In a recent interview, Norway’s Ambassador to Israel has suggested that Hamas terrorism against Israel is more justified than the recent terrorist attack against Norway. His reasoning is that, “We Norwegians consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel.” In other words terrorism against Israeli citizens is the fault of Israel. The terrorism against Norway, on the other hand, was based on “an ideology that said that Norway, particularly the Labor Party, is foregoing Norwegian culture.” It is hard to imagine that he would make such a provocative statement without express approval from the Norwegian government.
I can’t remember many other examples of so much nonsense compressed in such short an interview. First of all, terrorism against Israel began well before there was any “occupation”. The first major terrorist attack against Jews who had long lived in Jerusalem and Hebron began in 1929, when the leader of the Palestinian people, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, ordered a religiously-motivated terrorist attack that killed hundreds of religious Jews-many old, some quite young. Terrorism against Jews continued through the 1930s. Once Israel was established as a state, but well before it captured the West Bank, terrorism became the primary means of attacking Israel across the Jordanian, Egyptian and Lebanese borders. If the occupation is the cause of the terror against Israel, what was the cause of all the terror that preceded any occupation?
I was not surprised to hear such ahistorical bigotry from a Norwegian Ambassador. Norway is the most anti-Semitic and anti-Israel country in Europe today. I know, because I experienced both personally during a recent visit and tour of universities. No university would invite me to lecture, unless I promised not to discuss Israel. Norway forbids Jewish ritual slaughter, but not Islamic ritual slaughter. Its political and academic leaders openly make statements that cross the line from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism, such as when Norway’s former Prime Minister condemned Barak Obama for appointing a Jew as his Chief of Staff. No other European leader would make such a statement and get away with it. In Norway, this bigoted statement was praised, as were similar statements made by a leading academic.
The very camp that was attacked by the lone terrorist was engaged in an orgy of anti-Israel hatred the day before the shooting. Yet I would not ever claim that it was Norway’s anti-Semitism that “caused” the horrible act of terrorism against young Norwegians.
The causes of terrorism are multifaceted but at bottom they have a common cause: namely a belief that violence is the proper response to policies that the terrorists disagree with. The other common cause is that terrorism has often been rewarded. Norway, for example, has repeatedly rewarded Palestinian terrorism against Israel, while punishing Israel for its efforts to protect its civilians. While purporting to condemn all terrorist acts, the Norwegian government has sought to justify Palestinian terrorism as having a legitimate cause. This clearly is an invitation to continued terrorism.
It is important for the world never to reward terrorism by supporting the policies of those who employ it as an alternative to reason discourse, diplomatic resolution or political compromise.
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On “Fox News Sunday,” Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol reiterated his support for a Paul Ryan–Marco Rubio presidential dream ticket.
“I think it should be Ryan-Rubio, but if Paul Ryan is a little hesitant to seize the moment, I think Marco Rubio has to do it and make Paul Ryan his vice president,” Kristol said. “But Ryan–Rubio or Rubio–Ryan would be a very strong ticket. These are two pretty spectacular speeches given on the floor of the House Thursday night, then on the floor of the Senate by Rubio yesterday.” (Marco Rubio: ‘Why we must save Medicare’)
While such a ticket between the House Budget chairman and the freshman Florida senator seems unlikely at this stage in the electoral game, Kristol explained how the drama over raising the debt ceiling has made the ticket more plausible.
“Yes, because the presidential candidates — Michele Bachmann is against any deal, Jon Huntsman’s for any deal,” he said. “The rest of them have been ducking or as we say in the Obama era, ‘Leading from behind.’ I think Republican primary voters would welcome a Ryan–Rubio ticket.”
Later in the show’s online segment, Kristol continued to make his case for the Ryan–Rubio ticket by citing recent history.
“A freshman senator named Barack Obama, if I recall, ran against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic establishment in 2007–2008,” Kristol said. “He did pretty well and Paul Ryan has been in Congress a lot longer than Barack Obama. And Marco Rubio has about the same amount of experience as a whole as Barack Obama. He was speaker of the Florida House. I think Ryan–Rubio would be a terrific young Republican ticket, a little bit of a change from the Bushes and the Doles.”
Among the long string of bad economic news from the last few years, there is something to celebrate: The political consensus in Washington that government could keep on growing at no cost to the growing economy has finally broken down. The size and scope of government is now the defining issue of our time. It is a welcome debate. However, it has centered on spending, which is only part of what government does. Regulation and tax policy are equally important.
Legendary entrepreneur Steve Wynn (who usually supports Democrats) put it bluntly a few days ago, when he said: “[T]his administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime. And I can prove it and I could spend the next three hours giving you examples of all of us in this marketplace that are frightened to death about all the new regulations, our health care costs escalate, regulations coming from left and right… And it makes you slow down and not invest your money.”
Wynn is right. If we want Americans to get back to work, we must tackle overweening government now. A recent survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that 64 percent of small businesses will not hire anyone in the next year. The reasons given all concern government: taxation, regulation, and the threat of new legislation.
A sterling example of Wynn’s point is the Dodd-Frank law that was supposed to solve the problems that led to the 2008 financial collapse. It empowered regulators to decide which firms are “systemically important” — too big to fail, in other words. Enshrining this concept into law will only make huge financial losses more likely, as firms deemed too big to fail will have an incentive to take more risks, in the knowledge that the government will bail them out when they get into trouble.
Read more here.
A just-released study from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reporting a record high wealth gap between whites and blacks should have been labeled “handle with care.”
Because care is needed to examine the complex reality behind the fact that “median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households. …”
And without care, this information will be abused and misused by those in the race business as another excuse to claim racism and demand exactly what blacks, or any of us, do not need — more government.
And, indeed, the Rev. Al Sharpton has already announced plans for protest in Washington, along with the statement: “For those who think we live in some sort of post-racial society, I have news for you: we’re anything but.”
For one thing, “median wealth” should not be confused with “average wealth.” A median average is simply the number right in the middle — there are an equal number of households with higher and an equal number with lower wealth.
“Average wealth” accounts for the actual wealth of those households and reflects the fact, not reflected in the median number, that there are a good number of well-to-do black households.
So whereas median white household wealth is 20 times higher than median black household wealth, average white household wealth is three times higher than average black household wealth.
The racially tinged headline obscures the deeper reality of what is driving the growing wealth gap. That is that over the period of the study, 2005 to 2009, the gap between those with more wealth and those with less has increased for the whole country.
In fact, over this period, the gap between the most wealthy and least wealthy blacks became more pronounced than the gap between the most wealthy and least wealthy whites.
In 2005, the top 10 percent of wealthy black families represented 56 percent of overall black wealth. By 2009, this top 10 percent represented 67 percent of overall black wealth.
You have to wonder what kind of racial claims Sharpton will make about this.
Read more here.