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Judeophobia

Sometimes they say it better than me…

From Jihad Watch. This is good.

Chloe Valdary concludes this terrific piece by saying, “It is of course your prerogative to continue to utilize platitudes for your cause. You are entirely within your rights to chant words like ‘equality’ ‘justice’ and ‘freedom fighter.’ You can keep using those words for as long as you like. But I do not think you know what they mean.” Indeed. Or maybe they know full well what they mean, and want to confuse and manipulate people into no longer being sure, so they can more easily claim them for themselves.

“To the Students for Justice in Palestine, a Letter From an Angry Black Woman,” by Chloe Valdary, Tablet, July 28, 2014 (thanks to Linda):

The student organization Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is prominent on many college campuses, preaching a mantra of “Freeing Palestine.” It masquerades as though it were a civil rights group when it is not. Indeed, as an African-American, I am highly insulted that my people’s legacy is being pilfered for such a repugnant agenda. It is thus high time to expose its agenda and lay bare some of the fallacies they peddle.

• If you seek to promulgate the legacy of early Islamic colonialists who raped and pillaged the Middle East, subjugated the indigenous peoples living in the region, and foisted upon them a life of persecution and degradation — you do not get to claim the title of “Freedom Fighter.”

• If you support a racist doctrine of Arab supremacism and wish (as a corollary of that doctrine) to destroy the Jewish state, you do not get to claim that the prejudices you peddle are forms of legitimate “resistance.”

• If your heroes are clerics who sit in Gaza plotting the genocide of a people; who place their children on rooftops in the hopes they will get blown to bits; who heap praises upon their fellow gang members when they succeed in murdering Jewish school boys and bombing places of activity where Jews congregate — you do not get to claim that you are some Apollonian advocate of human virtue. You are not.

• If your activities include grieving over the woefully incompetent performance by Hamas rocketeers and the subsequent millions of Jewish souls who are still alive — whose children were not murdered by their rockets; whose limbs were not torn from them; and whose disembowelment did not come into fruition — you do not get to claim that you stand for justice. You profess to be irreproachable. You are categorically not.

• If your idea of a righteous cause entails targeting and intimidating Jewish students on campus, arrogating their history of exile-and-return and fashioning it in your own likeness you do not get to claim that you do so in the name of civil liberty and freedom of expression.

• You do not get to champion regimes that murder, torture, and persecute their own people, deliberately keep them impoverished, and embezzle billions of dollar from them—and claim you are “pro-Arab.” You are not.

• You do not get to champion a system wherein Jews are barred from purchasing land, travelling in certain areas, and living out such an existence merely because they are Jews — and claim that you are promoting equality for all. You do not get to enable that system by pushing a boycott of Jewish owned businesses, shops, and entities — and then claim that you are “against apartheid.” That is evil.

• You do not get to justify the calculated and deliberate bombings, beatings, and lynchings of Jewish men, women, and children by referring to such heinous occurrences as part of a noble “uprising” of the oppressed—that is racism. It is evil.

• You do not get to pretend as though you and Rosa Parks would have been great buddies in the 1960s. Rosa Parks was a real Freedom Fighter. Rosa Parks was a Zionist….

She shoots. She scores. That is serious back of the net.

Sam Harris in Defense of Israel


The truth is, we are all living in Israel. It’s just that some of us haven’t realized it yet.

Not a Sam Harris fan, as I dislike and mistrust militant atheists just as much as other militantly religious or anti-religious folk. Particularly when they seem to believe it’s they themselves to whom the phrase “from God’s mouth to your ear” applies.

But this piece by Mr. Harris is an op-ed that by me deserves great praise, particularly as it probably offends most of his natural audience. (Of course, I don’t agree with every word, nor every implication.) And I know why he put in all those parentheticals: It’s to try and cut off at the pass the obvious accusations with which we’re all too familiar.

Audio at source, from which the following are excerpts. The whole is a fair bit longer, and of course better integrated.

July 27, 2014

Why Don’t I Criticize Israel?

gaza

AUDIO TRANSCRIPT [Note: This is a verbatim transcript of a spoken podcast. However, I have added notes like this one to clarify controversial points.—SH]

The question I’ve now received in many forms goes something like this: Why is it that you never criticize Israel? Why is it that you never criticize Judaism? Why is it that you always take the side of the Israelis over that of the Palestinians?

I have criticized both Israel and Judaism. … I’ve kept some sense of proportion. There are something like 15 million Jews on earth at this moment; there are a hundred times as many Muslims. I’ve debated rabbis who, when I have assumed that they believe in a God that can hear our prayers, they stop me mid-sentence and say, “Why would you think that I believe in a God who can hear prayers?” So there are rabbis—conservative rabbis—who believe in a God so elastic as to exclude every concrete claim about Him—and therefore, nearly every concrete demand upon human behavior. And there are millions of Jews, literally millions among the few million who exist, for whom Judaism is very important, and yet they are atheists. They don’t believe in God at all. This is actually a position you can hold in Judaism, but it’s a total non sequitur in Islam or Christianity.

I certainly don’t support any Jewish claims to real estate based on the Bible. [Note: Read this paragraph again.]

Though I just said that I don’t think Israel should exist as a Jewish state, the justification for such a state is rather easy to find. We need look no further than the fact that the rest of the world has shown itself eager to murder the Jews at almost every opportunity. So, if there were going to be a state organized around protecting members of a single religion, it certainly should be a Jewish state.

[Note: It is worth observing, however, that Israel isn’t “Jewish” in the sense that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are “Muslim.” As my friend Jerry Coyne points out, Israel is actually less religious than the U.S., and it guarantees freedom of religion to its citizens. Israel is not a theocracy, and one could easily argue that its Jewish identity is more cultural than religious. ....]

More civilians have been killed in Gaza in the last few weeks than militants. That’s not a surprise because Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on Earth. Occupying it, fighting wars in it, is guaranteed to get woman and children and other noncombatants killed. ….

Whatever terrible things the Israelis have done, it is also true to say that they have used more restraint in their fighting against the Palestinians than we—the Americans, or Western Europeans—have used in any of our wars. They have endured more worldwide public scrutiny than any other society has ever had to while defending itself against aggressors. The Israelis simply are held to a different standard. And the condemnation leveled at them by the rest of the world is completely out of proportion to what they have actually done. [Note: I was not saying that because they are more careful than we have been at our most careless, the Israelis are above criticism. War crimes are war crimes.]

It is clear that Israel is losing the PR war and has been for years now. One of the most galling things for outside observers about the current war in Gaza is the disproportionate loss of life on the Palestinian side. This doesn’t make a lot of moral sense. Israel built bomb shelters to protect its citizens. The Palestinians built tunnels through which they could carry out terror attacks and kidnap Israelis. Should Israel be blamed for successfully protecting its population in a defensive war? I don’t think so.

there is an obvious, undeniable, and hugely consequential moral difference between Israel and her enemies. The Israelis are surrounded by people who have explicitly genocidal intentions towards them. The charter of Hamas is explicitly genocidal. … [Note: Yes, I know that not every Palestinian supports Hamas, but enough do to have brought them to power. Hamas is not a fringe group.]

