Monday, March 14, 2016

I want to be nice to the Times of Israel, but they're making it hard

Michael L.

I sometimes don't really know what to make of the Times of Israel.

I prefer it to the Jerusalem Post, despite its lack of Caroline Glick or Martin Sherman - and Ha'aretz, of course, can go straight to hell - but headline editors have the tendency to drive me absolutely bats.

Look at this headline:

Most West Bank Palestinians oppose uprising — poll

That sounds hopeful, does it not?

But then directly beneath the headline, before the actual beginning of the article, we read:
Survey shows wide gaps between residents of West Bank and Gaza, where 8 in 10 want more knife attacks BY SUE SURKES March 14, 2016, 2:56 pm
So, Gazan Arabs want to kill Jews, but the Arabs of Judea and Samaria do not?

Is that the idea?

According to the article:
Sightly more than half of West Bank Palestinians (52 percent) oppose continuing the violent uprising against Israel, while three quarters of their Gazan counterparts (76 percent) are in favor, a survey published Sunday shows.

In a separate question, 80% of Gazans expressed support for continuing the current round of knife attacks, while 54% of West Bank residents opposed it.
Gazans, in general, who are virtually all Arab-Muslims, have driven both Jews and Christians out of the strip and love the idea of killing Jews whereas only about half of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria do so?

Is that the idea?

{Well, that makes me feel better.}

It's good to know that only half of the Arabs in the land that Jews come from want to see us dead. Perhaps in a few centuries we can get that percentage down to about a third, or so, but I doubt it. The trend seems to be going in the opposite direction.

This should have been the headline:
Almost half of Arabs on Jewish land want to see those Jews dead.
You know, I like David Horovitz of Times of Israel fame. He came out of the Jerusalem Post and created something more contemporary, more stream-lined, and easier on a home computer. But what is this nonsense?

You cannot have it both ways.

The headline implies peaceful Arabs, while the content does not.
Since the start of the current wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence in September, there have been 202 stabbings and attempted stabbings, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, as well as 82 shootings and 41 car rammings, with 34 people killed. Some 180 Palestinians have also been killed, about two thirds while carrying out or attempting to carry out attacks, and the rest in clashes with the IDF, Israel says.
This is just stupid writing... and, believe me, I know a thing or two about stupid writing.

We are to understand that 34 people have been killed since the beginning of the Children's Intifada, along with some 180 "Palestinians"?

I am not exactly thrilled with the Pal-Arabs because the society that they have created is pathological, violent, and entirely hate-filled toward the Jewish people, but I am pretty sure that they are actual human beings.
A lack of confidence in the Palestinian leadership overall was reflected when pollsters asked who was trusted most. Abbas came first with 14.4%, followed by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah (10.8%) and Marwan Barghouti, who secured 9.9%, up from 5.4% a year ago. Barghouti is a senior PLO official found guilty by an Israeli court in 2002 of terrorism and murder for planning bomb attacks on civilians.
What this claims, essentially, is that Pal-Arabs have virtually no faith in their leadership and it is this that should have been highlighted, not the deceptive headline which suggests Arab friendliness toward the Jewish people.

A big 14.4 percent of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria like dictator Abbas.

Well, that's shocking.

What? He's in the eleventh year, or thereabouts, of his four year term and Pal-Arabs do not like it? Of course, Palestinian-Arabs despise their leadership. The reason for this is because Arab and Muslim leadership, in general, is horrendous. From Tehran to Amman to Islamabad, Muslim political leadership tends to suck in the worst possible ways. They could not care less about their own people and they use anti-Jewish racism as a club to keep their own people in line and to curry favor with the western elite... who, we seem to need to relearn, decade upon decade, are not huge fans of the Jewish people, either.

I think that the Times of Israel is a good newspaper slash blog, but I dislike being deceived so early in the morning.


  1. "Mohammed’s last words before he died:
    “O Lord, kill the Jews and Christians.”
    ( Hadith Malik 511:1588 )

    EXPLANATION: Islam teaches that Mohammed’s
    later teachings take priority over his older teachings.
    Therefore, the later the teaching, the greater it is.
    Therefore, Muslims must believe that Mohammed’s
    last words were his most important words."

