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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘values’

The Trouble with Tunisian Values

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

Like millions of people around the world, Jamel Gharbi marked the end of summer by taking his family to the beach. Gharbi, a French Socialist regional councilor, had taken his wife and 12 year old daughter back to the Tunisian city where he had been born and had lived until the 1970s before moving to France.

The tide of the Arab Spring had washed over Tunisia and left Gharbi’s homeland a very different place. Furious Salafi Islamists attacked them for wearing shorts, offending Islamic values. When Gharbi tried to defend his family, he barely escaped with his life.

Bertrand Delanoe, the Socialist mayor of Paris, condemned the attack as the work of an “extremist minority” in contradiction to “Tunisian values.” “The Tunisian people I know,” he said, “are committed to tolerance, democracy, pluralism and human rights.”

Secretary-General Jean-Francois Cope, of the French conservative UMP opposition, agreed that the Tunisian people were not to blame. The perpetrators, he said, only “pretend to be animated by religious convictions,” and dubbed them fanatics and extremists who “do not represent the people of Tunisia.”

The peculiar phenomenon of Bertrand Delanoe and Jean-Francois Cope telling the Tunisian people what their values are is not limited to Gallic shores. As the tides follow the moon, Muslim terrorist attacks are followed by Western leaders asserting that the terrorists do not represent Islam and its tolerant values.

When Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square Bomber, appeared for sentencing, he declared, “If I am given a thousand lives, I will sacrifice them all for the sake of Allah, fighting this cause, defending our lands, making the word of Allah supreme over any religion or system.”

Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum told Faisal Shahzad that he needed to “spend some of the time in prison thinking carefully about whether the Koran wants you to kill lots of people.” The trouble was that Faisal Shahzad had already decided what his religion had to say about killing lots of people. Similarly the Tunisian people had already decided what their values are.

The Arab Spring began in Tunisia when a male vendor shamed at being struck by a female police officer set himself on fire. It ended with the election of an Islamist party and murderous violence at the sight of a 12-year-old girl wearing shorts.

The Islamist Al-Nahda Party won a landslide victory in 2011 with more votes than every major party combined. It was the only party to cross the one-million vote mark and its popularity is undeniable. Tunisian values, which may not be pluralistic or democratic after all, are the secret to its success.

In an Al-Jazeera poll, nearly half of Tunisians identified strongly with Islamism, while less than 20 percent identified with either Arab nationalism or liberalism. Numbers like these have made the outcome of the Arab Spring inevitable, along with the accompanying attacks on 12-year-old girls and expat Socialists.

The Al-Nahda Party, described with the obligatory “moderate” soubriquet in news articles, has proposed blasphemy laws that come with harsh prison sentences, and one of its constitutional articles defines women as inferior to men. Al-Nahda’s view of women can be gleaned from Rachid Ghannouchi, the intellectual leader of the movement, who praised the mothers of suicide bombers as “a new model of woman.”

Democracy is the truest test of a nation’s values. The Secretary-General of the UMP may be convinced of the moderate values of the Tunisian people, but the Secretary-General of Al-Nahda, Hamadi Jebali, was equally convinced that Al-Nahda’s victory was a harbinger of the Sixth Caliphate.

The values of the Tunisian people turned Hamadi Jebali from a prisoner into the leader of the dominant Tunisian political party and from there into the Prime Minister of Tunisia. The Arab Spring’s democratic elections have been the acid test of whether Tunisian values and Egyptian values are truly those of “Tolerance, democracy, pluralism and human rights.” And the verdict is in.

It took official protests from French leaders for the new Tunisian Islamist government to condemn the attack on Jamel Gharbi. The actual attackers are still not in custody, and the inaction of the police is becoming routine in a country where Islamist thugs dispensing vigilante Sharia justice are swiftly becoming the law.

