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Italy Travel Ideas

Friday, 27 March 2015

I'm not voting UKIP because I Want to Exploit This System

I normally don't reproduce other websites' posts, but this was too good to miss.

At the next General Election for the UK Parliament in May, there is only one party, as things stand, that can shake things up and make a change for the better: UKIP.

I'm the first to admit its many limitations, but it's the best we've got.

The blog Nope, not Hope has produced these graphics and the following text:
Hope not Hate have recently launched their "I'm not voting UKIP because" campaign, where they encourage people to write in and tell them why they are so opposed.

Here at Nope not Hope, we were a little worried they'd censor some of their biggest supporters in the interests of political correctness. So, in the interests of free speech, we thought we'd help out a little and create some posters which more accurately reflect their 'members' beliefs.

We're always open to suggestions, so if you create any yourself, please let us know.

"Liberals" Are the Most Totalitarian People

Unite Against Fascism supporters at the same Birmingham demonstration shown above

An intolerable double standard is this. Whereas people with - for want of a better word - "Right-wing" ideas are constantly demonised by casually throwing slurs at them and calling them "fascist", "Nazi", "racist", "anti-Semite", "homophobe", "Islamophobe", "bigot" (in short, what today are considered the most despicable characterisations, possibly even worse than murderer, rapist and paedophile) just for the crime of questioning, say, the wisdom of unrestricted immigration from the Third World to Europe or the advisability of same-sex marriage, people on the "Left" end of the political spectrum are treated with kid gloves.

For example, Leftists are allowed to get away with calling themselves - and being called by others - "liberals".

This is a misnomer, like the insults listed above, but in the inverse sense. Whereas the use of "bigot" for many traditionalist thinkers is a defamatory statement, treating a person worse than he deserves, the use of "liberal" for a Leftist is an equally undeserved praise, since this word - rightly or wrongly - has come to acquire positive connotations, like love of freedom, open mindedness, generosity, tolerance, enlightenment, indulgence and, most important of all in the modern world, lack of prejudice.

In reality, whereas Right-wing people not necessarily are supporters of fascism or hold National Socialist views and more often than not are opposed to dictatorship and totalitarianism, Left-wingers tend to fall into one of three categories: socialists, communists and "useful idiots", the appellative given by Lenin to those naive individuals who were helping the Bolsheviks without realising what these communists really were doing and wanted to achieve, and now used in a more general sense for those who help socio-communists with the same somnambulism as their predecessors.

Far from loving freedom and tolerance, the so-called "liberals" are usually the most totalitarian, dictatorship-loving suppressors of others' opinions and expression.

An even cursory glance at the websites of the self-proclaimed "anti-fascist" groups shows what sort of autocratic, despotic way of thinking they share with their intellectual ancestors Marx and Lenin. The group behind the British magazine Searchlight, "opposing racism and fascism in Britain and abroad", is a classical example.

Of Searchlight's founder and publisher Gerry Gable Wikipedia says:
The son of a Jewish woman and a nominally Church of England father, Gable grew up in post-war east London considering himself Jewish.[1] As a youth, Gable was a member of the Young Communist League and the Communist Party of Great Britain, and worked as a runner on the Communist Party's Daily Worker newspaper, leaving after a year to become a Communist Party trade union organizer. He stood unsuccessfully for the Communist Party on 10 May 1962 at Northfield Ward, Stamford Hill, North London.[2] He finally quit the communist party because of their Anti-Israel policy and because "first and foremost [he has] always been a Jewish trade unionist".[1]

Joined by other Jews and anti-fascists, many ex-serviceman and members of the (Spanish) International Brigades the militant anti-fascist organisation 62 Group was formed, to confront fascists organising on the streets.
I'm not giving any link to them, but this is what is found on their website:
While we would generally support antifascist efforts to ban public fascist meetings...

Our volunteers who attend these [private] meetings and report back to us on the proceedings are carrying out an important task at some personal risk.
The risk, even physical, is in reality for the people they are stalking, harassing and persecuting just for having different ideas from their own. Respect of privacy doesn't mean anything to these "liberals", and that's only the smallest of the problems their unfortunate targets encounter at their hands:
...we still obtain detailed and accurate reports, to their [the supposed "fascists'"] great annoyance.
That's how they describe themselves:
Searchlight exposes the fascists and racists’ activities and alerts the antifascist community to our opponents’ intentions, plans and trends...

Searchlight is the first port of call for activists, journalists, politicians and academics seeking information on organised racism in Britain.
In other words, their only purpose is to spy and publicly inform on people with the excuse that the latter are "fascist". You never see in their writings, or in the slogans such groups shout at their counter-demonstrations, any shred of thought, idea, vision of the future or proposal to solve any country's problems.

Hatred and witch hunt seem to form their only motivation and activitity, respectively.

"Bigotry" is defined in dictionaries as "intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself."

Well, then, who is the bigot here, and uses the vilest means to give vent to his prejudiced feelings?

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Who Is for Free Speech? The Ariel Toaff Case

Published on The Occidental Observer
By Enza Ferreri

This article is about three things: free speech, a book about the so-called “blood libels”, and how these ritual murders of which Jewish groups have been accused are linked to aversion for Jesus and Christians in Judaism.

The threads are all related. I’ll start from the third.

The above video, which I posted on my blog [note: I've removed the video because it was not playing any more, instead carrying the warning "This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated."], among others attracted comments to the effect that it is not representative, publishing it is a biased choice, and the people in it are just a band of idiotic alcoholics. (In addition, Christians in Israel are treated wonderfully, have the same rights as Jews, and they all lived happily ever after.)

Those who make these claims have (or pretend to have) little knowledge of Jewish religion and Jewish history.

Because the people in the clip may as well have been drunk (or not), but what they say is due to much more than just alcohol. After all, in vino veritas, "in wine there is truth."

The video shows images of 2012 Jewish attacks on a church and a monastery in Israel, with the background of a song from a group of Jews who gathered on Christmas Eve 2007, “to ‘celebrate’, in the Jewish way, the birth of Jesus.”

The signs defacing the church’s walls read “We will crucify you”, “Death to the Christians”, “Jesus is dead”, “Jesus son of Mary, the prostitute”, “Jesus the son of a whore”, “death to Christianity!”. And on a car: “Jesus is now a corpse”.

The lyrics of the song repeatedly convey one of the messages written on the church’s walls: “Jesus is a bastard.”

In the same way as Islamic apologists attempt to portray Muslim terrorists, murderers and jihadists as betraying the true meaning of Islam, so Judaism apologists try to describe Jews who have attacked Christian buildings or gratuitously insulted Christian beliefs as having nothing to do with Judaic religion.

Both are wrong.

Today, the 24th March, is the Feast of the Holy Infant Martyr St. Simon, patron saint of Trent.

He is the subject of a book published in early February 2007, Pasque di sangue. Ebrei d'Europa e omicidi rituali (Blood Passover. The Jews of Europe and Ritual Murder), which shows that there may have been some truth to several “blood libels”, including the case in which Ashkenazi Jews of German descent living in the northern Italian city of Trent, near the Austrian border, were found guilty of murdering a Christian 2-year-old boy named Simone, crucifying him head down, mutilating his body and using his blood to bake matzot for Passover in 1475.

The child was canonised by the Church and became San Simonino di Trento. His entry in the Roman Martyrology was removed in 1965, after the Jewish-friendly, please-forgive-us Vatican II which gave us Nostra aetate re-examined the case and changed the verdict.

What makes this book extraordinary is that it hasn’t been written by a nasty “anti-Semite”, but by Professor Ariel Toaff, who is descended from a line of rabbis, is the son of Elio Toaff, former chief rabbi of Rome and considered Italy’s highest Jewish spiritual and moral authority from the end of World War II to the early 2000s, and is a rabbi himself.

He also teaches at Tel Aviv University and at the time of the book’s publication was professor of Medieval and Renaissance History at Bar Ilan University in Israel. His work has focused on Jews and their history in Italy and is regarded as a world authority on Italian Jewry.

Ariel Toaff, who holds dual Italian and Israeli citizenship, was 64 when Blood Passover was published by the academic publishing house Il Mulino based in Bologna, a highly reputable company that prints books used in university courses, especially in humanities like philosophy and history. If you, like me, had studied philosophy at an Italian university, many – if not most – of your books would have been published by Il Mulino. This is important, as it shows that the scholarship of this volume must have been of a respectably high level, or this publishing house wouldn’t have risked its reputation by printing it.

