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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gaza and the Antidote to all that Bad News

My wife’s antidote to constant news bombardment about airplanes blown out of the sky over Ukraine and the conflict with HAMAS is an episode of “Everybody loves Raymond” followed by back to back episodes of “Frazier”.  I appreciate it sounds superficial but in a 24-hour a day news environment the twin news items I referred to at the beginning are pounced on by partisan journalists and international news agencies to fill the airwaves with speculation, misinformation, trite analyses meant for the soporifically inclined mind and propaganda. It could easily continue for weeks until something else replaces it (see how the airwaves were saturated with rumor, conjecture and excited gossip after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared).  It isn’t too difficult to turn off the news completely, if that is what you want.  We do not need to be spoon-fed the news, 24/7.  But the issue is that unless you are utterly self-absorbed, constant media bombardment will have an impact, even, if only tangentially, on how you view events.

In Israel during times of increased conflict and war there is community and solidarity. Here in the UK, as in most of the developed world, there is no war and conflicts are viewed as entirely political.  Everything is viewed through a prism that is back lit by money and what can be achieved by spreading vast amounts of it around.  It is of course an obscene and unethical philosophy that feeds this thinking. Perhaps it is the source of the West’s infirmity.  In parts of our world that are labeled “developed” most nations have suffered centuries of needless, often fratricidal, blood soaked conflict.  There is little mood for understanding or acknowledging complexity.

 Jon Snow (principal news reader at Britain’s Channel 4 News) is pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel. Curiously, his bio on Wikipedia fails to mention his connection to MAP (Medical Aid for Palestine).  Nevertheless he expressed the common frustration shared by too many people when a few days ago he attacked the Israeli spokesperson by condemning Israel for failing to “speak to HAMAS”.  When you are informally negotiating with an enemy that has articles of its constitution declaring global annihilation for not just Israel but for all Jews everywhere issues such as talking and trust are not quite so simple.

But this does highlight the simplistic view that most people have of the war and its antecedents, even if Jon Snow is guilty of dissimulation and journalistic cant.

Conflict as an existential struggle is for the fanatic fringe that increasingly dominates street protests and campuses, and for philosophers teaching in our universities whose pathway to fame is linked to creating new, muscular disciplines around identity politics.  But for most of us, any conflict for survival is “so last century”.

Except it isn’t.  The fall of the Soviet Union left many on the far-left adrift and the Palestinian cause reunited them. There exists across most of the globe an intensifying communion of hate led by a Muslim-extreme Left coalition and the danger is that the extreme left will, with unwavering enthusiasm drift towards the center as society’s discomfort with acceptable bigotry ceases to be an oxymoron.  If passion determines commitment then it is the fanatic that is most committed to change and the people who are most vocal and visible in the press, in our universities and through the electronic media in influencing society.

This expanding coalition is the hell we face if our Hasbara (information) policy continues to be a combination of government indifference and ineffective counter propaganda. The "Jewish World" has been in ideological turmoil through religious upheaval and mutual sectarian disdain for so long that it is in danger of rushing blindly into self-imposed oblivion while the threat from political extremism and ever larger Muslim immigration into the West will create the conditions by which Nazism could easily return to the mainstream within another decade. The time to mobilize against multiple threats (and not just to the Western way of life) but also to a flight from most centers of Jewish life outside of Israel into a few concentrated ‘safe-areas’ is long past.

Of course we could always turn off the TV, ditch our cell-phones, stop reading the news and throw out the laptop but ignorance is not bliss, except to the fool.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gaza and the British Reaction

In the aftermath of continuing operations in Gaza and missile strikes across Israel our reception at a town fair in Richmond, South London was mixed but much of it was hostile.  I did not handle my second activist fair at all well.

One picture on display at our stall was of a Palestinian Poster ‘Boy’ clutching an automatic rifle and surrounded by weapons and slogans – the kind of poster we have become accustomed to Islamist terrorist groups releasing in the calamitous aftermath of successful suicide (homicide) bombings against civilian targets.  The caption read ‘these are the Palestinian civilians.’  Any casualties can be portrayed in the international press as horrific. It is unfortunate when even a single civilian is killed in war but with entire families willingly becoming human shields for HAMAS the press will play this card of ongoing Palestinian victim-hood with immense enthusiasm and unadulterated zeal.  It is time to redefine the 4th Geneva Convention. Missiles fired from civilian homes are not, to quote French fascist political leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, ‘a minor point of detail.’

That poster led to a formal complaint which was lodged with police; names and addresses were taken down.  We were coerced into covering up the photo. This was our first failure. Perhaps we should have known better. It was an own-goal.