Daniel Greenfield

IDF Survey: Highest Number of Reservists Per Capita Come from Judea and Samaria

Monday, August 20th, 2012

A recently released IDF survey has found that the highest number of reservists per capita recruited by the Israeli Defense Forces over the past year have come from the Judea and Samaria region. The survey, conducted annually by the Israeli army, has found that Judea and Samaria residents top Israeli citizens serving in the army at 34%. This was followed by residents of the North at 29%, 28% from Jerusalem and Central Israel and 27% from the South. Of the members of the reserves from Judea and Samaria, a majority of 60% were found to be serving in combat units.

The poll was also surprising in the diversity it found in the Israeli Defense Forces. 1,200 of the reservists were from the Republic of Georgia, 720 originated from Iran, 30 from the Philippines, and 4 from Bahrain. The study indicates a rarely seen picture of reserve duty, where minorities and immigrants play a larger role than previously thought. A total of 19% of reserve soldiers were born outside Israel.

The survey showed that only 5% of the population served a meaningful stint of at least one week in the reserves this past year. Together with this data, 80% called up for reserve duty did report as called. 14% of those called up were women, a rise of 6% from the previous year.

The IDF reserve formation is currently fighting for its status, shaken by public controversy surrounding the recruitment of Ultra-Orthodox Jews, and the declining number of reservists over recent years. A new reservists movement, calling itself “The Sucker’s Camp”, is protesting the fact that only a small segment of society bears the brunt of demanding reservist duty. Amit Barak, spokesman of the “Im Tirzu” Zionist student movement and paratrooper reservist, believes that serving in the reserves is actually a privilege, and does not view himself as a so-called sucker. “Today, someone who does Miluim, reserve duty, does so because he wants to. There are enough ways to evade service. Some who serve do so because they think it’s important, because they’re patriots and because they think it is of social significance. Calling the reserves suckers is humiliating to those who serve. The reserve service is infused with values, and I think it’s a privilege to serve.”

Ofer Inbar, another paratrooper reservist, told Tazpit News Agency: “Every time a put of the IDF uniform I feel a sense of pride. I think it’s an honor to be a soldier in the reserves. It’s a unique experience to be a soldier in the IDF after 2,000 years of the Jewish People being defenseless. I have been educated by these values and intend to educate my children by these same values.”

Arik Ben Shimon, an armored corps crew man, fought to serve in the reserves. His wife was nine months pregnant, and by law he was exempt from service, but he showed up to his scheduled training. During the third day of training, in the dead of night, his wife called and told him the baby was on the way. After a while the contractions ceased, and so he continued the training and concluded it. “Anyone who shows up to Miluim does so because he wants, because it’s important to him. I will continue to report to duty when ever I am called.” Ben Shimon concluded.

Aryeh Savir and Gil Lavie, Tazpit News Agency

AG Urged to Probe Leftist Academics Telling Pilots to Refuse Bombing Iran Nukes

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

The publication of a petition disseminated by university lecturers calling on Israeli Air Force pilots to disobey an order to attack Iran if so commanded, is raising public uproar, Mekor Rishon reports.

As was first published in Mekor Rishon last week, some 400 people – including prominent academic and legal figures – signed a petition in which they call on the pilots to disobey an order to attack the nuclear facilities.

Labor Party Chairperson Shelly Yachimovich said that the academics’ petition is crossing a red line. “I completely disagree with the lecturers’ petition calling on the pilots to disobey an order if they were commanded to attack Iran. This is a call for rebellion and it undermines the unity of Israeli society and the values of democracy. Criticism of the political echelon is legitimate, important and necessary, however giving specific instructions to IDF soldiers crosses a red line,” stated Yachimovich.

The Legal Forum on Behalf of Eretz Yisrael approached the Attorney General, via attorney Yossi Fuchs, in an attempt to open a criminal investigation against the petition signers. In their appeal they stressed that a democracy must defend itself and that the law must be strictly enforced, including calling on Israeli police to launch a criminal investigation for the crimes of incitement and provocation to disobey a legal order at a time of war, a crime that is punishable by 7 years of imprisonment.