As the Israeli newspaper Haaretz commented at the time of its publication in the aptly-titled article “And if it's not good for the Jews?”:
It would have been far easier to dismiss the book if the author had been Christian. Then the dilemma could have quickly been solved by branding the scholar an anti-Semite. It's also easy to dispense with radical Diaspora Jews who not only attack Israel's policies but also sometimes challenge its very right to exist. They can simply be dubbed self-hating Jews. The matter becomes much more complicated when a Jewish scholar from a religious Jewish university touches on an issue that arouses primordial Jewish fears.
The book's blurb tells the reader that “this book takes on, courageously, one of the most controversial themes of the history of European Jews … rereading the vast documentation of this trial [the Trent Trial] and of many others without prejudice… the author explains the ritual and therapeutic meaning of blood in Jewish culture and reaches the conclusion that as far as Ashkenazi Judaism is concerned, the ritual murder accusation was not always an invention.”

Blood Passover was viciously attacked even before it was published by people, to use the author’s words, who didn’t even know what colour its cover would have:
The book sparked intense controversy including calls for him to resign from or be fired from his professorship, the questioning of his research, historical method(s), and motives as they relate to his writing of the book, threats to his life, and demands that he be prosecuted. [Emphasis added]
Really? And here I was, thinking, after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, “Je Suis Charlie” and free speech marches, that Jewish communities everywhere were totally in support of freedom of speech.

Some sordid, mindless cartoons must obviously be on a much higher level, far more worthy of being defended than a decades-long scholarly historical research.

Censorship in this case is a mild word. Violent polemics erupted in the Italian media, Jewish population and rabbinate even before the book was out. Blood Passover was withdrawn from bookshops very few days after its release, deliveries were blocked and the merchandise recalled.

Such a rapid action of withdrawal from the market can be comparable only to that of products which are physically harmful.

EBay quotations of such a rare work fetched at the time 100-400 euros.

The actions against Blood Passover were compared by historian Franco Cardini to Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, in which books were considered damaging for people’s minds and burnt. A book withdrawn from circulation after few days is tantamount to a book burnt or destroyed in other ways.

Two days before the volume's publication, an advance review by another Italian Jewish historian, Sergio Luzzatto, appeared in Italy’s main daily Il Corriere della Sera, entitled "Those Passovers of Blood. The staggering revelation of Ariel Toaff: the myth of human sacrifice is not just an anti-Semitic lie". It’s worth quoting a long excerpt from it:
Trent, March 23 1475. Eve of Pesach, or Passover. In the home-synagogue of a Jew of German origin, the usurer Samuel from Nuremberg, the battered body of a Christian 2-year-old baby, Simonino, the son of a humble tanner, is found. The city is in shock. As the only consolation, the investigation is moving forward. According to the investigators, the most notable men of the local Jewish community participated in the kidnapping and killing of the “cherub”, also involving women in a macabre ritual of crucifixion and outrage of the corpse. Even Moses “the Elder”, the most respected Jew of Trent, made a mockery of the hanging body of Simonino, as if to mock a renewed passion of Christ… Only torture - it was thought - could push peaceful Jewish householders to confess to have killed children of the Gentiles: murder followed not only by the crucifixion of the victims, but also by practices of ritual cannibalism, ie the consumption of young Christian blood for magical or therapeutic purposes… So, in today's world, only an unheard-of gesture of intellectual courage could allow to reopen the whole dossier, on the basis of a question as precise as it is delicate: when we discuss all this - the crucifixions of infants on the eve of Passover, the use of Christian blood as an ingredient in the unleavened bread eaten during the feast – are we talking about myths, namely ancient beliefs and ideologies, or rites, namely real events and even prescribed by the rabbis? The act of bravery has been accomplished now. The disturbing question has been posed to the sources of that age, by a historian perfectly equipped to do so: an expert in the food culture of the Jews, including religious precepts and eating habits, as well as the story of the intertwined Jewish and anti-Semitic ideas… Toaff maintains that approximately from 1100 to 1500, in the period between the First Crusade and the autumn of the Middle Ages, some crucifixions of Christian “cherubs” - or perhaps many - really happened, leading to reprisals against entire Jewish communities, punitive massacre of men, women, children. Neither in Trent in 1475, nor elsewhere in late medieval Europe, Jews were always innocent victims. In a large geographic area of the German-speaking area between the Rhine, the Danube and the Adige, a minority of Ashkenazi fundamentalists really performed, and many times, human sacrifices. Moving with extraordinary skill on the land of history, theology, anthropology, Toaff illustrates the centrality of blood in the celebration of Passover: the blood of the lamb, celebrating the liberation from slavery in Egypt, but also the blood of the prepuce, from the circumcision of Israel’s male infants. It was blood that a biblical passage in Exodus says was spilled for the first time by the son of Moses, and that some Orthodox tradition regarded as one with the blood of Isaac that Abraham was ready to sacrifice. Therefore, in the ritual meal of Passover, the solemn unleavened bread was mixed with powdered blood, while other dried blood was dissolved in wine before reciting the ten curses of Egypt. Which blood could be more fit for purpose than that of a Christian child killed for the occasion, asked the most fanatical among the Jews studied by Toaff? This is the blood of a new Agnus Dei [lamb of God] to be consumed for the purpose of good wishes, so as to precipitate the downfall of the persecutors, cursed followers of a false, lying faith. [Emphases added]
This astonishing declaration confirms what Professor MacDonald and The Occidental Observer have always said: in their interactions with European Gentiles, Jews may have been victims at times, but they were not passive, innocent victims. Something, other than mere “racism” (of which anti-Semitism is considered a form), incited the often despised and hated goyim to attack the “Chosen People”.

Before his outright persecution – there’s no other word for it – Ariel Toaff was so sure of his assertions, the result of decades of studies and research, continually taught in his university courses, that he gave an interview to Trent’s regional newspaper L’Adige on 8 February 2007 titled “The truth about San Simonino and the Convictions for the Simonino Rituals, the Case Must Be Reopened” and subtitled “Professor Ariel Toaff has no hesitation: «The case of Simonino must be reopened, because there is reason to believe his ritual infanticide probable»”. In it he said (the original article has been removed from the paper’s site, but I’ve found the following reproduction):
In short, the analysis of these acts and other documents prompts me to consider unlikely that the judges had been able to put in the mouth of the accused, who spoke a sort of German Hebrew, tales so full of precise references to the tradition, the rites, the memory of these communities of the Germanic area. It’s not possible that public officials knew all that, therefore those testimonies could not be the result of extortion or a projection of the thought of the judges.
About his method, he says:
I started by ignoring the most problematic aspects of the matter: the Passover, the blood for the Passover unleavened bread etcetera. So I checked that for everything else there is a hundred percent historical evidence. For example, a witness mentions an acquaintance, one Asher, a Jew convicted of usury in Venice: I checked and it was all true. At this point, I focused on Passover celebrations and compared the Trent depositions with the texts of the Jewish communities in Germany at the time: here too the correspondence is perfect.
This is crucial, because the convictions were based on the confessions of the accused, and the 1965 review of the trial exonerated the Jews on the grounds that the confessions must be false as extracted under torture, which is by no means a foregone conclusion.
Yes, the final obstacle was exactly the testimonies which made reference to the sacrifice of Simonino. And it’s here that the linguistic aspect is fundamental. It was a bad Hebrew which was said to add an exotic and Satanic aura to these communities. I used not the Italian but German pronunciation, looked for the possible semantic variants and found the references to a certain environment of Nürnberg Judaism. In this way it became clear that the speech in Ashkenazi Hebrew of Trent Jews could not have been induced by non-members of the community. Therefore the confessions can be considered credible. Let’s not forget that we are talking about a minority of fundamentalists who were not representative of the entire religious galaxy: the Jewish world of the time was as varied as the Islamic one, which harbours even small fringes of terrorists, is today.
Ariel Toaff explains that he covers the story of Trent in eight chapters of his book, adding that he studied trials of Jews in various parts of Europe. A series of elements, the professor maintains, clearly confirms the thesis that infanticide has actually happened. He concludes:
I'm ready for discussion, but first I wish my interlocutor be informed on my research. Those who answer by reminding me that the Jewish tradition forbade the use of human blood in rituals adds nothing serious to scientific analysis: we're talking about fanatics who violated the prohibition. On the other hand, several colleagues who have approached my work agree with my reconstruction of the presence of those violently anti-Christian Jewish communities which included very virulent and aggressive members. There may be someone who still has doubts on the last link of my reconstruction, ritual murder. For my part, however, I believe there is no room for doubt in terms of historiography. Therefore I think it would be right for Trent to reopen that chapter on the basis of the new elements in my book. [Emphases added]
When Taoff examined the trial records of the murderers of St. Simon of Trent he was staggered. The confessions of the murderers contained details of the crime that only the killers could know, and material that could not have been known to the Italian clergy or public officials. The secret rites practised by the Ashkenazi community, which could not have been known by the judges, were faithfully reproduced in the confessions.

Even historian and member of the Venice Jewish community Gadi Luzzatto Voghera, who is clearly a Jewish apologist, admitted that there was no real argument among the Italian Jewry to answer Toaff’s accusation:
In Italy (but the reaction would have been the same in France or Britain) even the Jewish intellectual elite is clearly without arguments when faced by Toaff’s arguments. They lack the basics, to use soccer jargon, namely they completely lack the knowledge of Hebrew (which would allow one to read and learn about the rich bibliography produced in thousands of years of history by the Italian Jewish communities), they are not up to date with the real and not rhetorical situation of historical studies and research on even fundamental issues like the Trent Trial in 1475. They are desperately looking for 'expertise' that cannot be improvised.
In other words: Italian Jewry knew that the atrocities described in the book never happened even without knowing – or maybe because they didn’t know - any of the relevant facts.

Dr. Amos Luzzatto, former president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, said:
"Even if the author should manage to prove that a deviant sect existed for centuries...clearly it could never be identified as a Jewish group, or as part of a Jewish community. This would be comparable to saying that the rabbis who were present at [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad's Holocaust Denial Conference in Teheran represent mainstream Judaism."
No, it would be comparable to saying that terrorists shouting “Allahu Akbar” and proclaiming to vindicate the prophet Muhammad while killing Jews are not a Muslim group, which is the opposite of what most Jewish people say.

Just after the book’s release in Italy, in the article “Bar-Ilan to order professor to explain research behind blood libel book” Haaretz showed that initially, despite the pressure he was under, Toaff was still defending his position, albeit with some incipient sign of vacillation:
University historian Toaff has raised a storm by alleging in his book that some blood libels - accusations that Jews killed Christians in ritual murders to add their blood to matza and wine on Passover - may be based on real ceremonies in which the blood of Christians was actually used…

In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Toaff responded angrily to his critics, saying, "My research shows that in the Middle Ages, a group of fundamentalist Jews did not respect the biblical prohibition and used blood for healing. It is just one group of Jews, who belonged to the communities that suffered the severest persecution during the Crusades. From this trauma came a passion for revenge that in some cases led to responses, among them ritual murder of Christian children."…

In an interview Friday with The Associated Press, Toaff said, "There is no proof that Jews committed such an act." But he added that the confessions do hold some truth - as when the accused recount anti-Christian liturgies that were mainly used on Passover, when the Israelites' liberation from ancient Egypt became a metaphor for Judaism's hope for redemption from its suffering at the hands of Christians.

"These liturgical formulas in Hebrew cannot be projections of the judges who could not know these prayers, which didn't belong to Italian rites but to the Ashkenazi tradition," he said…

Bar-Ilan University spokesman, Shmulik Algrabli, said, "Professor Toaff is one of the greatest scholars in his field, and we have confidence in his scientific method. The contentions of the study will be clarified when the author returns to Israel." [All emphases added]
After saying in Italy after the publication that he would let himself be crucified in order to stand by his book’s conclusions, when he returned to Israel Toaff surrendered, withdrew the book from the market and said he would give the proceeds from the past sales to the (then) Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. A new, revised edition of the work was published in 2008, which however didn’t substantially change the thesis of the first edition.

For a murder to be ritual an essential component is religious hatred. And this has been very widespread, deep-rooted, taught from an early age, practised for generation after generation.

For Jews, says Toaff, in rabbinic texts Abraham did kill Isaac, was not stopped by God as in the Bible. Isaac was then resurrected by God.

This shows that the two prohibitions adduced by the rabbis as obstacles to the ritual murders examined in Blood Passover - prohibition on the consumption of blood and prohibition to kill – become absolutely null and void if even the patriarch Abraham was considered pious for ritually sacrificing his son.

Toaff’s book incontestably shows that there has been a profound, sometimes violent and even murderous, anti-Christian streak in European Jewish communities.

It’s not an accident. It derives from Jewish sacred texts, filled with hatred for Jesus and Christianity, which say very much the same as the song and the graffiti in the video above this article.

There are numerous texts, besides Blood Passover, illustrating Jewish hate for Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Christians, who have been the symbols behind various Jewish sacrifices, rituals and obscene mockeries over the ages. What Toaff says in the 12th chapter, that Jesus was called “bastard, son of whore”, was already well known.

In the Jewish book Toledot Yeshu (Generations of Jesus, or Life of Jesus), Jesus is described as an illegitimate child, "the bastard son of a menstruate woman". Jewish tradition considered as the worst thing for a woman to conceive during menstruation, a period of ritual impurity during which relations are forbidden according to Jewish Law. In the case of Mary, this was made even worse by the accusation that the child’s father was a pagan, and she had committed adultery. The same book says that Jesus was a sorcerer, and is now in Hell immersed in boiling excrement.

Toledot Yeshu only reproduces descriptions of Jesus contained in the Talmud.

Rev. I.B. Pranaitis writes in The Talmud Unmasked. The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians:
The Talmud teaches that Jesus Christ was illegitimate and was conceived during menstruation; that he had the soul of Esau; that he was a fool, a conjurer, a seducer; that he was crucified, buried in hell and set up as an idol ever since by his followers.
Author Mirza Tahir Ahmad says:
[A]uthentic Jewish religious literature is full of their gloatings about Jesus’ death upon the cross…

The Talmud, the doctrinal book which fully expounds all the knowledge and beliefs of the Jewish people, taught that Jesus had not only an illegitimate birth, but was doubly uncouth in view of his having been born out of a devilish wedlock of Mary during the period of her menstruation…

All that is decent in man revolts against the stinking filth which was heaped upon the holy name and image of Jesus in the literature of his hostile antagonists.
I conclude with Ariel Toaff’s entry in Discover the Networks. I find it odd that it considers the fact that the Jewish people who confessed to the sacrifice of the little boy San Simonino did so under torture as a sign that their confession is false, but doesn't consider the fact that Toaff has recanted the accusations contained in his book under various threats, including death threats, as a sign that his recanting is also false.

His overall behaviour has in fact seemed very different from that of a man who has altered his views.

But then, freedom of speech is only invoked when the targets of free expression are Muslims – or even better Christians. When it comes to Jews, the rules of the game immediately change.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

What's Happiness to Do with Catholicism?

Ceiling of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, containing a fresco cycle by Giotto, one of the most important masterpieces of Western art

Yesterday, the 20th of March, was the International Day of Happiness, proclaimed in July 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly, "recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in people's lives and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives."

Being happy is in fact what everybody wants, but people hugely differ in their definition of happiness and views of how to achieve it.

Contrary to public perceptions due to prejudices and intentional distortions, Catholicism also wants people to be happy. A person couldn't be declared saint, for instance, if he hadn't been happy in his life.

Professor of philosophy Christopher Kaczor, in the book The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction about Catholicism (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) , writes:
[E]very saint experiences and exhibits joy - no saint is canonized without it.
The Catholic idea of and route to happiness are surprisingly similar to what current scientific psychology thinks, on the basis of empirical studies.

Here are some results of psychological research.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, is the author of the book The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) , in which she examines hundreds of empirical studies and concludes that about 50% of individual differences in happiness are caused by genes, 10% by life circumstances and 40% by our intentional choices of goals and activities.

That 40% is in our hands, and is going to have an important effect on our happiness.

Drawing on the work of psychologists and philosophers, the book Healing the Culture (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) by Robert J Spitzer distinguishes four kinds of intentional goals and activities corresponding to four different levels of happiness. Here they are:
  1. Physical, bodily pleasure through food, drink, drugs, sex and so on.
  2. Attainment of money, power, success, popularity, fame and other material goods.
  3. Loving and serving other people, and therefore avoiding hurting others.
  4. Loving and serving God.
The amount, length and depth of happiness increases at each of these levels.

This is what the Catholic Church says. And this is also what evidence-based psychological research says.

This subject requires more than an article, but let's make some reflections.

The paradox of hedonism

The first level is the easiest and the quickest to attain, but it's also the quickest to end. Not only it's short-lived, it's also short term. Only an addict or someone with serious problems would base his life on the search for this kind of pleasure, often followed by much greater pain (physical and psychological), ill health and other serious consequences.

There is nothing wrong with bodily pleasure, but in moderation and not as final goal. Catholicism says the same.

The first level is related to what is called the "paradox of hedonism", something already known to ancient Greek philosophers. It's very simple: you don't find happiness by directly pursuing it. Happiness is only the indirect consequence of something else, the result perhaps of something we produced or created and we are satisfied with. We find happiness when we aim at something else.

We all have experienced this type of failure. If you desperately try to have fun at a party, you're more likely to end up with the opposite effect. A deliberate effort to enjoy oneself, to find happiness or pleasure with alcohol or drugs can be one extreme case of this paradox. Another extreme case, at the other end of the scale, can be psychotherapy: continuously looking for possible internal obstacles to one's happiness.

