Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Tender Hearts & Soft-Boiled Brains" and "Death & Taxes

by Burt Prelutsky on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

We Americans like to think of ourselves as 320 million humanitarians. While it’s true that we tend to be charitable, even going so far as to help our enemies around the world when they’re hit by a natural disaster, sometimes our better nature flies in the face of commonsense.

For instance, in recent weeks, we have welcomed thousands of Central Americans into the U.S. and then transported them around the country even though we know that many of them suffer from chicken pox and tuberculosis. In the old days, when America actually had borders and a sense of self-preservation, even legal immigrants were turned away if they were found to have communicable diseases. In some cases, sick children were separated from their nuclear families and sent back to their relatives in Europe and Asia until they were healthy enough to return.

Now we go so far as to allow those suffering from Ebola to be brought back from West Africa. While it’s true that the doctor and the nurse in question are not only both Americans, but are heroic examples of humanity, having become infected while treating others who had the disease, it is sheer insanity that they were brought home to be treated. If they could treat others in Africa, there was no sensible reason they couldn’t have been treated there, rather than risk introducing the disease to North America.

Speaking of the Central American border-crashers, George Will has pointed out that there are 3,143 counties in the United States, and then used that number to suggest how easily we could accommodate the newcomers, as if the solution to the problem was to simply divide the 65,000 kids, dispersing, say 20 or so to each county. For my part, I think there is more than enough empty space between George’s ears where we could safely stash them.

What I would be willing to consider is dropping those kids off at the White House and at the homes of Hollywood and Manhattan liberals who are sobbing into their crying towels over their plight. That way these select few could adopt, feed, house and school, the kiddies on their own, without expecting the American taxpayer to pick up the tab for these mini-freeloaders.

Speaking of kids, I have come to the conclusion that the move over the past few decades to remove competition from sporting events involving youngsters, lest anyone come to regard himself as a winner or, worse yet, a loser, has infected our military. Whereas in the distant past, we waged wars with the idea of winning them and making our enemies say “Uncle!” we now play for ties, lest others think badly of us or are embarrassed for having lost.

Speaking of the military, I am in no way an isolationist, but I think before we enter into defense treaties with other nations, we require that they maintain the largest military they can possibly afford. If they’re going to keep relying on our military to protect them, thus treating us as mercenaries, we should send them a monthly invoice, payable on demand. At least that way, we could afford to restore the military force that our own gutless administration, using sequester as an excuse, has decimated.

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What is Wrong with ISIS, is What is Wrong with Islam

by Daniel Greenfield on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

This is article 780 of 790 in the topic Terrorism

Know your enemy. To know what ISIS is, we have to clear away the media myths about ISIS.

ISIS is not a new phenomenon.

Wahhabi armies have been attacking Iraq in order to wipe out Shiites for over two hundred years. One of the more notably brutal attacks took place during the administration of President Thomas Jefferson.

That same year the Marine Corps saw action against the Barbary Pirates and West Point opened, but even Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore and Howard Zinn chiming via Ouija board would have trouble blaming the Wahhabi assault on the Iraqi city of Kerbala in 1802 on the United States or an oil pipeline.

Forget the media portrayals of ISIS as a new extreme group that even the newly moderate Al Qaeda thinks is over the top, its armies are doing the same things that Wahhabi armies have been doing for centuries. ISIS has Twitter accounts, pickup trucks and other borrowed Western technology, but otherwise it’s just a recurring phenomenon that has always been part of Islam. Sunnis and Shiites have been killing each other for over a thousand years. Declaring other Muslims to be infidels and killing them is also a lot older than the suicide bomb vest.

Al Qaeda and ISIS are at odds because its Iraqi namesake had a different agenda. Al Qaeda always had different factions with their own agendas. These factions were not more extreme or less extreme. They just had different nationalistic backgrounds and aims.

The Egyptian wing of Al Qaeda was obsessed with Egypt. Bin Laden was obsessed with Saudi Arabia. Some in Al Qaeda wanted a total world war. Others wanted to focus on taking over Muslim countries as bases. These differences sometimes led to threats and even violence among Al Qaeda members.

Bin Laden prioritized Saudi Arabia and America. That made it possible for Al Qaeda to pick up training from Hezbollah which helped make 9/11 possible. This low level cooperation with Iran was endangered when Al Qaeda in Iraq made fighting a religious war with Shiites into its priority.

