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Comments by George Jochnowitz

On “From Somalia without love

@ CK MacLeod:
I am quite aware of the fact that for several centuries, Islam was tolerant and productive, and the leading center of research on astronomy. I am equally aware of the fact that most Muslims are civilized and productive people. None of this negates the fact that Hirsi Ali was a victim of zzlam. None of it negates the existence of the believers who bombed the London subway, the Madrid railway, carried out 9/11, etc. These people read their holy texts carefully and literally. So did the Inquisitors who knew that Jesus had said that "no man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6). Today, no Christian will cite those words as a reason to kill heretics. Today, we can even state that none of the words attributed to Jesus can be independently verified as having been said by him (which proves conclusively that he was more merciful than anybody else who ever lived). I trust the day will come when there will be no more Muslims who are eager to kill themselves in order to kill others. In the meantime, those who have faith in the eternal truth of zzlam are numerous and acutely dangerous. Hirsi Ali is doing the world a service by reminding us of this fact.

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@ CK MacLeod:
I've looked at the context. The Surah means what it means. As for the historical context, such sentences have been carried out in our own time. Stoning for adultery still happens even more frequently.
Kristof suggests things might have been easier if only Hirsi Ali's relatives had known how to say, "I love you." Context, context. zzlamic parents have killed their daughters in honor murders in the United States and Canada.
When I lived in China, I heard first-person accounts of wives who had denounced their husbands and children who had denounced their parents for being rightists or counter-revolutionaries. They too had faith. Kristof and I were in China at the same time. He certainly must have heard such stories, but few people realize that Marxism is a faith.
China is losing its faith, but orthodox Marxism is still the unquestioned dogma in North Korea. Venezuela is trying to create such a situation as well, but they will fail--I hope.

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a brilliant writer whose life was made miserable by zzlam (You taught me this spelling, Strangelet) until she escaped. She understands that blind faith is a force that makes smart people stupid and good people bad.

How many ways are there to interpret the commandment about cutting off hands and feet on opposite sides?

005.033 The punishment of those who wage war against God and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;

On “Reasons too obvious for reasoning

@ CK MacLeod:
Another possible example. In 1967, during the first two hours of the Six-Day War, Israel destroyed all of Egypt's airforce while it was on the ground. Did espionage play a role? I don't know. In any event, that's what determined who won the war.

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@ CK MacLeod:
John Keegan says that there is no evidence that espionage has ever been decisive. But a lot of information concerning espionage never becomes available. How did Israel learn about the nuclear facilities that North Korea had built in Syria? How did Israel know how to destroy them with no recorded casualties on either side? I don't know. Espionage may have been a decisive factor. A nuclear Syria could have wiped Israel off the map. One could argue that Syria just wanted the weapons for the sake of security, but that's unlikely. As it turned out, possessing the weapons led to an attack against Syria. We don't know how crazy the current monarch of the Assad Dynasty is. Of course, we do know how crazy the current monarch of the Kim Dynasty is--crazy enough to think that Israel is North Korea's greatest enemy.

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A mosque at Ground Zero is a way of saying that the United States is a free country. Could there be a church in Mecca? Could a Jew (other than Henry Kissinger or a member of the US Armed Forces) be permitted to enter Saudi Arabia?

On ““Why Israel and not other, far more egregious examples?”

@ CK MacLeod:

Calling someone Satan means you know they're bad and you know your audience knows they're bad. No Iranian leader has ever said anything about the peace process, to my knowledge. Why on earth would Iran be interested in the peace process? You don't make peace with a state that has no right to live.

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@ CK MacLeod:
Not everything in the world is symmetrical. Iran's leaders are not neo-cons with a minus sign in front of them. If they depict Israel as the leading edge of the democratic capitalist invasion of their world, it hasn't been reported. Rather, their speeches take it for granted that those on their side already know that Israel has to be destroyed. Reasons? Who needs them? It's obvious.

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@ CK MacLeod:
"a 'suicide state' (like us)."
A willingness to take risks is not the same as an eagerness to die. American leaders and American citizens don't talk about the reason to prefer death (except for Patrick Henry).
It is very important to remember that the most dangerous hatred is unmotivated hatred. Iran has no quarrel with Israel. Iranians typically don't like Arabs. Iran's mullahs hate Sunnis.
The first member of the trio "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is life. The other two members are about this world, not the world to come.

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@ CK MacLeod:

By "that one," I assume you mean Rafsanjani. If one has made a relevant point that has gone unheeded, it makes sense to repeat it. The fact that Rafsanjani's statement about turning Iran into a suicide bomb was made in a very long speech that included many other subjects doesn't negate the fact that he made it. There is no reason to assume he wasn't serious.
Ahmadinejad is subjecting Iran to sanctions in order to pursue his nuclear ambitions. Does he have anything to gain for himself and his country by doing so? It is not clear that he does. His statements about eliminating Israel ought to be considered in the light of his policies concerning nuclear weapons.
Rafsanjani was probably correct when he said that a single nuclear bomb could defeat Israel. Certainly two bombs could. If he was willing to risk enormous casualties among his own people, why should Ahmadinejad be different. Unlike Rafsanjani, Ahmadinejad is no moderate.
Suicide bombers are a dime a dozen. Couldn't a leader choose to turn his country into a suicide nation?

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I see that Abbas supports the Gaza blockade. This is the same guy whose Ph.D. dissertation denied the Holocaust.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/abbas-to-obama-i-m-against-lifting-the-gaza-naval-blockade-1.295771

As far as lynch mobs are concerned, Rafsanjani said in 2001 that a single nuclear weapon could destroy Israel.

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Starting in 1965, I used to sit occasionally at a table on the Columbia campus labeled "Independent Committee on Vietnam" and distribute handouts to passers-by who came over to look or chat. For a variety of reasons, such as the boat people, I have changed my views about opposing the war in Vietnam. But at that time, I got to know some other people at the table. In May of 1967, when Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and ordered the UN Security force to leave (which it promptly did), some of the people I knew were overjoyed. They began expressing extremely hostile sentiments about Israel. Once the Six-Day War started, they continued more frequently than ever.
I assumed it was a fluke--a small number of people I happened to have come in contact with. But then around the time of the Labor Day Weekend in 1967, the National Conference for the New Politics took place. Lots of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments were expressed at the conference. In 1968, the teachers' strike took place in New York, and the sentiments expressed were simply anti-Semitic and had nothing to do with Israel. On March 6, 1969, my first political article was published: "The Left Is Soft on Anti-Semitism." It appeared in the Village Voice.
For a long time, the distinction between leftists and liberals was clear. What is different now is that liberals seem to be turning into leftists.
James Carroll, in his book CONSTANTINE'S SWORD, suggests that the reason for anti-Semitism in Christianity, Islam, and Marxism is supersessionism. The philosophies that are descended or partly descended from Judaism have to show that it was important for them to break away from their ancestor, and so they have to show their ancestor was bad.
Israel has given independence to Gaza. It has given autonomy to the West Bank--enough autonomy to enable the government there to execute Arabs accused of collaboration with Israel. Although there are unresolved issues of borders, especially as far as Jerusalem is concerned, Israel is ready to leave most of the West Bank. Israel and the Palestinians are not fighting over territory. The issue is whether Israel should exist.
Hitler obviously antedated Israel. He was obsessed with removing Jewish genes from Europe and perhaps the world. What was wrong with Jews? They did things like own retail stores. The Horror! Nowadays, Israel has an army, and wars kill people. That gives anti-Semites a more tangible reason to oppose Israel. But it all goes back to Carroll's theory: Jews gave the world three doctrines, each of which claims to possess all the truth.

On “In the general direction of Mecca…

@ factualizing frog:
Homosexual organizations are aware of the executions of teenage homosexuals in Iran and have spoken against it. They are unaware of honor murders of gays in Palestine. They don't know that Palestinian homosexuals have fled to Israel and been granted asylum there. They don't know that Israel has annual gay pride parades not only in Tel Aviv but in Jerusalem. And most of all, they don't know that Israel drafts openly homosexual men and women into its armed forces.
Ignorance is bliss. Hate Israel. Hate. Hate. Hate.

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Here's something more about how leftists know nothing about honor murders. Homosexuals are routinely murdered by their relatives everywhere in the Islamic world. Gay rights organizations are always anti-Israel. Spanish gay-pride parade organizers are now banning Israel.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/report-madrid-bans-israelis-from-gay-pride-march-over-gaza-flotilla-raid-1.295214

Queers for Palestine = Turkeys for Thanksgiving.

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fat frog's burden,
I don't know what you're talking about. I was born in Brooklyn and lived there until I was 14. Are you suggesting that mafiosi murder their daughters for going out on dates? Do you think that Hasidim do so? They don't.

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Alien shmalien.
If you're on the left, you know nothing about honor murders, suicide bombers, or the international connections of terrorists.

On “…and take all our separate planets with us

Talking about the 1930s means talking about anti-Semitism. Anti-Zionism, the child of anti-Semitism, is the glue that holds the Marxist-Islamic Alliance together. There is no other reason that North Korea, Venezuela, and Iran are the best of friends.
Andrei S. Markovits, writing in the Winter 2005 issue of DISSENT, said that anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism were a commonality of all lefts.
Hitler's anti-Semitism was quite counter-productive, since he needed scientists and loved music, but drove Jewish scientists and musicians out of Germany. His decisions about giving priority to using railroads to transport Jews to Auschwitz over supplying his beleaguered soldiers in 1944 showed how idealistic and selfless he ws.
The Muslim world today is equally selfless. Iran is tempting the world to impose sanctions against it by developing nuclear technology, which it wants in order to destroy Israel. Iran is utterly unaware of the fact that it has no quarrel with Israel. Europe, which hasn't reacted to America's use of drones to kill members of Taliban--and innocent bystanders--went nuts when Israel used phony passports to assassinate a Hamas member who was engaged in buying arms from Iran.
Israel is a small and unimportant country. Yet it is the most hated country on earth. This is not only a danger to Israel but to everybody. Wars spread. Destruction is contagious. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, it will use them, and subject the entire world to radioactivity.
It makes no sense to risk the world's safety in order to fight Israel. It made no sense for Hitler to start World War II in order to kill Jews. What our era has in common with the 1930s is what anti-Zionism has in common with anti-Semitism: they are dangerous, ridiculous, pointless obsessions.
Franklin Roosevelt, by the way, not only didn't allow the St. Louis and its 930 German Jews to land but also didn't grant a single extra visa to Jews fleeing Europe.

On “Limbaugh over the line

The Democrats and Republicans have been fighting for many years for the title of Party of Hate. The Republicans are winning the battle.

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