Monday, April 27, 2015

Orioles - White Sox Game Postponed

Michael L.

Just so that no one gets the impression that the United States is free of violent insanity:
BALTIMORE — Police on Monday clashed with crowds of young people who tossed rocks and bricks at officers, looted stores and damaged police cruisers, injuring several officers.

baltimore oriolesPolice said that seven officers have been hurt in incidents that began near the Mondawmin Mall in the Reisterstown Road area. Some officers suffered broken bones and one officer was unresponsive, police said in an afternoon press conference.

Throughout the evening, groups of rioters continued to move south through the city. Television images showed youths jumping on a police cruiser and smashing the car’s windows. The crowds set fire to vehicles and at least one store. At one point, a group cut a fire department hose as firefighters were trying to extinguish a blaze at a CVS, police said...

The Baltimore Orioles announced they had postponed a game set for Monday evening against the Chicago White Sox.

The "Linkage" Falsehood and the Riyadh-Cairo Axis

Michael L.

{Originally published at the Elder of Ziyon.}

cairo egyptThe primary political fault-line in the Muslim Middle East today is the Iran coalition versus what Jonathan Spyer, writing in the Middle East Forum, calls the Riyadh-Cairo axis.

Spyer argues that the United States left a power vacuum in the region that is being filled by Shia Iran and thereby threatening the Sunni Arab states.  This is not an original idea, but I am beginning to suspect that it is an exceedingly important one.

The absence of United States leadership is forcing an emergency alliance among the main Sunni states for the purpose of countering the Iranian coalition advancement, where it can.

Where it can, maybe, is Yemen and it is in Yemen that we are seeing Saudi push-back against the Iranian Houthi proxies.

Spyer writes:
Iran appears to be rebuilding its links to Hamas and, therefore, to the Islamist half of the Palestinian national movement. But the Ramallah Palestinian Authority is backed by Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf Arabs and the West.
It is this latter coalition that Spyer refers to as the "Riyadh-Cairo axis."

So, consider this:

We are in a situation where the EU, the US, and the UN demand of Israel that it ethnically-cleanse Jews from Judea - or, at least, force them to stop building housing for themselves and their children - allegedly in order to facilitate a negotiated conclusion of hostilities with the local Arabs.

They have also insisted upon "linkage," which is the idea that stability throughout the region depends on the willingness of the Jews in Israel to make peace with the Palestinian-Arabs... but not the other way around.  According to this notion, the other conflicts are related - ideologically or otherwise - to the Arab-Israel conflict and until that conflict is resolved these other related conflicts will fester in violent ways all around the world.

For example, Secretary of State John Kerry, at a reception in honor of Eid al-Adha, had this to say:
As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the ISIL [also referred to as ISIS or the Islamic State] coalition, the truth is we — there wasn’t a leader I met within the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt – and I see a lot of heads nodding – they had to respond to,” Kerry said. “And people need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity, and Eid celebrates the opposite of all of that.
Needless to say, when Jewish Israelis are thought to send Jihadis into spasms of psychotic, genocidal violence elsewhere in the world - for daring to defend themselves - it is emphatically not in the strategic interests of the Western nations, who prefer their Arabs calm and their Jews quiet.

What this suggests is that unless Israel does what it is told by the EU and the US, they can blame Israel not just for failing to bring peace to themselves and their own children, but for stubbornly refusing to help bring peace to the rest of the Middle East.  Furthermore, given that Islamists in Europe have taken increasingly to the harassment and killing of Jewish people and non-Muslims, we are finding Israeli Jews sometimes blamed for the murderous behavior of Jihadis in Europe.

However, if what Spyer says is true - and it is - what we are also witnessing, among the Palestinian-Arabs, is not merely a split between a vicious Islamist dictatorship in Hamas contending with a vicious semi-secular dictatorship in the Palestinian Authority.

It is also a brutal contest between Iran's proxy in Gaza and the Riyadh-Cairo proxy in Judea and Samaria.

As above, so below.

The larger contest wrecking the Middle East is reflected in the smaller contest wrecking the Palestinian-Arab polity... and, needless to say, they all blame it on the Jews.

Saudi Arabia is fighting the Houthis in Yemen who are aligned with Iran.  The Yemen conflict is, therefore, a proxy fight between segments of the Saudi coalition and the Iranian coalition on land largely belonging to neither.

The Islamic State, a Sunni faction not aligned with the Riyadh-Cairo axis, is fighting Shia militias in Iraq that are directed by Iran.  In Iraq we are seeing what looks to be Iran's bid to take over as much of the country as possible, which is why they are fighting the Islamic State for control.

