BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Judaism

Israel’s Temple Mount Policy is a Microcosm of What Ails the West

In a new piece for the Claremont Review of Books, I argue that Israel’s Temple Mount policy from its reclamation in 1967 to today — intended to appease Arab aggressors — is a microcosm of what ails the West. In fact, it reflects the perfect symbol of our civilization’s lack of confidence in its moral legitimacy, sovereignty, and the right to defend against aggression.

Here’s a taste:

Israel does not err alone. The Temple Mount, which is core to the Judeo-Christian world generally, and to Israel—which is the first line of defense of Western civilization against Islamic supremacism—is symbolic of the West’s broader ideological maladies. Leftism sees the West as an evil, oppressive, occupying force. The hysterical reaction to President Trump’s Poland speech in defense of Western civilization—which was read by the Left with scare quotes as a defense of racism and colonialism—is the product of such “progressive” brainwashing.

The West has deemed itself morally illegitimate, the decadent and depraved creation of dead European white males. To make up for real and imagined historic injustices, the West has frequently repudiated its fundamental principles, and actively undermined its institutions. Its crisis of moral legitimacy is revealed in virulently anti-religious secularism, and in attacks on the natural rights to life, liberty, and property by an administrative state operating without the consent of the people.

The West’s lack of confidence in its sovereignty is revealed in open-borders policies that result in endless migrant floods, regardless of whether the migrants will or can enhance economic or social development. Progressive activists go so far as to imply that every migrant—legal or not—has an inherent right to citizenship, or at least to the rights guaranteed by citizenship. The multicultural credo that holds all cultures to be equal and inherently valuable is thought to obviate the need for borders.

The West’s unwillingness to defend itself against Islamic aggression reveals itself in Europe’s “no-go zones.” In America, it reveals itself through our see-no-Islam national security and foreign policy, and in the pervasive belief that we must appease our enemies with bribery (Iran Deal), sacrifice our rights (anti-free speech measures so as not to offend), or remove our defenses through politically correct policies chiefly oriented towards concession rather than victory (“Countering Violent Extremism”). At the heart of these policies is a belief that the West is the aggressor, and our enemies are the aggrieved.

The West’s lack of confidence ultimately extends to its right to survive. If one of the least abashed Western nations won’t assert itself at Temple Mount, it is hard to be sure where other nations will draw lines they are prepared to defend without yielding.

Read the whole thing here.

We’re All Infidels Now (and Forever): A Dire Message from Rudyard Kipling and Middle Eastern Christians to the West

Father George William Rutler has written a piece over at the Catholic Crisis Magazine worthy of the West’s attention, and therefore consequently unlikely to get it in these times of willful blindness and unblissful ignorance.

In it, he pens a critical passage linking the prescient poet Rudyard Kipling to the persecuted Christians of the Middle East [emphasis mine]:

[O]ne still might echo Rudyard Kipling: “East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.” The Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Amel Shumoun Nona, has warned from exile in Kurdistan: “Our sufferings today are a prelude to what even European and Western Christians will incur in the near future. Your liberal and democratic principles here (in the Middle East) are not worth anything. You need to rethink our reality in the Middle East because you are receiving in your countries, an increasing number of Muslims. You too are at risk. You have to take strong and courageous decisions, at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think that men are all the same. It is not true. Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand in time, you will become victims of the enemy you have welcomed into your home.

East is East and West is West. Yet the Wise Men in their wisdom outwitted King Herod and such wisdom, mated with self-neglectful virtue, melts all physical and ideological boundaries with a charity that gives hope to the most helpless. That is why Kipling continued with his ballad:

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth, When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth!

Jews have served as the historical canary in the coal mine of Western civilization, with the nation of Israel today’s first line of defense against Islamic tyranny.

But the unheeded cries of persecuted Christians in the Middle East are a harrowing reminder that Islamic supremacism’s enemy is Judeo-Christianity in toto.

We’re all infidels now, and indeed have been for all time.

There is a slow-motion global jihad being waged against us all, and we ignore the Islamic supremacist ideology that animates its soldiers abroad and at home at our own peril and to our own great detriment.

Of Double Standards and Triple Homicides: Media Malpractice and the North Carolina Murders

On the night of Sept. 11, 2011, three men were brutally murdered in Waltham, Massachusetts — their throats slashed and bodies covered in marijuana.

Despite the gruesome nature of the crime, which one investigator described as “the worst bloodbath” he had ever seen, the national media would have never reported on this story, let alone identified the Jewish religion of at least two of the slain, had Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a Muslim and close friend of the third victim, not carried out the Boston bombing.

In fact, in spite of Tsarnaev’s ties to the victims of these yet unsolved murders, to this day articles almost specifically de-emphasize the date of the crime, the fact that as the same investigator described it, the victims’ wounds were akin to those of “an Al-Qaeda training video,” and the religion of the slain.

Contrast this story with the horrific news that three Muslims were murdered execution style in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Suzanne Askar, right, rests her head on the shoulder of Safam Mahate, a student at North Carolina State University, as they stand next to Nida Allam, far left, during a vigil for three people who were killed at a condominium near UNC-Chapel Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Chapel Hill, N.C. Craig Stephen Hicks appeared in court on charges of first-degree murder in the Tuesday deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Al Drago)

Suzanne Askar, right, rests her head on the shoulder of Safam Mahate, a student at North Carolina State University, as they stand next to Nida Allam, far left, during a vigil for three people who were killed at a condominium near UNC-Chapel Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Chapel Hill, N.C. Craig Stephen Hicks appeared in court on charges of first-degree murder in the Tuesday deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Al Drago)

Unlike in the Waltham triple homicide, this story was explicitly reported as I just laid it out – a man killed three Muslims – a man, mind you, who many reports neglected to note is a militantly anti-religious atheist progressive.

In spite of the fact that stories ran across practically every major publication, with articles from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal referring to a triple murder of Muslims, social media exploded, with individuals appalled that the crime was somehow being ignored.

The #MuslimLivesMatter hashtag, adopted from the #blacklivesmatter hashtag created in the wake of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases went viral, signaling presumably that people believe atrocities are being carried out against Muslims en masse.

The juxtaposition of these two stories is instructive when it comes to today’s media.

While we might excuse the media in the case of the Waltham homicide for originally ignoring the date, nature of murder and religious identity of the victims, given their involvement with marijuana and law enforcement’s original public hypothesis that the murder was drug related, it is telling that these facts continue to be largely ignored in coverage of the murders.

Conversely, in the case of the Chapel Hill murders, religion was explicitly injected into the story from the start, leading many readers naturally to ascribe an anti-Muslim motive to the triple homicide. Meanwhile, local police believe the murders stemmed from an altercation over a parking space.

It is ironic that in the wake of President Barack Obama’s remarks about a “random” attack by a Muslim terrorist on a Kosher supermarket — note that the White House will not call it a jihadist attack on Jews — in the case of the victims in North Carolina, again from the start they were identified as Muslims. Randomness is clearly in the eye of the beholder.

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