Deja vu - Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer taught history and International relations at Rowan University, Rutgers University, the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing as well as at Aarhus University in Denmark where she was a senior Fulbright professor. She is an affiliate professor at Haifa University. Her books include Israel and the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences and , International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights
Projections, projections. They are always wrong as they assume that what was will be. Yet, they often serve as a basis for social policy. For centuries the Malthusians sternly predicted future starvation as population outstrip the ability of the planet to feed it. No more. That is the reason that Buffett redirected the billions he had planned to spend on population control elsewhere.
Today's projections warn of an opposite disaster, a continued decline of the birth rate. Soon, the prediction goes, there will not be enough young workers to take care of the elderly. No, I am not focusing merely on the European declining birth rates which Turks watch with great satisfaction sure that European need for young Turks will sooner or later convince Brussels powers that be that they need Turkey in the EU. The same analysts view China's one child policy as disadvantaging it in its race for Asian primacy with India.
Of course, these concerns fail to take into account the already discernable shift in the work place evidenced in this headline - She works, Her grandson doesn't.
I am in a Pollyanish mood. An aging population means a more peaceful one. So, smile and enjoy the latest demographing guessing game.
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 15:41
Just as importantly, designating the enemy as fascist or reactionary may tarnish its revolutionary halo and diminish its attraction to leftist intellectuals whose distaste for the international status quo overrided their distaste for the “armies of G-d.” This is true in the West, where even the French worry about the possibility of an Islamist alliance with members of the anti-globalization movement. It is also true in the Muslim world, where more and more doctrinaire Marxists are becoming doctrinaire Islamists. To be effective, the president and his allies must use the bully pulpit to highlight the fascist/reactionary aspects of the Islamist ideology such as its treatment of groups near and dear to leftist hearts, e.g., women, gays, students, and human rights activists. But naming the enemy is just the beginning. Making effective use of that name is the end.
Since then I have posted a copy of a Le Monde Diplomatique article urging the left to make a strategic choice to support Islamists openly and actively. Just like during the Thirties, this leftists argue that Democratic Capitalism is the main enemy and hence its opponents must be supported regardless of their own merit. Then, the left supported Nazis; today Islamists. The argument remains the same. Still, given the disaster the support of the extreme right turned out to be, it is difficult for leftist to advocate openly a repeat strategy. Hence, their violent response to the term Islamofascists. And, hence, the importance of choosing a name which will emphasize the reactionary, fascistic nature of the Islamist movement.
So, please, Mr. President and his speech writer, choose one word, but make sure it is one which does not make the enemy stronger by helping him acquire additional allies. They are already doing a great job intimidating European elites and their American fellow travelers such as Chomsky seen bellow with Nasrallah.(hat tip: Bruce)
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 16:02
Andrew Bostom examines its uncontestable evidence in Europe:
A . . . (9/5/06) report on the Parliamentary Enquiry in the Jerusalem Post was more forthcoming, and stated explicitly that “Islamic extremists” were responsible for “inciting hatred towards Jews”. As the Jerusalem Post also noted, the Parliamentary Enquiry’s results are consistent with data recently published in The Journal of Conflict Resolution by Yale University biostatistician Dr. Edward H. Kaplan, and Dr. Charles A. Small of the Yale Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism.
Drs. Kaplan and Small examined the views of 5004 Europeans, roughly 500 individuals sampled from each of 10 European Union countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom). The authors’ main publicized results confirmed their (rather commonsensical) a priori hypothesis: anti-Israel sentiments strongly and independently predicted the likelihood that an individual was anti-Semitic in a graded manner, i.e., the more anti-Israel (on a scale of zero to 4), the more a person was likely to be anti-Semitic.
But perhaps an even more striking finding in light of the burgeoning Jew hatred now evident in Europe’s Muslim communities, has until now received much less attention. In a controlled comparison to European Christians (as the “referent” group), European Muslims were nearly eightfold (i.e., 800%) more likely to be overtly anti-Semitic. Furthermore, in light of the Pew Global Attitudes Project data on Muslim attitudes toward Jews in Islamic countries, the Yale study likely underestimated the extent of anti-Semitism amongst Europe’s Muslim communities.
