My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam.
I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)
Bad News! Our control of the banking system may come to an end...
The Chinese are studying the Talmud to find out how we control the financial system...
The Chinese are so obsessed with notions of innate Jewish business acumen that last year’s Google Zeitgeist China rankings listed “why are Jews excellent?” in fourth place in the “why” questions category, just behind “why should I enter the party” and above “why should I get married?” Newsweek reports that this apparent affection for Jewishness has manifested in the publication of a slew of brisk selling books that purport to reveal the business secrets of the Talmud (Text of early rabbinic writings pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history).
Available titles include Crack the Talmud: 101 Jewish Business Rules, The Illustrated Jewish Wisdom Book, and Know All of the Money-Making Stories of the Talmud. One can even spend the night at a Talmud Hotel inTaichung, Taiwan, which replaces the Gideon’s Bible with the Talmud Business Success Bible. It’s actually a pretty sharp looking hotel, and in keeping with strict Talmudic business strictures, offers free Wifi.
If the Chinese are successful with our secrets, we might have to share control of the banking system with them, and that means sharing our usurious profits.
In the Middle East - only Israel does Christmas....
A nice short piece by Robin Shepherd...
Consider the following two images of this year's Christmas. At the Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad, the Associated Press wrote, "bits of dried flesh and blood remained stuck on the ceiling" following the October 31 massacre of 68 worshippers by an Islamist militant group threatening that Iraqi Christians would be "exterminated". A terrified group of 300 huddled together in the church to make the best of a desperate predicament.
Just under 550 miles to the west, by contrast, Christmas looked more like the festive occasion it is supposed to be as 100,000 Christians thronged the central square of Bethlehem, making merry around the Church of the Nativity. Officials said it was double last year's number and the highest for a decade.
There is an important sense in which the contrast can be deceptive. The Christians of the Holy Land are a fast diminishing breed. In 1950 they made up 15 per cent of the population. Today it's just 2 per cent, and with fierce persecution in Hamas-run Gaza and increasing intolerance in the PA-run West Bank, Christians are finding life harder by the year.
Nonetheless, those two contrasting images of Christmas still tell us much about the world we live in. The Christians of Israel and the areas it (directly or indirectly) administers benefit from a pluralistic Jewish political culture which recognises that freedom is merely theoretical without a security environment to protect and nurture it.
For all the best efforts of the US and its allies, Iraq remains hostage to the depravities of militant Islam. And it is far from exceptional. From Nigeria, where the Christmas period saw churches burned and 38 worshippers slaughtered, through Saudi Arabia where it is illegal to walk the streets wearing a cross, all the way to the Philippines, where 11 were wounded after a bomb exploded during a Christmas mass, the persecution of Christians in areas of the world where Islam holds sway is a growing fact of life.
This doesn't quite fit the politically correct narratives of Muslim victimhood that we are enjoined to believe in. Islamist violence, we are told, is merely a product of desperation, the last resort for a people with grievances. Of course, anyone who has observed the fanatical antisemitism rife in Muslim societies across the Middle East knows that the roots go much deeper. But now that Christians are being targeted too, perhaps a wider Western audience will finally wake up to the reality that something much more elemental is at work, and that it threatens all of us.
Delegitimizing the Jewish State...
A new article by Bat Ye'or - from her upcoming book...
In a move that caught the Israeli government and the Jewish world by complete surprise, on October 21, 2010, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the Tomb of the Hebrew Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem "an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories," admonishing the Israeli decision to add these biblical shrines to the list of Jewish historical and archaeological sites as "a violation of international law."
What is less known, however, is that the driving force behind "the attempt to detach the Nation of Israel from its heritage" (to use Israeli prime minister Netanyahu's words) was the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which pressured UNESCO to issue the declaration and drafted its initial version. U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has recently described the OIC as "a strategic and important partner of the U.N." In fact, it has been the OIC that has successfully exploited its marked preponderance at the U.N.—where it constitutes the largest single voting bloc—to turn the world organization and its specialized agencies into effective tools in the attempt to achieve its goals, two of which are to bring about Israel's eventual demise and to "galvanize the umma [Islamic world] into a unified body."
A map with no Israel....
A prestigious British university apologized on Thursday for using a map of the Middle East without Israel in an article in one of its publications.
The alumni magazine of the London School of Economics, LSE Connect, published a story about the school’s new Middle East research center with a map of the Middle East that had Beirut and the Gaza Strip but no Israel.
In the article, it said that the creation of the center was made possible because of the support of two organizations from the United Arab Emirates. The Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy and the Aman Trust contributed £9.2 million.
“I am outraged that a leading London university institution can falsify reality in this way; is it really necessary to resort to this kind of chicanery in order to placate your Arab donors? Has LSE no academic integrity left? I am ashamed to call myself a graduate,” a former LSE student said in a letter to the publication’s editor.
In a statement, LSE apologized for the error, saying it was a production oversight and that it did not come from the Middle East Center.
“To illustrate a news story in our magazine LSE Connect about the new Middle East Center at LSE, we used a small stock image of a map of the region without realizing that while Israel was colored in on the map, it was not identified in text. This oversight was unfortunately not picked up during the production process. We apologize for any offense caused by its publication and we have updated the online version of LSE Connect to remove the map. We will publish an apology for this error in the next print edition of the magazine,” LSE said.
Lessons that Israel has learned....
Only Israel can take care of its own security...
In the aftermath of Cast Lead, Israel has suffered not just from international condemnation but from a slew of broken promises as well. World leaders such as French President Nicholas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talked of the necessity of stopping Hamas from smuggling arms into Gaza. But these and other international actors have failed to prevent Hamas from comprehensively rearming and today this guerilla proxy of Iran possesses more advanced weapons and rockets than it did before Cast Lead.
The lesson Israel has taken from this appalling negligence is obvious; it can rely on no one to protect its citizens and stand up for its right to self-defence other than itself. It is this accumulated sentiment that those who wish to see a Palestinian state established must contend with, because Israelis cannot be expected to trust external forces with their security.
British terror group targeted Rabbis....
And, their synagogues....
A terror group arrested in Britain was said to be targeting two British rabbis and their synagogues, in addition to popular tourist attractions, the U.S. embassy and London's mayor.
The nine suspects who were arrested last week by British police were indicted Monday. They will be jailed until a court appearance in January, according to police. They were charged with intending to plant explosive devices devised from instructions taken from the Internet.
The addresses of the two targeted rabbis and their synagogues appeared on a list of six targets found by police. The list also included the London Stock Exchange, the mayor's office, the U.S. embassy and the dean of St Paul’s Chapter House. The suspects were also seen studying the tower of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and the Church of Scientology, according to reports.
Hamas tries to smuggle in anti-aircraft missiles to Gaza....
Stopped by the Egyptians...
Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula recently seized a large store of weapons and explosives that were to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported Tuesday.
The cache of weapons included dozens of anti-aircraft artillery shells and several anti-aircraft missiles, according to the report. The weapons and ammunition were discovered in a hole inside an isolated desert storage facility.
Trouble for the Mullahs in Iran???
Lots of strikes...may this continue until the regime is toppled....
Down with the Despot!"
That's the slogan chanted in the last few days by thousands of Iranian industrial workers and miners. Reports from more than 30 cities across Iran indicate a nationwide protest movement with a mix of economic and political demands that could threaten the Khomeinist regime.
On Wednesday, a delegation of workers gathered in front of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's office in Tehran to demand "an urgent meeting" to discuss "an explosive situation." The standoff with security agents ended when a presidential aide informed the protestors that Ahmadinejad had flown to Istanbul for a regional summit.
A few miles away, workers seeking the formation of independent trade unions gathered in front of the Islamic Majlis, Iran's ersatz parliament, to protest against the government's decision to raise the minimum wage by 6 percent. With the official inflation rate at 11 percent, the workers claim that they face a real reduction in their income.
Also in Tehran, transport workers demonstrated in front of the dreaded Evin Prison to demand the immediate release of their leaders, including Mansour Osanloo and Reza Shahabi. Osanloo, serving a five-year sentence, is in the prison hospital. Shahabi has just ended a 60-day hunger strike protesting his "illegal arrest."
In Qazvin, a major industrial center, striking workers have shut pharmaceutical, textile and ceramic factories. Some textile workers are maintaining a vigil in front of the local governor's office: They haven't received their wages for the last 11 months from a government-owned company.
In Golestan, thousands of miners are on strike, bringing coal production in several areas, notably Qishlaq and Roudbar, to a standstill. There, too, a government-owned company has failed to pay miners' wages in 21 of the province's 42 coal mines.
Ardebil has seen workers' marches and strikes over the last few days, at times with support from local university students.
In the port cities of Bandar Abbas, Bushehr and Khorramshahr, striking truck drivers have provoked massive congestion in unloading imports. Here, the protest is of a 25 percent rise in the price of gas; many drivers who own their vehicles think it will ruin their business.
