60 Minutes recently did a show on Daniel Barenboim’s Middle Eastern orchestra — and snuck a sneaky shiv into Israel in the first minute.
This past Sunday, 60 Minutes did a profile of Daniel Barenboim, who has put together an orchestra made up of Middle Eastern Muslims, including Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, and Israelis. The segment’s shtick is that even people who are mortal enemies can make beautiful music together.
This orchestra is one of an endless series of peacenik efforts to get ordinary people to find common ground and stop the hate. And certainly, the people who find themselves in these groups do manage to function well together, but the reality is that these efforts never translate into the Arab/Muslim street giving up its genocidal attitudes towards Israel. But that’s the besides the point here. Here I want to talk about 60 Minutes’ disgraceful exercise in subtle moral equivalence.
The episode started innocuously enough, introducing us to Barenboim and his orchestra:
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more accomplished musician than Daniel Barenboim, a celebrated conductor and distinguished concert pianist, who grew up in Israel and for the last seven decades has been performing with the great orchestras of the world. For many maestros, all that would be enough. Not for Barenboim. At 75, he’s still at it and he’s embarked on a second act: starting his own orchestra for young musicians from Israel and the Muslim world and taking on a subject that’s as contentious as it gets: the conflict in the Middle East. His work has earned him Palestinian citizenship and charges of treachery from some of his fellow Israelis. But as we found out, controversy hasn’t slowed Barenboim down, he seems to thrive on it.
Of all the orchestras Daniel Barenboim leads around the world, this might be the one that moves him the most.
Some of the young musicians on stage at this summer concert in Berlin are Iranian, Syrian, Palestinian.
Isn’t that nice? And then, in the next sentence, 60 Minutes shivs Israel: [Read more…]
Trump’s new Jerusalem policy, recognizes reality, ends a failed paradigm, begins a new era that finally promises peace in the Middle East.
— Tel Aviv (@TelAviv) December 6, 2017
I was all ready to celebrate the big news but Linda Sarsour’s bakery is refusing to top my cake with the words, “Jerusalem is, was, and always will be the capital of Israel.”
I need the Government to make her do what I ask. pic.twitter.com/NR77HH21s4
— Andrew L Griner (@fake_news_u_r) December 6, 2017
Two videos, one from a Bedouin and one from a famed Kuwaiti writer, showing that Muslim Arabs can support Israel and will speak out for her.
This first video is amazing. Adam Milstein, who brought the video to my attention, describes it as incredibly important and, if you watch MEMRI’s video, you’ll see that he’s not exaggerating:
This may be the most important video you’ll see. Period.
Sometimes, the most profound insight comes from the most unexpected sources.
Well known Kuwaiti writer Abdullah Al-Hadlaq, appearing on Kuwaiti TV, made one of the most outspoken, accurate and shocking proclamations about Israel and its place in the world.
The video is important, not just because Al-Hadlaq said what he said; it’s that he said it without immediately being rounded up and executed on that same TV show. [Read more…]
Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian, takes the floor at the UN to tell tyrants that their support for Palestinian “leadership” betrays the people.
I don’t have anything to add. Just watch this amazing video:
You and I, people who pay attention to facts, know that Israel does not discriminate. This is a polite, helpful video for the fact-challenged.
The past week has reinforced one of the most important rules in life and politics: Never give a Leftist an opening. Block him at every turn or you lose.
Never give a Leftist an opening about Israel. As I mentioned earlier, I had the pleasure of attending the 14th Annual Ariel Avrech memorial lecture, at which Daniel Greenfield spoke. One of the points he made was that we Jews and Israel supporters should not enter into arguments justifying or proving our right to exist. Some things, after all, go without saying. Nobody asks Norwegians or Germans to justify their right to their ancestral lands and Jews should not have to do so either.
I’ll add to what Greenfield said by noting that there’s also a very practical reason for avoiding arguments, which is that engaging in an argument also allows the opposition to continue arguing. In this regard, I was reminded of something my sister-in-law, the clinical behaviorist taught me: Don’t argue with a teenager! Instead, reflect what they said but constantly return to your rule, a rule that needs no defending or explaining. Otherwise, you will get sucked into the teenager’s world, one in which your teen has all the time in the world and all the energy to incessantly push his or her cause. Two simple dialogues will suffice:
The wrong way to talk to a teen
TEEN: Can I go to the mall with my friends on Monday night?
YOU: No. It’s a school night.
TEEN: But all my friends are going.
YOU: We’ve talked before about the fact that, just because your friends go, it doesn’t mean you can go.
TEEN: Yeah, but everyone is going. I’ll be the weird dork if I don’t get to go.
YOU: You’re never a weird dork. Look at how many friends you have. People like me.
TEEN: They only like me because I do things with them. If you won’t let me go to the mall….
YOU: Look, we’ve talked about how you need your sleep on school nights.
TEEN: That’s silly. You know that even when I’m home I always go to bed late and I’m fine.
And on it goes, with you constantly responding to the shifting sand of your teen’s argument, and your teen taking every one of your responses as a new opening and a new opportunity. After all, you’ve got a life, while the teen has a monomaniacal need to go to the mall Monday night. Who’s got more stamina for the argument?
The right way to talk to a teen
TEEN: Can I go to the mall with my friends on Monday night?
YOU: No. The house rule is no malls on a week night.
TEEN: But all my friends are going.
YOU: Nevertheless, the house rule is no malls on a week night.
TEEN: That’s not fair!
YOU: I’m sorry you don’t think it’s fair, but it’s the house rule. No malls on a week night.
TEEN: Everyone will think I’m weird if I don’t go.
YOU: [Empathetic listening statement optional here.] Still, you know the rule: No mall on a week night.
Israeli’s, Zionists, and anyone else who supports Israel should take a page out of the smart teen parent’s handbook. Israel is a nation that exists. End of story. Live with it. [Read more…]
The deeply moving 14th Annual Ariel Avrech Lecture was the anchor for an inspiring weekend that cemented old friendships and introduced me to new friends.
Some of you may remember that, about a week ago, I wrote a post saying that I’d be flying down to L.A. to attend the 14th Annual Ariel Avrech Lecture, which Robert Avrech, of Seraphic Secret, and his wife, Karen, sponsor annually in honor of their dear son Ariel, who died in 2003. That weekend (which I extended into Monday) has now finished and I am home again. It was a very wonderful weekend in so many ways.
To begin with, I got a chance to know my in-laws so much better than before and with greater knowledge comes greater appreciation for what great people they are. I know I’ve boasted for years that I have the best in-laws, but in the past I’ve always seen them in a pack, at mass get-togethers. This time, I stayed with my sister-in-law, her husband, and their son. They could not have been more gracious.
I felt genuinely cared for while I was in my in-laws’ house. As a mother, that’s a rare and wonderful feeling. After all, the normal state of the world is that the mother and homemaker cares for others — which is as it should be. That doesn’t mean, though, that I don’t appreciate a break in the routine.
The fact is that my in-laws are ferociously intelligent, informed people, and conversation with them is as stimulating as it gets. It wasn’t just politics. Both of them are luminaries in their respective fields, and that too made any conversation interesting.
I love their dogs too.
Having that kind of visit with relatives by marriage could have been enough for a wonderful weekend, but there was more.
On Sunday, as I mentioned at the top of this post, I attended the 14th Annual Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture, at which Daniel Greenfield spoke. Before I get to his talk — which was, as one would expect, brilliant — I want to talk a bit about the entire event. [Read more…]
Despite a small spark of rationality, Macalester College’s weekly paper displays the Progressive hate, ignorance, and nonsense at an American college.
Knowing my passion for free speech, someone sent me a small sign of hope: a link to a student-written opinion piece from the weekly student newspaper at Macalester University in Minnesota. To give a little context, in 2014 College Magazine ranked Macalester as the “Most Progressive Campus” in America. It’s also No. 10 on the Best Colleges’ “Most Liberal Colleges” list. In other words, it’s your average American college, right up there with some of the most prestigious, such as Yale, Harvard, or MIT, or some of the most embarrassing, such as Missouri or Pomona.