The discourse in the Muslim world about Jews is utterly shocking. Not only is there Holocaust denial—there’s Holocaust denial that then asserts that we will do it for real if given the chance. The only thing more obnoxious than denying the Holocaust is to say that it should have happened; it didn’t happen, but if we get the chance, we will accomplish it. There are children’s shows that teach five-year-olds about the glories of martyrdom and about the necessity of killing Jews.

And this gets to the heart of the moral difference between Israel and her enemies. And this is something I discussed in The End of Faith. To see this moral difference, you have to ask what each side would do if they had the power to do it.

The truth is that everything you need to know about the moral imbalance between Israel and her enemies can be understood on the topic of human shields. Who uses human shields? Well, Hamas certainly does.

Consider the moral difference between using human shields and being deterred by them. That is the difference we’re talking about. The Israelis and other Western powers are deterred, however imperfectly, by the Muslim use of human shields in these conflicts, as we should be. It is morally abhorrent to kill noncombatants if you can avoid it. It’s certainly abhorrent to shoot through the bodies of children to get at your adversary. But take a moment to reflect on how contemptible this behavior is. And understand how cynical it is. The Muslims are acting on the assumption—the knowledge, in fact—that the infidels with whom they fight, the very people whom their religion does nothing but vilify, will be deterred by their use of Muslim human shields.

There are reports that Israeli soldiers have occasionally put Palestinian civilians in front of them as they’ve advanced into dangerous areas. That’s not the use of human shields we’re talking about. It’s egregious behavior. No doubt it constitutes a war crime. But Imagine the Israelis holding up their own women and children as human shields. Of course, that would be ridiculous. The Palestinians are trying to kill everyone. Killing women and children is part of the plan. Reversing the roles here produces a grotesque Monty Python skit.

If you’re going to talk about the conflict in the Middle East, you have to acknowledge this difference. I don’t think there’s any ethical disparity to be found anywhere that is more shocking or consequential than this.


The truth is, we are all living in Israel. It’s just that some of us haven’t realized it yet.

Did Charles the Bald help create the West – by accident.

What is the post Roman West? How does it differ from the Roman Empire?

Well, for example, under the Roman Empire the army was a professional force – it was the state.

The warbands of the Germanic chiefs were not the world of the Middle Ages either – the armies of the Middle Ages were Feudal, the King called upon his land holding vassels and they brought their men to his aid (if they were loyal).

They came from their castles – which were neither the state fortresses of the Roman Empire, or the strongholds of independent rulers.

They were something else – privately owned castles. And a King who tried to take land away from such lords – risked (indeed invited) revolt. But it was more than that – a ruler who took land from those who had inherited it invited contempt (people were outraged by what he had done – he was regarded with disgust) – it was a different world from the late Roman Empire.  So the land went down over the generations (over hundreds of years). And other property (including coin) was also held more securely than under Roman law (at least as it was under the late Empire). A ruler in the Middle Ages might rob Jews with impunity (indeed he might win praise for robbing Jews – but Jews had been robbed and slaughtered by Roman Emperors also) – but to rob other Christians (even though they were Merchants, craftsmen or free peasants) invited contempt and open hatred – something that rival rulers might well use against him (or that the, armed, common people might take revenge for themselves).

Jews often did not even carry weapons (rather like Roman “citizens” under the Empire had not carried weapons – because they were not allowed to) – so they were beneath contempt. But however vile the commons were – they (0r at least the free ones) did carry weapons.
Roman Emperors were not limited in what land they could take by Feudal law – Roman law was whatever the Emperor said it was. The Emperor (the state) had a whim – and the intellectuals duely justified it and made it formal law. Roman legal philosophers reconised the concept of natural law (they even accepted that natural law forbad slavery) – but, to them, it had no practical force in the real world (the will of the state trumped it).

And the feudal landholders who led their men to the aid of the King – how did the travel and how did they fight?

On horseback – they were knights. They looked rather like Roman heavy cavarly of the late Empire – but their weapons and armour were not made in state arms factories (they were privately made), and their horses did not come from state stud farms – they were privately bred and owned horses.

Nor was there one great universal Empire – for all the claims of the new “Holy Roman Empire”.

On the contrary there were various Kingdoms, and Grand Dutchies and…… Not the temporary holdings of strongmen, but Kingdoms (and Princedoms and ….) that formally recognised the right of each to exist and to govern themselves.

Certainly they might invade each other – but they were, formally, at least under the same natural law (made by God – not by man). Another King (or Prince or ….) had rights. To put them to death in some savage entertainment would invite outrage.

One had to work hard to invent a good legal reason to invade somewhere else (and it is not automatic that one would come up with something) and if the case was bad then this would have an effect – the Church (an independent force – not a branch of the state as under the Roman Empire) might denounce you, your own lords might decide you had spat upon their honour (by involving them in an unjust war) and on and on.

Certainly wickedness and the slaughter of the innocent continued – but their were risks (and not just the battlefield risks that Roman Emperors understood) there was the risk of practical consequnces from inciting disgust with your conduct (even if the conduct was successful).

Not all Kings (and ….) only pretended to be honourable and uphold the natural law – some actually thought that their sworn word (on the Bible – or not) meant something (in a way that would have astonished someone in the late Roman Empire) – and even those rulers who were utterly cynical (rotten to the core) had to at least pretend to be men of honour upholding the universal law (the true law that they did not write) – and putting on a convincing performance needs certain pratical actions and inactions.

A strange hybid of the old warrior honour code of the barbarians – and the idea of formal law and government of the Romans.

When Papa Franz – the Emperor Franz Joesph last Hapsburg ruler before the First World War refused to go along with hate campaigns against the Jews – because he had given-his-word to treat all subjects equally,  he was dealing with a concept (honour) that his ancestor riding out of Hawk Castle (from which the word “Hapsburg” comes) a thousand years before would have understood.

And his kin – both Habsburg and Bavarian Wittelsbach, risked their lives in the 1930s and 1940s – for people with whom they had nothing in common and whom aiding gave no advantage of power.

The highest ideal of chivalry – the service of the great (service till death) for the weak and helpless, and (the greatest leap of all – and so often failed) service to the alien, to the “other”.

Do I have to explain that a Roman ruler (even after the formal conversion of the Empire to Christianity) would have been utterly baffled by all of this?

The dark side of men (our love of seeing the blood of our enemies cover the ground – as their heads roll in the dirt) is well known. Whether Roman or barbarian we all love cutting the throats of our enemies (show me a man who denies feeling joy, or at least quiet satisfaction, at the dying screams of his enemies – and I will show you a liar). But to risk our own throats – and to risk them for those who are no kin of ours (or connection of ours) – that is something else again. As is showing mercy to enemies who have thrown down their arms – and grasping their hands in friendship at the very moment when they expected torture and death. Rare indeed are those who can match the deeds of Alfred the Great – or his warrior daughter Ethelfleda (or Aethelflaed – perhaps if the lady had a less difficult name she would be feminst icon) the “White Lady of the English”, but in our Walter Mitty way we think ourselves heros – the concept had no real meaning in the late Roman world. The great soldier certainly – but not those who would follow justice for its own sake, and follow it in regard to foes as well as friends.

All the above remained, in part (but it was always only in part), till quite recently.

Tanks may have replaced cavalry (not that Alfred and those who came after him really understood cavarly – indeed Tolkien argued that this lack of understanding led to the terrible events of 1066), but the code of honour remained.

