Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Old/New Clash of Civilizations

An excellent piece here by Jerry Haber (The Magnes Zionist) on the Norwegian atrocities. Read and enjoy! (Contains all of Jerry’s links).

In the Norwegian massacres we saw the latest salvo in the clash of civilizations– not between a “Judaeo-Christian” West, and an Islamism bent on taking over the world, but between a totalitarian vision built on fear of the other and feelings of religio/ethnic/cultural superiority, and a liberal vision based on the value of diversity and the necessity to bridge religio/ethnic/cultural divides. This clash of civilizations has been with us for some time: in the twentieth century it reared its ugliest head in the temporary triumphs of Nazism and Stalinism. But it is much older than that; it is found anywhere where a totalitarian worldview is merged with racial, religious, and ethnic prejudice. Tertullian once asked, “What do Athens and Jerusalem have in common?” Well, one thing is tribalism, with its concomitant xenophobia and intolerance of the other.

The reactions on the right to the Norwegian massacre have ranged from the sanctimonious to the nauseating. First there was the assumption that al-Qaeda was involved, since, heck, it’s always the Muslims who poison the wells in their headlong rush towards Armageddon, oops, I mean the messianic world order, oops, I mean the Rapture, oops, I mean the World Khalifate. If you don’t believe me, you don’t know Hebrew/Arabic/Latin, because what they say in their texts and in their cabals is very revealing – I can produce for you any number of ex-Muslims/Jews/PLO-terrorists/Mormons – who will reveal to you the secrets of the order. And frankly, friend, you are in denial – you simply don’t want to know how those Jews/Islamists/Christians are making for world domination.

When the perpetrator turned out to be a rightwing Norwegian and not an Islamist, there was the rush in the rightwing blogosphere to do damage control, because, God forbid, this unfortunate incident could turn out to be a setback for the forces of Good (e.g., Jews, Christians, Old Europe, Zionists, Israelis -- I actually saw that line of thinking in the
talk-backs.) So the tactics are to condemn the violence (as perfunctorily and as non-comittally as possible, e.g., talk about “undiluted evil”), to mitigate the act (“lone wolf,” “violent Christian fundamentalist,” “psycho”); not even to mention the ideological motivation; and – equally as important – to move on and not to come back to the story, even though it is one of the lead stories of the week.

For a shining example of a MSM blogger who employs these aforementioned tactics, see the two posts
here and here of Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin, who now has won my prize for the Dumbest Conservative Blogger of the Year, and, friends, that competition is no cakewalk.

Some social scientists like to distinguish between circles of support for ideologically-motivated violent crimes. At the center of the circle are the perpetrators, the so-called “lone wolves.” In the circle around them are the ideologues who preach violence, and those who do everything but preach violence. In the next circle are the ideologues who condemn the perpetrators in varying degrees, but who nonetheless support their ideological motives, and somehow mitigate the crime (strategies include appeals to “context,” distinctions between just and unjust grievances, injecting distractions such as, “Yeah, but what about suicide bombing?”)

There is usually no good reason to assign responsibility for an attack on innocents to the ideologues in the outer circle. There are many people who share the perpetrator’s ideology who do not condone the act, much less contemplate doing it themselves. I know rightwing ideologues who were initially shocked and dismayed at Yigal Amir and Barukh Goldstein’s actions; some even remained shocked. All people live with contradictory beliefs and self-delusions. Some of them can say that X deserves death and not mean that literally.

But although those who occupy the outside circle – let’s call them the Ideological tribalists – shouldn’t take the rap for the perpetrators, they are certainly responsible for their own bigotry, which itself is a moral wrong, whatever the consequences. Pamela Geller is not responsible for the Norwegian massacres, but she is responsible for the anti-Islamic hate she spews forth – hate that is a carbon copy of the anti-Semitic diatribes of Father Coughlin in the 1930s.

Europe faces serious questions, and different solutions have and will be tried. There are trade-offs in the amount of diversity a society can allow itself to have, and there are many degrees in the middle between enforced assimilation on the one hand and balkanization on the other. The
Jerusalem Post editorial that declared that multi-culturalism in Europe has failed should remember how many Jews left Judaism in Europe because of the pressure to assimilate – and how toleration of diversity has allowed varieties of Judaism to flourish in many places. Sure, there has to be some balance – but to err in the direction of diversity befits the liberal society. What cannot be tolerated is hate-filled bigotry, whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or None of the Above.

There always are barbarians at the gates. In every generation they rise up to destroy us. The question is how do we fight against them? And even more pressing, how do we recognize them?

Religious/nationalist/ethnic fundamentalism of all kind, coupled with power, not to mention weapons, has been shown time and again to be deadly. Their adherents are the barbarian at the gates; and fighting them is the clash of civilizations. And liberal and conservative moderates of all stripes should ally to fight those barbarians.

I write this not just as a liberal but as an orthodox Jew. Nobody suffers more from religious fundamentalism than religious moderates.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Far Right Reactions to the Norwegian Massacre…

H/T to commenter Senhal (on Jews sans Frontieres) for this find.

