The Party of Death

The Party of Death

By David Forsmark
FrontPageMagazine.com | 3/27/2008

Embryo: A Defense of Human Life
By Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen
Doubleday, $23.95, 224pp.
Someone watching the Democratic candidates debate could be forgiven for wondering if they’re viewing a year-old videotape.

But the reality is Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are so hidebound by ideology and beholden to left-wing interest groups that actual events are not allowed to intrude on their scripts.

There has been, for instance, no appreciable change in the position of the candidates — or Democrat Party leaders — on Iraq since the grimmest days of sectarian violence, even though the military surge has brought tremendous success. Former opponents have joined our side, and many signs of national unity are springing up at the micro — and, yes, the macro — level.

“Surrender! All is lost!” remains the battle cry of the Democrat Party. That might be “change,” but it hardly qualifies as “hope.”

Similarly, despite recent breakthroughs in adult and umbilical stem cell research that many scientists say make the ethically troubling notion of killing human embryos unnecessary for research, Democrats are still busy damning George W. Bush for the fact that Christopher Reeves didn’t rise up and walk.

Clinton and Obama almost daily repeat the canard that George W. Bush has halted stem cell research. In reality, Bush only denied federal funding for such research; then again, in their worldview, the denial of taxpayers’ money to pay for embryonic stem cell lab work is the same as banning it. But even more troublling is Clinton and Obama’s callousness in refusing to even consider any ethical quandary in taking one life for the benefit of another.

But what do you expect from people who are willing to lose a war in order to score political points and for whom even banning the grotesqueries of partial birth abortion is not worth offending the smallest part of their political base?

Pro-life conservatives generally have two straw men to battle when arguing their case, one from each end of the life cycle — the case for embryonic life and some variation on the Terry Schiavo case. In each instance, the charge of religious extremism is likely to be hurled.

Because the charge that the argument in favor of embryonic right to life is purely a religious one, prominent bioethicists Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen set out on what might seem a peculiar task. In Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, they decide to make the case for the rights of human embryos absent any religious argument whatsoever.

Whatever you think of this daunting — and occasionally rhetorically awkward — task, most readers will be persuaded by the authors’ main thesis by the book’s opening brilliant illustration. In fact, the first dozen pages or so, with minor editing, would make a superb pamphlet for pro-life groups to distribute.

The authors open Embryo with a subchapter called Noah and the Flood. No, this Noah’s not the 600 year-old patriarch pf Old Testament fame with his floating zoo; he’s the youngest person to be rescued from Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters.

Noah Benton Markham had been one of 1,400 frozen embryos rescued from a New Orleans hospital threatened by the rising waters. As the authors point out, had it not been for rescue workers:

Noah would have perished. For it was Noah who was frozen in one of those canisters, Noah who was brought from New Orleans by boat, Noah who was subsequently planted in his mother’s womb, and Noah who was born on January 16, 2007.

The frozen embryo brought out that day, the authors point out, could not have become anything other than Noah. His parents might have been able to have another baby, but it would not have been Noah. Noah could not have been recreated at another time. Noah was genetically complete when the police officers brought him to safety, it was his life that was saved.

Therefore, the authors conclude, and this is “confirmed by all the best science”:

(H)uman embryos are from the beginning, human beings sharing an indentity with, though younger than, the older human beings they will grow up to become.

To one extent or another, the rest of Embryo is a scientific defense of this proposition, and an answer to nearly every argument commonly made against it.

The authors are convinced that the argument can only be won by removing religion from the argument and focusing solely on “science” and “universally accepted philosophical methods of inquiry.”

Of course, arguing such matters in a non-religious vacuum creates its own problems — and begs its own questions.

George and Tollifsen argue persuasively that there is no time at which a human embryo is “not a person.” Thus, it has the rights all persons enjoy —  most basically, the “right not to be killed.”

While the right of a person not to be killed is universally accepted in the West, it is also the result of a particular religious ethos — one rejected by Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Saddam and bin Laden to name a few.

It is the rejection of the Judeo-Christian ethos that leads scientists who would never dream of rejecting the right to life to a breathing human to deny it to embryonic humans. One can hardly argue that those scientists are ignorant of the genetic makeup or human completeness of the embryo.

However, since the same scientists — along with leftist politicians and hard-core feminists — confuse the issue by arguing that resistance to killing or experimenting on embryonic human life is made on purely mystical grounds and not scientific ones, George and Tollefsen have performed a vital service with this book.

