Friday, March 23, 2012

Another desperate coverup by the media

I doubt that the article below -- dated Mar. 20th. -- will stay up for long so I am pleased to reproduce exactly below its headline and opening comments. As far as I know ALL killings of Jews in recent years have been by Muslims but that must be ignored and blame must be deflected onto Nazis, who are an insignificant minority these days. We now know of course that the Toulouse killer was indeed a Muslim
French hunt school killer, suspect neo-Nazi ties

TOULOUSE, France (AP) — Police searched southern France on Tuesday for an expert gunman suspected of fatally shooting seven people in the head at close range in attacks that may have been motivated by neo-Nazi ties or grudges against minorities.

The shooter is suspected of carrying out three deadly attacks: leaving four people dead on Monday at a Jewish school in Toulouse, three of them young children; killing two French paratroopers and seriously wounding another last Thursday in nearby Montauban; and fatally shooting another paratrooper in Toulouse on March 11.

All the victims in the school attack were Jewish with duel French-Israeli citizenship, and the paratroopers were of North African or French Caribbean origin. The shots were fired at such close range that the gunfire burned the skin, prosecutor Francois Molins said Tuesday.

"We are confronted with an individual extremely determined in his actions, an armed individual who acts always with the same modus operandi," he said, "in cold blood ... with premeditated actions."

He added the crimes appear to be premeditated due to the killer's "choices of victims and the choices of his targets" — the army, the foreign origin of the victims or their religion.



The True Perpetrators of the Antisemitic Attacks in Toulouse

Jew-hatred is back with a vengerance -- and not only among Muslims

by Barry Rubin

What a tragic, evil joke. A drive-by shooter in the beautiful, almost magical, city of Toulouse, France, murders three Jewish children and a teacher in front of their school. Various VIPs issue statements about how terrible is this deed, how unspeakable.

And yet at that very moment, the next round of murders, the next slanderous and inciting antisemitic lies, are being perpetrated by respectable people and institutions. There is no real soul-searching, no true effort to do better, no serious examination about how the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hysteria is paving the way for murder and fueling dreams of genocide.

The street thugs, fanatics drunk on the interpretations of Islam they are being fed, and the mentally twisted may be pulling the trigger but the distinguished, the powerful, and the honored are providing the ammunition.

Here are three examples of such deeds in nominally democratic countries — not Iran, not Syria, not Pakistan, where such things are even more intense — but in supposedly rational places.

1. The Turkish Editor

Meet Mahir Zeynalov, an editor at Today’s Zaman, a Turkish Islamic newspaper that is supposedly moderate. Meet the modern art of tweeting. Here is Zeynalov’s response to the murders:

"Mahir Zeynalov ‏ @MahirZeynalov: Gunmen attack Jewish school in France, vandals attack Jewish cemetery in Poland, Jews burn mosques and Quran in Tunisia. What’s wrong?"

There are two ways to read this tweet. The more outrageous is this: How can it be wrong for gunmen to murder Jewish children or vandals to attack a Jewish cemetery in Poland if Jews are burning mosques and Qurans in Tunisia? One act balances the other.

The other interpretation is this: What a world in which there is so much hatred! Gunmen murder Jewish children, vandals attack a Jewish cemetery, and Jews desecrate mosques and Muslim holy books.

Yet the second interpretation is almost as inciting to violence as the first. We know from many experiences — including Afghanistan right now — that anyone who burns or does anything to a Koran would set off massive riots and bloody killings. And as for burning a mosque, such a deed might well result in the massacre of every Jew living in Tunisia.

Tunisian Jews today are a couple of thousand terrified people who would run in the other direction if they saw a Koran in front of them lest they be accused of looking at it funny. What Zeyanlov has done is called a “blood libel,” a lie that might lead to the murder of Jews.

A Muslim taking Zeyanlov’s tweet to heart would feel justified in murdering Jews, say children standing in front of their school.

2. The Dutch Cartoonist

De Volkskrant is one of Holland’s leading newspapers, favored by the intellectual elite. Here is a cartoon that it has just run. The cartoon shows Geert Wilders, leader of the conservative party that is very critical of Islam, getting loads of cash from a hidden hand that is clearly referring to Jews or Israel. Yes, the cartoon was written with a Hebrew text balloon, helpfully translated into Dutch as Wilders saying, “Thank you very much.”

