An Interesting View on Extremists

21 09 2012

I received a ‘letter’ by email, titled “A Holocaust Survivor’s View on Islam” and found it very interesting. The email claims that the author¬† is Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a Holocaust survivor and respected psychiatrist. When one does an online search about this article it can be doubted that this is a recent article, that it is the original title or even that it has been written by Tanay. Nonetheless, I do think it is an interesting view and therefore share the message as I received it:

 

“A Holocaust Survivor’s View on Islam

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. ‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’

 

We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

 

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march… It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

 

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous.

 

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

 

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

 

And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?

 

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

 

Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.

 

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

 

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts — the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

 

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world-wide, read this and think about it, and send it on – before it’s too late.

 

Emanuel Tanay, M.D. 2980 Provincial St. Ann Arbor , MI 48104

 

Dr. Emanuel Tanay MD; is a well-known forensic psychiatrist who has been an expert witness in many famous cases. He has served as an officer or committee member on the Michigan Psychiatric Society, the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and others. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and of the American Board of Forensic Psychiatry and a distinguished fellow of the APA and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFC).

 

A Holocaust survivor himself, Dr Tanay coauthored a book about the survivors of the Holocaust and was asked by the German governmen t to consult on just compensation for the Holocaust survivors. Dr. Tanay has served on several journal editorial boards, authored many publications, and presented countless times on forensic medicine. His efforts have also produced many awards and commendations from groups such as the Michigan State Medical Society, APA, the Detroit Institute of Technology, and AAFC, among others.

 

I hope this letter gets read by millions of people all across the USA, Canada and the rest of the civilised world.”

 

Do you also find this an interesting view?

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Book Review: “When China Rules The World” by Martin Jacques

9 10 2011

Usually I send out a ping/tweet about books that I read, liked and think my friends should read to. I just finished a book that I like so much, that I am posting a short review about it. I liked it so much, as it really opened up a new world to me and created a ‘wow-effect’, maybe even an enlightenment moment.

Martin Jacques

For the over a decade everyone is speculation that China is going to rule the world, but as China is slowly growing and becoming its own self fulfilling prophecy, nobody really quantified why and/or if China is going to rule the world. When I heard about Mr. Martin Jacques, and his newest book: “When China Rules The World: The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World“, I knew I needed to read it immediately. (By the way, I first heard of him via TED.com, where I learn many mind gobbling things ūüôā ).

Although it is a thick (441 pages) and rather academic, it does read rather smooth. This book is not just a in-depth analysis of the current situation of China and where it is moving, but gives an deep, full historical understanding of the 3000 years old Chinese culture. It gives an inside view, seen from the Asian perspective AND Western perspective. Very well done.

As I declared this book as a ‘must-read’, I don’t want to spoil too much… The books concludes in “The Eight Differences that Define China”:

1. China is not really a nation-state in the traditional sense of the term but a civilization-state.

2. China is increasingly likely to conceive of its relationship with East Asia in terms of a tributary-state, rather than nation-state, system.

3. There is the distictively Chinese attitude towards race and ethnicity. The Han Chinese conceive of themselves as a single race, even though this is clearly not the case.

4. China operates, and will continue to operate, on a quite different continental-size canvas as continental in scale.

5. The nature of the Chinese polity if highly specific. Unlike the Western experience, in particular that of Europe, the imperial dynasty was neither obliged, nor required, nor indeed desired to share power with other competing institutions or interest groups, such as the Church or the merchant class. The Confusian ethos that informed and shaped it for some two millennia did not require the state to be accountable to the people, but instead insisted on its loyalty to the moral precepts of Confucianism.

6. Chinese modernity, like other East Asian modernities, is distinguished by the speed of the country’s transformation. The Asian tigers are time-compression societies. They embrace the new in the same way that a child approaches a computer or a Nintendo game console.

7. Since 1949 China has been ruled by a Communist regime. Paradoxically, perhaps the two most significant dates of the last half-century embody what are seemingly entirely contradictory events: 1989, marking the collapse of European Communism and the demise of the Soviet bloc; and 1978, signalling not only the beginning of the most remarkable economic transformation in history but also one presided over by a Communist Party.

8. China will, for several decades to come, combine the characteristics of both a developed and a developing country. This will be a unique condition for one of the major global powers and tems from the fact that China’s modernization will be a protracted process because of the country’s size: in conventional terms, China’s transformation is that of a continent, with continental-style disparities, rather than that of a country.

As quoted in the final chapter of the book. It also contains a great Guide to Further Reading on pages 438-441.

If you have read the book already, please share your thoughts. If you are interested in China, world politics and/or economics, please do read this book.

I really enjoyed it and learned a great deal from it.

