Archive for October 12th, 2007

“A Day Late, and a Dollar Short” from Oleh Musings

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Our insightful friend from Israel, Michael, has this to say about the upcoming Middle East “Peace” Conference.

Flipping through the online Jerusalem Post this morning, I found an interesting follow-up article about the upcoming “peace conference.” Apparently, the PA will now graciously accept the offers made to them 7 years ago, at Camp David and Taba. Here are some excerpts:

The Palestinian Authority would accept concessions made by Israel in the Taba discussions that took place six years ago, a senior Palestinian official told Israel Radio early Friday morning.

At Taba both sides presented, for the first time, their own maps of the West Bank as a basis of discussion. Reportedly, the points of contention that ultimately proved insurmountable were the refugees and the final status of Jerusalem’s holy sites.

All of this strikes me as particularly absurd. The current terrorist campaign being waged against Israel got its official kickoff back in the fall of 2000, when Yasser Arafat rejected those offers. The PA “leadership” chose to launch a terrorist war, instead of trying to build a state. The main results of that war are thousands dead, thousands injured, and thousands more incarcerated. The large majority of these casualties are palestinians. In addition, while Israel’s economy has continued to grow, the PA has turned into an economic basket case, full of corruption, and almost completely dependent on UN handouts for daily survival.

The PA “leaders” gambled an offer of statehood against their ability to wage a terroist war, and they lost. When in history have the losers in a war ever been the ones to gain? When has the winner ever been the one to offer concessions? This peace conference needs to start from a clean slate, and the Israeli diplomats need to state, unequivocally and unapologetically, that they are in a position of strength compared to the PA, and that the talks will proceed accordingly. Otherwise, we’re just looking to have a repeat of 2000 and 2001 “negotiations.”

But what were the stumbling blocks then, and now? The article states:

Regarding Jerusalem, both sides reportedly agreed that the Arab neighborhoods would form a Palestinian capital.

Further, the official said that Israel must allow Palestinian refugees to “return to the Palestinian state” and claimed that if Israel were to allow a symbolic number of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel, the PA would be willing to compromise on other issues.

Oddly enough, I actually think that the proposal on Jerusalem is reasonable. Those eastern neighborhoods don’t include the Old City, and if the palestinians want to put a capital there, close to some historic mosques, why should we care? Those neighborhoods are also 20th Century creations, and are not part of “historic Jerusalem.”

The refugee issue is another matter. Once a “State of Palestine” is formed, if they want to allow the palestinian refugees in, that’s their business, not Israel’s. But why should Israel let in any of the “refugees?” Especially when it’s realized that the PA’s official policy is to create a Judenrein state. Perhaps that “symbolic number” of palestinian refugees could be permitted, if, for example, the residents of Gush Katif can have their towns back….

So there’s a little food for thought. Shabbat shalom, u’l’hitraot!

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‘Make peace with us – or we’ll kill you!’ by Hal Lindsey

Friday, October 12th, 2007

An open letter issued by a group of 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and academics issued an “invitation” to the Vatican, the archbishop of Canterbury and other Christian leaders to “make peace” with Islam.

At least, that is the way most mainstream news reports styled it – “an invitation to make peace.” It was actually more of an ultimatum than it was an invitation. Boiled down to its essence, the letter warned Christians to “make peace with us or we’ll kill you.” The letter just phrases it more nicely.

“As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them – so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes.”

It was hard to know what to make of that statement. If it refers to the war on terror, it was Osama bin Laden who declared this a war of religions, in which he identified his enemies as Christian Crusaders and Jews.

The so-called “invitation” to make peace with Islam suggests that the price of peace is Islamic freedom to make war on others without fear of retaliation. At no point in the conflict has anyone other than Islam defined it as a conflict between Christians and Jews against Islam.

The statement was timed to coincide with the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan and one year after the pope inflamed the sentiments of the Religion of Perpetual Outrage by quoting the words of an obscure 14th century Byzantine emperor.

The letter was hailed by Newsweek as “something of a miracle” – treating it as if were an olive branch being offered by the victim to the aggressor, if only the aggressor were humane enough to accept it.

Gushed Newsweek in it’s column headlined, “Give Peace a Chance” – as if it were the West who opposed peace and had suddenly run amok attacking innocent Muslims everywhere – “It is addressed to Christianity’s most powerful leaders, including the pope, the archbishop of Canterbury and the heads of the Lutheran, Methodist and Baptist churches, and, in 15 pages laced with quranic and biblical scriptures, argues that the most fundamental tenets of Islam and Christianity are identical: love of one (and the same) God, and love of one’s neighbor.”

I hardly know where to begin to address that statement. In the first place, if it were true, then no Muslim could make a credible argument to his co-religionists based on the most fundamental tenets of Islam that there is any eternal reward to be had for killing one’s enemy in jihad.

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Al ‘Bore’ Wins Peace Prize

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Have you heard? Now you can spread lies and propaganda and be recognized as an international hero. (I think I might puke.)

Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and lay the foundations for counteracting it.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize,” Gore said in a statement. “We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity.”

Gore won an Academy Award this year for his film “An Inconvenient Truth,” a documentary on global warming, and had been widely expected to win the prize.

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Researcher Says Humans Will Wed Robots One Day

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Is it just me or does anyone else think this world gets scarier by the day?

The University of Maastricht in the Netherlands is awarding a doctorate to a researcher who wrote a paper on marriages between humans and robots.

David Levy, a British artificial intelligence researcher at the college, wrote in his thesis, “Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners,” that trends in robotics and shifting attitudes on marriage are likely to result in sophisticated robots that will eventually be seen as suitable marriage partners.

