The Contentious Centrist
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
H/T: Hochma Umusar
The following excerpt records a Proust-moment taken from the chronicles of Ehav Ever, a racist colonialist western Zionist settler from America:
PANCAKES! Truly, it was a blessing that by chance I decided to go to that resturant. What joy as I sat waiting for the yummy goodness. They even had banana pancakes. Yet, the true test was the taste. One bite and a wave of emotions overflowed as I remembered my youth, with my mother making those gold cakes on the griddle and log cabin syrp (I have completely forgotten how to spell it) glistening in the sun light.
So as I ate my pancakes with salad on the side. Life took on a whole new meaning. Zion took on a whole new meaning. Truly this is my home, in the Land of Israel, the holy land, in Jerusalem, the holy city, and there are pancakes. I now miss nothing, I lack nothing, and the light of heaven has shone down on me for I have partaken in Israeli holy pancakes and thus there was joy across the land stride.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Irresistible Impulse to kill Jews
Back in 1997 a Jordanian soldier, Ahmed Daqamseh, opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolchildren on a visit to Peace Island, on the Israel-Jordan border. He killed seven 11-year-old girls, and badly wounded a number of others. [-]
Ali Saleh Al-'Armouti, a lawyer: The truth is that we consider Ahmad Al-Daqamsa to be a hero, and we are proud of him as a soldier of his country. What he did was the very least a soldier can do to defend his religion and country. The Zionist girls who were killed by Ahmad Al-Daqamsa made a mockery of the religion of Islam, of the Prophet Muhammad, and of Ahmad Al-Daqamsa himself, while he was praying. In addition, they acted in an immoral manner.
In Great Britain, Ken Loach finds antisemitism "understandable"
In Argentina, a celebration of Israel's birthday is interrupted by a gang of 15 or 20 people, armed
clubs, chains and nunchakus, shouting: “Death to the Zionist Jews!” .
In Austria, survivors of the concentration camp Ebensee who gathered to remember their liberation, were shot at with pellets and abused by masked neo-Nazi thugs screaming ‘Heil Hitler!’ and ‘This way to the gas!’. According to this report, they were Leftist neo-nazis.
In the US, a terrorist plot to bomb two Jewish synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx was foiled by police.
Surfing the Net, I stumbled upon a conversation about this piece of news on some message board. I have re-worked some the wording so as to prevent detection by google, and for dramatic effect, but the gist is preserved:
Poster A: Here is some news about how a plot to blow up 2 synagogues was foiled. How awful for the Muslim community in Newburgh! This will be a terrible blow to their pride. They lost, you know, two soldiers who were Muslim in the war in Afghanistan, and took great pride in that fact. They should speak out against this strongly.. it will be to their advantage to do so.
Poster B chimes in: How awful for the Jewish community! Sounds like another hate crime. But I don't think the Muslim community will speak out, though of course I may as yet be agreeably surprised.
Poster A, reproachfully: A hate Crime! Huh! Don't be absurd. No crime was committed. It was only a conspiracy, for God's sakes!
Poster B, meekly: Yes, you are quite right, but it was a conspiracy to commit a hate crime.
Poster A: A hate crime is just another crime. You don't call the rape of a woman a hate crime, do you?
Poster B, a little more bravely: The acts of vandalizing, or blowing up stones wouldn't have any significance if the targeted stones weren't in a particular cemetery with a particular meaning, to certain people. But for all I know you may be right, again, as you always are. Perhaps it was the same as any commonplace conspiracy to knock over park benches or tear down somebody's picket fence or deface subway walls with ugly graffiti.. Good night now.
Poster A: Sleep loose...
I find these conversations quite fascinating in their insistent avoidance of confronting the meaning of such events. A story about a foiled terrorist attack against two US synagogues passes through the rigorous wringer of two vibrant minds, a few times, and each time the fearful reality of the event gets demoted: from terrorist attack to hate crime to any crime to mere vandalizing attempts. Never mind that the target was synagogues, not cemeteries, and the targeted were living Jews, not stones or dead people. Poster B seems to think that synagogues are like churches, only Jewish. Churches have cemeteries adjoining them, but Jewish cemeteries have to be built at some considerable distance from any place of residence, demarcating a strict line between life and death. But this would be too much knowledge to expect from certain people, I suppose.