  2. That's known as "Abrogation." Abrogation in the Quran and the Hadiths.
    However, not all people from Muslim countries actually believe in everything in their scriptures. Or, indeed, are religious.
    That's why supporting secular and reformist - and atheist - people from Muslim majority countries is so vital. And not thinking of the Muslim world as being monolithic.

    Even in the above post, there is a significantly smaller number of people in the West Bank who apparently support the uprising against Israelis than there is in Gaza. And it is "Israelis" not just "Jewish Israelis."
    Those differences are important. All attempts to look at the situation in a more complex, sophisticated, and nuanced manner are going to be absolutely necessary.

    As to why some parts of the world - very many - have truly terrible political leadership and great difficulty in forming cohesive societies, that is a fascinating thing. And one would have to look at the complex reasons for that. Science comes into that. Science and culture. It's all really interesting.

    1. Kate, the aggression against Israelis is not an aggression against Israelis as Israelis, but as Jews.

      Sometimes Arab-Muslims stab other Arab-Muslims within Israel out of political / ideological differences. We both understand that the divisions within Arab and Pal-Arab society tend to get bloody and that the foremost victims of the Jihad are Muslims.

      Nonetheless, during this current intifada, when Arabs get it, it is almost always because the Arab-Muslim attacker believes the intended victim to be Jewish. The case that you are probably pointing to, from just the other day, was of a young Arab-Muslim Israeli business guy who got it in the neck. He's doing good in the hospital, but the reason that he got it is because his attacker mistook him for a Jew.

      The reason that he was mistaken for a Jew is because he's a modern guy of the sort who just wants to make a buck, meet girls, eat in decent restaurants, and sometimes lives in San Francisco. And that is why he was targeted for death.

      And, yes, Kate, the grounding of this malice toward the Jewish people is Koranic.

      I don't blame "everything" on the Koran - or Quran, if you prefer - but there is no question but that this book is responsible for a whole lot of Jewish blood and oppression over many centuries.

      Muslim cultures differ from one another, as do Arab cultures, and neither are monolithic, but there is no question that the rise of political Islam comes directly out of the Muslim religious imperative to advance the Caliphate.

      "And I don't know how many times I have to say that to blame everything on the Quran is to not understand the complexities of the region amd the situation. It is so much more to do with other things."

      You are right. I do emphasize the religious roots of the Jihad.

      There are other places that we can go to in order to explain the rise of political Islam in the Middle East and Europe such as, for example, economics.

      Which one of Obama's idiot flunkies suggested, maybe six months ago, that the way to fight terrorism is through a Middle East jobs program?

      They even suggested publicly funded art projects as a way of disinclining young Americans from joining "extremist" organizations.

      But, yes, I would argue, along with people like Kuntzel and Phares and Chesler and Berman, that the foundation of the problem is religious.

      It may not be limited to the theocratic, but there is no question to my mind that you have to start your consideration of the problem with Muhammad.

    2. Slightly trolling you guys, but nowhere in the Quran does it mention that Jews - and Freemasons- let's not forget the Freemasons - started the French Revolution,all the world wars, control the world's finances, media, politicians everywhere etc., etc. The protocols of the elders of Zion, which makes up much of the Hamas Charter is at least as influential as a manifesto of hatred and indoctrination as any religious text. Just putting that out there...
      And obviously it's not confined to Hamas. It pervades the entire region.
      The Mohammed story is divided into his Mecca and Medina periods. One was spiritual, the other political. It's the overwhelming success of the political period that provides the problem. And it was that political /warring period that allowed Islam to expand. Without that it wouldn't have. Much of the spiritual stuff is inspiring and beautiful. Reformists like Aayan Hirsi Ali, say that is where the reform needs to begin. To return to the spiritual period and to renounce the political period. Difficult, certainly. Impossible, I hope not.

      You are definitely not wrong in saying that religion and religious writings play a significant role. That would be stupid and blind to deny.
      But it's not as simple as saying the historical Mohammed was this, that, or the other.
      And, importantly- hugely importantly- the greatest hatred is between Sunni and Shia. Even more so than for Jews! Amazing and true. And that's a political divide, not a theological one.
      It's all fascinating and really complex. I'm not surprised we have varying opinions, that's probably a good thing.

      Just received today the book you recommended. Shipped in from the U.S. Am really looking forward to reading it, so thank you again for the suggestion. :)

    3. Mike,
      " Current intifada" yes, probably.
      This round of terrorism and attacks is one in a long line. I was referring to the whole.
      And Arab-Israelis who wish to participate in Israeli society in a positive way are usually considered traitors. AS are those who choose to serve in the IDF. It is more nuanced than you make out.

    4. Kate, thank you for your patience. I've been meaning to get back to this question around the religious basis of the conflict.

      You make an excellent point when you point to the Protocols as a non-religious example of a source of pervasive anti-Semitism in the Middle East.

      What scholars like Berman, Herf, and Kuntzel, among others, have pointed toward is a sort-of cross-fertilization of traditional Koranically-based Jew hatred with the European version as exported from the Nazis... if not the Brits... into the Arab-Muslim world during the twentieth-century.

      Nonetheless, in the highly religious Arab-Muslim world it seems pretty clear that although European exports, like the Protocols, very definitely have their place in Arab anti-Semitic discourse, the faith comes first.

      The foundation of both Christian-European anti-Semitism and Muslim anti-Semitism is religion.

      The children have to kill the father.

      {I don't like it any better than you do. Take it up with Freud.}

      Oh, and by the way, I received my copy of that book, as well.

      The Jewish Divide Over Israel by Alexander and Bogdanor, right? Thanks for the recommendation, Jeff.

      I'm looking at it as I write. There is a lot of good content in this series of essays. I am particularly interested in the discussions on Chomsky, Finkelstein and by Karsh.

      There was a time that I was a fan of Chomsky and then I realized that his politic philosophy is little more than warmed over Antonio Gramsci. What did Chomsky call it? Manufacturing consent? The idea that the monied-interests influence, or control, public perception. Well, one need not be a world famous MIT instructor to figure that one out.

      I'm pretty sure that I was well aware of that by the seventh grade. I bet you guys were, too.

    5. Mike,
      "The faith comes first."
      Yes. Of course. That would be true. And the point you raise about super-cessionary religions is very important. Any belief that you have been given the "final revelation" must have fairly understandable implications. And both Christianity and Islam obviously have grappled with those.
      What's interesting is that the problems involved in faith/scripture are not enough. They are never enough. So further layers of beliefs re politics and influence are always inevitable. Conspiracy theories about Jews are, apart from anything else, fascinating. The overwhelming need to believe that Jews are supernatural beings who manage to control the world -out of evil and malice, obviously - is really interesting. Frightening, but interesting. And unlike anything else.
      There are definitely some pretty awful verses in the Islamic scriptures re Jews, but it doesn't seem that would explain the totality of the hatred. I expect the political and cultural factors that feed into all this give us a better understanding of why anti-Semitism is so very necessary to act as such a driving force in that entire region. It serves so many purposes.
      It's interesting: As Stephen Pinker says, in his lecture on the Blank Slate, ( available on youtube - you have to wait through about 15 minutes of other stuff and terrible sound quality and an incredibly boring introduction - but once he starts it's fine. And fascinating) "People kill up, they don't kill down."
      That's well-worth considering.

      Btw, if you haven't read that book, you really should. It's one of the most significant books of our time.

      I'd love to know why you were a fan of Chomsky.
      Were you a fan of Gramsci? Cultural hegemony, and all that?
      I never flirted with Marxism. I tend to be wary of ideologues. And everyone's *so* angry all the time. Always wondered about that.
      I always thought people who needed everything to be political were probably missing something important about human beings. And life.