Embryo is a brief but not an easy read. While the authors have a clear and concise writing style reminiscent of James Q. Wilson’s thoughtful books on ethics and the law, the issues here are of necessity sometimes discussed in highly technical terms.However, whether you read it straight through, digest it in chunks or keep it as a handy reference guide for sticky arguments —  such as why it is not hypocritical for a pro-lifer to say a fireman, if forced to choose, should rescue a 5-year-old girl rather than a tray of embryos — Embryo is a valuable addition to the library of anyone who engages in the war of ideas.

UK: Jihadists recruiting British converts for terror attacks

January 13, 2008

UK: Jihadists recruiting British converts for terror attacks

But Bashir Maan, “one of Scotland’s leading Muslims,” says security services are overreacting, because it is impossible to convert immoral Westerners to such a strict moral code as Islam. Aside from the insulting undertones of this — Western non-Muslims are semi-bestial, immoral, out-of-control louts who resist what is good and pure — it is absurd. Many of the converts are in fact reacting against Western materialism and relativism. Others, straitlaced morals aside, are attracted by the prospect of religious sanction for polygamy. That Bashir Maan’s oversimplistic, inaccurate and insulting assessment would be repeated uncritically in a major British newspaper is yet another indication of just how clueless the mainstream media is about these issues.

“Al-Qaeda’s white army of terror,” by Richard Elias for The Scotsman (thanks to PRCS):

HUNDREDS of British non-Muslims have been recruited by al-Qaeda to wage war against the West, senior security sources warned last night.As many as 1,500 white Britons are believed to have converted to Islam for the purpose of funding, planning and carrying out surprise terror attacks inside the UK, according to one MI5 source.

Lord Carlile, the Government’s independent reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation, said many of the converts had been targeted by radical Muslims while serving prison terms.

Security experts say the growing secret army of white terrorists poses a particularly serious threat as they are far less likely to be detected than members of the Asian community.

Since the 7/7 and 21/7 London bombings, police and intelligence services have had considerable success in identifying, disrupting and stopping extremist plots. As a result, groups such as al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen have been forced to change tack. Converting white non-Muslims has been one response.

The trend is well established in the United States. American-born Adam Gadahn is one of the FBI’s top 10 most-wanted terrorists after converting to Islam and rising through al-Qaeda’s ranks to become a prominent spokesman.

One British security source last night told Scotland on Sunday: “There could be anything up to 1,500 converts to the fundamentalist cause across Britain. They pose a real potential danger to our domestic security because, obviously, these people blend in and do not raise any flags.

“The exact figure of those who have converted to Islam and turned to terror is not precisely known. Not everyone who converts becomes radicalised and it may be that just two-fifths go down that path, but it remains a significant and dangerous problem.”

Carlile said he was not aware of specific numbers, but confirmed to Scotland on Sunday that Whitehall was aware of the new threat and was actively tackling it. He said: “These people are an issue and are potentially very dangerous. There have been cases of non-Muslims converting before, and of these, Richard Reid, the so-called Shoebomber, is the most obvious example.

“They are more difficult to detect and the security services are right to place some focus on this issue.”

Carlile said the majority of converts were targeted when they were in prison: “These (converts] are outside the standard type of profile which most police forces would have of a terrorist, which is male, young, and of Middle Eastern or Asian appearance. That is why they are so potentially dangerous.”

Carlile added: “The Home Office has a lot of money, millions of pounds, which is being put forward for communities and fighting radicalisation. There is no question how tackling this issue is best achieved: it is achieved at a community level.”

Security experts say radical Muslims in prison have become adept at identifying potential new recruits to their cause. Those in custody for the first time, the young and the lonely are particularly susceptible.

Initially, the approach is made to comfort, console and support, with very little reference, if any, to religion.

However, after several ‘chats’, the conversation will be turned towards the subject and, gradually, over a period of weeks or months, it is possible to complete the conversion.

[…]

But one of Scotland’s leading Muslims disputed the claims of radicalisation, saying Islam’s strict moral code made it unattractive to many westerners.

Bashir Maan added: “I do not know of any Islamist terror group in Scotland and, considering as a Muslim a person must pray five times daily, abstain from drinking (and] sex outside marriage, adhere to strict dietary and many other rules, it is impossible to convert to Islam a young person brought up in this very liberal society.

“I agree that the security services must be vigilant and keep their eye on everybody, but I think in this case they seem to be over-reacting.”

Warning: Holy Month of Ramadan Trains Muslims to do What?

Warning: Holy Month of Ramadan Trains Muslims

 to do What?

