A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Isaac Bashevis Singer
I found a Facebook page today with graphic pictures of human cruelty against animals.  It also has many memorable quotes about animals, how we treat them, and what they mean to us.  Of all those quotes I chose this one by the writer Isaac Bashevis Singer to share with you: 
“As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.”       Isaac Bashevis Singer

 Then I looked him up online and found these other comments he made about animals:
They experience affection
“People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times.”  

"In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see oppression vividly when they're the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought.”  

They experience loneliness - Photo Daily Mail
"What do they know-all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world - about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.”  


“When a human kills an animal for food, he is neglecting his own hunger for justice. Man prays for mercy, but is unwilling to extend it to others. Why should man then expect mercy from God? It's unfair to expect something that you are not willing to give. It is inconsistent. I can never accept inconsistency or injustice. Even if it comes from God. If there would come a voice from God saying, "I'm against vegetarianism!" I would say, "Well, I am for it!" This is how strongly I feel in this regard.”  
More quotes by Isaac Bashevis Singer: 
Author's picture
This is the Facebook page I mentioned - Animal Cruelty Exposed - ACE 
The pictures are truly shocking.  But without visual evidence such as this one, how are we to know the extent of human cruelty against other creatures?  Without feeling shame and outrage, how are we going to find the way to help animals?  Or at least stop consuming animal products?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

CHINA - 100 HOMELESS DOGS BURIED ALIVE - Officials probe allegations - There are no laws against animal cruelty in China - Other dogs are skinned alive to make industrial products

All animals deserve humane treatment
Claims that about 100 stray dogs were buried alive in northern China are being investigated, an official said Sunday, the latest apparent case of animal cruelty to shock the nation.

 Allegations that a pit containing scores of stray dogs had been filled in by local government officials were made by a charity based in Inner Mongolia.

The Yinchuan Dawn Pets Home group investigated after a woman searching for her pet dog near a garbage dump in Alxa League, near China's border with Mongolia, told them that the animals were trapped on Wednesday.

When the charity visited the site the following day, they found that the pit had been filled in.

A charity volunteer told AFP that another visit was made on Friday, but by then it appeared that the dead dogs had been moved elsewhere, in what the group said was an attempt by local officials responsible for enforcing city laws -- called Chengguan in China -- to hide the grim burial.

"We hired an excavator and found in the place where the dogs were buried six dead dogs which were damaged by an excavator before we got there," the volunteer surnamed Fan told AFP.

"These dogs all had soil in their mouths and noses, which means before we arrived at the scene local Chengguan had already transferred the dogs' bodies to another secret place."

An official from the local Chengguan office denied the allegations and said an investigation had been launched.

"We are investigating if some stray dogs were buried alive," the official told AFP.

"I can ensure you we didn't do this kind of thing, and moreover, we are not in charge of stray dogs."

Pictures of the dogs before the alleged burial were posted by the charity on Sina Weibo -- China's version of Twitter.

The images showed scores of animals in a dusty ditch about six feet (1.8 metres) deep. The original post was followed by subsequent updates detailing the burial claims.

The allegations against the Chengguan -- who have a reputation for brutality in China -- sparked a wave of fury, with some online comments being forwarded tens of thousands of times.

 "(We) should put these officials into a pit, no better than a group of beasts," one netizen said in a Weibo post Sunday.

Pet ownership has ballooned across China, with more than 30 million households now keeping a cat or dog, according to research group Euromonitor.

China -- which has no laws against animal cruelty -- has also witnessed an increase in animal rights campaigning in recent years.

 In May 2013, dozens of stray cats were slaughtered in a residential district in Beijing, with their fur almost completely plucked out, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Animal rights campaigners in Shanghai highlighted the case of a woman who was alleged to have killed hundreds of cats, the Global Times newspaper reported in 2012.

Official policy in many Chinese cities is that stray dogs are rounded up and found new homes, but activists say they are usually put down or sometimes sold on to restaurants for their meat.
Also published on the South China Morning Post


China - Dogs beaten to death, cooked and eaten

China - Angora rabbits have fur plucked every three months, in excruciatingly painful process

Thailand - Dog slaughter - They use their skin for industrial products

Indonesia - Dogs and cats roasted whole

China - Dogs' skin taken while animal is still alive - it's used to make industrial products


Saturday, April 26, 2014

APRIL 26 - THE DAY OF THE CHERNOBYL MELTDOWN IN 1986 - PHOTOS - There was interest in a Soviet accident then. - Now Fukushima is many times worse, but world reaction is apathy.

