We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

"Carr ... Offers No Criticism of ... a 'Palestinian Lobby' While Acknowledging The Lobbying of ... Arabs on Australia's Foreign Policy"

In an op-ed entitled (should you wish to google it) "A great read with deeply troubling insights into the mind of Carr and his Israel-lobby obsession"  published in yesterday's The Australian newspaper, Gerard Henderson, executive director of the Sydney Institute and a longtime friend of Israel, has offered his thoughts on Bob Carr's Diary of a Foreign Minister, which he considers "very much the real Carr".


And in so doing he's told of an incident that sheds further light on Carr's negative attitude towards Israel, and suggests that it began earlier than often thought.

The incident in question occurred in the immediate wake of 9/11, when Carr was premier of New South Wales.  Ken Burns, the American documentary film maker (his output includes the acclaimed The Civil War, which had been shown on Australian television), was due to present the prizes at a dinner marking the annual event known as The Premier's History Awards.

Reveals Henderson:
"...The date was September 17, 2001....
It turned out that Burns was a last-minute scratching from the event. It was around a week since al-Qa’ida’s terrorist attacks on the US on September 11, 2001. Air transport from the US had been disrupted.
Moreover, word got around the audience that Burns was not keen on flying in the wake of what Americans term 9/11.
At the start of the dinner Carr came over to talk to me. I expressed commiserations that his guest Burns was a non-starter. To my surprise, Carr seemed quite shaken by the 9/11 attack.
He said to me that he had now come to the conclusion that the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 had been a mistake.
Carr stated his belief that the Arab world would never accept the creation of a Jewish state and that Islamists would continue to target Western nations.
From around late 2001, I noticed a change in Carr’s attitude towards Israel."
Henderson, inter alia, makes the excellent point that Carr's book contains "numerous references" to the importance, particularly in Sydney's western suburbs, to the Arab Muslim votes, and that while he  'is ready to bag what he terms the “Israel lobby” in Australia and to identify ... AIJAC figures ... as allegedly exerting improper influence' he 'offers no criticism of such an entity as a “Palestinian lobby” while acknowledging the lobbying of Muslims and non-Muslim Arabs on Australia’s foreign policy towards the Middle East'.

(For many years the Palestinian representative in Australia was Ali Kazak, whose vigorous lobbying efforts were often in the limelight; see also here)

Henderson believes the book
"indicates that Carr is somewhat unhinged in so far as Israel is concerned. He cannot accept that [Julia] Gillard’s long-time support for Israel reflects her real position...."
Hat tip: reader Ian

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Brandeis University, Islamic Misogyny, & Leftwing Hypocrisy: Chesler & Glazov have Wolf for breakfast

American author Naomi Wolf  became an immediate star in the talk show firmament upon the publication in 1991 of her first book, The Beauty Myth, and has written a number of feminist tomes since then, including the widely derided Vagina: A New Biography.

When Al Gore was running for the White House in 2000 she was hired as his consultant at a salary rumoured to be $15,000 a month.

In 2008, following a visit to the Middle East, this feminist declared:
".... The West interprets veiling as repression of women and suppression of their sexuality. But when I travelled in Muslim countries and was invited to join a discussion in women-only settings within Muslim homes, I learned that Muslim attitudes toward women's appearance and sexuality are not rooted in repression, but in a strong sense of public versus private, of what is due to God and what is due to one's husband. It is not that Islam suppresses sexuality, but that it embodies a strongly developed sense of its appropriate channelling - toward marriage, the bonds that sustain family life, and the attachment that secures a home....
.... I put on a shalwar kameez and a headscarf in Morocco for a trip to the bazaar. Yes, some of the warmth I encountered was probably from the novelty of seeing a Westerner so clothed; but, as I moved about the market - the curve of my breasts covered, the shape of my legs obscured, my long hair not flying about me - I felt a novel sense of calm and serenity. I felt, yes, in certain ways, free. ..."
For these remarks she was (as outlined in this disparaging piece here) ably taken to task by another feminist, Professor Phyllis Chesler, who was once married to an Afghan and experienced first-hand Islamic oppression of women.

