Friday, May 22, 2015

05/22 Links Pt2: Robert Wistrich: Defender of the Jewish People; ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ Was a Zionist

From Ian:

Robert Wistrich: Defender of the Jewish People
Many scholars look away from the widespread anti-Semitism emanating from Muslim states and from parts of the Muslim population in Western countries. Despite the backlash, Robert remained outspoken when his post-9/11 essay on Muslim anti-Semitism, originally published in English, was updated and republished in German in 2011. Therein, Robert claimed that the hardcore anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world is comparable only to that of Nazi Germany. Expressing such an opinion was far more than an academic judgment. It was an act of courage. Much more gentle criticism about extreme ugly phenomena in Muslim societies was already being labeled as Islamophobia. Such criticism is constantly stifled not only by Muslims but also by many “politically correct” Westerners. Robert explicitly stated that Muslim hatred for Israel and Jews is “an eliminatory anti-Semitism with a genocidal dimension”.
From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel came out in 2012. The book includes the chapter, “Great Britain: A Suitable Case for Treatment?” Robert had studied in the UK, where the British literary classics on the school’s curriculum were almost all anti-Semitic in nature. Robert’s analysis started with Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales from the late 14th century and Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta from the end of the 16th Century. He came out unequivocally against the whitewashing of the anti-Semitism of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
Probably more so than anyone else, Robert has proven that anti-Semitism is not only inherent in European history but that it is an integral part of European culture. I once persuaded him to lecture at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs about the long tradition of intellectual anti-Semitism. He illustrated how each change in the social environment brings about a mutation of anti-Semitism. In Europe, Catholic anti-Semitism laid down the ideological infrastructure from which much of the demonizing of the Jews, Judaism and the Jewish people developed. From Martin Luther and Protestantism to the Enlightenment, including Voltaire, from the great German idealist philosophers, the early French socialists, to Karl Marx – many intellectuals and innovative movements gave their own “contribution” to anti-Semitism.
Robert was a passionate and tireless fighter for his ideas. A comrade-in-arms against the many ugly enemies of the Jewish people, and a man of principle, I had the privilege of last speaking with him –a lengthy, and as always, stimulating and pleasant conversation – during the recent Global Forum for Combatting Anti-Semitism, a few days before his passing. His sense of purpose remained unabated until the very end. Like all great intellectuals, he will live on through the legacy of his profound work and original thought.
Col. Richard Kemp: The Amoral Revolution in Western Values, and its Impact on Israel
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: To fight for Israel on the international stage is also to fight for the values of democracy, freedom of speech and expression, and civilized social values everywhere. Unfortunately, the morality and values of the West have been transformed and undermined over the past thirty years almost beyond recognition. Judeo-Christian principles of honesty, honor, loyalty, family values, patriotism, religious faith and respect for the state have all been eroded; whereas negative values, such as the acceptance of betrayal, duplicity and deceit, have flourished. The Western media is chiefly culpable in advancing this deleterious values transformation. And this transformation is the basis for the growth of anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist perspectives, and anti-Israel narratives.
What follows is the text of an address delivered by Col. Kemp CBE at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies on May 19, 2015. Kemp was Commander of the British Forces in Afghanistan. He subsequently worked for the Joint Intelligence Committee and the British cabinet national crisis management group. He testified in defense of Israel before the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, and the United Nations Human Rights Council in response to the Goldstone report. This week, he received an honorary doctorate from Bar-Ilan University in recognition of his stalwart defense of Israel.
Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies: Col. Kemp’s 40 minute address

British commander provides hope to turn back the tide against Israel
Flatly contradicting the nasty Goldstone Report, Kemp confidently asserted that “based on my knowledge and experience as a military commander, the IDF did more during Operation Cast Lead to safeguard the rights of civilians in the combat zones than any other army in the history of warfare.”
Kemp has been vilified ever since. “In social media, I have been the subject of sustained assaults by particularly virulent anti-Israel and anti-Semitic networks. In universities, I have been the subject of demonstrations that have sought to silence me. I have been accused of corruption and being in the pay of the Zionist entity. I have been deliberately denied business opportunities.
I have been placed on a terrorist death list,” Kemp told his BESA Center audience.
“This is not because I speak out against the moral bankruptcy, corruption, incitement to terrorism or oppression of the Palestinian Authority; or the murder, brutality and terrorist violence of Hamas, Hezbollah, or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. I have spoken out at least as much against al-Qaida, the Taliban, the Iranian regime, the IRGC and many other sponsors of terror and terrorist groups without anything like this level of attempted intimidation.
“Rather it is for one reason, and that is because I fail to falsely condemn Israel in circumstances where to even be neutral on the subject is itself a crime in the eyes of so many. It is because I have gone further, and used my military experience and my objective view to explain and defend Israel’s legitimate military actions.”

