Sunday, November 30, 2008
The Olmert Doctrine
now has a new official anti-terror policy.
It consists of releasing terrorists from prison as rewards for terrorist
organizations that do NOT release Israeli captives.
No, that was not a misprint. You read that correctly.
The Olmert junta is about to release scores of Hamas officials, including
Hamas members of the Palestinian "parliament" and Hamas "cabinet
ministers," as a reward for the Hamas refusing to release kidnapped
Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
When Shalit was first kidnapped, Israel grabbed up some Hamas leaders and
tossed them into the clink, promising to keep them locked up until Shalit
was released. One of them is that clown who likes to put orange day-glo
paint in his beard. Well, Shalit has NOT been released. But since the
Hamas terrorhoids were originally jailed under an initial jail sentence
that is about to run out in 2009, the Olmert people are arguing that they
are all about to go free anyhow so why not let them go free early as a
Now, this might leave you speechless. After all, I could point out to you
that, regardless of what the original sentence was for these people, they
could always be retried and given an additional new sentence, and this can
be done over and over until Shalit is released. But then you would
respond to my comment like my children are wont to do so often these days,
and say "Like DUUHHH!"
I could point out that once released these Hamas people will return to
bombing and rocketing Israeli civilians, or that holding them in jail as a
way to pressure the Hamas to stop shooting rockets at Sderot would also
make sense. But then you would probably tell me, like my kids, "Like
Double DUUUHHHH!!!" Yesterday the Hamas fired a mortar into an Israeli
base near Gaza, wounding 8 soldiers, one of whom lost a leg and whose
second leg is in danger. So you think such attacks will become LESS
common or MORE common after Olmert releases the terrorhoids?
But Olmert has decided to go down in the history books for the Olmert
Doctrine, which consists of paying terrorists rewards for NOT releasing
Now releasing terrorist leaders as reward for terrorists NOT releasing
Israelis has some precedents. The Israeli government repeatedly released
Hezbollah and other terrorists even while the terrorists refused to
release Ron Arad (or his remains or even information about him). It also
repeatedly released terrorists to reward the Hezbollah for murdering
captured Israeli soldiers in cold blood (so that they would then send
their corpses over the border). It released baby murderer Samir Kuntar
and two leaders of the actual Shi'ite militia that had originally held Ron
Arad, as reward for the Lebanese Shi'ite terror NOT releasing Arad. So
the Olmert Doctrine is solidly grounded in Israeli precedents.
(See also this: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Blog.aspx/2#3178 )
Oh, did you notice that the Indian anti-terror troops were not under
orders to read the terrorists their Miranda rights before shooting them,
nor to sit back and refuse to shoot if there might be any chance of
collateral damages? Of course, India also does not release Moslem
terrorists as rewards for Moslem terrorist organizations carrying out
terror, but then again India is such a backward country!
Oh, also, the Indian chief of the security services resigned after the
failures and the inability of those services to stop the attacks. Like I
say, India just is not very modern, unlike Israel, where ministers and
McClellenist generals NEVER resign simply because they have been
responsible for massive security disasters (such as the 2006 war with the
2. Meanwhile the amen chorus for Islamic terror is already gearing up
to rationalize and justify the atrocities in Mumbai. And this includes
the usual Far Leftists. The leftwing Neo-Stalinist magazine Counterpunch
is already cheering on the terrorism as an understandable response to
social inequality in India (see this:
http://counterpunch.com/tariq11272008.html ). (Counterpunch is also
running Neo-Nazi articles about how Washington is an Israeli settlement .
see this: http://counterpunch.com/rosen11282008.html ).
Columnist after speaker is coming out and sighing about how tough it is
to be a Moslem living in oppression under Indian rule. The BBC and the
rest of the media booberocracy went out of their ways to describe the
terrorists as "militants." This is a bit surprising because it was India
and not Israel being attacked by the terrorists. I think the media
refused to use the "T" word for these terrorists thanks to the fact that
so many Jews were murdered in India. It was almost one of those
understandable responses by Islamic activists to Israeli settlement
3. This is not a spoof or a joke. The front page headline in Haaretz
today is this: "Bush asks Olmert: Why are you trying to give away the
Golan Heights without getting nay quid pro quo." Think I am kidding? See
When Washington has to berate Israel's Prime Minister for being too
anti-Israel, you know it is time for all teenagers to start yelling again,
November 30, 2008
Hindus, Jews, and Jihad Terror in Mumbai
By Andrew G. Bostom
Sixty hours of jihadist terror depradations throughout India's financial
capital, Mumbai -- during which nearly 200 innocent victims were
murdered, and 300 wounded -- apparently ceased this Saturday, November 29,
when Indian commandos slew the last three gunmen inside a luxury hotel,
while it was still ablaze. Mainstream media coverage of these rampaging,
cold-blooded murderous acts of jihad terrorism -- perpetrated by a
self-professed "mujahideen" organization (i.e., "The Deccan Mujahideen")
-- consistently ignored the clear ideological linkage to Islam. Simply
put, "mujahideen" are Muslim jihadists, "holy warriors," because there is
just one historically relevant meaning of jihad, despite present day
The root of the word jihad, appears 40 times in the Koran and in
subsequent Islamic understanding to both Muslim luminaries -- from the
greatest jurists and scholars of classical Islam, to ordinary people --
meant and means "he fought, warred or waged war against unbelievers and
the like." As described by the seminal mid-19th century Arabic
lexicographer E.W Lane, "Jihad came to be used by the Muslims to signify
wag[ing] war, against unbelievers." A contemporary definition, relevant to
both modern jihadism and its shock troop "mujahideen" was provided at the
Fourth International Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research at Al
Azhar University, Cairo -- Islam's most important religious educational
institution-in 1968, by Muhammad al-Sobki:
...the words Al Jihad, Al Mojahadah, or even "striving against enemies"
are equivalents and they do not mean especially fighting with the
atheists...they mean fighting in the general sense...
Contemporary validation of the central principle of jihad terrorism --
rooted in the Koran -- (for example, verses 8:12, 8:60, and 33:26)-i.e.,
to terrorize the enemies of the Muslims as a prelude to their conquest --
has been provided in the mainstream Pakistani text on jihad warfare by
Brigadier S.K. Malik, originally published in Lahore, in 1979. Malik's
treatise was endorsed in a laudatory Foreword to the book by his patron,
then Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq, as well as a more extended Preface by
Allah Buksh K. Brohi, a former Advocate-General of Pakistan. This text --
widely studied in Islamic countries, and available in English, Urdu, and
Arabic -- has been recovered from the bodies of slain jihadists in
Kashmir. Brigadier Malik emphasizes how instilling terror is essential to
waging successful jihad campaigns:
Terror struck into the hearts of the enemies is not only a means, it is
the end in itself. Once a condition of terror into the opponent's heart is
obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved. It is the point where
the means and the end meet and merge. Terror is not a means of imposing
decision upon the enemy (sic); it is the decision we wish to impose upon
"Jihad," the Koranic concept of total strategy...[d]emands the preparation
and application of total national power and military instrument is one of
its elements. As a component of the total strategy, the military strategy
aims at striking terror into the hearts of the enemy from the preparatory
stage of war...Under ideal conditions, Jihad can produce a direct decision
and force its will upon the enemy. Where that does not happen, military
strategy should take over and aim at producing the decision from the
military stage. Should that chance be missed, terror should be struck into
the enemy during the actual fighting.
...the Book [Koran] does not visualize war being waged with "kid gloves."
It gives us a distinctive concept of total war. It wants both, the nation
and the individual, to be at war "in toto," that is, with all their
spiritual, moral, and physical resources. The Holy Koran lays the highest
emphasis on the preparation for war. It wants us to prepare ourselves for
war to the utmost. The test of utmost preparation lies in our capability
to instill terror into the hearts of the enemies.
The Islamic correctness of most mainstream media outlets -- which refused
to consider such ideological motivations, rooted in jihad -- did not
apply, however to Hindus, or Jews--targeted infidel victims of the
attacks. Blithely ignoring obvious Islamic and Muslim connections --
credit taken for the attacks by a mujahideen organization; or testimony
from a Turkish Muslim couple briefly apprehended, and then released
unharmed by the jihadists because, "...[w]hen the (Muezzinoglus) said they
were Muslims, their captors told them that they would not be harmed" --
some media (at Fox; NPR) even voiced their own "speculations" about the
possible culpability of "Hindu extremists," an absurd calumny, stated in
full paranoid transference mode by the Muslim Brotherhood:
A photograph published in Urdu Times, Mumbai, clearly shows that Mossad
and ex-Mossad men came to India and met Sadhus and other pro-Hindutva
elements recently. A conspiracy was clearly hatched.
Yet these same media offered no speculation about Islamic Jew hatred as an
obvious potential motivation for the transparently selective attack on
Mumbai's Chabad House -- a focal point symbol of the miniscule Jewish
community of 5000 (or 0.03%) in a city of some 15 million inhabitants.
More egregiously, this neglect of any hateful Islamic motivations for the
targeted murder of such innocent Jews -- including a young Lubavitcher
Rabbi and his wife -- was accompanied by consistently dehumanizing and
demeaning references to these victims as "Ultra-Orthodox," and their
entirely false characterization as "missionaries."
This current Jewish tragedy within a much larger non-Muslim, primarily
Hindu tragedy, reminded me of the Indian Sufi "inspiration" for The Legacy
of Islamic Antisemitism, Ahmad Sirhindi. Nearing completion of my first
book compendium, The Legacy of Jihad, in early 2005, specifically the
section about jihad on the Indian subcontinent, I came across a remarkable
comment by the Indian Sufi theologian Sirhindi (d. 1624). Typical of the
mainstream Muslim clerics of his era, Sirhindi was viscerally opposed to
the reforms which characterized the latter ecumenical phase of Akbar's
16th century reign (when Akbar became almost a Muslim-Hindu syncretist),
particularly the abolition of the humiliating jizya (Koranic poll tax, as
per Koran 9:29) upon the subjugated infidel Hindus. In the midst of an
anti-Hindu tract Sirhindi wrote, motivated by Akbar's pro-Hindu reforms,
Whenever a Jew is killed, it is for the benefit of Islam.
