Monday, July 31, 2006

A picture worth a thousand words...

An Iranian woman walks past a billboard proclaiming militant Islamic gospel

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Metaphysical totalitarianism at the heart of liberalism

Do people support Islamic terror because it offers armed destruction of the ephemeral architectures of the West?

Toward understanding the modern support of terror

The latest Hezbollah tactics are such a blatant strike at Israel's existence, a promise of what is to come [in attempted total destruction], that I've been trying to understand how so many world players tacitly support this terror.

Several thinkers offer the suggestion that liberalism is actually making common cause with Islamic terror, because Islamic terror currently provides an armed destruction of the ephemeral and physical structures of Western [Judeo-Christian] Civilization. This this a shocking idea, but it must be countenanced, especially when observing the use of force that liberalism supports, and the concurrent calls for peace that liberalism authors -- generally speaking, of course [note: a discussion of liberalism as opposed to liberals]. But it is worthy of more thought, a theme that serious minded persons cannot ignore.

In this train of thought, I ran across a quote on Gail's blog, Crossing the Rubicon2. She quotes a thinker by the name of Benjamin Kerstein, who authors three incisive paragraphs on the subject. Kerstein itemizes a metaphysical totalitarianism at the heart of liberalism -- a postmodern application of Nietzschean will to power, its raison d'etre.

He suggests that metaphysical totalitarianism can brook no rival, ruthlessly destroying any person or structure that stands in its way. This being the case, Israel is a hated rival: a Jew that clings to her land and heritage is a threat, a virus to be removed. Thus Kerstein demonstrates that deep anti-Semitism is an unconscious outflow of liberal thought, reflected in conscious actions.

Antisemitism is not only representative of the "liberal community," it is the essence of liberalism itself. Liberalism is a bid for power first, and an ideology second. Its advocacy of racial and ethnic equality is, in fact, an expression of the imperialism inherent in liberal universalism. Liberalism must expand, its ambitions are total. Its desire is not, in fact, to make all peoples equal, but to make all peoples liberal. Its desire is not to equalize, but to conquer. When peoples are not liberal, they must be destroyed. This is not confined to antisemitism. Witness the brutal and inhuman racism directed at black and Hispanic conservatives. But in the case of the Jews, we have an absolute rejectionism.

The reason is that liberalism must seek to annihilate the Jews because the very fact of Jewish existence is, in the end, a rejection of the metaphysical totalitarianism at the heart of liberalism. Judaism is particular, rooted in place, uncompromising in its pride and its belief in its unique and divinely connected existence. This is called Chosenness. I am at best an agnostic, but I do not deny Chosenness. It is a fact of history. Albert Camus wrote that "a mission exists for any human group which knows how to derive pride and fecundity from its labors and its sufferings." He was speaking of the working class. He could easily be speaking of the Jewish people. This too is Chosenness. In the eyes of liberalism, this is not only offensive, but an existential threat.

This principle was summed up by the avatars of the French revolution, who proclaimed that the glorious new order of reason would grant everything to the Jew as a citizen and nothing to the Jews as a people. In other words, for the Jew who is not a Jew, everything. For the Jew who is a Jew, who willfully embraces the ephemeral architectures that make him a Jew, nothing. The reason is obvious. It is rooted in the essentially destructive nature of liberalism. Liberalism is based on the rejection of all connections or values beyond the material. We are all human beings, we are all flesh and blood, and this is our only legitimate value. The architectures of the past which make us human are demolished by liberalism, and those who hold to them are considered enemies of the one true faith. Thus, liberalism becomes an inquisition dedicated to the reduction of man to the biological. The medieval Inquisition named its justification the immortal soul. Liberalism calls it equality. It is still, ultimately, only another name for the will to power. And the destruction of those who would stand in the way of its absolute consummation.

Study these words:

In other words, for the Jew who is not a Jew, everything. For the Jew who is a Jew, who willfully embraces the ephemeral architectures that make him a Jew, nothing.

Thus, liberalism becomes an inquisition dedicated to the reduction of man to the biological. The medieval Inquisition named its justification the immortal soul. Liberalism calls it equality. It is still, ultimately, only another name for the will to power. And the destruction of those who would stand in the way of its absolute consummation.

Here, I think, is the key to understanding the world onslaught against Israel, those who would seemingly give their lives to ensure the success of those who radically seek Israeli and Jewish destruction...


Hezbollah plots its own children in tragedy

Article 28, 4th Geneva Convention:
the deliberate placing of military targets in the heart of civilian areas is a serious violation of humanitarian law.

