Beyond the Cusp

April 15, 2017

Is There Truly a Disparity Between Islamic and Christian Anti-Semitism?

 

If one were to look at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report on anti-Semitism worldwide one would immediately conclude that the crucial area where anti-Semitism is most pronounced is in the MENA* Arab and Muslim nations. There could be a number of reasons behind this seemingly obvious disparity mostly of which the ADL would claim it was due to greater sensitivity, civility and acceptance of other people’s religions, race, nationality and other differences in the developed world. On the other hand, it might also simply be due to education to answer questions as expected rather than giving honest answers. Another reason could be that due to programming through the education and media that people are not aware that they hold prejudicial thoughts and opinions. It might also be that such thoughts have been eradicated in the developed world, though that would be a miracle. Why am I so cynical about this? Well, it could be due to personal experiences I have had which indicate that perhaps the polling is not accurate because people have really been trained to hide socially undesirable thoughts. Perhaps dosing everybody with sodium pentothal before having them take such surveys would produce far different results, but we will never know.

 

Anti-Semitism figure and acts of vandalism

 

What were some of these experiences? Well, first allow me to give some general observations before we get to a few examples. I should first tell you that these are all observations from the United States as I lack any time even visiting Europe never having given travel there much consideration. I have come to surmise that Israel had a better acceptance and respect than Jews in the United States. Many Christians are confused over how and why some, too many by their thoughts, American Jews appear to hate Israel. Being a lifelong Zionist I was unable to assist them in answering this question as I share their disbelief and puzzlement. All I was ever able to say was that they placed their leftist politics ahead of their Torah and religion. That always drew some of the strangest looks, often a cross between complete inability to understand and simple bewilderment as if told two completely contrary things and claiming they were both true. Many had no ability to comprehend politics trumping religion.

 

Levels in Percentages of Anti-Semitism Worldwide by Regions

Levels in Percentages of Anti-Semitism Worldwide by Regions

 

One thing which made my ability to get some insights many never could was due to a select number of unique items. First, as a blonde haired, blue eyed, Nordic appearing person; nobody would ever suspect that I am Jewish without being told. The other main item was that I usually, most of my life, did not reside in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods. More often than not there were not likely to be any other Jews living within ten miles of where I usually could afford to live. The combination of these two small items placed me in a unique position to gauge real feelings and listen to people when the subject of Jews or Israel came into the conversations. When I was in a mix of people where a few knew I was Jewish, you could see pained looks on their faces when somebody spouted something hateful about Jews and they would all glance at me to see my reactions. Anybody who knows me well realizes that for the most part I do not have outward emotions very often. This allowed for such people to really hang themselves and allowed me to watch the reactions of others and whether or not they would respond defending Jews from hatreds, more often than not they would not. The most frequent reaction from those harboring no hatred or even love for the Jews was to hang their heads somewhat as if withdrawing protected them from the world and hate being spewed. Seldom did anyone speak up and when I would speak up others would often wince as if I were breaking some code and risking life and limb. On a few and very rare occasions it appeared that my defending Jews was unwelcome by the person who held anti-Semitic feelings as if I were impugning their honesty and becoming a threat to their reputation. Things never escalated to blows but I have lost presumed acquaintances and welcomed being relieved of needing to tolerate such people.

 

There was one particular phrase which I encountered more than I would have preferred when people first found out that I was Jewish. Too many responded to my telling them I was Jewish was initially that I was kidding and I would assure them that I was not joking and really am Jewish. Then sometimes, as stated too often, they would speak that phrase, “You do not act like a Jew.” This would almost universally receive my response, “Really, exactly how does a Jew act so I can work on that?” This would immediately make virtually all of them realize that they had revealed a bias which they had not realized they even suffered from. They would apologize and we would make some uncomfortable exchanges and then work our way past it. Fortunately many of these people would then ask questions about Jews and Judaism as they realized that they were living with suspicions and conceptions which they needed to get beyond. Perhaps these events for some became a good thing as they led to their receiving some education on the subject which they needed and probably would not have ever received such otherwise.