Chag sameach!

I will not be blogging until Monday night (or Tuesday morning) because of the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, the least well known of the major Jewish holidays.

Have a great holiday!

A visit to a southern Israeli kibbutz (Ido Daniel on Twitter)

Sometimes, you can find real journalism on Twitter. From Ido Daniel:

05/22 Links Pt1: In Obama's Middle East there's only one problem -- Netanyahu; Palestinians’ Gun Culture

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The Israeli enablers in action
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has some explaining to do.
During Mogherini’s visit this week she spoke loftily of Europe’s concern for peace and desire to play a role in establishing a Palestinian state at peace with Israel. And that was very nice.
But what is the EU doing to promote these admirable goals? How do the millions of euros the EU and its member states shovel annually into the coffers of NGOs who exist to delegitimize Israel advance these goals? The timing of Mogherini’s visit this week was propitious. She came the same week as “Nakba Day,” the day Israel’s enemies mourn its coming into existence 67 years ago.
The concept of the “Nakba,” is an act of political war against the Jewish state. It was invented to deny Israel’s right to exist by propagating the libel that the state was born in sin. The explicit demand at the heart of the “Nakba” narrative is that Israel must be destroyed for justice to be achieved.
The EU generously funds groups that propagate this devastating slander.
A Century of Genocides: Next Trigger-Man, Iran
Seventy years after the fall of Dachau and Auschwitz, Israeli Jews, Christians and Arabs are threatened with a second Holocaust by people who deny the existence of the first Holocaust: Iran's leadership. The West, apparently willing to vote Iran nuclear breakout capability, pays no attention and acts as if Iran's continual threats had no meaning.
The first priority of most Western governments today seems to sign a deal with Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Hosseini Khamenei, who openly calls for Israel's and America's destruction.
The next priority of many European governments is to entrust a state to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, a movement that does not hide its genocidal intentions. Political considerations are at work, full time and at open throttle.
Since the Armenian genocide, one hundred years have passed, marked by mass killings, massacres, and genocides. These culminated in the Holocaust, but did not end with it. The Communist killing fields of Cambodia took place during the 1970s. The Rwandan Genocide of the Tutsis was perpetrated just twenty-one years ago.
The twentieth century was appropriately described by historian Robert Conquest as a "ravaged century."
It is urgent that that ethical -- not political or monetary -- considerations receive priority. If not, this will be the second "ravaged century."
Who Can Attack Turkish Ships?
The vessel, the Tuna-1, was approaching Tobruk, a coastal city in Libya where the country's internationally-recognized government is headquartered, to deliver sheetrock cargo loaded in Spain, when it was shelled in international waters, 13 miles away from the Libyan port city. The Tuna-1 was then attacked twice from the air as it tried to leave the area. A Libyan military spokesman told Reuters that the Turkish vessel was bombed "after it was warned not to approach the Libyan city of Derna."
But this time there was no request for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council; no talks with the EU, NATO, Arab League, OIC, Obama or Merkel. No words flying in the air such as "terrorist state," "piracy," "massacre," "an attack on world peace." No "murderers." No threats to Libyans that "your security is being exposed to great risks." And, naturally, this is not "Turkey's own 9/11."
Instead, the Turkish Foreign Ministry on May 11 issued a weak protest note. It condemned the attack and demanded legal action. It called the attack a violation of international law. All Turkey's Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, could say was that Ankara had sent a frigate off the Libyan coast to escort the Tuna-1 back to Turkish waters.
President Erdogan's reaction to the attack on a civilian Turkish vessel by a foreign army was revealing. He said: "Things would have been different had the Turkish ship carried a Turkish flag." That would be Turkey's wrath on Libya, he simply meant, were the Tuna-1, owned by a Turkish company, not registered in the Cook Islands.
By the way, what flag did the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara carry? Comoros.
Still wondering why Turkey's voice was so loud after the Mavi Marmara incident? For Turkey's Islamists, "what was done" does not matter much. "Who did it" does.

Jibril Rajoub keeps playing FIFA like a fiddle

From Reuters:

The Palestine Football Association (PFA) has complained to world football's governing body FIFA that Israeli authorities held up a national team player as the squad travelled from the West Bank to Tunisia on Thursday.

The PFA said player Sameh Maraabah was temporarily detained by Israeli authorities at Allenby Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan late on Thursday.

But Israel's FA (IFA) accused its Palestinian counterpart of "deliberately creating a needless provocation" and said it would make a formal complaint to FIFA.

"The PFA broke an agreement with FIFA and the IFA which requires prior notification and a list of names of the Palestinian athletes prior to their travel," the IFA said.

The team bus waited and Maraabah was eventually allowed to continue with his colleagues, who then flew from Jordan to Tunisia to attend a training camp, a PFA official told Reuters.

Israel jailed Maraabah for two months last year after he was convicted of being a courier for Islamist group Hamas.

Israel had accused Maraabah of returning from a team trip to Qatar in April 2014 bearing money, a mobile phone and messages given to him by a Hamas operative whom Israel had exiled to the Gulf state as part of a prisoner exchange.

An Israeli security official said Maraabah was questioned briefly about his travel plans and was warned by authorities not to engage in any more "forbidden activities against the state of Israel".

The incident occurred hours after FIFA president Sepp Blatter met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and football officials to address Palestinian complaints that Israel was hampering their football activities.

PFA president Jibril Rajoub wrote to Blatter saying Israel was not abiding by its own commitment to ease travel.

"The implications of this incident can only confirm the PFA's position on the promises given by the Israeli Government; that they are only words unless they are included in a solution that can only come through, and be guaranteed by, the FIFA Congress."
Rajoub deliberately sent someone with known terror ties through without clearing it with Israel as per their agreement, knowing that Israel would detain him and therefore using it as a pretext for a new complaint against Israel.

But the headlines say "Israel detains travelling Palestine player" rather than "Palestinians engineer an incident to demonize Israel."

The terrorist Jibril Rajoub wins again.

(h/t Bob K)

Iran threatens to kill 600,000 Jews

From Times of Israel:
Senior Iranian military official warned on Thursday that any Israeli attack would unleash a firestorm of missiles on its cities fired by the Islamic Republic’s Hezbollah allies in Lebanon.

The Shiite militia has more than 80,000 rockets ready to fire at Tel Aviv and Haifa, said General Yahya Rahim Safavi, military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“Iran, with the help of Hezbollah and its friends, is capable of destroying Tel Aviv and Haifa in case of military aggression on the part of the Zionists,” he said, quoted on state television.

“I don’t think the Zionists would be so unintelligent as to create a military problem with Iran,” the general said. “They know the strength of Iran and Hezbollah.”
Tel Aviv has 404,000 people, Haifa another 267,000. The vast majority are Jewish. He isn't talking about targeting military facilities, he is threatening the murder of two thirds of a million people.

Last I checked, that was a war crime.

Maybe Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch will mention it among his hundreds of anti-Israel tweets.


The FARS News version of the story includes a nice lie:

Top Military Aide to the Iranian Supreme Leader Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi described the recent statements of Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon about nuking Iran as an empty threat, warning that the Islamic Republic has tens of thousands of missiles ready to wreak havoc on Israel.
Did Yaalon threaten to nuke Iran?

Only in the fevered imaginations of the haters at Mondoweiss, where Iran apparently gets its news from.

Mondoweiss noticed a speech that Yaalon gave where he mentioned how Truman justified Hiroshima, but in no way did he threaten Iran. Here is what he said in context:

Now those who claim that this battle is not fair because democracy can't fight back tyrannical regimes, not [to mention] terror organizations, I don't agree with it.

In certain cases we might take certain steps that we believe ... should be taken in order to defend ourselves. I mentioned the discussion about the interception of the rockets positioned on civilian houses. We decided to do it. I can't imagine some other step that should be taken.

Of course, we should be sure that we can look [in] the mirror after the decision or operation. Of course, we should be sure that it is a military necessity. We should consider costs and benefits, of course, but at the end we might take certain steps.

