Sunday, August 17, 2014

The New Romantics: Being Fair To Terrorists

Totalitarians

Neither France, nor Italy, nor Germany could forgive America for having liberated them from the Nazi and fascist yokes.... The little American cousin had surpassed her European elders in vigor, power and creativity. It is hard to forgive assistance when it shows up such weakness.
Pascal Bruckner, Tears of the White Man (1986)

Killing Their Own: “History has taught that revolutions devour their own children: Jahangir Razmi's Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of Islamist revolutionaries in Iran executing Kurdish men and others in 1979,” MacEoin writes in Gatestone.
Credit:
Jahangir Razmi, 1979
Source
: Gatestone
 

An article, by Dennis MacEoin, in Gatestone explains why the Left (including gays and feminists) can so easily and willingly march alongside fascists, anti-Semitic Islamists and other anti-democratic and reactionary groups who outwardly hate and despise them. Truly, such Romantic thinking—such Romanticism—is so deadly and toxic that it will kill you; it will also lead, if left unchallenged, to the end of democracy and of western civilization as we know it.

MacEoin writes:
In recent years, however, these graying adolescents of the European and America "Left" have moved in a direction that could not have been predicted even in their own darkest nightmares. They have allied themselves with the most fascistic, reactionary and anti-liberal forces on the planet. Today they march arm in arm, not as fellow-travellers with the Vietcong or the Fidelistas, but step by step alongside anti-Semitic Islamists: pro-jihad extremists who threaten death and destruction on all of Western society, including the very people now defending them. The gay solidarity groups back the speech of radical Muslim clerics who, in the Middle East, would kill any stray homosexual crossing their path. There go the sisterhoods, arm in friendly arm with men who despise women and would put all of them back into niqabs, burqas and house-seclusion at the first opportunity. There go the fresh-faced young women-converts to Islam, on a desperate hunt for husbands to dominate and possibly beat them while dreaming of children to train as future martyrs. And there march Neturei Karta and other Jewish extremists and leftists, hand in hand with their future killers.
There is a straight line from the noxious and malicious rants of anti-Semitism to the irrational and delusional expressions of anti-western and anti-American hatreds. It starts with the Jews, but it does not end with the Jews. There is no denying this historical fact; and no amount of window-dressing (to cover it up) or hand-wavering (magical thinking) will make it go away. Neither will ignoring it: it has to be seen as real and important. As is the case with all problems, it has to be viewed in the clear light of reason and dealt with in similar ways.

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For more, go to [Gatestone]

Friday, August 1, 2014

The German-Iran Alliance & The Myth Of Shared Aryan Ancestry

Special Relationship


Matthias Küntzel and his book, Die Deutschen und der Iran. Geschichte und Gegenwart einer verhängnisvollen Freundschaft (The Germans and Iran: The History and Present of a Fateful Friendship).
Credit & Source: Gatestone
 

An article, by Amir Taheri, in the Gatestone Institute discusses and brings to light some of the important aspects of the more than 100-year relationship between Germany and Iran. In doing so, Taheri reviews a book by Matthias Küntzel, Die Deutschen und der Iran. Geschichte und Gegenwart einer verhängnisvollen Freundschaft (The Germans and Iran: The History and Present of a Fateful Friendship). “Küntzel is a German author and a political scientist. He is a research associate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,” Wikipedia notes.