A nationwide strike by workers and managers of the state-owned Wheat Agency may threaten the country with a bread shortage. The agency controls virtually all of the country's silos and distributes wheat to thousands of privately owned bakers. Workers' action is also reported from the Haft-Tapeh sugar-cane industry, the steel-pipe company in Ahvaz and the petrochemical complex in Mahshahr.
Workers' sources claim that the effort to form independent trade unions has attracted more than 2 million workers, especially in the public sector.
Hamas continues their clarity - Israel must be destroyed...
At least they are always clear about their goals - why so many people in the west do not believe them is beyond me...
Muhammad Deif, the commander of Hamas' military wing, said the Palestinians will not give up their struggle until Israel ceases to exist.
In a statement issued Saturday to mark 23 years since the Islamist group was founded, Deif also vowed to release all Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. "We promise to release them and break the (prison) bars despite the occupiers' efforts," he said.
In a direct message to Israel, Deif said, "You will disappear and we will have Palestine. We won’t wave a white flag as long as even one Muslim remains."
The US needs to stop all trade with Iran....
It's time to ratchet up the sanctions...not to issue permits..
The Treasury Department has granted nearly 10,000 special licenses to American companies over the past decade so they could sell some types of products in Iran and other countries the US considers terrorist sponsors, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Companies such as Kraft Food and Pepsi and some of the largest US banks benefited, the newspaper said. Most licenses were granted under a law allowing trade in humanitarian goods, even if that ended up including products as diverse as cigarettes and chewing gum.
The story posted on the Times' website implies no illegal activity by administration officials or company personnel. Rather, it suggests the various deals for goods ranging from Louisiana hot sauce to body-building supplements undermine America's moral and diplomatic authority as the leading purveyor of tough sanctions on Iran, North Korea and other nations.
The newspaper said one American company was allowed to bid on a pipeline job to help Iran sell natural gas to Europe even though the US opposes such deals. Other American companies were permitted to deal with Iranian firms suspected of involvement in terrorism or weapons proliferation, the Times said.
Christians in peril...
Something to remember at Christmas...
As Americans celebrate Christmas in peace in our nation, many Christians across the Middle East are in peril: Muslim fanatics seek to exterminate them.
Over the past several years, Christians have endured bombings, murders, assassinations, torture, imprisonment and expulsions. These anti-Christian pogroms culminated recently with the brutal attack on Our Lady of Salvation, an Assyrian Catholic church in Baghdad. Al Qaeda gunmen stormed the church during Mass, slaughtering 51 worshippers and two priests. Father Wassim Sabih begged the jihadists to spare the lives of his parishioners. They executed him and then launched their campaign of mass murder.
Their goal was to inflict terror - thereby causing chaos in the hopes of undermining Iraq's fledgling democracy - and to annihilate the country's Christian minority. After the siege, al Qaeda in Mesopotamia issued a bulletin claiming that "all Christian centers, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for" jihadists.
Since the 2003 war in Iraq, Christians have faced a relentless assault from Islamic extremists. Many of these groups, such as the Assyrians, consist of the oldest Christian sects in the world, going back to the time of Christ. Some even speak Aramaic, the language used by Jesus. The very roots of our Christian heritage are being extirpated.
Religious cleansing is taking place everywhere in Iraq - by Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. Before the toppling of Saddam Hussein, there existed more than 1 million Christians in Iraq. They are now mostly gone - scattered to the winds, sacrificed on the altar of erecting an Islamic state. Churches have been closed or blown up. Hundreds of thousands have been expelled. Nearly two-thirds of the 500,000 Christians in Baghdad have fled or been killed. In Mosul, about 100,000 Christians used to live there. Now, just 5,000 remain. Soon there will be none.
The rise of radical Islam threatens Christian communities not only in Iraq, but across the Middle East. In Egypt, Coptic Christians routinely are murdered, persecuted and prevented from worshipping - especially during religious holy days such as Christmas and Easter. In the birthplace of Christ, Bethlehem, Christians have largely been forced out. In Nazareth, they are a tiny remnant. In Saudi Arabia, Muslim converts to Christianity are executed. Churches and synagogues are prohibited. In Turkey, Islamists have butchered priests and nuns. In Lebanon, Christians have dwindled to a sectarian rump, menaced by surging Shiite and Sunni populations.
The Vatican estimates that from Egypt to Iran there are just 17 million Christians left. Christianity is on the verge of extinction in the ancient lands of its birth. In short, a creeping religious genocide is taking place.
Yet the West remains silent for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities. This must stop - immediately. For years, Pope Benedict XVI has been demanding that Islamic religious leaders adopt a new policy: reciprocity. If Muslims - funded and supported by Saudi Arabia - can build mosques and madrassas in Europe and America, then Christians - Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox - should be entitled to build churches in the Arab world. For all of their promises, however, Muslim leaders have failed to deliver. In fact, the situation has only deteriorated.
Clearly, some Muslims cannot live in peaceful coexistence with non-Muslim peoples - especially in countries where Muslims form the majority. Christian minorities living in the overwhelmingly Muslim-dominated Middle East pose no possible danger to Islamic hegemony. Hence, why the hatred against them?
Iranian soldier captured in Afghanistan...
Obama needs to tell the Iranians they have to get the fuck out of Afghanistan...
The capture of the officer confirms that Iran is directly supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The officer, from the elite al-Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, was captured by US special forces on December 18, a Nato spokesman said. Described as "a key Taliban weapons facilitator", he was arrested in Kandahar province.
"The joint security team specifically targeted the individual for facilitating the movement of weapons between Iran and Kandahar through Nimroz province," a Nato statement said.
It is the first reported instance of the capture of an al-Quds officer in Afghanistan. Several Iranian soldiers and operatives were caught in Iraq between 2006 and 2008.
The Iranian government is also reportedly releasing al-Qaeda terrorists from prisons to join the fight in Afghanistan and Pakistan. An intelligence official stated that three members of Osama bin Laden's family were also among those released.
My Blackberry is not working...
An in-dept look the deligitimization of Israel....
Former Iranian diplomat admits Iran working on a nuclear bomb....
With the help of North Korea...
An Iranian former diplomat says Iran is working toward developing a nuclear bomb with the help of scientists from North Korea and other countries worldwide, the Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday.
Mohammed Reza Heydari, former of the Iranian embassy in Oslo, Norway, told the British newspaper that he had helped North Korean technicians and military experts enter Iran while he was working for the Iranian foreign ministry office in Tehran's airport.
Heydari said the North Korean experts helped Iran develop nuclear bomb capability and increase the range of Iran's ballistic missiles.
He said that his mission was to allow North Korean military staff, as well as Palestinians associated with Hamas, enter the country without any visa and passport inspection.
According to Heydari, Iran is recruiting nuclear scientists worldwide, especially in Africa. He claimed recruitment is carried out by foreign ministry staff in Iranian embassies, who track down local scientists and offer them contracts to work in Iran.
Iran's claims that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes is a façade, Heydari added.
Heydari resigned as consul of the Iranian embassy and went into hiding along with his family after a a crackdown by Tehran on protesters disputing the results of last year's presidential election. Norway granted him political asylum in February 2010.
The Jews use Witchcraft at Gitmo...
Ok..yet another conspiracy...
Earlier this month, Al Jazeera broadcast a lengthy interview with Walid Muhammad Hajj, who was detained at Guantanamo for several years until he was transferred to his native Sudan in 2008. (MEMRI has provided an excerpt of the interview here.)
When Gitmo detainees (both current and former) make up stories about torture and abuse, they usually stick to the script, claiming they were beaten, waterboarded, or had some other malady inflicted upon them. Even if there is no evidence to back these claims up (e.g. no detainee was ever waterboarded at Gitmo), their stories generally gain traction in the fever swamps online and elsewhere.
Occasionally, however, a detainee will go off script. And so we get Hajj’s story. Hajj claims that when detainees wouldn’t talk to interrogators at Gitmo, the interrogators – Jewish interrogators, that is – would resort to witchcraft.
“The most common method to wear down the brothers was witchcraft,” Hajj told Al Jazeera. “There were, of course, Jews among the [staff of] the Guantanamo base, and they would set traps for the guys.” Hajj explained, “Witchcraft was used on most of the guys.”
Hajj was asked to give some examples of how this Jewish sorcery worked. One detainee decided to urinate in his milk because of a Jewish spell, Hajj says. It gets even more bizarre. From the MEMRI translation:
Hajj: “Once, when I was sleeping – on the floor, not on a bed – I suddenly felt that a cat was trying to penetrate me. It tried to penetrate me again and again. I recited the kursi verse again and again until the cat left.”Fortunately for Hajj and his other “brothers,” all they had to do was recite some Koranic verses and the Jewish witchcraft would be undone.
Interviewer: “But there wasn't really any cat there?”
Hajj: “Absolutely not.” [...]
No one goes after climate alarmists for their predictions...
A decade ago, a scientist with the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia said snow would be rare in Britain within a few years. But plenty has fallen in 9 of the last 10.
