Monday, December 29, 2014

Rewriting the Past: Churchill and Islam

Dominated by political correctness, the media is determined to present Islam in a positive light. Today’s UPI article claims that Winston Churchill was attracted to Islam that he considered conversion. and that if not for the intervention of his family, he may very well have. Since UPI is  a major news wire,  it is not surprising that the story was featured in newspapers from Great Britain,  Sweden, Holland, the U.S, Middle East Forum, Russia,  India, the Middle east South America, and even the Jerusalem Post.

Churchill's purported love affair with Islam is based on a letter to Churchill from  Lady Gwendolyn, Churchill’s  future sister in in law, found recently, in which she expressed concern about his attraction to Islam and expressed her concern that he might convert.  Churchill appears to have had an interest in the culture of the middle east but deplored Islam. After serving in the British army until 1897, he returned to England and wrote memoirs of his experiences in which he expressed his opinions about Islam in no uncertain terms. Unfortunately Churchill’s views are relevant today. His writing needs no paraphrasing.  Here are his opinions in his own words

The Effect of Islam on its followers

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries [devotees] Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia [rabies] in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident [short-sited] habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. ...Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde[backwards] force exists in the world”

Enslavement of women

“The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.”

The Danger to the West

“Far from being moribund [pointless], Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity were sheltered in the strong arms of science – the science against which it had vainly struggled – the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”

Contrast between Islam and Christianity

“It is, difficult if not impossible for the modern European to fully appreciate the force which fanaticism exercises among an ignorant, warlike and Oriental population.... Christianity, however degraded and distorted by cruelty and intolerance, exerts a modifying influence on men's passions, and protect them from the more violent forms of fanatical fever, as we are protected from smallpox by vaccination. But the Mohammedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness.”

Religion and war

“In a moment the fruits of patient toil, the prospects of material prosperity, the fear of death itself, are flung aside. The more emotional Pathans are powerless to resist. All rational considerations are forgotten. Seizing their weapons, they become Ghazis--as dangerous and as sensible as mad dogs: fit only to be treated as such. While the more generous spirits among the tribesmen become convulsed in an ecstasy of religious bloodthirstiness, poorer and more material souls derive additional impulses from the influence of others, the hopes of plunder and the joy of fighting. Thus whole nations are roused to arms. Thus the Turks repel their enemies, the Arabs of the Soudan break the British squares, and the rising on the Indian frontier spreads far and wide. In each case civilization is confronted with militant Mahommedanism. The forces of progress clash with those of reaction. The religion of blood and war is face to face with that of peace. Luckily the religion of peace is usually the better armed.”

A warning

These words written by Churchill over 100 years ago warn us of the dangers the world would face were if Muslims became armed to the degree that others are.  The west, would never be as single-mindedly  dedicated to war, never reach the altered state that Islam provokes. Many people know that Churchill was the first to see the dangers of Naziism and Stalinism  But how many people would have guessed he also warned us of the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism?

Political Arrest in Britain
Paul Weston , chairman of the Liberty Party was arrested this year [4/26/2014]b for the crime of quoting what Winston Churchill,said in 1899 about  Islam:  No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.” A British political candidate running for elections was arrested in mid-speech simply for publicly for  quoting a former Prime Minister.  Orwellian in its attempt to rewrite the past  by erasing a statement that does not fit today's narrative about Islam.  The UPI ‘news’ publicizing Churchill’s love affair with Islam is of the same genre. It exaggerates a number of events and ignores the majority of information on the subject.
When reading ‘news’ especially news that did not occur the day it was written,  caveat emptor,  I was fortunate as I learned this in sixth grade when my social studies teacher asked this question : How can you tell the New York Times is biased? None of us knew, Look in the box on the front page. “All the news that’s fit to print” I read as I heard her say. Who decides?
A critical mind protects against baseless extremism. Unfortunately, there are fewer teachers who encourage this today

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Is Israel to Moral to Win?

I wrote this in response to an article in Times of Israel by Gabriel Weber who is a youth worker for LJY- Netzer the youth movement of Liberal Judaism. His article “Self Defense shouldn’t be fun” was a critique of Israeli soldiers who were happy rather than heartbroken at the death of our enemies.