Scandinavian blogger Oyvind Strommen tries to summarise Far Right ‘counter-jihadist’ reactions to the atrocities committed by the unrepentant Anders Breivic, from the execrable Gates of Vienna, one of Breivics ‘heroes’ (Fjordman) and many in that cluster of blogs gravitating to the murky world of ‘anti-multiculturalism’. Strommen creates a breadcrumb trail of links in this disgusting smorgasbord of hate sites but these links have not been included in my post, so Strommen’s important work is best read at source. Here’s a small (but linkless) sample of his article (
Oyvind Strommen):

Quite a few of the many journalists that have contacted me these last few days, have asked me how the extreme right scene that I’ve been following for years has reacted to the terror bombing in Oslo. I’ve answered as best I could, but with this blog post, I would like to give a more thorough insight. It’s an insight into a quite frightening world.

I’ve therefore collected a few of the reactions that came, both immediately – i.e. as the news of the bombing in Oslo reached the world, and after it was revealed that the terrorist was a right-wing extremist sharing most of their own beliefs. Journalists should feel free to use this as a resource in their further research.

Obviously, I have only been visiting a few blog, and rather at random, starting at the blogroll of Gates of Vienna; a central blog in the world of “counter-jihadism”, and a blog where Fjordman – which the blogger describes as his favourite author – is an active contributor. The quoted blogs are written in various languages, and the quotes are left in their original language. More examples can easily be found by any journalist or researcher who takes the time to dig.

Let’s start with Gates of Vienna itself, the blog was liveblogging the terrorist attacks, as news came in. While their original post does note that the “source of the blast in unclear”, commenters on the site quickly concluded who had to be behind it, namely Islamist terrorists. Commenters on the site left comments such as these:

They should thank them for all the cultural

Europe has been infested with venomous parasitic vermin. [linking to a list of
Islamist terrorist attacks]

The TV news report here shows the interview of a Norwegian witness. I did not know Norwegians looked like Arabs.

Fjordman is also active in this debate and answers the last of those comments, in the following way:

In Oslo they do. Arabs, Kurds, Pakistanis, Somalis, you name it. Anything and everything is fine as long as they rape the natives and destroy the country, which they do.

In the post itself, he is quoted the following way:

“Please keep in mind that the left-wing government of Jens Stoltenberg that was just bombed is the most dhimmi appeasing of all Western governments, to the extent that this is humanly possible. They even wanted to fund Hamas openly a while ago. “The most suicidal and cowardly government in a country with no colonial history was just attacked. How do you explain that as a response to Western ‘aggression’?”

This is in itself an interesting comment. The word dhimmi is taken from Islamic teachings, and is used as a sort of codeword in the counterjihadi movement, their variant of the Neo-Nazi term ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government). Here, Fjordman says that prime minister Stoltenberg is essentially some sort of vassal to (the evil) Muslim overrule. Further comments at Gates of Vienna:
This was inevitable. Only a matter of time before other European nations get a taste of their multicultural tolerance that they’ve been cooking for decades.

Here is the report (in Norwegian) from the workshop at the Utøya summer Socialist youth camp on “Combating Xenophobia and Islamophobia.” Wow… talk about irony. I wonder if this experience may have an altering affect on the world views on some of the youth fortunate enough to survive?
The massacre at the children’s camp is a sickening reminder of just how evil and Satanic the cult of Islam is. The attack is reminiscent of the massacre at the Russian school, though in this case without the pedophile rapes and enforced urine drinking.

Later, of course, it was revealed that the terrorist was not at all a Muslim, but a right-wing extremist inspired by the counterjihadists himself. The comment field on this post becomes very silent. Then, as we already know, Fjordman has eagerly tried to distance himself from the man he inspired. This is highly understandable, but it is worth noting that the terrorist had the exactly same ideas on Jens Stoltenberg and his dhimmitude as Fjordman put forth in one of the above comments, that Fjordman’s essays make up a very considerable part of the terrorist’s cut-and-paste-manifesto, and that Fjordman has indeed discussed with the perpetrator on, in a discussion where Fjordman, not the terrorist, put forth the most obviously extreme rhetoric (see my previous blogpost in Norwegian).

Gates of Vienna has also tried to explain the focus on Fjordman and other leading “counterjihadists” as a “double standard”, and seems to believe that the fact that the mass murderer mentions the TV series Dexter twice in his manifesto, a couple of lines in total, is just as good a reason to point at that TV series as the fact that much of the manifesto is made up by Fjordman’s works is a reason pointing at him. Well, I don’t think they actually believe so. But it’s a handy excuse, I suppose. I do wonder how GoV would have related to such a claim from a radical imam after someone from his mosque had carried a violent attack.