And now, in what some observers see as a grudge-match, Naomi Wolf has attacked Phyllis Chesler for the latter's condemnation of Brandeis University for its decision not to award Ayaan Hirsi Ali a degree after all.

Phyllis Chesler has the full story of Naomi Wolf's snide and snotty attack on her (and her Zionism) here (be sure to read it!), and concludes:
"Unlike Wolf, I view the burqa as a sensory deprivation isolation chamber and as such, a violation of human and woman’s rights. I was once held captive in purdah in Kabul. The polygamous family which isolates and sequesters women is totally against freedom for women. While I enjoy all-women company just as much as Wolf does, I would never enjoy it if it was the only company I was allowed to keep.
Naomi: I challenge you to address the issues. Do you agree with the Brandeis signatories and also believe that women on the Brandeis campus are as endangered as women in Iran, perhaps in Evin Prison are? As endangered as child brides in Afghanistan or genitally mutilated girls in Indonesia? As endangered as the 100 girls just scooped up by an Islamist paramilitary group in Nigeria to be their sex slaves? As endangered as a girl who wants to choose her husband is in parts of India? As endangered as a girl who wants an education in Pakistan or who insists on driving her car in Saudi Arabia? Do you believe that the face veil and the burqa are religious choices, or “sexy” and mysterious? Even if girls and women who refuse to wear them are honor killed by their families for this very reason?"  [Emphasis added]
Jamie Glazov, in a must-read no-punches-pulled article on the subject, absolutely nails it when he observes:
"Wolf’s attack on Chesler is an extension of the collision that occurred between the two a few years back, after Wolf went on a political pilgrimage to the Muslim world and returned singing the praises of the burqa. Chesler dismantled Wolf’s embarrassing fairy tales of the female gulag that Islam has constructed for nearly a billion women with such precision that one wonders why Wolf is now even bothering to step back into this mismatch. Unlike Wolf, Chesler is a true scholar of Islam and as the former bride of a Muslim in Afghanistan, she has first-hand experience of the horrors of Islamic gender apartheid.
Naomi Wolf is a sad emblem of the pathetic state of the Left and of its pseudo feminist wing: ignorant, arrogant, bigoted, anti-Semitic, anti-American and an embarrassing fifth column for the Islamic barbarians of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas."
 Meanwhile, in a humdinger of an article, conservative theorist Roger Scruton observes:
"....I am not in favour of the growing habit among universities of awarding honorary degrees to politicians, CEOs and celebrities, merely in order to gain status for themselves or to illustrate their political correctness. An honorary degree ought to reflect the recipient’s achievements in the intellectual sphere, when these achievements are either great in themselves, or an expression of a life informed by public spirit and lived on behalf of the rest of us. It gave me great pleasure, therefore, when Ayaan Hirsi Ali was awarded an honorary doctorate by Brandeis University – to be conferred precisely now, at the first anniversary of the Boston bombings. What better way to show that we stand for something, that we believe in ourselves and the people who are prepared to make sacrifices on our behalf? The intellectual life as we know it and as our universities are obliged to endorse it, is a life in freedom, in which the dissenter is protected against every orthodoxy that would seek to suppress him. To honour Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose battle on behalf of intellectual freedom has awoken so many of us to its value, is to show, as all universities should show, a commitment to the true life of the mind.
The award was all the more gratifying in that Brandeis university, founded in 1948, and named in honour of Louis Brandeis (1856-1941), the first Jewish Justice of the US Supreme Court, has made a point of offering a non-sectarian education under the sponsorship of the local Jewish community. It is a valued and civilising presence in the Boston area and in the intellectual life of Massachusetts. The award of this degree at this critical and anxious time made a clear statement, on behalf of the values that Ayaan Hirsi Ali has defended in her distinguished and beautifully written books. What better way of expressing our solidarity with the victims of the Boston bombing?
Inevitably, of course, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) protested. Hadn’t a death sentence been passed on this troublesome woman? Wasn’t she guilty as an apostate, and hadn’t she spoken out against the society that created her and to which her allegiance was owed? Wasn’t all this stuff about the rights of women really ‘Islamophobia’? Knowing the sanctimonious clap-trap with which CAIR masks its contempt for the American idea of freedom, I was not surprised by this. But when I learned that 85 of the 350 members of the faculty at Brandeis had, in response, signed a petition calling for the award to be rescinded, on the grounds that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a purveyor of ‘hate speech’, and that her presence would make Muslim students ‘uncomfortable’, I recognized the real problem that we now confront, which is not Islam, but the liberal mind-set.
We are embroiled in an existential conflict, for which innocent people in the West are paying with their lives.  Liberals tell us that ‘we’ are to blame for this conflict and not those who attack us. When someone flees to the West, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali did, in order to say ‘not so, it is they who are to blame’, instead of welcoming her many among us wish to turn her away. For her message is a threat to our complacency.  No one could possibly want to attack us, the liberals insist, since we are so obviously nice – at least, the liberals among us. Our enemies are not those who threaten Western civilisation, but those who defend it, since their words are a ‘provocation’ and their presence an affront. Thus is blame redirected from the aggressor to the victim, and the duty to defend our inheritance turned into a duty to reject it.
To my chagrin Brandeis University caved in to this petition, and the offer of an honorary degree has been rescinded. This great university, created by American Jews in order to pass on the values of Western civilisation, has chosen instead to betray them."
Read the whole of Roger Scruton's article here

"As For The Indian Businesses You Bomb Them; As For The Jews You Kill Them" (video)

That's an example of Islamic extremism in Britain cited by lawyer Gavin Boby, addressing the Australian Q Society last week on the impact of rape jihad and of multi-mosque building on traditional British freedoms and values and what he and like-minded individuals are doing about such encroachments.


Hat tip: Vlad Tepes blog

Friday, 18 April 2014

"Had Israel Cared To Listen To Me ... Would Kerry Be Pushing Israel To Give Up All of Judea and Samaria Today?"

"Jordan has always been the homeland for the Palestinians ....The only thing that is not Palestinian in Jordan is the King!"

Here's Jordanian intellectual and dissident Muhdar Zahran, a political exile in London, in conversation with Canadian broadcaster Michael Coren back in 2012.

Muses Muhdar Zahran (whom we've met before on this blog) on Facebook now:
"Had Israel cared to listen to me three [sic] years ago, would Kerry be pushing Israel to give up all of Judea and Samaria today?"

Pamela's Easter Message

That slippery chap, British prime minister David Cameron, has been addressing a gathering of practising Christians in Britain.

The Church Times gives his speech verbatim; here's part of it:
 "....Some people feel that in this ever more secular age we shouldn't talk about these things. I completely disagree. I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organisations, and, frankly, more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people's lives.
First, being more confident about our status as a Christian country does not somehow involve doing down other faiths or passing judgement on those with no faith at all. Many people tell me it is easier to be Jewish or Muslim in Britain than in a secular country precisely because the tolerance that Christianity demands of our society provides greater space for other religious faiths, too.
Crucially, the Christian values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, and love are shared by people of every faith and none - and we should be confident in standing up to defend them.
People who, instead, advocate some sort of secular neutrality fail to grasp the consequences of that neutrality, or the role that faith can play in helping people to have a moral code. Of course, faith is neither necessary nor sufficient for morality.
Many atheists and agnostics live by a moral code - and there are Christians who don't. But for people who do have a faith, that faith can be a guide or a helpful prod in the right direction - and, whether inspired by faith or not, that direction or moral code matters...."
The Jewish Chronicle  has duly extracted the part of the speech that it considers relevant to Anglo-Jewry, and a hardcore Israel-hater has called attention to it on his Facebook page.

 A keen follower of his, who is also a Facebook friend of Stephen Sizer, has responded:


Other Facebook posts over recent weeks from the same lady (is she, by any chance, the Pamela Hardyment whose intemperate letter to an arm of the Board of Deputies in 2007 features here?) include:

 

Not posts that reflect Christian love and mercy, are they?

Does Stephen Sizer (who as I've observed before really ought to be more discerning regarding the company he keeps on Facebook) really want such a lady as a Friend?