Matters are even worse within the Muslim world:
In the Muslim world, attitudes toward Jews remain starkly negative, including virtually unanimous unfavorable ratings of 98% in Jordan and 97% in Egypt. Muslims living in Western countries have a more moderate view of Jews – still more negative than positive, but not nearly by the lopsided margins that prevail in Muslim countries.
Then there is Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world. It has just let out of jail the mastermind of the Bali bombing, Abu Bakar Bashir. This is what he has to say about Jews:
"The Jews are cunning and cannot be trusted, as it states in the Qur'an. At the moment the United States is just being the donkey for Israel, who is riding the USA.
"How can we dialogue for peace in the Arab world as long as Israel exists? Israel cannot dream of having peaceful borders because Israel has no right to exist, no right to be there. That is the land of Palestine, for the Palestinians. How can any Muslim leader say that Israel has the right to safe borders? It should not be there in the first place!...
"If the Prophet Carried a Spear Then... We Can Carry an M-16!" . . .
"There is no democracy in Islam, so do not try to interpret the Quran and turn Islam into a democracy to suit your needs. God's law comes first. It is not up to the will of the people to decide what is right and how to live. Rather the will of the people have to be bent to suit the will of God. It is not democracy that we want, but Allah-cracy!
"The struggle for Islam can only come through crisis and confrontation. Islam is here to change the world, not to be changed by the world. So there is bound to be resistance, that is why the West fears us.
"If we accept Western norms like democracy then we can never reach the Allah-cracy I mentioned earlier. Democracy must be replaced by Allah-cracy and this cannot come from elections. Those who oppose us must be educated, that is why dawah is important, to show them that Islam is the only way. But if they still resist, and are willfully stubborn, or if they create obstacles for us, then they must be opposed.
Obstacles to what?
We demand an Islamic state, and not some form of Islamisation of society. We want the state to be Islamic, with Islamic leaders who have the courage and will to implement the shari'a in total. There is no other way..."We want an Islamic state where Islamic law is not just in the books but enforced, and enforced with determination. There is no space and no room for democratic consultation. The shari'a is set and fixed, so why do we need to discuss it anymore? Just implement it!
No, Ahmadinejad in not alone. This is a fight the rest of the world cannot avoid. These power hungry theocrats will not let us and they have a large cohorts of young men at their disposal.
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 16:07
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 16:10
To be sure, Mr. Bush understands that we cannot ignore our enemies; they are real. He knows that an enemy who believes in religiously sanctioned suicide-bombing is an enemy who, with a nuclear or biological weapon, is a mortal threat to our survival as a free country. The analysis Mr. Bush offers the nation--before the Joint Session on Sept. 20, 2001, in his 2002 State of the Union, in his 2005 Second Inaugural--is consistently correct. On each occasion, he outlines the threat, the moral nature of the conflict and the absolute requirement for victory.
Unfortunately, the great bureaucracies Mr. Bush presides over (but does not run) have either not read his speeches or do not believe in his analysis. The result has been a national security performance gap that we must confront if we are to succeed in winning this rising World War III.
Do read the whole thing.
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 16:11
Consider the following headline: 'Cancel Israel' stickers on London buses.
Thus, those who refuse to call Taliban ruled Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Iran or North Korea evil, find it easy to apply the term to the citizens of the Jewish state. The opposite is also true. Slowly but surely and dangerously, the pro and con camps are solidifying along left (liberal)/right lines. Only this time, the enemies of the Jews are on the left rather than the right though Jews have great difficulty coming to terms with with transformation.
Barak of the Iris blog has some startling evidence - 67 Democrats; 0 Republicans condemns Israel. The same difference can be noted between liberal Christian churches such as the Episcopalian and Evangelical ones. Bill Kristol writes (see his entire piece bellow):
Jews are under attack. And no one seems very concerned. Liberal Jews are more concerned about Mel Gibson than Mr. Ahmadinejad. The mainstream Jewish organizations have played the"anti-Semitism" card so often that it has been devalued. Much of the world is in denial about the jihadist threat. No one wants to be alarmist. This is, in a way, understandable. There are two large Jewish communities in the world. The Jews of America prosper in comfort and security. The Jews of Israel have been able to defend themselves. It's not 1938 again.
