Nearly two weeks into his trial, prosecutor Annabel Darlow said: "The defendant has asked to be re-indicted on counts one to four." He then had three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts and one count of encouraging terrorism put to him - and pleaded guilty to each.
Judge Andrew Lees told him that the trial had heard the "most disturbing allegations", adding: "It is inevitable that you will receive a very lengthy prison sentence and there will be a consideration of a life prison sentence."
Les Soixante-Huitards: Sex, Drugs, and Lame Poster Art
by Theodore Dalrymple
"Choses vues en mai," "Things Seen in May," by Jean Helion, 1968-69 (alamy.com)
My wife began her medical studies in Paris in the year of les événements. She remembers them mainly as having been great fun, a kind of break from boring everyday routine and responsibility, in effect a long street party. Later she had to re-sit her first-year exams. It turned out that even the soixante-huitards didn’t want to be treated in the future by doctors who had failed their exams.
What Professor Mahoney says in his Liberty Forum essay is right, as Raymond Aron was right before him. May 1968 in Paris was indeed a psychodrama, more a mass tantrum than a revolution. But what was the tantrum about? After all, even tantrums are usually about something. They may be unjustified, but they do not usually arise ex nihilo.
Before May 1968, France was not a land of Latin insouciance and sexual freedom, but rather highly disciplined and blessed (or cursed, according to taste) with a strong conventional morality. Though my wife’s parents were nonbelievers, she was sent to a convent school to be taught by nuns who wore the traditional habits that now, alas, have completely disappeared, and she had her First Communion. Parental authority and control were still unchallenged and the moral code enforced by social pressure.
More than one factor conspired to make it impossible for this situation to continue. The first was the economic transformation of France. In 1968, France was 23 years into the trente glorieuses, that is to say the 30 postwar years in which the French economy grew at a quite unprecedented pace, and which changed France forever into a consumer society. What is perhaps surprising is that this growth continued through the colonial disasters and political instability (including a narrowly averted civil war) of the postwar years.
But for the young, the possibility of indulgence in pleasure, including, of course, in sexual pleasure, was greater than ever before in France’s history. The sexual frustration caused by the old morality no longer had the justification that early pregnancy was to be avoided at all cost and abstinence was the best way of securing this. With the advent of the oral contraceptive, you could now be as promiscuous as you liked at very little risk of unwanted pregnancy. Any attempt to maintain the old morality without a purely prudential argument to back it up was bound to fail. You wouldn’t have had to be a Freudian to notice the strong sexual component in lesévénements and of the ideology behind them (if the scattered ideas expressed by the soixante-huitards deserve to be called an ideology).
Refusal to Discuss the Nation’s Past
The historical circumstances in which May 1968 erupted were also rather special. The parental generation had lived through the Nazi Occupation, the defeat in Vietnam, and the Algerian war (which at that time had still not officially been recognized as a war, although hundreds of thousands had died in it, and hundreds of thousands of young Frenchmen had been sent to fight in it). The society was pervaded by non-dits, those things which were not said and, for social reasons, could not be said. Internal peace depended on the maintenance of mutual silence.
Books such as La Question (1958) by Henri Alleg, which dealt with the use of torture in Algeria, were banned. No one spoke of the deportation of the Jews during the Occupation (or for that matter, of the thousands of Jews saved by courageous private action); of the épuration that followed the Occupation that many felt had been more a settling of old political or personal scores than a matter of justice; of the massacres in Madagascar and Algeria; of the shameful treatment of the Harkis, the Algerians who fought on the French side, who, once they reached safety in France, were put in camps; of the Algerians killed in Paris, the remains of whom were dumped into the Seine.
To grow up in a society in which the old lines of authority were supposed to hold as if everything could go along in the same old way, as if religious mores could continue without religious belief, and yet in which almost everyone had something to hide or did not wish to remember, and which had undergone multiple shocks and disasters, must have been odd for anyone not obliged to be preoccupied with the day-to-day flux of ordinary existence. For the more educated and well-to-do classes in France, that is to say. The successes of the trente glorieuses were not enough to paper over the cracks, or rather fissures, in French society.
L’imagination au pouvoir
Charles Dickens tells us that children are able to detect, and are highly sensitive to, the slightest injustice; adolescents, who have yet to understand the complexities of life, sniff out inconsistency and uncertainty in their elders and with similar acuity. They have neither the knowledge nor the experience to put their own anxieties or frustrations into perspective. Thus the 1968 generation had little awareness of just how pampered, protected, and fortunate it was. A slogan of the “revolutionaries” was “All power to the imagination,” though in retrospect, if there was one thing that they truly lacked, it was imagination. They lacked it in both temporal directions, past and future. They did not even understand that it was necessary to imagine the past, which was the only standard of comparison which could have given them a sense of proportion about their own frustrations (which I suspect, as I have indicated, were mainly sexual).