By Carl Goldberg

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has begun. In addition to fasting from dawn to dusk, Muslims are obligated to read the entire Koran during this month. Non-Muslims should be aware of some of the things their Muslim neighbors will be reading in the Koran:

  • The unbelievers among the people of the book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures. (98.6).
  • Surely the vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve. (8.55)
  • The unbelievers are your inveterate enemy. (4:101)
  • Mohammed is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another. (48:29).
  • It is unlawful for a believer to kill another believer, accidents excepted. (4:92)
  • Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. (5:51)
  • Make war on them [non-Muslims] until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme. (8:40)
  • Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme. (2:193)
  • The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against the friends of Satan. (4:76)
  • We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. (3:150)
  • I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers. (8:12)
  • When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. (9:5)
  • Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe in neither God nor the Last Day, … until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued. (9:29)
  • Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. (9:73 and 66:9)
  • Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. (9:123)
  • When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads. (47:4)
  • These and other passages in the Koran, which are considered Allah’s literal word, will be important to non-Muslims until the imams preach to their congregations that these passages are no longer valid. So far, it has not happened.

    Carl Goldberg writes from Tempe, Arizona


     

    Freed Guantanamo inmates return to jihad

     

    Freed Guantanamo inmates return to jihad

    Why should this surprise anyone? No effort was made at Gitmo to disabuse them of jihadist sympathies.

    “Freed Guantanamo inmates take up arms,” from The Age (thanks to all who sent this in):

    AT LEAST 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees have been killed or recaptured after taking up arms against allied forces following their release.They have been discovered mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but not in Iraq, a US Defence Department spokesman told The Age yesterday.

    Commander Jeffrey Gordon said the detainees had, while in custody, falsely claimed to be farmers, truck drivers, cooks, small-arms merchants, low-level combatants or had offered other false explanations for being in Afghanistan.

    “We are aware of dozens of cases where they have returned to militant activities, participated in anti-US propaganda or engaged in other activities,” said Commander Gordon.

    America at the Crossroads “Islam vs. Islamists” shines a spotlight on the grave difficulties faced by moderate Muslims.

    America at the Crossroads

    “Islam vs. Islamists” shines a spotlight on the grave difficulties faced by moderate Muslims.

    PBS’s refusal to air, as part of the series, this powerful documentary about the threat Muslim supremacists present to moderate Muslims (and non-Muslims) is very troubling. Many terrorism experts believe a vital key to winning the war against Muslim radicals lies within Islam itself, that moderate Muslims must be supported and encouraged in challenging extremism in their own faith.

    You can now judge for yourselves by viewing the film which is in 8 parts below :-

    Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6 , Part 7 , Part 8

    Posted by Ted Belman @ 6:22 am |

    Car Bomb Jihad

    Car Bomb Jihad
    By Dr. Walid Phares
    FrontPageMagazine.com | July 2, 2007

    British authorities are to be commended for successfully averting two (maybe more) car bomb attacks in London last week. At the same time, much of the reaction of Britain’s counter-terrorism community reveals that the country is not wholly prepared to deal with the terrorism threat.Let’s begin with the contradictory statements made by British authorities after the car bombs had been identified. On one hand, Britain’s new home secretary, Jacqui Smith, said after an emergency meeting of top officials that “we are currently facing the most serious and sustained threat to our security from international terrorism.” But other British authorities claimed that “they found no link between the defused car bomb and any terrorist group.” This sharp contradiction is indicative of the tough political background to the UK’s counter-terrorism efforts.

    The problem is this: Since the “7/7” attacks, authorities have hesitated to define the enemy. For London’s political establishment, any reference to the religious or ideological motivations of the terrorists is to be avoided. Examined closely, this attitude is the result of layers of “expertise” provided by academic “specialists” who advise against any statements that, as they see it, would exacerbate domestic tensions with the domestic Muslim community.

    Hence, British authorities have preemptively dropped any reference to the cause of the terrorists’ war — namely, Islamic jihadism — while failing to outline its global scope. By default, then, the government has conceded to the Islamists a political victory in the “battle of ideas.”

    A second series of questions accompanying the immediate debate about last week’s plot centered on the alleged link to al-Qaeda. The media went back and forth on the theory of Bin Laden’s responsibility — as if this single factor would shape the strategy to respond. To be successful, British investigators must bypass the dead-ended guessing about al-Qaeda’s formal role and spend their energies and time on the more important issue: Islamist penetration of British society.

    Bin Laden and Zawahiri may or may not have ordered this specific operation; al-Qaeda’s central apparatus may or may not be in charge of its execution; and the perpetrators may or not be professional terrorists. Of greater consequence for counterterrorism efforts is finding out who indoctrinated those who planted last week’s bombs and procuring detailed information about jihadist cells in the UK. Bin Laden will one day pass from the scene. But unless confronted, Britain’s jihadist network will live on.

    The question of whether the terrorists were “homegrown” or “international” circulated with dizzying frequency last week. Neither explanation is reassuring for the authorities. If the terrorists are “homegrown,” it reopens the debate about the radicalization of the British Muslim community. Obviously, officials want to avoid the matter. If, on the other hand, the terrorists are said to be “international,” with links to outside terrorist networks, officials would have to grapple with an equally unappealing fact: The followers of jihad, whether “homegrown” or “international,” operate without boundaries.

    Failure to consider the underlying cause of jihadist terrorism has stunted Britain’s intellectual debate. Consider that in the most recent plot, the two cars were declared as “linked” because the bombs they contained were made of the same material. But what if the two car bombs were filled with different types of explosives? Would they then have belonged to two different conflicts? It would have been odd in the extreme for police during the London Blitz of 1940 to wonder whether the bombs falling on the city were “linked” because they were made of the same material. But because many in Britain still refuse to acknowledge that they are at war with Islamic terrorism, we get the kind of official analysis that we saw last week.

    Surveying the situation from a distance, it seems that even the successes that British authorities have had can be exaggerated. For instance, the government prides itself for having installed more cameras in London than in all other European cities combined, a fact acknowledged by commentators who noted that the manhunt launched for the suspects last week was made possible by the release of film from London’s surveillance cameras. But the reason that this surveillance is so extensive is that for years the authorities were on the defensive, having caved in to those lobbies who insisted that the government should not target terrorists before they strike. Resources were diverted to spy on the terrorists, but little was done to preempt their attacks. The United States is under similar pressure by its own internal critics to follow the same path and stop monitoring the terrorists.

    Fortunately, British officials are becoming more clear-sighted. Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, former head of Britain’s joint intelligence committee, was among the first to conclude that the two car bombs were related to the attack on Glasgow Airport. It is the first step to understanding that what the UK is facing is not dispersed acts of violence but a war that is grounded in the expansion of Wahabism, Salafism and other forms of radical ideologies. There is a standing order by al-Qaeda and fatwas by Salafi asking their allies, local and international, to “strike into the heart of infidels, including the British.”

    Other strategic considerations are also in play. There is little doubt that the Islamists want to test the new cabinet of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and to drag him into an “engagement.” This in turn would provide extremists in Britain’s Muslim community the occasion to demonize Brown and weaken his resolve to confront both domestic and international terrorism. The jihadists’ move is clear, but the question remains: Is Britain seeing clearly?


    By Dr. Walid Phares
    FrontPageMagazine.com | July 2, 2007

    British authorities are to be commended for successfully averting two (maybe more) car bomb attacks in London last week. At the same time, much of the reaction of Britain’s counter-terrorism community reveals that the country is not wholly prepared to deal with the terrorism threat.Let’s begin with the contradictory statements made by British authorities after the car bombs had been identified. On one hand, Britain’s new home secretary, Jacqui Smith, said after an emergency meeting of top officials that “we are currently facing the most serious and sustained threat to our security from international terrorism.” But other British authorities claimed that “they found no link between the defused car bomb and any terrorist group.” This sharp contradiction is indicative of the tough political background to the UK’s counter-terrorism efforts.

    The problem is this: Since the “7/7” attacks, authorities have hesitated to define the enemy. For London’s political establishment, any reference to the religious or ideological motivations of the terrorists is to be avoided. Examined closely, this attitude is the result of layers of “expertise” provided by academic “specialists” who advise against any statements that, as they see it, would exacerbate domestic tensions with the domestic Muslim community.

    Hence, British authorities have preemptively dropped any reference to the cause of the terrorists’ war — namely, Islamic jihadism — while failing to outline its global scope. By default, then, the government has conceded to the Islamists a political victory in the “battle of ideas.”

    A second series of questions accompanying the immediate debate about last week’s plot centered on the alleged link to al-Qaeda. The media went back and forth on the theory of Bin Laden’s responsibility — as if this single factor would shape the strategy to respond. To be successful, British investigators must bypass the dead-ended guessing about al-Qaeda’s formal role and spend their energies and time on the more important issue: Islamist penetration of British society.

    Bin Laden and Zawahiri may or may not have ordered this specific operation; al-Qaeda’s central apparatus may or may not be in charge of its execution; and the perpetrators may or not be professional terrorists. Of greater consequence for counterterrorism efforts is finding out who indoctrinated those who planted last week’s bombs and procuring detailed information about jihadist cells in the UK. Bin Laden will one day pass from the scene. But unless confronted, Britain’s jihadist network will live on.

    The question of whether the terrorists were “homegrown” or “international” circulated with dizzying frequency last week. Neither explanation is reassuring for the authorities. If the terrorists are “homegrown,” it reopens the debate about the radicalization of the British Muslim community. Obviously, officials want to avoid the matter. If, on the other hand, the terrorists are said to be “international,” with links to outside terrorist networks, officials would have to grapple with an equally unappealing fact: The followers of jihad, whether “homegrown” or “international,” operate without boundaries.

    Failure to consider the underlying cause of jihadist terrorism has stunted Britain’s intellectual debate. Consider that in the most recent plot, the two cars were declared as “linked” because the bombs they contained were made of the same material. But what if the two car bombs were filled with different types of explosives? Would they then have belonged to two different conflicts? It would have been odd in the extreme for police during the London Blitz of 1940 to wonder whether the bombs falling on the city were “linked” because they were made of the same material. But because many in Britain still refuse to acknowledge that they are at war with Islamic terrorism, we get the kind of official analysis that we saw last week.

    Surveying the situation from a distance, it seems that even the successes that British authorities have had can be exaggerated. For instance, the government prides itself for having installed more cameras in London than in all other European cities combined, a fact acknowledged by commentators who noted that the manhunt launched for the suspects last week was made possible by the release of film from London’s surveillance cameras. But the reason that this surveillance is so extensive is that for years the authorities were on the defensive, having caved in to those lobbies who insisted that the government should not target terrorists before they strike. Resources were diverted to spy on the terrorists, but little was done to preempt their attacks. The United States is under similar pressure by its own internal critics to follow the same path and stop monitoring the terrorists.

    Fortunately, British officials are becoming more clear-sighted. Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, former head of Britain’s joint intelligence committee, was among the first to conclude that the two car bombs were related to the attack on Glasgow Airport. It is the first step to understanding that what the UK is facing is not dispersed acts of violence but a war that is grounded in the expansion of Wahabism, Salafism and other forms of radical ideologies. There is a standing order by al-Qaeda and fatwas by Salafi asking their allies, local and international, to “strike into the heart of infidels, including the British.”

    Other strategic considerations are also in play. There is little doubt that the Islamists want to test the new cabinet of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and to drag him into an “engagement.” This in turn would provide extremists in Britain’s Muslim community the occasion to demonize Brown and weaken his resolve to confront both domestic and international terrorism. The jihadists’ move is clear, but the question remains: Is Britain seeing clearly?

    Terror scare in Piccadilly Circus: Two linked vehicles, two explosive devices

    Contrary to popular opinion, Israel is the good guy

    Contrary to popular opinion, Israel is the good guy

    [Given the need for conspiracy theories, otherwise known as propagating “alternate realities”, this is timely. It supports Israpundit’s efforts to challenge conventional thinking in most places as regards, Israel and Serbia.]

    “Blaming the Middle Eastern conflict on the Jewish state is an error that could see many people unwittingly complicit in one of history’s worst injustices”, writes Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein of South Africa in the Sunday Times.

    SOMETIMES we make the most fundamental errors. When large numbers of people make mistakes — even monumental ones — it is almost impossible to challenge the resultant prevailing view. It was once the conventional wisdom that the Earth is flat. In ancient times, if anyone dared to claim that the earth was round, they would have been denigrated as being detached from reality. When, in the 16th century, Nicolaus Copernicus dared suggest that the sun was the centre of the solar system and not the Earth, he was regarded as a heretic.

    In today’s world, any attempt to explain the Arab-Israeli conflict in terms other than “Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land” and the “denial of Palestinian nationalist aspiration” is often regarded like a declaration that the earth is flat and the centre of the universe. But what if this view is wrong? What if, in terms of understanding the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are living in pre-Copernican times? What if the Jewish state that is considered to be the root of all evil in the Middle East were instead the victim?

    What if the apartheid of the Middle East is really one directed against the Jews? And what if Israel is the ANC of the Middle East?

    In South Africa, our conflict was caused by a white racist apartheid regime. The ANC was always ready to talk peace, but the regime refused to talk and so the conflict could not be resolved, and the ANC was forced into an armed struggle. Like the ANC, the Israeli government has always been ready to talk peace but has been forced since the birth of the Jewish state into an armed defensive struggle because the anti-Semitic Arab world has not been prepared to talk peace.

    The ANC had to wage an armed struggle for many years until white South Africans were ready to talk, and then the long-standing conflict was resolved relatively quickly. Unlike the ANC, Israel has not found genuine negotiating partners, and so its struggle continues, and peace remains a distant dream.

    What if Zionism is not colonialism but rather an ancient people’s deep connection to their native, historical and covenantal land? What if the real colonialism is Arab expansionism, which contests a Jewish state on even 1/520th of the area of Arab lands? Nearly 4000 years, ago the forefathers of the Jewish People, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, lived in the land of Israel, which God had promised to them and to their descendants forever. That promise was confirmed at Mount Sinai, and was delivered upon by G-d through Joshua, after the death of Moses, more than 3300 years ago, when the Jewish People entered the land after being liberated from Egyptian slavery and oppression.

    About 3000 years ago, King David established Jerusalem as the capital city of the Promised Land. The Jewish people lived in the land of Israel for 850 years until their expulsion by invading Babylonians. They returned in large numbers 70 years afterwards and remained for many centuries until their eviction by the Roman Empire. Despite unremitting antisemitism and persecution, some Jewish communities managed to remain in Israel during the long interval between the Roman dispersion and the re-establishment of the Jewish state in 1948.

    What if the dispute has never been about Palestinian statehood but really about the destruction of the Jews and the only Jewish state on Earth? In 1917, the Balfour Declaration, confirmed later by international law through the League of Nations, declared the British Mandate of Palestine to be a national homeland for the Jewish people, recognising 4000 years of Jewish connection to the land, and the injustice of the destruction of ancient Israel by the Romans and the forced removal of the Jewish people.

    In 1922 the British took 76% of the land designated for a Jewish state and allocated it instead to the Arabs, creating east of the Jordan River a new country called Transjordan, later to be known as Jordan, which to this day has a Palestinian majority.

    In 1947, the United Nations voted to establish two states — one Arab and one Jewish — west of the Jordan river on the remaining 24% of the original portion of land allocated for a Jewish state by the international community. In spite of this reduction to their original portion, the Jews accepted the offer, which was then rejected by the Arabs. This was the beginning of a long history of Arab rejectionism.

    And so, in 1948, the newly reborn state of Israel was invaded by Arab armies from Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and the Arab Legion, all of which made it quite clear that they intended to destroy the tiny Jewish state at its rebirth and to massacre its citizens, many of whom were Holocaust survivors.

    Israel survived the war, and from 1948 to 1967, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were in Arab hands and there was no “occupation” of these territories . If the cause for the Arab-Israeli conflict is the “occupation” of the West Bank and Gaza, then why did the conflict rage throughout these years unabated, with continued Arab refusal to recognise Israel and to make peace with its Jewish neighbour?

    Why was it that in mid-1967, just before the Six Day War, and before the West Bank and Gaza fell into Jewish hands, Arab leaders called for the destruction of Israel? What “occupation” was at issue? Why did Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad order his soldiers to attack Jewish civilian targets to “pave the Arab roads with the skulls of Jews”?

    For the 19 years that Jordan controlled the West Bank and Egypt the Gaza Strip, the Arab world had the opportunity of establishing another Palestinian state in those territories, and chose not to. Why not? If the conflict is about Palestinian statehood, then why was there no talk whatever of a Palestinian state for all those 19 years? After the Six Day War, Israel immediately tried to enter into negotiations with the Arab world about the political future of the West Bank and Gaza. The response came from the Khartoum Conference of all the Arab States on September 1 1967, in the form of the infamous three nos : “No peace, no negotiation, no recognition.” And so, when in 2000 at Camp David, Yassar Arafat rejected without making a counter-offer at all, Israel’s proposed 95% of the West Bank and Gaza as well as land compensation for the remaining 5%, his rejection was wholly consistent with Arab rejectionism of any Jewish presence at all.

    If the Arab-Israeli conflict is about a Palestinian state, then there has always been an obvious solution of two states living in peace side by side. The conflict is more fundamental and therefore, all the more intractable, and is really about Arab rejection of the very presence and existence of a Jewish state, and probably any Jews at all, in the heart of the Middle East. And so the very charter of Hamas calls for the murder of all Jews, worldwide. And rockets from Gaza continue to target Israeli civilians even after Israel’s evacuation. And threats of genocide and a second Holocaust, together with denial of the first, emanate from Iran. And the Arab world is awash with the most rabid and pernicious antisemitism.

