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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hitler in India: Ignorance or Defiance?

     This last week, just when I thought that moral debasement had reached an all time low, once again and to my great dismay, I was proven wrong.
     Just a few days ago, the Estonian gas company GasTerm Eesti used a picture of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp entrance stating "Arbeit macht frei" (Work makes you free) on their website with the caption: "Gas heating–flexible, convenient and effective". In all fairness to them, after they received several complaints from various sources, they decided to pull the photo and issue a statement of apology.
     This being said, who in his right mind would want to associate ANYTHING to the stigma of the infamous Auschwitz photograph? Let alone a commercial for gas! This was done with such bad taste that I thought we had reached a record low in human depravity. But wait, it actually gets worse! For this, we must travel 5,000 miles south east of Estonia to Ahmedabad, India.
     Rajesh Shah is the young co-owner of a brand new clothing store where he sells Western men's wear. T-Shirts, shirts, jeans and other iconic fashion elements from the West. I always salute entrepreneurship, but in this case, I must make an exception.

     The entire branding of his store (storefront, letterhead, cards, logo, etc) bear the word: HITLER with a swastika in a circle as dot on the i of HITLER.
     This raises the question of why would anybody want to use the name Hitler to sell anything unless they are promoting neo-Nazi paraphernalia? To this question I only see two possible answers: Ignorance or defiance.
     It is part of who I am to give anybody the benefit of the doubt before I draw any conclusions. so, I will look for any validity in Mr Shah's claim of ignorance.
     Mr Shah claimed that until he opened the store, he really didn't know too much about Hitler and his legacy.  He also stated that it wasn't until then that he found out about the 6,000,000 people that Hitler killed. Apparently, Shah's partner had a grandfather who was so strict that he was nicknamed "Hitler", thus the name for the store.
     This would definitely be an unfortunate choice if it was true. But is there truly a younger Indian generation who knows NOTHING about Adolph Hitler? I find this hard to believe! Not to mention the fact that if the name HITLER was used without premeditation and without prior knowledge of the dictator's legacy of blood and hatred, why in the world would the "i" be dotted with a swastika?
     I can already see defenders of Mr. Shah quickly come to his rescue and mention that the symbol originated in India and that maybe he was simply adding an Indian touch to his logo? It is correct that the swastika (meaning "to be good" in Sanskrit) originated in India and goes as far back in history as the period known as Classical Antiquity (8th -7th Century B.C.). This being said, we must also note that the Indian rendition of the symbol is always upright (forming a square) and NEVER TILTED (forming a diamond). The tilted swastika was adopted by the Nazi party (either clockwise or counter-clockwise). And it is of course the tilted one that Mr. Shah chose to use.
     Maybe he was not aware of the subtle difference? I sincerely doubt it, especially in light of the additional comments he made about the choice of HITLER for his branding as he went on to defend his choice for such a name:
     "None of the other people are complaining, only a few families. I have not hurt any sentiments of the majority Hindu community. If he did something in Germany, is that our concern?"
     I feel pretty confident that ignorance can be ruled out and this only leaves one other reason: Defiance. Mr. Shah feels that he has not offended the majority of his people. What about the rest of the world? What about the Jewish community? Have we become so narrow-minded and self absorbed that we only care about our immediate community? Yet Mr. Shah is educated enough to know Western culture and its fashion industry. Does he suffer from selective ignorance or careless defiance?
     Mr. Shah most certainly saw some shock value in such a name. He claims that he will change the name only if compensated for his expenses. I don't see much remorse in that statement!. This also comes from a country where Hitler's biography "Mine Kampf"  is still popular in bookstores and amongst street vendors.
     What I see here is a tremendous lack of sensitivity and human decency at best, and defiance against the Jewish people (not to call it anti-Semitism) at worst.
     Any way you look at it, Mr. Shah is only paving the way for more insensitivity towards Jewish people and the Holocaust. At a time when survivors of the Shoah are dwindling away, such a position is only reinforcing the liberal agenda of Holocaust deniers, something that we can certainly all do without.
     Mr. Shah is the exact reason why I will continue to be vocal about such insensitive displays. To educate, speak up and take action.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Anti-Israel Double Standard Sets a Scary Precedent in San Francisco!

