Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Unwillingly, Leo returned Susan to us

Sweet Sue exiled herself to Bklyn for ten days with good motive: catch up with handsome Leo, now speaking like crazy, even if no one can understand him yet, to his frustration, except Grandma Noo, so loves her to pieces.

She also had Thanksgiving with the Noonan bunch, including the Garcias, the Rothrocks, the Hoddinotts and the Ryans... Andreozzis were in Florida. She wasn't there to celebrate Thanksgiving for many years, so she was very happy... to be there, not to count the years that have gone under the bridge since last time.

Jessica was the hostess and provided great help to Joy's cooking in her magnificent kitchen: the turkey was fabulous, Susan says. Jack provided an apple-crumble pie I would have loved not to miss.

They all had a good time, sauf the turkey, of course: do you know why the bird turkey is named after the country saddling Europe and Asia? (here is the story)

Susan arrived back this morning, while Daniel reports Leo didn't have the best of nights, already missing Grandma's full and dedicated attention... to him, King Leo.

Now, survivors Willy, Sadie and Paco will enjoy again Susan's charming and loving manners and company... and walks, and food, and singing, and creativity and authoritative knowledge and, all those wonderful things she so gallantly wears.

She brought presents to the City and now brought us some other gifts. She also brought me a couple of heavy books (no room in the suitcase, she complained... on her way over she took a 5 kg of extra virgen olive oil for little Daniel, but a couple of paperbacks are too heavy...moms!).

Let me not be unpolite and thank her effort publicly appreciating the happiness she brought me.

The heavy books now in my Library are:

From the book:
"In the late afternoon of 9 August 2006, the unit received word that the operation into el-Khiam and Marjayoun was on. We would be commencing movement at six p.m. The company was positioned on a field next to an avocado grove, on lands belonging to a border kibbutz. We had been waiting there for three days. Twice, the entry into Lebanon had been postponed. We’d spent the days checking our equipment, eating sandwiches and smoking cigarettes. Waiting. The routine of tense expectation and prolonged inactivity was one you got used to."
Michael J. Totten praised the book here; previously, he had published a lengthy interview with the author here.

Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism, de John Calvert (2010).

About his book, the author says:
"My book is a biography of Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), the influential Egyptian ideologue of Islamic revolution. No other Islamist thinker, with the possible exception of the South Asian Abu l-A‘la Mawdudi (1903-1979), exerted a comparable influence on Islamic activism, both in his own day and in the generations that followed.
My book traces the development of Qutb’s worldview from his village childhood up to his execution at the hands of Egypt’s ‘Abd al-Nasser regime. I pay attention to the gamut of influences—cultural, political, social and economic—that shaped his thoughts on the proper role of Islam in the state and society, and in the end propelled him in the direction of radicalism. The book attempts to understand the evolution of Qutb’s ideology in the myriad details of his life. It is a study of an individual and of his times; of objective circumstance and subjective experience, and of how each influenced the other.
But the book also has a critical purpose. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many scholars and journalists looked to Sayyid Qutb as a progenitor of Bin Laden’s and Ayman al-Zawahiri’s global jihad. Such an equation is not entirely correct. Although, like al-Qaeda, Qutb preached a total, uncompromising struggle of Islam against its conceptual opposite, Western secular civilization, he was not an advocate of indiscriminate violence.
Qutb would have condemned the violent actions perpetrated by the Egyptian jihadis of the 1970s and 1980s and by al-Qaeda and its regional affiliates today. He would not have understood al-Qaeda’s desire to attack a Western power, such as the United States. In Qutb’s mind, the jihad targeting “iniquitous” Muslim regimes was always paramount.
Ultimately, I want readers to understand objectively how and why this important Islamist thinker repackaged the rich resources of the Islamic heritage for purposes linked to social and political transformation. I aim to provide readers with a highly contextualized study that will allow them better to comprehend contemporary Islamist movements."

Saving Israel. How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End, de Daniel Gordis (2009), Senior Vice President of the Shalem Center, where he is also a senior fellow.

Winner of the 2009 National Jewish Book Award.
"In Saving Israel, Daniel Gordis offers a new defense of the Jewish state, asking first whyIsrael is necessary, and then discussing what Israel has to do in order to survive its enemies.
Gordis begins with a novel discussion of Israel’s purpose, reflecting on the overlooked ways in which Israel has changed the existential condition of Jews everywhere. In the process, he grapples with controversial questions about Israel, Israeli Arabs, Muslims, and the International community that many Israelis and American Jews are loath to confront.
His suggestions for what Israel must do to survive, and more importantly, for how it must think if it is to have a future, are sure to arouse debate and even controversy. For Gordis’s book is a passionate reminder of Israel’s purpose, a celebration of what Israel has already accomplished, a renewal of faith in the cause, and a bold guide for carrying on the struggle. Saving Israel is a full-throated call to arms. Never has the case for defending the existence of Israel been made with such confidence, passion, and clarity."

