Posts Tagged With: israel

A BOTTOMLESS PIT

In May 1974 a group of Palestinian terrorists entered Israel from Lebanon, and made their way to the Israeli town of Ma’alot. Over a period of days they murdered several Israelis and then entered an Israeli public school. Heavily armed with grenades and bombs as well as guns, they took 115 hostages, mainly school children, and demanded that a bunch of Palestinian terrorists sitting in Israeli jails be released. Israel refused to accede to their demands and the hostage crises dragged on for 2 days. Finally an elite squad of Israeli troops burst into the school and killed the Palestinians; but not before the terrorists had murdered 25 hostages, 22 of which were school children. Proving once again that the capacity for evil in the human condition is a bottomless pit.

I was reminded of this event when a couple of weeks ago, Taliban terrorists burst into a Pakistani school and slaughtered 150 people, a 132 of which were also school children. The concept behind this act, according to the Taliban mindset, was to have the parents grieve and suffer miserably for the rest of their lives, due to the loss of their most precious loved ones. Here it was a case of Muslims killing other Muslims because of ideological differences. The Taliban are fanatical Islamic terrorists, and those that don’t share their lunatic religious beliefs are fair game for slaughter. It’s the type of religious fanaticism that has given the world the recently formed ISIS terrorists who now control large swaths of Iraq and Syria, and are on the march to expand their empire. They love to feature beheadings of civilians they consider apostates, all in the name of being faithful to Allah. How many people over the centuries and millennia have lost their lives in the name of religion, by those who believe they’re invoking God’s will here on Earth.

So here we are on Christmas Eve when the world is overflowing with bright lights and gifts and all sorts of merriment and festivities, to say nothing of goodwill toward man. At least that’s the way it’s portrayed in most of the Christian world where Christianity is heralded as a religion of peace and love. And today, that religion that was begun by a  young Jewish Rabbi and his impoverished disciples over 2000 years ago does, for the most part, preach peace and love. But it wasn’t always so. One only has to go back to the Spanish Inquisition a few centuries ago when mostly Jews, but some Muslims also, were tortured or burned at the stake, in the name of Jesus, in order to save their souls. After all, isn’t that what God would have wanted.

Actually, Europe has a rich history of Christian hatred toward Jews going back  almost two millennia since the Roman Empire destroyed the state of Israel and dispersed its Hebrew residents into mainly various European countries. Almost from the beginning of the rise of Christianity in Europe, Jews were called “Christ-killers” and subjected to intense hatred and discrimination throughout the continent. Never mind that Jesus himself was a Jew, and had always preached a philosophy of peace. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” I believe is one of his more famous proclamations. All this was obviously ignored, as a series of pogroms against Jews throughout most of Europe was begun and continued through the centuries. Pogroms were where people got up in the morning and decided it would be great sport to set upon the town’s Jewish population, either killing or robbing them, or sending them into exile. It was rare to find a European that wasn’t anti-semitic, and persecution of Jews was the name of the game.

The end result of all this anti-semitism throughout the ages was finally the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich in Nazi Germany and the ensuing Holocaust. Hitler, and his band of Nazi thugs, could not have thrived as well as they did had not Europe experienced a rich heritage of hatred toward Jews. The Holocaust could not have been as successful as it was, i.e. the murder of 6 million innocent people, had not hundreds of thousands of Germans, as well as people in the conquered countries, participated so willingly in the logistics of shipping millions of people to death camps, and manufacturing the chemicals necessary to cause their deaths. Indeed, Hitler’s intense hatred of Jews was itself a product of the anti-semiticism and persecution of Jews that Europe had experienced since the rise of Christianity. Virtually all Europeans had been brainwashed into believing that anti-semitism was really a good thing.Talk about the bottomless pit of evil in the human condition.

With the destruction of the Nazi empire in 1945, Europeans were supposedly being cured of of their anti-semitic beliefs. After all, they had experienced, first hand, the death and destruction those instincts had caused. But Jew-hating amongst Europeans never really went away; it just became more covert. It was no longer fashionable for Europeans to express out loud how much they despised Jews. But those that were able to overhear conversations among young like-minded Germans or other those in other countries, recognized that the affliction of anti-semitism was still thriving in the European blood-stream. In recent years, anti-semitism has moved from the shadows into the open once again in Europe, especially since the disparate number of deaths that occurred in the latest shootout between Israel and Gaza. Several European countries have now called for boycotts of all Israeli products as well as other harmful sanctions. Mass protests against Israel in most European countries have become routine.

For anti-semitisim, or any hatred toward any religious or ethnic group to thrive, two things have to occur. The first is that the group you’re venting your hatred for has to be a small minority, and thus, incapable of defending itself in the long run against the larger, more powerful majority. The second thing is that the hater must despise some aspect of him or herself, and thus seeks to deflect that self-hatred by seeking vengeance against a relatively defenseless minority. Thus, the bottomless pit of evil begins with self-loathing.

In any event, it’s Christmas Eve, so by all means go out and have your Christmas dinners, drink to excess, exchange gifts and party on. For some people, however, this won’t be possible. People that are lying in hospitals, too sick to get out of bed. People that will die tonight. And people that are unfortunate enough to live in those parts of the world overrun by by religious fanaticism and terrorism. The very bottomless pit of evil.

 

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BRAZIL’S MORAL EQUIVALENCE

So there’s a new 72-hour cease-fire in the on-going war between Hamas in Gaza and the Israelis. We’ll see if this one will hold for awhile, or if it will collapse into a new round of violence and bloodshed. But I thought that one interesting aspect of this conflict was the fact that Brazil, about a week and half ago, broke off diplomatic relations with Israel, apparently because of the disproportionate number of casualties suffered by the Palestinians versus those on the Israeli side. Let’s see. Hamas began this war by murdering 3 Israeli teenagers, and then launched a barrage of missiles directed at Israel’s civilian population; but, somehow, it all turns out to be Israel’s fault. Several other smaller South American also followed Brazil’s lead in severing diplomatic relations with you know who.

Brazil’s current President is Dilma Rousseff, who succeeded the very popular President Lula da Silva, a couple of years ago. President Lula was considered a left-winger when first elected, but moved to the center after taking office. He turned, pragmatically, to championing a market economy, and was credited with substantially expanding the Brazilian economy and reducing poverty levels. His approval ratings were through the roof when he left office after 8 years. However, his chosen successor, Dilma Rouseff, has been struggling since being being elected. The Brazilian economy, the seventh largest in the world, has begun to stagnate under her leadership. Poverty levels are inching up. There was great controversy over the vast sum of resources spent to host the World Cup Soccer Tournament earlier this year. The supposed benefits of increased tourism spending didn’t seem to quite cover the expenditures of building a new soccer stadium, increased security, etc.

So, did President Rouseff run out of problems at home, that she suddenly thrust her country into diplomatic affairs regarding a Mid-Eastern war. Not hardly. While tourists from all over the world flock to Rio, especially during carnival time, few ever venture forth to see its seamier side. While wealthy tourists are enjoying Rio’s golden beaches, about a hundred thousand people live in some of the world’s worst slums in the hills above Rio. Drug lords and cartels pretty much rule the lives of these slum dwellers. The police, over the last 10 years, have significantly increased their presence in these slum neighborhoods in an attempt to quell the crime and violence evident there, but have barely made a dent in criminal activity. Speaking of the police, a human rights organization has found that a greater percentage of people in Brazil fear police brutality, than any other nation in the world. With all the tyrants that rule so many countries on this planet, that’s quite a finding.

So why did a Brazilian president suddenly break diplomatic relations with a country far from South America, that it had scant economic ties with in the first place. My theory is that it all goes back to WWII. After that war, a number of high-ranking Nazi war criminals managed to elude Allied capture, and made their way to South America where they found a safe haven. Even back then, it appeared that Latin America was so envious or otherwise so distrustful of the United States, that they tended to side with Nazi Germany during that bloodiest of all wars. Hence those Nazi officials that managed to escape being tried for their crimes, naturally made their way to S.A. For example, Adolf Eichmann, who was in charge of the Nazi death camps that killed 6 million Jews, wound up in Argentina. He was actually captured  there by Israeli agents in 1960, and brought back to Israel to stand trial. It was during that trial that he uttered the famous phrase that would be used by scum all over the world, ever since. In his defense, he stated that he “was only following orders,” that were issued by his superiors. He was found guilty and hung for his crimes, in 1962. Another prominent Nazi war criminal that ended up in S.A. was Dr. Josef Mengele, who performed the most heinous physical experiments on Jewish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. Mengele  managed to elude Israeli agents hunting for him, and supposedly drowned while swimming off the coast of Brazil in 1979. There’s no proof of that, however. Other, lesser known Nazi war criminals also made a haven for themselves in S.A. after the war.

So, continuing a 70 year tradition, the president of Brazil naturally sides with the enemy of the Jewish state. No matter that Hamas deliberately targets Israeli civilians in attempting to register as many kills as possible. No matter that Hamas uses its own people, including small children, as human shields to deliberately run up the Palestinian civilian death toll. It’s certainly of no importance that Hamas hides its rockets and weaponry in civilian apartments and houses, in schools, in Mosques, in shopping centers, etc. so that deaths among civilians can be further increased. And, of course, the multitude of tunnels Hamas built from Gaza into Israel in order to kill or capture Israelites is also of no consequence. To say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of tons of cement and the huge amount of resources it took to build these tunnels.

This is called selective moral equivalence. Since Israel has suffered far fewer casualties in the current conflict, they must automatically be considered the bad guys. But where is the moral outrage from Brazil when it comes to Syria. The despot Assad has killed 150,000 of his own countrymen during that 4 year, on-going civil war, but not a peep of protest from Brazil. Less than 2000 Palestinians killed versus 150,000 dead Syrians. Hmmm. I guess that when it comes to Muslims killing Muslims, they get a free pass from the Brazilian president. How about the on-going slaughter of thousands, currently taking place in the Ukraine. Where is Brazil’s moral anger against Vladimir Putin’s tyranny that is fueling that civil war. No mention of Brazil breaking diplomatic relations with Russia that I read about.

Of course, Brazil is certainly not the only country indulging in moral equivalence, so perhaps it’s unfair to single them out. But it’s highly illustrative of the collapse of civilized behavior that should be inherent in the human condition, but apparently isn’t. When countries that are supposed to know better, seek to accommodate the increasing strength of the new spreading, terrorist barbarism, instead of promoting decency, compassion and humanism, this planet is in a whole heap of trouble.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DERANGEMENT AS THE HUMAN CONDITION

How does the world seem to be spinning these days? A bit wobbly you might say. Well, perhaps wobbly is too mild a word. Deranged disintegration might be a more apt description. Lets look at what has transpired just in the last couple of weeks, to observe the depths of new lows in the human condition.

About a week or so ago, Ukrainian rebels seeking to break the eastern part of Ukraine off from the rest of the country and join the Russian “empire,” such as it is, decided what jolly good fun it would be to fire a surface-to-air missile at an unarmed civilian aircraft. Of course, the missile found its target, and just under 300 innocent civilian travelers were killed in an instant. There was no military advantage that could accrue to the rebels by bringing down Malaysian flight #17. It was just killing for the sake of killing, perhaps similar to the way a serial killer gets his kicks by murdering innocent victims. The missiles and launchers and other weaponry have been supplied to the Ukrainian by Russia’s dictator, Vladimir Putin, who has dreams of reassembling the old USSR under his leadership. Of course, after this heinous act of destruction, the missile launchers were quickly returned to Russian soil, and everyone from Putin on down to the lowest Ukrainian rebel denied culpability in this tragic incident. These days, truth and reality is what you choose to proclaim, not what actually transpired.

I’ve written before about what a thug and tyrant Vladimir Putin is, and how the Russian people have been suffering under his despotism, so I won’t rehash previous postings. Well, maybe a little rehash, just to point out that economic conditions are so bleak in Russia that the Russian population has been spiraling downward for at least 2 decades. Only major influxes of Muslims from Arab countries have kept Russia afloat. Their economy depends almost solely on large deposits of oil and gas that Russia exports, mainly to other European countries. Should those countries ever start developing their own sources of energy, the Russian economy would collapse like a house of cards. Nevertheless, this is what the mind-numbing rebel idiots in the Eastern part of the Ukraine are trying to become part of. And in the process, picking off a commercial airline flight when things get a little too dull.

Of course, the epitome of human derangement continues in the on-going war in Gaza between Hamas and Israel. Again, I won’t rehash what I wrote last time, except to point out the reasons for the disparity in casualties between the two sides. In Israel, all military personnel and activities are confined solely to military bases. In  Gaza, Hamas has arranged just the opposite. Hamas has placed their missiles and missile launchers and all other weaponry amongst the civilian population. Rockets and their launchers have been put in civilian apartments and houses, in schools and hospitals, in mosques and UN refugee camps, in market places, and all other locations that civilians tend to populate. Hence when Israeli forces seek to destroy these weapons, there will be a very high toll of civilian casualties. But that’s the idea in the terrorist’s mindset. Run up as many civilian deaths as possible, even among your own people, in order to win the PR campaign. Hamas can then go forward and say to the world- look at all the innocent civilians the Zionist entity is killing.

Hamas terrorists, when going to a different location, ride in ambulances crammed with young children, daring Israel to fire at these vehicles and destroy the lives of their young hostages. Who does things like that? What kind of a mindset does it take to fire rockets out of civilian apartments or mosques in order to run up the tally of non-combatant deaths? It’s the mindset, as I pointed out last time, of a people that cherish death over life. And in the end, its it’s the mindset of of the Palestinians themselves living in Gaza, that voted Hamas into a government leadership role, and who today, even amidst all the death, destruction and misery, continue to cheer Hamas rocket launches into the Israeli civilian population. Can human derangement get any lower than that.

To date, the death toll stands at about 750 for the Palestinians and about 30 for Israel, a country that actually does deeply mourn each loss of life. One of the discoveries coming out of this war is the vast network of tunnels that Hamas has developed in underground Gaza. These tunnels were created at enormous time and expense in order to allow Hamas terrorists to burrow their way into Israel and kill or capture as many Israeli civilians as possible. As I pointed out last time, when Hamas took the reins of Gaza leadership in 2006 they could have taken a different route. They could  have asked the U.S. and the European Union to invest heavily in a peaceful Gaza. They could have pointed out that there was a huge pool of workers in Gaza, hungry for decent paying jobs. They could have pointed out that large investments in plants, factories, tourism, etc. would return handsome profits to the investors. Instead Hamas decided to spend all their time, energy and resources in devising methods to kill Israelis.

Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to human folly. In the on-going 4-year old civil war in Syria, brutal dictator Assad has butchered over 150,000 of his countrymen in order to stay in power. Yet it’s hardly a blip on anyone’s radar screen these days. Maybe the trick is to run up the death toll so high that no one cares anymore. In Iraq, where we fought for 10 years at huge human and resource sacrifice, a terrorist group even more violent than Al-Qaida has taken over large swaths of territory. In Nigeria, another terrorist organization is killing people by the hundreds. Libya, the one place where the U.S. did take military action, has pretty much degenerated into its own civil war. And the beat goes on.

So how is the planet spinning these days? A hell of a lot more than wobbly. More like the pits of a deranged, murderous, dysfunctional entity, I would think.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

WHEN VENGEANCE TRUMPS A MOTHER’S LOVE

To best understand the unfolding events in the Middle East, one should go back to a statement made by Osama bin Laden shorty after 9/11. He stated that what Americans and those in the West don’t understand is that while they cherish life, we in the East cherish death. That statement pretty well hits the nail squarely on the head and is key to understanding the roots of the latest Israeli-Palestinian crises currently on-going. As well as the on-going events of death, destruction and misery among various Arab factions in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere.

Some years back, one of our news outlets made a documentary about about a Palestinian family living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This family had a large number of children, perhaps 11 or 12, if memory serves me correctly. The oldest child was a boy about 17 years of age. But what makes the story unique was that this son was already being prepared to die as a suicide bomber, all with his mother’s blessing.  While the mother professed great love for her son, she stated that her greatest joy would be for the boy to achieve martyrdom by strapping on a belt bomb loaded with explosives. He would then slip his way into a crowded marketplace in, say, Tel-Aviv, and detonate the bomb. Of course the boy would die instantly, but if he could destroy the lives of a dozen or so Jews with that act, there would be huge celebration in the Palestinian territories. The son would instantly be recognized as a martyr and hero to the Palestinian people. He would bring a sense of huge gratitude and honor to his family from Palestinian authorities. The fact that he sacrificed his young life for an act of murder and terrorism would be of no consequence. Is there any mother in the West that could possibly even consider thinking along those lines. Yet, this type of motherly “love” is not uncommon among among the Palestinian people. It takes place when the vilest form of hatred and quest for vengeance triumphs over the natural instinct of paternal love for one’s children.

