Bernard Lewis was a British American writer on international affairs. He was an expert on oriental studies and Islam. He died this year.
Mark Steyn wrote the following about him in his weekly column:
“Bernard Lewis, the west’s preeminent scholar of Islam, worked for British intelligence through the grimmest hours of the Second World War. “In 1940, we knew who we were, we knew who the enemy was, we knew the dangers and the issues,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “In our island, we knew we would prevail, that the Americans would be drawn into the fight. It is different today. We don’t know who we are, we don’t know the issues, and we still do not understand the nature of the enemy.” All true. (12/31)
Thanks to digital television, you can now see old TV shows from the 60’s. That includes British TV shows, such as The Saint, Danger Man, the Avengers and Doctor Who. I quite like the first two, but never enjoyed the last two. I am one of the few people left alive who can remember seeing the premiere of the first episode of “Dr Who.” I seem to remember it was made on a budget of about twenty pounds! (Ok, so I exaggerate! A little.)
Anyway, I occasionally watch “The Saint” and “Danger Man” if only to see the England I grew up in, the England that Bernard Lewis was writing about. Back then, over fifty years ago, the Citizens of England were English. Their ancestors had lived on the island for over one thousand years. Now they come from anywhere and everywhere. This has complicated life immensely. Now we don’t know who we are, we don’t see the enemy clearly and we certainly do not understand the nature of the enemy.
Another thing strikes me – there was no obsession with Europe. These programs were made 50 to 60 years ago, before Britain entered the EU. Note for all those panicking over Brexit, nobody was starving and Britain played a major role internationally, as “Danger Man” showed.
“Jamestown,” on the surface, is a very good show. It’s based on fact, though the individual stories are fictional. The physical challenges are all there. It’s set in 1619, the year that the first females landed in the colony, after twelve years. It also happens to be the first year that slaves were imported into America. Additionally, it was the year that the first democracy was established in the Americas.
People often forget that the American colonies were democracies, that they each had their own House of Burgesses, or whatever they chose to call it. In colonial Williamsburg you can go into the House of Burgesses and see the colonial parliament as it was. Now, there’s an attempt to denigrate this by claiming that the United States owes its origins and inspiration to the Iroquois Confederacy, the union of six (Native American) tribes that dominated the north east of the country.
It’s all a part of the ongoing denigration of the Anglo –Saxon – Celtic peoples who really did found the colony of Virginia and the other colonies. “Jamestown” will likely digress to show that the African slaves and the Native Americans contributed more than their fair share to the economic development of the colony. History is being rewritten as we slide ever further into multiculturalism and political correctness! The second series begins Monday on PBS.
The Bible says: “where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18) The people who founded Jamestown had a vision of establishing an English colony with representative government. It was also dedicated to Protestantism.
It led, in time, to the establishment of the United States of America.
BREXIT is yet another example of identity politics, the struggle of half the people to reclaim their national identity and birth right.
“In theory, Britain is leaving the EU on 29 March 2019. But the legal small print, published by Brussels, shows what this means. Parliament will be asked to ratify a deal which clearly admits that ‘all references to ‘Member States’ and competent authorities of Member States . . . shall be read as including the United Kingdom.’ (Article 7) So the UK will be bound by EU laws, at least during a transition period. But this ‘transition period’ can be be made to last forever (Article 132). And even if a successor deal is agreed, the UK will have signed away other rights for years to come.” (“The top 40 horrors lurking in the small print of Theresa May’s Brexit deal,” The Spectator, 12.30 18.)
The title of this article says it all. “The top 40- horrors” in the proposed agreement illustrate that Brexit is impossible if the UK pushes for a deal with the EU. Better to go ahead with no deal on March 29th.
A GOOD YEAR FOR ISRAEL
Israel’s identity is clearer – it’s the national home of the Jewish people.
Things have been going the country’s way, as highlighted by an article in “Israel Today.” “Everything Israel Endured and achieved in 2018” (dated 1.1.19).
Firstly, there was President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This was followed recently by Australia. Guatemala and Brazil are two other nations that have changed their stance.
Secondly, the US and some other western countries finally decided to act against the “pay for slay” policy of the Palestinians. Under this policy, the Palestinians forked out $355 million annually to terrorists’ families, compensating them for the loss of a family member engaged in acts of terror. The US decided to withhold $215 million annually to the PA under the Taylor Force Act, named after an American murdered in Israel by a Palestinian terrorist.
The Trump Administration also decided to stop funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), an organization that gives aid to Palestinians.
Thirdly, thanks largely to outgoing US Ambassador Nikki Haley, the UN voted to condemn Hamas, in a vote that was 87 for and 57 against. (There are 57 Muslim nations in the Islamic Conference.)
Another very real sign of progress has been Israel’s reaching out to Sunni Arab states, finding areas of common interest with Saudi Arabia, Oman and other Gulf Arab states. The Sunni Arab countries all share a common fear of Iran.
Prime Minister Netanyahu also visited Chad and Azerbaijan, two Muslim countries a long way from Israel. Right now, he is in Brazil, a country whose new conservative government is going to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The like-minded Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, has been working on measures to stop anti-semitism from becoming a bigger problem in the EU.
Mr. Kurz, sometimes labeled a “Nazi” for his right wing views, has ironically turned out to be Israel’s best friend in the EU.
“On the security front, the year began with a huge Israeli success when a 100-man strong Mossad team succeeded in stealing a large part of the secret Iranian nuclear archive under the noses of the mullahs in Tehran. The more than 11,000 documents and disks that the Mossad smuggled to Israel indicated that Iran has never abandoned its plan to obtain a nuclear weapon.”
So, 2018 was a good year for Israel.
NEW US CONGRESS HAS A RECORD NUMBER OF WOMEN
The former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt may not be the first person you would think of when you ponder Isaiah 3:12: “As for my people, children are their oppressors and women rule over them.” But the late First Lady did inadvertently shed some light on the scripture.
In a 1951 radio program, which I heard on BBC Radio 4, she enthusiastically spoke about the role women had played in Congress. At the time women had only had the vote for thirty years.
“All the great social reforms have taken place since women got the vote”, was the verdict of Mrs. Roosevelt.
If you overlook the first social reform, Prohibition, which was a disaster, others include social security. Her husband, Franklin Roosevelt, was responsible for the three R’s, Relief, Recovery and Reform and set America on the road to socialism in the first five years of his presidency.
If you accept the claim that “all the great social reforms have taken place since women got the vote,” another way of putting this is that “the road to national bankruptcy began in the 1930’s with all the great social reforms,” for every social reform adds to the nation’s debts.
And this new Congress is set to increase them further.
While the media boasts of “diversity,” and much has been made of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ radical socialism, more social reforms are expected to follow. Her top two priorities are Medicare for all and forgiveness of student debt. Norah O’Donnell this morning announced enthusiastically, talking of the new entrants to Congress, that “Trump has met his match!”
Our national identity is being threatened, with all this talk of “diversity” and radical socialism.