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Pajamas Media » (UPDATED) An Iranian Connection to the Cordoba House Ground Zero Mosque?

Pajamas Media » (UPDATED) An Iranian Connection to the Cordoba House Ground Zero Mosque?.

August 15, 2010 Posted by | Muslim | , | Leave a comment

Global warming lies, damn lies and easy rebuttals | The Daily Caller – Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

Global warming lies, damn lies and easy rebuttals | The Daily Caller – Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment.

August 15, 2010 Posted by | environmental, global | | Leave a comment

Kofi Annan’s Holocaust Problem

by Moshe Phillips
Follow Israel opinion on and .
Is this essay by Annan an isolated incident or does he have a track record of inappropriate action in regard to preserving the history of Holocaust?
In June a shockingly disturbing article about Holocaust education appeared in The New York Times online and The International Herald Tribune and was written by Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations. Annan questions the value of teaching about the Holocaust in the first place and deletes the memory of the Jewish victims from the Holocaust – not mentioning Jews one time.

Annan wrote: “it is surprisingly hard to find education programs that have clearly succeeded…” He then linked Holocaust education to other events. Annan declared that Holocaust education has failed to prevent genocidal campaigns “from Cambodia to the Congo, from Bosnia to Rwanda, from Sri Lanka to Sudan.”

Can Annan be blind to the fact that his beloved U.N. bears the largest portion of international blame for failing to prevent these post-World War Two tragedies?

Annan also wrote that “few teachers in any country have the knowledge or skills to teach the Holocaust in a way that would enable today’s adolescents … to relate..”

Here Annan missed the fact that Holocaust education has worked very well in Israel. As a direct result of that education process all Jewish Israelis, regardless of age, level of religious observance, political views or ethnic background, are completely united in their full support of their government to take whatever means necessary to stop Iran’s deployment of a nuclear weapons program.

Perhaps almost as shocking as Annan’s sudden attack on Holocaust education is the text of the article itself. Annan does not mention Jews or Judaism even once in nearly 800 words. Germany and Hitler are not mentioned either. See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/18/opinion/18iht-edannan.html?_r=1 for the entire article.

Annan has the chutzpah to conclude his screed with a veritable love note to Austria. He states “and it seems fitting that Austria – which provided both victims and perpetrators of Nazi atrocities in abundance – should be hosting a (Holocaust teacher training) program.”

Here Annan totally misses the ironic fact that Austria is the one nation in the post-World War Two period to elect a head of state that was accused of Nazi war crimes, Kurt Waldheim. Obviously Annan is familiar with Waldheim’s case. The two were colleagues at the U.N. and Waldheim preceded Annan in the Secretary General position there. That Annan failed to ever investigate Waldheim’s history at the U.N. is just one of in a long career of incompetence. To this day he official U.N. online biography of Waldheim ignores World War Two and the Holocaust entirely. See http://www.un.org/Overview/SG/sg4bio.html.

Is this essay by Annan an isolated incident or does he have a track record of inappropriate action in regard to preserving the history of Holocaust?

Annan claims in this article that he supported Holocaust education in 2005 when as U.N. Secretary General he “urged the General Assembly to pass a resolution on Holocaust Remembrance.”

However, remarks made at the time the Holocaust Remembrance resolution was passed also ignore the connection of the Holocaust to the Jewish People. A November 1, 2005 “Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on General Assembly Resolution on Holocaust Remembrance” was 107 words. There is no reference to Jews. See http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/sgsm10197.doc.htm.

The official UN news article from November 1, 2005 failed to mention Jews at all. See http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=16431&Cr=holocaust&Cr1.

It is worth recalling that not a single Muslim nation other than Turkey supported the Holocaust Remembrance Resolution. Can one imagine that happening now? Annan apparently could not have cared less about the Resolution at the time. Annan was either unable or unwilling to see to it that his native Ghana supported the Resolution either. He gave a speech of over 780 words the night the Resolution was passed at the “King Hussein Foundation inaugural peace-builders dinner.” There was not a single remembrance” of the Holocaust included in Annan’s remarks.

