Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Obama and Islam: thinking the unthinkable

As leader of the Western world, the President of the United States automatically receives the title, ‘world’s moral leader against terrorism’. No one else in the West has the bully pulpit to be that leader. No one else has the military might to give that leadership a lethal punch.

Our world today reveals a universal truth for nation-states: might makes right. It’s military power that creates real-life morality, not speeches. Without the willingness to kill, any Western attempt to promote life, freedom or humanitarian values will be rendered meaningless by the sword of the enemy.

If that sounds paradoxical, it isn’t. The paradox is, the world is a lot crazier than it looks. It’s a lot more dangerous.

The paradox is, if you want to walk softly, you had better carry a very big stick. You had better be willing to use that stick, too.

The sword of Islam tests Western morality. Will the West defend itself?

This question has landed at stage-center recently because some have begun to question what the President of the United States defends. Does he stand up for Western morality-- or for Islam?

Islamic terror rises. It threatens us all. It rejects everything Western. Its brutality is unspeakable.

It calls out, ‘we are Islam’. It cries, ‘submit or die’.

In the face of such a threat, the current US President—the moral leader of the Western world—refuses to identify the Islamic nature of today’s terror. He refuses even to say the words, ‘Islamic terror’.

Who’s side is he on?

Consider his actions. When an Islamic terrorist killed Jews in Paris, France (January, 2015) specifically because those victims were Jews, the US President didn’t declare that these Jews were killed because they were Jewish. He didn’t condemn those who killed Jews in the name of Islam.

What he did was, he condemned radicals who had killed ‘folk’ ‘randomly’.

When Muslims beheaded Egyptian Christians (February, 2015) specifically because they were Christians, the US President didn’t declare that these Christians had been murdered because they were Christians. He didn’t condemn those who killed Christians in the name of Islam.

Instead, he condemned the killing of ‘Egyptian citizens’. He didn’t tell us that Muslims had killed in the name of Islam. The closest he came to the centrality of faith in these murders was to say that the killers’ “barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith” (“Tony Perkins Slams Obama for Calling Coptic Christians Beheaded by ISIS 'Egyptian Citizens'”, The Christian Post”, February 17, 2015).

By sanitizing the religion of the victims—and by ignoring the religion in whose name the killers kill--the President erases the religious motivation of the killers. He white-washes what amounts to genocide (the killing of individuals because they belong to a specific group).

By ignoring the genocide, he empowers genocide.

That’s not moral leadership.  That’s a leader abandoning the morality (genocide is wrong) he’s supposed to uphold.

How can the US President fight an enemy he refuses to admit exists? He can’t.

His refusal raises a question. Does the President ignore the genocide because he wants to ignore it?

Daniel Greenfield has recently written that Barack Obama’s foreign policy seems more and more to be one of fighting for the Muslim terrorists, not against them (“Aiding Islamic Terrorists Is Our Foreign Policy”, Front Page Mag, February 20, 2015). Is that possible?

Greenfield’s question forces one to think the unthinkable—that an America President aids an enemy who has sworn to conquer the US, fly its flag over the US, and force a foreign law—Sha’ria—upon the US.

Certainly, as reader comments to the Greenfield essay suggest, this President has a peculiar foreign policy indeed. This President doesn’t fight Islamic terror. Whenever he sees Islamic terror, he defends Islam.


As Islamic terror strikes, the President makes a valiant effort to protect the killers’ self-professed religious motivations: the terrorists, he argues, aren’t Islamic terrorists. They have nothing to do with Islam. They’re just extremists who randomly kill folk.

That’s not what the terrorists say. They kill because of Islam.

Why does the President deny that?

As one reader commented, Obama glowers at Israel. But while he does that—and feels outrage towards Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu--he remains infinitely (and peculiarly) calm towards Islamic terror.


As a Greenfield reader commented, Obama appears to protect rapists, slave traders, murderers, beheaders of children, child molestors; the list seems endless.


There’s something wrong here. The US President is supposed to stand up for the victims, not for the killers’ religion.

