Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Muslim activists, upset that a Norwegian magazine reprinted a caricature of the prophet Mohammed, burned a Norwegian flag outside the European Union's office in Gaza on Monday.
Activists set the Norwegian flag on fire in Gaza on Monday.PHOTO: MAHMUD HAMS
Norway isn't a member of the European Union, but that didn't seem to dissuade the activists. They hailed from the political group al-Yasser, according to the Associated Press on the scene.
The activists also sprayed photos of both the Norwegian and Danish flags with black paint.
Around 15 armed men were behind the demonstration against Norway and Denmark, where the caricature was first printed in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Any illustration of the prophet Mohammed is offensive to Muslims, and the activists won't tolerate others' beliefs in freedom of expression.
Gudrun Bertinussen, a Norwegian aid worker for Norwegian People's Aid (Norsk Folkehjelp) in Gaza, said that Norwegians generally have been well-received by the Palestinians. She noted, however, that the publication of the Mohammed caricature in a small Christian magazine has provoked Muslims.
Norway's Foreign Ministry is urging Norwegians in Gaza to heed warnings by angry Muslims to leave the area within the next 48 hours. Muslim activists have also organized a boycott of Danish products, some Muslim countries have recalled their ambassadors from Denmark and Arab groups were seeking support from the UN.
The umbrella group for Islamic groups in Norway, (Islamsk Råd Norge, IRN), is demanding an apology from the Christian publication Magazinet that published the caricature in Norway. A spokesman said the group supports freedom of expression, but not that which injures or offends others.
Aftenposten English Web Desk
Norwegians told to leave Gaza
Cartoon rage reaches the troops in Iraq. From AFP, with thanks to Twostellas:
A FATWA appears to have been issued against Danish soldiers stationed in Iraq, the Danish defence ministry said today.
"I can confirm that we've heard about the fatwa from a reliable source in Iraq ... so we believe it's true," Defence Minister Soeren Gade's spokesman Jacob Winther said.
The report came amid rising Muslim anger over 12 cartoons published in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten last September depicting the Prophet Mohammed....
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari summoned Denmark's ambassador today to hear Iraq's condemnation of the cartoons, including a portrayal of the prophet wearing a time-bomb shaped turban.Islam considers any image of the prophet blasphemous....
Good thing we have a moderate government in Baghdad, eh?
Mr Winther said Danish troops had been put on higher alert, but that the military did not yet know how worried to be.
"We don't know what kind of a fatwa it is, whether it's just a religious ruling of a death threat or what it is," he said, adding: "I don't think it's good."
Yes, I wouldn't think so.
By Dick Morris
The Palestinian people have delivered a resounding vote against peace — calling, in their election, for a continuation of the savage and sanguinary war against Israel. This sharp reversal in the peace process should not go without a vigorous response from Washington. President Bush is correct to cut off all dealings with the Palestinian Authority until Hamas renounces and reins in its campaign of terror against Israel. But the United States should go further and cut off all direct and indirect assistance to the PA or to Palestinian refugee groups until Hamas makes the requisite declarations. The U.S. taxpayer is the foremost financial supporter of the Palestinian community, now set to come under Hamas management. Last year, America gave $81 million directly to Palestinians in Gaza and on the West Bank and was responsible for a considerable share of the almost $1 billion in aid to the Palestinian Authority from the United Nations and its relief organizations. The United States should: 1) Cut off all direct subsidy of the Palestinian refugee population or its political or charitable organs.2) Demand that the United Nations follow suit. 3) Immediately suspend all payments to the United Nations until it does so. After all, Israel is a U.N. member. How can the United Nations subsidize an entity that is dedicated to the destruction of one of its members? By a direct and aggressive response to the Palestinian vote, the United States will assure that it is not placed in the incongruous position of funding the deadly adversary of its ally, Israel. Some will argue that we allowed aid to flow under Yasser Arafat. But we did not do that until he pledged to work with Israel and to cease his efforts to destroy it. When it became clear that he was double dealing and, in fact, winking at terrorist attacks on Israel, the United States set in motion a series of events that led to a new democratic Palestinian Authority (aided by Arafat's death, of course). Now the United States should ratchet up its pressure on the Palestinian Authority: Cut off all funding.
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MEMRI brings the English transcript of an Al Jazeera interview with Hamas leader Khaled Mash'al:
‘We are committed to the right of return and to our rejection of the settlements. We are committed to the resistance and adhere to its weapons. These are our choices and our fundamental principles, which the Palestinian people supported even before the elections.’
He is saying it all – ‘the right of return’ is a phrase meaning: the right of Palestinians to live in the territories of pre-1967 Israel.
It looks as if the EU is taking a tough stance, but that’s optical illusion: at the same time the EU is backing off. The EU keeps on financing the PA, which is almost completely dependent upon Western money, as I now understand, for another three months. I can assure you that these three months will be extended with another three.
The budget of the PA is in relation to the size of the Palestinian population equal to the budget of Egypt. In other words: the state institutions of the Palestinian territories are being fully fed by Western taxpayers’ money, and in return the Palestinian people is paying us back with resentment and lunacy.
Monday, January 30, 2006
Cartoon Rage Update. I must confess, I am amazed that this story never seems to die. Perhaps these twelve cartoons will end up being the Gavrilo Princip of 2006. "Protests Over Muhammad Cartoon Grow," from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The controversy over Danish caricatures of Prophet Muhammad escalated Monday as gunmen seized an EU office in Gaza and Muslims appealed for a trade boycott of Danish products. Denmark called for its citizens in the Middle East to exercise vigilance.
Denmark-based Arla Foods, which has been the target of a widespread boycott in the Middle East, reported that two of its employees in Saudi Arabia were beaten by angry customers. Aid groups, meanwhile, pulled workers out of Gaza, citing the threat of hostilities....
But Arla Food's executive director urged the Danish government to take action.
"Freedom of expression is an internal Danish issue but this has a totally different dimension," Peder Tuborgh said. "This is about Denmark having offended millions of Muslims."
I.e., surrender, please, before we go broke. Buy those cheeses, people. We are few in number, but maybe if we act we can help Mr. Tuborgh regain a little backbone.
Villy Soevndal, leader of the small opposition Socialist People's Party, said Denmark "cannot be a country where the prime minister goes into hiding while Denmark loses export money, Danish citizens are being threatened and Danish flags burned."...
Villy, you're right. The whole free world should be standing with Rasmussen. What a pity that craven political hacks like Bill Clinton have already lined up on the other side.
The Danish Red Cross said it was evacuating two employees from Gaza and one from Yemen.
"There have been concrete threats against our employees. The fact that they are Danish nationals has made the difference," Danish Red Cross spokesman Anders Ladekarl said.
The Norwegian People's Aid group also said it was withdrawing its two Norwegian representatives in Gaza but that operations would be maintained by local staff....
In Iraq, a roadside bomb targeted a joint Danish-Iraqi patrol near the southern city of Basra on Monday, wounding one Iraqi policeman, military officials said. The attack was the first involving Danish troops since the protests flared.
Danish forces said the roadside bomb was targeting the Iraqi police rather than the Danes, though British Maj. Peter Cripps said coalition forces were investigating if there was any link between the attack and the drawings....
Libya on Sunday said it was closing its embassy in Denmark.
Emirates' Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs Mohammed Al Dhaheri said publishing the "blasphemous" cartoons was "disgusting and irresponsible," according to comments released Monday by the official WAM news agency.
"This is cultural terrorism, not freedom of expression. The repercussions of such irresponsible acts will have adverse impact on international relations."
The Egyptian parliament's Economic Committee refused to discuss a $72.5 million loan from Denmark to Egypt, with newspapers quoting lawmakers as saying they do not want to cooperate with a country that has insulted the prophet.
In Pakistan, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said the government is "engaged with the Danish government" over the cartoon publication.
She said Pakistan hopes the Danish government would "try to resolve this issue because you cannot hurt the sentiments of billions of Muslims in the name of freedom of press."
Why not? What is freedom of the press if nothing can be said that hurts anyone's sentiments?
Several months ago an international boycott was launched against Israel by educational unions in the UK. Leftist churches have passed anti-Israel investment policies. For some reason political boycotts always come from the Left, and they are always one-sided.
Now Denmark is the target. It’s the “cartoon crisis!” After the newspaper Jyllandse Posten published satirical cartoons featuring Mohammed, the Islamic world has been building up a head of steam. How could the Danes laugh at the Prophet, and worse, publish drawings of Allah’s ultimate representative on earth? Pictorial depictions of the human figure are a big taboo; pictures of Mohammed are even worse; and satirical cartoons of Mohammed are the ueber-ueber-taboo to the fundamentalists.