Chernobyl then and now: 28 haunting images from nuclear disaster
Abandoned school - Daily Mail photo
Chernobyl was the first nuclear power plant in Soviet Ukraine, a flagship of the peaceful atomic energy program of the USSR. Just 3 kilometers from the plant, the city of Pripyat was built. 
 Its purpose was to house nuclear experts and workers servicing the plant, as well as security troops.  On the morning of April 26, 1986 a technical experiment went awry, sending Reactor No. 4 into meltdown.

Friday, April 25, 2014


By Elizabeth Preston, Discovery Magazine

Some species of cuckoo and other birds are “brood parasites.” This means that instead of raising their own young, they sneak their eggs into other birds’ nests and let the adoptive parents do all the work. If you watch these parents taking care of hulking nestlings that are clearly a different species from their own young (and sometimes bully their adoptive siblings out of the nest), it’s hard not to see the parents as suckers. But there’s evidence for another possibility: that adoptive parents accept baby cuckoos into their nests because they fear violent retaliation if they don’t.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

PLAYING WITH YOUR CAT FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WITH REMOTE CONTROL TOY - While you talk to him with microphone and speakers

Kittycam: The laser gadget that lets you play with your cat from anywhere in the world (and you can even give them a treat at the touch of a button).
Cat owners will soon be able to play with their pet from anywhere in the world thanks to a new robotic petsitter.  The Kittyo allows owners to control a laser to play with their feline friend, dispense treats and even record live video and take video.  The $189 Kittyo is controlled via a mobile phone app, and also has a microphone and speaker so owners can talk to their pets.
Read more and see illustrations and video



Microscopic life in motion: Award-winning time-lapse videos reveal the growth of a bird embryo and even the insides a cell

From the construction of its fragile bone structure, to the development of individual organs and the sprouting of feathers - this video may make you think twice about eating quail eggs. 

The winning embryo video was made by Dr. Gabriel G. Martins of The Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia and CBA in Lisbon. He created the time-lapse movie of a developing quail embryo using more than 1,000 separate images taken using a microscope.  It has now been awarded first place in the third annual Nikon Instruments Small World in Motion photomicrography competition. 
Read more about this and other videos in the competition


U.S. tax payers sent $313 million tax dollars to Palestine to “fund” mortgages for Arabs, and another $110 million in loans to small and medium-sized businesses on the West Bank.

We are told most of it is going to banks, yet lenders are not exactly generous to American businesses or home owners with our inflation-generating monetary policy.   The Fed has been printing $85B every month for a very long time to shore up the U.S. economy.
Look at this:


Unborn baby - Waste?
Aborted babies from Canada have been burned at an energy plant to provide power to Oregon homes, the British Columbia Health Ministry has admitted. 
The biomedical waste shipped to the Covanta Marion plant in Brooks, Oregon also includes 'surgically removed cancerous tissue' and amputated limbs, officials revealed in an email. 
A waste-to-energy plant in Marion converts the tissue to power for homes.  The Board of Commissioners in Marion has now ordered the incinerator to stop accepting boxed medical waste to generate electricity

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Growing number of Jewish tourists
 provokes Jordanians' anger
by Elder of Ziyon website
Jordan's Erem News reports that Jordanians in the southern part of the country are increasingly upset that Jews are visiting the country, claiming that they are planting fake archaeological treasures to be dug up to help Israel claim that Jordan is really part of Israel.

ASTEROIDS CAUSE HUGE NUCLEAR-SCALE BLASTS IN EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE - Some are stronger than the Hiroshima nuclear explosion

Asteroids caused 26 nuclear-scale explosions in the Earth's atmosphere between 2000 and 2013, a new report reveals.
Some were more powerful – in one case, dozens of times stronger – than the atom bomb blast that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 with an energy yield equivalent to 16 kilotons of TNT.
Most occurred too high in the atmosphere to cause any serious damage on the ground. But the evidence was a sobering reminder of how vulnerable the Earth was to the threat from space scientists said.

WHERE SHIPS GO TO DIE, AND THE WORKERS WHO DISMANTLE THEM - The harrowing plight of the ship breakers of Bangladesh

The sad beauty of National Geographic incredible images cast a light on the shipbreaking industry in Bangladesh, where workers face death and injury from accidents and environmental hazards for just a few dollars a day.
Chittagong Ship Breaking Yard is the largest of its type in the world. Around 80 active ship breaking yards line an eight-mile stretch of the coast, employing more than 200,000 Bangladeshis and accounting for half of all the steel in Bangladesh.
Ship breaking is the dismantling of ships for scrap recycling. Most ships have a lifespan of a 25-30 years before there is so much wear that repair becomes uneconomical, but the rising cost to insure and maintain aging vessels can make even younger vessels unprofitable to operate.
Read more, see pictures and video


Islam's tenuous connection to Jerusalem
by Eli E. Hertz

Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Quran and Mohammed never set foot on Its soil.

Despite 1,300 years of Muslim Arab rule, Jerusalem was never the capital of an Arab entity, nor was it ever mentioned in the Palestine Liberation Organization’s covenant until Israel regained control of East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967.  Overall, the role of Jerusalem in Islam is best understood as the outcome of political exigencies impacting religious belief.
Mohammed, who founded Islam in 622 CE, was born and raised in present-day Saudi Arabia and never set foot in Jerusalem. His connection to the city came years after his death when the Dome of the Rock shrine and the al-Aqsa mosque were built in 688 and 691, respectively, their construction spurred by political and religious rivalries.
In 638 CE, the Caliph (or successor to Mohammed) Omar and his invading armies captured Jerusalem from the Byzantine Empire.

In 638 CE, the Caliph (or successor to Mohammed) Omar and his invading armies captured Jerusalem from the Byzantine Empire.
Kotel at sunrise

One reason they wanted to erect a holy structure in Jerusalem was to proclaim Islam’s supremacy over Christianity and its most important shrine, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
More important was the power struggle within Islam itself. The Damascus-based Umayyad Caliphs who controlled Jerusalem wanted to establish an alternative holy site if their rivals blocked access to Mecca.
 That was important because the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, was (and remains today) one of the Five Pillars of Islam. As a result, they built what became known as the Dome of the Rock shrine and the adjacent mosque.

To enhance the prestige of the ‘substitute Mecca,’ the Jerusalem mosque was named al-Aqsa. It means ‘the furthest mosque’ in Arabic, but has far broader implications, since it is the same phrase used in a key passage of the Quran called “The Night Journey.”

In that passage, Mohammed arrives at ‘al-Aqsa’ on a winged steed accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel; from there they ascend into heaven for a divine meeting with Allah, after which Mohammed returns to Mecca.
Naming the Jerusalem mosque al-Aqsa was an attempt to say the Dome of the Rock was the very spot from which Mohammed ascended to heaven, thus tying Jerusalem to divine revelation in Islamic belief.
The problem however, is that Mohammed died in the year 632, nearly 50 years before the first construction of the al-Aqsa Mosque was completed.
Jerusalem never replaced the importance of Mecca in the Islamic world. When the Umayyad dynasty fell in 750, Jerusalem also fell into near obscurity for 350 years, until the Crusades. During those centuries, many Islamic sites in Jerusalem fell into disrepair and in 1016 the Dome of the Rock collapsed.

Still, for 1,300 years, various Islamic dynasties (Syrian, Egyptian and Turkish) continued to govern Jerusalem as part of their overall control of the Land of Israel, disrupted only by the Crusaders.

What is amazing is that over that period, not one Islamic dynasty ever made Jerusalem its capital. 

By the 19th century Jerusalem had been so neglected by Islamic rulers that several prominent Western writers who visited Jerusalem were moved to write about it.

French writer Gustav Flaubert, for example, found “ruins everywhere” during his visit in 1850 when it was part of the Turkish Empire (1516-1917).

Seventeen years later Mark Twain wrote that Jerusalem had “become a pauper village.”

Indeed, Jerusalem’s importance in the Islamic world only appears evident when non-Muslims (including the Crusaders, the British and the Jews) control or capture the city. Only at those points in history did Islamic leaders claim Jerusalem as their third most holy city after Mecca and Medina. 

That was again the case in 1967, when Israel captured Jordanian-controlled East Jerusalem (and the Old City) during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Oddly, the PLO’s National Covenant, written in 1964, never mentioned Jerusalem.

