Monday, May 31, 2010

Recommended links on Israel vs. Hamas high seas event (staged for MSM/death cult)

Video showing Israeli forces being attacked as they land on ship:

Legality of Action in International Waters

Many more posts at Augean Stables

Phyllis Chesler:
One may also describe the Turks on board the “freedom flotilla” (Orwell himself could not have suggested a better logo) as “humanitarian activists.” But they are still pro-terrorist Turkish jihadists whose mission was to kill Jews, one way or the other. This was a mission which aimed to further demonize the already shamefully tarnished reputation of the Jewish state. This mission planned to force a violent confrontation; were Israeli soldiers to dare defend themselves and if Muslims are therefore martyred—even better public relations, even better for international lawfare against the Israel.

The so-called “humanitarians,” at least on one boat, came armed with metal bars and knives. They were fighters, not pacifists, and they called out traditional Islamic battle cries: “[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!” According to Palestinian Media Watch:

“Khaibar is the name of the last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad’s army in 628. Many Jews were killed in that battle, which marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia. There are Muslims who see that as a precursor for future wars against Jews. At gatherings and rallies of extremists, this chant is often heard as a threat to Jews to expect to be defeated and killed again by Muslims.”

“This video shows Israeli soldiers being beaten with long and heavy metal rods on one of the Turkish boats. Jeff Dunetz (“YidWithLid”) has a series of disturbing and informative videos in which we can see the planned nature and intensity of the Turkish-Palestinian violence against Israeli soldiers—an attack which involved stabbings, beatings, firebombing attempts, throwing soldiers overboard, etc.”

Earlier today, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that the Turkish-led flotilla was: “An armada of hate and violence in support of Hamas’ terror organization and was a premeditated and outrageous provocation. The organizers are well known for their ties with global jihad, Al-Qaeda, and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror. On board the ship we found weapons prepared in advance and used against our forces. The organizers intent was violent, their method was violent, and the results were unfortunately violent. Israel regrets any loss of life and did everything to avoid this outcome.”

Roger Simon interviews Richard Landes

Elder slows down the video: It was an ambush

Thanks to Dan Schloss of the Canada-Israel Committee for sending us the following links:

BEST article I’ve seen -,7340,L-3896796,00.html

If you’re able to, read 67A in the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea—dispels myths about international water immunity argument.

Aboard the Turkish flotilla where the skirmishes took place:

Death Cult?

Up to 16 killed in Israeli attack on Gaza aid flotilla - The Globe and Mail
“This is a historic day … a day of freedom … a turning point in the battle to end the siege of Gaza,” said Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya on Gaza television. He sent his sympathies to the families of the dead and assured them the people would be viewed as “martyrs” in the campaign to liberate the Palestinian people.

For a Jewish perspective.

At least 10 activists dead, dozens hurt in flotilla clashes
Upon boarding the ships, the soldiers encountered fierce resistance from the passengers who were armed with knives, bats and metal pipes. The soldiers used non-lethal measures to disperse the crowd. The activists, according to an IDF report, succeeded in stealing two handguns from soldiers and opened fire, leading to an escalation in violence.

Belmont Club » Where the Old Flotilla Lay
Together those three developments — the shadow of the Iranian nukes, the missiles of Hezbollah and the loss of American support — may have fostered a regional perception that Israel is vulnerable. Certainly the flotilla organizers could not have been insensible to the rising pressure on Israel and were determined to exploit it, nor was it lost on the IDF that if they showed weakness in the face of the flotilla there would be more to follow. In one sense the flotilla put to sea on the perceived political tides and were met by IDF elements sailing on the contrary currents. The result was a clash inconsequential in itself, but not in the sparks that it may generate.
It’s about 3 am in Chicago and near enough that on the East Coast. Here’s the proverbial 3am call for good old Hillary and Barack Obama to field. Let’s hope they are up to it.

UPDATE: Pajamas has some good coverage; Findalis reminds us that those who support Hamas are complicit in a desire to kill all Jews everywhere.

Ali Mallah demonstrates

Blazing Cat Fur: Ali Mallah CUPE Union Thug Assaults Blazingcatfur at Islamofascist Anti-Netanyahu Rally!  Here's the video:

Mrs . Catfur has the background on the unfortunate Mr. Mallah.

So just what is it that Mallah demonstrates? Forget all the surface appearances for a moment because what percentage of Canadians will look at the kind of people in the video and think, simply, these are pro-Palestinian demonstrators? Most Canadians will look at these obsessive Israel haters, people who consider the Jewish desire to have a state to be "Racism!", and think, hmm, what really is the disaster that has messed up their lives, cornering them in self-destructive hatred? But many will not really know the answer.

We find a pretty good answer here: Palestine Betrayed

And for any readers in the vicinity of London, ON, Toronto, or Ottawa (June 2,3, and 7) , don't miss the rare opportunity to hear an exceptional scholar, Bat Ye'Or, who has taught us so much to understand the kind of world that creates Ali Mallahs.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Radio Memories: Memorial Day

"Pa, I got somethin’ to say. Don’t know how to say it… Lotta things happened to me, since I been away. Can’t explain what they are exactly, but they happened."

