כּנור דוד

Kinnor David - "a most attractive blog".

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Letter to the "Palestinians"

I admit it, the quotation marks in that heading are mine.

This article by Israeli writer Yossi Klein Halevi is an absolute must-read. First, it highlights the difference between Israeli and Arab understandings and objectives with respect to the "peace process". Second, it highlights the Arab "culture of denial" which, it its mis-placed pride has done untold harm to the Arab residents of Eretz Israel. Third, it posits that main-stream Israeli society today, there is a widespread will for peace, together with a realistic understanding that there is no genuine desire on the part of the Arab world to accept Israel as a Middle Eastern nation and no will even try to understand the Israeli "national narrative"; hence, Halevi argues, Jerusalem will be lost to the Arabs, and Israel will find peace in its own way, behind the security barrier, maintaining those West Bank settlements that are essential to its security.

Thanks to cba for forwarding this to me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Labor MP Gets Nazi

Have a look at the following article from Monday's edition of The Australian.

Apparrently Australia's "influential Jewish community" is upset because Labor MP Julia Irwin has (yet again) demonized the Jewish State in a way calculated to hurt and offend Jews (and indeed, all people of genuine goodwill towards the Jewish people). She said:

"Gaza is now a Palestinian ghetto; a prison for its one million people. All flows of people and goods must pass through Israeli border controls, which has resulted in the World Bank's reporting that unemployment and poverty will rise in Gaza. Now Israel will rule Gaza like a walled ghetto, a giant penal colony, a concentration camp.

"We are witnessing the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem, the heart and soul of the Palestinian nation. The world must not allow this to happen."

The Australian's op-ed columnist describes this as "deliberately insidious stuff", and an "unconscionable speech". I suppose that is an obscure and somewhat innacurate way of saying "ranting, foaming at the mouth judenhass". Glenn Milne says "An understandably furious Australian Jewish community believes Irwin is engaged in dangerous moral relativism, putting forward the phony proposition that Israel is acting in the same way as Hitler. ", and he is partly right; that said, it's not only the Jews who are outraged. Why is it that when ethnic slurs are directed towards any other group, the newspapers report "community outrage" in generalized terms, but it's only Jews who ever get offended by so-called "anti-Zionist" Judenhass? Someone tell me, please.

Oh and as for East Jerusalem being the "heart and soul of the 'Palestinian Nation'" - oh puh-lease! If you believe that, I have a bridge and opera house to sell you...

Irwin has justly been forced to apologize to the Parliament for what she said.

The problem is that this hoary old hatred, in its re-vamped Islamist form, has become almost endemic within the left wing of the Australian Labor Party:

"This cowardly Government wants to hide behind another lie, the lie that Islamic fundamentalism is the root of terrorism."

That's Ms Irwin MP again.


Irwin is not alone. Inner Sydney city left-wing MP Tanya Plibersek has previously condemned Ariel Sharon as a "war criminal". Fellow left winger Anthony Albanese admits he cannot talk to Jewish ALP backbencher Michael Danby except through intermediaries. A happy bunch when it comes to the politics of Israel.

I'm sure that Mr Danby's Jewishness has absolutely nothing to do with Mr Albanese's attitude towards him.

As Milne says rhetorically to Opposition Leader Kim Beazley: "Over to you, Kim".

I provide the following links for the benefit of anyone who might like to exercise his or her democratic right to express an opinion (you can follow the links on these pages to the other MPs referred to in Milne's article):

Ability Hits the Mark Where Presumption Overshoots and Diffidence Falls Short

Discarded Lies examines Ariel Sharon's survival of Benjamin Netanyahu's latest attempt to return to the Prime Ministership of Israel, quoting this 2002 Time article:

Not that Netanyahu would necessarily do things that differently from Sharon if he were faced with the realities of power. An editorial in Maariv suggested he doesn't even believe that a Palestinian state can be stopped. And Netanyahu's own record in power, moreover, suggests he knows the score: Elected as a fierce opponent of the Oslo accords, he was nonetheless forced, as prime minister, to observe it — by withdrawing from Hebron, for example — while Sharon snapped at his heels from the right.