Only after Israel regained control of the entire city did the PLO ‘update’ its Covenant to include Jerusalem.
Author Eli E. Hertz is the president of Myths and Facts, an organization devoted to research and publication of information regarding US interests in the world and particularly in the Middle East. Mr. Hertz served as Chairman of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting.
His website -

Tags: Jerusalem Basic Law
Source -


Recommended:  Short and factual video about the fundamental significance of Jerusalem and Temple Mount for Jews and its very weak link to Islam - in history and doctrine

Muslims have no genuine religious respect for the sacredness of the site, which is routinely used as a soccer field and where Arab families go to picnic.
Video of Arab youngsters playing soccer and using dirty language on the Temple Mount
Jerusalem - Temple Mount 

Muslims the world over pray facing Mecca (that's where the Arab invader originated from) and with their rears to Jerusalem's Temple Mount. 
Ras Al Amoud


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

HIDDEN CAMERA EXPOSES PERMANENT TORTURE OF BABY CALVES IN TIGHT CRATES AT CANADIAN FARM - And the sadistic treatment they receive from the site's workers

A new undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals Canada at a Delimax-affiliated veal factory farm in Pont Rouge, Quebec, reveals baby calves crammed into crates barely larger than their own bodies, punched and kicked by workers, and left to suffer without proper veterinary care.

The footage shows baby calves, just weeks old, being kicked, punched, slapped and yelled at by barn employees. They are housed in crates so narrow they can’t turn around or lie down comfortably. Many are tethered by chains around their necks.

THE AFGHANISTAN SHELTER FOR HOMELESS DOGS AND CATS - Founded by a Royal Marine - Animals are being adopted by soldiers and contractors from the West

Pen Farthing in Afghanistan shelter
These Afghans won't shoot at you or blow you up when you're trying to help them. 
Hope for Afghanistan's homeless and abused dogs and cats. Afghans often use dogs for dog fighting. The shelter employs Afghan female vet doctors.
NPR - Pen Farthing, an ex Royal Marine, is the founder of Nowzad Dogs, a shelter for homeless Afghan cats and dogs.  The facility has rescued and treated hundreds of street animals in Afghanistan and has helped reunite hundreds of soldiers and contractors with animals they informally adopted while deployed in the country. He wrote the book   One Dog at a Time.

Monday, April 21, 2014


How the gooey universe could shed light on the Big Bang
By Amir Aczel, Discovery Magazine
Cosmologists have always asked: What does the universe resemble? The surprising answer, obtained from calculations of the density of stars, planets, gas clouds, and empty space, is that the cosmos has the viscosity of chocolate syrup
The Big Bang is believed to have been a quantum event. Because the entire universe was somehow “condensed” into a space the size of a tiny particle, quantum mechanics had to have played a powerful role in its evolution through the Big Bang. 
The new discovery of gravitational waves — the biggest news in cosmology this century — focuses fresh attention on a field in which recent progress has otherwise been slow. Cosmologists are now attempting to explore novel ways of trying to understand what happened in the Big Bang, and what, if anything, caused the gargantuan explosion believed to have launched our universe on its way. To do so they’ve turned their attention to areas of physics far removed from outer space: hydrology and turbulence. The idea is pretty clever: to view the universe as an ocean.
Read more


BITCOIN BEING USED TO PAY FOR DEPRAVED ACTS ONLINE - EVEN RAPING AND BURNING BABIES - Top cop complains that legislators and big business resist clamping down on Bitcoin crimes

The other side of the coin.  Bitcoin was celebrated as a way to free consumers from greedy and corrupt Banksters.  But Bitcoin is  being used to pay for acts of evil against the innocent, and other illegal transactions.
DAILY MAIL - Disturbing new internet child abuse sees toddlers raped and burned live on webcam as paedophiles use Bitcoin to stop being traced, warns police chief. 


Proud mum showed off her baby at Novosibirsk Zoo in Russia by showering it with affection and cuddles.   Mother Gerda lovingly rolled around in the cold snow nestling her daughter into her chest. 

The photographs were taken by photographer Vera Salnitskaya, 29 for The Siberian Times, and published by The Daily Mail

Read more and see beautiful pictures



Televisions could soon be infected by computer viruses, one of the world's top technology security experts has warned.  Eugene Kaspersky is co-founder and chief executive of Russia’s Kaspersky Lab, the world’s fourth largest computer antivirus company.   He said threats will spread to the 'home environment' and televisions as internet connections make technology more vulnerable.


Some years ago I came across a small volume with quotes from the best of Epictetus, a stoic Greek philosopher born a slave in the year 55 AD. 
The book The Art of Living is a translation of his ideas into contemporary language by Sharon Lebell.
About 100 pages long, it contains only a few paragraphs per page.  It can be easily digested in a couple of hours or less.  But not discarded.  Whenever the world and our lives seem too confusing or overwhelming, it's good to pick it up, read selected bits, and realign our lives to regain calm and a new direction. 
The following may seem like platitudes, but that's because deep concepts have been simplified to make them accessible to everyone, not just philosophers.

The worthiest goals are freedom, even-mindedness and tranquility.
If it's freedom what you seek, then wish for nothing that depends on others, or you will always be a helpless slave.

NOT IF - BUT WHEN - A LARGE ASTEROID WILL HEAD FOR EARTH AND WREAK HAVOC - Scientists say that so far we've just been lucky

Where major asteroids have hit from 3.5 million years ago till 2013 -  Daily Mail Illustration
Nasa experts have found evidence that large-scale asteroids have struck Earth three to ten times more often over the past decade than previously thought.  The evidence, which will presented by three former Nasa employees, including two astronauts, will reveal the full extent of the explosions which they claim have shaken countries across the world.  At the event, experts will announce that the only thing 'preventing a city-killer size asteroid is blind luck'.
The group says that since 2001 it has detected 26 explosions, which it claims are down to asteroids hitting the planet.  The only reason, the group claims, that the explosions have not been in the public eye is because they have taken place in remote locations. revealed that the group, named B612 Foundation, will present its findings at Seattle's Museum of Flight.
Read more -
April 19, 2014 - Meteorite shoots through Russian city at night
Footage has emerged from Russia showing a meteor exploding as it enters the atmosphere and lighting up the night sky.  In the short clip, recorded on a car's dash camera, a bright object can be seen streaking across the sky before breaking into pieces and disappearing.  The scenes are reminiscent of the 2013 Russian meteor which exploded in the sky over Chelyabinsk, shattering glass in nearby buildings and injuring 1,200 people.
Read more and see video

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Steve Utash was driving on Detroit's east side April 2 when he accidentally hit a 10-year-old boy. When he got out of his pickup to render assistance,  a mob of black people pounced on him and beat him up savagely.  They even stole his wallet.  They failed to kill him because one woman in the crowd intervened. He was in a coma for several days, and appears to have suffered brain damage.

DEADLINE DETROIT - April 19th:  After getting positive news last week that Steve Utash was out of his coma, a status report Saturday is not as upbeat. 

Daughter Mandi Utash sent an update early afternoon saying her father is "still unable to distinguish reality from his delusions."   She starts by saying:
Steve Utash

Everyone has been asking us for an update on our dad's condition. We are very grateful to all who have been sending cards with kind notes and prayers for him and our family. I have been putting off posting an update hoping that after the "next visit" I would have some better news.  But days are going by and I don't have better news to share. He is still unable to distinguish reality from his delusions. It is hard to explain in words what he is talking about. And very sad for us to see him this way.

The family has raised more than $180,000 so far to help cover medical costs.

Text and photo -


USA TODAY - Steve Utash pleaded with his assailants, but they still beat him until he lost consciousness.  He remained in coma for nine days.
Read more -
Extended coverage - April 19  - The UK Daily Mail - ‘I think it lasted about one minute and then they let him go,’ a bystander told WXYZ. ‘And then they jumped back on him again and they did it about three times and finally someone was trying to help the guy that got beat up.’  ‘He had the biggest gash on his head I ever seen – he was bleeding from the mouth and he was unconscious when I first got there,’ Debra Hughes told WWJ.

Detroit police deemed the attack NOT a hate crime.

The child who had darted in front of his truck suffered only a broken leg and was soon released from hospital after the accident.

Read more




The shooter everyone is talking about
A white supremacist from Missouri was charged Tuesday with murder in the weekend slayings of three people outside two Jewish facilities.  