So says the son struggling to put his thoughts into words, trying to understand who the war has made him become... life has the capacity to change us in ways that make us frequent strangers even to ourselves; thank God for the blessing of family, for how they help us renew and reconnect with that part of ourselves that never changes. As he becomes a man, after all, he remains a son.

While Memorial Day isn't a Canadian holiday, we pause nevertheless to remember the sacrifices made on our behalf, keeping those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and the families they left at home, in our prayers.

During the Second World War, in those close-but-still-so-far days before television, the families left behind would find comfort, information, and entertainment through their radios, primarily through the forgotten art form of radio drama: the theater for the mind.

There was not much effort made by the broadcast networks to preserve radio programming from the 1930s through to the 1950s, so we are quite lucky to have what little audio artifacts we do have, from that era. Some shows were fluff in their day, many haven't aged well beyond their time; yet, a treasured few survive as remarkable mirrors of fading memories, precious testaments to the shared experiences clinging to the periphery of our collective mind's eye. It's in the hope of clarifying, and preserving, the echoes of those cultural experiences that we resume our Sunday series of Radio Memories.

This week we listen to the echo of an episode first broadcast on February 2nd, 1946, entitled "Homecoming". It marked the post-war return to the air of an innovative anthology series, CBS' Columbia Workshop. The program came and went three times during its long unusual existence, before bowing out for good in the late 1950s. Throughout its run it served CBS as an audio laboratory, allowing them to try out story ideas, writing styles and production techniques considered too experimental for regular commercial radio. (We played an episode from the series' third and final 1957 incarnation last Easter)

This particular episode follows a small town family and the whirlwind of emotions that accompanes them as they welcome a son finally home from the war. Modest in scope, but rich in content, "Homecoming" is a wonderful portrait of what radio drama could accomplish, by holding up a mirror to memory.

Our Radio Memories offering from last year's Memorial Day can be heard here.

This year's previous Radio Memories:

You Are There: The Impeachment Trial Of President Andrew Johnson
Great Gildersleeve: 1947 Easter show
Lux Radio Theater: Hitler's Children
Biography In Sound: The Story Of Science Fiction
Mr President: Romance In The White House
Frontier Fighters: George Pickett
Destination Freedom: Citizen Toussaint [Toussaint L'Ouverture]
Ports Of Call: Haiti

For a list of our 2009 Radio Memories listings, go here.

What makes us different from animals?

The origin of so much bad thinking about both humans and animals is a recurring tendency to try to understand both in the same terms. Animal behaviour is incessantly anthropomorphized, while many try to explain human behaviour in solely biological-evolutionary terms.

So I thought it would be worth noting a recent report on a study into the difference in human and animal learning, and then comparing this to a more expansive analysis of the same issue. Curiously, two of the authors under discussion have almost, but not quite, the same surname.

First, the recent report on a study by Nielsen and Tomaselli: Copycat behavior in children is universal and may help promote human culture:
ScienceDaily (May 26, 2010) — Children learn a great deal by imitating adults. A new study of Australian preschoolers and Kalahari Bushman children finds that a particular kind of imitation -- overimitation, in which a child copies everything an adult shows them, not just the steps that lead to some outcome -- appears to be a universal human activity, rather than something the children of middle-class parents pick up. The work helps shed light on how humans develop and transmit culture.

Scientists "have been finding this odd effect where children will copy everything that they see an adult demonstrate to them, even if there are clear or obvious reasons why those actions would be irrelevant," says psychologist Mark Nielsen, of the University of Queensland in Australia. "It's something that we know that other primates don't do." If a chimpanzee is shown an irrelevant action, they won't copy it -- they'll skip right to the action that makes something happen.
For the experiments, the children were shown how to open a box -- but in a complicated way, with impractical actions thrown in. For example, the adult would drag a stick across a box, then use a stick to open the box by pulling on a knob -- which is a lot easier if you just use your fingers. Most of the children copied what the adults did, even if they'd been given the opportunity to play with the box first and figure out how it worked. This was just as true for Bushman children as for the Australian children.

But aren't the children just following the rules of what appears to be a game? "That kind of is the point," says Nielsen. "Perhaps not a game, but certainly, when I demonstrate the action, it's purposeful. So from the mind of a child, perhaps there's a reason why I'm doing this." This willingness to assume that an action has some unknown purpose, and to copy it, may be part of how humans develop and share culture, he says. "Really, we see these sorts of behaviors as being a core part of developing this human cultural mind, where we're so motivated to do things like those around us and be like those around us."

And now, for a deeper understanding of this, let's turn to Richard van Oort's analysis of the work of Michael Tomasello:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Some brief insights into Gnosticism

Below we have two clips from a short essay by Bertonneau on classical Gnosticism. What makes this particularly interesting is that we find obvious parallels between it and today's Left, as Voegelin would point out in a different way. Bertonneau moves from Voegelin to the main source for some clearer background than one finds in Voegelin, a big help to those who come to Voegelin from Archaeology of Religion. Or, to be a bit clearer myself, we see in these clips that Gnosticism has its own history, which Voegelin is happy to work from. The current lot in political power in Washington, "brilliant" as they are, likely have no ideas about any of this, being too smart to care about the ideas and insights of Dead White Men. For the rest of us, this is pretty interesting.