No, let’s roll on to 1389 blog (the number refers to the Battle of Kosovo in 1389), who have been trying to explain a whole lot of things away these last few days, mostly through pointing at other blogs. Here we can learn that the Labour Party Youth summer camp at Utøya was not a children’s camp, but rather a camp of young adults. I do not really see the point, and it feels quite unnecessary to point out that many of the victims were minor. 1389 also considers it important to point out that the Labour Party Youth had a boycott Israel-”rally”. Once again, in spite of thinking that the idea of a boycott against Israel is terribly misguided, I do not really see the relevance. Is 1389 trying to say that the terrorism wasn’t that bad, then? 1389 quotes another blog:

After reading this lunatic’s manifesto, it became clear why he attacked this youth center. It was a Leftist indoctrination camp.
Let’s head on to that very blog, the group blog named Blogmocracy, and see how they interpreted the bombing attack in Oslo when it happened. They wrote:

The Norwegian government has lived up to its Quisling heritage. They have appeased Islamic aggression and allow Islamic colonialists to settle their nation. Despite this, a bomb attack on the main government building occurred in Oslo today. [...]The Norwegian people need to get rid of their Leftist treasonous government and display some of that old viking blood. Appeasing

Islamic aggression hasn’t work. It’s time for Norway to stand against Islamic Imperialism!

As it turned out, the terrorist – too – believed that the Norwegian government was treasonous. Now, of course, Blogmocracy too are trying to explain it all away. That also applies for Bare Naked Islam, who shows this video, and refers to their co-ideologist is merely “some guy in Norway”. The comments underneath the video are – however – revealing. The very first one reads:

thats the game for the left. when their muslim pals are murdering innocent people they are oppressed freedom fighters. when someone hits back at muslims or their collaborators they are crazy or christian or pro isreal terrorists and radicals. i don,t agree with this man shooting children to make a piont nor do i agee with the media for their hysterical prononcements. to the left wing media islam is the religion of peace and judism and christianity are the enemy. to these left wing traitors up is down down is up day is night and night is day.
they have no morals or honnor, only an agenda. one not in out best interests.

A bit further down, another commenter writes:

I don’t see Breivic as a ‘lunatic neo-nazi crazed lunatic’, but I also don’t agree with his actions. I am also not denouncing violence because we are in a war. Wars are not won by writing books and posting links on the internet. Wars are won by defeating one’s enemies [...] …And for those dhimmis who did it for nothing, and are killed, I have ZERO SYMPATHY. If you don’t have enough sense to
recognise an enemy, you deserve whatever you get.

And a third one mixes DDT into the story. Yes, really:

Were his actions justified? Well now, if he personally knew someone who was raped by muslims, the answer could easily be yes: IF you admit that the reason the filthy muslims are there in the first place is because of the filthy Liberals and their corrupt practices. Let me ask another question: the Liberals are responsible for the banning of DDT. This resulted in something like 40 M-I-L-L-I-O-N deaths: they make Hitler look like a bloody amateur. Now, would Anders (or anybody else) be justified in killing Liberals because of DDT? I.e. because of all the evils Liberals ARE responsible for, to this very day?

Now read ALL of it

A little (green) humour:

LGF: possible connection between Anders ‘I heart Israel’ Dickhead Breivik and the EDL’s founding father, Paul ‘Chickenheart’ Ray… Stuff you couldn't make up if they paid you for it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

B’Tselem: How Israel treats juvenile Palestinian stone throwers


Israel's pretention to be a country with a just legal system appears ridiculous in the face of the other justice system that applies to juveniles that are not Palestinian.

West Bank Palestinian minors accused of throwing stones do have a chance of being acquitted; the odds are about one in a thousand. According to a B'Tselem report published yesterday, just one juvenile defendant out of 835 was acquitted of stone-throwing over the past six years. The others were convicted, mostly through plea bargains. About 60 percent of the convicted minors served prison terms of four months or more. Among those who served sentences of a few days and up to two months in prison were 19 defendants who were 12 to 13 years old.

These are frightening statistics from every possible point of view. The rationale for sentencing the juveniles is well known: The Israel Defense Forces is responsible for the security and well-being of the public in the territories. It must protect civilians there, in addition to its own soldiers. Such protection is not possible without some measure of deterrence. The disparity, however, between theory and practice is outrageous. Israel's justice system throws the book at juvenile defendants, provided they are Palestinian.


If someone Jewish throws a stone, the injury inflicted is as bad as if it is thrown by an Arab. The need to punish and deter does not disappear when the scene shifts to the Israeli side of the Green Line.

Israel's pretention to be a country in which equality under the law prevails appears ridiculous in the face of the other justice system that applies to juveniles that are not Palestinian. There, every possible reasonable argument is presented in support of forgiving young people for their passing caprices and to allow them to enlist in the IDF and avoid a criminal record, in the spirit of compassion.

The violent Israeli youth who attacked soldiers and policemen who had been sent at the government's behest to Gaza and the northern West Bank to evacuate settlements six years ago did not have to wait long before their sentences were mitigated. The result is glaring in the cases of the current assaults on the IDF's West Bank division commander, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon, and Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan.