Monthly Archives: November 2007

Using Jewish Heritage and the Holocaust to Bash Israel and America

There are many Jewish anti-Zionists and anti-Semites who use their incidental Judaism as a cover for their views. There is a particular subspecies of these people who equate Israel with Nazis, based on a certain ability to recognize Nazi tactics because of their belonging to the Jewish people.

Prof. Joel Fischer of University of Hawai’i, is one such person. In an October 2006 article entitled “Nazi Tactics by Israel and America in the Phony War on Terror,” Fischer opens with –

As a Jew who witnessed the loss of 6,000,000 of my fellow Jews, most likely including members of my own extended family who were still in Europe, in the brutal Nazi slaughter of the Holocaust, I believe I know Nazi tactics when I see them.

Palestinian Police Brutality on Islamist Website

The following images are from, a website associated with Hizb ut-Tahrir , “Party of Liberation”, a Sunni, pan-Islamic political party urging the creation of a single Muslim Caliphate. The photos portray violence against Palestinian Hizb ut-Tahrir protesters by Palestinian Authority policeman. The villian in this case on this Islamist website is not the IDF.

Torture at Main Palestinian University

Lest we forget how fundamentally different we are from the societies which the mainstream media bends over backwards to understand and condone.

From Tom Gross on National Review’s media blog




It is interesting that among the mass of coverage in the media today to coincide with the Annapolis Conference, there is next to no mention of the continuing human rights abuses occurring in Palestinian-run areas including those involving “moderate” Fatah.

For example, while a determined and many would say bigoted group of British academics is still trying to organize a boycott of Israeli (and only Israeli) universities, this is what is happening at a Palestinian one.

Another Example of the MSM Used Against the West

The following post is by Tom Gross for National Review’s excellent media blog. The first part, referring to Ahmed Yousef’s op-ed in The New York Times and Washington Post, is a perfect example of how Arab terrorist leaders use our own media to lessen the West’s willingness to do what is necessary to defeat them. Bin Laden and Hassan Nasrallah do likewise, albeit rather crudely. More subtle means include cultivating self-censorship and access journalism among Western reporters, or having those who support Jihad against the West pose as journalists for international news agencies (see Abul Taher and Dilpasier Aslam, or, of course, Talal Abu Rahmah).

The second piece of the post, about the threats of new Qassams, highlights the ridiculousness of those who call for Israel to negotiate with Hamas. While the rockets remain inaccurate, sometimes flying backward or falling back into Gaza, Hamas has managed to smuggle vast amounts of first-rate explosives and weapons into Gaza.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In June, I wrote an item about how Ahmed Yousef, senior advisor to deposed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, had become the new darling of the comment editors at The New York Times, Washington Post, and the NY Times-owned International Herald Tribune.

Dan Abrams Attacks the Saudis on MSNBC

Today on MSNBC, Dan Abrams did a segment on Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the rape victim flogging decision. It is important to note that MSNBC fulfilled a journalistic obligation to its viewers by reporting that the Saudis had not given them access to the victim or permission to film in Qatif, the victim’s hometown.  Eager to protect their access to repressive regimes, networks and reporters have been known to slant their coverage in favor of those who restrict them.

Abrams’ piece highlights the plight of women in Saudi Arabia, saying the can’t drive, can’t vote, and can’t work without the permission of a male relative. Abrams also points out the recent Saudi release of terrorists, the Saudi Foreign Minister’s refusal to shake Olmert’s hand in Annapolis, and the fact that 41% of foreign terrorists in Iraq are Saudi.

Abrams fails to tie the plight of women and non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia with the larger Arab society. He would have found that Saudi Arabia is not unique, although the Saudis are among the most stringent enforcers of Sharia. But he does what many in the media are unwilling to do- criticize and judge a non-Western society as a Westerner.

Here is the video. Does he get it right?

Saudis to punish sexually-assaulted teen?
Saudis to punish sexually-assaulted teen?

The Sweet taste of Moral Schadenfreude: Archbishop of Canterbury Denounces US to Muslim Journal

[Post by Lazar and Richard; hat tip: Roger Simon, who brings it as further proof that Christopher Hitchens was right about religion.]