It’s this type of mentality that explains the latest violence going on (with no end in site) between Israel and the Hamas controlled Gaza strip. It started back in 2006 when Israel withdrew all its troops and settlements from Gaza and turned it all over to the Palestinians. Gaza is a relatively small strip of land with a high density, crowded population of about a million and a half Arabs. Being in complete control, the people of Gaza had great opportunity to develop the region into a peaceful, economic powerhouse. They could have built dozens of seaside hotels and resorts which could have attracted thousands of tourists willing and eager to spend their money, and enhance the Gaza economy. They could have made clear that foreign investment would be more than welcome, as well as the development of new factories and plants. They could have worked economically with Israel to the mutual benefit of both sides. Such actions would have been a boon to the Gaza economy and could have lifted its inhabitants out of the miserable poverty they’re so deeply mired in. But instead, Gaza chose a different path.

The people of Gaza chose to turn the reigns of power over to a terrorist organization called Hamas, which has only 2 professed objectives- the killing of Jews and the destruction of the State of Israel. No consideration was given to potential economic development, as people in Gaza were basically left to rot in their own poverty. Instead Hamas put it’s priorities in acquiring missiles and rockets and other weapons that could be fired into civilian populations in Israel.  So for the third time now, Hamas has started a campaign of firing rockets into Israel with the hope of killing as many Jews as possible. And as in the previous 2 times, Israel has responded by pounding suspected terrorist sites and homes with aerial bombardment. I guess some things never change. Hamas has deliberately placed most of its rocket and missile launchers in civilian homes and mosques. Thus, when Israel bombs these sites, there’s sure to be significant civilian casualties. According to the Hamas party line, this is a good thing. To their thinking, the more civilians that are killed by Israeli bombs, the more world powers will condemn Israel for such atrocities. After all, isn’t it death that’s to be worshipped rather than life.

The sad thing is that amidst all the death and destruction going on in Gaza, amidst all the rubble and carnage, the people in Gaza still appear to strongly support Hamas’s launching of about hundred missiles a day into Israel. Amidst the vastly disproportionate death tolls and wounded that Gaza is experiencing, Palestinians are still cheering for this conflict to continue indefinitely. Such is the power that hatred and lust for revenge can have on the human mind. The propensity to despise is like a bottomless pit.

And it’s not just hatred of Israel that’s driving the forces of death and destruction in the Middle-East. As I mentioned earlier, Arabs and Moslems are killing each by the thousands in places such as Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, and are currently threatening Jordan. New terrorist groups such as ISIS are now calling older terrorists such as Al-Qaida too timid in the amount of killings and destruction they achieve. These are the new barbarians at the gates. Similar to the barbarians such as the Huns, Visigoths and Vandals that eventually brought the mighty Roman Empire to its knees, and ushered in centuries of dark ages; these new barbarians, or terrorists as we call them today have pretty much the same goals. Destroy all vestiges of Western civilization, and bring in a new version of the dark ages where Islamic fanaticism rules every facet of life. Even if it takes hundreds of years to achieve. Never underestimate the power of pure, distilled hatred.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

OF KILLINGS AND REDEMPTION

There’s a psychiatric hospital in northern Israel whose inmates are comprised solely of Holocaust survivors. The dwindling population of this hospital houses those that were thrown into Nazi concentration camps as youngsters; but who miraculously survived the gas chambers and eventually emigrated to Israel. Now in their 70s or 80s, these people came to Israel after the war. But they were so traumatized by the horror of their experiences in the camps, that their psyche’s are too damaged to enable them to function, even on the most basic level, in normal society. While WWII ended almost 70 years ago, for the inhabitants of this hospital, it was still on-going yesterday. Some refuse to bathe because they’re certain the showers are really the gas chambers. Others hide pieces of meat in their pillow cases to prepare for the next round of starvation. Only Israel will care for these mentally-ill survivors. There are also another 200,000 survivors of Nazi terror living in Israel, who are considered sane enough to live on their own. But most live lonely existences filled with anxiety and depression. One elderly man describes how instinctively jumps whenever the phone rings or there’s a knock on the door. After all these years, his mind still envisions that it’s the Gestapo coming after him. In a world history filled with the most heinous and despicable tyrannies, these people are the continuing casualties of perhaps the single most evil act of them all.

So why bring all this misery up now? Well, this is a big week in the Judeo-Christain faiths. For the Jews, tonight starts the beginning of Passover, commemorating the time that Moses supposedly led enslaved Jews out of bondage in Egypt to eventually find a land of their own in Israel. Of course, it took decades to reach this promised land, and along the way, the Jews had to eat “unleavened” bread, better known today as matzos. (Oh, the horror.) These matzos are now considered something of a novelty, if not a delicacy. And, of course, for Christians, this Sunday is Easter, commemorating the time 2000 years ago that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, only to be resurrected into heaven shortly thereafter. Since man’s sin of eating the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden was thus atoned for, it left man free to commit future sins, like say, mass murder.

American Jews tend to be mostly secular, ( the price paid, I suppose, for a lack of persecution in the U.S.),  but many still observe religious traditions like the seder on Passover eve. When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, my parents openly scoffed at these religious traditions. Nevertheless, as poor as we were, my parents kept 2 sets of dishes, with one set to be used for only the 8 days of Passover. The other set, which was used all the rest of the year, had to be packed up and put into storage, lest it contaminated the sanctity of the Passover period. Perish the thought. During those 8 days, we were only allowed to eat foods designated as kosher for Passover, which, of course, meant absolutely no bread. For me, it was the loss of bagels and cream cheese that was the most disturbing. And while my parents only attended service at the local synagogue during the Jewish new year, it didn’t stop the local Rabbi from coming to our apartment about once a month, essentially looking for a hand out. And unbelievably to me, after the Rabbi said some soothing words to my mother, she would slip him a twenty.

Now $20 in those days was really a big deal, especially to a family like ours which lived mostly in poverty. The Rabbi must have seen the look of consternation on my face when I saw my mother part with what seemed like a small fortune. He came over and assured me that he would pray each day for our family. Well, that sealed the deal in my young mind. If a holy man like the Rabbi, who obviously had a direct pipeline to God, prayed for us, how could our fortunes not change for the better. How could containers filled with ancient gold coins not come hurtling out of the sky and land at our feet. Soon we would be rich and live on Park Avenue. Somehow though, it never quite turned out that way.

But back to the Passover and Easter occurrences and traditions. I’ve written before about how the Israeli Government has spent million of dollars looking for the slightest shred of evidence, the smallest relic, that the entire story of Moses, the parting of the Red Sea, the decades of Jews wandering around in the desert looking for the holy land, the 10 commandments; that any of that actually happened. And all they’ve come up with is a dry hole. So maybe, instead of commemorating a story that is likely a total work of fiction, on Passover, Jews would be well served to pay homage to the 6 million people that actually died during the Holocaust, and to the remaining survivors that are also victims of those tragic events. My father repeated many times that his heart would forever be broken because of what happened to the Jews during the 12-year reign of the Third Reich. That’s what Passover should really be all about.

And maybe, it’s also time for Christians to accept the fact that man has created far greater sins than what supposedly transpired in the Garden of Eden. Which is another story that’s also, likely, a total work of fiction. If Jesus gave his life to redeem mankind, then let that redemption be for all the holocausts, various other murderous assaults, plundering, and other acts of evil that man has perpetrated during his entire history of life on this planet. That, I believe, would be a lot more meaningful for most people in this day and age.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

OLD HATREDS NEVER DIE, NOR FADE AWAY

I thought I would but a little more flesh on the rather bare bones description of the Arab-Israeli conflict that I wrote about last time. Because it seems like the hate and vengeance that emanate from both sides goes back a long, long ways, to early biblical times, perhaps as much as 4000 years ago. If one believes that both the old and new testaments are anything more than fable, mythology and superstition, then the old hatreds started with Abraham, who is considered to be the father of the Hebrew nation. It seems that Abraham had, with his wife Sarah, a son named Isaac, who started the Jewish state. But for reasons too absurd to go into detail here, Abraham, the old goat, also decided to fool around with one of the servant women, and in the process, produced another son named Ishmael. It finally dawned on his wife Sarah that this was not a kosher situation; so she ordered Abraham to expel both mother and child from their living quarters. Neither would also get any of Abraham’s inheritance. Ishmael would then go on to father the Arab nation, while, as I’ve said, Isaac would be the founder of the Hebrew nation. From that point on, the hatreds, wars, mass murders, slaughters of innocent people, destruction, etc. between the two peoples would become fully launched.

Now as I’ve stated many times before, I’m not a big believer in the veracity of either sets of bibles, since they were both written by man, not God. They make for some interesting folklore and myths, but it’s unlikely that many of the events described, especially in the old testament, actually took place. For example, the Israeli government has spent tens of millions of dollars looking for the slightest shred of evidence that Moses ever existed, let alone parted the Red Sea, and has come up with nothing but a dry hole. So let’s fast forward a couple of thousand of years to the time that Jesus walked this planet. It was also a time when the mighty Roman Empire conquered the state of Israel, which then resulted in most Jews being driven from their homeland, and relocating mostly in Europe. (As we all know, the Roman Empire, some centuries later, would also subsequently fall to the barbarians at the gates.) Over the next 2000 years, European Jews were then subjected to severe persecution and pogroms by most European nations, (think of the Spanish Inquisition) which finally culminated in the blackest and most evil pit of all, known as the Holocaust. The Nazis would slaughter about 6 million European Jews during that pogrom, before the WWII nightmare would finally end. After the war, most leading nations, as represented in the U.N., felt that the Jews now deserved their own homeland where they would be safe from persecution.

In the late 19th century, an Austrian Jew named Theodor Herzl had put forth the idea that all the displaced Jews of Europe should be able to return to their biblical homeland in the deserts of the Mid-East, as a way to escape anti-semitic persecution that was rampant throughout Europe at the time. This concept became known as Zionism, and the first Zionist Congress met in Switzerland in 1897 to formulate strategies and plans to accomplish this goal. After WWII the Zionist movement gathered momentum and, as I’ve said, almost all world powers were in agreement in the establishment of the state of Israel. Bur there was fierce opposition coming from one quarter, and that was from the Arabs living in those Mid-Eastern deserts that would become the Jewish state.