Terrorism as an inversion of moral judgment

Which world media brokers agree with and abet

The tragedy of the deaths of children and adult civilians should not obscure that every day the Hezbollah terrorists send barrages of rockets into Israel, each one of which is intended to kill civilians and in far greater numbers than died in Qana. The incompetence of Hezbollah's munition makers is somehow obscuring the scale of its terrorism. If the 9/11 attacks had only killed 300, would the U.S. not have invaded Afghanistan and later Iraq? Hezbollah has tried for three weeks to inflict a 9/11 on Israel, but Israel is being damned because its defensive measures have led to civilians held hostage by terrorists. This is an insane inversion of the laws of war and customary international law as well as of common sense. Hezbollah began this war and is responsible for the deaths of everyone on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border.

Each day of the war Israel struggles to minimize harm to civilians. Each day Hezbollah tries to kill them and uses Lebanese civilians as hostages.

Yet Hezbollah's tactics are condemned in passing by Kofi Annan, and only Israel's mistakes summon the Security Council to its labors, which is why Kofi Annan is a joke, a cartoon of an international leader. Annan and the UN are legitimizing a terrorist organization and its tactics. They are demanding, in essence, that Israel accept a defeat.

While the world should be horrified that this war has claimed many more innocents, its diplomats and representatives ought to have been denouncing in a single voice the invasion of Israeli territory by Hezbollah and the murder and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers and the use of terror tactics against civilian populations as well as the use of civilian populations by Hezbollah as shields

The West must not acquiesce in the elevation of Hezbollah to the status of state actor, in the non-condemnation of its tactics, or in anything remotely like a return to the status quo which would allow Hezbollah to resupply and deepen its hold on south Lebanon.

Hugh Hewitt, writing on the seductive way in which the latest civilian deaths are plotted by Hezbollah and media alike.

One of the most immoral things that I've witnessed in my life is the way that Hezbollah has been spun by the U.N. and by the dominant world media. Hezbollah, which targets civilians intentionally as its stated aim, is given a pat on the head by Kofi Annan and the U.N., CNN and New York Times and the others. Meanwhile, Israel, which tries its best not to target women or children, is vocally excoriated when it chases terrorists to their lair. These so called "tough" terrorists hide behind their women and children, causing their demise, and the world mouthpieces squeak in utter horror -- not at the evil men who put those women and children in the line of fire, no! but at Israel, the country surrounded by terror, only trying to defend itself.

If I didn't believe in the war between good and evil before, if I didn't believe in anti-Semitism before, seeing this latest media-driven sabatoge of Israel, seeing major players overturn all strictures of moral judgment, inverting it utterly in defense and promotion of terror...if I didn't believe before, I would now.

In their dripping hatred of Israel, they've embraced evil and called it good. But let those with eyes to see, and ears to hear, speak...

And may the Islamic children who pay the price for their parents' terror, may they receive mercy from the true Abba...

Addendum: Via Powerline, the blog Vital Perspective has video of these Hezbollah killers firing missiles from Qana. [Video link post here, showing these terrorists firing rockets from behind a three-story building which looks much like the same building flattened.] Vital Perspective aptly notes Article 28 of the 4th Geneva Convention:

The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.

Vital Perspective comments:

Clearly, the deliberate placing of military targets in the heart of civilian areas is a serious violation of humanitarian law, and those who chose to locate such targets in these areas must bear responsibility for the injury to civilians which this decision engenders.

The Geneva convention is clear as to whom is responsible for these deaths. Abundantly clear. And yet the U.N. and media types scream hatred at Israel, de facto casting their lot with terror, enabling its aims.

Aside: Note the fatal symmetry in Islamic terror choosing Jewish women and children as its target in Seattle, Jewish women and children as its target in Israel, and Islamic women and children as its shield in Lebanon. Is it accidental that Islamic "heroes" intentionally kill women and children, and then hide behind their own women's skirts while knowing all along it could mean the destruction of their own children? And is it accidental that world Muslims refuse to disavow such despicable actions?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A timely Jewish prophecy rises from an Irish bog

Ancient book of psalms found in Irish bog was found opened to Psalm 83 [photo: National Museum of Ireland]

A 'miracle discovery' on several levels

Yesterday, a bog worker spotted an ancient manuscript of the Psalms, dated between 800 - 1,000 A.D. Bound in leather, written in Latin, these fragile pages lay buried in the bog for over a thousand years, only to surface now.

The find itself is considered remarkable on its own terms: this kind of material surviving in a bog is unheard of -- and for over a thousand years! Pat Wallace, director of the National Museum of Ireland, is calling it a "miracle find."

"There's two sets of odds that make this discovery really way out. First of all, it's unlikely that something this fragile could survive buried in a bog at all, and then for it to be unearthed and spotted before it was destroyed is incalculably more amazing."

And yet, that is only the surface story. The rest of the story is more preternatural: Not only did these psalms survive all those years, but they surfaced on this day of all days...opened to Psalm 83. Psalm 83 speaks a word against the enemies of Israel, those who gather together, conspiring to kill the Jews and take their land. It is these words which the miracle book from the bog speaks:

Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. (Psalm 83:1-4)

These words, on this day, a day of darkness against Israel...