On New Year’s Eve, a local radio station aired a brief report about an alleged psychic making her 2010 predictions. The report didn’t mention that psychic abilities have never been scientifically confirmed. Nor did it tell us what percentage of the psychic’s predictions from last year had actually come true.
Although it would have been straightforward to check what the psychic said a year earlier, the media doesn’t hold psychics accountable. Likewise, no one holds the media accountable for its false predictions.
In other words, there is no penalty for getting it wrong. There is no downside to behaving – despite all evidence to the contrary – as though it’s possible to predict the future. A newspaper may publish melodramatic headlines. It may alarm readers with dire, confidently-delivered prognostications. But in a month, a year, a decade (or three) when it becomes clear the story was nonsense, no one gets pelted with limp noodles. Nor do writers, editors, producers, and broadcasters publish year-end roundups that let you know just how mistaken they’ve all been.
Given this state of affairs, it’s sensible and appropriate to regard media scare stories with a healthy measure of skepticism. Some people, no doubt, read this Independent story in early 2000 (the headline of which appears above) and felt melancholy afterward.
Although a decade old, it reads much like the average “environment” news story today. The Independent told its readers:
* “snow is starting to disappear from our lives“
* “Sledges, snowmen, snowballs…are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture”
* “within a few years winter snowfall will become ‘a very rare and exciting event’”
* “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is”
* “Heavy snow will return occasionally…but when it does we will be unprepared…Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time“
* “chances are certainly now stacked against the sort of heavy snowfall in cities that inspired Impressionist painters” [bold added]
Readers were assured the future could be accurately predicted because “Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia” said so.
Rocket just misses Kindergarten...
Gee, nothing like good news....they missed. And, when they do hit a kindergarten will they be giving out candies in the street???
A Qassam rocket exploded near a kindergarten in a kibbutz within the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council on Tuesday morning just as dozens of parents were bringing their children to school.
A 14-year-old girl was lightly injured by shrapnel and glass fragments. She was evacuated to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. Several people suffered from shock, including a young boy and a gas-truck driver.
The Qassam exploded at around 8 am on, just seconds after the 'code red' siren was sounded. Residents rushed to take cover. The injured 14-year-old was in her home, not far from the kindergarten, and was preparing to leave for school.
Some of the children were already in the kindergarten when the rocket exploded nearby. Kindergarten teacher Ronit told Ynet, "I was on the path that leads to the kindergarten when I heard the siren. I ran towards the children in the building.
The Americans must listen to what Abbas says...
Listen to what he says in Arabic...another important story from Khaled Abu Toameh...
It seems that the US Administration does not believe that the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is serious when it says that it cannot make any concessions to Israel, especially with regards to core issues such as settlements and the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees.
Americans need to listen to what the Palestinians are saying not only in English, but also in Arabic. And in Arabic, the message coming out of Ramallah remains no and no and no -- no to resumption of peace talks unconditionally, no to accepting Israel as a Jewish state, no to any solution that does not include all the territories captured by Israel in 1967. These no's are apparently being translated by the White House and State Department as one big yes.
When Mahmoud Abbas day and night reiterates that he will not make any concessions, and that he insists on a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines, including east Jerusalem, and that the refugees must return to their original homes inside Israel proper, the US obviously does not take him seriously.
Nor are the Americans ready to accept the fact that Abbas is a weak and discredited leader who will never be able to sell any peace agreement to a majority of Arabs and Palestinians.
The Palestinians are telling the US Administration that they do not trust Obama and Clinton anymore. However, this does not seem to ring a bell with anyone in the White House or the State Department.
Abbas and the Palestinian leadership are telling everyone, including the Americans, that they have no intention to change their position, no matter how long the Middle East conflict continues. The Palestinians have even won the backing of the Arab League for their policies, first and foremost for refusing to return to the negotiating table unless their pre-conditions are met.
The Fallacy of 1967 'borders'...
There is no such thing as 1967 'borders'...
* The Palestinian leadership is fixated on attempting to press foreign governments and the UN to recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state within the "1967 borders." Indeed, this campaign appeared to have some initial successes in December 2010 when both Argentina and Brazil decided to recognize a Palestinian state within what they described as the "1967 borders."
* But such borders do not exist and have no basis in history, law, or fact. The only line that ever existed was the 1949 armistice demarcation line, based on the ceasefire lines of the Israeli and Arab armies pending agreement on permanent peace. The 1949 armistice agreements specifically stated that such lines have no political or legal significance and do not prejudice future negotiations on boundaries.
* UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 acknowledged the need for negotiation of secure and recognized boundaries. Prominent jurists and UN delegates, including from Brazil and Jordan, acknowledged that the previous lines cannot be considered as international boundaries.
* The series of agreements between the PLO and Israel (1993-1999) reaffirm the intention and commitment of the parties to negotiate permanent borders. During all phases of negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians, there was never any determination as to a border based on the 1967 lines.
* The PLO leadership solemnly undertook that all issues of permanent status would be resolved only through negotiations between the parties. The 2003 "Road Map" further reiterated the need for negotiations on final borders.
Bishop Tutu and the Jews...
When it comes to the Jews, he is tone-deaf...
Among the world's most respected figures is South Africa's Bishop Desmond. His recognizable face—with its ever present grin—has become a symbol of reconciliation and goodness. But it masks a long history of ugly hatred toward the Jewish people, the Jewish religion and the Jewish state. Bishop Desmond Tutu is no mere anti-Zionist (though Martin Luther King long ago recognized that anti- Zionism often serves as a cover for deeper anti-Jewish bigotry). He has minimized the suffering of those killed in the Holocaust. He has attacked the "Jewish"--not Israeli--"lobby" as too "powerful" and "scar[y]." He has invoked classic anti-Semitic stereotypes and tropes about Jewish "arrogance", "power" and money. He has characterized Jews a "peculiar people," and has accused "the Jews" of causing many of the world's problems. He once even accused the Jewish state of acting in an "unChristian" way.
Were he not a Nobel laureate, his long history of bigotry against the Jewish people would have landed him in the dustbin of history, along with a dishonor roll of otherwise successful people, whose reputations have been tainted by their anti-Semitism such as Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Patrick Buchanan and Mel Gibson. But his Nobel Prize should not shield him from accountability for his long history of anti-Jewish bigotry, any more than it should for Yassir Arafat, Jimmy Carter and Jose Saramago.
Let the record speak for itself, so that history may judge Tutu on the basis of his own words—words that he has often repeated and that others repeat, because Tutu is a role model for so many people around the world. Here are some of Tutu's hateful words, most of them carefully documented in a recent petition by prominent South Africans to terminate him as a "patron" of the two South African Holocaust Centers, because he uses his status with these fine institutions as legitimization for his anti-Jewish rhetoric.
He has minimized the suffering of those murdered in the Holocaust by asserting that "the gas chambers" made for "a neater death" than did Apartheid. In other words, the Palestinians, who in his view are the victims of "Israeli Apartheid," have suffered more than the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. He has complained of "the Jewish Monopoly of the Holocaust," and has demanded that its victims must "forgive the Nazis for the Holocaust," while refusing to forgive the "Jewish people" for "persecute[ing] others."
Tutu has asserted that Zionism has "very many parallels with racism," thus echoing the notorious and discredited "Zionism equals racism" resolution passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations and subsequently rescinded. He has accused the Jews of Israel of doing "things that even Apartheid South Africa had not done." He has said that "the Jews thought they had a monopoly of God: Jesus was angry that they could shut out other human beings." He has said that Jews have been "fighting against" and being "opposed to" his God. He has "compared the features of the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem to the features of the apartheid system in South Africa." He has complained that "the Jewish people with their traditions, religion and long history of persecution sometimes appear to have caused a refugee problem among others." He has implied that Israel might someday consider as an option "to perpetrate genocide and exterminate all Palestinians."
He has complained that Americans "are scared…to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful." He has accused Jews—not Israelis—of exhibiting "an arrogance—the arrogance of power because Jews are a powerful lobby in this land and all kinds of people woo their support."
"You know as well as I do that, somehow, the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the U.S.] and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic, as if Palestinians were not Semitic."
He has compared Israel to Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union and Apartheid South Africa, saying that they too were once "very powerful" but they "bit the dust," as will "unjust" Israel.
He has denied that Israel is a "civilized democracy" and has singled out Israel—one of the world's most open democracies—as a nation guilty of "censorship of their media." He has urged the Capetown Opera to refuse to perform Porgy and Bess in Tel Aviv and has called for a total cultural boycott of Jewish Israel, while encouraging performers to visit the most repressive regimes in the world.
He has claimed that his God sides with Palestinians, whom he compares to the Israelites under bondage in Egypt, and has sought to explain, if not justify, how Israeli actions lead directly to suicide bombings and other forms of terrorism.
