The mainstream media coverage of Israel from around the world is basically appalling. The recent rioting and violence out of Gaza covered as mild mannered peaceful protesters where protesting families hold picnics until the IDF started shooting people. The initial reports said nothing about the burning of ten-thousand tires to mask attempts to breach the border, machete wielding men attempting to chop passage through the border fence, kites with incendiary devices sent burning thousands of dumas including fruit bearing trees which will take more than a decade before they provide fruit, balloons with larger incendiary devices struck deeper into Israel hitting communities, rockets launched with some striking kindergartens and snipers crawling up to the border, some with youths used as shields, shooting at civilians and IDF soldiers. These reports have a very strange definition of peaceful. By this definition, what happened in Charlottesville in August of 2017 was merely a…
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As Ramadan drew to a close this year, the spectacle of a contrived Muslim rage on the last Friday of Islam’s sacred month — branded “Al- Qud’s [Jerusalem] Day” by Iran’s late leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini – was on display across the Muslim world and in the West.
The Qur’an, Islam’s sacred text, calls upon Muslims to fast during Ramadan as part of prayers and quiet reflection “to ward off evil.” Extremist Muslims, instead, call upon their co-religionists to display their rage against their real and imagined enemies, especially Jews. Most Muslims, however, steer away from such angry demonstrations, which degrade the meaning and purpose of their devotion to fasting and prayers during the month in which the Qur’an was first revealed to Muhammad.
The public display of rage on the last Friday of Ramadan, which has now become a ritual since Khomeini called for it soon after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, is another vivid indicator of how deeply and fatefully divided within itself is the Muslim world.
The causes dividing the Muslim world are many, given the vast diversity among Muslims of ethnicity, language, culture, resources, levels of literacy and economic development. Public display of rage increasingly seems an indicator of the collective frustration of many Muslims in their inability to understand and contend with the requirements of the modern world.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, has just completed a trip to the Middle East. He first spent a day and a half in Jordan, visiting the Roman city of Jerash, where his wife had had her picture taken when she was four years old. It turns out that the Middleton family had lived for several years in Jordan, where Kate’s father had worked for British Airways. Prince William had his photograph taken as he stood in the exact same spot as his wife, aged 4, had done. That was made much of in the reporting, but nothing was reported — and certainly Prince William would not have been told by his Jordanian guide Samia Kouri — about the 25 churches in the city that had all been destroyed by Muslims, nor about the circumstances of that destruction. He also watched the England-Panama match on television with Crown Prince Hussein. Bonding, presumably. He met with “refugees” in Jordan. Were they Syrians? Or did he meet, rather, with “Palestinian” refugees? And if the latter, would he have learned that they are by Jordanian law prevented from being full citizens, prevented from practicing many of the professions, or otherwise improving their lot, for the Arab states long ago decided that the more limited the life prospects for these “refugees,” the stronger their propaganda value. Prince William also met with “political figures” (unidentified) and “young scientists” whose names and achievements remain unknown.
Prince William described Jordan’s relationship with the United Kingdom as one of “historic ties and friendship.” That’s true, in a way: Jordan exists as a country only because the British decided back in the early 1920s, when they held the Mandate for Palestine, to ignore the stated purpose of the Mandate, and to prevent, rather than facilitate, any Jewish immigration to that part of the Mandate’s original territory that lay to the east of the Jordan river. Instead, all the land east of the Jordan, out to the desert, first became the Emirate of Transjordan, then the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, and finally, in 1949, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. That’s one part of the “historic ties and friendship” between the United Kingdom and Jordan. Another part is represented by the role played by English military men, headed by Glubb Pasha, who both trained and led the Jordanian soldiers in the Arab Legion, helping them to take part in the war against the nascent Jewish state in 1948. Historic ties. Friendship.
The royal visitor also described Jordan as a “beacon of hope” — which I suppose it is, if it is being compared with Syria, or Iraq, or Libya, or Lebanon, or Yemen. But that dreamy description would certainly raise some eyebrows among the Jordanian masses, who just a few weeks ago rioted against the economic policies of the government so violently that the prime minister had to resign; his departure may have temporarily assuaged the protesters, but did nothing to ameliorate problems, which are not of one man’s making, but systemic. Jordan is a poor country, being propped up by a few billion dollars from Gulf Arabs, as well as by UNRWA aid for the local “Palestinian” population; it can hardly afford to feed itself, and its burgeoning population of Syrian refugees only makes matters much worse. It is no one’s idea of a “beacon of hope.”