Happiness and money: dispelling a myth

At the second level we find the goals that probably most people, in today's materialistic society, associate with happiness, so it needs more analysis.

It may seem obvious, and yet not many people take notice of this thing, that philosophers have always said, from Epicurus onwards: finding happiness in wealth is an illusion.

American affluence research shows that. In the early '80s, Americans had 5 times as many air-conditioners per head, 4 times as many clothes dryers and 7 times as many dishwashers as in 1958; 93% of American homes owned colour TVs, as opposed to 1% in 1960. Yet, despite this dramatic increase, people didn't feel happier. The University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center found that the proportion of Americans describing themselves as "very happy" had remained the same (one third).

For most people, once they've satisfied their basic needs, the pursuit of material wealth does not achieve happiness. That explains why the huge gulf in affluence between, say, the Germans and the Indians, or the Japanese and the Kenyans doesn't translate into a different degree of how happy the people of these countries judge themselves.

R. A. Easterlin, of the University of Pennsylvania, has performed a comparative international survey of the link between affluence and happiness. His conclusion is that there is little relation between the two: "Economic growth does not rise a society to some ultimate state of plenty. Rather, the growth process itself engenders ever-growing wants that lead it ever onward".

Lottery winners and paraplegics

Suppose you win the National Lottery. Now suppose you have been paralysed in a major car crash. You probably think that, if the first were true, six months after the event you'd be much happier than if the second were true.

Well, empirical evidence shows that it is not so. Studies of the way people react to major happenings show that big money lottery winners, statistically, are no happier than those paralysed in a car accident, six months after each event.

Six months is the keyword, here. There is an element of habituation, a mechanism by which our minds get used to almost anything.

Basically, the maintenance of an emotional state (whether good or bad doesn't matter) and the repetition of a stimulus result in a neutral state, in which the stimulus has no more or little effect.

Here is the abstract of "Lottery winners and accident victims: is happiness relative?", a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology:
Adaptation level theory suggests that both contrast and habituation will operate to prevent the winning of a fortune from elevating happiness as much as might be expected. Contrast with the peak experience of winning should lessen the impact of ordinary pleasures, while habituation should eventually reduce the value of new pleasures made possible by winning. Study 1 compared a sample of 22 major lottery winners with 22 controls and also with a group of 29 paralyzed accident victims who had been interviewed previously. As predicted, lottery winners were not happier than controls and took significantly less pleasure from a series of mundane events. Study 2 indicated that these effects were not due to preexisting differences between people who buy or do not buy lottery tickets or between interviews that made or did not make the lottery salient. Paraplegics also demonstrated a contrast effect, not by enhancing minor pleasures but by idealizing their past, which did not help their present happiness. [Emphasis added]
Happiness is relative, and depends just on the contrast with a previous state. A way in which this habituation occurs is through a series of rationalizations, a sort of "lying" to ourselves which is not necessarily lying, but giving a different interpretation to things.

Maybe, we can think, lottery winners are not so happy because they didn't earn that money and therefore they didn't appreciate it. Maybe they felt guilty about it.

Well, wrong again. Studies of Fortune 500 executives found they had only average levels of happiness, and 37% of these ultra-wealthy business leaders are less happy than the average person.

Christopher Kaczor says in an interview:
As St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out more than seven centuries ago, we want many things that no amount of money can buy. We cannot find true happiness in more fame, power or “winning” of any kind...

Scientists have studied this question extensively. It turns out that more money can make you much happier — if you live in abject poverty. If you do not have clothes to keep you warm, if you have no food for your children, and no roof over your head, money for these basic provisions greatly improves reported happiness.
Once you have enough money for food, clothing and shelter (what St. Thomas Aquinas called "natural wealth"), increases in money are unrelated to stable increases in happiness. In other words, once a person has the necessities, more money — money spent in shopping as well as money in the bank — does not lead to more happiness.

Social psychologist David Myers, the author of The Pursuit of Happiness (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) in which he reviews thousands of scientific studies, observes that the happiness attained by a purchase or achieving a particular level of wealth soon wears off and people adapt to whatever level of wealth they have achieved. Soon after having achieved a certain level of wealth or having purchased the desired product, the happiness recently enjoyed will fade and disappear.

This perhaps explains why, if you compare a person making $30,000 a year, another making $100,000 and a third making $500,000, there is very little difference in their self-reported happiness or levels of depression.

Not only that. However much money they make, they will all say that, if they had about 10% more, they would feel happier. When they do get that 10% more, however, which does happen over a few years of salary increases, they want another 10% and so on, ad infinitum.

Looking at other level-2 goals like power, success, popularity and fame, it's impossible not to notice how many so-called celebrities, people who have achieved all that - as well as money -, lead very miserable lives and often end up alcoholic, drug-addict, depraved, promiscuous, paedophile, HIV-positive and depressed even to the point of committing suicide.

Yet again, as in the case of physical pleasure, there is nothing wrong in any of those things per se: it's elevating them to supreme goals - or, as Catholicism puts it, loving them more than other people and than God - that turns a positive into a negative.

Think of the seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride.

They all correspond to some lack of self-discipline, by which we give more importance to something else than to others and God. If we had faith and followed His commendments, we wouldn't need any self-help book.

It turns out that psychologists, even those who don't believe in God, recognise - simply on the basis of empirical evidence - that the people who are happiest, mentally healthiest and most fullfilled are those who attain both the third and the fourth levels: serving and loving other people and God.

Robin Skynner, just as an example, in the book he co-wrote with John Cleese, Life And How To Survive It (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) , says, like so many other psychologists, that the healthiest individuals are those who manage to feel part of something greater and higher than themselves. And, considering the secular nature of this book, he gives a surprising emphasis to Jesus' words.

It's because God and the Church want us to be happy that they guide us towards certain goals and behaviours.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Israel's Democratic Pluralism In a Photo

Israeli MP tearing New Testament to pieces

The above image shows Israeli Member of Parliament Michael Ben Ari while he publicly ripped up a copy of the New Testament in the country's Parliament, the Knesset. He then threw it into a rubbish bin after denouncing it as an "abhorrent" book.

A second legislator called for Bibles to be burnt.

Although Mr Ben Ari was criticised by the Knesset's speaker, he faced no official sanction.

If Israel were the pluralist, democratic, Western country that it claims to be, this MP would be forced to apologise or resign. But he's not.

This should tell you something about Israel where, incidentally, Christian Palestinians are treated just as badly as Muslim Palestinians.

So, the excuse of being tough in order to combat terrorism doesn't hold water. There are no Christian terrorists.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The First Crusade Came Very Late

The First Crusade

The image above gives the numbers of years intervened between various Islamic attacks on Europe and the moment when Christendom finally responded with The First Crusade, called by Pope Urban II in 1095.

It is a graphic illustration of the lie uttered - recently by Obama as well - whenever Crusades are called aggressive - rather than defensive - wars and whenever a moral equality is postulated between Christianity and Islam.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Thanks Jews - Video

The Dresden Holocaust - Video

I have always found the conventional historiography of the Second World War a lot similar to Hollywood plots: absolute good versus evil, heroes against villains. The good guys have no faults, the bad guys have nothing but faults.

It's winners who write history. Maybe in this case they got the help of movie screenwriters, with their storytelling abilities and imagination. And it's a bonus that Hollywood studios are largely, as nobody disputes, owned and managed by members of the Jewish communitity.

The introduction to the above video on YouTube says:
More people died in the fire bombing of Dresden on February 13th to 14th, 1945 than in the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Holocaust (noun) - "Great destruction resulting in the extensive loss of life, especially by fire."

Orbán: Christian Culture Is Europe's Only Natural Foundation

Huge rally in support of Viktor Orbán in Hungary

It looks like some of our newest and possibly best hopes come from the European East, rather than West.

Putin is not a saint, but he is one of the few world leaders today who doesn't toe the line and is capable of standing up to the masters of political correctness and destroyers of Christendom. What Western European mainstream politician would dare say what he says about homosexuality, as a glaring example?

Another such man who does not accept the diktats of the New World Order is Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary and the president of the country's national conservative ruling party Fidesz.

This blog covered him in the article "Hungary: How to Overthrow a Government Voted by the People" , in which the Hungarian writer explained how last autumn's street protests against the Orban administration - reported by the Western media - were financed by George Soros, who also funds various opposition organisations and leaders, like Gyurcsány Ferenc and Bajnai Gordon. The well-known Jewish socialist Soros, the article said, has financial interests to protect in his native country, and they are threatened by the government headed by Orbán, which enjoys a great popular support.

In the April 2014 election, the government was re-elected to office. Orbán's centre-right party Fidesz received most of the votes, 45%.

A centre-left opposition alliance got 25% of the votes, and the far-right Jobbik party 21%.
The Hungarian left has never fully recovered from its heavy defeat in the 2010 ballot, in which Mr Orban swept to power with a two-thirds majority.
Viktor Orbán has given his State of the Nation Address in Budapest on 27 February 2015. These are some of the most illuminating and impressive excerpts:
Everyone can see that we are a people’s party community, based on Christian-democratic foundations – the ideal, guiding star of which is a civic Hungary. I do not think that this would change in the next hundred years...

We could, of course, always observe by way of introduction, that we are human, too. We are no saints, though we should aim for nothing less; this is something that members of the Reformed Church should also consider. We have our own interests, our affections, and of course, our biases. The work we do is far from perfect, even if that is what we should strive for. But notwithstanding our frailties and imperfections, there is one regard in which we cannot go wrong: neither individual ambitions, nor individual or group values may take precedence over the interests and service of the nation...

I should mention here a piece of political advice that should be important for all Christian-democratic politicians. “Do not concern yourselves with whether God is on our side, but concern yourselves with whether you are on God’s side.”...

Terrorist organizations recruit fighters to join their ranks from among immigrants living in the continent’s western part, while the southern borders of the EU – including our own state’s borders – are besieged by waves of modern-day migration, in the face of which increasingly frustrated states and governments are at a loss. And this is happening in an economic environment in which millions of Western European citizens feel that they have to work ever more for less money, just to keep their jobs. Europe is facing questions which can no longer be answered within the framework of liberal multiculturalism. Can we shelter people, many of whom are unwilling to accept European culture, or who come here with the intent of destroying European culture?...

Europe today continues to huddle behind the moats of political correctness, and has built a wall of taboos and dogmas around itself. In contrast, we took the view that the old pre-crisis world will not return...

Those who do not make choices find that instead circumstances will make the choices for them. Those who do not actively decide will find that their lives will be decided for them. We therefore let go of neo-liberal economic policy, and perhaps we did so as late as we possibly could have; we let go of the policy of austerity, just before we were about to share the fate of Greece; we let go of the delusion of the multicultural society before it turned Hungary into a refugee camp, and we let go of liberal social policy which does not acknowledge the common good and denies Christian culture as the natural foundation – and perhaps the only natural foundation – for the organization of European societies. We decided to face the barrage of unfair attacks and accusations, and also let go of the dogma of political correctness.

And as far as I see it, Hungarian people are by nature politically incorrect – in other words, they have not yet lost their common sense. They are not interested in talk, but want facts and results; they are not interested in theories, but want jobs and affordable utility bills; and they do not swallow the nonsense that unemployment is a natural concomitant of modern economies. They want to free themselves from the modern-day debt slavery that they were driven into by foreign currency loans. They do not want to see their country thronging with people from different cultures, with different customs, who are unable to integrate; people who would pose a threat to public order, their jobs and livelihoods...

We learnt from György Bencze something which we now experience personally on a daily basis. He told us that liberals are extremely tolerant – they are only intolerant of fascists. But it is surely not their fault that everyone else – everyone except for them – is a fascist. Yes, we must understand that liberal politics only ever recognizes two kinds of opinion: its own and the wrong one...

The modern world sees economic facts as the ones that truly count. It may be right, but I would attach higher priority to facts related to life. Above all, the facts which determine our biological survival and continuance.

Dear Friends,

Life in Hungary presents us with facts that surprise even the most pessimistic of people. More children were born last year than at any time in the last five years. The so-called total fertility rate – that is, the number of children born into a family – was 1.41 in 2014; this is its highest value since 1997, though still not high enough. The number of marriages has increased continuously since 2010; it rose by 9% in 2014 alone. Let me remind you that between 2002 and 2010 the number of marriages in Hungary fell by 23%.

Dear Friends,

The number of divorces decreased by 15% between 2010 and 2013. The number of abortions is in continuous decline, and has fallen by 20% since 2010. While the truth is that the number is still high, it has not been this low since 1954...

I could also say that the hundreds of thousands of hardworking Hungarians must be admitted to the ranks of civic society; we must make room for them and their children in the world of successful Hungarians.

And, Ladies and Gentlemen, we must not do this with the methods the socialists used: taking out huge loans, distributing them in the form of benefits or one-off pay rises as they did in 2003, and thereby crippling the national economy. We should only attempt to assist those who have fallen behind together with increased economic growth, and in parallel with improvement in our competitiveness...[Emphasis added]
Guillaume Durocher makes this interesting comment on The Occidental Observer, in relation to the Hungarians' lack of appetite for political correcctness:
The same could be said of most other Central-Eastern Europeans as well. Having lived under the hard political Marxism of Communist Party dictatorship, they have been for now inoculated against the soft cultural Marxism of Franz Boas, the Frankfurt School, Stephen J. Gould, and all the other pseudoscientific and anti-European theories peddled by the Left. Unfortunately, the Anglo-American world and Western members of the European Union (led by France and Germany) are seeking to impose these ethnomasochist principles and falsehoods upon Central-Eastern Europeans through cultural encroachment and European law.

Wikipedia Commons

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Essential Introduction to Kevin MacDonald

Multicultural, multiracial crowd in London

I want to introduce to you Kevin MacDonald, Professor of Psychology at California State University.

He received a B. A. in Philosophy, a Masters degree in Evolutionary Biology and a Ph. D. in Biobehavioral Sciences.

Since assuming his position at California State University, his research has focused on developing evolutionary perspectives on culture, developmental psychology and personality theory, the origins and maintenance of monogamous marriage in Western Europe, and ethnic relations (group evolutionary strategies). He is the author of more than 100 scholarly papers and reviews.

His most important book is considered The Culture of Critique (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) , whose subtitle is "An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements".

In this book, and indeed in the trilogy of which it is part (The Culture of Critique series), he applies evolutionary theory to Judaism, arriving at the conclusion that Judaism is a group evolutionary strategy, namely it helps the interests of the ingroup against the interests of rivals - the outgroups.

Anti-Semitism, on the other hand, is the outgroups' response to Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy that favours only Jewish interests at the expense of all others.

All three books are the fruit of extremely diligent and painstaking scholarly work.

Here's how MacDonald sums up The Culture of Critique (CofC) in the Preface to the First Paperback Edition of the book:
CofC describes how Jewish intellectuals initiated and advanced a number of important intellectual and political movements during the 20th century. I argue that these movements are attempts to alter Western societies in a manner that would neutralize or end anti-Semitism and enhance the prospects for Jewish group continuity either in an overt or in a semi-cryptic manner. Several of these Jewish movements (e.g., the shift in immigration policy favoring non-European peoples) have attempted to weaken the power of their perceived competitors — the European peoples who early in the 20th century had assumed a dominant position not only in their traditional homelands in Europe, but also in the United States, Canada, and Australia. At a theoretical level, these movements are viewed as the outcome of conflicts of interest between Jews and non-Jews in the construction of culture and in various public policy issues. Ultimately, these movements are viewed as the expression of a group evolutionary strategy by Jews in their competition for social, political and cultural dominance with non-Jews.
The "culture of critique" of the title can be described as the constant pattern of theoretical and intellectual attacks to which predominantly Jewish movements and elites have subjected the mainstream White, Gentile and Christian societies in which they've been living, attacks which have considerably weakened these societies' resistance to external and internal threats. Mass immigration, multiculturalism and Islamisation are contemporary examples of these threats, and they have been overwhelmingly not just supported but also promoted by Jewish communities in the West.

The Jewish movements analysed are
Freud, the New York Intellectuals, the Boasians, and the Frankfurt School, in which 'scientific' theories were fashioned and deployed to advance ethnic group interests. This ideological purpose becomes clear when the unscientific nature of these movements is understood. Much of the discussion in CofC documented the intellectual dishonesty, the lack of empirical rigor, the obvious political and ethnic motivation, the expulsion of dissenters, the collusion among co-ethnics to dominate intellectual discourse, and the general lack of scientific spirit that pervaded them. In my view, the scientific weakness of these movements is evidence of their group-strategic function.
Boasians are the followers of Franz Boas, who established a highly influential school of thought in anthropology categorically denying the existence of human races and claiming that genetic differences between peoples are trivial and irrelevant.

It is thanks to this movement, that came to dominate the field of anthropology, that even believing in the existence of races and, more importantly, in differences among them is these days considered as racist.

I will return to MacDonald and his work in future articles but now I wish to introduce an autobiographical element.

During all the time I was in the counterjihad movement, I always felt that something wasn't quite right.

True, Islam is a serious problem, an inherently homicidal and supremacist doctrine disguised as a religion that threatens the whole world. I thought this then and I think this now.

But the question was: Islam is a foreign doctrine to the West, it's never been part of it and therefore it is - or at least it was - an external enemy to us.

The Western world is much stronger militarily, economically, politically, culturally than the Islamic world. How could the Occident be menaced by Islam, then?

