Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BUILD THE GROUND ZERO MOSQUE

Go ahead, build it.

Build it wherever you want. Build it as high as you want. Call it the Cordoba House. Call it Park 51. Call it Area 51 for all I care.

In fact, why don't you just build it 110 stories high, put a giant green crescent on top instead of an antenna and call it the World Trade Center Islamic Super Destroyer Victory (but our intentions are actually peaceful, we swear) Mosque. You think that's ridiculous? You think I'm out of line? Do you know what Cordoba is?



It's the name of a city in Spain that was overrun by the Islamic invaders in 716 AD. As is customary during Islamic invasions (google the Hagia Sophia, Ka'aba, Al Aqsa Mosque, Cave of the Patriarchs, Qutub Minar or The Great Synagogue of Oran for a few more examples), the main non-Islamic religious center of the city was converted into a mosque once it was captured. Lest you think that this is just ancient history, here's an entry from a 2005 edition of al-Fateh, the delightful Hamas children's magazine:
In the year 97 of the Muslim calendar, the ruler of Andalus (the Arabic word for Spain), Ayoub bin Habib al-Lahimi moved the Capital to my sister city, Cordoba… in the year 646 of the Muslim calendar, Ferdinand III besieged me and conquered me after a siege which lasted one year and five months, and that was due to the strength of my fortifications and my walls. This is when the Golden Age of the Muslims ended, and Asbilia (Seville) was lost by the Muslims.
The fantasy continues...
I yearn that you, my beloved, will call me to return, together with the rest of the lost cities of the lost orchard [Andalus] to the hands of the Muslims so that joy and happiness will fill my land, and you will visit me because I am the bride of the country of Andalus.
Interesting that the Imam of the congregation that will be praying at this site has refused to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization. Very interesting. Ponderous even.

So when you want to build an "Islamic cultural center" within spitting distance of two buildings that were destroyed by Muslim invaders...and then choose to name it after another "successful" Islamic invasion...if that's REALLY what you want to do...well, what's there really to say?

And yet, I'm supposed to pretend that I don't get the reference or else I'M the ignorant one? I'm the hateful one? Whatever you say guys. I mean honestly, what does it matter what anyone says anyway?

At the end of the day, you're going to do whatever it is you want to do anyway because I can't stop you...no one can.

Because you see, in OUR country, we tolerate people even when they abuse us, even when their intentions are so obviously incendiary, even when they surround themselves with 9/11 truther scumbags, even when they support terrorists. Even then, in this country, these people have their rights.

So build the mosque. Build it tall, build it wide, build it as a the shrine to Muhammad and Allah that you feel they deserve, that you feel they want.

Because in the end, it's all about what Allah wants isn't it? It doesn't matter who you upset. It doesn't matter who you hurt. It's all about the glory of Allah and what Allah wants...

And this is what Allah wants, right Imam Rauf and mosque supporters?

Allah wants you to offend 70% of the residents of the country you reside in.

Allah wants to radicalize both sides so the only voices heard are those of screaming extremists.

Allah wants you to cause strife and anger and infighting in the streets of Manhattan.



Right Imam Rauf?

Allah wants you to be the subject of every stupid editorial that suggests we're all Islamophobic, every braindead talking head on television, every extremist rant, "liberal" sob-fest and nightly talk show snooze-fest.

Allah wants to be in everyone's face, everywhere, all the time.

Right?

So go ahead. Build the mosque. It's what Allah wants and the will of Allah surely supercedes the will of some secular, weak, directionless, motionless, powder puff, marshmellow society that doesn't even realize is on the verge of disaster.

Show the world exactly who you are and what you want. Expose us all for the weaklings we are. Show everyone that your religion is SO rigid, SO fanatic, SO ridiculous that even an allegedly "moderate" leader would rather build a shrine than have some common decency for the community he purports to be a part of.

And no, Imam Rauf, no...don't renounce Hamas. Don't renounce a group that bans women from smoking and receiving their inheritance, that destroys water parks because it is the will of Allah that men and women don't go swimming together. Because in the end, that's all that matters. The will of Allah.

THE WILL OF ALLAH. The religion of peace.

So go ahead, build the mosque and show us all how awful you and your congregation really are.

________________________________________________________________________


That's what I think...what's YOUR reaction?

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Friday, February 26, 2010

The sanction of the victim and the guiltiest man in the room, Part IV: ANTHEM

This post is the fourth and final part of a multi-part series on the stubborn habit of Jews to perpetuate situations where they are the victims of their own actions. If you haven't read Part I, Part II or Part III yet, I encourage you to check them out before continuing. If you're pressed for time, while highly recommended, it isn't required to go back in order to understand what we're talking about in this post.

____________________________________________


If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli.
--Hasan Nasrallah

I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
--John Galt

וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת-חֻקֹּתַי וְאֶת-מִשְׁפָּטַי, אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם הָאָדָם וָחַי בָּהֶם
Ye shall therefore keep My statutes, and Mine ordinances, which if a man do, he shall live by them:
--Leviticus 18:5

Better to die standing, than to live on your knees.
--Ernesto 'Che' Guevara


____________________________________________


PART FOUR: ANTHEM


So now we know the issue, we know the how and we know the why.

The ISSUE is the perplexing, self-defeating behavior of Jews throughout history, the HOW is the aid given to our enemies that gives them the ability to fight and kill us and the WHY is because we have been hard-wired by 2,000 years of oppression, pain and sorrow to be docile and think that it is righteous to not resist our enemies.

The real question is WHAT do we do about it? Because there is only so far a culture of acceptance and quiet kvetching can take you and the result is a malaise that has been steadily creeping over Jews for the past several centuries.

It is that which cannot be said. Everyone knows it's there, but no one dares to speak openly about it...

We all try to blank-out, to pretend it's nothing but an uneasiness about us. We banish the feeling to the backs of our minds, to fill our heads with American Idol and Dancing with the Stars and Tiger Woods...trying ever harder to doublethink it away...but we can't, deep down we know it's there. You know it's there, that quiet, unsettling feeling of something being somehow...incorrect...that you can't quite put your finger on...something uncomfortable...almost as if there's something you're doing that you're not really proud of, even when you're not really doing anything at all.

