Sunday, October 31, 2004

Good news from Columbia U 

Columbia, one of the USA's leading universities and a member of the famed "Ivy League", is based in New York City. Anecdotal evidence (hard numbers are lacking) suggests that its student base is heavily Jewish -- perhaps approaching 50%.

Yet its Middle East studies department, among other academic areas at the university, has developed a reputation for disproportionate focus on the Arab-Israeli dispute, and an utterly lopsided bias in favour of the fashionable Arab narrative and the (inevitably linked) dismissal of Israel's right to exist.

This tendency was led by the late Professor Edward Said, an academic with a tremendous following internationally, but whose commitment to certain causes (chief among them bashing and delgetimising Israel) could override his commitment to truth. Examples included the instance when he was caught lying about being born in Jerusalem, and denied throwing stones at Israeli soldiers while on holiday in Lebanon, until faced with contradictory photographic evidence).

Other Columbia academics, such as Joseph Massad, have indoctrinated students with anti-Zionist rhetoric that at times lurches into bald anti-semitism.

A few brave students have documented such incidents, and made a movie. University President Lee Bollinger, in response to this, has decided to launch an investigation.

Hopefully this marks the beginning of an effort among those academic and university administrators, in the US and elsewhere, who maintain integrity andf refuse to let their institutions be turned into anti-Israel and anti-semitic training grounds, to turn around the worrying trends on many campuses.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

It's bad to make fun of someone suffering misfortune... 

but this is really funny. For those of you outside NZ, John Tamihere is a leading politican (cabinet minister in the Labour Government), who has recently stood down after accusations that he received a "golden handshake" from an organisation (contrary to a pledge he made), and didn't pay tax on it. There are further allegations of trading bribes for favourable legislation. Mr Tamihere is in a lot of trouble.

Aaron Bhatnagar has seen fit to make light of this, likening the Honourable Member for Tamaki Makaurau to a Nigerian scammer...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Guardian hits a new low 

I have blogged about the insane Bush-hatred that has gripped so many of the elites internationally. It has gone from obligatoryt references to Bush's supposed stupidity and religious extremism, to even more sinister manifestations.

Now, one of the English-speaking world's most highly regarded newspapers, the Guardian, has published a column actually calling for Bush's assassination. After the predictable objection, the Guardian have pulled the column and have made it unavailable on their website.

However, it was captured elsewhere on the web.

This is disgusting. Mark Steyn treats it well. At least the Islamozoids have the guts to actually carry through their threats. This pathetic Brooker wouldn't do it, but prefers to fantasise. The ultimate chickenhawk.

He deserves nothing but contempt.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The nanny state wants us defenceless 

I am not an American-style gun nut, I understand why gun control laws are a good thing; I don't think police should have to contend with gangs armed with an arsenal of assault rifles and flechette ammunition.

BUT -- I think this trial is crazy. A farmer is put on trial for shooting (not fatally) one of a trio of thieves of that had stolen his farm bike. He had previously been taunted by Black Power gang members, and subject to thievery and intimadation. And who faces trial? Not his tormentors, but him, for exercising the inalienable right to self defence.

This is moral inversion at its worst. It is no surprise that a system of laws that doesn't recognise this right within society, will not recognise the right of countries under attack to strike back at their attackers and tormentors. I am talking, of course, about Israel. Every time a suicide bomber strikes at innocents, Israel is "urged to show restraint", not to act against the murderers, in the hope that some illusory system of international justice will work. It won't.

The law should prosecute criminals; but even if it does (and especially if it fails to discharge this duty), the individual should have the right to protect him or herself, and not face the punishment of the state for doing so.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Vive l'anti-semitisme 

The French government has just released a report on the rising anti-semitism in their country. They are to be applauded for finally recognising this, after living in a state of denial while synagogues and Jewish schools were being burnt down and Jews assaulted on the streets.

One point of the study left more than a few scratching their heads: a pronouncement that disaffected youths, rather than Islamists or neo-Nazis, were responsible for most incidents.

