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Monday, July 22, 2019

Is There Any Hope for Western Europe?


Years ago as I was awakening from my long Democrat slumber and educating myself about Islam, one of the most eye-opening books that I read was a 2006 page-turner titled While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West From Within, by a gay American living in Western Europe. Not only was it enlightening, but it made me an instant fan of Bawer’s compelling storytelling. In addition to following his subsequent books such as Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom, The Victims’ Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind, and even a thriller about Islamic terrorism called The Alhambra, I was fortunate and honored to become friends with Bruce through our mutual work for the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Now Bawer has released a new volume with a stark black cover titled Islam: The Essays, a massive collection of well over three hundred of his articles on this crucial subject dating from the fall of 2002 through the summer of 2018. Though he suggests that the reader undertake the book chronologically in order to understand the evolution of his understanding of the topic (“Early on, for instance, I refer to ‘fundamentalist Islam’; soon enough, I drop the word ‘fundamentalist,’ having realized that Islam itself, properly understood, is fundamentalist.”), Bawer is such an engaging, perceptive writer that one can open the book at random to literally any page and find it impossible to stop reading. A chilling chronicle of the Islamization of multicultural Europe over the last 17 years, Islam: The Essays is a must-have for FrontPage Mag readers and for others in need, like I once was, of awareness and insight into the Religion of Peace™.
Bruce Bawer was able to find time to answer a few of my questions about the book and about the Islamization of Europe today.
Mark Tapson:             Bruce, you note in your opening essay that it wasn’t until you moved from your native New York to Western Europe in ’98 that what you then called “fundamentalist” Islam became a daily reality for you. How was that daily reality different, and how long did it take you to fully grasp what the Islamization around you meant for Europe and the West? Was there any particular incident that showed you the writing on the wall?

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Colin Kaepernick’s Symbols of Hate


Just in time for Independence Day 2019, sports apparel giant Nike released the Air Max 1 USA shoe, featuring a miniature “Betsy Ross” flag on each heel. This, of course, is the flag with the earliest American colonies represented by thirteen white stars in a circle which, legend has it, Mrs. Ross presented to George Washington himself. But when Nike pitchman Colin Kaepernick, former NFL national anthem protester, got wind of the plan, he complained to Nike that the flag recalls a time when blacks were enslaved. Also, according to a person who reportedly was privy to the conversation, Kaepernick informed Nike that the flag has recently been appropriated by American white supremacists.
Instead of telling Kaepernick, “So what?” and going forward with the patriotic product, Nike sparked controversy by recalling the shoe from retailers and issuing a statement in which it claimed the decision was “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday” – a pathetic excuse. If anything detracted from the Independence Day holiday, it was the controversy that erupted over Nike’s choice to offend the patriotic majority of Americans by sending the message that the Betsy Ross flag is a shameful symbol of racial oppression.
On MSNBC, race-huckstering Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson chimed in on Nike’s decision, of which he predictably approved. He claimed that the Betsy Ross flag
hails from the revolutionary period of this nation’s founding which was deeply embroiled in, you know, in enslavement... But also, it’s the recent use of this flag that has been the most opprobrious. Right-wing white supremacists have used it as a rallying cry for their own cause... Right now this flag has been used by people who want to pummel African-Americans, Latinos, Jews and other people, neo-Nazis that want to claim that they have the true copyright on American identity. So why not choose a flag that is representative of everybody? The diversity of identities, ideologies, people of color and mainstream people who exist in this country? That’s the kind of blowback against the use of this particular flag.
The notion that white supremacist groups have appropriated the Betsy Ross flag is ludicrous. They aren’t in a position to appropriate anything unless the American people allow it. There is no more marginalized, politically impotent extremist element in America today than actual white supremacists, who have been hyped by the leftist media complex as a rising Hitlerian tide empowered by President Trump’s purported bigotry. (Meanwhile the media downplays or even covers for actual threats such as the violent Antifa network, human traffickers at our collapsing southern border, and Islamic terrorists). Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow for the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said that the ADL does not even include the flag in its database of hate symbols. “It’s not a thing in the white supremacist movement,” Pitcavage asserted. Lisa Moulder, director of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, said she has never heard of the flag being used as a hate symbol. Even if random bigots have tried to adopt the Betsy Ross flag, we only empower and legitimize them when we declare that we don’t have the cultural power to stop them from making the flag their own.  

The Crackup of the Israeli Left



In recent weeks the mostly left-leaning news media have published articles about the turbulence of this year’s elections in Israel with such handwringing titles as “Is the Israeli left doomed to marginalisation?,” “The Decline of the Israeli Left,” and “Whatever Happened to the Israeli Left?” But if one really wants to educate oneself deeply and broadly about this shift in the tiny democracy’s political landscape, one can hardly do better than to read Mordechai Nisan’s new book, The Crack-Up of the Israeli Left, published by Mantua Books. In it, Dr. Nisan brilliantly dissects the rise of the Right and the decline of the Left in the Jewish state. To quote from the book cover’s description, it details how “the Left detached its moorings from reality and principle, raised its voice against the Zionist enterprise, and chose surrender to the Arab enemy.”
If anyone is qualified to expound upon Israel’s political and cultural battlegrounds, it’s Mordechai Nisan. Dr. Nisan (with a doctorate in Political Studies from McGill University) has been a teacher and consultant for a number of academic and public institutions in Israel, including Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he taught Middle East Studies for 35 years. Among his many books are Toward a New Israel: The Jewish State and the Arab Question (1992), Only Israel West of the River: The Jewish State and the Palestinian Question (2011), and Politics and War in Lebanon (2015). He has written articles for The Jerusalem Post, Israel National News, Global Affairs, Middle East Journal, and many other publications. He has also been an activist for Jewish settlement in the territories of Judea and Samaria.
Dr. Nisan was kind enough to take time to answer some questions for FrontPage Mag.
Mark Tapson:             You begin your book by describing Israel as “a fable and a myth, but also a Great Truth.” What do you mean by that?

Mortality and Faith


In 1996, David Horowitz published Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey, which became the most noted autobiography of political conversion since Whittaker Chambers’ Witness nearly half a century earlier. Like Horowitz himself, the book became and remains a conservative classic.
The founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center passed his 80th birthday earlier this year and has just released a less political and more meditative autobiographical follow-up to that iconic work: Mortality and Faith: Reflections on a Journey Through Time. This book collects three* of Horowitz’s previous observations on life, death and meaning, titled The End of Time (published in 2005), A Point in Time: The Search for Redemption in This Life and the Next (2011), and the arrestingly-titled You’re Going to Be Dead One Day: A Love Story (2015), together with a short concluding chapter fittingly called “Staying Alive.” As Horowitz puts it in the new book’s preface, Mortality and Faith explores the beliefs which we embrace to answer the existential questions of our lives, and how we are impacted by those answers.
Readers who are familiar only with David Horowitz the political firebrand, the political general who preaches a take-no-prisoners strategy to combatting his former comrades on the left, may be surprised to discover that he is capable also of a disarming sensitivity, vulnerability, and personal honesty. He does not flinch from self-criticism nor engage in self-mythologizing, which is refreshing for a public figure, particularly in the arena of politics. Every page of Mortality and Faith is redolent of a battle-scarred wisdom, earnestness, and humility earned from trials and tribulations both public and private.
Though one gets the impression he might have wished otherwise, a belief in God is not a sustaining or consoling worldview for Horowitz. He freely confesses that his philosophy of life and death stem from a melancholic agnosticism. In You’re Going to be Dead One Day he declared that “All questions about death begin with observations that only a religious faith can answer. I have no such faith,” he says, “and therefore my posing of these questions is without a hope that life eternal awaits us where all will become clear.”

Friday, May 24, 2019

The Rage Less Traveled


On December 18, 2010, two female friends – one Christian and the other Jewish - were hiking together in the hills of Jerusalem when they were accosted by a pair of members from a Palestinian terror cell. Both women were bound and hacked with machetes until the Christian, Kristine Luken, was dead and the other seemingly so.
But in an incredible display of a bottomless will to live, Kay Wilson – with thirteen machete wounds, a crushed sternum, multiple rib fractures, bone splinters in her lungs, a dislocated shoulder and broken shoulder blade – got up and walked over a mile barefoot, bound, and bleeding until she reached help. She survived to testify against her assailants in court. The reason the pair was caught was that Wilson had managed to stab one in the groin with a penknife during the assault, and investigators linked him to the DNA in his blood on her clothing. The two monsters, who were convicted of other crimes as well, including stabbing another Jewish woman to death earlier that same year, were imprisoned for life.
The Rage Less Traveled: A Memoir of Surviving a Machete Attack is Kay Wilson’s relentlessly gripping, intensely personal story. You can find it on Amazon here (and here on audiobook) where the book has racked up dozens of exclusively 5-star reviews. Simultaneously raw and poetic, transcendent and unsentimental, The Rage Less Traveled is not a predictable book about learning to forgive your attackers or seeking interfaith dialogue with members of a Jew-hating ideology. The book acknowledges that evil exists and that there can be no coexistence with it. It is a story about the tortuous road through survival into the light. As Wilson said in her 2019 AIPAC address, “My story is Israel’s story.”
Ms. Wilson kindly agreed to answer some questions about the book and her shocking experience.
Mark Tapson:           You wrote that the media’s initial explanation for the attack on you and your friend Kristine Luken was that it was in retaliation for Israel’s assassination of a Hamas commander. But what was the real reason?

Friday, May 17, 2019

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them


In this recent video clip from a news channel’s interview with 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, it is clear that the young girl has no special insight to offer, only canned platitudes (“If everyone does something, huge changes can happen”). And yet the older male interviewer fawns over his teenage subject as if she is a credible, informed expert and a wise Cassandra whose dire warning we ignore at our peril. He does so not in spite of her youth, but precisely because of it. Why? Because the leftist media, and the left generally, love propping up gullible, politically indoctrinated children as authoritative mouthpieces to promote their agendas.
Swedish schoolgirl Thunberg attracted worldwide media attention at age 15 for her activism against weather, and is now the deadly serious face of the left’s climate change hysteria. Recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Thunberg is following in the carbon footprints of environmental activist Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez who, at the age of 15, entreated the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 to take action against purportedly human-caused climate change.
After the Parkland school shooting in Florida on Valentine’s Day, 2018, student activists David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez (pictured above), 17 and 18 respectively at the time, were ubiquitous in the media coverage about the atrocity – not because their thoughts on the incident were any more insightful than those of any of their fellow students, but because of their forceful calls for stricter gun control and their eagerness to demonize the hated National Rifle Association. Parkland students who didn’t take a strong anti-gun stance quickly found themselves ignored by the news media. Hogg, whose bumper-sticker mentality proved to be no barrier to getting into Harvard, shot to prominence overnight as the face of the gun confiscation movement in America.
Jazz Jennings, born male in 2000, was only six years old when he began making television appearances – including an interview with Barbara Walters – to discuss his gender dysphoria. He went on to become the media darling of transgender activism, with his own reality TV show about transgender teen drama and his gender reassignment surgery. Similarly disturbing, child drag performer Desmond is Amazing has been the young, garishly made-up face of LGBTQ activism for years, celebrated as a trailblazer on national talk shows and in gay pride parades. He is only eleven.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The American President


In a campaign rally in South Carolina recently, presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg became the latest in a growing number of Democrat leaders who feel that disparaging America is necessary to inspire their base and prove their ideological bona fides. Taking issue with President Donald Trump’s triggering slogan “Make America Great Again,” Buttigieg declared that the America Trump “wants to return us to was never as great as advertised.” Something about the notion of American exceptionalism simply infuriates the left. Trump was savvy enough to realize his MAGA slogan would expose that anti-Americanism and would rally patriotic Americans to his side. One of the principal reasons Trump is sitting in the White House is “that he re-instilled in the common man that sacred presumption that the United States was, and still remains, an exceptional nation blessed by God.”
That quote is from New York Times #1 bestselling author Larry Schweikart’s brand new book, a biography of an American icon – Ronald Reagan, and actually refers to the book’s subject, not Trump. But like Trump, Reagan swept into the presidency in the wake of one of America’s worst presidents by appealing to a yearning to make this country great again.
At nearly 550 pages (including endnotes), Reagan: The American President, from Post Hill Press, is a weighty tome but a page-turning read about the beloved leader whose administration wasn’t perfect, but whose “magnificent, world-changing successes” included “defeating the Soviet Union, putting communist ideology on the road to extinction, and reviving a moribund American economy.”
The prolific historian Schweikart’s previous works include 48 Liberal Lies About American History and A Patriot’s History of the United States (co-written with Michael Allen), the best antidote to the radical Howard Zinn’s corrosive, anti-American work The People’s History of the United States, which has infiltrated virtually every schoolroom in America. Dr. Schweikart kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his new biography of the man many conservatives consider the great American president of the 20th century, and some the greatest of all time.
Mark Tapson:           What did you want to say about Ronald Reagan that sets your book apart from his many other biographies?

Monday, April 29, 2019

Hollywood Begins Eating its Own


For decades Hollywood, along with academia, has been one of the two prime movers of cultural Marxism in America: promoting leftist causes and narratives, undermining traditional morality and social structures, and rewriting history. Increasingly, showbiz is now being choked by its own wokeness – just as our universities are – as the social justice whiners have inevitably begun to turn on their own.
Hollywood is floundering. This past Easter weekend at the box office was the worst in more than a decade. The big studios with their mega-budget franchises (where would Hollywood be today without Marvel Comics?) increasingly have to resort to overseas profits to keep afloat. Showbiz awards shows, which have degenerated into self-congratulatory displays of anti-Trump virtue-signaling, have been failing spectacularly, posting record low ratings year after year. Trump Derangement Syndrome has caused celebs to publicly double down on their contempt for all those unwoke Americans in the flyover states, pushing audiences farther away than ever before. Meanwhile, independent flicks like Gosnell and Unplanned aimed at underserved conservative audiences are succeeding despite media blackouts and social media subversion.
Instead of engaging in some serious self-examination and concentrating on projects that might win back the American heartland moviegoer, establishment Hollywood is now preoccupied with proving its commitment to identity-politics ideology. Enforcing diversity of gender and skin color (but not of worldview) in all the “above-the-line” fields (acting, directing, producing, showrunning, etc.) has become the dominant consideration in the entertainment realm now. Actress Brie Larson, for example, says playing superheroine Captain Marvel is “my form of activism”; she has has spent almost every minute of her movie promotions slamming “white male critics” and speechifying about gender equality. “Oscars are so not white this year,CNN announced after a record number of non-white actors won awards in the 2019 ceremony. Deadline declared ecstatically that “Diversity was one of the biggest winners.”
Like all totalitarian environments, Hollywood is also purging itself internally of anyone deemed insufficiently woke. Likeable, nonpartisan comedian Kevin Hart, for example, was pushed out of hosting this year’s Academy Awards show because of a ten-year-old “homophobic” tweet. Actress Roseanne Barr was famously removed from her own show and denounced as a racist for joking that Iranian-born, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett resembled a character from Planet of the Apes. And the industry which never tires of making movies condemning the Communist-era blacklist has taken up a blacklist in support of the search-and-destroy #MeToo movement. Showbiz hypocrites who slandered Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a rapist yet who knowingly covered for, if not engaged in, decades of systemic sexual predation are now demonstrating they #BelieveAllWomen by shunning the suspects among them, even over unconfirmed accusations.

Apocali Now!


