Christmas Clarity: Palestinian Christy Anastas on Islam and Sharia-Based Persecution of Christians in the Holy Land ****

Christmas Clarity: Palestinian Christy Anastas on Islam and Sharia-Based Persecution of Christians in the Holy Land

“As Christmas approaches, and the usual Jew-hating calumnies against Israel, holding her responsible for the plight of Christians in the Holy Land, are leveled, Christy Anastas’ honest, uncompromised observations identifying the Sharia-based source of Christian persecution in Gaza, Judea-Samaria, and throughout the Muslim-dominated Middle East, must be reverberated widely.”

**Open Doors, founded during 1955 in response to the plight of Eastern European Christians under the yoke of Communist anti-religious fanaticism, is a non-profit organization working to document and counteract Christian persecution. Its yearly “catalogue” of global Christian oppression declares ruefully that 2014, “has seen more global persecution of Christians than any other year in recent history.”

Not surprisingly, given our era’s rampant, worldwide Islamic jihadism, nine out of the ten countries persecuting Christians most egregiously, are Islamic societies, where Sharia, Islamic law-based discrimination, is the source of what Open Doors euphemistically dubs “Islamic extremism.” Although, understandably, the horrific, jihad-sanctioned exploits of ISIS and Boko Haram targeting Christians—beheadings, eviscerations, torture, rape, and enslavement—have garnered the most attention, and condemnation, as the Open Doors reports make plain, chronic, grinding persecution of Christians in Muslim societies is a global phenomenon.

For example, Open Doors describes in rather anodyne terms these conditions for Christians in the very birthplace of Christianity, the Holy Land (i.e., Israel, and the disputed territories of Gaza, and Judea-Samaria), specifically, the areas under Palestinian Muslim rule, ranked 34th among the top 50 most persecuted Christian populations.

Random Thoughts — or Provocations: In Many Ways, the Public is On Our Side. By Quin Hillyer

Here are some fairly random things that, it is safe to say, a large majority of Americans would agree with:

Al Sharpton is not in any way a legitimate spokesman for racial “justice,” much less racial healing.

Wendy Davis does not speak for most American women.

Sandra Fluke does not speak for most American women.

Lena Dunham does not even come close to speaking for most American women.

Barack Obama comes across as arrogant — and there are no racial connotations in that statement.

Obama has made a habit of insulting, belittling, and mocking those who don’t agree with him. George W. Bush almost never did so.

The practice of insulting, belittling, and mocking those who disagree creates a tone that, to say the least, is anything but “presidential.”

The idea of EPA agents swooping in on businesses or municipal installments while armed to the gills — which they do, repeatedly — is outrageous, frightening, and completely contrary to American values.

North Korea Does Hollywood; What’s Washington Going to Do About It? By Claudia Rosett

Hollywood comedy slams into North Korea, and yes, the result sounds like an over-the-top movie plot — about a movie, about a plot. Except it’s real, which is the problem with a lot of the threats out there that America in its virtual slumber has been failing to take seriously for some time now. Credit Hollywood, that our entertainers — whether they meant to or not — have triggered a big wakeup call.

The plot: Two comedians decide to make a film that mocks the most bizarre dictatorship on earth — totalitarian North Korea, ruled by 31-year-old Kim Jong Un, a hereditary tyrant with a taste for Mickey Mouse and nuclear bombs. The movie, The Interview, features these two comedians as a pair of TV-tabloid journalists who are sick of doing Hollywood fluff and want to do some serious reporting. Opportunity knocks: it turns out that young tyrant Kim is a fan of their TV show, and is offering them an exclusive interview with him in Pyongyang. That turns rather more serious than they had planned, when the CIA turns up on their doorstep and tasks them to take advantage of the interview with Kim to do him in: “Take him out.” [1] And so, two slapstick dudes with a mission, off they go to assassinate the tyrant of North Korea.