Michael J. Totten praises the author and the book and publishes a lengthy interview with the author here. About the author and the book he says (you should read the whole interview, is woorth it):
"Michael Young, opinion page editor at Beirut’s Daily Star newspaper and contributing editor at Reason magazine in the US, is one of the finest analysts of the modern Middle East working in English. He was born in Washington D.C. to a Lebanese mother and American father, and his mother took him to Beirut when he was still a child after his father died. He has lived there for most of his life ever since, even when the country came apart at the seams during the civil war between 1975 and 1990.
He has seen much more of the place than I have, of course, and he understands it and can explain it better than just about anyone. He also understands the region in general better than most because Lebanon is by far the best place to observe and study the Middle East. It’s the most liberal and open of the Arabic-speaking countries, and all the major players have interests and roles there. The Syrians are there, the Iranians are there, and the Saudis are there. Sometimes even the Israelis are there. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon, France administered it for decades after acquiring it from the Ottoman Empire, and American troops have been sent there as peacekeepers twice.
Michael has wanted to write a book about his country for years, and he finally did it when the chronology of events after 2005 took on the shape of a story with a beginning, middle, and end. His book is called The Ghosts of Martyrs Square, and he and I recently discussed it and many of the issues it raises over the phone"
Además, el otro día, un compañero de batallas perdidas, Jose Luis, me regalo otro libro magnífico:

Escolios a un texto implícito, de Nicolás Gómez Dávila (1913-1994), recientemente publicado por Atalanta.

Cuando hace unas semanas me lo prometió en Laguna, con ocasión del pavo, estaba entusiasmado con el libro.

Tiene la indudable ventaja de la brevedad que ofrecen los aforismos, brevetes y escolios que componen el libro.

Y haya tantos que seguro que encuentro montones que me harán disfrutar.

No sé si hay soflamas, pero los críticos del libro que he leído citan a menudo el pensamiento 'contracorriente' del autor. Me encantará.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tomb of the Patriarchs and Tomb of Rachel

The United Nations has once again reared its anti-semitic head.

The Executive Board of UNESCO has declared (see Decission below the flag) two of Judaism's holiest sites (Tomb of the Patriarchs and Tomb of Rachel) to be mosques and demand that Israel remove the sites from its National Heritage list.

In an effort to erase Jewish history and supersede Jewish religious sites with Islamic institutions, Muslims have intentionally built mosques upon numerous synagogues and Jewish holy sites.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office decried the ludicrous nature of the UNESCO decision:
“The attempt to detach the Nation of Israel from its heritage is absurd. If the nearly 4,000-year-old burial sites of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish Nation – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah –are not part of its culture and tradition, then what is a national cultural site?”
In cooperating with efforts to erase Jewish historical ties to Israel, UNESCO is aiding and abetting those who hope to and obfuscate Israel’s Jewish past and undermine Israel’s Jewish future.

Please take this seriously and sign the petition below, even if you do not like these mass emails.

Please, tell about this petition to as many people as you can. Let our voices be heard.
UNESCO 185 EX/Decision 15
(page 16 of the linked doc)
Source: UNESCO

Implementation of 184 EX/Decision 37 [page 45 of the linked doc] on “the two Palestinian sites of al-Haaram al-Ibrahīmī/Tomb of the Patriarchs in al-Khalīl/Hebron and the Bilāl bin Rabāh Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem” (185 EX/15 [resumen]; 185 EX/52 Rev. [propuesta de resolución de la directora])

N.B. After considering this item and following a vote taken by roll-call , with 44 votes in favour, 1 vote against and 12 abstentions, the United States of America having voted against, the Programme and External Relations Commission recommended that the Executive Board adopt the following draft decision:

The Executive Board,
  1. Recalling 184 EX/Decision 37 [page 45 of the linked doc], and having examined document 185 EX/15,
  2. Also recalling resolutions and decisions of UNESCO on the protection of the cultural heritage in the occupied Arab territories, as well as the provisions of the four Geneva Conventions (1949), the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954) and the related Protocols and the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972),
  3. Further recalling the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970),
  4. Affirming that nothing in the present decision, which aims at the safeguarding of the cultural heritage located in the occupied Arab territories, shall in any way affect the relevant United Nations resolutions and decisions, in particular the relevant Security Council resolutions,
  5. Sharing the concern expressed by the Director-General regarding the announcement made by the Israeli authorities that two sites, namely al-Haaram al-Ibrahīmī/Tomb of the Patriarchs in the city of al-Khalīl/Hebron and the Mosque of Bilāl bin Rabāh (Tomb of Rachel), in Bethlehem, both located in the occupied Palestinian territories, are to be included in the Israeli national heritage list,
  6. Also sharing the conviction affirmed by the international community that the two sites are of religious significance for Judaism, Christianity and Islam,
  7. Reaffirms that the two sites are an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories and that any unilateral action by the Israeli authorities is to be considered a violation of international law, the UNESCO conventions and the United Nations and Security Council resolutions;
  8. Regrets the Israeli authorities’ decision to include the two sites in the Israeli national heritage list;
  9. Urges the Israeli authorities to abide by international law and the relevant international conventions and decisions;
  10. Also urges the Israeli authorities to remove the two sites from the Israeli national heritage list;
  11. Thanks the Director-General for her commitment to strengthening UNESCO’s financial and technical assistance to the Palestinian educational and cultural institutions in compliance with the UNESCO General Conference resolution at its 35th session;
  12. Invites the Director-General to submit to it a follow-up report at its 186th session and decides to include this item in the agenda of the 186th session of the Executive Board.