Unlike those other American colleges, however, Macalester is never in the news. I suspect this is because no student or faculty member would ever dream of inviting to the campus someone who doesn’t meet the Progressive purity scale. Without any opposing views, there is no call for violence.
It was therefore a great and pleasant surprise to discover that one young man is defending the free exchange of ideas. What moved Jacob Hill to write was the fact that the staff of the college radio station, perfectly emulating a Maoist re-education camp, grouped together to castigate a fellow employee for having dared to place on the college Facebook page a meme that “satirized the prevalence of white Adidas sneakers among women who claim not to conform to societal norms.” I’m having trouble envisioning how offensive such a meme could be but for the student’s cohorts at the radio station, it was a bridge too far. It was Mao time:
Less than 24 hours after the meme was posted, the original poster (a Mac Radio staff member) went to his WMCN staff meeting as usual. One of the commenters on the meme decided to make a speech calling him misogynistic, racist and homophobic. The speech was met with applause, and much of the WMCN staff agreed that his offensive behavior did not represent the culture of WMCN. He was not offered a chance to respond but rather asked to think about his actions for a week.
Showing a grasp of logic denied to most young Progressives, Hill points out that advancing feelings as the alpha and omega of all disputes ends rational discussion:
A later comment on the original post read: “you don’t get to decide what’s offensive to other people—if it’s offensive to them, that’s it. You don’t get to critique that fact.” This ‘fact’ is particularly what makes offense so messy. No one knows exactly what will offend others. It’s an ongoing dialogue. Macalester students, in their haste to eliminate every suggestion that may be perceived as offensive, missed the opportunity for this dialogue. I don’t personally believe that the poster had malintent, but even if he did, is calling him a racist/misogynist/homophobe really the best way to make your point? Too often, liberal Millennials believe they can end a conversation by calling out someone’s “isms.” Yes, these claims are powerful, but that is precisely why they must be backed by context, logic, and most of all, truth.
There’s more and Hill deserves kudos for every word he writes. This is a young man who, somehow, somewhere, was exposed to an intellectual world that transcends navel-gazing emotionalism that’s par for the course at an American college.
As of this writing, Hill’s short article had garnered three comments: The first agrees with and encourages respectful dialog; the third agrees with Hill and expresses surprise that The Weekly Mac published Hill’s piece; and the second . . . well, the second comment shows that the writer has embraced an authoritarian worldview that brooks no criticism:
I question the decision of the Mac Weekly to publish such a targeted opinion piece, especially as the author writes of the pitfalls of “isolating and humiliating” specific people in the name of a greater conversation. [The author did not name anybody, although it’s reasonable to assume that in a small community, most students could identify not only the daring Facebook transgressor but also his Maoist accusers.] Also: this idea of “listening politely” looks to be teetering quite close to the edge of a compulsory silence.
Hill, as I said, gave me hope. Scanning the rest of The Mac Weekly’s offerings depressed me. In just one week’s worth of writing, there are so many bad ideas. These are bad ideas arising from a solid basis of factual ignorance, unexamined bias, Marxism, Alinsky-esque thinking, self-loathing, third-wave feminism, misandry, and anti-Semitism. Here are just a couple of examples:
I’ve cleared my spindle and the articles I linked are a feast for the hungry mind — the Middle East, climate change, policing, gender, Obamacare, and more.
There’s land if the Palestinians want it. Did you know that President al-Sisi in Egypt has offered the Palestinians a state that would include Gaza plus 618 adjacent square miles in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula? This offer reflects the fact that the Egyptians, like the Jordanians, Saudis, and every other Sunni Arab state around can’t stand the Palestinians.
With Iran looming on the Iranian, the Sunni nations are becoming more aware that Israel is their bulwark against Iran. If they can get rid of the Palestinian issue — and get the troublesome Palestinians out of their countries — they can unite to face off against Iran. You can read more here.
The Palestinians, of course, will not go for it. They don’t want their own country. They want the Jews’ country. The question is whether the combined weight of the Sunni Arab world, perhaps with help from the Trump administration, can force them to take what they don’t want and finally, once and for all, leave everyone alone. The problem is that the Palestinians (with a lot of UN help) have raised too many blood-thirsty generations who view Israel as their own land, to be taken with fire and sword.
Once again, a sociologist proves that sociology is not science. I laughed so hard I choked on my morning cereal when I read a Los Angeles Times op-ed by an academic sociologist assuring readers that atheists raise more moral kids than religious people do. The trick to this column is that the atheistic sociologist gets to define what constitutes “morality.”
I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that morality means having values that precisely track the Progressive/Democrat social and political agenda. My only question is for how much longer taxpayers are going to let their state and federal monies flow into the academic institutions producing this kind of biased garbage?
One brave man in blue. The ACLU sued the Milwaukee police department alleging (what else?) that it’s raaaacist. This is, of course, nothing more than a shakedown using the court system. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn refused to be intimidated:
“If they [the police] are willing to risk their lives to protect our disadvantaged communities than the least I can do is be willing to risk lawsuits to do the same thing.”
Flynn said that the ACLU and organizations like them want only to “drive a wedge between the police and their communities.”
“The people that actually live in the neighborhoods punctuated by gunfire and non-fatal shootings every night of the week demand effective and responsive policing” while the “concerns of the neighborhoods are never on the agenda of groups like the ACLU.”
Chief Flynn also pointed out that the police are protecting blacks and other minorities, who are significantly more likely than whites to be victims of violent crime. Bravo, Chief Flynn!
Kerry is an incredibly stupid, evil man. Only stupid people cling to the “two-state” idea given that the Palestinians have already walked away three times from offers giving them everything they asked for and, instead, have doubled down on their genocidal fury. The Palestinians keep the “two-state” solution alive as chum for morons.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement about Kerry’s malevolent, ill-informed speech:
In light of that speech, is it any surprise to learn that Kerry and Obama are working to submit a proposal to the UN that unilaterally recognizes a Palestinian state and gives half of Jerusalem to the Palestinians. Please remember, as you read the following, that the last time Arabs controlled Jerusalem, Jews were banned from their ancestral capital. [Read more…]
Yes, I know that it’s no longer Christmas anywhere until next year, but I still want to share with you Alan Jackson’s Let It Be Christmas Everywhere:
Here’s the story behind my sharing that video: My daughter loves Christmas carols, so she’s been taking advantage of Christmas playlists. We’ve listened endlessly to “Winter Wonderland,” “White Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” and all the pop song Christmas classics. None of the playlists offered “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Finally, having heard Andy Williams and even Nat King Cole once too often, I said, “Let’s listen to a Country Music playlist.” We did and discovered two things:
1. The above Alan Jackson song, which neither of us had ever heard before. (To be honest, neither of us had ever heard of Alan Jackson before.) We were completely charmed by the song. I realized that part of its charm is that it’s a waltz. There’s something invariably charming about waltzes, from Strauss, to Tchaikovsky, to Richard Rogers, to Alan Jackson. American pop music has no room for waltzes. America’s modern “high” art “classic” music has no room for waltzes. County Music, however, still makes room for that lovely, lilting rhythm.
2. You can still hear “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on County Music playlists. Apparently Country Music fans are smart enough to realize that it’s a romantic flirtation song and that there’s nothing “rapey” about it.
My Christmas was nice. I’m now focused like a laser on the new year. I have very high expectations for the new year — including a hope that my most devout wish for the past many years will come true; namely, the total destruction of the UN. In that regard, you cannot do better than to read Daniel Greenfield’s strong essay explaining why we shouldn’t just stop funding the UN but should withdraw from it entirely: [Read more…]
For a while there, despite people’s concerns that Obama would use his lame duck period to shaft Israel, things looked relatively peaceful. We should have known that Obama, like the viper he is, would hide until ready to strike, and strike he did. And like a viper, he didn’t even stand up in a manly way and turn on Israel. Instead, he “abstained,” allowing Israel’s enemies a clear shot at her.
Here are a few good summations of the dreadful thing Obama did:
Does the resolution matter? It does. The text declares that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” This may turn both settlers—even those in major blocs like Maale Adumim, that everyone knows Israel will keep in any peace deal—and Israeli officials into criminals in some countries, subject to prosecution there or in the International Criminal Court. The text demands “that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.” Now add this wording to the previous line and it means that even construction in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City is “a flagrant violation under international law.” The resolution also “calls upon all States, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” This is a call to boycott products of the Golan, the West Bank, and parts of Jerusalem, and support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.
I have said since 2007 or 2008 that Obama is an antisemite and that his dream is to do away with Israel and pass the land to the Muslims. Israel’s supporters have feared for years that he would use his lame duck period to attack Israel. And he has, to Netanyahu’s fully expressed anger and horror:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at US President Barack Obama Friday, accusing him of actively working against Israel at the UN — seemingly abandoning all pretense of diplomatic cautiousness after a US abstention at the Security Council led to the passage of a resolution against settlements.
“Israel categorically rejects the despicable anti-Israeli resolution at the UN, and will not adhere to it,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a seething statement after the council voted in favor of the motion 14-0.
“While the Security Council does nothing to prevent the massacre of half a million people in Syria, it is shamefully singling out Israel — the only democracy in the Middle East,” the PMO said.
“The Obama administration not only failed to defend Israel from this harassment at the UN, it cooperated with it behind the scenes.”
In a barely-veiled final repudiation of the administration with which Netanyahu has clashed so often, his office said Israel was “looking forward to working with President-elect [Donald] Trump and with out friends in Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, to undo the damage of this absurd resolution.”
In terms of a response, a good start for the U.S. would be to defund the UN and to break off relationships with those countries that voted for it.
And now ask yourself if there has ever before been an American president who used his last month in the White House to punish enemies and to try to make it impossible for the new President to govern? I can’t think of anyone who passed hundreds of regulations, who tried to place a permanent embargo on economic activity (in this case, oil drilling), and who led the UN from behind to try to destroy one of America’s staunchest allies and expose that country’s citizens to mass genocide.
I don’t think Obama’s a religious man and that’s kind of a shame. He really needs to start preparing himself for that walk to Hell when the Grim Reaper finally calls his name.
Here’s Netanyahu’s full statement:
Photo by Zachi Evenor
One of the things that maddens me about my children is how they refuse to take advantage of the cornucopia of information so readily available on the internet. In my day, I actually had to get out of my chair, go to my Dad’s office, get the encyclopedia off the shelf, riffle endlessly through the pages to find the correct entry, and then read that tiny, tiny print.
It was Hell, I tell you! Hell!
Now, all that the kids need to do is to activate their omnipresent smart phone or laptop, type in a few words and — badaboom, badabing — the world’s knowledge is at their fingertips. And still . . . they won’t do it.
Instead, they ask me to answer their questions, something they invariably regret. I either tell them to look it up themselves or, worse, I answer their question in my inimitable Mom style: “So you want to know about the revolution in Cuba and why Castro was such a terribly evil human being? As with all things, if you really want to understand it, we need to start with the Romans.”
In my narrations, everything starts with the Romans, unless I’m feeling particularly cruel and move further back to the Abraham, Moses, Pharaoh, etc. From ancient history, I move on to the early Christians who tried voluntary communal living, to the rise of the feudal state, to the Black Death and its effect on the European economy and peasant rights. That, of course, leads to Renaissance monarchies and, of course, to the Enlightenment, with its two pivotal revolutions (the American revolution, which focused on individual liberty; and the French revolution, which developed the modern idea of the commune); and only then do I really get going.
Most of these conversations end with me saying, “Why are you walking away? I haven’t finished answering your question yet!”
I’m not going to do that to all of you. Instead, I’ll just tip you off to some wonderful things I found on the internet and think you might enjoy. After that, you’re on your own!
The exquisite cognitive dissonance on the Left. I’ll just leave this Yahoo squiblet out here. I don’t need to add anything, do I?
If you’re interested, you can read more about this cruelly irony-unaware initiative here.