He has been far more vocal about Israel's imperfections than about the genocides in Rwanda, Darfur and Cambodia. He repeatedly condemns Israel's occupation of the West Bank without mentioning the many other occupations in the world today. While attacking Israel for its "collective punishment" of Palestinians—which he claims is worse than what Apartheid South Africa did—he himself has called for the collective punishment of Jewish academics and businesses in Israel by demanding boycotts of all Jewish (but not Muslim or Christian) Israelis. (This call for an anti-Jewish boycott finds its roots in the Nazi "Kauft Nicht beim Juden" campaign of the 1930's.) When confronted with his double standard against Jews, he has justified it on phony theological grounds: "Whether Jews like it or not, they are a peculiar people. They can't ever hope to be judged by the same standards which are used for other people." There is a name for non-Jews who hold Jews to a double standard: It is called anti-Semitism.
Tutu has acknowledged having been frequently accused of being anti-Semitic," to which he has offered two responses: "Tough luck;" and "my dentist's name is Dr. Cohen."
The MET Office in the UK predicted a warm winter....
Why do they keep getting it wrong???
Well, folks, it's tea-time on Sunday and for anyone involved in keeping people moving it has been a hell of a weekend. Thousands have had their journeys wrecked, tens of thousands have been delayed getting away for Christmas; and for those Londoners who feel aggrieved by the performance of any part of our transport services, I can only say that we are doing our level best.
Almost the entire Tube system was running yesterday and we would have done even better if it had not been for a suicide on the Northern Line, and the temporary stoppage that these tragedies entail. Of London's 700 bus services, only 50 were on diversion, mainly in the hillier areas. On Saturday, we managed to keep the West End plentifully supplied with customers, and retailers reported excellent takings on what is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
We have kept the Transport for London road network open throughout all this. We have about 90,000 tons of grit in stock, and the gritters were out all night to deal with this morning's rush. And yet we have to face the reality of the position across the country.
It is no use my saying that London Underground and bus networks are performing relatively well – touch wood – when Heathrow, our major international airport, is still effectively closed two days after the last heavy snowfall; when substantial parts of our national rail network are still struggling; when there are abandoned cars to be seen on hard shoulders all over the country; and when yet more snow is expected today, especially in the north.
In a few brief hours, we are told, the snowy superfortresses will be above us again, bomb bays bulging with blizzard. It may be that in the next hours and days we have to step up our de-icing, our gritting and our shovelling. So let me seize this brief gap in the aerial bombardment to pose a question that is bugging me. Why did the Met Office forecast a "mild winter"?
Do you remember? They said it would be mild and damp, and between one degree and one and a half degrees warmer than average. Well, I am now 46 and that means I have seen more winters than most people on this planet, and I can tell you that this one is a corker.
Never mind the record low attained in Northern Ireland this weekend. I can't remember a time when so much snow has lain so thickly on the ground, and we haven't even reached Christmas. And this is the third tough winter in a row. Is it really true that no one saw this coming?
Actually, they did. Allow me to introduce readers to Piers Corbyn, meteorologist and brother of my old chum, bearded leftie MP Jeremy. Piers Corbyn works in an undistinguished office in Borough High Street. He has no telescope or supercomputer. Armed only with a laptop, huge quantities of publicly available data and a first-class degree in astrophysics, he gets it right again and again.
Back in November, when the Met Office was still doing its "mild winter" schtick, Corbyn said it would be the coldest for 100 years. Indeed, it was back in May that he first predicted a snowy December, and he put his own money on a white Christmas about a month before the Met Office made any such forecast. He said that the Met Office would be wrong about last year's mythical "barbecue summer", and he was vindicated. He was closer to the truth about last winter, too.
He seems to get it right about 85 per cent of the time and serious business people – notably in farming – are starting to invest in his forecasts. In the eyes of many punters, he puts the taxpayer-funded Met Office to shame. How on earth does he do it? He studies the Sun.
He looks at the flow of particles from the Sun, and how they interact with the upper atmosphere, especially air currents such as the jet stream, and he looks at how the Moon and other factors influence those streaming particles.
He takes a snapshot of what the Sun is doing at any given moment, and then he looks back at the record to see when it last did something similar. Then he checks what the weather was like on Earth at the time – and he makes a prophecy.
I have not a clue whether his methods are sound or not. But when so many of his forecasts seem to come true, and when he seems to be so consistently ahead of the Met Office, I feel I want to know more. Piers Corbyn believes that the last three winters could be the harbinger of a mini ice age that could be upon us by 2035, and that it could start to be colder than at any time in the last 200 years. He goes on to speculate that a genuine ice age might then settle in, since an ice age is now cyclically overdue.
Anti-Israel bus ads in Seattle....
How's this for a student leader???
Isn't she a bit old to be a student leader??
British students made headlines last week when they held mass demonstrations against the drastic hike in tuition fees. Now there are calls for one of the protest organizers to resign after she posted an anti-Semitic message on Facebook, the Daily Mail reported Sunday.
According to the, Clare Solomon, 37, president of the University of London Union, wrote "The view that Jews have been persecuted all throughout history is one that has been fabricated in the last 100 or so years to justify the persecution of Palestinians.
"To paint the picture that all Jews have always had to flee persecution is just plainly inaccurate," she wrote.
Hamas vs. UNRWA - on foreign trips for students...
Palestinian youth would be corrupted if they learnt about the holocaust..
Disputes between Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip and the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) again erupted on Saturday after the latter arranged trips to foreign countries for outstanding schoolchildren.
The Hamas-run department of Palestinian refugees' affairs said in a press statement on Saturday that it condemns the trips that the UNRWA arranges for Gaza schoolchildren to America, Europe and South Africa.
"These trips included taking the schoolchildren to the Jewish Holocaust in Europe," the Hamas statement said, adding "taking our children to places like the Jewish Holocaust and briefing them over the suffering of the Jewish people by the Nazi is corrupting the mentality of the Palestinian children."
Youtube closes down Palestinian Media Watch....
PMW exposes hate speech...it doesn't propagate it..why can't Youtube tell the difference???
1. "Hamas TV teaches kids to kill Jews" formerly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwN2M6ZIIRU
2. "Jews are a virus like Aids" formerly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYaGl3KjPUw
3. "Farewell video before suicide attack of Hamas suicide bomber Adham Ahmad Hujyla Abu Jandal" formerly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYdTudQhWM4
4. "Hamas suicide farewell video: Jews monkeys and pigs; Maidens reward for killing Jews" formerly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryc7RqXlVdE
5. "PA cleric: Kill Jews, Allah will make Muslims masters over Jews" formerly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjuDTO8fgqM
6. "Hamas suicide terrorist farewell video: Palestinians drink the blood of Jews" formerly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSftYIGH6-w
PMW urgently seeks to have this account reopened, since some of these videos have accumulated hundreds of thousands of viewings and the exposure is critical to our ongoing work.
If any of our subscribers could help, it would be much appreciated.
Latest Gaza Convoy arrives in Tehran...
A heroes welcome...
1. Activists of the Asian convoy, who set out on December 4 after having been delayed by the Indian authorities, arrived in Iran from Pakistan on December 7 and spent ten days in Tehran.1 They visited Qom, Zahedan, Isfahan and other Iranian cities; the highlight of their visit was Tehran. In Tehran they received an official welcome from the president and other senior figures.
2. The visit was exploited by the convoy activists and members of the Iranian regime to display hatred and incite public opinion against Israel and the West. The issue of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the avowed objective of the convoy, was almost completely ignored during the various ceremonies. In effect, the convoy’s negligible amount of material aid for the Gaza Strip is supposed to arrive in Egypt by air (although it is unclear whether its arrival has already been arranged with the Egyptian authorities).
3. When the convoy activists left India they abandoned their human rights and non-violent peace slogans, and they and their Iranian supporters publicly and prominently expressed their hatred for Israel and the West (with occasional anti-Semitic undertones), along with praise for the Iranian regime. For example:
A. Feroze Mithiborwala, leader of the convoy, showered praise on the Iranian regime. He said that the idea of organizing the convoy was inspired by the May 2010 flotilla to the Gaza Strip and the active support of Iran, and that the convoy intended to take a stand against "Zionism, which wants to create a hegemony in the world, and especially in Asia" (Iran's PressTV, December 13, 2010).
B. The APSP, the umbrella organization behind the convoy, defined its goals at a press conference in Karachi on the eve of its departure, November 29, 2010, as "the liberation of Palestine," "breaking the siege of the Gaza Strip," "destroying Israel's system of apartheid" and uniting the Asian countries around those goals (Iran's FARS News Agency, December 1, 2010).2
C. During their stay in Iran the convoy activists participated in anti-Israeli propaganda functions produced by the Iranian regime. For example, there were "ceremonies" of burning the Israeli, American and British flags in "Palestine Square" in the heart of Tehran, Feroze Mithiborwala gave a speech in the Iranian parliament (Majlis) in which he called the United States president "an agent of Israel," and convoy activists at the Majlis session at the time shouted "Death to Israel" in four languages.