I do remember the story of President Truman, who was asked, "how did you feel after deciding to launch the nuclear bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end [200,000 fatalities]?" And he said, "when I heard from my officers that the alternative is a long war with Japan, with potential fatalities of a couple of million, I saw that it is a moral decision."

We are not there yet. But that's what I'm talking about: certain steps in cases in which we feel like we don't have the answer by surgical operations or something like that.
Yaalon was using Hiroshima as an extreme example of having to kill civilians to save a much larger number of people, and relating it back to his earlier mention that Hezbollah is hiding rockets in civilian houses on Israel's border and Israel will need to attack those locations in case of war.

He was not saying Israel was planning to nuke Iran. On the contrary, he was saying that any difficult decision must be a military necessity and the decisions must be made in the context of the laws of war, which do allow actions that would kill civilians sometimes. There are more tools in Israel's arsenal under international law than one would think from reading the false interpretations of that law given by Amnesty and HRW.

But Iran explicitly threatened to do the equivalent of 4 Hiroshimas in Israel.

Will any human rights defender condemn this threat of murdering hundreds of thousands of people?

Nah...they're only Jews in Israel. No one defends their human rights.

(h/t Yoel)

Joe Lieberman far more skeptical of Obama's feelings about Israel than Jeffrey Goldberg

Jeffrey Goldberg has just published another long interview with President Obama, and he once again does everything he can to praise him on his stance towards Israel.

For example, he stated that "Obama, when he talks about Israel, sounds like a rabbi in the progressive Zionist tradition." Goldberg doesn't seriously challenge the President when he is told again that Obama "has Israel's back."

Perhaps most glaringly, Goldberg doesn't ask a single question about what Obama is demanding of the Palestinians in his desire for peace. He doesn't ask a thing about Palestinian incitement to violence, about Arab antisemitism (although Obama implies it exists, it wasn't because of anything he was asked,) he didn't ask about why Israeli building in areas that are obviously going to remain par of Israel forever is condemned so vociferously, indicating that the US position towards the Green Line has changed significantly under Obama's watch.

The contrast between a Democrat who pretends to love Israel for the purpose of pushing a bad Iranian deal (which was the main purpose of this interview, and a speech Obama is giving to a "progressive" Jewish synagogue tonight) and a Democrat (turned independent) who truly loves Israel can be seen from a different interview with Joe Lieberman:

Former US Sen. Joseph Lieberman, in an interview with JTA in Jerusalem, surmised that the next US administration would be friendlier with Israel than the current one. He also expressed concern over America’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, saying they are “going in a bad direction,” and urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to embrace the long-shelved Arab Peace Initiative.

Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew and the Democrats’ vice presidential candidate in 2000, predicted that if the 2016 presidential election were held today, a higher percentage of Jewish Americans would vote Republican than in past races. But he noted that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the party’s front-runner for the Democratic nod, could reverse that trend through vocal support of Israel.

“I think there will be a friend of Israel in the White House,” he said, noting that both Clinton and the leading Republican candidates all have pro-Israel records. “It will be a new beginning, a new opportunity. Is it going to be better than it has been under President Obama? Probably, yeah.”

Lieberman expressed concern over support for Israel in the Democratic Party. While almost all Democratic lawmakers support Israel, he said, Lieberman worried that younger party activists are more skeptical of the Jewish state.

“It’s something people who care about Israel are really working at,” said Lieberman, a four-term senator from Connecticut, who won as an independent in 2006 after losing the Democratic primary — in part because of his continued support for the Iraq War. “Part of it is to remind people who are liberal Democrats that, without saying everything Israel ever does is perfect, Israel is by far the most liberal country and society.”
Even though I disagree strongly with Lieberman's attitude towards the possibility of peace and his pushing the Arab Peace Initiative, you can see that he has a real love of Israel. The difference between someone like him and a president who is saying what he needs to say in order to push an agenda is clear.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Archbishop Hanna admits Muslims persecute Christians but blames the messenger

Archbishop Atallah Hanna, of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, gave a speech to pilgrims about Palestinian Christian issues and concerns.

He said that Palestinian Christians cling stubbornly to every grain of holy Palestinian soil. According to Hanna, they are 100% Christian and 100% Palestinian in their contributions in the Palestinian national struggle. "The cause of the oppressed people is our cause, their suffering is our suffering, their pain is our pain, and their ambition for freedom is our ambition, too."

