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August 30, 2016 / 26 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘West’

Islam, Sexual Violence, and the West

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

{Originally posted to the IPT website}

The mass rape of hundreds of German women mostly by Muslim migrants last New Year’s was recently revealed to be far worse than originally acknowledged. Authorities now believe that more than 1,200 women were sexually assaulted – over twice the original estimate of 500. While more than 2,000 men were allegedly involved, only 120 suspects — about half of them recently arrived migrants — have been identified.

 

One explanation for why it took half a year for the full extent of the crime to be revealed is the German police’s effort to avoid a public backlash against refugees. But ultimately, Holger Munch, president of the German Federal Crime Police Office, acknowledged to the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that there is “a connection between the [sexual assaults] and the rapid migration in 2015.”

 

Denial is not a strategy. Western countries that cherish women’s rights must wake up to the fact that many migrants could challenge those values. Most of the mass migration comes from violence-plagued, Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa, where women are second-class citizens subject to honor killings and various legal restrictions, and where the local culture often condones rape, encourages wife-beating, and treats women as sexual objects (with 72 virgins promised to Muslim men who reach heaven).

 

Thus, just as the mass migration from the Middle East and North Africa raises the specter of regular Islamist terror on European soil, it also augurs the kind of sexual abuse that those regions have traditionally tolerated. German officials implicitly seemed to acknowledge as much with their laughably impotent campaign to re-educate migrants using signs that explain acceptable behavior towards women.

 

Non-Muslim (“infidel”) women are especially vulnerable to sexual assault: Christian women are often abused and denigrated in Islamic societies, as extensively exposed by Raymond Ibrahim, author of Crucified Again. The Islamic State (ISIS) regards the Yazidi, another religious minority, as devil worshippers and reportedly enslaved up to 5,000 Yazidi women, subjecting them to rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution and other acts of extreme brutality, like burning alive a 20-year-old girl “because she refused to perform an extreme sex act.”

 

Saudi Arabia, arguably the leader of the Sunni Muslim world, has a legal system based on strict sharia law, which prohibits women from dressing as they wish or even driving a car. Saudi rulings are notoriously abysmal when it comes to rape. Last year, a Saudi woman was sentenced to 200 lashes after being gang raped by seven men. In 2013, a Saudi preacher who raped, tortured, and murdered his 5-year old daughter was punished with just eight years of prison, 800 lashes, and a $270,000 fine. With such legal norms, it’s not surprising that when members of the country’s ruling elite travel to the West, their behavior may not change accordingly (last October three women accused a Saudi prince of sexual assault in Beverly Hills). By ironic and tragic contrast, U.S. soldiers stationed in Muslim majority countries are trained to respect local norms to the point that marines stationed in Afghanistan were actually taught to look away if they find Afghanis raping children, a common local practice.

 

While sharia advocates often claim that the Islamic dress code protects women, the brutally unfair treatment of women by Islamists seems driven more by power-hungry male chauvinism and/or sexual insecurity than by any genuine concern for women’s welfare, judging from the staggering hypocrisy of its proudest proponents. The 9/11 jihadists visited strip clubs, and paid for prostitutes in their motel rooms. Anwar Al-Awlaki, the American-born imam whose sermons continue to attract recruits to jihad, frequented prostitutes. Osama bin Laden had an extensive pornography collection, and is among the many examples of jihadis obsessed with porn and prostitution collected by Phyllis Chesler, a CUNY emerita professor of psychology and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

 

Between 1997 and 2013, well before the recent mass migration to Europe began, an estimated 1,400 children had been sexually abused in Rotherham, England, predominantly by gangs of British-Pakistani men.

 

While that scandal involved mostly “white” victims, an Oxford-educated Pakistani-British woman revealed her own exploitation, noting that “sexual abuse has been systemically under-reported among Asian girls due to deeply entrenched cultural taboos – obscuring the reality that there is a similarly rampant problem of minority girls being abused by members of their own community.”

 

A few weeks ago, Swedish police received 35 complaints from girls aged 12 to 17 who claimed that “foreign young men” sexually assaulted them at a popular music festival.

