No Country Is Obligated to Open Its Borders to Those Who Campaign for Its Destruction

This week, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the government’s decision to expel Omar Shakir, an American citizen employed by the anti-Israel group Human Rights Watch, and an advocate of the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). The verdict has of course been condemned as undemocratic, an assault on free speech, and the like. But these condemnations are nonsensical, writes Ben-Dror Yemini:

Canada banned former British parliamentarian and vehement Israel-hater George Galloway; France banned Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, [a prominent Islamist and jihadist thinker]; Britain banned the American anti-gay protester Fred Phelps and his daughter . . . from entering the country, as well as Michael Savage, a far-right conservative radio host; the U.S. denied entry to the Filipina human rights activist Liza Maza who intended to attend a conference on American activity in her country; and recently, both the U.S. and Britain banned the entrance of Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the BDS movement.

It’s safe to assume that anti-Israeli elements will resume their usual drivel about damage to free speech, which is curious given that Shakir himself is an advocate of harming free speech. In 2015, Shakir signed a petition calling for a boycott of Muslims who dared accept the invitation of the Hartman Institute (a Jerusalem-based center for pluralistic Jewish thought and education) for an educational tour of Israel.

Every country has the right to deny entry to agitators, and there’s no country in the world that would allow a person who denies its right to exist enter its borders. This is true of Israel as well.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Ynet

More about: BDS, Human Rights Watch, Supreme Court of Israel

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter