There are moments in history when we are called upon to stand up in behalf of a great and transcendent cause. Now is such a moment. Today, April 23rd, 2015 marks the 67th year of Israel’s independence. For many, Israel’s survival and success represents Ground Zero in our fight to save the world from the barbarism marching across the globe under the banner of the Crescent.
The battle raging today between those who wish to delegitimize and destroy Israel, as opposed to those who see its establishment as a miraculous and inspired saga (the Hand of God), is another chapter in that old battle between the forces of light vs. the forces of darkness, the spirit of the Divine against the stench of idolatry, freedom and dignity vs. tyranny and debasement of humankind. It is our battle, and it’s our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fight the good fight and stand against the impurity of the cynics and scoffers on the left and the barbarians at the gate. We are lucky to be living in a time when our turn at the plate is crucial and all-defining.
Israel Independence Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day are here.
Obviously these two milestones are related in the sense that out of the ashes of the European genocide against Europe’s Jewish minority (not to be confused with the similar and nearly simultaneous Muslim Arab ethnic cleansing of the Jewish minority once living in the Middle East, now presently applied to Christians there) arose the modern state of Israel on the soil of the ancient state of Israel.
Here in America most Jewish communities spend a full 24-hour period on Holocaust Remembrance Day reading the names of Nazi victims. By reading their names, they are in some small but meaningful way not forgotten. And by remembering them as people, larger society is supposed to remember what happened so that people, and government, do the necessary things so genocide does not happen again.
This is all sound logic to me, although it is questionable whether it works, or not.
In testimony last week before the House committee in charge of State Department funding, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power acknowledged that the Obama administration intends to abandon the US’s 50 year policy of supporting Israel at the United Nations.
After going through the tired motions of pledging support for Israel, “when it matters,” Power refused to rule out the possibility that the US would support anti-Israel resolutions in the UN Security Council to limit Israeli sovereignty and control to the lands within the 1949 armistice lines – lines that are indefensible.
Such a move will be taken, she indicated, in order to midwife the establishment of a terrorist-supporting Palestinian state whose supposedly moderate leadership does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, calls daily for its destruction, and uses the UN to delegitimize the Jewish state.
In other words, the Obama administration intends to pin Israel into indefensible borders while establishing a state committed to its destruction.
“Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them.” The speaker is Thomas Gradgrind. He is talking to two adults, the school master and Josiah Bounderby and to a class of students, each known principally by a number. The quoted sentences form the first few lines of Charles Dickens’ novel Hard Times. Today’s focus on STEM programs, Common Core and standardized tests – the robotic production of students – suggest that the 160 years separating the publication of Mr. Dickens’ novel and today have brought only limited change in the desire for centralized control and the unpredictable whims that are fundamental to human behavior.
Eric Cohen’s eloquent and inspiring essay in Mosaic outlines a series of ideas that are both truly Jewish and truly conservative. I agree with them: the sanctity of the traditional family structure; a Jewish nationalism that joins morality, Jewish identity, and self-preservation; and a measured embrace of free markets. For Cohen, these ideas form part of a call to arms, a call that is directed not only to like-minded conservatives but that might ultimately fire and perhaps rescue Jews on the brink of assimilation, weakness, and self-destruction.
And yet there is something missing. Midway through this sweeping essay, Cohen enlists the biblical book of Joshua to illustrate certain hard truths about the requirements of Jewish survival and continuity. Among those requirements is the one taught by the figure of Joshua himself, the conqueror of Canaan—namely, having the power, when necessary, to wage and to win war.
Before, during, and after World War II, the British government strictly circumscribed the number of Jews who would be allowed to enter Palestine. Thousands came nonetheless. The film By Air, Land, and Sea tells some of their stories:
I’ve had a fun time out on the Earth Day airwaves talking about Climate Change: The Facts. That’s the new book featuring me and some of the world’s most eminent scientists on the state of the climate debate as we prepare to enter the third decade of the global-warming pause. And I’m thrilled to find that the book is currently Number One on the Climatology Hit Parade, ahead of Naomi Klein, Naomi Oreskes and any number of Naomis, and also Number One on the Environmental Policy Hot 100.
If this keeps up, in the forthcoming Mann vs Steyn trial I may call myself as an expert witness.
My sincere thanks to everyone who’s bought this important new book. The turn-of-the-century cartoon science of the hockey stick is over, and it’s time for climate science to make a new start.
On the other hand, serial litigant Michael E Mann also has a new book out whose Earth Day orders have rocketed it up to Big Hit Sound #1,920,648.
Wrapped in the arrogance of their youthful ignorance, student crusades seldom produce more than the bedlam of spoilt children demanding to have their whims immediately indulged. But the push for universities to divest carbon stocks, that is both different and dangerous
The growing calls by certain students and environmental groups for Australian universities to divest themselves of fossil fuel-related enterprises is typical of the feel-good grandstanding university students have long enjoyed. At a glance, the demands of these undergraduate eco-fascists appear sensible enough: universities have a privileged status in society as places of progress and innovation. They have a responsibility to embrace their as vanguards of social change and lead the fight against climate change. It is only right that they sever ties with companies that reap their profits by plundering the loins of Mother Earth.
Tempting, as it may be to accept this heartfelt concern for the planet’s wellbeing at face value, there are good reasons why the blossoming of this new species of eco-authoritarianism should be cut down at the roots.
The alleged killing on Friday of a former henchman of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by Shiite militiamen loyal to Iran could have far reaching consequences for the United States.
Ibrahim Ezzat-al-din ad-Douri was one of a handful of survivors from Saddam’s inner circle. Labelled the King of Clubs in the famous deck of cards that guided U.S. capture efforts after the 2003 liberation of Iraq, ad-Douri evaded traps a sand fly.
Three times he was pronounced dead. Three times he returned to give video-taped speeches and make public appearances, leading an insurgency against the United States and, more recently, against the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.
Ad-Duri supporters tell me that he has done so again – although pro-Iranian militiamen claim to have conducted DNA sampling on the beard of the man they killed in a raid on Friday and proclaimed it  to be ad-Duri.
Immigration has become the third rail of American politics.
At a time when the labor force participation rate has fallen to 62 percent and the employment growth for the last 15 years  has gone to immigrants, opposing the Super-Amnesty of 12 million illegal aliens is still considered an extreme position… in the Republican Party.
So when Scott Walker merely suggested that Congress should make immigration decisions based on “protecting American workers and American wages,” he was denounced for it  by… Republicans.
Walker’s belief that immigration should be based on “our economic situation,” rather than an ideological mandate for open borders, has become an “extreme right”  position. And yet this scary “extreme” position that foreign workers shouldn’t be brought in to displace American workers is part of our immigration law. It’s just one of those “extreme” parts that, like the illegality of crossing the border, is being ignored. It’s not just being ignored by Obama. It’s also being ignored by the Republican Party.
Scott Walker’s common sense immigration populism was met with two sets of attacks. The first set came from senators like McCain and Portman playing the old song about all those “jobs Americans won’t do.” (Not that they’re given the chance to do them.) Senator Hatch claimed that, “We know that when we graduate PhDs and master’s degrees and engineers, we don’t have enough of any of those.”