The biographical information I could glean about Sirhindi provided, among
other things, no evidence he was ever in direct contact with Jews, so his
very hateful remark suggested to me that the attitudes it reflected must
have a theological basis in Islam -- contra the prevailing, widely
accepted "wisdom" that Islam, unlike Christianity was devoid of such
theological Antisemitism. Having originally intended to introduce, edit,
and compile a broader compendium on dhimmitude in follow-up to The Legacy
of Jihad, this stunning observation inspired me instead to change course
and focus on the interplay between Islamic Antisemitism, and the
intimately related phenomenon of jihad imposed dhimmitude for Jews,
Of course Jew-hatred was merely a sidelight to Sirhindi's hatemongering
Islamic "ethos." He was an intensely anti-Hindu bigot, as revealed by
Cow-sacrifice in India is the noblest of Islamic practices. The kafirs
[Hindus] may probably agree to pay jizya but they shall never concede to
cow-sacrifice...The real purpose in levying jizya on them [Hindus] is to
humiliate then to such an extent that, on account of fear of jizya , they
may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should
constantly remain terrified and trembling. It in intended to hold them
under contempt and to uphold the honor and might of Islam...
Completely uninformed about (and stubbornly resistant to any informed
discussion of) the motivating Islamic ideology for the Mumbai attacks, the
media "meta-narrative," repeated ad nauseum, is also oblivious to the
living historical legacy of jihad on the Indian subcontinent. Thus
journalists and even policymaking elites appear to accept at face value,
and uncritically, the "rationale" for this wantonly murderous jihadism as
stated, for example, by one of the Muslim perpetrators:
Are you aware how many people have been killed in Kashmir?...Are you aware
how your army has killed Muslims?
The Muslim supremacist, jihad-inspired conflict in Kashmir -- really a
tragic ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Hindus by Muslim jihadists which
began in earnest during the 14th century -- re-emerged in late June of
this year when the Indian government had the "temerity" to want to
transfer 99 acres of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, a trust
running the popular Hindu shrine (including the cave that houses a large
ice stalagmite itself, revered by Hindus as an incarnation of Siva, the
god of destruction and reproduction). Hundreds of thousands of Hindus
visit the area as part of an annual pilgrimage to the cave.
Please view the poignant, elegantly produced video by Kashmiri filmmaker
Ashok Pandit, "And the World Remained Silent," (linked here, Parts 1 and
2) which chronicles in gory detail the brutal ethnic cleansing of some
350,000 indigenous Hindus from Kashmir during early 1990, orchestrated by
Pakistan. and it's Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto. (Focus on the time
period 2:15 to 4:00 minutes, from Part 1 above, and witness the jihadist
speech of the late, much ballyhooed "modernist reformer" Ms. Bhutto. She
was a jihadist, plain and simple; the head of what remains a jihadist
Despite the brutal Islamization of India -- dating back to the initial 8th
century Arab Muslim jihad ravages, and the subsequent more extensive
campaigns under the Ghaznavids (Islamized Turkic nomads who annihilated
the indigenous Hindus of Afghanistan by the mid-9th century), through the
Delhi Sultanate period (1000-1525 C.E.) during which an estimated 70-80
million Hindus were slaughtered -- due largely to bowdlerized educational
and public discourse on Islam, even many modern Hindus remain ignorant of
both this history, and the Koranic injunctions which inspired the brutal
waves of jihad conquest, and Muslim colonization of India.
The Muslim chroniclers al-Baladhuri (in Kitab Futuh al-Buldan) and al-Kufi
(in the Chachnama) include enough isolated details to establish the
overall nature of the conquest of Sindh (in modern Paksitan) by Muhammad
b. Qasim during 712 C.E. These narratives, and the processes they
describe, make clear that the Arab invaders intended from the outset to
Islamize Sindh by conquest, colonization, and local conversion. Baladhuri,
for example, records that following the capture of Debal, Muhammad b.
Qasim earmarked a section of the city exclusively for Muslims, constructed
a mosque, and established four thousand colonists there. The conquest of
Debal had been a brutal affair, as summarized from the Muslim sources by
the renowned Indian historian R.C. Majumdar. Despite appeals for mercy
from the besieged Indians (who opened their gates after the Muslims scaled
the fort walls), Muhammad b. Qasim declared that he had no orders (i.e.,
from his superior al-Hajjaj, the Governor of Iraq) to spare the
inhabitants, and thus for three days a ruthless and indiscriminate
slaughter ensued. In the aftermath, the local temple was defiled, and "700
beautiful females who had sought for shelter there, were all captured".
The capture of Raor was accompanied by a similar tragic outcome.
Muhammad massacred 6000 fighting men who were found in the fort, and their
followers and dependents, as well as their women and children were taken
prisoners. Sixty thousand slaves, including 30 young ladies of royal
blood, were sent to Hajjaj, along with the head of Dahar [the Hindu
ruler]. We can now well understand why the capture of a fort by the Muslim
forces was followed by the terrible jauhar ceremony (in which females
threw themselves in fire [they] kindled...), the earliest recorded
instance of which is found in the Chachnama.
Practical, expedient considerations lead Muhammad to desist from carrying
out the strict injunctions of Islamic Law and the wishes of al-Hajjaj by
massacring the (pagan) infidel Hindus of Sindh. Instead, he imposed upon
the vanquished Hindus the jizya (Koranic poll-tax, pace Koran 9:29) and
associated restrictive regulations of dhimmitude. As a result, the
Chachnama records, "some [Hindus] resolved to live in their native land,
but others took flight in order to maintain the faith of their ancestors,
and their horses, domestics, and other property."
Thus a lasting pattern of Muslim policy towards their Hindu subjects was
set that would persist, as noted by Majumdar, until the Mughal Empire
collapsed at the end of Aurangzeb's reign (in 1707):
Something no doubt depended upon individual rulers; some of them adopted a
more liberal, others a more cruel and intolerant attitude. But on the
whole the framework remained intact, for it was based on the fundamental
principle of Islamic theocracy. It recognized only one faith, one people,
and one supreme authority, acting as the head of a religious trust. The
Hindus, being infidels or non-believers, could not claim the full rights
of citizens. At the very best, they could be tolerated as dhimmis, an
insulting title which connoted political inferiority...The Islamic State
regarded all non-Muslims as enemies, to curb whose growth in power was
conceived to be its main interest. The ideal preached by even high
officials was to exterminate them totally, but in actual practice they
seem to have followed an alternative laid down in the Koran [i.e., Q9:29]
which calls upon Muslims to fight the unbelievers till they pay the jizya
with due humility. This was the tax the Hindus had to pay for permission
to live in their ancestral homes under a Muslim ruler.
Regarding the Islamization of Hindu Kashmir, although Mahmud of Ghazni
made brutal forays into Kashmir in the early 11th century, it was not
until the mid-14th century when the ruling Hindu dynasty was displaced
completely by Shah Mirza, in 1346, and Kashmir was brought under Muslim
suzerainty. During the reign of Sikandar Butshikan (1394-1417), mass
Islamization took place as described by the great historian K.S. Lal:
He [Sikandar Butshikan] invited from Persia, Arabia, and Mesopotamia
learned men of his own [Muslim] faith; his bigotry prompted him to destroy
all the most famous temples in Kashmir-Martand, Vishya, Isna, Chakrabhrit,
Tripeshwar, etc. Sikandar offered the Kashmiris the choice [pace Koran
9:5] between Islam and death. Some Kashmiri Brahmans committed suicide,
many left the land, many others embraced Islam, and a few began to live
under Taqiya, that is, they professed Islam only outwardly. It is said
that the fierce intolerance of Sikandar had left in Kashmir no more than
eleven families of Brahmans.
Lal also notes that,
His [Sikandar Butshikan's] contemporary the [Hindu] Raja of Jammu had been
converted to Islam by [Amir] Timur [the jihadist, Tamerlane], by "hopes,
fears, and threats."
When the Moghul ruler Akbar annexed Kashmir in 1586, the majority of the
population was already Muslim. Lal summarizes the chronic plight of the
Kashmiri Hindus during a half millennium of Islamic rule, through 1819,
which explains the modern demography of Kashmir:
When Kashmir was under Muslim rule for 500 years, Hindus were constantly
tortured and forcibly converted. A delegation of Kashmir Brahmans
approached Guru Teg Bahadur at Anadpur Saheb to seek his help. But Kashmir
was Islamized. Those who fled to preserve their religion went to Laddakh
in the east and Jammu in the south. It is for this reason that non-Muslims
are found in large number in these regions. In the valley itself the
Muslims formed the bulk of the population.
There is also a modern era nexus -- rooted in jihad-between the Hindus of
Islamized Kashmir, and the Jews of Islamized Palestine. Hajj Amin
el-Husseini, ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, and Muslim jihadist, who became,
additionally, a full-fledged Nazi collaborator and ideologue in his
endeavors to abort a Jewish homeland, and destroy world Jewry, was also a
committed supporter of global jihad movements. Urging a "full struggle"
against the Hindus of India (as well as the Jews of Israel) before
delegates at the February 1951 World Muslim Congress, he stated:
We shall meet next with sword in hand on the soil of either Kashmir or
And el-Husseini's jihadist, Koran (and hadith)-inspired Jew hatred was
shared by a seminal modern Muslim ideologue from the Indian subcontinent,
Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi (d. 1976), a major late 20th century Koranic
commentator. An eminent scholar, Maulana Muhammad Shafi served as a
professor and as a grand Mufti of Darul-Uloom Deoband, the well-known
university of the Islamic Sciences in pre-partition India. In 1943, he
resigned from Darul-Uloom, because of his active involvement in the
Pakistan movement. When Pakistan came into existence, he migrated to
Karachi devoting his life to the service of this new Muslim state. He also
established Darul-Uloom Karachi, an renowned institute of Islamic Sciences
patterned after Darul-Uloom Deoband, and considered today as the largest
private institute of Islamic higher education in Pakistan. Here is Maulana
Muhammad Shafi's commentary on the central antisemitic motif in the Koran,
sura (chapter) 3, verse 112:
...verse 112 speaks of the general condition of the Jews. They played the
most virulent against the Holy Prophet [Muhammad] and the movement of
Islam. It was not strange that they were the most malignant against the
Holy Prophet because they had played a similar role against the Prophets
before the advent of Islam. They had slandered Jesus Christ, they had
plotted to kill him, they had slain so many Prophets before Jesus Christ.
