Fight, Don’t Negotiate with, Palestinians

Fight, Don’t Negotiate with, Palestinians

Ayn Rand Institute Press Release

Irvine, CA–Israeli and Palestinian leaders recently sat down to discuss a peace deal–but the U.S.-brokered talks were fruitless. Many voices, such as the “New York Times,” acknowledge that “the biggest single obstacle to peace” is the refusal of Hamas, a member of the Palestinian “unity government,” to recognize Israel and renounce violence. But, we are told, if Israel would only make more generous concessions to the Palestinians and bolster their “moderate” leaders, then negotiations can yield peace.

“But we must reject the underlying premise of such talks,” said Elan Journo, junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. “It is absurd to debate which combination of concessions Israel should offer and to which faction of Palestinians–because the very notion of diplomatically engaging the Palestinians is illegitimate. If there’s to be peace, the Israelis must end the threat of Palestinian terrorism by military force.

“Israel’s goal of peace is impossible to achieve diplomatically, because a legitimate negotiation presupposes that both sides share the goal of peace. But the Palestinians–both the self-righteously militant Hamas and the supposedly moderate Fatah–seek to destroy Israel. There is no way to negotiate with enemies who want to kill you. To engage them in talks is to concede their right to kill you; after that, all that’s left to debate is the size of the rewards the murderers will collect and in what installments.

“The Palestinian war must end eventually–and either they will triumph and wipe Israel from the map, or else Israel will protect the lives of its citizens and defeat the Palestinians. Instead of pressuring Israel to appease the Palestinians–and thus encouraging their aggression–the United States should endorse and champion Israel’s moral right to defeat them. If Palestinians learn that their war against Israel is futile, if their aggression is punished–they will give up their cause. That is a necessary first step on the road to peace.”

Top Dems Support Ahmadinejad’s Nuclear Fantasies

Top Dems Support Ahmadinejad’s Nuclear Fantasies

By Andrew L. Jaffee, netwmd.com

I had thought last November’s elections might send a message of moderation to both Republicans and Democrats, but the Pelosi/Murtha/Reid axis of inanity believed the vote was an endorsement of their extremist, left-wing agenda. Good thing they were wrong. Too bad I was wrong — about the Democrats.

The Democratic “leadership” was all ready to sell the security of the U.S., Europe, and Israel down the river today. They really want to believe (X-Files) in placating Iran’s Islamist dictators, who’ve promised to “wipe Israel off the map,” and who chant mantras like “all of us should mobilize to kill.” Ahmadinejad has threatened the U.S. with “harm and pain” and is obsessed with ushering in the end of times. Iran’s rockets already threaten most of Europe, not to mention all of the Middle East. Imagine Tehran’s behavior if its WMD delivery media were tipped with nukes. All the more reason to placate Islamism? Uh, huh.

Pelosi et al were ready to surrender to Iran and flush the Constitution — the president’s war powers — down the plug hole, but were stopped thank goodness to the U.S. Congress’s rank and file, both Democrats and Republicans. These “little guys” haven’t lost touch with their constituents in Middle America:

Top House Democrats retreated Monday from an attempt to limit President Bush’s authority for taking military action against Iran as the leadership concentrated on a looming confrontation with the White House over the Iraq war.

Officials said Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the leadership had decided to strip from a major military spending bill a requirement for Bush to gain approval from Congress before moving against Iran.

Conservative Democrats as well as lawmakers concerned about the possible impact on Israel had argued for the change in strategy. …

The Iran-related proposal stemmed from a desire to make sure Bush did not launch an attack without going to Congress for approval, but drew opposition from numerous members of the rank and file in a series of closed-door sessions last week.

Rep. Shelley Berkley (news, bio, voting record), D-Nev., said in an interview there is widespread fear in Israel about Iran, which is believed to be seeking nuclear weapons and has expressed unremitting hostility about the Jewish state.

Mainstream Americans don’t want to surrender to Iran nor do they want to see the Jewish state annihilated, but top Democrats don’t understand what the people want. One would think that these issues are common sense, but not for these dangerous demagogues. I can’t wait to hear the Daily Kos crowd with their shrill screams of, “there goes the Congress, caving in again to Zionist interests.” They’re just as out of touch with reality as their “leaders” but, unfortunately, fear is still the ultimate motivator, especially when you are hiding from life under your bed.

Cross-posted at netwmd.com and IsraPundit

Al Qaeda-Gaza declares war on both Hamas and Fatah

Al Qaeda-Gaza declares war on both Hamas and Fatah

DEBKAfile Exclusive

Al Qaeda’s No. 2, Ayman Zawahri issued a declaration of war on the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in a videotape aired by the Arabic TV Al Jazeera.