D. Iranian President Ahmadinejad played a major role in the hate propaganda campaign. At a reception for the convoy at Tehran University he called for the "liberation" of "Palestine" from "the blood-sucking Zionist occupiers" and called the existence of the State of Israel "an insult to humanity."
4. A group of Majlis members announced their intention to join the convoy, and the Iranian regime seems to support it in other ways, possibly including logistics and financing. Moreover, the nature of the convoy may become more extreme because of the involvement of the Iranian regime, the convoy's intention to pass through Turkey and Syria and the possibility that other activists will join it, especially from Pakistan.
Wow! WikiLeaks shows that Cuba banned Michael Moore's Sicko!
Well, even the Cubans realized that Moore's sick film was not accurate...
Cuba banned Michael Moore's 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a "mythically" favourable picture of Cuba's healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a "popular backlash", according to US diplomats in Havana.
The revelation, contained in a confidential US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks , is surprising, given that the film attempted to discredit the US healthcare system by highlighting what it claimed was the excellence of the Cuban system.
But the memo reveals that when the film was shown to a group of Cuban doctors, some became so "disturbed at the blatant misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba that they left the room".
Castro's government apparently went on to ban the film because, the leaked cable claims, it "knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them."
UK refuses to release information on Israeli soldiers MIA.....
Wow...it would harm their relations with Syria??? A terrorist state???
The British government has refused to release documents containing information on the fate of three Israeli soldiers missing since 1982, because it claims the sensitive material could harm diplomatic ties with Syria, The Jewish Chronicle reported.
In June 1982, the three Israeli soldiers, Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman, went missing after clashing with Syrian and Palestinian troops near the Lebanese village of Sultan Yaqub during the Lebanon War. They are still officially missing in action.
The UK's ambassador to Syria, Ivor Lucas, submitted a report to London on the day of the clash, and may have seen the soldiers' capture by Syrian troops, The Chronicle said.
A legal group from Manchester, acting on behalf of Zachary Baumel's mother Miriam, is reportedly taking action over the silence from the UK government, demanding the release of the information.
According to the report Miriam Baumel has unsuccessfully been lobbying the UK government to see the Lucas report for two years. She has repeatedly been rebuffed with the Foreign Office response: "We are conscious that the release of sensitive information would cause harm to our relationship with Syria."
Chavez gets to rule by decree...
Who needs democracy???
His critics said the move turns the country into a near-dictatorship. It comes just two weeks before a new national assembly is sworn in with a larger opposition bloc that could have frustrated some of his plans to create a socialist state.
The firebrand leader had only asked his allies for the right to govern without referring to congress for a year. Instead, they handed him the powers for 18 months as proof of their "revolutionary commitment", said Cilia Flores, the national assembly president.
The official reason for the move was to allow Mr Chavez to deal with the devastating aftermath of weeks of floods by fast-tracking tax increases and funding for construction of new homes.
But amid a fresh wave of nationalisations of farms and businesses, he has already outlined a long list of new laws that extend far beyond relief and reconstruction.
Israeli Swim Team Snubbed in Dubai...
They can't even say the name Israel...
The Israeli swim team found itself snubbed on Tuesday during the opening ceremony of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Dubai. As the competition organizers announced each participating nation while the teams marched into the arena, they failed to call the Jewish state by its name, curtly dubbing it 'ISR.'
Another Zionist Conspiracy...
Actually, it was me...I arranged the deal with Assange to ensure all the released documents were favorable to Israel...
It was only a matter of time before conspiracy theorists came out of the woodwork to suggest that Israel is behind the publication of the WikiLeaks trove - and is manipulating the information coming out to help Israeli interests.
"Where is the real dirt on Israel?" these conspiracy theorists - messaging back and forth in the blogosphere - are asking one another.
"The answer appears to be a secret deal struck between WikiLeaks' ... Assange ... with Israeli officials, which ensured that all such documents were 'removed' before the rest were made public," wrote Gordon Duff, an editor of the anti-war website Veterans Today, who frequently opines about what he believes is Israeli's secret influence over world events.
Speaking to Haaretz, Duff added that "it sticks out like a sore thumb that WikiLeaks is obviously concocted by an intelligence agency. It's a ham-handed action by Israel to do its public relations."
Meanwhile, Al Haqiqa, an Arabic language webzine, citing disgruntled WikiLeaks volunteers, adds more details to the conspiracy, suggesting that this "secret agreement" between Assange and "the Mossad," which allegedly took place in Geneva, involved Assange's promise not to publish any document that "may harm Israeli security or diplomatic interests."
"The Israel government, it seems, had somehow found out or expected that the documents to be leaked contained a large number of documents about the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza in 2006 and 2008-9 respectively," adds an anonymous blogger on IndyMedia. "These documents, which are said to have originated mainly from the American embassies in Tel Aviv and Beirut, were removed and possibly destroyed by Assange, who is the only person who knows the password that can open these documents, the sources added."
Address by Melanie Phillips to the Honest Reporting Conference...
This is from the 14th of December..
We are living through a global campaign of demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel in which the western media are playing a key role.
The British media are the global leaders of this campaign in their frenzied and obsessional attacks on Israel. In the BBC in particular, such virulence attains unparalleled power and influence since it is stamped with the BBC’s global kitemark of objectivity and trustworthiness.
Israel’s every action is reported malevolently, ascribing to it the worst possible motives and denying its own victimisation. Instead of the truth, which is that every military action by Israel is taken solely to protect itself from attack, it is portrayed falsely as instigating the violent oppression of the Palestinians.
Tyranny around the world — such as the 20-year genocide in southern Sudan, or the persecution of Christians in Africa or Asia — goes almost unreported, as does Palestinian violence upon other Palestinians.
Yet Israel is dwelt upon obsessively, held to standards of behaviour expected of no other country and, with its own victimisation glossed over or ignored altogether, falsely accused of imposing wanton suffering.
Time after time, otherwise cynical, reality-hardened journalists have published or broadcast claims of Israeli ‘atrocities’ which are clearly theatrically staged fabrications or allegations. The false narrative of Arab propaganda is now so deeply embedded in the consciousness of journalists that they cannot see that what they are saying is untrue even when it is utterly egregious and indeed absurd.
The war against Hamas in Gaza in 2008/9 was a case in point. The British media had scarcely reported the constant rocket bombardment from Gaza. Most of the public were simply unaware that thousands of rockets had been fired at Israeli citizens.
But when in Operation Cast Lead Israel finally bombed Gaza to put a stop to the attacks, it was denounced for a ‘disproportionate’ response and for wantonly and recklessly killing ‘civilians’ — even though, according to Israel, the vast majority were targeted terrorists. Nevertheless, the media gave the impression that the Israelis were a bunch of bloodthirsty child-killers.
Israel is further accused of causing a humanitarian catastrophe in maintaining a blockade of Gaza. But there is scant mention of the many supplies Israel does allow through, nor the steady stream of Gazans being routinely treated in Israeli hospitals, nor the fact that it is Egypt which maintains a much tougher blockade on its own Gazan border.
This is because Israel’s crime is to defend itself militarily. To much of the media, Israel’s self-defence is regarded as intrinsically illegitimate. It is routinely described as ‘vengeance’ or ‘punishment’. Thus Sir Max Hastings wrote in the Guardian in 2004: ‘Israel does itself relentless harm by venting its spleen for suicide bombings upon the Palestinian people.’
Israel’s attempt to prevent any more of its citizens from being blown to bits on buses or in pizza parlours was apparently nothing other than a fit of spiteful anger. The Israelis were presented by Hastings not as victims of terror but as Nazi-style butchers, while the aggression of the Palestinians was ignored altogether.
In short, Israel is presented as some kind of cosmic demonic force, standing outside of humanity.
To what should we ascribe such unique malice towards an embattled and besieged people?
The first thing to say is that this phenomenon is characteristic not just of the media but the wider intelligentsia and political class.
In Britain, the established church, the universities, the Foreign Office, the theatrical and publishing worlds, the voluntary sector, members of Parliament across the political spectrum, as well as the media — have signed up to the demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel.
It’s the home of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
It’s where human rights lawyers threaten to arrest Israelis for war crimes as soon as they step off the plane at Heathrow.
It’s where an English judge virtually directed a jury to acquit anti-Israel activists, who cheerfully admitted committing criminal damage against an arms factory because it sold equipment to the Israelis, on the grounds that the Israelis were making life in Gaza ‘hell on earth’, and were behaving like Nazis and that if they had done this during World War Two they ‘might have got a George Medal’.
It’s where Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron told the Turkish Prime Minister that Gaza was a prison camp, that the Israeli ‘attack’ on the Turkish terror flotilla ship was ‘completely unacceptable’, and where the British Foreign Secretary ‘deplored the loss of life’ in that Israeli attack.
Britain has effectively become a kind of global laundry for the lies about Israel and bigotry towards the Jews churning out of the Arab and Muslim world, sanitising them for further consumption throughout English-speaking, American and European society and turning what was hitherto confined to the extreme fringes of both left and right into the mainstream. Where Britain has led, the rest of the west has followed.
What is striking is the extent to which a patently false and in many cases demonstrably absurd account has been absorbed uncritically and assumed to be true.
History is turned on its head; facts and falsehoods, victims and victimisers have their roles inverted; logic is suspended, and an entirely false narrative of the conflict is now widely accepted as unchallengeable fact, from which fundamental error has been spun a global web of potentially catastrophic false conclusions.
In Britain and much of Europe, the mainstream, dominant view amongst the educated classes is that Israel itself is intrinsically illegitimate. Its behaviour is viewed accordingly through that prism.
Much of the obsession with Israel’s behaviour is due to the widespread belief that its very existence is an aberration which, although understandable at the time it came into being, was a historic mistake.
People believe that Israel was created as a way of redeeming Holocaust guilt. Accordingly, they believe that European Jews with no previous connection to Palestine — which was the historic homeland of Palestinian Muslims who had lived there since time immemorial — were transplanted there as foreign invaders, from where they drove out the indigenous Arabs into the West Bank and Gaza. These are territories which Israel is now occupying illegally (even after its ‘disengagement’ from Gaza in 2005), oppressing the Palestinians and frustrating the creation of a state of Palestine which would end the conflict.
Every one of these assumptions is wrong. Moreover, many of these errors and distortions not only promote falsehoods but actually turn the truth inside out. This is because the west has swallowed the Arab and Muslim narrative on Israel which acts as a kind of global distorting mirror, appropriating Jewish experience and twisting it into a propaganda weapon against the Jews.
Thus while Muslims deny the Holocaust, they claim that Israel is carrying out a holocaust in Gaza. Antisemitism is central to Jewish experience in Europe; Muslims claim that ‘Islamophobia’ is rife throughout Europe. Israel gives all Jews the ‘right of return’ to Israel on account of the unique reality of global Jewish persecution; the Muslims claim a ‘right of return’ – not to their own putative state of Palestine, but to Israel. They even claim that the Palestinians are the world’s ‘new Jews’.
These and many other examples are attempts to negate Jewish experience and appropriate it for themselves to obtain what Muslims want from the world in terms of status, power and conquest. They are giving rise to hallucinatory levels of genocidal hatred towards the Jewish people as well as serial falsehoods, fabrications and distortions about Israel.
One might have thought that the supposedly rational west, so quick to condemn religious obscurantism or prejudice of any kind, would object. On the contrary: they ignore, dismiss or excuse it – and far worse, they have even internalised and reproduce many of these tropes which they appear to believe represent the truth.
The core reason that Muslims insist that ‘Palestine’ is theirs is that they believe the Jews have no rights within any land Muslims have ever conquered. The western intelligentsia have bought so heavily into the Arab and Muslim narrative of ‘Palestine’ in part because they fail to understand the fanatical theological sophistry from which it derives.
But it’s also because the western intelligentsia has itself turned evidence and logic upside down. Moral and cultural relativism – the belief that subjective experience trumps moral authority and any notion of objectivity or truth – has turned right and wrong on their heads.
Because of the dominant belief in victim culture and minority rights, self-designated victim groups — those without power — can never do wrong while majority groups can never do right. And Jews are not considered a minority because – in the hateful discourse of today – Jews are held to be all-powerful as they ‘control’ the media, Wall Street and America.
So the Muslim world cannot be held responsible for blowing people up as they are the third world victims of the west; so any atrocities they commit must be the fault of their victims; and so the US had it coming to it on 9/11. And in similar fashion, Israel can never be the victim of the Arab world; the murder of Israelis by the Arab world must be Israel’s own fault.
This inversion of reality and morality echoes the Islamic narrative. This holds that, because Islam is considered perfect, its adherents can never do wrong. All their aggression is therefore represented as self-defence, while western/Israeli self-defence is said to be aggression. So justice and injustice, oppression and freedom, truth and lies are reversed.
Instead of attacking Arabs and Muslims for such irrationality and falsehoods, it’s the defenders of Israel whom the western intelligentsia accuse of lies and even insanity. Instead of backing Israel against genocidal violence, the British took to the streets, while Hezbollah rockets were raining down on Israel’s northern towns in 2006, with placards declaring ‘We are all Hezbollah now’.
Israel’s perceived ‘oppression’ of the Palestinians, its ‘disproportionate’ attacks on them and its supposed violations of international law are actually the very opposite of the truth. This is behaviour of which it is the victim, not the perpetrator.
The treatment of Israel is a spectacular example of the phenomenon of ‘psychological projection’ – when people ascribe their own bad behaviour to others who are innocent of it and are even its victims — through which the west is mirroring the murderously warped thinking of the Islamic world.
However, the animus against Israel can only be understood if it is set in a far wider context. It is part of a wholesale denigration of and onslaught upon the west and its values by the media, progressive intelligentsia and political class.
The BBC, for example, acts not just as cheerleader for Hamas but for the Islamic world. During the Iraq war the crew of the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal threw their radios overboard because of the demoralising effect that the defeatist and slanted BBC reporting was having on soldiers going to fight for the defence of the west.
The media has systematically presented the war in Iraq in a distorted way. For example, it presented the reprehensible American humiliation of prisoners in Abu Ghraib as infinitely worse than the bestial torture inflicted under Saddam Hussein’s tyranny.
Iraq has been misreported through distortion and omission. It has been repeated ad nauseam that we were ‘taken to war on a lie’ on the grounds that Saddam possessed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. But a glance at speeches made by President Bush or Tony Blair shows this simply wasn’t so. The reason was Saddam’s continuing threat to the west posed by his terrorist record, regional aspirations and pursuit of WMD programmes.
Or take the mantra that because no WMD were found none had ever existed – a totally brainless non-sequitur. This also ignored the evidence that was discovered there of WMD programmes.
In his 2003 interim report as head of the Iraq Survey Group, Dr. David Kay reported that he had discovered ‘dozens of WMD-related program activities’ that had been successfully concealed from the UN inspectors, and that ‘right up to the end’ the Iraqis were trying to produce the deadly poison ricin.
‘They were mostly researching better methods for weaponisation’, he said. Not only that, Saddam had re-started a rudimentary nuclear programme. Kay also told Fox Television: ‘We know there were terrorist groups in state [Iraq] still seeking WMD capability. Iraq, although I found no weapons, had tremendous capabilities in this area. A marketplace phenomenon was about to occur, if it did not occur; sellers meeting buyers. And I think that would have been dangerous if the war had not intervened.’
In other words, what Kay found bore out the concerns laid out by Bush and Blair as the case for going to war in Iraq. Yet this was presented as demolishing that case.
And even more absurdly the argument was then broadened to claim Saddam had no connections to terrorism at all — despite the fact he had been the godfather of international terrorism — and so posed no threat to anyone outside Iraq.
Such distortions, omissions and selective reporting over Iraq are all part of the much bigger media failure to report the really big story in the region that continues to this day. That story is the increasing dominance of Iran.
Astonishingly, there has been virtually no reporting of the part Iran has played in Iraq – actually killing British and coalition troops and destabilising the country. There has been virtually no reporting of Iran’s takeover of Lebanon, its grip on Gaza, its steady establishment as the regional hegemon posing an ever greater threat not just to Israel but to the west. Instead the media present the wars in Iraq or Israel as discrete and unrelated events.
Strikingly, it is the intelligentsia, the people of reason, who are the main problem. Bigotry is now correlated with education and class.
The lower down the social and educational scale, the more people are sane and realistic and decent about the Middle East and the threat to the free world from radical Islam. But as soon as you get people who’ve been through higher education, you find that so often they’re the ones who are bigoted and irrational about such matters.
They make truly ridiculous claims about Israel, such as its perpetration of apartheid or ethnic cleansing – claims which, to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the situation, are demonstrably ridiculous.
So how can it be that the most educated are now the most irrational?
The short answer is that among the progressive intelligentsia, evidence and truth have been supplanted by ideology – or the dogma of a particular idea. Ideologies such as moral and cultural relativism, multiculturalism, feminism, environmentalism, anti-capitalism, anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism.
Across a wide range of such issues, it’s no longer possible to have a rational discussion with the progressive intelligentsia, as on each issue there’s only one story for them which brooks no dissent.
This is because, rather than arriving at a conclusion from the evidence, ideology inescapably wrenches the evidence to fit a prior idea. So ideology of any kind is fundamentally anti-reason and truth. And if there’s no truth, there can be no lies either; truth and lies are merely ‘alternative narratives’.
So the way has been opened for mass credulity towards propaganda and fabrication. The custodians of reason have thus turned into destroyers of reason – centred in the crucible of reason, the university.
Far from promoting enlightenment, western universities are not only the prime source of falsehoods about the Middle East and hatred and bigotry towards Israel, but also of intimidation against those who try to present a balanced and factual picture and who find themselves professionally and socially ostracised as a result.
All these different ideologies are utopian; in their different ways, they all posit the creation of the perfect society. That is why they are considered ‘progressive’, and people on the progressive wing of politics sign up to them. That helps explain the distressing fact that so many Jews on the left also sign up to Israel-hatred, since they too sign up to utopian ideologies to which Israel is such an impediment.
But when utopias fail, as they always do, their adherents invariably select scapegoats on whom they turn to express their rage over the thwarting of the establishment of that perfect society. And since utopia is all about realising the perfect society, these scapegoats become enemies of humanity.
For Greens, such enemies of humanity are capitalists; for anti imperialists, America; for militant atheists, religious believers. Anti-Zionists turn on Israel for thwarting the end to the ‘Jewish question’: the reproach to the world over Jewish suffering which Europe believes would be redeemed if there were peace in the Middle East. The key utopia that Israel’s never-ending wars are thwarting is the redemption of European guilt for the persecution of the Jews in which they have been complicit through the centuries.
What these various very disparate ideologies of environmentalism, scientism, anti-imperialism, moral relativism, anti-Zionism and Islam also have in common is – remarkably — hostility to Judaism, Israel and the Jewish people.
It was Judaism that laid down the moral law which forms the very foundation of Western morality which is under attack from moral relativism.
It is the Book of Genesis that draws the wrath of the environmentalists, who wrongly interpret the Biblical ‘dominion’ of mankind over the earth as an example of divine imperialism or colonialism—a hierarchy which must be destroyed by removing man from the pinnacle of Creation and substituting the natural world itself in his place.
It is Jews who are the principal targets of the attacks by anti-Americans and anti-imperialists on the ‘neoconservatives,’ the euphemism for those who were alleged to have formed a conspiracy to subvert American foreign policy in the interests of Israel.
And it is that issue, Israel, which is now the greatest symbol of Western irrationality.
The hatred of Israel and the Jews that drives the Islamic jihad against the west is not acknowledged or countered by the west because its most high-minded citizens share at least some of that prejudice.
Both western liberals and Islamists believe in utopias to which the Jews are an obstacle. The State of Israel is an obstacle to both the rule of Islam over the earth and a world where there are no divisions based on religion or creed. The Jews are an obstacle to the unconstrained individualism of western libertines and to the onslaught against individual human dignity and freedom by the Islamists.
Both the liberal utopias of a world without prejudice, divisions or war and the Islamist utopia of a world without unbelievers are universalist ideologies. The people who are always in the way of universalising utopias are the Jews.
So is this all hopeless? After all, irrationality cannot be fought with reason.
But no, it is not hopeless. First, many who spout this irrational discourse are not themselves irrational, merely profoundly ignorant. They are ignorant because no-one is telling them what it is they don’t know and are getting so very wrong about Israel, the Middle East or Jewish history.
But for those who are indeed irrational, we have to change our approach. We have to stop trying to argue with bigots. We must instead set out to defeat them.
To do that, we must first realise many of us are fighting on the wrong battleground. We are on the battleground selected by our enemies as the most conducive to victory.
The Arabs successfully redefined the Middle East conflict from a story about Arab aggression towards the Jews to a story about Palestinian suffering at the hands of the Jews.
They reversed victim and victimiser by recasting an existential conflict as a battle between two peoples with rival claims to the land. Inevitably this casts Israel, which is reluctant to go along with the implications of this false analysis, as the villain of the piece.
The problem that cannot be overstated is that Israel has lent itself to this false narrative.
After all, forcing a country which has endured six decades of existential siege with no end to give any ground to its attackers amounts to forcing a victim to surrender. This is expected by the civilised world of no other country.
Yet for reasons of realpolitik Israel has meekly gone along with this mad pressure. It has never said it is totally unconscionable. It has never put the all-important argument from justice on its own account. So it has allowed its enemies to appropriate this argument mendaciously as its own.
And if Israel doesn’t make this case on its own behalf, how can anyone else?
There is therefore an overwhelming need for Israel to alter its strategy. Indeed, it needs to have a strategy.
It needs to recognise that the battleground on which it is being forced to fight is not just military. It is also a battleground of the mind.
The Arab and Muslim world long ago realised if they set the narrative in their own image, they would recruit millions of fanatics to their cause and also confuse and demoralise their victims. In this they have wildly succeeded.
So both Israel and diaspora Jews have to rethink. It’s time to change the narrative.
Time to stop conniving with the premise of their enemies that the Middle East impasse would be solved by establishing a state of Palestine to which the settlements – and thus by extension, Israel — are the obstacle. Time for them to stop agreeing that the Jews are to blame for their own predicament.
Time to stop the hand-wringing. Time to stop fretting over how much better it is to play along with the narrative of Israel’s enemies in clear English rather than a thick Israeli accent – almost totally irrelevant.
Both Israel and diaspora Jews have to stop playing defence and go onto the offence.
We should be demanding of the world why it expects Israel alone to make compromises with people who have tried for nine decades to wipe out the Jewish presence in the land and are still firing rockets at it.
We should be demanding why America, Britain and the EU single Israel out for pressure which they apply to no other victims of genocidal aggression. For in any other such conflict, their cause of the aggressors would be deemed totally forfeit by their behaviour.
We should be asking so-called ‘progressives’ – including Jewish ‘progressives’ — why they support the racist ethnic cleansing of every Jew from a future state of Palestine.
We should be asking ‘progressives’ why they are not marching against Hamas on account of its tyrannical oppression of Palestinians in Gaza.
Why they are not mounting a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority on account of his Holocaust denial and the PA’s continued incitement of Arab children to Jew-hatred, murder and genocide.
Why they are ignoring Arab and Muslim persecution of women and homosexuals.
And we should be telling the Jews’ own story of refugees and ethnic cleansing – the 800,000 Jews expelled from Arab lands after 1948, and who now make up more than half of Israel’s population. It’s good to see that at last Israel is beginning to bring this to the world’s attention. In Britain virtually no-one knows about it. At a stroke it takes the ground from under the feet of those demanding the ‘right of return’ for Arabs.
We will never convince bigots that facts are as they are, or that the evidence of history tells a different story from the one they believe. We cannot fight prejudice with reason.
But we have a duty to bear witness to the truth. And we have a duty to fight in our defence.
We can best do this by getting off our back foot and putting western fifth columnists on theirs. We should accuse them, not of Jew-hating motives we cannot prove but of absurdities and contradictions and untruths they cannot deny.
We should ridicule them, humiliate them, destroy their reputations; boycott them, not invite them to our houses, show them our disapproval and contempt. Treat them as pariahs. Turn their own weapons against them.
In short, we must get up off our collective knees and fight. Justice, human rights and truth are on our side, not theirs. We must reclaim them as our own.
The Escape from Holland...
Amsterdam is not safe for Jews...
Benzion Evers believes Amsterdam is not a safe place for Jews. The son of the Dutch capital's chief rabbi says he is planning on leaving the country next year together with his wife and infant son.
In spite of being a popular vacation destination for Israeli travelers, and even though the city boasts a warm Jewish community of thousands, 22 year old Evers, son of Raphael, Amsterdam's chief rabbi has announced that the country is becoming less safe for Jews.
"It's not that you can't leave the house" he explains in an interview to the Het Parool newspaper, "but you constantly need to hide, to be careful and to carefully examine which neighborhoods to go into and which not to go into."
He also told of how recently, he is careful never to leave the house wearing his fur hat and hides his skullcap under a baseball cap when going through neighborhoods with high concentrations of Moroccan and Turkish immigrants.
The interview he gave to the newspaper was mentioned in many Dutch publications and one newspaper even declared that "history was repeating itself".
Bruce Bawer on Swedish Tolerance and the New York Times...
Another terrific article from Bruce Bawer...
In the wake of the Stockholm bombing, the New York Times, like most of the mainstream media in the U.S. and elsewhere, has remained depressingly true to form. Wednesday’s Times contained a news article headlined “Sweden Bombing Doesn’t Soil Image of Tolerance” by John F. Burns. You didn’t have to look past that headline itself to be clued in to the story’s grotesquely misguided emphasis. A Muslim sets out to murder Christmas shoppers, and a reporter decides to write a piece about what, if anything, has happened to “images” in the aftermath of this event – and the focus is not on whether or not the image of Swedish Muslims has been tarnished, but on the image of non-Muslim Swedes? Think for a minute about how whacked-out this is. Since 9/11, the media have put such a tortured twist on just about everything having to do with Islam that whenever there’s a terrorist attack, we’re encouraged to see it not a illuminating the nature of Islam but as a test of non-Muslim tolerance. Hooray! Some jihadist tried to blow Christmas-shopping families to kingdom come, but Sweden didn’t turn “Islamophobic” as a result – it passed the test!
Burns writes that “many Swedes have taken comfort from the attack’s most enduring image”: that of “a man in a red jacket kneeling by the dying bomber, asking if there was anything he could do for the man….Many have described it as exemplifying the compassion and tolerance Sweden prizes as part of its national character — qualities, they say, that must not be surrendered in a new era of terrorist threats.”