This special relationship between the two nations might help explain why in nuclear talks, Germany's position is closer to Russia than it is to Great Britain, France and the United States; Taheri, an Iranian author and journalist, writes:
As the 5+1 group ends another round of negotiations with Iran, commentators assume that the four Western powers involved—the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany—are united in their determination to curtail Iranian nuclear ambitions. However, in this fascinating book, German scholar Matthias Küntzel argues that Germany's position on this issue may be closer to that of Russia rather than the United States—with Germany acting as "a shield for Iran against America," as Germany's former Foreign Minister Joshcka Fischer described his country.
The reason, according to Küntzel, is the "special relationship" that Iran and Germany have built since 1871, when Germany emerged as a nation-state. Two years after Germany was put on the map as a new country, Nassereddin Shah of Iran arrived in Berlin for a state visit of unprecedented pomp.
It is not hard to see why the two sides warmed up to each other. For over a century Iran had looked for a European power capable of counter-balancing the Russian and British empires that had nibbled at the edges of Iranian territory in pursuit of their colonial ambitions. In 1871, Germany looked like a good ally. As for Germans, they saw Iran as their sole potential ally in a Middle East dominated by Britain and Russia. The friendship was put to the test in the First World War, when Iran refused to join the anti-German axis and suffered as a consequence. With the advent of the Nazi regime, Küntzel shows, a new dimension was added to the Irano-German relationship: the myth of shared Aryan ancestry. In World War II Iran again declared its neutrality, but was invaded by Britain and Russia after refusing to sever relations with Germany.

Iranians had always regarded themselves as heirs to an Aryan identity, asserted in bas reliefs dating back to more than 2500 years ago. The Achaemenid King of Kings, Darius, describes himself as "Aryan son of an Aryan". The very name of the country, Iran, means "the land of Aryans." The idea of Germans as Aryans, however, dates back to the 19th century and the rise of nationalism in Europe. Then, writers such as Herder and Schlegel claimed that Germans were descendants of original Aryan tribes somewhere in Asia, splitting into several groups moving into India, Iran and Europe. (Much later, the Irish also claimed they were Aryans and named their newly-created republic Eire, which means land of Aryans.)

In the 1930s, Alfred Rosenberg, one of Hitler's philosophers, published "The Myth of the Twentieth Century", a book in which he claimed that the torch of Aryanism had passed from Iranians to Germans. The reason was that Iranians had been "corrupted" by Islam and mixed with "inferior races" such as Arabs, Turks, and Mongols. Thus, in 1936, when the Third Reich wanted to publish its official list of "superior" and "inferior" races, there was some debate regarding the place to be assigned to Iranians. In the end raison d'etat prevailed and Iran was declared an "Aryan nation".
This article points out that while Germany considered race as the defining factor for Aryanism, Iran considered culture, namely, that any Iranian could be considered an Aryan. These differences allowed Iran, to its credit, to issue visas to save hundreds of German and French Jews.

Germany, like all powerful economic nations, has other reasons to set itself apart from the U.S. There is also the lingering resentment among some in the political and economic class that Germany was soundly defeated in the Second World War—no doubt a humiliation that most of its citizens no longer remember, or care to discuss. It is noteworthy that most Germans do not have a favourable view of the United States or Israel, Taheri writes: “Küntzel cites a number of opinion polls that show a majority of Germans regard the US and Israel, rather than Iran, as the biggest threat to world peace.”

Power politics, perhaps? But the special political and economic bond between the two nations might also have more practical, if not emotional, reasons: Iran had never considered Germany a pariah nation because of the Nazi war crimes committed during the Second World War; for many Iranians, however, the Holocaust never happened, because they know so little about it. This is the opposite of the situation in Germany.

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For more, go to [Gatestone].

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Elvis Presley: It's Now or Never (1960)




Elvis Presley sings "It's Now or Never," recorded in 1960. The melody of the song is adapted from the Italian standard, "'O Sole Mio,"a Neapolitan song from 1898 composed by Eduardo Di Capua & Emanuele Alfredo Mazzucchi with lyrics by Giovanni Capurro. (You can hear The Three Tenors' wonderful version of "O Sole Mio" here).  Thus it comes at no surprise that the song became highly popular.

Elvis Aaron Presley served in the United States Army for two years, between March 1958 and March 1960; he was posted in Germany. This song is today dedicated to the members of the IDF, who know what they have to do to protect Israel from terror. Halakhically, in accordance to rabbinical law, Elvis was Jewish. "So Elvis’s great great maternal grandmother was Jewish and had a daughter who had a daughter who had a daughter that was Elvis’s mother," Adam Chandler writes in Tablet.