Next, the PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign) came and photographed our stall.  This was clearly, an act of intimidation.

One of the English PSC activists questioned a Christian friend of Israel on our stall. Upon learning of his religious identity he told him, without a moment of shame that he, a Christian, was lower that ‘those Jews.’  This Pro-Palestinian and British (‘Jewish’) racist is no different to any member of the extreme right.  I confronted him with my outrage.  I repeated his comments for all to hear.   He walked away.

His racialist demeanor is the Palestinian movement itself.  The horrifying aspect of this English PSC supporter is that he so easily slipped into the well established pattern utilised by all bigots of compartmentalising humanity into ‘friend’ (absolute supporter) and ‘enemy.’  But for the PSC and fellow believers the enemy is without any redemptive qualities that would save them. This is nascent Nazism.  These people are intellectually no different to the demons that lined up their opponents in Iraq and applied machine-gun justice to the settlement of their differences.  Of course our PSC campaigners are not IS (The Islamic State); they are the bureaucrats, the stoic, the ever smiling and calm but resolute supporter whose determination to eradicate their enemy has no boundaries.

Lots of people (including a gay couple) condemned the asymmetric unfairness of the conflict.   I was somewhat unhinged by this because there can be no ethical justification for this paradigm. If I asked how many Israeli or Jewish deaths would satisfy our interlocutor’s sense of balance they would reply by re-emphasizing the inequality of the battle with even greater vehemence.  I hoped that at least some of those questioners were expressing frustration at their inability to understand the roots of the continuing crisis in Gaza and also understood that any answer to the question (besides ‘zero’) would be unethical.  But I doubt it.  F16 fighter jets, drones and the 'Iron Dome' defense network deployed against ‘primitive’ Palestinian missiles create an asymmetry that the Judeophobic supporter of Palestine cannot or will not ever accept. The hundreds of millions of dollars that Israel has spent on bomb shelters and reinforced rooms in people’s homes will never be recognized by the anti-Zionist chauvinist.  HAMAS has no intention of investing money in protective structures or sirens for its citizens.  The higher the number of civilian deaths the greater is the global sympathy they garner for their cause.  Don’t forget also the millions that go directly into the pockets of the HAMAS Echelon.

Foolishly, I tried to explain that tens of millions of dollars of aid money had been diverted by Gaza’s religious (Islamist) regime for the purpose of constructing tunnels into Israel. Those tunnels are built with the purpose of kidnapping and committing mass murder against civilians. 

Attempting to illustrate that it is the choices we make that define us, was wholly futile.

And the Settlements.  Explaining that according to HAMAS and the majority of Palestinians, all of Israel is a settlement was similarly without benefit. The retort, even to those who professed ‘sympathy’ for Israel was that the settlements (to the uncommitted onlooker this is any construction in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem) are nothing less than an abomination.

Two journalists (they said they were, and we failed to ask for their credentials) photographed some of our leaflets.  They ignored any questions from us and spoke at us with imperious and contemptuous disdain.  Why they simply did not take leaflets was beyond our simple understanding but they were there to make a point.  Again, this was intended to intimidate us.

One shameless fool said all Israelis are conquerors. He also said that the Palestinians (whose identity is defined as wholly Judenfrei) ‘owned’ Palestine and had owned Palestine for 5,000 years.  This was even too much for my normally unflappable friend. He was enraged. The final Roman conquest of the Israelites at the turn of the Christian era, some 1,900 years ago, did not wholly destroy the Jewish presence.   It was the Roman Emperor Hadrian who renamed the Land of Israel, Syria Palaestina (in 131 CE) as one of the measures undertaken to erase the cultural identity of the Jews.  The Arabs conquered the Land of Israel in 638 CE and it was their actions that ultimately decimated both land and people.

A Palestinian narrative that removes any Jewish claims to history is an essential pillar of the Palestinian faith.  Part of this strategy involves repositioning the Jewish Jesus as a Palestinian.  Any true person of faith should be enraged by the sacrilegious nature of this act. The Palestinian narrative is based on hatred, the worship of death and an involuntary identity constructed around ‘eternal’ (until victory) victim-hood that robs us, and them, of free will.  The voluminous amount of bile that oozes daily from Palestinian society is both a theological abomination and a secular aberration that defines an ethically corrupt people.

Through the Internet anyone with eyes and ears can marvel at the unforced conformity that characterizes this apparently irreparable flaw in Palestinian attitudes.  It is not however untypical of a people who truly believe themselves to be existentially superior to their enemy.  It guides their every interaction with both Israelis and Jews.