An hour later, the Islamic Brotherhood of Justice (another name for al Qaeda’s operational branch in the Gaza Strip) announced the launching of its Operation White Land, targeting the political and military leaders of Fatah and Hamas.

DEBKAfile’s military sources also reveal that a rebellion has sprung up against the top Hamas leadership.

Olmert and Abbas nonetheless continue to act out a Pan-Arab diplomatic process at Washington’s behest (see separate item on this page), which has as much chance of getting off the ground in Gaza as Fatah’s Abbas’ assurance that the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilead Shalit, would be freed very soon.

The Zuwahri statement assailed the legitimacy Saudi Arabia extended to moves for a Palestinian unity government at the Mecca peace conference as recently as Feb. 8. Negotiations between the two factions are bogged down anyway.

“The leadership of Hamas government has committed an aggression against the rights of the Islamic nation by respecting international agreements,” thundered Ayman Zawahri Sunday. “I am sorry to have to offer the Islamic nation my condolences for the Hamas leadership as it has fallen into the quagmire of surrender.”

The Gaza al Qaeda cell then defined the four missions of Operation White Land:

    1. Targeting the most senior figures of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas leaders.

    2. Focusing on group abductions rather than individuals, especially symbols of political corruption.

    3. Beheading is ordained for members of these groups. Their executions and confessions will be videotaped and aired as they are in Iraq.

    4. Blowing up Internet cafes and businesses selling alcohol; putting prostitutes to death to cleanse the streets of Gaza of prostitution.

Announcing these missions have won the sanction of Palestinian religious scholars, the communiqué ends with the words: “Operation White Land has begun.”

As for the revolt in Hamas, its Executive Force chief Jemal Jarah and his deputy, Yusouf a-Zahar (brother of Hamas foreign minister Mahmoud a-Zahar), accuse prime minister Ismail Haniyeh of being too soft with Abbas and Fatah and failing to follow through to victory on the battles they fought for weeks against Fatah. Determined to finish the job, Hamas rebels were back on the streets of Gaza this week, shooting and abducting their rivals, the Mecca Reconciliation Accords already a dead letter.

DEBKAfile adds: Shalit, who was abducted in June 2006 has become a counter in internecine Palestinian rivalries. He is guarded by two of the groups which kidnapped him, including members of al Qaeda. With the control of affairs in the Gaza Strip slipping out of the hands of prime minister Haniyeh, it is hard to see how any progress can be achieved towards gaining his freedom.

Evangelical Christians plead for Israel

Evangelical Christians plead for Israel

By Richard Allen Greene
BBC News, Washington

A week into one of the most severe crises the Middle East has seen in years, Israel is getting an influx of support from an unusual source. More than 3,400 evangelical Christians have arrived in Washington to lobby lawmakers as part of the first annual summit of Christians United for Israel.

Delegates have come from all 50 states and have 280 meetings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Pastor John Hagee said.

Pastor Hagee, the main organiser, said the event was the first of its kind.

“For the first time in the history of Christianity in America, Christians will go to the Hill to support Israel as Christians,” he said.

The event was planned months ago, and is not a direct response to the ongoing violence in the region.

They see God’s word being played out on their television sets
Timothy Shah, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

But the military conflict “certainly makes our meeting more significant,” Pastor Hagee said.

The thousands of Christians in Washington – who came and are staying at their own expense – will be urging the US government “not to restrain Israel in any way in the pursuit of Hamas and Hezbollah”, he said.

“We want our Congress to make sure that not one dime of American money goes to support Hamas and Hezbollah or the enemies of Israel.”

Gift from God

John Hagee is the pastor of the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, and a long-time fervent supporter of Israel.

In common with many American evangelicals, he believes that God gave the land to the Jewish people and that Christians have a Biblical duty to support it and the Jews.

His latest book, Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World, interprets the Bible to predict that Russian and Arab armies will invade Israel and be destroyed by God.

This will set up a confrontation over Israel between China and the West, led by the anti-Christ, who will be the head of the European Union, Pastor Hagee writes.

That final battle between East and West – at Armageddon, as the actual Israeli location of Meggido is known in English – will precipitate the second coming of Christ, he concludes.

It is not clear how many evangelicals believe literally in those type of prophecies.

Research by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life last year found that evangelical Christians were more likely to support Israel than any other religious group in America besides Jews.

And there are far more evangelicals in America than Jews – estimates suggest that they represent about a quarter of the US population. (Jews make up about 2%.)

Two in three evangelicals believe that the establishment of the state of Israel fulfils Biblical prophecy, the survey found.

