Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Winograd Report And The Zionist Ethos

In advance of the release of the full findings of the Winograd Commission, Michael Oren wrote about one more way Israel is different than other countries:
In another country, perhaps, such blunders might result in the resignation of senior officers but not necessarily elected officials. In Israel, though, no one is above blame. Accountability for decision making is a tenet of the Zionist ethos on which the Jewish state is based and, unlike most nations, Israel has a citizens' army in which the great majority -- politicians included -- serve. Most uniquely, Israel confronts daily security dangers and long-term threats to its existence. Israelis can neither condone nor afford a prime minister who passes the buck to their army or shirks the onus of defense. The person who sends us into battle cannot escape responsibility for our fate.
Oren concludes his argument:
Thousands of Israelis are calling for Mr. Olmert's resignation. Rightists convinced that the prime minister cannot safeguard the country's security have joined with leftists who understand that leaders who fail at war will never succeed at peacemaking. All are united by a willingness to shoulder the burden of Israel's defense. This was the commitment that united us that last night in Lebanon, as we took up the stretchers bearing the remains of somebody's son, somebody's husband, and brought them home for burial.
Needless to say, Olmert will stay regardless.

Read the whole thing.

Technorati Tag: .

Palpable Anti-Semitism In Great Britain

In a post at Contentions, Abe Greenwald quotes from an interview with Martin Amis:
I know it’s a great tradition of the British left to support Palestine, but when you come up against this question, you can feel the intelligence and balance leaving the hall with a shriek, and people getting into this endocrinal state about Israel. I just don’t understand it. The Jews have a much, much worse history than the Palestinians, and in living memory. But there’s just no impulse of sympathy for that . . . I know we’re supposed to be grown up about it and not fling around accusations of anti-Semitism, but I don’t see any other explanation. It’s a secularised anti-Semitism.
I thought the interview was interesting for the way the interviewer tried to tried to undercut Amis and paint him as an anti-Muslim racist.

Technorati Tag: .

The Question Of Studying Judaic Studies At University: Not Just Academic

Dixie Yid has a post about Rabbi Zvi Leshem, Assistant Dean at Nishmata, and author of Between Messianism and Prophecy: Hasidism According to the Piaseczner Rebbe, [download here; 316 pages in Hebrew] a doctoral disseration on the Rav Klonymous Kalmish Shapiro. Dixie Yid emailed Rabbi Leshem the following question:
Can I ask you what moved you to get a masters and a doctorate? You already have all of the qualifications you will ever need in your teaching career and as the Rav of a Shul. And if you just wanted a reason to write about the Piaseczna, then you could have simply written a regular sefer about him.
Here is part of Rabbi Leshem's response. He readily admits that studying Judaic Studies is not for everyone, and explains the advantage:
At the university I found certain scholars with great knowledge of Kabbalah[2] who were able to teach me in a systematic way. I believe it is crucial to understand the historical underpinnings and interrelationships between the various schools of thoughts and books. My previously disorganized information was organized and sharpened. I was empowered to study works that were previously inaccessible to me. My teachers also pushed me constantly to do better. Had I merely written a book I would have had an editor correcting grammatical errors, but I would not have had a gaon in Kabbalah (my advisor, Prof. Moshe Halamish) constantly forcing me to check every reference, to learn more, to compare new things and to make sure that I understood everything and expressed it clearly. Nor would I have gained the breadth of knowledge that is expressed in my work. The depth of my understanding of these holy works is also incomparable to where it was four years ago. I thus have no doubt that my teaching of Chassidut has also improved dramatically as a result of this process. Perhaps it is just me, but I also needed the framework of a program that would constantly force me to progress and set deadlines that I needed to meet (especially since I did this work while working full time in education and having my own shul). I also learned a language that will better equip me to convey the truth of Chassidut to a much wider audience.

I would go one step further and posit that without my university training I don’t think I would have been able to properly understand certain aspects of the Piaseczner’s writings.

So how does one deal with the potential and real pitfalls of studying Jewish topics and texts in a university? The key to the issue is in footnote 2:

I would like to point out as well, that the professors that I studied with (I was quite picky), were, in my opinion, quite objective. I never felt that they were trying to convince me of something that was not in the text they were trying to explicate. (I did see this in other professors that I avoided. The presence or absence of a kipa on the professor’s head was not at all an indication of his likelihood to have a personal religious agenda to read into the text). On the other hand, as a yeshiva teacher, I am well aware of the tensions that may result when one is educating for yirat shemayim and dealing with a hashkafically difficult text.

Obviously Rabbi Leshem would not recommend the same route he took to everyone. By the same token, someone considering university may very well just look at Rabbi Leshem as a role model and try to copy the role without consideration of the model he is emulating. He implies that there were professors whose classes he sat in on before deciding to drop their class--that, and the ability to accurately evaluate the teacher are not things that everyone is capable of doing.

Read the whole thing--and contribute to the comments.

Technorati Tag: .

Commemorating Or Denigrating The Holocaust?

A friend emailed me this article from Reuters:
A Carnival float with a pile of model dead bodies commemorating the Holocaust is causing unease before the lavish parades in Rio de Janeiro this weekend.

The Viradouro samba organization, or school, plans to feature the grim display when it marches in the Sambadrome parade strip on Sunday, despite objections from a local Jewish group.

"Really, it makes no sense addressing this theme with drums and dancing girls," said Sergio Niskier, president of the Israelite Federation in Rio de Janeiro state, referring to the slaughter of Jews by Nazi Germany in World War Two.

"There are still survivors of that horror who have the marks of that tragedy on their skin," he said.

Rio's Carnival is famed for the parades by samba schools with glitzy floats and costumes and street parties where costumed revelers drink and dance all night.

...Viradouro's parade theme is "Shockers" and it includes floats depicting the shock of birth, the shock of horror and the shock of cold.
The Holocaust and samba--is this the only medium to introduce the Holocaust to the man in the street? Is there a float for 'the shock of bad taste'?

The same person who forwarded me this article, also forwarded this to me with the same complaint. What do you think?:
An ambitious campaign to collect 1.5 million unused crayons has been launched by members of the teenage youth group at Congregation Temple Israel in Creve Coeur, MO.

The crayons are to commerate the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust, according to Jennifer Patchin, co-advisor to the Temple Israel Federation of Temple Youth (TIFTY) group.

...The group has currently collected more than 400,000 crayons. Of these, 150, 000 will be used to create a permanent memorial at Temple Israel. In the memorial, one crayon will represent every 10 children who perished, Schultz explained. The remainder of the crayons will be distributed to area elementary schools, along with a coloring book promoting tolerance and diversity that the youth group members are designing.
Tolerance and diversity appear to be an important goal--
“I’m especially interested in the cultural awareness that this project will generate,” said 17-year-old Molly Finn, chair of the crayon campaign. “I hope it will serve as a reminder of what happened, but also as a reminder of what is going on now in places like Darfur. Promoting diversity is important, and people need to know that it’s not OK to hate.”
I don't know if this is another instance of trivializing the Holocaust--after all, this is for children. But here too, the Holocaust is being repackaged for the audience--in an age when hating evil, never mind waging war against it, is considered barbaric (if not downright Republican).

Technorati Tag: .

