France siege: Trebes supermarket hostage-taker who killed three is shot dead by police
Live updates from the Telegraph while watching TV news
An armed supermarket hostage-taker who claimed allegiance to Islamic State has been shot dead by police after killing three people in attacks in southern France.
The gunman - said to be a Moroccan national in his 30s known to the intelligence services - held up a car in Carcassonne on Friday morning and killed the driver, before opening fire on police and taking hostages in a supermarket in nearby Trebes.
The hostage-taker, who was killed in a police assault after around four hours, reportedly shouted Allahu Akbar as he burst into the Super U store. He is said to have demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the prime suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks.
Police confirmed at least two people - thought to be a shop worker and customer - have been killed and a dozen more injured. Around 50 people fled the supermarket, but a police chief warned the casualty toll is likely to rise, saying: "We are unfortunately expecting to find more victims."
It also emerged that a French military officer took the place of a supermarket hostage. The 45-year old lieutenant-colonel swapped himself in exchange of one of the hostages, a source close to the investigation said.
I don't suppose this will be last. It's only Friday lunchtime.
South Africa changes its constitution to permit expropriation of white-owned land without compensation.
by Theodore Dalrymple
When the South African parliament passed a motion, by 241 votes to 83, to change the nation’s constitution to allow white-owned land to be expropriated without compensation, the Guardian, Britain’s equivalent of the Washington Post, was coy about reporting it. Even now, it has not mentioned the measure on its website, except indirectly.
The reasons for this coyness can only be surmised, but one might have supposed that, given the newspaper’s long history of interest in South African affairs, a development with such potentially catastrophic long-term, and even short-term, effects would be considered of some importance. The proposal, if ever fully acted upon, would produce a crisis to dwarf Zimbabwe’s, with starvation and famine avertable only if 10 million or 15 million South Africans succeeded in finding somewhere to migrate to.
The motion in parliament was proposed by Julius Malema, a former radical member of the ruling African National Congress, now leader of a splinter party called the Economic Freedom Fighters, which received 6 per cent of the vote and has the same proportion of seats in the parliament. They dress entirely in red and call for radical redistribution of wealth, as if an economy were a stew or soup to be ladled out in portions. Malema, who, if the large financial scandals connected with his person are anything to go by, excludes himself from his own economic egalitarianism, said in 2016 that he was not calling for the slaughter of whites—at least, not yet.
In introducing his motion, Malema said that expropriation without compensation to the criminals who had taken the Africans’ land was essential to restore the dignity of Africans. As the subsequent vote testified, the African National Congress supported him; and while the new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said soon afterward that there would be no illegal land grab, he himself has in the past called for expropriation without compensation.
The implication is that South Africa’s ruling party does not consider the current ownership of land legitimate, for only illegitimacy could justify expropriation without compensation. Even without putting it into practice, therefore, the motion is likely to have a deleterious effect on South African farming and agricultural production, for who would invest in property that can be seized at the stroke of a pen, and is not regarded truly as his own?
As if a collapse of agricultural production were not bad enough, expropriation without compensation would also bring about either the collapse of the South African banks, for South African farmers are deeply indebted, or confer huge debt obligations upon the government. And this is so even if (what is very unlikely) the redistribution of land were carried out in other than a grossly corrupt way, without political favoritism.
Why the Guardian silence on this important development? Perhaps because it is an embarrassment to the paper’s four-legs-good, two-legs-bad view of the world. How is one to report the near-genocidal and famine-promoting wishes (not yet carried out, it is true) of people whose role in life for so many years has been that of victim of injustice?
A gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group fired shots and took hostages at a supermarket in southwestern France on Friday. The latest reports say at least two people were feared dead in an incident French prosecutors are treating as a terror attack.
Security forces responded to two separate incidents, one at a supermarket in the town of Trèbes and the second, a 15-minute drive away, in the town of Carcassonne where a policeman was shot. Two incidents now believed to be linked - Gunman reported as a Moroccan national - known to the intelligence services.
In Trebes, the man "entered the Super U supermarket at around 11.15 am and shots were heard," a security source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
One witness said the attacker had shouted Allahu Akbar as he burst into the store. The gunman claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group, the local prosecutor's office said. According to French newspaper Le Depeche du Midi, the gunman was about 30-years-old, was armed with one or more grenades and spoke of wanting to "avenge Syria". . . also demanded the release of Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam.
Reports claim at least one person was killed while some French media reported there were two victims in the supermarket believed to have been killed.
"We unfortunately presume one person has been killed, but we cannot bring a doctor on site to check," Jean-Valery Lettermann, the regional police chief. Trebes mayor Eric Menassi confirmed the attack ...the supermarket butcher had been killed. ...and said seven hostages have since been released, leaving the gunman alone in the supermarket with another police officer.
Yesterday ALTNEWSMEDIA published an interview with the books’ author Peter McLoughlin, by Shazia. It’s worth reading just to get a fuller picture. What caught my attention was McLoughlin’s very clear description of the kind of white-on-white class-warfare that permeates the issue.
I can remember when I first arrived in England in the 1970s being very shocked by the attitude of the mostly middle-class people I met when it came to their own countrymen and women. I never quite understood the intensity of their sneering at ‘white van man’ or the disdain in which Daily Mail readers were held. But in time I began to see that the middle classes got to regard themselves as cosmopolitan, interesting, and sophisticated by denigrating what they saw as the bovine sloppiness of the working-class whites who don’t eat their Jamie Oliver greens and prefer to smoke 20 fags a day. As McLoughlin says, the middle classes both fear and despise the white working class, so they can easily look the other way when their women are being raped and murdered.
Question 5 in the interview asked: Do you believe if this was affecting mostly middle class or Muslim children it would be have been dealt with swiftly? Is there a class issue in play here?
Here’s the answer:
The Conservative MP for Telford is on record as saying that the gangs are targeting white working-class schoolgirls, echoing the Labour MP for Blackburn who had already said 10 years ago that Pakistani gangs saw white schoolgirls as “easy meat”. Political correctness puts white people at the bottom of any hierarchy of suffering. The white working class in Britain are now the most despised group in their own country, thanks to decades of denigration of the British in general and of the working class in particular. The bourgeois Left have never forgiven the working class for supporting Margaret Thatcher in preference to a Bolshevik revolution.The middle class applaud themselves as Brits by thinking they are at least cosmopolitan and internationalist, unlike the working class whom they both fear and despise.
There are undoubtedly some middle-class girls who have fallen into the clutches of the gangs. But on the whole the Muslim gangs live cheek-by-jowl with the white working class (and to some extent with working class blacks and Sikhs), and so the white working class are most ready to hand and most numerous.The working class are already despised by the salaried agents of the state, so these schoolgirls are not believed when they go to complain. On top of that, the desire by the middle class to appear “non-racist” and politically correct would mean that these agents of the state would always give preferential treatment to a non-white immigrant than to a member of the white working class.The chattering classes’ idea of diversity is to have any number of immigrants and foreigners appear on TV debates and even TV adverts, when it is vanishingly rare to see a representative of the working class be allowed to air an opinion in the media, even though the working class are by far the biggest demographic in the country.