They had earned the wrath of Allah before the Holy Prophet by killing the
Prophets and the Saints and by their vociferous opposition to the Divine
Commands. This wrath increased when they deadly opposed the Holy Prophet
and made treacherous and surreptitious plans to kill Muhammad and defeat
Islam. They tried to harm the Muslims and prevented the common men from
Islam. These activities enhanced the wrath of Allah, and curse became
their eventual fate. The wrath of Allah manifested itself in conditional
abasement, but permanent poverty. Their abasement could be suspended if
they could cover a bond of Allah or they should be covered by a bond of
the people. But the poverty and the general wrath of Allah was pitched
without any suspension. Bond of God means adherence to some remnants of
the Torah. Bond of men means either becoming the subjects of some Muslim
State or some Christian State or some other constitutional State; or
becoming a satellite or a protectorate of some powerful people, whoever
they may be either Muslims, or non-Muslims, by means of some agreement,
treaty, or merely political support. Their separate individual existence
enjoying an inviolable sovereignty or commanding a good respect in the
Comity of Nations is not implied in this verse because of the extreme
wrath of Allah which is significant of their superlative Kufr [infidelity]
against Allah and their extremely tremendous enmity against the Holy
Prophet as compared to other non-Believers. For example, the modern State
of Israel cannot survive if the Americans and Russians, etc., give up
their support. [note: this commentary was written beginning in the 1960s]
This is the bond of the people which has outwardly suspended their
abasement. But so far as wretchedness (poverty) is concerned it is pitched
on them permanently and the general wrath and anger of Allah surrounds
them forever. Inner wretchedness can be reconciled with outer opulence.
The Jews may have become billionaires but the wretchedness and poverty of
hearts cannot leave them any moment. Parsimony has become a part and
parcel of their internal self.
Nearly six decades ago, Sir Jadunath Sarkar (d. 1958), the preeminent
historian of Mughal India, wrote admiringly of what the Jews of Palestine
had accomplished once liberated from the yoke of jihad-imposed Islamic
Law. The implication was clear that he harbored similar hopes for his own
people, the Hindus of India, and those of their Muslim neighbors willing
to abandon the supremacist, discriminatory, and backward mandates of
Palestine, the holy land of the Jews, Christians and Islamites, had been
turned into a desert haunted by ignorant poor diseased vermin rather than
by human beings, as the result of six centuries of Muslim rule. (See
Kinglake's graphic description). Today Jewish rule has made this desert
bloom into a garden, miles of sandy waste have been turned into smiling
orchards of orange and citron, the chemical resources of the Dead Sea are
being extracted and sold, and all the amenities of the modern civilised
life have been made available in this little Oriental country. Wise Arabs
are eager to go there from the countries ruled by the Shariat [Sharia;
Islamic Law]. This is the lesson for the living history.
The jihadist carnage in Mumbai, and some 12,327 other acts of jihad
terrorism since 9/11/2001 -- motivated by supremacist Islamic doctrine,
and the atavistic hatred of Hindus, Jews, and other non-Muslims it
inculcates -- provides ugly living proof that Sarkar's wistful admonition
from 1950 remains almost entirely unheeded.
5. Test your Hebrew! Can you find out what is wrong in the attached
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Tikkun's Michael Lerner and the Mumbai Indiano
Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun magazine and perpetual
Rabbi-Impersonator, issued a statement in the name of his Tikkun
"progressives" suggesting that Americans deal with the attacks by "feeling
the pain" of the al-Qaida terrorists who had attacked the United States
because of their anguish over their grievances. If you think I am
kidding, see this:
and especially this paragraph there: "When people have learned to treat
each other as means to our own ends, to not feel the pain of those who are
suffering, we end up creating a world in which these kinds of terrible
acts of violence become more common. And as we.ve learned from the current
phase of the Israel-Palestinian struggle, responding to terror with more
violence, rather than asking ourselves what we could do to change the
conditions that generated it in the first place, will only ensure more
violence in the future." (See also this)
Well, the Tikkun guru has been consistent and suggesting again that we all
feel the pain of the militants and activists who conducted a protest in
Mubai over the past few days. So come now and join Michael Lerner and the
Tikkun Tabernacle Choir in singing the new Tikkun song about the protests
and activist unrest in Mumbai. With apologies to Dean Martin, here comes
the Tikkun version of Mambo Italiano!
Some "activists" from Britania
sailed along to India
To Bombay home of Bollywood,
But wait a minute, something's good! (start marimbas at this point and
light the joint)
Hey, Mumbai! Mumbai Indiano!
Hey, Mumbai! Mumbai militantos
Go, go, go, hear me Al Qaidianos
We all gotta feel their pain and gotta love the Other, you know!
Hey Mumbai, don't want retaliano
Hey Mumbai, only capitulano
Hey Mumbai! Mumbai italiano!
Try some concessions and feeling all their pain and then a
Osam-oh, I love a how you dance the debka
But take a some advice from a nice progresso
Learn how to Mumbai
If you gonna bomb dem squares
You can a do it anywheres!
Hey Mumbai! Mumbai Indiano!
Hey Mumbai! Mumbai militantos!
Go, Abu, shake like we're in Havana
Gonna don my peace kafiya and getta happy in the feets and
Do the Mumbai Indiano
Shake-a Baby shake-a cause i love a when you bomb a dem
Neocons stop and run away to see their papa,
And a hey Tikkun fool you don't a have to go to school
Just make-a wid da Hezbiyano
It's a like a nice a vino
Kid you good a lookin' but you don't a-know what bombs a- cookin', till
Hey Mumbai, Mumbai Pakistano
Hey Mumbai, Mumbai Indiano
Ho, ho, ho, you juiced up Britanitano
It's a so delish a ev'rybody come copisha
Now to Mumbai Indianoooooo!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
A Letter to the Prime Minister of India from Shimon Peres, Peacemaker
Manmohan Singh of India
Relayed to the world by Steven Plaut
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
My heartfelt sympathies to you and the Indian people for the Bombay/Mumbai
unrest and protests against occupation this week.
But we must really speak about how to deal with these forms of activism in
India, perpetrated by these misunderstood Islamic militants.
Mister Prime Minister, I have a great deal of experience in dealing
successfully with terrorism and violence, and this is why I wish to come
to your rescue.
The first thing you must realize is that one can only make peace with
one's enemies. With one's friends there is no need to make peace. There
is no military solution to the problems of terrorism, and this is why you
must seek a diplomatic solution. "No Justice, No Peace?" as they say. You
must invite the leaders of this Islamic organization responsible for the
bloodshed in Mumbai to New Delhi to meet with you and perhaps tour the Taj
Mahal together. You must learn to feel their pain and understand their
But most importantly, you must end the illegal occupation of territory
that does not belong to you! First, you must withdraw from Kashmir and
Jammu and remove all the Hindu settlers there. But that is just a
beginning. Large sections of West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh,
Bihar, Gujarat and Hyderabad contain local Moslem majorities. Lakshadweep
is 95% Moslem. You cannot continue to coerce these people into living as
demographic minorities. The solution is to create two states for two
peoples, inside India itself. Indian Moslems are entitled to
self-determination and national sovereignty!
You must bear in mind that India was conquered by the Moghuls and that
makes all of India the homeland of Moslems. The fact that India was
partitioned with Pakistan and Bengladesh granted independence does not
solve anything. What about the right of return for Punjabi Moslem
refugees and other Moslems? These demand that they be allowed to exercise
their sovereign rights inside India in the lands of their forefathers and
have their one-time homes restored to them!
Then there is the matter of the status of New Delhi. It was a Moslem city
for centuries, and served as the Moghul capital. Your selfish insistence
that New Delhi remain Indian is racist. You must end the apartheid regime
inside Delhi and turn it into the shared capital of two states, or maybe
three. I have no doubt Pakistan will applaud your efforts.
You must meet all the demands of the militants in Mumbai in full. In
addition, you must offer them Internet web services and five-star tourist
hotels in exchange for their promising to abandon violence. After all,
that is how we turned Yasser Arafat into a peace partner. You see,
military force serves no role any more in the post-modern universe. It is
passe. It is archaic. Today, consumer interests dominate the world, and
the Islamist activists of the earth will surely make peace in exchange for
some profits from participating in global trade.
The attacks on Mumbai came because you have been insufficiently sensitive
to the needs of the Moslem Other. You took their rhetoric at face value,
whereas we in Israel know that all this rhetoric is empty and in fact
these people truly want peace. Sure, they praise Hitler and celebrate
genocidal atrocities, but what is it that they really want?
You must negotiate with them even while under attack. Conditioning
negotiations on an end to violence is a no-win situation. It will simply
extend the bloodshed! You must put your own house in order, and eliminate
inequality and injustice inside India, and then the terrorists will no
longer target you.
The key is to build a New Middle Asia, one in which everyone is so busy
with the important matters of developing tourism, infrastructure
investments and high-technology that they will have no time to pursue
Moreover, if you strike at the perpetrators of the Mumbai protests and
their supporters, you will simply expand and enlarge the cycle of
violence. Your retaliation bombs will no doubt injure some innocent
children and civilians alongside any terrorist activists you strike. That
will enrage the rest of the world and make the victims seek revenge. Your
violence against these militants and activists will cause them to hate the
Hindus and it will drive the separatists to embrace terrorism. Moreover,
if you refuse to negotiate with the Moslem separatists, then their leaders
will be toppled and a really violent extremist group will take charge. In
that case, you will have lost the window of opportunity to make peace.