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Palestinian Arabs: Waste Alot, Want Alot

Beyond the failure of the Arab world to help Palestinian Arab refugees, even the Palestinians themselves consistently ignore opportunities to improve their own situation.
MYTH #287

"Israel forced the Palestinian refugees to stay in camps in the Gaza Strip."


During the years that Israel controlled the Gaza Strip, a consistent effort was made to get the Palestinians into permanent housing. The Palestinians opposed the idea because the frustrated and bitter inhabitants of the camps provided the various terrorist factions with their manpower. Moreover, the Arab states routinely pushed for the adoption of UN resolutions demanding that Israel desist from the removal of Palestinian refugees from camps in Gaza and the West Bank.74 They preferred to keep the Palestinians as symbols of Israeli “oppression.”

Now the camps are in the hands of the Palestinian Authority (PA), but little is being done to improve the lot of the Palestinians living in them. Journalist Netty Gross visited Gaza and asked an official why the camps there hadn’t been dismantled. She was told the Palestinian Authority had made a “political decision” not to do anything for the more than now nearly 650,000 Palestinians living in the camps until the final-status talks with Israel took place.75

When Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip in 2005, the Israelis were prepared to leave the houses of settlers for use by Palestinian refugees, but the Palestinians said these mostly single family homes were not practical for their needs and asked that they be demolished so the PA could build high-rise apartment buildings to house refugees and other Palestinians. More than two years later, not a single brick has been laid for housing for the refugees.

The Palestinians received more than $6 billion in international aid following the Oslo agreements. One might have expected that at least one home could have built for refugees with that sum, but none were. In December 2007, international donors pledged $7.4 billion in new aid to the Palestinians.75a That should be more than enough to build homes for every refugee. Based on the last 60 years of neglect by their fellow Arabs, however, the refugees are far more likely to see their officials’ enriched than their lives improved.


74 Arlene Kushner, “The UN’s Palestinian Refugee Problem,” Azure, (Autumn 2005).
75 Jerusalem Report, (July 6, 1998).
75a Roni Sofer, “Donors pledge $7.4 billion for faltering Palestinian economy,”, (December 17, 2007).
This article can be accessed with hyperlinks.
See also Mitchell Bard's blog
Source: Myths & Facts Online -- A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Mitchell G. Bard.

Technorati Tag: and and .

Reuniting Egypt and Gaza

Daniel Pipes has a suggestion:
...Washington and other capitals should declare the experiment in Gazan self-rule a failure and press President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt to help, perhaps providing Gaza with additional land or even annexing it as a province. This would revert to the situation of 1948-67, except this time Cairo would not keep Gaza at arm's length but take responsibility for it.

Culturally, this connection is a natural: Gazans speak a colloquial Arabic identical to the Egyptians of Sinai, have more family ties to Egypt than to the West Bank, and are economically more tied to Egypt (recall the many smugglers' tunnels). Further, Hamas derives from an Egyptian organization, the Muslim Brethren. As David Warren of the Ottawa Citizen notes, calling Gazans "Palestinians" is less accurate than politically correct.

"Egyptians and Palestinians are one people,
not two peoples," says a sign held by a
Palestinian on Jan. 29, 2008.

Why not formalize the Egyptian connection? Among other benefits, this would (1) end the rocket fire against Israel, (2) expose the superficiality of Palestinian nationalism, an ideology under a century old, and perhaps (3) break the Arab-Israeli logjam.

It's hard to divine what benefit American taxpayers have received for the US$65 billion they have lavished on Egypt since 1948; but Egypt's absorbing Gaza might justify their continuing to shell out $1.8 billion a year.
As long as the destruction of the fence separating Gaza and Egypt is being compared to the fall of the Berlin Wall, we may as well keep in mind that the latter was an artificial barrier imposed upon one people--according to Pipes the same might be said about the fence between Gaza and Egypt as well.

Technorati Tag: .

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Not That Anyone Noticed...

Dynamiting and bulldozing the border of a neighboring country is legally an act of war, but it was made to seem like a humanitarian necessity and a bid for freedom.

Bret Stephens, The Gaza Breakout
Technorati Tag: .

Human Rights Watch On Gaza

Human Rights News came out with a press release on January 26, with a not unexpected headline:
Israel/Gaza: Israeli Blockade Unlawful Despite Gaza Border Breach
NGO Monitor gives an analysis of the HRW article, preceded by a summary:
o The statement written by Joe Stork of Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemning Israel’s response to rocket bombardment from Gaza exploits and distorts international law.

o Of the 34 paragraphs, Stork only mentions the hundreds of rocket attacks against Israel in two sentences, demonstrating the double standards in this invective.

o HRW’s claim that Gaza remains “occupied” is a politically based fiction designed to negate Israel’s legal and moral right to self-defense.

o There is no legal or moral precedent for a country to be forced to provide a hostile neighbor with the means to continue attacks on its territory and against its civilians.

o HRW’s statement is a moral muddle that further undermines the universality of human rights.
Just your average HRW hit piece.

Read the whole thing.

Technorati Tag: and .

Hamas Give Hezbollah A Run For Their (Counterfeit) Money

Soccer Dad left a comment on one of my posts--Palestinians Are No Better With Money Than Their Leaders, about the Palestinian Arabs from Gaza were able to spend $130 million in 2 days in Egypt. Soccer Dad notes:
Maybe there's a reason for this. See Snapped Shot and Elder of Ziyon.
Both note that apparently Hamas has been busy manufacturing counterfeit Egyptian currency. That rang a bell. Sure enough, David Frum wrote back in August, 2006:
Perhaps you saw the images in your newspaper or on television:

"A Lebanese man counts U.S dollar bills received from Hizbollah members in a school in Bourj el-Barajneh, a southern suburb of Beirut, August 19, 2006. Hizbollah handed out bundles of cash on Friday to people whose homes were wrecked by Israeli bombing, consolidating the Iranian-backed group's support among Lebanon's Shiites and embarrassing the Beirut government. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (LEBANON)" This scene and dozens more like it flashed around the planet. Only one thing was missing -- the thin wire security strip that runs from top to bottom of a genuine US$100 bill. The money Hezbollah was passing was counterfeit, as should have been evident to anybody who studied the photographs with due care. Care was due because of Hezbollah's history of counterfeiting: In June, 2004, the U.S. Department of the Treasury publicly cited Hezbollah as one of the planet's leading forgers of U.S. currency.

Looks like Hezbollah may find themselves with some competition. And that would not be limited to counterfeiting. In October 2005, Rachel Ehrenfeld testified in Canada on terror financing:
Concerning illegal drugs, since the mid-1980s Hezbollah has used illicit drugs as a major funding source and weapon against the west. An official Iranian fatwa ruled: “We are making these drugs for Satan America and the Jews. If we cannot kill them with guns, so we will kill them with drugs.” ...In Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, Hezbollah controls approximately 13,000 acres that produce at least 300 tons of hashish annually, most of which is exported to Europe. This high-quality Lebanese hashish grosses Hezbollah $180 million annually. Hezbollah-run laboratories, refining tons of heroin, are estimated to bring in some $3 billion annually.
Hamas is just following in Hizballah's footsteps, albeit on a smaller scale. For example, in September 2005, Gazans also took advantage of the border with Egypt to bring in drugs and guna:
Many Palestinians were reported to have exploited the open border to smuggle large amounts of weapons and drugs into the Gaza Strip. Others, particularly wholesale merchants, are said to have brought cheap cigarettes, food, livestock and electrical appliances.
Counterfeiting another country's currency, manufacturing drugs, and importing illegal weapons--the kind of thing one expects to find among terrorists, not legitimate governments.