Indeed up to the late 19th century so did the idea (in the British army at least) that an officer shoud not profit from military service – indeed that it should cost him and that he should outfit himself (and sometimes troops) at his own expense.

Colonel Blimp is a mocked figure – but he has his good side. There are things he will not do – and, more importantly, things he will die to save others from.

As even the socialist George Orwell admitted (in despair over the alliance of the National Socialists and the Marxists in 1939) “who now will now step forward to defend civilisation – only Colonel Blimp and the old school tie”.

Stepping forward from his (near bankrupt) country estate – or from his job in the City of London (where “my word is my bond” was the basis of relationships till 1986 – for it was a private club, indeed several different private clubs, not the government regulated entity it has been since 1986) to lead his tanks (or his aircraft) into battle with those who had betrayed civilisation and had declared “my honour is loyality” (thus showing they had no undertanding of what either “honour” or “loyality” really mean under the unversal law) – as if they were fighting raiders and invaders (whether Viking of Barbary corsair) centuries before.

“But what has all this to do with Charles the Bald”.

Well this man was the grandson of Charles the Great – Charlemagne.

Charlemagne is an over rated figure – due to his patronage of intellectuals (he paid for their bread, and their ink and parchment, and they praised him – there is some honesty in that relationship I suppose). He was essentially no good.

He did little to oppose the Islamic invaders of Europe. His campaigns aganst the Eastern pagans (such as the Saxons) were marked by brutality and cruelity (even by the standards of war) he plundered endlessly – and used the plunder buy the loyality of thugs. His campaigns against the pagans may have led the Viking age – both as revenge, but also because he had undermined the Fresians (the traditional check upon the Norse – going right back to Roman days). And he not did spare Christian Realms – as Bavaria was to discover in 788.

And why should he spare Christian lordships? After all Charlemagne believed in the old Roman Empire with himself as a new Constantine (another meglomanic), the Church his faithful servants – and the whole world his domain.

In economic policy to Charlemagne was a (late) Roman.

De facto serfdom (the tax policy of Diocletian that peasants not be allowed to leave their area of birth) was a difficult thing for any neo “Dark Age” administration to enforce (lack of written reconds and so on), but Charlemagne would have had no objection to it. And it is more than this.

In the Christian Church there has always been a great conflict over what a “just price” is – indeed over what “justice” is.

Is a just price one that is voluntarily agreed between buyer and seller?

Or is a “just price” what the state thinks is “fair”.

Just as is justice to each their own – or to each the income and wealth the state thinks “fair”?

No prizes for guessing which side Charlemagne came down on in this debate. The side the late Romans had come down on.

The side of tyranny.

Income and wealth went to who Charemagne thought it fair for them to go to (no better than an Islamic Caliph or a late Roman Emperor).

Prices were what Charlemagne (and his intellectual hangers on – that faction of the clergy that he favoured) thought “fair”. Bavarian law (also written by clerics) came down on the other side (that a just price was a price that the buyer and seller  voluntarily agreed to) – so Charlemagne judgment was not automatic (not predetermined) – he made a choice to come down on the side of tyranny.

A good fighter and a parton of the arts and scholarship – but one can say the same of Constantine (or of many Islamic rulers).

In the world of Charlemagne we are not in the West – not as I have tried to describe its spirit above.

However, under Charles the Bald things changed – partly because Charles the Bald was not a very good soldier.

The Bretons defeated Charles the Bald in great battles, where the outnumbered Breton cavalry followed a war of movement – out flanking the Frankish armies and engaging in hit and run attacks, in the end Charles fled his own army under cover of night, leaving it to its fate.

Charles accepted de facto Breton independence and self government – something that lasted from the 9th century to the 16th century.

And it also established a principle – the new “Empire” (already divided under the sons and grandsons of Charlemagne) was going to be a very different place from the Roman Empire – places could, de facto, secede from it (and rule themselves) and Kings and Emperors would recognise their self government.

The Church also had more independence under Charles the Bald than under Charlemagne. The Bishops were (mostly) loyal to him – but then he desperatly needed their loyality.

Needed it because his kinsman Louis the German invaded his domians and Charles could not raise an army to oppose him (because Charles was an unpopular ruler).

The intervention of the Bishops saved the rule of Charles and he and his kinsman were eventually reconciled (various late Roman heads are exploding at this point – priests preventing a conquest [?] a power struggle not being to the death [?], does not compute – head explodes….). But there was a de facto price for the loyality of the Bishops – if one depends on their independent authority one has accepted that they have independent authority.

Nor were they the only people that Charles the Bald needed – especially as the Viking raids got worse and worse.

In his Edict of Pistes Charles the Bald did conventional things – such as ban trade with the enemy (especially in weapons and horses – selling them to the Vikings was punisable by death). But he also tried to develop his cavalry arm – for only cavalry could move fast enough to oppose raiders (and withdraw fast enough to avoid destruction if they found they were overmatched).

But how to raise this cavalry?

Charles could have tried the late Roman way – paid troops, given equipment from state arms factories and horses from state stud farms.

However, he simply did not have the resources to do that – so he tried something else.

Any private person who had the money to own a horse had to come and fight on horseback – or send someone to fight for him.

This was actually a return to the Classical world (including the old Roman Republic) where rich men had made up the cavarly – either directly, or by paying (personally) for the horse and horseman.

About a thousand years of French chivalry can be dated from this.

True in the 18th century the sacred Blue Cordon (once a group of knights who has sworn that the King would be unharmed till the the blue sashes they wore were turned red by their own blood) had turned into a glorified dining club (translate “cordon blue” into French and you will understand) – part of the general degeneracy that led to the French Revolution.

However, some ghost of the “old France” still remains, even the idea that a bad life can be redeemed by an honourable death that prevents some terrible act of wickedness, and in an intensely personal sense of honour and achievement that can be seen in extreme sports and in exploring.

Charles the Bald tried to ban private castles – but the effort was absurd.

He did not have the resourses to build (and maintain) enough castles of his own (although he did build fortified bridges that may have saved Paris, some years after his death, by holding up the Vikings) and castles were desperatly needed.

So local land holders (one can argue about whether they were officially land “owners” – but they were de facto private landowners, indeed far more so than landowers under Roman Imperial law) built, maintained and manned the castles. They were the first (and often the only) line of defence against raiders – both Viking and Muslim Corsair.

Estate management is a vital skill or any landowner (otherwise the family will go bankrupt – and the land pass to someone better at estate management) – but for centuries in France (and elsewhere) how to ride and how to fight were also vital skills.

It was not till the reign of Louis XIV that the nobility of France became painted toys, with absurd hairdos living in his vast (and rather absurd – its water supply did not work) palace (so different from where Kings of France had traditionally lived – compare Versailles to the Chateau De Vincennes on a visit to Paris). The noblity of France (unlike the nobilty of Britain) lost power and they lost their basic link to the land – they became toys of the Kings (and Louis the XIV aped the Roman Emperors – he was the Sun King) and fell with them. This is, in part, unfair some French noble families resisted the corruption of Versailles – but not enough.

And private castles had long been targeted by the Kings of France – and made useless by the age of gunpowder.

Lastly….

The private landownship (or de facto private landownership), on which everything else (from the idea of limited government to a spirit of personal honour) is based, where did it come from?