An interesting article in the London Times by Abul Taher discusses an interview with Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Emel, a British Muslim lifestyle magazine. (Actually the article is itself a fairly editorial write-up of the interview. I wonder how Archbishop Williams feels about it.)

Given that the Times’ article makes Williams’ even more anti-American than (his own words in) the interview, it raises an interesting question we will address at the end of this post. Is the author doing a hatchet job on the Archbishop by making him sound even more ludicrously anti-American than he really was? Or is he trying to spell out for his readership the anti-American lessons that the Archbishop was too subtle to articulate as clearly as the “reporter” wanted?

Archbishop Williams already has a history of anti-American behavior in his own right, and consistently urges the West to understand terrorists, not demonize them. As chaplain of Clare College, Cambridge, Williams was active in anti-nuclear protests at U.S. bases. After 9/11, he said that terrorists can have “serious moral goals“, and that they should not be labeled “evil“. Yet he had no problem calling the impending U.S. invasion of Iraq “immoral”.

In 2002, Dr. Peter Mullen wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal describing the Most Rev. Williams as

    an old-fashioned class warrior, a typical bien-pensant despiser of Western capitalism and the way of life that goes with it. Perhaps this would not matter much in ordinary times, but when the future of Western civilization itself is under threat, such posturing is suicidal. What havoc this man might wreak from the throne of Canterbury.

US is ‘worst’ imperialist: Archbishop
The Sunday Times
November 25, 2007

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the United States wields its power in a way that is worse than Britain during its imperial heyday.

“Imperial heyday” is Taher’s term. Williams actually did not make this point in his article, although he could fairly be construed to have made it. After all, this kind of thinking is so common in Europe today — the Anti-Zionist variant holds that Israeli imperialism is far worse than, say, French imperialism in Algeria — that the Archbishop could well have made it without any awareness of how facetious it is, how, in a matter of days, British imperial troops and policies killed more “natives” — men, women and children, than the number killed by Americans in any of their recent wars, or the Israelis in the last century.

IHT on French Riots- Report No Evil

(Hattip to Harry at Squaring the Boston Globe) The International Herald Tribune ran an article today on the Muslim immigrant riots in France. The IHT barely mentions religion or ethnicity (only that of two interviewees), and does not indicate that there is any connection between race and the riots, when it is clearly a crucial factor. As Squaring the Boston Globe says, “Imagine newspapers reporting on the 1960s urban rioting in the US without even mentioning race.”

Riot violence is escalating in France, police groups say
By Katrin Bennhold Published: November 27, 2007

VILLIERS-LE-BEL, France: Dodging rocks and projectiles, the police lined the streets of this tense suburb Tuesday where angry youths have vowed to seek revenge for the deaths of two teenagers who died in a collision with a police car.

Police union officials warned that the violence was escalating into urban guerrilla warfare with shotguns aimed at officers – a rare sight in the last major outbreak of suburban unrest, in 2005.

Amos Oz’ Dangerous Detachment from Reality

The Annapolis conference has brought out the same voices who cling stubbornly to beliefs that were proven wrong by Oslo, Lebanon, and Gaza. These beliefs are based on faith in the face of facts- faith that the Palestinians want a normal, functioning democracy just like the Israelis, faith that a peace process will cause Palestinian leaders to relinquish dreams of Israel’s destruction, faith that Palestinian leaders’ actions and statements are not indicators of what their true intentions.

Amos Oz is one of those stubborn voices. He published an article on Nov. 21st on Ynet using the tired “both sides” argument- both sides are threatened by extremists, both sides truly want peace.

Martin Sherman responded to Oz in his Nov. 24 Ynet article. He attacks Oz’s dangerous unwillingness to deal with the implications of the actual events of the past decade. One wonders what the Palestinians have to do to knock Oz from his ideological perch.

Defeating the demagogues
“The minute we leave south Lebanon we will have to erase the word Hizbullah from our vocabulary, because the whole idea of the State of Israel versus Hizbullah was sheer folly from the outset. It most certainly will no longer be relevant when Israel returns to her internationally recognized northern border. ”

Amos Oz in “Try a Little Tenderness” (Interview) Ha’aretz, March 17, 2000

As the above excerpt clearly illustrates, Amos Oz’s considerable literary talents do not translate into commensurate political acumen.