What brings out the contrast most is to imagine the swiftness of the violent consequences if thousands of non-Muslim men in Britain had systematically raped and pimped thousands of Muslim schoolgirls. Muslims would not have stood for this, as we have seen with the variety of forms of terrorism Muslims have employed for far less serious issues – riots, execution squads and suicide bombings over things as trivial as cartoons by non-Muslims. But it appears that for 5 decades British men and women have just stood by and watched as the political elite and the agents of the state facilitated the industrial rape of schoolgirls. The traditional institutions of the working class have been eviscerated (trade unions, churches, social clubs) by deliberate policies from the ruling elite and by technological change, resulting in the destruction of communal bonds and the fragmentation of a once homogeneous society. With the destruction of these working-class communities the media (and now social media) became the ways by which many understood what was going on in their own society. The ruling elite are determined to bolster community bonds among immigrant populations whilst destroying the same bonds among the indigenous population – mosques which preach hatred of non-Muslims get state funding and charitable status, whilst pubs which welcome anyone are taxed on their sales and on their profits. Pubs go out of business, often replaced by mosques. Muslims have the infrastructure and the ideological framework to organise violent responses at the drop of a hat. The indigenous population have been weakened, fractured and betrayed by those who are in the position of leadership.There are literally thousands of state-funded proponents of Islam. By contrast there are literally zero state-funded critics of Islam. That imbalance should leave people in no doubt where the state is heading.
If these indigenous communities and their organisations had not been so weakened since the 1960s, then we may have seen a violent response by the white working class to the rape of the girls of their community. Since we now have proof that the Muslim rape gangs were operating back in the 1970s, it could well be that the so-called “Paki bashing” phenomenon of the 1970s was itself a response to the organised rape of schoolgirls by immigrants. Our institutions (controlled by the middle class) have done nothing other than systematically deceive the public over the last 5 decades. To most people’s astonishment, there is considerable evidence to show that the indigenous population are disproportionately the victims of racist violence, with the grooming gangs being, in the single largest instance, the instigators of such racist violence.
The nerve gas agents in Britain keep coming, the deadly chemicals are flowing, can the UK and the West in general weather the storm? Are Russian actions now more dangerous than Islamist terrorism? It isn't surprising the temperature of relations between Russia and the West is not rising, making it cold outside, as the Kremlin engages in a campaign of disinformation, denial, distraction, and threats to deny any involvement in the use of military-grade nerve agents against Russian defectors living in Britain.
British Prime Minister Theresa May and members of her government have declared that Moscow is culpable for the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skipal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4, 2018, and among other actions expelled 23 Russian diplomats based in London. President Donald Trump also denounced the Russian government for violating international law. President Vladimir Putin, alleging he only found out about the tragedy from the media, denied the allegation, saying that Russia does not have such nerve agents. Russia, he said, had destroyed all of its chemical weapons under the supervision of international organizations, and did it first.
Russian spokespeople provide alternative explanations for the Salisbury incident as well as for other attacks. The UK did it to fuel anti-Russian sentiment. The U.S. did it to destabilize international relations. The nerve agent, Novichok, came from either the Czech Republic, Slovakia, or Sweden. It could even have come from the prospective mother in law of Yulia Skripal, one of the victims in Salisbury.
President Trump, apparently defying the advice of his aides, and Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the EU Commission, have both offered congratulations to Putin on his reelection as President of the Russian Federation on March 18, 2018, and intimated possibility of meetings with the Russian leader in the not too distant future. These overtures, which do not endorse the election result, however are different in degree from the attitude towards Russia of Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labour Party.
In his 1940 essay, Inside the Whale, George Orwell berated the different political writings of his time, and asserted that "so much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot." His witticism is amply borne out by the equivocation and feeble response, of Corbyn on responsibility for the nerve gas attacks in Britain. Every plausible explanation is that Russians, if not ordered by Putin himself, were behind the attacks.
Corbyn suggested that the British government not "rush ahead of the evidence" and should wait for more evidence before imposing any further sanctions aganst Russia. Even if the weapons were made in Russia, and originally manufactured by the Russian state, he argued, there has to be an absolutly definitive answer to the question: from where did the nerve agent come? It could be someone else other than the Kremlin.
In view of recent films and plays relating to the lionhearted, unambiguous role of Winston Churchill in World War II it is enticing to imagine Corbyn as PM in 1939-40. We would then perhaps know that Adolf Hitler was not responsible for Nazi bombing attacks on UK towns, Coventry, Plymouth, London. The assaults may and probably did come from a rogue element in the Luftwaffe who were interested in discrediting Hitler and wanted to bring a real tough ruler to power. Allegations that Hitler was responsible was a smear campaign by the Jews who were trying to damage the reputation of the Nazi regime.
An appropriate response to the Russian denials of implication in the attempts was the reply given on December 22, 1944 by Brig-General Anthony McAuliffe, Commander of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division defending Bastogne, to the German emissaries wanting him to surrender. The reply was simple, "Nuts."
Corbyn's hesitation to acknowledge Russian concealment of the truth, and his view there was no definite answer to the question of the source of the nerve gas used in attacks in Britain do not make him Putin's "puppet." But they are indications of the weak foreign policy characteristic of the Labour leader during his career and its present danger. This weakness has been exhibited by some of Corbyn's supporters such as the far leftist Seamas Milne, Corbyn's director of communications, who doubts that Russia was behind the Salisbury attack.
Corbyn has been critical of the foreign policy of the U.S. and the West on most issues.
He has been selective, sometimes forgetful, in his choice of associates and meetings with controversial figures. His judgment on Middle East affairs follows a similar pattern. Only recently was it divulged that Corbyn belonged to a secret 3,200 member Facebook group called Palestine Live that posted antisemitic comments, conspiracy theories about the Rothschilds and Israeli involvement in 9/11. He claimed he was signed up without his knowing, and that he himself did not post any antisemitic comments. It is revealing that Prime Minister May, chairing the National Security Council to discuss vital security issues, did not invite Corbyn, the leader of the opposition.
This weakness of the British Left is important in the present context when UK has to face up to the use by Russians of chemical weapons and nerve gas against residents in Britain, and has, as does the U.S. to deal with two other crucial issues: Russian meddling in Western elections; and Russian military policies as a major power with a large nuclear arsenal now that Putin has been reelected at the presidential election by 76.6 % of the vote.
The U.S. and Europe have to face the reality of Putin's election. In his speech in Central Moscow on March 1, 2018 on the situation in the country, Putin made clear his challenge to the U.S. whose attempt to curb and control Russia he said had failed.
Putin was critical of the U.S. directly and indirectly for a number of reasons. He blames the U.S. for withdrawing in June 2002 from the antiballistic missile treaty signed in 1972, the cornerstone of international security. He is critical of U.S. large scale military exercises in Eastern Europe. He asserts that Trump has introduced restrictions and sanctions that are illegal from the standpoint of international law.
Most important, Putin boasts of Russia's powerful economic and defense potential. The country has 7,000 nuclear weapons and 2,000 missiles to deliver them. Russia can defend itself by new generations of weapons and technology. The modernized nuclear arsenal includes the intercontinental RS-28 Sarmat missile which is able to fly 6,8000 miles with a payload of 15 warheads, a nuclear powered cruise missile that can reach the U.S., a hypersonic missile, Kinzhal, that can travel at more than ten times the speed of sound, a stealth fighter the SU-57, a RS-26 ballistic missile, Avangard, and drones launched from submarines. Putin claims that Russian nuclear weapons can evade U.S. antimissile defenses.
Trump has congratulated Putin on his electoral victory but he is no ineffectual Jeremy Corbyn. He must understand, as the British leftist does not, that Putin must be prevented from sowing disorder in the U.S. as in Britain. He must be aware that Putin is concealing nuggets of truth in a haystack of prevarications, fabrications, and misdirections. But if Putin is unpredictable he is not irrational. He has not been more aggressive in Ukraine, largely deterred by U.S. and Western sanctions and military preparations. Putin, in his speech on October 30, 2017 at the unveiling in Moscow of the Wall of Grief, a memorial honoring the victims of Stalinism, said that the terrible past cannot be erased from the national memory, and cannot be justified by anything.
Both President Trump and Prime Minister May, if not Jeremy Corbyn, are conscious of the danger of Russian nuclear weapons, shown in videos of warheads aimed at Florida, and its cyber warfare. Both are equally aware of the need to de-escalate any nuclear arms race with Russia. This calls for two things: more reprisals against and checks on Russia; but also dialogue with Russia and practical cooperation on controversial issues including Syria, Yemen, international terrorism, and limits on an arms race. It is too optimitic to expect no tears, no fears, but there is always tomorrow.
Don’t try to impeach your opponent without legal cause.
by Conrad Black
No one following the Russian-collusion and related dramas should be in any doubt about the steady flow of the balance of damaging evidence away from Trump and on to his accusers. It is clear that the hierarchy of the FBI and analogues in the Justice Department and intelligence services, horrified at the thought of a Trump victory though confident it would not occur, took liberties — in the soft treatment of Hillary Clinton’s email and uranium problems, and in abetting the Clinton campaign’s effort to smear Trump with the Russian-collusion argument.
As the parallel investigations and diluvian leaking have unfolded, the anti-Trump Resistance has received a series of gradually suppurating mortal wounds. The Steele dossier was commissioned and paid for by the Clinton campaign; over a hundred FBI agents and Justice Department lawyers expected Hillary Clinton to be charged criminally, and President Trump was correct in saying conversations by his campaign officials had been tapped, a claim that was much ridiculed at the time. Deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe testified that the Steele dossier was essential to obtaining a FISA warrant on a junior Trump aide (Carter Page), and McCabe and former director James Comey’s rabidly partisan helper Peter Strzok, and his DOJ girlfriend Lisa Page, texted suggestions for influencing the FISA judge in the case. The judge recused himself, voluntarily or otherwise, after granting the warrant. Mueller set up his “dream team” of entirely partisan Democrats; McCabe failed to identify to the Bureau his wife as a member and beneficiary of the Clinton entourage and political candidate in Virginia; and the fourth person in the Justice Department, Bruce Ohr, met with Steele, and Mrs. Ohr helped compose the Steele dossier.
The Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz, whose report is expected imminently, showed the FBI director, Christopher Wray, findings about Andrew McCabe’s conduct that caused him to retire McCabe prematurely. The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), one of the few centers of unquestionably ethical and nonpartisan conduct in Washington, advised the attorney general to fire McCabe.
McCabe himself was reduced to mind-reading in his attack on the president on Friday night, claiming Trump’s real motive was to weaken the Mueller inquiry. Trump didn’t fire McCabe. McCabe scuttled his own credibility. Former CIA director John Brennan’s outburst on Saturday indicates that the Resistance is cracking up. He tweeted to the world, but specifically the president: “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history.” It was seemly that someone who voted for Gus Hall, the American Communist leader, for president in 1976 would invoke Marx. But he went on to accuse Trump of trying to destroy America. Former National Intelligence director James Clapper has been routinely announcing, at home and abroad, since shortly after Inauguration Day, that the Russian-collusion story was a greater scandal than Watergate. Brennan didn’t mention treason in his tweet — he seems to have given up on collusion and to be focused on Stormy Daniels and Trump’s financial career. (Anthony Scaramucci, in his drunken interview with The New Yorker, was more rational than Brennan.) Brennan and Clapper were improperly leaking partisan information for months and Clapper lied to a congressional committee.
The immolation of McCabe has resulted in a moving of the focus to Mueller by both pro- and anti-Trump forces, for different reasons. The Democrats and their media allies desperately want Trump to fire Mueller, to keep the impeachment canard alive. The president will not oblige them, though he has made the point that there was no excuse for this inquiry, as there was no prior crime nor any evidence of collusion, and that it was weakly and reflexively created by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a mistaken answer on a small Russia-related question at his confirmation hearings and recused himself on anything to do with Russia. Mueller is there only because Comey, after he was fired, illegally leaked a contested memo of a conversation with the president, as he acknowledged without embarrassment at a congressional hearing, to force the appointment of a special counsel on Russian matters (this despite his and McCabe’s assertions that there had never been government interference in the Russian investigation). Although Comey disparaged the Steele dossier, he and McCabe were complicit in allowing that dossier to be used as the basis for an illegally obtained and renewed FISA warrant against Carter Page, and for precipitating the Mueller inquiry. It is a reasonable supposition that what is terrifying the Resistance now is that the real scandal (as a number of us have been laboriously reciting at intervals for more than a year) is the corruption of the FBI and the Justice Department.
All now await the inspector general’s report on the internal functioning of the FBI and the Justice Department. If, as Senators Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and others have urged, he says he needs a special counsel or the powers of one, to get to the bottom of all this, he will have it, as the monstrous fraud that these people can be relied on to monitor themselves won’t wash even with the media. If his report is damning enough, and it is unlikely to be pleasant reading for Comey and his claque, there will be an irresistible public and congressional demand to clean the stable and prosecute the apparently guilty, including in the intelligence services and the State Department. Senator Mark Warner (D., Va.) and Representative Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) will be talking to themselves, without the presence of the television camera that incites their logorrhea every day. If Mueller is as dedicated and incorruptible as his champions claim, he will produce an honest debunking of the collusion charade and make serious suggestions about lobbyists for foreign interests and about foreign meddling in U.S. elections. (He shouldn’t get too exercised, given the wanton historic disposition of the U.S. to interfere in the elections of other countries.)
The best possible outcomes of this controversy would be the reform of criminal procedure and the end of the criminalization of political differences. The entire U.S. criminal-justice system is an anthill of oppressive fraud where prosecutors win 99 percent of their cases, at least in part, 97 percent without a trial, as Mueller is proving by throwing monstrous charges against his victims and settling for guilty pleas to trivial and technical counts to extract catechized and rehearsed inculpatory testimony with immunity for perjury. No one should imagine that General Michael Flynn is the sole victim of this. Mueller was there for the shameful persecution of Senator Ted Stevens, and has been in the vanguard of the mass-destructive weaponization of the American prosecutocracy. (The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of its incarcerated people.) The immediate problem is not draconian severity but the capricious abuse of the practically unlimited power of prosecutors — and especially the pandemic of partisan infection of the federal law-enforcement and intelligence apparatus.
There had been no discussion of the impeachment of a president for over a century until Watergate. Richard Nixon had the authoritarian Truman-Eisenhower view of what a president could do under the cloak of national security, and by the time his overzealous aides had propelled the White House into the crosshairs of heavy Democratic artillery, he suddenly froze and had no idea how to get through it. Reagan blundered for reasons of compassion for the American hostages in Lebanon into the Iran-Contra mess, but it was never an impeachable offense — just the Congress trying to run foreign policy. Reagan was popular and near the end of his term, and his national-security adviser, Admiral John Poindexter, took the bullet. (He was acquitted on appeal.) Bill Clinton didn’t commit impeachable offenses either, and was shafted by Republican congressional majorities, but he waged a skillful-public relations campaign, and enough Democratic senators supported him so he could finish his term.
Donald Trump saw it coming. His tweets may sometimes be imprudent, but his domination of social media has countered the media firing squad, which, in trying to depose him, has largely missed the real story and savaged its own credibility. Trump will win this epic struggle, and both parties should get the message that trying to impeach your opponent without legal cause can lead to unpleasant surprises.
100 French Intellectuals Denounce Islamist Separatism
A group of 100 diverse French intellectuals denounced Islamist totalitarianism in the newspaper Le Figaro on March 19, 2018. The following is a translation of their statement made by Clarion contributor Leslie Shaw:
We are citizens of differing and often diametrically opposed views, who have found agreement in expressing our concern in the face of the rise of Islamism. We are united not by our affinities, but by the feeling of danger that threatens freedom in general and not just freedom of thought.
That which unites us today is more fundamental than that which will undoubtedly separate us tomorrow.
Islamist totalitarianism seeks to gain ground by every means possible and to represent itself as a victim of intolerance. This strategy was demonstrated some weeks ago when the SUD Education 93 teachers union proposed a training course that included workshops on state racism from which white people were barred.
