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National Suicide: The Death of a Nation

Lemmings are known for their mass suicide: jumping off cliffs, to die in the sea. Americans are not known for mass or individual suicide.

 

wrong to have fought back?

wrong to have fought back?

An Israeli man who was stabbed in the neck has been criticized by Yariv Oppenheimer, head of the Peace Now organization for fighting back and killing his attacker. Given that the alternative for the victim was to let himself be killed, Oppenheimer was effectively advocating a form of assisted suicide. A similar view was held by another great peace advocate. Gandhi said the Jews should have committed national suicide during the holocaust, and simply let themselves be killed.

gandhi-jews-racism

The lemming mass suicides were dramatic, stirring the hearts of television viewers just twelve years after Gandhi counseled the Jews to follow the same path.   Audiences would have been glued to the screen to watch people with yellow stars sewn to their clothes, commit national suicide by willingly stampeding to their deaths.

Suicide at Masada

Madasa2CD_600aThere is actually a story of mass suicide by Jews at the fortress Masada, but it took place before the advent of transportable recording equipment, approximately two thousand years ago. The best we can do is to re-imagine the story from archaeological remains, and the historical account of Josephus. The television series were reconstructions (in 1981, 2002 and 2015), rather than actual recordings of events, allowing for greater artistic and political license. The heroic story of a thousand men, women and children who committed national suicide rather than surrender to the Romans gripped the imagination of the world, and of the nascent independent Jewish nation.

Stories abound as well about Jewish communities during the Crusades who committed mass suicide rather than submit to the crueler predations of the Crusaders. While the rabbis who permitted this were praised in some quarters, they were roundly criticized in others.

Do such suicides set a precedent? Is the leader of Peace Now following Jewish tradition when he says a victim of terrorism should refrain from fighting back?

No.

The Masada story has been seriously called into question. Yigal Yadin, the lead archaeologist who promoted the heroic tale of national suicide has been accused sacrificing truth for the sake of myth. There are too many questions about interpretation of artifacts, too many archaeological remains that don’t fit the story. While there may have been suicides, they likely did not take the shape or scale of the heroic account promoted by Josephus and Yadin.

Suicide is often a response to stress or depression. But it’s not a Jewish response, especially to life-threatening situations. Josephus, a Romanized Jew, gave a Roman cultural inflection to the story of Masada. The silence of the Sages of the Talmud on an alleged act of national suicide speaks volumes; either they disapproved, or it didn’t take place.

Contemporary Individual Suicide

There are many ways for individual suicide, using a knife, a gun, or a noose. A person can instruct his doctor to give him a lethal dose of medicine, or provoke a policeman into shooting him (“death by cop”). He can climb into a poisonous snake pit, or bring the snakes into his home.

Contemporary National Suicide

There are many ways to commit national suicide. If you weaken the forces that protect a country from its foes, then it’s easier for them to stab its citizens in the neck, whether literally or metaphorically. When the police are prosecuted for protecting citizens, the level of protection will naturally drop. When laws prevent people from defending themselves, the foes of the nation, whether foreigners or citizens, have a free hand. The country becomes the poisonous snake pit.

When a nation is told by its leaders that it is sinful, that it is a source strife around the world, that nation will turn upon itself. The Biblical exhortations of Isaiah are happy children’s stories, compared to the evils impugned by “progressives” on America and the Western world. When the President’s Church Minister says “God Damn America,” you have to wonder if the leader of the free world answered “Amen,” and took upon himself the responsibility of making it happen.

Citizens of America, Canada and the Western world are being told by people such as Yariv Oppenheimer that it’s wrong to defend yourself against someone trying to kill you. The citizens of Cologne, Germany, were told that rape doesn’t matter; better not to offend the perpetrators. Sexual trafficking of children is kept out of the news.  And governments, to the chagrin of their populace, bring in more and more “refugees,” whose ethnic or religious group is responsible for most of this crime.

Lemming Suicide

It seems that America, Canada and the Western world are rushing headlong over a cliff, like the lemmings. But it’s not as simple as it seems. The lemmings didn’t willingly jump to their deaths. They were pushed by film crews anxious for a good story.

Norway lemming (Lemmus lemmus)

Norway lemming (Lemmus lemmus)

Americans aren’t metaphorically jumping off cliffs either, clamoring for wholesale immigration of people who want to change the nature of the country.  Witness the wild popularity of Donald Trump, Geert Wilders or Marine Le Pen.  They’ve tapped into national revulsion to filling your home with snakes, many of which are poisonous.  Trump et al are considered pariahs or clowns by intellectuals and pundits. Like the lemming film-makers before them, these myth-bearers are also anxious for a good story, or rather a feel-good narrative, and they are willing to push their country off a cliff in order to get it. It’s the same story in many European countries.

Suicide is unnatural, and a bad way to greet the future, and so people are resisting having their nation run off the edge of a cliff. It may not make for a pretty story, but the alternative, killing the character of your country, is much uglier.

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What Islam Says, According To the Experts

What Islam says, Expert Voices:

 

 

Bush Islam saysThat’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace

former President George W. Bush (Christian)

 

 

 


Obama Islam says

Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic”

Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance

President Barack Hussein Obama (Christian- though some argue that his attendance at an Indonesian Madrasa indicates that he is Muslim)


Kenney Islam saysIt has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, commenting on a man who said he was motivated by Islam to shoot a policeman. (Christian)

 

 


 

Trudeau Islam saysI spend a lot of time running from the Bangladeshi to the Pakistani to the Maghrebian to the Sunnah Wahabi mosque.”

–Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Christian)

 

 

 


 

Merkel Islam saysIslam is part of us

–Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian)

 

 

 


 

Hollande Islam saysMuslims are the first victims of fanaticism

–President François Hollande (Christian)

 

 

 


 

Hodges Islam saysThe Muslim community contributes to cultural, economic, and spiritual diversity of our city

–Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges (Christian)

 

 

 


 

Michel Islam saysIslam is a peaceful religion of compassion

Prime Minister Charles Michel (Belgium) (Christian)

 

 

 


 

Prince Charles Islam saysin the West, in turn, we need to be taught by Islamic teachers how to learn with our hearts, as well as our heads

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales (Head of the Church of England)

 

 

 


 

Rajoy Islam saysNobody should fall in the gross deception that jihadism represents Islam… or the fallacy which says that there is an Islamic war against the West

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (Christian)

 

 


 

Pope Francis Islam saysFor authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence

Pope Francis (Head of the Roman Catholic Church)

 

 

 


 

Gandhi Islam saysThe sayings of Muhammad are a treasure of wisdom not only for Muslims but for all of mankind.

Mahatma Gandhi (Hindu)

 

 


 

What Islam Says, Dissenting Voices:

 

Adnani Islam saysWe will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women.

– Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the Islamic State’s chief spokesman (Muslim)

 

 

 


 

Wood Islam saysThe reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic… the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

– Graeme Wood, contributing editor at The Atlantic (religious identity unknown)

 

 


 

Baghdadi Islam saysIslam is the religion of war

– Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, BA, MA, and PhD in Islamic studies from the Islamic University of Baghdad; Caliph of ISIS (Muslim)

 

 


 

Erdogan Islam saysThere is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it

– Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey (Muslim)

 

 

 


 

Khomeini Islam saysWe will export our revolution throughout the world because it is an Islamic revolution

– Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founding father of Iran’s Islamic Republic (Muslim)