The Prime Minister of Denmark, Fogh Rasmussen, has given a simple answer.
“Freedom of expression is deeply ingrained in a society where democracy prevails.”
Now the Saudis and Libyans have recalled their ambassadors to Copenhagen, and the Yemen Parliament has condemned the “cartoon outrage.”
“BAHRAIN’S parliament will meet in an extraordinary session today as outrage grows over offensive caricatures depicting Prophet Mohammed, published in Denmark and Norway. MPs have urged a nationwide boycott of Danish and Norwegian products, until the countries apologise.”
The Jyllandse Posten now has a 24 hour police guard on its building. Needless to say, the Danes (and later the Norwegians) have apologized for offending Muslims. But apologies won’t be enough—- those countries have to guarantee it will never happen again.
”... the harm has been done and our religion has been insulted. What guarantees do we have that this won’t happen again? An apology from the editor-in-chief isn’t enough, we want it from the demonic person who drew them.”
Get this – the fundamentalist Muslim world is determined to extend religious censorship over foreign countries. And it won’t stop there.
If the boycott works against little Denmark, it will be used again and again. Arabic countries have plenty of oil money for buying and boycotting products. China just got Google to censor its internet users – why wouldn’t the Muslim world do the same thing? They are bound to try.
It’s worth remembering that Islamic fundamentalists have been publishing an endless stream of Nazi-style hate cartoons against Israel and the United States. But that’s OK. Killing people is good, if they are infidels and condemned by Allah. Drawing satirical cartoons of Mohammed will get you a death warrant.
So for those who believe in free speech, you might consider joining the counter-boycott: Buy Danish!
And tell the world if you love Havarti cheese, Lego toys, Georg Jensen designs, Tuborg and Carlsberg beer, Danish ham, and free cartooning.
Remember that Denmark was the only Nazi-occuppied European country that came out of World War Two with its moral reputation intact. The Danes just didn’t put up with Jews being sent to concentration camps. They smuggled them out to neutral Sweden.
Maybe Denmark will have the honor of being the first European country to stand against today’s Islamic fascism.
Two sides can play at this boycott game. Buy Danish!
Richard Baehr writes:
Hamas began a new charm offensive today, by threatening Danes and Norwegians who visit Gaza. Free speech or free exercise of religion (say not be to be an Islamic fundamentalist) are not part of what free elections have brought to the Palestinian territories.
Hamas means to deny free speech elsewhere, not just in their own rump state. Kind of like fatwahs against Salmon rushdie and the murdering Van Gogh. Hamas would obviously approve, having a thuggish record of its own.
Hamas may be the gift that keeps on giving for Israel, as Europeans get a taste of Hamas’ operating style.
Readers have written wanting to see the cartoons. For obvious reasons nobody wants to publish them. But I the very first search engine I chose led to me a slow-loading site where I saw them.
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE:
Bill Clinton has just denounced the cartoons:
Clinton described as “appalling” the 12 cartoons published in a Danish newspaper in September depicting Prophet Mohammed and causing uproar in the Muslim world.
“None of us are totally free of stereotypes about people of different races, different ethnic groups, and different religions … there was this appalling example in northern Europe, in Denmark … these totally outrageous cartoons against Islam,” he said.
The cartoons, including a portrayal of the prophet wearing a time-bomb-shaped turban, were reprinted in a Norwegian magazine in January, sparking uproar in the Muslim world where images of the prophet are considered blasphemous.
Clinton criticised the tendency to generalise negative news of Islamic militancy.
The troubling indications, as discussed in my “Susanne and the Baathists”, that Susanne Osthoff may have participated in her own kidnapping in order to aid the Baathist “resistance” in Iraq are apparently not so troubling for everyone in Germany. Consider the following photo-montage from the weekend edition of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
Susanne Osthoff as Jeanne d’Arc, leading the Iraqi nation (note the Iraqi national flag in the background) in its heroic struggle against the “Anglo-Saxon” invaders. Lest it be imagined that the montage is intended ironically, let it be noted that the accompanying article provides a thoroughly positive picture of the “militant lady from Glonn”. It is ostensibly “about” how German women – as opposed to men – are supposed to sympathize or even identify with Ms. Osthoff. Probably, they admire her burqas....
Some background: The Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s largest circulation broadsheet, is the daily paper of reference in Germany for the Social Democratic Party establishment and its party base. Like Le Monde in France, La Repubblica in Italy, and El Pais in Spain, it is part of a partnership with the New York Times. The weekly supplement of articles from the Times that it publishes undoubtedly makes an important contribution to shaping its public’s – hardly flattering – image of America. For an earlier Trans-Int encounter with a Sueddeutsche photo montage, see “Südeutscher ‘Humor’” from the old site.
Some time ago a Danish newspaper published twelve cartoons with depictions, in a critical and negative way, of the Prophet Mohammed.
In recent weeks, the Arab and Muslim storm against Denmark is gaining speed. In the picture above, Palestinian 'militants' burn the Danish flag. In Saudi Arabia, shops started to ban Danish products. Lybia is closing its embassy in Denmark.
Until now, the EU shuts up, as usual, about the need to defense the freedom of speech.
So: buy Danish products! Show the world that Mohammed can be the subject of (awful) jokes as much as Christ or Moses. This is not about the quality of those cartoons but about the freedom of Western artists.
By the way: you have any idea how Christianity and Judaism are being depicted in the Muslim world?
Below: picture of a shop in Saudi Arabia.
The Free West's Weblog
Sunday, January 29, 2006
By Don Feder
It was a big day for suicide bombers everywhere. Hamas emerged as the new 900-pound gorilla of Palestinian politics.
In the 132-seat Palestinian Legislative Council, Hamas ("Allah is my explosives expert") won 76 seats, a clear majority, in Wednesday’s elections.
Fatah, the party founded by the godfather of terrorism – the late, unlamented Yasser Arafat, currently led by Capo Regime Mahmoud Abbas – took a paltry 43 seats, less than one-third.
Besides wearing swastika armbands and building gas chambers, is there anything the so-called Palestinians could do to convince the semi-sentient of what sort of nightmare state they have in mind?
Our president, who has a reputation as a hard-headed foreign policy realist, refused to rule out dealing with Hamas if it changed the part of its charter calling for Israel's destruction. "Peace is never dead," the president euphemistically stated. However, Bush cautioned, "If your platform is the destruction of Israel, it means you’re not a peace partner, and we’re interested in peace."
But Fatah’s platform (the PLO’s platform) is the destruction of Israel. Try finding the Jewish state on the official map hanging in Abbas’ office. From the Jordan to the sea, it’s all labeled Palestine.
In November, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (the business end of Fatah) publicly endorsed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s call for Israel to be "wiped off the map."
In flyers distributed in the Gaza Strip, Fatah’s armed wing declared, "We affirm our support and backing for the positions of the Iranian president toward the Zionist state which, by God’s will, will cease to exist." Gosh, does that mean Fatah isn’t a peace partner, either?
Fatah’s message is Hamas’ message. One shouts it; other says it quietly. One carries an AK-47; the other a briefcase. One glories in violence; the other feigns statesmanship. One is nationalistic, in the national socialist mold; the other is proudly Islamofascist.
Here’s the Palestinian peace party at work:
In November, 2004, the PLO’s "foreign minister," Farouk Kaddoumi, told Iranian television that a "two-state solution" was a temporary expedient. Kaddoumi elaborated, "At this stage there will be two states. Many years from now there will be one state."
The PLO’s Strategy of Phases, first enunciated in 1974 and never withdrawn, calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state in any territory ceded by the Zionists, to be followed in successive stages by the "liberation" of more and more land, until it’s bedtime for Israel.
Using PLO/Fatah approved curriculum, Palestinian schools inculcate virulent Jew-hatred and instruct students on the need to give the Israelis swimming lessons.
Imams paid by the Palestinian Authority preach the joys of jihad.
Palestinian Television (controlled, up to this point in time, by the ruling Fatah party) exalts suicide bombers as "heroic martyrs."
During a five-month period from February 8 to July 8, 2005, Fatah’s military arm carried out 812 armed attacks against Israel – 47 percent of all terrorism during this period.
Its celebrated moderation was demonstrated in two drive-by shootings on October 16, 2005, in which three Israeli civilians were killed and five wounded.
Still, the Europeans, the United Nations, and Washington go through the motions of pretending that the PLO and its principal shareholder, Fatah, are moderates, the Middle East equivalent of the Continental Congress – brilliant minds, committed to democracy and human rights, doing the historic work of nation-building.
Bush welcomes Abbas to the White House. The United States and the European Union shower his government with hundreds of millions in aid each year. All treat a Palestinian state as inevitable – based on the credibility of the PLO, Fatah, and Abbas.
Will the Hamas victory clarify the situation? Will it now be impossible for starry-eyed optimists to avoid a rendezvous with reality? Will the West end its dance-of-death with the Palestinians?
Don’t count on it.
Nowhere have our leaders become more adept at truth-avoidance than the Palestinians – who appear to demonstrate Darwinian evolution in reverse.
These delightful creatures have been canonized by the media, pandered to by the international community, and pampered by the State Department and Washington power elite for so long that nothing they do (including dancing in the streets when 3,000 Americans died on 9/11) penetrates the myth of their victimhood.
In yesterday’s end-of-the-day e-mail to friends and supporters, conservative leader Gary Bauer noted: "Faced with a choice, the Palestinians voters picked the most ardent and committed Jews-haters and America-haters."
Yes, but either option would have elicited essentially the same results. The difference: Now it’s harder to pretend that night is day, war is peace, and cold-blooded killers are peace partners.
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Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Strike a blow for anti-dhimmitude: support Arla Foods
The Danish company Arla Foods faces an international boycott stemming from Muslim cartoon rage. Help Arla Foods survive this unconscionable bullying and intimidation, and help the free world protect the principle of freedom of speech: please buy as many of their products as you possibly can. Here is an email received by Jihad Watch reader Steve from an Arla Foods executive:
Thank you for your e-mail and your support.
You can find our products in the cheese deli in most supermarkets. We market the following products here in the US: Rosenborg - Blue cheeses Denmarks Finest - Havarti (an imported mild and creamy yellow cheese) Lurpak - Butter Dofino - Havarti (produced in Wisconsin) Mediterra - Feta
You can also visit our website for further information: arlafoodsusa.com
You should be able to find our products in most stores, but certainly in Safeway, Albertsons and Costco.
Tonight on MEMRI TV, the chairman of the Union of Arab Lawyers comes out in favor of nuclear weapons for Iran, and all Arab countries:
Sameh ‘Ashour: We support the Iranian people and leadership against the American intervention. We support their right to peaceful nuclear armament. If Iran wants to develop its peaceful nuclear devices, let it do so.
Moreover, I support the right of Iran and of any Arab country to have nuclear weapons. This is our right, brothers.
How come we are being pressured, when we don’t even dare to dream of obtaining nuclear weapons? We have the right to dream of having these weapons. Brothers, if any Arab country had nuclear weapons at any point in history, America and Israel would have never dared to do what they are doing to the entire Arab nation. I say this with regret...
I challenge anyone to say that any Egyptian citizen is prepared to trade in Israeli products even if they cost him nothing. This issue does not even require a resolution, brothers. The Arab citizen is qualified by nature for this resistance and for this boycott.
They don’t know how to control us. That is why they send us spies, cancerous substances, epidemics and various diseases – because they consider us to be enemies. They consider the entire Arab nation to be their greatest enemy. They don’t want developing countries, and they don’t want developed countries. They do no want development, economy, (Arab) success or superiority in any field. They want us to be slaves. They want the entire region to be their slaves. That’s why we must teach our children that we must be free and strong, and we must reject subordination.
We must declare that all the agreements that were signed are null and void. We must banish them from our conscience and trample them underfoot. We do not recognize them.
After we return to Cairo, on February 3 or 4... Am I right, Abu Ghazi? On February 3 or 4, we will hold a public trial for Bush, Blair and Sharon. We will try Sharon dead or alive, because we are putting on trial the model of Zionism, which has violated all moral and religious principles, and all the international traditions and norms.
Woman in the crowd: Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah, be strong, oh Nasrallah. Beloved Hizbullah, strike at Tel Aviv.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet in London with her counterparts from Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China on Monday to consult and plan for the upcoming IAEA Board of Governors meeting on 2 February. There, Iran's nuclear program will again be the main topic. Although the Europeans appear fed up and ready to refer Iran to the Security Council for non-compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Russia and China continue to drag their feet. Despite more than two years of obfuscation from Iran, China and Russia want more time for "consultation." Iran's chief nuclear negotiator is in Russia at the moment for just such "consultation," claiming—what else?—that Iran needs more time to consider a Russian deal long since rejected by Iran as "unacceptable." How much longer will Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammad El-Baredei ignore the IAEA's obligation to report Iran to the Security Council? We don't know, but every day of delay brings Iran that much closer to having nuclear weapons.
LGF reader Ben F notes that Hitler was indeed elected to the Palestinian parliament; he was twelfth on the national Fatah list of candidates. Ben comments:
Of the 66 national seats, the terror factions took 60 (30 for HAMAS, 27 for FATAH, 3 for PFLP). The other six winners include former Finance Minister Salam Fayyad, former PA spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi, and former Presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouti.
Of the 60 local seats not reserved for Christians, HAMAS won 46. FATAH won ten, plus the six reserved seats. The remaining four seats went to “independents.”
HAMAS will have a stronger grip on the legislature than the Republicans do in either the U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives. FATAH, with less than one third of the seats, is a weak minority party. Of the 132 legislators elected, no more than 10 are unaffiliated with a terror group.
Militants from Fatah and Hamas capped a tense and emotional day with violent clashes on Friday, while a Hamas leader said the group had no intention of recognizing Israel's right to exist or changing its charter, which calls for Israel's destruction.
"Why are we going to recognize Israel?" said the leader, Mahmoud Zahar. "Is Israel going to recognize the right of return of Palestinian refugees? Is Israel going to recognize Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital?" ...
Until now, Hamas has refused to take part in the Palestinian government because that government emerged from the 1993 Oslo accords with Israel, which Hamas rejected.
Hamas still does not recognize Israel and says it will not change its charter calling for Israel's destruction.
Of course it won't change its charter, and all of the Western aid in the world won't make a difference. Hell, all of the aid the West poured into the PA when Fatah ran the joint didn't get a change to their charter either, so undoubtedly Hamas will not go out of its way to accommodate the Jews. Hamas only has one objective, the one on which its originators founded it: to cause the annihilation of Israel, replaced by an Islamist terror camp that will send its members across the ummah.
They will not succeed, of course, as Israel won't get fooled into thinking that Hamas spent its election cycle joking around. Too many of the Israelis will see the same kind of denial that took place among Western leaders when Adolf Hitler came to power, after having written Mein Kampf, which outlined all his political goals. Despite having published exactly what he wanted to do -- eliminate the Jews and grab as much land in Eastern Europe as possible -- the world thought that governing would force Hitler to moderate his positions. He confounded them by simply turning the Reichstag into a cheerleading squad and terminating German democracy. Seventy years later, no one appears to have learned that painful lesson except the victims of Hitler and their descendants.
Genocidal lunatics do not change their stripes because their party won one election, and Hamas isn't even pretending to do so. Predictions of moderation are nothing more than excuses to avoid taking a stand against terrorists and the people who now overwhelmingly support them. The Palestinians have been the cause of this political generation for decades, and even after a free election where they hoisted the terrorist flag as their emblem, their apologists cannot bear to conclude that they simply refuse to live in peace under any solution but Israel's destruction. Their continued excuses appear now to have more to do with saving face among themselves than in judging reality.
Friday, January 27, 2006
And with good reason, since a Hamas official is on record saying that the organization intends to reinstitute the jizya for dhimmi Christians unfortunate enough to live within its domains. "Liberal Palestinians fear Hamas win," from the Globe and Mail:
RAMALLAH, WEST BANK -- Jasser Jasser watches quietly as the parade of green flows by his pharmacy. What he sees is unnerving for him, perhaps enough to make him want to leave his home and move elsewhere.
Walking at the front of the parade is a boy, perhaps in his early teens, carrying the banner of the Hamas movement -- the Islamic militia-cum-political party that opinion polls suggest is poised for a breakthrough in today's Palestinian parliamentary election.Then come the drummers, dozens of them, pounding a martial beat. Some of the drummers look to be no more than five or six years old.
That Hamas was able to hold such a large march in the centre of Ramallah, long considered the most liberal Palestinian city and a stronghold of the secular Fatah movement, in the final hours of the election campaign speaks to the momentum the Islamists have heading into today's vote.
Some opinion polls now have Hamas within just a few percentage points of the long-governing Fatah, sparking speculation that Hamas, on its first foray into national politics, could win a plurality of seats in the next Palestinian Legislative Council.