Stan Goodenough, a South African journalist living in Israel for the past 12 years, compares the text of the Psalm to the current anti-Semitic terror, and calls the find "incredible."

For right now Israel's enemies are again united in their desire to "cut Israel off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more." They purpose to take for themselves the "pastures of God for a possession." And that they are in league – or in a confederacy – is clear.

From Gaza, supported by most of the Arab states, the violence is being directed by the Palestinian Arab terrorist groups: the PLO, Hamas, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine and the popular resistance Committees.

In the north, the Lebanese group [Hezbollah], supplied and enabled by Syria and the non-Arab but also Islamic Iran, is raining rockets down on Israel.

This, given the current situation, makes Psalm 83 a fascinating and fitting read, the ancient find nothing short of a phenomenon.

The bog find was heralded by the museum one day after a global call for prayer went out on behalf of Israel...


Maybe, maybe not. Either way, the text of the psalm remains.

I still wouldn't want to be in the shoes of those theocratic terrorists who plot destruction against Israel.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More words from a reluctant war

Smoke billows from a terrorist stronghold in southern Lebanon

Hezbollah took us hostage

Hezbollah didn’t only take 2 Israeli soldiers hostages, but he took Lebanon hostage and gave it to its masters (Iran & Syria) as a bargaining chip. Do we Lebanese have a saying in all this? Did Hassan Nasrallah ask us, the Lebanese, if we agreed on such operation? He doesn’t care. He thinks he is untouchable and any decision he makes, we the Lebanese, must obey it. After all he is a Muslim religious leader and Allah path is the right one. He threatened every single Lebanese, right after kidnapping the Israeli soldiers, he asked all Lebanese to stand by his resistance or else. Or else, what? You will pull your Imam Ali sward and cut our heads?

Mano, writing on the Ouwet Front, a Lebanese Forces blog.

What the Lebanese think of Hezbollah

I think all the Arab flag wavers need to find someone Lebanese to speak to. Not Syrians with Lebanese passports, and not Shiaas either. Find yourself a Sunni Lebanese, a Christian, Durzi or Marouni. Talk to them. Ask them about what they think of Hezb ‘ollah…

Guess what? Not a moment goes by without them cussing at Hezb ‘ollah. And they too believe that Hezb ‘ollah is armed to the gills with Syrian and Iranian weaponry. Even the Syrians I spoke to admit that Syria supports Hezb ‘ollah with material.

So it irks me when I read that Egyptians - the politically immature mixed in with the blindly nationalistic Nasserites for example - cheer on Hezb ‘ollah like they have a vested interest in the continuation of this lunacy. Sorry, but you aren’t even Lebanese! It’s easy for us Arabs to support an organisation that wrecks havoc against our ‘enemy’ but does it on someone else’s expense.

I mean, if Hezb ‘ollah decided to open shop in Sinai, and fight Israel from across our border, how many Egyptians would cheer then? Even if it meant having to contend with parts of Cairo being shelled back to the stone age, literally? I highly doubt it…

Mindbleed, Arab blogger writing “to Arab brothers” [Warning: Language alert on this site].

How the U.N. legitimizes terrorists

Part of the goal of organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas is to gain moral legitimacy for their terrorist tactics by having them equated with the conventional military tactics used by democratic regimes. Only the morally obtuse--or perverse--cannot recognize the difference between a terrorist group that targets civilian population centers with anti-personnel weapons designed to maximize civilian casualties and a democracy that seeks to prevent terrorism by employing smart bombs designed to minimize civilian casualties.

Annan knows better than to suggest a moral equivalence. He is fully aware of the tactic employed by terrorists of launching their rockets from, and hiding behind, civilian shields, so as to make democracies have to kill some civilians to get at the terrorists.

But Annan heads an organization that is so anti-Israel that as the late Abba Eban, the early Israeli ambassador to the UN, once put it: "If Algeria proposed a resolution that the Earth was flat and that Israel has flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 120 to 3, with 27 abstentions."

Many such resolutions have been passed by the General Assembly, including the notorious one equating the Jewish national liberation movement with "racism." Other one-sided resolutions have been passed by the General Assembly legitimating terrorism. Only the U.S. veto--which does not operate in the UN General Assembly--has prevented one-sided resolutions by the Security Council.

If a space alien from a distant planet were to land at the UN, he would come away with the impression that Israel is not only the sole offender in the Middle East, but the worst offender in the entire world. He would single out Israel for condemnation and exclude it from membership on many UN bodies, on which Syria, Lebanon and Iran serve in positions of honor.