Never mind Islamic terrorism, illegals flooding our border, the rise of MS-13, and the opioid crisis – all the Democrat presidential candidates agree that “climate change” is the most imminent, terrifying threat facing America and the world. As their Party’s rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it recently, the world will end in twelve years if we don't address it.
Well, Evan Sayet has addressed it in a new book and his conclusion is that the Chicken Littles of the left have been whipping up one environmental hysteria after another for over 50 years (none of the dire predictions of which has ever come to pass) and they're at it again. The openly-conservative comedian and philosopher Sayet is perhaps best-known as the author of the enlightening and entertaining must-read titled The KinderGarden of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks, expanded from a must-watch 2007 Heritage Foundation speech that has garnered over 770,000 views on YouTube as of this writing.
Sayet’s newest work is Apocali Now!, a faux children’s book illustrated by nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist A.F. Branco. The book humorously skewers the left’s perpetual fear-mongering about environmental apocalypses, but also manages to touch on their science denial, hypocrisy, totalitarianism – even the mainstream media’s “fake news.”
I asked my friend Evan some questions about the book and more.
Mark Tapson:    Let’s begin with your choice of medium. Why did you decide to take on the left’s “sky is falling” frenzies in a cartoon format?
Evan Sayet:     It was quite by accident. I was writing my next book, tentatively titled Countering Culture: The Left’s War Against All That Is Human, and I began to address all of the fake environmental disasters the Leftist media and others have employed through the years that not only failed to be the catastrophe that they, with their “authority,” swore they would be, but, in fact, barely materialized at all, and suddenly I found it all so ludicrous I was singing it to myself.
MT:        How did you hook up with A.F. Branco as your illustrator?
ES:         Well “hook up” has a whole different meaning these days so I want to make it clear that I have never hooked up with Tony. But, obviously, if this was going to look like a children’s book, I needed an illustrator and, if one needs an illustrator, one of the very first phone calls one makes is to A.F. Branco.
The fact that he instantly signed on meant two things to me. One, that I’d have someone who would make all of my pointed jokes only that much stronger and, two, given how in-demand he is, the fact that he committed to this project without hesitation made it undeniable to me that I wasn’t alone in seeing how important a project Apocali Now! is.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Why Calling America ‘Great’ Triggers the Left


When then-presidential candidate Donald Trump seized upon the campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” he could not have more shrewdly marked the battle line where the election and the next four years of his term would be fought. Resonating with Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign slogan “Let's make America great again,” “MAGA” was perfectly calculated to galvanize Americans on the right who were fed up with eight years of predecessor Barack Obama apologizing for our country, denying American exceptionalism, alienating our allies, and empowering our enemies. It also was the perfect phrase with which to expose the seething hatred leftists feel for this country and its supporters. Trump won the election, no matter what the sore losers of both left and right insist, and two and a half years after he was swept into the White House by heartland patriots (which is exactly why the coastal elites want to eliminate the electoral college), his slogan continues to trigger the rage and animosity of America-haters.

For example: last week in an interview with MSNBC, a question about American greatness prompted a rant from Obama-era attorney general Eric Holder. "I hear these things about 'Let’s make America great again' and I think to myself, ‘Exactly when did you think America was great’?” he said on the network. “It certainly wasn’t when people were enslaved. It certainly wasn’t when women didn’t have the right to vote. It certainly wasn’t when the LGBT community was denied the rights to which it was entitled…

“You know, America has done superb things,” Holder continued. “It has done great things. And it has been a leader in you know, a whole range of things. But we are always a work in process and… looking back, ‘Make America Great Again’ is inconsistent with who we are as Americans at our best where we look at the uncertain future, embrace it and make it our own.”

The rant was a direct shot at Trump, his MAGA slogan, and American citizens who believe in this country’s exceptionalism. It highlighted the fundamental divide between the leftists who are determined to override human nature in pursuit of their utopian vision of human perfectibility, and conservatives who understand that people are fallen beings who can be both flawed and great. For the left, on the other hand, Americans cannot be great because we aren’t yet perfect; not only that, we aren’t merely imperfect but evil because we came by our unparalleled power and prosperity through the exploitation and oppression of others. Thus, we will never be truly great until we atone for those sins by diminishing our greatness.