I remember being shocked by the comparisons that were frequently being made between Charles de Gaulle and Adolf Hitler. There was a famous image of de Gaulle removing his mask (the face of de Gaulle) and revealing what was really behind it, namely Hitler. Like all human beings, no doubt, de Gaulle was flawed, but this seemed to me more like a gaseous eructation from the stomach than a manifestation of anything that could be called thought. The comparison displayed no imaginative grasp of the horrors of Nazism, and no desire to know anything of them, either—knowing, that is, in the sense of an imaginative grasp, which is surely necessary for there to be any true historical knowledge. Only someone with no real interest in the world, who was entirely egotistical, could have made such comparison so lightly, in the belief that he really meant it.
The same goes for their rhetorical espousal of Mao Zedong and Che Guevara as tutelary spirits. The soixante-huitards didn’t have the faintest interest in what these men were actually like or what they had wrought. They were, to adapt Mao slightly, mythical beings onto whom the most beautiful characters could be projected, and never mind if they were sadistic executioners responsible, in the former’s case, for the deaths of millions. What are a few million dead Chinese to set against the so-called ideals of the Left Bank?
The claimed equivalence of the CRS (les Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité) with Hitler’s SS could only have pained the many Frenchmen who knew of the activities of the SS first-hand, but such a thought was beyond the imagination of those who urged “All power to the imagination.” These moral equivalencies were essentially trivial and frivolous, at most self-pitying. Yet what cause had these people, these spoilt and even gilded youth, for self-pity?
I suspect that, in a way, they envied their elders the very fact that they had lived through so much of world-historical importance. They themselves were condemned (as they saw it) to live an existence in which a university exam counted as a large event. They faced the prospect of an easy life of assured prosperity, without any transcendent purpose beyond personal enjoyment of material good fortune. The romanticism of youth finds this insufficient and even repellent. Pascal might have said that a lot of the trouble in 1968 arose from youth’s inability quietly to accept its own good fortune.
The Parisian students were playing at revolution as children play at soldiers. I do not think they for a minute believed that they would be mowed down by troops as crowds in real revolutions tend to be: Mummy and Daddy were far too socially prominent for that to happen. They were being very, very naughty rather than revolutionary. It was obvious from the way they dressed and from their gestures that they were thinking how they would appear on television or in news photographs to the grown-ups.
This is not to say that the events, frivolous as in essence they were, had no real or abiding effects on the evolution of French society and perhaps on Western society as a whole. I think they served to fix in the popular mind the romantic notion that adolescence is the high point of any human existence, a time of idealism rather than (more accurately) of egotism, which perhaps accounts for the seeming refusal of ever more people to relinquish the musical and sartorial tastes they formed in their youth. The area of France in which I live part of the year is full of geriatric soixante-huitards, recapturing their personal apogee of having manned the toy barricades, or at least of pretending they had. (One of the more tangible consequences of May 1968, was the asphalting over of the cobblestones of Paris, so that they could never again be ripped up and thrown at the police.)
An Exhibition of Mediocrity
Earlier this month, I went to the exhibition at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris of the posters manufactured during the May days and a few years afterwards. For me, at any rate, who am quite without emotional attachment to that time, it was a depressing experience. There were three reasons for this.
First was the extremely low intellectual level of the sloganeering. I have already mentioned the disgraceful false equivalences made between de Gaulle and the CRS, on the one hand, and Hitler and the SS on the other. The other slogans were positively pitiful. Expressed mainly in the purest langue de bois, they left nothing for Leonid Brezhnev’s speechwriters to envy, such as “To work now is to work with a pistol in the back,” or “Everyone united against Gaullist provocation.”
The second reason was the militant conformism of the students in revolt, as revealed by the video footage shown at the exhibition. There is no one as conformist and shallow as a student in revolt.
Finally, the feeble graphic abilities of the art students of the time. This was a bit of a surprise, but it would be obvious to any viewer within seconds of entering the exhibition. It suggests, at least to me, that the undermining of culture had begun well before May 1968, and was not caused by it.
Professor Mahoney’s characterization of les événements is in essence is correct.
Winston Churchill delivered some of the most stirring and inspiring speeches in history, yet occasionally even he was at a loss for words. In a BBC broadcast on August 24, 1941 referring to Nazi brutalities in Europe, he remarked,"We are in the presence of a crime without a name." Three years later the name was coined by the Polish Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin in his 1944 book, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, who combined a word with Greek and Latin roots to create "genocide." He defined it specifically to apply to the Nazi regime's slaughter of European Jews, now perceived as the Holocaust, and also in recognition of the massacre of Armenians by Turkey in 1915. He explained genocide was a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.
On December 9, 1948, the UN Genocide Convention adopted by the UN General Assembly defined the concept genocide as "acts committed with intent, from direct statements or orders, to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group." The offences mentioned are murder, serious bodily or mental harm calculated to destroy a group, prevention of births, and forcible transfer of children to another group.