We ignore the reality that it is this very same unspoken feeling of melancholy and emptiness that has driven young Jews to seek Buddhism or Islam or Christmas trees or Marxism or pathetic attempts to emulate hip hop culture or blind pursuit of hedge fund success at the expense of their pride and heritage. And it makes sense that this would happen...because WHO could be attached to a culture that glorifies appeasement and docility?

This is why early Zionists changed their last names, forced everyone to learn Hebrew and mocked Yiddish as a language of the oppressed. It was a clean break from the embarrassment of 2,000 years of abuse at the hands of our hosts. This is also why today it is so hard for Israelis to clarify the justification for going to war to protect themselves...to them it should be self-evident to anyone reads history!

And this is why Che Guevara and Yasir Arafat are so attractive to misguided "liberal" American youths. I used to think that it was simple ignorance that caused college students to follow these barbarians but it goes much deeper than that. While they often are ignorant of what their heroes are actually guilty of, even when the truth is brought to them they often STILL follow them...because even a flawed hero is still a hero.

Who are the modern Jewish heroes? Where are they? Ask the average American Jew and what would they say? Jon Stewart? Steven Spielberg? Adam Sandler? Ari Gold?



Famous? Sure. Successful? Filthy rich? Absolutely. But you're not exactly going to be studying them in college as revolutionary figures or instruments of social change, are you? In fact the only one among them you could perceive as "strong" or "brave" or "intimidating" is a completely fictional character! You're not going to get young Jews excited to emulate these people. When children and teenagers have no one to emulate, they're going to look outside the box for them and they're going to be ripe targets for missionaries, demagogues and worse.

They're going to leave their culture and idolize other cultures instead. And all the money their parents spent on Hebrew schools and bar mitzvah lessons will be wasted when Adam comes home with a beard and tells his family he's going to "study" to Pakistan. Or Rachel decides to go on a "humanitarian mission" to Gaza and doesn't understand why her previously tolerant parents are so upset when she tells them. This is of course assuming the parents even bothered to care about the cultural identity of their children...a trend that has been distinctly on the negative side for the past three generations at least...which not-so-oddly also coincides with the declining size of the community.

The future certainly looks grim for non-Orthodox Judaism.

As if this wasn't enough of an issue there is still the Talmudic prohibition against re=establishing a state and army in the absence of the messiah. Because we sinned and have been exiled, the rabbis who survived the disastrous Bar Kochba revolt surmised that we had best sit quietly and try to get along with our new overlords.

And so it goes...we continue to tread water...doing just enough to get from one generation to another...taking unimaginable losses all along the way...paralyzed by our own indifference and just hoping not to finally get swept under a tide that gets higher and more dangerous with every passing day.

What is the answer to this malaise? How do we break out from 2,000 years of docility? Or do we give up? Accept our own victimhood and impending doom? Sanction our own destruction?

No my friends, this is not the answer. The time has come to put this policy to bed once and for all.

First on the religious level. While Judaism's docility has been well-established over the years, there is a very strict RELIGIOUS prohibition against suicide or suicidal behavior as well as a very strict emphasis on self-preservation. There is also exists a concept in Judaism of פיקוח נפש (transliterated as pikuach nefesh) - literally "saving a soul/life" which overrules almost all other commandments...even many of the 10 Commandments themselves.

There is no QUESTION that the State of Israel has saved the lives of thousands, if not millions of people who would otherwise be doomed to persecution, oppression and in some cases starvation. And lest you think that this service provided by Israel is limited to just Jews - ask yourselves this question...why would a cash-strapped Jewish state that is embroiled in a perpetual state of war with its neighbors spend resources to assist with tsunami and earthquake search and rescue efforts? Please note the Haiti link was about a specific team of ULTRA-ORTHODOX Israeli Jews who were violating the sabbath to save the lives of people they never met and should never have even come across.



In fact, it was widely reported that for days, Israel's field hospital was the only one able to perform at any acceptable level in Haiti. So Israel saves lives, both Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and non-religious. That alone should be enough of a reason for all Orthodox Jews to embrace a state that everyday provides a literal life-saving function for people all over the world as well as a cultural, religious and spiritual life-saving function for Jews who would otherwise be lost to the tide of assimilation. It may not be the religious, messiah-driven state they crave but for now it sure serves a purpose that they should rush to embrace (and many - but not all- do).

Furthermore, our pact with the nations we were exiled to was supposed to be a two-way street. We were supposed to behave like good little refugees and they were supposed to let us be. It's time to face the facts (as early Zionists did in the 1800's) that they did NOT hold up their end of the deal. Not taking steps to protect ourselves is a violation of the commandment against suicide. Giving up our lives to adhere to a rabbinical decree from 2,000 years ago is not only insane, it is a DIRECT VIOLATION of Jewish law. This is FACT. In a post-2nd Temple world this decision made sense...in a post-Holocaust world it no longer does. The Neturei Karta, for all their black hats, white beards and Talmud-quoting signs and pamplets are WRONG. This is also FACT.

So religiously we can follow God and take inspiration from the Bible. But what to do about the secular Jews? Where do they get their inspiration from? How do we replace Guevara and Chavez and Arafat if all we have are Sandler, Spielberg and Stewart? Or worse, total embarrassments like Chomsky and Finkelstein. Where are our revolutionaries? Where are our heroes? And what can we do about the perception that we're all nerdy accountants?

Well, first we start out by pointing out that the perception is WRONG.


We're not ALL Woody Allen clones


You see we DO have our own strong heroes, revolutionaries and role models. They're just currently labeled as "Zionists" rather than Jews and are part of "Israeli history" instead of Jewish history. Theodore Herzl. David Ben-Gurion. Golda Meir. Why wear a Che Guevara t-shirt when Vladmir "Ze'ev" Jabotinsky was twice the warrior he was with none of the communist dictatorship baggage? Italians have Italy, Brazilians have Brazil and Jews has ISRAEL. Even if we don't live there or have never been there, why can't we idolize these Zionists, these Jews, these non-victims?