That did not mean that Bin Laden liked Shiites and thought that AQIQ was “extreme” for killing them. This was a tactical disagreement over means.

During the Iraq War, Bin Laden had endorsed Al Qaeda in Iraq’s goal of fighting the Shiite “Rejectionists” by framing it as an attack on America. AQIQ’s Zarqawi had privately made it clear that he would not pledge allegiance to Osama bin Laden unless the terrorist leader endorsed his campaign against Shiites.

Bin Laden and the Taliban had been equally comfortable with Sipahe Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which provided manpower for the Taliban while massacring Shiites in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last year LEJ had killed over a hundred Shiite Hazaras in one bombing.

The narrative that ISIS was more extreme than Al Qaeda because it killed Shiites and other Muslims doesn’t hold up in even recent history.

The media finds it convenient to depict the rise of newly extremist groups being radicalized by American foreign policy, Israeli blockades or Danish cartoons. A closer look however shows us that these groups did not become radicalized, rather they increased their capabilities.

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Genocide! A Christian Holocaust

by Alan Caruba on Monday, August 18th, 2014

This is article 1227 of 1238 in the topic International
Syrian victims of Islamic State slaughter
By Alan Caruba
In the last century and now this one, I have lived long enough to have been alive when the Nazis killed six million European Jews and another five million other “enemies of the state” that included unionists, homosexuals, Seventh Day Adventists, and any others that ran afoul of that hateful and hate-filled regime.
There were genocides in the last and this century. The killing of Kurds by Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi dictator who used poison gas—a weapon of mass destruction—against them is largely forgotten by everyone but the Kurds.
In the 1990s there was a genocide in Rwanda by the Tutsi tribe against the Hutu people. Hundreds of thousands were killed, most by machete. Reportedly rape, mutilation, and the deliberate spread of disease were also used against them. The final body count was estimated by some at well over a million.
In the Middle East, the Islamic Ottoman Empire whose final years were directed from what is now modern-day Turkey was responsible for the Armenian Genocide that began in 1915. The Armenians were a Christian minority and what is occurring in the land claimed by the new Islamic State (IS) reflects the same barbarity that afflicted and killed between 600,000 and 1.8 million Armenians.
In Europe following the fall of the Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia, thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Serbs were “ethnically cleansed” between 1990 and 1995. Some twenty thousand were killed.
And now the fanatical Islamic State that stretches from areas of northern Syria through much of northern Iraq, just outside of Baghdad, is waging a systematic and utterly barbaric genocide of the area’s Christians. They are killing Muslims too.
And what is the world doing? Virtually nothing.
The President of the most militarily powerful nation on Earth has dropped some “humanitarian” aid to thousands of Yazidis, an ancient, little known group driven from their homes in northern Iraq where they have lived for hundreds of years. Thousands of Christians were driven from Mosul. There has been an increase in U.S. air attacks on IS forces, but a far greater effort will be needed to destroy this evil entity.
Nigerian Christians killed by Boko Haram

In Nigeria, Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group, is slaughtering thousands.

The Islamic State is now the most militarily powerful force in the Middle East and one of the most wealthy. It threatens the Kurds who have finally begun to receive weapons from the U.S.
What President Obama should be doing is orchestrating a military coalition just as George H.W. Bush did to drive Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, but the fact is that Europe is fearful of participating because it is now home to a large population of Muslims.

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The Fat Lady Is Practicing Her Scales

by Burt Prelutsky on Monday, August 18th, 2014

I don’t think there is any way to overestimate the importance of the mid-term elections. Although I wish I could view the world through non-partisan eyes, Barack Obama and Harry Reid have conspired to make that impossible. I’m just hoping that a sufficient number of Americans come out of their collective coma before the fat lady has a chance to warble “Nearer My God to Thee” at this nation’s funeral.

The trouble is that we have a president who seems to lie awake nights trying to come up with new ways to destroy America. For openers, he is terrified — partly because of his liberal base and partly because of his own questionable background — to be confrontational towards the Islamists who are enthusiastically waging war on us and our allies. So even as he does the right thing in Iraq by trying to prevent the barbarians from exterminating Christians and Kurds, he keeps assuring those who are out to create a caliphate that we are limiting our response.