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Written by: Aaron Schroeder & Wally Gold
Recorded: April 3, 1960
Released: July 5, 1960
Single: It's Now or Never/A Mess of Blues
Label: RCA Records

In 1960, the song spent five weeks in the United States at number one, and in the United Kingdom, eight weeks. The song has generated sales of more than 25 million copies worldwide.
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Elvis Presley: It's Now or Never, 1960 single sleeve.
Source: Wikipedia


It's Now or Never
by Aaron Schroeder & Wally Gold

It's now or never,
come hold me tight
Kiss me my darling,
be mine tonight
Tomorrow will be too late,
it's now or never
My love won't wait.
When I first saw you
with your smile so tender
My heart was captured,
my soul surrendered
I'd spend a lifetime
waiting for the right time
Now that your near
the time is here at last.
It's now or never,
come hold me tight
Kiss me my darling,
be mine tonight
Tomorrow will be too late,
it's now or never
My love won't wait.
Just like a willow,
we would cry an ocean
If we lost true love
and sweet devotion
Your lips excite me,
let your arms invite me
For who knows when
we'll meet again this way
It's now or never,
come hold me tight
Kiss me my darling,
be mine tonight
Tomorrow will be too late,
it's now or never
My love won't wait.

O Sole Mio
Eduardo Di Capua, Emanuele Alfredo Mazzucchi & Giovanni Capurro

Che bella cosa na jurnata 'e sole,
n'aria serena doppo na tempesta!
Pe' ll'aria fresca pare già na festa...
Che bella cosa na jurnata 'e sole.
Ma n'atu sole
cchiù bello, oje ne'.
O sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!
O sole
O sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!
sta 'nfronte a te!
Quanno fa notte e 'o sole se ne scenne,
me vene quase 'na malincunia;
sotto 'a fenesta toia restarria
quanno fa notte e 'o sole se ne scenne.
Ma n'atu sole
cchiù bello, oje ne'.
O sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!
O sole
O sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!
sta 'nfronte a te!

English Translation

What a wonderful thing a sunny day
The serene air after a thunderstorm
The fresh air, and a party is already going on…
What a wonderful thing a sunny day.
But another sun,
that’s brighter still
It’s my own sun
that’s in your face!
The sun, my own sun
It’s in your face!
It’s in your face!
When night comes and the sun has gone down,
I start feeling blue;
I’d stay below your window
When night comes and the sun has gone down.
But another sun,
that’s brighter still
It’s my own sun
that’s in your face!
The sun, my own sun
It’s in your face!
It’s in your face!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Is Palestine Dead? Can China Provide Its People With A New Home?


Arabs In China
The idea of a two-state solution is dead. Hamas does not believe in a two states living in peaceful co-existence, but in Israel's non-existence.  Israel could never negotiate with a extremist organization that believes in violence. Where does that leave the Palestinians, notably in Gaza, who wish to escape the violence of the Islamists? One original possibility is China, says Prof George Jochnowitz, which needs both young men and young women. "Can Palestinians run away? China may well be the answer. One doesn’t think of China as a country of immigrants. Nevertheless, there are Arab immigrants who are residing and prospering in Zhejiang Province, the province immediately south of Shanghai. In fact, the city of Yiwu is the home of a growing Arabic community."




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by George Jochnowitz


Hamas has probably succeeded in preventing a deal with Israel that would create a Palestinian state. Israelis now fear that ceding more territory would simply give terrorists new launching sites. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestine Authority, is old and not very popular. His successor is likely to be someone as extreme as the leaders of Hamas. There is no way that Israel could negotiate with extremists who persist in acts of violence no matter what the consequences.