A Coptic Activist on a Manufactured Excuse to Vilify Israel in Egypt

From Dr Ashraf Ramelah, founder and president of the non-profit human rights organisation The Voice of the Copts, comes the following not uninteresting piece, entitled "Holy Pascha visits to Jerusalem cause Copts to lose Holy Sacrament":
 'While Jews around the world celebrate Passover, Christians from Egypt visit the Holy Land for their week of Holy Pascha (the Passion of Christ). For this pilgrimage, Egyptian Christians (Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelic) leave Cairo by the thousands on daily flights to Jerusalem. Egypt’s airlines have increased departures to 12 flights per week from the normal four, delivering triple the visitors to Israel for the occasion – an expected annual spike in travelers. In spite of the regularity of this normal event, rumors vilifying Israel propagate throughout the Egyptian press.
On Sunday, April 13, one Arab news website, Elaph, alluded to an Israeli government ploy by reporting [that] sources in Egypt’s travel industry [are] worried that Israeli visas issued for Easter travel are really intended for another “mass” immigration of Copts to Israel. These fears stem from earlier waves of Christian emigration which increased during the Morsi era. However, now their cause for concern is based upon an approximate total of 10,000 Christian travelers – hardly a number to alarm the Islamic establishment.
It is doubtful that Egypt’s ruling class views as disagreeable a potential exodus of Copts. It is more likely to be encouraged if not fostered as in the evacuation of Jews from Egypt during the Nasser era. Currently, focusing on such “news” creates an opportunity to criticize and condemn imaginary offences by Jews and the Israeli government.
Meanwhile, Orthodox Copts will deal with negative consequences upon return from Jerusalem. Church hierarchy is irritated by the pilgrimages to Israel and stresses that Orthodox Christians are in violation of a 1978 edict issued by the late Pope Shenuda III forbidding visits to the Holy Land until Jerusalem is “liberated.”
In a political alignment with Arab-Muslims, the anti-Semitic edict disregards Christian doctrine connecting the history of today’s New Testament Church to the prophecies and promises of the Hebrew texts. The former Pope, departing from his true spiritual role to mix in politics, attached severe religious penalties for disobeying his edict which has not yet been rescinded by the current Pope. The legacy of Pope Shenuda III derived from his famous refusal to accompany President Sadat in November of 1977 on the President’s historic visit to Jerusalem. Subsequent to this incident, the Pope issued a church edict prohibiting the Orthodox to visit the Holy Land and threatened travelers with a loss of blessings.
Whereas Pope Tawadrous II, current head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, has not reversed Pope Shenuda’s edict for the more than 80 percent of the 23 million Christians living in Egypt, Egyptian Copts of the Evangelical and Catholic denominations do not face this problem. Their leaders regard travel to Israel with approval of the normalization process between Egypt and Israel following the 1977 Camp David Peace Treaty.
As Islamist regimes of the Middle East slaughter Christians such matters have never prompted punitive edicts from the Pope, which in fact, could save lives. Instead, Christian forgiveness is applied along with “turn the other cheek” toward those who harm you – your enemy. In terms of the 1980 Egyptian Orthodox Holy Synod decree still maintained by Orthodox leaders, Israel is the enemy occupier of Jerusalem, “the Palestinian people are still suffering from the ravages of the Israeli occupation and oppression,” and accordingly, their “Arab brothers” are innocent in this regard. If such is the vision, then logic begs the question, why not forgive the “enemy,” Israel, retract the edict and decree and allow Christians to visit in the spirit of the other cheek turned.'

Thursday, 17 April 2014

They Hang Women, Don't They?

Is there any sight more despicably hypocritical than a left-liberal paying obeisance to Islamo-fascism and betraying Western liberal values as a result?

Consider this extract from a letter that 87 faculty members at Brandeis University sent to president Frederick Lawrence, successfully imploring him to overturn the university's commitment to honour one of the most courageous female public figures in the world?
"Please know that, like Ms. Hirsi Ali, we fully recognize the harm of forced marriages; of female genital cutting, which can cause, among other public health problems, increased maternal and infant mortality; and of honor killings. These phenomena are not, however, exclusive to Islam.
The selection of Ms. Hirsi Ali further suggests to the public that violence toward girls and women is particular to Islam or the Two-Thirds World, thereby obscuring such violence in our midst among non-Muslims, including on our own campus.... We cannot accept Ms. Hirsi Ali's triumphalist narrative of western civilization, rooted in a core belief of the cultural backwardness of non-western peoples."
Note, if you will, the neglect in the first quoted sentence to acknowledge the fact that female genital mutilation is a crime against the person of the female herself: note the fact that the signatories, to their shame, consider only the effects of the practice on "public health" in the form of its possible deleterious effects on the mutilated female in childbirth, and upon her infant.

