Sunday, October 31, 2010

Canada stands tall

By David Warren
The Ottawa Citizen

There was a moment this week in which I felt very proud to be Canadian. There could be moments like that in any week, but this one was unusual for its cause. It was something done by the government, that invoked principle, and required courage. That made it something rare, to be savoured.

Pride is not always a sin, incidentally. Vainglory is sinful; conceited arrogance, very bad; the kind of pride that attempts to diminish God, downright satanic. The Greeks knew hubris as the deadliest of moral errors; Saints Gregory and Thomas rightly identified self-exalting pride as the "queen bee in the hive" of human depravities. And its vices are manifest in every kind of presumption, down to the most venial claim to be able to do something not within one's competence. (Modern politicians make their livings on such claims.)

But a certain satisfaction in a job well done -- we can wink at that. And when the satisfaction is in a job well done by someone we usually regard as a duffer, well, there might even be something holy in it.So let us not miss this opportunity to praise the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper. He cost Canada a coveted seat on the UN Security Council, by refusing to sell out Israel. He withdrew our candidacy when it became apparent that the bloc vote of Arab and Islamic states (about a third of the UN membership) had been turned against us; thereby conceding the seat to Portugal, with her more flexible policy of moral appeasement.

In the course of scotching our bid, Harper allowed the announcement of an important trading agreement between Canada and Israel to go ahead, the very day before the vote. This could easily have been disguised or elided.

He likewise demurred on an attempt by the United Arab Emirates to link landing rights for commercial aviation to foreign policy positions.

In addition to organizing opposition to Canada's Security Council bid, the Emirates have now unilaterally withdrawn Canadian access to Camp Mirage, which we have been using through the last decade in the deployment of our troops to Afghanistan.

In a further move as characteristically petty and childish as it was shoddy, the UAE refused overflight permission to a plane carrying our defence minister home from a visit to Afghanistan.

Among all western nations -- not excluding the United States -- Canada has taken the clearest stand in defence of Israel's legitimate rights and interests. We have paid, and we will continue to pay for this. And we should take genuine pride in paying for our defiance of efforts by the Arab and Muslim bloc at the UN to isolate Israel, and make her a pariah.

Words cannot express my contempt for Michael Ignatieff, and other opposition members, who have tried to cloud what they know is a stand on principle.
Canada is not "tilting to Israel."

Our government is rather maintaining a policy that has been consistent for more than six decades, since the state of Israel was created by the same United Nations after the Second World War.
We have affirmed and continue to affirm Israel's right to exist, as a Jewish nation -- just as she was from the beginning. And in a region where there are many squalid governments, and almost all formally claim to be "Islamic states" -- where all except Israel belong to the only explicitly religious international bloc (the Organization of the Islamic Conference) -- we rightly refuse to dignify objections to what they call "Zionism."

The most abhorrent suggestion is that, by refusing to abandon our obligations to Israel, the Harper government is dabbling in "Islamophobia." This term, through frequent repetition, has become the standard Left-Islamist smear against anyone who contradicts them.

As A. Barton Hinkle, sage of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was reminding us this week, the term is fraudulent in every possible way. Far from designating some "fear of Islam," or of Muslims, it is applied exclusively to people who have the courage to oppose their most unreasonable demands. Moreover, it is used as cover for very obvious fear of Islamist reprisals, in the media and elsewhere. The term is thus an Orwellian inversion.

As Hinkle and several others have argued, the perfect example of real "Islamophobia" was provided by prominent newspaper editors across the U.S. the Sunday before last, who pulled an inoffensive syndicated cartoon by Wiley Miller, which merely raised the subject of cowardly self-censorship. (See Internet.)

Our own freedom depends, now and always, upon the refusal to scare so easily; and conversely, on a willingness to pay the price for principled stands.

It depends on unambiguous displays of solidarity against those who advance their cause by intimidation. It depends on "manning up."

Neither western nor any other civilization was built or nurtured on bedwetting fear.
David Warren's column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen


David Warren, once editor of the Idler Magazine, is widely travelled - especially in the Middle and Far East. He has been writing for the Citizen since 1996. His commentaries on international affairs appear Wednesdays & Saturdays; on Sundays he writes a general essay on the editorial page.

The Liberal Political Agenda Discourages a Strong Israel The Liberal Political Agenda Discourages a Strong Israel

Matthew M. Hausman

The recent conference of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (“CAMERA”) provided a glimpse into the subtle ideological struggle for control of the Jewish political spirit and its place in the world of Israel advocacy. Those who believe that the merit of the Jewish State stems from her liberal political character were well represented by Professor Alan Dershowitz, who spoke eloquently about the hypocrisy of media coverage of Israel and the disproportionate criticism of her right to defend herself. In contrast, those who endorse Israel simply because she represents the historical expression of Jewish nationalism in the ancestral homeland – irrespective of the transient political values of her popular culture – were better represented by Melanie Phillips. The friction between the two positions was apparent during a spirited Q and A session after Ms. Phillips’ remarks.
In his keynote speech early in the program, Professor Dershowitz spoke about the lack of moral clarity in reporting, analyzing and commenting on Israel, while he simultaneously extolled the virtues of Israeli society as a bastion of liberal political virtue. Although Dershowitz was sincere in his defense of Israel, the linking of her legitimacy to the political orientation of her society raised the unspoken question of whether secular liberals would withhold their support if they were to cease viewing her as a progressive political force in the Mideast. This concern was all the more poignant in light of comments Dershowitz made in a written debate with Phillips in FrontPage Magazine last year, in which he stated: “… if Israel were to turn against these [liberal] values – if it were to become an oppressive theocracy, like all Muslim countries today, that subjugates women, discriminates against gays and subjects science to religious censorship – I would become extremely critical of any such nation.” The logical question is whether his support for Israel is dependent on the projection of his own political values.

On a broader scale, it is reasonable to ask whether secular liberals who support Israel do so as a matter of historical conviction or because of partisan political ideals they attribute to Israeli society. If the latter, their support for Israel would fluctuate with every fickle change in Israel’s political landscape and would never be absolute. In contrast, advocacy based on history would remain constant despite the shifting political sands because it permits disagreement over specific policies without compromising the belief in Israel’s legitimacy. In view of his outspoken and passionate support for Israel over the years, it seems unlikely that Dershowitz is only a fair-weather advocate. But the continual trumpeting of the progressive nature of Israeli society certainly begs the question whether liberal support is essentially conditional.

In contrast, Ms. Phillips does not rationalize Israel’s existence based on the ephemeral political expressions of her citizens. Instead, Phillips supports Israel – regardless of the fluctuating whims of the electorate – as the ancestral homeland of the Jewish People, whose spiritual connection and physical presence have persisted for thousands of years. Given the disdain of the political left for Israel and its increasing tolerance for antisemitism, the issue facing American liberals who support Israel is how to perpetuate meaningful commitment while maintaining their progressive political credentials. This is an increasingly difficult task considering that the liberal political agenda accepts the revisionist Palestinian narrative and disproportionately criticizes Israel for the failure to achieve peace.
In her remarks at the CAMERA conference, Ms. Phillips tweaked the core elements of the liberal agenda and the dogmatic devotion they demand. Specifically, liberal political culture promotes its agenda as a singular platform and requires the unified acceptance of all planks of the program, no matter how diverse. Thus, for example, if one accepts the liberal agenda’s outlook on increased taxation to fund social welfare programs, one is also expected to accept the its positions regarding, among other things, global warming, the growth of government, and the primacy of science over faith.

The conundrum for politically active liberals who support Israel is that their overarching agenda also calls for a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and for acceptance of historically dubious Palestinian claims premised on a repudiation of Jewish history. It also puts the onus on Israel to cede territory despite unwavering Arab-Muslim intransigence, places blame for the failure of the peace process on the so-called settlements, ignores the generations of Arab-Muslim rejectionism that preceded the existence of any “settlements,” and uses historical revisionism and moral relativism to rationalize terrorism.

Dershowitz and Phillips seem to disagree on whether the liberal agenda is compatible with Israel’s safety and continuity, and indeed whether it accepts the existence of Israel on her own historical terms. Unease with this agenda is reasonable considering how the political left routinely condemns Israel’s right to defend herself and denigrates Jewish history, promotes a Palestinian narrative that has little if any historical foundation, and disingenuously labels Israel a colonial state. Discomfort with the liberal agenda is reasonable also because of the political left’s apologia for, and frequent endorsement of, terrorism against Israel and the West. If this agenda is an all-or-nothing proposition, it is difficult to see where unqualified support for Israel could fit in.
Unfortunately, many American Jews fail to see this greater context. While it’s certainly true that many liberal Jews were shocked by President Obama’s outrageous treatment of Israel and his coddling of the Arab-Muslim world, they should have channeled their alarm inward to analyze why they voted for him in the first place – despite his known relationships and political alliances with antisemites and Israel bashers. Jewish support for Obama clearly had nothing to do with his illusory affinity for Israel. Rather, it was motivated by the belief that he symbolized the apotheosis of the progressive agenda. Ironically, it took Obama’s implementation of that agenda, and its misguided Mideast policy, to force them finally to acknowledge his anti-Israel impulses, which had always been apparent from his open and notorious associations with the likes of Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayres, Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said, and the Nation of Islam.

