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« The Saturday Morning Coffee Break & Prayer Revival | Main | Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, Dec. 2 »
December 02, 2023

Watching things burn

iceland lava.jpg


credit Rahol TR

I've been having a hard time this week not obsessing over developments involving Israel. What a tangled mess of horrors. But a lot of those developments didn't start in the Middle East, and didn't start this fall.

There are also things going on in the world that are not particularly related to the conflict in Israel. Maybe it's a good idea to remember that.

* * * * *

The Western Left seems more insane than usual

How did we suddenly get such vocal support for "Palestine" in the West?

Well, it wasn't as sudden as it looks.

Ed Driscoll picked out a couple of good examples.

Steven Hayward:

This week's peak demonstration of leftist anti-Semitic madness comes to us courtesy of the Oakland City Council, where a resolution endorsing a permanent cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza war was met with this parade of insane people:

"Okay," you say; "It's Oakland. The Bay Area. Krazifornia. What do you expect?" All true, but don't underestimate how widely spread, and supremely vocal, this sentiment is across the country, and it potential for ongoing malignancy in our body politic.

Look no further than Atlanta, where pro-Hamas protestors showed up at First Lady Rosalyn Carter's memorial service in Atlanta, apparently taking lessons tastelessness from the Westboro Baptists. Keep in mind that Jimmy Carter was the most pro-Palestinian president in our history, and gave a huge boost to the slander that Israel is an "Apartheid nation."

It is sometimes noted that in the 1960s, only about 5 percent of the college-age population were participants in the anti-war movement and the large protests they organized. (And I've been told by several older Boomer acquaintances that they attended anti-war protests chiefly to meet girls.) My friend John Tamny noted this fact recently, generously citing some of my own work in fact, to suggest the current pro-Hamas protests are unrepresentative and don't need to be taken that seriously. I disagree; the lesson of the anti-war movement of the 1960s--which by rapid degrees became an anti-American movement (remember "Amerikkka") - - is that it only takes a determined minority to de-range the politics and culture of a nation, with baleful results. Back in the 1960s the liberal establishment was befuddled by the New Left and didn't know how to respond, so it mostly capitulated. Seems the same thing is happening today after October 7. In the face of a demented, deranged left, our liberal establishment is once again calling for "dialogue."

This kind of behavior is now just expected from the Left. Hayward's piece is a keeper. Can we shut down the universities?

And then there's this. Maybe I'm repeating a theme, but:

TikTok made Gen Z pro-Palestine

We view the world through smartphones;
we understand current affairs through
video snippets

I'm a student in one of Britain's largest high schools and know no one who supports Israel over Palestine. Some readers might find that shocking. Consider, though, how my generation gets its news. TikTok is today by far the preferred source of news for teenagers; YouTube is next, Instagram third.

I accidentally had an online conversation with one of these types this week (while providing data to support a reasonable position take by her uncle). I was a "psychopath" for looking beyond "THEY BOMBED HOSPITALS". Never mind the warnings that the hospitals (other than the one accidentally bombed by Hamas-friendly forces) would be bombed, or the military installations in, under or around the hospitals. That was the definition of "genocide" to her. No quote from a source other than, say, the UN or a university professor was believable.

I think I did get her to concede that the KKK engaged in terrorism during the 20th Century. Her uncle was not just picking on Muslims. It was sorta like a struggle session, though. And I don't think she represented the worst of the type.

Anyway, the CCP now has a mechanism, through TikTok, to help the Western Left dream of repeating the success of the Left of the 1960s.


What Yale Has in Common With Hamas

Qatar is buying the Ivy League,
along with every other institutional bauble in America,
from the Brookings Institution,
to Foreign Policy magazine,
to the NHL and the NBA

The Qatari government's American partners have pursued a range of damage control tactics since Oct. 7, when Hamas, a Qatar-sponsored terrorist group whose senior political leadership is based in the Gulf emirate, murdered over 1,200 people, killing over 30 U.S. citizens and kidnapping a dozen more. Qatari money has spread far across American life, but leading institutions do not often brag about partnering with governments that openly facilitate the work of a genocidally minded terrorist organization that records videos of its atrocities. Such relationships risk becoming a source of public shame, and raise the specter of long-term damage to an organization's reputation and brand. Then again, what the public doesn't know can't hurt it.

Higher education, one of the last remaining industries in which the U.S. is still the unquestioned global leader, has proven particularly expert in shielding its favorite deep-pocketed investor from public scrutiny. In a new series of reports, a research consortium organized by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy found that some $2.7 billion in Qatari funding made it to American colleges and universities between 2014 and 2019 without public acknowledgement from the institutions themselves. The universities only divulged these contributions, which also included some $1.2 billion from China and $1.06 billion from Saudi Arabia, through a Department of Education online portal set up in 2019 to track previously unreported foreign funding.

This may not be a good time to send a kid for a semester abroad in Qatar.

In large and small amounts, and through methods calculated to both attract and avoid public attention, Qatar accurately identified the centers of power in America and made sure they'd have their own piece of them, using official and semi-official largesse to purchase the support of America's academic, media, and entertainment leaders. Qatar has become a factor in both the United States and in world affairs through spending its money wisely and patiently, over long periods of time and in a way that enlists everyone from college administrators to magazine editors to NBA owners. Qatar's U.S. strategy is an extension of its successful policies in the Middle East, where a long-term financial and political commitment to Hamas has thrust Doha into the center of global diplomacy, with the effect of legitimizing both the Gulf emirate and its Islamist client in Gaza.

Foreign Policy magazine, for example, which aims to provide expert reporting and opinion on the Middle East and surrounding policy debates, is the official podcasting partner of the Doha Forum and the only media organization whose logo appears on the front page of the website for the Doha Debates. Both events are a project of the state-funded Qatar Foundation. . .

This kind of patient planning was also exhibited by Hamas in planning the 10/7 attack, even if their planning for what would come after may not have foreseen all possible developments.

Could this have an effect on the young staffers currently protesting any pro-Israel policies of the U.S. administration?

* * * * *

The White House and Israel

Scott Johnson posted a short piece on the end of the cease fire with links to press coverage:

The IDF has announced that Hamas violated the terms of the current ceasefire and that it has resumed combat operations against Hamas in Gaza (below). The Times of Israel has posted a long story on the resumption of combat this morning . . .
Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Israel and met with its war cabinet yesterday. He continues to caution Israel on the law of war, as though the IDF is some kind of a scofflaw. He made it clear that the Biden administration is unhappy with Israel and seeks to impose constraints on the operation of the IDF in Gaza. The Times of Israel covers Blinken's visit here. The Biden administration does not sound like a friend or ally of Israel. . .
Today it is also reported that Hamas branded Israeli child hostages in case they escaped. The Times of Israel covers that story here. Blinken might want to warn Hamas that they stand to be whipped with a wet noodle if they keep it up.

* * * * *

Watching other things burn

Anybody have a clue what to do about Haiti? Kenya wants to try helping.

Best of luck. Makes me tear up just to consider taking on such a mission.


How about Papua New Guinea?

* * * * *

Hollywood is degenerate?

Maybe this is not a new thing.

We need something different.

* * * * *


Bach, Air

* * * * *

Hope you have something nice planned for this weekend.

This is the Thread before the Gardening Thread.

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

* * * * *

Last week's thread, November 25, November 25, What to do while the kids are home from school

Comments are closed so you won't ban yourself by trying to comment on a week-old thread. But don't try it anyway.

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