Technorati Tag: and .

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Concise Overview Of Muslim Occupation

In Epistle to the Muslims: Christian leaders abase themselves before Islam, Bruce S. Thornton reacts to a full-page ad last year in The New York Times. Paid from by various Christian leaders, in the ad claims
"that in the past (e.g. in the Crusades) and in the present (e.g. in excesses of the 'war on terror') many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim neighbors," and so "we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world."
Thornton's reacts to the ignorance evident in such an apology:
The groveling self-abasement of this language, particularly its begging forgiveness of Allah, is matched only by its remarkable historical ignorance. "Outright hostility" has indeed existed between Muslims and Christians, for the simple reason that for 13 centuries Islam grew and spread by war, plunder, rapine, and enslavement throughout the Christian Middle East. Allah's armies destroyed regions that were culturally Christian for centuries, variously slaughtering, enslaving, and converting their inhabitants, or allowing them to live as oppressed dhimmi, their lives and property dependent on a temporary "truce" that Muslim overlords could abrogate at any time.

And let's not forget the seven-century-long Islamic occupation of Spain, the centuries of raids into southern Italy and southern France, the near-sack of Rome in 846, the occupation of Sicily and Greece, the four-century-long occupation of the Balkans, the destruction of Constantinople, the two sieges of Vienna, the kidnapping of Christian youths to serve as janissaries from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries, the continual raiding of the northern Mediterranean littoral for slaves from 1500 to 1800, and the current jihadist terrorist attacks against the West.

These historical crimes dwarf those committed during the few centuries of the Crusades, which, for all of their excesses and mixed motives, were fought to liberate from Muslim hegemony the lands that had been Christian for six and a half centuries before Islam burst forth from the Arabian Peninsula. Many contemporary Christians betray their moral and spiritual incoherence when they demonize the Crusades but excuse, as justified "liberation," the numerous Arab assaults on Israel's "occupation" of lands to which the Jews have a 3,000-year-old connection.
For those who insist that courses in Islam be introduced to sensitize us to Muslims, an overview of Muslim history would be a good place to start.

Technorati Tag: .

Gaza And Flour Power: The Media

Martin Kramer writes about another example of the gullibility of the media when it describes the situation in Gaza--this time from a Boston Globe op-ed entitled "Ending the Stranglehold on Gaza." The issue boils down to a single sentence:
Although Gaza daily requires 680,000 tons of flour to feed its population, Israel had cut this to 90 tons per day by November 2007, a reduction of 99 percent.
Kramer does the math:
You don't need to be a math genius to figure out that if Gaza has a population of 1.5 million, as the authors also note, then 680,000 tons of flour a day come out to almost half a ton of flour per Gazan, per day.
But this is not a one-time typographical error. Tthe writers of the piece--Eyad al-Sarraj, founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, and Sara Roy, senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University--have made this same claim before:
The two authors used the same "statistic" in an earlier piece. They copied it from an article published in the Ahram Weekly last November, which reported that "the price of a bag of flour has risen 80 per cent, because of the 680,000 tonnes the Gaza Strip needs daily, only 90 tonnes are permitted to enter." Sarraj and Roy added the bit about this being "a reduction of 99 percent."

Note how an absurd and impossible "statistic" has made its way up the media feeding chain. It begins in an Egyptian newspaper, is cycled through a Palestinian activist, is submitted under the shared byline of a Harvard "research scholar," and finally appears in the Boston Globe, whose editors apparently can't do basic math. Now, in a viral contagion, this spreads across the Internet, where that "reduction of 99 percent" becomes a well-attested fact.
The truth about how much flour is actually consumed in Gaza is readily available--and far less than what is being claimed
I see from a 2007 UN document that Gaza consumes 450 tons of flour daily. The Palestinian Ministry of Economy, according to another source, puts daily consumption at 350 tons. So the figure for total consumption retailed by Sarraj and Roy is off by more than three orders of magnitude, i.e. a factor of 1,000. No doubt, there's less flour shipped from Israel into Gaza--maybe it's those rocket barrages from Gaza into Israel?--but even if it's only the 90 tons claimed by Sarraj and Roy, it isn't anything near a "reduction of 99 percent." Unfortunately, if readers are going to remember one dramatic "statistic" from this op-ed, this one is it--and it's a lie.
But seriously--if the media cannot notice that Hamas is lighting candles in the middle of the day, how can you possibly expect them to do simple arithmetic. No wonder that their stories on Israel just don't add up.

[Hat tip: The Corner]

Technorati Tag: and .

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Palestinians Are No Better With Money Than Their Leaders

The Associated Press reminds us about the economic situation in Gaza:
Unemployment is at least 50 percent in the crowded territory. Aid agencies say 85 percent of the people live below the poverty line. The situation was getting worse by the day after Israel shut its crossings in retaliation for an upsurge in rocket attacks from Gaza.
And yet, when the fence separating Gaza and Egypt came down--
Rami Abdou, an economic analyst, estimated that Gazans spent $130 million in less than two days, a princely sum for the poverty-stricken territory.

"Gazans are withdrawing their savings and are borrowing from each other" to spend in Egypt, he said.
The next time poverty in Gaza is in the news, will the media recall that a major reason for their lack of money is that the Palestinian Arabs left it in Egypt?

And if a Palestinian state is created, will the world ever see the end to having bankroll it?

Technorati Tag: and .

The Perfect Medium For The UN: Marvel Comics

From the Financial Times:
In a move reminiscent of storylines developed during the second world war, the UN is joining forces with Marvel Comics, creators of Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk, to create a comic book showing the international body working with superheroes to solve bloody conflicts and rid the world of disease.

The comic, initially to be distributed free to 1m US schoolchildren, will be set in a war-torn fictional country and feature superheroes such as Spider-Man working with UN agencies such as Unicef and the “blue hats”, the UN peacekeepers.
Brett D. Schaefer has some helpful suggestions at The National Review:
Considering this decidedly unheroic record, the U.N. could certainly use some super friends to clean up the messes it has made. Here are some suggestions for the first comic episodes:
1. “Cocooning Cruelty” — Spider-Man swings into a meeting of the Human Rights Council, webs up representatives from Cuba, China, and other rights-abusing nations, and introduces a motion to condemn rights violations in “some country, any country other than Israel.”

2. “Clobberin’ Time in the Congo” — Bored by the daily cocktail parties in the U.N.’s penthouse suite at Hotel Metropol, The Thing ventures to eastern Congo and smashes an arms-dealing ring run by U.N. peacekeepers.

3. “Nukes Not Yours” — While the Security Council debates just how strongly to word its next round of letters to Tehran and Pyongyang, The Avengers sneak out and forcefully dismantle the nuclear weapons programs in North Korea and Iran.
Of course, if superheroes were real and decided to pursue these worthy missions, the U.N. would hotly condemn them for acting “unilaterally.” The entire pantheon of Marvel heroes would have to twiddle their thumbs until the U.N. issued a comprehensive, “consensus” set of regulations to keep them from going “too far” in fighting injustice.

