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Rebirth of Reason

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Friday, June 4, 2010 - 8:12pmSanction this postReply
"One would have thought that the Palestinians in Gaza, who always blamed the Israelis for all their woes, would have taken up productive lives to work themselves out of grueling poverty, to educate their children, to rebuild their city, and to generally do what civilized people do. But they were not civilized."

They are not civilized.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010 - 9:45amSanction this postReply
Great article! Makes all the important points and does so very well. The more people who read this article, the better. There is a tremendous bias against Israel and in favor of the Palestinians. It's everywhere in the media. Palestinian supporters are given the nod; Israel is reflexively condemned.

The reason is almost certainly the altruist morality -- the idea that needs trumps merit and that because the Palestinians are poor, they deserve special consideration regardless of the manner in which they live their lives and the moral bankruptcy of their culture.

There's also the idea that every group, every religion, every society (except, of course, Israel and the U.S.) deserves "respect." This view is based on the concept of "group rights" -- on the idea that every group simply by virtue of its existence has "rights," which deserve to be respected.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, if you know who she is, makes this point in her opposition to the Muslim religion in which she was raised and which she now recognizes to be a profound and serious evil. She argues that we must stop according groups the status of rights and learn to recognize the rights of individuals, for as she points out it is individuals, especially women, who are being oppressed under the Muslim religion -- an oppression that is tolerated and sanctioned even by liberal feminists, all in the name of "group rights."

I must say that I was somewhat surprised to hear her defending individual rights against groups rights. One rarely if ever hears this point being made outside of Objectivism. She is also an avowed atheist, which is rare for an ex-Muslim. I wonder if she's read Rand.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010 - 1:18pmSanction this postReply
Good article, Ed. (And it was fun watching you on Stossel, congratulations!)

Here are two other columns that go well with yours.

"The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense.

Charles Krauthammer has a good column, "Those troublesome Jews," on the strategy behind the 'outrage' campaign against Israel. (He talks about categories of national defence: 'forward defense,' 'active defense,' 'passive defence,' and 'deterrence' which was interesting.)

And in a similar vein, from Victor Davis Hansen's column, "The Art of Seaborne Humiliation,": The aim of such provocations is to create over time a narrative in which the Israelis appear to be bullying aggressors not worthy of global, and perhaps not even of Western, support. As these incidents continue, Israel’s enemies hope that at some point Israel will go too far, wear too thin the patience of the West, and finally lose the financial, military, and diplomatic support necessary for its very survival. That point has already been reached in Europe, and the Gaza-flotilla incident was aimed at doing the same within the United States — given the reset-button Middle East policy of President Obama."

In this column he ties together a wide string of different sea incidents going back to 1968, the capture of the Pueblo in North Korea.

"In each of these cases, the instigator dares a powerful Western nation to retaliate and thereby stupidly endanger its collective good life over a small matter of 19th-century-style national pride. And if violence follows, the props almost always ensure that the Western nation is transmogrified in the blink of an eye into a bully, pushing around the Other where it has no business being in the first place. No wonder that the Western nation usually instead sends diplomats to work out some sort of restrained apology, which gives the provocateur stature and pours more humiliation upon the provoked — another milestone on a long road of weakening Western stature and influence."

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Sunday, June 6, 2010 - 5:31pmSanction this postReply
More examples of what Israelis are up against:

*Dialog between Israeli naval commander and so-called "peace" ship--

Israel radio operator: "You are approaching an area which is under a naval blockade."
Response: "Shut up, go back to Auschwitz."
Another response: "We're helping Arabs go against the US. Don't forget 9/11, guys."

Here’s the link to the audio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxY7Q7CvQPQ

*And a few days ago, senior White House reporter Helen Thomas said Jews occupy Israel and should all leave and go back to Germany and Poland.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010 - 5:58pmSanction this postReply
Whatever tiny value anyone might have imagined Helen Thomas once had is now as invisible as her welcome among decent people.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010 - 6:50pmSanction this postReply
The Knesset's English-language presentation is here.