A Palestinian Jesus can only ever be a Jesus, not of love or of peace but a Jesus of brutality, hate and conquest.  What does it say therefore of the current Presbyterian Church (in the USA especially) and other reactionary followers, such as those members of the PSC that they so wholly embrace this devilish and Orwellian restatement of both Jewish and Christian history.

It was that first encounter with the PSC (which positioned pro-Israel Christians in a place ‘lower’ than ‘those Jews’) that ruined my day! But the blows were also cumulative.  To come that close to evil is an unnatural experience for most of us. Or perhaps when the individual chooses to wallow in ignorance it locates them on a plane below that of evil. But does it make them less guilty? In the PSC version of religious faith, mercy is only for the believer. One of those vile propagandists speaks against us at churches throughout the South of England.

It is that evil which we must confront if we are to be saved from an escalation of a magnitude similar to events that have arisen over the last few days in Toronto, Paris and Antwerp.  In Toronto the police stood by while a man was beaten up by Pro-Palestinian demonstrators, the same righteous souls who threatened an old and frail woman.  In Paris hundreds of demonstrators rioted outside Synagogues, trapping Jewish worshippers inside their buildings.  In Antwerp dozens of men shouted slogans about slaughtering Jews while three local (socialist, labour and green) politicians blissfully looked on.

In World War II, the Nazis set fire to synagogues with the local Jewish population trapped inside. In Africa, Muslims have done the same to Christian communities.

Immigration officers, governments run by elected officials who are more concerned with the powerful Muslim vote than with making a moral choice, and the police: They are all inactive.  This is where populist democracy fails.

This is Nazism – it does not matter whether it is inspired by the Right, by the Left, by the Liberal Democrats in Britain, or the Greens; by the Islamic faithful or by frustrated Arabs.

The propaganda war is violent; its intent from the Palestinian camp is terminal.

Wake up.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Censorship and Avoidance, Antisemitism and the Left

BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.  To quote its founder Omar Barghouti (2013): “We oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine…no Palestinian will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.” He does not usually speak so bluntly but we hear what we want to hear and not all BDS supporters are quite so forthcoming in their desire to be labelled as antisemites.

HAMAS by its firing of missiles against Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa reminds us, this is not a conflict over territory but about an Arab desire to supplant any ethnic or religious minority that does not bow down to their particular version of Islamic domination.   We should give thanks to whichever deity we owe our allegiance that accuracy is not yet a selling point for those Arab missiles.   That they are fired at Jerusalem means the Muslim fundamentalists governing the Gaza Strip do not care who they kill. Jew, Christian, Muslim or person of other faith – the important goal for them is to cause death and fear.  And those missiles could as easily strike a Jewish holy site, a Christian holy site or a Muslim holy site; a school, a hospital or a playground filled with children.   Again, the target is of no consequence, much of the Western Press can be relied upon to blame Israel for any bloody successes.

HAMAS has incited against Israel since it was founded in 1987 as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.  Since its failed revolution in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood is banned although many in the West embrace this racist, fascist Islamic movement whose principle target is the Jewish state.  It is openly, theologically antisemitic. See this link:  Article Seven is the abomination that should have us all screaming from the rooftops and yet, presidents and prime-ministers afford this organization with its overt call for genocide a place at the table of civilized nations.

I wrote the following two paragraphs a little over a year ago (03 June 2013) and unsurprisingly things have only worsened as radicals across the Muslim world gain in murderous confidence.   HAMAS is an organization that wages war on women; murders gays and anyone contemplating leaving the faith.  The bigotry of HAMAS is only exceeded by the purity of its primitive vision.  They hate that which is not them and dream of a return to a time that existed almost fourteen hundred years earlier.  They represent the antithesis of modern civilization. They are the barbarians at the walls of Rome but armed with 21st Century weaponry.

HAMAS embodies ruthless rejection of the Age of Enlightenment that began some 350 years ago; the fantasists rejection of the modern era because we who are not them refuse to show obsequious fealty to their world view.  The horrifying reality is that these agents of a reactionary and puritanical society are enthusiastically supported by extremists of Left wing political ideology.   To appreciate how debased liberal political thought has become we need only to quote Judith Butler (American political philosopher and ‘ethicist’).  She instructs us: “Understanding HAMAS, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left, is extremely important.” 

