Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

The Hamas-Israel conflict and “disproportionate use of force”

There is no moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel

There is no moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel

Dina tweeted this editorial in the radically leftist UK Guardian, of all places.

Excerpt:

Hamas’s charter includes the aspiration that “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)”. While many concentrate on its death-cult worship, its bloodthirsty killing of adversaries, or its contempt for women, Christians and homosexuals, it is this aspiration for genocide that is at the root of Hamas activities. This is the primary reason why Hamas, the governing regime in Gaza, will never recognise or accept a peace accord with Israel in any form.

Since Israel left Gaza in 2005, thousands of rockets have rained down on Israeli cities and towns in deliberate contravention not just of international law, but all humanity and morality.

[...]Every rocket from Gaza is a double war crime. First, the rockets are aimed at civilians; second, they are fired from built-up civilian areas, often close to schools, mosques and hospitals. And about 10% of Hamas rockets fired from Gaza don’t reach Israel, exploding in Gaza. Mohammed Sadallah – a four-year-old killed on Saturday, his body displayed in a press conference with Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s leader – was, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, most likely killed by an errant Hamas rocket.

Hamas leaders frequently declare that their people actively seek death. Fathi Hamad, a senior member of Hamas, stated in 2008 that “for the Palestinian people, death became an industry, at which women and children excel. Accordingly we created a human shield of women, children and elderly. We seek death as you [Israelis] desire life.”

[...]Israel has successfully targeted in excess of 1,300 weapons caches, rocket launchers and other elements of Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure. Yet despite this, the number of Palestinian casualties remains around one for every 13 strikes, the majority killed being active members of Hamas and combatants.

There is no moral equivalence here – one side is good and the other side is evil. It’s a black and white issue.

When I was in graduate school, I was partnered up with an exchange student from Egypt. She said that Israelis were terrorists because they killed civilians while using force. I told her that terrorism is the intentional targeting of civilians for attacks rather than military targets. Therefore, Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorists, and Israel is not. Israel uses arms in self-defense, and they try to minimize civilian casualties by giving warnings of strikes. Islamic groups intentionally target civilians – schools and hospitals. The Islamic groups are terrorists and the IDF is acting in self-defense against unprovoked rocket attacks.

If Islamic terrorists laid down their arms, then tomorrow there would be peace. But if Israeli Defense Forces laid down their arms, then tomorrow, Israel would be destroyed, and every Jew in it. That is why the IDF has to do what the IDF has to do. And this time, I hope that they don’t use half-measures to stop the flow of rockets into Israel. They must use the appropriate force necessary to stop the rocket attacks.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Christians debate Jewish rabbis on the Trinity and the identity of Jesus

Is God three persons and one being?

This debate on the Trinity was noted in a comment by Woody Lordless.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Cool. I am pleased to see a Jewish teacher get up there and slug it out with our guys.

Was Jesus the Messiah?

Here’s a debate on the question of whether Jesus was the Messiah. I recognize both of these names and have heard them both speak. These are the top guys, unless you go and get Jewish historians like Geza Vermes or Paula Fredriksen.

Part 1:

Part 2:

I want to see a full-length formal debate on the identity of Jesus with some Jewish scholars and some Christian scholars. We should organize a conference and let each side pick their best guys and have it out so everyone else will learn what the arguments are on either side. We should hold the conference at a university, and broadcast it n the Internet, then make the videos available for download after the event.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Six prominent Jews explain why most Jews are so liberal

From Commentary magazine. (H/T Robert Stacy McCain via ECM)

Excerpt:

Since nature abhors a spiritual vacuum, Podhoretz concludes that the religion of liberalism—that is, faith in the powers of government — has replaced Judaism in the hearts of Jews. . . .
Why, asks Podhoretz, do Jews cling to this belief if it no longer serves our interest? . . .
If I may be allowed so vast a sweep of generalization, Republicans, conservatives, are the party that feels comfortably at home. We need not attach a value to this observation; you may approve of this sensibility or not. But for Jews, unease is our mother tongue. . . .
David Wolpe

Jewish liberalism endures, Podhoretz concludes, because turning conservative, in liberal eyes, is nothing short of heresy—or worse, apostasy.
Jonathan D. Sarna

Most American Jews, on the other hand, seem to have learned from an early age that to be Jewish is to be a liberal Democrat, no matter what. . . . [T]he loyalty of American Jews to the Left has been unaffected by the failure of the Left to reciprocate that loyalty.
Jeff Jacoby