At the Nuremberg Tribunal, 1945-46, the Nazi leaders were charged with violations of existing international law, such as crimes against humanity, not with genocide which had not been formally defined. Since then, a number of countries have made denial of genicide illegal.
Apart from a small number of mentally deranged fanatics and vicious antisemites, everyone accepts the concept of genocide is applicable to the Nazi Holocaust. The "Final Solution" was planned with precision at the Wansee Conference on January 20, 1942. Its organizer Reinhard Heyrich explained how European Jews would be rounded up, sent to extermination camps, and murdered. His colleague Adolf Eichmann, no banal figure, had already drafted a list of the number of Jews in the European countries who would be the victims.
There is less unanimity about the application of "genocide" to the Armenian situation. No one denies that massacres of Armenians, during the Young Turk regime in Turkey, of perhaps as many as 1.5 million people took place in 1915 as a result of forced labor, direct murder, death marches, starvation, thirst, rape and torture. The legendary French-Armenian pop singer Charles Aznavour in his song, Ils sont tombes, wrote that "They fell that year, they vanished from the earth, never knowing the cause, or what laws they'd offended."
Controversy continues on whether these massacres can be termed genocide and whether the massacres were planned and were aimed at the extermination of the Armenian people.
The problem of appraisal is two fold, general and specific. In general, can mass killings always be termed genocide? More specifically, is the Holocaust unique so the appelation "genocide" is applicable only to the cae of six million Jews massacred during World War II?
Mass killings and elimination of peoples go back to the beginning of history. The Roman army under Scipio in the Third Punic War,143 B.C., conquered and completly destroyed Carthage, and sold the remaining 50,000 survivors into slavery. The cry of Cato the Elder, "Carthage must be destroyed," was fulfilled.
Since then, countless atrocities have occurred: German massacre under Gen Lothar von Trotha in 1904 of 100,000 Africans, Herero, in South West Africa; the Armenians by Turkey in 1915; bloodbaths and the Holodomor in the Stalinist Soviet Union 1929-53 and in China 1949-76; Cambodia 1975-8; slaughter of 800,000 Tutsi by the Hutu majority in Rwanda in a three month period in 1994; Bosnia in 1992-5, and in countries such as Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tibet, and East Timor. Can these brutal events be considered examples of genocide?
It is the massacre of the Armenians that remains a controversial political issue. In June 2000 the New York Times published a statement by 126 scholars, including Elie Wiesel, on the "incontestable" fact of the genocide of that people. At present 29 countries, including France and Germany in 2016, and 48 states in the U.S. have agreed as has Pope Francis.
In a somewhat ironic turn of events, on May 29, 2018 the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, was supposed to vote on a motion for formal recognition that Turkey had perpetrated a genocide against Armenia in 1915. On May 28, the motion was pulled by the Knesset Speaker, Yuli Edelstein. Was this a denial of "historic justice," or recognition that Israel was conscious of political reality and that the country understood, if motion was passed, it would expect outrage and political difficulties from Turkey and Azerbaijan which fought a 30 year war with Armenia?
The issue at stake is whether the Holocaust and massacres in general and that of Armenians in particular are events of the same type. The Holocaust is well documented. However, some of the facts about Turkish behavior in the area during World War I are disputed. Was it only the regular Turkish army and the central or local governments with deliberate orchestration, or was it irregulars and local Turkish villagers who were responsible for the massacre, or was it military necessity? In a situation of guerrilla warfare all over Anatolia, many Armenians had crossed the frontier and joined Russian forces invading Turkey and were in the city of Van for a time, lured by the Russian promise of independence. It is clear that the Turkish government wanted to deport Armenians from the area of Anatolia, but no official preconceived decision was made to masssacre them all.
Historians differ on whether the Armenians constituted a threat to Turkey because of their cooperation with Russia. Differences of opinion about Turkish behavior became litigious after the distinguished historian Bernard Lewis, generally regarded as the leading scholar of the Middle East, in an interview with Le Monde in November 1993 wrote critically of the Armenian version of the history of the massacres, and later argued there was "no serious proof of a decision and of a plan of the Ottoman government to exteminate the Armenian nation."
On the contrary, the Young Turks were divided as were regional military commanders and leaders, and in different areas local rivalries, family feuds, personal quarrels, were intertwined with acts of mass murder. Nevertheless, a Paris court on June 21, 1995 held that Lewis had not "expressed himself without nuance on such a sensitive subject," and fined him one franc as damages.
The problem remains. Is the Armenian massacre to be identified as genocide, and is it similar to the Holocaust? The Holocaust, or Shoah, an experience that was the embodiment of evil, is unique for a number of reasons: the Nazi ideology of the total elimination of the Jewish people; that total elimination would occur everywhere Jews could be found; all instruments and organizations of the Nazi state were involved in execution of the ideology; the industrial means of carrying out the objective, from individual shootings to using cyanide, asphyxiating people in trucks and large ovens in gas chambers; the impossiblity of Jewish resistance against the Nazi forces, police, and SS.