     Gone are the days when waiting for the bus, one was exposed to billboards and posters inviting them to try the best tissue, soft drink or candy bar. Advertising is as much a part of 21st century consumerism as it ever was, but the rules are changing. At least they are in San Francisco!
     Last week, a series of ads started to appear on the side of municipal buses in San Francisco.
     The ads, as shown above, were paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an organization led by very vocal pro-Israel and anti-Islamist, Pamela Geller.
     When I label Ms. Geller as an anti-Islamist–a position I actually take as well– I am very specific with my terminology.We must understand the difference between a Muslim and an Islamist before we use the words interchangeably, as they are far from being synonymous. While all professed Muslims follow the religion of Islam within boundaries more our less dictated by their holy book the Qur'an, not all Muslims are Islamists. The term Islamist usually refers to a militant Muslim whose life is entirely ruled by the Qur'an and the Hadiths (commentaries on the Qur'an). As a result, Islamists are more passionate about their beliefs, less tolerant about others (even within Islam) and potentially more violent. I do believe that Muslims who adhere to the Qur'an and promote Sharia have no choice but to follow it's teachings and as a result become vastly intolerant regarding the "infidels" (ie: all non-Muslim). This being established, I feel that the ad campaign deserves our attention for several reasons.
     While I do not support some of the verbiage used in the actual copy of the ad, I support truth, justice and real peace.
     I do not believe that the use of the word "savage" was the most appropriate in such a short ad where ambiguity might easily lead to confusion. According to the dictionary, the word savage can mean "uncivilized", "barbaric", "vicious" and/or "brutal". What is implied in the ad as it pertains to the middle-east conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, is that Israelis are the civilized party while the Palestinians are the savages. It this true?
     Anyone who is interested in the facts about the middle-east conflict and who is honest enough to search for the truth, will discover that the Palestinian Authority (Hamas and Fatah) are far from honest.
     Additionally, Palestinians have been deconstructed and rebuilt by political correctness from perpetrator to victims and, Israelis have been deconstructed and rebuilt by political correctness from victims to perpetrators. A complete role reversal has been taking place under the eyes of a mostly uneducated world whose bias is so flagrant that it could almost be comedic if it was not tragically anti-Semitic.
     Have Islamists acted like savages over the last few decades? You tell me?
     Of all the terrorist bombings perpetrated in Israel and worldwide over the last six decades, were any done by non-Muslim? NO! 
     Are civilians (including children) ever used as human shield? ABSOLUTELY YES
     We cannot deny that the methods used by radical Muslims (Islamists) are often barbaric. After all, if any culture or belief system values death more than Western civilization values life, "savage" actions will undoubtedly follow, and they have! Yet we must be careful to not label all Muslims as Islamists, something I am not convinced that the ad conveys clearly.
      The ad also seems to imply that we will defeat Jihad simply by supporting Israel. I think that that statement also needs clarification.
     Many Muslims will tell you, and rightfully so, that jihad simply means "struggle". They will often insist on the fact that it can mean many kinds of struggles and not necessarily violence and savage killings. In the broader sense, I agree with the definition of the word jihad, but it is rarely if ever used that way within Islam and NEVER used that way by Islamic fundamentalists (Islamists).
     In his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam, Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, documents the importance of Jihad for the Muslim world at large:
The unpleasant fact is that violent jihad warfare against unbelievers is not a heretical doctrine held by a tiny minority of extremists, but a constant element of mainstream Islamic theology...This is true of all four principal schools of Sunni Muslim jurisprudence, the Maliki, Hanafi, Hanbali and Shafi'i, to which the great majority of Muslims worldwide belong.1.
     So let us call jihad what it is for most of the Muslim world: A struggle to establish Sharia law by force if necessary (why would one want to submit to Sharia by choice continues to be very puzzling to me and most Westerners). The Qur'an is clear: "Mohammed is God's apostle. Those who follow him are harsh to the unbelievers but merciful to one another" (Surah 48:29).
     In the process, infidels either accept Islam and convert, pay the jizya (tax) to the Muslim leadership as second-class citizens (dhimmis) or simply fight the Muslims. There is never an option to peacefully coexist and accept each other's differences. Multiculturalism and tolerance as promoted by a 21st century postmodern world is only used by Islamists to further infiltrate our world and gain further control (as slowly as necessary, yet as fast possible) , but it is never accepted as an alternative approach to existence.
     Looking back at the ad, it will take much more than supporting Israel to fight and defeat jihad simply because it takes a lot more than "helping a friend" to be able to defeat their enemy.
     I am a fervent supporter of Israel, her biblical right to the Land and her right to exist. This doesn't mean that I take a blinded approach to Zionism. I do not agree with every single decision made within the Knesset walls. One can genuinely disagree with a government's policies without being blatantly against that government or its people. A fair assessment is always within reach as long as the disagreement is based on FACTS and NOT FICTION. Of course, this is hardly ever the case when it comes to the middle-East conflict.
     Jihad can stop, but first people have to care and decide that they want to educate themselves about the root of radical Islam.
     Jihad can stop if people actually do not allow sharia to taint the fabric of Western civilization.
     Jihad will stop when real peace from Yeshua (Jesus) the Prince of Peace is established and not a Muslim caliphate ruling the world (Isaiah 9:6-7).
     I guess what even bothers me the most, is the fact that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MUNI) decided to run a series of ads to counter the message of Ms. Geller's campaign ON THE VERY SAME BUSES where the original ads are (see below). This is a first in advertising, when ads to counter a campaign were not ran by the people who felt targeted, in this case, the Muslim community, but by the organization used as the platform for the ads.