His defenders like to say that he is thoughtful and deliberate, seemingly slow to act only because he is so concerned with nuance, so profoundly aware of the possible consequences of taking action. What makes that analysis so comical is that when Hamlet behaved exactly the same way, most people wrote it off as pathological indecision at best, cowardice at worst. It’s also worth noting that, thanks to Hamlet’s constant dithering, everyone is dead by the end of Act V.

For anyone who is curious what this impending caliphate would look like, they merely have to consider the fact that these savages are beheading children; turning captured women into sex slaves, much as the Japanese did during World War II; and committing genocide with a relish unseen since the days when Nazi Germany was running its gas ovens 24/7.

Instead of doing everything in his power to defeat pure evil, Obama prefers to remind us that Bush’s war in Iraq was a disaster. He happens to be right, but for the wrong reason. The war was a blunder not so much because we waged it or because we failed to find weapons of mass destruction, but because George Bush insisted that our actual mission was to bring democracy like a gift box of chocolates to that misbegotten land, and because he kept repeating the moronic message that Islam is a religion of peace as if he were a parrot gone berserk.

I do not believe that the majority of Americans are as weary of war as they are of squandering billions of dollars and thousands of military lives in the naïve hope that at the conclusion of hostilities, our sworn enemies will like us, when the aim should be that they, along with every other potential foe, fear us.

I believe that if Obama unleashed our full military might on the Islamic State or whatever these creeps are calling themselves this week, and turning the sand these monsters stand on into glass, most Americans would stand up and cheer.

I also believe that it is time that our politicians quit pretending that there are good Muslims and bad Muslims.

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How to Write About Israel

by Daniel Greenfield on Sunday, August 17th, 2014

This is article 1226 of 1238 in the topic International

Writing about Israel is a booming field. No news agency, be it ever so humble, can avoid embedding a few correspondents and a dog’s tail of stringers into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, to sit in cafes clicking away on their laptops, meeting up with leftist NGO’s and the oppressed Muslim of the week.

At a time when international desks are being cut to the bone, this is the one bone that the newshounds won’t give up. Wars can be covered from thousands of miles away, genocide can go to the back page, but, when a rock flies in the West Bank, there had better be a correspondent with a fake continental accent and a khaki shirt to cover it.

Writing about Israel isn’t hard. Anyone who has consumed a steady diet of media over the years already knows all the bullet points. The trick is arranging them artistically, like so many wilted flowers, in the story of this week’s outrage.

Israel is hot, even in the winter, with the suggestion of violence brimming under the surface. It should be described as a “troubled land.” Throw in occasional ironic biblical references and end every article or broadcast by emphasizing that peace is still far away.

It has two types of people; the Israelis who live in posh houses stocked with all the latest appliances and the Arabs who live in crumbling shacks that are always in danger of being bulldozed. The Israelis are fanatical, the Arabs are passionate. The Israelis are hate-filled, while the Arabs are embittered. The Israelis have everything while the Arabs have nothing.

Avoid mentioning all the mansions that you pass on the way to interviewing some Palestinian Authority or Hamas bigwig. When visiting a terrorist prisoner in an Israeli jail, be sure to call him a militant, somewhere in the fifth paragraph, but do not mention the sheer amount of food in the prison, especially if he is on a hunger strike. If you happen to notice that the prisoners live better than most Israelis, that is something you will not refer to. Instead describe them as passionate and embittered. Never ask them how many children they killed or how much they make a month. Ask them what they think the prospects for peace are. Nod knowingly when they say that it’s up to Israel.

Weigh every story one way. Depersonalize Israelis, personalize Muslims. One is a statistic, the other a precious snowflake. A Muslim terrorist attack is always in retaliation for something, but an Israeli attack is rarely a retaliation for anything. When Israeli planes bomb a terrorist hideout, suggest that this latest action only feeds the “Cycle of Violence” and quote some official who urges Israel to return to peace negotiations– whether or not there actually are any negotiations to return to.

Center everything around peace negotiations. If Israel has any domestic politics that don’t involve checkpoints and air strikes, do your best to avoid learning about them. Frame all Israeli politics by asking whether a politician is finally willing to make the compromises that you think are necessary for peace. Always sigh regretfully and find them wanting. Assume that all Israelis think the same way.

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"It’s Chinatown"

by Burt Prelutsky on Friday, August 15th, 2014

This is article 1228 of 1238 in the topic International

At the end of the movie, “Chinatown,” when the rich, powerful and totally depraved Noah Cross drags his granddaughter away in order to use and abuse her as he used and abused his own daughter, the private eye, J.J. Gittes, tries to stop him. But he’s held back by a friend, who says, “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.” And although at the time they are standing in the middle of a street located in L.A.’s Chinatown, what he’s really saying is that some things never change, that those in power are always corrupt and, tragically, that corruption always triumphs at the end of the day.

If the movie had been made in 2014 rather than 40 years ago, he might have said, “Forget it, Jake, it’s Washington,” and conveyed the same cynical message.

Recently, the IRS agreed, on behalf of the atheist group Freedom from Religion, to go after churches that they feel have gotten too involved in politics, and should therefore face forfeiture of their tax-exempt status. But how involved is obviously less important than who’s involved.

For instance, when the Catholic Church pushes for amnesty on behalf of illegal aliens, 99% of whom just happen to be Catholics and are likely to fill its pews and collection plates, not to mention the ranks of the Democrats, I have a feeling the Church is not likely to be reprimanded by Obama’s IRS. And when at election time, black Baptist ministers pick up a few extra bucks by renting out their pulpits to leftwing candidates, I don’t think they have to worry about Eric Holder’s Justice Department lowering the boom.

One would have thought that America would have recognized what a terrible idea it was to join the United Nations back in 1945. After all, it had been less than ten years earlier that Haile Selassie, the leader of Ethiopia, had gone before the League of Nations, the precursor of the U.N., to plead for the world’s help in fending off the invading Italian forces. Predictably, the League, a pipedream of the vile Woodrow Wilson, did nothing. On his way out the door, Selassie uttered the ominous warning: “Today, it’s us; tomorrow, it will be you.”

As he foretold, World War II was waiting in the wings, even as Neville Chamberlin promised “Peace in our time” and the isolationists in the U.S. had us twiddling our thumbs for an additional three years until the Japanese foolishly dragged us into the fray by demolishing our fleet at Pearl Harbor.

That is why I get so annoyed when people like Rand Paul suggest that we keep our noses out of foreign affairs and others insist that Americans are sick and tired of waging war. I could be mistaken, but what I think Americans are sick and tired of is rushing off to defend one sect of Muslims being attacked by some other sect, and settling for cease-fires instead of actually winning wars by defeating the enemy.

That’s not to suggest we should keep our hands off the Middle East. For one thing, we have an ally in that part of the world, Israel, with whom we share a great deal, including civilized values, human rights and common enemies. What we shouldn’t do is what George W.

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The UNRWA is Hamas

by Daniel Greenfield on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

This is article 1220 of 1238 in the topic International

The UNRWA is on the front lines of the Hamas War in Gaza. In the headlines, its schools are forever being fired on or found to be stockpiling rockets. If individual Gazans are being used as human shields, the UNRWA often seems as if it is one big organizational human shield.

But the UNRWA isn’t Hamas’ human shield. The UNRWA is Hamas.

The “UN” part of the UNRWA, the blue logos and symbols, fool us into thinking of it as an international humanitarian organization. But the UNRWA in Gaza functions as a large Palestinian Arab organization with a smattering of foreign supervisory staff.

And those foreign staffers often tend to leave during a conflict.

The UNRWA is not an international organization operating in the Middle East. Effectively it’s a local Arab Muslim organization funded and regulated internationally. Since the UNRWA classifies 80% of Gazans as “refugees”, it administers the biggest welfare state in the world on their behalf. Like the Palestinian Authority, the UNRWA’s welfare state is run locally and funded internationally.

The UNRWA is the biggest employer in the West Bank and Gaza after the Palestinian Authority and the vast majority of its employees are “locally recruited”. Varying figures place the share of local employees at between 90 and 99 percent.

Even though there are more Arab Muslims living in the West Bank than in Gaza, there are more “official” refugees in Gaza, which means that more UNRWA funding and efforts are directed there. The UNRWA only runs 96 schools in the West Bank, but it runs 245 schools in Gaza. It employs less than 3,000 education staffers in the West Bank, but over 10,000 in Gaza.

Why does Hamas, which is obsessed with brainwashing the next generation into martyrdom, allow a foreign organization to run an educational system for 232,000 pupils?

It’s because in Gaza, Hamas and the UNRWA are the same thing.

The UNRWA’s Gaza staff has its own union. In the 2012 election, a pro-Hamas bloc won the support of most of the union with 25 out of 27 seats on a union board.

When there was talk of reforming the UNRWA by removing Hamas members from its ranks, the editor of a Hamas paper wrote that, “Laying off the agency employees because of their political affiliation means laying off all the employees of the aid agency, because…they are all members of the ‘resistance,’ in its various forms.”

The official word from Hamas was that it and the UNRWA are the same thing. The UNRWA’s vast majority of locally sourced Gazans are part of Hamas.

The UNRWA does not see that as a problem.

“I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll,” a former UNRWA Commissioner General said, “and I don’t see that as a crime.”

“Hamas as a political organization does not mean that every member is a militant, and we do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another,” he said.

Also if the UNRWA fired Hamas members from its Gaza staff, it would have no one left.

Hamas control over the UNRWA in Gaza is reflected in the schools which promote Islamic terrorism. It’s unsurprising that UNRWA schools have repeatedly become flashpoints in conflicts between Israel and Hamas.

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Islamic Slaughters and Short Memories

by Alan Caruba on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

This is article 1221 of 1238 in the topic International
By Alan Caruba
“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.  That would change my calculus.  That would change my equation.”
Obama said that on August 20, 2012 in remarks to reporters. Realizing that he was close to having to engage in some kind of military action against Bashar Assad, Syria’s dictator, he was bailed out by the Russians who stepped in to remove the stores of poison gas and then, except for the “red line” gaffe, everyone promptly forget about it.
The insurrection against Assad began in March 2011 and by September 2013 there were an estimated 120,000 dead Syrians and a million or more refugees. The conflict turned from local to regional as the extremist Islamic State (IS) emerged. It is backed by Iran and Turkey, but only for the purpose of defeating Assad, not for declaring itself the new caliphate.
IS is now in control of much of Syria’s northern region and has taken control of central Iraq, challenging Baghdad as well as its Kurdish sector. On Sunday Islamic State fighters overtook the Lebanese city of Arsal where 100,000 Syrian refugees had fled. There were attacks in Tripoli as well. There is no accounting for how many have been slaughtered by IS at this point.
On August 4, The Daily Star, Lebanon, reported “The jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) group executed seven members of a single family from the Ismaili minority in the central Syrian province of Hama overnight, state media and an activist group said Monday. ‘An armed terrorist group committed a massacre in the Mzeiraa area near the town of Salmiya, killing seven people, including two aged 13 and 15 years old,’ Syrian state news agency SANA said.”
Three days earlier Breitbart News reported “The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, told Palestine the terrorist group will join its fight against the ‘barbaric Jews’ but urged patience until ISIS is finished in Arab countries.”
So, according to the Islamic State, it is the Jews of Israel who are “barbaric” for defending themselves and their Arab citizens against rocket attacks from Gaza; land given to the Palestinians by Israel in 2005.
During the months when Hamas was firing thousands of rockets into Israel from Gaza there was a low level of coverage, but when Israel responded with Operation Protective Edge, it became front page news. Dead Palestinians always seem to be more important than dead Israelis even if they were forced by Hamas to serve as human shields for their rockets and their elaborate matrix of tunnels into Israel which exist solely to carry out its goal of destroying it.
Being Christian in the Middle East has proven to be deadly. When the Islamic State took control of Mosul, a city in which Christians had lived for centuries, they were given the choice of converting, paying a tax, or dying. The Islamic State has swiftly gained a reputation for murdering prisoners of war and anyone else they determine to be “hypocritical” or “apostate” Muslims.

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Friday Afternoon Roundup – Hamasbara

by Daniel Greenfield on Friday, August 1st, 2014

 

SUICIDE JOURNALISM

These tactics, born out of the Twitter age and the complete collapse of journalistic ethics, aren’t just a defense of Islamic terrorism, but they also borrow some of the tactics of the terrorists they defend.

Hamasbara is less dependent on developed stories and more on Tweets and blog posts. Its practitioners are just activists with a media forum. Their smear campaigns depend on quick hit and run attacks. They bring a story into being out of thin air and move on to the next attack just as quickly.

There is something of the Hamas suicide bomber in their willingness to constantly self-destruct their reputations, but journalistic credentials don’t mean what they used to. Activist journalists help manufacture a story that is picked up by second-tier media blogs and mainstream media outlets.

In a perpetual news cycle, smears are instantaneous, but they also vanish instantaneously.

Hamasbara and Media Terrorism

Hamas’ Giant Homicidal Chicken Dies in Israeli Air Strike – insert your own joke here

THE DEFINITION OF TREASON

Bill Clinton chose to let Al Qaeda kill 3,000 Americans. And now his wife wants the chance to follow that same policy for eight years

Bill Clinton Admits He Chose Not to Kill Bin Laden Before 9/11

National Jewish Democratic Council: Liberal Jews Worn Down Defending Obama

#WARONWOMEN

Well now that we’ve gotten gay marriage out of the way, next stop is polygamy station.

Obama is dramatically rewriting the reality of his Muslim family and the Luo tribe, which is about as feminist as Mohammed.

A woman in a traditional Luo context has no embedded right to inherit land from her deceased husband. Additionally a woman does not inherit land from her natal family, as only male children are obliged to inherit land. A family member, most of the time a brother of the diseased, inherits not only all property, but also the widows. Within the polygamous setting of the Luo society a man often has three and more wives. Inheritances can easily double the size of a family.

Yes, men inherit the “wives” in the literal sense of the word. It’s known as wife inheritance and has resulted in the spread of AIDS.

Widows often call their inheritors “terrorists” who make their life more dreadful.

Obama: My Muslim Family’s Polygamy was Empowering

SUBVERSION AND INFLITRATION

“We are faced with an enemy whose goal is to conquer the world by subversion and infiltration or, if necessary, by open war.”

The speaker was Senator John F. Kennedy and he was discussing the Communist Control Act that he had co-sponsored. The Act did what had been previously thought impossible; it outlawed the Communist Party.

The latest bill to fight an enemy whose goal is also to conquer the world by subversion, infiltration and open war doesn’t have a Kennedy co-sponsor. Instead it has the two members of Congress who have fought the hardest to expose the Muslim Brotherhood; Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert.

Patriots Take On the Muslim Brotherhood

Border Patrol Agents Brought Home Diseases to their Children – An unaccompanied child was hospitalized after being diagnosed with swine flu.

HAMASFOOT

Can someone please help out the New York Times?

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The Next Great War

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, July 27th, 2014

This is article 1216 of 1238 in the topic International
Al Qaeda on the march

By Alan Caruba

In the July 24 edition of The Wall Street Journal there was a commentary, “Wanted: Converts to Judaism” by the chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Arnold M. Eisen. I thought to myself that this was an extraordinary time to be suggesting conversion to a faith that is literally under attack in Israel and being attacked by the reemergence of anti-Semitism in Europe. Here in America we are witnessing the most pro-Islamic and anti-Semitic administration in the history of nation.
In the wake of the Holocaust following World War Two what anti-Semitism existed in the U.S. gave way to an era of good will toward Jews. In Europe open expressions of anti-Semitism were out of favor. Eisen’s concern is the extensive inter-marriage between Christians and Jews in which Judaism is often abandoned in our historically Christian society. The news about Jews in the post-war years was largely about the nation of Israel and the wars it fought to re-establish and maintain the Jewish state.
What those wars should have told us was that Islamic hatred of Judaism extends to Christianity as well.
For Americans that lesson was driven home on September 11, 2001, but even the memory of that event has begun to fade to such an extent that Americans have twice elected a President who has never hidden his admiration for Islam, whose father was a Muslim, and who spent part of his youth in the Islamic nation of Indonesia. In office, his antipathy to Israel has been in stark contrast to the decades of support for Israel that presidents since Harry Truman have demonstrated.
A curious trend has emerged in America that runs counter to its entire history. The celebratory elements of Christian holy days, particularly Christmas, came under attack with demands that holiday scenes of crèches and even crosses be removed from public areas. Being religious was not encouraged and the tradition of starting the school day with a prayer was banned.
It is not too far a reach to say that the West, America and Europe, has been abandoning the depth of faith that distinguished it as church attendance fell off and resistance to attacks on the practice of religion declined. Home to some of the most beautiful churches on Earth, those in Europe are too often virtually empty.
This has not been the case in the Middle East and parts of Africa where Islam has awakened from its passive existence due in part to the colonization that preceded and followed World War One. The riches that oil provided have played a role and today a nation like Qatar is funding the emergence of ISIS, the self-declared caliphate calling itself the Islamic State.
Other oil-rich Middle East nations have supported al Qaeda only to discover that they were among its targets. ISIS has turned on Muslims in the area between Syria and into northern Iraq whom they declare hypocrites and apostates.

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