Several of the facilitators were members or sympathizers of the CCIF (French Collective Against Islamophobia) or the Natives of the Republic party. Such examples have proliferated recently. We have thus learned that the best way to combat racism is to separate races. If this idea shocks us, it is because we are Republicans.
We also hear it said that because religions in France are trampled on by an institutionalized secularism, everything that is in a minority — in other words Islam — must be accorded a special place so that it can cease to be humiliated.
This same argument continues by asserting that in covering themselves with a hijab, women are protecting themselves from men and that keeping themselves apart is a means to emancipation.
What these proclamations have in common is the idea that the only way to defend the “dominated” (the term is that of SUD Education 93) is to set them apart and grant them privileges.
Not so long ago, apartheid reigned in South Africa. Based on the segregation of blacks, it sought to exonerate itself by creating bantustans (territories set aside for black South Africans) where blacks were granted false autonomy. Fortunately this system no longer exists.
Today, a new kind of apartheid is emerging in France, a segregation in reverse thanks to which the “dominated” seek to retain their dignity by sheltering themselves from the “dominators.”
But does this mean that a woman who casts off her hijab and goes out into the street becomes a potential victim? Does it mean that a “race” that mixes with others becomes humiliated? Does it mean that a religion that accepts being one among other religions loses face?
Does Islamism also seek to segregate French Muslims, whether believers or otherwise, who accept democracy and are willing to live with others? Who will decide for women who refuse to be locked away? As for others, who seemingly do not deserve to be protected, will they be held under lock and key in the camp of the “dominators”?
All of this runs counter to what has been done in France to guarantee civil peace. For centuries, the unity of the nation has been grounded in a detachment with respect to particularities that can be a source of conflict. What is known as Republican universalism does not consist in denying the existence of gender, race or religion but in defining civic space independently of them so that nobody feels excluded. How can one not see that secularism protects minority religions?
Jeopardizing secularism exposes us to a return to the wars of religion.
What purpose can this new sectarianism serve? Must it only allow the self-styled “dominated” to safeguard their purity by living amongst themselves? Is not its overall objective to assert secession from national unity, laws and mores? Is it not the expression of a real hatred towards our country and democracy?
For people to live according to the laws of their community or caste, in contempt of the laws of others, for people to be judged only by their own, is contrary to the spirit of the Republic. The French Republic was founded on the refusal to accept that private rights can be applied to specific categories of the population and on the abolition of privilege.
On the contrary, the Republic guarantees that the same law applies to each one of us. This is simply called justice.
This new separatism is advancing under concealment. It seeks to appear benign but is in reality a weapon of political and cultural conquest in the service of Islamism.
Islamism wants to set itself apart because it rejects others, including those Muslims who do not subscribe to its tenets. Islamism abhors democratic sovereignty, to which it refuses any kind of legitimacy. Islamism feels humiliated when it is not in a position of dominance.
Accepting this is out of the question. We want to live in a world where both sexes can look at each other with neither feeling insulted by the presence of the other. We want to live in a world where women are not deemed to be naturally inferior. We want to live in a world where people can live side by side without fearing each other. We want to live in a world where no religion lays down the law.
Waleed al-Husseini, writer
Arnaud d’Aunay, painter
Pierre Avril, academic
Vida Azimi, jurist
Isabelle Barbéris, academic
Kenza Belliard, teacher
Georges Bensoussan, historian
Corinne Berron, author
Alain Besançon, historian
Fatiha Boudjahlat, essayist
Michel Bouleau, jurist
Rémi Brague, philosopher
Philippe Braunstein, historian
Stéphane Breton, film maker, ethnologist
Claire Brière-Blanchet, reporter, essayist
Marie-Laure Brossier, city councillor
Pascal Bruckner, writer
Eylem Can, script writer
Sylvie Catellin, semiologist
Gérard Chaliand, writer
Patrice Champion, former ministerial advisor
Brice Couturier, journalist
Éric Delbecque, essayist
Chantal Delsol, philosopher
Vincent Descombes, philosopher
David Duquesne, nurse
Luc Ferry, philosopher, former minister
Alain Finkielkraut, philosopher, writer
Patrice Franceschi, writer
Renée Fregosi, philosopher
Christian Frère, professor
Claudine Gamba-Gontard, professor
Jacques Gilbert, historian of ideas
Gilles-William Goldnadel, lawyer
Monique Gosselin-Noat, academic
Gabriel Gras, biologist
Gaël Gratet, professor
Patrice Gueniffey, historian
Alain Guéry, historian
Éric Guichard, philosopher
Claude Habib, writer, professor
Nathalie Heinich, sociologist
Clarisse Herrenschmidt, linguist
Philippe d’Iribarne, sociologist
Roland Jaccard, essayist
Jacques Jedwab, psychoanalyst
Catherine Kintzler, philosopher
Bernard Kouchner, doctor, humanitarian, former minister
Readers might remember the 16th June 2016 when a flotila of fishing boats from the pro-Brexit fisherman's organisation Fishing for Leave sailed up the River Thames to Parliament to state their case of the damage the EU was doing/had done to the British fishing industry, and thus their desire that the country vote to leave the EU. My personal opinion is that the sight and sound of the chattering classes led by wealthy, foul mouthed European musician Bob Geldorf abusing hard-working men who do a difficult and dangerous job was the one single factor that decided the vote.
Nearly two years on and we are still being fed waffle about transition periods, and how much we owe (nothing - the EU owes us) and the blatant objective of the EU oligarcy to 'punish' the UK for our temerity. The latest suggestion is that the EU will maintain control of Britain’s territorial waters until the end of 2020, which protestors described as “a potential death sentence” for the British fishing fleet. During that period the EU will have the opportunity to run the British fleet down to a level from which it may struggle to recover.
To protest, (and at the same time remind Parliament that 17 million people voted for Brexit and the shillyshallying and delaying tactics of the Remainers are trying our patience) Fishing for Leave organised a fishing boat for the Thames at very short notice today.
The original idea was that the Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg (an old school type who many consider to be the only proper conservative in any prominence in the party) would join the boat and symbolically throw fish, which under EU regulations has to be discarded not sold and eaten once caught, into the Thames by Parliament, in view of the other MPs and politicians. Other Conservative MPs were expected to join him and it was thought that the numbers would only be limited to space on the boat.
Accordingly at 8 am this morning the boat R8, owned by Holladays, family fishermen and fishmongers of Whitstable on the Kent coast passed under Tower Bridge heading for Westminster. My husband was there to watch, report and take photographs. I was following the Telegraph reporters' live stream and twitter.
The Holladay R8 came into view, but was forbidden to dock at Embankment Pier to collect the waiting MPs.
A London transport official said that they were not licensed to land. A TfL spokeswoman said: "It's a standard procedure which we have that you have to book in advance to dock. This is to allow commuters to use regular riverboat services. You can book online on the TfL website." So they made their respective ways to Westminster Pier, just the other side of Westminster Pier to the Houses of Parliament.
These are two pictures I took from the Telegraph live feed taken by the press helicopter. My husband is one of the small crowd on the bridge.
I can't find yet exactly why Jacob Ree-Mogg changed his mind about boarding the boat to throw the fish himself. I am told that the other MPs agreed to conform to the orders of the Chief Whip and not join. Nigel Farage former leader of UKIP did embark and another suggestion is that the Conservatives refused to be associated with him. Whatever the reason the Conservative MPs made encouraging speech(s) about Brexit and the fishing industry and it was Nigel Farage and the leaders of Fishing for Leave who carried on with a box of surplus haddock. Caught in the eastern English Channel which would be the area covered by a boat from Whitstable in Thanet.
The fish went in one by one.
Our elected representatives had not exactly turned out in numbers to watch - maybe the time that working people are up and about is too early for them?
And while some have criticised the waste of good food, we are sure that it was eaten and enjoyed. This fine chap and his friends dived straight in after.
