Don’t miss this excellent editorial in the Wall Street Journal today.
Following the weekend intelligence disclosures about Iranian-supplied weapons killing GIs in Iraq, we predicted Tuesday that “a large part of Washington will pretend the evidence doesn’t exist, or suggest the intelligence isn’t proven, or claim that it’s all the Bush Administration’s fault for ‘bullying’ Iran.” Sure enough, President Bush faced a barrage of questions Wednesday wondering whether senior Iranian leaders were really aware of the weapons transfers, whether he was using “faulty intelligence,” and whether the disclosures were part of a strategy designed to “provoke Iran.”
So here is the state of our public discourse: American military officials present prima facie evidence of Iranian weapons implicated in killing 170 U.S. soldiers and wounding 600 more, and Washington’s main concern is not for the GIs but in refighting the last intelligence war.
…Meantime, is it too much to expect American journalists and Members of Congress to devote as much skepticism to Iran’s motives and behavior as they do to Mr. Bush’s?
Apparently the increase in violent crimes in Tennessee is leading legislators to take some unprecedented actions. They have filed bills that would increase the rights of citizens to bear arms and use those arms with deadly force in certain situations. Like during a carjacking. One bill in particular would allow motorists to kill an attacker that they feel is threatening to “murder, rape, kidnap, rob or carjack the car’s occupants.” Filing the bill was Rep. Ulysses Jones and Sen. Reginald Tate, two Memphis Democrats. “I’ve heard a lot of support for this. It’s time to give citizens the opportunity to protect themselves. Right now, we’re at the mercy of what I call ‘scum’,” said Jones, a Memphis Fire Department paramedic.
The important shift here is that potential victims had only been allowed the right of defense inside their homes. Extending the right to outside the home, and particularly to a motorist in a vehicle, is a dramatic change. The NRA has helped push similar laws through in Florida, but Tennessee is believed to be the first effort to extend rights to motorists. These so-called “No Retreat” laws change the burden of attackees so that fleeing isn’t the only option. Standing your ground and defending yourself and your property is allowed instead.
The mall massacre in Salt Lake City, Utah, by a Bosnian Muslim killed in the attack, is another reminder that solo practitioners of jihad are a threat anywhere, anytime. Listen to this video recorded at the Trolley Square Mall, at 1 minute 37 seconds into the podcast. You will hear “OPD.. OPD… Officer Hammond” which is off-duty Odgen Police Department officer Hammond identifying himself for the second time to arriving Salt Lake City PD officers. After this you can hear clearly what appears another voice, in an Arabic accent, say “allah-hu akhbar, allah-hu akhbar,” and again at 1:47.
The media, of course, are not letting the public know, no doubt afraid of an anti-Muslim backlash, the perennial fear of elites who think of the mass of Americans as a lynch mob not yet organized. Robert Spencer, writing in Front Page Magazine, lists several other recent incidents in which solo Muslims have engaged in apparent attempts at mass slaughter of random people. To his list I would add the attack at the El Al ticket counter at LAX airport.
Usually, families and the authorities chalk-up these incidents to deranged individuals, and assure us no political motivations are in play. That’s exactly what happened in 1997, when a Palestinian opened fire on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Yesterday, an article in the New York Daily News revealed that these explanations were a cover story crafted by the Palestinian Authority.
Ali Abu Kamal’s relatives say they are tired of lying about why the Palestinian opened fire on the observation deck of Empire State Building, killing a tourist and injuring six other people before committing suicide.
Kamal’s widow insisted after the shooting spree that the attack was not politically motivated. She said that her husband had become suicidal after losing $300,000 in a business venture.
But in a stunning admission, Kamal’s 48-year-old daughter Linda told the Daily News that her dad wanted to punish the U.S. for supporting Israel – and revealed her mom’s 1997 account was a cover story crafted by the Palestinian Authority.
“A Palestinian Authority official advised us to say the attack was not for political reasons because that would harm the peace agreement with Israel,” she told The News on Friday. “We didn’t know that he was martyred for patriotic motivations, so we repeated what we were told to do.”
But three days after the shootings, Kamal’s family got a copy of a letter that was found on his body, they said. The letter said he planned the violence as a political statement, his daughter said.
“When we wanted to clarify that to the media, nobody listened to us,” she said. “His goal was patriotic. He wanted to take revenge from the Americans, the British, the French and the Israelis.” [emphasis added]
Nobody is suggesting that all individual Muslims suffer for the acts of a few. But we cannot blind ourselves to the fact that a political war is being carried on within our borders by both organized cells and individuals, intent on killing Americans in the name of jihad. Patriotic American Muslims must join in watching for signs of disturbed individuals acting out the violent rhetoric of Islamists, so freely available in the world’s media and on the internet.
Hat tip: Joe Myers
Like it or not, we are going to be hearing more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Last month I expressed my eagerness to see the media’s treatment of Mitt Romney’s faith. There are bound to be all kinds of treatments, some better than others.
There many issues that will be discussed about Mormon doctrine, assuming Romney remains viable. Religion was a thorny topic even before political correctness. We’ll see all sorts of treatments, motivated by everything from sincere interest and respect to outright hatred.
Mark Finkelstein of Newsbusters catches Stephanopoulos challenging Romney’s own explanation of his beliefs. [emphasis in original]
When I spoke with him, I asked him how Muslims might perceive the Mormon belief that Jesus will return to the United States and reign personally here for a thousand years.”
