Monday, December 01, 2008

A Hindu Michael Lerner?

1. Oy Yeh, Oy Che -

2. Mumbai:

3. Pop went the weasel:

4. More selective defense of freedom of speech. Communism is ok but
Kahanism not:

5. The Wonderful Melanie Phillips:

6. You can always rely on the LA Slimes to give any news story an
anti-Semitic spin:

7. Oh how said . the NY Times did not like the latest Israeli gay


Below I attach a comment piece by Charles Moore, a distinguished former
editor of The Daily Telegraph. As Moore, who is a subscriber to this email
list, points out "Islamists believe that India is a Muslim land, which was
stolen from them. If they had their way, the world's largest democracy
would come under the rule of Sharia."

"... Perhaps because of our media obsession with Palestine above all other
places involving Islam... we do not understand what is happening
[elsewhere]," he adds.

-- Tom Gross

9. From the Wall St Journal:

. DECEMBER 1, 2008
Egypt's Jew Haters Deserve Ostracism in the West
More proof the prejudice has nothing to do with Israel.
Cairo, Egypt
"But we are Semites ourselves!" That is what an urbane Egyptian journalist
will likely reply to the charge that the Egyptian media is rife with
anti-Semitism. But there are few places where Jews are blamed for so many
of the world's ills, from carcinogenic pesticides to the war in Iraq.
More distressing is that much of the pointing is being done by Egypt's
self-described liberals -- the pro-democratic and anti-Islamist crowd on
which the country's hopes for a more tolerant future supposedly rest.
The most recent episode began on Oct. 2, when the Anti-Defamation League
issued a press release reporting "Surge in Anti-Semitic Messages on Online
Finance Sites." An Egyptian journalist read about it in the Israeli daily
"Maariv," and here is how the new, "liberal" Egyptian weekly Al-Youm
As-Sabi headlined its report the next day: "Jews are the principal suspect
in the financial crisis." The article ran alongside a photo of stock
market readouts, captioned "why are cries against Jews growing louder in
the U.S.?"
This was not the only instance in which Egypt's "liberal" intelligentsia
found ways to blame Jews for the financial crisis. On Oct. 11, Abbas
at-Tarabili, the editor in chief of the Al-Wafd daily -- the house organ
of Egypt's leading "liberal" political party of the same name -- wrote a
column purporting to show that Jews were merely manipulating the stock
market as they had the price of gold in the late 1970s.
"The Jews played a filthy game," he wrote. "It is true that the Western
countries -- the United States on top -- have a lot to lose, but all pours
into the pockets of Jewish businessmen who control the stock markets of
the world."
Two weeks later, Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt's largest independent newspaper
and widely regarded as the country's only serious tribune for liberalism,
ran a column baldly titled "The Jewish Conspiracy." The columnist, Khairi
Ramadan, who also co-hosts one of the country's most successful talk
shows, asked his readers not to ignore what is being said on the Internet
"about a Jewish conspiracy in the end of Bush's term, in preparation for
controlling the next president."
"The available information," wrote Mr. Ramadan, shows that "the Jews
withdrew 400 billion dollars from Lehman Brothers a couple of weeks before
it collapsed," adding that the collapse of the brokerage house was of a
piece with the events of September 11, "when thousands of Jews did not go
to the WTC."
These examples are especially notable because they have nothing to do with
Israel or Zionism. They expose the falsehood -- popular with prominent
scholars like John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of last year's
best-selling book "The Israel Lobby" -- that hatred of Jews is not one of
the great motivating factors in the Arab world's overall objections to
But these examples also raise a serious question about what passes for
liberalism in the Arab world. Why bother listening to these voices on
matters of economics -- much less politics, democracy or human rights --
if they also propagate hateful conspiracy theories?
There's another question: Over the past eight years, the United States has
invested huge resources in attempting to bring democracy to the Middle
East. But it's not clear whether that project will succeed as long as
America's natural allies in the region remain themselves so profoundly
irrational and illiberal.
What can be done? Here's a modest suggestion. The Egyptian state and the
country's newspapers go out of their way to make a leper of any author who
expresses even remote sympathy with Israel. Perhaps Western institutions
could adopt a similar practice, refusing to invite to their various
functions any editors who allow their pages to become Jew-hatred
platforms. The cold shoulder alone might get these lunch-eaters to change
their tune.
Mr. Bargisi is a Cairo-based writer and a former Bartley Fellow at the