Unabashed, unafraid, unapologetic ZIONISM is the answer to our Jewish malaise problem. JEWISH nationalism, an impossible 2,000 year old dream that has actually been REALIZED. We don't need to be victims anymore. We don't need to play their game anymore. We don't need to play by their rules anymore!

"If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!"
--Hank Reardon


I will no longer be a victim.

I will no longer apologize for my success.

I will no longer be afraid to stand up for myself and defend the Jewish homeland, MY homeland, Israel.

I will no longer feel that I have to prove my loyalty to whatever country I live in by going against my homeland of Israel.

I will no longer allow the hypocrites around me to make me feel as if I need to prove my docility.

I will no longer abide by everyone else's nonsensical, politically correct definitions of right and wrong or their expectations for Jews, for Israel and for me.

I am NOT a Jewish American who is pro-Israel.

That is a passive statement similar to saying that you're pro-freedom or pro-money or pro-food or pro-happiness. Of course I am in favor of a Jewish country...that should be a given for EVERYONE regardless of who they are or what their political ideology is.

What I am, is a JEWISH AMERICAN ZIONIST.

I believe that Jews are no longer the world's victims, to be used and abused as they were throughout history. I believe that the Jewish homeland is Israel even if I don't live there and never intend to. I believe that just as the Italian national home is Italy regardless of where an Italian lives, so to is Israel the Jewish national home regardless of where a Jew finds him or herself. I believe that I must actively take steps to prevent myself, my family and my friends from being abused. I believe that I control my own destiny and no one has a right to choose my path for me, but me.

And I believe that it is not my responsibility to clean up the messes created by others. It is not my fault that other ethnic groups have also been beaten down over time. I will have solidarity with them, empathy for them and do whatever I can to help them to reach the levels of success that I have achieved.

But it is not my obligation and it will NOT achieved at my expense. I will NOT sacrifice my own future for a parasite that will end up destroying both of us. And I am finished with allowing others to guilt me into believing that there is something wrong with this way of thinking. I will no longer be the guiltiest man in the room because I know better and I will act on that knowledge.

אִם אֵן אַנִי לִי מִי לִי
וּכשְׁאַנִי לְעַצְמִי מָה אַנִי
וְאִם לֹא עַכְשָׁיו אֵימָתַי


If I am not for myself, then who will be?
When I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, then when?
--Ethics of our Fathers


This is my belief. This is my pledge.

And this applies to Israeli Jews as well as non-Israelis. Just because the Palestinians got the short end of the stick after the British and French carved up the Ottoman Empire and created a bunch of artificial states that were doomed to failure from the start, does not mean that the residents of Sderot need to live in a perpetual state of terror. Just because the Palestinians were abandoned and sold out by their disorganized Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Saudi Arabian, Lebanese and Iraqi cousins does not mean that a Jewish family should not be allowed to live in Hebron. Just because their great-great-grandparents didn't think to hold onto their land deeds under the Ottomans or that their grandparents thought they'd be better off trying to push the Jews into the sea doesn't mean that I should sacrifice my capital to atone for it. Just because they couldn't live next to the Jews and instead started THREE wars that they lost doesn't mean that I need to fund their terrorist, dictatorial regime.

It's not my problem. Just because I am successful, it does not mean that I deserve to be sacrificed to those who are not so that they should live and I should not.

It is only if the Jewish community of the Diaspora adopts this same mentality, this anthem, this pledge to leave the shackles of victimhood behind that it will be able to reverse what appears to be an inevitable decline and disappearance into the irrelevance of assimilation. If not now...when?

These rules that we think we've set for ourselves but really have been set FOR us by faceless ancestors are impossible to follow. This game we've engaged ourselves in is impossible to win and if we continue to play it we are doomed to fail.

But the beauty of life is that we always, always have a choice.

Like Hank, I finally choose NOT to play their game.

And neither should you.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rusty cages

You wired me awake,
And hit me with a hand of broken nails.
You tied my lead and pulled my chain,
To watch my blood begin to boil.



This is not a debate on the pros and cons or the effectiveness of torture.

I repeat. This is NOT an argument in favor or against torturing or nearly torturing prisoners to extract information from them. That can be a topic for another posting.

Does everyone understand that? I am NOT arguing that torturing people is moral or immoral. Ok? Great, now let's continue.

I was listening to the Opie and Anthony show today and their guest Pete Dominick, who is a DJ on the Sirius/XM channel, POTUS. Unlike my last entry about the show, this exchange did not involve a lot of laughing and joking...rather it became a pretty serious debate about whether torturing al Qaeda prisoners is effective or not. Jim Norton and Anthony Cumia argued in favor of torture while Pete Dominick was adamant that he could convince them that it was not the way.

I'm going back up to say this one last time, this article is NOT about the merits (or lack thereof) of torture. It IS about the fact that Dominick, in an attempt to prove his point, related accounts he had read from CIA interrogators (known as "gators" to their colleagues) that captured Iraqis said the reason they were fighting the Americans was to avenge the humiliation of Abu Ghraib.

Since torture is back in the news once again, (and because this administration is obsessed with re-defeating Bush on a daily basis) I would like to once and for all, BURY this misconception. Because you see, this is a favorite tool of apologists and terrorist-sympathizers...to say that our actions in the world are what inspires the enemy to fight us. They, like Dominick point to editorials like this one, written by "Matthew Alexander" a former 'gator that did some tours in Iraq and was very upset by what he saw. I put his name in quotes because it's pseudonym, he uses a fake name for "security reasons." From the article:

I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The large majority of suicide bombings in Iraq are still carried out by these foreigners. They are also involved in most of the attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse.

Pretty damning stuff...except that it is based purely on emotions and not in reality at all. I have no doubt that Mr. Alexander was in Iraq and was told this fairy tale by the people he met there. I have no reason to doubt any part of his story (I guess) except for his interpretation of it.

For one thing, why on Earth would he believe these people that the reason they signed up to kill Americans was because of Abu Ghraib? If you captured a Nazi during WWII and he told you the reason he signed up to fight for Germany was because the Jews were responsible for Germany's humiliation in the first World War...would you believe him? Would you drop what you were doing and say to yourself "gee, every Nazi I talk to just HATES Jews and Gypsies and homosexuals....perhaps they have a point!" I thought rule number 1 of being a spy was not to buy into the enemy's propaganda.