If Muslim populations had been kept out of Western lands, they would have still represented a mortal threat to the unfortunate Christians living in Muslim-majority countries, but not to us. At one point someone opened the gates to Mohammedans, so that the invasion has not been by military conquest, as it happened sometimes in the past and was repelled by Christian armies, but by inordinate numbers of economic immigrants and true or false "refugees".

This is well-known recent history. But why not many people, even in the counterjihad, ask themselves and seek plausible answers to the question: who opened the gates and why?

The answers commonly given are not satisfactory: the Left, the politicians, and so on.

I was also giving myself these answers. Cultural Marxism was my best bet.

Now, I didn't then pause to reflect that Cultural Marxism is a typically Jewish movement.

Cultural Marxism's origins are traced back to Jewish intellectual György Lukács and Italian politician Antonio Gramsci, who married a Jewish woman, Julia Schucht; it was then developed by the Frankfurt School, a group of Marxists whose main inspirations and thinkers were overwhelmingly Jewish. Strange coincidences, when you think that Jews are a tiny fraction of the Western population.

Indeed, communism in its modern form is a Jewish creation. Its greatest, most influential authors are Marx for the theory, Lenin for the practice: both of Jewish background.

Bolshevism was disproportionately Jewish, and so has been radical Leftism in Western countries.

Not to mention another force that has been powerfully destructive of Western morality: psychoanalysis, another Jewish creation.

Add to that the strong anti-Christian feelings that Jews have always harboured, and you realise that there's far more than circumstantial evidence to establish a connection between the cultural destruction that has been practised for at least the last seven decades in the countries once collectively known as Christendom (a term Jews might have resented) and Jewish influence.

Let's hear some witnesses, then, only a few of the many from MacDonald's The Culture of Critique. These relate to both the questions of unrestricted immigration and secularisation in the USA:
The well-known author and prominent Zionist Maurice Samuel (1924, p. 215) writing partly as a negative reaction to the [restrictionist, EF] immigration law of 1924, wrote that 'If, then, the struggle between us [i.e., Jews and gentiles] is ever to be lifted beyond the physical, your democracies will have to alter their demands for racial, spiritual and cultural homogeneity with the State. But it would be foolish to regard this as a possibility, for the tendency of this civilization is in the opposite direction. There is a steady approach toward the identification of government with race, instead of with the political State.'

Samuel deplored the 1924 legislation and in the following quote he develops the view that the American state has no ethnic implications.
We have just witnessed, in America, the repetition, in the peculiar form adapted to this country, of the evil farce to which the experience of many centuries has not yet accustomed us. If America had any meaning at all, it lay in the peculiar attempt to rise above the trend of our present civilization - the identification of race with State.... America was therefore the New World in this vital respect - that the State was purely an ideal, and nationality was identical only with acceptance of the ideal. But it seems now that the entire point of view was a mistaken one, that America was incapable of rising above her origins, and the semblance of an ideal-nationalism was only a stage in the proper development of the universal gentile spirit.... To-day, with race triumphant over ideal, anti-Semitism uncovers its fangs, and to the heartless refusal of the most elementary human right, the right of asylum, is added cowardly insult. We are not only excluded, but we are told, in the unmistakable language of the immigration laws, that we are an 'inferior' people...
A congruent opinion is expressed by prominent Jewish social scientist and political activist Earl Raab, who remarks very positively on the success of American immigration policy in altering the ethnic composition of the United States since 1965. Raab notes that the Jewish community has taken a leadership role in changing the Northwestern European bias of American immigration policy (1993a, p. 17), and he has also maintained that one factor inhibiting anti-Semitism in the contemporary United States is that '(a)n increasing ethnic heterogeneity, as a result of immigration, has made it even more difficult for a political party or mass movement of bigotry to develop' (1995, p. 91). Or more colorfully:
The Census Bureau has just reported that about half of the American population will soon be non-white or non-European. And they will all be American citizens. We have tipped beyond the point where a Nazi-Aryan party will be able to prevail in this country.
We [i.e., Jews] have been nourishing the American climate of opposition to bigotry for about half a century. That climate has not yet been perfected, but the heterogeneous nature of our population tends to make it irreversible - and makes our constitutional constraints against bigotry more practical than ever. (Raab 1993b, p. 23).
Positive attitudes toward cultural diversity have also appeared in other statements on immigration by Jewish authors and leaders. Charles Silberman (1985, 350) notes that "American Jews are committed to cultural tolerance because of their belief - one firmly rooted in history - that Jews are safe only in a society acceptant of a wide range of attitudes and behaviors, as well as a diversity of religious and ethnic groups. It is this belief, for example, not approval of homosexuality, that leads an overwhelming majority of American Jews to endorse 'gay rights' and to take a liberal stance on most other so-called 'social' issues."

Similarly, in listing the positive benefits of immigration, Diana Aviv, director of the Washington Action Office of the Council of Jewish Federations states that immigration 'is about diversity, cultural enrichment and economic opportunity for the immigrants' (quoted in Forward, March 8, 1996, p. 5). And in summarizing Jewish involvement in the 1996 legislative battles a newspaper account stated that 'Jewish groups failed to kill a number of provisions that reflect the kind of political expediency that they regard as a direct attack on American pluralism' (Detroit Jewish News; May 10, 1996).

It is noteworthy also that there has been a conflict between predominantly Jewish neo-Conservatives and predominantly gentile paleo-conservatives over the issue of Third World immigration into the United States. Many of these neo-conservative intellectuals had previously been radical leftists,4 and the split between the neo-conservatives and their previous allies resulted in an intense internecine feud (Gottfried 1993; Rothman & Lichter 1982, p. 105). Neo-conservatives Norman Podhoretz and Richard John Neuhaus reacted very negatively to an article by a paleo-conservative concerned that such immigration would eventually lead to the United States being dominated by such immigrants (see Judis 1990, p. 33). Other examples are neo-Conservatives Julian Simon (1990) and Ben Wattenberg (1991), both of whom advocate very high levels of immigration from all parts of the world, so that the United States will become what Wattenberg describes as the world's first 'Universal Nation.' Based on recent data, Fetzer (1996) reports that Jews remain far more favorable to immigration to the United States than any other ethnic group or religion.

It should be noted as a general point that the effectiveness of Jewish organizations in influencing American immigration policy has been facilitated by certain characteristics of American Jewry. As Neuringer (1971, p. 87) notes, Jewish influence on immigration policy was facilitated by Jewish wealth, education, and social status. Reflecting its general disproportionate representation in markers of economic success and political influence, Jewish organizations have been able to have a vastly disproportionate effect on United States immigration policy because Jews as a group are highly organized, highly intelligent, and politically astute, and they were able to command a high level of financial, political, and intellectual resources in pursuing their political aims...

In this regard, the Jewish success in influencing immigration policy is entirely analogous to their success in influencing the secularization of American culture. As in the case of immigration policy, the secularization of American culture is a Jewish interest because Jews have a perceived interest that America not be a homogeneous Christian culture. 'Jewish civil rights organizations have had an historic role in the postwar development of American church-state law and policy' (Ivers 1995, p. 2). Unlike the effort to influence immigration, the opposition to a homogeneous Christian culture was mainly carried out in the courts. The Jewish effort in this case was well funded and was the focus of well-organized, highly dedicated Jewish civil service organizations, including the AJCommittee, the AJCongress, and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). It involved keen legal expertise both in the actual litigation but also in influencing legal opinion via articles in law journals and other forums of intellectual debate, including the popular media. It also involved a highly charismatic and effective leadership, particularly Leo Pfeffer of the AJCongress:
No other lawyer exercised such complete intellectual dominance over a chosen area of law for so extensive a period - as an author, scholar, public citizen, and above all, legal advocate who harnessed his multiple and formidable talents into a single force capable of satisfying all that an institution needs for a successful constitutional reform movement.... That Pfeffer, through an enviable combination of skill, determination, and persistence, was able in such a short period of time to make church-state reform the foremost cause with which rival organizations associated the AJCongress illustrates well the impact that individual lawyers endowed with exceptional skills can have on the character and life of the organizations for which they work.... As if to confirm the extent to which Pfeffer is associated with post-Everson [i.e., post-1946] constitutional development, even the major critics of the Court's church-state jurisprudence during this period and the modern doctrine of separationism rarely fail to make reference to Pfeffer as the central force responsible for what they lament as the lost meaning of the establishment clause. (Ivers 1995, pp. 222-224)
Similarly, Hollinger (1996, p. 4) notes 'the transformation of the ethnoreligious demography of American academic life by Jews' in the period from the 1930s to the 1960s, as well as the Jewish influence on trends toward the secularization of American society and in advancing an ideal of cosmopolitanism (p. 11). The pace of this influence was very likely influenced by immigration battles of the 1920s. Hollinger notes that the 'the old Protestant establishment's influence persisted until the 1960s in large measure because of the Immigration Act of 1924: had the massive immigration of Catholics and Jews continued at pre-1924 levels, the course of American history would have been different in many ways, including, one may reasonably speculate, a more rapid diminution of Protestant cultural hegemony. Immigration restriction gave that hegemony a new lease of life' (p. 22). It is reasonable to suppose, therefore, that the immigration battles from 1881 to 1965 have been of momentous historical importance in shaping the contours of American culture in the late twentieth century.

