“Written to enlighten, guaranteed to offend”
A Publication of Seth J. Frantzman
September 1, 2009
1) There will be no Protest For Leonard Karp: In a recent murder in Tel Aviv a man and his family were accosted by a group of young Arab Muslim men and their Jewish girlfriends. The gang proceeded to harass a father, his wife and his daughter and then beat the father to death. When he died there was no protest because Liberal secular western society is so immoral and devoid of humanity that it no longer cares for its fellow man.
2) From Gaza to Nigeria: Recently extremist Islamist cults have gotten into suicidal battles with their own governments, even in places where they already have Islamic law. It shows a growing trend of cult-radicalization in the Islamist society.
3) A Tragic Irony: No Fans of Israel: The three American hikers kidnapped by Iran should not be viewed as victims. They not only blatantly wandered around the Iranian border without a map but they have a long history of supporting and collaborating with Islamism and terrorism.
There will be no Protest For Leonard Karp
Seth J. Frantzman
August 17, 2009
There will be no protest for Leonard Karp. We don’t know much about this simple man. A resident of Petah Tikva in Israel at one time he moved from Petah Tikva to Ramat Aviv, north of Tel Aviv, when their two daughters decided to attend Tel Aviv University. We don’t know much about this man because he wasn’t a member of some special minority group. He wasn’t a homosexual. He wasn’t lynched in the American South. He was just a 59 year old Jewish man who decided to take his daughter and wife for a walk on the beach in Tel Aviv. And for that Liberalism murdered him.
There will be no protest for Leonard Karp. The life of Leonard Karp does not matter. It is a life that was not worth living. Leonard Karp was not a man in our eyes, in the eyes of the secular society from which he came. He was merely the end result of what Gideon Levy tells us is what happened when “Arabs from Jaljuliya, raise their heads and voice in social frustration.” Leonard Karp was thus what happens when social frustration takes place. His death, at the hands of 8 Arab men and two Jewish women, is due to social frustration.
There will be no protest for Leonard Karp. There was just a funeral of a few hundred people. His daughters said much about “peace.” They said “We wish that those who do good will receive good in return and that those who do bad will realize that they were wrong, repent and pay the price." Leonard Karp, this is our way, the secular society’s way, of saying goodbye. We don’t mention how you died. How your daughter was accosted by a gang of young men and their prostitute girlfriends. We don’t mention that you defended your daughter, Hila’s, honour. We don’t mention that they beat you, like an animal. We don’t mention that they chased your wife and beat her. We don’t mention that it took 8 men, 8 men at the height of their strength in their twenties to beat you, a 59 year old man, to death. We don’t mention how they took you to the water’s edge, to the pier, and they beat you and drowned you and threw you like garbage into the sea. We don’t mention that after they went back to a forest near Rosh Ha’Ayin and drank alchohol with their prostitutes who helped them and they felt no remorse. We don’t say anything like this. Because this is the West. This is the height of the progressive civilization. This is what we call modernity. We call it that because, Mr. Karp, we have no humanity.
There will be no protest for Leonard Karp. There was no protest for Caeser either when his friends stabbed him to death. Why should you expect any? When gays are shot down or African-Americans or when Arab refugees are removed from churches they occupy in Denmark, then there are protests. But Mr. Karp your skin is not black, your name is not Mohammed and you don’t have a rainbow bracelet. Oh, Mr. Karp, if only you had been a gay, if only you had converted to Islam, if only you had been a Muslim. Then they would have loved you. We would have loved you. Our society. Our culture. Our modern world. Then we would have had a great fanfare at your death. We would have remembered you like we do Rodney King or Matthew Shephard. But Karp you knew you were nothing when you got up in the morning. You meant nothing to this world, so when they beat you, treated you like garbage you should have expected it. Modern society long ago labeled you not worthy of living because long ago those who practice in our best institutions, our best intellectuals, our best and the brightest, they long ago said that you were not worth allowing to live because your life can be snapped away because of “social frustration.”