In contrast, the Armenian massacre happened in one territorial area; it was carried out in brutal but chaotic fashion; it was not preplanned; there was no official order or doctrine to massacre a whole people.
The comparison between the two events of Jews and Armenians seems evident, but there is a problem. Bigotry and hatred is everywhere, and local populations in Europe took part or collaborated in mass murders in a context of competing nationalisms, and ethnic hatreds. Events in World War II showed that people, not officials and not acting in accordance with a doctrine, were ready to eliminate those who for some reason they regarded as pernicious or unacceptable.
This sad conclusion is strikingly reinforced in a recent book Anatomy of a Holocaust by the historian Omar Bartov. He deals with the Nazi supervised genocide in the town of Buczacz, Ukraine where Poles, Ukainians, and Jews once lived side by side. But during World War II, brutalities in the town was a "communal event both cruel and intimate." Ukrainian as well as German police murdered the Jewish population of the town where everything was a "gray zone." and hatreds were manifest. Few Poles or Ukrainians tried to help the Jews.
One can conclude that the distinction between the Holocaust and other masssacres and mass killings is valid and well-founded, but is not categorical or unqualified in view of the repugnant behavior of European, non-official, citizens in participation of the Holocaust without obeisance to Nazi doctine. In that perspective, the Turkish mass murder of more than a million Armenians can be regarded as genocide, even though it was not doctrinal in character.
A KNIFEMAN has been shot dead after an attack on a train in Germany. Two others are critically injured after a fight broke out in Flensburg, north Germany. Federal police confirmed that the knife attack had taken place near the central train station in the northern city of Flensburg, on the Danish border.
The man allegedly took out his weapon at around 7pm on Wednesday while on the fast train travelling to Flensburg via Cologne and Hamburg.
Local media say that there has been at least one fatality and two injuries.
Early reports suggested that the one dead was the assailant, while the two injured were policemen who had taken him down. German newspaper the Bild reported that the man had been shot while coming at the police with the weapon.
As the train arrived in Flensburg at 7.06pm the two police officers are said to have boarded.Then the attacker is said to have injured the female police officer and her colleague then shot the man.
A police spokesman said that he was "not aware of" any connection to terrorism as yet and the suspect is not known at this time. Crimes do happen outside of terror related jihad. We'll see.
Police dog DIES as axe-wielding man shrieking ‘Allahu Akbar’ attacks armed officers who shoot him to the ground in Dutch city of Schiedam
I turned on my PC to better read reports of the incident tonight in Germany and this had succeeeded it as breaking news. The first English language report seems to be this one in the Daily Mail In Dutch here
Dutch police have shot a man who was shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he tried to attack them with an axe. According to Netherlands news site NU, police entered his apartment and were attacked this afternoon.
During the fighting, officers reportedly tried unsuccessfully to taser the man, who stabbed a police dog. .. which later died as a result of its injuries
Mayor Cor Lamers told NU the man was of a Syrian background and 'was known to different aid agencies'. He is in hospital in a stable condition.
Just another multicultural day during ramadan in Europe.
Unjust Official Acts Rivet Policy Debate Over Reform of Justice
by Conrad Black
However the legal controversy between the administration, congressional committees, and the Justice Department plays out (and I have made my predictions on that subject), the general state of American justice should be the ultimate winner. No objective assessment of its condition can leave anyone in any doubt of the terrible shortcomings of the American criminal-justice system.
As I and as many others have written here and elsewhere, ad nauseam, but inconsequentially to date, the United States has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of its incarcerated people, and six times to twelve times as many incarcerated people per capita as the most comparable prosperous, democratic countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
There are more than 40 million officially convicted felons in the United States, which is ridiculous, and convincing proof of the practical legal impossibility of defending against a criminal charge because of the advantages enjoyed by the prosecution, and also of the insatiable public demand for more convicted people as part of the infamous and infinitely demagogic (and rather unsuccessful) “war on crime.”
The American conviction rate of nearly 99%, 97% without a trial, because of the heinous perversion of the plea-bargain system, removes the United States in criminal-justice matters from the category of its socioeconomic and democratic peer countries and places it, in matters of criminal procedure and conviction rates, disgracefully among the totalitarian states.
I will not dwell on these points again. But even as the current drama that has called into question the probity of the highest officials of the security and intelligence agencies and of the Department of Justice itself has unfolded, there were some striking evidences of the terrible failures of this system.
There was the pathetic and heart-rending case of Matthew Charles in Nashville, who was released 15 years early on a terribly severe sentence (35 years), for drug trafficking, after the changes that the Obama administration made to reduce the disparity between sentences for powder and crack cocaine (essentially a distinction between white and non-white users). In two years, Charles re-integrated brilliantly into normal life, was usefully employed, engaged to be married, and well liked and encouraged by friends and co-workers.