One more aside: Ninety countries supported the Resolution, but not one “moderate Islamic Arab” country such as Egypt, Morocco or King Hussein’s Jordan signed on. Well before 2005 Egypt, Morocco and Jordan had all signed peace agreements with Israel. Just what kind of peace does Israel have with these nations if they refuse to acknowledge that the Holocaust needs to be remembered? And that is even with the fact that the actual wording of the original resolution itself mentioned Jews just once in an over 500 word text:

Reaffirming that the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people along with countless members of other minorities, will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice…

Given the fact that Holocaust deniers often argue that less than six million Jews were murdered during World War Two, was it just a coincidence that the term “six million” was not used? See http://www.unclef.com/holocaustremembrance/docs/res607.shtml.

Annan is often considered to have been a fair arbiter in the Israel-Arab conflict. This is a naïve reading of Annan’s track record and his professional alliances. As the maxim states: A man is known by the company he keeps.

Annan’s longtime colleagues in the self-appointed (and self-righteous) group of elites called The Elders that is funded in part by the United Nations Foundation. The Elders seem like a rogue’s gallery of Israel’s harshest critics. Included as part of The Elders are Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson. For more on Mary Robinson see http://frontpagemag.com/2010/06/21/allied-in-anti-semitism-%E2%80%93-the-irish-connection/.

In the post Annan era the way the U.N. has related to the Jewish People and the Holocaust has worsened considerably.

One example is that Ban Ki-moon’s 2010 official statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention Jews.

Another example is the honors that Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (who sponsored the December 2006 International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust) received at the U.N. in September 2007. Annan and Ban Ki-moon have repeatedly worked to keep Ahmadinejad from being marginalized. Ban Ki-moon stated on December 14, 2006:

(D)enying historical facts, especially such a very important historical fact as the Holocaust, is not acceptable. It is not acceptable. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan himself visited Iran and had a series of dialogues with the Iranian leadership and other senior-level people. Wherever and when, and if the situation requires me to do, I am also prepared to engage in dialogue with the Iranian leadership.”

In the full version of his December 14 remarks, Ban Ki-moon again avoided any mention of Jews. See http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sg2120.doc.htm.

Still another recent example is the controversy that erupted when Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann was the President of the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly from September 2008 to September 2009. Brockmann compared Israel’s treatment of Gazans to Nazi atrocities against Jews. See http://www.haaretz.com/news/host-of-un-holocaust-memorial-skips-event-after-u-s-jews-threaten-walk-out-1.268965.

Brockmann’s successor as General Assembly President, a Libyan (!) diplomat named Ali Abdussalam Treki, stated that Israel’s Gaza blockade “is worse than the camps of the Nazis in the past.” And this was weeks before the Flotilla episode. See http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/2460.htm.

The next person in line for the presidency is Switzerland’s Joseph Deiss. Deiss is a longtime critic of Israel. In 2001 when he was Switzerland’s Foreign Minister, Deiss met with Yasser Arafat’s aides and condemned Israel for settlement activity and “a blockade of Palestinian areas.”

Annan’s attack on Holocaust education was published just as the U.N. was generating headlines for condemning Israel for the Gaza Flotilla episode. What was behind the timing of this article?

The Israel bashers do not want to give up the powerful imagery of the Holocaust so they transform it and remove the Jews. This allows The Elders and others to recast the Gazans as victims and the Israelis as the war criminals. This is especially outrageous when one recalls that the father of modern Arab anti-Jewish violence was Mohammad Amin al-Husseini , the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem from 1921–1948. He was an important ally of the Nazis and helped recruit thousands of Muslims for Waffen SS units in Bosnia.