And what they see in the news only reinforces their faith, according to Timothy Shah, a scholar at the Pew Forum.

“When they see what’s going on in the Middle East, a whole range of enemies arrayed against God’s people, they see God’s word being played out on their television sets,” he said.

“They see Israel triumphing over its enemies as proof that God’s promises remain.”

‘Huge influence’

Evangelical Christian support for Israel is “not a new phenomenon”, Mr Shah said, pointing out that there were Christian Zionists lobbying for a homeland for the Jews in Ottoman Palestine in the 19th Century.

These groups have much more influence that Aipac or the so-called Israel lobby
Michelle Goldberg,
Author of Kingdom Coming

What has changed is the movement’s level of political involvement, said Nancy Roman, the director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Washington programme.

“Part of what is happening is that the evangelical community in the US is becoming more engaged in the political process,” she said.

“Whereas the church used to counsel people not to engage in politics, many churches are now counselling the opposite.

“It’s important and it will have a huge influence on foreign policy over time,” she added.

Backing irredentists

Michelle Goldberg is deeply concerned about that influence.

She is the author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, which argues that a significant strain of conservative Christianity is working to undermine fundamental American rights and freedoms.

She said the movement was just as dangerous in foreign policy.

“Christian Zionism is responsible for American support for some of the most irredentist Israeli positions,” she said, such as support for settlement-building.

She said evangelical Christians had substantial influence on US Middle East policy – more so than some better-known names such as Aipac, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

“The influence of Hagee is to make the American public support the government’s completely one-sided, hawkishly pro-Israel stance. These groups have much more influence than Aipac or the so-called Israel lobby.”

Pastor Hagee himself said his group potentially had more clout than Jewish pro-Israel groups.

“When a congressman sees someone from Aipac coming through the door, he knows he represents six million people. We represent 40 million people.”

One of those people is Rosa Highwater of Biloxi, Mississippi, who heard about the Washington summit through a local pastor.

She had no money to attend, she said, but added: “You have to believe and trust in the Lord when he tells you he’s going to do something.”

And in the end, friends paid for her journey to Washington and put her up in nearby Virginia.

She said she was not sure which congressman she would be meeting on Wednesday, but she knew her mission was important.

“Israel is God’s first love,” she said. “The Lord told me to come and be an intercessor. I said, ‘I got to go. I got to do this.'”

Hardline Pastor Gets Prime AIPAC Spot

Hardline Pastor Gets Prime AIPAC Spot
James D. Besser – Washington Correspondent
 Growing ties between pro-Israel forces and a controversial, hardline “Christian Zionist” movement will move into the national spotlight at next week’s policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobby.

One keynoter at the event, which annually draws hundreds of lawmakers, administration officials, diplomats and political hopefuls, will be Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), author of several books about biblical prophecy and an opponent of new territorial concessions to the Palestinians on biblical grounds.

Rev. Hagee, who will speak at a Sunday plenary, was also a leading backer of a controversial Christian broadcast venture in Israel that critics charge sought to convert Jews.

And a time when pro-Israel forces are being accused of beating the drums for war with Iran, Rev. Hagee seems to believe such a conflict is both inevitable and necessary. In his apocalypse-oriented book “Jerusalem Countdown,” he predicted a nuclear showdown with Iran and said, “The end of the world as we know it is rapidly approaching … rejoice and be exceedingly glad, the best is yet to be,” according to a Wall Street Journal report posted on the CUFI Web site.

Last year, Rev. Hagee told the Jerusalem Post that “I would hope the United States would join Israel in a military pre-emptive strike to take out the nuclear capability of Iran for the salvation of Western civilization.”

Israeli historian Michael Oren will also speak at Sunday’s plenary.

Giving Rev. Hagee such prominence at the premier pro-Israel gathering of the year — he attended last year’s conference — troubles some AIPAC supporters.

Rabbi Barry Block of Temple Beth El in San Antonio—the home of the John Hagee Ministries and to his 18,000-member Cornerstone Church—said he hopes the minister’s presence will be balanced by “Christians who support Israel but who do not share the ‘end of days’ theology and extremist anti-Palestinian positions and anti-Muslim prejudice so often spewed by Pastor Hagee.”

Rabbi Block, who said he is an “AIPAC supporter” and participates in local activities of the lobby, added that “there are those I love and respect in my community who believe we should work with Pastor Hagee on the important concern we share—the welfare of the state of Israel. However, despite what may be good intentions, I don’t think Pastor Hagee’s activism is good for Israel.”

Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, cofounder of a We site that opposes Christian right church-state policies, said that Hagee’s AIPAC appearance will mark a “decisive point when the costs of a relationship with Hagee couldn’t be clearer. AIPAC has to know that Hagee’s push for an attack on Iran is not based on a logically constructed policy but on cherry-picked biblical verses. And it is only the first step to the end-times scenario that Hagee enthusiastically predicts will engulf Israel in a devastating war.”

A former AIPAC official said giving Rev. Hagee a key speaking slot represents one more step toward an AIPAC embrace of the Evangelicals that began more than two decades ago, and warned that it has political risks.

“This sends out a message of an endorsement by AIPAC at a time when these Christian groups seem to be losing power in Congress—and when the Democrats, who have long opposed this cozying up to the religious right, are now in power,” this activist said.

But many pro-Israel leaders believe Rev. Hagee and other Christian Zionists, representing a growing political force, are a critical addition to the pro-Israel coalition — especially as “mainline” Protestant churches continue to castigate Israel for its West Bank policies.

But Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League and a strong critic of many Christian right groups, said he is not alarmed about Hagee’s role in the policy conference.

“I think there is a role for him,” Foxman aid. “He has earned a certain recognition with the community because of his support for Israel.”

Foxman said he expects Hagee will get a good reception. “It’s a friendly platform,” he said. “I’m sure an overwhelming majority may be pleased with what he says.”

That reflects an annual conference expected to strike a hawkish note on a number of issues, starting with the threat of a nuclear Iran.

Other keynote speakers will include Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and—health permitting—Vice President Dick Cheney. The current Israeli government will be represented by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Ambassador Sallai Meridor.

Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh, several sources said, will tell delegates that increased aid to Palestinian moderates is in Israel’s interests—a call that may conflict with a major AIPAC theme.

In a show of both political clout and bipartisanship that has become routine for AIPAC, the conference will feature speeches by all four top congressional leaders.

AIPAC says “more than 6,000 pro-Israel activists, including 1,200 students representing over 390 campuses” will attend. “Lead by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and both House and Senate Republican leaders all speaking under the same tent, this year’s AIPAC Policy Conference underscores the bipartisan nature of American support for Israel,” according to AIPAC spokesman Josh Block. “The conference schedule also underscores the long history, breadth and diversity of America’s centuries of support for the Jewish homeland in Israel.”

Anxiety about Iran will dominate the conference, and it is a major element in the “action agenda” that, at least in theory, sets the group’s goals for next year. Members of the executive committee will debate and vote on the statement on Sunday.

Proposed new language in the policy statement supports using “all means necessary for the United States, Israel and their allies to prevent Iran and other nations from developing nuclear, biological or chemical weapons and the vehicles for their delivery.”

Lobbying for tougher sanctions legislation will also be a top priority for AIPAC delegates when they blanket Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Protecting Israel’s big chunk of foreign aid has traditionally been a top AIPAC priority, but this year the group will also emphasize “closely monitoring assistance to countries that are not supporting American objectives in the region.”

At the top of that list: the Palestinian Authority. Congress has frozen an administration request for $86 million in emergency aid to boost Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ forces.

Pro-peace groups say they will not press AIPAC to soften its language about the Palestinians, as they have done in the past. Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), will come to the executive committee meeting loaded with amendments aimed at toughening them.

The AIPAC conference will be the usual display of political clout, but the group also faces some new challenges, including a new Democratic leadership that remains strongly pro-Israel but less in lockstep with AIPAC than their Republican predecessors.

Congressional observers say AIPAC remains a legislative powerhouse, “but more lawmakers will now feel free to ask questions, especially about routine and nonbinding resolutions praising Israel and criticizing the Palestinians,” said a longtime pro-Israel lobbyist.

But AIPAC’s influence on signature issues like Iran and foreign aid to Israel remains intact despite the partisan shift, said Kean University political scientist Gilbert Kahn.

“AIPAC has successfully maneuvered itself through Democratic and Republican administrations, Democratic and Republican Congresses, and there’s no reason to think they won’t do it again,” he said.

Kahn said AIPAC has also strengthened itself by aggressively “pushing the Orthodox community to engage. You have more and more Orthodox rabbis who are touting AIPAC and touting joining AIPAC. AIPAC understands that if you get the rabbis on board, they in turn will press the community to get involved.”

That “dramatic shift,” he said, may make AIPAC “less representative, but it also strengthens the group as voices on Mideast policy become more diverse.

“It’s a source of strength because this is a community that is comfortable with the direction AIPAC has taken in recent years,” he said.

AIPAC also faces a rising challenge from Jewish groups on both the right and the left that take a different tack on Mideast policy, and that are increasingly active on Capitol Hill.

The Zionist Organization of America on the right and both Americans for Peace Now and the Israel Policy Forum on the left are expanding their lobbying, targeting areas where they feel AIPAC does not represent them.

None can come close to eclipsing AIPAC, although IPF, Washington sources say, is starting to build a network of campaign contributors who also support the group’s perspective on Mideast affairs—a key element in AIPAC’s strength.

Still, on the verge of the 2007 policy conference, they point to a changed lobbying environment for what remains the pre-eminent group on the pro-Israel scene.

Why Christians struggle to redeem the culture

 

Why Christians struggle to redeem the culture






by Robert E. Meyer

 

Perhaps you are one of those people who often wonder how come there are so many professing Christians in America, yet the culture is deteriorating like a timber foundation infested with termites and dry rot.

My own recent experience is a nut shell illustration of the principle problem.

Last fall, my state was one of several to offer a binding voter referendum defining the parameters of legal marriage. Our local Unitarian Universalist fellowship placed up a large banner under the sign identifying the location of their organization. The banner encouraged passers-by to vote no on the amendment.

While the belief that traditional marriage is a sacred institution in Christianity and other religions, no local house of worship saw fit, or had the fortitude, to place up advocacy for the amendment, or even an endorsement of traditional marriage on their marquees. Furthermore, when I asked a few local Christian pastors if they were addressing the issue of marriage before their congregations, I generally received a lackluster response. On the other hand, clergymen from liberal churches seemed more than willing to either announce or publicly debate their views decrying legislation supporting traditional marriage.

In January I received a similar response regarding the abortion issue.

There seems to be reluctance on the part of many Christian churches, professing an orthodox biblical catechism, to weigh in on cultural issues they deem as overtly political. I don’t know all the reasons for this unfortunate and destructive phenomenon, but I will offer a few lines of thought regarding my suspicions.

First, many newly founded evangelical churches have adopted a model for maximum growth that caters to the senses and common human emotional needs, but neglects strong theological and apologetic instruction.

Secondly, church leaders worry about the legal implications of advocating principles that can be defined in political terms; essentially concerns over separation of church and state. Many religious organizations are chartered as 501(c)3 entities under the IRS code, and fear challenges to tax-exempt status. The best way not to go over some perceived “line in the sand,” is not to venture anywhere near it.

Church leaders sometimes believe that “cultural issues” should not directly be a concern of the Church’s mission. They reason that it may adulterate the Gospel, and that such activism distracts and deviates from the behavioral example set by Christ. Their philosophy can be represented in a statement such as, “Christ told us to be fishers of men, not cleansers of dirty fish bowls.” They perceive the cultural mandate to be a fiat of the “religious right,” or believe it ought to be addressed only in terms of personal piety and conscience. As such, they will profess that they have strong convictions towards issues like abortion, stem-cell research and the family, but won’t emphasize these issues as congregational mandates.

Finally, they see the presentation of these issues as polarizing, and obstacles to church unity. It is far easier to concentrate on less controversial issues of social justice, such as helping the poverty stricken. Unfortunately, even in such areas, leaders don’t delineate the church’s responsibilities for social welfare from the constitutional obligations of the state. As such, they dissolve the “wall” between church and state that they were trying not to breach by avoiding a stand on hot-button issues in their pulpits.

And what are the results of this trend?

You have throngs of people who profess to be Christians, who attend worship regularly, but are ill equipped to be the preserving salt and a light beacon to an increasingly God-neglecting culture. Often these well-meaning people have only the apologetic armor of cliche and platitude which is easily pierced by a clever skeptic. They are either unsure of what they believe or can’t defend the reasons for the positions they hold. Their preparation is not to be “always ready” to give an account for the hope that they profess.

Indeed, we discover that the moral behavior of Christians at large along many categories is scarcely indistinguishable from the same measurements taken out in the secular world of the population in general. A recent Barna survey has also revealed that of those professing to be Christians, few can answer wholly in the affirmative on several basic questions fundamental to the Christian faith. Those results come from an emphasis on the “warm fuzzies” that are the fodder of pop psychology, rather than supplying substance to the interrogative “How should we then live?”

As I was writing this piece, my wife told me that she heard on a radio program that a majority of Christians recently polled were unable to identify more than four of the Ten Commandments. Yesterday we took them out of the public schools–today they are apparently arcane for even the majority of churches.

Among the more liberal churches, you will hear slogans like “Jesus welcomed prostitutes and thieves, so why shouldn’t we?” Fine, as far as it goes. The difference is Jesus added, “go and sin no more,” to complete the package of ministry, whereas many mainline churches want to defend the unrepentant the way Waylon Jennings defined cowboys: “They ain’t wrong, they’re just different.” So in what practical way do these institutions differ from temples of secular humanism with spires protruding from their roof tops?