Thomas F. Bertonneau, "Gnosticism from a Non-Voegelinian Perspective, Part I," Brussels Journal. 27 May 2010.

II. When Gnostics say, “Look to God,” they are invoking the knowledge-without-experience, the special knowledge, that the word Gnosis denotes. Such proprietary knowledge they specifically refuse to share with outsiders because possession of it – or the claim to possess it, for that is all that the outsider has – is what differentiates the illuminati from the vulgate. Thus by virtue (so to speak) of their special knowledge, the Gnostics consider themselves elect. They are an extreme in-group phenomenon. Under this conviction, they “proceed to assert that Providence cares for them alone.” When the Hidden God abolishes the corrupt world, only those whose being has been transfigured by secret knowledge will remain, and they, too, shall be as gods. Compared to those in whom the secret knowledge does not reside, and who are therefore not transfigured, the illuminati are already gods. They may thus mock and revile their ontological inferiors.


IV. Augustine’s plausible representations of the Manichaeans in The Confessions indicate of those sectarians the same hatred of inherited custom and established social hierarchy that Plotinus attributed to his Gnostics, the Valentinians. The devotees of Valentinus regarded the material world as intrinsically and inalterably corrupt. They fervently desired that world’s abolition, after which the pure of heart would be reunited in a kingdom of supernal light known as the Pleroma, or “Fullness.” Augustine would like to see the world improved, but he knows that human behavior is stubborn and that it takes historical ages for a new moral order to take hold. Before he heard differently from God, for example, Abraham would have understood the offering of a child in sacrifice as ordinary religious practice, which it was in the Bronze Age almost everywhere. The Manichaeans, by contrast, exhibit hysteric impatience both with secular recalcitrance and with the crooked timber of humanity. There is one dispensation, theirs, and not holding to it can be charged against an individual even though he had the misfortune to live before the dispensation could be published. The Manichaeans agitated for apocalypse now, the fundamental transformation of a way of life, to coin a phrase.

These excerpts cover a lot of ground in a short space. Well worth the few minutes it will take to look at the full essay linked above.

I'm getting ahead of myself here writing this bit about Czeslaw Milosz's epigram of “An old Jew of Galicia” in his book The Captive Mind, but it seems appropriate in light of the Bertonneau essay here. The beauty of Gnosticism is that the gnostic is not only right, he is perfectly right all the time about everything; and those who don't agree with him fully are totally wrong all the time about all things. Being right in this sense means one has a monopoly on the meaning of life, and one can sneer at those fools who don't share the secret. Everyone else's life is meaningless and wrong and pointless and despicable. What armour. No criticism of oneself can ever penetrate. That is perfection for the man who is terrified of existence and its cosmic loneliness. All of ones terrors can fit into a bag one can fling away, and from then on, one is free to be the fool he is without fear of himself and his knowledge of his foolishness. One can even be proud. Everything is permitted. That's got to be attractive to many. Complete control of life and the universe.
When someone is honestly 55% right, that’s very good and there’s no use wrangling. And if someone is 60% right, it’s wonderful, it’s great luck, and let him thank God. But what’s to be said about 75% right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100% right? Whoever say he’s 100% right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

In the real world, Jews settling in your neighborhood is a good thing

Facts and Lies About West Bank Settlements » Spengler | A First Things Blog
David Ha’Iviri, the executive director of the liaison office for Israeli settlers in Samaria, spent some time with me after my talk at Ariel. He’s now visiting New York, and explained to me over lunch that the Jewish settlers created their own volunteer emergency units, initially in response to terrorist attacks. As the attacks abated, the volunteer organizations kept expanding. Now they spend most of their time rescuing Arab victims of road accidents. The Western press seizes upon the rare incidents of settler violence against Arabs, but is silent about the hundreds of Arab lives that settler-volunteers save.

Jews build schools, plant gardens, start businesses wherever they are. The Samarian settlements are an exemplar of high-tech organic agriculture with a minimum environmental footprint, blended with light manufacturing. With sweat and ingenuity, and very little support from Jewish institutions, the settlers have managed to do more to educate and employ and otherwise better the lives of Samarian Arabs than the feckless and corrupt institutions of the Palestinian Authority in the region. It is a terrific story for any journalist willing to spend a few days with open eyes and without prejudice–but I doubt that the mainstream media will touch it.
If any reader wants to send Covenant Zone to Judea and Samaria, we'll do the job!

Enough about me. Let's talk about my shoes.