The very notion that today’s U.N. is eager to embark on heroic struggles against evildoers defies reality.
Apparently the UN thinks this is a way to make the UN more accessible to children--Will it work?

Well, it's worked so far for Hamas...

Technorati Tag: .

Haveil Havalim #151 PSD Is Up!

Haveil Havalim #151 marks the first issue of HH under the stewardship of Random Thoughts. Come and read a wide variety of posts from across the JBlogosphere.

Don't forget--you can submit entries to Haveil Havalim using the submission form at BlogCarnival,where you can also find past posts and future hosts.

You can email Jack (talktojacknow-at-sbcglobal-dot-com) if you'd like to host an upcoming edition.

Listed at the Truth Laid Bear Ubercarnival.

Technorati Tags: , , , .

Interest In Pro-Syria Assassination Wanes--Even As They Continue

The Wall Street Journal reports on the assassination of Captain Wissam Mahmoud Eid, a terrorism investigator who had been involved in investigating the 2005 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri. The article goes on to note that Detlev Mehlis, who formerly led the investigation of the UN inquiry into Hariri's murder, is claiming that little progress has been made in the investigation since December 2005.

The Wall Street Journal, for its part, thinks it knows where the blame for these lies:
Much of the blame here lies with Washington. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put to rest whatever lingering fears Damascus might have had about U.S. intentions with her visit in April. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice followed up by inviting Syria to November's Mideast conference in Annapolis, and Hillary Clinton promises to offer diplomatic carrots to Damascus if she is elected. The killings will continue in Beirut, as long as nobody save the Lebanese seem to care.
In that case, it is likely that the killings will continue.

Technorati Tag: .

Times Magazine Alters Blackout Caption

Pajamas Media has a post about the media's collusion with the Hamas hoax about blackouts in Gaza. Roger L. Simon and Michael Weiss note how Time changed the caption to their picture below--
The original caption was:
The Israeli embargo has left the Gaza Strip without electricity. The Palestinian Parliament was forced to meet by candlelight on Tuesday night.
The light coming through the curtain in the upper left leaves the accuracy of that caption in doubt, so now the caption reads:
The Israeli embargo has left the Gaza Strip without electricity. To emphasize its plight the Palestinian Parliament met by candlelight on Tuesday.
Of course, the fact that Israel did not cut off all electricity cannot be contradicted by the photo, so that part stays in. So much for journalistic integrity.

So who is responsible for the the captions?
Stelios Varias of the Reuters Washington bureau told me that all the variable captions on the above photograph were filed by Reuters on Jan. 22. None of them contained the word “night.” The version that did therefore must have been created by TIME. —MW
Technorati Tag: and .

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Washington Post Uses The T-Word To Describe Hamas

The Washington Post--which in the past has had no problem publishing an op-ed from Hamas--now debunks the claim of starvation in Gaza and even goes so far as to accuse Hamas of terrorism:
...In fact, as Mr. Mubarak well knows, no one is starving in Gaza -- though food, fuel and cigarettes are much cheaper across the border. Israel closed its border with the territory and disrupted power supplies over the weekend in response to a massive escalation of Palestinian rocket launches from Gaza at nearby Israeli towns -- between Tuesday and Saturday last week, some 225 rockets were aimed at the town of Sderot, where more than 20,000 Israelis have been relentlessly terrorized. Hamas took advantage of the blockade first by arranging for sympathetic Arab media to document the "humanitarian crisis," then by daring Egypt to use force against Palestinian civilians portrayed as Israel's victims. Its ultimate goal, stated publicly yesterday by Damascus-based leader Khaled Meshal, is to force Egypt to permanently reopen the border in cooperation with Hamas; that would greatly diminish Israel's ability to respond to rocket attacks with economic sanctions, and it would undermine the rival Palestinian leadership of Mahmoud Abbas. [emphasis added]

It's not quite the same thing as saying outright that Hamas is a terrorist group, but it is a start.

[Hat tip: LGF]

Technorati Tag: .

Muslim Media Exaggerates Just A Little

The picture apparently is not to scale.
From The International Middle East Media Center (click to enlarge):

[Hat tip: The Roadkill Diaries]

George Habash Is Dead And Abbas Shows His True Colors (Updated)

“…we stopped the culture of violence and the Palestinian people have started looking at it as something that should be condemned.”
Mahmoud Abbas

From the New York Times:
George Habash, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a hard-line Marxist group that shocked the world with a campaign of airline hijackings and bombings in the late 1960s and early 1970s, died Saturday of a heart attack in Amman, Jordan. Although accounts varied, he was believed to be 82.

...The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, ordered three days of mourning and flags lowered to half-staff in the Palestinian territories.
From The Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2007
Formed in January 1968 by 41-year-old Dr. George Habash and his second in command, 43-year-old Dr. Wadia Haddad, the PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] was fiercely independent although it did receive extensive funding from Iraq and had close ties with Red China. The group was militant and radical. "If [it] is the only way to destroy Israel, Zionism, and Arab reaction," Habash asserted in a 1970 interview, "then we want World War III to come." In another he warned, "America is our enemy," and the PFLP was about to "teach the United States a lesson." And, unlike Fatah, which at least officially vowed not to interfere in intra-Arab affairs, the PFLP never hid its intent to replace King Hussein as a first step in liberating Palestine. The group was also fractious, ravaged by intense disputes. Only months after its founding, two important fighters departed to form their own groups. Such disagreements would play an important part in our story, too.
And to imagine that Abbas ordered only 3 days of mourning!

[Hat tip: The Corner]

UPDATE: Arutz Sheva gives further background on the terrorist leader's accomplishments:
The PFLP was founded in 1967, several months after the Israeli victory in the Six Day War. In 1968, PFLP terrorists hijacked an El Al plane that was en route from Rome to Tel Aviv. Its passengers were held hostage for 39 days before being released. This was the first time an El Al plane was hijacked. One month later, the PFLP attacked another El Al jet on the ground at Athens airport. One passenger was killed.

These are some of the PFLP's crimes in 40 years of existence:

* 1970, the PFLP blew up a Swissair flight to Israel in midair. 47 people died, including 15 Israelis.
* 1972, Japanese terrorists trained by the PFLP murdered 24 people, including 16 pilgrims from Puerto Rico, at Lod airport.

Back from Entebbe: Effie Eitam (center) and Efrayim Sneh (left).
IDF Spokesman.

* 1976, PFLP terrorists cooperated with German terrorists and hijacked an Air France jet to Entebbe, Uganda. The hostages were freed by Israel in a daring raid.
* 1980, PFLP terrorists took over the children's room at Misgav Am in northern Israel, and murdered a baby, as well as the kibbutz's director.
* 2000, Habash retired from active leadership of the PFLP, for health reasons.
* 2001, a PFLP squad assassinated Israeli Minister Rechavam Ze'evi.
* The PFLP carried out three suicide bombings between 2002 and 2004, at Karnei Shomron (3 murdered) at Geha Intersection (3 murdered) and at Shuk HaCarmel in Tel Aviv (3 murdered).