And so, what is there to learn from Kofi Annan’s Holocaust problem and the U.N.? Over the last several years it has been popular to speak about nations that are in internal disarray as “failed states.” It is now past time to declare the U.N. a “failed institution.” If the U.N. cannot be reformed it must be marginalized. And the sooner, the better. Moreover, the U.N. controlled Quartet on the Middle East project and led by Special Envoy Tony Blair must be re-evaluated given the U.N.’s Holocaust problem and its funding of The Elders.

“If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting,” says Stephen Covey. If we fail to reform the U.N. these outrages won’t just continue, they will get worse.

This article appeared originally in American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/07/kofi_annans_holocaust_problem.html

Moshe Phillips is a member of the executive committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans for a Safe Israel / AFSI. The chapter’s website is at: http://www.phillyafsi.com . Moshe’s blog can be found at http://phillyafsi.blogtownhall.com and Moshe tweets at http://twitter.com/MoshePhillips.
Related Links:

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►Hamas Turns Blame from Israel to UNRWA
►Eleven Countries Turn Back on Ahmadinejad’s Anti-Jewish Speech
►NY Police Arrest 11 Rabbis in Anti-Ahmadinejad Protest

August 15, 2010 Posted by | Auschwitz, depression era, freedom, history, Israel | , | Leave a comment

A Little History of Egypt and U.S.

Bostonian dialogues

In the United States, Abdel-Moneim Said finds that Egypt is both liked and not fully understood
None of the Boston dialogues on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Palestine and other Middle Eastern issues could be considered complete without some discussion of Egypt. In fact, all the other dialogues, whether on the US, the global economic crisis and other international issues, somehow or other ended up touching upon developments and circumstances in Egypt. Egypt is not a superpower or even the key to stability in the Middle East. It is not the only country in the region the Americans are interested in. But the US, since its foundation, has always had some deep connection with Egypt that might elude many observers in both Cairo and Washington.

Sceptics on this point need only to consider some major American symbols that link Egypt with the US and interweave their histories. The Washington Monument, within clear sight of both the White House and the Capitol Building, is constructed in the shape of a huge Pharaonic obelisk. The ancient Egyptian symbol betokens mankind’s quest to reach the skies, not literally but in the metaphorical sense of striving to attain the heights of moral perfection in accordance with the laws and principles God lay down for man. We find another connection between George Washington and ancient Egypt on the American one-dollar bill, which features his portrait on one side and, on the other, a partially completed pyramid over which hovers a guardian eye emanating rays of light like the sun. The pyramid, too, symbolises mankind’s upward pursuit, but the fact of its incompletion signifies that mankind’s civilisational mission has yet to reach its aims and that the American mission, therefore, is to follow through on what the ancient Egyptians began more five thousand years ago.

This is not to suggest, of course, that America’s founding fathers believed in the rites and rituals of the ancient Pharaonic religion. But they were motivated by the sense of a civilisational mission that originated in Egypt, that was shaped in various ways by the divinely revealed religions, and that the US had the duty to complete through scientific attainment which extends its wisdom to all. Although ancient Greece is commonly regarded as the source of Western culture, it does not feature prominently in American national symbolism. Here Egyptian symbols, after which follow allusions to and actual imitations of Roman architecture, which hails back to that age of democratic traditions when the Senate was the real ruler of ancient Rome. The new Rome — Washington — traces its heritage and wisdom to the Egyptian and Roman empires.

I personally felt this American admiration for Egypt and Egyptians in the 1970s when I was a student in the US and I was looking for a part-time job. The woman in the employment office went to considerable pains to help me find a job. It was around that time that president Anwar El-Sadat undertook his historic visit to Jerusalem. She shared the sense that no other leader in the world would have had the courage and confidence to take the initiative to visit the land of his enemies unless he were Egyptian, backed by thousands of years of civilisation to protect him and steer him in the right direction. During my present visit to the US, I advised my children to make no secret of their nationality. I knew that the name of Egypt was a kind of magical key that opened doors and won interest and kindness. Many Egyptians might find this hard to believe, but Egypt has consistently found a place in the results of Gallop polls on the Americans’ favourite countries. Generally, these include English speaking countries such as the UK, Canada and Australia, American allies such as Japan, France and Germany, and finally countries of a special character, such as Egypt, South Korea and Israel. Nor was Egypt’s standing in these polls shaken by the events of 11 September 2001, which precipitated a gulf between the US and the Arab and Islamic worlds.

