James Bennet does a good job of covering up the ridiculous selfishness of the Muslim Waqf authorities–that group responsible by the Muslims for managing the Temple Mount, or Al Aksa–in an article that has potential to be fair but misses the mark. The problem starts from the lead:
Quietly but insistently, the Israeli authorities have pried open to non-Muslims the man-made plateau here that is one of the world’s tinderboxes, the symbol and nexus of conflict between Jews and Arabs.
“Pried open?” The more disturbing part is the kicker–the end of the article, where Bennet writes about Mr. Rogin, who wants to destroy the Mosque and rebuild. Does Bennet realize that Mr. Rogin, at that point, seems to represent the aspirations of the Jewish people of a whole–and yet most Jews would not agree with him? I think Bennet realizes it, yet relishes in his ability to push his agenda into the story through selective reporting.
The fact of the matter is that the question of Muslim selfishness on the Temple Mount is highly under-reported. For some reason, people do not expect Muslims to be as tolerant of other religions as they expect, say, Jews. If Jews were to restrict Muslim worship it would be decried as ‘apartheid,’ but when Muslims do not allow Jews to visit their holiest-of-holies, which is under their sovereignty territorially, the world accepts it. This is a racism of lower standards directed against the Muslim people, and it is time we work to disabuse ourselves from it.
Everyone has the potential to be pluralistic and accepting–not only the Judeo-Christian White people.
While I try and finish off one of the more hectic months of my life, here is a great article by Alan Dershowitz called Terror Stings Its Pal, the U.N. In it, Dershowitz exposes the way the UN encourages the use of terror, namely by unequivically supporting the Palestinians:
There are numerous occupied peoples around the world seeking statehood or national liberation, including the Tibetans, Kurds, Turkish Armenians and Palestinians. Only one of these groups has received official recognition by the U.N., including observer status and invitations to speak and participate in committee work. That group is the one that invented and perfected modern international terrorism — namely, the Palestinians.
These rewards were first bestowed in the 1970s when the Palestine Liberation Organization was unabashedly committed to terrorism. In fact, Chairman Yasser Arafat was invited to speak to the U.N. General Assembly in 1974 at a time when his organization was seeking to destroy a member-state of the U.N. by terrorism.
By rewarding Arafat and the PLO for such behavior, the U.N. made it clear that the best way to ensure that your cause is leapfrogged ahead of others is to adopt terrorism as your primary means of protest. The Tibetans, whose land has been occupied more brutally and for a longer period than the Palestinians, but who have never practiced terrorism, cannot even receive a hearing from the U.N.
The UN’s policy on Palestinian terror also hurts the Palestinians themselves by holding them to a lower standard than the rest of the world.
The bombings in Israel and Iraq undoubtedly have their root in Saudi Arabia–Saudi Arabia openly funds the Hamas, which it calls a charity organization, and reports have it that cells of Saudi mujadeen operate freely in Iraq. Which means that the Saudi’s have a choice: either they will be willing and able to stop their ties to terror and close their borders, or they become a member of the infamous ‘axis of evil.’
A state has responsibility for the actions of its citizens, especially when they are using the home-country as a base from which to carry out their activity. Just as Israel has an entire wing of the General Security Service devoted to stopping underground Jewish activity, Saudi Arabia needs to start taking it’s citizen’s actions seriously, and the US needs to make that clear.
A quick word on today’s bombing: while the New York Times was busy trying to convince the American public with a front-page article that a wave of Jewish terrorist attacks was about to break upon the Palestinian population, terrorists from within the Palestinian population carried out their third terrorist attack in a week, while anti-American Islamic forces attacked the top-ranking UN official in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.
No, not all Muslims are terrorists–I reject any insinuation to that opinion forthright. It just seems kind of odd to me that the Times would take this time of increased terrorist activity to try and create a moral parallel between those terrorists who are doing the killing and those Jews who Ian Fisher assumes will kill. In doing so, the Times has relaxed what should be unrelenting pressure on Islamic groups to renounce terror by painting a picture whereby ‘everybody does it.’
Terror in part continues because those terrorists have realized that it can be used as a political tool. How many more bombings–and lack of Jewish terror attacks–will it take for the Times to realize that the only way for us to help the Muslim world is to make it clear that terror is unacceptable.
I will be gone for the next few days while I attend a seminar sponsored by Critical Review. When I agreed to do it, I had no clue as to their politics–Libertarian from what I can discern–but I have to admit that it is somewhat refreshing to have my views challenged. We all need to be shaken up every once in a while, and libertarians certainly know how to challenge my assumptions to say the least.
In preparing for the seminar I had over 600 pages to read of scholarly articles and opinion pieces–not the most fun experience, certainly exhausting, but also somewhat refreshing. I am especially interested in the literature pertaining to the challenges facing democracy amongst a mostly unknowledgeable public, and their take the effects of government and elite intervention.
I hope to return to you and this space with even less moral and ideological clarity.
Ian Fisher of the New York Times today makes an incredibly large effort to even out the picture by telling of how Jews are planning terror attacks too.
To critique this article is almost too easy: what makes this issue important now, and why is it such a shock to Fisher that there is a very small minority within the Israeli public which is loony? The US has its fanatics, it’s ‘militants’ too, as does every society. The point, though, is how the state reacts to them.
Israel, for her part, has stopped the great majority of attempted attacks–but Fisher plays that down. The very fact that only, “7 Palestinians have been killed and 19 wounded in unsolved shootings attributed to Israeli civilians in the West Bank,” in the past two years shows that Israel is devoted to stopping murder of all forms.
The very fact that Fisher finds this to be a ‘scoop’ shows how very hard he and the New York Times are trying to explain away how the Palestinian Authority has done nothing to stop terrorists, even during the supposed Hudna, and why the Palestinians have been choosing terror. By creating a fictitious parallel between Jewish and Palestinian terrorists, the Times can continue to defend its definition of Palestinian terrorists as militants with a “right to resist the occupation.”
As Shlomi Swisa, a researcher for B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group said, “I don’t think any normal state can allow herself any underground.” That’s why Israel has rooted out its underground; it’s time the Palestinians do the same, for their own sake.
Thomas Friedman indirectly points out something I’ve been saying for a while, and which was put forward by Michael Scott Duran in Foreign Affairs: the reconstruction and democratization of Iraq is no-less important in that it will shatter the myth built by the Arab tyrants that all of the problems in the region stem from Israel and the West.
About time the West and it’s single-issue “humanitarians” and “solidarity activists” realize that the Palestinian issue is not as pressing as they make it out to be, and that, as of this writing, it is one of the only places in the Middle East where progress is made.