The Holliday was followed by a press boat. Then they turned round and went downstream back to the Thames Estuary and the sea.
General opinion during the hours after is that while it was an excellent opportunity for fishy puns (For Cod's sake! - Hake news - no plaice for that kind of thing here) it was a missed opportunity for the Conservative MPs to do something to challenge Theresa May and her wet, weak handling of Brexit and everything else that ails us.
As the Telegraph's Tim Stanley tweeted today "Fishermen are the coal miners of the sea. Dwindling economic significance, enormous emotional resonance. Represents the dignity (and personal risk) of honest labour."
Photographs my husband and the Telegraph London 2018
Liberal American Jewish youth's estrangement from Israel
The Jewish Agency is right to sound the alarm regarding the rejection of Israel by liberal Jewish youth. However, such trends don’t occur in a vacuum. They are the political consequences of spiritual decline.
by Matthew M. Hausman
Map of Ancient Jerusalem with Soloman's Temple
The Jewish Agency recently warned that young Jews are becoming estranged from Israel because of perceived conflict with their liberal values, and commentary on the subject suggests that instead of acknowledging its own responsibility, the mainstream establishment is questioning what Israel and her supporters must do to stem the tide.
But the phenomenon is not a consequence of misdirected youthful exuberance or Israeli policies and is not a problem among the observant or politically conservative. Rather, it affects the progressive and culturally assimilated segments of American Jewish society and echoes the social priorities of an institutional leadership that has traded spirituality for secular political values.
Many of those who claim to speak for American Jews – including communal lay leaders and nontraditional clergy – seem to express greater affinity for liberal politics than traditional Judaism. In attempting to avoid the appearance of Jewish insularity which rankles so many on the left, they frequently rationalize unbalanced criticism of Israel, ignore the pervasiveness of left-wing anti-Semitism, and disregard classical Jewish tradition. Though viewed as community role models, they are inculcating youth with a slanted message that glorifies secular partisan activism.
Often taking cues from the liberal pulpit, young adults from the nontraditional movements are drawn to J Street, the New Israel Fund, and other organizations that espouse progressive policies at odds with Israel’s sovereign integrity and continuity as a Jewish state. They are also encouraged to pursue dialogue with Muslim advocacy groups, some of which reportedly have extremist ties or sympathies. Scions of liberal Judaism seem to believe that progressivism which undercuts Israel is somehow consistent with Jewish values, although Jewish tradition does not mandate the abdication of religious and national self-interest, the contextualization of Islamist radicalism, or the validation of revisionist propaganda that denies Jewish history.
The 57-member nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which constitutes the largest bloc within the UN, has for years lobbied to have the UN pass a resolution that all member nations should criminalize defamation of religions. In practice, what they mean is defamation of Islam. Given our First Amendment, most would scoff that the US would pass such a law. Yet, when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, she met at least twice with the OIC behind closed doors in Washington and Istanbul. Publicly, she danced around the issue assuring the OIC that they would shame those who spoke out against Islam and its prophet.
Meanwhile in Europe, publicly criticizing Islam can get you criminally charged and dragged into a court of law. Just ask Elisabeth Sabaditsch Wolff in Austria. Just ask Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Ask Tommy Robinson in England. Of course, Europe has no First Amendment. Though it is democratic, if you engage in what they deem hate speech, it is criminalized.
Of course, our Constitution and the First Amendment protect us if we criticize Islam. Even genuine hate speech is considered protected speech in the US unless that speech directly incites violence. Thus, Jews on American college campuses have to endure anti-semitic speech coming from pro-Palestinian students and many of the speakers they invite to speak on campus. It's the price of having a free society where saying the wrong thing doesn't bring the police to haul you away.
On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg engages in censorship on Facebook when Muslims are offended. YouTube will take down videos if they are deemed offensive to Muslims. But that doesn't involve bringing in the police.
But consider this. On March 14, I attended a public event at Golden West College, a public 2-year college in Orange County California. The event was entitled "Islam 101", and the invited speaker was Nicole Bovey, a convert to Islam and public information officer at the Islamic Institute of Orange County in Anaheim. She is also part of the Islamic Speakers Bureau. I and a few like-minded friends decided to attend since it was a public event. Since I am linking the full report and video I took, I will just briefly summarize what happened. When we began asking pointed questions about Islam, politely and when called upon for questions, our people were told by a faculty member that the questions were inappropriate. To make matters worse, the campus police were summoned and a couple of our people were made to go outside and talk to the cops.
Now that I have set the stage, here is my own posting on the event as well as the video I took. I encourage the reader to invest the time to watch it in its entirety and decide if our questions merited calling the police.
To be sure, we have written letters to the appropriate Golden West College administrators. If you follow this link, you will see the names and contact numbers of these individuals. (Please be respectful, of course.)
We are reaching a dangerous point here in America when merely asking polite but pointed questions about certain aspects of Islam can result in efforts to silence you and summon campus police.
One of the characteristics of modern polities, is seems to me, is how often in them tails seem to wag dogs. In part this may be because we can grasp and sympathise with the sufferings of a relatively reduced number of people, whom it is easy to sentimentalise. Surely, we think, so small a problem should be easily soluble by so large a society?
In Great Britain, nearly 5,000 people now sleep rough on the streets every night. This is slightly less than one in 13,000 people, but nevertheless represents an increase of about 100 per cent in the last 7 or 8 years, that is to say from about 2,500. The population of the country increased by nearly 5 million between the years 2006 and 2016, during which period the proportion of homeless families, those with nowhere to live and placed in emergency accommodation at public expense, halved.
I do not want at all to deny the extreme unpleasantness or dangers of sleeping rough in a cold climate. I can never pass a person sleeping in the doorway of a shop or other building without wanting to give him some money (such people, incidentally, are disproportionately male, five or six to one), irrespective of the antecedents of his predicament. But such feelings and individual actions are one thing, policy another.
The left-wing populist leader of the opposition party in Britain, Jeremy Corbyn, an admirer of the Hugo Chavez school of solution to poverty and social problems, has said that his government, should he form one, would immediately buy 8,000 homes to “give” housing to the people who slept on the street. This, of course, would immediately create more than 3,000 homes to be ‘given’ to people yet to sleep on the street, a supply that would probably create a demand, indeed an excess demand, creating the need for further supply.
From whom, and under what conditions, would Mr. Corbyn “buy” the homes? In so far as he answered this question at all, he said that he would buy them on foreign speculators in London property, who bought luxury flats in newly-constructed blocks not to live in them but to make a capital gain when prices had risen. It was disgraceful, he said, some people should be doing this while others slept in doorways.
Mr. Corbyn’s thought, if such it can be called, was stuck in a primitive, almost pre-Bastiat stage: he saw people sleeping in the doorways, he saw flats standing empty, what would or could be easier, then, than to get the people sleeping in the doorways into the flats? The only result of this would be to make some people cosy who before had been cold, which of course is wholly and unequivocally desirable.
Someone should do the country a favour and send Mr Corbyn the essays of Frédéric Bastiat, and in particular his What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen:
There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.
In essence, Mr. Corbyn thinks that expropriation and redistribution according to his view of what is right is the route to justice and prosperity. One might have hoped that the world had had sufficient experience of such notions to extinguish them from the human mind forever, but foolishness, like hope, springs eternal.
There is no doubt that Britain has a housing problem, or that the housing stock, like much of its infrastructure, is barely sufficient for its population. The reasons for the housing problems are various. The population has grown rapidly, largely as a result of immigration. Much of that immigration has been beneficial, but not all of it: at least 350,000 immigrants from Europe are unemployed, who must nevertheless be housed though being without income, or taxable income at any rate. The number of houses or flats necessary per million of population has risen because of a dramatic increase in the last fifty years of single person households. This increase is itself of complex origin, but among the most important causes is the ease with which men walk away from their obligations both to their children and to the mothers of their children. If the social security system does not mandate paternal irresponsibility, it certainly makes much of it possible. A quarter of British children now live in single parent households, and many of their fathers live on their own. The numbers of single fathers dwarf those of the homeless living on the streets, a fact that suggests that Mr. Corbyn, like most politicians, prefers easy targets to the difficult but vastly more important ones that require courage to target.
