MOSHE PHILLIPS: THE ISRAELI ELECTION….THE OTHER YAIR The Israeli election news that has captured the moment is the surprising success of Yair Lapid’s new party, Yesh Atid (There’s a Future), and the fact that it will now have the second-largest number of seats in the Knesset. What may be more interesting in the long term is the story missed by reporters […]


When US forces killed Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, Hillary Clinton hailed the event as coinciding with the end of the jihadist era — sorry, “extremist narrative” era (she was still parroting Obama-approved lingo) — in the Middle East and North Africa, just where we see it resurgent today.

Hillary Clinton, May 2, 2011:

History will record that bin Ladin’s death came at a time of great movements toward freedom and democracy, at a time when the people across the Middle East and North Africa are rejecting the extremist narratives and charting a path of peaceful progress based on universal rights and aspirations. There is no better rebuke to al-Qaida and its heinous ideology.

Clinton’s statement crystallizes the Western delusion, which is also the Western desire. In May 2011, Clinton’s “freedom and democracy” — a.k.a., the even more euphemistic and inaptly metaphoric “Arab Spring” — were indeed moving across the Middle East and North Africa, but they were powered by the “extremist narratives” Clinton told us these Islamic lands were “rejecting.” This phenomenon is something Clinton, Obama, Sarkosy (Bernard Henri Levy), Cameron will never, can never admit. Their claim to authority and respect, their reputations, their careers, their future exercise of power are all threatened — doomed — by any reckoning, any admission of the purely Islamic will to sharia, to conquest, to a caliphate, which the postmodern, 21st-century world is witnessing, and which these leaders have done so much to enable (George W. Bush et pere, also).

Therefore, denial at this pinnacle of leadership will continue — denial of contradiction in sharia vs. freedom, denial of the Islamic definition of freedom or “hurriyya” ( perfect enslavement to Allah), denial of the wide appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood and other pro-sharia forces throughout the umma (transnational Islam). Denial of the neat alignment of the programs of Islamic terrorists (sharia), Islamic politicians (sharia) and Islamic “clerics” (sharia). Denial of the implications in the refusal, the inability of the leading lights of the Islamic world to “ex-communicate” even Osama bin Laden. Denial of the fact, historical and contemporary, that liberty disappears where Islam blooms.

Hillary’s, Condi’s, & W’s, Tony Blair’s the neoconservatives’, the COINdinistas’ “universal rights and aspirations” are a mirage, a dream. But these official dreamers continue to command armies and treasuries. (I don’t include Obama in their company because I don’t know whether Obama believes in their dreams with the same degree of gullibility/mendacity.) We can’t seem to rid ourselves of them, failing as a society to confront the basic fallacy: How can the rights and aspirations of a collectivist system (Islam) and an individual-rights-based system (the West) possibly be considered “universal”? They are different.


One day, I hope, Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi hearings will stand as testament to the smoke-and-mirrors dangerousness of U.S. foreign policy, circa 2013 – both as executed by the executive branch of government and as weakly grasped by the legislative branch.

Did we learn who in the Obama administration concocted and/or coordinated the story about a totally imaginary video protest that was supposed to have led to the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on 9/11/12? No.

Did we learn why the maker of the so-called anti-Islamic YouTube video clip is the only person in the world in jail for the attacks (for “parole violations”)? No.

Did we learn whether it was coincidental that the video-protest lie ended after President Obama blamed the video (six times) in a Sept. 25 address before the United Nations in which he declared, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”? No.

Did we learn anything about the decision-making process that prevented U.S. military relief from being ordered to Benghazi during the seven-hour attack? No.

Did we even learn about the official madness that permitted the U.S. government to hire jihadist militias – the February 17 Martyrs Brigade and Libya Shield – to secure U.S. lives and interests in the first place?

No, but we did learn that Secretary of State Clinton is now concerned about the “spreading jihadist threat.” This was unexpected news – not the existence of the threat, or the fact it’s spreading, but rather that Mrs. Clinton was using the word “jihadist.” What was that about?

The Obama administration has worked relentlessly to eradicate “jihad” – the word, anyway – by replacing it with the content-free and thus blinding term “violent extremism.” Besides, al-Qaida is dead along with Osama bin Laden, or so the Obama campaign has always told us (hence, one motive for White House lies to the American people that a video – free speech – caused the attacks in Benghazi, not terrorists). Did this lurch in lingo indicate a lurch in policy?