"We as a group reject extremism and hatred, violence and believe the Gospel, which calls for brotherhood, love and peace values. The Muslims are our brothers in every sense of the word, they are our brothers in humanitarianism and in belonging to a Palestinian Arab identity, and we are partners in the struggle for liberation and in the quest for our usurped rights and to liberate the land from occupation, racism and injustice."

However, Hanna then admitted that Muslims are persecuting Christians, saying that "there is a systematic liquidation of the Christian presence in the Arab region." But immediately afterwards he said that the people talking about it are "those who want to liquidate the Palestinian cause" who "want to destroy our homelands and our communities and tarnish the image of the Levant." Therefore, he says, "we must gather all clerics and thinkers, intellectuals and officials to work together to thwart this scheme, which aims to destroy our nation and our homelands and our communities."

Yes, Archbishop Hanna spent more time talking about how bad it is for people to publicize Muslim persecution of Christians than about the persecution itself.

Additionally, even though he mentioned that Jerusalem is holy to three religions, he only cares about the rights of one of them - and it isn't Christianity. He said, "The issue of Al-Aqsa is our cause, for all Christians and Muslims." But Muslims don't want Christians to visit the Temple Mount either!

05/21 Links Pt2: Robert Wistrich's last column: "Anti-Semitism and Jewish destiny"

From Ian:

Robert Wistrich: Anti-Semitism and Jewish destiny
On Sunday, Robert S. Wistrich – the director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – emailed the following column to ‘Jerusalem Post’ Editor-in-Chief Steve Linde, asking that it be published in the coming week. Wistrich died suddenly on Tuesday. We dedicate his last column to perpetuating his memory. May his words live on.
Today’s anti-Semitism is a product of a new civic religion that could be termed "Palestinianism."
There are few topics of more pressing concern today to Jewish communities around the world than the current resurgence of anti-Semitism. Thus, there could have been no more appropriate time for the 5th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism to meet than last week in Jerusalem. It was a large and impressive gathering of participants from all over the world, initiated by the Foreign Ministry, together with its Diaspora Affairs Department.
In my own remarks to the conference I emphasized the need to free ourselves from certain outdated myths. My first point was that even today, Jews in Israel and the Diaspora are fixated on the dangers of far-right traditional anti-Semitism – whether racist, religious or nationalist. While neo-fascism has not altogether disappeared, it is in most cases a secondary threat.
Second, there is an illusory belief that more Holocaust education and memorialization can serve as an effective antidote to contemporary anti-Semitism. This notion, shared by many governments and well-meaning liberal gentiles, is quite unfounded. On the contrary, today “Holocaust inversion” (the perverse transformation of Jews into Nazis and Muslims into victimized “Jews”) all-too-often becomes a weapon with which to pillory Israel and denigrate the Jewish people. Hence the approach to this entire subject requires considerable rethinking, updating and fine-tuning.
Third, we must recognize much more clearly than before that since 1975 (with the passing of the scandalous UN resolution condemning Zionism as racism) hatred of Israel has increasingly mutated into the chief vector for the “new” anti-Semitism.
UK MediaWatch: In memoriam: Professor Robert S. Wistrich
Robert S. Wistrich, professor of Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, head of the Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, and perhaps the world’s foremost scholar of antisemitism, died of a heart attack yesterday in Rome.
He was 70.
Wistrich was born in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in 1945, raised in Britain and educated in the US. He settled in Israel in 1982.
Professor Wistrich published dozens of books throughout his long career about the history of Jew hatred, including From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews and Israel, and his magnum opus, A Lethal Obsession: Antisemitism — From Antiquity to the Global Jihad,” published in 2010.
Though he was an accomplished academic, Wistrich also possessed the unique ability within academia to communicate effectively to non-academics, and was able to speak clearly and plainly even when contextualizing the often complex dynamics of historical and contemporary antisemitism.
This writer was honored to share a panel with Professor Wistrich at a CAMERA event in Jerusalem earlier in the year, where he addressed the relationship between media coverage of Israel and rising antisemitism.
Remembering Robert Wistrich, The World’s Foremost Scholar of Anti-Semitism
It was with deep sadness that I learned last night of the passing of my dear friend and teacher, Professor Robert Wistrich, at the age of 70.
Robert was the world’s foremost scholar of anti-Semitism. Based at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he headed the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, Robert was a prolific author and speaker, whose encyclopedic knowledge and unrivaled insight into the persistence of anti-Semitism was sought by academics, journalists, and politicians alike.
The news of Robert’s death was broken by the Italian newspaper La Stampa. He’d spent the day in Rome, where he was due to address the Italian Senate on the continuing rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. The cause of his passing was a sudden heart attack.
Robert’s death is an incalculable loss on many levels. At just the time that anti-Semitism has again become socially acceptable in Europe and elsewhere, we have been robbed of one of the few individuals whose voice on this topic underlined urgency, but not hysteria. Robert, moreover, was someone who intimately understood the historical provenance of today’s anti-Semitism, particularly in its insidious “anti-Zionist” guise.