It came from the same source – the weakness of Charles the Bald.

He accepted that fiefs of land were hereditary – and not even a King of France could justly take the land of one person and give it to another (this is the foundation upon which modern Western civilisation was built).

It is fashionable to downgrade the importance of the Edict of Quierzy (877).

Modern historians (the same sort who regret the Ottomans not taking over all of Europe centuries later – because the Ottoman despotism was a much more “tolerant” and “progressive” civilisation than the landowner dominated European realms) downgrade the importance of the Edict of Quierzy.

Either they say it was just a restatement of an old principle (as if that makes it less important) or they say it was for selfish motives – to protect the allodial lands of his mother from Louis the German and to win over the support of lords against Louis the German.

That is like saying the Great Charta in England in 1215 was not important – because the basic motivation was to protect the property of barons from the King.

Of course the motivation was selfish. If Charles the Bald could have protected the lands of his mother (without having to call on the aid of others) he would have done so (by the way – where in asiatic despotism, sorry I mean in progressive social justice, is there concern for the large scale private property in land of a women?).

As for winning over Lords by a formal declaration that even a King can not steal their land – or steal it from their children….

It remains a formal declaration that a King can not justly take land – either from adults or their children.

All liberty (including civil liberties) is based upon private property rights – and if the property rights of the great are not respected what hope is there for the property rights of ordinary folk?

The slow (and vastly painful) process of building civilisation – of establishing liberty, depends on such foundations.

Even if they were (in part) built (unintentionally) by the weakness of a 9th century ruler by the name of Charles the Bald.

Ken Livingstone

Has anti Jewish bigotry become mainstream amongst progressives in London? Jews are all rich are they? Money grubbers maybe? Tell me, do they make Passover bread with the blood of Christian children? Poison wells maybe? Or is that sort of claim still a bit extreme for the moment?

Pogrom anyone?

Why is Ken Livingston still a member of the Labour Party?

Australia, 2011

Australia, free, open, tolerant. This is the country where I grew, this is the country I remember.

In the last few months, Andrew Bolt, a journalist prosecuted for expressing an opinion disliked by lefties – he dislikes racial classification laws and thinks they may be being scammed. This gets him compared to NAZIs by people who want to censor him.

Yep, that’s right, that’s Oz today. Supporting freedom of opinion and questioning official, state enforced, racial classification gets you up before the courts and your arguments defeated through the magic of reductio ad Hitlerum by the self righteous and tolerant left.

These are the people who lecture the rest of us on history.

In the last month, fifty academics, many with no skills, training or experience in anything relevant to physics, let alone climate change, cooperated in a letter demanding a university, a centre of learning, debate and open discussion, gag Christopher Monckton and ban him from lecturing on climate change – all in the name of scientific and academic integrity. Yeah, right.

In the last month, a different lot, a pack of lefties named Getup, did manage to intimidate a Brisbane venue, a rugby league club of all places, to cancel a Monckton talk.

In the last month, how about a commercial enterprise punished by government for not being sufficiently sycophantic? The Green and lefty Australian government really doesn’t like Rupert Murdoch. I mean really and truly, they do not like Rupert Murdoch. Is there any other name so garlic to the vampire left throughout the Anglosphere? Can you think of any other explanation for this?

And then, in the last month of course, we have Australian journalists getting truly 1940’s on our collective asses. Richard Glover wants ‘deniers’ to be tattooed so they can be recognised by all for all they are, and Jill Singer, a tolerant and oh so sympathetic lefty, has suggested her own final solution, dealing with everyone who doesn’t agree with her. Ok, so they were talking tongue in cheek, maybe, and they didn’t really really mean that, maybe, they just want people who disagree with them to shut up, maybe. Right? So no Evelyn Hall from them regardless. But, do you think Jill even knows her preferred gas, carbon monoxide, was the first choice of gas for the Einsatzgruppen? You think that, like them, she will graduate to Zyklon B? After all, once you start gassing your opponents you would be amazed how rapidly the number of those opponents rise.

Nice people.

And that’s in the last month.

More from the last month? How about the last week? And we have protests and boycotts of Jewish owned businesses. Of course, they were anti Israeli protests, on the surface anyway, but these days? Who really believes that?

My father spent six years of his life being shot at by people who wanted all of these things, for all of us, forever. Why shouldn’t I judge these people on that basis?

A letter printed a couple of days ago in the Sydney Morning Herald:

The current Israeli government is more responsible for the spread of anti-Semitism worldwide than any ratbag racist groups waving symbols of Germany in the 1930s…

It’s all the fault of DA JOOOOSSS. That’s right, when it comes to exacerbating Jew hatred, world wide, the Israeli government is worse than the NAZIs.This was actually printed, in a major metropolitan newspaper, in Australia, this month. A left wing paper, of course.

You think these people might truly believe they are the first, ever, to blame Jews for their own Jeudophobia? Could they really be that self assured? And that ignorant of history not to understand the company they keep?

How long before we start reading criticisms of rootless cosmopolitans? A bland euphemism with impeccable left wing credentials.

Andrew Bolt writing yesterday:

I never dreamed I’d live in a country in which Jewish businesses were boycotted and blockaded.

The shame. The utter shame.

But then I’d never dreamed, either, that I’d be taken to court for expressing my opinion. Or that a news organisation would be denied a government contact for being politically unsympathetic. Or that news outlets would be banned by government ministers for asking basic questions. Or that academics could protest against free speech.

Quite.

There we have it, Australia, 2011. To reprise Andrew Bolt –

The shame. The utter shame.

It isn’t much, but if the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions crowd are going to protest Max Brenner for being Jewish, the least I can do is immerse myself in a hot chocolate. So I did, today, and a Belgian waffle as well. I’ll do the same tomorrow.

Please join me.

Update:   If I may stereotype, tongue in cheek, for a few minutes; Max Brenner should gladden the heart of any Jewish mother. After a thick hot chocolate and a chocolate soufflé I think I am going into sugar shock.

From Montesquieu to Voltaire – the corruption of the Enlightenment, thanks to Frederick the “Great”.

For centuries two of the standard attacks on the French Revolution have been the related attacks that it took liberty “too far” and that it applied principles rather than practical experience.

I will not, here, explore the debate of whether the above was Edmund Burke’s view of the French Revolution (I will simply say that I do not think that the above is a good description of Burke’s opinion), but I will give my own view.

I have always rejected the above line of attack upon the French Revolution – and for very basic reasons, based upon the opinions of leading Revolutionaries themselves, and what they actually did. Their words and their deeds.

The most often attacked group of Revolutionaries are the Jacobins and their leader Robespierre. Was he a fanatical supporter of laissez faire?

Of course he was not – he was an ardent statist (not a socialist – but no great roll back the state man, quite the contrary). Robespierre supported an active role for the state in economic and social life – the “freedom” he supported was the freedom of “the people” (not individual persons and private associations such as families) and a collective freedom under the wise guidence of a lawgiver (himself – or someone like him).

Nor can one blame “pressures of war” or even the supposedly power crazed nature of Robespierre for the statist nature of the French Revolution. As right from the start (before war and before people like Robespierre were leading figures) its nature was obvious – if one bothered to look at the facts.