But then let's even say that these prisoners, (again, people who were in the business of murdering Americans) actually believed what they told Alexander. Unfortunately, the statistics (as well as the history of the region) are just not on their side.

Let's first of all look at the statistics. The news story broke on April 28th, when 60 Minutes II aired photographs of Iraqi prisoners in pretty horrifying positions. For those who remember what Iraq was like in 2004, April of that year was one of the worst months on record for American soldiers in the entire conflict. In fact, according to icasualties.org, 135 American soldiers were killed in April/2004...2nd only to November of the same year which had 137 KIA. Obviously in April, Iraqis were extremely angry about something...proof positive you say that Alexander's point is a valid one? Not so fast...

Remember, the scandal broke at the END of April. If we look at the following month of May, the amount of Americans killed is 80...a 40% DECREASE at a time when Abu Ghraib fever was sweeping the world. Everyday another American or world leader was getting on international television and condemning the actions of these rogue soldiers. The "Arab street" was in an uproar all through May...and yet, we see a 40% decrease in attacks on Americans. Well, maybe al Qaeda was expending all of its resources on recruitment efforts in May and needed to devote some time to training.

You have to figure that it takes at least a month for new hires to be fully proficient in how to blow themselves up and how to demand a fair trial/lawyer when captured...insiders tell the RONMOSSAD blog that the "effectively managing Western laws and benefits to your advantage" part of the training program comes after HR explains to you how to put in a sick day request and what to do about sexual harrassment in the workplace. So with training out of the way, you have to figure then that there would be a major spike in violence in June. Right?

June/2004: 42 Americans killed. Almost a 50% decrease from the previous month. Hmmmm.

In July the number went up to 54, an increase but not anywhere near where it was BEFORE the story broke. In fact we do not see a major increase in American fatalities until November of 2004, a full 6 months after the news of the abuses got out. And lest you think it was a slow burn that finally resulted in an explosion of Abu Ghraib-motivated, consistent violence against Americans, the following month of December had half the fatalities. The war as we know it did not become a real chaotic free-for-all until 10/2006-10/2007 when civil strife pushed American casualties fairly consistently into the triple-digit range. For the "recruiting tool" scenario to hold water we would have to accept that the enraged Iraqis sat on their anger for nearly 2.5 YEARS before finally erupting in violence. Does this make sense to anyone? Anyone at all?


The defense is wraawng


But wait - it gets better. In mid-March of 2006 additional Abu Ghraib pictures were released and we were forced to relive the scandal anew. March of 2006 had only 31 American deaths, the quietist month since February/2004. Breaking down the month into halves (the story was released on the 15th), 16 of these deaths occurred from the 1st-15th and 15 occurred from the 16st-31st. In short there is NO CORRELATION between the Abu Ghraib abuses and American deaths. None. Period.

Finally, let's not forget that historically, this argument doesn't work either as this issue did not begin with Abu Ghraib or Iraq. Our friends over at TROP have a counter that they update with every attack that is committed in the name of Islam:

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11


Based on painstakingly meticulous record-keeping, they have a database of Islam-related violence that is broken down by day, week, month and year. If you click on this link, you will see that between September/2001 and the beginning of the Iraq war (which was a full YEAR before the Abu Ghraib story broke) Islamic terrorists had killed THOUSANDS of non-Muslims. What was the motivation for those attacks? Prisoner abuses? The Israeli operation in Gaza? The 2006 Lebanon war? What did Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay have to do with the attacks in Mumbai from last Thanksgiving? And how about this historically random sampling of incidents:

April 18, 1983: U.S. Embassy bombing in Beirut, Lebanon. 63 killed

January 28, 1980: A Lebanese jihadist hijacked a Middle East Airlines Boeing 707 with 137 people on board. This flight took off from Baghdad, Iraq and was scheduled to land in Beirut, Lebanon.

June 2, 1978: In Israel, five people were murdered and 20 were severely injured in an explosion on a bus in Jerusalem.

May 15, 1974: In Ma'alot, Israel, 22 Israeli high school students, aged 14–16, from Safed were killed by three members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Before reaching the school, the trio shot and killed two Arab women, a Jewish man, his pregnant wife, and their 4 year old son, and wounded several others.

August 19, 1974: In Cyprus, U.S. Ambassador Rodger Davies and one local employee, an embassy secretary, were killed when armed Cypriot Muslims fired shots at the ambassador's office and residence.

September 5, 1972: Eight Palestinians broke into the Israeli quarters of the Olympic Village during the Munich Olympic Games at dawn and took 11 members of Israel's wrestling team hostage. All the Israelis were executed by the time the crisis was over.

August 29, 1960: Jordon's Prime Minister, and 11 of his associates, were assassinated with a bomb placed in a public building.

Need more? Think American and Israeli foreign policy is to blame? Somehow these attacks are justified because of it? Ok...

1936: Haj-Amin al Husseini, the leader of the Palestinians and inspiration of Yasir Arafat instigated uprisings that left hundreds of Jews and thousands of Arabs dead in the British Mandate of Palestine. He later travelled to Nazi Germany and assisted the Nazis with planning the Final Solution...going so far as befriending Adolf Eichmann and training SS units. He also issued a fatwa encouraging "resistance" in Iraq that led to hundreds of Arab deaths and riots against the dwindling Jewish population of Iraq.

1915: The Turks blamed their lack of success in WWI on the Armenian Christians. They force the entire population of two million people from the homes and land - killing over a million unarmed Armenian men, women, and children.

Sources: Google searches, news stories, TROP and theprophetofdoom.net

Both of those events occurred LONG before the state of Israel was founded and DECADES before the very first American soldier ever set foot on holy Saudi Arabian or Iraqi or Lebanese soil.