Begin by declaring a unilateral ceasefire! Mister Prime Minister, blessed
is the peacemaker. Remember Mahatma Gandhi (but not Rehavam "Gandhi"
Zeevi). The entire world will support you and congratulate you if you
respond to these horrific attacks by disarming India and opening serious
dialogue with the terror activists.
All we are saying is give peace a chance. Yitzhak Rabin would have
approved. Yes, chaver, what you need is shalom, salaam, peace. You will be
awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition. Do not allow yourself to be
drawn down into the gutter of retaliation. Violence never achieves
anything. History has no lessons. History is the dead past.
Follow my example! Provide the Bombay bombers with anti-aircraft and
anti-tank missiles so that they can battle against the true radicals and
extremists. And they will do so with no ACLU or Supreme Court to restrain
Demonstrate your humanity by paying pensions to any widows and orphans of
the terrorists who blew up the hotels.
Mister Prime Minister, my own peace policies have eliminated war,
bloodshed and terror from the Middle East. We now have only peace
partners. If you follow in my footsteps, you can achieve the same lofty
Shimon Peres, Peacemaker-at-Large
(for those with a sense of d.j. vu all over again, see this:
2. The lying Israeli leftist NGOs:
4. Barry Chamish's guru in the news. Gerald Frederick Toben, the
world's leading Holocaust Denier, has published scores of Chamish's
articles. He is now being pursued by a German arrest warrant:
5. Afghans for Israel:
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
New Assault on Freedom of Speech in Israel, and More Court Kibitzing
the Israeli war against barbarism. It is the incorrect impression that
there exists a set of anti-terror tactics that never involve risks to
civilians or "collateral damages." Nice clean surgical tactics over
which armchair compassion postureurs never need wring their hands in
This misunderstanding extends to the Israeli Supreme Court. The matter is
more serious because of the determination by so many judges on the Supreme
Court bench to convert the Court into a de facto executive branch, all in
the name of "judicial activism," which is a synonym for judicial tyranny.
In December of 2006, the Israeli Supreme Court decided to micro-manage
Israel's anti-terror tactics by decreeing that terrorist leaders may not
be assassinated by Israel if there is any chance of arresting them in one
piece, and also that they may not be targeted if there is any chance that
civilians nearby might be hurt. They demanded that the use of force
always be "proportional." No, they did not mean that nuking Gaza would
be the appropriate proportional response to the firing of hundreds of
Qassams at Sderot.
Now the real problem with all this is that the demand that no force be
used whenever there is any chance that civilians will get hurt is
equivalent to the demand that no force be used at all. There is ALWAYS a
chance that civilians will be hurt in any war and in any military
operation. This is especially true when the terrorists are hiding among
civilians, and are aware of the orders not to target them when they are so
hiding among civilians. A demand that Allied forces never bomb Germany or
Japan in World War II whenever there would have been any chance of
civilians getting killed would have been equivalent to a demand that the
Allies surrender to the Axis.
That of course is why the world is demanding that Israel stop all military
operations whenever Arab civilians might be at risk. The world wants
Israel to capitulate. So does the Israeli Left.
Haaretz has a "scoop" today that some Israeli generals decided to ignore
the kibitzing of the Supreme Court in the military and carry out
anti-terror operations anyhow. See
http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1041160.html . These men deserve medals
for bravery. They should be backed by a Knesset bill that prohibits the
Supreme Court from engaging in such kibitzing, orders the Court to
restrict its rulings to judicial matters and not to micro-manage decisions
by the military or the executive branch.
2. Don't take this the wrong way. I realize that my readers on this
list are much to smart to believe any of the trash coming from the "911
Truth" conspiracist cult, the nuts who proclaim they have "proof" that the
downing of the WTC on 911 was an "inside job" and was ordered by the
neo-cons and the Republicans. Anyone stupid enough to believe any of that
would not be interested in what I write.
Nevertheless, I wanted to recommend strongly that, if you get the chance,
you should watch the program on the History Channel about 911 conspiracy
"theories." It is extraordinarily well done.
Most of us have a tendency to dismiss the conspiracy nuts as idiots with
whom it is a waste of time to argue over facts or to gather the
counter-evidence needed to prove they are wrong. But that is exactly what
the program does and it does so really well. It is based in part of the
special issue of Popular Mechanics that examined and debunked the
"scientific" claims of the conspiracists: things like "doubts" about the
collapse of WTC Building Seven, "doubts" about whether the heat was enough
to bring down the twin towers, "doubts" about the crash of Flight 93,
"doubts" about the plane hitting the Pentagon, the "evidence" of other
explosions in the WTC as it collapsed, etc etc etc. Few people have the
patience to wade through all that and collect the engineering
counter-evidence that disproves the claims of the conspiracists. But the
History Channel did so and did so in spades. Its program demolishes every
bit of "evidence" of any "theory" that challenges the official explanation
of al-Qaeda hijacking the planes and knocking down the towers as a terror
Even more important, it exposes at length the conspiracist mindset, the
need to invent convoluted "explanations" for dramatic events that go
beyond the obvious and the simple, the outright lies, the attempts to take
anything that looks curious at first glance and attribute it to fictional
grand conspiracies, and so on. The conspiracists also refuse to look at
the obvious gaping holes in their own theory, holes a million times larger
than any "holes" in the official theory. How did the Republican
conspirators inside the WTC know on which floor the planes would hit so
that they could plant the bombs to go off together with the planes hitting
the building at exactly those floors?
Now I mention all this because if you watch this show you will immediately
see ALL the same mental contortions and mindset to be found among the
conspiracy nuts and conspiracy believers in Israel and the Jewish world
when it comes to the Rabin "conspiracy theory." The Rabin conspiracists
use all the same methods of "detection" as the "911 Truth" cult, although
not as thoroughly and imaginatively. They operate with the same modus
operandi, with the same willingness to lie, the same disregard for all
real evidence, the same gaping holes in their OWN "theory." (How come
Yigal Amir insists he is guilty and insists that he fired real bullets if
he did not?)
And like the Rabin conspiracist "theory," the "911 Truth" idiocy continues
to enjoy a certain popularity among the less intelligent segments of the
populations. It does not matter how many times the "outstanding
questions" get put to rest and answered, nor how many times the conspiracy
"evidence" is totally disproved.
3. New Assault on Freedom of speech in Israel (from the sultan knish
The following appears on the Sultan Knish blog and is worth reading:
A Poet Goes on Trial in Israel for Verses Offensive to Arabs
Free speech is a rare quantity and many Americans are all too unaware of
how rare it really is. Israel, like Europe or Canada, does not have actual
free speech, instead it has free speech subject to government discretion
and the politically correct sensitivity of "oppressed minorities".
While mockery, contempt and even outright hatred for Judaism and Jews can
be found on TV shows, political commercials, editorial cartoons and
throughout the Israeli left wing media, when directed at Arabs quickly
becomes a criminal offense. And that is no joking matter. Tatiana Soskin,
a young Jewish immigrant who drew a cartoon of Mohammed as a pig and
pinned it to a door, served time in jail for it.
Today however in Israel it is a poet going on trial. Gershon (Gregory)
Trastman is a moderately well known Jewish Russian poet living in Israel
who wrote a series of satirical verses about a rival political party for
Vesti, a Conservative Russian Jewish language newspaper. The verses
included references to Arab demographics as a weapon against Israel, a
premise first put forward by Arafat himself. The key offensive lines ran
something like these, accounting for translation errors.
A Nightmare, the number of Arabs passes a Million
And increases without weakness or respite
Look upon them and your vision grows dark
I will tell the Jews without offense
At night they farm and form is filled
By the eclipse of the moonlight's beam,
The breath of death, what way is found?
The hare, the cat, the locust cannot match
And whether through Ill Luck or Prophecy
We already pave the way to the Tomb of Night
The Tomb of Night, an Arab woman's womb
It is a matter of interpretation whether the lines are straightforward or
a satirical jab aimed at Avigdor Lieberman, an Israeli right wing
politician. The translation here is rendered seriously, but it does not
have to be. More to the point though, whatever the intention, Gershon
(Gregory) Trastman, should have been able to write whatever he saw fit
subject to the willingness of newspapers to print it and of the public to
buy the newspapers.
But of course that is only how things work when there is free speech.
While left wing parties such as Shinui are free to run cartoons and
articles that mimic Der Sturmer's evocation of religious Jews as rats
cockroaches, Arabs are protected from similar criticism.
Since Vesti is a conservative newspaper, it has left wingers regularly
monitoring it for material they can use for a court case. David Eidelman,
the Russian spokesman for the left wing Kadima party, and an all around
scumbag, on seeing the verses prepared his own skewed Hebrew translation
of them and distributed them around, looking to incite a court case.
David Eidelman's mistranslation found its way to the Mossawa Advocacy
Center, an Arab organization funded by the EU and Oxfam, which wrote a
letter to Attorney General Mazuz demanding action and warning that if such
poems were tolerated it could lead to more Arab riots such as in Acco.
Mazuz, ever eager to crush political opponents of the left, jumped in with
both feet and ordered an investigation.
The identity of the poet, Gershon (Gregory) Trastman, who had been writing
under a pseudonym was exposed and he along with Sergei Podrazhansky, the
Vesti op ed page editor, are now headed to court. This is not the first
time that Vesti editors and writers have been dragged through the court
system. That became a feature of the Barak era, one of whose goals was to
destroy conservative Jewish media in Israel. But the timing adjacent to an
election is not accidental either. A regular feature of the Israeli left
wing's election strategy is to advertise their fight against "right wing
Gershon (Gregory) Trastman and Sergei Podrazhansky would appear to be the
latest targets of this fight. Aside from a smear article in the radical
left wing publication Haaretz and the always reliably repulsive Lily
Galili, no mention of the trial has appeared in any English speaking
Mention of what is going on, even on the blogsphere, could at the very
least alert the judge and prosecutor that there is outside attention being
paid to this case. Anyone who would like to email a protest can do so to
Attorney General Mazuz at email@example.com . In a time when Arabs and
Muslims have succesfully proven that they can silence free speech in just
about any First World democracy in the name of not giving offense, it is
important to continue fighting for that fundamental right without which no
political opposition or legal dissent is possible.