 

One thing I learned was that even those who held extremely negative opinions of Jews did not consider themselves to be anti-Semitic. Their feelings were that they were simply being honest and that the problem was with the Jews, not with them. They would tell you it did not bother them if somebody was a Jew and they would not hold their being Jewish against them. They just did not like Jews because Jews were simply not very nice and did not accept others who were not Jews. This revelation often came out claiming that the Jews are very clannish, you know, they stick together and watch out for each other against everybody else. Sometimes, when my mood was less than forgiving or one of these people got under my skin, I would make some comment about the Jewish mother ship hiding on the other side of the Moon and how I was still waiting for my washroom key. That would always get their attention at which point I would inform them they had made their statement in the presence of a Jew, sometimes I might instead say the enemy before informing them I was Jewish. There were those few who when hearing I was Jewish, sometimes one of the other people would break this news to them, they would get in a huff and sometimes even become threatening which never ended well but fortunately never led to actual violence.

 

What I learned in my sixty years of research, well, maybe less as I do not remember the first twenty very well, is that there is some degree of misconceptions as to how Jews act and exactly what a Jew is and what being Jewish means. As a youth I remember being accused more than once with having murdered Jesus. The first time was when I was three by the three year old girl next door who probably heard it in a sermon or from her parents as she was not old enough and proved as she grew not to hate anyone as near as I could tell. I came home crying as it upset me and asked my Mother who was this Jesus person and when did I kill him? I must have really been upset as I do not remember what my Mother told me or how she handled it but I am sure it was sensibly and kindly as that was how she handled everything except punishment for breaking rules, that she was strict and rather harsh which is why I tried not to break her rules. I learned though that there is a level of animus towards Jews, a sort of undercurrent which flows through more of the society than we care to admit. Mostly it is a misunderstanding due largely to the Jews being a complete unknown thus people can only theorize exactly what a Jew must be, what they are like, how they feel about others and other generalities. Much of this is filled in by parents, people around them, their religious teachings and that favorite of all peoples everywhere, suspicions. The one overriding thought is that Jews are simply somehow different from regular people. As a group they are too successful, too wealthy, too much the other and this causes suspicions which lead to distrust. This was mostly what was behind that phrase that I did not act or seem like a Jew to these people as I was not different and shared many of their ideas and principles. My being a Jew troubled them as it shook their entire concept of what a Jew would be.

 

What can we conclude from my experiences? Well, first allow me to point out I lived throughout the United States and moved more times than I care to remember. I worked constructions, retail sales and management, military, airfield crash rescue firefighter, roofing, railroad tie decorative restraining walls (the tallest was over fifty feet), medical electronic repair and calibration, satellite communications electronics, electronic prototyping, shuttle driver and so on. I lived on both coasts, the south, the west, the mid-west, New England, the northwest, Great Lakes and near everywhere inbetween. Basically what I am conveying is my sample size was expansive, diverse and ran the gauntlet of educational backgrounds. What I found was that people are pretty much the same with the more educated simply more practiced at prevarication. The misconceptions about Jews are fairly universal and people who have such misconceptions do not believe they are prejudiced against Jew or suffer even the slightest from anti-Semitism; they believe the way they see Jews is simply normal. What is interesting is that in areas of the world where anti-Semitism is the highest, the people there also believe they are not anti-Semitic, they are simply normal and it is the Jews who are abnormal. The main difference is that in the MENA nations where anti-Semitism is measurably the highest, they realize they hate Jews but simply believe that normally everybody should hate Jews. In the developed world they simply do not believe they hold misconceptions about Jews and are simply shocked when they discover that their beliefs are very probably wrong. Unfortunately, most of the people holding misconceptions about Jews will see these exact traits in any Jew they meet as they seek to believe that they are not hateful because that is undesirable in the society so they must be compassioned. The only way they could ever find out they have a difficulty is to get to know a Jew without knowing the person is Jewish and then have their world shook when they are informed that this otherwise normal person they were friends with is actually one of them, a Jew. Then they can come to grips and possibly change and realize that Jews are actually no different than anyone else. The problem is there simply are not sufficient Jews to go around and allow for everyone to have just such an awareness enhancing experience.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