There's being determined to make others think one right at all times, a fierce drive to be accepted as an authority in word if not in deed, that can twist a person into a freak who has no other value than being the one who knows. Some people are just nuts over being right, no matter how much they have to destroy anything resembling reality or truth. But there's another kind of person who has a need to be "right." He's kind of person one meets below: one who has no concern with being of "right" opinion but who demands of himself that he be "cool" at all times, in line with all about him; who is "right" in his presentations of the commonly accepted. This one goes well beyond caring about being accepted as an authority of any kind. He just wants to be known as one who is clever enough to pose interestingly. We can meet in this dark alley of the mind the Conformist Contrarian. Here's an example of one who is right in style, fashionable.
[A] Boston Globe editorial felt the need to compare Washington and Jefferson unfavorably to...Bill Clinton.
George Washington's parents no doubt took pride in his childhood honesty, but therein may lie the reason he was among the least intellectual of the Founding Fathers. A Canadian study last week declared that children who lie are actually showing their mental acuity and creativity. "Parents should not be alarmed if their child tells a fib,'' Kang Lee, director of the Institute of Child Study at the University of Toronto, told the Telegraph of London. In fact, children who are making things up at age 2 have fast-developing brains, which portend greater intellectual achievements. Thomas Jefferson, whose genius sometimes led him down a twisty path around the truth, may have been an example. So might his mentally agile successor, William Jefferson Clinton. As for Washington - perhaps there's a new explanation for why he confessed, in the great Parson Weems legend, to chopping down the cherry tree: Maybe young George just couldn't come up with a good enough cover story.
More at American Thinker.
The writer above seems to be one of those people desperate to impress his mates with the coolness of his contrarian ideas. It passes as "intellectual." There's a better term for it, but we'll leave it at that, the author's text above being sufficient condemnation.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just coincidence?

1) - EXCLUSIVE: Shakeup at Wikipedia in Wake of Porn Purge:
According to insider sources and publicly available internal listserve discussions, Wikimedia editors have rebelled in the last week against Wales' attempts to remove pornographic images from the nonprofit's websites. Those images have been the subject of heated discussion within the community since their existence was revealed exclusively by on April 27.

On May 7, reported exclusively that Wales had personally deleted many of the images from Wikimedia's servers, and that he'd ordered that thousands more be purged. Now many of those images have been restored to their original web pages.

Hundreds of listserve discussions among Wikimedia board members, administrators and editors reveal the eruption of a heated and chaotic debate over whether to delete the images, which legal analysts say may violate pornography and obscenity laws.

The debate heated up when began contacting high profile corporations and foundations that have donated to the Wikimedia Foundation for comment — including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Best Buy, USA Networks, Craigslist, Ford Foundation and Open Society Institute.

Several of those donors contacted the foundation to inquire about the thousands of images on Wikimedia’s servers that could be considered child pornography. There also are graphic photo images of male and female genitalia, men and women or groups of people involved in sexual acts, images of masturbation and other pornographic material — all of which can be viewed by children at most public schools, where students are encouraged to use Wikipedia as a source encyclopedia.

When the donors started calling, Wales immediately called on the sites’ editors to quickly purge any possibly obscene or pornographic content from the sites.

This led to outrage among the sites' many volunteer editors and administrators, who charged that Wales’ actions betrayed the essence of the open user-generated online encyclopedia.

2) Israeli-Palestinian conflict rages on Wikipedia:
The international campaign to erode Israel’s legitimacy is slowly expanding its reach into the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, according to Israeli sources familiar with the Web site’s operations.

The collaborative reader-edited encyclopedia is the Internet’s sixth-most popular Web site, making it a central clearinghouse for knowledge and opinion worldwide. Since it is written by the public, it tends to deal in greater detail with issues in the media spotlight.

No wonder, then, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is covered from countless angles across a spectrum of articles.

Yet, according to Israeli editors of the encyclopedia who asked to remain anonymous so as not to damage their editing rights on the Web site, these articles are slowly being taken over by pro-Palestinian campaigners in an effort to tilt the encyclopedia’s narrative of the conflict and its history to reflect their position.
These activists also use teams of like-minded editors working together to sustain debates about new edits ad infinitum, thus improving the chances that their changes will be accepted and preventing the removal of any claims they have added.

One of the most important recent debates that showcased this ability concerned the technical definition of Mandatory Palestine as a state. Pro-Palestinian advocates have brought pro-Palestinian Western academics, along with selected quotations from British, Ottoman and UN sources, to argue that Palestine has always had the legal status of statehood, whether under Ottoman, British or Israeli occupation.

The purpose of the campaign is simple. If Palestine has always been a state, it has the legal right to turn to international tribunals to sue Israel for war crimes, a move that is difficult for non-state actors under the rules governing the International Criminal Court and other bodies.

This argument is a central plank in the pro-Palestinian campaign that seeks to find new ways to attack Israel’s legitimacy in the international arena. It is put forth in the article “State of Palestine,” which exists independently of the geography-focused “Palestine,” or other related articles such as “The Palestinian territories” and “Proposals for a Palestinian state.”

According to an editor, “We face what can only be described as an organized campaign that brings to bear a huge number of sources, even if most of them are problematic and polemical, and is willing and able to debate without end and not to allow changes to articles until the debate is concluded.”