More Sharia ‘Justice’:54 Year Old British Teacher Faces 40 Lashes

The following article is from The Daily Mail-

A British teacher is facing 40 lashes in Sudan for naming a teddy bear Mohammed as part of a primary school project.

Gillian Gibbons, 54, was being interrogated at a police station in the capital Khartoum last night over allegations that she has insulted Islam. An angry mob shouted death threats as the divorced mother-oftwo was taken away and the school has been closed until January amid fears of reprisals from Islamic extremists.
Mrs Gibbons has worked at the independent Unity High School, one of a number catering for the children of well-heeled Sudanese professionals and expatriate oil and aid workers, for three months.

Saudi Justice: Teenage Gang-Rape Victim ‘Admits’ To Crime

This is the follow-up to a recent post ( EU Inaction Breeds Contempt in a Dictatorship of Floggers) on the Saudi rape victim who was sentenced to 200 lashes for being alone with a man in a car. The perverse ‘justice’ in Saudi Arabia, elucidated by this case, is almost surreal. Let us hope that the mainstream media care enough about justice and a woman’s (and man’s) right not to be gang-raped to overcome the prevalent Western hesitance to criticize non-Western cultures.

Saudi rape VICTIM sentenced to 200 lashes ‘admits to affair’
A teenage rape victim sentenced to 200 lashes in Saudi Arabia has confessed to cheating on her husband, according to authorities in the kingdom. The Saudi Justice Ministry also condemned foreign interference in the case and insisted the punishment would be carried out.

A spokesman yesterday maintained the ruling was legal and that the woman had “confessed to doing what God has forbidden”. Officials also added that the woman and her husband were “convinced on the verdict and agreed to it”.

The Facts of the Conflict Do Not Inspire Confidence in the Annapolis Conference

Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have returned to the center stage with this week’s Annapolis conference. While peace between the parties remains an honorable and elusive goal, organizers of the conference are repeating the mistakes that doomed past negotiations. Instead of letting realistic analyses of data guide them, they place faith in unproven — indeed counter-indicated ideals. Foremost among these is the belief that Israel ceding control of land to the Palestinians will lead to peace with a democratic Palestinian state. Oslo, southern Lebanon, and Gaza suggest otherwise.

Prof. Bernard Lewis, writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, clarifies the conflict with a simple question – what is the conflict about? He takes an unsentimental approach and lets the implications of his answers lead him to the conclusion that Annapolis is unlikely to succeed.

On the Jewish Question

November 26, 2007 Wall Street Journal

Here with some thoughts about tomorrow’s Annapolis peace conference, and the larger problem of how to approach the Israel- Palestine conflict. The first question (one might think it is obvious but apparently not) is, “What is the conflict about?” There are basically two possibilities: that it is about the size of Israel, or about its existence.

Rioting in Paris Suburbs

In an interview with a French journalist last week I made the point that the French police live in constant fear of a French “al Durah” — with a “youth” killed by the police, even as a mistake, they can end up not just with rioting, but with suicide bombing. That’s why when the rioting happens, the police are extremely reluctant to suppress the violence. The first part of that prediction just came true in Paris where two boys died when their moped smashed into a police car and it led to immediate rioting. Note that the police are nowhere to be seen.

Boys’ moped deaths ignite riot in Paris suburb
By Peter Allen in Paris
Last Updated: 1:44am GMT 26/11/2007

rioting in villiers
Rioting in Villiers-le-Bel (from Le Monde)

Rioting broke in one of Paris’s tinder box suburban housing estates last night after two young boys were killed when their moped collided with a police car.

Molotov cocktails were thrown, and cars and plastic bins set on fire following the tragedy in Tolinette, a notoriously crime-ridden district of Villiers-le-Bel, some 20 miles north of the centre of the French capital.

One police station was set alight and another, in a neighbouring suburb, was ransacked after youths threw cocktails, and set bins alight and upturned cars.