* MENA are the nations of the Middle East and North Africa

 

April 14, 2017

Europe Taking Israeli Price of Peace Path

 

In Israel back during the early days, before and immediately after the Oslo Accords, Israel would take the position officially that the deaths from terrorism were a price we needed to pay for peace. This mantra was echoed by the liberal and leftist politicians and much of the mainstream media in Israel and was accepted broadly by left-wing and leftist Jews across the United States. In Israel this mantra became to strike sour notes really fast when the Second Intifada was launched by Yasser Arafat claiming the lives of over a thousand Israeli civilians and tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of injured, many with debilitating and horrific wounds which left them crippled, disfigured, scarred and in mental anguish not just for years but for the remainder of their lives. The price Israel was asked to pay for peace by the left was what has led to the public turning to the right to govern as they promised not to accept such a price and claimed they would get a peace with dignity. That is where the problem arose and which the world refuses to accept, that the Arabs do not desire peace, they demand total victory and the Jews dead or gone. The European Union and most European governments refuse to accept such and instead blame Israel for the lack of peace. This has also been the driving force behind the United States means of reaching a peace demanding that Israel continuously make sacrifices and concessions for peace while not demanding any reciprocal sacrifices or concessions from the Arabs. The Europeans, United Nations and United States all historically have demanded that Israel meet one demand from Arafat and then Abbas after demand after demand every time there is a decision to drive the peace process forward. The problem is as long as the Arabs are gaining concessions for refusing to negotiate, they will continue to not negotiate and simply demand more concessions and wait for the United States in concert with Europe and the United Nations to force these concessions out of Israel. This has finally had the breaks applied and Israel is starting to resist the continued concessions. It remains to be seen whether President Trump will be different though, as we covered in our article “Will President Trump Really Demand Same Old Concessions of Israel?”, it initially appears that he is planning on at least initially demanding concessions of Israel. From there we will see but should Israeli Prime Minister make too many concessions he can expect his time as Prime Minister to be limited as the Israeli public has realized the fruitlessness of that game.

 

Europe has also taken the concept that terrorism is the price they will need to pay while their Islamic populations adjust to European philosophies and lifestyle. The last three months have seen major terror attacks striking in Berlin, London and Stockholm yet Europe continues living responding to these attacks as if stating, “Terrorism is simply something we need tolerate for now as our societal norms are stronger than Islamic terror.” I think we all know the Islamic terrorist response, “We love death more than you love life”. This was made obvious on numerous other occasions in Paris, London, Madrid, Zurich, Normandy, Nice, Brussels and on and on and the list will only grow until Europe disappears or stands up. Anybody with a modicum of common sense can figure out who will win this fight, and it is not European traditions. The problem goes so much deeper than attitude. Currently Europe is in the driver’s seat and if they were to return to what built Europe, then they could salvage their society and their way of life for their grandchildren. As things stand now, the average European born today should at least reach adult life before having their entire existence challenged by the forces of Islam, radical Islam, forcing them to either live in the shadows worried minute to minute what might befall them or fleeing to the United States or South America. Should the trends remain as they now stand, their children if born in Europe will be Muslims with traditional Muslim beliefs and not one whit of European traditions born of Judeo-Christianity.