(185 EX/SR.9)

Conditions for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement are not here

Allow me to start with a citation of the Near Easterm emeritus scholar, always a clear and far-sighted analyst of the region, Bernard Lewis (from his book Faith and Power, 2010, OUP):
"From the international discourse in English and other European languages, it would seem that most of the Arab states and some members of the Palestinian leadership have resigned themselves to accepting Israel as a state. But the discourse in Arabic - in broadcasts, sermons, speeches, and school textbooks - is far less conciliatory, portraying Israel as an illegitimate invader that must be destroyed. If the conflict is about the size of Israel, then long and difficult negotiations can eventually resolve the problem. But if the conflict is about the existence of Israel, then serious negotiation is impossible. There is no compromise position between existence and nonexistence."
Since the book is a collection os previosuly published works, I would say that Mr. Lewis originally wrote those lines before Obama's Presidency and before the European bullying and menacing with the implementation of a Palestian State even without a prior agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

A lesson muslims learned from day one is that you can agree on lesser terms when force is not in your side; it will only be a first step in your way to your real goal. That is why the Koran's first suras are far more amiable, accomodating and friendly than those corresponding to later years, when Muhamad had already won battles and was already feared.

It is also true that, lately, Western powers have not defended their allies when they required assistance (Kurds in Irak, Georgians in Russia, Maronites in Lebanon, Coreans in Asia, etc) to no one 's surprise, since they haven't defended themselves either, even when ferouciously attacked, at home (WTC in NYC 1993, 9/11, March 2004 in Spain, London, Muhamad cartoons, illegal and legal muslim inmigration all over, etc.) or outside (USA in Lebanon 1983 or Mogadischio 1993, Somalia pirates, persecution of christians in Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq and..., etc.).

So Israel has no way out: it cannot trust those seating at the table, nor the enemies nor the mediators, nor the grantors. It can solely confide in the conditions negotiated themselves.

And the enemies are 'crecidos', that is, they see themselves winning, defeating the deprecated infidels, Christians or Jewish invaders. Why are they going to settle for less when they can have it all?

While they don't perceive that they might go backwards again and loose even more, they'll never concede anything. And this means that they will not renounce to the destruction of Israel, not for now, not in actual conditions, even if tactically they pretend otherwise.

And Europeans and Americans are not helping at all, on the contrary. If they really want to help they have to back Israel 200% and offer no concessions, or at least that is what he Arabs had to believe. Bullying Israel cannot lead anywhere useful... because the Arabs will want it all, including the anhilitaion of Israel... and Israel knows it.

Robert Aumann, Israeli Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2005 for his work on conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis, recently stated the obvious:
"... there can be no co-existence if one person isn’t willing to negotiate as hard as the other. The appeaser will always be swallowed up and simply cease to exist. It is stubbornness rather than the willingness to make immediate concessions that brings about successful negotiations. In other words, if you want peace, prepare for war."
I would like to see something different, but I am sorry to say it: Israeli concessions pushed by Americans and Europeans are the best way to impede any real negotiation... unless we are talk plainly about Israel nonexistence.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Janucá en Madrid

Si te gusta el swing del filadelfiano Kenny Ellis del video, aquí puedes escuchar otras canciones suyas.
O a lo mejor te gusta este otro swing, 'Twas The Night Before Hanukkah:
ie, amigos:
El próximo miércoles 1 de diciembre a las 18:00 horas, la Comunidad Judía de Madrid celebra en la Plaza de la Villa el encendido público de la primera vela de Janucá, con la asistencia del Alcalde de Madrid y los embajadores de Israel y Estados Unidos.

Música en vivo, actuaciones artísticas, rikudim*, sufganiot** y una gran januquía lucirán por tercer año consecutivo en las calles de Madrid.

Os animamos a sumaros a esta gran fiesta de la comunidad judía en Madrid. Os esperamos.

rikudim: forma sintética de rikudei-am, danzas; a menudo, como en este caso, se refiere a las danzas folclóricas de Israel, cuya principal y más dedicada impulsora fue Gurit Kadman (1897-1987).