The individual acts of murder (such as promising the Governor of Bastille safe conduct and then murdering him when he came out – such was the truth of the “storming” of the Bastille), destruction and plunder in 1789 could be dismissed as the actions of out of control mobs (although the fact that the supporters of the Revolution acted in such a way should have given observers some warning), but the central action of the new government could not be dismissed.

This was to confiscate the property of the church (the largest corporate body outside the state in France) and the issuing of fiat money supposedly “backed” by the stolen lands of the church.

For those people (like the Jacobins) who reject the corporate form (other than in their own clubs of course) and hold that there should be only atomized indivduals and the state, the confiscation of church property will cause few tears to be shed.

After all, no doubt the church had not “justly acquired” the land, or the people who had given the church this land had not “justic acquired” it (after all if one traces back far enough, very little land is “justly acquried” especially if one reverses the burden of proof by demanding that the owner “justify” his ownership or have the property taken by force and fear).

Of course confiscated property that is then sold or given away will soon concentrate in great estates again – if it is allowed to do so.

There have been many “land reforms” (i.e. mass land theft and handing out of land) in Latin America over the last two centuries – and great estates reemerge (if they are allowed to) under new owners. This is because even if everyone starts with the same – some people will soon be rich and some people will soon be poor (that is human nature – which ideological collectivist egalitarians ignore).

However, the French Revolutionaries (at least in theory) intended to keep the church property in the hands of the state and use it is as “backing” for their new currency.

However, land can not be used in this way – there was no need for a new currency anyway (the coinage under Louis XVI was basically sound) and whilst gold or silver can be divided up to make coins, land can not (trying to use land as money is folly).

As Edmund Burke predicted the fiat money of the French Revolution would soon became worthless – it was just printing press “money”.

It is often forgotten that Burke uses vastly more ink in “Reflections on the Revolution in France” denoucing fiat money and property confiscation (confiscated from the church – AND FROM OTHERS) than he does on the abuse of the Queen or anything like that.

But WHY did the Revolutionaries act in this way?

Two reasons – partly their desire to spend lots of money (this is always a desire for politicians – and it leads them down the fiat “easy” or “cheap” money road), and partly because they had no ideological committment to property rights (the bit in the Declaration of the Rights of Man about property sounds good – but when one looks at the wording in detail…..)  – at least not the property of other people (the Revolutionaries were, in the main, not socialists – those who had property themselves were rather keen on defending it).

Indeed there was less respect for private property under the Revolutionaries (even the moderate ones) than there had been under Louis XVI – just as there was less respect for civil liberties (the Bastille had about half a dozen prisoners in it when it was “stormed”, and none of them were there for their political opinions).

For example, under the old regime would-be Revolutionaries openly plotted in certain areas of Paris and the police did not touch them.

Why not? Because these areas were the private property of the Duke of Orleans and it was wrong to enter private property without a warrent. Of course the Duke of Orleans (the richest man in France, yet a radical – a sort of George Soros figure) was financing the Revolutionaries. He would later rename himself “Citizen Equality” and voted for the death of his own kinsman – the weak and well meaning Louis XVI (who went to his death with a courage that surprised his foes, and some of his friends). However “Citizen Equality” later met a bad end – and if there is a future state, kinslayers and oathbreakers have little to hope for in it.

Like “world governance” supporting  Geoge Soros (am I the only person who has read his little book denoucing Hayek and so on? Soros may talk about “the Open Society” but he is not really a supporter of Karl Popper, who was a fiend of Hayek), the French Revolutionaries (in the main) cared greatly for their own lives and goods (Soros bases his operations in the Netherlands Antilles – to avoid the high taxes he demands be imposed on other people) – but did not mind the plunder or murder of other people IF it was for the good of building the new society.

However, WHY did the Revolutionaries think they way they did?

It is normal (among people who get this far) to blame the influence of Rousseau.

Conservatives from Burke to Babbitt have claimed that the French Revolutionaries (unlike the American Founding Fathers) had their opinions warped by the collectivist influence of Rousseau – indeed many would point to the ideas of Rousseau (such as the idea that working for a private employer is a form of a slavery) as the inspiration of totalitarians from Karl Marx to Kevin Carson, and would claim to see the influence of Rouseau in such things as National Socialism and the modern “Green” movement.

I do not argue with the above, but I wish to draw attention to a more mainstream figure – Voltaire himself.

Unlike Rousseau, Voltarie is a main (and mainstream) figure in liberalism. And, indeed, much about him is admirable.

For example, his support for freedom of speech “I disagree with what you say – but I will defend to the death your right to say it” (what libertarian is not moved when he or she hears those words – and we are right to be moved). And his religious tolerance – it should not be forgottent that religous persecution was in decline in the 18th century, but cases of great injustice still occured and Voltarie was right to denounce them.

So why do I claim that Voltarie’s influence (and the influence of the many other intellectuals who followed him) had its dark side?

Partly his economics – Voltarie fully accepted the idea that one nation’s wealth in trade must be the result of the poverty of another nation. A fixed sum of wealth idea in trade (trade as a form of war). And an idea that if it was ever applied internally (to domestic economic matters) would lead straght to the totalitarian evil of state enforced egalitarianism – for if wealth can only be the result of the poverty of others should we not “forbid capitalistic acts between consenting adults”? Should we not follow the path of “land reform” and “communal anarchism” (collectivism with the state renamed “the people”) and “mutalism” (and all the rest of the totalitarian folly)?

Of course Voltarie never took this idea (the idea of trade as war) to these conclusions – but a false idea will be taken to false conclusions. For example, David Ricardo never used the (utterly false) idea of the labour theory of value, to reach collectivist conclusions – but the “Ricardian socialists” did, as did Karl Marx and (inspite of the labour theory of value being shown to be utterly false) collectivists down to our own day.

However, economics was not where Voltaire’s chief negative influence lay – it was in political theory.

Please remember how the 18th century enlightenment started. It started (in its European form at least) with the opposition of Montesquieu (and others) to the policies of Louis XIV – the Sun King.

Montesquieu did not claim that the France of Louis XIV was as bad as the Ottoman Empire (where tyranny went unchecked by such things as great private owned estates of land – protected by fundemental law and out of the reach of the “public power”), but he noted the tendancy towards tyranny in the regime of Louis XIV.

The centralized power (Montesquieu did not favour local tyranny over central tyranny – on the contrary, he understand that decentralized power acts as a check on tyanny by making it less difficult for people to vote with their feet), the undermining of insitutions (both legislative and judcial) that might act as a check on the executive – and the result, ever more taxes and government spending, and ever more regulations covering every aspect of life.

All the traditional checks on the power of the central government (from an independent Church, to provincial autonomy, to the independent nobility) were under threat in the opinion of Montesquieu.

In the words of Edmund Burke some decades later… the power of the monarchy (the central state – it need not mean the person of the king) had increased, was increasing, and ought to be diminished (rolled back).

This was the spritit of the early enlightenment – yes concerned with free speech, relgious tolerance (although Montesquieu, like Burke, was a believer – his was not a tolerance based on INDIFFERENCE, it is easy to be relgiously tolerant if you do not care, but more important if you really do care) and hostilty to things like torture and slavery (Montesquieu was famous for his denouncement of slavery – we pretend that blacks are not human beings, for if we accepted that they were beings endowed with souls by God, we could not claim that we are Christians for we treat  blacks as if they were not human beings).