Compassion? Tolerance? Let’s start with “compassion.” Is this really the mot juste to describe Sweden’s attitude toward its Muslim population? This is a country, after all, where no-go zones have grown and multiplied over the last decade, where the rate of reported rapes (thanks to Muslim youths) has risen to become the second highest in the world (after Lesotho), where anti-Semitic hate crimes by Muslims have become so commonplace that Swedish Jews are emigrating in increasing numbers – and where the people have long been instructed by their masters not to talk honestly about any of this, because to do so is to be racist and Islamophobic.
The see-no-evil, speak-no-evil policy held firm until September, when the Sweden Democrats, the only major party in the country that addresses issues of immigration and integration with candor, won 5.7 percent of the vote and secured seats in Parliament for the first time. (Whether the party itself is an entirely positive phenomenon is another question.) The political and media establishment characterized this as an alarming departure from Swedish “compassion”; in fact it seemed a welcome sign that at least some Swedes have decided to start facing up to reality and taking responsibility for the country they’re going to be leaving to their children and grandchildren. This is, in short, not about “compassion”; it’s about a perverse smorgasbord of cowardice, guilt, and denial that, if not soon overcome, bids fair to collapse the Swedish welfare state, obliterate Swedish culture, and destroy Swedish freedom.
And what about “tolerance”? Yes indeed, Sweden has been incredibly tolerant – of Muslim intolerance. It has tolerated forced marriage, female genital mutilation, honor killing. It has tolerated – indeed, welcomed and celebrated – developments that no democratic society should accept. This “tolerance” is nothing to crow about.
The real danger from Iran....
Of course, the nuclear threat is urgent to deal with, but Iran is a huge problem right now...before they go nuclear....here's a Wikileak document quoting Hosni Mubarak...
The cable said Egyptian officials and their American allies differed in their perceptions of "the Iranian threat".
"While he [President Hosni Mubarak] will readily admit that the Iranian nuclear program is a strategic and existential threat to Egypt and the region, he sees that threat as relatively 'long term'," the cable said.
"What has seized his immediate attention are Iran's non-nuclear destabilizing actions such as support for Hamas, media attacks, weapons and illicit funds smuggling, all of which add up in his mind to 'Iranian influence spreading like a cancer from the GCC (Gulf Arab states) to Morocco.'"
Michael Totten speaks to Giulio Meotti....
An important new book...
Encounter Books recently published Italian journalist Giulio Meotti’s gut wrenching book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism. At first glance I thought his title might be over-the-top. Orders of magnitude more people were murdered in the Shoah—the Nazi Holocaust—than by terrorists in Israel, but that isn’t the point. What Israel’s victims of terrorism have in common with the victims of the Nazi genocide is that they were Jews who were murdered for being Jews.
Why else, after all, would a suicide bomber explode himself at Café Hillel in Jerusalem rather than at a military checkpoint in the West Bank or Gaza? Why else would Hamas fire rockets at kindergartens in Sderot instead of at army bases? And why else would Hezbollah lionize Samir Kuntar, a man who murdered a four year old girl by placing her head on a rock and smashing her skull with the butt of his rifle? And why would Hezbollah go all the way to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to blow up a Jewish community center with a truck bomb?
Meotti’s book is grim, but somebody needed to write it, and he’s the person who did. He and I spoke a few days ago.
MJT: So tell us why you wrote this book.
Giulio Meotti: What’s the difference between a Western democracy, such as France or the United States, and Israel’s democracy? It’s not the start-up nation, the job opportunities, the scientific progress, or the number of Nobel laureates. The most important difference between Israel and the other Western countries lies in the young men and women killed for what they are: Israelis living as free human beings in their historical homeland.
The Jewish state is the only member of the United Nations condemned to death. Its existence is the only one widely considered temporary by a large number of countries in the world. In 2003 I decided to investigate the great black hole that in the last fifteen years has snuffed out thousands of lives, Jews killed because they are Jews.
The book is the result of many years of research inside the painful heart and soul of Israel. There were no books devoted to this single dramatic question. I give a voice to dozens of families and survivors of terrorism who have been neglected by an arrogant media industry. I think the blood spilled by terrorism is the most precious and fragile story that Israel has today, a story that even Israeli writers have neglected.
MJT: Let’s talk about your title. Some potential readers might think comparing Israel’s victims of terrorism to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust is a bit much, not least because the scale is so different in size. I thought so myself at first, though that feeling went away by about page 8 or 9. Perhaps you could say something about it for those who haven’t read to page 8 or 9.
Giulio Meotti: First of all let me say that I will never accept lessons about the use of the word Shoah by those who are undermining the Jewish state every day with their rhetoric. In Europe the memory of the Holocaust has become a perfect stage for the bashers of Israel. There is a direct connection between the Nazi ideology and the Islamist agenda–I am thinking of the mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Amin al-Husseini, who fought with Hitler against the Jews, and also the genocidal Hamas charter. The Holocaust survivors killed in Israel by suicide bombings, rockets, and terror shootings are the living proof of this terrible link.
With this title I wanted to address something the chattering classes refuse to recognize: that the monstrous morality of anti-Semitism continues as an immortal beast behind the politically correct mask of anti-Zionism. A distorted notion of remembering and history separates the Holocaust–a pure symbol of evil–from Israel’s sixty year struggle for survival under war and terrorism. There is also the question of living under the pre-nuclear threat from Iran. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the truth of the Shoah in order to weaken Israel’s existence and to prepare the world for a new massacre by Hezbollah, Hamas, and possibly even a nuclear attack. The question of the Shoah, and that Jewish identity is again under massive attack, defines the world after the 9/11 attacks.
MJT: Do you see any difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, or would you say they are one and the same?
Giulio Meotti: Israel’s centrality for the future of the Jews is more than just a question of demography or religion. Israel represents Jewish survival. Before World War II there was a great debate in the Jewish world over Zionism. The Holocaust resolved that debate. Zionism became the solution to Jewish powerlessness and vulnerability. The Jewish future lay in self-defense, sovereign territory, and the ingathering of the exiles.
In my opinion a great problem today is that Israel’s legitimacy is questioned again by a huge number of Jewish intellectuals and writers: Tony Judt, George Steiner, Jacqueline Rose, Ilan Pappe, Norman Finkelstein, Tony Kushner, Eric Hobsbawm, Noam Chomsky, etc. They would like to resolve the Jewish dilemma by assimilation and the disappearance of the Jewish difference.
It’s both a naive and a violent idea. Every other people that has been conquered and exiled and annihilated as the Jews has in time disappeared. Only the Jews defied the norm. Twice. But never, I fear, again. Anti-Zionism is a sophisticated intellectual movement and it’s paving the way for a new anti-Semitic tragedy. That’s why I think it was important to write a history book that tells the stories of Israeli civilians killed by terrorism; fathers and mothers, kids and the elderly, soldiers and doctors. Their families tell us who these people were, their ideals, their faces, their names. The book is the incarnation of Israel’s trauma and future at a time when the Iranian ayatollahs and the Saudi Wahhabis have a large audience in Western newspapers, universities, and parliaments.
But Israel is fine. It demonstrates this with its booming economy, its medical sciences, and its children who are capable of sacrifice and a complex life between war and their love for peace. On Israel’s side there is life. Its enemies preach death.
Iran cuts Hezbollah budget by 40%...
A very nice sign..perhaps sanctions are hurting...time to up the pressure...
Iran has cut the annual budget it provides Hizbullah by over 40 percent, stirring an unprecedented crisis within the Lebanese Shi’ite guerrilla organization.
This comes, according to recent Israeli intelligence assessments, just weeks before a United Nations tribunal is expected to accuse Hizbullah of assassinating former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.
Iran has in recent years provided Hizbullah with close to $1 billion in direct military aid, but due to the impact of the recent round of international sanctions, the Islamic Republic has been forced to cut back on the funding. The money is used by Hizbullah to buy advanced weaponry, train and pay its operatives and establish military positions and sustain them throughout Lebanon.
The cuts in the budget has stirred tension between Hizbullah and its Iranian patrons, further fueled by disagreements between the top Hizbullah leadership and the Revolutionary Guard Corps officer who was appointed earlier this year to oversee Hizbullah operations on behalf of the Islamic Republic.
That officer is Hossein Mahadavi, and his official title is “commander of Iran’s overseas division,” which in this case is Hizbullah.
Mahadavi is believed to maintain an office in Beirut and is a senior member of the Guard’s Al-Quds Force, which is responsible for Iran’s overseas operations.
Mahadavi was sent to Lebanon to fill the vacuum created by the 2008 assassination of Hizbullah’s top military commander Imad Mughniyeh in Syria, which the group has been attributed to Israel. Mughniyeh was also the chief liaison between the Lebanese group and the Revolutionary Guard.
According to information that has reached Israel, Mahadavi has clashed with senior Hizbullah officials, including its Secretary- General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, on critical issues pertaining to the group, which is refusing to accept the Iranian’s authority.