Annan himself has a long history of one-sided condemnations of Israel. In March 2004, Annan "strongly condemned" Israel's targeted killing of Sheik Ahmad Yassin, the terrorist leader of Hamas, without condemning Yassin for his murderous actions or his organization for the murder of Jewish civilians. In December 2003, Annan "strongly condemned" Israel's assault on a Palestinian refugee camp where two gunmen were thought to be hiding. And in 2005, he issued the most tepid of statements--expressing "dismay"--at threats by Iran's president to "eliminate" Israel, a member nation of the UN. The list goes on and on.

And even worse than the one-sided condemnations that ignore Hezbollah and Hamas are the numerous statements that perversely suggest moral equivalence.

The UN peacekeepers on the Lebanese border have turned out to be collaborators with Hezbollah, videotaping the Hezbollah kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers in 2000 and then refusing to release the video--which could have helped in the rescue--on the grounds that it might compromise their "neutrality."

This is a real test for the UN. If it cannot--or will not--distinguish between terrorists who target civilians and a democracy that seeks to stop the terrorism while minimizing civilian casualties, it has become part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.

Alan Dershowitz, describing how the U.N. legitimizes terrorists.

A pictorial of anti-Semitism

Before arriving in South Florida this weekend, I had heard from several friends in the area that the Miami Herald was providing slanted coverage of the war in the Middle East. I had visited the web site, but that was largely a collection of wire stories.

Then I saw Saturday’s paper. The most prominent headline on the front page, in the center, above-the-fold, was “The human cost of war.” Immediately below was surprisingly brazen bias. Before I describe more, look for yourself

Joel Mowbray showing one example in a long line of brazen mainstream media bias against Israel.

“Proportional” -- new anti-Semitic code word

If by chance you have the search engine LexisNexis and you punch in the words "Israel'' and "disproportionate,'' you run the risk of blowing up your computer or darkening your entire neighborhood. Just limiting the search to newspapers and magazines of the last week will turn up "more than 1,000 documents.'' Israel may be the land of milk and honey but it certainly seems to be the land of disproportionate military response -- and a good thing, too.

The list of those who have accused Israel of not being in harmony with its enemies is long and, alas, distinguished. It includes, of course, the United Nations and its secretary general, Kofi Annan. It also includes a whole bunch of European newspapers whose editorial pages call for Israel to respond, it seems, with only one missile for every one tossed its way. Such neat proportion is a recipe for doom.

The dire consequences of proportionality are so clear that it makes you wonder if it is a fig leaf for anti-Israel sentiment in general…

Readers of my recent column on the Middle East can accuse me of many things, but not a lack of realism. I know Israel's imperfections, but I also exult and admire its achievements. Lacking religious conviction, I fear for its future and note the ominous spread of European-style anti-Semitism throughout the Muslim world -- and its boomerang return to Europe as a mindless form of anti-Zionism. Israel is, as I have often said, unfortunately located, gentrifying a pretty bad neighborhood. But the world is full of dislocated peoples and we ourselves live in a country where the Indians were pushed out of the way so that -- oh, what irony! -- the owners of slaves could spread liberty and democracy from sea to shining sea. As for Europe, who today cries for the Greeks of Anatolia or the Germans of Bohemia?

These calls for proportionality rankle. They fall on my ears not as genteel expressions of fairness, some ditsy Marquess of Queensberry idea of war, but as ugly sentiments pregnant with antipathy toward the only state in the Middle East that is a democracy. After the Holocaust, after 1,000 years of mayhem and murder, the only proportionality that counts is zero for zero. If Israel's enemies want that, they can have it in a moment.

Richard Cohen, telling us why “a ‘proportional response’ is madness.”

The inhumane nature of an immature ceasefire

We know that the missile that wrecked an IDF warship and killed four sailors on July 15 was manufactured in Iran to a Chinese design. We know that Hezbollah's longer-range weapons are commanded by Iranian Revolutionary Guards. We know that Hezbollah's fighting forces were equipped and trained by Iranian officers. And we know above all that Hezbollah is financed, equipped, and trained by the Iranian secret service. It carries out terror missions on behalf of Iran. For all practical purposes, Hezbollah is an arm of the Iranian state.

And when Hezbollah goaded Israel into war, the war it triggered was not a war between Israel and Lebanon.

The war Hezbollah provoked is a war between Israel and Iran, with Hezbollah as Iran's proxy--and the people of Lebanon as Iran's victims. The Lebanese have been kidnapped by Iran as surely as those two Israeli soldiers abducted on the northern border.

Israel has recognized that tragic fact. It has fought this war on its northern border as humanely as it can. Flip the switch in Beirut and the lights come on; open the taps, and the water flows. Essential services have been spared. The runways at Beirut Airport have been bombed to stop reinforcements to Hezbollah, but the control towers and the newly built terminal have been spared because Lebanon will need them later.

