The most recent Republican presidential debate was a breath of fresh air on the terrorism challenge that is front and center in American politics right now.
To begin with, it was heartening to see Jeb Bush, whose quest to secure the nomination is all but over, remind Americans that he can be a clear and insightful thinker and leader. As he lambasted Donald Trump for the latter’s stupid and bigoted proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, Bush pointed out a few indubitable truths, most importantly concerning the Kurds.
“We need to arm directly the Kurds,” Bush said. “The Kurds are the greatest fighting force and our strongest allies.”
Then came a fairly obvious point of information, but you can legitimately wonder whether Trump was in fact of aware of it.
“In 2001, I was fed up with the shirt business,” shirtmaker Carl Goldberg told me this week. “Guys weren’t dressing as well as they used to. It wasn’t as much fun. I would have closed up shop, if it wasn’t for the Nazi stormtrooper shirts.”
Goldberg reached into the middle of a rack—one of many that surrounded us in his lively Midtown workroom—and pulled out a Nazi stormtrooper shirt. It was brown. The label inside the collar said: “The Producers, NATZI [sic], Wm Ivey Long, Designer.”
The Producers was the first big Broadway show for which Goldberg made shirts. But it wasn’t his last. (It wasn’t even his last Nazi shirt: He also did the bright red shirt Hitler wears in the “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” number in The Book of Mormon.) He’s since made shirts for such Broadway shows as How To Succeed in Business, Hair, The Music Man, Gigi, School of Rock, Mamma Mia, Wicked, Anything Goes, Sister Act, Cabaret, Newsies, Legally Blonde, A Streetcar Named Desire, Thoroughly Modern Millie, A Chorus Line, and In the Heights. He’s also designed for the Metropolitan Opera, as well as for movies and TV shows such as Blue Bloods, Elementary, Person of Interest, Zoolander 2, White Collar, The Bourne Legacy, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Smash, and The Wolf of Wall Street. (“That guy—DiCaprio, right!—he was very polite, very professional. He wasn’t constantly texting like some of them, when you’re trying to measure a sleeve.”)
British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis recommended Wednesday that Jewish schools in the United Kingdom teach — Islam.
“It is more important than ever,” said a spokesman for Mirvis, “that our children have a better understanding of Islam and that we build strong relationships with British Muslims.” The spokesman added: “As such, the Chief Rabbi has recommended that schools take this opportunity to teach students Islam, a faith which is widely discussed but often poorly understood in public discourse.”
Mirvis’s recommendation is so off-the-charts monstrous that it cannot go by unremarked upon. This is a sickness, a moral sickness from which a large segment of my people suffer: The sanction of the victim. The number of reported anti-Jewish incidents in the UK has increased by more than 50 percent, driven by Islamic Jew-hatred. Anti-Semitism in the UK is rampant, with hate crimes against London’s Jewish community surging by 93 percent. Synagogues across the UK and Europe are targets of Islamic attacks.
In the face of all this, the chief rabbi is recommending that we submit, and even worse, force our children to submit. Has this dhimmi rabbi actually read what the Quran says about the Jews? Has the rabbi ever commented on Muhammad’s extermination of an entire Jewish tribe, the Banu Qurayzah? Does the rabbi believe that Jewish children should be educated about the numerous Islamic texts and teachings that call for the slaughter of the Jews?
Yesterday (December 17, 2015), Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, sitting in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, denied the Council on American-Islamic Relation’s (CAIR) motion to reopen discovery in what has become known as the Muslim Mafia Trial.
CAIR, which bills itself as “America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization,” sued the Center for Security Policy – a national security policy think tank – and its employees for working on a documentary designed to expose CAIR’s Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas ties and other illegal activities.
The lawsuit initially began when, in 2008, CAIR sued Dave Gaubatz, a former highly decorated counter-terrorism specialist who worked in and out of uniform for the U.S. government for more than 20 years and served behind combat lines during the Iraq war, after he and his operatives, including his son Chris, went in undercover as CAIR interns. Once inside the organization, Gaubatz learned of multiple crimes committed by the Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front organization. As a result, well-known author, Paul Sperry, wrote a book outlining CAIR’s crimes and terror connections based upon Gaubatz’s information. The book revealed how Gaubatz trained his son to work as a CAIR intern and to gain access to the criminal evidence.
The late German writer Guenter Grass once described his country’s history as being like a toilet that would not flush.
It was a provocative metaphor. The past simply would not allow itself to be cleansed from the present.
Recently wandering through the eastern city of Dresden, as it tries to absorb thousands of migrants and refugees, I found myself constantly thinking: What would Grass have made of all this?
Ever alert to his country’s struggle with the past, Grass would surely have seen dangerous portents in the rise of the far right.