For Mr. Jasser, a 43-year-old pharmacist, that would be the final straw. Christian and liberal-minded, he said a Hamas win would have him packing his bags.
"I would leave the country," he said simply, moments before the parade of tiny drummers drowned him out.
"We're all afraid. We're worried about the future, that we'll become a second Iran."
It's a common sentiment in Ramallah, especially among the city's dwindling Christian community. Where Christians once made up an about 10 per cent of the population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the share is believed to have fallen to less than 2 per cent as many left to escape both the rising Islamicization of society and the constant violence....
By Robert Spencer
The denial started almost immediately after Hamas captured 57 percent of the seats in the Palestinian parliament. Associated Press reported that “Hamas capitalized on widespread discontent with years of Fatah corruption and ineffectiveness. Much of its campaign focused on internal Palestinian issues, while playing down the conflict with Israel.” Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice opined: “Palestinian people have apparently voted for change, but we believe their aspirations for peace and a peaceful life remain unchanged.”
But what kind of peace? And how does Hamas (Harakat Muqawama Islamiyya — the Islamic Resistance Movement) propose to rid the Palestinian Authority of corruption? To these questions the answer has been clear for as long as Hamas has existed; the answer to both is Islam. The Hamas Charter of August 18, 1988, quotes Hassan Al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, the first modern Islamic terror organization and the direct forefather of Hamas: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” A Hamas supporter in Gaza amplified that principle on Thursday: “We’re happy that now we will have an Islamic state. God willing, Islam will prevail and we will get rid of corruption.”
The Iranian regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has joined Hamas in calling for the destruction of Israel, expressed delight at the election outcome. An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “Iran...hopes that the powerful presence of Hamas at the [political] scene brings about great achievements for the Palestinian nation.”
Others were not so joyful. Jasser Jasser, a Christian pharmacist in Ramallah, said of the prospect of Hamas rule: “We’re all afraid. We’re worried about the future, that we’ll become a second Iran.” Jasser and other non-Muslims have every reason to be afraid. Hassam El-Masalmeh, Hamas leader in Bethlehem, recently declared that his movement intended to reinstitute the traditional tax, the jizya, stipulated in the Qur’an for Jews and Christians in an Islamic state. “We in Hamas,” Masalmeh announced, “intend to implement this tax someday. We say it openly – we welcome everyone to Palestine but only if they agree to live under our rules.” Since along with this tax, Islamic law stipulates that Jews and Christians must submit to a series of humiliating and discriminatory regulations, ensuring their second-class status in line with the Qur’anic stipulation that they “pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (9:29).
Some try to draw comfort from the fact that Hamas participated in the elections at all. Victor Batarseh, the mayor of Bethlehem and a Christian, echoed the view of many analysts when he said: “The only way to make Hamas more moderate is to bring them inside the system.” But that hope was belied by statements from Hamas operatives themselves, including Umm Farhat, a candidate for the Palestinian Legislative Council and the mother of a jihad terrorist who murdered five Israeli civilians. Umm Farhat emphasized that Hamas’ participation in elections did not mean it was moderating its jihadist goals one iota: “The jihadist project completes the political one and the political project cannot be completed without jihad.”
So now it should be clear to the world that exactly that – the jihad – is the agenda of Hamas, and now of the Palestinian Authority as a whole. While Mahmoud Abbas has been able to distance himself from terror attacks in Israel and claim that he was not able to stop them, now the government of the Palestinian Authority itself will be dominated by an organization that has celebrated such attacks.
Flush with victory, Hamas shows no sign of changing that posture. Hamas operative Ismail Haniyeh said the Islamic group will now work to “complete the liberation of other parts of Palestine.” In a sadly typical example of mainstream media cluelessness, the AP story reporting this adds: “But did not say which territories he was referring to or how he would go about it.” As if there were any doubt in the mind of anyone in Hamas at this point that “Palestine” refers to the entirety of Israel. The Hamas Charter states: “For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad: ‘Allah is the all-powerful, but most people are not aware.’”
And how will Hamas go about “liberating” its “homeland”? Hamas’ Mahmoud Zahar reiterated after the electoral victory: “We have no peace process. We are not going to mislead our people to tell them we are waiting, meeting, for a peace process that is nothing.” Zahar was echoing the Hamas Charter’s declaration: “[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement.”
Those words should reverberate in the minds of all the world’s policymakers whenever they are tempted in the coming weeks to call yet again for Israel to moderate its stance toward Hamas and enter into negotiations with the group. Hamas is dedicated to establishing an Islamic state and will no doubt begin immediately to do so. Its Charter maintains, “the Islamic nature of Palestine is part of our religion, and anyone who neglects his religion is bound to lose.” The Charter follows this with a quotation from the Qur’an: “And who forsakes the religion of Abraham, save him who befools himself?” (2:130).
Hamas identifies itself in the Charter as “characterized by a profound understanding, by precise notions and by a complete comprehensiveness of all concepts of Islam in all domains of life: views and beliefs, politics and economics, education and society, jurisprudence and rule, indoctrination and teaching, the arts and publications, the hidden and the evident, and all the other domains of life.” That totalitarian vision, as Jasser Jasser knows well, bodes ill for Palestinian non-Muslims.
Nonetheless, Secretary of State Rice is, of course, correct: the Palestinian “aspirations for peace and a peaceful life remain unchanged.” But they are founded upon a societal model that is fundamentally different from that that Western analysts have so far imagined. “When Islam strives for peace,” wrote the Egyptian Muslim theorist Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), “its objective is not that superficial peace which requires that only that part of the earth where the followers of Islam are residing remain secure. The peace which Islam desires is that the religion (i.e., the Law of the society) be purified for God, that the obedience of all people be for God alone, and that some people should not be lords over others.” In the Palestinian Authority, the voters have freely chosen such a society. Were they voting against corruption? So were many Germans who voted for Hitler in the early 1930s. The fact that much of the populace had not endorsed his agenda, however, did not prevent him from implementing it.
Ahmadinejad in Iran, Hamas in the Palestinian Authority: jihadists are closer than they have been in ages to realizing the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s prediction that “the last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him” (Sahih Muslim, bk. 41, no. 6985).
Will the world stand ready to prevent this? Or continue to deceive itself with vain hopes that the men who won the Palestinian elections are men with whom they can deal?
Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of five books, seven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). He is also an Adjunct Fellow with the Free Congress Foundation.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Jay Leno: The government is still analyzing Osama bin Laden's latest tape. On his most recent release he called Bush a liar and said that he was just after oil. It's the usual stuff we have heard before. Like at the Golden Globes. ... On the tape, bin Laden has three demands: That we pull our troops out of Iraq, that we pull the troops out of Afghanistan, and he wants to see actual stars on "Dancing With the Stars." ... New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is being criticized for saying that God wants New Orleans to be a chocolate city and that the hurricanes were because God was mad at us. The good news, he was nominated for the Pat Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award. ... Here's your government at work. This week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall for thousands of Christmas lights that they say may pose a risk of electric shock. They're recalling Christmas lights. Good timing. What is it, January now? You think this is maybe where the ex-head of FEMA wound up? ... The "National Inquirer" has reported that Ted Kennedy has a 21-year-old secret love child. Is that really the most accurate term, "love child"? Isn't "drunken fling child" a bit more like it? ... Senator Kennedy wasn't available for comment on the love child—he was overseeing a hearing on ethics. ... NBC has cancelled the "West Wing." That's when you know things are bad—when even fictional Democrats aren't doing well. Can't even get elected on TV anymore.
From the Hamas Charter:
"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."
"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "
"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."
"After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying."
The Free West's Weblog
Democracy is a wonderful thing: one has the right to vote for persons who are going to represent you in a parliament, where they will advance the cause of prosperity, peace, safety, liberty. Doesn't it?
The Palestinians have been voting too, and as could be expected they voted for religious and political radicalism and delusions. The put their fate in the hands of Hamas, the Palestinian franchise of the Muslim Brotherhood, a strong islamist and radical Egyptian movement.
Hamas dreams of the destruction of Israel. As a radical islamist party, it strongly suppresses the freedom of women. It is heavily anti-Semitic.
Already voices of Middle Eastern experts are being heard that the West should accept this outcome of the Palestinian elections and start talking to Hamas.
That would be a ridiculous thing.
The Palestinians are free to vote for war.
We are free to let them march into obscurity and destruction.
In the Thirties, the German people freely assisted Hitler in becoming Reichskanzler. In a democratic process, he took his opportunities and was able to control the main state institutions.
There is no reason we should accept the outcome of democratic processes if people elect terrorists and anti-Semites. Stupidity is stupidity, also when it is the outcome of a free vote.
Read Haaretz here. The Jerusalem Post here. The New York Times here. The Washington Post here.
It is now official: Palestine is a terrorist state.
Dhimmis will always tell you how wonderful, how magnanimous, how kind their masters are. They will carefully omit any evidence to the contrary. From JTA, with thanks to Teri:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (JTA) — The grand mufti of Jerusalem made an alliance with Adolf Hitler during World War II. Yet, visitors to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., will learn nothing about it.
Some Jewish activists want to change that.
The locally based Holocaust Museum Watch is urging the museum to take a leadership role in exposing Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism both during the Holocaust and in the present day.
The absence of programs or information on the topic is a “dereliction of duty” by the facility, HMWatch chair Carol Greenwald charged last week, speaking during a forum at Ohev Sholom Talmud Torah.
HMWatch had asked U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council chair Fred Zeidman to speak at last week’s program, but he declined the invitation....
Among their complaints is the museum’s failure to detail Jerusalem Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini’s connection to the Nazis. The two met in Berlin in 1941, and Hitler pledged his assistance in ridding the Arab world of Jews.
Later in the war, the mufti, among other activities, broadcast radio messages supporting the Nazis and helped recruit Muslim SS units in the Balkans.
The museum also bypasses the persecution of North African Jews, said Shelomo Alfassa, founder of the Sephardic Holocaust Project and executive director for the International Society for Sephardic Progress.
Nothing in the museum details the forced labor camps in Tunisia, from which 4,000 Jews were deported to European extermination camps, Alfassa said. Nor, he said, is there mention of the “Vichy restrictions” forcing Jews into ghettos in Morocco during the wartime period.
Edwin Black — author of “Banking on Baghdad, a history of Iraq” — points out that the museum makes no mention of the Farhud, a 1941 pro-Nazi pogrom in the Iraqi capital city that killed more than 200 Jews and destroyed hundreds of Jewish businesses.
Efforts to get the museum to recognize the anniversary of the Farhud have been rebuffed, he said. Black emphasized that he was not a member of HMWatch, but was representing himself on the panel.
He believes that the museum has avoided the topic because if museum historians “didn’t discover it, grow it and package it, it doesn’t exist.”
Others blame political demands for the museum’s failure to include such information in its permanent exhibit, or to explore concerns about current Muslim anti-Semitism in the same way the museum has sponsored programs on the genocides in Sudan and Rwanda....
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Three Muslim fathers demanded a head cloth obligation for teachers in an elementary school in Linz. The indignation about it is large: Upper-Austrian national school advice president Fritz Enzenhofer spoke of “insanity” and reported that one had directly acted. FPOe Secretary-General Herbert Kickl demanded in response a “head cloth prohibition” in schools. BZOe speaker Uwe Scheuch called the demands of the Muslims “inakzeptabel”.
The “VS 12” - designated after the social-democratic Schulreformer petrol Gloeckl - is considered as integration elementary school. Three quarters of the 178 children do not have German as native language. A teacher sent a letter to the personalvertretung, in which she weighted about three fanatische Muslim fathers - two Bosnier and a Tschetschene in the name of her colleagues. They would have required that the directress and all teachers wore head cloths. The children might not be admonished further by their teachers publicly. They refused besides the teachers the “Sie” address, because they did not earn this as women. In addition their pupils of children should not participate in singing appearances, that are “prostitution”. And no teacher has to ask, why the daughter does not go swimming, has a father required. The teachers should are glad to have so many Islamic children otherwise the school would have to zusperren.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Here at the BBC is an interview with one of the most heroic women in the world today, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who talks "about her journey from devout Muslim to one of Islam's most outspoken critics, and why she refuses to be silenced."
Thanks to all who sent this in.
Monday, January 23, 2006
This is Jed Babbin in The American Spectator. It's real, people, wake up:
'It could, and should, be made one dark night. B-2 stealth bombers, each carrying twenty ground-penetrating guided munitions, can destroy much of Iran's nuclear facilities and government centers. Some might carry reported electro-magnetic pulse weapons that can destroy all the electronic circuits that comprise Iranian missiles, key military communications and computer facilities. And it may be that we have the ability to attack Iran's military and financial computer networks with computer viruses and "Trojan horses" that will make it impossible for Iran to function militarily and economically. Our strategy must be implemented before Ahmadinejad can test his nukes. Whether that test can happen next month or next year is immaterial. The time for us to act is now.'
The Free West's Weblog
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times
Jamal Abu Roub, seen at left through a bullet hole in a house window in Jenin, West Bank, is considered a shoo-in for the Palestinian Parliament
This says it all about Palestinian political culture: man nicknamed Hitler is running seat in Parliament (and will likely win)
Saturday, January 21, 2006
A strange development in the Osthoff case...
Report says ransom money found on Osthoff
Part of the ransom money alleged to have been paid by the German government to win the freedom of Iraq hostage Susanne Osthoff last month was found on Osthoff after her release, the German magazine Focus said on Saturday.
Without citing its sources, Focus said officials at the German embassy in Baghdad had found several thousand U.S. dollars in the 43-year-old German archaeologist's clothes when she took a shower at the embassy shortly after being freed.
The serial numbers on the bills matched those used by the government to pay off Osthoff's kidnappers, the magazine said.
A spokeswoman at the German Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the report. The German government is known to have paid ransoms for hostages in the past, but has refused to comment on whether it did so for Osthoff. (...)
Speculation about the circumstances of her kidnapping and release has swirled in the German media since the German government announced on December 18 that she was free.
Two days after her release, the German government freed a Hizbollah member jailed for life in 1985 for the murder of a U.S. Navy diver. Berlin has denied a connection between the two events.
Osthoff herself caused a stir when she said in an interview at the end of December that she did not believe her kidnappers were criminals. (emphasis added)
Maybe the kidnappers were just Osthoff's business partners. Colleagues, you know. I'm just not sure about the German government's role in this case. Anything seems possible.
Medienkritik's reader Joe has an interesting opinion:
Do not be surprised that at some point in the future we discover more involvement by the German intelligence services at the front end of this than we now know.
It is very possible all the reporting about the BND helping the US is nothing more than an effort to change the focus of the spotlight.
We are now left to believe that Germany traded a murderer of a US service member for what? For someone who was never kidnapped and never was in danger and who was paid to appear in a video.
More on the Osthoff case from John Rosenthal...
COPIES of the Koran were handed to the jurors in the Abu Hamza trial yesterday as his defence argued that some of the cleric’s “offensive” statements were drawn directly from Islam’s holy book.
Edward Fitzgerald, QC, for the defence, said that Abu Hamza’s interpretation of the Koran was that it imposed an obligation on Muslims to do jihad and fight in the defence of their religion. He said that the Crown case against the former imam of Finsbury Park Mosque was “simplistic in the extreme”.
He added: “It is said he was preaching murder, but he was actually preaching from the Koran itself.”
Friday, January 20, 2006
The opposite happened, of course. Look at these German politicians:
A CDU spokesman: ‘We have to convince these countries that their situation isn't going to get any better if they possess nuclear weapons," Schockenhoff told Reuters in Berlin. "I don't think Chirac's approach is really the best way to lead this debate and to increase pressure on Iran."’
An SPD man said: "This is a unilateral declaration on the part of the French president, and it's something he ought to have discussed with his European partners first."
Westerwelle of the FDP said: "I don't think that anyone -- and certainly not peace or de-escalation -- is served when one trumpets to the world community employing nuclear weapons as an option."
And a person of the Gruene said: “I'm certain that this will not make the world a safer place."
So apparently they wanted Chirac to say something like: „Attack us and we won’t hit back but instead try to analyze what we did to you so you felt you should blow up the Louvre.’
What a pathetic bunch. They should have said: ‚Yes, Jack, is right, and whatever he leaves standing in your countries we will destroy, so, be a good boy and behave.’
No, appeasing and delusional EU-politics in full swing.
The Free West's Weblog
Clash of civilizations update from Holland, from the BBC, with thanks to Designnut:
The Dutch government will announce over the next few weeks whether it will make it a crime to wear traditional Islamic dress which covers the face apart from the eyes.
The Dutch parliament has already voted in favour of a proposal to ban the burqa outside the home, and some in the government have thrown their weight behind it.
There are only about 50 women in all of the Netherlands who do cover up entirely - but soon they could be breaking the law.
Dutch MP Geert Wilders is the man who first suggested the idea of a ban.
"It's a medieval symbol, a symbol against women," he says.
