October 2007 Archives

Another verdict

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Ann Coulter isn't an antisemite. She's just a flaming asshole. Which makes her and Alan Colmes the perfect couple.

She has a thousand Orthodox rabbis supporting her? Supporting her what? Her position that Jews would be "perfected" by becoming Christians? No, I don't think so. I don't think she has ten. In fact, I don't think she has one.

Here's the thing. People who actually know anything about Judaism (which Orthodox rabbis generally do and I suspect Alan Colmes does not) can respond to Coulter's trash talk intelligently and in particular to her cover argument that it's "the secularists" who took offense to her remarks. Much as she would like to change the subject, this is not about bashing Ann Coulter's faith and most of the people who find her remarks offensive are not godless, anti-religious aetheists but, rather, believing Jews and other people of good will toward them.

Ironically, most of the people defending Coulter would (and do) take great umbrage at the suggestion that the basic tenets of Christianity are in error and/or in need of "perfecting" or remediation through acceptance of some other superceding faith or doctrine (such as Islam, for example, or "enlightened" secularism). Why is this always a one-way street?

But neither are Coulter's ramblings "the classic language of antisemitism." They may have managed to entice a lot of religious antisemites out from under their rocks in comment threads and blog posts addressing this "controversy," but that was clearly not her intent. Her intent was to stir up a fuss and get a chance to toss her hair around indifferently while appearing to suffer the slings and arrows of an unprovoked onslaught. Mission accomplished.

Update: the scales tip

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Yeah, no, after listening to Tom Paine's interview with Filip Dewinter, I'm convinced. If you isolate the anti-Islamization comments, fine. But of course it doesn't end there. Apologetics for Nazi collaboration. Repeated insistence upon "forgetting the past and moving on" in reference to WWII. No. No to Valaams Belang, no to alliance with them, no to association with them. No.

Thank you, Tom. You did indeed ask the questions that needed to be asked. I didn't like the answers a bit. And I have no interest in being associated with them.

All's well

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For those of you who, like me, have been following this story sporadically over the past several months, I see it finally ended a few weeks ago -- quietly and well.

[October 10, 2007] CONCORD, N.H. --After 10 months of self-imposed exile at his castle-like home, authorities Wednesday delivered convicted New Hampshire tax evader Ed Brown to his new home -- a federal prison in Ohio.

Stephen Monier, U.S. Marshal for New Hampshire, said Brown arrived late morning at the low security Federal Correctional Institution in Elkton, Ohio. His wife, Elaine Brown, arrived at minimum security federal prison in Danbury, Conn., earlier this week.

Both were sentenced to 63-month prison terms in April, following their conviction in January of scheming to avoid federal income taxes by hiding $1.9 million of income between 1996 and 2003. But the couple -- who believe the federal income tax is not legitimate -- had eluded arrest for months, refusing to leave their hill-top home located on 110 acres in rural Plainfield. They were finally arrested last week, taken into custody by officers posing as visiting supporters.

No muss, no fuss, no guns blazing, no Ruby Ridge or Waco, and no glorious battle with the "Zionist Freemasons." The WaPo has more details, here. They took their good old time, but the feds got it done right this time. Kudos.

Differences aside

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Wishing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert a refua shlaima ... a complete recovery from prostate cancer.

(That link was chosen with some care, by the way. It was the most informative, objective, and least exploitative piece I found. No agenda, just the facts. Some stories just do not need ten tons of baggage appended.)

Enough already

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I should know better than to insert my insignificant two cents into a blogwar that has nothing to do with me. It's always a bad idea. But this is killing me. So I'm unwisely going to make a comment here, on my own tiny patch of turf.

How did we get to the point where a blogger can't offer up a well considered, thoughtful opinion that deviates from some imaginary "norm" without getting ambushed from all directions by thought police? Bloggers have gained considerable power in shaping opinion over the past few years, yes, but let's get a grip. It's just absurd to claim that, simply by suggesting that certain alliances may be unwise, any blogger, no matter how widely read, is somehow undermining the war against Islamo-fascism in Europe or anywhere else.

Maybe Charles Johnson is right that there is reason to be cautious about joining forces with the Flemish Vlaams Belang party. Maybe he's wrong. Maybe he's being overly cautious. Maybe he's only recommending due diligence. I've read way more about this question than I wanted to and I'm still not sure. What I am sure of, though, is that no one has done more to advance Islamo-fascist awareness in the blogosphere than Charles Johnson. No one has done more to provide a spotlight for others to advance it. No one is more determined to use the power of the blog to continue to advance it. How ironic that this past week should be the time for such a nasty rift between allies in this all-important battle. How ridiculous to paint Charles as a saboteur simply because his conscience won't allow him to toe someone else's line on who are and who are not or may not be our real friends.

