Thursday, August 18, 2016

FYI: I'm Taking a Break

I'm devoting the rest of the summer to "family time." Hope to be back at the keyboard in early September.

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is George

Let's join the Halleluiah chorus
Of those condemning George Soros.
A "progressive" Quisling
Whose Zionhass is sizzling
(And the rest of whose actions just bore us).

Would All Be Well If Muslims Jettisoned the Hadith and Stuck to the Quran?

Is Quranism (yes, that's actually a thing) the way to go? Raymond Ibrahim is dubious:
Unfortunately, [Quranism's] thesis is built on a faulty premise: Even if every single Muslim was to reject the Hadith and other “secondary books,” that wouldn’t change the fact that the Quran is saturated with violent and intolerant teachings that need little supplementation from secondary literature. 
Well over a hundred verses call for nonstop war, or jihad, on non-Muslims
How about jettisoning those hundred jihad verses?

Oh, wait. No can do (since the Quran is said to be "perfect" and therefore it cannot be amended).

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

An Under-Reported Story: Murdered Israeli Athletes Commenorated at Rio Olymics

Why wasn't this more widely publicized?:
RIO DE JANEIRO — Under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, Brazilian senior officials joined sports activists from Israel and elsewhere at a commemoration of the 11 Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.
The Israeli and Brazilian Olympic committees and members of the local Jewish community attended the event Sunday evening at Rio City Hall. 
“What happened in 1972 was one of the most lamentable episodes in the history of the Olympic Games, when  fanaticism and intolerance [converged in a] deplorable act of terrorism,” Brazil’s foreign minister, Jose Serra, said on behalf of President Michel Temer. “I believe the IOC, in all these years, hadn’t held the homage it deserved.” 
Israel’s most senior representative to the games, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, said terrorism “does not differentiate [between] people” and reaches everyone. 
“When we fight against terror, we look for peace. We still see discrimination against the Israeli athletes,” she said. “There are countries that deny visas to competitors. We know that mixing sports and politics is against the IOC protocol and contrary to the Olympic spirit. Sport must bring people together.” 
Unlike previous Olympic commemorations dealing with the 1972 massacre, Sunday’s event was entirely devoted to the murdered Israelis. A previous homage was held Aug. 4 at a memorial site in the Olympic Village, where not only the Israelis were honored but also four others who were killed during Olympic Games. 
Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of fencing coach Andre Spitzer and weightlifter Yossef Romano, were among those who lit 11 candles at the event. 
Israel’s honorary consul in Rio, Osias Wurman, told JTA: “The mayor opened the doors of his house in a gesture of great friendship with the Brazilian Jewish community and the whole people of Israel. It’s a unique moment for us Brazilian Jews.” ... 
Pace Ms. Regev, terrorism may not differentiate between people, but terrorists often do.

Anjem Iced

There once was a radical cleric,
A well-known jihadi hysteric,
And DAESH it all,
He had a great fall
For being outré and barbaric.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Once a Leftist, Always a Leftist

For some unknown reason, Tablet magazine resurrects an article from the 1960s in which actor/singer Theodore Bikel rejects the SNCC for rejecting Israel.

Fast forward several decades, and Bikel's support for Israel, in line with the Left's support for it, veers in an entirely different direction:
This year’s brouhaha centers on the opening of a new cultural center in Ariel, built with more than $10 million of public funds. More than 50 Israeli theater professionals signed a petition in late August saying that they will not perform in the new cultural center when it opens in November. The boycott also has attracted the support of at least 150 Israeli academics and authors. 
But several major Israeli theaters are scheduled to stage productions there this year, and top Israeli governmental leaders have slammed the boycott. 
Jewish celebrities again are jumping into the fight — but on the side of the artists taking aim at Israeli policy. 
More than 150 American television and film artists have signed a letter in support of the Israeli artists’ boycott. Signatories include actor Ed Asner of "Lou Grant" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and Cynthia Nixon, who played Miranda on "Sex and the City,” as well as playwright Tony Kushner and actors Mandy Patinkin and Theodore Bikel.
Question for Tablet: who cares what Bikel thought in the '60s if, on the subject of Israel, he ended up seeing eye-to-eye with Tony Kushner?

The End of Israel: A "Novel" Approach

In the well-trod tradition of Michael Chabon, a "conflicted" American Jew who, in a feat of wishful thinking, imagined away Israel (in his novel The Yiddish Policeman's Union) comes Jonathan Safran Foer, a somewhat less conflicted Jew. In his new novel, Here I Am, Foer appears to like Israel somewhat more than Chabon does (which, admittedly, is setting the bar awfully low), but Foer, too, uses Israel's non-existence as a plot point. His reason for doing so, apparently, is to show that American Jews don't need Israel; no, not at all.

At least, that's what I glean from this review in The Atlantic (my bolds):
In his first two novels, Foer turned unthinkable—but real—calamities into literary opportunities, illuminating the horrors of history with his own ingenuity and sensitivity. Here I Am does the opposite, using an invented disaster to shed light on the moods and muddles of people a lot like himself. The destruction of Israel feels like a distant abstraction compared with the upheavals of the Bloch household. While this may represent a failure of novelistic craft, it is consistent with the book’s conclusions about the place of the Jewish homeland in American Jewish life. The Promised Land is a shibboleth, a red herring, a monumental distraction.
Foer is so overtly sympathetic to the claims of Zionism—and, at least within the confines of this novel, so profoundly indifferent to the plight of the Palestinians and the schisms and snarls of Israeli politics—that Here I Am can’t be called, in any obvious sense, an anti-Zionist book. Rather, like Operation Shylock but even more insistently, it locates within the American Jewish experience a plausible counter-Zionism, a mode of Jewish identity that Foer refuses to regard as less authentic or heroic than the Israeli version. Jacob and Julia’s separation is not the only one enacted in this novel. We might end the Passover seder with “next year in Jerusalem,” but our horizons are fixed in Brooklyn and Brookline, in Bethesda and Berkeley, where we tend to our kids, our careers, and our libidos, and by means of these commitments sustain our beautiful Jewish souls.
I feel sorry for American Jews who have locked themselves into what can only be seen as an either-or construct. Who have persuaded themselves that either you can love and support Israel or you can "tend" to and "sustain" your Jewish soul solely in the U.S. Who, for their own personal reasons, are certain that the one (loving Israel) is somehow a negation of--and a threat to--the other (being Jewish in America).

All I can say is that their thinking is seriously askew, not to mention delusional, and they are missing out on something indescribably beautiful.

Why "Deradicalization" Won't Work

Majid Nawaz, who used to embrace violent jihad, explains why the Trudeau approach is doomed to fail:
Canada needs to revamp its approach to Islamic extremism if it hopes to prevent another homegrown radical from setting off a bomb, says the founder of an international anti-radicalization think tank. 
In an exclusive interview with Postmedia, Maajid Nawaz - a former Islamist radical and founder of the U.K.-based Quilliam Foundation - called for a society-wide effort to undercut the intellectual and theological planks of Islamist and jihadist ideology. 
“There certainly needs to be training. Counter-radicalization training involves de-radicalization training on how to disengage somebody from the theory of violence, and it involves taking them beyond that actually and discrediting the theory of Islamism in their minds,” said Nawaz. 
“A lot of this, Muslims simply don’t know.”
A lot this, infidels simply don't know either. 

Two years ago, Tarek Fatah expressed some other hesitations re anti-extremism--and encountered much infidel ignorance. He warned a Senate committee looking into the matter that
‘de-radicalization’ initiatives by Canada’s security agencies were doomed to failure because the very men and women partnering with the RCMP in this exercise were not just part of the problem, but in many ways the cause of radicalization.
For example, in mosques across Canada, our Friday congregation begins with a prayer to Allah for a victory of Muslims over the kufaar (Christians, Jews and Hindus). In such a climate, relying on Islamic religious clerics and Islamists to fight radicalization is like employing the fox to guard the chicken coop.
Some senators looked at me with incredulity, taken aback by what I had said.
I suggested to the senators that some Islamic clerics are taking us for a ride. For example, a Canadian cleric, a white convert to Islam who is touted as a ‘de-radicalization counsellor’ by the RCMP, was last week in the Gulf Emirate of Qatar, holding meetings with the leadership of the Taliban....
De-radicalization, I told the senators, was just an empty meaningless word. The real challenge was to prevent radicalization and this required confronting the rhetoric of political Islam rather than appeasing those who fanned religiosity and made Muslims believe their first loyalty was to Islam, not their community of fellow Canadians and Canada.
“To ask ‘former radicals’ to de-radicalize radical Islamists is like asking Marxists to convert Communists into liberal democrats,” I told the committee. ...
My take on it is slightly different: you can't expect to "deradicalize" anyone until and unless you address the siren call of jihad, a core Islamic tenet, and how compelling and all-consuming it is for those who fall under its spell. And, when someone has fallen for it, what's likely required is the type of concerted deprogramming that's used to de-brainwash someone who's become stuck in a dangerous cult. However, given the jihad's widespread appeal and its mainstream status in much of Islam, that deprogramming style is probably not feasible.