    What if the war directed against Israel is really the global war of fundamentalist tyranny against freedom and democracy? Then indeed, all of those who believe, with the best of intentions, that they are defending a vulnerable victim, are actually being complicit in one of the worst injustices in the history of human civilisation. They will have sided with the forces of death and destruction, of fear and prejudice. What if the world is siding against the only beacon of freedom and democracy in the Middle East, thereby endangering us all, because the fate of Jews is often a sign portending the future? Hitler came after the Jews first, and then he attacked the world. Suicide bombings began in Jerusalem and then migrated to New York, Bali, Madrid, London and Nairobi.

    We need clarity to understand these tumultuous times. We also need an ultimate vision of peace and reconciliation between Arab and Jew. The conflict in the Middle East is between brothers, and that is the real tragedy. We are all the children of Abraham; Jews are the children of his son Isaac, and Arabs the children of his son Ishmael. The Talmud tells us that, although the sons of Abraham fought for many years, when Abraham was buried in Hebron, Isaac and Ishmael were reconciled at his grave. Let us all pray to God that we will merit to see the day when brother will once again be reconciled with brother in the Middle East.

    Posted by Ted Belman @ 9:18 am |

    A Proposed Constitutional Amendment

    Thursday, February 08, 2007

    A Proposed Constitutional Amendment

    Background and justification to Amendment 28

    Whereas Religion is defined as an institution dedicated to improving social conscience and promoting individual and societal spiritual growth in a way that is harmless to others not participating in or practicing the same;

    Whereas the United States of America was founded on the ideals of individual rights, including the individual right to practice one’s religion of choice, or no religion, and that there would be no compulsion of religion, nor state sanctioned religion, nor a “religious test” for participation in the body politic;

    Whereas Islam includes a complete political and social structure, encompassed by its religious law, Sharia, that supersedes any civil law and that Islam mandates that no secular or democratic institutions are to be superior to Islamic law;

    Whereas Islam preaches that it and it alone is the true religion and that Islam will dominate the world and supplant all other religions and democratic institutions;

    Whereas Saudi Arabia, the spiritual home of Islam does not permit the practice of any other religion on its soil and even “moderate” Muslims states such as Turkey and Malaysia actively suppress other religions;

    Whereas Islam includes as its basic tenet the spread of the faith by any and all means necessary, including violent conquest of non-believers, and demands of its followers that they implement violent jihad (holy war) against those un-willing to convert or submit to Islam, including by deception and subversion of existing institutions;

    Whereas on 9/11/2001 19 Muslim hijackers acting in the name of Islam killed 3,000 Americans, and numerous other acts of terrorism have been directed at the American people around the world;

    Whereas representatives of Islam around the world including Osama Bin Laden (architect of 9/11), the government of Iran including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, HAMAS, Hezbollah, and other Islamic groups have declared jihad (war) on America, and regularly declare that America should cease to exist;

    Whereas there is no organized Islamic opposition to violent proponents of Islam;

    Therefore: Islam is not a religion, but a political ideology more akin to Fascism and totally in opposition to the ideals of freedom as described in the United States Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights.

    Be it resolved that the following Amendment to the Constitution be adopted:

    Article I

    The social/political/ideological system known around the world as Islam is not recognized in the United States as a religion.

    The practice of Islam is therefore not protected under the 1st Amendment as to freedom of religion and speech.

    Article II

    As representatives of Islam around the world have declared war, and committed acts of war, against the United States and its democratic allies around the world, Islam is hereby declared an enemy of the United States and its practice within the United States is now prohibited.

    Article III

    Immediately upon passage of this Amendment all Mosques, schools and Muslim places of worship and religious training are to be closed, converted to other uses, or destroyed. Proceeds from sales of such properties may be distributed to congregations of said places but full disclosure of all proceeds shall be made to an appropriate agency as determined by Congress. No compensation is to be offered by Federal or State agencies for losses on such properties however Federal funding is to be available for the demolishing of said structures if other disposition cannot be made.

    The preaching of Islam in Mosques, Schools, and other venues is prohibited. The subject of Islam may be taught in a post high school academic environment provided that instruction include discussion of Islam’s history of violence, conquest, and its ongoing war on democratic and other non-Islamic values.

    The preaching or advocating of Islamic ideals of world domination, destruction of America and democratic institutions, jihad against Judaism, Christianity and other religions, and advocating the implementation of Sharia law shall in all cases be punishable by fines, imprisonment, deportation, and death as prescribed by Congress. Violent expressions of these and other Muslim goals, or the material support of those both in the United States and around the world who seek to advance these Islamic goals shall be punishable by death.