The unwillingness of liberals to recognize left-wing contempt for Israel stems partly from the assumption that Jewish values are synonymous with progressive ideals. However, this perception ignores the disparity between traditional Judaism and various elements of liberal doctrine. Although Jews as individuals are certainly free to hold their own political beliefs, they cannot claim consistency with Jewish tradition on issues that clearly conflict with Jewish law. Regarding matters that implicate personal status, marriage and sexual relationships, for example, traditional Judaism leans more to the conservative side. Thus, despite attempts by liberals to claim that they are guided by traditional Jewish mores, their agenda is often divergent from normative Judaism.

The failure to acknowledge left-wing hostility also arises from the belief that Zionism is an intrinsically liberal ideology and that Israel must therefore be guided by progressive principles. However, such beliefs display a fundamental misunderstanding regarding the birth and evolution of political Zionism. Although most American Jews know who Theodor Herzl was, it seems that few of them actually ever read Der Judenstaat. If they had, they would realize that Zionism is predicated first and foremost on Jewish nationalism and self-determination. At its core, Zionism is neither an economic theory nor a specific system of government, but rather a prescription for national regeneration.
Herzl certainly drew from the French utopian socialists in conceiving the future state’s economic structure as a “third way” between capitalist and socialist ideals. Nevertheless, the basis of his vision was not rooted in economic theory at all, but in nationalism. As he explained in Der Judenstaat:

I consider the Jewish question neither a social nor a religious one, even though it sometimes takes these and other forms. It is a national question, and to solve it we must first of all establish it as an international political problem to be discussed and settled by the civilized nations of the world in council.

We are a people — one people…

Though Herzl may have been the most famous, he was not the first Jew of the post-enlightenment period to advocate the restoration of Zion, or to put words into action. His ideological predecessors included the religious “proto-Zionists,” Rabbi Yehuda Alkalai (whose writings influenced Herzl’s own grandfather) and Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer; the socialist theoretician Moses Hess, who wrote Rome and Jerusalem; and the secular nationalist Leo Pinsker, author of “Auto-Emancipation” and founder of Hibbat Zion. While many socialists did see in Zionism an opportunity to advance the “great socialist experiment,” they could not refocus the essential purpose of Zionism, which remained the physical and cultural salvation of the Jews through national regeneration. Indeed, Zionism’s embrace of Jewish nationality ran counter to the rejection of nationalism by the European left-wing movements.

Consistent with these disparate antecedents, the various Zionist Congresses reflected a diversity of philosophical, ideological, economic and religious thought. The interests of the various liberal and labor movements were certainly well-represented, but so were those of religious Zionists, secular nationalists, capitalist industrialists and apolitical philanthropists. Despite the perception that the Labor Zionists always guided the movement, they represented but one faction. And while they may have attempted to infuse Zionism with their own political values, they did not alter the central goal of reestablishing the Jewish nation.

The continuity of the movement was threatened only when it deviated from this goal, as happened in 1935 when the Zionist Executive declined to proclaim the establishment of a Jewish State to be the aim of Zionism. In response, Jabotinsky and the Revisionist Zionists withdrew from the World Zionist Organization. The rift healed only after the organization reconciled in 1946 and the Revisionists returned to the fold, constituting the second largest faction behind the General Zionists. The Labor Zionists under Ben Gurion were the smallest faction, albeit the one with more influence over the British in Mandatory Palestine and the one often perceived as molding and directing practical Zionist ideology in Israel. Nevertheless, the presence of disparate social and economic philosophies under the same organizational umbrella indicates that the essential spirit of Zionism was not the exclusive province of the left or the right.

If one recognizes that Zionism is not left-of-center, and that Israel is not inherently defined by liberal political priorities, it would seem misguided to premise one’s support for Israel on a perceived affinity with American liberal values. Such support would necessarily whither if Israeli society and government were to grow more conservative. To a large extent this has already happened as the Israeli left has been marginalized and the government has shifted to the right. Indeed, liberal abandonment of Israel is apparent in Congressional voting patterns showing that Senate and House Republicans support Israel far more consistently than do Democrats.

Those who rationalize support for Israel based on the presumed political orientation of her society seem to forget that Israel remains a liberal democracy regardless of who controls the government.

Americans seem to confuse “liberal democracy” with “liberal” political values, but the two concepts are separate and distinct. The term “liberal democracy” refers to representative government characterized by free, fair and competitive elections. In contrast, the “liberal agenda” reflects a partisan philosophy that may compete in the electoral process – the same as any other political ideology – but which is not guaranteed supremacy. The point of liberal democracy is not that it must reflect a specific partisan ideology or action plan, but that its citizens have the freedom to accept or reject competing ideologies.

The Israeli electorate’s rejection of the left-wing parties responsible for the ill-conceived Oslo Process – and the waves of terror it enabled – shows the triumph of informed voter choice in a liberal democracy. This is the aspect of Israeli political society that Professor Dershowitz and other liberals should be championing, not the elevation of a partisan agenda that patronizes Israel and promotes policies that threaten her safety and security. They would do well to recognize that modern Israel was not reestablished to fulfill the dreams of modern progressive intellectuals, but to satisfy 2,000 years of yearning for the restoration of Zion. The depth of this yearning is not reflected in the writings of John Locke or any of the other western liberal philosophers. Rather, it is expressed in the prose of Psalm 137, which says: “If I forget thee Oh Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue stick to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my greatest joy.”

# # # .

"Two countries, Syria and Palestine" share borders with Lebanon, in PA education

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

In a PA TV quiz for Palestinian university students, contestants were asked how many countries share a border with Lebanon. The correct answer given by the student and confirmed by the PA TV host was: "Two countries: Syria and Palestine."
Although Israel is the country bordering Lebanon to the south, it is not mentioned, and "Palestine" could only be Lebanon's neighbor if Israel did not exis The Palestinian Authority as policy repeatedly denies Israel's existence in its Arabic TV programing, presenting to children and youth a world in which only "Palestine" exists and replaces Israel.

Palestinian Media Watch has previously documented similar questions denying Israel's existence on the same PA TV quiz program. Israeli cities Haifa and Nazareth as well as Israel's coast have all been termed "Palestinian." See transcripts below.

See PMW's website for additional examples of how "Palestine" replaces Israel in the PA.

The following is the transcript of the question and answer in the PA TV quiz:

PA TV quiz program
The Stars:
Host: "How many countries share a border with Lebanon?"
Contestant: "Two countries - Syria and Palestine."
Host: "Of course, two countries - Syria and Palestine. [Lebanon] is our neighbor - it's impossible that we wouldn't know."
[PA TV (Fatah), Oct. 8 and 11, 2010]

The following are the transcripts of other questions denying Israel's existence from the PA TV quiz program The Stars:

PA TV host: "[True or false:] The Palestinian coast is 335 km long.
Palestine Polytechnic team - your answer was correct.
The answer is 'false.' It's 235 km."
[Note: 235 km is distance from southern Gaza to Israel's northernmost point.]

PA TV host: "[True or false:] The Palestinian city known as "the Chamomile of Palestine" is Haifa.
The answer is 'false.' [Correct answer is] Nazareth." [Note: Nazareth is an Israeli city.]

PA TV host:" Here is a simple question.
The area of Palestine is:
1. 27,000
2. 51,000 sq. km.
3. 81,000 sq. km."
Student: "The answer is 27,000 sq. km."
host: "Of course, we should all know the area of Palestine. 27,000 sq. km.
That is the correct answer."
[Note: 27,000 sq. km. includes the area of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.]
[PA TV (Fatah), June 25, 2010]

Promotion of PA TV quiz program The Stars. On the screen the following question appears, and is read out loud:
"A Palestinian coastal city is:
1. Ramallah
2. Bethlehem
3. Haifa
Send answers to the number that appears on the screen and win $500."
[Note: The Israeli city Haifa is the only coastal city of the three.]
[PA TV (Fatah), May 27, 2010]

In November 2009, PA TV introduced a weekly quiz program entitled The Stars. The first season was funded by the European Union, and the quiz questions all related to Europe, covering topics such as history, geography, personalities, government, culture, arts and sports. Each program featured competing representatives from two Palestinian Authority universities or colleges. In January 2010 the competition ended, and the last program showed a prize ceremony with the participation of Minister of Welfare Majda Al-Masri; Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake; and director of the MAAN news agency, Nasser A-Lahham.

In May 2010, a new season of the program was announced, sponsored by the cell phone company Jawwal. Palestinian Media Watch has been unable to verify whether this season is also sponsored by the EU. The program's logo, a virtual copy of the EU flag but lacking two stars, continues to be used in this season as well.

All the Trains Run Through Washington D.C.

Daniel Greenfield

As the day of decision draws near, euphoria is sweeping across the ranks of those who have fought so hard to get to this day. There was a time when in the shadow of Obama's victory such a day seemed impossible. When it felt like the left had irreversibly placed its brand on America and that we had been force marched on a road leading down into Socialism. Now it seems as if there might be a way out, but that way out may also be deceptive. It is important to remember that while the Democrats are a major source of the problem, they are only taking advantage of a broken system. They are hyenas sniffing around a dying animals, vultures circling above a struggling figure trying to reach the next dune over. The left's takeover of the Democratic party has accelerated the process, but it did not begin the process.

The story of the breakdown of America is not that of one party of evil malefactors smirking and rubbing their hands, while their saintly opposite numbers stand in their path and cry, "Please, have you no shame". That is the narrative that both parties are comfortable with, but it is not the one that tells the story. The Democrats do have the worst of it, because their enthusiastic embrace of machine politics, of character assassination and even treason has made them by far the worst of the two parties. Their fusion of greed and ideology has helped lead to everything from a giant welfare state, to social instability, street riots and socialism. But they could not have done it alone.