And there's more...much more. Attacks on Jews. Attacks on Christians. Attacks on Muslims. Just general chaos emanating from the Middle East ever since Muhammad founded his new religion in the 600's. And before that, blood feuds between tribes lasted for generations...Muhammad just took it from the inter-tribal level and made it international. The Middle East has been a historically violent place years and decades and centuries and millennia before Abu Ghraib, or Gaza or the security fence or even the founding of the State of Israel. The torture scandals are as much a cause of Islamic terrorism as drinking cola is a cause of higher SAT scores. (it's NOT)

But perhaps more importantly than any of this, is a point that Norton brought up during the debate with Dominick (which is supported by the history). Saddam Hussein and other Arab/Muslim leaders have committed much worse atrocities against their own populations for centuries. Where was the insurgency against them? Or if there could be no insurgency for some reason...where was the outrage from the "Arab street" ? Where was the outrage from the apologists who are so quick to point fingers at American and Israeli foreign policy? Do they even know about Turkish foreign policy?? Or Iraqi, Egyptian and Palestinian domestic policy???

So don't tell me it's about Abu Ghraib or torture or any of that nonsense. Torture may or may not be an effective tool for intelligence officers but it does NOT create new terrorists or new enemies for the West. PERIOD.

But I'm gonna break,
I'm gonna break my,
Gonna break my rusty cage and run.
-Johnny Cash (cover of Soundgarden)


And anyone who tells you differently is just selling you the enemy's propaganda. Intentionally or unintentionally.

ENDOFSTORY.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Triumph

In our annual build-up to the anniversary of Israel's rebirth we have taken a somber reflection on some of the great calamities of the 20th century and how they have played a role in the history of the Middle East and the world at large.

Nightmare

Nakba

Catastrophe

Today however, we celebrate the greatest triumph of the Jewish people since the dedication of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem. It is important to remember that in the grand scheme of history there is no precedent for what occurred in the spring of 1948. Never before had the hopes and dreams of a broken people lain dormant for nearly 2,000 years before they were finally realized. This fact was not lost on the Zionist founders of the State of Israel. Secular (even non-religious) as they were, they still had a deep respect for history and appreciated the gravity of the moment,




as reflected by headlines from that day that not only speak of the "birth" of the state of Israel



The State of Israel is Resurrected


but of a REBIRTH of the first Jewish state in 19 centuries. The Founding Charter itself makes mention of this amazing turn of events:

IN ERETZ ISRAEL [the Land of Israel] arose the Jewish people, in which was formed its spiritual, religious and national image, in which it lived official sovereign life, in which it created national and universal cultural treasures and bequeathed to the world entire the eternal Book of Books.

After the nation was exiled from its land by armed strength it remained loyal to her in all the lands to which it was spread and did not cease to pray and hope to return to its land and to renew in her its national freedom.

From this historical and traditional connection strove the Jews in every generation to return and to grasp their ancient homeland, and in the last generations they returned in their masses, and pioneers, illegal immigrants, and defenders made spirits blossom, revived their Hebrew language, built villages and cities, and established a large and burgeoning community which controls its economy and culture, promotes peace and protects itself, brings forth the blessing of progress to all inhabitants of the Land and bears its spirit towards sovereign independence.




The charter also states the following:

The Holocaust which befell the Tribe of Israel in recent times, in which were led to slaughter millions of Jews in Europe, proved anew succinctly the necessity of a solution to the problem of the Jewish people lacking homeland and independence through the renewal of the Jewish state in the Land of Israel, which will open wide the gates of the homeland to every Jew and will grant the Jewish people the stature of a nation of equal standing within the family of nations.

The remainder of the refugees which was saved from the terrible Nazi slaughter in Europe and the Jews of other lands did not waver from immigrating illegally to the Land of Israel in spite of every difficulty, obstacle and danger, and did not cease to demand their right to live in dignity, freedom and honest labor in the homeland of their people.


And further:

THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open to Jewish immigration and the ingathering of exiles; will strive to develop the land for the benefit of all her inhabitants; will be founded on the principles of freedom, justice and peace in the spirit of the visions of the Prophets of Israel; will implement equality of complete social and national rights for all her citizens without distinction between religion, race and gender; will promise freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; will protect the religious places of all the religions; and will be loyal to the principles of the declation of the United Nations.

In one of my first postings on this site I spoke of why it is important for ALL Jews to stand behind Israel...whether they live in Israel, have family there or don't even know where to find it on a map. The mere existence of the state is our only insurance policy against future atrocities and Holocausts. In addition to the charter's stated purpose of being a place of refuge, the fact that we have an independent, sovereign home, with its own military transforms 2,000 years of Jewish suffering into 61 years of Jewish triumph.



Never again will we have to hope and beg and plead to be saved by the outside world.

Never again will we have to hope that our host countries will be good to us and hope that kings, dictators and presidents will bestow upon us their good will and let us live in peace and quiet.

The triumph of the state of Israel is the triumph of the Jewish nation in rising up from the ashes of a broken, homeless people to take its rightful place in the world and have the freedom of self-determination and most importantly self-defense.

To our neighbors the Arabs and even the Persians I say, as in 1948 when we said to them the following:

WE CALL - even during the bloody attacks which have been carried out against us for months - to the members of the Arab nation residents of the State of Israel to keep the peace and partake in their share in the building of the State upon the principle of full and equal citizenship and upon the principle of appropriate representation in all institutions, temporary and permanent.

WE EXTEND a hand of peace and good neighborliness to all the neighboring nations and their peoples and call upon them to partake in cooperation and mutual assistance with the independent Hebrew nation in its land. The State of Israel is prepared to contribute her share in the joint effort to advance the Middle East entire.


The victory of 1948 need not only apply to the Jewish residents of Israel! Already today there are over a million Israeli Arabs who have partaken in the aforementioned equal citizenship. The solution to the Nightmare and the Catastrophe can also be the solution to the Nakba...if you only "partake in [your] share in the building of the State" - or at least live in peace as our neighbors in the West Bank and Gaza, you too can be a part of solution to both of our nations' problems!



It is then the our Triumph will indeed be shared by all of the residents of the Middle East. Until then, it is still just a hope. It is no coincidence that the national anthem of our country is called exactly that...

