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laughing Culture wars USA 

No laughing matter: Europe’s appeasement of Iran

Remarks this week about Iran by US National Security Adviser John Bolton contained some of the most ferocious language ever used by an American administration about a foreign state. Bolton told the Iranian regime: “If you cross us, our allies or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay. Let my message today be clear: ‘We are watching, and we will come after you.’” Earlier this year, the US pulled out of the nuclear deal…

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Masculinity Britain Culture wars 

Turning masculinity into an accessory to crime

Turning masculinity into an accessory to crime The Labour MP Stella Creasy wants to make misogyny a hate crime. Misogyny is defined as hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women. Far from creating a more decent, civilised society, existing hate crimes have helped promote a climate of intolerance, bullying and social division based on suspicion, recrimination and blame. Making misogyny a crime presupposes that male attitudes to women need to be regulated in and of themselves. It therefore makes men the enemy, not just of women but of decent…

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tikkun Culture wars 

Nationalism has been a dirty word for too long

There are many different definitions of nationalism. In his new book, The Virtue of Nationalism, Yoram Hazony defines it as “a principled standpoint that regards the world as governed best when nations are able to chart their own independent course, cultivating their own traditions, and pursuing their own interests without interference”. The alternative, he says, is imperialism, which is inherently tyrannical through seeking to unite mankind under a single political regime. If the nation state fails to survive, western society will revert to premodern tribalism: group fighting group for power…

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tikkun Culture wars USA 

Judaism under attack: the Orwellian hijack of tikkun olam

Throughout the west, the left has a big problem with Israel. This much is well established. In America, the Jewish community has a big problem with galloping assimilation, intermarriage and the steady abandonment of Judaism by its children. This much is also now all too obvious. What’s less appreciated is the extent to which the two are symbiotically linked, and the disturbing implications of how that link works. It’s not just that so many Jews are leaving the faith. It’s not just that the loss of connection to Judaism produces…

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ethics Britain Culture wars 

It’s not the role of judges to reconfigure basic medical ethics

End-of-life issues pose some of the most difficult dilemmas in medical ethics. The Supreme Court confirmed yesterday that doctors can withdraw clinically assisted nutrition and hydration from a profoundly brain-damaged patient, if the family agrees, without permission from a court. The case cuts straight to the increasingly contentious issue of whether people should be “allowed to die”. Is this actually a euphemism for killing someone? Proponents say it is the right thing to do if a patient’s life no longer corresponds to the idea of living. Who, though, is entitled…

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communism Britain Culture wars 

Communism isn’t cool; it’s a murderous creed

Communism isn’t cool; it’s a murderous creed Comrades! You have a funky new star. When the Corbynite lecturer Ash Sarkar appeared last week on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to discuss protests against President Trump’s visit, she told the presenter Piers Morgan: “I’m literally a communist.” As a result, she’s become literally a media sensation. Interviewed by Teen Vogue, she enlightened its doubtless surprised readers about Karl Marx’s early and obscure critique of capitalism, Die Grundrisse. Elle magazine declared Sarkar was “literally a communist and literally our hero!” So now you can be a communist and cool. Who…

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oppressed Britain Culture wars 

The “oppressed” are expert at discrimination

The “oppressed” are expert at discrimination In one sanctimonious leap, “safe spaces” are morphing into prejudice in reverse. Such “oppressed” groups claim that they are discriminated against by being treated as somehow separate from mainstream society. So in response they are discriminating against and separating from mainstream society. They way they are treated, they say, justifies their treating others in an identical fashion. Of course, it does nothing of the kind. Their behaviour negates instead their claim to be unjustly treated. Rather than helping promote a tolerant, inclusive society, they…

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simon-wiesenthal-lecture-april-12-2018 Culture wars Israel 

Time to leave? The question the Jews of Britain and Europe must ponder

These are alarming times for Jews in Britain and Europe. The British Labour Party is convulsed over the realization that it is riddled with antisemitism. Jeremy Corbyn, its leader and a friend to Hamas, has been exposed as belonging to Facebook groups hosting claims that the Jews were behind ISIS and 9/11, that the Rothschilds controlled the world’s finances and other such paranoid theories. The backwash from the exposure of these groups revealed a tsunami of anti-Jewish insults, smears and libels by Labour supporters. Corbyn’s responses, often truculent and insulting…

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crying Culture wars USA 

Crying children, cartoon monster and liberal fascism

You really do have to rub your eyes very hard indeed at the grotesque hypocrisy, distortion and unhinged hatred that have erupted in reaction to the “crying migrant children” at the Mexican/American border. It has even given rise to abuse of the memory of the Holocaust. More than 2,500 migrant children from Latin America have been separated at the Mexican border from their parents (or other adults accompanying them) who were arrested after trying to immigrate illegally into the US. Amidst distressing recordings of small migrant children crying, the people…

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women Culture wars 

Sexual harassment in public places

Sexual harassment in public places Following what I had written about the #MeToo uproar, I was invited to give evidence this week to the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee which has been looking at the culture of sexual harassment of women and girls in public places. My fellow panellists were David Austin, CEO of the British Board of Film Classification; Professor Clare McGlynn of Durham university, a legal expert on pornography and sexual violence; and Dr Maddy Coy, a researcher on sexualisation and media, University of Florida. You…

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