And in the next two years, that is an ugly fact that we will begin to rediscover all over again, around the same time Republicans rediscover the joys of bipartisanship, particularly when there's fine pork to be had on the table. An administration without a strong congressional majority tends to be spend more, not less, that is because pork is the price of bipartisanship. When the Democrats took Congress in 2006, the Bush Administration's spending plans rose up. Because the price of bipartisanship is everyone getting a slice of the pie. And a party on the way up, is a party whose politicians are more enthusiastic about getting their share of the pie.

And that's the core of the problem. Not the pork alone, or the nanny state ideology of socialism or any of it. It's all of it together and it's the system that makes it happen.

After each crisis, we rebuilt America as a country with a stronger central government and more power and money running through it. The Soviet Union designed its rail system so that all the trains had to run through Moscow. No matter where the trains were meant to go, they had to go to Moscow first. We've built the same kind of government, where everything from education to finance to workplace safety to the brand of car you drive has to go through Washington D.C.

America has become a country with a million laws, a billion regulations and a trillion standards all of which define how we live. We have become puppets dangling on strings held in federal buildings, dancing to the tune of the latest study, the next survey, the best proposal from some think tank or agency or assorted collection of busybodies with six figure salaries dedicated to telling everyone what to do all the time. But this isn't just about the loss of freedom. It's about the loss of agency.

Countless Americans have become puppets, transformed into problems for some collection of mangy bureaucrats to solve. And some of them have embraced that role. We can see the disaster that has spawned in the black community, but it goes well beyond that. It's present among every demographic, every race, every gender and creed. It defines what life under socialism is really like. That sense of waiting in an endless line to be told what to do. And knowing that it's all futile, but going through the process anyway. It is what crafts the numbing sense of failure that rapidly explodes into violence when an entitlement is withdrawn. It leads to neighborhoods of dirty streets, easy stabbings and a general sense of neglect. Because everyone is waiting for nothing at all. Everyone is waiting for the trains to finish running through Washington D.C.

It didn't have to be this way, but it is. Because that is the real danger of government. Corporate monopolies come and go. A tyrant can choke on a lettuce leaf. A fanatical religion can sputter out. But a system keeps right on chugging along. Because systems are virtually unkillable, so long as there's money and power for everyone. A political elite that becomes entrenched can take down the entire system with it, because the system itself has become infected by their own ambitions and interests. The system becomes a tool of those ambitions and interests, so that anyone who takes power, becomes corrupted by it. And that is the greatest danger that we face today.

The political elite has rewritten the rules so that all the trains, all the money and power runs through their system, and in their way. It has devalued local rights, in favor of national powers. It has devalued individual rights, in favor of government rights. At every turn it has empowered government, while disempowering the people. And it has gone mostly unchecked, because even the few ideological battles that have been fought, have rarely been over whether there should be government powers over individual rights, but rather over who should be in control of deciding what rights there still are.

Most of what we have in the way of civil rights has meant the transfer of power from one branch of government to another. And typically that transfer has been one way. Some have benefited from that transfer in the short term, but in the long term, it has meant more power for fewer people. And the transfer has continued. Today unelected judges have more power to decide what rights people will have, than the people themselves. It has become an article of faith among the political elite, that the general public cannot be trusted with self-government. Instead that they must be taken care of, looked after like troublesome children to see that they don't fall and cut themselves every time they step outdoors.

Of course it behooves those who want unlimited power to treat the general public that way, to baby them and gaslight them, to dangle shiny objects and angry words, and then chuckle because they know that no matter how an election turns out, the trains will still keep going to the same place. And the trains are more than just power. They are filled with money. Virtually unlimited amounts of money. Not only a cut from commercial transactions, individual incomes and other forms of taxation, but the ability to borrow money in the name of the country. Money isn't just money, it's power. Often power at its most naked.

The ability to spend unlimited amounts of money translates easily into unlimited power. It becomes childishly easy to use that money to build power structures, NGO's, think tanks, unions, grass roots organizations, and all the rest, that turn democracy into a sham. To boil it down into one hand washing the other, passing money back and forth, between government and its support structures. And then anyone outside the system stops mattering at all. Becomes an annoying buzz that you beat down with union thugs, smear in the press, persecute and hound, fine and intimidate, until they go away. Because it isn't their country anymore, it's yours. And they're the ones driving, while you're sitting in the back.

Democratic elections do not create a better brand of leader necessarily, they are meant only to prevent them from becoming entrenched. That is why Washington D.C. has become a vile parody of the man it is named after, a man who represented a brand of leadership that was willing to abandon power, in order to prevent exactly that kind of entrenchment. To free America of kings and tyrants, of a small circle of ministers and appointees hoarding power endlessly for their own ends. But while America has no king, it has princes. The latest prince who flies around the world and around the country, to prance self-righteously in front of audiences is the worst, but not the last or the least of them.

The system is broken, because it has become a tool for corruption, and a tool of corruption. It is difficult and almost pointless to try and function within the system without becoming part of that corruption. Because once the system exists to spend money, anyone who tries to get into the system in order to not spend money, is not just fighting for reform, but to turn the whole thing completely around and put everyone out of a job. Imagine someone joining the army in order not to fight wars, or joining a company in order to lose money-- that's the task lying before someone trying to get elected to congress in order to not spend money.

That is how bad things have gotten. But they didn't get this bad overnight. It got there because we were overconfident, we thought that American greatness meant that we deserved a great government. It got there because monopolies frightened people badly enough that expanding government seemed like a necessary defense. It got there because every time we had a crisis, every time we went through a war, and every time we felt afraid, we turned to government. From wars through depressions through turbulent change, we turned to government. And government got big and powerful enough to turn on us. Instead of men riding government... governments began to ride men instead.

The ideology of the left has turned all that to its own purposes, merging political corruption into ideology, spending in order to bankrupt and regulating in order to control-- but it began to work with the existing corruption and the existing mechanisms of power. Some of the old time Democratic party machinery is baffled by the Obama Administration because they understand government as a vehicle for political corruption, while the Obama Administration is endangered their profits, in order to pursue ideological ends. These are the people who actually think that Hillary Clinton represented a non-ideological alternative. But while Obama represents a political extreme, it's only an extension of what already existed.

And that brings us to a Republican victory. The end of the road isn't here yet. We're a long way from it. Public dissatisfaction and worries over the economy have made it possible to seriously raise questions and elect candidates that would have been inconceivable several years back. It's an important first step, but not the last step by any stretch of the imagination. When the economy recovers, people will quickly forget. Politicians will quickly rediscover how much fun pork can be. Some will grumble, but go along. Because the sun is shining and that means everything must be all-right.

Since Wilson, the Republicans have tried to play the voice of reason, the moderates who accept and try to repackage the legislative radicalism of the Democrats, into a more reasonable package. They water it down, often they expand on it, but they don't really change it. If the Republicans actually repeal ObamaCare, then it will be an important moment when the tide turned. But I suspect they will not, because it's easier to rise to power on criticism of a Democratic program, than to dare to dispose of the program itself. It's easier to criticize, than to court controversy by bringing change. But it needs to change. Because the system is broken. Because we have routed all our trains through one place, and the trains go there, but they often don't come back.

Our challenge is to be more than a vehicle for one party's political return to power. To be more than tools, but to be changers. This is about more than tax cuts or even ObamaCare. It is about turning back the clock on government and restoring power to the people again. If we can do that, then we can start fixing a system that has been hijacked by an entrenched political elite for its own benefit. If we can't, then we will only be overseeing another phase of its collapse. By all means, go out and vote, but remember that voting is only the first step. The real work is just beginning.

UK jihadist: Muslims "may say one thing to you in front of CNN," but behind your backs they support jihad

Jihad Watch

Anjem Chaudary must be some kind of Islamophobe: "This is something, you know, the Muslims around the world, I don't think would differ with. They may say one thing to you in front of CNN. But I can assure you behind your backs, in every masjid and every community center, they are standing with their Muslim brothers and sisters saying, We hope the Americans and British are pushed out of our countries, and we can implement the Sharia." Qur'an 3:28 warns believers not to take unbelievers as "friends or helpers" (َأَوْلِيَا -- a word that means more than casual friendship, but something like alliance), "unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them." This is a foundation of the idea that believers may legitimately deceive unbelievers when under pressure. The word used for "guard" in the Arabic is tuqātan (تُقَاةً), the verbal noun from taqiyyatan -- hence the increasingly familiar term taqiyya. Ibn Kathir says that the phrase Pickthall renders as "unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them" means that "believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers" may "show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said, 'We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.' Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, 'The Tuqyah [taqiyya] is allowed until the Day of Resurrection." While many Muslim spokesmen today maintain that taqiyya is solely a Shi'ite doctrine, shunned by Sunnis, the great Islamic scholar Ignaz Goldziher points out that while it was formulated by Shi'ites, "it is accepted as legitimate by other Muslims as well, on the authority of Qur'an 3:28." The Sunnis of Al-Qaeda practice it today.

(Video thanks to Brian.)

Comments from Jihad Watch:
We should be grateful for Mr. Choudary - the world's most honest Muslim. You may despise what he stands for - but he never fails to tell it how it is.
Author Profile Page Buraq | October 30, 2010 7:44 AM | Reply

@ un:dhimmi
You wrote:- "We should be grateful for Mr. Choudary - the world's most honest Muslim. You may despise what he stands for - but he never fails to tell it how it is."