 

Map of Terrorist Attacks in Europe Middle East and North Africa after 9/11

 

The problem Europe is facing is theirs is an aging society which stopped having sufficient children to replace the population, let alone support their aging pensioners. In order to support their elderly and continue the engines of their economy, they brought in immigrants from what they call Asia but most of the world knows as the Middle East, the Arab world plus Turkey and many North Africa countries, the MENA Islamic community. Many of the nations, despite appearing to operate in normal fashion, have actually been failed states with marginal economies having many of their population eking out subsistence farming to survive. This left these immigrants educationally deficient for the European economic model with modern factories and high tech industries. But the problem when it comes to terrorism was not with these immigrants from years past but with their children who feel cheated and abandoned by their European governments and the converts to Islam who often were radicalized from the very start. This has caused a growing problem and with the latest surge of refugees these problems have only become exacerbated. The liberal and leftist governments across Europe were determined to make the refugee influx into their elixir to solve the growing economic problems and thus were invested heavily in refusing to recognize the growing problems. They took on the exact mantra which had been adopted by the liberal and leftist Israeli politicians, that terrorism would prove temporary and that with time the refugees and second generation Muslims would acclimate and blend into the population. Their mistake was they never took the necessary steps to incorporate the Muslim populations into their workforce or to educate and train them adequately and thus they left much of the Muslim population living in the slums where radicalization became to be viewed as a way out, the way to force the Europeans to grant them the solution which they view as Sharia. The problem with this is Sharia and European secular democratic multiculturalism are mutually exclusive and only one or the other can prove dominant. If Europe refuses to insist on retaining their democratic and secular culture, then Sharia will become the new normal and Europe as we know her will die a cruel and terrible death never to rise again, ever.

 

Europe Islamist Terror in Snap Shots

Europe Islamist Terror in Snap Shots

 

Israel realized this in time but Israel has an advantage, a higher reproductive rate which is sufficient for a growing society gaining in numbers amongst its Jewish and Christian populations. Israel, and not Europe, is the mainstay where Christianity is actually growing and healthy as is the Israeli religious Jewish population. Israeli secular left population suffers a similar but less severe fate as does the secular left populations suffers in Europe, a reproductive rate well below two children per woman. Replacement rate is somewhere between two-point-one and two-point-three children per woman and that is simply to sustain population numbers. The graph below shows the by nation numbers and what becomes immediately apparent is that the nations with the closest to replacement reproductive rates are the nations where there is also larger Muslim populations such as France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Finland, Norway and Sweden almost attaining replacement rate and their native population reproducing closer to one-point-five and with Turkey, an Islamic nation, actually attaining minimal replacement rate (and Ireland is unexplainable as usual but this time that is almost a good thing). Until Europe can reverse their sagging reproductive rates without taking in ever increasing immigrants, then the continent will continue to be a dying culture incapable of sustaining itself. Simply put, despite having a culture dripping with sexuality from every corner in its commercials, media, entertainment and almost every other means, they use that sexuality apparently purely for recreation and not for procreation. Unless the Europeans get serious and change their cultural attitude where everything is about the immediate pleasures and forget the future and return to their former nurture and natural society which had been based on Judeo-Christian ethics but does not necessarily need to return there, as long as they find some meaning which produces a future population to carry on what they have built. Anything less will bring to an end the Europe which has attained one of the more advanced cultures and civilizations known to mankind, a society now teetering on ruin.

 

European Reproductive Rates

 

Accepting terror deaths is not a future, caring about the future is the only future. That means the “now” culture must be placed in the dustbin of history or Europe will be placed in the dustbin of history. If the average European refuses to take even the slimmest of concerns for the future, then those now flooding into Europe will definitely give them no concern. We might ask whether they care about what they are leaving for their children, but there lies the problem, all too many Europeans are not having children at all. Having no children is the quickest path to extinction and Europeans are on that path as a lifestyle. The question the leadership of Europe must find the answer for is how to have an entire population made up largely of narcissistic childlike adults who refuse to leave the playpen into responsible adults who desire a future and offspring to populate and build it. Religion had been the driving force which made propagation a principle worth pursuing. What they are going to replace religion with is a mystery to us here as we remain attached to our religion. The saving grace in the United States is the share of the population who, if we can borrow a description used by President Obama, “cling to guns or religion” and could have added Bibles and children. The other saving grace is the main religion of the immigrants who are coming from south of the border is Christianity. Europe is importing a foreign culture which is incompatible with their historic culture and only one will survive unless Islam has a reformation and decided that the Mecca Quran should supersede the Medina Quran, and not the other way around as they now interpret abrogation. One of those pressing for just such a reformation is Egyptian President Sisi but he has friends who are fighting for the same thing, they are just rather less visible as they are not the leaders of the largest Arab Muslim population. We can only hope they can succeed where former attempts have failed.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 13, 2017