Officials said seven police and one firefighter had were injured and there were fears the violence, which spread to the neighbouring town of Arnouville-les-Gonesse, could also take hold in other poor, suburban enclaves.

The boys who died were said by locals to be “aged between 12 and 13”.

In other words, the age of Muhammad al Durah. Except that they’re 15 and 16. One of their uncles, speaks of his nephew as 15 in an interview with Le Parisien as reported by Nidra Poller

    Interviewed by Le Parisien, the uncle of Moushin Souhhali, one of the victims, says he understands the rage; it’s terrible to lose a 15 year-old boy. His body, claims the uncle, was dumped at the fire station with no respect. The police who, in his opinion, caused the accident were nowhere to be seen. He heard they were speeding. His nephew was a good boy, not a delinquent.

Police insisted that their car had not been chasing the boys, and that the officer driving suffered facial injuries in the incident, which happened soon after dusk.

But the violence had grim echoes of the disturbances which followed the electrocution of two youths in a sub-station as they fled police in the nearby suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois in late 2005. It directly led to two months of serious rioting across France, with a state of emergency being declared.

After last night’s deaths, residents in Tolinette said cars were being burnt out, with police fleeing the scene.

Police fleeing the scene. No wonder they’re called “the lost territories of the Republic.”

One local, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Around 100 rioters have burn at least two cars, but the forces of law and order are nowhere to be seen.

“There were four police cars here, but they’ve retreated. They were charged by the rioters. Some rioters are climbing up to electric cables to try and break them and put the whole district into darkness.

“The kids who died were only aged between 12 and 13. We’re all trying to get the rioters to calm down, but it’s hard when you’re dealing with the deaths of a couple of kids, and when the police are involved.”

Rumors have the power of “reality.” It turns out the teenagers were not wearing helmets (the “mini-motocross” they were riding was “astonishingly intact“). So we have a typical, almost banal tale of two imprudent youths, turned into an excuse to riot.

A police spokesman later confirmed the boys’ deaths, saying that next of kin would be informed before they could be named.

He confirmed that, as well as the police driver, a superintendent had been badly injured as he tried to put out fires started by youths in rubbish bins.

The officer also confirmed that Molotov cocktails – makeshift bombs made of bottles, petrol and an old rag for a fuse – had also been used.

“The situation is extremely tense – we are trying to contain the trouble,” the spokesman added.

The trouble in 2005 was largely blamed on immigrant youths living in suburban housing projects who complained about discrimination and lack of employment opportunities.

Nicolas Sarkozy, who is now president, built up a ruthless reputation as Interior Minister for using tough policing and longer prison sentences to crack down on the trouble.

NGO Monitor: NGOs’ Reports on 2006 War Use Human Rights Rhetoric to Promote Anti-Israel Agenda

At the outset of the July/August 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, Israel enjoyed the support of many countries in the West, especially the United States and Britain. As the war continued, the media’s and human rights NGO’s reports of Israeli human rights violations began to erode that support. The incident at Qana was the watershed moment at which the efforts of Western countries were directed at bringing the war to a speedy close, at Israel’s expense. Israel ended up agreeing to a cease-fire that fulfilled few of her demands at the outset of the war- the kidnapped soldiers were not returned, and Hezbollah remained armed and intact. The skewed information received in Western governments had a direct impact on Israel’s ability to achieve her objectives.

Urging Diplomacy with Those Who Believe in Violence

There are those who are  constructing the arena of popular ideas  about the Israeli- Palestinian peace process in such a way that Israel will emerge as the responsible party when the Annapolis talks fail. This is reminiscent of those who blame the failure of Oslo on Israeli settlements, and not on Palestinian terror and rejectionism directed by Yasser Arafat. To prepare the contemporary battlefield, they argue for engagement with Hamas. Knowing that Israel will refuse, and that Hamas itself will torpedo any progress, they are then free to point a finger at Israel’s intransigence.

Engaging with Hamas would undo the progress made by Israeli and international pressure and isolation. Hamas’ approval ratings have fallen below those of Fatah, and they are unable to point to any economic gains since coming to power. Legitimizing Hamas rule now leaves two options- leaving them in power as the de facto Palestinian ruler for years to come, or unleashing a Defensive Shield mini-war in Gaza.