Then he was deemed to have been ineligible for reduction of sentence because of a prior conviction, against the wishes of the judge, the probation office, the press, and any audible civilized person. He has been ordered to finish his original sentence, and his judge has asked the Justice department to drop some of its charges and confirm his release. At this point, it appears likely that he will return to prison for many years.
This would be an abominably evil official act, though not an especially untypical one, compounded by the resigned shrugs of the prosecutors, robotically repeating that it is impossible to contravene the rules. The concept of tempering justice with mercy has been thrown out with due process and other relevant parts of the Bill of Rights. Hannah Arendt famously wrote, in respect of Adolf Eichmann, of the banality of evil; American criminal justice adds the failing of sclerosis to both its banality and its evil.
The United States has a self-emasculated attorney general, a deputy attorney general in whom no one has any confidence, and a Justice Department that is wallowing and simmering in the vessel of its own failure, a vessel suspended over the conflagration caused by the unmasking of the Justice Department’s unconstitutional politicization. As the legal and political communities await the latest findings of the inspector general of the Department of Justice in the Clinton emails affair, it is little wonder that a system so rotten at its core has attracted intense scrutiny of its highest levels.
Illustrative of the brutality of the system was the disgusting spectacle this past week of Harvey Weinstein being frog-marched handcuffed past the press of the world into the courthouse in New York. I am not trying to rouse sympathy for Mr. Weinstein on the legal charges that he faces (unless a quiet persistent suggestion of due process is seen as sympathy because of the unlikelihood that it will occur).
But the addiction of American law enforcement, even in the least constabulary circumstances, to handcuffing people and publicly humiliating them in a gauntlet of the gawking, mocking public and press is barbarous. Harvey Weinstein was not going to flee on foot or flail out at anyone, and I doubt that even those who allege that he raped them would claim otherwise. The perp walk should end, and most of the oppressive and excessive powers of American prosecutors should end with it.
The assault on the Trump presidency and his counterattack on his tormentors will run their course. But the best possible result that could come from this affair, apart from the end of the routine criminalization of policy differences between partisan political opponents, would be a massive overhaul of the medieval torture chamber of the American criminal-justice system.
The plea bargain must cease to be a process of extorting and suborning perjured inculpatory testimony under threat of prosecution and inducement by immunity for the catechized perjury. Notions of civilized penal reform must return, such as assisting convicted people to learn how to earn honest incomes on release, and encouraging wholesome relationships with families and friends during incarceration.
The entire spirit of the system must change, from unlimited punitive severity in pursuit of political kudos, to policies that encourage law-abiding conduct as efficiently as possible, facilitate rehabilitation where it is reasonable to aspire to it, while protecting the public from wrongdoers with any tendency to violence.
If these ends are served, the nasty and tawdry political struggle in Washington in which the president has torn off the pompous fraudulent facade of American official justice and exposed its unsalubrious innards will have been very much worth this immense distraction.
A former boxing champion encouraged Muslims to purchase handguns and shoot 'the sons of monkey peoples', a jury heard. Anthony Small, 36, of Camberwell, south London, took to YouTube to tell Muslims to hijack cars and carry out terror attacks in the name of Islam, the Old Bailey was told.
In an alleged seven and a half minute rant including references to multinationals like Burger King and McDonalds, he said the choice was 'either to accept the flame grilled burger, or we are going to flame grill you from the sky'.
Small, who once appeared on a BBC Two documentary called Muslim's Like US, claimed he wished to see a day when 'tyrants' are removed and 'we see a day when the Muwahideen then go to conquer the White House all the way in America and Ten Downing Street', prosecutors said. The video, posted on YouTube on 12 September was titled 'Eid message: too many hajjis not enough muwahideed',
Small, also known as Abdul Haqq, became British and Commonwealth light middleweight champion in 2009, but quit the ring a year later because it clashed with his religious beliefs.
Karen Robinson, prosecuting, said: "...the defendant's words were chosen carefully and knew full well their meaning and their meaning in the context by which they were delivered by him.
'The general translation of that word - muwahideen, the plural of muwahhid - is those who practise true monotheism, the belief that there is only one God. However, the term is also used by Islamic terrorist groups (and their supporters) primarily those who stress that they are waging violent jihad to create a world ruled solely by the Sharia. The defendant makes a clear call to action against the West . . .He was making a clear call to action to his fellow Muslims..."
In the video, shown to the jury today Small said: "...Forget occupy Wall Street occupy St Paul's Cathedral or any of the Arab uprisings. Three million Muslims saying we are going nowhere until these tyrant apostate rulers are removed along with their Starbucks and their McDonalds, the Hilton hotel as well.