4. Mikey Lerner, the Rabbi-Impersonator and LSD touting editor of
Tikkun Magazine, has a new cause celebre. It seems he is determined to
increase anti-Semitism within the Catholic Church. See this:
By Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com | 11/26/2008
Former Hillary Clinton guru Michael Lerner, publisher of Tikkun magazine
and founder of the .politics of meaning,. is now slamming the Catholic
Church for threatening to excommunicate leftist priest Roy Bourgeois.
Bourgeois is the Maryknoller priest who has for nearly 2 decades waged war
on the U.S. Army.s training school for Latin military officers at Fort
Benning, Georgia. Having lead thousands of demonstrators, over 200 of
whom have been arrested, Bourgeois. School of the Americas Watch portrays
the U.S. as training Latin officers to torture and murder at the behest of
The Catholic Church is threatening Bourgeois with excommunication not
because of his rehash of 1970.s Marxist-inspired Liberation Theology, but
because he participated in the unauthorized ordination of a female priest.
Lerner, who professes to be a rabbi, is indignant.
.It's not just Jews who demean others or see one type of human being as
more valuable or closer to God or more appropriate to serve God than
another,. Lerner bemoaned. .The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith
(the office that was previously named The Inquisition, but now no longer
using violence to achieve its ends) has sent a letter to Father Roy
Bourgeois threatening him with ex-communication (which effectively means
an end to his income and to his teachings inside the church) for daring to
publicly support the ordination of women and to offer remarks in a
ceremony ordaining a woman as priest..
Besides running Tikkun, Lerner also co-chairs The Network of Spiritual
Progressives, along with leftist nun Joan Chittester and Princeton radical
Professor Cornel West. As Lerner described in his recent blog, The
Network .wishes to be a place in which progressives from various religious
communities (as well as "spiritual but not religious" people) can feel
safe in coming together to work for a New Bottom Line to replace the
materialism and selfishness in the world with an ethos of love, kindness,
generosity, caring for others, ethical and ecological sensitivity, and awe
and wonder at the grandeur of the universe..
So naturally Lerner.s Network will spring to action if one of its
religions of interest is complicit in .racist, sexist, homophobic,
anti-Semitic [acts] or attacking .the Stranger. (whoever the demeaned
Other of any given society happens to be at a particular historical
moment).. Evidently, the Catholic Church.s upholding its own doctrinal
standards represents one of those dreaded moments that threaten the
.Stranger.. Lerner cited Father Bourgeois as one of the .most courageous
Catholic voices for peace and non-violence. because he fights the School
of the Americas, which Lerner described, naturally without evidence, as
training Latin forces in .techniques of torture [and] repression..
For visionary progressives such as Lerner and Bourgeois, literal facts are
not so important. As deeply spiritual people, they are more concerned
with metaphors and narratives. And in their pseudo-Marxist narrative, now
defunct rightist Latin regimes of 30 and 40 years ago repressed their
people only because the U.S. taught them how. After all, can any evil
arise without orchestration by the U.S.?
According to Lerner, the Catholic Church.s .current conservative
leadership. aspires in .one fell swoop. to .rid itself of the progressive
Catholic who has created the most important spiritual progressive
demonstration taking place anywhere in the country for peace and against
torture.. In fact, the Catholic Church hierarchy has not acted against
Bourgeois. because of his intemperate politics. He has espoused leftist
causes, to the seeming exclusion of actual pastoral ministry, for over 30
Somewhat more accurately, Lerner claimed the Catholic Church also wants to
.terrify other priests into not daring to question the Church's doctrines
on women.. Of course, Bourgeois did not just editorialize against the
church.s stance on female priests. He actually participated in an
unauthorized ordination. Should religious communions be able to exact
minimal adherence to their doctrines by clergy who have supposedly pledged
to uphold them? According to Lerner, loyalty to .progressive.
spirituality should supersede all other transcendent commitments.
Lerner accused the Catholic Church of hypocrisy for not threatening
excommunication against priests who supposedly have failed to uphold .the
very progressive teachings of the Church against war and poverty. by
supporting U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or .the notion of a violent
war against terror.. Of course, the church has no doctrinal stance
against U.S. military policies in the same sense that it has one on the
meaning of the priesthood. Roman Catholicism is not pacifist. And the
public misgivings of Pope John Paul II about the Iraq War did not have the
status of doctrine. Religious leftists like to pretend that the Bible and
church traditions have very specific mandates that echo the Left.s own
temporal political ambitions.
Tikkun.s self-made rabbi knows exactly what is brewing within Roman
Catholicism. .Politically conservative forces. have captured the church,
Lerner warned, and are suppressing .progressive causes,. while protecting
.those who support authoritarian and reactionary and violent causes.. Of
course, he did not further describe these reactionary forces. Instead,
Lerner condemned the Catholic Church.s .tenth century decision to exclude
women from the clergy,. while the church ignores Jesus. teachings against
violence and for social justice, allowing priests who support .economic
oppression and wars. to run rife. He urged his Network.s supporters to
campaign against the forces of reaction within the Catholic Church. .We
are not anti-Catholic,. Lerner insisted, even as he inveighed against the
church hierarchy for bigotry and oppression.
Generously, Lerner observed that many Catholics .remain committed to peace
and social justice. but live in fear because the Inquisition may descend
upon them. Many Jesuits who are faithful to the .true teachings of Jesus.
would join Lerner.s Network but for the threat of persecution, he opined.
Courageously, Lerner is not himself afraid of the church.s vast powers.
He announced that he will himself appear at Bourgeois. annual protest
march at Ft. Benning on November 22, leading a workshop on how spiritual
progressives can best support President Obama.
.Spiritual Progressives. like Lerner commonly denounce the purported
dogmatism of traditional religion. But of course they erect in the place
of traditional faith their own, self-developed infallible doctrines, which
rest not on scriptures or tradition, but on the will to political power.
Mark D. Tooley directs the United Methodist committee at the Institute on
Religion and Democracy.
5. Those moderate Jordanians:
6. Man the torpedoes!
7. Yeah sure the Saudis want peace:
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
IDF Soldiers Prepared to Just Say No
'1 in 3 soldiers won't evacuate Golan'
Nov. 24, 2008
Herb Keinon , THE JERUSALEM POST
One-third of the country believes it would be legitimate for soldiers to
refuse orders to remove settlements from the Golan Heights, according to a
poll released on Monday.
The poll was carried out by Ma'agar Mohot for a conference entitled "War
at home? from disengagement to the Golan Heights" that will be held
Thursday at the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee.
Asked what soldiers should do if ordered in the future to evacuate Jewish
settlements from the Golan Heights, 67% of the respondents who had an
opinion said the soldiers should carry out the evacuation, while 33%
percent said they should not. Among respondents who identified themselves
as voters for right-wing parties, the number saying the soldiers should
not carry out the orders reached 41%.
Udi Lebel, a political scientist at Kinneret College, said this was the
first time such a large percentage of the population gave legitimacy to
refuse IDF orders. Lebel said that according to polls that would be
presented at the conference on Thursday, opposition to withdrawal from the
Golan was greater even than opposition to dividing Jerusalem.
"If we are talking about a representative sample that reflects the
positions of the population, and the army is a people's army, then every
third soldier will oppose evacuation, and in light of this it is doubtful
it would be possible to carry out a withdrawal," Lebel said.
The poll also found that a majority of the population is opposed to a full
withdrawal from the Golan in exchange for full peace with Syria.
When asked, "in your opinion, does the Israeli government need or does it
not need to agree to a full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights in
exchange for full peace with Syria," 58% said that it does not need to
agree to a withdrawal, while 27% said it did, and another 15% said it
depended on the conditions and circumstances.
The poll also found that 54% of the respondents said that the Golan
Heights issue would either "influence" or "greatly influence" which party
they decided to vote for in the upcoming elections.
The telephone poll was carried out November 21-22 among 520 people, and
had a 4.5% margin of error.
2. Geeks for a Second Shoah:
3. The Arabs for Israel:
Why Reporters - Judges and Professors - Are Biased
By Dennis Prager
FrontPageMagazine.com | 11/25/2008
That the news media were biased in the 2008 presidential election is now
acknowledged by fair-minded people, left or right.
As Time Magazine.s Mark Halperin said this weekend at a Politico/USC
Conference on the 2008 election: .It's the most disgusting failure of
people in our business.It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage."
Given how obvious this bias is, the question is not whether liberals in
the media tend to offer biased reporting. The question is why? Why can.t
liberal news people report the news without any slant?
The answer is that for people on the left, all . I repeat, all .
professions are a means to an end, not ends in themselves. That end is the
social transformation of society, meaning the promoting of .social
justice. as the left understands that term.
For most liberal news reporters, therefore, the purpose of news reporting
is not to report news as objectively as possible. The purpose of the media
in general and of reporting specifically is to promote social justice and
the social transformation of society.
For most liberal judges, the primary purpose of being a judge is to
promote social justice and transform society. That is why liberal judges
are so much more likely to be judicial activists than conservative judges.
Most liberal judges do not see their roles as merely adjudicating a
dispute according to the law. They see their role primarily as using the
law and their power to rule on the law to promote social justice.
For most university professors . and many high school teachers, as well .
outside of the natural sciences and math, the same holds true. The task of
a teacher is to teach, i.e., to convey the most important information as
honestly as possible. But, again, this conflicts with the social justice
goal of the left. History teachers who merely teach history are of little
use to the left. History . and English and political science, and
sociology, and other liberal arts . teachers must use their classroom to
produce young people who will wish to engage in society-transforming work
for social justice.