Cut to the real world, in which it turns out North Korean officialdom has no sense of humor, and is particularly touchy about its big boss (whose leadership style is such that he was warned earlier this year by United Nations human rights investigators that he could be held responsible for “crimes against humanity”). The emperor cannot afford to allow the story to spread that he has no clothes. Pyongyang’s totalitarian regime is built around the requirements of complete loyalty, adulation and obedience rendered unto the supreme leader — a system that Kim underscored last year by executing his own allegedly wayward uncle-in-law.

When the trailer for The Interview is released, in June, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry — in lingo that itself invites lampooning — declares that distribution of the film would be “the most undisguised terrorism and a war action to deprive the service personnel and people of the DPRK of their mental mainstay and bring down its social system.” Pyongyang threatens that “if the U.S. administration connives at and patronizes the screening of the film, it will invite a strong and merciless countermeasure.” At the UN, where North Korea’s membership is itself a sorry joke, the North Korean ambassador writes a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, demanding that the U.S. government ban this Hollywood comedy, or else the U.S. “will be fully responsible for encouraging and sponsoring terrorism.”

4 Ways the World Changed for Me When I Learned Hebrew By P. David Hornik

I decided to move to Israel (make aliyah) when I was 28, and came to live here with my family when I was 30. At the age of 28, I knew zero Hebrew; by the time we made aliyah I had learned just a little from a cassette-tape course. (Yes, there were things called cassette tapes back then.)

Our first residence in Israel was an absorption center in the town of Hadera on the coastal plain. There we had to take an intensive Hebrew course—meaning I immediately started learning this difficult language more seriously. And right away, even with only a few words and phrases at my disposal, I started to feel connected to my new environment in ways I couldn’t have if English had still been the only language residing in my brain.
1. I felt deeply linked to the ancient past.

The more biblical term for where we were, rather than “coastal plain,” is “Sharon plain” (Sha-rone). As in what is possibly the most beautiful Hebrew poem ever written, the biblical Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon, 2:1):

I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

It was early September when we arrived. The absorption center was on the outskirts of the town, and the “plain” around us was lush and beautiful. And I thought: “This is the Sharon plain. When someone wrote ‘rose of Sharon,’ this is what they meant. Ancient Jews lived here and saw the same things, used the same Hebrew words that I’m now learning.”

It came upon me more and more as I took walks in the nearby park and orchard. Until then—having been in Israel only once for a short time—that distant past had been an abstraction to me. Now I had an almost mystical sense of its nearness. Those people, my ancestors, had really been here.
2. I could really converse with Israelis and find out what their inner worlds are like.


Campuses are becoming the haunts of the very wealthy and the poor, with little regard for any in-between — sort of like California.

Let me explain. Lately lots of strange things have been in the news about college campuses — from the Rolling Stone’s mythography [1] of the University of Virginia fraternities to Lena Dunham’s invented charges [2] of rape against a supposed Oberlin College Republican to courses on “white privilege” to “hands up; don’t shoot” demonstrations protesting the police shooting of Michael Brown.

Tuition and Debt

But there are lots of campus topics that garner little publicity. Take tuition costs. Aggregate student debt is reaching $1 trillion [3] — a result of an insidious relationship between federally guaranteed loans (many of which cost over 5% annually to service) and tuition spikes that habitually exceed the rate of inflation.

As a result, in a logical universe, there would be widespread student protests against the lack of transparency in university budgeting. There would anger at paying Hillary Clinton nearly a third of a million dollars [4] for a boilerplate 30-minute chat. There would be grassroots complaints about the costly epidemic of new administrative positions and federal mandates that have nothing to do with in-class instruction. There would be inquiries about why teaching loads have declined as tuition skyrocketed.

