Sunday, August 28, 2005

Delusions of a people under siege by Melanie Phillips

"Jewish Chronicle, 5 August 2005

One of the most distressing features of the current hostility towards Israel is the part being played by Jews themselves, both in Britain and in Israel.

Many struggle to explain why they choose to disseminate lies and libels about Israel, thus lining themselves up squarely alongside those who hate the Jewish people. It is hard to exaggerate the importance of certain Israeli academics in this process of demonisation and delegitimisation.

For their value to those who wish Israel ill is that, however extreme or mendacious their claims about Israel might be, they cannot be accused of prejudice against the Jews because they are Jews themselves. Thus they provide a crucial alibi for those who wish harm against Israel and the Jews, and have led many others who are simply ignorant horribly astray.

Now, however, an impressive new book torpedoes the myth that Jews cannot be Jew-haters. In ‘The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People under Siege’ (Smith and Kraus), American psychiatrist Kenneth Levin demonstrates that the phenomenon of Jews who side with the oppressors of their own people has very deep roots indeed.

The 12th century Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela wrote of the Jews of Constantinople that much of the enmity they attracted was the fault of the Jewish tanners who made leather and polluted their streets with filthy water. The psychological terror caused by persistent enmity and persecution caused Jews over the centuries to convert, to force others to convert and to oppose such marks of identification as Jewish schooling.

Over and over again in 19th and 20th century Europe, emancipated Jews looked down in contempt upon Jews from the east who inconveniently drew attention to their origins through their appearance and behaviour. In order to protect themselves, the enlightened Jews — the maskilim —absorbed the anti-Jewish feeling that surrounded them and re-directed it at the religiously observant.

The founding father of the Jewish Enlightenment, Moses Mendelssohn, denounced Yiddish as ‘a language of stammerers, corrupt and deformed’. Karl Marx, whose father converted from Judaism to Christianity in order to blend into society, agreed with the Jew-baiters of the time that the Jews were immutably materialistic and degenerate and that it was this that drove them to be corrupted by trade.

In order to gain acceptance from the surrounding society, the maskilim jettisoned not just the religion but the goal of the return to Zion. Instead, they embraced universalism and assimilation, declaring that the Jews should become citizens of the world’s nations and promoting Enlightenment principles of individual worth, reason and liberty.

Between the wars, widespread anti-Jewish prejudice in the United States similarly resulted in a flight of the intellectual classes from Jewish identity through conversion, changes of name and — perhaps most tellingly from the point of view of today’s difficulties — a tendency to blame fellow Jews for the hatred directed at them.

The real sting of Levin’s book, however, is to relate this ancient historical pathology among a beleaguered and traumatised people to the attitude of today’s Jews towards the plight of Israel, and in particular the flight from reality, logic and common sense displayed during the years of the Oslo ‘peace process’.

Controversially, he roots this in the revulsion felt by the Labour left at the election in 1977 of Menachem Begin — not so much because of his expansionist policies but on account of his support from the religious, the Sephardim and the petit bourgeoisie (horrors!), the victory of which disdained constituencies the left regarded as a great national catastrophe.

Refusing to sympathise with the discrimination suffered by the Sephardim, they directed their egalitarian fervour instead at the Arabs. The Likud government became the ‘other’, and thus the way was paved for the great moral inversion by the Israeli left in which Israel — the victims of the Arabs — were blamed for instead for oppressing them.

What followed was Peace Now, the systematic demonisation of Israel by a significant slice of the Israeli intelligentsia and the terrible delusion that peace with the Arabs was round the corner if only Israel made enough concessions. Levin sets this in the important context of the ‘New Historians’ — the Israeli anti-Zionists and post-Zionists who rewrote and falsified Israel’s history and thus handed the enemies of the Jews the intellectual weapons with which they are currently pursuing the destruction of Jewish nationhood.

What is fascinating and sobering about Levin’s account is the common threads linking the Jew-hating Jews of antiquity with those of today: the intellectual snobbery, the sucking up to powerful patrons, the internalisation of the surrounding hatred, the belief that they could become invisible as Jews, and the blaming of fellow-Jews for their own persecution.

Those who are not thus broken by this psychological siege of the Jews, concludes Levin, have to become not just resisters but educators. ‘The alternative, however disguised in claims of higher principle, is an ignoble capitulation to murderous bigotry’— and Israel’s annihilation."