'...the world's most upfront Muslim...', you mean.

Honesty has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is founded on a lie. Mohammed claimed that revelations made around 1,500 years before he was born were redelivered to him in a smart, new package.

So, talking about Choudery as 'honest' implies there are 'honest' and 'dishonest' Muslims. They are all peddling the same dishonesty. Choudery is upfront about Islam's intentions, but he's just as big a crook as Rauf and his fellow travelers.
Author Profile Page Canto28 | October 30, 2010 7:48 AM | Reply

I truly like seeing & hearing this honest Muslim Anjem Chaudary in the media, he tells it straight. He should be heard from more often to wake up those people who still think Islam is just another peaceful religion unfairly maligned and one that sane pwople can coexist with. I wish he were given a nightly spot on the FOX network, called something like "Your Cordial Jihadist Tells It Like It Is".
Author Profile Page Robin | October 30, 2010 7:51 AM | Reply

Excellent video. Thanks for posting. The ending was the icing on the cake.
Author Profile Page Mackie | October 30, 2010 7:55 AM | Reply

Yes Mr.Choudary is the honest broker of what Islam demands of those who follow Allah.

For those of us who have been paying attention for years (Robert Spencer for over 30 years) , what Anjem Chaudary expresses is no shock to us as the video is so titled. We have heard his ramblings for probably nearly a decade now.

It seemed almost a little weird as Elliott Spitzer put on his former prosecutor mask saying Choudary would be arrested for his treasonous remarks. Of course in the UK treasonous comments appear not to be a violation of law. Apparently you have to blow up a subway or something before your arrested, such is the insanity political of correctness in the UK.

What I would love to see: Bill O'reilly invite Anjem Choudary on as a guest and than encourage the ladies of the VIEW along with Joyless Blowhard to have them on both shows, no doubt that would be provocatively interesting.
Author Profile Page Mackie replied to comment from Buraq | October 30, 2010 8:00 AM | Reply

Un:dhimmi and Buraq

Your both right
Author Profile Page Ima Freeman | October 30, 2010 8:06 AM | Reply

Why on earth is this guy still breathing? Is there no law in Britain anymore? The only place this guy should be speaking from is a jail cell.

Can someone PLEASE tell me what is it that Muslims and Islam have to offer that prevents our governments from deporting every last one of them, or at the very least, slamming the doors shut on any further Muslim immigration.

What ever happened to laws pertaining to sedition and treason? What is wrong with us???????????????

Author Profile Page Bewick114 | October 30, 2010 8:39 AM | Reply

So far as I am aware the motormouth "cleric" Choudhary (many spellings of that) is self appointed, does not run a mosque, and has a tiny following. Most muslims hate him as well - some not least because he gives the game away.
What is truly amazing is the amount of air time he gets in the UK and now in the US.
Choudhary is a trained lawyer who practiced only for a short time before embarking on his "mission" full-time. Since then he and his family have existed on benefits.
No-one seems to have queried how he affords to travel the length and breadth of the country or that his "mission" effectively makes him unavailable for work.

The UK Government's plans on benefits and housing benefits should significantly reduce his income and even dispossess him of his current taxpayer funded house. Or at least that is what is supposed to happen because this parasite won't be getting a job. In fact I doubt anyone would employ him.
Unfortunately he was born in the UK. Sadly even those who weren't - like Bakri and Abu Hamza - we seem unable to deport or extradite because of their "human rights"
'Twill all end in tears one way or another.
Author Profile Page DhimmiNot | October 30, 2010 10:00 AM | Reply

One thing he said that caught my attention...
"We hope that Americans and British are pushed out of OUR countries."
By this he doesn't just mean Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.

While he didn't say it explicitly, he seems to imply that he includes all of the UK and the US, as "our countries".??

A follow-up question: At what point does a country become "our country"?
Author Profile Page veteranoutrage | October 30, 2010 11:22 AM | Reply

Wow talk about in your face..
Well folks when our Islamic enemies are now
openly stating we are lying to you
you would HOPE someone would listen?

America & Israel Enter the Death Zone

Stanley Zir

Leading up to the midterm elections, all that we have heard from all parties are concerns about our domestic policies, while, in reality, the greatest threat to our nation is President Obama’s foreign policy. Incredulously, with Iran being moments away from securing a nuclear-armed state, calls for the destruction of its nuclear infrastructure have fallen on deaf ears. During the past couple of years, Glen Beck, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee have expressed their deep concern about our nation’s domestic policy and our freedoms being usurped by the forces of tyranny from within.

With the greatest of respect for these wonderful patriots, they must now address Obama’s disastrous foreign policy that will end America’s leadership in the world and bring our nation to her knees. If we are to stop Obama from writing America’s obituary, we suggest that you email Glen, Sarah, and Mike, and ask them, for humanity’s sake, to publicly call out for the immediate destruction of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

Liberty’s Last Call

When there is an aggressive plan to put out liberty’s flame of freedom, ours must be a more aggressive plan to keep the beacon of liberty lit. America: If you want to continue to have a country worth fighting for, demand an end to sanctions and call for the immediate destruction of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. If not, there will be no tomorrow, because our Beacon of Liberty will have been extinguished in this world.

With everyone concentrating on jobs and spiraling debt as the central issues of the November elections, the defining moment that will challenge the very foundation upon which western civilization rests has come like a thief in the night to rob humanity of the only hope it has for securing this world as a sanctuary, free from the forces of oppression that the governance of tyranny brings. Our opportunity to avert this cataclysmic occurrence is quickly slipping through the cracks while a living nightmare is only moments away.

While we may live another day to fight against the establishment of a mosque and state satellite shrine in the shadows of Ground Zero, if Iran were to go nuclear and/or gain the technology to defend its nuclear infrastructure from attack, the entire free world would become Ground Zero. Why? Because the greatest enemy of freedom will have tested and broken America's resolve! … Who will be left to prevent the globalization of a tyrannical ethic if the greatest enemy to Israel and freedom has tested and broken America’s spirit?

Then we will have crossed the point of no return. America will have lost her identity as the advocate for the advancement of freedom in this world, thus inheriting all that she has fought against since the birth of our nation. Then, no tears of regret will be able to disperse the carnage that would descend upon the people of our nation and the free world by those who are intent on raping our soul, until the very notion of liberty as a way of life is literally ripped from the pages of history’s accounting.

In every war, there is a tipping point that determines the eventual outcome of the conflict. In the Civil War, it was the Battle of Gettysburg; in World War II, the Battle of the Bulge. In America’s global war against terrorism, this moment has arrived. With facts on the ground confirming that Iran is only a moment away from becoming a nuclear-armed state and world power, we are at a flashpoint. We can no longer ignore this fact or continue to wish it away. We must finally face the reality that we have reached the tipping point in a global conflict in which victory for freedom over tyranny in this world lay in the balance.

Who is going to stand up for freedom and stop Iran? President Obama? He has not even placed Iran on liberty’s most wanted list. (Incredulously, the Tea Party has also not made the destruction of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure its top priority. Tea Party Nation: Where are you? Aren’t you America’s “Give me liberty or give me death” party? Or, is your cup half full?)

The frightening fact is that there is a Democratic majority in both Houses of Congress that fully support Obama breaking bread with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran’s fanatical leader openly calls for the eradication of Israel while his country is only moments away from becoming and securing a nuclear-armed state. Meanwhile, President Obama sits idly by, allowing the totally ineffective UN to speak for him, as he continues to express his desire to negotiate directly with this megalomaniacal sponsor of state terrorism, without pre-conditions.

Furthermore, who is going to stop Russia and Syria from delivering a missile defense system to Iran that would secure its nuclear sites as impenetrable fortresses immune from an attack by America? Several weeks ago, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his Russian counterpart, Anatoly Serdyukov, met to find common ground on issues critically important to all free nations. They failed to do so, and two days later, it was reported that Russia, defying the U.S. and Israel, is selling sophisticated anti-ship missiles to Syria, a satellite of Iran that is vigorously arming the terrorist group, Hezbollah.

If President Obama is unwilling to confront Russia and stop her from delivering a missile defense system to Syria; if he is unwilling to prevent Russia from converting Chavez’s Venezuela into a nuclear-armed state, why would he would stop Russia from arming Iran with an anti-missile defense system that would seal the deal in protecting Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, should Russia choose to do so?

Is Obama prepared to do what President Kennedy did when the nuclear missiles landed in Cuba? Did Kennedy first attempt to win the hearts and minds of the Communist nations when the missiles arrived in Cuba? Did he get permission from the United Nations? No! The very survival of America and the free world was at stake, and he did not wait even 90 days.

With Obama at the helm of America’s ship, it is shockingly apparent that we have far fewer than 90 days to prevent the occurrence of a devastating global event that would pose a direct threat to the security and survival of the free world. This is why Congress must immediately re-convene and pass a “Kennedy Resolution”, stating that the transfer of advanced missile defense systems to Iran would be considered a direct act of aggression against the United States of America, and that such shipments will be intercepted and destroyed before reaching port.

In order to preserve our Union and save Israel, it is time to effect an immediate change in our nation’s political discourse that now has all political parties concentrating on jobs and the economy as the key to righting America’s ship, while our Odyssey of Freedom is about to slip below the waves.