However, the spirit of the early enlightenment was also a spirit of “traditional liberties” (seeking to recapture them) and a spritit that held that centralized and unlimited power was tyranny – the supreme political evil, that it was the duty of all to work against it.

This is NOT the spirit of the late enlightement – not the spirit of Voltarie and others.

To them centralized and unlimited power was a GOOD thing (not the supreme evil) – it was the way they would be able to reshape all of society to their heart’s desire. I am not claiming that Voltaire and others were like the depraved Fabians (see “the Fabian Window” a stained glass window created by the Fabians themselves, that shows their utter evil much better than any words of mine can), but some of the same “intellectual” spirit is there.

A throwback to Francis Bacon (of “The New Atlantis”) and even to Plato – a view of the intellectual as ruler or as adviser to the ruler. And that government should be centralized and absolute, with no traditional limitations upon its power.

No independent corporate organizations (such as the church), no great private estates, no provicial autonomy, no local customs……

For all his faults this is not really totally the view of Rousseau (who, for example, held that government should be as local as possible – although I doubt that he held that view for vote-with-your-feet reasons, Rousseau would not have been too unhappy with tyranny, as long as it was local tyranny) – it is more the view of Voltarie and his friends.

But WHY?

Why did they turn the spriit of the enlightenment on its head (from freedom to statism) and why did anyone listen to them?

The answer is Frederick the “Great”.

Where Frederick was pro freedom it was because of indifference – not conviction.

He supported religious tolerance – because he had no real religious faith (not because he belevied it was a natural right of free will given by God Himself, as the American Founding Fathers did) – “who cares, it has the same result”, actually whether you support freedom out of indifference or conviction matters a great deal.

Nor was it just religious faith – Frederick is (or should be) famous for saying “let my subjects believe what they like – as long as I can do what I like” but even this cynical view does not get to the heart of his philosophical contempt for freedom.

Frederick did not just have indifference for religion – he was also indifferent to human freedom (to the idea that humans are beings, free will agents, at all) in general. In fact he was a philosophical determinist – who did not see any basic difference (in TYPE) between a human being (not really a “being” in this view of course) and a lump of wood.

It is perfectly possible for a non religious person to be philosophical libertarian (Ayn Rand, not just nonreligous but an athiest, is the obvious example), but Frederick was neither a religous man (although he was not a formal athiest) or a philosophical libertarian.

And Voltarie and the others opposed this evil man? On the contary he was their idol. He was the “enlightened Prince” who would make all their dreams come true.

Why was Frederick so important? Partly because he was truly cultured (he had read their works – always a way to flatter an intellectual) and he loved music and the arts, he could play the flute to a professional standard, and was composer in his own right.

He was also indifferent to traditional aristocratic things – for example he did not chase women (I will not go into the reasons as to why that might be so – or into the CONTESTED claims that it was a factor that led him to the rejection of traditional values, as it is supposed to have done with certain people from the University of Cambridge in the 20th cventury), and he sneared at points of honour.

To an aristocrat (and to a non aristocrat in the Western tradition) force should only be used to defend a point of honour (Montesquieu defined “honour” as the defining feature of a Western monarchy – and what made it different from an Eastern despotism). To the honourable man (or women) force should never be used against the weak or helpless to take their lives or goods – on the contrary it was the duty of the honourable to defend the weak (even if it meant their own deaths).

“My honour is loyality” (the Nazi S.S. line) is, to the tradition of men like Baron Montesquieu (but to non barons also), a total perversion of what the word “honour” means. “I was only obeying orders” is no defence.

On the contrary – the man of honour (aristocrat or not) should oppose “orders” indeed should stand against a whole army on his own, if this is the only way he can defend the lives and goods of the weak or helpless.

Like the title character in the film “El Cid” (the Charlton Heston version) on hearing the words “you are alone and we are many” he should reply “the just man is never alone” and plunge in sword in hand, if this is the only way to free someone who has been unjustly arrested (and if killed, this is just the price of being an honourable man).

Old sickly, Edmund Burke (spectacles and all) knew all of this -  and when faced with the Gordon Riots (in 1780 London) he drew his sword to defend the helpless and (when the rioters backed off – courage was not their stong point) he went quickly to help defend houses under attack from the mob.

However, to Frederick the “Great” honour was just nonsense.

He could point to many cases (to hundred of cases over the centuries) where people had claimed to be honourable – whilst seeking base advantage with the use of violence.

You should not need my help in seeing the flaw in this “argument”.

Frederick wrote the “antiMachiaval” claiming to oppose the cynical power politics associated (perhaps unjustly) with the name of Niccolo Machiavelli. But Frederick admitted that he started the war of Austrian Sucession out of a desire to “make a name for myself” NOT out of a sincere belief that he had an honourable (just) claim to Silesia.

Frederick’s wars led to at least a million deaths – and the country that suffered the most deaths in proportion to its population was Prussia itself. And the only reason that Prussia was not full of cripples after his wars is that Frederick did not spend money on medical care for his soldiers – your chances were bad if wounded in the service of most 18th century armies, but in the Prussian service you were doomed (a man without a leg or an arm was no use to Frederick -  so he would just let you die, remember most humans are not “beings” not free will agents, they are just material like lumps of wood).

Wars that were not motivated by justice – but a desire to make a name for Frederick, wars born of a lust for power.

This was the hero of the intellectuals. And he was a hero because he WON.

His battlefield success mattered to them – not the lack of justice in his cause.

I might point out that had the Empress Elizabeth of Russia lived a little longer Frederick would have been crushed and his Prussia his “army that became a state” (with its nobility that were dependent on government employment – rather than being independent of it) along with him. But that is one of the might-have-beens of history.

Frederick won – and winning (power) is the only thing that impresses some intellectuals (now as well as then). The victory proved, to the intellectuals, that a state bureacracy, if it was honest and hardworking and led by a man of genius (like Frederick – but also like themselves of course), could achieve great things – could create a new great nation (if there could be a new Prussia – why not a new France?).

As for Frederick’s economic opinions – of course they were vile.

Frederick was in the mainstream of German “Cameralist” thought, state guidence of the economy, state education (and so on) were all good as far as he was concerned.

Frederick was only limited in his statism by practical considerations (lack of money) not by any principled anti statism.

It is absurd to compare Federick to the National Socialists – he was not a fanatical racialist and anti semite seeking to exterminate Jews and enslave Slavs (and that is what the Nazis were – anyone who thinks only Hitler was a problem is a fool, the Nazis were a force of basic EVIL, evil that had to be OPPOSED, and those who do not see that are no more historians than they are camels), but it also absurd to make Frederick a hero – to a person of honour, to a person who believes in justice and freedom (the rights of people and private associations to be secure in their bodies and goods) Frederick is nothing of the kind.

But he was the hero of Voltaire and his friends. And the “enlightened government” (whether the enlighted Prince or the enlightened Republic) has been the, STATIST, ideal of many since then – from the French Revolutionaries to own times.

It is not really freedom, not really putting one’s faith in Thomas Reid style “Common Sense”.

To use words from Rousseau – it is more faith in the “lawgiver” in “the General Will” not the “will of all”.