A History lesson: the Jewish "nakba"
Israeli Journalist Ben Dror Yemini, whose articles I linked to from time to time, has taken on an almost impossible mission: he is trying to restore historical truth and transparency by way of countering the rapid growth and spread of "narrative" alternatives about Jewish chronicles, so beloved of the rabid Left.
In this article, (Hebrew source here) he reminds the world about the catastrophe that Jews endured in Arab countries, ending in their absolute cleansing from those lands. Today there are no more than a few hundreds Jews living in Israel's neighbouring countries. Here are a few excerpts:
Each year, the Palestinians mark Nakba Day, the catastrophe that befell them with the establishment of the State of Israel. But the Jews in Arab countries also suffered catastrophe and it was many times worse.
We must remember that Nakba Day is the date of the declaration of Israel's independence, May 15th . We must remember what happened just a few hours after that declaration. The Secretary of the Arab League, Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzamaha, announced the declaration of war against Israel: "This war will be a war of annihilation and the story of the slaughter will be told like the campaigns of the Mongols and the Crusaders."
The Mufti, Haj Amin Al Husseini, who was close to Hitler during the Second World War, added his own bit: "I am declaring a holy war. My brother Muslims! Slaughter the Jews! Kill them all!" The mini-Holocaust of the Jews in Arab countries.
Various documents, some of them discovered only in recent years, show that the declaration of war was far broader. It was actually a declaration of war on the Jews.
Throughout the relations between Jews and Arabs, in Arab countries or in the course of the Zionist enterprise, there was not one case of a pogrom against Muslims of the type committed by the Arabs against the Jews. Even in the worst cases, which must be condemned, such as Deir Yassin, they occurred as part of a military confrontation.
Those are cases that should be condemned, but we need to put things in perspective. The Arabs slaughtered the Jews without any hostilities and without any military excuse, just because they were Jews. And those few Arabs who were killed, were killed as part of a military campaign. Despite this, any injury inflicted on the Arab population resulted in innumerable investigations and references. The worst abuse of all, the abuse of Jews by Arabs, was erased and forgotten.
One thing I can assure you, readers. This article will not be appearing in the New York Times or any of the mainstream dailies in any foreseeable future.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Two @ Normblog
Anti-Semitism appears to be returning to Europe, including to the UK." What is to be done, asks Eve Garrard
"In the past few years an interesting mode of discourse has gained currency among some critics of Israel.... It takes Israel and its supporters to be acting out the effects of a long term historical trauma that reached its climax in the Holocaust." Shalom Lappin explains the current popular antisemitic trope embraced by therapists to the Jews: Psychologizing the 'Jewish Question'.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
The difference between rape and terrorism:
Via The Iconoclast makes an interesting comment:
Figures released last week by the Home Office showed that, since 2001, only around one in eight of those arrested by the police in the course of investigations into terrorist plots are convicted of terrorist offences by the courts. Those figures were seen by many people as evidence that the police have arrested people who had nothing to do with terrorism.
"The overwhelming majority of those arrested for terrorism were not guilty of any charge," noted Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, articulating the concerns about the misuse of state power. Chris Huhne, the Lib Dems' home affairs spokesman, endorsed that point: the figures showed that many of those "tarnished with the brush of terrorism aren't terrorists".
Later in the week, another set of figures came out relating accusations and convictions. This time, the crime wasn't terrorism. It was rape. Although the rate of convictions to accusations is even lower in rape cases than it is with terrorism – only about one in every 14 accusations of rape made to the police leads to a conviction – the reaction was very different.No one suggested that the low rate of conviction in rape cases implied that most of "those tarnished with the brush of being rapists aren't rapists". On the contrary, the problem was taken to be that the police and the courts let the guilty men go free.