Here`s the link.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Quotes from Reflections on the Ninth Day of Av (Tisha B'Av) by Yoram Ettinger

From Yoram Ettinger`s Official Site:

"13.08.2005 (20:56)

The Ninth Day of Av has been a most ignored commemoration day, in spite the fact that it solemnizes the destruction of the Temple, the destruction of Jewish national infrastructure, a 2,000 year exile, and the culmination of three weeks of national/religious predicament (Yemey Beign Hameitzareem).

REFLECTIONS ON THE NINTH DAY OF AV (TISHA' BE'AV)



1. The Ninth Day of the Jewish month of Av (August 14, 2005) commemorates a series of major Jewish calamities:



*The Golden Calf (1312 BC);

*The failure of the "Ten Spies", which caused 38 additional years in the desert;

*The destruction of the First Temple (586 BC), 100,000 killed and a nation exiled;

*The destruction of the Second Temple (70 AD), 2 million killed and a nation exiled;

*The crashing of the Bar Kokhba Rebellion (135 AD), 100,000 killed;

*The pogroms of the First Crusade (1096), scores of thousands slaughtered;

*The expulsion of the Jews from Britain (1290);

*The expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492);

*The eruption of WWI (1914)

*The end of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the massacre of 50,000 survivors in concentration camps; (May 1943).



2. The Ninth Day of Av is the central of the Four Days of Fast, commemorating the destruction of the First Temple: the 10th day of Tevet, the 17th day of Tamuz, the 9th day of Av and the 3rd day of Tishrey.



3. The Ninth Day of Av has been a most ignored commemoration day, in spite the fact that it solemnizes the destruction of the Temple, the destruction of Jewish national infrastructure, a 2,000 year exile, and the culmination of three weeks of national/religious predicament (Yemey Beign Hameitzareem).



4. The Book of (5) Lamentations (Megilat Eikhah) is read on the Ninth Day of Av, reminding us of the state of the Jewish Nation following the destruction of its religious and national infrastructure."

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Quotes from "Disengagement is fueling terrorism" by Evelyn Gordon in the Jerusalem Post

"...the fact that Palestinian violence hit an 18-month high in July."

"...according to the Shin Bet, the number of Palestinian attacks in July exceeded the total for any other month of the past year and a half."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

British Opinion Surveys From an Islamist Hell

"By Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com | July 25, 2005

Estimating how many potential terrorists reside in one’s country is a highly inexact business, but there’s a striking correlation between a British government report recently leaked to London’s Times a new opinion survey commissioned by the Daily Telegraph.

Drawing on unidentified “intelligence,” the government report (analyzed by me at “The Next London Bombing”) finds as many as 16,000 “British Muslims actively engaged in terrorist activity.”

Then, using standard survey research methods, the reputable YouGov polling firm interviewed 526 Muslim adults across Great Britain online during July 15-22, weighing the data to reflect the British Muslim population’s age gender, and country of origin. The survey found that 1 percent of them, or “about 16,000 individuals, declare themselves willing, possibly even eager, to embrace violence” in the effort to bring an end to “decadent and immoral” Western society.

Should their ranks really be so thick, such a huge number of potential terrorists could cause for Britain an unprecedented security crisis, with all the attendant economic, social, political, and cultural ramifications one can imagine.

The YouGov survey contains many other statistics that should spark the interest, if not shock, of Britons and other Westerners.

· Muslims who see the 7/7 bombing attacks in London as justified on balance: 6 percent.

· Who feel sympathy for the “feelings and motives” of those who carried out the 7/7 attacks: 24 percent.

· Understand “why some people behave in that way”: 56 percent.

· Disagree with Tony Blair’s description of the ideology of the London bombers as “perverted and poisonous”: 26 percent.

· Feel not loyal towards Britain: 16 percent.

· Agree that “Western society is decadent and immoral and that Muslims should seek to bring it to an end”: 32 percent willing to use non-violent means and (as noted above) 1 percent willing to use violence “if necessary.” Just 56 percent of Muslims agree with the statement that “Western society may not be perfect but Muslims should live with it and not seek to bring it to an end.”

· Agree that “British political leaders don’t mean it when they talk about equality. They regard the lives of white British people as more valuable than the lives of British Muslims”: 52 percent.

· Dismiss political party leaders as insincere when saying “they respect Islam and want to co-operate with Britain’s Muslim communities”: 50 percent.

· Doubt that anyone charged with and tried for the 7/7 attacks would receive a fair trial: 44 percent.

· Would not inform about a Muslim religious leader “trying to ‘radicalise’ young Muslims by preaching hatred against the West”: 10 percent.

· Do not think people have a duty to go to the police if they “see something in the community that makes them feel suspicious”: 14 percent.

· Believe other Muslims would be reluctant to go to the police “about anything they see that makes them suspicious”: 41 percent.

· Would inform the police if they believed that knew about the possible planning of a terrorist attack: 73 percent. (In this case, the Daily Telegraph did not make available the negative percentage.)

Another opinion poll, this one commissioned by Sky News and carried out by Communicate Research (which interviewed 462 UK-based Muslims by telephone) found similar results:

· Muslims who agree with what the London suicide bombers did: 2 percent.

· Who believe there is a Koranic justification for the bombings: 5 percent.

· Disagree with the statement that “Muslim clerics who preach violence against the West are out of touch with mainstream Muslim opinion”: 46 percent.

· Think of themselves as Muslim first and British second: 46 percent. Another 42 percent do not differentiate between the identities. A mere 12 percent see themselves as British first and Muslim second.

Comments:

(1) It is hard to say which is the most alarming of these many worrisome statistics, but two stand out. That less than three-quarters of Muslims in Britain indicate they would tell the police about an impending terrorist attack raises grave doubts about the Blair government’s tactic of getting Muslims to police their own community. That one-third of Muslims do not accept British society and want to end it, presumably to pave the way for an Islamic order, casts comparable doubts on Britain’s much-vaunted multicultural ideal.



(2) Even the Telegraph’s interpreter of its survey, Professor Anthony King of Essex University, feels compelled to sugar the results, calling them “at once reassuring and disturbing, in some ways even alarming,” whatever that means. In several specific instances, he turns hair-raising statistics into cheerful ones (that 73 percent would warn of an impending terrorist attack he deems “impressive”). The newspaper’s and the professor’s panglossian attitude makes one wonder what might wake the British to the Islamist hell growing in their midst."



"Mr. Pipes...is director of the Middle East Forum and author of Miniatures (Transaction Publishers)."

Here`s the link with many embedded hyper-links in the text.

Also see this post from this blog in this context.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Polls show support for London terrorists among British Muslims

"July 23, 2005
From: AAP
A new poll says about a quarter of British Muslims sympathise with the motives of the London bombers, if not their methods.

And the survey in London's Daily Telegraph shows one-third of British Muslims believe Western society is immoral.
The poll asked Muslims if they felt the July the 7th suicide attacks in which 56 peopled died were justified, and six per cent said they were.

71 per cent said they weren't justified at all, and 11 per cent said they weren't justified on balance.

But asked whether they had sympathy with the feelings and motives of the four British Muslim bombers, 13 per cent said they had a lot of sympathy and another 11 per cent had a little.

A similar poll for The Sun newspaper showed 91 per cent of the Muslim respondents didn't feel the suicide bombings were justified by the Islamic holy book, the Koran."

Here`s the link.

Also see this post from this blog in this context.

Quote from "Where next?" by Zachary Shore in the Internationl Herald Tribune

"Most disturbing, some surveys find that the younger generation of Turkish Germans express surprising hostility toward Europe and the West. In one study, the sociologist Wilhelm Heitmeyer and his colleagues at the University of Bielefeld found that almost one-third of those polled agreed that Islam must become the state religion in every country.

Even though they live in Europe, 56 percent declared that they should not adapt too much to Western ways, but should live by Islam. More than a third insisted that if it serves the Islamic community, they are ready to use violence against nonbelievers. Almost 40 percent said that Zionism, the European Union and the United States threaten Islam."

"Zachary Shore is a fellow at the Institute of Interna- tional Studies, University of California, Berkeley. His book, ''Bigots and bin Ladens: The Challenge to Muslim Europe,'' will be published next year."

(From Where next? Zachary Shore International Herald Tribune Friday, July 15, 2005)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Quote from Israel National News from the 2nd of August concerning the number of people killed or injured since Sharm el-Sheikh

"16:46 Aug 02, '05 / 26 Tammuz 5765"

"Security officials stated that 21 Israelis have been killed and 239 injured during the past seven months which followed the "calm" announced by terrorists at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit in February."