Levy's conclusion was based on about 450 publications in the fields of psychology, sexology, sociology, robotics, materials science, artificial intelligence, gender studies and computer-human interaction.

The thesis examines human attitudes toward affection, love and sexuality and concluded that the findings are just as applicable to human interaction with robots of the future as they are to the relationships between humans of today.

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A SLAPP Against Freedom

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Nothing gets a journalist’s attention like a subpoena. While authoritarian regimes silence critics by murdering or jailing them, journalists (and other critics) in the United States face gentler, but still effective, intimidation: libel lawsuits. Over the last few years, Islamists have tried silencing reporters, scholars, and citizens by suing them for defamation, often successfully. But recent legal cases in California, Massachusetts, and Minnesota suggest that the tactic may finally be backfiring, at least in the United States, if not in Britain, where libel laws overwhelmingly favor plaintiffs. The American lawsuits’ outcomes—poorly covered by the media—represent victories for the free expression and public participation that the First Amendment guarantees.

The latest victory came in August, when an Islamic charity, KinderUSA, and its board chairman, Laila Al-Marayati, dropped the libel suit they had filed in April in California state court against former Treasury Department official Matthew Levitt, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (which now employs him), and Yale University Press. In 2006, Yale published Levitt’s book on Hamas, which Washington says supports terrorism. Levitt never mentioned Al-Marayati in his book, but he did assert that KinderUSA, founded to raise money for Palestinian children, had ties to terrorist groups.

Al-Marayati and KinderUSA charged that Levitt had made “false and damaging” charges that caused “irreparable harm to its reputation,” and they sought at least $500,000 in damages, a public retraction, and a halt to the book’s distribution. But Levitt and his codefendants stood by his claims. In June, they filed a motion against the charity and its chairman, seeking to quash the libel suit and demanding that the plaintiffs pay all legal fees. They cited a California law that bans “SLAPP”—or “strategic litigation against public participation”—suits, which aim not at winning in court, but at intimidating into silence a group or a publication raising issues of public concern. “California enacted anti-SLAPP legislation to get rid of inappropriate lawsuits like this one,” they wrote in a 15-page brief.

Less than six weeks later, Al-Marayati and KinderUSA dropped the suit. Todd Gallinger, who represented the plaintiffs, insisted that the charity had sued not to intimidate or silence Levitt, but rather to force him to correct charges that it still considers libelous. “They were trying to suppress the charity’s legitimate activities,” he said. But KinderUSA underestimated the costs involved, he acknowledged, and the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion was a factor in its decision to drop the suit.

“Anti-SLAPP laws are a very powerful tool,” agreed Roger Myers, an attorney who specializes in using the law to defend journalists in libel claims. “There has been a fairly dramatic decline in the number of libel cases being filed here in California.”

Original Link.

Coulter Comment

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Well, only one thing I can say about this: Ouch!!
Here at Worshipping Christian, we are most assuredly Christian Zionist. We believe what the Bible says about God’s covenant with His chosen people, the Jews. I believe that the covenant that God made with the Jews is still very much in force today.
For those who have not heard, Ann Coulter made a comment yesterday that basically says that Jews should Christians. Here is the dialog between her and Donny Deutsch:

COULTER: Well, OK, take the Republican National Convention. People were happy. They’re Christian. They’re tolerant. They defend America, they —

DEUTSCH: Christian — so we should be Christian? It would be better if we were all Christian?

COULTER: Yes.

DEUTSCH: We should all be Christian?

COULTER: Yes. Would you like to come to church with me, Donny?

Later on she said:

COULTER: No, we think — we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.

DEUTSCH: Wow, you didn’t really say that, did you?

COULTER: Yes. That is what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws. We know we’re all sinners —

DEUTSCH: In my old days, I would have argued — when you say something absurd like that, there’s no —

COULTER: What’s absurd?

DEUTSCH: Jews are going to be perfected. I’m going to go off and try to perfect myself —

COULTER: Well, that’s what the New Testament says.

DEUTSCH: Ann Coulter, author of “If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans,” and if Ann Coulter had any brains, she would not say Jews need to be perfected. I’m offended by that personally. And we’ll have more “Big Idea” when we come back.

(BREAK)

DEUTSCH: Welcome back to “The Big Idea.” During the break, Ann said she wanted to explain her last comment. So I’m going to give her a chance. So you don’t think that was offensive?

COULTER: No. I’m sorry. It is not intended to be. I don’t think you should take it that way, but that is what Christians consider themselves: perfected Jews. We believe the Old Testament. As you know from the Old Testament, God was constantly getting fed up with humans for not being able to, you know, live up to all the laws. What Christians believe — this is just a statement of what the New Testament is — is that that’s why Christ came and died for our sins. Christians believe the Old Testament. You don’t believe our testament.

DEUTSCH: You said — your exact words were, “Jews need to be perfected.” Those are the words out of your mouth.

COULTER: No, I’m saying that’s what a Christian is.

DEUTSCH: But that’s what you said — don’t you see how hateful, how anti-Semitic —

COULTER: No!

DEUTSCH: How do you not see? You’re an educated woman. How do you not see that?

COULTER: That isn’t hateful at all.

DEUTSCH: But that’s even a scarier thought. OK —

COULTER: No, no, no, no, no. I don’t want you being offended by this. This is what Christians consider themselves, because our testament is the continuation of your testament. You know that. So we think Jews go to heaven. I mean (Jerry) Falwell himself said that, but you have to follow laws. Ours is “Christ died for our sins.” We consider ourselves perfected Christians. For me to say that for you to become a Christian is to become a perfected Christian is not offensive at all.

I think it’s a classic case of “open-mouth, insert-foot”.

Original Link.