Hadash Party
The party supports evacuation of all Israeli settlements, a complete withdrawal by Israel from all territories occupied as a result of the Six-Day War, and the establishment of a Palestinian state in those territories. It also supports the right of return or compensation for Palestinian refugees.[5] In addition to issues of peace and security, Hadash is also known for being active on social and environmental issues. -- Wikipedia
Afou Agbaria
Mohammad Barakeh
Dov Khenin
Hanna Swaid

Ra'am Ta'al Party
The party supports the creation of a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital; and a solution of two states - one Jewish and one Palestinian — for the conflict in the region. -- Wikipedia
Talab El-Sana
Masud Ganaim
Ibrahim Sarsur
Ahmad Tibi

National Democratic Assembly
Balad also demands that the state of Israel recognize Palestinian Arabs as a national minority, entitled to all rights that come with that status including autonomy in education, culture and media. The party supports creation of two states based on pre-1967 borders, with the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem to constitute a Palestinian state and the implementation of UN Resolution 194 regarding the right of return to Palestinian refugees. -- Wikipedia
Said Naffaa
Jamal Zahalka
Hanin Zoabi

Show me where in the Syrian parliament or the Saudi or the Iranian or ...  there sits a Jewish woman who advocates for Zionism.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010 - 8:59pmSanction this postReply
So, Michael, to put your strange post into some sort of rational context, what you are saying is that because Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran don't have a woman reporter in their parliament who advocates for Zionism, that the ignorant, and anti-semitic remarks of Helen Thomas are okay? How strange.

You do understand the proper standards for judging journalists don't you?

Post 7

Monday, June 14, 2010 - 3:31pmSanction this postReply
[Here's another example of the profound irrationality found in Islamic culture .]

"The Accursed Jews are Masters of Terrorism Who ... Spread Corruption Wherever They are"
Egyptian Cleric Muhammad Al-Zoghbi

(The following excerpts are from a show with Egyptian cleric Muhammad Al-Zoghbi, which aired on Egypt's Al-Rahma TV on March 17, 2010. )

To view the clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.o...0/0/0/2487.htm.

Muhammad Al-Zoghbi: "Tonight's show continues what we discussed in previous shows. I call tonight's show 'Who is the Terrorist?' in order to show the entire world – near and far, from north to south, from east to west – the tolerance of Islam. I will show the entire world who the real terrorists have been throughout history. Therefore, let me tell you that tonight's show is very important.

"I will not be talking about my personal beliefs, nor will I recite poems in order to make women cry. Absolutely not. The time has come for us to raise a generation of real men, to unveil the real criminals and terrorists, and to reveal the true tolerance of Islam. [...]

"The annals of history bear witness, in letters of light, to the tolerance of Islam, and to the tolerance of Muslims throughout the times. History also bears witness to the terrorism of the accursed Jews, of the hostile Crusaders, and of the enemies of the Muslims. This has been recorded in black letters in the annals of history. I will begin with the terrorism of the sons of apes and pigs in the Holy Land. I will begin with some indispensable words. Oh monotheists, know that wherever the Jews may be found, they wallow in mud and spread corruption. [...]

"I would like to tell the entire world that these people are the masters of terrorism. They are producers of terrorism, they are criminals and murderers. [...]

"Know that terrorism has never been perpetrated by the monotheists. I challenge anyone on planet Earth to produce one piece of evidence or one case in history of terrorism perpetrated by the monotheists against others. No! [...]

"What have we been doing for the sake of the Al-Aqsa Mosque? Crying like women? Reciting poetry? Making hollow statements, enticing speeches, and deceptive promises in order to purge our hearts of rancor towards the enemies of Islam? What have we been doing for the sake of all the mosques that are being transformed day in and day out, into archeological sites by the sons of apes and pigs? [...]

"The Jews falsely claim that they killed Jesus, son of Mary. The truth is that they did not kill him, yet they take pride in this, because they are the slayers of the prophets and the messengers, and because they have no heart or brains whatsoever. [...]

"We have not learned a thing. This is why our destiny is determined by four million dogs."

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 11:24pmSanction this postReply
Every time I read another of those absurd pronouncements by an Islamist I'm reminded of this 1941 op-ed by Goebbels.

Here's a sample:

The Jews must be removed from the German community, for they endanger our national unity.

That is an elementary principle of racial, national, and social hygiene. They will never give us rest. If they could, they would drive one nation after another into war against us. Who cares about their difficulties, they who only want to force the world to accept their bloody financial domination? The Jews are a parasitic race that feeds like a foul fungus on the cultures of healthy but ignorant peoples. There is only one effective measure: cut them out.
The rest of the article is no more rational.

You have to wonder - I do at any rate - just what it is that lets a putatively human being reach the state where they can believe such things. After all, even the most ardent and effectively propagandized Nazi or Islamist retains the ability to perceive and weigh facts, if they choose to. It's something of a mystery what prompts a person to twist his mind into such a feces-covered pretzel.