'I am not calling for you to boycott Starbucks or McDonalds instead buy Israeli made Desert Eagles cock them back and let them go in the sons of monkeys peoples. In matter of fact hijack an American made Humvee and stick a black flag over the USA eagle.
'So soon there will be no more airstrikes in the name of democracy, while they drop bombs that are lethal instead it will be us coming to them with Islam and the Sharia and teach them there is no interfaith because tawheed and shirk will never be equal'. Tawheed is the true Islamic faith, shirk is specifically assigning a partner to Allah (eg Christ, God's Son, the Trinity in general, Hindu polytheism etc) or anything except orthodox islam. The right kind of Islam.)
He denies one count of encouraging terrorism on 12 September 2016. The trial continues.
Priest Naim Ateek’s ‘theology’ of lies and hatred against Israel
Protesting Ateek and Sabeel is not a violation of free speech; it is a call for intelligent and honest speech.
by Moshe Dann
Naim Ateek, an Anglican priest who heads the St. Georges Church in Jerusalem and founder of Sabeel, an anti-Israel organization, and the Kairos Palestine document is a respected clergyman in Christian communities. He travels around the world lecturing in churches and universities, and has written “A Palestinian Theology of Liberation” (Orbis Books, 2017), published by Maryknoll, a Catholic organization in New York.
Because he is an Anglican priest, Ateek’s message to Christians is widely accepted. His organization, Friends of Sabeel, has branches in North America, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Norway, Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and France. His toxic message of lies and hatred is heard by tens of millions throughout the world.
Dexter van Zile writes (“Rolling out the anti-Zionist Catechism,” JCPA, 2012): “Ateek and Sabeel have become the most effective anti-Zionist evangelists in the American mainline churches today,” including World Council of Churches (WCC), Disciples of Christ, United Church of Christ, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopal church organizations, and the Quakers (Society of Friends).
According to Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research organization, “Sabeel, Kairos and DCI-PS (Defense for Children International-Palestinian Section) are three components of a wide NGO network that propels the ‘Durban strategy,’ whose objective is the ‘complete international isolation’ of Israel as an ‘apartheid state.’ ” (“Blood libels and delegitimization,” Jerusalem Report, June 17, 2013)
Dan Diker observes (“BDS Unmasked: radical roots, extremist ends.” JCPA, 2016), “ … many church-linked international NGOs are major donors to radical BDS-supporting NGO’s—for example, Christian Aid in the United Kingdom, Sweden’s Diakonia and the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO) in the Netherlands.”
Yet Jewish organizations have failed to counter Ateek effectively. Some have published monographs, papers and blogs about Ateek and Sabeel, but these efforts reach few, and those who are already convinced. They remain in the archives of good intentions. Some American and U.K. Jewish leaders do not even know about the problem; others rely on interfaith “good will.”
The question is why Jewish organizations have not responded effectively to growing anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. As Jonathan Weisman wrote recently in The New York Times, “If not quite a crisis, it feels like a proto-crisis, something to head off … Yet American Jewish leaders … have been remarkably quiet.”
No organization or Jewish leader has challenged the churches and institutions that support Ateek and Sabeel. Writing op-eds and providing information on websites are not enough. Failure to actively and systematically confront Ateek has allowed him to spew his “theology” of hatred and bigotry.
The Israeli government, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and officials dealing with Diaspora affairs, are also culpable. Ateek should be (but is not) considered an enemy of the state and the Jewish people.
Holding conferences on anti-Semitism and well-meaning speeches without sustained and focused leadership accomplish little or nothing. A new office in the Ministry of Strategic Affairs dedicated to combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is narrowly focused on legal efforts, with some success, but misses fundamental issues.
The following quotes are from Ateek’s book.
Ateek condemns Israel as a “settler colonialist” state that seeks “to dispossess the Palestinians—Muslims and Christians—of their land and replace them with Jews,” who engage in “ethnic cleansing and annihilation.” He criticizes Judaism as a form of “tribalism,” a “racist theology” practiced by people who worship “a god who has been created in the image of those who are thirsty for revenge,” based on “exclusive biblical texts that are being used to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”
He justifies “Palestinian resistance” as “the right to resist the evil of illegal occupation of our country.” Therefore, “we must work for the liberation of the oppressors, as well as the liberation of the oppressed.” This struggle, he insists, follows the path of liberation taught by Jesus, and, in a sneaky effort to create empathy, he insists that “Jesus was a Palestinian”—a century before the Romans changed the name from Judea after crushing the Bar Kochba rebellion in 135 C.E.
Although he espouses “non-violent resistance,” which he identifies with the First Intifada in the late 1980s, including throwing stones and gasoline bombs (during which about 100 Israelis and 60 soldiers were killed, and more than 1,000 Palestinians were killed by intra-Arab fighting), he completely ignores the massive, virulent terrorism of the Second Intifada from 2000-03 (during which more than 1,200 Israelis were killed, and 10,000 seriously injured), and it continues to exist. Not a word.