1) New Miss USA in stripper controversy

2) Elder of Ziyon: New Miss USA's ties to Hezbollah

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Spengler on covenants

Eternal Jerusalem » Spengler | A First Things Blog
States are not founded on social contracts, protection of the individual, or any such idiocy handed down from Hobbes; they are founded upon congregations, as Augustine explained in the City of God. It is not common interest but common love that defines states. We do not have a “self” interest as such; our “self” belongs to our ancestors and our children, unless, of course, we are contemporary Europeans, who despise our ancestors and have no children, and hope to pass into extinction with the minimum of bother.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jerusalem Day

Today, May 12, is celebrated in Israel as the anniversary of the moment, in 1967, when the IDF captured the Old City of Jerusalem from the Jordanian army. At a time when the world is being made to witness the spectacle of Obama playing a game he doesn't likely much understand, attempting to impose his will on Jerusalem building permits, in a pretense to be making a peace he cannot make given the fundamentalist desires in play...
"and [Obama] urged that President Abbas do everything he can to prevent acts of incitement or delegitimization of Israel."

This is interesting and could be encouraging. Obama is asking Abbas to do something and that was the right thing to say. But here's the problem: as Abbas engages in incitement, the PA incites, and the PA doesn't interfere with incitement, will Obama say or do something?

After all, we know that if an Israeli construction crew turns over some shovels of dirt for a construction project in east Jerusalem, the United States will scream out protest. But if the PA names squares for terrorists, produces broadcasts delegitimizing Israel, secretly lets terrorists out of jail, and so on, there will not be a peep.

But let's consider what's going on meanwhile in the real world. Palestinian Media Watch reports that on the PA's own television station this week the program "We Are Returning," shows a map in which all of Israel is erased and covered with a Palestinian flag.

The program explains that Israeli Jews should go to places like the Ukraine and Ethiopia: "Please, I ask of you, return to your original homeland, so that I can return to my original homeland. This is my homeland; go back to your homeland!"

This kind of thing goes on in PA-controlled mosques, classrooms, media, and in speeches by PA or Fatah officials on a daily basis. The U.S. government virtually ignores it. There are no programs, articles, classes, sermons, and speeches in which PA officials and employees urge their people to live peacefully side by side with Israel and accept that country's existence permanently.
... it might be useful to remind ourselves that the Jewish attachment to Jerusalem is founded in a living history that goes back millennia and will not likely be given up short of some genocidal extermination, an event the likelihood of which Obama must have little capacity to imagine (after all, he is not the Messiah) even as many frightened Jews cannot but think that this must be his ultimate agenda given the way he acts (because if it isn't, he is foolish choosing holy Jerusalem as his key leveraging point).

So, here's an article featured in today's Jerusalem Post: In honor of Jerusalem Day, MKs get to dig into past:

In 1999, the Wakf Islamic trust, which is in charge of the Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount, requested permission from the government to construct emergency exits for a series of underground mosques that had been opened inside the compound during the late 1990s. Upon receiving permission, Wakf officials constructed an entrance to the underground el-Marwani mosque in the area known as Solomon’s Stables. During the exits’ construction, the Wakf removed some 10,000 tons, or 400 truckloads, of ancient debris, which was then dumped in the nearby Kidron Valley and the Jerusalem municipal dump – some of it lost forever among the trash and other rubble.

Enter Gabriel Barkay of Bar-Ilan University, who applied for and eventually received a license from the Israel Antiquities Authority to sort through the discarded piles in search of antiquities.

Joined by his former student Zachi Zweig, Barkay now oversees the sorting. Using a process known as “wet sifting,” which is similar to panning for gold, the efforts have turned up a rich bounty of First and Second Temple-era artifacts.

On Tuesday afternoon, Knesset members got a firsthand look at the site’s operations and were even given a chance to do some sifting of their own, as they paid a visit to the tent where Barkay, Zweig and a slew of volunteers were conducting their work.

“This could have part of a vessel one of my ancestors carried olive oil in to make sacrifices in the Beit Hamikdash [the Temple],” said MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), as he held up a shard of pottery he discovered in a pile of the discarded debris.

Other MKs echoed Ben-Ari’s observations, expressing the importance of the site’s offerings for “all Israelis, and all of the Jewish people.”

“This is a clear sign that Jerusalem is ours – that its beginnings belong to the Jewish people, and the basis of its holiness is rooted in Judaism,” said Kadima MK Otniel Schneller, who was also in attendance.

“And it’s not an issue of right-wing or left-wing, religious or secular,” he added. “Any Jew with even a basic knowledge of the Bible can relate to this place on a deep level. It is the tangible history of our people and a solid proof of our connection here that is impossible to argue with.”

Schneller said that for that reason, he would continue to work in the Knesset to halt the Wakf’s excavation activities on the Temple Mount, and hold them accountable for the damage done to antiquities at the holy site.

“We have to realize our sovereignty over the site,” he said.

Habayit Hayehudi MK Zevulun Orlev echoed Schneller’s comments, telling The Jerusalem Post, “Today I saw with my own eyes and felt with my own hands the very history of the Jewish people.”

He charged that “what the Wakf has done on the Temple Mount amounts to a horrible archeological crime and an affront to the deep connection Jews have with the Temple Mount.”
And this may be a good time to remember the famous "Letter to the World from Jerusalem" by Eliezer ben Yisrael (Stanley Goldfoot):
There was a Jerusalem before there was a New York. When Berlin, Moscow, London and Paris were miasmal forest and swamp, there was a thriving Jewish community here. It gave something to the world which you nations have rejected ever since you established yourselves – a humane moral code. Here the prophets walked, their words flashing like forked lightning. Here a people who wanted nothing more than to be left alone, fought off waves of heathen would-be conquerors, bled and died on the battlements, hurled themselves into the flames of their burning Temple rather than surrender; and when finally overwhelmed by sheer numbers and led away into captivity, swore that before they forgot Jerusalem, they would see their tongues cleave to their palates, their right arm wither.