I think I'm with Zulubaby when she says:

If Likud don't stop fighting within, they're going to hand Israel over to the moronic left and then we're really screwed.

On the other hand, Eurabian Times has this "Perfidious Columbia" piece, which gives lie to the arabist whine about American / "Neo-con" support for the Jewish State, and a more optimistic piece entitled "See what can be done with a little political will?". However, Matt makes the following observations, and asks the obvious question:

The pattern is familiar: terrorists attack Israel, Israeli government authorises what the IDF has been ready to do since the last attack, but the offensive stops. The terrorists regroup, and are successful sooner or later. Wash, rinse and repeat.

But here's a crazy notion. I'd bet good money that the list of targets the Israelis have is even longer than the one above. A lot longer. So why not keeping [sic] destroying infrastructure, killing leader [sic] and taking down cells until you have no more actionable intelligence?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Sullivan: Bush The Socialist

Andrew Sullivan tells readers of The Times that George W Bush is a socialist, and uses Peggy Noonan and Ann Coulter "the Michael Moore of the far right" to back him up:

Here’s Peggy Noonan, about as loyal a Republican as you’ll find, in a Wall Street Journal column last week: “George W Bush is a big spender. He has never vetoed a spending bill. When Congress serves up a big slab of fat, crackling pork, Mr Bush responds with one big question: Got any barbecue sauce?”

Here’s Ann Coulter, the Michael Moore of the far right, a pundit whose book on liberalism was titled Treason: “Bush has already fulfilled all his campaign promises to liberals and then some! He said he’d be a ‘compassionate conservative’, which liberals interpreted to mean that he would bend to their will, enact massive spending programmes, and be nice to liberals. When Bush won the election, that sealed the deal. It meant the Democrats won.

“Consequently, Bush has enacted massive new spending programmes, obstinately refused to deal with illegal immigration, opposed all conservative Republicans in their primary races, and invited Teddy Kennedy over for movie night. He’s even sent his own father to socialise with ageing porn star Bill Clinton.” Ouch.

His conclusion?

I believe in lower taxes. But I also believe in basic fiscal responsibility. If you do not cut spending to align with lower taxes, you are merely borrowing from the next generation. And if a Republican president has legitimised irresponsible spending, what chance is there that a Democrat will get tough?

This may, in fact, be Bush’s real domestic legacy. All a Democratic successor has to do is raise taxes to pay for his splurge, and we will have had the biggest expansion of government power, size and responsibility since the 1930s. What would Reagan say? What would Thatcher? But those glory days are long gone now — and it was a Republican president and Congress that finally buried them.

I thought (and think) that Sullivan's support for Kerry was a little disingenuous, and overlooked Kerry's evident weakness in the face of Islamic Fascism (although, in fairness to Kerry, many are less than impressed by the performance of Condi "Gaza is just the beginning [praise Allah!]" Rice since she became Secretary of State).

That said, there is arguably more than a whiff of the Aussie National Party about the Bush Administration - social conservatism, and barrels of pork for all our key constituencies!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Plus Ca Change...Arab Christians and Nostra Aetate

Cardinal Franz Konig reflects on the Catholic Church's 40-year-old Decree on Other Religions, Nostra Aetate, thus:

And fourthly I come to Nostra Aetate, the briefest of all the council declarations but in my eyes one of the most, if not the most, important. This declaration on the relationship of the Church to non-Christian religions underlines that the Church “rejects nothing of what is true and holy” in other religions and stresses the importance of dialogue. The last three pages of Nostra Aetate, which concern the Church’s relations to Judaism, was one of the most disputed.

This briefest of declarations owes its existence to three people without whose determination, dedication and patience it would never have come about. They were Pope John himself, Cardinal Bea and Fr Johannes Österreicher, an Austrian priest and convert from Judaism who had fled from Austria to the United States before the Second World War. John XXIII was determined to put an end to accusations that the Church was anti-Semitic. He had done a great deal to help Jews when he was Apostolic Delegate in Istanbul in the Forties. Shortly after his election, he asked Cardinal Bea to consider how the Jewish question could be incorporated into the council. I was invited to join this small circle early on, and thus experienced at close hand the many crises and continual ups and downs the declaration went through. It is indeed almost a miracle that it was ever passed at all.

