The Blindness of Those Who Will Not See

Last week, President Obama finally got around to criticizing Islamic extremists, after a year and a half of avoiding such descriptions. Yet, as always, there is a proviso—it seems their real crime is that they are racists. You see, they don’t like Africans.

Huh? Let’s be serious. They don’t like anyone outside of their own self-defined ideology. There’s nothing specifically anti-African about Al Qaeda. In fact, some of those Islamic extremists are African.

What to make of this? Obama just can’t seem to take off his blinders. It’s not because he is incapable of seeing the truth; it’s that he chooses not to see it because it contradicts his own ideology.

Someday, we’ll finally get around to the trial of Nidal Hasan, who went on that shooting rampage at Ft. Hood. Will the blindness dissipate at that trial?

This kind of blindness has one source, although some will argue with me over this. I go to the New Testament for this insight:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. … For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. [2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 6]

That’s the only solution for this blindness.

Further Thoughts

I’d like to add a few thoughts on some of the topics I’ve covered this week. On the whole Israel-Palestinian conflict, I believe it’s vital not to lose track of history. Hamas is a terrorist organization, devoted to the destruction of all Jews and to wiping the nation of Israel off the map. Israel, meanwhile, has always allowed Arabs to live within its borders. Some are representatives in the Israeli Knesset. Does anyone seriously believe that Hamas or any other Islamic group would offer the same privilege to Jews?

Throughout the history of this conflict, various peace plans have been offered, but always rejected by Israel’s enemies. The have their own peace plan.

Meanwhile, on the oil spill, President Obama visited the region again yesterday. As far as I can tell, nothing substantive occurred. This is the man who promised that under his administration, there would be no more Katrinas. Words flow easily from some people, but as for competence . . .

One item I haven’t mentioned yet is the furor surrounding the administration offering jobs to potential candidates for Democratic Senate seats if they will not run against incumbents. It began with Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania, who said he was offered a job not to run against Arlen Specter. He refused, ran, and won the primary.

On the heels of that controversy is another offer that came to light, as Andrew Romanoff, former Colorado Speaker of the House, was told he might have a job in the adminstration waiting for him if he wouldn’t challenge the current senator, Michael Bennet. As with Sestak, Romanoff said no.

Debate centers on whether this is an actual violation of the law. It’s one of those things that will be hard to pin on anyone because they can always say the job wasn’t absolutely “promised.” Well, we know how that works. It’s a style of politics in which president is well versed.

It’s not that this style has never appeared in the Oval Office before. It’s just that it’s so blatant. Even more remarkable, it’s been bungled so badly that incompetence is a word that could apply. That might be a ray of hope: if the administration can’t even handle its graft efficiently, perhaps it won’t be able to fool the people again in 2010 or 2012.

This Was Not a Peace Ship

There’s really no doubt now that the so-called peace ship heading to Gaza was bent on killing Israelis. The videos make it clear that the Israeli soldiers were attacked immediately upon boarding the ship for an inspection. It’s also now known that a large number of the 700 passengers were connected with Islamic jihadist groups known for terrorism. Some even had ties to Al Qaeda.

The cartoonists have caught on to the truth:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly defends the actions of his troops. In a statement yesterday, Netanyahu was firm in his stance on self-defense.

“Israel regrets the loss of life,” Netanyahu said, “but we will never apologize for defending ourselves.” He added, “This wasn’t a love boat. This was a hate boat.” In a comment aimed at the United Nations, he declared, “I regret to say for many in the international community, no evidence is needed. Israel is guilty until proven guilty.”

The Israeli prime minister noted that the troops had boarded five other ships prior to this one, and there was no violence reported on any of them. But on the sixth one, “They were met with a vicious mob. They were stabbed. They were clubbed. They were fired upon. The attackers had prepared their violent action in advance. . . . These weren’t pacifists. They weren’t peace activists. These were violent supporters of terrorism.”

