August 23, 2012

Ellul, Eid & Iran

Last weekend was special for both Jews and Muslims. For Jews it was Rosh Chodesh Ellul, the first day of a month of repentance before the High Holydays. For Muslims it was the Feast of Eid, marking the end of their fasting month of Ramadan.

On Sunday morning Jews blew the shofar. Muslims blew up people.

From twin car bombs in Libya, to the bombing of a Shia group in Iraq, to the suicide bombing of a funeral service in northern Russia, the bodies piled up.

For many years TheReligionOfPeace.Com has maintained a record of deadly attacks by Islamic terrorists since 9/11. I've embedded their counter in this blog for some time. At the time of writing, their tally of documented incidents stands at 19,473. That’s just the attacks, not the victims. Their special ‘Ramadan Bombathon’ scoreboard recorded 1,206 slain in 260 terror attacks over the 30-day period.

After more than a decade of almost daily terrorist alerts and attacks from Tripoli to Toulouse, any primate would recognise this as a classic conflict between good and evil. So why is it that all those educated people in media and academia fail to report the ugly truth and refuse to call evil by its true name? I suspect it is because telling the truth would mean aligning themselves with the opposing forces of which Israel is at the forefront. It means aligning themselves with the likes of George Bush, whom they saw as a trigger-happy cowboy with lower than average intelligence. The fact that Nobel peace laureate Obama has had more military campaigns under his watch than his predecessor cuts no ice with the enlightened Left. They see Obama as simply cleaning up Bush’s mess.

The sad truth is that the world’s newest evil is still not stronger than its oldest hatred. In mainstream media and academia this daily slaughter and its looming threat to basic freedoms at home is a lesser evil than having to publicly support the Jews and their state.

The brave and outspoken British journalist Melanie Phillips once told a gathering at Hebrew University that support of Israel was ‘the kiss of death’ for any journalist in the media. Negative reporting of Israel always earns plaudits and promotion. But when the lies are exposed, as with France-2’s Al-Durrah forgery, every legal obstacle is deployed to hide the blatant bias, just as the BBC buried the Balen report into its own anti-Israel reporting.

Whilst editors and academics may not own up to their institutional anti-Semitism, their behaviour is not lost on the mullahs in Teheran and may well answer some vital questions. Ask yourself: what have Israel or the Jews ever done to Iran to warrant its threats of nuclear annihilation? Why would a religious junta, with a stranglehold on such a vast country and its natural resources, risk losing everything by sanctions or war just to get rid of a tiny Jewish state minding its own business? Can they really believe they will ever succeed with a surprise attack? Isn’t it all just empty rhetoric?

The answer to the last question is yes. But critically it is rhetoric that the wily Ayatollahs know the world and its dishonest media want to believe in. For the radical Left and its useful idiots in media, academia, the unions and boycott movement, Israel has always been the problem and the cause of all the violence coming from the East not to mention the rest of all the world’s ills. They’re not uncomfortable with a messianic agenda of removing Israel from the map and they see the Iranian quest for nuclear weapons as solely directed to that end.

Behind that smokescreen lurks Iran’s real agenda. The urgent need for untouchability. Having been almost toppled by the Green Revolution in 2009 they have watched the dominos fall in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria. The Revolutionary Guard and their Basij thugs are ready to beat down the next uprising with far more brutality than even Assad has used. The only thing the Ayatollahs fear is western intervention, of the kind which empowered rebels in Libya and now assists in Syria. And the only way Tehran can block this threat is to turn itself into another Pyongyang.

The Iranian leadership watched North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Il defy all American threats and pressure of sanctions to end his domestic tyranny and external trouble-making. Faced with a frighteningly unstable nuclear threat, America has climbed down from every demand, going so far as ‘reverse sanctions’ to make sure that Pyongyang is shipped all the oil and other creature-comforts needed to keep it docile. Tehran wants and needs nothing less. Israel is just a diversion.

Only the truth will set the West free of this looming Islamic tyranny and it is time for the news media to own up to the truth so that ordinary folks can make the right choice between Ellul and Eid.