For two pain filled millennia, while we were your unwelcome guests, we prayed daily to return to this city. Three times a day we petitioned the Almighty: “Gather us from the four corners of the world, bring us upright to our land; return in mercy to Jerusalem, Thy city, and dwell in it as Thou promised.”

On every Yom Kippur and Passover we fervently voiced the hope that next year would find us in Jerusalem. Your inquisitions, pogroms, expulsions, the ghettos into which you jammed us, your forced baptisms, your quota systems, your genteel anti-Semitism, and the final unspeakable horror, the Holocaust (and worse, your terrifying disinterest in it) – all these have not broken us. They may have sapped what little moral strength you still possessed, but they forged us into steel. Do you think that you can break us now after all we have been through? Do you really believe that after Dachau and Auschwitz we are frightened by your threats of blockades and sanctions? We have been to Hell and back – a Hell of your making. What more could you possibly have in your arsenal that could scare us?
I have watched this city bombarded twice by nations calling themselves civilized. In 1948, while you looked on apathetically, I saw women and children blown to smithereens, this after we had agreed to your request to internationalize the city. It was a deadly combination that did the job: British officers, Arab gunners and American-made cannon.

And then the savage sacking of the Old City: the willful slaughter, the wanton destruction of every synagogue and religious school; the desecration of Jewish cemeteries; the sale by a ghoulish government of tombstones for building materials for poultry runs, army camps – even latrines.

And you never said a word.

You never breathed the slightest protest when the Jordanians shut off the holiest of our holy places, the Western Wall, in violation of the pledges they had made after the war – a war they waged, incidentally, against a decision of the UN. Not a murmur came from you whenever the legionnaires in their spiked helmets casually opened fire upon our citizens from behind the walls.

Your hearts bled when Berlin came under siege. You rushed your airlift “to save the gallant Berliners.” But you did not send one ounce of food when Jews starved in besieged Jerusalem. You thundered against the wall which the East Germans ran through the middle of the German capital – but not one peep out of you about that other wall, the one that tore through the heart of Jerusalem.

And when the same thing happened 20 years later, and the Arabs unleashed a savage, unprovoked bombardment of the Holy City again, did any of you do anything? The only time you came to life was when the city was at last re-united. Then you wrung your hands and spoke loftily of “justice” and the need for the “Christian” quality of turning the other cheek.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Two good pieces on "honour"/shame killing

Margaret Wente, Our Daughters in Peril

Phyllis Chesler, Worldwide Trends in Honor Killing

Can someone explain to me what this guy is saying?

Commanded to terrorize South Park, an op ed in today's Vancouver Sun by lecturer Gordon Nickel is a head scratcher for me. I know our public or mainstream media discourse on Islam has become a game of unmentionables, innuendo, and false pieties. But really, I pity the UBC students who have to figure out what this prof. wants them to think or write about Islam. This guy is not obviously an enthusiast for dissimulation or cultural relativism and yet he seems so scared of appearing to say anything a little too declarative that he invents a whole new kind of pointing with eyebrows raised, while saying weird things about Jews. Either that, or he was terribly abused by some newpaper editor with the fear of Allah in mind.

Dhimmi Pricks and Prickesses


Well, "Muslim perversion" is not a very apt term for what is (female genital mutiliation) only perverse if done from within women-respecting cultures. (I know there are "modernizing" Muslims who argue that the hadith in which Mohammed counsels a mutilator not to cut too severely (hence seeming to sanction some cutting), is of poor authenticity and that female genital mutilation is a pre-Islamic practice not required by Islam. Such pleading for a religion that has not yet often gone out of its way to stop various "tribal" practices, and is in many ways not exemplary when it comes to making women into full persons, does not impress me greatly.)

Nonetheless, despite the emotional headline, the article from an anti-Islam site is of some interest. It seems that the pediatric medical authorities in the (former?) US of A have convinced themselves that female genital mutilation is essentially a "ceremonial procedure", and that if they sanction pin pricking - a "ritual nick" - of the girl's clitoris, so that a drop of blood may be taken, then this will satisfy the modern American Muslims and the American Academy of Pediatrics sanction of this ceremonical procedure will not too often entail families wanting to go further (cutting outside the American medical system), nor will it contradict the American law against female genital mutilation.

In other words, the medical authorities don't seem to think or acknowledge that female genital mutilation has a "rational" purpose: to control and limit women's sexuality. But if this reason is in fact normative, then the sanctioning of pin pricking is but a dhimmi's nod of acquiescence to the authority of a religious-tribal worldview that will often not stop at a mere pin prick. So if this American Academy of Pediatrics policy goes into effect, we will all be able to place our bets on reality: is "female genital mutilation" largely a "ceremonial" practise? Or, has America become a nation of dhimmis?