Rumours that a declaration on the Jewish question was on the agenda began circulating almost as soon as the council opened. The mere fact that the question was to be discussed at all immediately met with violent opposition from the Arab world, the Eastern Churches and from a small but vociferous conservative group of council bishops around Archbishop Lefebvre. I greatly admire Pope John, Cardinal Bea and Fr Österreicher for persevering despite fierce opposition, intrigue and sometimes outright slander.

Right up to the end of the council this opposition mobilised the mass media and evoked diplomatic protests from the Arab states. [really, you do surprise me! - Ed] I received sacks of letters, many of them from Christians in the Middle East, begging me to prevent a declaration on the Jewish question. Some of the pamphlets that were circulated were positively malicious and defamatory [surely no Middle Eastern Christian would stoop to that sort of thing! - Ed]. When the small group of council bishops which was so against any declaration on the subject saw that they could not prevent it, they tried to water it down and continually lodged complaints so that the drafts had to be changed at least three or four times. Finally, however, on 28 October 1965, Nostra Aetate was passed: there were 2,221 votes in favour, 88 against and three abstentions. It had taken four years to reach agreement on a few hundred words! For Karl Rahner, “the wording and inner dynamism” of Nostra Aetate was “unique”.

The Skaf Prosecutions & Their Context

Ittay has correctly pointed out, in response to this post that "rape is rape, no matter who the perpetrator".

That proposition cannot be refuted. What can distinguish one rape from another are factors such as premeditation, and the additional injuries, indignities and humiliations inflicted upon the victim(s). That is a matter of law, and that was precisely the question considered by the Court of Appeal in the case in question. Was this "the worst kind" of rape? In my view, it certainly came close. These were, in my view, worse (warning, not for the weak of stomach), but the circumstances, the premeditated, "gang" nature of the rapes, the hunting of the women like prey, and the degradation, made these particularly heinous crimes.

Let us now look at the context of my post.

In the prosecutions of the Skaf brothers' gang, there was evidence that "Aussie pigs" and "sluts" were singled out by gangs whose members professed the Muslim faith, for rape and sexual humiliation - hence the "f-uck you Leb-style" comment. The Sydney Muslim community has been critical of articles that have appeared in the (left-wing) Fairfax Press, particularly the Sydney Morning Herald, saying that they constituted "Muslim bashing".

Typical of the impugned articles is a piece entitled Betraying the Rape Victims, by Miranda Devine.

So when Cunneen and McKay addressed the legal conference in February they were happy to report the good news about rape prosecutions: that the shame has now shifted to where it ought to be - onto the perpetrator, not the victim. It was a theme that should have been welcome but, instead, a "small but vocal group" in the audience angrily asserted that the gang rape cases were "nothing but racist prosecutions", that Skaf would not have received such a long sentence if he hadn't been Lebanese.

This is how an influential part of Sydney's legal and media circles thinks; many, to their eternal shame, are women, for whom a politically correct stance on multiculturalism is more precious than feminist principles or the safety of young women and girls. It makes them uncomfortable to acknowledge the fact that young Muslim men have been roaming around Sydney gang raping non-Muslim women, or as the rapists like to say, "Aussie pigs" and "sluts" who ask for it. Despite the evidence, they refuse to acknowledge it, and that this same pattern has been occurring in other Western countries, notably France.

There have been attempts to smear as racist, journalists or media outlets which present these facts to the public. In March, the Anti-Discrimination Board published a carefully concocted 123-page smear pamphlet Race For The Headlines, about "moral panic" and "anti-Arab, anti-Muslim" bigotry in the media. It was just one of many attempts by ideologues to diminish the real and lasting suffering of the brave young women who testified in court and ensured that at least some rapists were locked away.