I used to think that the rockets aimed at Israeli civilians served no strategic and no political purpose. I now feel I must reconsider my opinion. The rockets, and the never-ending violence coming from Hamas, have apparently ended the possibility of a negotiated two-state solution—maybe forever. Many Israelis, perhaps most, have long felt that an independent Palestine would lead to peace. Hamas is doing its best to show that nothing will lead to peace. The rockets do indeed serve a purpose. They are echoing the Hamas Charter, which excludes negotiation with Israel. Hamas—consciously or unconsciously—wanted to make sure there couldn’t be a Palestinian state, since it might lead to peace. Peace would give Israel security and establish its permanence. Hamas made sure that wouldn’t happen.

ISIS, also known simply as the Islamic State, has released a map of its view a future Arab world. There is no Israel on the map, needless to say. What is shocking is that there is no Palestine. Palestine, the central element in Arab nationalism, would be forgotten once Arabs conquered all the land that they had once owned. Palestine has remained an issue simply to be a way of opposing Israel’s existence. Refugees have remained in camps for over 60 years in order to make them suffer so that the world would blame Israel.

To an extent, this is part of an old tradition. The Arabs rejected a Palestinian state when the UN proposed one in 1947. It did so again with the Three No’s of Khartoum in 1967. It has been doing so ever since. But Hamas has taken an additional step. It keeps fighting a war it is losing—unambiguously. It goes out of its way to harm the citizens of Gaza, by launching rockets from schools and hospitals. Hamas not only doesn’t care about the lives of Palestinians—it is eager to put them in harm’s way. Hamas is saying that destroying the lives of its people doesn’t matter in the slightest, since nothing matters except ending Israel’s existence. Both Israel and ISIS have figured this out.

Can Palestinians run away? China may well be the answer. One doesn’t think of China as a country of immigrants. Nevertheless, there are Arab immigrants who are residing and prospering in Zhejiang Province, the province immediately south of Shanghai. In fact, the city of Yiwu is the home of a growing Arabic community.

Arabs are not the only immigrants to China. The one-child policy has led to an aging population. It has also had a much more serious effect: Chinese parents have been aborting female fetuses, leading to a great disproportion of young men to young women, about 6 to 5. As a result, foreign brides have been coming to China. China needs more young women. It also needs more young men to take jobs that have been vacated by an ever-aging population.

There is a Muslim population in Xinjiang, the westernmost province in China. Its people are called Uygurs or Uyghurs. They speak a language related to Turkish. There is a separatist movement and acts of violence have occurred. One of the ways that China is trying to deal with this situation is by drawing many different people to the area. A new city called Horgos is being designed, in the hope that it can be both Chinese and international and therefore a counterweight to Uygur nationalism.

There is another and much larger Muslim minority in China. Its people are called Hui (pronounced hwey) and speak Chinese, with a few Arabic words added to refer to religious concepts, such as permitted foods (halal) or forbidden foods (haram). There was a time when the Hui people wrote their variety of Chinese in the Arabic alphabet.

The Hui people have not been involved in a separatist movement. They could be good neighbors and friends to Muslim immigrants who want to learn Chinese but keep their religion. China has been tolerant to its Hui minority. When I taught at Hebei University in 1984 and 1989, there was a halal dining room for the Muslims who wished to eat food that fit in with their religious laws.

China has well over a billion people. A million or so immigrants would hardly be noticed.

Now that Hamas seems to have killed the idea of a Palestinian state, emigration from Gaza to China seems to be a perfect solution. 

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George Jochnowitz was born in New York City, in 1937. He became aware of different regional pronunciations when he was six, and he could consciously switch accents as a child. He got his Ph.D. in linguistics from Columbia University and taught linguistics at the College of Staten Island, CUNY. His area of specialization was Jewish languages, in particular, Judeo-Italian dialects. As part of a faculty-exchange agreement with Hebei University in Baoding, China, he was in China during the Tiananmen Massacre. He can be reached at george@jochnowitz.net.

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Copyright ©2014. George Jochnowitz. All Rights Reserved. It is republished here with the author's permission.