** sufganiot: plural de sufganiá, pastelitos típicos de janucá, parecidos a unos minidonuts rellenos de mermelada o crema y espolvoreados con azúcar en polvo; suelen comerse calentitos.

Y ya puestos, digamos también:

Janucá: (חנוכה) la "Fiesta de las luces" judía que se celebra durante ocho días a partir del atardecer del 25 de Kislev del calendario judío, entre fines de noviembre y fines de diciembre del calendario gregoriano. Este 2010 empieza con la puesta de sol del miércoles 1 de diciembre.

Conmemora la recuperación de la independencia de Judea en el 164 aC con la derrota de los selúcidas siríacos helénicos, que la habían invadido en el 170 inducidos por los judíos tobiítas helenizados, a mano de los judíos macabeos, y la posterior purificación y rededicación del Beit Hamikdash, el Segundo Templo de Jerusalén, al servicio de Hashem.

La tradición judía habla de un milagro, en el que pudo encenderse el candelabro del Templo durante ocho días consecutivos con una exigua cantidad de aceite, que hubiera debido alcanzar solo para uno. Esto dió origen a la principal costumbre de la festividad: encender, en forma progresiva, un candelabro de nueve brazos llamado Januquía (con el noveno brazo o shamash, cada día se va encendiendo uno más de los otros ocho).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Conferencia sobre la Filosofía de la Biblia hebrea, el Talmud y el Midrash

Hoy me limito a retransmitir un anuncio de Yoram Hazony, sin su conocimiento. Si te dedicas a la filosofía te puede interesar. Yo no me dedico a ella y me ha parecido interesantísimo. sus palabras:

Jerusalem Letters,
No. 8    |    November 22, 2010
Philosophy of the Bible? Maybe Not Quite Yet
In a previous letter, I described some of the efforts I've been involved with over the last ten years to establish the academic legitimacy of the idea that the Hebrew Bible and classical rabbinic sources actually had an influence on the history of Western political thought. (“The Biblical Century,” May 10, 2010). Most people, I suspect, will find the proposition that the Bible had an influence on Western thought pretty uncontroversial. Most academics would probably agree as well. But this isn’t reflected in either the research that universities conduct or in the courses that are taught to students: The fact is that in most universities in America, Europe and Israel, the norm is still to conduct research and teach disciplines such as philosophy, political theory, and intellectual history as though the Hebrew Bible did not make a significant contribution to the ideas of the Western tradition.

There are a number of contributing factors here. But a central one is the fact that the Hebrew Bible is usually not studied for its ideas in the academic setting. If the Hebrew Scriptures have anything to say about metaphysics or theory of knowledge, ethics or political philosophy—until recently at least, the Bible programs didn’t really see it as their job to investigate these questions. Neither did the philosophy programs, since the Bible isn't supposed to be philosophy. (According to the old categories, the Bible isn’t reason, it’s revelation.) So in the end, it turned out that no one in the universities thought that their discipline was responsible for researching and teaching the Bible’s ideas.

So I was very pleased a couple of weeks ago when the John Templeton Foundation announced a $1.1 million grant to the Shalem Center to conduct a three-year international research program investigating the philosophical content of the Hebrew Bible, Talmud, and Midrash. As far as I know, this grant, which will support a series of annual conferences, workshops for students, and research fellowships, constitutes the first time a major foundation has sought to support research into the philosophical content of the classical Jewish sources. The grant to Shalem is also part of a larger project in “philosophical theology” in which two Christian institutions—the University of Notre Dame and the University of Innsbruck, Austria—will be conducting parallel investigations into the foundations of Christian philosophy. (I've attached the Jerusalem Post’s coverage of the story here.)

For those of us involved with this project, it's really pretty exciting. Don’t laugh (well, okay, go ahead), but it feels a little bit like trying to land a man on the moon. Of course the project could just fail, or end up being an embarrassment. There’s always that risk. But there’s also this sense that it could be the beginning of something spectacular.

Well, so here’s the first bit of embarrassment. I received word yesterday that one of the principal mailing lists announcing conferences and fellowship opportunities to philosophy professors around the world has declined to post the announcement for the first conference, entitled “Philosophical Investigation of the Hebrew Bible, Talmud and Midrash”.

The manager of the list wrote that “We have a list policy against theological/scriptural postings.”

The explanation? “They’re just broader than the list supports.”

It’s actually pretty funny that studying the philosophy of the Hebrew Bible is a project too broad for this particular listserv, considering that in recent months they’ve sent out calls for papers trying to enlist philosophy professors to write on topics such as “Philosophy and Baseball” and “Philosophy and Spiderman”. Here's an announcement that I received from this same listserv just three days ago:
Davil324 <davil324@gmail.com> Nov 19 06:59AM -0800 ^

Porn - Philosophy for Everyone:
How to Think With Kink

Dave Monroe, Editor & Fritz Allhoff, Series Editor

From Wiley-Blackwell

Love it or loathe it, pornography is as old as human more...

I don’t want to be interpreted as objecting to this kind of thing. Different universities will support different kinds of research. That’s just part of the open marketplace of ideas, right?

But on the other hand, it’s striking that for certain segments of academia, the philosophy of pornography isn’t too “broad” to be supported. Whereas the philosophy of the Bible—well nowthat’s risqué!

So if you know any philosophers (or philosophically inclined scholars in other disciplines) who might be interested in participating in a slightly risqué conference on the philosophy of the Hebrew Bible and Talmud, please forward them this link to our Philosophy of the Hebrew Bible Conference Announcement (see the announcment below).

Given the prudishness currently prevailing in some parts of the philosophical community, maybe not everyone has had a chance to have a peek at it just yet.

Please send your responses to yoram.hazony@shalem.org.il. I'll be posting selected responses on my website, about which more soon.

Contacting me:

To subscribe to Jerusalem Letters click here 

Announcement of a conference on the topic:
Philosophical Investigation of the
Hebrew Scriptures, Talmud and Midrash

The Hebrew Bible occupies an anomalous position on the contemporary academic landscape. The field of biblical studies produces a steady stream of works on the compositional history, philology, and literary character of the biblical texts. But the ideas that find expression in the Hebrew Scriptures—the metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and political philosophy of the biblical authors—have seldom been explored by the field of biblical studies in a systematic fashion. At the same time, philosophers, political theorists, and historians of ideas, who see the study of ideas as the principal interest of their work, tend to assume that the biblical texts fall outside the scope of their disciplines. The result is that despite general agreement that the Bible has had an unparalleled significance in the history of the West, its ideas have remained, until recently, largely beyond the reach of sustained academic investigation.

Much the same can be said about the other classical Jewish sources as well: The Talmud and Midrash seem frequently to explore subjects of intrinsic philosophical interest. Yet these texts remain all but unknown to philosophers, political theorists, and historians of ideas.

The ongoing neglect of the Hebrew Bible, Talmud, and Midrash by philosophers is especially striking given the rapidly growing interest in theological questions in philosophy departments throughout the English-speaking world. Over the last generation, Christian philosophers have labored successfully to introduce “philosophical theology” (or, more recently, “analytic theology”) into philosophy departments at leading universities. In keeping with longstanding Christian philosophical tradition, this discipline has focused on a priori argumentation concerning the concept of God as “perfect being,” and has usually been conducted with little reference to the Bible. As a consequence, philosophical theology has until now continued the larger pattern of academic neglect of the ideas of the Hebrew Scriptures and other Jewish sources. This has also meant that philosophical theology has been of only very limited relevance to Jews, whose tradition of philosophical and theological speculation is largely text-based.

This is unfortunate because philosophy as a discipline could contribute much to the elucidation of the Hebrew Scriptures and classical rabbinic texts. The law-oriented emphasis of much traditional rabbinic exegesis has meant that these texts have not usually been investigated using philosophical tools and with an eye for philosophical questions. So we can ask what do philosophical questions and the answers that have been given until now teach us about the Bible and Talmud? What, for example, does the nature of the mind or language, reality or morals, as understood by philosophers, have to offer us in enhancing or extending the insights from these traditional sources?

In Fall 2010, the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, with the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation, has launched an initiative aimed at developing a Jewish “philosophical theology” that will seek to advance the study of the ideas of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Talmud and Midrash in the academic setting. This initiative is part of a broader “Analytic Theology” project of the Templeton Foundation, which will also support Christian centers for philosophical theology at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Innsbruck, Austria. The Jewish component of the project envisions the development of a uniquely Jewish discipline that will use philosophical tools and methods for examining classical Jewish sources. The project is open to Jewish and non-Jewish scholars interested in the philosophical elucidation of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Talmud and Midrash.

In the context of this project, the department of Philosophy, Political Theory and Religion (PPR) at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem invites submissions for an interdisciplinary conference on “Philosophical Investigation of the Hebrew Scriptures, Talmud and Midrash,” to be held in Jerusalem on June 26-30, 2011.

Invited speakers: Lenn Goodman, Jacob Howland, Joseph Isaac Lifshitz, Alan Mittleman.

This will be the first in a series of three annual conferences. For the 2011 conference, the organizing committee will give priority to papers exploring metaphysics and God’s nature. This topic is intended to address questions of what human beings can know about the fundamental nature of reality. Subjects for discussion will include the nature of reality and being, and the relationship of this reality with truth and with goodness. Particular attention will be paid to the question of what can be known about God, including questions of whether God can in fact be considered to be in some sense a being, his attributes, and his relationship to the world.

However, superior papers will be considered on all subjects relating to the philosophical investigation of the Hebrew Bible, Talmud, and Midrash.

Abstracts of no more than 1,000 words should be submitted together with a current cv by January 15, 2011.

An overview of the “Jewish Philosophical Theology” project at the Shalem Center is available here.

A Select Bibliography of relevant scholarship is available here.

A limited travel fund will be available to assist scholars and students wishing to attend the conference. Conference papers will be considered for publication in a forthcoming anthology of papers.

Please direct correspondence to Kate Deutsch, kated@shalem.org.il

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Economic crisis for tots or When the QE hits the fan!

Economic stuff is easy but plenty of people work hard to make it a nightmare so we end up deciding to let them manage it (and make a profit, a humongous profit, on the way).

QE, quantitaive easing... the new economic nightmare design. And there is a QE2.

Then, QE hits the fan and... that's all for an introduction, simply watch the video below, it is excellent and fun, and very serious. (source: zerohedge)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

El pesado anticomunista y el Islam

Hace ya un tiempo escribí El comunismo, más vivo que nunca, ataca a Israel con una flotilla y antes y después he escrito otras entradas insistiendo en la alianza estratégica de los islamistas, incluidos sus grupos terroristas, con los comunistas, incluidos sus grupos de terrorismo callejero (encubiertos hoy bajo infinitas capas, a menudo estampadas con ideas antisistema, para más güasa).

La alianza se regocija vilipendiando el capitalismo, el juedo-cristianismo y, muy centralmente, a Israel. La alianza no es sorprendente, aunque a bote pronto pudiera parecerlo: ni el islam es solo una religión ni el comunismo deja de ser otra.

Por hacer esa vinculación y, muy especialmente, por atreverme a usar la palabra "comunismo" (en lugar de los preferidos engañabobos de hoy: antisistema, antiglobalización, izquierdas, etc.) me han llamado rancio, claro. En la entrada citada al principio incluí numerosas postadatas para intentar defenderme de la peste rancia.

Hoy quiero reseñar otra cita: Anti-Anti-Islamism: A political tendency is born (Lee Smith). Da otra vuelta de tuerca a la misma idea. Aquí un atisbo de lo que dice:
"What we’re seeing is something akin to the Cold War-era phenomenon of anti-anti-Communism. The anti-anti-Communist left, comprising large sections of the press, academy, and even federal bureaucracies, was simply incapable of understanding that the defense of American civil liberties did not depend on the uncritical defense of the rights of Communists. Call this latest manifestation of liberal illogic anti-anti-Islamism.
While there are a few on the American left, especially in the academy, who maintain that Islamism delivers a valuable critique of Western imperialism, or is a social movement defending the oppressed, this is a minority position. Anti-anti-Islamism is something else: a belief that American opponents of Islamism have cooked up a Muslim scare for their own political benefit, just as anti-Communists once concocted a Red scare!
'The most obvious similarity is that both originate in a denial of the threat,, says Norman Podhoretz, a veteran of both ideological conflicts. 'The anti-anti-Communists consistently accused the anti-Communists of exaggerating the Soviet threat from outside and the threat of subversion from within. Anti-anti-Islamists make the same accusations against those who take the Islamist threat seriously. Either we are part of an assault on civil liberties, which we are indifferent to, or we are eager to go to war.
´The anti-anti-Islamists are extremely parochial,' says Paul Berman, one of liberalism’s few outspoken opponents of Islamism."

En The Flight of the Intellectuals (2010), el citado Paul Berman examina la percepción del Islam que tienen los intelectaules occidentales, o su falta de percepción. En Terror and Liberalism (2004), su antecedente, ya sostenía que la guerra terrorista es en realidad fruto de la guerra entre la sociedad liberal y los enemigos de ésta. Aquí tenéis una magnífica entrevista que le hace Michael J. Totten. Y otra que le hace Joel Whitney, menos afín, en Guernica, revista de arte y política.