But what about the mysterious shooter that terrorized Kansas highways? 
Once he got caught and his first name turned out to be a black man named Mohammed, the media turned silent.
So Google Kansas Muslim shooter.  All you get is references from the ALTERNATIVE media.  None from the mainstream media just because his name is Mohammed. 
There is only one report on Google's first few pages from The Epoch Times, which is a Chinese opposition weekly published in the West - not a mainstream website.  It has a daring headline with the suspect's name "Mohammed Whittaker".  
Mohammed Pedro Whitaker, Kansas shooter
THE EPOCH TIMES - Mohammed Pedro Whitaker has been identified as the alleged Kansas City highway shooter and has been charged with 18 felonies from 9 separate incidents around the city metro region.
Another report on Jihad Watch
Mainstream media self-censorship is pervasive.  For those who follow Middle East news this becomes quite obvious as the media routinely selects negative news from Israel, while withholding key information that would give context to those news, but that would make Muslims look bad.
Honest Reporting is a website dedicated to expose media bias against Israel.  Not only bias, but often blatant disinformation.
Typical cases today:
1)  Christian Science Monitor  -  Murder as an afterthought - Convicted Arab murderer is characterized as a "political prisoner" -
However prisoner Asakreh was charged in May 1991 with murder in the stabbing death of French tourist Annie Ley. Ley was dining at the Bethlehem restaurant where Asakreh was employed.
2)  UK - The Guardian - Different standards for different rocket attacks depending on which country defends itself:  
a)  South Korea returns fire after North Korean shells land in disputed waters
In this case, however, South Korea “returns fire” when attacked by its neighbor. It is clear that South Korea is responding to an act of aggression.  But what happens when Israel returns fire in response to Palestinian rockets from Gaza?
b)  Israeli planes pound Gaza targets after rocket attacks
It may only be a slant, nothing too serious.  But where it's really noticeable is in the lack of reports about Arab terror against Jews in Israel - a daily occurrence.  It simply isn't reported.  But were Israeli police hurt an Arab throwing rocks or firebombs, it's all over the world headlines.
This Ongoing War is a blog that reports some - not all - instances of daily terror inflicted on Jews in Israel.  The site was founded by parents of a victim.  It is intended to publicize what the media - including the leftist Israeli media - chooses to ignore. 
And it's not only Israel.  It's a worldwide wave of Islamic violence and terror.  But we barely hear about it because the Western media exercises self-censorship.
There is also a conspiracy of silence regarding frequent Black on White violence in the United States, such as the Knockout Game, which has been going on for several years - but has been deliberately ignored by the mainstream media. 
Read more on this blog, with links for further reading:

World Net Daily writer Colin Flaherty's archive on Black on White violence in the United States, and the Knockout Game

Cartoon - Dry Bones Blog -


 By Michael Lumish

 Iconic feminist professor, Phyllis Chesler, has a piece for Arutz Sheva entitled Brandeis Feminists Fail the Historic Moment.

She writes:
Feminists have called Hirsi Ali an “Islamophobe” and a “racist” many times for defending Western values such as women’s rights, gay rights, human rights, freedom of religion, the importance of intellectual diversity, etc.

The 1960s-early 1970s feminism I once championed — and still do — was first taken over by Marxists and ideologically "Stalinized." It was then conquered again by Islamists and ideologically "Palestinianized."

I and a handful of others maintained honorable minority positions on a host of issues. In time, women no longer mattered as much to many feminists — at least, not as much as Edward Said's Arab men of color did. The Arab men were more fashionable victims who had not only been formerly "colonized" but who, to this day are, allegedly, still being “occupied."
My problem with the progressive-left is not that I am either a conservative or a Republican who opposes western-liberal values, but that the western-left has betrayed its own values, as Phyllis Chesler would certainly understand.

The western Left, as a political movement, claims to believe in universal human rights. It believes that people the world over, in every society, deserve to be treated in a decent and respectful manner consistent with contemporary western ideals of human justice as derived from the political Enlightenment prior to the American and French Revolutions. 
Progressives also claim to believe in the ideal of multiculturalism. As alleged anti-racists they refuse to condemn social practices or ideologies of "indigenous" peoples - by which they mean anyone who is neither white, nor Jewish - because to do so represents a white imperialist racist imposition onto the natural autonomy of other peoples.

This has led in recent decades to a generally unacknowledged tension between the competing ideals of universal human rights and multiculturalism.
 The fundamental problem is that these are inherently contradictory notions. If one believes in universal human rights then by necessity one must be opposed to, say, the stoning of women in Pakistan for violations of al-Sharia. If a political movement fails to stand up for such an abomination than it cannot be said to stand for universal human rights.
 The reason that the progressive-left fails to strongly stand against such practices in that part of the world is because in the ideological contest between universal human rights and the multicultural ideal, the multicultural ideal won the day.

It is thus considered "racist" to criticize non-white or non-Jewish peoples' cultural practices, including stonings, honor killings, female genital mutilization, and calls for genocide.