As long as deep in the heart,
A Jewish soul yearns
And to towards the ends of the east
An eye is scouting for Zion

Our hope is as yet not lost
The hope that is 2000 years old
To be a free nation, in our own country
The land of Zion and Jerusalem

כֹּל עוֹד בַּלֵּבָב פְּנִימָה
נֶפֶשׁ יְהוּדִי הוֹמִיָּה,
וּלְפַאֲתֵי מִזְרָח, קָדִימָה,
עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה,

עוֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִּקְוָתֵנוּ,
הַתִּקְוָה בַּת שְׁנוֹת אַלְפַּיִם,
לִהְיוֹת עַם חָפְשִׁי בְּאַרְצֵנוּ,
אֶרֶץ צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם.

That day is not yet here and until that day comes we will celebrate the anniversary of the Triumph of the Jewish nation, in the face of impossible odds, alone.



Happy 61st Birthday, Israel.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Nakba

This week (April 29th to be exact) Israelis and Jews will celebrate the 61st anniversary of the reestablishment of their ancient state of Israel. Many Palestinians and Israeli Arabs however, will be commemorating 61 years since their "Nakba" or Great Catastrophe during which they lost their homeland to the Jewish/European invaders. Truly the story of the Palestinians is a sad one as ever since the beginning of their history they have been killed by outsiders.

The following as a brief summary of some of the catastrophes that have befallen the Palestinian people since the birth of their national consciousness...

1834: Hundreds of Palestinians are killed and raped, dozens of villages are destroyed and 10,000 deported to Egypt.

1938: 4,200 kilos of bombs are loaded into Jenin and detonated, destroying much of the town and causing numerous casualties. As part of the attack, Palestinians are used as "mine-sweepers" by being forced to drive through the city in advance of the attack. When questioned about these tactics, the perpetrators respond that they are confronted, "not with a chivalrous opponent playing the game according to the rules, but with gangsters and murderers."

1968-1970: Orders are given to "deal conclusively and without hesitation with the plotters who want to establish a separate Palestinian state and destroy the unity of the Jordanian and Palestinian people." As a result thousands of Palestinians are killed, thousands more are arrested. Tens of thousands are ethnically cleansed and deported out of entire cities.

1978: Laws and regulations are amended to treat Palestinians as foreigners. Their rights to free education, employment and even residency were taken away from them.

2001: Palestinian Arabs are deprived of their right to own property...laws are also passed depriving them of their ability to become citizens and work in 74 different fields.

2005: Attacks begin on Palestinians all over the country, estimates come in that over 600 have been killed.

October 1st, 2006: - 8 Palestinians are killed in various flashpoints throughout the occupied territories.

December 11-23 2006: - "At least 20 Palestinians, including children, killed in a series of tit-for-tat attacks."

2007: Over 350 Palestinians are killed and over are 550 wounded all over the West Bank and Gaza.

August 2nd, 2008: 9 Palestinians are killed and 95 hurt in Gaza.

January 3rd, 2009: At least 35 Palestinians are killed and an additional 75 have their legs shot or hands broken.

Let us all take a moment of silence in the memory of these tragedies that have befallen the Palestinian people over the past 170+ years...







The following parties must be held to accountability for these crimes of murder, rape, theft, ethnic cleansing and apartheid:

1. Egypt (1834 - occupation of Palestine and subsequent murders and rapes)
2. Britain (1938 - destruction of Jenin)
3. Jordan (1968-1970 - actions/ethnic cleansing against Palestine Liberation Organization based in its territory)
4. Egypt (1978 - discriminatory/apartheid laws being passed against Palestinians in Egypt)
5. Lebanon (2001 - discriminatory/apartheid laws being passed against Palestinians in Lebanon)
6. Iraq (2005 - attacks on Palestinians in sectarian violence)
7. Hamas and Fatah leadership (2006-now - attacks on each other that have killed dozens of civilians)

You won't find any mention of any of these atrocities on the websites that speak of crimes against Palestinians. Mysteriously absent is any mention of Arab-on-Arab violence, British military tactics or infighting amongst Muslims. You see, it's only an issue when Jews kill Muslims...when they kill each other it's just part of their culture...or it's the growing pains of a new Middle East...or any other number of silly excuses that have been given by "peace activists" and the like.

Let's also not forget that in 1947 when the United Nations voted for the Palestine Partition Plan that it would have been the first time in the history of the world that there was an independent Palestine:



Please note that with the exception of the coastal plain that included Tel Aviv and the next-door Arab enclave of Jaffa (that would still remain under Arab control), the remaining Jewish land was primarily uninhabitable, arid, rocky desert (everything from Beersheba and south). The Jews jumped at the opportunity to re-establish their homeland for the first time in 2,000 years even though it was essentially three unconnected patches of land and no claim or even access to Jerusalem, the ancient Jewish capital of 3,000 years.

The Palestinian (and Greater Arab World's) response was to declare war on the soon-to-be founded state of Israel. This resulted in a Jewish victory during which they took a significantly larger portion of the country than what the UN allotted them and resulted in the Yom Haatzmaut/Nakba duality that we will be celebrating/mourning this week.

To make it even clearer...if the Arabs had accepted the UN plan in 1947 we would be celebrating the 61st anniversary of Palestine on Wednesday as well as Israel. There would be no refugee problem, no issue of borders, no dead women and children, no conflict, no stupid excuses for Bin-Laden and the Palestinians would have a significantly larger country than even the one Ehud Barak was willing to give them in 2000 (which they again, rejected).

Instead they chose to follow the advice of their leader of the time (and inspiration for Palestinian nationalism still today) Haj Amin al-Husseini:

this was and will remain an Arab land. We do not mind you natives of the country, but those alien invaders, the Zionists, will be massacred to the last man. We want no progress, no prosperity. Nothing but the sword will decide the fate of this country.

Source: palestinefacts.org

Therefore, it is on the eve of the 61st anniversary of the Nakba of Palestinian people that the RONMOSSAD BLOG calls for the indictment of those parties responsible for the suffering of the oppressed Palestinian people that continues well into its 175th year:

-The Arab kings, sultans, dictators and autocrats of the 1800's, 1900's and 2000's
-The Palestinian leadership of the 1920's, 30's and 40's
-The Fatah/Hamas "leadership" that continues from 1948 into today

The RONMOSSAD BLOG also calls for true justice, solidarity and hope for the Palestinian people. The parties responsible must rectify this problem once and for all and those that continue to perpetuate these vile and intolerant laws against Palestinians in their own countries must be taken out of power immediately.