Until Christian churches of all denominations grasp the urgency of our times, and gain a genuine zeal for emphasizing the cultural mandate, our churches will increasingly become weekend “bless-me” guilds

The Lost Scandal

U.S. destroys car bomb factories, Baghdad violence drops

Why Europeans Should Support Israel

Why Europeans Should Support Israel

Created 2007-03-12 07:49

One of the most frustrating things to watch is the powerful anti-Israeli and sometimes outright anti-Semitic current that is prevalent in too much of Europe’s media. Bat Ye’or’s predictions about Arab anti-Semitism spreading in Europe as the continent’s Islamization and descent into Eurabia continues have so far proved depressingly accurate. This trend needs to be fought, vigorously, by all serious European anti-Jihadists. Not only because it is immoral and unfair to Israelis, which it is, but also because those who assist it are depriving Europeans of the opportunity to fully grasp the threat and understand the nature of the Jihad that is now targeting much of Europe as well.

In 2005 the Norwegian police issued a mobile security alarm to Carl I. Hagen, leader of the right-wing Progress Party. Mr. Hagen had criticized Islam and could see no similarity with the concept of morality and justice found in Christianity. During the 1990s, Mr. Hagen was one of the few politicians who protested against giving money to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as a part of the Norwegian-brokered Oslo Peace Process.

Hagen said that if Israel loses in the Middle East, Europe will succumb to Islam next. He felt that Christians should support Israel and oppose Islamic inroads into Europe. In an unprecedented step, a group of Muslim ambassadors to Norway blasted Carl I. Hagen in a letter to the newspaper Aftenposten, claiming that he had offended 1.3 billion Muslims around the world. Other Norwegian politicians quickly caved in and condemned Hagen. Maybe Norway, “the country of peace” and home to the Nobel Peace Prize, will get along just fine with Islam, “the religion of peace.”

Although some political leaders such as Mr. Carl I. Hagen have a clear understanding of what’s going on, they are unfortunately few and far between. Most European media commentators are hostile to the Jewish state of Israel, partly because they get angry with anybody defending themselves against Islamic Jihad instead of surrendering, and partly because they want to project their own feelings of guilt from the Holocaust onto Israel by recasting the Jews as villains and the Palestinians as victims.

French filmmaker Pierre Rehov made the film Suicide Killers where he interviewed the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. He warns that we are facing “a neurosis at the level of an entire civilization,” a “culture of hatred in which the uneducated are brainwashed to a level where their only solution in life becomes to kill themselves and kill others in the name of a God. I hear a mother saying ‘Thank God, my son is dead.’ Her son had became a shaheed, a martyr, which for her was a greater source of pride than if he had became an engineer, a doctor or a winner of the Nobel Prize. [...] They don’t see the innocent being killed, they only see the impure that they have to destroy.”

Rehov believes that we are dealing with “a new form of Nazism” that it is going to spread to Europe and the United States, too.

Spanish journalist Sebastian Villar Rodriguez claims that Europe died in Auschwitz: “We assassinated 6 million Jews in order to end up bringing in 20 million Muslims!” Yet in 2007, Ciempozuelos, a small Madrid suburb, refused to commemorate Holocaust Day and opted instead to commemorate the ‘Day of Palestinian Genocide.’ In Britain following Muslim pressure, the Bolton Council scrapped its Holocaust Memorial Day event. The Muslim Council of Britain asked for a Genocide Day to protest the Israeli “genocide” against the Palestinians. The secretary-general of the MCB, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, has earlier compared the situation of Muslims in Britain to Jews under Hitler.

We thus have the absurd situation where the Nazis of today are presented as Jews while the Jews are presented as Nazis.

French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut thinks that Auschwitz has become part of the foundation of the European Union, a culture based on guilt. “I can understand the feeling of remorse that is leading Europe to this, but this remorse goes too far.” It is too great a gift to present Hitler to reject every single aspect of European culture. This is said by the Jewish son of an Auschwitz prisoner.

The Holocaust was an unspeakable crime. It also did massive damage to Europe’s own identity and cultural confidence, and is one of the major causes of Europe’s seeming inability to withstand the ongoing Islamic Jihad.

As Hugh Fitzgerald notes, “Fortunately for so many, and for the Arabs, the victory of Israel in the Six-Day War promptly provided a reason to depict Jews as villains, not victims. This found an eager audience of Europeans, who were already eager for psychological reasons to find fault with Jews so as to avoid thinking unduly about the behavior of many European peoples and states during the war. [...] The damage done to the morale of Europe because of the destruction of European Jewry has been great. If Western Europe, or the West generally, were after all that has happened to permit Israel to go under, Europe would not recover.”