In this way the western Left has thrown the very concept of universal human rights into the toilet thereby paving the way for the western Left betrayal of women, Gay people, Jewish people, and the Christian minority in the Middle East, as well as its own essential values.

After all, if the western Left does not stand for universal human rights then what can it possibly stand for?

The Betrayal of Women

There was a time when western feminism stood up for women in the Middle East, but those days are long gone. In the 1990s the feminist Left took the lead in opposing the Taliban in Afghanistan and the mistreatment of their women according to fundamentalist Islamic principles. 

Since then, however, as the tension between universal human rights and the multicultural ideal has played itself out in the west, progressive-left feminism has decided that the burka might represent a form of liberation and that the Muslim Middle East treats their women in a manner that should not be objected to. To the extent that there are feminists who are speaking up against Islamic misogyny, with the exception of pioneers like Phyllis Chesler, they are merely whispers in the wind.
The Betrayal of Gays

The only place throughout the entire Middle East where it is socially acceptable to be Gay is Israel. The Muslim Middle East is probably the most homophobic place on the planet and Iranians hang Gay people from cranes for the crime of being Gay. Nonetheless Queers Against Apartheid support the Arab aggressors over the Jewish defenders in that part of the world and do so out of concerns for "social justice."
Thankfully, Queers Against Apartheid, and other like-minded organizations, represent only a tiny proportion of western Gay people, but that doesn't change the fact that the western Left, as a whole, has failed to speak up in defense of a persecuted Gay minority in that part of the world. For the same reason that they fail to speak up for women in the Middle East, so progressives fail to speak up for Gay people in the Middle East. To do so would be in violation of the multicultural ideal and thereby considered racist.

The Betrayal of Jews

Because the Jews of the Middle East are considered imperialists, if not interlopers, on historically Jewish land the western progressive-left tends to view the tiny Jewish minority as the aggressors against the innocent "indigenous" Arab population. In order to do this they must contract the conflict in both time and geographical space so that the tiny Jewish minority that is under siege by the great Arab majority is seen in the West as a hostile majority population persecuting a small native population. Instead of understanding the conflict as it is, i.e., as a religiously-based conflict by the Arab-Muslim majority against the tiny Jewish minority, they portray it as a conflict between Jewish aggressors and largely innocent "Palestinians."
Likewise, instead of understanding the conflict in the full dimensions of its historical context they contract it in order to make it seem that Jewish hostility toward Arabs in the middle of the twentieth-century is the primary cause. This is false. Religious hostility towards Jews since the time of Muhammad is the primary cause and will remain the driving force for Islamic hatred toward Jews, and toward Israel, until such a time as Islam reforms itself.

The Betrayal of Christians

The rise of political Islam throughout the Middle East has meant a ramping up of Christian persecution throughout that part of the world. The Christians under Arab-Muslim dominance today are being chased out of the Middle East, just as the Jews were chased out in the middle of the twentieth-century, thereby creating Fortress Israel. Since the fall of Muhammad Morsi in Egypt, the Copts have been under very intense persecution.
Dozens of churches, perhaps as many as one hundred, have been set aflame in Egypt and the Coptic Christians are blamed for the well-deserved failure of the Muslim Brotherhood. Christians throughout the country have been tortured and killed. Much the same is true in Syria where the Christian population finds itself caught in-between a civil war between Shia and Sunni, secularist dictators and theocratic monarchists. It is a very sad thing to witness the Christian west failing to stand up for Christians throughout the Muslim Middle East. The sense of abandonment by Middle Eastern Christians must be profound.

What we are witnessing today is the erosion of contemporary western liberalism.

Western liberalism, as it emerged from World War II, became a political movement heavily invested in what we might call "rights liberalism." If pre-World War II western liberalism was primarily about economic justice, post-war liberalism was primarily about human rights and civil liberties. Liberals championed the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Rights Movement, the GLBT Movement, Brown Power, and so forth. It championed the Anti-War Movement, Environmentalism, and issues of social justice across the board.

The movement always claimed to believe that such rights were universal, but we are now seeing that it does not have the will to actually stand up for what it claims to believe in. Western feminism gave up its last breath in Afghanistan and the larger progressive movement is choking on the sands of its own internal contradictions as it studiously ignores human rights violations throughout the world, particularly in the Muslim Middle East and Africa.

Author Michael Lumish, of the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under, and ElderofZiyon



Brandeis University cancelled award to human rights and women's rights activist Professor Ayaan Hirsi Ali, out of fear of offending the Left and Islam