One of the questions one must ask of modern America is whether the relative feminization of the culture and professional life has so far led to a kind of refusal, in general, to sanction conflict as a necessary aspect of life and has led instead to a compulsion to seek ways to withdraw from (and not merely defer) conflict, howevermuch that cannot be done without someone losing something (without cutting one's own):
A member of the academy’s bioethics committee, Dr. Lainie Friedman Ross, associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, said the panel’s intent was to issue a “statement on safety in a culturally sensitive context.”

Dr. Friedman Ross said that the committee members “oppose all types of female genital cutting that impose risks or physical or psychological harm,” and consider the ritual nick “a last resort,” but that the nick is “supposed to be as benign as getting a girl’s ears pierced. It’s taking a pin and creating a drop of blood.”

She said the panel had only heard hackneyed anecdotes from worried doctors.

“If we just told parents, ‘No, this is wrong,’ our concern is they may take their daughters back to their home countries, where the procedure may be more extensive cutting and may even be done without anesthesia, with unsterilized knives or even glass,” she said. “A just-say-no policy may end up alienating these families, who are going to then find an alternative that will do more harm than good.”
No doubt a "just-say-no" policy would alienate some Muslims from the American medical system. But then one needs ask whether or not alienation is something necessary, in all possible human societies. Isn't alienation simply a necessary relationship to one or another social norm? I am alienated in degrees from the norms of my society but I embrace these norms not because, as in leftist thinking (where norms are seen as a source of victimization), I am a "hypocrite" but because I realize that norms (variously old and new) that we can never fully live up to are nonetheless necessary, in some shape or form, to serve as a basis, or focus, for human reciprocity and building order through the exchange of norms, through the different possible ways of re-presenting them in attempts to live up to them. In short, I think we should want to alienate Muslims who want to cut their daughters' genitalia. Alienation can entail dead-end resentment, in the worst cases, but also it can entail a conversion away from one norm or representation to another. But one cannot begin to orient towards something better without first being alienated.

Furthermore, I'll argue that all rituals or ceremonies have a rational element to them, though the reason inherent in a long-lasting ritual's origins may become outdated so that we can, at some point, begin to speak of a "mindless" ritual. But if this is so, it is a fool's game to think one can simply speak of "ritual pricks" without first confronting and subsuming the "reason" with which the ritual of mutilation originated.

I was just reading Barry Rubin's latest column, an homage to Walter Laqueur and it had a couple of observations that are worth repeating here:
I want to get back to why you should read this latest [Laqueur] book. One of the greatest deficits today is the ignorance or distortion of history (most often into an anti-democratic, anti-Western, anti-capitalist narrative), especially the last 90 years since the end of World War One. Walter has lived through this and it has left him with sound and sober judgments.
"Some of the main sources of error [in comprehending history and predicting politics include] mirror imaging ["They are people like you and me"]; the belief of academics that the main assignment of an intellectual is to be critical; the contention that conflicts can always or almost always be evaded; the idea that in the case of a conflict, truth is more often than not to be found somewhere in the middle and that one's own country is very likely to be in the wrong." (p. 17)
There is one story Walter tells in the book that particularly haunts me given attitudes today. During the period before the Nazis came to power, his parents took him on a river cruise. One of the passengers jumped off the boat, swam around for a while, and climbed back. He used the boat’s Weimar Republic flag as a towel to dry himself. Some of the passengers laughed and applauded. When people no longer appreciate their democratic country and the freedom it provides they are well on their way to losing it.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Twilight of the old party system?

Belmont Club » That’s the Way You Do It
The situation in which Britain finds itself is so dire that the Governor of the Bank of England told an American economist that whichever party won the current general election it would be “out of power for a whole generation because of how tough the fiscal austerity will have to be.” David Cameron may find, immediately after taking control of the ship of state that he has been promoted to the captaincy of the Titanic.
That makes me feel a bit better about watching the UK election results tomorrow.

In the meantime, you might be interested in Adam K's analysis of how, in an America where the political center has all but been abandoned, politics is becoming a fight in which each of the two major parties seeks to destroy its rival in order to institute some new kind of political center and debate on new terms. However, the more a party is expressly aware of and publicly vocal about its desire to destroy the other party, the less successful it can be. Adam thus looks for the political issues that, if fought seriously, may nonetheless have the pragmatic effect of destroying the "criminal cult" that is today's Democratic Party.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Now's the time to donate if you want to defend free speech and resist the Islamization of Europe

Blazing Cat Fur: Urgent: Geert Wilders Needs Our Help ("he is not accepting Government funding and needs some dough to put him over the top, 10,000 wee folks makin wee donations can do that in a hurry"):
With four weeks to go before the general elections in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders and the Party for Freedom are now engaged in a life-and-death struggle against the forces of jihad. In the last couple of years Geert Wilders has emerged as the international symbol of the struggle against Islam.

The Party for Freedom (PVV) refuses government subsidy in order to remain independent. All other Dutch parties receive government money. Therefore, the PVV is facing a serious challenge in order to survive this election season. Dutch state television is engaged in a massive campaign to smear the PVV.

The Party for Freedom needs your help urgently. Every donation is welcome.