Now, Daniel Greenfield asks an even more pointed question: should we believe that Mr Obama lies to Americans because he loves them? (“Does Obama Love America or Islam?”, Front Page Mag, February 23, 2015).

Greenfield challenges us to think the unthinkable. His questions push us: dare we think that this US President is more committed to protecting Islam than he is to protecting the West?



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The PLO, US Federal court—and Reform Judaism?

This was not a good week for the PLO and the Palestinian Authority (PA) (“PA, PLO Found Liable for Terror in Landmark Case”, Arutz Sheva, February 23, 2015).  They have been found liable in US Federal Court for acts of terror against US citizens (Kemberlee Kaye, “Palestinian groups found liable for knowingly supporting terrorist attacks in Israel”, Legal Insurrection, February 23, 2015).

No doubt, you’ve seen the news. The PA had argued they had nothing to do with the terror attacks they had been accused of committing (Nicole Hong, “Jury Finds Palestinian Authority, PLO Liable for Terrorist Attacks in Israel a Decade Ago”, Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2015). The twelve-member jury didn’t buy that argument (ibid). It awarded the plaintiffs 218.5 million USD which, according to the 1992 U.S. Antiterrorism Act, automatically triples to 655 million USD (ibid) (because the deaths resulted from International terrorism).

Many in the US see this verdict creating negative consequences for the PA—on different levels, in different arenas (WSJ, Legal Insurrection, ibid). But it may also create consequences for America’s Reform Judaism.

Increasingly, American Jews (particularly Jews under the age of 29) don’t support Israel (“Support for Israel in the U.S. Jewish community continues to erode”, Mondoweiss, November 18, 2014).  They prefer the PA. They prefer ‘justice’ over ‘Israel’ (Philip Weiss, “In Pew poll on American Jewish identity, ‘caring about Israel’ is way behind ‘working for justice’ “, Mondoweiss, October 4, 2013).

The American Jewish community has an ‘Israel’ problem that grows worse, not better (Mondoweiss, November 18, 2014, ibid). That ‘problem’ appears directly related to religion.

Last month, Jonathan Tobin wrote about a new Gallup Poll (“Obama and More Republican Jews”, Commentary, January 8, 2015). This Poll seemed to confirm what a previous, 2013 Pew Research Survey on Jewish Americans had already suggested: the more religious a Jew was, the more likely he or she was to identify as a Republican (ibid)—who didn’t vote for Obama.

That observation suggested something about Democrats, too. It suggested that the less religious an American Jew was, the more likely he was to be a Democrat—and to have supported Barack Obama.

What turns out to be true for America is that religion—or, more precisely, the lack of an authentic Jewish religious belief--may be the single most important reason American Jews turn away from Israel.

The sad truth is, the overwhelming majority of American Jews are not religious (Ben Shapiro, "Ben Shapiro: Why Do Jews Vote Leftist?" Truth Revolt, February 11, 2015). This ‘lack of religiousness’ is so widespread that some sixty-two per cent of American Jews actually believe that Jewish identity has absolutely nothing to do with the Jewish religion (ibid).

That’s a significant finding because our Jewish belief in Israel derives from the Jewish religion. If you say you’re Jewish but feel no connection to your religion, the odds are you will feel no connection to Israel.

In fact, that’s exactly the case in America: the 2013 Pew Research Survey of America’s Jews demonstrated that the less religious an American Jew is, the more he distances himself from Israel (Philip Weiss, ibid).

That distancing translates into support for a President openly hostile to Israel. It explains why, in part, so many American Jews voted for the Israel-phobic Obama in 2012 (Shapiro, ibid).

Judaism and Israel go together. Judaism teaches that G-d gave Israel to the Jews. This concept is so important it’s mentioned in the very first Rashi Commentary on the very first posuk (sentence) in the Torah.

But in America, only 40 percent of Jews believe that G-d gave Israel to the Jews (ibid). So many American Jews are so ignorant about their own religion that 27 percent of them believe G-d did not give Israel to the Jews (ibid).  

Reform Judaism may have played a role in fostering this religion-political Israel problem. It’s American Jewry’s largest Jewish group. It rejects the connection between G-d-Israel-Jewish people.

It does this in the simplest, most obvious way: it rejects the Divinity of Judaism’s two basic documents. It rejects the Divinity of the Torah, which is Judaism’s Written Law. To  Reform Judaism, the Torah is “G-d-inspired”, not G-d-given (“What is Reform Judaism”, ReformJudaism, no date). It also rejects the Divinity of the legal commentary on the Torah, the Talmud/Mishnah, which is Judaism’s Oral Law (“Judaism:  The Oral Law -Talmud & Mishna”, jewishvirtuallibrary, no date).

Judaism has a very specific foundation. It’s premised upon a Written law and an Oral Law. Without that foundation, there’s no authentic Judaism—and there will be no G-d-Israel-people connection.

Judaism teaches that Israel, G-d and the Jewish people go together. But if your religious leaders teach you that G-d, Israel and the Jewish people don’t go together, how motivated would you be to support Israel?

The Pew Survey (above) suggests, not very.

If your religious leaders also teach you to replace G-d with ‘Social Justice’, you might not be much inclined to support Israel. But you might be very inclined to support the call for ‘Palestinian’ justice.

After all, when the ‘Palestinians’ talk about ‘justice’, they’re talking your ‘language’. G-d and Israel aren’t part of your vocabulary.

Some 38 per cent of American Jews follow Reform Judaism. Could their Reform ‘religious education’ inspire their disconnect from Israel?

Non-religion permeates American Jewry. For America’s Jews, the link between G-d-Israel-Jewish people is broken. Is this why that disconnect with Israel is so prevalent among America’s Jews?

Reform Judaism has convinced a lot of Jews to replace G-d with Social Justice. In real terms, that social justice favors the PLO. Now the US Federal Court in New York has decided that the leadership of the PLO are terrorists. Their ‘justice’ is against US law.

How will Reform Judaism deal with a ‘Palestinian justice’ that has been unmasked as terrorism?

Will it draw the immoral conclusion that terrorism is the new justice—or will it return to its authentic Jewish roots, and connect G-d with Israel and the Jewish people?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Big Story for the month of Adar is ‘America lies’

The Big Story these days isn’t snow in Boston. It isn’t Russian-Ukraine fighting. It isn’t Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s supposed ‘disrespect’ of US President Barack Obama.

The Big Story today is how the current US Administration lies.

Yes, we all know that politicians lie. Some lie all the time. It’s part of the fun of being in politics. It’s part of the fun watching politicians on TV.

But the lies politicians tell are usually not entirely lies. They’re more like half-lies—or, more accurately, half-truths.

This Administration doesn’t do that. It doesn’t play with half-truths. It plays with lies.

At least, that’s the way it’s beginning to look.              

Since the beginning of the Jewish month of Adar (Friday, February 20, 2015), the words, ‘lie’ and ‘this Administration’ have begun to appear online at an alarming rate.

Adar is the month Jews celebrate the holiday of Purim. Purim reminds us that powerful anti-Semites have a nasty habit: they hate Jews--and they’re often ready to act on that hate.

Purim is also about Persia—Iran. It’s about a high-ranking Persian (Haman) who hatches a plan to kill Jews.

According to recent news reports, history repeats itself. Today, high-ranking Iranians tell the world it’s ready to destroy the Jewish state (“Iran: Time to Destroy Israel”, Israel Today, November 9, 2014).

Iran (Persia), like Haman in the Purim story, has a plan (“Iran supreme leader touts 9-point plan to destroy Israel”, Times of Israel, November 10, 2014). These same leaders want an atomic bomb. Many believe Iran wants that weapon to help with its evil plan for Israel.

This year, Adar brings us a final attempt to stop Iran from getting that weapon. But the attempt doesn’t seem to be going anywhere: Iran has still not provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “any explanations” that could enable the Agency to clarify exactly what are Iran’s nuclear intentions (“Iran delays UN nuclear inquiry as deadline approaches”, Al Jazeera, February 19, 2015).