The ultimate success of Jewish attitudes on immigration was also influenced by intellectual movements that collectively resulted in a decline of evolutionary and biological thinking in the academic world. [All emphases mine]

Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 6 March 2015

What Is Zionism?

Israeli historian Ilan Pappe'

The chap of the blog quoted below, Robert Lindsay, claims to be a Leftist, but, if he is, he's a very unusual and unusually insightful one.

I don't think, as I've always said, that we can solve the Islam problem in the West if we don't first understand why we've opened the doors to it.

And I now start realising that we must understand the role that Jews have played in this process.

Jewish leaders and organisations have been incessantly promoting mass immigration and multiculturalism in the Diaspora countries of the West, where they are a minority and where they have been trying to attack the majority culture of White Christians. They perceive it is in their interest as an ethnic and religious group to destroy the White and Christian characteristics of the Western societies where they happen to live but for which they don't feel loyalty.

In diametrical opposition to the "liberal" values they espouse when predicating tolerance of diversity and welcoming of immigrants in the West, in their state, Israel, these same Jewish elites support a racist immigration policy based on genetic Jewishness and want to impose an ethnonationalist society.

The American citizens who, through their taxes, have paid enormous amounts of money to support Israel wouldn't be able to emigrate there, unless they were pedigree Jews.

Some excerpts from Robert Lindsay's "What Is Zionism?":
What is Zionism anyway? I see Zionism every day on the net. In a nutshell, most Zionists, but not all, argue that both the formation of the state of Israel and the settler-colonial project that created it were right, just and proper.

A principal Zionist argument (though not shared by all Zionists) is this:

1.Jewish land, not Arab land – All of Israel is Jewish land. The Arabs have no right to any of this land.

Several arguments are used to defend this view:

1.Historical- Jews had a continuing presence in the land for 3,000 years, so therefore it is their land. The Arab presence is illegitimate. When the Zionist project began, there were only a few Arabs in Palestine anyway, and they were the ancestors of Arabs who invaded Jewish land in 640 and have been occupying Jewish land ever since.Arabs never controlled Palestine anyway, and all Palestinians are Arab invading colonists who have no right to be there and need to go back to Arabia where they came from. Jews were completely in their right to reclaim their homeland after so many years in exile.This is one of the most vicious and wicked Zionist arguments, and it is extremely popular amongst the hardest of the hardline, blood-and-soil, organic nationalist types.One can argue that this is the philosophy that it is at the core of the mindset of the leaders of the Zionist movement from 1897 to the present. It is this argument, that, like most primordialist ethnic nationalist projects that rose out of Central and Eastern Europe in the 1800’s, is most similar to Nazism.On the other hand, all modern ethnic nationalisms (in particular Arab nationalism, Indian Hindu nationalism, Lebanese Phalangist nationalism and all of the ethnic nationalist projects that swept Central and Eastern Europe in the 1920’s and 1930’s) came from the same 19th Century core as Nazism, so it is somewhat unfair to single out Zionism in that regard.

2.Religious – God gave the land to the Jews. It is Jewish land and will always be so. God watches over the Jews and Israel, and no one can mess with them. Anyone who messes with the Jews or Israel gets punished by God. This is obviously a favorite of conservative Zionists, though some secular liberal Zionists use it too, usually cynically in an effort to get Gentile Christians to go along with the project.

3. Holocaust – Jews needed a safe haven in Israel due to the Holocaust, and it was ok to throw out the Arabs to get this haven. A favorite of liberal Zionists, many of whom are ignorant of the specifics of the project. When questioned, many of this type will insist that no Arabs were thrown out to make the Jewish state. Apparently the land was just empty or something.

4.Freedom From Persecution – Related to the above. Jews have been persecuted everywhere they have been, so it is reasonable for them to have their own state where they can be safe. A favorite of more liberal Zionists. One of their favorite lines is that Zionism is “affirmative action for Jews”. Micheal Lerner of Tikkun is fond of that phrase.

5.UN and League of Nations – These two organizations agreed to give away Arab land to Jews for a homeland at different times. Therefore, Israel is legitimate. Once again, a favorite of more liberal Zionists and folks who are fond of the UN and international law.

6.Self-determination and National Liberation – All other ethnic groups have a right to self-determination on their homeland, and many have developed national liberation movements to obtain their nation-state. Zionism is the Jewish equivalent. This argument is a favorite of Zionist liberals and Leftists.

7.British Donation – Britain gave the land – British land – to the Jews. Therefore, it is the Jews’ land. This one is also a favorite of more liberal Zionists, because it avoids the question of whether or not Israel is Jewish land.

A number of the National-Religious types (see arguments A and B above – they are typically combined into a highly toxic form called National-Religious Zionism) claim that the land of Israel extends from the Nile to the Euphrates. It encompasses most of Lebanon and Syria, all of Jordan, part of Iraq, all of the Sinai, part of Arabia and all of Kuwait.

There are actually a fair number of Zionists who feel that all (or some) of this should be reconquered.

When an aide to President Truman visited the Holy Land around 1947 to try to understand the Zionist-Arab conflict, he said that all of the Jews he met there held the Nile to Euphrates view. He also noted that they did not like to talk about it too much, and they seemed to want to keep it a sort of secret, as if they were afraid of the reaction of outsiders if they learned of the Zionist plans.

Despite super-liar and modern-day Crusader Daniel Pipes’ articulate lie, The Nile to Euphrates Calumny, Nile to Euphrates Zionists are not mythological, and I have run across them fairly regularly on the Net, especially lately.

Does Mr. Pipes feel that I have hallucinated all of these Greater Israel types? Were they all just Arab agents out to make the Zionists look bad? Inquiring minds want to know. Mr. Pipes or his supporters are encouraged to email me here to explain how it is that I keep running into these nonexistent phantasms.

A lesser view holds that “Eretz Israel” at least covers all of Green Line Israel, all of the West Bank, the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip. Some also include the Sinai Peninsula (or at least a small part of it up to the Wadi Arish) and southern Lebanon to the Litani River.

A map demonstrating Zionist armed settler-colonialism in action. Note the progressive loss of Arab land to Zionist colonization. This was deliberate and planned from the very start. It all stems from the Zionist principle that all of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights is Jewish land and that the local Arabs are “squatting” on Jewish land and live there only at the whim of the Zionist owners.

Presently, the project is to make the remaining Arab enclaves so miserable that the Arabs will leave and then the Zionists can colonize their land.

This is a Minimal Greater Israel view and is very common. It was the “minimal view” adopted by the “progressives” of Left Socialist Zionism under David Ben-Gurion, the founder of Israel. It could logically be called Minimal Greater Israel.

Ben-Gurion’s ideological opponents, Vladimir Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Zionists, held similar views, except that they typically claimed all of Jordan for the Jewish state also.

Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of the Revisionist Zionist movement. He authored The Iron Wall in 1923, in which he openly advocated a Zionist settler-colonial movement, to be implemented by armed force backed by an imperial power. The reason armed force was needed, he said, was because of inevitable Arab resistance. Before that, Zionism had been largely focused on buying out the Arabs’ land, then throwing them off the land and settling it with Zionists.

A poster for the Irgun Zionist armed guerrilla group. This was one of the three major armed Zionist guerrilla factions in Palestine. It focused on attacks against both the British and the local Arabs. Note that Irgun claimed that not only all of Palestine, but also all of Jordan, was Jewish land, to be cleansed of Arab “squatters”, and to be conquered by force (note the rifle).

Irgun dissolved after the founding of Israel, and since then Mainstream Revisionist Zionism has gone pretty quiet about claims to Jordan. Look carefully at the map to see that Irgun also claimed the Golan Heights for the Zionists.

I have recently met Zionist Jews on the Net who are still upset at the British and the League of Nations for “promising” all of Jordan to the Zionists in the early 1920’s, and then “going back on their word”. Actually neither party did any such thing, and such thinking is based on a misreading of the League of Nations Mandate.

In a recent interview, a leader of the Zionist Organization of America, a very powerful, very militant Jewish Zionist group in the US, noted with a twinkle in his eye that all of Jordan was actually part of Israel and implied that Israel should conquer it at some future time. The attitudes of ZOA fanatics are rampant amongst the neoconservatives who were associated with the Bush Administration.

The notion of Greater Israel, not some phony notions about buffer zones or security zones, is and was the real reason for the occupation and colonies in the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan and the Sinai, and for the occupation of Southern Lebanon.

As you can imagine, this political project, Zionism, terrifies the Arabs and sends them into conniptions. My opinion is that Zionism is poisonous and that no people should have to put up with such a dangerous project, least of all the backwards Arabs.

There is a lot of nonsense about Greater Israel on the Internet, with devious Zionist sophists like Pipes holding that it is just a deranged, paranoid Arab fantasy. On the other hand, many anti-Zionists, especially Islamists, insist that all Zionists hold the radical Nile-to-Euphrates view.

As you can see above, that is not the case. The truth is that some Zionists do hold the Nile-to-Euphrates view, but the Israeli government does not, and most major Israeli political parties and political figures do not either.

The Minimal Greater Israel project described above is much more common and relevant. Anti-Zionists should focus on the minimal project for now and forget about the Nile To Euphrates project until we get some evidence that it amounts to more than the ravings of some Zionist radicals...

Many anti-Zionists (especially progressives and Leftists) believe that all of the Jews can stay in Israel, but that they must share the state and land with the Arabs and dismantle the Jewish state.

This view has been espoused by the leadership of the DFLP and PFLP leftwing Palestinian armed fronts, some members of the PLO, the Hamas Charter, an Islamic Jihad leader in an interview 13 years ago, and Libya’s Moammar Qaddafi, who proposed a state called Izratine.

This view has been quite popular with Palestinian Christians and secularists like Edward Said, Mazin Qumsiyeh and Ghada Karmi.

In general, the vast majority of anti-Zionists do not advocate killing all the Jews in Israel, though I have heard some Arab hotheads say that on the Internet. No Arab or Muslim armed group (including Al Qaeda) takes that position, to my knowledge.

Yet this is a staple of Zionist propaganda – that all anti-Zionists and armed anti-Israel groups are all intent on “carrying out a second Holocaust”. If it were true, it would be an excellent reason to support Israel, but there is little evidence for this...

Getting back to Greater Israel, the Internet is full of statements by Zionist fanatics fantasizing about Greater Israel. They are not made-up lies but instead are well-documented statements. Here is one by David Ben-Gurion (formerly David Green):
David Ben Gurion, Report to the World Council of Poale Zion (the forerunner of the Labor Party), Tel Aviv, 1938. Cited by Israel Shahak, Journal of Palestine Studies, Spring 1981.

“We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there, and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria, and Sinai.”
Keep in mind that this frighteningly fanatical statement was uttered by the founder of the state of Israel, a socialist, a liberal and a moderate. Note that his rightwing opponents were even more extreme. Note also that his rightwing Revisionist opponents were the forerunners of the modern-day Likud and Kadima Parties, not to mention the many smaller rightwing parties.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Counterjihad and Anti-Semitism

It never ceases to surprise me how people in the counterjihad movement are so well versed in recognising the epithet "Islamophobe" as the censoring, insurmountable obstacle to open criticism of Islam that it undoubtedly is, but are incapable of seeing "anti-Semite" as, mutatis mutandis, having exactly the same function.

Or maybe there is another possibility: have they been trained only too well by the real movers and shakers of the counterjihad movement?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Genuine Refugees Will Be Helped but It’s Dangerous Not to Keep Out Bogus Ones

We keep hearing about tragedies involving immigrants, often hundreds of them, dying in the attempt to reach Europe and the UK.

Only a few hours ago came the news that the Italian Coast Guard has just rescued from the Mediterranean in only 24 hours nearly 1,000 Libyan migrants heading for Europe. At least 10 people died when their vessel capsized in freezing waters.

The rescue occurred off Porto Empedocle, in the Sicilian Channel, the stretch of water between Sicily and the North coast of Africa. You can see the video of the rescue operation above.

Less than a month ago, we heard about the 300 migrants who presumably “drowned in the Mediterranean Sea after three rubber boats carrying refugees from North Africa to the Italian island of Lampedusa were reported missing, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.”

In reporting that news, the Leftist newspaper The Independent implies that not enough is being done to save lives, and some people, shocked by such headlines, may also think that more efforts should be made to help these immigrants.

Many of these criticisms come from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as can be seen in this video:

But the UN is not always right in its approach to European and UK’s immigration policies. For example, Francois Crépeau, the Canadian who is the UN’s special rapporteur on migrants’ rights, claims that Britain and other EU countries should provide free access to health care, education and housing to not just legal but also illegal immigrants and find homes for a million asylum seekers.

Add to this that the UN has a former Marxist as a special rapporteur on housing, the Brazilian Raquel Rolnik, and a radical feminist as special rapporteur on violence against women, South African Rashida Manjoo - who claimed that “sexism in Britain was the worst she had seen in the world despite her visits to dangerously repressive countries such as Bangladesh, Somalia and Algeria” -, and you get the impression that the UN is not always to be trusted and that many UN tsars “are promoting their own bizarre Leftist agendas”, as The Express put it.

Crépeau (mind you, not “Crapeau”) told The Independent: “The fantasy is that there is a core British culture that was created probably 2,000 years ago and carried on, and now it’s being threatened by all those barbarians that are coming to our gate.”

UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage was quick to respond: "More people came to Britain in 2013 than came between 1066 and 1950. That gives you a sense of perspective of where we are with this, so he is talking utter baloney.”

UKIP MEP David Coburn added: "It is the usual tosh. He has no understanding of the economic problems that this is causing the United Kingdom. And as for the cultural aspect, quite frankly he knows nothing of our country and it's not for him to decide what we feel."

And UKIP’s migration spokesman Steven Woolfe reiterated: “Mr Crepeau epitomises why so many people in Britain dislike interfering international bureaucrats. He is an unknown and unrecognisable bureaucrat.”

The UK, as revealed by the latest official figures earlier this month, remains Europe’s biggest ”magnet for migrants”.

Just to get an idea of the astonishing demands placed on Britain by its massive immigration, consider that at the UK's biggest primary school, Gascoigne Primary School in Barking, East London, only one in 10 pupils speaks English as first language - down from nine out of 10 in 1999. Now they speak no fewer than – wait for it - 60 different languages.

The UN’s various commissars obviously don’t care if British culture is going to be totally buried under this avalanche of foreign influx. But we do.

The genuine asylum claimants among the immigrants are only a minority and there is already a legal procedure for refugees and asylum-seekers to apply for entry to the UK:
Asylum applicants or 'asylum seekers' are individuals who come to the UK and apply for protection as refugees. A refugee is someone who has fled his or her own country, and cannot return for well-founded fear of persecution there. The UK adheres to UN and European agreements on refugees and human rights and therefore must not return asylum applicants to a place where they are likely to face torture or persecution.

Asylum adds to the UK resident population in several ways. First, it adds to the legal, permanent ('settled'), population. A minority of applicants gain permission to stay in the UK ('leave to remain'), and may remain long enough to settle in the UK. Leave to remain might mean official recognition as a refugee or permission to stay for 'humanitarian protection' (HP) or through 'discretionary leave to remain' (DL). In each case, the protected individual can stay in the UK for five years and then has the opportunity to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Second, asylum adds to the temporary population. Applicants who are unsuccessful and eventually leave the UK nonetheless will live in the UK for some time as they await a decision. Any such applicant who lives in the UK for at least 12 months is classified as a 'long-term international migrant'.

A third group is more difficult to count – individuals whose applications for asylum have been rejected, but who have not departed the country. Some of this group applies for 'hard case support' (aka Section 4) while awaiting departure, and are tracked in Home Office data. Others may have departed outside of official removal or voluntary departure schemes; still others may remain illegally in the UK out of contact with immigration control, and thus uncounted.

The Home Office counts applications, decisions (initially and on appeal), and grants of leave to remain for asylum applicants. This includes dependents that arrived with the main applicant as part of the initial application. These data provide good estimates of the first two routes into the population for asylum seekers: 1) those who gain leave to remain in the UK, and 2) those that live in the UK temporarily while their cases are in process. The challenges in understanding the make-up of the third group, those whose application have been rejected but still remain here without legal permission, are discussed in the Evidence gaps and limitations section.
So the UK is not barring asylum seekers, but needs to deal firmly with those queue jumpers who prefer to use "refugee" status to justify their illegal immigration into their destinations of choice.

We are not selfish and inhumane in our treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, but at the same time we must protect our borders and our culture if we want to survive as a race and a civilisation from these invasions.

Recent news shows that now more than ever Britain needs to be careful about whom it lets in.

ISIS is now controlling Libya's coasts and decides who is going to Italy by the immigrant boats. ISIS wants to send its own operative cells and jihadists to the island of Lampedusa, off Sicily - and then on to the rest of Europe, including the UK.