     I am outraged because this is such a case of double standard and willful blindness. Multiple ad campaigns have appeared all across America that deface and demonize Israel but you NEVER see the people behind the medium used (such as MUNI) run counter ads to defend Israel. Of course not!
     A precedent was set in San Francisco and based on the history of my people and the parallel timeline of anti-Semitism through the ages, I am certain that we will see more of the same in the months if not weeks to come. The scapegoat of humanity has ALWAYS been the Jew.


1. Robert Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades (Regnery Publishing, Washington DC, 2005) Page 38.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Time for the Arab "Spring Cleaning" in Egypt!

     Recently, I wrote about the change of power in Egypt and the quiet Muslim Brotherhood takeover. The world watched, hopeful and encouraged as a man came to replace Hosni Mubarak in a "free election". The army was still in place and very much involved in controlling every move the government made. I did not know how long this would last, but I felt it would be short lived.
     Well, it didn't last very long! Newly elected Egyptian Mohamed Morsi seized the day when he saw a unique opportunity to force the current armed forces generals to step aside. It has only been six weeks, and Morsi–a first-class opportunist–grabbed the occasion of the Sinai Peninsula incident of August 5, to restructure the Egyptian army's leadership. Morsi fired his intelligence chief, the commander of the military police, the commander of the presidential guards and just a few days ago, he ousted defense minister and top military chief Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi and his chief of staff Sami Anan. Morsi went as far as suspending the constitutional amendment that had been put in place by the military to restrict and control his power and decision making (article 25).
     The path is a lot clearer now!
     The new President was quick to assert authority in his first major decision since the elections in June. He is only showing the Egyptian people and the rest of the region who is in charge now. Not to worry, it's good for Egypt! And to the rest of Western civilization and particularly to the liberal media, this might appear as the right move. To be fair, in a truly democratic government, this would be the ethical thing to do. After all,
We are living in the days of civil unrest!
We are living in the days of economic uncertainty!
We are living in the days of confidence lost!
     It is time to have a leader who can lead!

    This again is reminiscent of another time of history. Let me refresh your memory as we travel back to Europe in the early 1930s.
     In 1930, the National Socialist Party (Nazi Party) took 107 seats in the Reichtag (the German legislative body). It was still a minority position in the German government, but not for long.
     On January 30, 1933, aging German President Paul von Hindenburg ( President of the bankrupt and hyper inflated Weimar Republic) was hopeful for change when he named Adolph Hitler the new Chancellor of a coalition government. The National Socialist Party was a shoe in! New Reichtag elections were set for March.
     It didn't take long for Hitler to find flaws in the Weimar Constitution. Two emergency provisions (article 25 that allowed the President to dissolve the Reichtag and 48 that allowed the President to sign into law emergency bills without the consent of the Reichtag) would allow Hitler and his cohorts to tip the scale and firmly assert power. The grip was on, the grip was strong and the rest is history!
     No, I am not comparing President Morsi to Adolph Hitler, because nobody should be compared to that evil murderer. But I am comparing desperate measures for desperate times.
Germans were living in the days of civil unrest!
Germans were living in the days of economic uncertainty!
Germans were living in the days of confidence lost!
     It was time to have a leader who can lead!

     Now what? Morsi has asserted himself as the authoritative leader of Egypt. How long before he is seen or even declares himself as the "Supreme Leader"? With the backing of the Muslim Brotherhood whose motto is worth restating–Allah is our objective, the Prophet our leader, Qur'an is our law, Jihad is our way, dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope– Morsi is well on his way to implement a Qur'anic government in Egypt. All this of course under the eyes of an apathetic "Free World" as reported in this sobering interview by Glenn Beck:

   For over three decades, Egypt has been at peace with Israel. Morsi is now considering the possibility of changing the Camp David Peace Treaty with Israel. He of course, is receiving much support from the Muslim Brotherhood in that area.
    The vise grip is tightening on Israel! The uncertainty within Syria, Hezbollah's pressuring from the north, Iran now fine tuning their nuclear arsenal and Egypt much closer to a sharia ruled government are creating a powder keg of proportions never reached before in the history of mankind.
     Ah! But if only Israel would get along with its neighbors and give back the land to their rightful owners the Palestinian people, everything would fall back into place in the Middle East and in the rest of the world, right?
WRONG! Because nothing Israel can or will do will change the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood, that same Muslim Brotherhood backing President Morsi and making strides towards a re-established Caliphate WITHOUT ISRAEL AND WITHOUT THE JEWISH PEOPLE!

     Someone once said:"We don't know what the future holds but we know who holds the future"I would like to rephrase that a bit different to say that:


Zechariah 12:1 The  burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel. Thus declares the LORD who  stretches out the heavens,  lays the foundation of the earth, and  forms the spirit of man within him, 
2 “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a  cup  that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against  Judah. 
3 “And it will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy  stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be  severely  injured. And all the  nations of the earth will be gathered against it. 
8 “In that day the LORD will  defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who   is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like  God, like the  angel of the LORD before them. 
9 “And it will come about in that day that I will  set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 
10  “And I will  pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem,  the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have  pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one  mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.