There will be no protest for Leonard Karp. Did you think your brother Ya’acov would call for revenge, or your daughters scream in the shrill screams that the Arabs have for their fallen dead? Did you think that you should have met your fate in a leftist liberal city where no one comes to the aid of another man the way they used to? The ancient law said that if a woman cries out during a rape and no one comes to her aid it is as if she did not cry out because the judges could not understand how, in a city, a woman might cry out and no one would help her. Such was the honour of the towns that when a women was assaulted the men would come to save her. But such is the dishonour we have long known in our settlements that a woman can be raped for half an hour in New York since the 1960s and not one will come. Such is the shame of the entire nation and yet every member of the nation no doubt thinks themselves innocent. But when one does not aid in the distress of the rape victim, is one not collaborating with the rapist? When one does not prevent their daughters from going out with murderers and gangs of young men who murder and harass women, is that father and mother not collaborating in the murder? When one does not fight to preserve the honour of their own daughters but allows them to go out with men who rape and abuse them, is that person not liable for the subsequent actions of their daughter and her friends?
There will be no protest for Leonard Karp. But all up and down the line society failed you Mr. Karp. It began with the Arabs in their village who society taught to be racist and sexually harass women. It was helped on its way by the Jewish prostitutes of Petah Tikva whose parents did not care for their honour. It was aided by a city of secular people who cared not about eachother. It was then allowed to continue, after your death, by your own family who did not gird their loins for revenge. And the final nail in your coffin was placed their by intellectuals who excused your death as part of “social frustration.” But Mr. Karp your death does not goo forgotten. There is within a few of us a morsel of decency who understands that you had a right to live. You had an inalieble right, a natural right. It was racism and hate and rapacious evil that took your life away. Only revenge, revenge against immorality and against the villages from whence your attackers came, can cleanse the stain of your death from the land. Alas those few who understand cannot take revenge, for it was the duty of your family to have that revenge. But we understand that it was the liberal secular society that murdered you, as much as the savage Islamist society murdered you. One held the knife and the other plunged it in. One excused the other, one enabled the other. Mr. Karp, we will protest for you, in our hearts, if not in the streets. We believe that from the failure that is the secular Western world, the greatest failure that the world ever produced, the greatest promise and the greatest let down, that through its failure will come a better world. A world in which Mr. Karp might have died peacefully in his bed.
From Gaza to Nigeria
Seth J. Frantzman
August 15, 2009
The sudden and bloody fighting that broke out at a mosque in the Gaza Strip on Friday, August 14th is emblematic of a new phenomenon within the Islamist movement. From Gaza to northern Nigeria and Pakistan, throughout the Islamic world, a new type of militancy has grown up, one that involves extremist preachers, their followers begging for martyrdom, and self-destructive battles that result in their deaths, usually at the hands of fellow Muslims.
The phenomenon of extremist religious movements surrounding inspired preachers is surely not new nor confined to Islam. Revivalist Christian sects such as the Branch Davidians and their leader David Koresh have clashed with police in the U.S and in India the Sikh leader Bhindranwale led a militant independence movement that resulted in thousands of deaths. The ‘Ghost Dance’ which swept up Native American communities in 1890 was led by the Paiute prophet known as Wovoka and resulted in the Wounded Knee Massacre. The practitioners believed their special religious garments would repel bullets. A similar phenomenon occurred in China in 1900 when a religious society known as the “Boxers” produced a wave of anti-Western militancy led by men who believed their devotion could protect them from bullets. Their movement was destroyed by the intervention of European armies.