Instead, there is mostly silence on campus. Why? Perhaps the answer reflects the fact that the campus bookends the trajectory of California — in that elite and wealthy students do not really care that much whether their combined tuition, room, and board tab goes from $55,000 a year to $60,000, given their parents’ ample resources. At the other end, poorer and often minority students are more likely to have access to college grants and scholarships. The working classes in between, who often lack familial capital and are not designated as disadvantaged in ethnic or class terms, more often pay the full bill. Do universities count on such dichotomies — that the most influential in terms of race, class, and gender issues are the most likely not to have to pay themselves the spiraling tab?


The details are still sketchy, but this is what is apparently confirmed as of this writing (8PM EST Sunday night): as many as 50 people have been taken hostage in the Lindt Chocolat Café in Sydney, Australia’s central pedestrian mall, Martin Place. Some of the hostages have been forced at gunpoint to hold up the black flag of Islamic jihad against a window of the café.

The flag says in Arabic, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet” – the Islamic confession of faith. It will thus be hard to claim this one was workplace violence, but the mainstream media and Western leaders are no doubt already strategizing on ways to do so. Falling quickly into politically correct lockstep and ignoring the jihad flag in the window, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott insisted that “we don’t know the motivation” of the gunmen.

Meanwhile, police have evacuated the area, as well as the Sydney Opera House, where apparently a suspicious package has been found. Abbott issued a statement declaring that while “this is obviously a deeply concerning incident but all Australians should be reassured that our law enforcement and security agencies are well trained and equipped and are responding in a thorough and professional manner.”

That is no doubt true, but this is an unprecedented event in the West. There have been jihad attacks, and hostage situations, but this is the first jihadist hostage event in a Western country since the Islamic State issued this threat in a September video: “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us; He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.”

NYPD Hispanic Society Demands De Blasio Condemn Racist Garner Protesters By Daniel Greenfield

The mobs of racist Garner/Brown protesters are being falsely described as peaceful by their PR corps in the media. The reality is ugly and brutal.

NYPD officers were swarmed by protesters in a knock-down, drag-out brawl on the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday night that sent two police lieutenants to the hospital.

The president of the NYPD Hispanic Society on Sunday demanded that Mayor de Blasio and the City Council “denounce these disgraceful protests calling for dead police officers.

“Many elected officials are quick to speak out against police officers, but now that we need them to calm our city, where is their press conference on the steps of City Hall?” said the leader, Dennis Gonzalez. “Their silence is deafening. Tweets about non-violence and peaceful protests aren’t good enough.”

Instead Bill de Blasio continued supporting the racist Garner mobs.

De Blasio released a statement Saturday in which he first talked about how “peaceful” city protesters have been.

“The people of New York have provided an example to the world on how to protest, march and express themselves in a peaceful and respectful manner,” the mayor said.

They’re not the “people of New York” and their only example, like De Blasio’s example, is in how to racially divide a city, spread hate and hurt people.

“[The officers] were punched by numerous people,” said Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter Terrorism John lMiller. “They were kicked in their face and in the head while the group attempted to steal their portable radios and tear away their police identification jackets.”

Western Indifference to the Palestinian Culture of Hate By Ari Lieberman

A shockingly, disturbing video has recently surfaced exposing the true and pernicious face of Palestinian extremism and xenophobia. The video, made available by Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) shows a bearded sheikh giving what appears to be an impromptu sermon on the Jews. (After all, what else is there to talk about?) The venue is the Al-Aqsa Mosque, considered by those who practice the “religion of peace” to be their third holiest site after Mecca and Medina.

The speech itself is filled with gut-wrenching anti-Semitism, the kind that would even make the editors of the New York Times blush. The sheikh describes how the Jews possess the vilest of traits, how they were responsible for killing the “prophets,” how they attempted to assassinate Muhammad, how their time for “slaughter is near,” how they will be slaughtered “without mercy,” and of course there’s the perfunctory, “Jews are apes and pigs” thing.