And, finally, how much media coverage did "Counterjihad Brussles 2007" generate? Not much, it seems. It's not as if the questions raised have deflated a juggernaut in mid-air. But to the extent they have generated this kind of rational response, they've only contributed to the discussion.

It is good the errors published about these parties came to light since they give us direction and focus for steps that need to be taken to correct misunderstandings and present the facts. We sympathize with those who have researched these matters and drawn conclusions that we consider to be completely wrong-headed. This is a complicated subject. Obstacles arise from the need to research information in other languages and other countries. The complexities of other political cultures are numerous.

In addition, there are two problems: one is disinformation used by opposing parties, which involves the task of separating myths generated on the Internet from factual data, and another is the lack of adequate machine translation for Flemish and Swedish.

We look forward to an ongoing discussion about the strengths and weaknesses, the opportunities and threats presented by political organizations who have the ability and the will to oppose Islamisation. It is vital to have a “big-tent” approach, but for us that tent does have some boundaries, to wit:

• we urge support for those groups who defend constitutional liberties and human rights,

• who defend national sovereignty and the rule of law,
• who support free speech,
• who support Israel’s right to exist with defensible borders,
• who oppose anti-Semitism,
• who support the integration of immigrants into Western laws and values,
• who want a right to control immigration for national objectives,
• who oppose terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and
• who oppose Islamisation, jihad and the imposition of shariah law.

This is a reasonable list, but a lot of mainstream political parties in Europe are far too politically correct to make the cut. Ask for a position against Islamisation, for Israel’s right to exist and for free speech, and you have eliminated many political organizations in European countries.

So let's talk. "Immigration" is not an inalienable "right." Those who wish to close their borders to immigrants whose goal is to subvert the culture and values of their adopted country are not racists or bigots. But neither are those who are suspicious of advocacy in the name of national or ethnic "purity" paranoid.

Divide and conquer. It's an effective strategy. Let's not do it to ourselves. Surely there's a better way to handle our differences. We don't need to be providing this spectacle for the entertainment of our enemies, but neither do we need to walk in lock step. You know, most of the world isn't even aware of this dispute (so far) and doesn't care. So all this energy is being wasted, except on those who revel in our in-fighting.

Enough already.

Spit !

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Larissa Trimbobler, wife of assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's murderer, Yigal Amir, gave birth to a baby boy at Bikur Holim Hospital in Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon.

The baby's brit mila (circumcision) will take place on November 4, exactly 12 years since his father killed Rabin.

Police took heightened security precautions at the time of the delivery with security forces stationed around Trimbobler's hospital room under the suspicion that the baby could be attacked.

The poor little thing (I'm referring to the baby). What kind of "person" would bring a child into the world under these circumstances? The only chance this kid has for a normal life is to be removed from the influence of this nut-job, placed in a good home with a new name and never find out where he came from.

Too much good stuff!

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This week, at Haveil Havalim #138, which is back at Soccer Dad! Check it out.

And congratulations to Orthomom for her big win here.

Ten tzadikim

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On account of them, Sodom would not have been destroyed. But, alas, they were not to be found.

This week's Torah portion is Vayeira -- probably the most perplexing and inspiring of them all. It includes the annihilation of Sodom, the seduction of Lot, the birth of Isaac, the banishment of Ishmael and the akeidah. Among other things. You could fill an entire blog with nothing but commentaries on this parasha.

Shabbat Shalom.

High tech terror

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This speaks for itself.

GAZA, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Fatah-allied Palestinian militants have said they are using the Google Earth program to help plan attacks on the Israeli military and other targets.

Members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade said the Internet-based mapping tool is used to help find targets for rocket attacks, The Guardian reported Thursday.

"We obtain the details from Google Earth and check them against our maps of the city center and sensitive areas," said Khaled Jaabari, also known as Abu Walid, commander of the group in Gaza.

Google released a statement in response to questions about the program's use by the al-Aqsa militants, saying it was aware of potential problems.

Not to dwell on the obvious, but these were "Fatah-allied Palestinian militants" talking -- not Hamas.

Update (from the JPost):

Google Earth recently released updated images of Israel, sparking debate over security. While the company said it would be "happy" to address any concerns Israel might have, Professor Gerald Steinberg, chairman of the political science department at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, discounted the images' importance.

'They are not real-time pictures, and they were not taken yesterday. I don't think this is a major change in security,' he said.

Erasing us

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Wherever you turn, whatever you read, there it lurks. Another attempt to erase our history, to undermine our sense of who were are. Does it work? Is anyone really buying this? Are people that stupid? That ignorant? That willfully blind? Or is it simply a matter of the kind of subtle erosion whereby even a sickly stream of falsehood can eventually wear down a mountain of truth?