For most liberals in the arts (there are very few conservatives in the
arts) there is no denial of their having an agenda. They state quite
candidly that the purpose of the arts is to challenge the (conservative)
status quo, to raise political and social consciousness by advancing a
.progressive. political and social agenda. The artist whose agenda is
merely to produce beautiful art is looked upon as a reactionary buffoon,
and is not likely to be taken seriously -- no matter how talented -- in
the worlds of music, dance, painting, and sculpture.
Even the natural sciences are increasingly subject to being rendered a
means to a .progressive. end. There was the pseudo-threat of heterosexual
AIDS in America . science manipulated in order to de-stigmatize AIDS as
primarily a gay man.s disease and to increase funding for AIDS research.
There are the exaggerated secondhand smoke data popularized so as to
decrease smoking and fight .Big Tobacco.. And now we have the
scientifically questionable belief in man-made carbon emissions causing
global warming leading to natural catastrophe . and recommended
.solutions. many of which, if adopted, will serve the goal of undermining
The best analogy of the directing of all human endeavors toward a
left-wing purpose would be those early medieval centuries of European life
when just about everything man made was supposed to reflect a religious
consciousness. Virtually nothing stood apart from the Church. The arts
were religious, the sciences were handmaidens of theology, and schools
were religious in nature.
Most moderns look upon that period as a dark age . perhaps a bit unfairly
at times. But the people who most scorn what they deem the religious .Dark
Ages. are trying to building a secular-left dark age in our time. Because
the left is a religion, a substitute for the Christianity it seeks to
5. Does this mean the other 28% are on the take?
6. Legal assault on freedom of speech . not only in Nazareth:
7. Another reason to bomb Gaza? Gaza man refuses to recycle glass
bottle and: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3628170,00.html
8. One jihad front down, countless to go:
9. Being nice causes terror:
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Help support the initiative! Strip Israeli Traitors of their Citizenship!
sensible. Meir Sheetrit, the ex-Likudnik turned Kadima party serving as
the Israeli Minister of the Interior, has announced that he is initiating
moves to strip Azmi Bishara of his Israeli citizenship. Azmi Bishara is
an Arab fascist who served in the Knesset, but then served as a spy for
and collaborator for the Hizbollah in the middle of the 2006 war with Ehud
Barak's rockets on the northern border. Bishara is wanted by the Israeli
police for terrorism and treason and is hiding in some Moslem country
(there is debate as to which). Since he refuses to come back to answer
charges, Sheetrit has uncharacteristically moved to strip the traitor of
his Israeli citizenship. If stripped he also loses his Knesset member
pension and some other perqs.
Now this is such a good idea that I really think we should all write Meir
Sheetrit at the Israeli Ministry of the Interior and urge that he expand
his initiative to strip other anti-Israel pro-terror extremists and
fascists of their citizenship. Take Ilan Pappe. After sitting at the
University of Haifa for years, where he was the Hamas' favorite Israeli
"academic," and after inventing a fictional account of a non-existent
massacres of Arabs, Pappe has moved to Britain where he is a full-time
pseudo-academic advocate of Israel's destruction. So why not strip HIM of
his Israeli citizenship as well?
And while we are at it, why not strip some of those anti-Israel fascists
at Ben Gurion University of THEIR Israeli citizenship. In fact, there
are scores of tenured traitors at Israeli universities who could be
stripped of their tenure and their pensions if only they were first
stripped of their citizenship!
Sheetrit can be reached at Meir Sheetrit, Minister of the Interior, 2
Kaplan Street, Jerusalem, Israel
Fax 972 -2-6469442 or 972-2- 02-5666376
If Sheetrit does not respond, keep a copy of your request and send it
again to the next Minister of the Interior after Netanyahu wins the
2. 8 Neo-Nazis inside Israel sentenced to prison. Strange - none of them
were from Ben Gurion University!
Speaking of Ben Gurion University, you may recall that the lies of Neve
Gordon about how an Israeli General (Aviv Kochavi) was supposedly a war
criminal prevented Kochavi from entering the UK for private studies. It
is not often when Shimon Peres and I are on the same wavelength, but Peres
is this week denouncing the law in the UK that allows Israeli officials to
be harassed legally on the say-so of people like Neve Gordon. Take a look
3. Common sense breaking out in Israeli politics?
Yaalon: For Arabs we're all settlers
Former IDF chief, in first appearance since joining Likud, slams documents
by Arab Israelis that 'reject our right to independent Jewish state,'
claims Livni 'has withstood no test of leadership
Published: 11.22.08, 22:10 / Israel News
Arab Israelis consider all Jewish Israelis settlers, "in Tel Aviv, in
Holon, all of us," said former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon Saturday,
in his first political conference since announcing his intention to join
the Likud party last week.
Yaalon asserted that "Israeli Arabs, with four documents that they wrote
over the past two years, are actually rejecting our right to an
independent Jewish state. We are settlers, as far as they are concerned."
However, he continued, "we have the power to deal with this phenomenon.
Both military and economic power."
Yaalon also stated that current peace initiatives are weakening Israel's
immunity from attack. "There are arguments about a solution, but we
haven't even agreed on how to define the problem," the former general
"That is why arguing about solutions is the same as arguing about
delusions. In fact, a particular solution is being forced on us. We want
peace now, food now, everything now, as if this is fast food and fast
peace, and along the way we have lost much of our spirit, our power and
our deterrence," he told the crowd.
Finally, he attacked Foreign Minister and Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni.
"I see signs in the street selling spin, trying to defraud us again, with
some sort of depiction that I see as lacking any essence," he said of
campaign ads reading 'Livni: What's good for the State.'
"I see signs of someone chosen to lead Kadima. When did she actually
withstand a test of leadership?
She didn't do so during the Second Lebanon War, not during the actual
decision-making process and not as regards UN Security Council Resolution
1701," he said.
4. Where have all the flowers gone?
Israeli flower exporters claim victory
Feb. 14, 2007
Jonny Paul Jerusalem Post Correspondent , THE JERUSALEM POST
Israeli flower exporters claimed victory on Wednesday following a two-day
demonstration by anti-Israel activists attempting to disrupt flower trucks
from leaving the UK headquarters of Carmel-Agrexco for Valentine's Day.
The protesters gathered over the weekend, some chaining themselves to the
gates of the factory, in an attempt to stop the distribution of the
Amos Orr, general manager of Carmel-Agrexco UK, told The Jerusalem Post
that the demonstrators had not succeeded in causing any disruptions and
all consignments reached their destinations safely.
"Firstly, they came on the quietest day of the week [Saturday]; secondly
we knew in advance that they were coming - they had advertised it over two
months ago on various Web sites - so we simply arranged for deliveries to
be sent out in the morning."
"Trucks that came later were able to make it though as the police simply
moved the protesters aside," he added. "On Sunday around 15 activists
came. There was no activity, the police came and arrested a few and it was
all over within an hour-and-a-half."
Tom Hayes, spokesman for the Boycott Israeli Goods campaign (BIG),
defended the protest action, saying it had achieved the publicity it
"The purpose of the protest was to get a large number of people to come to
the depot to spread the word and show companies that profit from the
occupation," he told the Post. "Our actions were a success. The protest
caused disruption during the busiest weekend. Many more people are aware
of Carmel-Agrexco and we showed that we're not going to sit by while
companies profit from apartheid."
BIG was set up by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, a pro-Palestinian
lobby group which calls for a blanket boycott of, divestment from and
sanctions against Israel.
"Before taking part in this action, many of the defendants had witnessed
first hand the suffering of Palestinian communities under the brutal
Israeli occupation," Hayes said. "They do not accept the UK's complicity
in the illegal occupation of Palestine and see the presence of this
company as a violation of human rights."
Meanwhile, a new Jewish group has emerged to support BIG. Deborah Fink, a
member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP), said she had set up
Jews for Boycott of Israel Goods (J-BIG).
"I wanted to do more on the boycott and wanted JfJfP to do it but couldn't
push them into doing it so in the end I started my own group and agreed
last month to join up with BIG," Fink told the Post. "I have about 30
signatories, which I know sounds small, but we have only just started."
Last November, JfJfP disassociated the group from comments Fink made on an
anti-Zionist blog in which she said: "Israel does not deserve to be called
'the Jewish state.' It should be called 'the Satanic state.' I really
don't see the point of doing anything else other than boycott it in every
Dan Judelson, chair of JfJfP, said Fink's comments were "incompatible"
with the philosophy of the group, and she spoke only for herself.
Last July, JfJfP sparked a furor in the community after it organized an
advertisement in The Times signed by more than 300 British Jews condemning
Israeli actions in Gaza following the abduction of Gilad Schalit.
5. The J Street Traitors
BARACK + BIBI = DISASTER?
Jonathan S. Tobin
6. Speaking of tenured traitors, see:
including Israeli academics for the annihilation of Israel. Note that
Ahmad Saidi is a colleague of Neve Gordon's in the Department of Political
Science at Ben Gurion University.
7. Looking for some good economic news? Try this! The stocks of the NY
Times company have dropped by more than 80% over the past 3 years, and
dropped by 7% on this past Friday, the day when the overall stock market
went UP by 5.5% (in effect, a 12.5% one-day loss)! It just is not
profitable anymore to run all the slime that is unfit to print. It is
also comeuppance; the NY Slimes was a major booster of Obama and is one of
the first to crash on Obamonomics.
8. Yuli Tamir, the Israeli Minister of Education, is probably best
known for two things: for her campaign to force Israeli school children to
learn that Israel's very existence is a catastrophe (a "Nakba"), and for
her writing in defense of "female circumcision" or clitoridectomy (see
this: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Message.aspx/2274 ).
Well, Haaretz today reports that Charles Bronfman, the Jewish
ultra-liberal tycoon, just donated 10,000 NIS to Tamir's primary campaign
war chest. The only other Israeli politician to get Bronfman money was
Yitzhak Herzog (Labor Party son of ex-President Haim Herzog).