Friday, May 15, 2009
On the night before 1 May 1921, the Jewish Communist Party (precursor of the Palestine Communist Party) distributed Arabic and Yiddish fliers calling for the toppling of British rule and the establishing a "Soviet Palestine". The party announced its intention to parade from Jaffa to neighbouring Tel Aviv to commemorate May Day. On the morning of the parade, despite a warning to the 60 members present from one of Jaffa's most senior police officers, Toufiq Bey al-Said, who visited the party's headquarters, the march headed from Jaffa to Tel Aviv through the mixed Jewish-Arab border neighbourhood of Menashia.
Another large May Day parade had also been organised for Tel Aviv by the rival socialist Ahdut HaAvoda group, with official authorisation. When the two processions met, a fistfight erupted, and the Palestine police chased the communists back to Jaffa.
Hearing of the fighting and believing that Arabs were being attacked, the Arabs of Jaffa went on the offensive. Dozens of British, Arab, and Jewish witnesses all reported that Arab men bearing clubs, knives, swords, and some pistols broke into Jewish buildings and murdered their inhabitants, while women followed to loot. They attacked Jewish pedestrians and destroyed Jewish homes and stores. They beat and killed Jews in their homes, including children, and in some cases split open the victims' skulls.
At 1:00 pm, an immigrant hostel run by the Zionist Commission and home to a hundred people who had arrived in recent weeks and days was attacked by the mob, and though the residents tried to barricade the gate, it was rammed open and Arabs attackers poured in. The stone-throwing was followed by bombs and gunfire, and the Jewish hostel residents hid in various rooms. When the police arrived, it was reported that they weren't shooting to disperse the crowd, but were actually aiming at the building. In the courtyard one immigrant was felled by a policeman's bullet at short-range, and others were stabbed and beaten with sticks. Five women fled a policemen firing his pistol; three escaped. A policemen cornered two women and tried to rape them, but they escaped. A fourteen-year old girl and some men managed to escape the building, but each was in turn chased down and beaten to death with iron rods or wooden boards.
As in the previous year's Nebi Musa riots, the mob tore open their victims' quilts and pillows, just like in the Russian pogroms, sending up clouds of feathers. Some Arabs defended Jews and offered them refuge in their homes; many witnesses identified their attackers and murderers as their neighbours. Several witnesses said that Arab policemen had participated.
High Commissioner Herbert Samuel declared a state of emergency, imposed press censorship, and called for reinforcements from Egypt. General Allenby sent two destroyers to Jaffa and one to Haifa. Samuel met with and tried to calm Arab representatives. Musa Kazim al-Husseini, who had been dismissed as Jerusalem's mayor on account of his involvement in the previous year's Nebi Musa riots, demanded a suspension of Jewish immigration. Samuel assented, and two or three small boats holding 300 Jews were refused permission to land, and were forced to return to Istanbul. At the same time, al-Husseini's nephew, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a decision that later faced much criticism. Fighting went on for several days and spread to nearby Rehovot, Kfar Saba, Petah Tikva, and Hadera.
The riot resulted in the deaths of 47 Jews and 48 Arabs, with 146 Jews and 73 Arabs being wounded. Most Arab casualties resulted from clashes with British forces attempting to restore order.
Thousands of Jewish residents of Jaffa fled for Tel Aviv and were temporarily housed in tent camps on the beach. Tel Aviv had been previously lobbying for independent status became a separate city due in part to the riots. However Tel Aviv was still dependent on Jaffa, which supplied it with food, services, and was the place of employment for most residents of the new city.
The newspaper Kuntress, whose author and co-editor Yosef Haim Brenner was one of the victims of the riots, published an article entitles Entrenchment. The article expressed the view that the Jews' outstretched hand had been spurned but that they would only redouble their efforts to survive as a self-reliant community.
Some villages whose residents had participated in the violence were fined and a few rioters were brought to trial. When three Jews, including a policeman, were convicted of participating in the murder of Arabs, international outcry ensued. Although the Supreme Court ultimately acquitted them on grounds of self-defence, the incident served to continue the crisis of confidence between the Jewish community and the British administration. Three Arab men were tried for the murder of Brenner, but were acquitted due to reasonable doubt. Toufiq Bey al-Said, who resigned from the Jaffa police, was shot in the street; his assassin was dispatched by veterans of Hashomer in retribution for Brenner's murder, though another Jewish man was wrongly accused and acquitted.
Brenner was a critical and pessimistic figure, which perhaps made him all the more important and lent depth to the Zionist and Labor Zionist intellectual movement. His themes prefigure existentialist pessimism and nihilism. His first novel, Ba-Horef (in Winter) ends with the autobiographical hero, Feierman is forced to get off a train because he has no ticket. He is left stranded near a snow covered road in a forlorn place. The protagonists of his novels and stories all tend to share the same fate: aborted beginnings, unrealized hopes and goals, and bitterness and frustration. His first novel about Palestine, Mi-Kan Umi Kan (from Here and There) features Arieh Lapidot, a hero in the image of A.D. Gordon, who, together with his grandson, collect thorns for a fire to bake bread. "The old man and the youth were both crowned by thorns, as they stood the watch of life together. The Sun was shining, life was full of thorns. The account was still open." Thus wrote Brenner, epitomizing in many ways the nearly impossible life of the generation of the Second Aliya. [-]
Yosef Haim Brenner was murdered in a massacre by Arab rioters in Yaffo on May 2, 1921. Kibbutz Givat Brenner is named for him, as well as many streets.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Egyptian Sheikh says my daughter is a pig
A couple of days ago I posted a source in which Jews are described as greedily sucking upon Jesus' blood. Someone who reads my blog designated me as hysterical for reporting this perverseness.
I would suggest that anyone whose people are described in such terms would be quite pathologically insane not to notice what is being said about them. But what do I know? As a Jewish person, the general "progressive" view seems to be that I am incapable of recognizing genuine antisemitism when I see it, which is why I tend to get upset with such nonsense. The identification and naming of antisemitism should be left for those who are equipped to recognize it when they see it, that is, antisemites and their proxies. Jews are so traumatized by their history that they have lost their acumen and their notice of such fulminations must be dismissed by rational civilized people. A woman violently raped, who complains that she was raped again, a few years later, is surely an unreliable witness by virtue of her being a victim of rape. I'm not sure I'm articulating my thought elegantly enough, but I think you can get my general drift.
Why am I speaking about such vile subjects? Because I am always surprised at the bottomless weirdliness of Islamic imagination when it comes to Jews. And even more surprised when people ("progressives") dismiss them as mere fringe lunatics. A few years ago I learned that Muslims believe that Jews are the descendants of pigs and monkeys. It was an astonishing lesson but, hey, aren't we all descendants of monkeys? Why make a fuss about it, right? So I learned to live with this painful truth about my ancestors. But apparently this explanation of Jewish depravity was insufficient for the Islamists*. Now I learn, via Mick Hartley, that the opposite is true:
According to the Egyptian Sheikh Ahmed Ali Othman, all pigs are descended from the Jews who had angered Allah, "such that He turned them into monkeys, pigs, and Satan-worshippers", and it is therefore obligatory to slaughter them.
The good sheik goes on to reinforce his theories by roping Christian theology into his righteous service to humanity:
' Moreover, our master Jesus, peace be unto him - one of the tasks that he will fulfill when he descends to earth is the killing of the pigs, and this is proof that their source is Jewish.
Hartley's Law -- ignorance expands to fill the space available--is applicable to Islamists and their "progressive" fellow-travellers alike.
*Islamists, it just occurred to me, are distinguishable from regular Muslims in that they believe the Quran to reveal scientific truths about the world:
A cure for aids
Mecca-time should replace Greenwich time
Neil Armstrong Proved Mecca - World Center
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
"... a microcosm of what Palestine's Arabs had in mind for Israel as a whole."
At the end of his 1988 essay, Morris suggested that "what is now being written about Israel's past" might "in some obscure way serve the purposes of peace and reconciliation." The intifada had just erupted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, pushing the Palestinian issue into the center of Israeli politics. Since then, a peace process with the Palestinians began and failed, and a second, more violent uprising has erupted and burned out. By now, as Morris wrote recently in a Newsweek column, he has "come to a much bleaker opinion about the possibility of reconciliation."