Not that there is a fanatical twist to the American infatuation with Egypt. It is not a case of the “Egyptomania” that is said to be common in France or of Masonic occultism that finds clues to the modern US in ancient Egyptian mysteries in the manner of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and The Da Vinci Code. Rather, it is just that conversations about Egypt, especially when the interlocutors are academics who have not been overly soiled by tales of the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict, acquire a totally different quality. Suddenly, your Brookings Institution researcher, Carnegie Institute colleague, founding member of the Council on Foreign Relations and other such academics, who pour out reams of impassioned and contentious articles and studies about Egypt, or otherwise they find it hard to publish or to secure spots on TV talk shows, become normal everyday people.

Ordinary people and scholars at the same time have no interest in attacking the situation in Egypt. But many do have worries, doubts and sometimes questions about what is written in the press or what they are bombarded with across various media networks. At the time of the Boston dialogues, the London- based Economist came out with a special on recent economic, social and political developments in Egypt. This country survey, which featured a blend of criticism, praise and uncertainty, served as a kind of agenda for the discussion on Egypt in Boston. But what was striking in the discussion was that instead of merely reiterating published information, participants attempted to assess it from its point of origin, taking as their starting point the acknowledgment of the failure of the American project for the Middle East, which made such a muddle between strategy and historical imperative as to precipitate a state of impending chaos.

Although the US had a legitimate reason for fighting the terrorism that destroyed the World Trade Centre in New York and struck the Pentagon in Washington, it needed an effective strategy, one that had a beginning and an end, identified means and methods, and clearly stated aims and objectives. What it came up with, instead, was a project to engineer history, the consequences of which we see today in Afghanistan where Kabul lost control over its territory, in Iraq where weak and ineffective elected political forces have been unable to form a government for months, in Lebanon where the cheers for the Cedar revolution ended with the surrender of effective power to a Hizbullah veto, in Somalia with its perpetual chaos, and in Palestine which has succumbed to a vicious division between those who seek to build and those who would rather launch missiles against their own people first and against their enemies second.

How does Egypt fit into all this? Will it be able to keep its head in the midst of this growling and roaring bedlam? And against that backdrop why is the “succession question” the issue that most preoccupies the staff of political and strategic research centres, and the participants of political affairs conferences?

In all events, the subject inevitably popped up and I took the occasion to observe that for over 200 years Egypt has never experienced a succession crisis, not even after the death of a leader of the stature of Gamal Abdel-Nasser, or after the assassination of another great leader, Sadat. This was not because there was a prince in line for a monarch’s throne or because there happened to be a vice-president in the wings. It was because there was always a clear preset rule for the rotation of the office of head of state. That rule stated the conditions a person had to meet and the procedures he had to follow if he thought himself eligible for high office and was prepared to engage in the political race as the nominee of a legitimate party or as an independent candidate, which may be more difficult but not impossible. After all, no one in any political system in the world has ever said that the road to the office of presidency should be easy, aside from the indolent and frivolous that expect things to be handed to them on a silver platter. In fact, it was in order to weed out such people that legislators put hurdles in the path of seekers of high office and required that the independent candidate either ally himself with others in the framework of a party or hit the road to persuade a broad array of representatives in parliament and governorate bodies that he is worthy of entering the race for the presidency. President Hosni Mubarak offered an example of what type of person should be considered worthy when he said that he would perform his duty to the country until the last beat of his heart. This spirit of dedication and commitment is “normal” for a person in his position. It is akin to the spirit of the soldier willing to sacrifice his life to defend his country.

