Fayette Durlin and Peter Jenkin
Fayette Durlin and Peter Jenkin write from Brownsville, Minnesota.
We subscribe to a weekly publication, Israel News, four pages of opinion pieces from the Israeli and American press (e.g., The Jerusalem Post and Commentary magazine). We used to get it by mail from Toronto, but now we get it online (www.bayt.ca). In the issue of Aug. 15 there is a long piece by David Goldman, taken from Middle East Forum, "The One-State Solution Is on Our Doorstep." His argument is that the states on Israel's borders are disintegrating and eventually Israel will be the only state "able to govern Judea and Samaria . . . the only military force capable of securing its borders." The author's account of the chaos in the region needs no elaboration here - it is the stuff of our daily headlines. The states arbitrarily carved out of the Ottoman Empire are reverting to tribal and religious entities at war with one another. What may not be immediately clear to us is that the remaining states, mainly Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey, "will alternately support and suppress the new irregular armies as their interests require."
Meanwhile, "a great demographic change overshadows the actions of all the contenders," i.e., the decline of Muslim fertility and the rise in Jewish fertility. The fall is most extreme in Iran (a fertility rate of just 1.6 children) and Turkey (1.8 children for Turkish women). The rate for replacement is 2.1. The Jewish fertility rate now stands at 3.3 children per woman. Furthermore, Jewish immigration is positive and accelerating as anti-Semitism rises in Europe, while Palestinian emigration is estimated at 10,000 per year. Jews will soon constitute at least a 60 percent majority in the territories. This is not wishful thinking; we have seen these demographic figures elsewhere. As the author says:
The inability of the Palestine Authority to govern, the inability of Hamas to distance itself from its patron in Tehran, and the collapse of the surrounding states eventually will require Israel to assume control over the West Bank.
And Jordan's security "requires a strong IDF presence on its western border." Whether the situation will work out in this way, we do not know, but it is an interesting idea, and we would do well to keep it in mind as events unfold.
Three Outstanding Articles
The September 15 issue of The Weekly Standard contains three fine essays about Islamic threats and our inadequate responses: "They have a Strategy" by Thomas Joscelyn, "Rotherham's Collaborators" by Sam Schulman, and "A Muslim Identity Crisis" by Reuel Gerecht.
Joscelyn begins by quoting Obama's statement, "We don't have a strategy yet" for dealing with the Islamic insurgencies in Syria and Iraq (ISIL), and he goes on to say that that's because he doesn't think we need one. Obama has always thought that the only jihadists who matter are the ones who flew the planes into the Twin Towers; that is, those who carry out attacks in the U.S. Joscelyn points out that America was never al Qaeda's primary target because the real goal was "to establish Islamic emirates . . . and eventually restore the caliphate." America was attacked only because it supported the regimes al Qaeda wanted to replace. Today there are tactical differences between al Qaeda and ISIL (chiefly, the pace at which to inculcate its jihadist ideology within a population), but the primary goal remains the same. So long as the administration does not understand that, or resists its implications, our response to the worldwide insurgencies will be piecemeal and ineffective.
"Rotherham's Collaborators" is a shocking exposure of the stupidity, incompetence, and cowardice of the British authorities when they came to deal with a gang of men, mostly Pakistanis, who were sexually exploiting young white girls on a grand scale. Political correctness played a large part in the pusillanimity of the authorities, but Schulman shows how the report on the scandal documents the crime of bureaucracy:
. . . the public services . . . have been marinated in a managerial culture that makes it almost impossible for a frontline institution . . . to see that they and their partners are doing virtually nothing at all about childhood sexual exploitation.
The Gerecht article, "A Muslim Identity Crisis," is not so horrifying because it doesn't deal directly with the crimes perpetrated in Rotherham, but rather with an intellectual understanding of the Muslim perpetrators and what they represent. The author says that there is a "moral distemper" in Muslim communities, both in the West and the Middle East. Jihadism in the Middle East is the most severe disorder, and he suggests that the kind of behavior seen in Rotherham is "part of the same ethical matrix that encourages young men to abandon Europe for the battlefields of Syria and Iraq." So much for assertion; now for the explanation: "Islam conveys a powerful sense of group identity." He points out that even when their faith has eroded ". . . the collective identity can remain." The Rotherham girls "existed outside their moral universe." The author calls for "soul-searching" on the part of authorities, but wherever that phrase appears, you know the demand is hopeless. Such an institutional failure is more likely to send its enablers scurrying to create shelters of verbiage. Gerecht makes an excellent point:
If Muslim immigrants to Western lands refuse to adopt the standards that Westerners consider fundamental to their identity, both cultural and political, then Westerners should
rise in high dudgeon.
The point to carry away from this essay is that:
The predators of Rotherham, like the hundreds of young European Muslims who've gone to join Islamic radical groups in Syria and Iraq, ought to signal that there is a serious illness within that needs to be more aggressively treated. *