No question on that from the good people of Congress.

And why was Mrs. Clinton warning against allowing Mali, hot spot du jour, to become safe haven for AQIM (al-Qaida in the Maghreb)? It has become such a haven mainly due to Obama-Clinton policies that toppled “war on terror” ally Moammar Gadhafi in Libya. (“We came, we saw, he died,” as Clinton unforgettably gloated.) Clinton may be talking up “global jihad” this week, but it’s worth remembering that Gadhafi already was its opponent on the northern African front – at least until he was killed by U.S.-backed, al Qaida-linked Libyan “rebels.”

How does she square all of that? No questions. Such curiosity, a call for accountability, might expose the Arab Spring, which all too many Democrats and Republicans supported, thus enabling regimes or democracies guided by Islamic law to take power across the Middle East. As far as American liberty goes, what’s the difference between governments guided by Islamic law and global jihadists guided by the same Islamic law? Answer: not much. If Congress were to consider such a concept – that Islamic law is dangerous, whether advanced by terrorists or governments – the potential for clarity and creation of a policy in the American interest would become simply too dangerous to contemplate. Dangerous, that is, for the status quo. Maybe that’s why lawmakers, with rare but welcome exceptions, stuck to the unrevealing nuts and bolts of “security.”

Still, if they were so worried about security at the Benghazi compound, couldn’t someone have asked Clinton why the suspected head of al-Qaida in Libya, Wissam bin Hamid, leader of Libya Shield, a militia that fought Gadhafi under al-Qaida’s black flag, was one of the U.S. compound’s security providers?

Our Abraham, Not Theirs

Inheriting Abraham, by Jon Levenson, expertly dismantles the idea of the patriarch as the father of three great religions

We like to think that mutual understanding promotes tolerance. But sometimes we hate people because we understand them. Martin Luther’s exhaustive study of rabbinic commentaries as well as Hebrew scripture did not prevent him from proposing the destruction of every Jewish home along with every synagogue. Adolf Eichmann hoped to study Hebrew with a Berlin rabbi, the better to understand the people he planned to exterminate.

In Inheriting Abraham, Jon Levenson, the Albert A. List Professor of Bible at Harvard’s Divinity School, throws cold water on the mutual-understanding campfire. Misunderstanding is not what divides the image of Abraham in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the misnomered “Abrahamic religions”; on the contrary, the founders of the younger religions well understood Abraham’s role in Judaism. St. Paul’s transformation of Abraham into the father of all who believe, and the Quran’s recasting of Abraham as a Muslim prophet who prefigured Muhammed, both rejected the Jewish version by design, by inventing their own Abrahams to serve their own doctrinal purposes.

Through published excerpts and interviews, Levenson has been drawing attention to his most provocative conclusion: that it is wrong to present Abraham as a unifying figure who transcends the differences among Christians, Jews, and Muslims. The progressive wings of Christianity as well as Judaism have a great deal invested in this reassuring claim, and Levenson’s devastating refutation of the “three Abraham religions” thesis will be unwelcome. He makes short work of pop theologians like Bruce Feiler, whose best-selling book on the patriarch claims that “Abraham belongs to all of humanity” and that “the carefully balanced message of the Abraham story [is] that God cares for all his children—a tradition that existed for hundreds of years before the religions themselves existed.” Feiler and his co-thinkers, Levenson observes, have essentially invented another Abraham—“a neutral Abraham who can be made to serve as a control on the Abrahams of the three traditions that are thought to derive from him.”

So, it is clear that Levenson’s new book will be resented in liberal religious circles. What it won’t be, however, is easily refuted.


Why should Abraham belong to all of humanity? For Jews and Christians, the answer lies in paternity and covenant: Abraham is the father of God’s people, through his son Isaac in Judaism, and for Christians, through the faith of those who belief in Jesus’ resurrection. Christianity’s departure from Judaism is an argument about lineage and legitimacy. The Abraham of Genesis, as Levenson notes, never preaches monotheism. The Abraham who smashed the idols in his father’s workshop appears in Second Temple sources, and that is the Abraham of the Quran: the prophet of monotheism who prefigures Muhammed. Abraham’s definitive act for Christians and Jews, his obedience to God’s command to sacrifice Isaac, is simply a prooftest of submission for Muslims, who are instructed by Muhammed as prefigured by Abraham.