This seems to deny truth, but it probably has a lot of justice. No, I don't believe that these young people are simply scapegoating the Jews for economic problems(it's a simplistic answer without much credibility). What I think has happened is that the glaringly pro-Arab media, and the increasingly societally powerful Muslim population of France, have created an atmosphere where hate for Jews is normal and that they are fair game.

Jews have become a zero cost target: although it may not be acceptable to attack Jews per se, once you invoke Palestine, you are given a free pass.

This is the link between French hooligans and the actions of the New Zealand government. No, Clark and co are not neo-Nazis, or clost Wahhabis -- but, they have absorbed the current air of delegetimisation of Israel (and ergo Jews), and taken a convenient opportunity to lash out at a target that precious few will defend.

Israel has no oil to withhold, and doesn't buy Kiwi sheep anyway, so why should Phil Goff care about the feelings of Jews any more than some kid from the slums of Marseille?

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Jake the Musslim 

A fascinating article in the Sunday Star Times today: radical Islam is being promoted among Maori prisoners in New Zealand, and is gaining a foothold, particularly among gang members.

The attraction of Islam to "downtrodden" groups (especially the soi-disant variety) is a well known phenomonon. It has finally been noticed in New Zealand.

The article focusses on an individual called Te Amorangi Izhaq Kireka-Whaanga, a Hallal slaughter-man and self-proclaimed fan of Osama bin Laden. He claims that one of the chief selling points of Islam among Maori inmates is hate for the west, and specifically NZ Pakeha.

One can see the attraction for many Maori convicts. On the positive side, there is discipline, order, a set of rules, and (best of all) a ban on alcohol and other intoxicants.

Unfortunately, Islam also tends to bring with it misogyny, homophobia, and legitimation of nihilistic violence (Kireki-Whaanga feels the attack in Beslan was Islamically legitimate). Most importantly, it can provide a religious justification for rage-fueled aggression.

Unfortunately, I predict the second set of characteristics is the dominant one.

Most interestingly, Kireka-Whaanga conflates tino rangatiratanga and jihad. Let's see if NZ manages to maintain its uber-PC world image if some renegade hikoi marchers start attaching explosive belts to themsleves...

Friday, October 15, 2004

Double standard? Of course not... 

For those of you who don't know, the police recently found a passport "factory" in New Zealand, run by Kuwaitis, Iraqis and others. The matter has now gone to trial.

A policeman who investigated a Kuwaiti big-wig's intriguing connection to the case a bit too closely was told to back off by superiors. Don't want to rock the boat...

The lawyer for one of the Kuwaitis on trial can't understand why there is no full investigation. He says:

Mr Rogers said that despite the matter being raised at a high level within the police, Mr Williamson was not allowed to go to Kuwait to pursue his investigations.

It was inconceivable that it would not have been raised at the highest levels within the Government.

He said that the PM's silence in this case was deafening by contrast with the Israeli matter.

Not only has the government not said a word, but the media have buried it. No public exposure, minimal coverage.

Well, Israel doesn't do much trade with NZ, and no-one likes them anyway; whereas NZ sells dead sheep to Gulf States.

During the "Mossad" affair, the government said that any other group of people (or government) doing the same thing would be treated in the same way. This is demonstrable proof that this is rubbish.

I am sick of my cowardly, hypocritical government.
I am sick of the timid lap-dog media, who mistake towing the government's line for journalism.

Where is the opposition?

Monday, October 11, 2004

Enslave New Zealand 

A new Australian political movement has arisen, although it didn't make a big impact in the elections on Saturday.

It is called Enslave NZ (www.enslavenz.org) and its platform is just that.

Apart from the humorous side, there is an element of seriousness:

New Zealand bases her defence policy on one simple fact: no one can attack New Zealand without going through Australia first. This is generally true but there is, of course, one exception…Australia. This deluded policy caused them to dangerously weaken their armed forces (see 10) because they believe we would never take advantage of their defencelessness. Such trusting innocents, the Kiwis.

New Zealand has given up on its own defence: it relies on supporting every politically correct global movement (read: appeasing violent crazies) and NZ's blessed isolation.