Moreover, Hamas has already started its campaign against the Annapolis conference. The Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center released an overview of Hamas’ efforts in recent weeks as the conference approaches. Noah Pollak wrote the following article in Commentary’s blog, Contentions.

Annapolis: Engaging With What?
Noah Pollak – 11.21.2007 – 15:30
Yesterday I attended two Annapolis-related presentations in Washington, the first at the New America Foundation and the second at the National Press Club, sponsored by The Israel Project. The events offered a useful contrast in the way that two camps view not just the state of the peace process, but the conflict itself. The Israel Project symposium featured Shmuel Rosner of Haaretz, Tamara Cofman Wittes of Brookings, and David Wurmser, the former Middle East adviser to Vice President Cheney. This was by far the more interesting presentation, as the three participants were serious people trafficking in serious ideas.

Classic Pallywood: Everyone’s in a rush, including the ambulance driver

Watch this video. It’s classic Pallywood. Note the roughness with which the man is evacuated (and imagine how it would damage him were he really injured so badly that he needed an ambulance). My only objection is that the film cuts off too soon. It sure looks to me like the “wounded” man is about to get up.

The AP’s Pulitzer-Prize Winning Iraqi Insurgent

Assuming the allegations in the New York Times article are true, what is more disturbing- that the AP would be so careless with their background checking that they would employ Mr. Hussein, or that the work of an Iraqi insurgent does not immediately stand out among AP’s other reports?

The problems that arise from employing local reporters in Arab countries are not unique to Iraq. Does the name Talal Abu-Rahma ring any bells? (hat tip- S.A.)

The American military is sending an Iraqi photographer for The Associated Press it accuses of aiding the insurgency into Iraq’s criminal justice system, according to the American authorities and The A.P.The photographer, Bilal Hussein, was part of an 11-member team that won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography in 2005. He has been detained without charge since April 2006.

A spokesman for the American military in Iraq, Maj. Brad Leighton, said Mr. Hussein was held after soldiers found explosive devices, insurgency propaganda and surveillance photographs of an installation for American-led forces during a routine patrol when they entered his apartment in 2006.

“EU Inaction Breeds Contempt in a Dictatorship of Floggers”

The following article is from Kevin Myers at the Irish Independent. And it really does express a magnificent independence, a sense of moral outrage that one can be forgiven for thinking had all but disappeared from Europe, spent in the moral masturbation of attacking Israel and the US.

Among the more interesting aspects of the case, which the author raises, but whose implications he does not explore, is the fact that the girl in question got 90 lashes for being raped, and an additional 110 lashes for speaking to the press about it. There we touch on honor-shame issues; and we also touch on the enormous leverage the West has — if it would only use it — on the Muslim world.

EU inaction breeds contempt in a dictatorship of floggers
By Kevin Myers
Tuesday November 20 2007

There are some things — no, many things — which I do not understand in this world. But, what I find most incomprehensible of all is that the following story has not made world headlines. Without more ado, let me outline it.

An unnamed Saudi 19-year old woman — let us call her Fatima — has been sentenced to 200 lashes, after being gang-raped 14 times by a group of seven Sunni men in the town of Qatif. Not merely did they repeatedly rape her, but they also raped the male friend they found her with.

Her attackers received sentences of between 10 months and five years. The man she was found with in the car — we’ll call him Abdul– was sentenced to 90 lashes.

Why were Abdul and Fatima, both of them rape victims, sentenced to anything? Because they were alone in a car, and it is a criminal offence in Saudi Arabia for unrelated men and women to be in one another’s company.

This law represents the quintessence of sexual pathologies in Saudi Arabia. It embodies the pervasive fear that if two people who are not married are together alone in a car, they will engage in forbidden sexual behavior. No notion of self-restraint, no trust in the citizen — really the subject — to behave appropriately. Jealously — and envy — legislate.

So criminal, indeed, that even after being repeatedly raped, the two offenders were considered worthy of further punishment: 90 lashes each, which was increased to 200 lashes for Fatima after she had the temerity to appeal and to speak to the Saudi press about the horror which had befallen her.