Gabriel Webber  is convinced that according to Judaism we should never hate our enemies and that  he has the right and obligation to tell Jews not only how they should act but what they should think and how they should feel.  This summer he was a youth leader teaching another group of kids the same.

This is not Judaism. It is rose colored delusional thinking  of those who have redefined what was once Judaism into a soppy, naive, religion that would have us holding hands and singing Kumbaya and then our new national anthem which would be “All you need is love.”  If this were our creed , we would be long  gone.

Jewish leftists typically choose only what they believe is the “ethical part of Judaism” Gabriel Weber uses the custom of removing  not drinking some wine on passover as described in the Talmud as a case in point. However,   one out of context quote does not a Talmudic scholar make. The Talmud tells us we are not permitted to stand by while Jews die as Jews died in Protective edge because IDF’s in agreement with Gabriel Webber’s values. The IDF regularly aborts missions when Palestinian civilians are present. In protective edge ground soldiers requested cover for but did not get it because Palestinian prisoners were present.

Judaism teaches us about balance in life. There is a time for war and a time for peace, a time for love and also a time for hate. Wars are not won by people who are in a constant state of empathy with their enemies. Israel put this misplaced need for moral superiority first and gave up the element of surprise in Protective Edge by broadcasting what they were going to do to Palestinians in Gaza and by treating every Gazan not dressed as a terrorist as an innocent civilian, ignoring the reality of both collaborators and plain clothes terrorists.

War is the time to hate and to lust for the complete annihilation of an enemy that will destroy you. “Harden your heart”, God told Joshua before he went to war.
“Regarding he who comes to kill you, get there earlier and kill him.”

Judaism is not psychology. It teaches us there is good and evil and that irreparable evil must be completely destroyed
“ Blot our any memory of Amalek.” One does not accomplish this by sadness , self control and being regretful or heartbroken. The reason we do not go to war on a whim is because war is a horrible, revolting, disgusting thing. BUT when we do fight and  when we do send our sons and daughters to fight we have no obligation to carry a burden of guilt and regret, That is a recipe for failure.
In such times empathy and love are for our soldiers, our kids, our injured. Those who killed them deserve painful deaths.

I pity any person who is heartbroken at the few Muslims killed in the current Intifada. Save your tears for the three month old baby, for the three Rabbis whose tefillin and siddurim were blood soaked, for the young woman killed at a bus station and for the deaths you do not know about because the Israeli press like Gabriel Webber is more focused on the bad things we are doing to our enemies. Thank our God that those who prayed at the synagogue in Jerusalem where Rabbis were killed, orthodox men uncontaminated by the western weakling mentality, did what any sane person should do after such an incident They bought guns

. Some years ago, two young Jewish boys Muslims stoned to two young boys to death in a cave near an Arab village. The press never reported it. Do you think what those “F***cking Muslims did does not P***ss me off.  If I could manage to kill one of them, I would take pleasure in it. 

Next week we will celebrate Chanukah.  Had Gabriel Webber lived then , he would have blamed Matityahu and his sons for taking pleasure when they decimated the people who tried to turn our holiest place on earth into a pigsty. 

Mr. Weber’s perspectives matches those of the so called Centrist/lefts in Israel who, despite all evidence to the contrary, will continue to believe fury against one’s enemies is never appropriate and that the only justified wars are in self defense.

There is a way to end the status quo of fighting the same war again and again. Rather than aiming for a few years of peace before the next war, destroying infrastructure, tunnels, ammunition, we must commit ourselves to win and I quite Mt Weber “:belligerently go get ‘em.” We have to be willing to fight offensive wars, to surprise the enemy, to kill= civilians, and let go of the moral obsessions and fear of being violent that thousands of years of statelessness have taught us.

The Passover custom of removing ten drops from our first cup of wine has nothing to do with attitudes Jews should have when going to fight wars. We do not SPILL wine as Gabriel Webber says. We remove ten drops from the first of four cups. How many drops are there in four cups? Nor much sadness for the Egyptians in the Haggadah. In the Haggadah the Jews were not fighting, they were watching Good’s miracle.  A few pages later in the Haggadah we read about  a contest between Rabbis about who could use the words in a phrase describing the plagues to justify the most harm to the Egyptians.

We will survive this challenge to Israel as we have survived all manner of horrors until now. As for self righteous, liberal Jews who know how all of us should behave, the sooner they assimilate, the sooner we will win our war and have our peace.