Friday, March 26, 2004

Fisking the Armchair Experts. From NRO:

Moreover, Sheik Yassin was not merely the founder of this group and its continuing inspiration; according to Condoleezza Rice, the United States believes that Yassin was personally involved in terrorist planning. He was, in short, a Hamas operative, fully within the chain of command. Under international law, specifically the laws and customs of war, that makes him a combatant and a legitimate target for attack by the Israeli armed forces.

Ironically, for years, European leaders — along with various non-governmental organizations — have demanded that Israel apply the Geneva Conventions to its fight against the Palestinians and its so-called occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. This suggests that Europe and the NGOs fully accept that the Israeli-Palestinian struggle is an armed conflict to which the laws and customs of war apply. Of course, if Israel is engaged in an armed conflict with Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups, as it surely is, then the Israeli military is legally entitled to target and attack any Hamas combatant, high or low, at any time — so long as the attack does not result in disproportionate damage to civilians or civilian objects.

In condemning Yassin's killing, then, Europe contradicts itself. It has made clear that Israel must apply the laws of armed conflict vis-à-vis the Palestinians. Now, however, it says that individual militants cannot lawfully be targeted. Indeed Europe's outrage over the Yassin assassination is far more troubling than a little Israel- (and by implication America-) bashing. It reveals, once again, the ever-widening canyon that separates the United States, and Israel, from its NATO allies on the question of fighting terror and on the laws of war themselves.

As per usual, those who claim to be newly annointed experts in international law whenever Israel gets involved reveal themselves to be either a) lying, or b) wholly ignorant of the subject upon which they presume to pontificate. Of course, the Euro-suicidist-Vichyites don't really care whether what Israel did was illegal or not, since they do not accept Israel's right to exist and therefore any form of self-defense it undertakes is considered fundamentally illigitimate. There's some fascinating history of the Geneva Conventions later on in the piece. The bottom line is that the parts of the Accords which Israel is constantly accused of violating are, in fact, parts which Israel (and the US) never acceded to in the first place.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

End Europe. Watching the parade of hypocrisy, racism, lies, and abject cowardice spewing forth from Europe over the execution of Hamas murderer Yassin has led me to only one conclusion: Europe is our enemy. The enemy of Israel, the enemy of the United States, the enemy of civilization itself. Its weakness and moral/spiritual bankruptcy threatens the lives and freedom of every one of us. It has become a continent of collaborators with terror and political evil. It must be dismantled as a world power and turned into an ineffectual collection of vassal states. And the sooner the better.

Monday, March 22, 2004

The Political Economy of Hypocrisy. Watching the uproar of hand-wringing, condemnation, moral pontificating and pointed slanders one cannot but marvel at the extraordinary universality of the world's racist hypocrisy on anything to do with Israel. Their attempt to paint a wretched racist murderer as a moderate man of peace and Israel's more than justified ending of his odious existence as an "escalation" of a situation daily escalated by Palestinian terror and genocidal rhetoric is nothing more than the self-abasement of the world. The leap into the abyss of anti-semitism on the part of the entire international community at once. It is beyond disgusting. It is beyond corrupted. It is beyond dangerous. It is, quite simply, the collapse of the moral authority of the world in relation to the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

The Myth of Human Rights. Amnon Rubenstein has a very interesting, if slightly truncated article in Haaretz on the exploitation and misrepresentation of human rights by groups with ulterior motives:

There's also a huge ideological gulf between the original and the forgery. Human rights laws set grades of rights and the very top level is the right to life and personal safety. In other words, the law recognizes the relativity of rights: The right to life is more important, for example, than the right to privacy. The law is not the same for a state that murders its citizens, as Sudan did for nearly 20 years, and a state that suspends jury trials during periods of emergency to fight terrorism, as England did in Northern Ireland.

The human rights industry is made up of various organizations, academics, and media people who do the exact opposite: all rights are equal. Censorship is the equivalent of genocide. Detention without trial in Guantanamo is the equivalent of murderous terror.

While the original concept of human rights graduated rights according to their level of importance, there is no relativity in the approach taken by those who violate those rights. All the criminals should be judged according to the same criteria. On the other hand, if a Western country were to perpetrate only one-hundredth of the crimes conducted by Saudi Arabia against its residents, there would be an enormous outcry from Geneva to Berkeley. But despite the permanent protests by the human rights groups, few know how many people are executed in Saudi Arabia (in 1999 alone there were 301). But in Oslo, human rights devotees demonstrate against Israel. Nobody protests against the fence that Saudi Arabia is building on its border with Yemen - against international agreements and harming thousands of shepherds whose flocks graze on the lands were the fence is going up, but there is no organization that does not protest against Israel.

I would refer to this as fundamentalist humanism, if I thought most of those involved in it were sincere. Most of them are not. They are quite self-consciously exploiting an emotional issue in order to further a Leftist political agenda. Their's is a politics of extraordinarily bad faith. The truth is that the term "human rights" has become so abused that it has become, like "fascist" and "imperialist", something that people throw around to express their distaste for something they don't particularly approve of. It has ceased to have any meaning whatsoever. This kind of emotional/political blackmail has to be resisted as strongly as possible. At its worst, it results in a total inability to recognize political evil. We can see this at work in the ugliness and anti-semitism of the anti-war Left right now, not to mention John Kerry's very disturbing statements on the subject of terrorism and US foreign policy. One could say that the entire world Left is suffering from a severe case of cognitive dissonance on this issue. They can extoll peace and yet defend Saddam Hussein. They can love human rights and acclaim Arafat. They can decry racism and revel in the basest anti-semitism, sometimes in the same breath. Their desire for an absolutism of justice has resulted in an embrace of righteous murder. Where will the descent end? The possibilities terrify me.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Manufacturing Dissent. From a surprisingly unbiased article in the NY Times:

DAMASCUS, Syria, March 19 — A year ago, it would have been inconceivable for a citizen of Syria, run by the Baath Party of President Bashar al-Assad, to make a documentary film with the working title, "Fifteen Reasons Why I Hate the Baath."

Yet watching the overthrow of Saddam Hussein across the border in Iraq prompted Omar Amiralay to do just that. "It gave me the courage to do it," he said.

"When you see one of the two Baath parties broken, collapsing, you can only hope that it will be the turn of the Syrian Baath next," he added, having just completed the film, eventually called "A Flood in Baath Country," for a European arts channel. "The myth of having to live under despots for eternity collapsed."

When the Bush administration toppled the Baghdad government, it announced that it wanted to establish a democratic, free-market Iraq that would prove a contagious model for the region. The bloodshed there makes that a distant prospect, yet the very act of humiliating the worst Arab tyrant spawned a sort of "what if" process in Syria and across the region.

Someone call Noam Chomsky and tell him fuck you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Anti-Semitic Tim Robbins Play Gets Gently Panned By the NY Times. Interesting that no one seems to be able to mention the fact that this thing is obviously a grotesque piece of Leftwing anti-Semitism. The elephant in the living room remains undisturbed.

Anti-Semitic Tim Robbins Play Contains Egregrious Lies and Distortions. Surprise, surprise...

Monday, March 15, 2004

Munich was Yesterday. Andrew Sullivan has some excellent comments on the elections in Spain. I think this is as significant an event as the Munich capitulation to Hitler. Israelis have been telling me for two years that when Europe would be hit by terrorism the Israel and the US have been, they would wake up and understand the necessity of fighting it. I thought that was naive at the time and I've unfortunately been proved right. It is clear that Europe is a decadent, bankrupt civilization incapable of mustering the courage to even get angry at those who slaughter them. Let alone take up arms against them. We have seen the worst terror attack in European history and who have the victims chosen to retaliate against? Their own government. For the crime of daring to take military action against a mass-murdering dictator and thus pissing off mass-murdering religious psychopaths. We are seeing nothing less then the return of Vichyism. Through a combination of weakness, fear, and cowardice, the Europeans are once again becoming accomplices of political evil.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I would like to mention that I mean no disrespect to the Spanish in the previous post, I am merely pointing out the hypocrisy of the world's reaction in regards to how they react to similar incidents in Israel.

Wretched Hypocrisy. Watching the coverage of the Madrid bombings is an extraordinary experience. No talk of a "cycle of violence", no moaning about the "suffering" of the Basque people and their "legitimate greivances", no blubbering about the possible civilian casualties of a Spanish retaliation, no euphemisms like "militant", even the UN making a clear and unambiguaous statement of condemnation and sympathy. Compare it to the reactions to terrorist attacks in Israel and one can only conclude one thing: in the eyes of the "international community", such as it is, Jewish blood is considered a very great deal cheaper then the Spanish variety.

Protocols of the Elders of Strauss.

What exactly are those theories? The cabal, despite its repeated shouts of "hail Leo Strauss!" (this, to a Jewish refugee from Nazism), doesn't give us much insight. Fortunately, the program for Embedded, which contains an essay by someone named Kitty Clark, does. (For the New York production at least, someone in Robbins's orbit had the good sense to expunge from the original essay, which I found on the Internet, several pointed references to the Jewishness of Strauss and his supposed adherents.)

From TNR's devastating deconstruction of overrated necro-communist movie star Tim Robbins's newest "play". Judging by the description, the piece is quite clearly anti-semitic. I can't emphasize enough how dangerous it is that the Left wing tradition of anti-semitism is considered either non-existent or too obscure to be worth mentioning. It does and it isn't.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Looking into the Eyes of the Monster.

The other day, I experienced violent anti-Semitism for the first time in my adult life. It took place in front of Faneuil Hall, the birthplace of American independence and liberty.

Alan Dershowitz encounters the Beast. In my hometown.

Purim in Tel Aviv. Purim in the city is all of Israel magnified and set in processional. Girls in piercings and scanty costumes: angels, devils, cowgirls, porn stars, boa-laden flappers, amazonian warriors...their boyfriends in dresses, tutus and pancake makeup, M16s slung over their shoulders...white-clad Carlebachers in stitched white kippas dancing in the back of pickup trucks to dervishes of Hasidic rock music, extolling their hedonist brethren to the sanctification of camera darting amongst the crowds...heads turning at a loud report, breathing stops, then the crowd exhales and the revelry begins again. Alive.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Falling in Love. I don't fall in love with cities as a general rule. Paris has its historical/cultural weight, Venice is stunning in its old-world way, and London has a frenzied, low-slung charm; but I have never fallen head over heels in love with an urban center until now. I spent the weekend in Tel Aviv (Purim weekend: imagine a drunken Halloween), and it dawned on me that I am helplessly, wretchedly in love with that city. It is a ferocious city, erotic, loud, slightly ill-kempt and, at night, lit up in reds and blues and whites which hurtle down streets lit with a yellow, luminous glow until they cascade out into the pitch blackness of the sea. The Mediterranean at night is a pure void, impenetrable, and behind you looms the brightness of the city, alight and shining and irradiant. Tel Aviv is Israel: Europe and the Middle East, young and old, angry and joyous, loud and ominously still, hedonist and ferociously political. Concrete and steel and stone and sea. Yes. I am in love.