10. The Michael Lerner of the Hindus?:
. NOVEMBER 30, 2008, 11:53 P.M. ET
Deepak Blames America
The media look within to explain the sick delusions of the Mumbai killers.
If the Mumbai terror assault seemed exceptional, and shocking in its
targets, it was clear from the Thanksgiving Day reports that we weren't
going to be deprived of the familiar, either. Namely, ruminations, hints,
charges of American culpability that regularly accompany catastrophes of
this kind.
Soon enough, there was Deepak Chopra, healer, New Age philosopher and
digestion guru, advocate of aromatherapy and regular enemas, holding forth
on CNN on the meaning of the attacks.
How the ebullient Dr. Chopra had come to be chosen as an authority on
terror remains something of a mystery, though the answer may have
something to do with his emergence in the recent presidential campaign as
a thinker of advanced political views. Also commending him, perhaps, is
his well known capacity to cut through all sorts of complexities to make
matters simple. No one can fail to grasp the wisdom of a man who has
informed us that "If you have happy thoughts, then you make happy
In his CNN interview, he was no less clear. What happened in Mumbai, he
told the interviewer, was a product of the U.S. war on terrorism, that
"our policies, our foreign policies" had alienated the Muslim population,
that we had "gone after the wrong people" and inflamed moderates. And
"that inflammation then gets organized and appears as this disaster in
All this was a bit too much, evidently, for CNN interviewer Jonathan Mann,
who interrupted to note that there were other things going on -- matters
like the ongoing bitter Pakistan-India struggle over Kashmir -- which had
caused so much terror and so much violence. "That's not Washington's
fault," he pointed out.
Given an argument, the guest, ever a conciliator, agreed: The Mumbai
catastrophe was not Washington's fault, it was everybody's fault. Which
didn't prevent Dr. Chopra from returning soon to his central theme -- the
grave offense posed to Muslims by the United States' war on terror, a
point accompanied by consistent emphatic reminders that Muslims are the
world's fastest growing population -- 25% of the globe's inhabitants --
and that the U.S. had better heed that fact. In Dr. Chopra's moral
universe, numbers are apparently central. It's tempting to imagine his
view of offenses against a much smaller sliver of the world's inhabitants
-- not so offensive, perhaps?
Two subsequent interviews with Larry King brought much of the same -- a
litany of suggestions about the role the U.S. had played in fueling
assaults by Muslim terrorists, reminders of the numbers of Muslims in the
world and their grievances. A faithful adherent of the root-causes theory
of crime -- mass murder, in the case at hand -- Dr. Chopra pointed out,
quite unnecessarily, that most of the terrorism in the world came from
Muslims. It was mandatory, then, to address their grievances --
"humiliation," "poverty," "lack of education." The U.S., he recommended,
should undertake a Marshall Plan for Muslims.
Nowhere in this citation of the root causes of Muslim terrorism was there
any mention of Islamic fundamentalism -- the religious fanaticism that has
sent fevered mobs rioting, burning and killing over alleged slights to the
Quran or the prophet. Not to mention the countless others enlisted to blow
themselves and others up in the name of God.
Nor did we hear, in these media meditations, any particular expression of
sorrow from the New Delhi-born Dr. Chopra for the anguish of Mumbai's
victims: a striking lack, no doubt unintentional, but not surprising,
either. For advocates of the root-causes theory of crime, the central
story is, ever, the sorrows and grievances of the perpetrators. For those
prone to the belief that most eruptions of evil in the world can be traced
to American influence and power there is only one subject of consequence.
Accustomed as we are by now to this view of the U.S., it's impossible not
to marvel at its varied guises -- its capacity to emerge even in
journalism ostensibly concerning the absurd beliefs about the 9/11 attacks
held by so many Muslims. It's conventional wisdom in the region --
according to a New York Times dispatch from Cairo, Egypt, last fall by
Michael Slackman -- that the U.S. and Israel had to have been involved in
the planning, if not the actual execution of the assaults. No news there.
Neither was the information that there was virtually universal belief in
the area that Jews, tipped off, didn't go to work at the World Trade
Center that day. Or that the U.S. had organized the plot in order to
attack Arab Muslims and gain access to their oil.
The noteworthy point here was the writer's conclusion that the U.S. itself
was to blame for the power of these beliefs. "It is easy for Americans to
dismiss such thinking as bizarre," Mr. Slackman allowed. But that would
miss the point that the persistence of these ideas represents the "first
failure in the fight against terrorism." A U.S. failure? Nowhere in the
extended list of root causes here was there any mention of the fanaticism
and sheer mindless gullibility that is the prerequisite for the holding of
such beliefs.
Its very ordinariness speaks volumes about this report. A piece written
with evident serenity, the perversity of its conclusions notwithstanding,
it's one emblem among many of the adversarial view of the nation that is
today entrenched in the culture. So unworthy is the U.S. -- an attitude
solidly established in our media culture long before the war on terror --
that only it can be held responsible for the deranged fantasies cherished
in large quarters of the Arab world. So natural does it feel, now, to hold
such views that their expression has become second nature.
Which is how it happens also that the U.S. is linked to the bloodletting
in Mumbai, with scarcely anyone batting an eye, and Larry King -- awash
perhaps, in happy molecules -- thanking guest Dr. Chopra for his
extraordinary enlightenment.
Ms. Rabinowitz is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.

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