In 1947, at the urging of President Harry Truman, the U.N. general assembly voted in favor of a 2 state partition of those biblical lands in the desert. One state would be Palestinian, and the other would Jewish. Fighting between both sides broke out almost immediately, and in 1948, when Israel officially declared independence, 4 Arab countries invaded the new state. By some miracle, Israel was able to win that early on-slaught, and a cease-fire was declared in 1949. But as the title to this piece states, old hatreds never go away. In 1967, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan attacked Israel once again in what would become known as the 6-day war. Israel would win that war too, and in the process acquire all of Jerusalem (which had been partitioned), the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. But the Arabs weren’t finished by a long shot. On Yom Kippur, the Jewish holy day, in 1973, Egypt and Syria once again sprung a surprise military attack on an unprepared Israel. That one came within a hair’s breath of success. Israel eventually found the resilience to fight back this latest Arab attempt to “drive the Jews into the sea,” and again won that war. It was at that point that the Arabs realized the futility of outright armed invasion. Instead, they would try a new tactic of brutal, murderous slaughter of Israeli civilians, known as terrorism, which I described in some detail in my previous entry. What I didn’t mention last time was that these terrorist tactics also included lobbing rockets with explosive warheads into Israeli towns, which is still on-going to this day.

The entire state of Israel is about the size of Delaware. When George W. Bush became President he visited Israel and was given a helicopter tour over  the whole state. It was pointed out to him that at its narrowest point Israel is only 9 miles wide. “Nine miles,” he exclaimed. “There are some driveways in Texas that are longer than 9 miles.” But within this small strip of land in the desert, there has been a never-ending sea of hatred, bloodshed, death, destruction and misery that has evolved over thousands of years. With no end in sight. And yet the far left-wing in this country and throughout Europe, especially in academia and other so-called intellectual circles, want to establish economic and scholastic boycotts of everything Israeli. Because, obviously, all this hatred and bloodshed is all Israel’s fault.

The problem with this left-wing ideology is that when one is a determined ideologue, he or she will make the facts fit their belief system instead of the other way around. So like their blood brothers on the far right, its not about what occurs in reality; its all about making a life-long commitment to a certain ideology, no matter how false the premises of that ideology may be.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SCARLETT JOHANSSON FOR SEC. OF STATE

Readers of this blog know that I’ve often excoriated right-wing extremists for their delusional fanaticism. But there is also a cadre of left-wing extremists, like their far-right counterparts, that deserve the harsh light of reality to be shone on their biases. These left-wingers are often in academia or function as community organizers in anti-poverty poverty programs. Worthy activities to be sure, but it doesn’t exempt them from criticism of their extremist views on world activities. Thus, in certain left-wing circles, it is highly fashionable to completely side with one faction in the 65 year-old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. And that side is, of course, is with the Palestinians. In their world view, Israel is totally to blame for all the bloodshed and and destruction that has occurred over the last 65 years because of its insistence of establishing a Jewish state in the midst of a region populated primarily by Arabs. They claim to be anti-zionist instead of anti-semitic, as if there’s a difference between the two. It’s okay for the English to have their own state, for the French to have their own state, and similarly, for the Germans, Italians, Poles, Irish, Japanese, etc., etc., to all have their own states. But, somehow, it’s not okay for the Jews to have a state of their own. So as usual in these conflicts, it’s best to examine the facts and see which side (if any) is to blame.

As everyone knows, the Olympics are supposedly all about sports competition without any political interference. But in 1972, with the Olympics held in Munich, Germany, Palestinian terrorists snuck into the Israeli encampment and captured 11 Israeli athletes. After days of fruitless negotiations, the German police stormed the encampment only to find that these terrorists had just murdered all 11 Israelis. The terrorists were then shot dead by the police, but the terror they had inflicted made world-wide headlines. All in the name of the Palestinian cause. The drumbeat of Palestinian terrorist activities continued on. In 1973 Palestinian murderers killed the U.S. ambassador to the Sudan, as well as his deputy. Then, in 1974, terrorists entered a public school in Ma’alot, Israel and massacred 25 people including 22 schoolchildren. Roars of approval were sounded in all the Palestinian territories. If there was one thing Palestinians treasured above killing Israeli civilians, it was the killing of Israeli children. This was shown by the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, in which 38 Israelis were slaughtered, including 13 children. And the parade of Palestinian terrorism has continued on and on to the present day.

Since 1980, until today, there has been 17 different Palestinian terrorist attacks in which 804 Israelis have lost their lives. And how have the Palestinian authorities reacted to this terrorism? In December, Palestinian President Abbas posthumously bestowed the “Star of Honor” on Abu Jihad, the mastermind of the Coastal Road attack. He was “the model of a true fighter and devoted leader” stated Abbas. The woman who actually led the attack had a square in the Palestinian territories named after her, for her bravery. One other item. When the terrorist attacks on 9/11 in this country brought down the World Trade Center and killed almost 3000 Americans, Israel lowered its flags to half-mast and went into a period of deep mourning over our casualties. On the other hand, there was literally rejoicing with fireworks and dancing in the streets of the Palestinian territories.

So why exactly do these left-wing “intellectuals” continually take the Palestinian side. Well, perhaps it’s because in Israel, women are not allowed to drive a car on their own. If a woman wants to get behind the steering wheel, there must at least be one man to accompany her. Oh, wait a minute. Those rules actually take place in Saudi Arabia. In Israel, women have exactly the same driving privileges as men. Well then, maybe it’s because in Israel, women have to dress in long black wraps which include covering their faces. Oops, wrong again. That actually takes place in Iran, and through many of the Arab countries. Israeli women dress according to the latest Western fashions. Well, perhaps it’s due to the fact that Israeli schoolchildren are taught that Islamic Mullahs seek to slit their throats and drink their blood. Oh no, once again my bad. Such are the the teachings in our old friend Saudi Arabia once more; where schoolchildren are taught that Jewish Rabbis inflict such ghoulish acts on them. So what is behind the anti-Israeli bias so popular in so many left-wing circles. It seems as though anti-semitism is the one hatred that still has respectability among many on the left.