(Edited by Jeff Perren on 6/15, 11:25pm)

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Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 9:53pmSanction this postReply
US Congressmen express ire toward Turkey

06/17/2010 01:55

"Turkey is responsible for the deaths" in Gaza flotilla incident.
Talkbacks (64)

WASHINGTON – US Congressmen ratcheted up their criticism of Turkey Wednesday, warning that Ankara was risking its historically warm ties with Congress by reaching toward Iran and breaking with Israel.

In a press conference defending Israel’s raid on a Turkish-flagged aid ship trying to break the Gaza blockade, several dozen of whose passengers had ties to terror organizations, numerous members of Congress turned their ire toward Turkey.

“Turkey is responsible for the nine deaths aboard that ship. It is not Israel that’s responsible,” declared Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada), who pointed to Turkish funding and support for the expedition.

“If Israel is at fault in any way, it’s by falling into the trap that was set for them by Turkey.”

She continued: “The Turks have extraordinary nerve to lecture the State of Israel when they are occupiers of the island of Cyprus, where they systematically discriminate against the ecumenical patriarch, and they refuse to recognize the Armenian genocide.”

Her comments – which were accompanied by an announcement that Turkish representatives were no longer welcome in her office – touched on sensitive issues with Turkey that the US has often shied away from pressing Ankara on aggressively.

Her words raised the prospect that the US Congress at least would be more assertive about its displeasure with Turkey.

Speaking at the same press conference, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) said he recently warned the Turkish ambassador that “With regard to Congress of the United States, there will be a cost if Turkey stays on its current path of growing closed to Iran and more antagonistic to the State of Israel.”

Among other issues, he said, he was now likely to switch his vote to support a resolution recognizing the mass killing of Armenians during the Ottoman empire as a genocide, a move he had voted against in the past because he thought relations with Turkey were more important.

Turkey has vehemently opposed the resolution, briefly recalling its ambassador to the US when the measure passed a House committee earlier this year.

The Obama administration, in keeping with past administrations, has opposed the resolution moving to the full chamber for a vote because of Turkish sensitivities. Many Jewish lobbies in Washington opposed the resolution on the same grounds.

That argument also resonated in the past with Rep.

Peter King (R-NY), another participant in the press conference who said he was now likely to switch positions – as were many other of his colleagues.

King stressed that this wasn’t just about Turkey’s support of the Gaza flotilla and its heavy criticism of Israel, but the government’s move toward Iran and its turn away from running a secular democratic state.

“This is a clear effort, I believe, by Turkey to distance itself from the West, and there have to be consequences for that,” he said.

Indeed, Adam Schiff (DCalifornia) cited Turkey’s opposition to sanctions against Iran in circulating a letter Tuesday calling for his colleagues to take up the Armenian genocide resolution.

“Now is the time to recognize the Armenian genocide.

As Turkey sides with Iran, why defend its campaign of genocide denial?” asked Schiff, who sponsored the resolution.

At this point, Capitol Hill watchers don’t see enough momentum to force a floor vote, given how explosive the resolution would be in the current state of tension between the US, Turkey and Israel. But that could change, and insiders did see dissatisfaction with Turkey pushing forward initiatives to investigate the country’s connection to the flotilla and other moves opposed by Ankara.

The shift in tone, at least, was also evident in a letter Gary Ackerman (D-New York) sent to the Woodrow Wilson Center Tuesday afternoon calling on the think tank to rethink honoring Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu with its public service award.

“Publicly honoring Foreign Minister Davutoglu at this time is absolutely inconsistent – absolutely inconsistent – with the mission of the WWC and the ideals that animated President Wilson’s administration and foreign policy,” he wrote in a letter to the center.

At the same time, members of Congress are reaffirming their strong support of Israel and calling on the White House/administration to do the same.

A letter collecting signatures among members urges US President Barack Obama “to remain steadfast in the defense of Israel in the face of the international community’s rush to unfairly judge and condemn Israel in international fora such as the United Nations Security Council.” The letter has the support of many American Jewish groups, including the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, which put out a statement strongly backing the measure Wednesday.

But some have taken issue with it. The progressive J Street lobby urged senators and representatives to amend the letter, or write their own.

“The sign-on letters now circulating in the House and Senate, while expressing strong American support for Israel – a position we endorse – fail to address the impact of the present closure of Gaza on the civilian population, the deep American interest in resolving this conflict diplomatically, or the urgency of moving forward with diplomacy before it is too late,” J Street writes. “By ignoring these critical issues in favor of a simplistic statement that supports Israeli policy and actions, Congress is serving neither the best interests of the United States or of Israel.”

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