GMA then rolled a clip of Romney saying the following: “Our belief is just like it says in the Bible, that the Messiah will come to Jerusalem, stand on the Mount of Olives, and the Mount of Olives will be a place where there’s a great gathering, and so forth. It’s the same as the other Christian tradition.”
Stephanopoulos: “Actually, we checked in with a Mormon spokesman who said that’s not exactly true. They believe the New Jerusalem is here in the United States, in Missouri, and that’s where Jesus is going to come.”
Finkelstein sees the new precedent:
ABC has now conferred with a religious spokesman for purposes of challenging a public figure on his religious beliefs. Should we expect to see ABC challenge pro-choice and pro-gay rights Christians and Jews with statements from spokesmen from their respective faiths? Will ABC challenge Muslim guests with statements from Islamic experts? Or does ABC limit its theological challenges exclusively to Mormons?
The answer is probably both a double standard, and more media addressing candidates’ religion. Barack Obama’s church and pastor have attracted attention, and there was a debunked story that he had attended a radical madrassa in Jakarta. Religion and politics overlap these days, as they often have in the past. And particularly when lesser-understood faiths are in question, people want to know more. Religion is important.
If Romney does well, and especially if he were to become the nominee, his faith’s doctrines are going to be of compelling interest to many people. The media are not what they used to be, and there is no bottling up of issues as off-limits. The story can’t be done justice in an interview gotcha game.
Stephanopoulos as theologian just does not sell, even though his father was a Greek Orthodox prelate. His ham-handed I had my staff call somebody retort is not a convincing claim to scriptural mastery. I would guess the story is more complicated. That doesn’t mean the topic is going to be off limits.
Romney has put the subject in play by addressing it in public. And people are interested, for reasons good, bad and ugly. So expect more attention to the Latter Day Saints.
Hat tip: Bryan Demko
February 19, 2007
The Jewish enemy within
Jewish Chronicle, 16 February 2007
The launch of ‘Independent Jewish Voices’ has sent a shudder through the mainstream Jewish community in Britain. Let’s leave to one side how independent or how Jewish they are. Let’s just look at how they want to use their voices.
They have told us what they speak against. They are against people who say rude things about them. They are against the way Israel behaves. They are against the defenders of Israel. They are against the Board of Deputies.
So what are they speaking for? Well, a platform for themselves (although they are never short of one). But for what purpose? When they get onto their latest platform at Hampstead town hall next week, what will they use it to say?
Doubtless, they will bash Israel. Doubtless, they will bash Jews who support Israel. But then what?
They say Jews blindly support Israel regardless. But these signatories blindly condemn Israel regardless. They say Israel’s supporters never breathe a word of criticism of its behaviour. But they never breathe a word in its defence, nor ever condemn either its Palestinian attackers or the distortions, double standards, faked video coverage and all the rest with which it is so unjustly demonised.
So what follows from their picture of an Israel unredeemed? They say they want human rights and social justice in the Middle East. Amen to that. So how do they propose to bring this about? Are they actually in favour of a two-state solution?
In a letter to the JC last week, the co-chairs of Peace Now said they were not convinced that these signatories believed in a two-state solution, or Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state, or that Israel and the Palestinians shared responsibility for the fate of the Palestinians.
Of all groups, Peace Now most assuredly cannot be accused of defending Israel right or wrong. So if Peace Now says these signatories don’t believe Israel should exist as a Jewish state, we should all sit up and listen.
Indeed, some of these voices are on record as supporters of a ‘bi-national’ state —which means the destruction of Israel and the subordination to Islam of those Jews who survive. No human rights for them.
At the Cambridge Union last year, one of the most prominent signatories, Brian Klug, proposed the motion that ‘Zionism is a danger to the Jewish people’, arguing that ‘Zionism must be toppled from its pedestal’ and that the ‘Jewish thing’ to do was to ‘subvert’ it.
This is surely what these voices are really for. It’s about driving a wedge between Israel and the Jews. It’s about destroying the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their historic homeland (which has separately been revealed to be the agenda also of Tony Lerman, who preposterously remains in post as head of Jewish Policy Research).
Before Israel was restored to the Jews, before the Holocaust, before the Arabs of Palestine allied themselves with the Nazis, it was possible for there to be a legitimate Jewish argument against a Jewish state. But now that Israel exists, such an argument is obscene. It is a voice raised for the destruction of the Jewish nation.
If these signatories are so sure that they represent the authentic voice of Jewish conscience, why then are they so coy about stating their real agenda? Might it be that they don’t have the honesty to admit to the potentially murderous consequences of such attitudes?
As Natan Sharansky wrote this week, Israel is currently trapped in a pincer between the genocidal intentions of Iran and a world which is either silent in response to this threat or is increasingly willing to discuss Israel’s very existence as a mistake, an anachronism, or a provocation.
At a time when the west is being softened up for genocide by the demonisation of Israel, Jews who reinforce the Big Lie about the Jewish state are helping pave the way for a second potential holocaust.
Yet when this is pointed out, they call it an insult. More than that, they take it as proof of the rightness of their position! On the IJV website, Brian Klug gloated that the fierceness of the attacks upon them showed they had struck a nerve.
So the more we try to protect Israel from this lethal onslaught, the more these perpetrators claim that they are martyrs to those who would suppress free speech. The price they would force us to pay for not being thus vilified is to embrace our own people’s destruction.
The deadly enemies of the Jewish people are beside themselves with joy over the IJV. For the terrible thing is that, far from being silenced, Jewish voices like these are in the very forefront of the hate-fest against Israel. Martyrs of dissent? Hardly. They are the British arm of the pincer of Jewish destruction.