Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Only Way to Stop a Gun is With a Gun

Sultan Knish


America now has its second worst mass shooting. And it, as usual, accompanied by calls for gun control. It's no coincidence that we have had quite a few spree killings in such a short time. The lavish coverage of every shooting by the media encourages every shooter to think that he will be famous if he goes out and kills. And that is exactly what happens.

Our shooters are creatures of the media, not the NRA. A media that turns killers into celebrities and then warns that the only way to stop more shootings is by cracking down on firearms.

But no amount of media coverage ever stopped a man with a gun. It only encouraged him. It takes a gun to stop a man with a gun. That is the hard truth of human affairs. It is why we have a Second Amendment, it is why we have armies and police, and it is why people own guns.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Americans continue to sympathize far more with Israel

From Pew Research:
For decades, the public has sympathized with Israel over the Palestinians and that remains the case today. Overall, 50% say they sympathize more with Israel, compared with just 10% who say they sympathize more with the Palestinians; almost a quarter (23%) do not offer an opinion while 13% volunteer that they sympathize with neither side, and 4% say both.

Attitudes on this question have been stable over the past six years, after showing more volatility in the middle of the last decade.

There continue to be stark partisan differences in Middle East sympathies. Conservative Republicans maintain strong support for Israel with fully 75% saying they sympathize with Israel compared with just 2% who sympathize with the Palestinians. By contrast, liberal Democrats are much more divided: 33% sympathize more with Israel, 22% with the Palestinians. Independents sympathize more with Israel by a 47% to 13% margin.

Why Islamists always win in their own societies‏

Barry Rubin

I must quote extensively from a MEMRI analysis of the Egyptian referendum on the new constitution because it shows so vividly how politics are work in the Arabic-speaking world today, especially when voting is involved.

First, the analysis presents the pro-constitution camp that is the Islamists. They coordinate their efforts and launched:

“A massive joint campaign aimed at persuading the public to endorse the constitution. This campaign includes holding conferences and symposia across Egypt; training thousands of Muslim Brotherhood activists to promote the constitution, some of whom are even going door to door, according to reports; and also recruiting mosque preachers and satellite channels in the efforts to persuade the public. Especially prominent in this campaign are the attempts to appeal to the average citizen and to impress upon him the economic and social advantages of supporting the constitution.”

Now, what about the opposition to the Islamists, those who might be called moderates?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The E1 witch hunt

Zalman Shoval
The killing continues in Syria. There is genocide being committed in several places in Africa. There is chaos in Egypt. And still, the foreign ministers of 27 EU countries convened an emergency meeting in Brussels last week to discuss Israel's plan to build a few thousand housing units in Jerusalem and the E1 area, of all things. It is true that the international media, unlike some of the Israeli media, didn't even cover the meeting. But if there is anything that accentuates Europe's bias and detachment from reality (with the exception of a handful of righteous nations, like the Czech Republic and, in this case, also Germany), it is the persistent European disregard for the Palestinians' blatant breach of agreements and the exaggerated outrage over Israel's legitimate responses. 

A Formula for Smearing Israel

Leo Rennert

Here's Exhibit A of the Washington Post's -- and many other media outlet's -- method of slandering Israel.
You start with the Post's Dec. 12 headline: "Israel raids offices of 3 West Bank groups." For readers who just skim the headline and go on to other parts of the paper, the impression is clear: Israel using its muscle to intimidate Palestinians.
The article, with a Joel Greenberg by-line, sets a similar tone in the lead paragraph. Greenberg writes that Israeli soldiers raided the offices of three Palestinian "non-governmental organizations in downtown Ramallah, rifling files and seizing laptop computers in a rare sweep in the heart of the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority." NGOs are usually cast in a positive light, so this reinforces the impression of heavy-handed Israeli action against do-good outfit -- and in the heart of "Palestine" no less. What chutzpah of the IDF!

Here Come "Biblical and Talmudic Rituals"

In a statement on Wednesday, to "all the Arab and Islamic Nation", the Al-Aqsa Foundation called for a show of support for Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa through continuous activities that keep the Aqsa and Jerusalem present in conscience of the Ummah.  It

 ...also called on Jerusalemites to intensify their presence permanently in Al-Aqsa mosque to protect it from the Israeli violations and settlers’ attacks.
The Foundation noted that the Israeli occupation adopts quiet Judaization steps in the Aqsa Mosque and seeks to make Al-Aqsa mosque plazas public...The Foundation pointed out that 80 Israeli soldiers have broken into the mosque on Tuesday, in addition to Israeli intelligence elements.  The settler groups’ daily storming of the mosque, where they practice biblical and Talmudic rituals, came in light of a serious Israeli scheme to consider Al-Aqsa mosque’s yards as public yards. Al-Aqsa Foundation’s statement stressed that Al-Aqsa mosque and all its parts are only an Islamic sacred place of worship.