While concerned citizens held tea parties and attended town hall meetings in protest of our nation’s financial and political policies that are leading to spiraling debt…America faces a far greater threat, and a far greater debt – one that she will never be able to repay – if the actions of those who sacrificed their lives to secure our freedoms were all in vain. What legacy will we leave our children if in the face of further economic instability that would be caused by destroying Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, we compromise our core principles and bargain away the soul of our nation when our beacon of liberty was about to be extinguished in this world?

That is why we must not permit any legitimate protests concerning Obama’s domestic policies to distract us from eliminating the immediate threat of enabling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to drag the free world into the vortex of his madness. Protecting the principles of governance that sustain the freedoms which guarantee our prosperity is more important to our ultimate well-being as Americans than our concerns about the cost of oil or jobs – no matter the temporary financial straits into which we might descend.

The question is: Do our politicians believe that in our present economic crisis, and in the face of further economic instability we would experience after attacking and destroying Iran’s nuclear infrastructures, that attacking Iran is not a viable option?

If so, and if Obama does not take immediate action to prevent Iran from securing a save haven for its nuclear program, Americans must unite and arise with the same fervor as our Founders, who declared that they would rather be penniless than have their spirit broken by those who were determined to rob them of their freedoms and derail liberty’s grand design.

After witnessing years of restraint in the face of terrorist acts against our strong ally, Israel, the oil extortionists of the Moslem World have good reason to believe that Americans do not have the stomach for this cause of action. Politicians from both sides of the isle seem to concur, for they now believe that spreading liberty and ending tyranny in this world is no longer a luxury that America can afford, and that, as our President has declared, an ideology is no longer operable or effective, but dangerous, because it incites our enemies. So, Israelis, get used to living in close quarters with people who want to cut your throat and neighbors who are bent on your annihilation. And, Americans, get used to living in a country that has lost its soul. Is this a foreign policy that represents America’s core values?

No matter what financial burden we must bear, we must not sign on to policies that will lead to the destruction of the free world for fear of angering those who control the lion’s share of the world’s oil supply. What is the vital interest we must protect that declares a Jewish life is worth less than a barrel of oil? And, what vital interest is so valuable that we would abandon all that we stood for and fought against for more than 234 years.

The time for us to honor a foreign policy that is dictated to us by oil extortionists of the Islamic World, in exchange for financial security and a false promise to Israel of a peaceful co-existence with Islamic tyrannies, must cease. Such continued behavior would lead to America’s descent into obscurity. America cannot serve two masters in this world and ever hope to survive.

You do not have to be a professional gambler to see that the clock has already struck 12:00 midnight in a game with an opponent who has not only stacked the deck against Israel, but has prepared a field of death for her and America as the final score. Only a fool cannot see the handwriting on the wall. Who will shout out what our Founding Fathers are screaming from their graves? “Now is the time to fight back; destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure now.”

If we are to be victorious, we must now dictate what happens between the hands of the clock; we must not let our enemies determine our fate. Yet, it is obvious that our politicians are not keeping time by the same clock as those who are determined to destroy America, Israel and the free world.

While some pro-Israel politicians argue that Israel has time to wait until there is a new President in the White House, or at least until the results of the 2010 midterm elections have been determined, America and Israel no longer have such time. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not have to wait to act. However, we must wait until Congress receives approval to take action against his nation while the permanent end of our way of life is imminent. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must not be given the opportunity to accomplish his unequivocally-announced and vigorously-pursued goals.

“We the People” have every right to secure this world as an eternal sanctuary free from the reign of fear, terror and oppression that the governances of tyranny brings. If our politicians do not see the severity of the circumstances we face and do not call for immediate action to end the Iranian threat, we have every right to march into D.C. and shut down the capital with peaceful acts of civil disobedience until our demands are met.

Restoring America’s Honor
Reclaiming Her Just Purpose and Noble Cause

Every nation has a mandate - a protocol - that defines its purpose and cause. For America, it is her stance against tyranny. Simply put – one knows what a nation stands for by what it stands against. Yet, America is about to cross a line from which there is no return; she is about to abandon her mandate that has defined her just purpose and cause and made her exceptional amongst all the nations in this world – her stance against tyranny.

No matter what Obama has done until now; no matter what he has taken from us so far; and no matter what financial burden we must bear, there is one thing we cannot permit him to bargain away – the soul of our nation. Here we must draw the line. While we may recoup our financial losses from President Obama’s domestic policies, we can never reclaim the soul of this nation if we embrace a foreign policy that forfeits our stance against tyranny in this world. Such a foreign policy would not only lead to the destruction of the moral fabric that binds America to liberty’s decrees, it would bring financial ruin to our nation.

In 1776, America’s Founding Fathers proclaimed that they would never again be bound by any of tyranny’s decrees. With that as their benchmark, they crossed the bridge to freedom and entered liberty's universe, whereby a new Constitution replaced tyrannical heresy as the sovereign of a new Republic. It was not just any Republic that they created, but a “Never Again” Republic in which the individual’s right to stand up and defend himself against any forces that would subdue his inalienable rights was activated, and, with it, the conflict between a new nation of democracy and nations which embraced totalitarian systems of oppression was set in motion.

Yet, America, a nation that time and time again has risen from the ashes of her own iniquity to serve liberty’s just purpose and noble cause; a nation that has subdued the raging forces of tyranny’s evils that would condemn humanity to an endless nightmare of terror and oppression, now has her noble mission called into question by the President of the United States of America, and with it, our Founders’ mandate is being challenged – the quest to secure liberty as the foundation to eternally protect against the globalization of a tyrannical ethic.

It is apparent from President Obama’s speech to the Islamic World in Cairo in 2009 that he was not prepared to honor America’s obligations to rescue Israel from those who wish to destroy her, thus abandoning the mandate that has defined America’s just purpose and noble cause since the days of her Founders to defend liberty’s domain.

In the Islamic World, freedom is considered a grave threat to the ruling powers, because it would grant the average citizen the right to question the ethics on which the foundation of their social order rests – a foundation that was built exclusively on the teaching of Allah. Since such inquiries would be considered an insult to Allah, so would the doctrine of democracy that opened the door to such inquiries. Yet, our President throws praise on Islamic nations that embrace Religious Tyranny as their protocol and remains ominously silent regarding their agenda to undermine the institutions of transparency that democracy brings. More shockingly still, in many cases President Obama has cast aside these Islamic tyrannies’ complicity in egregious acts of human rights violations against their own citizens and other people in the world by co-opting their transgressions with endless declarations of apologies for America having the arrogance to stand against these nations in the Islamic world – nations whose constitutions honor the subjugation of the human spirit.

Maybe President Obama believes that we must not be disrespectful of nations whose cultures are more than 1500 years old. After all, America is a nation that is less than 250 years old. How can we not avail ourselves of the wisdom of these nations whose culture has brought about an endless reign of pain upon their own citizens? How arrogant of us!

This is troublesome when one considers that President Obama has declared Israel, a nation that champions freedom’s cause, equally culpable in a conflict with these nations who use their lands to advance a governance of absolute power throughout the world.

President Obama: How many Americans have died to ensure our freedoms and the freedoms of others throughout the world? Sir, how can you, as our President, champion a foreign policy that would align our nation with countries and peoples who are determined to eliminate those precious rights? How can we, as Americans, observe this act of betrayal and not scream out in disgust! Do you expect us to just sit here and watch everything we have fought for, for more than 234 years, be dishonored, desecrated and defiled?

Hence, although President Obama constantly lectures us on justice, world peace and democratic ideals, no part of the ideology he embraces can support and uphold such a noble undertaking as that which America’s Founders undertook. For, he has declared our Founders’ quest to put an end to the endless cycle of religious and secular oppression that has plagued humanity since its inception an ideology that is dead in the water. He claims that calling out the names of tyrannical enterprises in order to alert and unify our nation of the real dangers these de-facto criminal ventures pose, only empowers our enemies’ resolve. Should we have abandoned our aggressive stance in our fight against the mafia simply because we were afraid to offend them and feared that they would then grow in ranks? I don’t think so.

It is the absence of those who would stand up to fight against any who would bring down a reign of tyranny and terror on people that is the greatest threat to all of our liberties. The threat is certainly not the heroes among us who would be willing to die to defend against such fiends, as our detractors would have us believe. If the leader of the Free World does not speak out and stand behind what our Founding Fathers stood against, what does he stand for?

It is becoming increasingly clear from his foreign policies that President Obama has abandoned the failsafe strategy that is needed to win the war against terrorism. One must remind our President that without benchmarking America’s departure towards building a world filled with greater transparency as the goal that must be reached for seeking final resolution of these types of deadly global conflicts, we will fail to uproot the seeds of derision that have plagued all of humanity throughout history.

It seems that President Obama is confused as to whether he is the President of the United States of America or the head of the United Nations, an international “peace” organization. Unlike the United States, the United Nations is not mandated by decree or charter to end the reign of tyranny in this world in order to achieve a peaceful co-existence among nations.

In concurrence with the United Nations, President Obama advocates that by maintaining open dialogue with fascists and their supporting cast of totalitarian scoundrels, he can achieve the same end. Does the President of the United States really think that giving totalitarian governments an equal vote in determining the outcome of world affairs is the gesture of friendship and trust that is needed to avoid future world conflicts? What is the price we pay for partnering up with criminal enterprises and extortionists to protect against the outbreak of a third world war? Ask those who found themselves in a partnership with the Mafia. The answer is the same from all parties involved: the loss of their freedoms, and economic ruin.