 

Soeren Kern, a distinguished senior fellow of the Gatestone Institute, compiled details of dozens of sexual assaults by migrants in Germany during the first two months of 2016, and noted the enabling reaction from “the upside-down worldview of German multiculturalism: Migrants who assault German women and children are simply rebelling against German power structures. Germans who dare to criticize such assaults are racists.”

 

In contrast to the initial cover-up by German police of the mass rape by mostly Muslim migrants, France’s top security official recently spoke with candid alarm about the threat that his country faces. Just two days before the truck-ramming, ISIS-inspired massacre in Nice, Patrick Calvar, chief of the Directorate General of Internal Security, warned members of the French parliamentary commission that France is on the verge of a “civil war” that could be sparked by the mass sexual assault of women by migrants.

 

There are remarkable exceptions within Islam itself, such as the Tuareg, an Islamic tribe in Africa, where women embrace sexual freedoms, dictate who gets what in divorce, and don’t wear the veil because men “want to see their beautiful faces.” But how long can the Tuareg’s enlightened version of Islam survive in southwest Libya when ISIS is expanding there, or in Mali, Niger and northern Nigeria, where Boko Haram is on the march?

 

There are also brave Muslim reformers trying to improve the way Islam treats women. However, they mostly operate in the West, where they still face death threats; one example is Irshad Manji. Another, Fadela Amara, founded Ni Putes Ni Soumises, a group that defends Muslim French girls against the pressures they face to wear the hijab, drop out of school, and marry early without the right to choose their husband. Amara went on to serve in the government of Nicolas Sarkozy, but she, too, received death threats for her efforts to liberate Muslim women.

 

Muslim feminists outside of the West assume far greater risks. Pakistani social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch, who openly expressed her feminist views online, was recently strangled to death by her brother in their family’s home, in an “honor killing.” Her “intolerable behavior” is what drove him to murder her, he said, because her risqué persona was bringing “dishonor” to the family. There are an estimated 1,000 honor killings per year in Pakistan.

 

Even in the West, few feminists dare to criticize Islam because doing so can invite threats and violence. Absurdly, those brave enough to do so also risk being prosecuted for “hate speech.”

Western countries must support courageous Muslim reformers while protecting all women living in their territories from the sexual abuse often encouraged by Islamist culture – whether that abuse is perpetrated by recent immigrants or long-time residents. The survival of the West depends on it.

Noah Beck

Sybaritic West Surrenders to Islamists

Monday, July 4th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Gatestone Institute website}

Omar Mateen did not choose the Pulse gay nightclub because it had few security guards or because it was an easy target. He could have targeted a supermarket or a school. No, Mateen chose Pulse because it is a nightclub, where he slaughtered 49 “infidels” and wounded 53 more.

Before murdering 2,977 people, the leader of the 9/11 terrorists, Mohammed Atta, along with four of the other hijackers, made several trips to Las Vegas during the summer before the attack, where they were entertained by dancers in nightclubs.

Fifteen years later, there was another country, another jihadist cell, another nightclub. Salah Abdeslam was dancing in a nightclub in Brussels with his brother, Brahim, and flirting with a blonde woman. A few months later, Brahim blew himself up in Paris at a concert in the Bataclan Theater. Nightclubs haunt the Islamist imagination with their mix of alcohol, sexual promiscuity, drugs and music. ISIS labelled Paris “the capital of prostitution and obscenity.”

The London nightclub Tiger Tiger, located between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, was the target of a terror plot in 2007. Last February, the French intelligence service foiled a plot to attack swingers’ clubs in Paris. Places such as Les Chandelles, which boasts a “fascinating journey into the heart of sensuality,” or the Overside, which offers 250 square meters “dedicated to pleasure.”

The most spectacular and bloody of these attacks at nightclubs took place in Bali, Indonesia, in 2002: 190 victims, mostly Western tourists, Australian surfers and girls in bikinis.

In 2008, Islamists attacked the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, which they used to call “the den of Western decadence.” Like the nightclubs, the hotels are ideological targets, places where men and women freely mix and guests can consume alcohol and enjoy music.

In July 2005, at least 88 people were killed by terrorists storming Sharm el Sheikh, the tiny Egyptian seaside village transformed by Hosni Mubarak into a global attraction for foreign tourism. In 2015, ISIS butchered British tourists on a beach in Sousse, Tunisia.

“We desire death more than you desire life,” these Islamist terrorists have been telling us for the last twenty years. It seems they want to achieve a catharsis by spilling blood in our comfortable promiscuity, in the dark of a nightclub.

Senior Hamas official Fathi Hamad, addressing Israel, has said the same thing. Major Nidal Malik Hasan wrote, “We love death more than you love life” before murdering 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas. “We are going to win, because they love life and we love death,” said Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, along with Osama bin Laden and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The West, however, should be proud of what the Islamists call “decadence.” For the West, “decadence” is synonymous with freedom. The problem is that we postmodern Westerners have sacrificed the very values that ensure our survival and exchanged them for “decadence” — pleasure. That is why Pim Fortuyn, the openly gay sociology professor and politician murdered in 2002, scorned Islam as a “backward culture” (an animal rights activist killed Fortuyn “to protect Muslims“). Fortuyn fought on behalf of what Islamists would consider “decadence,” and he regarded permissiveness as the great glory of Western civilization.

The problem is that the West does not desire life. It seems tired of it. You can see that from the post-Orlando reactions which cannot even mention the word “Islam.” The West is ready to surrender its love of life to those who want to take it away from them. To quote the French atheist philosopher, Michel Onfray:

“Islam manifests what Nietzsche called ‘great health’: there are young soldiers ready to die for it. What are the values of our civilization? Supermarket and e-commerce, trivial consumerism and egotistical narcissism, vulgar hedonism or scooters for adults?”

Pleasure has become sad in the West.

In a fever of moralistic prudery, Italy recently veiled naked art at the Capitoline Museums in Rome during the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. But we obligate other Muslims who arrive in Europe to see far more explicit naked images.

From Norway to Denmark, the Scandinavian nations have adopted compulsory sex education for migrants. In the Netherlands, the minister of education decided to impose the teaching of LGBT courses in migrant centers. Germany has published guidelines, leaflets and cartoons to communicate to immigrants the new sexual norms to follow. Is that all we have to offer to these people?

“The morally illiterate leaflets European local authorities are distributing to migrants reflect the problems that official EU culture has in the realm of values,” wrote sociologist Frank Furedi. Europe already tried to integrate Muslims by offering them wantonness and libertinism. And it failed. Asked what drove them to convert to Islam, many Europeans talked of feeling their lives had been lost and lacking in purpose, citing “lack of morality and sexual permissiveness“.

The “clash of civilizations” has turned into a war between those who cry, “We will not give up our lifestyle” and those who sing, “We desire death more than you desire life.” It is a war between a decadent apathy with moral inertia and Islamist theological turmoil. The Caliphate is much stronger than our disarmed and self-righteous decadence.

ISIS’s black banner, crying “No God but Allah” — the banner of the people who kill cartoonists in Paris and gays in Orlando — is marching over the ruins of our addiction to pleasure.

Giulio Meotti

Connecting East and West, Istanbul Airports Suffer Serious Security Breaches

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Remarkably, despite the severe plunge in tourism Turkey has been experiencing for several years, with millions fewer tourists from Germany, Austria, the UK, Israel and more recently Russia making Turkey their vacation destination, air traffic in and out of Turkey remains massive. This is due to a decision made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to turn Turkey into the world’s international hub. The country’s location, one part in Asia, the other part in Europe, made this a logical and rewarding move.

There are two international airports in Istanbul: Ataturk, which is about fifteen minutes from downtown Istanbul, and Sabiha Gökçen, on the Asian side, which is about half an hour from downtown. Ataturk, with 60 million passengers a year, is the third largest airport in Europe, and the Turks are already working on a third international airport, to help manage the traffic.

Cognizant of the security threats to commercial traffic in the region, Turkey has invested a tremendous amount of resources in securing both international airports, with several security circles, Walla reported Wednesday. The airports are surrounded by security fences, at the main vehicle entrance there is a police check post, and at the entrance to each terminal the suitcases go through an x-ray scan, while each passenger must go through a metal detector. After the check-in the passenger goes through another metal detector and their luggage is x-rayed. On flights to Israel and the US passengers are also checked before entering the plane.

According to Walla, despite what appears like standard security checks which are familiar to anyone flying in the US, Turkish airports share several weak spots. For one thing, modern airport security systems, like the one in Israel, operate three separate circles which are run separate from one another: a circle securing the airport; a circle for the flight security; and a circle for securing the flight path.

In Istanbul airports, those circles are indistinguishable from one another, creating needless lines at the various check points, and compromising both the airport and the individual planes’ security. Also, there are no snipers situated in strategic locations, ready to take out potential attackers.

But the problem begins earlier, at the bus service hauling passengers from downtown Istanbul to the airport. Those buses don’t check their passengers, and they pass through to the terminal doors without an inspection.

Ataturk’s problems are similar to those of the Brussels airport where terrorists managed to blow themselves up with horrendous casualties last March. Both airports concede parts of the terminal to potential terrorists, where passengers move in and out unobserved.

Walla has speculated that one immediate benefit to the Turks from the thaw of their relations with Israel would be to seek Israeli assistance in setting their security systems straight.

David Israel

West Bowing to Radical Islam

Monday, June 27th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Toronto Sun}

Almost 10 years ago, Maclean’s magazine published an essay by Mark Steyn titled, “The future belongs to Islam”.

In it, he suggested, “the West is growing old and enfeebled, and lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it.”

It was an extract from Steyn’s then best-selling book America Alone, where he concluded, “It’s the end of the world as we’ve known it.”

Steyn wrote: “We are witnessing the end of the late 20th-century progressive welfare democracy. The children and grandchildren of those fascists and republicans who waged a bitter civil war for the future of Spain now shrug when a bunch of foreigners blow up their capital. Too sedated even to sue for terms, they capitulate instantly.”

There was an outcry among Canada’s Islamists, who took Steyn and Maclean’s to the Ontario and British Columbia Human Rights Commissions.

My fellow Sun columnist, Farzana Hassan, and I wrote a rejoinder in Maclean’s titled, “Mark Steyn has a right to be wrong.”

Today, I recognize, Steyn was right and I was wrong.

If there were any doubts the West is abdicating its responsibility to stand up for Western values, the amateur attempts by the FBI to cover up the Islamist nature of the Orlando attack, removed them.

At first, the FBI refused to even mention the fact the Orlando jihadi was inspired by ISIS, but after criticism, released the text of his 911 calls, but not the audio.

It replaced the word “Allah” with “‘God”, despite knowing precise words matter in truth-telling.

It was clearly an attempt to make the attack appear homophobic, not Islamist.

President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton deflected attention from the obvious Islamic nature of the terrorism to a debate about gun control.

An FBI spokesman did the same when he downplayed the role of Islamism in the attack, editorializing that the killer, “does not represent the religion of Islam, but a perverted view, which based on what we know today, was inspired by extremist killers.”

In Toronto, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Canada’s first openly gay premier, also refused to address the Islamist nature of the attack, saying, “one cannot fight homophobia with Islamphobia”, at a vigil for the Orlando victims.

This is nonsense. Orlando was an act of Islamic terror and of Islamofascism, a doctrine of hatred towards the West and what it stands for, including LGBTQ rights.

It holds secular liberal democracy in contempt, hates non-Muslims, degrades women and is racist towards non-Arabs, especially black Africans.

It is a supremacist death cult that has the end times as its ultimate goal.

Chia Barsen, a 32-year old Canadian Marxist, was 10 when his family fled Islamic Iran, political refugees escaping the murderous rule of its barbaric ayatollahs.

Commenting on the liberal left’s reaction to the Oralando massacre, Barsen wrote on his blog:

“Blaming guns for the Islamist murder of 49 people in the Orlando gay club, is like saying that Zyklon B gas was the cause of the Holocausts and not the Nazis. Gun control is a clear and present issue in the U.S. and there are countless episodes of shootings in the U.S. to justify the removal of all guns (not just automatic weapons), from the streets.

“However, piggybacking on the gun control debate and not making any mention of the threat of Political Islam and Islamism, is the furthering of a political agenda and not simple ignorance or apathy.” Exactly.

Tarek Fatah

Ex-Adviser to Palestinian Authority says ‘Accept ISIS as Ugly Reality’

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

An American lawyer who previously advised the Palestinian Authority on negotiations with Israel now says that the West cannot defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and should accept it as an “ugly reality.”

John V. Whitbeck, who previously has written that the 9/11 attacks probably were an “inside job,” wrote his latest thesis Saturday in the Palestinian Authority-based Ma’an News Agency, which noted that it does not necessarily represent the views of the website that is frequently quoted by foreign news sources.

He wrote that the ISIS massacres in France earlier this month “have not changed the priorities of the other states that might be concerned.”

The United States and Britain’s top priority is Syria, where Whitbeck asserts that the United States and Britain are primarily interested in “keeping Russia down, and keeping the Sunni Gulf states happy.”

He also thinks that many Sunni Muslims under the “harsh, austere and often savagely brutal rule” of ISIS actually prefer it to being under the aegis of “what are widely perceived by Iraqi and Syrian Sunnis to be Shiite-dominated or even Iranian-dominated governments.”

As for defeating the ISIS, Whitbeck says that the West has no chance. He wrote that bombing the terrorists is not successful and that sending “boots on the ground would be an avidly sought boon to the Islamic State…since the Sunni states of the region… currently show no interest whatsoever in deploying their own ground forces against fellow Sunnis.”

Here is his advice to President Barack Obama and other Western leaders:

Relax, accept that the Islamic State is an ugly reality that is here to stay (at least for some considerable time).

They should accept that containment is the best that can hoped for and achieved in the near term, and that containment can best be achieved by the Iraqi and Syrian governments and their own military forces.

They should sit back and wait for the Islamic State’s aura of excitement to wear off, for it to become a failed state like so many other regional states in which the West has previously intervened and for the peoples of the region to sort out their own problems in their own way.

He admits that it would be “desirable” for ISIS to disappear but that it cannot be done by force without Sunni Muslim countries sending in soldiers and that it won’t happen so long as the West claims “ownership” of the war.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

US Losing Middle East Coalition

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Ever since the seventies, the world has become accustomed to the split in the Middle East, between those countries that support the West – Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and Israel, and we might add Turkey to this list as well, and those countries that were members of the opposing, Soviet, coalition: Syria, Libya, Iraq and South Yemen. Lebanon was then between the democratic hammer and the Syrian anvil.

Despite the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of the eighties, there were no big shifts in political orientation, and the countries that were faithful to the Western bloc led by the United States remained faithful to it until recently, mainly because a new hostile bloc was formed, led by Iran and supported by Russia and China. The stronger the Iranian threat became, the more the pro-Western countries depended on America for support.

Lately, however, the pro-Western coalition has begun to crumble, and two key countries – Saudi Arabia and Egypt – are searching for a new political crutch, ever since it became clear to them that the American crutch is nothing but “a broken reed” (Isaiah, 36:6). A few more countries can be added to this list, mainly Turkey and the Gulf Emirates.

Saudi Arabia

In an unprecedented move, the Saudi kingdom has refused to become a member of the most powerful body in the world, the Security Council of the UN, a body authorized to deal with the world’s security problems and, with the power of the authority vested in it, can even declare war as a world body on a country that violates its resolutions. The question that immediately arises is: why did Saudi Arabia refuse to become a member of the body that is perhaps the only one capable of dealing with Iran’s military nuclear project? Why did Saudi Arabia reject the opportunity to influence events in Syria from within the Security Council? Why doesn’t Saudi Arabia take advantage of the most important stage in international policy in order to take action against Israel?

The superficial reason is that which the Saudi foreign office published, expressing an ethical position: the kingdom will not agree to enter the Security Council until the Council undergoes reforms that will enable it to fulfill its role, which is to maintain world peace. The obsolete apparatus, the wasteful practices, and double standards used by the Security Council all prevent it from fulfilling its role. There are many examples of this: the Palestinian problem has not been solved despite it having been created 65 years ago, and despite the fact that the wars stemming from it have threatened the peace of the entire region and the world several times. The Council allows the Syrian dictator continue slaughtering his citizens for almost three years without imposing effective sanctions, and the Council has failed to achieve the goal of turning the Middle East into an area free of weapons of mass destruction because it has not managed to create an effective method of oversight for military nuclear projects.

Despite the fact that the Saudis do not speak specifically about Iran in their official announcement, it is clear that their reference is not to Israel, from whom they fear no danger, but to Iran, whose nuclear plans do keep them awake at night. However, it is specifically the Iranian nuclear issue which should have pushed Saudi Arabia to become a member the Council; membership could have granted them an active role in making decisions against Iran, so why not join?

In part, the reasons relate to the way that the Saudis see the international alignment of countries recently but is also connected to the customary culture of honor in the Middle East, without which it would be impossible to understand the behavior of the Saudis, proud sons of the desert.

First of all, a person of honor does not join a club where he is considered a class ‘B’ member. In the Security Council there are class ‘A’ members – the five permanent members (the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China) who have nuclear weapons and veto power, and there are class ‘B’ members – the ten countries with temporary membership, who are not allowed to attain nuclear weapons and do not have veto power. Saudi Arabia would in no way agree to be a class ‘B’ member of any organization, and would prefer not to join because honor is more important to it than anything else.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

The Undivided Past

Friday, October 4th, 2013

There are several words used in the Bible to describe the Jewish people. At one stage we were simply tribal. Then we became an “Am”, a people, a “Goy”, a nation, a “Mamlacha”, a kingdom. Post-Biblically, if the gentiles called us Jews, Judeans, Israelites, Hebrews, Yids, or whatever, we used “Yisrael” as the name of choice, in the main, which meant a people, a culture, a religion, a relationship with God and a land, all of that in varying and amorphous degrees. We knew what it meant, even if others were confused or bemused. It takes one to know one.

Under pagan empires religion was not a factor, just loyalty to an overarching regime or royal family. If you were a serf it was loyalty to your lord and village. Neither the Persian, nor the Greek, nor the Roman Empires cared how you worshipped or behaved, so long as you professed loyalty to the empire. Then Christianity emerged as the religion of the Roman Empire and other religions were marginalized. Ironically the bloodiest battles were within Christianity, between one theological variation and another. The same thing happened under Islam. Ideals soon got perverted by politics and as today, Muslims of different sects killed more Muslims than all their enemies put together and doubled. Freud memorably described this internal divisiveness as “the narcissism of minor differences”.

In the West, most Jews that non-Jews encounter are not particularly committed to being Jewish. For Jews like a Soros or a Zuckerberg, it’s an accident of birth, a minor casual affiliation, like belonging to the Church of England. And this explains why most of those in the West who think about the matter reckon that the Jews are not really too concerned about having a land of their own and that it was only the accidental intervention of imperialist powers that explains the Jewish presence in the Middle East. It was a misjudged adventure. And really the Jews ought to pick up and leave and stop being nasty to the indigenous population.

It takes an objective observer to notice that for millennia Jews have shared a powerful core identity, even if in almost every situation except when they were given a choice, most Jews actually abandoned the community of Jews. But it took a determined minority within a minority to fight hard, relentlessly, and ultimately victoriously for its Jewish identity.

In his book The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond Our Differences, David Cannadine writes:

“Egypt under the Pharaohs may have resembled a nation…but there was no accompanying sense of public culture or collective identity. As for the ancient Greeks, their limited pan Hellenic aspirations embodied in their shared language, Homeric epics and Olympic games foundered on the disputatious reality of their fiercely independent city-states. Similar objections have been made to claims that the Sumerians, the Persians, the Phoenicians, the Arameans, the Philistines, the Hittites and the Elamites were ancient nations, or that the Sinhalese, the Japanese or the Koreans might be so described during the first millennium of the common era. Only in the case of Israel does it seem plausible to discern a recognizable ancient nation with its precise though disputed territoriality, its ancient myths, its shared historical memories of the Exodus, the Conquest and wars with the Philistines, its strong sense of exceptionalism and providential destiny and its self-definition against a hostile “other” and its common laws and cultures. These were and are the essential themes in the unfinished history of the Jews this example has also furnished ever since a developed model of what it means to be a nation.” (p. 58)

Throughout exile we somehow did preserve a sense of belonging to a people, to a tradition, to a land, a sense of community, Klal Yisrael. This is why the problem of Israel in the Middle East, the Jewish problem, is so intractable. The overwhelming majority of Jews now living in Israel or the West Bank are committed to the notion of a Jewish people. It is not to be compared as ignorant opponents of Israel try, to a few British or white imperialists imposing themselves on a vast majority “other”. Some may try to delegitimize us by overturning a decision of the United Nations, but they cannot delegitimize or wish away the Jewish people.

Jeremy Rosen

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-undivided-past/2013/10/04/

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