Unintended civilian casualties have tragically occurred, as they do in any war. But Israel's sincere and costly attempts to minimize the loss of innocent life present a stark contrast with Hezbollah's deliberately atrocious war methods.

Hezbollah has boasted that it has tried to fire missiles into Haifa's chemical factories, in hope of releasing gases to poison the civilian population. Hezbollah rocket warheads arrive crammed with ball bearings, so as to inflict maximum death and suffering upon the civilian populations at which they are fired.

Nobody wants the war to last a minute longer than it needs to. But ironically, letting this war go to the finish would be a far more humane policy than the UN's call for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire.

Thoughts from David From, resident fellow at AEI.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A field of promise

Sunday afternoon sunlight shines on Pennsylvania corn

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A collection of words from a reluctant war

U.S. Marines on a rigid, inflatable hull boat patrol the coast of Lebanon, guarding the security of fleeing Americans. [Foxnews photo-essay]

A reluctant conflict

“We – the majority of us anyway – don't want peace with Israel, and are not interested in any real dialogue with them. We weren't then and we are not now. The entire peace process has always been about getting the land back, not establishing better relations. Even when we do get the land back, it's not enough. People in Egypt lament daily the Camp David treaty that prevents us from fighting. In Gaza they never stopped trying to attack Israel. In Lebanon Hezbollah continued attacking even after the Israeli withdrawal. And the people – the majority of the Arab population – support it. Very few of us are really interested in having any lasting Peace or co-existence. I mean, if our left is asking for war, what do you think the rest of the population is thinking?

I think that the Israeli want peace with us because they don't want their lives disrupted. They don't want to have the IDF soldiers fighting in Gaza, rockets coming into their towns from Hamas or having to go to wars against Hezbollah to get their soldiers back. I think they want peace because they want their peace of mind. They view us as if we were a headache. We view them as if they are a cancer.

And this is why there will never really be any peace in the middle-east."

Candid words from Egyptian blogger “Sandmonkey,” speaking in collective voice regarding positions he himself does not hold.

“While the people of Palestine and Lebanon are paying the price of this bloody conflict, the main players, who caused this conflict, are living in peace and asking for more oil from Arab countries to support the facade of resisting Israel. With the Palestinian Authority close to collapse and the Lebanese government beginning to give up responsibility for what is happening in its territory, Saudi Arabia has been forced to come out of its diplomatic routine and indirectly hold Hezbollah responsible for what is happening Lebanon…

Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of 'these irregular phenomena' is what Israel is doing. The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community."

Incisive thoughts from Ahmed al-Jarallah, editor of the Arab Times, a Kuwaiti based paper that publishes online, quoted by New York Daily News.

Most Arabs perceive Israel as small. Egypt – home to one of every three Arabs – has enjoyed a cold peace with Israel for more than a quarter-century. Gulf states, on the whole, would rather make money than directly fight Israel. While they do not like Israel's existence, Jerusalem presents no threat. Not so Tehran. A giant with 70 million people, Iran is no status quo power. Its ideological commitment to export revolution is real. Across Lebanon and the region, Arab leaders see Hezbollah for what it is: An arm of Iranian influence waging a sectarian battle in the heart of the Middle East.

Some words of Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at AEI.

For years, the Arab world clamored for the Israel "problem" to be solved. Then peace and security would at last supposedly reshape the Middle East. The Western nations understood the "problem" as being Israeli retention of lands it had captured in Sinai, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria and Lebanon after defeating a series of Arab forces bent on destroying the Jewish state.

But after the Israeli departure from Sinai, Gaza and Lebanon, and billions of dollars in American aid to Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians, there is still not much progress toward peace. Past Israeli magnanimity was seen as weakness. Now Israel's reasoned diplomacy has earned it another round of kidnapping, ransom and rocket attacks.

Finally, the world is accepting that the Middle East problem was never about so-called occupied land -- but only about the existence of Israel itself. Hezbollah and Hamas, and those in their midst who tolerate them (or vote for them), didn't so much want Israel out of Lebanon and Gaza as pushed into the Mediterranean altogether. And since there will be no second Holocaust, the Israelis may well soon transform a perennial terrorist war that they can't easily win into a conventional aerial one against a terrorist-sponsoring Syria that they can.

Victor Davis Hanson, revealing that "Western patience is wearing thin."

From Israel's perspective, defeating this unconventional enemy requires an unconventional strategy. Hizbollah's headquarters are in urban neighborhoods and it fires its rockets from civilian areas, making it virtually impossible for Israel to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants. Israel's response is to destroy those elements of Lebanon's infrastructure, including its civilian components, which it says house and sustain Hizbollah.

Israel is using the "opportunity" presented by Hizbollah's attack to take care of the guerrilla force once and for all. But given Israel's choice of methods, it is inevitable that innocent Lebanese civilians will be killed in the process...