In April 2005, the Shabak (General Security Service) told the press that it had successfully uncovered a plot by a PFLP cell to murder Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadya Yosef.
Technorati Tag: .

Jordanians Supporting Hamas

From Reuters:
Chanting slogans urging Islamist Hamas militants to resume suicide bombings against Israel, thousands of Jordanians marched in the capital on Friday to protest against Israel's blockade of Gaza.

About 8,000 activists from Jordan's mainstream Muslim Brotherhood took to the streets to support their ideological allies, the Palestinian Hamas group, and hail militants' success in breaching the Gaza border in defiance of an Israeli blockade.
Just how mainstream is the Muslim Brotherhood considered in Jordan?

Technorati Tag: .

Arafat: Threading The Needle Of Propaganda

Hot Air:
What an irony. The man who invented modern terrorism, who inventing airplane hijacking, launched bloody intifadas, and orchestrated terrorist attacks all over the world for decade after decade — that man feared needles.
Technorati Tag: .

How Palestinian Leaders Exploited The Gaza Beach Tragedy

Richard Landes of Augean Stables has put together a 10-minute video documenting the inconsistencies in the Palestinian version of the Gaza Beach explosion in Second Draft examines another Pallywood Production: Gaza Beach Tragedy: Exploiting Grief

One of the issues that comes through in this video is the extent of Hamas' cynical disregard for human life--including that of their fellow Palestinians.

Another issue is the predictable gullibility--and facilitation--of the media in automatically accepting and propagating any and every claim that Palestinian terrorists concoct against Israel.

Technorati Tag: and .

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Video: UN Watch Exposes UNHRC

Thursday, The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) condemned Israel for the 15th time in less than two years--this time over Gaza, while forgetting to make any mention of the rockets that are fired daily at Israel.

One of those who testified Thursday was executive director :

Keep in mind that those comments by Cuba are the kind of talk that is accepted, and respected, in the UN:
UN Watch is a lucrative organization amply funded by the CIA and Mossad, which is devoted to denigrating certain member states and this Council. He told us, that Israel and his own organization are within the so-called “civilized world”… This implied that this special session is in the world of the barbarians.
Of course, there may be something to the second half of that comment.

Technorati Tag: and .

Video: "Palestinian Refugees Want Out"

From The Israel Initiative:

[Hat tip: Israel Matzav]

Technorati Tag: .

In Gaza, Some Journalists Remain In The Dark

Khaled Abu Toameh notes the extent that Hamas will go to play the media:
On at least two occasions this week, Hamas staged scenes of darkness as part of its campaign to end the political and economic sanctions against the Gaza Strip, Palestinian journalists said Wednesday.

In the first case, journalists who were invited to cover the Hamas government meeting were surprised to see Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and his ministers sitting around a table with burning candles.

In the second case on Tuesday, journalists noticed that Hamas legislators who were meeting in Gaza City also sat in front of burning candles.

But some of the journalists noticed that there was actually no need for the candles because both meetings were being held in daylight.

"They had closed the curtains in the rooms to create the impression that Hamas leaders were also suffering as a result of the power stoppage," one journalist told The Jerusalem Post. "It was obvious that the whole thing was staged."

Another journalist said he and his colleagues were told to wait for a few minutes before entering the chamber of the Palestinian Legislative Council so that each legislator would have time to light his candle. He said that when he saw that the curtains had been closed to prevent the light from entering, he realized that Hamas was trying to manipulate the media for political gain.
James Taranto notes that the fact that according to the article only "some of the journalists noticed that there was actually no need for the candles because both meetings were being held in daylight" does not say much for the media.

Of course, the very fact that Hamas would try such a ruse indicates how little they fear exposure from the media for their charades. Hamas has their number.

Technorati Tag: and .

The Egypt/Gaza Fence Is Not The Berlin Wall

Although some might have difficulty telling the difference--like Abdel Rahman, Hamas Security Officer:
"I can smell the freedom," he said. "We need no border after today."
One difference is that when the Berlin Wall came down, there was no fear of terrorists taking advantage of the situation in order to carry out suicide bombings more easily. Arlene Kusher has a post today on her site about Gaza's new open border with Egypt and the indications that freedom is not the primary motivation:
First there was the comment cited in today's Post by Khaled Abu Toameh. One Ibrahim Abu Taha, a Palestinian from Gaza, had moved through the fence and gone into Egypt, where he was planning on buying rice and sugar, milk, wheat and cheese. The same food stuffs were available in Gaza, said Abu Taha, but at three times the cost.

Wait! Did he say food was available in Gaza? Uh huh.

Couple this with the observation by Calev Ben David that in September 2005, after Israel had pulled out of Gaza, Hamas had blown up the fence at the border with Egypt, at the Philadelphi Corridor. But "nobody was hungry then; nobody needed fuel or medicine."

Then there are other, political motivations for breaking through the fence that have nothing to do with the "humanitarian needs" of the people?
In fact, now that Hamas has mixed things up on the Egypt-Gaza border, they may have ideas about the border with Israel as well--after all, Hamas has no problem throwing live bodies at Israel and the IDF:
Senior Hamas official Ahmed Yusuf has now warned Israel that "next time, 500,000 people will break down the border with Israel at the Erez Crossing and stream through. They will be willing to give their lives to go back to their [purported] original homes [from before 1948]. This is not imaginary."

There is disagreement here in Israel as to how seriously to take this.
Then, in the midst of all this, it is being suggested that Hamas is not the only one who may use the current situation to their advantage:
[Labor MK Yuval] Steinitz, who has been sounding warnings about Egypt for years, now says, "You will see, very soon Egypt will say they want to reopen the [1979 Camp David] peace treaty agreement with Israel about how many forces they are allowed to have in the Sinai, and they'll say they need many more in order to monitor the crossing. Their goal is to have as many forces as they can close to Israel."
Some suggest that the destruction of the fence puts all kinds of pressure on Egypt, creating a new dynamic that may actually work to Israel's advantage--but there are no developments in the Middle East, no matter how fortuitous they may appear, that do not somehow work to Israel's disadvantage.

Update: Check out David Hazony's post at Contentions, where he concludes:
With the floodgates open, there is no siege. The occupation is over. Gaza is now Egypt’s problem.
And Shrinkwrapped notes in the comments that Israel's job of dealing with Kassams out of Gaza just got easier:
...once the missiles fly, Israel can ramp up the retaliatory attacks knowing that if things deteriorate further in Gaza, the human shield population will have an exit. The strictures under which Israel operates have just been loosened (which does not mean the Palestinians won’t try to reprise Pallywood, but that it will be increasingly ineffective when the actors have the ability to leave the scene.)
Of course, when Israel left Lebanon and disengaged from Gaza, the same sort of claim was made. Whether the new dynamic makes a difference, and Hamas made have made life easier for Israel, remains to be seen.

After all--there is still Olmert.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Technorati Tag: and and and .

A New Year Resolution For Israel

From JobShuk, which describes itself as
...expanding the client base of Israeli freelancers and businesses into the global market.

Users create a profile page describing their services or post projects looking for bids. You can also add unlimited pages of content promoting your expertise using the free blog.

The system depends on helping others, so be proactive about referring friends to open projects and available businesses.
Here is their New Year Resolution for Israel:
Despite my political efforts on Israel's behalf, the every-day lives of those courageous men and women living in Israel are unaffected. I recognize that these people rely on their own indomitable spirits and belief in both G-d and the Jewish state to keep the pulse of Israel strong.

In the coming year, it is my resolution to be more involved with the social and financial lives of the people in Israel, to learn from them and provide my whole-hearted encouragement and support.

Below is a partial list of ideas to get you started.

Go ahead--pick one!

Technorati Tag: .

It's A Start

At least they are beginning the talk--it would be nice to see action as well--but some in Europe may be recognizing their bias:
Top EU official: Gaza siege not a war crime

...In a briefing to Israeli reporters Tuesday, European commissioner for Justice Freedom and Security, Frano Frattini, said that the steps leading up to the Gaza blackout cannot be construed as a war crime and criticized the incessant Qassam rocket fire on Israeli civilian population centers.

Senior European official Benita Ferrero-Waldner says she understands Israel's security needs, but Jewish state should look to gradually lift restrictions, hand security responsibility in West Bank to Palestinians with international monitoring.

In a lecture sponsored by the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, Frattini also issued a massive mea culpa to the State of Israel on behalf of the European community for its treatment of Israel during the second Intifada.

“There has been a large misunderstanding in recent years between Europe and Israel. And Israel is justified in its concerns. For too long, Europe has put too much blame on Israel for lack of peace with the Palestinians. We, as Europeans, should have understood Israel's concerns sooner,” said Frattini.
And then there is this:
Visiting Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen told Haaretz Monday that the singling out of Israel for criticism in international forums was unfair.

"It is not acceptable to focus on Israel time after time, while other countries like Sudan do not receive any reference whatsoever at the United Nations Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly in New York," Verhagen said in an interview.

"I would like to set the record straight on Israel."

Interviewed in his suite at Jerusalem's King David Hotel, the Dutch foreign minister said he has pursued "a more internationally balanced approach" to Israel and has conditioned Dutch support for resolutions criticizing Israel upon condemnations for Hamas' actions.
If you read the two articles, you can see that neither official is ready to condemn Hamas as a terrorist entity, but this may be the very beginning of a change in attitude.

Or it could mean nothing.

Technorati Tag: .

A Reminder That Gaza Is Egypt's Problem Too

A couple of days ago, Emanuele Ottolenghi pointed out that Gaza actually has 2 borders--not only with Israel, but also with Egypt: the idea being that supplies can be brought to Gaza by way of Egypt just as well as from Israel.

Now the Egypt-Gaza border is in the new again, this time illustrating that what comes out of Gaza can effect Egypt just as well as it does Israel. In Good News in Gaza, Noah Pollak writes:
...What we have seen is a subtle and consistent attempt from the Egyptians not just to avoid having Gaza become their problem, but to ensure that the radical energies emanating from Gaza would always be sent in one direction: Israel.

...Egypt has been trying to play a delicate game: keep Hamas in the game by allowing them to bring in weapons, cash, and terrorists, but not so conspicuously that it causes a serious American or Israeli backlash.

But today, Hamas just blew the border fence down. Suddenly, some of the pressure that has built up in Gaza over the past several months has been released, and it didn’t go toward Israel — it went into Egypt, and now the Egyptians are faced with a calamitous situation.

Egypt has been hoisted with its own petard, and it is really quite enjoyable to see from a strategic perspective. Hamas probably blew up the border fence with explosives that Egypt allowed it to smuggle into Gaza. Heh.
Not the world will pay much attention to how Egypt deals with the problem. However Shrinkwrapped sees here the potential for real possibilities:
Yet at the same time, the ties between Egypt and Gaza, including an exit corridor for those looking to leave the Gaza strip, is now open for business. Disaffected Gazans, many of whom have expressed the desire to evacuate a war zone and have effectively been imprisoned by Hamas, will have opportunities to leave and resettle elsewhere.

The possibilities are intriguing. Gaza can now integrate its economy with Egypt and start to build structures. If Tom Barnett, et al, are correct this will inevitably moderate their behavior. If, as is more likely (consider the Scorpion and the Frog), Hamas provokes a larger war with Israel, Gaza citizens will have an exit and can become real refugees, not the faux refugees they have been since 1948. In such a circumstance, the strictures that have been imposed on Israel by the human shields that Hamas has wielded so effectively, will loosen with results that have the potential to surprise many and change the dynamics of the confrontation in unforeseeable ways.

Possibly in ways that the artificial Annapolis summit could never do.

[Hat tip: Powerline]

Technorati Tag: and and .

In The PA, The Politics Are All Wrong

Barry Rubin writes that the conditions and politics of the PA just don't have what it takes for peace:

By Barry Rubin

T.S. Elliot wrote memorably in “The Hollow Men”: Between the idea/And the reality/Between the motion/And the act/Falls the Shadow

In the case of the peace process and all the great ideas for fixing everything in Arab-Israel relations, the Shadow has been Palestinian leaders’ unwillingness--and now also inability--to make a compromise agreement ending the conflict.

Close examination of the movement’s ideology, organization, and structure shows why this is true. Exactly forty years ago, in 1968, Yasir Arafat and Fatah took over. That same year he laid down two principles dominating the movement ever since.
First, in July 1968, he changed the PLO Charter from emphasizing the group was no longer a follower of Arab states but both independent and the struggle’s leader. But at the same time he stated, "We are an extension of the hundred million Arabs."

It proved hard to have it both ways, though Arafat usually managed the tension adequately. Today, the Arab world’s real support for Fatah—and for the Palestinians generally—is minimal, though many in the West still don’t notice that. Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas recently said, “Our Arab relations are at their best. We do not have any problems with any Arab country.”

Well, not exactly. The remaining backing does not include financial aid (the West pays the bills), direct military involvement, or strenuous diplomatic effort. Instead, it mostly revolves around demanding that the United States solve the problem while the regimes focus on their own real priorities.

Second, back in 1968, Arafat mandated the goal as total victory bringing Israel’s disappearance. Thus, armed struggle was the main tactic intended to “maintain an atmosphere of strain and anxiety that will force the Zionists to realize that it is impossible for them to live in Israel.” Since then, Israel has prospered, the Palestinians have suffered, and Hamas has seized that slogan. But it also remains a central plank for Fatah.

Abbas puts the main emphasis on diplomacy today. But most of his colleagues and constituents are still focused on glorifying violence and insisting on ultimate, total victory. What he can do, or even say, is quite limited.

On January 13, for example, Abbas briefed the PLO Central Council in Ramallah about President George Bush’s visit and relations with Hamas. It was not a demagogic speech aimed at scoring points against Israel or attacking the United States—some things have changed--but rather a soberly presented, albeit steeped in wishful thinking, presentation.

Quite notable, however, is that Abbas said not a word showing readiness to compromise or preaching the virtues of peace with Israel. Nor has he changed anything in the schools or the PA-controlled mosques and media, whose virulence and enthusiasm for violence is unchanged. Fatah’s symbol, displayed next to Abbas, still shows all of Israel as Palestine. Abbas dares not challenge his constituents’ fervent beliefs.