But the jihadists are on the move. Recently in Gaza, kidnapped journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were forced to" convert" to Islam before being released. What would have happened to them if they had been Jewish? And, incidentally -- if they had refused to" convert," as some Jews and Christians have in the past -- what would have happened then?
And hence the rub. For the appeasers refuse to see is that just like in the thirties feeding the Jews to the beast will fail to sate it. What do the Islamists demand of their best friends? Nothing less than conversion - Al-Qaeda call on Hersh, Galloway & Fisk
Hence, the answer to Bob Dylan's famous question:"Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head, Pretending he just doesn't see?" is still blowing in the wind.
September 8, 2006
By WILLIAM KRISTOL
September 8, 2006; Page A14
"How odd / Of God / To choose / The Jews." Thus the British journalist
(and communist) William Norman Ewer, in the early part of the last
century. The reply came from Cecil Browne: "But not so odd / As those who
choose / A Jewish God / But spurn the Jews."
Browne's riposte may have won the poetic exchange. But Ewer's anti-Judaism
prevailed in the next decades in Europe. Buried there after World War II,
hatred of the Jews flourished for the rest of the 20th century in the
Middle East. Is anti-Judaism now enjoying a broader revival? It would seem
University of Chicago political science professor John Mearsheimer came to
Washington late last month along with his sidekick, Stephen Walt of
Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Speaking to the Council on
American-Islamic Relations, they attacked the "Israel Lobby" (of which
they claim I am a part) for its pernicious deeds, and singled out several
Jews who served or serve in the Bush administration. These Jews, they
explained, have special "attachments" in the Middle East. The attachment?
Their religious belief -- Judaism. Bigotry now has an academic cachet.
Some of the activists at Moveon.org, the political organization that
raises millions for Democratic candidates and generates support for
left-wing policies, had a curious reason for cheering the Democratic
primary defeat of Sen. Joe Lieberman. As Robert Goldberg reported in the
Washington Times, after one Moveon member celebrated the defeat of "Jew
Lieberman," 95% of those who responded to the post on the Moveon Web site
expressed their approval.
Meanwhile, over in Europe, Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder, author of
"Sophie's World," announced in Norway's leading newspaper, the
Aftenposten, the end of Israel: "There is no turning back. It is time to
learn a new lesson: We do no longer recognize the state of Israel . . . We
must now get used to the idea: The state of Israel in its current form is
history . . . Fear not! The time of trouble shall soon be over. The state
of Israel has seen its Soweto . . . May spirit and word sweep away the
apartheid walls of Israel. The state of Israel does not exist. It is now
without defense, without skin. May the world therefore have mercy on the
Mr. Gaarder's distaste for Israel seemed to be based on his dislike of
Israel's policies, his revulsion against the God of Israel ("an insatiable
sadist"), and his anger that, "for two thousand years, we have rehearsed
the syllabus of humanism, but Israel does not listen." It's not clear who
that "we" has been for 2,000 years. But since Israel has only existed
since 1948, it is presumably the Jews, not merely, Israel, who have not
listened. (It was, however, generous of Mr. Gaarder to call for mercy for
the Jewish civilian population.)
And then there's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- bidding fair to be the most
powerful leader in the Islamic world. Mr. Ahmadinejad has called, of
course, for the "the elimination of the Zionist regime" and "the
destruction of Israel." He wants Israel eliminated because he wants
Judaism eliminated (Christianity will take longer). Javier Solana of the
EU and Kofi Annan of the U.N. are eagerly paying him court. Will Mr.
Solana or Mr. Annan stand up in the presence of Mr. Ahmadinejad and
denounce Jew-hatred? No.
Jews are under attack. And no one seems very concerned. Liberal Jews are
more concerned about Mel Gibson than Mr. Ahmadinejad. The mainstream
Jewish organizations have played the "anti-Semitism" card so often that it
has been devalued. Much of the world is in denial about the jihadist
threat. No one wants to be alarmist. This is, in a way, understandable.
There are two large Jewish communities in the world. The Jews of America
prosper in comfort and security. The Jews of Israel have been able to
defend themselves. It's not 1938 again.
But the jihadists are on the move. Recently in Gaza, kidnapped journalists
Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were forced to "convert" to Islam before
being released. What would have happened to them if they had been Jewish?
And, incidentally -- if they had refused to "convert," as some Jews and
Christians have in the past -- what would have happened then?
