Blimp deflator: Letting out the gas

Crescent International, October 2009

Posted in religion by Blimp deflator on October 29, 2009

Crescent International, October 2009
Australia/Israel Review, October 2009 Among the articles in this month’s edition of Crescent International are Annual ritual at the UN, The crumbling world order, Iran’s real crime: refusing to venerate the West’s holy cows, The creeping Vietnamization of Afghanistan, and Cageprisoners: breaking cages of hate.

In the editorial of Australia/Israel Review this month, there is the usual mind-boggling nonsense. Take, for example, this comment on Operation Cast Lead in Gaza: “…Israel and its moral military should be congratulated by the international community for keeping civilian casualties so low in extremely difficult circumstances, against an enemy that exploits Israel’s commitment to civilian life and international law.”

In the magazine’s Scribblings section, Tzvi Fleischer reports American law professor Alan Dershowitz as saying the Goldstone Report on Cast Lead “makes a peace deal entailing an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank considerably more difficult” – as if Israel would, under any circumstances, even consider making such a withdrawal. (The words in quotation marks are Fleischer’s, not Dershowitz’s.)

Hard line needed with Iran, says Dom-Post

Posted in religion by Blimp deflator on October 6, 2009

Hard line needed with Iran, says Dom-Post
This is what is known as “manufacturing consensus” for war. The editorial, and others like it, persuade us to accept a possible (inevitable?) attack on Iran by suggesting that, if/when an attack occurs, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad will be entirely to blame – just as “they” (Arabs/Muslims) are always to blame when we attack/dispossess them. Note how the editorial trots out the totally discredited assertion that if we hit “them” hard enough, they will see their leaders, not us, as the cause of their suffering, and (presumably) overthrow their government. Did this tactic work in Iraq in the 1990s? Has it worked in Gaza since Israel imposed its unconscionable blockade of the territory?

On Page 1 of The Dominion Post today, there is another article about Ahmadinejad under the headline “Ahmadinejad’s Jewish past revealed”. According to The Daily Telegraph, a photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots, and once went by the name Sabourjian. Enter the inevitable “experts”, who opine, in the words of the article, that “Ahmadinejad’s track record for hate-filled attacks on Jews could be an overcompensation to hide his past”. One such “expert”, an Ali Nourizadeh, of the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies, says: “Every family that converts into a different religion takes a new identity by condemning their old faith.” But hang on a minute! Has Ahmadinejad, in reality, made any “hate-filled attacks on Jews”? And isn’t this suggestion that he is “overcompensating to hide his past” an example of facile analysis – the kind of thing that any third-rate psychologist would say? Isn’t it also a very “Western” analysis, which attaches an importance to ethnic/religious origin that is entirely contrary to the principles of Islam. After all, it wouldn’t matter, in Islam, if Ahmadinejad had himself been a practising Jew earlier in his life. One of the great Muslim scholars of the 20th century, Muhammad Asad, was Jewish by birth.

The assertion that “Every family that converts into a different religion takes a new identity by condemning their old faith” is also totally untrue. I have yet to meet a Muslim who, as a former Christian or Jew, now condemns his/her old faith. He may criticize it, but he certainly doesn’t condemn it. He may even, like me, continue to admire some aspects of it, such as Gothic architecture and Gregorian chant.

Crescent International, September 2009

Posted in religion by Blimp deflator on October 5, 2009

Crescent International. September 2009
Australia/Israel Review, September 2009 The September edition of Crescent International contains articles headlined “Torture as US state policy” (editorial), “Rabbis involved in organ sales”, “Obama excels predecessors in subservience to the Zionist warmongers”, “Sectarianism still dominating Iraqi politics”, “9/11: mysterious collapse of third building” (cover story), “Gitmo child prisoner finally returns home”, “‘Security’ operations target Muslim charities”, among many others. An archive of articles that have appeared in Crescent International can be found at its website.

The September edition of Australia/Israel Review contains an editorial deploring the reported decision of the Australian Media and Communications Authority to give its “seal of approval” to al-Manar, the Hezbollah television station that broadcasts throughout Asia and Australia via an Indonesian satellite company. There is also a rather ironic article in which Oakland Ross, of the Toronto Star, laments the “self-replicating propagation of erroneous information” that has seen a “never-uttered utterance” of former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon spread far and wide since 2002. (The “never-uttered utterance”: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”) I am touched by this Zionist concern for historical accuracy – almost as touched as I am by the Zionist call for “moral clarity”.