Now, that was the context of my comment to the effect that reference to the rapists' religion was haraam. Why is any of this important? Devine's argument is as follows:

But the social problem behind the rapes hasn't gone away. Whatever makes a subsection of immigrant families in Sydney bring up their sons with such disregard for "Australian" or non-Muslim females remains. In a speech recently, former detective sergeant Tim Priest, the Cabramatta whistleblower, said he saw a pattern of denial about "Middle Eastern crime" similar to that which he experienced about drug crime in Cabramatta. He told of many instances of police "backing down to Middle Eastern thugs" in confrontations in what he calls the "Muslim-dominated areas" of south-western Sydney.

He cited a case in Auburn in 2001 when two uniformed police officers stopped a suspect car and found stolen property. The three occupants of the car threatened to kill the officers, and "f---" their girlfriends. When the police called for backup, so, too, did the thugs on their mobile phones, summoning 60 associates for battle. The response by police chiefs was to order the officers to retreat. And then, later, when the offenders drove to the police station, intimidating staff, damaging property and "virtually holding a suburban police station hostage," again the police did nothing. "By avoiding all confrontations with these thugs the police gave away the streets in many areas of south-western Sydney," Priest said.

That's the point. I apologise if my comments were misunderstood as a cheap-shot at those who profess the Muslim faith. They were not. The serious question here, is to what extent our society expects its citizens and residents to conform to a set of basic values, such as respect for women, the rights of gays and lesbians to live their lives unmolested, freedom of religion, of speech and of conscience.

In many places throughout the so-called western world, in London, Michigan, and Sydney, those who claim to speak in the name of the Mohammedan faith, loudly and aggressively assert the rights of their co-religionists to repudiate, reject and ignore those basic values.

Many on the left are willing to jettison their "feminist" "principles" and argue that journalists such as Devine are dealing in racial and religious prejudice, when they call for the severe punishment of gangs such as Skaf's. It was those people that I was intending to mock with my haraam comment.

But, as I venture to suggest is generally agreed, the relationship and tension between Islam, and customs (such as female genital mutilation) and attitudes (towards women, gays, Jews, and other infidels) which are either Islamic or or common in Islamic societies and liberal (in the John Stuart Mill sense) society, is a legitimate and important question for debate.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Back Again!

I am back, and feeling better than I have in ages, and accordingly the ranting has resumed. Send me all your hate mail!

While you are at it, check out this entry on New Orleans. Sound common sense. I was tempted to try to work The Simpsons' New Orleans song into this post, but I decided that that would constitute incredibly poor taste.

Thank you very much to all of those who sent their best wishes.

Gang Rapist's Gaol Term Cut

The Australian is reporting that Bilal Skaf, who was convicted of a series of Sydney gang rapes in 2000 has had his gaol term cut from 46 to 28 years. Readers may recall this individual and his description of his acts as "f-ck[ing] you Leb-style". Many commentators have said that it is haraam to mention his gang's religion. So I will not.

The "Swastika of Embrace"

Mark Steyn will never win any awards for scholarly journalism, but his robust common sense and sense of irony often appeal to me. This recent article on the amazingly inappropriate proposed Flight 93 - September 11 memorial is an example.

Lutherans - the Leopards that Refuse to Change their Spots

Christian Attitudes has this interesting piece on the Lutheran World Federation’s blast of invective in the direction of the Israeli separation barrier.

In a public statement adopted yesterday at the end of its week-long meeting in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the LWF council said that many of its members had encountered “the [Israeli] separation wall and found shocking its impact on the daily lives of Palestinians.”

Of course, not a word as to why they are building the thing - you know, the totally accidentally-exploding Arabs and the bullet-firing 100,000 year-old olive trees planted by Abraham, Jesus and Muhummad.

This is unfortunate, but what is to be expected from an ecclesial community whose revered founder (and yes, many devout Lutherans and Protestant Christians do revere Martin Luther as a quasi-Saint) wrote The Jews and their Lies in 1543.

If you can stomach it, read on [be warned, this is noxious, evil stuff from the founder of Lutheranism]:

Therefore be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self-glory, conceit, lies, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously and veheming his eyes on them. ...

Moreover, they are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us by means of their accursed usury. Thus they live from day to day, together with wife and child, by theft and robbery, as arch-thieves and robbers, in the most impenitent security. ...

Did I not tell you earlier that a Jew is such a noble, precious jewel that God and all the angels dance when he farts?