Le Monde: “The Muslim Religion is the Subject of a Profound Rejection by the French”….Andrew Bostom Gamal al-Banna’s impression, shared by an unhappy French public: “most Muslims today are Salafis” Yesterday (1/24/13), Le Monde (hat tip Religion of Peace) published IPSOS survey results of French public attitudes towards Islam under the self-explanatory headline, “La religion musulmane fait l’objet d’un profond rejet de la part des Français” [“The Muslim religion is […]

HILLARY CLINTON’S HISSY FIT: SCOTT HOLLERAN This week, the U.S. secretary of state tried to conceal her incompetence with an outburst of emotionalism. Time‘s headline: ‘Clinton on Benghazi: Tears and Anger’. Stressing feelings over facts in another calculated evasion preceding her departure from office after four failed years, Clinton told Congress: “I do feel responsible” (emphasis added) for the deaths […]

Harris Zafar’s Islamic Intellectual Incoherence by ANDREW E. HARROD

Harris Zafar, national spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, posted recently at the Washington Post’s online Guest Voices blog the article “Making Islamic Sense of Free Speech.” Review of Zafar’s analysis shows that he makes no sense, Islamic or otherwise, at all with respect to free speech. If anything, Zafar deceptively offers justification for censorship all the while proclaiming respect for intellectual freedom.

Zafar references recent Saudi Arabian prosecutions of individuals for statements deemed offensive to Islam as “incidents” that “have re-ignited the age old debate about… freedom of speech, especially with regards to Islam.” Zafar asserts that “many secularists champion individual privileges” (not rights, Zafar curiously writes), while “Islam promotes… uniting mankind and cultivating love.” According to Zafar, both Islam and “modern-day free speech advocates” each “endorse freedom for people to express themselves, but Islam promotes unity, whereas” the latter “promote individualism.”

Linking to various verses of an online Koran at an Ahmadiyya website, Zafar seeks to show that Islam “promotes free speech when our intention is to serve a good purpose” but not if “our intentions are to insult others or promote disorder.” In contrast, free speech’s “most vocal proponents” believe “people can say anything and everything on their mind “resulting in “every form of provocation.” Such a “legal privilege to insult others… is neither democracy nor freedom of speech.” Whatever value free speech has “still pales in comparison to the cause of world peace.”

Despite Zafar’s relative weighing of “world peace” and free speech, Zafar, in an assessment surely surprising to many, claims that “Islam does not prescribe any worldly punishment for unseemly speech.” According to Zafar, the “Prophet Muhammad called differences of opinion a blessing in society and never sought to censor or threaten those who verbally attacked him.” Modern Muslims should thus “respond to speech with speech, but our speech is to be better and more dignified.”

When “enemies of peace create slanderous videos, cartoons or advertisements — like the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ film, Pamela Geller’s new ignorant NYC subway ads and Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon about Prophet Muhammad,” Zafar calls for a rejection of

their claim that an individual’s privilege to say whatever they want is more important than the higher principle of uniting people and saving this planet from a path of animosity, hatred and destruction. Rather than falsely accusing Islam of censorship, let us understand the beauty of giving higher consideration to mankind over our own personal privileges.

The National Association of Scholars Report on American History by HERBERT LONDON Although conservatives reflexively assume race, class and gender dominate American history, there is now incontrovertible evidence that this assumption is true. In a careful study of U.S. history courses at the University of Texas and Texas A & M University, the National Association of Scholars recently released report indicates that race, class and gender […]

EDWARD CLINE: OBAMA’S SECOND DECLARATION OF WAR ON AMERICA Sitting down to parse President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address of January 21st, one’s eyes begin to glaze over while scanning the transcript of the speech. There again are the same old platitudes, bromides, and catch phrases and secret coded messages. There again is the sanctimonious delivery of a person who wants to be […]

RYAN MAURO:The Islamists Multi-Staged Strategy for Victory Over the West One of the mistakes that the West makes is that it doesn’t listen to what the Islamists are saying. If only we listened, we could hear their strategy. In November 2011, Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the top Muslim Brotherhood theologian and arguably the most influential Sunni cleric in the world, called on Muslims to […]