He warns that those who believe sacrificing Israel would in any way stop the global Jihad are very wrong. On the contrary, “The loss of Israel would fill the Arabs and Muslims with such triumphalism that their Jihad in Western Europe and elsewhere (including the Americas) would receive a gigantic boost. The duty is to make sure that Islam covers the globe; that Islam dominates, and Muslims rule.”

Europeans need to understand how closely intertwined are the fates of Israel and of Europe itself. The term “Judeo-Christian” is not a cliche. We cannot defend Western civilization without defending its Jewish component, without which modern Western culture would have been unthinkable.

The religious identity of the West has two legs: The Christian and the Jewish ones. It needs both to stand upright. Sacrificing one to save the other is like fighting a battle by chopping off one of your legs, throwing it at the feet of your enemies and shouting: “You won’t get the other one! We will never surrender!” We could always hope that our enemies will laugh themselves to death faster than we bleed to death, the Monty Python way of fighting. Maybe that works, but most likely it will leave us crippled and pathetic, if not dead.

I agree with Mr. Finkielkraut: To reduce absolutely everything about Europe to gas chambers, thereby allowing the Nazis the opportunity to expropriate everything that has been created during thousands of years, is to grant Adolf Hitler victory posthumously. We should not award him that pleasure, especially since what would replace Western civilization would be Islamic culture, the most warlike and anti-Semitic on earth, and greatly admired by Mr. Hitler for it.

We cannot change what has happened in the past. We should, however, consider it our duty to combat anti-Semitism in the here and now and make sure that the remaining Jews both in Europe and in Israel are safe. This is not just because it is our moral and historical obligation, which it is, but also because we only gain the right to defend ourselves against Islamization of we grant the same right to Israel. Likewise, we can only begin to heal our self-inflicted civilizational wounds if we embrace the Jewish component of our cultural identity.


Confronting Radical Islam: Will America Be the Last Chance?

Confronting Radical Islam: Will America Be the Last Chance?

By Susan MacAllen

Syrian ex-patriot Wafa Sultan remembers a day before the September 11 terrorist attacks, when the conflict between Islamofascist ideology and American freedom of conscience became sharply clear for her.  Living in the U.S. after her family had fled Syria’s religious fanaticism, Sultan had been publishing a few editorials on the plight of women in Islam and how fundamentalism might breed terrorism.  She thought she had been careful to remain respectful of Islam as a religion, but an anonymous caller from a “prominent Islamic organization” thought otherwise, warning her “Even in America, there are limits!”

Today Wafa Sultan speaks publicly, surrounded by armed guards.  She was one of the featured speakers on March 4-5 for the Secular Islamic Summit in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Believed to be the first of its kind, it was organized to provide a group platform for advocates of reform in Islam.  Attracting reformist Muslim leaders and renowned ex-Muslim writers and speakers from the U.S. and abroad, it featured lectures on subjects such as “Inside the Jihadi Mind”, “Separating Mosque and State”, “Rediscovering Secular Traditions”, and “Islam and Terrorism: Facts, Reality and Possible Solutions”. 

And predictably, it also attracted fire from some fundamentalist pro-Islamist organizations, including CAIR  in the U.S.  Some of that fire was so hot that it unfortunately kept featured attendees away from the summit.  (Reportedly one was former Dutch MP and human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who nonetheless added her signature to the Summit’s declaration.)  Those who didn’t show cited threats that they or their families would be harmed in their native Muslim countries.

The organizers expressed high hopes for the Summit.  Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi saw it as “a sanctuary for a lot of people who have been intimidated by the Jihad and radical Islamist forces”.  The goal was an atmosphere of open discussion of secular tradition, and a better Islamic future.  Co-organizer Austin Dacey hoped it would be “the beginning of a coherent cross-culture movement for secularism in Islamic societies.”  

Although the Summit is ground-breaking and has the potential to change the world, it was barely covered in the U.S. news media.  CNN’s Glenn Beck attended the Summit and has had running coverage leading up to and during; the Wall Street Journal mentioned it within a column on the opinion page.  St. Petersburg’s local newspaper ran one feature, and in that the reporter thoroughly covered not the Summit itself, but quoted extensively from those who opposed it.  In contrast, it was reported by major Middle-Eastern news organizations, including 24-hour news channel Al-Arabiya and the Kuwait News Agency. 