While the U.S. hasn’t joined in a full-fledged endorsement of the U.N.’s condemnation of Israel, it hasn’t exactly distinguished itself in its support of Israel’s right of self-defense. For the first time since the presidency of Jimmy Carter—but more forthrightly—we have an administration whose natural sympathies are with those who foment the violence. Anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly head in the nation that should be in the forefront of support for the Jewish state.

An Israeli Primer

A primer is a book of basics. It is intended to ensure that students grasp the essential foundations of a subject. I think we need a primer on the nature of the conflict in the Middle East over the state of Israel.

Fact #1: Israel is a self-governing entity that is a friend to the free world.

Fact #2: Israel is surrounded by enemies that want to destroy it.

Fact #3: All these enemies are Islamic believers.

Fact #4: Hamas, a terrorist group, runs the Gaza Strip.

Fact #5: Hamas wants to obliterate the state of Israel and sends thousands of rockets raining on Israel every year.

Fact #6: Israel, for its own protection, inspects ships coming to Gaza to make sure they are not carrying weapons meant to kill Israeli citizens.

Fact #7: Although these ships say they are taking humanitarian aid to a starving people, the people in Gaza are not starving at all. Yet Israel allows these ships to take this “aid” anyway.

Fact #8: Islamist extremists deliberately set up confrontations that will end in deaths/martyrdom and paint Israel as the problem.

Fact #9: Most of the rest of the world takes Islamist propaganda at face value and condemns whatever Israel does to defend itself.

Fact #10: It just happened again this week. The world fell for it again.

Palestinians Protesting Israeli Boarding of Ship

Some people still have their heads on straight over this. Carol Platt Liebau is one:

Mona Charen throws some facts into the bilious stew of press coverage on the “humanitarian” flotilla attacked by Israel.  It’s a must-read.  Of particular interest:

Upon learning of the intentions of the Gaza flotilla, the Israeli government asked the organizers to deliver their humanitarian aid first to an Israeli port where it would be inspected (for weapons) before being forwarded to Gaza. The organizers refused. “There are two possible happy endings,” a Muslim activist on board explained, “either we will reach Gaza or we will achieve martyrdom.”

No agenda there, though.  Of course not.  Nobody but Israeli bad guys in this scenario, right?  Pleeease.

What always amazes me is the speed, venom and alacrity with which the UN can step up to denounce Israel — as it sits on its hands while Iran marches ever-closer to developing nukes with which to threaten the (pro-Western) world.

Life is anything but fair for Israel, but I think they’re used to that by now.

As of this writing, the U.S. government has not condemned Israel for its actions in defending itself. Let’s pray that remains the U.S. government’s position.

More on Holder, Radical Islam, and Profiling

Yesterday, I wrote about Eric Holder’s amazing confession: he never even read the Arizona illegal immigration bill that he was so bitterly criticizing. After writing it, this very appropriate cartoon surfaced, so it’s worth sharing.

Even a fictional conversation can contain a lot of truth. Actually, I believe Holder has read the Constitution; he just has a different take on it—that it should be ignored.

Incidentally, it’s now a matter of record that Janet Napolitano, director of Homeland Security, former governor of Arizona, and another critic of the new law, hasn’t read it either. Is this our comic relief for the week?

I also noted in the posting yesterday that in an appearance at a congressional hearing, the Republican questioner couldn’t convince Holder that radical Islam should be clearly identified as a threat. Holder refused to acknowledge it without multiple conditions. Perhaps his attitude is captured in this:

Who’s the real coward?

Speaking of radical Islamic terrorism, remember how eager the media was to pin the Times Square bombing attempt on someone connected with the Tea Party? It was a severe disappointment when the perpetrator turned out to be . . . well, a radical Islamic terrorist. Yet when it comes to the mainstream media, it’s difficult to dissuade them.

Maybe profiling is the answer after all.

No, that’s not what I meant. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it became reality.

Graham, Diversity, & Intolerance

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, has become the center of a controversy this week. For what? For telling the truth.

He was disinvited from a National Prayer Day event at the Pentagon because of complaints that he has made unflattering comments about the religion of Islam. Graham, in fact, has simply stated the basic Christian position that there is only one way to find relationship with God—through His Son Jesus Christ. He also noted that some Islamic beliefs encourage Muslims to carry out violent deeds. Can anyone seriously debate that? Seriously? For these views he was blacklisted.

According to Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins,

We’re an all-inclusive military. … We honor all faiths. … Our message to our service and civilian work force is about the need for diversity and appreciation of all faiths.

Those words have a familiar ring. It was Gen. Casey who said much the same thing after the Ft. Hood killings, revealing that he was far more upset over how the killings might affect “diversity” than he was about the killings themselves.

Franklin Graham does not spread hatred. His overseas ministry, Samaritan’s Purse, has aided untold thousands. Its website describes the ministry in this way:

For over 35 years, Samaritan’s Purse has done our utmost to follow Christ’s command by going to the aid of the world’s poor, sick, and suffering. We are an effective means of reaching hurting people in countries around the world with food, medicine, and other assistance in the Name of Jesus Christ. This, in turn, earns us a hearing for the Gospel, the Good News of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Our emergency relief programs provide desperately needed assistance to victims of natural disaster, war, disease, and famine. As we offer food, water, and temporary shelter, we meet critical needs and give people a chance to rebuild their lives.

Our community development and vocational programs in impoverished villages and neighborhoods help people break the cycle of poverty and give them hope for a better tomorrow.

We impact the lives of vulnerable children through educational, feeding, clothing, and shelter programs that let them know they are not forgotten.

If you read all that, you know that’s not the work of someone who hates. Graham’s real goal is to bring individuals to a knowledge of the One who gave Himself for them. That includes Muslims. He seeks to show them the new life offered through Christ.

In the name of tolerance, an ugly intolerance has again reared its head.

Obama's Shunning of Israel

The United States has been a bulwark of support for the beleaguered nation of Israel. President Harry Truman, back in 1948, stood firm in backing the creation of the nation. Ever since, the U.S. has helped Israel stave off the attacks of hostile regimes that surround it.

All that has now changed in the Obama administration.

President Obama is so tied to a policy of cuddling up to Islam that he is doing the same thing to Israel that he did in the past to his grandmother, “Rev.” Wright, and so many others—figuratively throwing them “under the bus.”

Don’t be fooled by empty rhetoric.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to Washington for talks. In the past, such talks have always been high level and Israeli leaders have been treated with respect. No such luck for Mr. Netanyahu this time.

Apparently, President Obama was angry over an announcement that the Israelis were planning to build more apartments in Jerusalem. Never mind it was in an area where there is little dispute over who has the territory. In Obama’s mind, it was an affront to the Palestinians. I’ll let a couple of other bloggers quoted in provide some commentary on this, since they have done a fine job of summarizing what took place.

For a head of state to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of…

After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on Jewish settlements, Mr. Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr. Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisors and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman who spoke to the Prime Minister said today.

“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House phone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”…

Obama has added more poison to a U.S.-Israeli relationship that already was at its lowest point in two decades. Tuesday night the White House refused to allow non-official photographers record the president’s meeting with Netanyahu; no statement was issued afterward. Netanyahu is being treated as if he were an unsavory Third World dictator, needed for strategic reasons but conspicuously held at arms length. That is something the rest of the world will be quick to notice and respond to. Just like the Palestinians, European governments cannot be more friendly to an Israeli leader than the United States. Would Britain have expelled a senior Israeli diplomat Tuesday because of a flap over forged passports if there were no daylight between Obama and Netanyahu? Maybe not…

Here’s the attitude I perceive, as reflected in this political cartoon:

As an evangelical Christian, I have a natural affinity for Israel: it’s the land of the Bible. I’ve visited once and hope to return to walk where Jesus walked. Yet even if that were not the case, I would be a stalwart supporter of a nation trying to survive as a friend of America in the midst of relentless enemies.

It would be nice if the American president felt the same.