The homeless in the streets are the tail that Mr. Corbyn would like to wag the dog of the rule off the law. To appeal to both the sentimentality of the electorate, who would feel it obscene even to enquire the reasons why the street-dwellers find themselves in such a predicament (among them, importantly, are drug-addiction, alcoholism, incompatibility with their friends and relatives and psychosis), and to the xenophobic resentment of rich foreigners who can afford to speculate in London property, he is prepared to destroy his country’s reputation for probity and predictability in its laws of private property, a reputation that can be destroyed in a week but not restored in a decade, and which is vital to its future prospects.
But Mr. Corbyn cares nothing for that: he is dazzled by his own virtuous vision, his mirage or his hallucination of social justice. Perhaps the most telling word in his proposal, because uttered so unselfconsciously, was the word “give”: his government would “give” the homeless a house or a flat, having first confiscated it, or at least bought it compulsorily at any price it chose. This in turn implies that he saw all that existed in his country as being legitimately in his gift or in his power to withhold. No doubt he would deny this corollary of his proposal: but in the modern world there is no totalitarian as dangerous as he who does not realise that he is one.
At Speaker’s Corner, It’s Time to Show Muslims Some Respect
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tommy Robinson at Speaker's Corner
When I first went to London, decades ago, I was shown around by an English friend who wanted me to observe the Parliament in session, to see justice being administered at a criminal trial at the Old Bailey, to visit the Tower of London, and most of all, he wanted to show me that living example of free unfettered speech, Speaker’s Corner at Hyde Park, celebrated all over the world as a place where anyone could stand up and speak his piece, from an articulate political orator to an end-of-the-world-is-coming crank, without fear of being shut down either by the government, or by private parties. Speaker’s Corner was formally recognized as the place for such free speech by an act of Parliament in 1872. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Communists and capitalists, holy-rollers and atheists, all were welcome to speak their peace. It was give-and-take, speech and counter-speech, let-me-talk-and-then-you’ll-have-your-turn, on every conceivable topic. Foreign visitors, especially those from countries where speech was controlled by the government, were much impressed.
It is now clear that Speaker’s Corner is no longer quite that bastion of free speech that it once was. In the interest of what is comically called “social cohesion,” speeches that just might anger one group — Muslims — are no longer always permitted. Tommy Robinson has been forced by the police to leave Speaker’s Corner on several occasions — sometimes before he had a chance even to begin to talk. On March 18, before he spoke, Muslims deliberately provoked scuffles — some say it was a mini-riot — but fortunately, on this occasion, Robinson managed to read in its entirety a speech written by the Austrian Martin Sellner, an anti-Islam activist whom the British authorities just recently prevented from entering the United Kingdom. And that speech had another consequence: when Lutz Bachmann, the leader of Pegida, a German organization whose members are alarmed about the influx of millions of Muslims into Germany (and therefore “right-wing”), arrived at Heathrow in mid-March, the police found a copy of Sellner’s speech in Bachmann’s luggage — he had been planning to read it at Speaker’s Corner. They promptly impounded it and refused entry to Bachmann, just as they had to Sellner before him, so that the Pegida founder was forced to return to Germany.
Muslims are now a privileged group in Great Britain. The British authorities seem to think they must treat Muslims as they treat no other group — that is, to protect them from criticism even at Speaker’s Corner. This demonstrates little faith in the ability of Muslims to defend themselves with speech of their own. And there is a second implication from what the authorities have done. They suggested that “violence” could result if Lutz Bachmann were allowed to speak, or Martin Sellner before him, reasons which were sufficient to keep them out of the country. Do they have so low a view of Muslims as to think they are incapable of refraining from violence? Do Muslims themselves not see that by welcoming such censorship on their behalf, they are signaling both that they are not up to the task of answering critics civilly and convincingly, and that they are unable to control their emotions, but are almost certain to respond to words with violence? Shouldn’t we treat Muslims not with such obvious contempt but, rather, assume they are just as capable as other groups of answering criticism, and that they will not have recourse to riots to silence their critics?
No one knew exactly what was in Martin Sellner’s speech when the British police prevented Lutz Bachmann from entering Great Britain, because that speech was in his suitcase. The police already knew that Bachmann has long been labelled “right-wing,” and Sellner, too, has had that “right-wing” epithet affixed to his name. No one questions these epithets; it’s the same with Jihad Watch, which, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, is a “right-wing” and “hate” site, and for too many, those adjectives are not questioned but simply accepted, not to be dislodged by facts. In the United Kingdom, the police exhibit a dangerous mindset — a tremendous fear of being labelled “Islamophobic” or “racist” by Muslims and their defenders — that caused them for so long to keep from investigating Muslim grooming gangs. That mindset can also be seen in the insensate censorship of the most articulate foreign critics of Islam, who are not only being kept from making speeches even at the one place in the world that most symbolizes freedom of speech, Speaker’s Corner at Hyde Park, but in many cases, are also being prevented even from entering Great Britain, because of the putative “disorder” their mere presence would bring.
The Heckler’s Veto is the name given, in American Constitutional law (it’s a term first proposed by Harry Kalven at the University of Chicago Law School), to the police shutting down a speaker if a crowd’s response to him becomes a threat to the public order. Many find it a dangerous doctrine, for it rewards the unruly and the violent. But at least in the case of the Heckler’s Veto, the shutting down of a speaker only occurs after he has had a chance to speak at least some of what he came to say, and then disruption followed. And only when the police found they could not contain or suppress the disruption did they, most reluctantly and infrequently, stop the speaker. The British are now engaged not in halting speech, but in preventing speech, a certain category of speech, speech that is critical of Islam and that offends Muslims, and they are doing so with the excuse that such speech might lead to disruption by that one group. This is the Heckler’s Veto on stilts, a Heckler’s Veto of speech that never even gets a chance to be spoken.
Here’s what a successor to Theresa May should say, to undo the damage her government has done to the exercise of free speech. He (or she) could make the following speech in defense of that right and its exercise at Speaker’s Corner:
“My predecessor, and she was not alone, apparently believed that the full freedom of speech was not to be granted to one category of speech at Speaker’s Corner, at Hyde Park: the speech of those who take a dim view of Islam. Apparently she deemed such censorship as necessary for two reasons, neither of them flattering to Muslims. First, she seems to have thought that Muslims themselves were incapable of articulately responding to criticism, of correcting any misinformation about Islam that a critical speaker conveyed, and of course, of adducing evidence from the Qur’an and other Islamic texts to support their position. Second, she — and the police who answered to her — assumed that Muslims, more than other groups, were much more likely to respond with violence against opponents, which in their case meant those who criticized either Islam or Muslims. Our government finds these assumptions both damaging to free speech and demeaning to Muslims. Our predecessor’s policy of keeping out foreign critics of Islam, and preventing British critics, too, from fully exercising their free speech rights on the grounds that this could result in riots, is hereby ended. Muslims at Speaker’s Corner will from now on be subject to the same treatment as all other groups, neither more nor less. They will have to tolerate criticism just like other groups, and must learn both to endure, and to reply, to such criticism without resort to violence, or to the shouting down of opponents. Any kind of public disorder, of course, employed as a way to scare off critics, or to prevent them from being heard, will not be tolerated. That’s why the police are there: to protect speakers, not to haul them away. Let the Speaker’s Corner at Hyde Park return to being what it has been formally for 150 years: the preeminent symbol of the right of free speech, and the place where it has most famously been exercised. And let’s treat Muslims with respect by not assuming they must — uniquely — be protected from criticism, as if they are incapable of answering cogently in their own defense, or by assuming that they will be uniquely violent in their response to such public criticism.”
Ecclesiastes warned, "of making many books there is no end." Certainly, the output on Jews and the State of Israel continues in full flood. The latest work is In Search Israel: The History of an Idea (Princeton U.P.), written by Michael Brenner, German born historian, child of Holocaust survivor, who teaches at the University of Munich and American University. It is a spendidly written and fair minded work combining thoughts on the emergence and bewildering diversity of Zionist ideas and on the nature and changes in the State of Israel, and it appears fortuitously at a time when racist bigotry against Jews continues to raise its ugly head. Disgracefully and almost unchallenged by members of the Congressional Black Caucus was the declaration, "The powerful Jews are my enemy," expressed by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in Chicago on February 25, 2018.
Even worse, one member of the Caucus, Danny Davis (D-Ill) defending Farrakhan explained that the "the world is so much bigger than the Jewish Question." His insensitive statement recalls the use of the phrase, used once to discuss issues of the status and condition of Jews in European countries, but for long used by antisemites or those seeking destruction of the State of Israel, and made infamous by the Nazi formula, "The Final Solution to the Jewish Question," the Holocaust planned at the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on January 20, 1942.
The words of the Israeli national anthem, Hatikva (The Hope), first written as a poem in 1878, ends with the aspiration, "To be a free people in our land, the Land of Zion and Jerusalem." It echoes the 2,000 year hope for Jews to return to the land of Israel, restore it, and become a sovereign nation. Brenner's book discusses the ideas behind the creation of the Jewish state, and the ongoing debate about whether that free state, now the State of Israel, should be or can be considered a normal state, or unique. Is Israel a state like any other or does it have a Sonderweg, a special path?
The book, which goes over much familiar ground, telling the story of how Zionism emerged as one of the paths for overcoming the age old discrimination and persecution of Jews and for normalizing their condition. The proposals for ending persecution varied: thorough assimilation as proposed by Walter Rathenau, Jewish German businessman and politician; Diaspora autonomy best expressed by Simon Dubnow, historian in Odessa; a Jewish society and a state that would be a spiritual center of creativity and cultural values envisioned by Ahad Ha'am; the Eastern European Jewish socialists known as the Bund who concentrated on social and economic isues and aimed at a "new Jew" working the land in collective settlements by kibbutzim; Orthodox Jews who wanted a society based on Halakha, Jewish religious law; cultural Zionists who wanted the renewal of the Hebrew language and a distinct secular culture; and the mainstream Zionism, established as a Jewish mass movement by Theodore Herzl in Basle in 1897, though anticipated by others such as Leon Pinsker and Max Nordau.
From the start, Zionist writers differed and no single solution was accepted. Herzl himself was a secular liberal interested in saving the Jews from antisemitism, proposing a society for Jews and non-Jews. In it, religion and Jewish culture would not be significant, and languages used would be German, English, French, not Hebrew .
Brenner fairly traces the arguments of the Zionist pioneers, and their followers, among others Ber Borochov, Aaron Gordon, Rabbi Kook, Israel Zangwill, and Vladimir Jabotinky who held that Jews should settle on both sides of the Jordan and have a strong state with sovereignty. At the core was always the question of the "idea" of a state, a normal one like others or one that was exceptional unlike any other, a model society with a mission, "a light unto the nations." Tension was always present between idealism and pragmatism. Was the state to be secular or religious? Early on, in view of increasing persecution and the Nazi menace, the question of a place for Jews as immediate refuge, a safe haven, was crucial: Africa, Australia, South America, Tasmania were choices.
What indeed was the "national home" promised by the Balfour declaration of 1917 to become? The meaning of Jewish sovereignty remained unclear, and proposals by Zionist thinkers and actions in the State of Israel reflected the differences about the character of Jewish self-determination. Brenner makes the point that both the mainstream Zionist movement and socialist Zionists were inclined to favor autonomy under British or international rule until World War II. Interestingly, the legacy of Herzl is claimed both by the right as nationalist, and by the left as cosmopolitan.
The State of Israel since its creation has struggled with these issues in a changing society and an insecure and hostile international environment. Brenner believes that Israel has achieved many goals of the Zionist movement but it is not a state like any other. One indication is that it has been subjected to far more international attention as shown by the disproportionate condemnations by UN and other resolutions, far more than any other country in the world. It has been seen, as exceptional not only by itself but, for prejudiced reasons, by many in the "international community."
In his address to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in 1946, David Ben-Gurion, who Brenner calls Herzl's heir, explained that a Jewish state meant a Jewish country, labor, colony, agriculture, industry, and Jewish seed. It would be characterised by Jewish language, schools, culture, safety, security, and autonomy. But he held contradictory views, holding on one hand that the state would be a nation like any other nation, but also rejected that notion in arguing that Israel occupies a unique place in the intellectual and cultural history of mankind, a light unto other states.
For many the founding and survival of Israel is seen as a miracle, and by some as a normalization of Jewish history. Israel was created as a Jewish state, with flag, anthem, language, official Jewish holidays, and the Law of Return. Brenner discusses a number of the real problems that have arisen in the State. Israel has been unable to draft a formal constitution, nor formulated an exact definition of "Jewishness," but has drafted a number of Basic Laws. It lacks a single document that clearly defines its essence. At the beginning, Israel had an overwhelmingly secular Jewish population and a quiescent religious minority with religious symbols. Many of the original Jewish settlers came from Eastern Europe, penniless, little educated, refashioning the land and making it cultivable. The Hebrew language restored and modernized, and a compromise was made on the role of religion with acceptance of openings on Sabbath and of secular rulings by the courts.
Israel has changed, become less secular and socialist, and more nationalist and religious. The settler ideal has, to an extent, begun to replace two features: the ideal of kibbutzim. always small and idealistic, and now reduced in numbers from 5% of the population to less than 2%; and the prominence of social democratic governments. More common are capitalist and technological entrepreneurs, and control by divided but more right wing political groups. Symbolically, Israel exports 20 times more in high tech goods than in agriculture.
The dilemma of normality or uniqueness remains in the present deeply divided society. In the 1900s, there were 4 groups, a large secular majority, and three minority groups, a national-religious minority, an Arab minority, and a Haredi minority. Today, the secular population and universalist values are declining, while religious and more particularist elements are increasing. Brenner holds that Israel has made enormous achievements but it also has setbacks, and the 1967 Six Day War victory has made Israel, still evolving in realpolitik and perhaps in fantasy, a more combative power.
In the present Israeli order there is no clear majority or even clear minority groups, but four "tribes" different from each other, and increasing in size. A national-religious minority once moderate is now more concerned with settlements; an Arab-Palestinian minority now over 20% of the population, unequal in ownership and local administrative services, which demands of Israel a "state of all its citizens," and less prominent Jewish symbols and actions; a Haredi ultra Orthodox minority, growing and now playing a larger role, many, perhaps most, seeing themselves as more Jewish than Israel, but who have modified their critical or hostile position toward the state; a declining, purely secular population.
The future is open. The model of Israel is more than simply a choice between the "normal" Tel Aviv, secular and hedonistic city, quasi-Western, or the diverse, unique Jerusalem more dominated by religion of various kinds, a part of the Middle East.
A state of Israel has always meant different things. To its secular founders in their revolt against Jewish history, it would normalize Jewish history. For Orthodox Jews, it symbolized continuity, not a break with Jewish history but its culmination, a vehicle to messianic goals.
With its consumer society and shopping malls, multinational corporations and start up companies, privatization of state owned enterprises, new economic oligarchies, increase in travel aboad, today's Israel is more symbolized by microchips than by oranges. One can conclude that Israel is both Jewish and democratic though not as democratic as many wish, nor as religious as the Orthodox want. The question of normal or unique is still open. Brenner carefully concludes that the goal of becoming a state like any other remains elusive.