I just love those biblical and Talmudi rituals.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

PM Netanyahu, “We were re-exposed to our enemies true face” and … Happy Chanukah

srael Ministry of Foreign Affaire
MFA Newsletter
Jerusalem, Israel
Cabinet communique

Netanyahu: Yesterday we were re-exposed to our enemies’ true face. They have no intention of compromising with us; they want to destroy the state.
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 9 December 2012):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
“I would like to wish all of you, and the entire Jewish people, a happy Chanukah. Chanukah is one of our most important holidays. It shows our people’s latent ability to withstand greater forces and to overcome them, out of faith in the justice of our cause and the willingness to defend ourselves.
Of course, defending ourselves requires defense against the jelly doughnuts on the table. I suggest that we apply to them, or at least consider applying to them, the principle [regarding Chanukah candles] that we are not allowed to make use of them but only look at them, or cut down on their calories or make them smaller. In any case, Happy Chanukah!”
Prime Minister Netanyahu added:
“Yesterday we were re-exposed to our enemies’ true face. They have no intention of compromising with us; they want to destroy the state. They will fail, of course; in the annals of the history of our people, we – the Jewish people – have overcome such enemies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Holiday of Resistance

The first night of Chanukah marks the beginning of a holiday that for many of its celebrants has no identity, that celebrates 'celebration', with no thought to what it is celebrating. For many Americans, Chanukah appears to overlap with Christmas, but there is no similarity between the two other than the season. The more appropriate analogy is to the 4th of July overlaid with Thanksgiving, a celebration of divine aid in a military campaign against tyrannical oppression.

The overt militarism of the Chanukah story has made it an uncomfortable fit for many Jews who have found it easier to strip away its dangerous underlying message that a time comes when you must choose between the destruction of your culture and a war you can't win. In those dark days a war must be fought if the soul of the nation is to survive.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Letter to the Editor

Please consider the following letter for publication in the Register 
Citizen. I am currently in Israel, so if you need to contact me please 
use email or call my cell phone in Israel. To reach it from the US, the 
usual way is by dialing 011-972-50-869-5035. Thank you.
To the editor:
To partially respond to the cowardly hate-monger who repeatedly hides 
behind and misuses the anonymity of "Soundoff" to launch his 
error-filled diatribes against America's only real friend in the Middle 
The Israeli flag has blue lines because its design was based on the 
tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl; the absurd claim that they represent 
the Tigris and Euphrates would be laughable if it has not been used to 
incite so much violence and hatred already.

Germany: Image of Islam 'Devastating'

Soeren Kern

The most sobering finding is that 46% of Turks say they hope that one day Germany will have more Muslims than Christians.
Germans are overwhelmingly mistrustful of Islam and Muslim immigration, according to a new research survey, which concludes that the image of Islam in Germany is "devastating."
The findings -- which corroborate the conclusions of other recent studies -- show a growing divide between ordinary Germans, who are concerned about the consequences of mass immigration from Muslim countries, and Germany's political elites, who are determined to build a "multicultural" society at any cost.
The 28-page study, "Fear of the East in the West" [Die Furcht vor dem Morgenland im Abendland], was produced by the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research, and was published by the center-right German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on November 21.

Hamas: Martyrdom death for Allah is ideal "We love death more than you love life" "You [Israel] scare us with what we love"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

During Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense that aimed to destroy Hamas' terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, Hamas' TV propaganda included various ideological messages. Palestinian Media Watch documented one such message that promoted the killing of Jews as worship of Allah. Another ideological message promoted the Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood interpretation of Islamic tradition that places love of Martyrdom death for Allah - Shahada - above the desire for life. Addressing Israelis, Hamas' spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said:

"You [Israelis] think that we will be afraid of your killing policy and of these threats. We say to you: This policy is futile. Hamas leaders seek Martyrdom (i.e., death for Allah). You scare us with what we love (i.e., death)."
The same spokesman presented Martyrdom death fighting Israel as the supreme achievement when he spoke of the head of Hamas' military wing, Ahmad Al-Ja'abari, who Israel killed at the outset of the conflict, stressing that death was his greatest aspiration:
"The commander, the great Martyr (Shahid) Al-Ja'abari, achieved his greatest aspirations (i.e., when killed by Israel)."

Sunday, December 09, 2012

What is there to talk about with Hamas?

It is impossible to ignore the voices calling on Israel to negotiate with Hamas, even if there aren't very many of them. But it is also impossible to ignore the voices coming from Gaza, such as those heard over the weekend, calling for Israel to be wiped off the map. Hamas marked the 25th anniversary of its establishment this weekend and its' leaders message was clear: Hamas is the same Hamas, Palestine is the same Palestine and Zionists are the same Zionists. In Gaza, they have been preserving, with great success, the idea of the "old Middle East." There was no Hanukkah miracle in Gaza this weekend.

Rabbis Embracing Palestinian Statehood Won't Aid Peace

The New York Times has now devoted two major articles, including a page one feature, to a mostly boring story about Bnei Jeshurun synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, whose Rabbis (J. Rolando Matalon, Marcelo R. Bronstein, and Felicia L. Sol) sent out an email in the wake of the UN vote to upgrade the Palestinians to observer status. 

The email stated, “The vote at the U.N. yesterday is a great moment for us as citizens of the world. This is an opportunity to celebrate the process that allows a nation to come forward and ask for recognition.”

Now, does any really care about a ridiculous email that was sent to a congregation? Does this merit national attention? How could a deeply misguided communal email like this have caused such a ruckus? After all, we all agree that Rabbis are entitled to their opinions, however wrong, and should not be silenced.
But, it turns out that when Rabbis criticize Israel or are seen to join the other side, it's big news.