The Im Tirtzu movement also approached Attorney General Weinstein with an appeal to open an investigation, on suspicion of another crime – attempting to overthrow the government.

“These explicit matters do not leave room for doubt,” the activists wrote to Weinstein. “If Israeli law applies to everyone equally, the Attorney General must order the opening of an immediate investigation of the formulators and signers of this petition on suspicion of rebellion.”

Jacob Edelist

Tom Friedman – Mistaken or Misleading?

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Tom Friedman, the New York Times foreign affairs columnist, is perceived to be a Middle East expert.  Is he?

In January and June, 2000, on the eve of Bashar Assad’s ascension to power, Tom Friedman (T.F.) was charmed by Bashar Assad’s background:  a British-trained ophthalmologist; married to a British citizen of Syrian origin; fluent in English and French; President of the Syrian Internet Association.  He compared the eventual Butcher from Damascus, potentially, to Deng Xiaoping, who led China’s economic reforms, modernization and rapprochement with the USA.  Swept by wishful thinking, T.F. assumed that Bashar could liberalize Syria, attract international investors, normalize relations with Israel, end the Arab rejection of the Jewish State, and thus demolish the Iran-Syria axis and end Iran’s involvement in Lebanon.  The prerequisite for such an enterprising scenario was an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.  However, as expected, Bashar chose to follow in the footsteps of his ruthless father, Hafiz Assad, slaughtering T.F.’s assumptions and Syria’s domestic opposition, irrespective of the Golan Heights, Israel’s policies or existence.

In August, 2006, T.F. told NPR Radio that Bashar Assad’s Syria was not a natural ally of Iran. He maintained that Syria could resume its traditional role as an ally of the pro-US Arab camp of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Thus, he rewrote Syria’s recent history, which has been consistently anti-US since 1946, as well as pro-Iran since 1979.

In June, 2009, T.F. stated that “for the first time, in a long time, [Middle East] forces for decency, democracy and pluralism have a little wind at their backs.”  He identified a tailwind to pro-American elements, and a setback to Iran’s fortunes, in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran itself.  According to T.F., “the diffusion of technology – the Internet, blogs, YouTube and text messaging via cellphones” – tilted the Middle East in favor of the US. He was determined not to allow the real Middle East to stand in the way of his vision of a Middle East consumed by globalization, modernity, democratization and the Internet. Unfortunately, the increasingly boiling seismic Arab Street from Morocco to the Persian Gulf has repudiated T.F.’s vision.

In February, 2011, T.F. determined that “the Muslim Brotherhood is not running the [anti-Mubarak] show…. Any ideological group that tries to hijack these young people will lose…. This uprising feels post-ideological…. The emerging spokesman for this uprising is Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing executive.”

Enthralled by the Arab Spring delusion, T.F. concluded that the Egyptian Street “tried [radical] Nasserism, tried Islamism and is now trying democracy.”  He was convinced that “the democracy movement came out of Tahrir Square like a tiger…. Anyone who tries to put the tiger back in the cage will get his head bitten off…. Witness one of the great triumphs of the human spirit….. The first pan-Arab movement that is focused on universal values….”

T.F. underestimated the surge of the non-Facebook trans-national Muslim Brotherhood and its credo: “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; Jihad [Holy War] is our way; and martyrdom for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.” To T.F.’s frustration, the Muslim Brotherhood aims to consolidate Islamic Sharia’ as the legal foundation in Muslim and “infidel” lands, as a prelude to the reestablishment of the Islamic Caliphate.

T.F.’s pro-PLO, pro-Palestinian stance dates back to his active involvement, while at Brandeis University, in the pro-Arafat radical-Left “Middle East Peace Group” and “Breirah” organizations.  It was intensified during his role as the Associated Press’ and New York Times’ reporter in Lebanon. There he played down Arafat’s and Mahmoud Abbas’ rape and plunder of Lebanon and their intense ties with international terrorism, while expressing his appreciation of the PLO’s protection of foreign media in Beirut. 

In September 1993, T.F. welcomed Arafat as a peace-pursuing statesman.  He established moral equivalence between the role-model of terrorism, the PLO, and the role-model of counterterrorism, Israel, as well as between Arafat and Rabin: “Two hands that had written the battle orders for so many young men, two fists that had been raised in anger at one another so many times in the past, locked together for a fleeting moment of reconciliation.”  T.F. provided a robust tailwind to Arafat’s strategy of deception and bamboozling September 1993 statement at the White House: “Mr. President, I am taking this opportunity to assure you and to assure the great American people that we share your values for freedom, justice and human rights — values for which my people have been striving….”

Yoram Ettinger

Suicide as a Jewish Value

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012


A month ago, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz sat down with the host of a Jewish television channel and could not name any reason for Jews to vote for Obama except for his support for abortion. Which is to say that the favorite muppet of the Democratic Party could not think of any reason to support B.O. except a mutual commitment that fewer Jews be born.

It is a little-known fact that Margaret Sanger, that pioneer of eugenic solutions to “racial, political, and social problems,” began by targeting Jews, opening her first center in Brownsville, Brooklyn, complete with Yiddish and Italian flyers, aiming for the two immigrant groups whose high reproduction rates were considered a social problem.

Abortion as a Liberal Jewish value has been a stunning success. In New York City, where Sanger first set up shop, 74 percent of all Jewish children are members of the traditionalist Orthodox religious group. Liberal Jews are already panicking over the prospect of a future Jewish population in New York City that is staunchly conservative and religious.

A recent survey of New York City Jews also shows a nearly even split between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. 46 percent of New York Jews are planning to vote against Obama, and a majority of New York City Jews think that Romney would be better at fixing the economy than B.O. But it is only to be expected that the group for whom abortion isn’t a Jewish value would come to outnumber the group for whom abortion is a Jewish value.

The problem with values is that you have to live with their consequences. When your values dictate that terrorists deserve all the protections of the civilian justice system, then you have to be ready to live with the explosions. If your values dictate minimal population growth, then you have to accept the consequences of extinction. Values that are contrary to survival carry their own natural cost. And when your values are at odds with your interests, then your values might as well be an open window, a loaded revolver or a dose of strychnine.

Liberal Jews like to talk about Jewish values rather than Jewish interests, because their values are incompatible with Jewish interests– even as a matter of simple survival. The usual liberal grab bag of values that are represented by the Jewish hand puppets of liberalism, like Wasserman-Schultz, aren’t just alien, they threaten the basic survival of the Jewish People.

When asked to justify what interests the Democratic Party and American Jews have in common, the Jewish liberal dives into a copy of the New York Times and comes up with illegal immigration, abortion, gay rights and support for peace in the Middle East.

That list of Liberal Jewish values not only fails to align with a single Jewish interest, but each of them threatens Jewish interests… that is if survival is to be considered a Jewish interest.

Peace in the Middle East means aborting Israel, dissecting it into small pieces and repeating the process until there is no country left. It’s another case of liberal Jews trying to do to Israel what they have already done to themselves. To believe that pressuring Israel into making a non-stop roll of concessions to Muslim terrorists is a Jewish value is to believe that suicide is a Jewish value.

Illegal immigration, a cause that virtually every major Jewish organization has signed on to, means the mass migration of Mexicans to the United States. The ADL’s own survey shows that nearly half of foreign-born Latinos rate as strongly Anti-Semitic, over three times the rate of white Americans. (Bad news for the glorious civil rights alliance; the ADL’s strongly antisemitic ratings are 12 percent for white Americans, 35 percent for African-Americans and 44 percent for foreign-born Latinos.) The only way to make sense of this is that Liberal Jewish groups believe that increasing Anti-Semitism in America is actually a Jewish value.

But liberals of all creeds need more Mexican illegal aliens and immigrants from all across the Third World to compensate for the good work of Sanger. Liberal Christians fear the reproduction rates of Conservative Christians as Liberal Jews fear the reproduction rates of Orthodox Jews. The only way out of the demographic race is to import “ringers” who will have the children that they won’t. The new eugenics is political eugenics. Birth control is no longer for the people that Sanger considered the “unfit”, they’re valued now for their reproductive rates which help the “fit” stay in power.

Daniel Greenfield

Islam’s Threat to Diversity

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Egyptian identity, like so many others made up of several layers, begins in Ancient Egypt, a civilization that flourished for nearly thirty centuries. Further layers derive from the Coptic Age, when Egypt in its entirety was an Eastern Christian society. Then there are countless layers from the Islamic and Arabic-speaking Egypt. There are still more layers deriving from modern Egypt, the founder of which, Mohamed Ali, ruled from 1805 to 1848, and whose kingdom continued for over a century after his death.

Finally, there are the many layers produced by Egypt’s geographical location as a Mediterranean society, more specifically, as an Eastern Mediterranean country with its opulent diverseness from trade.

This complex construct, which formed over millennia the rich and multi-layered Egyptian identity – a product of fruitful interaction and cross-fertilization among different civilizations and cultures – is today in grave peril, facing as it does systematic and deliberate attempts to destroy its very essence as represented in the many layers that make up its variegated character.

It is these layers that distinguish Egyptian society from various surrounding societies which seem to have a less-developed civilizational and cultural formation as a result of their one-dimensional composition.

The trend of political Islam is exulting as it stands poised to take over the reins of power in Egypt. However, the domination by this trend over the country’s political and cultural landscape poses a real danger to the multi-layered nature of the Egyptian people.

Because of the grip the conservative schools of thought have acquired over the minds of most Muslims today — with the rampant spread of the ideas of ibn-Hanbal and his disciples, ibn-Taymiyah, ibn Qaiym Al-Juzeya and all the Salafi schools – the spread of a cultural wave that is opposed to the non-Islamic dimensions of the Egyptian identity is a likely – and exceedingly dangerous – development. We are already hearing ominous mutterings about the ungodliness of “pagan” relics of Ancient Egypt, and threats to destroy the pyramids and other splendors of one of the most glorious civilizations in history.

We are also likely to see the spread of values opposed to the Other — whatever form “otherness” may take — representing yet another very dangerous threat to Egyptian diversity.

There is also the serious fear that the Islamic trend will redesign educational programs to promote the Islamic and Arab dimension at the expense of the other layers that make up the luxuriance that is Egypt.

This possibility is far from remote in the context of a legislative assembly dominated by a single trend. The mindset of the Islamic lawmakers who preside over the education committee is certainly opposed to religious or cultural diversity. There is no doubt that this trend will focus on magnifying the importance of the Islamic and Arab dimension while downgrading all the other dimensions that make up the richness of Egyptian identity. This is all that can be expected from a theocratic Parliament claiming a divine commission.

Unfortunately the trend to foster a one-dimensional identity actually began some years back as Islamic religious thinking came to permeate the minds of those responsible for the all-important sector of education in our society. Nowhere is the success of this trend more apparent than in the way the Arabic language and the Arabic literature curricula have evolved over the last few years. Instead of presenting literary masterpieces by such luminaries as Ahmed Lotfy el-Sayed, Taha Hussein, Abbas el-Aqqad, Abdul Qader el-Mazny, Salama Moussa, Tewfik el-Hakim, Naguib Mahfouz, Youssef Idris, Nizar Qabbani, Badr Shaker el-Sayab, Mikhael Na’ema an others, Arabic language and literature courses are now virtually indistinguishable from religious courses.

The well-known Lebanese author and intellectual, Amin Maalouf, rightly describes any one-dimensional identity as “destructive.” For in this day and age, a monolithic identity that attributes itself to a single source is bound to clash with the values of pluralism, diversity, analytic thinking, critical questioning, and acceptance of the Other, not to mention the recognition that the various civilizations and cultures have all contributed to the higher ideal of a common humanity.

There are those who claim that the Islamization of Egyptian society reflects “the will of the people.” But history teaches us that the will of the people is not always beneficial. Eight decades ago, the will of the German people brought Adolf Hitler to power, plunging mankind into genocidal wars and massacres that claimed more than fifty million lives. This example allows us to criticize the current cultural wave sweeping over Egypt – one that threatens to sweep away the non-Islamic components of Egyptian identity and to transform us into a society with a one-dimensional identity, like the desert societies that surround us. Even if the present state of affairs came about by “the will of the people,” we would do well to remember that, as Voltaire said: Even if repeated by a thousand people, a mistake is still a mistake.

Tarek Heggy

Deconstructing Israeli Society

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

The photo of homosexual soldiers on the IDF’s official website should have set off many alarm bells for many public figures. But they were all afraid. The heavy-handed politically correct code paralyzes our representatives. They prefer to remain silent and let somebody else fend off the arrows that are sure to come. MK Uri Ariel (National Union) deserves our appreciation and admiration, as he was the only MK to courageously state the simple truth by calling on the IDF to conduct itself on this issue as it has in the past.

There is no question that a person’s individual rights in the privacy of his own home must be carefully guarded. Thus, nobody should harass homosexuals. But today the situation is reversed: Homosexuality harasses normalcy.

Homosexuality represents a set of values. For a long time now, the issue has not been the right of those people with different inclinations to do what they please in their own homes. Instead, the issue is their demand that society recognize the values represented by their inclinations.

Israeli and Western societies are in a perpetual state of conflict between the founding values that built them and the opposite values, which strive for deconstruction. The fundamental leftist ideal of “We will destroy the old world down to its foundations” is not a means to an end, but the end itself. The Left always pronounces some utopia for which it is worthwhile to destroy everything (socialism, peace, democracy). But the simple truth is that at its foundation, the Left seeks to return the world to a state of chaos, anarchy and blurring of the differentiation with which God created the world. If you don’t quite get it, sing a few lines of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

How does the Left go about deconstructing the world? Any value that binds society is fair game for attack.

The Left attacks and undermines settlement in the Land of Israel because it is the foundation of the renaissance of the Jewish nation. They inject as many foreigners as possible into the veins of Israeli society: foreigners who do not share values with the nation of Israel and who have no real intention of sharing its fate.

The Left also attacks the family because it is the foundation of society. The attack is not frontal; it is accomplished by empowering anti-family values, e.g. the invention of concepts like the single-parent family, meaning that any combination makes a family. And when anything makes a family, the family is really nothing.

Another tactic the Left uses to deconstruct the family is to invalidate the status of the man in the family, turning him into some sort of downtrodden creature that is to blame for everything. The woman is the home, but the man in the home turns the group into a family. Without a father, the family is completely unbalanced.

The Left promotes homosexuality as a value, as a barometer of “equality” and “liberty.” It promotes feminism as a barometer of “women’s rights.” Any value that threatens or undermines the values of society and family becomes hallowed.

A prime example of this process is the appointment of MK Einat Wilf to head the Knesset’s Education Committee. Wilf is a very intelligent person with an impressive security record. On the surface, she seems like a worthy choice. But the Knesset’s representative now responsible for the education of Israel’s children is married to a German journalist.

In the politically correct times in which we live, you have to be crazy to claim that a Jewish woman who marries a non-Jewish man is not exactly a role model for Jewish children. After all, the Left dictates that religion doesn’t matter. Nobody dared oppose the appointment – not even the religious MKs.

Another example is Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich, who until recently was head of the Knesset Committee on Children’s Rights. Yachimovich is also a highly intelligent woman who worked honestly and energetically to improve life for children. But similar to Wilf, Yachimovich’s personal life contradicts the values represented by the position to which she was appointed. Every child has an elementary right to a family: a father and a mother. If a person has not managed to provide her children with this basic right, how can she be the standard-bearer of children’s rights?

Moshe Feiglin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/moshe-feiglin/deconstructing-israeli-society/2012/07/05/

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