The former mufti of Jerusalem, Ikrema Sabri, has made the claim that there never was a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount, and the Western Wall was really part of a mosque.

"There was never a Jewish temple on Al-Aksa [the mosque compound] and there is no proof that there was ever a temple," he told The Jerusalem Post via a translator. "Because Allah is fair, he would not agree to make Al-Aksa if there were a temple there for others beforehand."

Sabri rejected Judaism's claim to the Western Wall as part of the outer wall of the Second Temple.

"The wall is not part of the Jewish temple. It is just the western wall of the mosque," he said. "There is not a single stone with any relation at all to the history of the Hebrews."

Asked if Jews would ever be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount under Muslim control, he replied: "It is not the Temple Mount, you must say Al-Aksa. And no Jews have the right to pray at the mosque. It was always only a mosque - all 144 dunams, the entire area. No Jewish prayer. If the Jews want real peace, they must not do anything to try to pray on Al-Aksa. Everyone knows that."

Can you find the prize winning turd in that huge steaming pile? Here's my candidate:

Because Allah is fair, he would not agree to make Al-Aksa if there were a temple there for others beforehand.

The absurdity of this statement, in light of Islam's flagrant and consistent history of turning the holy sites of the unbelievers and infidels into mosques, boggles the mind. (See this "disputed" Wikipedia article for a partial catalogue and rationale.)

But this one is close runner up:

...the Western Wall was really part of a mosque.

It is virtually undisputed that the Western Wall was built by Herod some 2000 years ago, which would be several hundred years before the first mosque existed. In this claim, however, there is a kernel of truth, in that the rows of smaller stones at the top of the Kotel appear to represent repairs done by the Umayyads (when they built the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock) and even later by the Fatimids. Nevertheless, these Islamic dynasties were merely reconstructing the top of the ediface built to contain the Temple Mount centuries before the birth of Muhammed.

A picture worth ten thousand words:

kotel.jpg

12 Cheshvan

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The world, it seems, gets crazier every day.

Larissa Trimbobler, Yigal Amir's wife, is scheduled to give birth to the couple's son on October 24, the national memorial day for late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was murdered by Amir 12 year ago.

The date of the delivery hardly seems like a coincidence, and it appears that Trimbobler had pre-planned it during her fertility treatments.

Well, nuts will be nuts. But no less nuts is this demented fantasy, courtesy of Shimon Peres, with considerable help from some particularly clueless staff writers at the Jerusalem Post.

Peres and Rabin had been bitter rivals for a long time, and a great deal of acrimony had passed between them. But when they realized that the nation had to change its priorities and began to work together toward that goal, the animosity dissipated. They became colleagues and even friends.

As he recalled the final hours of Rabin's life, Peres said: "Personally, I never felt such closeness between us - an ideological and a personal closeness. We were so reconciled, so united, and so enthused and excited by what was happening in front of us, and by what we anticipated would happen the following day."

Peres could not remember ever seeing such radiance on Rabin's face.

And all the time, noted Peres, the assassin was lurking with his gun cocked.

When Rabin fell, the president said, it seemed as if the curtain had suddenly come down on the prospect for peace, and the nation felt as if it had been brutally orphaned. Peres suddenly found himself alone, without Rabin's support, without his leadership.

He knew that no one could replace his friend. Peres had learned that when Rabin committed himself to something, he remained as steadfast as a rock, and no opposition could move him.

But Rabin was no longer there and Peres felt as if everything around him had collapsed. All that remained was pain and grief.

Oh, barf! Pure adulterated crap, as anyone who was paying attention 12 years ago and beyond can attest. Peres rarely had Rabin's support and he never treated Rabin as a leader but rather as a rival. Carrying on what's become a tradition here at InContext, let's use this (Jewish calendar) anniversary of Rabin's murder to remember what it was the man actually stood for, rather than what those who abuse his memory have made him out to be.

Here (courtesy of IMRA), one month before his death, was the framework of the "permanent solution" Rabin envisioned as the road to peace between Israel and her neighbors.

A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev -- as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.

B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.

C. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the "Green Line," prior to the Six Day War.

D. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.

No "Palestinian state," no return to the '67 borders. Rabin was willing to take risks for peace, but he was not willing to commit national suicide for it, even in stages. Yes, I know I've quoted this before.

But here's something different. I came across this review of two biographies of Rabin, both written shortly after his assassination. It includes this brief portrait of the man, hardly flattering but nonetheless admirable -- in this context.