Australians have already been victims of Islamofascism, in Bali, and again in Jakarta.

I have recently cme to the conclusion that New Zealanders and Australians are evolving in separate directions. This is an expression of it.

Aussies are confident defenders of western liberty, we are pathetic snivelling wimps.

America's Evil Empire 

Is America an empire? Yes. Is it evil? No. Well, so says Niall Fergusson in his new book Colossus: The Price of America's Empire. I haven't read the book - only a review - but his basic principle is that America is an empire (by his definition of such a thing), but this is not a bad thing - America's strength brings a necessary balance of power to the world. He is very critical, however, of the way the US is making things go and is fearful that it's policies could lead to a diminishing of it's power. Interesting stuff. Read the review from "Haaretz" by clicking here.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Back Again. And Taking Responsibility 

Hello fellow kiwijewpunditers! First I would like to apologise for my long long long long spell of not writing. It is very bad of me, especially seeing as I am the favourite blogger amongst the three of us... (that was a joke - we are all equals in Comrade's book!)

Anyway, I'd like to start of the new year by talking a little about an idea that struck me during the Yom Kippur prayers a few days ago. I have just finished reading Gulliver's Travels and at the back of the book is a bunch of critical essays. I'd like to start by citing something that W.B. Carnochan quotes in his essay entitled Gulliver: The Satirist on Himself:

"Satyr is a sort of Glass, wherein Beholders do generally discover every body's Face but their own."

This is something that has troubled me deeply of late. I feel that there is a general attitude of "I am not responsible for what goes on the world". To be sure, "I am responsible for my own actions, but not those of my fellow". It is sad that there is poverty in the world, and perhaps I can even help a little, but it isn't my responsibility. Perhaps what I am trying to express is the above quote with the word satyr replaced by responsibility. Real lefties would probably say that this is a symptom of the capitalist evil. I would disagree with this. The two are independant - I can have a capatalist society and support free trade while still taking responsibility for more than myself. Perhaps it is a symptom of post-modernism (as a bynote, I have finally come to terms with my being a post-modernist. For a long time I didn't want to be one, but recently I've realised that it is futile to not be one in our day and age, and it is perhaps the only way we have at the moment to achieve peace and acceptance of others in the world. My post-modernism only goes so far, however - I'm not quite a moral relativist...) but this is irrelevant to an extent.

Jonathan Swift tried to claim that "No Preacher is listened to, but Time." However, I think perhaps there is another preacher that can be listened to - the preacher whose name is prayer. I would first like to clarify this for readers not familiar with myself and my collegues. When I refer to prayer, I do not refer to some kind of ecstatic spiritual experience that so many claim to achieve, that so many claim brings them to a sense of euphoria. I am refering instead to a deeply humbling experience of standing before G-d, when the physical and finite greets the infinite and speaks. I think that the lesson of collective responsibility can perhaps be learned from the Yom Kippur prayers, particularly the vidui or "confession" at the end of the Amidah, a confession which we end up repeating eight times throughout the course of the day. One cannot help but notice that all the sins are phrased in the plural: "on the sin that we have sinned ..." We also confess sins that many of us have undoubtedly not committed. For example, "on the sin that we have sinned concerning forbidden sexual relationships". On Yom Kippur we listent to our own prayers and realise that we are indeed responisible for the sins of others. Perhaps I have not had forbidden relations, worshipped idols, dealt falsely with others - but I am responsible for those who have. It isn't enough to excuse myself, but I need to ask "why did I not prevent the sin of my fellow man? Why have I not helped prevent poverty, inequality etc." And after I have asked those questions, and then listen to my own prayers and take responsibility; I need to strike my chest and declare "ON THE SIN THAT WE HAVE SINNED!"

Perhaps this Yom Kippur our prayers can teach us something. Perhaps they will teach us the importance of collective responsibility; of doing when no one else will; of not only looking in the face of the "other" of Emmanuel Levinas and seeing a moral obligation, but seeing also a responsibility which extends beyond what I am obliged to do for my fellow man to responsibility for what my fellow man has already done.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?