Nor, inexplicably, does he mention the decimation and persecution of Christian communities that are under Palestinian Authority/Hamas rule. He ignores the fact that Christians are more protected in Israel than any other country in the region, except perhaps Lebanon.
Ateek also opposes Christians in Israel who seek to join the Israel Defense Forces and support Israel.
“The faith Nakba has made it clear that if the Palestinian Christian community wanted to reinvigorate its religious life, it was essential to reexamine the meaning of its faith and Christian responsibility in light of Israel’s oppression of its people.” This is “the will of God … as expressed in the message and life of Jesus Christ.”
Towards that end, Ateek, Sabeel and the Kairos Palestinian document call for “a system of economic sanctions and boycott to be applied against Israel … to put an end to Israeli occupation of Palestine … ”
“Justice for Palestinians,” he proclaims, but not for Israeli Jews.
And then, lest we forget, because of “Western guilt” and to “speed up the implementation of the Balfour Declaration … the rights and wishes of the Palestinians” were ignored, and the State of Israel was declared (the “Nakba”). “Palestinians were the easy scapegoats … compelled to pay the price [for the Holocaust] by their dispossession and loss of homeland … Palestine and its people were sacrificed on the altar of Western guilt.”
“One cannot exaggerate the psychological influence that the Holocaust exerted in the creation of the state of Israel. If the Nakba necessitated the emergence of Palestinian liberation theology, the Holocaust was an essential part of its background.”
As former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks explained: “Antisemitism is not about Jews. It is about anti-Semites. It is about people who cannot accept responsibility for their own failures and have instead to blame someone else. … The appearance of antisemitism in a culture is the first symptom of a disease, the early warning sign of collective breakdown … Antisemitism means denying the right of Jews to exist as Jews with the same rights as everyone else. The form this takes today is anti-Zionism.” (“The Mutating Virus of Antisemitism”).
British leaders, however, have not asked why the Anglican Church of England supports Ateek and Sabeel. The British media is silent.
Finally, Ateek and his supporters are not only a “Jewish problem;” they are—because they undermine communal trust and respect—a Christian problem. Using his version of Christianity as a mask for his political/theological agenda, he savages the fundamental values and tenets of the religion which he claims to serve.
Protesting Ateek and Sabeel is not a violation of free speech; it is a call for intelligent and honest speech. It is a protest against hatred and propaganda, and a call for integrity and truth. That can be an important learning experience.
“As the leader of the largest opposition party in the Parliament of The Netherlands I urge you @theresa_may at @10DowningStreet to honour the value of free speech and release Tommy Robinson from prison. The UK should not have political prisoners.”
Today, Wilders also made a video statement in front of the British embassy in The Hague.
Wilders announced to ask “parliamentary questions to the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs about the arrest and safety of Tommy Robinson”.
Later Wilders called the arrest of Robinson on Twitter “scandalous” and a form of “totalitarianism”.
On Friday, Wilders already criticised Robinson’s arrest and asked if the UK is becoming like Saudi Arabia:
“Arrested for ‘breaching the peace’ while reporting on a Islamic grooming gang trial? Is this Saudi-Arabia? Has the United Kingdom become a police state? Jail = a death sentence for Tommy Robinson. Come to your senses United Kingdom!”
‘The gunman was then neutralised,’ said the source, confirming that he was shot dead. ‘He was heard shouting Alluhu Akbar’ – Arabic for ‘God is the Greatest’.
Local police then confirmed that two officers had been killed in the bloodbath, along with a passer-by, a woman in a car (according to the Mirror) . Others were wounded.
The national anti-terrorist crisis centre said terrorism could not be excluded as a motive although it was also looking into other possible reasons. A spokesman for the centre said that terrorism " is one of the questions on the table, but for the moment all scenarios are open."
Chilling images posted online show the gunman, named as Benjamin Hermans, wielding two handguns after killing his victims. He launched the attack just one day after he was released from prison so he could visit family and friends, with local reports claiming he was "radicalised" behind bars. Belgian authorities said the incident is being treated as terrorism. That must be an update on the earlier statement; or made by someone with more idea of how many beans make five.
Snowflakes keep falling on campus heads, nothing seems to fit. Snowflakes are light and blow with the wind, but they become potent if they form a blizzard. They already have produced a storm in U.S. and British universities where some members of the faculty, student body, and adminstration appear unable to tolerate expressions of policy, opinion, and speech, other than their own. At the same time these intolerant perpetrators of the tempest paradoxically often demand a "safe space" for themselves.
Snowlakes have also discerned and exploited weakness in those assumed to epitomize tolerant diversity of expression and exchange of ideas. Allan Bloom in his book, Closing the American Mind, 1987, arguing that moral relativism was a barrier to critical thinking, pointed out that a few students discovered that the pompous teachers who enlightened them about academic freedom could "with a little shove," be made into dancing bears.