World attention is focused, legitimately, on the level of destruction being meted out on Lebanon. But in assessing Israel's response, one needs to look beyond the asymmetry of power, to a second asymmetry in terms of goals. Israel's goals are strategic, while Hizbollah's are existential. Israel has the greater arsenal, but it is fighting an enemy that won't be satisfied as long as Israel continues to exist. In this case the asymmetry is reversed. And it begs the question: how should you fight such a group as it wages war on you?

Hizbollah is not just a "Lebanese militia," but is Iran's proxy army, with Syria as the middleman. Hizbollah's actions, and Israeli reactions, could spark a regional war. "I'm afraid that if the Iranian president allows Hizbollah to use its long distance missiles against Israel" and they hit Tel Aviv, says Cheshin, "very soon we will find ourselves in a third world war."

The Lebanese people are being squeezed between Israel and Hizbollah, two forces that do not prioritize protecting Lebanese life. But so long as Lebanon and the international community remain unable or unwilling to disarm Hizbollah and remove it from Israel's border, Israel will continue to use its arsenal in a "deliberately disproportionate" manner against the organization that proudly declares itself to be Israel's existential enemy.

It is time for the international community to step into the fray for the sake of the Lebanese and the Israeli people. But any serious proposal must acknowledge that there can be no return to the "status quo ante."

Some thoughts from Pierre M. Atlas, assistant professor of political science and director of the Franciscan Center for Global Studies at Marian College.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The deadly racism of demanding Jewish restraint

Birkenau. The tracks which Ahmadinejad denies lead to the ovens which Ahmadinejad denies. But surely this all happened because of Jewish lack of restraint!

A true story, a parable
by Loy Mershimer

The elderly Jew looked out over the river, and silently laughed for joy. The sunlight ran from shore to shore, sparkling like diamonds on the water, calling forth praise. It was a good day, a day for giving thanks... A ferry pulled to the shore, and he stepped up to board, smiling slightly as the gentle breeze tufted his wise, grey beard. The wisdom of Torah lighted his face as his eyes blessed creation and creatures alike: “Praise you, G-d, for this good day!” “Praise you for these people here, that they could enjoy this scene with me!”

The beauty of his thoughts was suddenly broken by a strident voice: “A fig, I say!” “A fig for the Jew!” Through the clustered passengers strode a strongly built man, athletic and proud: “A fig for the Jew!” The big stranger ruffled the kippah of the elderly Jew and turned to play the crowd. “What do we have here?” he asked rhetorically, gesturing grandly. “We have ourselves a bona fide Jew!” “Rub its head three times for good luck; yank its beard and money will flow!”

Several of the clustered people chuckled; others turned away and pretended not to see…

“…Yank its beard and money will flow!” the rowdy strong man continued his litany, as he turned again to his victim. “Isn’t that right, Mr. Jew?” “Yank your beard and money will flow?” The elderly Jew replied with a look of trepidation: “What do you want from me?” he asked. Visions of past abuse danced in his soul…his head bowed.

“What will you pay me to stop yanking your beard, old man!” sneered the athlete. With that he yanked the man’s beard, and laughed to the crowd. “It’s a bank!” he cried. “Yank the string and money will clink out!” “Where’s the payment, old man?” Again, he yanked. And again.

Then, instinctively, impulsively, he knew not how it happened…something steeled in the soul of the old man…and as the strong bully grasped his beard for another yank, the old man bit down on his hand.

“Aaaaahhhh!” shouted the athletic bully. His proud words quickly turned to pain. “The Jew bit me!” he cried. His pride seamlessly turned to self-righteous indignation: “This Jew assaulted me for no reason!” He clutched his wounded finger and began calling for the police. “You saw him bite me!” he cried to a bystander. “Yes, I saw,” replied the man.

“Here now!” said the police officer. “What’s all this racket?”

“The Jew!” blustered the wounded bully. “This Jew attacked me for no reason, and bit my finger!” “You see the blood!” “This Jew wanted my blood!” “I was just having a little fun with him, and he attacked me!”

“Come with me,” said the officer, as he clasped the shoulder of the grey-bearded Jew.

“But, sir!” said the old man, tears in his eyes. “He was pulling my beard and threatening me! He was hurting me!” “Look, the hair pulled out by the roots, the blood on my face!”

“Tell that to the judge,” said the officer. “Come along.” “You’re under arrest for assault and battery.”

Later, the elderly Jew stood before the district judge, and told his story as true as it happened before G-d.

The pious judge listened to the story, hands about his chin. Then he reached for his gavel and clanked it down with all the weight of law-abiding authority: “A fine for the Jew!” he said. “Enough to cover damages and pain and suffering for this fine athlete!”

