidels sacrificing another group (starting, presumably, with tiny Israel, about which so much Muslim noise is made) in the hope that this will tame an untameable beast. They do not satisfy, but whet, Arab and Muslim appetites. They feed triumphalism, with direct and immediate consequences for themselves. Infidels have to re-learn, since so many have forgotten, that they must stick together. They must never sacrifice one set, or take the Muslim side in any quarrel. Never. Not in the Balkans. Not in the subcontinent. Nowhere.

I repeat: Only one thing is at stake here. The Survival of Israel.

No. Let me revise that. The only thing at stake a these conferences in the Middle East is the Survival of Israel. That is what is being negotiated over, or away. But at the same time, and unrecognized by Infidels who deem themselves safely above that particular fray, their fate is also being decided. Any victory over Israel, any forcing of Israel into a state still more perilous than what Israeli citizens must daily endure, will heighten the certainty of Muslims everywhere that they are winning, that they cannot be stopped, that they are on the march. Israel is not to be thrown to the wolves, because those wolves will only get bigger, and stronger, and have more cubs, and they will all be hungry, and eager to maraud.

Posted on 11/27/2007 5:16 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
A Cinematic Musical Interlude: Pennies From Heaven
Posted on 11/27/2007 11:41 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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