Audience members at Golden West's "Islam 101" event forced to step outside and warned about asking unacceptable questions.
by Gary Fouse
On March 14, I attended a public presentation entitled Islam 101 at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California. The presenter was Nicole Bovey, a convert to Islam and public information officer at the Islamic Institute of Orange County in Anaheim. Bovey also works with the Muslim Speakers Bureau in Orange County (an arm of the Islamic Networks Group). The presentation was sponsored by GWC professors Kaine Fini (Anthropology) and Communications Professor Kristine Clancy (most of the audience members were her students, and this was part of her class.) The event had been advertised publicly, hence was open to the public. Altogether, there were approximately 50 people present. I videotaped the entire proceeding. The event was scheduled to run from 6:45-9:30 pm. As it was, it was cut off at about 8:30 by one of the professors (more about that later.) During the event, Professor Clancy called in campus police and she admonished a couple of the people in the audience who had asked pointed questions.
Ms. Bovey's presentation was a very basic and very vanilla presentation of Islam, explaining what Islam is, what it means, who Muslims are, Muslims' worldwide demographic breakdown etc. Bovey's lesson plan, consisting of slides posted on the walls, was about subjects like the 5 pillars of Islam, daily prayers etc. She stated at the outset that she was there to clear up misconceptions about Islam. In fact, the first image on the wall was of a masked man representing a terrorist. Yet, it was clear later into the presentation that she was not going to get into areas like terrorism or Sharia law. She invited the audience members to raise their hands to ask questions at any point.
Bovey was doing fine handling soft, non-controversial questions, but plainly could not handle pointed, uncomfortable questions from a few members of the audience, including myself. One audience member identified himself as a former Muslim from Egypt, who left Islam and became a Christian pastor. When he began to contradict statements by Bovey, she became uncomfortable. Subsequently, he was approached by Prof. Clancy who asked him to step outside. He returned a few minutes later. While Bovey was discussing Zakat (Islamic charity giving), another audience member asked her about the categories of Zakat and whether any of them allowed giving to non-Muslims. She was unable to answer the question. Another man in the audience, a Muslim, stated that there was a separate channel of giving other than Zakat that could be directed to non-Muslims.
During Bovey's description of Islamic daily prayers, I asked her about Sura 1, verses 1-7, from the Quran, which are recited in those daily prayers. I read verses 6-7 to her from an English language Koran that referred to those who had incurred Allah's wrath and those who had lost their way. I mentioned that according to a hadith, one of Mohammad's followers had asked who that referred to and Mohammad's answer was that the former were the Jews and the latter Christians. Bovey danced all around it stating that she didn't know about that and that she had her own perception of who those people might be.
At one point, Bovey called for a 15-20 minute break because she and her AV assistant had to pray. At that point I turned my camera off and was looking at my cell phone when Professor Clancy began admonishing a couple of the men in the audience who had asked the above questions stating that this was her class. A campus police officer entered the room and a third staff member, International Student Program Director Melissa Lyon, asked a couple of them to step outside. One of the men had not even asked a question and eventually he was able to avoid going outside to talk to police. I captured most of this on my cell phone both inside the hall and outside. After talking with the police, the men were allowed to return.
Later on, Yet another audience member pointed out that modern archaeological studies had failed to identify Mecca as even existing during the time Mohammad was alive. Again, Bovey was unprepared. Professor Fini identified himself as an anthropological professor and responded that there were historical sites associated with Judaism and Christianity which could not be proven to exist during certain times, but that they were accepted as part of tradition.
I was called on for another question and asked Bovey about Hudud Sharia, the punishment section of Sharia law, specifically about the death penalty for apostates who criticized Islam, adulterers and homosexuals. Again her answ
er was evasive. She then asked me to stop videotaping saying that she feared I would edit it. I assured her I would not. I politely insisted that this was a public event in a public institution and that I had a right to videotape. This was affirmed by the aforementioned anthropology professor. (During the break I had occasion to talk to a campus police officer, and he affirmed my right to videotape.)
As other questioners steered the topic toward sensitive areas, Professor Lyon came racing to the rescue ending the event one hour before its scheduled time. It was pretty obvious that the conversation was going in a direction that Bovey and the professors did not want it to go.
It is clear that Bovey came prepared to give a "happy face" version of Islam to her audience. She was not prepared to deal with the obvious elephants in the room. Virtually every critical question was met with evasion.
Professors Clancy and Lyon completely overreacted to the questions to the point of calling in the campus cops and asking audience members to step outside. Whatever happened to free speech and the free exchange of ideas? There was absolutely no disruption whatsoever. Yet members of the audience were told that their questions were unacceptable. Since when?
And why did Ms. Lyon stop the event 60 minutes early? Because the speaker and her hosts were unwilling to engage in a discussion of aspects of Islam like Sharia law, draconian punishments, and terrorism.
Though the audience was mostly students and mostly members of Professor Clancy's class, we (the aforementioned questioners) were not the only non-students in the audience. This event was announced to the public. That some chose to come and ask honest questions about Islam should be part of the protocol. Is that not what colleges are supposed to be engaged in? It was stated that Bovey wanted to explain "misconceptions" about Islam. Yet when asked to do so, she gave us tap dances and evasions while the professors tried to silence some of us -- and then called the campus police to shut us down. Again, this was an event open to the public.
It is evident that all of these eerie developments clearly were a perfect lesson in Islam 101 -- and in which happens to a free society once Sharia starts taking over.
 The president of Golden West College is Wes Bryan. Contact him and ask why his institution is submitting to Islamic blasphemy laws:
Email: [email protected]
Phone #: 714 895 8101.
 Golden West College is part of the Coast Community College District. They have a board of regents whose contact info can be found HERE.
 One of the audience members who was escorted out of this event by police and warned by them not to ask any more questions was Steve Amundson, the head of the Counter Jihad Coalition. Contact him if you want to help defend America from Jihad and Sharia:
Email: [email protected]
Two very different French citizens express similar sentiments regarding the ‘Great Replacement’
Breitbart London reports via Valeurs Actuelles that the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Strasbourg Luc Ravel has called attention to recent demographic shifts in France, saying Muslims are having far more children than native French people. He also criticized the widespread “promotion” of abortion.
In speaking out the Archbishop has gone against the grain, as the majority of French Church leaders have largely remained politically correct on the issue of demographic change. The Archbishop says:
“Muslim believers know very well that their birthrate is such that today, they call it … the Great Replacement, they tell you in a very calm, very positive way that, ‘one day all this, it will be ours’.
‘The Great Replacement’ is a term coined in 2010 by writer Renaud Camus first in a speech, and then later in his 2011 political book, The Great Replacement. Camus has characterized the current mass migration policies in Europe as the biggest shift in peoples and their values since the barbarian invasions in the third century which led to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. The Great Replacement is very simple, he says:
You have one people, and in the space of a generation, you have a different people.
Also weighing in at Valeurs Actuelles is French actress Brigitte Bardot who has spoken out against the state of her country, saying that Islamists are "practically everywhere" and that France should not resemble Algeria.
The 83-year-old actress told the French weekly:
"I have been brought up in honor, patriotism, love and respect for my country, and when I see what it has become, I feel desperate...I did not fight against French Algeria to accept an Algerian France, I do not touch the culture, the identity and the customs of others, let's not touch mine,"
Since leaving the film industry in 1973, Bardot has been known both for her animal rights activism and her outspoken views on Islam.
In June of 2000 the former ‘sex kitten’ was fined 30,000 francs by a French court for a passage in her 1999 book entitled Le Carre de Pluton:
"My country, France, my homeland, my land is again invaded by an overpopulation of foreigners, especially Muslims".