Áú茹įśā®ÁöĄŚąįśĚ• (K√†n d√†o n√≠n de d√†ol√°i) = See You Soon

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65 years later…

25 02 2010

Since my childhood I have been fascinated by tattoos. I truly believe that many tatoos are pieces of art and¬†the designers of that are true artist. BUT… I don’t have one and never will¬†get one… I work in a business that is all about decorating bodies, but even¬†nowadays that it is possible to¬†remove tattoos, I¬†don’t think I will ever¬†want one.

While I was growing up in the 1980s and 1990s a tattoo was still not as common as today. Now it seems¬†quarter of the population¬†has a tattoo. In¬†2007 The Pew Research Center found out that 36% of 18-35 year olds have at least one tattoo. So, for years I wondered why I am so opposed to tattoos… Yesterday I received¬†an e-mail with a cartoon that¬†summarizes my feelings¬†about tattoos:

 

Although I am from 1979 and don’t consider myself as old, I really feel old when I talk about people about tattoos and explain to them that I always think of people with numbers on their arm. I feel SO old when they don’t understand that I am referring back to the Second World War in Europe and the Holocaust. I really get worried and sad when people don’t even know what the word Holocaust means and refers to! Therefore I want to pay respect to a lady that did something AMAZING in those days:

Two years ago a 98 year-old lady named Irena Sendler passed away. During World War II, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ‘ulterior motive’ …. She KNEW what the Nazi’s plans were for the Jews. Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack (for larger kids). She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises. During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi’s broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family. Most¬†of them¬†did not return… Those kids she helped and have been placed into foster family homes or adopted.

In¬†2007¬†Irena was¬†nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize …. She was not selected.¬† Al Gore won, for a theory on Global Warming (which has been disputed…).

Let us never forget!
There is a saying that comes to mind: “If you save a life, you save a whole world.”
Please don’t forget!

It is now¬†65 years after the Second World War in Europe¬†ended. I write this in memory of the 20 million¬†Russians, 10¬†million Christians, 6 million Jews and 1,900 Catholic priests¬†who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned,¬† starved and humiliated with ‘The Others’ looking the other¬†way!

Now, more than ever, with Iraq, Iran, and others, claiming the Holocaust to be ‘a myth,’ it is important to make sure the world never forgets, because there are others who would like to do it again…

For more information on Irena Sendler, check the Wikipedia page about her.

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Project Better Place: Israel first country to deploy electric cars

21 07 2008

This weekend I read a very interesting article about a venture named, Project Better Place, in the English weekly newspaper JC.

The article “Could this car drive oil power to a stop?” is about the unique project to make the world a better place. The State of Israel has become the first country, and Renault-Nissan the first automaker, to announce their partnerships with us to begin a mass deployment of electric cars.

Renault Nissan Project Better Place

Renault Nissan Project Better Place

The official website of Project Better Place states: “Project Better Place is very excited that the State of Israel has become the first country, and Renault-Nissan the first automaker, to announce their partnerships with us to begin a mass deployment of electric cars. We believe that it is past time to begin making it possible for consumers to choose an electric vehicle that is much less expensive to operate, does not emit pollution or greenhouse gases and provides a better driving experience from their current automobiles. The State of Israel has shown foresight in implementing an appropriate tax policy, and setting out a vision by which it can become the first industrialized nation to end the stranglehold of oil on its economy and environment. Renault-Nissan, likewise, has shown great vision and leadership , when agreeing to become the first major automaker to produce electric vehicles on a mass-scale to integrate with our infrastructure . We look forward to working with them to replace hundreds of thousands of polluting cars with new electric vehicles, for a cleaner and safer world.”

This concept is set-up by Shai Agassi (as far I know, not related to Andre):

Shai Agassi

Shai Agassi

“Shai Agassi is the founder and CEO of Project Better Place, a company focused on the early 21st century‚Äôs biggest challenge – a scaleable and sustainable personal transportation system.¬† In this role, Agassi works directly with governments, finance, automobile manufacturers and technology companies to install, scale, and operate a regional and global infrastructure necessary for electronic vehicles.

With a personal passion in solving large-scale social and environmental issues, Agassi believes in utilizing technology and capital markets to address the challenges of sustainability and climate change.  With Better Place, he will manage the operation of international electric vehicle fleets by investing in, installing and operating countrywide charging infrastructures for electric cars, as well as working with partners to make the cars available.

Most recently, Better Place and Renault-Nissan announced a partnership that will enable electric vehicles to be mass produced for the Israeli market as announced by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert President Shimon Perez in January 2008.  Better Place is in discussions with multiple auto-makers and countries as they seek to move more markets off of oil and onto an electric recharge grid operator model.

Before founding Better Place, Agassi was formerly president of the Products and Technology Group at SAP AG and a member of the SAP AG Executive Board (2002 Р2007).  In these roles, Agassi was responsible for both the global development of the SAP product line and SAP’s portfolio of industry-specific solutions. While at SAP AG, Agassi spearheaded the development and release of SAP’s successful platform strategy; led innovations that helped the company grow into a market leader, and set the stage for the future of business software.