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August 16, 2012

Lapid and Einstein

Telegenic journalist and broadcaster is founder of the new party of Israel's Middle Class - "Yesh Atid" (meaning: there is a future).

He has just blogged a pretty strong and defiant piece entitled: "Someone is trying to kill me" which I have pasted below in full with some commentary at the end:

"The recent terror attempt at Sinai, which was miraculously thwarted at the last minute, reminded me of a very painful truth that has been with me since I was born: Somebody out there wants to kill me.

I've never actually met him; he knows nothing about me. Strangely and outrageously enough, it isn't even personal. Bizarre, no? There is someone out there who has devoted his life to trying to kill me, but I'm not supposed to be insulted.

I try to look back on my life, in an unprejudiced fashion, in order to determine if there isn't something that somehow justifies someone wanting so badly to kill me, but I come up with nothing.

I'm almost 49 years old, a father of three, who still has a soft spot for guitar-based rock and roll – primarily Springstein and Clapton, but also Dire Straits. I believe in basic democratic values: freedom of religion, equality, the right to eat a whole ice cream cone in front of the TV. Surely there are more righteous folks than me, but I've nonetheless never ever been involved in illegal activity and just this week I visited my mother twice. I recently posted on Facebook that my favorite movie is Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven", though my wife, may she be forever healthy, knows I also can appreciate a romantic comedy now and then. I admit that a guy who's watched Reese Witherspoon's "Sweet Home Alabama" twice deserves some punishment – but death sentence?! Isn't that a bit extreme?

Of course, it's clear to me that this state of normalcy is a form of self-delusion. After all, I live in a country embroiled in a protracted conflict with its neighbors and, like most other Israelis, I recognize that it will ultimately have to be resolved by partition. The Palestinians will receive a state and we'll receive the right to divorce them. This is the only viable solution and I'm willing to struggle for its implementation; but this won't change anything for the guy hell-bent on killing me. He'll keep on trying.

Because contrary to the propaganda being disseminated by well-meaning peace-loving people, his desire to kill me has nothing to do with the injustices committed against the Palestinian people. Usually, the guy trying to kill me isn’t even Palestinian. In most cases, he was born in some far off desert, in countries I've never ever visited and to whose existence I pose no threat whatsoever. For his part, he claims he wants me dead because he identifies with the suffering of his brethren, but that's simply untrue. In Sudan, close to 3 million Muslims like him were massacred by his own ideological allies. In Somalia, more than half a million were killed, in Bangladesh 1.5 million, in Yemen 150,000 – and this list goes on – but the guy who wants to kill me has never tried to stop the killing. Their suffering bores him. The only thing that interests him is that I die.

The desire to kill me is not a means to an end, but rather an end in itself. He doesn't care if I'm outraged or if I withdraw – he merely wants to hear my croak and die. He wants to see me lying dead on the floor, in a puddle of blood, without a pulse and not breathing, with a bullet in the head and another in the heart.

You must admit – this is enough to disturb one's afternoon nap.

The standard Western narrative posits that all human beings are alike, and we all fundamentally want the same things: a small house, a piece of land, a livelihood, 2 kids and a national synchronized swimming team. That's a lovely idea; unfortunately it means nothing to the guy who is trying to kill me. For if that's what he too wanted, he could have achieved it many years ago. Alas, he prefers instead to continue shooting at targets bearing a picture of my face. To kill me with a knife, or with a pistol, or better yet, with an explosive device that will also kill those standing nearby.

His desire to kill me is so profound, that he doesn't even mind being blown up himself, as long as I'm killed. He is ready to transform himself into a pile of shattered limbs and organs just in order to be able to say to himself during the last seconds of his life – that I was killed along with him.

This is definitely a very disturbing thought, because I have no way of possibly comprehending it. Nothing in my education or in the basic values that form my worldview, or in the bedtime stories I was told as a child, takes into account the notion that there is someone out there I don’t know who so loathes my very existence.

