November 27, 2011

Rabbi Overlander at the UN - spectacular!

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November 26, 2011

Ironic that we launch a probe into space to search for life, when half our planet is in the daily business of launching death.

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November 20, 2011

Perpetual Palestinian Victimhood

With acknowledgments to Hoover and Hudson and Touro Institutes, this is probably one of the best pieces I have seen on the  ‘Palestinian resistance’. All the more forceful for its being written by an African American academic, and significant for its being delivered at the Jewish hatefest conference in Durban. 
His comparison with Black civil rights is revealing and would justify much of what is going on in our struggle. Except that Black Americans never wanted to slaughter White Americans, nor were they weaned on hatred of their host country or incited from infancy – as a religious precept -  to kill and destroy all that it stands for.  That tends to take the ‘poetry’ out of what is still an outstanding analysis by Steele.

The Narrative of Perpetual Palestinian Victimhood
Shelby Steele is the Robert J and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute, member of the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.
The following is excerpted from his speech delivered September 22, 2011 in New York City at the conference "The Perils of Global Intolerance: The UN and Durban III," sponsored by the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and the Hudson Institute.

The Arab-Israeli conflict, is not really a conflict, it is a war – a war of the Arabs against the Jews. In many ways, this conflict has been a conflict between narratives. We who strongly support Israel have done a poor job in formulating a narrative which will combat the story spun by the other side. We can do better.
The Durban conferences, the request for UN recognition of a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood, and the general animus in the Middle East and elsewhere toward Israel and toward the Jews, what are they really about? Is the Durban conference and the claim that Israel is a racist nation really about reforming the people of Israel and curing them of their racism?
I think their real interest is to situate the Palestinian people within a narrative of victimization. This is their ulterior goal: to see themselves and to have others see them as victims of colonialism, as victims of white supremacy.
Listen to their language; it is the language of colonial oppression. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas claims that Palestinians have been occupied for 63 years. The word oppressed is constant, exploited. In this, there is a poetic truth; like poetic license, in a poetic truth a writer will bend the rules in order to be more effective.
I will give you one example of a poetic truth that comes from my group, black Americans. We make the following claims: America is a deeply, intractably racist society. It may not be as conspicuous today as it was before. Nevertheless, it is still there today structurally and systemically, and it still holds us back and keeps us from achieving the American dream.
To contradict this claim, one can come forward with evidence to suggest that racism in America today is about 25th on the list of problems facing black Americans. One can recount one of the great untold stories of America, namely, the moral growth and evolution away from that problem. This is not to say that racism is completely extinguished, but that it no longer prevents the forward progress of any black in the United States. There is no evidence to suggest that it does. Yet, this claim is still the centerpiece of black American identity – this idea that we are victimized by a fundamentally, incurably racist society.
Poetic truths like that are marvelous because no facts and no reason can ever penetrate. Supporters of Israel are up against a poetic truth. We keep hitting it with all the facts. We keep hitting it with obvious logic and reason. And we are so obvious and conspicuously right that we assume it is going to have an impact and it never does.
Why not? These narratives, these poetic truths, are the source of their power. Focusing on the case of the Palestinians, who would they be if they were not victims of white supremacy? They would just be poor people in the Middle East. They would be backwards. They would be behind Israel in every way. So this narrative is the source of their power. It is the source of their money. Money comes from around the world. It is the source of their self-esteem. Without it, would they be able to compete with Israeli society? They would have to confront in themselves a certain inferiority with regard to Israel – as most other Arab nations would have to confront an inferiority in themselves and be responsible for it.
The idea that the problem is Israel, that the problem is the Jews, protects Palestinians from having to confront that inferiority or do anything about it or overcome it. The idea among Palestinians that they are victims means more to them than anything else. It is everything. It is the centerpiece of their very identity and it is the way they define themselves as human beings in the world. It is not an idle thing. Our facts and our reason are not going to penetrate easily that definition or make any progress.
The question is, how do they get away with a poetic truth, based on such an obvious series of falsehoods? One reason why they get away with it in the Middle East is that the Western world lacks the moral authority to call them on it. The Western world has not said "your real problem is inferiority. Your real problem is underdevelopment." That has not been said, nor will ever be said – because the Western world was once colonial, was once racist, did practice white supremacy, and is so ashamed of itself and so vulnerable to those charges, that they are not going to say a word. They are not going to say what they really think and feel about what is so obvious about the circumstances among the Palestinians. So the poetic truth that Palestinians live by carries on.
International media also do not feel that they have the moral authority to report what they see. On the contrary, they feed this poetic truth and give it a kind of gravitas that it would never otherwise have.
Consequently, we need to develop a narrative that is not poetic, but literal and that is based on the truth. What would such a narrative look like?
It would begin with the presumption that the problem in the Middle East is not white supremacy but the end of white supremacy. After World War II, the empires began to contract, Britain went home, France went home, and the Arab world was left almost abandoned, and in a state of much greater freedom than they had ever known before.
Freedom is, however, a dicey thing to experience. When you come into freedom, you see yourself more accurately in the world. This is not unique to the Middle East. It was also the black American experience, when the Civil Rights bill was passed in 1964 and we came into much greater freedom. If you were a janitor in 1963 and you are still a janitor in 1965, you have all these freedoms and they are supported by the rule of law, then your actual experience of freedom is one of humiliation and one of shame. You see how far you have to go, how far behind you are, how little social capital you have with which to struggle forward. Even in freedom you see you are likely to be behind for a long time. In light of your inability to compete and your underdevelopment, freedom becomes something that you are very likely going to hate – because it carries this humiliation.
At that point formerly oppressed groups develop what I call bad faith. Bad faith is when you come into freedom, you are humiliated and you say, "Well you know the real truth is I am not free. Racism still exists. Zionism is my problem. The State of Israel is my problem. That is why I am so far behind and that is why I cannot get ahead."
You develop a culture grounded in bad faith where you insist that you are less free than you really are. Islamic extremism is the stunning example of this phenomenon. "I have to go on jihad because I am fighting for my freedom." Well you already have your freedom. You could stay home and study. You could do something constructive. But "No, I cannot do that because that makes me feel bad about myself." So I live in a world of extremism and dictators.
This is not unique to the Middle East. In black America we had exactly the same thing. After we got the civil rights bill and this greater degree of freedom, then all of a sudden we hear the words "black power." Then all of a sudden we have the Black Panthers. Then we have this militancy, this picking up of the gun because we feel bad about ourselves. We feel uncompetitive and this becomes our compensation. It is a common pattern among groups that felt abandoned when they became free.
This is the real story of the Palestinians and of the Middle East. They will never be reached by reason until they are somehow able to get beyond bad faith, to get beyond this sort of poetic truth that they are the perennial victims of an aggressive and racist Israeli nation.
Challenging their narrative with this explanation will enable us to be more effective. Until now, we have constantly used facts and reason and have not progressed.
Durban is a perfect example of bad faith because Durban is way of saying Israelis are racist and they are our problem. Durban really is a way of saying I am not free. I am still a victim. That is the real purpose of Durban. The Palestinian unilateral claim for recognition from the UN is also a perfect example of bad faith. If Palestinians proceed to the Security Council, they will very likely be turned down, and will respond by saying: "I told you we were victims. I told you the West is racist," and so on. It refuels the same sad identity.
The irony and the tragedy of all this is that it keeps these groups in a bubble where they never encounter or deal with the truth. This becomes a second oppression for all these groups. They have been oppressed once, now they are free and yet they create a poetic truth that then oppresses them all over again.
How are you going to have good faith if you are raised being told that the society in which you are trying to compete is against you, is racist? It is always the Palestinians who suffer, and will continue to suffer, because all of their energy is going into the avoidance of their situation rather than into being challenged by it and facing into it.
The strength of our argument is that it gives the Palestinians a way out. Development is the way out. The West can help you to compete. It may take a little while. But the alternative is a cycle of violence and hatred and poetic truths about constant victimhood.
The pattern of bad faith in certain places comes to embrace a kind of ethic of death. As Osama bin Laden claimed: in the West, you are all afraid of death, but we love death. Why would you love death? If you are not afraid of death then you are aggrandized; all of a sudden you are a big man. You are not a little, recently freed, inferior. Instead, you are somebody who manages, who conquers his world, who has power. For terrorism is power, the power of the gun. This poetic truth leads to a terrible, inconceivable fascination with death and violence and guns and bombs. It consumes a whole part of the world every single day – rather than the boring things that good faith requires, like going to school, raising your children, inventing software for instance, making money.
This is the way the narrative must be retold.

November 16, 2011

UN Cowboys in the Gush

This email from the valiant Nadia Matar reached me this morning, containing the following letter to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. All Jewish groups should protest this interference with Israel's sovereign rights by such mavericks riding their new UN jeeps on America's dime. The licence plate is clearly visible as is the man's pot belly. Should be easy for the UN to identify and discipline accordingly.

We wish to call your attention that on Nov. 9, 2011 a vehicle from the UN Observers Force arrived in the area of Netzer, located between Elazar and Alon Shevut, in the heart of Gush Etzion block. The UN vehicle arrived with two Arabs, to apparently intervene in a land dispute. Attached are photographs of the UN vehicle and the observers.

The UN personnel reached the plot that according to the Israeli Civil Administration is definitely state land. Still, the Arabs are trying in a violent and illegal manner to take over that land. Our movement, Women in Green, has been operating for several years to protect and redeem land through planting of trees on state land illegally targeted by the Arabs. Over the last few weeks, the Arabs uprooted five times tens of Jewish olive trees at the plot  as well as attacked Jews.

The Arabs who falsely claim that they are the owners of the plot, are from El Khader, from the Sand Tsalah family, well connected with both the Palestinian Authority and the UN.

We wish to point out that the latest incident marked at least the second time that we saw UN observers roaming in our area with their vehicle and cameras. The observers, who did not wear uniforms, were accompanied by and cooperating with the Arabs.

We wish to protest in the strongest terms that the UN observers have been intervening in matters outside of the UN mandate. This is a blatant intervention of Israel's sovereignty over the area. The UN has no mandate to intervene in property disputes.

We are requesting that that this matter be examined and dealt with as soon as possible.


Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar

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November 14, 2011

Obama's Special Interests


"The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long, but I don’t.    I work for the American people.”

·           Nancy Pelosi's brother-in-law is given $737m of taxpayers' money to build giant solar power plant in middle of the desert
·           Obama administration approved $1bn in green energy loans days after failed Solyndra project due to be completed
·           $737m handed to Crescent Dunes project in Tonopah, Nevada, for 110-megawatt desert solar power plant
·           Investors include firm Minority leader's brother-in-law and major Solyndra stakeholder
·           Republicans warn Energy Department is 'rushing' $5bn in loans ahead of Friday deadline

Gingrich on the Sarkozy/Obama gaffe

Extract from Hugh Hewitt's interview with Republican contender and former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich:

HH: Now let’s turn to the story of most importance. Almost certainly, Iran has nuclear ambitions, and very close to having, if not already in possession, of nuclear weapons. If Israel acts to defend itself by striking at that capacity, what ought the president of the United States, either our current or our next one, to do on the day that strike happens?

NG: We should be supportive of the state of Israel. If the Israelis, having endured the Holocaust and the loss of seven million Jews in World War II, conclude that an Iranian nuclear weapon poses the threat of a second holocaust, because two nuclear weapons on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem would be the equivalent of a second holocaust. If they conclude that is a risk they cannot live with, we should respect their concern for survival. And I think that we should clearly indicate to the world that we would support whatever they think they have to do to survive.

HH: What did you make of the Sarkozy-Obama exchange about Prime Minister Netanyahu, with Sarkozy calling him a liar, and the President not disputing that?

NG: I think the arrogance, and frankly, the sometimes latent anti-Semitism that the Europeans have, that has been tragic over and over again…I mean, you know, here’s a man…Bibi Netanyahu is worried about the very survival of his country. He has in the Palestinian Authority somebody who is a clear public liar, who has said that ultimately, they don’t want a peace agreement, they want to get rid of Israel. He has in Hamas a mortal enemy. He has in Hezbollah a mortal enemy. He has in Iran Ahmadinejad, a dictator who says he wants to eliminate Israel from the face of the Earth. And yet their nasty comments are aimed at Netanyahu? I mean, it tells you just what’s wrong with the elites in Europe, and frankly, the elites in the United States.

HH: Do you think President Sarkozy is anti-Semitic, Mr. Speaker?

NG: No, I’m saying that there is a strain in European culture that blames the Jew, and that that strain in European culture is real, it is deep. It goes back through the aristocracies. And I think if you look at who do they side with, who do they tolerate, who do they forgive, Arafat could lie eternally, and they always found it okay. You wouldn’t have had that conversation with Ahmadinejad. That is very, very unfortunate.

(The full interview transcript is HERE)


November 13, 2011

Cain is Able !

I don't know whether those women are telling the truth or lies, but it's clear there's no candidate that speaks better than Herman Cain - with passion and no notes or teleprompters.

My son Elliott says: That's Change We can Believe In!

Herman Cain at the Defending the American Dream Summit from AFPhq on Vimeo.


November 03, 2011

Britain Recycles for the Jihad

Of all people, I find myself behind this on the North Circular Road in West London.
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