Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy Birthday World!

Rosh Hashonah marks the anniversary of creation.  On Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish people unite to acknowledge that the Ribono shel Olam, the Master of the Universe, is King and the whole universe, time and space, is his creation. It is also the Yom HaDin, the awesome day of judgment, when all of creation passes by God in judgment like sheep before a shepherd.  Tonight, as Rosh Hashonah 5773 begins, Jewish families will dip apples in honey at the outset of their festival meal, nd pray for a sweet year.   May all of our readers and their families be blessed, written and sealed for a happy and sweet year.

As U.S. Embassies Burn

As "The Book of Mormon" is set to open in Los Angeles while the coals still glow from recent burnings of American embassies and consulates in the Islamic world, I refer our readers to a post on The Hedgehog Blog back on April 3, 2011, entitled, "Why 'The Book of Mormon' is a Broadway Hit But No One is Staging 'The Koran'." Well someone did stage "The Koran," with predictable results.

The Hedgehog's observations:

1. Islamist crazies will be Islamist crazies. The real issue is the failure of governments in Egypt, Libya, and Tunesia to protect U.S. diplomats, embassies and consulates. That failure resulted from the weakness of those governments and not--at least in the case of Libya or Tunesia--bad intentions. The real question is whether Islamist governments can control their own radical Islamist movements.

2. Some moderate Islamic voices were actually raised in condemnation of the attacks. That is progress, although at a tragic, terrible cost.

3. It is astonishing that the calls to ban an anti-Muslim movie or criminalize publications critical of Islam come from the very sources that do not hesitate to scurriously attack Judaism and Christianity. Egyptian television does not hesitate to broadcast television series based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and claims of Jewish murder of Arab children in order to drink their blood. Mullahs trumpet such libels in their Friday sermons. But if someone attacks their religion, heaven help them.

Update 9/20/2012:

In today's Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens expresses nearly the same thoughts I did in the above post, and my April 3, 2011 piece, on "The Book of Mormon.  Of course, he writes better than I do.  I have been a fan of Mr. Stephens since he was editor in chief of the Jerusalem Post.  I don't mind at all that he apparently reads The Hedgehog Blog to get ideas for his columns.

Krauthammer: Obama Position on Iran is Incorherent

In an opinion column in the Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer writes that there are two logically consistent points of view regarding the Iranian nuclear weapons program: "(a) it doesn’t matter, we can deter them; or (b) it does matter, we must stop them." Krauthammer does not agree with the first position, because it ignores the differences between the apocalyptic world view of Iran's Shiite Islamist regime, but at least it is coherent.

President Obama, Krauthammer complains, has given lip service to the second view--that weapons in the hands of the Iranian regime would be intolerable--yet stands by as the Iranians rapidly advance toward nuclear weapons capability. The perceived result, he argues, is a perception of American weakness and passivity that increases the likelihood of war. Quoting Andrew Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, it creates, “the same conditions that helped trigger World War II — years of negotiations and threats, where the threats failed to be taken seriously until war became all too real.”

Further reliance on negotiations, diplomacy and sanctions merely accentuate American fecklessness, Krauthammer writes. Iran has only accelerated its program in the face of tightening sanctions, the Iranian regime has rejected negotiations--or else used them as a cover for moving toward its objective of atomic weapons capability-- and the failure of diplomacy is amply demonstrated by the recent conference of non-aligned nations in Tehran, attended by some 120 nations in the face of U.S. pleas for them not to participate.

The only response with a hope of deterring the Iranian regime at this late date is for the U.S. to establish a credible military threat if Iran crosses specified red lines. That is what Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is publicly pleading for--having failed to get assurances from the U.S. through normal diplomatic channels--and that is what President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have publicly rejected.

To some American Jews, the security and survival of Israel, the world's only Jewish state, is a secondary issue, or perhaps not an issue at all. I consider such Jews to suffer from tragic historical myopia. However, for those American Jews for whom Israel's survival is a paramount concern, I ask you, how can you vote for re-election of President Obama? And for all Americans, even setting aside Israel's security entirely, but recognizing the ability of terrorists such as the Iranian Republican Guard or its proxy Hezbollah to smuggle a small nuclear warhead into an American city, can you afford to vote for re-election of President Obama?