Posts Tagged ‘Israel’
Posted by Mats on 11/10/2010
Posted by Mats on 03/06/2010
Over the years I have seen it happen more than once: a plausible “moderate Muslim” appears on the scene and becomes the darling of hopeful non-Muslims who believe that he epitomizes the peaceful, reasonable face of Islam upon which they have placed so much hope (and based so much policy). His non-Muslim patrons loudly sing his praises and denounce anyone who is rude or “Islamophobic” enough to examine his statements closely and find that they don’t actually amount to what those patrons think they do or wish they did: a genuinely peaceful and pluralistic version of Islam that is strong enough on Islamic grounds to convince Muslims that they should abandon jihad against Infidels in all its manifestations.
Not infrequently I have been the first to burst the bubbles of these “moderates,” thereby arousing the ire of the willfully ignorant and self-deceived, who found my unwillingness to be satisfied with these moderates’ blandly incomplete or deceptive versions of Islam to be evidence of my “Islamophobia” or bigotry or what have you. In reality, it was nothing of the kind. It was just an unwillingness to be fooled.
There was Ed Husain, who continues to bamboozle many in Britain, but not the redoubtable and clear-sighted Melanie Phillips, who saw through him when he began inciting young Muslims to hate Israel over earlier false charges of atrocities against Gazans.
There was Hamid Mir, who wowed audiences in the U.S. with his tales of interviewing Osama bin Laden and avowals of a peaceful, tolerant Islam, who was recently discovered to be aiding the Pakistani Taliban.
There is the cuddly Tarek Fatah, who reassures everyone with his comfortable manner — but who, when confronted with Wafa Sultan’s unblinking truth-telling about Islam and Muhammad, resorted in the blink of an eye to tried-and-true CAIR-like tactics of personal defamation and character assassination.
There have been others also, including a still-prominent, much-ballyhooed moderate who was caught in an interview decrying the Israeli “occupation” — but that is a story for another day. Today there is Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish moderate with whom I had several exchanges a few years ago.
Akyol, like Ed Husain and the other moderate I mentioned above, finds one great obstacle in the way of a lucrative and adulation-filled career as a “moderate”: Israel. It is one thing to sell unsuspecting and ignorant Infidels on the idea that Islam is peace. But Islamic antisemitism, based on the Qur’an’s designation of the Jews as the worst enemies of the Muslims (5:82) and their repeated cursing by Allah (2:62-65; 2:89; 5:59-60; 7:166; 9:30, etc.), is harder for even these “moderates” to shake off, and it leads them to take postures toward Israel that are frequently revealing.
I hate to say I told you so, but I don’t hate it all that much.
“Who the hell does Israel think she is?,” by Mustafa Akyol in the Hurriyet Daily News, June 1 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
Two days ago, Israeli forces attacked a humanitarian aid flotilla in international waters. The whole purpose of the activists on the raided Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, and several others around it, were to bring aid and supplies, including playgrounds for children, to Gaza. They paid the price by being the targets of Israeli machine guns.
“Flotilla ‘Aid’ to Gaza Includes Expired Medicines, Old Equipment,” by Hillel Fendel for Israel National News, June 1: “Much of the equipment and supplies aboard the ‘humanitarian’ ships for Gaza has been checked and found to be worthless….An IDF source said that the poor condition of the supplies renders most of it unusable. ‘This once again strengthens the evaluation that the intentions of the flotilla organizers were not humanitarian in the first place,’ he said.”
Back to Akyol:
At least 10 unarmed civilians, most of whom are Turks, were killed. Dozens of others were injured.There is no need to mince words in the face of this atrocity: Israel has committed piracy, barbarism and state terrorism.
Beyond doing all these shamelessly, Israeli spokesmen have also lied shamelessly. One of them, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon, was doing exactly that when he portrayed the ship, and the whole aid flotilla, as full of people “well-known for their ties with global Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Hamas.”
In fact, the 600 or so activists in the flotilla were a diverse group from 32 countries and many faiths. They included Christian priests and secular humanists. They included Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, the 85-year-old Nobel peace laureate from North Ireland, and Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust survivor. They included children, including a 1-year-old.
Does the presence of these Useful Idiots actually refute the contention that the ship was also full of people tied to Al-Qaeda and other jihad groups? Of course not.
These two Dutch-language stories (thanks to Denise) reveal that one of the two Dutch citizens on the Flotilla, Amin Abou Rashed, is a Hamas leader who has also worked for the Al-Aksa Foundation, which was suspected of raising money for Hamas. One of the articles mentions that he lost his arm in battle against Israel.
Ayalon was also lying when he said, “we found weapons that were prepared in advance and used against our forces.” The Turkish authorities had checked the ships thoroughly before their departure, and there were simply no firearms on board. The only “weapons” that can be spoken of were the wooden or metal sticks that some of the activists had in their hands, apparently taken from the chairs or other ordinary materials on the vessels.Yesterday, Israel released the photos of some other “weapons” on board, which were just knives taken from the ship’s kitchen.
The video footage we have seen on TV actually gives a sense of what happened: Israeli commandos raided the ships at dawn, sliding down from helicopters via ropes with machine guns in their hands. Some of the activists on board took this as an assault on their ship, which was, to repeat, in international, not Israeli, waters. (How could they take it otherwise?) Then they tried to resist the commandos with the sticks in their hands. The soldiers, in return, fired on the activists, killing at least 10 people and injuring dozens.
Actually, the “activists” took it upon themselves to “resist the commandos” before the “commandos” had done anything. Here is the actual videotape — see for yourself:
From the Israeli point of view, everything is perfectly fine here: They have a policy of blockading Gaza, and those who defy it have to face the consequences.
Note that Akyol utters not a word about the indiscriminate rocket attacks upon Israeli civilians, launched from Gaza for many years.
The question is why in the world do people have to obey Israel’s dictates and recognize its inhumane blockade on Gaza?Who the hell is Israel, in other words, to force 1.5 million people to live in an open-air prison for years?
Scenes from that hellish open-air prison:
The answer from Israel is that “Hamas fires rockets from Gaza.” Well, the last time those rockets were flying in the air, Israel was also firing rockets (and phosphorus bombs) into Gaza, killing a hundred times more civilians than Hamas did. According to a United Nations report, the actions of both sides equally amounted to war crimes….
Akyol doesn’t mention that that UN report was funded by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Nor does he bother to note that it has been thoroughly debunked.
There is even a more fundamental question here, relating to the elephant in the Middle Eastern room: Who the hell is Israel to occupy the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967, and to systematically steal these territories by building illegal settlements?
Question to Akyol: why didn’t the “Palestinians” fight against Egyptian “occupation” of Gaza and Jordanian “occupation” of the West Bank between 1948 and 1967?
And how can she expect the Palestinians, and other nations like us, the Turks, to bow down to this unabashed theft of land?When I asked that question to an Israeli hawk some years ago, I received a very revealing response: “Might,” he said, “makes right.”
Well, that might be a popular belief in Tel Aviv and Occupied Jerusalem, but not here in Istanbul. In fact our creed tells us that the exact opposite is true: Right, sooner or later, makes might.
The hundreds of heroes who sailed to Gaza last weekend had this faith in their hearts. Here in Turkey, 70 million more stand by them. We mourn for our fallen, but also know that they did not die in vain. Their sacrifice unveiled to the world not just the suffering of the innocents in the Gaza ghetto, but also the brutality of the rogue state that imposes it.
Read my lips: This spirit is really not going to die. We Turks will continue to stand for what is right, regardless of Israel’s might. None of her lobbying, bullying or killing is going to change that.
Nor will truth, evidently.
Posted by Mats on 09/11/2009
“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.” (Deuteronomy 4:9)
This admonition was given by God through Moses as the children of Israel were preparing finally to enter God’s promised land. God had done mighty things for them–delivering them from slavery in Egypt, parting the Red Sea for them, feeding them for forty years with water from a great rock and daily bread from heaven–and it was important for them to teach their descendants, “lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen.”
It was especially vital not to forget the actual words of God. “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it” (Deuteronomy 4:2).
The writer of Psalm 119 (the longest chapter in the Bible) stressed no less than seven times how important it was not to forget the words of God.
“I will not forget thy word” (v. 16).
“Yet do I not forget thy statutes” (v. 83).
“I will never forget thy precepts” (vv. 93, 141).
“I do not forget thy law” (vv. 109, 153).
“For I do not forget thy commandments” (v. 176).
Our nation has seen God do marvelous things. It was founded by a small band of Christians, and in a short span of history has become the greatest nation in the world. Yet we also seem about to forget, as Israel once did.
We would do well to rehearse again and again the poignant words of Rudyard Kipling, in words written over a hundred years ago:
“Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget.”
Posted by Mats on 13/10/2009
Posted April 8, 2009
Newsweek magazine’s cover proclaims The Decline and Fall of Christian America, while the article inside the cover proclaims The End of Christian America. The substance of the article doesn’t really prove the headline, but the goal of whichever editor wrote the headline is clear: The undeniably Christian nature of this country is coming to an end, and that’s a good thing.