"We don't want women to be ashamed to show who they are. Even if you have decided yourself to do that, you should not do it in Holland, because we want you to be integrated, assimilated into Dutch society. If people cannot see who you are, or see one inch of your body or your face, I believe this is not the way to integrate into our society."...
Mr Wilders has explicitly linked his wish for a burqa ban with terrorism.
"We have problems with a growing minority of Muslims who tend to have sympathy with the Islamo-fascistic concept of radical Islam," says Mr Wilders.
"That's also a reason why everybody should be identifiable when they walk on the street or go to a pub or go into a restaurant or whatsoever."
Posted by Robert
Thursday, January 19, 2006
When Israel began erecting a separation barrier in late 2003 to protect its citizens from the seemingly endless procession of suicide bombers, Palestinian society responded by redirecting its destructive urges inward. All revolutions are said ultimately to turn upon themselves and devour their own children. And, when suicide bombing became an increasingly difficult means of enhancing family prestige, Palestinians shifted the focus onto their female offspring to restore the balance.
Suicide bombings in Israel had developed into a bloody and lucrative industry for Palestinians who carried out 39 attacks in 2002. But, since Israel began constructing its anti-terrorist fence, the Palestinian human-bomb industry has been reduced to bankruptcy by producing only 11 attacks in more than two years.
Honor killing, on the other hand – which has always been an integral aspect of Palestinian life – began gathering momentum. With horrifying zest, weapon-wielding fathers, brothers, uncles and sometimes mothers, hunt down their daughters and sisters and commit shocking acts of violence for real and imagined immoral transgressions.
The Arab motivation for murdering their own daughters flows from the same cultural wellspring that produces suicide bombers. The defensive form of honor, called ird, is consumed with female sexual purity and manifests itself in the murder of its own to restore family honor, whereas the offensive manifestation, sharaf, requires positive actions implemented to heighten social status and increase family honor. As Palestinian society retreats from its failure to infiltrate the daily life of Israeli citizens with death and destruction, it compensates by killing its own and depositing ird in its honor bank.
Soraida Hussein, head of research for Jerusalem’s Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling said, “Honor killing is nothing new... what is new is the whole wave of killing in 2005.”
In May 2005, the BBC reported, “In recent months there has been an increase in honour killings in the West Bank and Gaza...Women's rights activists say they cannot explain the upsurge.”
During a particularly brutal spate of honor killings in early 2005, five Palestinian women were murdered in four separate incidences over a short period of time. Faten Habash spent six weeks in hospital after she threw herself from her family’s fourth floor apartment window. Upon her return home, her father bludgeoned her to death with an iron bar.
Two days later, Maher Shakirat attacked his three sisters. The eldest, Rudaina, was eight months pregnant and had been admonished by her husband after he claimed she’d had an affair. Maher forced his sisters to drink bleach before strangling them. The youngest, Leila, escaped but had serious internal injuries from the effect of the bleach.
Rafayda Qaoud shared a bedroom in her Ramallah home with her two brothers. After they raped and impregnated her, she gave birth to a baby boy who was adopted by another family. Her mother then gave Rafayda a razor blade and ordered her to slash her own wrists. When she refused to commit suicide, her mother pulled a plastic bag tightly over her head, sliced open her daughter’s wrists and beat her with a stick until she was dead.
Palestinian feminist Abu Dayyeh Shamas claims that: "Men feel they have lost their dignity and that they can somehow restore it by upholding the family's honour. We've noticed recent cases are much more violent in nature; attempts to kill, rape, incest. There is an incredible amount of incest." One women’s group reported over 400 cases of incest in the West Bank alone in 2002.
Anthropologist James Emery explained in 2003, how “among Palestinians, all sexual encounters, including rape and incest, are blamed on the woman.” Men are always presumed innocent and the responsibility falls on the woman or girl to protect her honor at all costs. When 17-year-old Afaf Younes ran away from her father after he allegedly sexually assaulted her, she was caught and sent home to him. He then shot and killed her to protect his honor.
And when a four-year-old toddler was raped by a 25 year-old man in 2002, her Palestinian family left her to bleed to death because her rape had dishonored the family.
Emery described a Palestinian merchant explaining this cultural view of femininity as "A woman shamed is like rotting flesh, if it is not cut away, it will consume the body. What I mean is the whole family will be tainted if she is not killed."
Recently in Gaza and the West Bank, Hamas has defined a new role for itself in guarding the morality of young Muslim women. A group of men who identified itself as a Hamas “morality squad” attacked 19-year-old Yousra al-Azam after she had sat at the beach with her husband-to-be and another couple. She was shot in the head and died in the street as her murderers beat her with batons. The growing influence of Hamas with its fundamentalist interpretations of Islamic law is concerning women’s groups, which fear it will gain power and moral legitimacy in the coming elections.
The Guardian, reported official figures from the Palestinian Women’s Affairs Ministry in 2004, where it claimed 20 girls and women were honor-killed and a further 50 committed suicide. Another 15, it claimed, had survived murder attempts. And in 2005, the official figures reached 33. However, this official recognition of the sharp rise in reported honor killings is a limp excuse by a society that condones, camouflages and ignores most of its crimes against women.
According to Dr Shalhoub-Kevorkian, a criminologist from Hebrew University, the real figures are much higher with almost all murders in the West Bank and Gaza most likely to be honor killings. In a two-year period between 1996 and 1998, Shalhoub-Kevorkian uncovered 234 suspicious deaths in the West Bank alone, which she believes were honor killings. Palestinian police do not record these deaths as murder but as deaths due to "fate and destiny.” Shalhoub-Kevorkian believes the real number of honor killings may in fact be 15 times higher than the official figures.
In 2005, Amnesty International issued a public statement that called for the Palestinian Authority not to resume executions of those convicted of murder, rape or collaborating with Israelis. It simultaneously called for an end to the “impunity so far afforded to those responsible for certain crimes” including “honour killings.”
A man convicted of killing his daughter or female relative can expect to serve a six-month sentence due to a 45 year-old Jordanian law still upheld in the West Bank and Gaza. More often than not, the woman’s murder is reported as suicide or accident or is simply not reported at all. Anthropologist Emery claimed that many murdered women are buried in the desert: “The secret of their fate... entombed with them in the sand.”
Human rights groups, amongst others, have claimed that the surge in serious crime, including honor killings, is the result of poverty and hardship created by Israel. And, while the barrier must have made life more difficult for many Palestinians, Israel cannot be seen to be responsible for the burgeoning crime rate and developing lawlessness of the Palestinian population.
In Britain, there is no physical barrier separating people and no Jewish government to blame for the dilemmas of the Muslim community. Yet a sharp increase in Islamic honor killings has been reported since the July 7 London bombings, last year.
Nazir Afzal, director of Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service, told Reuters, there has been at least a “dozen honor killings in the country in the past year.” This, he claims, is just a glimpse of the real problem. “There are other crimes, like rape, abduction and physical violence...”
Afzal claims that a number of Britain’s 1.6 million Muslims are “turning in on themselves...When communities perceive themselves to be under threat they tend to turn in on themselves, regardless of whether that perception has any basis in fact.”
This unprecedented cultural phenomenon in Britain demonstrates the senselessness of blaming Israel’s Jews for the barbaric and primitive behaviour of Palestinian society. In Britain – just as in the West Bank and Gaza – “They try to restore and reinforce their own social norms,” Afzal explains, “ They put pressures on their own members to conform and if they don’t...there is sometimes some kind of retribution.”
Since Israel diminished the capacity of Palestinian human-bomb-making by building a barrier, the honor-making potential of the Palestinians has been considerably depleted. As they turn inward and commit savage and pitiless crimes upon their own women in order to achieve anamorphic honor, it is clear that the problem is one of cultural depravity rather than Israeli oppression.
Because Arabs employ the two societal poles of honor and shame to govern their behaviour, actions are dominated by the avoidance of shame and the acquisition of honor. Thus, every relationship and experience emanating from other, unchartered sources are inhibited and suppressed. Both honor and shame require an audience in order to become activated concepts. And the loss of the suicide bombers’ audience has created a chaotic shift in focus while the perpetrators seek a new audience to restore their lagging sense of sharaf.
Sharon Lapkin is a former Australian Army Officer and a postgraduate student at the University of Melbourne.
The threat works in reverse. It is the Iranians who have the world over a barrel. On Jan. 15, Iran's economy minister warned that Iran would retaliate for any sanctions by cutting its exports to "raise oil prices beyond levels the West expects." A full cutoff could bring $100 oil and plunge the world into economic crisis.
Which is one of the reasons the Europeans are so mortified by the very thought of a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. The problem is not just that they are spread out and hardened, making them difficult to find and to damage sufficiently to seriously set back Iran's program.
The problem that mortifies the Europeans is what Iran might do after such an attack -- not just cut off its oil exports but shut down the Strait of Hormuz by firing missiles at tankers or scuttling its vessels to make the strait impassable. It would require an international armada led by the United States to break such a blockade.
Krauthammer goes on to bash European myopia, and he's probably right, but where do we go from here? All doors seem slammed shut. Like Dan Drezner, I would like to see some constructive thought about this from other quarters. Maybe it's a time when people can finally get off their partisan hobby-horses and take a clear look at a future that will effect all of us and our children.. unless, of course, you think Ahmadinejad is just joking. Then relax and go back to thinking about how you can win South Dakota next year.
UPDATE: I just discovered, via the PJ tip jar, an example of the partisan crapola I was just talking about. According to The First Post, it's the fault of the dreaded neo-cons that we now face problems in Iran. Okay, now that that's clear.
By Jamie Glazov
Spielberg’s new film “Munich” has stirred a tremendous amount of controversy since its release several weeks ago. Today, in the special edition of Frontpage Symposium, we host a debate on the movie and its meaning.
To present the case that Munich is simply just a fictional film that doesn’t warrant the condemnations it has received from critics, we are joined by:
Phyllis Chesler, author of the recently published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. Her website is http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/.
Carl F. Horowitz, (no relation to David Horowitz) director of the Organized Labor Accountability Project of the National Legal and Policy Center, based in Falls Church, VA. He has a Ph.D. in urban planning and public policy from Rutgers University.
Ariel Chesler, a matrimonial attorney in Manhattan.
To present the counter-argument that “Munich” is a terrible movie that lies about history, we are joined by:
Debbie Schlussel, a Conservative political commentator, radio talk show host, columnist, and attorney. Her website is DebbieSchlussel.com.
Arnold Steinberg, a political strategist who has written graduate texts on politics and media. His expertise includes message and public opinion. Early in his career, he worked for U.S. Sen. James L. Buckley (NY), where he began his involvement in national security.
Andrea Levin is executive director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).
FP: Phyllis Chesler, Carl Horowitz, Ariel Chesler, Debbia Schlussel, Andrea Levin and Arnold Steinberg, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.
Dr. Chesler, let me begin with you. Allow me to start with some of my own thoughts to stimulate this discussion.
You have come out defending the Spielberg movie to a certain degree, saying that it is “just a film” and that is does a level of justice, on several realms, to the true historical event.
A film that is dedicated to depicting a historical event, I am afraid, is not “just a film.” It has a certain degree of responsibility to historical truth.
This is a fictional movie about a true historical event, the 1972 massacre of the Israeli athletes in Munich, that presents history wrong. Aside from the facts that it distorts facts, which we will discuss in this symposium, it engages in a sickening moral equivalency, applying a notion of “the cycle of violence” to a situation in which the Holocaust is simply literally being replayed. In other words, the cause of Israel’s thirst to survive and the Palestinian terrorists’ yearning to extinguish Jews is portrayed to be on a relative moral playing field. Both sides are portrayed as equal in their objectives. The lives of the innocent victims of terror are morally equated with the terrorists’ lives. This is an intellectual and moral crime.
Dr. Chesler, let’s say I made a movie about Auschwitz, Dachau and Buchenwald, and then I depicted the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Suppose I made equivalent the struggle of the Jewish rebels with the objectives of the Nazis carrying out the Final Solution. Let’s say I humanized the Nazis and painted a picture in which they were just as human and justified as their victims and I implied throughout the whole movie that the “cycle of violence” that emerged in the Warsaw Uprising was unproductive.
When people would come forward to criticize me, would you come to defend me and say: “This is just a film”?
Phyllis Chesler: Obviously, I do not agree with Spielberg's critics. Had the film offended me as much as it has offended its critics, I would have subjected it to the same rules of evidence that Eichman's trial in Jerusalem required. But I am not defending the film you are attacking because I saw a very different film. Notebook in hand, I went prepared to be sickened. That is not what happened. While the film is not a great film, it is, dramatically, a very absorbing film and in my view, a balanced one as well. While the film fictionally humanizes two Palestinian terrorists it humanizes the Israelis even more; and, although it portrays Israeli unofficial agents targeting terrorists for assassination it also depicts the Munich massacre itself for the entire length of the film.
There is nothing pretty about Spielberg's depiction of that massacre, nor do the Palestinian killers at Munich make any speeches about "injustice" or about justified motive. Only much later do we hear one rather unsympathetic Palestinian terrorist describe his plans to get rid of the Jewish state both demographically, by over-populating, and through a reign of terror that might last for one hundred years. I did not find him or his speech sympathetic nor did I believe his longing for a "home" he has probably never himself seen.
As to your movie about Auschwitz: Spielberg, in my opinion, has himself already made a film about the Holocaust that was morally defective--far more so than his film about Munich is. "Schindlers List," also based on a real historical occurrence and pegged to a book, focused on the exception, not the rule; he would have us forget the six million Jews who were murdered as we focused on the handful who, courtesy of one compassionate Christian, were saved and for whom they worked as slave laborers.
At the time, Spielberg was greatly honored for this film. Few attacked him. What's different now? The time in which we now live (post the intifada of 2000, post 9/11, post 3/11, post 7/7, etc.) has us all on considerable edge. We view each film, each book, each conference, every conversation, as a matter of life and death. I myself have taken the monitoring of culture very seriously. We are at war, jihad has been declared, the Jewish state has borne the brunt of Islamic hatred of the West and our most cherished values--but fighting one film is probably not as important as fighting the Palestinianization of the western campus and media, etc.
Of course, you might argue that fighting such a high profile film is an expedient way to symbolically challenge such Palestinianization and you may be right. And, I do think your analogy to the Holocaust film you might make is certainly chilling: I am not sure you are right. However, no one film can present the tragedy and complexity of the Middle East in 2 1/2 hours. Thousands of volumes will not do it either.
Here's an interesting scenario to ponder. My friend, Bill Hoffman, the playwright and opera librettist, has suggested that Spielberg hired Kushner, who is well known for his politically correct anti-Zionist views, precisely in order to co-op him and his supporters into supporting (or at least not criticizing) a film that would otherwise be far too pro-Israel for them.
FP: I don’t know what it means to “fictionally” humanize terrorists. Humanizing terrorists is humanizing terrorists. And it is a grotesque, violent, inhuman, damaging and shameless thing to do.
Yes, “no one film can present the tragedy and complexity of the Middle East in 2 1/2 hours.” But it helps when you don’t apply moral relativism between Nazis and their victims.
I saw this film and I can tell it does this in many instances.
In any case, Ms. Schlussel?
Schlussel: Is Ms. Chesler for real? This is a "balanced" film? Huh? Either she was on her cellphone during the film or her critical thinking skills need some polish.
First off, it was not "balanced" at all, but if it were, is that a good thing--to "balance" Islamic terrorists who are in the wrong and those who seek to eliminate them and the problem to peace and tranquility that they represent? Is it "balanced" to show Arab terrorists reading the "Arabian Nights" in Italian and going to upscale gourmet bakeries (all while being kind to the help) and not showing these terrorists in action planning a massacre of innocent human beings? Hello!
Is it "balanced" to show them as doting fathers with cute, piano-playing little girls, but not showing the cute, little girls who lost their fathers to those terrorists? Is it "balanced" to show terrorists as nice guys offering cigarettes and sleeping pills to their hotel neighbors, but not the murders they planned?
This is a bit strange coming from someone who claims to be pro-Israel--or even just anti-terror--to say the things she's saying. I suppose that if the KKK makes a movie--or say, Leni Reifenstahl's Hitler propaganda--that Ms. Chesler will say, "Well, it's JUST a movie." Clearly, she is out of touch with today's America, which believes what it sees on a screen. Oops, I forgot, she thinks there's nothing wrong with the fraud that is "Munich," that it's "balanced."
And then, there's the part where she says it's "dramatically very absorbing." Sorry, but it was not that at all. It was very boring, tedious, and way too long at almost 3 hours. Brevity is the soul of wit. But "Munich" is neither brief nor witty. And it is also soul-less. Chesler cites the fact that the murders of the athletes are portrayed in the film. Yet, she doesn't mention that the scenes are interspersed during a sex scene, in between orgasms. She doesn't have a problem with that?
I don't have any playwright or opera librettist friends, and maybe that's the problem. I'm far too Middle America too see what isn't there, as Ms. Chesler does. I see what IS there, and it is a disgusting sympathy towards Islamic terrorists who would destroy us. Ms. Chesler just doesn't get it. Even Spielberg, himself, told TIME and USA Today, that he wants the world to see "Munich" (and his remake of "War of the Worlds") through a post-9/11 prism and to look at America's War on Terror through the film.
Ms. Chesler doesn't want us to see Spielberg's obvious propaganda the way that even Spielberg says it is meant to be viewed. And a rotten egg is a rotten egg, no matter how much Ms. Chesler wants to pretend it is a tasty omelette.
FP: Carl Horowitz?
Carl Horowitz: You can tell a lot about a man by the enemies he makes. And Steven Spielberg, I am happy to report, has made an enemy out of Mohammed Daoud, mastermind of the 1972 murders of those Israeli Olympic athletes. Mr. Daoud is positively outraged. “If he (Spielberg) really wanted to make the movie a prayer for peace, he should have listened to both sides of the story and reflected reality, rather than serving the Zionist side alone,” he told Reuters in a phone interview from Damascus, adding that he hadn’t seen the film. He added: “When I chose a long time ago to be a revolutionary fighter, I prepared to be a martyr. I am not afraid, because people’s souls are in God’s hands, not Israel’s.” And he threw in this little gem: “We did not target Israeli civilians. Some of the athletes had taken part in wars and killed many Palestinians. Whether a pianist or an athlete, any Israeli is a soldier.”
Got that? Spielberg should have shown the suffering of both sides, not just that of the Israelis. And he should have depicted the “crimes” of Israel against the Palestinians.
In a bizarre way, Daoud’s noxious, factually-challenged rant performs a useful function. For it indicates that Spielberg would have had to have gone a lot further to appease his Arab critics – that is, to make a film that truly was morally equivalent. It’s easy to see why Daoud would be offended. “Munich” showed the terrorists for what they were: cold-blooded killers unencumbered by the slightest twinge of doubt or remorse. The movie showed, by contrast, the Israeli hit team scrupulously concerned with avoiding collateral damage, particularly children. It conveyed the Israeli government concerned with the defense of its people, and in the context of a West German government too gutless, and possibly anti-Semitic, to give the terrorists their just deserts.
Now I realize that displeasing a Palestinian terrorist does not in and of itself amount to sound political judgment. But Steven Spielberg has to be understood as a distinct type: a pro-Israeli liberal, not a pro-Israeli conservative. While I am of the latter number, that doesn’t mean that the liberal view is either naive or treasonous. Unfortunately, that is the view taken by a number of the movie’s critics, including (most recently) syndicated columnist Suzanne Fields. Israel, as anyone who has spent time there knows, has plenty of liberals. They are not appeasers of terrorists. And as well as anyone, they grasp a fundamental demographic reality.
Yasser Arafat often remarked that his ultimate bomb was the womb of the Palestinian woman. That belief was made palpable in “Munich” by a terrorist in a crucial dialogue exchange midway through the movie. The sad thing is that no matter how many of those bastards you kill off, there always will be more to kill – and more and more and more. A fanatic bent on propagating children, and plenty of them, for the main purpose of serving as warriors against an enemy of his own imagination typically will get his wish.
The real path to peace, much as it is difficult to resist the temptation to crave righteous vengeance, lies in weakening the culture of radical orthodoxy, that nexus of religious extremism, hatred of cosmopolitanism, humorlessness, high fertility rates, and a hysterical inability to reason or even allow others to reason. For it is here where terrorism takes root. Spielberg’s message at times may be muddled – and I do not believe “Munich” to be flawless – but it is always honest and at the very least plausible. That’s something that can never be said of the message of Mr. Daoud or his fellow enablers of murderers.
FP: Munich was honest? A film which propagates moral equivalence should stand insulated from the charge of moral equivalence because a terrorist who hasn’t seen it has made a diatribe against its producer?
Is the “honesty” to be found in the fact that nowhere in the script can one find even one quote, one speech, mouthed by a terrorist depicting how much the Palestinians/Arabs hate Jews in the context of how this hatred stems from a pathology rather than from a victimization?
Is the honesty to be found in the Mossad agents arguing with each other about how their attempt to kill the terrorists reignites a cycle of violence (moral equivalency if you didn't catch it)?
Is honesty to be found in Spielberg having an Israeli agent saying: "I only care about Jewish blood”? This is how Spielberg chooses to symbolize a nation that has agonized more than any other in history about the urgency of sparing human blood on both sides in the face of fanatic suicidal attempts at its own extermination. Spielberg allows the implication that this disposition represents a nation that, for instance, could have just bombed the hell out of Jenin in 2002 for a revenge against an atrocious suicide bombing in Netanya, but that instead did a house to house job and lost 23 of its own men so that Palestinian civilians could be saved. And this symbolized Israel’s effort to preserve itself throughout its history. And to put words like this into an Israeli's mouth in a movie, to suggest that this is some kind of general disposition of Israel in how it has faced the effort to annihilate it, it is absolutely shameful and shameless.
Mr. Steinberg, go ahead.
Steinberg: Spielberg should have stayed with kids movies. He couldn't be a cop or a soldier, but a fantasy-maker that other people die for. He pretends to wrestle with whether violence is moral, but unless he pulls this movie, history will remember him as being on its wrong side.
He's a pretentious moral midget who could yet redeem himself. Given his remarkable career and great wealth, he could do the right thing and, with humility, repudiate this work and still come out ahead. Perhaps he's too ego-driven to grasp his muddled thinking.
Then, there's the sophistry -- that because the film provokes discussions like this, it gets people thinking. Nonsense. Nor are we talking about the technical aspects of movie-making here, but of a corrupt message. My information is that Spielberg discovered into the project that his "facts" were way off, but he was too far into it. If Spielberg really hired Kushner to co-opt him and fellow travelers, it is Kushner who, in turn, co-opted Spielberg.
Kushner thought that Spielberg's "Schindler's List and his (secular) Jewishness would insulate the film. Kushner knew what he was doing. Look, covert ops, especially black operations, are intentionally untraceable. The movie's preoccupation with receipts plays to the stereotype of Jews and money, plus the broader point -- contrasting the Israeli's valued "Jewish blood" with their cheap view of Palestinian life, then paying big bucks to knock Palestinians who seem like such nice people. This is a minor point, but one of many.
As the saying goes, we've seen this movie before. Kushner is not a "liberal" Jew like, say, Peres or Rabin. Kushner believes Israel is illegitimate and morally flawed. He reminds me of people I dealt with 25 years ago in Saudi Arabia who told me they didn't have a problem with Jews like me, unless I was a "Zionist." Kushner would do well there.
Why would Kushner do this project, if not to advance his cause? Since Spielberg is bright, I infer he subscribes to the line that Israel has been corrupted, retrospectively (the revisionist view of Kushner and his ilk) by its founding ("f---ing over" others, i.e., the Palestinians).
Remember, the line used to be that Israel lost its moral way with the occupation. But that wasn't enough for the Kushners. Every key Arabist argument is in this movie, such as that the Holocaust was wrongly used to found Israel and screw over Palestinians. Contrary to Spielberg's rationalization, this is not just a violent film about getting even, and to raise the age-old question about how you deal with murderous thugs without becoming a murderer. It is, and here's where Spielberg's critics miss the boat, a film to influence public policy.
This movie won't persuade the hardcore friends or foes of Israel. But the vast majority in the middle comes away with a 'pox on both your violent houses' -- why support Israel?
This movie also is an assault on the war on terrorism. That's why the movie ends with the twin towers in the background. It's supposed to bring you full circle, on the cycle of violence b.s. which is the corollary of moral equivalence, alongside the Arabist belief that the U.S. provoked 9-11.
This movie clearly implies the Israeli response to Munich escalated, if not unleashed, a new generation of terrorism that culminated in 9-11. Kushner cleverly projected plausible even-handedness, but on the points that mattered, he gutted Israel. Remember, the Palestinian wins the homeland debate by default. I talk mainly about Kushner, because he used Spielberg, who has much more clout. I disagree with Carl Horowitz--Munich was dishonest, overwhelmingly so, factually. Moreover, the mission, to the extent it existed, was not revenge, but to disrupt the terrorist hierarchy, which it did. And to quote Daoud attacking Spielberg? Bottom line -- this movie depicts the straight Arabist line -- this is a real estate conflict and ignores the reality that key Arab constituencies, from religious zealous to secular extremists, hate Jews and want them dead.
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Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Soviet Studies. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s new book Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of the new book The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.