The change in his views, he asserts, is strictly the result of his continuing research—the work that underlies his new book, 1948. In Israeli archives, he says, he studied statements of Arab leaders in Palestine from the 1920s on, and discovered how unwilling they were to accept either a binational state or partition between Jews and Arabs. He says he found that the Arab side had regarded the conflict with Zionism as not just a national struggle but also a "religious crusade against an infidel usurper," and that on the eve of the invasion of Palestine in 1948, Arab League Secretary General Abd al-Rahman Azzam spoke of "sweep[ing] the Jews into the sea." The new material led him to conclude that the Jews were the underdogs in 1948. It lessened his surprise when, in Morris's words, Yasser Arafat "rejected Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's two-state proposals at Camp David in July 2000," and it made him regard each Palestinian suicide bombing as "a microcosm of what Palestine's Arabs had in mind for Israel as a whole."
There must be another way
Two charming and talented Israeli singers sing their yearning for peace: One Arab, the other Jewish, Mira and Achinoam (No'a).
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
In Love with Barack Obama
Some people in this world seem to have a lot of interest in blood. Here are two examples:
1. A pious person asks a reasonable question:
I would like to know if it permissible for a Muslim to donate blood. It is not certain whether the blood will be given to a Muslim or non-Muslim, but living in America, the majority are Kuffar. It is noted that to prolong the life of a Kafir is not allowed since he will use "Muslim" blood to commit acts of evil and that Muslims should only donate to Muslims. Please clarify in detail your response. (H/T: NWO)
(Spotted on the Internet, re: the above: "What's wrong with the answer below the question?")
2. Sucking blood is a Zionist passion:
Recently, Syria's government dailies have published antisemitic articles. In one, columnist Jallal Kheir Bekclaimed that the Jews sucked the blood from Jesus' wounds during His crucifixion, and called for the Arabs, Muslims, and Christians to unite to defeat them.
In the second article, researcher Mustafa Antaki called the Jews "blood-letters," and accused them of sucking the blood and consuming the resources of "the peoples."
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Holocaust denial and free speech
The poet and literary academic Akos Szilagyi has no objections to the proposal because, he says, denying Auschwitz is not expressing an opinion, as the progress of culture is measured by the distance between this culture and the "terrible potential beneath the surface" (Safranski) - and denying Auschwitz represents a move towards this potential. "As such the denial of historical fact equates with the denial of humanity, of the world, of Europe, of Christianity and of freedom that Auschwitz represented. As such, humanity, European culture and democratic rights and liberties have no enemy more irreconcilable than the Auschwitz denier [...] In this one very case (!) the law would not be prohibiting the expression of some appalling, outrageous and incredible 'freak opinion', it would be defending the existential foundations of our post-Auschwitz world." (Via: Sign and Sight)
Oliver Kamm once discussed the same conundrum:
"...While free speech hurts and offends, there is nothing wrong in this. In almost no case is anyone entitled to restitution or protection. (The strictly limited exceptions are where there is 'clear and present danger'; incitement to crime; or defamation. By defamation, I naturally mean a statement that is damaging and false. I do not mean - as one reader of this blog has rueful cause to recollect - a statement that is damaging and true;
...There is no speech more disreputable and fraudulent than Holocaust denial; but the reason it's objectionable is that it's false, not that it's offensive. The only proper recourse to it is the discipline of historical scholarship and critical inquiry, as opposed to the fakery practised by Irving.."
And what about Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial?
Iran's former president Mohammad Khatami has criticised a controversial conference on the Holocaust -- held in Tehran late last year -- in an interview published in Israel's mass-selling Yediot Aharonot.
"I strongly condemn the holding of this conference," Khatami said Friday in an interview given on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
"The Holocaust against the Jewish people was one of the most grave acts against humanity in our time. There is no doubt that it happened," he is quoted as saying in a rare interview by an Iranian official to Israeli media.