PD Llegando a fin de año por fin alguien vincula directa y públicamente comunismo e islam. Aunque tampoco en este caso se decide a señalar del todo y nombrar lo innombrable, tiene la virtud de acercarse mucho y unir progres y comunistas, como si alguna vez no hubieran sido lo mismo: Today’s ‘Progressives’: Repeating the Mistakes of Yesterday’s Communists, de Barry Rubin, en PajamasMedia. El artículo merece ser leído íntegramente; aquí un aperitivo:
"But it is more than that. There can be no better explanation of the left-wing fellow travellers with revolutionary Islamism or the mlticulturalist and political correctness advocates with reactionary Third World regimes and cultures than Malcolm Muggeridge’s critique of fellow travellers with Stalin’s USSR:
'There were earnest advocates of the humane killing of cattle who looked up at the massive [secret police] headquarters with tears of gratitude in their eyes, earnest advocates of proportional representation who eagerly assented when the necessity of a one-party dictatorship was explained to them, earnest clergymen who walked reverently through anti-God museums and reverently turned the pages of atheistic literature [Today it is the exact reverse! -- BR], earnest pacifists who watched delightedly tanks rattle across the Red Square and bombing planes darken the sky, earnest town-planning specialists who stood outside overcrowded ramshackle tenements and muttered: “If only we had something like this in England!”'
"And what better remark on how Western apologists for Islamic and Arab nationalist tyranny function can there be than what Wolfe wrote in response to the report of a 1952 British mission about how wonderful life was in the USSR:
'Mr. Cadbury is slandering the Russian people by saying that they are “content” with the way in which they live. The hundreds of thousands that have died in purges [or been] … sent to concentration camps demonstrate that the Russian people are not the ignorant cattle that Mr. Cadbury suggests they are. So do the hundreds of thousands of … escapees testify to the fact that this people like any great people knows what freedom is and what slavery is.'
"Anyone care to substitute the word “Iranian” for Russian?"
PPD Y más cerca aún del año nuevo, veo el análisis de Ehud Oren titulado Mapping the Organizational Sources of the Global Delegitimization Campaign against Israel in the UK, publicado por el Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Al margen de detalles, destaca que tras el primer apartado que trata la Hermandad de Musulmanes el segundo es ya la 'far left'. No se atreve a llamrlos comunistas y acude al eufemismo de moda, pero no me cabe ninguna duda: son los mismos. Todos los amigos y conocidos que fueron comunistas y se llamaban así, ahora siguen siendo comunistas aunque se ponen )o les ponen) otros nombres... ellos siguen en lo mismo.

Mapa de alertas

Este es mapa incluido en el folleto que las Fuerzas Armadas de Israel (IDF) distribuyen a los israelíes para instruirles ante posibles ataques al país.

El mapa les indica el tiempo que, según donde se hallen, tienen para refugiarse cuando suenan las alarmas. Como podéis ver, los tiempos para alcanzar el refugio van de nada (immediately) a tres minutos.

El folleto tiene otras cosas útiles: cómo avituallar los refugios; cómo elegir la mejor habitación de una casa para refugiarse -en caso de estar en una casa de hace menos de 20 años, cuando los refugios antiaéreos se hicieron obligatorios-  evitando áticos y cuartos alicatados, y cómo sellarlas  en caso de ataques químicos o bacteriológicos con hojas de polietileno de al menos 100 micrones y cinta selladora de al menos 30 micrones de grosor y 50 mm de ancho; tener preparadas copias de documentos y bolsas de emergencia con ropa y dinero.

Como nos dice Israelinurse, los israelíes ya conocen el papelito, pero siempre hay nuevos inmigrantes a quienes viene bien. 

Yo creo que debieran enviárselo también a todos los europeos.

Friday, November 05, 2010

PitterPatio - English for tots

Susan and I, mainly Susan, of course, created and developed PitterPatio with the maximun illusion.

They were wonderful times. I transcribed with an old type writer Susan's handwritten scripts.

When IreneSusan's smart mom, came to visit and saw that old machine she decided to finance our first computer ever.

Thanks, Irene.

PitterPatimeans a lot to us.

Now we have grandchildren to enjoy PitterPatio, so we have uploaded the demo tape here and on YouTube.  The other day we published The Songs of PitterPatio (but we include them again here below the video).


Here they are The Songs of PitterPatio, download them and enjoy!:

Pavo 2010

En breve Susan nos escribirá la crónica del último y adelantado pavo, XVII edición (aunque según Maite solo es la XVI).

Adelantado porque la agenda de Susan está complicadísima.

Siguiendo la tradición, el tiempo no fue lo mejor, pero lo pasamos bien.

Vinieron algunos amigos que hacía tiempo no nos acompañaban y no vinieron otros; a algunos los echamos de menos.

El pavo insignia de este año (en la imagen) es obra del megatalentoso Sam López-Lin, joven muy particular en el que habitan extraordinarios mundos interiores y magníficas cualidades artísticas.

Si tenéis ocasión, pedidle que os enseñe los dibujos y tiras cómicas que ha creado directamente en su iPad con el mismo software (3$) que algún megafamoso dibujante useño, que se ha hecho unas chaquetas con bolsillos a medida para no pasear nunca sin su iPad.

Bueno, esperaremos a Susan para tener completa noticia de los acontecimientos vividos, desde la recogida del pájaro hasta la vuelta a Madrid.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Willkommen Die Freiheit

Una breve nota para dar la bienvenida a un nuevo e interesantísimo partido político alemán: Die Freiheit.

"Un partido para más libertad y democracia", según reza su lema.

En el enlace que os he puesto tiene su programa completo, que afronta buen número de los problemas que nos acechan.

Tiene además la particularidad de que también sobre el Islam habla claro.