Frightening Challenges Facing All in the World

 

Syria is a problem from which there may be no good solution as there is much confusion and has as many facets as a rare gem, each reflecting hostilities on all the others. Every side of this entanglement fights for their own glorification seeking supremacy. Bashir al-Assad is attempting to prove that he is as worthy to carry the torch of leadership as was his father and to the grand level his deceased brother was expected to bestow on the nation as its President. He is attempting to overcome having been always the lesser son whose superior brother died tragically leaving him as the nation’s second choice. His attempts at overachievement could be diagnosed as some twisted form of Napoleonic Syndrome despite his height but due to his being measured by his father as always coming up short of what a leader should be. Add to the mix there is the Islamic State whose leadership fully believe that they are serving a greater purpose and are the proper leadership of all Islam and that they are defining the religion for every Muslim in the world. Their initial military successes have come to a crashing halt and are starting to find their opposition making valid and strong challenges and taking back territories which the Islamic State had initially conquered. Then there are al-Qaeda and other terror groups fighting representing the Sunni opposition to Alawite rule as it is a form of Shia Islam which they oppose and believe are apostates. There are also the Kurdish militias which are mostly concerned with defending their people and are having the greatest challenge coming from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, who has claimed to be fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist groups but has used the majority of his troops to attack the Kurdish populations. Additionally there are the Iranian forces which mostly consist of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who Iran is backing further with Hezballah terror militias from Lebanon. From time to time these two groups attempt to draw Israel into the war by launching artillery or rockets into the Golan Heights. Israel will return fire when they have a solid set of coordinates on which to return fire and which also do not endanger civilians but, other than these, Israel refuses to be drawn into the fighting. Finally there is Russia who is most interested in retaining their two naval ports which are within the Alawite region of Syria which places them in the position of supporting Bashir al-Assad. The recent presumed bombing of targets with chemical weapons such as Sarin Gas which murdered civilians received a strong attack from the United States on the originating airfield with over fifty Tomahawk Cruise Missiles. This drew a strong rebuke by both al-Assad and Russian President Putin.

 

By comparison, the remainder of the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) is only slightly less violent and confused. Yemen is also in the midst of a civil war with the Houthis being backed by Iran while Saudi Arabia is supporting the government forces of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Egypt had supported the Saudi Arabian side providing mostly air support but lost faith in the situation and no longer supports anyone in the Yemen civil war. Libya is a complete disaster with tribal forces warring for preeminence while terrorist forces use some contested areas for training recruits readying them for fighting usually elsewhere. At one point al-Qaeda and Islamic State had cleared out territories they used for training but when they came under attack by tribal forces decided to simply leave as they had no reason to take part in the wars in Libya. The Sudan and South Sudan, which declared independence on July 9, 2011, have remained in a state of conflict with the Sudan sending militias forces raiding their southern neighbor as the Sudan has not fully recognized their independence and still believe that most of the people of South Sudan to be infidel or inferiors and see their military actions as a cleansing the territory of enemies of Islam. Somalia continues to be basically without true governance and has become a destabilizing force for its neighboring nations most notably Eretria as well as Kenya and Ethiopia. There are further threats centered on Nigeria with Boko Haram attacking Christian villages and other sites as well as Islamic villages where they kidnap “volunteers” to fight in their Islamic Army. Boko Haram had pledged their allegiance to Islamic State but whether that remains intact is questionable. All of these Islamic disruptions are largely traceable to what was often referred to as the Arab Spring which largely destabilized the entire area of MENA with the exception of places where there existed strong dictatorial governance such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and Egypt which survived due to the military taking back the control they had lost to the Muslim Brotherhood after President Mubarak was forced from office under direct pressure from United States President Barack Hussein Obama. Iraq is still in a state of unrest with the Sunni and Shia segments of the population still facing difficulties resulting from a premature removal of United States forces by President Obama who was fulfilling a campaign promise sparking a low level of conflict. Meanwhile the Kurds are continuing to provide their own defense and act as if under semi-autonomous rule. Then there is a problem where the developed world has been inundated by refugees from these many conflicts plus increasing unrest and instability in Afghanistan leading to the new United States President, Donald Trump, to impose a temporary ban on immigration from seven nations where vetting to identify terrorist entities has proven difficult. This ban has fallen into court challenge and is still to be resolved but odds are the ban will stay in place for the ninety days while new vetting procedures are finalized.

