Carnage, Memory and Manchester: Bret Stephens, New York Times, May 25, 2017 — To witness a suicide bombing up close is to understand, at its etymological root, the meaning of the word “carnage.”
France: Macron, President of the Elites and Islamists: Guy Millière, Gatestone Institute, May 26, 2017— Emmanuel Macron — whose victory in the French presidential election on May 7, 2017 was declared decisive — was presented as a centrist, a newcomer in politics with strong ties to the business world, and a man who could bring a new impetus to a stagnant country.
Crooked Europe: Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva, May 8, 2017 — What do dictatorships such as Iran, China, Qatar, Sudan have in common with one of the most advanced democracies in the world, Sweden?
Words Matter: Robert Lantos, National Post, May 25, 2017 — Simon Wiesenthal was a man of action.
A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, May 22, 2017
French Jews Certainly Wanted Macron Over Le Pen, but Friction May Lie Ahead: Cnaan Liphshiz, Times Of Israel, May 9, 2017
The Drumbeat Against Jewish Ritual in Europe Sounds Once More: Ben Cohen, JNS, May 12, 2017
An Auschwitz Magician’s Greatest Trick: Holding the Horrors at Bay: Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, May 6, 2017
New York Times, May 25, 2017
To witness a suicide bombing up close is to understand, at its etymological root, the meaning of the word “carnage.” A bomb packed with nails, ball bearings and metal scraps — the sort that Salman Abedi detonated in Manchester on Monday night — doesn’t just kill. It shreds. Human beings are turned, instantly, into scraps of bone, organ and flesh. The smell of explosives mingles horribly with that of charred skin, burned metal, melted plastic and enormous quantities of blood. Cafes, buses, markets and concert halls become abattoirs, public and obscene. The bomber dies, too. The act turns the perpetrator into somebody’s martyr while denying his victims the possibility of justice. Mockery from beyond the grave thus compounds the nihilism of the act: “I got you; you can never get me.”
Thirteen years ago, on Azza Street in Jerusalem, I saw a man’s body on a blown-up bus swaying back and forth, as if reciting a final prayer. He was one of 11 victims that day, in a bombing that took place a block from where I lived. It’s a sight that’s never left me. I offer this description to make the point that our intellectual understanding of terrorism will be stunted if we lack a visceral understanding of it. The standard definition of terrorism — “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims” — anesthetizes reality.
Reality, in Manchester, is Saffie Rose Roussos, gone at the age of 8. It is Marcin and Angelika Klis, a Polish couple killed while waiting for their two children, now orphans, to emerge from the Ariana Grande concert. Nineteen others are also gone, along with over 60 wounded and hundreds bereft. Any discussion of the bombing that subsumes these realities in the stock pieties of politicians (“Our hearts are broken but our resolve has never been stronger,” said Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader), or the analysis of “terrorism experts,” obscures our vision and loses the plot.
What won’t lose the plot? To start: Terrorism is not, in the manner of Carl Von Clausewitz’s definition of war, a continuation of politics by other means. More often than not, it is the negation of politics — by any means. Also: Any analysis of the Islamic State’s motives and strategy, however tactically intriguing, has limited utility. Its murder sprees are incidentally instrumental but fundamentally self-justifying. It kills to kill.
This being so: The Islamic State and other jihadist groups do not require pretexts for violence. The core jihadist objection to the West concerns our values, not our policies. The brave journalists at Charlie Hebdo weren’t murdered for advocating neoconservative positions. Closing the United States prison at Guantánamo, whatever else might be said for it, will not mollify the next Abedi.
Further: Let’s stop calling terrorists “thugs and killers,” as Barack Obama used to do. Let’s not call them “losers,” either, as Donald Trump did this week. Suicide bombing involves a form of immortality seeking that has religion deep in its roots. Only some sort of God could summon, and justify, such promiscuous savagery.