The Newsweek headlines are consistent with the pervasive hostility of the liberal media, legal, artistic and entertainment elites towards Christianity in general, and any concept of this country being a “Christian Nation.” Mocking Christianity and the Christian foundation of this country is not just acceptable, it is a path to fame. Mock Islam, and you may get killed; mock Judaism, and you will be criticized; but mock Christianity, and you will get a show at an art gallery, an award from a civil liberties union, and bragging rights at a DailyKos convention.
Camille Paglia sums it up as only she can:
“Yes, something very ugly has surfaced in contemporary American liberalism, as evidenced by the irrational and sometimes infantile abuse directed toward anyone who strays from a strict party line. Liberalism, like second-wave feminism, seems to have become a new religion for those who profess contempt for religion.”
A second, and parallel, theme also emerged during Barack Obama’s tour of Europe. Not only is the United States not a Christian Nation, it is not exceptional. We are at best just one equal nation among many, and our sins are so great that we, and we alone, must apologize to others. And if this apology requires that the President bow down to a monarch whose country does have a state religion, so be it.
The emergence and strength of these two themes, the disdain of Christianity and the denigration of American exceptionalism, are dangerous. As a Jew, I am glad that I live in this exceptional Christian Nation. Outside of Israel, there is no place where Jews are more accepted. A Jew need not fear wearing a keepa (yarmulka) in public as one must in virtually every major European city, from London to Paris to Brussels.
While I do not underestimate the depth of anti-semitism which resides in some individuals, groups or institutions, this is not a nation which has known pogroms or nights of broken glass. To the contrary, this nation from its founding has welcomed its Jewish citizens. Reading George Washington’s Letter to the Touro Synagogue of Newport, Rhode Island, in 1790, brings tears to my eyes:
“May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.”
No country in the world has accepted Jews into its arms as has this Christian Nation. Although you wouldn’t know it from listening to the liberal intelligentsia which dominates so much of the dialog, hatred of Jews is not a threat in America. To the contrary, the only true threat is that Christian Americans love us so much. Intermarriage, not hate, is the single biggest threat to Jewish life in America, which says a lot about how much Jews have become interwoven with the fabric of this exceptional country.
When I think of the exceptional nature of this country, I also think of the rows upon rows of white crosses in cemetaries above the beaches of Normandy, of thousands of mostly Christian soldiers floating on the shores of islands in the Pacific, and the mostly Christian American soldiers who liberated numerous concentration camps.
I think of Christian Americans like Vernon Tott of Iowa who not only liberated concentration camps, but took the time thereafter to bear witness to what he saw (and decades later to reunite with one of the prisoners he liberated):
“I was a radio operator in the Infantry and on April 10, 1945, we were going to attack Hanover, Germany. Early that morning I was sitting in my radio jeep with Capt. Reed, at a crossroad, west of Hannover. After the sun came up we could see down a dirt road that someone was waving to us. Capt. Reed thought these people might be American POW’s so he told me to drive down to them. A couple truckloads of riflemen came with us. When we got there we could see that it was a Jewish slave labor camp (Ahlem). What we saw inside of the camp was Hell on Earth.”My memory of what we saw when we first entered the camp was the pile of dead bodies. The men alive were in ragged clothing and they were just skin and bones. They came towards us with smiles on their faces. They knew their horrible nightmare was finally coming to an end.
And of the black Christian American soldiers who, though facing discrimination at home, helped liberate the camps:
I also think of the Harry Truman, the Christian American President who made the United States the first nation to recognize the State of Israel in 1948, and Richard Nixon, the Christian American President who saved the State of Israel with an emergency airlift of military supplies in 1973. Whatever personal sentiments these two men harbored regarding Jews, they stood with the Jews when it counted. And Christian American President after President has stood with Israel at the U.N. almost alone in the face of the world’s tyrants.
Tonight is the first night of Passover, which commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, and celebrates freedom. One of the key sections from the Passover Haggadah warns of the dangers in the world:
For not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand!
Nothing has changed in thousands of years. They still rise up in every generation to destroy us, but this time the names are not Haman or Adolf, but Mahmoud and Osama. And on this earth, it will be Christian Americans almost alone who will stand with us.
I’m reminded of the bumper sticker from the 1960’s: “If you hate cops, next time you are in trouble call a hippie. ” Jews, of all people, should not wish too hard for The End of Christian America. There is no one else to call.
So particularly at this Passover time, we should not wish too hard for the End of Christian America. We might just get it.