You realize what this means? Tamir would like to do to the bodies of
hapless women what the Israeli Labor Party to which she belongs seeks to
do to Israeli control of Jerusalem!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Jewish Social Justice Fetishism
Social Justice Fetishism
In one of the better known episodes of Seinfeld, George Costanza feels
obligated to define his relationship with a girlfriend. He feels the need
to have an official purpose and "definition" of that relationship, as
necessarily being about SOMETHING! At a loss to come up with something
better, and noticing that he and the woman both chew gum, which may in fact
be the ONLY thing they have in common, George decides that their
relationship is henceforth officially about gum. After all, it HAS to be
I am reminded of that episode every time I am faced with
assimilationist Jewish liberals in the United States and elsewhere who
insist that Judaism is essentially about the pursuit for social justice. It
These are people who seem to feel that their Jewishness HAS GOT to be
about SOMETHING! For most such people, it is not about religious
observance and ritual, and their interest in Israel is superficial and
fleeting. They certainly have no interest in relocating to the Middle East
and paying Israeli taxes. At the same time, they still feel a desire to
maintain some sort of outward assertion and proclamation of Jewishness. (The
totally assimilated do not even feel THAT!) And since they are convinced
that their Jewishness just HAS GOT to be about SOMETHING, they almost
uniformly proclaim that is has got to do with "social justice."
I think they would be on firmer grounds if they insisted it has got to do
I have long had a rage against such assimilationist liberal American
Jews, people who pretend that all of Judaism reduces to liberal "social
action" political activism. I dismiss such people as "Tikkun Olam Pagans,"
because of their obsessive misuse of the term "Tikkun Olam" in order to
promote their political agendas. (Tikkun magazine itself is just the tip of
the chattering iceberg.) For such people, membership in the Jewish people
is equivalent to membership in some campus protest movement, like the
movements to save whales or fight global warming. Theirs is an empty
un-Jewish Jewishness. Interestingly, over the past few months a debate of
sorts has been going on in Commentary Magazine, triggered by an article by
Hillel Halkin entitled "How not to Repair the World" in this past
July/August 08 issue. The November 08 issue has several letters continuing
the discourse. Halkin is not one of my favorite writers, but his
denunciation of misuse of "Tikkun Olam" by such people was dead on.
I believe it is important that everyone understand how contrary to
real Judaism is this "social justice fetishism." I spell out here why this
is pseudo-Jewishness and a paganistic parody of Judaism in the article
below. Please take a few minutes to grind through it.
(A slightly abridged version of what follows appears this week in the NY
Jewish Press, and can be read at
Social Justice Fetishism
by Steven Plaut
Liberal Jewish assimilationists have invented a myth, that Judaism is
a synonym for the pursuit of "social justice."
On internet web search engines the combination of the terms "Judaism
and social justice" turns out a considerable LARGER number of web page
"hits" than a search for "Judaism and kosher" or "Judaism and Passover," and
nearly all of these are internet sites proclaiming the quest for "social
justice" as the essence of Jewish ethics. Many of these are web pages
associated with Reform or Conservative synagogues and synagogue
justice action" committees are as common as such congregations themselves,
and some Orthodox congregations have them as well.
But is "social justice" really the essence of Judaism? It would be an
exaggeration, but only a small exaggeration, to point out that nothing at
all in Judaism constitutes the pursuit of "social" justice (as opposed to
judicial justice). It is therefore an absurdity to claim that "social
justice" is synonymous with Judaism and is the essence thereof.
Like those old advertisements about Levy's Rye Bread, you do not have to
be Jewish to pursue social justice. Christians, Moslems, Hindus, and
atheists are just as capable of caring about "social justice" and pursuing
it as are Jews. Moreover, pursuing "social action" fads is hardly the same
as pursing justice. If we strip "social justice" of the trendiness in its
agenda and concentrate for a moment on something uncontroversial, we
immediately see how obvious this is. Murder is considered wrong in all
religious traditions and in all strands of secularist humanist philosophy. So
if the only purpose of Judaism is to teach that murder is unjust, or
"socially unjust" (to adopt the terminology of these folks), then who needs
Judaism? Practicing Judaism would be an awfully cumbersome way to convey
to the world that murder is unjust. In addition, if all of Judaism is
simply the pursuing of "social justice," would not a gentile pursuing social
justice be practicing the essence of Judaism? In that case, intermarriage
between a Jew and a "socially concerned" gentile would not be intermarriage
at all, as they practice the same "religion." The *real* intermarriage
liberal Jewish parents would need to worry about is junior bringing home a
Even if one believed that "social justice" *were* the essence of
Judaism, this is a far cry from insisting that pursuit of fashionable
liberal causes is *THE* exclusive "social justice" that Judaism
such fads usually produce social *injustice*!) There is a difference
between agreeing that murder is (socially) unjust and deriving policy
conclusions from this consensus. If murder is unjust, should murderers be
executed? As it turns out, Judaism is unambiguously and enthusiastically in
favor of capital punishment for murderers. Yet, to the extent that the
issue is addressed at all by Jewish practitioners of social justice
fetishism, one would think that capital punishment is unambiguously *
condemned* by "Jewish ethics." One would be hard pressed to find a single
synagogue "social action committee" promoting the death penalty.
A major problem with social action fetishism is that it refuses to
acknowledge the tradeoffs involved in real world choices over issues of
social justice. In the name of social justice, should Jews be siding with
the Ossetians against the Georgians or with the Georgians against the
Russians? Or, coming closer to home, if subsidizing ethanol reduces
American import dependence on carbon fuels but causes grain and food prices
to rise, is the subsidization socially just or socially unjust? Practitioners
of social justice fetishism do not want to be bothered with such
complications! They seek instant moral gratification, effortless armchair
recreational compassion. Studying cost-benefits analysis would be such a
bother and a distraction.
A more fundamental problem is with the entire notion of "social"
justice, as opposed to justice. "Justice" is a term that describes the
proper functioning of a judicial system, of courts and judges. There is
indeed considerable attention and importance attached to justice in the
Torah, the Talmud, and in traditional Rabbinic discourse, but they mean
court justice. In fact, the requirement to operate a functional legal and
judicial system is one of the commandments to Noah according to Jewish
understanding and so obligates all gentile societies.
But "*social*" justice is in essence a notion that concerns the
relationship between *GROUPS* of people in society and concentrates on
issues of collective economic wellbeing and power. If handicapped people as
a group face housing discrimination, this might be an example of an issue
involving for "social justice."
In this narrow sense, it should be emphasized that true Jewish ethicism
has very little interest in group "social justice," except when the group in
question is the Jewish people. Indeed, the proper understanding of "*Tikkun
Olam*," that mantra recited senselessly and obsessively by all Jewish
practitioners of social justice fetishism, has nothing at all to do with
"social" justice. The only mention of "*Tikkun Olam*" in prayer has to do
with the eradication of pagan idolatry from the world. More generally, one
can squeeze under the notional umbrella of *Tikkun Olam* the demand that
courts do their work properly. In the Talmud it occasionally refers to
things like adjudicating divorces properly. Not a single recycling program
is mentioned there as "*Tikkun Olam*."
This point cannot be stressed too much. Justice in Judaism, be it
social or not, means mainly that courts function well and fairly. But
courts only function well when they *IGNORE* group social considerations
altogether. The Torah explicitly warns judges *NOT* to favor a poor
plaintiff over a rich one out of any sense of misplaced compassion! Judges
are commanded to protect orphans and widows, but via applying the laws to
them without bias. Poor people do not get to dodge their legal obligations,
like repaying debts or restoring property, just because of some sense of
affirmative action preference on their behalf.
As for economic "discrimination" and income disparities, under Judaism
these are none of the court's business. The Jewish ethical methodology for
dealing with income disparities is by requiring *TZEDAKA *or charity, and
the income disparities that concern Judaism are internal Jewish ones. Jews
are required by Judaism to look after other Jews living in hardship. Jews of
course are not prohibited from helping out non-Jews in economic distress,
but are nor religiously obligated to do so either. I suppose one could
argue that there is a social utilitarian basis behind the commandments of
charity, allowing society to operate more cohesively and in harmony when
plenty of charity is given, reducing resentment and jealousy. But *that* is
a modern sociological interpretation being read into things. Charity is
obligatory because it is the good thing to do. True wealthiness, the Talmud
tells us, is being satisfied with your lot in life and not coveting your
As for group entitlements in the name of "social" justice, in Jewish
ethics the main groups entitled to collective allotments and wealth sharing
are the Levites and the priests. Converts to Judaism are mentioned often as
a group deserving of compassionate treatment and consideration, but in such
things as their entitlement to feed themselves from fields owned by Jews
(alongside the poor or destitute) and to be treated fairly in courts of law.
One can just imagine the look on Moses' face if he were to hear that modern
practitioners of social justice fetishism tout affirmative action programs
that discriminate against Jews through quotas and reduced standards as
"Jewish social justice." Since Moses was known to have a sharp temper, I
would not recommend that anyone go back in time via a time machine to ask
him about his thoughts on "gay marriage."
Peace is one of the highest value in Jewish ethics, although not
exactly because it constitutes "social" justice. The fetishists chanting
"Peace Now" overlook two important points: first, it is generally not a
legitimate Biblically-based ethical concern for Jews to interfere when
gentiles conduct wars among themselves and there is no Jewish ethical
injunction to stop those wars (except in cases such as Lot getting kidnapped
by Syrians); and second, war itself can be a great ethical "good" and means
to achieve real social justice. We honor Rabbi Akiva as one of the greatest
ethical figures of all time, even though he not only endorsed launching a
war but it turned out to be a war that the Jews lost, a war for which we are
still paying the price. War against non-Jewish interlopers who have seized
military or political control over any parts of the Land of Israel is *always
*ethically justified, and may be conducted outside the strict boundaries of
the Promised Land.
True practice of Jewish ethics requires taking the "social" out of the
Jewish liberal posturings and genuflections over "social justice," and
restoring the justice.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
An Idea Whose Time has Come!