So we have here the stereotype of the Jewish money behind the scenes conspiring, in this case against Islam and against Holland. And of course it is also designed to discredit Wilders. As with the Turkish editor’s tweet above, this is based on a total falsehood. There is hardly any Jewish support for Wilders’ party, which is, by the way, a legitimate political force, and there has never been the slightest evidence — even rumor — of Jewish financing for him, or Israeli financing.

Holland is a country where two political leaders have been assassinated and Wilders needs round-the-clock protection against potential assassins.

What is the message here? That Jews and Israel are trying to destroy Islam — as in the Turkish tweet — and are nefarious plotters attacking innocent people. Isn’t it just, therefore, to murder Jews and Israelis in self-defense?

3. Europe’s Foreign Minister

Exhibit three is Catherine Ashton, whose career was originally built on running the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament which favored unilateral Western disarmament in the face off Soviet tyranny. She is now the EU’s foreign minister. In response to the Toulouse shooting, she has issued a statement here that spends more time reciting the sufferings of children in the Gaza Strip than about antisemitism and the demonization of Jews and Israel.

Left out is the fact that Gaza is ruled by an organization, Hamas, that is openly antisemitic, openly preaches genocide, frequently has carried out terrorist attacks against Israelis and Jews, and then glorifies those who did the murders. Remember that the only reason Hamas can rule Gaza is that Israel voluntarily withdrew from the territory in a gesture intended to promote peace, something Ashton and much of the Western media and governmental elites usually don’t mention.

When Hamas maintains a war with Israel, firing rockets, missiles, and mortars, Israel defends itself. Hamas also deliberately sites military arsenals and weapons in residential areas. Thus, civilians and even children are accidentally killed by Israel in the fighting. This is precisely what happens in other wars, including those being waged now by EU countries.

Yet Ashton does not defend Israel or its right to defend itself. She does not take sides against the terrorists. At best we get spurious neutrality that is actually anti-Israel propaganda. Note that she even refers to Palestine as a currently existing country even though the EU recognizes no such country. So much for diplomatic responsibility. Her “apology” and “clarification” came after criticism but she meant exactly what she said and will do the same thing next time as she and other EU officials have done many times on previous occasions.

Indeed, while Palestinian children are killed during fighting in Gaza, let’s note the two most notoriously publicized examples of the last week:

–A photo sent around, in one case by a UN official, purporting to show a little girl as being injured this week was in fact a photo of a girl injured in an auto accident several years ago.

–The claim that Adham Abu Selmiya was killed by Israelis has now been shown to be false. He was killed by a bullet fired into the air by Palestinians during a funeral.

–And what of the recent photo widely published purporting to show an Israeli soldier menacing a child despite the fact that the man was wearing a concocted Israeli army uniform and carrying an AK-47, a weapon used by terrorists against Israel but never by Israeli soldiers, showing that the photo was a phony?

–The downplaying or omission of the fact that Israel was defending itself from a barrage of missiles. In one case, a prominent Dutch newspaper published a photograph with the caption that showed a rocket being fired by Israel into Gaza, instead of the exact opposite.

In short, Ashton and many others are contributing to the demonization of Jews and Israel. If Israel is so horrible that it makes little children in Gaza suffer for no reason, shouldn’t Israelis and the Jews who support them be shunned, harassed, attacked, and murdered?

These three examples are only a small sample of the hate poured out against Israel and Jews in the Middle East and elsewhere. I could go on with dozens more and so, perhaps, could you. From Sweden’s largest newspaper claiming Israel murdered Palestinians to harvest their organs to a Harvard professor’s tales of Jewish-Zionist conspiracies to control U.S. foreign policy to the dozens of “academic” conferences on Western campuses that demonize Israel, paid for by student fees.

What is needed is not more hypocrisy or professions of innocence or expensive conferences where long speeches are made about the evils of antisemitism by those who do nothing but get free plane tickets and nice hotel rooms. The real solution is a real change in the behavior of the mass media that pours out lies, the academics who slander and distort, and the governments that refuse to stand by a democratic country and people beset by terrorism and the world’s oldest hatred.

Oh, and one more thing is needed: the admission that the greatest threat of hatred, “racism,” dehumanization of the “other,” and threat of persecution today — as the statistics for Europe and North America show — is not “Islamophobia” but antisemitism.

And none of those things are going to happen because the liars, haters, apologists, and enablers will not acknowledge their own behavior while those who are supposed to supervise them will not act. Hating and lying about Israel and the Jewish people is too useful politically and too entwined with the version of left-wing ideology, not to mention Islamism and the dominant interpretation of Islam, currently so powerful in the world.

It would be an exaggeration to say that Europe is no longer a safe place for Jews to live. Yet it is accurate to say that it is becoming an unsafe place for Jews to live, and certainly for those who wish to express mainstream Jewish views and to practice their religion openly. Meanwhile, the EU and various governments dare not admit that the principal cause of antisemitic activity is radical Islam, and the principal inspiration for popular antisemitism is trendy leftist ideas that now dominate much of that continent and are spreading in North America.

Thus, Jewish children are deliberately murdered by a terrorist in the midst of France. In response, come get the formal statements and the crocodile tears. Yet at the exact same time as the bullets are entering the children’s bodies, as the victims fall to the ground, as the ambulance sirens sound, the incitement and the lies and the slanders continue, laying the groundwork for more hatred and more murder.



Human Nature: The Question behind the Culture Wars

Culture wars can produce nasty rhetoric. Political discourse quickly becomes emotionally charged and divisive. We are tempted to view those with whom we disagree as not only irrational but evil. The culture of demonization of our political opponents is what moral psychologist Dr. Jonathan Haidt seeks to dismantle with his new book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Haidt, who serves as professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, believes that we demonize opponents because we do not recognize that everyone values fairness. Moreover, we justify our positions from antithetical moral foundations.

In one sense Haidt is not saying anything that religious leaders and economists haven’t been saying for centuries, namely, that at the root of our understanding of politics are fundamental beliefs about human nature and definitions of morality. In recent decades, Americans have increasingly turned to psychologists as experts on morality and human action. As such, religious and economic texts like Pope John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus, Abraham Kuyper’s Problem of Poverty, and even Thomas Sowell’s Conflict of Visions, which all explain political conflicts as extensions of antithetical views on human nature and morality, are ignored. However, now that a psychologist remixes these themes Americans are willing to listen.

Haidt’s research team identified six moral foundations to analyze and thus explain the differences between progressives (modern liberals) and conservatives: care, liberty, fairness, loyalty, authority, and sanctity. After several years of research, Haidt’s team discovered that progressives scored high on their commitments to care, liberty, fairness, and low on loyalty, authority, and sanctity, whereas conservatives evenly care about all six. The result is that progressives and conservatives do not understand each other. They usually talk past each other because issues like welfare, universal health care, and the like, are not where the real disagreements lie. Each side fails to understand the other’s definition of fairness.

Conservatives, for example, value fairness in terms of whether or not free people are able to take advantage of the same processes made available to them in society. Progressives tend to define fairness in terms of equality of material outcome or equality of proportion. Conservatives, then, are more concerned about whether all citizens are free to exercise their gifts and talents, under the law, to meet their own needs through participation in free markets. Progressives, on the other hand, conceptualize fairness as whether people have similar incomes, whether people have the same luxuries in life. They envision a world where the force of government intervention eliminates disparities.

In a recent interview with Bill Moyer, Haidt, a self-proclaimed “centrist” confesses that, “When I began this work, I was very much a liberal. And over time, in doing the research for my book and in reading a lot of conservative writing, I've come to believe that conservative intellectuals actually are more in touch with human nature. They have a more accurate view of human nature. We need structure. We need families. We need groups. It's okay to have memberships and rivalries.” Competition creates the conditions for economic growth, Haidt says, because “cooperation and competition are opposite sides of the same coin. And we've gotten this far because we cooperate to compete.” In other words, competition has moral implications.

In the book, Haidt concludes that conservatives have an advantage in connecting with American values because conservative morality equally rests on all six moral foundations. They are more willing to embrace the reality of trade-offs and sacrifice in order to achieve “many other moral objectives.” Moral psychology, says Haidt, also explains why the Democratic Party had struggled to connect with the American people since the 1980s because Democrats have no compelling moral case for their ideas. The lopsided morality of progressives in the Democratic Party is something that Haidt hopes moral psychology can address.

If Haidt’s moral psychology research is right then progressives will be forced to reject long-held presuppositions about human nature. Perhaps moral psychology can help call a truce to the nasty culture wars so that we can stop and discuss what it means to be human—a discussion conducted in the hope that conservatives and progressives can return to sharing the moral foundations that shaped America’s liberties and prosperity.




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