As a serial entrepreneur, Agassi has developed and cultivated several technology companies. During his career, Agassi founded Quicksoft Media and QuickSoft Ltd as well as TopTier Software and TopManage, which were both acquired by SAP.

Agassi is an active member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum where he focuses on climate change and transportation issues.

I added Shai’s blog The Long Tailpipe to my blogroll. Make sure to visit his blog and the official website of Project Better Place:

www.projectbetterplace.com

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“On the Jewish Question”: Update about political situation Israel

17 01 2008

This is an interesting article written by Bernard Lewis, a historian with special interest in the Middle East, published in the Wall Street Journal. This was written as an introduction for the Annapolis ‘Peace’ Conference (11-2007) and to update¬†one about the situation and why the conference is (or actually was) doomed to fail:

On the Jewish Question

By BERNARD LEWIS
November 26, 2007; Page A21 Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB119604260214503526-lMyQjAxMDE3OTI2NjAyNDYyWj.html

Herewith some thoughts about tomorrow’s Annapolis peace conference, and the larger problem of how to approach the Israel-Palestine conflict. The first question (one might think it is obvious but apparently not) is, “What is the conflict about?” There are basically two possibilities: that it is about the size of Israel, or about its existence.

If the issue is about the size of Israel, then we have a straightforward border problem, like Alsace-Lorraine or Texas. That is to say, not easy, but possible to solve in the long run, and to live with in the meantime.

If, on the other hand, the issue is the existence of Israel, then clearly it is insoluble by negotiation. There is no compromise position between existing and not existing, and no conceivable government of Israel is going to negotiate on whether that country should or should not exist.

PLO and other Palestinian spokesmen have, from time to time, given formal indications of recognition of Israel in their diplomatic discourse in foreign languages. But that’s not the message delivered at home in Arabic, in everything from primary school textbooks to political speeches and religious sermons. Here the terms used in Arabic denote, not the end of hostilities, but an armistice or truce, until such time that the war against Israel can be resumed with better prospects for success. Without genuine acceptance of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State, as the more than 20 members of the Arab League exist as Arab States, or the much larger number of members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference exist as Islamic states, peace cannot be negotiated.

A good example of how this problem affects negotiation is the much-discussed refugee question. During the fighting in 1947-1948, about three-fourths of a million Arabs fled or were driven (both are true in different places) from Israel and found refuge in the neighboring Arab countries. In the same period and after, a slightly greater number of Jews fled or were driven from Arab countries, first from the Arab-controlled part of mandatory Palestine (where not a single Jew was permitted to remain), then from the Arab countries where they and their ancestors had lived for centuries, or in some places for millennia. Most Jewish refugees found their way to Israel.

What happened was thus, in effect, an exchange of populations not unlike that which took place in the Indian subcontinent in the previous year, when British India was split into India and Pakistan. Millions of refugees fled or were driven both ways — Hindus and others from Pakistan to India, Muslims from India to Pakistan. Another example was Eastern Europe at the end of World War II, when the Soviets annexed a large piece of eastern Poland and compensated the Poles with a slice of eastern Germany. This too led to a massive refugee movement — Poles fled or were driven from the Soviet Union into Poland, Germans fled or were driven from Poland into Germany.

The Poles and the Germans, the Hindus and the Muslims, the Jewish refugees from Arab lands, all were resettled in their new homes and accorded the normal rights of citizenship. More remarkably, this was done without international aid. The one exception was the Palestinian Arabs in neighboring Arab countries.

The government of Jordan granted Palestinian Arabs a form of citizenship, but kept them in refugee camps. In the other Arab countries, they were and remained stateless aliens without rights or opportunities, maintained by U.N. funding. Paradoxically, if a Palestinian fled to Britain or America, he was eligible for naturalization after five years, and his locally-born children were citizens by birth. If he went to Syria, Lebanon or Iraq, he and his descendants remained stateless, now entering the fourth or fifth generation.

The reason for this has been stated by various Arab spokesmen. It is the need to preserve the Palestinians as a separate entity until the time when they will return and reclaim the whole of Palestine; that is to say, all of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel. The demand for the “return” of the refugees, in other words, means the destruction of Israel. This is highly unlikely to be approved by any Israeli government.

There are signs of change in some Arab circles, of a willingness to accept Israel and even to see the possibility of a positive Israeli contribution to the public life of the region. But such opinions are only furtively expressed. Sometimes, those who dare to express them are jailed or worse. These opinions have as yet little or no impact on the leadership.

Which brings us back to the Annapolis summit. If the issue is not the size of Israel, but its existence, negotiations are foredoomed. And in light of the past record, it is clear that is and will remain the issue, until the Arab leadership either achieves or renounces its purpose — to destroy Israel. Both seem equally unlikely for the time being.

Mr. Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton, is the author, most recently, of “From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East” (Oxford University Press, 2004).

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