In any event, the Obama Administration and Secretary of State John Kerry in particular, have recently been trying to broker a peace agreement to finally end this 65-year old conflict. However, from statements made by Kerry, and in accordance with Obama’s wishy-washy, weak as dishwater foreign policy, it appears that all the concessions needed to presumably reach a peace treaty are to be made by Israel. Nothing in the way of compromise is being asked of the Palestinians. God forbid. This is where Scarlett Johansson enters the picture. The well-known and beautiful actress recently cut a commercial for the Super Bowl touting sodas made by an Israeli company called SodaStream. Oxfam, a left-wing anti-poverty group condemned her action, and called on her to join with them in a boycott of all Israeli goods. Scarlett, politely but firmly declined, citing a fundamental difference of opinion regarding boycotting Israeli products. Finally, someone with a little spine and backbone. Perhaps we should make her Secretary of State in lieu of John Kerry. She certainly couldn’t do any worse regarding foreign policy, than what has been exhibited by this Administration thus far.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

NEW YEAR, SAME OLD HATREDS

A recent Gallop poll showed that close to two-thirds of all Americans considered 2013 to be a bummer. A year in which their fortunes or circumstances not only did not improve, but mostly worsened. So, as the festivities surrounding the artificial demarcation of the calendar have now ended, it might be useful to view where the world stands and what we can expect in 2014. A good place to start might be the Mid-East where centuries of embedded hatreds have come bubbling to the surface with a vengeance, resulting in the slaughter of thousands of people. Besides the hatreds between Palestinian Moslems and Israeli Jews, there are the larger hatreds between the primary two factions of Islam-the Shiites and the Sunnis. Both factions pray to Allah; both observe nearly identical religious rites, and yet both despise the very existence of each other’s lives. Never underestimate man’s capacity to revel in the depths of hatred and thirst for vengeance, which is like a bottomless pit.

A good example of this is current-day Iraq. Remember Iraq; the place that used to be ruled by the tyrant Saddam Hussein. Remember back in 2003 when President George W. Bush stated that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weaponry. How the world could not allow such a blood thirsty butcher as Saddam to possess these WMDs. How we had to go to war with Iraq in March 2003 in order to depose Saddam and rid Iraq of these WMDs. And how, after we easily won that war, we found that, lo and behold, there were actually no WMDs in Iraq whatsoever. Oops. A slight miscalculation in our intelligence community. We finally extracted our forces out of Iraq after nearly 10 years of on-going bloodshed, after the deaths of over 6000 U.S military personnel and civilian contractors, the expenditure of nearly a trillion dollars, and the slaughter of close to 200,000 Iraqis. What’s left now, however, is an Iraqi nation in shambles with Shiite and Sunni factions, along with the emerging presence of Al-Qaida, murdering each other by the thousands.

In 2013, almost 9000 Iraqis were killed in suicide terrorist attacks. When Saddam was in charge, he had led his minority Sunni people to rule over the majority Shiite population. With Saddam gone, and with no U.S. presence to mediate between both Islamic factions, the majority Shiites have taken control of the government led by Prime Minister Maleki who has moved harshly against the Sunnis; including handing out death sentences against Sunni political leaders. As a result, old hatreds have come to the forefront with Sunnis going on a killing spree against Shiites to avenge the oppression they’re experiencing.  Al-Qaida, ever vigilant for new opportunities to spread their unique brand of terrorism, has stepped into the fray by aligning themselves with the Sunni minority. But in reality, Al-Qaeda is just out for themselves, and has now taken control of a significant chunk of Iraqi territory; including the city of Fallujah, where so many U.S. lives were lost. As the beat goes on, old hatreds keep on bubbling to the surface as Iraq continues to degenerate or devolve into never-ending tribal warfare.

I’ve written extensively before, about the 3 year-old civil war going on in Syria, which has now claimed about 125,000 lives with hundreds more lost on an almost daily basis; so I won’t repeat the details here. Except to note that Al-Qaida also has a growing presence in that debacle as well; with the goal of uniting with Al-Qaeda in Iraq so as to control a huge area of land and population from which they can indulge in their terrorist fascism with impunity. The rest of the Mid-East is a similar basket case. Libya, which commendably overthrew its own bloody tyrant, has now degenerated into a conglomeration of tribes that are constantly at war with each other. Tiny Lebanon, has the unfortunate circumstance of having a major terrorist organization within its borders thanks to funding and support from Iran. It’s part of Iran’s scheme of one day destroying Israel. And speaking of Iran, 2014 should be the year that it is allowed to, at last, come into possession of nuclear weaponry. While this country, and the rest of the world, sits by and lets it happen. Sort of the way the world watched Hitler and Nazism rise to power in the 1930s, and did nothing about it until it was too late.

Which brings us to the most intractable of all Mid-East hatreds-that, of course, being between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Both sides have been in a kind of constant state of war, hot or cold, since Israel was granted statehood in 1948. The problem is that both sides seek to be the dominant force in a relatively small geographical space that is, apparently, not big enough for the both of them. As a result, both sides are trapped in a never-ending cycle of terrorist attacks by Palestinians against Israeli civilians, resulting in a series of harsh reprisals and segregation of the Palestinians by the Israelis, countered by cries for vengeance and and destruction of Israel by the Palestinians, etc., resulting in a never-ending merry-go-round of bitterness, dysfunction, and revenge. Our Secretary of State, John Kerry, is engaging in almost super-human effort to bring both sides to the negotiating table to find a peaceful resolution of this on-going mess. Remember John Kerry? He ran for President in 2004, and lost by whisker to George Bush, when Ohio tipped into Bush’s column. Now, he’s making it his life’s mission to forge a Palestinian state alongside an Israeli state, where both parties can live in peace and harmony. He deserves an A for effort; but the prospects for success remain quite poor. The reason-its not easy for people or nations to give up on their centuries old hatreds or lusts for vengeance.

And so this is the way the world spins in 2014, or at least that part of the world I’ve discussed in this entry. Doesn’t look very appetizing does it? But, we have almost an entire year to see how all this plays out, before we once again, engage in the rites and rituals surrounding the artificial turnover of the calendar that occurs during every winter solstice.

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The common bond between serial killers and terrorists is an overwhelming and compulsive desire to kill innocent and defenseless people. The FBI estimates that at any given time, there’s between one or two dozen serial killers roaming the highways and byways of the United States. A comfy thought, especially if you’re the parent of a child driving cross-country, say, to go off to college or a job or for any other reason. A few years ago a serial killer that had murdered at least  9 victims was caught and asked why he felt compelled to kill so wantonly. He replied with words to the effect that when he walked down a street and encountered other people, his natural thoughts and instincts were to bash in their skulls. He said that he couldn’t imagine not feeling that way. (I have to admit I entertain similar thoughts when I’m stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic that goes on for miles.) Extensive research has been done, especially by the FBI,  on what creates a serial killer, and 3 primary theories have been identified.

The first theory, which is backed up by some supporting evidence, is that when the fetus is in the womb, due to some biological malfunction, its brain is constantly being bathed in abnormally high dosages of serotonin. Hence, when that fetus becomes a person, he cannot derive pleasure or sexual release in ways most people do. Instead he has to turn to the most extreme form of behavior, which usually involves the capture, then the torture and then slaying of helpless victims who are usually women. (I said “he” because almost all serial killers are men preying on women, but every now and then, a female slips into their ranks.) These men usually lead solitary, low-profile lives, and seldom bother taking the cash or other valuables their victims may have on them when abducted. Their payoff is in sexual sadism and murder.

A second known cause is when the serial killer has been terribly abused as a child, both physically and mentally. If, a child has been deeply abused by beatings or rape, or even years of mental degradation, there’s a good chance that you’ll have a serial killer in the making. Years of torment will lead to uncontrollable anger being built up, and often manifests itself early on when the soon to be serial killer starts taking out his wrath on pets and other small animals in the neighborhood. As an adult, not being able to control his pent-up anger, he can only achieve release of his fury by murdering some unsuspecting victim.

The third known cause is when a deep hatred of other peoples religious beliefs or ethnic origins, usually also taught to them from childhood, leads to blindly killing their perceived enemies. This is the mass-murdering type known as the terrorist. Notice how how terrorism fits hand in glove with serial killing. For terrorists, their fanatical religious and ethnic beliefs become a convenient excuse to go on a murderous rampage against all those they consider “unbelievers.” But like the serial killer, the real objective of the terrorist is the joy in killing itself, while religious fanaticism becomes the smokescreen to make it appear that their murdering ways have some sense of legitimacy. Thus the terrorist is just another serial killer, but on a grander scale.

I was thinking about this when I read the news that the “Lockerbie bomber” had finally succumbed to cancer, 33 months after being released from a Scotland prison for the murder of 259 innocent victims. In December 1988, the head of Libya, Moammar Gadhafi  authorized a Libyan terrorist to place a bomb aboard Pan Am flight 103, supposedly because of his hatred of America and Israel. The bomb detonated on December 21, 1988 as the flight entered Scottish airspace, killing all 248 people on the plane and another 11 on the ground in the town of Lockerbie. Gadhafi denied any knowledge of the bombing for years, but eventually admitted to it, and offered monetary compensation to the victim’s families. (Gadhafi was finally caught and killed by his fellow Libyans last  year after 42 years of tyrannical and despotic rule.)

The person who put the bomb on the plane was hunted down and caught by British police, and sent to jail in Scotland for life. But along the way he developed prostate cancer, and Scottish authorities arranged to have him released and sent back to Libya on compassionate grounds. They claimed that because of the cancer, he had only 3 months to live. Seems, however, he wasn’t quite that sick, and he hung on for 33 months instead of 3, before dying yesterday. Scottish authorities were roundly condemned, especially by the victim’s families, for the early release. Many are also convinced that other individuals were involved in this act of terrorism, who obviously will never be identified. In any event another serial-killer just went to his grave.

In the summer of 1972, 40 years ago, 11 Israeli athletes competing in the summer Olympics being held in Germany, were first held hostage, and then murdered by Palestinian “terrorists.” The German police were highly inept in their bungled effort to rescue these innocent athletes. Practically, Israel’s entire history since becoming a state in 1948, has been to deal with a constant barrage of terrorism directed against its people. Thousands have been murdered in so-called acts of terror, and today, there is still continued rocket attacks into Israel from the Gaza Strip. Of course, the mother of all terrorist attacks was 9/11 where almost 3000 innocent victims were murdered. It supposedly occurred because Al-qaeda’s fanatical brand of Islam led them into this killing spree.

Of course, it’s not really terrorism. If you have even fanatical differences with other political or religious beliefs, or ethnic cultures,  there are plenty of nonviolent ways to express your displeasure. Everything from getting up on a soap box to writing about your disagreements or hatreds as the case may be. When one resorts to violence, its not because of seeing the world differently. It’s not because of some desire to advance some misguided political or religious belief. It’s because of the thrill of killing unsuspecting, innocent people. In the end, the “terrorist”  is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill serial killer.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.