A minority Muslim sect known as the Isma’ilis produced a radical sect known as the Assassins who spent the 11th and 12th centuries harassing and murdering Muslim and Christian leaders in the Middle East before being exterminated by the Mongols in 1256. In Israel’s War of Independence in 1948 an extremist Muslim Brotherhood unit wearing supposedly protective garments stormed Jewish Kfar Darom in Gaza resulting in the deaths of most of its members who had travelled from North Africa (Kfar Darom fell to the Egyptian army soon after). Indonesia has been stricken by Islamist revival movements since the 19th century, partly sparked, oddly, by the Krakatoa eruption of 1883, which today manifest themselves in the groups like Darul Islam and Jemaah Islamiyah.
Islamism it seems is beginning to produce more and more radical fringe movements that, far from being part of a unifying umbrella as Al Quieda intended, are “linked to Al Quieda” but succeed mostly in fighting Muslim governments and destroying themselves as well as civilians located near their mosques. The July 2007 Siege of the Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) was one such example. It was Led by brothers Maulana Abdul Aziz and Abdul Rashid Ghazi, sons of a radical preacher named Maulana Qari Abdullah who founded the Mosque in 1965. A series of escalating incidents led to an 8 day siege of the mosque in which 11 Pakistani special forces, 84 Mosque members and 14 civilians were killed.
On July 31, 2009, following days of fighting, Mohammed Yusuf of the Boko Haram sect was killed in northern Nigeria. His sect had launched a series of attacks on police stations, churches, and government offices in several northern Nigerian states. More than 200 people died before the army launched an assault on the organization’s mosque, capturing Yusuf who later died in custody.
But the most famous example of an extremist Islamist uprising is the siege of Mecca, so well documented in a recent book, The Siege of Mecca, by Yasoslav Trofimov. On November 20, 1979 some five hundred armed followers of Juhaiman ibn Muhammad ibn Saif al Utaibi, a member of a leading Saudi family, invaded the Grand Mosque in Mecca. A siege lasted 14 days during which 250 militants and 130 Saudi national guardsmen were killed. The leader of the group was later beheaded, along with 67 of his followers.
Then suddenly in the afternoon hours of August 14th, 2009 word came out of Gaza of a gun battle between radical Islamists who had proclaimed a caliphate and members of Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip. Some 100 members of Jund Ansar Allah led by Abdel-Latif Moussa, a radical preacher at the Ibn Taymiyah mosque, were confronted by Hamas security forces that surrounded the Mosque and a shootout developed. Initial reports claim up to 24 people died including six Hamas police officers and one civilian. The leader of the group reportedly blew himself up.
All of these examples point to a trend in Islamism. It was once thought that Islamists primarily viewed themselves at war with secular Muslim regimes. That later morphed into Al Quieda, which viewed itself as being at war with the entire non-Muslim world, inspiring movements from China to the Balkans. But now Islamists are turning on eachother. The BBC described the situation, in a tongue in cheek manner, as one group “accusing the Islamist group of not being Islamist enough.”
The one thing that unites all of these events is disappointment with unfulfilled Islamist government, guns, mosques and preachers who seek to revive an Islamic past, whether the Mahdi, as in Saudi Arabia’s siege, or the Caliphate, as in Gaza. A secondary problem is that it makes pernicious tyrannical government’s such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Gaza’s Hamas seem more benign because they are “fighting terrorism” or “they too are threatened by extremists.” In fact their support, or in the case of Nigeria, the appeasement, of Islamism helps breed further radicalism.
A Tragic Irony: No Fans of Israel
August 8th, 2009
Seth J. Frantzman
An analysis of the writings and photography of three Jewish Americans being held captive in Iran shows that one of them was a radical anti-Israel critic. On August 1st three Americans went missing in the mountains of Kurdistan. There had been four of them travelling and submitting articles for publication in Western and other media outlets. On July 31st Shon Meckfessel stayed behind in Sulaimania while Sarah Shourd, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer went for a trip to a nearby town called Ahmed Awa. According to Shon they had no idea that Ahmad Awa was near the border with Iran; “not one of these people mentioned that Ahmed Awa was anywhere near the Iranian border.” There was no Lonely Planet for Iraqi Kurdistan and they couldn’t find it on the map they had. So three of them set off while the fourth stayed home sick.