The Egyptian political system is not perfect, of course. It still has long strides to take and major reforms to implement in order to attain higher levels of progress and advancement. However, the question is whether our system can develop and evolve in accordance with Egyptian laws of evolution or whether we will have to go through the type of experiments we see every day in this neighbourhood, which, as we can see with our own eyes, are never as simple as their advocates claim and never as trouble-free as is purported by fascist groups who say they have the power to change a theocracy to a civil state. History informs us that democracies that arose through historical engineering had limited chances of survival, whereas success was guaranteed for democracies that were built upon the appropriate social, economic and cultural foundations.

Meanwhile, it is universally granted that economic and social change in Egypt is moving full steam ahead. It is readily apparent in the features of the place and the movement of the people in this space. A token of change can be seen in the shift of the public focus from the distribution of wealth to the distribution of land. But land is valueless if left fallow and unexploited, which means that a commitment to the just distribution of land entails a concomitant commitment to the availability of fair opportunities to invest in and develop the land. As this realisation gradually took hold, it unleashed a race to transform the untapped land resources into areas bustling with life, vitality and enterprise. The drive reflected the growing awareness of Egypt’s great potential and the rise of a new competitive spirit in the quest to capitalise on this potential.

So, Egyptians are definitely changing. But the ways used to gauge this change can sometimes be misleading. For example, it was long customary to compare Egypt and South Korea because their GDP were roughly the same at the outset of the 1960s, whereas today the South Korean GDP is ten times that of Egypt. That comparison would then be used to show how we failed and/or how our leaders failed to do their jobs. However, what was left unsaid was that the spread of education in South Korea in 1960 was 72 per cent whereas in Egypt it was only 25 per cent. Also, whereas Seoul at the time had resolved to become part of the developed West, Cairo continued to hover between different worlds whose only common denominator was misery. Imagine what South Korea would be like today if it had given the reunification of Korea precedence over progress or if it had resolved to keep its historical enmity with Japan alive instead of benefiting from the Japanese experience and Japanese investments.

Today, in all events, the level of education in Egypt is equivalent to the level in South Korea in 1960 (and to the level in Europe at the outset of the 20th century). If this is rather depressing it simultaneously suggests that we now meet a major criterion for launching ourselves towards the creation of a robust industrial and economic base and sustainable democratisation. Which reminds us once again that it is not historical engineering that works to lift societies from one stage of progress to the next, but sewing and nurturing the seeds of knowledge and development. Many of my American interlocutors were shocked to learn that taxes were largely unfamiliar to Egyptians until quite recently. It was not until the last decade of the last century that we had a sales tax and not until this decade that we began to introduce realistic income and real estate taxes. Coming from a democratic society born from the motto, “No taxation without representation,” the Americans could readily understand why democratisation in Egypt has taken so long. As our Bostonian conversations shuttled here and there between diverse but interrelated subjects, they contributed other dimensions to the view of Egypt that were quite different from what one usually reads in the press or academic publications. Whatever might be said about those works, they lack that element of historical cohesion that puts the diverse bits and pieces about Egypt in proper perspective. At the same time, from my visit to Boston, as well as to Washington, Rome, Tokyo and other cities, I could not escape the conclusion that the image of Egypt abroad is not in the best of health. Grave doubts hang over its current condition and its future. Certainly, some of this comes from the propaganda of groups that do not wish us well. However, what they say should not bother us nearly as much as the concerns of those who do wish us well, who sincerely want to see Egypt progress and to see Egyptians live a better life, and who are baffled by the laws and conditions we insist on perpetuating regardless of how impractical, unrealistic and unaffordable they are.

Conversations on Egypt are always long and intricate. But there is one question that will inevitably overshadow all others: Is another war looming in the Middle East?

August 15, 2010 Posted by | culture, history | | 1 Comment