Not the traditional liberties of people (seeking to recapture them – by removing the corruptions of the passing years, seeking to RESTORE liberty, indeed to get to the heart of traditional principles even if this was NOT fully achieved in the past – which is what Montesquieu and Burke and others have tried to do). But rather the liberty of THE STATE – to remake the world (build a “new society”) in line with the “heart’s desire” of those “enlightened ones” who try to control the state. What they call “good sense” (of the elite – although I am, of course, not attacking everyone who has ever used the term “good sense”) rather than (truly) “common sense”.

Of course Thomas Paine himself (the writer of  “Common Sense”) was, especialy in his later years, far more in the second group than the first. A centralizer (not a defender of local autonomy – and voting with your feet), a person who supported religious tolernance out of indifference to religion (not out of committment to religion) and a person who would violate private property if it did not produce the results he wanted – if it did not produce a new society in line with his heart’s desire.

For example, Paine first claimed that getting rid of King George III (and hangers on) would give the money needed for such things as government financed education for most people (of course government financed education is harldy what a pro freedom person should support – as John Locke pointed out almost a century before).  And when it was pointed out to Thomas Paine that his sums just did not add up (that “The Rights of Man – Part II” does not add up) he simply demanded a tax (going all the way to 100%) on private landowners.

In short Paine was not really a libertarian (any more than Voltaire was) – he was quite happy to use government power (unlimited tax and other power) to create the new society he craved. He was (at bottom) no better in this than Frederick the Great or Plato. I am not saying that Paine was a man of blood (as Frederick was), but I am saying his principles were no good.

This cancer at the heart of the late enlightment (the enlightenment of Voltaire and Paine, not Montesquieu and Burke) was, I believe, first noted by John Adams. And modern libertarians (whether in America or elsewhere) could do a lot worse than study the judgements of John Adams – in this and many other matters.

Quote of the Day

All over the world you can see Jewish memorials, Jewish monuments – they’re called cemeteries, in places where once were Jews and now are none. And that’s how anti-Semites like it.

Jews don’t need memorials, they need a living presence.

Mark Steyn

Logo-A-Go-go

This is the logo of the 2012 Olympics in London.

What does it look like to you?

Think about it…
(more…)

Freebird!

I always laboured under the impression that the Israeli Air Force was one of the best in the world…

Saudi Arabian authorities have detained a vulture on suspicion of spying for Israeli intelligence agency Mossad – a charge Israel denies and calls Saudis to release the bird.

In what could spark tensions between the two Middle Eastern nations, Israel has accused Saudi Arabia of detaining a vulture on suspicion of it being a spy of the Jewish nation and urged Riyadh to release it soon.

Saudi Arabia has claimed that the bird was a spy working for Israeli intelligence agency – Mossad – a charge vehemently denied by the Jewish state.

Well, actually a secular state but whatever…

Meanwhile, Saudi residents and local media see this as a link to a “Zionist plot” since the large bird was carrying a GPS transmitter, which had tag that bore the Tel Aviv University’s identification code R65.

Oh, an R65! The very worst sort of Zionist bird! For fuck’s sake do the Saudis know how fucking pathetic they look? Would it be shocking for me to suggest the bird was tagged by Israel’s answer to Bill Oddie as part of an ecology research program? Anyway, it’s a vulture, not a true raptor so what the fuck the Saudis have their dish-dashas in a muddle over is beyond me. The distinction was explained to me at an owl sanctuary in Cumbria – presumably by a Mossad agent.

There is a serious point to this. Every now and again some facepalm story like this crops up in the Islamosphere. Whether it is the Teddy of Terror or the Vulture of Doom doesn’t matter. Birds you see have this ability, one might almost say a defining ability, which is flight. They fly. It is what they do. You want my take on this? The Saudis are trying to sound full-on Islam and despite the obvious facts are prepared to make utter bearded-tits (that’s Bill Oddie again) of themselves because they were ashamed by wikileaks which suggested they would not be averse to somebody (not them, obviously, for they are profoundly gay) bombing Iran. A load of F-15s, Tornado and Typhoon and a nutjob on the other side of the Gulf and all they can do is whistle Dixey out of their arseholes and (of course) blame Israel for inflicting upon them a bird. It is so Islamic. How the fuck does a polity of over a billion people manage to feel so inferior that it has to make drivel like this up and believe it? It really is that dismal. It’s sad. They can’t create, they can’t build so they make shit like that up and hike off to blow something up. Every misfortune of the Ummah, all billion-plus of them, is the fault of like 20 million front-wheels. Sad pathetic, dismal bastards. The last time someone wanted to seriously crimp my style it was 60-odd million Germans with a top-notch air force, not, and I repeat this, a fucking bird. Some kid in Kent with his Gramp’s BB-gun would have seen to that. As it happened the Krauts made a reasonable fist of it not like these twatters who are on their tit-ends being wheel-barrowed by deranged lunatics with beards you could lose an urban fox in. Even urban foxes are a Zionist conspiracy. You see something rootling through your bin in Mecca, it’s the four-wheels behind it I tells ya Ahmed! It’s not a fox, it’s a Mossad fox! Oh please do fox off! This is utter and supremely unmitigated shit.

It is an inferiority complex. They bought a crap religion and can’t take it back. They have two choices. Either they realize Muhammed was a balls to the wall fraudster and a generalised cunt and they call it a day and just have a pint or they carry on in increasing levels of derangement. They could even put the sodding bird on trial. “Are you a Jewish agent of the Zionist Entity?”, “Cark!”, “I think that testimony speaks volumes so the case for the prosecution rests”. Pathetic dismal cunts. I’d like a vulture in my garden – wouldn’t you? And if I clocked the tag I’d be on the horn, “Ari, me old china, I reckon we got one of yours… It’s a bit bitey. Oh fuck! It really is bitey!”

But seriously. The entire Furor Islamicus is based upon the fact that they sincerely believe they are Allah’s chosen but they look around them and see us (and like China) and how much more magnificent we are. How could Allah be so cruel? You had to go tee-total for that Empire of dirt? Perhaps because He doesn’t exist but that can’t be countenanced by the believers so it is all the fault of the yids – has to be the fault of someone natch? The entire faith is built on victimhood which is ironic seeing as Christianity is built on nothing but (and a hint of hellenism), but it took those foundations and created… Voyager 1 is in the heliosheath as I type. So basically do fuck off, Islam. There is an un-hijabed women on that bird and it’s past Neptune and doing 38,000 mph (it is not coming back). There is a fully nude lady on Pioneer so doubly fuck off. Intercept as many Zionist vultures as you like because the rest of us live in the real universe and the aliens will hear a welcome from Jimmy Carter and Kurt Waldheim (Sagan didn’t think this through did he?). Should have been Clint Eastwood.

We have sent stuff beyond Neptune carrying the music of Chuck Berry and Bach. Bach is boasting but fuck that! We did something – we insured our culture by firing it on a Titan IIIE to the stars. We launched a message to the cosmos. What the fuck have they done? They boast they have the direct line as to how to live life on Earth. Obviously that is majestic and they can avoid pork scratchings ’till the cows come home because on December 17th 1903 at Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina we kinda gave up on just that caper. The Saudis can keep the bird because the infinite skies belong to me and the F-16I Sufa. That is the storm that I believe in.

The rest is rot and bearded twat bothering.

“Egyptian official” jumps the shark

Almost literally.

