Wednesday, January 05, 2011

As I was saying...

Some updates on stories I've written about recently:
  • A few weeks ago I predicted that the "new god" that will emerge in Europe is called Allah. Yesterday the British papers reported that the number of British converts to Islam has almost doubled in 10 years, to 1000,000.
    The report estimated around 5,200 men and women have adopted Islam over the past 12 months, including 1,400 in London. Nearly two-thirds were women, more than 70 per cent were white and the average age at conversion was 27
    It adds that the majority saw an Islamic way of life as "compatible" with living in Britain, and only 5% had adopted the burka. The conclusion has to be that if masses across Europe do end up converting, Islam may very well be as much changed by them as Europe will be by Islam - a milder local version could emerge. See also interesting comment at the end of Avraham Bronstein's post.

  • Last week I asked who in the Knesset and the media knew about Katsav's sexual misdemeanours before he was voted in as Israel's president. Since then, Shas has been accused of being fully in the know, with former leader Arieh Deri actually warning the party's spiritual mentor, Rav Ovadiah Yossef, not to vote for him for this reason. They obviously reject the charge.

    In addition, Avraham Burg, who was then Knesset speaker, claims that a Peres aide told him about allegations against Katsav and asked him to persuade Katsav to drop out of the race "for the sake of his own dignity and that of the knesset". Burg refused, claiming it was not part of his job description, and told them to go to the police if the allegations were of criminal nature.

    Granted, it was Shas who effectively stabbed Peres in the back by not voting the way they said they would; but I'm not sure why they are being picked on here. Katsav was the Likud candidate and it stands to reason that if anyone knew - and clearly, many people did - it would be those in his own party. It feels like the Likud is being let off the hook.

  • I wondered about the meaning of a strange line in the rabbinic ban on Charedi news site Vos Iz Naies, which attacked the site for writing "against ministers and politicians under whose protection we [live], in order to ruin their reputations, and the desecration of God's name is absolutely terrible". Many now think that was the key to the whole thing.

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