What this means is that things are considerably more complex than we may have realized when we thought of the split among Palestinian-Arabs as being just that, a split among Palestinian-Arabs.

More and more it is looking like that split is a reflection of the larger dominant divisions throughout the Muslim Middle East and if that is the case the likelihood for reconciliation between the factions is considerably less than we may have realized.

Of course, from an Israeli perspective, they cannot make peace with a unity government that contains Hamas, nor can they make peace with a divided Palestinian-Arab polity if the other half is still seeking to murder Jews.

And what all of this means is that the notion of "linkage" is upside-down and backwards.

Peace throughout the region will not come from a resolution of the conflict between the Jewish-Israelis and the Palestinian-Arabs.  So long as the Muslim world is ripping itself to pieces along religious and sectarian lines, Israel will be used as a scapegoat by all sides, including the western-left.

It is only when Muslims make peace with themselves that they will ever allow peace with the Jews.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Michael L.

I did not really know this woman, but I cared.

And she did not really know me.

But we were friends for a brief while.

I am sorry that she is gone.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Every Sabbath I want to honor a person or a book or any bit of art or scholarship or media that comes from the heart.

This one I love.

Those of you who are friends, your suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Don't Vote: Allah Says Not To

Michael L.

don't voteI want to thank our friend, k, from the United Kingdom, for alerting me to this story in a private email.

Apparently some of the more Sharia-minded Muslims, in protest of democracy and the coming elections next month, are putting up signage in British cities demanding:
Don't Vote. 
None have the right to legislate except Allah.
The full text beneath reads:
Democracy is a system whereby man violates the right of Allah and decides what is permissible or impermissible for mankind, based solely on their whims and desires.  This leads to a decayed and degraded society where crime and immorality becomes widespread and injustice becomes the norm.  Islam is the only real, working solution for the UK.  It is a comprehensive system of governance where the laws of Allah are implemented and justice is observed.
No one doubts that Sharia is comprehensive.  In fact, that is precisely the problem.  It is a tad too comprehensive.  Furthermore, I do not know that chopping off body parts, as a matter of punitive law, is something that people of good will can reasonably disagree upon.

The Daily Mail tells us:
Posters telling Muslims not to vote in the election were plastered across an area of Cardiff yesterday.

They read: 'Democracy is a system whereby man violates the right of Allah.'

Posters were stuck on lampposts and bus stops across the Grangetown suburb telling the Muslim electorate: 'Islam is the only real workable solution for the UK'.

Cardiff Council have begun removing the posters, dubbed 'chilling' and 'threatening' by locals.  
And once again the unspoken tension between the multicultural ideal and the ideal of universal human rights reveals its wrenched face.

Those more influenced by the noble ideal of multiculturalism will tend to shrug this kind of thing off.  Yes, a small percentage of "extremist" Muslim immigrants into Europe wish to transpose al-Sharia upon the UK and the continent.  So what?  The fact is that the great majority of Arab-Muslim immigrants into European countries are involved in no such efforts.  They just want to live their lives, raise their kids, make a few bucks and, like the rest of us, be left the hell alone to pursue their own interests.


If this were a few years ago I would have left it at that.  But it is not a few years ago.  In recent years we have witnessed the rise of political Islam, which is a pernicious, violent, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-Gay, and anti-feminist political movement throughout the Middle East.  This movement - in its current iteration as derived from Obama's ballyhooed "Arab Spring" - has given us the Islamic State (IS) or ISIS or ISIL, or whatever you want to call this heinous thing, but whatever you call it these people represent the most brutal and savage political organization that I have seen in my lifetime.

I mean, really, burying children alive??

What kind of moral monsters commit such acts and in the name of the deity, no less?

So, yes, we need to stand up against the rise of al-Sharia, like we would need to stand up against the rise of any fascist ideology that seeks the widespread murder and oppression and persecution of the despised and inferior other.

And if you think that the Islamic State does not actually represent significant trends in Islamic jurisprudence - and therefore does not in any way represent juridical Islam - have you checked the Saudi justice system lately?

The great irony of the anti-Jewish / anti-Christian / anti-Western / anti-Israel / pro-Palestinian / pro-BDS movement is that they claim to stand for universal human rights, but the fact is that they could not care less about universal human rights or social justice or civil liberties or whatever banners they fly above their heads.

If they honestly cared about social justice they would stand against political Islam.

They do not.

The tragedy of the muddle-headed western-left, in terms of this issue, is that because they allow BDS into their institutions, they thereby undermine their very ideological reason-to-be and, in doing so, chase away Jewish support and frustrate the possibility for reform within Islam.

When the western-left opposes apostates like Ayaan Hirsi Ali they oppose reform within Islam.

This is a mistake.