The gathered audience nodded their heads, tongues clucking in approval of the wise judge’s decision.

Then the judge turned to give a final lecture to the old Jew: “What’s the matter, old man?” he said, false moral authority creasing his portly brow. “Couldn’t you practice a little restraint?”

“Couldn’t you practice a little restraint?”

In this court of supposed justice echoed the most unjust words an ear could hear…words dripping with moral authority, yet so fatally wrong: of course it was the Jew’s fault, the words shouted: He didn’t practice restraint!

A true story, yet ongoing

It would be bad enough if this event only happened once, and it did happen…but the travesty is that its injustice continues. It happens often on an international scale, as a Jewish nation struggles for life and peace.

Terror? Rockets? Missiles? Kidnapping? Suicide bombs? Beard-pulling? Destruction? Such is a daily occurrence for a lonely nation, surrounded on the dock by a clustered crowd, some of whom add their voices in derision, others who turn away in silence: it’s only a Jew being terrorized, after all!

And so the nation gives up her land, land made to blossom as a garden, arid land turned into lucrative flower, and only asks for peace in return. But in return, what? More bombs, more terror, more injustice. “We’ll yank your beard, Mr. Jew. Where’s the money?” “We have the strong man behind us, you know!”

They didn’t want the Jew’s land after all; they only wanted the Jew’s destruction…

And yet the clustered crowd blames the Jew!


The beard of the Jew is pulled again and again. Blood is running down his cheeks; his right to exist is denied, and actions for peace are mocked. Yet if he moves against the hand of his oppressor, it is his fault! The arrest must be made; this is peace, after all: the removal or submission of the Jew!

And if the Jew is destroyed, it’s all the same, surely!

After all, he didn’t practice restraint, you know…

Monday, July 17, 2006

All the promises of God...

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

Seek Him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name! Amos 5:8

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity... Psalm 68:5

For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: "This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread." Psalm 132:13-15

The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in a sun-scorched land, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11


Saturday, July 15, 2006

At stake for Israel: the right to exist

A fuel tank burns in southern Lebanon.

A moment of truth

This war upon Israel provides a moment of clarity for the world. David Horowitz writes that it is a "Moment of truth" for Americans and freedom-loving people everywhere. His words are prophetic and incisive:

Americans need to take a hard look at what is going on in the Middle East, because it provides the clearest picture possible of the war we are in. On one side are al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hizbollah, Syria and Iran and their allies: Russia, France, Greece, and the UN majority. On the other is the only democracy in the land of Muslim and Arab terror. The origins of this front in the war on terror are crystal clear: the desire of the Muslim terrorists -- the elected majority among Palestinian Arabs and the occupying Shi'ite army in Lebanon, backed by Syria and Iran -- to destroy Israel and push the Jews into the sea.

The war reveals the impossibility of a Palestinian state and the necessity of a civilized occupying force in a region that is populated by a people who have been terminally brainwashed into an ideology of hate, which makes their self-government a crime waiting to happen.

There were 10,000 Jews living in Gaza until recently. They were so creative that while representing less than one percent of the population they accounted for 10% of the entire gross national product of the country. Productive and law-abiding as they were, their existence in Gaza required a Israeli army presence to protect them. So uncontrollable is the genocidal hatred of Palestinians for Jews (more than a million Palestinians on the other hand live peacefully in Israel enjoying more rights than any Arabs or Muslims living in their own countries). The Israeli army in Gaza was also necessary to prevent genocidal Palestinians Jew-haters from lobbing rockets into Israeli schoolyards.

Eventually, the Israeli leadership made a decision to capitulate to Arab Jew hatred and uproot the Jews living in Gaza, and to withdraw the forces that protected Israel from being attacked by Arab criminals. In the months that followed, the Arabs did nothing to improve their new homeland, which they now controlled completely. Instead, they elected genocidal terrorists to govern them. They destroyed the horticulture industry the Jews had created and that provided 10% of their GNP. They lobbed 800 or so rockets into Israel. During all this mayhem no word of condemnation for the Gaza aggressors came from the UN, France, Russia and rest of the Jew-hating, terrorist-appeasing and terrorist-supporting international community.

Consequently, the Hamas army command, based in Syria, authorized a further aggression -- a tunnel into Israel and the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. For good measure, Palestinians in the West Bank executed an 18-year old Jewish hitch-hiker for the crime of being a Jew. Still no condemnation of the Palestinians from the Jew-haters in France, Russia and at the UN. This support encouraged Iranian-sponsored Hizbollah to initiate another aggression, this time from the north...

Read the whole thing. It's time the truth is told about the war foisted upon Israel -- silent and deadly most of the time, now it has boiled over into open conflict; yet this conflict is only a sign of what is to come, if this Jew hating terror is not stopped -- in its local iterations and its theocratic patron states of terror.