Alas, it cannot be anything but the terrible wrath of God which permits anyone to sink into such abysmal, devilish, hellish, insane baseness, envy, and arrogance. If I were to avenge myself on the devil himself I should be unable to wish him such evil and misfortune as God's wrath inflicts on the Jews, compelling them to lie and to blaspheme so monstrously, in violation of their own conscience. Anyway, they have their reward for constantly giving God the lie.

And then, Luther goes on with this prescription for the Holocaust:

I brief, dear princes and lords, those of you who have Jews under your rule-- if my counsel does not please your, find better advice, so that you and we all can be rid of the unbearable, devilish burden of the Jews, lest we become guilty sharers before God in the lies, blasphemy, the defamation, and the curses which the mad Jews indulge in so freely and wantonly against the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, this dear mother, all hristians, all authority, and ourselves. Do not grant them protection, safe-conduct, or communion with us.... .With this faithful counsel and warning I wish to cleanse and exonerate my conscience.

What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing and blaspemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. With prayer and the fear of God we must pratice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames. We dare not avenge ourselves. Vengenance a thousand times worse than we could wish them already has them by the throat. I shall give you my sincere advice:

First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly - and I myself was unaware of it - will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know.

Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. (remainder omitted).

Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. For they have justly forfeited the right to such an office by holding the poor Jews captive with the saying of Moses (Deuternomy 17 [:10 ff.]) in which he commands them to obey their teachers on penalty of death, although Moses clearly adds: "what they teach you in accord with the law of the Lord." Thoses villains ignore that. They wantonly employ the poor people's obedience contrary to the law of the Lord and infuse them with this poison, cursing, and blasphemy. In the same way the pope also held us captive with the declaration in Matthew 16 {:18], "You are Peter," etc, inducing us to believe all the lies and deceptions that issued from his devilish mind. He did not teach in accord with the word of God, and therefore he forfeited the righ to teach.

This goes on and on and on, and I will not quote any more of it. You get the picture.

Lutheranism is one leopard that has not changed its spots.

On the other side of the Catholic / Protestant divide, Liz has this item on the upcoming meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and the Chief Rabbis of Israel. She also notes that Pope Paul VI, unlike his predecessor Pope John XXIII and his successor Pope John Paul II may have himself had some unpleasant attitudes towards the Jewish people. Read it yourselves.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Normal Service to Resume Eventually

I will be taking a break from blogging for a while, while I spend a little time in Hospital. Needless to say, I'd rather be blogging, but there you go! Thank you to all who have read, linked to and contributed to this blog (in whatever way) over the last month or so. Hopefully I will be back within a week or two.

Krauthammer: Not Jews, Not Witches and Not "Global Warming" or "Iraq"

Charles Krauthammer has this to say about the causes of Hurricane Katrina:

In less enlightened times, there was no catastrophe independent of human agency. When the plague or some other natural disaster struck, witches were burned, Jews were massacred and all felt better (except the witches and Jews).

A few centuries later, our progressive thinkers have progressed not an inch. No fall of a sparrow on this planet is not attributed to sin and human perfidy. The three current favorites are: (1) global warming, (2) the war in Iraq and (3) tax cuts. Katrina hits and the unholy trinity is immediately invoked to damn sinner-in-chief George W. Bush.

This kind of stupidity merits no attention whatsoever, but I'll give it a paragraph. There is no relationship between global warming and the frequency and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes. Period. The problem with the evacuation of New Orleans is not that National Guardsmen in Iraq could not get to New Orleans, but that National Guardsmen in Louisiana did not get to New Orleans. As for the Bush tax cuts, administration budget requests for New Orleans flood control during the five Bush years exceed that of the five preceding Clinton years. The notion that the allegedly missing revenues would have been spent wisely by Congress, targeted precisely to the levees of New Orleans, and reconstruction would have been completed in time, is a threefold fallacy. The argument ends when you realize that, as The Washington Post notes, ``the levees that failed were already completed projects."

Let's be clear. The author of this calamity was, first and foremost, Nature (or if you prefer, Nature's God). The suffering was augmented, aided and abetted in descending order of culpability by the following:

I now paraphrase the rest of the article, with a recommendation that readers follow my original link to Mr Krauthammer's article, and read his arguments in full:

1. The mayor of New Orleans.

2. The Louisiana governor.

3. The head of FEMA.

4. The president.

5. Congress.

6. The American People.

So there we are. I do not feel particularly qualified to weigh further into the game of apportioning blame for the horriffic loss of life in the South. That article however, written by a normally sensible and reliable commentator seems to get it just about right.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

כל עוד בלבב פנימה

Today's Israel news:

Limor Livnat - Defy US and Build now in Yehuda, Shomron

"The great United States is our friend, but there are times when we have to say, even to the United States, that we will act in accordance with our interests,"

Bravo! And - as many others have said -

Perfidious Columbia Betrays Zion.

The ironies and contradictions in which Israel finds herself entangled today could be material for a Keystone Kops comedy if the results were not so tragic, the ramifications so gruesome.

The United States is fully mobilized fighting a global war on terror, and yet it is doing its utmost to create a terrorist utopia in the heart of Eretz Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and its only true ally in the region.

The US has been the driving force in the creation and sustaining of a twelve-year period of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, a process outrageously called a "peace process", that has claimed the lives of more Israelis to Islamic terror than at any other time in her history.

But justice is harsh, even if it seems slow in coming. Just as a man sows and reaps, so nations do the same. It would appear that those nations that insist Israel continually expose their civilians to the Islamic barbarians will themselves have their civilians exposed to the same. As former Secretary of States Albright and Christopher were smugly shuttling between the US and Israel, coercing Israel to sit and make destructive agreements with Islamic terrorists, written in Jewish blood, similarly motivated warriors of Allah were plotting mass casualty attacks against America itself

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

It is possible to use the words "Sean Penn" and "hole", without an intervening "ass."

That wondeful line comes from that Ozraeli known as Israellycool, dealing with Sean Penn's "efforts" in the Southern parts of the United States.

In other miscellanea, non-Australian readers may be unaware of homocon blogger Billious Young Fogey. I cannot fathom how he finds the time to write as well as he does. His blog is well worth a look - allthough not all of it is "safe for work"!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis. Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion

Chief Justice Rhenquist has died at home. The Yahoo News obituary

Rehnquist, who championed states' rights and helped speed up executions, is the only member still on the court who voted on Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision legalizing abortion. He opposed that decision, writing: "Even today, when society's views on abortion are changing, the very existence of the debate is evidence that the `right' to an abortion is not so universally accepted as (Roe) would have us believe."

He believed there was a place for some religion in government. He wrote the 5-4 decision in 2002 that said parents may use public tax money to send their children to religious schools. Two years later, he was distressed when the court passed up a chance to declare that the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is constitutional.

"The phrase 'under God' in the pledge seems, as a historical matter, to sum up the attitude of the nation's leaders, and to manifest itself in many of our public observances," he wrote.

Then there was this:

Rehnquist caused great amusement when he departed from tradition by adding four shiny gold stripes to each sleeve of his black robe in 1995. The flourish was inspired by a costume in a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta.

This from a man opposed to his Court's decision to strike down laws criminalizing gay sex!

Read the whole obituary.

The fight over his replacement is bound to be nasty

In other legal obituaries, Lord Donaldson of Lymington, former Master of the Rolls, is also having a beer with Allah, as you read this! The London Daily Telegraph eulogized him thus:

The popular myth grew that Donaldson was biased in favour of the establishment. Yet many Conservative lawyers found him too brash, and his approach to civil liberties led one radical lawyer to observe in 1982 that "he has a passion for justice". His brisk and confident courtroom manner annoyed some barristers who thought him too quick on the uptake, but his demeanour stemmed from a deeply-felt commitment to sweep away delays in the justice system. He would deal directly with the press, which he skilfully used in his campaign for more judges.

His attitude towards politics was, he said, "much the same as a monk towards sex; nostalgic memories of youthful indiscretion, a frank acknowledgement of its attractions, an unshakeable conviction that I could do better than those currently engaged in it, but an acceptance that it will never be for me until I go to a far better world".

I couldn't resist that quote.

Nor this

In 1982 several of the judges whom Lord Hailsham sounded out were strongly opposed to Donaldson's appointment as Master of the Rolls, particularly in the Chancery Division, where they wanted an intellectual heavyweight. Mrs Thatcher was reputed to have said: "Fortunately, Lord Chancellor, your judges do not appoint the Master of the Rolls. I do."

Torygraph obituaries are always worth reading, so I suppose you should read this one, too!

No, Jerusalem is Not Holy to Muslims

Of late, I have become increasingly annoyed by repeated claims in the media, that Jerusalem (and the Al-Aska Mosque, in particular) are Islam's "third holiest site". I guess New York, as the site of the former World Trade Centre comes in at number four.

Well, I'm posting this old article by Islamic Scholar, Dr Daniel Pipes, as evidence that such claims are, in the Australian vernacular, "a crock of shit".

Bottom line?

The similarities are striking. Jews pray thrice to Jerusalem, Muslims five times daily to Mecca. Muslims see Mecca as the navel of the world, just as Jews see Jerusalem. Whereas Jews believe Abraham nearly sacrificed Ishmael's brother Isaac in Jerusalem, Muslims believe this episode took place in Mecca. The Ka‘ba in Mecca has similar functions for Muslims as the Temple in Jerusalem for Jews (such as serving as a destination for pilgrimage). The Temple and Ka‘ba are both said to be inimitable structures. The supplicant takes off his shoes and goes barefoot in both their precincts. Solomon's Temple was inaugurated on Yom Kippur, the tenth day of the year, and the Ka‘ba receives its new cover also on the tenth day of each year. If Jerusalem is for Jews a place so holy that not just its soil but even its air is deemed sacred, Mecca is the place whose "very mention reverberates awe in Muslims' hearts," according to Abad Ahmad of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey [...]

To back up this view, Palazzi notes several striking and oft-neglected passages in the Qur'an. One of them (5:22-23) quotes Moses instructing the Jews to "enter the Holy Land (al-ard al-muqaddisa) which God has assigned unto you." Another verse (17:104) has God Himself making the same point: "We said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Land.'" Qur'an 2:145 states that the Jews "would not follow your qibla; nor are you going to follow their qibla," indicating a recognition of the Temple Mount as the Jews' direction of prayer. "God himself is saying that Jerusalem is as important to Jews as Mecca is to Moslems," Palazzi concludes.

His analysis has a clear and sensible implication: just as Muslims rule an undivided Mecca, Jews should rule an undivided Jerusalem.

The article is old, long, and full of scholarly detail. Many readers will be well familiar with it. Those who are not should read it, before they get taken in by Islamist nonsense to the effect that Jerusalem is holy to the "three great monotheistic religions".

Oh G-d!

It's Sunday here, so I thought I'd post a Christian bumper sticker! Oy vey!

By the way, I've had quite a bit of blog spam in the past couple of days. I've regretfully turned on word verification. Apologies to legitimate commenters!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The "Perfectly Balanced" BBC

I'm linking to this new blog which takes the BBC to task for (surpise) anti-Israel bias.

It's well worth reading, and leads one to question (yet again) why western democracies even need public broadcasters.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Another Little Anecdote

When I was graduating from Law at Adelaide, we were addressed by the Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone. She was then the Federal Education Minister, accused by the left of "Americanizing", and cutting the guts out of University Education. She's since become the Immigration Minister responsible for locking up Unlawful Non-Citizens - incluing women and children) in camps in the desert (yes, that's what we do, until they can prove they are genuine refugees or be deported - friend of mine went to Ireland and told them that was our policy - and they were shocked that it was firstly, popular, and secondly in part responsible for the re-election of the Howard government in 2001 - we put up these posters with Howard saying "WE decide who comes to this country, and the circumstances in which they come!" - to rousing applause, I might add!).

Anyway, I've met her, and she has a heart of gold under this tough exterior the hard-line tough talking - (Vanstone bagging a LLL feminist "there's only room for one blonde in your party" - so the LLL Senators give a resounding "boo" - the response? "Not that thre's a problem with that, or else my colleage would not have had her hair so badly dyed that colour!!", or, when a male Senator called her fat - "I'd rather have a fat arse than shit for brains, Mr comb-over!" - he never insulted her again!). This was in Parliament, mind! I know most US Senators are too pompous to speak like that! She's also famous for spinnaker-sized Versace outfits! Returning to my anecdote, the best part of her speech was:

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

Now that's Teddy Roosevelt!

Zenit: Immoral Idiots

Not all Palestinians are suicide terrorists, and not all Israelis are prepared to kill a Palestinian because he is Palestinian.

Strictly speaking, that's true I suppose. A bit more Arab spontaneous combustion in the privacy of their own homes, of course, would save a lot of problems. That said, it's just that most of the Judea / Samaria / Gaza Arabs do want to destroy Israel one way or another:

Fifty-nine percent of Palestinians believe that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad should continue their armed struggle against Israel even if Israel leaves all of the West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem, and a Palestinian state is created, a new survey shows.

Similarly, 80 percent of Palestinians say that, under those circumstances, the Palestinians should not give up the "right of return."

So the vast majority of Yesha Arabs remain committed to the destruction of the world's only Jewish State, either demographically or explosively. Great.

Until Zenit can produce evidence that a similar proportion of Israelis wants to go around indiscriminately killing Arabs, just for being Arabs, they stand accused of Jew-hatred.

On the other hand:

Purity of Arms - טוהר הנשק - "The IDF servicemen and women will use their weapons and force only for the purpose of their mission, only to the necessary extent and will maintain their humanity even during combat. IDF soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants or prisoners of war, and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity and property".


Recently, a team of professors, commanders and former judges, led by Tel Aviv University head of Ethics cathedra, Professor Assa Kasher, developed a code of conduct which emphasizes the right behavior in low intensity warfare against terrorists, where soldiers must operate within a civilian population. Reserve units and regular units alike are taught the following eleven rules of conduct, which are an addition to the more general IDF Spirit:

Military action can only be taken against military targets.

The use of force must be proportional.

Soldiers may only use weaponry they were issued by the IDF.

Anyone who surrenders cannot be attacked.

Only those who are properly trained can interrogate prisoners.

Soldiers must accord dignity and respect to the Palestinian population and those arrested.

Soldiers must give appropriate medical care, when conditions allow, to oneself and one's enemy.

Pillaging is absolutely and totally illegal.

Soldiers must show proper respect for religious and cultural sites and artifacts.

Soldiers must protect international aid workers, including their property and vehicles.

Soldiers must report all violations of this code.

That's from this site.

"...not all Israelis are prepared to kill a Palestinian because he is Palestinian". Of course not. Obviously not. If they were, "Palestine" would have been de-populated of Arabs by about, say September 1967. Zenit is propagating Jew-hating lies. How else can this fairly be read?

But of course, the poor oppressed "stateless" (if you don't count Jordan, of course) Palestinians just want a State to call thier own. Herr Shickelgruber used to say something similar.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

For Airforcewife

On 31 October 1917, as part of the Sinai and Palestine campaign during World War I, the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade, under Brigadier General William Grant, charged more than four miles at the Turkish trenches, overran them and captured the wells at Beersheba. This is often reported as the last successful cavalry charge in history.
So that's my Great-Grandfather's contribution to Israeli history. And I'm proud of it, because he was just an Aussie farmer who went out to do what he saw was the right thing! And nobody ever dared called him a child - especaially when he lived to almost 98!

Cindy Sheehan, Mother Driven Mad by Grief, or Inheritrix of an Evil Tradition?

A couple of weeks ago, LGF published this article., and then this one, and and of course, this one.Not to mention this.

That's a quick round up of "Mother Sheehan" and her motivations from this writer's point of view. Now men and women of good will ask ourselves , whether this woman is a loving mother driven mad by grief, or the Jew-hating Bitch of Crawford, in the tradition of llsa Koch and the so-called "Grand Mufti of Jerusalem". Stark raving bonkers is the nicest thing that can be said about her.

Make up your own minds. David knows what he thinks.