    6. Mike,
      re: Your comments on Chomsky

      Exactly. Yeah. Duh. I don't know how people fall so completely under his spell. Yes, people with money have more power than those without. You can figure that out just watching daytime TV. His success is in turning everything into a conspiracy theory, and the man behind the mask is always Uncle Sam. He hates the U.S. above all else.
      I thought he was cool for about 5 minutes. His speaking style is to let people feel they are getting some sort of inside scoop, and are joining a secret club for the ultra-knowledgeable.
      Have you ever read Benjamin Kerstein's "Diary of an Anti-Chomskyite"?
      You can find a lot of it online. Here is an overview:

    7. I do not pretend to particularly bright, but it always seemed to me that Chomsky's innateness theory of language development was just wrong. What he attributed to innateness seems to me rather a function of language. But I am a simple man without reams of published material so what do I know.

  3. I don't care what they think. I don't care what anyone else thinks they think. I don't care whether they live or die screaming. They are blankness. They are a field of zeros. I don't care.

    1. Trudy, one thing that I always appreciate about what you have to say is your honesty. Sometimes you seem to be a bit too honest, but you always seem to say precisely what you think.

    2. To be blunt - let's draw an analogy. Your neighborhood is being ravaged by a serial child killer. Every day another dead child shows up, raped, tortured and killed. Does anyone really care WHY the serial child killer is the way they are? Doesn't anyone dwell all that much on what they think, self reflectively about what they do? Is it anything more than a curious academic exercise? I suppose for posterity's sake it's a think to archive. Maybe in a hundred years someone can plow through these surveys to write a chronicle. Maybe eventually, just like the revisionist historians of WW2 like Gar Alperovitz they can tell us everything we ever knew about the Arabs was wrong and they were the aggrieved parties. Maybe, who knows. Maybe someone will write a new biography of Ted Bundy explaining to us how he was misunderstood and the victim of circumstances beyond his control. But once you go down the path of explaining away a lack of all moral agency then we may as well not have any point of view about anything at all.

      I don't care about them because what I think about their conclusions about their own moral agency is utterly and w.o. exception irrelevant. How I view their spin on why they think murdering random strangers is somehow explainable or defensible is of no consequence to me or to them. To me they are their actions. What's behind that is unimportant.

    3. I wouldn't say that the reasons people act the way they do is unimportant, but it's secondary when it comes to expressions of violence. If someone is killing children, then the first order of business is to stop that person. It's simply a matter of priorities.

    4. I would add that even if you are not interested in the PR war, the PR war is interested in you.

  4. It's not what they think. It's what they do.


    Please read.

  6. Here's something a little worse than the Times of Israel's coverage:

  7. Yes. Read that. It's relentless, this onslaught of loathing from intellectuals. And so many British ones. It's like an obsessional part of their public image. I don't mean it's not real, rather that one seems to *need* to be foaming at the mouth with disgust for Israel - Jews- to get your brownie points as a bona fide member of the intelligentsia. I can't see anyone on that list who isn't on the Left or the far-Left. There are virtually no members of the intelligentsia who are not on the Left. It's a club. And everyone has exactly the same views. They're often deeply unpleasant people in other ways, too. Full of contempt for actual ordinary people and their actual hopes and aspirations. An appalling snobbery. People on the far-left seem to be perpetually full of hatred and anger. I suppose it's useful for them to have a particular *cause* to align themselves with. It allows everyone to know - as a shortcut - how "compassionate" and "caring" they are.
    It's difficult to know how the far-left actually preserve the idea that they are *good* people. Look at the regimes they have supported, and continue to support. Any totalitarian regime going, and any ghastly dictatorship as long as it is anti-American. In the UK, particularly in England, we have got used to the fact that our intelligentsia is made up of arrogant, out of touch, snobby people who invariably hate their own country. It's part of the deal.
    This is what is *cool*. And hating Israel - and not much liking Jews- is the height of cool. Interesting. Awful, really.
    Can't see an end to it. All new up-coming wannabe members of the intellectual and artistic classes have to tick the same boxes. Otherwise they wouldn't be accepted.
    Interesting to define yourself by what you hate. And to revel in it. To wear your hate as the badge that tells people how virtuous and enlightened you are.
    Frightening and depressing.

    1. Jeff and others, please read this article about anti-Semitism on the Left in the UK.

    2. An excellent article.
      Thank you k