Mr. Kristol is editor of The Weekly Standard.
URL for this article:
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 16:17
9/11 and its aftermath demonstrated that we are better, stronger, and more resilient than we thought but that we were intentionally been kept ignorant and complacent about the dangers and evils of the gathering jihadist storm making its way towards our shores. Osama bin Laden was not the only one who believed that these United States were easy pickings. Robert Bork had warned that we were Slouching towards Gomorrah, while Benjamin Barber had blamed us for championing the creation of a soulless McWorld. They were all proven wrong.
The generous loving messages of the victims; the simple heroism of police and firemen; the calm determination of the survivors; the amazing generosity and initiative shown by individuals and organizations revealed yet again just how indomitably soulful free people are. They also produce resilient interdependent growth-oriented economies capable (as the recent surprising 2007 World Bank report demonstrates) of using even security measures to increase international trade flow and decrease corruption. Most gratifyingly, we discovered what an amazingly valiant young generation we have spawned as many of its best and brightest rushed to join the arm forces quickly proving that contrary to recalcitrant elite opinion, productive, life affirming democracies produce very capable, if reluctant warriors.
But war is hell and the kind of semi-war in which we engaged in the past five years feels like slow water torture. Not surprisingly, we are in a foul mood desperately searching for a silver bullet or at the very least a sacrificial lamb to end it all. It is in such trying times that we must trust our innate pragmatism and ingenious political system to insure that we retain our moral balance, act moderately, and continue to tinker and adjust our strategies and tactics until we make sure that the government of the people by the people for the people shall not perish from this earth.
Do read the rest.
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 22:29
On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami condemned Osama bin Laden and suicide bombing but also defended groups such as Hizbullah for what he characterized as resistance against Israeli colonialism.
In a 30-minute speech given under tight security at Harvard University, Khatami repeatedly praised the concept of democracy but said American politicians since World War II have been infatuated with"world domination." Khatami said he was one of the first world leaders to condemn"the barbarous acts" of September 11, 2001.
He was also confronted by a question about the appropriateness of capital punishment for gays. As other Islamists clerics, his ultimate answer was yes on religious grounds. But read that entire convoluted mess. and wonder how long will much of the left be able to close its eyes to the sorry state of human rights of their favorite anti-American ally.
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 23:34
Five years after the tragedy of 9/11, airport and rail security personnel are rapidly adopting an Israeli method for spotting terrorists by their body language.
Labeled SPOT - Screening Passengers by Observation Technique - the program, which has been introduced by the Transportation Safety Authority (TSA) in the US and the British Aircrafts Authority (BAA) in England, was devised by Rafi Ron, former chief security officer of the Israeli Airport Authority.
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 23:49
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 23:59
Here is some good news:
Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., introduced legislation Thursday that would refocus U.S. government-funded broadcasting into Iran to"stand with the people of Iran."
The Iranian regime's record of"repression, oppression, beatings and abuse ... was"a story that has been told too little," Brownback told reporters and Iranian-American activists. His"Iran Human Rights Act" would also appoint a"special envoy" to pro-democracy groups in Iran and in exile.
As a backdrop to the new Brownback bill, former Iranian political prisoners and their relatives gave grisly testimony Thursday of torture under the regime of former president Mohammad Khatami, who is currently visiting the United States.
You will find some harrowing stories here.
Posted on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 13:04
Yahoo caption reads:
A Palestinian militant points his rifle towards Israeli troops as other gunmen and civilians look on during an Israeli army raid in the village of Qabatiya, near the West Bank town of Jenin, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006.
LGF has more.
Posted on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 15:22
St. Paul's Chapel, next to Ground Zero, serves for many as an interim memorial.
Though it was carpeted in dust and debris, it escaped serious damage and became a center for rescue workers as well as a shrine where desperate relatives would leave flyers with photos of the missing, flowers, candles, poems and other gifts.
Many are still on display, along with computer terminals that allow a visitor to watch video clips of key moments in the aftermath. The church holds daily prayers for the victims and will hold an interfaith service on Monday.
Thousands of tourists congregate from morning to night every day on the west side of Ground Zero, peering through the fence, taking pictures, silently reading a timeline of the events of 9/11, and fending off the occasional peddler hawking collections of photographs of the attacks.