The dancing bears in Britain and in the U.S. universities have been hesistant or unable to deal with snowflakes that have been pouring out on numerous occasions. They are cautious in response to public utterances that offend the sensitive students. A considerable number stand accused of that offence. In Britain the distinguished 76 year old Australian feminist writer Germaine Greer had difficulty speaking at Cardiff University in November 2015 because of her unpopular view on transgender women. A petition of 300 students had found her views "problematic" or "hateful." In the U.S., well known conservative writers, Charles Murray in March 2017 at Middlebury College, and Heather MacDonald in April 2017 at Claremont McKenna, were not allowed to complete their speeches.
Attention is being paid to the sensitive, if also bullying, students. In Cambridge University, England, students in 2018 after a narrow vote 412-391, voted to opt out of a tradition of "class lists," established in 1748. Those students can choose to opt out from having their names published publicly after examinations. If their names were made public they might, presumably because they did poorly, suffer distress and harm, and their mental health would be affected. In this, Cambridge is belately following Oxford University which was conscious of this psychological problem in 2009.
Yet some Oxford students in 2018 were still suffering distress. They were unhappy because of the portrait of Prime Minister Theresa May hanging on the wall of the women's staircase in the Geography Hall. Her portrait was part of the celebration of women who studied in the Geography department, as May had done 1974-77, and later became prominent in their fields. The Oxford authorities first removed and then reinstated the portrait. They have yet to discover the extent of the medical suffering of the offended students.
At Oxford, students are not alone in their propensity for suffering. The faculty in 1985, by a considerable majority, 738-319, prevented Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from getting an honorary degree from the University. A petition of 5,000 students approved the faculty decision. Thatcher was thus the first Oxford educated prime minister to be denied the honor. Snowflakes had no objection to honors being given to those who had not offended them: Bill Clinton, a Rhodes scholar at Oxford but who left or was obliged to leave early, in 1994; Nelson Mandela in 1996; and Jimmy Carter in 2007.
Coincidentally, in the portrait on the wall next to that of May, is one more acceptable to the snowflakes, one of Doreen Massey, teacher at the Open University of "Marxist and feminist" geography, and cultural geography, a prolific writer of politically engaged Marxist influenced books. She is also a political activist who had spent time with Sandinistas in Nicaragua. and as adviser to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Not so coincidental is that Thatcher while prime minister had acted favorably towards the Open University by advising it to accept 18 year old students, not merely mature ones.
In universities in the U.S. the obsession with diversity, victimization, and identity politics has grown. Poliitical correctness did not start but became notorious with the appearance in 1988 of Rev. Jesse Jackson, then a contender to be Democratic presidental nominee, at Stanford University where he joined the student body in shouting "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western civ has got to go." The University imediately removed required courses in Western civilzation. Attempts in April 2016 to restore those courses, and bring back Homer, Plato, Descartes, and Voltaire were decisively defeated by the student body.
Similar manifestations of this rejection of traditional culture have occured all over the U.S. and accompanying arguments over "diversity" and affirmative action remain acute. Some U.S. Supreme Court cases, Bakke 1978, Gutter v. Bollinger , 5-4, in 2003, Fisher v. University of Texas, 4-3, in 2016, have affirmed that race can be considered one of many factors considered for college admissions. Even more significant, the courts, though divided on the issue, have held that racial diversity is an essential part of the mission of higher education.
Diversity has now become central in academia. This was the issue in the chaotic situation at the Evergreen State College at Olympia, Washington. For some years the College has had a "Day of Absence." In 2017 a group of students called for all white people to stay off campus for the day. More than 200 students filled classrooms and the office of the College president. A biology professor, Bret Weinstein, a self-described progressive Democrat who voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, and had been on the faculty for 15 yearts refused to leave the campus. As a consequence he was called a racist, an epithet always used to obtain what is wanted, and demands were made he resign, He and his wife also a biology professor, were forced to resign.
The intolerant mob, some carrying baseball bats and batons, but not text books, were carrying out identity politics and representation of victimhood culture with their need for "safe space" and their opposition to "white privilege."
Two issues are of particular concern. One is that the president of the college, George Bridges, ordered there be no police action to restrain the activists. The other is that 58 professors and 23 members of the staff of the College signed a "statement of solidarity" with the bigoted students. In essence, the president and the faculty had approved racial segregation. Only one member of the faculty wrote in support of Weinstein.
Justice may be imperfect but has not ended. Weinstein was given a $500,000 settlement by the College, but racism still continues there, as events in 2018 have been limited to "people of color." The College had to take precautions. It moved its commencement ceremony because of safety concerns. Even worse, the College is troubled as enrollment fell as news spread of the intolerance on display. As a result in 2018, 24 faculty and 19 members of the staff were terminated. Unfortunately, they have no "safe space." Snowflakes keep falling, but crying's not for the courageous like Weinstein.