The deadline looms. But there’s no progress (“Kerry, Zarif to meet for nuclear talks as deadline looms”, The Daily Mail, February 22, 2015).

Iran could be a big story this Adar. But the one story that could dwarf Iran could be the ongoing saga of lies by the White House.

For example, at last week’s White House summit on “countering violent extremism’, President Obama apparently told a lie. He is reported to have declared, “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding” (Kimberlee Kaye, “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding,” Legal Insurrection, February 21, 2015). Ms Kaye suggests that is patently false. Others (below) join her in that assessment.

Mark Steyn has written about another Obama lie: “IS (The Islamic State) is not true Islam” (“O Beautiful, For Specious Guys...”, Steyn on America, February 20, 2015). Steyn argues that such a declaration is absolutely false (ibid).

According to The New York Post, even the Administration’s use of the phrase ‘violent extremism’ feels like a lie (Amir Taheri, “Obama’s elementary errors on Islam”, February 20, 2015). As the Post puts it, “’Violent extremism’ is misleading, to say the least….The generic term obscures the fact that we face a specific form of terrorism rooted, nurtured and waged in the name of Islam” (ibid).

Actually, The Post reported a better lie than ‘violent extremism’. It reported that Obama has said that ISIL lies when it says its followers are holy warriors who defend Islam (ibid).  As The Post said, “In fact, these terrorists now call their outfit the Islamic State, or IS, under a caliph” (ibid); and if that’s how the IS describes itself, no outside authority has the legitimacy “to challenge their claim” (ibid).

On the first day of Rosh Chodesh Adar, Roger Kimball wrote, 

“First of all, Islam has not ‘been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding,’ as Obama said yesterday in his speech about combatting terrorism. Indeed, like most of his public pronouncements, the speech was a Lillian Hellman performance as described by Mary McCarthy: every word including “and” and “but” was a lie” (“None Dare Call It ‘Islam’”, Front Page Mag, February 19, 2015).

Then there’s the matter of the US withholding information about the Iran talks from Israel. Last week—before Adar began—Israel news reported that, as a ‘punishment’ of Netanyahu (for accepting an invite to talk to Congress)—the US had stopped sharing Iran talks with Israel (“Gil Ronen, “Report: US 'Punishing' Israel by Not Updating it on Iran Talks”, Arutz Sheva). Immediately, the US denied the report (Adam Kredo, “U.S., Israeli Officials Deny U.S. Has Cut Israel Out of Iran Talks”, Washington Free Beacon, February 15, 2015).

Now, in Adar, we learn that the US denial was a lie (Ari Lieberman “Obama Withholds Iran Negotiation Info from Israel”, Front Page Mag, February 20, 2015). Okay, to be fair here, Lieberman didn’t use the word, ‘lie’. He wrote that the US denial was ‘duplicitous’. But isn’t ‘duplicitous’ just a nice way of saying, ‘liar’?

Adar is a month where we see how evil anti-Semites can be (recall the ‘wicked’ Haman of the Purim story). Will Adar be a month where an American Administration turns out to be the ideological descendant of the evil Haman?

Stay tuned.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Obama, ‘Islamic terror’, Churchill--and Redemption

(Last updated: February 22, 2015)

Earlier this week, the White House held a meeting it called, “The White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism”.  It was supposed to be about confronting Islamic terror. It wasn’t. It was about ‘extreme violence’ (White House Press release, Office of the Press Secretary, February 18, 2015). Its goal was “to discuss concrete steps the United States and its partners can take to develop community-oriented approaches [emphasis mine] to counter hateful extremist ideologies that radicalize, recruit or incite to violence” (ibid).


Excuse me? The US President wants to create community-oriented approaches to a foreign threat that wants to come to America to conquer us (“New ISIS Video: ‘We Will Raise Black Flag [of ISIS] Over White House’”, FoxNews Insider, August 8, 2014)?


This isn’t poverty we’re talking about. It isn’t race problems. It’s Islamic Jihad against the West (Graeme Wood, “What ISIS Really Wants”, The Atlantic, March 2015).  