"I suggest to all of us to separate the Holocaust from Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab discussions," he is quoted as saying. "It is without precedent and cannot be compared to anything else." (Via:)
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Worst countries in which to blog
Via: Saudi Jeans I read this account:
Burma is the worst place in the world to be a blogger, the Committee to Protect Journalists says in a new report. CPJ’s “10 Worst Countries to be a Blogger” also identifies a number of countries in the Middle East and
Relying on a mix of detentions, regulations, and intimidation, authorities in
Selma, the translator-poet blogger who writes from Tehran with love has gradually grown quiet over the last year. Her distress is quite acute, to those who follow her blog, though it remains mainly hinted at. A few months ago she said:
Her more recent posts, delivered between increasingly longer periods of silence, bespeak of a quiet despair. Some time ago she mentioned that her father had warned her to be extra vigilant about what she writes on her blog.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Peace and Freedom: A different view
Hard to believe, sometimes, how differently things are viewed in the Arab/Islamic world. Here are two examples:
On the subject of Freedom of speech: At the end of an international conference on Islamic jurisprudence in Sharjah, the International Islamic Fiqh Academy issued a statement that avows devotion to freedom of speech in the following manner:
“Religious freedom is guaranteed to every member of society on the basis of a clear directive of the Holy Qur’an, which says: There is no coercion in religion,” .... non-Muslims [should] respect Islamic symbols and stop abusing the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him), and called on Muslims to strive to overcome their differences.
... the statement warned against the tendency of some people to spread ideas that endanger the security and stability of the Ummah.
The statement also urged Muslim rulers to guarantee their subjects responsible freedom, food, housing, treatment, education and employment opportunities so they are not carried away by dangerous ideologies.
The statement stressed that freedom of expression should not be an excuse to attack the religion and its symbols...
On the subject of peace:
To the question, "What is peace?" we won't get an easy answer from Iranian Leader Khamenei's Representative in Syria Mojtaba Hosseini, though he makes it clear what peace is not:
"When we talk about peace, we must examine what we mean by peace. Does peace mean that there will be no Hizbullah or Islamic resistance? Does peace mean that Hamas and the Palestinians should give in to a cancerous tumor like Israel, and should officially recognize its existence? Is this what peace means? Does peace mean that America can deploy its forces in the Persian Gulf, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere? Is this what peace means?"If this is what peace means, we and America view things very differently.
This interview with Ahmadinejad somewhat illustrates the above point:
STEPHANOPOULOS: But if they choose a two state solution, if they choose to recognize Israel's existence, Iran will as well?
AHMADINEJAD; Let me approach this from another perspective. If the Palestinians decide that the Zionist regime needs to leave all Palestinian lands, would the American administration accept their decision? Will they accept this Palestinian point of view?
STEPHANOPOULOS: I'll ask them. But I'm asking you if Palestinians accept the existence of Israel, would Iran support that?....
STEPHANOPOULOS: If the Palestinians sign an agreement with Israel, will Iran support it?
AHMADINEJAD: Whatever decision they take is fine with us. We are not going to determine anything. Whatever decision they take, we will support that. We think that this is the right of the Palestinian people, however we fully expect other states to do so as well.
I'm afraid STEPHANOPOULOS is not quite up to the task of nailing the jelly that AHMADINEJAD feeds him. Rubin explains it.
Friday, May 01, 2009
"..Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May..."
Terry Glavin provides the ultimate the state of the union appraisal in his article celebrating the true significance of May day. He starts with:
Today is May Day, the holiday most of the world marks as international workers’ day.
... Long tarnished by Stalinist appropriation and armoured parades in Moscow and Beijing, and lately fashionable with earnestly dyspeptic anti-globalization protesters, May Day is nonetheless a traditional, official workers’ holiday in such noticeably non-totalitarian countries as India, Sweden, Brazil and New Zealand.
And concludes with:
What all these inscrutable, fractious and perfectly ordinary people want, in places like Iran, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, is no more or less than what we all want. It’s a fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work, the rule of proper laws, and some peace and quiet. Any saboteur of this common purpose is a scab.
What we want for ourselves we should demand for all.
Let's repeat:What we want for ourselves we should demand for all.
Amen to that.