Interestingly, the speaker doesn’t mention the longing for Palestinian statehood or independence. Instead, he talks of the establishment of the “Islamic Caliphate.” “Oh Allah’” he states, “Hasten the establishment of the State of the Islamic Caliphate,” and further rants, “Oh Allah hasten the pledge of allegiance to the Muslim Caliph.” He spews forth the latter statement three times to chants of “Amen!” from the large, approving crowd congregating around him.

These comments, which would register horror and revulsion in the West (at least in some quarters) are almost banal among Palestinians. In fact, a similar video featuring a different speaker some days earlier at the same venue, conveyed identical sentiment, expressing admiration for the Islamic State and calling for murder of Jews and annihilation of America.

Guttural anti-Semitism is ingrained and interwoven in the fabric of Palestinian society. Despite their minuscule numbers, 78% of Palestinians believe that Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars while a whopping 88% believe that Jews control the global media and still more believe that Jews wield too much power in the business world.

Much of the blame for this can be placed squarely on the doorstep of Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, which subjects the Palestinian population to a steady diet of hate-filled, Judeophobic rhetoric through state-controlled media and educational institutions. It is so well entrenched that the process of deprogramming, if it were ever attempted, would take generations to reverse.

Hillary Wants to be President, She Just Doesn’t Want to Run By Daniel Greenfield

Ready for Hillary, the campaign before the campaign which has churned out some creepy t-shirts and a terrible country song, is $11 million in debt, and Hillary still isn’t ready.

While Hillary was delivering six figure speeches at heavily indebted universities, Ready for Hillary was burning through a giant pile of money trying to stir up Obama level enthusiasm for their uncharismatic candidate by selling fifty dollar champagne glasses emblazoned with a giant H, a Hillary Clinton cat collar and a Hillary Clinton Christmas tree ornament.

Ready for Hillary wasn’t ready to deliver the overpriced crap it was hawking with customers complaining that their items weren’t delivered and that no one was answering their emails. Usually politicians wait until after they get elected to start ripping people off, but Hillary is too broke to wait that long.

Despite advertising a “Hillary for the Holidays” set of Hillary champagne glasses and ornaments, her organization is already $11 million in debt. Apparently not that many people want to scare small children by hanging a Hillary Clinton ornament from their Christmas tree.

Like Ready for Hillary, Hillary isn’t ready. Instead she postponed her campaign until the spring of 2015 after having promised to decide on the first of the year. Back then Hillary was claiming that she would “have to be convinced that I have a very clear vision with an agenda of what I think needs to be done.”

Serious candidates don’t ask someone else to flatter them into believing that they have a clear vision. That’s the opposite of what a clear vision is.

Hillary Clinton spent two decades clearing her way to the White House. If you take her at her word, then she already spent a fortune running for president without ever having a “clear vision” or an agenda of what needs to be done.

Even Hillary isn’t Ready for Hillary.

Round the Bend The Jews of Arabia Tales from Britain’s Rule in India and Beyond

Round the Bend is a series of tales from the days when Britain ruled India and the Gulf, told with documents newly digitised by the British Library. You can explore the archive yourself.

The Jews may have originated in the Middle East but they were long ago scattered far and wide – to the Gulf, among other places. Few now remain, except in Iran. But a century ago, writes Matthew Teller, there was even a proposal to found a Jewish state at an oasis near Bahrain.

In 1859 Griffith Jenkins, a senior British naval officer in the Gulf, wrote to a subordinate named Hiskal.

Hiskal – or Yehezkel – ben Yosef was a minor official representing British interests in Muscat. And, like his predecessor in the post in the 1840s (a man named Reuben), he was Jewish.

Jews had been living in Muscat since at least 1625. In 1673, according to one traveller, a synagogue was being built, implying permanence. British officer James Wellsted also noted the existence of a Jewish community on a visit in the 1830s.

Jenkins’s letter talks obliquely about the Imam (a Muslim ruler who held sway in Oman’s interior) and the arrival of a man from Persia. He ends by asking Hiskal to explain the matter in private – and then, remarkably, had his letter translated into Hebrew.