He merely insists that the PLO is still “the Palestinian people’s sole legitimate representative,” despite the fact that Hamas is not in it. To conciliate Hamas he offers it a large minority share in the PLO, which Hamas rejected even when it was weaker. In addition, the PA will spend 58 percent of aid money on salaries for its employees in the Gaza Strip thus subsidizing Hamas’s bureaucracy. Ironically, money given by Western donors to strengthen Fatah and weaken Hamas will help the latter, and no one will complain about this reversal of their intentions.

Abbas discusses the Annapolis conference and Bush’s visit only in terms of Palestinian demands without mention of Palestinian obligations. Without telling his people that violence is outmoded, coexistence with Israel necessary, terrorists attacking Israel must be punished, and refugees need be resettled in a Palestinian state, he cannot build popular support for doing these things. On the contrary, such concepts are still seen as treason to the cause. He knows this and as a result takes none of the steps needed to achieve peace.

Abbas does present a softer line, up to a point. He opposes shooting rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel as well as Israeli retaliatory raids. Abbas even recounts that when Israel offered to let people leave the Gaza Strip freely for study, work, or medical treatment abroad, Hamas refused and even fired “on any crossing that was opened [in order] to close it.”

But his treatment of Hamas’s “coup” in the Gaza Strip seeks to evade the problem. Israel, he complains, holds him responsible for what happens in Gaza, claiming this is an excuse. And he shows nationalist solidarity with Hamas against Israel, in effect giving the Islamists veto power over any strategy or solution.

Yet how can Abbas, Fatah, and the PA claim to be sole representative when they don’t control over half the land and people supposedly represented? How can Abbas do anything when most of Fatah is closer to Hamas than to his more moderate impulses?

His regime, then, simply cannot deliver an agreement ending the conflict. Not only cannot Fatah regain control of the Gaza Strip, it will be lucky to hold onto the West Bank.

“Fatah is now convalescing,” Abbas assures colleagues, “and, God willing, you will witness that it will fare very well” in future. Yet nothing has changed in Fatah. The Arafat crowd, veteran leaders from decades of PLO intransigence, still rule. Whatever Abbas’s personal views, there are few moderates among them, nor would they back their supposed leader if he actually tried to stop cross-border attacks, punish terrorism, end incitement, clamp down on internal anarchy, or make a deal with Israel.

This leadership is being challenged by the “young guard” which decries the “old guard’s” corruption and suggests it has become too soft. The new generation is by no means more moderate. Its reference point is not the 1990s’ peace process but the 1980s’ intifada.

Many or most of the young guard prefer a deal with Hamas, rather than one with Israel, and a return to systematic armed struggle. At best, they believe a peace treaty can only come after Israel is expelled from the West Bank, a task that would take decades and if ever fulfilled would whet their ambitions for total victory.

Abbas is trapped. He can neither defeat nor make peace with Israel; neither defeat nor make a deal with Hamas in which the latter would accept Fatah’s leadership. Nor can he control his own organization, end the chaos in the West Bank, or implement an economic development program. That’s his Shadow. His only asset—though a considerable one--is that both the West and Israel will ignore all these problems and pretend otherwise.

It is important, as well as amazing to note that since I wrote a column on Fatah politics in November 2004, literally nothing has changed, During more than three years of crisis, during which Fatah lost power to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, not one detail of Fatah leadership, organization, structure, discipline, ideology, or effort to control corruption has improved. This is the group that is now going to get $7 billion in aid without any conditionality.

Here is some additional, more detailed, evidence for that assertion.

The PLO and the PA are governed by Fatah. Equally important, members of the security services are more loyal to Fatah than they are to Abbas or the PA. There are 20 members of the Fatah Central Committee, that organization’s highest body. No new members have been added since 1995. None of these people lived in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip between 1967 and 1994 and most of them were in exile from 1948 to 1994. This means that in many ways they do not represent the actual people they are governing.

On this committee, there are only three people who could be called relative moderates: Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Shaath, and Ahmad Khuri (Abu Ala). Abbas and Khuri have a very bad relationship so the Palestinian Authority leader can only really count on three votes: his own, Shaath’s, and his national security advisor Nasir Yusuf.
At least six members are very hardline, openly hostile even to the 1990s’ peace process. These are all very important people:
--Farouq Quddumi, the head of Fatah;
--Sakhr Habash (Abu Nizar), chief of the Fatah Revolutionary Committee which is the group immediately below the Central Committee;
--Salim al-Zaanun, head of the Palestine National Council (PNC), the legislative wing of the PLO;
--Muhammad Ghana’im (Abu Mahir), Fatah’s veteran representative to Kuwait.
--Abd al-Hamid Haý’yil, who led one of the main terrorist organizations in Fatah.
--General Muhammad Jihad, former Palestine Liberation Army officer.
The remaining ten members are all Arafat-era bureaucrats who have never expressed any view that could be considered moderate. I could easily put many or most of them into the hardline group listed above.

Thus, the Fatah leadership can be said to be:
--Institutionally hostile to Hamas, viewing Fatah as the only acceptable leadership for the Palestinians.
--Opposed to any changes including real anti-corruption drives, an end to incitement for anti-Israel terrorism, a real effort to use aid money to raise living standards for the general population, or shifts in ideology toward greater moderation.
--Hostile to bringing in new leadership and unwilling to add the voice of the younger generation.
If Abbas were ever to propose a realistic peace agreement with Israel he would be lucky to carry one-fifth of the Central Committee. Knowing this, he will never try.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal . His latest books are The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan) and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

Technorati Tag: and .

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why I'm Getting Rid Of Cable

Because having a cat that enjoys watching TV is beginning to really creep me out...

Technorati Tag: .

Agudath Israel Yarchei Kallah, February 15-18

From an email (click to enlarge):

Technorati Tag: .

"The White Man is the Jew of Liberal Fascism"

In his bestselling book, Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg uses the phrase "The White Man is the Jew of Liberal Fascism," which has been attacked. Here is some of what he wrote:
The white male is the Jew of liberal fascism. The “key to solving the social problems of our age is to abolish the white race,” writes the whiteness studies scholar and historian Noel Ignatiev. Whiteness studies is a cutting-edge academic discipline sweeping American higher education. Some thirty universities have WS departments, but many more schools teach the essentials of whiteness studies in other courses. The executive director of the Center for the Study of White American Culture explains, “There is no crime that whiteness has not committed against people of color . . . We must blame whiteness for the continuing patterns today . . . which damage and prevent the humanity of those of us within it.” The journal Race Traitor (ironically, a Nazi term) is dedicated “to serve as an intellectual center for those seeking to abolish the white race.” Now, this is not a genocidal movement; no one is suggesting that white people be rounded up and put in camps. But the principles, passions, and argumentation have troubling echoes.

First, there is the left’s shocking defense of black riot ideology and gangsterism. The glorification of violence, the romance of the street, the denunciations of “the system,” the conspiratorialism, the exaltation of racial solidarity, the misogyny of hip-hop culture: all of these things offer a disturbing sense of déjà vu. Hip-hop culture has incorporated. On college campuses, administrators routinely look the other way at classically fascist behavior, from newspaper burnings to the physical intimidation of dissident speakers. These attitudes ultimately stem from the view that the white man, like the Jew, represents every facet of what is wrong and oppressive to humanity. As Susan Sontag proclaimed in 1967, “The white race is the cancer of human history.” Meanwhile, Enlightenment notions of universal humanity are routinely mocked on the academic left as a con used to disguise entrenched white male privilege.
Personally, I see more of a comparison with Israel and the excuses for the behavior of Palestinian Arabs and their apologists. In any case, on his new Liberal Fascism Blog, Goldberg addresses what he meant. Here is part of his explanation:
...One of the more under-appreciated motives of the Nazi extermination campaign against the Jews was how it was driven by paranoia. Nazi anti-Semitism wasn't merely bigoted, it was conspiratorial. The Nazis and affiliated intellectuals firmly believed that the Jew was behind the scenes, pulling strings, manipulating events, rigging the system — even the language — in profound and pernicious ways. Carl Schmitt — quite popular on the left today — was tasked with the job of purging the Jewish spirit from the law. Other similar projects were launched across the political, economic and intellectual landscape. Jeffrey Herf recently wrote an absolutely brilliant book on this exact point, bringing to the fore what was long considered mere background noise of the 12 year Reich. I wrote about his book, The Jewish Enemy, here.

This paranoia itself had roots in Marxist thought — though hardly exclusively so. Marx himself was one of many ur-socialists who considered the Jew, figuratively and literally, to be the fullest realization of everything that was wrong with capitalism or the status quo. The Jew, as the classic middle-man minority (as Tom Sowell would say), seemed to stand in the way of every utopian and nationalist aspiration. When you read Nazi intellectuals discussing the influence of Judaism on Germany it's deeply metaphysical. The Jew and by extension the "Mediterranean religion" of Christianity had poisoned the authentic German spirit and mind to the very foundations. Politically, the Nazis insisted that "the Jews" had attacked Germany first. Every bad circumstance or inconvenient fact could be laid at the feat of the Jews. Hitler even proclaimed that the conscience itself was a Jewish invention designed to keep the oppressed Aryans and others down.While still a Nazi collaborator, Paul de Man— the revered postmodern theorist who eventually taught at Yale and
Cornell—wrote of the Jews, “Their cerebralness, their capacity to assimilate doctrines while maintaining a cold detachment from them,” is one of “the specific characteristics of the Jewish mind.”
Read the entire post.

So not only are some pointing to Muslims as the "new Jews,"--now you don't even have to be a minority.

UPDATE: Bruce Godfrey has a post about Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism and the Abolition of the "White Race":
I agree with Ignatief that we need to abolish the "white race" as a concept, and attended a Race Traitor conference in New York in the mid-1990s. Goldberg mischaracterizes, too conveniently by half, Ignatief's argument and the whole point of Race Traitor. My argument is, essentially, Race Traitor's argument, though I don't follow Race Traitor's proposed method of fighting the political damage of the "white race." No matter how much Goldberg gets the vapors at "troubling echoes."
Read the whole thing.

Crossposted at Soccer Dad

Technorati Tag: and and .

OU: Live Video Broadcast Career Workshop March 3, 2008

From an email:
Live Video Broadcast Career Workshop March 3, 2008

1:00-3:00pm EST (8-10 JST)


Learn to take an interview and land the job you want. See what to say
and what not to say and learn how to make an impression at the most
critical juncture of your interview - the first 90 seconds! Question
and answer period after the lecture will be taken via e mail and
replies will be live!


See how an acting coach, using "Hollywood" methods taught to actors
for their auditions, can teach you how to take an interview. From the
first step into the room to the way you sit, you will see what works
to help you land the job you want.


Broadcast Live from New York to your computer.Small New York live
audience will also participate at OU Headquarters 14th Floor 11
Broadway. Live audience is on a first-come, first-served basis.


Please go to and hit link under Job Workshops. Fill in
your email address and name and you're in.

The following organizations will be participating in the National
Broadcast.Please contact these organizations in your area for further
placement and services:
  • Bnai Brith of Canada
  • Crown Heights Jewish Community Council
  • Council of Jewish Organizations-Brooklyn
  • FEGS
  • Jewish Community Council of Coney Island
  • Jewish Family Service of Bergen County Presenter: Marlena Lechter
  • Jewish Vocational Services of Boston
  • Jewish Vocational Services of Chicago
  • Jewish Vocational Services of Detroit
  • Jewish Vocational Services of Los Angeles County
  • Jewish Vocational Services Metro-West
  • Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty
  • Sephardic Angel Fund and many more.
Please go to for a full list of service providers in
your area

Looking for employment? Have a job to list? It takes less then one
minute to post your job or your resume and get seen by thousands. The
OU Job Board is a Nationwide Job Board that also includes Israel and

In the New York/New Jersey area? Join the OU Job Board Job Fair on
March 12th. Sign up at

OU JOB BOARD / "Changing your life-forever"
For more information please contact:
Srulie (Michael) Rosner or
Technorati Tag: .

Kosher Cooking Carnival #27 Is Served!

Me-ander has posted KCC a day early--now you have time to cook these dishes up for Shabbos!

February, KCC #27, will be hosted by Food History. If you're interested in hosting a future KCC, please let me know, shilohmuse at yahoo dot com.
Please submit your posts and those of others via Blog Carnival.

Technorati Tag: and and .

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nachum Segal Interviews Malcolm Hoenlein

This past Friday on JM in the AM:
Nachum interviewed Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, who called in for the latest Weekly Update. They began this week's conversation with a look at the relationship between Barack Obama and Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. with Malcolm emphasizing the danger of falling prey to the internet fostering misinformation age that we are currently in. Nachum asked Malcolm about the latest news regarding Yisrael Beiteinu leaving the government and their relationship with Israel's President Olmert. They covered several other topics including: the IDF's current Gaza campaign, the upcoming 2008 Herzliya Conference, Syrian rebuilding the sites bombed by Israel in September, the treatment of the three settler girls while in prison by Israeli authorities, and MUCH more. Click the link to listen.
Technorati Tag: and .

Ahmadinejad Under Fire In Iran

Ahmadinejad is learning that it is a lot easier to taunt foreign countries than to rule a country--and the Iranian people are noticing it too.
Iran Leader Under Fire for Gas Shortages

Iran's supreme leader Monday reversed a decision by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and ordered him to implement a law supplying natural gas to remote villages amid rising dissatisfaction with the president's performance.

The move by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was a major rebuke to the hardline president, whose popularity has plummeted amid rising food prices and deaths due to gas cuts during a particularly harsh winter.

In response to a request by the conservative-dominated parliament, Khamenei ordered the president to implement a law spending $1 billion from the Currency Reserve Fund to supply gas to villages after he balked for budgetary reasons.

...Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005 on a populist agenda promising to bring oil revenues to every family, eradicate poverty and tackle unemployment. He now faces increasing criticism for failing to meet those promises.
Ahmadinejad is being criticized for focusing more on anti-Israel and anti-US rhetoric instead of the economy as--criticism that is especially bitter considering that Iranians are dying from the cold despite the fact that Iran has the second largest natural gas reservoir in the world.

Dissatisfaction with Ahmadinejad is nothing new. It is an ongoing story--the question is what, if anything, the Iranians are going to do about it.

Technorati Tag: and .