Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Is There Something In The Eggnog? (2 Updates!)

I've never tasted the stuff--thank you--but it does seem like some are imbibing this stuff early.

In his post, Feliz 'dinejad!, Mark Steyn gives the background to the annual address given in Great Britain on December 25th:
One of the interesting questions since 9/11 has been whether prosperous but desiccated post-national states can in effect outsource the remnants of national will entirely to a professional military. Ever since King George V's first radio broadcasts to the Empire in the 1930s, it has been a tradition every December 25th for the Sovereign to deliver a Christmas message to the Commonwealth. These days, the Queen's thoughts are mostly the usual "celebrate diversity" multiculti pap, she having been well nobbled by her courtiers in this respect (her husband is another matter). Inevitably, even this PC boilerplate is felt to be "exclusive" and so in recent years Channel 4 has invited someone every Christmas Day to deliver an "alternative Christmas message". It's generally the familiar stillborn provocations to a no longer extant "mainstream" - a gay activist, a woman in a burqa, etc.
This year, they are doing something a little different--inviting a leader of another country to give the address. But of all of the leaders to choose from...
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran will give a message of seasonal goodwill on Christmas Day as an alternative to the Queen's traditional broadcast.
Noah Pollak's reaction is similar to Steyn's:
What would be an appropriate way for a national television channel to observe Christmas? One thing of which I am certain is that such an observance would not involve airing a message from the president of an Islamic terrorist theocracy whose most recent relations with your country involved the abduction in international waters of 15 members of your Navy and parading them on state television.
...One wonders whether Ahmadinejad will repeat what he said in 2005, after an Iranian convert to Christianity was abducted and stabbed to death in Iran: “I will stop Christianity in this country.”
Yet it appears that some Jews are drinking from the same eggnog:
Outcry as songs are re-written for anti-Israel carol concert at famous church

Organisers of a Christmas carol concert being held in a famous church have been condemned for rewriting traditional verses to attack Israel.

Far from bringing tidings of comfort and joy, the participants will instead sing about ‘war crimes’, ‘assassinations’ and the ‘oppression’ of Palestinians.

The concert, which has been organised by anti-Israeli campaigners, is due to take place on Wednesday at St James’s, Piccadilly, a Christopher Wren-designed church in Central London.

...The event, called Bethlehem Now: Nine Alternative Lessons And Carols For Palestine, has been organised by Jews For Boycotting Israeli Goods, a group of secular British Jews opposed to Israeli policies.
Mike McNally, writing about this on Pajamas Media, gives an example:
So, for example, “While Shepherds Watched” becomes:

While shepherds watched their flocks by night, all seated on the ground,
Some occupying soldiers came and bulldozed all around.
Personally, I think his homemade example has more pep:
To the tune of “We Three Kings” …

Palestinian martyrs we are,
Wearing bombs we travel afar.
Jews we hate, we don’t discriminate
Blowing up yonder bar
Of course, it is traditional this time of year to blame Israel for the exodus of Christians from areas under Palestinian control.

This year, BBC journalist Aleem Maqbool--who reported that a Palestinian "militant" was dragged out of cafe and killed, execution-style, by IDF soldiers in Ramallah in an accounted contradicted by multiple other accounts--is going for a walk.

Now, Maqbool, is walking from Nazareth to Bethlehem, retracing a journey made by Mary and Joseph in the New Testament story of Jesus's birth. Maqbool follows in the footsteps of other journalists such as The Times's Stephen Farrell, The Guardian's Rory McCarthy and the BBC's own Matthew Price, whose December 2005 report was described by Israeli Foreign Ministry sources as one of the most dreadful ever broadcast by the BBC (something of an achievement considering the amount of BBC anti-Israel output).

Maqbool attempts to treat his journey, complete with donkeys, as a personal road trip rather than the blatantly politicized efforts of journalists such as his colleague Price. Unfortunately, he over-romanticizes the Palestinians while portraying the IDF in a sinister light, exerting a strong but subtle bias.

Give me Chanukah and latkes any day.

UPDATE: And it just keeps getting better and better:
Priest puts mosque in Nativity scene

Italy's Right-wing Northern League have reacted with fury after it emerged that a Roman Catholic priest added a model mosque to his church's nativity scene.
UPDATE 2: Michael Rubin writes:
The irony of Britain's channel 4 giving Ahmadinejad the pulpit in the name of free speech is that as he was speaking, Iranian authorities raided and closed down the BBC's Tehran offices and, separately, in the spirit of goodwill to man, ordered Christmas trees banned from Iranian kindergartens...
[Hat tip: Powerline]

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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