Think about the White House summit this way: can you imagine Winston Churchill declaring that he would fight Nazi aggression through ‘community-oriented approaches’?


That’s what the Obama White House is doing with ISIS.

As this summit unfolded, The New York Times, The Atlantic—and others--published analyses of how this Administration deals with  this Jihad. Those analyses were not flattering.


The New York Times wrote that, with a remarkable consistency, this White House has avoided referring to Islamic terror as ‘Islamic terror’. Instead, it has favored “bland, generic terms over anything that explicitly connects attacks or plots to Islam” (Scott Shane, “Faulted for Avoiding ‘Islamic’ Labels to Describe Terrorism, White House Cites a Strategic Logic”, February 19, 2015). The Times suggested that such a bland approach wasn’t going to cut it. To explain its concern, it quoted a recently retired Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA): “You cannot defeat an enemy that you do not admit exists” (ibid).


The Atlantic went further (David Frum, “Why Obama Won't Talk About Islamic Terrorismn“, February 16, 2015). It suggested that the President acts very deliberately when he refuses to identify Islamic terror as ‘Islamic terror’. His behavior is too consistent: “in every place where the word “Islam” might have been expected [when discussing terrorism], the word “religion” was substituted” (ibid).

The Atlantic concluded that this “refusal to acknowledge the aims and direction of Islamic terrorism is central to the Obama administration’s counter-terrorism policy” (ibid). That policy is not to fight Islamic terror. That policy is to deny it exists (ibid).


Republican Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) went even further. He doesn’t think Obama is simply denying Islamic terror (Nick Gass, “Ted Cruz: Obama 'an apologist for radical Islamic terrorists'”, Politico. Com, February 19, 2015). He believes the President is an apologist for Islamic terror.


To make his point, Cruz points to two recent incidents: the beheading of 21 Christians in Egypt, and the burning alive of 45 others in Iraq. The White House, Cruz said, would not acknowledge that those beheaded in Egypt were Christian (ibid).  He said, “ISIS is the face of evil, and these latest atrocities … our heart breaks” (ibid).


It’s strange: Saudi Arabia (an Islamic country) and Iraq (also Islamic) both call ISIS ‘Islamic terrorists’ (“Why Obama Won't Call ISIS An Islamic Terror Organization”, Israelshield blogspot, no date). Why won’t Obama use those words?


CBS News reports that the White House has an answer: Mr. Obama won't refer to violence by Muslims as ‘Islamic terrorism’ because he wants to deny those terrorists the ability to call the clash with the West a religious war (“Obama avoids using "Islamic" and "terrorism" in the same phrase”, February 19, 2015).


This assertion is stunning. It stuns for two reasons: first, ISIS calls itself a religious Islamic movement with a religious mission(Graeme Wood, above, ibid). Its speech is laced with religious references (ibid). Its goal is religious war (Jihad). It aims “to impose its harsh totalitarian Islamist ideology on all Muslims, kill off apostates (defined as all Muslims that do not accept its brand of Islam), subjugate all non-Muslims and build a radical Islamic state that will launch an unending jihad until it has created a global [emphasis mine] Islamic empire (“Q&A: What You Need to Know About ISIS in Iraq”, The Daily Signal, June 14, 2014).


Second, its leadership has been talking about attacking America since 2012 (ibid).


Making a claim that calling ISIS ‘Islamic terror’ will encourage it to call its clash with the West ‘religious war’ is nonsense. ISIS has been calling its ideology ‘religious war’ since day one.


Perhaps the New York Post has the best view of why President Obama is reluctant to call ISIS ‘Islamic terror’. It ran a picture on February 19, 2015:





ny post blind



Look at this picture. Barack Obama is the leader of the Western world. He’s supposed to fight terror.


Do you think wearing a blindfold to fight is smart?


Listen, folks. Some of you laugh at the story of the Final Jewish Redemption. In that story, the West is destroyed in some kind of war.


If you find that prospect laughable, take another look at this picture: it’s how your great leader goes into battle.


Any questions about the Jewish Redemption story?