Egyptian dresses up as a Jew and gets harassed, pushed, slapped

In this video an Egyptian dresses up as a Hasidic Jew and asks Egyptians how to get to the synagogue. At another point, without the costume, he shows Hebrew writing to people and says he is Israeli.

(h/t Tyler)

Political perversity in Israel and the US (Vic Rosenthal)

Vic Rosenthal's weekly column:

Why are elites in Israel and the US helping their deadly enemies?

The phenomenon of Israel-hating Jews has been discussed a great deal, and there are some theories that go a long way toward explaining the prominence, even leadership, of Jews in BDS and other anti-Israel movements. The extremism of the Left in Israel, particularly among academics, is a case study in epidemic insanity.

Israel is a small country, and it has been fighting a continuous war in the military, diplomatic and information arenas since its inception. It isn’t helped by the activities of anti-State Jews, but they have been increasingly marginalized politically since the debacle of Oslo.

I have always liked Kenneth Levin’s “Oslo Syndrome” explanation for the perverse behavior of some Jews, a special case of the Stockholm Syndrome in which a victim finds himself identifying with and supporting his victimizer in the subconscious belief that it will keep him from harm. Oppressed by the endemic Jew-hatred of their Diaspora hosts, Jews begin to accept their anti-Jewish narratives themselves and try to mitigate the hatred by becoming ‘better’ (i.e., less Jewish or Zionist) and making concessions to their enemies. It rarely works.

The Christian majority in the US does not have an ‘Oslo Syndrome’. It never suffered the kind of persecution that Jews in Europe and Muslim countries in the Mideast and North Africa did — and yet, the plague of political correctness that includes the toleration of blatant subversion of Western ideals, and even the acceptance of calls to destroy the nation, has taken root in America just as deeply as in Europe and Britain.

One reason is that the culture of an organization — a corporation, a motorcycle gang or a nation — comes from the top.

Unlike Israel, the US and Europe haven’t marginalized their anti-Western extremists. Sometimes they hold the reins of power. The US elected a President — twice — who rejects the idea that the world should be led by the developed West, in particular the US.

His reaction to 9/11 is a case in point. Although we may be too close to see it, Sept. 11, 2001 was a historical inflection point of great significance.

George Bush responded in the traditional way, declaring war on those he perceived as the perpetrators. But Obama saw it differently, agreeing with Osama Bin Laden that the attack was a consequence of Western colonialism in the Middle East (especially support for Israel). While he still believed that those who were directly responsible and should be punished, he took the position that we ourselves are indirectly responsible, guilty of oppressing Muslims and meddling in their affairs. Like Charlie Hebdo or Pamela Geller, we brought it on ourselves.

It’s certainly true that the West has exploited the less-developed world, and that wealth has been removed — stolen, even — from it by amoral corporations. But the question is, should we therefore reject the principle that the world is better off under the enlightened (if sometimes coercive) leadership of the more developed cultures, and hand control to the ones that practice female genital mutilation, murder vaccinators, hang gays, and dream of genocide? The ruling Western culture might have its flaws, but there are far worse alternatives.

Unfortunately, it seems that the President of the US doesn’t agree.

Obama is a mystery that I don’t want to try to unravel today, but his attitude meshes with other things that are happening in the larger society. One of them is simple fear. There is nothing like a terrorist attack to make people think twice about doing or saying anything that might anger those prone to terrorism. Associated with the fear is the Stockholm Syndrome I mentioned before. Terror attacks are specifically intended to induce this syndrome.

There is also the idea, which I think is derived from Christian doctrine, that a ‘good’ person loves all humanity, even enemies. Conflict is seen as something that should be handled by making a greater effort to understand the other side and to help him to understand your own feelings. As you can imagine, negotiations with an enemy who does not share this mindset can easily be exploited.