The issue over whether Israel should negotiate with people whose world-view is the antithesis of our own is only a difficult one if we try to muddy the waters.  HAMAS does not want peace with Israel, it wants our annihilation.  HAMAS is a Nazi political movement.  The Palestinian Authority is technically secular but this does not make it a preferred partner for peace.  If Israel has made some egregious errors in negotiating with the regime of Mahmoud Abbas it is because no vision of what a genuine peace would resemble exists on either side. But one thing is for certain, the credible threat of HAMAS must be eliminated before negotiations can proceed. Deterrence has to be sufficiently robust to ensure success because the alternative, failure, is viewed with such dread as to render its value, moot.  Being civilized when confronted by the Beast does not work.  Those for whom ‘the Jew’ or ‘the Zionist’ is forever damned cannot be negotiated with - they can only be controlled, poorly. Because of our history there is one thing the Jewish people must internalise, we can never appease fascism.  “An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last.” Winston Churchill was talking about the Nazis, but with nary a difference between them he very well could have been referring to today’s Islamists and their Jihadist militias.

I began this article by referring to BDS – many nations are flirting with adopting the principle of once more boycotting Jews. They can do this because they have no need to respond to the idea of Jewish self-determination or political sovereignty.  Intellectual subservience to a Left wing fascist narrative has subverted honest debate, call it ‘reverse McCarthyism.’ It has enabled an obscene coalition of secular and religious bigots to dominate any discussion and they have done this by simply controlling the debate and excluding, with violence if necessary, any Jewish-Zionist input to that debate. Noam Chomsky states in his book, The Common Good: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”  He is of course correct, but that tactic has been most successfully employed in the universities, in the press and in the pulpit in order to discourage debate about the threat against our way of life and against a Zionist enlightenment in the Mediterranean Basin.

The nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things... constitute this soul or spiritual principle. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received. (Ernest Renan, What is a Nation?)

Two peoples inhabit the geographical area called Israel – the first are Jews and the second, Arab conquerors that persecuted them and denied them any rights save the right to be humiliated and subjected to constant persecution. Israel exists because of those bigots.   To end the conflict our persecution by Arabs and their Turkish over-rulers must be our constant refrain and every negotiation must begin with a regurgitation of our tale of persecution until the Palestinians and their supporters are as familiar with our version of events as they have made the world fluent in theirs.  It will not shame them because ridicule, even hatred, fuels their theology. What it will do is to remove the twin fa├žades of altruism and victimhood that justifies the concerns of so many antisemites and Jewish Uncle Toms. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Murder of Innocents and Evil Fruit

On June 12 three Israeli teenagers hitch-hiking in Judea and Samaria were kidnapped by terrorists. One of the lads placed an emergency call through to the police. It was probably the last thing any of them did before they were murdered.  The bodies of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Sha’ar and Naftali Fraenkel were found in a shallow grave covered by rocks 18 days later.

It could be that their killers meant to murder them immediately or they may have been potential kidnap victims, intended for an Operation Gilad Shalit mark II.  Right now I feel sorry both for Gilad Shalit and for the parents of those people who have died and will die because of this senseless, inhuman betrayal.

One thing is for sure however and that is that Israel will be taken onto a new path as a result of this latest crime against the youth of the State.  The police have been discredited and even though the result would not have differed if they had immediately taken action their job will now be made much more difficult to carry out and the danger to them in investigating future alleged disappearances greater than ever.

Nor has the Western Press disappointed. Adjectives such us retribution, retaliation and revenge are what are usually applied to Israeli actions. The world has become too accustomed to Jewish subservience in the face of persecution and we are too few in number to be more than marginally, politically relevant. We have turned the other cheek for most of the last couple of millennia and are now demonized because the Jew dares to fight back.  Of course a measured, ‘proportionate’ response is what is now needed. But ‘proportionality’ is always the adjective of failure used by Israel’s critics to describe any armed reaction to disproportionate Arab or Muslim actions.  And here is the problem.

We act as if history is not a teacher by whom we should all be guided.  We have lost the propaganda war. The world is bored already by nearly 200,000 deaths in Syria over three years of civil war.  But the violence that plagues Iraq and elsewhere throughout a world populated by Muslim extremists is not unusual nor is it new.

That conquering zeal has often been gory because intermittently there have arisen Muslim theological psychopaths, and they demanded renewal.  Their reinterpretation of Islam was inevitably characterized by a “return” to strict observance of the Koran and the Hadith (the alleged sayings of the Prophet) which then encouraged the sick mind, for whom there exists no concept of proportionality.  They therefore have never had a need to show restraint in their commission of one atrocity after another.  Until that is, they were stopped.  No one is stopping them now.  The world does not care what happens in Syria nor does it care about Sudan, Somalia, Egypt or Nigeria; but it never forgets to lecture us on how to behave or to demand that we tread carefully for their sake (and not ours).  And I can understand this too.

