Rich Lowry on Pamela Geller :Respectable Opinion can’t Bear the Idea that She has Become a Symbol of Free Speech.

How dare Pamela Geller get targeted by terrorists bent on committing mass murder.

That’s been the reaction of a portion of the opinion elite to news that Geller’s “draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas, was (unsuccessfully) assaulted by two heavily armed Muslim men in an attack the Islamic State took responsibility for.

The Washington Post ran an article on Geller headlined, “Event organizer offers no apology after thwarted attack in Texas.”
News that the Post has yet to break about other terrorist targets: “Malala Yousafzai refuses to admit fault for seeking an education”; “Coptic Christians won’t concede error for worshiping wrong God”; “Unrepentant Shiites continue to disagree with Sunnis.”

And the Gold Medal for Worst Free Speech Commentary Goes To . . . By David French

Congratulations, Qasim Rashid, your short essay in Time is the worst thing I’ve yet read about about free speech. Titled, “What Pamela Geller Advocates Is Not Free Speech,” it is not only utterly devoid of anything approaching a coherent constitutional analysis, it gets the moral equation exactly backwards. Rashid essentially argues that free speech jurisprudence developed for the purpose of protecting the civil rights movement, and Geller isn’t part of the civil rights movement. Oh, and he quotes utter nonsense comparing her speech to speech that led to the Holocaust. Yes, he did. Read for yourself:

America’s current free speech model developed as an attempt to protect — not demonize — religious and racial minorities. “U.S. law only began to protect hateful speech during the 1960s,” writes Garrett Epps. “Southern state governments were trying to criminalize the civil-rights movement for its advocacy of change. White Southerners claimed that the teachings of figures like Martin Luther King or Malcolm X were ‘hate speech’ and would produce ‘race war.’”

De Blasio’s Blame-the-Police Narrative Misses the Facts : Matthew Hennessey

New York City police officer Brian Moore will be laid to rest today in Bethpage, Long Island. The 25-year-old member of the NYPD’s anti-crime unit was shot in the face on Saturday night as he and his partner patrolled a Queens street. Moore succumbed to his injuries on Monday, becoming the third officer murdered in the line of duty since December. He had been a cop for five years, following his father, uncle, and cousin in the NYPD.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to speak at the funeral. Hizzoner will surely have nothing but praise for Moore and his family. Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Wednesday, de Blasio called Moore “someone we should all emulate.” It was an uncharacteristically gracious thing for the mayor to say about a cop. We’re more used to hearing about de Blasio’s “fundamental belief” that kids like his biracial son Dante are targeted by the NYPD because of the color of their skin. Those kinds of remarks got the mayor in hot water last year. Since the December murders of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, however, de Blasio has looked for ways to praise cops while preserving his protest-movement bona fides.

Pamela Geller’s Critics Are Proving Her Point By David French

Islam has a serious problem. Silencing Pamela Geller isn’t the solution.

Let’s be clear: The great freak-out over Pamela Geller’s “draw Muhammad” contest isn’t about love for Islam or for robust and respectful religious pluralism. Indeed, many of those expressing anguish over blasphemy against Islam show no such concern over even the most vile attacks on the Christian faith. Beyond that, they’re among the leaders in movements designed to banish religious liberty — including Muslim religious liberty — to the margins of American life.

Instead, the fury against Pamela Geller is motivated mostly by fear — by the understanding that there are indeed many, many Muslims who believe that blasphemy should be punished with death, and who put that belief into practice. It’s motivated by the fear that our alliances with even “friendly” Muslim states and “allied” Muslim militias are so fragile that something so insignificant as a cartoon would drive them either to neutrality or straight into the arms of ISIS.

Progressives Love Anti-Religious Art — as Long as It’s Anti-Christian: Jonah Goldberg

Why aren’t liberals offering Pamela Geller a federal subsidy? Geller is the blogger-activist who organized the “Draw Muhammad” exhibition in Garland, Texas, which inspired some DIY jihadists to attack the event. The would-be terrorists chose poorly: They were cut down by Texas lawmen shortly after wounding a security guard.

Let’s hop in the WayBack Machine for a moment.

In 1986, the National Endowment of Arts paid about $20,000 for Andreas Serrano’s “Piss Christ.” Serrano peed in a glass, plunked a plastic icon of Jesus on the cross into it, and then snapped a picture. I will say the lighting was lovely. But, as strange as it seemed to the “arts community,” some people were offended.

In 1989, the Corcoran Gallery of Art agreed to host a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit. Mapplethorpe’s work was edgy, particularly going by the attitudes at the time. There were the obligatory sexual bondage scenes, urine-drinking (artistic urine: is there anything it can’t do?), and, of course, his most famous work: a self-portrait showing a bullwhip going someplace the sun reportedly does not shine.

Moral Tourism: The Age of Bad Holocaust Novels by Adam Kirsch

Martin Amis, Elie Wiesel, Avraham Sutzkever, and others have managed to write literature about the Holocaust, arguably in a way that does justice to its horrors. But the Holocaust has also become the subject of much bad fiction. Adam Kirsch reviews a recent example, The Death’s Head Chess Club, which focuses on the relationship between a somewhat benign SS officer and a Jewish inmate at Auschwitz, and their reunion in Amsterdam two decades later:

A cautionary tale: ‘The Death’s Head Chess Club’ and other period fantasies are the inevitable next thing in Shoah fiction

When Theodor Adorno made his famous pronouncement about there being no poetry after Auschwitz, he was thinking about good poetry. Art that successfully transforms reality, elevating it to a plane of harmony and permanence, can only be a falsification of an experience as violent and inhuman as the Holocaust. In time, however, writers emerged who showed that a different kind of art can do some kind of justice to horror—an art not of beauty and transformation, but of fragmentation and austere witness. The poetry of Paul Celan, the prose of Elie Wiesel or Primo Levi, created the style we still associate with authentic writing about the Holocaust. That style renounces beauty and cleverness in the name of more sustaining values like humility and truth. Not coincidentally, all of those writers were themselves victims and survivors of Nazism; for them, the Holocaust was not just another literary subject, but the central truth of their lives.

Gerald Steinacher…A Review Of Walter Kempowski’s Book “Swan Song-1945-Diary of the Last Days of the Third Reich”see note please

Frankly speaking, I don’t give a damn about German suffering during the war….they hailed and supported Hitler and the genocide and the Allies crushed them…..They deserved all their suffering and more…..rsk
Soviet Troops Raped and Ravaged. German Civilians Committed Suicide in Despair. And On May 8, 1945, The Nazis at Last Surrendered

For more than 20 years, the German novelist and archivist Walter Kempowski collected newspaper articles, diaries, letters, memoirs and documents written by people on both sides of the fighting and from every station in life during World War II. The result was a 10-volume magnum opus, “Das Echolot” (or “Sonar”), documenting ordinary life in Nazi Germany during the monumental days of the war through the eyes of thousands of German and Allied citizens.

The series began in 1993 with a volume on Operation Barbarossa, the German attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941. “Swansong 1945” is the last book in the series, originally published in German in 2005, two years before Kempowski’s passing. Kempowski zooms in on just four days from the final year of the war: Hitler’s 56th birthday on April 20; the first encounter of Soviet and U.S. forces in Germany on April 25 at the Elbe River; Hitler’s suicide in his Berlin bunker on April 30; and Germany’s unconditional surrender on May 8. It offers an emotionally immediate and multi-faceted perspective of the last days of the Third Reich.

Born in 1929 into a conservative upper-middle-class family, Kempowski grew up in the northeastern German town of Rostock. Like most of his peers, he had to join the Hitler Youth. In February 1945, the 16-year-old was drafted into an auxiliary anti-aircraft unit as a messenger. At the end of the war, Kempowski worked for a short time as a store clerk for American military in Wiesbaden. In 1948, while visiting his family in Rostock, then in the Soviet zone of occupation, Kempowski, his brother and his mother were arrested and sentenced to hard labor for espionage. Released in 1956, a traumatized Kempowski moved back to West Germany and started a family.

In the late 1960s, he won recognition for his autobiographical novels about his time in the Hitler Youth and in a communist prison. But Kempowski wanted to do more than document his own story. He wanted to rescue “the voices of the dead,” and do justice to the memory of the wartime generation.


Would you feel safe in Europe knowing that UAE Muslims are freely traversing the continent for six months at a time?Let’s not forget that the UAE recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan prior to 9/11. In addition, they sponsored hunting camps attended by Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda associates.Two of the 9/11 hijackers were from the UAE – Banihammad and Al Shehi – and more than $100,000 in AQ funding for the attack was funneled through Dubai banks. What’s more, the UAE was the staging and launching point for 9/11.The UAE has helped Hamas affiliate, CAIR, finance a $24 million office building as well as a $50 million public relations campaign to improve Islam’s image in America. They hold CAIR’s lease for their offices in Washington, D.C., where Nihad Awad can be seen daily hobnobbing with politicians from both sides of the aisle. The UAE has also held telethons to support the families of Arab-Palestinian suicide bombers.There’s so much more… Janet Levy

Stage set for Schengen visa waiver for Emiratis
Another victory for UAE diplomacy: Schengen visa-free travel soon, Shaikh Abdullah says

UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al NahyanImage Credit: WAMUAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
PUBLISHED: 20:00 MAY 2, 2015 SAMIR SALAMA, ASSOCIATE EDITORAbu Dhabi: UAE diplomacy has achieved another victory towards realising a Schengen visa waiver, which will allow Emiratis visa-free travel to any of all 28 Schengen states, said Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister.

Roi Yanovsky :Israel Marks Anniversary of Nazi Defeat

Thousands of veterans participated in official ceremony marking 70 years since defeat of Nazi Germany; Netanyahu, Rivlin and Ya’alon speak at event.

Thousands of people participated Thursday in the official ceremony marking 70 years since Nazi Germany was defeated, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

More than 1,000 World War II veterans took part in the event, many of them over the age of 90. The various veterans who attended fought for the US, British or Soviet army during the war, while tens of thousands of Jews who fought in various underground organizations as partisans.

The ceremony was held by the Museum of the Jewish Fighter and Yad Vashem.

French Parliament Approves Sweeping Surveillance Law by Soeren Kern

Critics say the oversight role is illusory and that the law effectively centralizes surveillance power in the hands of just a few individuals.

“A law that will change our society should have been debated. Why was there no public hearing? Why does the judge have no place in the monitoring procedure?” — Laurence Parisot, former head of Medef, the largest business lobby in France.

“We cannot accept a law that notably authorizes the establishment of systems that not only locate people, vehicles or objects in real time, but also capture personal data, based on what the drafters of the law call, vaguely, ‘the major interests of foreign policy,’ ‘the economic, industrial and scientific’ interests of France, ‘the prevention of collective violence,’ or ‘the prevention of crime and organized crime.'” — Pierre-Olivier Sur, head of the Paris bar association.

The French parliament has approved a landmark intelligence-gathering law that gives the state sweeping powers to spy on citizens.