It is not the religious and secular totalitarian nations of the world that have forgotten their mission in undermining our free marketplace of ideas, but the leader of the Free World who has abandoned his pledge to defend and stand against the forces of treachery and deceit. Thus, such eloquent speeches that President Obama delivers, no matter how noble and impressive, only resonate with hollowness.

There can no longer be any doubt that Obama’s current foreign policy will not only lead to the destruction of Israel, but to the moral and financial collapse of America and the free world. That is why, in the name of our Founding Fathers and all who sacrificed their lives so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today, “We the People” must demand the renewal of America’s foreign policy that once again honors freedom and our nation’s Protocol – our eternal stance against the advancement of governances of tyranny in this world.

In order to take back our nation and restore America’s honor from President Obama’s betrayal of the sacred trust that our Founders afforded us, “We the People” must first reclaim ownership of that vision of hope that they left to us 234 years ago, when in America, they would launch that which would become the greatest experiment in the history of humankind – the quest to secure liberty as the foundation to eternally ensure the protection of all people's inalienable rights against any and all who would release tyranny’s deadly venom into the hearts of humankind.

It is this crucial shift that will reset America's image as the stalwart of liberty’s decrees in this world in the minds of our own people, our allies and, most importantly, in the minds of those nations which no longer fear our resolve -- the ones which are intent on Israel’s destruction.

The question is: which politician will throw down the gauntlet and give the citizens of Israel and America the confidence to resist the pressure from Obama, the EU, the UN and others who insist that they show restraint in the face of an impending nuclear holocaust, while demanding that Israel and America negotiate in good faith with Islamic tyrannies as if they were viable partners for peace.

Again, I urge you to write to Glen Beck, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, and request that they uphold America’s mandate that honors freedom and denounces tyrannies by calling for the immediate destruction of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Keep the pressure on until their voices are heard! Thank you.

Moderate Islam?

Jerry Philipson

Every time anything even marginally critical of Muslims or Islam appears in the media apologists, Muslim or otherwise, respond by saying 'moderate voices must be heard' or 'misconceptions about Islam are widespread' or 'Islam is really a religion of peace and tolerance' or other such platitudes.

These pronouncements are dead wrong. What we must look at is how and why Islam manifests itself the way it does and what we must listen to are the cries of its victims, those that are still alive that is If we did we would realize that Islam is not a religion of peace and tolerance and that Muslims constantly commit heinous acts in its name everywhere on earth, the United States and Canada included. We would realize that it is in fact not merely religion, it is a completely proscribed way of life which requires true believers to act in ways that are fundamentally at odds with free, democratic, secular, Judeo-Christian, Western societies like ours. We would realize that Islam is expansionist and demands that non believers submit to its imperatives, with horrific consequences if they don't. We would realize that the Koran is full of hatred and intolerance and misogyny, that Islam really hasn't changed since its inception, that its very nature makes change virtually impossible and that the term 'moderate Islam' is complete hogwash.

Let there be no mistake. The vast majority of Muslims in the West are every bit as peaceful and tolerant in their daily lives as you or I, but they are not true believers or practitioners even if they think they are. They couldn't be because if they were every single one of them would be out to conquer us and bring us under Islam's sway. Moderate, peaceful, tolerant, integrated Muslims-absolutely. They are all around us. Moderate, peaceful, tolerant, integrated Islam -- no such thing. Every day all over the world people are murdered, maimed, raped, attacked, vilified and humiliated under its aegis and according to its precepts and dictates. We have had 1400 years of this behavior and the evidence is overwhelming and beyond dispute...moderate Islam simply does not exist and never has.

Unfortunately, it's very difficult for ordinary citizens to gain an accurate picture of Islam because the mainstream media is unwilling or unable to show its true colors, out of ignorance, political correctness, fear of retaliation or any number of other such reasons. The media would do us all a huge favor if it did however. Islam is a direct and serious threat to Western civilization in general and must be seen for what it is if we are to keep it from destroying our way of life and forcing us all to live as it requires us to. Including moderate Muslims.

With horrific consequences if we don't.

Page Printed from: at October 31, 2010 - 01:35:02 AM CDT


Original Submission to SPME Faculty Forum

During a meeting with the Egyptian press in Cairo at the beginning of August, Mahmud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, and the man on whom the United States and Europe have placed all of their hopes for peace, revealed what was at the back of his mind with regard to the Jews and the nature of the regime he plans to set up in the future State of Palestine. The official demands of the Palestinians for a settlement are known: Israel’s agreement in advance to withdraw to the borders of 1967, a freeze of construction in the territories including Jerusalem, the division of this city, including the Old City, which must become part of the Palestinian Authority, the solution of the problem of the “refugees” in conformance with Arab demands and Resolution 194 of the General Assembly of the U.N.). When considering the possibility that a third force, such as NATO, could be given the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of the planned agreement, Mahmud Abbas imposed a condition: that there should not be a single Jewish soldier and any Israeli. “I am ready to accept a third party which supervises the implementation of the agreement, NATO forces for example, but I will not accept the presence of Jews in these forces or a [single] Israeli on the Land of Palestine.”

Is such a demand tainted with antisemitism? It should not come as a shock, if we remember that Mahmud Abbas defended his doctoral thesis which was based on Holocaust denial at a school for political indoctrination in the Soviet Union.

Some may see a polemical and ideological expression in the term “racist,” but Mahmud Abbas’ demand with regard to NATO leaves no doubt in this respect. What does it really mean when he demands that the European states, members of NATO, exclude their Jewish citizens from the ranks of their forces? Can one imagine such a situation and the juridical mechanisms that these states would have to activate in order to separate the Jews from their citizens? As it happens, Mahmud Abbas does not help them by defining the criteria of who is a Jew: religious law, ethnic origins, the father, the mother, the grandfather? It is all the more remarkable that Saudi Arabia, during the Gulf War in 1990-1992, permitted American Jewish soldiers to serve with the American forces on its territory, a land which, according to the Koran, is sacred and should not shelter any non-Moslem. In all of these cases, it is not a question of Israelis, but of Jews, and one knows that the Arabs, in their immense majority do not make a distinction. “Yahoud” [Jew], in this region, designates without hesitation “The Israeli.” What Abbas says about Jews, he says about Israelis, as we have seen, and he demands that the Europeans, so attentive to his wishes, that they accept his conditions.

The refusal to recognize Israel, the Jewish State

There is a perfect coherence between this demand toward the West and the refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish State, which on many occasions Abbas or Saeb Erekat, his “minister” of foreign affairs, have articulated. The two positions with regard to NATO and refusal to recognize the Jewish State, as such, share of the same anti-Semitism. The thinking behind this refusal, currently repeated as a leitmotiv, has not been sufficiently analyzed. We can immediately dismiss the most current explanation that a state does not have to recognize the “religion” of another State. This is a stalling tactic, which PLO used numerous times in the past, especially in the Palestinian Charter, as we shall see below. To be specific, “Jew” here means a “nation”, not a “religion”. It is with that intention that the UN Resolution (181, II), of November 1947, uses 23 the expression “Jewish State” twenty three times, when it advocates the creation of “two states in Palestine, a Jewish one and an Arab one” (see especially article 3).

In order to understand what this refusal means and why it is not motivated by nationalistic but racist intentions, we shall have to consider it in the context of collateral evidence.

If one examines its link to the demand for the return of the “refugees” of 1948, the picture is clear. Under the weight of five million refugees Israel would automatically become a country with an Arab and Islamic majority, a binational state where the Jews would be a minority, while Palestine would become uniquely Arab. Not one Jew, not even under the flag of NATO or the UN, would be able to be in Palestine, but five million Arabs would join the million Israeli Arabs already residing in the State of Israel and openly rebel against the notion of a Jewish (national) state.

The Palestinian Authority is building a racist regime based on the principle of establishing an apartheid between a Palestine untainted by Jewish blood and a mixed State of Israel where the Jews would become a minority. In its refusal to recognize a Jewish state, there is, in fact, more then a rejection and denial of Jewish history and identity. One may well understand that this improper and exorbitant demand serves a politically correct fig leaf for its fundamental refusal to recognize the State of Israel. On this point, the PLO abandoned its bluff of a “Secular and Democratic Palestine,” which it had promoted in the decade between 1980 and 1990, except that the Palestinians now demand that this formula be imposed on Israel, as they would like it to be, [1] while Palestine proper would be purely Arab.

State-sanctioned Racism and Segregation

Palestine proper would be, indeed, Arab and Islamic. That is written explicitly in the draft constitution of the planned state: “This constitution is based on the will of Palestinian-Arab people,” (Article 1), “the Palestinian people are a part of the Arab and Islamic nation,” (Article 2), “sovereignty belongs to the Palestinian Arab people,” (Article 10), “the legal character of the Arab-Palestinian people will be embodied by the state,” (Article 13). “Islam will be the official religion of the state,” (Article 6).

We can verify this last principle (the Islamic quality of the state) in the light of the use of rhetorical obfuscation (Article 6) to which the drafters of this constitution resort when they give the appearance of making space for non-Moslems: “Islam will be the official religion of the state. The monotheistic religions will be respected.”

Who are these odd “monotheists” and what about] the Hindus, the Confucians, the Behais, etc., forbidden to live in Palestine?) if not a politically correct version of the old dhimmi status imposed on non-Moslems by the Koranic law? In practice, this article would apply only to Christians, because there should be no more Jews in the State of Palestine …

This strange “monotheistic” statute permits us to understand by deduction the Palestinian Authority’s vision of the state of Israel (that is to say of Jewish Israelis). In Palestine, the Jews theoretically would not be citizens, because they are neither “Arabs” (the key to Palestinian nationality according to articles 10 and 13), nor “Moslems,” (key to the Palestinian national law according to article 6). Although they would be “respected,” they would fall outside of national sovereignty, the exclusive privilege of the Arabs (Article 10), who could be Christians or Moslems, indeed, but with a restriction. Since the law would conform to Islamic law, Christian Arabs could only be second class citizens, subjected to the status which Koranic law imposes on them, a status which excludes them from the general law which applies to the Moslems, a status granted however as a privilege. As they are not subjected to the rules of (Islamic) national law with regard to their personal status, they will be permitted to act autonomously within the framework of their law and religious tribunals.

This was already the case before the colonial era, before Islam lost all power over non-Moslems, and this is indeed what the Palestinian constitution provides for in its Article 7: “the principles of Islamic Sharia are the first source of legislation. The legislative power will determine the law of personal status under the authority of the monotheistic religions in conformity with their religions, with due respect to the clauses of the constitution and the preservation of unity, of the stability and progress of the Palestinian [Moslem] people.”

The problem is twofold: Sharia will not only apply to them when their “personal” status is at stake (and this status is segregative: it included, in the pre-colonial era, political submission, submission in behavior and religion, payment of a head tax, the djizya, or a financial tax on the land from which they have been dispossessed, the kharadj, etc) but also in their quality as citizens. It will indeed govern the citizenry as the law of the state (art. 6). Non-Moslems will be subject to its rulings as citizens and not only as believers.

How does the “monotheistic” statute reveal the vision which the Palestinian Authority has with regard to what the State of Israel should be, and which it does not want to recognize as “Jewish”? Would it recognize the “monotheist” character of the Israelis but not the Jewish character of their state? Would not the term, “Jewish,” designate a “monotheist”?

It is the understanding of the status of the dhimmi which could help us to grasp this apparent contradiction which contains a nasty trick for those who do not understand the categories of Moslem culture. The status of the dhimmi, one must know, is not personal but applies to collectivities, to the “nations” (millet from the times of the Turks) politically subjected to Islamic power since the “Conquest.”

It is necessary to explain the theological basis of the collective condition of the dhimmi. According to the Koranic vision, there were different “umma” [peoples] in history, each one rising to the call of a prophet (Moses, Jesus, etc.), until the advent of the final “umma,” which rose to the call of Islam. The basis of an umma is thus a ‘religion.”

In this sense, the Palestinian leaders cannot recognize the right of a Jewish state (and in fact any state which would not be Islamic), which would entail the self-determination and sovereignty of a collectivity whose only possible status under Islam is that of dhimmi. This would be an affront to the Islamic umma. A Jewish state thus constitutes essentially a scandal. The two terms, “State,” and “Jewish” therefore constitute, as theological-political matter, an impossible alloy. The Jews cannot have a state. They are not a people of political standing, because there can only be The Umma. They [the Jews] can neither be free nor sovereign.

An unclear “nationalism”

This classical Islamic perspective was much more evident in the sixties and seventies when the PLO did not resort to double talk to such a sophisticated degree, even if it already made use of western concepts (religion and state) to express Islamic notions. What does one read indeed in the PLO Charter in its first version (1964)? “The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything which derives from them are declared null and void. The claims of the Jews to historical and religious links with Palestine are incompatible the historical facts and the true conception of what a nation consists. Judaism, being a religion, does not constitute an independent nationality. For the same matter, the Jews do not constitute a unique nation with its own identity. They are citizens of the states to which they belong” (Article 20).

This is already a strange remark for a culture which confuses the political and the religious… It does not prevent the PLO, in the same text, from insisting on the exclusive Arab character of Palestine: “Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people. It is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people is a part of the Arab nation (Article 1.)” […] “Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine constitute two complementary goals” (article 13) “The people of Palestine play the role of the vanguard in the realization of this sacred objective.” Here, the term, Arab nation, really designates the Umma.

We discover in this remark the extent to which the strictly Palestinian “national” framework is recent (the second version of the charter was published in 1968). “The Palestinian people believe in Arab unity. In order for it to contribute to the realization of this objective, it is necessary however, at this stage of the struggle to safeguard the Palestinian identity and develop its consciousness of this identity,” (Article 12) because (Article 1): “Palestine is the home of the Arab Palestinian people. It is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people is an integral part of the Arab nation.” Actually, despite the “nationalistic” formulation of this clause, the term, Arab nation, defines other words the Islamic Umma. Palestine belongs to the Umma (which cannot renounce a part of Islamic land).

It is noteworthy that in their constitutional documents, the Moslem Brotherhood write the same thing about Jews/Israelis, although in a more extreme manner in the case of the Hamas. Let the reader judge. With regard to the dhimmis, the Hamas charter declares that “the Islamic Resistance Movement … is guided by Islamic tolerance when it deals with the faithful of other religions. It does not oppose them except when they are hostile. Under the banner of Islam, the faithful of the three religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, can coexist peacefully. But this peace is not possible except under the banner of Islam.” With regard to the nature of the Palestinian country, the Hamas takes the view that: “The Movement of Islamic Resistance believes that Palestine is an Islamic Wakf [Religious patrimony] consecrated for [the future] generations of Moslems until the Last Judgment. Not a single parcel of this can be divested or abandoned to others […] (Article 11).

PLO Charter: an antecedent of this old-new racism

The Palestinian Charter of the PLO is more explicit with regard to the racist motives beneath such an apparent nationalistic statement and it finds expression with regard to all the Jews outside the state of Israel. It states in its Article 23, “The need of security and of peace, as well as that of justice and law, require of all the states that they consider Zionism as an illegitimate movement, that they declare its existence illegal, that they forbid its activities, so that the friendly relations between peoples can be preserved, and that the loyalty of citizens to their respective countries may be preserved.” What does this canned expression “loyalty of citizens toward their respective countries,” describe other than the Jews of the whole world (essentially of the Western countries), not Israelis, whom the Charter singles out for suspicion and the vindictiveness of their respective states, and implies that they are not faithful and could stand up for Israel against the interest of their respective states: that they are in fact Israelis, that is to say, more crudely, “The Jews.” They are depicted precisely with the classic traits of antisemitism: the Jewish conspiracy.

Article 22 of the Charter thus traces the borders in this “anti-Zionist” antisemitism: “Zionism is a political movement bound organically to an international imperialism and hostile to all action for the liberation and every progressive movement in the world. The Zionist by his nature is racist and fanatical, aggressive, expansionist, colonial in his objectives, and fascist in his methods. Israel is the instrument of the Zionist movement and the geographical base of world imperialism, strategically placed in the midst of the Arab homeland to combat the hopes for liberation, unity and progress of the Arab nation. Israel is a constant source of threats to the peace of the Middle East and in the whole world. Because the liberation of Palestine will destroy Zionism and the imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of the peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian people demands the aid of all the progressive forces [which are] oriented toward peace, and enjoins them, without distinguishing between their affiliation and creed, to offer their aid and support to the Palestinian people in its struggle for the liberation of its homeland.” Zionism” here is another word for the classical “Jewish Conspiracy.”

International and Israeli Passivity:

There has been no European or American reaction to condemn Abbas’ odious remarks in Egypt. Could it be that the world knows very well what to expect from the “moderate” Palestinians? But if this is the real reason for this astounding silence, why should one believe in the Palestinian desire for peace and the myth of Abbas’ moderation? No reaction of protest emanated from the European and American Jewish institutions, to disturb the summer’s torpor. No reaction was forthcoming from the Israeli government. Where are the idealistic souls of the European JStreet, JCall, to castigate this “moral mistake” and this openly bellicose declaration? This silence gives an idea of the indulgence of the public with regard to the Palestinian and Arab-Islamic demands and their lack of interest with regard to the impasse into which they want to throw Israel and the whole Jewish world.

[1] As post Zionists define it “A state of all its citizens”…

Shmuel Trigano is Professor at Paris University (Sociology of Politics), among his recent publications in English is, The Democratic Ideal and the Shoah. The Unthought in Political Modernity, SUNY Press, 2009.

Israeli technology has chief role in battling world threats


Migdal H’aemek company HTS's Container Code Recognition system controls half of the international market.

On Sunday, Israel begins to host the first three-day International Homeland Security Conference, showcasing locally developed and manufactured solutions to terrorism threats before security experts and decision-makers from around the world. One of the companies that will be presenting its products is Hi-Tech Solutions (HTS), a company based near Migdal Ha’emek that specializes in image processing and computer vision technologies, mechanisms critical for a wide variety of civilian and security applications.

Established in 1992, the company saw its first commercial product sold in 2000. HTS’s proprietary technology provides both digital and video image records, for direct recognition, identification and recording of alphanumeric and graphic codes. Put simply, HTS’s systems can read numbers from a photo and reproduce them in text form. This ability enjoys a wide range of possible applications, many of them in the fields of law enforcement, traffic management, cargo administration and security.

Today, HTS’s two main products are License Plate Recognition (LPR) and Container Code Recognition (CCR) systems. By pointing a camera, connected to a computer, at a cargo container or a vehicle’s license plate, HTS’s technology can reproduce the numbers in text form. Link that ability to any system that monitors movement of large volumes of traffic and you get a highly effective, real-time solution that can be put to many uses.