Palestinian calls for Palestine boycott
From The Jewish Chronicle
October 30, 2008
A campaign group has launched a boycott with a difference this week -
calling on British shoppers to stop buying goods produced in the West Bank
Boycott of Palestinian Goods and Services (BPGS) is also asking traders to
stop importing olive oil, figs, dates, soap and flowers from Palestinian
Campaign director Muhsir Mutawakil, who claims in a press release that he
converted to Judaism in 1994, said Hamas's control of Gaza had resulted in
"religious and gender apartheid" for 120,000 Palestinian Christians and
more than two million women.
Rafah-born Mr Mutawakil, who claims he has held "successful" talks with
British firms, said: "There is a growing realisation that fostering
business dealings and exchanges in the travel, professional, educational
and medical sectors with these apartheid-based regimes is
counter-productive. Commitments made for 2009 are being renegotiated or
A Board of Deputies spokesman said it was unaware of BPGS and was opposed
to boycotts: "We would like to see a time when peaceful co-operation
between Israelis and Palestinians boosts the economies of both peoples.
The first step is to encourage trade and not engage in sanctions."
Last updated: 12:27pm, October 30 2008
For Immediate Distribution
Successful Launch of Boycott of Palestinian Arab Goods
VANCOUVER, November 10 -- Organizers of a new world-wide campaign to
boycott imports of goods and services from so-called Palestine today
expressed satisfaction with the inroads they have made in this regard.
Boycott of Palestinian Goods and Services (BPGS) CEO Muhsir
Mutawakil said he is looking forward to global distributors shifting their
imports of agricultural and horticultural products from Gaza and the West
Bank towards other sources.
"The Islamic oppressive regimes in Gaza and Ramallah are enforcing
apartheid rule against 120,000 Palestinian Christians and over 2 million
women. This religious and gender apartheid must stop at once," he said.
He noted that the multinational business community is sensitive
to handling tainted products from exporters who are engaging in war
crimes. Accordingly, there should shortly be a measurable decline in
shipments to Western markets, including Canada, of flowers, soap,
handicrafts, olive oil, figs, dates, pita and Cremisan wine from
Mutawakil also reported successful discussions with the services
industry in Canada, Australia, the USA and the UK. "There is a growing
realization that fostering business dealings and exchanges in the travel,
professional, educational and medical sectors with these apartheid-based
regimes is counter-productive. Already, commitments made for 2009 are
being renegotiated or dropped entirely," he said.
The BPGS campaign is proud to be receiving the assistance of lay
and religious publics in the developed world. It is confident that just
as apartheid South Africa was brought to its knees by the boycotts of
international civil society, so too will the brutal Hamas and Abbas
occupiers of Gaza and the West Bank be defeated by NGOs like us
For Editors: Muhsir Mutawakil is a Palestinian Arab from the town of
Rafah in the Gaza Strip. His parents were tortured to death by the Hamas
gang currently ruling Gaza. He converted to Judaism in 1994.
Monday, November 17, 2008
And then along Came "Mohammed Denial"
the Temple Mount? Who insist that all the Jews are just Khazar
interlopers and that Jesus was a Palestinian Arab? Or the self-hating Tel
Aviv University professors who claim the Jews have never been a people,
unlike the Palestinians, who go back to the Jebussites?
Well, sit back and watch the fireworks! Read about the Moslem scholar who
insists Mohammed never existed! It will be fascinating to see how the
Islamists, always fond of Holocaust Denial, react when a Moslem scholar
engages in Mohammed Denial!:
. NOVEMBER 15, 2008
. From the Wall Street Journal
Professor Hired for Outreach to Muslims Delivers a Jolt
Islamic Theologian's Theory: It's Likely the Prophet Muhammad Never
By ANDREW HIGGINS
MUNSTER, Germany -- Muhammad Sven Kalisch, a Muslim convert and Germany's
first professor of Islamic theology, fasts during the Muslim holy month,
doesn't like to shake hands with Muslim women and has spent years studying
Islamic scripture. Islam, he says, guides his life.
So it came as something of a surprise when Prof. Kalisch announced the
fruit of his theological research. His conclusion: The Prophet Muhammad
probably never existed.
Theology Without Muhammad
Read a translated excerpt from "Islamic Theology Without the Historic
Muhammad -- Comments on the Challenges of the Historical-Critical Method
for Islamic Thinking" by Professor Kalisch.
Muslims, not surprisingly, are outraged. Even Danish cartoonists who
triggered global protests a couple of years ago didn't portray the Prophet
as fictional. German police, worried about a violent backlash, told the
professor to move his religious-studies center to more-secure premises.
"We had no idea he would have ideas like this," says Thomas Bauer, a
fellow academic at M.nster University who sat on a committee that
appointed Prof. Kalisch. "I'm a more orthodox Muslim than he is, and I'm
not a Muslim."
When Prof. Kalisch took up his theology chair four years ago, he was seen
as proof that modern Western scholarship and Islamic ways can mingle --
and counter the influence of radical preachers in Germany. He was put in
charge of a new program at M.nster, one of Germany's oldest and most
respected universities, to train teachers in state schools to teach Muslim
pupils about their faith.
Muslim leaders cheered and joined an advisory board at his Center for
Religious Studies. Politicians hailed the appointment as a sign of
Germany's readiness to absorb some three million Muslims into mainstream
society. But, says Andreas Pinkwart, a minister responsible for higher
education in this north German region, "the results are disappointing."
Prof. Kalisch, who insists he's still a Muslim, says he knew he would get
in trouble but wanted to subject Islam to the same scrutiny as
Christianity and Judaism. German scholars of the 19th century, he notes,
were among the first to raise questions about the historical accuracy of
Many scholars of Islam question the accuracy of ancient sources on
Muhammad's life. The earliest biography, of which no copies survive, dated
from roughly a century after the generally accepted year of his death,
632, and is known only by references to it in much later texts. But only a
few scholars have doubted Muhammad's existence. Most say his life is
better documented than that of Jesus.
Sven Muhammad Kalish
"Of course Muhammad existed," says Tilman Nagel, a scholar in Gottingen
and author of a new book, "Muhammad: Life and Legend." The Prophet
differed from the flawless figure of Islamic tradition, Prof. Nagel says,
but "it is quite astonishing to say that thousands and thousands of pages
about him were all forged" and there was no such person.
All the same, Prof. Nagel has signed a petition in support of Prof.
Kalisch, who has faced blistering criticism from Muslim groups and some
secular German academics. "We are in Europe," Prof. Nagel says. "Education
is about thinking, not just learning by heart."
Prof. Kalisch's religious studies center recently removed a sign and
erased its address from its Web site. The professor, a burly 42-year-old,
says he has received no specific threats but has been denounced as
apostate, a capital offense in some readings of Islam.
"Maybe people are speculating that some idiot will come and cut off my
head," he said during an interview in his study.
A few minutes later, an assistant arrived in a panic to say a
suspicious-looking digital clock had been found lying in the hallway.
Police, called to the scene, declared the clock harmless.
A convert to Islam at age 15, Prof. Kalisch says he was drawn to the faith
because it seemed more rational than others. He embraced a branch of
Shiite Islam noted for its skeptical bent. After working briefly as a
lawyer, he began work in 2001 on a postdoctoral thesis in Islamic law in
Hamburg, to go through the elaborate process required to become a
professor in Germany.
The Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S. that year appalled Mr. Kalisch but didn't
dent his devotion. Indeed, after he arrived at M.nster University in 2004,
he struck some as too conservative. Sami Alrabaa, a scholar at a nearby
college, recalls attending a lecture by Prof. Kalisch and being upset by
his doctrinaire defense of Islamic law, known as Sharia.
In private, he was moving in a different direction. He devoured works
questioning the existence of Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Then "I said to
myself: You've dealt with Christianity and Judaism but what about your own
religion? Can you take it for granted that Muhammad existed?"
He had no doubts at first, but slowly they emerged. He was struck, he
says, by the fact that the first coins bearing Muhammad's name did not
appear until the late 7th century -- six decades after the religion did.
He traded ideas with some scholars in Saarbr.cken who in recent years have
been pushing the idea of Muhammad's nonexistence. They claim that
"Muhammad" wasn't the name of a person but a title, and that Islam began
as a Christian heresy.
Prof. Kalisch didn't buy all of this. Contributing last year to a book on
Islam, he weighed the odds and called Muhammad's existence "more probable
than not." By early this year, though, his thinking had shifted. "The more
I read, the historical person at the root of the whole thing became more
and more improbable," he says.
He has doubts, too, about the Quran. "God doesn't write books," Prof.
Some of his students voiced alarm at the direction of his teaching. "I
began to wonder if he would one day say he doesn't exist himself," says
one. A few boycotted his lectures. Others sang his praises.
Prof. Kalisch says he "never told students 'just believe what Kalisch
thinks' " but seeks to teach them to think independently. Religions, he
says, are "crutches" that help believers get to "the spiritual truth
behind them." To him, what matters isn't whether Muhammad actually lived
but the philosophy presented in his name.
This summer, the dispute hit the headlines. A Turkish-language German
newspaper reported on it with gusto. Media in the Muslim world picked up
Germany's Muslim Coordinating Council withdrew from the advisory board of
Prof. Kalisch's center. Some Council members refused to address him by his
adopted Muslim name, Muhammad, saying that he should now be known as Sven.
German academics split. Michael Marx, a Quran scholar at the
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, warned that Prof. Kalisch's views
would discredit German scholarship and make it difficult for German
scholars to work in Muslim lands. But Ursula Spuler-Stegemann, an Islamic
studies scholar at the University of Marburg, set up a Web site called
solidaritymuhammadkalisch.com and started an online petition of support.
Alarmed that a pioneering effort at Muslim outreach was only stoking
antagonism, M.nster University decided to douse the flames. Prof. Kalisch
was told he could keep his professorship but must stop teaching Islam to
future school teachers.
The professor says he's more determined than ever to keep probing his
faith. He is finishing a book to explain his thoughts. It's in English
instead of German because he wants to make a bigger impact. "I'm convinced
that what I'm doing is necessary. There must be a free discussion of
Islam," he says.
.Almut Schoenfeld in Berlin contributed to this article.
Write to Andrew Higgins at firstname.lastname@example.org