education, ethics, government, human rights, Islam

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) is the United States‘ official memorial to the Holocaust.

Adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the USHMM provides for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history. It is dedicated to helping leaders and citizens of the world confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity, and strengthen democracy. …

Since its dedication on April 22, 1993, the Museum has had nearly 40 million visitors, including more than 10 million school children, 99 heads of state, and more than 3,500 foreign officials from over 211 countries. …

On entry you are given a booklet ID card of a Jew killed in the holocaust.

I got Thomas Elek executed by Nazi firing squad on Feb 21, 1944 at the age of 20.

It’s a sobering experience to focus on just one individual of the millions murdered.

My visited reminded me of a prominent, intelligent, influential, articulate Jewish American who’s stridently right wing. Strongly anti-Muslim. Against immigration.

When I pointed out that his statements were exactly what many have said about the Jews over the past few hundred years … he told me his Islamophobia was completely different.

Tell that to these American neo-Nazis.

Chanting ‘Jews will not replace us’

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

German Protestant pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

books, Islam, TV

House of Spies (Gabriel Allon #17)

We expected in this book that Gabriel Allon would stay home, now the Chief of Israeli security and father of twins.

Not so much.

… Daniel Silva’s runaway bestseller The Black Widow was one of 2016’s biggest novels. Now, in House of Spies, Gabriel Allon is back and out for revenge—determined to hunt down the world’s most dangerous terrorist, a shadowy ISIS mastermind known only as Saladin.

Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London’s glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread: the French-Moroccan street criminal and ISIS operative who supplied the combat assault rifles. …

Amazon

Click PLAY or watch a TV interview with the author on YouTube.

A TV series in in the works produced by MGM.

books, gymnastics, Islam

Gabriel Allon – Israeli assassin

Gabriel Allon is the main protagonist in Daniel Silva‘s thriller and espionage series that focuses on Israeli intelligence. …

I’ve just finished the final two books in the series to date.

Black Widow is the 16th book. I’m sorry to have to wait for #17 later this year.

In general the books have gotten better and better. Black Widow revolves around ISIS terrorist attacks on western targets.

On the other hand the blatant Pro-Israel bias has become more annoying.

The Allon story has gone on so long that Silva plagiarizes from himself. (Is that a thing?)

He cuts and pastes phrases, sentences and possibly paragraphs from earlier books.

I’ve read all 16 books since Oct 2016.

Addicted.

 

 

 

 

books, Islam

The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva

Well written, as always, the plot kept me going. It’s one of the best books in the series.

After narrowly surviving his last operation, Gabriel Allon, the wayward son of Israeli intelligence, has taken refuge behind the walls of the Vatican, where he is restoring one of Caravaggio’s greatest masterpieces.

But early one morning he is summoned to St. Peter’s Basilica by Monsignor Luigi Donati, the all-powerful private secretary to His Holiness Pope Paul VII. The body of a beautiful woman lies broken beneath Michelangelo’s magnificent dome. The Vatican police suspect suicide, though Gabriel believes otherwise. So, it seems, does Donati, who calls upon Gabriel to quietly pursue the truth—with one caveat.

My main criticism is that Silva is VERY pro-Israel, anti-Palestine. There’s not the slightest attempt for balance on that issue.

Islam, travel

Izmir Atatürk Museum

The little I knew about Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, I liked.

He separated Church and State. Created a model of modernization that more Muslim nations should have emulated.

He was a Turkish army officer, revolutionary, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938. …

… initiated a rigorous program of political, economic, and cultural reforms with the ultimate aim of building a modern and secular nation-state.

He made primary education free and compulsory, opening thousands of new schools all over the country.

Turkish women received equal civil and political rights during Atatürk’s presidency ahead of many Western countries. …

Atatürk’s foreign policy followed his motto, “peace at home, peace in the world“. …

Despite his radical secular reforms, Atatürk remained broadly popular in the Muslim world.

I didn’t learn much new at the museum in Izmir. But I’m sure most in the nation wished they had Atatürk back as President today.

government, Islam, TV

Homeland – season 6

Still must watch TV.

Nothing else in public popular media addresses the issues of the day so well.

The sixth season of the American television drama series Homeland … concluded on April 9th, 2017.

Carrie Mathison is back in the United States, living in Brooklyn, New York with her young pre-school aged daughter. She is now working at a foundation whose efforts are to provide aid to Muslims living in the United States.

Saul Berenson and Dar Adal are still CIA operatives and are dealing with counter-terrorism …

Peter Quinn is alive but has suffered a major stroke and is incapacitated. …

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

Rupert Friend should win all the acting awards as Peter Quinn, a disabled Vet recovering from sarin poisoning.

Jake Weber as Brett O’Keefe, TV host and fake news provocateur is fascinating. Something between Bannon and Alex Jones. A very scary guy.

Elizabeth Marvel was cast in the role of Elizabeth Keane, a senator from New York who was just elected to be the next President of the United States. This was written while it was still expected Hillary would be President.

books, Islam

Gabriel Allon – Israeli assassin

For some reason I’ve continued with Daniel Silva’s series:

A Death in Vienna (2004)
Prince of Fire (2005)
The Messenger (2006)

They are easy listening. Formulaic.

Instructive of the Israeli dilemma — survival in a region surrounded by enemies.

Of these three Prince of Fire was best, I’d say.

… the semireluctant spy, Gabriel, is pulled from his cover to hunt down terrorists who have committed a horrific crime, in this case the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Rome. The mastermind behind the bombing is French archeologist Paul Martineau, aka “Khaled, son of Sabri, grandson of Sheikh Asad. …

Amazon

prince-of-fire