Furthermore, the RONMOSSAD BLOG asserts that the living conditions for Palestinians who chose to remain in Israel proper (referred to today as "Israeli Arabs") are significantly better than those of their neighbors in the refugee camps of their adoptive countries. Israeli Arabs have full voting rights, access to education and serve in the Israeli Parliament.

Therefore, the RONMOSSAD BLOG calls on the host countries of the Palestinian refugees to IMMEDIATELY grant them equal rights as they receive in Israel.

Finally, the RONMOSSAD BLOG declares that there will be no peace in the Middle East, no justice or hope for Muslims, Christians and Jews in Israel and Palestine until the Arab "leadership's" crimes of the Nakba are rectified. The conflict will continue until the world recognizes the FACTS that have been presented here.

Justice, solidarity and hope for the innocent victims of the Nakba. In 2009...and forever.

Skip to the next post in this series: Catastrophe or the previous post: Nightmare


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nightmare

This past weekend the Yankees opened up their new ballpark in the Bronx. Fans have been gushing about the improved sight-lines, the beautiful new architecture, fancy, shwanky new restaurants, the food court and yes, it's true EVERY seat now has a cupholder. Fans have complained about higher ticket prices ($2,500 for a one-time experience of watching your team lose 22-4? Really?), reduced number of "cheap seats" and a bizarre tendency for pop fly outs to turn into grand slams. Some have even claimed the new Stadium is cursed by the ghosts and memories of the old Stadium...which still sits across the street. Crumbling. Full of gaping holes. Just living out its last days. Waiting for the inevitable nano-thermite demolition...



Still it is a beautiful new stadium. Able to support 50,000 fans with all the luxury a modern baseball Temple should offer.

50,000 fans.

I tell you this, not just because I have been to the Stadium twice now and have seen it full of these screaming fans...but also because I want you to have the mental image of these fans...in this full stadium of 50,000 because I want you to imagine them all being loaded into a massive gas chamber, gassed, murdered and then their remains shoveled into several crematoriums where they'd be burned...incinerated, their ashes rising up into the sky in clouds of black smoke.

Pretty terrible image isn't it? Now imagine that instead of baseball fans these are Jews in Poland, Greece, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Holland and all over the rest of Europe. And those 50,000 Jews? Imagine that after they cleared out the stadium they filled it up again and repeated the process. And then they did it again. And again. And again. AND AGAIN. 120 times.

Do you understand what that means? 120 times? And that's just talking about the 6 million Jewish victims. Let's not forget either the gypsies, homosexuals, mentally handicapped and all the rest of Hitler's "undesirable" peoples.

Today commemorated the event you know as the Holocaust. But for the people who lived through it they just knew it as a nightmare. A nightmare that began in 1933 and steadily got worse until it finally ended in 1945. A nightmare they were unable to wake up from until their liberation at the end of the war. A nightmare that some have been unable to wake up from until this day - or until the day they die.

You think the imagery is terrible? Using something so wholesome...a symbol of American freedom, a nice day enjoying the great American pastime to talk about something so terrible - it's pretty awful isn't it?

Guess what - that's how it was in 1939. And if you don't like it you have the freedom to go elsewhere and continue arguing about ticket prices and cup holders.



The Jews of Europe on the other hand, did not have that luxury.

In memory of those that didn't make it out of the German nightmare.



And in defense of those who did.


Always.


Skip to the next post in this series: Nakba


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Burging Bridges

Flipping through the channels aimlessly after another insane episode of Lost, I stumble across a Charlie Rose interview with Avrum Burg. They are discussing Burg's somewhat-new book, The Holocaust Is Over: We Must Rise from Its Ashes. Intrigued I stop to watch the exchange...and am somewhat less-than-shocked to see that Burg was arguing that Jews (and Israelis) today are still plagued by an obsession with the Holocaust that colors our everyday lives. His original title for the book was "Hitler Won" because in his opinion we are consuming ourselves still with hatred and paranoia...that we over-inflate every threat to Jews and Israel and that every enemy of Jews is elevated to Hitler status.

I'm transcribing what was said in this interview so I may be off on the exact quote but I think he just said that "everyday the Jews kill Hitler again and everyday Hitler kills us again." This basically sums up the gist of his book apparently, as he feels it's time we "got over it" and moved on with our lives.

Just get over it...



Right.

His main complaint is that Israelis (and Jews) use the Holocaust as an excuse to commit "atrocities" in places like Gaza and the West Bank. He relates a conversation he had with a friend about the recent act of Jewish self-defense better known as Cast Lead. Burg argued with his friend that Israel was acting in similar fashion to the Germans during WWII. The Jews, claims Burg, have been targeted for annihilation so many times over the years that we must be sensitive to ALL attempts to extinguish a race. Like our old friends Vera and Peter, Burg believes that "Never Again" applies to all races...not just Jews.

To which his mythical friend...portrayed as a voice for all chicken-hawk Israelis...responds, "but Avrum, there are no gas chambers in Gaza..." Burg and Charlie Rose chuckle at this obvious silliness. To think, that a people could be so wrapped up in semantics that they cannot even see the similarities between Nazi Germany and Zionist Israel JUST because the methods of destruction are different! Oh the hilarity!

The conversation then turns to Iran and the nuclear threat it will soon pose to Israel Burg states that in order for Israel to get what it wants RE: an American attack on Iran, Obama should require Israeli concessions to the Palestinians. And why do we need to sell out the Jews of Judea and Samaria? Well you see there can be no attack on Iran without peace in Iraq. There can be no peace in Iraq without Syrian cooperation. There can be no Syrian cooperation without Israel conceding the Golan Heights which of course can't happen (for some unexplained leap of faith)



without ALSO creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank. We can go in to a discussion of the flawed logic in this leap...how wrong he is, but even if he were right, the fact that this former highly decorated Israeli paratrooper subscribes to the notion that the Jews are at the root of all of the Middle East's problems which by extension is the root of the world's problems speaks to the very root of the Jewish condition.