Souvenir sellers have been ordered out of the immediate area, though fire and police department T-shirts and caps as well as key-rings and bottle openers in the shape of the Twin Towers can still be purchased a few blocks away.
One message scrawled on one of wooden walkways around the site reads:"Yo, New York. I hope you are feeling better. I see that nasty scar is starting to heal ... a ... little."
Posted on Saturday, September 9, 2006 - 14:56
It should be remembered that the world did not start this war. Islamists did. There is little doubt that the two Islamists branches compete against each other, but they united against the rest. Therefore the attempt to play them against each other is a pipe dream which would result in nasty surprises of the kind Israel has just experienced when Shia Hezbollah opened a second front in support of Sunni Hamas. Four months ago, he was accused of fear mongering. Now, they realize Bibi was right.
Iran, he repeatedly insists, is more dangerous than Nazi Germany was. Germany first started a war and then set out to develop nuclear weapons. Iran is developing nuclear weapons and only, then, will he start the war. Nor can millenarian Ahmadinejad or his mentor Ayatollah Yazdi be deterred by the catastrophic effect a nuclear war would have on Iran. It should be noted that in November Iranians will elect the body of 86 clerics that supervises and selects Iran's supreme leader. If recent elections are harbingers of things to come Ahmadinejad will succeed in securing that all important position to his mentor, Ayatollah Yazdi who wishes to replace the Islamic Republic with a purer Islamic government.
Netanyahu acknowledges that the intelligence failure in Iraq casts doubts on the veracity of claims concerning Iranian nuclear development. But he insists that there is a difference."In the case of Iraq we guessed," he says."In the case of Iran, we know."
Since a democratic leader's will depends on the people, Americans should do what Israelis did during the Lebanon War, put partisanship aside and provide the President with the supports he needs to make sure that Iran does not go nuclear. After all, the real Iranian target is not small Satan, Israel, but the great Satan and, ultimately, the elimination and subjugation of all the infidels large and small.
Also see, Netanyahu at NYU.
Posted on Friday, September 8, 2006 - 16:20
"The crisis of Dutch socialism can be sized up in their attitudes to both Islam and Israel. They hold Israel to exceptionally high moral standards. The standards by which the Palestinians are judged are very low." - Hirsi Ali.
Posted on Friday, September 8, 2006 - 16:21
"The interesting and rather surprising result was that improved security has in many cases made trading across borders faster, not slower," says Simeon Djankov, one of the report's authors. In poor countries, such as in most of Africa, bottlenecks in border crossings and shortages of equipment and staff to test food hygiene and other trade standards are reckoned to restrain exports much more than do trade tariffs. Despite recent improvements in ports such as Accra in Ghana, Africa remains the most difficult continent in which to trade.
Better risk management has often been accompanied by automation in other areas. Even in Pakistan, a country facing serious security concerns, the time taken for an import consignment to clear has been cut from 39 days to 19 by allowing shippers to file cargo declarations in advance and pay tariffs electronically. More generally, traders say, introducing electronic payment of tariffs and port fees reduces the potential for corrupt officials to exact bribes.
Now that is a major Islamist loss! Don't you just love the law of unintended consequences.
Posted on Thursday, September 7, 2006 - 18:05
In a well argued letter To all the great Iranian mothers in diaspora Ganji calls on Iranian women to follow the example of the Iranian poet Ms. Simin Behbahani who not only writes but acts in a manner taught by Gandi and Martin Luther King:
Ms. Simin Behbahani is one of Iranian heroines, who, in the past years, has been in the front line of Iran's liberal movement. In this path, she has been insulted and beaten. She was treated unjustly and tolerated magnanimously. Behbahani could move a generation with her poems, but her work is not limited to poetry and literature. She actively and bravely defends the victims whenever the civil rights ware trampled upon.
One day she shows up in front of a hospital to defend the disregarded rights of an imprisoned dissident. On another day she is in a park to protest the extreme, unbelievable, and painful inequality of women compared to men and to say we are human too and human, on being human alone, is entitled to rights and dignity, and no regime, ideology, belief or culture could not and should not discriminate between human beings based on imaginary and ancient divisions and ignore their need to dignity. Still on another day, in another setting, she protests the murder of dissidents and with her poems keeps their memory alive. She has the courage to think.