 

Allied loosely with Syria and Iran is another problematic location, North Korea. The erratic leadership by Kim Jong Un who has ordered executions of senior officials including his uncle and also ordered the assassination of his half-brother all in the name of national security but actually to secure his position from any challenges. Kim Jong Un has also been petulant and often challenges the United States claiming that he is prepared to reply to any and every provocation by the erratic leadership of who he calls the nation’s greatest enemy. With the recent attack on the Syrian airfield both Kim Jong Un and Bashir al-Assad have denounced the United States as being imperialistic, colonial and using false excuses to try and extend the autocratic rule of the United States over more of the world through many varied and devious means. Both leaders have recently threatened to attack the United States or its forces and allies wherever and whenever possible and as necessitated by the warlike actions of the United States. The most violent of threats have come from North Korea and have been taken seriously as by many measures, Kim Jong Un is considered to be irrational and possibly not entirely rational and sane. The latest episode is currently playing out as the United States has diverted an aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and her strike group from harboring in Australia and is having them head towards the Korean Peninsula passing through the western Pacific. Kim Jong Un has raised the specter of a nuclear strike against the aggressor United States if a posture of war should continue and claims to be watching closely any aggressive behavior by the United States and its allies.

 

A World All Upside Down

A World All Upside Down

 

Add to this the threats by Syria and the displeasure shown by Russian President Putin and there are quite a number of signals which could be interpreted seriously wrong and any one could have devastating consequences. Needless to say, such unrest around the world, nerves frayed and on edge and troops moving and shots being taken on two separate fronts, one in the western Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan, East China Sea, Yellow Sea and possibly the Bay of Korea while the other is in the Mediterranean Sea, the world is balanced on a razor’s edge unlike anything since the end of the Cold War. We are a far cry from Cuban Missile Crisis stage but the world need take a deep breath and calm itself before somebody somewhere misreads intents and starts something which could quickly fly out of control and lead to serious sets of actions, reactions and counter reactions ending who knows where. Add in the increased amount of terrorism and rising crime rate in much of Europe and that simply adds another tinderbox to the sparks and electrical arcing from friction and frayed wires on too many fronts. You know things are tense when Israel is seemingly a singular place where the level of unrest could be considered calm, at least this far into the year. Being nervous is seemingly in fashion for world leaders currently and that is never a good sign. We need to remember that it was the assassination of a little known Austrian Archduke named Fred, well, you’re right, Ferdinand, but I bet his friends called him not Fred but Archduke Fred, which started the War to End All Wars. That War later was renamed World War I as it led kind of directly to World War II and if there ever should be a World War III and the human race survives, it will be traced in some means to World War II and thus World War I. If we were honest, we would realize that one could trace all warfare back to Cain’s Murder of Abel if we really tried, so don’t be too complacent, the world leadership sure has not been of late. We have too many people thinking they should rule the world or they already rule the world and all of them are mistaken, or at least we had best hope they all realize such. They won’t and we will all be the worse off for it.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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