The next day one of them phoned to say they were being taken into custody by Iranian border guards. On August 9th it was confirmed by Iran that they were being held. But the three “hikers” were not ordinary hiking enthusiasts. They were well heeled journalists. Joshua Fattal was a contributor to the Jewish Week. Shane Bauer, the most prolific, had recently been in Syria, Ethiopia and Sudan doing investigative and photojournalism. Shane has spent the last six years in the Middle East and Africa and his writings have appears in the L.A Times, Christian Science Monitor, Al Aljazeera, New American Media, Democracy Now! and elsewhere. He has also written for left wing American media outlets such as The Nation and Mother Jones.
Like Shane the other two hikers were Jewish and Joshua Fattal has contributed to the Jewish Week. The Vanguard News Network, a neo-nazi online forum noted that “maybe they were spying. They worked in journalism. That is a jew infested industry.” Angry hate-filled posts about the three followed. It seems that Iran, at least officially, believes the same thing and wishes to use the three as yet another state-sponsored unlawful hostage taking bargaining chip with the West.
But the connection of two of the journalists to Israel is worth mentioning. Shane has a photo on his website about the country titled “Neo-Nazi in Tel Aviv” taken on July 1, 2009. The photo shows an African woman and child in the foreground, but in the background is a woman with a three pronged swastika, which is usually used as a symbol by Afrikaner nationalists. The photojournalist, Mr. Bauer, might have pointed out the irony of the Afrikaner symbol next to the black woman and child on the streets of Tel Aviv. But instead he seemed to be wanting to say something more, something negative about Israel. It wasn’t titled “African woman in Tel Aviv.”
While Bauer and Fattal don’t appear to have written much about Israel, Sarah Shourd has written numerous malicious things praising Syria and condemning Israel. She identifies herself as “teacher-activist-writer from California currently based in the Middle East. She loves fresh broccoli, Zapatistas [a radical leftist anti-Government insurgency in Mexico] and anyone who can change her mind.” On her website (http://unfetteredeyes.wordpress.com) she wears a khaffiya proudly and praises anti-Israel documentaries such as ‘Palestinian Blues’, ‘Leila Khaled: Hijacker’ and ‘Occupation 101’.
A May 3, 2009 post on her blog notes “It’s been more than 4 months since the Israeli Massacre in Gaza.” Shourd speaks of Hamas winning “what many consider to be the first truly democratic election in the Middle East.” Apparently Israel is not in the Middle East. Gaza is “one of the most populated places in the world.” She apparently means by population density. She speaks of how Israel is “killing resistance” and “all our love for Gaza.”
She mocks the Western perception of Syria; “The hazy sketch of Syria we get in U.S. becomes progressively more hazy as to almost loose all definition once you are here. Dangerous? Conservative? Anti-American? Oppressive to women? Backwards? Extremist? It’s not nearly as simplistic as that.” It is perhaps ironic because only last month Syria changed a law regarding honor killings of women which had made the maximum sentence for men accused of murdering their female relatives only one year. Now the minimum is two years. She explains that “Large, reassuring shots of President Al-Assad adorn almost every shop window in Damascus.” Shourd mentions that in Yemen “many Yemenis have challenged me, saying my analysis falls short. They say that I am too apologetic towards the terrorists, framing them as victims rather than the perpetrators.”
It is perhaps an irony that Bauer and Shourd were arrested hiking in the Kurdish hills. Is there a difference between the perception of Israel by Iran and its president and that of Shourd? Whatever the case the Israel connection is there. We can only hope the experience of these three in custody will change their opinion of Israel or Gaza. But for now Mr. Bauer’s Israel will only be the “Neo-Nazi in Tel Aviv” and for Shourd Israel will only be the country that massacres and places people in giant prisons.