Israel has withdrawn from all "occupied territories," and still she is relentlessly attacked -- yea, attacked even more since she withdrew!

What does this tell you about the aims of the people who attack her?

Are we willing to see the truth?


Friday, July 14, 2006

The world's first 3D crop circle

The world's first 3D crop circle appeared in an Oxfordshire wheatfield this week. It is a stunning work of art, an intricate formation 360 ft in diameter that weaves the grain together in a manner heretofore unseen. The formation appears as if one is looking down on skyscrapers from above.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Put thou thy trust in God

Put thou thy trust in God

Words: Mitre Hymn Book, 1836
based on John Wesley's 1739 paraphrase of a text

by Paul Gerhardt, 1653 "Befiehl du deine Wege"

Tune: Doncaster

Put thou thy trust in God,
in duty's path go on;
walk in His strength with faith and hope,
so shall thy work be done.

Commit thy ways to Him,
thy works into His hands,
and rest on His unchanging Word,
who heaven and earth commands.

Though years on years roll on,
His covenant shall endure;
though clouds and darkness hide His path,
the promised grace is sure!

Give to the winds thy fears;
hope, and be undismayed:
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears;
God shall lift up thy head!

Through waves and clouds and storms
His power will clear thy way:
wait thou His time; the darkest night
shall end in brightest day.

Leave to His sovereign sway
to choose and to command;
so shalt thou, wondering, own His way,
how wise, how strong His hand!


Friday, July 07, 2006

Thou wilt keep her in perfect peace

Thou wilt keep her in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on Thee;
because she trusteth in Thee.
Trust in the LORD forever,
for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength!
[cf. Isaiah 26:3-4]

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Testing whether that nation can long endure

High tide of the Confederacy ends at a stone wall
in a Pennsylvania field [Mort Kunstler painting]

The meaning of the 4th of July

In the hot afternoon sun of 3 July 1863, Federal troops turned back Pickett's final, desperate assault on the center of Union lines at Gettysburg. The smoke of the cannons blotted out the sun, turning it into an eerie red ball hanging in the summer sky; the thunder of shot and shell, cannister and exploding ordinance joined in incessant, deadly chorus with the crashing fire of muskets and rifles: souls streamed toward heaven's door from such battlefield destruction never seen before on human soil.

Waves of shot and shell ripped through the ripening wheat as the fixed, glistening lines of proud Confederate warriers marched through the valley of harvest: "There go the boys that will march through your lines!" one Conderate medic told a wounded Union prisoner. And march they did, to the very gates of hell it seemed, but not through Federal lines that day...

The attack crossed a mile of open field, enduring horrid casualties, briefly pierced the center line at the stone wall, wavered...then fell back: broken, blood poured out like water on shattered wheat -- once waving wheat now flattened under continuous cannon concussion, splattered with the blood of a divided nation.

But what did this fateful attack at Gettysburg mean? And how did it affect that glorious Independance declared 87 years earlier on July 4?

Had the attack succeeded, had Gettysburg ended in Confederate victory, Conderate General Robert E. Lee already had drawn up cease-fire partition plans to submit to President Lincoln in Washington. And such was the state of the war that such "seperate but equal" plan undoubtedly would have been supported by Congress: already Lincoln stood very alone in his resolve of a unified America free of slavery: a war-time President, he carried the weight of the war on his shoulders, to the constant vilification of media and political enemies.

The nation would have been split -- if not irrevocably, at least for a foreseeable future -- and all this would have meant for a world that so desperately needed a whole America.

"A house divided against itself cannot stand," said One who walked this human sod; and a divided house could not have stood against lurking totalitarian evil: the evil within our own national breast threatened our intended power against the evil that would sweep over the world a few decades later.

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people," said the prophets.

There, in the rolling fields of Gettysburg, the result of sin was seen in spades -- surely angels wept in the shattered atmosphere, where souls lingered in silent tears. Yet mercy was also poured out with the valiant blood: a nation yet stood, Independence still meant light for the world. July 4 now meant far, far more to a fledgling nation, nation humbled under Almighty hand.

When word of Gettysburg [and Vicksburg] reached Lincoln on the 7th, he stood in the early evening of Washington, sober and humble. He spoke to gathered persons and reporters, but was so humble, and so overcome with emotion, that he could only speak a few sentences: he said something to the effect that such occasion demanded a speech so eloquent that he was not up to the task.

He knew the truth: a nation had been preserved.

And later, in his humility, he spoke words worthy of a day of Freedom, words only he could have written and spoken:

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Happy Independance Day, America!

May we never forget the meaning of July 4, and how this meaning has been measured and defended in blood on subsequent July 4ths -- a new birth of freedom. May we take renewed devotion to the task yet before us, pleading the grace of God!

And may we never lack in standing against evil in our own time, in our own hearts...