Our Latest Fallen Soldier: Terry Glavin, National Post, Nov. 11, 2015 — “Today they kill us. Tomorrow they kill you.”
A Call for Unity and Expressing Outrage: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Nov. 11, 2015 — The world is experiencing a clash of civilizations with satanic forces seeking to revert to the Dark Ages.
American ‘Israel Advocacy’ Needs to Change: Gideon Drucker, Times of Israel, Nov. 6, 2015 — 23 years old, after finishing a university degree, becoming professionally licensed in my field, and seeing my long-awaited future becoming a reality, I felt a pull to Jerusalem in my soul whose light could not be diminished.
The Crime and the Silence,’ by Anna Bikont: Louis Begley, New York Times, Nov. 4, 2015— On July 10, 1941, in Jedwabne, a town of roughly 3,000 inhabitants in northeastern Poland, a mob of Catholics murdered most of their Jewish neighbors.
Kurdish Unit Honours Canadian Who Died Fighting ISIL: ‘We Lost Our Daring and Courageous Companion’: Stewart Bell, National Post, Nov. 8, 2015
You Won’t Hear This on the Evening News About Israel: Jonathan Feldstein, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 9, 2015
1920. The Year the Palestinian Identity Was Created: Youtube, May 21, 2009
Balfour Declaration was “Legal Birth Certificate” of Israel, says Dershowitz: Jenni Frazer, Jewish News, Nov. 4, 2015
National Post, Nov. 11, 2015
“Today they kill us. Tomorrow they kill you.” That was one of the more stirring slogans shouted by some of the at least 10,000 marchers in Kabul, Afghanistan, just a few hours before the pipes began trilling and the dignitaries began laying their wreaths for the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
The Kabul demonstration was a sobering reminder that the gallant cause for which 158 Canadian Forces members gave their lives in Afghanistan was not won when the last contingent returned home last year. Nor did that cause begin for Canadians only 12 years earlier, with the first deployment of Joint Task Force 2 in the weeks following Al-Qaida’s attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001.
It’s an older, civilizational struggle. It recognizes no borders and allows no innocent bystanders. It pits the liberty of the individual and the legacy of the Enlightenment against theocratic barbarism and police-state totalitarianism, and it is a rare thing for a Canadian to articulate that understanding of the war now underway around the world with such moral clarity as has 32-year-old John Robert Gallagher from Wheatley, Ont.
Gallagher, formerly of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, was killed last week in Northern Syria while fighting alongside Kurdish partisans against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In an essay he wrote before setting off for Kurdistan in May, Gallagher explained why he was going. “We are all on the front lines of this conflict, whether we know it or not,” Gallagher wrote. The war is unfolding not only in faraway places, but is also a terror that is enfeebling “cartoonists, satirists, publishers and booksellers, news media and educators” in Western countries.
Gallagher took particularly careful aim at “pacifists and the appeasement left,” and ridiculed the faddish preoccupation in Canada with “Islamophobia” as something that is, as often as not, a surrender to the very fearmongering the term’s deployment purports to strike a pose against. It is a posture that reflects “a deep contempt for the character of immigrant Muslims,” rather than the respect that Muslims deserve as individuals capable of making their own rational choices.
In Kabul, the massive anti-terror demonstration was only the latest surge in a convulsion of popular Afghan revulsion over a series of recent outrages in Islamist barbarism in that country. The protestors were following a multi-ethnic procession carrying the coffins of seven Hazaras whose beheaded corpses were discovered last weekend in the Taliban-harried province of Zabul, where jihadists have also lately sworn allegiance to ISIL, the scourge of the Kurds in Syria and Iraq.
The Hazaras are a Shiite Muslim minority who were subjected to genocidal violence during the days before the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001. Their predicament was not unlike the catastrophe facing the Kurds in their struggle to resist the equally genocidal forces of ISIL.
It is worth noticing that popular protest is now possible in Afghanistan only because of a NATO-led intervention that was broadly supported by Afghanistan’s Sunni and Shia Muslims — especially democrats, feminists and secularists — but “progressive” Canadian opinion opposed and recalls even now only with a sneer. Another irony: while Gallagher’s succinct manifesto took particular aim at the privileged 1960s-era “pacifists” who dominate the ranks of Canadian leftists nowadays, he himself comes from an older, sturdier tradition of left-wing internationalism that once set Canada apart from both Europe and the United States.
Among the books Gallagher was reading before he set out to volunteer with Kurdish partisans in the spring was George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, the memoir the great anti-totalitarian polemicist wrote of his time as a volunteer with the anti-fascist republicans in the Spanish Civil War. As Maclean’s magazine writer Michael Petrou points out in Renegades: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War, the definitive book on the Canadian volunteers in Spain, Canada contributed nearly half the number of anti-fascist volunteers to the Spanish-republican cause as did the United States, even though Canada’s population was only about a 10th of America’s. Britain was five times as populous as Canada but contributed only a few hundred more volunteers. At least 1,700 Canadians sailed off to Spain to fight the Nazi-aligned forces of Spanish General Francisco Franco. More than 400 never made it back home.
The Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) guerillas in Northern Syria that Gallagher joined as a volunteer are also strikingly similar in their outlook to Orwell’s libertarian-socialist Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista (POUM) comrades in Spain, although the YPG has renounced Marxism, leaning instead towards a nearly anarchist model of decentralized, multi-ethnic popular democracy. Even so, Gallagher’s commitments directly descend from the clearest articulations of the causes that Canadians will recall in Remembrance Day commemorations honouring the sacrifices of our soldiers and their families down through the generations. These are commitments that bind Canadians from the First World War through the Second World War, the Korean War, the Cold War contributions in United Nations peacekeeping missions, the UN-mandated Afghan intervention and the minor but brave effort Canada’s Special Operations Regiment is still making in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The right of small nations to self-determination and the rights of all people to the rule of law, liberty, democracy, equality and individual freedoms — that is the cause that leaps off the page of Gallagher’s essay, and it is what Canadian soldiers have always fought and died for. No snivelling about “us” imposing “our values” on “them,” no boring appeal to Canadian vanity, no whinging about Canada’s allegedly lost reputation on the “world stage.” Not for Gallagher…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Candidly Speaking, Nov. 11, 2015
The world is experiencing a clash of civilizations with satanic forces seeking to revert to the Dark Ages. In this context, the behavior of the Palestinians has now descended to such barbaric depths that in a rational world, Israel should have the unequivocal support of all civilized people. However, hypocritical global leaders, devoid of moral compass, have abandoned us. They relate to Israel and those seeking its destruction with moral equivalence and opportunistically collaborate with rogue states. Moral relativism has paved the way for a realpolitik in the democratic world, which no longer relates to concepts like good and evil.
George Orwell undoubtedly could have devoted another book to the doublespeak adopted in relation to Israel. Global leaders are not merely indifferent to the fact that innocent Israeli citizens are targeted for assassination by youngsters transformed into frenzied religious lunatics by their leaders. They even condemn Israelis for defending themselves. Western leaders refuse to recognize, that in the same way the Nazis successfully transformed Germany into a society endorsing genocide, Palestinian leaders have inculcated children, from kindergarten onward, with the notion that being killed in the process of murdering Jews is the highest form of religious martyrdom.
Our “peace partner,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, “blesses the blood” shed in killing Jews, glorifies debased murderers, and provides millions of dollars of funds received from foreign governments as monthly salaries to those murderers in jail and pensions for their families. The bloodlust generated by frenzied lies about Jews threatening to destroy Al-Aqsa mosque and substituting it with a Jewish Temple is promoted through the mosques, schools, media and Facebook and via other social media.
