Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad

Ma'an: Haniyeh says PA "waging war against Islam"

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 06:46 PM PDT

Palestinians vs. Post-Palestinians:

Gaza government Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh accused the Palestinian Authority on Monday evening of waging a war against religion and Islam.

Haniyeh, speaking to reporters at the rebuilding ceremony of the police station in Al-Shati refugee camp, said "what is happening in the West Bank is a religious war that targets the pious people, particularly the new generation."

The Gaza premier said the PA began taking "several steps" from the beginning of Ramadan, including banning a Hamas-affiliated sheikh from making Friday sermons in the West Bank, turning down the volume on mosque loudspeakers during prayer call , and closing associations for memorizing the Quran, which he said has left many mosques without preachers.

"They won't succeed in their war against Islam, because they are fighting God," Haniyeh said, alleging that the PA was trying to impose "religious normalization."

Haniyeh called on religious men in the West Bank "not to surrender" and protest against the PA's actions.

Those sound like fighting words. Is Hamas emboldened by the recent assertiveness of Iran and Hizbullah? When the show-down comes between the PA and Hamas, I'm betting on Hamas.

Crossposted on Judeopundit

Shades of moderation

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 05:31 AM PDT

Two weeks ago Jeffrey Goldberg wrote, If He Could, Bin Laden Would Bomb the Cordoba Initiative (via memeorandum):

This seems like such an obvious point, but it is apparently not obvious to the many people who oppose the Cordoba Initiative's planned mosque in lower Manhattan, so let me state it as clearly as possible: The Cordoba Initiative, which is headed by an imam named Feisal Abdul Rauf, is an enemy of al Qaeda, no less than Rudolph Giuliani and the Anti-Defamation League are enemies of al Qaeda. Bin Laden would sooner dispatch a truck bomb to destroy the Cordoba Initiative's proposed community center than he would attack the ADL, for the simple reason that Osama's most dire enemies are Muslims.

Goldberg insists that since Imam Rauf is a moderate, Bin Laden would fear him. Thus by showing understanding to Rauf, we are helping to fight Bin Laden.

The problem is that however slickly Imam Rauf presents himself he has a troubling history. Yes he talks about interfaith cooperation but he somehow can't bring himself to condemn Hamas.

How do you know someone really isn't a "moderate" on the question of Islamic radicalism? When he endorses a double standard for terrorism -- appearing to condemn it when it is directed against Americans, refusing to condemn it when directed against Israelis.

Feisal Abdul Rauf, a self-styled champion of moderate Islam, was recently asked whether he thinks Hamas is a terrorist organization. "The issue of terrorism is a very complex question," he replied. When pressed, he insisted that "I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary or as an enemy."

But surely there should be no middle ground when it comes to Hamas, just as there can be no middle ground when it comes to Al-Qaeda.

Or as Charles Krauthammer noted the other day Imam Rauf told Ed Bradley of "60 Minutes" that the United States was an accessory to the terror of 9/11.

Perhaps there's some poetic justice in that Imam Rauf can't condemn Hamas, for yesterday (via memeorandum) Hamas endorsed the idea of the Islamic Center near ground zero.

A leader of the Hamas terror group yesterday jumped into the emotional debate on the plan to construct a mosque near Ground Zero -- insisting Muslims "have to build" it there.

"We have to build everywhere," said Mahmoud al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas and the organization's chief on the Gaza Strip.

But if an Islamist terror organization approves this mosque doesn't that refute the idea that Bin Laden would seek to destroy it. Yes, I know that the mosque's developers say that Hamas doesn't speak for them. But if you are going to argue that extremists would oppose the mosque and then they actually endorse it, it should be obvious that extremists do not see it as a threat.

One other reason I doubt Imam Rauf's moderation is the name of his initiative. As I blogged last week, Cordoba doesn't represent peaceful coexistence. At least it doesn't represent tolerance in any 21st century understanding of the word. Jennifer Rubin yesterday noted Michael Lame's observation:

The idea of an Andalusian golden age, when Christians and Jews lived contentedly under Muslim rule, has become a fixture of Western historical thinking over the last hundred years. But is it true?

Professor [Richard] Fletcher weighs in on the question: "Early medieval Spain was multicultural in the sense of being culturally diverse, a land within which different cultures coexisted; but not in the sense of experiencing cultural integration. Toleration for Christians and Jews as 'Peoples of the Book' is enjoined by the Koran. But in practice it was limited - Christians under Islamic rule were forbidden to build new churches, to ring church bells, to hold public processions - and sometimes it broke down altogether. In 1066 there was a pogrom in Granada in which its Jewish community was slaughtered. Thousands of Christians were deported to slavery in Morocco in 1126. Thoroughly dismissive attitudes to Christians and Jews may be found in the Arabic literature of al-Andalus. It is a myth of the modern liberal imagination that medieval Islamic Spain was, in any sense that we should recognize today, a tolerant society."

So in addition to Imam Rauf's failure to condemn extremism, the name of his institute hardly evokes the toleration he says it does.

Judith Apter Klinghoffer's approach is correct.

The most apt comparison between the debate surrounding the planned ground zero mosque is with the one which surrounded the planned Nazi marches in Skokie, a Chicago suburb inhabited by a large number of Jewish holocaust survivors. The US constitution guarantees the right of American Muslims to disregard the pain they will cause the victims of the Islamist terrorist attack on 9/11 just as the constitution guaranteed American Nazis the right to disregard the pain of the victims of the Nazi holocaust.

Legally, there may be nothing we can do to stop the Islamic Center from being built but we certainly have every right to protest it as an affront to those killed and targeted on 9/11. Those who argue that protests against the mosque are somehow acting against freedom of religion, are saying that we must show toleration to a religion that doesn't tolerate others. If Imam Rauf's efforts are constitutionally protected surely too are those who oppose his plans. There is nothing un-American about protesting insensitivity.

Finally this is breaking mostly along partisan lines as Robert Avrech observes:

The Ground Zero Mosque is a stark political issue that divides Democrats from Republicans.

If you support the Ground Zero Mosque vote for the Democrats.

If not, vote Republican.

This scares Mark Halperin:

Yes, Republicans, you can take advantage of this heated circumstance, backed by the families of the 9/11 victims, in their most emotional return to the public stage since 2001.

But please don't do it. There are a handful of good reasons to oppose allowing the Islamic center to be built so close to Ground Zero, particularly the family opposition and the availability of other, less raw locations. But what is happening now -- the misinformation about the center and its supporters; the open declarations of war on Islam on talk radio, the Internet and other forums; the painful divisions propelled by all the overheated rhetoric -- is not worth whatever political gain your party might achieve.

The ground zero mosque is a potent issue for many voters. Halperin isn't asking the Republicans to be noble. He's asking them to surrender.

Finally, will those defending Imam Rauf, defend Glenn Beck too?

Crossposted on Yourish.

The new york times anti-israel tag team

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 01:12 AM PDT

The New York Times saw fit to report on a former Israeli soldier who posted tasteless pictures from her army service on her Facebook page. Remember that these were the actions of a single individual, but the Times bureai chief, Ethan Bronner saw fit to use this villify Israeli society as a whole.

Generally, acts done while in military service can be prosecuted, but a spokesman said that since Ms. Abergil had been discharged last year, legal action remained unclear. The Public Committee Against Torture, an Israeli group, said that abusive behavior by soldiers was the norm at West Bank checkpoints and at detention centers.

Does the Public Committee against Torture have any proof that "abusive behavior ... was the norm?" None that Bronner mentions, but the allegation, which slanders Israeli society is presented with no rebuttal as if it is fact.

Not leaving bad enough alone, the Time blogger Robert Mackey, decided to show everyone how awful Israel is by reproducing the pictures! This allows Mackey to fabricate an Abu Graib comparison.

What was Isabel Kershner doing that prevented her from joining in the Israel bash-fest?

But as My Right Word points out:

And as the picture shows, she's just showing off and sitting near prisoners, off to the side.

Stupid, yes.

Dumb, yes.

Insensitive, yes.

Mean and evil and demeaning, not quite.

So in order to smear Israel the Times employs two reporters to blow an isolated incident into an indictment of Israel society!

So what happens when a member of the government of Israel's peace partners expresses the need for "armed struggle" against Israel? The Times has no reporters to spare. So let me do their job for them.

Thanks to PMW for making this important bit of news available.

In an interview on official Palestinian Authority Television, Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub said: "At the [Sixth Fatah] Conference, we affirmed the struggle in all its forms, including resistance and the armed struggle... The [armed] struggle is a means, not an end. The [armed] struggle is related to our abilities... must cause pain to the occupation [Israel]; it must be connected to a political platform."

This isn't an immature individual who's showing off. This is a leader of the PA.

Furthermore, as Elder of Ziyon points out, the PA (not Hamas!) continues to build Mosques which often feature vicious antisemitic sermons. And the PA is telling its citizens to avoid Israeli hospitals.

So while the PA systematically influences its citizens to hate Israel, the New York Times doesn't care one whit about the PA's soul. But when a single Israeli misbehaves it becomes a reasons for the Times to break out its tag team to comment "more in sorrow than in anger" about the corruption of Israeli society.

This is a particularly noxious variation on Khaled Abu Toameh's double standard. Last week Thomas Friedman complained about destructive criticism of Israel; he really doesn't have to look too far if he wants to fight it.

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