It is astonishing that those in the West are living through the near extinction of their civilization. For students in the Academy today, the Western Civilization history course, virtually a standard curriculum offering 30 years ago, has disappeared.
This survey course covering classical antiquity to the present was the glue, the all-embracing narrative, that gave coherence to everything else the university taught. At the very least, students came away from this course with a partial recognition of their civilization and its monumental achievements.
Now Western civilization survey courses have been eliminated from the general education requirements, replaced in large part by courses and programs that either undermine traditions in the West or “Balkanize” the curriculum. Latino studies, for example, exalt the accomplishments of Spanish speaking people. Black studies emphasize the plight of blacks in white societies. Women’s studies superordinate the role of women. However, white studies denounce male dominated, colonial societies. American history, on the rare occasion it is required, tells a story of conflict, exploitation and imperial goals. Third World studies is ostensibly a rehearsal of abuse and unfair dominance by the West.
“Attacking Israeli is easy – there are never any adverse consequences for the attacker. But tackling the real issues facing women in the world is harder and needs someone with true courage. Secretary Clinton’s remarks against Israel are saved for the comfortable, adoring, embracing Saban forum. She is again preaching to the converted, but the wrong kind.”
Secretary Clinton’s latest comments about Israel at the Saban Forum, (same Mr. Saban of the Power Rangers commercial success) voiced concern regarding Israel’s democratic process, highlighting two main issues: the discourse about women in Israeli public life as a whole and legislation curtailing foreign contributions to so-called “Human Rights Organizations.” Secretary Clinton chose (according to media reports; no transcripts are publicly available) to liken the women’s rights situation in Israel to the situation in the south of the United States during the time of discrimination in the days of Rosa Parks in 1955. She also compared Israel’s internal democratic processes to Iran — complementing Iran in the process. These are sweeping and strong statements — unheard of by a U.S.secretary of state — that require comment.
The timing of Secretary Clinton’s comments is baffling.
Of the countless threats of Arab violence in the run-up to the November 29, 1947 Partition Resolution and in its wake, none has resonated more widely than the warning by Abdul Rahman Azzam, the Arab League’s first secretary-general, that the establishment of a Jewish state would lead to “a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades.”
Unfortunately, the longstanding failure to trace the original document in which the threat was made has given rise to doubts regarding its veracity, and by implication – the murderous Arab intentions: not least since the historical truth has been erased from public memory by decades of relentless pro-Arab propaganda.
Small wonder, therefore, that when the missing document was recently found, with an annotated full translation published in the Middle East Quarterly, which I edit, Haaretz columnist and self-styled “new historian” Tom Segev, who had spent a good part of the past two decades turning the saga of Israel’s birth upside down, went out of his way to whitewash Azzam’s threat and downplay its significance. “There is something pathetic about this hunt for historical quotes drawn from newspapers,” he wrote, without disputing the threat’s contents or authenticity. “Azzam used to talk a lot. On May 21, 1948, the Palestine Post offered this statement by him: ‘Whatever the outcome, the Arabs will stick to their offer of equal citizenship for Jews in Arab Palestine and let them be as Jewish as they like.'” He then quotes Ben-Gurion’s alleged description of the League’s Secretary-General as “the most honest and humane among Arab leaders.”
There is much….too much ado about nasty Tom Friedman. The orotund Tom waddles around where even the noxious team Walt/Mearsheimer fear to tread.
Even liberals recognize what an oaf he is. Here is some choice criticism of Tom from Matt Taibbi reviewing Friedman’s book “The Earth is Flat”…..
Flathead The peculiar genius of Thomas L. Friedman.
By Matt Taibbi. Originally published April 21, 2005 in the New York Press.
The usual ratio of Friedman criticism is 2:1, i.e., two human words to make sense of each single word of Friedmanese. Friedman is such a genius of literary incompetence that even his most innocent passages invite feature-length essays.
Thomas Friedman does not get these things right even by accident. It’s not that he occasionally screws up and fails to make his metaphors and images agree. It’s that he always screws it up.
On an ideological level, Friedman’s new book is the worst, most boring kind of middlebrow horseshit. If its literary peculiarities could somehow be removed from the equation, The World is Flat would appear as no more than an unusually long pamphlet replete with the kind of plug-filled, free-trader leg-humping that passes for thought in this country.
He is the perfect symbol of our culture of emboldened stupidity.
President Obama deserves credit for authorizing the execution of Osama bin Laden and for significantly intensifying the drone campaign against terrorists. He’s largely stopped romanticizing the Palestinians; has recognized that Putin made an ass of him; and has even hinted that he might stand up to China on some issues. But even if he turns into a combination of Ike, Reagan and Carl von Clausewitz in the coming months, his administration’s foreign-policy record will forever be defined by his disastrous rush to leave Iraq—then brag about it.
Hon. Geert Wilders’ New Book Offends Egypt Even Before It is Published
The Dutch Ambassador to Egypt, Susan Blankhart was called to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, today, to protest ‘defamation of Islam’ in a new book by the Hon. Geert Wilders. Wilders’ book is scheduled to be released here in the US, next April. The Egyptians were likely using this opportunity as a media event. We note that this occurred while our State Department’s conference on The Istanbul Process Combating Intolerance conference was taking place in DC. With representatives from member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the EU, the OSCE, gathered in Washington why miss an opportunity to stifle any criticism of Islam and deny Free Speech? After all this plenary session in DC is developing ‘best practices’ to rein in religious intolerance. How Orwellian of them.
Mahmoud Abbas is the man who Britain, America and Europe think deserves to be the president of an independent state of Palestine — the establishment of which, they tell themselves, would end the Middle East impasse.
To Western eyes Abbas, the Fatah-backed President of the Palestinian Authority, is a moderate. It is, however, simply astounding that he should be viewed in this way. It is even more astounding that Western liberals should endorse him and give him a free pass for his behaviour.
Muslims convicted in America of supporting terrorist groups are heroes and the victims of injustice, a national convention of Palestinian activists was told. In addition, speakers said the fight for a Palestinian state will center on American college campuses.
American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)’s conference on Palestinian activism in America attracted more than 2,000 people Thanksgiving weekend in Chicago.
Last year’s AMP’s conference revealed the organization’s goal to delegitimize the State of Israel in America. This year’s conference reinforced that message, while taking it a step further.
“The right wing extremist strains of Israeli Judaism are threatening to turn that ignition into a conflagration.” That quote comes from Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, the same Rabbi now being widely quoted for his bizarre Tim Tebow column. Or rather there are numerous articles quoting the column without mentioning his name or who he is.
This is not the article that I had planned to run tonight. That article has already been written and sits waiting. It may be timely, but it will have to wait until next week, because this is timelier and it needs to be said.
In the last hour I read through numerous blog posts treating Hammerman’s column as a Jewish view and turning it into an attack on Jews in general. Some of those attacks are fairly mild mannered, but they come down to the same thing. Those pieces however show very little wisdom.
http://lennybendavid.com/ How much of the Palestinian Refugee saga is a fraud? Here’s an example There’s little question that some of Palestine’s Arabs date back a millennium. Indeed, studies show that some, particularly those in the Hebron Hills areas, were Palestinian Jews who were forced to convert to Islam. Some families in places like Yatta still […]