It is almost as if the signatories do not consider a female at risk of that barbaric Third World procedure an individual in her own right, as if by some strange osmosis they are projecting primitive misogynistic Third World attitudes towards women onto the females of such "cultures".

Note, too, the dismissive attitude to "honor" killings (yes, inverted commas around that word "honor" should be de rigueur in all politically correct circles, since malecentric femicide is what these killings represent, based on the concept of women as infantile and inferior chattels of their male relatives.

Ah, but what is that document if not an example of the cultural relativist's sophistry, an insistence that all cultures are as good, or perhaps I should say as bad, as each other? 

In my previous post I mentioned, inter alia, the plight of an Iranian woman who is due to be hanged in that hellhole for the female of the species (see this article on the execution of Iranian women), and now comes word that another women is in danger of the Iranian noose:
'Roya Nobakht, 47, presently being detained as a political prisoner in Iran, may face execution for insulting Islam. She has lived in Stockport, England with her husband for the last six years and holds dual British-Iranian citizenship.
Her husband, Daryoush Taghipoor, has stated that his wife was arrested while visiting a friend at Iran's Shiraz airport last October for comments she had made on a Facebook group calling the government of Iran "too Islamic." According to a copy of her charge sheet seen by the UK's Independent [newspaper]; she was transferred to Tehran and charged with "gathering and participation with intent to commit crimes against national security and insulting Islamic sanctities"-- crimes punishable by death.
In an interview, Mr. Taghipoor told the Manchester Evening News that "his wife is not well at all...she has lost three stones [42 lbs]… and is scared that the government will kill her." He also said that a confession had been extracted from his wife "under duress." As is well documented, torture is systematically used by Iranian authorities to obtain confessions from political dissidents and even from some common prisoners....'
 The report continues:
'Ms. Nobakht's fears are not unfounded. Iran's persecution of expatriates is nothing new. The first known case was that of Ms. Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist who died under torture in 2003 while in custody. Ms. Zahara Bahrami, a Dutch-Iranian, was hanged in 2011....
 Ms Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist who had left Iran in 1974, returned in 2003 to cover a story about Iran. She was soon arrested and detained in Evin prison on charges of espionage. As Iran does not recognize dual citizenships, Ms. Kazemi was not allowed representation by Canadian authorities. She later died in custody. The Iranian officials claimed she had died as a result of a stroke but refused to return her body to Canada. In 2005, however, Dr. Shahram Azam, a doctor with the Iranian security forces who had examined Ms. Kazemi's half-dead body, fled Iran. He testified that the victim's body showed extensive signs of torture administered over a few days. The notes from his medical journal include a crushed toe, broken fingers, missing finger nails, broken ribs, a skull fracture, severe abdominal bruising, marks of flogging on her back and feet, extensive damage to the genitals and peculiar deep scratches on her neck. She was 52 years old and the first victim of the Islamic regime's war of terror on Iranians holding dual citizenship.... '
 Read more here

The last woman to be hanged in Britain went to the gallows in 1956; she was a criminal's moll and had been involved in a murder.  Her name was Ruth Ellis, and the left-liberals of the day were up in arms; their campaign against capital punishment, spearheaded by the Labour MP Sydney Silverman, succeeded in 1965.

I wonder how many of the left-liberal brigade will be up in arms over the fate that in all likelihood  awaits Roya Nobakht.

In the United States opponents of the death penalty (abolished in some states, but not in others) like to say that it is "cruel and unusual punishment".

What, I wonder, do the Brandeis University cultural relativists who signed that despicable faculty letter make of Iran's penchant for sending people to the gallows, including women?

Will they, and others of their ilk, consider it "cruel and unusual punishment"?

Or, seeing as it's based on Islamic injustice justice, will they merely shrug and say:
"We cannot accept [a]triumphalist narrative of western civilization, rooted in a core belief of the cultural backwardness of non-western peoples"