In the civilian market, HTS’s systems are especially useful for providing logistical solutions for anyone who wants to quickly and accurately track movement of vehicles. One major project that HTS is involved with in Israel is the soon-to-beopened Carmel tunnels.

The tunnels that run under the city of Haifa will use HTS’s system to assist in its toll collection.

HTS’s equipment is mounted on 24 toll routes in the tunnel project, where it will capture images of the license plates of all the vehicles that pass through and send the translated data to the operating company for billing purposes.

Another application that Israelis may be familiar with is automated parking lots.

Already in partnership with Tel Aviv’s Ahuzat Hahof parking lot chain, many of the city’s major parking lots use HTS’s products to enable users to exit the lot after paying without having to present the payment receipt at the exit.

HTS’s systems are also in use at ports to track containers entering and exiting the facility by land and by sea.

Mounted on cranes and port gates, the system enables the identification of hundreds of thousands of cargo containers, and crosschecks them with their manifests to make sure they are being offloaded at the correct location and contain the right cargo.

Another place that the system is in use is at the entrance to Ben-Gurion Airport. While waiting for the security guard to wave them through, all vehicles are filmed by HTS’s gatemounted cameras and the license plates numbers are crosschecked with a security database alerting the system if any blacklisted vehicles appear at the gate. Systems based on similar principles are used by commercial and state agencies all across the world.

According to HTS CEO Philip Elovic, HTS systems are successfully used in over 40 countries, with the See Container CCR system controlling 50 percent of the international CCR market.

Elovic said that though they have a smaller market share in the LPR market, it is there they see the most potential for growth.

“LPR technology has really evolved, and as the accuracy of the technology grows, so does customer confidence. Today the technology is accurate enough to be put to use in revenue collection systems, with a low enough error-rate to justify their widespread implementation,” said Elovic.

HTS is currently developing systems that will see its technology used on mobile platforms.

One possible use would be by municipal parking inspectors, who could carry a hand-held device installed with the software.

Additional future applications for the system are drivethrough banks and car rental agencies, and advanced building security systems.

At the Homeland Security Conference, HTS’s vice president in charge of business development, Meta Rosenberg, will present the company’s abilities before a large group of security professionals, including foreign public security ministers, chiefs of police, mayors and airport security experts.

Elovic said Rosenberg will talk about how HTS’s technology can be used to boost homeland security in a post-9/11 world.

Shipper: Weapons cache seized in Nigeria came from Iran

Confirmation comes after Israeli officials accuse Teheran of attempting to smuggle shipment including rockets into Gaza through Africa.

LAGOS, Nigeria — A weapons cache containing artillery rockets seized by Nigerian security agents at the West African nation's busiest port originally came from Iran, an international shipping company said Saturday.

The statement from CMA CGM, an international cargo shipper based in France, comes after Israeli officials accused Iran of trying to sneak the shipment into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. By unloading the weapons in Nigeria, the Israeli claim suggests Iran perhaps sought to truck the weapons through Africa to slide around an embargo now in place in Gaza. Hussein Abdullahi, Iran's ambassador to Nigeria, said there was no clear evidence linking his country to the shipment.

The "different speculation doesn't have any clear sources. At this time, we can't judge on any of them," Abdullahi told The Associated Press on Saturday. "Sometimes they blame India, sometimes they blame Iran, sometimes they say the arms are going to Nigeria, sometimes they say they are going to Gambia. Now, they claim they are going to the Gaza Strip.

"There is different speculation, but there is no clear evidence for (any) of them."

The MV CMA CGM Everest picked up the 13 shipping containers from Bandar Abbas, a port in southern Iran, the company said. The shipment, which stopped in Mumbai's port before heading to Lagos, had been labeled as containing "packages of glass wool and pallets of stone."

"The shipment in question was booked as a 'shippers-owned container' and supplied, loaded and sealed by the shipper, an Iranian trader who does not appear on any forbidden persons listing," CMA CGM's statement read. "The containers were ... discharged in Lagos in July and transferred to a customs-bonded depot where they have remained with all seals untouched and unbroken."

The shipment sat untouched for weeks, a common occurrence in Lagos' busy and chaotic Apapa Port. Last week, the Iranian shipper filed a request for the containers to be picked up again and this time shipped to the West African nation of Gambia, CMA CGM said.

Agents with Nigeria's State Security Service discovered the weapons Tuesday. Journalists allowed to view the weapons on Wednesday saw 107 mm rockets, rifle rounds and other items labeled in English. Authorities said the shipment also contained grenades, explosives and possibly rocket launchers, but journalists did not see them.

In the hands of highly trained troops, the 107 mm artillery rockets can accurately hit targets more than 5 miles (8.5 kilometers) away, killing everything within about 40 feet (12 meters). Fighters in Afghanistan and Iraq have used similar rockets against US troops.

China, the United States, and Russia manufacture versions of the rocket, as does Iran — which calls the weapon a Katyusha rocket. In 2006, Hizbullah fired nearly 4,000 Katyusha rockets across Israel's northern border, some of which fell as far as 55 miles (90 kilometers) inside Israel.

Israeli military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were unauthorized to discuss the matter with journalists, said Thursday that it appeared Iran hoped to smuggle the weapons into the Gaza Strip. Israel instituted a naval blockade of the region in 2007 after Iranian-backed Hamas seized control of the Palestinian territory.

Catholics to Israel: Drop Dead?

by J.E. Dyer

The web is buzzing with the comments made at the end of the Vatican Synod last week by the bishop in charge of preparing the Synod’s public message. Said the bishop:

The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands… We Christians cannot speak of the ‘promised land’ as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people. This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people – all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people… Even if the head of the Israeli state is Jewish, the future is based on democracy… The Palestinian refugees will eventually come back and this problem will have to be solved. Horrified Christians from many denominations, including Catholics, have flooded the web with objections, denunciations, and expressions of concern that these sentiments would be proclaimed from the Vatican. Israeli officials and media outlets have registered their own objections.

There are some things worth noting. First, the statement by the bishop doesn’t actually represent the doctrine of the Catholic Church or even the points made by the report of the Synod. The Synod’s official product (now being contemplated by the Pope) contains no references to such freighted concepts as “return of Jews,” “displacement of Palestinians,” “Palestinian refugees coming back,” “promise (to the Jews) nullified by Christ,” or “no longer a chosen people.” See here for a good unpacking of the slanted media coverage that has magnified false implications about this. And see here for a run-down by the group “Catholics for Israel” of the Church’s actual doctrinal position on God’s Old Testament promises to the Jews (hint: it regards them as perpetual and unbroken, according to Vatican II).

Second, however, the attempt by Church officials to clarify things has been notably weak. A Vatican spokesman stated tersely that the bishop’s comments “did not reflect the overall consensus of the Synod.” That has an unsatisfactory ring to it, considering the bishop in question clearly veered into the very practice he decried – using interpretations of the “Word of God” for political purposes – when he spoke of the “promised land” and the Jews’ status as the “chosen people” being nullified by Christ. He adduced these points, specifically, as justification for a political position on the “Palestinian” question.

But this aspect of the situation leads to a third observation, which is that, in light of political conditions today, the Catholic Church seems to have a growing dilemma arising from its modern-era (post-18th-century) ecclesiastical rapprochement with Eastern churches. The bishop who spoke out of turn last week is a Melkite Greek Catholic from Lebanon, Cyril Salim Bustros, who has served as the Eparch (or bishop) of the Melkite Church in the USA (in Newton, Massachusetts) and was appointed Metropolitan of Beirut in July of this year.

Readers may remember that the Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church was the individual issuing blessings for the “all-woman” flotilla planned throughout the summer to depart from Lebanon for a bout of anti-Israel blockade-busting. The Patriarch himself is located in Antioch, but there has been a very troubling trend of anti-Israel politicization in the recent appointments in Beirut and Galilee as well. Bustros’ selection for the metropolitan position in Beirut this year followed the selection in 2006 of Archbishop Elias Chacour for the diocesan seat in Galilee. As this French writer recounts (I apologize that this is only available in French), the 2006 choice amounted to a referendum within the Melkite Greek Catholic episcopate on the question of whether to promote clerics who take political stands against Israel, or to affirm that the church’s future lies with less politicized leaders who are more devoted to ministry, reconciliation, and service. The ultimate choice of Chacour produced a tireless campaigner for the active and urgent repudiation of Israel’s state policies by American and European churches.

The Catholic Church’s high profile in much of the Middle East, and its organized connections with Middle Eastern Christians, give its policies a unique significance in defining the posture and role of Christianity there. The Church, of all entities, should be the first and most insistent in affirming that – at the very least – political opposition to Israel is not a condition of loving our neighbors as ourselves. No nation on earth is a principal in such a repellent contingency; singling out Israel in this regard is awful darn particular and obviously motivated by obsession.

Although I’m a Protestant myself, I hope Pope Benedict won’t let this incident stand. I doubt he will rebuke Bustros personally, and certainly not publicly: Bustros is under the ecclesiastical authority of the Patriarch of Antioch. But in his own pronouncement on the Synod, I hope we will see that Benedict refrains from endorsing Bustros’ tendentious proclamation, and perhaps emphasizes countervailing points. For the longer term, the growing politicization of the Melkite Greek Catholic episcopate appears likely to set the Vatican a problem that may one day require a significant decision.

J.E. Dyer blogs at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions” and as The Optimistic Conservative. She writes a weekly column for Patheos.