She thinks because she understands what many Iranian apologists like their Communist predecessor refuse to acknowledge. She understands that just as yesterday's USSR was not a perversion of Communism, today's Iran is not a perversion of Islamism.
The problem of the avant-garde intellectual before the revolution [in Iran] was the poverty of philosophy and not attending to theoretical studies. Theorizing was completely rejected as"bourgeois philosophy" and" capitalist abstraction." Everything was reduced to"pratique" and"struggle." Resistance and courage, if not based on a democratic-humanist theory, replaces one dictatorship with another.
The 1979 revolution [of Iran] was the result of a 1970's discourse that was the anti-West (anti-imperialist), anti-liberal, anti-democratic, based on a return to our selves (alternatively our Islamic, Asian, or communist class-free proletariat self), ideologic, utopian, and revolutionary. We should not think of that revolution as a detour.
Trotsky wrote"Betrayed Revolution" thinking Stalin had betrayed the ideals of the Bolshevik revolution. But no one betrayed the Russian revolution and what took place was the exact realization of the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary ideology.
The classical all-encompassing ideological revolution is an irrevocably big mistake. [Such] Revolution does not lead to democracy and does not create freedoms. Therefore, the 1979 revolution was not betrayed. It was the objective realization of the 1970's discourse. The experience of the 1979 revolution guided us all to the fact that without reason and thinking we cannot go past our childhood and become democrat adults.
Behbahani acts because she has courage and Iran needs Diaspora women to follow in her footsteps.
And an idea is not God. No one can think for us, suffer for us, fight for us. Intellectual courage, which is refusing to submit to fear in our thinking and refusing to accept anything but the truth, is now highly needed in our circles. Democracy and human rights need bold and courageous agents. People who believe in democratic values and show their belief by struggling against oppression and injustice. It is obvious that courage in practice, without wisdom in thoughts, will not do.
Ganji urges Iranian intellectuals, indeed, all intellectuals not to succumb to passivity born of despair in the value of their own people:
He says: democracy, freedom and human rights, are not the issues of the people of Iran, but bread, water, clothing and shelter. He says: the knowledge and social prerequisites of democracy do not exist in Iran. He says: Iran will not be democratized in a hundred years. He says: the people are not ready to fight and pay the price for democracy, so why should the intellectual shoulder their burden and pay the price for them. He says: the modern era, is the era of separation of roles and division of social labour. The intellectual, is not a party or political activist, his job is to create thoughts and invent theories.
After all, intellectuals too made mistakes and they too need courage to accept those mistakes:
Courage, this philosopher's stone of the world of intellect and reformism, is not limited just to the Kantian courage, that is the courage to know. We also need the [Baruch] Spinozan courage, which is the courage to overcome any of our psychological and moral failures and shortcomings, let aside the [Paul] Tillichan courage that wants us to see and accept ourselves as we are and not deny ourselves. . . . .
And is there an intellectual who doesn't see in his past more or less dark spots, ignorance, mistakes, working with less than desired quality or quantity? And which intellectual is it who doesn't know that a considerable part of the misery and misfortune that has taken over his society is the consequence of his own ignorance, mistakes, and miscarriage? Why should the intellectual be so pessimistic and doubtful of people and optimistic and sure of himself?
The Freedom Lover who translated this letter did all of us a great favor for it is well worth reading in its entirety. He, unlike John Murtha, is a true profile in courage. But that would have required a Kennedy Center in possession of some real imagination.
Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 05:50
She started out looking for a husband. Instead, the young Carleton University student became a key conduit for thousands of dollars that, police say, was financing terrorism.
Zenab Armend Pisheh, an Ottawa-area chemistry student in her early 20s, says she was used by young, aspiring jihadists in Britain and Canada and that she was handpicked because"sisters don't get caught -- brothers get caught if they send money."
No one said that terrorists are stupid.
Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 10:07
A Shia, Lebanese, school principal, also with the organization that I founded and this one, and who had his house destroyed in Lebanon, and his children and immediate family displaced, has started a cooperative educational program with us. He will invite someone to speak to his students from Solomon Shechter (conservative Jewish day school), and will go to them 10 times during a school year (once a month).
This program follows in the footsteps of a year long pilot program she helped initiate:
Half-education and half-dialogue, half-Jewish and half-Islamic, half in Manhattan and half in Queens, an innovative interfaith project that made its national debut at two New York City high schools during the first week of classes last year raised several questions.
Would the Unity Program founded by the Abraham’s Vision organization find support in the Jewish and Muslim communities? Would the teenage participants from the Abraham Joshua Heschel School on the Upper West Side and the Al-Iman School in Jamaica understand each other? Would the year-long series of classes and dialogue meetings make a statement about mutual tolerance?
So far, so good. Such program must be carefully constructed and their mutual respect vigilantly guarded. For the past few years, I have been participating in one such Sarah initiated interfaith (Christian, Jewish and Muslim)group in South Jersey. Acceptance of the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state is the basic requirement for joining. We,too, have conducted a successful, if less ambitious, educational program. It consisted of an evening course co-taught be a Muslim and a Jew. Familiarity bred friendships and improved understanding. Just as importantly it enabled our Muslim friends to express their rejection to Islamist attempt to represent all Muslims. Our yearly interfaith prayer services enjoy a particularly large Muslim attendance.
Of course, things can get off the rail as this article about recent developments in the Catholic- Jewish dialogue demonstrates. But that should not be a reason to stop trying, merely the reason to make sure that appeasers do not high jack the agenda. For ultimately, appeasement implies disrespect which is inherently humiliating to the appeased party and, hence, breeds resentment and even hatred.
I have recently participated in an interfaith trip to Turkey. The Lebanon war was raging and I made sure everyone knew that I grew up in Israel, that my family lives there and that I was very concerned about their welfare as they live in the Northern part of the country under the constant barrage of Katyusha rockets. I was met with sympathetic understanding especially when I noted the similarity between the Israeli-Palestinian and the Turkish-Kurdish terrorist predicament.
Their understanding gained a new dimension when I told them about Sarah and explained that her family also lived in Northern Israel and that she was just as worried about them as I was about my family. My hosts were often a mixture of Kurds and Turks. They explained that both groups were equally threatened by PKK terror.
As with all such efforts, one casts one's bread upon the waters in the
Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 14:50
This was sent to the faculty members on my campus. I thought you may sadly enjoy it too:
Beloit, Wis. – In the coming weeks, millions of students will be entering college for the first time. On average, these members of the Class of 2009 will be 18 years old, which means they were born in 1987. Starbucks, souped-up car stereos, telephone voicemail systems, and Bill Gates have always been a part of their lives.
Each August, as students start to arrive, Beloit College releases the Beloit College Mindset List, which offers a world view of today's entering college students. It is the creation of Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and Director of Public Affairs Ron Nief.
McBride, who directs Beloit’s First Year Initiatives (FYI) program for entering students, notes that “This year’s entering students have grown up in a country where the main business has become business, and where terrorism, from obscure beginnings, has built up slowly but surely to become the threat it is today. Cable channels have become as mainstream as the “Big 3” used to be, formality in dress has become more quaint than ever, and Aretha Franklin, Kermit the Frog and Jimmy Carter have become old-timers.”
“Each year,” according to Nief, “ when Beloit releases the Mindset List, it is the birth year of the entering students that is the most disturbing fact for most readers. This year will come as no exception and, once again, the faculty will remain the same age as the students get younger.”
The list is distributed to faculty on campus during the New Student Days orientation. According to McBride, “It is an important reminder, as faculty start to show signs of ‘hardening of the references,’ that we think about the touchstones and benchmarks of a generation that has grown up with CNN, home computers, AIDS awareness, digital cameras and the Bush political dynasty. We should also keep in mind that these students missed out on the pleasures of being tossed in the back of a station wagon with a bunch of friends and told to keep the noise down, walking in the woods without fearing Lyme Disease, or setting out to try all of the 28 ice cream flavors at Howard Johnson’s.”
According to Nief, “This is not serious in-depth research. It is meant to be thought- provoking and fun, yet accurate. It is as relevant as possible, given the broad social and
geographic diversity of our students, who are drawn from every state and 50 countries. It is always open to challenge, which has an additional benefit in that it reminds us of students’ varied backgrounds. It is still a good reflection of the attitudes and experiences of the young people that we must be aware of from the first day of their college experience.”
Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2009
Most students entering college this fall were born in 1987.
1. Andy Warhol, Liberace, Jackie Gleason, and Lee Marvin have always been dead.
2. They don't remember when “cut and paste” involved scissors.
3. Heart-lung transplants have always been possible.
4. Wayne Gretzky never played for Edmonton.
5. Boston has been working on “The Big Dig” all their lives.
6. With little need to practice, most of them do not know how to tie a tie.
7. Pay-Per-View television has always been an option.
8. They never had the fun of being thrown into the back of a station wagon with six others.
9. Iran and Iraq have never been at war with each other.
10. They are more familiar with Greg Gumbel than with Bryant Gumbel.
11. Philip Morris has always owned Kraft Foods.
12. Al-Qaida has always existed with Osama bin Laden at its head.
13. They learned to count with Lotus 1-2-3.
14. Car stereos have always rivaled home component systems.
15. Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker have never preached on television.
16. Voice mail has always been available.
17. “Whatever” is not part of a question but an expression of sullen rebuke.
18. The federal budget has always been more than a trillion dollars.
19. Condoms have always been advertised on television.
20. They may have fallen asleep playing with their Gameboys in the crib.
21. They have always had the right to burn the flag.
22. For daily caffeine emergencies, Starbucks has always been around the corner.
23. Ferdinand Marcos has never been in charge of the Philippines.
24. Money put in their savings account the year they were born earned almost 7% interest.
25. Bill Gates has always been worth at least a billion dollars.
26. Dirty dancing has always been acceptable.
27. Southern fried chicken, prepared with a blend of 11 herbs and spices, has always been available in China.
28. Michael Jackson has always been bad, and greed has always been good.
29. The Starship Enterprise has always looked dated.
30. Pixar has always existed.
31. There has never been a “fairness doctrine” at the FCC.
32. Judicial appointments routinely have been “Borked.”
33. Aretha Franklin has always been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
34. There have always been zebra mussels in the Great Lakes.
35. Police have always been able to search garbage without a search warrant.
36. It has always been possible to walk from England to mainland Europe on dry land.
37. They have grown up in a single superpower world.
38. They missed the oat bran diet craze.
39. American Motors has never existed.
40. Scientists have always been able to see supernovas.
41. Les Miserables has always been on stage.
42. Halogen lights have always been available at home, with a warning.
43. “Baby M” may be a classmate, and contracts with surrogate mothers have always been legal.
44. RU486, the “morning after pill,” has always been on the market.
45. There has always been a pyramid in front of the Louvre in Paris.
46. British Airways has always been privately owned.
47. Irradiated food has always been available but controversial.
48. Snowboarding has always been a popular winter pastime.
49. Libraries have always been the best centers for computer technology and access to good software.
50. Biosphere 2 has always been trying to create a revolution in the life sciences.
51. The Hubble Telescope has always been focused on new frontiers.
52. Researchers have always been looking for stem cells.
53. They do not remember “a kinder and gentler nation.”
54. They never saw the shuttle Challenger fly.
55. The TV networks have always had cable partners.
56. Airports have always had upscale shops and restaurants.
57. Black Americans have always been known as African-Americans.
58. They never saw Pat Sajak or Arsenio Hall host a late night television show.
59. Matt Groening has always had a Life in Hell.
60. Salman Rushdie has always been watching over his shoulder.
61. Digital cameras have always existed.
62. Tom Landry never coached the Cowboys.
63. Time Life and Warner Communications have always been joined.
64. CNBC has always been on the air.
65. The Field of Dreams has always been drawing people to Iowa.
66. They never saw a Howard Johnson’s with 28 ice cream flavors.
67. Reindeer at Christmas have always distinguished between secular and religious decorations.
68. Entertainment Weekly has always been on the newsstand.
69. Lyme Disease has always been a ticking concern in the woods.
70. Jimmy Carter has always been an elder statesman.
71. Miss Piggy and Kermit have always dwelt in Disneyland.
72. Americas’s Funniest Home Videos has always been on television.
73. Their nervous new parents heard C. Everett Koop proclaim nicotine as addictive as heroin.
74. Lever has always been looking for 2000 parts to clean.
75. They have always been challenged to distinguish between news and entertainment on cable TV.
Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2006 - 15:02