No matter how hard I try, I am not able to enter the mind of this guy who wishes to kill me and understand why it's so important to him that I die.

That I'm able to somehow live with this is a small miracle that attests to the human being's capacity to adapt. And yet, it still surprises me that I'm able to ponder this with such equanimity, as if it is some obscure news item reported from a far off foreign land. I've succeeded in not becoming paranoid only because I made the decision not to dwell on the fact that there is a killer lurking next door.

I suppose I'm somewhat in denial, but what choice do I have? In order to sleep at nights, I have created a life that is a strange mixture of normality and insanity. For decades now, I've paid a rather pricey mortgage for a house located in an area in which suicide bombers have blown themselves up and missiles have been fired. I vacation in areas deemed dangerous for American citizens by the CIA. This summer, my kids went off to a summer camp and I didn’t even pay attention to the reference in the Letter to Parents to an "armed escort". It sounds frightening, but I know that the escort in question is my neighbor, an eye doctor, and that his wife will also be at camp on volunteer kitchen duty. That he is armed is an everyday fact of life – like the mosquitoes and the inevitability of our kids returning home with stomach aches. Of course it's true that kids shouldn’t need to be accompanied by armed guards as they build tree houses in the forest, but it seems the guy who wants to kill me also wants to kill my children.

I try to explain to my kids that despite the desire of this guy to kill me, I'm not out to kill anyone. It's sometimes difficult, since my heart is often so filled with anger, but I keep on telling myself that the day I seek to kill him is the day he's won. This means that he has succeeded in dragging me down to his tiny dark world and I'm now trapped inside.

This won't happen.

I will defend myself against him with all my might and if he gets too close to my children, or to my country, he'll discover that I can be no less ruthless than he. Despite this, I have no intention of succumbing to his culture of hate.

Instead, I'll continue living my life in the country that isn’t always right, but at least tries to be and only once in a while will I ask myself why, for God's sake, he is so determined to kill me. "

A good article, clearly grounded in the lessons of the Holocaust, of which his late father Tommy Lapid - former head of the Shinui party - was an iconic survivor.
But if Yair admits to such people being committed to killing Jews for its very own sake, why is he in favour of giving them a state in our midst? Muslims have 22 states to choose from - Jews only one.  

We have seen that whatever lands we have ceded to Arabs (South Lebanon, Gaza and now - very clearly - the Sinai) have been converted into terror bases to launch rockets at our schools and infiltrate killers into our population centers. The only place this has NOT happened is the West Bank under IDF control. Here Arab family and business life bustles in Jenin, Bethlehem, Jericho etc and there have been no rocket attacks launched from these areas.  

Autonomy works just fine in the West Bank, so it must be clear lunacy to convert that status quo into the failed model of South Lebanon, Gaza and Sinai.  There Israel at least had some strategic depth and its Oslo dreamers could afford to make mistakes.   

But the killers Lapid writes about are people with a messianic passion and religious imperative to kill the maximum number of Jews possible.  For such people, the true Nirvana is being within mortar range of Ben Gurion airport.  Why on earth would any sane Israeli vote for such lunacy?

And how many times must Israel commentaries invoke Einstein's definition of lunacy: repeating the same mistakes over and over and expecting a different result.  

I would put only one further 'point' to Mr Lapid. It's a simple punctuation mark. You see, if you put a ?-mark after the name of his party, in Hebrew it transforms rhetorically to: "Is there a future?" So, if you are convinced these people are Jew killers for its own sake, can there be a future for any Israelis - middle class not least - with a terror state smack in the centre of their heartland?  

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August 04, 2012

EU Insanity

Pythagoras' Theorem: .........................24 words.
Lord's Prayer: .......................................... 66 words.
Archimedes' Principle: .................................67 words.
Ten Commandments: .......................................179 words.
Gettysburg Address: ................................................286 words.
US Declaration of Independence: ..............................1,300 words.
US Constitution with all 27 Amendments: ........................7,818 words.
EU Regulations on the Sale of CABBAGES: ................26,911 words

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