All this combined with the normal human expectation that the near future will resemble the recent past creates a very dangerous situation. We assume that because the West is massively more powerful than the Islamic State or Iran, that we could crush them like a bug if they ever really challenged our supremacy. But don’t forget the dictum that civilization involves a tradeoff of many small inconveniences for a few major catastrophes. The more technologically advanced an entity is, the more vulnerable it is to disruption. Terrorism can be a weapon of mass destruction.

In other words, the West could lose.

Israel is smaller than the US or Europe, but although the fact is obscured by the noise generated by the Left, Israel may be more unified and focused on the challenges it faces (this will be hard to believe for media-consuming Israelis, but I think it’s true).

If the US falls, then the time of Western ascendance is over. The civilized world can’t afford the luxury of an anti-Western president in Washington.

05/21 Links Pt1: PA Adopts 'One State Solution' as Official Policy; How to meet ‘Palestinians’

From Ian:

In final days, Bin Laden urged followers to kill Jews
Documents swept up in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound portray a leader cut off from his underlings, disappointed by their failures, beset by their complaints and regretting years of separation from much of his extensive family.
Focus your fighting on America, not each other, the sidelined al-Qaeda chief exhorts his followers. In a videotaped will, he urges one of his wives, should she remarry after his death, to still choose to live beside him in paradise. He also directs her to send their son to the battlefield.
Despite some surprising quirks in the collection, the overall message of the 103 letters, videos and reports made public Wednesday hews to the terror group’s familiar mission: In the name of God, find a way to kill Americans. Kill Europeans. Kill Jews.
“Uproot the obnoxious tree by concentrating on its American trunk,” bin Laden writes in a letter urging al-Qaeda affiliates in North Africa to not be distracted by fighting local security forces and to avoid Muslim infighting.
How to meet ‘Palestinians’
Peter Beinart complains that Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker visited Israel and didn’t meet any ‘Palestinians':
The trips Jewish groups organize for American politicians include more Christian holy sights than the ones they organize for their own members. But what they have in common is that Palestinians are talked about, yet rarely spoken to. Which means that politicians like Scott Walker return to the United States thinking they know something about Palestinians when, in important ways, they know less than when they left.
Maybe I can help him learn more. What have ‘Palestinians’ been up to lately? Here is some data (slightly abridged) from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:
During the past year there has been an increase in the number of vehicular attacks carried out in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and they have become a frequent modus operandi of the campaign the PA and Fatah call the “popular resistance.” The campaign takes many forms, including the throwing of Molotov cocktails, rocks and stones, and stabbing and vehicular attacks. It enjoys the support of the PA and Fatah.
Since the beginning of 2015 there have been six vehicular attacks and/or attempted vehicular attacks; one Israeli civilian was killed and ten injured, eight of members of the Israeli security forces. Three attacks took place in Jerusalem and three in Judea and Samaria. The number of vehicular attacks began rising in the second half of 2014; during the year there were twelve vehicular attacks, half of them in Jerusalem (compared with two such attacks in 2013).
David Singer: Pope Francis Has Joined The Evil-Doers
Abbas – Israel's putative "partner for peace" – leads an Organisation that claims the entire territory of former Palestine as another exclusive Arab fiefdom – denying the Jews any political rights in their biblical, ancestral and internationally sanctioned homeland.
Abbas's continuing refusal to recognise Israel as the nation State of the Jewish people has been a major roadblock to the successful conclusion of negotiations between Israel and the PLO.
Pope Francis – like his predecessor Pope Benedict – is apparently prepared to ignore that Abbas and the PLO remain sworn enemies of the Jewish people - pursuing the total elimination of the Jewish State by armed struggle as documented in the 1968 PLO Charter.
The Pope has strayed from the eternal message of the Psalms - the key to the spirituality of the Old Testament and an essential and permanent part of Christian prayer.
Psalm 28 in the New Jerusalem Bible declares:
Do not drag me away with the wicked, with evil-doers, who talk to their partners of peace with treachery in their hearts.
Repay them as their deeds deserve, as befits their treacherous actions; as befits their handiwork repay them, let their deserts fall back on themselves.
They do not comprehend the deeds of Yahweh, the work of his hands. May he pull them down and not rebuild them!