Moreover: Elaborate semantic evasions of the word “Islamic” fool nobody and help nothing. To note that Hamas, Al Qaeda or Islamic State are, by their own emphatic declarations, Islamist enterprises shouldn’t be politically controversial. Communism could not have been defeated without an ideological struggle that picked away at its moral assumptions. The struggle against Islamism isn’t so different.
That said: The death cults driven by millenarian impulses are a universal phenomenon, perniciously present within the Islamist fold today but not culturally or historically unique to it. The black banners that are emblems of terror in this century are merely the continuation of the red banners that defined terror in the previous one.
For your reading list: Skip the jihadist propaganda. Turn instead to Joseph Conrad’s “The Secret Agent,” published in 1907. “They depend on life … whereas I depend on death, which knows no restraint and cannot be attacked.” An anarchist professor who goes about with a bomb in his pocket utters those words, but they are what Hamas leaders say as well. Love does not conquer hate: If it did, the only casualty in Manchester would have been Abedi himself. To seek to overcome terrorism by pledging, as Obama did in 2013, to move on from it, mainly succeeds in tempting its return. The Islamic State, it still bears repeating, was once somebody’s J.V. team.
What conquers hate is the only defensible form of hate: hatred of evil. Without such hatred, the Manchester Arena becomes just another site of random but predictable outrage, along with the Bataclan theater, the Pulse nightclub, the Zaventem airport, the promenade in Nice, the school in Peshawar, the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv. It goes down the memory hole, and makes a mockery of our collective promise to never forget. I wish I’d never seen what I saw that morning in Jerusalem, but there is no such thing as unseeing. The carnage inflicted on Manchester can still serve a purpose if we try not to avert our gaze too soon.
Gatestone Institute, May 26, 2017
Emmanuel Macron — whose victory in the French presidential election on May 7, 2017 was declared decisive — was presented as a centrist, a newcomer in politics with strong ties to the business world, and a man who could bring a new impetus to a stagnant country. The reality, however, is quite different. His victory was actually not "decisive". Although he received a high percentage of the votes cast (66%), the number of voters who cast a blank ballot or decided to abstain was the highest ever in a French presidential election.
Although his opponent, Marine Le Pen, tried to dissociate herself from the anti-Semitism of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, she was treated as a walking horror by almost all politicians and journalists during the entire campaign. That she nevertheless drew 34% of the votes was a sign of the depth of the anger and frustration that has been engulfing the French people. More than half of those who chose Macron were apparently voting against Marine Le Pen, rather than for Macron. Macron, who won by default, suffers from a deep lack of legitimacy. He was elected because he was the last man standing, and because the moderate right's candidate, François Fillon, was sabotaged by a demolition operation carried out by the media and by a political use of justice. Significantly, the legal prosecution of Fillon stopped immediately after he was defeated.
Macron is not a centrist: he was discreetly supported throughout the campaign by most of the Socialist Party's leaders and by the outgoing Socialist President, François Hollande. The day after the election, during a V-E Day ceremony, Hollande could not hide his joy. A few days later, on May 14, when he handed the office of the president over to Macron, Hollande said that what was happening was not an "alternative" but a "continuity". All Macron's team-members were socialists or leftists. Macron's leading political strategist, Ismael Emelien, had worked for the campaign that led to the election of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.
Macron's entire program is socialist. Proposals for additional public expenditures abound. "Climate change" is defined as "the key issue for the future of the world". The proposed changes to the Labor Code and the tax system are largely cosmetic and seem intended more to give an illusion of change than to bring about real change. While Macron does not reject a market economy, he thinks that it must be placed at the service of "social justice", and that the government's role is to "guide", to "protect", "to help" — not to guarantee freedom to choose. Significantly, the economists who participated in the elaboration of Macron's program are those who had drawn up Hollande's economic program in 2012.
Even if he is young, Macron is not a newcomer to politics and does not embody renewal. He not only worked with Hollande for five years, but those who shaped his political ascent have long careers behind them: Jacques Attali was President François Mitterand's adviser in the 1980s ; Alain Minc worked with all French Presidents since Valery Giscard d'Estaing was elected in 1974, and Jean-Pierre Jouyet was the cabinet director for Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in the late 1990s. Just after the election, three documentaries were broadcast on French television explaining in detail how Macron's campaign was organized. Macron is the pure product of what analysts described as the "French nomenklatura" — an arrogant élite, composed of senior officials, political power-holders and the businessmen working in close collaboration with them.
Macron can only be described as close to the business world if one understands how things work in France. The French economy is a mixed system where it is almost impossible to succeed financially without having close relations with political leaders who can grant favors and subsidies, and either authorize, prohibit or facilitate contracts or hinder them. During the years he spent at Hollande's side, Macron helped various French businessmen. They thanked him by massively contributing to his campaign. It would be surprising if they do not expect a "return on investment". The operation that allowed Macron's election could be described in business language as a takeover. Almost all French private media outlets belong to those who supported Macron and were part of the takeover.
Macron is not supposed to bring any new impetus to business, but to ensure and consolidate the power of those who placed him where he is. Their goal is to create a large, single, center-left, technocratic political party that will crush the old political parties and that will be installed in a position of hegemony. The party's slogan, "En Marche!" ("On the Move!"), was established to go forward in that direction; the old political parties have been almost destroyed. The official Socialist Party is dying. The main center-right party, The Republicans, is in disarray. One of its leaders, Edouard Philippe, was appointed Macron's Prime Minister. Another, Bruno Le Maire, is now Finance and Economy minister: he will have to apply quite a different policy from those defined by his original party. The rightist National Front and the radical left will be treated as receptacles of anger: everything will be done so that they stay marginalized.
Another goal is to entrust ever more power to the technocratic unaccountable, untransparent and undemocratic institutions of the European Union: it is a goal Emmanuel Macron never stopped emphasizing. On May 7, as soon as the election result was known, the leaders of the European Union showed their enthusiasm. The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, spoke of "a signal of hope for Europe". On May 15, immediately after the inauguration, Macron went to Berlin, met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and said that he hoped for a rapid "strengthening of the Union". Macron says he wants the creation of an EU Ministry of Finance, whose decisions would have binding force for all member states.
A deliberate side-effect of Macron's policies will be population change. Like many European leaders, Emmanuel Macron seems convinced that the remedy for the demographic deficit and the aging of ethnic European populations is more immigration. On September 6, 2015, he stated that "immigration is an opportunity for all of us". On February 12, 2017, he said, "I will propose to the Algerian government the creation of a Franco-Algerian Bureau of Youth, to encourage mobility between the two shores of the Mediterranean". A few weeks later, he declared that "the duty of Europe is to offer asylum to all those who seek its protection" and that "France must take its fair share of refugees"…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Arutz Sheva, May 8, 2017
What do dictatorships such as Iran, China, Qatar, Sudan have in common with one of the most advanced democracies in the world, Sweden? A vote at Unesco which last Monday canceled the Jewish roots of Jerusalem, accusing Israel of being “the occupying power” in its own capital and holy city (“fake history” as Benjamin Netanyahu responded). That's what. Stockholm, in fact, was the only European country to vote in favor of the resolution of the UN agency for "culture" and science alongside the Arab-Islamic regimes on the day celebrating the independence of the Jewish State (my country, Italy, finally voted against the resolution, while France abstained).
The Israeli government summoned Swedish Ambassador Carl Magnus Nesser to condemn his government's “hypocrisy” (a few hours before the vote, Nesser had posted a video on Facebook wishing a happy Independence Day to the Israelis). But Sweden did better during that same week; it was not only able to vote alongside hateful Islamist regimes which want to destroy Israel, like Iran. At the UN Commission on Women's Rights the Swedes were masters of duplicity. This commission has just been admitted to membership, for a period of four years, a regime where women may not drive, where they may not move out of the house without their husbands and that is 134th out of 145 countries according to the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Rating:
Saudi Arabia, or as Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud said, “an ISIS who made it”. Ryadh managed to enter the UN commission that should defend women's rights through the betrayal of some European countries, including – probably – Sweden (Sweden has refused to confirm whether it voted in favor). Same silence from England and Ireland. “Sweden has voted for the Saudis, 90% sure”, said Hillel Neuer, director of UN Watch, while Wikileaks has offered $10,000 to anyone who would reveal the Stockholm vote.
There is certainty about a known European country that voted in favor of the Saudis: Belgium. Prime Minister Charles Michel issued an “apology” for the decision. But it was not a “mistake”. The Brussels' delegation was explicitly asked to vote in favor of the Saudis and to even let the Saudis know it, as the leaks outlined these days revealed. Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynder said the delegation sought to “inform the various candidates, including Saudi Arabia” about its support, despite the vote being secret. A year ago, the English government of David Cameron gave the green light for the Saudi entry into another commission, the one for Human Rights, located in Geneva.
There is nothing that petroleum dollars can not buy, even the famous Swedish foreign policy in the name of “feminism,” tolerance and human rights. Belgium is a great Saudi ally in Europe since 1974, when King Baldovino offered the Saudi House to them, in exchange for important energy supplies, the Pavillon du Cinquantenaire with a lease of 99 years. Two hundred meters from the headquarters of the European Union stands what is known as the Great Mosque through which the Saudis became the de facto Islamic authority of Belgium. 40 years later, the keepers of Mecca continue to collect their bills, at the cost of the shameful betraying of the best of European values.
National Post, May 25, 2017
Simon Wiesenthal was a man of action. Not content to let complacent governments deal with the butchers of the Holocaust, he hunted them and forced them to face justice. In so doing, he announced to the world that from now on, there is a high price to pay for harming Jews.
With his help, the Mossad captured the mass murderer Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. I was then attending school in neighbouring Uruguay, where Israel’s covert operation caused massive outrage. It was a tense time to be the only Jew in my school. But I felt proud. For the first time in two thousand years, the world understood that if you mess with us, there are consequences. That Jews can — and will — deal with those who intend to harm them. That Jews are no longer at the mercy of their tormentors. That Jews fight back.
I was born in Hungary, where Jew hatred has a long and blood-drenched history. A country whose Jews took comfort in being the most assimilated in Europe. They were convinced that their social status and achievements made them untouchable. Yet, the majority of the Jewish population was massacred in a matter of weeks. We must learn from the lessons of history, so that our children and their children never face the horrors that my parents witnessed. Today, Jews face two wars. The permanent armed struggle in defence of Israel, a battle that Israel can never afford to lose. And the war of words, throughout the diaspora — and right here in Canada.
Words matter. They are powerful weapons. Words can legitimize the criminal and vilify the just. Words can provide the fuel for hate and the alibi for persecution and violence. Libelous fabrications, like “Israel Apartheid” and “Zionist aggression,” are the pretext for the BDS movement, whose stated objective is the destruction of the Jewish State. Their false narrative has hijacked progressive hearts and minds and become gospel in politically correct circles. It feeds the new wave of Jew hatred sweeping across Europe, where, in many countries, synagogues and Jewish institutions can now only function under military protection. The false narrative thrives on our own campuses, where we must expose its lies and confront it with the most powerful weapon at our disposal, namely, the truth. Because as we know, and as Barbara Kay has written, “what ends in law, often begins in academia.”
Since its inception, the UN Human Rights Council has adopted 135 country-specific resolutions. Of those, 68 condemn Israel. The following is a list of some of the enlightened democracies that are current or past members of the UN Human Rights Commission: Sudan, Congo, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China, Russia. It is with these champions of human rights that today’s left aligns itself: authoritarian regimes, which persecute the LGBTQ community, are intolerant of women’s rights, of freedom of the press and of freedom of expression.
The so-called progressives who denounce Israel are unfazed by the jailing of dissenters in Iran, oblivious to the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia, blind to the incarceration and torture of gay men in Qatar, accepting of widespread female genital mutilation and unperturbed by the persecution of Christians in several Islamic countries. Their single fixation is on the Jewish state, a country whose laws treat all citizens equally, regardless of gender or religion and guarantee them education, healthcare and civil liberties. A country where freedom of expression is sacred. It is time to stop kidding ourselves and to call all those with such selective social conscience the anti-Semites we all know they are. Hitler and the Nazis were vanquished but Jew hatred was not. It has found renewed vigour in an unholy partnership between the jihadists and the proverbial useful idiots, who hide under the progressive mantle.
In a sermon in Montreal, at the Al-Andalous Islamic Center, Imam Sayed al-Ghitawi included the following supplications: “Oh Allah, destroy the cursed Jews.”//“Oh Allah, show us the black day you inflict on them.”//
“Oh Allah, make their children orphans and their women widows.” This sermon was delivered in 2014, but it was not until it recently surfaced online, that the Al-Andalous Islamic Center distanced itself from it. I do not propose to paint all Muslims with this imam’s brush. I assume he does not speak for mainstream Islam. My point is that there has been no outcry in the halls of power in Ottawa. The story barely made the news. Parliament is not about to introduce a law criminalizing Jew hatred.
Which brings us to our campuses, where Jewish students are harassed and intimidated if they state pro-Israeli views. At McGill, my alma mater, the Daily, on whose editorial board I once served, now refuses to publish any opinion piece that “promote a Zionist worldview.” Three months ago, Igor Sadikov, a member of the Student Society of McGill University’s legislative council, urged one and all to “punch a Zionist today.” He subsequently resigned from the council, but he remains a McGill student in good standing.
On the other hand, shortly thereafter, Andrew Potter, the former director of McGill’s Institute for the Study of Canada, was unceremoniously dumped from this position for writing a critical piece about Quebec society. The same administration that took instant and drastic action against a director for voicing peaceful social criticism is content to allow someone who incites violence against Jews to roam on its campus. These back-to-back events crystallize the new double standard in academia: zero tolerance for any offence, however slight, whether perceived or real, against any community or any people — except for the Jews.
Many on the left have come to believe that in order to burnish their progressive credentials, they must distance themselves from Israel. The real travesty is that they link arms with those who enslave women, those who torture and jail dissenters, those who censor freedom of expression, those who persecute members of other religions and those who incite the genocide of the Jewish state. The most important lesson of the Holocaust is that it must never again happen. That if your enemies threaten to kill you, you should take them seriously. Simon Wiesenthal understood this lesson and acted upon it.
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, May 22, 2017—April 1. The British Home office stripped Sufiyan Mustafa, 22, of his UK passport after he traveled to Syria to fight with jihadists. Mustafa is the youngest son of the cleric Abu Hamza, who was sentenced to life in prison in the United States after being convicted of terrorism charges. Mustafa complained that he is now stateless and stranded in Syria.
French Jews Certainly Wanted Macron Over Le Pen, but Friction May Lie Ahead: Cnaan Liphshiz, Times Of Israel, May 9, 2017— French Jews may have voted en masse for Emmanuel Macron in the final round of France’s presidential elections, but that doesn’t make him their dream president.
The Drumbeat Against Jewish Ritual in Europe Sounds Once More: Ben Cohen, JNS, May 12, 2017—This past week, Jewish ritual observance came under attack in both Belgium and Norway. While there is nothing suggesting that the respective moves against shechita (kosher slaughter) in Belgium and brit milah (Jewish circumcision) in Norway were coordinated, both speak to an ingrained tendency in Europe that dismisses these core requirements for Jews as no more and no less than cruelty of a particularly Jewish sort.
An Auschwitz Magician’s Greatest Trick: Holding the Horrors at Bay: Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, May 6, 2017—“All right, pick a card,” Werner Reich said, fanning out a worn deck of cards in his Long Island home to demonstrate a trick he’d learned in an unlikely place: on the top of a bare wooden bunk in the concentration camp barracks at Auschwitz.