Disclaimer: Counting Cats in Zanzibar cannot be held responsible for damage to keyboards or monitors caused by beverages expelled from readers’ facial orifices upon reading linked articles.

Judeophobia

From Harrys Place: the BBC on the nature of anti-Semitism.

“Given that the principle of the Jewish state would be defended to the death by most if not all Jewish Israelis, to call for the dismantling of the Jewish state is to encompass the possibility of the wholesale death of its Jewish population. And if one can contemplate that with equanimity, one’s cold-heartedness puts one in the company of antisemites even if it doesn’t qualify one as an antisemite.”

Abolition of Israel? I would take this argument one step further. What other state faces calls for it’s abolition? During the height of the cold war were there any common mainstream demands that Russia be abolished? Or even the Soviet Union? Is there any country in Africa, the Americas, Asia or Oceania which faces constant outside demands it be abolished?

What is it about Israel that makes it the only country who’s abolition can be demanded? It’s Jewish nature?

I will rephrase the quotation, when it comes to the abolition of Israel, if one can contemplate that with equanimity, one’s cold-heartedness doesn’t simply put one in the company of antisemites, it provides proof positive that one is fully qualified as an antisemite.

Only Israel

 

The world cares nothing for Jewish blood.

UN

Remember Claire Short’s claim about how only the UN has moral authority to distribute aid following the tsunami? You know, when she implied that she would rather see people starve than the US providing support? Back when the US and Australia jumped in to help while the UN and EU sat there with their collective thumbs plugging their arses?

Here’s yet another example of that great moral authority in action.

This will not work.

It starts well.

Gaza’s misery does not make Israel safer. Peace is impossible until the blockade is lifted and people can regain their dignity.

Agreed. The question is who is making Gazans miserable? Is it their neighbours or is it the Islamist gang who have ceased control of the place and are using it essentially as a base to wage terrorism from? I suspect it is overwhelmingly the later and if this means Israel must intensify the misery and therefore the resentment of Abdul Q Gazan then that is a feature and not a bug for Hamas.

Israel rightly boasts a fine education system and world-class universities; next door, many children are denied basic schooling. Why? Because the conflict has led to the destruction of many school buildings, and the blockade denies Gaza the bricks and cement it needs to rebuild them or to replace the ruins that litter the countryside. The blockade hurts ordinary people, prevents reconstruction and fuels radicalism.

Does anyone honestly think Hamas will get their shipments of building materials and build schools? Nope it will be fortifications and bunkers. Anyway, keeping the populace in ignorance is another feature and not a bug. An educated populace might ask questions… I must re-iterate that Hamas are Islamists and Israel is just target one and Islamists don’t like education. Note that Hamas control all media in Gaza and use it primarily for propaganda. Especially kids TV shows. Remember that mouse character that on a kiddie show was tortured to death by the IDF? It’s not exactly Iggle Piggle is it?

But the blockade is not completely effective. Many goods are smuggled in through illegal tunnels, including rockets that are used to target Israel. Goods are destined not for those in need, but for those with money and clout. Far from improving civil society, these tunnels degrade it further.

The treatment of cancer is not always completely effective either – should we stop training doctors? And does the author honestly think that if Hamas had a higher import capacity it would use it all for food and medicines, maybe patio furniture and soft toys as well? Pull the other one! More rockets!

Meanwhile, as I saw for myself, normal, decent people, denied the chance to lead normal lives, become progressively more resentful.

Yes, obviously but they are blaming the wrong people! It’s like North Korea. They blame the US Imperialists for their woes. The answer lies much closer to home. It so often does.

Two questions arise. How can we improve the daily lives of the people of Gaza? And how can we enhance the security of the people of Israel? These questions must be answered together, for any attempt to answer them separately is doomed to fail.

Might I humbly suggest that the only answer to both starts with the overthrow of Hamas? That’s an absolute requirement. But they were democratically elected, Nick!. Well, one wonders how “democratic” it was… At our recent election I didn’t see anyone on the stump totting an assault rifle in a threatening manner. And it was hardly democratic to storm the Fatah building and start defenestrating the vanquished political foe afterwards was it? That’s medieval at best. For democracy to work some semblance of civilization must underpin it.

That is why I am seeking to reopen the crossings into Gaza, permanently, for humanitarian aid, commercial goods and civilians to and from Gaza. This is what the United Nations Security Council and the European Union have demanded; it is also what Israel agreed with the Palestinian Authority in 2005.

“Civilians” going in and out of Gaza have a habit of going Kaboom! on buses and in cafes. Quite what any of this conceivably has to do with the EU anyway is also beyond me. And as to the 2005 agreement. Fine if Hamas hadn’t kicked off again. But they did.

On my trip to Gaza I bought some fabulous handicrafts made by remarkable women who have overcome daunting conditions; I want an end to the ban that prevents their world-class rugs and scarves and ornaments being sold and enjoyed around the world.

Nobody minds the rugs and handicrafts being exported. If those rugs are that fine I might even be tempted to get one myself. But what else would they export? Note “remarkable women”. What would the men export? Not fruit and veg from the Zionist market gardens they trashed so nihilistically when Israel finally withdrew. The men will be exporting rockets, terror and murder.

Today I shall chair a meeting of the 27 Foreign Ministers of the European Union.

Bully for you. I hope some of them aren’t as naive as you. [collapses in giggles].

We shall examine a practical plan to allow the people of Gaza to bring in what they need. Instead of a list of a very restricted number of products, there should be a short, agreed list of prohibited goods about which Israel has legitimate security concerns. The European Union has trained staff on the ground who could help to implement this at Gaza’s border, letting permitted goods through and keeping banned goods out.

But it isn’t practical. This is the EU bunging them aid, right? The more aid Gaza gets the more it doesn’t have to do anything economically to the purpose which means they have more time to practice the Palestinian national sport of amateur rocketry.

Finding an agreed way to lift the blockade will not be easy. It needs the co-operation of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

That is a serious suggestion! Wow! Hamas have in their foundational charter as a key article their commitment to the total destruction of Israel. That’s like saying if we could’ve just got that nice Mr Hitler and that Nice Mr Churchill round the table in 1940… Coming from “the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy” that is staggering.

However, success would be a real prize for the cause of peace. It would certainly restore some normality in Gaza.

Yes, it would be a real prize for peace. And I wouldn’t mind winning the Lotto jackpot either. Utter wishful thinking and worse than that Hamas will see it as a partial victory, a concession and then they’ll want more whilst still doing the same old because that is normality in Gaza. Normality is hatred and war and staggeringly high unemployment. It’s not buying trinkets and rugs in the market you know. That’s for senior EU officials.

That, in turn, could pave the way to a serious peace settlement that is the only certain way to prevent further loss of life on either side.

Palestine must have more road maps by now than the Automobile Association!

We know what the elements for a lasting peace are. The time has come to start bringing them together.

Do you? Been gazing in the Plantir again? Actually that is unfair. I actually know. It is getting Hamas out and a government that actually wants peace. It’s that simple. And can we please forget the “two state solution”. Tying together two geographically separated Islamic entities with different economies and of different sizes has been tried before and it ended in tears. Three states might just work. Might

“We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us”.
-Golda Meier.

I don’t know when Mrs Meier said that but she died in 1978.

Flotilla Choir

Seems the Israeli government have been pussied into apologising for circulating it.

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