First of all, neither of Burg's parents were exactly in the Holocaust. His mother was already living in Hebron and his father left Germany in 1939. While his father suffered great discrimination and went through the awful experience of Kristalnacht - he was never face-to-face with the aforementioned gas chamber that Burg and Rose were chuckling over. With all due respect to Yosef Burg who I'm sure went through a significant amount of trauma - he at least had the courage, ability and foresight to leave the Nazi hell behind before it was too late. Others, like my grandmother, grandfather and millions upon millions of other Jews and "undesirables" were not so fortunate.

You have a lot of nerve Mr. Burg, to tell people who are still alive today, still have flashbacks to the screams from the gas chambers that they should just "get over it". My grandfather died over a decade ago but until the day he died he was tormented with flashbacks that he was back in the camps and that the Nazis were after him. He would jump out of bed in the middle of the night from nightmares about his brothers, parents and the wife and daughter he had before the war that disappeared into the fire of Auschwitz.

Tell that to my grandmother, also a Holocaust survivor. A woman who lost her ENTIRE family and can barely even remember her life before the camps. A woman who used to jump at the sound of barking dogs because it reminded her of the german shepherds that the Nazis would torment her with. A woman who never even leaves her apartment anymore because she is so consumed with sadness and pain. Should she just "get over it" as well Avrum?

But he's not talking to my grandparents is he? He's talking to my parents and me and other Jews and Israelis that cling to these painful memories and simply cannot move on. Well excuse me if I have a hard time just forgetting the fact that had I been in my grandfather's shoes I too would have been beaten within an inch of my life, starved, taken from my land, etc etc. If I have a hard time just forgetting that had they succeeded in killing him or my grandmother I would not be alive today. If I have a hard time viewing an attack on my grandparents as an attack on me as well.

But even so - maybe it is time I myself, personally, stopped holding on to this. Maybe the world really has moved beyond this "genetic Judaism" and we can finally put this racism behind us.

Sure Avrum...just like after the Inquisition, the Crusades, the exiles and all that. Luckily, after the enlightened, progressive communists deposed the backward Czars and their Cossack friends the pogroms in Russia stopped and there was never anymore discrimination or action against Jews in the Soviet Union. Right Avrum????

And SURELY the poor innocent Palestinians of Gaza do not deserve the war against them just like the Jews of Europe didn't deserve the war against them. Right? Because unlike the Jews of Europe, it's not like the Palestinians were blowing up school buses, committing axe attacks against children, firing rockets at civilian population centers, declaring death on anyone who sells land to the infidels or keeping each other from getting medical attention due to political disputes like the Jews of Germany were, those vile instigators. Right Avrum???!?!?!

SURELY the evil Zionist oppressors would NEVER allow innocent Palestinians (who by the way voted overwhelmingly for a faction that was founded on the premise that it would destroy Israel and the Jews, called the Nazis oops I mean Hamas) into Israel to receive equal medical treatment that Israeli citizens receive, train Palestinian doctors, or allow Israel-hating, terrorist sympathizing Palestinians to serve in the Parliament...the same way the Nazis had lots of Jews in the Reichstag right before those sneaky weasels burned it down...................

Maybe it's more than just the lack of gas chambers in Gaza that separates this situation from the genocide committed against us...maybe it's a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SITUATION where one has NOTHING to do with the other!

Which finally brings us to the root of the issue here. And it's the same problem that plagues every "progressive" Jew today. Denial of the past is the surest way to move ahead into the future. If we burn our connections, our bridges to the past we can stop remembering our oppression at the hands of others and finally take our place as a "normal" nation. We can be just like everyone else, oblivious of the dark ages the world is desperately trying to plunge itself into again if we just STOP THINKING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO US. Just sit around drinking wine and eating cheese and wait for it all to come crashing down around us.

Unfortunately though it's not about the Jewish state of mind. You see the greatest lesson of the Holocaust was that this attempt to "move on" does absolutely NOTHING for us when a group of animals is determined to ruin our day. It was precisely the progressive intellectuals of Germany who wanted to put the exiles and catastrophes behind them that were among the first to be turned to ash. Hitler's victims weren't just the Jews who sat around on Tisha B'Av mourning the destruction of the Temple - he went after the secular Jews just the same as those who lived in shtetls! And it's the same today and it will always be the same.

Today there are people that are right now plotting new ways to kill you and me. Right now as you are reading this, there is some insane person, most likely in the Middle East sitting with his buddies and trying to come up with the best way to put an end to your life. And it won't matter if you're progressive, liberal, conservative, moderate, secular, Israeli, American, Orthodox, Conservative, Ashkenaz, Sephard or WHATEVER. It won't matter if you send your children on March of the Living or if Israel knocks down Yad Vashem as Burg suggests. The Holocaust lives on because the attempted PERPETRATORS of the NEXT Holocaust live on!

So while it's bad enough to burn a bridge to your past, your heritage and your culture (no matter how checkered or painful it may be, it is still a part of who you are) once you've crossed the river...how much worse is it to burn the bridge while you are still on it! This is a true ostrich mentality that it seems the entire world around me has adopted as its accepted policy.



“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
--Sir Winston Churchill


It's a cliche yes, but for good reason.

What makes it even MORE brazen is that in a society like which Mr. Burg describes he would be excommunicated...lynched even for the absolutely INCENDIARY suggestions he is making. And yet as this surprising New York Times article from December of last year points out...

what is perhaps most interesting of all is that Mr. Burg continues to play a public role in Israel. He is invited to speak to young people, he writes occasional opinion columns, and he is greeted warmly, even embraced, in this city’s cafes.

And why is this? Why ISN'T Burg treated like the traitor he sounds like, in the very country he has taken to thrashing on a regular basis? Because Jews need to stick together, precisely because of events like the Holocaust and the other horrors that have befallen our people before and after it. As the article continues:

This may be because, despite it all, Avrum Burg is family. And whether he likes it or not, Israelis look out for family.

The most ironic part of it all is that the very thing that Burg is denouncing, this obsession with the past that binds us all together is PRECISELY the thing that allows him to keep preaching without fear or reprisal.

Our past is what binds us together. Our past is what has held us together through it all. And no matter what we say or how we act, our past, if ignored will also be our future.