Monday, March 28, 2011

Terror in the Holy Land: My Thoughts on the (Rest in) Peace Process


By now, the world has forgotten almost entirely about the Itamar Massacre carried out two weeks ago. In fact, those who listen to the liberal media may never even have heard of it. What should have been front-page news quickly receded to the back-burner of the media's mind, supposedly overshadowed by the disaster in Japan. So, let me remind you:

A mother, a father, and three children were brutally slain as they lay sleeping in their beds on a Friday evening. What had they done to deserve this horrible fate? What crime had they committed? Well, they were Jews occupying the West Bank. As Louis Farrakhan might have put it, they were Zionist interlopers dwelling on stolen land.

And, as we know, there can be no greater crime than Jews living in Judea and Samaria (the real name for the "West Bank"). There can be no greater offense than building Jewish homes in the "occupied territories." The horror! The outrage! It is a sin to be punished by death.

And it was.

These gruesome images show a bloodbath that would have made Charles Manson shudder. Even the most heartless of men would be disturbed to hear that a child had been stabbed in the heart, knifed at the throat, or decapitated. That doleful Friday night, all three of these brutal machinations had been perpetrated against the children of the Fogel family, and - yet - some people were unmoved.

Arabs living in the Gaza Strip were not disgusted by the massacre; they were delighted by it. They were delighted at the torture of children, jubilant to hear about the butchering of innocents in their beds. Just like they did on 9/11, scores of Palestinians took to the streets, passing out candy to drivers, pedestrians, and HAMAS "policemen."


Celebrating the slaughter

Now, I understand the phenomenon of schadenfreude, taking pleasure in the pain of others, but this was something more. Something worse. Something unfathomable to the human soul. But, then again, it takes a savage to understand a savage.

Frankly, I am hard-pressed to say who was worse: the actual murderers, or the low-lifes who glorified them.

***UPDATE (4/6/11): Poll shows that 32% of PA Arabs approve of Itamar Massacre

The terrorist apologists will tell us that these are "poor" and "oppressed" Palestinians whose land has been stolen by the evil JOOOOs back in 1947. Assuming that this is true - and it's not - let me say this: People have been oppressed in the most brutal ways since the beginning of time. Yet, despite the horrors of slavery and genocide with which human history is laden, no people have sunk so low as the Palestinians. No people have strapped bombs onto the waists of their children and told them to go blow up other children. No people have thrown parties in the middle of the street to celebrate the decapitation of a three-month-old infant. No people have been so devoid of morals and decency as those we saw in the pictures above - cheering the murder of a family.

But, the terrorist apologists will cry, it was the family's fault for living in "occupied territory." They deserved to die, you see, for building their homes in Samaria, in the "West Bank." While this contention is beyond disgusting, let us entertain it for a moment.

If it is true that slaughtering Jews in the "occupied territories" is justified, then what do you make of last Wednesday's bus bombing ... in Jerusalem?

President Obama believes that if only Israel were to cede control of the "occupied territories," there would be peace in the Middle East. In his eyes, the greatest obstacle to peace is not the Arab who decapitates a baby in the middle of the night, not the Arab who celebrates this murderous deed, but little old Mrs. Goldberg building an apartment in Samaria.

Of course, the bus bombing in Jerusalem proves otherwise. Contrary to our President's assertions, the Arabs do not object merely to the "West Bank settlements"; they object to the existence of Israel - the existence of the Jewish people. Nothing would please them short of Israel's utter and complete destruction.

To understand this, we need look no further than their own words. All over the world, Arabs delight in singing and chanting, "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." 

Note that Israel is surrounded on one side by the Jordan River and on the other side by the Mediterranean Sea. The Arabs hope that this entire region - "from the river to the sea" - will one day be "free." But free of what, you ask? Free of Jews. Judenrein.

Don't be fooled. The so-called "occupation of the West Bank" is merely an excuse. For most Arabs, the real problem is the existence of Israel, a country they have been indoctrinated to deplore since before they could walk. They want Israel to be wiped off the map, something that the civilized world must never allow.

How can the State of Israel make peace with a people who do not recognize its right to exist, with a people who seek to obliterate it from the face of the earth? "Land for peace" is all the rage these days, but let's not forget what happened when Neville Chamberlain tried it with Adolph Hitler (yemach shemo vezichro). As we saw in the 1930s, appeasement does not lead to peace. To the contrary, it emboldens the enemy and leads to war. 

Those who watch the news will remember that Israel already took the path of acquiescence in Gaza, when it expelled ten thousand people from their homes and gave their property over to criminals and ex-murderers. As of the 2006 elections, Gaza is a terrorist enclave run by HAMAS, which fires rockets at Jewish homes  outside the strip EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Appeasement didn't work then, and it won't work now. Israelis may pray for peace, but the Arabs call for blood.

If today you give them Judea and Samaria, tomorrow they will ask for Jerusalem. And the next day they will want to go back to 1947. As the expression goes, if they give them an inch, they will take a yard.  Just as Hitler made no secret of his plan to exterminate the Jewish people while expanding German sovereignty over other countries, today's Arabs make no secret of their anti-Semitic bigotry and territorial ambitions. Their own chant gives them away: "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." Note the deliberate choice of words: they aren't talking merely about the West Bank; they are talking about "Palestine" - all of it. And their message couldn't be clearer. It is an incitement to genocide, a call for a Judenrein country. Sound familiar? Harry Truman, the first American President to recognize the State of Israel, put it best: "There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know."




Friday, March 11, 2011

The Folly of Constitutional Fundamentalism: How American Politicians Pervert the Meaning of Freedom

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that the funeral protests of the Westboro Baptist Church were constitutionally protected by the First Amendment. While this verdict drew cheers from politically correct elitists on both sides of the ideological spectrum, wiser Americans ought to rise above the ruckus and realize the dangers of the High Court’s decision.
The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” From a strict libertarian perspective, the text of the First Amendment could not be clearer: No law means NO law.

However, every rule exists for a reason – and laws that defy human reason have no right to exist. To paraphrase the words of James Madison, liberty may be endangered not just by the abuse of power, but also by the abuse of liberty. Protesting at military funerals with hateful signs thanking G-d for the deaths of American soldiers is one example of abusing liberty. And, as usual, it is interesting to note how those who hate America the most are always the first to hide behind its freedoms, to invoke our Constitution in defense of their despicable deeds.

Our First Amendment should apply to those who believe in the Constitution, to those who love and cherish the United States. It should not apply to neo-Nazis, to America-haters, to terrorist sympathizers, and to those – like Jeremiah Wright – who curse our great land. Granted, carving out categories of prohibited speech is a dangerous thing. The government is not in the business of evaluating different kinds of speech to determine which ones are acceptable and which ones aren’t.  But there are certain utterances that carry absolutely no benefit to the public, and are so outrageous as to shock the conscience of the nation. Surely, enforcing extreme and literal interpretations of the law is just as bad as enforcing no laws at all. Surely, applying the United States Constitution to those who despise it – to those who cheer at the deaths of Americans – is insanity, pure and simple.

Fortunately, we already have laws regulating what can and cannot be said. It is illegal, for instance, to call someone at 3:00 in the morning in order to advertise the sale of crystal meth. It is illegal to shout fire in a crowded theatre. After all, reasonableness is the foundation, the sine que non, of civil and criminal jurisprudence. If we allow people to praise the deaths of our soldiers at or near the sites of their funerals, then what is to stop pedophiles from picketing outside rape wards and glorifying their dastardly deeds?

As Americans, we acknowledge that free speech is a wonderful thing; but there comes a point where the political correctness has to end and common sense has to set in. Politicians on both sides of the aisle like to sit in their ivory towers and pontificate that American freedom knows no bounds, that the First Amendment should apply even to the speech we despise in order for it to have meaning. Some argue that to apply the First Amendment selectively is to put the United States on the road to dictatorship. These well-intentioned fundamentalists say that a democratic society cannot allow politicians to police people’s utterances and determine which ones should and should not be permitted.

However, we would do well to remember the warning of James Madison, a warning that is worth repeating: Liberty may be endangered not just by the abuse of power, but also by the abuse of liberty.

Some of my readers may cry out with the popular children’s slogan: “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Like most children’s slogans, however, this one is na├»ve and silly, for what may be true in theory is often false in reality. We would do well to remember that the Holocaust did not start with gas chambers and concentration camps. It started when one man was given the right to speak as he chose, when German newspapers began printing cartoons that compared Jews to mice, when hatred became tolerated. Thus, the Third Reich emerged not because of restrictions but because of unbridled freedom, because of limitless liberty, because a demagogue like Adolf Hitler was given free speech and free reign.

The philosopher Thomas Mann once opined that tolerance becomes a crime when applied to injustice. Sometimes, it is free speech that makes fascism possible. Therefore, curbing liberty in the name of common sense is the right thing to do, however unpopular it may be in the eyes of First Amendment fundamentalists. After all, too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing. We should be careful with deadly weapons, and – as history shows – words can be the deadliest of them all. 

RECOMMENDED READING: Justice Alito Was Right by William Murchison, American Spectator

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I will be posting my weekly rant later this week, but in the mean time, I just wanted to share an article from today's New York Times on Igor Savitsky.
‘Desert of Forbidden Art’ - Igor Savitsky Collection in Nukus -

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Barack Obama: Muslims Can Build Mosque, but Jews Can't Build Homes

Last summer, my President defended the right of Muslims to erect a highly controversial mosque two blocks from Ground Zero.

Apparently, however, the right of a people to build what they please, where they please, does not extend to Jews. For nearly two years, the Obama administration has been pressuring Israel to halt the construction of homes in East Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria. Double standards, anyone?

(For a historical perspective, check out this piece from the Free Republic.)

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "won" in the contested 2009 Iranian elections (by which I mean that he stole the election), my President declared that he did not want to be seen as "meddling" in Iranian affairs. Oh, no, it's OK when the president of a sovereign country openly and repeatedly denies the Holocaust. It's OK when he expresses his intention to wipe the State of Israel off the face of the earth. We wouldn't want to interfere or "meddle" with that.

But when Jews decide to build homes in East Jerusalem, my President denounces it as illegal. In order for something to be illegal, there has to be a law prohibiting it - and, in this case, there simply isn't. I don't know about you, but I find it very difficult to stomach when the leader of the free world tells people that they are not allowed to build homes for their families in their own country.

That, I do not understand. What I do know and understand is that 77% of American Jews voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 election. What I do know is that he travelled to Israel and gave a wonderful speech in which he promised to defend the Jewish State against its enemies. But what kind of message does my President send to HAMAS when he openly declares that it is illegal for Jews to build homes on their own land, in their own country, in a nation the size of New Jersey?

The "settlements" are not the obstacle to peace. That is a myth, and a lie. Fatah and HAMAS want Israel destroyed; therefore, there will be peace only when they are destroyed.

Appeasement does not lead to peace. It does not placate the enemy, but only emboldens him. Just ask Neville Chamberlain. The Obama administration's policy towards Israel is well-intentioned but misguided, and historically ignorant. It amounts to the betrayal of an American ally resulting from a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem.

In the words of Golda Meir, there will be peace in the Middle East when the Palestinians learn to love their children more than they hate the Jews.  Let them put down their weapons first, and show that they are committed to peace.