Prominent Canadian Muslim and writer Irshad Manji was also in attendance, although in Canada she lives with bullet-proof glass in the windows of her apartment.  She believes that the West is in a unique position to allow a realistic dialogue on the de-radicalization of Islam: “Moderate Muslims denounce terror that’s committed in the name of Islam but they deny that religion has anything to do with it; reform-minded Muslims denounce terror that’s committed in the name of Islam and acknowledge that our religion is used to inspire it . . . it is here (the West) that we have the precious freedoms to think, express, challenge, and be challenged on matters of religion, without fear of government reprisal.”

But what about when the government isn’t the one threatening reprisal?  Even in America, there are limits. . .”   The threat behind this statement loses its shock value for those who frequently speak out against radical Islam; most of us have experienced the threatening emails.  But Islamists rarely really bother with the infidels – we’re already a lost cause.  It’s the ex-Muslim, or Muslim – such as Manji and Sultan – who speak out for a better way and are thus considered betrayers, and those who have left Islam, who are in real danger.  Under Islamic Law (and from the mouth of the Prophet himself) these people are to be killed. 

The thing that infuriates me about these threats is that they demonstrate absolute disdain for our culture, customs and legal system.  It is antithetical to our way of life that one would threaten someone else simply because s/he disagrees with, or leaves, a religion.  It takes some nerve to be threatening people like this on American soil – it spits in all our faces.   Still, the threats are not uncommon.  I continually am amazed at the number of prominent voices who live in hiding in this country, because they have left Islam, or dare speak out against its radical factions. 

The trouble is, those radical factions control the majority of mosques and the influential Islamic “rights” and “charitable” organizations in America.  The voices of reform were long ago silenced, and the voices of moderation live in intimidation.  The pro-Islamic lobby is clever: rather than simply threatening dissenters with death as would happen in their nations of origin, they cry “racism!”, “xenophobia!” and thereby encourage Islam-ignorant lawmakers to advocate for their supposed pain and suffering.  Consider the controversial (and unbelievable!) Anti-Hate Speech legislation in Canada; consider the recent law in France that forbids a citizen journalist from video-taping a violent incident (where would we be without the Rodney King video?); consider the speech laws in Australia which landed two clergymen in jail for speaking against radical Islam. 

In America, we are more free to dissent than anywhere on earth – still.  But we need to keep it that way.  American Islamic organizations criticize the freedom of expression such as that which took place at the Summit, yet use freedom of speech to justify their own activities.  We must hold them accountable for this deception and twisting of our values.  Journalists, clergy, politicians and other Muslims are regularly subjected to threats in America from radical Muslims.  Ask Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who was not-so-politely scolded by CAIR after one radio program.  Ask CNN’s Glenn Beck, who claims he is on the hit list.  Ask Virginia Senator Virgil Goode, who knows firsthand what speaking against Islamists does. 

 It will be interesting to see what comes of the Secular Islamic Summit.  It should be a source of pride to Americans that it happened here in America, where speech is truly free to an extent that even Europe doesn’t know.  The Summit’s organizers and some 400 attendees see it as the beginning of a movement.  They hope to discuss openly and question Islam thoroughly in years to come.  The Summit issued a formal declaration of intent at its conclusion, which contains the statement: “We demand the release of Islam from its captivity to the totalitarian ambitions of power-hungry men and the rigid strictures of orthodoxy.” 

This thinking comes on the heels of Ibn Warraq’s, the Summit’s Chair, who stated last year, “What we need now is an Age of Enlightenment in the Islamic world, of the Islamic mind-set or worldview. Without critical examination of Islam, it will remain unassailed in its dogmatic, fanatical, mediaeval fortress; ossified, totalitarian and intolerant. It will continue to stifle thought, human rights, individuality; originality and truth.”

If we as Americans truly support freedom and human rights in our country, we must insist that the Muslim leaders described above back off of individuals and groups who question orthodox Islam so that we can ensure free dissension in our homeland.  In America, the First Amendment was designed to protect the very speech that incites controversy, specifically so that a free exchange of ideas can take place – only in this way can human society progress.  Radical Muslim leaders in America need to just get used to it.

For information on the Secular Islamic Summit: 

Official Summit website – http://secularislam.org/blog/SI_Blog.php

A thorough report/summary of the Summit – http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2007/03/secular-islam-summit-releases-st.html

FamilySecurityMatters.org Susan MacAllen writes a political blog, http://askew.blogharbor.com, and has written on an extensive array of subjects for over 20 years. Her education is in veterinary nursing with a special interest is microbiology/infectious disease. She has lived overseas and been intimately involved in the French culture since the Muslim immigrant population emerged in the south of France.

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Note — The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of The Family Security Foundation, Inc.

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