There is a Paypal button on the English-language site:

ING bank account of the Stichting Vrienden van de PVV in The Hague:

(IBAN: NL98 INGB 0670 4723 44, BIC: INGBNL2A)

Postal address:
Postbus 20018
2500 EA Den Haag

There is a Paypal button on the English-language site:

The insanity of Jew/Israel Phobia

A Chinese friend asked me the other day if British people were antisemitic. I explained that a prejudice against Jews is common there but that traditionally it is not stated forcefully but is just part of the culture's undercurrent. He said he understood exactly what I meant - that's what the British are like. I wonder, however, how much of humanity can see through the absurd antisemitism in this video or how subtle will have to be the future that inherits this mindlessness:CAMERA responds:
The Economist, with Al Jazeera hot on its heels, has dug up a new Israeli villain: traffic lights.

This joins aphrodisiac bubble gum, poisonous candy, super rats, and stripper assassins in Israel's purported arsenal of tools to oppress Arabs.

According to a March 6, 2010 article in the mainstream British news magazine, traffic lights in Jerusalem "flick green only briefly for cars from Palestinian districts while staying green for cars from Jewish settlements for minutes."

When pressed by CAMERA to provide evidence for this wild charge, the Economist provided a list of intersections at which drivers from Arab neighborhoods are allegedly forced to wait at long red lights to make way for those from Jewish neighborhoods. Shortly afterward — coincidentally, or not — Al Jazeera English broadcast a short news segment purportedly demonstrating the discrimination at one of the intersections named by the Economist.

A CAMERA field investigation reveals that the Economist and Al Jazeera claims are absurdly false — the latest examples of how even the most benign irritations encountered in quotidian life are manipulated to demonize the Jewish state. In fact, the discrepancy between the timing of red and green lights is related, as in cities across the world, to street size and traffic flow, affecting cars from both Arab and Jewish neighborhoods equally.

Beit Hanina Junction

The Economist's first example was an intersection in northern Jerusalem near the Arab neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina and the predominantly Jewish neighborhoods of Neve Yaakov and Pisgat Zeev. This same area was the subject of the Al Jazeera feature.

According to the Economist, traffic lights for cars approaching Jerusalem from the Arab areas remained green for 18 seconds, while traffic from the Jewish neighborhoods toward Tel Aviv enjoy the benefit of a one-minute-and-30-second green light.
This comparison is highly disingenuous, as it does not compare apples to apples.
The image [above] shows the neighborhoods mentioned by the Economist. The intersection best matching the magazine's description is shown in the highlighted square.

The road from Pisgat Zeev and Neve Yaakov to Tel Aviv is Route 1, a major thoroughfare that crosses Israel. Traffic on this busy highway naturally has priority at junctions with smaller roads such as Derech Shua'fat, which comes south to Route 1 from the Arab neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina.

A more apt equivalent to Derech Shua'fat at this intersection is Rechov Sheshet Hayamim, the road leading north to Route 1 from the Jewish neighborhoods of Givat Hamivtar and Ramat Eshkol. At this intersection, travelers encounter similar wait times to those on Derech Shuafat — a green light for 16 seconds and a red light for one minute and 41 seconds.

Another comparable intersection can be found less than two kilometers to the west, at the junction of the road from the Jewish neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo and Route 1. Here, motorists encounter a much shorter green light then do those at the Derech Shuafat intersection.

Clearly, then, the discrepancy between red- and green-light times at the intersection is a function of road size and not ethnicity. Traffic on larger roads have priority over smaller roads that intersect it, whether those roads are from the Arab neighborhoods or Jewish neighborhoods.

Of course, the major arteries into downtown Jerusalem are open to all travelers. Motorists from the Arab neighborhoods are certainly able to use any of the larger roads crossing Route 1. For example, it is a mere half kilometer detour for Beit Hanina residents opting to skip the allegedly-racist traffic light by using the overpass highway crossing Route 1 (Route 60/Derech Ha'aluf Uzi Narkis).
Unsurprisingly, Al Jazeera bombarded viewers with additional outrageous fabrications. Reporter Jacky Rowland alleged:

The settlers journey to work will soon be even easier, because the municipality is building a tramway for them. The rail lines have robbed the Palestinians of two lanes of traffic.

The absurdity and hypocrisy of this charge is dumbfounding. The tramway is not being built for "settlers," but for all Jerusalem's residents, both Jewish and Arab. In fact, there will be numerous stations serving Arab neighborhoods. This is precisely why it "robs" Palestinians of traffic lanes — just as it robs Jews of traffic lanes where the rail is being built in Jewish neighborhoods.

Once a people become so averse to asking sane questions in an attempt to actually understand reality, how low can their culture go before it self-destructs? Next time, you think you can't be bothered to stand up to the epidemic of Jew/Israel hatred, ask yourself if this sinkhole is where you want our culture and intellectual leadership to go. And what about the police?

You know what the problem with Jews is? They just own too many cars, create too much economic hussle and bustle wherever they "settle". How dare they!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

"God of Carnage" Postponed by Car Bomb in Times' Square. May Day. May Day.

I'm asking, "What's my motivation?"

A failed car bomb shut down Times Square on Saturday night, causing panic, evacuations and confusion on one of the tourist spot's busiest and most crowded nights.

More at: