Commenter Archive

Comments by George Jochnowitz
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On “From Somalia without love

@ strangelet:
It wasn't Nixon but Eisenhower, America's most anti-Israel president, who overthrew Mossadegh.
http://www.jochnowitz.net/Essays/Eisenhower.html

Are your sister and brother Muslims?

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Thank you, my amphibian friend.

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@ CK MacLeod:
If being concerned about Israel is the only factor that can make one sensitive to the plight of women under Islam, then it's too bad more people aren't concerned about Israel.
Was it concern about Israel that led Hirsi Ali to write her books?

@ strangelet:
It's you who should be responding to save this woman.

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Oh well. A woman will be stoned in Iran. Yawn.

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If anyone wishes to try to help the woman awaiting stoning in Iran, here is a possible link:
http://www.gianniverdoliva.it/

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A woman in Iran is under sentence of death by stoning.
http://apexnewsnetwork.com/24139/iranian-mother-sakineh-mohammadie-ashtiani-to-be-stoned-to-death-for-adultery/

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Rex,
America managed to avoid war with the USSR. World War II was something we entered late and after provocation.
Jews, at the seder, symbolically spill a drop of wine for each of the plagues inflicted on the Egyptians, thus acknowledging their unwarranted suffering. Israel had the power to level Gaza, just as the Allies did to Hamburg and Dresden, but refrained from doing so.
Faith is always dangerous. The First Amendment introduced freedom of religion as part of our legal tradition. Nothing could have been more anti-religious (in theory) and pro-religious (in practice).
Religion is beautiful as long as you take it with a grain of salt.

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@ 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 “Flamesem & Japesem (All-Contentions Edition)

@ CK MacLeod:
Back to your post #7. You say that the will follows perceived needs and interest. Suicide bombers in Pakistan just killed some of their fellow Muslims.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/02/world/asia/02pstan.html?_r=1&ref=islam
Did they perceive that it was in their interest? No. They thought it was virtuous to blow oneself up in order to kill those who are less rigid in their beliefs. I repeat: Virtue triumphs over need.

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@ CK MacLeod:
Commentary takes the positions it believes in. What's wrong with that? Would you expect The Nation to take a pro-America, pro-Israel position?
As a matter of fact, on several occasions Commentary has asked a question and invited a large number of people to write answers to that question. They don't all agree with each other.

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@ CK MacLeod:
Israel did so many times. It withdrew from Sinai in 1956. 11 years later Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran. It withdrew again after the Camp David Agreements. Egypt never quite lived up to its half of the bargain but continued to broadcast programs on government television showing how bad Jews are.
Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000. Hezbollah began launching rockets and then kidnapped two Israelis. When Israel negotiated a deal to free the prisoners, their bodies were returned.
Furthermore, the West Bank is autonomous. Israel maintains checkpoints, but its soldiers stay out of the populated areas most of the time.
Most striking of all, Israel dared to leave Gaza in 2005. The world will never forgive Israel for committing such a brutal act.

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@ CK MacLeod:
Why on earth should Commentary say that Israel should be less scared? Is a magazine obliged to take a position against its own interests?

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@ Parson Logic T ReFog:
I'd be very surprised if Hamas could be pushed into recognizing Israel as a legitimate state. Virtue--or what is thought to be virtue--always triumphs over need.
The Arab world rejected a Palestinian state in 1947. It did so with the Three No's of Khartoum in 1967. It did so at Taba in 2001. It did so when Israel withdrew unilaterally from Gaza in 2005.
Every time Hamas launches a rocket against Israeli civilians it is telling Israel not to withdraw from the West Bank. "Oh, but the rockets are mostly ineffective," says the world. They wouldn't be so ineffective if aimed at Tel Aviv from 8 miles away.

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@ CK MacLeod:
It is both puzzling and fascinating that the Old Testament's statements about destroying the Amalekites have never been used by anti-Semites as an argument.

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@ CK MacLeod:
The fact that Commentary is pro-Israel is not a reason to dismiss what it says.
The world is anti-Semitic because Christianity teaches that Jews are so evil and so powerful that they killed God. Marxism teaches that Jews are so evil and so powerful that they invented capitalism. Islam teaches that Jews are so weak and helpless that Mohammed evicted them from Medina and then from Khaybar (see Sura 33:26-32).

On “Flamesem and Japesem (on behalf of Hell-bound freaks)

Rex,

Has Ahmadinejad ever been among the people who mentioned Israel's nukes?
Has Ahmadinejad ever hinted that there is an aspect of Israel's policy he objects to?

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Rex,
If Israel came clean about its nukes, anti-Israel hatred around the world would zoom up. If Israel decided to give up its nukes, anti-Israel hatred would zoom up. If Israel increased the number of its nukes, anti-Israel hatred would zoom up.
It doesn't matter what Israel does or doesn't do. Every day in every way, people hate Israel more and more.
I am quite aware of the fact that I sound crazy. The reason nobody has said this earlier is because they are afraid of sounding crazy. Sometimes one can't describe what's really happening without sounding crazy.

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Israel--Like Other Countries:

When you get off a plane in Israel, going through customs takes no longer than it does elsewhere.
When you eat in a Chinese or Japanese restaurant in Israel, it is remarkably similar to doing so in America.
When you walk down Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, people who are obviously Arabs are walking down the street the same way everybody else is.
When you go to a shopping mall, it looks like malls in other countries.

Israel--Different From Other Countries:

When you get on a plane to leave Israel, you don't have to take off your shoes.
When America killed Zarqawi and everyone else in the house at that moment, the world did not complain. When Israel killed Mabhouh, with no innocent bystanders getting hurt, the world reacted in absolute horror because phony IDs were used. The world has not yet calmed down.
The Spanish gay-pride parade banned Israeli participants. Gay-rights organizations everywhere are anti-Israel rather than being anti-Iran, where gay teens are hanged, or anti-Palestine, where gays in Gaza and the West Bank are subject to honor murders unless they can get political asylum in Israel.
Israel has never had a seat on the Security Council.

On “Dialogue with John: Sacred Texts/Tests

Colin,
I know you didn't mean to say that Tawfik Hamid is the moral equivalent of a murderer, but your #52 could easily be taken by somebody to mean that.

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Here's something by Tawfik Hamid about Islam:
http://www.currenttrends.org/research/pubID.63/pub_detail.asp

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