Attendance Excused

A pious man who had reached the age of 105 suddenly stopped going to temple. Alarmed by the old fellow’s absence after so many years of faithful attendance the Rabbi went to see him.  

He found him in excellent health, so the Rabbi asked, “How come after all these years we don’t see you at services anymore?” 

The old man looked around and lowered his voice. “I’ll tell you, Rabbi,” he whispered.

“When I got to be 90, I expected God to take me any day. But then I got to be 95, then 100, then 105. So I figured that God is very busy and must’ve forgotten about me.”

“So?” the Rabbi asked indignantly.

“So I don’t want to remind him!”

Islamist Regimes Take Over UNESCO

Hit by the departure of the United States and Israel, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently welcomed its new Director-General, former French Minister of Culture Audrey Azoulay. Those who care about cultural diversity and Western civilization hailed her election, because the representative of Qatar’s Islamist regime had come close to winning UNESCO’s leadership race. But the real problem is that UNESCO has been abandoned to Islamist dictatorships. A battle to save the organization has begun.

Among the critics of UNESCO there is a tendency to dismiss this agency as “irrelevant”. Yet, so long as UNESCO exists, the West cannot allow repressive regimes to dominate the world’s highest body supposedly in charge of culture, science and education. Richard Hoggart, the British scholar who served as UNESCO’s assistant director general from 1970 to 1977, once asked: “Should Unesco Survive?”.

The UN agency is currently dominated by the most oppressive regimes in regard to education and culture. There is China, which in July let writer, poet and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo die an agonizing death in prison, where he was serving an 11-year jail sentence for his support of human rights and democracy. Then there is Iran, where a dean of journalism, Siamak Pourzand, committed suicide to avoid more persecution by the regime. Last week, the assistant director for Education of UNESCO, Qian Tang, was in Iran to advance “cultural cooperation” with the Islamic Republic, but the issue of cultural freedom in the Iran was not even raised by the envoy of the UN agency. There is also Pakistan, a country that has sentenced to death essentially for being a Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi, whose condition has never even been questioned by UNESCO. There is Qatar, where a poet, Rashid at Ajami, was sentenced to three years in prison for a poem critical of the emir Hamad bin Khalifa at Thani.

via Islamist Regimes Take Over UNESCO

Europe’s Migrant Crisis: Millions Still to Come

The African Union-European Union (AU-EU) summit, held in in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on November 29-30, 2017, has ended in abject failure after the 55 African and 28 European leaders attending the event were unable to agree on even basic measures to prevent potentially tens of millions of African migrants from flooding Europe.

Despite high expectations and grand statements, the only concrete decision to come out of Abidjan was the promise to evacuate 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya.

More than six million migrants are waiting in countries around the Mediterranean to cross into Europe, according to a classified German government report leaked to Bild. The report said that one million people are waiting in Libya; another one million are waiting in Egypt, 720,000 in Jordan, 430,000 in Algeria, 160,000 in Tunisia, and 50,000 in Morocco. More than three million others who are waiting in Turkey are currently prevented from crossing into Europe by the EU’s migrant deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

via Europe’s Migrant Crisis: Millions Still to Come

Open antisemitism in Britain. Who cares? Not the anti-racist left

A demonstration was held in London last week in protest at President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It featured the usual suspects: the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, Friends of Al Aqsa, War on Want, Socialist Worker.

Nothing surprising about any of that. The far left — along with significant NGOs — is motivated by a vicious loathing of Israel and support for those committed to its extermination. It’s hardly news, therefore, that they would react so virulently against the idea that the Jewish people are fully entitled, legally, historically and morally, to declare that Jerusalem, which was only ever the capital city of the Jewish people’s own national kingdom, remains its capital city today.

Oh –– and Jewish Voice for Labour, which claims not to be anti-Zionist but merely to “uphold the right of supporters of justice for Palestinians to engage in solidarity activities”, was also at the demo.

Well, this is the “right” that JVL upheld last at last week’s “solidarity” activity. Watch here as the demonstrators chanted “Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, jaish Mohammed, as yahud”.

This translates as “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Mohammed will return” — a reference to the Muslims’ slaughter of the Jews of Khaybar in 628 CE.

via Open antisemitism in Britain. Who cares? Not the anti-racist left

Israel’s police joins the political opposition to topple Netanyahu

Foreign observers may have a hard time squaring Benjamin Netanyahu’s international stature as a statesman with his suddenly vulnerable position at home.

Abroad, both those that hate the Israeli prime minister and those that admire him view him as a successful leader. His diplomatic skills have transformed Israel from an international pariah, at the mercy of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the international left, to a rising star on the international scene.

Economically, Netanyahu is credited worldwide with shepherding Israel from a sclerotic socialist backwater in the early 1990s into a first world economy and a global leader in innovation and technological advancement.

In the context of these extraordinary achievements, and as Israel faces mounting security challenges from Iran in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza — challenges amplified last Saturday with the violent clashes between Iran and the Syrian military and Israel — the police’s sudden announcement that they recommend indicting Netanyahu for bribery seems incongruous.

But as Tip O’Neill, the late, long-serving Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, famously said, “all politics is local.”

via Israel’s police joins the political opposition to topple Netanyahu

Preparing for Terrorist Attacks in Greece

At a recent conference in Rome, held by the think tank European Ideas Network (EIN), former Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, a member of the Hellenic Parliament, declared:

“European democracies in the Mediterranean are in danger of being swept away by a tsunami of uncontrolled immigration. We cannot allow this. Our societies cannot stand it. The European Union itself cannot stand it… [More than] one million ‘foreigners’ passed then [2015] through Greece and ended up in various countries of the European Union, mainly in Northern and Central Europe. Some of them were real refugees, from Syria and Iraq. But most of them were illegal immigrants from other countries of the world. Today it is estimated that the true refugees that are still coming are 20% of the total or fewer. The rest are illegal immigrants.”

These illegal immigrants, he said, “come to Europe looking for ‘opportunities,’ but do not accept any of the responsibilities of an open democracy.”

“They usually engage in all kinds of smuggling: Drugs, trafficking, and even ‘jihad.’ We cannot allow that. Freedom and the openness of our societies also entail responsibilities. And full respect to our laws, of course. ‘Moochers’ of our democratic system can destroy it.”

via Preparing for Terrorist Attacks in Greece