Tan claro que la presentación del partido tuvo que hacerse con las máximas cautelas, hasta el punto de que a los invitados solo se les dije el lugar de celebración poco antes de que comenzara la presentación; en el propio hotel donde se hizo se encubrió el asunto como una insignificante presentación empresarial, según nos cuenta Daniel Pipes, uno de los invitados internacionales que asistieron.

Su Programa Básico empieza sin tapujos ni miedos:
 "La civilización Occidental, líder mundial durante siglos, se enfrenta a una crisis existencial."
Respecto del Islam, el Islamismo, la Ley Islámica y la Islamización, que ocupa un dos por ciento de su programa, habla cándidamente, empezando con clarividencia:
"El Islam no solo es una religión, también es una ideología política con su propio sistema legal."
El partido, además de rechazar la entrada de Turquía en la Unión Europea, solicita el escrutinio de los imanes, las mezquitas y las escuelas islámicas; el examen de las organizaciones islámicas para asegurarse de que se ajusta y cumplen las leyes alemanas.

También condena los esfuerzos para construir una estructura legal paralela basada en la sharía.

Su análisis concluye con determinación:
"Nos oponemos con toda nuestra fuerza a la islamización de nuestro país."
Die Freiheit apoya sólidamente a Israel, al que se refiere como
"el único etsado democrático del Oriente Medio. Y así es el puesto más avanzado del Mundo Occidental en el teatro árabe. Todos los países democráticos deben mostrar el máximo interés en que Israel viva con libre autodeterminación y seguridad. Nos comprometemos expresamente con el derecho de Israel a exisitir, sin discusión."

Cosas veredes

Naciones Unidas ha elegido Irán como miembro de la Comisión sobre Derechos de la Mujer de su Consejo Económico y Social.

Claro que va bien acompañado, entre otros por Congo, Liberia, Zimbabue, ...

No, no es cosa de Gila, es un hecho puro y duro.

Durante un tiempo Irán ha estado intentando que lo eligieran para el Consejo de Derechos Humanos, de lo que solo recientemente desistió.

A los pocos días, lo premian con lo de la mujer y de paso nos dan una patada en las entendederas a todos, para ponernos en nuestro sitio, para que no se nos olvide que no semos naiden, como dijo el clásico.

Luego algunos quieren ponernos a la ONU como ejemplo y suprema fuente de legitimidad y bondad.

¡Amos anda ya!

Como nos destaca la Fox, la noticia se haya bien enterrada en la nota de prensa a la que te he enlazado al comienzo, pero si te quieres ahorrar la búsqueda y te fías de mí, aquí te reproduzco el párrafo:
"Next, the Council elected 11 new members to fill an equal number of vacancies on the Commission on the Status of Women for four-year terms beginning at the first meeting of the Commission’s fifty-sixth session in 2011 and expiring at the close of its fifty-ninth session in 2015. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Zimbabwe were elected from the Group of African States; Iran and Thailand were elected from the Group of Asian States; Estonia and Georgia were elected from the Group of Eastern European States; Jamaica was elected from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States; and Belgium, Netherlands and Spain were elected from the Group of Western European and Other States."
¡Don't cry for me Argentina!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Lección que la derecha española debiera tener aprendida: la izquierda no paga traidores... ni debiluchos

Hace ahora 12 años, un primer ministro israelí de derechas, el mismo que hoy vuelve a presidir su Gobierno, Binyamin Netanyahu, se plegó a un acorralado presidente useño de izquierdas, Bill Clinton, que le impuso las concesiones que listó en lo que se ha llamado el Wye Memorandum, por el marylander río homónimo.

Aquí el resumen del Memo en la web del Ministerio de AAEE del gobierno israelí, y aquí sus textos y su evolución, recogidos en la Jewish Virtual Library.

No le valió de mucho, pues sus socios de derechas le abandonaron y las izquierdas aprovecharon para acabar echándole del gobierno.

Caroline Glick resume así la lección aprendida de esos hechos... y la que debió aprenderse. Son perfectamente aplicables a la cabeza de la derecha española, si es que hay:
"The lesson Netanyahu learned from this experience was that he cannot trust the political Right to stand by him. While not unreasonable, this was not the main lesson from his experience. The larger point is that Netanyahu must not delude himself into believing that by falling into the arms of the Left he will win its support."

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Islamic project

Guggenheim Bilbao

En el Islamic Project puedes ver otras recreaciones fantásticas, incluida una de la Sagrada Familia.

Ya no está activo, pero el IP tuvo una próspera vida de 1996-2003.


Va de esto:
"... a kind of social psychoanalysis – visualization of fears of Western society about Islam."
Recuperado gracias a Martin Kramer.

Tel - Aviv

San Pedro, Roma

New Liberty

Los del AES y AES+F Group hacen otras muchas cosas como, por ejemplo, la Cena Trimalchionis:
O El Rey de la Selva:
KFNY - New York