Yet whilst mayhem prevails as millions of people have been displaced from their homes and hundreds of thousands have been butchered, the European Union carries a resolution effectively paving the way for sanctions against Israeli products produced over the Green Line. It is a shocking reflection on the cynicism of Europeans, whose soil was drenched with Jewish blood during the Holocaust, that they so cravenly betray Israel, the only democratic state in the Middle East — an oasis of tranquility in a sea of barbarism — which is surrounded by neighbors openly baying for its destruction.
Even the president of the United States, our purported ally, contributes toward this poison by calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to reduce the incitement. Israel is on the front lines and must seek more effective means of publicizing the fact that the current Palestinian Authority is a criminal regime that promotes a culture of death — a barbaric society whose feral hatred of Jews and Israel is on a par with Hamas and ISIS.
We must repeat again and again that the Arab-Israel conflict is not a dispute between two peoples over land. The reality is that the Palestinian Authority (no less than Hamas) adamantly refuses to recognize Jewish sovereignty, as evidenced when both Yasser Arafat and Abbas even declined to make counteroffers when Prime Minister Ehud Barak and subsequently Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 97% of the territories previously occupied by the Jordanians.
In order to make the world understand, Israel must focus on two issues — national unity and a far more aggressive presentation of our narrative and exposure of the criminal nature of our adversaries. National unity is crucial and will immensely strengthen us. It is scandalous that in the current circumstances, our government operates on the basis of a hairline majority of one, virtually neutralizing any flexibility of the prime minister.
The fact is that today there is a genuine consensus among Israeli Jews, the vast majority of whom believe that to annex the territories and absorb millions of additional Arabs would result in a binational state and the end of the Zionist dream. In addition, with the absence of a peace treaty and security, there is also firm opposition to ceding additional territories to the corrupt Palestinian Authority whose hatred of Israel is indistinguishable from Hamas, which in the absence of the IDF, would in all likelihood have assumed control over territories.
Even the prominent left-wing ideologue Professor Shlomo Avineri and one of the key architects of the Oslo Accords, Dr. Yossi Beilin, admit that those proposals no longer apply as the PA’s present leadership has proven to be utterly opposed to the existence of a sovereign Jewish state. There is also a broad consensus concerning the disastrous agreement consummated by the Obama administration with Iran.
Under these circumstances, the Zionist political parties should unite to face the challenges. Zionist Union Chairman Isaac Herzog, Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid and Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Lieberman all share ambitions to become prime minister. But now, if they share any concern for the national interest, they should temporarily set aside their personal ambitions and unite. Likewise, Prime Minister Netanyahu should make every effort to enable them to join his government with dignity…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Times of Israel, Nov. 6, 2015
At 23 years old, after finishing a university degree, becoming professionally licensed in my field, and seeing my long-awaited future becoming a reality, I felt a pull to Jerusalem in my soul whose light could not be diminished. Despite having no family and few friends in Israel, I moved to Israel to prepare myself for joining the IDF as a combat soldier. As I saw it (and still see it), my brothers and sisters in Israel were on the front lines defending the Jewish people’s right to live free and secure in our eternal Homeland. It was time to honor my history and do my part in protecting the Jewish people’s future.
While seemingly exceptional and a bit bizarre, my story is not unique in the slightest. There are thousands of lone soldiers from every corner of the world who have felt this emotional attachment to a land they have never called home and the need to play their part in a nation at once 4,000 years old and 67 years young. In a broader sense, my story is even less unique. The Jewish people are connected by a bond that has endured over 2,000 years in the most bitter of circumstances; it is this bond that has allowed us to survive and thrive as Jews in the first place. Without this belief that we would one day return home and without this connection to each other, we never would have survived the world’s relentless attempts to destroy us.