In many cases, Podhoretz notes, left-wing politics took the place of a Judaism that felt to new American immigrants like a business suit on a beach: conspicuous, constraining, ridiculously out of place. . . . On this reading, emotional, facts-be-damned Jewish liberalism is a gravestone marking the death of religious faith.
David Gelernter

But my own tentative personal resolution, reached after reading Why Are Jews Liberals?, is this: I’m going to stop worrying about American Jews. They’re not worth the headache. Either they’ll come to their senses or they won’t, and there’s not much I (or anyone else, I suspect) can do about it.
William Kristol

For most American Jews, the core of their Jewish identity isn’t solidarity with Israel; it’s rejection of Christianity. This observation may help to explain the otherwise puzzling political preferences of the Jewish community explored in Norman Podhoretz’s book. Jewish voters don’t embrace candidates based on their support for the state of Israel as much as they passionately oppose candidates based on their identification with Christianity — especially the fervent evangelicalism of the dreaded “Christian Right.”
Michael Medved

But what McCain writes himself is also worth noting:

Thus, for the past several years, we were treated to endless liberal jeremiads against “abstinence education,” as if the sex-ed curriculum in public schools were the single most important issue in national politics. The propaganda purpose of this liberal campaign was to suggest to people who think of themselves as sexual sophisticates that the GOP is actively promoting ignorance.

If you wish to identify the source of the Republican Party’s electoral weakness among under-30 voters, this is it — even though, as I say, this perception of the GOP as “anti-sex” (or “pro-ignorance”) is strictly a function of liberal propaganda. GOP leaders have failed to recognize the damage inflicted by this propaganda, have failed to clarify the policy issues involve and have, at times, unwittingly played to the negative stereotype of Republicans as uptight, repressed, and clueless about sex.

Depicting the “Christian Right” as an especially benighted and menacing component of the Republican Party has, as Medved notes, a particular value in discouraging Jewish Democrats from reconsidering their political loyalties. To any liberal, the conservative is always the Other. But by depicting the GOP as dominated by the “Christian Right,” the Otherness of conservatism is effectively doubled — if not, indeed, magnified exponentially.

Never mind that evangelical Christians are overwhelmingly pro-Israel and philo-Semitic. The liberal propaganda depiction of evangelicals as backward ignoramuses, taking their marching orders from a handful of TV preachers, accomplishes its intended purpose — to evoke a distinctive cultural revulsion among Jews, and to conjure up nightmare visions of an American Kristallnacht.

So, I think two of the problems are 1) religious bigotry and 2) fears of irrational policies. And I think I know how to fix that.

Where are the studies and arguments that socially conservative policies are actually good? Good for people’s happiness, good for reducing government expenditures, and good for individual liberty itself? I wonder whether any conservatives can even articulate the argument that strong families and abstinence are needed precisely to make sure that government doesn’t have to grow to deal with the consequences of family breakdown and pre-marital sex, such as violent children and STDs?

I have noticed the exact same thing that the article describes is happening with Hindus. A combination of religious bigotry and contempt for policy positions embraced on ignorance. It’s not the fault of Jews and Hindus – we in the conservative movement need to do a better job of explaining the reasons for our positions in non-sectarian terms. E.g. – if homeschooling really is better as a policy, then we should have the studies to show that it produces better grades.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Laura Rosen Cohen tells Jewish community: Islam just isn’t into us

Check out this editorial from the National Post. (H/T Blazing Cat Fur)

Excerpt:

It has been said that a definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. Certainly, there can be no better explanation for Jews, and particularly liberal Jews to keep trying new ways of currying favour in the eyes of the Islamic world.

…In the Jewish diaspora, and under the heavy influence of socialist and Marxist dogma, liberal Jews pour small fortunes into “inter-faith” causes, conferences and dialogues in the hopes of finding “greater understanding” with the Islamic world in general-and in particular with the Palestinians.

…Jews continue to support the Liberal party in Canada, and the Democratic party in America, despite the obvious and undeniable evidence that their true friends are on the Christian, Zionist political right. Unfortunately, their commitment to liberalism trumps their commitment to their own people.

Please read the whole thing!

Speaking as a Christian, I have one thing to say to Laura: Generally-speaking, Islam isn’t into us, either!

If you haven’t already bookmarked Blazing Cat Fur, I recommend it! Always something good there.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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