There are many questions which result from this story. The first is the one I referred to in the opening paragraph: why is this is not a world-shattering headline?

Excellent question, and probably linked to the same forces that render British artists and political cartoonists, reknown for their iconoclastic assaults on all that is “holy” to become pussycats when it is a question of Islam. Intimidation. Britain, like so much of Europe and the rest of the West, has become a proto-Dhimmi state. This girl had the courage to speak to the press despite the pressure on her to shut up, but the press doesn’t have the courage to carry her words.

Condi Rice’s Faith on Display in Annapolis

The following article, by Frank J. Gaffney, Jr, raises an important issue. Often it is the religious sectors who are denounced as ‘zealots’, as making decisions based on faith, and not facts. This charge is often used to describe the national-religious camp in Israel, whose opposition to land-for-peace deals with the Palestinians is derided as a product of blind faith and not reason.

But who is really relying on blind faith? Experience and history alone lead one to the conclusion that territory given up by Israel will be used by Jihadi groups to oppress the local population and carry out attacks against Israel. To come to the conclusion that abandoning the West Bank will advance the cause of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, one must have deep faith in the unproven doctrines that have dominated the peace efforts since the first days of Oslo.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is behaving like a zealot. In her ever-more-rash pursuit of a Palestinian state, she is exhibiting the syndrome defined by the philosopher George Santana, as one who redoubles her efforts upon losing sight of the objective.

Let’s recall: The objective laid out by President Bush, when he decided in June 2002 to support the creation of a homeland for the Palestinian people, was to provide a stable, secure neighbor for Israel, committed to leaving peaceably with the Jewish State.

Mr. Bush explicitly preconditioned such support on: an end to Palestinian terror; a Palestinian leadership that was not tainted by ties to terrorism; and the elimination of the infrastructure in Palestinian areas that enables such behavior. After the 9/11 attacks, the United States was in the business of eliminating terrorist-sponsoring regimes, not creating them.

“Western Civilization is not Really a Civilization”: ‘Westophobia’ in Arab Culture

The following article is by Prof. Barry Rubin, contributor to The Jerusalem Post and Director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center. Prof. Rubin discusses Islamic “Westophobia”, often overlooked in Western and Arab culture, both of whom tend to blame the West for the woes of underdeveloped regions.

The idea that poverty, relative backwardness, violence and instability must be caused by external circumstances is ingrained in much of the Western intelligentsia. It contributes to a tendency to apologize for those regimes and radical groups that are the main cause of continued stagnation and suffering in the Middle East.In fact, of course, these problems are usually based more on history, culture, geography, ideology and choices made.

James Carroll: War on Terror as Girardian “Slaughter of Innocents”

James Carroll’s recent editorial in The Boston Globe is a thinly veiled criticism of the West’s efforts to combat fundamentalist Islam. He uses Rene Girard’s scapegoat theory of ritualized violence to equate jihadi terror and the West’s response, claiming war ultimately turns into violence  for violence’s sake, devoid of real rationale or strategic underpinnings. He reads Girard literally and uncritically, and does not deal with possible strategic reasons for military decisions he describes. 

THE INTERPLAY of religion and violence is considered by some a mark only of primitive culture. When the jihadist cries “God is Great” before detonating his explosive vest, or when, conversely, the Crusades are invoked to justify assault on radical Islam, secular critics can indulge a satisfying sense of superiority over believers, clinging to holy war.

Carroll is suggesting that the response to radical Islam is comparable to the terrorist’s violence itself. One is a religiously-inspired campaign of violence that in which Islam is the central and critical feature, the other is a secular, rational defense, even if the word “crusade” has been used a couple of times in the past six years.  

In the United States, the once common religious references of the Bush administration – the war on terrorism defined in categories of good and evil, for example – seem discredited, if only by failures of policy. War-justifying appeals to the rhetoric of faith are suddenly out of fashion, but that does not mean that a subliminal link between religion and violence no longer exists. The “secular” is not all that secular.

In archaic religion, violence and the sacred were explicitly joined.

And are still joined in fundamentalist Islam.