Our peoplehood, which until the rebirth of Israel remained abstract and indescribable, is how Jews from lands and cultures as far away as Ethiopia, the Soviet Union, and the United States can all feel, improbably, a personal stake in the survival of one another. As Daniel Gordis has written, it this national narrative, this ineffable understanding that we are part of a history greater than ourselves, that has led the Jewish people to overcome unspeakable horrors, achieve magnificent successes, and remain in our hearts and souls “Jews.” King David, Judah Maccabee, Moshe Dayan, and Menachem Begin, while separated by 2,000 years, spoke the same language, toiled the same land, and dedicated their lives to the same purpose. In our hearts, we understand that they are all part of one remarkable story. Our Story. Our History.
This is Zionism. This is the story America’s Israel advocates need to be proclaiming for the world to hear: Zionism is Just. Zionism is the return of an indigenous people to its homeland after untold centuries of murder, persecution and oppression. Israel is the national redemption of the Jewish people in the one corner of the Earth that has always served as our national, religious and spiritual home.
I did not join the IDF because of Israeli technological genius or because we created the cell phone. Soviet Jews did not feel a pull to Zion because of our medicinal breakthroughs and because Israel is the “Start Up Nation.” The early Zionists did not leave family and friends and endure the hardships they did because of Israeli strawberries and vegetables. And while it is certainly important that Israel is a democracy in a part of the world that treats the idea of freedom like a disease not to be caught, that is not why millions of Ethiopian Jews have come home either.
Our country was re-established to serve as a safe-haven for Jews around the world so that the Jewish people could once again return to the forefront of history as the leading actors of our own story. We sweat, bled, and died so that we could regain the responsibility and the difficult choices inherent to having one’s own sovereignty. We envisioned, prayed for, and dreamed about contributing to the world a uniquely Jewish answer to the question: What is our purpose here? We came home so we could be Jews and carry on our story. Our defense of Israel and Zionism around the world has not succeeded because defense never does. Zionism doesn’t need to be defended. It needs to be proclaimed. Zionism is a passionate cry of freedom and redemption. We need to speak in the language of justice, Jewish civil rights, and Jewish history.
It is mind boggling to me when my fellow Americans (particularly on college campuses) make our case by pointing to our medicinal and technological achievements, our record on gay rights, women’s rights, our freedom of the press, etc. Our enemies don’t hate us because we aren’t doing a good enough job running our country. Our detractors aren’t nitpicking about the way we govern. They don’t care about that. It’s why we, and not the dozens of countries around the world worthy of international scorn, are targeted for delegitimization. They don’t want us to improve our country. They don’t think we should have one. THEY DON’T THINK WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXIST. They think that we are an illegal, foreign colonial entity. They think we are ethnically cleansing the “Native Arab population” of Palestine. They think that we are war criminals and murderers. And our response is to talk about the iPhone and our disaster relief team in Haiti??…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
New York Times, Nov. 4, 2015
On July 10, 1941, in Jedwabne, a town of roughly 3,000 inhabitants in northeastern Poland, a mob of Catholics murdered most of their Jewish neighbors. Estimates of the number of victims vary, from about 300 men, women and children to as many as 1,600. Whatever the correct figure, very few Jews survived. Using axes, clubs and knives, the mob first killed some 40 Jewish men. The remaining Jews — men, women and children, many of them infants — were herded into a wooden barn on the outskirts of the town. Then, as the jeering crowd watched, the murderers barred the doors, poured gasoline on the structure and lit the fire. Everyone inside died. Plunder of Jewish homes followed. Peasants from neighboring villages, who had begun arriving in Jedwabne at dawn on the day of the massacre, joined in the fun.
The Polish journalist Anna Bikont’s beautifully written, devastating and very important book, “The Crime and the Silence” (published in Poland in 2004, and now expertly translated by Alissa Valles), details her painstaking reconstruction of this crime, along with the attempt by families and descendants of the perpetrators, right-wing politicians, historians, journalists and Catholic clergymen to cover it up and deflect blame on the victims.