Good Move

Egyptian Judoka Who Refused To Shake Israeli Competitor's Hand Sent Home By IOC

Leftist Mishegas in Tablet Magazine

The problem isn't Black Lives Matter. The problem is the Occupation.

Wrong. The problem is the cult of victimhood Marxism (as practiced and exemplified by BLM) and the left's usefully idiotic preoccupation with the capital "o" Occupation (especially since the Palestinians and their leftist/Islamist backers have made it abundantly clear that their concept of what's been "occupied" takes in the entirety of Israel--i.e. "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free").

Update: Serendipitously, Bruce Thornton has a piece in FPM today that summarizes how victimhood Marxism arose and gained traction in the West:
In the twentieth century, however, the Western proletariat ignored Marx’s laws of history and did not ignite the communist revolution. They preferred to take advantage of the expanding wealth created by free-market capitalism, and to join the hated bourgeoisie. Communists then looked to the Third World, where the postwar anticolonial movements promised the worldwide revolution the workers of the West had betrayed. “Natives of the underdeveloped countries unite!” cried Jean-Paul Sartre, replacing the old “workers of the world” with the oppressed victims of European colonization. 
Thus was born Third Worldism, the modern reboot of the old noble savage myth. Once considered primitives that needed to be civilized, now non-Westerners were idealized. Their exotic customs and mores, and their simpler, more authentic lives, were held up as reproaches to the “air-conditioned nightmare” of the repressed bourgeois West and its soul-killing, mass-produced consumerism. The tyranny and cultural dysfunctions of these newly liberated peoples, and the persistence of their old tribal intolerance and violence, were ignored or rationalized as understandable reactions to continued Western oppression. 
At the same time, multiculturalism became institutionalized in Western politics and culture, an ideology founded on the same assumption of Third Worldism: “Every Westerner is presumed guilty until proven innocent,” as the French social critic Pascal Bruckner put it. We Westerners, he continued, “have been raised to detest ourselves, certain that, within our world, there is an essential evil that must be relentlessly atoned for . . . colonialism and imperialism.” This fashionable self-loathing, of course, came cheap, as Westerners continued to enjoy the leisure, affluence, and human rights created by Western ideas that the people they idealized lacked or hated. 
In this misguided and reductive worldview, the Islamic peoples were grouped together with the other non-Western cultures. The Arab-Israeli conflict gave this idealism a geopolitical significance that had little to do with religion. The Arabs attacking Israel were transformed into victims of neo-colonialism and “illegal occupation” by the capitalist puppet Israel. Like the Viet Cong, the Algerian Liberation Front, and Castro’s guerrillas, they were freedom fighters struggling for national “self-determination.” The Islamic roots of Arab revanchist hatred were ignored in the West, even as PLO leader Yasser Arafat issued the traditional Koranic call for “jihad, jihad, jihad” from the “river to the sea”—that is, for a war to ethnically cleanse Israelis from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. 
America’s Cold War involvement in other Muslim nations seemingly confirmed this narrative, making the Muslim people yet another Third World victim of the evil West, and so an object of admiration and idealization by leftists and progressives. The illiberal, anti-modern, intolerant dimensions of sharia law were dismissed or rationalized. Just mentioning such things became a sign of Western bigotry against the oppressed “other,” as the literary critic Edward Said argued in his still influential Orientalism.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Trudeau Gov't Plans to Squander $35 Million Fighting "Extremism"

How do we know it'll amount to, at best, pouring money down the drain and, at worst, empowering the wrong people (like, say, NCCM)? You can pretty much read it between these lines, which speak of "de-radicalization" and reaching those who are "vulnerable" to it, but never once mention the words "Islam," "Islamic," "jihad" or "jihadis":
Ottawa will spend $35 million over five years to fund programs that reach out to vulnerable people open to radicalization in a bid to prevent terror attacks in Canada.
The federal government will establish a national centre for de-radicalization that will coordinate efforts across Canada to fight extremism.  
Most of the money will go to groups and organizations at the community level that are best equipped “to intervene in the right way, with the right tools and at the right time,” Public Security Minister Ralph Goodale said on Monday. 
Goodale visited Montreal’s de-radicalization centre to learn what the centre is doing to help young people who are vulnerable to extremism and violence. 
Last week, police stopped an alleged terrorist attack by an Ontario man who had become radicalized. The FBI informed the RCMP about a martyrdom video that Aaron Driver made pledging allegiance to ISIS. 
“The events of the last week or so have demonstrated in Canada that we need to get better and better and better at understanding and dealing with the serious issue of radicalization,”Goodale said...
Well, Ralph, a willingness to actually say the above-cited verboten words out loud would be a good--no, an essential--first step.