Rabin was not a sunny soul. He was a hard drinker and a chain smoker. As a military man, he was compulsive in his attention to strategic and technical details, but he was never thought of as imaginative or daring. He was a difficult, taciturn man with whom it was nearly impossible to have light conversation. Serious, demanding and dismissive, he was almost incapable of charm. A man, in short, about whom it is hard to effuse, not one to inspire poetry. After a hard and unpleasant private talk with Jimmy Carter at the White House, the President asked Rabin if he'd like to hear little Amy, Carter's daughter, play the piano. ''No,'' Rabin characteristically replied. He then proceeded to grind out a cigarette butt in the White House carpet.

Sounds like poetry (or, rather, urban legend) to me. But it's a cool story.

Zichrono l'vracha.

H. RES. 756

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Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA), introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives yesterday condemning the destruction of antiquities on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by the Islamic waqf. The text of the resolution is here. You can sign up to be a citizen sponsor of the bill here. One Jerusalem has audio of its blogger conference call with Rep. Cantor here. Boker Tov Boulder has lots more here. This is a very good and an extremely important cause.

But if I don't sound sufficiently enthusiastic about it, it's because I'm not. And here's why. I find it obscene that members of the US Congress appear to have more interest in condemning this atrocity than the so-called government of Israel, which stands by with its head up its tuchus and does NOTHING! What good is a Congressional resolution and why should members of Congress even vote for it when Ehud Olmert and his merry band of idiots won't lift even a finger to stop it, despite the fact that it is utterly and totally within their power to do so? Why is it the responsibility of the House of Representatives to prevent the destruction of priceless ancient artifacts on sovereign Israeli soil -- artifacts with bearing on the history of all of Western civilization but most especially on that of the Jewish People?

So, with deep and sincere appreciation to Rep. Cantor, forgive me if my spirit is just not in this right now, as I watch Olmert desparately trying to divide Jerusalem, Zion, the city he once was priveleged to govern, Olmert working hard to hand off responsibility for our holiest places to those whose goal is to obliterate them and the memory of them. And then to obliterate us and the memory of us.

Yeah, my attitude sucks.

Shabbat Shalom.

One of my worst

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I never have recurring nightmares. Except when I'm awake.

Here, once again, comes one of my worst.

In the Monday night exchange, Israel released a Hezbollah man and the bodies of two others in exchange for the body of an Israeli civilian and some information on Arad.

The swap has convinced Jerusalem officials that, in exchange for the release of Goldwasser and Regev, Israel will have to release Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese terrorist held for the murder of a family in Nahariya.

Israel has in the past conditioned Kuntar's release on reliable information regarding the fate of Arad, whose plane went down over Lebanon 21 years ago, on 0ctober 16, 1986.

Why Israel would consider Kuntar's release for any reason whatsoever is beyond me. But I repeat myself, again.

I was trying to ignore this, but Omri won't let me.

DP on the piece process

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Selling our birthright for false promises -- not even a bowl of lentil stew -- one piece at a time.

Oh. That's LB on the piece process. Here's Daniel Pipes:

Question asked of Jerusalem Post columnists: "Do you believe that a significant renewed peace process has begun? Who do you think will make a significant concession at Annapolis: Israel, the Palestinians, both or neither?" For all replies, see "Burning Issues #41: Has a renewed peace process begun?"

No significant peace process exists now, nor has it ever. Israel's signing of a diplomatic agreements with Egypt (1979), Lebanon (1983), the PLO (1993), and Jordan (1994) all proved ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst.

Preliminary skirmishes suggest that the usual pattern will hold in Annapolis. The Israeli side makes 'painful concessions' the Arab interlocutor imperiously disdains these even as terrorism and other forms of violence continue.

Jerusalem responds with several more rounds of ever-more painful concessions until finally the Arab side grudgingly accepts them, offering airy promises of 'peace' that promptly turn into just the opposite - greater levels of hostility and violence.

It's a mug's game that next month will mark its 30th anniversary. The Israeli body politic still has not wised up, much less all those do-gooder mediators, to what I have dubbed the 'war process.' As the spectacle resumes next month, one braces, prepares for the worst, and hopes for only limited damage from this iteration. (October 10, 2007)

More responses here.

Apologies

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It's not that there hasn't been anything to blog about over the past week. There's actually been too much. And then there were holidays. Yeah, excuses. Unfortunately, it's not going to get much better for the next week or so, but after that I should get back in the swing of things.

In the meantime, Solomonia links to this simply excellent critique of Nadia Abu El-Haj's scholarship, this time in the field of genetics, which is an aspect of her book I haven't seen discussed as much. It will come as no surprise that she finds "proof" in genetics, as in (it would appear) every other discipline imaginable, that Jews have no connection to the Land of Israel but arab palestinians do. Anti-Racist Blog sorts it out for us. You do not want to miss this one.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2007 is the previous archive.

November 2007 is the next archive.

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