    Muslims will be denied the opportunity to immigrate to the United States.

    Article IV

    Nothing in this amendment shall be construed as authorizing the discrimination against, of violence upon, nor repudiation of the individual rights of those Americans professing to be Muslim. The individual right of conscience is sacrosanct and the practice of Islam within the privacy of home and self is strictly protected to the extent that such individuals do not violate the prohibitions described in Article III.

    http://pedestrianinfidel.blogspot.com/2007/02/proposed-constitutional-amendment.html

    Britain Was Once Great Britain

    Britain Was Once Great Britain
    By Dennis Prager
    FrontPageMagazine.com | April 10, 2007

    It is painful to see the decline of Great Britain.

    Greatness in individuals is rare; in countries it is almost unique. And Great Britain was great.

    It used to be said that “The sun never sets on the British empire.” That is how vast Britain’s influence was. And that influence, on balance, was far more positive than negative. Ask the Indians — or the Americans, for that matter. The British colonies learned about individual rights, parliamentary government, civil service and courts of justice, to name of few of the benefits that the British brought with them. Were it not for British involvement, India might still have sati (burning wives on the funeral pyre of their husband), would have no unifying language, and probably no parliamentary democracy or other institutions and values that have made that country a democratic giant, now on its way to becoming an economic one as well. But today, the sun not only literally sets on an extinct British empire; it is figuratively setting on Britain itself.

    Two recent examples provide evidence:

    One is the way Britain handled the recent act of war against it by Iran. Everything about the British reaction revealed a civilization in decline.

    Whether the British sailors and marines should have put up more resistance — i.e., any resistance — to the unprovoked Iranian military attack is something for military and other experts to decide. Whether the captured sailors and marines offered more information and more cooperation, and more smiles than was necessary to the leader of their kidnappers, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will also be determined in ongoing investigations. Whether the British government engaged in appeasement of Iran or ineffective diplomacy will also have to be judged.

    What does seem clear, however, is that the British government did not confront the Iranians in any way reminiscent of a great country, let alone of Britain’s great past. If we judge the British government’s reaction alone — without any reference to the behavior of the British sailors and marines — Iran was the feared power, not Great Britain, which acted like the supplicant.

    But what really makes one weep for Britain’s lost greatness is what has happened since the sailors and marines were released.

    The UK Minister of Defense, Labor MP Desmond Browne, announced that the released sailors and marines were all free to sell their stories to the media, “as a result of exceptional media interest.” If this is not unprecedented, it would certainly be difficult to find anything similar in the annals of military history. Some of the captured sailors and marines have already earned large sums of money. The Guardian newspaper said the one woman who had been captured, Faye Turney, agreed to a deal with The Sun and ITV television for approximately $200,000. (American soldier Jessica Lynch, who was captured when her Army convoy was ambushed in 2003, received a $500,000 advance for her book, “I Am a Soldier, Too.” But that was a book published later and she had never charged the news media when interviewed by them.)

    And John Tindell, the father of another of the hostages, said the marines were planning to sell on eBay the vases given to them by the Iranians.

    As The Australian reported, “Some of the sums being offered to the captives are higher than the money paid to service personnel maimed in Iraq or Afghanistan. The standard tariff for the loss of an arm is 57,500 pounds.”

    The Labor government’s decision was described well by the mother of a British soldier killed in Iraq. As reported by Reuters: “The mother of a 19-year-old British soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq at the weekend said she would be ‘very shocked’ if any of the detainees were paid for their stories. ‘If you are a member of the military, it is your duty to serve your country,’ Sally Veck, mother of Eleanor Dlugosz, told the Times. ‘You should do your duty and not expect to make money by selling stories.'”

    That pretty well sums up the revulsion many feel at the British government’s decision.

    The other current example of Great Britain’s decline is the widely reported (in the UK) decision of schools in various parts of that country to stop teaching about the Holocaust in history classes. The reason?

    As reported by the BBC, “Some schools avoid teaching the Holocaust and other controversial history subjects as they do not want to cause offence, research has claimed. Teachers fear meeting anti-Semitic sentiment, particularly from Muslim pupils, the government-funded study by the Historical Association said.”

    No comment necessary.

    But a word of caution: If Great Britain can cease to be great in so short a time span, any country can. All you need is an elite that no longer believes in their country, that manipulates history texts to make students feel good about themselves, that prefers multiculturalism to its own culture, and that has abandoned its religious underpinnings. Sound familiar, America?

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