The Western world defines a refugee as anyone who can make it to our Western shores without a passport, or it may as well define them as such because few asylum seekers are returned to their home country.   And it is profitable.  Western demographics are in crisis.  Citizens of the developed world no longer reproduce at a rate that covers their level of mortality so we need cheap imported labor to maintain the efficient running of the state.  The upward mobility of immigrants means that the demographic crisis is ongoing and exacerbated by a clash of civilizations within nations.  And immigrants become voters who must be feared for their voting power.  So if Israel is blamed for unrest within the Western World’s mushrooming Muslim population it follows that the State of Israel will also be instructed on how it should behave when confronted with treason and insurrection inside of its own borders.

The differing reactions both in Israel and elsewhere were also, to be expected.  Israel is a tiny country and any tragedy affects everyone. The entire country may not have been in a state of shock, concern, mourning and despair but collectively, most of us were in such a state. A time of crisis is the time that normal nations experience national unity and such was the feeling of solidarity that wrapped its comforting arms around Israel. There were calls to topple the Palestinian authority. Especially when Palestinian men, women and children were photographed handing out sweets to celebrate the kidnapping. And lots of selfies were taken showing a three fingered version of the Quenelle. Palestinian editorial cartoons were wholly supportive of the kidnapping.  It took four days for the European Union to condemn the kidnapping and reports surfaced of a conspiracy by the boys themselves to hide and provoke trouble.    Prominent British antisemites, some of them mainstream politicians and clergymen, pronounced the kidnapping to be a Zionist conspiracy.

In Israel, a fringe of mindless and hateful people did respond with calls to violence but most Jewish Israelis would be not simply appalled by such behaviour but also, openly disgusted.   Israel must cut out this plague of incitement from our side. The State is what defines us and the rule of law is what sanctifies us or damns us all.  Anything else is the road to compartmentalization (tribalism) and civil war.

Following the discovery of another kidnapping-murder, this time of Arab youth Muhammad Abu Khdeir, the bereaved family of Eyal Fraenkel issued a statement: "There is no difference between blood and blood. Murder is murder, whatever the nationality and age.  There is no justification, no forgiveness and no atonement for any kind of murder."

The contrast between us and the Arab World could not be greater.

In the extended version of the call the Israeli teens made to the police, gunshots are heard followed by the murderers joyful boasting and singing in celebration at their success at “bagging three”.  While the international press prominently displayed the denials of guilt expressed by HAMAS they conveniently ignored any mention that HAMAS has, since the release of Gilad Shalit on 18th October 2011, constantly incited its supporters to carry out further abductions.  HAMAS cheered the kidnapping.  The depravity displayed in this celebration of bestiality, celebrating the ‘others’ pain, was a reminder to all in Israel that its war is an existential one against the forces of darkness. The Koran explicitly cheers the killing of Jews and the doctrine of abrogation is used by its apologists in the West to explain the inexcusable.  If we choose to complain, the good Muslim may take any passage in the Koran and point to one that contradicts it.  And the Islamic Fundamentalist can do nothing wrong.  Palestinian society is morally bankrupt.  There are few Arabs with the courage to stand up to the theological psychopath or secular exploiter of this religion of conquest and hate. The recent example of Palestinian Professor Mohammed Dajani (Al Quds University) who faced abuse, intimidation and death threats after he took 27 students to Auschwitz (and was forced to resign because of it) underlines the distance separating us from the bigoted Islamic nation.

Senior Palestinian Authority official Abbas Zaki on March 14, 2014 said:  “Allah is gathering the Jews (to Israel) so we can kill them.”  Incitement is always rewarded.

The mother of one of the two HAMAS operatives Israel has named as suspects in the murder of the Israeli boys stated that “my boys are all righteous, pious and pure.  The goal of my children is the triumph of Islam.”  She further stated that if as adults any of her seven children wanted to die for Islam she would be proud and overjoyed.  Here is another part of the problem.  If your definition of “righteous, pious and pure” is to murder babies, children or even adults then by definition the religion that preaches this theology of death is not a religion of peace but a religion of violence and immorality.

Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael B. Oren said: "One of the sources of Israel’s moral strength has been our refusal to resemble our enemies in their obsession with revenge and blood. I categorically condemn all acts of violence and racism which dishonor the memory of our three precious boys”.

 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-16)

It seems to me that between the quotes of Palestinian mothers, HAMAS officials and senior members of the Palestinian authority, the extract above from the Christian Bible is all we need to know about the Arab world and its addiction to a religion that cleaves to principles defined by exclusion, apartheid and death.

Its acolytes in the developed world have much to shame them.