On the Day of Remembrance, Don’t Forget That Hamas Uses the Bodies of the Dead as Bargaining Chips

April 28 2020

During a ceasefire in the midst of the 2014 Gaza war, Hamas fighters ambushed an Israeli unit, killing the twenty-three-year-old officer Hadar Goldin. The terrorist group, knowing full well that the Jewish state will go to extreme lengths not only to free captured soldiers, but also to bring back the bodies of those killed in action, has since then held Goldin’s corpse hostage. On the occasion of Yom Hazikaron—Israel’s day of remembrance of those who have fallen in its wars—his twin brother and fellow officer Tzur Goldin recalls Hadar’s fate, along with that of Oron Shaul.

On Memorial Day, the value we must recall above all others, is that of our common duty to fight for the return of every soldier and civilian in captivity, dead or alive. Soldiers go into battle, knowingly endangering their lives, and they think of their families at home and wonder how they would cope if something were to happen. Yet soldiers also derive strength from the knowledge that their brothers in arms will do all it takes in order to bring them back to Israel if they are injured, or if the worst should happen.

Whether such soldiers are serving in the Gazan districts of Rafah and Shajiah, or inside Lebanon, or elsewhere, the notion that Israel will retrieve her soldiers, come what may, is invaluable to members of the IDF. The importance of that value must never be forgotten or reduced. It is the value that my family is fighting to uphold today.

Terror organizations have [a brutal strategy]: they kidnap soldiers and civilians and exploit them as assets so that Israel pays a pyrrhic price, time and again, in order to obtain their release. They [thus] force Israel to choose between two types of moral injustice: leave soldiers on the battlefield—effectively the case for Hadar—or release thousands of terrorists in exchange for the return of our soldiers.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: IDF, Protective Edge, Yom Ha-Zikaron

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.

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Read more at Atlantic

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