Both the crime and the fact that the perpetrators were Catholic Poles entered the public record at the latest in 1949, when 21 Jedwabne men and one German gendarme were tried for the murders before the district court in Lomza, the seat of the district government. Eleven Polish defendants and the policeman were found guilty; the others were acquitted. The press reported the proceedings, but the coverage doesn’t seem to have created a stir. Sensibilities had been dulled by World War II, when Germans slaughtered some three million Polish Jews and more than two million Polish Catholics. A few years later a monument was erected near the barn where Jews were immolated, but the inscription read: “The site of the martyrdom of the Jewish population. Gestapo and Hitler’s gendarmerie burned alive 1,600 people, July 10, 1941.” The Catholic Poles who had done the killing could rest easy.
So matters stood until 2000, when a Polish-born American academic, Jan T. Gross, published in Poland a Polish-language book that told the real story of the massacre. The following year it was issued in the United States, in English, as “Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland.” According to Anna Bikont, the relative quiet that reigned after the publication of Gross’s book in Polish turned into a media storm once the realization sank in that “Neighbors” would expose to the American public an incident shockingly at odds with the image Poles presented of themselves as a martyred but heroic and noble people. “Neighbors” was attacked as libelous and inadequately documented, and as part of a Jewish effort to extract compensation for the lives taken during the Jedwabne pogrom. There was an orgy of denials of responsibility, including claims that the killing had been done by German SS and gendarmes — because if it had been just Poles (the reasoning went), the Jews would have resisted. Another argument said the victims were killed not because they were Jews but because they had collaborated with the Soviet occupation. (Jedwabne was part of the Polish territory assigned to the Soviet Union by the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, breached by Germany in June 1941.) The fact that infants were among the victims was callously ignored.
Gross claimed 1,600 Jews had been killed. Except with respect to that number, his version of the events in Jedwabne has been fully vindicated. In September 2000, the Institute of National Remembrance (I.P.N.), an entity established by the Polish Parliament, began investigating the massacre. Three years later it announced the case had been closed because no living perpetrators could be identified. However, its examination of the case, including a review of the 1949 judicial proceedings and a new investigation by the special prosecutor, had led to the conclusion that while the crime was inspired by Germans, “insofar as the participation of the Polish population in the execution of the crime is concerned, it is necessary to accept that it played the determinative role in the execution of the criminal plan. . . . The perpetrators of these crimes, as the executors sensu stricto, were the Polish inhabitants of Jedwabne and the surrounding area.” Finally, on July 10, 2004, the spokesman of the Polish Press Agency declared that no appeals had been filed challenging the investigation’s conclusions…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
Kurdish Unit Honours Canadian Who Died Fighting ISIL: ‘We Lost Our Daring and Courageous Companion’: Stewart Bell, National Post, Nov. 8, 2015—A Canadian volunteer fighter killed in Syria last week died in a “suicide attack” carried out under the cover of darkness, according to a condolence letter the Kurdish armed group he fought with has sent to his family.
You Won’t Hear This on the Evening News About Israel: Jonathan Feldstein, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 9, 2015 — Last Wednesday, my family’s WhatsApp group was buzzing. Daughter No. 1, away at college, heard news of a terrorist attack near our home.
Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/53427/you-wont-hear-this-on-the-evening-news-about-israel-opinion/#wXWfIIscAkIX6Cw2.99
1920. The Year the Palestinian Identity Was Created: Youtube, May 21, 2009—Since October 1, 1948, when the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Husseini, stood before the Palestine National Council in Gaza and declared the existence of an All-Palestine Government, there have been many declarations of a Palestinian state.
Balfour Declaration was “Legal Birth Certificate” of Israel, says Dershowitz: Jenni Frazer, Jewish News, Nov. 4, 2015 —Britain’s 1917 decision to support the establishment of a Jewish homeland was effectively a “legal birth certificate” held by almost no other nation, declared Professor Alan Dershowitz this week.